Time For ‘Toons!

I thought it was about time for a ‘toon post … a bit of humour to dull the pain of the 24/7 news cycle where we are always being bombarded with some new abomination.


There was one bright spot last Friday, when Roger Stone was convicted on all seven felony counts with which he was charged.  Now, if ol’ Roger had been charged and convicted for every crime he’s ever committed, according to my calculations, he would be serving a 2,347 year sentence.  The truth of the matter is I won’t be surprised if Trump pardons him, but let’s enjoy his downfall while we can.

Roger-Stone

Roger-Stone-2

Only trouble with this one is they made Trump look slim … 

Roger-Stone-3Who will where it best?


The thing that is on everybody’s mind, of course, are the ongoing impeachment hearings, and the cartoonists on both sides are having a field day.

impeach-1impeach-2impeach-3impeach-4impeach-5impeach-6


Rather than either shutting up, or having some logical rebuttal to the witness testimonies, the republicans, most notably Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, and Trump himself, are engaging in a smear campaign.  Why, Trump even tried to blame former Ambassador Marie Yovanovich for the Civil War in Somalia!

smear-campaignYovanovitch testimonysmear-campaign-3


And speaking of Jim Jordan …

Jim-Jordan


Some in the GOP seem to be having a hard time these days.  It must be difficult to have to give full support to a ‘man’ who has no values, no integrity, lies, cheats and steals.  Surely some of them are considering whether Trump is worth them throwing away their own careers.

GOPGOP-2


The foundation for our government is the U.S. Constitution.  Presidents take an oath to protect and uphold the Constitution.  The document has withstood many challenges over the past 232 years, but I have to question whether it can stand up to the constant shredding and burning it is being put through under Donald Trump and his cadre of oafs.

ConstitutionConstitution-2Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c191106.tifcorruption-3


And just a few miscellaneous ‘toons …

Trump-charityTrump-liesTrump-stupidTrump-tweets

crazy-TrumpTrump-witch


Remember when the worst thing the opposition could find to criticize the president for was wearing a tan-coloured suit?  I long for the good ol’ days.Obama

Snarky Snippets, Volume #105

That’s right, folks, this is the 105th  version of Snarky Snippets!!!  The concept started as just one post on a day that I didn’t have a major topic, but had several little things I wanted to write about.  Several commentors suggested I should do this more often, so I began writing snarky snippets once a week or so.  Nowadays, however, it is more like 3-4 times a week!  This morning I wondered if I had done one hundred yet, so I did a quick keyword search and came up with 104, making this the 105th!  I start with some rather cheering news to kick off the weekend …


Roger goes down in flames!

roger-stoneWell, folks, you know how Trump has said that the Mueller investigation into the ways in which Russia interfered with our 2016 election and who may have been involved within Trump’s campaign, is naught but a ‘hoax’, a ‘witch hunt’, and that nobody has been convicted of anything?  WRONG!  Just this morning, Trump’s long-time friend, ally and former aide was convicted on all seven felony counts with which he had been charged!  ALL SEVEN!

The friendship between Stone and Trump dates back more than 40 years.  Does anybody really believe that Stone was involved, but that Trump knew nothing about it?  I don’t.  Trump did not testify in person in the Mueller investigation, but rather submitted answers in writing to the questions posed by Mueller and his team.  In one such answer, he claimed that he could not recall the specifics of any of 21 conversations he had with Mr. Stone in the six months before the election.

Stone is the sixth individual to be convicted on charges stemming from the Mueller investigation.  The others are:

  • Rick Gates, Trump’s former deputy campaign chairman
  • Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor
  • Michael Cohen, Trump’s former longtime attorney and “fixer”
  • George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide
  • Paul Manafort, Stone’s former partner

Stone-orange-suitRemember how, after the Mueller report was released and Attorney General William Barr gave his misleading summation of the report, Trump kept screeching, “No obstruction, No collusion!”  It was a lie then, we all knew it was a lie, and Stone’s conviction proves the lie.  I wonder what ol’ Trumpie will have to say now?

Stone’s sentencing will be interesting.  On one count alone, he could face up to 20 years, which at age 67 could amount to a life sentence.  It is anticipated that he will receive a lighter sentence, but then again … remember when he posted a picture of Judge Amy Berman Jackson with the cross hairs of a gun near her head?  Might not go so well for him after all.roger-stone


Ohio wants to “Make America Stupid Again”

Most days, I am ashamed to say that I live in the state of Ohio.  Like any other state, it has its ups and downs, but since the state’s electoral votes went for Trump in 2016, I would just as soon live in Bangladesh or somewhere.  Today’s latest had me picking up my jaw from the floor where it had dropped.

