This is your President speaking.

Number 76 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

The Fake News is beside themselves that McCabe was caught, called out and fired. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars was given to wife’s campaign by Crooked H friend, Terry M, who was also under investigation? How many lies? How many leaks? Comey knew it all, and much more!

Something smells here, and the odor is coming from higher up.


Breitbart Mentality

Number 2 of an Infinite Series

Full disclosure: I signed up for a subscription to the Breitbart News email back in July, and I now receive daily (sometimes more) missives from the right-leaning news group. See the screen shot above. Breitbart’s position on what matters is something that speaks for itself.

A recent mail had the above headline. With a whole bunch of earth-shaking stuff coming across the news wires, this is what Breitbart News figured was important enough to mail out to me. Here’s the story:

Louisiana Cops Searching for Previously Deported Honduran Wanted for Rape

Law enforcement officials in Louisiana are looking for a previously deported illegal alien fugitive who is wanted on charges of third-degree sexual assault.

The Sheriff’s Office in Lafayette Parish is asking the public for help in locating 35-year-old Marco Antonio. The wanted foreign national also goes by the names of Marco Contreras-Martel and Marcos Antonio Contreras Martel, reported KLFY, a CBS affiliate in Lafayette, Louisiana. Sheriff’s officials said immigration officials previously deported Antonio in 2014.

Breitbart Texas reached out to Sheriff Mark Garber’s office for more information about the charges in the case. A spokesman for the sheriff said they cannot release any information about the suspect or details of the alleged crime at this time. He said the suspect is known to work and travel back and forth between Louisiana and East Texas.

There is more, but not much. This is the story that usurped the information about 39 unintentional shootings by children in 2018:

Nearly two million American children live in homes with guns that are not stored responsibly. This interactive map tracks every publicly reported incident since 2015 where a person age 17 or under unintentionally kills or injures themselves or someone else with a gun.


Two 16 year-old boys were handling a gun “in an unsafe manner,” according to police, when it unintentionally discharged. One of the boys was hit and transported to a local hospital. He was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Police arrested the uninjured 16 year-old on preliminary charges of criminal recklessness with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a child.

The key item here is that a third degree (statutory) rape was supposedly (most likely) committed by a person here illegally after having previously been deported. It’s the matter of an illegal alien who committed a crime that’s important to readers of Breitbart News, disregarding that illegal aliens tend to be very law-abiding due to their need to avoid encounters with the law. This is the Breitbart Mentality on parade.

Draining The Swamp

How is that working out?

I’m sure I said this before. Fact is, I checked my archives and verified I did say this before. I seldom go to liberal sources for these posts. Liberals are so dull. Conservatives, on the other hand, brighten my day. In the same sense as a stink bomb at a birthday party. Take, for example, the soap opera that has become the life and time of Rick and Paul. That’s Rick Gates and Paul Manafort.

To get readers up to speed, Paul Manafort was the campaign manager for candidate Donald Trump from March 2016 until 19 August 2016.

In August 2016, Manafort’s connections to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian Party of Regions drew national attention in the US, where it was reported that Manafort may have illegally received $12.7 million in off-the-books funds from the Party of Regions.

On August 17, 2016, Donald Trump received his first security briefing. The same day, August 17, Trump shook up his campaign organization in a way that appeared to minimize Manafort’s role. It was reported that members of Trump’s family, particularly Jared Kushner who had originally been a strong backer of Manafort, had become uneasy about his Russian connections and suspected that he had not been forthright about them. Manafort stated in an internal staff memorandum that he would “remain the campaign chairman and chief strategist, providing the big-picture, long-range campaign vision”. However, two days later, Trump announced his acceptance of Manafort’s resignation from the campaign after Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway took on senior leadership roles within that campaign.

Upon Manafort’s resignation as campaign chairman, Newt Gingrich stated that “nobody should underestimate how much Paul Manafort did to really help get this campaign to where it is right now.” Gingrich later added that, for the Trump administration, “It makes perfect sense for them to distance themselves from somebody who apparently didn’t tell them what he was doing.

Mr. Manafort’s fortunes have gone downhill since that time. He now stands indicted for multiple federal felonies and stands to spend his remaining years in the federal slam. I’m not going to recap the complete story, just the high points. In fact, I am going to  fall back on having MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow do the recount for me, in pictures pulled from YouTube, which is currently carrying an episode from 22 February (last week). Start with this:

On 21 February, federal prosecutor Robert Mueller issued an additional 32-count indictment against Manafort.

MSNBC acquired a copy of a letter used by Manafort approximately February and March 2016 to solicit the position of campaign manager for candidate Trump. It’s an interesting proposal that Manafort put forward. He had not been involved in American  politics for years, decades according to Rachel Maddow. He had previously been doing work for the Ukrainian government, at the time having difficulties with Russia, its former benevolent protector. However, in 2014 the people of Ukraine tired of elected president Viktor Yanukovych, who, to them, seemed to be too cozy with mother Russia, deposed him, and Yanukovych retreated to the safety of Russia. At this point the lucrative dealings Manafort had been enjoying dried up to the loss of millions of dollars annual income. My take is this hit Manafort hard, as a review of his lavish lifestyle indicates he was living on the margin. He needed cash. Mucho dinero. Pronto. How, then, to  explain  his offer to work for free on the Trump campaign.

This came at an opportune time for Manafort. The Trump campaign was roiling and in turmoil. Corey Lewandowski was Trumps first campaign manager, but he quickly proved to be problematic:

On March 10, 2016, Michelle Fields, a reporter for Breitbart News, wrote that, after she asked Donald Trump a question when she approached him after a March 8, 2016, press conference in Jupiter, Florida, she was forcefully grabbed by Lewandowski. On March 29, Lewandowski was charged with one count of simple battery by the Jupiter Police Department and surrendered himself to the authorities, after releasing a statement maintaining his innocence.

