The Conversation

Number 4 in a series

This breaks slightly from the theme set previously, but it does concern a conversation. It’s a conversation that was reported weeks ago, but it’s one that became salient with recent developments. Anderson Cooper had some fun with it last week on CNN, and the news channel played it with captions. Here it is.

It’s a joy to watch when ordinary words acquire an entirely new meaning.

Breathtaking Inanity

Number 8 of a continuing series

I should have started off by naming this series “Space-Warping Inanity” or something like that, because “Breathtaking” is beginning to appear too lame. Anyhow, it’s done, and I need to keep the title.

Anyhow, this morning I linked to CNN and pulled up this clip from “The Lead,” hosted by Jake Tapper. He played a clip from yesterday’s “Fox and Friends,” and my mind was unprepared for what I saw. The president’s son, Don Jr., was on, and he had some choice words. From The Raw Story:

“I’ve been hearing this for two years — everyone is getting, everyone is going to jail,” he said. “Meanwhile, they haven’t actually found anything relates to this. What they did was put incredible pressure on regular guys that couldn’t afford million dollars in legal fees, and got them to slip up, say something incorrectly. They pretended they were their friends.”

Continuing:

“There are no actual crimes,” Trump Jr. said. “There’s only things that people did in past lives – in 2006 before we even thought we ever get into this crazy world, and that’s what it is. They’re touting these things as victories– it’s not. What it has been a total farce, the greatest witch-hunt in American history.”

Right! No actual crimes. Let that sink in. Tapper was quick to respond with some elaboration, and The Raw Story has much the same comment:

Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort, deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, former national security adviser Mike Flynn, longtime Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have all pleaded guilty to lying to investigators.

Skipping over…

The guilty pleas and convictions cover crimes that occurred during the 2016 presidential campaign and after the 2017 inauguration, although some of Manafort’s crimes continued well into 2018.

Yeah, these sound like real crimes to me. The FBI and the Justice Department noticed in 2016 that Flynn conversed with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to reassure him that the United States would not impose sanctions for Russia’s meddling in the elections. Then Flynn lied about the whole business to the FBI agents who went over to talk to him about it. Then he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about it, and President Trump, Don Jr.’s father, fired him. The Justice Department charged Flynn with the federal crime of lying to the government agents, among other offenses. He has accepted a plea deal and is awaiting sentencing. That sounds to me as though a crime was committed.

In addition to generally lying at the drop of a hat, President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was convicted of non-governmental crimes, including money laundering and bank fraud. What part of this does Don Jr. not comprehend? And along with that, what planet does he live on? Is it possible the nut does not fall far from the tree?

People Unclear

This is number 49 of a series

This series is devoted to those people who seem unable to grasp a few of the fundamentals. Despite all that society can do fro them, they remain unclear on a number of points. A case would be former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani:

Rudy Giuliani: Unelected op-ed writer is a “very dangerous person”

The President’s lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, responded to a random Twitter user speculating on the identity of the op-ed writer.

“If it could be anyone at such a high level he probably has top security clearances and a history of leaking,” Giuliani said.

“He’s been elected to nothing, but at anytime he could substitute his judgment for our elected politically accountable President. Very dangerous person.”

The phrase that catches in my craw is “He’s been elected to nothing, but at anytime he could substitute his judgment for our elected politically accountable President. Very dangerous person.”

Yeah, dangerous. Allow me to put this dangerous person into perspective.

A ten-year-old boy, who’s been elected to nothing, is standing on the sidewalk when he notices some masked men carrying bags of money out of a bank. He now substitutes his judgment for that of the people running the bank, and he runs down the street yelling, “Somebody is robbing the bank!”

That appears to be what has happened. Somebody, not elected to his position by anybody, has blown the whistle on an elected official who is totally misusing the power entrusted to him by the voters. Somebody is robbing the bank!

Rudy, let me know when this soaks in. I’m going to hold my breath. Not really.

This is your President speaking.

Number 134

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

The Failing New York Times wrote a story that made it seem like the White House Councel [sic] had TURNED on the President, when in fact it is just the opposite – & the two Fake reporters knew this. This is why the Fake News Media has become the Enemy of the People. So bad for America!

Yeah, well there’s more to the story than that, and CNN has put the story on YouTube, which you can watch.

Donald McGahn was present when some of the interesting stuff was going down. He threatened to quit when the President told him to fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller. He had knowledge that Michael Flynn lied to the FBI. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would quit if Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were fired.

Meanwhile, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani wants the investigation closed down soonest. Definitely before the 2018 election season reaches critical mass and for sure before any more of the bad stuff comes out.

We are getting this from a CNN correspondent reporting from Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, where the president is taking a weekend golf vacation.

The New York Times is reporting that McGahn picked up on the notion he was being set to take the fall when President Trump offered to have him cooperate with the special counsel.

McGahn has his own attorney, and the two of them devised the strategy of coming straight with the Mueller investigators and to never tell a lie. How refreshing coming from an administration official.

