It’s a snowy, cold Saturday afternoon … my mood as dark as the sky … time for some humour, don’t you think? These two guys speak for themselves and need no introduction from me.
Good afternoon, my friends! As you might expect, the events of the last two days – Iowa caucus, impeachment trial, State of the Union address – have my hackles raised and have left me filled with snarky angst. And you know what that means, right? Snarky Snippets!
The economy is … what???
Trump claims the economy is so great, but I see signs to the contrary. One of the largest and oldest retailers, Macy’s, plans to shut down 125 stores over the next three years, 30 in this year alone. They will also be cutting some 2,000 corporate jobs. Hmmmm … that doesn’t sound like a sign of a booming economy to me.
Yesterday it was announced that the number of homeless students in the U.S. is at its highest number in over a decade – 1.5 million! Most are staying with friends or other family members, but some 7% are living in abandoned buildings or cars. It begs the question, for whom is the economy so great?
As I mentioned in a previous post, there is more to the economy than just the stock market and employment rates.
Time for her to go
The self-serving senator from Maine, Susan Collins, lost part of her vertebrae and found it impossible to stand for what is right, once again, so she plans to vote to acquit Trump on both charges today, along with all but two of the other republican boot-lickers. But Sue had an interesting spin … she is convinced that because of the impeachment, Trump will be a better president going forward …
“I believe that the president has learned from this case. The president has been impeached. That’s a pretty big lesson. He was impeached. And there has been criticism by both Republican and Democratic senators of his call. I believe that he will be much more cautious in the future.”
Oh, sure, Sue … he’s going to stop calling people names, stop using vulgar language, start acting like a human, stop throwing away OUR money on his damn wall, start supporting humanitarian causes, and treat our allies like friends instead of like enemies. Perhaps we should all sit in a circle and sing Kumbaya?
Susan Collins wasn’t alone in her blind stupidity, though. Senator Joni Ernst was equally sycophantic …
“I think that he knows now that, if he is trying to do certain things — whether it’s ferreting out corruption there, in Afghanistan, whatever it is — he needs to go through the proper channels.”
Are these people really so utterly clueless, so stupid? No, I don’t think so … I think they know full well that Trump has broken just about every law in the book in his efforts to first get and then hold the center of power that is the Oval Office. I simply think they care more about their own future than ours.
A few had courage
Kudos to four members of Congress who skipped the campaign rally/State of the Union address last night:
- Ayanna Pressley: “The State of the Union is hurting because of the occupant of the White House, who consistently demonstrates contempt for the American people, contempt for Congress & contempt for our constitution. I cannot in good conscience attend tonight’s sham.”
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution. None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it. Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union.”
- Maxine Waters: “To think that I would attend the #SOTU to hear the message of an IMPEACHED president is a thought that in no way would be consistent w/ my fight and struggle against this dishonorable president. I will certainly NOT be there!”
- Bobby Rush: “It would be painfully hypocritical of me to endure 90 minutes of unrelenting lies and all types of distortions and untruths, while at the same time watching his Republican apologists cheer. I cannot honor this man in any way.”
I’m told that several other democrats did walk out during the speech, once they realized that it was being turned into little more than a campaign rally. What, I wonder, kept the rest of the democrats in Congress from doing the same? I’m sure they will claim professionalism, but frankly the time has come for them to show the nation that this “president” is not legitimate, that he deserves no respect. At least House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave him the proverbial finger when she ripped up her copy of his speech, later explaining that she couldn’t find a single page that contained truth.
A slap in the face
I do not know of another time in the history of the nation that the Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded to such an undeserving person as Rush Limbaugh. Mr. Limbaugh is a racist, a misogynist extraordinaire, a hypocrite who calls abortion “murder”, yet fully supports the death penalty. He is a climate denier and referred to the 2017 Women’s March as “”Deranged Feminazi March”. While not of the same caliber as Alex Jones, Limbaugh has engaged in a number of his own conspiracy theories, and his statements have an 84% “untrue” rating. He has done not one damn thing in his entire adulthood that would qualify him for the Presidential Medal of Freedom … not one!
