Tag Archives: government

Of Swamps and Water Hazards

28 May

Image result for president trump golfing

So far in the almost 2 1/2 years of his presidency, President Trump’s golf habit has cost American taxpayers 102 million dollars in extra travel and security expenses, and soon he will achieve a new milestone: a seven-figure presidential visit to another country so he can play at his own course…over there.

According to recent non-partisan studies, U.S. taxpayers have spent 81 million dollars for the president’s two dozen trips to Florida,  17 million dollars for his 15 trips to New Jersey, another $1 million so he could visit his resort in Los Angeles and at least $3 million for his two days in Scotland last summer ― $1.3 million of which went just for rental cars for the entourage that accompanies a president abroad.

And according to the Irish media and government sources, the White House has done preliminary work for The President’s visit to his  resort on the west coast of Ireland next month even though no official meeting with Irish leaders is planned while there.

And should we mention that the 102 million total dollars to date spent on his presidential golfing represents 255 times the annual presidential salary he volunteered not to take?!

And should we mention that It is 3 times more more than the cost of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that he continually complains about being such an incredible waste of money…

And should we add that It would also fund the Special Olympics program that his proposed budget had originally cut in order to save the government money… for the next 6 years!

And should we dare to mention that President Trump, who was a frequent critic of former President Barack Obama for his “disgraceful” golf outings,  has spent more than twice as many days on the links, to date, as President Obama did at the same point in his first term…and at a cost of more than 3 times as much by the same point in President Obama’s term?

And because Our President only plays at golf courses that he owns, most of that tax payer money being spent on his golfing habit…goes to him! In fact, A U.S. recent GAO report (Government Accountability Office) found that Mar-a-Lago received approximately $60,000 in just the four visits it studied…and he’s made 24!

And all of this is from the president who promised that he would be too busy draining the wasteful, do-nothing, incompetent government swamp to be able to play any golf, should he ever be elected President of the United States. Then candidate Trump repeatedly promised that golf would never make it onto a President Trump schedule.

“I love golf, but if I were in the White House, I don’t think I’d ever see Turnberry again. I don’t think I’d ever see Doral again,” he told a rally audience in February of 2016.  “I don’t ever think I’d see anything. I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off.”

President Trump reneged on that pledge within two weeks, and since then he has spent a total of 61 days on his Florida courses, 58 at Bedminster in New Jersey, one at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles and two at Trump Turnberry, for a golfing average of 1 in every 5th day of his presidency on the gold course.

That’s a lie of 5 over par! Or as our President would characterize it: “A hole in 1!”

Nice work if you can get it…and boy are we getting it! Fore!!!!!

 

 

America’s Racoonteurs?

14 May

Here is a post that I recently saw on Facebook. It was posted by a supporter of President Trump and then copied and pasted by other loyal Trump supporters to their own Facebook pages to help explain to all other Americans why Donald Trump is the best man for the job of President of the United States.

In Summary: They, President Trump supporters, just want to get rid of the damn raccoons that have been infesting America. And that is the… one and only thing… that they care about. And President Trump is the one and only guy who understands what they want and who will do what they want… because the raccoons have got to go!

The best way to tell that what you believe in is wrong is when you know that you can’t say it out loud. When you rant and rave and preach and proclaim about what it is that makes you so angry but then when it comes time to name that one thing that makes you so mad you have to say “raccoon”  rather that what you really mean.

So who are the “raccoons” that 40% of American voters hate so much? Anyone care to guess…or say it out loud?

 

 

Meth and me?…And You?

13 Feb

Image result for methamphetamemes drugs

Once again I returned to my local pharmacy in search of my allergy medication…and when I ask for Claritin-D (spoiler alert: It contains pseudoephedrine!) They scan my NJ driver’s license, and wait for their computer to say I’m OK (as in I didn’t buy some yesterday… anywhere in the state… let alone from the same store or from a different person, and have not exceeded my one pill per day allowance) (The computer of course knows all this) then I sign my name and offer payment and off I go with drugs in hand.

Then later today I saw this report in my news feed: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in a newly released report, said that it saw a dramatic 5,657 percent increase is Methamphetamine seizures from 2015 to 2017 in New Jersey, jumping from 4,468 to 257,206 grams!

According to the DEA, One of the explanations for the rise in methamphetamine use (which can be made from pseudoephedrine, hence my having to prove who I am when purchasing it lest I go home and cook up some Meth) is that it has become a popular substance to help combat heroin withdrawal symptoms because “meth” is readily available, inexpensive, and provides the user with a high that can last more than 24 hours.

And Heroin has become a favorite drug of use for Americans lately because of the recent opioid epidemic which has also kept the DEA quite busy over the past few years.

Opioids are expensive and their abuse usually begins with a doctor’s prescription. Then when the abuser can’t afford those he turns to heroine which is cheaper and then to “meth” because that is cheaper still and they all seem to provide the same high and/or help with withdrawal from the previously abused drug.

