Saturday, May 11, 2024

Trump's Repeat of a Quid-Pro-Quo Offer Might Get taken Up This Time

         It wasn't that long ago that Trump approached Ukraine's president Zelensky with an offer to send military supplies in exchange for finding dirt on Joe Biden.

Apparently, it's one of Trump's favorite ways of doing business. You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours.

This time Trump is offering oil industry executives the deal of a lifetime (when he's re-elected) if they come up with a billion dollars to fund his cash-strapped campaign.

"This deal perfectly captures what's wrong with our big money campaign finance system," Erin Chlopak, former Federal Elections Commission attorney, told Politico in a recent interview.

The solicitation reeks of corruption but isn't illegal, given that Trump reportedly didn't tie the donation to exact policy actions.

The oil industry has already put together numerous executive orders for Trump to sign if he wins in November. Such policies include reversal of a Biden-administration pause on natural gas export permits and new drilling expansions.

The thing to keep in mind about this MAGA proposal is it will be a blueprint for how he does business when he slinks back into the White House.

Trump was impeached the first time he tried to pull off a quid-pro-quo with Zelensky. This time he won't have to worry about repercussions because he's planning on a complete overhaul of government by remaking it into his dystopian dream.

It's still unclear if the oil industry is going to pony up and boost Trump's campaign. A billion dollars is a lot of money. But if any group could pull it off it would be them.

The meeting was held last month when Trump passed the hat around to invited executives at Mar-a-Lago.

As it Stands, "Fighting corruption is not just good governance. It's self-defense. It's patriotism." - Joe Biden

Friday, May 10, 2024

I Never Thought I'd See the Day that I Couldn't Afford Fast-Food Prices

The last decade has seen a steady increase in the costs of fast food, according to FinanceBuzz, a personal finance site.

The good news is I eat at home more often. The bad news is while my disposable income remains the same (I'm retired) and the cost of eating fast foods keeps climbing.

My earliest fast-food memories start with McDonald's when my family of six went there before going to the drive-in movies on Friday nights.

Hamburgers were only 15 cents and every item on the menu cost less than 25 cents. It was a guilty pleasure to eat fast food and go to the movies. 

As the years went by, I can remember eating fast foods because it they were cheaper than restaurants. For the poor McDonalds was a haven for the only warm food they could afford.

It was just a matter of time before the prices began a steady climb and we're now at a crossroads. Inflation gone wild.

In the last ten years the price of a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal more than doubled in price from $5.30 in 2014 to $11.99 this year. 

Other restaurant chains have also been jacking their prices up. Popeye's, Jimmy John's and Subway hiked their prices from 2014 to 2024 86%, 62% and 39%, respectively.

I haven't been to a Subway for a long while and when my wife and I went to one in Arcata, California. a couple of days ago I was stunned. It cost $32 for two-foot-long meatball sandwiches. My eyes bugged out.

For the record fast food prices can vary wildly from state to state. While prices are set at the corporate lever for some fast-food restaurants, they are determined by individual franchise owners at others.

Across the country there's 22 states that have raised their minimum wages in January, although the federal baseline pay remains at $7.25 an hour.

In California fast-food chains with 60 or more locations nationwide are now required to pay their workers a minimum wage of $20 an hour.

The rising labor costs account for driving the food prices according to the corporations, but that's just a smoke screen according to the Roosevelt Insitute who noted the industry's record profit margins.

Which brings me back to the fact that fast foods have become too expensive for retirees (and poor people) to buy. We're a significant segment of customers that the fast-food industry has always counted on in their sales predictions and that's changing.

As it Stands, I suppose there will always be a reason for people wanting fast food. Regardless of the price.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Blog Break: Taking Time to Exhale


Sensory overload.

Too much Trump, Stormy Daniels, MAGA Mike Johnson, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Lindsey Graham.

Too many Trump trials being held up by MAGA judges and the Supreme Court where the rule of Trump applies.

Too much antisemitism. Too much hate. Chaos every day. Christain Nationalism. Fascists. Traitors.

I'm checking out.

I'll be back Friday May 10th.

May I suggest you take some time off and turn off all those negatives and do something positive for yourself.

Check the right side of the page for past posts. 

Do you like fiction and poetry? Take a visit to my other blog The Creative Chronicles of Dave Stancliff

Have a great day.

As it Stands, we all need a break now and then.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

13 Trump Appointed Judges Try Bullying Columbia University Law Students ...Just Because

      A group of Trump appointed judges are vowing to not hire Columbia University law students or undergraduates because they don't approve of the way the school handled pro-Palestinian demonstrators recently.

A dissatisfied collection of conservative judges primarily from Texas (why aren't I surprised?) sent a letter to Columbia President Minouche Shafik and the dean of Columbia's law school Gilliam Lester on Monday.

In the letter they outlined their position accusing the campus of being "ground zero for the explosion of student disruptions, antisemitism and hatred for diverse viewpoints on campuses across the country." 

One of the MAGA loving judges, Matthew Kacsmaryk, is best known for issuing an order blocking broader access to the abortion pill mifepristone. The case has gone to the Supreme Court and will be tried in July.

