Sunday, February 19, 2017

President Trump, Week 4

Here's my (astoundingly long) weekly list of horrible things coming from President Trump and the White House for the week beginning 2 PM, February 10th to 2 PM, February 17th. This is, likely, not all of the Trump team's transgressions, but it's most of them.

(Notice his bulbous throat pouch!)

A reminder: if the letter next to the President's name was a 'D' instead of an 'R', all of these transgressions would've at least warranted a ridiculing press conference from the Republicans.  Most of them would've gotten their own committee hearing, and some of them would've warranted impeachment consideration.  But who am I fooling?  No Democrat would EVER come up with a list this bad for a YEAR in office, let alone for a week.  I'll elaborate more on that afterwards, but without further ado:
  • Trump refuses to wear a translator earpiece for a speech from the Prime Minister of Japan, relying on hand gestures and cues from his aides in an attempt to react accordingly
  • It's revealed President Tump doesn't know how to shake a person's hand
  • Trump insists again New Hampshire would've voted for him if not for the illegal voters he says he has proof of, but refuses to release any information about
  • In what is clearly the beginning of a major crackdown, he has US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) start rounding up undocumented people across the country, including Dreamers, a group of people he'd said he wouldn't deport
  • He states he's most upset with Saturday Night Live (SNL) for having a woman playing his Press Secretary
  • The White House Press Secretary makes up another massacre, this one in Atlanta 
  • In a conversation with Senators, refers to Senator Elizabeth Warren a 'Pocahontas,' a derogatory reference to her ancestry, and ALL Native Americans.  He clearly said it in a demeaning and insulting manner
  • Talks about passing a new Immigrant/Refugee/Muslim Ban through Executive Orders as a way to counter punch the Judical Branch's rulings agains his Unconstitutional Immigrant/Refugee/Muslim Ban
  • Senator Franken reveals many Republican Senators do not feel Trump's mentally fit
  • Trump accuses the media of bias because they're reporting on the trouble Ivanka's having with her product line, problems which were brought to light when Trump himself started commenting about them on Twitter
  • Reports arise of President Trump having a VERY limited understanding of how the US government functions and operates
  • Reports also arise of infighting within his Administration, going as far as saying most of them hate each other
  • North Korea threatens the US and it's allies with a missile launch, but Trump continues to golf with Ernie Els
  • The Department of Education removes a resource website for families who have a student with a disability, a website used regularly by families who have a student with a disability
  • It's revealed the annual cost of housing Trump's wife, Melania, in New York City (reminder, there's a pretty fancy, tax payer paid for house set aside for her in Washington DC) will be greater than the entire annual budget of the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Trump complained about the relatively few times President Obama golfed, but has already spent two of his first four weekends as President golfing
  • The Department of Education released a statement where it had misspelled W.E.B. DuBois name, and the apology it released later also had a misspelled word in it.
  • Trump's spokespeople continue to spread the voter fraud lie without any evidence voter fraud actually happened.  Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 2.9 million 
  • Insisted a massive group of protesters at Mar-A-Lago were actually supporters
  • On Lincoln's birthday, Trump and the GOP falsely attributed a quote to him
  • There's a typo in Trump's official Inauguration photo/poster
  • It took Trump four days to declare parts of tornado impacted Louisiana as official disaster areas
  • Trump spokesperson insists Trump has done more in his first three weeks than most Presidents do in their entire term.  Laughably untrue.  Trump is trailing well behind what President Obama had accomplished by the same time in his first term.
  • Trump thinks secure negotiations about a national security crisis is a round table discussion on the floor of a jam packed restaurant, with unscreened diners and employees all within listening and viewing distance of the negotiations
  • While American and Japanese officials scrambled to deal with the North Korea crisis, Trump was posing for photos with the public.  The photos captured the official intelligence briefings, and were posted for the public to see on social media
  • At Mar-A-Lago Resort, a regular citizen was able to approach the soldier carrying the nuclear launch codes (the nuclear football), struck up a conversation with him, and was able to photograph him.  The regular citizen posted the photograph on social media, identifying the person carrying the nuclear football, compromising his and this country's national security
  • An official White House spokesperson threatens and bullies a member of the media, telling her the Tump Administration has "dossiers" on all White House reporters 
  • Michael Flynn, the National Security Advisor, resigns.  He violated the Logan Act, contacting a foreign country while not having the authority to do so.  He broke the law multiple times and likely was compromised by Russia.  He also lied repeatedly about it
  • Hours after the National Security Advisor resigns in scandal, the White House insists it's "old news," and asks why the media hasn't "moved on"
  • It's learned during the national security crisis with North Korea, Trump stopped everything to attended a wedding reception at his resort Mar-A-Lago.  He said he specifically put aside a national security crisis, a direct threat to the United States, so he could reward his loyal private business customers
  • Trump spokespeople insist Flynn had the full confidence of the President hours before he was forced to resign. They don't elaborate on this claim
  • Trump spokespeople again insist New Hampshire would have been a Trump victory if not for thousands of illegal voters being bused in from Massachusetts.  Once again, they don't offer any proof of this claim
  • A senior spokeswoman, KellyAnne Conway, retweeted a known white supremacist
  • Flynn was not aware, as National Security Advisor, that US spy agencies regularly spy on foreign countries ambassadors, like the Russian ambassador whom Flynn called in December
  • It's reported the Trump campaign was in "constant contact" with the Russian Intelligence agencies during the election
  • Russian Intelligence, during the 2016 election, was bragging about the access they had to then candidate Trump
  • Trump is furious that SNL portrayed Senior Advisor Steve Bannon as the anti-Christ, and the continued implication Bannon's actually the acting President
  • While using the crumbling Oroville Dam as a springboard, Trump insists we need to fix our ailing infrastructure, but offers zero details on his plan to do so, nor does he offer any plans, short or long term, for fixing Oroville
  • A report insists two of the most visible spokespeople in the White House Kellyanne Conway and Press Secretary Sean Spicer are actively working against each other
  • Trump decided the US should no longer be a leader in world peace, officially abandoning the two state strategy with Israel and Palestine, opening the door to likely bloodshed
  • A former advisor of Trumps brags to clients he has full access to Trump's twitter account
  • When it's discovered a Russian spy ship is anchored off the US coast, Trump seems to know nothing about it, and has zero response for Russia's bold and threatening move
  • Trump is asked about the recurring Russia problems at a news conference, smiles, says nothing and abruptly walks away
  • Trump sends out a celebration tweet at the news Humana will leave the Affordable Care Act
  • Trump's nominee for Labor Secretary, Puzder, withdraws from consideration after scrutiny of his anti-worker policies, and the allegations he abused his wife
  • After being asked about the rise of anti-semitism in America, Trump ignores the question and talks only of the 306 electoral college votes he received
  • Official FBI file on Trump from his days as a landlord discloses the doorman was ordered to quote African American people a rent that was double the rent quoted to whites
  • The White House released plans for having a billionaire investigate the United States spy agencies to determine who is and who is not loyal to Trump (Trump the person, not who's loyal to the office of the President)
  • Trump announces a month into his first term he will hold a campaign rally for election 2020
  • As they wait for the Press Secretary, Bannon walks past the media and refers to them as the "Opposition Party."
  • Trump publicly states his electoral college victory was the largest since Reagan.  His electoral college victory ranks 46th, behind all Presidents since Reagan, outside of George W. Bush.  When pointed out he wasn't close on this stat, he insists he was talking about Republicans only.  George HW Bush's electoral college margin was also well ahead of his.  Insists, "someone told me, I didn't know if it was true."
  • Trump's claim he finished first in his class at Wharton is not true
  • Calls a press conference.  For 77 minutes his main message is "I'm great, and the media is the worst thing ever!" He lies repeatedly during this train wreck of a news conference
  • During his infamous news conference, asks an African American reporter to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, implying a racist, 'all African Americans know each other' narrative 
  • During his infamous news conference, verbally assaults and belittles a Jewish reporter who asked about the rise of anti-semitism in Trump's America 
  • Adds that all anti-semitism in America is coming from his "opposition."
  • During his infamous news conference, claims street drugs are cheaper than candy bars.  Unsure if Trump knows how much candy bars cost
  • Trump's latest National Security Advisor candidate turns him down
  • Trump's Defense Secretary contradicts Trump directly, says there is "No doubt" Russia threatened to hack the election
  • Trump attempts to leave a bill signing ceremony without having signed the bill (you only had one job!)
  • Trump doesn't seem to understand that both the US and most of the rest of the world's countries  record and release a transcript of all conversations they have with each other, especially when the United States President is involved
  • Trump claimed Clinton gave Russia 20% of our uranium. That is false
  • The Trump Winery has asked the Labor Department, for the second time in a year (!), to allow the winery to hire foreign workers with visas, as opposed to American workers.  The irony is lost on all involved
  • It's revealed that along with the hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars it will cost to have a second White House in New York City for the First Family, the additional costs of transportation for the First Family, due to being in multiple locations, will also be hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars
  • Due to failing to qualify for FBI security clearances, six White House staffers were dismissed AFTER having been given access to classified materials by the Trump Administration
  • Has proposed using the National Guard as a nationwide police force to round up Immigrants, refugees and Muslims.  At first the White House denied the AP's story on this, but then admitted that had actually proposed this plan
  • Demanded more fancy pens for bill signing ceremonies as he apparently had already given away all the ones the Administration began the term with, in less than one month
Let's just take Trump's 43rd or 44th worst discretion of the week; the Trump Winery trying to hire foreign workers.  Imagine what the reaction from the GOP would be if this was President Hillary Clinton trying to do this.  We'll put aside the context of Trump's entire message revolving around "America First," and his draconian immigration policy, AND his conflict of interest revolving on whether he actually divested himself from his personal businesses, and just focus on Trump's attempt to hire foreign workers with visas instead of American workers.

