Our Lives, Or A Game Of Golf?

On Friday, the U.S. recorded 204,179 new cases of the coronavirus, and 1,998 deaths in a 24-hour period.  This is tragic, appalling, frightening.  Well, to most of us, it is, though to Donald Trump, the ‘man’ who calls himself ‘president’, it’s just another statistic … ho-hum … where are my golf clubs?

This weekend, the G20 summit, attended by world leaders from across the globe, is being held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now killed more than 260,000 Americans – by far the largest total in the world. Based on that, one might think that Donald Trump, the outgoing ‘president’, would be extremely interested in the proceedings, but yesterday morning, as the summit was starting at 8:00 a.m., Trump was too busy tweeting to be bothered logging on.  He did, at some point, appear via video link, but not to discuss the pandemic.  Instead, he tooted his own horn, boasting about the US economy and military, and repeated false claims that his government’s Operation Warp Speed was behind both the first two successful coronavirus vaccines, which was a blatant lie. Warp Speed provided funding for development of the vaccine produced by Moderna, but not the Pfizer vaccine, which was developed without US government help. And he also made a strange remark, given that his term of office will end in just 59 days …

“It’s been a great honour to work with you, and I look forward to working with you again for a long time.”

Throughout the short time he spent online with the summit, he was intermittently busily tweeting about the election.  And then, after opening remarks, when it was time to begin the session on pandemic preparedness and response, Trump left and went to play golf.  When questioned about the impropriety of his behaviour and obvious lack of concern, Press Secretary and resident bimbo Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement …

“During his remarks, President Trump highlighted how the United States marshaled every resource at its disposal to respond to the crisis, as well as the unprecedented economic recovery of the United States on a foundation of tax and regulatory cuts, energy independence, and fair trade deals. He spoke about the aggressive actions and safety measures the United States took to protect the vulnerable, pioneer groundbreaking treatments, and develop vaccines and therapies at record-setting speed, which will save millions of lives. President Trump also reaffirmed the importance of the G20 working together for future economic growth and prosperity.”

He may have said all that, but it’s a pack of lies … not one bit of it is true!  Had he actually done any of that, perhaps the U.S. wouldn’t have the highest number of infections and the highest death toll of any nation on the planet.

Worse yet … Trump said that he wants U.S. citizens to be the first to receive vaccinations against coronavirus — a position that is in keeping with his crappy ‘America First’ ideology but contradicts the position of public health experts and other world leaders, who have urged giving priority to front-line health workers and vulnerable populations such as the elderly.  Trump’s is an unconscionably selfish viewpoint and one that I, as a citizen, voter and taxpayer do not support!  I’m sure his rabid base, however, will love him for being willing to allow people to die in other countries.

A lot of good can come from international summits such as this … it is an opportunity to work cooperatively to solve problems such as the pandemic and climate change.  The U.S. needs to be a part of these groups, we need to participate in the international community!  Yet, Donald Trump would sooner isolate us, make us the pariah.  The other nations will move forward with or without us, and the other nations will be more prepared, more organized, and better able to deal with what comes next.  The U.S. will continue to have the highest number of infections and the highest death rate.  It is my hope that once Joe Biden assumes office in 59 days, he will be able to mend some of the fences that Donald Trump has destroyed.

It speaks volumes, my friends, when as our friends and family members are becoming ill, some even dying, the ‘man’ who could help is out on the golf course playing a game.  This is how much our lives mean to him … less than a game of golf.

Hope, Unity, and Patience

I was impressed with Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’ speeches tonight.  Here is a link to both video and text of the speech.  For me, one of the most welcome things to hear was …

“All those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance.  It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again, and to make progress.”

These are words that we have not heard since President Obama left office on January 20th, 2017.  This is the polar opposite of what we have become used to hearing and it was a breath of fresh air, a welcome relief after all the hate and divisive language we’ve become used to.

Now, a few people have let me know in no uncertain terms that they are not pleased with Biden.  It’s not that they wanted Trump to win, necessarily, but they have issues with some of what Biden will or will not do.  Let me start by saying that we cannot have everything on our wish list – this is a nation of 330 million people, people with different goals and hopes, differing priorities and values.  As John Lydgate and later Abraham Lincoln famously said, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.

