Lies, Lies, Lies — Is McCarthy’s Nose Growing Yet?

I have to wonder if Kevin McCarthy’s parents read the story of Pinocchio to him as a child.  You remember … Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who became an actual boy, but his nose grew with every lie he told.  If Kevin heard that story as a child, you’d think it might have made a lasting impression and he’d be less inclined to lie glibly on a near-continual basis.  I remember as a child, each time I told a lie, going into the bathroom and actually measuring my nose with my finger!

But Kevin does have a fairly longish nose, come to think of it.

In the past two weeks, he has told at least six blatant lies that I’m aware of, likely many more.  The question becomes, why?  Does he realize that his constituents are largely uncaring and ignorant of facts and only want to hear those things that can give them renewed purpose in hating any who don’t follow the Republican playbook?  But what about the rest of us?  Does it not matter to him that we see the smoke coming out of his mouth, that we DO know the facts, or at least are willing to spend 2 minutes looking them up?  Somehow, this ‘man’ has risen through the GOP ranks to become his party’s leader in the U.S. House of Representatives – a position that commands respect, but that respect must be earned, and he damn sure is not earning it.

Lie #1:  McCarthy claimed that oil prices are now “the highest that we have seen.”  Fact:  Crude prices peaked in 2008 under Republican President George W. Bush – more than double their level at the time McCarthy made this claim.  Crude prices were also higher at various points under Republican President Donald Trump than they were two weeks ago when McCarthy made his false claim or than they are today.

Lie #2:  McCarthy claimed that there is now “inflation at a number we have not seen.”  Fact:  While inflation was at a 13-year high in June and July, at a seasonally adjusted 5.3% on a year-over-year basis, it is not even close to the highest we have ever seen and not even close to the level of the late Carter era. Inflation was more than twice as high in every month of 1980 than it was in June and July of this year; its 1980 peak was 14.6%.

Lie #3:  Speaking about congressional Democrats, McCarthy asked, “Why aren’t they protecting the border from those 5,000 prisoners who have just left Afghanistan and — have the hope of coming across our borders?”  Fact:  There is no basis for McCarthy’s claim that 5,000 former prisoners have “just left Afghanistan” with the hope of coming to the US. And McCarthy neglected to mention that it was President Donald Trump’s own 2020 deal with the Taliban — a deal McCarthy had positive words about at the time — in which the US agreed to let up to 5,000 Afghan prisoners go free.

Lie #4:  McCarthy said, “We have watched state after state where Democrats have left the state.”  Fact:  Texas is the only state whose Democratic legislators left the state under Biden or Trump to deny Republicans the minimum attendance needed to pass elections legislation.

Lie #5:  McCarthy said Democrats’ new elections bill “would ban voter ID in every state.”  Fact:  The Democratic bill would not prohibit states from having voter identification laws and would not prohibit states from checking the IDs of in-person voters. Rather, it would require states to give voters an alternative to showing the ID the states normally demand — specifically, to allow voters who do not show that ID to instead submit signed statements under penalty of perjury attesting to their identity and eligibility to vote.

Lie #6:  McCarthy claimed, based on an anonymous report, that the Department of Justice has concluded that Donald Trump did not cause, incite, or provoke the violence on January 6th.”  Fact:  The report is anonymous, not an official FBI report, but is suspected to be a report published by Reuters news agency that said merely the FBI has found “scant evidence” that the January 6 riots were coordinated.  No idea where they got their misinformation.

I’m sure there are more lies, but these are enough to spread disinformation far and wide among Republican voters who are already heavily influenced by the conspiracy theories put forth by QAnon and others who seem to have members spread throughout the GOP.

Anybody have a tape measure?  We really ought to measure ol’ Kevin’s nose!!!  Or wait … maybe we should measure the noses of every Republican in Congress, for the GOP motto seems to be “Why tell the truth when a lie will work just as well?”

The Good, The Bad, The Hopeful

A few days ago, my dear friend Ellen sent me Maureen Dowd’s column from the New York Times.  She says so much that the topic of the column rather defies description, but her vision of where this nation is today is spot on.  She also gives us hope in a more positive, yet realistic assessment of President Biden’s policies and actions than we’re used to hearing these days.