Two weeks later, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said that his office would not prosecute Lewandowski; they believed that “there was probable cause to make an arrest” and “the facts support the allegation that Mr. Lewandowski did grab Ms. Fields’ arm against her will,” but “the evidence cannot prove all legally required elements of the crime alleged and is insufficient to support a criminal prosecution.”

On March 19, 2016, during a campaign event in Tucson, Arizona, Lewandowski drew criticism for his handling of a protester. Although a video showed Lewandowski grabbing the protester by the collar, the campaign and Lewandowski denied doing so.

But back to the entry of Paul Manafort. In particular, note the underlined in this job pitch. “I am not looking for a paid job.” Where is the money to come from? That, apparently, is the crux of the story to follow.

Here is Manafort in his new job with the Trump campaign (second from the right).

Watch the video. Maddow interprets.

She points out these details from the new indictments.

Between at least 2016 and 2015… Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions of dollars in  income as a result of their Ukraine work…

Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that  income.

This is the point at which Manafort begins, as far as the indictments go, to get cross-ways with United States law. Willfully avoiding to pay taxes owed is a federal offense.

The saga continues:

In the second part of the scheme, between approximately 2015 and at least January 2017, when the Ukraine income dwindled after Yanukovych fled to Russia, Manafort, with the assistance of Gates, extracted money from Manafort’s United States real estate..

At this point, Manafort, with the assistance of Gates, piled on additional criminal offenses.

Manafort, Gates, and others devised and intended to devise, and executed and attempted to execute, a scheme and artifice to defraud, and to obtain  money and property, by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, from banks and other financial institutions.

The government has  already been offended by this failure to pay taxes. Now the pair engage in schemes to defraud other parties, in essence to steal from them.


Manafort falsely represented to the bank that he did not derive more than 50% of his income/wealth from a country outside the United States.

I’m guessing this falsification is in violation of the law.


In late 2015 through early 2016, Manafort sought to borrow cash…after promising Lender A that approximately $1,400,000 of the loan would be used solely for construction…

It makes a difference to a lender what you intend to do with the money. If you intend to put it into a business that will return income, enabling you to repay the loan, then the lender will be more favorable. Manafort lied, putting the lender at a risk beyond what was agreed upon in the lending contract.

Federal prosecutors—Mueller’s team—determined from evidence they have that Manafort was defrauding the lender.

Manafort never intended to limit use of the proceeds to construction as required by the loan contracts and never did.

He had no intent to abide by the terms of the contract, and he carried through with his plan to violate  the contract.

Prosecutors presented further evidence of criminal activity.

In late 2015 through early 2016, Manafort applied for a mortgage on the Howard Street condominium from Lender B… Manafort falsely represented to the lender and its agents that it was a secondary home used as such by his daughter and son-in-law and was not held as rental property.

Yes, that does make a difference when you are lending money for real estate.

At this point, Manafort sucks his closest kin into his criminal enerprise. He advises his son-in-law to lie for him, placing the son-in-law in jeopardy for criminal prosecution.

…on January 26, 2016, Manafort wrote to his son-in-law to advise him that when the bank appraiser came to assess the condominium, his son-in-law should “[r]emember, he believes that you and [Manafort’s daughter] are living there.

This just plain dumb. When you discuss a scheme to commit a crime, you do not put the discussion in writing. You meet on a rowboat out beyond the three-mile limit and hide under a blanket to discuss the details face to face.

Gates’ complicity in the scheme is detailed.

Gates, on Manafort’s behalf, caused an insurance broker to provide Lender B false information…


After Gates contacted the insurance broker and asked her to provide Lender B with false information, he updated Manafort by email on February 24, 2016. Manafort replied to Gates, on the same day: “good job on the insurance issues.”

Jesus Christ! They discussed it in an email?

The pair further involved (unwitting?) others.

Manafort and Gates caused Manafort’s tax accountant to send t Lender B back-dated documentation that falsely stated that the $1.5 million Peranova Loan had been forgiven  in 2015, and falsely inflated income for 2015 to mask Manafort’s 2015 drop in income.

My interpretation: Manafort needed cash. His lucrative business with Ukraine was gone, and he felt no need to retrench, to live at a lower standard, such as I am doing now. Since he was not earning the money he needed, he figured to borrow it. How it would be paid back is beyond my comprehension. In any event, his finances at the time and his future prospects made him a poor risk for a loan. He decided to defraud lenders by falsifying his circumstances.

Here is some detail to explain the “Peranova loan.”

MANAFORT and GATES also disguised, as purported “loans,” more than $10 million transferred from Cypriot entities, including the overseas MANAFORT–GATES entities, to domestic entities owned by MANAFORT. For example, a $1.5 million wire from Peranova to DMI that MANAFORT used to purchase real estate on Howard Street in Manhattan, New York, was recorded as a “loan” from Peranova to DMI, rather than as income. The following loans were shams designed to reduce fraudulently MANAFORT’s reported taxable income

The scheme becomes ever more involved.

In  approximately February 2016, Manafort applied for a business loan from Lender C. Manafort made a series of false statements to Lender C.

Yet another series of criminal offenses.

At this point Manafort and Gates began to get their hands dirty, performing the detailed work that would put their fingerprints (figuratively) on the crime.

in approximately March 2016, Manafort and Gates submitted a doctored 2015 DMI P&L that overstated DMI’s 2015 income by more than $4 million.

DMI is Davis Manafort, Inc., and P&L is profit and loss.

