Mike Pence Is WRONG!

On January 6th, 2021, the insurrectionists Trump had summoned to Washington to storm the Capitol constructed a noose outside the Capitol and began chanting “Hang Mike Pence.”  When informed that they were threatening to hang Mike Pence, his own Vice President, Donald Trump replied, “Mike deserves it” and said that those rioters were not doing anything wrong.  Since then, Donald Trump has contended that the responsibility for the attempted coup on January 6th was the fault of Mike Pence …

“Had he sent the votes back to the legislatures, they wouldn’t have had a problem with Jan. 6, so in many ways you can blame him for Jan. 6.”

In March of this year, Pence said at the Gridiron dinner in Washington …

“His reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day. And I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”

Now, against that backdrop, here is what Mike Pence said on Wednesday regarding the indictment that would be handed down the next day (yesterday) …

“I hope the DOJ thinks better of it and resolves these issues without an indictment. No. 1, I think it would be terribly divisive to the country.”

“ I think it would also send a terrible message to the wider world. I mean, we’re the emblem of democracy. We’re the symbol of justice in the world.”

Take a minute to process that … and to pick your jaw up off the floor.

First … “divisive to the country”???  Seriously???  Has Pence turned on the news, picked up a paper, or gone online for the past two years???  Thanks in large part to Trump’s never-ending spew of hate speech, this nation is more divided than it has ever been since the end of the Civil War!  There is no longer ANY middle ground. Trump being convicted and sentenced to prison would be the best thing that could happen to the country.

Second … Donald Trump intentionally and with malice put Pence and his family in serious danger.  He put the entire nation in serious danger.  But Pence’s excuse smells like what comes out of the rear end of a bull!

Indicting a ‘man’ who placed the entire nation in danger, a ‘man’ who grievously harmed that democracy that Pence says we are an emblem of, a ‘man’ who engaged in criminal misconduct, a ‘man’ who has lied to the people who placed their trust, their lives into his hands, is not a black mark, it merely shows the world that we made a mistake and we’re attempting to rectify it!  It says to the world that we will not tolerate a crooked regime, one who acts out of self-interest.  It shows the world we realize we are not infallible, but that we will hold everyone, regardless of who they are or what position they served in, accountable for their actions.

If we fail to hold Trump accountable for his crimes, the message we send to the world is that we are no longer a democracy, that we are a corrupt regime that is willing to re-install a criminal in the highest office of the land.  We will have proven that we are no better than Hungary, North Korea, or maybe even Iran.

But third … how in the Sam Hell does Pence think the Department of Justice could “resolve these issues without an indictment?”  Does he think there’s a magic wand that Attorney General Garland can wave that will make the whole document theft simply disappear, erase everyone’s memory of it?  This is not a damned board game where you can just swipe the board clean and set it up afresh!

And then Pence went on to say, “I don’t know the facts of the former president’s case.”  He doesn’t know the facts, but he knows it could be resolved without an indictment?  Isn’t that somewhat like a doctor trying to diagnose cancer over the phone?

We the People have been waiting for this indictment for a long time, and no doubt there will be turmoil and chaos in the coming months, most of it caused by Trump himself and his rabid followers, but at the end of the day, all we want is justice.  We want to know for a fact that there is equal justice under the law, no matter who you are, no matter how much money you have, and no matter if you were once called ‘Mr. President.’

Mike Pence once earned a degree of respect in my eyes for doing his job and certifying the 2020 election rather than doing as his boss demanded and throwing the nation into chaos.  However, for him to deny accountability to his former boss is disrespectful to We the People and to the nation.

What Happened … and What’s Next at CNN?

Well, Chris Licht lasted just over a year as CNN’s chairman and CEO, and now he’s standing in the unemployment line … okay, probably not, since his net worth is an estimated $15 million, but you get the picture.  What happened?  I think that Robert Reich explains it as well as anyone … and for the record, I never liked Licht or his goals, and nothing I ever read about him made me change my mind, so I just hope the head honchos at Warner Bros. Discovery choose more wisely next time … and bring back Brian Stelter and Don Lemon!!!

Goodbye, CNN’s Chris Licht. But what’s the lesson?

CNN sought to move to a “center” that no longer exists

By Robert Reich

07 June 2023

As I predicted yesterday, Chris Licht is out at CNN.