 

Here’s the story that’s at the center of this weekend’s fireball. From The New York Times:

White House Counsel, Don McGahn, Has Cooperated Extensively in Mueller Inquiry

WASHINGTON — The White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, has cooperated extensively in the special counsel investigation, sharing detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether President Trump obstructed justice, including some that investigators would not have learned of otherwise, according to a dozen current and former White House officials and others briefed on the matter.

In at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, Mr. McGahn described the president’s fury toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which he urged Mr. McGahn to respond to it. He provided the investigators examining whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice a clear view of the president’s most intimate moments with his lawyer.

Among them were Mr. Trump’s comments and actions during the firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and Mr. Trump’s obsession with putting a loyalist in charge of the inquiry, including his repeated urging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of it. Mr. McGahn was also centrally involved in Mr. Trump’s attempts to fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which investigators might not have discovered without him.

There is something special about a government lawyer. The client is the American people, so lawyer-client privilege pretty much goes out the window. Government employees are generally required to cough up information they may have when requested by somebody performing a criminal investigation. This is what the President of the United States is calling “So bad for America.”

He said it. I didn’t.

And, oh yes:

The Government You Paid For

Number 35 of a Series

As I have mentioned before, I am so glad we are finally getting the government we paid for. That said, it’s time to turn our attention to one who daily puts service to the American public front and center on a daily basis.

On Wednesday CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, now moved to prime time, was down to the nation’s capital, and he interviewed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She’s really just Sarah Sanders, being married to Mr. Bryan Sanders, but I like to insert her maiden name to remind us she is descended from former Arkansas governor and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. My observation has been that in this case the apple did not fall far from the tree, but that’s a matter for another story.

Anyhow, Mrs. Sanders has done an admirable job of speaking on behalf of President Trump since last year, when she took over for Sean Spicer, who had a tendency to wilt under the pressure. Apparently you can stand only so long telling reporters that it is so when all the while they know that it is not so. Saying it is so when it is not seems to be built into Sanders’ DNA, a definite requirement for the job. Take the above screen shot from Cuomo’s Wednesday night show. Before getting around to talking with Mrs. Sanders he cruelly put up a video, apparently of remarks she made on Monday regarding the low esteem the administration holds for mainstream media. She is quoted as saying of these news hawkers, “My credibility is probably higher.”

See what I mean? Sean Spicer, the previous press secretary, was able to make such statements, to his credit, but there was the perception he was having difficulty keeping a straight face. And, as I have said, he soon wilted and had to be pulled. Historically, Mrs. Sanders has stood firm and unblinking going on for nearly a year. Pardon the expression, but the lady has balls. This is one of those cases that require further analysis.

To begin with, the statement, “My credibility is probably higher,” could be misinterpreted. Without forewarning, the casual listener would be tempted to fill out the unsaid portion. To give an example, listeners might presume to reconstruct the statement like this: “Compared to Willie Sutton, my credibility is probably higher.” That was the thought that came to my mind, along with the thought that the conclusion is debatable.

Anyhow, Chris Cuomo’s segment runs over 19 minutes on YouTube, and CNN has been kind to post a transcript on-line, saving my having to run the tape back and forth to pick up snatches of the conversation. It’s interesting to examine a few excerpts. Here is one:

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: The most visible member of the administration outside of the president himself is Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and she is here.

Sarah, it is good to see you.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE: Good to see you.

CUOMO: I respect you taking the opportunity.

SANDERS: Thank you. Thanks for being in D.C.

CUOMO: Well, I came for you.

What do you think about this as a positive pivot? Let’s take a look at this situation and see if we can get to a place, mutual respect, both sides think credibility counts, and we move forward. What do you say?

SANDERS: All right. We’ll give it a shot.

Yeah, and that just about does it for the pleasantries for much of the remainder.

They begin by talking about the meeting at Trump Tower in New York on 9 June 2016 between members of the Trump campaign team and a Russian lawyer who promised to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee. Trump campaign members attending included campaign manager Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr.

Records of the meeting preparations came to light, and there was an element of embarrassment. Trump Jr. attempted to put our minds at ease by asserting the meeting was not about Clinton, rather it concerned the adoption of Russian orphans. That was obviously a lie.

It was suspected that President Trump issued a statement for Trump Jr. to unload on pesky reporters. When these suspicions were voiced, the White House, in the person of Mrs. Sanders pushed back:

On August 1, at the next day’s White House press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that Trump “certainly didn’t dictate, but … he weighed in, offered suggestion, like any father would do”

As we now know, that didn’t wash, despite reassurances from President Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulov:

On July 16, 2017, in an NBC interview Donald Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulov again said that Donald Trump did not draft the response and was not involved in the drafting of the statement.

Rather than continuing to bore you with the lengthy history, the lie has now been put to rest:

(CNN) – In a confidential letter to special counsel Robert Mueller in January, President Donald Trump’s legal team acknowledged for the first time that Trump “dictated” the first misleading statement put out about his son’s controversial 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower.

