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Archive for the ‘Blegging’ Category

Day 185. 

We are going through another round of smokescreens from our beloved leader.  The latest is all about firing Comey as the Director of the FBI.  He admitted, though not using exact words, that he actually fired Comey because of the Russia investigation that is driving trump to the point of madness.  But, with all that going on, we are missing key points that prove that trump has no intentions of keeping his promises from the campaign.  Which means that the Average American will be badly hurt by his policies.

The Americans Without Health Care Act is set, if passed by the Senate, to cut $880 Billion from Medicaid.  You will remember there were three things that trump promised would never be cut under his administration.  Those three were Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  Only he lied.  That became obvious the other day, when his campaign economic advisor, Stephen Moore told the American People exactly that.

On May 8, Moore was on CNN’s Newsroom.  He was joined by the University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee to discuss the merits of billionaire businessman and philanthropist Warren Buffett’s argument that the Trump health care agenda amounts to little more than a tax cut for the rich funded by cuts to health care subsidies for low-income Americans. Goolsbee pointed out that Trump’s health care legislation “cuts taxes for high-income people by hundreds of billions of dollars” at the expense of Medicare and Medicaid, which Trump promised “he would never cut.” Moore interjected falsely: “He never said that we weren’t going to reform Medicaid,” arguing, “That was central to our plan all along”.

There you have it.  Moore simply told the American People that trump planned to cut Medicaid all along and that it was “central to his plan all along”.  The talking heads mostly ignored the statement.  But co-hosts John Berman and Poppy Harlow, as well as Goolsbee, did cite trump’s tweets and public statements as proof that he had broken his promise to protect Medicaid.

According to a September article from HuffPost political reporter Christina Wilkie, Moore had outlined Trump’s often contradictory economic plans during a “question-and-answer session” at a private July 14 meeting of the conservative Council for National Policy (CNP) in Cleveland, OH. During the event, Moore suggested that Trump planned to pay for his costly economic agenda by removing supposedly onerous public protections imposed by the federal government and enacting “draconian public assistance reforms and cuts in social services.” Since taking office, Trump has proposed a budget and health care agenda that would fulfill those promises. As the article noted, Moore’s zeal for tearing down anti-poverty programs, including Medicaid, seems to undermine Trump’s claim that he would focus on “looking out for the downtrodden.” It also confirms that imposing this harsh agenda — and lying about it — was indeed “central to” the Trump team’s economic plan “all along.”

This also means that Social Security and Medicare are not under trump’s protection.  The Republicans have been wanting to gut those program for years.  They want to privatize Social Security and hand out “vouchers” for Medicare.  They are not interested in saving or protecting either of those programs.  Meaning that trump is not interested in saving or protecting them like he said either.

That is what the trump agenda is all about.  He wants all of the social safety nets eliminated in order to give his rich pals a bigger tax cut.  He wants to lead the Republican sick eugenics program.  Only, Republicans and trump aren’t interested in the normal eugenics program of saving the best genes.  They are only interested in creating a safe rich class.  If that means the “downtrodden” are hurt more and more, so be it.

This goes along with the Republican view that America is supposed to be a haven for the rich.  They don’t care about saving your jobs.  They don’t care about you at all.  They know that they can make their products overseas for a lot less money and benefits than they need to pay out here.  So, if the poor and the middle class are forced to leave the country to find work, that is perfectly fine with them.

See, if you eliminate all those poor working class slobs by sending their jobs overseas, you can live a life of luxury and ignore the problems of “little people” like us.  The Americans Without Health Care is the first step in trump’s plan to get rid of anyone who isn’t rich.  You take away their health care and you eliminate those “problems.  When the workforce declines, you simply start shipping more of the jobs overseas to low-income countries.

Oh, they will make exceptions so there are enough “little people” to man their military and clean their houses or fix their cars.  But other than that, the rest of us should just leave.  How else do you explain cutting the medical care for millions upon millions of people just to give the very rich a huge tax break?

If you believe that trump will keep his promise when it comes to Social Security and Medicare, just remember that Medicare is also being cut in the Americans Without Health Care Act.  Under the ACA the CBO said Medicare’s finances were strengthened.  Under the Americans Without Health Care Act up to a trillion dollars will be cut from Medicare.  Another lie from our beloved leader.

Republicans finally have a puppet in the White House that thinks like they do.  Someone who believes that the Average American isn’t worth helping.  The Average American simply costs too much for corporations to actually hire.  That is why they haven’t done a damn thing to stop the outflow of American Jobs.

