Friday, March 24, 2017

The Friday Link for 3/24/17

Happy Friday everyone!  Did we all enjoy the monumental flop that happened at the White House today?  The GOP campaigned for 7 years on repealing Obamacare, supposedly working on the replacement the entire time, and they shocked the world (with a heck of a lot of help from Russia), taking the House, Senate and White House in 2016.  They could've done whatever they wanted, but because they didn't want to overcome a filibuster in the Senate, they decided to separate the funding portion of Obamacare away from the rest of the plan, a move which would've uninsured millions, and raised the cost of pretty much everyone's insurance to catastrophic levels.  Trump, wanting to show "Trump smart at business stuff," unnecessarily rushed it through the House, and, because the GOP has a shocking amount of officials who really want to host an annual Purge, Trump and Paul Ryan were caught off guard, as their death inducing plan was deemed to be 'not mean spirited enough' for them to get a majority of their own party.


The fight to keep America free continues tomorrow.  Remember that! There is no rest until these clowns are gone.

Speaking of clowns, you've heard me talk on the radio and post in the Blog about Sebastian Gorka, a Trump advisor, very large jackass, and pretty much a Hungarian Nazi.  For this Friday's link, I turn it over to Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and let her tell you about our little racist friend.

***WARNING*** a whole bunch of naughty language coming your way.  Enjoy the set up, and the dismantling!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Is the Iceberg Okay?

Yesterday, in historically shocking testimony, FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers confirmed three things:

1) The Russians tried to "Hurt Our Democracy" by undermining the 2016 Election
2) They were working against Hillary Clinton
3) They were trying to help Donald Trump

See for yourself (the point blank admission begins at 4:00 to about 5:20)

Those three FACTS are not up for debate, as they were confirmed last year by our security agencies.  The current open investigation is trying to determine whether the Trump Campaign/White House was actively working with a foreign hostile government to "hurt our Democracy."

That disclosure should've sent President Trump packing, but that wasn't the only bombshell.  Rep. Adam Schiff lays out a brilliant connect the dots which sinks Trump.  Watch his entire circumstantial analysis:

Trump's buffoonish followers, terrified of actually seeing the monster they've been cheering on for the last year, needed to re-establish their 'Trump myth.'  They sprinted to the 'magic excuse well' to make a wish into it's murky depths.  They needed a deflection fast!  Here's what they came up with.

Deflection 1 - All the Trump people who were in contact with the Russians weren't actual Trump confidants.  This is laughable.  Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Carter Page, J.D. Gordon and Roger Stone were long time employees, advisors and/or friends of Trump.  For God's sake, Manafort was his campaign chair!  Flynn was his National Security Advisor!  The Trump White House and his supporters acting like these guys were only serving cookies to phone bank volunteers in Kalamazoo is a hoot.

Deflection 2 - Foreign Countries do this all the time!  Foreign countries do root for certain sides to win in other country's elections, and even occasionally will try to divert money to one side or the other, but I've never heard of a country dedicating a large portion of its intelligence community to hack and sabotage a US Presidential candidate and their political party during an election, in an effort to throw the election to the candidate of their choice.  The minute this happened, we ceased being a super power, because super powers aren't supposed to be manipulated like this.  What Russia did has never been done to the United States before.  And they were successful!!!  This should greatly bother ALL Americans, regardless of political party.

Deflection 3 - Look at the Democrats all the sudden upset at the Russians.  I though the Commies were their friends!  This is hilarious, because it shows how little the modern Republican voter knows about Russia.  Russian Communism fell in 1991, 26 years ago.  Today, on paper, they're a Federal Semi-Presidential Republic.  In reality, it's an oppressive dictatorship, led by Vladimir Putin, an evil despot who has killed his political enemies, journalists, protestors and anyone else he damn well feels like killing, all in an effort to keep himself in control.  He's surrounded himself with a sketchy circle of businessmen/organized crime leaders.  The Russian government has been corrupted to the core by power hungry tyrant.  EVERYONE should be very concerned Russia, under the control of Putin, has been able to undermine a US Presidential election.

