Pointing Out the Idiocy in DC Isn’t Fun

americaheartI love this country.  I am a history geek and a political junkie. Anyone who thinks I enjoy pointing out every ill or poorly advised, moronic, illegal, unethical, immoral and dangerous thing that the Donald Trump White House has done in their first 3 weeks, couldn’t be more wrong.

Whether I think the man occupying the Oval Office is a buffoon or not, he is The President of The United States, and he swore an Oath to Uphold the Laws and Constitution of the United States of America.  He isn’t doing that so far and it is the right and obligation of every American to demand that he do as he has sworn to do.  He owes at least that to you, me, and everyone in these United States.

It breaks my heart to see the country I love brought down in reputation and esteem and to be a laughingstock in the world’s media.

worldviewoftrump

We have become an international punchline because one man with a monumental ego, the people he has surrounded himself with in the White House, and one party are on a giddy path of deploying vengeful racist, sexist, immoral, and unethical policies, actions and behaviors toward their peers and the populace that hasn’t been seen in my lifetime.

That’s just a few things in the first 3 weeks folks…Hmmm

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

How’s Trump Week 1 Treating You?

Trump Presidency Day 6:  It’s a good thing I ate a light breakfast this morning, because these headlines made me want to throw up.

President Trump intends to move forward with a major investigation of voter fraud that he says cost him the popular vote, White House officials said Wednesday, despite bipartisan condemnation of his allegations and the conclusion of Mr. Trump’s own lawyers that the election was ‘not tainted.'” The New York Times

tiffanytPart of that investigation is to include weeding out and punishing those who are registered, and supposedly voted, in multiple states.  Do you think he can comprehend that most of his cabinet, his son-in-law, and his youngest daughter are registered in 2 states?

We all remember how appalled Trump was that Secretary Clinton used a private email server, right?  Remember the chants of, “Lock her up!”?  Take a look at this verified headline: Trump White House Senior Staff Have Private Email Server  Um, Pot Meet Kettle!

First he pisses off the scientific community by “disagreeing” with their lifes’ works, then he erases all mentions of global warming/climate change from the White House and other government websites, he freezes all grants and contracts to the scientific community AND imposes a gag order on all employees of the National Parks, EPA, USDA, US Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies so that they cannot Tweet, send Emails nor comment publicly in their capacity as government employees.  In some cases, via a memo that’s circulating on The Hill, that gag order extends to restrictions on communicating with Congress!  After pubic outcry the USDA lifted their ban on public communications, but as of today, all other departments are still gagged.  Thank God for the rabble rousers over at the National Park Service who started non-government owned Twitter accounts that cannot be shut down!  Other agencies quickly followed suit.

v1Donald Trump has proven that vengeance is his main focus, and this Biggest F You yet to “The Donald” could very well result in mass firings, but I applaud the efforts of those who refuse to be silenced by the Mad Man occupying the Oval Office!

Mass exodus from the State Department:  “the emptying of leadership in the management bureaus” is “disruptive because those offices need to be led by people who know the department and have experience running its complicated bureaucracies.” And, of course, now #TeamTrump are using state run media (Fox News) 😉 to declare that he “Fired them.”  Yeah, I call Bullshit.  They needed them to teach the morons how to run things. UG!

A little levity for the morning

Since Donald Trump has a habit of using the songs of artists who absolutely don’t want their music associated with him, let’s pick one that actually fits him (as much as The Rolling Stones‘  “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” does)

Do you think the Trump administration’s theme song should be:lies-lies-lies-yeah

  1. Lies” by Thompson Twins; or
  2. Highway to Hell” by AC/DC?

highway_to_hell

Both are far more appropriate choices than “Hail to the Chief.”  Hmmm

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Damn Dog Peed On the Rug Again!

clean-dog-pee-from-carpetI have a male dog who was perfectly potty trained until our older female dog died last year. Then he picked three spots and he keeps lifting his damn leg in my house!  Two are on the hardwood and they are easily cleaned up, but the third is on the edge of a 16′ shag rug and the edge of my leather reclining couch.

He doesn’t do it during the day when we can catch & correct him, it happens in the middle of the night, after we hear him go outside through the doggy door to pee!  The problem is, we’ve never caught him in the act, try as we might. HMMM

I’ve tried nearly every commercial carpet cleaner, natural cleaners, pet odor removal sprays and nothing has deterred him.  When I was using a wheelchair, when my foot was in a cast, parking it beside the couch kept him from peeing there at night, but he would still hit the other two spots.  I’ve now broken him of the two other spots and I’m “this” close to getting him broken of the corner of the couch, now I am battling to save my rug.

