John Donne/Picture Window

I’m sure John Donne is kicking and screaming as I drag his name and one of his poem from a sadly forgotten past to the present.  Born in 1572 John Donne became the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, in London, England from 1621-1631.  This is one of his most famous poems.  I’m sure parts of it are familiar to many people today.

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”

                               MEDITATION XVII: Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
He was obviously being generous when he says “any man’s death diminishes me.”  I’m not that charitable.  I’ll just leave it at that.  I’ve written about how I feel about some people before.
Still, doing work by oneself makes one think about that first line, “no man is an island.”  There were times in my life—either in physical work or in emotional status that it was shown to me the truth in the statement “no man is an island, Entire of itself.”  We all need to be social.  We need to be “involved in mankind.”  We need to remember the first golden rule which is to treat others as you would have them treat you.
So speaking of needing help I post pictures of the picture window that is 99.9% complete.  I still have just a little caulking to do on the bottom of the trim and two filler pieces to install.

Trump Does It Again And Again

Trump became the first sitting president to address a group, Family Research Council, that the Southern Poverty Law Center designates as a hate group.  The FRC is one of the groups sponsoring the Values Voters Summit.  They, The SPLC, Tweeted:

In  speech speaking to anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT groups, Pres. Trump says he is proud to be among so many friends https://www.splcenter.org/values-voter-summit-whose-values 

Just when Trump has said and Tweeted that he finds NFL players disrespecting the flag and the National Anthem disgusting, he first stomps on the First Amendment by saying something should be done to censor the “false news” created by the press.  And now he embraces another hate group and trods on the rights of groups of people that have rights, the same rights as Christian bigots, that is guaranteed to all who reside in the United States of America by the Constitution.
Minorities have the same rights as Trump and his loyal band of haters, although they are too ignorant to understand that.
And to top it all off Trump has signified with an Executive Order that they will not pay the subsidies for ACA insurees.  Many of them are Republicans.  How do you like him now?  Or don’t you know what’s happening yet?  Will you have to die before it hits you?  I hope not.

 

My Oft Repeated Trump Rant

Every single day Trump’s actions cause outrage among those who aren’t among his ardent supporters—supporters who are unconscious of what is actually going on.  Today he intimated that aid to Puerto Rico just might be cut off.  FEMA, the military personnel, and first responders aren’t going to be there forever he warned.  Three weeks into this calamity he is threatening over three million Americans—Americans of color.  He says the Puerto Rican infrastructure was bad, to begin with, and unspoken was the conclusion that they deserve what they got.

Trump isn’t getting good press for the “fake news.”  He seems to need constant ego stroking from sycophants like Sean Hannity of FOX.  With an audience of Trump’s supporters, there was an ass kissing session by Trump and Hannity.  It was almost as nauseating at Reince Priebus’, the ousted Chief-Of-Staff, ass licking during a cabinet joint session of one-upmanship in who could be the champion ass kisser of the Trump administration.

Trump’s lies have reached Olympian heights to around 1,700 pants on fire lies.  And still, his supporters love him.  What does it say about all of them—those 32% of Americans who excuse every blunder, every lie, every transgression on the U.S. Constitution?

To all of them who have signs—now probably bronzed and hanging from their rearview mirrors—”lock her up,” “Benghazi,” Vince Foster, White Water, and e-mails, they will never be able to see the truth.   I hope there is a racist section of hell waiting to hold you as you explain why, as Christians and loyal Americans you did the exact opposite of the beliefs of both.

A few more Republicans are coming out against Trump.  Not hardly enough though.  So worried are they about donations and elections.  The good of the people gets lost as the good of their campaign funds become paramount in importance.

 

Window Talk

It’s been almost a year since I’ve talked about installing a window.  Last year it was two for the living room.  This year it was the picture window that sits in between the two I put in last year.  It’s configured in a kind of bay with the picture window facing west and the two sides windows at an angle to the picture window.

This was naturally the heaviest of the windows since it’s the biggest.  I order a Pella window instead of the Jeld-Wens I have been putting in.  Pella had the closest window size to what I needed.  Unfortunately, although the color chart showed that it was a close match to the Jeld-Wen, it’s not.  The new window is altogether a different shade of beige.

When it comes to paint and home decor colors aren’t white or beige.  Whites run from brilliant white to ivory and beige includes taupe and into sand.  Very confusing.  Yet I suppose in the American Victorian period there were many colorful houses across the United States.

A brief history of modern paints I found on Franklin Painting’s website in a blog by Frank Campanelli.  He writes:

“In 1866 the first company to produce ready-to-use paint was formed, Sherwin-Williams. Harry Sherwin, Alanson Osborn and Edward Williams formed Sherwin, Williams, & Co. in Cleveland, Ohio. Henry Sherwin later developed a tin can that consumers could reseal. In 1883, a competition that continues today started when Benjamin Moore began operations. The company put much emphasis on the chemistry to improve the color mixing and production throughout the twentieth century and were the first to design the computer based color-matching system that we all are accustomed to back in 1982.”

At the neighborhood ACE Hardware, I go to they don’t have a computer to read samples you bring in hoping to match colors.  They still have hundreds of color strips with different shades of some color.  After looking at a handful of strips I start seeing all of the colors looking the same.  It’s the same when I go for an eye test and the optometrist asks whether I can see better looking through this lens or this other lens as he or she flips through different variations of, what to me, looks all the same.

Wouldn’t it make more sense if you’re handed a card with different size printing on it and with different lenses you try to see the smallest print you can clearly read?  Then you look at photos representing different distances and you try to see what is the farthest you can see.  I’m sure there is some method in the madness they call an eye examination.  Still, I don’t see it.

Getting back to windows though, all the other eleven windows I changed I’ve done them myself.  But this one I couldn’t fit in my car or any other vehicle that relatives and friends have.  I had them deliver it.   At 5.2′ X 6′ and weighing over a hundred pounds I knew I needed help.  Well, actually I thought I could do it myself.  But trying to lift the unwieldy and heavy window I knew I’d be better off with help.  I didn’t want the window falling out of the opening.

That almost happened.  By the time I was ready to lift the window into the opening the only one around was the neighbor’s son.  He’s a teenager who has become a tall young adult.  He was off yesterday for Columbus Day.  (As an aside, I don’t think we should celebrate the birthday of a sex trafficker/slave trader and all around nasty man.)  He, Justin, gladly came over and we lifted the window into the opening.  I put one three inch screw through each side the wood frame into the opening’s frame.  I thanked Justin and he left without taking any money I offered him.  I should have let him help me more.  Old dogs with new tricks?