Deflection 4 - I don't care since Hillary Clinton was not held accountable for her crimes!  Hillary Clinton lost the election!  She lost due to the electoral college undermining her 3 million popular vote victory.  Even though she didn't commit any of the crimes the fever dream fueled right thinks she did, you can't argue she hasn't been held accountable.  What else do the far right loons want; to haul her and her entire family out back and put a round in their temples?  For goodness sake, no wonder you guys like Putin.

The modern Republican voter/Trump apologist has shown their true inner id.  If they existed back in the time of the Titanic, they'd be demanding we pay no attention to the sinking boat and floating bodies, and only be concerned with any damage the iceberg suffered!

The Republicans, a political party who's wrapped themselves in Patriotism for the last 40 years, has embraced one of the most un-Patriotic acts this country has ever seen, as they've proven they're FAR more loyal to their political party than they'll ever be to the United States of America.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

President Trump, Week 8

Here's this week's list of incompetence coming from President Trump and his White House for the week beginning 2 PM Friday, March 10th to 2 PM Friday, March 17th.  This is likely not all of the Trump team's transgressions, but it's most of them.

(I'm sure dad will be back for me any second now...any second...)

The disclaimer:  if the letter next to the President's name was 'D' instead of 'R', everything on this list would've warranted a stern and/or mocking press conference from the Republicans.  Many of these infractions would've triggered Congressional reviews and committee hearings, and a few would've lead to impeachment proceedings being contemplated.  Instead, the GOP reenacts the campfire scene from 'Blazing Saddles.'

Another point before we begin.  Watching Trump fumble a no brainer event like welcoming in the Irish Prime Minister for St. Patrick's Day reminds me how flawless President Obama was at the job.  It's not like the Republicans weren't trying to find stuff on him.  He was extremely competent at being President.  When he didn't have any scandals they could investigate, they went after his truthful comments about Fox News' bias, or his 'mom jeans.' They went after Michelle for sleeveless tops and her efforts to make school lunches healthier ("HOW DARE SHE!!!").  And when those things didn't work, they made up crap about him being Muslim and "rounding up our guns!!!"  In the end, they never had anything on him.  Remember that as you look at this week's list of Trump's ineptitude.

Let's crash this bird!

