No Snark Today — Just Good News!

Typically, my posts bring you all the bad news, but today I actually have a couple of good news pieces, starting with the news that as I write this, Brittney Griner is on a plane heading home to the U.S. after some ten months imprisoned in Russia.  President Biden announced early this morning …

“Moments ago, standing together with her wife Cherelle in the Oval Office, I spoke with Brittney Griner. She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home after months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances. Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should have been there all along.”

Ms. Griner was arrested in February on “drug smuggling” charges, for having inadvertently packed a vaporizer cartridge containing less than a gram of cannabis oil.  For this, she was sentenced to nine years in prison in August.  A rather harsh sentence for what wouldn’t even be a crime in the U.S., but that’s Russia.  Negotiations for her release, as well as another U.S. citizen being held by Russia, Paul Whelan, have been ongoing and today she was released in a one-to-one prisoner swap with Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.  Negotiations for Mr. Whelan’s release are ongoing.

Welcome home, Ms. Griner!

And huge kudos to the House of Representatives today for passing the Respect for Marriage Act (FfMA) that will protect same-sex and interracial marriages by a vote of 258-169.  Last month, the bill passed in the Senate by 62-37 with 12 Republicans voting for it.  Today, 39 House Republicans joined all Democrats in passing this legislation!  This came as a surprise to me, especially after the 12 Republican senators came under serious criticism by their party for working across the aisle.

The bill doesn’t go as far as we might like, as it would not force states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples but it will require that people be considered married in any state as long as the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed.  The bill also would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA). In addition to defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, DoMA allowed states to decline to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. That law has remained on the books despite being declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in United States v. Windsor and its 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry.

Next, the bill heads to the Oval Office for President Biden’s signature, which is all but guaranteed.  👍👍

And that’s the good news of the day, my friends! No doubt tomorrow I will return to my usual snarky self.  Meanwhile, just a few cartoons …

Oh The Hypocrisy!!!

Certain Republicans in Congress obviously believe that We the People are stupid.  The hue and cry over President Biden’s plan to forgive a portion of student loan debt for qualifying individuals is not only ludicrous, but insulting to the average Joe.  Take, for example, Congressman Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania who made this statement:

“Asking plumbers and carpenters to pay off the loans of Wall Street advisors and lawyers isn’t just unfair. It’s also bad policy.”

Apparently, either Mike Kelly hasn’t been paying attention, or he’s pretty sure his constituents aren’t bright enough to have been paying attention, for the student loan forgiveness is only available to people making less than $125,000 per year and both wall street advisors and lawyers earn well over that mark, so they wouldn’t be eligible.  Period.

Then there was ol’ Vern Buchanan, a member of the House of Representatives from Florida who said …

“As a blue-collar kid who worked his way through college, I know firsthand the sacrifices people make to receive an education. Biden’s reckless, unilateral student loan giveaway is unfair to the 87 percent of Americans without student loan debt and those who played by the rules.”

Two problems with this statement.  First, of that 87% who have no student loan debt, some 62% have none because they never attended college, so of course they have no student loan debt.  The other problem with Vern’s statement is that he himself had a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiven to the tune of $2.8 million!  And yet, he would begrudge the average college graduate, struggling to get a start in his/her career, a write off of between $10,000 – $20,000?  What a guy, eh?

Oh yeah … turns out the aforementioned Mike Kelly also received PPP loan forgiveness to the tune of nearly $1 million!  Take a look at the people who received PPP loan write-offs and are now complaining about giving a break to hard-working college graduates …

Their criticism is one of many hypocrisies promoted by Republicans in Congress today. They also claim it isn’t fair to people who have already paid off their student loans, but Clay Jones killed that argument earlier this week …

If you buy into the notion that it isn’t fair to those who didn’t have the luxury of assistance with their loans, then where do you draw the line?  Can we never progress in any area because it wouldn’t be fair to those who went before?  In that case, we shouldn’t have such luxuries as automobiles and air-conditioning, for it isn’t fair to those who lived their entire lives without them. Or perhaps it isn’t fair for the wealthy to have yachts and vacation homes, for it isn’t fair to those of us who cannot afford such things.  Where do you draw the line?

