Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Rent-A-Loser: Want to book Donald or Melania for your special event? Trump has a website for that

: Not certain why you'd want to pay big cash to have Donald stop by so that he can whine to your guests for a long hour about Joe Biden

Want to book Donald or Melania for an event? Trump has a website for that (The Guardian link): Visitors to Donald Trump’s new website can book the former president and his wife, Melania Trump, for personal appearances and greetings.

One page on the website,, deals with “scheduling”. Users “interest[ed] in inviting Donald J. Trump or Melania Trump to participate in your event” are instructed to use a form provided.

Among questions to be answered are “Will Media be Present?” and whether any “Notable Attendees” are expected.

Former presidents and major public figures often sign up with professional agencies for public speakers. Trump’s move, however, is typical of a man ever eager to control his own image – and all profits from it.

His new website also offers personalized greetings. Unlike celebrities including the former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who signed up with Cameo, a website that sells greetings and messages from celebrities, Trump’s website does not say he is charging for the service – or for scheduled personal appearances.

Trump’s staff does seem to be attempting to filter out any embarrassing or pranking requests. Last year, for example, a comedian paid Lewandowski to congratulate a fictional small child for “using the big boy toilet” and “doing a great job with your poopies.”

A statement on Trump’s website reads: “Thank you for your interest in receiving a greeting from Donald J. Trump and Melania Trump for your special occasion. Please allow up to six weeks for processing of your request.”

Reasons for requesting a greeting are listed as: “Birthday (adult), Birthday (child), Birthday (veteran), Military retirement, Wedding, Wedding anniversary, Condolence, New Baby welcome, Graduation, Girl Scout gold award and Eagle Scout award.” Users are also offered a chance to “share your thoughts” with the former first couple, who claim to still “enjoy hearing from the American people.”

'Sad clown' Donald Trump's new website ridiculed by critics for hyping his 'magnificent legacy' (Raw Story link): Late Monday Donald Trump launched his own website,, which according to the copy, promotes his "magnificent legacy" of four years in the Oval Office during which time he was impeached twice.

According to the site, "Donald J. Trump launched the most extraordinary political movement in history, dethroning political dynasties, defeating the Washington Establishment, and becoming the first true outsider elected as President of the United States." 

"His inspiring, groundbreaking campaign proved pollsters, pundits, prognosticators, and the corporate media spectacularly wrong. He mobilized voters with massive rallies, reached America's hearts and minds with his vision for national rejuvenation, and overcame virtually every entrenched power structure—political and financial—and achieved a decisive victory, winning states no Republican presidential candidate had won in decades"

Reacting to the announcement, critics on Twitter begged to differ by pointing out his multiple failures, including over 500,000 American deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic that his administration botched and helped lead to his humiliating loss when he ran for re-election.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Is Politics Killing Religion? Gallup poll shows U.S. church membership dips below 50% for first time

Mod: There are many theories for the decline of religion in America. Here's mine. Religion has become much too closely associated with certain political ideologies. Many people don't see God in that and walk away.

U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time (Gallup link): Americans' membership in houses of worship continued to decline last year, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup's eight-decade trend. In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999. 

U.S. church membership was 73% when Gallup first measured it in 1937 and remained near 70% for the next six decades, before beginning a steady decline around the turn of the 21st century.

The decline in church membership is primarily a function of the increasing number of Americans who express no religious preference. Over the past two decades, the percentage of Americans who do not identify with any religion has grown from 8% in 1998-2000 to 13% in 2008-2010 and 21% over the past three years.

As would be expected, Americans without a religious preference are highly unlikely to belong to a church, synagogue or mosque, although a small proportion -- 4% in the 2018-2020 data -- say they do. That figure is down from 10% between 1998 and 2000.

Given the nearly perfect alignment between not having a religious preference and not belonging to a church, the 13-percentage-point increase in no religious affiliation since 1998-2000 appears to account for more than half of the 20-point decline in church membership over the same time.

Most of the rest of the drop can be attributed to a decline in formal church membership among Americans who do have a religious preference. Between 1998 and 2000, an average of 73% of religious Americans belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque. Over the past three years, the average has fallen to 60%.  