  • Press Secretary Sean Spicer insists that Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's foreign lobbying for Turkey during the campaign didn't worry the White House
  • Trump's nominee for heading up the FDA, Scott Gottlieb, has deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions asks 46 US attorney's to resign immediately with zero warning for the attorneys.  This after Trump had stated most would stay on board
  • Former Trump campaign staffer and Department of Energy staffer Sid Bowdidge resigned after insisting Former President Obama was a Muslim (he isn't), and how all Muslims must be "exterminated"
  • The White House changes it's tune on Labor Department employment reports when the first report under Trump comes in with positive numbers.  Trump contradicts himself by saying the reports were never "fake," and Sean Spicer deflects about Trump's whiplash inducing reversal in regards to his past statements about the Labor Department's reports
  • The Ukrainian Government is looking into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort for any knowledge he might have in regards to mass murders which occurred in their country while Manafort was working for the former pro-Russian Ukrainian government
  • Presidential Advisor Roger Stone insists his conversations with Guccifer 2.0 were nothing more than "an innocuous brief exchange."  Guccifer 2.0 is the notorious hacker who hacked the Democrats webpages and data, likely under orders from the Russian government, information which ended up in the hands of another Stone confidant, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, all of which played an undeniable part in the hacking of the 2016 Election
  • Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's attorneys say the White House knew about his lobbying on behalf of Turkey, directly contradicting White House statements
  • The State Department ordered the New York Medical Examiners office to conceal a Russian diplomats cause of death.  It was initially implied he died of a heart attack, but he actually died of having his head bashed in, in his hotel room
  • A 'Special Assistant' hired to help Trump's Labor Secretary is a kid who graduated from high school in 2015
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price promises "nobody will be worse off" under TrumpCare.  Many people will be FAR worse off under TrumpCare
  • After he refuses to resign, US Attorney Preet Bharara is fired by Jeff Sessions.  Bharara has a history of battling Russian crime and was investigating pro-republican news outlet Fox News.  These facts lead Representative Elijah Cummings to suggest his firing is an effort to block investigations
  • In regards to Trump's President Obama wiretapping allegation, Senator John McCain tells Trump to either prove his claim or retract it
  • Trump spends another day golfing
  • Trump's trips to Mar-A-Lago are proving to be a "security nightmare," allowing hostile enemies of America potential access to the President 
  • To fulfill the White House's plans to hire 15,000 ICE and Border Patrol agents, the White House announces they will lower the standards for employment, meaning we are going to add what we currently consider to be 15,000 subpar law enforcement agents
  • Analysis of TrumpCare shows that Trump's supporters will bear the brunt of the cutbacks, with rural, older voters receiving dramatically decreased coverage and dramatically higher costs
  • Former US Attorney Preet Bharara claims, in a Tweet, he was fired because he was investigating Trump himself
  • White House spokesperson Kellyanne Conway, in an effort to validate the 'Obama Wiretapped me' lie, floated the insane idea that Obama likely turned Trump's microwave ovens into cameras, adding "we know this is a fact of modern life"
  • The very next day, Kellyanne Conway insists she didn't know exactly what devices were being used to spy on Trump.  She stated, "I'm not Inspector Gadget," adding she never suggested there was an expansion of Obama's mythical wiretapping program, when she had
  • A 7th wave of threats agains Jewish Community Centers in the United States and Canada, this after Trump insisted there was no rise in anti-semitic hate in America
  • After the Congressional Budget Office Analysis of TrumpCare shows 24 million currently insured Americans will be uninsured by 2026 due specifically to TrumpCare, Trump tried to discredit the CBO
  • Trump's Director of the Office of Management and Budget (his Budget Advisor) Mick Mulvaney says the CBO is incapable of estimating the complete impact of TrumpCare.  They are one of the few entities who IS capable of such large scale analysis
  • Prior to his current dustup with the CBO due to the CBO's damaging report on TrumpCare, Trump has a history of praising the CBO
  • In a bizarre and unbelievable press conference, Sean Spicer insists Trump never said Obama was actually wiretapping Trump.  We have the tweets
  • Facing a Monday deadline to come up with the evidence to back up Trump's allegation that President Obama wiretapped him, something Trump has says he has ample evidence of, the Justice Department has asked for more time to comply with the order
  • Sean Spicer chews out an NBC reporter who asks about whether the American people can trust the President's comments
  • Press Secretary Sean Spicer, when confronted by a woman in an Apple Store, apparently threatened this woman's citizenship as a retaliation to her First Amendment protected comments
  • Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law, and Kushner's family are set to participate in a deal with a Chinese outfit, a deal described as "unusually favorable," a deal which involves a Manhattan Office tower, a deal which will make the Kushner's a nice sum of money (400 million), and will lead to the Kushner family debt being decreased from 250 million dollars to 50 million dollars
  • Corey Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign manager, 'advises' clients on how to avoid Trump Twitter attacks, an attack which might damage their company.  Lewandowski charges them a fee for this service.  Reminder from a few weeks back - Lewandowski claims to have access to Trump's Twitter account, making this seem like a good old fashion shakedown
  • Senator Bob Casey has asked the Office of Government Ethics to analyze whether Trump's personal business dealings could lead to a potential conflict of interest
  • After promising his supporters he would NEVER take a paycheck as President of the United States, it's reported Trump has taken and cashed every paycheck which has been issued to him
