Rainy Day Snarky Snippets

The dreary gloom outside matches my mood inside, so … It’s time for some snarky snippets!  Granted, most of what I write these days is snark-filled, but still there is more … it’s never-ending.


AR-15 vs pandemic

Junior, aka Donald Trump, Jr., has contracted the coronavirus.  He says he is doing well … too bad.  He also said he will pass the time in isolation battling with the virus by cleaning his collection of guns.  I wonder just how many he has?  And what … does he think if he gets those guns all nice and clean (how did they get dirty, anyway?) that he can just shoot the virus and make it go away?  Or perhaps he’s planning another killing spree with his brother soon …

trump-killer-1


The last party …

Meanwhile, Karen Pence, has invited Congressional Club members to an afternoon “Christmas Craft” at the VP’s residence on December 9th at 1 p.m. Attendees are requested to wear ‘Holiday Attire’, but the invite makes no mention of masks. The event comes as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has discouraged holiday gatherings, and as we have set new records nearly every day for new cases and deaths due to the pandemic. Her husband, Vice-president Mike Pence, is allegedly the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force, which has said indoor gatherings should be limited.  Oh, the irony!  The delusion!  The stupidity!

Karen-Pence-invite

Thankfully, this will likely be the last time she gets to use that title.


Poetic justice …

Merrick-GarlandIn a bit of fun irony, it is reported that President-elect Biden is considering Merrick Garland for the position of Attorney General!  You’ll remember that moderate Garland was President Obama’s pick to fill the Supreme Court seat left open on the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2012.  Mitch McConnell single-handedly refused to allow the Senate to even interview Garland or consider the nomination, claiming the seat should remain open for the next ‘president’ to fill.  Funny, isn’t it, how he changed his tune this year after the death of Justice Ginsburg?  I wonder if Moscow Mitch will find some objection to Garland as Attorney General?  Wouldn’t it be nice if the other republican senators grew a pair and stood up to Mitch … just once?


mnuchinGiving Americans a middle finger

It isn’t bad enough that Trump is certifiably insane and is throwing roadblocks up all over the place to deny President-elect Biden access to information that would allow for a peaceful, smooth transition in January, but his minions are playing the game also.  On-his-way-out treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has decided to end a variety of programs aimed at helping markets, businesses and municipalities weather the pandemic and asking the central bank to return the funds earmarked to support those efforts.

By ending the programs, Mnuchin is taking away a source of economic support just as the new administration comes into office and as rising virus cases dog the recovery. By asking the Fed to return the money that enables the emergency efforts, he could make it harder for Democrats to restart them at a large scale and on more generous terms.  This is another trumpeter giving We the People a middle finger.  Again.  If this country goes into a deep recession next year, don’t even think of blaming the Biden administration … put the blame where it belongs, in Donald Trump’s court.


The murderer is back on the streets

Remember Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old white supremacist punk who shot and killed two people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin back in August?  Well, he is out of prison on $2 million cash bond as of yesterday.

Hours after the release, one of his attorneys, Lin Wood, posted this picture of Rittenhouse alongside actor Ricky Schroder.

rittenhouse

“Free at last!!!,” Wood wrote, above the smiling photograph in which the newly freed Rittenhouse is wearing a Black Rifle Coffee Company t-shirt.  Well, not exactly ‘free’, since he faces five felony charges of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.  In another tweet, Wood called Rittenhouse “a hero”.  And this may well define just what is wrong with half of this nation today.  When we applaud killing, when we call cold-blooded killers ‘heroes’, then we have for damn sure lost all shreds of humanity.

Personally, I hope Rittenhouse goes to prison and doesn’t come back into society until he is too old and doddery to even walk straight, let along shoot straight.


A final note …

And last but not least, Fox News’ idiot Geraldo Rivera thinks Trump should be honoured by having the coronavirus vaccine named after him.  Personally, I think it would be more appropriate to name the virus itself after Trump, for he has the blood of hundreds of thousands on his hands due to his intentionally inept response.  Yes, the trumptanicvirus … or TTV … sounds about right to me.

Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor…

Louis-DeJoyLouis DeJoy is the new Postmaster General for the United States Postal Service.  His qualification for the job?  He bought the position by donating $360,000 to Donald Trump’s campaign fund, and another $70,000 to the Republican National Committee (RNC) just since January of this year.  In total, since 2016, he has donated over $2.5 million to Donald Trump and the RNC.  I have not been able to verify his net worth, but he lives in a $5.9 million mansion, if that tells you anything.  He is not a man who really needs that tax refund check or social security check to be delivered in a timely manner.

