A Little Dose of Snarky Snippets …

The big news of the day, of course, is that Robert Mueller let Attorney General Barr know more than a month ago that he was displeased with Barr’s 4-page summary of Mueller’s report, when Mueller had provided summaries for Barr to use.  And today, as I write, AG Barr is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and methinks he has much to answer for.  I peeked in on the hearing and saw Barr chewing his lower lip and looking downright unhappy.  Serves him right … his lies are catching up with him.  Anyway, since I’m not prepared to write about that whole situation today, but as it has left me in a state of some angst, I am bursting forth with more snarky snippets!Barr-toon.jpg


Trouble brews over at Fox …

Just as Hermie, in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer did not want to make toys, apparently some of the talking heads over at Fox ‘News’ don’t want to tell lies!  It is reported that Fox’s Corporate CEO Lachlan Murdoch has quite the task on his hands to keep Donald Trump and the White House satisfied with regards to loyalty and coverage. They also have to keep advertisers happy. Lachlan also has to deal with the internal conflicts between Fox’s rank and file journalists and the prime time hosts who are the faces of the network.

According to one source …

“Reporters are telling management that we’re being defined by the worst people on our air.”

Ya think?  Golly gee.  You lie down with the dogs, don’t be surprised to get up with a bad case of fleas!

CEO Lachlan Murdoch is in a bit of a tough spot here, for the people who see themselves as journalists, such as Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith don’t appreciate the image the network has taken on, that of being more of an entertainment venue rather than a news station.  And, to further complicate Murdoch’s life, advertisers have begun boycotting some of the more offensive Fox personalities such as Tucker Carlson, Jeannine Pirro, and Laura Ingraham, costing the network money.

Perhaps, however, Murdoch’s biggest worry is that Sean Hannity is said to be leaving when his contract expires in 2021 (Oh yes, please, GO!).  According to one of Hannity’s staffers …

“Sean doesn’t feel supported,. He has no relationship with Lachlan. Sean thinks, Wait a second, I was hired to get ratings and I get ratings, but now people are embarrassed about me? He feels Fox spends a lot of time supporting Shepard Smith but his show makes no money. That’s annoying to him.”

Awwww … poor li’l fella …


Donnie’s mad at the firefighters …

The national firefighter’s union, International Association of Fire Fighters, has given their endorsement for the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden, and little Donnie is none too happy.  To let the world know just how unhappy he is, he tweeted no less than 60 times about it this morning.

“I’ve done more for Firefighters than this dues sucking union will ever do, and I get paid ZERO!”

“The Dues Sucking firefighters leadership will always support Democrats, even though the membership wants me. Some things never change!”

Trump mafiosoIn addition to his own juvenile tweets, he re-tweeted some 53 tweets by others who claimed to be firefighters in support of Trump.  All this in a 30-minute span … wait, is this what we are paying him to do???

He also said that Biden is “not the brightest lightbulb”.  Ahem … do I even need to point out the irony here?

There is a bright side, however, and that is that within a short time after his ‘tweet storm’, people began ‘unfollowing’ him and within an hour and a half,  he had lost 1,150 Twitter followers!  Is it just possible that people are finally getting sick and tired of his crude language, his lies, and his promotion of hate?  We can only hope.


Nitpicking words

After the Easter Sunday bombing attacks on hotels and churches in Sri Lanka that killed hundreds, public figures expressed condolences.  Three such people were former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro.

  • The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka. – Barack Obama
  • On this holy weekend for many faiths, we must stand united against hatred and violence. I’m praying for everyone affected by today’s horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka. – Hillary Clinton
  • On a day of redemption and hope, the evil of these attacks on Easter worshippers and tourists in Sri Lanka is deeply saddening. My prayers today are with the dead and injured, and their families. May we find grace. – Julián Castro

Note the common denominator is that they referred to the victims as “tourists and Easter worshippers”.  Not a problem, right?  It was Easter and they were in church, presumably ‘worshipping’.  Unless, of course, you are a right-wing evangelical, and then it becomes a problem, apparently.

Fox ‘News’ hosts and other conservatives took this opportunity to rant that it was an attempt to avoid using the word “Christian”.

“How do President Obama and Secretary Clinton both come up with Easter worshippers in their tweets about the murders in Sri Lanka? To have both of them use the same term the same day is strange. Is Easter Worshipper the left’s new way to avoid the word Christian? Pathetic.” – Newt Gingrich

Seriously, Newtie?  Have you nothing better to do than nitpick the verbiage of a condolence message?  Even Kellyanne Conway jumped on this bandwagon …

“I think there’s anti-Christianity. That’s why the Sri Lankans were gunned down. They’re not Easter worshippers, Obama and Hillary Clinton. They are Christians.”

