Saturday, April 23, 2022

Who Has the Worst Memory in Congress? You May Be Surprised

You may have heard the rumor that 88-year-old Sen. Diane Feinstein's memory is turning into mush.

It could be true, or her enemies have come up with a novel way to get her to retire.

Determining whose memory is in-fact toast, can only be confirmed by a doctor. But a person can get a good idea by listening to what someone says when asked to recall events.

By that standard 46-year-old Marjorie Taylor Greene has the worst memory in Congress with a two-year black-out.

Court observers on Friday watched her testify about her relationship to the Jan. 6 insurrection to determine if she should be on the ballot for the GOP May primary in Georgia.

The fact that she couldn't remember her tweets when shown they advocated overthrowing the 2020 election for nearly two years is a good indication of memory loss.

Shown videos of her urging people to descend upon Washington DC, didn't spark any recognition from the conspiracy activist who stared straight ahead with a grim look on her face claiming she couldn't remember.

Same for audio tapes of her incendiary speeches. She simply couldn't remember stirring up the Big Lie before and after the coup attempt. 

I think the prosecution should have asked her if she remembered anything about her first term in Congress.

Seriously. MTG's memory appears worse than Sen. Feinstein who can tell you - with a possible slip now and then - what she was doing while MGT was trying to overturn the government.

Friday, April 22, 2022

What's the Most Important Thing in Your Life?


                            Quiz time!

What's the most important thing in your life?

I've asked this question hundreds of times during my career as a journalist and certain responses tend to come up more often than others.

You probably could guess what the most common reply was - my spouse (and other variations such as significant other or soulmate.)

It's followed by family, staying healthy, being Wealthy, Power, Status, and Being Happy.

After that the responses got a bit more interesting.

"Being famous.

"Being stronger than everyone else."

"Having a child."

"My cat."

"My dog."

"Seeing Madonna before I die."

"Going to Europe someday."

"Finding the Meaning of Life."

"Leaving behind a legacy of love."

and so forth...

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Carp Diem means "seize the day" in Latin. It's probably the most popular Latin phrase of modern times. And don't forget the Carpe Noctem variation which literally translates to 'seize the night."

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Quotes about what's important in life:

"I've learned through the years that it's not where you live, it's the people who surround you that make you feel at home."

-J.B. McGee

"Family is not an important thing. It's everything. 

-Michael J. Fox

Thanks for dropping by today. Stay safe and watch comedies!

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Conservative Power Brokers Are Spreading Lies Because They Can

Conservative power brokers range from deranged preachers and doctors to corrupt wealthy businessmen.

The one thing they have in common is refuting reality and replacing it with the Big Lie and other crazy conspiracies.

For instance, a conservative power broker, Dr. Steven Hotze, unsuccessfully sued to stop the extension of early voting in Texas for this year's election.

Hotze also sued officials in Harris County to limit in-person and absentee voting, making allegations without evidence that Democrats were engaged in "ballot harvesting" by gathering votes from individuals who are homeless or elderly.

This week Hotze has been charged with unlawful restraint and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon over an October incident involving a contractor he hired.

Hotze was indicted over allegations against a former police officer, Mark Aguirre, who worked for him.

It turns out that Aguirre had been retained to pursue a voter fraud investigation on behalf of his nonprofit organization, Liberty Center for God and Country.

Aguirre was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after a man accused him of running him off the road and holding him hostage at gunpoint in an effort to prove what authorities have called a bogus voter fraud scheme.

According to court records Aguirre claimed that an air conditioning repairman's truck was filled with fraudulent ballots. 

The police report said that Aguirre and some friends had set up a "command post" at a Marriotte hotel in suburban Houston that conducted a 24-hour surveillance on the repairman for four days.

Aguirre went so far as to contact the Texas Attorney General's office to see if he could conduct a traffic stop for his investigation and "make a citizen's arrest," according to the affidavit.

He was told "not to do it," at which point he decided to run the man's truck off the road, pointed a gun at him, forced him to the ground and put a knee on his back.

When the police responded to the incident, they searched the truck and found only air conditioning parts and tools. After a lengthy investigation the police found no evidence of illegal ballots.

For the record, Aguirre was paid $266,400 by Liberty Center for God and Country.