The bottom line is this is just one more excuse the Republicans are using to rile the masses, to convince voters to vote for them.  It assumes that We the People are too stupid to have read the truth about the plan to forgive a portion of some student debt.  It is a slap in the face to our intelligence, our understanding, our very beings.  See … this whole thing highlights the real difference between the Republican and Democratic policies … one helps people while the other is all about the wealth of a few.  I am an Independent voter who has voted for candidates of both parties in the past, but no more.  My conscience would not let me vote for any of the Republicans on the ballot today.  I worked three jobs to support my family and pay my tuition while going to grad school, but I nonetheless applaud President Biden’s plan and am glad people who need it will be getting some assistance.  Too bad others don’t feel the same.

A Promise Made … And Kept

This week, President Biden announced his student loan forgiveness program … a long-awaited program to help those lower-and-middle income people who are struggling under a mound of student debt.  Since this is a program that helps real people, not wealthy corporate executives, it was to be expected that the Republicans would be up in arms, and they did not disappoint. It is reminiscent of the hue-and-cry when President Obama announced the Affordable Care Act, aka ‘Obamacare’.  I’ve read a number of editorials, both pro and con, but I think Robert Hubbell sums it up best …

Promises Kept.

Robert B. Hubbell

25 August 2022

       President Biden kept another campaign promise on Wednesday by announcing a student loan forgiveness program that will cancel up to $20,000 for certain borrowers. Importantly, the plan also provides relief to future borrowers by cutting in half the amount that borrowers have to pay each month from 10% to 5% of discretionary income and forgives loan balances after ten years of payments. The White House Fact Sheet for Student Loan Relief contains the details of the plan. Per the Fact Sheet, the plan will

  • Provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients
  • Borrowers are eligible for this relief if their individual income is less than $125,000 or $250,000 for married couples.
  • Extend the pause on federal student loan repayment will be extended one final time through December 31, 2022

          The Department of Education estimates that 43 million borrowers will receive some form of relief and about 20 million borrowers will receive complete forgiveness. The DOE estimates that 90% of all relief will go to borrowers earning less than $75,000.

          Biden’s proposal will improve the lives of tens of millions of Americans. For reasons difficult to understand, the backlash against Biden’s plan has been fast and furious. For Republicans, the hypocrisy writes itself. The GOP has described Biden’s loan forgiveness as “socialism” and a “moral hazard.” And yet, fifteen Republicans in Congress (or their business affiliates) received forgiveness of $16,193,000 in loans they received from the federal government under the Paycheck Protection Plan [emphasis added]—an average debt cancellation of more than $1 million, compared to a maximum forgiveness of $20,000 under Biden’s Plan. And then there is Donald Trump, who has petitioned for bankruptcy on six occasions to avoid paying the debts of his businesses . . . .

          The Editorial Board of the Washington Post seemed to take personal offense over the plan in an editorial entitled, Biden’s student loan forgiveness is an expensive, regressive mistake. The Board wrote:

          The loan-forgiveness decision is even worse [than the four month extension of the moratorium on loan repayments]. Widely canceling student loan debt is regressive. It takes money from the broader tax base, mostly made up of workers who did not go to college, to subsidize the education debt of people with valuable degrees.

          While the Post’s objection is technically true, it is also true for the following subsidies and credits: Trump’s 2017 tax cut for millionaires, oil company subsidies, export subsidies for US manufacturers, auto industry subsidies, lower tax rates for hedge fund managers (“carried interest deduction”), 100% deductibility for yachts purchased for “business purposes,” and deduction for 100% of the future depreciation for private jets in their first year of service.

          All of the above subsidies, credits, and deductions are regressive because—as the Post notes—“the broader tax base is mostly made up of workers” who are not millionaires, who do not manage hedge funds, who do not own oil wells, and who do not purchase yachts or private jets. And yet, the Post and others reserve peevish indignation for a program that helps middle- and lower-income earners who took a chance by investing in their futures and themselves.

