Da Snippets Dey Be Snarky …

I remember the last day I was able to read the news without having to either take ibuprofen or check my blood pressure … it was June 15th, 2015.  The day before Donald Trump pompously rode down the elevator and announced that he was running for president of the United States.  The next day, I laughed.  I’m not laughing now.


A budget written by Abbot & Costello?

Trump’s latest budget was “unveiled” yesterday.  If Congress passes this one, then I shall recommend psychiatric evaluations for every one of them!  Surely, he doesn’t honestly believe he can get this one through!  It must have been written by a team of comedians.  A few of the key points:

  • Expands the 2017 tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations
  • Cuts Medicaid by $700 billion over the next 10 years
  • Cuts food stamps
  • Cuts farm subsidies
  • Cuts student loan programs
  • Cuts EPA funding by 27%
  • Cuts Social Security disability benefits and Medicare provider payments
  • Cuts foreign aid by 21%
  • Increases military spending
  • Increases NASA funding for ridiculous “space force” program by 12%
  • Allocates $2 billion for his wasteful, useless, hateful “border wall”

Notice a pattern here?  If it helps the 1% at the top of the wealth scale, he increases it, if it helps the 99% of us who don’t live in mansions and jet set all over the world, he cuts ‘n guts it.  Plain and simple.  Nancy Pelosi should do to this budget exactly what she did to his State of the Union speech.


Punishment for doing the right thing?  Only in the GOP …

More and more these days, I’m concluding that there is an intrinsic cruelty in some republicans.  I offer up as evidence the fact that Mitt Romney, the one lone republican who found the guts to vote to convict Trump of the impeachment charge of abuse of power that was more than proven, has been subjected to terrible treatment by those in his own party.  He has received condemnation, that there have even been calls for him to be expelled from the republican party!  WHOA, republicans!!!  The man did his job, he followed his conscience, he acted in the best interest of this nation, and you want his head on a pike???mitt-romneyThe latest, though, is just beyond ridiculous.  Matt Schlapp, chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference, has “formally uninvited” Mitt to the Conservative Political Action Conference to be held the last four days of this month.

“We won’t credential him as a conservative. I suppose if he wants to come as a nonconservative and debate an issue with us, maybe in the future we would have him come. This year, I would actually be afraid for his physical safety, people are so mad at him.”

Wow … the man is being punished and threatened by his own party for doing his job, for being the only one with even half a conscience, for believing he actually owes something to the people of this nation in exchange for his salary.  See what I mean about some republicans?  They are just not very nice people.


And continuing along the theme that some republicans are not very nice …

Montana State Representative Rodney Garcia has a rather unique interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

Rodney-Garcia“So actually in the Constitution of the United States [if] they are found guilty of being a socialist member you either go to prison or are shot. They’re enemies of the free state. What do we do with our enemies in war? In Vietnam, Afghanistan, all those. What did we do? I agree with my Constitution. That’s what makes us free. We’re not a democracy, we’re a Republic Constitution.”

So, where did this guy get his education?  It’s true that the U.S. is not a pure democracy, but until recently was a democratic republic, not a “republic constitution”.  And as for his premise that the Constitution gives people like himself the right to shoot a person who is a socialist … well, I won’t even dignify that with a response.

I did some digging, because I really wanted to know where he went to school … Podunk University?  I didn’t find that out, but I did dig up something interesting.  He admits to having been convicted “years ago” on a domestic violence charge.  And … last year he attacked Children’s Protective Services (CPS) …

“CPS was a ruse…they violate the law. I think that they harm children. Child Protective Services do not protect the children. They kidnap them.”

He went on to say that caseworkers should be fined $1,000 per day for every child they “steal” and should be put in jail.  Then he continued, admitting that CPS had visited his own home when his children were young, investigating a complaint.  And, he further accused Planned Parenthood of “chopping up babies and selling their body parts.”

Now … needless to say, this man’s mental capacity is severely diminished, but what is equally disturbing is that … the people of his district elected this dolt!  The Montana Republican Party has called for his resignation, to which he replied …

“They can ask me to step down, but, no, I don’t think so. I’m going to run for the Senate and I’m going to win. People are going to have to eat their words.  I’m getting my head so big from people saying, ‘Thank you, Rodney, for bringing this up.’ If people don’t want me in the Senate they can say: ‘Well, I’m not going to vote for ya.’ That’s their prerogative.  The only way I would give my resignation is if God asked me to.”

