Friday, March 31, 2017

The Friday Link for 3/31/17

With April Fools Day tomorrow, here's my prank.  Call your friends office when you know they're not there and leave a message for them.  Say your name is Mr. Lyon, and the number you leave for them is the number for the Como Zoo.  If they're not paying attention, comedy ensues:

"Hello, Como Zoo."
"Yes, may I talk to Mr. Lyon?"
"(Snickering), sure, and I'll see if Mr. Gorilla and Mrs. Zebra are also in."

Painless!  Jimmy Kimmel is the real prankster as he had an engineer show up and give him a few ideas for tomorrow's fun.  The drink bottle/cell phone one is great.  For the record, I watch Kimmel and Colbert religiously.  They're by far the most consistent weeknight comedy on late night!

Happy April Fools Day!

Check back later this weekend for an insanely long President Trump, Week 10!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hate and Love

I've taken some grief for stating the following:  "Minnesota Republicans hate light rail more than they love Minnesota!"  For the record, I 100% stand by my statement.

The Southwest Light Rail, or SWLRT, has been a final stand of sorts for the MNGOP.  They screamed way back when the Hiawatha Line was approved, calling it a boondoggle, and insisting there would be empty trains.  They were unbelievably wrong on that one.  Then came the next obvious line, the University Line between downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.  Not only did the right scream again, but this time, they doubled down, insisting light rail lines don't encourage area redevelopment and urban growth.  Wrong again, as both lines have been an undeniable boon for the two corridors they run.

The SWLRT was a little different from the other two lines, requiring 'virgin' track to be built through Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie, to connect some of the metro's largest business parks and wealthier suburbs to the downtown.  After having their lies about light rail popularity, economic growth, and urban boondoggles proven wrong, and after having their light rail alternative, making carpool lanes into MNPass lanes, allowing people to pay to drive around traffic congestion, was proven to be nothing more than a publicly funded, class-tiered, unprofitable roadway system, Minnesota Republicans were furious their talking points were exposed as incompetent and inept.  But, like they usually do, the Republicans lashed out at their enemies instead of admitting they were wrong.

Led by MN Speaker Kurt Daudt, the MNGOP tried everything to make the SWLRT the only concession the MNGOP would be willing to give Governor Dayton and the Democrats in 2016, and in return, the Left had to be willing to give the GOP 110% of what they asked for.  The Governor wasn't buying it, and went around the Republicans, brilliantly, to secure the funding for the SWLRT in time to receive Federal Government funds for the project, taking Daudt's sole bargaining ship off the table.  I detailed the whole thing in a blog piece titled 'The Governor's Masterpiece' (  This should've ended this discussion, but the Republicans fumed.

Earlier this year, led by MN Sen. Dave Osmek (a man I refer to as Ormek, or the 'Ork', or The Perv, the last for his tendency of using perverted comments in official State of Minnesota correspondence) and MN Rep. Linda Runbeck (no nickname as of yet, but I'm working on it), the MNGOP sent a letter to the Secretary of Transportation asking to defund the project the Federal Government had already agreed to fund.  They initially asked if this money could be used in Minnesota for other transportation projects (roads and bridges), but only in Republican districts (refusing to do anything about the atrocious traffic issues in the metro, traffic a light rail line would dramatically help).  It could not.  They then asked if the money could be returned to the taxpayers instead of being spent.  That also won't happen.  The choice was simple: either the money dedicated by the Department of Transportation comes to Minnesota for the SWLRT, or that money will go to a different state to be used in a different mass transportation project.

Those are the only two options.  The Republicans would rather the money go away to another state.  The Republicans hate light rail more than they love Minnesota.