  • Trump, realizing TrumpCare is not going over too well, sends mixed signals as he both condemns it and endorses it in one speech
  • As Trump and the White House are trying to discredit the CBO's report on TrumpCare, the report which says 24 million will lose health insurance, the White House is desperately trying to bury their own White House report, which pegs the number closer to 26 million
  • While working at ExxonMobile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used a super secret e-mail to communicate about climate change, trying to keep his conversations quiet
  • Trump announces he will allow the CIA to conduct drone strikes, reversing the President Obama policy of limiting the CIA's paramilitary role
  • Vice President Mike Pence, in a 'staged' public meeting/open discussion that attempted to convince people ObamaCare was horrible, tries to pass off a far right, anti-worker, meme generating, political activist as a 'regular citizen suffering under ObamaCare'
  • Continuing the White House's attempt at discrediting the CBO, Mick Mulvaney, on a cloudy cold day, insists the CBO stated "it's sunny and 75 degrees." The CBO never said that.  This was just a weak attempt at discrediting the CBO's truthful TrumpCare analysis 
  • During a diplomatic photo op, Trump confuses Saudi Arabian Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he sarcastically starts attacking the press, clearly to the Crown Prince's discomfort
  • Congress officially tells Trump to stop deleting his Tweets, due to it violating the Presidential Records Act
  • As Trump was making his "Buy American/Hire American" speech during the Inauguration, his daughter Ivanka was shipping 535 tons of Chinese made/Ivanka branded products to the United States
  • A White House webpage set up to collect "ObamaCare Horror Stories" misspelled 'White House'
  • Brietbart News, possibly under orders from their former head, Senior Presidential Advisor Steve Bannon, starts going after Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in an attempt to make him the TrumpCare scapegoat
  • The White House accuses MSNBC of violating the law by releasing two pages of Trump's tax returns from 2005.  They clearly did not break any laws
  • Defense Secretary James Mattis bluntly breaks from the rest of the Trump Administration and declares Climate Change real, and a major threat to global security
  • After saying no media would be allowed on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's plane on his trip to Asia, Tillerson allowed a reporter form a far right news outlet founded by former Republican political operatives to fly with him
  • An advisor in Trump's Department of Education, Kevin Eck, decided to attack the actor who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films, Mark Hamill, because he criticized Trump.  In the Tweet, Eck refers to Hamill with the B-word, a derogatory reference to women.  By the way, Mark Hamill responded appropriately
  • People start asking if Trump himself released his 2005 tax returns in an attempt to deflect attention away from his Administration's inability to uncover any evidence President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower
  • The staff of the White House is apparently super paranoid, having to spend hours a day, every day, scouring news stories in an attempt to determine who's leaking information to the press
  • After the rapper SnoopDogg releases a music video where a Trump-like character is gunned down by the artist, Trump goes on a tirade, insisting if the President portrayed getting killed was Obama, SnoopDogg would be getting "jail time." Trump seems to have completely forgotten the near weekly hanging of President Obama in effigy which occurred in the United States for 8 years, a crime he never once demanded anyone serve 'jail time' for.
  • Trump failed to list 6 business he owns in his declaration papers at the beginning of his Presidential campaign, five in the USA, and one in Scotland.  It's illegal for a political candidate to not divulge their personal holdings at the beginning of a Presidential campaign
  • Sean Spicer insists no one should compare TrumpCare to Obamacare, when he himself did exactly that at the roll out for TrumpCare
  • Trump's Oklahoma Campaign Chair, and OK Senator, Ralph Shortey, a man who discriminated against transgender people when he voted to limit their bathroom access under the false notion it would stop fictional sex crimes, is found in a Super 8 Motel soliciting an underage male
  • Trump's 2nd Unconstitutional Immigration/Refugee/Muslim ban is halted by a Federal Judge
  • It's discovered Trump's Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue had 13 ethics violations filed against him while he was the Governor of Georgia
  • House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes, a staunch Trump supporter, conceded there was zero evidence to substantiate Trump's claim that President Obama wiretapped him
  • Trump Advisor Roger Stone claims a "deep state' intelligence group tried to kill him in a minor hit an run traffic accident, an accident which left minor injuries, at worst.  He offers no evidence to back up his claim
  • US residents along the Texas border with Mexico have started receiving condemnation notices in preparation of the Trump border wall.  The money being offered is far below market value for the land
  • Trump releases the details of his budget.  It adds tens of millions of dollars to the already best funded military on the planet, while endorsing massive cuts for the EPA, Department of Agriculture, International Aid programs, HHS, Labor, Commerce, HUD and Education
  • During the Trump campaign for President, Trump's main rallying cry was that he was going to build a wall on the US/Mexico border and have Mexico pay for it.  Mexico has outright refused to pay for it, and they won't.  With the release of the Trump Budget, the truth is exposed.  With a likely cost of tens of billions of dollars (AT LEAST), the taxpayers of USA will be paying to build Trump's wall
  • The court order to halt Trump's 2nd Unconstitutional Immigration/Refugee/Muslim ban is based on the statements made by Trump, Trump advisor Rudy Gulliani and White House Spokesman Stephen Miller, statements which tried to dispel conservatives concerns that the 2nd Unconstitutional Immigration/Refugee/Muslim ban wasn't watered down, statements which directly implicated the 2nd Unconstitutional Immigration/Refugee/Muslim ban as Unconstitutional.