And yet, during his State of the Union address, Donald Trump awarded him that honour. Why? No doubt because Mr. Limbaugh has been such a strong supporter of Trump’s, has defended the indefensible time and time again. This, my friends, is a slap in the face to the people such as Rosa Parks and Mother Teresa who have received the medal for acts of bravery and humanitarianism. In fact, this is a slap in the face to every person in this country. The medal no longer has any meaning, any value. It is naught but a trinket, handed out for political favours.
There will no doubt be some who tell me that I shouldn’t criticize Limbaugh, who has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, but let me make my position clear from the outset: being ill does not suddenly erase all the evil he has perpetuated. He is not a good man, not a kind man, not deserving of any honour, let alone the freedom medal.
It has been an odd and exhausting week, hasn’t it? And not a particularly fun week, if you ask me. So … I thought, since it’s Friday, maybe it’s a good time to wind down the week by having a few chuckles.
Have a nice weekend, my friends!
I did not watch Donald Trump’s State of the Union (SOTU) address last night, for three very good reasons.
- I was already not feeling well and knew that having to see his face, hear his voice, and see all those strange contortions he does with his face would make me unbearably ill.
- I feared that my strong reaction to having to listen to him would cause me to irreparably damage my laptop, and frankly I cannot afford a new computer at the moment.
- The most important reason of all is that the speech was sure to be filled with lies, or as Keith would prefer I say, ‘untruths’. Why bother? I have better things to do with my time.
I have worked my way through most of the transcript this morning, have read a few analyses, read The Washington Post’s fact check, and concluded that I was correct in my assessment – it would have been a colossal waste of my valuable time. That said, I do have some things to say (surprised, aren’t you?) about it all.
First of all, one has to wonder why we even have a State of the Union address every year.
Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution states that the president shall ”from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
Somehow, I think that goal could be accomplished without all the pomp and circumstance that surround the event these days. And, with today’s instantaneous communication, the speech seems really to have outlived its usefulness. In fact, of what use is it to waste the time of Congress, the Supreme Court, other guests and the home viewing audience, just to listen to fairy tales? Why couldn’t he just tweet it, as he does everything else? I won’t bother to bore you with the fact-checking … you can get that from any of the major media outlets.
The speech is most notable for what was not addressed.
Climate Change. How can a speech that is intended to inform us about the state of the country, completely ignore the thing that, by most measures, is the single most important issue facing this, and every other nation? Under Trump, the U.S. has pulled out of major agreements to work toward reducing carbon emissions and has rolled back the regulations that were intended to help protect the environment. We have seen the results with our own eyes in the past year, even the past week, yet he says not one word?
Renewable Energy. The future is not in the coal, gas and oil that Trump has so adamantly vowed to protect, but the future is in renewable energy such as solar, wind and water. Under Trump, there is no major push by the federal government to explore and expand on renewable energy, but a number of states and corporations are participating. This could have been a genuine feather in Trump’s cap, had he opted to do the right thing, to take seriously the need to distance ourselves from fossil fuels. Instead, he chose the most destructive path.
Relations with Allies. Our relationships with our allies are crumbling, thanks to Trump’s policies that have, in many cases, left our allies scrambling to try to make up for the failure of the U.S. to pull its weight, such as in the Paris Accord, NATO, the Iran nuclear agreement, and NAFTA, and the latest threat to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria and Afghanistan. Add to that the disdain he has shown for the leaders of allied nations, such as Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau, Theresa May and others. We are no longer a good and trusted friend, to put it quite simply.
Poverty. Despite Trump’s claims that wages have risen, jobs have been created, 13.4% of people in this nation are living below the poverty level. As the population increases, and some jobs are replaced by technology, the number of people who struggle just to put food on the table has risen and will continue to rise.
