Jaw-Dropping Snarky Snippets …

The radar is busy tonight, so many different things on the screen that have me gritting my teeth and wearing the scowl that seems to be permanently etched on my face.  The first snippet is one that will give you nightmares.


He can’t keep a secret …

Just yesterday evening, CNN reported that a Russian spy who was operating in a high-level capacity within Putin’s government, was extracted by the U.S. in mid-2017, in part because high-ranking intelligence officials feared that Trump’s inability to keep his mouth shut would put the spy’s life in danger.  Believe it or not, Trump sycophant Mike Pompeo, who was then the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was behind the move.

The decision was made shortly after the May 2017 meeting in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, much to the horror of the intelligence community.

There were other reasons the intelligence community felt the “asset” might be compromised, but think about this one for just a minute, folks.  The ‘man’ who holds the highest position in the government of a nation of some 330 million people, a ‘man’ who is privy to nearly every bit of classified information in the nation, is not trusted by his own intelligence people, cannot be trusted to keep a secret, to keep his mouth shut.  He needs a keeper … make that a tag-team of keepers … lest he give his buddy Putin the nuclear codes!  Ponder on that one as you drift off to sleep tonight.


Irresponsible to the nth degree …

I wanted to laugh, I wanted to cry … instead I held my head and let forth a string of language that is not appropriate for this blog.  Former Goldman Sachs executive and current Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced that there will likely be more tax cuts in 2020!  What made me laugh about the whole thing was remembering 1988 when George Bush, Sr., said repeatedly – “Read my lips:  no new taxes”, and now I would applaud a president who promised “No new tax cuts!  My how times change.

“I think there’s no question the U.S. economy is in very good shape. As we look around the world, there’s no question that China is slowing, Europe is slowing — the U.S. is the bright spot of the world. And regards to a middle-class tax cut, you know, we’ll be looking at tax cuts 2.0, something that will be something we’ll consider next year. But right now, the economy is in very, very good shape.”

mnuchin-2

Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury

Trump and Mnuchin obviously need lessons in how budgets and economies work.  Our national debt is spiraling out of control, currently at $22 trillion and growing every day, and they want to give another tax cut?  Crazy!  Why?  Because, my friends, next November 3rd we will all go vote for either Trump or a democrat … and Trump figures if he can tout another tax cut that won’t help any but his rich friends, we will all fall to our knees and kiss his feet and then go to the polls and vote for him.  This, my friends, is madness.  Just about the very last thing this nation needs is another tax cut.

To further cut taxes is the height of fiscal irresponsibility, yet those who are easily fooled will applaud, will believe that they are getting something … never mind that their grocery bills have increased by $40 per month as a result of Trump’s tariffs, and never mind that the cost of a gallon of gasoline has increased by 43% since 2016.  Meanwhile, the companies to whom you give your hard-earned dollars like Exxon, Amazon, Netflix, Delta, IBM, etc., will happily pay no taxes at all.  Don’t be fooled, folks … sooner or later, the economy will reflect the perfidy of cutting income by removing taxes from the ones who can most afford it.


Dynasty???  I think not …

Trump’s creepy re-election campaign manager, Brad Parscale, has a plan …

Parscale

Brad Parscale, Trump campaign manager

“The Trumps will be a dynasty that will last for decades, propelling the Republican Party into a new party. One that will adapt to changing cultures. One must continue to adapt while keeping the conservative values that we believe in. I think they’re all amazing people, with amazing capabilities. I think you see that from Don Jr. I think you see that from Ivanka. You see it from Jared.”

I think that Mr. Parscale defines the word ‘amazing’ much differently than the rest of us.  I find them all a bit ignorant and a whole lot ugly, both inside and out.  One Trump is more than enough, thank you Brad.  If I believed his prediction for a single minute, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this post, but would be headed to the nearest point of exit from this country.


Science vs Trump …

wilbur-ross

Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce

Remember last week’s fiasco with Trump, the sharpie, Hurricane Dorian and Alabama?  Well, today the New York Times reported that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross actually threatened to fire top employees at NOAA, the federal scientific agency responsible for weather forecasts, for correcting Trump’s dangerous misinformation.  I said last week that it is a very dangerous situation when any politician, but especially one with the power of the president, can control what scientific information the public has access to.  That Trump’s minion Ross was all too willing to do his bidding, to fire scientists to assuage Trump’s ego, is horrendous.

We also found out that it was Ross himself who contacted Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, from Greece where Ross was traveling and instructed Dr. Jacobs to fix the agency’s perceived contradiction of the president.  Fix it???  It wasn’t broken!  It was accurate … it was Trump’s statement that needed fixing, that was erroneous.

