Trump’s Negatives Add Up to Make Him a Big, Fat Zero

The issues of the presidential race should make the choice easy. However, Republican Donald Trump continues to press Democrat Hillary Clinton in the race. Why? It’s beyond me. The first debate between the two will be tonight. See if they focus on the issues.

  • The boldest promise of Trump’s presidential campaign: “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” The president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, says the country will not pay for it. Trump has a complex, elaborate plan to build the wall, estimated to cost from a wide-ranging $5 billion to $25 billion. Experts all sorts of problems exist in building the wall.
  • Trump backers say his business acumen is a big reason he should be president. Well, his business dealings are full of lost contracts, bankruptcies, defaults, deceptions and indifference to investors. His business career is a long, long list of such troubles, according to regulatory, corporate and court records, as well as sworn testimony and government investigative reports. Call it the art of the bad deal, one created by the arrogance and recklessness of a businessman whose main talent is self-promotion.
  • Just this weekend, the Washington Post published a fact-check piece on Trump’s statements from September 18 through September 24; the New York Times did one from September 15 through September 21; and Politico a five-day fact-check. All publications found a penchant for mendacity: In more than five days of remarks, Trump made 87 erroneous statements.
  • Douglas Brinkley, a history professor at Rice University, and Theda Skocpol, a government and sociology professor at Harvard, believe Trump lives in a world of lies. Brinkley said, “In American history, we’ve never had a major presidential candidate who fabricated facts with the regularity of Donald Trump. He just simply makes things up.” Skocpol agrees that Trump’s dishonesties have set a new standard, saying,  “Trump lies constantly and shamelessly. I do think he is in new territory.”
  • Trump loves authoritarian rule and that’s why you see this bromance with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Now, according to published reports, S. intelligence officials are seeking to determine whether an American businessman, Carter Page, identified by Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers, has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials — including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president.
  • Is Trump a caring person? At least eight times over the last 19 years, his properties have been subject to lawsuits for violating the Americans With Disabilities Act.  Only once did Trump come close to winning, in a suit that was dismissed at the request of both sides. Five of the cases were settled, while two ended in consent decrees requiring building modifications and one met its end in a Trump property bankruptcy.
  • The Republicans have continually hammered Clinton on the email question. She did not pass along classified information as the media continually report. Small c’s were placed in the body of the emails. That could have implied that someone made a telephone call on them; it could have implied that the part was classified. Whatever the implication, proper protocol wasn’t followed. In fact, the two emails sent to her by her aides in 2012 were harmless in nature. Both were merely used to schedule phone calls with foreign leaders, and on their face, clearly could not have possibly been classified at the time. Republicans were frothing at the mouth to get these congressional hearings in front of the public. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, said while the committees geared up for questioning Clinton that the hearings were aimed to sink her poll numbers. Bill Clinton was asked: Why should Americans trust the Democratic nominee when she lied about her emails? He shot back: “Wait a minute. It’s not true. First of all, the FBI director said when he testified before Congress, he had to amend his previous day’s statement that she had never received any emails that are classified. They saw two little notes with a ‘c’ on it. This is the biggest load of bull I’ve ever heard.” The hearings cost taxpayers more than $21 million.
  • One of Trump’s biggest mistakes came when he attempted to discredit Khizr and Ghazala Khan after they appeared onstage at the Democratic National Convention in July. With his wife at his side, Khizr spoke about their son, former Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in 2004. In a moving speech, Khizr asked what Trump had ever sacrificed for his country. Trump responded by suggesting Ghazala had not been permitted to speak because she was a Muslim. “If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.” Khan said she had not spoken at the convention because she was still grief-stricken over her son’s death.
  • Immigration remains a big item on Trump’s list. He vowed to suspend immigration from “areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States.” He claims there is no vetting system. There is. And it has held down the number of Syrian refugees entering the country. An estimated 3.3 million Muslims live in the U.S. now — one percent of the population. Figures show that fewer immigrants are crossing the Mexican border. If the U.S. is serious about stopping the flow, all that needs to be done is severely fine an employer who hires an illegal immigrant.
  • Republicans are still trying to pin a murder rap on Hillary in the Vince Foster suicide case. That’s full of baloney, too. They talk about a second bullet. Just not so. Kenneth Starr, who counseled the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton, was among at least six people, including doctors, who attended the autopsy and he verified the suicide determination.
  • Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid lashed out at Trump as a “con artist” after suggesting the Democratic leader should resume exercising with the equipment that left him blind in one eye last year. Reid fell and broke several ribs and facial bones last year when an exercise band snapped during a workout. How’s that for compassion. Reid, on his website, said Trump could make fun of the injury that “crushed the side of my face and took the sight in my right eye all he wants.” He added, “I may not be able to see out of my right eye, but with my good eye, I can see that Trump is a man who inherited his money and spent his entire life pretending like he earned it.”
  • Trump has claimed he built his company holdings from scratch. “It has not been easy for me, it has not been easy for me. And you know I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars.” Aside from the fact that few would consider a million dollars a “small loan,” Trump’s retelling leaves out critical information on how his father helped him. As a Washington Post fact check laid out earlier this year, Donald Trump benefited greatly from his father’s connections.
  • Trump continually calls Hillary a crook. But you must ask yourself, in all fairness, has she ever been found guilty of any crime? In fact, has she ever been indicted? She has been hounded by the right-wing for more than 25 years and she has withstood any and all onslaughts.
  • Jon Stewart, former Daily Show host, appeared with Steve Colbert on CBS and didn’t waste any time getting back to work, ripping into Fox News for now praising Trump for some of the very same traits they condemned in Barack Obama. For those conservatives who want to take the country back, he said, “You feel that you’re this country’s rightful owners. There’s only one problem with that: This country isn’t yours. You don’t own it. It never was. There is no ‘real America.’ You don’t own it. You don’t own patriotism, you don’t own Christianity, you sure as hell don’t own respect for the bravery and sacrifice of military, police and firefighters. Trust me.”
  • Trump has a slogan: Make America Great Again. Hasn’t America always been great? Maybe he’s referring to the 1950s when white men ruled — suppressing wives and blacks, for example.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, recounted how Trump drooled over the idea of a housing meltdown because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap. She added, “What kind of a man does that? Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to lose their jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions? I’ll tell you exactly what kind. A man who cares about no one but himself. A small, insecure money-grubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as he makes some money off it. What kind of man does that? A man who will never be president of the United States.”
  • The denigration on the ethnicity of U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel reflects the callous demeanor of Trump. In a CBS interview, Trump said Curiel was “a member of a club or society very strongly pro-Mexican,” and is unable to be unbiased in the court hearing — the judge was overseeing the suit against Trump University. Trump falsely referred to the Indiana-born judge as “Mexican.” What does that matter? Well, Trump says he plans to build a wall between Mexico and the United States and Curiel sees that from a Mexican perspective. Newt Gingrich said, “This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made. I think it’s inexcusable. He’s an American, period.
  • Much has been made of the Clinton Foundation in Trump’s campaign. Trump supporters continually make the point that the Clintons benefitted financially. Chelsea gets a salary as the head of the foundation but neither Hillary nor Bill has taken a cent. Check it out. The foundation’s transactions are all transparent. On the other hand, Trump makes quid pro quo donations out of his foundation; there’s little transparency in his foundation. Plus, you know that he won’t even release his income tax returns, something presidential candidates have done for decades.
  • Seniors must know also that if Trump wins and the Republicans control Congress, Medicare will fall into a risky voucher program.
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Journalism Can Prosper by Taking Correct Approach

Table talk — at bars, at breakfast, at luncheons, at club meetings — will not solve the various and sundry problems of the current state of journalism in general and the print media in particular. But maybe it can promote discussions to better understand the problems.