A proposal in Ohio would allow students to be exempted from answering questions correctly in school if their wrong answers conform with their personal religious beliefs.  In essence, a student wouldn’t be penalized if their answers were scientifically wrong, even if they’re in a science class or science-based school.

In part, the bill reads that no school “shall prohibit a student from engaging in religious expression in the completion of homework, artwork, or other written or oral assignments.”  So, for example, if a young person answers on a test that the earth is flat, his/her answer cannot be counted wrong as long as he or she claims it is what is taught by their religion???  Science is factual, not subject to the whims of one religion or another.  The U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state.  This bill is discriminatory, for if two children both get the answer to question #14 wrong, but one claims it was a result of her religious beliefs, then she will not have it counted against her, while the other will.  Discrimination!

The proposal has already been passed as a bill in the Ohio state House of Representatives. It now goes to the Republican-led Senate, where, if passed, it would move onto Republican Governor Mike DeWine’s office for his signature.  I swear if this one passes, I’m moving to a different state!


Only in Kentucky …

I have a number of friends who live in Kentucky, so I am not putting down the state per se, but let’s face it, this is the state that keeps sending Mitch McConnell back to the Senate time and time again … says something, don’t you think?

Well, this latest has nothing to do with politics, but it crossed my radar last night and I let out a WTF before I could catch myself.  The headline reads …

Kentucky man wins 3-year court battle to put ‘IM GOD’ on license plate

Back in 2016, the man, one Ben Hart, ordered personalized plates, otherwise known as ‘vanity plates’ for obvious reasons.  He requested the plates read “IM GOD”, but was turned down by the state Department of Transportation.  Some things are just deemed to be inappropriate.  Most people would have just picked something else, or given up on the personalized plates altogether, but not Ben Hart.

He took the state to court, aided by the American Civil Liberties Union in Kentucky and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  Three years this has been in process, until finally on Wednesday a U.S. District Court judge in Frankfort ruled in favor of Hart, saying personalized license plates are private speech, and protected under the 1st Amendment. 🙄

ben-hartI wonder how much money was spent on this foolishness?


Well, folks, that’s a wrap for today’s episode of Snarky Snippets!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Snarky Snippets … Version MCXII

I used to do Snarky Snippets once every couple of weeks.  Now, it’s more like several times a week.  There is just so much …


Who could blame him?

Yesterday, a man in a wheelchair tried to set fire to himself outside the White House gates. The man lit his jacket, officers immediately responded, extinguishing the fire and giving the man first aid, the man was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries yada, yada, yada.

A “suspicious package” was found near the area … turned out to be the man’s backpack.  The White House was put on lockdown because the Idiot-in-Chief was there, even though it was obvious there was no threat to him.  And thus ends the story, right?

So why did the guy do it?  There comes a point where hopelessness leads to not caring anymore which leads to … this.  A man who figures life isn’t much worth living any more, and whose fault is it?  Donald Trump’s.  And so … let’s put an end to it, but let’s make sure Trump knows that this blood is on his hands, that he is responsible for the death.

The official story, by later today or tomorrow, will be that the man had a history of mental illness.  I’m betting not.  I’m betting that he’s given up on the hope of seeing this country rise above the abomination that is Donald Trump, decided it’s not worth sticking around to watch the final chapter, but wants Trump to know … as if Trump had a conscience and could understand human pain, the suffering of humanity.


Score one for Maxine Waters

Steve Mnuchin … just seeing his picture makes me want to relieve him of that smirky little smile he always seems to wear.  For any who are unaware, Mnuchin is Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, another of Trump’s boot-lickers.

Well, on Tuesday he met his match in the persona of one Representative Maxine Waters!

Waters-Mnuchin

Mnuchin had been testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, when he decided he had enough and cited a meeting with a “foreign leader” as his reason for needing to leave.  Ms. Waters, chairperson of the committee, asked Mnuchin if he could give the committee another 15 minutes so members who had been waiting for their five-minute turn could ask him questions.  He again cited the importance of his meeting.

Finally, Ms. Waters said, “If you wish to leave, you may.”  Well, Mnuchin was caught off-guard by that, apparently, and responded with …

“Please dismiss everybody. I believe you are supposed to take the gavel and bang it.”