So now, do all scientists need to petition Trump for permission to state their findings on every front?


Still more competition!

Mark-Sanford.jpg

Mark Sanford, 2020 GOP Candidate

Yet another republican has thrown his hat in the ring for the party’s nomination for the 2020 presidential election.  First there was Bill Weld, then Joe Walsh, and now Mark Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina.  This one must really frighten Trump for some reason, as he became somewhat unhinged … oh wait, he was already unhinged, wasn’t he?  In a series of tweets, Trump attacked Sanford …

“When the former Governor of the Great State of South Carolina, @MarkSanford, was reported missing, only to then say he was away hiking on the Appalachian Trail, then was found in Argentina with his Flaming Dancer friend, it sounded like his political career was over. It was, but then he ran for Congress and won, only to lose his re-elect after I Tweeted my endorsement, on Election Day, for his opponent. But now take heart, he is back, and running for President of the United States. The Three Stooges, all badly failed candidates, will give it a go!”

‘Twould seem Trump is running a bit scared, eh?  I will have more about Sanford, but for tonight, I am out of steam!


The conclusion to this collection of snippets can only be one thing:  Trump must go!Trump-must-go

 

Above The Law … Once Again!

Donald Trump claims to be above the law.  That is a matter of opinion, however since he has selectively placed his lackeys such as William Barr in key positions, for the moment, it seems to be the case that he cannot be held accountable.  The exception, of course, would be if Congress would use their Constitutional oversight authority, but with the likes of Mitchell McConnell in the position of Senate Majority Leader, that seems highly unlikely.  So, okay, Donald Trump is effectively, though not legally, above the law.

But Trump is not alone.  Attorney General William Barr has placed himself effectively, though not legally, above the law by refusing to answer a subpoena issued by the House of Representatives.  Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross claims immunity from the law, as he too refused to respond to a subpoena by the House.  How many others?  I’ve lost count.  But this latest one … this is too much.

Trump’s personal mouthpiece, Kellyanne Conway, has been found by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to be in violation of the Hatch Act.  The Office of Special Counsel is led by a Trump appointee, Henry J. Kerner, and it was he who testified before the House Oversight Panel last month that Kellyanne had violated the Hatch Act not just once, but repeatedly, and he called on Trump to terminate Ms. Conway’s employment.  Trump immediately refused to do so.

The Hatch Act, for those who may not be familiar with it, is a United States federal law whose main provision prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government, except the president, vice-president, and certain designated high-level officials, from engaging in some forms of political activity.

The counsel states that Conway participated in media interviews and used her social media accounts, with her title, to engage in activity affecting the midterm elections. She has also made a number of remarks aimed at 2020 democratic presidential candidates including Senator Cory Booker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, and former Vice President Joe Biden. She has also openly endorsed Trump’s re-election. According to the letter by Mr. Kerner …

“Ms. Conway’s advocacy against the Democratic candidates and open endorsement of the President’s reelection effort during both official media appearances and on her Twitter account constitute prohibited political activity under the Hatch Act.”

Not once, not twice, but multiple times.  Remember when she almost got in trouble for urging people, on television, to buy from Ivanka Trump’s clothing line?  Kellyanne doesn’t seem to learn.  But then, she has Trump to bail her out, so why does she need to try to ‘do the right thing’?

Kellyanne was cordially invited to testify, to present her side if she had one, before the House Oversight Committee, but “the White House” declined the invitation on her behalf.  So, committee chairman Elijah Cummings issued a subpoena.  And guess what?  She defied the subpoena.  Therefore, we can only conclude that Kellyanne also considers herself to be above the law.

Now, here’s the thing, folks.  Trump said during his 2016 campaign that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue in New York and shoot somebody, and he would get by with it.  When he said it, we all rolled our eyes and said, “Yeah, right, Bozo.”  But today, it is no laughing matter, for he has declared himself above the law and his lackeys, including the United States Department of Justice, will support him.  And now, that privilege extends to his entire staff, all the way down to his paid mouthpiece.

But let me tell you something.  If I stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue in New York, or my street in Podunk USA and shoot someone, I will be immediately put to death by police who shoot first and ask questions later.  If I am issued a subpoena by a federal agency and I defy that subpoena, I will be shot dead by police who will claim I was resisting arrest (because I would be resisting, but that’s a minor detail).