  • Trump's budget calls for the complete Federal defunding of Meals on Wheels, a very un-Chrisitan thing to do
  • Trump's budget calls for the privatization of the Air Traffic Controllers, a decisions the FAA, the military and most major airlines are against due to how it could potentially compromise US air traffic safety
  • Trump Advisor Sebastian Gorka is reported to be a member of the Hungarian far right, Nazi aligned group, Vitézi Rend, a group that's banned from entering the USA.  This investigation began when Gorka was seen proudly wearing a Vitézi Rend medal around DC
  • After Trump's 2nd Unconstitutional Immigration/Refugee/Muslim ban was struck down by a Federal judge, Trump aides had to sooth over Trump's hurt feelings by having a fluff piece aired by Greta Van Susteren on MSNBC.  This would be 'fake news'
  • Defense Secretary Mattis threatens to quit the Trump Administration if Trump doesn't put an end to the racist and fanatic loyalists who are littering the Administration
  • Trump's budget eliminates the Rural Clean Water Program, a program designed to make sure rural communities of 10,000 or less have safe drinking water; another strike against the areas of this country who showed strong support for Trump
  • Trump's budget cuts international food assistance to the neediest of people worldwide, a very un-Christian thing to do
  • Trump's budget will cut the assistance to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC.  This is also a very un-Chrisitan thing to do
  • Trump's botched Yemen raid not only led to us losing a Navy SEAL, the injuring of two other SEALS, the deaths of AT LEAST 29 civilians, including a young American girl, no usable intel, and the target of our raid escaping, but it's now reported we lost a 75 million dollar aircraft in the botched raid as well
  • In regards to Trump's botched Yemen raid, the White House ignored senior military official's suggestions to call off the raid due the support structure not being in place in case they had to extract the troops if there was a problem.  Trump and his team decided to order the raid anyway.  When the team was pinned down in a Yemeni neighborhood, US troops had to gun down anything that moved, including women and children, from a hovering gun ship over the extraction site to clear out a landing zone.  Reports from Yemeni officials describe the scene as a "chaotic bloodbath"
  • Apparently the Trump Administration had authorized a second Yemen raid to take place in March, but that raid had to be called off, likely due to pictures of footprints of US military boots being taken in Yemen, and shared online via social media.  We're no longer supposed to have US troops on the ground in Yemen
  • This is as good as time as any to remind everyone that Trump promised, if he became President, he'd "destroy ISIS within 30 days of taking office."  It's been more than 30 days, and he hasn't even begun to deal with ISIS.  He HAS been golfing a lot
  • Trump goes out of his way to honor former President Andrew Jackson, a notorious pro-slave President who is also responsible for one of the largest mass genocides the planet has ever seen, the Trail of Tears
  • Trump's budget cuts the Department of Education by 13% while at the same time syphoning off tax payer dollars so (predominantly) wealthy caucasian children can go to private schools on the taxpayer dime
  • Trump's budget eliminates low income heating assistance, a very un-Christian thing to do
  • Trump's budget eliminates almost all money dedicated to researching climate change
  • Nikki Haley, Trump's US Ambassador to the United Nations, says we should never trust Russia
  • Speaker of the House Paul Ryan adds to the growing chorus of Republicans calling Trump's 'Obama Wiretapped me' claim as false, stating, "No such Wiretap existed"
  • Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was indeed paid by multiple Russian companies while having a top secret security clearance 
  • Sean Spicer doubles down on the Trump 'Obama Wiretapped me' accusation, even as the accusation crumbles
  • Trump apparently leaked classified intelligence to Tucker Carlson while doing an interview for Fox News
  • Trump, Vice President Pence and Speaker Ryan embarrass America by screwing up basic Irish traditions at various St. Patrick's Day remembrances
  • The Russian bank who allegedly had a server in Trump Tower is exposed for having helped facilitate financing for four other Trump properties
  • During Trump's interview with Tucker Carlson, Trump admits he uses Twitter as a propaganda tool to disseminate the information he wants out there, for his own purposes
  • A report out states the billionaire extreme Far Right Mercer family are the ones who are pulling the strings domestically in the Trump White House
  • Trump's Budget Advisor Mick Mulvaney, a catholic, insists Meal on Wheels doesn't work.  It actually works very successfully, and is often the only food many of the people served by it receive in a given day
  • The same Russian Spy ship which was testing our waters off the Connecticut coast a few weeks back is now testing our waters off the Georgia coast.  There has been ZERO response from Trump
  • It's reported the US Government had to offer an official apology to Great Britain after Sean Spicer alleged the British were aiding in the mythical Obama wiretapping.  He insisted the British were involved to prevent the wiretapping from being scrutinized domestically
  • Spicer allegedly got the information about Britain assisting Obama's made up wiretapping from Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano, who, on Fox News, named unnamed sources for his allegation
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cuts one of his first international trips short, sighting fatigue.  
  • Trump Advisor Sebastian Gorka says he's not a member of Vitézi Rend, but that his father was, so that's why he wears this pro-Nazi group's medal
If I can take a quick second:  Gorka wears it to honor his father?  If his father was a Nazi, would he be wearing a swastika around all the time?  This is a racist trying to be clever.  He's trying to play both sides of the coin, playing the innocent victim by insisting it's a honored heirloom from dear old dad, screaming "how dare you question it," while at the same time hoping you don't figure out what it exactly signifies.  In truth, he's wearing the medal as a wink and a kiss to the Nazis, Klan members and racists who worship this Administration.  He's a disgusting pig who needs to go!