I turned to my standby, Pinterest, for a solution, and my fingers are crossed that finally I have found an odor remover that works.  I don’t want to have to replace this carpet again.

removing-dog-pee-carpet

I followed this instruction exactly with three exceptions:

  1. I peeled a large lemon, removed the pith, sliced the peel into strips and dropped them into the bottle;
  2. 1 added more than a few drops of the essential oil; and
  3. I flipped up the edge of the rug, after treating the top side, and also treated the bottom of the rug.  I then put a towel down between the bottom of the rug and the wood floor so that the rug could dry completely but not be lying directly on my hardwood floor.

The reason that I treated the bottom of the rug is that the urine had soaked through to the backing of the carpet.  Since the backing was easily accessible, it made sense to me to attempt to clean both sides and have the best chance at removing the odor completely.

I allowed the carpet to dry about 20 hours before I vacuumed.

  1. Doing the top side first, use a brush to agitate the baking soda so it’s easier to vacuum up.
  2. Once the top side is completely vacuumed, fold the carpet over to expose the bottom.
  3. Repeat the brushing to loosen as much of the baking soda as you can before you start vacuuming.
  4. Before you vacuum the bottom of the rug, clean the floor beneath the rug and place a new clean towel where the towel was placed during drying.
  5. Vacuum the bottom until all of the baking soda is gone.  Use your attachments to get the best suction.
  6. Use your brush one more time and vacuum the bottom again.
  7. Place the rug back in place on top of the towel and re-vacuum the top area as some of the baking soda from the bottom may have come through with the brushing / vacuuming of the bottom.
  8. Once all of the baking soda has been removed from the top, lift up the edge and remove the towel, which should have caught any dust that might have spilled through.

Your carpet should no longer smell of dog urine.

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Federal Week in Review (2)

Last week’s post of the most asinine moves made in Washington, D.C., or in the case of Donald Trump, New York City, was so popular that I decided to make it a weekly thing.  It appears there will be plenty of material for the foreseeable future, so here goes….

  • The week started with Donald Trump aiming his petty vengeance at an 89 charliebrotmanyear old man!  Charles Brotman has announced every Inaugural Parade back to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s in 1957, but found out VIA EMAIL that, after 60 years, his services were no longer needed.  Brotman told CNN’s Carol Costello, that he was heartbroken and detroyed, “I felt like Muhammad Ali had hit me in the stomach.”  He’ll be replaced by a local freelancer who volunteered for the Trump Campaign.
  • Last week Trump told all Ambassadors and Envoys worldwide to vacate their posts by January 20th, now he has demanded the resignation of the two heads of the National Nuclear Security Administration as of Jan. 20, with no nominees waiting in the wings to replace them.  Yeah that’s brilliant!
  • There are 3,000 to 4,000 positions that need to be filled to keep the government agencies and departments running.  Most jobs are filled by career civil servants and Trump is so eager to, “Drain the Swamp” that he is leaving agencies unable to perform their tasks because there will be no leaders to hand down the new administration’s marching orders.
  • The Tuesday BOMBSHELL that last week Trump, Obama and the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” were given a classified forewarning, by the intelligence community (in the same report as the Russian Hacking of the election), that highly compromising and personal intelligence information concerning the depth of Trump’s relationship with Russia and much more, was being circulated, and had been since last summer.  FBI chief Comey was aware of this information, but chose not to comment, confirm knowledge of, nor investigate Trump for it before the election.  Seriously questionable considering Comey so infamously sabotaged Hillary Clinton a week before the election.  Not only did he speak out of place, but he went rogue by issuing a letter, contrary to DOJ protocol, to Congress (which was then leaked to the public) with more unfounded email accusations against Clinton, which most certainly cost her electoral votes and ultimately the Presidency.
  • 7 days before the Inauguration, Donald Trump has still not provided his Tax Returns.  He personally owes roughly three-quarters of a billion dollars to foreign banks!  He has not provided a solidified and comprehensive plan for separating his ownership and management of his vast business empire from his responsibilities as President of the United States.  An attorney spoke of putting his holdings in a trust, one he will receive updates on, but it fails all five tests laid out by the ethics committee as they pertain to opportunities for undue influence or favoritism of foreign dignitaries or countries who, for instance, make allowances for properties of his in their countries, or who spend their money at his hotels, resorts, companies, etc.
  • No sooner had the head of the ethics oversight watchdog issued a response to Trump’s lack of separation from his businesses than Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, posted a Tweet threatening an investigation into the Office of Government Ethics.  “His memo asked that the director present himself for an interview with the committee by the end of January. Richard W. Painter, an ethics lawyer who served in President George W. Bush’s administration, said Chaffetz appears to be punishing Shaub for the criticisms of the president-elect. “They are strong-arming them. They are obviously very upset the Office of Government Ethics is leaning on Trump and not willing to jam through his nominees. It is political retaliation.””
  • In response to the allegations of Trump’s collusion with the Russian’s leading up to and following the election, mounting outcry over the appearance of election interference and possibly multiple Logan Act violations by Team Trump, and what role FBI Director James Comey played in interference with the outcome of the election, Justice Dept. Inspector General launches review of FBI and DOJ actions ahead of 2016 presidential election.
  • This one may be my favorite bit of #TeamTrumpIdiocy this week. Trump team to remove commander of D.C.’s National Guard in middle of inauguration The Army general who heads the D.C. National Guard and has an integral part in overseeing the inauguration said Friday that he will be removed from command effective at 12:01 p.m. Jan. 20, just as Trump is sworn in as president.  That means that, in the middle of the Inaugural Ceremony, before the rest of the Inaugural festivities begin, security for which he spent months helping plan, the commander of thousands of troops on the ground, plus 5,000 unarmed troops dispatched from across the country, in addition to all military air support protecting Washington, D.C., during the inauguration, will be required to leave his command.  Yeah, that makes me feel secure.  #WTFTrump