Unfortunately, if you believe their nonsense that huge tax cuts for corporations will magically bring back jobs, you are making a huge mistake.  They will get their tax cuts, and they will continue to ship your job overseas.  But, that is the point.  By getting both huge tax cuts and protection to ship out your jobs, their profits will go up and they will get richer.  That is the Republican agenda.  That is trump’s agenda.

I have urged you before, and I continue to urge you to keep up with what is going on behind the smokescreen.  We are getting screwed by Republicans in Congress and by our beloved leader.  We have to raise our voices and make the damage stop.  Otherwise, we won’t have a country anymore.  We will have the United Corporations of America.

That is what Republicans want.  If you don’t pay attention, that is what they will get.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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Day 132. 

There is a lot of talk about Neil Gorsuch’s performance at the hearing about is nomination.  A few of the Democrats have tried to hold his feet to the fire over some of his rulings, but the rest seem to be rolling over.  Even those who try to hold him accountable, don’t always ask the correct questions.

For me, there is one huge red flag flying over the Gorsuch camp.  This red flag is typical retorts from conservatives, especially when it comes to the Supreme Court.  That one retort is simply that judges, even Supreme Court Justices, are merely rubber stamps for whatever a law says.

As an example, Sen. Durbin brought up a case about a truck driver whose case came before Gorsuch.  Here is a brief explanation of the case.  This truck driver was forced to pull his truck over because his breaks froze.  As a result, he could not drive the truck because it was considered an unsafe vehicle.

The driver’s dispatcher told him to move the truck, but he said he couldn’t because the brakes would not work properly because the brakes were frozen and couldn’t stop the tuck with the trailer properly.  The dispatcher told him to stay put until help arrived.  The truck, for reasons I don’t know, did not have any heat in the cab.  The temperature was about minus 14 degrees.

After waiting for sever hours without help arriving, the driver was near freezing to death.  He then got out, unhitched his trailer and drove the truck to a place to get it fixed and warm up.  The company fired the truck driver for “operating an unsafe vehicle”.

Seven different courts sided with the truck driver citing his safety and desire to stay alive.  Then the case got to Judge Gorsuch’s court.  He ruled in favor of the truck company and the driver lost his job.  According to Durbin, he is still without a job and seems to be blackballed from driving again.

During the hearing, Gorsuch said he “felt for the driver” but the law was the law.  The driver drove what was considered “an unsafe vehicle” and therefore he should have lost his job.  He even went so far as to tell Congress that if they don’t like the results they should change the law.  “I was merely adjudicating the law as it was written”.  However, judges do have the right, and the responsibility to say when a law is unjust and not adjudicate is as it is written.

In this case, the driver had two choices.  Take a chance and get the cab somewhere he could get it fixed and save his life, or simply sit still and freeze to death.  Gorsuch says that he should have sat still and froze to death.  This a very real case that proves that extenuating circumstances should have ruled the day and not just the letter of the law.  Gorsuch, once again placed the company’s interests in front of the person involved.

Gorsuch also said that the same-sex marriage situation is “settled law”.  But, he would not say the same thing about Roe v. Wade.  If you are wondering why, just look at his stance on the so-called “Freedom of Religion” laws he favors.  The ones that allow companies to discriminate against LGBTQ people based on “religious beliefs”.

If anyone would ask me, I would have suggested a few questions for Mr. Gorsuch that would not involve any cases of the past giving him an out.  But, they would let everyone know exactly where he would stand if these kinds of cases came before him at any level.

These questions would be something like this:  Do you believe that there are two different types of laws, one type being secular which rules civil society and one type being religious law that rules religious beliefs?  Do you believe that religious law should be considered when making secular law?  If, yes which religion’s or religious sect’s religious laws should be considered?  Do you believe that religious law should take precedence over secular law in civil matters?

Those questions would unmask anyone’s beliefs on issues like Roe v. Wade.  Let me explain.  I believe that civil society is ruled by secular law.  In a country like ours that offers freedom of religion, secular law must be the law of the land.

Religious law should never be considered when making secular law.  If you really believe in freedom of religion, then it would be impossible to say one religion’s laws should be considered and another’s religious laws should not.

Religious laws should never take precedence over secular law in a civil society that claims to be open and free.  If someone believes their religious laws take precedence over secular laws in civil society, you know where they stand on a myriad of issues.

The case of Roe v. Wade is a case of secular law v. religious law.  The entire case hinges on the definition of life and when it begins.  Religious law, especially with Catholics and Evangelicals, says that life begins at conception.  However, there are differences between religious life and secular life.

One could easily argue that life does not begin until the fetus is capable of surviving outside of the womb.  The arguments are purely based on different beliefs of secular law or religious law.  The pro-life group is based on the idea of life begins at conception.  The pro-choice group says otherwise.

