Read up! We have a democracy that needs help

I have been neglectful in the care and feeding of my site. Oh well, it isn’t as if anyone has come forward to say “why haven’t you updated your blog lately?” So I must be doing something right, just kidding, kinda sorta.

One thing is for sure, plenty of topics are out there in no small part due to that orangutan that millions will not admit  is the 45th president of the U.S.

The devastating storm that battered the Texas coast, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands all have a tie into 45. Even if the president is taken out of these disasters our U.S. citizens, including myself, encountered is often unimaginable.

Then there was the mass shooting in Las Vegas. There are so many stories there. Too many questions remain. Here is my question — and I am not certain whether it has or hasn’t been answered — why hasn’t any information been unearthed or released about those hotel guests who were staying on the same floor as the shooter?

As for No. 45 alone, it seems as if more and more Republican officials are beginning to realize what most of us who voted against Old Orange Man have known from the start. The president is incompetent and has an extreme and even dangerous type of narcissism. I am sure that one day experts will want a look at his postmortem brain. Both Democrats and Republicans are discussing, mostly in an anonymous fashion, the two legal means of ridding the White House of Old Orange Man. These manners of booting 45 are impeachment and removal from office, and exercising the 25th Amendment. Barring some dramatic and/or dangerous event involving the president first occurs, impeachment seems a  more likely avenue. That would require the Republicans coming together in Congress so if the impeachment process rolls forward, one would be assured that the reasoning for trial is a serious event.

The 25th Amendment also is an option, but hopefully that would be employed as a very, last option. Too much would be involved with such a solution not least at what is the slippery slope it would create for our democracy.

Yes, there is much to be learned and too much to digest all of the above as well as other concerns — North Korea chief among those.

So, if you haven’t already, get to reading about the news and if you find something that doesn’t sound right — which are most of 45’s actions and speech — read some more. Our democracy depends on you.

The clown prince speaks his insanity once more

Trump is talking about what “we” will do in Afghanistan and issue yet again a “Trump” doctrine. Is there a mouse in his pocket? Crap o’mighty.

He speaks in his hyperbolic narcissism.  It is just too ridiculous to repeat.

Trump’s Secret Squirrel attitude once again promised he will not tell the public — who provides “blood and treasure” in the manner of bullet catchers and unlimited money — what  our troops will do. That danger is a government that willingly spends those lives and those dollars with no oversight. Oh, well there is “congressional oversight,” if you don’t find those words oxymoronic.  Perhaps in Trump’s mind, this might be viewed more toward the moronic.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on a “town hall” with CNN’s Jake Tapper, the former whom I have long felt bears a scary resemblance with the 60s sitcom “The Munsters” character Eddie Munster, is back ready to suck up to Trump after the president’s bright shining insanity last week.

This is all for right now. Such clarity. I wish I could say this all is a big joke. Well, at least Trump is a joke, but his mouthing off and his stupidity is out for all to see.

They say it’s your birthday … USA

Happy (U.S.) Independence Day.

This is the day that Americans celebrate the nation’s formal divorce from England. Actually, the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Continental Congress two days earlier. What happened between that day and the Fourth, I am not certain. Maybe they all fled to Benji Franklin’s place where they proceeded to get “likkered up.”

I type this while I listen to the Orange One speaks from the White House balcony. Perhaps it is the Truman Balcony, so named for that crusty ol’ sonofabitch Harry S Truman. The “S” in the 33rd president’s name stands for no name. It was a combination of two grandfather’s names. The S name used to give editors hell — he, after all, was nicknamed “Give ’em Hell Harry” — as he would often use a period following the S in his name when signing documents.

It seems likes some folks are freaking out over the supposed firing by North Korea of an intercontinental ballistic missile. What me worry? As the great Alfred E. Newman was wont to say. I would say, you should be scared what with the Orange man in the White House.

By the way, I was in Washington, D.C., a few weeks ago. This pic should be evidence that I was there:

Ah yes, free tanning sessions. Right here!

 

After lunch in Union Station, I saw this bunch. I have no idea what they were doing. Probably seeking cool from the 90-degree temps outside. Or maybe they were finding shelter from the mass of pigeons outside.

Have a happy Fourth or Second or Fifth or perhaps a half pint!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I must depart. I need to return blogging here. But, you know, too much of a good thing … Happy Fourth.

 

 

 

Trump fires “mean ol'” FBI director Comey

What country is this?

This is a question that I just posed to my friend, Paul, who lives in Tokyo, with whom I communicate once or more times a day on What’sApp. I was referencing the news that President Donald J. Trump has just fired FBI Director James Comey for, as CNN panelists are describing as “being too mean to Hillary Clinton.” I must emphasize that this isn’t from an Onion story.

