Good People Doing Good Things — Liam and Scott Hannon

Last night when I began working on my ‘good people’ post, I intended to write about 3 or 4 people, as I often do, and I picked one with which to begin.  But, before long I was up to nearly 700 words and still had more to say about this remarkable duo … a boy and his dad …

liam-7Today, please allow me to introduce to you 12-year-old Liam Hannon of Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Liam’s dad typically sent him to camp for a portion of each summer, but in 2017, when Liam was just ten, he informed his dad that he didn’t want to go to camp that year.  Dad said okay but insisted that Liam find something productive and positive to keep himself busy through the summer.

That first week of summer vacation, Liam and his dad found an online treasure hunt game called Brain Chase, where Liam chose three topics to focus on, one of which was ‘service’.  The game challenged Liam to find some way, some project to give back to his community.  Liam thought about the homeless people he saw every day right outside his building, and he had an idea.  The idea was to make … sandwiches!  Sandwiches to pass out to the people who needed them most.  And thus was Liam’s Lunches of Love born.liam-6In the first week, Liam loaded up a wagon and handed out 20 sandwiches with his dad’s help. He went from sandwiches to complete bag lunches, upgraded the wagon to a hand-cart, and to date has served up more than 2,000 bag lunches to homeless people in his neighborhood.  He doesn’t just make the lunches (with some help from dad), but on each and every lunch bag, he writes a handwritten message, often accompanied by an encouraging little bit of artwork.liam-3Liam hopes to someday expand his philanthropy to include animal rescue.  A story his dad tells of one incident furthers our faith in Liam’s good heart …

His father remembers Liam’s first animal rescue: a bucket of 15 baitfish. Father and son had gone fishing. Liam watched his dad jab one small fish with a fishing hook. The boy held the bucket against his chest.  “I heard him tell the fish, ‘Don’t worry. It’s OK. I’m going to talk to him,’” Scott said.  Liam persuaded his father to throw every single baitfish back into the water, including the one on the hook so he could ‘be with his friends.’ “He’s just a wise soul for his age,” Scott said.

Now, Liam obviously has a huge heart and is a ‘good people’, but I think his dad, Scott, has to get some of the credit here, too.  Scott doesn’t just talk the talk, but walks the walk, and Liam has grown up seeing the examples set by his dad.

“One time, Liam said, ‘Dad, did you just tell that lady she didn’t have to pay you?’ And I said, ‘Yes, she’s 90 and lives on her own and has no one to help. That $80 means nothing to me.’ He has learned like that, but he’s always been a very empathetic kid.”

Scott is a single parent, working at a mid-level job and lives in a rent-controlled building, so needless to say, there came a point early on in this venture where they needed help to pay for the groceries for the lunches Liam was handing out.

“That first week, we made 20 lunches. That was going to be it, but then Liam said, ‘Dad, can we do this again? I like doing this.’…So we kept doing it, and each week it grew a little bit more.”

So, they started a GoFundMe.   Over the weeks, donations poured in to help Liam’s Lunches of Love, and local grocery stores contributed meals, too. Friends and neighbors also volunteered their time to hand out bags, which freed Liam and Scott up to spend more time with each recipient and get to know them. And that experience has opened their eyes.

“Liam has learned a lot about the difference between what a real homeless person is like versus the idea he had in his head just from seeing people on the street. He realized they’re a lot different than he thought they were, and he’s grown up a little because of it.”

liam-1Liam and his Liam’s Lunches of Love have received national recognition from ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, the Boston Globe and others.  But the real honour came last month when Liam was one of five young people showcased on CNN’s “Young Wonders: A CNN Heroes Special” hosted by Anderson Cooper.  Take a look …

The five were also honoured the next night on “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute”.  As Anderson Cooper said at that event …

“The next generation reminds us of the unwavering foundation that really connects us all — incredible acts of kindness, unconditional love and the promise of a better tomorrow.”

liam-8I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Hats off and two thumbs up to Liam and his dad Scott … these are the people who remind us what humanity is really about, don’t you think?