There is much wrong in this nation today and Joe Biden is going to have a struggle trying to prioritize what must be addressed first, getting legislation through Congress, and re-establishing relationships, both domestic and international.  We cannot expect to get everything we want, and we cannot expect anything to be accomplished overnight.  For the good of this nation, we all need to be patient and supportive of this administration, rather than constantly seeking reasons to criticize.  Some will call me a hypocrite for saying this, since I have been hypercritical of Donald Trump since long before his inauguration and ever since.  But there is a difference … Donald Trump never had the best interests of this nation and its people at heart.  Joe Biden does.

No president will be able to do everything we would like, and there will be times you and I disagree with the president’s actions … that has been the case in every nation and under every leader since the beginning of organized governments.

The things I am most pleased about in the Biden/Harris agenda are that they plan to re-join the Paris Climate Accord and reverse the withdrawal from the World Health Organization – these are two big ones, for climate change and the pandemic are the biggest threats to life, not only in the U.S., but worldwide.  Biden plans to repeal the ban on almost all travel from some Muslim-majority countries, and he will reinstate the DACA program allowing “dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children, to remain in the country.

Biden will also need to focus on filling cabinet positions, which may prove difficult if Mitch McConnell remains Senate Majority Leader and proves to be as unwilling to work with Biden as he was with Obama.  He will also need to re-establish relations with our allies, to earn once again the respect of other nations that has been shredded in the past four years.  He must re-implement environmental regulations that were rolled back by the current administration that was more interested in pleasing the fossil fuel industry than in the health of the world.

And, of course, the first order of business will be a strategic plan to control and contain the coronavirus pandemic that is raging out of control in this country.  To that end, Biden has already made plans to set up a coronavirus task force on Monday, in recognition that the global pandemic will be the primary issue that he must confront. The task force, which could begin meeting within days, will be co-chaired by former surgeon general Vivek H. Murthy and David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner.  He has a plan.  He realizes that he cannot simply ignore it and hope it goes away.

Now, some of the things I’ve been told people don’t like are that he has already said he would not sign legislation that would provide Medicare-for-all.  He has, however, promised to build on ACA, to fix what needs to be fixed and expand coverage.  You don’t go from zero to a hundred overnight … small steps. I think that ultimately this nation will have either Medicare-for-all or some form of universal health care, but we have to start somewhere … you don’t build a city from rubble in one day.

I’ve also heard from some that they are displeased that he won’t ban fracking.  Okay, I would like to see fracking banned, as well, but again, it doesn’t happen overnight.  Win some, lose some – that’s the way it works in a democracy.  And I’ve also heard displeasure because he has no plans to ‘defund the police’.  Folks … you cannot simply defund the police.  I am as aware as any of the problems of systemic racism in our police departments and yes, it needs to be fixed!  But cutting funding to police departments is NOT the answer.  The answer is more training, psychological profiling, and accountability.  Federal oversight of problematic police departments is crucial, and any officer caught with his proverbial pants down is out … no second chances.  Sensitivity training, which the incumbent has called “un-American” is essential.  But you cannot simply shutter the police departments around the nation.

No, Joe Biden will not be perfect – he will make mistakes, he will sometimes do things we don’t agree with or that we don’t understand the reason for, but … he is a good and decent man who will do his best to heal this nation, to narrow the divide between right and left, to initiate conversations such that we can begin to try to understand each other once again.  And, he will uphold the U.S. Constitution as per his Oath of Office.

The next 73 days are going to be filled with garbage talk from the current administration and we will have to do our best to simply ignore it.  Biden’s win is sound enough to withstand challenges and recounts, so at this point, the incumbent is irrelevant, and we really can afford to ignore him.  What we cannot afford is to lose our hope, to allow the detritus to bring us down.  Keep remembering that awesome feeling when you heard, yesterday morning, that Joe Biden was the president-elect.

USA Can’t Even Measure Up To One Of Trump’s Sh*tHole’s Country’s Leader In Tackling COVID 19

Hmmmm … seems like maybe the U.S. is lagging behind even ‘third-world’ countries in managing the pandemic! Thank you, Gronda, for this enlightening post! Meanwhile, the U.S. needs some real leadership — something that has been sorely lacking for almost four years!