Nearly 300 people were killed, and all these fools can do is nitpick the words from well-intentioned people who happen to be democrats.   I think this speaks for itself.


Well, that’s all I’ve got time for today folks.  Have a happy evening!

♫ The Way It Is ♫

Sometimes one of you refers to a song when commenting on my music posts, and a 💡comes on … an AHA! moment, as I am reminded of a song I haven’t heard nor thought of in years.  Such was the case yesterday when Roger commented that yesterday’s song reminded him of this one by Bruce Hornsby and the Range.  Well, I remembered the song, always liked the song, but I thought it was ‘Bruce Hornsby and the Rain’.  I went to check and … my bad … Roger was quite right.  Sigh.

The opening verse recounts a story taking place at a line for welfare that illustrates a divide between the rich and poor. The chorus presents several lines insisting that social ills are “just the way it is”, and repeatedly suggests resigning oneself to them as a fact of life—however, the chorus ends with the author rebuking this attitude by insisting “but don’t you believe them.”

The second verse recounts past social issues from the voice of someone supporting racial segregation. The author responds in a narrative voice, insisting his view that if those who make laws took them into careful consideration they would be convinced that laws enforcing principles like racial segregation are morally wrong. The song reminds the listener that it was at one time argued that racial segregation was “just the way it is”, and suggests that legislation and what the author views as progress on current social issues should be pursued without regard to those who insist “some things will never change.”

The third verse recounts the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a victory in the civil rights movement, but insists that more is needed. In particular, the verse highlights individual prejudice and employment discrimination as an enduring form of racism. The third chorus suggests that it only feels like “some things will never change” when we wait for social problems to change themselves rather than taking steps ourselves to actively change them.

The song was released in 1986, and here, 33 years later the song still has relevance, for we are still fighting the same battles.

According to Hornsby, who grew up in Virginia …

“My mother came from the New England area, and she was a little more enlightened about racial subjects than a lot of people in the South. So I had a different attitude to a lot of my friends whose parents were more conservative. When I was brought up, the vibe I got of Martin Luther King in my town was that he was a real evil man – just the vibe in the air, that he was terrible. And if you grow up in that environment you can’t help but be affected by it a little bit. Luckily, I came from a family that guarded us against that conservatism, but sure, I grew up in the thick of all that bad feeling.”

Believe it or not, Sean Hannity used an instrumental portion of this song as his show’s theme for many years. Hornsby, a liberal democrat, had vastly different political views, but there was nothing he could do about Hannity using the song as long as royalties were paid.

The Way It Is
Bruce Hornsby and the Range

Standing in line, marking time
Waiting for the welfare dime
‘Cause they can’t buy a job
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old lady’s eyes
Just for fun he says, “Get a job.”

That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
Ah, but don’t you believe them

Said hey, little boy, you can’t go where the others go
‘Cause you don’t look like they do
Said hey, old man, how can you stand to think that way?
Did you really think about it before you made the rules?
He said, son

That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
Ah, but don’t you believe them

Yeah

That’s just the way it is
That’s just the way it is

Well, they passed a law in ’64
To give those who ain’t got a little more
But it only goes so far
Because the law don’t change another’s mind
When all it sees at the hiring time
Is the line on the color bar, no

That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
That’s just the way it is, it is, it is, it is

Songwriters: Bruce Hornsby
The Way It Is lyrics © Zappo Music, Sony Atv Music Publishing France, SONY/ATV TUNES LLC OBO ZAPPO MUSIC

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.

What’s A Week Without Snarky Snippets?

Someday perhaps I will go an entire week without feeling a need to impart my snarky snippets, but today is not that day.


In dispute of science …

We’ve all seen and heard the climate change deniers … those who, regardless of background or education, claim that they know more than all the highly-educated scientists who have studied the environment and climate for years, some for decades.  But here’s a new one … a germ denier!

Fox News host Pete Hegseth has said on air that he has not washed his hands for 10 years because “germs are not a real thing”.

Say What???  Has this dude never caught a cold?

“My 2019 resolution is to say things on-air that I say off-air. I don’t think I’ve washed my hands for 10 years. I inoculate myself. Germs are not a real thing. I can’t see them; therefore, they’re not real.”