I still had to position the window in the opening in the correct position—level on each side.  I unscrewed the two side screws but still had three screws fastened on the bottom.  As soon as I did the window tilted from the top and was falling out heading for the ladder outside.

I thought for sure it would hit the ladder and do a Humpty Dumpty on me.  I grabbed the screw on the left side that I was closest to and managed to stop its fall.  I had to reach for the driver on the floor to screw in the side to prevent it from falling again.  I did reach the electric driver and somehow was able to drive the screw into the side frame.  The only damage was a small gouge out of the window frame, hardly noticeable.

I called my brother-in-law, Peter and after a time he came and we positioned the window in the opening in the correct position.  It just showed that there are times when an extra pair of hands or four is good to have if not absolutely necessary.

Later, I’ll post pictures of my window like Millenials post pictures of their food.

 

 

Veterans Administration Health Care

Yesterday I left my tutoring students about forty minutes early and drove from Skokie, a north side suburb, and went to Hines, Illinois.  Any search of Hines, Illinois will return a patch of Cook County just west of Chicago and south of Maywood, Illinois.  Hines, Illinois is bounded by First and Ninth Avenues on the east and west.  Roosevelt Road on the North and Center Drive that runs from south-east to north-west.

If it wasn’t for the Veterans Administration Hospital, Called Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital there most likely would not be a Hines, Illinois.  Hines Hospital shares the plot of land with Loyola University’s  Medical Center adjacent to First Avenue.

There were stories, I wonder how many were apocryphal, about how bad Hines Hospital was.  Patients left in elevators for days or perhaps it was only just hours.  I heard horror stories about the poor quality of care given veterans there.  But since those days there has been investigations and shakeups of management.  Is it better today?

I can’t answer that question since I don’t know.  I have no way of evaluating what went on before and how it is now.  I don’t know how it was before.  And I haven’t had that much experience with their care now.  I’ve been there several times.  First to register and another time to get a flu shot and join their “Million Veteran Program.”  That’s a long-term study on veteran’s care.

Yesterday was the first time I went there for medical care.  My doctor retired.  I thought I would stay with the practice and just transfer to another doctor in the practice.  My current health insurance is a Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan.  I’ll admit I don’t know too much about the plan.  Still, what I do know is that they are cheap.  Oh, not the premiums but how they approach medicine.  If a medication is expensive they require a yearly pre-authorization.  I started receiving notices from Express Scripts, my prescription provider, that said that my doctor or I had to call to beg to be kept on that expensive medication.

Previously, my doctor would call and have a hard time.  In frustration, he would demand to speak to a doctor to have, vis a vis, a doctor to doctor talk.  It would be approved.  I called and even e-mailed the physician’s assistant and asked that they call.  I figured I’d have little chance of getting approval from an insurance company.

Dire warning of a fifteen-day limit was communicated by snail mail.  That has long been past.  I have yet to hear from my new doctor, whom I’ve never met, or the physician’s assistant.  That’s the reason I bailed out and went to the VA.  I figured it couldn’t be much worse.

I was very much surprised and pleased with the efficiency, courtesy, and professionalism I found during my visit with my new primary care doctor.  I was scheduled for an hour visit.  It didn’t take that long.  My doctor is a woman.  She took her time and explained things asked questions about my health history.  I received an EKG for a baseline just in case I’m hospitalized and they need to see what was the condition of my heart before the emergency.  I got a tetanus, whooping cough, and some other disease shot: a three in one.  I had to get a blood test.  I am scheduled for an Agent Orange screening a week from Monday.  I got that screening’s lab work done and X-rays.  I don’t have to go to the lab again.

Checking in for an appointment or lab work is done by touchscreen.  You answer a few questions to establish your identity and the information that you are there is communicated to whoever is responsible to see who is there.  I DID NOT HAVE TO FILL OUT PAPER WORK.  All information is in the database.

I don’t know what happens in the event of a computer crash.  I don’t think I want to be there in that event.

I didn’t wait longer than a few minutes no matter where I was—waiting for the doctor or lab work.  I’m used to waiting for a while in the general waiting room or in an examination room.  As I walked in the halls hospital workers would smile and some would ask how I was.  I was welcomed into the VA system at least three times yesterday.

I know I shouldn’t be so sanguine this early but if only the care stays at the level that it was yesterday I am all in favor of this truly socialistic healthcare service.  Although I think because of my income my insurance will be billed by the VA.

Stayed tuned for more insights and update to come.

My Website Host/Las Vegas Massacre

Overall, I’m pleased with FatCow my web host.  Still, I’ve had a number of major problems with my website, jamesmats.com.  For the past few weeks, I’ve had problems with comments.  When a reader submits a comment I received an e-mail from WordPress the people that support the program that I use to blog on this website.  The e-mail asks me to moderate the comment.  Do I approve it, shall it be trashed or marked as spam.

The problem I’m having is that the comment doesn’t show up when I go to my website.  And the message is the comment ID is invalid.  That isn’t possible since I’ve received the comment and was asked to moderate.  It’s been days and I haven’t received a reply yet.

FatCow changed their support structure and it’s very difficult to send e-mails to them.  I’ve tried live chats but their heavy hitters aren’t on live chat.  I’d rather send an e-mail but it seems as if they’ve streamlined the path to end up in limbo.  Ah, computers and the cyber age.  The Russians can hack American’s website and change the course of our elections but I have trouble keeping my simple website blog up and running.

However, this is nothing in comparison to yesterday’s Las Vegas massacre.  I feel sorry for the victims and their families.  Civilians should not have to suffer the consequences of the gun lobbies relentless campaign at stifling any common sense gun control.  When will we ever learn?  When will police departments have some M14s with decent scopes in the trunks of some patrol car with qualified shooters to engage active shooters, trucks driving on sidewalks and other crazies?  Did it take more than a few minutes to see that gunfire was coming out of two blown out windows in a high-rise hotel?  Flash suppressors aren’t that effective that you can’t see flames from all those rounds he fired.

As much money that is spent in militarizing police forces you’d think there would be some state of the art response equipment on the street in these days of terrorists.  How does someone check into a hotel with ten or eleven rifles without arousing suspicion?  Did Paddock have a bellboy carry his bags to his room?