         And there were complaints about “unfairness” by those who paid their loans or who do not qualify for loan forgiveness. Biden did what he could given the limits on the Department of Education’s ability to modify its loan programs. The fact that Biden crafted a plan that targets middle- to low-income earners was a reasonable compromise. Was it perfect? Of course not. But when that becomes the standard for achieving progress, all forward movement will cease. We should celebrate another promise kept by Biden.

My Thoughts Tonight

Y’know … all the political game-playing, threats, backstabbing, obstruction and more these days takes a toll on a person’s psyche.  We … the vast majority of us … are good citizens.  We vote in every election, we pay our taxes every year, we don’t break the laws of the land.  And in exchange, all we ask is a government “by the people, of the people, and for the people” – a government that uses our tax dollars wisely, that doesn’t waste money on frivolities, that sees to our national security, protects us, and helps those in need.  Instead, we have a Congress that is 99% dysfunctional, members of Congress to whom we pay a salary that is multiple times higher than our own every year, that spend all their time playing political games.  I’M DONE!!!  I will not pay one more dime in federal income taxes!!!  Oh wait … I’m retired and on Social Security … I haven’t paid federal income taxes since 2009.

But seriously, my friends … we are paying for the likes of Kevin McCarthy, Joe Manchin, Mitch McConnell and too many others to name in a simple post to pursue their own agenda, mindless of what is best for this nation.  Their top priorities right now should be:

  • Addressing climate change in the most aggressive way possible, which would include phasing out all fossil fuels and replacing them with renewable energy sources ASAP (Don’t believe in climate change? Step outside and take a deep breath … or try to)

  • Passing voting rights legislation prior to the November mid-term elections to ensure that every person age 18 and over has not only the right, but the wherewithal to cast his/her vote.

  • Passing legislation to protect women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and other civil rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ultra-dereliction of duty in their latest session and their threats of more to come going forward.

  • Raising the minimum wage to a livable wage.

  • Passing gun regulations that actually do something, that ban military-style weapons, that enforce strict background checks, and that incarcerate those who violate these regulations. Remember Uvalde?  Remember Parkland?  Our children’s lives are at stake here!  And our lives … remember Buffalo?  Remember Indianapolis on July 4th?  We aren’t even safe in the damn grocery store, our kids aren’t safe in school, and Congress sits on its collective ass!

  • Passing legislation to ensure that corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes! Why the hell shouldn’t they?  What – is Jeff Bezos so damn special that he should not only have more money than he knows what to do with, but shouldn’t have to even pay to help keep this nation running?

  • Addressing education in such a way that ensures our children are learning the facts about such things as the history of this nation, about other cultures, about life.

There are plenty more, but these are the core things that come to my mind right this minute that Congress should be working on.  But you know what the members of Congress are doing?  They are campaigning for the November elections, understandably, but they are also colluding on ways to screw the people of this country out of the democratic principles that we thought were guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution!  Oh yes … half the members of Congress are actively colluding on ways to further restrict our right to vote, to keep women from having the right to even protect their own body, to keep non-Christians from having a voice, to keep LGBTQ people from being treated fairly and equally, to ensure that we are not safe from gun violence anywhere, and to shove a single religion down our throats.  And worst of all, they are colluding in ways to return a megalomaniacal dictator to the White House in just over two years.

My friends … this country no longer has the right to its name, for it is no longer the United States of anything.  United?  What a joke!  Perhaps the most tragic part of the 4 years of hell we lived through under Donald Trump is that it has so divided us that we may never heal the rift.  Families have been torn in half, friendships ruined, marriages dissolved … while Trump laughed his way all the way to the bank … on our dime.  Okay, water over the dam, let’s put the past in the past and begin the healing process, right?  Well … no, not quite, for the 40% or so of this nation who identify as Republicans have deemed that theirs is the one and only right path, that this should be, in their eyes, a white, Christian, male-dominated, straight nation.  I don’t know about you guys, but I absolutely refuse to live in such a nation as that.  I. Refuse.  The politicians, however, members of our not-so-esteemed Congress, are using every tool they can find to widen the divide, to ensure that dispute, hatred, and even violence divide us even further.

