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Read these stories:

(CLICK HERE).

(AND HERE).

Now close your eyes. Now imagine the face of your daughter, your granddaughter, your niece, your girlfriend, your sister, or your wife as one of these victims.

If you still support Donald Trump, then you’re a hypocrite—or worse.

And you’re part of the problem.

It’s that simple.

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A few years back I had the good fortune to sit on the reviewing stand at a Texas A&M football game. It was Thanksgiving Day and the opponent was the University of Texas Longhorns. I was on the reviewing stand with good friend Jack Thigpen, one of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever had the good fortune to know. If Jack has ever said a disparaging word about anyone, I’ve never heard it.

We were seated in that special area because our host was a major donor to Texas A&M. Another personable and genuine person on that same reviewing stand that day as the cadets marched into the stadium was George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States.

I had Jack photograph me shaking hands with President Bush—several times. I kept coming back and the last time, he recognized me, laughed and said, “How many times are you going to do this?”

“As many times as you’ll let me,” I replied. He laughed again—and posed for the photo.

When I heard on Saturday morning that Bush had passed away, I couldn’t help but reflect back and marvel at the contrast between the political landscape of his time and today.

The comparison isn’t pleasant.

One can set down on just about any day of the Trump presidency and find plenty at which to be both appalled and disgusted.

There is his appointment of WILBUR ROSS as Secretary of Commerce. Ross, you may or may not know, was head of the Bank of Cyprus before joining the Trump disassembly of democracy. The primary function of the Bank of Cyprus, of course, was to LAUNDER DIRTY MONEY for the Russian Mafia.

There’s Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, about whom you can by clicking HERE.

And a guy named STEVEN HOFFENBERG, a $475 million Ponzi scheme operator who the late Ruston weekly newspaper publisher John Hays exposed several years ago. It would stand as the largest Ponzi scheme ever until Bernie Madoff came along. The resulting investigation by Hays resulted in a federal prison sentence for Hoffenberg, who surfaced a quarter-century later as a major fundraiser for Herr Trump.

But that wasn’t the end of the Hoffenberg SAGA. It seems he was a running buddy of Wall Street prodigy Jeffrey Epstein who worked for six years for Bear Stearns before launching his own financial investing firm in 1982.

Prosecutors tried to offer Hoffenberg a deal if he would give them information about Epstein and his part in the scam but he refused only to later file a $1 billion lawsuit accusing Epstein of running the scam through Hoffenberg’s company, Towers Financial Corp.

So, what’s the big deal about Epstein? There are lots of scammers on Wall Street. Madoff himself called Wall Street the biggest Ponzi scheme of them all—and he may have been correct.

And how does Epstein tie into the Trump administration?

Well, before I go any further, all this story circles back to a member of Trump’s cabinet and if you can, in any manner, rationalize anything Trump or his subordinates do, don’t read any further.

If you have a propensity to overlook Trump’s transgressions with a shrug and the (very) lame “well he’s doing what he said he’d do,” don’t read any further.

If you call yourself a Christian but are willing to look the other way while Trump appoints, crooks, thieves, scam artists, money launderers, and enablers of sexual perversion, don’t read any further.

And most of all, if you have high blood pressure and are easily angered when people play you for a fool, don’t read any further.

But if you have a conscience, please read what comes next.

If you are a Trump devotee (and even if you’re not), you’ve most likely heard the preposterous claim that Hillary Clinton was part of a pedophilia ring run out of the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor. Commonly known as Pizzagate among the wild-eyed zealots of the Alex Jones ilk, the absurd rumor was proven to be just that—a groundless rumor.

But there was a child sex ring before the Pizzagate story lit up the Internet.

It was back in 2005 and would include a lot of bigly—very bigly—names. Names like Epstein, Bill (not Hillary) Clinton, Prince Andrew, Kevin Spacey, Chris Tucker and….Donald Trump.

Epstein would be charged with sex trafficking. Many of his victims, most likely in the hundreds, were juveniles, some as young as 13. Virginia Giuffre, formerly Roberts, said in a lawsuit filed against Epstein that she was 15 and working at MAR-a-LAGO when she was recruited by Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.

One story had both Epstein and Trump engaging in sex with a girl they knew to be only 13.

The Miami Herald, in a SICKENING STORY published last Wednesday, said a 53-page indictment could have sent Epstein to federal prison for the remainder of his life.

Until, that is, U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta stepped in and negotiated what has been called the “deal of a lifetime” for Epstein. A non-prosecution agreement was reached whereby the ongoing FBI investigation into whether there were more victims would be terminated. He would serve 13 months—13 months—in the county jail (where he would be housed in a special wing and allowed to work part-time in his office). And contrary to federal law requiring that victims of his crimes be notified of the agreement, the deal was sealed and kept from them.