For more about Liam, his dad and this project, be sure to check out the Liam’s Lunches of Love website.

And So It Begins …

Acosta

Jim Acosta

Jim Acosta, one of CNN’s most astute reporters, has had his press pass, his access to the White House, revoked “until further notice”.  Why?  Because he was doing his job, he was asking questions.  The same as Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs was doing when then-candidate for the U.S. Congress, Greg Gianforte, took umbrage and knocked Mr. Jacobs to the ground and proceeded to beat him.  A year later, Donald Trump praised Gianforte for his actions, and now Trump has barred Mr. Acosta.

Jim Acosta was doing his job … he was asking Trump questions like why he lied about the migrant caravan, calling it an ‘invasion’, asking why he was demonizing immigrants.  He was, in other words, doing precisely what we want our free press to do … holding the president accountable for his words and actions.  See for yourself …

As you can see, an intern attempted to take the microphone from Acosta and he did nothing but hold onto the microphone and turn slightly to keep her from taking it from him, for he had not gotten an answer to his question about the highly controversial, racist ad that Trump ran at the end of the mid-term campaign.  Trump put an end to Acosta’s questions, calling him a “rude, terrible person”, and the microphone was removed from Acosta’s hand by a White House staffer.

Later in the day, Acosta attempted to return to the White House for a scheduled program with Anderson Cooper, but was stopped outside the White House by Secret Service agents, one of whom blocked his way, and another of whom asked Mr. Acosta to hand over his press credentials, which he did without argument.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied … blatantly lied about the interaction between the intern and Mr. Acosta, saying …

“President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable.”**

CNN Producer Allie Malloy responded to Sanders via Twitter: “This is a complete lie. The woman grabbed Jim’s arm repeatedly. He never once touched her. In fact at one point @Acosta tells her politely ‘pardon me, mam’ as she’s yanking on his arm.”  As you saw in the video, Acosta did not “place his hands” on the intern.

Ryan

April Ryan

The news conference lasted one hour and 26 minutes, and Acosta was not the only reporter denigrated by Trump.  April Ryan, also with CNN, attempted to ask a question about voter suppression concerns, when Trump said to her …

“Sit down please. Sit down. I didn’t call you, I didn’t call you, I didn’t call you.”

Alcindor

Yamiche Alcindor

Toward the end of the event, Yamiche Alcindor, a correspondent for PBS “NewsHour,” asked Trump about the widely shared view that his rhetoric has emboldened white nationalists.  Trump’s response was to tell her that it was a ‘racist question’ and then proceeded to tell her (falsely) that he had the highest poll numbers ever among African-Americans.  Watch …

The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) issued the following statement in response to Acosta’s press credentials being suspended:

“Journalists may use a range of approaches to carry out their jobs and the WHCA does not police the tone or frequency of the questions its members ask of powerful senior government officials, including the President. Such interactions, however uncomfortable they may appear to be, help define the strength of our national institutions. We urge the White House to immediately reverse this weak and misguided action.”

Friends, this is the most egregious abuse of power, the most blatant attempt to shut down the free press, that we have seen from Donald Trump to-date.  This cannot go unnoticed, cannot be allowed to pass without comment.  Please ask yourself this question:  What next?  The answer should scare you … it scares the hell out of me.

**Here is the full White House statement:

“President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable. It is also completely disrespectful to the reporter’s colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question. President Trump has given the press more access than any President in history. Contrary to CNN’s assertions, there is no greater demonstration of the President’s support for a free press than the event he held today. Only they would attack the President for not being supportive of a free press in the midst of him taking 68 questions from 35 different reporters over the course of an hour and a half — including several from the reporter in question. The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it is an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration. As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.” — Sarah Sanders

Good People Doing Good Things — CNN’s 2017 Heroes

This week starts the CNN contest for ‘CNN Heroes of 2017’, and I thought it would be fun to look at these … all good people doing good things.  If you wish, you can even participate in the vote up until Tuesday, December 12th.  There are ten of these finalists, and I know of at least one who I will write an entire post about, for I have already begun it.  So, I thought I would bring you a few this week, and a few more next week, so you will know a bit about them, in case you wish to vote.