David Zaslav — CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns CNN — delivered the news this morning to CNN staff, noting that Licht’s job “was never going to be easy” and that Licht had “poured his heart and soul into it.”

What should CNN or any other media enterprise learn from this debacle?

The lesson is that Licht’s goal of shifting CNN from anti-Trump confrontation toward an imagined political center was doomed from the start, because there is no longer a political center.

For years now — since Newt Gingrich took over the House in 1995 — Americans have been moving toward either authoritarianism or democracy.

The old political center of “liberal” Republicans like Jacob Javits and Nelson Rockefeller and “conservative” Democrats like Scoop Jackson and Joe Lieberman (and, some would say, Bill Clinton) has been disappearing.

Before Newt there had been stirrings of rightwing fascism — led by Father Coughlin, Huey Long, and Charles Lindbergh in the 1930s, Joe McCarthy in the 1950s, and by George Wallace, Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew in the 1960s.

But Newt turned the growing anger of the non-college white working class into the beginnings of an authoritarian political movement that would undergird the Republican Party for the next thirty years.

By 2016, Donald Trump was helpful to anyone who still had trouble making the choice between authoritarianism and democracy. Trump required they take sides.

Chris Licht’s predecessor at CNN was Jeff Zucker, who understood that the only big pool of viewers available to CNN were those who still believed in democracy. Zucker competed mightily with MSNBC for them.

Trump was helpful to Zucker in the same way he was helpful to Americans who had trouble making the choice. Trump forced viewers to choose between Fox News and the alternative, thereby giving Zucker’s CNN a fitting nemesis.

CNN’s new management came along at a time of establishment confusion over whether the old political center would return after Trump. America’s business establishment — including Warner Bros Discovery billionaire John Malone — hoped it would. But that proved a pipe dream. The division between authoritarianism and democracy is now too deep. If anyone had any doubts, CNN’s Trump town hall should have erased them.

What especially confused Chris Licht and the rest of CNN’s management was the difference between being politically partisan, and standing up against authoritarian demagogues. They assumed that holding Trump accountable for what he did (and continues to do) was inconsistent with so-called “balanced journalism.” 

Wrong. It is not partisan to stand up for decency and democracy. That’s where CNN’s audience wanted — and presumably still wants — CNN to be.

That’s where most Americans want the nation to be.

Merging with Murderers

As most of you already know, I am not a sports person. And while I might occasionally enjoy a baseball game if the Mets or the Dodgers are playing, you couldn’t pay me enough money to make me watch grown people hitting a tiny little ball around on a golf course, trying to hit it into a tiny little hole. {yawn} Boring. I don’t follow golf, couldn’t name a single golfer other than Arnold Palmer or Tiger Woods, but my interest was piqued when I read of the merger between the PGA and Saudi LIV. Why anybody in their right mind whose last name isn’t ‘Trump’ or ‘Kushner’ would even do business with the Saudis at this point is beyond me. Of all the articles I’ve read, Clay Jones sums it up the best, and with his, you get a cartoon, too!


The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is a Saudi Arabian entity controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and is worth over $620 billion. It invests in many private projects to boost the image of Saudia Arabia to distract from its horrible record on human rights, such as its investments in the civil war in Yemen, oppressing its own citizens, murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi and sawing him into several pieces in the basement of its embassy in Turkey, etc, etc.

The fund is very secretive and corrupt, but it’s owned by a corrupt government that doesn’t allow freedom to its citizens, so that’s natural.

One way the fund spends its money is to reward someone who defends Saudi Arabia and its murderous Crown Prince. Jared Kushner got a cushy gift from the PIF of $2 billion right after he left the White House. Steve Baby Fishmouth Mnuchin already received a financial…

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Filosofa Writes A Letter … Again

This is the letter I will be sending to my ‘representative’ in the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Warren Davidson, later today …

Dear Mr. Davidson,

I would like to take a few moments to let you know why you do not represent me.  Yes, I realize you won the election fair and square, but you still do not represent me.  Why?  Because your values and mine appear to be 180° apart, because you do not make legislative decisions that are in the best interest of the people of this nation, or even the people of your district.