Oh, and an aside … DeJoy’s wife, Aldona Wos, has also been given a cushy job in the administration as U.S. Ambassador to Canada, with an annual salary of somewhere between $125,000 and $187,000.

Donald Trump has made clear his intent to privatize the post office since his inauguration. In 2018, Trump issued an executive order to create a task force to investigate the operations of USPS because it “was on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout.” This “restructuring” involved a variety of measures including multiple increases in postal rates and the slashing of labor costs.

DeJoy moved into his position as Postmaster General in June, and since then has quietly been making changes that de-emphasize getting the mail out on time.  I have personally experienced several delays in receiving my mail, including one that caused me to be without crucial medication for a brief period.  I can only imagine what others have gone through.

mnuchin-2

Steve Mnuchin

I’ve written before about some of the troubles the USPS has had, particularly since the coronavirus pandemic hit, causing a loss of revenue, mostly from first-class mail and advertising mail.  While it’s nice to get less junk mail, I don’t like knowing what that means for the much-relied-upon postal service. Over two months ago, Congress approved a bi-partisan bill authorizing a $10 million loan to the USPS, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has refused to release the money!

Enter Louis DeJoy, who should be standing by the USPS motto, who should be fighting Mnuchin and Trump tooth and nail to get the much-needed funding released by the Treasury Department, but instead he has cut all overtime for postal workers, and has said that if delivering some mail will cause them to be delayed on their routes, they must leave it behind and deliver it another day!usps-2There are two major concerns here.  First, that check or medication you were counting on to arrive today may not arrive until next week, leaving you in a lurch or worse.  Of equal concern, though, is that with just over three months until what is arguably the most important election of our lifetime, and many states offering mail-in voting in this time of pandemic, will we receive our ballots on time, and will they be received at the polling stations on time?  I have voted by mail for several years now, find it a great convenience, and have always had confidence that it was an efficient process.  This year?  I’m not so sure.usps-1My best guess is the issue of mail-in ballots is the main reason that Mnuchin, surely under Trump’s orders, is refusing to release the already-approved loan to the USPS.  In so doing, he is putting lives at risk, and putting our right to vote at considerable risk.  If the USPS has been ordered by its new Postmaster General to “leave mail lying on the floor” in some cases, then how can we possibly have confidence that our mail, our all-important votes, will be delivered?usps-3


Here’s one of the latest ads by The Lincoln Project, a group of republicans who have seen what Donald Trump is doing to this nation and are putting the good of nation ahead of party loyalty.

Sit Down And Shut Up, Donnie!!!

Donnie?  YO, DONNIE!  Shhhhh … hush for a minute please.  Your noise is drowning out the facts here.

Listen, Donnie … as much as I know you would like people to believe that you are great, wonderful, and doing a super job, the reality is that you suck big time at mostly everything you do.  So, please, sit down and listen for a change.  If you make another peep, there are two big guys standing behind you ready to apply duct tape to both your mouth and your hands in order to make you be still.

The Federal Reserve, under Chairman Jerome Powell, knows of what they speak.  When they say that by the end of the year, unemployment will likely be down to 9.3%, they know of what they speak.  And when you come along behind them and say that …

“The Federal Reserve is wrong so often. I see the numbers also, and do MUCH better than they do. We will have a very good Third Quarter, a great Fourth Quarter, and one of our best ever years in 2021. We will also soon have a Vaccine & Therapeutics/Cure. That’s my opinion. WATCH!”

… you look like the fool you are.  Those of us with good sense understand the current economic situation far better than you do, and we know that Mr. Powell is most likely right.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, and the economy will take time … lots of time and effort to re-build.  Contrary to what you believe, you do not control the economy and in fact you have very little effect on it, just as you have absolutely no control over whether or not a vaccine is developed, tested, and made available.  You are not the all-powerful Oz, you are just a person … a very small person with very limited abilities.

The facts are that many businesses have had no choice but to file for bankruptcy over the past three months.  Oh, not your cronies, the CEOs and major stockholders of oil companies, automakers, etc., for they received funds that were intended for small and mid-sized businesses, AND … they had capital enough to stay afloat even during the toughest of times.  But many other businesses have fallen by the wayside, even some larger ones like JC Penney and Pier One Imports.