The whole sordid affair - from a non-profit paying someone to do dirty work, to the Big Lie pushed from a so-called doctor is just one example of how a conservative power broker spreads lies because they can.

The Harris County District Attorney indicted Hotze this week for his scheme. A trial date has not been announced yet.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Guest Column: 'Bullying Mickey Mouse: Rejected by the public, Republicans take their anger out on Disney'

On rare occasions I like to run a guest column for some variety. The opinion expressed here is the author's Amanda Marcotte, who is a senior writer for Salon.

"There's no surer sign that Republicans have given up on trying to appeal to moderates and swing voters than declaring war on Disney.

Things were already getting dicey when GOP leaders and Fox News pundits went all-in on this strategy of accusing anyone who disagrees with them of being child molesters. 

Flinging such risible and obviously false accusations at innocent people tends to backfire on the accusers, as demonstrated by the way Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson saw her approval ratings rise after enduring three days of charisma-free Republicans falsely implying she had some affection for pedophiles. 

But you know they've lost the plot when they're running around trying to argue that Disney, which most Americans view as the gold standard in family-friendly entertainment, is covertly converting the nation's children into perverts.

I'm just saying: if your idea of championing "family values" is delaying parents who are trying to get their kids into Disney World, you need some remedial classes on how to win friends and allies."

Read the full article here.

Editor's Note: For historical context on using pedophiles to defame people look up Putin's tactics to gain power by accusing government employees and state prosecutors of being child molesters. It worked so well he was able to become dictator for life.

There's nothing new under the sun. Enjoy your day, and I hope you enjoyed this column.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Take Heart! Trump and his Supporters Aren't Going to Destroy Our Democracy

I don't see one man destroying our democracy.

What I clearly see is that Trump has built a cult that cuts through the heart of our nation and divides us like the Civil War once did.

The Civil War was the first great threat to our Republic, and we turned it back, but at the cost of tens of thousands of lives. 

The Party of Trump has eviscerated the modern Republican Party, replacing it with mindless minions who willingly believe his lies. The way things stand now, the Party of Trump may regain the majority in Congress.

That doesn't spell the end of our freedoms, however. When oppressed modern day Democrats push back hard. The 2020 election proved that.

Yes, Trumpies are showing more enthusiasm to vote this fall with the possibility of owning the libtards in Congress.

Consider this; the general public loathes Congress right now. So, they might vote for Trumpies to take over in the midterms and discover that Trump's Looney Tune cronies are actually WORSE than the current occupants.

In addition, the two years would give time for Democrats to get energized enough to elect the next president in 2024. After two years of fruitless revenge investigations, the Trumpies are not going to have much of legislative track record to run on.

In turn, the Democrats will be seething and really motivated to turn out in record numbers.

One more thing.

Political dynamics can suddenly shift the landscape. Think about the Jan. 6 Committee on National TV this summer laying out - in minute detail - how Trump and his enablers tried to steal the 2020 election.

If justice catches up to Trump and the Department of Justice does its job it will be a major blow to Trumpism.

America has been around for far too long to fall to a cult of traitors. Take heart. We're greater than that.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Molly our Pug Turns 10 and other Bigly News

Ten years ago, my wife picked out a tiny black female pug among a litter of chubby beige males. She's been our fur baby ever since.
We had two prior pugs - one male and one female - prior to Molly (Photo right). They both died at an early age. Victims of Pug Myelopathy, a spinal condition believed unique in pugs.

Needless to say, we're delighted that Molly has lived this long and is still relatively healthy. Age has slowed her down a bit, but she still plays with our Iggy Butters.

Pugs are not known for living long lives. So, we count each day with her as a blessing.

Moving On

Doing his best Trump imitation, Florida governor Ron DeSantis has been waging a cultural war. 

His latest attack against democracy involves banning books that he claims are teaching Critical Race Theory - which to everyone's surprise includes Math Books

Under Bizarre

Four men have been arrested after one of the accused's phones was discovered to contain a video of them gang-raping a Bengal Monitor Lizard at the Sahydari Tiger Reserve in Maharashthra, India.