Here are the things I consider to be most important for this country, that I think should be top priorities in the House of Representatives:

  • Equality.  Women should have the same rights as men to make their own medical decisions, to be treated as equals in the workplace, and not to be dominated by men.  LGBTQ people deserve the exact same rights as straight people.  Black people, Hispanics, and Asians all deserve the same rights and privileges as white people.  And atheists, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews all deserve the exact same civil and human rights as Christians.  There should be no differences.  These are the rights that need to be codified into law and the law enforced rigidly.
  • Guns.  I do not believe that guns belong in the hands of civilians, period.  It is a Pandora’s Box.  That said, I realize I’m fighting a losing battle, but I am a student of Constitutional Law and I can tell you that there is nothing in the 2nd Amendment that guarantees the right of every man, woman and child in the U.S. to own an AR-15 assault weapon.  A Congress with a conscience would be working diligently to pass a permanent and irrevocable assault weapon ban.  Do you realize that in Cincinnati there were 29 shootings in just 10 days?
  • Voting rights. Every person age 18 or older in this country should have access to the ballot.    Gerrymandering and voter restriction laws like the one recently passed in Ohio deprive people, typically poor people, minorities, and young people, of their constitutional right.  Last year, Congress had the opportunity to pass two very important voting rights laws that would have overridden any restrictive state laws, and you fell down on the job.  Reinstate those bills and this time pass them!
  • Economic.  I do not view money as the most important consideration, but that said, I realize that it is necessary for life.  Every working person deserves a livable income, and $7.25 per hour (or less in the cases of tipped employees) does not constitute a living wage!  The federal minimum wage has been stagnant since 2009, despite a significant rise in the cost of living during that time.  Why?  Because Congress is more interested in helping the wealthy 1% than the rest of us.  I see no reason whatsoever for anybody to have millions or billions of dollars sitting around in investment accounts while people are struggling, some putting their children to bed hungry at night or living in cardboard boxes on the streets.

Certainly there are other important priorities such as education, healthcare, the environment, the war in Ukraine, etc., but the ones I listed are, in my book, the highest priorities that Congress should be focusing on instead of revenge investigations and petty bickering that will accomplish nothing.  I believe that if you sat down, one-to-one, with everyone in your district and asked them to talk about these priorities, you would find that at least 85% of them would be in agreement with me.  But are you?  Based on your actions, your votes, and your weekly newsletters, I would say that you and I do not share the same set of values and concerns, and therefore I must conclude that you do not represent me or the majority of people, and you seem to have no desire to do so.

Thank you for taking the time to listen.  A response will be welcomed.


Jill Dennison — citizen, voter, taxpayer

I’ll let you all know when/if I receive a response.  I usually do get one, but it’s typically a canned response written by an aide, or perhaps even by AI!

Good People Doing Good Things — You, Me, All Of Us!

Today’s good people post is not about a man saving 50 people from a burning building, nor about a dog rescuing a family in the Himalayas, nor about a woman stopping a runaway car with her own car.  How often do any of us find ourselves in those situations and with the wherewithal to be a hero?  When’s the last time you were walking and came across a burning building?  Note that I am not putting those acts of heroism down … no, not at all!  But I’m just saying that most of us will never, or at best once in our lifetimes, have the opportunity to be that sort of a hero.  But … unless you’re a hermit like me … you interact with people on a daily basis, whether it’s a store clerk, librarian, a coworker, someone you pass while out walking the dog, or just the postman delivering a package.  And every interaction is an opportunity … an opportunity to maybe brighten someone’s day and to practice your ‘good people’ skills.

Last year, Axios did a three-part series in their Finish Line newsletter about the little things people do to help someone or brighten somebody’s day, and I thought it would be fun to hear what the recipients of those little acts of kindness thought.  We tend to undervalue those simple little acts of kindness when we do them, but as you’re about to see, they are much more highly valued by those on the receiving end.

This first one really moved me …

  • “Some 30 years ago, I was working on recovery from a horrible depression. It was harder than anything I’ve ever done. One morning, it took everything I had to make a grocery run. As I dragged myself toward the store, a man looked at me and smiled, saying, ‘Good morning.’ I felt so much weight lifted off me. I could, for the first time in months, see a way out of my sadness.” —Sherri W., McKinney, Texas

A simple “Good morning” and a smile made so much difference!  And how much effort did that take?  That’s why on my Jolly Monday posts I’m always reminding you to share those smiles … you just never know what someone else is going through and how much your smile might mean to them.

