I am too tired to blog today. It’s been a long, really weird day that started out with a weird protester banging on a drum in front of the White House. Repeatedly. Non-stop.
Boom-boom, boom-boom, BOOM. BOOM.
I got a headache just walking to the office from the metro, and I felt awful for the Secret Service guys, who had no choice but to stand post and listen to this unwashed douche canoe.
When I got to work, it was nothing but meetings, edit papers, answer emails, more meetings… So, right now, I’m pretty much dead.
Luckily, my husband writes for the Bull Elephant, and he’s on top of the GOP’s ACA “repeal” thing.
Thing is it’s barely a repeal. It’s an attempt to be all things to all people, because dog forbid the Democrats call them mean for living up to what they’ve been promising!
However, the Medicaid expansion repeal wouldn’t take effect until 2020, and ACA enrollees would actually be grandfathered in, so they can keep ACA coverage! Perhaps worse, the bills include a new entitlement in the form of a tax credit for people to buy insurance! It keeps the requirement of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, which defeats the purpose of insurance, and the dreaded “Cadillac tax” on high-end health insurance plans still appears in 2025. It would also attempt to make younger, healthier people purchase coverage, by allowing a 30% premium increase on anyone who’s had a gap in health insurance coverage!
In late July – on the day I had ankle surgery, in fact – a Silver Line train derailed at East Falls Church. Luckily, no serious injuries occurred when the train jumped the tracks, but thousands were delayed that day, hundreds more were shaken up, and Metro launched an investigation into the incident.
Metro has fired six employees following an investigation of the July 29 derailment of a Silver Line train outside East Falls Church, and six more terminations or suspensions are pending, the agency said, after an internal review determined workers had falsified track inspection records.
The transit agency said it has taken disciplinary action against 28 people since the incident occurred, representing “nearly half of the track inspection department,” General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld said. The department consists of about 60 people. After the incident, Metro opened a police investigation into the actions leading up to the derailment. No arrests have been made, but prosecutors have been briefed on the findings and are “taking the matter under advisement,” Metro said.
“The internal review determined that certain employees in the track department falsified track inspection records,” Wiedefeld said. “I want the board, our employees and our customers to know that this review revealed a disturbing level of indifference, lack of accountability and flagrant misconduct in a portion of Metro’s track department, which is completely intolerable. Further, it is reprehensible that any supervisor or mid-level manager would tolerate or encourage this behavior, or seek to retaliate against those who objected.”
So it looks like Metro knew of the flaws in the tracks for over a year, according to this report. Apparently, when the National Transportation Safety Board interviewed Metro officials, transcripts suggested Metro officials believed inspectors may have falsified inspection records for up to three years. And yet, the corrupt monkeys who were falsifying inspection records were allowed to continue operating with impunity…
…until the derailment.
The proactive thing to do would have been to fix the tracks when the flaws were discovered. The reactive thing, which is what Metro is doing, is to go on a firing spree.
Not that these fuckwits don’t deserve to be fired!
The union rep is particularly odious. “It’s not the workers’ faaaaaault! They weren’t given proper traiiiiiining! It’s all the leeeeeeadership’s faaaaault!”
Jackie Jeter, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, said after the announcement that the union will conduct a separate investigation into the circumstances that led to the firings — and if she decides they were unjustified, she said, the union will probably fight the terminations.
Jeter said that she believes Metro management may be placing the blame on individual workers who never received the training or instruction to properly perform their jobs.
“What they’ve done is not necessarily falsification. … There are a lot of nuances here,” Jeter said. “If someone actually went out and falsified the work that they do, then that’s one thing. If there is a culture of how they report, and what they’re told to do … that’s something else.”
There’s no nuance. You had barely literate halfwits doing track inspections falsifying reports, and she’s claiming they were essentially too stupid to know there was something wrong with the tracks, because that’s how they always did things!
Shouldn’t employees hired to do a job as important as track safety inspections at least know when there’s… you know… something wrong with the tracks???
And if they didn’t know something was wrong with the tracks (which apparently is not true, based on the fact that Metro officials knew for more than a year about the problem, and on the fact that the Metro safety officer Robert Davis in an interview with an inspector who had been overseeing the crossover near East Falls Church in early August literally asked him about inconsistencies and false claims in his report), should they have been doing that job in the first place?
Oh, I forgot. They can’t be fired, because the union will scream bloody murder! After all, they don’t care about passenger safety or comfort. They care about protecting the jobs of well paid, incompetent, cock goblins and will sue to ensure the barely literate dick weasels stay on their jobs, despite their galling ineptitude and outright fraud.