The coronavirus pandemic, contrary to what you try to tell us, has not receded, but is gaining speed anew now that people are running around willy nilly attending events and shopping ‘til they drop – literally.  Sensible people see the data and they aren’t so eager to go out to the bar for fish ‘n fries Friday, or to shop at their neighborhood clothing store.  And, even if people were foolish enough to go store-hopping, they don’t have any money.  I know this concept is hard for you to grasp, as there hasn’t been a single day in your 74 years that you have had to worry about where your next meal would come from, but 99% of us do have such worries.  We have been out of work since mid-March and frankly, if we get any money, it must go for rent, groceries, and to keep the electricity on!

Now, both you and your mouthpiece Steven Mnuchin have said that in light of a rising number of cases and rising death toll, you will not support shutting down businesses a second time, because …

“… if you shut down the economy, you’re going to create more damage …”

Well, I know you’ve never had a conversation, let alone a friendship with the real people in this country, so I suppose you can be forgiven for not understanding our set of values.  The majority of us care about our lives and the lives of our spouses, parents, children and friends more than we care about the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  YOU might not have much respect for our lives … to YOU, we are expendable commodities … but to our families and friends, we mean a heck of a lot.  At the end of the day, Donnie, whether I live or die matters more than a percentage point on the NASDAQ.  I can see why this concept is so hard for you, since Melania would likely just as soon throw your ass into the Potomac after the abysmal way you’ve treated her, but We the People lead much different, more meaningful lives than your own, and we have people who truly love us, not just use us for what they can get in return.

More than 116,000 people in this country have died from the coronavirus.  People, Donnie … real people who were mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters … people who will be missed for a long, long time.  They are NOT just a statistic; they were our friends.  Many of those people might have been saved if you hadn’t put yourself first, if you had been honest with the country, not lied to us and downplayed the virus.  Because of you, our family and friends have died.  You, Donnie … there is blood on your tiny hands.  So, don’t lie to us again and tell us how ‘great’ the economy is.  We are not stupid, we can see for ourselves that our bank balances have dwindled, that there is more going out than coming in, that many of us still do not have jobs, and that the price of essentials like food has increased.  We don’t care about buying a new car or washing machine … we are busy trying to survive.

No, the economy isn’t great, and it isn’t going to be great any time soon.  Stop patting yourself on the back and lying to the people of this nation.  In fact, do us all a favour and just shut up for the remainder of your term, for you have proven you weren’t capable of leadership and you have nothing to say that we care to hear.  You have divided this nation in ways that will take years, if not decades to heal.  So please, just sit down and shut up!!!

BAH HUMBUG!!!

Okay, folks … these are not snarky snippets … these are full-blown, out-and-out rants.  I’m fed up with certain members of our government and …


I strongly object to corporate bailouts during this pandemic crisis.  People who don’t have millions stashed in overseas accounts or investment portfolios ought to be the sole focus of any and all bailouts that use our tax dollars.  Last month, numerous industries including the dying coal industry received stipends from our government, using our money, so that the CEOs wouldn’t have to dig into their own deep pockets.  Now, the auto industry comes crying to us with their hands held out.

Auto sales are down.  Duh … gee, really?  There’s no place to go, so why buy a new car.  Besides, nobody has money for non-essentials at the moment … we’re all trying to figure out how to pay the rent and buy food to feed our families, not how to afford a new overpriced Chevrolet.  So, why is it our problem that the Big Three aren’t making money right now?  We’ve got enough problems of our own without having to spend our money to put money in the pockets of rich dudes!

The argument is that massive losses could leave workers unemployed and stall any economic recovery.  No, those automakers aren’t going to close their factories permanently just because they’re losing money now, and if we bail them out now so that their CEOs can still take their summer vacations, what happens then?  Do they keep making more cars that they can’t sell?  Shut the damn factories down until people can afford to and have a desire to buy cars, stupid!  It isn’t rocket science!

And meanwhile, on the other side of town …

Democrats in Congress want to increase food stamps by 15% in an effort to help families who are running out of food.  They claim that a similar move during the Great Recession reduced hunger and helped the economy.  But, of course, the republicans would prefer to spend our money to bail out the auto industry, airlines, hotel industry and fossil fuel industry than to actually help people who need help.

scrooge-1Bah Humbug to you, too, Scrooge McConnell & Co.  


The United States Postal Service (USPS) that Trump has refused to help out unless they raise their rates, which would hurt every single person in this nation, now has a new Postmaster General.  The former Postmaster General, David Williams, resigned last week due to the meddling by Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, that led to the loan Congress had already approved for the USPS being held up.  The newly appointed Louis DeJoy is a North Carolina businessman who is currently in charge of fundraising for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He just happens to be a top donor to Trump and the Republican National Committee.  What a surprise, eh?