  • Former US Attorney Preet Bharara says he was fired as he was investigating HHS Secretary Tom Price
  • Trump outright ignores German Prime Minister Angela Merkel as she attempts to try to shake his hand during a photo op
  • Trump makes an off color joke about how he and Merkel were both wiretapped by President Obama.  Merkel doesn't seem amused
  • Trump is clearly angry at the German press corps for asking his extremely pointed questions about his motivations for saying as many lies as he does, questions the US media is downright afraid to ask him.  With a stunned look from Merkel, Trump labels them 'fake news'
Sweet LORD!  That was a lot.

At what point do we start holding the rest of the Republicans responsible for this clown's behavior?  The Congress' job is to hold the Executive Branch accountable.  When you look at this week's list, or any of the weekly lists, the fact there aren't any current investigations going on, outside of a very pro-Trump 'did Obama wiretap him' review, is a disgrace.  The Yemen raid should've been a no brainer investigation.  Our troops deserve better!  Congressional reviews act as a warning to the President that he can't just send troops someplace on his own, initiate policy on a whim and a tweet, or break the law without there being consequences. 

FOR GOD'S SAKE REPUBLICANS, DO YOUR DAMN JOB BEFORE THIS IMBECILE GETS THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS KILLED!  Start reviewing his actions NOW!  A two bit radio host in Minneapolis/St. Paul shouldn't be the only weekly review this man's activities receives.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Friday Link for 3/17/17

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! I just got back from St. Joe's where I enjoyed the Friday fish fry.  I'm saving the corned beef and cabbage for tomorrow.

Some people have asked why I'm obsessed with Friday fish fries during Lent.  It's simple really.  Have you ever been to a old baseball stadium, 20 or more years old?  Enjoy the hot dogs there because they're the tastiest ones you'll ever find.  Everything they use to cook the hotdogs has been seasoned with the flavor of hot dogs for a decade.  You could boil up a shoe in those same kitchens and it'd probably be tasty.

The same thing goes for Catholic Church Friday fish fries.  These churches have been doing them forever.  I've yet to have a bad fish dinner at one.  One bit of advice: go for the fried fish, blackened fish or the fish tacos.  While I've not had a bad fish dinner, the people whom I've attended them with, who've chosen the baked fish, usually talk about how dried out it is.  Understandable, as they are usually held for an hour or so.  Regardless, it's still divine!