WHOA-DEE … You could have heard a pin drop, for about 3 seconds, until Representative Waters said …

“Do not instruct me as to how I am to conduct this hearing.”

Mnuchin stayed the extra 15 minutes and then told Waters, “I look forward to being back in May, and we will work on a date.”  Waters responded, “Thank you very much.”

The lady has class!


He just keeps coming back …

Ol’ Roger Stone just won’t go away and stay gone.  On Friday, his lawyers asked a federal judge to dismiss Stone’s indictment for lying to Congress and obstructing justice and to order that Stone receive a full unredacted copy of Mueller’s recently completed report.  Say WHAT???  We the People are as unlikely to see it as a man is likely to give birth, but Roger Stone thinks he deserves a copy?  Yo … Roger!!! You can read the heavily-redacted version in the New York Times the same as the rest of us! At least, I suppose they let you read the Times in prison.

“No other person, Committee, or entity has Stone’s constitutionally based standing to demand the complete, unredacted Report,” said the lawyers.

bullshit


A new bromance for Trump?

Trump has found himself another strongman dictator to love … what a surprise, eh?  This time it is Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, a ‘president’ in name only, but in reality, a dictator who is in the process of making changes to Egypt’s Constitution that will make him a de facto dictator for life, while permanently enshrining military control over Egypt’s political system. He continues to hold tens of thousands of political prisoners, including at least a dozen U.S. citizens.Trump-al-SissiSo, how did Trump respond when al-Sissi arrived at the White House for a visit on Tuesday?

“I think he’s doing a great job. I don’t know about the effort. I can just tell you he’s doing a great job. Great president.”

The Egyptian president, naturally, returned the compliment …

“Let me emphasize, Mr. President, that the relations have not been better over the years of our bilateral relationship, and that is why I’m extending, Mr. President, to you our thanks … All the credit goes to you, Mr. President.  Thank you very much for your support on all fronts.”

Feeling sick yet? 🤢 Trump also took the opportunity to lie and whine to al-Sissi …

“We are building a lot of wall, and we are being very strong on the border. But we are bucking a court system that never, ever rules for us, and we are bucking really bad things with the Democrats in Congress not willing to act. Nobody can believe these decisions we’re getting from the 9th Circuit. It’s a disgrace.”

And al-Sissi sat smiling at Trump, for he has had his own troubles with judges who were trying to thwart him by upholding the law.  President al-Sissi’s answer to his troubles was to change the law.  Think about that one for a minute.


Okay folks, I’ve vented enough for one day.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend … I’ll be back!

Wise Words From A Wise Man

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century.

I have shared Mr. Reich’s work a few times before, and today I do so again.  His topic is one that I have given much thought to over the past two years and have serious concerns about.  Please take a few minutes to read it and think about this, for I believe Mr. Reich is correct, have long believed so.

Robert Reich: Be afraid of the president who refuses to lose

Photo of Robert Reich

The United States is now headed by someone pathologically incapable of admitting defeat. This doesn’t bode well for the 2020 presidential election.

Among the most chilling words uttered last month by Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, were “given my experience working for Mr. Trump I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power, and this is why I agreed to appear before you today.”

Cohen should know better than anyone, but we already had reason to worry. In 2016, when polls showed Hillary Clinton with a wide lead, Trump claimed the election was rigged against him.

He refused to commit to honoring the election results if he lost, warning that he’d “reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.” He added that he’d accept the results of the election “if I win.”

Throughout the summer of 2016, Trump’s claim of election rigging was echoed on Fox News. Newt Gingrich spoke of “a long tradition on the part of Democratic machines of trying to steal elections.” Rudolph Giuliani declared that “Hillary and [Tim] Kaine are right in the middle of the Washington insider rigged system.”

Trump’s campaign manager at the time, Paul Manafort, said federal officials couldn’t be trusted to prevent voter fraud, warning that “if you’re relying on the Justice Department to ensure the security of the elections, we have to be worried.”

By early August 2016, according to a Bloomberg poll, 56 percent of Trump supporters believed the election would be rigged. (Among all voters, only 34 percent predicted a rigged election; 60 percent rejected the idea.)

Even after the election, Trump refused to accept that he had lost the popular vote. Still claiming election fraud, he established a presidential commission to find it. When the commission came back empty-handed, he abruptly dissolved it, saying (wrongly) that it had uncovered “substantial evidence of voter fraud.” No such evidence emerged.

