Most people remember the FEMA fiasco that followed Hurricane Katrina. Who could forget Bush’s words to FEMA director Michael Brown as thousands suffered in the Superdome or Convention Center, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” Heck, I even had a t-shirt made with that quote on it.
One can go back and read the literature and learn that the critics don’t think much was learned from Katrina. One can also learn that a lesson that was learned was to make sure the mistakes are not repeated if the victims are white and live in red states.
During his first year wasting space in the White House, Donald Trump posted 20, 2017 times on Twitter. I didn’t find any quick number for 2018 but I’m sure it was that much or more. Trump spends so much time ranting and raving via tweets it struck me that if a space ship of little green aliens landed and said, “take us to your leader,” we’d have to help them register for a Twitter account first.
Yesterday I did a little Googling about using drones to get up and over border walls and I didn’t have to dig too far to learn that the technology exists to inexpensively smuggle large amounts of drugs into America via an air force of drones.
Drones vary widely in both price and payload. A few thousand dollars on Amazon will buy one a drone capable of carrying a payload of 12 kg. At an average street price of $200 a gram in the US a 12 kg cargo could be valued at as much as $2.4 million. For several thousand more one could buy a drone with a cargo capacity of 660 pounds. You do the math and don’t forget such a drone may be able to smuggle a couple of people over a wall.
Seriously, I am just kidding, there’s nothing good about Trump and the GOP’s huge unfunded tax unless you’re a member of the super-duper jet club or America’s most exclusive country club crowd. If you’re just another working stiff in America, living from check to check and wondering how the hell your kids will be able to go to college without enslaving themselves in the life long debtors prison called student loans.
Whatever small gains you may experience from the tax cut will last for ten years or less. That’s because your cuts are temporary with a ten-year shelf life, after which, they expire. For that small percentage of America’s richest, the cuts are permanent and will just keep on giving. The new laws may make it easier for you to file but will do nothing to make it easier for you to meet your long-term obligations. Continue reading The Good & Bad of Trump’s Tax Cut→
A couple of days ago I was in a discussion with a person who contended that the Muller special investigation should be ended because it hasn’t resulted in any evidence of wrongdoing. This claimed, in spite of a couple dozen indictments and several guilty pleas.
The Muller investigation began on May 17, 2017, so it is not yet two-years-old. How does that compare to other special prosecutor investigations? I did a little Googling and came up with the following:
The Samuel Pierce influence peddling during the first Bush presidency took almost 8 1/2 years.
The Whitewater Investigation during the Clinton administration took about 7 years.
The Henry Cisnero perjury investigation of the Clinton era went on for 9 years.
It took 3 years to conclude the Valerie Plame investigation during the G.W.B. years.
So, in light of these (and there are more), Muller is advancing relatively fast. The claim that there’s no evidence of wrongdoing is bogus. Given the number of indictments and guilty pleas, plus Muller’s ability to contain leaks simply means none of us really knows what evidence exists. We can make no judgments until the prosecutor says he’s finished and issues his report.
To think otherwise is simply to admit you’re accepting the word of paid mouthpieces like Rudi Guiliani.
Old white men wearing dark suits and sporting locks of bright grey hair don’t like change. That’s why whippersnappers who are young, female, beautiful, intelligent, and can bust a move in the hallways of Congress, scare the shit out of them. Most specifically I’m talking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a major rising star in today’s progressivism. Besides her joy of dancing the old folks don’t care much for her suggested reforms to the nation’s income tax system. What’s got their sphincters in a twist is the 70% income tax she wants to impose on the nation’s wealthiest. If one doesn’t go beyond the 70% figure it is easy for the wealth and power block to lure the average American into thinking the government is coming after their money. Quite the contrary is the case.
Rick Wilson’s book, Everything Trump Touches Dies, may be coming true for Sarah Sanders and Raj Shah, two of the people whose job it is to cover up Trump’s lies and lunacy. There are recent stories in the news feeds that both are looking for new jobs but are having difficulting finding them. They are damaged goods, tainted by selling their souls in service to one of our most corrupt and dishonest WH occupants.
According to RawStory, Sanders has changed from daily press briefings to monthly press briefings and Shah has removed the words, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, from his social media accounts. Apparently, both have finally concluded that they are not needed in Trump World, a world in which Trump is his own head of press relations and public communications.
Earlier in December Sanders spoke about her legacy. She said she wished it to be one of being transparent and honest. Well, we all know that ship sailed long ago and it ain’t coming back.