The list has many more items but I’m already pushing 900 words and there will be plenty more to digest next week, I’m sure.  HMMM

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Buyer Beware!

kobe-bryant-final-game-shoesMy birthday and Christmas are three days apart so my husband just usually asks me what I want.  Last year it was power tools so I could work on projects.  This year I wanted a new pair of basketball shoes, a pair of Kobe XI’s to be exact.  I wasn’t even being particularly picky about the color, although I really love the black and gold ones he wore in his very last game.  I didn’t think it was too much to ask.

I love shoes.  Anyone who knows me knows that.  I love my sneakers but have dozens of pair of cowboy boots, hiking boots, heeled and riding boots, strappy high heels, fancy pumps, wedges, sandals, fancy flip flops, and other girly shoes that are outfit specific. Sometimes that leads me to make impulsive buys.  I have learned my lesson after this doozy!

nike-kobe-10-1631

  • In November I found a “too-good-to-be-true” website  that advertised they had Pink Kobe and Jordan basketball shoes in stock, so I immediately ordered a pair of bright pink Air Jordan basketball shoes in my size & anxiously awaited their arrival.
  • I waited and waited but they never came.
  • Finally, two weeks later I received an email in broken English (they claimed to be in the UK) telling me that the shoe I ordered wasn’t available, advising me to choose one of the shoes they’d pasted into the email (different style and awful colors) or one from their website, and they’d ship that instead.
  • I had wanted that specific shoe.  No shoes on their site (that I liked) were available in my size.  I advised them of situation and requested a refund.  Another week passed.
  • An email received from a new address shoes@custom-lists-service.com hmmm, that’s not jordan2u.com
  • If I want a refund I only get 70%.  WTF?  Nowhere on the site (I read every term and condition) or on my receipt does it say that!
  • Grudgingly I choose a pink Nike running shoe in a style I’ve worn before.
  • Another email, another shoe unavailable, another, “If I want a refund I only get 70%” email.  Anyone else feel like they’re on a hamster wheel?
  • I went to their live chat in hopes of getting out of email Hell, only to state my problem and see the notification that, “A support staff member has joined the chat,” and then I sat and waited…It’s been an hour and 25 minutes now and I am still waiting for a response.
  • There isn’t a way for me to post a review to their site, although there are many (with the same shared poor use of English) reviews, or I would!