At this point professional scruples raised its ugly head. Somebody refused to assist in perpetrating the ruse.

Gates asked DMI’s bookeeper to send him a “Word Document version of the 2015 P&L for [DMI]” because Manafort wanted Gates to add the accrual revenue which we have not received in order to send to [Lender C].”

Counting accrual is legitimate in some cases, but was not one of those cases. I am guessing the accruals were not expected to materialize.

Yeah, the bookkeeper did not want any of this stuff to rub off on him. Smart man (woman).

The bookkeeper refused, since the accounting method DMI used did not permit recording income before it was actually received.

Unable to enlist the assistance of an innocent party, Gates took the crime into his own hands.

Having failed to secure a falsified P&L from the bookkeeper, Gates falsified the P&L.

This means jail time for Gates.

Ensuring his children would do without their father during their formative years, Gates signed his own ticket up the river.

Gates then sent the altered P&L to Lender C, which claimed approximately $4.45 million in net income, whereas the true P&L had less than $400,000 in net income.

To put this into perspective, $400,000 net income is what a contract computer programmer might expect to pull down in two years. Not a healthy cash flow for a multi-million-dollar business concern.

Not to be greedy, Manafort and Gates inflated their cash flow by just the amount needed to get the loan.

In March 2016, Manafort, with the assistance of Gates and others, applied for a $5.5 million loan… The falsified 2016 DMI P&L overstated DMI’s income by more than $2 million, which was the amount that Lender B told Manafort he needed to qualify for the loan.

Apparently Manafort and Gates had somebody working inside with Lender B to help pave the way. How would you like to be that person right now, watching the Manafort/Gates indictments unfold on your TV screen?

When the document ws first submitted to Lender B, a conspirator working at Lender B replied: “Looks Dr’d. Can’t someone just do a clean excel doc and pdf to me??” A subsequent version was submitted to the bank.

Again, incriminated evidence put into an email. Dumb follows dumber.

As evidence of income, Gates dummied up an invoice that anybody would suspect was phony.

Gates, on Manafort’s behalf, provided the bank with a fake invoice for $2.5 million, directed “To Whom it May Concern.”

Who sends a $2.4 million invoice “to whom it may concern?”

Sanity continued to seep in. What responsible financial institution would accept such a sham? Not this one, apparently.

The bank, unwilling to rely on the invoice to support Manafort’s stated 2016 income, requested additional information. The bank was unable to obtain satisfactory support for the stated income, and the loan application was denied.

Smart move. You just saved your bank from a $2.4 million loss. But this leaves Manafort and Gates still in limbo for the cash. They need to scramble and locate another sucker. This is the point at which the scheme gets close to candidate Trump.

Enter Lender D. The Trump tie-in is beginning to take shape.

Between  approximately July 2016 and January 2017, Manafort, with the assistance of Gates, sought and secured approximately $16,000,000 in two loans from Lender D.

It turns out it’s going to matter who is Lender D.

Manafort provided the bank with doctored P&Ls… Gates converted that .pdf into a “Word” document so that it could be edited, which Gates sent back to Manafort. Manafort altered that “Word” document by adding more than $3.5 million in income.

Lender D still had to worry about this questionable loan.

Lender D questioned Manafort about a $300,000 delinquency on  his American Express card… Manafort supplied Lender D a letter from Gates that falsely stated that Gates had borrowed Manafort’s credit card to make the purchases…

What a different world these people live in. I get nervous when my balance broaches $5000. (Swallow hard.)


The delinquency significantly affected Manafort’s credit rating score.

If I were short $300,000 on my MasterCard, the bank would have armed guards standing around my house until I whittled the leverage down to a manageable size.

So, who is this mysterious Lender D, and why are they willing to shell out $16 million to a couple of Beltway deadbeats?

Filings show Manafort was in financial trouble just as he offered to  work for Trump for free.

It turns out that Lender D is (possibly) The Federal Savings Bank in Chicago. It’s supposed to lend to military veterans. Manafort never served in the military. Why was he getting a loan from The Federal Savings Bank? Good question.

Maddow raises the question whether Manafort promised a White House job in return for being granted the loan.

…three loans were questioned by other officials at the bank…

Certain people at the bank (any bank) are required to approve a loan of this size. Apparently some pressure was applied.

…at least one of the bank employees who felt pressured into approving the deals is cooperating with investigators.

It’s one way to wipe you slate clean. When the feds come around, show you are willing to cooperate.

The bank’s CEO is a Mr. Steve Calk, and he is figured to have expected something personal in return for granting the loan, approximately 25% of the bank’s authorized lending. From The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Calk was seeking to become Mr. Trump’s Army secretary.

Who would have thought the job paid that much?

Again, apparently from The WSJ:

chief executive Steve Calk … was placing calls to the Pentagon and specifically to Army headquarters, asking for briefings to obtain information and prepare himself for a possible job … Mr. Calk’s overtures raised questions among military leaders as to how to respond

The previous Manafort/Gates indictments of October 2017 alleged the pair laundered $18 million. The new indictments bump that figure up. It’s now $30 million. That’s more than some people make in a whole year.

The story continues.

…in light of additional conduct

additional evidence related to this and the other bank frauds and conspiracies

Revelations concerning Manafort’s finances put a shadow on his current bail status. To obtain bail, Manafort had to put up tangible assets, and it now appears those assets are encumbered, making them unworthy as bail collateral. There is the possibility he will spend the remainder of the time leading up to his trial behind bars. Once inside, he may stay for the remainder of his life.

Maddow speculates how the additional $12 million came to be added to the indictments. Possibly, now that Gates has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors, he could be disclosing additional malfeasance.

