Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Last Word

Some of you know I lost my husband just a few weeks ago, on February 29.  The next day I looked back and said, "That's the lowest point in my life," and, with the help of family and friends, I kept moving.  It has been hard, it has been painful, but there was a light in my tunnel--distant, dim, flickering--but a light.

I continued my blog and my FB page, because it filled 3 or 4 hours in my suddenly empty days; it forced me to focus.

Yesterday, I found out that I am not eligible for my husband's full monthly police officer's retirement benefit.  I've been broke before--who hasn't--but there was always a way out and around it..a tweek here, a month of peanut butter and ramen there, skipping an outing to save gas, a minimum payment on a bill, you know the drill.  But this gap is too big to fill with a tweek or ramen, and it is permanent with no way out.

With the full retirement coming in, I could have survived.  I wasn't going to have a new car or travel, but I could pay my bills, take care of my dogs, and buy groceries.  With the greatly reduced amount, I will be losing everything: my home, the trappings of 32 years of marriage, my life as a human being.

Emotionally bereft, financially bankrupt, I just can't work up any real outrage at our political leaders, so I'm closing down my blog and my FB page.

I thank everyone who has followed and commented and posted.  Please, keep fighting.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

America, circa 2016

Two More Stories from Political Pollution


"The company lit up its HQ, the 48-story Duke Energy Center tower, in the colours of the transgender flag for the International Day of Transgender Visibility last week.  The pink, white, and blue lighting was topped off with a giant pink triangle, which could be seen for miles across Charlotte."

m'eye thoughts:  They should leave this lighting up until NC repeals its right to hate law.

Read more at Pink News


Widdle Ricky got hims widdle feelings hurted.

"It's inevitable that prominent figures in public life, most notably politicians, are occasionally going to be confronted by critics.  There are, however different ways to handle hecklers...

...(But) since when do political operations tied to elected officials go after regular, private citizens?  Is there any precident at all for a sitting governor's PAC launching an attack ad against a constituent?

For that matter, just as an issue of tactical wisdom, it's hard to see the benefit of playing hardball like this.  Yes, when the governor faced coffee-shop heckling last week, it generated some attention.  But it was a one-day story on its way out--right up until Rick Scott's PAC decided to shine a light on the incident all over again."

Read more at MSNBC

Monday, April 11, 2016

Quote for Monday, April 11

I'll admit that I didn't think much of Jimmy Carter while he was in the White House, but I do think that he is the best ex-president this country has seen in a very long time, perhaps forever.

I also believe that he's the Christian Jesus had in mind when He left his words for His followers.

monday quote:
"Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born, and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality.  In all his teachings about multiple things, He never said that gay people should be condemned."
Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, 1924 -        ) 

Trump's Philanthropist Card is Full of Holes -- Big, BIG Holes

what eye thynk:   What a prince.

(Any underlines are mine.)

Since the first day of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has said that he gave more than $102 million to charity in the past five years. 
To back up that claim, Trump's campaign compiled a list of his contributions--4,844 of them, filling 93 pages. 
But, in that massive list, one thing was missing. 
Not a single one of those donations was actually a personal gift of Trump's own money
Instead, according to a Washington Post analysis, many of the gifts that Trump cited tp prove his generosity were free rounds of gold, given away by his courses for charity auctions and raffles.

