Weekly Randoms 7/31 - 8/13

- Everyone on tv looks nuts when watching it on mute.

- Sebastian Gorka, a White House security advisor, suggested last weekend's explosion at a Minnesota mosque was propagated by the left when asked by a reporter why the president conveniently never publicly commented on it. 

- This past Thursday, Jeffrey Lord, an obnoxiously pro-Trump conservative CNN pundit, was fired after tweeting out a Nazi tweet that read 'Sieg Heil'. Typing that just made me feel furious and dirty all the same. This trend of hatred is not a sustainable path. 

- The next day, white supremacists, Nazi's and KKK members gathered together to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statute in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting hate-filled lines like "blood and soil", "Jews will not replace us" and "Heil Trump" while carrying lit torches. These bigots were met by brave men and women that opposed their hatred. Tensions increased on Saturday, when smaller brawls broke out. Later the same day, a white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one and injuring 19 others. Video has also gone viral of white supremacists beating a black man with clubs.

- Former KKK leader David Duke, the same guy Trump struggled to find a way to distance himself from during the 2016 election campaign, was quoted during Saturday's rally saying "that's what we believed in, that's why we voted for Donald Trump. Because he said he's going to take our country back. That's what we gotta do."

- Trump's response to the violence and murder of a counterprotestor was a tweet that called to "end all that hate stands for" and to "be united". That sprung the same former KKK leader David Duke to say "I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror and remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists." That had Trump backpedal his comments by tweeting he "condemn violence on all sides." That vague a statement translates into the President of the United States being an apologist for racists for not calling them out directly for their hatred and pretending that defending yourself against incited violence and threats is no false equivalency to hate groups and armed militia instigating and threatening anyone who opposes their views. By not doing so, he himself, as the President of this country and the massive platform that comes with it, has implicitly performed an act of domestic terrorism; as white supremacist Andrew Anglin said "he refused to even mention anything to do with us. When reporters were screaming at him about white nationalism he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him." A non-answer and walk away from reporters asking if he condemns Nazi's and white supremacists is indeed an answer. Refusing to do so in the moment or even after the fact is inexcusable. But then again, what else can you expect from a man with a long history of racism, xenophobia and bigotry?!

- 'Merica, where protests by residents in the streets after an unarmed black man was shot and killed by a cop led to teargas, rubber bullets and military vehicles in a black city but a march by white supremacists chanting "blood and soil", "Jews will not replace us" and the murder of Heather D Heyer and instigated violence to those who opposed their hate, saw none of that.

- This week also saw the White House's white nationalist wing get a word in and announce they'll limit legal immigration into the country by 50%.

- Lexington, Kentucky Mayor Jim Gray says "the tragic events in Charlottesville (VA) today have accelerated the announcement that I intended to make next week. On Tuesday, I will ask the Council to support Lexington's petition to the Kentucky Military Heritage Commission (to move 2 confederate statutes from the city courthouse), a required next step. Details to come." At least he'll on the right side of history..

- The walk out of work the last day before vacation is a beautiful thing.

- The U.S. Treasury announced new financial sanctions directly against Venezuelan President Maduro, after he followed through with his attempt to rewrite their constitution. At least 16 died during protests on Sunday and by Tuesday two of Maduro's more prominent critics and opposition had been kidnapped in the middle of the night and taken to an unknown place. Might be safe to strip that 'president' title at this point. In response, a  released WH statement read "we have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary."

- In another tale of President-turned-authoritarian, President Erdogen has started trial proceedings of 486 primarily military individuals on charges of conspiring in a failed coup of parliament and the president and leading an armed terrorist organization; among other charges.

- The Pentagon is contemplating arming the Ukraine militia against Russian invasion. Such a decision would need to be approved by the President, which would make for an interesting decision to see how that would play out.

- Props to Utah mayor Ben McAdams for going undercover to a homeless shelter in his city to see the horrendous conditions of rampant drug use, violence and general lack of safe conditions firsthand. Let's hope this is the first step towards improving shelter conditions not just in Salt Lake City, but nationwide.

- The White House has now confirmed that Trump Jr.'s 100% lies of a statement following initial reports of his involvement in the now infamous June 2016 meeting with Russians was drafted by daddy Trump, otherwise known as the President. According to reports, White House officials had encouraged Jr. to be transparent, as they had the foresight to understand more revelations would soon follow, but were overruled by daddy Trump because, well, that's just how Trump rolls. Lying to the grave is just his style. The most amusing part of all this is the fact that it directly contradicts, Jay Sekulow, Trump's own lawyers' July 12 CNN interview where he stated Trump had not approved or had any input in his son's statement. This seems to be the first direct link between Trump himself and the whole messy Russia fiasco.

- A subpeona for Jared Kushner, was issued in May, shortly after it was reported that the company, Kushner Cos., used Kushner's position as President Donald Trump's senior advisor to promote the company and the One Journal Square development to Chinese investors in exchange for visas for investments.

- We also learned this in the last couple weeks that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager,  had his home raided by the FBI through a search warrant in late July. 

- It's scary to think how much more Trump and this White House would get away with if they weren't so god damn stupid.

- Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has also impaneled a grand jury, an indication that he thinks his collusion investigation with Trump's people has enterred another level of seriousness.

- Steve Mnuchin, before being confirmed as the Treasure Secretary, stated multiple times under oath that his former company, Onewest, never robosigned. That was found to be a lie every time. As their VP in 2009 stated that a team of 8 would approve over 6,000 affidavits a week without reviewing them "no more than 30 seconds" a piece. 

- Trumps appointee for the Department of Agriculture, Sam Clovis, was a birther and once called Eric Holder, our then Attorney General Eric Holder a "racist black", because of course he did. You'd have to be at least a certain level of despicable to be associated with this administration.

- An airline worker in Nice, France, was suspended for punching a man holding his baby during an altercation late last week. Too many stories about airline employees feeling too froggy for my liking.

- Don't look now, but more and more Republican Senators are growing a pair of balls and are finally getting sick of Trump belittling and demanding things of them. Orrin Hatch of Utah this week said "if rules were changed as Trump wants, it would be the end of the Republican Party", Tim Scott of South Carolina "we don't work for the president" and even the obstructionist himself Mitch McConnell of Kentucky "it's pretty obvious that our problem on healthcare was not the Democrats." 

- Mitch McConnell, Turtle Man himself also said Trump has yet to grasp the Congressional procedure and that he has "excessive expectations." Trump stated to a reporter when asked if Mitch should be replaced, stated "you can ask me that question" if he fails to make significant progress on the president's agenda, while also amusingly telling him to "get back to work" to pass legislation, tax reform and an infrastructure plan.. while himself being on a 17 day vacation from accomplishing not a damn thing.

- He has harsher words for his own Senate Majority leader for not doing his bidding than he has for Putin tampering with the U.S. election system and removing more than 700 of our US Diplomats or white supremacists chanting threats and killing those that oppose their hatred. That's our president. 

- The federal government is on the verge of granting a second pharmaceutical drug company giant a patent on a drug and monopoly, allowing the current pharmaceutical climate of eagerly charging astronomical prices and shamelessly exploiting their consumers to continue. First with a Zika Virus vaccine, and now with a liver cancer drug to a Chinese pharmaceutical giant for exclusive rights, all through taxpayer paid research; even as Senator Bernie Sanders seeks to fight the exclusivity right procedure being granted until after establishing fair market prices.

- Crops are dying in California, as immigration has been slowed. Costing a couple California towns a total of $13 million, already. Never saw this coming... 

- Baltimore cops were caught planting drugs on a couple of men that were pulled over 2 weeks ago. They had shut off their body cams, then magically found drugs 20 minutes into their search when they suddenly put their cameras back on, only to afterwards realize one of the other body cams filmed the whole thing. This marks the 2nd time within the last few weeks that Baltimore cops were caught planting drugs. Body cams should be on at all times for officers when responding to a call, to protect them as well as civilians. After all, there are at least 2 sides to each story. Failure to do so should be across-the-board consequences to attempt to prevent this kind of thing. Seems like this would be something the DOJ would want to look into further. Instead..

- Word was also released last week that the Department of Justices' civil-rights division will seek to "redirect resources" to investigate college admissions practices and fight affirmative action procedures. Because that's the country's biggest problem these days, too much anti-white discrimination. 

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- The DOJ, run by Sessions, has overruled a decision found by the appeals court that stated in Ohio that Ohioans that didn't vote in a 6 year span were eligible to be purged from the voter rolls. This follows a purge attempt case in Texas from 2011 for voter ID laws that the DOJ has, until as recently as when Trump's group came in, opposed the discriminatory bill. This also follows a letter sent to all 44 states covered by the Voting Rights Act, by the DOJ, requesting proof on how they're complying with the Act from 1993. It is expected that will only further negatively impact Americans right to vote. The 1993 Act specifically states any person "shall not result in the removal of the name of any person from the official list of voters registered to vote in an election for federal office by reason of the person's failure to vote." Glad to see our DOJ has their priorities straight.

