current thoughts: archive:
Rachel Maddow Awarded Two Emmys

Detroit Free Press reports: "Rachel Maddow continues her hot streak, as “The Rachel Maddow Show” finished the third quarter as the highest-rated cable news show. Her show got 2.7 million total viewers, topping both Fox News and CNN in the time slot in overall viewers and adults aged 25 to 54. It marks the first quarter that an MSNBC show has ranked No. 1 for all of cable news. The numbers for “Maddow” represent a 75 percent increase over the third quarter in 2016."

"Rachel Maddow's efforts to bring attention to the Flint water crisis have earned her an Emmy. The MSNBC host took home the gold for outstanding news discussion and analysis at Thursday night's News and Documentary Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.  Maddow was one of the early voices in network cable news to bring Flint's contaminated water to national attention. Maddow's aggressive coverage of Flint reflects a style that has brought her to the top of the ratings heaps."  That, and Rachel and her staff dwell on facts & truth unlike most Republicans and social conservatives.

"In July, she became the first non-Fox News host to grab the top ratings spot since October 2001 and the days of CNN's Larry King, according to the Associated Press. Maddow's show nabbed two Emmys total. It also was honored for outstanding live interview for an episode featuring a one-on-one with Kellyanne Conway, currently a White House counselor to President Donald Trump."


Need more pie

Made In The USA

He Lacked

About Mike

Jobs Growth Streak Ends On Donald's Watch

It is nearly a daily occurrence for the Donald or his spokespeople (Conway, Huckabee-Sanders, Spicer) to attempt to discredit or attack the previous administration.  Typically, facts tell a completely different story like in the case of the economy & jobs.  "We inherited a real mess," Trump says over and over.  The fact is, what the Democrats inherited in 2009 was a government that had driven our economy into the ditch with 2 unfunded tax cuts, 2 unfunded wars, and unfunded Medicare drug benefits.  Republicans added nearly 10 trillion to our national debt and had the audacity of blaming President Obama.  The Democrats skillfully navigated around and through assorted land mines and pot holes blown out by the last Republican administration.  Below is a summary of the nation's jobs situation for the past decade.  Notice anything peculiar?  Yep, this past month we experienced our first negative month in 7-yrs.  

posted 10.08.17

See related story below "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs".

Have A Ball!

Perhaps it's a simple form of escapism, but as the Trump administration proceeds on it's path to destroy life on Earth as we once knew it, the US Postal Service introduces some fun new postage stamps.  "Have A Ball!" Forever Stamps - meaning, it will always be worth what it costs to send one 1st class item - even if you misplace it for decades.  Louise picked-up a sheet of the new stamps the other day at our local post office....they feature balls used in baseball, basketball, football, golf, kickball, soccer, tennis and volleyball. For those of you who stopped mailing anything when you got your "smartphone" the postal service is where you go to send a letter or a package.

This information is being shared with the hope that a few folks who have clamored to "make America great again" will realize that we already are great.  Some 30% of Americans who don't actually follow the news because they think it's all "fake" or a "hoax" but this item is actually true and can be verified.  Try it out for yourself...first, write someone a letter - maybe a relative like your favorite Aunt who wonders if anyone still cares for her.  Next, march right down to the local post office near you while we still have 'em and buy a freaking stamp!   Step 3:  attach stamp to letter and deposit same in mail slot or mailbox designed for out-going correspondence.

Louise said the clerk was excited to share her observation that a special coating was applied to selected areas of the stamps during the printing process which gives them a texture that mimics the feel of a baseball’s stitching, or a golf ball’s dimples.  Cute.  Best value on Earth for just 49

Sidebar:  "So Mike...when are you going to get over it and stop with the Trump bashing?"  Answer: never.  The guy is a joke and dangerous; if he does not start World War 3 we'll be lucky.  He needs to be removed from office - until that happens none of us can remain silent.