Trump’s ongoing feud with the USPS is largely tied to his hatred of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is also the owner of The Washington Post, a newspaper that calls Trump on his lies and pulls no punches when it comes to reporting on the madman at the helm of this ship.  So, let me sum this up for you.  Because Donald Trump is a lousy president, and certain media outlets call a spade a spade, hold his feet to the fire when he screws up (daily), and because one of those outlets is owned by a man who also owns a company that mails millions of packages to We the People via the USPS, Trump has installed a sycophant to raise postal rates which will cost us all.  Amazon will pay more to ship our packages, and they will pass that cost right on to We the Consumer.  This, friends, is not about the best interests of this nation, this is greed and revenge of the sorry excuse for a human being that resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

scrooge-2Bah Humbug to you, Donald Trump and Steve Mnuchin, you greedy little weasel!


Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie … once given kudos by members of both parties and the people of New Jersey for his wise and humane responses to the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, gets no kudos today!  It seems that his view on the value of a human life has changed since he threw his lot in with Donald Trump.

In a recent interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, da Gov had this to say …

“Of course, everybody wants to save every life they can ― but the question is, towards what end, ultimately?”

To what end, indeed?  To what end does the Secret Service continue to protect Donald Trump and his family?  Why bother … just accept the inevitable.

And then … then he had the unmitigated gall to compare the coronavirus pandemic to World War II …

“We sacrificed those lives. We sent our young men during WWII over to Europe, out to the Pacific, knowing, knowing that many of them would not come home alive. And we decided to make that sacrifice because what we were standing up for was the American way of life. In the very same way now, we have to stand up for the American way of life.”

Not even close to an apples-to-apples comparison!  More like a coconut-to-lasagne comparison.  scrooge-3Bah Humbug to you, Bridgegate Christie!


Does everybody who comes into contact with Donald Trump just lose both their brains and their humanity?  It sure seems like it.  Okay, I’m done ranting for the moment … be thankful you don’t have to live with me!

BAH HUMBUG!

I looked in the mirror this morning … I try to avoid doing that, but this morning I had something in my eye, and I had no choice.  I asked the person I saw there to please move out of my way so that I could see myself to check out my eye.  Then I realized the person I saw there, the person with deep gouges around her mouth, sad downturned eyes with dark circles ‘neath them, and a perpetual scowl on her mouth was, in fact, me.  And I got angry … not that I really look much different than I did three years ago, but … I have a perpetual sadness coupled with intense anger that wasn’t there before.  I growl a lot, even when I’m drifting off to sleep, I hear myself growling.  Every day, there is something new to growl about, so … since I don’t like to growl alone, here are my two for today …


Steven Mnuchin – Bastard of the Year

This isn’t the first time, nor will it likely be the last, that Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s Secretary of Treasury, has come onto my radar and caused my blood to boil.  This time, however, he has crossed a line … has unfairly criticized a 15-year-old girl who is trying her best to wake us up, to save the world, to save us from ourselves.  Obviously, I am speaking of the young environmental activist from Sweden, and Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg.

One of the things Ms. Thunberg has advocated is for investors to take their money out of fossil fuel stocks, invest instead in companies that are working to make renewable energy sources more efficient, more prominent, and less costly.  Apparently, Mr. Mnuchin owns stock in oil and/or coal companies, for he took umbrage and he did so in his usual snide, nasty manner …

“Is she the chief economist or who is she? I’m confused. After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us.”

Bastard.

Now interestingly, someone with even higher credentials in economics than Mnuchin disagrees with ol’ Stevie.  That someone is Laurence D. Fink, the founder and chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with nearly $7 trillion in investments.  In his annual letter to the chief executives of the world’s largest companies, Mr. Fink outlined some of the ways in which climate change is changing our world and then said …

BlackRock announced a number of initiatives to place sustainability at the center of our investment approach, including: making sustainability integral to portfolio construction and risk management; exiting investments that present a high sustainability-related risk, such as thermal coal producers; launching new investment products that screen fossil fuels; [emphasis added] and strengthening our commitment to sustainability and transparency in our investment stewardship activities.

Ms. Thunberg responded to Mnuchin on Twitter …

Thunberg-Time“My gap year ends in August, but it doesn’t take a college degree in economics to realise that our remaining 1,5° carbon budget and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and investments don’t add up.  So either you tell us how to achieve this mitigation or explain to future generations and those already affected by the climate emergency why we should abandon our climate commitments.” 

