This is your President speaking.

Number 128

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

The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!

All right. I think I have this straight now. The President of the United States, elected with the aid of a foreign power, now meets with the leader of the government that assisted in his campaign, alone, except for two interpreters.

He comes out of the meeting and announces said leader of a foreign government was not complicit in aiding his campaign, and he denounces members of this nation’s intelligence services, disparaging past members by name, calling their investigation into crimes committed by the same foreign power that assisted in his election a “witch hunt.”

And he calls football players, who kneel while the national anthem is played, unpatriotic. I now think I have a clear picture of what is going on.

Fronting The Brand

Continuing A Theme—Number 5

The brand may be critical to the success of a business, and companies go to lengths to protect theirs. A company’s brand distinguishes their product from the crowd, and brand loyalty is critical to repeat business. What happens when you cloud your brand with your personal predilections? Examples abound. Take the case of Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter:

Papa John’s CEO Steps Down Following Controversial Remarks On NFL

December 22, 20171:39 AM ET 

John Schnatter, the founder of the Papa John’s pizza chain, will step down as CEO in the wake of controversial comments he made last month about the NFL’s handling of the anthem protests.

Schnatter will be replaced on Jan. 1 by the company’s chief operating officer, Steve Ritchie. Schnatter will remain chairman of the board.

The 56-year-old founder of the chain came under fire after remarks he made during the company’s third-quarter earnings call. He said Papa John’s — a National Football League sponsor and advertiser — had been “hurt” by the “take a knee” protest led by African-American players to draw attention to police brutality.

To be sure, Schnatter is a staunch conservative, his credentials being sterling:

In 2012, Papa John’s and Schnatter received media attention after he made critical comments about the Affordable Care Act to a class on entrepreneurship.

Schnatter hosted a fundraiser at his home for Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney in May 2012.

Schnatter contributed to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and made supportive comments about his administration in January 2017.

In October 2017, in a conference call with investors, Schnatter blamed the National Football League for poor financial performance, stating “The NFL has hurt us . . . We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this,” referring to the U.S. national anthem protests. Later that day, Papa John’s announced that the NFL shield or “official sponsor” designation on Papa John’s commercials and advertising would be removed.

On December 21, 2017, CNBC and The Associated Press reported that Papa John’s announced that Schnatter would be replaced as Chief Executive Officer effective January 1, 2018 by Chief Operating Office Steve Richie. Schnatter, who appears in the chain’s commercials and on its pizza boxes, and is the company’s biggest shareholder with approximately 9.5 million shares, will remain chairman of the board.

Ordinarily there would not be anything wrong with being politically conservative and proud of it. However, in most recent times American conservatism has taken an ugly turn, finding favor with racists, xenophobes, Christian extremists, and the anti-gay faction. Papa John’s mistake has been to publicly associate his brand with the political right:

Papa John’s CEO’s comments spark protests

Mark Fisher-Staff Writer

Updated 6:18 p.m Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 Filed in News

America’s deep philosophical and political divisions following a divisive presidential election are prompting dueling protests involving of one of the nation’s largest pizza chains.

The controversy began with comments made by Papa John’s owner John Schnatter that he would raise prices and cut employees’ hours to pay for costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Those comments prompted calls for a boycott, which in turn triggered a call for a Papa John’s Appreciation Day today.

“Papa John’s has been targeted by the left for a boycott, for simply articulating that ObamaCare would hurt profits and force cutbacks in employee hours,” says the “National Papa John’s Appreciation Day” Facebook event page. “Stand up to this nonsensical and illogical action and support Papa John’s this Friday!” More than 17,400 Facebook users had indicated they were “going” to the Papa John’s event as of late Thursday afternoon.

Schnatter apparently learned too late that when you seek to divide your customer base you are drilling toward losing half of it. It’s a lesson impressed on others, including Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby. These latter two are privately owned concerns, and each impresses its fundamentalist Christianity on its brand. A result is I have friends (many) who will never set foot in either. Full disclosure: I never set foot in either from the outset.