Kacsmaryk, like other Trump appointed judges are the vanguard of a movement to completely corrupt our judicial system. 

Judge Aileen Cannon who is presiding over Trump's stolen documents case in Washington DC, is another scary example of how Trump's vile influence has spread in the court system.

So, in summary we have a disgruntled bunch of Trump judicial minions who want to punish a college with a rich history of protests because they didn't like the way things went down there recently.

While scolding the administration in the letter they called out for a system that would identify student protestors and punish them so "employers can avoid hiring them.

Is it just me, or does that sound like gestapo tactics?

Trying to justify their ban the judges wrote that they are protecting employers, "who are forced to assume the risk that anyone they hire from Columbia may be one of those disruptive and hateful students."

This won't be the end of Trump judges bullying universities because they don't like the way they're run. Depending on what happens with Columbia there could soon be more quasi-judicial assaults against upper education in America.

Trump appointed judges carrying out his agenda, need to be held accountable for their unjust service to the public. 

Judge Cannon has been repeatedly smacked down by the 11th Circuit for unconstitutional rulings, but she continues to be on the case and helping Trump out in any way she can.

As it Stands, conservatives have traditionally been at odds with colleges because they present diverse viewpoints, something they hate. Add Trump Judges and you can see where our judicial system is heading... over a cliff!




Monday, May 6, 2024

Ceasefire? Hamas Accepts Proposal to End the War - Waiting for Israel's Response


Don't hold your breath, but it looks like the fighting might stop between Hamas and Israel soon. 

The militant group has accepted a ceasefire proposal by Egypt and Qatar.

The fly in the ointment is if Israel accepts the proposal. The government is reviewing the plan, but the prime minister's office has refused to comment at this stage.

It's not clear if the original framework for the deal (which Israel helped craft) but has not fully agreed to or if there's been modifications.

The original deal called for the release of between 20 and 33 hostages over several weeks in exchange for a temporary ceasefire and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

CIA Director William Burns has been working with middle eastern leaders to accept the proposal which the United States considers a good plan.

Now it's up to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow the deal to go through. Despite worldwide pressure to stop the fighting Netanyahu's hard right coalition has resisted all efforts this far.

The announcement of a ceasefire deal came just hours after Israel ordered Palestinians living in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza. to "Evacuate immediately."

So, what happened to open the door (however briefly) to a deal? It's not entirely clear.

For starters, it's not a deal until both sides agree to it. Israel has given every indication that the military would continue ongoing operations. The fact that they didn't come right out and accept the deal is telling.

Large parts of the Israeli public want a deal. They've been protesting the ongoing war for months. They're tired of the slaughter and just want peace. 

Families and supporters of the hostages blocked the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv last week, holding a banner that reading "Rafah or the hostages - choose life."

The problem is the far-right Religious Zionism Party doesn't want a ceasefire. Israel's national security minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, said Netanyahu has "promised that Israel would enter Rafah," and assured them that the war would not end, and also pledged that there would be no "reckless deal."

Comments like that doesn't exactly bode well for an agreement.

Earlier this morning, President Biden spoke with Netanyahu for about 30 minutes before Hamas publicly said it had accepted a deal.

The question is how hard is Biden pushing for this ceasefire? There's been reports of withholding military assistance circulating around Washington for weeks. 

Did Biden drop the hammer this morning?

If so, we'll find out soon enough when the Israeli government announces its position on this latest ceasefire proposal.

As it Stands, let's hope the ceasefire works out for the sake of thousands of innocent people.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Another Coup Attempt? Trump Supporters Are Signaling a Jan. 6 Repeat if He Loses Again

The cat is out of the bag.

Trump's cult members are already threatening violence if he loses the election in November.

Red Flags

** GOP Sen. Tim Scott was asked on Meet the Press if he would commit to accepting the election results if Trump lost? 

"At the end of the day, the 47th president of the United States will be President Donald Trump...that is my statement."

By not directly answering, Scott's statement spoke volumes. Hell no! He'd attack the Capitol without hesitation if Trump told him to.

** The recent issue of Time Magazine featuring an interview with Trump revealing what he would do if he lost was enlightening. He hinted that leveraging political violence to achieve his goals was still on the table.

In the interview Trump bragged about supporting a mob mentality, his historical abuses of power, and being a dictator on day one. "I think a lot of people like it," he claimed.

Trumpian politicians and rabid followers fall all over themselves claiming they want a fair election, but... you can bet if their idol loses again there will be violence.

The open threat of not accepting the results of a presidential election casts a dark cloud of fear among the majority of Americans. They don't want to live in a fascist government if Trump prevails.

There's a growing feeling of resignation that Trump won't be held accountable in the courts, especially if he's re-elected.

Millions of Americans face the most important presidential election in over 200 years because it could be a turning point that sends us down the road to a dictatorship - effectively destroying the longest Democracy in the world.

As it Stands, our only hope is enough Americans turn out to vote and re-elect Joe Biden in six months from now.

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...