Archive | February, 2017

Man of the (swamp)People?

25 Feb

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“I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done and I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off… You don’t have time to take time off.” -D. Trump

“Taxpayers are paying a fortune for the use of Air Force One on the campaign trail by President Obama and Crooked Hillary.  A total disgrace!” -D. Trump

“I say we cannot afford to let Obama fly around on Air Force 1, at a cost of millions of dollars a day, for the purpose of politics and play!” -D. Trump

Last Monday, President Trump returned to the White House from his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, which he calls the “Southern White House”. He’s spent the last 3 weekends there (of his 4 weekend presidency!) And based on White House travel reports he’s done that at a cost of 10 million dollars in taxpayer money!

Add in the two international trips Trump’s adult sons have taken to promote President Trump’s hotels and businesses and we’re up to 11.3 million dollars! Taxpayers are also on the hook for protecting First Lady Melania Trump, who would rather live in New York City (The Yankee White House?) than be the First Lady who lives in the real White House (isn’t she special?)  Because police officials estimate the annual cost of guarding Trump Tower could be as high as $183 million. That’s $15 million per month!

President Trump and his Royal Family have spent 26.3 million dollars in their first month as the First Family of America….just on traveling away from the White House! President Obama and his family averaged 12 million dollars PER YEAR in travel expenses. So the Trumps have trumped that number to the tune of over 100% or more than double in just one month!

If the President keeps this up he and his family will spend 1 billion 262 million dollars just on traveling over the next 4 years! And to top it off President Trump who repeatedly criticized President Obama for playing golf while president, played his 6th round of golf so far during his first month as POTUS.

And…In order to have constant access to the commander-in-chief, the military is forced to rent space in Trump Tower at a taxpayer expense of about 1 and a half million dollars a year. And guess who gets those payments? The Trumps of course! And at 200,000 dollars a pop you can be a member of Mar-a-Lago (Trump Change!) and watch him do top secret stuff (sans the Emails!) …If I were a country, and I had an Intelligence Service, I’d be buying me some memberships right about now! (This makes spying too easy!!!!)

And while spending millions in taxpayer dollars and making millions in taxpayer dollars President Trump has his experts working on proposed budget cuts for things that he finds America can’t afford… like Public Broadcasting, Americorps, The National Endowment for the Arts, Food Stamps, Planned Parenthood and Legal Aid Services…just to name a few.

GOOD GRIEF! Talk about draining the swamp?! President Trump and his family have taken to the swamp like Yoda and Luke Skywalker on Dagobah! The Air Force One is with him now… thanks to all of his loyal supporters who still believe that his lying is a strategy to somehow help make America (and not himself)  great again.

As Yoda would say: A sucker born every minute there is!

I Cannot Tell a Lie

23 Feb

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This past Monday was President’s day. I remember a time when we celebrated both George Washington’s birthday and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday every February, and on, of all days, their actual birthdays! But now we just celebrate President’s day and celebrate all presidents because it’s much more convenient, expedient and cost effective…and it’s always on a Monday!… which must be because all presidents were born on Mondays? Silly me, it’s because all Mondays come immediately after all weekends.

But seriously, if you’ve ever been to school then you have heard the story of our first president, George Washington, and his childhood experience with a certain cherry tree. George Washington grew up on Ferry Farm and while it hasn’t been confirmed that his cherry tree story was true,  it has been confirmed that there were cherry trees on the farm when George Washington was just 6 years old…so who knows?

In any event the point of the story, as it was made clear to all of us who heard, it was that George Washington never told a lie… and neither should we. And why? Because honesty is always the best policy, that’s why. And the truth shall set you free! And it was all simply part of a grade school narrative enforcing good old American values that included truth, justice, honesty, morality, and the golden rule. And if these values were good enough for and respected by the first President of the United States…the Father of our Country…then they certainly were to be embodied in each of us.

But that was a long, long time ago…how many people today believe that honesty is the best policy or that the truth shall set one free? Our 45th president lies on a regular if not daily basis (as kids would say) like a rug…and he has a staff that is willing to repeat those lies, if for no other apparent reason, simply because it is their job. Imagine that? There are jobs now in which the sole job description is to lie “truthfully”…but to be fair (another word that has all but lost its meaning) there is so much lying being employed as a “strategy” in so many work places in today’s world that it is hard to tell where the truth actually… lies!