Has the NFL been damaged by players who kneel instead of standing? President Trump seems to think so. All right, he may not actually think so, but he does say so:

…NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.

Full disclosure: I have never attended an NFL game, nor have I ever watched one from beginning to end on TV.

Summarizing, a major factor with Papa John’s is that it is a publicly held company, and its CEO’s first concern must be to stockholders. Meaning the CEO must not ride on the company brand to forward his private preferences. John Schnatter has only recently become aware of this distinction.

Buyer’s Remorse

Number 23 in a series

Full disclosure:

I do not post these to make fun of Donald Trump, current President of the United States. I post these to make fun of the people who voted for Donald Trump. Some people out there must by now be feeling the heat. My intent is to see they get no rest, and I will remind them as often as I am able, that this is what they wanted. So where to start?

How about our petulant President’s obsession with unworldly affairs?

NFL Commissioner, Players’ Union Angrily Denounce Trump

Full disclosure: I have zero interest in the NBA and the NFL and only marginal interest in MLB. Players making more in a year than I made in a lifetime live in a world apart from me, and I feel little inclination to contribute to their wealth by watching them participate in what is supposed to be a pastime. Now some of these multi-millionaires want to use their position of advantage to push closely-held agendas. Having said this, I may agree with some or all their political statements.

But now we have our highest elected official using his own position of power to weigh in against other millionaires. All on company time. The bully pulpit of the presidency is being leveraged to wage a campaign of personal preference. Are we supposed to be proud?

And what is this obtaining for the most powerful person in the country? It will be interesting to know:

Trump Attacks Warriors’ Curry. LeBron James’s Retort: ‘U Bum.’

A response was not short in coming:

U bum already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!

So now we have another millionaire, who remarkably may enjoy more popularity than the President of the United States, getting down and dirty with the Snowflake-in-Chief. Across the board there is the appearance professional sports is putting distance with this president:

Backlash After Trump Slams NFL Players’ Protests, NBA’s Stephen Curry

President Donald Trump sparked a backlash from some of the biggest names in professional sports on Saturday after he attacked football players who refuse to stand during the national anthem in protest and rescinded a White House invitation to the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry.

The NBA champions Warriors team said they would not be going to the White House after Trump tweeted that “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

What’s next? NASCAR? The initial reaction to Trump’s election last year was generally positive. After all, the public statements and proposed policies of the candidate aligned well with the conservative bent of drivers and fans. A chill has since set in:

NESN Fuel Major NASCAR Sponsor Asks Fans Who Agree With Donald Trump To Shop Elsewhere

by Ben Watanabe on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 2:49PM

Marcus Lemonis has no problem with some customers taking their RV and outdoor needs elsewhere. Close followers of NASCAR know Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, is a major player in the sport. His brand is the title sponsor of the truck racing series, while its subsidiary Overton’s has sponsored multiple races and cars this season. With that in mind, NASCAR chairman Brian France — who last year endorsed Donald Trump for president — might want to watch his words. Amid the flood of CEOs rushing to distance themselves from Trump’s business councils after the U.S. president’s wishy-washy denunciation of white supremacy last weekend, Lemonis on Wednesday appeared on CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” where he seemed to suggest he wouldn’t be shattered if people who supported Trump’s comments decided to shop elsewhere.

What a fiasco! We provide millions of dollars a year in Secret Service protection for this guy, and he spends his time on this? Wasn’t he supposed to be defeating ISIS or something?

And don’t even think about getting your money back.

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.

You must remember this

Let me see…

Play it, Sam. Play it for old times sake.

Play it, Sam. Play it for old times sake.

I could have titled this one “The kiss seen ’round the world.” Of course you already know what this is all about.

