Rainy Day Snarky Snippets

It seems that there is a correlation between gloomy, rainy days and my level of snark.  Today, it is pouring, grey and dreary, and my snark-o-meter is at about 80%.  Now you might think that with the good news that Trump’s attempt to overturn the will of the people in this month’s election has failed … an epic failure … would lower my snark, that I would be sitting here grinning and typing about happy things like … um …

Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings

But I am not Julie Andrews and my singing is nearly a criminal offense, so instead, as I watch the pouring rain create a river in my backyard, I shall share my snarkiness with you, my friends!


Living in a bubble …

The pandemic continues to rage, and yesterday we broke yet another record with 2,194 deaths, bringing our recorded death toll to 266,311.  Mike Pence, who is allegedly the head of the coronavirus task force but has not spoken of it since July, finally broke his vow of silence last Thursday.  Despite record high new cases, hospitalizations, and more than a quarter of a million deaths, he had this to say …

“America has never been more prepared to combat this virus than we are today.”

From what I can discern, ol’ Mikey has been living in a bubble somewhere underground for the past ten months!  That death toll … those are people, not just numbers.  Those are our grandparents, our siblings, our children, and our friends!  Just what the Sam Hell has this ‘task force’ even done besides waste time and money?


Two new records

More Americans voted in the 2020 election than in any other in more than 100 years.

voting-record

This is encouraging, but I’m still disappointed … yeah, I know … give a mouse a cookie.  But seriously, 65%?  Where were the other 35% of eligible voters?  This year, most every state made mail-in voting available due to the pandemic, some states even allowed voters to register online.  Yes, some states throw up roadblocks, especially in areas where there is a significant percentage of minorities – it’s called disenfranchisement, and is a republican ploy to keep Blacks, Asians and Hispanics away from the polls.  But even with that in mind … why isn’t the number 85%?  Yeah, yeah … I know all the excuses, have heard them a million times before.  I just wonder what we have to do to convince people … all people … that voting is a responsibility, as well as a right.  You owe it to every person in this country to make your voice heard, and most of all you owe it to yourself to feel that you aren’t just a bystander, but an actual participant.  Turnout in Minnesota reached nearly 80% … if they can do it, why can’t the rest of the nation?

But there’s even more good news … President-elect Joe Biden is now the first ever to win more than 80 million votes!  Ever.  Think about that one … that sends quite a message, doesn’t it?


Good for a laugh …

I had to laugh when I read that Trump thinks his legal team (led by none other than Rudy Giuliani) is made up of “fools that are making him look bad.”

Giuliani

As if he ever needed help in looking bad???  No president in the history of the nation has ever looked worse than Donald Trump on a good day!  Whatever will we do for humour once this bunch of clowns has packed up their circus show and left?


And speaking of humour … let’s see what Jimmy Kimmel has to say about the latest developments.

Open Letter To Republican Members Of Congress

Dear Senator/Representative,

I write today out of extreme frustration as a citizen of the United States, a person who has paid taxes since 1964 when I was but 13 years of age, and an independent voter who has voted since 1972 for both parties at various times.  I believe I have earned the right to speak my piece, and I shall do so now.

Since the U.S. Constitution was adapted in 1787, this nation has abided by certain standards, one of those being a fair and honest election whereby everyone has an equal voice, and once the results are tallied, they are accepted by all.  In the 2016 election, it was later proven that Russia aided and abetted the election campaign of Donald Trump, who actually lost the election by nearly 3 million votes, and yet due to the electoral system, was placed in office on January 20th, 2017.  His opponent, Hillary Clinton, graciously congratulated him on his ‘win’ the day after the election, as did then-President Barack Obama.

Fast forward to November 3rd, 2020, not quite three weeks ago.  The election was held, but results were not immediately available because of the surging pandemic that led many of us to vote by absentee ballot.  Within a couple of days, it became obvious that Joe Biden had won the election, had earned 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, and had scored over 6 million votes more than Donald Trump.  And yet … without one shred of proof or evidence, that result is being hotly contested by Trump and his lawyers.  Not only that, but Trump continually claims, falsely, that he won the election, that there was massive voter fraud, and that “the democrats stole” the election from him.

You know, and I know that not a single shred of evidence exists to support Trump’s claims.  Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security, Christopher Krebs, said that the 2020 election was the most secure in the history of the nation.  He was fired for telling the truth and for doing his job.  Still, Donald Trump continues to create chaos by making false claims.