Still, if the killing 20 five and six-year-olds and 6 adults didn’t convince our myopic Congressional creatures to do something nothing will.  Now 59, so far, and 200-500, depending on who you hear, wounded will be just another statistic.  I’m saying this as a person who likes to shoot, at targets and still believes that we need to keep guns out of the hands of the stupid, mentally unbalanced, and others that shouldn’t have and have access to firearms.

Those that think the only Amendment that counts is the Second should learn the context and what it literally says.  It’s not about a yahoos right to have any kind of firearm they wish but to have a “well-regulated militia.”  And I don’t mean those Bundy Militia crazies that think they are a nation unto themselves.

We’ve been here so many times.  I don’t see any hope as long as there are the ignorant right wing, flag waving, racists, neo-nazis, K.K.K. members and  Southerners still fighting the Civil War.  I almost swore there.

 

More On The 1% And Other Thoughts

First, a minuscule rant to get the juices flowing. This is a summary of the Tax Policy Institute, a bi-partisan analysis of the Trump unveiled tax plan.  Trump calls it a tax cut.  He states it will not be for him or other rich people, “believe” him.  Not as far as I can throw a ton of similar shit.

“ABSTRACT

The Tax Policy Center has produced preliminary estimates of the potential impact proposals included in the “Unified Framework for Fixing our Broken Tax Code.” We find they would reduce federal revenue by $2.4 trillion over ten years and $3.2 trillion over the second decade (not including any dynamic feedback). In 2018, all income groups would see their average taxes fall, but some taxpayers in each group would face tax increases. Those with the very highest incomes would receive the biggest tax cuts. The tax cuts are smaller as a percentage of income in 2027, and taxpayers in the 80th to 95th income percentiles would, on average, experience a tax increase.”

I have heard apologists for the Republican party trying to make the case that both Democrats and Republicans want, for the most part, the same things.  I wouldn’t disagree with that statement.  However, the 1% of the rich don’t have the same dreams as the rest of the Americans.  They want it all without leaving even scraps for the rest of the 99%.

As Stephen King said Trump (and, I say,  the rest of the 1%) “couldn’t give shit one about you.  He said that when addressing workers.  The dupes that vote for the people that carry out the wishes of the 1% are like the rest of us.  Perhaps they are more bigoted and a lot more ignorant of reality than the rest of us.

How is it possible that there are people who think blacks protesting against police brutality while dealing with blacks are being disrespectful of the flag and the National Anthem.  I’ve become very wary of people that wrap themselves in patriotism, wave the flag, and accuse others of being unpatriotic while believing in denying others their constitutional rights.

Look at who won the Republican primary in Alabamastan.  Judge Moore who is all of the things wrong with Republicans.  You name it, liberal thinking and science mostly, he’s against it.  Except God, I think it’s the Old Testament God he worships too.  He can’t have read the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.  Most Republicans and quite a few Democrats too, see nothing wrong in the melding of church and state.

Personally, I would hate to live in a country run by a national church that believed in the fundamental nature of its dogma.  Fundamentalists in America are always trying to get schools to teach creation science which isn’t a science.  I think they’d be happy if all science weren’t taught at all.

Republicans are always upset with Muslims and saying that there are communities in the United States Of America that practice Sharia Law.  Isn’t what they believe as rigid and nonsensical as Sharia Law?

Okay!  This has turned into a full-blown rant.  It’s a case of don’t get me started.  I could go on but I’d have to take another high blood pressure pill.  In case you don’t follow Stephen King on Twitter here are a few more directed at Trump

 

“With President Forrest Trump, every day is like a rancid box of chocolates. You never know what kind of shit you’re going to get next.

            “Breaking News: Reliable sources reveal that Donald Trump is                      actually Cthulu. The absurd hairdo isn’t absurd at all.
              It hides the tentacles.

“My newest horror story: Once upon a time there was a man named Donald Trump, and he ran for president. Some people wanted him to win.

 

“Come on, chickenshit, if you’re man enough to drop a mega-bomb on Afghanistan, you should be man enough to release your tax returns.

“Donald Trump: There hasn’t been a novelty act this annoying since Alvin and the Chipmunks.”

 

No Whining?!

Complaining about the machinations of the president and the Republican Congress requires almost no effort.  It seems there is no end to the complaining I could do everyday here.  I would get very tedious to write and read I think.  Almost every day there is a new revelation of something despicable being done by the Federal Government—mostly by Trump and the Republican Congress, the highly politicized Supreme court, and Trump’s cabinet.

All the while Trump support among his base never wavers.  I think the oblivious nature of his base as to what is going on says more about the condition of our society, our culture than it says about the corrupt nature of our president, cabinet, and the Republican party.

The ignorance shown by the 32-34% of Trump’s base is astounding.  It makes all of those late night talk show’s segments meant to denigrate the “man” on the street and his ignorance seems as if they were nuclear physicists.

Just when I thought I wouldn’t complain, at least for one day, I find this blog full of complaints.  I don’t have any new pictures to throw in at this point so I’ll just end here and wish all those who are reading this a wonderful fall.  Enjoy the color if you can. Enjoy life if you can.  Embrace those you love while you can.  Just do it, whatever it is.

ObamaCare Faces Another Repeal/Trump Vs. Black NFL players

I would say “repeal and replace,” if the Republicans had anything that would replace the ACA.  What they have is another bill that would hurt many Americans by denying them the coverage of health care.  The Congressional Budget Office hasn’t had an opportunity to score this Cassidy-Graham middle finger to America’s middle class.  They have run into a shit storm from different people and organizations.

If you’re confused as to why the Senate Republicans have rolled out this sixty some attempt to repeal ObamaCare by Congress I’ll tell you what I’ve heard.  And what I’ve heard makes eminent sense to me.

I heard that Republican donors told Republican Congress creatures that they were upset at them for not being able to produce anything that they promised.  These donors weren’t interested in anything that would benefit the majority of Americans but only what would benefit them, the richest 1% in the form of tax cuts to the rich.  There’s another reason and that, in my opinion, is a very small reason.  They want to carry out their promise to repeal the ACA.

The reason I think it’s a very small fraction of their incentive is easily understood when you realize that the thing Republican Congress creatures need more than the people confidence in them is campaign donations.  The Republicans are always lying about the ACA and trying their best to handicap funding for it.  Why should they care if people think they are going back on their promise.