For Trump, losing is the deepest form of humiliation, and humiliation is intolerable.

Every time he has lost a legislative or legal battle during his presidency he has blamed the other side, and has lashed back: shuttering the government, declaring a national emergency, whipping up his followers against recalcitrant judges, Democrats, the media or whomever he holds responsible.

Imagine it’s November 2020 and Trump has lost the election. He charges voter fraud, claiming that the “deep state” organized tens of millions of illegal immigrants to vote against him, and says he has an obligation not to step down.

Only this time he’s already president, with all the powers a president commands.

Traditionally, Americans have trusted our system of government enough that we abide by its outcomes even though we may disagree with them. Only once in our history, in 1861, did enough of us distrust the system so much we succumbed to civil war.

Typically, when an election is over, the peaceful transition of power reminds the public that our allegiance is not toward a particular person but to our system of government.

Five weeks after the bitterly contested election of 2000, and just one day after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of George W Bush, Al Gore graciously declared: “I say to President-elect Bush that what remains of partisan rancor must now be put aside, and may God bless his stewardship of this country.”

But what happens if an incumbent president claims our system is no longer trustworthy?

Trump’s emissaries have already seeded the battlefield. Last April, Sean Hannity of Fox News predicted that an attempt to impeach Trump (or presumably remove him from office any other way) would cause “fighting and dividing this country at a level we’ve never seen … those that stand for truth and those that literally buy into the corrupt deep state attacks against a duly elected president.”

Trump’s former consiglieri, Roger Stone, has warned of “an insurrection like you’ve never seen” and claimed that any politician who voted to oust Trump “would be endangering their own life.”

Just last month, Steve Bannon, another of Trump’s bottom feeders, predicted that “2019 is going to be the most vitriolic year in American politics since the Civil War, and I include Vietnam in that.” He didn’t make a prediction about 2020, but we can guess.

We should take seriously Michael Cohen’s admonition that if Trump is defeated in 2020, he will not leave office peacefully.

Republican leaders as well as Supreme Court justices and civic and religious leaders across the land must be prepared to assert the primacy of our system of government over the will of the man who refuses to lose.

Just A Snarky Snippet Sunday … BAH!

We had plans to go to out to dinner, then a trip to the Fresh Market, and then perhaps the bookstore today.  Instead, I am sitting here watching it snow.  Bah, humbug.  Thus, I am feeling an urge to write a few little snarky snippets …


From ostrich to orange …

This jacket belongs to Paul Manafort. ostrich-jacketIt is made of ostrich skin … an ostrich died so that Mr. Manafort could have this jacket.

ostrich

Ostrich

This jacket cost Mr. Manafort $15,000. Yes, folks, fifteen thousand U.S. dollars to kill an ostrich or two and stitch them together for a jacket for a narcissistic crook.  Manafort spent more than $400,000 … nearly a half-million dollars … on his personal wardrobe in one single year!  I spend, on average, $60 per year on mine!  Other items included a $9,500 vest made from ostrich and a $18,500 jacket made from python skin.  Seems he liked to go about wearing the skin of animals that were killed for no other reason than for his pleasure, though I cannot see what pleasure anyone gets from wearing the skin of an animal, for knowing that they are responsible for an innocent critter being murdered.  At any rate … here is what Mr. Manafort’s wardrobe looks like now …prison-garb

And no animals had to be killed for this one.


Dumb, dumber and dumbest …

Roger Stone is not too bright, but then, anybody who has a life-size tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back cannot be said to be among the best and brightest. stone-angryStone is in a heap of trouble, but either he is truly too stupid to realize that he may well spend the rest of his life in prison wearing an outfit to match Manafort’s, or he honestly believes that Trump will pardon him and he can get on with his merry little life of crime.  You may remember that he was under a partial gag order by Judge Amy Berman Jackson to keep him from discussing his case in public venues, but then he posted this picture …berman… on Instagram and earned himself a full gag order with the judge stating in no uncertain terms that Stone “is prohibited from making statements to the media or in public settings about the Special Counsel’s investigation or this case or any of the participants in the investigation or the case.”