The same MNGOP who says they're for Minnesota jobs are willing to ship Minnesota jobs, both temporary and permanent, to another state, out of spite!  The MNGOP, a party who insists they're for encouraging small business growth, are purposely trying to ship undeniable Minnesota economic growth to a different state, because they HATE where in Minnesota that growth would occur.  The MNGOP, a party who screams about how 'those big city Democrats keep sticking their nose into our country business,' are gleefully enjoying the country folk sticking their noses into the metro area's business, even though there's NO benefit for them to do so, outside of trying to get back at the metro area for three generations of rural 18 year olds running from the farm. Can you imagine the MNGOP's anger if the shoe was on the other foot; if I created a inner city council of multi racial, societal and economic members, and we went out to rural Minnesota and told them what they could and couldn't do?  They'd go apocalyptic!

The MNGOP insist they're doing this because they're trying to stop the metro area from stealing all of their tax dollars for another metro area light rail line boondoggle.  The truth, exposed by the Star Tribune ( shows outstate Minnesota spends FAR more on transportation than they put into the system.  If we follow the MNGOP's blueprint, and the 22% extra that outstate Minnesota uses comes back into the metro, then fine, we'll pay for our own light rail lines.  But at the same time, outstate roads will get far worse.  Reminder, this isn't my standard, but the MNGOP's.  The truth is, as opposed to the MNGOP, we should be looking at transportation for the state as a whole, not trying to segregate it into a "Them verses Us" ignorant political talking point.

Minnesota Republicans, with their latest stunt against SWLRT, have only the following motivations:
  1. They're trying to cultivate a 2018 political campaign talking point, knowing they're going to have a hell of a time getting re-elected with the orange buffoon in the White House.  It's similar to how they raged against the new Senate Office Building, a building they now willingly inhabit, even after they promised "We'll NEVER move into that boondoggle!"
  2. They know the gig is up on their continued lies about the popularity of light rail, and if they don't stop it now, they'll have every suburb, including The Perv's Lake Minnetonka area and Runbeck's Circle Pines, eventually demanding to be connected.
  3. They're pathetic losers who will never admit they were wrong, so instead of doing what's best for Minnesota, they have decided they HATE light rail more than they love Minnesota.
It's one of the three.  I highly encourage you to call them all, and ask which one it is.  Apparently they hate having to defend their actions on this.  Good!

For the record, after talking with legal people familiar with the situation, the Federal Government would have a hard time justifying stopping the funds now, and if they did, Minnesota would have a pretty solid legal case against the government.  SWLRT will still likely happen, no thanks to the Minnesota Republican Party.

Also for the record, I love Minnesota more than any one specific political issue.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

President Trump, Week 9

Here's this week's shockingly long list of incompetence coming from President Trump and his White House for the week beginning 2 PM Friday, March 17th to 2 PM Friday, March 24th.  This is likely not all of the Trump team's transgressions, but it's most of them.

Remeinder, all of these infractions would've warranted a mocking press conference if the letter next to the President's name was a 'D' instead of an 'R,' and most of them would've sparked an investigation.  A few of these would've EASILY justified calls for impeachment.  Instead, Republicans run from the non stop embarrassments and revelations, in a never ending attempt to prevent themselves from having to admit how horrifically bad Trump is at being President.  It's kind of like 'The Fugitive,' only with self imposed ignorance.