This item was published on YouTube the day before a slew of additional indictments was issued. One of several things will happen next:

  • Manafort will hoe the line and play canasta with other inmates until he dies.
  • Manafort, currently insisting on his innocence and refusing to take a plea deal, will soon cave and will give up valuable information.
  • Manafort will have no additional information to give up and will play canasta for the rest of his life.

What prosecutors may be counting on (I hope) is that Manafort was close enough to the Trump campaign to have dirt on illegal dealings with a foreign government (Russia, China, Guatemala, who knows?). What many of us watching this play out daily on the tube hope with great fondness is that President Trump’s daily ranting of “No collusion, no collusion!” indicates delusion and desperation. Good people across this nation would love to chomp popcorn while watching The Donald do the perp walk.

Is this a great country or what?

The Government You Paid For

Number 25 in a Series

People have been complaining for decades. We heard them. They elect politicians. They pay taxes. They obey the law. And for what. We hear people complain they are  not getting the government they paid for.

Good news, boys and girls. Those days are over. We are now getting the government we paid for.

Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleads guilty in Mueller investigation

“The third Trump associate” to plead guilty? Only the third? Where is the government I paid for?

I mean, I paid good money for indictments. Where are the other plea deals—I want to see the perp walks.

Where is my money going?

Not that money. Where is my tax money going for convictions and hard time? I guess I will have to wait.

Meanwhile, at the CPAC:

Friday Funny

Number 85 of a series

It’s Friday again, and something must be funny. How about a criminal who figures it’s cool to come to court flashing police lights in traffic:

Holland-Harris, 31, of Norwood, pleaded guilty to five counts of trafficking in a controlled drug and faced a maximum $50,000 fine, 10-year jail term or both.

She was arrested at Enfield on May 26, 2016 inside a blue Kia sedan that used flashing police-style lights to move through traffic. The car was being driven by Benjamin Michael Stacey, who was also charged over the incident.

Police seized the sword, a loaded air rifle and stolen tools from the vehicle, while Holland-Harris had both drugs and $4760 cash on her person.

In sentencing, Judge Stretton said Holland-Harris had a total of 12.35g of MDMA in various forms, including powder and tablets, and 5.34g of methamphetamine.

He said a subsequent search of her house yielded a further 48.5g of MDMA and 9.28g of methamphetamine.

Yes, that does show a certain level of humor.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks.

Yes, at the first sign of trouble, what you need to do is whip out your trusty side arm and start blazing away. That’s the way to make sure the rest of your day is going to be interesting:

Three charged in shooting after Spencer talk

Three supporters of white nationalist Richard Spencer were arrested Thursday in connection with an incident in which a shot was fired.

Three supporters of white nationalist Richard Spencer were arrested Thursday in connection with a shooting, according to Gainesville police.

William Henry Fears, 30; Colton Gene Fears, 28; and Tyler Eugene Tenbrink, 28; were charged with attempted homicide and held in the Alachua County jail. Tenbrink was also charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon.

People, the Second Amendment gives you the right to keep and carry weapons. But what good is it if you never get a chance to open fire? Opportunity awaits. Use your imagination.

Friday Funny

Number 84 of a series

And I thought, “This is really funny.” Then I thought maybe it’s not so funny. Actually, it is funny. Here it is:

Woman Arrested For Training Squirrels To Attack Her Ex-boyfriend

45-year old Janice Smith was captured toward the beginning of today by officers of the Detroit Police Department, for supposedly catching various squirrels and preparing them to assault her previous sweetheart.

The casualty, 51-year old James Robinson, was probably assaulted by the rodents on more than twelve events in the course of the most recent month.

These assaults caused him numerous genuine wounds, including the loss of two fingers and one gonad, gnawed off by his assailants.

The poor man had no clue why squirrels continued assaulting him until the point when he saw his ex, a previous carnival creature coach, cheering the creatures amid one of the assaults.

What I’m thinking is I ‘m not even going to check with Snopes to see whether this is genuine. It is just too funny.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks.

I like to remind my readers that the National Rifle Association is their friend, always ready to protect their Second Amendment freedoms. Nobody appreciates this concern more than Radee Labeeb Prince, 37 years old:

The man believed to have killed three people in a “targeted attack” near a Maryland business and also suspected in a later shooting in Delaware was apprehended by police in Delaware Wednesday evening after a manhunt that stretched on for hours.

Thankfully for Mr. Prince, the NRA was there to look out for his rights. Although Mr. Prince may not have been allowed to possess a handgun legally, that would not have been much of a problem. If a dealer had sold him the weapon he used, it’s possible a considerable waiting period and a comprehensive background check would not have thwarted the transaction. If Mr. Prince had purchased the weapon at a gun show, there would have been no background check, and there would have been no record of the transaction forwarded to legal authorities. Similarly if Mr. Prince had purchased the gun from an individual. Same for if an individual had given Mr. Prince the weapon with no money changing hands. Had Mr. Prince stolen the weapon, it would have been the first time in its recent history that a law had been broken, but there would have been no requirement for the previous owner to report the theft, along with the weapon’s serial number.

No, there was little if anything to prevent Mr. Prince, despite his legal history, from having the weapon he used to kill three and to  injure three others. We can be so thankful that Mr. Prince’s Second Amendment rights have organizations such as the NRA to protect them. And the elected officials who take their money.

Friday Funny

Number 80 of a series

A Burger King in Cadiz, Spain

Humor comes in multiple flavors. Sometimes it is somebody else’s bad luck. Other times it is something so bizarre you cannot imagine somebody doing it. Like this:

A randy couple are facing jail for allegedly making a series of explicit public porno films including one in a Burger King.