And that’s the lead-in to the following exchange between Cuomo and Sanders:

CUOMO: All right. Where’s the sticking point? This meeting matters, you know it does. I understand the reference to counsel. I get it. Not just because I’m an attorney, but you don’t want to answer for the lawyers, you don’t want to answer for an operation that you’re not a part of. I get it.

But you can answer for what you said. You don’t have to refer to counsel for that. Sekulow is not your lawyer. He’s the president’s lawyer. You’re saying, he didn’t dictate this. He did what any father would do.

That turns out not to be true. You agree with that?

SANDERS: Once again, I know I answered this question on Monday. I answered it on Tuesday, and I’m going to answer it the same way today and you’re probably not going to like it anymore on Wednesday than it sounds like you liked it on Monday or Tuesday. But this is a legal matter and the appropriate individuals to answer questions on a legal matter are the outside counsel.

And I would direct you to them. And frankly, I did direct you to them. And you had them here on your set and asked them that question and I would refer you back to that statement.

See? That’s why Sanders makes the big bucks. She can stare a reporter in the face and say she already answered that question, which she did not do, and she will refer you back to an original statement in which she did not answer the question but instead referred back to another source, which source she observes is not covered by her job title, and that’s that, and you can take your silly questions and stick them where the sun does not shine.

There’s a lot more, and here’s a part of what gives me the most joy:

CUOMO: Let’s look at it a different way. Do you wish that the White House had corrected the error between where it started and where it wound up with Sekulow in this letter sooner?

SANDERS: I wish that we spent a lot less time focused on things the American people don’t care about. I wish we spent a lot less time talking about this witch hunt and that we talked about things that impact everyday Americans. I wish we spent a lot more time talking about the economy.

I wish that your network had spent a lot more time today covering a very important piece of legislation that the president signed when he spent a good bit of time this afternoon talking about the importance of Veterans Choice Act that he signed into law today. And your network didn’t even take that.

I wish those were the things that we spent time talking about that.

That’s right. We should be talking about the economy and the veterans bill just signed. Except that… Except, lady, your house is on fire! Don’t you think we should talk about that?

Truth be told, I do miss Sean Spicer. He squirmed so deliciously. Sanders, to my simultaneous dismay and wonder, pastes on that smile of self-righteous certitude and reminds us that we are wrong, and she is right. Move over, Willie Sutton.

Inner Santorum

Number 2 in a series

So, this morning I was playing catch up with the news streaming over my Internet feed, and this popped up. And I got to wondering why I never voted for Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in his multiple bids for the presidency? Then I slapped my forehead and thought, “Oh, yeah!”

The discussion on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning was about Saturday’s country-wide marches demanding action on gun violence. Senator Santorum is now a CNN commentator, and I heartedly agree his comments are worth experiencing. For example, yesterday morning he spoke out on the students participating in these marches. Here is what he had to say:

How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that.

Such a kernel of wisdom I do not often experience, and my mind attempted to expand on it. DPRK Dictator for Life Kim Jong-un is making threats to lon a hydrogen bomb on the United states, so instead of wasting their time urging the government to put the kibosh on Kim’s ambitions, citizens should practice using a shovel to bury the dead.

Yes, people, do not, I  repeat, do not work to prevent students from getting shot. Instead, take some personal responsibility and learn how to save the life of your best friend who has been shot through the head with a 5.56 mm round. That’s real leadership.

Speaking of leadership, this is not Rick Santorum’s first trip to the salad bar. He is known best for the “Santorum Amendment.” It was not really an amendment, but rather it was a proposal for an amendment to an education bill:

The Santorum Amendment was a failed proposed amendment to the 2001 education funding bill (which became known as the No Child Left Behind Act), proposed by Republican Rick Santorum (then a United States Senator for Pennsylvania), which promoted the teaching of intelligent design while questioning the academic standing of evolution in US public schools. In response, a coalition of 96 scientific and educational organizations wrote a letter to the conference committee, urging that the amendment be stricken from the final bill, arguing that evolution is, in the scientific fields, regarded as fact and that the amendment creates the misperception that evolution is not fully accepted in the scientific community, and thus weakens science curricula. The words of the amendment survive in modified form in the Bill’s Conference Report and do not carry the weight of law. As one of the Discovery Institute intelligent design campaigns it became a cornerstone in the intelligent design movement’s “Teach the Controversy” campaign.

Yes, former Senator Rick Santorum is a creationist, and whatever he eventually makes of his life, he will always be known for his skewed views on science and the world in general. He is our very own, the inner Santorum.

People Unclear

This is number 33

Yes, it is true. There are still some people how have not received the memo. Specifically, there are things that are true, and saying they are not true does not make them not true. Things have to actually be not true before they are not true. Case in point:

Evangelist Franklin Graham defended President Donald Trump on CNN late Tuesday, saying “all of us are sinners” and “he’s not the pastor of this country.”

