Gretchen Carlson awarded $20 million


Two months after former Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson accused Fox News’ then-Chairman Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, the network has agreed to pay Carlson $20 million and make a “highly unusual public apology,” NPR’s David Folkenflik reports.

News of the settlement was first reported Tuesday morning by Vanity Fair; a source with knowledge of the settlement then confirmed the deal to David, and the company later issued a statement about it.

“We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve,” 21st Century Fox says in part of that statement.

In another development at Fox News, longtime anchor Greta Van Susteren is leaving the network. The departure is immediate — she will not host tonight’s edition of her 7 p.m. ET show. As David notes, Van Susteren “had initially dismissed” the seriousness of Carlson’s allegations.

As for Carlson, she tweeted this morning, “I’m ready to move on to the next chapter in my life.”

I would be moving on in style with 20 million bucks!

So does this mean that the T & A show on Faux News will be over or will things go back to business as usual?


Don’t Americans have more to worry about that a football player?

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt with his arms folded during the performance of the US national anthem during a pre-season game in San Diego on Thursday, continuing his protest against racial injustice and police brutality.

Kaepernick, 28, has pledged to continue sitting during the performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” before National Football League games, a move that has been both criticised and cheered by commentators.

“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”Colin Kaepernick

He was met by heavy boos from the crowd during pre-game warm-ups at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, which is home to US Navy and Marine bases.

A banner in the crowd read: “You’re an American. Act like one.”

Is this all that important?  The news is consumed with this story.

I don’t agree with the guy’s POV.  However, it’s his right to protest.  If his bosses fire him, they are on might shaky grounds constitutionally.

It seems to me that the people who are bellowing the loudest over his behavior are the very people who are flag-waving the hardest.  There seems to be some sort of disconnect between the right to protest and all that flag waving.

I actually don’t care what he does.  I don’t agree with him at all but I respect his right to protest and I respect him for standing up to all the guff he is taking.

Hats off to him for standing up for his beliefs.  It’s easy to wave an American flag in a field full of American flag wavers.  It’s not easy to take an unpopular position and stand up for that position (or in his case, kneel).



Trump: Pitbull on this side, Chihuahua in Mexico

The general-election Donald Trump who’s kinder and gentler on immigration doesn’t exist ― and most likely never did.

The Republican presidential nominee firmly shot down speculation on Wednesday that he may be open to legal status for undocumented immigrants, vowing that “no one will be immune or exempt from enforcement.”

“Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation,” Trump said during what he billed as a major policy speech in Phoenix. “That is what it means to have laws and to have a country. Otherwise we don’t have a country.”

Trump, who has made immigration a centerpiece of his campaign, has been under increasing pressure to explain what he thinks should be done about the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., particularly those who aren’t criminals or security threats. His remarks over the past two weeks have seemed contradictory ― is he “softening” on deportations, as he said last Tuesday? Or is he “hardening,” as he said two days later?

He made clear on Wednesday that he wasn’t much concerned with how his policies would affect those undocumented immigrants.

So much for a kinder, gentler message on immigration. It’s easy to throw red meat at the “show me your papers” state, Arizona. He was much meeker while in Mexico.

Open Thread…………………….September 1, 2016

Thhummingbirdis has been the summer of the hummingbird.  These mean little delightful devils have been swarming my deck for the past several months.  They can empty a cup of nectar in just a couple of days.

They fight, chase, dive-bomb and yes, entertain.  I even saw one chasing a butterfly.

Hummingbirds don’t fare so well with bees and hornets.  When hornets decide they want the feeder, the hornet usually wins.

Soon the hummingbirds will disappear.  I have read that they winter in the Honduras.  I can’t imagine something that small making that journey.  Meanwhile, farewell, until next summer.

Faux News: sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult?

NEW YORK—Fox News responded to sexual harassment charges levied against the network by former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros Monday by arguing in a court filing that the broadcaster is “not a victim” but rather “an opportunist.”

Tantaros last week filed her lawsuit against the network, former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and other Fox executives.

The charges came in the wake of an earlier suit filed in July by former Fox News broadcaster Gretchen Carlson, who alleged that the 76-year old Ailes decided not to renew her contract after she refused to have sex with him. Carlson also claimed that Ailes ignored her reports of “disparaging treatment in the newsroom.”

Ailes who has denied the charges, stepped down July 22 and left the conservative-leaning network with a $40 million severance package.

In her own suit, Tantaros said that “Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.”


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The Clinton Foundation: A good thing!

Guest post:  Elena Schlossberg.