Under Other Sick-Assed People

Trumps stupid son Don Jr. shared an Easter photo on Twitter of right-wing morons dressed up as bunnies with assault rifles and grenades attached to their suits.

I'm pretty sure Republican Jesus would be okay with that.

Under "No surprise" Predictions

Experts are predicting travel chaos this summer. Facing unprecedented demand, the much-reduced airline industry is struggling to cope. The pandemic has played hell on traveling on planes.

Under Fighting Back Against Authoritarians

A Democratic candidate recruiting group is pitching donors on an ambitious three-year program to find, train and support 5,000 candidates for local offices in charge of election administration, a sprawling effort intended to fight subversion of future election results.

The $80 million effort comes as Trump-friendly conspiracy theorists threaten to take over election offices in battleground states.

Opinion

The man who brought us "The End of History" says America faces long term "political decay," but it's not too late

Salon writer Chauncey Devega's opinion piece - Francis Fukuyama on Putin, Trump and why Ukraine is key to saving liberal democracy - is right on and worth the read.

Parting is hard. But I'll see you again tomorrow. Stay safe. 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter Sunday: Let's Pray for World Peace

Happy Easter!

I hope you and your loved ones have a great day on this Easter Sunday.

Remember the citizens of Ukraine who are being slaughtered by Putin in their fight for freedom.

Pray for those families who are hiding in bomb shelters on this holy day.

Peace and Love.


Saturday, April 16, 2022

America's Younger Generation Are Pushing Back on Banning Books

1938 - Nazis Have banned all books that don't promote their toxic ideology.

The country's youths were instructed on what to believe by the murderous regime's purge of truth.

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America's younger generation is fighting back against book bans by conservatives.

One of the positive effects from the draconian ban on truth is children of all ages are reading more books voluntarily. They clearly see the banning efforts as wrong. 

So, youth groups are pushing back with Banned Books Book Clubs.

One of their first picks was "The Hate U Give," by Angie Thomas (photo above).

The book has been around for a while and it reflects a teenage experience and relationship to police brutality, which has been a strong conversation the past couple of years.

State and local conservative officials have gone after titles and broad categories of books that deal with race, gender or sexuality in recent months.

There's been numerous attempts to remove specific titles from library shelves and classrooms. Not all of them were successful, but their efforts have stirred the interest of young readers nationwide.

That interest was channeled into Banned Books Book Club, a project from the company Reclamation Ventures, which also runs the newsletter Anti-Racism Daily.

Clubs are springing up everywhere in retaliation of the conservative attacks on what can - and can't - be read in our schools. 

"Obviously this whole idea of taking away books that they wanted to read or that they thought they should read sparked a nerve in them," said Mary Jo Podgurski, an educator at the Common Ground Teen Center in Washington, Pennsylvania in a recent interview with Harmeet Kaur of CNN.

Facts We Should All Know

The American Library Association recorded 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, the most since the organization began tracking those attempts in 2000. 

While that might seem low overall considering the approximately 99,000 K-12 public schools in the US, the ALA says it's likely an extreme undercount.

With midterms rolling up this November Republicans are selling false narratives about books and teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) which of course any informed person knows doesn't exist in grades K-12. Very few colleges have the subject on their curriculums, unless their law colleges.

Throw in a few crazed conspiracies and it's apparent the party of Trump is pumping out propaganda to its base with increased vigor in the last six months.

Kudos to our children for forming and attending Banned Books Book Club meetings to see what the conservatives are trying to hide from them. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Taking the Coward's Way Out: RNC Won't Let Members Participate in 2024 Presidential Debates

This just in from the snowflakes at the Republican National Committee:

To: The Commission on Presidential Debates  

"Our candidate isn't going participate in the 2024 presidential debates because we don't like you!"

Signed by RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

While that quote may not be verbatim, it's basically what the gathering of cowards on the RNC said.

The Republician Party, aka the party of Trump, is afraid to debate a Democrat unless they control the whole proceeding.

In the last presidential election Trump blasted the commission repeatedly for not going along with his demands. When he finally agreed to a debate with Joe Biden, he fluffed it so badly even his supporters winced.

FYI - The non-profit Commission on Presidential Debates, which is run by members of both parties and considers itself nonpartisan has sponsored presidential debates for decades.