Many of these good people are doing small things, but as I told my daughter last night, it may be only a drop in the bucket, but after a time, the drops fill the bucket to overflowing.  Let us take a look, shall we?


Lakhani

Samir Lakhani

In 2014, Samir Lakhani was attending the University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) when he spent time volunteering in a Cambodian village.

“I remember quite vividly a mother bathing her newborn in a basin filled with laundry powder and water. It’s an image I’ll never get out of my mind.”

According to UNICEF, one in five deaths of children under five years of age are due to disease caused by poor hygiene.  Why is soap such a rarity in these villages?  First, many people have to choose between food for their children or soap.  Which would you choose?  Second, most merchants no longer even stock soap, because nobody can afford to buy it.

One night when Samir returned to his hotel after a long day of volunteer work, he spotted the small bar of soap in the bathroom, and a thought came to him.  Those are mostly thrown away after one or two uses … what if they could be recycled and provided to the poor in the villages?  And so this young man decided to do something wonderful.  He established a non-profit, Eco-Soap Bank:

Eco-soapEco-Soap Bank is a humanitarian and environmental non-profit organization working to save, sanitize, and supply recycled hotel soap for the developing world. Our work has three objectives:

  1. Contribute a highly cost-effective hygiene product to improve health.
  2. Significantly reduce the waste generated by the hotel industry.
  3. Provide livelihoods and free education to disadvantaged women with no other reliable source of income.

Today, the organization has four recycling centers across the country, providing jobs to 35 local women. The used bars are sanitized and remolded into new bars or melted down into liquid soap. So far, more than 650,000 people have benefited from the group’s soap and hygiene education.

“What I love most is that we are killing three birds with one stone. We are keeping waste out of landfills, employing locals and spreading soap all over the country.”


Jennifer Maddox-2

Officer Jennifer Maddox

Almost daily we hear and read of the violence in Chicago. Last year was Chicago’s deadliest in nearly two decades, with 762 homicides. Think about that one a minute … more than two per day, on average. Parkway Gardens on the south side is one of the hardest hit neighborhoods.  Enter Jennifer Maddox, a Chicago police officer who saw a need and got down to the business of filling that need.

“We are in a state of emergency here. The shooting, the killing. Five-, six-, seven-year-olds—they’re losing people that they love and care about. A lot of our young people are fearful to even come outside.”

Maddox started a non-profit called Future Ties, that provides a safe haven for more than 100 children in grades K-5 to learn, grow and succeed. Her ultimate goal is to reach all 1,200 children that live in the complex. Maddox has even taken a second job to help fund the efforts from her own pocket.  But Future Ties does not only provide free after school day care, they actually work with the children in various areas of learning, and recently Jennifer introduced some lessons on ‘conflict resolution’ …

Jennifer Maddox-1.jpg

Jennifer Maddox (center)

“I brought conflict resolution into the program because I felt that we needed to address how they relate to each other in conflict. That’s where a lot of the violence in their community stems from. They need to understand that it’s not okay to hurt someone, even though that’s what they see happening around them. They need to understand that there are other ways to communicate and relate to one another.

I want the children to make the best out of their lives. The things that are happening across our city—it’s very unfair for our young people. I do what I do because I enjoy it and I believe in their potential. I look at their faces every day, and they give me hope.”

You might find this article from the February 22 in the Chicago Sun-Times interesting.


Two people who are adding drops to that bucket every day, doing their part to help instead of harm.  My hat is off to these two, and the lessons they can teach us all: that it doesn’t take a lot of money or time to help others, to help make the world just a little be better place.