I spent many a day as an ink-stained wretch of newspaper journalism. And to this day I believe that if the powers of the daily press had followed my thoughts, plans, ideas and judgments, those newsletters you receive outside your door on Monday and Tuesday mornings would, instead, be burgeoning carriers of news and ads.

Presumptuous? Oh no doubt.

I continually hear about how no one is reading anymore. I continually hear that so many get their information on electronic gizmos. I continually hear that young people especially are avoiding the print media.

I’ve heard all those things for many years. They were saying no one was reading when I was going to the library in grade school to participate in a summer book program. I recall folks saying that newspapers were dead when television arrived. Naysayers continually diminish the value of newspapers and then quote a fact that the newspaper had reported.

There’s a prevalent argument out there among erudite observers of journalism who fear what will happen to the coverage of the daily record. Everyone writes about national news, including a plethora of bloggers. But how will the minutia find a pathway to the public? You know, the everyday workings of city and county governments, the school board meetings, the police blotter.

Yeah, you will get an argument that newspapers aren’t doing that now. And that’s true in many respects. It’s part of my point about not following my plans and ideas.

Too many editors have abandoned the simple tenets of good journalism. They pay too little attention at the daily routines of so many of their readers. For example, a traffic jam builds on Interstate 435 and it affects so many people trying to get to work or to school. Yet they will never know that a simple two-car fender-bender created the gridlock. When something affects so many people, some sort of news story should fill them in … and it just doesn’t happen.

Sports pages throughout the country have either stuffed high school sports altogether or have cut back appreciably. Too bad. There is considerable interest out there. The same can be said for smaller colleges. Awhile back, I had a discussion with the Kansas City Star sports editor about the lack of MIAA coverage and he simply said there wasn’t enough interest to merit much time in reporting on the Division II teams.

Oh the rationale that they should be doing more of subjects like the MIAA and not less.

But until a savior with money comes along and pushes the tenets of good journalism, arguments about spreading the news fall on too many deaf ears.

Look, newspapers would prosper if the publishers would focus on getting the popular topics to the reader. For instance, they rely on polls — a cheaper avenue to present news; that way they cut down on the number of reporters searching for real news. Instead of finding better avenues of communication, newspaper honchos spend time in constant battles in how to deliver the product to the readers’ front doors. Surely, the logistics present problems in a sprawled metropolitan area but, as they say, we can go to the moon so why not to our front doors! See, the problems are everywhere and no solutions.

I’m just rambling. It’s easy to do when there are so many facets to the arguments. A doctoral thesis can’t cover all the ramifications.

But allow me to make this hypothesis: Newspapers can live in today’s world if the publishers focus on palatable everyday news.

Chain ownership certainly fouls the process. The Star is making money but the parasitical McClatchy chain takes from the profitable newspaper to cover for the ones that aren’t.

Second and third generation owners took the money that daddy and grandpappy made and took off in other directions, leaving a city or town with absentee representation.

You can hear so many reasons why a newspaper doesn’t work these days. At the last meeting of the 40 Years Ago Column Club, Laura Ziegler, a reporter and producer for KCUR public radio, was the speaker and the discussion time turned to journalism values.

One of the members said the problem with journalism these days was that the reporters lived in the big city and didn’t understand or at least appreciate the rural consciousness. Well, yeah. But what he may not understand is that many of those reporters probably come from smaller communities and grew up with considerable knowledge on what makes rural life tick. Besides, all you have to do to see how the rural areas dominate the conversation is to look at what happens in many legislators, especially in Missouri. The legislature is dominated by rural pols and their philosophy governs the state.

It was another case of a regrettable misperception.

Ziegler noted that she went into the community to find out what the folks there were discussing. She mentioned that cable news too often grabbed hold of a story, shook it and repeated it. That type of presentation grows stale.

As I have mentioned before, USA Today  did much to change the presentation of news. I think with a negative impact. They are flash and dash — lots of color, many graphics, arty layouts. But superficial and lacking in depth. And the big push? Fair and balanced.

There we are. Forget the hypothesis and write six inches from one viewpoint and six inches from the other. The result is a false equivalency. The story does not provide the reader with the correct analysis of what is right. For example, a reporter says both presidential candidates have problems with transparency. Yes, but one candidate’s list is longer than the trail on a bride’s wedding gown while the other is shorter than a beach bikini. That isn’t fair. That isn’t balanced.

Public discourse, Ziegler said, is really depressing. She provided another way that the fair and balanced crowd were skewing stories. There are many stories to run and editors can pick and choose which one, leaving false impressions and giving too much weight to one side.

Fair and balanced should be about giving the reader the facts and getting to an answer. The story can weigh the issue and come to a discerning answer.

I’ll quit. The arguments are many.

But I will stand by my statement that my philosophical approach to newspapering would provide readers with good journalism — and that the publication would prosper. One of my blogs went into great detail about forming the inner workings of a viable newspaper. One of these days I may just run it again.

But so few would pay attention.

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Internet Tout Sites Can Help With Stats for Betting Football

While I keep my own handicapping records, I go to various internet sites to check out other postings on odds. Odds Shark provides a lot of free stats.

Most of the odds information in the Chiefs vs. New York Jets portion of this blog came from Odds Shark.

Here’s one of the top stats provided: The Chiefs are 11-0 straight up in their last 11 games as favorites. And they are favored by three in the game this Sunday at Arrowhead.

After the way they played last Sunday at Houston, it’s a wonder anyone would have them favored against the Jets. But there they are. The Chiefs were bad, bad, bad in that 19-12 loss.

So do they really have a shot at covering against the Jets? Odds Shark picks the Chiefs to win 26-16.

This is their first matchup since the Chiefs won by two touchdowns two seasons ago at Arrowhead. The Jets are 5-0-2 against the spread in their last seven as an underdog. The Chiefs are 5-1 against the spread in their last six against the Jets, only the last of which was quarterbacked by Alex Smith.

All of Kansas City’s 11 wins in 2015 were by four points or more and all of the Jets’ 2015 losses were by five points or more.

In the two games so far this season, the Jets are 1-1 straight up and 2-0 against the spread; KC is 1-1 and 0-2.

Offensively, the game matches the Chiefs No. 16-ranked offense (22.5 PPG) against a Jets defense that ranks No. 26 at 27 PPG. The Chiefs passing attack has averaged 251 yards per game, less than the Jets have given up through the air (315.5 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the New York Jets own the league’s No. 12-rated front seven in terms of stopping the run, allowing 86 yards a game on the road. Kansas City, on the other hand, rates No. 19 in rushing yards at home.

Matt Forte rushed for three TDs in the Jets 37-31 home victory over Buffalo last Thursday. NFL analysts believe the extra three days between games will help the Jets.