Mod: Much more at the link.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Eric Trump Nearly Bursts In Tears On Fox Over His Family Potentially Going To Prison (w/ Video)

: Poor Eric didn't cry when it was other people supposedly being locked up. But now that his own are headed to prison? MAGA tears are ready to flow.

Eric Trump Nearly Bursts In Tears On Fox Over His Family Potentially Going To Prison (PoliticusUSA link): Eric Trump sounded like he would cry on Fox News as he talked about his belief that Democrats have “weaponized the legal system” against his family.

Eric Trump
said on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures, “They tried to impeach my father after he was out of office. (They didn’t try. Trump was impeached.) They’ll do everything they can to weaponize the legal system against me and my family. They do it every single day…It’s because they’re all in the pocket of the Democratic Party, and frankly, it’s disgusting.”

It will come as a shock to African-Americans that the entire legal system is in the pocket of the Democratic Party. Eric Trump was indirectly referring to the criminal investigation of Trump and his adult children for bank and tax fraud that is ongoing in Manhattan.

The Trumps have been committing fraud for decades. One could say that fraud is the family business. Eric Trump is clearly worried about being criminally indicted and was trying to poison the soil with preemptive claims that any indictment is partisan politics.

Eric Trump sounded ready to cry as he talked about the fact that his future may include an orange jumpsuit. The Trumps seem to think that they have a political comeback in their future, but it is increasingly looking like they will never see the inside of the White House again.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Calls Mount To Boycott Coca-Cola After Home State Of Georgia Strangles Voting Rights

Mod: Here's a little advice. Don't go taking this as a personal loss. That stuff isn't even good for you. 

Calls Mount To Boycott Coca-Cola After Home State Of Georgia Strangles Voting Rights (Huffington Post link): Calls grew Friday for a consumer boycott of Coca-Cola after the mammoth corporation largely stood by as its home state, Georgia, passed one of the biggest crackdowns on voting rights in recent history.

President Joe Biden called the state’s draconian new voting restrictions “an atrocity” and “Jim Crow in the 21st Century.”

Among several provisions making it more difficult to vote, Georgia’s new law creates stricter voter identification requirements for absentee balloting, limits drop boxes, imposes shorter voting hours, and even makes it a crime to offer food or water to citizens waiting to vote.

Coca-Cola, headquartered in Atlanta, offered what critics have called too-measured statements about voting rights and no real action to battle the measure. Some pointed out that the company’s silence means it’s now illegal for a bottle of its own Dasani mineral water to be passed out to voters waiting in long lines.

Among the most consequential calls for a statewide boycott are coming from leaders of the AME Sixth Episcopal District of Georgia, which includes more than 500 Black churches in the state.

Coca-Cola wants Black and brown people to drink their product; then they must speak up when our rights, our lives, and our very democracy as we know it is under attack,” presiding Bishop Reginald Jackson told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

At a rally outside the state Capitol on Thursday when the law was signed, Jackson said, “This past summer, Coke and other corporations said they needed to speak out against racism. But they’ve been mighty quiet about this. We’re not going to stand with folk who don’t stand with us.”

Coca-Cola is being “complicit” in its silence, Jackson told The Guardian. He said he expected other civil rights groups to soon join in the calls to boycott.

Mod: Much more at the link.  

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Union prez says MLB players ready to discuss moving All-Star Game from Georgia due to voter-restriction laws

Mod: Baseball is a great game and I've always been a fan. I am gratified to know that the players are willing to step up.

Union president says MLB players ready to discuss moving All-Star Game from Georgia in wake of voter-restriction laws (Boston Globe link): The 91st MLB All-Star Game is scheduled to be played in Atlanta this July. But on Thursday, in the wake of voting-restriction legislation signed into law by the Georgia governor, the executive director of the MLB Players Association said the players are ready to discuss moving their annual midsummer exhibition out of Georgia.

“Players are very much aware” of the Georgia voting bill, which places restrictions on voting that some believe will make it particularly difficult for Black voters to reach the polls, said Tony Clark in an interview with the Globe. “As it relates to the All-Star Game, we have not had a conversation with the league on that issue. If there is an opportunity to, we would look forward to having that conversation.”

The bill supported by the Republican-majority state legislature drew national attention Thursday, with President Joe Biden describing it and similar attempts in other states as “pernicious” and “un-American,” and that it “makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.”