Apparently, though, Stone either does not understand what this means, or thinks himself to be above the law, it came to the attention of Judge Jackson that Stone has written a book that is ready for “imminent general release”, and that he had failed to inform the Judge of this minor little detail.  Judge Jackson has now issued a new order requiring Stone’s lawyers to identify “the specific date of the ‘imminent general release’ of the book,” and to explain “why this matter — which was known to the defendant — was not brought to the Court’s attention” during previous filings of during the hearing regarding the Instagram post.”

Stone-orange-suit

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.


Bad taste?  Or reality?

Donald Trump didn’t invent bad taste, but he is about the biggest offender of the 20th and 21st centuries.  His bad taste and really lousy judgment have opened the door, and people are streaming through that door at an unprecedented rate, as you can see every day on any of the media sites.  So, is it any wonder that artist Jim Denomie painted this …

Denomie-Standing-Rock

Standing Rock 2016

Denomie says his painting “Standing Rock 2016” is an imagined landscape inspired by protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“I have a history of painting about history. And I saw this as history in the making. I’ve learned over my experience making paintings especially about important events that I receive information from the spirit world. It comes to me from somewhere, I don’t know exactly where — but I often come away from these paintings with a better understanding of the story or the events.”

In the painting, the Missouri River glows Technicolor orange and pink. The attack dogs have been given two heads — an allusion to Cerberus, the dog in Greek mythology that guards the gates of Hades. President Trump is seen groping Lady Justice, while former President Barack Obama is portrayed as a sitting duck. Men in suits clink martini glasses and smoke cigars. Brightly colored frogs emerge from the river, and what appear to be spirit creatures float in the sky above. It’s as though both the natural and spiritual worlds are joining the protestors in the fight to protect the land.

Minnesota State Representative, Josh Heintzeman, took umbrage with the painting, saying …

“On public display today, funded by your Legacy Art’s board, at a cost of $10,000. There’s a number of very controversial depictions but President Trump’s is especially offencive [sic]. If “artists” create this kind of thing on their own time fine, but not on my dime.”

First, Mr. Heintzeman, it isn’t “on your dime”, second Trump brought this very image upon himself with his own words and actions.  Nobody, not even the most slavish of Trump’s supporters, can possibly deny that.  Go get a life, Heintzeman … personally I think this painting is quite representative of the world we live in today, thanks in part to you and your ilk.


And with that, I need to step back for a few minutes before I throw something, for my computer has re-booted itself twice while I was writing this short piece!  I think somebody has cast a spell on it!  Have a great rest-of-Sunday!

Saturday’s Snarky Snippets

When I wake on Saturday morning to no less than 12 “breaking news” updates on my phone, you know I’m going to be in snarky-mode.  So, here goes …

Another hat in the ring …

Elizabeth-WarrenElizabeth Warren announced her entry into the 2020 presidential campaign this morning.  While I respect Ms. Warren’s political views, believe she is as well-qualified as any, and while a year ago I would have considered her as my choice, I have to wonder at her decision today.  Given the very public controversy that she stirred over her Native American heritage, or lack thereof, she doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the democratic nomination, much less the presidency.  Frankly, I don’t relish the thought of listening to Trump and his faithful followers shrieking “Pocahontas” for the next 21 months! The more candidates who throw their hats into the ring, the more it dilutes the party unity, and that unity is going to be essential to winning an election next year.  I wish Ms. Warren had put country before ego.


He’s baaaaaaack …

roger-stoneLong time ago, July 2016, to be exact, I awarded Trump’s buddy Roger Stone (and his wife) my coveted Idiot of the Week award, and to this day he is still proving worthy of the title.  Stone, who has undoubtedly committed as many crimes as most any man alive, was arrested on January 25th, and indicted by Robert Mueller’s team on seven counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, witness tampering, and making false statements.  You might think that would take some of the wind out of his sails, that he might ‘sit down and shut up’, right?  But no, this is Roger Stone who, like his buddy Trump, thinks he can do as he pleases and will never suffer the consequences.

Instead of silence, Stone went on a media blitz in a series of television interviews and Instagram posts, decrying the unfairness of his arrest, etc., etc., etc.  Judge Amy Berman Jackson, along with Robert Mueller, is considering placing a gag order on Stone, stopping him from publicly discussing his case.  In the Judge’s words …

“The upshot of treating the pretrial proceedings in this case like a book tour could be that we end up with a much larger percent of the jury pool that’s been tainted by pretrial publicity than we have now, and that’s what it’s my job to balance here.”

