The Week’s Best Cartoons: Thanksgiving 2020

Okay, okay … I’m a little late re-blogging TokyoSand’s latest cartoons … but other things have been occupying both my mind and my space here (no, I did not say there was space inside my mind, though likely there is).  Anyway, as usual, TS has scoured the ‘Net for the best political ‘toons of the past week, many Thanksgiving-themed, as you might have guessed.  Thank you, TS, for providing us with a wealth of talented cartoonists!

toon-1toon-2toon-3

View the rest of the ‘toons

A Snarky Snarky Filosofa

snarky-2Filosofa is feeling very, very snarky tonight!  The probable cause is that I watched the vice-presidential debate earlier this evening and growled through much of it.  Or it could be a lack of sleep.  Or the fact that my rent just increased by another $60 when they won’t even fix the @#$% door or lights or leaky faucet!  Whatever the cause, the snark must be vented so that I can catch a few hours sleep shortly.


Lies … again

So, Trump’s “White House doctor” says Trump has been ‘symptom-free’ for over 24 hours.  Don’t believe a word of it … it comes, after all, from White House staff, a doctor in Trump’s employ.  Nope, I don’t believe it for one minute, but neither do I particularly care.  I care more about the idiocy he is proliferating … the notion that the coronavirus is not anything to worry about, not to be taken seriously, despite the 216,000+ lives lost to date … many that could have been prevented if he had not acted like a jackass, if he had been honest with We the People back in the beginning.  But, he wasn’t honest then and he isn’t being honest now.  He is LYING to you, people.  The coronavirus is potentially deadly, especially for those of us who have any sort of underlying condition such as chronic respiratory problems, heart problems or diabetes.

I have no idea why Trump is still lying through his teeth about the coronavirus … he could have manned up and used his own experience to help us, to admit that he was wrong and that yes, we should all be observing the guidelines such as mask-wearing and ‘social distancing’.  Instead, he made a clownish attempt to show the world his ‘strength’, which is among the biggest jokes of the 21st century, and placing those who foolishly hang on his every word in jeopardy.

So no, don’t believe a damn thing you hear.  Like as not, he is still quite contagious and has continued to infect more and more of those whose presence he demands.  Any ‘man’ who would put his own son at risk of death, cannot possibly be a ‘man’ I could look up to or call anything other than ‘asshole’.


Debatable

I watched the vice-presidential debate earlier this evening.  Sigh.  I’ll have a more detailed analysis later, but for now, I will only say that Mike Pence is a bigger idiot than I first thought, and that Kamala Harris conducted herself well, made valid points, and in most cases actually answered the moderator’s questions.  But there was an unexpected highlight …

Yep, folks, a fly landed right on Pence’s perfectly coiffed hair … and stayed … and stayed … for what seemed like at least two minutes, though I was laughing so hard I lost track of time.  I’m thinking the poor fly had a hard time disengaging his little legs from all that hairspray.  I kept expecting someone to tell him, but he remained oblivious.  I imagine he was greatly embarrassed when he watched the clip later.

And as for next week’s presidential debate #2 … Joe Biden is prepared …biden-flyswatter


Fickle stock market

On Tuesday, after Trump told republican lawmakers to cut off talks with democrats over a new round of pandemic aid stimulus and declared he would not further discuss it until after the election, the stock market plummeted with the DOW losing as much as 413 points.  On Wednesday, Trump said he would be open to further discussion after all, and the stock market rebounded.  Now, we’re used to this crap, but Trump uses the stock market as a measuring stick for the economy, and this simply proves what I’ve been saying all along … the stock market is not necessarily indicative of the economy!

Sure, we all have a small stake in the market, most of us through our 401(k), pension plans, or other source, but the biggest chunk of the market is held by corporations and corporations are manipulators of the market.

Worse yet, Trump’s declaration that he is open to a ‘stand alone’ stimulus bill is one that would aid … wait for it … the airline industry, corporations owned by uber-wealthy people who want We the People to keep them afloat so they don’t need to dig into their billion dollar investment portfolios!  Not people who are struggling to pay their rent, medical bills, and put food on the table, but one to keep the airline industry afloat.  And to think how Trump bitched about the Obama administration bailing out the banking industry!

No doubt Trump’s base will listen to him as he points to the stock market as a sign of his success, but … it just ain’t so.  Better indicators are the unemployment rate and cost of living, both of which are higher than they should be, thus the economy, while not ‘in the tank’, is certainly not healthy.  Spin that one, Trump!


Okay, well, I think I feel better now, so I will answer a couple of emails and head for my bed!  Thanks for letting me vent!

Labor Day 2020

I had decided not to write a ‘Labour Day’ post this year, for my heart simply wasn’t in it. Then I came across Brosephus’ post that pretty much summed up my own thoughts, only more eloquently than I likely could have done. Thank you Brosephus, for this thoughtful post. Let us hope that next year will be better for everyone.

