Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Trump Makes Me Laugh

I was on the treadmill in the gym the other afternoon, (I know, just imagine what I would look like if I didn't do my half hour of good work 5 or 6 days a week?)  I plugged in my headphones and turned the TV on and Trump was speaking about the agonizingly slow federal response to the hurricane damage in Puerto Rico. 

Out of his mouth came, "it is an island, surrounded by water, big water, like an ocean!"  I laughed out loud, heads turning in the gym to see what I laughing at.  I couldn't help myself, the nature of an island is it is surrounded by water.  Puerto Rico is a part of the United States, we have known where it is at for a long time.  We have one of the largest Navys in the world, we seem to be able to put a battle group off the coast of North Korea, faster than we can save the lives of Americans 1031 miles from the Miami. (Google is amazing, I guessed 1,000 miles and a quick search gives me the answer - someone should teach the White House staff how to fact check.)  

Back in January I read the new administrations' two pages of goals, at the bottom of the second page was "Drain the Swamp."  The swamp is getting worse, you need a chartered private jet to get out of it fast enough these days, or at least that is what a bunch of executive branch appointees seem to think.  

The latest is a senior appointee in the Veterans Administration. He went to Europe for a couple of meetings, flying commercial, and there were a few days between the two meetings and he stayed over and took some personal time.  I am fine with that.  What grinds my gears, is he took his wife, and had the government pay her expenses.  The trick, is he and his wife were invited to a reception.  Because of that one invitation, ethics counsel approved the tax payers paying for her travel.  They probably followed the IRS rules allowing senior executives to expense spousal travel if the appearance of a spouse is expected at an official event - like a cocktail party at number 10 Downing Street. If you are a CEO and you want a tax deductible vacation for your spouse, ask that the invitation for a social event include your spouse.   

Congress talks about tax reform, here is a good place to start.  It only works for a handful of the highest paid people.  People who could well afford to take the spouse along on the trip.  

I have accompanied or been accompanied by my spouse on numerous business trips.  I openly say that the best conferences to go to our your spouses conferences.  But we have never asked our employers to foot the bill or tried to take a tax write off for it. The two of us usually attend the official event - a Tea Party in the Rose Garden at Christ Church College at Oxford hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury comes to mind, together.  I may live in the swamp, but I am always looking for higher ground, not the kind of higher ground you find by spending a million-tax-payer dollars on chartered private jets.  


  1. I laugh, too... or bark, really, when I hear the things the Orange One says. Then I get angry... and depressed.

  2. Anonymous10/04/2017

    The reason why Trump speaks like that, has to slowly explain almost everything and repeat it several times, is because of the many poorly educated people living in the United States. People like YOU come to mind.

  3. hey anonymous dumbass, the penguin has a law degree...DO YOU? if the answer is NO, then fuck off and die!

  4. Anonymous10/05/2017

    I’m sick of anonymous people leaving disparaging comments on your blog.
    If you leave a comment put your name to it or don’t bother at all.
    Penguin I take my hat off to you. I’d delete these people.
    JP x

  5. The title was a startling one. I don't suppose anything he says makes me laugh .
    On the other hand, Luther says the devil can not abide being mocked; laughing at him may be the best weapon against his madness.