If the likes of Trump and Conway are not held accountable to the very laws that they have sworn to uphold, then is there any law & justice in the United States?  Trump has stated that Article II of the United States Constitution gives him the authority to do “whatever I want”.  It doesn’t, but somebody has to draw the line.  Typically, that would fall to the Attorney General and Congress, but we cannot count on either.  So, if Kellyanne is immune, and William Barr is immune, then it must follow that any and all of Trump’s cabinet members are immune from being held accountable … for anything.

If that isn’t enough, coupled with Trump’s atrocious racist running commentary against four members of the House of Representatives for the past 48 hours on Twitter, and coupled with Robert Mueller’s citation of no less than ten incidences of obstruction of justice by Trump … if all that isn’t enough for the House of Representatives to open an impeachment inquiry, then I don’t know why we even have a Congress!  To the members of the House, I say:  Off your asses, folks … it’s showtime!  It’s now or never!  Use it or lose it!!!

And, to add a bit of humour to the topic, if that’s possible, I have invited Mr. Seth Meyers to contribute his take on the topic.

Just Don’t Answer …

Last week, the Supreme Court did its job.  It told the Trump administration that it would not approve of Trump’s ignominious citizenship question on the 2020 census form, for it is basically a poorly-disguised attempt to discriminate against Hispanics for political gain.  I agreed with that assessment and the Court’s decision, though I did not agree with Chief Justice John Roberts giving Trump lawyers an opportunity to come up with a better ‘rationale’.  In other words, “go think up a more credible lie”.citizenship questionThe Justice Department appeared ready to give up the ghost and sent word that they were conceding and would abide by the decision of the Supreme Court.  But then, apparently Trump threw a royal tantrum, and within hours, the Justice Department was back in the news saying that no, they decided to pursue the matter, and that all lawyers would be required to cancel their Fourth of July plans to spend the day ‘brainstorming’ to come up with that ‘better rationale’.

Apparently, all the king’s lawyers and all the king’s men couldn’t put together a plausible excuse as to why they want to add the loaded citizenship question to the census.  Now here comes the part that should sent chills down your spine.  Trump announced that he is considering an executive order to circumvent the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, the final authority on all legal questions and disputes.  He is considering an executive order to add the citizenship question.  He is considering an executive order, in essence, to say that he, Donald J. Trump, is the only and final law, and that no other laws apply to him.

Think about that one for a minute.

I said long ago that his use of executive orders was not only excessive, but bordered on being illegal.  But, if he chooses to go this route, there is one last option:  Congress can overturn an executive order by passing legislation that invalidates it.  But, of course, there’s the rub.  The Senate is having a “let’s sit on our asses and not pass a damn thing” session, and even in the House, it is doubtful that any such legislation could attain a veto-proof (2/3) majority because the House Freedom Caucus would no doubt vote against any such legislation.

And so, I say to you, my friends … if Trump signs an executive order demanding that a citizenship question be included in next year’s census, then there is no law that applies to Donald Trump.

Think about that one for another minute.

What do you have when a person at the head of government is not constrained one bit by anything … not the legislature, not the highest court in the land?  What you have is not a president, nor a prime minister, what you have is a dictator or a king.  Since Trump has no royal blood, he cannot be a king, and so … Heil Herr Trump.

I urge you, if the question is on the census form next year, to skip over it … DO NOT ANSWER IT!  Most people in the U.S. who are reading this blog are citizens, most born in the U.S., but it doesn’t matter … DO NOT ANSWER THAT QUESTION!  I definitely will not answer it.  I have skipped questions in prior year’s census that I felt were invasive or just flat out none of their damn business, and I absolutely will not answer this one!

The Court Has Spoken

The United States Supreme Court handed down two decisions today that will impact whether next year’s election is a fair and honest election or not.  While one of those decisions was a proper decision, it is only a temporary one.  The other decision basically handed next year’s election to the Republican Party.

First the (sort of) good …

The Court put on hold Wilbur Ross (Secretary of Commerce) and Donald Trump’s attempt to intimidate voters by adding a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census form that every household is required to complete.  The Court said that the administration had presented a ‘contrived’ reason for adding the question, but rather than strike down the measure, they merely put the ball back in the administration’s court and told them to come up with a better reason, a more defensible justification.

What happens next with this is anybody’s guess, but the Department of Commerce will begin printing the census forms this summer, so there is not much time to make a final decision.  No doubt the government, such as it is, will find a way around it and make up some seemingly legitimate reason for adding the question.  Stay tuned …

The second decision handed down by the Court was a travesty of justice.  The issue was gerrymandering and whether the courts have the authority to order states to re-draw district maps that are currently drawn in such a way as to diminish the votes of the poor and minorities.  For a simple explanation of how gerrymandering works, see my post from February 2018.  Gerrymandering is a large part of how Donald Trump came to sit in the Oval Office, for in many states he lost the popular vote, but because of the way votes were apportioned, he won enough districts to nullify the votes of many.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, concluding …

“We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts. Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions.”

Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her dissenting opinion …

“For the first time ever, this court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities.”

The Court understandably walks a fine line here, for it is intended to be non-partisan, and this is a highly partisan issue.  But, there is no fine line when it comes to fairness!  There is no grey area here!  States whose citizenry is majority republican have drawn their district maps to ensure that republicans will receive the largest number of electoral votes.  It isn’t debatable, it is simply WRONG!

The ramifications of this decision go beyond the obvious.  Think about this.  If you are a democrat in a predominantly republican state, and your state’s districts are heavily gerrymandered, skewed to ensure that minority votes are diluted, doesn’t that dim some of your enthusiasm for even voting?  One of the biggest problems we have on election day is getting people out to vote.  This is especially true of the poor and the minorities, for whom voting has been intentionally made more difficult than it needs to be by unfair voter I.D. laws, closing or reduction of polling places in lower-income neighborhoods, and other cheap tricks.  I can easily picture the single mom who has to take an hour-long bus ride after work to reach her polling place on the other side of town just throwing her hands up and saying, “Forget it!  I don’t have time for this when my vote isn’t going to count fairly anyway!”

What’s next?  Will the Court find a way to rule that voter harassment is not unconstitutional, so men in white robes and hoods can stand in front of polling venues?  Might just as damn well!

So much rides on next year’s election, folks.  On November 3rd next year, We the People are supposed to make a choice between turning this nation over to a madman who represents only a minority of the people for the foreseeable future, or a person who will safeguard our Constitution, who will represent ALL the people who reside in this nation, not just the chosen few.  Due to outside influences in our election process, and due to lack of voter education, the odds are already stacked against sanity reigning.  This is just one more blow to the possibility of having a fair and honest election … possibly a death blow.

Many times, I have said that we must hope the one completely independent branch of our government, the courts, would stop Trump from completely destroying this nation.  The Court has spoken.supreme court justices

OBSTRUCTION!!!

Donald Trump is playing games with our lives.  Today, in a strictly retaliatory move against Congress and We the People, he played that tired old “executive privilege” card.  Congress had made known earlier this week its intent to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for failure to answer the subpoenas they were issued by the House Oversight Committee to release certain documents.  Trump threatened that if they did so, he would invoke ‘executive privilege’ on the documents the committee had requested regarding how a citizenship question came to be added to the 2020 census form.  Just a few hours ago, Trump acted on his threat and invoked that ‘executive privilege’ that he has so often used and abused.

Congress has not only a constitutional right, but a constitutional mandate to investigate, to find the truth. That truth is being hidden, kept from Congress, purloined from the public.  This move reeks of dictatorship, of an authoritarian government, one where the ‘man’ at the top considers himself to be a supreme leader, rather than a democratically elected public servant.

Trump’s refusal to allow documents to be released, his threats and bullying key witnesses to keep them from testifying before Congress is nothing less than obstruction of justice.  The Mueller report laid out nearly a dozen proven instances in which Trump had obstructed, or attempted to obstruct, the ongoing investigation. Nothing has changed … he is still obstructing justice and has become even more blatant about it, for nobody and nothing to date has stopped him.  His minions, his boot-lickers both in the cabinet, the White House staff, and in Congress have lied and covered for him, have pointed the finger of blame in every direction except the right one, and thus we now have a dictator who believes that he has the right to hide the truth, to trample the Constitution for his own purposes.

Trump is a ‘fake’ president and is leading this nation down a dark path.  Yes, folks, he most definitely IS guilty of obstruction of justice, as recently as five hours ago!  We the People are being increasingly kept in the dark, being given only the tidbits that Trump wants us to have.  Do you know when was the last time Sarah Huckabee Sanders held a White House Press Briefing?  March 11th … 92 days ago!  More than three months.  During that time, she has been a regular on Fox News, but has disappeared from the legitimate press.  Not, mind you, that she ever told the truth anyway, but still …

As for William Barr and Wilbur Ross … I would like to see them both cited for contempt of Congress and given 24 hours to comply, else be arrested and put in jail just as you or I would be in similar circumstances.  As for Trump … he claims the Mueller report exonerated him.  It did not.  He claims “no collusion, no obstruction”.  He lies … he is guilty of both, but Mueller’s hands were tied, so he tossed the ball to Congress.  Now Trump and Co are trying to tie Congress’ hands.  If that isn’t obstruction, I don’t know what is.