Drowning Our Future in the Past

By Maureen Dowd

Opinion Columnist

It isn’t a pretty picture.

One coast is burning. The other is under water. In between, anti-abortion vigilantes may soon rampage across gunslinging territory.

What has happened to this country?

America is reeling backward, strangled by the past, nasty and uncaring, with everyone at one another’s throats.

Post-Trump, we let ourselves hope that the new president could heal and soothe, restore a sense of rationality, decency and sanity. But the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be just a firefly.

We feel the return of dread: We’re rattled by the catastrophic exit from Afghanistan; the coming abortion war sparked by Texas; the Trumpian Supreme Court dragging us into the past; the confounding nature of this plague; the way Mother Nature is throttling us, leaving New Yorkers to drown in their basements. And now comes Donald Trump, tromping toward another presidential run.

It feels as if nothing can be overcome. Everything is being relitigated.

We’re choking on enlightened climate proposals but the disparity between the disasters we see, and what’s being done in Washington, makes it feel as though nothing is happening except climate change. We’re so far from getting a handle on the problem, the discussions around it seem almost theoretical.

Joe Manchin, tied to the energy industry, balks at climate change provisions in the reconciliation bill. He should be looking for ways to get West Virginia in touch with reality rather than living in the past.

“Manchin’s claim that climate pollution would be worsened by the elimination of fossil fuels — or by the resolution’s actual, more incremental climate provisions — is highly dubious, if not outright false,” The Intercept reported, noting that the truth is that Manchin’s personal wealth would “be impacted.” Since he joined the Senate, The Intercept said, he has grossed some $4.5 million from coal companies he founded.

With its new abortion law, sending women back to the back alley and encouraging Stasi-like participation from the citizenry, Texas now becomes the capital of American unreason. The law “essentially delegated enforcement of that prohibition to the populace at large,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

There were medieval fiefs more enlightened than the Lone Star G.O.P.

Between putting women in danger by pushing that law and putting children in danger by imposing his anti-mask mania on school districts that want to mask up, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has become a scourge of the first rank.

A cynical slice of the Republican Party — and this includes Trump — privately denigrates anti-abortion activists as wackos, but publicly moves in lock-step with them in order to cling to that base and keep power.

But the anti-abortion forces were somehow clever enough to hijack the Supreme Court and Republicans will have to contend with the backlash when the court tosses Roe v. Wade aside.

As botched as the withdrawal from Afghanistan was, at least Joe Biden was trying to move into the future and do triage on one of America’s worst mistakes.

And unlike other presidents — J.F.K. with the Bay of Pigs, L.B.J. with the Vietnam War and Barack Obama with the Afghanistan surge — Biden did not allow himself to be suckered by the generals, the overweening Ivy Leaguers and the Blob, the expense account monsters who keep this town whirring and always have a seat at the table, no matter how wrong they were, and are.

The Afghanistan tragedy, as James Risen wrote in The Intercept, was just two decades of Americans lying to one another, and it “brought out in Americans the same imperial arrogance that doomed the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.”

Unlike his three predecessors, Biden risked Saudi ire by directing the Justice Department and other agencies on Friday to review and declassify documents related to the F.B.I.’s investigation into 9/11. Families of 9/11 victims had been pushing for the release of the secret files to learn more about the role the Saudis played in the attacks.

The enablers of our misbegotten occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have been shrieking like banshees at Biden, trying to manacle him to their own past mistakes as he attempts to lift off.

With peerless chutzpah, Tony Blair called Biden’s decision to depart cynical and driven by an “imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars.’”

But Biden knew enough not to spend more lives and treasure to prop up a kleptocracy. He oversaw some bad weeks in Afghanistan but George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld should be blamed for 20 bad years.

Remarkably, as Jon Allsop pointed out in The Columbia Journalism Review, the word “Bush” was not mentioned once on any of the Sunday news shows the weekend Kabul was falling.

“He looks like the Babe Ruth of presidents when you compare him to Trump,” Harry Reid, the former Democratic Senate majority leader, told The Washington Post’s Ben Terris, for a story this past week on Bush nostalgia.