Education. We are falling behind in our education system, as I have mentioned more than a few times, and this is the key to almost everything I have listed so far. The new trend seems to be moving away from developing minds and more toward job training. This is a mistake … a huge mistake … and to add insult to injury, this nation has made it nearly impossible for a young person from a lower-income family to go to college.
National Debt. With the December 2017 tax cuts that benefit almost exclusively the wealthy in the nation, we severely reduced the nation’s revenue. To maintain a balanced budget, thereby keeping the national debt at current levels, would require spending cuts equal to the revenue reduction. But those cuts, under Trump’s plan, would come from programs that help disadvantaged people. Trump’s fiscal plan is rather a reverse Robin Hood – rob from the poor to give to the rich.
Gun Regulation. The U.S. is the only nation on the globe with almost no regulations on firearms. Those who claim the 2nd Amendment gives them the right to own an arsenal that includes assault-type weapons that can mow down a crowd inside of a minute are fools. On this, the 37th day of 2019, there have already been 510 gun deaths in the U.S. An average of 14 per day. And yet, this topic was not considered important enough to be addressed in the State of the Union.
There is more I could add, but you get the picture. The address was a public relations event, nothing more. I found it strange that he would call for unity, when he has, in fact, been the most divisive president in the history of the nation. “We must reject the politics of revenge, resistance, and retribution …” he said, when he is the very source of revenge and retribution, he has pursued a divisive political strategy very much focused on his base. Last night’s speech, like most everything he does, was intended only for his base … he told them what they wanted to hear and left the rest of us with the clear knowledge that nothing is changed, that the state of the nation is _____________________. (Fill in the blank)
I awakened in a dark mood this morning, made even darker when I came downstairs, fired up the baby Dell, and sat down with my first cup of coffee of the day, only two read two news stories about the continuing saga of idiocy that defines the Oval Office these days …
Pomp and Circumstance Trump-Style
It was one of those “wtf” moments when I read that Trump wants the Pentagon to stage a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. WHY??? Military parades are the tools of dictators and autocrats to show, not strength, but might. A power trip, nothing more, nothing less. And at whose expense? Take a wild guess.
Trump’s egomaniacal military parade is likely to cost this country millions of dollars. A country that is already unable to pay its debt, a country with no universal healthcare, with an education system going down the tubes, a country that has negated climate-change regulation, saying it was too expensive. This is like the family who cannot afford to pay their rent buying a Mercedes!
Adolph Hitler was quite fond of his military parades, for they proved to the people that he was all-powerful. They instilled fear, not pride. Donald Trump continues to model himself after the autocrats, past and present, and then wonders why he is the most unpopular president in modern history.
According to an article in NPR …
“U.S. presidents have long shied away from such displays of military prowess — which typically include tanks, missiles and, in some cases, goose-stepping soldiers — for fear of being compared to Washington’s Cold War adversaries, where such displays have traditionally been potent symbols of state power. Those countries include Russia (and, formerly, the Soviet Union), China and North Korea.”
Members of Congress seem divided on the idea, with some in support and some against. My take? It is a tacky display of imperialism and if Trump insists on it, let him pay for it out of his own pocket.
Of Treason and Traitors
When Trump gave his ‘State of the Union Address’ last week, Democrats in Congress did not clap, did not give him the standing ovations that the Republicans did, and he was offended. I did not clap either … there was nothing to clap about. He used the time to pat himself on the back, to inflate his “accomplishments” and to generally be the jerk that he always is.
So earlier this week, Trump, once again on the campaign trail, it would seem, visited a facility outside of Cincinnati. It was here that he said …
“They were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, ‘treasonous.’ I mean, Yeah, I guess why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean they certainly didn’t seem to love our country that much.”
Merriam-Webster defines ‘treason’ as:
“The offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family.”