And that’s precisely what the president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 is threatening to do. The person who called the bungling monkeys who falsified inspection records too stupid to know what they were doing, said the union would fight their terminations after it investigates the circumstances that led to the dismissals.
Because it’s not the track inspectors’ fault that they had no idea what the hell they were doing in a job they were hired to do ostensibly based on their skills and knowledge! Because that’s what they’ve always done.
This union needs to go. Before someone else dies thanks to Metro’s fraud, corruption, and incompetence. As does every single manager, supervisor, and inspector involved in this shady business.
This is what you have when an agency is unaccountable, ruled by a corrupt union, and fed by benefits that give federal workers extra money to ride public transportation, incentivizing continued use of an unsafe and broken transportation system.
I’m thrilled the barely coherent, incompetent weasels are facing consequences, but a part of me wonders if it’s too little, too late.
So apparently, as the holiday season approaches, so does the new Starbucks cup, as well as the accompanying outrage from overly-sensitive dipshits.
Last year, Starbucks introduced its holiday cup in a solid red. That’s it. Nothing there. Just red.
That caused some Special Snowflakes to get butthurt, because somehow Starbucks took away Christmas or some shit.
#StarbucksRedCup reeks of political correctness. Count me in on ones avoiding that operation.
— Tim (@TimOdell) November 9, 2015
Now, we all know Twitter is stupid. It is a magnet for the world’s biggest fuckwits, who band together to produce megatons of shitgittery. The idiots who consider their 140-character thoughts oh-so-deep somehow think their profound brain droppings will prompt social change.
We all know how effective hashtag foreign policy is, don’t we?
I will also readily admit that probably a good portion of Twitter idiots who experienced chafed labia about the plain red cup last year were probably trolls – 4chan or otherwise. (This is for the commenter who will immediately screech that I’m ignoring the possibility that some groups out there are out to make right wingers look bad!)
But it looks like the morons are at it again this year.
Whether they’re protesting in earnest, or merely trying to get some attention with their stupid, it seems like tis the season for abject dumbassery.
Starbucks just introduced a green cup – IN TIME FOR THE ELECTION – that tries to promote some unity at a time when we are incredibly divided as a country. The green cup has friends, baristas, and customers drawn in one continuous line, symbolizing unity.
Some people apparently did not like this. At. All.
who has seen the new starbucks holiday cups? NOT RED BUT THEY ARE GREEN???? who are all of these ppl on my cup and noone is santa or Jesus?!
— Shelby Bordelon (@shelbybordelon2) November 2, 2016
Some people were confused by the concept of unity.
— John Rubinetti (@morethan2words) November 2, 2016
Yet others thought it was a Muslim plot to destroy the free world through brainwashing or some shit.
— Elina Beauchamp (@ElinaBeauchamp) November 2, 2016
— Elina Beauchamp (@ElinaBeauchamp) November 2, 2016
I don’t know what Barstool Sports is, but I think they’re confused.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 2, 2016
This twatmold is apparently confused about what, exactly, our shared values are.
— Take America Back! (@LeftCoastMAGA) November 1, 2016
This one was upset. Not for any political reason, apparently, but because they don’t like green or something?
— Tammy Jorrak🕸 (@LAgypsea) November 2, 2016
Phil here can’t help himself. Apparently, everything is a liberal plot.
Now that beloved diversity has blown up in our faces, the libs @Starbucks have begun shilling for unity. lol,,, how typical
— Philip Bordogna (@BordognaPhilip) November 1, 2016
These two are upset that there’s liberal propaganda in the non-holiday cup, instead of coffee.
Voting with my $$ = no more @Starbucks I’m tired of having my lattes with a side of liberal propaganda. Boo to the non-holiday green cup.
— SickArcher02 (@yellowjacket615) November 1, 2016
— Archie Bunker (@ArchieBunker19) November 1, 2016
Tell ya what, Arch. Stop pushing your “conservative” bullshit, and drink coffee.
As with the Like Cage outrage, it’s possible that trolls have decided once again to paint an enormous “STUPID” sign on the backs of American society, but it is also entirely possible that there people out there who really are this ridiculous.
After all, have you seen the perpetually chapped asses on the part of the social justice howler monkeys over the years? Everything from Mexican food to Halloween costumes chafes their delicate labia! Is it really so difficult to believe that we have screeching hemorrhoids on the right as well?