Some claim a civil war is on the horizon, some claim they want their states to secede from the U.S., but those aren’t the particularly bright people, for they have little comprehension how that would even work.  No, I don’t see a civil war on the horizon … what I see is people being driven into their shells, finally throwing their hands up and saying, “I’m done … I don’t give a damn … I’ll just focus on my own little life and let them have at it.”  And when that happens, my friends, we will be “ripe for the picking.”

And to end with a bit of political humour … a new ad from Meidas Touch putting “Dr.” Oz right where he belongs …


Today, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court barred the use of ballot drop boxes and ruled voters could not give their completed absentee ballots to others to return on their behalf.  This is but one of the many new voter suppression moves by the states, especially those that are considered ‘red’ states, but the utter gall of it disgusts me.  Who does it hurt?  Blue collar working people, poor people, elderly and young people, Black people … all those categories that are more likely to vote for a Democrat come election day.  Hell, they might just as well have said that only registered Republicans will be allowed to vote!  Or … why even have an election … why not just let the damn Supreme Court decide who will make the laws?  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

These voter restriction laws are designed with one purpose in mind … to keep people from the polls.  Their efforts can only work if we let them, if we are too lazy or too apathetic to go the extra mile to ensure our voices are heard.  In 2020, we saw the highest percentage of voter turnout in over a century … a whopping 60%!  If that figure doesn’t disgust you, then you aren’t paying attention.  Jonathan Capehart, writing for The Washington Post, sums it up nicely and his final paragraph says it all …

Vote, dang it! It’s your one superpower in our democracy.

Jonathan Capehart, 8 July 2022

Okay, America. Now that the celebration of your 246th birthday is over, you’ve got some work to do. Or, at least the “you” who are Democrats do. Y’all are experts at hair-on-fire complaining and savior hunting, all while ignoring the power of your own vote and growling at anyone who reminds you of it.

There has been story after story after story about how Democrats are mad at President Biden for fill-in-the-blank deficiency. (My colleague Dana Milbank recently did his usual excellent job of cataloging the absurdity of it all.) I’m not saying the White House is perfect or isn’t in need of some messaging improvements. What I am saying is enough with the self-defeating backbiting. Neither Biden nor the party — or the country, for that matter — can afford the consequences.

The mewling and moaning seem to have begun in earnest late last month after Biden’s remarks on the Supreme Court overturning the constitutional right to an abortion. “Voters need to make their voices heard,” Biden said. “This fall, we must elect more senators and representatives who will codify a woman’s right to choose into federal law once again, elect more state leaders to protect this right at the local level.”

This “Schoolhouse Rock!” statement of fact was greeted with derision and cries of “Is that the best you’ve got?” The maddening, all-too-typical shortsightedness makes me want to grow my hair out — so I could tear my hair out.

Biden is a president elected by the people, not a king ruling from on high. He needs a House and Senate that will send him legislation he can sign into law. If Biden is to do all the ambitious things today’s complainers (rightly) want, they need to give him a bigger Democratic majority in Congress than the wafer-thin one that exists now.

But here’s what most irksome: Those complainers will claim demoralization because of what they see as Biden’s legislative impotence, and then stay home in November. And if this abdication ends up rolling out the red carpet for Republicans, said complainers will blame Democrats for the ensuing mayhem of the GOP demolishing even more rights.

Before you turn the comments and my mentions into a dumpster fire of invective, let’s walk down memory lane to that time Democrats lost the House and then the Senate in successive midterm elections.

A wave of hope-and-change put President Barack Obama in the White House in the 2008 election. In the 2010 midterms, 26 million fewer Democrats voted for House candidates than in 2008. Tea party-powered Republicans claimed the House majority by gaining 63 seats; the GOP vote fell off, too, as is common in midterms for both parties — but not nearly as sharply.