No good deed goes unpunished.  And no truer words could be said of the Clinton Global Initiative Foundation. In the midst of outrage over CEO’s raking in millions while life saving drugs like epi pens increase by 400%, it is astonishing that anyone would find fault with an organization that has proven that with the right leadership, there is a way for partnerships in the private sector to mobilize and save lives that would otherwise be lost.

According to msn in an article entitled, “What Bill and Hillary’s Controversial Foundation Actually Does,” the facts are clear:

The most recent Clinton Foundation rating from another watchdog group, CharityWatch, gives the organization a solid “A.” The group says that the foundation spent 88% of its 2014 outlays directly on programs (rather than overhead) and that it only has to spend $2 to raise $100.

As for the Foundation’s specific claims about the number of people that it has reached through its programs? Those are a bit harder to verify. For instance, the price of HIV/AIDS drugs in Africa has, indeed, dropped significantly since CHAI was launched in 2002, and the World Health Organization (WHO) points out that CHAI and a consortium of other partners helped make sure there was consistent access to these medications.


I am not suggesting that ex-presidents must find redemption by doing good deeds after they have left office, but if Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton model anything, it is that a servant of the people doesn’t have to be elected to office in order to save lives and bring hope to people who would otherwise be forgotten.

Republicans bemoan the use of government to provide humanitarian relief, as though that is the job of the private sector! Well, here you have two ex-presidents who have put their talents to good use. And what say the GOP? Nothing good, nothing good. Conspiracy theories are all they have to offer.


Local blogger disparages McDowell County, West Virginia


Posted on a local blog:

“Thinking that the best candidate for the new County Executive in a legitimate nationwide search would be found right here in Prince William County are so unbelievably astronomical that it defies description.

Prince William County is not just another hollow in McDowell County, West Virginia where inbreeding allows for your sister to be your wife and the mother of your brother.

But that’s the way the BOCS treats hiring of top policy makers and leaders in Prince William County.?”


Inbreeding?  Has the author of that statement ever met anyone from McDowell County, West Virginia?  Do they know anything of the population?  Off the top of my head, I thought of the gentleman who headed up Fairfax County Parks and Rec for decades.  He was born and raised in McDowell County.  I would say that he did quite well for himself.

Has the author of that nasty, hateful comment ever seen the film October Sky or read the book Rocket Boys?  Both were inspired by Homer Hickman, a retired NASA employee, who grew up in McDowell County and became a scientist and famous author.

I detest that kind of regional bigotry and prejudice.  Maybe that statement is something you might say with your own friends in your own home but never publicly.  Maybe!

I shared the comment with my best friend of many decades who was born and raised in nearby Raleigh County. West Virginia.  I will share her comments:

“I’m speechless.  McDowell is not at all a bad place. Has no more inbreeding than Prince William.  Maybe he was never exposed to the [redacted] or the [redacted]. It is deep coal field culture but hard working and honest for the most part.  So unfair that i don’t even know what to say.”

What is wrong with people who think it is perfectly OK to disparage an entire group of people based on where they live?  Regional and class bias is never acceptable.

It is even worse to accuse those people of incest.  No, it isn’t funny and no, it isn’t OK.  Furthermore, Prince William County is full of West Virginia transplants as well as descendants of those transplants.

McDowell County is an economically depressed area.  It was a coal mining area and has had mine after mine close.  Even their Walmart closed last winter but that in no way makes the residents guilty of incest.  Many places have undergone sweeping economic downturns in this country as industries change.

It’s just wrong to make those kinds of remarks about a region–almost as wrong as making those kinds of remarks about someone’s race, religion or ethnicity.  Is this the latest Trump mentality, where it’s ok to call various groups out as rapists and thieves?  This type of regional slurring is NEVER OK.

As a matter of record, I am not from West Virginia, but many of my friends have deep roots in that  state.  The local blogger needs to profoundly apologize.  Not everyone is fortunate enough to live in the Gainesville District.


Corey Stewart unloads on Virginia Republicans not voting for Trump

As more Republicans run from their presidential nominee, some have begun looking favorably on the Libertarian ticket, which consists of two former Republican governors: Gary Johnson and William Weld. A recent poll showed Johnson at 11 percent in Virginia. Retiring Rep. Scott Rigell, a Republican, has endorsed Johnson.

“This is not a standard two-person race,” says Liz Mair, a spokesman for Republicans for Johnson/Weld, “and we might see Johnson gain pretty significant traction here pretty quickly.”

This news is not being greeted calmly by Team Trump.

Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of Supervisors and head of the Trump campaign in Virginia, called Republican support for Johnson/Weld “traitorous and destructive.”