My suggestion to Mnuchin is that perhaps he is the one who needs to go back to college and study a bit of climate science.  Y’know … people who are squawking about how to do what is needed to help stop the destruction of life on earth would cost too much, would interfere with world economies … they really need to sit in a quiet room and think for a few hours.  THINK, people!  What the hell is the economy going to matter if you cannot breathe the air, find potable water to drink, and sufficient food to eat???  In fact, the economy will be completely irrelevant at that point, but will have already crashed by then anyway.  Damn capitalists have a one-track mind and that includes Mnuchin and his effing boss!

mnuchin-wife-2

Steve Mnuchin and wife (apparently, like Melania, she doesn’t own a bra)

Oh, and by the way … a bit off-topic, but in case you were wondering, poor Mnuchin is practically on the welfare rolls, having a net worth of over $300 million.  His wife, Louise Linton, recently came under criticism for bemoaning the fact that they now have to pay more in taxes, and then bragging about her name-brand designer clothing on social media.  Nice people, those Mnuchins … I have more respect for Greta than Stevie.  Heck, I have more respect for a cockroach than I do for the Mnuchins.  BAH HUMBUG!


And in other environmental news …

On Thursday, Trump signed his long-promised regulation to remove millions of miles of streams and roughly half the country’s wetlands from federal protection, the largest rollback of the Clean Water Act since the modern law was passed in 1972.  Why?  Because the wealthy dudes who own the agriculture, home-building, mining, and oil and gas industries matter more than We the People, matter more than the wildlife that depend on those wetlands for their very survival.

Heretofore, the law required those industries to obtain permits to discharge pollution into waterways or fill in wetlands, and imposed fines for oil spills into protected waterways.  According to Janette Brimmer, Earthjustice attorney who fought for the Clean Water Act after the Cuyahoga River fire in 1969 …

“President Trump’s administration wants to make our waters burn again. This all-out assault on basic safeguards will send our country back to the days when corporate polluters could dump whatever sludge or slime they wished into the streams and wetlands that often connect to the water we drink.”

Even the EPA’s own scientists disapprove of this move, saying that in addition to potentially losing fully half of the nation’s wetlands, as much as 94 percent of Arizona’s waterways could lose Clean Water Act protection under the regulation, as well as 89 percent of Nevada’s.

Environmental groups are already planning lawsuits, and rightly so.  But, do you realize that NO administration in the history of this nation has been embroiled in as many lawsuits as Trump???  And guess who pays for all those lawsuits, my friends?  Not Donald Trump or EPA head Andrew Wheeler.  Not the rich bitches who got a huge tax cut in 2017.  Nope … me and you, the very people who are struggling to pay our rent and buy food, despite Trump’s claims that we are so much better off.  BAH HUMBUG!


Stay tuned this afternoon for Part III of mine and Jeff’s project, Discord & Dissension — Where do we go from here?

Jaw-Dropping Snarky Snippets …

The radar is busy tonight, so many different things on the screen that have me gritting my teeth and wearing the scowl that seems to be permanently etched on my face.  The first snippet is one that will give you nightmares.


He can’t keep a secret …

Just yesterday evening, CNN reported that a Russian spy who was operating in a high-level capacity within Putin’s government, was extracted by the U.S. in mid-2017, in part because high-ranking intelligence officials feared that Trump’s inability to keep his mouth shut would put the spy’s life in danger.  Believe it or not, Trump sycophant Mike Pompeo, who was then the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was behind the move.

The decision was made shortly after the May 2017 meeting in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, much to the horror of the intelligence community.

There were other reasons the intelligence community felt the “asset” might be compromised, but think about this one for just a minute, folks.  The ‘man’ who holds the highest position in the government of a nation of some 330 million people, a ‘man’ who is privy to nearly every bit of classified information in the nation, is not trusted by his own intelligence people, cannot be trusted to keep a secret, to keep his mouth shut.  He needs a keeper … make that a tag-team of keepers … lest he give his buddy Putin the nuclear codes!  Ponder on that one as you drift off to sleep tonight.


Irresponsible to the nth degree …

I wanted to laugh, I wanted to cry … instead I held my head and let forth a string of language that is not appropriate for this blog.  Former Goldman Sachs executive and current Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced that there will likely be more tax cuts in 2020!  What made me laugh about the whole thing was remembering 1988 when George Bush, Sr., said repeatedly – “Read my lips:  no new taxes”, and now I would applaud a president who promised “No new tax cuts!  My how times change.