In 2016, the NBA decided to move its 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, N.C., a reaction to a bill enacted by the state that limited anti-discrimination protections. In explaining the decision, the league said it was acting on its “longstanding core values,” which “include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness, and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.” 

Mod: More at the link.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Georgia governor signed Jim Crow-style voting legislation beneath painting of notorious slave plantation

Mod: I guess the Republicans in Georgia are being pretty clear about where it is they stand.

Georgia governor signed Jim Crow-style voting legislation beneath painting of notorious slave plantation (Raw Story link): Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed Georgia's stifling election bill into law beneath a symbol of white supremacist oppression.

The new law, which many have compared to voter suppression tactics imposed during the Jim Crow era, grants state officials new powers over local elections boards and limits access to the polls for many voters, and Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch pointed out the racist symbolism in photos of Kemp signing the legislation.

"Notice the antebellum-style portrait behind Kemp as he signs the suppression law?" Bunch tweeted. "Thanks to Twitter crowdsourcing and particularly @TheSeaFarmer, I can report the measure to limit Black voting was signed under the image of a notorious slave plantation in Wilkes County, GA."

The painting by Siberia-born artist Olessia Maximenko depicts the plantation, which exists today as a 56-acre historic site where tourists can get "a glimpse into the by-gone era of working plantations in the agricultural South," but promotional materials put a cheery face on its grim history.

"The promotional sites gloss over the fact that by the time of the Civil War, the Callaway Plantation only thrived because of the back-breaking labor of more than 100 slaves who were held in cruel human bondage," Bunch wrote.

The harsh reality of slave life is recounted in an oral history from Mariah Callaway, who was born into bondage at the plantation in 1852 and recalls the jail where the plantation owner kept "unruly" slaves and the hounds that bit escaped slaves -- but modern-day visitors barely catch a glimpse of such historic inhumanity.

"Callaway Plantation is a monument to Georgia's history of brutal white supremacy that unfortunately didn't disappear when Mariah Callaway and the other slaves were emancipated in 1865," Bunch wrote.

Mod: More on this is available at the link. 

Brookings Study Finds Trump And GOP Killed Hundreds Of Thousands Of Americans With Pandemic Response

: One of the worst mass killings in all history, and the murderers are still just strutting around and flapping their lips.

Study Finds Trump And GOP Killed Hundreds Of Thousands Of Americans With Pandemic Response (PoliticusUSA link): Trump and the Republican Party’s refusal to adopt a federal pandemic response on mask-wearing social distancing, and testing resulted in the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

According to a new Brookings Institute study as reported by Reuters (link):

The United States squandered both money and lives in its response to the coronavirus pandemic, and it could have avoided nearly 400,000 deaths with a more effective health strategy and trimmed federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars while still supporting those who needed it.

That is the conclusion of a group of research papers released at a Brookings Institution conference this week, offering an early and broad start to what will likely be an intense effort in coming years to assess the response to the worst pandemic in a century.

U.S. COVID-19 fatalities could have stayed under 300,000, versus a death toll of 540,000 and rising, if by last May the country had adopted widespread mask, social distancing, and testing protocols while awaiting a vaccine, estimated Andrew Atkeson, economics professor at University of California, Los Angeles.   

The Brookings study is one of the first to show the direct human costs of Trump’s refusal to take responsibility for the federal response. 

Hundreds of thousands of Americans died because Donald Trump refused to put public health ahead of his reelection campaign. Hundreds of thousands of families lost loved ones because Republicans allowed Donald Trump not to place public health first. 

A political party that willfully refuses to act at a federal level during a pandemic does not deserve to ever be in power again.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

FreeSpace: Here's the online platform Trump is eyeing to create a new far-right social media network

: Not to be confused with MySpace, Space Force or even Free Base, there is one thing that is certain. It will not be free. Get out those credit cards, MAGAs.

Here's the online platform Trump is eyeing to create a new far-right social media network (Raw Story link): On Wednesday, Axios reported (link) new details on what former President Donald Trump's proposed new social media network could look like.

Specifically, the report noted, Trump and digital strategist Dan Scavino are in talks to create a network by partnering with an existing, little-known platform called FreeSpace (link).