The majority of Americans like ObamaCare.  Or better the called the ACA since I’m sure there are still many Americans who don’t know that they are both the same thing.

And just to mention Trump’s calling out of work, Colin Kaepernick a “son-of-a-bitch.”  Trump was upset at Kaepernick’s “disrespect” of the American flag and Anthem.  Kaepernick was protesting civil injustice during a 2016 NFL game when he and another player “took a knee” instead of standing with hand over heart.

I read that supposedly Kaepernick’s mother responded: “I guess that makes me a proud bitch.”  Kaepernick was exercising his First Amendment rights of Freedom Of Speech.  If money can be speech then kneeling during the National Anthem is also speech.  Also, I think it hypocritical that Trump a 5 deferment to avoid being drafted pretending to be a patriot.  It’s funny in all the photos from that period Trump never seemed to have any problems with a bone spur in his foot.  And as far as I know, he never had any corrective surgery either.

So far only the NFL commissioner has defended the players and commented on Trump’s lack of understanding.  NFL owners, many of whom donated a million dollars to Trump, will not say anything.  I know why.  They expect something from the Republican branches of government that equal money for them.

Incident In Idaho

“My heart is in pieces right now…my soul feels like it’s ripping from my chest…this beautiful young man my son Jackson has to endure a constant barrage of derogatory comments and ignorance like I’ve never witnessed. He is called ugly and freak and monster on a daily basis by his peers at school. He talks about suicide…he’s not quite 8! He says he has no friends and everyone hates him. Kids throw rocks at him and push him shouting these horrific words…please please take a minute and imagine if this were your child. Take a minute to educate your children about special needs. Talk to them about compassion and love for our fellow man. His condition is called Treacher Collins. Maybe even look it up. He’s endured horrific surgery and has several more in the coming years. Anyway…I could go on…but please educate your children. Please…share this. This shouldn’t be happening…to anyone.”

Not knowing what to do when his ex-wife called and told him the because of bullying their son, Jackson Bezzant wanted to wear a hockey mask to school and was talking about killing himself, Dan took to FaceBook, probably in desperation.  Dan and Kelley live in Ammon, Idaho a good place to have social media.  His post went viral and because of it came the support of strangers and neighbors, Jackson now has some joy in his life.

Jackson has Treacher Collins syndrome.  That is a genetic disease that affects bones and tissue development of the face.  Treacher Collins syndrome results in the jaws and chins being small.  Added to that are misshapen ears and eyes that slant downwards.  Jackson was also born without cheekbones.  At 13 months he underwent facial reconstruction.

I’ve seen individuals with this syndrome although I didn’t have a name to put on the malady.  I learned the details of jackson’s story in today’s Washington Post article by Ellie Silverman.  The first two paragraphs drew me into the story.  It read:

“School bullies threw rocks at their young child, while calling him a monster, a freak and telling him he was ugly — all because he has a condition that causes him to look and sound different.

Seven-year-old Jackson Bezzant’s self-esteem dropped so much that he wanted to wear a mask to school to cover his face and he talked about killing himself. His parents, Dan and Kelley Bezzant, a divorced couple who live in Ammon, Idaho, didn’t know what to do to stop the bullying.”

The article quotes Dan as saying he hopes people get the message about bullying.  I can only hope but I don’t hold out much hope in today’s climate of bullying being accepted by a third of our population.  Yes, I’m talking about the people who voted for and still think Trump is a wonderful president and give tacit approval to his actions.

I’ve called him, Trump a bully and there is ample evidence of that being true.  I’ve said in several blogs about bullying how I feel about it and the people who do it.  Bullying is not instinctual but a learned behavior, at least I believe that.  Bullying in peer groups can be seen as unifying but I think only through fear.  We should be taught how to behave in the society, without discord, with others.  If there are aberrant behaviors in some I think it was learned—usually, it’s in the home.

I think the Ammon, Idaho school system let down Jackson and so did all of the parents of those bullies.  The others that went along with the bullies are just as guilty co-conspirators and probably they were too afraid to stand up for the bullied boy.

Still, I’m glad that circumstances worked for Jackson and his parents.  Silverman closes the article with the following:

“Despite his newfound confidence, Jackson told his mother he still didn’t want to go to school this week. He had not been back since last Thursday’s Facebook post and he was nervous.

Even so, he went. Jackson’s teacher told Kelley that all the children were kind to him and by the time he came home, Kelley said, Jackson seemed happy.

When Kelley asked Jackson how school was, he replied: “At recess, I had 165 friends.”

His parents make no claim that Jackson’s difficulties are over. But for the moment, they say, he is filled with pride.”

Here’s a photo I cribbed from the Post.

Toys brought to him by neighbor boys whose mother saw Dan’s FB post.

Oorah Jackson.  Live long and prosper.

Rod Blagojevich Was Found Guilty And He And His Family Refuse To Accept It

Yesterday, on the local NBC affiliate here in Chicago, Phil Rodgers hosted a half hour show with a recorded phone conversation from the federal prison Rod Blagojevich is serving his 14-year sentence at.  He has completed five years.  Prison authorities refused direct contact with Blagojevich with or without cameras.

Today I picked up at the professional building adjacent to Resurrection Hospital, now Presence Hospital and soon to have another name change, a copy of the latest Chicago Magazine.  Free.

I suppose in looking for new subscribers free copies are left in various locations in the hope someone will subscribe to the magazine.  This month’s cover didn’t have some sexy celebrity, neither male or female.  It had a white-haired and smiling Rod Blagojevich in prison blues.  Rod had to rent a camera from the prison’s exchange and have someone take his picture that he could send to whoever might want one.

I haven’t read the article which appears to be fairly long.  I will get around to it sooner or later.  It will be, I’m sure more of the same “I didn’t do anything wrong.”  The prosecutors were out to destroy me, defense that he has espoused since the beginning of his troubles.

A little over seven years ago In June of 2010, I reported to the Dirksen Federal Building that began a two-month trial of former governor Rod Blagojevich and his brother, Rob Blagojevich.  Unfortunately, that trial ended with a hung jury because one of the jurors who had worked in government offices most of her life decided early on in the trial that Rod was not guilty.  I found that out after the trial from another juror that was told that in their conversations sometime during the early part of the trial.