Chris Britt / Illinois Times

R.J. Matson / Roll CallNick Anderson cartoonAdam Zyglis / Buffalo NewsJeff Danziger cartoon

Da Snarky Snippets Keep On Coming

Believe it or not, just a few years ago I was a mild-mannered person who rarely engaged in being snarky, or bouts of temper … yeah, right, who do I think I’m kidding?  Anyway, today I find that I have plenty of little snippets upon which to unload my snark.


Trump vs CNN – round #14

On Monday, little Donnie took umbrage … again … over CNN’s coverage of his _____________ (fill in the blank).  Could have been his proposed tariffs on imports from Mexico, could have been his meddling in the affairs of the UK, or perhaps his juvenile criticisms of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, or any number of other things he has done or said.

CNN is not alone in critiquing Trump’s words and actions, and they are not alone in drawing Trump’s ire, for he has frequently called out the New York Times and The Washington Post, calling them ‘fake news’, ‘failing’, and more.  But, he seems to have taken a particular dislike to CNN, and today he crossed a line.  Well, in truth, he has crossed many lines in the past and I’m inclined to say that every time he opens his mouth, he crosses a line.  However today, he called on the U.S. public to boycott AT&T, the parent company of CNN.  This, my friends, is unconscionable.

It is neither the job nor the right of the president to attempt to bring down a company simply because they don’t agree with him.  And it is damn sure not his right to attempt to manipulate the press … the FREE press.  Hell, the majority of people in the nation don’t agree with him … what’s he going to do … call on his shrinking base to ‘de-friend’ us on Facebook? In the opinion of historian Jon Meacham, who has written biographies of several presidents …

“For a president to call for punitive action against a corporation in an effort to shape news coverage is, to say the least, highly unusual. It’s the kind of behavior more commonly associated with authoritarian regimes, not democratic ones.”

More commonly associated with authoritarian regimes … what have I been saying for two years now?


Get em, Tiger!

“Unfortunately, your actions are part of a pattern. The Trump administration has been engaged in one of the most unprecedented cover-ups since Watergate, extending from the White House to multiple federal agencies and departments of the government and across numerous investigations.”

The above is an excerpt from letters written to both Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross yesterday by Elijah Cummings, Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.  Both Barr and Ross have defied the panel’s subpoena for information about efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Last week, we learned of a plot, if you will, to redistrict (gerrymander) political maps that would be “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites”, based on answers to a proposed citizenship question on the upcoming (2020) census form.  The information came to light following the release of documents belonging to the late Thomas Hofeller, a major republican strategist.

The republicans, from Donald Trump down to the lowliest cabinet member, are engaging in a dangerous game of cat and mouse in order to preserve their “dominance” in our government.  I hope that if Barr and Ross do not turn over the requested information, they both land behind bars in orange jumpsuits.  The same goes for Mnuchin, Trump, and all the others who think they are above the law.  It’s time to restore law and order to this damn country!


Jared Kushner deserves a medal … for ignorance

KushnerThere is likely a reason why Jared Kushner, son-in-law and boot-licker of Don Trump, doesn’t do many interviews … his utter ignorance and stupidity come out … in spades.  On Sunday, an interview he did with Jonathan Swan of Axios was aired.  A couple of snippets …

The first was about the false claim by Trump that Obama was not born in the U.S.

Swan: Was birtherism racist?

Kushner: Um, look, I wasn’t really involved in that.

Swan: I know you weren’t! Was it racist?

Kushner: Like I said, I wasn’t involved in that.

Swan: I know you weren’t! Was it racist?

Kushner: Um, look, I know who the president is, and I have not seen anything in him that is racist. So, again, I was not involved in that.

Swan: Did you wish he didn’t do that?

Kushner: Like I said, I was not involved in that. That was a long time ago.

Then when asked about his father-in-law’s ‘values’, or lack thereof …

Swan: Has your father-in-law ever challenged your values?

Kushner: Um, in what regard?

Swan: Well I mean when you were on the campaign you had Access Hollywood? There’s been other things you’ve had to deal with since then. I mean, like, it’s a sensitive question, but I mean it in the sense of you’re a son-in-law, you’re a husband, you’re a senior advisor. Does it make it sometimes harder to, to tell him the truth?

Kushner: No, I think he, he respects people who are willing to be honest with him. When I do disagree, you’ll never read about it in the press and I won’t say it publicly but I will say there’s a lot more things I agree with him on than disagree.

