Monday, November 30, 2015

Trump, Obama, and People With Disabilities

The big topic last weekend: Trump mocks reporter with disability.

Donald Trump claims that accusation is unfounded.

Should we be surprised that this latest Trump controversy is drawing so much attention?

Not at all.

What is interesting is the degree to which Trump's tone is criticized and his remarks condemned. When Obama mocked Special Olympians while chatting with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, he didn't receive anywhere near the same level of outrage for his cruelty.

From March 2009:

Take away Barack Obama's teleprompter and odds are he'll put his foot in his mouth.

He did exactly that when chatting with Jay Leno during that ever so historic appearance on the Tonight Show.

Here's the very, very uncool exchange:

MR. LENO: Now, are they going to put a basketball –- I imagine the bowling alley has been just burned and closed down.

MR. OBAMA: No, no. I have been practicing all –- (laughter.)

MR. LENO: Really? Really?

MR. OBAMA: I bowled a 129. (Laughter and applause.)

MR. LENO: No, that's very good. Yes. That's very good, Mr. President.

MR. OBAMA: It's like -- it was like Special Olympics, or something. (Laughter.)

MR. LENO: No, that's very good.

MR. OBAMA: No, listen, I'm making progress on the bowling, yes.

Wouldn't you think by now Obama would be better at speaking off-the-cuff?

How could he possibly come up with that Special Olympics remark?

Not cool at all.

From FOX News:

President Obama sat down with Jay Leno on Thursday for a late-night TV interview that spanned a range of topics -- from the economic crisis to the presidential dog -- and even, at one point, featured the president joking that his bowling ability was suitable for the Special Olympics.

The bowling comment was a reminder of his poor performance on the lanes last year during one of his campaign stops. Obama bragged to "The Tonight Show" that he recently bowled 129 on the White House alley.

...On Thursday evening, Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said the president's "offhand" remarks were meant to make fun "of his own bowling and in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics."

"He thinks that the Special Olympics are a wonderful program that gives an opportunity to shine to people with disabilities from around the world," said Burton.

Yes, we know that Obama is not a good bowler. That's the point.

Obama was attempting to use self-deprecating humor, but in the process, he insulted the accomplishments of the participants in the Special Olympics.

Bill Burton's explanation doesn't help matters. He says that Obama's "offhand" remarks meant to make fun "of his own bowling and in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics."

Then why did he say his low scoring, poor bowling performance was "like Special Olympics, or something"?

Of course that was a disparaging remark.

There's absolutely no other way to interpret it. It was a callous, insensitive thing to say. Sometimes, there's a very cruel edge to Obama's sense of humor.

Burton says that Obama didn't mean to disparage the Special Olympians, but he most certainly did. Obama owes them an apology.

This isn't the first time Obama's humor has backfired when he's been without his teleprompter and the true man, the spontaneous Obama, is revealed.

On November 7, 2008, then president-elect Obama screwed up during his first news conference by making what was later referred to as a "careless joke" at Nancy Reagan's expense. At the time, Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter called that an "offhanded remark." Apparently, that's how Obama jokes gone bad are characterized.

Obama did apologize to Mrs. Reagan. I think he would be wise to do the same to the participants in the Special Olympics. Obama should take responsibility for what he said.

Surely Burton must be aware that what he calls "offhand" remarks are no less hurtful and offensive than ones that scroll down a teleprompter.
I'm certainly not excusing Trump. Just reminding all those claiming to be horrified by Trump to also be horrified by the cruel, cold, callous Obama.

Bill Kristol and Donald Trump

To say Bill Kristol doesn't like Donald Trump would be putting it mildly.

Kristol says he has come to loathe Trump.

I find this very amusing.

The establishment Republicans are flipping out.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Robert Lewis Dear: Killer

Robert L. Dear gunned down three people, killing them. He wounded nine others.

He's a monster.

Rather than mourning the dead and condemning the murderer, some are exploiting the crimes to advance political agendas.

From Reuters:

The man accused of opening fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado and killing three people said "no more baby parts" while he was being arrested, NBC News and other media reported, citing unidentified law enforcement sources.

The utterance from suspect Robert Lewis Dear, 57, apparently referenced the organization's health services, which include abortion, and its role in delivering fetal tissue to researchers.

It could hint at a possible motive for the rampage on Friday, though NBC, citing sources, said investigators had not confirmed any motivation.

Authorities have not discussed a motive for the attack at the Colorado Springs clinic, which killed a police officer and two civilians and wounding nine. Federal law enforcement authorities referred questions to local police. Colorado Springs police could not be reached for comment.

...In a statement, Vicki Cowart, chief executive of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said "This is an appalling act of violence targeting access to health care and terrorizing skilled and dedicated health care professionals."

Dear's actions are appalling.

He should spend the rest of his life in prison.

You know how some people respond to Islamic terrorism by insisting that everyone should show their support for all the peace-loving Muslims?

It would be nice if they would react to this horrific shooting by demanding that pro-life activists be supported as the good, peaceful, law-abiding people that they are.

No chance that will happen.

Will Obama make a statement urging all to rally around the millions of responsible, law-abiding gun owners in the wake of the Colorado Springs shootings?

The answer is no.

National Rice Cake Day

Today is National Rice Cake Day.

I'll celebrate by avoiding rice cakes.

It's also Electronic Greetings Day, also known as Make the Post Office More Irrelevant Day.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Brett Favre and Bart Starr

The weather was miserable and so was the outcome of the game.

But this was nice:

I was at Lambeau when Reggie White's number was retired. It was an absolutely gorgeous Sunday afternoon in September. Sadly, Reggie didn't live to receive the honor. The half-time ceremony was bittersweet to say the least.

Of course, with Favre, the event was dramatically different. It was Thanksgiving and the stage was prime time. And Bart Starr made his triumphant return to Green Bay. Lots of emotion and lots of drama.

It was inevitable that Favre would join the elite club -- Don Hutson, Tony Canadeo, Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke, and Reggie White. Without question, he deserves the honor.

He was a great player, giving us years of great football and a Super Bowl championship.

Bart Starr's appearance was so special. He was a great player, giving us years of great football and five NFL championships as well as victories in the first two Super Bowls. Starr is a great man.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day

October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

A. Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln defines this American holiday as "a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

He speaks of the "gracious gifts of the Most High God."

Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day, in the year of our Lord two thousand and fifteen!

Football on Thanksgiving