A Wake-Up Call

I’ve mentioned a few times that I wonder, as Trump sees his poll numbers sliding and as we move closer and closer to election day, what new tricks Trump will try to ensure his re-election.  It seems he has pulled a number of tricks out of his sleazy bag, but are there more?  Robert Reich’s column in The Guardian today shows us what has been done, and what is left that could happen.  We all need to be aware, to stay on our toes, to be ready to fight back.  And most of all … on November 3rd … VOTE!

Donald Trump’s re-election playbook: 25 ways he’ll lie, cheat and abuse his power

From now until November, opponents of the most lawless president in history face a fight for democracy itself

Robert Reich-4By Robert Reich

Donald Trump will do anything to be re-elected. His opponents are limited because they believe in democracy. Trump has no limits because he doesn’t.

Here’s Trump’s re-election playbook, in 25 simple steps:

1) Declare yourself above the law.

2) Use racist fearmongering. Demand “law and order” and describe protesters as “thugs”, “lowlife” and “rioters and looters”. Describe Covid-19 as “kung-flu”. Retweet posts from white supremacists. In your campaign ads, use a symbol associated with Nazis.

3) Appoint an attorney general more loyal to you than to America, and politicize the Department of Justice so it’s lenient on your loyalists and comes down hard on your enemies. Have it lighten the sentence of a crony convicted of lying under oath. Order investigations of industries you dislike.

4) Fire US attorneys who are investigating you.

5) Fire independent inspectors general who are looking into what you’ve done. Crush any whistleblowers you find.

6) Demean and ignore the intelligence community. Appoint a director of national intelligence more loyal to you than to America. Demand that the head of the FBI pledge loyalty to you.

7) Pack the federal courts with judges and justices more loyal to you than to the constitution.

8) Politicize the Department of Defense so generals will back whatever you order. Refer to them as “my generals”. Have them help clear out protesters. Order the military to surveil protesters. Tell governors you’ll bring in the military to stop protesters.

9) Purge your party of anyone disloyal to you and turn it into a mindless, brainless, spineless cult.

10) Get rid of accumulated experience and expertise in government. Demean career public servants. Hollow out the state department, the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and public health.

11) Reward donors and cronies with bailouts, tax breaks, subsidies, government contracts, regulatory rollbacks and plum jobs. Put their lobbyists in charge of your agencies. Distribute $500bn in pandemic assistance to corporations in secret, without any oversight.

12) Coddle dictators. Don’t criticize their human rights abuses. Refuse to work with the leaders of other democracies. Withdraw from international treaties.

13) Create scapegoats. Demonize migrants and lock up asylum seekers at the border, even if they’re children. Put a white nationalist in charge of immigration policy. Blame Muslims, Mexicans and Chinese.

14) Denigrate and ridicule all critics. Describe opponents as “human scum”. Attack the mainstream media as purveyors of “fake news” and “enemies of the people”.

15) Conjure up conspiracies supposedly led by your predecessor and your opponent in the last election. Without any evidence, accuse your predecessor of “treason”. Fabricate a “deep state” out to get you.

16) Downplay real threats to the nation, such as a rapidly spreading pandemicLie about your utter failure to contain it. Muzzle public health experts. Urge people to go back to work even as the pandemic worsens in parts of the country.

17) Encourage armed supporters to “liberate” states from elected officials who disagree with you.

18) Bribe other nations to investigate your electoral opponent and flood social media with lies about him.

19) Use rightwing propaganda machines like Fox News and conspiracy-theory-peddling One America News to inundate the country with your lies. Ensure that the morally bankrupt chief executive of Facebook allows you to spread your lies on the biggest media machine in the world.

20) Suppress the votes of people likely to vote against youIntimidate voters of color. Encourage Republican governors to purge voter rolls, demand voter ID and close polling places.

21) Seek to prevent mail-in ballots during the pandemic. Claim they will cause voter fraud, without evidence. Threaten to close the US postal service.

22) Get Vladimir Putin to hack into US election machinesas he did in 2016 but can now do with more experience and deftness. Promise him that in return you’ll further destabilize America as well as Nato. Let him even place a bounty on killing US troops in Afghanistan.