Swan: So you agree with him on economics and foreign policy. Where do you stand on abortion?

Kushner: Again, I was not uh the person who was elected.

Such brilliance, yes?  No wonder he has been put in charge of a Middle-East peace plan!  If you’re interested, you can find the full transcript in .pdf form here.


A royal welcome …

Donnie is over in the UK this week, sure to cause more problems than he solves.  But the Brits know how to make a guy feel welcome.  The baby blimp will fly later today, but here are a few pictures from yesterday’s many protests …

protest-1protest-2protest-3protest-4protest-5protest-6protest-grassProtest Against Donald Trump's State Banquet in LondonProtest Against Donald Trump's State Banquet in LondonProtest Against Donald Trump's State Banquet in London

I guess that proves how much everybody loves him across the pond, eh?


Well, I think that’s it for this morning.  Have a great Tuesday!

Say WHAT???

Just this morning I wrote about how Trump’s daughter-in-law disparaged the federal workers who are not being paid due to the Trump shutdown, and now this …

Commerce secretary doesn’t understand why unpaid federal workers use food banks

wilbur-rossSecretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said he doesn’t understand why federal workers are visiting food banks during the partial government shutdown, saying they should instead seek low-interest loans from banks and credit unions to supplement their lost wages.  Say WHAT???  How many banks or other institutions do you think are going to be eager to lend a substantial amount of money to a person who has no present income???  Even if they were able to take a loan, the first payment would come due in a month, and Trump appears to be gearing up for a multi-month shut down.  What then, Wilbur???  Oh, by the way … Wilbur Ross has a net worth of approximately $700 million.  Just sayin’.

And then … then he goes on to add insult to injury by saying that these 833,000 men and women who are going without pay through no fault of their own really don’t matter very much to the economy.

“If they never got their pay — which is not the case, they will eventually get it, but if they never got it, you’re talking about a third of a percent on our economy. So it’s not like it’s a gigantic number overall.”

What a slap in the face to the people who have worked for this government in good faith, some for decades.  What a weasel of a little ‘man’ Wilbur Ross is.

wilbur-ross-2

I can’t hear you …

This does, however, give me an idea!  In solidarity with the 833,000 workers who are not able to contribute to our economy by buying new televisions, cars, or other ‘things’, I suggest We The People stage our own ‘shutdown’ … a boycott of all non-essentials for the duration of this shutdown.  I was planning to purchase a new microwave within the coming month (I melted part of mine and now the little micro waves leak out), but I have decided to postpone that … and any other purchases … that are not essential.

I say we show Mr. Ross how very wrong he is!  And to our friends across the pond, I hope you will consider foregoing American-made products for the duration of the shutdown … frankly, you’d do better to buy Japanese products anyway.  Cutting off our nose to spite our face, as my mother used to say?  Not really … the one thing that Trump prides himself on is that despite his efforts to wreck it, the U.S. economy has remained relatively strong.  Threaten that, and perhaps he’ll do what he has to in order to open the government again.

And on a related note …

I would strongly urge all of you to avoid flying if at all possible.  Air traffic controllers and TSA employees are among those who are not being paid.  Fed up with the status quo, many have begun calling in sick, or just frankly saying they cannot afford the cost of transportation to come to work each day.  The three unions that represent air traffic controllers, pilots and flight attendants issued a statement:

“We have a growing concern for the safety and security of our members, our airlines, and the traveling public due to the government shutdown. This is already the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States and there is no end in sight. In our risk averse industry, we cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break. It is unprecedented.”

Let me go on record here and now as forewarning that if there is any major plane crash in U.S. airspace during this shutdown, it will rest squarely on Donald Trump’s shoulders.  I think it is only a matter of time.  Baggage is not being adequately inspected.  Air traffic controllers are spread thin, are frustrated and tired, which is bound to lead to a loss of focus, distraction.  Some are working second jobs driving for Uber or waiting tables. It is a very intense job that requires constant focus, constant attention to every little detail.  A few short seconds of distraction can lead to a disaster.  An un-inspected suitcase or carry-on could contain a bomb.

It is not my intent to be a harbinger of doom, but face it folks, this is serious.  This shutdown is playing with the lives of everyone in this nation.  It’s time we find ways to do our part to show Mr. Trump and the Senate that this is hurting the people they are supposed to represent and that we have had enough!