And by the way, the green cups are not the holiday cups, apparently. Starbucks, trying to be a good neighbor, has decided to put out a special edition election cup as a reminder that we are one country and connected to one another. The actual holiday cups, I hear, are coming out after November 10, and they’re kind of pretty. They’ve got holly and leaves, and are pretty festive.
But don’t let that stop the perpetually offended from taking their money elsewhere! If there wasn’t something out there to get angry about, what the hell would they do with their time?
Do me a favor, morons. Just drink your coffee and shut the fuck up!
Those who follow me on social media have been privy to my consistent griping about the Washington DC metro. Since ankle surgery, I’ve been able to take my car and park at work, but now that the ankle is healing, I will be back to taking the Metro next month.
You know it’s got to be bad when someone actually created a website entitled “Is Metro On Fire?” Accessing this site allows riders to know whether or not their metro line is actually ablaze. And if you want to know how often this happens…
…well, all you have to do is read this. Apparently metro was on fire 73 times in the first three months of 2016. SEVENTY-THREE times. This does include instances of smoke in the subway system, which apparently Metro officials protested as not being incidents of fire, such as malfunctioning train brakes that fill a station with smoke, or a third rail that is arcing so severely that the fire department is called, because apparently there are different definitions of “smoke” and “fire.” Regardless of the quibbling, can you imagine the second largest public transit system in the United States catching fire that many times in the first quarter of the calendar year?
Seriously? What in the everloving, rollerblading, couch-humping hell?
The press is freaking out about alleged Metro under funding. Congress won’t give metro more money, and is actually cutting funding for the ageing system! Metro doesn’t have a dedicated funding stream and has to go begging for money from the jurisdictions it services! Oh NOES!
For metro, it’s all about Mo’ Money! Mo’ Money! Mo’ Money! How can they be expected to run a busy transit system in the nation’s capital on a mere $2.8 billion (based on FY16 numbers)?
Oh, I dunno… perhaps not paying 70 percent of its budget to labor costs would be a good start?
Labor costs constitute over 70% of the 2014 WMATA budget, making it the single largest expenditure WMATA has to worry about. And it’s no wonder why it’s the largest bit. In 2011, during the middle of the recession, Amalgamated Local 689, the WMATA union, dragged a 3 percent annual raise out of management. The agency’s board declined to protect taxpayers and riders by not appealing the arbitration result. Naturally, riders were incensed—but WMATA paid no heed.
Now, I did a fair bit of analyzing of defense spending in my previous days. That’s a lot of labor costs! NATO, our biggest alliance, sets a benchmark that encourages its members to spend no more than 50 percent of their defense budgets on military and civilian personnel costs. There are reasons for that. While the biggest percentage of any budget is normally personnel costs, 70 percent is pretty outrageous and usually indicated bloated salaries – especially for high-ranking or connected personnel. It’s how much Greece spends as a percentage of its defense budget on salaries and benefits, and we know what an economic shit show that country is!
The average salary for a WMATA employee is $78,000 per year! And given the bloated personnel budget, that leaves precious little money for actual maintenance of the equipment that carries hundreds of thousands of passengers to their destinations. There are 488 station managers
taking naps working inside glass kiosks at rail stations, and their base salaries are in the high $50,000s. However, given overtime, these guys take home closer to $70,000, and when you factor in overtime, at least 20 station managers took home a six-figure salary, according to a 2012 press report.
And you know what it takes to fire one of these tools? Apparently almost killing a whole lot of people! This douchebag was in such a hurry to get to his break at a location with some good places to stuff his face, that he decided “fuck the red signal!” And this wasn’t his first time being a reckless jackass with other people’s lives!
The operator was on his rail job less than a year after transferring from WMATA’s bus division. As a bus driver for about two years, he racked up three moving violations: two red light overruns and an illegal right turn on red. As a train operator, he added two unspecified safety violations before the potentially disastrous red signal overrun.
And while the system doesn’t have a dedicated funding stream, they do have a nearly guaranteed revenue source in this area – the federal government. Federal employees get transit benefits – $240 per month. You think they won’t use them? And there are quite a few of them. Why not use the benefit, if one can? And it allows the Metro to provide shitty service, because… well… they’re getting that money. It’s not like federal workers are spending their own money on the commute, so it doesn’t hit their wallet.