“There is no such thing as an anti-Trump group,” Stewart told AMI Newswire. “Anti-Trump is pro-Hillary, and that’s what groups like this really are.”

He wasn’t finished.

“If we lose, I’ll know where to go to place blame,” Stewart said. “If they want careers in politics afterwards, they won’t get them. They’ll be destroyed. This is treason against Trump. For whatever reason — their pride, their personal interests — they will damage America permanently by helping elect Hillary Clinton. They are immature babies who are tearing down the Republican Party.”’


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Trump’s spokeswoman seems a little confused: Blame Obama!

Donald Trump’s national spokeswoman offered a pretty stunning accusation during an appearance on Fox Business Network on Monday morning. She alleged that members of the political media have “literally beat Trump supporters into submission.”

“They are tired of seeing left-wing reporters literally beat Trump supporters into submission — into supporting policies that they don’t agree with,” Katrina Pierson said.

This is merely the latest wild accusation and strange claim made by Pierson this campaign. A charitable explanation would be that she attended the Joe Biden School of What ‘Literally’ Means. But Pierson does this kind of thing a lot — and she has been particularly factually challenged this month.

Just this weekend, in fact, Pierson alleged in no uncertain terms that President Obama started the war in Afghanistan, despite his having been a state senator in Illinois at the time.

“Remember: We weren’t even in Afghanistan by this time,” Pierson said. “Barack Obama went into Afghanistan, creating another problem.”

Asked to clarify whether she was accusing Obama of launching the war in Afghanistan, which started in 2001, Pierson doubled down: “That was Obama’s war, yes.” She later appeared to blame “audio disruptions” for her comment.

Katrina Pierson needs to blame woeful ignorance on her part for her comments.  You just can’t make this stuff up.

GOP, rescue your party from these unqualified people!!!

Trump needs to fire this woman and put someone in who at least can understand chronology.

Col. Morris Davis: John McCain’s Meddling in the Bergdahl Trial

The following op-ed appeared in the New York Times.  Colonel Morris Davis discusses the repercussions of Senator John McCain’s meddling in military justice.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is to appear this month at the next hearing in his court-martial at Fort Bragg, N.C. After Sergeant Bergdahl walked off his Army outpost in Afghanistan in 2009, he was abducted and tortured by the Taliban, who subjected him to nearly five years of harsh captivity.Sergeant Bergdahl faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, yet two senior military officers conducting separate, impartial investigations into his case have recommended no imprisonment. That outcome would be consistent with hundreds of other post-Sept. 11 desertion cases.

But that does not sit well with certain politicians who have treated Sergeant Bergdahl’s case as if it were a political piñata. Foremost among them is Senator John McCain of Arizona, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In March 2015, the Army warned the committee that holding any congressional hearing on Sergeant Bergdahl could undermine military justice. Two months later, after a senior McCain staff member raised the prospect of the senator’s doing just that, an Army official repeated the warning against holding such a hearing. “To do so,” he added, “would be unprecedented and deviate from defense oversight committees’ longstanding practice of deference to allow ongoing military justice matters to proceed to completion without direct congressional involvement.”

Yet, in October, just after the second investigator made his recommendation of no imprisonment, Mr. McCain said, “If it comes out that he has no punishment, we’re going to have to have a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee.”

Mr. McCain also declared that Sergeant Bergdahl was “clearly a deserter.” Such prejudgment of Sergeant Bergdahl’s case is only slightly less alarming than the statements of the Republican presidential nominee (and potential commander in chief) Donald J. Trump. He has said repeatedly that Sergeant Bergdahl is “a no-good traitor” who would have been executed 30 years ago.

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Sean Hannity conducts a health probe of Hillary

Every night this week, Fox News’ Sean Hannity has drawn attention to a story that was largely debunked before Monday morning. Again and again, Hannity has summoned a “Fox News Medical A-Team” to probe the claim that Hillary Clinton has serious medical issues, covered up by a press that won’t demand her medical records.

Hannity’s crusade has given the theories of a looming Clinton health crisis their highest-profile airing. A year ago, when Republicans hoped that one of several younger candidates would win their nomination, jokes about Clinton’s age and health were rampant. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said at the Conservative Political Action Conference that the Democratic nomination fight looked like “an episode of ‘Golden Girls.'” The Washington Free Beacon ran jokey investigations of a photo that showed Clinton holding the back of a chair, asking whether she was using a walker. (She was not.)

Excuse me.  Since when it is polite to make fun of senior citizens?  Do ageists  seriously think that their discussion is appropriate?   The “investigation” into Hillary Clinton’s health is absurd.  Sean Hannity is absurd and he needs to find something else to do.