Anchors away!
  • For some reason, after apologizing to the British Government for implying they worked with former President Obama to wiretap Trump Tower before the 2016 election, the Trump Administration insists they never apologized
  • Trump's deflection from taking blame for his Obama wiretapping story begins with him insisting he only got this from Fox News
  • Senate Judiciary Chair Dianne Feinstein feels as if Trump will resign the minute the Senate starts questioning his ties to Russia. Two days earlier she was described as being "shaken and pale" leaving an intelligence briefing on the growing Trump/Russia scandal
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rushing judges to 12 cities to help expedite deportations 
  • Trump accuses a German reporter who asked a legitimate question he didn't like of spreading 'fake news'
  • The Justice Department's own investigation into Trump's claims 'President Obama wiretapped him' doesn't confirm and/or validate Trump's claims
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson only allowed Fox News to cover his meeting at the DMZ on the Korean Peninsula
  • According to Representative Jason Chaffetz, the person who was arrested for unauthorized entry onto the White House grounds was roaming the grounds for 15 minutes, and had even rattled a door handle on the White House itself, attempting to get entry.  I mention this because President Obama was blamed for every Secret Service mistake during his presidency, so...
  • Trump appoints a woman who's been the leader of a designated hate group as a delegate to the 61st Session of the United Nations Committee on the Status of Women
  • GOP congressmen are now calling for Trump to apologize to former President Obama for his false wiretapping claim
  • A Russian bank doing business with Trump, via an e-mail server tied directly to the Trump Empire, says it's innocent of doing so.  They said they were hacked to make it look like they'd been working with Trump
  • The Ukrainian Government has asked multiple times to talk with Trump's former Campaign Chair Paul Manafort, in regards to his connections to a former Ukrainian government's corruption scandal
  • Many people are calling for Trump Advisor Sebastian Gorka to resign for his connection to the Hungarian Nazi collaborators Vitézi Rend, a group that's banned in the US
  • Three Senators are calling for an investigation into Sebastian Gorka's naturalization application.  It's illegal to not list any groups you're a member of, especially illegal ones, so Gorka likely illegally procured his citizenship
  • Rex Tillerson, in response to the question of why he doesn't take the media with him, says he doesn't need them.  By the way, he's the sitting Secretary of State
  • A photo surfaces of Sebastian Gorka wearing a Vitézi Rend uniform and medal, discrediting his claim he only wore the medal because it was his fathers
  • After not showing up for three previous meetings with Veterans Groups, Trump cancels his latest meeting at the last minute.  He was supposed to meet with veterans groups to talk about fixing the VA
  • Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano, the man White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted was his 'source' for the 'British helping President Obama spy on Trump' claim, says he got his information from a discredited CIA operative who was speaking on Russian sponsored media
  • Trump, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves the US, goes on Twitter to claim Germany doesn't pay enough for the US involvement in NATO, implying the United States preserves German security
  • After Trump's foolish Twitter claim about Germany and NATO, Ivo Daalder, who served with NATO from 09-13, publicly calls Trump out, saying "sorry Mr. President, that's not how NATO works."
  • The entire White House is frantically trying to peg the 'former President Obama wiretapped Trump' claim on Fox News
  • The House Intelligence Committee says there's no evidence to validate Trump's 'former President Obama wiretapped me' claim
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee orders long time Trump friend and advisor Roger Stone to not destroy anything he has related to Russia, pending further investigation
  • Trump is spending another weekend, his 5th of 9 total, at Mar-A-Lago 
  • It's reported that Trump does very little work while at Mar-A-Lago, instead spending most of his time golfing and wining/dining private guests
  • Heath and Human Services Secretary Tom Price insists TrumpCare, the Trump/GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, will "eventually" cover everyone, but not initially
  • A regular citizen seems to have been able to sneak into Trump's private Mar-A-Lago study, take a selfie, and post it on social media, while Trump was staying at Mar-A-Lago
  • The GOP continues to insist former President Obama golfed FAR more than Trump, a laughable and easily disproven allegation
  • The White House admits TrumpCare will change the current rules, meaning health insurance will not be available to everyone, directly contradicting Trump's campaign promise of "insurance for everyone, guaranteed!"
  • A report surfaces the White House has hired spies to keep an eye on the activities of senior cabinet officials