Republicans would be EXPLODING with outrage if this was 'Clinton Winery!' They'd be hammering their shoes on podiums, hosting red faced press conferences, and calling town halls to allow the unfettered anti-Hillary outrage to flow freely. Both Houses of Congress would begin multiple investigations into why Hillary HATES the American worker.  These 'investigations' would go on for years, with the GOP digging up every worker they could from 100 miles around the 'Clinton Winery' to testify about how 'they're just salt of the earth folks looking for a job, watching their hopes and dreams go to someone who likely is an anti-American terrorist.'  And without a doubt, a few Republicans would draw up the impeachment papers, leading to a long discussion about what would be the right punishment for such an Anti-Ameircan traitor.

Instead, the GOP averts their eyes and whispers, "nothing to see here..." Hell of a double standard the GOP has right now.





Friday, February 17, 2017

The Friday Link for 2/17/17

I have to make this quick tonight as illness has struck the McNeil abode.  NO!  I'm not using this as an excuse to go out and enjoy this shockingly warm evening...

Colbert's brilliant take on the Trump press conference from Thursday.  Enjoy!




Have a great weekend everyone!



Thursday, February 16, 2017

What I Like...

I like warm days...just not when we're supposed to be coming out of the coldest days of winter.
I like wearing shorts...but I'm not supposed to be able to wear them in Minnesota, in February.
I like the heat of the sun...as long as it's not melting snow six weeks earlier than it's supposed to.
I like the growing grass...but I'm not supposed to mow in Minnesota in March and November.
I like the plants in Minnesota...some of which are no longer able to survive locally.
I like the wildlife of Minnesota...but some beloved species are leaving, while new unfamiliar ones arrive
I like taking a dip in a northern Minnesota lake...but we're not supposed to be able to do so in May.
I like swimming in Minnesota lakes...without wondering if the lake has a brain eating amoeba which has started to live in Minnesota due to the warmer water temperatures.
I like charismatic weather people...as long as they're not discounting reality to pander to the masses.
I like ice fishing...a season so short lately I've decided to stop buying new equipment
I like cross country skiing...but not having to drive three hours in February to do so.
I like flowers...even though the ones I grow are having a harder and harder time.
I like gardening...but I'm having a harder time figuring out when and what to plant.
I like a multi seasonal, diverse business community...not one which has been impacted by climate related setbacks, causing companies to layoff workers and close down shops.
I like to think there are mysteries on this planet still unanswered...but I also respect tens of thousands of scientists from all over the world, well over 97% of them, who have spent their lives studying in differing scientific fields, all coming to the same scientific outcomes, independently.
I like to think my political opponents are good people...but they're undeniably cheering on a cataclysmic, man-made change to this planet, changes which could end up dooming a majority of the population.
I like warm weather...but I'm not willing use a nice day as an excuse to ignore the undeniable anymore.
I like summer...and I like it being in summer.



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

21 + 3

On February 8th, The Star Tribune (to it's credit) published a letter to the editor which dismantled the paper for its wasted 2016 endorsement of MN-03 Representative Erik Paulsen, an endorsement which ran October 29th of last year.  You should read it.  It's a good laugh.

The Star Tribune endorsed Paulsen, with their argument being he's a moderate.  Why?  I'm guessing it has to do with two things: 1) Years ago, he threw his name onto an anti-human trafficking bill Senator Klobuchar put forward, quite literally the least he could do to qualify, albeit briefly, as bipartisan, and 2) Erik insists he's moderate, a lie, but that's good enough for the Star Tribune.  Paulsen's about as moderate as any member of the modern GOP.  They say they are, but when it comes time to vote, they always vote the way the party tells them to.  Afterwards, they chest bump, high five, and victory dance in the face of any Democrat they can find.  Moderate my ass.  Paulsen has been a right wing rubber stamp his entire Congressional career, and he's proud of it!


(Possible image of MN-03 Rep. Erik Paulsen, and friend)

The Republicans are able to reinvent themselves every election.  They swear they'll be bipartisan, work with the other side of the aisle, and build consensus with the opposition party, but when they get  to either St. Paul or Washington D.C., they swear a blood oath to never deviate from how they're told to vote by party leaders.  The last time you saw Republicans go against their party's wishes was 2008, when 6 Republicans DARED to help the DFL override Governor Tim Pawlenty's veto of the Transportation Bill.  It didn't matter that each of the 6 Republicans had VERY legit reasons to override the veto.  They became Republican persona non grata, with Pawlenty personally making sure all 6's political careers were ended by primarying them; labeling them traitors to the party, embracing far right alternates who made the GOP base swoon.  Fear of being primaried is why modern Republicans have no spine or soul.

But their undeniable lack of moderation doesn't stop Republicans from convincing the Star Tribune, or their voting base, they're salt of the earth, middle of the road politicians every election season.  For God's sake, Paulsen, a man who darkened Ashwin Madia's skin color in campaign literature to make him look 'blacker,' in an attempt to make voters scared of him, has used the anti-human trafficking bill as the centerpiece of his campaigns.  At some point you'd think he'd need to produce something else to justify his 'moderate' claim, but everyone just gives him the benefit of the doubt.

Compare that to the Democrats.  Paulsen's last challenger Terri Bonoff, was more Republican than Democrat, even sucker punching Governor Mark Dayton in 2015 by siding with the minority Republicans on bills which came straight from the deepest veins of tea party hysteria.  I guess you could call Terri Bonoff bipartisan, but when you constantly vote against your own party's best interests, it might be better to label you a Republican disguised as a Democrat.  How was her bipartisanship received?  Star Tribune clearly didn't see the facts, and the voting base in the MN-03 were convinced she was from the far left of the Democratic Party, a laughable comparison.

I guarantee, the Republicans in 2018 will frantically insist they hate Trump, always willing to work with the other side of the aisle.  Heck, things are already so bad for Trump they'll probably begin distancing themselves from their records in the Fall of this year.  And we haven't gotten to the removing of all government healthcare, the death of social security, the impending farming crisis with Trump's trade war, and the forsaking of the taconite industry in Northern Minnesota.

We've just begun a 21 month run, with a focused left; a left which is angry, active and engaged.  This unquenchable thirst for marches and protests, phone banks and grass roots campaigns makes me feel a lot better about fighting this modern Republican tyranny.

What I'm most concerned about is the three months following the 21; August, September and October of 2018.  Right now, the GOP is not only planning their 'we're really moderates' spin, they're also plotting on how to keep all non-Republican voters at home.  They could come up with another fake medical scare, like ebola from a few years back.  They could try to flood the market with entertainment stimulus, attacking you on all media platforms.  They could impose draconian voting regulations which make it difficult for anyone to vote.  They could create a fake attack or crisis to encourage your ambivalence.  It'll probably be a little bit of all of the above.