In the DEA’s report, their analysis found that purity levels of the NJ Meth are as high as 99 percent! Which they say is indicative of large-scale labs in Mexico, where the Sinaloa Cartel are attempting to expand its market for crystal methamphetamine in New Jersey.

Said DEA special agent in charge, Valerie A. Nickerson, “Over the last several years much emphasis has been placed on the opioid epidemic. We are also taking this methamphetamine threat seriously. DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to investigate those people and drug organizations who choose to put this drug on our streets.”.

To which I add…Seriously? USA law enforcement has been fighting a declared war on drugs, and those who make and distribute them, for over 60 years! And how are they doing? We now have 5,657 percent more of Methamphetamine than we had 3 years ago! And that’s just in NJ! And that’s just Meth! And that’s just in the last 3 years let alone 60! How much more of every other drug do we have now in the USA then we did 5, 10, 25 or 60 years ago!

That’s some war! And something tells me that we’re losing and it’s not even close. And I’m not even complaining about my having to wait in line and show my driver’s license just to get a little allergy medication…but obviously that little regulation isn’t helping one little bit.

And the DEA and all of law enforcement for that matter,  knows where it’s coming from because they told us in their report. And they even know the names of the particular bad guys who are selling this particular drug…and where they live! And no one can catch them or stop them?…after 60 years of trying?

And the opioid epidemic we know starts with doctors! Who write prescriptions! To give the drugs to their patients… and they get those opioids from American pharmaceutical companies! And we all know who they are too! And where they are! And we can’t stop them either? Why not?

Because there is no drug war. In America we have the Drug Business. And it’s a very lucrative business and if you are on the selling, making, enforcing, legislating, banking, jailing, treating or doctoring  side of it you make great money. And if you are on the using side of it you spend great money, and get high and possibly go to jail… but usually only if you are already poor, or browner than most or not in cahoots with someone on the money making side of the equation…or you ruin your family, lose your friends and eventually die from overuse and/or abuse.

And that’s drugs in America!…and the war continues…and that’s only with the illegal ones! The legal drugs are an even bigger business! And we’ve got no war with those…more like a love affair. So “Just say no” and don’t do them…or not? It doesn’t seem to matter one way or the other as far as “the war” is concerned.

Ironically though The Federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act was actually such a success that domestic meth production plummeted. And so Production has shifted to Mexican super-labs, and some smaller American labs which all now make a more potent version that is nearly 100 percent pure…

And it’s cheap! And meth cases now account for the majority of federal drug cases in more than half of U.S. states… but my Claritin-D now costs too much for me to want to try to buy it all up and open a meth-lab. I’d never be able to make a profit! So go figure. Are we winning or losing the drug war?

Well, according to our President’s most recent tweets, drugs are pouring over our southern border in record numbers… but our economy is doing great and jobs are up and The Dow is up… so we should all cheer up…and build that wall ASAP! (He really did recently say all of those things, just not all in the same tweet)

So that about sums it up… I guess? But cheap is good, right? So Tally Ho!…Just say No! And Into the valley of death… We go!?

 

That’s How We Do: Juxta-Posers

7 Feb

Just thought I’d repost this from a few years ago after listening to Lawrence O’Donnell today and The POTUS yesterday speak about Socialism and how we (The USA) will never, ever be a socialist country in any way shape or form…

Today I took a drive to the Philadelphia airport and on the drive home, thanks to major construction and the worn out, pot-holed, crumbly highway, I was forced to a crawl just as I passed the relatively new South Philadelphia Stadium Complex. Where the Philadelphia Phillies, Eagles and Flyers play.

I couldn’t help but notice how shiny and new and spectacular the stadiums looked…however I also couldn’t help but notice that the names on the stadiums were Citizens Bank Park Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field and The Wells Fargo Center. And I also couldn’t help but notice that the surrounding neighborhoods were about as shiny and new and spectacular as the interstate highway  that I was traveling on.

And that got me to wondering…Why do we almost always put sports stadiums in the worst parts of big cities where then millions of people have to travel from the suburbs to spend millions of dollars to watch millionaires play? Probably you’ll say it’s so we can get all of that money that is being spent back into the cities…but that’s just not the case

Most if not all of these stadiums are financed by the crumbling cities themselves rather than by the wealthy teams and owners and financial institutions that have their names on them. And even though banks like Wells Fargo and  Citizens bank and Lincoln Financial pay millions for the naming rights, when you consider the recent trillions of dollars spent by the federal government in bailing out these banks then just about all of the money spent on these ballparks comes from…the citizens…not banks.

 That’s just plain crazy.

Many politicians and proponents of these publicly financed stadiums argue that new stadiums bring new jobs and economic expansion but when new sport stadiums are financed with public money, all research has shown that the population is actually worse off economically than before the stadium.

