Jesus and Dad

St. Peter was guarding the Pearly Gates when he had the need to use the restroom. He couldn't just leave his post, lest someone enter who wasn't qualified. He looks over and sees Jesus walking by and calls him over. "Hey Jesus!" says St. Peter. "Could you guard the Pearly Gates for me while I go to the restroom?" "Sure," says Jesus, "but I've never done this before. What do I do?" "Well," says St. Peter. "Just stand here and don't let anyone in until I get back. If someone comes along, strike up a conversation with them until I get back." "I think I can do that," says Jesus, so St. Peter goes off on his way. About that time an old guy comes ambling along. Jesus says "You look like you're looking for someone. Can I help?" The old man says, "Yes, I'm looking for my son." Jesus replies "What does he look like? Does he have any distinguishing marks?" The old man replies, "Yes, he has holes in in hands and feet." Jesus pauses, looks down at his hands and feet, looks astonishingly at the old man and says "I have holes in my hands and feet." Jesus extends out his hands to the old man and says "Dad?" The old man looks back at him and says "Pinocchio?"


God vs Science

God is sitting in Heaven when a scientist says to Him,"Lord we don't need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to make life out of nothing. Just like what you did it in the beginning." "Oh, is that so? Tell me..." God replies. "Well," says the scientist, "we take dirt and form it into a form of a man and breathe life into it, thus make life." "Show me" So the scientist bends down and picks up dirt and molds the soil. "Oh, no no no!" interrupts God. "Make your own dirt." 

From John Homer, Rochester, Minnesota

Herb Gart
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Awful joke

A guy walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm. "What'll it be?" asks the bartender. "One for me and one for the road." 

Herb Gart
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if we reject the worst of the possible explanations for Trump’s behavior, what are we left with?
How do we explain the overtly pro-Russian behavior of Trump and his surrogates? If they’re not Russian puppets, why do they work so hard to defend Putin and Russia against American investigators and reporters? Why do they divert blame to other countries and victims of the hack? Why, instead of targeting the Russian intelligence agencies that infiltrated us, do they attack the American intelligence agencies that exposed the Russians?
Slate published this on Friday, and the questions have only grown more serious since.

Yesterday, for example, Trump sat down with two European newspapers for an interview in which he dismissed NATO as “obsolete”; criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for assisting Syrian refugees (whom Trump referred to as “illegals”); said the United States “should be ready to trust” Russian President Vladimir Putin; and endorsed the further unraveling of the European Union.

Not to put too fine a point on this, but if the Kremlin had literally written a script and handed it to Trump to read during the interview, it would’ve sounded exactly like this.

For eight years, Republicans have accused President Obama of encouraging U.S. enemies and discouraging U.S. allies. America’s longtime friends, GOP politicians have said, are no longer sure they can count on support from the United States as a result of Obama’s foreign policy. The bizarre argument has always been wrong, but ironically, it’s poised to become true in the Republican administration that takes power on Friday.

For Team Trump, any suggestion that the president-elect is being blackmailed by Russia, that Putin has damaging dirt on Trump, or that Trump feels the need to pay Russia back for helping him win the presidency is outlandish and offensive. But what Trump’s aides and allies haven’t been able to explain is why in the world the incoming U.S. president keeps going out of his way to do precisely what Putin wants him to do.

No puppet, no puppet.

A Craig's list winner!

I have an extra bedroom in my 2 bedroom apartment that I am willing to let someone stay in for completely free. The only stipulation is that I would like to be in a servant-type role for my roommate. What this means is that I would want to do my roommate's chores (dishes, laundry, etc), run errands for him, and basically treat him like a king. I want NOTHING sexual at all from this. I have simply always wanted to be in a servant-role so I figured this could be a way to do it.

I am a 30-year old white, single male with a good job. I'm sure this ad seems strange, but I am not crazy/weird and I am not looking for anything besides what this ad says. 

Herb Gart
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a plurality of Democrats believe, accurately, that more Americans have health insurance, while a plurality of Republicans believe the opposite. A clear majority (61%) of voters who backed Hillary Clinton answered the question correctly, while an even larger majority (74%) of voters who backed Donald Trump got it wrong.

The persistence of the “reality gap” continues to be a problem.