 

A Sorry Excuse For A Debate …

This was said to be an “ugly debate”.  That is an understatement … it goes beyond ugly.  In fact, I would not even call it a debate, but more of a mud-fest.  After reading the transcript, I am just very thankful I did not put myself through the pain of watching it on television.  Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz were the moderators and, though I have only the transcript by which to judge, it seems that both did a good job, but it was a tough job, one that I would not have wanted.

I had initially planned to cover the “highlights” of the debate, a brief synopsis of each question and answer, but I soon realized that:  a) it made for too lengthy a post, and b) there are some things outside the questions and answers that need to be addressed.  I will, however, discuss a few of the questions and answers, such as the very first question for Donald Trump from Anderson Cooper who asked Trump about the 2005 video released last week, and Trump blew it off once again as “locker room banter”, then changed the subject, saying he’s going to “knock the hell out of ISIS”. Cooper tried to bring him back on topic, to which he replied “I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do. And women have respect for me. And I will tell you that I’m going to make our country safe.”  To which I say “Bullshit!”

Trump then turns away from the next question, which is also about his videotape, and turns the conversation to Bill Clinton and his indiscretions.  Wait a minute … is Bill Clinton running for president then?  I thought Hillary was the one running.  I am confused … if we are to overlook the fact of all Trump’s prior indiscretions with other women, and we are to overlook the fact that his current wife was a nude model, then why should we care about Bill Clinton’s infidelity?  Is there a double standard here of which I am unaware?

By all accounts, Hillary Clinton was the winner of this debate, hands down.  I would agree. While Trump is unraveling, coming apart at the seams, Clinton kept her composure for the most part. The Washington Post, LA Times, The Guardian, the New York Times and many others declared Clinton the winner.  Let’s look at a few comments that I found interesting:

“This election will be seen as the moment that Donald Trump poured gasoline over his head and lit a match in an act of public self-immolation.” – David Gerrold

“The nicest thing you could say about Trump’s performance was that it was bonkers.” – Richard Wolffe, The Guardian

“Donald Trump knows he won’t be president. He’s now in full carnival-barking, network-launching, party-nuking mode — a scowling, pouting menace …” – Ron Fournier, The Atlantic

bill-chelseaA few of the more conservative media outlets gave credit to Trump for not spontaneously combusting on stage, and for “exceeding expectations”.  I suppose it is not difficult to exceed expectations when the bar has been set so low that a toddler could easily step over it.  In my eyes, Hillary won the debate.  She mostly answered the questions without veering off-topic, her answers were based on experience and knowledge, and for the most part her answers were thorough and comprehensive.  Trump, on the other hand, did not answer a single question directly, but veered off onto whatever topic he preferred to discuss, generally pointing fingers at Hillary, at Bill Clinton, and at President Obama.  His diatribe against Bill Clinton, while anticipated, was ridiculous, irrelevant and crass.  First, Bill Clinton is not running for President of the United States.  He served two terms and is ineligible to run again.  Hillary Clinton is the one running for president, and as best I can tell, she has no marital indiscretions in her past, so Trump needs to put it to bed.  He claimed that Bill Clinton abused the women with whom he had affairs, but the reality is that they were consensual relationships.  Nonetheless, the main point here is that Bill is not Hillary and his conduct should not have even a minor role in this debate.

Trump did the un-thinkable when asked about Syria and informed of a statement his running mate, Mike Pence, recently made to the media about Russia’s involvement in Syria.  Trump said that a) he and Pence had not spoken of this, and b) Pence was wrong.  If there was ever any doubt that Trump and Pence do not share a common bond, this should clarify.  Even if they disagree on any issue, it should be a private issue, not a public condemnation.