If You Voted For Him, You Share In The Blame

The New York Times published a full page ad recently to list the many lies and inaccurate statements made by the Donald in just his first 6 months in office.  The ad, and companion news article,   ignores the previous years of nonsense that Trump uttered during his campaign for office.  The Times wanted to focus only upon those things the Donald has said or Tweeted about since just January 20th of this year.  Stuart Thompson, graphics designer for the NY Times says: "We wanted to put Trump's Lies in print...and I needed an entire page to do it."  It's worth reading. 
Online link
Full text alternative.

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had a complete, unprofessional meltdown yesterday (6/27/17) while addressing the White House press corps. Fortunately, the session was video recorded and documented. When asked to comment on the inaccurate work by a few CNN reporters & their resignations, Sarah said: "I don’t know if that response is good enough,” Sanders said Tuesday to the softball question tossed out by a Breitbart journalist.  "It’s the barrage of fake news directed at the president that has garnered his frustration ... We have gone to a place where if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America."  Seriously?  Given the documented list of White House & Trump gaffes in their first six months of office Sarah's label "fake news" is highly misplaced & laughable.  She referred to the pending Justice Department and Congressional investigations as "the Russia, Trump-hoax" and then promoted another shameful video investigation by defamed, disgraced faux-journalist James O'Keefe.  (Remember his manufactured, inaccurate expose on ACORN...or his flawed attack on Planned Parenthood?)  Yeah, right, Sarah...let's all dwell on the nonsense O'Keefe produces.   And Barack Obama is actually a citizen of Kenya.

What's really rich is the actual news about some "really fake news" - another self-inflicted wound by the Donald reported by The Washington Post: "The framed copy of Time magazine was hung up in at least five of President Trump’s clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. This cover — dated March 1, 2009 — looks like an impressive memento from Trump’s pre-presidential career. To club members eating lunch, or golfers waiting for a pro-shop purchase, it seemed to be a signal that Trump had always been a man who mattered. Even when he was just a reality TV star, Trump was the kind of star who got a cover story in Time. But that wasn’t true. The Time cover is a fake. There was no March 1, 2009, issue of Time magazine. And there was no issue at all in 2009 that had Trump on the cover."

How is this all going to end?

posted 06.28.17, revised 06.29.17

The real fake news.

Actually, Donald, America has been losing coal jobs for nearly a century

Today the Donald made good on his campaign pledge to destroy the progress we've made in addressing climate & pollution issues in America over the past decade. Trump signed a sickening Exec Order while visiting the Environmental Protection Agency. He says he wants to curb the federal government's enforcement of climate regulations by putting American jobs above addressing climate change.  Trouble is, as often is the case, the facts do not support the Donald's position - the nation's coal jobs began tanking in the 1920's. See chart above from the US Department of Labor. The Federal Mine Safety & Health Administration acknowledges employment in the coal mining industry peaked 94 years ago and has been on a steady decline ever since.  In 1923, there were 862,536 coal miners working in the USA. Last year, there were only 81,484, a drop-off of 90 percent. (1)  Meanwhile, good paying green energy jobs continue to grow - CNN reports over 209,000 Americans worked in a solar energy job in 2015. They include solar panel installers, designers, & engineers...more than any energy sector including oil & gas (2).

You're guilty, Donald, of pandering to the radical right-wing extremists...and it'll cost the nation.

(1) mining stats - https://arlweb.msha.gov/stats/centurystats/coalstats.asp
(2) CNN - http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/12/news/economy/solar-energy-job-growth-us-economy/
posted 03.28.17

Immigration Debate
Uninformed voters. They are one of three groups of people I blame for the much of the mess we're in these days. America has too many folks who are too lazy to bother reading the news or keeping up with events in the world. If they consume any broadcast summaries on TV they likely are from Fox...or listeners of rants on right-wing-nut talk radio. For example, let's take Trump's signature "build a wall" campaign slogan. The trouble with this rant is it does not align with the facts.  2.5 million people were deported from the U.S. during the Obama administration - more illegal immigrant deportees were tossed out of America over the past 8-yr than any other previous administration. (1)