In the past week, four members of Congress have followed their conscience and condemned Trump’s attempt to cast doubt on the validity of the election:  Senator Mitt Romney, Senator Ben Sasse, outgoing Senator Lamar Alexander, and Senator Pat Toomey.  Each of the four have said it is time for Trump to face the fact that he lost and be gracious in conceding the election.  YOU, however, remain silent.  I ask you now … WHY?  You know that Joe Biden won the election honestly and fairly.  You know that Donald Trump is a temperamental, dishonest ‘man’, lacking in integrity, who has done more damage to this country than the last ten presidents combined.  So … why are you silent?  Your silence speaks volumes about your character.

Surely you must realize that Trump is casting doubt, not only on the integrity of the 2020 election, but on our democratic processes as he continues to rant and rave about things that simply do not exist.  You have achieved one of the highest-ranking positions in the nation, so surely you must be an intelligent and well-educated individual, and yet at this moment, it appears that you are without conscience.

I, and my fellow citizens, call on you today … yes, TODAY … to condemn Mr. Trump’s rhetoric and actions, to demand that he concede the election so that President-elect Biden’s transition team can get to work, planning for a smooth transition and the ongoing safety of the nation.  IF you do not, if you continue to enable Trump and his minions to undermine the democratic processes of this nation without so much as a whimper on your part, then you do not deserve the position you hold.  Know that, if you continue to allow this to go on without adding your voice to those of Senators Romney, Sasse, Toomey, and Alexander, then I and others will work tirelessly the next time you are facing a re-election bid, to ensure that the American public knows just how disinterested in the future of this nation and its people you are, and I will work to support your opponent, whoever he or she may be.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison – citizen, taxpayer, voter


Note to readers:  I have sent this letter to Ohio Senator Rob Portman and Representative Warren Davidson, and am planning to send it to the local newspaper, as well.  The silence in the GOP on this matter is deafening and we cannot wait forever for these members of Congress to find their consciences.  Feel free to adapt and use the letter if you wish.

The World Turns a mite strangely

I often find that friends ‘across the pond’ see our situation so much more clearly than many in this country see it. Perhaps it’s that old adage “… can’t see the forest for the trees”. Right now, we are in the most politically stressful time in most of our lives, and our friend David astutely sums it all up in a view from ‘cross the pond. Thank you, David!

The BUTHIDARS

A little over two weeks ago the US had elections for President as well as some Senators and representatives. I’m quite sure most of you remember it since TV’s and newspapers the world over covered it along with the usual conspiracy theorists from Facebook. Under normal circumstances the election would have been done and dusted by now. But that doesn’t allow for the capriciousness of the current President Donald J Trump .

Once the count had been done which took a few days because of votes by mail which are counted last the results appeared Joe Biden. Democrat 290 seats and over 79m votes Donald Trump Republican 232 seats and over 73m votes. This appears to be a decisive victory for Joe Biden. Under normal circumstances, and I repeat this because it’s anything but normal, the President would concede (as gracefully as possible), the President elect, his Vice President Kamala…

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Missing Words …

I simply cannot find my words today.   I don’t remember where I left them when I went to bed last night … er, this morning … and I’ve called and whistled for them, but no words are forthcoming.  However, John Oliver does not have any problem finding his, and he has graciously agreed to fill in for Filosofa today with words that are wiser and more informed than mine would have been, even if they had come out of hiding.

Seriously, though … this clip, while it is nearly 18 minutes long, is well worth watching as he assesses the current situation here in the U.S. and quite effectively puts to rest the rumours and conspiracy theories that are being spread by Trump and his nasty cohorts even faster than the coronavirus pandemic.  I do hope you’ll take the time to watch this from start to finish … it is well worth the time … plus there is a glint of much-needed humour.

Who Is The Republican Party?

E.J. Dionne is a columnist for The Washington Post, but he is also a government professor at Georgetown University, a visiting professor at Harvard University, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and a frequent commentator on politics for National Public Radio and MSNBC.  Needless to say, he is well-qualified to opine on the current situation in Washington.  This morning, I found his latest column in my inbox, and I found it well worth reading … and sharing. If we thought that the Republican Party would pull away from Trump as he throws his juvenile tantrum after losing the election, we were wrong … they are sticking to him like glue.  Mr. Dionne reminds us that this is not new behaviour …


Of course Republicans are doing this. It’s who they are.

Opinion by

DionneE.J. Dionne Jr.

Columnist

November 11, 2020 at 4:19 p.m. EST

No. Not this time. Not again.