Keep some of your powder dry.  Don't let your fire burn off before the end game begins.  Save your most intense passion for the final three months of this election cycle.  Remind everyone Federal and Minnesota GOP'ers are not moderates.  Be prepared to pepper the media, reminding them of the right's voting records and Trump allegiance.  Show everyone the Republican's victory tweets and Facebook posts from the day after the election.  Show them the GOP's chest bumps, high fives and victory dances, the ones they displayed for the least popular legislation.  Lash them all to their voting record, and to Trump, and let them all go over the falls.  We can rest the day after we vote these clowns out of office, the day after the election on 2018.

Then we begin the fight to take back the White House in 2020.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

President Trump, Week 3

Here's the list of things I managed to catch emanating from the swamp factory known as the White House from the last week, beginning at 2 PM, Friday, February 3rd to 2 PM on Friday, February 10th. These are (likely) not all of the Trump team's transgressions, but it's most of them.

Remeinder, most of these would have warranted an investigation if the letter next to the President's name was a 'D' instead of an 'R.'  A few of these should've justified calls for impeachment.  Instead, Republican politicians and Trump's supporters jam their fingers in their ears harder, close their eyelids tighter, and scream "NOTHING TO SEE HERE" louder.



On with the countdown!

  • Trump's working to repeal most of Dodd/Frank, the legislation imposed in 2008 after Wall Street proved they can't regulate themselves, forcing the government to do so
  • Turned off the recording equipment for his conversation with Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin, vowing to not release a transcript of the conversation
  • Released a 10 year old video, insisting it was footage of the Yemen raid from a few weeks ago
  • Refers to the Republican appointed judge who put a hold on his Unconstitutional Immigrant/Refugee/Muslim Ban as a "so called judge"
  • Defends Evil Dictator Vladimir Putin by insisting America has got a lot of killers too, adding "You think our country is so innocent?"
  • His Secretary of Defense openly threatens China
  • Spokesperson lies, insisting she didn't make up a fake massacre (the Bowling Green Massacre), something she clearly did, multiple times with multiple news outlets
  • Trump decided the investigation into voter fraud during the 2016 election is back on, insisting "It's really bad," even though he has yet to produce any of the proof he says he has
  • Trump apparently was tricked into appointing Bannon to the National Security Council, not knowing what he was signing when it was put in front of him
  • Trump threatens California, a US state, with "defunding"
  • Report says Trump insists on treating the Presidency like a regular job, leaving the office at 6:30 PM every day to retire, watch TV and tweet.
  • Insists every poll which has negative numbers for himself and his Administration is a "rigged" poll, implying every American approves of him
  • The Administration is still unsure of how all the lights in the White House are operated
  • Trump continues to insist his Unconstitutional Immigrant/Refugee/Muslim ban would've stopped 9/11, Orlando, Boston and San Bernardino, when it clearly wouldn't have
  • Trump insists the media has purposely not covered many terrorist attacks; refuses to answer which ones when asked
  • Releases a list of what Trump insists are terrorist attacks which went uncovered, a list of attacks which were covered extensively.  Also included on the list are non-terrorist crimes. This brought the justifiable ire of a British mother whose daughter was murdered in Australia, but was included in the White House's terror attack list
  • Trump was apparently manipulated into approving the botched Yemen raid by advisors who goaded him, lying to the President by telling him President Obama was too afraid to authorize it
  • White House spokespeople insist anyone who's calling to lodge a complaint or protest aren't "real people"
  • The White House, via Vice President Mike Pence's tie breaking vote, approved Betsy DeVos, the most unqualified cabinet nominee ever, for Secretary of Education, proving a person can buy their way into the Trump Administration
  • Threatens to 'destroy' a Texas politician who dared to propose rules which would prevent Sheriff Office's from seizing, and selling off, a person's private property prior to a guilty conviction being handed down...no REALLY!
  • In another disastrous call to a foreign leader, Trump bad mouthed NATO to France's Prime Minister Hollande, asking for Hollande to send back the US's NATO dollars
  • Because of the disastrous Yemen raid, Yemen will no longer allow US military incursions into their country
  • Trump was apparently obsessing over the softness of the hand towels on Air Force One
  • Has a tendency of calling people WHO ARE NOT EXPERTS, at all hours, to consult with them about basic government operation and governmental finances
  • Insists the Dakota Access Pipeline was NEVER controversial 
  • Via Twitter, attacks a private company, Nordstrom's Department Stores, for deciding to not carry his daughter Ivanka's private company's line of products
  • Trump claims the murder rate has skyrocketed in the last 47 years.  It's actually down dramatically in that time frame
  • Uses the term 'Easy D' in a tweet, not aware that 'Easy D' is an inappropriate term
  • The Press Secretary is reckless with online media again, as he leaves another personal social media site, Venmo, open for the public to access
  • Trump apparently tweeted his anger at Nordstrom's 21 minutes into his Daily Intelligence Briefing
  • It's discovered a current high up White House insider wrote extremely anti-Jewish and Anti-Muslim articles, LAST YEAR, under a fake pseudonym 
  • Administration members are breaking the law by openly pushing for people to buy Trump's daughter's product line
  • Insists the nominees for his cabinet are "taking the longest ever" to be confirmed; it's nowhere near factually accurate 
  • Wasn't familiar with the details of the US's nuclear agreement with Russia prior to discussing and commenting about it with Russia
  • Trump removed the chief of network communications, digital online and data security and has yet to replace him
  • Trump throws a very public Twitter temper tantrum when the 9th Circuit Court rules against reinstating his Unconstitutional Immigrant/Refugee/Muslim ban
  • It's announced the wall on the Mexico border will actually cost, at it's cheapest, 21 Billion dollars, near double the $12 Billion Trump insisted it would cost
  • Trump does an about face on his earlier comments about Taiwan, now endorsing the US's long standing One China policy
  • National Security advisor Michael Flynn was discovered lying.  He'd lied about being in touch with Russia a month before Trump was sworn in, an illegal action, telling the Russians Trump would lift sanctions against Russia that then President Obama was putting into place in December, another illegal action.  Once again, what he did is extremely illegal, and he lied about it
  • Much to Canada's horror, Trump has floated Sarah Palin as the Ambassador to Canada
  • The Administration has scrubbed the USDA's website of all animal abuse and animal welfare records, refusing to comment on exactly why they did so
  • Claims New York Times lied about his communications with China.  In the article Trump claimed had lies, the NY Times actually had stated the correct facts, but Trump stopped reading the article before getting to that point
  • Openly threatens two senators who dared questions his botched, disastrous Yemen raid
  • It's now known Michael Flynn, in December, openly lied to Vice President Pence, and had Pence in turn lie to the American people.  Flynn knew the Vice President was lying
  • Backtracks on moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
Looking back on the first three weeks, this is incredible.  The incompetence on display is beyond believability.  Yet, his supporters still think he's their savior.  Like I said, Idiots and Racists...

It was also revealed most of his meals since he entered office have been Big Macs and KFC served on a silver platter, something only white trash would think is high end.  Crap presented as a fine meal; there's no better analogy I can come up with for this whole fiasco.  President Trump is a national disgrace.


Friday, February 10, 2017

The Friday Link for 2/10/17

There was NEVER a doubt.  I've been waiting all week to start off this Friday's edition with the sheer brilliance of Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer.  Best impression since Tina Fey's Sarah Palin.  And that's including Larry David's Bernie Sanders.  PER-FEC-TION!




The other skit I'm linking to this weekend is one that makes my ancient Scottish blood proud.

***Warning, a lot of bad language.***

The Scots were the first to flip off Trump, and they did it so effectively, we all could learn from them. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee sent the incredibly funny Amy Hoggart (okay, I have a crush) to talk to the fine folks of my motherland.




Have a nice weekend, and pray President Idiot doesn't get us into a war while in-between tweets!  Dear Lord, is he a disaster.



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Republicans Don't Care

Republican politicians don't care.  They just don't.  The only people they care about are the lobbyists and donors who bankroll their campaigns, whether direct or through 501c3's. That's it!  No one else.  They could care less about the people they represent.  They only worship the money they can raise, and the cush lobbying gig waiting for them when they retire.  They know if they do a good job representing the money, their wife, kids and grandkids will all get lobbying gigs too.  They don't care.

They don't care about the voters who voted for them.  When was the last time you saw a Republican politician, state or national, pass a bill where the common person was the sole beneficiary of the outcome of the legislation?  When?  It's been decades.  There might be a few constituent scraps in a bill, but Republican bills are primarily for corporations and the ultra wealthy.  Heck, in Minnesota they couldn't even give the unemployed Iron Range workers the money the state had set aside for extended unemployment assistance without giving a massive tax hand out to their corporate buddies first.  They do not care.

