Obama, Trump and Golf

Sam Stein

i sincerely don’t care that Trump plays golf. god speed. but the sheer amount he plays does spotlight how insincere Obama’s critics were about his golfing habits. here’s a little sampling of people who’ve gone suddenly quiet on the topic

Mark Levin twitter.com/marklevinshow/…
Mark R. Levin @marklevinshow

Obama addicted to golf fb.me/2iUVifjZ6

Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity @seanhannity

Here’s what Obama learned as Commander-In-Chief – That he should use a sand wedge when stuck in a sand trap on a golf course! #LynnDebate

Pool Report: Burning World Can’t Keep Obama Off the Golf Course

and Breitbart again

Rounds of Golf–Obama: 186 Bush: 24: President Barack Obama has already played nearly eight times as many roun…

Fox & Friends
FOX & friends @foxandfriends

Is this what he meant by ‘staying the course’? After saying we’ll act against #ISIS, Obama headed to the golf course.

Reince Priebus @Reince

Obama’s golf outings aren’t just bad optics, they’re foolish. And voters realize that.

more Reince
Reince Priebus @Reince

Obama: “So help me golf.”

Sean Spicer @seanspicer

177 rounds of golf by @BarackObama — Obama’s political bogey on the golf course

more spicer
Sean Spicer @seanspicer

Obama played his 100th round of golf as president at the Beverly Country Club in Chicago yesterday via @jameshohmann

and, of course, Trump himself
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

Can you believe that,with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.Worse than Carter

Would be lovely if just one of these folks acknowledges that it was all done in bad faith during the Obama years

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Republicans Aren’t Christians

THE BLOG 05/17/2013 09:43 am ET Updated Jul 17, 2013

Republicans Aren’t Christians
By Bob Burnett

Whether it’s fiscal austerity, Benghazi, or opposition to gun control, the Republican Party is remarkably disciplined. Day after day, press conference after press conference, Republican members of Congress speak from the same hymnal. But it’s not a Christian hymnal. While the Republicans claim to be true believers they actually eschew the moral teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

Beginning in the ‘50s, Christianity began to infiltrate American politics — in 1954 the phrase “under God” was added to the pledge of allegiance. Thirty years later, during the Reagan presidency, Republicans rebranded as the “Christian Party” and labeled Democrats the Party of secular socialism.

The election of George W. Bush heralded a second wave of Republican religiosity. Dubya emphasized his fundamentalist credentials and his decision “to commit my heart to Jesus Christ.” During the 2000 presidential campaign, Bush was asked what “political philosopher or thinker” he identified with most and responded, “Christ, because he changed my heart.”

But after 9/11, Bush’s heart hardened. Dubya began to speak of the war on terror as a “crusade.” On June of 2003, in a conversation with Palestinian leaders , the President said, “I’m driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, ‘George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.’ And I did, and then God would tell me, ‘George go and end the tyranny in Iraq,’ and I did.”

Dubya’s messianic slant on Christianity tailored his image as commander-in-chief but had little impact on domestic policy. Evangelical minister Jim Wallis recalled a February 1, 2002, conversation where he told President Bush:

In the State of the Union address a few days before, you said that unless we devote all our energies, our focus, our resources on this war on terrorism, we’re going to lose… Mr. President, if we don’t devote our energy, our focus and our time on also overcoming global poverty and desperation, we will lose not only the war on poverty, but we’ll lose the war on terrorism.

Dubya flashed a bewildered smile and walked away. Wallis observed:

When I was first with Bush in Austin, what I saw was a self-help Methodist, very open, seeking… What I started to see at this point was the man that would emerge over the next year — a messianic American Calvinist.

Indeed, many describe the Republican political faith as “American Calvinism.” It borrows several notions from the sixteenth century French theologian: the Bible is infallible; the “law” is driven by the Ten Commandments, rather than the teachings of Jesus; humans are totally depraved; and God has predestined who will be saved.

Despite its austere nature, Calvinism strongly influenced the original American settlers — many of who were Presbyterians. One historian noted, “in England and America the great struggles for civil and religious liberty were nursed in Calvinism, inspired by Calvinism, and carried out largely by men who were Calvinists.”