For St. Patrick's Day, a lovely Irish film, The Secret of the Kells.  Enjoy!

Slán mo ghrá

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Death of Christianity, Revisited

I've often labeled the modern Christian Republican as a three headed monster, a mutilated whisper of Christian teachings.  The first head is an anti-Abortion head, screaming about how ending abortion is the only thing that's important.  The second head is the anti-GLBTQ head, screaming about how all those people fall outside of Jesus' commands to love and welcome each other.  The third head is a money worshipping head, where money equals divinity and piety, where the amount of money in one's bank accounts dictates how much Jesus has blessed the individual.

It's apparent there's a fourth head.  This head exists for the sole purpose of validating Republican political positions, no matter how anti-Christian they are.  If they're too outside Christian doctrine, the head buries itself in the ground, still and quiet, hoping no one dares asks how they can support a person who believes the exact opposite of Christian teachings.

Trump released his Federal budget plan and it was everything I expected.  He's getting rid of, or dramatically decreasing the funding for, almost every program and safety net for middle and lower class Americans, while ensuring massive tax payer funded paychecks go to the wealthiest Americans, for no other reason outside of them being wealthy.  It's not only robbing from the poor to give to the rich, it's robbing from every American who makes less than 200K a year to give to the ultra-rich.  This level of anti-Christianity in a single bill is astounding.

I could focus on numerous elements of the bill (Spoiler alert: all you fools in rural American who voted for this clown saying, "he won't do anything bad to us," do I have a surprise for you!) but I want to direct my words to three specific budget cuts, and the insane level of quiet coming from Christian Republicans in response to those proposed cuts.

The first is how the Trump budget eliminates the Low Income Heating Assistance Program.  There's nothing Christian about letting poor people freeze to death.  A struggling family has to make the choice between food and keeping their house warm.  They go the food route (those greedy bastards), huddling under multiple blankets in an effort to stay warm.  This isn't some war torn country where the electric and gas infrastructure has been annihilated.  This is Trump's America!  He, and the Republicans, have said, "We don't care."

Second is the elimination of all Federal funding for Meals on Wheels.  Meals on Wheels feeds 2.5 million Americans a year; the elderly, the poor, veterans, the disabled and others who can't leave their home.  The ending of the block grant won't kill all of it's funding, but it will dramatically decrease it.  One thing this cut will do is kill a few people.  It will.  I've worked with Meals on Wheels and for many of the people who receive the food, it's the ONLY food they get in a given day, and many times the only companionship these people receive as well.  This is Trump's America!  He, and the Republicans, have said, "We don't care."

Third are the cuts to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC.  This isn't a steep cut, but it's still reduced by $150 million dollars.  This means there are going to be women who won't be able to keep up with their basic nutritional needs.  This means there are going to be children who won't be able to keep up with their basic nutritional needs.  And this means there are going to be infants who won't be able to keep up with their basic nutritional needs.  This is Trump's America!  He, and the Republicans, have said, "We don't care."

Focusing on the WIC cuts, and MN Republican Representative Steve Drazkowski's attempt to cut insurance coverage in Minnesota for pregnancy and child birth, it's apparent the pro-lifers in this country have become irrevocably broken.  They call the woman trying to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, who asks for cheaper, easier to attain birth control, a slut.  They offer little to no assistance to the pregnant woman during the 9 months leading up to birth, regardless of how complicated the pregnancy is.  They demand the pregnant woman work at least 40 hours a week up until their water breaks.  They then scream 'hallelujah' for three minutes while the baby is born, talking about Jesus' precious gift to us all.  Then they all sprint out the door, moments before the new mother is told child birth is an out-of-pocket medical expense, and she owes $250,000.  Don't worry!  Republican sponsored legislation will ensure the debt will haunt her and her kids for life!  And pro-lifers will make sure the baby and the mother have no medical, employment, daycare or nutritional assistance, while they gleefully label them 'lazy moochers wasting tax payer dollars.'

They're not pro-life, in any sense of the word.  They're pro baby being born, and that's it.