People of Montana … please, vote this joker out, and then see if you can’t have him committed for psychiatric evaluation!


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“That’s Our Hitler!”

Blogger-friend Erik Hare has knocked yet another one out of the ballpark. His analysis of the latest Trump budget, and I use the term ‘budget’ loosely, is spot on, I believe. Please take a moment to read Erik’s post … I guarantee it will give you some food for thought! Thank you, Erik, for a great post and for implicit permission to share!

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

The moment comes about halfway through Mel Brooks’ brilliant 1968 movie “The Producers”. Max Bialystock is deep into his plot to stage the worst musical ever for the purpose of having it close after one performance. All he has to do is raise far more money than the flop could possibly take to stage and no one will ask for their share of the 25,000% of the profits which has been sold to investors. The worst musical ever, “Springtime for Hitler,” has been chosen. It’s now time to cast it.

Hippie Lorenzo Saint DuBois wanders into the casting call and gives his performance. As soon as he says, “If everyone in the world had a flower instead of a gun the world would be one big smell-in!” Bialystock rises triumphantly and declares, “That’s our Hitler!”

It’s the moment when simple comedy runs boldly over the line into farce and never…

View original post 596 more words

In The Name Of Compassion???

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” — Albert Schweitzer

“We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.” — Ellen DeGeneres

“I do not challenge the conservatism of this administration. I do challenge its failure to exhibit a compassionate conservatism that adapts itself to the realities of a society ridden by class and race distinction.” – Vernon E Jordan, Jr., (1981) in response to conservative cuts under Reagan to programs designed to help the needy

“Compassionate conservatism is dead; Trump and his band of backward-thinking devotees killed it.” –– Charles M. Blow, New York Times, 23 February 2017

Definition of ‘compassion’:  sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. – Merriam-Webster


Last month, as Trump sent his preliminary budget to Congress, White House Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, made the following statement:

“The president knows who his voters are. His voters are folks who pay taxes as well. And I think for the first time in a long time, you have an administration that is looking at the compassion of both sides of the equation. Could I, as a budget director, look at the coal miner in West Virginia and say, ‘I want you please to give some of your money to the federal government so that I can give it to the National Endowment for the Arts?’ I just think we finally got to the point in the administration where we couldn’t do that.”

Never mind that the money spent on such things as the arts and PBS might well be the key to helping educate that coal miner’s children so that they can grow up to have a better life than their father.  And never mind that the money saved by dropping the arts and PBS is earmarked to go toward military expansion.  Apparently Mr. Mulvaney would have no problem asking that coal miner for some of his money to build more tanks, planes and warships.

But it doesn’t even end there.  The budget calls for cuts to other humanitarian programs:

  • Meals on Wheels – delivers meals to individuals, typically elderly people at home who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals.
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance – helps low-income families pay their heating bills.
  • The Choice Neighborhoods program – rejuvenates public housing and provides a safe space for low-income families to live in their communities.
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – assists with healthcare and nutrition of low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and infants and children under the age of five.
  • The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) – provides emergency food assistance for Americans living in poverty.
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers – helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to low-income families.
  • The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant – provides up to $4,000 per year for low-income students trying to pay for college.

The Trump budget calls for significant cuts, and in some cases complete de-funding, of each of these humanitarian causes, and yet Mick Mulvaney calls it a ‘compassionate’ budget.  It isn’t as if, by cutting the above programs, taxes will be reduced on the struggling middle class, or on that coal miner Mulvaney is so concerned about, since the funds will simply be shifted to the expanded military budget.  Little Donnie wants more tanks and army men to play with but cares not a whit about people starving or freezing to death.

“You’re only focusing on half of the equation. Right? You’re focusing on recipients of the money,” Mulvaney said to a reporter who balked at his “compassionate” defense of the cuts. “We’re trying to focus on both the recipients and the folks who give us the money in the first place, and I think it’s fairly compassionate to go to them and say look, we’re not going to ask you for your hard earned money anymore”.  But MICK … you will still be taking our hard-earned money, just to provide unnecessary and costly military equipment instead of food, shelter and heat for people … human beings.  How the Sam Heck do you call that compassionate?