And Acosta?

Well, he’s now Trump’s SECRETARY OF LABOR and until recently, was on the short list to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general.

And if you think I’m being overly hard on Acosta and by association, Trump, if you think that I like to cite the so-called “fake news” in making my points, you may wish to check out this story by…. FOX NEWS.

Such are the daily stories coming out of the Trump White House. There’s seldom a day that something sleazy doesn’t ooze from under the Oval Office door. The man is simply unable to display even an inkling of class and he has surrounded himself with those who are but mirrors of his own shortcomings.

And then there was GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH who was the very personification of class.

The LETTER he left for the man who defeated him for reelection in 1992, Bill Clinton, reveals the type person he was.

Volunteering for the military just before Pearl Harbor, he was shot down over Chichi Jima in the Pacific in 1944. He is the last combat veteran to hold the office of President. Trump, on the other hand claimed a stone bruise on his heel as a way to avoid the draft but when later pressed as to which heel, he couldn’t remember.

Bush and wife BARBARA were married an incredible 73 years. She died in April, he seven months later.

Writer Matthew Walther, writing for THE WEEK, said Bush was not a “movement” conservative, a trait that is lost on state politicians like Cameron Henry, Taylor Barras and Conrad (buy stock, then vote for state contract with that company) Appel. Bush’s willingness go back on his “read my lips” pledge and raise taxes “for the good of the country” likely cost him the election to Clinton. Walther pointed out that Bush had “little patience for the antics of Second Amendment absolutists and other loud-mouthed enthusiastic types in the conservative caucus.

“He spoke the old-fashioned language of solidarity with ease, though he had little patience for the empty self-aggrandizement that is expected of modern politicians.”

And he didn’t mind crossing the aisle and working with Democrats when the country stood to benefit from it. Gen. COLIN POWELL said Bush believed that politics shouldn’t be nasty.

My God, Trump, are you listening? (No, of course not.)

“Bush was the last important politician to embody all the old WASP virtues—decency, stoicism, self-denial, gentle wit, skepticism, and courtesy,” Walther said.

And would Trump skydive on his 80th and 90th birthdays?

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“I pledge to continue diligent enforcement of our Open Meetings Law.”

—Attorney General Jeff Landry, in an effort to grab a share of the spotlight following a judge’s ruling that the Vermilion Parish School Board acted illegally in having a teacher arrested and ejected before approving a $30,000 pay raise for the board’s superintendent. (Landry is mandated to defend state agencies, boards and commissions in litigation over open meetings and public records and is prohibited by that same constitution from interfering in local matters unless requested to do so by the local district attorney.)

 

 

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For about 15 years, I fancied myself a stand-up comic. I guess it dates back to my senior year at Ruston High School. I had Miss Ruth Johnson for Algebra II. Her class was first hour and I was always tardy.

One day, fed up with me strolling in late each morning, she stopped me at the door. “You stand up here and tell us why you’re late….and it better be good,” she demanded. She wasn’t smiling. Before she started driving, she walked about a mile right past my house on her way to school—after feeding and milking a cow—so I couldn’t use the excuse of having to walk less than a quarter-mile.

So, I did my first stand-up bit, making the story up as I went along.

“Well, Miss Ruth (everyone called her Miss Ruth), this morning about 2 o’clock, we heard a noise out in the chicken house. My granddad thought it was the possum that had been killing our chickens. So, he grabbed his shotgun and stuck his magnetic flashlight onto the barrel. He was standing in the entrance to the chicken house waving the gun around, shining the light, looking for the possum. He had his long johns on because it was cold last night. But it wasn’t that cold, so he had the bottoms open. Our old blue tick hound came up behind him with his cold nose and, Miss Ruth, we been cleanin’ chickens since 2 this morning.”

If Miss Ruth had allowed it, I’d have gotten a standing ovation. The entire classroom exploded. She tried not to laugh and fussed at me over the laughter of the class. As of that moment, I had the bug. Many years later, I took a dare and went onstage at a Baton Rouge comedy club on open mic night. I was never so nervous in my life but the emcee, Spud McConnell asked me to come back. And I did. I became the house emcee at the old Funny Bone and stayed around for 15 years—probably about 12 years too long.

Funny Bone owner Mike Rogers tried to break it to me nicely, informing me that after 15 years, everyone in Baton Rouge had probably heard my joke. He brought me back for a 25th anniversary show, but that was it. So, I went back to my first love: writing. Some (perhaps many) think I’m still a joke, but that’s okay. This country was founded on the principle that everyone should have his say and if readers disagree with me, that’s their right to say so.