- Also on Thursday, in a totally unsurprising but nonetheless in a total scumbag move, Republicans in Indiana began reducing the amount of early voting stations in a largely Democratic county of Indiana, in Marion County, while increasing them in Republican white suburbs following Obama's surprising 2008 Indiana win. The results became fruitful in the 2016 election, where the reduced early voting stations in Marion County fell 26%, while Republican Hamilton County, which had two early voting stations added, saw a 63% increase in voting. 1 early voting station for every Hamilton County member now, as opposed to 1 for every 700,000 Marion County member. Yep.

- "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen..he has been very threatening beyond a normal state." This after it was reported that North Korea has developed a miniature nuclear warhead. General Mathis doubled down on Trump's words of bravado, "the end of its regime and the destruction of its people" in regards to North Korea.

- Unsurprisingly, Trump's fire and fury comments were apparently "improvised", catching even his new Chief of Staff John Kelly by surprise and were dismissed by even his own Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, saying he does not currently view North Korea as an "imminent threat" and that "Americans should sleep well".

Courtesy of Indiatimes.com

Courtesy of Indiatimes.com

- Continuing with the Trump/North Korea theme, Trump retweeted this past week a Fox and Friends story that a North Korean ship missiles were spotted angling in the waters. This came after his own UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, commented on the story calling it a "shame" and that she won't speak on "classified info". The story, based on an anonymous source, was eager to be released by a president quick to scapegoat legitimitate stories with anonymous sources when it calls out his or his cabinet's corruption, collusion or incompetence, was found to be false. 

- And can we just take a minute to appreciate how repulsively full of shit tv evangelists and tv pastors that back Trump are, such as Pastor Robert Jeffress, stating that "and I wanted to clarify that I believe the Bible, especially Romans 13, does give Trump moral authority to use whatever force necessary." You're no where to be found when Trump is a sexist, misogynist, xenophobic or just outright verbally attacking someone, let alone any other of countless global tragedies you're conveniently silent or apathetic about, but when it comes to backing your boy, you're all in. I swear I hope each and every one of you holy hyporcrites are right and there IS a hell somewhere, because it'll be well deserved.

- 95 degrees in Florida is so much more unbearable than 105 degrees in Nevada.

- An estimated 547 gun deaths these past two weeks, as per gunviolencearchive.org.

- Meanwhile, another top EPA official resigned, Elizabeth "Betsy" Southerland, from her role of Director of Science and 30 year career with the agency. She cited the administration's lies and the war on truth as her reasoning.

- How bad is the war on truth and the ethics of this administration, you may ask? Trump has ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture to stop using the term climate change and instead replace it with "weather extremes".

- The court of appeals for D.C., one that'll hear many of Scott Pruitt, the appointed head of the EPA's  legal battles, overruled the attempt to delay a rule that would limit the methane leaks at gas and oil facilities. It would force companies to plug leaks because, apparently selfish people would like to be safe from harmful chemicals..?

- Trump has created secret teams of former lobbyists with sweeping authority to review federal rules and regulations. Meetings have been held in secret, without the opportunity for public input and in some cases, the administration has refused to even reveal the names of people serving on the panels.  Analysis by the New York Times and Pro Publica has found numerous conflicts of interests, including several people who could personally profit from repealed regulations they're reviewing. Nobody's surprised.

- Trump's cabinet is so bad, federal scientists have released a sobering and terrifying report on climate change before Trump's people could get their hands on it and quash it.

- The Secret Service has spent over $35,000 in just the first 3 months for golf cart rentals for this president at his Mar-a-Lago, alone. The U.S. apparently also leases space inside Trump Tower for costs of $130,000 a month. While continuously beating the broken drum about the need to cut funding to important federal programs because of it's wasteful spending. 

- The leaks of Trump's conversations with world leaders, even for someone that can't stand him as I do, seems a little much and dangerous. 

 - The increasing privatization of defense contractors to fight international issues or wars like what seems to be happening in Afghanistan, that answer to no one, is a dangerous trend that create horrific war crimes and more and more future enemies.

- DuPont and their spinoff company, Chemours, are being sued by local citizen groups for releasing highly dangerous chemicals, linked to testicular and kidney cancer, into the drinking water as part of a decades long cover up. The chemicals has potentially exposed over 250,000 residents in the North Carolina and West Virginia area.

- Rather than declaring a public health emergency for the opioid epidemic, from the advise of his own opioid commission, Trump vowed "strong law enforcement" and getting "very, very tough" on the southern border. Because of course he did. 

 - A decidedly Republican Iowan district as recent as last year went to a Democrat this past week after a special election.

- Starting in July 2018, Oregon will require big companies in retail, hospitality and food service to give employees their schedules at least a week ahead of time, and offer stress pay to workers who don't get  a 10-hour break between shifts. By 2020, employers covered by the law will have to hand out schedules two weeks in advance. Props to Oregon for becoming the first state, big cities like Seattle and New York City have similar laws, to pass a law protecting our most vulnerable workers.

- A 6.5 earthquake rocked Sichuan, China this past Wednesday, killing at least 7 confirmed, 21 seriously injured, as many as over 100 feared to be dead and injuring hundreds more.

- Vice News reports that Trump gets a daily flattery report, twice a day, at 9:30 a.m. And 4:30 p.m. Forgoing the daily intelligence briefing. Half his Republicans in the country is willing to forgo a 2020 election "if it is found illegal immigrants are found to be voting", voting machines can be hacked in less than an hour. Trump thanked Putin for ousting over 700 diplomats, by Trump saying "we're trying to save money".

- Wells Fargo is under investigation, again. This time for pushing "optional" monthly mortgage warranties that many consumers found to be more than a daunting task to remove from their automatic enrollment billing through a third party company, American Home Shield. A statement Wells Fargo released stated that they ceased working with third party companies like American Home Shield and "other optional packages" in 2012, which leads to question how many other unwanted fees and scams did they rip off from their consumers.

- See how quickly we fell down this %&$!@%$ rabbit hole where the standards for this standing president are so low that they're simply to not implicitly support the KKK and Nazi's, and he can't even do that! This is where we are now.

Weekly Randoms 7/24 - 7/30

- In two short days, Trump: lied, referring to "17 years of Obamacare", boasted to Boy Scouts about his Electoral College win and stated that "we could use more loyalty", confirmed a covert CIA program on Twitter. All before Wednesday.  and all to distract from the fact that his son-in-law Jared Kushner is testifying before Congress for a second day Tuesday for possible questions of collusion with Russian officials during the 2016 election.

- Also this week, Trump has publicly ridiculed his Attorney General and staunch enabler, Jeff Sessions, for apparently not going after Hillary Clinton for her emails, recusing him from the Russia investigation fiasco, calling him "beleaguered" and weak on intelligence leaks. This along with reports that Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, has considered resigning following the end of this year and the probably not-so-funny-to-him public threat to fire his Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, if he hadn't gotten his parties horrific healthcare bill to be heard for a vote later in the week. Just proving once more, he's a big man-baby with zero idea how to talk to anyone.

- Nobody cares what you're lifting, bruh. Quit throwing the weights around.

- A bill was passed Friday that forbids President Trump (that wording will never not make me throw up in my mouth a little) from independently lifting or softening any sanctions on Russia. It mandates that any attempts to do so would need to be approved by Congress. A Republican majority Congress, that is, has stripped their Republican representative in the White House of the ability to change sanctions to an adversary of ours because they can not trust that he can have our nations best interest at heart. Just wow.

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 - Dengue fever, a mosquito-born epidemic, has killed at least 300 people this year already in Sri Lanka.

- A recent study showed that 110 of 111 former football players suffering from CTE, a degenerative brain disease so debilitating that it's been infamously named after studying former football player brains, specifically. The NFL will need to evolve to a safer way for it's players if it wants to survive in the future.

-  A common misnomer of Medicaid is that it only benefits the poor: 74 million people are on Medicaid. Eliminating and repealing the individual mandate, as the 'skinny repeal' tried to do, would have taken out the taxes and charges to have to have health insurance and jump up premiums by 50%.

- Another week, another two Affordable Healthcare Act repeal failures. It was so bad that by the second attempt and vote, as early as the day before Senators were admitting that they didn't even know which terrible version they were voting for. Back at it again the GOP go next week to figure out a new strategy to ruin millions of American's lives.

- The European Commision has threatened Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic to uphold the agreement to take in the burden share agreement in 2015, as Italy is getting hit hard on migrants from mainly Nigeria seeking work, not refugees from war.

- Repeat something enough and you'll start questioning it yourself.  A 90 year old with dementia asking you every 10 minutes what day it is really makes you question after a while, what day really is it?!

- By Wednesday, our Department of Defense, that spends 6 times on Viagra ($84 million a year!), what it cost to have transgendered individuals in our military, were informed through a Trump tweet he was banning them from the military. In the tweet he stated he had consulted with his generals and military, though the Pentagon themselves released a statement stating they had no idea this decision or tweet was coming. Because, of course.

- In response, Trump's sloppy statements have received pushback from the military - stating until otherwise directed by the White House, will continue to serve all members of the armed forces with respect, as well as legislators.

- Trump's ban came on the same day as Trump Jr. and Manafort's removal from the list of witnesses for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Manafort's subpoena was removed and both did not appear before the committee. Naturally, nothing has come of it since then. It got everyone rightfully and enraged and speaking about it. But keep an eye on the big picture: this was a distraction, plain and simple.