“I think there’s no question the U.S. economy is in very good shape. As we look around the world, there’s no question that China is slowing, Europe is slowing — the U.S. is the bright spot of the world. And regards to a middle-class tax cut, you know, we’ll be looking at tax cuts 2.0, something that will be something we’ll consider next year. But right now, the economy is in very, very good shape.”

mnuchin-2

Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury

Trump and Mnuchin obviously need lessons in how budgets and economies work.  Our national debt is spiraling out of control, currently at $22 trillion and growing every day, and they want to give another tax cut?  Crazy!  Why?  Because, my friends, next November 3rd we will all go vote for either Trump or a democrat … and Trump figures if he can tout another tax cut that won’t help any but his rich friends, we will all fall to our knees and kiss his feet and then go to the polls and vote for him.  This, my friends, is madness.  Just about the very last thing this nation needs is another tax cut.

To further cut taxes is the height of fiscal irresponsibility, yet those who are easily fooled will applaud, will believe that they are getting something … never mind that their grocery bills have increased by $40 per month as a result of Trump’s tariffs, and never mind that the cost of a gallon of gasoline has increased by 43% since 2016.  Meanwhile, the companies to whom you give your hard-earned dollars like Exxon, Amazon, Netflix, Delta, IBM, etc., will happily pay no taxes at all.  Don’t be fooled, folks … sooner or later, the economy will reflect the perfidy of cutting income by removing taxes from the ones who can most afford it.


Dynasty???  I think not …

Trump’s creepy re-election campaign manager, Brad Parscale, has a plan …

Parscale

Brad Parscale, Trump campaign manager

“The Trumps will be a dynasty that will last for decades, propelling the Republican Party into a new party. One that will adapt to changing cultures. One must continue to adapt while keeping the conservative values that we believe in. I think they’re all amazing people, with amazing capabilities. I think you see that from Don Jr. I think you see that from Ivanka. You see it from Jared.”

I think that Mr. Parscale defines the word ‘amazing’ much differently than the rest of us.  I find them all a bit ignorant and a whole lot ugly, both inside and out.  One Trump is more than enough, thank you Brad.  If I believed his prediction for a single minute, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this post, but would be headed to the nearest point of exit from this country.


Science vs Trump …

wilbur-ross

Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce

Remember last week’s fiasco with Trump, the sharpie, Hurricane Dorian and Alabama?  Well, today the New York Times reported that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross actually threatened to fire top employees at NOAA, the federal scientific agency responsible for weather forecasts, for correcting Trump’s dangerous misinformation.  I said last week that it is a very dangerous situation when any politician, but especially one with the power of the president, can control what scientific information the public has access to.  That Trump’s minion Ross was all too willing to do his bidding, to fire scientists to assuage Trump’s ego, is horrendous.

We also found out that it was Ross himself who contacted Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, from Greece where Ross was traveling and instructed Dr. Jacobs to fix the agency’s perceived contradiction of the president.  Fix it???  It wasn’t broken!  It was accurate … it was Trump’s statement that needed fixing, that was erroneous.

So now, do all scientists need to petition Trump for permission to state their findings on every front?


Still more competition!

Mark-Sanford.jpg

Mark Sanford, 2020 GOP Candidate

Yet another republican has thrown his hat in the ring for the party’s nomination for the 2020 presidential election.  First there was Bill Weld, then Joe Walsh, and now Mark Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina.  This one must really frighten Trump for some reason, as he became somewhat unhinged … oh wait, he was already unhinged, wasn’t he?  In a series of tweets, Trump attacked Sanford …

“When the former Governor of the Great State of South Carolina, @MarkSanford, was reported missing, only to then say he was away hiking on the Appalachian Trail, then was found in Argentina with his Flaming Dancer friend, it sounded like his political career was over. It was, but then he ran for Congress and won, only to lose his re-elect after I Tweeted my endorsement, on Election Day, for his opponent. But now take heart, he is back, and running for President of the United States. The Three Stooges, all badly failed candidates, will give it a go!”

‘Twould seem Trump is running a bit scared, eh?  I will have more about Sanford, but for tonight, I am out of steam!


The conclusion to this collection of snippets can only be one thing:  Trump must go!Trump-must-go

 

Fools Rush In …

“I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” – George Bernard Shaw

Stepping away for a minute from Trump’s abandonment of our Allies in Syria and Afghanistan, James Mattis’ resignation, Trump’s wall and related government shutdown, let’s take a look at some other things that happened last week.