The Mind of Brosephus

Just like the year 2020 has been so far, Labor Day isn’t a “happy” day either. While the real-life Fantasy Island host, Donald Trump, tries to paint a rosy picture,

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1302985926809923589

Reality tells an entirely different story.

The truth about job growth is that the sitting president has very little to do with creating jobs outside of filling federal job vacancies. Job growth or loss is dictated by the private sector and the decisions made in corporate boardrooms across the world.

That said, there’s a cottage industry built upon the notion that a president is responsible for jobs in his term. In reality, decisions made during one term will determine the direction of the country years after those decisions are made. For example, the job growth in his term that Trump tries…

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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!!!

DAMN YOU, Donald Trump

The news of the day is that the U.S. unemployment rate fell in May to 13.3%.  Ho hum … yawn.  First … don’t be fooled.  Yes, with the re-opening of businesses, employees were called back to work and thus the unemployment rate was destined to fall, though I would question the 13.3% rate, as the figure comes from the federal government, and thus is not to be believed.  Plus … just last week, new unemployment claims totaled over 1.9 million.  Plus … with the re-opening of businesses and people out and about more, there will be a resurgence of the coronavirus.  Will businesses shut down again?  Quite possibly.jobs-graph

Even the Department of Labour cautioned that data-collection issues that have plagued the agency throughout the crisis continued last month. Some temporarily jobless workers were characterized as “employed” in May; had they been counted correctly, the department said, the unemployment rate would have topped 16 percent.

On the news of the drop in the unemployment rate (which, it should be noted, is still nearly triple what it was in the pre-coronavirus days), the stock market surges.  Stupid people.

More than half of the jobs added were in the food and beverage industry – restaurants and bars.  But even so, business is not what it once was, and once restaurant owners see that they are not making a profit … and they likely won’t for some time yet, as many people are still unwilling to mingle in public … businesses will start to go out of business.  There are so many variables in play that only a fool would take the numbers released today as a sign that the economy is on the rebound.  And speaking of fools …

Donald Trump gave himself his usual disgusting ‘pat on the back’ when the numbers were released this morning, claiming that the jobless numbers represent “the greatest comeback in American history.”  Not true … not even if the numbers were accurate would it be true, but then since when does Trump deal in truisms?  He also tweeted …

“Really Big Jobs Report. Great going President Trump (kidding but true)!”

What a pompous ass.   He had little, if anything, to do with employees being called back to work.  And in yet another foolish tweet, he claimed this single number, shaky as it is and in the midst of a nation afire with racism and police brutality, would cinch his bid for re-election …

“Oh no, the Dems are worried again. The only one that can kill this comeback is Sleepy Joe Biden!”

But all the bullshit aside, in his impromptu news conference this morning in the Rose Garden, he crossed a line when he said …

“We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen. Hopefully, George is looking down right now, and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country.’ This is a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”

I was speechless when I read this … speechless for all of about 3 seconds until I let forth a string of expletives worthy of a truck driver.  How could anybody with a shred of human decency, anybody with even a tiny bit of conscience, make such a ludicrous, offensive statement?  But then, decency and conscience are not things that Trump has ever been accused of having.  Still … this is perhaps a new low for even him.

No, Donald, this is not a “great day” for George Floyd who was brutally murdered on May 25th.  It is not a great day for this nation, which is burning down around us.  It is not a great day for virtually anyone living in the United States, though some are not capable of realizing it.  Damn you, Donald Trump … just DAMN YOU.

Only In The U.S.

The following snippets came from The Trace, an independent, nonprofit news organization dedicated to expanding coverage of guns in the United States.


The gun companies defying a stock market shock

Business closures and lockdowns have dealt withering blows to the economy. But after roughly two straight weeks of stock market declines, the nation’s three publicly traded gun companies have posted dramatic gains.

American Outdoor Brands, the parent company of Smith & Wesson; Vista Outdoor, which owns several ammunition companies; and Sturm, Ruger & Co. all posted dramatic gains through the past week. As of March 17, American Outdoor Brands showed the strongest weekly change in stock price — a more than 40 percent increase — of any company in the Electronic Technology sector, which includes brands like Texas Instruments and Apple.

“There’s so much money to be made in making the population fearful of its individual security.” – Caroline Light, Harvard professor whose field of study includes “America’s love affair with armed self-defense”


And already …

Police say a man in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who armed himself with a shotgun “due to the coronavirus that was going around,” unintentionally killed his 13-year-old cousin, believing it wasn’t loaded.

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, a dispute between roommates over coronavirus restrictions led one to shoot and kill the other in self-defense, authorities said.

A man in North Carolina killed his wife and five other family members before turning the gun on himself.

A roving active shooter killed four people, including a police officer, and wounded a civilian and another officer in Missouri.