- Also something to remember: transgenders being been banned from enlisting in the U.S. Military would be coming down from a guy that is a 5 time military draft dodger that happens to be this country's president.

- 13 senior Venezuelan officials were sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury as a preventative measure and were warned of further penalties if President Maduro goes ahead and rewrites their Constitution.

- The DOJ has argued that the LGBTQ are not protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in regards of employment discrimination. Like really, that's what we're focusing on as the lead enforcer of law of the United States of America?

- Meanwhile, Trump’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s criminal division told senators Tuesday that he once represented a Russian bank that was alleged to have a Trump Organization connection. Surprised..anyone?

- Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House Communications Director, was quoted in a New York Times interview things saying things like "Reince Priebus - if you want to leak something - he'll be asked to resign very shortly", "Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic" and I'm not Steven Bannon, I'm not trying to suck my own cock." Stay classy, White House.

- Scaramucci is now the 6th member of Trump's administration to have been a Goldman Sach's guy. Draining that swamp...

- Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski to deliver a warning by Thursday: His agency would punish Alaska for her opposition to the latest repeal bill. He threatened to delay energy projects key to the senator's support back home. Zinke also delivered the message to fellow Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan. Pettiness personified and not the way to run a country.

- 6 months in now and our Commander-in-chief is already backpedaling on another campaign promise: to bring rural jobs back. Telling Upstate New Yorkers to just move because he can't get jobs to them he promised. Good job, guy. It's one thing to say it because it's terribly difficult to bring jobs to some areas, but to promise and backpedal 6 months later? Fraudulent. Not to mention the terribly wasteful ideology of throwing massive state and city tax breaks to corporations just so they can open a factory and not contribute federal taxes, anyways, just proves how really dedicated he is to keeping his word halfway through a year into his presidency.

- Relations have been rocky have been particularly rock this week as Israel has removed their metal detectors from the holy site of Jerusalem after very and bloodshed and the death of two Jordanians. Tensions are still high as Israeli's object to their removal, citing safety concerns, while Palestinians argued that the detectors came as a symbol of Israel trying asserting it's claim to sovereignty there.

- Another week, another 250 estimated gun deaths, as per gunviolencearchive.org.

- Fuck it's hard to clap with a beer in your hand.

- Mass arrests were held during Trump's inaugural protests and now the seized cell phones of the arrested have been hacked by federal prosecutors and are attempting to use the vague data inside them to help their cases in securing prosecutions, setting off a potentially dangerous precedent.

- Putin has ordered the removal of 755 American diplomats, in response to the U.S.'s lack of action in removing Obama's instituted sanctions and new one's passed by Congress.

- By Friday, Reince Priebus resigned as Chief of Staff, replaced by General John Kelly.

- Trump's Treasury Department is also ending a retirement program for workers that don't have access to a private retirement plan. The program was started under Obama, so naturally it must be eliminated due to it's pure evil, allowed for Americans to access an affordable retirement plan without the multiple fees that accompanies a private plan.

- Trump told police officers in a speech this past Friday "don't be too nice" to suspects when they are "thrown into the back of a paddy wagon", before informing his crowd that he was going to cheering for the implosion of our federal healthcare system and watch Americans suffer just to push his agenda. Beyond sinister and not surprising at all.

- The spending at Mar-a-Lago, including secret service detail, comes to close to $1 million for each trip, appears to collide with the president's pledges of trimming government costs, which have already exceeded an absurd $6.6 million already.

- When being supportive of a kid's chefing aspirations leaves you with the shits. Oy...

- General O'Slaughnessy of the U.S. military has been quoted as saying the U.S. is ready to use "overwhelming force" against North Korea "at a time and place of our choosing" in response to their increasingly improved ballistic program. This could get dangerous, guys...

Weekly Randoms 7/17 - 7/23

- Ever been on hold so long that you forgot what the point of the phone call even was?! 

- This past week alone now, our healthcare system went from pulling the latest Trumpcare plan off the table, to trying to pass a straight repeal and figure it out later screw everyone (32 million estimated to be kicked off the healthcare rolls) idea only to be scrapped literally the same day to having a meeting where Trump threatens his Republicans to revive another disastrous healthcare plan. This brings the Senate to another bs Republican healthcare plan vote next Tuesday. All while personal bankruptcies as a result of medical bills have dropped by 50%, while just under half of all insurance plans now have to cover for addiction treatment and more than a 1/3 more plans have mental health coverage, closing those insurance loopholes. But nope, definitely failing.

- All of this while Trump behind the scenes is shutting down Affordable Healthcare Act call centers and replacing ACA links with anti-ACA propaganda to actively try and make it fail. Egregious and morally disgusting. 

 - Speaking on this new version of the Republicans latest shitshow of a healthcare plan bill: Second ranking Senate Republican, in regards to the newest healthcare bill disaster to be introduced in the coming days: Cornyn responded that saying hearings or ratings of the plan wasn't "a luxury" Republicans could afford. So there will be no public hearings, and no public knowledge of what's contained in the next version of the Republican bill. Wonderful.

- Since Trump has taken office and up until July 13, an estimated 2,200 civilians have been killed during overseas. That's double Obama's pace and on average 12 innocent people a day being killed by American bombs and artillery. Part of this is an uptick in the aggression and closeness to overtake Mosul and, more importantly, about the Trump administration being much more recklessness and having much less oversight on his military about non-American lives being put in danger. Let us not forget that Trump infamously said at his rallies that you needed to not only go after the suspected terrorist, but the terrorists' families, so this is no coincidence, it's a reckless policy.

 - A reckless policy that toolbag and professional-bitch-of-Trump Paul Ryan all but ensured will continue as he just stripped an amendment that would have had to get Congress approval for any military responses "against groups of extremism related to 9/11" in the middle of the night when there'd be less opposition to such a dangerous decision. Basically, allowing Trump to continue doing whatever he wants militarily in many foreign nations.

- Trump claims to have created 45,000 new coal jobs, when there's only 50,000 coal jobs in all of the country. Because who needs facts anymore?! 

- Speaking of not needing facts anymore, Trump has now told a lie or a misleading statement 836 times since January. Unfuckingbelievable. 

- Who didn't see this load of bullshit coming? Of course Kobach from the "voter fraud" panel is peddling lies to try and suppress votes. A new email reveals his real agenda: to gut the Voting Rights Act. 

- Trump randomly declared this week "Made in America" week, while most of his and his family's garbage is made overseas in China, India and Bangladesh..meanwhile his Mar-a-Lago Club has looked to hire 70 foreign workers this fall, attesting — in the middle of the White House's “Made in America Week” — that it cannot find qualified Americans to serve as cooks, waiters and housekeepers. The same dude that went around screaming foreigners were taking all our jobs. Just let that sink in for a minute.

- First Ukraine, now Georgia. Russia have moved into the country of Georgia's borders, looking to invade and illegally annex more international land.

- To have 3 bum body parts at the same time isn't ideal. To have an ankle you broke a couple years ago sore isn't unexpected, but to have a bum ankle, shoulder and back on the same day, it seems less like a "just one of those days" and more the universe saying "you should probably just stay home and wrap yourself in bubble wrap before something breaks" kinda day.

- Trump, with the power of appointing many federal judges, has successfully appointed Judge Bush to a lifetime appointment to our federal appeals circuit; a right wing extremist blogger and Birther that once implied that he'll shoot the next person that takes his Vote McCain 2008 sign from his lawn. 👌🏼.

- Another fun fact from the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower emerged this week when we learned that American-based employee of a Russian real estate Irakly "Ike" Kaveladze was the 8th member of the meeting. He was accused of money laundering more than a billion dollars in the past. We learned Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort owed $17 million in pro-Russia interests tracked to shell companies that acted as conduits for shady Russian dealings, as well. Equally intriguing, Deutsche Bank execs, the only bank willing to loan to Trump (around $300 million), have agreed to hand over some of their financial dealings related to Trump. This came hours after Trump publicly stated in a NYT interview that he considers the investigation expanding to look into his finances would be considered to him "crossing a red line".

- Keep on pushing for that Cuomo 2020 bid Andrew, as long as it finally means some progress for us New Yorkers, as a bill was passed to expand parental leave to New Yorkers.

- R.I.P. Chest Bennington 1976-2017. He is survived by his wife and six children. It's terrible that your art couldn't save you the way it did so many of your fans.

- Poland looks to be having a democracy crisis of their own as their President seeks to remove all supreme court members not agreeing with the parties views.

- I wish I could start talking about this dumpster fire of an administration but alas, here we are: Team Trump has cut more than $213 million in teen preventive pregnancy programs and research for more than 80 institutions in the U.S. while Press Secretary Sean Spicer, legal spokesman Mark Corallo and Trump's longtime personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz all resigned. Also resigning: former Director of U.S. Office Government Ethics, Walter Schaub. He went on CNN Wednesday, a day after resigning from his post. Among the patheticness he uncovered, he stated that he was approached by Trump's own lawyer to be asked if Trump could file his financial disclosure form without signing it. These are the standards these days, folks.