Is there anyone out there who can seriously dispute that right now our Congress is hard at work trying to find a way to “honestly” explain to the American people why we DON’T need healthcare, food-stamps, affordable housing, fair wages, women’s rights, human rights, clean air, clean water, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Peace. And that what we “honestly” DO need is a wall, deportations, travel bans, cuts in social services, and more weapons for more war.

The one truth that I’d like to learn is…who is our government working for? I’m serious…really… Wouldn’t it be nice to know who it is they are actually working for? It can’t possibly be US, can it? That’s one truth we know…isn’t it? I’m even beginning to wonder if they are even working for people! Just about everything our legislators (especially Republicans) seem to want to do these days is anti-People and anti-Earth. Who’s left? What’s left? Am I right?

Perhaps if George Washington were with us today and he were here to read my words he would say that I was simply being cynical and overly dramatic and that things in America couldn’t possibly be that duplicitous…But still I wonder…

Because It seems to me that old George’s famous mantra of “I shall never tell a lie” has been whittled down over the years to a much simpler and streamlined, one size fits all incantation of, “I shall never tell!”

And now, whether or not we are being lied to or told the truth…we can’t know for sure…    if we know anything at all.

 

 

Don’t Cry for Me, Scandinavia

22 Feb

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President Trump likes to get most of his information and news from TV…you know, just like the average American does. Even though he says that the news media is the “enemy of the people” (That would be us) he still likes to watch Fox and Friends, CNN, NBC news, ABC, CBS, Saturday Night Live and then stay up late to tweet about all of it…to other people like him… who like to watch TV also.

He says that Fox and Friends is the only “Honorable” news program out there and that the rest are crap! and not just any old crap but the lying, deceitful, dishonest, scummy kind of crap. Between all of the TV he watches during the day and night, and the time it must take to apply his “tan” each day, I often wonder how he finds time to do other things like….be President of the United States!

Anyway, at a pep rally this weekend (why does a POTUS need to throw pep rallies? I haven’t been to one since high school… How about you?) President Trump  falsely suggested that there was an immigration-related security incident in Sweden and that Sweden was having serious problems with immigrants… Can you imagine that? Sweden? (his words, not mine) The President later said that his comment was based on a television report he had seen…on Fox News… about how dangerous life has become in Sweden!

Of course wouldn’t you know…This was news to Sweden… and they called the U.S. State Department for an explanation…who of course…didn’t have one! So a little bit later a White House spokeswoman told reporters that President Trump had been referring generally to rising crime in Sweden, not a specific incident in the Scandinavian country.

But official statistics show that Sweden’s crime rate has fallen since 2005!… even though it has taken in hundreds of thousands of immigrants from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq…So the Swedish foreign minister decided to post on Twitter an excerpt of a speech in which she said democracy and diplomacy “require us to respect science, facts and the media.”

I guess in Scandinavia they don’t watch a lot of Fox news or Fox and Friends on their Swedish TV sets…but here in the United States watching television is how our President learns about reality and as a former Reality TV star he knows that Fox broadcasts facts and not the fake news that all of the other networks manufacture. And we know he knows this because he is like, smart. (his words not mine)

But seriously, wouldn’t you think that as the President of the United States you could get your facts from the people who work for you and not have to rely on watching TV at all? You have access to the Cabinet and the Congress and the Pentagon and 17 Intelligence Agencies and Secretaries General and even Modern Major Generals! Heck, you have a direct hot-line to all of the leaders of the world, not to mention Alexa, Siri and Google!

You are the 45th freaking President of The United States! Why, in the name of all that is holy, are you gleaning information about the world from a TV show called Fox and Friends and then regurgitating UN-verified and possibly “alternative facts” to a crowd of admirers at a pep rally that you’ve had staged for your own aggrandizement?!

WHEN YOU ARE ALREADY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!!!!!!

DON’T YOU HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO????????

You’d like, think…like, wouldn’t you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Government We Deserve

15 Feb

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In Florida, state officials recently released a report showing that more than 161,000 of the voters casting a ballot in the 2016 presidential election did not cast a valid vote for president!… And the rate of invalid votes for president in 2016 was more than double the rate it was in 2012 and 2008.