Stone’s attorneys argue against it.  On what grounds, you ask?  Because a) Stone doesn’t even have a Twitter account (he was kicked off Twitter more than a year ago for a series of expletive-laden posts aimed at CNN anchors), and b) Kim Kardashian has more followers than Stone.  Is there logic here?  I’m failing to see it.


More bad news …

Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s physician …

“While the reports and recommendations are being finalized, I am happy to announce the President of the United States is in very good health and I anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his Presidency, and beyond.”


Will any be left standing?

A week or so ago, I read a column by George Will in The Washington Post that posited the most viable candidate in the large field of democrats seeking to unseat Donald Trump was Amy Klobuchar.

Amy-KlobucharHis points made sense, as Will’s points most always do, and I had added her to my list of potentials.  Then today comes the news that Ms. Klobuchar has a history of mistreating her staff.  It is even said it caused such concerns that in 2015, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid spoke to her privately and told her to change her behavior, though Reid neither confirms nor denies.  Sigh.  Another one bites the dust.  It becomes apparent to me that there will be early and multiple attempts to discredit any and every democrat who plans to run in 2020.  Somebody, republicans and/or Russians, has already begun a concerted campaign to sling as much mud, to dig up as much dirt as possible on every candidate who appears to present a challenge to Trump.  It is gonna be ugly, folks.  I have to wonder if there will be any whose past won’t come back to haunt them over the next 21 months.  Shoot me now.


And on that note, I leave you to enjoy the rest of your weekend.Weekend

More Snarky Snippets

The headline catches my eye …

Fox News: The Arrest Of Roger Stone Was Worse Than Benghazi

I ponder … dig through my dusty memory bank.  As I recall, there were a number of fatalities during the attack on the American diplomatic compound and the CIA annex, four of them U.S. citizens. And I seem to remember 11 non-fatal injuries, again four of them U.S. citizens, the rest Libyan.  So … were people killed when FBI agents pounded on Mr. Stone’s door, yelling, “Open up … FBI!”?  Who died?  I hadn’t heard that there were deaths and injuries, had you? fox-stone-raid

I read the article …thearticleI really liked both of the comments. Look, Fox people, Roger Stone is far from an innocent citizen peacefully minding his own business.  He is into the Trump-Russia scandal so deep that I’m surprised he can still breathe.  Stone has been a piece of trash for decades.  For once, he got a taste of what he deserves.  Enough said. Grow up and knock off with the Benghazi comparison, for there simply isn’t one.


Now, remember I cautioned you yesterday that while we are watching that giant Trump-a-ganza of a circus complete with clowns and elephants, there are things going on that we should be aware of?  Well, here is one of those things …

Trump plan to reclassify nuclear waste alarms environmental groups

The Trump administration wants to reclassify some radioactive waste left from the production of nuclear weapons to lower its threat level and make disposal cheaper and easier. The proposal by the U.S. Department of Energy would lower the status of some high-level radioactive waste in several places around the nation, including the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state — the most contaminated nuclear site in the country. Reclassifying the material to low-level could save the agency billions of dollars and decades of work by essentially leaving the material in the ground, critics say. – Associated Press, 10 December 2018

hanfordsiteFacilities which would be affected include the country’s most highly contaminated: the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, which takes up an area half the size of Rhode Island. Opened in 1943, the site produced the plutonium for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in 1945, according to its website. The production of nuclear materials carried on until 1987, leaving behind waste that threatened the local environment, prompting the state and federal authorities — including the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — to pledge in 1987 to clean up the site, without success.

Other facilities mentioned in the plans are the Savannah River Plant, South Carolina and the Idaho National Laboratory, according to the Associated Press.  Oh … and speaking of the Savannah River site …

US secretly shipped plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada

WTF???  According to the AP report …

The U.S. Department of Energy revealed on Wednesday that it secretly shipped weapons-grade plutonium from South Carolina to a nuclear security site in Nevada months ago despite the state’s protests.

The Justice Department notified a federal judge in Reno that the government trucked in the radioactive material to store at the site 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of Las Vegas before Nevada first asked a court to block the move in November.

Department lawyers said in a nine-page filing that the previously classified information about the shipment from South Carolina can be disclosed now because enough time has passed to protect national security. They didn’t specify when the one-half metric ton of plutonium was transferred.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said he’s “beyond outraged by this completely unacceptable deception.” He announced at a hastily called news conference in Carson City late Wednesday the state is now seeking another court order to block any more shipments of plutonium as it pursues “any and all legal remedies,” including contempt of court orders against the federal government.

