A Trump Sonnet

A racist and a rapist, a philanderer, a cad
Malingerer, small fingerer, bad singerer. so sad!

An air polut’n tool for Putin lov’n Russian spies
He dallies, holds his rallies, where his fans all cheer his lies

A bankrupter, corrupter than a 13 dollar bill,
A blunderer and plunderer who’s hand is in the till

He steals from children’s charities, he disrespects our vets,
He de-funds our defenses and he doesn’t pay his debts

His deals remain undealt with and his promises are broke
He pleases right wing bigots like that unkempt English bloke

He likes his penthouse golden and his showers just the same,
A deviant vulgarian who brings our nation shame

We must with all our energy remove this horse’s rump
along with all who helped elect the stupid, evil Trump

Every year is an election year in Virginia

If you live in Virginia, your friends and neighbors may not be aware that every year is an election year in our great commonwealth. They may think that all of the political ads, the editorials, and all of the candidate’s signs and literature don’t apply to them, and don’t apply to an election that is less than a month away, on November 5th, 2019.

Please tell them!

Don’t let the outrageous and deadly antics of our president distract us from the many state and local elections that are occurring throughout the United States of America. Perhaps that’s exactly what those antics are designed to do!

Because every year Virginia has an opportunity to rid itself of politicians who think their primary job is to protect the wealthy from taxes, to protect corporations from regulations, and to protect their own friends from prosecution.

The Democratic candidates who your friends, your neighbors, and you can help elect this year – in less than a month – have been and will continue to protect hard working Virginians like you, so you can get medical care when you need it, find quality education for you and your children, get fair pay for your hard work, and get proper representation at the polls.

Virginia needs your vote, but your vote won’t be enough. You have to help spread the word. Every year is an election year in Virginia. Make this year count!

Chris Jones’s Website Missing Article about Blocking Medicaid Expansion

I did a Google search for “site:schrisjones.com medicaid“. That search brings up results about Medicaid from Chris Jones’s website.

I clicked on a few links, and I found that, as expected, almost all took me to articles on Chris’s website.

But there was one exception. When I clicked on the headline, “Senate and House won’t support Medicaid expansion“,

I got “Oops!”

When I tried Google’s Cached result …

Google still had a copy! According to Google, the article was on Chris Jones’s website at least until August.

Maybe it’s gone because it’s so old. It’s from 2016, after all.

So paged through the search results and found an article from 2015. I gave that a try.

No “Oops” there!

This isn’t proof that Chris Jones went around sanitizing his website from the truth about how he blocked Medicaid expansion for years, but it looks pretty dishonest to me.

Whether he did sanitize his website or not you shouldn’t vote for someone who blocked Medicaid expansion and then bragged about supporting it. Vote for someone who has and always will support it.

Clinton Jenkins is running for House of Delegates District 76, against the guy who was against Medicaid expansion before he was for it. If you live in the 76th, vote for Clinton Jenkins.

Support the New Downtown Library at the City Council Meeting

On a recent shift on the floor at the Morgan Memorial Library,

  • I helped a woman find book about writing a business plan.I helped a man find and print up tax forms
  • I helped a woman fill out, save, and print out a Visa application
  • I helped a man get a copy of his old resume from a CD, and email it to himself so he can edit it.

In a typical moment at the library, there are teenagers participating in youth activities, parents and toddlers making use of children’s spaces, men and women quietly reading newspapers, and working folks making use of books and public computers to improve their value to the workforce.  

At Morgan Memorial Library, all that goes on in an area about half the average size of a new home.  

Also, in a typical shift at the library, I spend a lot of time telling teenagers not to gather in hidden corners behind the stacks or in the tiny area that we set aside for studying.  They’re not causing any trouble usually, but there isn’t a lot of space so we have to make sure that space for finding books and for studying isn’t clogged up.  Whatever you feel about teenagers these days, you might be surprised to know that a lot of them are still interested in reading books.

We have one meeting room at Morgan and when it’s free, it’s available to be reserved. But it’s also used for youth activities, classes, and staff meetings.  Because the library is pretty small, sometimes the noise from activities in the meeting room and the children’s area spill out into the lobby.  More space and few extra rooms would be very helpful.

A new Morgan Memorial Library with well designed spaces and room to hold various functions without interference would better serve the community. It would be more effective at keeping kids occupied with educational activities, at helping adults stay informed and engaged, and would be better at helping people find jobs.

In addition to all that, it would help beautify downtown Suffolk and attract business.  

The benefits of a new library have been extensively studied. You can find more information at www.suffolkpubliclibrary.com/291/New-Downtown-Library.

Tonight, ( Wednesday, Feb 20 ) you can show support for a new Morgan Memorial Library at the City Council meeting.  I’d love to be there but I’ll be working at Morgan, doing what I can to help people out.  