If someone asked Gorsuch if religious law takes precedence over secular law, and he said yes, it would be a clear indication that he would override Roe v. Wade if it came before him.  I believe I already know that he does believe that religious law supersedes secular law with his stance in the Hobby Lobby case and his support of these “freedom of religion” laws that allow discrimination against groups based on religious beliefs.

That is not someone I would want on the Supreme Court.  But, since Democrats are not interested in getting to a person’s true feelings and beliefs, these types of questions are never asked.

Additionally, if you simply look at our own history, you will discover that conservatives always believe that religious law supersedes secular law.  You can see that in laws that banned intra-racial marriage, same-sex marriage, separate but equal laws, and many more.  All of those laws were justified by “religious beliefs”.  If a judge cannot interpret the law and declare it unconstitutional, we would still have those laws on the books.

That is why conservatives argument about “minimal justices” is totally wrong.  It is the responsibility of judges, especially on the Supreme Court to interpret laws for their constitutionality.  The Constitution is secular law, and NOT religious law.  The Constitution protects all minorities from bad laws passed by the majority.  If judges are simply rubber stamps for Congress, then we would still have slavery in this country.

I do not believe that Judge Gorsuch belongs on the Supreme Court.  His rubber stamp mentality, his willingness to let someone die just because he is too lazy to include extenuating circumstances in applying a law, and his apparent belief that religious law supersedes secular law, makes him unqualified to sit on the highest court of the land.

However, I don’t think that the Democrats are willing to go full-bore on rejecting him.  I am not convinced that they are willing to dig in too much on this nominee.  There are a lot of old people on the Supreme Court.  And, I don’t think they are willing to fight one nominee that might make it easier to get a more conservative wacko on the court with the next opening, which could be any day.

But, in my mind he doesn’t belong there.  He appears to me to be just another sleazy snake oil salesman in a fancy suite with a fancy haircut masquerading to be “mainstream”.  He isn’t mainstream.  He is a far right social conservative activist and his rulings have proven that to be the case.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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Day 96. 

If you are wondering, the truth is dead.  According to the trump administration, there is only “alternative facts” that matter.  That became very clear today at the propaganda minister’s press briefing.  According to the administration, Flynn was cut loose because of “an erosion of trust”.

That sounds like a nice 20 second sound bite, but it is also a lie.  Flynn was cut loose simply because the whole mess came out in the press, and trump could not just let it die away and keep Flynn in his administration.  The so-called “erosion of trust” came out because the press proved that Flynn had lied and trump knew he had lied.

The other piece of evidence is that the propaganda minister said that the White House Counsel found nothing improper in Flynn calling the Russian Ambassador and talking about not taking the new sanctions the Obama administration was placing on them seriously.

Okay, even if we like to think that might be true then the huge question is “Why did Flynn lie about it?”  Did he lie about because he believed there was something wrong with undermining the administration still in office?  Or, did he lie about it because trump ordered him to make the call?

If the National Intelligence Advisor lied about a phone call, then it is safe to believe that there was a legal issue with the call or its contents.  What was so secret about the call that made Flynn lie about it?

Then there is the fact that trump knew about this “lie” for 3 weeks before doing something about it.  He did nothing at all.  Why, if there is such “an erosion of trust” would the president allow this liar keep reading very sensitive classified information for 3 weeks after he discovered that person was so dishonest?

As a side note, it turns out the Vice President, Mike Pence was not told he was lied to until last Thursday.  That was over two weeks after trump knew it.  That means Pence was sticking to the story that was false to begin with, and trump was letting him continue lying to the American People.

When the White House Counsel found out about the lie from the Acting Justice Department head, he told trump, but no one bothered to tell Pence.  And, from what transpired during the propaganda briefing today, Pence was the only person of importance who was not told.

The Republican Politburo on the hill isn’t helping things either.  While most people with a brain are calling for in independent investigation, the leaders of the Grand Oppression Party is claiming that isn’t necessary.   In the House, Jason Chaffetz, the staunch leader of the oversight committee who wanted so bad to take down Hillary Clinton, said he doesn’t see any reason to investigate Flynn and we should “just move on.”

Then, today, our beloved leader signed a law passed by his Politburo that repeals an order connected with Dodd-Frank.  Our beloved leader said that signing the bill will bring back oil jobs to America.

He claims it is a great start in repealing “restrictive orders that cost companies billions of dollars”.  He called it a “big deal” several times while getting ready to sign the bill.  It was HJ Resolution 41.  Here is what this “big deal” that will save the oil companies billions of dollars and bring back oil jobs is all about.