Thirty-five Metrorail stations serve federal facilities and 42 percent of Metrorail’s peak period commuters are federal employees. On Metrobus, 16 percent of peak period commuters are federal employees. The federal government contributes roughly 56 percent of the capital costs. Fares and other revenue currently fund 56 percent of the daily operations, while state and local governments fund the remaining 44 percent.
So a system that’s on fire so often, there’s a site dedicated to informing riders when they’re in danger of… you know… DYING, that brags its stations are oh so clean (Then why did I actually find a turd on the mezzanine of the Ballston metro station last year? Yes, a real piece of poop. On the floor.), that is running unreliably, or not at all, some days, and that is pissing off riders so badly, they’re losing ridership despite the government transit benefit, wants more money to… do what? It wants to raise fares. Again. It wants to cut service. Even more. And it expects people to just suck it up. At some point, the transit benefit isn’t worth it. It doesn’t matter if it’s free to get to work. When it takes you two hours to ride the orange line 10 stops, it’s just not worth it, and the feds are starting to realize it too, while Congress even tried to pass a bill giving federal employees the option to use the benefit for other options, like Uber.
Overall, Metro is just a study in FAIL.
Shitty employee training.
Preferential racial hiring.
Lack of required annual re-certifications.
Intentional sabotage of equipment.
Poor safety practices.
Idiotic priorities – no, I don’t think riders care whether some Metro moron is wearing his uniform correctly. They care about getting to their destination in a reasonable amount of time!
Lack of accountability and planning for growth.
Do I need to go on? No.
If Metro was run like a business, rather than a cushy jobs program for barely literate, incompetent ass clowns, maybe then things would get fixed. But since funding is pretty much guaranteed, there’s no incentive to change.
And it’s the taxpayers, who pay for the system whether they use it or not, and those who wind up stuck in a tunnel for 20 minutes in stifling heat with 1000 of their closest buds rubbing up against them in the summer, who suffer most.
I wouldn’t even mind a dedicated funding stream for metro, if we had any faith that the idiots who run the system would actually fix the long list of what’s wrong with it. But considering their track record (no pun intended), and the big, fat fail that has been their “safetrack” repair initiative so far, I can’t trust them to use the money wisely.
Rob says they should shut down the system, fire everyone, and start from scratch. I would be OK with driving to work or taking Uber until they got their shit together.
Maybe metro should stop wondering why riders are abandoning the system and take a long look at the mirror.
Sometimes you have to wonder if celebutards and MSNBC “journalists” attend the same school of undefuckable derpitude. After reading this shit this morning, I would have to say they probably do.
We’re also very very lucky that the attackers tried to use explosives rather than guns.
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 19, 2016
First, there was MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who after the explosions in New York and New Jersey this weekend, waxed retarded about how it was a good thing that the terrorist used bombs instead of guns. Because, you know… bombs are so much… uh…
Well, you know…
Something, something, something derp.
The social media reaction was swift, and Hayes at first was pleased with the attention he was getting, because any kind of attention is preferable to no attention at all – especially to an MSNBC journaljizzer, whose network is more of a punchline than an actual news station. After a while, however, Hayes walked back his douchery by proclaiming he didn’t really mean anything anti-gun, and he was just happy that no one died, that’s all.
Just when I thought this was the stupidest thing I’d read all month, out comes the wretched “comedienne” – and to call her that would be charitable – Sarah Silverman with the claim that Hillary Clinton somehow “captured” Osama bin Ladin.
UPDATE: Apparently, after a whole lot of ridicule, Silverman pusillanimously deleted her tweet. But the Internets is forever, bitch! For those of you wondering what she said, here it is – in its full asshatted glory.
Well, it occurs to me that snorting lead paint chips and guzzling rail vodka mixed with Clorox likely leads to an uncontrollable urge to lick windows and Tweet stupid shit, and here she is. Proof.
I guess watching bin Ladin get his ass capped by Navy SEALs in the White House Situation Room is equivalent to “capturing” him?
Much like landing in Tuzla airport and being greeted by a little Bosnian girl really equates to ducking and running from sniper fire. Hell, if it was a Republican, they would have gotten like 1,000 Purple Hearts for that! And maybe a Legion of Merit! And a CIB!
I can’t even today.
Yeah. She captured bin Ladin. And Brian Williams was there with Harambe, the cast of Hamilton, and Kevin Bacon.
Seriously, Silverman. Stop snorting meth.
So I’ll leave it up to you guys to decide which Tweet was dumber.
I’m leaning toward Silverman, but it’s a photo finish.