Her rationale was that all politicians talk the way Rod did.  Although we tried on numerous occasions to show the juror where Rod crossed the line in taped phone conversations we weren’t able to sway her.  We did unanimously find Rod guilty of one count of lying to the FBI during their investigations.

We failed to convict Blagojevich on the majority of the felony counts about 25 counts.  Like most people I had watch Blagojevich on his national tour which he tried to taint the jury pool into believing that he did nothing wrong.  Without any evidence, I thought him guilty.   But because I swore an oath to keep an open mind and judge only on the evidence presented in the courtroom—I did exactly that.

The federal prosecutors presented a case building it evidentiary brick by evidentiary brick that showed all of the reason why we, the twelve jurors, should find Blagojevich, and consequently his brother, Rob, guilty.  I found the evidence compelling.  I was for finding him guilty on all counts.

A few of the jurors weren’t so sure about all the counts.  I don’t see why they had reservations because to me it was easy to follow the case by phone tap recordings in Blagojevich’s own words.

Anyway, two years later he was found guilty of a slimmed down tighter case and Judge Zagel sentence Blagojevich to 14 years.  With one year off for enrolling in an addictive personality course and one year off for good behavior, it would be 12 years.

Still, Blagojevich is sticking to his song—”I didn’t do anything wrong.”  He is just like our president in that he believes just what benefits him the most.  I don’t know if Trump will pardon Blagojevich but if he does and he accepts that pardon it will be an admission of guilt as the Supreme Court has ruled so many years ago.

There are so many people who believe that although Blagojevich may be guilty of felonies he didn’t deserve 14 years.  They, of course, don’t base their convictions on solid evidence, just their feelings.  I firmly believe for the way he conducted himself in the office of governor of the State Of Illinois—based on testimony from phone tap conversations and witness testimony, he deserved every bit, if not more, of 14 years.  Federal sentencing guidelines state he could have gotten 30 years for the charges against him.

I don’t think long sentences for crimes is a deterrent, even when Illinois had the death penalty, but some people truly deserve the sentences they receive.  And some people deserve the death penalty for the crimes they commit.  However, only in cases where there is concrete and irrefutable evidence to substantiate the crime was committed by the accused.  There have been too many cases of convicted felons found not guilty by additional information.

Open Letter To Harvey And Irma Survivors From A Katrina Survivor

I’ve ripped this entire article off from the Common Dreams website without their permission.  I think it important enough just in case someone might show it to a survivor in Texas and Florida and everywhere else these hurricanes caused damage.  I think it’s good advice from some who is knowledgeable and also a survivor of a devastating hurricane.

Published on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 by Common Dreams


Warning Letter to Harvey and Irma Survivors from Katrina Survivor

Above all, watch out for one another and care for one another by Bill Quigley

(Based on the experiences of those who lived through Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, Quigley offers victims of the latest mega-storms some warnings as they start to rebuild.)

Dear Fellow Hurricane Survivors:

Our hearts go out to you as you try to return to and fix your homes and lives.  Based on our experiences, here are a few things you should watch out for as you rebuild your communities.

One.  Rents are going to skyrocket and waves of evictions are likely.  With so many houses damaged and so many highly paid contractors coming into your region whose companies will pay anything to house them, landlords are going to start evicting people to make way for higher paying occupants.  Work with local organizations to enact a moratorium on evictions and a freeze on rents to allow working and low-income people to come home and have a place to stay.

Two.  Rip off contractors and vulture businesses are probably already on the scene. Don’t give money to anyone unless you know and trust them and do not pay for everything in advance!

Three.   Take pictures of everything that was damaged and hold onto all receipts for all your disaster expenses. Get a special binder and keep all your papers in it.  Sadly, the process of getting assistance is going to last for years for many people and you will need to prove what damage you.

Four.  Right after a disaster, there is an outpouring of compassion, support, and solidarity. Take what you need for your community.But realize the window of compassion and support shuts much quicker than it should.  Then people will start blaming the victims.

Five.  Insist on transparency, accountability, and participation in all public and private funding sources for disaster relief. The government is yours and ours.  We need them in times of disaster but they can also be the biggest obstacle to a just recovery. Demand they tell the public what is going on and consult with all parts of our communities, not just the rich and well connected usual suspects.  Same problems arise when dealing with the private relief organizations from the biggest private disaster relief organization to many other smaller groups.

Six.  Insist on telling your own story. Your truth is a jewel that shines brightest in your own hands. If you are going to work with journalists or others make sure the real truth is told, not just the sensational or heart rending stories of poor, powerless victims. You may have been victimized by the hurricane but you are a powerful survivor!

Seven.  Unless you are rich enough to try to go this alone, you have to join together with others to make your voice heard. Many voices together are loud enough to force those in power to listen.  Groups of people are far more effective than individual voices. Neighborhood organizations, church organizations, community organizations, join and work with others!

Eight.  Work in statewide coalitions. Statewide coalitions are very important because many disaster relief decisions are made on the state level.  You have to be able to influence those decisions.

Nine.  Identify members of Congress who you can work with. Many decisions are being made on the federal level. You have to make sure your voice is heard. After Katrina, the best voice for poor people in New Orleans was Congresswoman Maxine Waters from California! Now well known nationally as Superwoman, she was a terrific advocate for and with us.

Ten.  Prioritize the voices of women. Men push to the front when the cameras are on and when the resources are being handed out. But in the long run, it is usually the women who are the most reliable family anchors.

Eleven.  Don’t allow those in power to forget about the people whose voices are never heard.  People in nursing homes, people in hospitals, the elderly, the disabled, children, the working poor, renters, people of color, immigrants and prisoners. There is no need to be a voice for the voiceless because all these people have voices, they are just not listened to. Help lift their voices and their stories up because the voices of business and industry and people with money and connections will do just fine.  It is our other sisters and brothers who are always pushed to the back of the line. Stand with them as they struggle to reclaim their rightful place.

Twelve.  Realize that you have human rights to return to your community and to be made whole. Protect your human rights and the human rights of others.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Bill Quigley is Associate Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans.  He is a Katrina survivor and has been active in human rights in Haiti for years. He volunteers with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and the Bureau de Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Port au Prince. Contact Bill at quigley77@gmail.com

Once Again Into The Breech

I haven’t written about one of my favorite topics in some time now.  No, it isn’t eating pizza, kayaking, or any of the other things I do to fill up my days.  It’s sewers.  Since moving into this house I’ve had an obsession about sewers.  I suppose it’s because my basement has flooded numerous times caused by a plugged sewer line from the house to the city’s sewer system.