The bill rolls-back an order from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that required oil and mining companies to disclose their payments to foreign governments. Holy Shit!  That order must have really cost these companies a lot of money to comply.  That really is a “big deal”.

Tonight the New York Times has an article that claims that members of the trump campaign were in contact with Russian Intelligence during the election.  If that is true, then the sink hole just got a whole lot deeper.

“The truth shall set you free” as the saying goes.  Maybe that is the reason that trump and his administration isn’t interested in telling the truth.  Maybe that goes against their plan to take over the country.  Maybe that is the one thing that scares them to death.  Why else would they say that the Flynn mess isn’t the big deal, the leaks are the big deal.

The Republicans in Congress are showing no spine to stand up and do what is right.  No one in the administration is showing any spine over this either.  If I were Mike Pence, I would tell trump to take his job and shove it.  I quit a job because of integrity issues, and I turned down others when I suspected integrity issues.

If Pence cannot rely on the president to be honest with him, why should he continue in the job?  Unless he thinks trump will get impeached and he will become president.  Which tells me Pence does not have any integrity himself.

It is totally obvious that the truth is dead on arrival in the White House.  That is why an independent investigation into all of this is so important for our democracy.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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Day 67.

We are looking at having the most corrupt administration in our nation’s history.  I don’t make that accusation lightly.  However, the facts are beginning to show that is a real possibility.

First we have a president-elect that doesn’t think any conflicts of interests are a bad thing as long as he is the one in conflict and personally benefitting from them.  For example, after his infomercial where he announced he would do no more foreign deals, he just announced he in fact is expanding his golf course activity in Scotland.  Sounds like a foreign deal to me.

But, he isn’t the only one in the administration that will have conflicts of interest or will be willing to take “political donations” just to look the other way when his donors break the law.  As a matter of fact, his EPA pick is already leading the pack in that category.

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick to head up the EPA was more than willing to take over $40,000 in donations from chicken industry executives and then not force them to clean up the pollution they caused in the Illinois River which is the drinking water for millions of people in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The problem is that he was the Attorney General for Oklahoma, but was unwilling to continue a lawsuit against several chicken companies for the pollution.

When he took office, there was a six-year ongoing lawsuit against several chicken companies trying to force them to pay for the clean up of tons of chicken manure that had fouled the water of Northeastern Oklahoma.  Most of the pollution had come from companies in Arkansas.

After taking office, Pruitt decided to drop the law suite which could have resulted in tens of millions of dollars to clean up the mess, and instead negotiated a deal with the companies to “study the problem further.”

This was only one in a series of instances where Pruitt supported and cooperated with industry before confrontation as he sought to blunt the impact of federal environmental policies in his state — against oil, gas, agriculture and other interests. He has also sued the EPA at least 14 times since he took office.

Now he has been chosen by Trump to head up the organization that is supposed to enforce laws on pollution and climate change.  Mark Derichsweiler, led the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality division responsible for overseeing the poultry-related cleanup.  Mr. Derichsweiler retired in 2015 after 40 years with the state, frustrated with Mr. Pruitt’s approach.  He said:

He has advocated and stood up for the profits of business, be it the poultry companies or the energy industry and other polluters, at the expense of people who have to drink the water or breathe the air.

Pruitt has the idea that only states should worry about pollution and that the federal government shouldn’t be involved.  Yet, this case shows clearly that is a really stupid position to take.  Pollution does not abide by state lines.  In this one case most of the pollution came from Arkansas yet Oklahoma’s water was affected.

The same is true for air pollution and other forms of pollution.  Without federal oversight, one state could literally poison another state’s population without any consequences.

“Pollution doesn’t respect state boundaries,” said Patrick A. Parenteau, a professor of environmental law at Vermont Law School. “States have limited ability to regulate pollution from outside the state, and almost every state is downstream or downwind from other pollution.”

After Pruitt got his donations from about a dozen poultry companies, he decided not to go ahead with the suit that was started by his predecessor.  Instead of pushing the federal judge for a ruling that, seven years later, still hasn’t been issued, he negotiated an agreement with Arkansas and the poultry companies to conduct a study of the appropriate level of phosphorus in the Illinois River.

His argument?  “Regulation through litigation is wrong in my view.  That was not a decision my office made. It was a case we inherited.”  The one thing that is missing in this story is that the cleanup has never been paid for by the polluters, which I believe everyone thinks is the right thing.

So, there is nothing to keep them from doing it again, and again, and again.  J. D. Strong, director of Oklahoma’s Wildlife Department and the state’s former Secretary of Environment, praised Mr. Pruitt for negotiating the settlement.