Yet Donald Trump opted to ignore the facts and truth as he reiterated his pledge throughout his campaign to build a wall along the southern border and promised that Mexico would pay for construction.  Donald ignores the truth that fewer than half of America's undocumented immigrants came through the Southern border. Most of our undocumented immigrants came to the USA LEGALLY from a variety of entry points, but over-stayed their visa. Again, facts be damned, Trump was leveraging voters' hate and racist tendencies as well as the electorate's laziness and ignorance. It was far easier for some to blame others for their own failures in life and simply buy into the misconception that America was being over taken by foreigners - people were taking "their jobs" - and succumb to the scare tactics espoused on alt-right-talk radio and Fox News.  "Make America Great Again" became their slogan - never mind that the majority of Americans think the nation has always been great.

Right-wing voters also claim America has become unsafe despite evidence to the contrary.  But the fact is under the Obama administration, more illegal immigrants were deported and more border agents were employed than at any time in our nation's history. The number of border agents steadily rose from 2009 through 2016; an average of more than 20,733 agents patrolled our borders. During the 8-yrs of GWB the average was 11,849. (2)

Trump voters also ignore the legislative battle we've witnessed the past several years as the Republican controlled House refused to even bring the Senate's bi-partisan bill to the floor for debate or a vote. Yet virtually all of the GOP clown-car-of-candidates campaigned on the premise that some form of immigration reform was essential.  Hypocrites.

Recently, Robert Segal from National Public Radio offered an excellent historical summary of how America's immigration situation got to the point we're now at on NPR's All Things Considered.  You owe it to yourself to listen - the piece is just 8-minutes long, and in the summary Segal provides is a fact-based, concise roadmap.  Before you do anything else, please listen to the podcast: "How Did We Get To 11 Million Unauthorized Immigrants?" http://www.npr.org/2017/03/07/518201210/how-did-we-get-to-11-million-unauthorized-immigrants

(1) http://www.snopes.com/obama-deported-more-people/
(2) https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2016-Oct/BP%20Staffing%20FY1992-FY2016.pdf
Photo caption & credits from the NPR website: "U.S. Border Patrolmen Steve Shields (left) and Ed Pyeatt march five people to a holding center in Texas shortly after their apprehension in the desert in 1981. Lennox McLendon/AP."

So goes my faith in the American voters.  Actually most of my disgust is aimed at the 42.1% of registered voters who stayed away from the polls on Nov. 8th.  Pathetic.  My anger also extends to the media particularly commercial TV who have shamelessly chased after every Trump "rally" broadcasted free of charge for over a year.  The talking heads universally trashed the man but coverage fueled the racist, alt-right faction of our society.  "Drain the swamp"?   Laughable.  Look at who he's appointed - largely political insiders, all, except for a handful of Bannon's faithful cast of wing-nuts. 

So now the Trump reality slime-show will be fodder for the next 4-yrs of Evening News and SNL skits.  The Donald meanwhile calls the media coverage of his flawed presidential administration a "witch hunt".  No, Mr. President, that would be the treatment Republicans who employed 4-yrs of shameful Benghazi investigations against Hillary Clinton.  "Lock her up!"   How rich is it now that news has leaked that Mike Pence used private email service while Indiana Governor?   Freaking hypocrites. 

bombs-awayBombs Away
Doesn't it seem as if the world's going mad?  That's not an original thought.  I've heard it expressed on TV and have heard the same from friends and family after each of the latest mass killings and/or terrorist attack.  But the other day I spotted a story in USA Today that helped provide a bit of perspective...for me, anyway.  I try to be well-informed - we watch several news shows daily, read 2 printed newspapers, listen to some talk-radio & NPR.  But the USA Today article said our military was actually running out of bombs.  Yep.  We've been dropping so many in the various Middle East conflicts we have come close to depleting our stash. 