During the ‘80s American Calvinism morphed into a conservative political ideology with the formation of the Christian Right. James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, and others preached on political subjects and touted conservative “Christian” candidates.

In Republican hands, contemporary Calvinism has had two thrusts. It fomented the culture wars and accused Democrats, and non-believers, of advocating “sixties values” that would destroy home and community. The Christian Right was against abortion, same-sex marriage, the teaching of evolution, and the separation of church and state; they were for homeschooling, limited Federal government, and Reaganomics.

The second Calvinist thrust promoted capitalism. In his classic, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, German sociologist Max Weber observed that not only did the protestant work ethic promote capitalism but also worldly success became a measure of the likelihood of one’s salvation. “He who has the most toys, wins.”

Given the strong influence of Calvinism on Republican politics, it’s not surprising the GOP favors the rich, opposes new taxes, and continues to support Reaganomics with its myths of “trickle down economics” and “self-regulating markets.”

Nonetheless, American Calvinism has become so extreme that it no longer deserves to be called Christianity.

Jesus’ first commandment was to love God. But his other teachings are about loving those around us. His second commandment was “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Jesus amplified this in his Sermon on the Mount: blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

Jesus was not a Calvinist or a capitalist. He disdained worldly possessions: “It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven… it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Republican policy no longer represents the teachings of Jesus. The GOP favors the rich and ignores the poor, disadvantaged, sick, elderly, long-term unemployed, and other unfortunates. Republicans may be religious, but they’re not Christians.

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Forget Christmas …

Forget Christmas, Republicans Have Taken Christ Out of Christianity

December 22, 2017 By Allen Clifton

As a Christian who tries to live my life according to actual Christian values, I’ve taken great offense to the faux “conservative Christians,” especially the so-called “evangelicals,” who’ve spent the last few decades shamefully twisting and distorting my faith to push their hate, racism, bigotry, and ignorance.

Let me just say this, to everyone reading this who often equates Christianity with Republicans — please stop. They’re not Christians. Sure, that’s what they call themselves, but they’re no more “Christian” than they are Muslim.

They’re part of their own cult that I like to call “Republicanity.” They don’t worship or follow the teachings of Jesus Christ; rather, they’ve concocted their own sick view of the world where they seem to think Christ would be some selfish, greedy prick who vilifies the poor, wants health care to only be for those who can afford it, loves guns, attacks minorities, brags about war, and supports the death penalty.

That’s not Christianity or what Jesus Christ represents.

As I’ve said before, even if you’re not a Christian, I think most people can agree that the values Jesus Christ represents (love, acceptance, giving, helping the poor and needy, forgiveness) are universally human. You don’t need to be a Christian, or a person of any sort of faith, to agree that we should all strive to live our lives according to those values.

Republicans simply call themselves “Christians” because they use that label, as well as going to church, as their way to excuse the fact that many of them are terrible people who support a political party, politicians, and personal beliefs that are the antithesis of actual Christian values.

Which is why I find it hilarious how worked up Republicans get this time every year about their made up “war on Christmas.” Like most of the nonsense they believe, this “war” is something that only exists in their minds. It’s a way for the GOP and the conservative media to get a bunch of gullible rubes all worked up (much in the same way they use immigration, abortion, and homosexuality) over a threat that doesn’t actually exist.

The “war on Christmas” is as real as Santa Claus.

The truth is, if we’re going to talk about taking the “Christ” out of something, Republicans took the “Christ” out of Christianity a long time ago.

Currently, Donald Trump, a man who couldn’t be further from a real Christian, sits atop the GOP. I’m sorry, but you can’t be a party that supports a greedy, petty, self-admitted sexual predator who likes to bully those he feels are weaker than he is, mocks people with disabilities, and conducts himself in a disgraceful manner nearly every day of his life — then claim you care about “Christian values.”

Then there’s that “little thing” recently where the vast majority of Republican voters tried to get a credibly accused child molester elected in Alabama.