“They’re guarding their toilet paper, pretty much.” – Marty Patterson, assistant manager of National Armory in Moon, Pennsylvania, on the surge of coronavirus-related gun-buying.


We don’t need a virus to kill us … we’re just going to kill each other.

The Week’s Best Cartoons ⚡ 2/29

Since I skipped Saturday Surprise this morning and didn’t provide you with a bit of fun & humour, how ’bout I make it up to you with some ‘toons? As always, our friend TokyoSand over at PoliticalCharge has searched the ‘Net for the best of the best. Thank you, TS, for giving us all a chuckle this afternoon!

Political⚡Charge

By Lalo Alcaraz

In this week’s roundup, the nation’s best editorial cartoonists tackled news about the coronavirus, the stock market plunge, Harvey Weinstein getting convicted, the 2020 election, and other stories.

Trump Admin Responds to the Coronavirus

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Walt Handelsman,The Advocate

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

By Tom Toles, The Washington Post

This week’s The New Yorker cover, “Under Control,” by Brian Stauffer

Stocks Tumble

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

By Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer

By Matt Wuerker, Politico

By Michael de Adder

Weinstein Goes to Jail

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News

Election 2020

By Christopher Weyant

By Matt Davies, Newsday

And Other News

By Steve Breen, San Diego Union Tribune

By Ann…

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This Is A Speech???

The Idiot-in-Chief spoke to a group of people outside of Pittsburgh yesterday.  We paid the costs for him to go there and give a speech, the title of which was “America’s Energy Dominance and Manufacturing Revival.”  The title is a joke anyway, for the U.S. in no way dominates energy, and in fact we are failing to do what we need to in promoting renewable energy over fossil fuel energy.  But, beyond that, the entire speech was a joke.  Let’s look at a few of the things he said … my own snarky remarkys are in blue.

On the supposed benefits of natural gas over renewable energy: “When the wind stops blowing, it doesn’t make any difference does it? Unlike those big windmills that destroy everybody’s property values, kill all the birds. One day the environmentalists are going to tell us what’s going on with that. And then all of a sudden it stops. The wind and the televisions go off. And your wives and husbands say: ‘Darling, I want to watch Donald Trump on television tonight. But the wind stopped blowing and I can’t watch. There’s no electricity in the house, darling.’”  Is it clear to everybody now that Trump has no conception of how wind and solar energy work, and that he is in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry?

On his love of trucks: “I love cranes, I love trucks of all types. Even when I was a little boy at 4 years old, my mother would say, ‘You love trucks.’ I do, I always loved trucks, I still do. Nothing changes — sometimes you know you might become president, but nothing changes — I still love trucks. Especially when I look at the largest crane in the world, that’s very cool. You think I’ll get to operate it? We’ll put the media on it and I’ll give them a little ride, right?”  This is relevant to anything … how?

On pundits suggesting he might not leave office willingly: “Can you imagine if I got a fair press? I mean, we’re leading without it; can you imagine if these people treated me fairly? The election would be over. Have they ever called off an election before? Just said, ‘Look just let’s go, go on four more years.’ You want to really drive them crazy? Go to #ThirdTerm, #FourthTerm — you’ll drive them totally crazy.”  Be afraid, my friends, for this is not the first time he’s alluded to overstaying his welcome.

On what Trump perceives as a trade imbalance with Japan: “They send us thousands and thousands — millions of cars, we send them wheat. Wheat. That’s not a good deal. And they don’t even want our wheat. They do it because they want us to at least feel that we’re OK, you know, they do it to make us feel good.”  This remark is just so utterly stupid that I’m left stuttering.  No nation is buying anything just to “make us feel good”!  We’re talking international trade, not a game of checkers!

On the price tag of the presidency: “This thing is costing me a fortune, being president. Somebody said, ‘Oh, he might have rented a room to a man from Saudi Arabia for $500.’ What about the $5 billion that I’ll lose — you know, it’s probably going to cost me, including, upside, downside, lawyers, because every day they sue me for something. These are the most litigious people. It’s probably costing me from $3 to $5 billion for the pleasure of being — and I couldn’t care less, I don’t care. You know if you’re wealthy, it doesn’t matter. I just want to do a great job.”  Trump is profiting “bigly” from being president!  First, he and his children travel all over the world at our expense.  Foreign dignitaries stay in Trump hotels when they visit the U.S.  And here’s one for you … just yesterday, an article in Politico said that the U.S. Secret Service had spent some $20,000 at a Trump hotel in Canada when they had to accompany Trump’s eldest son on one of his hunting trips.  Trust me, Trump is racking in the dough from this gig. He went on to ramble about such things as the Academy Awards, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, once again referring to Warren as “Pocahontas”.  It was, for all intents and purposes, naught more than a campaign rally, though it was intended to be a presidential speech at a new Shell facility that is nearing completion in Pittsburgh.  And here’s the kicker … he took credit for Shell building the facility, but Shell actually announced the facility back in 2012, when Barack Obama was president.  It had not a thing to do with Donald Trump.