On Thursday, it was reported that acting attorney General Matthew Whitaker had been told by Justice Department officials that he would not need to recuse himself from oversight of Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election — despite having been an outspoken critic of the Mueller and the investigation.  Imagine the surprise of the Department of Justice ethics officials who had, in fact, told Mr. Whitaker that yes, he should definitely recuse himself!

Whitaker

Matthew Whitaker, acting Attorney General

As the story unfolded, it turns out that Whitaker had some of his own personal advisors at the Justice Department say that it wasn’t necessary for him to recuse himself, and at the same time, they falsely claimed that it was unheard of for an Attorney General to recuse himself based on a conflict of interest.

Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, William Barr, has also been a highly outspoken critic of Robert Mueller and the Russian investigation.  He will likely be questioned during confirmation hearings about his intent toward the investigation and whether he will recuse himself.  It would seem that Trump will pull out all the stops to throw a wrench into the search for truth.  The investigation has already racked up over 100 criminal charges against dozens of people, including guilty pleas from Trump’s former national security adviser, former campaign chair, former attorney, and multiple former advisers since it started in May 2017.  Can anybody honestly believe that Trump, his family, and most of his senior campaign staff were not involved in helping Russia rig the 2016 election?  No.  But Trump is pulling out all the stops to try to halt the investigation before Robert Mueller issues his final report.

Beyond the concern that Trump will direct his Attorney General to terminate the Russian investigation is the concern that Mueller’s report, once issued, will never make it to Congress, let alone to We The People.  By law, the Special Counsel’s report and conclusions must be presented to the Attorney General. But … the Attorney General then decides what portion of the report, if any, will be issued to Congress and ultimately the public.  Would Whitaker or Barr choose to suppress the report?  Hmmm … take a wild guess.  Watergate is beginning to look like a Sunday picnic in the park.


I know better than to judge a book by its cover or a person by their looks, but that said, Steven Mnuchin has always looked a little … seedy, sleazy, not-too-honest … to me.  Turns out he’s just plain not-too-bright, I suspect. MnuchinThroughout the past two years, a number of safety nets have been cut loose and sent to the dumpster, some rolling back the post-financial-crisis regulations that had been put in place to prevent another financial crisis similar to the one in 2007-2008.  As a result, our money, our investments, are a bit less secure now as the potential for a recession grows more likely.

So, Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, is apparently getting a bit nervous now that the regulations have been rolled back.  On Friday, he apparently called six of the largest banks to make sure they had plenty of money!  Yes, you heard me right.  What a way to run a government, eh?  Financial analysts, bankers and economists were all left scratching their heads on this one.

The best guess is that, in light of the stock markets tumbling last week, and then Trump threatening to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Mnuchin was doing damage control, attempting to stroke the ruffled feathers of investors and assure the public that … nothing to see here, folks – business as usual.  Well guess what … it isn’t working, as we can see by the continued slide today.  Analysts said it was almost certain to have the opposite effect and throw up some red flags.marketsTrump blames Powell for the stock market plunge, whereas in reality, it is more attributable to his own erratic moves over the past few weeks, tariffs, and the chaos that reigns in Washington at the moment.  In other words, Trump, who has taken credit for a decent economy that he largely inherited, now also owns the economy that is on the brink of recession.

But back to Mnuchin.  He called the CEOs of Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo to “confirm that they have ample liquidity available”, according to Treasury officials.  He then issued a statement:

“We continue to see strong economic growth in the U.S. economy with robust activity from consumers and business. With the government shutdown, Treasury will have critical employees to maintain its core operations at Fiscal Services, IRS, and other critical functions within the department.”

One financial analyst, Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said …

“Panic feeds panic, and this looks like panic in the administration. Suggesting you might know something that no one else is worried about creates more unease.”

Folks … let’s call a spade a spade.  This administration has rapidly devolved into complete chaos with a “leader” who is either the biggest fool on earth, else in the throes of severe mental illness.  Between the government shutdown, the threat of pulling our troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, the resignation of General Mattis, the border wall dispute, the issue of our treatment of immigrants, Trump’s horrid choices for Attorney General, his threats and bullying … there is no sanity in our federal government and we are not all fools.  I wouldn’t invest in the market right now under almost any circumstances.  Mnuchin can issue as many statements, tweet as many tweets as he likes, but he is not calming the fears of the public.  The fears are very real and nothing he can say will allay them.  Steve Mnuchin is, perhaps, as much a fool as his boss.