To any Republican reading this, please, tell me, what’s “Christian” about your party or anything it supports? Do you really believe Jesus Christ would support someone like Donald Trump?

I’m not saying if Christ were alive he’d be a Democrat, but I can promise you that he damn sure wouldn’t be a Republican.

Considering the GOP just celebrated passing a tax bill that’s going to give the rich a massive tax break, add trillions to our debt, and ultimately raise taxes on many middle class Americans — oh, all while continuing to try to strip health care away from millions — let’s look at a few passages from the Bible about greed:

Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 5:10)

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24)

Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. (Proverbs 14:31)

The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. (Proverbs 22:9)

The stingy are eager to get rich and are unaware that poverty awaits them. (Proverbs 28:22)

Yet the entire GOP economic philosophy is literally built on letting the rich hoard more money.

And these same people like to claim they’re “good Christians.”


While Republicans can call themselves Christians, even the so-called “super Christian evangelicals,” the truth is, the vast majority of them are nothing but frauds. They’re charlatans who are either using the religion to manipulate people into acting against their own interests, being manipulated, or are trying to make themselves feel better about being awful human beings.

So, while conservatives like to go on and on… and on about their delusional “war on Christmas” and how people are trying to “take the Christ out of Christmas,” the truth is, they took the “Christ” out of Christianity a long time ago.

Allen Clifton

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Dan Rather Speaks

When the time comes, and I hope it comes soon, to bury this era of moral rot and the defiling of our communal, social, and democratic norms, the perfect epitaph for the gravestone of this age of unreason should be Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley’s already infamous quote:

“I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing… as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”

Grassley’s vision of America, quite frankly, is one I do not recognize. I thought the heart of this great nation was not limited to the ranks of the plutocrats who are whisked through life in chauffeured cars and private jets, whose often inherited riches are passed along to children, many of whom no sacrifice or service is asked. I do not begrudge wealth, but it must come with a humility that money never is completely free of luck. And more importantly, wealth can never be a measure of worth.

I have seen the waitress working the overnight shift at a diner to give her children a better life, and yes maybe even take them to a movie once in awhile – and in her, I see America.

I have seen the public school teachers spending extra time with students who need help and who get no extra pay for their efforts, and in them I see America.

I have seen parents sitting around kitchen tables with stacks of pressing bills and wondering if they can afford a Christmas gift for their children, and in them I see America.

I have seen the young diplomat in a distant foreign capital and the young soldier in a battlefield foxhole, and in them I see America.

I have seen the brilliant graduates of the best law schools who forgo the riches of a corporate firm for the often thankless slog of a district attorney or public defender’s office, and in them I see America.

I have seen the librarian reshelving books, the firefighter, police officer, and paramedic in service in trying times, the social worker helping the elderly and infirm, the youth sports coaches, the PTA presidents, and in them I see America.

I have seen the immigrants working a cash register at a gas station or trimming hedges in the frost of an early fall morning, or driving a cab through rush hour traffic to make better lives for their families, and in them I see America.

I have seen the science students unlocking the mysteries of life late at night in university laboratories for little or no pay, and in them I see America.

I have seen the families struggling with a cancer diagnosis, or dementia in a parent or spouse. Amid the struggles of mortality and dignity, in them I see America.

These, and so many other Americans, have every bit as much claim to a government working for them as the lobbyists and moneyed classes. And yet, the power brokers in Washington today seem deaf to these voices. It is a national disgrace of historic proportions.

And finally, what is so wrong about those who must worry about the cost of a drink with friends, or a date, or a little entertainment, to rephrase Senator Grassley’s demeaning phrasings? Those who can’t afford not to worry about food, shelter, healthcare, education for their children, and all the other costs of modern life, surely they too deserve to be able to spend some of their “darn pennies” on the simple joys of life.

Never mind that almost every reputable economist has called this tax bill a sham of handouts for the rich at the expense of the vast majority of Americans and the future economic health of this nation. Never mind that it is filled with loopholes written by lobbyists. Never mind that the wealthiest already speak with the loudest voices in Washington, and always have. Grassley’s comments open a window to the soul of the current national Republican Party and it it is not pretty. This is not a view of America that i think President Ronald Reagan let alone President Dwight Eisenhower or Teddy Roosevelt would have recognized. This is unadulterated cynicism and a version of top-down class warfare run amok.