If you ever had doubts that Fox News does not hire the brightest in the field, here is your proof.  Hegseth later said that he meant it as a joke, but personally … I’m not so sure.

“We’re on a show and we have fun and we banter and I’m like, eh, you know, maybe I haven’t washed my hands for 10 years. My half-hearted commentary to the point is, we live in a society where people walk around with bottles of Purell in their pockets, and they sanitize 19,000 times a day as if that’s going to save their life. I take care of myself and all that, but I don’t obsess over everything all the time.”

This explains, maybe, why Hegseth works for Fox instead of CNN.


Oh yeah … alternative facts … how could I forget?

You’ll remember how Trump and his minions attempted to say that the crowd at his inauguration was “the biggest ever”?  Turned out it was a significantly smaller crowd than Obama had at his inauguration in 2008, but Trump never gave up the lie.  Well, last night he held a pep rally in El Paso, Texas, designed to stir up enthusiasm for his ridiculous border wall, and once again he inflated his crowd size.

Trump told the crowd gathered to watch him speak in the El Paso County Coliseum that so many people wanted to be there that the El Paso Fire Department found a way to cram 10,000 people inside the Coliseum, which typically has a capacity of only 6,500. The El Paso Fire Department, however, told Zahira Torres, an editor for the El Paso Times that the arena holds 6,500 people and that’s exactly how many were permitted to enter.

Trump also had to downplay Beto O’Rourke’s competing rally …

“A young man who’s got very little going for himself, except he’s got a great first name, he is, he has challenged us. So we have, let’s say, 35,000 people tonight — and he has 200 people, 300 people, not too good. In fact, what I would do is I would say that may be the end of his presidential bid. But he did challenge us.”

Beto-rally.jpgPolice estimated that Beto’s rally was attended by between 10,000-15,000 people.


The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree …

I don’t know why Trump’s older sons, Don, Jr. and Eric, are given a platform to speak, for neither are particularly intelligent, neither are charismatic, neither hold a position within our government, and thus they are irrelevant.  But speak they do, and like their father, neither are particularly well-spoken. Trump-jr.But that didn’t stop Trump’s eldest, Don, Jr., from speaking at the aforementioned rally in El Paso last night.

“I love seeing some young conservatives, ‘cuz I know it’s not easy.  Keep up that fight, bring it to your schools. You don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth. You don’t have to do it.”

I repeat … Say WHAT???  Needless to say, Don’s comment did not go over well with teachers who, while not in the audience because they were out teaching socialism to these poor little kiddos, nonetheless heard about the comment.  If it’s possible, I think Junior is even dumber than Senior!


The master speaks … will Trump listen?

Fox News’ Sean Hannity had as much to do with causing that last shutdown that lasted 35 days as any, save perhaps radical bimbo Ann Coulter.  Today, Sean rides again!

Bipartisan negotiators in Congress have been working day and night to come up with a deal that would be acceptable to both parties, as well as Trump, and avert another shutdown starting at midnight on Friday.  A tentative agreement has been reached, but Sean is not happy …

“On this so-called compromise, I’m getting details. 1.3 billion and not even a wall or barrier… Any Republican that supports this garbage compromise, you will have to explain.”

hannity-trumpGarbage compromise?  Sean Hannity, the lowest of low in the broadcast world, should be largely irrelevant.  Instead, the so-called president actually listens to Sean more than he listens to his experienced, educated advisors (Sean is a college drop-out with zero experience in lawmaking or government), and therein lies the danger.  Will Trump take Sean’s words to heart?  Is it possible that, rather than sign the bipartisan bill, Trump will allow the government to shut down once again on the advice of a media personality?

As of this writing, it is reported that Trump claims he is “not happy” with the deal and that if the government is shut down again, it is all the “fault of democrats”.  Yeah, right, Donnie.


And now, I return you to your regularly scheduled programming!

The United States of Fox

Since when do television personalities drive U.S. policy?  Since when does the president of the nation ask the media pundits what he should do?  Why, the answer is simple:  Since 20 January 2017, the day Donald Trump was inaugurated to an office he is incapable of managing.

No one person can know everything … I get that.  In the past, though, presidents have hired people called ‘advisors’ to help them determine the best course of action.  Trump hired people called advisors, but refuses to listen to or heed the advice of the ones who actually know what they’re doing.  The others are just window dressing or campaign donors to whom a favour was owed.  The ones who knew what they were doing got tired of being berated, abused and ignored, and they have since left the room.