 - Note to self: bend and lift. With each passing day lil' man is more and more not so lil' anymore and my back is not havin' it.

- An estimated 273 gun deaths this week, as per gunviolencearchive.org. Sigh 😔 

- It's a step, Washington state passing a law that alerts citizens when a domestic abuser tries to buy a gun is a step 1 to keep guns out of the hands of those that are statistically more likely to create gun violence. Any progress is progress at this point.

 - A vote in Venezuela by 7 million, just under 1/3 of all registered Venezuelans, soundly stating that they did not want their President Madura to rewrite their constitution to consolidate power and "fix distress and struggles" and to "bring peace." Opponents say it'll be accomplished by bringing in all pro-Maduro assembly's and panels and further deteriorate their democracy.

- Also under the umbrella of Trump's people are shady as ****: the Obama administration last year sanctioned the FSB, a Russian state security organization, for what it said was its role in the hacking of the 2016 election. Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, present during the infamous June 2016, had them listed as contacts. Kushner failed to disclose 77 assets on his security clearance form that needed revision and Sessions' conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak were "substantive" conversations about Trump's positions on Russia, including his views on sanctions imposed on Russia.

 - Trump, after golfing again, lashed out at Republican's for not "protecting their President". Go cry about it. 😭.

- As many as 10 dead and 20 more in serious condition after being found in a tractor trailer in a San Antonio Wal-Mart parking lot. 39 were found at the scene in total. The driver has been arrested and charged with human trafficking.

- Poor-excuse-for-professionals Fox and Friends is at it again: when you have a lack of integrity and desire to get the facts right, you no longer get the privilege of calling yourself a journalistic program. You're nothing more than a sad excuse for entertainment. When the very ignorant and proudly uninformed president bases his opinions on your dialogue, you have a moral obligation to get it right. Unless you're Fox News, where it gets exploited to spout more hate. Shameful.

Weekly Randoms 7/10 - 7/16

- With no science to back this up, I contend that the song "Moves Like Jagger" kills on average 3 brain cells with each full listen.

- 10 swimmers rescued off the shore of the Florida Gulf Coast when a group of 80 beach goers formed a human chain reaching a 100 yards out this past Monday. Faith in humanity: restored.

Courtesy of CNN - who said the only good thing about Florida was DIsney World?!

Courtesy of CNN - who said the only good thing about Florida was DIsney World?!

This past Tuesday, the country's leading Attorney General and lifelong bigot, Jeff Sessions, met with the most powerful extreme right-wing group for a speech that both he and the organization, Alliance Defending Freedom, refuse to release or even comment on. "Their endgame," said Montgomery, "is to have the law and the culture reflect their religious worldview. In a concrete way, that means criminilzation of abortion nationwide, an end to equal recognition and protections for LGBT people and their relationships, and the weakening of the separation of church and state." The biggest issue is that they've pushed their financial might into the judicial system, pushing their religiously bigoted Christian beliefs onto states and several already determined pivotal Supreme Court decisions, with many more expected to come. The ADF, which believes that homosexuality and pedophilia are "intrinsically linked", was applauded today by the country's head of the DOJ for defending religious freedom amid a "changing cultural climate".

- Pretty sure it hurts me 5 times more than it does my infant son to see how he is right after getting his shots. Poor lil guy.

- Arkansas is attempting to pass a law that requires both the woman AND the man have an agreement on what to do with a deceased one's remains; including the decision to have an abortion or not. A law that doesn't change if you're raped, sexually abused or if your partner is abusive or not. Imagine a rule where you're beaten or raped, and you're legally disallowed to have an abortion because the man doesn't want to or you simply can't find him. Beyond words.

- No one has ever said 'hey, let's get a hedge fund involved, that'll work out well for all parties involved.' Nope. Never happened.

- It came to the light on Monday that Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort's meeting with the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya came after they were informed that information would be coming from the Russian government that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton, contradicting Trump Jr.'s statement no more than 48 hours earlier saying that they only found out during the meeting that the info damaging to Hillary was going to be presented and that it was vague. Potentially violating the law of a campaign official soliciting information from a foreign national. “The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.” He continued, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump.” The administration reeled all week, searching for pointing for people to blame for their stupidity. First, they pointed a finger at Obama because it was somehow his fault that the Russian lawyer was in the U.S. In the first place to allow Jr. to be in the meeting. After being told how ridiculous that sounded, they circled the wagons and downplayed the meeting, claiming it was no big deal and that no information was obtained. By Friday it became public knowledge that the Russian-American lobbyist and ex Soviet military officer Rinat Akhmetsin was present during Jr.'s meeting. He apparently brought DNC-related documents with him. By Sunday, Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow tried blaming the Secret Service, claiming everyone was vetted before the meeting. Almost immediately in response, the Secret Service released a statement reminding everyone that Jr., nor the Trump family, wasn't a Secret Service protectee in June 2016, as they were still very far from being winning the presidency.

- Four days after Trump Jr. was contacted stating he could be given damaging information on Clinton and just hours before setting the now infamous June 9th meeting, Trump said in a speech that he'll release Clinton info dirt regarding Russia. But I'm sure that is just a coincidence.

- Surprise to no one paying even remote attention: Trump's officials have tried to water down the Senate bill that would institute new sanctions on Iran and, more importantly, Russia.

- Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics took out rookies at the Vegas D league to acclimate them to life in the NBA, dropping $5,000 to a host a party for them. That's a cool move on his part.

- Speaking for nobody but myself here: I had to re-prioritize my own health. Life's stress and bullshit isn't worth stroking out at 50. Do whatever it takes to better zen yourself; whether that be the gym or yoga or taking more road trips, but don't let the monotony and pettiness of it all bog you down. Life is too short not to be happy.

- "Preserving public order and the spirit of living together" the European Court of Human Rights' reasoning behind upholding France's blanket ban on face-viels. The ruling affirmed that 2 women could not wear hijabs in public, even after agreeing it unfairly discriminatory against Muslims. Discriminatory, indeed.

- Celebration for a fully liberated Mosul may be a bit premature, as there is still pockets of fighting and bombing going off within the city.

- Jeffrey Loria is suing 9 season ticketholders, because they want their money back. They want their money back after signing multiple year season ticket packages because Loria didn't provide the perks he promised them that was contingent on a multiple year deal, backing out on an agreement that he himself broke first. Not only suing for season ticket monies, but also going after one of the person's  $750k building, as well. From the same guy that's already screwed the city of Miami and state of Florida for millions in public taxes so that he can pocket more of the profits. Stay classy, Jeff.

- A vaccine has been accidentally found for gonorrhea in New Zealand, studies have shown.

- Another week, another 247 estimated gun deaths in 'Murica, as per gunviolencearchive.org.

- RIP to the slain Bronx police woman, Miosotis Familia, who is survived by her 3 children. RIP also to the 16 servicemen that died in a Marine aircraft that crashed down in Mississippi.

- That awkward moment when you walk into the bathroom as someone is blowing it up and after they leave, someone you know walks in as you're walking out and you don't quite know them like that to let 'em know that it wasn't you that just punished the porcelain.

- I really wish that the parts of the media that report every new revelation of Trump's camp of collusion and corruption with Russia's operatives is a smoking gun. That starts to fall on deaf ears after a while if it keeps being repeated. There is no smoking gun because I don't expect him to not finish his full term, because don't understimate the power of the super wealthy and connected to circumvent our judicial system.

- Republican's lack of reactions to the douche Trump is a response to a still overwhelming support of the president. Until that changes, he isn't going anywhere.

- During his tenure as Kansas' secretary of state, Kobach's voter suppression laws meant 1 in 7 weren't able to vote, mainly effecting younger voters that didn't have the collection of paperwork required in the state of Kansas to do so. Kobach has convicted only 1 non citizen of the almost 2 million in Kansas, but keeps banging the anti-immigrant drum because it's effective. In Kansas, for every 200 false positive results, every 1 was actually a case of fraud because of the same flawed search system they're going to enact nationwide. The fear is that the false positive hits will be used to propagate voter suppression laws federally and by states.

- Our own State Department paid more than $15,000 for 19 Trump hotel rooms in his Vancouver tower in February. Emoluments. Clause.

- Stop systematically cutting public funding to ineffective levels to then turn around and privatize it for corporate profits. Oh, and, tickle down this 😒.

- Taser lobbyist appointed to the chief of staff to ICE. Thomas Blank. I'm sure this won't bring about any abuse of power or conflict of interest issues, at all.

- A new provision of the revised health care bill gives congressman and their staff access to health care that those buying premiums won't have access to, because apparently there's still 4 or 5 people in the country they haven't alienated.

- Lack of sleep for consecutive days can lead to irritabi.. the hell you just call me?!

- This past Thursday, Trump hit on France's first lady, saying "you're in such good shape.  She's in such good physical shape. Beautiful." Major props to French president Macron for not body-slamming him right there on the spot.

- Trump's own personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, responded in an email to someone taunting him by saying "watch your back, bitch." Because of course he acts that way being around Trump all the time.

- Trump wants a clear, transparent wall so that Americans don't get hit on the head with flying bags of drugs. Solid plan there, Donald.