Proving he owns the Republician Party Trump ordered his sheep to come up with a debate format that favors GOP candidates (like allowing them to interrupt their opponent when they talk). 

The RNC is still working on a new platform. It should be interesting to see what happens with no national platform. Especially since they don't even have an agenda yet. It's just a natural progression.

I agree with Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison who described the RNC's letter as a "tantrum."

In a recent press statement Harrison said, "Republicans can't win a fair fight and they know it. After years of having their toxic policies exposed on the national stage, the RNC has decided they would rather hide their ideas and candidates from voters." 

If there's one thing that Trump and his minions are afraid of, it's the truth.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Pedo Talks, Stupid Political Stunts, and Fraud

Watch Out! Here come the pedophiles!

The party of Trump is busy fouling the airwaves and web sites with accusations that everyone who doesn't side with them is a pedophile prior to the midterms.

It's their latest stupid attempt to defend their lies about the Big Steal to white supremacy. This childlike attempt to divert from the truth is akin to a seven-year-old pointing an accusing finger at someone they don't like.

Trumpies like Matt Gaetz (whose being investigated by the Department of Justice for having sex with a minor) and Marjorie Taylor Greene are holding pedo talks with right-wing extremists who get excited over the subject.

Mission Pedo Talk is popular with Trump supporters who believe it'll get then elected (or re-elected) in November. Don't ask me why. None of it makes any sense.

Speaking about political stunts Texas governor Greg Abbott sent a busload of undocumented migrants to the nation's capital in stunt that may have been illegal.

In addition, to prove his race-baiting credentials he tightened up the border insisting every truck get checked which quickly caused supply chain problems.

That also resulted in Mexican truck drivers creating blockades to protest the inspections.

Texas business leaders, and the local trade associations have requested the state cease the unnecessary inspections.

It's obviously a political stunt to show he's tough on immigration because the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspect every truck. Nevertheless, Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety to examine the exact same trucks passed by CBP.

Under Fraud

Mark Meadows was removed from the voter rolls in his home state of North Carolina and is being looked at for potential voter fraud

So far that makes 25 Republicans who have gone to court for voter fraud. Trump's former chief of staff will be number 26 if convicted.

In a nice twist of irony Trump was quoted just last week as saying, "Without free and fair elections, we don't have a country."

Under Racism

A Missouri school teacher has been fired for allegedly using "critical race theory (CRT)"

The decision came last week after Keith Morrison, an English teacher at Greenfield High School, read the book "Dear Martin" a young adult novel by Nic Stone.

Apparently, parents didn't want their precious teenagers to read about a Black high school student attending a predominantly white preparatory school who falls victim to police violence.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe and informed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Technological Singularity: Will Mankind Survive Cyber Warfare?

          Editor's Note:

Technological Singularity is a hypothetical point in time at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unforeseeable changes to human civilization.

Cyber warfare. The last frontier?

Russia has been trying to conquer Ukraine using more than just the traditional manpower, tanks, planes, ships, and howitzers from previous wars.

The addition of cyber warfare has been a new deadly avenue towards Putin's goal of restoring the old Soviet Union. 

Russian military hackers tried and failed to attack Ukraine's energy infrastructure last week.

But prior cyber attempts in 2014 and 2015 to capture Crimea were successful setting the new standard for warfare.

Without the help of ESET, a Slovakia-based cybersecurity company currently providing security for Ukraine's infrastructure, the Russians might have been successful.

Computer hackers have become the vanguard for conventional warfare. They can potentially disable energy grids and communications between government offices creating chaos.

As computers become more advanced - intelligent - they provide additional pathways of destruction to attack opponents with.

If the whole world wasn't so interconnected in cyber space, the threat wouldn't be so terrifying.

But it is. In this 21st century we have breached technological barriers that are becoming increasingly dangerous to our own existence on earth.

Mega computers are smarter than any person on the planet. Science fiction writers have been predicting a technological takeover of mankind since the early nineteen hundreds.

Is the cyber warfare we're currently witnessing the beginning of the end? Only time will tell.

About Precious Time in Our Lives

Overheard; " There's not enough time in the day." And   "Time is moving faster as I grow older." Then I read that,  ...