Needless to say, I have not agreed to accept the 70% refund!  I am calling my bank tomorrow to let them know of the situation so that I can dispute the charge and have them refund it to me.  But let this serve as a warning to all:  Do not, under any circumstances, buy shoes from http://www.jordan2u.com/

I did get a pair of Kobe’s for my birthday. 🙂  They weren’t the black and gold ones but they were shipped from the United States, they fit and there were no customer service nightmares with them.  There’s something to be said for that.  Hmmm

Do you use Facebook?  If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

 

 

Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017

To say Donald Trump brings out extreme emotions, anger, hostility, really bad language, and wildly differing opinions is a gross understatement.  Because I know this, I am never this political on my blog.  Alright, I’ll scale that back to, rarely.  I’m rarely this political on my blog and most certainly not 3 days in a row.  But into the muck I am going to slog because some of what I talked about and wished for yesterday (Cooler Heads May Still Prevail) started to happen today!

While old school (and by old, I mean those with an average age of 81) Republican Senators began the first day of confirmation hearings for Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, there was a very important piece of bi-partisan legislation introduced on the Hill: “Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017.”

russiasanctions

“We have been attacked by Russia. That’s no longer up to any debate,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.), one of the co-sponsors of the bill. “It cannot be business as usual.”

The measure would:

  • Impose Visa bans and freeze the assets of “those who undermine the cyber security of public or private infrastructure and democratic institutions”
  • Impose sanctions on transactions with the Russian defense and intelligence sectors, potentially making it harder for banks to do business with the Russian military and spy agencies
  • Solidify Obama-era sanctions on Russia, imposed in response to the country’s election meddling and its 2014 annexation of Crimea – meaning, no action could be taken that implies recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea.
  • Authorize $100 million for the State Department and other U.S. agencies to fight Russian propaganda, including by supporting programs to counter “fake news”

sanctions-1Because all sanctions bills typically contain a “national security waiver,” even if the measure receives enough votes to become law, there is little Congress could do to force the Trump administration to implement the new sanctions.

According to the Legal Information Institute, in order for the President to enact a national security waiver of application of sanctions with respect to a foreign financial institution:

  1. The President must declare that he has determined that the waiver is in the national security interest of the United States; and
  2. He must submit to the appropriate Congressional Committees a report on the determination and the reasons for the determination.

What gives me hope is that, in a Senate comprised of 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats,  4 of the 5 Republican Senators I named yesterday, as imperative to keeping the GOP and Trump’s agenda in check:

  • Senator John McCain (R) Arizona
  • Senator Lindsey Graham (R) South Carolina
  • Senator Marco Rubio (R) Florida
  • Senator Ben Sasse (R) Nebraska

stepped across the aisle before the inauguration to serve notice that:

  1. The laws of our country are to be followed by all, especially the President of the United States and those he appoints or nominates to serve in his administration;
  2. That countries that act against the United States are going to be served with sanctions by Congress;
  3. That the President of the United States is bound by honor and oath to uphold and enforce those sanctions.

Do you use Facebook?  If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

 

 

Cooler Heads May Still Prevail

us-capitol-east-front-sunny-dayYesterday Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made the same request of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that was made to Senator Harry Reid BY Mitch McConnell 8 years ago when their parties’ roles were reversed:  The request is simply that President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees must meet the same traditional standards that were demanded of President Barack Obama’s nominees eight years ago.

Schumer even went so far as to use a copy of Mitch McConnell’s original document (lest he forget his own words) just marking up/overwriting the necessary areas to reflect the changed circumstances regarding the incoming administration:

shumerletter

Here’s why the request was made :

  • Republicans, who control the Senate, are starting to hold confirmation hearings but Nominees haven’t completed background checks & ethics clearances that are traditionally required of Cabinet appointees.
  • These were the first two standards that McConnell demanded of Obama’s Cabinet nominees eight years ago — and that the Obama administration met — when Democrats controlled the Senate.

Federal Week in Review

A.K.A. Things the GOP controlled House and Senate tried to slip past the unsuspecting citizens of the United States of America last week. Hmmmm 😡

  1. Trump fires all Ambassadors and Special Envoys, ordering them out by inauguration day.

  2. House brings back the Holman rule allowing them to reduce an individual civil service, SES positions, or political appointee’s salary to $1, effectively firing them by amendment to any piece of legislation. We now know why they wanted names and positions of people in Energy and State.

  3. Senate schedules 6 simultaneous hearings on cabinet nominees and triple-books those hearings with Trump’s first press conference in months and an ACA budget vote, effectively preventing any concentrated coverage or protest.

  4. House GOP expressly forbids the Congressional Budget Office from reporting or tracking ANY costs related to the repeal of the ACA.