“You can’t force a judge to rule,” Mr. Strong said. “Pruitt didn’t sit back and wait or badger the judge for a ruling. He worked to get the states of Oklahoma and Arkansas around the table.”

Yeah, they got around the table and did nothing of any consequence except give the poultry industry license to continue their polluting ways.  That is not what I expect from my Attorney General.  I expect him to punish the companies that dare to pollute my drinking water.

In 2003, Mr. Edmondson, Pruitt’s predecessor, negotiated an agreement with Arkansas to reduce poultry waste pollution, and to monitor the progress.  Pruitt let that agreement lapse without seeking another formal extension of the deal.

And, Mr. Pruitt also shut down the specialized unit of four attorneys and a criminal investigator that helped initiate the lawsuit against the 14 poultry companies.

That environmental unit had broad jurisdiction, forcing pork-producing farmers to spend millions of dollars on their own cleanups and collecting tens of millions of dollars to clean up toxic sites in the state, including poisonous waste left at an abandoned lead and zinc mine known as Tar Creek.

With this kind of history, do you really think that Pruitt should be allowed anywhere near the EPA?  I don’t.  He is the perfect example of what happens when someone who is willing to benefit businesses instead of his constituents.

He is willing to let the poultry industry pollute water used as drinking water by his own constituents.  They don’t have as much worth to Pruitt than the paltry $40,000 dollars in political donations from the very industry poisoning his constituents.

To put a finer point on this, Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund said:

The president’s choices deserve a lot of deference from Congress and even environmental groups.  But at some point when the nominee has spent his entire career attempting to dismantle environmental protections, it becomes unacceptable. That’s why Mr. Pruitt is the first E.P.A. nominee from either party that the Environmental Defense Fund has opposed in our 50-year history.

The entire concept of letting industries police their own pollution is ridiculous.  They will not worry about who they are poisoning or even killing as long as they keep their profits high.  And, as shown by this shameful example, in Red State America all they need to do is give a paltry donation to a politician and they will get away with that pollution.

The vast majority of people Trump has nominated to be in his cabinet are being shown to be anything less than stellar in protecting the American People.  They are only interested in protecting their own profits and those of their companies or donors.

From Rex Tillerson to Jeff Sessions to Betsy DeVos to Scott Pruitt, we are looking at the worst administration in history.  We are also probably looking at the most corrupt administration in history.

You better get used to being used as pawns by this administration.  Because you won’t gain any benefit from this gang of thieves.  You will only wind up paying the price for their power grab.

Every amount of progress made since the end of World War II is on the line from civil rights to public education to clean air and water.  But, business will do quite nicely during this time.  Only, they won’t “trickle-down” any of that benefit to you.

Since these autocrats with help from the Republican Party are hell-bent on establishing a new country, should we name it the “United Businesses of America”?  I am sure our new president would prefer the “United States of Trump”.

Maybe we should change our money to read “In Money We Trust”.  Or, change the pledge of allegiance to say “One nation under business”.  We can change the Declaration of Independence to read “all non-business executives are created as serfs”.

If this goes as it appears to be heading, we will all be singing that old folk song.  The one that says: “St. Peter don’t call me because I can’t go.  I owe my soul to the company store”.

Welcome to Trump’s bold backwards future.  Lackeys like Pruitt will help him achieve it.  And we all lose while the “shirts keep marching along.”

 

 

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Day 35

With Donald Trump getting ready to take the reins of power, and with all of his gas and oil magnates being named to cabinet positions, we cannot forget about Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Army Corps of Engineers has refused to issue the permit for Energy Transfer Partners to run the pipeline under Lake Oahe, which is a drinking water reservoir for about 17 million people.  The company says they are not going to even look for an alternate route as the Corps wants.

According to their CEO they are simply going to wait until Trump takes office and have him override the Corps and let them run their pipeline under the lake anyway.  They claim it is safe because they will have electronic leak detectors in the pipeline so they will be able to shut off the flow of oil if a leak should occur.

There is another pipeline that is run by Casper, Wyoming-based True Cos., which operates the Belle Fourche pipeline that is about 150 miles from Standing Rock.  They also have electronic leak detectors.

On December 5, a local landowner discovered that this pipeline was leaking oil.  It has been determined that the leak began sometime around December 1 so it was leaking for about 5 days before being detected.

Approximately 176,000 gallons of oil spilled out of this pipeline.  The problem is that it spilled into the Ashe Coulee creek.  The creek empties into the Little Missouri river which is also a drinking water source.