Yes, Obama won reelection in 2012. But by the time of the 2014 midterms, he was begging the coalition that sent him back to the White House to show up at the polls. Nope. Not only did the GOP increase its House majority to the largest since World War II, but Democrats lost their Senate majority. About 15 million fewer Democrats cast ballots for Senate candidates in 2014 than in 2008 — compared with only about 6 million fewer Republicans.

Democrats are facing a few structural and historical headwinds. The president’s party almost always loses seats in the midterms of its first term; the one exception since World War II is 2002, after the 9/11 attacks. Voter suppression efforts in the states are focused on African Americans and other key Democratic constituencies. Gerrymandering is a problem, of course, and the Senate is built in a way that disadvantages Democrats. Unfair as it may be, voter participation is the one power individuals can wield against those headwinds.

And let me be clear that I understand the urgency of doing something right now to safeguard the lives and health of women and girls post-Roe. But it is imperative we do everything possible to try to prevent what could be a Republican wave and the conservative revanchism that would undoubtedly attend it.

During an interview about her documentary “Aftershock” on Black maternal mortality, I decided to ask Tonya Lewis Lee what she would tell the increasingly vocal “why should we vote again?” crowd now that the right to abortion has been stripped away. She was unequivocal. “Voting matters. You need to vote again and again and again,” Lee said. “Voting is everything.”

Indeed, it is. You can either spend your time griping about nothing getting done or you can vote to help elect people who will do what the American people need. To argue that voting is a waste of time or useless is to participate in your own powerlessness.

A Chilling Tweet

There are probably no more than five Republicans sitting in Congress today who are deserving of the honour of representing We the People, and of the new ones currently seeking a seat in Congress, not a single one is qualified.  And yet, their lies and wild conspiracy theories have gained them a following and there is a possibility that Republicans will gain a majority in one or possibly both chambers of Congress next year.  That, in and of itself should make intelligent people of good conscience more determined than ever to overcome the barriers and get out to vote, take their neighbors to the polls, volunteer as a poll worker … whatever it takes to keep Republicans out of Congress.  I have never been a member of either party, have always been an Independent, but I’ve never felt as affiliated, even if unofficially, with a party as I do the Democrats today.

This morning, the following text by Kevin McCarthy sent a distinct chill down my spine …

And the first thought that came to my mind was … they plan to impeach President Biden!

For what?  For nothing.

The article he refers to in the New York Post was written by none other than McCarthy himself and the ignoble Jim (Gym) Jordan, neither of which are known for being truthful or men of good conscience.

Let’s be clear here … I neither know nor particularly care what Hunter Biden did or didn’t do when he worked for Burisma Holdings.  Hunter Biden is not the president of the U.S.  Hunter Biden does have a drug problem, but that does not make him a criminal, and frankly I think we all … each and every one of us … have a family member with a drug or alcohol problem … I know I do.  But more to the point, we don’t blame people for the sins of their family members … if we did, nobody could ever be elected to any public office.  If we did, Justice Clarence Thomas would have been ousted from the Supreme Court already.

In fact, McCarthy himself does not have a clean nose.  He dropped out of the race for Speaker of the House in 2015 after his affair with a congresswoman from North Carolina was made public, and … his brother-in-law owns a construction company that has suspiciously received more than $7.6 million in federal contracts since 2000.  All of which is irrelevant, but points to the old saying that “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

Think about this one for a minute … if the Republicans gain a majority in the House and Senate, and if the Republicans are stupid enough to vote for McCarthy to be the Speaker of the House following November’s election, then they could indeed begin investigations and could indeed dig up or make up something about some member of the President’s family, could embellish it to the point of making it sound like a smoking gun, and vote to impeach.  See, here’s the thing … the Republican Party of today is one without values, without integrity, without a conscience.  The Constitution no longer means anything to them … We the People no longer mean anything, except to be manipulated and used as a tool for their own benefit. It is a party that is in the fearsome grip of a madman who hopes to become the dictator of this nation two years hence.  So, even without any viable or legitimate evidence, there is no doubt that the Republicans in both chambers of Congress would fall in line, be in lockstep with McCarthy’s plot.