Some of these conservatives really don’t seem to have any limits.  This new focus must be the last ditch effort to make up for the fact that the fools in the GOP have hi-jacked their party and are leading it to ruination.


Trump: Pinocchios, burning pants and bad judgement

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Donald Trump was ticking through a list of reasons to support him over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday when he decided to linger on one.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said with a shrug at a rally here after accusing Clinton of wanting to strip Americans of their gun rights. He paused, then softly offered a postscript: “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

The denouncements came swiftly from Clinton’s campaign and her allies — and from outside politics. The insinuation, critics said, was that Trump was inciting his followers to bear arms against a sitting president. And Trump’s response was just as swift: He’d said nothing of the sort but was merely encouraging gun rights advocates to be politically involved.

The pattern has repeated itself again and again. First come Trump’s attention-getting expressions. Then come the outraged reactions. The headlines follow. Finally, Trump, his aides and his supporters lash out at the media, accusing journalists of twisting his words or missing the joke. It happened last week, when Trump appeared to kick a baby out of a rally, then later insisted that he was kidding. It happened the week before, when he encouraged Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, then claimed he was just being sarcastic.

And with each new example, Trump’s rhetorical asides grow more alarming to many who hear them — and prompt condemnations from an ever-wider universe of critics. On Tuesday, for instance, even Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), one of Trump’s most ardent defenders, struggled to fully embrace his comments. Sessions insisted in an interview on CNN that Trump did not mean to encourage violence, but he acknowledged that Trump’s words were “awkwardly phrased.”

Do I think Trump really threatened violence against Clinton? No. What he did was innuendo. The danger of such statements is that some not-too-stable person might take his innuendo literally and attempt to cause bodily harm.

That’s why saying “bomb” at an airport or on a plane is a really stupid thing to do. Homeland security doesn’t know you aren’t some nut-job.

Once again, poor judgement on Trump’s part.  With Trump, there is just a sea of stupid remarks to deal with that reinforce his incredibly poor judgement.  Additionally, Hillary does not want to abolish the 2nd amendment.  That is a pure lie.  4 Pinocchios.  7 pairs of pants on fire!

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50 former national security officials declare Trump unqualified and reckless

A group of 50 former national security officials, all of whom have served Republican presidents from Richard M. Nixon to George W. Bush, have signed an open letter calling Donald Trump unqualified to be president and warning that, if elected, “he would be the most reckless President in American history.”

The letter offers a withering critique of the GOP nominee, saying he “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president. The signatories declare their conviction that he would be dangerous “and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”

They state flatly that none of them intend to vote for Trump in November. Some have decided to vote for Hillary Clinton, while others intend to sit out the election or write in another name, said John Bellinger III, a former legal adviser to Condoleezza Rice and the writer of the letter’s first draft.

“We also know that many have doubts about Hillary Clinton, as do many of us,” the letter says. “But Donald Trump is not the answer to America’s daunting challenges and to this crucial election. We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless President in American history.”

In a statement, Trump said the letter writers share the blame for “making the world such a dangerous place.”

What a scathing indictment.  Trump just isn’t getting it.  These officials know what is involved in being president.  How can Trump keep surviving people from his own party rebuking him?  One CIA director and 2 homeland security secretaries are included in the open letter.  All say they cannot support or vote for Donald Trump.

Not my America: Compilation of hate from Trump rallies


At some point, we really have to address bad behavior.  This video shows the type of behavior inspired by a Donald Trump rally.  Are these really the people we want to decide the next president of the United States?

It’s difficult to decide what is the most offensive in a sea of filth.  I think that perhaps the flag-motiffed testicles  might just be the nadir of various spectacles.

Perhaps it is mostly gender-driven.  Are women just less likely to accept this hideous behavior than men are?  I don’t think that I could live in this country if that were the standard.  I would fear for my life with thugs running things.

Some of my contributors might not like the democratic candidate.  That’s fine.  But who do you really have to blame for the Trump existence?  These things don’t happen in a vacuum.  Why the frustration?  It seems to me like a minority  showing their temper over not getting their total way.  This country was made great by compromise.  Great deals have been worked out in the past, although probably not in the past 20 years.

The GOP congress (both houses) have set out to stymie any advancement, any compromise.  Now that their “base” has turned against them, perhaps they want to rethink all of that.  Trump isn’t a conservative.  I don’t know what he is.  Perhaps some political Frankenstein cobbled together by various factions of hate and distrust of anything government or intellectual.