Officials don’t “think” the oil got that far.  They do know that about 6 miles of the creek has been contaminated and untold amount of shoreline was contaminated.

But, remember, this pipeline just like the DAPL one has electronic leak detectors.  However, they didn’t work.  So, the company was unaware of the leak and if the local landowner didn’t notice the leak, it would still be leaking now.

Most of this pipeline is underground.  However, at the creek it comes up and passes over the creek.  The leak was discovered at the point where the pipeline comes out of the ground.  If this pipeline was under the creek, and the detectors failed as they did, how long would it be before the company found out about the leak, and how much more oil would have contaminated the creek?

At the time of the leak, the creek was free-flowing.  Since then, it has frozen over which makes the clean up even tougher.  There have been about 60 people working on the clean up since Monday and they are cleaning about 100 yards per day.  And, it will probably take until spring until things get much better.

The company, True Cos. has a history of oil field–related spills in North Dakota and Montana, including a January 2015 pipeline break into the Yellowstone River. The 32,000-gallon spill temporarily shut down water supplies in the downstream community of Glendive, Montana, after oil was detected in the city’s water treatment system.

True Cos. operates at least three pipeline companies with a combined 1,648 miles of line in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming, according to information the companies submitted to federal regulators. Since 2006, the companies have reported 36 spills totaling 320,000 gallons of petroleum products, most of which was never recovered.

Since the oil boom started in North Dakota, there have been reports of several spills across the state.  Many of these spills were never fully reported or cleaned up.  That is disturbing all by itself.

So, Energy Transfer Partners wants to place an oil pipeline beneath a water reservoir that affects 17 million people.  They claim it is safe because they will have electronic leak detectors, just like the ones that failed 150 miles away.

So, what if those leak detectors fail under Lake Oahe?  How long will it take for Energy Transfer Partners to realize there is a problem?  How many people will have their drinking water contaminated?

The problem is since their pipeline will go under the lake, there will be no local landowner who discovers the leak for them.  We would have to wait until the oil bubbles to the surface of the lake.  By then, hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil will have leaked.

When I was in the Coast Guard, I was involved in an oil cleanup on the St. Lawrence River.  In that case a barge struck bottom and leaked over 600,000 gallons of oil into the river.

That leak happened in June and we were still working on the cleanup until October when winter weather shut us down.  The leak was a total mess to say the least.  The entire area stunk for months after the leak and the water was contaminated for quite a long time.

Oil spills on lakes and rivers that are used for drinking water cannot just be blown off as the “cost of doing business”.  It is not the company that caused the leak that suffers, it is the average person who needs to stay alive by drinking water.

Additionally, the cost of cleaning up a mess like this is considerable.  And, in most cases, the oil company does not pay the full cost of cleanup, the taxpayers do.  So, we get our drinking water contaminated by an oil company’s recklessness, and then we have to pay to clean up their mess.  Nice.

All along the route of DAPL we have seen a private company flaunt their power in our face.  First, they used eminent domain in many areas to steal land from private citizens.  Then they rerouted the original planned route away from Bismark because the Governor thought it was too close to his drinking water.  Now they are waiting for their puppet to say it will be okay to endanger Lake Oahe.

This won’t be the only “resurrection” of a pipeline either.  You can bet your bottom dollar that we will see the Keystone XL pipeline raise its ugly head again.

We have always had to fight for our rights against private companies who think they own everything.  With Donald Trump becoming their President it will get even worse.  We will see more disregard for private property just so oil companies can make more money.  We will see more disregard for the environment.  We will see more disregard for us and our rights.

As Republicans plan to dismantle our health care system by repealing the Affordable Care Act throwing millions out of their health care coverage, they are planning to allow more pollution of our environment.  Meaning we will see more cases of respiratory problems in our population and poisoning of our water, land and food.  That is a great combination isn’t it?

We must continue to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux in their fight against DAPL.  If we don’t, the oil companies will be coming for your land and drinking water next.  And, with the appointments to his cabinets of oil executives, bankers, and generals you won’t have much of a leg to stand on.

Until we wake up as a nation and wean ourselves off of fossil fuels, we will always have a transportation problem when it comes to oil.  That doesn’t mean we aren’t supposed to hold these companies responsible for their actions.  It doesn’t mean we can’t say no to certain routes picked for convenience and cost savings if they threaten our environment.

Trump’s selections for his cabinet so far tell me the government won’t give a diddily-damn about the environment.  So, it will be up to us to fight for it.  We can win as long as we don’t forget fights like Standing Rock and the pollution at places like Ashe Coulee creek.