Some more Odds Shark betting stats:

  • Jets 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
  • Jets 2-3-2 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
  • Jets 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Kansas City
  • Chiefs 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Chiefs 12-2 SU in its last 14 games
  • Chiefs 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home

So, with this plethora of information, what do you think? Well, none of those stats tells me how the Chiefs will react to the poor play last Sunday. Also, they were oh so bad in five straight losses after an opening victory last season. Will they overcome that memory of defeat?

Well, I don’t think so and will go with the Jets and the points for $11.

Two of the biggest game on the NFL schedule this week are Denver at Cincy and Pittsburgh at Philadelphia. I won’t play Cincy’s giving the Broncos 3 points — just too iffy. However, I really like the Steelers at Philadelphia giving 3½ for $33.

There’s a caveat here. Odds Shark handicapping models based on recent betting stats and prediction formulas show the Eagles winning 22-16. Yikes. Well, both are 2-0. But the Steelers have Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and the Eagles are going with a precocious rookie, Carson Wentz. I still like the Steelers.

Other NFL bets:

  • $33 — Dallas -7 vs. Chicago
  • $22 — Arizona -4½ at Buffalo, Miami -9½ vs. Cleveland
  • $11 — Detroit +7½ at Green Bay, Minnesota +7 at Carolina, San Francisco +9½ at Seattle

Now for the colleges.

The Kansas State home game vs. Missouri State on Saturday is off the board. Kansas will play again a week from today at Texas Tech.

The Wildcats, now 1-1, demolished Florida Atlanta 63-7 last Saturday. But they provided something for Coach Bill Snyder to stew about: 13 penalties for 131 yards. However, most everything was in good working order.

This will be the last game for the coaches to tinker with game plans before starting Big 12 action the following week at West Virginia. They have plenty of unanswered questions to ponder, mainly on offense. The backfield remains by-committee, with Charles Jones, Justin Silmon, Dalvin Warmack, Alex Barnes and Winston Dimel. Quarterback seems set with Jesse Ertz as the starter. Ertz’s passing ability, especially long range, remains questionable.

K-State’s underrated front seven, anchored by linebacker Elijah Lee, end Jordan Willis and tackle Will Geary, has performed well in the early going. For that matter, the total package has looked solid.

Missouri State, off to a 2-0 start, was picked in the preseason to finish last in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bears’ clean start has a lot to do with the level of the competition, Southwestern College and Murray State. The Bears will need a big day from the defense, namely leading tackler Dylan Cole.  Dave Steckel, a longtime Mizzou assistant mainly on the defensive side of the ball, is in his second season as the Bears head coach.

There’s already a big-time game slated in the Big 12 — Oklahoma State at Baylor.

Baylor remains undefeated but the Bears have played arguably the weakest nonconference schedule in the Big 12, romping 55-7 over Northwestern State, 40-13 over SMU and 38-10 over Rice.

Oklahoma State went 2-1 in nonconference play but would be 3-0 if not for a botched call by the officials that allowed Central Michigan an extra play two weeks ago in Stillwater. The Chippewas were inadvertently awarded an extra play after the Cowboys committed intentional grounding on what would have been the game’s last play. Central Michigan then pulled out a 30-27 victory when quarterback Cooper Rush threw a Hail Mary pass to Jesse Kroll who then lateraled to Corey Willis for the touchdown.

Oklahoma State bounced back for a 45-38 win over Pittsburgh last weekend as junior quarterback Mason Rudolph completed 26 of 46 passes and set an Oklahoma State record with 540 yards, averaging 20.8 yards per completion.

The Bears, who led the nation in both scoring offense and total offense for the last three years, have sputtered at times so far this season, although they’re averaging 557.3 yards in total offense. But that ranks just fourth in the pass-happy Big 12 and eighth nationally.

Oklahoma State leads the all-time series, 19-15. The Bears won 45-35 last year in Stillwater.

They are 8½-point favorites Saturday and I like the dog for $22.

Other college bets:

·        $33 — Memphis -16½ vs. Bowling Green

·        $22 — Wyoming -3 at E. Michigan, C. Michigan -3½ at Virginia, Michigan -18.5 vs. Penn State, Michigan State -5½ vs. Wisconsin, Cincy -18½ vs. Miami O, Nebraska -7½ at Northwestern, UNLV -14½ vs. Idaho

·        $11 — Mississippi State -22 at UMass, West Virginia -7 vs. BYU, S. Mississippi -10 at UTEP, Notre Dame -21 vs. Duke, Arkansas +6 at Texas A&M, Mississippi -7 vs. Georgia, Stanford -3 at UCLA

 

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More In-Depth Look at Trump Reveals Serial Liar that He Is

Unless you scour the internet news stories or read newspapers like the New York Times, Dallas Morning News  or Washington Post or call up various personal websites, you may miss reports that shed light on why Republican candidate Donald Trump must be considered unqualified for the presidency.

Many of the dailies simply don’t favor a news hole full of politics.

Cable news, of course, will provide superficial recaps of many political stories but the lack of in-depth substance leaves too many wrong impressions.

Two stories say a lot about the kind of person Trump really is: a serial liar who spews slurs in far too many instances. Sometimes, he even pushes for physical violence. Check out what Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says about Trump’s mean streak and vitriol. Check out what Trump says about the Secret Service’s duty should be regarding Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Reid lashed out at Trump as a “con artist” after suggesting the Democratic leader should resume exercising with the equipment that left him blind in one eye last year. Reid fell and broke several ribs and facial bones last year when an exercise band snapped during a workout.

On the website, Reid said Trump could make fun of the injury that “crushed the side of my face and took the sight in my right eye all he wants.” He added, “I may not be able to see out of my right eye, but with my good eye, I can see that Trump is a man who inherited his money and spent his entire life pretending like he earned it.”

Reid charged Trump with ripping off people with scams like Trump University, noting, “And while the people he ripped off suffer, Trump sits at the posh resort he bought with his daddy’s money, with no understanding of the misery he caused.”

Trump is promoting his business acumen as he runs for President. Reid chided him: “Now, Trump’s business interests in foreign countries and his Ponzi-scheme fraud of a ‘charity’ make clear that Trump intends to scam all of America just like he rips off hard-working people.”

Reid listed questions that Trump should answer:

  • Why did Trump appear to use his charity to enrich himself and bribe elected officials who were investigating his scams?
  • Why does Trump refuse to cut ties with business interests that would allow him to exploit American foreign policy to enrich himself?
  • What is Trump hiding in his tax returns?

If Trump wants to be president, he should be properly vetted, Reid said. If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan had the public’s interest at heart, they would lead the Republican Congress to investigate these and other questions with little energy and taxpayer money, Reid said, adding, “But Senator McConnell and Speaker Ryan want to leave town for another two months, just a few weeks after returning from the longest summer recess in more than half a century. And the Republican Congress has shown nothing but blind obedience to Trump, going so far as to hold a Supreme Court seat open for six months in the hopes that Trump can fill it.”

Trump says many scary things. He preaches fear. His words also show how crass he can be involving a person’s life.

He accused Clinton of pushing an anti-gun agenda during a campaign rally in Miami and suggested she  was a hypocrite for being under Secret Service protection.

“She goes around with armed bodyguards like you have never seen before,” Trump said, “I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm.”