Community Meeting at City Hall July 11, 2018

It is the job of the president to execute the law

I’m throwing this out here with full acknowledgement that I’m no constitutional expert. If I’m wrong about this, let me know in the comments.

It is the job of the president to execute the law.

In 2013, Obamacare was the law and Republicans tried to block enforcement of the law by defunding it. By presiding over a government shutdown, Obama temporarily suspended some government operations, but his goal was to enforce the law.

Also, Obama’s standoff didn’t last long enough to prevent government agents from carrying out their duties. We don’t know what Obama would have been done had the enforcement of law been seriously compromised.

Today, there is no law to build a wall. You can argue that the wall will make it easier to enforce existing law, but not everyone agrees about that. And there is a difference between making a law easier to enforce and fulfilling your duty to enforce it. I can ask my boss for a new workstation to make my job easier, but that’s not the same as doing my job.

Today’s standoff is seriously affecting our agencies’ ability to enforce the law. For example, as noted in ABC News’s website, “FBI and ICE agents are trying to track criminals and terrorists, but can’t pay informants, pay for travel or even cover investigative expenses.”

What we had before was the president trying to enforce the law, and shutting down the government for a little over two weeks in order to get funding to do so.

What we have now is the president trying to get funding for something that is not a law by holding the government in limbo for long enough to diminish the execution of the law.

It is Congress’s job to make law and it is the president’s job to execute it. This standoff doesn’t put Congress in violation of their constitutional duties, but it puts the president in violation of his.

Donald Trump is failing in his constitutional duties to enforce the law of the land. In doing so, he is violating the Constitution and breaking the law. Again.

It seems like I’m among a large group of people who got the Covington/Native Drummers thing wrong.

I don’t like the idea of defending a kid in a MAGA hat, but if I wanted to be a reactionary ignoramus who ignores evidence that conflicts with my initial assumptions, then I’d get a MAGA hat of my own.

If you look at Nick Sandmann’s “smirk” in the context of a kid who stood still as an elder, Nathan Phillips, walked up to him and chanted in his face, then the smirk becomes more like what the kid described in his statement – a smile showing that on the one hand, he’s not going to back down but on the other, he’s not going to do anything aggressive. Had it been an old man in a MAGA hat who walked up to a kid who smiled in return, we would be cheering that smile.

In this case, it was the kid who was wearing the MAGA hat. And his friends were laughing at adults.  That all sucks.  But this kid, who so many doxed and vilified, didn’t do what so many of us assumed he did.  He didn’t get in the face of a Native American elder.  The elder got in the face of the kid.   

He’s still just a kid. He’s no older than the kids who the right wing vilifies for speaking out after the massacre of their classmates. He’s no older than many who are murdered by authority figures before wingnuts in MAGA hats assume without evidence that they must have deserved it

If we don’t admit when we’ve made assumptions that were later contradicted by evidence, than we become like them. I’d rather defend one of them than become one of them.

Editing note: This post was extensively expanded. The original was just one paragraph.

Why the wall is a bad idea

When I first posted this it was just a list, but after reading and responding to a tweet from a friend, I felt a need to elaborate. There are a lot of people going without a paycheck now and the pain is getting real. Imagine being forced to choose between vital medicine and the electric bill. I’ve read some Trump supporters ( or perhaps Russian trolls ) belittling the struggle by pointing out that back pay will be coming, but there are some people in situations that can’t be put on hold. And not everyone can save three or four months in advance just in case the government doesn’t keep its promises.

But as terrible as the current situation is, it’s important to keep in mind what a terrible idea the wall is. The amount of long-term hardship that will be caused by funding the wall has to be balanced against the hardship of standing against it. It’s not just about Democrats showing backbone and it’s not just about appeasing the Democratic base.

Here are some reasons why the wall is such a idea.

1) The wall would require the seizure of land from thousands of property owners, many of whom will suffer significant property losses.  

2) The wall would divide communities such as the Tohono o’odham Native Americans in Arizona

3) The wall will cause disastrous environmental damage , such as habitat destruction and the disruption of animal migration patterns

 4) Trump can’t be trusted.  Repeatedly, Trump has offered deals in exchange for funding, and then changed his mind about those offers.

5) We don’t know how much it will cost, what it will look like, or how effective it will be.  Everywhere else in the world, and until now in America, big projects are planned first.  Trump wants his money first.  We don’t even have a working prototype.  

6) The people don’t want it.  Even among those who voted for Trump because they wanted the wall did so believing that Mexico will pay for it.  

7) It will encourage more hostage taking.  If we give Trump a win on this, he will only cause more damage the next time he doesn’t get what he wants.