Left to right:  Sean Hannity, Sebastian Gorka, Steve Doocy, Lou Dobbs, Ann Coulter

“Is there any, in your judgment, any reason in the world why he should not call that emergency?” —  Fox News host Lou Dobbs

“Let’s be very clear, this is just politics, this is about the vote. This has nothing to do with the security of the nation. And on February the 16th, I expect [Trump] to declare a national emergency to build the wall.” – Sebastian Gorka to Sean Hannity

“Agreed.” – Sean Hannity

“If the committee of Republicans and Democrats now meeting on Border Security is not discussing or contemplating a Wall or Physical Barrier, they are Wasting their time! And if they’re contemplating amnesty, it’s also a waste of time.” – Ann Coulter

Now, I don’t think any of the above people were elected by We the People to govern this nation, were they?  And I seriously don’t think any of them have the education or experience to do so (yes, yes, I know – neither does Donald Trump, but that is a whole ‘nother issue!).

Sean Hannity attended three different colleges – New York University, UC Santa Barbara, and Adelphi University – but lasted only two years total before dropping out to start a house-painting business.  He has never held a position within the U.S. government.

Ann Coulter, surprisingly, graduated cum laude from Cornell University with a B.S. in History, and then received her Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School.  I shake my head over this one, as I do over the fact that Kellyanne Conway has a J.D. from George Washington University Law School.  An education wasted in both cases, I would say.

Lou Dobbs has a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University, and briefly attended law school.

Steve Doocy has a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Kansas. Doocy is also implicated in Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit against Roger Ailes. The lawsuit alleges: “Doocy engaged in a pattern and practice of severe and pervasive sexual harassment …”

All of the above have been involved in the promulgation of conspiracy theories over the past decade.  None were hired to determine public policy.  None are, as far as I know, on the U.S. federal payroll, although it wouldn’t surprise me to find that they are.  And yet, they are influencing Donald Trump far more than We the People who elected him and pay his salary are.  (And yes, folks, he receives a salary)

The most glaring example, of course, came in December when Trump had agreed to sign the spending bill that would prevent a government shutdown, until …

  • Ann Coulter described Trump as a gutless “sociopath” who, without a border wall, “will just have been a joke presidency who scammed the American people.”

  • Rush Limbaugh said on his show that without the $5 billion, any signing of a budget stop gap would show “Trump gets nothing and the Democrats get everything.”


  • Steve Doocy of ‘Fox and Friends’ said that without wall funding, “the swamp wins,” adding that Trump will “look like a loser” without wall funding and stating, “This is worth shutting down” the government.

We all know that there is no depth to Donald Trump, that to him the most important thing is that people “say nice things” about him, so when his favourite television pundits seemed to be turning against him, there was no thought in his head about what was the best thing to do for the country, but only what would get his Fox buddies to talk nice about him again.  And thus, we had a 35-day government shutdown that is estimated to have cost us approximately $11 billion.Fox-Trump-3And now … we are headed for either another shutdown or a declaration that the nation is in a “state of emergency”.  As far as I can see, there is no emergency and it is a political tool that Trump is likely to use to keep his friends at Fox saying nice things.  Can the republicans really not see what a total failure their ‘leader’ is?  Can his fealty to Fox News to the exclusion of the citizens of this nation continue to be ignored?  And if so, at what cost?   Think about it.

Two For Twoday …

I had every intention of writing a nice, calm peaceful piece this afternoon … something NOT about Trump or his minions, something either funny, promising, or inspiring in one way or another.  But then, a couple of things crossed my radar and suddenly I find myself beating the print off of my keyboard (literally, for I no longer have lettering on my ‘I’, ‘o’, or ‘n’ keys!).  So, I hope you’re in the mood for a few of my snarky snippets …


Non-Press Secretary Sanders leaves climate change to God …

Sarah Huckabee Sanders-1Sarah Huckabee Sanders was told by her boss not to bother with daily, or even weekly press briefings anymore, for the press don’t talk nice to her, and they don’t say nice things about da prez, so why bother?  So … I’m very puzzled as to what her job description is these days, why We the Taxpayers are still paying her the $179,700 annual salary, for she damn sure isn’t doing anything to earn it!  But now I know … she goes on Fox New talk shows and makes a complete fool of herself …

Earlier this week, newly-minted House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an on-stage interview that we needed to act on climate change before it was too late. She noted that the “world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,” referencing the tipping point after which scientists say it’ll be too late to address greenhouse gas emissions. She’s right about all that. And she’s especially right to point that out when we have a government that rejects climate science in addition to ignoring science in general.