Graham stood up for Trump when CNN anchor Don Lemon mentioned the president’s use of foul, derogatory language and reports of an affair more than a decade ago with porn star Stormy Daniels, reports The Charlotte Observer.

“There’s a lot of presidents that have had rough language,” Graham told Lemon, noting that Trump comes from a business, not political, background.

Graham, however, said Trump has denied asking during a White House meeting why he should accept immigrants from “shithole countries” rather than people from places like Norway.

“He said he didn’t say it,” the evangelist told Lemon, adding that some others in the meeting have said they never heard Trump use that language.

I particularly like “He said he didn’t say it.”

He didn’t say it? Really? Are you sure he didn’t say it? If he didn’t say it, then the next question that comes to mind is why didn’t he say it? To not have said it would be totally out of character for President Trump. Remember, Reverend Graham, this is the same Trump who called a woman reporter a cunt, mocked a reporter with a disability, called a former First Lady “crooked Hillary.” Do I need  to go on? If President Trump had failed to call some countries, including all those in Africa, “shit-hole countries,” then the Secret Service would have been alerted to the fact and would immediately start to investigate whether a Manchurian Candidate had been substituted for the actual Donald Trump.

Reverend Graham, he said it. But you are telling Don Lemon he didn’t say it.

Exodus 20:16 King James Version (KJV)

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Are we now down to only nine commandments? Maybe it’s time somebody gave Reverend Graham a copy of the memo.

Candidates Acting Stupidly

CarlyFiorinaGOPDebate-01

One of a continuing series

Whose turn is it now? Who’s been out on the campaign trail acting stupidly when they should have been poring over books of facts? Why, it’s Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Corporation.

I was up last night watching the debate among Republican candidates on CNN. I could not catch everything, but I recorded all but a smidgen, and I saved it off to a Blu-ray disk. Being politically naive, I rely on various news outlets to pick up on stuff that just blows right past me. I did go back and catch this from my copy:

As regards Planned Parenthood, anyone who has watched this video tape—I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.

That was candidate Fiorina speaking during the debate. And what a slam dunk, no nonsense, grab them by the balls indictment of a cause that is so dear to bleeding-heart liberals and especially candidate Hillary Clinton. This exhibits strength of character and the kind of forcefulness that will carry a presidential contender right to the steps of the White House. But not inside. To go inside you sometimes need to get it right, which candidate Fiorina failed to do. Spectacularly.

That liberal media outlet, owned by left-leaning Rupert Murdoch and known as The Wall Street Journal, had this to say:

At Debate, Carly Fiorina Described Scenes Not in Abortion Videos

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina won applause in Wednesday’s debate for her vivid description of a live fetus she said was shown in an antiabortion group’s undercover video about Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

But the image she described isn’t in any of the videos released by the antiabortion group. Instead, one video from the group depicts a former employee of a tissue procurement company stating what she says she saw at a Planned Parenthood clinic. There was never any video that depicted, as Ms. Fiorina stated, a live fetus on a table being prepared for organ harvesting.

Ouch! That has got to hurt. But we all know it’s going to blow over. After all, we are all of us human, and we can, from time to time, make mistakes. Even presidents:

You bombed Iraq? I told you to bomb Iran. I did? Gosh darn, I meant to say Iran, but it kind of came out Iraq. If there’s still time, can you send out the planes and bomb Iran?

Of course that’s a joke. This is not:

On Monday, President Bush admitted that the Iraq war is “straining the psyche of our country.” But he vowed to stay the course. A reporter questioned him about why he opposed withdrawing US troops from Iraq. In his answer, Bush admitted that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and had “nothing” to do with 9/11. [includes rush transcript]

Carly Fiorina can lay off these lapses on her advisers, the people who told her this was a legitimate tape. The problem is Fiorina picked those advisors, just as George W. Bush picked the people to advise him on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Just as candidate John McCain picked the advisors who assured him Sarah Palin was a winning candidate.

A candidate can shift from gaff to gaff and continue to act stupidly, and they will suffer the consequences. When a president acts stupidly people die.

Liar!

StarWars-01

Did I mention that I get up at 5 in the morning to watch the news on TV?

Now that I’m retired I get to do a lot of things I like to do. One of the things I like to do is get up and watch the news on cable TV at 5 in the morning. An advantage is I get to see all that stuff that happened while I was asleep. There are others.

What I saw yesterday morning was CNN anchor Chris Cuomo interviewing Peter Sprigg, speaking for the Family Research Council:

Sprigg joined the FRC in 2001, and his research and writing have addressed issues of marriage and family, human sexuality, and religion in public life, and opposition to same-sex marriage and gay rights. He has testified before federal, state and local courts on these issues. He has argued that gay marriage is not an issue of civil rights. He has linked homosexuality to pedophilia, and argued that homosexuals are trying to brainwash children into accepting homosexuality through public schools. Sprigg has publicly suggested that repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would encourage molestation of heterosexual members of the military and suggested Kevin Jennings may have engaged in statutory rape. In February 2010, Sprigg stated on NBC’s Hardball that gay behavior should be outlawed and that Lawrence v. Texas was wrongly decide by the U.S. Supreme Court and that “criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior” should be enforced; FRC President Tony Perkins later declared that criminalizing homosexuality is not a goal of the Council.