They sure as hell don't care about the people who vote Democrat.  All the phone calls made, all the protest marchers, all the screams; they ignore them all.  You are their enemy, and they want to hurt you.  They take pleasure in it.  If they could, Republicans would scream in your face, "You're house got destroyed in a natural disaster?  GOOD!  Serves you right for not voting for me.  I'm not going to get you the help you need, just lap up your tears!  Maybe next time you'll think before you vote!" They don't care!

They don't care about how the laws they pass will hurt hundreds of millions of Americans.  They don't care about the damage they can do to this country, and the Constitution, by forcing a megalomaniac's nefarious agenda on the masses.  They don't care about using Christianity as a thin veil for their very anti-Christian agenda.  They don't care about putting grossly incompetent, unqualified boobs into the highest seats of power in the United States.  They just do not care!

Even if we stay angry, stay focused, keep the fire burning, and vote them all out of office in 2018 and 2020, they'll never apologize, they'll never admit they were wrong, they'll never feel remorse, they'll never acknowledge their defeat.  They'll be like the villain in Scooby Doo.  "I would've gotten away with it, if not for those meddling voters!"  And they flip us off, as they take the company limo over to their new office they'll share with their spouse, their kids and their grandkids, all getting million dollar jobs, a thank you from the company they shoveled billions of taxpayer dollars into.

Republicans will never care.  That's why we have to, completely and absolutely.  For every negative force, there has to be a positive one.

That's why I care...


Sunday, February 5, 2017

President Trump, Week 2


As promised, here's the weekly list of things President Trump and his staff did during his second week in office, things which, at best, should've drawn Congressional scrutiny; at worst, led to his worthless ass getting thrown out of the most powerful office on the planet.  This list runs from 2 PM, Friday, January 27th to 2 PM on Friday, February 3rd:

  • Installed a Immigration/Refugee/Muslim ban under the false notion it would stop terrorists from coming into the United States
  • Proudly stopped Syrian refugees from relocating from their war torn country to the safety of the United States, even after the refugees had gone through our long, extensive screening process
  • Installed new Immigration laws without an implementation plan, guidance, rules or methodology
  • Prevented legal US residents from returning back home
  • Had TSA screeners ask about Trump loyalty before allowing people into the country.
  • Placed a racist/white supremacist, Steve Bannon, his closest advisor, on the National Security Council
  • Openly declaring war on the Judicial Branch and all Government agencies who dared stand up for the Constitution, which forbids many parts of his new Immigration/Refugee ban from being enforced
  • It was discovered the Administration lied about the senior State Department Staff resigning.  The Trump White House fired them
  • Has already filed to run in 2020, meaning he's already raking in campaign donations, money which is openly profiting his private business ventures
  • The Administration continues its war with the media's factual reporting, calling for apologies and firings
  • Mysteriously removed the Judicial Branch from the White House webpage, only to bring it back when people noticed
  • Installed the insanely stupid "for each new regulation, two have to be rescinded" rule
  • Press Secretary insists Trump was praised for omitting the Jewish people from his Holocaust remembrance
  • Fired the temporary Attorney General for refusing to violate the Constitution by enforcing his Unconstitutional Immigration/Refugee/Muslim ban
  • It's discovered most Governmental agency heads, Representatives and Senators were omitted from drafting Trump's Unconstitutional Immigration/Refugee/Muslim ban
  • Goes around Senators and Representatives to draft the Unconstitutional Immigration/Refugee/Muslim ban with Congressional staffers. Orders them not to talk about it with their bosses
  • His Nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is discovered plagiarizing her official Congressional questionnaire 
  • Trump's first military action as President is a raid in Yemen, which was staged against the advice of senior military officials, led to one dead Navy Seal, multiple wounded Navy Seals, a dead 8 year old American girl, and varying reports of multiple civilian casualties, as the raid went poorly.
  • Fires the head of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); replaces with a crony
  • Orders a pipeline endangering Native American water supplies and land to move forward, ordering the Native American protesters moved.  This pipeline is being routed here because it was deemed too dangerous to be placed near non-Native American populations
  • The Administration is exploring deporting legal immigrants who use the US's welfare system
  • His Black History Month speech was primarily about him; implies Frederick Douglass is still alive (died in 1895)
  • During his Black History Month speech, Trump criticizes CNN's coverage of him
  • President Trump, after Mexico reiterated would not be paying for the border wall, threatens a military invasion of Mexico
  • A 4 month old missed her scheduled heart surgery due to his Unconstitutional Immigration/Refugee/Muslim ban
  • Administration once again threatens to boycott "non-friendly" media
  • The President greatly damages the USA's relationship with Australia, when he insults and threatens them.  His excuse was he was cranky because he was tired
  • With the Australian incident, it is discovered the White House is clearly editing the transcripts of the phone conversations with foreign leaders
  • The Administration takes a pro pollution stance when it endorsed the House GOP's plans to allow coal mines to dump waste product directly into waterways
  • Has endorsed removing the filibuster from the Senate, endorsing one party rule over the United States, with NO input from the minority party at all
  • Wants to eliminate all gun free school zones, allowing people to wave guns in children's faces regardless of whether parents want the guns waived in their kid's faces.
  • At a prayer breakfast, openly mocks and insults a reality TV show and its host
  • Vows to destroy separation of church and state by removing the Johnson Amendment
  • The Administration is openly lying about cancelling a scheduled event at the Milwaukee Harley Davidson plant
  • Leaders at the Pentagon expressed strong concerns about his leadership ability
  • The Trump Administration started to ease sanctions against Russia
  • It's discovered Trump and Bannon themselves removed all references to the Jewish people from the Holocaust remembrance speech
  • Administration spokesperson created a fake 'massacre' to justify the Unconstitutional Immigration/Refugee/Muslim ban
  • The Administration is now backing away from the voter fraud investigation they insisted needed to happen, voter fraud they still insist happens, voter fraud they still insist they have overwhelming proof of, proof no one else has seen
  • The former Prime Minister of Norway gets detained under the Unconstitutional Immigration/Refugee/Muslim ban
  • The Administration purposely and specifically turned off the recording equipment when Trump talked to Russian's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
  • The Administration states it will not even release a transcript of the conversation between Trump and Putin
  • The Administration has decided to open a second official Presidential residence in New York City, a decision which will cost Americans hundred of millions of taxpayer dollars every year
  • Trump tweets that Iran is "on notice." Doesn't explain what "on notice" means.  No one in his Administration can explain it either
  • The Administration removes rules in place which force investment advisors from Investment firms/Banks to work in the best interest of their clients
  • Was apparently in bed texting during the Yemen raid, not in the situation room getting briefed as American forces were put into harms way, in a raid he ordered, a raid which went horribly wrong
Well, that's a God awful list.  Can you imagine the apocalyptic diatribes coming from the Republicans if any of these would have been attempted by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or ANY Democrat?  Week two is in the books.  Off to document Week three...

For the record, I grew up in Rhode Island, so I love the Patriots, but I might root against them because of certain members of that organization's unexplainable love of Trump.



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Un-Civil

I mentioned a few weeks back, the minute Trump took office, the outrage meter for Republicans would immediately swing in the complete opposite direction.  Let's look at a few ways it has.

The Russia/Trump call - Last week, Trump made his long anticipated call to Vladimir Putin, the evil Dictator who holds the Russian people under his iron first of oppression.  When a President calls a foreign leader, we make a recording of the call, and an official transcript is released to the media.  Funny!  The Trump Administration intentionally turned off all of the recording devices for that specific conversation.  It also has no plans to release ANY transcript of what the two leaders talked about.  The response from the Republicans so far has been yawns and scratched asses; uninterested ambivalence.  If Hillary Clinton was the President, and it was discovered she had a conversation with China where she pulled the same stunt, OH MY GOD!  EVERY Republican politician would be screaming EVERYWHERE about immediate investigations, asking "what did they discuss?!?"  More than a few would be screaming for an immediate impeachment vote.  Republican media, especially in small town America, would be running story after story about "Crooked Hillary in cahoots with Beijing!" Every Republican voter you know would be filling every social media feed with meme after meme about how we can't trust Hillary, and how she's handing over America to a foreign power!  People wonder how Austria would choose to freely hand themselves over to Germany...