So then on Tuesday night, during an interview with, of all people, Fox ‘News’ Sean Hannity, Sarah Huckabee Sanders decided that only God should be concerned about climate change, and that our government has bigger fish to fry …

“Look, I don’t think we’re going to listen to her on much of anything, particularly not on matters we’re gonna leave in the hands of a much, much higher authority, and certainly not listen to the freshman congresswoman on when the world may end. We’re focused on what’s happening in the world right now.”

Need I say more?


Come into my parlour, said the spider to the fly …

Remember back in July, when we learned that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, did not have the highest-level security clearance necessary to review high-level documents?  The reason was he kept messing up his security review, because he kept ‘forgetting’ to record interactions with a number of foreign officials, primarily Russians.  I had mostly forgotten about it, and I imagine you did too, but yesterday I saw this headline …

Report: Security officials rejected Kushner’s top secret clearance, but were overruled

kushner.jpegTurns out that two career White House security specialists rejected Jared Kushner’s application for a top-secret security clearance after Kushner’s FBI background check raised red flags, and there were concerns about his foreign entanglements.  Kusher’s family businesses leave him vulnerable to foreign influence, they said, and he has not satisfactorily explained some of his Russian connections.  Why is this guy even working in our government???  But wait …

Their supervisor, Carl Kline, who became director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President in May 2017, decided to override their professional opinion and give Kushner the highest level of security clearance despite the concerns of the FBI!!!  Think about that one for a moment, folks!  And … not only that, but this Kline person has also overruled at least 30 other rejections of incoming Trump officials!  I want to know who those people are and what the objections were!  Is our government being infiltrated with Russian agents or those who are entangled with Russian agents?  Who knows?

Those who keep saying that the foundation, The U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, will protect us from a Trump-dictatorship need to think about this one long and hard.  Sure, there are rules in place, but Donald Trump has long since decided that those rules do not apply to him and his chosen minions!  Our lives, our future, are in the hands of a maniacal madman who believes the world is made only for him.

The Circus Is Coming To Town …

Yesterday, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced that she will be running for president in 2020.  Well, to be fair, she announced that she has launched a campaign “exploratory committee” to determine whether she has a chance at winning.  Rarely, if ever, has such a committee in modern times concluded that the potential candidate stands no chance and should go back to the farm, so in essence, Senator Warren announced her intent to run.  There are at least 32 others who have either announced their intent or are said to be considering a run, namely …

  • Joe Biden (former Vice President under Obama)
  • Senator Kamala Harris (California)
  • Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont)
  • John Kerry (former Secretary of State under Obama)
  • Julián Castro (former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Obama)
  • Senator Cory Booker (New Jersey)
  • Michael Bloomberg (former Mayor of New York)
  • Eric Holder (former Attorney General under Obama)
  • Michael Avenatti (attorney for Stormy Daniels, Trump’s former paramour)
  • Senator Kirsten Gilibrand (New York)
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota)
  • Deval Patrick (former Governor of Massachusetts)
  • Governor Steve Bullock (Montana)
  • Representative John Delaney (Maryland)
  • Beto O’Rourke (former Senate candidate from Texas)
  • Mayor Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles)
  • Senator Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
  • Senator Michael F. Bennet (Colorado)
  • Senator Jeff Merkley (Oregon)
  • Senator Bob Casey (Pennsylvania)
  • Senator Chris Murphy (Connecticut)
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, Indiana)
  • Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks sports team)
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio (New York)
  • Representative Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii)
  • Andrew Gillum (former candidate for Governor of Florida)
  • Governor John Hickenlooper (Colorado)
  • Governor Jay Inslee (Washington)
  • Mitch Landrieu (former Mayor of New Orleans)
  • Terry McAuliffe (former Governor of Virginia)
  • Representative Seth Moulton (Massachusetts)
  • Richard Ojeda (West Virginia State Senator)

And those are just the ones who are already talking the talk.  I actually left a few out, such as Howard Schultz, the former Chairman of Starbucks, and entertainer/philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, for I think they are beyond the realm of what is reasonable.  Then again, I said the same about Donald Trump four years ago.  Sigh. Some even speculate that Hillary Clinton might give it another shot.  Personally, I think (and hope) that she is far smarter than that.