So, what if they impeach Biden?  Kamala Harris would be the only thing standing in the way of a “President Kevin McCarthy”.  Are you chilled yet?  And we can bet money that a “President McCarthy” would be a puppet of the evil ‘man’ currently residing at Mar-a-Lago.

We the People have the power to stop this plan in its tracks, but WE MUST ALL VOTE!!!  That is, literally, the ONLY way to preserve what is left of the democratic foundations of this country.  VOTE McCarthy OUT, for Pete’s Sake!  Vote them all out!!!  The Republican Party is no longer one of decency, of conscience, of integrity or values.  Their only goal is power … absolute power … and they will lie, cheat, and steal to obtain that goal.  And that, my friends, should scare the hell out of you.

A Symptom of the New GOP — Eric Greitens

Eric Greitens … does that name ring a bell for you?  It probably does today, but a month ago, unless you live in the state of Missouri, you probably hadn’t heard of him.  Before I get into his current newsmaking event and the ramifications, let me give you a little bit of background on Mr. Greitens.

He is a Rhodes scholar with a doctorate degree from Oxford.  He is a former Navy Seal who served four tours of duty, rose to the rank of lieutenant commander, commanded a unit targeting Al-Qaeda, and was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.  Greitens founded a nonprofit organization, The Mission Continues  , to benefit veterans. In 2013, Time included him in its list of the 100 most influential people in the world.  Sounds like a pretty decent all-round guy so far, eh?

A Democrat-turned-Republican, he ran for and won the office of Governor of the state of Missouri in 2016 and took his oath of office on January 9th, 2017.  And here’s where it starts to go downhill.  Greitens left office on June 1st, 2018 – just 17 months after moving into the governor’s mansion – due to a felony indictment for campaign-related offenses including computer tampering, and a credible sexual assault accusation.  A General Assembly had convened to commence impeachment proceedings, but Greitens resigned before the Assembly was able to decide on impeachment.

And yet, after leaving the governor’s office under a dark cloud, Mr. Greitens threw his hat in the ring and in March 2021, announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring incumbent Roy Blunt in the 2022 election.  Now, nothing thus far would have qualified him as one of the nastiest in the GOP, but then last weekend he released a violent campaign advertisement showing him wielding a shotgun, flanked by men dressed in full military gear carrying assault rifles.  In the ad, Greitens declared:

“Join the MAGA crew. Get a RINO hunting permit. There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit, and it doesn’t expire until we save our country.”

Numerous times lately I have commented that the Republican Party ‘eats its own’ these days, and this terribly violent “anti-Rino” advertisement seems to affirm that.  The party is split along the lines of the Big Lie … if you believe, or at least pretend to believe, that Donald Trump won the 2020 election and if you are willing to swear an oath of fealty to Donald Trump, then you are part of the core GOP.  But if, as numerous brave souls like the ones we heard from in Tuesday’s January 6th committee hearing, you are fact-oriented, believe in democracy, believe in upholding your oath of office, believe that, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Democracy is a rule of the people, for the people and by the people”, then you become a GOP outcast, or as they refer to it, a RINO – Republican In Name Only.

Yesterday I talked a bit about the violent threats that had been received by election officials and their families, and I also noted that there had been, since Tuesday’s hearing, a significant increase in the threats of violence against the committee members and their families.  We all understand that the threats against such people as Brad Raffensperger, Rusty Bowers, Gabe Sterling, Adam Kinzinger, Shaye Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman were instigated and incited by none other than Donald Trump and his minions as he tried, illegally, to cling to power.  In the same way, Mr. Greitens’ ad is fully intended to stir the masses, the maga crowd, as they are known, and incite them to commit violence against any who disagree with the maga lies.