That number includes those who wrote another name on the ballot, like Mickey Mouse, or Bart Simpson and then voted for those “joke” candidates. Others simply left the ballot blank. And still others decided to vote for more than one candidate thereby making their vote invalid.

And when you consider that Republican Donald Trump won Florida and its 29 electoral votes by just about 113,000 votes, then those 161,000 wasted votes might have made a big difference in the outcome.

But when you consider the fact that here in the United States, according to The Elections Project, there are 251,107,404 Americans who classify as members of the voting-age population, but 2.5 percent of those Americans or 3.2 million people are ineligible to vote because they are felons…And of the 248 million or so voting-age Americans left, only about 200 million are registered to vote… and of those 200 million only 138,884,643 Americans voted.

That means that 46.3% of all voting-age Americans did not cast a ballot during the 2016 elections. That’s almost half! That’s 144 million Americans who couldn’t or wouldn’t vote or who wasted their vote!

But it gets worse because while the top vote getter for the Presidency of the United States received close to 66 million votes, that was only 26% of all potential US voters…but that person lost the presidential election to someone who received 3 million fewer votes! Which represents only 25% of all voting-age Americans!…

So what gives! Americans today, in the greatest democracy ever invented, refuse to vote. 1/2 of them just can’t be bothered about going to the polls to choose a leader or they go there and then vote for a cartoon character for shits and giggles… Apparently, for most citizens, It’s just not a big deal.

And our leaders, AKA those already in political leadership positions, don’t try to make it any easier for Americans to vote either. In fact they try to make it harder each year by adding more voting rules, regulations, and restrictions, eliminating already registered voters from the voting roles, and gerrymandering more districts in favor of one party so as to render more votes insignificant…And besides all that it all comes down to only 538 elected electors (out of 330 million citizens) voting for the POTUS anyway!

So here we are living in a wonderful, free and democratic society where citizens don’t want to vote and our political leaders don’t want them to vote and their votes pretty much don’t count anyway! Is this anyway to run a democracy?

So I ask you: With a convoluted system like this and a disinterested electorate like ours, Is it any wonder that after only 241 years of Independence we now have our own “Mad King George” and his merry court of unqualified sycophants running the country?

And perhaps I should add: What took us so long?!

 

 

 

 

Why Do We Do What We Do?

11 Feb

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Here’s something interesting: According to new Pediatrics research PG-13 movies feature 23% more gun violence than do R rated movies.

According to the Motion Picture Association of America’s film rating system:
PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned
Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
R – Restricted
Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.

So in order to compensate for less “adult material” we add more gun violence to our movies? Is this so we can make them equally entertaining?

ergo: movies +sex+violence+adults = movies -sex-adults +1/4more gun violence?

It’s just curious that we live in a society where guns are revered and violence is accepted as a natural bi-product of that reverence, yet the viewing of sexual activity is still considered damaging to the youthful brain and not something to talk about or a natural bi-product of life at all.

And here we are worrying about the extreme vetting of foreigners who want to enter our country not because we are worried about them having sex with us but because we fear they might do violence to us.

Yet, we will not extremely vet our own citizens who want to purchase guns, even though they are the ones most likely to do violence to us and each other over 32,000 times each year…which is just about 32,000 times more than foreigners will or actually do.

Something to think about the next time you’re watching a movie, having sex or shooting someone?

Comrade President?

8 Feb

Image result for Comrade President Trump

President Donald Trump so far in his brief tenure as POTUS has been picking fights with just about everyone. He has fought with Congressmen and Senators and judges and the entire press core and countries large and small, both allies and enemies. He has fought with the truth and with photographs and with his own tweets and contradictory statements and even with his past and former self…

But he will not fight with Russia nor its president, Vladimir Putin. In fact Mr. Putin appears to be beyond reproach in the eyes of our President.

During the campaign for the presidency he called Mr. Putin a close personal friend whom he had met on several occasions…even though they had never met in person nor talked on the phone…Not even once.

When it was discovered by our own intelligence agencies that Russia, under the direction of President Putin, had hacked U.S. institutions and used hacked information in an attempt to sway or alter the American Presidential election, Mr. Trump said that he didn’t believe it. He even defended the Russian President by suggesting that anyone could have done it…even a fat, lonely guy in New Jersey.