Now think about this.  There is just over 22 months until the 2020 election.  That is 672 days, folks.  672 days of listening to the ranting, the babbling, watching the mud-fest and slinging of dirt.  Donald Trump on one side and all these others on the other side.  Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro will be in their element. For 672 days!  Shoot me now, please. The title of a podcast on The Washington Post yesterday sums it up: “Goodbye, 2018. Hello, 2020.”  In other words, welcome to 2019, the year that wasn’t.

The above list of candidates all have some positive attributes, with the possible exception of Michael Avenatti, who I believe is saying he will run mostly as a publicity stunt anyway.  But along with the positive, each one also carries with him/her some baggage.  Okay, nobody is perfect, but this is the year the democrats really, really need a perfect candidate, one with no skeletons in the closet, no dirt hiding in their past.  Donald Trump’s campaign will be brutal this year and next in digging up dirt and buried skeletons.  They will leave no stone unturned.  And we will have to listen to it all … every day … ad nauseam.  And you thought 2019 would be an improvement over 2018?

Unless I miss my guess, there will likely be somewhere around 25-30 candidates in the running initially.  Some will be weeded out in short order, whittling the list down to around 10-12 by the end of this year.  Folks … Barnum & Bailey might not be around any longer but trust me … a circus is coming to town.

A circus is exactly what we don’t need.  The Democratic Party needs to be the responsible one with candidates who can stand up to close scrutiny and who are focused, who have strong ideologies, well-communicated platforms, and who will not be distracted by mud-slinging and name-calling.  They need to be above the fray of the GOP and not wallow in the hog pen with Donald Trump.

Given that there are 22 months yet until the election, and given the above list of potential candidates, some of whom I’ve never even heard of, and in light of my disastrous predictions in 2016, I make no predictions at this point as to whose name will end up on the ballot by November 3rd, 2020.  I will make one prediction, however, that alcohol and tobacco sales will increase dramatically this year!  It is going to be a looooooong and ugly 22 months.  And I voice a serious hope that whoever ultimately becomes the Democratic candidate can stand firm and defeat either Donald Trump or Michael Pence, whichever name is on the GOP ticket by then.  Welcome to the never-ending election season!

More Head-Shaking Moments …

I considered not writing a post for this morning.  My mother used to caution me: “Si no puedes decir algo bueno, entonces no digas nada.”  Translation:  If you cannot say something nice, then say nothing at all.  And thus, I considered skipping my morning post, for I knew I could not say anything nice.  But, sigh, I then remembered something else my mother used to say: “Siempre comparte con tus amigos.”  Translation:  Always share with your friends.  So, grab a stick (to bite on to keep from screaming and scaring the neighbors), a box of tissues and sit down while I regale you with the latest …


Say WHAT???

“If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries.  I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don’t want that guy.” – Donald Trump, interview with John Solomon and Buck Sexton of The Hill, Tuesday 18 September 2018

Excuse me, but last I knew, a candidate … which is all Trump was after winning the primaries, after winning the nomination … does not have any more right to fire the Director of the FBI than you or I!!!  Is his ego truly so bloated that he thinks he had that ability?  And if so, then what else does he believe he can do, that he cannot … or can he?

And then there was this, from the same interview …

“You know, I took that test when I got my last physical, and the doctor said that’s one of the highest scores we’ve ever seen. I did that not because I wanted but I did it, I was always good at testing. But if there’s anything great about me it’s stability, and I’m a good manager. Always been a good manager, but you know, I have a vision.”

When I read that, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, so instead I choked on a bite of celery. Fortunately, daughter Chris is a nurse and certified in the Heimlich maneuver.

But wait … it gets even better … or worse, actually.  When speaking of his decision earlier this week to release to the public certain classified materials relating to the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election despite serious national security concerns, Trump credited …

“I have been asked by so many people that I respect, please — the great Lou Dobbs, the great Sean Hannity, the wonderful great Jeanie Pirro.”

Donald Trump … the leader of the United States of America … responsible and accountable to some 328 million people … is jeopardizing national security … based on the advice of … three radical, right-wing, conspiracy-theorist, television talk show hosts?!?!?!?!

I don’t care if you are a democrat, republican or independent, if this doesn’t make you see red, then you seriously need an education.

If you have the stomach for it, and have somebody with you who knows the Heimlich, feel free to read or watch the entire 1:32 long interview.