Trump wondered how Clinton would fare under those circumstances by saying: “Take their guns away. She doesn’t want guns. Let’s see what happens to her.”

Trump didn’t mention he also received Secret Service protection, the campaign staff requesting it last October.

The Clinton folks wouldn’t let the disarming statement pass, saying in a press release that Trump “has a pattern of inciting people to violence,” and adding that his bluster “should be out of bounds for a presidential candidate.”

During the campaign, Trump has been slammed for suggesting that gun-rights activists could rein Clinton in. “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” he said, referring to appointments to the US Supreme Court. Then with dripping sarcasm, he said, “All the Second Amendment people — maybe there is.”

The Secret Service responded with his implication of someone shooting her..

Trump has often accused Clinton of touting ambitious gun-control measures that, as he puts it, would “essentially abolish” the Second Amendment. Clinton’s gun-reform policy does not call for abolishing the Second Amendment.

The Democratic nominee’s platform proposes expanded background checks for gun buyers and preventive measures to keep criminals and the mentally ill from legally buying guns.

Senator Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, lashed out at Trump’s insinuating comments. Yeah, disarm the bodyguards and see what happens. Murphy tweeted that the comments were tantamount to suggesting someone try to shoot and kill the Democratic nominee.

The tweet read: “Hey @realDonaldTrump, if you keep suggesting your supporters kill @Hillarry Clinton, someone will listen. The blood will be on your hands.”

Murphy represents the Connecticut area where the Newtown elementary school massacre occurred; he has been an ardent supporter of gun control legislation.

So, Trump is the kind of man you can support for President. Read what he says. Look at those words. He runs an assembly line of lies. Check them out. If you still can say you support him for President, then you do, indeed, belong in a basket of the deplorable.

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All Must Remain Vigilant to Point Out Trump’s Lies

Fair and balanced? How about false equivalency. Yeah, that’s better.

Question  a journalist when you hear the words: both sides do it. Wince when you hear that the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is a case of voting for the lesser of two evils. Shake your head when a pundit says both have transparency problems.

President Obama knows about the coverage. He’s frustrated with the way the media are covering the campaign. Of course he strongly favors Clinton: “I believe there has never been a man or a woman more qualified to serve as our president.”

At a campaign rally in Philadelphia, he said, “You don’t grade the presidency on a curve. This is serious business. And when we see folks talking about transparency — you want to debate transparency? You’ve got one candidate in this race who’s released decades’ worth of her tax returns. The other is the first in decades to refuse to release any at all. You want to debate foundations and charities? One candidate’s family foundation has saved countless lives around the world. The other candidate’s foundation took other people’s money and spent it buying a 6-foot painting of himself. At least he had the taste not to go for the 10-foot version.

“Because we’ve become so partisan, our standards for what’s normal have changed. Donald Trump says stuff every day that used to be considered as disqualifying as president, and yet because he says it over and over and over again, the press just gives up. The bottom line is, we cannot afford suddenly to treat this like a reality show. We cannot afford to act as if there’s some equivalence here. To be president you have to do your homework and you have to know what you’re talking about.”

It has been a difficult couple of weeks for Clinton. Her lead at the polls have disappeared and she was forced to rest to combat a case of pneumonia.

Obama’s jab at the media was right on, calling the coverage of her health “nonsense” and asserting that the candidate was “subjected to more scrutiny and … more unfair criticism than anybody out here.”

Progressive media watchdog, Media Matters for America, found that cable news channels spent a significant portion of their air time to covering topics related to Clinton’s health after she almost fainted at the 9/11 memorial site. According to their data in that time frame, CNNFox News and MSNBC devoted 13½ hours to the health news, while giving less than an hour’s attention to evidence that implicated Trump in some shady financial transactions with donations to his foundation.

The lopsided coverage certainly has been a source of frustration for Clinton supporters.

Clinton is again being faulted for instinctively preferring to keep what she thinks should be private just that. She decided to “power through” her illness, sticking with her original schedule that included appearing at a 9/11 memorial service on Sunday in New York. She now says that was a mistake.

She told CNN, “I didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal.”

She’s simply asking for fairness when it comes to transparency in the campaign coverage. She wants the same standards being demanded of her also applied to Trump.

“Compare everything you know about me with my opponent, I think it’s time he met the same level of disclosure that I have for years,” she told CNN.

Trump’s health disclosure included a spot on Dr. Oz and a one-page letter that his doctor, Harold Bornstein, said he wrote in five minutes while waiting on the curb for a limousine. “If elected, Mr Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” he asserted.

A few more bits and pieces came out but little is known about the 70-year-old’s  health record. Oh he does like fast food and seldom exercises.

Vice President Joe Biden, 73, said, “I’d like to jog with him. I don’t think he could keep up.”

Trump is running as a businessman. He believes the government should be run like a business. With all his bankruptcies, his business acumen should be questioned. His murky dealings with his personal financial affairs and the financial health of his property empire should draw more scrutiny.

Clinton is trying to get more action from the press: “I think it is a fundamental issue about him in this campaign that we’re going to talk about in one way or another…because he clearly has something to hide.”

Is he the brilliant businessman? Can he alone put America back on its feet? Is he really worth $10 billion?

If he would release his income tax returns, the country certainly would have more knowledge. Did he donate “tens of millions” of dollars to charitable causes?

The Washington Post has challenged the claim, saying that neither Trump nor his campaign has offered any evidence to support the claim. The Post searched 326 charities with connections to Trump and found that between 2008 and May of this year that they had collectively benefited from a mere $10,000 in donations from his own pockets.

There’s the Trump Foundation, but it’s not clear how much of the money this supposedly charitable group gives is actually coming Trump himself. The foundation has come under additional scrutiny recently for a political donation to a group supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi just as she was considering fraud allegations against Trump University

Fortune recently reckoned that the debt carried by Trump’s core business – not counting all his assorted franchising and marketing agreements where he allows his name to be used on products and buildings for fees – amounts to about $1 billion, much more than he has disclosed. Among entities giving the loans has been the Bank of China.

The press should take all this, dissect it and distribute it to the public. There is no equality in comparing Clinton to Trump’s fallacious campaign. He’s lying and misspeaking so much that the media have a difficult time keeping up. But try they must.

Ideological purism is pushing Trump in the polls. The media need to lay off the polls and focus on the reality of what a Trump presidency would do to the country. And it isn’t pretty.

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Chiefs Fare in a Feast of Weekend Football Unpalatable

Oh what a veritable smorgasbord of football over the weekend. High school, colleges and pros. The tables were full of tossed plans, over-cooked boasts and sweet revenge.

The menu for the Chiefs? Well, they sat down to plates of head cheese, fried black Bolivian ants, pickled rooster combs and the coup de grâce, a Spam sandwich.

My god, what were these guys thinking? Did you see offensive lineman Michael Swartz perform a matador’s adorno on Houston’s J.J. Watt? What about his illegal movement when the Chiefs were driving late in the game — and matched on the next play by tackle Eric Fisher.

Oh, the abominable play-calling — like three straight run calls to open the second half when they needed to make a push. Geez, there were three lost fumbles, a taunting penalty, blown assignments, dropped passes, the lack of fire and determination.

