More than a few times in the last week, I have found myself dreading to even log onto any of the news sites. Blogging friend Brian, concerned for my emotional well-being, advised me to take an entire week away from the news, and while I so greatly appreciate him caring, I simply find that I cannot. Every day brings a new abomination, and somehow, I feel an obligation to keep up. In part, it is because I think part of the goal of Trump & Co is to overwhelm us to the point that we simply tune out. I’m determined not to do that … I simply cannot. A number of my friends and readers have at least partly tuned out, and I understand that … I really do … but I cannot. Writing this blog is the catharsis that offsets, to a greater or lesser degree, the angst … I think. Anyway … with that in mind, I can do nothing but give you yet another batch of … Snarky Snippets!
Two thumbs up …
To New York City for a positive move on homelessness. While Donald Trump, on his visit to California earlier this year, complained that …
“We have people living in our best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings, where people in those buildings pay tremendous taxes.”
Meanwhile, New York City is expected to pass a new bill in the coming week that will force developers of designated affordable-housing projects to set aside 15 percent of the units for the homeless. This could ultimately add as many as 1,000 apartments for the homeless per year, almost doubling the 1,300 already in existence. Many other cities have similar requirements, but none as ambitious as this one.
The homeless rate in the United States has increased in recent years, despite Trump’s claims that the economy is doing so great. New York City alone has increased from 64,000 in 2014 to 79,000 in 2019. The increase is partly due to stagnant wages … the low unemployment rate doesn’t address wages … and partly to the increased cost of housing. The rent in my own small (1,190 sq ft) townhouse has increased from $625 when we first rented it in 1998 to $1,162 in 2019 – an 86% increase in 21 years, though nothing has been replaced, not carpet, linoleum, paint, fixtures or appliances, in that time. And this is in a low-income neighborhood! How a person earning minimum wage … which, by the way, has not increased since 2009, ten years ago … could afford even basic housing, plus utilities and food, is beyond me!
Disenfranchising more voters?
Earlier this evening, I saw a tweet by my least favoured representative, Warren Davidson, that called for stricter voting laws. His comparison was ludicrous …
“Saying #VoterID laws suppress voter turnout is similar to saying background checks suppress gun ownership. All polling locations should require #VoterID just like all firearms dealers require a background check.”
Since I take great pride in harassing him at least once a day, I responded with an explanation of the difference between gun ownership and voting, and asked him if he was really that stupid, or if he was just pretending.
But, to the point … Donald Trump has had a very low approval rating for the entirety of his presidency, and now he is being impeached. The republicans are getting worried about his electability … understandable, since they have tied their carts to his pony. So, red states are trying to pass more restrictive Voter I.D. laws, and anything else they can do to disenfranchise the poor and minorities who tend to vote largely democrat.
The State of Wisconsin has taken an approach that I find absolutely disgusting. In October, they sent letters to hundreds of thousands of voters, asking them to respond if they were still at that address or to update their registrations if they had moved. Sounds innocuous enough, right? Perhaps it was, in the beginning, but conservatives filed a lawsuit alleging that to avoid fraud, the commission should have thrown out the registrations of voters who did not respond to the mailing within 30 days! The Election Commission had initially planned to throw out those registrations in April of 2021, after the election, if the people who didn’t respond also didn’t vote.
But, on Friday Ozaukee County Judge Paul Malloy ordered the state to take as many as 234,000 people off its registered-voter list who had not responded to the letter within the 30-day period. Now, I can tell you that if I received such a letter, it would probably go straight in the trash, for I take such things with a grain of salt and don’t have time for such foolishness. Turns out that the majority of those letters were sent to voters in districts that were won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 … coincidence? I don’t think so.
See, here’s the thing … Trump won Wisconsin by a very narrow margin – less than 1%. So, there is a push to ensure some of those voters who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, cannot vote at all in 2020.
A law unto himself …
Remember how there were a number of people who had heard Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, several of whom found the call deeply troubling, and one found the courage to become “the whistle-blower”, which has led to the impeachment that is almost certain to take place on Wednesday? Well … the Trump administration has fixed that problem for any future phone calls. According to CNN …
“Donald Trump’s senior aides have further restricted the number of administration officials allowed to listen to the President’s phone calls with foreign leaders. Transcripts of Trump’s calls with world leaders are also disseminated to a far smaller group of people inside the White House, continuing an effort to limit the number of people with insight and information about the conversations.”
It’s rather like the child who, getting caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar, learns to make sure that next time, mommy is in the bathroom before dipping into the jar. Well, it fits, doesn’t it, for we have a child in the Oval Office.
Make of this what you will, but I find it deeply concerning. It’s yet another attempt at covering up his actions, rather than promoting that ‘transparency’ he promised some three years ago. Remember the ‘swamp’ he was going to drain? That swamp was a rose garden compared to the swamp he has built.
Well, folks, that’s all I have time for tonight! Enjoy what’s left of your weekend!