Police in Louisiana say they discovered images which suggest the pair filmed graphic scenes inside a public library, supermarket and the popular fast food restaurant.

The Smoking Gun reports the married couple are now facing obscenity charges — which could lead to a jail term.

Funny for us. Not so much for  Elizabeth and Rex Jernigan. Out on bail, the pair are exploiting the publicity to promote their porn site. They have truly come to conclude that at Burger King you can have it your way.

Selling It

Hopefully Not The Beginning of A Lengthy Series

Yes, the picture says it all. Some may not know, but I subscribe to the newsletter of Dallas, Texas, Pastor Robert Jeffress, head of the 13,000-member  First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. This came in an email to me shortly after 58 people were murdered by a millionaire gunman, who subsequently killed himself. Over 500 others were otherwise injured. The message is that financial gain knows no missed opportunity.

The email came with a link to a page hawking one of Pastor Jeffress’ books:


Start living today with eternity fresh in mind!
Brand-new hard-cover book from Dr. Jeffress and the ministry-exclusive DVD/CD set opens the Scripture to answer your questions about heaven!

Explore …
• Three popular myths about God and Heaven
• Is Hell a real place … and would God really send someone there?
• Six things you and your loved ones can do to prepare for Heaven

Please be as generous as possible — and learn as much as possible — about your everlasting home!

Use the form below to request the book with a generous gift to Pathway to Victory.

You are asked to select amounts of $25, $50, $100, $250.

First Baptist in Dallas is, if nothing else, about money. From Wikipedia:

Under Dr. Jeffress’ leadership, the First Baptist Church of Dallas broke ground on the construction of a new 3,000-seat Worship Center.  As of 2013, it was the largest Protestant church building campaign in modern history.  The $130 million church campus officially opened for Easter Sunday worship on March 31, 2013

Not mentioned in the above item, the perception in Dallas is that First Baptist serves the richest and the most conservative clientèle of a rich and conservative cluster. Jeffress’ conservative politics are never to be questioned. Wikipedia:

Dr. Jeffress is a Fox News contributor and a faith advisor to President Donald Trump.

Jeffress supported Governor Rick Perry in the Republican presidential primaries for the 2012 presidential nomination. On October 7, 2011, he provoked a national controversy when he introduced Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, by indicating that one of Perry’s rivals, Romney, of Massachusetts, is opposed to Christianity. According to Jeffress, Romney’s Mormonism contradicts the teachings of Jesus Christ. He had previously made a similar statement during the 2008 presidential primaries. Nevertheless, in April 2012, Jeffress endorsed Romney for president because of the pastor’s strong opposition to the re-election of Barack Obama.

I may be missing something, but the perception is there is a common theme running through here. May Jesus have mercy on our souls.

People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 19

Laura Ingraham has been popping up on my news feeds for the past few years, always in relation to some conservative viewpoint. I never paid much attention before. It’s time. From Wikipedia:

Laura Anne Ingraham (born June 19, 1963) is an American TV and radio talk show host, author, and conservative political commentator. She hosts the nationally syndicated radio show, The Laura Ingraham Show, is the editor-in-chief of LifeZette, a long time Fox News Channel contributor, and starting October 30, 2017 will host her own FNC show, The Ingraham Angle, weeknights at 10 p.m.

All right. I’m comfortable with that. Here’s what brings me some distress:

Ingraham: “I also think we should remember that we’ve done a lot to kick Christianity, God, to the curb in our society in the way we treat each other, in some government policy, in our schools”

That’s from a recent post on MediaMatters. The quote is apparently from a session of Fox & Friends on 3 October. There is some more, but the salient point is the matter of kicking God to the curb. Others commented:

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): You mentioned religion. We all have our cross to bear, right? We all are sinners, and we fall short. This guy, his brother said, did not have religion in his life. You wear your cross. I heard you last night say you went to St. Patrick’s to pray. There were a lot of people there lighting candles and praying. And then I heard you say Big & Rich, when they sang on stage “God Bless America” an hour before some of [the concertgoers] were killed to go meet God, that you said that was such a gift to their families, and I agree with you.

Earhardt remarks the Las Vegas shooter had no religion, and she mentions this as though it were significant. The fact is, having a religion seems not to matter when it comes to mass murder:

How much does it cost to kill 14 people and terrorize a city?

About $4,500, according to an NBC News analysis of the pre-tax cost of the guns and explosives assembled by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik for their attack on an office holiday party in San Bernardino, California on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

In this case two deeply religious people went on a killing spree, all in the name of religion. To be sure, Ingraham and others will argue this is not the religion they want in our schools. Really? These people prayed to the same God that Christians and Jews pray to. It’s the God of Abraham, the same Abraham who was willing to kill his son on instructions from God. But it’s not Christianity. That makes a difference?

Eric Robert Rudolph (born September 19, 1966), also known as the Olympic Park Bomber, is an American domestic terrorist convicted for a series of anti-abortion and anti-gay-motivated bombings across the southern United States between 1996 and 1998, which killed two people and injured over 120 others.

Rudolph is not alone in demonstrating that Christian belief is no inoculation against mayhem:

James Charles Kopp (born August 2, 1954) is an American citizen who was convicted in 2003 for the 1998 sniper-style murder of Barnett Slepian, an American physician from Amherst, New York who performed abortions. Prior to his capture, Kopp was on the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. On June 7, 1999 he had become the 455th fugitive placed on the list by the FBI. He was affiliated with the militant Roman Catholic anti-abortion group known as “The Lambs of Christ“.