A national Public Policy Polling survey found Trump voters believing all sorts of wrong things, on issues ranging from unemployment (Trump voters believe it went up under Obama, which is the opposite of the truth), to the stock market (Trump voters believe it went down under Obama, which is the opposite of the truth), to the popular vote (Trump voters believe it went in the Republican’s favor, which is the opposite of the truth).   the “reality gap” isn’t altogether new: for years, many Republicans have told pollsters they believe border security has weakened under Obama (it’s actually strengthened), the deficit has gotten bigger (it’s actually shrunk by a huge margin), and the nation’s uninsured rate has gone up (it’s actually at an all-time low).       
Rachel Maddow blog                                                                           


By all accounts, Ivanka Trump will not be a typical presidential daughter. She’ll reportedly have a White House office, which she’ll be able to use to advocate for policies – a step she’s already taken with preliminary calls to Republican members of Congress. This follows a series of meetings Ivanka Trump has joined with her father, foreign leaders, domestic business leaders, and prospective cabinet members.

With this in mind, when Ivanka auctioned a lunch with her for tens of thousands of dollars, it raised eyebrows. Though the charitable auction was eventually scrapped, for a time, it appeared Donald Trump’s daughter was putting a high price on access to an influential member of the incoming president’s orbit.

This week, it’s apparently Ivanka’s brothers’ turn. Time magazine, among others, reported:
A new Texas nonprofit led by Donald Trump’s grown sons is offering access to the freshly-minted president during inauguration weekend – all in exchange for million-dollar donations to unnamed “conservation” charities, according to interviews and documents reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity.

And the donors’ identities may never be known.

Prospective million-dollar donors to the “Opening Day 2017” event – slated for Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, at Washington, D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center – receive a “private reception and photo opportunity for 16 guests with President Donald J. Trump,” a “multi-day hunting and/or fishing excursion for 4 guests with Donald Trump, Jr. and/or Eric Trump, and team,” as well as tickets to other events and “autographed guitars by an Opening Day 2017 performer.”
The prices aren’t cheap. For $250,000, donors can receive a “private reception and photo opportunity” with Donald Trump himself. To hunt with Trump’s adult sons, donors should expect to write a check for $500,000.

The details are murky, but according to the event management company helping oversee the fundraising, the money will go towards “conservation efforts.” There would be no legal requirement to disclose the donors’ names to the public.

In other words, on Jan. 20, Trump will be inaugurated. On Jan. 21, you can pony up some big bucks to hang out with the new president’s adult sons – who will apparently oversee Trump’s business empire – and no one will know it was you who bought the access.

All of this, of course, comes on the heels of additional fundraising – and additional access-at-a-cost efforts – from Trump’s inaugural committee. The Washington Postreported a few weeks ago:
The committee raising money for President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural festivities is offering exclusive access to the new president, Cabinet nominees and congressional leaders in exchange for donations of $1 million and more.

For seven-figure contributions, Trump’s richest supporters will get a slew of special perks during the inauguration weekend, including eight tickets to a “candlelight dinner” that will feature “special appearances” by Trump, his wife, Melania, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, according to a sheet detailing “underwriter package benefits” obtained by The Washington Post. The 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee confirmed the authenticity of the donor brochure, which was first reported by the Center for Public Integrity.

Other million-donor benefits include an exclusive lunch “with select Cabinet appointees and House and Senate leadership,” four tickets to “an intimate dinner” with the Pences, eight tickets to a lunch with “the ladies of the first families,” eight tickets and premier access to the inaugural ball and priority booking at “Premier Inaugural Hotel(s).”
You can just hear the water being drained from the swamp, can’t you?

Trump’s team and its allies tend to respond to criticisms like these by pointing out that every modern president, from both parties, has had an inaugural committee that has done fundraising like this, and it’s just how things tend to work in Washington, D.C. And as pro-Trump arguments go, this defense at least has the benefit of being true.

But let’s not miss the forest for the trees: Trump ran on an anti-establishment platform, vowing to undo the business-as-usual norms in the nation’s capital. Trump, positioning himself as a faux-populist, said he was disgusted by what he saw as routine corruption, and the crushing influence of special interests, who could buy access with a hefty check. “Pay to play,” Trump effectively told voters, was one of the ugliest phrases in the political lexicon.

Paul Waldman added this morning, “You may recall how outraged Trump and pretty much every other Republican were at the idea that the Clinton Foundation – which actually does good work – could receive a large contribution from a donor who might at some later point have a meeting with the secretary of state. They described this as the absolute height of corruption, insider dealing so vile as to demand that Clinton be jailed at the earliest possible opportunity.”

And yet, here we are, watching leading members of Team Trump put a generous price on access to themselves, and engaging in the exact behavior the president-elect condemned as a candidate in the very recent past.