Gronda Morin

Remember when Donald J Trump was spouting off about sh*thole countries in places like Africa and how his GOP cronies in the US Congress were mum as he vented on these racist leanings.

See below links to reports regarding how the leader Macky Sall of one of the president’s sh*thole countries, Senegal with extremely limited resources, has successfully contained the spread of the COVID19 pandemic within his country.  It has become evident that the White House can’t even begin to measure up to the leadership of one of his listed sh*thole countries to contain/ prevent the spread of a coronavirus within the USA.

Recently, President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in a CNN interview with its host, Jack Tapper, blurted out a truth many of us had been suspicious about for months, “We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we…

View original post 730 more words

Profit Over People — Again

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) exists for a reason, as do other government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC).  The reason for all three of these agencies is the health and safety of the people in this nation … the people around the world.  And yet, all three of these agencies have been criticized and shackled by Donald Trump during his time in office, and the health of the nation has suffered.

The latest in a series of poor decisions that may prove lethal to the people in this country is that the FDA proposed stricter guidelines for emergency approval of a coronavirus vaccine, but Trump & Co are rejecting them.  Now, I don’t know about you folks, but I’m not about to be injected with some chemicals that have not been thoroughly tested and for which the side effects and long-term effects are not fully known.  Not gonna happen.

There is some debate as to why Trump & Co are attempting to block the FDA guidelines.  One reason, the most obvious, is that the additional testing requirements would make the release of any vaccine impossible before election day, and Donnie is counting on that being the boost his failing campaign needs to push past Joe Biden on November 3rd.  But, according to administration officials, there is another reason:  the pharmaceutical industry objected.  Now, I have enough issues already with the pharmaceutical guys, for they have made it impossible for many of us to afford the life-saving medications we need.  And now this.

It is the job of government, from the president down to the lowliest clerk, to do what is in the best interest of We the People.  Pandering to an industry to put corporate profits over the lives of people is simply NOT acceptable.  Our lives should matter more than the profits of robber baron CEOs … but they don’t, at least not to the people running the show up in Washington.  There appears to be no conscience left in the ‘Trump administration’, and yet we keep paying them to shoot us in the foot.

We’re not going to change Trump & Co.  If anything were going to change the megalomaniac in the Oval Office, one would think it would have been his own experience with the coronavirus, but no … that seems to have made him into an even bigger jerk than he was before, with not a care for our well-being, telling us that the virus is no big deal, to get on with the business of socializing, shopping, and boosting ‘his’ economy.

The tragedy is that if a vaccine is hastily brought to market before or even after election day, it may well cause more problems than it solves.  At the very least, it may cause problems for people with underlying conditions, and at the worst, it may cause cancer a year down the road.  The only vaccine I would trust at this point is one developed far from the shores of the U.S. by reliable scientists and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

For all we know, the vaccine Trump is hoping for might be made of peanut butter and lemon juice.  It doesn’t even have to work against the coronavirus … there only needs to be a perception that it will work, just long enough to get past the election, and then … Trump really won’t care anymore, but will wash his hands of it when people start dying not from the virus, but rather from the vaccine.  He will blame it on … somebody … anybody … possibly even the FDA for not putting out stronger guidelines!  Nothing should surprise us anymore.

Fortunately, the FDA is fighting back … sort of.  According to the New York Times

Facing a White House blockade, the Food and Drug Administration is seeking other avenues to ensure that vaccines meet the guidelines. That includes sharing the standards — perhaps as soon as this week — with an outside advisory committee of experts that is supposed to meet publicly before any vaccine is authorized for emergency use. The hope is that the committee will enforce the guidelines, regardless of the White House’s reaction.

When a government is not working for the vast majority of the people – and this one is not – then it’s time to throw them all out and start over.  Our very lives depend on electing a president, senators and representatives who possess a conscience, who care about all the people of this nation, not just the few wealthy ones.

Abandoning The World …

On Friday, Donald Trump announced that he would be pulling the United States out of the World Health Organization (WHO), effective immediately.  The thing is, Donald Trump is not a member of WHO … the United States is a member of WHO.  The United States is comprised of some 330 million people.  As one of those 330 million people, I reject his decision, made solely in his own head with no consultation by knowledgeable experts or the people of this country.  It is not right and proper for one ‘man’, a ‘man’ with substandard knowledge and substandard intellect, to make such a decision entirely on his own.  It is dangerous … extremely dangerous.  It is unfair to the people of not only this nation, but of the world.