  • Trump's White House Budget Advisor Mick Mulvaney, in one of the most tone deaf comments ever uttered, insists it's fair to cut funding for Meals on Wheels because he cut costs in his office, like forgoing business cards.  Apparently he's unaware seniors and veterans can't eat his business cards
  • Trump's budget dramatically cuts funding to rural airports, meaning many of them will likely shut down
  • Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, states there's strong "circumstantial evidence" that the Trump campaign team and Russia worked together to influence the Election of 2016 
  • Trump has golfed at least 10 times in two months as President
  • Trump throws a Twitter temper tantrum prior to FBI Director James Comey and CIA Director Mike Rogers' testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, about connections between Trump's 2016 campaign and the Russians
  • In front of the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director Comey confirms that the FBI is indeed investigating the connections between the Trump 2016 campaign team and the Russians, meaning they're investigating whether American citizens colluded with a hostile foreign government, otherwise known as treason
  • At the same House Intelligence Committee hearing, FBI Director Comey states, "I have no information that supports those tweets," in regards to the Trump's 'former President Obama wiretapped me' tweets 
  • The House GOP seems to be FAR more bothered by the White House leaks to the media than they are about the President's campaign team committing treason with the Russians, or Trump's outright lying about wiretapping
  • At the same House Intelligence Committee hearing, CIA Director Mike Rogers quite pointedly states nobody in President Obama's White House asked Britain to spy on Trump
  • Sean Spicer snaps at a reporter who questioned Spicer's claim that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, only played a limited role in the Trump 2016 campaign
  • Sean Spicer than claims Trump personal and campaign confidant, and former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn was only a "volunteer for the campaign"
  • Trump goes crazy on Twitter after the House Intelligence Committee hearing with Comey and Rogers, with Trump inaccurately claiming Comey and Rogers insisted Russia "did not influence the election process." What they said was no direct evidence connecting Trump to the Russians has been found, but they've been investigating since July and currently have multiple investigations open, and continuing
  • Sean Spicer avoids answering a question about Trump and his family's travel expenses, all of which are being paid for by the tax payers.  Trump's family's travel expenses, after 60 days, are comparable to some Administration's entire travel costs, for their full term
  • From FBI Director James Comey at the House Intelligence Committee hearing:  Russia wanted to hurt American Democracy, hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign and help Trump's
  • The Trump campaign, at the RNC in Cleveland, pressured the GOP to weaken their pro Ukrainian policy, favoring a pro-Russia policy
  • It's revealed the hacks of the Clinton campaign's e-mail and servers were actually conducted by Russian Intelligence agencies, with the hacker Guccifer 2.0 only acting as a front for the hacking 
  • Trump campaign foreign policy advisor (a title which his campaign team now denies, although it's well documented) Carter Page's role in the Trump/Russian connection is exposed as far greater than previously admitted
  • Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican head of the House Intelligence Committee, and the lead investigator into the Trump/Russia affair, states he has no idea who Trump advisors Carter Page and Roger Stone are
  • Trump takes credit for NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick having not been signed by a new NFL team, adding about NFL teams, "They don't want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump"
  • Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, has made an eyebrow raising decision to NOT attend what would be his first official NATO meeting in April, instead making time on his calendar later in the month to go to Russia to meet with Vladimir Putin
  • It's revealed far right news outlets Breitbart and InfoWars, two news sources Trump watches, stands by and quotes religiously, are both under investigation for possibly colluding with the Russians
  • The New York Times releases a story of a Ukrainian Parliament member releasing documents which show former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort not only took payments from the pro-Russian party in Ukraine, but he tried to hide the payments in an offshore account as payments for computer supplies
  • In what some people are interpreting as an attempt to get Trump under control, it's announced Ivanka Trump, Trump's daughter, will get an office and a security clearance in the West Wing, but won't be listed as an actual government employee.  Ivanka had previously stated, only a few months ago, that she'd have NO White House role
  • Trump advisor and personal friend Roger Stone, in an attempt to discredit the FBI's comments about his role in the Trump/Russia Affair, attacks the FBI, insisting the FBI got us into Iraq.  It was former Vice President Dick Cheney, manipulating CIA findings, which got us into the Iraq War