The stock market is taking a hit today.  I wonder who he will manage to blame for that … Hillary Clinton?Shaub

Snarky Snippets — Thriving On Chaos

Never before in the history of this nation has there been a more chaotic government, one that had so little clue what they were doing or what the ramifications of their actions would be.  It is truly as if 7-year-old children are the decision-makers in Washington today!

white-house-chaos.jpg


He wasn’t invited, but nonetheless, Mike Pompeo crashed the meeting.  A group of European foreign ministers were meeting in Brussels yesterday morning to work on how to best handle the situation with Iran that has turned into a mess, thanks to none other than Donald Trump.  The group did not grant Pompeo inclusion in their meeting, but several diplomats from the UK, France, Germany, and the EU’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, granted him private meetings.

The Europeans have all expressed fear not only about how Iran will behave, but equally about the aggression by the U.S.  British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said …

“We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side. Most of all, we need to make sure we don’t end up putting Iran back on the path to re-nuclearization. Because if Iran becomes a nuclear power, its neighbors are likely to want to become nuclear powers. This is already the most unstable region in the world, and this would be a massive step in the wrong direction.”

Since Trump reneged on the Iran nuclear agreement a year ago, he has been taunting Iran, as well as our allies who are trying to hold the deal together without any assistance from the U.S.  Iran finally said, “Enough”, and is threatening to cancel the agreement and return to building its nuclear program.

Apparently little, if anything, was gained by the private meetings with Pompeo, as each side dug in, with Pompeo saying that the nuclear deal should be scrapped.  Apparently, he would like to have a reason to go to war with Iran?  Pompeo has enough foreign policy experience to understand that a war in the Middle East will involve many more nations than only Iran and is a no-win proposition that can only make matters worse in the area than they already are.  If, as I suspect, Trump is all too eager to try out his nuclear button … well, you know where I’m going with that.

Trump, Pompeo, and Bolton have put our allies in a tough spot and have increased tensions in the Middle East dramatically and dangerously.  Way to go, Donnie … what else do you plan to destroy?


The trade negotiations between the U.S. and China were reportedly going well and expected to wrap up within a matter of days.  But … sigh … Trump apparently never heard that old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  He prefers to break that which isn’t broken, and that is precisely what he did last week.  He increased the tariffs on some $200 billion worth of goods the U.S. imports from China, causing China to retaliate and impose new tariffs on some $60 billion worth of goods they buy from us.

Remember how Trump has been bragging about that good economy (the one that was already doing very well when he inherited it)?  Well, guess what folks?  Based on the news of all these new tariffs being bandied about, the market took a bit of a nosedive.  Does this ‘man’ understand nothing???  No, Donnie, tariffs are not good, China isn’t the one paying for the tariffs that YOU imposed … WE are!  And NO, Donnie, trade wars are not easy to win!

Trump claimed his reason for increasing the tariffs was that China was reneging on certain concessions, but there is no evidence of that, and people who have long dealt with Trump in the world of real estate say that this is his modus operandi … he throws a fit over some imagined problem at the last minute, then attempts to bully his way into a better deal.  Trouble is … this isn’t a real estate deal and … our economy and our livelihoods are at risk here.  He is playing with the lives of real people.


I got through my first four years of college with the help of Pell Grants and by often working three jobs.  Pell Grants, for those who may not be familiar with them, are subsidies the U.S. federal government provides for students who need it to pay for college. Federal Pell Grants are limited to students with financial need, who have not earned their first bachelor’s degree.  I could not have gone to college had it not been for those Pell Grants.  Today, they are more important than ever, with the high cost of college.  But guess what?  Donald Trump has decided that playing with his space toys is more important than educating our youth.

Yesterday evening, Trump sent a budget amendment to Congress to take $1.9 billion from the Pell Grant program and give it, instead, to NASA “so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!” 

bullshit

Some spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) claims that it will not impact the Pell Grant program … I guess he must think we are all pretty damn stupid.

Trump has already proposed budget cuts for other student aid programs to the tune of $3.8 billion!  It would seem that his ultimate goal is to ensure that only the children of the wealthy can afford to attend college.  Picture the U.S. in 25 years.  Your children and grandchildren will be digging ditches, working in dead-end factory jobs, clerking at a grocery store or McDonald’s, while Betsy DeVos’ and Donald Trump’s grandchildren will be the corporate CEOs and will be the people running our government … if, in fact, there is still a government to run.


And now, I believe I have spent most of my snark, so I shall leave you to find a cheerier blog than mine to read for the rest of the morning.  But never fear, I shall return!

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.