Let me tell you a little bit about WHO.  The United Nations body was founded in 1948 with a mission to promote health around the world. The organization took on a swath of responsibilities, including managing the response to major global health priorities such as tuberculosis and malaria, as well as helping with access to health care around the world.  In its more than 70-year history, the WHO has tackled some of the world’s most pressing health issues, including emergencies. It helped eliminate smallpox and all but eliminate polio. It supports the administration of measles vaccines worldwide. More recently it played a role in the 2003 SARS outbreak, the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak and the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Granted, WHO has its difficulties and has been accused of not responding quickly enough to the current pandemic, as well as others in the past.  But, to simply walk away, to pull $400 million per year away from the organization, is a classic case of ‘throwing out the baby with the bathwater’.  It is like the couple with three children who are having some difficulties, and rather than work through the problems, one partner says, “I’m done, I’m divorcing you and I’m not paying child support!”  It is, in a word, unconscionable.  The problems within WHO could be worked through and resolved, but it takes effort, it takes cooperation among nations, and it takes willingness to compromise.

Other world leaders have been quick to state that they have no plans to follow Trump’s example, but the reality is that the U.S. is the biggest financial contributor to WHO and without that funding, what they can accomplish will be severely limited. WHO fundingDonald Trump, in pulling out of WHO, is putting the entire world at risk, and for only one reason that I can see.  He failed miserably at being a leader when the pandemic hit the U.S., and his failures have significantly reduced his approval rating … just a few short months before the November election.  As is Trump’s way, he must find someone else to blame, and in this case it is WHO.  He has turned the health and well-being of every person on the planet into a political tool to save his own carcass. Senator Chris Murphy says it well …

“It was never about reforming the WHO. That was all lies. It was always about distraction and scapegoating. Leaving castrates our ability to stop future pandemics and elevates China as the world’s go-to power on global health. What a nightmare.”

I am deeply disturbed by the number of international agreements Trump has pulled out of.  First, the Paris Climate Accords that are attempting to find ways to save the environment from the ravages caused by the industrialized nations of the world, of which the U.S. is the largest per capita ravager.  Then he pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal … an agreement that, by all accounts, was working well in keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  He pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, an organization tasked with protecting human rights around the globe.  In all, he has pulled this nation out of more than a dozen international agreements, leaving not only the U.S. vulnerable, but the rest of the world as well.  There was a time that the U.S. was called the “leader of the free world”, but today, I’m not sure we are even a part of the free world, thanks to Donald Trump and his megalomania.   It seems as if Trump wishes us to be so isolated that we are not even a part of the larger world … this is a frightening scenario.  It is my hope that next January, we will quickly re-join these international groups that are trying to keep the world safe, that we will once again become part of the world.

I would urge Congress to stand up, do their job, and stop Trump’s utter madness, but … as we all know, the republicans in Congress are no longer our representatives, but rather Trump’s yes-men, thereby rendering Congress ineffective.  I would urge the people in this country, the ones who still care about people, to write letters to their representatives and senators protesting this unconscionable move by Trump, but again … our letters would be put through the shredders on Capitol Hill.  In short, we have lost our voices and will only have one last chance to exercise our will … on November 3rd.

Trump vs W.H.O. … And Other Tidbits

For over three years, Donald Trump has seemed intent on turning against our allies, while pandering to those who are our adversaries.  At first, he only tarnished our reputation abroad and we were the laughingstock of the western world.  But then, he began doing things such as pulling out of treaties and agreements that were working to keep the world safer, touting his ridiculous “America First” policy, and the world stopped laughing.  This week, he may have driven a final nail in the coffin when, in the middle of a global pandemic with thousands of people dying every day, he cut off U.S. funding to the World Health Organization.

Why???  Because he f*cked up so badly in his own response to the coronavirus that he now needs someone else to blame.  It’s called CYA, or Cover Your Ass.  It’s also called stupid. It’s rather like shooting your surgeon in the middle of your heart surgery, or burning down your house in the middle of a blizzard.

“Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences, not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the World Health Organization or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus.” – United Nations Secretary General António Guterres

“Cutting funding to the WHO — rather than focusing on solutions — is a dangerous move at a precarious moment for the world. The AMA is deeply concerned by this decision and its wide-ranging ramifications, and we strongly urge the President to reconsider.” – Statement by the American Medical Association (AMA)

And numerous world leaders spoke out against the foolish move, as well.  The ultimate irony here is that Trump claims to be cutting off funding because he says WHO’s “severely mismanaging and covering up”, when it is Trump’s own mismanaging and covering up, his bungling response for the first two months, that has led to unnecessary loss of life.  And even today, he is putting profit ahead of people by threatening to ‘re-open’ the country by May 1st, come hell or high water, even threatening and bullying states’ governors who are planning to proceed with caution, despite Trump’s wishes.

This was another foolish move by a ‘man’ who does not understand much of anything outside his own bank account, nor does he care about much other than his own profit & pleasure.  One example … at yesterday’s ‘press briefing’, in defense of his desire to reopen the nation quickly, he said …

“We have to get our sports back. I’m tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old.  But I haven’t actually had too much time to watch. I would say maybe I watch one batter then I get back to work.”

Awww … pobrecito!

Nicholas Kristof’s column today, titled Trump’s Deadly Search For A Scapegoat, provides further enlightenment … please take a minute to check it out!


Meanwhile … in other news

This was the scene this morning in Chicago …Chicago-icePortions of a Chicago expressway left icy by a wintry blast that brought overnight snowfall led to a pileup involving of dozens of vehicles early Wednesday, sending 14 people to hospitals, officials said.Chicago-ice-2About 50 vehicles were involved in the 5 a.m. pileup along the Kennedy Expressway, the Chicago Fire Department said. The crash prompted Illinois State Police to close all of the expressway’s southbound lanes near Chicago’s North Avenue for about three hours, and multiple northbound lanes also were closed temporarily.

Chicago fire officials said 14 people were transported to area hospitals and 32 others were evaluated at the scene.Chicago-ice-3Makes it a bit hard to believe it’s mid-April, doesn’t it?


Remember I mentioned in one or the other of my snarky snippets last week that Trump was insisting his name be the signatory on the stimulus checks that will be going out to individuals?  Well, the egomaniac got his way – sort of.  According to The Washington Post

The Treasury Department has ordered President Trump’s name printed on stimulus checks the Internal Revenue Service is rushing to send to tens of millions of Americans, a process that could slow their delivery by a few days, senior IRS officials said.

The unprecedented decision, finalized late Monday, means that when recipients open the $1,200 paper checks the IRS is scheduled to begin sending to 70 million Americans in coming days, “President Donald J. Trump” will appear on the left side of the payment.

Turns out that Trump is not legally authorized to sign for legal disbursements by the U.S. Treasury, so he had to settle for his name on the left-hand side of the checks.  It is a marketing ploy, in hopes that people will remember his name on the check come November 3rd, but surely the people of this nation are smart enough to realize it is their own money they are receiving?  Aren’t they?  Please?


Let’s wrap up with a bit of humour …

King-DonnietoonTrump-titanic

Snarky (grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr) Snippets

How many more times must we be embarrassed … nay, humiliated … by the ‘man’ in the Oval Office?  The latest …


Just call on Dr. Trump …

As you likely know, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was hospitalized on Sunday after battling coronavirus in isolation for ten days, when he took a turn for the worse.  Since Monday, he has been on oxygen.  While not a fan of Mr. Johnson, in comparison to our own evil despot he is nearly a genius, so I am certainly hoping for his recovery.  Enter Dr. Trump …

Continuing on his previous myth that he is a “stable genius”, knows more than all the experts in the world, and so forth, he decided to help PM Johnson …

“We’ll see if we can be of help. We’ve contacted all of Boris’ doctors, and we’ll see what is going to take place, but they are ready to go. We’re working with the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] and everybody else, but we are working with London with respect to Boris Johnson.”