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This is MY Potato!


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Hipster Lorem Ipsum

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Oh. You need a little dummy text for your mockup? How quaint.

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Key Words In Book Titles I Will Not Read

There are some key words in book titles that just drive me away without any further reading. If these words appear in a title, subtitle or blurb, I WILL walk away. Also, the genre is in there, too. I only read Science Fiction, military history and occasionally non-fiction. Genres that I will not read include Fantasy and the newest contender, FanFic (Fan Fiction). UGH.

Dragon (Except “The Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City (Prologue) ” – AMAZING. READ IT!
Atlantis (Except Stargate: Atlantis)

(Note: ‘Knight’ has become problematic because, Jack Campbell)

The picture on the book will also keep the book from being read. Some of those images are:

Swords (Note: DAMMIT! Another problematic image is a sword because, Michael R. Hicks)

Witches/Mages/long flowing robes/knights
Glowing crystals/balls (GLOWING BALLS?!)
Stained Glass
Characters with pointed ears (Vulcans are exempt, because cool)



This list is fluid and will change with time. But it’s a start…

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“Entry Level” Science Fiction

There’s an article I read today on IO9.com that, after reading, kind of got me thinking about my own reading. Since I had only read or seen movies of a very few of the titles mentioned in the article, I was wondering just what KIND of reader I am. I know I’ve read very damn few of those titles and it seemed to me that they were NOT talking to me. And the point of the article was ‘Entry Level Sci-Fi’. I’ve been reading Sci-Fi for decades and it seemed to me that I was getting defensive about not being knowledgeable about most of the titles in that article.

I know I’m a Sci-Fi reader. I read damn few other genres. I read military history a bit and a rare non-fiction book every now and again, but my day-to-day reading is almost totally Sci-Fi. Saying that, what I’m wondering is do the ‘learned’ readers/authors out there consider me an UNSOPHISTICATED reader? A low-class reader, possibly. Not that I care – I don’t. But I would, just for my own edification, like to know where I stand. Good or bad not an issue.

I ask this because I read a LOT of ‘Space Opera’ Sci-Fi. It’s not what I myself consider ‘Literary Sci-Fi’. What exactly do I consider ‘Literary Sci-Fi’? MY definition of it is more toward the Sci-Fi that Ursula K. Le Guin writes. In my view, her work is very smart and political. It’s a tad dense for me. (I’m nowhere near as smart as people might hopefully imagine me to be.) I don’t read for learning or ‘expanding my horizons’ or perceptions. I read to be entertained, very simply. I’m not sophisticated nor do I want to be. I don’t WANT to have to ‘think’ my way through a book. Take me by the hand (or eye as the case may be) and lead through the story. I’ll believe damn near everything you tell me and be happy in it. Unless I’m not, in which case I won’t read your stuff again. Pretty simple.

So all the authors listed in that article for the most part are what I call ‘Literary Sci-Fi authors’. The ones I have read, such as Arthur C. Clark, Orson Scott Card, John Scalzi and Mike Resnick, write (wrote) a very approachable, very entertaining book, therefore their inclusion in the article. But, OH MY GAWD, the other authors ‘appear’ to me to be a bit too ‘fussy’, if you can grok my point here. They’re writing literature that just happens to have a Sci-Fi angle. I don’t don’t know how to articulate the point any better.

So I picture myself as ‘non-fussy’ and ‘simplistic’. I really don’t know how I am pictured by others. But I’m curious. And THAT is why I ask..

I’m going to point a few ‘Indie Authors’ and close friends whose opinions I value to this post and see what they say.. I’m VERY curious as to their point of view. I think this discussion is neither over or short-lived.. I hope it goes on for a while. I’m interested in the ‘demographics’ of this topic.