Bye Jimmy. It’s been unreal.

This doesn’t pass any smell test. It seems history is repeating itself. The historic story of which I speak is that of the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre”. This bloodless event took place on Oct. 20, 1973, when President Richard M. Nixon, who was under fire as a result of the Watergate scandal, ordered the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Nixon ordered Attorney General Eliott Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson refused. Richardson was then fired. Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus was then ordered to fire the special prosecutor. He refused. Both Justice officials had assured a congressional oversight committee that they wouldn’t intervene in the investigation of Nixon. Solicitor General Robert Bork made no such assurances and he fired Cox. Congress, almost exactly 14 years later, rejected Bork as a Supreme Court nominee. Bork had served as a justice of the Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals circuit and was nominated for the Supremes by President Ronald Reagan.

Anyone who has followed the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, should recognize that Comey has made sometimes confusing statements. And Hillary Clinton has recently said that Comey’s announcing that the FBI would look further into her e-mail probe in late October was a contributing factor in the Electoral College win by Trump even though Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes.

The Justice Department said in July that Clinton would not be prosecuted for her email practices. The statement by Comey that he would look further into some email problems in Clinton’s State Department appeared to turn the tide for Trump as Republican presidential nominee. It made no difference that Comey announced just a few days before the election that Clinton had another all clear. The rest, is our sorry history.

Some people who acquire great wealth and power come to believe that they may do whatever the hell they want. It seemed that Trump has headed in that direction. Now there is no such question. Are we in for our long national nightmare II, as President Gerald R. Ford described the aftermath of the Nixon saga?

Stay strapped in because it looks our nation is in for another bumpy ride.

Trump: “Bring me more smoke and mirrors!”

More smoke and more mirrors. I know a little about smoke. In the header-photo above, I am the one on the tail-end of the 2 1/2-inch fire hose. I know 2 1/2 inches of hose does not sound like much of a hose. But it is. A normal uncharged section of 2 1/2-inch hose is not the easiest of objects to maneuver.  But once you charge that hose and the principles of fire hydraulics begin its activities, you have a whole lot of water and weight.

Now the picture above shows much more fire than smoke. It’s funny. When my lieutenant and I were fighting this blaze, it seemed to me that the heat, and smoke was much more intense than the blaze itself. As you look in this wonderful photo, you see the house outlined in fire. Thus, I saw much more in that picture of a house blazing than from when the house was right before my eyes.

lt is simple to say, the picture defies reality. What  that means is something entirely different. This afternoon, I heard something that defied  reality. That was when our president was collectively blowing smoke up our asses. It seems that Donald Trump does that quite often.

President Doofus was exercising his almost daily ritual, often times more than once, of blowing smoke and employing mirrors. Why? Well, if a little smoke looks good much more of it has to appear even better. Or so would such an argument — as stupid as it seems — might go.

Today’s grand illusion is the Department of Veterans Affairs.

By employing his weapon of choice, the presidential executive order, President All About Donald can claim all the credit should the VA order turns out to be an unqualified win.  And if matters should fail … Well … ?

There is no doubt that the VA has many problems although  many of its problems fall not so much in the area of health care.

The VA provides benefits to millions of veterans and their families. The third of the three largest branches of the VA handles nothing but cemeteries and veteran burial benefits. Even in the area of health care, a gigantic bureaucracy  looms to ensure the agency will be paid, one way or the other.

It is amazing how many people believe all veterans are due free health care. I once corrected a member of Congress on that fact. Only certain groups of veterans receive free care, among those are those whose illnesses or injuries are connected to the vet’s military service. Then, the percentage of that disability is service connected goes into the equation of what amount, if any, co-pay a veteran will pay.

I am at the low end end of care which is means-based. Last year, quite suddenly, the VA decided I owed them co-payments for medicines and afterwards were charged  for co-pays of actual medical care in addition to those for prescriptions. Many of those who know little of the VA may also not realize that one’s ability to pay is based on gross income. Let’s say my income is $45,000 a year. But I don’t work full-time so I might make no more than $24,000 after taxes. You see the problem there.

I spent quite a few years reporting on and writing about the VA. I saw the agency from a number of vantage points. Most recently I have seen the many views of fiscal accounting, or lack there of, from a patient’s point of view.

There are at least three and possibly more offices one must deal with in settling debts. These offices sometimes do not deal with each other directly.

If the president thinks he can sign a piece of paper and the VA will have its problem solved, then he will definitely require a lot of help. That, and much much more smoke and mirrors.