Having said that, there will be some who will suggest that I give up comedy and writing.

But for sheer audacity, no one can top Donald Trump.

Just look at some of his utterances:

  • “Putin told me he didn’t do it.”
  • “North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat.”
  • “I’m going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.”
  • “I’ve been treated very unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I’m building a wall, OK? I’m building a wall.”
  • “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.”
  • “By the way, I have great respect for China. I have many Chinese friends. They live in my buildings all over the place.”
  • “My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.”
  • “A certificate of live birth is not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination as a birth certificate.”
  • “They (The New York Times) don’t know how to write good.”
  • “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me—consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”
  • “Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest—and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.” (Ranks right up there with “I’m a very stable genius.”)
  • “Nobody respects women more than me.”
  • “What’s that?” (his response to a question about his insulting a Gold Star family.)
  • “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”
  • “Lock her up! Lock her up!” (cheerleading his rabid followers in response to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account. Now you have to wonder if he is going to demand that IVANKA be locked up. Oops.)

Granted, some of those remarks weren’t jokes and they certainly weren’t very funny. Whenever he opens his mouth, something downright crude and/or stupid usually spills out. Sometimes, his remarks are outright lies, but all are typical Trump.

But for sheer stupidity, idiocy, lunacy, and absurdity, yesterday’s ADVICE on how California could reduce the risk of forest fires pretty much tops them all:

“You gotta take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forest, very important,” Trump told reporters. “You look at other countries where they do it differently and it’s a whole different story.  I was with the president of Finland and he called it a forest nation, and they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don’t have any problem. And when they do, it’s a very small problem.”

If I ever entertained any thought of returning to the stage, Donald Trump has laid those thoughts to rest. No one could possibly be funnier than our Clown in Chief, especially when he’s trying to be serious.

Well, while others (especially FINNS) are laughing their backsides off at the solution offered by our Forester/Scientist/Raker-in-Chief, I for one, am making a run to Lowe’s and Home Depot to buy up all their rakes. I have to do my civic duty. There’s a lot of wooded area between my house and the Amite River that needs raking. Of course, that’s the same river that overflowed back in August 2016, flooding half of Livingston Parish and destroying hundreds of homes, mine included. So, I guess I’d better rake the river bottom, too, to prevent future flooding.

John Sachs, a Ruston High classmate (who missed my comedic debut 57 years ago) said Trump needs to rake Central Park lest it catch fire and burn down Trump Tower.

There was a serious story in the fake news WASHINGTON POST that explains the real reason forest fires are a rare event in Finland—and it’s got nothing to do with raking.

Meanwhile, President Big Mac is taking a lot of heat (no pun intended) for letting his alligator mouth overload his hummingbird brain:

DAILY NEWS

GRAB A RAKE

SIGN OF THE TIME (in Helsinki)

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It just doesn’t get any better for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal.

Already having paid out approximately $3 million in settlements and judgments, which equate to something north of $25,000 per month for every month of his 10-year tenure as the high sheriff, he may be on the hook for even more civil liability claims.

The myriad of legal problems, both civil and criminal, should be enough to raise eyebrows among the Iberia electorate, prod the local newspaper into some serious investigative reporting (or even straightforward news reporting), and cause Ackal’s insurance carriers to take a long, hard look at the risks with this department and perhaps cancel his coverage.

Without actually conducting a parish-by-parish analysis, it would seem a safe bet to say that the IPSO’s liability payouts far outstrip any parish of comparable size and perhaps those of many larger parishes.

Simply put, Iberia Parish can no longer afford Louis Ackal. He’s far too high-maintenance.

The highest-profile case, of course, is that of Victor White, III, the 20-year-old who died when deputies said he got hold of a gun and shot himself in the chest—all while in a sheriff’s department patrol car and with his hands cuffed behind his back.

The Louisiana Sheriffs’ Law Enforcement Program (LSLEP), in response to a public records request, reported that $508,079.23 was paid on behalf of member sheriffs by LSLEP and the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association’s insurance carrier providing excess coverage to LSLEP during the six-month period of Jan. 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018.

Of that $508,000 paid out in judgments and settlements, $122,500, or 24 percent, was paid to White’s family. That’s almost one-fourth of all judgments/settlements for the 26 parishes covered by LSLEP.

The latest award was for $41,000 to a New Iberia woman who said she was pushed over a porch rail, pepper-sprayed and stripped naked in 2012 when she was 34 weeks pregnant.

Ackal still has nine civil LAWSUITS pending against him at the present time.

 

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