“Lambs of Christ,” indeed. When do we get to meet the Goats of Christ. But I wax sarcastic. Issues with Laura Ingraham run deeper. Getting back to the Las Vegas shooting:

On the October 5 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group’s The Laura Ingraham Show, host Laura Ingraham used her platform to spread conspiracy theories about the massacre in Las Vegas, NV. Ingraham claimed photos of the shooter’s room “were selectively leaked” to the media and “look[ed] like a scene from a Law & Order” episode because everything is “perfectly laid down.” Ingraham implied that these selective photos were staged and leaked to support Democrats who were “speaking from the same [gun control] script” since the attack. Ingraham also baselessly suggested that the shooter was inexperienced with firearms and “clearly in poor health” to cast doubt on the possibility he acted alone.

To be sure, law enforcement agencies are thinking the shooter may have had an accomplice, but it’s not due to his state of health. Unlike many jihadists of late, the Las Vegas shooter appeared to have an escape plan. That said, no accomplice has been identified. The above from MediaMatters is a summation. A pertinent quote is in order:

INGRAHAM: Selective leaking of photos. The press has an overwhelming lack of curiosity as to why those photos were selectively leaked, and where are the other photos? Where are the press folks asking questions about the check-in of Mr. Paddock? When he checked-in by himself, 10 significant-sized bags that held these weapons? Where’s that? Where’s the video? You’re releasing video of body cam — like one body cam video, as far as I can tell just one. You know all those police officers had body cams. One body cam video. And these pictures of the cart and the — it’s just very curious. But you notice how the media, they’re only on gun control. They’re not on — well, wait a second. How is this even possible for one man, with no significant weapons training —

I note from Wikipedia that “In 2012, Ingraham was rated as the No. 5 radio show in America,” and that is telling on the American audience. The quote above indicates there is not a boat load of deep insight going to waste here. And, yes, you guessed it. Ingraham is not alone in casting about for conspiracies. My Facebook feed is alive with them [a bunch of stuff deleted]:

If Ingraham has issues with deep insight, she has ample company. May Jesus have mercy on our souls.

People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 18

It is becoming apparent a bunch of people did not get the memo. It is wrong to believe in false stuff, and it especially wrong to believe in false and stupid stuff. Some people are unclear on the concept. Who, you might ask? How about a favorite of all, former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson:

Yes, Pat Robertson blamed the Vegas shooting on ‘disrespect’ for Trump and the national anthem

The Las Vegas attack was the result of disrespect for President Trump, televangelist Pat Robertson told his viewers Monday.

There is “violence in the streets,” Robertson said, because “we have disrespected authority. There is profound disrespect for our president, all across this nation. They say terrible things about him. It’s in the news; it’s in other places.”

That is, of course, depressing to hear. People disrespecting the President of the United States. Even worse, it’s causing death and destruction. Particularly, 58 (one count is 59) people were murdered at a Las Vegas musical concert Sunday night, and over 500 were injured. I would be the last to downplay the connection, but I’m thinking this may deserve some Skeptical Analysis.

First, an analysis of what motivated the supposed shooter, one Stephen Paddock. Obviously he was thrown off track by all the indignities being heaped upon the current president. The connection is clear. Clear, that is, to former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson. Drawing that conclusion from the void of evidence spilling out of the case takes a mind of immense comprehension. Or else a mind of immense disjuncture. I will leave it up to the reader to decide which.

Then there is the matter of scorn being heaped on a sitting president. Pat may have a point there.

Anyhow, these came across my wire, mostly by way of Facebook, in the past months. How’s that for respecting the office of President of the United States? But then, nothing has been said about disrespect for President Trump. So, let’s talk about it.

Are you tired yet of disrespecting this President? I’m not. I’m just getting warmed up.

Meanwhile, Pat, while you still have two braincells to keep each other company, think before you make any more absurd statements.


Number 37 of a series

Did I? Yes, I’m sure I did. I already mentioned I subscribe to a newsletter from the Media Research Center (MRC).  They are a news-corralling outfit with a conservative bent. They figure mainstream news outlets are slanted left, and their aim is to provide a right-leaning shove. They provide an enlightening look at the hurt pride of conservatives, who think the world is not giving them a fair shake. That said, here is something from a recent missive:

The double standard at CNN is stark. The cable news network can’t seem to find much time for the three-week long unfolding drama of the corruption trial of sitting Democratic Senator Robert Menendez from NJ. But it found nearly 2 hours in just one day to cover HHS Secretary Tom Price’s flights on private jets.

The item includes a link:

By Mike Ciandella | September 29, 2017 4:35 PM EDT

The double standard at CNN is stark. The cable news network can’t seem to find much time for the three-week long unfolding drama of the corruption trial of sitting Democratic Senator Robert Menendez from NJ. But it found nearly 2 hours in just one day to cover HHS Secretary Tom Price’s flights on private jets (this coverage was all before Price’s resignation).

Yes, that does sound a bit one-sided. All this talk about Tom Price’s obsession with plane travel and barely a squeak on the notorious Senator Menendez. Indeed, CNN’s most recent coverage, from a Google search, is four days old:

Menendez prosecutors begin tying friend’s campaign donations to senator’s political favors

Newark, New Jersey (CNN)An official at US Customs and Border Protection told jurors at Sen. Bob Menendez’s federal bribery trial Thursday that she received a “somewhat odd” request from the New Jersey Democrat’s staffer on January 11, 2013, asking the agency to hold off delivering cargo scanning equipment to the Dominican Republic.

And more, of course. Considering there may have been television content not posted to the Internet, I checked YouTube and could find nothing more recent. What could be the reason CNN is not dragging the Menendez trial across the screen hourly, while it’s jumping all over former Secretary Price’s ride fest? What, indeed?