"It's unclear how this business relationship would work. Trump is famously averse to putting his own money into companies, preferring to license his name and use other people's money to fund his ventures," reported Jonathan Swan

"It's also by no means a done deal. A source briefed on the situation said Trump had not made a final decision on the social network. 'It could be any of several companies, with more meetings this week,' the source said."

"It seems surprising that 'FreeSpace' caught Trump's attention," noted the report. "'FreeSpace' bills itself as being 'backed by science to positively reinforce good habits & make the world a better place.' It talks about 'FINDING COMMON VALUES and highlighting them, so people become 'addicted' to doing good. 

FreeSpace encourages the public to share the daily actions & content they believe will add value to their lives and model healthy habits for others to duplicate.'"

Technology experts remain skeptical that such a venture, if it goes forward, will succeed. Ironically, it could even bring him more legal jeopardy if Congress moves forward with his repeated demand to change liability laws surrounding social media content.

The Top Luxury Travel Agency in the World Has Dropped All Trump Hotels and Resorts (PoliticusUSA link): Donald Trump has tried his hand at a number of different businesses. There was Trump University which was sued for defrauding the students who enrolled. There were also failed ventures like Trump Wine, Trump Water and Trump Steaks

The one thing the family has been moderately successful at has been running hotels and resorts. The most famous of these is Mar-a-Lago, which the former president would like to make his full-time home.

But even the hotels and resorts in the brand could be in serious jeopardy. The COVID-19 pandemic, severely mismanaged by Trump, has put a significant dent in the hospitality business.

And now a top luxury travel agency called Virtuoso has removed all of the Trump properties from their listings. Luxury Launches called Virtuoso, “the travel industry’s most prominent and undisputed player.”

The publication continues, “This quiet elimination of all 10 Trump-branded hotels and resorts from its list of preferred partners will… severely hamper Trump’s hotel management and licensing business, which is already down $24 million since 2019, as well as his golf resorts in Miami and Europe, which are down another $120 million.”  

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Lara Trump: People on Trump’s new social media platform won’t have ‘fact checkers all over them’

Mod: How about that, right? A social media site where you'll be able to lie just like a Trump. Will there be a charge for the honor?

Lara Trump: People on Trump’s new social media platform won’t have ‘fact checkers all over them’ (Dead State link): During a recent appearance on the Real America’s Voice network, Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, touted the new social media platform the former president is rumored to be launching, saying that people who use it won’t have to worry about fact checkers censoring them.

Speaking to host David Brody, Trump said that mainstream social media platforms are suppressing “the voices of conservatives.”

“I think that we have all felt like, ‘Gosh, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a platform available that would allow us to say what we want?'” she said. “Oh my gosh, the First Amendment—imagine that. Our freedom of speech not being stifled.”

She went on to say that her father-in-law is taking the new platform “really seriously” and “wants a space where everyone can feel welcome, where people don’t feel like, you know, the fact checkers are going to be all over them…even though these things are factual, oftentimes, that the fact checkers get on,” she added.

Mod: Let me translate all of that for you. The first time you criticize Donald, you're out.  

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Former ATF Special Agent Rips Open Carry Laws After Yesterday's Boulder CO Mass Shooting

: It's a great point. How can you see an armed mass murderer coming when he (or she) looks no different than any other random open carry clown you might meet on the street?

Former ATF Special Agent Rips Open Carry Laws After Boulder, CO Mass Shooting (Politicus USA link): On The Rachel Maddow Show, retired ATF Special Agent In Charge, Jim Cavanaugh ripped open carry laws that allowed a mass shooter to carry his gun into a Boulder, CO supermarket unimpeded.

Jim CavanaughBut, look, here is the problem we have in America with these open carry laws. If you’re in a super market checkout line and a man is walking across the parking lot carrying a rifle in a state that allows people to open carry rifles, is he an active shooter, coming to shoot everybody at the supermarket, or is he a man carrying a lawful rifle? That’s why these laws are so bad. We don’t need those kind of laws, open carry. We have had them for years in America. The guy can walk in. Who knows what he’s going to do with his rifle. So, you know, it’s just sad. It’s sad we’ve got to do that. It doesn’t prevent people from owning a rifle.