And where was quarterback Alex Smith’s head? In the first half, he was 8 of 16 passing for 53 yards. He missed open receivers, he took unneeded sacks, he lazily handled the ball. It was absolutely unreal. In the third quarter, check this out: one yard of passing. Gag me.

And you know what, the score could have been worse in the first half. The Texans made poor decisions, quarterback Brock Osweiler was in a fog and missed opportunities for more points were aplenty.

The final score: 19-12, Houston.

Is Houston, now 2-0, a much different team than the one that was embarrassed in a 30-0 wild-card playoff loss to the Chiefs in January? Eh!

Certainly no fairy tale ending for the Chiefs this time. Last week they had to make the biggest comeback in franchise history to beat San Diego 33-27 in overtime.

The defense was decent Sunday, except for not getting clutch stops in the fourth quarter when the Texans wrapped up the game. For example, linebacker Derrick Johnson, who recorded 11 tackles, had to rush to the sidelines in pass defense to try to reach an uncovered receiver as the Texans came out of the huddle quicker than usual. The completion kept the drive going.

And let’s mention this one: late in the fourth quarter, Chiefs rookie Tyreek Hill had a 105-yard kickoff return for a possible  touchdown negated because of a holding penalty on Steven Nelson.

That’s the kind of game it was.

Kansas City will host the New York Jets next Sunday.

The Big 12 is losing prestige with the flock faster than a pastor singing with the buxom music director far from the choir.

Oklahoma, which started the season with a loss to Houston, ran into speedy Ohio State Saturday night and lost 45-24. The Sooners are now 1-2 and appear as defenseless as an outmanned fort against Geronimo.

Then, just when you thought Texas was ready to keep Coach Charlie Strong off the hot seat, California  threw the switch on the No. 11 Longhorns 50-43. Davis Webb, the Cal quarterback who grew up just outside Dallas, threw four touchdown passes to lead the Bears to their first victory over a ranked team in nearly four years. The Bears had lost to San Diego State the week before. Texas was looking for its first 3-0 start since 2012.

I sure thought the two Kansas Big 12 schools had a shot at covering the spread on Saturday. Nope. The Jayhawks played as if they were responding to charity folks asking for donations. KU turned the ball over six times at Memphis. The Tigers dominated the game defensively, grabbed an early lead and coasted to a 43-7 win, sending the Jayhawks to their 39th consecutive road loss.

The Jayhawks lacked consistency, direction and determination. They simply looked like little kids trying to get organized on a playground and not succeeding. The Montell Cozart/Ryan Willis rotation at quarterback is not working either.

Now, Kansas State — wow! Yeah, yeah, the Wildcats had 13 penalties for 130 yards. Don’t let that detract from the 336 yards rushing and 159 yards passing. Winston Dimel, the son of the coach who calls the plays (Dana Dimel), ran for four first-half touchdowns and Dominque Heath returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown as Kansas State routed Florida Atlantic 63-7. Those were the most points put up by K-State since 2009.

The Wildcats were playing their latest scheduled home opener since 1992, and also christening the most recent renovation to Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The $15 million project to enclose the lower bowl provided new space for the marching band in the northeast corner and the visiting Owls with plush new locker rooms.

Yep, just look at those rushing yards. Told ya that Dalvin Warmack was a runner. The red-shirt sophomore from Blue Springs, Missouri, carried the ball eight times for 90 yards, an 11.3 average — a 43-yard burst certainly helped. He has seen limited action and the questions were always filled with why.  He had to share a lot, even in this game.

Another young runner, Alex Barnes, a red-shirt freshman from Pittsburg, Kansas, looked terrific in picking up 73 yards on eight carries.

Charles Jones had 40 yards on eight carries and Justin Silmon ran three times for 18 yards. Dimel’s five carries came deep in the red zone.

Warmack told reporters after the game: “A lot of people questioned our offense. A lot of people challenged us to be better.” He was reflecting on a 26-13 loss to Stanford in the season opener.

This game was over at the half as the Cats built a 42-0 lead. While the offense rolled, the defense, showing prowess, speed and advancement, held the Owls to 76 total yards in the first half — forcing three turnovers then, too.

Coach Bill Snyder played a lot of people, including all three quarterbacks, starter Jesse Ertz, Joe Hubener and Alex Delton.

The Cats will host Missouri State next Saturday night while KU will take off a weekend before opening conference play September 29, a Thursday, at Texas Tech.

While most of my viewing of football is on television, what a joy it is to get out to a game — at any level. I went to the St. Thomas Aquinas at Bishop Miege game on Friday and saw a lot of good offense. Miege won 48-21.

It was a game of the quick-strike Stags vs. the wishbone Saints. And the Stags simply had too much firepower.

Zip, zip, they would streak. Brison Cobbins, 57-yard run. Ta’Von Tusa, 80-yard run. Jafar Armstrong, 75-yard kickoff return. Speed kills.

The Saints should guarantee a fast game with their wishbone offense chewing up yards and the clock. We drove by Rockhurst on the way to partake of a libation and its game with Shawnee Mission East was still going on.

Miege is very, very good but lost to bigger school Blue Valley 35-28 in the season opener. The Tigers are slick on offense and gritty on defense. Quarterback Matthew Dercher is listed at only 6 feet and 155 pounds with 4.6 40 speed but he’s a quick runner and an accurate passer. Combined with 210-pound running back Williams Evans, they should defend their big school state title.

Ah, but are these Kansas schools better than the teams across the state line in Missouri?. When I first got out of Mizzou and went to work for the Kansas City Star, one of my first assignments was to cover games in the Suburban League, then a group of smaller schools. The Suburban, Interscholastic and Pony Express leagues generally couldn’t compare with Wyandotte, Shawnee Mission and Lawrence football talent.

That isn’t the case today. Check out these scores from last week’s matchups, billed as Suburban League vs. the Sunflower League:

Grandview 50, SM Northwest 14
Blue Springs South 34, Olathe North 7
Lee’s Summit North 21, Olathe Northwest 16
North Kansas City 27, Leavenwroth 18
Winnetonka 21, SM South 14
Blue Springs 35, SM West 21
Lee’s Summit 42, Olathe South 24
Lee’s Summit West 28, Lawrence 7
Liberty 21, Olathe East 14
Park Hill 34, Lawrence Free State 21

By the way, Independent Rockhurst remained undefeated by beating SM East  26-20.

A Missouri sweep.

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Framing Campaign as Lesser of Two Evils Is Wrong Approach

Way too many political analysts frame the presidential campaign as choosing the lesser of two evils. That is wrong, that is disproportionate rationale, that is superficial dissection.

And it is effective in squeezing Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

As I have said so many times, the Republicans are terrific politicians — they just don’t lead very well, pushing policies that put the country in a hole, from the economy to foreign relations.

They boasted that the congressional hearings on Clinton’s emails during her time as Secretary of State were designed specifically to target her during the campaign. The negatives have worked. Donald Trump remains close in the polls.

If you scour all the evidence produced in the email controversy, you will find not one incident where her process created a war, a national emergency or personal tragedy. The information exchanged was what interaction you should expect among government personnel. Many of the emails contained normal office chatter focusing on contingencies, alternative proposals, personnel interaction and judgment calls.

Of course, cherry-picked sentences and nuanced excerpts can be pulled from the emails to paint a distorted picture.