This, friends, is the new GOP.  Now, logic tells us that the GOP cannot survive long as a single political party under these conditions, but that it will crumble as it destroys itself from within.  Disagreements over policy are one thing, and a natural part of political discourse, but calling for violence raises the stakes and is untenable in the long term.  But the concern is … what happens in the interim and at the end of the day, where are we left?  The U.S. clearly needs two viable … viable being the key word here … political parties and today we do not have that.  It’s past time for the GOP, if there are any members who haven’t sold their souls to Donald Trump, to take a long, hard look at itself, its members, its ideology and decide what, if anything, they actually stand for.  Eric Greitens is but a symptom of a much larger, lethal disease.

Uh-Oh … The Snark Meter Is High Tonight

It does seem that my snark-o-meter is registering on high these days!  Is yours?

Kevin McCarthy … what a guy

By noon yesterday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had tweeted twelve times.  Here is just one of his many tweets …

The rest of his tweets were all about putting down President Biden and House Speaker Pelosi, blaming them for everything from the price of fuel to the border “crisis” as he calls it.  Now, We the People pay Mr. McCarthy some $193,400 per year of our hard-earned tax dollars to work, to legislate, and not to waste half his day tweeting and the other half obstructing to ensure that no real laws come out of our Congress.

And coming back to that tweet … he’s patting himself on the back for introducing a bill that is intended to stop tech companies, such as Google, Facebook and others from marking GOP solicitation emails as “spam” … which, of course, is precisely what ANY solicitation email from a politician is, regardless of party.  In this, a time when we have a gun crisis that has already caused more than 21,000 deaths by guns, some 800 of them children.  In this time when innocent people are living under a dark cloud of violent threats for doing their jobs or expressing their opinions.  In this time when in many places it is hotter in early June than is normal in mid-August due to the effects of climate change as a result of our disregard for the environment.  In this time when our voting rights are being stripped away, women’s rights are becoming a thing of the past, and LGBTQ rights are being shoved out the window.  In this time when our schools are being told they cannot teach the legitimate, factual history of this nation, but must instead teach the fantasy white-washed version of the nation’s past!  In this, the time when wildfires in the west are sure to cause record-breaking damage, when water sources are endangered … and the ONLY thing Mr. McCarthy can be bothered to work on is … whether your email server marks a GOP donation request as ‘spam’ or not???  C’mon, people … fire this asshat in November and vote in somebody who actually understands the issues, understands what matters, is dedicated to his oath and willing to work to actually earn the money we pay him/her!!!

Oh … and just in case you’re wondering if McCarthy is going to step up to the plate on the gun legislation that will be on the docket in the House of Representatives … no.  He and his buddy Steve Scalise (himself a victim of gun crime) have made clear that they will vote against even this milquetoast legislation and will expect and demand that the other House Republicans do the same.  What a guy, eh?

And speaking of intelligence, or a lack thereof …

Herschel Walker, Senate candidate from Georgia, certainly is not on the path to winning any academic awards.  I’ve said before that there should be criteria, qualifications for a person running for public office, and after Walker’s latest, I think those requirements should include an IQ test with a passing score of at least 100, which is approximately the average in the United States.  Mr. Walker’s candidacy is filled with lies, as I pointed out in a previous post, but his latest faux pas takes the cake.

Apparently, Mr. Walker and Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor of Georgia hoping to unseat Brian Kemp, don’t … er … shall we say don’t get along famously, aren’t best buddies.  So, Ms. Abrams had been speaking about some of the problems in the state of Georgia that she hopes to address in the future, such as  mental health treatment, maternal mortality, incarceration rates and wages.  This is what candidates do … or at least ones who are serious about representing the people rather than their own interests … they talk about issues and how they think they can best solve problems.  But … apparently Walker doesn’t understand this and he took umbrage, telling Ms. Abrams to … wait for it …

“If you don’t believe in the country, leave and go somewhere else. If it’s the worst state, why are you here? Why don’t you leave ― go to another? There’s, what, 51 more other states that you can go to?”