We knew that President Trump had no respect for democracy or the Constitution. So we’re not surprised that he’s lying, and lying, and lying again to claim he prevailed in the election that President-elect Joe Biden won decisively, fair and square.

What we did not know for certain was whether the Republican Party would once again bow before Trump’s corruption and his indifference to the fate of our republican institutions.

Well, the GOP has turned out to be as despicably ready to validate Trump’s falsehoods and authoritarian behavior as its worst critics feared. With precious few exceptions, Republican leaders are quite happy to be complicit in Trump’s subversion.

Some innocent souls still want to see the GOP as a normal party ready to work with Biden to solve the nation’s problems.

Sorry, but that party disappeared long ago, and we should not, in retrospect, have expected anything else. After all, this is not the first time that Republicans moved immediately to discredit a Democrat who won the presidency. It’s not even the second time. The practice of hamstringing a new Democratic president by suggesting that his victory wasn’t genuine goes all the way back to Bill Clinton.

Recall that in 1992, Clinton won an overwhelming 370-to-168 electoral college majority over then-President George H.W. Bush. Clinton beat Bush in the popular vote by 5.8 million. But the businessman Ross Perot ran a serious campaign as an independent and won 18.9 percent of the popular vote. As a result, Clinton’s share was 43 percent.

That was all the Republicans needed to assert that even though Clinton won, he was actually a loser. Then-Republican Senate leader Bob Dole declared the day after the election that Clinton had no “mandate” because “57 percent of the Americans who voted in the presidential election voted against Bill Clinton.”

Dole added: “I intend to represent that majority on the floor of the U.S. Senate.” Presto: A drubbing becomes a triumph.

To this day, many Republicans believe, because they have said it so often, that Perot was the reason Bush lost. But the data showed conclusively that this was not true.

The Voter Research & Surveys exit poll that year found that 38 percent of Perot voters listed Clinton as their second choice, and 38 percent listed Bush. The rest said they wouldn’t have voted if Perot hadn’t run.

Thus, a reallocation of Perot’s second choices showed that even if Perot hadn’t run, Clinton would have led Bush by roughly the same popular vote margin. And, at most, only Ohio would have flipped to Bush, leaving Clinton with a still-robust 349 electoral vote haul.

But the truth never caught up with reality. Clinton was hobbled right out of the gate.

In 2008, Barack Obama defeated John McCain by such an overwhelming margin (9.5 million popular votes, 365 to 173 in the electoral college) that even the most creative Republicans couldn’t spin that outcome into a defeat. But along came “birtherism,” the false charge (touted most notably by a guy named Trump) that Obama was ineligible to be president because he had not been born in the United States.

We forget how powerful a hold birtherism had on Republicans and how long it has hung around. The lie was ridiculous, outrageous and racist all at once. Obama kept hoping that the claim’s self-evident absurdity would discredit it. When that didn’t happen, he finally — more than two years after he was inaugurated — released his long-form birth certificate proving he had been born in Hawaii.

Even then, Trump wouldn’t give it up. For example, he tweeted on Aug. 6, 2012: “An extremely credible source has called my office and told me that @Barack-Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud.”

This is the man Republicans are backing up as he makes equally ludicrous claims about our election. They are doing it to make sure Trump voters in Georgia turn out for two Republican senators in a January runoff election. They are doing it because they fear Trump. But they are also doing it to weaken Biden and make it harder for him to govern.

And notice how Republicans have escalated their level of irresponsibility over the years. They started with a phony election analysis in 1992; by 2008, they were allowing a wild lie to poison the consciousness of their base. Now, they are willing to do something even worse. As Daniel Ziblatt, co-author of “How Democracies Die,” said in an interview, the GOP could “damage the legitimacy not just of Biden but of our democracy as a whole.”

Biden keeps telling us: “We are not enemies. We are Americans.

That’s decent and honorable. But enemies or not, the Republican Party’s leaders are behaving like a nest of vipers. Be wary, Mr. President-elect.

Snarky Snippets Volume MMXX

I cannot help wondering if my built-in snark-o-meter will spin as wildly a year from now as it does today?  It takes so little … sometimes just a single word … to set it off.


Humorous snark …

Some days, you look at the political news, and you’ve just gotta laugh.  This one comes from a state legislator named Price Wallace in the state of Mississippi.

Price-Wallace

That’s right, folks … Mr. Wallace is 58 years old, a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives since 2018, and he has yet to find his brain.  Judging by most of the comments, I think Mr. Wallace may be voted out next time ‘round!