What happens is that sludge builds up on tree roots that find their way into the sewer by cracking the tile that the sewer pipe is made from.  The roots are from the sugar maple tree in the front parkway that finds its way into the six-inch pipe leading from the house out to the main sewer line under the street.  For the past, three or four years I’ve had a sewer company called “Ex-Stink” come out and rod my main with a six-inch cutter each fall to make sure roots will not trap toilet paper until it builds up and forms an impermeable wall and sewerage backs up from the basement drain.  When that happens only water pressure will break up the blockage.  The cutter head of a regular sewer rod will just punch through the sludge and when it reaches the end of the sludge the sludge will close back up without dislodging the blockage.

I’ve also found a one-way valve that I’ve installed in the basement drain that has prevented backup into the basement when the city’s main line is full of storm water.  So far so good.  I’m not sure how much back pressure it can take though.  I’ve seen manhole covers in the street lifted up by back pressure from a heavy downpour.  It isn’t much fun cleaning with gallons of bleach and water when the sewer backs up.  But it could be worse.  I could be flooded out by a hurricane’s storm surge and rainfall and lose everything I have.

But today in the Washington Post there was an article entitled “A ‘Sewer War’ in London”.  I’ve written another blog about another “fatberg” as big as a London double-decker bus that plugged and damaged another of London’s Victorian-era sewers.  In Travis M. Andrews article he reports a currently ongoing three-week battle on a huge “fatberg” in Whitechapel, London.

“It’s more than 250 yards long—longer than two football fields.  And weighs 130 tons, more than 10 average buses.  And it’s solid as a rock.”

Click on the link below and watch Washington Post video about the “fatberg.”

blob:https://www.washingtonpost.com/b3982a1c-2f64-4259-9351-bde22444a31b

And from Thames Water, UK I found these photos.

 

 

Eight men suited as the one in the picture have been battling under ground with high-pressure water jet hoses to break up the “fatberg” and move pieces down the sewer to be sucked up and removed from the sewer.

What causes the sewer blockages are cooking oils and other fats flushed into the sewer system that congeals with other flushed items like paper diapers, wipes, and other paper products that should be discarded as garbage that will go to a land fill.

I guess it doesn’t take long before these items solidify into a rock hard mass.  This “fatberg” may be a record holder for Thames Water, the entity that administers London’s sewers.

Now isn’t that interesting?  Right!  I knew discerning readers would find it so.  Happy worry free flushing to you.

Medical Dilemma Of Charlie Gard

I ran across a blog on a website for doctors called KevinMD.com.  It concerns an infant child who recently died of an incurable disease in the U.K. who’s name was Charlie Gard.  Charlie was the subject of news stories around the world—especially here in America.  As a last resort, Charlie’s parent wanted to bring Charlie to the United States for an untested, therefore unscientific, therapy advocated by a Dr. Michio Hirano, a New York neurologist—a researcher and expert in mitochondrial disorders.  The decision went to the British High Court which denied the parents their ability to take Charlie to the United States.

This blog by a Dr. Saurabh Jha, a medical doctor who observes this controversy from both sides—untested therapy vs. unmedical concern by many including the Pope and Vice President Pence among many, for a dying infant.  It’s not readily answered dilemma.  He does swipe, however,  at American conservatives in several places.

“For American conservatives, Britain’s NHS is an antiquated Orwellian dystopia. For Brits, even those who don’t love the NHS, American conservatives are better suited to spaghetti westerns, such as Fistful of Dollars, than reality.

“The twain are unlikely to meet after the recent press surrounding Charlie Gard, the infant, now deceased, with a rare, fatal mitochondrial disorder in which mitochondrial DNA is depleted — mitochondrial depletion disorder (MDD). In this condition, the cells lose their power supply and tissues, notably in the brain, die progressively and rapidly.”

and he finally, leaves the reader with a thought from Hindu theology.

“Let’s reframe this. A doctor offers hope to desperate parents who have nothing to lose except hope itself. The doctor believes that denying hope, no matter how hopeless, will be crueler than giving hope. Incidentally, Lord Krishna, one of the many Gods of Hindus, said that a lie which makes someone feel better is better than a thousand truths which make a person feel worse.”

The Border Wall And More Betsey DeVos Along With A Climate Scientist and Rush Limbaugh

Here are some more stories I’ve copied from the commondreams.org website.  They are naturally anti-Trumpian thinking.

“How much of our money does Donald Trump want to pour into his xenophobic fantasy of erecting an impenetrable wall on our Mexican border?

The big-businessman-turned-president insists that costs be damned — just build it! That seems to be a very un-businesslike approach — but then, it’s not his money, is it? For those of you who do care, one measure of what the total tab might be is that he’s now demanding $1.6 billion from Congress to start construction. How much wall will that buy? Seventy-four miles. And how long is the U.S.-Mexican border that he wants to seal off? One thousand, nine-hundred miles long. So, $1.6 billion down, and only 1,826 miles to go!

And let’s not even get into the cost overruns, fraudulent billings shoddy materials and other scams that the army of corporate contractors will add to the sticker price of Donald’s boondoggle on the border.

All of this reckless spending of our tax dollars for a 1,900-mile barricade of both physical and symbolic ugliness that only an extremist minority of Americans support. Besides being wildly expensive, this Trumpian folly is not needed, won’t work, stifles the border economy, crudely tramples on both property rights and sensitive environments, autocratically separates millions of families and communities — and is an insult not only to the people of Mexico, but also to our own people’s democratic values.

As for the assertion by die-hard Trumpateers that a massive, 30-foot high, six-foot deep, steel-and-concrete barricade will stop illegal immigration from Mexico, here is a fact Congress should ponder before taxing us with this harebrained structure: Two-thirds of undocumented migrants in our country entered with legal visas, then didn’t leave when their visas expired. How does Trump’s gold-plated wall stop people who can simply walk through or fly over it?”

Betsey, “let’s privatize all of public education,” DeVos is rolling back another of Obama’s provisions to help victims of sexual assault in college.  You would think, with the exception of sexual predators, everyone would be in favor of protecting anyone who is sexually assaulted.”  But it seems as if DeVos and others on the right think these women who report sexual assaults are either lying or just deserved what they were subjected to.  If you can overlook our president’s bragging about sexual assault then you can justify just about any actions or thoughts for yourself and others.