Readers should note the Wikipedia article excerpted above contains notes that certain sources may be unreliable. Follow the link and review the sources for yourself to get the full story. Take some time to view the clip. It may not be on CNN forever, but by now somebody has posted it on YouTube, where it will likely live for all eternity.

In the mean time Mediaite has posted a digest of the conversation, which I am posting here almost in its entirety:

“There is a picture that’s circulating around of the governor as he signed [the bill],” Cuomo said. “Several of the people in the picture are outspoken critics of gay existence. Now, that’s not a coincidence. It’s not a coincidence why you’re against it. Let me ask you, why do so many Christians these days believe that the exercise of their faith requires exclusion and judgment of others?”

“Some people have a sincere, conscientious belief that marriage is defined as the union between a man and a woman,” Sprigg replied. “In fact the majority of Americans believe that.”

“Popularity is not the ultimate arbiter of what is right and wrong if protecting rights under the Constitution,” Cuomo said. “The question then goes to: why do you need this? What is it about someone being gay or someone wanting to marry someone of the same sex — what is there in that that is keeping you from being the Christian you want to be?…If I said, Mr. Sprigg, you must go marry a man right now, you can say, no, that’s a violation of my faith. Maybe that, you would be able clear this burden. But how is wanting to judge others somehow stopping you from practicing your faith?”

Sprigg objected that the burden placed on gay couples to find another florist or wedding photographer was nothing near the burden placed on religious business owners whom he said would be forced to violate their faith or suffer penalties.

“Everybody has the chance to be who they want to be in America except for apparently Christians in the wedding industry,” Sprigg said.

That is all so very interesting. “Everybody has the chance to be who they want to be in America except for apparently Christians in the wedding industry.” According to Peter Sprigg, what some Christians want is to not do business with a class of people they consider inferior to themselves. It would be a violation of some people’s faith to do business with homosexuals. At this point we may begin to wonder what kind of faith is it that considers some honest and law abiding citizens to be of a lower class.

The joy continues.

This morning they are still discussing the matter on CNN. The headline is “Indiana Governor: New Law “Grossly Misconstrued.'” Chris Cuomo is also announcing that Arkansas has a similar law on the path to adoption, with Governor Asa Hutchinson promising to sign it. Cuomo interviewed Ryan McCann, Policy Director for the Indiana Family Institute:

Ryan McCann serves as the Director of Operations and Public Policy at the Indiana Family Institute, a nonprofit public policy development and advocacy organization focused on strengthening Hoosier families.

Serving in this capacity for the Institute, McCann assists the President in managing the day-to-day operations of the Institute, with a special focus on influencing public policy within Indiana and informing Hoosiers of ways in which they can mold their government and culture in family friendly ways. IFI is among 34 Family Policy Councils across the nation, and is affiliated with Focus on the Family, a Colorado Springs, Colorado, ministry; Family Research Council, a Washington, D.C. based think tank; and the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation. These organizations all share a passion for promoting policies and practices in the public sphere to strengthen families, the bedrock institution of all great nations.

RyanMcCannOnCNN

The conversation went something like this:

Cuomo: Are you taken by surprise at this backfire at the law?

Cuomo is obviously talking about Indiana’s Queer Law. You would not know that from Ryan McCann’s response:

Yes, I am taken a bit by surprise. Thank you for having me on.

We were able to get through a legislative session and committee hearings and give a lot of information about the bill, how it passed in 1993 on the federal level…

Wait! The Indiana bill was passed this month. What happened in 1993?

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-141, 107 Stat. 1488 (November 16, 1993), codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb through 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-4 (also known as RFRA), is a 1993 United States federal law that “ensures that interests in religious freedom are protected.” The bill was introduced by Congressman Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on March 11, 1993 and passed by a unanimous U.S. House and a near unanimous U.S. Senate with three dissenting votes and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

The RFRA was held unconstitutional as applied to the states in the City of Boerne v. Flores decision in 1997, which ruled that the RFRA is not a proper exercise of Congress’s enforcement power. However, it continues to be applied to the federal government—for instance, in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal—because Congress has broad authority to carve out exemptions from federal laws and regulations that it itself has authorized. In response to City of Boerne v. Flores and other related RFR issues, twenty individual states have passed State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that apply to state governments and local municipalities.

To make it short, the video shows McCann going on and on about “RFRA” until finally Cuomo brings him back to reality. You can catch it all in the video. In the mean time I’m going to again fall back on Mediaite for a summary:

Things got personal when Cuomo demanded McCann account for the real motives behind the bill, which was supported by “groups like yours, that are Christian-based, with an animus toward the LGBT community. Own who and what you are. There’s nothing wrong with that you’re allowed to believe it but you’re not about native americans or people who want liver transplants, right?”