  5. Trump continues to throw the intelligence community under the bus to protect Putin, despite the growing mountain of evidence that the Russians deliberately interfered in our election.

  6. Trump breaks a central campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall by asking Congress (in other words, us, the taxpayers) to pay for it.

7. Trump threatens Toyota over a new plant that was never coming to the US nor will take jobs out of the US.

  1. House passes the REINS act, giving them veto power over any rules enacted by any federal agency or department–for example, FDA or EPA bans a drug or pesticide, Congress can overrule based on lobbyists not science. Don’t like that endangered species designation, Congress kills it.

We – progressive, liberal, libertarian and conservative – need to all wake up to what is actually happening to our beloved country.

#UnitedWeStand.

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Feminist Isn’t a Dirty Word

feminist

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of feminism is:

  1. :  the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

  2. :  organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

feminist  \-nist\ noun or adjective

feministic \fe-mə-ˈnis-tik\ adjective

Today a friend shared an article from March of last year where a woman was justifying why she isn’t a feminist in today’s society.  She starts off by expressing that she believes in equal pay for equal work, a decidedly feminist thought, but in all other ways, she is a 1950’s traditionalist in the duties she believes are hers to fulfill as a woman.  She aspires, in all ways, to be June Cleaver:

  • Have her boyfriend seek her father’s permission to marry her
  • Absolutely take her husband’s last name, no question
  • Women are fragile beings and must lean upon the man once she is no longer single
  • Submit to her husband in all ways:  He is head of the household, the provider, protector and leader of the family.
  • Stay home and have her job be to take care of her husband
  • Stay home and perform all domestic tasks
  • Stay home and care for the children

I’m too Type A to be June Cleaver.

junecleaverI like doing some of the domestic stuff but in no way do I believe that it’s my job, as a woman, to perform those tasks.  My husband and I both live in the house and have always had an understanding that we should share the domestic responsibilities accordingly.  We did not employ a full time maid, and raised our son to understand that it’s his responsibility to clean up after himself.  If he dirties a dish he should rinse and either put it into the sink or the dishwasher.  The same goes with straightening up after himself and keeping his clothes clean.  When he was a child I, of course, helped him with those tasks, but he is a grown ass adult and it is his responsibility now, not some girlfriend’s, or later, his wife’s.

While the first few paragraphs of this article are fine, the author decides she wants to be June in the rest, submitting to her husband, as the Bible says, and that is fine with her.  I can’t buy the rest of the Wilting Flower, I need a man to support and protect me, garbage.

Most of her ideals and role models are likely from the same region of the country that she is in: the South/Southeast. Living is slower there than where I grew up. Half of my family is from Alabama, and I love everything about their traditions and ability to carry on the traditional family roles, but I am in an entirely different style of society in Southern California.

While it’s not impossible to live those values in California, and I’m sure many do, it’s not the way I was raised. My grandmother would be considered a 1970’s feminist without the bra burning and protesting. All of her kids were out of the house by the mid-70’s and she enjoyed the freedom that allowed her:

  • She worked out of the house and earned her own money
  • She enjoyed independent leisure activities
  • She did not bow to the rule of my grandfather, in fact, he took more of the domestic role, he enjoyed cooking and their home was always neat as a pin because they were both quite tidy.

My Mom was definitely the one who wore the pants in my house.  Dad was usually on the same page, but Mom made most of the decisions.  I know that she got a lot of her confidence from seeing my grandma’s courage to step outside of what was expected of her and try new things.

womens-salaries-01-262x300With the two of them, plus some mothers of friends and very strong coaches and teachers as role models, I was bound to be anything but a wallflower, so much so that my Mom used to tell me that she wanted to be like ME when she grew up, LOL.

I’ve had the word “Feminist” thrown at me like it’s a bad thing. That is a load of bullshit. As election day neared and friendships became strained with the realization of just how wrong I was about how some life long friends really felt about a woman’s place in society, I began to take stock of what being a feminist meant to me.

From the mid-1980’s on, most of us went to college and expected to have careers. We expected to contribute to our households in ways most of our grandmothers and some of our mothers hadn’t, and the men we were raised beside expected it too.  With that in mind, the hurt I felt at the nasty tone taken when I was called a feminist, pissed me off even more.