  • Ivanka Trump's clothing and accessory company is the target of a class action lawsuit which alleges she's using her White House connections as an unfair advantage against competition
  • White House spokesperson Kellyanne Conway tried to diminish Trump's connections to Michael Flynn, Carter Page, Trump campaign advisor J.D. Gordon, and Roger Stone, insisting Trump never really knew them
  • Trump openly threatened the members of the far right House Freedom Caucus with primary challenges if they don't vote for TrumpCare
  • It's revealed that Trump Tower was indeed wiretapped, in 2013, but it wasn't some super secret President Obama spy mission.  It was wiretapped because Russian mobsters were using Trump Towers as their headquarters
  • Trump apparently owes $300 million to a bank which was part of a global money laundering scheme
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer insists there will not be a vote in the US Senate on Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch without answers from the White House on Trump's Russian connections
  • Trump Supreme Court Nominee Neil Grouch, a man with a history of anti-woman comments, is rude, disrespectful and talks down to Senator Amy Klobuchar at his confirmation hearing
  • Senator Al Franken goes after Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch for his court ruling which allowed an employee to be fired because he left a disabled vehicle to avoid from freezing to death
  • Former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort secretly worked for a Russian billionaire 10 years ago, with the specific task of promoting Vladimir Putin.  This directly contradicts Trump White House claims that Manafort never worked for the Russians
  • Russian Lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov, a prime witness in a US Federal case involving Russian money laundering, was thrown out of a 4th floor window in Russia.  The lawyer's name had been redacted from legal documents in the case.  The lawyer who had kept Gorokhov's identity secret, so he wouldn't get thrown out of a 4th story window, was recently fired US Attorney Preet Bharara, a man who was fired by the Trump Administration.  Bharara's likely replacement, Marc Mukasey, is a lawyer who worked for the defendant in the case, a defendant Gorokhov was scheduled to testify against
  • Sean Spicer insists the repeal of Obamacare is complete.  That's nowhere near true
  • Wall Street Journal reports Trump's continued lies are depleting his trust at home and overseas
  • Some are starting to question whether Trump's the US's first atheist President.  They point to a lot of strong evidence which actually backs up their theory, evidence which is a lot stronger than the "evidence" Republicans used to claim President Obama was a secret Muslim
  • The Trump family minus dad (Don Jr., Eric, Ivanka, the spouses and their kids) take a skiing vacation to Aspen, and charge the US taxpayers for the entire cost of their vacation.  A reminder, they're not government employees, outside of advisor and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner
  • While in Russia last summer, Trump campaign advisor Carter Page has secret meetings with the leader of Russia's largest oil company, a close friend to Putin.  Page was offered a brokerage fees commission on the sale of 19% of the Russian oil company's stock.  Why? No one is quite sure
  • Sean Spicer further annihilates his credibility with his 'Former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort had a "very limited role"' comment
  • In a clear attempt to run cover for Trump and the White House, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes goes to media and to Trump himself to reveal Trump's personal communications and the communications of Trump associates might have been intercepted by intelligence agencies conducting surveillance on foreign targets in the three months after the election.  This is something we already knew, as this is how Michael Flynn's communications were discovered.  None of what Nunes states validates Trump's 'former President Obama wiretapped me' claim
  • It's reported the Secret Service is going bankrupt trying to stretch their budget to cover the White House, Mar-A-Lago, NYC and Trump family vacations
  • Rep. Nunes' Trump claims creates more questions than answers, particularly why the Trump transition team, in the final months of President Obama's tenure, were making calls to foreign individuals without the Obama White House being aware of them
  • Trump Advisor Roger Stone calls the House Intelligence Committee the P-word, a derogatory term for a part of the female anatomy
  • Trump's nominee for Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta refuses to say if he'd try to stop companies from poisoning their own employees
  • Trump lost 10 GOP votes after he met with the GOP about TrumpCare
  • Rex Tillerson comes under criticism for his lack of knowledge and understanding of the job of Secretary of State
  • In 2000, Former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort was trying to get a visa for a Russian Billionaire, this over FBI objections
  • Trump rescinds protections for people with large, overwhelming student loan debt
  • Due to the Secret Service's request for immediate additional funds being denied, the Secret Service will likely cut cyber-crime investigations to cover the cost for Trump's Mar-A-Lago trips