Prayer Breakfast - I'm going to post a photo meme which points out the subtle differences between President Obama and President Trump's Prayer Breakfast messages:


Subtle!  Remind you: a shocking amount of Americans think Obama HATED Christianity, but think Trump is Jesus incarnate on Earth!  Their hypocrisy in regards to what behavior they're willing to 'forgive as Christians' for each man speaks for itself.

Yemen - It's not exactly clear what happened leading up to, and during, the Navy Seal/Yemen raid in January.  The Trump Administration made the decision to send in the forces, even though the military said they didn't have enough re-con of the area, and support troops for the mission.  One Navy Seal died, two were injured and at least one 8 year old American girl was shot and killed.  There are rumors many more civilian casualties occurred, as the Navy Seals had to shoot their way out of a mess. Instead of anyone calling for an investigation to find out who gave the orders and what exactly happened, most Republicans are promoting the lame excuse 'this was something President Obama had wanted to do, so even though he was already out of office, hence could not order the troops to do anything, he's responsible for Trump making the call.'  Trump, during the raid, was not in the situation room getting briefed, rather (and you can't make this crap up) tweeting in his bed.  The GOP House and Senate were planning on starting their 8th and 9th Benghazi investigations, even though the first 7 investigations had cleared the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing.  So far, not only have no Republican politicians called for an investigation into the Yemen raid, but there's only silence from the same people who screamed their throats raw with cries of "BENGHAAAAAZIIIII!!!!"

There are MANY more examples I could point out (Goldman Sachs, threatening Australia/Mexico, the obscene spending of taxpayer dollars for personal reasons for the First family), but how about one where the outrage meter has gone the other way:

Calls for Killing all Liberals:  During the campaign, pro-Trump violence towards protesters was called Freedom of Speech, American values, and nothing to concern anyone with.  We have tons of video evidence of Trump supporter violence.  Didn't matter, as the right dismissed it as harmless fun.  Since the Inauguration, there have been numerous protests, including the largest protest EVER in the USA, the day after Trump was sworn in.  Outside of one Nazi getting repeatedly punched in the face, and the specific case of UC-Berkeley (where it's likely right wing extremists, looking to make the left look bad, infiltrated the protesters and rioted) the protests have been extremely peaceful, but passionate.  After the falsely created 'Liberal Uprising at Berkeley,' spokespeople for the right are floating a new theme - "Shoot all liberals in the head to teach them a lesson!"  Here's a conversation excerpt which was begun by a leader in the Alt-Right movement:


Thats one of HUNDREDS of conversations I've seen in the last two days, talking about armed uprising against the Democrats and Liberals.  Many of these conversations are being encouraged by leaders in the modern Republican Party.

And here's a link to a story about a Michigan politician calling for gunning down protesters, stating "One bullet stops a lot of thuggery," but now insisting the Liberals took him out of context! 


Okay Anti-American, sadistic, murder fantasizing, racist Nazi gun kooks, let me ask you a few things.  Where would you start? A Gay pride parade?  A minority school in the inner city?  A Mexican Heritage pride celebration?  A coffee house in a liberal area of a town?  Is that where you'll build your front lines?  You think the police will be on your side?  Sure some racist, white supremacist cops will be working for you, but since we have no national police force, you'd have to infiltrate department after department, nationwide, at city, county and state levels, installing people who will openly turn on their sworn duty at a prearranged time.  Yeah, that's not going to happen, so most police won't be on your side.  And the military?  You think a fighting force with a large African American and Latino element will openly start firing on inner city communities just because the district happened to vote Democrat the last 50 years?  The US Military will kick your asses!  And how about the Democrats who own guns, personal defense weapons and hunting weapons.  You may have 100 guns, but you can only fire one at a time effectively, braintrust!  No real advantage there.  Nope, you guys would wet yourself and frantically blame someone else for starting it.  You're a bunch of freaking cowards.

Expect more of the mighty hypocrisy!  Can't wait...


Friday, February 3, 2017

The Friday Link for 2/3/17

It's Super Bowl weekend.  I know most people who follow the radio show or read the blog are probably not too into sports, but, good or bad, it's a part of American culture.

The commercials are usually best part of the game, but this year, I'm excited for Lady Gaga's halftime show.  I think it'll be insanely good.  She'll have her library to choose from.  Hope this one is in there:


For the Link's funny side, the Bad Lip Reading guys are back with a salute to the NFL season that was.  TIC TAK!  Enjoy!


On Sunday, I'll be enjoying a Reuben sandwich, made correctly, and a beverage of my choice.  Maybe for a few hours, I can forget the insanity of this country.  Heck, I guess I should be prepared for a war announcement during the game...smart money is on Albania...




Nina Luna - Blaze

I usually don't post music here, but I wanted to make sure I posted Nina Luna's new single, 'Blaze.' Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Accessories to the Crime

I know some will criticize me, but I think Randy in Coon Rapids, my radio show's regular far right caller, who extolls his love of all things Trump, Republicans and Tea Party, might be starting to come around.

The last few months, ever since Trump won, Randy's been one of those Republicans who, when confronted by things Trump said he was going to do if he won, has insisted President Trump really wouldn't do them.  In November, after I asked him if he was happy the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security were all going away, there was a moment where you could hear the gears of his mind turn.  His long dormant brain was finally saying, "wait a second...if Trump actually follows through on his campaign promise, it'd be horrible for me and my family."  It was a light being turned on, albeit too late, as Randy and the rest of the Trump voters had already given Trump the keys to the White House, without ever thinking about the consequences.

Yesterday, Randy called in to defend Trump's horrific Immigration plan.  He took the position, if we knew drug dealers were coming into the country, wouldn't we stop them at all costs?  It's a typical Republican stupid argument; take a real threat, apply it to your unrelated mistake and make it seem like what you're doing is a far more nobel than it actually is.  It's the Jack Bauer/24 thought process.  "Sure torturing someone is horrible, but there's a nuke in LA!  Wouldn't you do anything to stop a nuke?  We're righteous in our crimes against humanity!"

I caught Randy up with a simple question:  "Randy, what does a drug dealer look like?"  Randy, realizing he couldn't describe the African American or Latino hulk he clearly imagined when he thought of a drug dealer as it would expose his racism, conceded it was a bad analogy, but then quickly went back to defending the Immigration plan.  When I pointed out the terrorist who just struck in Canada was a white guy, he, getting heated, insisted I just proved his point.  He proclaimed blanket bans are the right strategy, not realizing he just called for banning all white men of European descent from entering the US.  He then angrily screamed the ban was about safety, ignoring the valid point guns kill far more people than terrorists every year in America, so if this is about safety, we need to start there (and then buses, lawnmowers and toddlers).


To give Republicans like Randy a little leeway, they're waking up, realizing there's a big difference between a theory of what would happen, verses the reality of implementing said new rule.  Trump voters were solely motivated by their hatred of Hillary, Obama and the Democrats, not by the policies of their party, and are now in shock as what they were screaming for at political rallies is now being implemented.  They're realizing Trump's solutions aren't going to work.  

This is why many Republicans are now VERY quiet.  They know they've made a tremendous mistake, BUT they can't jump the final hurdle, a hurdle Randy and the rest of the Republican voters have been brainwashed into never attempting to jump; criticizing a Republican politician.

If Republican voters don't immediately start getting very vocal about their disappointment in THEIR President, not only will these horrible policies continue to ramp up, but Trump voters won't be able to distance themselves from them.  YOU voted for Trump! YOU'RE watching what he's doing! YOU'RE choosing to remain silent, not condemning the easily condemnable.  YOU'RE accessories to the crime.

In the old south, there were a handful of whites at lynchings who felt remorse and shame for what had happened, but who never spoke out about the abhorrent racist mob injustice.  They were quiet, and, while being silent, they were still part of the lynch mob.  They were just as guilty, and NOTHING will ever change that fact.  

To Randy and all Trump voters regretting your November vote (but...but...but...E-MAILS!); the scorn and ridicule you're keeping in your hearts, out of fear of violating a ridiculous, right wing created standard of 'no criticism of thy own party,' needs to be shared, loudly and publicly. To do so doesn't mean you're a bad Republican.  It means your a decent human.



Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Death of Christianity

On my show yesterday, I read off a laundry list of first week 'accomplishments' from our new President, Donald Trump:
  • Changed the rules on home loans, making a 200K loan cost $500 more a year
  • The Press Secretary's first meeting with the press was about how they're all dishonest, and how the crowd size of the Inauguration was much larger than it actually was
  • The President is using an unsecured smart phone tied to a non-government e-mail address
  • It was discovered the vast majority of the Trump Administration is still using non-governmental, non-secured e-mail addresses
  • Lays the groundwork to destroy the EPA
  • Follows through on his incredibly expensive, and misguided, border wall
  • Brings back waterboarding, torture and black sites
  • Endorsed a GOP move to make Abortion more expensive
  • Started the process of removing healthcare (the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security)  for millions without a replacement plan in place
  • Pulls funding from Sanctuary cities, insisting you need to harass people in Trump's America
  • Pushes forward the illegal voter lie, even going as far as to insist every one of the millions of illegal votes was for Hillary.
  • Starts profiteering at Mar-a-Lago
  • Orders many governmental agencies to not share ANY information with the public without direct approval from the Administration
  • It took Trump two days to declare parts of Mississippi and Georgia as disaster areas after tornadoes ravaged them
  • He threatened to invade Chicago
  • Insulted fallen CIA agents with a inappropriate speech at their memorial
  • Endorsed the declaring of millions of acres of Federal land worthless, so they can be sold off
  • Approved new pipelines, even as multiple ones are spilling their contents 
  • Seriously damaged relations with our third biggest trading partner Mexico
  • The Press Secretary tweeted his personal password for non-secured accounts, TWICE!
  • Insisted Philadelphia had a skyrocketing murder rate, when it's actually gone down dramatically
  • Started a trade war with Mexico when he threw a public temper tantrum
  • Showed he doesn't understand the difference between 'imports' and 'exports'
  • Had his chief advisor order the media to keep their mouths shut
  • We find out his illegal voters fraud story is based on a racial tinged story from a German golfer
  • Misspells the British Prime Ministers name, confusing her with a porn star
  • Leading a united Republican Party in refusing to acknowledge the mountains of evidence that the Russians tampered with the election of 2016
  • Implies ISIS, Saturday Night Live and Madonna were all equal in their evilness
  • Has his likely European Union Ambassador imply he's will destroy the EU
  • Honors Holocaust Remembrance Day by not mentioning the Jewish people, but instead calling for rounding up other people
  • Has his new UN ambassador openly threaten the rest of the UN.
That's an insane list.  If Hillary Clinton was the President (she did get 2.9 million more votes), and decided to do the same things as Trump, how many of those actions would've lead to immediate scorn from every news outlet in America?  How many would've lead to demands for immediate hearings from House and Senate Republicans?  How many of the actions would've lead to Republican politicians screaming on the floor of Congress, demanding an impeachment hearing to begin due haste?

But it was something that happened after my show yesterday which should cause all Americans to hang their heads in shame.  Trump followed through with his promise to stop Muslims from entering the country by signing an Executive Order which immediately installed a new set of rules, creating a religious litmus test for people entering the USA, specifically singling out Syrians fleeing their war torn country as Public Enemy #1.  The mind boggling order still allows people from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and United Arab Emirates, countries where the 9/11 terrorists came from, to enter the country, due to Trump's personal business relationships with those countries.  The list of countries forbidden reads as hate rhetoric, written by Republicans who now believe it as gospel.  Trump gleefully congratulated himself, soaking up the accolades of racists, bigots and Islamaphobes, as he high-fived the notion of stopping a Syrian family, a family who had gone through our extensive screening process, from relocating to Cleveland, a destination they were supposed to reach on Tuesday.  As of this morning, agents at our airports are freely and openly harassing all Muslims.  134 million people have been labeled terrorists solely for their religious beliefs, and have been banned from entering the United States.

Yesterday, Christianity died in America.

It didn't die because our President installed Immigration policy which will stand in infamy with slavery, the Trail of Tears and Japanese interment camps.

It didn't die because America decided to no longer be a symbol of hope, and instead decided to wallow in fear, becoming a delusional, crazed, sweaty, nervous zealot who sits alone in his basement surrounded by his guns, insisting he's safe.

It didn't die because America is no longer a Super Power.  Super Powers don't have elections openly controlled by outside countries, and Super Powers sure as heck don't allow other countries, countries with only a small percentage of our population and resources, to lead, as we retreat to the back of the line.

Christianity died in America on January 27th, 2017, when jubilant, angry, racist-tinged fanatics, people who insist they're driven by their Christian principles, cheered as their Demi-God Trump personally stiff armed refugees from a war torn country, telling them there's no sanctuary for 'their kind' in the USA.  He hung a 'No Muslims Allowed' sign on the door, telling the world, "there's no room at the Inn."  This in what was supposed to be the beacon of freedom and liberty on the planet.

A lot of Christians purposely ignore 95% of the Bible to validate their 'Christian' vote for a Republican politician, politicians who are only using them to gain power.  The issue they use is abortion, but Republican politicians won't ever make abortion illegal, just more expensive, so their bankrollers can still have them. Wealthy people abortions are still abortions, and if you insist you're pro-Life, and you stand by Republican policy on this, you're a massive hypocrite.

But your personal feelings about abortion should only be a part of your Christian faith.  There are a lot of other teachings too, many of which are openly violated by Republicans and Trump.  Christianity was never meant to be an outrage buffet, where you get to pick and choose which parts you want to be outraged by, while passing on the other parts (hunger, homelessness, heath care, the sick, the needy, refugees).  You're the ones screaming about how Christian you are as you eyeball the anti-gay chocolate fountain, passing by the build your own 'help the leper' sundaes.

If you're a 'Christian' who's cheering on what happened yesterday, you're a heretic; a Republican   trying to bathe in fake piety.  You've finally gotten to the point where you're openly rooting against Jesus Christ and his teachings, while insisting you define what it means to be Christian.  This weekend, plenty on 'Christian' leaders will preach about how divine and spiritual Trump and his actions are.  They'll scour their Bibles for bits and pieces of passages they can take out of context and misquote to religiously validate the political beliefs of their parishioners.  They'll insist Jesus would approve of denying the needy help.


This weekend, many 'Christians' will gladly take the role of hammering Jesus to the Cross, telling him how putting the nails in his hands and feet is really the spirit of Jesus' own teachings...




Yesterday, Christianity died in America.





Friday, January 27, 2017

The Friday Link for 1/27/17

Oh for God's sake...



I knew it was going be bad, but this first week of the Trump Presidency has been a historic disaster.  The only saving grace is it seems his devout Republican following is starting to crack.  The insistence of a much larger inauguration crowd than what everyone's eyes saw, the claims of 'millions of illegitimate votes which happened to be all for Hillary but can't be proven' debacle, and the near trade war with our third largest trading partner because of a temper tantrum, has caused many Republicans to start doing some internal retrospective.  Maybe voting for a person because they make your opponent upset wasn't the best strategy after all.

It's only going to get worse.  If we ever do come back from this moment, there will be a lot of people who are going to have a hard time explaining the political immaturity we're witnessing today.  Me?  I'll just say what I've been saying since 11/8:  Racists and Idiots...

For a laugh, and we all could use one, I will turn it over to one of Television's greatest buffoons, Michael Scott from The Office.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OYtjXVilsA

As you watch this, realize that in all of his foolishness, Michael Scott would be a better President than Donald Trump...YIKES.

Try to have a great weekend.


Diminishing Returns

Let me take a quick break from the Trump nightmare to talk about the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club nightmare.  This offseason, the team has done NOTHING!  They have not signed any free agents worth mentioning, and even said goodbye to Kurt Suzuki and Trevor Plouffe, two players who might not have been great, but contributed with consistent play at their positions, and clutch hits in the few times the Twin's had run producing innings.

The team is a mess, and they still have yet to address their biggest problem, Joe Mauer and his unjustifiable contract.

Mauer has the 15th biggest contract in all of baseball.  He's scheduled to get paid $23 million in 2017 and again in 2018.  He has the 96th best batting average in baseball, he's 116th in hits, and ties with Kurt Suzuki for RBI's at 172nd.  He's 31st in On Base Percentage, which isn't bad, but when factored with his pathetically weak slugging percentage, his OPS (On base Plus Slugging) is at 102nd.  His home run total is 11, and ties him for 201st in MLB, behind Trevor Plouffe and three ahead of the aforementioned Suzuki.