- When Kushner revised his security clearance form, he added over 100 foreign national names. 100. Lying on these forms almost always results in a loss of employment and possible jail time, not to mention not losing their security clearance. He met with a Russian banker of Putin's preferred bank.

- Lobbying by the defense industry has exceeded $70 million annually for five of the past six years. It's paying off. The industry has zero oversight and countless human rights violations.

- The Presidential Advisory Commission of Election Integrity, the farce of an agency that's been denied by almost every state to unwarrantedly provide sensitive voter information, has conveniently released sensitive info, unsurprisingly many of whom are their critics. Over 3,500 voters have already canceled their voter registrations in Colorado alone for fear of voter fraud commission jeopardizing their sensitive information.

- In idaho, workers must now prove that taking a new job will not hurt their former employer. A new survey shows 1 in 5 Americans are in similarly trapped employment situations. This is corporate collusion disguised as "noncompete clauses" designed to keep wages down.

Weekly Randoms 7/3 - 7/9

- The company that refused to provide contraceptives to women because it was against their religious values, Hobby Lobby, apparently has no issues reconciling with their religious values to profit off Middle Eastern artifacts that they've been warned might be stolen. The Christian hypocrisy is strong with this one.

- Sitting on a board that provides oversight to pharmaceutical companies and passing bills that would help drug companies that he's invested in like Representative Collins of NY is just bullshit politics as usual these days.

- Stop calling what's going on in Ukraine as a conflict. It's a cop out to not declare it what it really is, an attempt at an illegal annexing of Ukranian land by Russia. An invasion.

- The gender pay gap for the White House staff has more than tripled that of what it was just a year ago under Obama's administration. Women earn just over 63 cents to every dollar their male counterparts make, well under the national pay gap and, more specifically, to national levels not seen since 1980.

- It now came to the light this past Sunday that Trump's son, Jr., along with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and then campaign manager Paul Manafort met with top Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya last June after being promised dirt and damning information on their general election opponent, Hilary Clinton. This has been confirmed by 3 WH advisors and 2 other's familiar with the meeting. Amazing.

- All throughout social media went wild a story of a United Airlines mother that was resorted to holding her 27 month old son in her lap during the 3 and a half hour flight this past week from Houston to Boston. The mother, Shirley Yamauchi, paid nearly a $1000 for her son's seat, only to be told that a standby passenger had purchased it, as well, for $75. I hope she sues the living bejesus out of them.

- An estimated 334 gun deaths this past holiday week, as per gunviolencearchive.org. In 'Murica, we just keep chuggin' along killing each other. SMDH...

- Letters by the DOJ to request mass amounts of voter data from states, the panel headed by Kansas' secretary of state Kris Kobach, has many experts fear it is a sign of long-lasting efforts to purge voters from the voter rolls. Kobach, a champion himself of voter suppression and fear mongering, found a meager 9 instances of voter fraud in own state of Kansas while governor. A total of 44 states, including Kobach's own, have refused to comply with the panel's request. A panel, set up to investigate unsubstantiated and ludicrous claims made by the president because of his bruised ego, may I add.

- More highlights from the G20 Summit: half of the questions Trump took are from media in Poland that applied for jobs within his administration. Poland home of the authoritarian president, Andrzej Duda, the country that bussed in his supporters to the airport runway for Trump.

- Russia's presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that Russia's "patience is running out" for the U.S. to reverse Obama sanctions in 2016. Two diplomatic compounds in Maryland and N.Y. were taken from Russia for their meddling in the U.S.'s general election. It'll interesting to see how the next couple months unfold after Trump and Putin's meeting at the G20 Summit and Congress recent lack of eagerness to play nice with Putin.

- Surprise surprise, there are conflicting reports about what actually happened between Russia's Putin and America's Trump meeting. I'm genuinely amused to see where this one goes.

- Washington D.C. and 18 states are suing the Department of Education over Betsy Devos' destructive decision to cancel agreements put forth by the Obama administration to cancel student loans for students from schools that don't hold up to a standard of graduation rate. This decision, of course, comes from a lady that stands to directly profit off more and more student loans defaulting, as her family owns stocks in the debt collection company Performant Recovery.

- Trump potentially ordering his Justice Department to squash or approve the pending merger of AT&T and CNN's parent company, Time Warner, based on how fairly he feels he's being reported on is yet another assault on our Free Press.

- Stop calling what's going on in Ukraine as a conflict. It's a cop out to not declare it what it really is, an attempt at an illegal annexing of Ukranian land by Russia. An invasion.

- Oregon has joined the progressive ranks with California by passing a law that would protect Oregonian women and require health insurance companies to cover reproductive needs, abortions, counseling and other service's in anticipation of the Supreme Court challenging our pivotal Roe vs. Wade decision.

- Chicago mayor trying to pass legislation that would force high school graduates to either have an enrollment in college, the military, or employment lined up at the threat of withholding their diploma's if they don't is not realistic. Those graduates earned those diploma's in an environment that is not the easiest to focus on their schooling in the first place. To not understand the variables of which a high school graduate either would not or could not do any of those three options is ignorant and classist.

- Venezuelan lawmakers that oppose their President Maduro and his authoritarian ways were physically attacked this past Wednesday, as things continue to get ugly for the South American nation.

- Let's not forget that Trump's refusal to acknowledge and hear agency intelligence on Russia's cyber attack against the U.S. just means that they'll undoubtedly launch another attack during our 2018 midterms.

- It was announced that a federal court will hear Texas' gerrymandering case that was brought against them stating racism. Republicans can specifically be cited as requesting specific blocks and condominiums in emails to lawmakers to literally pick their voters. That's not how democracy is supposed to work.

 

Weekly Randoms 6/26 - 7/2

- The fact that we as civilians have to be urged to contact our politicians, our elected officials that WORK FOR US, to stop them from taking advantage of us and pushing forth damaging legislation that'll ruin so many lives is a big reason why so many people want nothing to do with politics in the first place.

- Monday came two potentially damaging rulings from the Supreme Court that has already paid dividends for the Republicans that stole Gorsuch's seat: 1.) accepting parts of Trump's travel ban on six Muslim countries, 6 nations that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack.  Banning refugees that have gone through extensive and exhausting refugees that have never been on record committing a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. and the ability to further wash away a separation of church and state by stating tax-payer funds can not be disallowed from going towards religious institutions for the funding of playgrounds.

- Well, not even 9 months in and it's officially official, my son is a climber. 

- This Thursday, Trump held a Trump fundraiser at Trump Towers for a Trump 2020 re-election..once again putting into question the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution that Trump seems to break on a daily basis of barring any political official from profiting off their office. 

- Also on Thursday, Trump tweeted personal attacks on morning MSNBC show hosts; slinging insults because of his hurt feelings from their criticisms of his administration. Senator Collins of Maine tweeted in response to Trump "please grow up" and we need to "show respect". Yea, good luck with that one. This man has been this way his whole life. A vindictive, thin-skinned, ego-maniac who surrounds himself with people who tell him how great he is because he lashes out at those who say otherwise. He's 71. We elected a man baby that has always behaved this way and never experienced any repercussions. If you stay with someone that's put their hands on you multiple times, you can't act surprised when they put their hands on you after the wedding rings are slid on. And then, reports came out the next day that White House officials called to threaten Joe Scarborough with the National Enquirer running disparaging stories about him if he didn't publicly apologize to the president for his criticisms of him. That the president, whose good friend owns the National Enquirer, would stop or run stories about people based on how they treat Trump a certain way is insane and blackmail.

- Trump's (latest) attacks should not lose focus of the bigger issue: the microcosm of his and his administrations contempt for women. This includes slashed funding to reproductive care to women overseas, the addition of drastic Planned Parenthood funding in the latest monstrous version of the Republicans' healthcare bill and even down to the intent on Republican colleagues continuously interrupting their female counterparts on camera.

-  Well, when continual fare increases are aimed towards funding a more than $2 billion dollar 1 subway station stop extension and a 2nd Avenue line before addressing century old, decrepit infrastructure, then this is going to be the result; power outages, daily delays, faulty lines, train rail jumpings, etc.

- You know how bad the 1997 Batman and Robin movie was? How unbelievably terrible? So bad that George Clooney's Batman and Robin are seen ice skating against Mr. Freeze's cronies in the opening scenes. Yikes.

- When you're out with your infant and don't have their teething toys nearby, your arm becomes a baby corn-on-the-cob.

- Italy has taken in more than a thousand migrants on Thursday, and more than 10,000 this past week alone. Because of this, they are now threatening to close their ports to migrants if the rest of the EU doesn't step up their efforts to help with the influx of immigrants. Where will these poor people go?!

- Another 243 estimated gun deaths this week, as per gunviolencerchive.org, while we celebrate the birthdate of 'Murica.

- Aid was cut this week for Life After Hate, an agency that tracks white radicalism, because it's not like there's been a massive uptick in violent domestic crimes in the last year or so or that violent domestic extremists make up 72% of all violent extremist, compared to 27% of radical Islamist violent extremist since he really started spewing his violent rhetoric...

- When driving, I make it a general point to actively avoid any cars with American flags on them.