Might I inform you, Mick, as a citizen, a voter, and a long-time taxpayer, that I would much prefer my tax dollars going to feed, shelter, clothe, and educate people in need than to expand an already bloated military!  Would you mind listening to me?  I believe, that put that way, at least 75% of my fellow-citizens will agree with me!

For eighty-two days now … 82 long, tiresome, contentious, stressful days, we have been subjected to ludicrous lies, ‘alternative facts’, petulant temper tantrums, destructive policy proposals, and worse.  Now, add to the list the re-definition of certain words, starting with the word ‘compassion’.  In the Not-So-Brave-New-World of Trump & Company, compassion no longer means concern or caring about others.  I do not know quite what it does mean to Messrs. Trump and Mulvaney, but it does not really matter, for it will likely take on another new meaning in a week or so.

In the words of poet Harley King: “Nothing stays the same and nothing changes. What is old today will be new tomorrow. What is new today will be forgotten tomorrow.”

You Call This A Budget?????????

From today’s New York Times:

President Trump will send a budget to Congress on Thursday that sharply reorders the nation’s priorities by spending billions of dollars on defending the southern border and bolstering the Pentagon while severely cutting funds for foreign aid, poverty programs and the environment.

 

There were really no surprises, as we have been given a pretty clear indication in recent weeks of what the budget would contain.  I would ask all who voted for Trump a simple question:  Is this really what you wanted?

The EPA budget cuts alone would cost an estimated 3,200 jobs!  I thought Trump said he planned to increase jobs?  It would also eliminate all funding for enactment of the Clean Power Plan, the regulations designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. It would also discontinue funding for climate change research and international climate change programs.

The State Department budget, cut by 29%, would cut back funding for the United Nations peacekeeping mission, as well as cutting out all funding for U.N. climate change initiatives.  It would also trim contributions to the development of the World Bank.

The budgets for the Legal Services Corporation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts — would be axed entirely. The money saved by cutting the budgets of the EPA, Departments of Education, Health & Human Services, Energy, Housing & Urban Development and others would go toward increased spending on defense.  We already, as I recently mentioned, spend twice more than any other nation in the world.  So why, one must ask, do we need to increase military spending by $52.3 billion???

I have pondered and puzzled over this and finally I think I have hit on the answer.  Think about how Trump has spent his first weeks in office … he has offended a number of world leaders who are, or were, our allies, such as Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, German Chancellor Angela Merkel … and the list goes on.  As if it weren’t bad enough that he insults our friends, he has also taken pot shots at our enemies … Iran, North Korea, and China to name a few.  In fact, about the only country he seems to actually like is Russia.  So, logic tells you that sooner or later Kim Jong-un of North Korea will actually aim one of those missiles at the U.S. and we will not have any friends left to come to our aid, so that is the reason we might need all those extra warships and fighter jets.

All joking aside, however, I see not one single thing to like in this budget.  It takes much away from humanitarian causes to buy more weapons … more than we need or likely ever will need.  It sacrifices the very jobs that Trump promised to create.  In addition to the huge increase in military spending, the Department of Homeland Security would also see a $2.8 billion increase, most of which is intended to use to build his infamous “wall” along the U.S.-Mexican border.  What a waste of money that could be used to help people, to educate children, to provide healthcare, housing assistance, and all the other necessities that Trump would see us do without.

The good news, to the extent there is any, is that this budget has little or no chance of passing in Congress.  Even many of the Republicans in Congress say that Trump’s cuts as too rushed, indiscriminate and reckless. “You can’t drain the swamp and leave all of the people in it,” said Mick Mulvaney, the White House’s budget director.

All else aside, “the wall” seems to be the biggest bone of contention in Congress.  Even many GOP congressmen are losing their enthusiasm, with the latest cost estimates as high as $25 billion, and the reality being that the cost is likely to go even higher than that.  And it appears that some are even wakig up to the fact that Mexico is not going to reimburse us for the wall, nor should they, and that there is no means for forcing them to.  Nor should there be. If my neighbor wants a fence between his house and mine, and if I do not particularly want said fence, then he can pay for it, for I will not.  Simple.

In the Senate, where the Republicans have only a narrow majority of two, the budget would require 60 ‘aye’ votes to pass, which means that every Republican and at least eight Democratic senators would have to support it.  Not going to happen. So what happens next?  Back to the drawing board, but meanwhile, no doubt, there will be bullying, threats and rants from da trumpeter.  Hold onto your hats, people, for I am predicting a mass of hot air to come soon.

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