The largest items on the list were not cash gifts, but land-conservation agreements to forgo development rights on property Trump owns...
...In addition, many of the gifts on the list came from the charity that bears his name, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which didn't receive a personal check from Trump from 2009 through 2014, according to the most recent public tax filings.  Its work is largely funded by others, although Trump decides where the gifts go.
Some beneficiaries on the list are not charities at all:  They included clients, other businesses, and tennis superstar Serena Williams...
...His giving appears narrowly tied to his business and, now, his political interests.
His foundation, for example, frequently gave money to groups that paid to use Trump's facilities...
Trump wanted the V Foundation, a group that funds cancer research, to rent his California winery for a charity event.  The Trump Foundation donated $10,000 to the V Foundation.  The group rented the winery.  
...(The foundation) donated to conservatives who could help promote Trump's rise in the Republican Party.
When a group that was trying to raise $110,000 to build a handicapped-accessible playground asked Trump for a $10,000 donation, he gave them $7,500.  (Guess there wasn't enough in it for him; unlike the $50,000 donation he made a month later to the American Conservative Union Foundation. That donation won him a prime speaking spot at the Conservative Political Action Convention.
The foundation's second-biggest donation described on the campaign's list went to the charity of a man who had settled a lawsuit with one of Trump's golf courses after being denied a hole-in-one prize. 
I love this story:  Martin Greenberg was participating in a charity event at Trump's golf resort in Briarcliffe NY.  A $1 million prize was offered to anyone who made a hole-in-one.  Trump denied Mr. Greenberg his prize by citing the small print.  Trump said the shot had to be at least 150 yards and Trump's course had (whoopsie!) made the hole too short.  Mr. Greenberg received nothing and he sued.  The day he settled his suit with Trump, the Trump Foundation made its first and its only donation to the Martin B. Greenberg Foundation.  Not bribery, just a coincidence, I'm sure.

...Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, said Trump had, in fact, given generously from his own pocket.  But Weisselberg declined to provide any documentation, such as saying how much charitable giving Trump has declared in his federal tax filings.
Which we're still waiting to see.
The most complete public accounting of Trump's actual charity so far is the $102 million list provided by his campaign last year, titled "Donald J. Trump Charitable Contributions."
In places, it appears to be an unedited mash-up of internal lists kept by Trump's golf clubs, noting all the things they'd given away to anybody...freebies given away at sales meetings, followed by entries in cryptic internal shorthand.  At a Trump golf course in Miami, for instance, the recipient of an $800 gift was listed only as "Brian." 

...The Post estimated that Trump claimed credit for at least 2,900 free rounds of golf, 175 free hotel stays, 165 free meals and 11 gift certificates to spas...
...But Trump's list was also riddled with apparent errors, in which the "charities" that got his gifts didn't seem to be charities at all.
Trump listed a donation to "Serena William Group" in February 2015, valued at exactly $1,136.56.  A spokeswoman for the tennis star said she had attended a ribbon-cutting at Trump's Loudoun County, Va., golf course that year for a new tennis center.  But Trump hadn't donated to her charity.  Instead, he had given her a free ride from Florida on his plane and a free framed photo of herself...
...Trump counted $63.8 million of unspecified "conservation easements." That refers to legal arrangements--which could bring tax breaks--in which a landowner agrees to forgo certain kinds of development on the land that he owns.  In California, for example, Trump agreed to an easement that prevented him from building homes on a plot of land near a golf course.  But Trump kept the land, and kept making money off it.  It is a driving range...
So, if you spend big bucks to rent a Trump facility, he'll give you a donation or maybe a free round of golf.  On the first, he personally makes money while donating the money other people give to his foundation--it's a classic case of I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine; only Trump uses someone else's backscratcher.  The second costs him nothing.  

Trump's approach to philanthropy seems to have very little to do with actual philanthropy and a lot to do with what's in it for Trump.  

As I said at the beginning, what a prince.
You can read Mr. Fahrenthold and Ms. Helderman's entire article here

Democracy or Theocracy?

Well, which will it be?

The Tale of Two Governors from Political Pollution


Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) is asked if he would have signed North Carolina's transgender bathroom bill.  

He responds, "Probably not," delivered with all the enthusiasm you would expect from your Basset Hound on a Sunday afternoon in July. 

m'eye thoughts:  PROBABLY not?! PROBABLY?  What a ringing censure.  Surely John Kasich deserves a medal  for Bravery in the Face of Bigotry! And maybe a special master-politician ribbon for keeping his options open.                                                                                                                                                                               


Take that, Southern bigots! 

Read more at news.groopspeak