With a memory like a goldfish, America circles its bowl, returning to where we have been, unable to move forward, condemned to repeat a past we should escape.

Jolly Monday Rides Again!

Good Monday morning, dear friends!  I wasn’t feeling well last night, so I asked Jolly ‘n Joyful to take over and finish up Jolly Monday for me.  Now mind you, I had visited Phil’s Phun earlier in the day and harvested some good ‘toons and such, so all the kids had to do was pull it together, add in some cuteness factor, and find a cute animal video.  Well, long story short, I sat in my lounge chair and read for a few hours, had a bit of a snooze, and when I woke up, I went in search of Jolly ‘n Joyful to see if they had finished.  It sat right where I had left it in the early afternoon, and I found the kids playing ping pong in the basement!  Kids today!!!  But anyway, I’m not complaining … I needed to get up and do something anyway.  So … how was your weekend?  Did you do anything interesting?  We were thankful to see cooler temperatures, finally, with highs only in the upper 70s.  The air quality is still horrible, though.

Joyful tells me it’s pizza week this week and she assures me there are enough pizzas with bacon for our bacon lovers!  So, let’s go find something yummy to feed our bellies, then we’ll find something funny to feed our spirits!

             

And for a special friend …


Since ‘toons is just about all we have today … let’s start out with a few of those …


And some memes …


I really like this ‘chore chart’ I came across!  Why, I think I could live by this one!


And now, the best part of Jolly Monday … a cute animal video!!!  It’s a short one, but oh so cute!


Well, my friends, the time has come for you to go do your things and for me to try to do mine … now where is that chore chart … ???  I hope you’re leaving with a full belly and a smile on your faces, and please, my friends, share those smiles this week.  The world is a scary place these days … we all need a smile.  I hope you have a wonderful week ahead.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly ‘n Joyful!

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Texas’ Abortion Ban

I haven’t re-blogged TokyoSand’s Saturday cartoon post for the past two weeks, for there is so much deeply wrong in this country today that the cartoons seemed to somehow fall flat with me.  However, given my own malaise and the primary topic of this week’s cartoons — women’s rights, which is near and dear to my own heart — I’ve decided to re-blog this week’s post.  The main topic, of course, is the new Texas law, currently upheld by the white-male-dominant Supreme Court, that has set women’s rights back a hundred years or more.  And then, there’s climate change — no longer is it possible to reject the science of climate change when we’re had uncontrollable wildfires, floods, and mega-storms, not to mention killer heat all summer long.  So, sit back and enjoy the ‘toons … you’ll find the entire collection over at Tokyo’s place (link at end).

Note to readers:  I have been having health issues for some 3 weeks now and my energy levels are on a roller coaster ride, mostly at the bottom of the track.  Therefore, I have not posted much and have not responded to comments at all, nor am I likely to try to catch up at this point.  I have read all comments, and appreciate those of you who have helped out by keeping the conversations going.  I shall pick up here and try not to fall behind again.  I appreciate your patience and apologize for my laziness.


See The Rest Of The ‘Toons Here!

Good People Doing Good Things — In The Wake Of A Storm

On Sunday, exactly sixteen years after the infamous Hurricane Katrina swept up through the Gulf of Mexico along almost the same path, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana.  At least seven are dead and more than one million without electricity.  Sounds like a perfect place for a few good people to step in, doesn’t it?


Back in February when an unexpected snowstorm hit Texas I wrote about Jim McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture in Houston, Texas, who opened the doors of his showroom to anyone in need of warmth and shelter.  McIngvale’s generosity and kindness dates back 16 years to the time of Hurricane Katrina when he opened his doors to those in need of shelter.  And today, in the wake of Hurricane Ida, McIngvale, age 70, is once again heeding the call of those in need.

But this time, McIngvale is sending dozens of trucks loaded to the brim with the most essential things.  Says McIngvale …

“Our hearts go out for the residents of Louisiana, especially in New Orleans residents are getting hit by this terrible hurricane.  So on Monday at Gallery Furniture from eight to five in the afternoon, we’re gonna have a giant drive. Looking for people to bring non-perishable foods, diapers, all the normal things for hurricanes and we’re gonna get about 30 trucks and take them to Louisiana to help the people out and be doing that as long as the need’s there. And we’re also having Louisiana residents that evacuated to Houston sleep here free.”