Maybe I could understand how men might feel like that if it were the late 60’s and early 70’s when men were getting their egos bruised because their wives had to go to work to help make ends meet in the very tough economy, but THAT WAS MORE THAN 40 YEARS AGO.  Times have changed but apparently women haven’t come as far as we thought we had.  Some of my male peers, who are still under 50, think the little woman belongs at home having babies, cooking, cleaning and waiting to take care of her man.  PUHLEEZE!  HMMMM

Back to the topic at hand, Amanda Jayne Sankey’s article about not being a feminist.  She says that she is content to let the man take charge, make all of the decisions and provide for the family so that she can concentrate on being, “a mom who takes care of her children and doesn’t miss out on their lives.”  I am actually offended by that comment more than anything else in her brief post.

Stress Mother Running Late with Kids on WhiteThere is no part of being a powerful, strong, capable woman that automatically results in me being unable to also be a mother who can take care of my children and not miss out on their lives. It’s called multi-tasking. It’s what all women do, whether we are stay at home Moms who “do it all,” or Moms who really do “do it all” by leaving the home to work full or part time, sharing in the responsibilities at home, sharing in the responsibilities of caring for our children, and sharing with our spouses the joys of everything going on in our children’s lives.

Neither life choice is right or wrong.  I believe that our lives are largely influenced by how much exposure we have to experiences outside of our community. If we never leave a small town atmosphere where everyone knows each other and no one ventures further than the next town over, then we are highly unlikely to buck tradition.  Being from a faster paced part of the country, where women are much more independent, I’d never be able to live a life with someone who expected me to be June to his Ward Cleaver.  If that makes me a nasty feminist, then sign me up.

Do you use Facebook?  If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Trump Triumph or Twitter Smoke & Mirrors?

trumpvsford
President Elect Donald Trump, who refuses to face the press for questions, announced via Twitter how pleased he was that Ford Motors was canceling their planned $1.6 billion dollar expansion of their manufacturing operations in Mexico and adding 700 jobs in Michigan instead.

“Trump has previously slammed the company for plans to move all small-car production to Mexico, and claimed that he helped stop Ford from shifting an entire factory from Kentucky to Mexico. Ford has repeatedly said it has no plans to close any U.S. plants.” – source CNBC HMMM.

 

In that same CNBC interview, The CEO of Ford, Mark Fields, was very quick to fire back that the change in plans was NOT at all to capitulate to Trumps threat of a 35% import tariff on Ford vehicles produced in Mexico for sale in the United States, but instead that the investment of $700 billion in expanding their Michigan manufacturing facilities was how they regularly do business, always first trying to keep business at home when it makes business sense, and that it was due to decrease in market demand for small gasoline powered cars and their planned move into the “electric car era.”

 

The Washington Post’s Danielle Paquette laid out in detail the actual reasons Ford canceled the Mexico small car plant:
  1. Fields was blunt about why Ford changed its mind and canceled a $1.6 billion factory slated for San Luis Potosi. “The reason that we are not building the new plant,” he said, “the primary reason, is just demand has gone down for small cars.”
  2. Ford wants to be the leader in Electric vehicles, so they are investing $4.5 billion in electric vehicle production by 2020
  • They need the electric cars to be assembled near the engineers
  • Ford currently employees 85,000 workers in the United States, but auto manufacturing at Ford from this point forward WILL become increasingly automated, resulting in FEWER jobs for line workers
  • “Each iteration of a facility becomes less like old school manufacturing and more high-tech,” Smith said. “THAT WILL ULTIMATELY MEAN FEWER JOBS.”  Automation allows companies to produce more using fewer people.
“The Ford engineers, tasked with creating the Electric models, work in Dearborn, MI, 20 miles from the Flat Rock assembly plant. Moving production to Mexico would have made their jobs harder, said Brett Smith, an auto analyst at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.”
For anyone still paying attention at this point, Ford isn’t abandoning production in Mexico.
  • They currently employ 8,800 employees in their Hermasillo, Mexico plant
  • They shipped 265,000 cars to the United States from that plant between January and August 2016
  • They intend to continue making gasoline-powered Ford Focus vehicles there.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Mexico is the United States’ third largest trade partner
  • Imposing a 35% tariff on imports from Mexico would mean tearing up NAFTA, which he doesn’t need Congressional approval to do, but Mexico will fight any change to NAFTA via imposition of comparable tariffs on American imports
  • Trump would have to get Congressional approval to impose any new international tariffs
  • International tariffs, in the past, have cost Americans money and hurt our economy

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