- Monday came two potentially damaging rulings from the Supreme Court that has already paid dividends for the Republicans that stole Gorsuch's seat: 1.) accepting parts of Trump's travel ban on six Muslim countries, 6 nations that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack.  Banning refugees that have gone through extensive and exhausting refugees that have never been on record committing a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. and the ability to further wash away a separation of church and state by stating tax-payer funds can not be disallowed from going towards religious institutions for the funding of playgrounds.

- Trump, who has flip-flopped on everything policy related his entire life to taxing the rich, to protecting Medicaid and Medicare, to protecting LGBTQ rights, to going after Wall Street, to Syria and Qatar, has stayed firm on his insistence to play nice with Russia and refusing to attend hearings, acknowledge any intelligence briefings or keep in place the already existing sanctions from the previous administration related to Russia's hacking of the U.S. election. Gee, I wonder why that is.

- Good riddens, hopefully soon, to Jeffrey Loria. Reports state that he is creeping closer to his sale of the Miami Marlins. He has for years pocketed revenue sharing profits from the rest of MLB, made it a regular business practice to sign multiple high priced free agents and then flip them for assets. Not to mention what he did by fleecing the city of Miami and the state of Florida by putting them on the hook for $2.4 billion of the stadium's finances by crying broke while raking in profits.

Miami Marlins Stadium - Courtesy of Cnn.com

Miami Marlins Stadium - Courtesy of Cnn.com

- "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you'll do things differently." 

- It was learned this week that Mitch McConnell and the other spineless Republicans were given the heads up on CIA intelligence of Russia's meddling into election as early as mid summer 2016, yet were either unconvinced of CIA intelligence or apathetic that it would effect their opponent and refused to stand with Obama about a public denouncement of it, as he requested. Treason!

- Beware of another Wall Street crash, as the cycle goes and Wall Street profits are again at all-time highs.

- The problem with our current White House, is that the president of our United States is such an amoral douche, such a monster, that he's single-handedly lowered the standard of conduct for a sitting president. He's such a loose cannon and man baby that people can't even say in public that a new attack from Trump is beneath him or that he's better than that, because people know that he's not. People know that there's decades upon decades of public records that prove that he's not. So instead people will say it's beneath the office of presidency. Then say he's just fighting back his critics, as if inciting violence, slinging childish, sexist insults in response to legitimate criticism is or has ever been presidential behavior. (Or that of any high ranking elected official, for that matter.) Coming from the same scumbag that sparked a racist birther movement against the previous sitting president that Obama handled, along with all his and his Republican colleagues' other bullshit attacks for his 8 years with the grace that Trump couldn't buy with all the Russian loans in the world.

Weekly Randoms 6/19 - 6/25

 - A Syrian jet fighter getting shot down by the U.S. has caused tensions in the area. Moscow has since stated publicly that any U.S. jet seen flying in Syrian airspace will now be viewed as an aggressor. Hmmm...

- Secretary of Education this week has appointed the person to head the $1.3 trillion student loan program in this country. Who is he? A Wayne Johnson, the CEO of the private, for-profit student loan company Reunion Student Loan Services. Because of course.

- I'm thankful to not live in a world that doesn't have pineapple.

Deliciousness

Deliciousness

- Six top advisory aides from Trump's HIV/AIDS advisory panel quit this week because "there was no strategy". Sounds about right.

- In a resolution that likely means this country will have to put up with Trump's garbage for much longer, Georgia's 6 district special election elected a Republican, an indication that Trump's ignorance and stupidity has not permeated to the rest of his party's support. This is now the fourth such special election that a Republican has taken since Trump was elected. As long as this continues and that doesn't happen, they aren't going to feel compelled or even slightly pressured to considered removing him from office.

- An American was returned this week after being jailed for a year and a half in North Korea for attempting to take a North Korean propaganda poster. Otto Warmbier died days later without confirmation of a cause and it begs to question, will this lead to further escalation between the two countries?

- Another week, another estimated 268 more gun deaths this week, as per gunviolencearchive.org.

- On Thursday, we learned that the Senate's version of a healthcare reform bill will delay the cruelty, but be even harsher in a few years. It will still slash Medicaid qualifications and therefore kick tens of millions off coverage, give tax breaks to the richest paying into it, and create loopholes for insurance companies to reduce coverage and/or raise premiums; including for those with pre-existing conditions, in need of services for planned parenthood, fighting drug addiction, etc. To boot, his administration is also putting restrictions on video recording or what to report on during press briefings, when they actually do conduct them. This. Is. How. Democracy. Dies. Slowly and methodically, not overnight.

- Also, Trump consultant and professional bigot, Sebastian Gorka, we learned on Thursday, was fired as a paid consultant of the FBI for his constant anti-Islamic statements. Too racist for the FBI? Perfectly qualified for this administration.

- Also, we learned that not only did Trump lie about recordings he had of Comey (the fact that our president lied is not national news is part of normalizing this whole shitshow) to change his story, which could be considered witness tampering. Which then pushed Comey to release more facts about Trump's pushiness and obstruction of justice. Good job, guy. And that, as Trump said is "not very stupid, I can tell you that."

- The acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez of the shooting and death of Philando Castile, despite a dashboard camera video and audio of Philando disclosing that he has a licensed firearm on him and is reaching for his wallet, as was directed by the officer, is a tragedy this country has seen way too many times. The 'I feared for my life' defense should not and can not be a sufficient enough stance for an officer to kill a civilian.

 

Weekly Randoms 6/12 - 6/18

- My grandfather let the dog outside. Then forgot he let the dog out. Only for the lil guy to bark his head off for 5 minutes until somebody else notices he's not in the house. Or, known otherwise in my household as on the hour.

- The story of the Smith family in New Jersey winning a lotto jackpot of $429 million and using it to fund a charity within their local community is f'n beautiful. Just amazing. So unbelievably selfless it's amazing. We should all aspire to make life decisions as giving as the Smith family is.

- Instead of blanket-determining that politics is off-limits within our social media or family circles, maybe we should be analyzing why they're so off limits. Why they're so polarized. Why we can't have a simple political conversation without all turning into lunatics.

- And speaking of lunatics, there was an estimated 304 more gun deaths this week, as per gunviolencearchive.org. You think fires shot at political officials this past week in Alexandria, Virginia will bring about any change? Yea, good luck with that.

- The instinctual response for a baby to roll as soon as there is even an attempt to change their diaper has caused me to lose more hair than any other life experience I've ever been through. And I've seen some stuff.

- The fact that there is now reported evidence that Russia had tampered with 39 state elections and voter individual editing and deleting data and voter worker software Is about as surprising as the fact that the panel during Comey's testimony didn't insist or even question the truthfulness of Trump's bullying or implying of him to drop the investigation into his own campaign.

- Philando Castile's family saw no justice after Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter in Castile's deadly shooting during a routine traffic stop for a broken taillight last year. Philando was shot 7 times and killed while reaching for his wallet, at the officer's request, after disclosing to the officer that he did have a licensed firearm on him. We've all seen this movie before. SMDH.

- The news that Vice President Pence and Trump's own lawyer, Mark Kasowitz, among other cabinet officials, obtaining their own lawyers reads to me the equivalent of roaches scattering when the lights come on.

- Nevada governor Brian Sandoval has vetoed a state bill that would've expanded their Medicaid coverage to include all residents, a would-be first of its kind. Though the decision was disappointing for those championing a single-payer healthcare plan nationally, Sandoval was one of the few Republican's to embrace the Affordable Healthcare Act and there is some promise to get something similarly done in the near future. A Medicaid-for-all state law would go a long way to exploring on a federal level.

- It's 2017. You should not be able to call yourself a family-oriented establishment without having changing tables in the men's restrooms. Inexcusable.

- Nearly 200 Democrat politicians have brought forth a lawsuit against Trump, as has The District of Columbia and the state of Maryland, claiming he has violated the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution that prevents any standing president from directly profiting from their presidency by a foreign nation. Before thinking 'well, who cares, what's the big deal, anyways?', the point of the clause is an attempt to ensure that the president does not become financial compromised by foreign powers. And the fact that Trump hosts foreign leaders at his own Mar-A-Lago in Florida or at his own hotel UP THE BLOCK FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, it would seem they could have a good case.

- Very tragic what's happening in Venezuela. The government corruption on grand levels has led to mass amounts of poverty and starvation among their people, causing protest and rage from the masses. Government has shut down news and media to the public, while protestors have been regularly killed by police. 

Just a small glimpse into the massive amounts of public displeasure with their government and President Maduro - Courtesy of BBC.com

Just a small glimpse into the massive amounts of public displeasure with their government and President Maduro - Courtesy of BBC.com

- It's taken 2 years to bring forth criminal charges against Flint, Michigan, 5 in total and 2 cabinet-level officials? Unf'nbelievable. Send. Them. All. To. Jail. Destined to every drink the same poisonous water they gave to the people of their city. The fact that Governor Snyder has reportedly been publicly told he won't be charged, though being the head decision maker of all this mess in Flint since 2015, is criminal in and of itself.

- Is it really that outlandish to believe that Trump is poking the bear of all allies and rivals alike to instigate a war or attack that he can then parlay into further curbing of this country's Constitutional rights and divert attention and scrutiny away from his perpetual criminality and incompetence?