 

 

 

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Day 33

It is becoming clearer and clearer as we get closer to the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump, our SIC that Trump really doesn’t know anything but to show how “smart” he is he is filling his cabinet with stupid people.

I know that is harsh to say, and I don’t like calling the people that will run our government stupid.  But, I cannot think of anything else to call them.  There seems to be only a handful of qualities that you need to be on Trump’s team.  You need to be very very rich.  You need to be a General.  Or you need to be a paranoid who believes that the real world is out to get you.

What we are being told what is true and what is not true is almost unbelievable.  Except these morons actually believe the shit they are trying to make us swallow.  Their idea of “proof” is simply what they believe.  If they believe something is true or false, it is simply because they believe it and no “proof is necessary.

All you have to do is look at two simple facts.  They believe that climate change is a hoax.  Not because any reasonable scientist says it is a hoax, but rather because they believe it is.  Despite the fact that over 97 percent of all environmental scientists say it is real, the Trump team says there is “no proof”.

On the other side, the CIA, the NSA, and every single intelligence agency says that Russia was behind the political attacks against us, but team Trump says no, there is no “proof”.

The definition of “proof” seems to have a rambling meaning depending on which side you want to believe.  Another example is that “life begins at conception”.  That is a religious belief and I have no problem with anyone who believes that.  However, there is no scientific “proof” that is a true statement.  Yet, team Trump says it is a true fact covered by “proof.

Then when they don’t want to answer questions about an issue, they come up with a conspiracy theory to deflect attention away from the real culprits and place blame on some fictitious theory that they want you to believe.

The latest comes from John Bolton who is considered as Trump’s pick to be number 2 at the State Department.  He did an interview on that really intelligent network, Fox News, and said that the CIA report about the hacking is probably a “false flag”.  In case you are wondering, a false flag is something that your government is supposed to have done to make it look like someone else did it.

In the interview with reporter Eric Shawn Bolton said:

It is not at all clear to me just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false flag operation.

A really sophisticated foreign intelligence service would not leave any cyber fingerprints.  So the question that has to be asked is why did the Russians run their smart intelligence service against Hillary [Clinton]’s server, but their dumb intelligence services against the election?

Shawn called that a “very serious charge” and cited the Washington Post’s bombshell report that intelligence officials believe hackers with ties to the Russian government worked to help Trump win the election.

Are you actually accusing someone here in this administration, in the intelligence community, of trying to throw something?

“We just don’t know,” Bolton responded, claiming the intelligence community has been “politicized” under President Barack Obama.

What Bolton is trying to say is that the DNC hacks and the hacks of Podesta emails were all done by the Obama administration.  Really?  And, Trump wants this lunatic to be the number 2 person at the State Department?

And remember, Trump the other day said that he doesn’t take his daily intelligence briefings because “I am a smart guy”.  Something tells me that he sits in his Trump tower in New York city and gazes into some magical crystal ball.  How else can he be so “smart” about what is going on in the world?

The SIC hasn’t even been sworn in yet and he has already pissed off China.  He sends his love to Russia.  And, his picks for his cabinet will ensure that every person in the bottom 99 percent become poorer, has no health care, no Social Security or Medicare to take care of themselves in their retirement.  His picks will gut the EPA and destroy our drinking water and the air we breath.  They will close down our public schools in favor of “Christian” schools. And wipe out all civil rights that have been earned by minorities over the last 100 years.

I hate to say this, but if you are one of the white blue-collar people who voted for Trump to be your hero, you were fooled.  I am willing to predict that after the first 12 months of his presidency, your lives will be far worse off than they are today.

His selections for his cabinet shows his intent to leave us all behind in favor of the oligarchs.  On top of that, he has selected the worst people he could have possibly picked.

We are being forced to live in a country that will no longer believe in facts.  It will no longer be the land of the free.  It will be the land of oligarchs who don’t give a shit about you.  If there was ever going to be an ingorant “Russian Puppet” heading into the White House, Trump is it.

 

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One journalist, David Fahrenthold, from the Washington Post has been on a crusade.  He has heard as we all have about Donald Trump’s wonderful donations.  According to Trump and his campaign he has given tens of millions of dollars to charity.  However, without him releasing his tax returns, there is no proof of his claims.

So, Fahrenthold has made it his mission to discover just how much the Donald has donated to charity.  The Donald J. Trump Foundation was first started in 1987.  At the beginning, Donald Trump did donate to his foundation.  It must be pointed out here that family foundations like the Trump Foundation are usually created so the rich person, in this case Donald Trump, can donate his own money to various charities.