  • A report out states the FBI has proof that Trump campaign officials were in communication with Russian operatives who were coordinating the release of information designed to damage Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign
  • Comedian Samantha Bee, on her television show, proves Trump Advisor Sebastian Gorka, a man who insists he's not part of the Hungarian Nazi collaborators Vitézi Rend, actually adopted their secret lower case 'v.' in his signature as a way to identify oneself to other Vitézi Rend members
  • Defense Secretary James Mattis is under attack from the GOP for not appointing Republican loyalists into top positions in the Defense Department
  • Donald Trump Jr. attacks the Mayor of London hours after London suffers a terrorist attack
  • In an effort to win over the far right House Freedom Caucus, the White House is in talks to remove mandatory coverage requirements, including maternity and Mental Health Care, from Insurance Industry policy requirements
  • All of Secretary of States Rex Tillerson's secret ExxonMobile climate change e-mails have mysteriously been erased
  • A man who has repeatedly bragged about his connections to Trump, Felix Sater has popped up as another possible connection between Russian mobsters and Trump
  • It's reported Michale Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone are all specifically under investigation by the FBI over their Russian ties
  • Energy Secretary Rick Perry is angry about the election of Texas A&M's first openly gay student body president, going as far as to actually question the legitimacy of the election
  • Rep. Nunes, after apologizing to House Democrats on his House Intelligence Committee, refuses to deny whether the new information he shared might have come directly from the White House itself
  • Trump, who said Obamacare was the worst thing ever, now reverses course, saying he'll be fine keeping it
  • Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet in a room of white men to discuss women's health
  • On Thursday the 23rd, Trump and GOP leadership pull the scheduled vote on Trumpcare, strongly signaling Obamacare will stay the law for now
  • Trump's Time Magazine interview is non-sensical and belligerent, finishing with the 'hard to believe it came from a US President's mouth' line, "I can't be doing so badly, because I'm President and you're not!" 
  • Rex Tillerson orders US Embassy's to identify "populations warranting increased scrutiny," but doesn't explain what he means or how he wants them to proceed
  • Data firm Cambridge Analytica, a firm funded by the Trump backing billionaire Mercer Family, claims to have collected psychological profiles on over 200 million voters
  • Trump, a man who claims he's a great negotiator, demands a final vote in the US House on TrumpCare without any further negotiations
  • Rep. Nunes admits he has no information on whether Trump and his Administration were surveilled 
  • Trump Advisor Roger Stone tries to defend himself by sending CNN's Jake Tapper a long deranged letter defending his Russian ties and connections, and vilifying President Obama
  • Sean Spicer insists ending maternity care coverage will not lead to higher costs.  It will
  • Democratic Representative Mark Pocan says he has seen damning intelligence community evidence which shows collusion between the Trump's 2016 campaign and the Russian Government for the specific purposes of illegally throwing the election to Trump
  • Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says Trump has "perfect genes"
  • Speaker of the House Paul Ryan apparently sprints to the White House to tell Trump they do not have the votes for TrumpCare to pass, and that he needs to pull the bill
  • Senior Trump Advisor Steve Bannon tells Trump to create a Republican Representative Enemies list of anyone who doesn't vote for TrumpCare
  • TrumpCare dies (for now) as it is pulled from the House Floor prior to a vote, a stunning defeat for Trump and the GOP who have control of the House, Senate and the Presidency, and who were touting this as their signature piece of legislation

By the way, it's funny to see how many Republicans are violently outraged at me for putting out this easily fact checkable list of infractions every week.  Their first comment is how this is just liberal talking points (not true) and how I'm only pushing a 'liber-tard' agenda (nope - just an agenda of documenting).  They ask why I don't 'give him a chance.' For anyone with the slightest bit of common sense, Trump's chance disappeared after the first week of transgressions.  The point of this list is to point out how Trump's allowed to get away with this nonsense because Republicans and Trump supporters have bi-polar outrage.  Are you telling me if Hillary Clinton had 1/100th of these infractions, the GOP wouldn't be investigating her?  Of course they would.  They'd be trying to invent a 4th branch of government, The Investigative Branch, to focus on the real, and made up, outrages they'd be demanding Clinton be investigated for.  For God's sake, there was a #Pizzagate rally for moron rightos on Saturday, and people actually showed up!

This list is just a list, and if you don't like it, that's on you, not me!

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!