Ethics, Schmethics …

The September 3-9 Gallup poll asked how Trump’s ethical standards compare with those of seven of his eight predecessors.  Take a look at the results …ethics poll.pngTrump’s ethics were considered to be even lower than Richard I-am-not-a-crook Nixon!!!  Nixon, who was charged with obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress as a result of his involvement in the Watergate scandal, is the only U.S. president to resign from office, which he did in 1974, before his near-certain impeachment.

Yet more than eight in ten Republicans still approve of the job he is doing.  Shoot me now!


He should’a stayed home …

It is generally appropriate and expected for the president to visit and tour areas of the nation after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.  So, it was no surprise that Trump visited New Bern, North Carolina, hard-hit from floods as a result of Hurricane Florence last week. Trump-Florence.jpgLooking at the remains of a yacht that had washed up against the back of a brick home, Trump asked the homeowner …  “Is this your boat?” The man shook his head and said “No”. Trump turned with a grin and replied, “At least you got a nice boat out of the deal.”

gaspWas there a more inappropriate remark he could have made?  Other presidents have treated natural disaster tours as dignified, solemn affairs.  After all, people have lost homes, possessions, cars, family pets, and in some cases even the lives of loved ones. They need both practical help and compassion, understanding.  With Trump, they get off-key attempts at humour, and as the New York Times states it, “pep-rally enthusiasm”.  Frankly, had I been that homeowner I would have spit in his face.  What an embarrassment he is to us all, only some 36% of the nation cannot see it.  Perhaps if he mocked their own misfortune they would begin to understand.


sad-turltleOkay, folks … that’s all I’ve got … well, actually I’ve got lots more, but that’s likely enough to start your day off on the wrong foot, so I’ll leave off here.  Have a great day, my friends … try to step away from the train wreck for a bit and go outside, enjoy nature, remind yourself that ‘this too shall pass’.  I think that’s my new motto.

A Dirty Game

There have been cases where a house or other structure became so infested with vermin that it was not salvageable and had to be razed, then re-built.  That may well be the case with the federal government of the United States.  As the craziness that defines the current administration multiplies exponentially, breeding evil offshoots like the dame of all conspiracy groups, QAnon, the damage and infestation seems irreparable by any means short of “kill it and let’s start over”.

Donald Trump has, yet again, decided that he is perfectly willing to shut down the government until he gets his way … a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.  And it appears that his followers support him 100% in this!  Here are the questions I would like to ask of any who support this irresponsible notion:

  • What good do you believe will be accomplished by spending billions of dollars to build that wall?
  • Why do you feel personally threatened by immigrants?
  • Has an immigrant from South or Central America, or even Mexico, ever threatened you personally, or a member of your family?
  • Do you know any immigrants?
  • Are you willing to have money come from your paycheck to finance “the wall”, especially after you were initially told it wouldn’t cost you a penny … that Mexico was going to pay for it?
  • Would you prefer to pay for the wall than to improve our education system, or provide healthcare and food for needy children?

Our government, folks, is badly broken.  The idea behind having three separate branches of government was that no one branch could dominate, no one person or political party could have absolute control of the decision-making process.  But that system of ‘checks and balances’ is no longer functioning as it was intended.  Why?

There are a variety of reasons, but I believe the main one at this juncture is that we have elected a president who sees the entire nation as his very own personal kingdom.  He believes his power is, or at least should be, absolute.  He does not see himself as a president, at least not by the definition as spelled out in the Constitution, but rather as a dictator.  Under ideal circumstances, Congress would be applying the brakes to many of his bad moves, but we have a Congress divided strictly along party lines and in the pockets of wealthy, greedy corporations, men and women who are completely unwilling to work together in the spirit of compromise for the betterment of the people who live here and pay the taxes that fund their salaries.  In other words, loyalty to the political party has superseded dedication to the people who live here. And the political party is loyal only to their wealthy, greedy donors.

The threat of a government shutdown is one that Trump has used at least twice before and personally, I find it both tiresome and juvenile.  It is a bullying tactic.  Congress could, if only they would, override any veto of a budget without wall funding, but the damn republicans in Congress are too afraid of Trump and his minions to do the right thing.  They are too afraid of Trump to work for us, the very people who elected them to serve in the House and Senate.

Yesterday, I wrote a post about labels, and cautioned that judging an entire group based on the actions of only some is wrong.  But at this point, it seems that we can safely conclude every republican in Congress is in the pocket of big corporations and lobbying groups, for there are only 2 or 3 who have voted against what Trump wanted, and those only a few times.  The NRA, Exxon, General Motors, Murray Energy Corporation and many others are the ones who control the votes of the republicans in Congress.