Could it be the facts of the Menendez case have been aired for months and years, and the trial is a public rehash? And the Tom Price affair hit the pavement with a bounce over the past few days? Could be.

Note to the MRC, if conservatives feel feel they can’t get a break from the world of real news, there are some things they can do to turn this around. Here are some suggestions to get them started:

  • Quit denying the science behind biological evolution.
  • Quit pretending there is a magical person in the sky who smiles on American conservative values.
  • Quit insisting that guns do not kill people.
  • Shake loose that corrosive element of white supremacists and Nazis who dog your campaign rallies.
  • Quit promoting and electing a presidential candidate whose campaign comprised a 15-month long litany of bald-faced lies and personal insults.

When you get that cleared off your plate, come back, and I will give you the second installment. It took conservatives decades to dig the hole they’re in. They should not expect a miracle fix by the end of the year.

And may Jesus have mercy on your souls.

People Unclear

I’m posting enough of these I need to recognize a series. This is number 12.

I get a bunch of my story ideas from Facebook. Let me restate that. I get almost all my story ideas from Facebook. This one came through my feed yesterday, courtesy of a Facebook friend. See the image. It’s a screen shot from Facebook, and I’ve turned down the brightness so  you can read the name of the originating publication at the bottom. It’s And here’s what’s interesting.

The lined story was posted by Bre Payton, who is a staff writer covering culture and millennial politics, and she has some interesting things to say about the just started trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey:

Media Won’t Talk About Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s Corruption Trial

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s upcoming corruption trial has gotten very little attention from members of the media. When they do talk about it, they like to leave out the fact he’s a Democrat.

And that is strange on two levels. First, the media—meaning mean stream news outlets—pay little attention to (do not report much on) the Senator Menendez trial. Second, when they do talk about it, they neglect to mention that Menendez is a Democrat. Double strange, because double false.

Mainstream media have been reporting on the Menendez trial. CNN:

Newark, New Jersey (CNN)As he walked into the federal courthouse in New Jersey, Sen. Bob Menendez became emotional.

Speaking to reporters gathered in the rain Wednesday, he appeared to choke back tears as his son and daughter stood by his side.
“Never, not once, not once have I dishonored my public office,” said Menendez, a Democrat.


U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford” by accepting luxury trips and other favors from a wealthy doctor seeking political influence, a government prosecutor told jurors Wednesday during opening statements of the Democrat’s corruption trial.


A federal prosecutor said Wednesday the case against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is about a corrupt politician who, “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford, and a greedy eye doctor,” CBS News’ Pat Milton and Erica Brown report.

Prosecutor Peter Koski methodically and meticulously laid out the U.S. government’s corruption case against 63-year-old Menendez, a Democrat, who is charged with accepting bribes including lavish vacations and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Salomon Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye doctor, in exchange for political influence and favors to advance his business interests.


WASHINGTON — The first U.S. senator to face bribery charges in nearly four decades goes on trial Wednesday in a case that could affect the Senate’s partisan makeup and the fate of President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda.

Robert Menendez, a Democrat in his 12th year as a senator from New Jersey, is charged with using his influence to do favors for a Florida eye doctor accused of overbilling Medicare. In return, prosecutors say, the doctor treated Menendez to “a lavish lifestyle that included private jet rides and vacations in Paris and the Caribbean.”

The New York Times:

Since his indictment more than two years ago, Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence, and last week he reiterated that. “I am going to be exonerated,” he said in a brief interview on Wednesday with reporters following a rally protesting President Trump’s immigration policies.

I am not too sure how many of these mainstream media sources I am supposed to name in order to reveal that mainstream media are covering the Menendez trial. And they are calling him a Democrat. And they have been calling him a democrat for years. From The New York Times, 7 March 2015:

For decades, Senator Robert Menendez has been one of the immovable objects of New Jersey politics. Even now, staring down expected criminal charges, the Democratic lawmaker has vowed not to give way.

So, what am I missing here? I suspect what I am missing is that Bre Payton, who reports on culture and millennial politics, has now taken a turn at writing about the news—without first reading the news.

I am guessing some of the people who commented on the Facebook post are in the same situation. Here are some comments on Facebook, without naming names:

It wouldn’t surprise me if the piece is right about it being under-reported, especially the fact that he is a Democrat. Like the author says, the NY Times piece neglected to say he was a Democrat until it was edited a few hours later, and even then it was placed in the fourth paragraph. I would lay odds that if Menendez had been a Republican, the Times would have featured that fact much more prominently, maybe even in the title.

Imagine if he were a hated Republican. It would be a top story and the only story in many cases. As things are everyone expects that Democrats lie cheat and steal so it’s not news.

Imagine if you were actually adding something to the conversation rather than spouting off emotionally charged nonsense…

Hmmmm…. So you don’t think that pointing out the contrast between the way that “the media” treats republicans and democrats is adding anything. It’s not nonsense because it’s true. It’s also not emotionally charged, just a simple observation. Just trying to understand. You must be one of those that thinks that there is no real difference in the way that the media treats public figures. Either that or you think that all republicans are bad and so deserved to be treated differently. Which is it?

Apparently a bit of persecution complex is showing. To paraphrase, “The mainstream heads won’t hype the dirt unless it’s about a Republican.” For “Republican” you can substitute “conservative” or “Christian” or “white person.”

For the record, I’ve been on the story for several years:

This is another one of those posts. Sometimes (often times) people just don’t seem to get the point. In this case it’s Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey:

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors charged Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and wealthy donor Salomon Melgen on Wednesday with participating in a long-running bribery scheme.

New Jersey’s senior senator used his office to benefit the Florida eye doctor in exchange for nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions, prosecutors say.