And as Hurricane Ida swept through New Orleans causing massive evacuations, the nursing staff at the NICU at Ochsner Health Hospital in New Orleans volunteered to stay through the night with the babies who desperately needed them.  Says Nurse Paula Jean Simon …

“I am so proud. My team pulls together, doesn’t matter what’s happening, they’re going to make sure the babies are taken care of.”


And lastly, wherever there is a disaster, you won’t likely have to look far to find Chef José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen staff setting up shop and providing food and more to the people in need.  This week is no exception … Andrés came to New Orleans straight from Haiti where they have been providing food and assistance to the people displaced by first by an earthquake that killed over 2,000, followed by Hurricane Grace.

Andrés tweeted on August 29th

Hello friends of @WCKitchen! I’m on the ground in New Orleans with @natemook & WCK’s Relief team…Winds are getting bad as Hurricane #Ida makes landfall…We have 3 kitchens ready with supplies already for 100,000+ meals! Now we will shelter until Ida passes…


My apologies for both the lateness and the brevity of this good people post, but I hope to get back up to speed soon!

Jolly {HOT} Monday!!!

Good Monday  morning, my friends!  I know you’re all thankful to see the weekend gone and return to the routine of the work week, yes?  Not that it much matters these days, for with temps hovering at around 100° and air quality at an all-time low, I cannot leave the house anyway, so … Monday, Friday, Saturday … all about the same!  This is one year that I will be happy to see summer end and a return to breathable air, though we must all be aware that this is our new norm.  Anyway, did you guys do anything fun and exciting this weekend?

Jolly ‘n Joyful scouted out a new International Market this weekend, and I think you’ll find some interesting things on the treat table today.  So, grab a bite and a cuppa, and let’s find something to turn our lips upward and start the week with a smile.


Jolly and I took turns seeking this week’s ‘toons ‘n memes, so we hope they’ll bring a chuckle …


And the memes …


And finally, the moment you’ve all waited for … this adorable beaver loves kayaking!


We hope you’ve all found something to bring a smile to your faces this Monday morning, and that you’ll share those smiles with family, friends, and strangers!  If you run out, pop back in, for there’s a basket by the back door!  We hope you have a beautiful week ahead … love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!


A Little Bit Rant-y

I’m in rather a rant-y mood this evening, so tell you what … I’ll share my angst with you, just in case your life was feeling a bit too peaceful at the moment.  No need to thank me.


Punish the truth-seekers

Jim Banks is a representative in the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana.  Jim Banks is apparently not a very conscionable person, apparently has forgotten that Oath of Office he last took on January 3rd of this year.  He has served in the House since 2017, though for the life of me I cannot imagine why.

That’s congressman Banks above … looks like a real sharp one, yes?

Naturally Mr. Banks was one of many Republicans to contest the results of the 2020 election, even knowing that President Biden had won fairly and honestly, but it seems to be some sort of rite of initiation for those in the GOP to perpetuate the Big Lie and even put their integrity on the line to do so.  But it’s his latest transgression that has Filosofa growling.  Mr. Banks is urging his party to punish every lawmaker investigating the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.  Punish them?  For doing their jobs?  For trying to find out how and why and by whom our democratic foundations were damn near overthrown???  What the hell planet spawned this dude?

“When we win back the majority next year, we have a duty as Republicans to hold every member of this committee accountable for this abuse of power, for stepping over the line, by preventing them from being in positions of authority. Take them off any committee, get them as far away from positions of power as you can because they’ve shown us that by threatening to do this that they abuse their power, wherever they are.”

I voted in November.  I voted for President Biden.  Many of you reading this voted for him also.  And this jackass is saying that our votes, our voices, our only representation in the government we fund should have been erased and that nobody should even try to figure out how, why, and by whom?  Indianans … you all really need to recall this clown before somebody does it for you!