To recap, in the last 6 months, Christians who still endorse Trump have had to:

1) Ignore their candidate's undeniable mocking of a handicapped person.
2) Stand by a guy who used the phrase "Grab them by the Pussy," who then went on to further describe his personal experiences of sexually assaulting women.
3) Ignore at the multitude of teachings throughout the Bible about welcoming in refugees, just to placate an irrational fear fueled by evil people with a racist and bigoted agenda.
4) Endorse a health care bill which goes out of it's way to hurt the people most in need of medical coverage.
5) Embrace a budget bill which purposely tries to hurt the poor for the benefit of the rich.

You can't look at this budget and claim it's Christian.  You just can't.  You can't consider yourself Christian if you sit quietly, saying nothing as the government does a lot of VERY anti-Christian things.  If you do, you're not a Christian, you're a heretic.

May Jesus make sure this budget never comes to fruition.  Amen!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Blue State Ball, 2017

It's time for the annual roundup of the fun we had at The Blaisdell in Minneapolis last Saturday night, the 2017 Blue State Ball! 

First, a disclaimer.  Look at the picture below:

I love this picture.  It captures me perfectly, but only about a third of me.  The reason I love the photo is because it was taken after I'd asked someone else to take pictures with my phone.  I refuse to complain about the quality of said photos when someone is doing me a favor.  Some of these will be slightly blurry and out of focus, but that's fine.  It is what it is.

Let's start with The Blaisdell.  What a great location, right on the corner of 24th and Blaisdell.  It's a beautiful building.     

In the background to the left is a large brick building which is actually connected to the main original mansion.  That's where you find this large room, the main room throughout our festivities

As we were getting going, I was able to get some photos of some of the staff.  First up is my producer Brett, a really great guy who worked the door all evening.

Ian was there too!

And Branson, our weekend producer.

Things got going with the VIP portion of the evening.  Norman Goldman was the first to arrive from LA.  He was in fine form, as always, one of the happiest hosts I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

And Thom Hartmann got in, for what might be his 7th or 8th Blue State Ball.  He's a fan favorite.

The VIP event also had other station staff.  Paul Metsa was playing guitar.

Betty Folliard from 'A Woman's Place' and 'Hidden Edges Radio' host Ellen Krug

And one of my favorites, former Congressman Bill Luther making a great showing!

It was unfortunate to have Representative Rick Nolan have to withdraw from the evening, but we did have a lot of politicos join us for the event.  First up was Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto.

Then a return visit from the Minnesota State Attorney General Lori Swanson!

MN Senator John Hoffman stopped by, and after we smiled, we contemplated!

Marla Vagts was there!  She tried to unseat Pat 'Porn' Garofalo and came up a little short, but a lot of corporate interest money was spent to keep Pat around.

And the wonderful Lindsey Port was there!  She lost a close race to Roz Peterson, a person who seems to have forgotten everything she once stood for.  Lindsey is an excellent candidate and I hope to see her run again.

It was very cool to meet St. Paul City Councilman, and candidate for Mayor of St. Paul, Dai Thao.  He gave a rousing speech.

Minnesota 44B representative John Applebaum was mingling in the crowd.

And I was so happy to see Quinn Nystrom, who ran in district 10A, outstate Minnesota, and who's a strong advocate for Diabetes patients and research.  She's a wonderful person!

The crowd was ready for me!  Not pictured, the baskets of rotting vegetables each one of them had, somehow snuck past security...

Then, I took the stage!

I used to be pretty...what happened to me?  Then came Norman and Thom!

In the last two, Chad Larson, station owner, is off to the left.  The one photo I took with him didn't come out at all. 

Great listeners! Starting with the stunning Jackie!

Gary from Minneapolis

The lovely Angela Marlow from AFSCME!

A great shot of Betty, Rebecca Otto, Me, Lindsey Port, Marla Vagts and Jackie!

It was a great night! Thanks for all the wonderful comments and love.  I truly do appreciate it.  Being a AM 950 host has been a wonderful experience and I hope to continue doing it for as long as I can.  

Goodnight and thanks!  I leave you with this disturbing image of me!