Here are some of the other comments from recipients of small but important acts of kindness …

  • “The first time I was traveling alone with my daughter — who was 11 months old at the time — a stranger on a plane offered to hold her after we landed so I was able to gather our things and have a moment to breathe. It meant the most to a young mom with her hands full.” —Abby D., Des Moines, Iowa
  • “A fellow lawyer, a total stranger, put money in a parking meter for me when he realized that I would get stuck in court beyond the time I had left.” —Avraham M., West Hempstead, New York
  • “Just the other day I was trying to navigate a stroller through a coffee shop … not a glamorous task. When I went to leave, a man came darting from across the entire coffee shop to open the door for me. … It truly set the tone for my entire day.” —Lily M., Atlanta, Georgia
  • “My wife and I, both in our 70s, were loading heavy bags of rock for a landscaping project into our car.  A woman approached and loaded the rest. As she finished and turned away, I shouted, ‘You have restored my faith in humanity.’  She responded, ‘We all need that.'” —Roger R., Ballwin, Missouri
  • “I left my backpack, complete with my work laptop and files, on the busy NYC subway one evening. I was certain it was lost forever. I made a claim, panicked, and worried and worried again. … Then came an email and a text: ‘I have your red backpack.’ This amazing and kind medical student brought my backpack to me.” —Jane C., NYC
  • “Several years ago I was struggling to lace up my very large and cumbersome — but totally awesome — dress in the Maryland Renaissance Faire parking lot. The girl getting dressed at the car next to mine offered to help me do up my laces.” —Caroline M., Walnut Creek, California
  • “My first day working in a new city, I exited my office building and couldn’t remember how to find the train station. A stranger walked by, noticed I looked lost, and doubled back to see if I needed directions. I fell in love with Chicago that day.” —Spencer W., Chicago, Illinois
  • “When I got to the checkout, my 3-year-old ran away and my newborn started crying inconsolably. The lady behind me took over packing my shopping so I could find my son and calm my newborn. That act has always stuck with me because I had been feeling so overwhelmed and that helping hand made all the difference.” —Katherine N., Oxford, U.K.

See how easy it is to be a ‘good people’?  Let’s all dig up those smiles and kind words this week, hold the door open for someone, smile and say, “Hey, how ya doin’ today?”, and see if you can brighten someone’s day.  You never know … OH!!!  And just in time, here’s Jolly and Joyful with that basketful of smiles!  Take a few and share them, won’t you?

Smorgasbord Funnies 2023 – Hosts Sally Cronin and Debby Gies – SUVs and Stud Fees

I think we could all use some humour today, so … you know where I head when I need a laugh or two, right? And as always, Debby and Sally have filled the bill and made me laugh! Thank you, ladies! We all appreciate you more than we can say!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Firstly, some funnies foraged from the web from Debby Gies – D.G. Writes is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

My thanks to Debby  for expert foraging…

D. G. Kaye – Buy:Amazon US And:Amazon UKBlog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

Debby’s latest post in her series Spiritual Awareness. Signs, Synchronicity, and Energy   

Now something from Sally’s Joke book archives….

Stud Fees

Farmer Dan got into his car, drove to the neighbouring farm and knocked at the door. A young boy, Eddie, aged about 10, opened the door.

‘Is yer Dad home?’ Dan demanded.

‘No, sir, he ain’t,’ Eddie replied. ‘He went into town.’

‘Well, then,’ inquired Dan, ‘is yer Mum here?’

‘No, sir, she ain’t here neither. She went into town…

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Need I Say More?