On Draining the ‘Swamp’ …

swamp-1Remember back in 2015-2016, that long, ugly, disgusting, tiresome campaign Trump conducted?  Yeah, who could forget, right, especially since he doesn’t seem to realize that the 2016 election has ended and the campaign is over, so he keeps holding more and more of his really crappy rallies where he still has his minions chanting “Lock her up!”, even though they have forgotten who it was he wanted locked up.  One of the many things that he spent that year-and-a-half (have I mentioned that it was a very looooooong year-and-a-half?) shoving down people’s throats was how he was going to “drain the swamp”, a euphemism for getting rid of corruption in the federal government.  Well, we now know, thanks to Kellyanne Conway, that Trump uses a different dictionary, a different vocabulary than we do, called ‘alternative facts’, and that by ‘drain the swamp’, what he really meant was he was planning to bring in much more lethal, corrupt, greedy, criminal gators ‘n crocs.

One of my favourite comedians, John Oliver, has applied his own special brand of humour to the notion of Trump ‘draining the swamp’, and it is worth a watch … both educational and humorous …

Thank you, John!swamp-4

Score Four For Justice!!!

There are some signs that perhaps judges and the courts are finally getting a bit fed up with the shenanigans of Donald Trump and his fellow GOP bullies.


Yesterday in Georgia, U.S. District Judge Eleanor L. Ross ruled that Georgia’s restrictive voting laws are likely to result in the violation of voting rights for a large group of people and needed to be halted immediately.

As I noted in a previous post the republican candidate running for governor, Brian Kemp, currently holds the position of Secretary of State and as such is the overseer of elections. Kemp has implemented strict “exact match” laws that may disqualify voters based on simple discrepancies, such as a dropped hyphen between the persons voter registration and other identification, such as a driver’s license.  Last month, a coalition of civil rights groups filed suit against Kemp.

In Friday’s ruling, Judge Ross said Kemp’s restrictions raised “grave concerns for the Court about the differential treatment inflicted on a group of individuals who are predominantly minorities.”  The preliminary injunction she issued required the state to change its procedures immediately to allow those flagged, some 3,100 individuals, to prove their citizenship more easily, with a U.S. passport or similar documentation.

Kemp was also ordered to issue a news release explaining how those flagged for potential citizenship issues could still vote by proving their citizenship, as well as offering a phone number for them to call with any questions.  Kemp’s actions as Secretary of State have been scrutinized in the wake of a report from the Associated Press that he had stalled more than 50,000 voter registrations by disproportionately black voters under the state’s exact-match requirements.

Score one for justice!  ⚖️


Did you think that with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court last month, the Court would be naught more than a mouthpiece for Trump and his policies?  Think again.  Yesterday, the Court refused a request by the Trump administration to delay an upcoming trial in which a number of states and civil rights organizations allege there was an improper political motive in Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.  The trial will begin as scheduled on Monday.

Administration lawyers had more than once asked the Supreme Court to disallow challengers from questioning Ross and other administration officials about their motivations in adding the question.  When they were unsuccessful, they then asked that the trial be delayed, presumably until some point after the mid-term elections.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch said they would have granted the Trump administration’s request to delay the trial.  It is unknown how Kavanaugh voted.

Score another for justice!  ⚖️


Also, on Friday evening, the Supreme Court once again ruled against Trump in the case filed by 21 young people who argue that the failure of government leaders to combat climate change violates their constitutional right to a clean environment.  The suit is currently pending before a federal judge in Oregon, but the Trump administration sought to halt the lawsuit, claiming that the “suit is based on an assortment of unprecedented legal theories, such as a substantive due process right to certain climate conditions, and an equal protection right to live in the same climate as enjoyed by prior generations.”

The goal of the lawsuit is to compel the government to scale back its support for fossil fuel extraction and production and to support policies aimed at reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

This is by no means the end, and the case is almost certain to ultimately land back in the laps of the Supreme Court justices, but for now, Trump did not have his way.

Score yet another for justice!  ⚖️


And finally, also on Friday, U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte in Greenbelt, Maryland, denied Trump’s request to stay a lawsuit alleging he is violating the Constitution by doing business with foreign governments.  Apart from the ruling against Kemp in Georgia, this is the one that had my heart doing a happy dance.

Additionally, Judge Messitte sharply questioned the president’s position that his business does not improperly accept gifts or payments — called emoluments — as defined by the Constitution.

The plaintiffs in the case, the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland, contend that the Trump hotel unfairly competes with convention centers and hotels in their jurisdictions. Among other documents, they are expected to seek records that reveal the identity of hotel guests who visited the White House on official business, as well as how much the president has profited. Ultimately, they could try to go after the president’s tax returns.

The Justice Department asked for the judge’s permission to appeal his rulings and to delay discovery in the meantime. But Judge Messitte said the department could follow the typical legal process and appeal when the case is over.