Secretary of Energy … Rick Perry … the same Rick Perry who, back in 2017, said that increased use of fossil fuels will lead to a reduction in sexual assaults.  Save a buck at the potential cost of ours and future generations lives.  What could possibly go wrong?


Here we go again …

Last week, the Trump administration announced it will allow a ministry in South Carolina that only works with heterosexual Christian families to participate in a federally funded foster care program.

That means Miracle Hill Ministries can receive federal funding to participate in the program while discriminating against non-Christians, as well as the LGBT community.

WTF???  When did it become okay for a religious organization to receive federal funds?  And when did it become okay to discriminate???

The organization was in violation of a regulation issued by the Obama administration that states organizations receiving funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) can’t discriminate on the basis of religion or sexual orientation.

But Trump’s HHS, under Secretary Alex Azar, issued an exemption for the ministry to participate in the program, writing that to force it out would be a violation of its religious freedom.  No, no it would not be a violation at all of its religious freedom, but it is a violation of the concept of separation of church and state to allow this bigoted religious organization to collect federal funding.  Period.  What is so damn hard to understand about that concept?


From the ‘You’ve Got To Be Kidding?’ Annals …

You remember Sebastian Gorka, right?  He served briefly as an ‘advisor’ to Trump in 2017, until his connections to an anti-Semitic group in Hungary became known.  He’s never quite gone away though, and is now a contributor to Fox News.  His latest …gorka-rbg

First of all, Gorky, Ruth Bader Ginsburg does NOT ‘have to’ attend the State of the Union address.  If you will look back to last year, she did not attend the State of the Union address then, for she was in Rhode Island for a late-morning “fireside chat” at Roger Williams University’s law school before speaking at a temple in Providence later that evening.  There is no ‘requirement’ that anybody attend!  And second of all, YOU cannot even spell her name right!

But there’s even more.  Remember that fringe group, Q-Anon?  They have put forth the conspiracy theory that RBG is hiding a secret illness, or she is dead.  FOR PETE’S SAKE — do these fools have nothing better to do than sit around and think up fairy tales???  Couldn’t they, perhaps, do something useful to contribute to this world?


Well, now that I’ve got all that out of my system, I’m going to bed.  G’day, my friends!

It Finally Happened. President’s Buddy Roger Stone Has Been Arrested By FBI On 1/25/19

Yet another thread in the tangled web of Trump/Russia connections that served to put an unqualified person in the White House, has been exposed. Roger Stone has … well, just read Gronda’s ‘good news’ post. Trump’s web of lies is unraveling. Thank you, Gronda, for starting the weekend out with some good news!

Gronda Morin

Related image PAUL MANAFORT/ ROGER STONE

On January 25, 2019, I was watching the MSNBC TV show, “Morning Joe,” when it was announced that the FBI under the auspices of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, heading its Trump-Russia Probe, arrested the republican President Donald Trump’s old friend, Roger Stone on the morning of the 25th of January 2019 based on being charged on 7 counts. The charges include one count of obstruction of justice, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.

As per NYT:  Read the indictment.

Roger Stone had worked in President Trump’s campaign for a short time in an official capacity until August 2015 but then they parted ways. There are different accounts as to why Roger Stone left the campaign but it is important to note that President Trump, his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Roger Stone have had a relationship, going…

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Four Flew Into My Radar Screen

Tonight, four men just kept popping onto my radar.  With the exception of the first one, they have all been here before, some have made multiple trips onto these pages.  Perhaps if I stopped feeding them donuts and coffee they would leave me alone?  At any rate, I thought I would provide you with a little “See what they’re up to now” type of post and … sigh … hopefully they will go away and find somebody else to harass.


Oliver North

Oliver North — Then (1989) and Now (2018)

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has some very high standards.  They just announced the selection of their new president, since current president Pete Brownell decided he did not wish to serve another term.  And the winner is … {drumroll} … Mr. Oliver North!!!  You remember Ollie, right?  North was one of the key players in the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s and was ultimately convicted on three felony counts related to the illegal sale of weapons to Iran to benefit the right-wing rebel Contras group in Nicaragua.  The convictions were vacated in 1990, not because North was innocent, but rather due to a technicality involving North’s limited immunity for testifying before Congress.  North’s very name is, as a spokesperson for the Brady Foundation put it, “synonymous with corruption and disgrace”.