NFL draft: Reactions heat up after Michael Sam kisses boyfriend on TV

By Holly Yan and Dave Alsup, CNN
updated 2:03 PM EDT, Mon May 12, 2014
(CNN) — Not long after Michael Sam became the first openly gay player drafted to the NFL, some made clear his reaction was not welcome.

Shortly after learning of his selection by phone, a visibly emotionalSam turned to his boyfriend and kissed him.

“I’m sorry but that Michael Sam is no bueno for doing that on national tv,” former Super Bowl champion Derrick Ward tweeted.

“Man U got little kids lookin at the draft. I can’t believe ESPN even allowed that to happen,” he added.

This would not have made much of a stir, even ten years ago, if this had been the latest comedy show star, let alone the New York Ballet’s latest draft pick. But guys, this is the NFL. This is where big tough guys suit up Sundays and do mighty battle to the death on live TV. These are men who chug a brewski and crush the empty on their foreheads. They eat nails for breakfast. This is America’s team.

The reaction from some quarters was predictable. Here’s more:

Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones also expressed his disapproval,tweeting “horrible” and “OMG” after the kiss was aired. He has since deleted those comments.

Sadly, there has been reaction from both sides:

Ward, who played for the New York Giants and the Houston Texans,said he has received death threats against him and his children after the comments.

People, there are some of you who need to crawl back under your rock.

The NFL is a business enterprise, and it is taking steps to protect the profit line:

But the Dolphins responded quickly, ordering Jones to pay an undisclosed fine and barring him from team activities until he finishes “training for his recent comments made on social media.”

I have an egg time, and I am counting the minutes until there is reaction from my conservative friends about this trammeling of free speech rights

In the few moments I’m waiting for that shoe to drop, I am contemplating the next move. The next kiss, if you will.

Yes, readers, there is still NASCAR. Yes, NASCAR, that bastion of American conservatism. NASCAR, where a black and liberal president dare not step. Where he can count on the fingers of one hand his (secret) votes from the grandstands.

Wait! I’m not finished. Here it comes: the NRA. All the way, NRA. Of course, the NRA is not a team sport getting its revenues from ticket sales and a TV audience. Still, I relish the first big NRA kiss. What a story that will make. Can you imagine, “You can have my AK-47 when you pry it from my cold faggoty fingers.”

Ah, it’s a lovely sight to see, this dark, ugly side of American conservatism. But then I’ve seen this dark side before. I’ve seen it when black players could not play national league baseball. It was gladdening to watch, over the decades, American conservatism got over this particular bugaboo. And may we all say, “Thank God.” Where would baseball be today without black players, much less the AFL. The NBA with only white players? People would be watching Bowling for Dollars.

Play it, Sam:

You must remember this 
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh. 
The fundamental things apply 
As time goes by.

And when two lovers woo 
They still say, “I love you.” 
On that you can rely 
No matter what the future brings 
As time goes by.

UPDATE

My egg timer didn’t get a chance to run out. Even before I finished this Joe for America beat me to the punch. Of course I knew he would. It’s not the darkest that could have been posted by JFA, but it does fulfill my expectations:

Let’s just cut to the chase. We’ve all read this script before.

If you do anything less than fall to your knees weeping tears of jubilation that a man who is sexually attracted to men was picked to play a game for a living — you’re a homophobe.

It doesn’t really matter why you aren’t joining in the celebration, or why you aren’t using words like ‘historic’ and ‘revolutionary’ to describe a scenario where a homosexual fellow plays a sport with some other fellows, and is paid handsomely and applauded loudly for doing so.

It doesn’t matter what reasoning you provide, or what sort of logic you employ, when attempting to explain why Michael Sam’s likeness shouldn’t necessarily be etched into Mount Rushmore just because he took it upon himself to alert the media of his sexual habits a few months before being selected in the 7th round of the NFL Draft.

It doesn’t matter what you say when trying to articulate why the President of the United States of America probably doesn’t need to release an official White House statement to congratulate someone for being gay and athletic.