“If the president is permitted to appeal the court’s decisions in piecemeal fashion, ultimate resolution of the case could be delayed significantly, perhaps for years. That, as a matter of justice, cannot be countenanced.”

The judge also dismissed the president’s argument that discovery would be unduly burdensome, noting that Mr. Trump had threatened to sue his former campaign chief and others. “The president himself appears to have had little reluctance to pursue personal litigation despite the supposed distractions it imposes upon his office,” he wrote.

Score one more for truth and justice! ⚖️


Some of these cases may turn in the coming weeks/months, but for today, the judicial branch has shown Trump that he is not yet a dictator and that there is still a demand for both truth and justice, honesty and integrity in the American system.

All New Episode of Snarky Snippets!

I was in a bit of a time crunch … where do those hours go???  I get just a bit ahead, and BLAM!  I’m behind again before I even said ‘hello’ to myself!  I think there is an overall conspiracy to rob us of a few hours each day, thinking we won’t notice, for I am not the only one complaining about the lack of time.  And I’m retired … I don’t know how I ever found time for a full-time job!  Anyway, I digress.  Being a bit short of time, and having seen a few stories that made my blood boil, I am opting this morning for an all-new episode of Snarky Snippets.  The snark is in full-throttle mode, so be forewarned.


Welcome to America …

It happened at Andy’s Restaurant in Lovettsville, Virginia.  A woman and her family, who have asked not to be identified, were eating dinner.  Some members of the family were here visiting from another country and, since the visitors do not speak English, they were conversing in Spanish.  The visitors got a good taste of what Americans are like when a woman began screaming and cursing at them for speaking their native tongue, and demanding to see their passports.

white-woman

Angry bigoted white woman

“Get the f—k out, back to your f—ing country. Go back to your f—ing country. You do not come over here and freeload on America. I’m tired of this s—t.”

This story made me so angry that I was shaking.  I was raised in a bilingual family and frankly I enjoy speaking Spanish … it is a beautiful language and much simpler than English.  When I get the opportunity, I speak Spanish, whether at a restaurant, store or in my own neighborhood, for I have several Latino neighbors.  The family members visiting from Guatemala will no doubt always remember their first encounter with an American, as will the 7-year-old girl that was with the family.

Nice, white woman … real nice.  Hope you slept well that night.


Two stamps or one?

A few nights ago, the girls and I filled out our mail-in ballots for the November 6th election.  It is a fairly simple process, the instructions were clear and concise, and we had no problem.  But when we placed the ballot into one envelope, and that into a slightly larger envelope as directed, something caught my eye.

“Affix proper postage.  Post Office will not deliver without sufficient postage.”

Typically, one stamp would suffice.  But something niggled in the back of my mind, so I went in search of.  Guess what?  In my county, two stamps are required, although in the county just south of us, and the two to the east and southeast, only a single stamp is required.  I wonder … surely that wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that this is a predominantly African-American community, would it?  Oh no, perish the thought.

It wasn’t the fact that the extra stamp was required that bothered me, but that nowhere did it tell the sender that if you lived in this county, two stamps are required.  How many people in my county will place a single stamp on their ballots, not knowing that two are needed?  People, if you are filing a ballot in absentia, no matter what state or county you live in, take an extra minute to find out how much postage is required in your neck of the woods!


SCOTUS protects another liar …

wilbur rossWilbur Ross lied.  He lied about the citizenship question that is being proposed for the 2020 census reporting form.  He said that the Department of Justice requested it, but in fact it was Ross himself who decided to add the question.  Ross claims the justification for the question is that it will help enforce the Voting Rights Act, but that is yet another lie.  What it will do is intimidate some from participating and result in an inaccurate census.  If the question makes it to the census form, this writer will not be answering the question.  Period.

Several states and civil rights groups have filed a lawsuit to stop the administration from adding a citizenship question.  When the case comes to trial, Wilbur Ross, having lied and been caught in the lie, will be expected to answer questions.  Or, perhaps not …

The government had asked the Supreme Court to block questioning of Ross, and on Monday the Supreme Court complied with the wishes of the Trump administration.  For now, at least, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who had no business ordering a change to the census form, and who lied to cover his mischief, will not be deposed when the case is heard.

I will have more on this later, but for now, suffice it to say that the United States Supreme Court is no longer a branch completely independent of the executive.  Great job, guys.  Let’s protect a few more lying, bigoted cheats, shall we?


And thus concludes this episode of Filosofa’s Snarky Snippets.  Have a great day, friends!