- Also this week, Department of Education Secretary Betsy Devos has pushed to abolish rules negotiated by the Obama Administration that would go after colleges that were found to have acted fraudulently and those that didn't see a percentage of their graduates gain employment by not going after loan debts from their college's students.  No surprise seeing that Devos and her buddies stand to continue to make millions by collecting mass amounts of student loan debt from their collection agencies. Criminal.

- Anytime my son will want to talk back or say something smart in the future, I'll just casually remind him that I made him a New York Jets fan.

- Is it really that outlandish to believe that Trump is poking the bear of all allies and rivals alike to instigate a war or attack that he can then parlay into further curbing of this country's Constitutional rights and divert attention and scrutiny away from his perpetual criminality and incompetence?

Weekly Randoms 6/5 - 6/11

- Got baby-drooled on. Which essentially just means it's 9 o'clock these days.

- Pockets of Anti-Sharia Law protesters occurred throughout the country this past week, though there is no evidence of any threat of Sharia Law. Tension's rose as those wanting to stop the xenophobic talk clashed with the protesters. It continues to show the divide deep and dangerous xenophobia we have within this nation.

- Sunday drivers are a thing. They drive with the same sense of urgency as I do of getting out of bed for work on less than 3 hours of sleep.

- In this week of you-just-can't-make-this-stuff-up, Trump has continued to verbally attack London mayor Sadiq Khan for not using inflammatory language to rile up xenophobia following another terrorist attack orchestrated by ISIS. Trump went on to verbally attack United States ally and home of thousands of U.S. troops, Qatar, via twitter, for what else, but to talk more about terrorism. Also, while Comey went under oath to testify on Thursday that he felt pressured by the President to cease the FBI's investigation into his campaign, was asked for his loyalty and tried to defame him after he was terminated. By Friday the FBI brought to the team top legal mind Michael Dreeban to help with the criminal investigation into Trump's possible collusion with Russia. That same day Trump insisted that he'd testify under oath that Comey's testimony was false, while everyone everywhere spit out their drinks laughing so hard at how stupid it was. If someone is listening, for the love of god, please take this guy up on this statement.

- All the while the set-on-lighting-this-country-on-fire House of Representative Republicans continued their assault on all things responsible by voting through bills that would strip down bare minimum banking regulations from the Dodd-Frank bill and healthcare reform that are expected to rip health insurance from 24 million Americans. The healthcare repeal vote in particular comes next week. Follow accordingly.

- Comey also testified that Attorney General Jeff Session, the man that was pressured to recuse himself from the Russia investigation because of his own previous lying testimony about meetings with Russian operatives, was still involved and meddled into the investigation anyway. Including writing a memo recommending Comey's firing. He'll testify this coming Tuesday.

- I would lose my mind if I didn't have satellite radio. Regular radio is garbageeeee.

- It really tripped me out to read recently in a study that statically, the single biggest factor in the massive racial disparity of the incarcerated in this country wasn't the war on crime, or more arrests, or even the percentage of cases convicted, but the frequency of cases brought to trial.

- An estimated 267 more gun deaths this week, as per gunviolencearchive.org. Just another week in the U.S...

- This Yankees team has made it enjoyable to watch them play..something they haven't been the last couple years.

- The wacky snap election in Britain this past week (a weird political loophole) 3 years ahead of time turned out to be a mess for the nation that and has left their prime minister Theresa May with less leverage heading into the beginning of their Brexit negotiations next week. The uncertainty and turmoil by America's likely staunchest ally does not help their standing in the rest of the world.

- Elmo's laugh is the thing of nightmares.

- Puerto Rico voted again for statehood by the United States. This happened a few years back, as well, though the voter turnout was deemed too low then and likely will be this time around, too. Point blank, becoming a state would give the island the ability to apply for bankruptcy and get much needed financial relief to its people, something that is not in the greedy venture capitalists' financial interest, so I won't expect it to happen anytime soon.

 

 

Weekly Randoms 5/29 - 6/4

- If matching socks was as fun as saying the word paella, I'd have a draw full of pre-paired socks.

- Was anyone really surprised that Trump took two days before issuing any statement condemning the verbal attack by a white supremacist on a Muslim lady and the subsequent murder of two men by the bigot defending her. Before speaking publicly about the reprehensible act, he instead tweeted to attack the media about their reporting of his corrupt administration, his ideas of a 'successful' trip to Europe in which he thoroughly embarrassed himself and all of the U.S., and to congratulate Montana republican for winning his political race a day after it was made public that he body slammed a reporter for asking him about his party's healthcare bill. If anything I'm surprised he commented at all. This is the world we live in these days, folks.

- A Happy Memorial Day to all serviceman/servicewoman that has served our country. It should also serve as a reminder that just because war's are way too often propagated by politicians and those that can financially benefit from it, we don't have to sheepishly follow suit and can resist. Let's live in a world where we avoid senseless deaths as much as possible.

- Onions in a salad are the worst. Get ouuuuuut! 

- Upset I didn't do this in last week's review, the upmost respect for the gentlemen Rick Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche. They lost their lives on 5/26/17 standing up to hate. Refusing to let hate instill fear and grow is the only way to ensure that we're not overrun by it.

- While everyone is focusing on Russia, this administration has pulled out of the Paris climate deal, worked to roll back woman's health care by not mandating the federal government ensure insurance companies include birth control coverage in their policies and empowered red states all across the country to systematically dismantle unions, going after the Democrats' larger campaign supporters.

- This administration is also handing back two compounds to Russia that were taken from them by Obama because of their meddling into the 2016 election process. Two compounds that have been notorious for Russia spying on Americans. All of this, with the U.S. expecting nothing in return. While Trump is already under investigation for possible Russian collusion. My head hurts.

- Trump also found two new ways to embarrass himself and the country by completely misinterpreting the Paris Climate Agreement, but also for his opportunistic and shitty way of handling the duel terror attacks in London and attacking their mayor.

- 289 gun deaths estimated this week, as per gunviolencearchive.org. The body counts just keep climbing up.

Weekly Randoms 5/22 - 5/28

- Falling back to sleep for a nap is always dangerous. I don't give a damn how many alarms you set.

- Another day, another heart-wrenching attack. This time in Great Britain at the Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert. 22 determined dead, including several children, and over 50 injured. This new reality of familiar chaos is not fun. Rest In Peace to all the fallen souls.

- This week, Monday started by learning Mike Flynn is expected not to cooperate with the Senate investigation and plead the fifth amendment throughout the process. That, and Trump asked the Director of National Intelligence and the chief of the National Security Agency back in March to publicly refute any investigation between his campaign and Russia. On Tuesday, former CIA John Brennan confirmed Trump's campaign involvement with Russians was 'well-founded', began to raise serious suspicion as far back as August 2016 and even held meetings with senior members of Congress to state that there was evidence that Russia was working to elect Trump president. By Wednesday, it was public knowledge that Trump had announced to the Philippines' dictator Rodrigo Duterte the location of two of our nuclear submarines heading towards North Korea. Thursday brought the revelation that Trump's son-in-law and Senior Advisor is now the focus of the FBI's current criminal investigation into Trump's campaign. For Friday it was revealed that it was Trumps's advisor Kushner, with Flynn, that reached out to Russia's ambassador to have 'back channels' directly between Trump's transition team and Russia's Kremlin, as to shield from monitoring.

- I thoroughly enjoy watching those that are purposely discourteous of others become visibly annoyed when they're socially pressured into being decent people. 

- A Supreme Court ruling recently found that North Carolina used racial discrimination to gerrymander at least 2 of their districts and demand they be redrawn. This also came after the state was found to be racially discriminatory in regards to voting laws. This is a direct result of the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling to roll back the 1965 Voting Rights Act that states no longer need to be protected from themselves from being covertly racist and discriminatory when it comes to voting. With minorities everywhere going 'no shit' what the hell did you expect to happen!

- This month concluded with the highest civilian deaths in Syria at the hands of U.S. drone strikes ever, at 225. Civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. drone strikes are nothing new for our military, unfortunately; yet having a soulless monster in office has only meant even more carelessness in carrying out these strikes when going after militant groups.

- Watching my grandfather wake up from a sleep to a ringing phone of his bed mate's across the room and air-answer it saying 'hello' was by far the funniest moment of this long week. 

- An estimated 276 gun deaths this week, as per gunviolencearchive.org. 276. Each week I tally up the numbers hoping to record less than the previous week, and each week I'm sadly disappointed. The body counts just keep rising...

- So. Much. Elmo. Little man is going to need to learn to like another cartoon or programming to at least mix it up. I can't take much more of this Mr. Noodle guy dropping lobbed passes. It's absurd. 

- Let us not forget that this president has embraced dictators from all over the globe; Russia's Vladimir Putin, the Philippine's Rodrigo Duterte, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Egypt's Abdel-Fattah-Al-Sisi and French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. 

- Trump's tweets again on Sunday demanding punishment towards leakers of information linked to his administration is an attack on those fracturing his fragile ego and public persona, not about national security, as he claims. To know how much horseshit that claim really is, one only needs to remember that he himself has already released classified intel to Russian officials and Philippine's dictator Duterte within the first 5 months of this presidency.