Cuomo tried to get McCann to answer whether he would support making gays and lesbians a protected class in Indiana, which critics of the law say would stunt its discriminatory impact. McCann would not answer; Cuomo even at one point cited George Stephanopoulos’ interview with Indiana Governor Mike Pence, in which the governor repeatedly dodged a yes or no question on the bill.

McCann ended by saying he was “offended” by Cuomo’s accusation that he was anti-LGBT. Cuomo put up and read a quote from McCann’s 2009 blog post in which he argued that homosexuality could be fixed. McCann claimed no familiarity with the language, essentially accusing Cuomo of making it up.

Further, McCann objected to what he considered an unwarranted attack by Cuomo—a mis-characterization of his views on homosexuals. Cuomo insisted he was only going on what McCann has previously stated as his position. Then Cuomo did something exceedingly cruel. He dredged up McCann’s own words and posted them for all to see:

RyanMcCannOnCNN-02

RyanMcCannOnCNN-03

I will do something almost as cruel. I will put up some words (in abbreviated form) by another person from long ago:

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

The pertinent text is in bold.

Now I will put up recent words. These are by me:

LIAR

Ryan McCann is a liar. Peter Sprigg was a liar before him. Indiana Governor Mike Pence was a liar before that. They have been coming on the news and telling us “The Indiana Religious Freedom Act” is not aimed at protecting discrimination. Really? Let’s take a look at another image.

IndianaGovernorMikeSpenceSigningBill-01

That’s the governor signing the Religious Freedom Act. It’s not a public ceremony. Apparently nobody from the press was there. Apparently a photographer was there. Supporters of the law, including Ryan McCann, have pointed out the law will protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans-gender people. Here we see a number of them in attendance and giving support to the governor for protecting their liberties. I am currently not able to identify any of the LGBT community present in support at the time, but CNN has provided another image:

IndianaGovernorMikeSpenceSigningBill-02

Now that really is cruel. The news media can be so heartless when ratings are at stake. Here’s what the images show. Standing behind and very close to the governor are:

Curt Smith: Heads up the Indiana Family Institute. “Indiana Family Institute is a statewide research and education organization affiliated with Focus on the Family that is a voice for traditional families in Indiana. It is our mission to persuasively present biblical principles in the centers of influence on issues affecting the family through research, communication and networking.”

Micah Clark: “Used biblical passage about it being ‘better to have a millstone tied around your neck and thrown in the sea’ in reference to the Boy Scouts accepting gay youth: ‘What did Christ say about harming the least of these?’  He said it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown in the sea on the day of judgement than to cause a child to stumble into sin.  And if we’re going to support organizations telling kids that homosexuality is okay—which is treatable, changeable, you don’t have to be homosexual, but if you are, you are at significantly higher risks of mental harm, psychical harm, emotional harm and spiritual harm—we cant be a part of that.  (Source; starts around 2:00 mark)”

[Edited for spelling]

Eric Miller: Executive Director of Advance America. “Hate crimes laws only apply to behaviors that are already designated as crimes, so no speech would ever be impacted. The Indy Star notes that Eric Miller, head of Advance America, has campaigned heavily against hate crimes protections based on sexual orientation for many years. In that regard, he’s been successful, because Indiana doesn’t even have such a law. If constitutionally codified discrimination is rejected, it will impact neither hate crime laws nor the freedom of speech — for pastors or anybody else.”

These are people who would not even walk across the street to protect the liberties of LGBT people. But they would show up to celebrate the signing of a law that allows Christians to discriminate against these people.

Somebody is lying.

There’s more to this story, and you’re going to see it. Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

The Good Book

CRW_5405

This came up on a “liberal” news source just recently:

Monoclonal antibody

Monoclonal antibodies (mAb or moAb) are monospecific antibodies that are the same because they are made by identical immune cells that are all clones of a unique parent cell, in contrast to polyclonal antibodies which are made from several different immune cells. Monoclonal antibodies have monovalent affinity, in that they bind to the same epitope.

Given almost any substance, it is possible to produce monoclonal antibodies that specifically bind to that substance; they can then serve to detect or purify that substance. This has become an important tool in biochemistry, molecular biology and medicine. When used as medications, the non-proprietary drug name ends in -mab (see “Nomenclature of monoclonal antibodies“), and many immunotherapy specialists use the word mab anacronymically.

What happened earlier this year was that there was a new, and also the most severe, outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

An epidemic of the Ebola virus disease is ongoing in several West African countries. The outbreak first began in Guinea in March 2014. Since its initial outbreak, the virus has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. The outbreak is the most severe of its kind in recorded history in regard to both the number of human cases and fatalities. A total of 1711 suspected cases with 932 deaths have been reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) as of 4 August 2014, of which 1070 cases and 603 deaths have been laboratory confirmed to be Ebola.