23) If it still looks like you’ll be voted out, try to postpone the election.

24) If you’re voted out of office notwithstanding all this, refuse to leave. Contest the election, claim massive fraud, say it’s a conspiracy, get your cult of a political party to support your lies, get your propaganda machine to repeat them, get your justice department to back you, get your judges and justices to affirm you, get your generals to suppress any subsequent rebellion.

25) Declare victory.

Memo to America: beware Trump’s playbook. Spread the truth. Stay vigilant. Fight for our democracy.


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

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

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

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

And meanwhile, on the other side of town …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Teflon Donnie

A day or two ago (I lose track anymore) I posted an opinion by a citizen of the UK listing the reasons the Brits do not like Donald Trump (putting it mildly). Today, a UK friend has chimed in with his view of Trump, his many scams, and now his attempt to destroy the USPS as we know it. I’m coming to see that our friends across the pond see our own situation more clearly than we do sometimes. Thanks David … great summation!


During the 1980,s the Teflon Don, John  Gotti of the New York Gambino family was so named because he survived 3 high profile trials. That the trials were fixed didn’t come out until later. He died in 2002 in prison though.

I mention this only for the similarity to Teflon Donnie who may or may not be associated with any crime families in New York other than his own. Trump University ran a scam . They offered courses in real estate and asset management and wealth creation. The organisation was not accredited so awarded no certificates but used high pressure tactics to sell retreat places.There was a lawsuit in 2013 which doesn’t seem to have gone anywhere. But two class action cases in federal Court llad to him saying he would not settle but then after being given the Presidency in 2016 he settles the cases for 25 million.


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The Post Office is in Trouble. Here’s How to Help.

The United States Postal Service is one of those things we use every single day, but we rarely give it much thought, taking for granted that we will receive our daily mail and be able to send letters, cards and packages for a (mostly) reasonable price. Many of us receive life-saving medications by mail, we order necessities or even food, we receive our bills by mail. But today, the fool on the hill is threatening to allow the USPS to go broke, in part because he fears what will happen in November if we can all cast our vote by mail. Our friend TokyoSand has written an excellent post summarizing the situation and with a few suggestions for what we can do to help … please read!



Is the U.S. Post Office, enshrined in the Constitution, really about to go bust?

The Post Office is in financial dire straits, yes. It is also true that they’ve been under tremendous financial strain before and received help from Congress. So what’s happening now? Let’s go through a quick rundown.

Why is the Post Office in trouble?

The Post Office is in trouble because the coronavirus has sharply curtailed how much mail is being sent by businesses. Late last week Postmaster General Megan Brennan informed Congress of the dire situation. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), the chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the Post Office said this after their briefing, “[T]he pandemic has completely changed the environment here. The mail volume drop is catastrophic.” Just last week, the drop in mail volume was around 30%, and it is expected to get as high as 50% as the pandemic wears on.

The Post…

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A Squirrelly-Jolly Monday …

Good Monday morning friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are ready to head back to the salt mines!  Do any of you actually work in salt mines?  No?  That’s what I thought.  Where did that expression come from anyway … I’ve never in my life known anybody who worked in salt mines.  Sigh … now you know my curiosity is stoked and I have to know … hold on a sec …

According to one site,  “This term alludes to the Russian practice of punishing prisoners by sending them to work in the salt mines of Siberia. Today the term is only used ironically.” So now you know … you’ve already learned something this week, and it’s only Monday morning!

Since I was lazy last Monday and didn’t provide coffee & donuts, I got up extra early this morning to bake some special treats.  So, grab a cup and a snack, pull up a chair, and let’s see what fun things we can find to start out the week!

Squirrels, squirrels, squirrels!!!

squirrel clipartEverywhere I looked for fun stories, it seems I came across … squirrels!  The first one involves six baby squirrels who had the most unique problem … their tails were all tangled together!!!squirrels-1squirrels-2Luckily, some good Samaritan noticed that something was not quite right, as the squirrels were all moving together as a single unit.  Closer inspection showed their tails all tangled together.  Animal control was called, and the babies were taken to the Nebraska Wildlife Rehab center where Laura Stastny gave them a mild sedative, covered them with a towel to comfort them, and went to work untangling.  It turns out that tree sap was the culprit, making their tails sticky.  After snipping off as much as she could of the sap-covered fur, Laura gently untangled them.  They are doing fine, according to Laura, although several of them will need surgery to remove parts of their tails that were damaged while tangled.