Weekly Randoms 5/15 - 5/21

- Rest In Peace Chris Cornell, 1964-2017. One of the great rock voices of my lifetime. He is survived by his wife and three children and their foundation for vulnerable children - https://www.ifonly.com/celebrity/chris-cornell. The tragic way he went is just another reminder of how desperate we as a country we are to really address the epidemics of mental health and prescription medication.

- An estimated 219 more reported gun deaths this week, as per gunviolencearchive.org. SMH

- The acquittal on Thursday of Oklahoma officer Betty Jo Shelby of Terrence Crutcher is just one more example of an unarmed black man gunned down by an officer with no repercussions.

- Can somebody please explain to Trump that the word he's been looking for is spelled counsel. Not council. Or councel. It's embarrassing.

- Glad xenophobia lost in France in their recent Presidential election - but their bigoted hard-right strand of the party are growing in popularity and there are many anti Islamic laws there already. This isn't a problem solved as much as it is a problem momentarily averted.

- Are we supposed to pretend it's ok that Turkey's president-in-title-only Erdogen's bodyguards attacked U.S. citizens conducting a peaceful protest?! Because it most definitely is not ok.

- That car mowdown of innocent bystanders on a sidewalk in Times Square this past Thursday that claimed at least 1 life was terrifying. This new reality we live in can really suck. Thankful those barriers were there to prevent further damage. Imagine living like this on a more regular basis in any of a bunch of European countries?

- So to recap in this week of I-can't-believe-this-ish-is-really-happening-in-our-government: On Monday, it was discovered that Trump told Russian officials classified Intel regarding ISIS plans of terrorism that involved laptop-detonated bombs, prompting National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to publicly refute the report. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted out that he has the power to release classified Intel, contradicting his National Security Advisor. Intel that was determined to have been given to us by Israel, and could have very well compromised identities or personal safety of those individuals. It was also leaked to the press that Comey kept extensive memo's of conversations he had with Trump, including which the President repeatedly asked Comey to cease his investigation with Flynn and Russia. By Wednesday, in response to mounting public pressure, came a rare bi-partisan decision to name former FBI Director Robert Mueller as the special prosecutor for the Department of Justice's now criminal investigation into the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russia. On Thursday, Trump reacted by repeating that his decision was also corroborated by FBI Rod Rosenstein in a letter he drafted up. Rosenstein would then have a closed-door meeting with all of the Senate, where he stated that it had already been determined hours before his letter was written that Trump was going to fire Comey. By Friday, the national media learned that Trump bragged to the two Russian officials about firing Comey, saying "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off." I'm not liking this novella, where's the remote?

-  And let's not forget that while everyone was paying attention to Trump's latest tweets, Dodd-Frank, the bill put in place in an attempt to at least ease Big Bank's greediness and prevent another major collapse like in 2008, was rolled back to the point of pre-2008 days, setting us up for another financial disaster at the hands of Wall Street gluttony. So there's that.

Weekly Randoms 5/8 - 5/14

_ This can't possibly be the most efficient you can be MTA. I call major bullshit on that.

- Jon Stewart - The Godfather of mainstreaming late night hard news, is single-handedly responsible for proving there is a market and demand for viewers even at 11 p.m. to be informed about political hypocrisy and scandal. Thanks to Jon, millions of viewers have not only been able to keep informed through his successor, Trevor Noah, at the Daily Show, but also Seth Meyers on NBC. 

- What's going on in Puerto Rico is a travesty. Venture capitalists profiting off the misery of poor residents is not ok.

- A RIP to an estimated 228 more gun deaths this week - as per http://www.gunviolencearchive.org. The gun death tolls just continue to rise...

- So let's recap: On Tuesday, Trump fires the FBI Director James Comey heading an investigation into possible election collusion with his campaign and Russia. His administration follows it up by saying he was being strong, decisive, and acting on the recommendations of his advisors based, at least partially, on the way Comey handled the Hillary Clinton unsecured email investigation days before the election. Trump then goes on national television and states that he was going to fire Comey anyway, that he feels the Russia investigation should have ended a long time ago and that Comey told him on 3 separate occasions that he was not being investigated. Comey, apparently through those close to him, called bullshit. Trump, getting wind of this the next day sends out a thinly veiled tweet threatening to release recorded tapes of Comey if he decides to speak to the press. And then Trump meets with the same Russian ambassador who's interactions with General Flynn and subsequent lying about it is what helped get him fired, the next day! Barring the American press and only allowing a Russian photographer present in the process. AND YET REPUBLICANS STILL BACK THIS GUY.

- This all brings me to this: It is imperative to not give this party any credit once they've finally realized they cant go any further with this president and have drained the maximum amount of opportunity out of the fact that there's a republican in the White House. They have and continue to jeopardize the country's safety and democracy for their agenda and that should not be forgotten in the short or long term.

- In a perfect world, employees would be judged more on their work ethic and knowledge of their work space and less about whose asses they've kissed.

Weekly Randoms 5/1 - 5/7

Wet socks are THE worst

An estimated 204 more gun deaths this week alone - http://www.gunviolencearchive.org. Just another week in 'Murcia.

This Yankees team is damn fun to watch. The starting pitching very likely won't keep this up, but as long as their young guys continue to develop and show improvements, it won't even matter.

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The cruelty behind this healthcare plan rushed through the House of Representatives is just one more clear example of how out of touch our Congress is with the general public and reality.

Speaking of which, those Congress members up for re-election during the midterms in 2018 can not get away with this. Below are 24 of them in the most swingable of swing votes. Get. Them. Out.

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I can never get enough Jon Oliver. That being said, when the hell is this Jon Stewart to HBO thing going down?!

Weekly Randoms 4/24 - 4/30

- We're beginning to transition to that time of the year when your girlfriend/wife stops stealing your sweatpants 💪🏼 and starts stealing your spring jackets.

- As we pass the 25th anniversary of the '92 LA Riots, it's important to remember that the riots were triggered not only by four officers on video for eight minutes beating Rodney King within inches of his life being acquitted, but also a 15 year old African-American girl shot in the head and killed by a shop owner a year earlier that was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, yet sentenced to nothing more than probation and community service; as well as all the countless other examples of police brutality and a judicial system that has failed the black community. And nothing has changed.

- How empty do people's lives have to be to spend more than 15 minutes in bumper to bumper traffic only to realise you're surrounded by a bunch of nosy rubberneckers that feel the need to stop to see the accident on the shoulder of the road with no intentions of actually doing anything helpful?! May every one of you forget where you're going and aimlessly drive in circles for the rest of the night.

- It's heartbreaking to read the horrors the refugees of Syria are going through, even after they flee their war-torn homeland. This country's all about extending olive branches out to those in need of help, not shutting them out and saying 'better them than us'.  Maddening to think some of the most powerful nations in the world are spending millions and millions more on war than humanitarian aid over there.

- The other day my 90-year-old grandfather unknowingly ate my 7-month-old's Blueberry Apple food..so I'm feeling pretty good about the chances the baby will like this flavor when he actually gets a try.

- Rest In Peace to the roughly 159 more gun deaths lost this week to gun violence - according to http://www.gunviolencearchive.org. And yet multiple states are pushing for open carry laws and bills that make it legal to walk around with gun silencers. Because 'Murica.

- I find yelling "honk" out my car window because my horn doesn't work to be a much less effective way of letting that driver know they suck.

- Sad to see Venezuela possibly heading towards civil war after years of economic recession, spiking inflation and unemployment and massive levels of government mistrust. A reminder that when enough people throughout a nation are fed up with corruption and dire straits historically, drastic measures are often taken.

Weekly Randoms 4/17 - 4/23

- Rest in peace to more innocent souls lost this week to gun deaths: the roughly 205 total gun deaths nationwide this week alone, as per http://www.gunviolencearchive.org

- Nice to see karma finally coming Bill O'Reilly's way, as he was ousted from Fox News. He was paid $25 million to go away. Here's to hoping it stays that way.

- The lull in the news lately about Trump's trio of investigations and overall terribleness of this presidency speaks to me about the increasing chances that he won't be going anywhere before his four years are up. This national embarrassment brand of presidency is more and more becoming the new norm, and that's great news for him.

- United Airlines should be taking notes about the way the CEO of American Airlines handled their turn of pr infamy. Following a viral video of an altercation that left a mother and her baby crying and a man confronting one of their employees, their CEO immediately released a statement separating themselves from the incident and announcing an investigation. Showing the public your commitment to valuing their customers is always the way to go. 

- 5 pop stations and not a single modern rock station in New York City, the top media market in the country, blows my mind. It's why I pay over a 100 bucks a year to listen to the radio.

- That DMX meltdown the other day of him high out his mind fumbling the words to his own songs has a very Scott Weiland of STP feel to it before he was found dead overdosed on cocaine.

- For the first time in a long time, I am not very interested in this Jets offseason and draft. Worse than their incompetence as a franchise and terrible play, it's their players' quitting last year that really put me off.

- Another week, another headbutt to the lip by the baby. I'm starting to think this is purposeful..