[Some links deleted]

One American traveling in the region became infected and died. Two Americans working to treat patients and to contain the epidemic became infected. These may have gotten a reprieve:

An experimental serum given to Christian aid workers infected with the deadly Ebola virus was manufactured by a San Diego pharmaceutical firm using plants, the company and U.S. health authorities disclosed Monday.

As Dr. Kent Brantly fights for his life in a special containment unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, and missionary Nancy Writebol prepares to be evacuated from Liberia on Tuesday, details began to emerge about a mysterious treatment they were given shortly after they became infected.

On “liberal left leaning” CNN this morning a scientist explained the concept behind monoclonal antibodies. I don’t have that interview, but I do have this from Wikipedia:

Monoclonal antibodies are typically made by fusing myeloma cells with the spleen cells from a mouse that has been immunized with the desired antigen. However, recent advances have allowed the use of rabbit B-cells to form a rabbit hybridoma. Polyethylene glycol is used to fuse adjacent plasma membranes, but the success rate is low so a selective medium in which only fused cells can grow is used. This is possible because myeloma cells have lost the ability to synthesize hypoxanthine-guanine-phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRT), an enzyme necessary for the salvage synthesis of nucleic acids. The absence of HGPRT is not a problem for these cells unless the de novo purine synthesis pathway is also disrupted. By exposing cells to aminopterin (a folic acid analogue, which inhibits dihydrofolate reductase, DHFR), they are unable to use the de novo pathway and become fully auxotrophic for nucleic acids requiring supplementation to survive.

[Some links deleted]

The antibodies bind to features on the virus that facilitate the virus’ entry into a living cell. This blocks the virus from entering the cell. A virus cannot reproduce itself. It uses the cell’s replication mechanism to make new copies of itself.

The particular mAB used to treat the American patients was, in fact, produced inside a tobacco plant. The plant was immersed in water loaded with the virus, causing the virus to infect the plant. The plant then produced the antibodies, which were extracted from the tobacco leaves.

If you’re like me, you are by now saying, “This is really neat stuff.” Also, if you’re like me by now you’re saying, “How come none of this is mentioned in the Bible?” Creationists (and many devout Christians) tell me I should look for answers in the Bible. I have seen statements in the past that the Bible is the only book we need. I have heard that all usable knowledge comes from the Bible. Creationist Ken Ham comes close to this:

And I do believe there can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel. You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation. One day, the whole universe will be judged by fire, and there will be a new heavens and earth. God’s Son stepped into history to be Jesus Christ, the “Godman,” to be our relative, and to be the perfect sacrifice for sin—the Savior of mankind.

Apparently that only works so far. I notice a number of things not included in the Bible:

  • The Earth goes around the Sun.
  • The Moon goes around the Earth.
  • The Earth is round.
  • Other continents exist on the opposite side of the Earth, and they host advanced civilizations.
  • Water is composed of oxygen and hyrdogen.
  • The square root of 2 is an irrational number.

I have a copy of the Bible, and I keep it on a book shelf in my computer room, between a book on numerical recipes and one on network programming. If I need some basic stuff, I look to the left. If I need something advanced I look to the right. The other book is there for contrast.

The Lady Says No

Of course, the title is from the movie from 1952:

A woman writes a best-selling book for women warning them about the “dangers” of men. A handsome photographer for a national magazine arrives in her town to do a feature story on her. Complications ensue.

It’s been 62 years since I saw it, but it was fun watch David Niven and Joan Caufield spar for 80 or so minutes before they finally realize they should be making babies.

But this is about another lady who said no:

Co-host of the Dallas, Texas talk show The Broadcast, Amy Kushnir, joined Shannon Bream on the Kelly File on Thursday.

Kushnir made news earlier this week after she stormed off the set of The Broadcast during a discussion on St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam.

Television coverage showed Sam kissing his boyfriend shortly after being drafted by the AFC West team.

Apparently Amy wants to warn men about the “dangers” of men. My, how times have changed:

In olden days a glimpse of stocking 
Was looked on as something shocking, 
But now, God knows, 
Anything Goes.

Movie poster from Wikipedia

Movie poster from Wikipedia

Readers, this is not  1922. It takes more to shock us these days. What, you may ask? Like two men kissing:

KUSHNIR: Well in this case, we were specifically talking about the Michael Sam incident, the kissing incident. And so, we were really focusing on that and what came to my mind initially was just that, I didn’t feel it was appropriate. It was actually over the top. ESPN used it as an opportunity to put out shocking video when ESPN is a sports network that families watch. I mean, we’ve got children that play sports. They watch ESPN all the time. So, it bothered me that they used this as on opportunity to promote their left wing agenda in my opinion.