“The era of rule-by-letter is over,’ DeVos said, referring to the Dear Colleague Letter that served as the basis for President Obama’s 2011 directive on Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination at schools. The guidelines, outlined in the letter, require universities to swiftly investigate complaints of sexual assault and offer protections to survivors, and ban schools from retaliating against those who file sexual assault complaints.”

Those interested in Title IX click on the link to see the letter DeVos refers to.

In another story of global warming, I’ll include a link to therealnews.com where the host interviews a climate scientist, Micael Mann.  The video runs 14:08 and is worth watching. https://youtu.be/_Ny6k6hjRSM.

What can I say about Rush Limbaugh?  His actions and words speak for themselves.  His lying is on par with Trump.  Here’s a quote from commondreams.org about what he said and did in connection with super Hurricane Irma.

“On Tuesday, right-wing radio provocateur Rush Limbaugh claimed the media was intentionally exaggerating threats about Hurricane Irma to advance a “climate change agenda” and enable local businesses to make money off of emergency preparation efforts. On Thursday, Limbaugh indicated he will evacuate South Florida ahead of the storm.”

Thanks to Jessica Corbett, a staff writer for commondreams for doing what you do.

Keep Your Eye On Both Hands

As a magician uses distraction to create illusions of “magic” so are the Trump cabinet secretaries doing things quietly to dismantle progressive measure put in place to help working people.  They do it quietly while Trump creates the noise that distracts everyone.  I don’t consider CEOs working people.  Working people are the people who work for a living to support themselves and in many cases a family.

Today Trump made his decision known that DACA, deferred action on childhood arrivals, will end in six months.  Known as dreamers 800,000 young people affected by DACA are in jeopardy of being deported to countries most can’t remember.  In February Trump said “i”m going to deal with DACA with heart.”  What he did today was to keep his promise to his base, the base that hates immigrants either legal or illegal, and make DACA a problem for Congress to solve in six months.  His heart was shown to be black as those that slink in the dark and rob you of what you have.

Many Republican Congressmen, even Paul Ryan who would throw your grandma under a bus, stated they wished Trump wouldn’t rescind DACA.  But Trump couldn’t let his hate filled base down.  Who would cheer for him then?  A handful of neo-nazis probably.

But that isn’t where the insidious actions of his administration are being carried out.  It’s in the background as in the Department of Education and Mrs. Amway herself, Betsey DeVos who terminated the department’s relationship with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  And as Julia Conley wrote for commondreams.org today:

“At the direction of Congress, under the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, the Department of Education has shared information with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) since 2011 in order to provide assistance to borrowers with complaints about Federal student loans. But the Department, now run by Secretary Betsy DeVos, informed the Bureau in a letter last week that it was ending the relationship.”

She, Conley, wrote further:

“Especially at a time when federal student loan debt has reached over $1.3 trillion*, critics condemned the decision.

The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) says, ‘the CFPB has stood up for students and demonstrated the urgent need for an independent watch dog over student loan servicers and collectors,’ fighting ‘to ensure that struggling borrowers can access the repayment programs they are entitled to.'”

Pruitt, the fossil fuel industry’s wolf in the hen house, has cut funds for climate research and other functions of the EPA.  Trump’s 2018 budget proposal would cut EPAs budget by 30%.

Working quietly his swampy cabinet is doing irreparable harm to our country just as other Republicans have done ever since Nixon and Saint Ronald Reagan.  What needs to happen in 2018 is for Democrats to gain a majority in the House.  We’ll see what happens.  If the Republicans remain in power then I see Trump in office for his full term and the country firmly entrenched in Republican values, their real values which are to give absolute power to the masters they serve.  The rich.

*Student debt is second only to mortgage debt as far as ordinary people are concerned.

 

Not Even Reported Much In The News

It’s always the poor that are most devasted by large disasters.  They tend to live in areas of cities where infrastructure is the most in need of repair and where floods are prone to swallow up first in times of heavy rainfalls.

Today’s commondreams.org there was an article by Jake Johnson, a staff writer.  He wrote:

“As Neil deMause notes in an analysis for Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), “nearly 600,000 Harris County residents live below the poverty line,” yet “one had to read carefully between the lines” to find their stories told in any detail.

“Coverage of the poor during Harvey [has been] a bit better than in Katrina, but that’s not saying much, deMause wrote on Twitter.

“From the Associated Press to the New York Times, the national media has consistently shown its “blindspot for low-income victims,” deMause concludes.”

I searched the internet using duckduckgo.com, an engine that doesn’t track one’s searches, and found the usual one or two sites that claim there is no evidence of the earth getting warmer, which there is.  There are conservative sites, like NOAA, that says attributing global warming to more severe hurricanes may be premature.  But most are like NASA’s site that had the following.

“How Will Global Warming Change Earth?

The impact of increased surface temperatures is significant in itself. But global warming will have additional, far-reaching effects on the planet. Warming modifies rainfall patterns, amplifies coastal erosion, lengthens the growing season in some regions, melts ice caps and glaciers, and alters the ranges of some infectious diseases. Some of these changes are already occurring.

Photograph of Lake Powell showing the bathtub ring exposed by the low lake level.

Global warming will shift major climate patterns, possibly prolonging and intensifying the current drought in the U.S. Southwest. The white ring of bleached rock on the once-red cliffs that hold Lake Powell indicate the drop in water level over the past decade—the result of repeated winters with low snowfall. (Photograph ©2006 Tigresblanco.)

Changing Weather

For most places, global warming will result in more frequent hot days and fewer cool days, with the greatest warming occurring over land. Longer, more intense heat waves will become more common. Storms, floods, and droughts will generally be more severe as precipitation patterns change. Hurricanes may increase in intensity due to warmer ocean surface”

The denier of global warming was a website called theblaze.com.  You can guess where they stand politically.  In an article slamming Al Gore, they cite an article in the English Medical Journal, The Lancet.  They report that the Lancet examined health date from 13 countries, “accounting for more than 74 million deaths, and found relatively cold weather, directly or indirectly, kills 1,700 percent more people than warm weather.”  The last portion of the quote was a link which I followed thinking I’d read the Lancet article.  Instead, I was redirected to a website called The Heartland, which is endorsed, according to their “About Us,” by notable Libertarians, Grover Norquist, the congressman sign your pledge to me, businessman and the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

I did find an article from 2015 in USA Today that said:

‘The study — published in the British journal The Lancet — analyzed data on more than 74 million deaths in 13 countries between 1985 and 2012. Of those, 5.4 million deaths were related to cold, while 311,000 were related to heat.