Treason applies better to a president who minimizes and denigrates clear evidence that a foreign power meddled in an American election — and makes no real effort to prevent that from happening again — than it does to a bunch of lawmakers who decline to salute him.
I’m certain that if he ever … ever … says or does anything that can be viewed as in the best interest of the people of this nation, the Democrats in Congress will applaud him. I’m not holding my breath for that day to come.
Treason: It’s a word that he has used before, to characterize an F.B.I. agent whose text messages made his distaste for Trump clear. In the narcissistic mind of Donald Trump, any who do not pledge fealty to him are traitors guilty of treason. Now I ask you, dear readers, does this sound llike the president of a democratic nation, or like the autocratic ruler of a kingdom?
In May, 1918, former President Theodore Roosevelt wrote the following:
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but it is treasonable to the American public.”
Point made. I rest my case. Carry on.
Most of the people of this nation were not impressed with Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, and for good reason. But apparently republican pollster Frank Luntz takes umbrage and thinks we should all be fawning over Trump and he cannot understand why we aren’t. Friend Gronda has responded to Mr. Luntz, clarifying to him all the reasons that We The People are not falling for his self-aggrandizing speech. Her response is perfect. Please read this excellent post. Thank you Gronda, for I could not have said it better!
Frank Luntz, s republican pollster and a former critic of the republican President Donald Trump has been doing the rounds of the TV news shows as a guest bemoaning why the American peoples were not responding more favorably to the president’s State of the Union address that he delivered on January 30, 2018. (See: Frank Luntz, former Trump hater: ‘I owe Donald Trump an apology WashingtonTimes )
This is my response….
Dear Frank Luntz and Republicans, If you have to win elections with the help of the Russians, you don’t deserve any wins in the 2018 mid term November elections. The president cannot continue to constantly lie to the American peoples, talk with racist overtones about our fellow citizens, attack the pillars of our community like the FBI and the Department of Justice with impunity. This is just for starters.
Despite, the white House’s talking points, the Americans do…
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“… Trump is seeking to parlay his first State of the Union address on Tuesday into cash for his reelection campaign by offering supporters a chance to see their name flashed on the screen during a broadcast of the speech.” – The Washington Post, 29 January 2018
First thought: What re-election campaign??? The next presidential election is nearly three full years away! And I do not expect to see Trump’s name anywhere on that ballot, but hope that he is but a dim, albeit terrible memory by that time. Second thought: Are we paying him to run this country or to campaign for a chance at another four years to bring about our destruction? Why is this ‘man’ running his campaign on our time and money? Third thought: He is using the State of the Union Address to advertise for self-gain???
Who knew a single sentence could be so thought-provoking?
While my first and second thoughts are certainly important, it is the third that is most appalling. He is selling advertising on the State of the Union Address. For his own personal gain. He is using what is meant to be a serious address to Congress and the nation to solicit funds for himself! Never before in the history of this nation has a president stooped to such moral lows. Take a look for yourself: Trump’s solicitation
What’s next? Advertisements for Trump’s hotels on bills he signs? Ads for Trump Towers on official White House correspondence? Maybe a billboard on the front lawn of the White House? Perhaps by next year, Moe and Larry will join the circus, or Bugs and Mickey! He is using our government for his own personal gain, and I, for one, am incensed. Perhaps this is not the worst thing he has done in his single year in office, but it is a blatant slap in the face to We The People, a demeaning of the office we should be able to respect.
I was not planning to watch the State of the Union Address anyway, for I cannot stomach seeing his ugly mug, but if I had been planning to, my plans would have changed now. I sincerely hope that very few will tune in, but instead read the key points (if there actually are any) or the transcript after the fact. Of course, even if the ratings are low, Kellyanne and Sarah will no doubt tell us tomorrow that it was the most watched program in the history of television, just as they told us that his inauguration was the best-attended. Alternative facts, folks … might as well get used to them.