Apparently Kushnir has not always been so easily shocked. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who is openly homosexual, had some fun at Kushnir’s expense. He discussed her comment on his “Ridiculist” segment:

“To Amy Kushnir’s argument that nobody shows football players kissing their wives or girlfriends, that’s simply not true and I don’t think she’s being honest when she wouldn’t want to see that either,” Cooper said during the segment (above). “If you’re uncomfortable seeing some kind of affection… why not just say that and leave the excuses about why you’re uncomfortable where they belong: on ‘The Ridiculist.’”

When asked by a co-host if she would have the same reaction to a man kissing his wife, Kushnir maintained she would have said “get a room.”

Also read: Michael Sam’s Jersey Is Second-Biggest-Selling of NFL Rookies

Cooper, however, unearthed footage that suggests otherwise, as Kushnir once sat in the arms of two buff, shirtless Chippendales dancers on her own TV show, and (gasp!) kissed each one on the cheek.

“It’s okay, she was kissing strippers. And she didn’t really even know them,” Cooper said after airing the evidence of her hypocrisy. “It’s not like two guys who were in love, or anything. That’s offensive.”

I would have advised Kushnir to “get a room.” But wait. These are strippers. What strippers are all about is doing in public what society wants you to do in private.

What Amy Kushnir did not do is express her true beliefs—what is really in her heart. I will express it for her: “Men sucking other men’s dicks is disgusting. These people are living in sin and will burn in Hell. The Bible says so.” She didn’t say that. She couldn’t say that. But others did. When Yahoo News posted the story on line it received scores of comments. My first glimpse reaffirmed the dark nature of my fellow citizens. Some typical examples:

Jorel 2 minutes ago

It is truly funny how people try to twist and turn the WORD of GOD to fit them and their preferences or use one scripture to dispel another. The truth is “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16.. So we as people know not how to do good but only bad and we NEED the WORD of GOD to instruct us in righteousness. That is why the world is so messed up they have no instruction every one does what they “feel” is right and what “pleases” them self. Wake up people the world is sin and we must be transformed from the world by the renewing of our minds through CHRIST JESUS.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

If its not BIBLE don’t do it. simple enough right.

John 1 hour ago

It’s madness, men with men, women with women. What’s next? It’s a slippery slope leading to destruction. Oh that men would repent and turn from sin and worship Jesus Christ in Spirit and Truth!

Nwtrdr Nwtrdr 27 minutes ago

As soon as they went to kiss we turned the channel,waited a few minutes then went back.Wish they had used a delay like in the old days.ESPN should be ashamed of themselves.And who watches that Copper guy anyway and who cares what he has to say?Not I that is for sure.

Tee-y 1 day ago

I don’t want to see two men kissing either, I don’t care what anybody have to say.

Kyle 1 day ago

So we should be tolerant to Mr. Anderson’s beliefs regarding homosexuality, but intolerant to the Dallas anchor’s. Got it. #hypocrisy

Aajada 21 hours ago

Anderson Cooper is a instigator and and now will watch less of him and CNN for news. He has gotten completely biased a lot of time when covering controversial social issues. I hadn’t known before that he was gay, but that explains a lot of his biased coverage now. What a twit !
And !, … Yes ! … they didn’t need to cramp that gay openly kissing scene in the faces of any and all who object to that behavior.

CHUCK 17 hours ago

Wait till the day SAM is cut from an nfl team and ALL you will hear is that his sexuality got him cut from the team not that he just could not make it in the NFL!

Greg 1 day ago

Anderson Cooper just went full on #$%$ in his so called objective reporting, so long CNN and hello politically correct bad news. I don’t care that he’s gay, I do care when he defends them no matter what even when they’re pushing everyone’s buttons

KAJAKAMAA 1 day ago

America, don’t you know that you have to get used to seeing htis stuff on TV because main stream media will insist on showing more and more of it and you will soon know that it is the norm. America has to get used to terrorists blowing up buildings because they are exercising their freedom of religion. America has to get used to the working people paying more taxes so that certain parts of our society can receive welfare because it’s somebody elses fault that they have ten kids to eight fathers. America better get used to waiting for hospital visits and medical care because Obama says it should be so. America has to get used to school overcrowding because the schools are full of illegal aliens who demand a free education. America has to get used to our children getting what was thought to be controlled deseases because idiots think that immunizations are wrong. The list goes on and on. We have to get used to changes that don’t make sense because the majority of minorities say so. So does the media.

DT 23 hours ago

Like many, if not most reasonable people I dont HATE homosexuals. i don’t HATE Mr. Sam. I just disagree with the morality of the lifestyle. THAT’S MY RIGHT!!! So please Mr. Cooper and your supporters don’t tell me what to believe or accept. THAT IS NOT YOUR RIGHT!!!. Basically the Sam moment was nothing more than shock journalism to get viewers and prove how contemporary ESPN is!! It may have backfired. Heterosexuality is still far and away the dominant option in society. I didn’t watch ESPN for 2 days after because I really don’t like to get a clip of two dudes sucking face popped in front of me! I am proud to be a red blooded girl loving white american male!!!!! NO APOLOGIES!!

There is obviously more than “a glimpse of stocking” involved here.