Now, if you doubt that Trump’s threat to shut down the government is not done in the spirit of game-playing, consider this:

Donald Trump says he remains “a little bit torn” about whether it would be better to shut down the government before or after the midterm elections in an effort to secure funding for his long-promised border wall.

Trump said Thursday at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, that while many in the party disagree, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News personality Sean Hannity share his belief that a fall shutdown would be politically advantageous for Republicans in the midterms.

Trump says that he’s “a little torn myself” but that he “would personally prefer before.” He adds, “Whether it’s before or after, we’re either getting it or we’re closing down government.”  – The Washington Post, 02 August 2018

Whoa!  Many in the party disagree … in truth, the majority of the country disagrees, but hold the presses, because as long as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity agree, it must be the right thing, eh?  It’s all a big game to him, folks.  A game where the only thing that matters is that Donald Trump wins, and the rest of us are naught but pawns being pushed around on the board.  Thing is, unlike Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit, this is real life and the stakes are real lives.

Our government is broken, my friends, and the only means we have to try to put it back together is to make a clean sweep and take the trash out in November.

The Fox is Guarding the Hen House …

Back in the days when I frequently made hiring decisions, my usual venue to search for employees was the local newspaper.  In the last few years of my career, I more often used CareerBuilder or Monster.com.  On a few occasions, when hiring for a higher-level position, I used headhunters.  But never in my most desperate moments would I have dreamed of using Fox News as an employment agency!

bill-shineToday came the announcement that Trump has hired Bill Shine, formerly of Fox News, to be the new communications director, a position previously held by Hope Hicks, Anthony Scaramucci, Sean Spicer and Michael Dubke.  The position has been empty since Hicks left in March after testifying to the House Intelligence Committee that she had lied for Trump.

Shine comes with his own built-in set of controversies, as he was forced to leave Fox News in disgrace in May 2017.  Shine was accused of covering up for a number of sexual harassment cases within the network.  He had been known as Roger Ailes “fixer”, similar to the role Michael Cohen played for Trump.  Ailes was forced out amid a wave of sexual assault allegations that Shine, apparently, tried to cover up, but that later came back to bite him.  Hmmmm … it seems that he will fit right in with the immorality that exists in the White House, doesn’t it?

But this is not the first time Trump has sought to hire Fox News castoffs!

  • john-boltonNational Security Advisor, John Bolton, has been a Fox commentator/contributor for the past ten years.  When hired on by Trump, he indicated that he still considers himself a Fox contributor.

  • Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Heather Nauert, was an anchor on Fox and Friends since 2007, and was hired into the State Department in April 2017, promoted to her current position in March 2018.


  • White House Director of Strategic Communications, Mercedes Schlapp, was a Fox News contributor until her hiring in September 2017; however, she continues to appear regularly on Fox News.


  • Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Tony Sayegh, has been with Fox since 2009, and despite his duties in his new position, he still finds time to appear regularly on Fox News.


  • K.T. McFarland was hired by Trump shortly after the inauguration in January 2017, to serve as Deputy National Security Advisor under Michael Flynn.  McFarland was a Fox contributor since around 2010.  However, after Flynn’s resignation, she was asked to step down.


  • larry-kudlowAlthough this one comes from CNBC instead of Fox, it is worth noting that Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, was hired in March 2018 to replace Gary Cohn who decided he had enough of Trump’s ways.  Kudlow had his own program, The Kudlow Report, until he left to take the position Trump offered.

Given the number of these people who continue to be ‘Fox-friendly’, I have to suggest that we do, indeed, have a state-run media in the U.S., and its name is Fox News.

Bill Shine is known to be a close confidant of Trump’s best buddie Sean Hannity, and I see, with his hiring, even stronger ties between Fox and the White House.  Donald Trump’s main ‘claim to fame’ is his old television ‘reality’ show, The Apprentice.  Trump is an entertainer, a provocateur, and he is running our government like just another freak show.  Frankly, if she weren’t suing him, it wouldn’t surprise me for him to put Stormy Daniels in the position of Director of the Office of Cabinet Affairs!  A fitting position, don’t you think?stormy-danielsWe needed a president who thought with his head, one who understood the workings of government, foreign relations, and environmental concerns, to name a few.  We needed a president who had morals, values. We needed a president who represented the best interests of the people … all the people.  We needed an intelligent, compassionate president. Instead, we got Trump and his band of entertainers.  The White House has been turned into the entertainment capital of the nation.  Eat your heart out, Hollywood!