"The Air Force has fired more than 20,000 missiles and bombs in the air war against the Islamic State, depleting its stocks of munitions and prompting the service to scour depots around the world for more weapons usa_2015_12_04-1and to find money to buy them, according to records obtained by USA TODAY."

Ouch.  20,000 bombs since August 2014. That's roughly 41 bombs daily over the past 480 days.  A bomb every 35 minutes...every day.   BAM! BAM, BAM, BAM.    Can you imagine what it must be like to have that sort of assault raining down in your neighborhood?   It's no wonder people in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and neighboring countries hate America.   I'm not advocating we stop going after ISIS - but I doubt the average American realizes the havoc we're inflicting on these countries. I also doubt the average Fox News fan or radical right-wing extremist is aware we've dropped 20-freaking-thousand bombs over there in past 16-months.  As the clown-car of GOP candidates attack Mr. Obama for not uttering three words: "radical Islamic extremists" I am beginning to view Republicans as our own brand of domestic terrorists. (And yes, I used to consider myself a Republican.)


posted 12.03.15

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
The way people are still so critical of our nation's economy tells me they are not all that well informed.  It's our duty to spread the good word and ensure voters turn out in record numbers Nov 2016 so that we can continue to build on the progress we've made. Because the economy is improving.  

monthly jobs growth summary

In addition to the recovering financial markets, recovering housing markets, improved manufacturing base...overall jobless rates are declining throughout America.   Steadily.  If Fox "news" is your primary source for information, you probably have been fed a different story.  But the data and facts are unmistakable, and the steady, consistent jobs growth is due in large part to the work of the Obama administration.   Thank goodness for the adults in the room! 

Naturally the sour radical right-wing extremists and Fox News had to put a negative spin on it.   Meanwhile, Standard & Poors and "The Dow" hit new all-time record highs...as does "Obama derangement syndrome".

Originally posted: 3/7/14,  updated 06/05/16.  The streak of consecutive positive monthly job growth since my last "update" has continued.   We're now at 74-straight months of good news & it's driving conservative wing-nuts crazy.

...and its none of your business!Regardless what anyone says I do not support any legislation or any movement that will force women to have an abortion.   No one should be forced to have a legal medical procedure if it violates their beliefs.  Period.  If someone supports "pro-life" notions - it's fine with me, I s'pose.   Well actually it's not fine with me, but I figure everyone is entitled to their own opinions - regardless how misguided I may think they are.  I certainly don't agree with 'em - and increasingly I equate most active "pro-lifers" with dinosaurs, but that's not my point. 

I support "choice".  I don't wish to impose my opinions upon others.  Simply stated: I don't think a woman who opposes abortion should be forced to have one...and the reverse oughta' be true too.  The anti-abortion crowd needs to back off and shut their pie hole; laws that restrict access to legal abortion services oughta' be repealed, and regulations requiring medical personnel to say all sorts of wacky things to patients oughta' be stopped.  Immediately.  If someone wants to bring another life into this world and vows to love and support the child...who am I question their ability to be a good parent?  Who am I to question?  If a woman wishes to not have a child and seeks an abortion, no one should be allowed to impose 72-hour waiting periods.  No one should require doctors to recite a bunch of political garbage (that is not scientifically or medically based).   

The whole abortion issue has really been a hot topic.  Especially of late as we recognize the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court of these United States of America.  In the past two years 130 state laws have been passed - all geared toward limiting women's access to legal medical services.  It's shameful and needs to stop.

posted 01.23.13 

I tried the "blog" thing.  90% or more of the "feedback" received was spam.  Sifting thru the crud to find a nugget or two became a chore...so after neglecting it for quite a while I nuked it.   Saved and archived are some of the previous articles I've written that folks responded to...see the right hand column above.  Mainly these articles will be about news, politics, current events. 
revised 10.08.17