And, undeniably, Mauer is the worst everyday starting 1st basemen in all of Major League Baseball.  He's not even ranked on ESPN or MLB's 1st basemen rankings.  In Fantasy Leagues, he ranks around 40th, and there are only 30 teams!   He's out of position, A LOT, and doesn't understand the nuances of 1st base.  He's a catcher.  I think he must've fallen in love with Brad Pitt's advice in Moneyball, when he said "it's easy to play 1st," not hearing the other character's response, "it's incredibly hard."  He can't play first!!! And this dog and pony show has ruined too many good players by shifting them away from their lifelong 1st base positioning, away from the spotlight glare the Twins are determined to bestow on Joe.

Here's the worst part.  Joe Mauer is a professional.  He knows he can't handle the position, but yet he's not doing what's best for the team and telling the coach to move him out.  Nope, he seems more concerned about his image than about winning.  Mauer playing first costs the team a few wins each year.

The Twin's have made him the face of the franchise, and that's worth some additional coin, but at this point, he's not Killebrew, Carew, Puckett, or even Morneau.  He had seven good seasons, but his last one was 2013, and he's plummeting in the rankings.  His player ranking the last two years has been #200 to #250, and when the 2017 rankings are released in the next few weeks, he'll probably be closer to #300.

For God's sake Twins, FIX THIS NOW!  I get it, you've tied the team to him, so, even though no other team wants him, getting rid of him really isn't an option.  There are three paths I see.

1) If he really is healthy, then offer to renegotiate his contract, tack on another 4 years (no one will offer him that), fix his salary at 12 million a year (he really is worth $8, but we're working with the horrible contract he currently does have, and he is a fan favorite).  Load the contract with performance bonuses, but make sure the contract is contingent on him moving to right field/DH.

2) If he's not healthy enough to play right field, if he's willing to renegotiate his contract, give him two more years, he moves to full time DH, and make his salary 13 million per year. Load the contract up with bonuses, but he needs to understand his days as the Twins regular first baseman are over.

3) Regardless of whether he's healthy or not, if he doesn't want to renegotiate and/or move to a different position, then have the guts to let the contract expire and let him go.  Sure you might end up with a Killebrew in Kansas City powder blue moment, but no one will offer him decent money.  He'll come back to the Twins, and you can sign him to a four year, 8 million a year contract so he finishes his career in Minnesota.

Until the Twins get out from underneath his horrendous contract, the team will stink, and I'll continue to be relegated to wondering what our roster would be if we hadn't discarded all of those players just to keep Joe Mauer happy, and paid.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Detention!


Betsy DeVos is, without a doubt, the worst White House Administration nominee I've ever seen.  She's so grossly unqualified for the position she's being considered for (Secretary of Education), anyone who does vote for her is making a strong argument THEY should immediately be removed from government.  This is an anti-Public School zealot, who used her family's wealth to make political donations, and in turn got rewarded with a plumb cabinet nomination.  She knows absolutely NOTHING about our current education system in the US!  The fact the GOP didn't reject her immediately is stunning, but they, knowing her qualifications are incredibly skeptical, changed the hearing rules to forbid anyone from asking follow up questions during her nightmarish confirmation hearing.


I want to give everyone a stark look at what our public education system will be like under her reign, but first:
  • Betsy DeVos is for 'School Choice.'  This term is used to describe taking money from the public school system and funneling it into schools run by for-profit companies, mostly charter schools.  Charter schools are the main focus of this education philosophy, as most private and religious schools are one or two school operations.  Some of the larger charter school companies run over a hundred schools, nationwide.  These people run schools as businesses.
  • 'Open Enrollment' is different from School Choice, as Open Enrollment mainly refers to enrolling in a different public school option.  Most School Choice advocates I've talked with are against public schools completely.
  • Every School Choice advocate I've ever talked with despises the teacher's unions.
  • School Choice was NEVER meant for an entire school district to participate in, but for 15-20% of a school district only, designed predominately for the wealthier, white students.  It's not financially possible to offer 100% of a public school's student body a School Choice/Open Enrollment option.
  • School Choice/Open Enrollment doesn't make public schools better.  It funnels tax payer money to handful of private companies/public school districts.  The public schools left behind have less money, less staff, and less resources.
  • There's no successful education model in the world where you're able to educate a student body better with less money, less staff and less resources.  NONE!
  • Charter schools do a poorer job overall at educating kids verses Public Schools, when compared in fair, unbiased studies. 
Okay, let's look at what education will look like if Betsy DeVos takes over.

Outstate Schools - The public school districts in outstate America will be devastated.  Due to the sparser population, school districts will be trimmed by half to 2/3rds.  Rural areas will likely have only one school district per county.  There will be some private, religious or charter school options, but they'll have higher out of pocket expenses, costs beyond having to drive your child 30 minutes one way just to get to the school.  The remaining public schools will be woefully underfunded, with class sizes of 30 to 50 kids, limited classes beyond the base curriculum, no advanced education, physical education, special needs education or art/music education.  The public school's main goal will be to teach an annual test, and that's it.


Inner City Schools - Inner city schools will be consolidated further, potentially leading to a single education 'compound' for an entire city's public school body.  Class sizes will be astronomical, 50-100 per class.  There will be charter school options, but since their quality is subpar, students will be worse off.  Open enrollment will be a mass exodus.  Similar to outstate schools, classes will be limited to a base curriculum, with no STEM classes, no physical education, extremely limited special needs education and art/music classes will be gone.  As with outstate schools, the main goal will be to teach an annual test, and that's it.

Suburban Schools - Suburban public schools feel safer, due to their high tax base and high incoming open enrollment population, but Betsy DeVos is an advocate of private school vouchers, and easing school district tax requirements.  Currently, parents of a child who live in a suburban school district, but who attends a private school, still pay property taxes to fund public schools.  DeVos wants to cut that by up to a 90%.  This will dramatically eliminate suburban public school revenue.  Vouchers mean suburban public school district's will offset tuition costs of private school kids.  Just like Wisconsin, many of the private school vouchers will end up in the hands of the wealthiest families, meaning middle class tax payers will be subsidizing private school education for the wealthy.  With quality decreasing, more suburban kids will opt for private, religious and charters schools. DeVos' butchery will affect all communities, including Minnetonka, Wayzata, Edina and Woodbury.  The suburban districts might have a few extra curriculum perks, but just like outstate and inner city schools, their main goal will revolve around teaching an annual test.


Annual Testing/ Teachers - Annual testing's primary goal won't be educating kids, rather punishing teachers.  The ability for a teacher to mold the education to the individual student will cease to exist.  Betsy DeVos will wage a war on the teacher's unions, much like they did in Wisconsin.  She'll enact national tenure restrictions and weaken education requirements to become a teacher.  Federal funding will dry up, meaning massive layoffs of the most experienced educators.  DeVos has to get rid of the union to be able to enforce her most Draconian policy; the eventual whole scale closure of many public schools.

The Classes - Quality education will be replaced with kids taking test, after test, after test.  Textbooks will be rewritten to reflect a specific political slant.  STEM will cease being taught, and basic science, mathematics and English will be streamlined.  For students who have trouble with the tests, their classes will be replaced with mop buckets, rakes and brooms, with the eventual goal of funneling those kids out of school and into low paying, manual labor jobs.  And school lunches will become deep fried, processed crap.


Betsy DeVos' goal is to break the public school system once and for all, pushing middle and upper class kids into charter schools, where billionaire CEO's can rake in the profit, and pushing lower income kids out onto the street.  Elections have consequences, and white rural Americans and suburbanites who voted for Trump, who foolishly thought the pain would be limited to the more liberal, ethnic areas of the country, will soon realize they're going to suffer, too.

Imagine a President puts forward a candidate to run the National Parks.  The candidate A) has never been to a National Park, B) hates the idea of National Parks, C) hates all Park Rangers and Park employees, wanting them all fired, and D) has an ultimate goal of giving away all of the National Park land to their friends.  Yikes.  This is how Betsy DeVos is approaching becoming Secretary of Education.  

If the GOP pushes her though, Betsy DeVos will be the end of quality public education in America.  She has to be stopped.





Friday, January 20, 2017

The Friday Link for 1/20/17

I do think it's hilarious no one showed up for Trump's party.  The images today were stark.  Those crowds were more akin to when most people got to the Inauguration via horse and buggy.  The Hopkins Raspberry Festival Parade has far more spectators than the Inauguration Parade had.