Besides Trump’s asininities, there are a few things that bothered me about this debate.  The format, for one.  I have never been crazy about the “Town Hall” format.  I think that a more structured format such as we saw in the 1st debate, is a far better forum for viewers to actually glean some information from and about the candidates.  The questions from the audience of undecided voters did not tend to lead toward enlightenment, nor did they tend to be about important issues.  Debate questions need to be prepared by knowledgeable analysts in order to be of much value. The Town Hall format, which is intended to be a more intimate, less formal setting, also allows for the candidates to move around on stage, rather than being confined behind a podium.  Sounds great, but on Sunday night, Donald Trump used it in what appears to be an attempt to intimidate Ms. Clinton, invading her personal space.  On several occasions, he can be seen walking up behind her and standing directly behind her as she was answering a question.  This was highly irregular behaviour and I think the moderators should have told him to at least return to his own side of the stage.  It was distracting, and by all accounts more than a little creepy.

In all, as a debate, I think it is one of the worst ever.  (I actually did break down and watch several segments in preparation for this post.)  Some issues were certainly discussed, such as ACA (Obamacare), the war in Syria and the refugee crisis in Aleppo, but Trump’s bouncing off-topic, ranting, getting in Clinton’s face (and behind her back), arguing with the moderators and whining about being treated unfairly, were all such distractions that any actual discussion was lost in the melee.  By no stretch of the imagination was this debate successful, and I would like to think that the Commission on Public Debates (CPD) has learned some things from it.

The third and final debate will be held on Wednesday, 19 October, in Las Vegas.  It is nicknamed “Fight Night”, by the way.  Appropriate, I’m sure.  It will be moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News, and will return to the more standard, structured format of the 1st debate.  There will be less than three weeks until election day at that point, and frankly, nothing would surprise me from the trumpeter, as he is obviously grasping at straws in an attempt to salvage his dying campaign.  His bad behaviour is escalating, and if he was bad two days ago, I can only imagine what he will be like in another week.  These debates are intended to be informative, to give the candidates an opportunity to discuss the issues, spotlight their experience and qualifications.  Instead, they are nothing more than a circus act, entertainment for those who like the Jerry Springer type of discourse.  I find it thoroughly distracting and disgusting.  One thing I would really like to see is a standard protocol to include: staying on-topic, answering the questions asked, no personal attacks, and no interruptions.  If either candidate breaks protocol, the moderator should cut that candidate’s microphone, and admonish them.  The third admonishment should signal the end of the debate.  Period.  No argument.  It will never happen, but I can still wish for it, can’t I?

A Moderator-less Debate? NOOOOO!

trumpetThe man is slimier than any snake or eel, creepier than any circus clown, more disgusting than anything my cat has ever thrown up, and yet he is being given legitimacy by some half of this nation.  The “man”, of course, is none other than he-who-blows-his-own-horn, Don Trump, aka da trumpeter.  “What now,” you ask.  Now he has decided that he does not want a moderator for the debate scheduled next Monday (9/26), and specifically, does not want Anderson Cooper as a moderator, claiming he is “unfair”.

For starters, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) sponsors and produces debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and undertakes research and educational activities relating to the debates. The candidates do not determine the scope and sequence of the debates, nor do they set the rules.  Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton has a vote in the matter of how the debates will be conducted.  Trump is aware of that, and thus his call for a debate with no moderator is nothing more or less than Trump setting the stage for saying the debate was “unfair” later in response to the criticism his performance next Monday is certain to garner.

debate-2Why does Trump want a moderator-less debate?  To answer that question, we need to look at the role and purpose of the moderator.  The moderator introduces the candidates, asks the questions, but most importantly, holds the candidates to the set time limits and attempts to keep them from straying off topic.  In other words, he/she keeps the debate civil and informative, at least in theory.  Given that, one can easily see why Mr. Trump would prefer a debate sans moderator.

First, he does not like questions that he cannot answer, such as questions about what his policies would be and how he plans to go about implementing them.  He only wishes to field questions that open the door for him to expound on how “wonderful, smart and successful” he is.