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A major news item today regards the “scathing” op-ed Mitt Romney wrote for the Washington Post. While Romney is now calling Trump out, I have to wonder why he waited this long to do so? Romney was
a major target of Trump’s vitreal during the GOP campaign and the victim of a Trump prank when he thought he was being offered the Secretary of State position. Romney handily won the vacated seat of Warren Hatch and probably would have even if he had spoken out long before sewing up a seat in the Senate.
Senate seat now secure Romney is openly claiming Trump to not be up to the mantle of the job. Romney is critical of Trump’s not calling out to our better angels but instead, had given reign to our worst angels. “He [Trump] has failed to offer examples of honesty and integrity.”
In the arena of world affairs, Romney said this about Trump’s behavior on the world stage, “Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world. In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 84 percent of people in Germany, Britain, France, Canada, and Sweden believed the American president would “do the right thing in world affairs.” One year later, that number had fallen to 16 percent.”
Donald Trump never tires of telling us how intelligent he is, how good a businessman he is, and how much better he is than anyone else. Of course, his favorite targets are Clinton and Obama. All year he has tooted his own horn over the record levels attained by the stock market and in fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average did reach a record high. But in December the bottom fell out, canceling all of the year’s gains and leaving the Dow around 4,000 points lower. Where he took full credit for the gains he has several people to blame the losses on.
So what’s the truth? How has the Dow performed under his leadership compared to other presidents? During Trump’s first two years in office, the Dow has grown by 19.2%. Now let’s compare that against some other presidents.
GOP Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania went on MSNBC recently and tore Donald Trump a new anal opening. He was especially critical of the government shutdown and Trump’s refusal to pass a spending bill. He also chastised Trump for bending to the will of far-right media personalities. There are at least two things wrong with Costello’s criticisms, first he won’t be a part of the incoming 116 Congress and secondly, for the past two years, his record of supporting Trump is 96%. Looks like he got real damned mad and real damned honest when he didn’t have worry about the Donald looking over his shoulder.
I normally don’t like reposting memes. There are several reasons but mostly I want to write my own words and my own thoughts plus, frequently memes aren’t accurate. However, in the following case it’s right on accurate and why should I waste my energy typing when this meme is so succinct.
What follows is part of a New York Times article regarding the way in which the Trump family may have used its influence to obtain a bogus letter exempting Trump from the military draft.
“The New York City podiatrist who gave Donald Trump a letter stating he had bone spurs on his heels—which enabled him to dodge the Vietnam War draft—issued the document as a favor to Trump’s real-estate developer father, Fred, from whom his office space was rented, the doctor’s daughter has told The New York Times. “I know it was a favor,” said Elysa Braunstein, now 56, who said the implication from her father was that the future president did not have a disqualifying foot ailment. Braunstein’s surgical office in Jamaica, Queens, was owned by the Trump family until 2004. Braunstein said that after the letter was issued, her father received preferential treatment from his landlord. “If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call and Trump would take care of it immediately. That was the small favor that he got.” Larry Braunstein died in 2007. A second podiatrist, Manny Weinstein, who was also allegedly involved in testifying to Trump’s condition, was a close friend of Braunstein’s, she said. Weinstein lived in two apartments in Brooklyn owned by Fred Trump. He moved into the first space during the year Donald Trump received his exemption. In an interview with the Times in 2016, Donald Trump said a doctor provided “a very strong letter” about the bone spurs in his heels, which he then presented to military draft officials. He said he could not remember the doctor’s name. “You are talking a lot of years,” Trump said. He had been declared available for service two years earlier and underwent a physical exam, records show. Officials again declared him available for service in July 1968, by which time he had exhausted four education deferments and finished college. However, the last-minute diagnosis of bone spurs, which has been widely mocked, kept him out of military service.”
Twenty-three months ago Trump began his first term with thirty high-level White House staff members. Today he’s down to ten and unfortunately, half of those include, Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Sanders, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and worst of all, Stephen Miller. I hold Miller more accountable than any other for the incarceration of over 15,000 immigrant children. If anyone pulls the strings of the Trump marionette it could be Miller.
My wife and I were recently talking about how much of an exposed border America has. In light of that, I saw this meme that is such a good visual illustration of how meaningless a Southern wall is. There also appears to be some evidence that more illegals cross the Canadian border than the Mexican. Regardless, America is a very porous nation and no fence is going to keep people out. Once again, walls don’t work, just ask the Chinese or the French. I know that Trump knows more than his generals but just bear in mind these words from General George S. Patton, “Fixed fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity. If mountain ranges and oceans can be overcome, anything made by man can be overcome.”