It is what the Republicans do. They have been doing these types of attacks against the Clintons for more than 25 years.

The Pillory of Hillary is part of the Republican playbook.

You may recall how you were ready to make a huge decision about your life — buying a house, getting married, picking a college. You drew a line on a piece of paper and headed each side, one as Negatives and the other as Positives. You applied your thoughts. Then you made up your mind. That just may be what you should do with Clinton and Trump.

The negatives are so many for Trump that fact-checkers can’t stay up with his litany of lies.

Scour the internet or any media and you can find anecdote after anecdote where Trump is an impresario of deceit.

The president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, can tell you that. After Trump made his in-and-out trip to Mexico, he said the cost of the wall that he planned to build between the United States and Mexico never came up during discussions with Nieto.

Well, the president of Mexico says Trump isn’t telling the truth when he describes the conversation. He said that he and Trump did indeed discuss who would pay for the construction of the wall, the centerpiece of Trump’s immigration plan.

After Trump told reporters they discussed the wall but that the cost never came up, Nieto tweeted, “At the beginning of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made clear that Mexico would not pay for the wall.”

That simply is a microcosm of Trump’s campaign.

Despite the negatives piled on Clinton, Democratic strategists believe Trump’s guile will have a positive effect on dozens of congressional races. Among the Republican districts that Democrats see as newly threatened are those held by representatives Kevin Yoder of Kansas, John L. Mica of Florida and Darrell Issa of California.

Representative Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, told reporters, “I don’t think we’re to the point of losing the majority, but we’d be foolish to be complacent. We don’t know from one day to next how the top of the ticket will perform.”

What worries Republican strategists is not that suburban voters turned off by Trump would migrate en masse to Democrats, but that many might not show up on election day at all.

Yet, the Republican tactics continue to haunt Clinton. Look, voters need to scour the many hateful and devious things Trump does day in and day out. Even in the operation of his campaign staff.

When coming to compensation, he even stiffs his top organizers. Not compensating top people in a presidential campaign is a departure from finance norms. “It’s unprecedented for a presidential campaign to rely so heavily on volunteers for top management positions,” Paul Ryan, an election lawyer with the campaign finance reform advocacy group Campaign Legal Center, told Reuters.

Attack, attack. It is the Republican modus operandi. Seldom do you pick up much discussion from Trump about policies. It’s about attack, attack.

President Obama knows all about the Republican attacks. Despite leading the country through one of the most trying economic times in history, he has faced the onslaught of devious negative thrusts, some of them based solely on race.

Here is Obama with a scandal-free presidency, an impeccable family and policies that help move the country forward — and he faces so much adversity.

Check some of his accomplishments:

  • He pushed through the Affordable Care Act.
  • He ordered the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
  • He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
  • He nominated Loretta Lynch for Attorney General (the first black woman to hold the position).
  • He changed U.S. and Cuban relations for the betters.
  • He helped to negotiate the landmark Iran Nuclear Deal.
  • He said this after the Charleston tragedy: “I refuse to act as if this is the new normal.”
  • He handled the scrutiny over his religions and nationality with grace and humor.
  • He changed a slumping U.S. economy for the better.
  • He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which helps combat pay discrimination against women.
  • He expanded embryonic stem cell research, once restricted under the George W. Bush administration, leading to groundbreaking work in areas including cancer and spinal injury treatment.
  • He issued an executive order establishing the White House Office of Urban Affairs, designed to promote new policies to strengthen cities across the country.
  • He signed an executive order that banned torture of prisoners and detainees.
  • He nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, making her the first Hispanic to serve as a justice.
  • He supported veterans by signing an historic $78 billion tuition assistance GI bill and increased funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • He told a DNC crowd during his speech where they booed with the mention of Trump’s name: “Don’t boo, vote.”
  • He’s the first president to hold an online town hall from the White House, giving the public the chance to ask him questions via social media.
  • He improved the formerly negative opinion of America in countries throughout the world.

Those are things the Democrats will do for you. The Republicans will go after you. Surely, you recall the Great Recession. There’s much to think about here, like vouchers for Medicare, for example.

Unfortunately, Hillary doesn’t have the communication skills that Obama possesses. However, she has the experience. The voters simply need to really look at what Trump says and does. He is not qualified to be President of the United States. His evil offerings appear like gargoyles on Gothic structures — grotesque, monstrous and foreboding.

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Chiefs Fairy Tale May Help Send Texans to Never-Never Land

An internet book forum lists the top 10 fairy tales:

  1. Ugly Duckling
  2. Peter Pan
  3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  4. Rapunzel
  5. Rumplestiltzkin
  6. Beauty and the Beast
  7. Cinderella
  8. Little Red Riding Hood
  9. Three Little Pigs
  10. Hansel and Gretel.

Hmmm! The Chiefs 33-27 overtime victory over San Diego last Sunday at Arrowhead wasn’t listed. Why not? It had prestidigitation, irony, fear and a happy ending. Oh, sure, the rating. The game certainly was for mature audiences.

The Chiefs scored 24 second-half points to force an overtime.  Then they won the toss, drove 70 yards in 10 plays, quarterback Alex Smith ran two yards for a touchdown and they won. The 23 unanswered points amounted to the biggest comeback in franchise history.

No question! A fairy tale!

But alas and alack, a victory nonetheless.

This Sunday, they head to Houston and they’re a 2-point underdog. The Texans covered the 3½ points last Sunday at home in beating Chicago 23-14.

Which one will reach 2-0? You probably recall that the Chiefs started last season with a 27-20 victory over Houston at Arrowhead and then lost five in a row.

They better get that defensive front seven in order or they could face another downfall. Outside linebacker Tamba Hali provided the only consistency last Sunday — and he didn’t get much pre-season preparation after rehabbing a broken thumb. NFL analysts noted that linebacker Justin March-Lillard finished with eight tackles against the Chargers but struggled to get off blocks to make a positive impact — he had a team-worst defensive grade of 31.5. Starting defensive ends Allen Bailey and Jaye Howard combined for 51 pass-rush attempts without recording a single pressure and linebacker Derrick Johnson missed three tackles.

Those are what give odds makers the willies.

Some betting stats to consider for the game:

  • 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 2
  • 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall
  • 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. AFC
  • 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on grass

Texans

  • 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
  • 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win
  • 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in Week 2
  • 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win

The touts are going with the Texans to cover. A big reason: they like quarterback Brock Osweiler. Yeah, he got a Super Bowl ring last year with the Denver Broncos. He didn’t like the way things were going with the mile high team and lowered himself to Houston’s sea level.

A free-agent signee, he started against Chicago and completed 22 of 35 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns — with one interception.

 The Texans also produced a hundred-yard rusher as Lamar Miller carryied the ball 28 times for 106 yards.

Defensively, there’s Mr. Everywhere, J.J. Watt. He was questionable against the Bears but he played most of the game; he’s expected to make a bigger impact against the Chiefs. The Texan defense got the job done, allowing 258 yards with a forced fumble and an interception.

I think the Chiefs will use that storybook finish as momentum and will squelch the Texans and cover. Just a skosh, $11.

Two other NFL games that stand out for me: Cincy +3½ at Pittsburgh and Green Bay -2½ at Minnesota.