Then candidate Trump even joked that if it was President Putin who had been behind the hacking perhaps he would do “The Donald” a favor by continuing to hack US databases until Hillary Clinton’s lost Emails were discovered, as though cyber-terrorism perpetrated against the US was all in fun or just a game.

And now that he is President, Mr. Trump continues to defend the Russian leader by likening Mr. Putin’s known assassinations of political opponents as commonplace killing… like the kind that the United States is quite often guilty of. “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” said President Trump.  “I think our country does plenty of killing.”

And when discussing Russia’s invasion and annexation of the Crimea and his later insurgencies int the Ukraine Mr. Trump was quite flattering of President Putin and not in the least bit angry. “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”
Wow! When it comes to Vladimir Putin vs. The Untied States, Putin wins! at least in the opinion of our President. Only 27 years since the fall of “The Evil Empire” and Russia has apparently passed us right by in the morality and leadership departments…American Carnage indeed!
When you consider all of the people and things that rankle our new President you’d think that Vladimir Putin would at least be somewhere on his list of pet peeves. But no! President Trump has what can only be described as a BFF man crush on the Russian President.
What gives? How can we explain this? Does our good president have some kind of political or financial ties to President Putin? Does he owe Vlad a favor or is he in his debt in someway? Is it really just platonic admiration and love? Just A good old fashioned bro-mance?
How can we know? President Trump won’t release his financial records or tax returns. And President Trump is a man who loves to talk about himself and his accomplishments. So why won’t he brag to the American people about how he has made all of his billions? And why don’t other Republicans seem to care?
They brought Hillary Clinton before Congress 9 times in an effort to link her to treasonous activities while she was the US Secretary of State. They consider all of Hillary’s missing or unfound Emails as proof of her treasonous activities even though there is no proof to show to America.
But President Trump’s missing and hidden financial records are not anything to worry about nor worthy of investigation even though the President is an avowed admirer of one of the most nefarious leaders of the post communist world? Even While Ms. Clinton was an avid opponent of President Putin and visa versa?
No one is even in the least bit curious? Aren’t you? I sure am? We wasted millions of dollars and countless Congressional hours chasing Hillary around in efforts to defend America’s integrity when there was scant evidence to suggest that it was anything but a wild political goose chase… but in this most inexplicable and curious case of unadulterated man-love for a foreign tyrant by a sitting American President we can’t even have a simple…Say what? investigation? Like: Show us your taxes the way every other President in the last 4 decades has?
Nope! The President who would make America great again doesn’t even like America! And he says so! He hates our cities. He says our public schools stink. He belittles our intelligence agencies. He calls our media and newspapers dishonest scum. He says that America is nothing but decay and carnage and a country of killers…and his supporters love it! They can’t seem to get enough of his hateful rhetoric! And they are waiting. They are waiting for him to save them from what? A nation gone to ruin?
Is that how you see America? A nation of flotsam and jetsam that needs to look to mighty Russia and Vladimir Putin for ideas and leadership? It’s quite obvious that That is how our President would like us to see it?
Wouldn’t it be nice to know Why?

And Justice For…

7 Feb

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FBI Director, James Comey, has refused to disclose whether or not the FBI is investigating links between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Kremlin. He told the Senate Select Intelligence Committee that “we never confirm or deny a pending investigation.”

This is the same FBI Director who held a special meeting 12 days before the 2016 presidential election to, confirm and not deny, that there was a re-opening of and a pending investigation into the Emails of former Secretary of State and Democratic candidate for president, Hillary Clinton.

In any other place and time in the history of the USA such actions would have been seen as representing a “lack of integrity” and as displaying the kind of  duplicitous attitude that has no place in a society that professes to respect and govern itself according to the rule of law.

But here in the Year of Our Lord, 2017,  there are neither any men or women at the highest levels of our government who possess the integrity to call the FBI Director to task for the disrespect, contempt and lack of integrity that he has shown the law, and have him removed from one of our highest positions in law enforcement.

The term “Blind justice” is supposed to refer to a legal concept regarding the neutrality of the dispensing of justice. Justice is not actually supposed to be blind, as in not knowing or seeing what it’s doing!

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