Tax Plan Belongs In The Trash Can

It would appear that Trump’s “top economic advisors” are not too smart.  Either that, or they think we are not too smart.  Either way, his “tax plan” is a piece of garbage that should not stand a chance of passing in Congress.

tax-3

When President Reagan did it in 1981, it was called “trickle-down” economics. It looked great on paper … only problem was, it did not, in fact, ‘trickle down’.  It did not work then, and it is just as unlikely to work now.  Economists outside the White House agree that this tax plan would almost certainly raise the federal deficit by as much as $7 trillion over the next ten years. Gary Cohn and Steve Mnuchin, two of Trump’s top financial advisors (both former Goldman Sachs bankers, as it were) claim that the deficit will be offset by economic growth, but that is a fantasy of their own imaginations. The entire plan is designed to benefit large corporations, such as the ones owned by Trump, himself, and the wealthy, such as Trump, himself, as well as Cohn and Mnuchin.

According to a New York Times article, here are the winners & losers under the plan:

Winners:

  • Businesses with high tax rates.
  • High-income earners.
  • People with creative accountants.
  • Multimillionaires who want to pass money to their heirs tax-free.
  • People who still fill out their tax returns by hand.
  • Retailers and other companies that feared a “border adjustment tax.”
  • Donald J. Trump.

Losers:

  • Upper-middle-income people in blue states.
  • Deficit hawks.
  • People who want Congress to pass something.

tax-2

One of the most ironic things to note is that under this plan, corporations would not have to pay taxes on their foreign profits, an unusual proposal for a president who has championed an “America first” approach and railed against companies that move jobs and resources overseas. But then, Trump himself has significant overseas interests, so I leave the rest to your imagination.

Nicholas Kristof’s column today said it best:

What do you do if you’re a historically unpopular new president, with a record low approval rating by 14 points, facing investigations into the way Russia helped you get elected, with the media judging your first 100 days in office as the weakest of any modern president?

Why, you announce a tax cut!

And in your self-absorbed way, you announce a tax cut that will hugely benefit yourself. Imagine those millions saved! You feel better already!

This isn’t about “jobs,” as the White House claims. If it were, it might cut employment taxes, which genuinely do discourage hiring. Rather, it’s about huge payouts to the wealthiest Americans — and deficits be damned! If Republicans embrace this “plan” after all their hand-wringing about deficits and debt, we should build a Grand Monument to Hypocrisy in their honor.

This isn’t tax policy; it’s a heist.”

Throughout his campaign, Trump swore to bring down the national debt, ranting that President Obama had ‘doubled the debt’, and that he, Trump, would reduce the deficit.  Trump’s tax plan comes with very few details, so it is difficult to assess, however a number of leading economists have reviewed the framework and here is what they have said:

“We’ve only done the rough numbers, but this looks like a tax cut of a magnitude of about $5 trillion. That is simply unimaginable given our fiscal situation and the size of the deficit, which is already the worst since World War II.Who doesn’t love a tax cut, especially if no one has to pay for it? This is a free-lunch mentality. ” – Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

“Paul Ryan and Kevin Brady must be beside themselves in private. They put in years of work on a tax reform plan that at least tried to be revenue-neutral, and wouldn’t explode the deficit.” – Leonard E. Burman, director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

“Mr. Trump’s plan basically is tax cuts for everyone. Real reform, with revenue neutrality, is difficult. There are winners and losers, but Trump apparently just wants winners.” – Steven M. Rosenthal, a business tax expert and senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

“I want a plan that’s focused on growth as much as anyone. But these tax cuts are not going to pay for themselves. If you believe that, you’re kidding yourself.” – Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist who served as director of the Congressional Budget Office and is now president of the American Action Forum

The bottom line is that the tax plan as it was presented to Congress, with unrealistic goals and almost no detail, is not going to be passed in either branch of Congress.  If Trump was hoping for another “achievement” to add to his “first 100 days list”, he is likely to be sorely disappointed.  Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, and Gary Cohn, Trump’s senior economic advisor, are going to have to do a much better job than this.

I suspect that this ‘plan’, if one can call it that, was a rush job, as Trump has actually spent his ‘first 100 days’ more concerned about getting his travel ban executed, deporting immigrants, destroying environmental protection controls, insulting our allies, threatening our enemies, and erasing all legislation passed under President Obama.  This tax plan has no earmarks of a thought process, but merely a fantasy devised in a very short period of time with no link to reality.  Back to the drawing board, Donnie … this one stinks!

tax-3