Cincy and Pittsburgh usually play low-scoring games but Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had three TD passes in the victory over Washington and Bengals receiver A.J. Green caught 180 yards of passes in the victory over the Jets. And he may be ready to continue that effort. Plus, check out Pittsburgh’s ground game, one that could dent a Cincy defense that ranked 28th against the run last season. The Steelers need to shore up their defense, too, after spending a lot of time on the field against the Jets.

The Steelers are 56-35 all-time against the Bengals and 4-0 straight up in their last four games at home. Then you add that the Bengals are just 5-14-1 against the spread in their last 20 games against the Steelers. At home, take the Steelers for $11.

Despite questions at quarterback, Minnesota downed Tennessee 25-16 last Sunday behind Shaun Hill, who’s battling Sam Bradford for the starting job. The Vikings have everything else in place. Green Bay had to hold off a late charge by Jacksonville to win 29-25.

Minnesota will make its debut in its new stadium and should be pumped. However, Green Bay is 10-2-1 straight up against the Vikings in their last 13 games. I think the Vikings are ready and will go with $22.

Other NFL bets:

$33 — Baltimore -6½ at Cleveland

$22 — Oakland -4½ vs. Atlanta, Philadelphia +3 at Chicago

$11 — Detroit -5½ vs. Tennessee, San Francisco +13½ at Carolina, Arizona -6½ vs. Tampa, Denver -6 vs. Indy, San Diego -3 vs. Jacksonville

Kansas and Kansas State just may, just possibly, just perhaps could pull off a Sunflower double on Saturday. KU is getting 20½ points at Memphis while K-State is laying 22½ at home to Florida International.

The Jayhawks will have a difficult time winning but if they can put together what they did in the second half against Ohio University, well, they could cover. I think they will and will bet $22 that they do.

It’s so frustrating to see the K-State quarterback go back and forth in trying to make a play-call. The clock has run down to five seconds when he’s behind center and still looking. Confusion seems to settle in and the defense is timing its rush. Disruptive. Oh well, it’s the Coach Bill Snyder way. The defense looks better but the offense is scary, mainly because of ineffective play at quarterback. I won’t play the game.

The Big 12 will offer a game of national importance: Ohio State -2 at Oklahoma.

The 33-23 loss to Houston in the season opener really was a Sooner downer. So you must wonder on many fronts about the talent. For starters, the offense is questionable. Injuries hurt, of course but questions remain about the receivers. The line is debatable.

After a so-so performance against Houston, quarterback Baker Mayfield passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns in a half of work in OU’s 59-17 victory over Louisiana-Monroe last Saturday night.

So what about Ohio State? Well, what the Buckeyes are missing in experience they are making up for with blinding speed and athleticism. They have beaten Bowling Green and Tulsa and the Sooners do present a more formidable opponent.

So what do you think? I like OU with the points and will go with $22.

After what happened last week, no way will I play the Oklahoma State-Pittsburgh game. The officials blew the call that allowed Central Michigan to win on a Hail Mary 30-27. But the Cowboys never should have put themselves in that position.

Betting the colleges:

$22 — East Carolina +3 at South Carolina, Stanford -8½ vs. USC, Texas -8 at Cal

$11 — Florida State -2 at Louisville, TCU -24 vs. Iowa State, Colorado +20½ at Michigan, Central Michigan -13 vs. UNLV, Alabama -11 at Ole Miss

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Well, It’s Another Day for You to Take in a Little Levity

If Hillary Clinton gets elected, it will be the first time in American history that two Presidents have slept together.

However, if Donald Trump gets elected, it will be the first time in American history that a billionaire has moved into public housing that had just been vacated by a black family.

——

  • John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, in a famous exchange with actor Samuel Foote, said, “I have often wondered what catastrophe would bring you to your end; but I think, that you must either die of pox or the halter. Foote replied, “My lord, that will depend upon one of two contingencies — whether I embrace your lordship’s mistress, or your lordship’s principles.”
  • Abraham Lincoln, after being called two-faced: “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?”
  • Mark Twain: “I’ve never killed a man, but I’ve read many an obituary with a great deal of satisfaction.”
  • Pope John XXIII, in response to a reporter asking how many people worked at the Vatican: “About half.”
  • Playwright Noel Coward: “Edna, you almost look like a man.”  Novelist Edna Ferber: “So do you.”
  • Henry Clay: “I would rather be right than be President.” House Speaker Thomas Reed: “The gentleman need not trouble himself. He’ll never be either.”
  • Writer Dorothy Parker: “Mr. Coolidge, I’ve made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you.” President Calvin Coolidge: “You lose.”
  • Groucho Marx: “I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.”
  • Actress Mary Anderson: “What is my best side Mr. Hitchcock?” Alfred Hitchcock: “You’re sitting on it, my dear.”
  • Ugarte in Casablanca: “You despise me, don’t you?” Rick Blaine: “If I gave you any thought, I probably would.”
  • Lady Nancy Astor: “Winston, if you were my husband, I’d put poison in your coffee.” Winston Churchill: “Nancy, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.”
  • Mahatma Gandhi, in answer to a reporter asking what he thought of Western Civilization: “I think it would be a good idea.

——

A three-year-old boy was examining his testicles while taking a bath and asked his mom: “Are these my brains?”

“Not yet,” she replied.

——

A small church had a very attractive organist; her breasts were so large that they bounced and jiggled while she played the organ. The very proper church ladies were appalled. They said something had to be done about this or they would have to get another organist.

So, one of the ladies approached the organist discreetly and told her to mash up some green persimmons and rub them on her nipples and over her breasts, adding that the procedure should cause them to shrink; but she warned her not to taste any of the green persimmons because they’re so sour that they would make her mouth pucker up, and she wouldn’t be able to talk properly for a while.

The voluptuous organist reluctantly agreed to try it.

The following Sunday morning the minister walked up to the pulpit and said, “Dew to thircumsthanthis bewond my contwol, we will not hab a thermon tewday.”

——

Ole and Sven were drinking buddies who worked as aircraft mechanics in Minneapolis and one day the airport was fogged in and they were stuck in the hangar with nothing to do.

Ole said, “I vish ve had somethin ta drink!”

Sven said, “Me too. Y’know, I hear ya can drink dat jet fuel and get a buzz. Ya vanna try it?”

So they poured a couple of glasses of high octane hooch and got completely smashed.

Next morning Ole woke up and was surprised at how good he felt. In fact he had no hangover! No bad side effects. Nothing!

The phone rang. It was Sven who asked “How iss you feelin dis mornin”

Ole said, “I feel great. How bout you?”

Sven answered, “I feel great, too. Ya don’t have no hangover?”

Ole said, “No dat jet fuel iss great stuff  — no hangover, nothin. Ve oughta do dis more often.”

Sven responded, ”Yeah, vell, but dere’s yust vun ting.”

Ole asked, “Vat’s dat?”

Sven questioned, “Haff you farted yet?”

Ole stopped to think. “No”

“Vell, don’t, ’cause I’m in  Iowa !”

——

This one ol’ boy, while golfing, accidentally overturned the golf cart.

A very attractive golfer, who lived in a villa on the golf course, heard the noise and called out, “Are you okay?”

“I’m okay, thanks,” he replied as he pulled himself out of the twisted cart.

She said, “Come up to my villa, rest a while, and I’ll help you get the cart up later.”