In fact arenas and stadiums rarely live up to the promises teams, owners, and city politicians use to justify their construction. Cities are often left holding unsustainable amounts of debt because the economic development that is promised never shows up, and as a result, other services that provide more benefit to taxpayers like new roads and bridges and jobs and boring things like that are slashed to pay the bills.

Which when you think about it is insane.

Almost 40 years ago my home state of New Jersey borrowed $302 million to  construct  the Meadowlands and was supposed  to pay off the bonds in 25 years. Today because of refinancing, and redirecting funds for other stadiums the authority that runs the Meadowlands owes $830 million…on a stadium that was just torn down.

That’s nuts!

Did you know that according to a new study from Harvard: when public-private partnerships are used to build such stadiums, taxpayers finance more than three-quarters of the investment, with teams and owners picking up just 22 percent of the tab…And every NFL franchise is today worth over 1 billion dollars!

It’s so ridiculous that it’s unbelievable!

And while our cities and infrastructures are crumbling around us we are cheering ourselves up by yelling, screaming and cavorting in the midst of abject poverty on urban oases as green as the piles of cash we spend there, named after banks that wouldn’t lend us a dollar under the very same deals and interest rates that they broker to build these coliseums.

Shouldn’t we  really be building these monuments to fame and fortune in the places where they belong like Beverly Hills, Wall Street and Fort Knox?

It’s so ridiculous that it defies explanation…

But after all…that’s just how we do…isn’t it?

 

Put A Stamp On It!

17 Apr

Image result for stamps

Did you ever put a stamp on an envelope and notice that it often says in the upper right hand corner that the Post Office will not deliver your mail without the proper postage attached?

So what’s all the fuss that our President is trying to create by telling us that Amazon is not paying to have its packages delivered? Just how would they get away with that when everyone knows that the Post Office doesn’t carry our letters, packages and mail around for free? Did you ever try to pop something in the mail without postage????

If you’re lucky the Post Office will send it back to you with a note that says (See above)…if not, you’ll just never see your mail again…nor will anyone else…

The Post Office is not funded by American tax dollars and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. And while it is true that the P.O. is suffering from a large amount of debt that’s only because most of the Postal Service’s financial problems have been created by a government mandate that it pay up front for retiree pension and health care expenses. That’s because an act of Congress says that it has to… (private businesses that have retiree benefit obligations are not required to pay those amounts up front.)… And those P.O. obligations for current and past employees stood at $38 billion at the end of its most recent fiscal year.

And that’s why The Postal Service’s debt is so high. It’s a direct result of the Congressional mandate that it must pay for 10 years to pre-fund the retiree healthcare plan and pension fund…not because Amazon is having it’s mail delivered for free.

And yet our President insists on tweeting:

“I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy. Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. P.O. leaders don’t have a clue (or do they?)!”

Does our President have a clue? He should, because…well…like…He is the President!…Of the United States! And he could ask someone who works in the White House or in his Cabinet or in Congress…or Melania even! I bet she knows or could certainly ask someone for him.

But noooooooooo…instead the President has issued an executive order calling for an investigation into the Postal Service’s finances so that we can spend some real taxpayer’s money trying to once again find out who ate the strawberries when we already know who did it…our own President, Captain Queeg!

Just imagine… 2 and a half more years of having to watch the President of the United States…just mailing it in every day…and without a stamp!?

 

Shall We Examine the Evidence?

16 Apr

Former FBI Director, James Comey, has released a new book in which he accuses  President Donald Trump of not being very presidential while also likening him to resembling something more akin to that of a mob boss.

President Donald trump responded by… tweeting… that James Comey is… a “leaking, lying slimeball!”

So, I guess that about sums it all up in a nutshell…wouldn’t you say?

Which Hunt?

10 Apr

Related image

 

President Donald Trump slammed the FBI’s raid on the office and hotel room of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen as a “disgraceful situation” and an “attack on our country.” “It’s a total witch-hunt. ” “It’s an attack on our country in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for, so when I saw this and when I heard it, I heard it like you did, I said that is really now in a whole new level of unfairness.”

I don’t know what he’s so concerned about or why he is so upset with agents of the law and American law enforcement just doing their job. Aren’t these public servants among the true heroes of our country, as Republicans and conservatives are often so fond of saying, and always picking on Democrats liberals for not saying often enough?

Republicans and Conservatives are also quite fond of telling all Americans about how easy it is to work with law enforcement and officers of the law. It’s really quite simple isn’t it?

Just roll down your window… Say, “yes sir and no sir and thank you sir.”…Obey all instructions politely… Never raise your voice or argue or complain… Show all of your necessary and legal documents…and never, ever, ever show aggression… or run.

After all, if you haven’t done anything wrong…then what is there to be upset or afraid about?

Right?

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