He also does not like to give his opponent an opportunity to speak.  In keeping with his ultra-narcissistic personality, he believes that his is the only voice, the only opinion that should be heard.  To this end, there is no doubt that he would spend the entire hour interrupting and talking over Ms. Clinton, thus ensuring that the viewers would come away without having heard a single thought from Ms. Clinton. In the 2008 vice-presidential debate, Sarah Palin’s tactic was much like Trump’s …  whenever she faced a subject that could put her on unstable ground, she did a quick pivot and went with a well-rehearsed talking point.  So picture Trump, being asked about his position on how he would go about fixing the nation’s infrastructure, responding with “We’re gonna build a big, beautiful wall!”

The moderators for Monday’s debate will be CNN’s Anderson Cooper, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, NBC News’ Lester Holt, and Fox News’ Chris Wallace, with C-SPAN’s Steve Scully serving as a backup moderator. All of these are well-respected, seasoned journalists who can be counted on to understand the issues and to treat each candidate with respect and impartiality.  None are known for being unfair or biased.  The claim that they will be “unfair” to Trump is rooted, perhaps, in Trump’s definition of the word “fair”. Trump will only consider an interviewer to have been fair to him if that interviewer, or in this case moderator, does not ask him about any controversial topic from his past, does not ask him for any details or specifics about which he has no knowledge, and allows him to dominate the entire debate.  So, by his very definition of the word ‘fair”, no moderator can ever be fair to Trump.

debate-1In recent years, I have found the presidential debates to be of little or no value to the viewing public.  I do not watch debates, but instead read the transcript the next day, which enables me to concentrate on what was said, rather than be distracted by the ranting, facial contortions, and rudeness that has become the mainstay of all political debates.  But the vast majority of people do watch them, and their “take-away” is much affected by the personalities of the candidates rather than the substance.  If, in fact, there is any substance.

I think some changes are needed to the structure of the debates. I would like to see the candidates told that as part of the rules of the debate, no interruptions will be tolerated. They will have an opportunity for a rebuttal. I would like to see them told that they are to answer the question asked, not talk about the other candidate. Then I’d like to see the people running the debate cut their microphones if they break those rules.

The purpose of the debates is for the voting public to see and hear the candidates put forth their qualifications, their ideologies, and their platforms.  The purpose is not to see and hear the candidates mock, name-call, and insult their opponents.  If I want to see a fight, I can always turn to WWW, or just watch the kids playing in my backyard.  If I spend an hour of my life watching a presidential debate, I want to come away feeling that it was an hour well-spent, an hour in which I learned something about the candidates that will help me make a responsible decision in November.  Sadly, that has not been the case for many years now.  As it stands, I believe the debates are a huge waste of both time and money, and at my age, I cannot afford to lose an hour of my life to watch da trumpeter toot his own broken horn.

Lewandowski – A Trump Plant?

So, Donald Trump fires his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski on Monday, June 20th, and CNN hires Lewandowski to be a political commentator on Thursday, June 23rd.  Why?  This move makes absolutely no sense and is proving to be a terrible mistake, at least in the eyes of the viewing public.

lew2First of all, Mr. Lewandowski signed a non-disclosure agreement that likely includes “During the term of your service and at all times thereafter, you hereby promise and agree not to demean or disparage publicly the company, Mr. Trump, any Trump company, any family member, or any family member company.”  So he cannot do ‘unbiased’ reporting.  Second, Mr. Lewandowski has historically shown a lack of respect bordering on volatile toward members of the press.  Point in case:  his manhandling of Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields at a campaign rally.  Though charges were dropped, the incident happened, and he was caught on tape … a video that every news viewer saw, so there is no plausible denial.  An investigation by Politico back in March reported that he was “rough with reporters and sexually suggestive with female journalists, while profanely berating conservative officials and co-workers he deemed to be challenging his authority.”