He happened to notice her silky bathrobe was partially open, revealing a very nice figure.

“That’s mighty nice of you,” he answered, “but I don’t think my wife would like it.”

“Oh, come on now” she insisted.

She was so pretty, and very, very persuasive. He was weak. “Well okay, but I’m sure my wife won’t like it.”

After a couple of Scotch and waters, he thanked her and said, “I feel a lot better now. But I know my wife is going to be really upset. So I’d better go now.”

“Don’t be silly!” she said with a smile, letting her robe fall slightly more open. “Stay for awhile.  She won’t know anything. By the way, where is she?”

“Still under the cart, I guess.”

——

A young farm couple got married and just couldn’t seem to get enough lovin’. In the morning, before he left the house for the fields, they made love. When he came back from the fields, they made love. And again at bedtime, they made love.

The problem was their nooner; it took him a half hour to travel home and another half hour to return to the fields and he just wasn’t getting enough work done. Finally, he asked the town doctor what to do.

“Young man,” the doctor said, “just take your rifle out to the field with you and when you’re in the mood, fire off a shot into the air. That will be her signal to come out to you. Then you won’t lose any field time.”

They tried Doc’s advice and it worked well for a while. But then he returned to the doctor’s office..

“What’s wrong?” asked the Doc.”Didn’t my idea work?”

“Oh, it worked real good,” the farmer answered. “Whenever I was in the mood, I fired off a shot like you said and she’d come runnin’. We’d find a secluded place, make love and then she’d go back home again.”

The doc frowned and asked, “So what’s the problem?”

” I ain’t seen her since huntin’ season started.”

——

Ol’ John was on his deathbed and gasped pitifully, “Give me one last request, dear.”

“Of course, John,” his wife said softly.

“Six months after I die,” John said, “I want you to marry Harry.”

“But I thought you hated Harry,” she said.

With his last breath John said, “I do!”

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Trump Still in Presidential Hunt, Even With Praise of Putin

Despite all the lies, despite all the praise for Russian leadership, despite all the Republican detachment, Donald Trump remains over 40 percent in the omnipresent displays of political polls.

Why? Oh, many of those 40 percent believe his Democratic foe, Hillary Clinton, is physically unfit and mentally unstable. Which is rubbish. Many of those 40 percent fall into categories of racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic or Islamophobic. Part of the so-called alternate right.

The words that come out of Trump’s mouth should speak volumes about why he’s disqualified to be the President of the United States. He’s a serial liar who incites political violence — he still maintains his fallacious birther stance that Barack Obama should not have been allowed to run for President because he was born in Kenya.

But there Trump stands, still in the hunt to become our President.

The real why? Ideological purism. As he once said: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Some consider Trumpism as the slop-over of the deep-felt hatred of Obama.

Although Republican leaders may deplore Trump’s public statements, they continue to support him. Their standing by him mirrors the height of hypocrisy.

Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, hears what Trump says and responds like this: “I’m not going to sit up here and do the tit-for-tat on what Donald had said last or the night before and Hillary versus Donald. I’m not going to be the electioneer pundit commenting on all these little things.”

Oh those nasty little things!

Even when Trump speaks outlandishly in support of Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, Ryan deflects questions from the media. Ryan believes Putin is a thug, telling reporters last week, “Vladimir Putin is an aggressor that does not share our interests. Vladimir Putin is violating the sovereignty of neighboring countries.”

But Ryan continues to be there for Trump, who keeps up the praise for the Russian authoritarian.

A transcript from the MSNBC Morning Joe shows how Trump admires Putin:

Mika Brzezinski (host): Yeah, do you like Vladmir Putin’s comments about you?

Trump: Sure. When people call you brilliant it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia.

Joe Scarborough (host): Well, also is a person that kills journalists, political opponents

Willie Geist (panelist): And invades countries.

Scarborough: And invades countries, obviously, that would be a concern, would it not?

Trump: He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.

Scarborough: But again, he kills journalists that don’t agree with him.

Trump: Well, I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe. You know. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world right now, Joe. A lot of killing going on and a lot of stupidity, and that’s the way it is. You didn’t ask me the question. You asked me a different question. That’s fine.

Scarborough: I’m confused. So you obviously condemn Vladimir Putin killing journalists and political opponents, right?

Trump: Oh sure, absolutely.

Scarborough: Alright. So how would America’s relationship with Russia change if you were president?

Trump: Well, i think it would be good. I’ve always felt fine about Putin. I think he is a strong leader. He’s a powerful leader. He’s represented his country, and that’s the way the country is being represented. He’s actually got popularity within his country. They respect him as a leader. Certainly over the last couple of years they’ve respected him as the leader. I think he’s up in the 80s, which is you see where Obama’s in 30s and low 40s, and he’s up in the 80s.

Popularity, huh? Dictators do have control over polls and people, wouldn’t you think!

But Trump’s love for authoritarian rule supersedes sound reasoning. He loves yelling: “You’re fired.”

So, Trump believes Putin is “doing a better job” than President Obama. On Fox News Fox & Friends Trump said, “He’s certainly doing a better job than Obama is, that’s all.”

Still, the right-wing wackos back Trump’s despite his precarious moves, his boastful statements, his countless falsehoods

Hallie Jackson of NBC News interviewed one of the all-time right-wing nuts, Representative Steve King, R-Iowa. After King said he believed Putin was a “better leader for Russians than President Obama is for Americans,” Jackson looked on incredulously. Then she asked in the TV interview: “If you look at the history of what Putin has done in Russia and his relationship with the United States, you’re comfortable saying — and I want to be clear — that you think he’s been a better leader for Russians than Obama has been for Americans?”

King fired back: “Oh, I think that.” He went on to give the rise of Russian nationalism and Olympic support as examples.

This is how partisan and delusional these people have become. They’re so full of hate and ignorance that they’re essentially taking the side of the Russian president over their own. A Russian president who invaded the country of Georgia, is a former member of the KGB, has a somewhat friendly relationship with Iran, supports Assad’s regime in Syria, criminalizes homosexuals, potentially rigged his last election and goes out of his way to do photo-ops where he’s often seen shirtless hunting or fishing.

And here’s King saying: “America’s dominance in the world has retreated because of the direct orders of Barack Obama, and that has allowed Putin to be more robust. But if you’re a Russian looking at this thing, you’re going to think Barack Obama is weak, Putin is strong. I want a President that I see as strong, and one who is maybe sitting across the chessboard with Putin and I think he’s got a chance of winning. I don’t think anybody thinks Obama wins in that today.”

Oh man, are they ever lined up to support Trump’s bromance with a Russian dictator. In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential candidate, said, “I think it’s inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country. And that’s going to change the day that Donald Trump becomes president.”

Putin, a career KGB officer who has presided over the rollback of his country’s post-Communist freedoms and revived Cold War-style anti-Americanism, seems to be an unlikely hero for American conservatives.

Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and now the lead surrogate for Trump, says Putin makes a decision and executes it quickly. He told Neil Cavuto of Fox News: “Then everybody reacts. That’s what you call a leader. President Obama, got to think about it, he’s got to go over it again, he’s got to talk to more people about it.”

All this ding-a-ling, crackpot, loony support of Trump has gotta be ideological purism.

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