68-page indictment outlines 14 criminal counts against Menendez, 61, including eight counts of bribery. Melgen, a 61-year-old West Palm Beach, Fla., ophthalmologist, faces 13 counts, also including eight bribery counts.

That’s from 2 April 2015. Maybe Bre Payton needs to follow my blog.

To be sure, Bre Payton’s story posted to The Federalist pointed out that The New York Times was slow coming around to the fact that Menendez is a Democrat:

On Sunday, The New York Times published a 1,288-word article about the trial, which begins Wednesday, without once mentioning Menendez’s political party affiliation. The newspaper of record then stealth-edited the piece hours later. The updated version identifies the New Jersey senator once in the fourth paragraph as a Democrat.

I like the phrase “stealth-edited.” Stealthy. In the middle of the night. When nobody was looking. So nobody would notice the Times was trying to play favorites. Good try, Payton, and welcome to the world of real news. If you worked for a real news outlet you would know it works something like this:

Editor: Nick [Corasaniti], did you write this? (Of course he did.)

Nick: Yes (gulp), sir.

Editor: I just read it. It’s already on the streets. You failed to mention Menendez is a Democrat.

Nick: Oops!

Editor: Fix it right now. Fix the on-line edition and print a correction in today’s edition.

I would like to contrast that with how things are done in the not-so-mainstream media:

The conspiracy-choked story of Seth Rich’s killing has made a sudden comeback thanks to Fox News, but the latest reporting seems to have generated more controversy than credibility.

Rich’s family is demanding a retraction from Fox for airing unsubstantiated claims about the Democratic National Committee staffer, whose death last year generated a wild river of theories and innuendo about who was behind it.

Fox’s latest reporting on the unsolved crime has an odd twist: Much of its work relies on a private investigator who is also a Fox News contributor. The investigator, in turn, is being funded by a frequent Fox News guest.

I would not bother to bring up this item, except that with Fox News this has been the modus operandi for much of its existence. Please do not ask me to cite additional examples, and I will not ask you to read them when I post them.

Friday Funny

Number 71 of a series

This series is supposed to be about funny things, so I’m wondering whether this story applies. I’m going to guess it does, provided I define ironic as funny.

Rapper Shot and Killed After Claiming ‘God Made Me Bulletproof’

God made me bulletproof 🙏🙏

— Yung Mazi (@yungmazibwa) December 27, 2016

Apparently last Sunday was God’s day off.

Friday Funny

Number 66 of a series

Friday again. How about another tale of stupid criminals. They are always a lot of fun. Here’s one from merry old England:

Armed robber Andrew Hennells was caught after he boasted on Facebook about his plans to raid a supermarket in a post which included a selfie, a picture of a knife, and the words: “Doing. Tesco. Over.”

Police caught him 15 minutes later with the knife and £410 in cash stolen from a Tesco in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

He was jailed for four years last April.

Some criminals like to brag to their pals about their extra-legal exploits. A booth in  the local pub would be a bad idea. Worse yet would be on live TV or on  Facebook, both about the same. These are the funny ones.

Dying to Believe

Some more of the same

It’s Tuesday again, and the names of those who died for Jesus continues to be drawn from the record of years past. This week we commemorate the sacrifice of Garrett Dean Eells to the healing power of faith:

Oregon woman fights Idaho faith healing laws

On a serene, windswept hill outside of Boise is a cemetery called Peaceful Valley. It is where some Followers of Christ members bury their dead. Of the more than 550 graves, at least 144 appear to be of children under 18 years old. At least 12 of those children have been buried since 2011, including Garret Dean Eells. The coroner said he died from untreated pneumonia. He was six days old.

KOIN Channel 5 in Portland, Oregon, reports on  a continuing issue. The story concerns members of a church in Oregon City called Followers of Christ. Oregon law previously protected parents who, for religious purposes, did not provide proper medical treatment for their children. In Idaho, where young Garrett Dean Eells died, the same church continues to practice faith healing without fear of legal retribution. Children continue to die.

Dying to Believe

Some more of the same

It’s now over a year since I started posting these, one each week. If a person were not cautious, a person would conclude that Jesus has an inordinate love for the young and helpless. He takes so many of them under his wing. A previous post marked the sacrifice of young Monica Johnson. Now I mark the passing of her sister:

“What seems to be happening is that the children are doing fine and then they take a turn for the worse very quickly,” said Robert Levenson, director of the Philadelphia Health Department’s division of disease control.

Indeed, after 9-year-old Monica Johnson died last Sunday, a health department doctor visited the other 11 children in the family and, while not permitted to conduct an actual physical exam, found no cause for alarm. But early this morning Monica’s 13-year-old sister, Tina-Louise, died.

Monica, Tina-Louise, plus 9-year-old Karen Still, all died in a measles outbreak associated with, and to the fault of, two fundamentalist Christian churches in Philadelphia in 1991. The New York Times reported then:

Measles and Faith Combine In 5 Deaths in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 15— Five children have died in a measles outbreak here in the last 10 days, all of them from families that belong to two fundamentalist churches that preach a reliance on prayer, not medical care, to cure disease.

The churches, the Faith Tabernacle Congregation and the First Century Gospel Church, each run their own schools, which together have about 350 students who have never been inoculated against measles or other diseases.

[Emphasis added]

I have chosen to dribble these deaths out one at a time, week upon week, every Tuesday morning, in order to drive home a point. This problem is not come and gone. It persists. On a daily basis people are using religion as a license to kill—their children. So long as I can obtain the name or death report of a child, or an adult, who has fallen victim to this cultural monstrosity, I will post the details on a Tuesday.