Oh, and if you want the icing on the cake … the ignominious Tucker Carlson’s son works for Mr. Banks! Birds of a feather …


I have a right to kill my people!

Good ol’ Florida governor Ron DeSantis is back in the news.  On Friday, Florida Judge John Cooper ruled on a lawsuit brought by parents who say DeSantis overstepped his authority when his administration said school districts couldn’t order students to wear masks. DeSantis had warned that “there will be consequences” for districts that defied the ban.

Score one for sanity.  But wait … DeSantis is already threatening (“promising”) to appeal immediately, for he seems to believe that he is God, not the governor, and that as such, he has a right to condemn a large swath of his state to death.

Meanwhile, it looks as if Floridians are finally starting to see the light.  A Quinnipiac University poll released this month had DeSantis’ approval rating dipping below 50 percent, with 47 percent approving of his job performance, and 45 percent disapproving. Those numbers dropped to 44-51 when asked about his handling of public schools. The Quinnipiac poll follows other public polling that shows a similar erosion to DeSantis’ approval rating. A St. Pete Polls survey earlier this month showed 43 percent approved of the job he was doing while 48 percent did not.  And this is the man who was considering a run for president in 2024?  🤣 🤣 🤣

And then in other Florida news, with hospitals nearly full to capacity and 17,000 hospitalized with Covid, turns out the morgues are also filling up.

“The Central Florida Division of AdventHealth has reached capacity of our hospital morgues due to an influx of COVID-19 patients. We have begun utilizing rented, refrigerated coolers at 10 of our campuses throughout Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, & Volusia counties. These coolers are quickly becoming filled also.”

All because one man has a god-complex and thinks that “he alone can fix this”.  Wonder where he got that ego?

Let There Be Consequences

Y’know … some mornings I wake up and wonder what alternative world I have stumbled into.  Nothing is as it once seemed, norms that I’ve known for some 7 decades have been shattered, replaced by utter stupidity and conspiracy theories, and I am not sure how to cope with this not-so-brave new world.  It’s tempting to simply stay in bed surrounded by books, disconnect from the rest of the world, and never come out of my cocoon.  In the past, I have mocked people for doing just that, but now … I understand.  When it seems we have absolutely zero control over what is happening in the world, when the minority are paving the way to chaos while the majority sit quietly on the sidelines wringing their hands, I wonder just how much longer this nation can survive.

I did manage to find one sign that there is still a bit of sanity left in this country …


Remember in the days and weeks immediately following last year’s election when the former guy refused to acknowledge that he could possibly have lost?  He had countless lawyers filing frivolous lawsuits attempting to get courts to overturn the election results without so much as a single shred of evidence that the results, by which President Biden won by more than 7 million votes, were anything but legitimate.  The court cases dragged on, costing more and more money, each one thrown out for lack of credible evidence.

I wondered at the time why any self-respecting attorney who had worked hard to get to this point in his/her career would associate with the likes of the former guy, a known con artist and liar.  I think the key word there is ‘self-respecting’ … the attorneys who filed these cases were not serious about their career in law, but rather wanted to make a name for themselves, sought to trail in the spotlight that seemed to be constantly on the former guy.  Fame & fortune?

And now, those same attorneys who will never again be trusted by honest people are being sent back to school!  Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Linda Parker imposed sanctions on Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and seven other pro-Trump lawyers in a strongly worded denouncement of what the court called a frivolous election fraud lawsuit, saying they “filed this lawsuit in bad faith and for improper purpose.” That’s an understatement if ever I’ve heard one, but okay.

As part of the sanctions, the attorneys must take legal education classes and also reimburse attorneys’ fees that the city of Detroit and Michigan state officials paid in seeking the sanctions.  I hope the next step is disbarment, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.  This ruling was over one case in Michigan … dozens of frivolous suits were filed late last year … if every single one comes before a conscionable judge and more sanctions are heaped on, then perhaps we can rid the public of yet another clump of human trash.

Good People Doing Good Things — Humanitarians

I have just a few good ‘people’ today, not because I couldn’t find more, but because I ran out of energy … again.  But, I think you’ll enjoy these … gives us hope that humanity does still exist.


One heck of a tip!