To add to his illustrious image, North is currently a host on Fox News, though he plans to resign from Fox immediately to fully devote his time to his work with the NRA.  According to NRA CEO and Vice President Wayne LaPierre …

“This is the most exciting news for our members since Charlton Heston became President of our Association.  Oliver North is a legendary warrior for American freedom, a gifted communicator and skilled leader.  In these times, I can think of no one better suited to serve as our President.”

Oh yes, he is ‘legendary’ alright, and I’m sure his mentality will fit right in with his newfound employers.


Roger Stoneroger-stoneAbout every six weeks this man, who was already awarded Filosofa’s Idiot of the Week award in July 2016 , flits back onto my radar.  I think he just likes to annoy me, quite frankly.  Stone is one of Trump’s former lapdogs and is under scrutiny by Robert Mueller’s team in the Russian investigation.  Why?

In August 2016, Stone sent a message to campaign advisor Sam Nunberg, saying that he had dined with WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, the previous night.  Remember that it was WikiLeaks that purloined thousands of documents from the Hillary Clinton campaign and then somehow … quite mysteriously … hackers affiliated with the Kremlin leaked the documents in an effort to sway the election in Trump’s favour.  So, if Stone had dinner with Assange around that time, it is certainly suspect.  Now, however, Stone claims that he never met with Assange and it was his idea of a joke.

A lie by any other name is still a lie.


Scott Pruittpruitt-pollutionI just wrote about Pruitt last week, didn’t I?  And already he is back on the radar.  How can I ever move ahead if I have to keep going backward?  Anyway … the latest is what I would define as obstruction of justice.

Pruitt is under the gun in at least eleven separate investigations as a result of his spending habits, conflicts of interests and management practices, but those investigations may be getting unnecessarily bogged down in the muck these days.  Why?  According to ThinkProgress …

“Political appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are screening public records requests related to administrator Scott Pruitt at an alarming rate, slowing the release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  “This does look like the most burdensome review process that I’ve seen documented,” Director of the FOIA Project for George Washington University’s National Security Archive Nate Jones told POLITICO. The report comes as the EPA faces accusations of carrying out Pruitt’s agenda in secret. Employees reportedly have had to leave cell phones behind when they meet with the EPA administrator.”

Can we say ‘transparency’?  Cooperation?  Swamp rats?


Ben Carsoncarson-3In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law, the Fair Housing Act, a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.  The Act provided for equal housing opportunities regardless of race, religion, or national origin and made it a federal crime to “by force or by threat of force, injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone … by reason of their race, color, religion, or national origin.”  Despite the law, many communities in the U.S. remained segregated by race and income.

In 2015, the Obama administration put into effect a new rule, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing provision, that required every community receiving HUD funding to assess local segregation patterns, diagnose the barriers to fair housing and develop a plan to correct them. Most communities were supposed to submit their plans to HUD every five years, beginning in 2016. Communities without HUD-approved plans would no longer receive federal housing dollars.

And along came our old friend Ben … yes, he who lives high on the hog and tried to spend $31,000 of our money on dining room furniture.  Well, Ben decided that federal efforts to desegregate American neighborhoods were “failed socialist experiments” and he suspended the rule in January, allowing local and state governments to continue receiving HUD grants without compliance with the full requirements of the Fair Housing Act.  Remember that the only thing qualifying Ben for this position is that when he was a surgeon, some of his patients lived in subsidized housing.

And shortly after suspending the rule, he proposed raising rents in subsidized housing by as much as 300%.  And now … guess what?  The department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Ben Carson are being sued.  According to the New York Times

“On Tuesday, a coalition of national and Texas-based housing groups are expected to file suit in Federal District Court in Washington to reinstate an Obama-era rule that required localities receiving federal development funding to submit plans detailing their efforts to end segregation based on race, income, ethnicity or physical disability.  The advocates filing the lawsuit argue that Mr. Carson’s actions violated the 1968 Housing Act, a law that was pressed by Martin Luther King Jr. shortly before his assassination. The suit claims that Mr. Carson is leaving HUD without a system to prevent a pattern of discrimination in the allocation of $28 billion in disaster relief funding after a succession of natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey, last year.”

Just another of those surreal moments in the United States government under Donald Trump.  Nothing to see here, folks.


So there are the four who flew onto my radar screen tonight.  Now, I must go get the Windex and some paper towels, for these guys left behind a lot of muck on my screen.