More than 435,000 cases in his own country, nearly 15,000 deaths, Trump having not a shred of medical background, and he’s going to help Boris???  Now you’ve got to really feel sorry for Boris!  It would be funny, except this is a person who is supposedly the leader of a nation of 330 million people, and he obviously has the mentality of a four-year-old child!  Please, people, vote this asshole out!  Meanwhile, our apologies to both Prime Minister Johnson and the good people of the UK … we will try to keep him on a shorter leash.


The pot calling the kettle …

On Tuesday, at his dog-and-pony show, Trump criticized the World Health Organization (WHO) for a slow response to the coronavirus (note the hypocrisy here?) and then claimed …

“We’ll be looking into that very carefully. And we’re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see.”

I do wish he wouldn’t say “We”, for really, most of us are not part of, nor supportive of, those things he says we are doing.  It gives the wrong impression, makes us all look just as ignorant as he is.  Anyway …

16 minutes later he was asked if it was really such a good idea to freeze WHO funding in light of the current pandemic, and he said he didn’t say he was going to.  Challenged, he replied …

“No I didn’t. I said we’re going to look at it.”

No, he didn’t … he plainly said, for all to hear, and captured on tape, that he is going to freeze funding.  How in hell much stupidity can fit into one body?  Well, it is a rather large, flabby body.


Trump isn’t the only idiot …

Ol’ Jerry Falwell Junior seems to be in competition with Trump for Idiot of the Year Award!  According to an article in Politico …

“Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, said on Wednesday that arrest warrants had been issued for journalists from The New York Times and ProPublica after both outlets published articles critical of his decision to partially reopen Liberty’s campus amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

Say WHAT???

Since when is it a crime for a reporter to make a critical statement???  YO, Falwell!  Ever hear of the 1st Amendment right to “Freedom of the Press”?

“Falwell and Liberty, one of the most high-profile evangelical schools in the country, have come under fire for welcoming students back to campus after the school’s spring break despite the pandemic, while nearly every other college in the country has ordered students off campus.”

Falwell is an asshole extraordinaire, and not surprisingly a big fan of Donald Trump, one of those idiots who claim “god sent Donald Trump” to fulfill some nefarious mission.  And like most everything else happening today, it would be funny, but … the press is our last bastion against a full-blown dictatorship.

“Both articles by the Times and ProPublica quoted students or professors who suggested that social-distancing guidelines, designed to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible virus, were not being adequately practiced on campus.”

Falwell is risking the lives of people, and risking the very core of our freedoms, our rights.  Somebody seriously needs to remove this bozo from society!  Surely there is a prison cell and an orange jumpsuit with his name on it just waiting?


Need a little something lighter to finish up?  How about Seth Meyers bringing you “the kind of story we need right now”?

Just Another Snarky Thursday …

There are, apparently, only two news stories this week: Joe Biden & the coronavirus.


Joe Biden …

It was obvious from the day Joe Biden announced his candidacy in the 2020 election that he was the candidate Trump most feared.  Hence, the now-infamous call to the president of the Ukraine that got Trump impeached, and if we had conscionable senators, would have removed him from office.

Just to set the record straight before I go any further, it has already been proven that Joe Biden did nothing illegal when his son worked for Burisma in the Ukraine.  It has been discussed, investigated, etc., ad nauseam, and there is nothing.

For a time, when Bernie Sanders seemed to be coming out ahead of the pack, Trump dropped off on his rhetoric about Biden.  It was reported that Russia was not only intervening on Trump’s behalf, but also on Sanders’.  Why would they do that?  Well, Russia helped put Trump in office in 2016 because Putin saw a puppet he could use.  Putin could never have manipulated Hillary Clinton in the ways he has Trump, he understood that Trump would be easy to sway, and that was that.  It’s in Putin’s best interest to keep his puppet in the White House.  It’s largely believed that Trump could beat Bernie Sanders, if for no other reason that that label, ‘democratic socialist’, that Bernie wears.  So, if Russia helps Bernie, they help Trump as well.

But now, it appears that Trump’s nemesis on November 3rd may well be Joe Biden after all, so … the day after Biden’s Super Tuesday win, Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin attempted to plant a seed of doubt about Biden’s credibility.  He told reporters that the Senate Homeland Security Committee, of which Johnson is chairman, will be releasing an interim report on his panel’s probe of Hunter Biden’s ties to a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma.  Oh for Pete’s sake, get over it, Johnson!  ENOUGH already!  First, it has been clearly established that, while Hunter Biden may not have used good judgment, he broke no laws, and at any rate, it was nothing whatsoever to do with his father!  DROP IT!