  • Yeah, because that worked out so well last time. For future reference, it’s “secede”.
  • You’re the poster boy for improving our education system in Mississippi Price.
  • Making slavery vogue again
  • Do it!! It really worked great the last time! Tell that Trump is moving into the Governor’s Mansion. He will rule as Emperor of Trumpistan. Reeves can be in charge of his McDonald’s orders.
  • If Mississippi wants to secede (again), I don’t know anyone who would object. The rest of the country would love to be rid of us. At the rate our young people are fleeing, soon the only residents will be our two senators and one remaining congressman.
  • Seeing that we are a welfare state that receives more money from the federal government then we contribute, who is going to be the person in charge of begging for foreign aid? And people wonder why the state has been at the bottom so long. Look at the type of people whites elect.

And then there was Eric Trump, one of Trump’s two dumb-as-a-tin-can sons, who urged the people of Minnesota to ‘get out and vote’ … only one problem …

Eric-Trump

Check the date of his tweet … one week after election day.  Um, if Trump is looking for voter fraud, perhaps he needs look no further than his own nest?

Turns out that Eric had written the tweet some time before the election and scheduled it to go on Tuesday but wasn’t quite smart enough to double check the date.  And this is the family that has been in charge of this country for the past four years?


Transition from chaos to sanity …

And on a more serious note, with just 69 days left until Joseph Robinette Biden takes the Oath of Office and is officially sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, time is of the essence in preparing for a smooth transition.  However, Trump is refusing to concede that he lost the election, he has ordered that no federal agency is to work with Biden’s transition team, nor to provide any information to them.

Political appointees have told their staffers, including career civil servants, not to respond to outreach from the Biden team, if there is any. No formal briefings on agencies’ projects, budgets, trouble spots or day-to-day operations — crucial building blocks that help an administration form a new government — are taking place.  This should not surprise anybody, for Donald Trump’s level of maturity is somewhere around that of a grasshopper, but it is detrimental to the health of this nation.  The incoming administration needs to have access to the resources and knowledge of the outgoing administration, plain and simple.

toon-2

However, Joe Biden is not scratching his head and letting grass grow under his feet.  Remember, he spent 8 years as Vice President, and built a network of contacts during that time … contacts he can fall back on now, his team working through informal channels to learn what’s going on in the government, talking with think tanks, labor and nonprofit groups and those who previously served at federal agencies.

Emily-MurphySince Emily Murphy, head of the General Services Administration (GSA) is refusing to sign paperwork that releases Biden’s $6.3 million share of nearly $10 million in transition resources, the vast majority of the Biden team members will volunteer their time.  These are people who are dedicated to their jobs, dedicated to making the transition as smooth as possible, even under adverse circumstances, and We the People owe them a debt of gratitude.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Trump continues to play his shell game of lawsuits, false claims of voter fraud, and temper tantrums.  Won’t it be nice to have a grown man leading the nation in just 69 days?


Another new record-setting day

And in even more serious news, the U.S. broke yet another record … actually two new records yesterday:  142,808 new cases of the coronavirus in a 24-hour period, and 1,478 deaths in the same period.

At the federal level, there is nothing being done to try to stem the spread of the virus, however many states are taking new measures such as mask mandates and requiring restaurants and bars to close at 10:00 p.m.  It will not be enough.  We were warned … for months, the medical experts have been telling us that with colder weather would come a new surge, but our government chose to ignore the experts, allowing Trump to spread his false rhetoric that the virus was “going away”, and that we had “turned a corner”.

With just over 4% of the world’s population, we have 20.4% of the global cases, and 19.2% of the global deaths.  This, my friends, is not a record we should be proud to hold.  Our friends and families are dying, and our federal government is doing exactly nothing.

On Monday, it was announced that drug company Pfizer has produced an experimental coronavirus vaccine that appears to be more than 90% effective.  Cynic that I am, I distrust anything that comes out of a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company, but in any event, this is positive news, though far from being a cure-all.  Trump, however, despite the fact that he has been promising a vaccine for months now, lashed out in anger, claiming that Pfizer withheld their announcement until after the election in order to sabotage his re-election bid.  I believe he referred to it as the “medical deep state.”  Obviously, his rant is bullshit, but … it proves one thing that we should all realize:  to Trump, we are pawns, and our lives are worth less than nothing to him.


69 more days, my friends.  Yes, chaos is likely to reign during that time, but just think … on the night of January 20, 2021, we will be able to go to bed and actually sleep without nightmares, without wondering to what abomination we will wake in the morning.

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