Most shook their head, on hearing that CNN had snatched up Lewandowski so quickly, and asked the same question I asked:  WHY?  What has he to offer us, the viewers?  The answer, it turns out, is nothing, possibly even less than nothing.  And what has he to offer CNN in exchange for a reportedly fat salary?  Quite possibly a loss of viewers and the beginning of their fall into the pit of news network oblivion.  For my part, I did not turn CNN on this morning, as I usually do, nor have I checked their website. There are a handful of CNN anchors/reporters that I respect, that I see as relatively intellectual, thought-provoking, and yet non-confrontational, including Christiane Amanpour, Peter Bergen, Wolf Blitzer, Donna Brazile, Bill Press, and Fareed Zakaria.  The addition of a crass, right-wing former Trump advisor is a slap in the face to these men and women, in fact to all serious journalists.

Thus far, Lewandowski has proven to be as much of a dud as we all anticipated.  Here are a few of his comments regarding his former employer’s shenanigans:

  • “Mr. Trump’s best speech of the presidential cycle.”
  • “This is a very, very strong message for him and, I think, the best speech he’s given all cycle.”
  • “The speech was delivered clearly, articulately, and again, the best speech of the campaign so ”
  • “Trump is the only person who’s going to save this country for my children.”

Oh please, shoot me now!

lew3

When asked by fellow reporter Alisyn Camerota why Donald Trump went to the UK and criticized the president, when there is an unwritten rule that this simply is not good etiquette, he deflected the question and muttered a bunch of gibberish about how wonderful it was that Trump and family built such a wonderful golf course in Scotland.  More recently, he defended Trump’s use of the Star of David to attack Hillary Clinton.

 

Those are the facts of the matter.  Now for my speculation.  Lewandowski’s termination from Donald Trump’s employ seemed a bit enigmatic at the time.  There appeared to be no hard feelings on either side; Lewandowski expressed no anger, disappointment, or other emotion that would be normal and expected under the circumstances, especially one with a proven volatile temperament.  Within hours of his termination, Lewandowski interviewed with both MSNBC and CNN.  Three days later he is hired on by CNN as a political commentator despite the fact that CNN executives had to know his history toward journalists and had to know that he was bound by a non-disclosure agreement.  (In addition, the man has the personality of a dead sloth, but that is not relevant) That said, I cannot help wondering if this was a pre-conceived plan to plant a Trumpian in one of the most-viewed cable news networks in the nation.

Though most news agencies lean at least slightly toward one side or another when it comes to politics and social issues, CNN has a history for being among the least biased of the major news providers.  I am not doling them stars here, as they have other faults, but overall, they have had commentators and reporters from both sides of the aisle and try to present both sides somewhat fairly.  They certainly top MSNBC and Fox!  However, this latest hiring is not only a push to the right, but to a specific candidate on the right.  Since he emphatically defended Trumps anti-semitic tweet last week, it will be quite interesting to see if CNN has drawn any line in the sand, and if so, where that line lies. Perhaps by next year it will be called DNN … “Donnie’s News Network”.

Then there is the matter of salary.  It is well-documented that Mr. Lewandowski earned $20,000 per month plus the benefit of an apartment, and I am certain other ‘benefits’ while working as Donald Trump’s campaign manager.  The base salary alone comes to $240,000.  But, some months Trump paid Lewandowski as much as $75,000.  So, some simple math, simply averaging the two, and Mr. Lewandowski was quite possibly earning about $570,000 per year, not including his apartment.  When CNN President Jeff Zucker hired Lewandowski, rumour had it that his contract was for $500,000.  Zucker later denied the rumour, saying “I can assure you we are paying him nowhere near $500,000.”  Really?  So, Lewandowski is willing to take a huge salary cut simply to sit in front of a camera with his powdered nose and say nice things about his former boss?  I don’t think so.

I believe that Lewandowski continues on the Trump payroll to this day and beyond.  I believe this is a huge farce to plant Lewandowski in a major news network to toot the Trumpet in an attempt to recruit even more lemmings to walk over the cliff.  No, I have no proof of this, it is strictly speculation on my part. However, there are far too many curious aspects, too many unanswered questions surrounding the entire matter.  To use the tired old phrase, ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ … and it is getting smokier here than an old backroom pool hall!

turtle