It doesn’t prevent people from using a rifle to target shoot, protect themselves, hunt. Why have we got to allow them to carry it across the parking lot of a supermarket, and until he decides to pull the trigger is the only time we could be alerted to what he might do. America should rethink a lot of these open carry laws. These people don’t even need to hide the gun to walk into where they’re going to do their mass killing. We don’t know exactly what he did here. Maybe he did hide the gun or didn’t hide the gun. He’s in a supermarket reportedly with a long gun, and, from what little information the reporters could glean, there’s some mass casualties.

The gun lobby (NRA) continues to push the lie that anyone who doesn’t want everyone to have as many guns as they want is trying to confiscate all weapons.

The reality is that open carry laws make it easier for criminals to commit their crimes. The Second Amendment says nothing about the right to carry a weapon in public. It is common sense. Without open carry laws, a guy walking across a supermarket parking lot with a long gun would not have been treated like a normal piece of the scenery.

Mod: In the video note the so-called "good guys with guns" hanging around the front door of the store and far too scared to go in.

Monday, March 22, 2021

I am sorry Cancel Culture Vultures, but Dr. Seuss was 'Canceled' while Donald Trump was still President

Mod: This is an opinion piece I published in yesterday's edition of the Pasadena Star News, plus a couple other Los Angeles County papers. It is basically about a dumb fib concocted by 'conservative' writer Jackie Gingrich Cushman (daughter of Newt) that ran in those newspapers earlier this month.

Sorry Culture Sentinels, but Dr. Seuss was 'Canceled' while Donald Trump was still President
(Pasadena Star News link): You may have read the complaints of peeps who believe they’ve been victimized by something called the Cancel Culture. Despite the self-acclaimed brilliance of their opinions, or the salvational aspects of ideas they’d hoped to generously share with all, relatively few people have cared to answer the call. These proponents are taking it hard, and do have their theories about why this happened.

Some suspect there is a diabolical thought-control conspiracy that targets self-styled freedom lovers. The likes of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, along with celebrated social critics such as Donald Trump Jr. and Newt Gingrich, have all spoken out about this.

There is also an alleged culture war being waged on certain beloved artifacts of the boomer generation. Writing in this very newspaper, Jackie Gingrich Cushman raised just such an issue in her March 7 column, “As kids struggle, the woke turn on Dr. Seuss.” After detailing the consequences of such unhappiness, she shared this observation:

This year, there was no mention of Dr. Seuss in President Joe Biden’s proclamation about Read Across America Day, and Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced on the same day that it would “cease publication and licensing” of six of his books, noting that “these books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

Given the need to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, plus a resulting economy that has left millions unemployed and hard-pressed to come up with the wherewithal for such essentials as eating, I think neglecting to praise Dr. Seuss at this early stage of his administration is understandable.

As far as Dr. Seuss Enterprises goes, I am not convinced there was any coordination with Joe Biden’s non-statement and their decision to mothball these six unhappy titles. As a matter of fact, according to that press release the Seuss folks sent out, there are questions about when this controversial call actually took place. Unfortunately, Jackie left out this part:

“To that end, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, working with a panel of experts, including educators, reviewed our catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication and licensing of (these) titles.”

The Seussers go on to list these six more obscure titles, and their reasons for deleting them. Yes, the bigotry is uncharacteristic.

Here’s a thought. If the decision to delete these titles took place last year as Dr. Seuss Enterprises states, then this would have happened during the administration of the decidedly unwoke former President Trump. Meaning that even when using her most skillful verbal gymnastics, Jackie laying this Seuss-icide at the feet of Joe Biden is factually bananas.

So where was The Donald when this got real? Playing golf? Certainly half a million people dying of COVID-19 on Trump’s watch was bad, but whither goeth Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head?

Here’s another troublesome matter.

The recall of Gavin Newsom grinds on, and despite decidedly negative polling, those behind the effort now claim they’ve come up with enough signatures to get it on the ballot.

Recently the Mercury News reported that Kimberly Guilfoyle, former wife of Gavin Newsom and current squeeze of Donald Trump Jr., is rumored to be returning to our Golden West so she might run as Republican candidate for governor. And quite soon if this recall is successful.

There are grin-filled photos of Guilfoyle, Donald II and a gentleman named Enrique Tarrio floating about the internet. 

Who is he? Tarrio is the leader of the Proud Boys, an organization deeply involved in the murderous sacking of our nation’s Capitol Jan. 6.

So let me ask all of you Recall Newsom folks. Is Guilfoyle why you’re doing it?