The Foundation has a record of having very little money in its bank account.  Then, in 2008 Donald Trump began to give absolutely nothing to his own foundation.  There is no record, according to Fahrenthold’s investigation that shows any contributions from Trump to the Foundation since then.  Rather, he started getting donations from other people.

That by itself isn’t a big deal.  However, since 2008, Trump has used other people’s money to donate to charity and giving the impression that the money was coming from himself.  According to Fahrenthold’s investigation, there have also been “illegal” activity by the Foundation that benefitted Trump directly.

For example, Trump reportedly purchased through an auction a signed Tim Tebow helmet.  The Foundation paid the $12,000 bill.  In another auction, Trump’s wife Melania purchased a six foot tall portrait of Donald Trump for $20,000.  Again, the foundation paid the bill.

These purchases are illegal.  According to charity laws, no one can use Foundation money to purchase anything for himself.  So, the purchases were illegal in that they were paid for by the Trump Foundation and not by Mr. Trump even though he benefitted from the purchase.

Then we have the “pay for play” donation to a political action committee for the Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.  This was first explained away as a mistake.  However, the mistake became another mistake and it was never fully explained why the money, supposedly meant for different charities never made it to them, but rather to Bondi’s PAC.

One of the most egregious activities to me was a donation to the Palm Beach Police.  Trump donated $120,000 to the Palm Beach Police.  The money was donated by the Trump Foundation.  However, even though Trump made it seem like he was personally donating the money, it turns out that the money came from a separate charity in New Jersey.

The real bad part was that the Palm Beach Police awarded Donald Trump the Palm Award for his donation.  This is something that they hand out to benefactors for their donations.  The “award ceremony” was held at Trump’s Mar a Lago resort in Florida.  To show just how generous Trump really is, he charged the Palm Beach Police over $267,000 for the ceremony dinner at his resort.

So, Trump donated someone else’s money to the Police, received an award for himself by donating other people’s money, and then raped the police for the ceremonial dinner.  How charitable of the vulture.  Imagine getting an award for something you did not do, then charge the organization awarding you to make money for yourself.

The Trump campaign keeps saying that Trump will not release his tax returns until the so-called audit is completed.  Yet, there isn’t even any proof that he is under audit.  That came to light yesterday on CNN.  Kellyanne Conway was giving an interview and was asked, “will the Campaign release the letter from the IRS that states Mr. Trump’s taxes are being audited?”  I thought Conway was going to choke on the answer.

Her first response was “excuse me?”  Seems Kellyanne doesn’t know that if you are under audit, the IRS cannot openly announce it to the world, but they do send a letter to the payee that their tax returns are under audit.  Trump could simply release that letter to prove he is under audit.  Instead Conway asked “are you saying he is a liar?”

I don’t know if the CNN interviewer is saying that, but I am.  Trump is a liar.  There is no reason for him not to release his tax returns even if he is under audit.  Richard Nixon released his returns while he was under audit.  There is no law that prevents him from releasing his tax returns while under audit.

No, Trump will not release his tax returns because things like his NOT donating tens of millions of dollars to charity will be exposed.  If he is claiming to have donated to his own Foundation on his tax returns while the Foundation’s records do not show such “giving” he is not only lying, he is also a tax cheat.

Newsweek today dropped an article about Trump’s organization and its many ties to foreign financiers, foreign politicians, and even foreign criminals.  If all of that is true, it would show up in his tax returns.  The story also brings up some very serious conflict of interest concerns should Trump be elected.

How can we trust a President who is beholding to foreign politicians to properly deal with foreign policy that conflicts with his business interests?  Besides, shockingly, there is no law that requires a President to place his holdings in a “blind trust” to avoid conflict of interest.  And, Donald Trump has said he probably would not do so.  Meaning while he is President, if elected, he would also be running his company.

Newsweek says he would be the “most conflicted President” in history.  Even if he did “blind trust” his companies while in office, if he doesn’t permanently break from his own companies, we will never be sure just what foreign policy is set to benefit his business over the nation.

This all proves that Donald Trump is the least transparent candidate in my lifetime.  He has refused to disclose the most basic things like his tax returns.  Why?  What is he hiding?  How many other “suspicious activities” would we discover in his returns?

Donald Trump keeps saying “believe me” when he wants to make a point.  Sorry, Donald, I don’t believe you.  Your own history with your Foundation is riddled with fraudulent activity.  You keep saying the Clinton Foundation is a “pay for play” system.  Yet, the only “pay for play” has come from YOUR Foundation, not Clinton’s.

If you have nothing to hide, Mr. Trump, release your tax returns immediately.  Otherwise you will be proving my assertion that you are a liar to be true.

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