The staff at Wahoo Seafood Grill in Gainesville, Florida, got a rather pleasant surprise last Tuesday.  A party of three came in, had what must have been a pretty nice meal, for the tab came to over $144 after a $63 discount!  But the kicker was the gratuity or tip.  Take a look at the receipt …

After the group finished their meal, the man asked the entire restaurant staff to come to the dining area.  He thanked all 10 of them for showing up and working hard. Then something incredible happened. He told them he was giving them $1,000 each!

Said the restaurant’s owner, Sean Shepherd …

“I’m not usually an emotional guy, but this really got me. I’m blown away. We’re ALL blown away by his generosity.  Watching these guys get their check was almost as good as Christmas morning.  The last year and a half hasn’t been easy on this industry. We’re hurting and we’re exhausted, but this incredible act of kindness has restored our faith in humanity. Our whole staff would like to thank this generous customer from the bottom of our hearts. We are all going to pay it forward in our own ways. Even the smallest acts of kindness can have a giant ripple effect.”


A double good people

Polish Olympian Maria Andrejczyk earned the silver medal in the javelin throw at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held in July/August 2021). On August 11, she announced the auctioning of her prized medal to help save a young boy’s life.

She chose to raise funds for Miłoszek Małysa, an 8-month-old boy who needs to travel from Poland to Stanford University in California to have life-saving heart surgery. She does not know Małysa, but wrote that she knew his cause was the right choice after reading online pleas for help from his parents.

Andrejczyk wrote that Małysa needed 1.5 million Polish zlotys — about $385,000 — to cover the costs of his transportation and treatment.

“The true value of a medal always remains in the heart. A medal is only an object, but it can be of great value to others. This silver can save lives, instead of collecting dust in a closet. That is why I decided to auction it to help sick children.”

But the story gets even better.

Zabka, a Polish convenience store chain, made the winning bid.  Zabka confirmed the good news on Facebook. The store also gracefully declined to accept her silver medal.

“We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture of our Olympian. We also decided that the silver medal from Tokyo will stay with Ms. Maria.”

Tissues anyone?


Good people don’t have to be people, y’know

An unnamed 83-year-old Cornwall woman is alive today … thanks to her best friend, Piran.  She was out walking one day last week and slipped down into a deep ravine.  It was several hours before her neighbors noticed her absence and began searching for her.

They might still be searching today but for the woman’s friend, Piran, who, knowing where she was but unable to affect a rescue, waited patiently for the searchers to come close enough to hear his cries.  Oh … did I mention that Piran is a cat?

Ultimately the searchers came upon Piran, just as he’d known they would, and immediately called for professional help to rescue the woman lying in a stream at the bottom of the ravine.

Said her neighbor, Tamir Longmuir …

“The cat is very attached to her, and he was going back and forth in the gateway and meowing, so I decided to go and search the maize field.”

Piran gets a thumbs up 👍 for his dedication and efforts on behalf of his housemate!


That’s all I’ve got for today, folks, but remember … you, too, can be a good people.  Just offer a helping hand when you see somebody struggling … little things mean a lot.

Jolly Monday-Tuesday!

Well, good Tuesday morning, my friends!  Come in out of the heat … early morning and already it’s sweltering out there.  So tell me, did you have a wonderful weekend?  Mine?  Meh.  Next weekend will be better, though … I’ll have my energy back and will be ready to run a marathon!  Or at least walk up the street and back.  Joyful has laid out a nice spread this morning, so let’s go see what’s on the feasting table, then we’ll find some things to start this week with a chuckle, a smile, or maybe even a laugh!


Jolly is chomping at the bit to show you the cartoons he picked out, so let’s start there …


I came across a host of humorous signs in my internet travels this past weekend that I think might give you a chuckle …


I also found something that made my jaw drop and I think it will yours, too …


And now, we’re sorry this is a bit shorter than some weeks, but as you can see, we’re running a bit behind here!  So, this animal video is a bit different … I knew absolutely nothing about the sand cat until coming across this video.


And now, sad to say, our time has come to an end for today.  But we’ll be back next week, hopefully on time and in better form!  Remember, my friends, to share those precious smiles … they are worth more than gold.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!