This is a man who is running for a seat in the United States Senate and he doesn’t know how many states comprise the United States.  For the record, just in case any Republicans are reading this, there are 50 states.  This would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that this man could well be one of the 100 members of the highest legislative body in the nation, in charge of making decisions that will affect all our lives!

Only In ‘America’

Yesterday afternoon, just as I was beginning to work on a good people post for this morning, the breaking news update jumped onto my screen …

Texas school shooting leaves at least 2 dead

I stopped what I was doing and went in search of information … turns out that, as you all know by now, 19 students and one teacher, Eva Mireles, were killed … or let’s call a spade a spade … they were brutally murdered while in school, the one place our children should be able to feel safe!  The death toll may yet rise if some of the students taken to the hospital don’t survive, or if students still missing are later reported to have died.  Plus, the 18-year-old shooter shot his grandmother, who is in critical condition in the hospital, before setting out for Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

This, my friends, is what Texas Governor Greg Abbott proudly said just one year ago …

No license or training is needed. 🙄 YOU, Greg Abbott, have the blood of these children on your hands and you will never be able to wash it off!  Senator Mitch McConnell, who has an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), claims to be “horrified and heartbroken” and yet time and time and time again he has had the opportunity to pass meaningful gun legislation that might have prevented the 18-year-old shooter from getting his hands on a gun.  YOU, Mitch McConnell, and every other Republican legislator who has blocked gun regulations, also have blood on your hands!!!  And U.S. Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, sent thoughts and prayers and said he disdains any discussion on gun legislation.  YOU, Cancún Cruz, also have blood on your hands!!!

Days like today, I am so very thankful for a President who is compassionate and caring.  President Biden gave a speech yesterday evening where he said …

“Another massacre at a Texas elementary school. Beautiful, innocent second, third, fourth graders. As a nation, we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone, the courage to do more and then stand up to the lobbies? It’s time to turn this pain into action. I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage. For God’s sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry.”

And former President Barack Obama issued a statement …

“Nearly 10 years after Sandy Hook — and 10 days after Buffalo — our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies. It’s long past time for action, any kind of action. And it’s another tragedy — a quieter but no less tragic one — for families to wait another day.”

I cannot help but share the pain of the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents and friends of those 19 children tonight.  Picture being a parent at work, getting that phone call …

Eleven days ago, ten people were murdered in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.  Yesterday, 20 people, 19 of them children, were murdered in school, just two days before the end of the school year.  Where are all those ‘pro-life’ people???  Probably out there carrying signs that read “You can’t take my guns!” or some such drivel.  My granddaughter, when I told her about the school shooting, asked what kind of country this has become.  Not a very nice one, I’m afraid.

Just as I was finishing this post, I saw one from John Pavlovitz that I hope you’ll take a moment to read, for he said it far better than I ever could.  I hope you can understand why this post replaced today’s ‘good people’ post.  I will try to get one out later this week, but if not, there’s always next Wednesday.


We women have been ranting endlessly since the draft of the Supreme Court decision that will almost certainly become final next month reversing the long-standing Roe v Wade was leaked. I’ve done my share of ranting, and I ain’t done yet! But when a man is as passionate on the issue as we women are, I sit up and take notice! Our friend rawgod posted this earlier today and I think it deserves a wider audience. Thank you, rg, for your passionate defense of women’s rights!

Ideas From Outside the Boxes

The following is a comment (slightly altered) I just sent to a woman who wants to see Roe vs Wade repealed. She thinks women should not have a choice to abort a fetus, because to her, the (potential) life of a fetus is more important than the life of the woman carrying that fetus. We were carrying on a written conversation when I had a kind of epiphany. I had heard people saying RvW is more important than just the right to choose. It has deeper implications. Then, in an instant, I saw what repealing RvW really meant. Here is my response:

Please allow me to add, I appreciate that without women there would be no human race. Women are the mothers of all. But that does not mean women are “Only Mothers!” Women have lives too, and motherhood as birthers of children is secondary! Until a woman is ready…

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