Because the study included countries under different socio-economic backgrounds and with varying climates, it was representative of temperature-related deaths worldwide, the study said. The sharp distinction between heat- and cold-related deaths is because low temperatures cause more problems for the body’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems, it added.

A Promising New Leukemia Therapy; But At A Whopping Cost

Here’s a photo I copied from the commonground.org website.  It is worth a thousand words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Food and Drug Administration approved a new cancer treatment for children with leukemia, but at $475,000 per treatment, it reignited a national debate about healthcare costs. (Photo: Michael Fleshman/Flickr/cc)

The caption under this photo was telling.  Libertarians who worship the false god free market capitalism would just say that what the market would bear.  And they would say it’s not price gouging.   Further from the article in commonground.org is this written by Jessica Corbett, a staff writer.

“While Novartis’ decision to set a price at $475,000 per treatment may be seen by some as restraint, we believe it is excessive,” said David Mitchell, founder and president of the advocacy group Patients For Affordable Drugs, and a cancer patient himself. “The drug pricing system in America is completely broken. Until policy in this country changes, the vicious cycle of patients struggling under high drug prices will continue.”

Mitchell’s group calculated that over $200 million in federal funding has been allocated to research related to the treatment, and Mitchell said, “Novartis has not acknowledged the significance of taxpayers’ investment,” but Novartis chief executive Joseph Jimenez insisted to Forbes‘ Matthew Herper that his company’s undisclosed investments “dwarf anything the government has invested through NIH grants.”

Novartis, a pharmaceutical company developed the cancer therapy that will be marketed under the name Kymarah.  It’s been reported that 83% of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia were cancer free after one treatment and three months.

I wonder how factual Jimenez’s statement that Novartis’ investment “dwarf anything the government has invested through grants.”  How much of Kymarah is based on previous research with tweaks to existing therapies to its chemical structure?  Some biochemists will have to take a look and determine whether or not almost a half a million dollars is excessive for the therapy.

I believe that much of the research money comes from people that pay for health insurance in higher costs of getting insurance every year.  It isn’t just reflected in the cost of insurance for those parents that have children with childhood leukemia.  How much money does a pharmaceutical company need to make to appease their shareholders and their CEOs that receive huge amounts of money in salaries and benefits?

Will parents with bare bones coverage in their policies have to watch their children die because they can’t afford the treatments?  Will the pro-life activists be seen and heard in marching in front of Novartis’ building?  I tend to think not a chance.  They seem to only care for fetuses only.

WTF kind of world do we live in?

I’m Back!

After four or five days of being unable to access my website to write blogs and writing FatCow, my web host, I am finally able to write again.  I could see what I’ve posted on jamesmats.com but not do anything to update or add new posts.  This is the second time this year I’ve been prohibited from accessing my blog site.

Although there are many days when I feel lazy and uninspired to write.  I do miss writing when I can’t.  I’ve never tried tweeting.  At 140 characters I don’t think I’d do very well.  I have tried to write on FaceBook but it wasn’t conducive to writing blogs.  I don’t usually check my FaceBook page.  I’ve almost given up on FaceBook and given it to Barbara.

All the while I’ve been silent Trump has been causing turmoil.  His Phoenix rally was beyond reality with his base behind him hanging on to every lying word he uttered.  Cheering when appropriate and inflating Trump huge ego.  I could continue ad nauseam.  But I won’t.

I don’t believe in the triumph of good over evil and that people get what they deserve. There’s too much evidence to the contrary to believe in some kind of devine intervention. There’s more evil in this world than good.  Otherwise how do you explain the crimes committed against people just because they are different.

Harvey is still doing a number on Texas.  They’ve gotten more water than flows through the Rio Grande in decades.  I wonder how Libertarians feel about big government when their houses are under five or more feet of water.  Who would they count on for relief when disaster smacks them in their Libertarian ass.

There’s so much wrong.  I could wear out hundreds of sticks just shaking those sticks at all that’s wrong in our country.

Let’s do what’s moral and ethical.  Do something nice for strangers.

Over A Thousand Lies in 200 Days

From commondreams.org I copied this:

“A new video produced by the Washington Post asserts that President Donald Trump has mislead or blatantly lied to the public more than 1,000 times since taking office in January.

 

“The newspaper counted* a total of 1,057 lies, with the president averaging nearly five falsehoods per day since his inauguration.

 

“The video catalogues just a few of President Donald Trump’s most frequent lies about his influence on the economy, the negative impact of the Obama administration, and his ongoing battle with the news media.”

The base doesn’t care or won’t believe what the “fake news” outlets say.  They think they know better.   Or it could be that they don’t care about the truth as long as the lies coincide with what they believe.

Trump’s in Phoenix tonight.  The question will be will there be violence.  There are to be massive protesters there.  Stay tuned.

And the foreclosure (36,000 plus) king’s wife got in an Instagram war with a woman who replied to Steven Mnuchin’s wife Louise Linton after posting a picture of the two of them, Mnuchin and Linton, getting off a government jet.  Her post was extremely classists.  She posted this:

 

“Linton’s caption for the photo included boasts about the fashion brands she was wearing: ‘Great #daytrip to #Kentucky! #nicest #people #beautiful #countryside #rolandmouret pants #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf #valentinorockstudheels #valentino #usa.’

 

“When another user commented ‘Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable, ‘Linton lashed back by pointing out how much she and her husband have paid in taxes, and the ‘amount we sacrifice per year,’an apparant reference to her husband’s role in government.”

Mnuchin is Trump’s Treasury Secretary.  When Ari Melber of MSNBCs The Beat tried to fact check the percentage, Mnuchin paid his staff did not respond.  It could be as low as 17% after deductions from the 40% he should be taxed at.

Linton took it all back perhaps after one of her or her husband’s staff told her how bad this conflict made her look.

The swamp is still filled with a shit load of deplorable people.  I prefer the term despicable myself.

*Check out the Washington Post’s website to see the video: just click on the blue “counted.”.