One day last week, Kellen Moore of Gaylord, Michigan, started his car, but noticed a really strange noise that seemed to be coming from the air-conditioning.  So, he turned the car off, got out and popped the hood, to find …pinecones under hoodThat’s right, folks … pinecones!  About 50 pounds worth of pine cones, in fact.  Turns out squirrels had been stashing the pinecones there … and it took Kellen and his co-worker Gabe Awrey nearly an hour to remove them all.  Now … I’m a little puzzled and wondering just how long the car had been parked in the same spot, because it seems to me that it would take quite a long time for squirrels to carry that many pine cones and stash them under the hood. squirrel with pinecone

A resident in the Southwark neighborhood of London last week called the RSPCA to report there was a squirrel stuck in their toilet! squirrel in toiletAnimal Collection Officer Kirstie Gillard was able to put the handle of a mop into the toilet, the squirrel climbed onto the mop handle, and she was able to pull him out to safety.  He was uninjured, and was released back into the wild.

Karamel is the squirrel’s name, and she lives in Turkey.  No, not the bird, Joe, the country!  Karamel was caught in a hunter’s trap 😠 and both her front legs had to be amputated.  But now for the good news.  In Istanbul, about 700 miles from Batman, Turkey, where Karamel was rescued, there is a man named Tayfun Demir, who is a rescuer of squirrels.  Karamel was taken to Mr. Demir, who saw to her recovery and adopted her into his family of squirrels.

But Tayfun wanted more for Karamel … he wanted to help her regain her mobility, so he enlisted the help of professionals from Istanbul Aydın University who had experience in building prostheses and other mobility devices.  It took a while for Karamel to recover, and a few tries before the mobility device was just right for her, but … well, see for yourself …

A squirrel-less tale …

Dushaun Henderson-Spruce submitted a U.S. Postal Service change of address form on Oct. 26, 2017 requesting a change of address from an address in Atlanta to the address of his apartment on Chicago’s North Side.  The post office duly updated the address, and Henderson-Spruce began receiving mail at his new address.  Only problem was, it wasn’t his mail he had diverted, but that of the United Parcel Service, commonly known as UPS!

UPS truckNo, he wasn’t receiving packages, but the address in Atlanta that he had changed to his own was the business office of UPS, and he began receiving mail addressed to UPS. The scam went on for three months, and prosecutors say that he deposited ten checks totaling $58,000 to his account during that time.  The mail contained personal identifying information of employees, as well as business checks and invoices, according to the affadavit. He was also sent American Express corporate credit cards.

Finally, on 16 January, UPS realized something was not right and contacted the Postal Service.  It took another 12 days, but finally on 25 January, postal inspectors searched Henderson-Spruce’s apartment in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood and found about 3,000 pieces of mail addressed to the company in Atlanta.

Now, Dushaun wasn’t too bright, for he tried briefly to claim that it was just a mix-up that wasn’t his fault, and that his identity had been stolen.  Obviously that didn’t fly, and he now faces federal charges of mail theft, which carries a maximum sentence of five years, and mail fraud, which can be up to twenty years.  I will refrain from any snarky comments about the efficiency of the USPS.

And last, but not least … take a look at these pictures.

Great photography, yes?  No! These are not photographs, but paintings by Kei Mieno, a 33-year-old Japanese artist born in Hiroshima who has been painting professionally for more than 10 years.  Kei specializes in hyperrealism, and the details and texture of his paintings are so precise that it‘s not difficult to confuse them with a photo.

Okay, my friends … let’s get this week started, shall we?  It might help if I remind you that next Monday is a holiday in the U.S., Memorial Day, so you’ll be getting an extra day with your weekend, followed by a short work week!  I hope you all have a wonderful and maybe even productive week this week.  Please do remember to share those gorgeous smiles I see on your faces … they are too precious not to share!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa.

An’ from me, Boo!  ‘Member me?
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