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I Wrote An Email Today…

… to Boundless Technologies. You see, I punched one of their terminals off my desk at work and it survived. So I HAD to tell them about it. I’m silly that way… Here’s the Email:

As a Telco employee for 35+ years, I’ve been using so-called ‘dumb’ terminals for quite a while.

Yesterday, after a particularly unnerving day, I had occasion to punch an ADDS 4000/260 off of my desk and onto the floor – roughly and with great prejudice, damaging some knuckles in the process.

I am here to tell you that that machine not only survived, but it works as if NOTHING had happened!


So, even with my advanced years and complete lack of common sense, your equipment is some of the most rugged and dependable I have worked with.

I have promised the terminal that actions such as mine are not tolerated and will never happen again. It will remain safe and sound until it retires itself.

This is my promise.

In all seriousness, THANK YOU for building such robust and rugged equipment.


Mike Fisher

So there you have it. I was wrong. Mea Culpa. But I made it funny. I hope. -blush-

For those of you that are interested, here’s the spec sheet on the terminal in question:


OMG! They ANSWERED! Here’s their response:

Thank you for the kudos! If you saw what they go through to get to our customers, you would know that that was just a love tap it experienced from you. So I guess a replacement terminal is out of the question? LOL. Thank you for the laugh.

Brenda Fultz
Sales Manager, Z-AXIS, Inc
1916 St Rte 96
Phelps, NY 14532
P: 315-548-6114

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DirecTV’s Final Response!

And, of course, I get blown off. Expected, but not satisfying.


Spam: Spam: Cost Increases…

Discussion Thread
Response By Email (David C (ID U5621)) (01/09/2014 07:32 AM)
Dear Mike Fisher,

Thanks for writing. My name is David and I am a Resolution Specialist for DIRECTV and your email has been forwarded to me for review. I understand your concerns regarding the increased cost of your DIRECTV services and your request to receive the Pac-12 Network. I’m also very sorry to hear that you have not been satisfied with our customer service, equipment, and programming services. I assure you that we appreciate and value your business with us and we certainly don’t want to lose you as our customer.

In response to your concern, it’s never an easy decision to raise prices, but we believe that it is necessary due to the increasing costs we pay to carry the channels you see. This year, the programming costs we pay to the owners of the channels we carry will increase by about 8 percent but we have adjusted the prices our customers pay by an average of 3.7 percent – less than half of that amount. We empathize with customers in this economy and we are doing our best to control costs. Despite the price increase DIRECTV service continues to be an outstanding value. While our prices are changing, we have continued to invest in new programming and innovative services in order to provide you the best possible entertainment experience. We assure you that we will continue to invest in the
quality of your viewing experience by bringing you more new features and more new programming. Please visit us at www.DIRECTV.com/2014pricing for further details.

Regarding your request to receive the Pac-12 Network, the Pacific 12 Conference created its own sports channel in August 2012 but sold off its most popular games to other networks already available to all DIRECTV customers. Even though it is unwilling to invest its best games into its own channel, the conference has still established a high price for Pac-12 Networks and refuses to compromise. If Pac-12 really wants to offer unprecedented access, it will simply free students, alumnae and all of the other most loyal supporters to get all of these games they deserve. DIRECTV has always been willing to add Pac-12 Network for these same fans and their families who want it as long as we’re not forcing everyone else to pay for it too. Pac-12 schools have a tradition of terrific competition
and fair play, so we can’t understand why the conference won’t allow anyone to simply choose. For more information, please visit us at www.DIRECTVPromise.com.

Mike Fisher, we understand that this is an important topic for you and appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Therefore I have forwarded your comments regarding this experience to DIRECTV Management for review. While this will not have an immediate impact, it will provide us with critical information when reviewing our processes and taking the necessary steps to make them more effective. Rest assured your voice is being heard and many of the changes we make are a direct result of the comments and suggestions we receive from our customers.

Thanks again for writing, Mike Fisher. I appreciate the opportunity to personally address your concerns regarding the increased cost of your DIRECTV services and your request to receive the Pac-12 Network.


David C (ID U5621)
DIRECTV Resolution Specialist


And there we have it, I suppose. The same old, same old.


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