And a reminder, the people who voted for him REALLY think he's FAR more popular than Obama.  Pardon me...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Warning Adult content ahead!  Let's start turning those frowns upside down with this appropriate gem from Monty Python:


Then for the next hour, click below for a full 2016 Patton Oswald special.  It will make life better:


I'm going to sleep, like I have for the last two and a half months, hoping I wake up to realize this is just some sort of weird freaking nightmare...








Thursday, January 19, 2017

Teetering on the See Saw

We're at the end.  President Obama will leave office tomorrow at 11 AM local time, and President Trump will begin what will likely be his only term in office immediately afterwards.

Tomorrow, as Trump is forever desecrating the Lincoln Bible with his tiny, urine covered hands, there will be an immediate shift in this country. A lot of Republicans, who feel very strongly about certain issues, will instantaneously change their opinion, taking the polar opposite opinion in mere seconds.  You might even get whiplash.  Here are some examples:

The Deficit:  (Up until 11 AM local time tomorrow) Under Obama, Republicans constantly railed against the Deficit.  It didn't matter the Deficit was created by W. Bush, who made sure all of his initiatives (Iraq War, Afghanistan War, the Medicare Part D expansion, upper class tax cuts he paid for by borrowing money from China with an IOU) purposely had the bills come due January of 2009.  It also didn't matter President Obama had a Republican House and Senate for six years who insisted on NEVER working with him on anything, and it didn't matter Obama had dramatically slowed the rate of increase on new debt single handedly. Nope, the GOP insisted the Deficit was the WORST THING EVER! (Immediately after 11AM local time tomorrow) Deficits will be a necessary evil in our modern world.  We all have credit cards, why not the Federal government too?  And the more money we owe, the better; let's triple or even quadruple the deficit.  There is no need to worry about the Deficit anymore!

Qualifications:  (Up until 11 AM local time tomorrow) Under Obama, it didn't matter the position the appointee was being considered for, unless they were over qualified, they wouldn't even be considered.  Not only did the pedigree need to be pristine, but they also had to provide a complete list of every cent they ever earned and how it was spent.  They had to provide 7 years of tax returns, comply with a full background investigation, and submit themselves for numerous committee screenings.  Even then, if the GOP didn't like how an appointee looked, they'd proudly reject them as unqualified.  (Immediately after 11AM local time tomorrow) Background checks, Schmakground Checks!  The only thing we need is the word of the President!  No need for anything further, like tax returns, conflicts of interest reports, or education and experience information.  And if the appointee displays zero knowledge of the position they're being considered for, any concern is just the Democrats and sour grapes!

Religion: (Up until 11 AM local time tomorrow) Unless the President is running every decision, bill, initiative, speech and breath through a litany of Christian clergy, approved by the most far right extremist Christians today, he's a secret Muslim, looking to hand over this great country to the Muslim Brotherhood...any day now...(Immediately after 11AM local time tomorrow) Where did this religious litmus test talk come from?  How unfair to question a person's private religious beliefs.  And who cares about a President with a disturbing list of extremely anti-Christian actions.  The Bible says forgive, and we've decided NOW we shall.

There are many more examples, too many to write about tonight.  This is the modern GOP.  They're soulless, empty people, many with a racist slant; greedy money worshippers with no morality, extremely inconsistent religious beliefs, and a mentality more fitting of the villain in a professional wrestling drama, as opposed to reality.  They only want to see Democrats cry; so much so, they're purposely trying to hurt us all to make it happen.

I guarantee I'll have a tremendous amount of things to write about for the next four years.  The fight to save America begins at 11 AM tomorrow.




Monday, January 16, 2017

Dear 'Anti-' Christian Churches, You're Doing It Wrong

***Religious disclaimer***

I'm Catholic.  You do or don't do whatever religion (or no religion at all) you do or don't want to...

I recently had one of my right wing Christian friends (a huge Trump supporter) file a Twitter post about how the hosts go the HGTV show Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines, were being wrongly persecuted because they attended an Anti-Gay Church, in this case Antioch Community Church, a church whose leaders have expressed a position of anti-gay rights and anti-gay overall.  The gist of my friend's argument was these two were being discriminated against because of their religious beliefs, how Antioch and similar churches wanting to criminalize being GLBTQ wasn't the problem; it's the people offended by such bigotry (like the GLBTQ community and their supporters) who are the real problem.  Okay...


As a Christian, and a Catholic, the specifics of the Gaines' plight isn't what perplexed me, but rather a skimmed over element of the story:

How is there an 'Anti-' anything Christian church?

These 'Anti-' anything Christian churches sicken me.  They purposely ignore the teachings of Jesus Christ and his powerful message of love and acceptance.  The 'anti-' church leaders, human beings not divine entities, people who have strong personal feelings against a certain group of people, try to add provenance to their personal hatred by incorporating a Christian angle, painting their hatred and phobia as something pious and divine.  They usually do this by purposely misquoting the Bible, purposely removing the context of certain passages to try to make them fit an individual person's hatred, or purposely relying heavily on passages which are not direct teachings from Jesus Christ (Usually Paul's letters and Leviticus) to offset the actual teachings of Jesus Christ.

A great example of this twisting of Christianity to fit a conservative message is the way pro gun people like to talk about Jesus telling the disciples to go buy swords, insisting Jesus is telling everyone to arm themselves.  The pro gun kooks always leave out the reason for Jesus' command to carry weapons, so the disciples would look like criminals and thugs (nothing about 'Stand your Ground').  Eventually, Jesus ordered his followers to drop their weapons, because if you live by the sword, you die by the sword.  This clear anti-weapon message from Jesus has been outright ignored.  Some churches even, proudly(?), encourage their parishioners to lock and load for church service.


To be an 'anti-' church, a message of hatred, bigotry, misogyny, religious intolerance and fear needs to be preached in some official capacity.  'Anti-' churches have sermons, lectures, or various group meetings, where the main message is a condemnation of whatever they're  'anti-'.  At some point during their hate speech, they attempt to legitimize the hate pep rally within Christianity by pulling a proverbial Hail Mary.  They put on an earnest smile and insist, "Even though I'm screaming these people are Satan's foot soldiers, let me be very clear, I don't hate them!  I love them! The church tells me to love, so clearly I'm not the problem, they are!"  My goodness...

If you're Christian, you believe Jesus Christ is the son of God, meaning you believe in his teachings (as laid out very clearly in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and his teachings should take priority in your Christian life.  He never once condemned gays, not once.  Not only that, he tells us very clearly to turn the other cheek, welcome in strangers from strange lands, feed the hungry and to LOVE EACH OTHER!  You can't be 'anti-' anything and be Christian, according to Jesus.  And no!  The leader of your church who hates gays, feels interracial marriage is unnatural, feels wealthy people are more divine, Muslims are all terrorists, and women should be barefoot and pregnant, their personal feelings don't override base Christian doctrine!

We all have the right to have our own personal feelings.  Nothing can stop that.  But just because you desperately want to make your personal bigotries mainstream doesn't make the people offended by your hate the bad guys. And stop trying to use a religion based on love and compassion to validate your hatred.  Jesus would not be amused.  Only the most evil of human beings tries to take the teachings of love and acceptance from Jesus Christ and turn them into a thesis of hate.  If your Christian church is doing this, they're doing it wrong!


I'm no angel.  I'm a sinner, just like everyone else, and, in my belief system, I'll have to answer for my actions when I move on.  One thing I won't have to answer for is usurping the teachings of Jesus, supplanting his teachings with my personal feelings, and then trying to sell it to the masses as, "See, my hatred is sanctimonious as Jesus agrees with my racism/hatred/bigotry!"  I also won't have to answer why I purposely ignored a large portion of the Bible to make my political leaders more angelically palatable.  And, I won't pretend to be Christian for one hour a week, and then immediately forget most of what I worship for the next 167.

My priest, Father Bill, made this statement on Sunday morning, "The Bible tells us to love everyone, and to not hate anyone."  Amen!  The anti-'s you should be as a Christian are anti-hate, anti-poverty, anti-discrimination, anti-shaming, anti-relucatnace, anti-injustice, anti-war, anti-conflict, and anti-wealth worshipping.  It's all right there, in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

If you profess to be a Christian, it's time to stop listening to the people telling you who you need to hate, and it's time to start reading the words of the man who told us all to love.