Today is June 6th.  I often don’t even think to look at the local news, so caught up am I in the national politics, global events, and happenings of the day, but every so often … a couple of times a week … I hop onto the local news site to see what’s happening near me.  Last night, just before going to bed, I decided to check in on the local news and this is what I found.  The following comprised the majority of the non-sports-related headlines for the first five days in the month of June:

  • As city leaders evaluate budget, residents air concerns over 29 shootings in 10 days (05 June)
  • CPD: Officers shot at during three separate incidents over weekend (05 June)
  • CPD: Man arrested after holding wife hostage, shooting at PD in East Price Hill (04 June)
  • PD: 14-year-old charged with multiple felonies after firing shots at officer (04 June)
  • Deputies: Man shot victim with pistol that fired shotgun shells in Sycamore Twp. (04 June)
  • Shooting anxiety rises after 25 shot in eight days in Cincinnati (04 June)
  • Coroner releases ID of East Price Hill shooting victim, suspect charged (03 June)
  • Police: 7-year-old girl shot in North Avondale (03 June)
  • CPD: 3 people shot in Spring Grove Village; all are expected to survive (03 June)
  • CPD: 1 in critical condition after shooting in East Price Hill (03 June)
  • ‘He wasn’t even writing a ticket’: Parking enforcement agent shot at (02 June)
  • CPD: 21-year-old shot while driving in Westwood (02 June)
  • Police: 2 men shot in West End (02 June)
  • Residents, city leaders react after shooting that hurt 4, including 10-year-old (01 June)

Do you see a trend here?  One city … one fairly average city in midwestern USA … 29 shootings in 10 days … an average of 3 per day.

Need I say more?

A Chilling Comparison

Things creep up on us, often unnoticed.  For instance, we age but it happens so gradually that we don’t really notice until one day when we look in the mirror and wonder who that ol’ hag is and how she got in here.  Winter turns to spring and spring turns to summer while we gain 1-2 minutes of daylight each day, but we don’t really notice it on a day-to-day basis … just one day we realize that we’re not turning the lights on until 9:00!  How did that happen?  Other things can creep up on us too, often without us really noticing.  Blogging friend Ten Bears has written a post … mostly an excerpt from a book I read several years ago … that I really, really hope you will take a few minutes to read (the post, not necessarily the book, though I highly recommend it, too!) because every word is so spot on, so thought-provoking, and so very relevant to where we are today here in the U.S.  Here is a short excerpt, but please … his post is short, just over 500 words … do take the time to read it all.

Milton Mayer writes in his book They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945 not overnight, incrementally, like the legendary slow boiling of frogs.

“You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?—Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.

And the rest can be found at Ten Bear’s blog, Homeless on the High Desert

And pay special attention to his final paragraph …

Thank you, Ten Bears, for this truly thought-provoking and insightful post.

Da ‘Toons Tell Da Story!

Monday afternoon seems like just about as good a time as any for a bit of political humour, don’t you think?  I’ve been collecting political cartoons for the past week or so and it’s time to clean out the file and share some of them!  Mind you that you have to consider the broader definition of the word “humour” here, for it’s a darker humour than, say, a Pickles cartoon or Charlie Brown & Snoopy, but the political cartoonists have an innate understanding of what is happening in our world, and the talent to reduce a situation into a single image.

Look closely at the images in the letters on this one

Dr. Caitlin Bernard, Indiana law, abortion, 10-year old, rape victim, political cartoon

Putin, Lukashenko, nucleau weapons, Belarus, Russia, Ukrains Warm, political cartoon

🌈Then They Came For Me

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

No matter how many times I read this poem, written by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller, I never fail to be moved by the words.  Niemöller penned this in 1946, at the end of WWII, the end of the Holocaust that took more than 6 million lives.  It is engraved on a plaque at the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts, and is known worldwide.  The poem speaks volumes and should serve as a warning to people all around the world today.

I have shared this poem before, used it in different contexts, for it seems that “they” are always coming for someone.  But today, the fourth day in Pride Month, I am especially moved to share it for it seems many people, groups, politicians, and religious leaders are coming for the LGBTQ community.  Our friends, our neighbors, our family … are being vilified, even threatened with their very lives if they dare to be publicly proud of who they are.

In addition to coming for the LGBTQ community, “they” are coming for women, for people of colour, for Jewish people.  Apparently in “their” eyes, the only people who have a right to be proud are white, Christian, straight males.  The rest of us are the dirt beneath their feet.  If we hide in our closets, wear camouflage in hopes of not being noticed, if we do not speak out against the atrocities being committed against the LGBTQ community and others, then perhaps we will be overlooked and allowed to exist.  For now.  Until someday …

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.