But, Trump is clearly not going to drop it, either, for in an interview Wednesday night on Fox, he opined that it …

“will be a major issue in the campaign, I will bring that up all the time because I don’t see any way out.”

So … in other words, if you can’t win fair and square, then lie, cheat and steal!  Why should we be surprised, for that’s how he ‘won’ in 2016, though he didn’t actually win, for he lost by nearly 3 million votes!


Coronavirus …

In the U.S., it isn’t so much the virus itself that is making headline news, as the response of the loon in the White House.  He (Trump) has been on some sort of tirade for weeks now, as if somebody must have concocted the virus to personally offend him.  First, it was a hoax, or rather the media coverage of it was a hoax, designed to “bring him down”.  The latest?

Due to slow and insufficient response to the virus by the Trump administration, testing has been haphazard and inadequate.  But, since nothing can ever be Trump’s fault, it must be Obama’s fault, right?  BINGO!  He’s blaming Obama for the shortage of test kits (is there really a shortage of kits, or is it simply that they aren’t being distributed properly?) …

“The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing and we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion. That was a decision we disagreed with — I don’t think we would have made it — but for some reason it was made but we’ve undone that decision.”

As I said in this morning’s post … don’t believe a word of it.  But, as if that weren’t enough, Trump called in and had a chat with his good buddy Sean Hannity over at Fox last night.  Hannity asked Trump about the new estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the global fatality rate for the coronavirus is around 3.4%.  Trump, however, had a ‘hunch’ …

“I think the 3.4% is really a false number. Now, this is just my hunch, based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have this, and it’s very mild – they’ll get better very rapidly, they don’t even see a doctor, they don’t even call a doctor. You never hear about those people, so you can’t put them down in the category of the overall population, in terms of this corona flu, and/or virus. So, you just can’t do that. You know, all of a sudden it seems like 3 or 4%, which is a very high number, as opposed to a fraction of 1%. So I think that that number is very high. I think the number, personally, I would say the number is way under 1%.”

I didn’t realize you could earn a medical degree at Wharton School of Business.  Obviously, Trump knows sooooo much more than the scientists and medical experts.  Who needs all those experts when we can just ask Trump for his latest ‘hunch’?


I don’t know about you guys, but I am getting damn sick and tired of the childish, harmful games that Trump and his republican sycophants are playing.  They have put their own interests much higher on their priority list than ours, and now are even willing to gamble with our very lives.  Let’s send them a HUGE message on November 3rd … Let’s send them all packing!

Good People Doing Good Things – Michael Bloomberg

The past several weeks I have focused on good works on a smaller scale, ordinary people going out of their way to make the world just a little bit better for someone. But today I want to shine a spotlight on someone doing some pretty big things, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Many outside the New York area may not be aware of how much good Bloomberg does, but over his lifetime he has given away more than $4.3 billion!  His contributions range from something as small and simple as painting a roof, to the $1 billion he has given to Johns Hopkins University. I have always had rather a soft spot for Mr. Bloomberg, knew he was a good man, but even I had no idea just how much he has given back to the world.

His philosophy on giving is to give to organizations that seek to bring about change on a local level but serve a broader purpose. The majority of his contributions are in the fields of Environment, Public Health, the Arts, Government Innovation, Education, Women’s Economic Development in Africa. Mr. Bloomberg has also signed the Giving Pledge started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, vowing to give away at least half of his wealth over the course of his lifetime. Between 2004 and 2011, Bloomberg was listed as a top 10 American philanthropist each year.

Let us take a brief look at some of the causes he supports:

Wed-Bloomberg-environment

  • Environment
    • Focused on combating climate change and moving toward clean energy sources. In 2011, the foundation partnered with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign and as of this writing he has given more than $80 million to that cause.
    • Partners with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to curb carbon emissions in major cities around the world.
    • Committed $53 million to Vibrant Oceans Initiative over the course of five years to help reform fisheries and increase sustainable populations.
    • Invested $5 million in Little Sun, a solar-powered lamp company founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and entrepreneur Frederik Ottesen.
  • Wed-Bloomberg-healthPublic Health
    • Donated $100 million to help the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation eradicate polio worldwide.
    • Pledged to donate $600 million to curb tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries.
    • Partnered with the World Health Organization to donate $125 million to reduce traffic-related fatalities, and committed an additional $125 million to combat road traffic deaths in low- and middle-income cities.
    • Committed $50 million to the Global Family Planning Initiative, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation program focused on providing obstetric care and contraceptives to women in developing countries.
    • Pledged $250,000 to support Planned Parenthood, and also donated $8 million to the Bloomberg Philanthropies Maternal Health Program, which focuses on reducing maternal deaths in Tanzania, Africa and Latin America.
  • Education
    • Launched a $10 million program to help top-performing students from low- and middle-income families apply to and graduate from the nation’s top colleges.
  • Women’s Economic Development
    • Works with nonprofit advocacy organizations including Women for Women International and Sustainable Harvest to create economic opportunities for women in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Recently announced a $10 million grant to the Relationship Coffee Institute to support the expansion of its ongoing women’s economic development initiatives in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Wed-Monet

Monet’s Water Lilies

  • Arts
    • Announced a $15 million grant to five institutions — Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Botanical Garden, and Guggenheim Museum — as part of the Bloomberg Arts Engagement Initiative to develop mobile applications for visitors.
    • Committed a total of $83 million to cultural institutions around the world.
    • Launched the Public Art Challenge, a competition that invited local leaders and arts organizations to collaborate on temporary public art projects that would celebrate creativity and drive economic development.
  • Other
    • Donated $50 million to the Museum of Science in Boston.
    • Bloomberg has donated $1.1 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, making him the most generous living donor to any education institution in the country.

These are but a few of the good works being done by Michael Bloomberg and the Bloomberg Foundation. Note that in many instances Bloomberg Foundation partners with other organizations, such as Sierra Club or Sustainable Harvest.  “I’d think being a soloist falls apart,” he said. “I think there’s a limit to how much you can do on your own.”  And not all of his gestures are on the million-dollar scale, either.  He partnered with Al Gore once to paint a roof white in Queens, for which he was the subject of many jokes.  The reason for the roof-painting? White roofs, by reflecting heat rather than absorbing it, immediately reduced electricity bills and have since been replicated throughout the borough. His response to the mockers?  “We focused on things we could do in America that made a difference and were replicable elsewhere. It wasn’t solving all the problems. It wasn’t making India and China carbon-neutral, but it was something.”

Wed-Bloomberg-roof

One thing that makes Bloomberg stand out in the crowd of wealthy philanthropists is that he is willing to try new things rather than, like some, wait for what they think will be the perfect organization and miss a lot of opportunities along the way. For example, as part of his initiative to cut traffic deaths both here and in other countries, he helped Vietnam implement helmet laws. “I would have bet anything against the idea of getting the Vietnamese government to pass a helmet law and that people would obey to have helmets. They passed it. They did enforce it. They cut the number of traffic deaths by a third overnight.”

Bloomberg has come under fire from time to time, both as a politician and as a businessman.  It is inevitable … one does not live in the spotlight of being mayor of one of the largest cities in the U.S. for 11 years without coming into criticism.  Bloomberg is human, so I am certain that he wasn’t always right, either, but overall I believe he was a good mayor and is a good human being.

A couple of things made me want to spotlight Mr. Bloomberg at this particular time.  One is his focus on the environment, an extremely hot (pun sort of intended) topic at present, with the current administration determined to roll back the gains we have made in attempting to overcome human-caused climate change.  And the other was the fact that Mr. Bloomberg, in addition to being a philanthropist, is two things:  a politician and a very successful businessman.  In recent months, we have had every reason to trust neither politicians nor businessmen, but Mr. Bloomberg is the exception.  He is living proof that politicians and businessmen CAN also be good people.  I thought it important for us to remember that, especially now. I try to keep the Good People posts non-political, but as I mentioned when I first started this feature, to some extent that is not always possible, for sometimes the good people are doing their good things as a result of the political environment.