The Speaker, the Wannabe President, the Good ex-President, Campaigns and 'Now & Then'
Artificial Intelligence? Photoshop? Whoever created it doesn’t matter. Donald Trump decided to retweet it on Halloween on Truth Social. This is why you should never let your kids go Trick or Treating at Mar A Lago.
A little more’s become known about Michael and Kelly Johnson’s adopted son, who’s only been seen in one family photo. Unlike some, I commend the Johnsons for their efforts on this point. Michael was 24 or 25, Kelly a little younger when they met the 14 yr old Black kid, Michael, who had come from a troubled background.
They took him into their home when he was 16 and he stayed till he was 19. That they made an effort to help him through late adolescence is commendable. And Johnson’s understanding of George Floyd’s murder and the BLM protests sets House Speaker Michael apart from many of his GOP colleagues.
Between his leaving the Johnson’s home and now, the 40 year old Michael has had several run ins with the law: from marijuana and cocaine possession, one retail theft, possession of a concealed weapon, violating a protective order, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Twice he served prison time: 37 days on a cocaine possession charge the year after he left the Johnson’s home and four years later, 30 days on a retail theft charge when he was just 23. At the age of 34 he was court ordered to take an anger management class.
But (1) he was a young Black man in Florida and his drug use wasn’t particularly unusual for any young people of any color, and neither is the one shoplifting conviction. Were he white, he likely never would have gotten a prison sentence. And (2) the Johnson’s can’t be faulted for the choices Michael made as a young adult.
The Johnsons began an official adoption effort but the paperwork requirements deterred them from the full formal process. It’s easy to get caught up in partisan hyperbole to demonize opponents but I’m an advocate for giving credit where due. And criticism that’s been earned.
It’s not unusual for conservative evangelicals to be anti-abortion (which I adamantly disagree with) but Michael’s gone the extra step by proposing a national abortion ban which is very extreme. They both have pretty shocking views about non-hetero people, too, so they earn all the demerits for these biases and bigotries. He spent 9 years with the Alliance Defending Freedom group that is so anti-gay that the SPLC classifies it as a hate group
Meanwhile in Ohio Tuesday…
Michael’s also expressed a belief that his God plays a role in selecting government leaders like himself. Yet as a leader of the fraudulent Congressional effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, that makes him a notable hypocrite, since he clearly was opposing his God’s will. (You can’t have it both ways, Mikey!)
His budget priorities- lower Social Security, Medicare, SNAP and more - also deserve sharp rebuke. And as noted before, his lack of any reported bank account raises the legit question: is someone else personally providing the Johnsons’ financial services?
(As a side note, just 14% of Americans now call themselves ‘evangelicals’. And many of them are upset with their church leaders for their continued support of Trump.)
As of today, we are 12 days away from a federal government shutdown that the GOP extremists want. They switched House Speakers when Kevin McCarthy didn’t go along with their plan.
Former president Obama spoke Friday about the complexities of the War on HAMAS:
Obama acknowledged the strong emotions the war had raised, saying that “this is century-old stuff that’s coming to the fore.” He blamed social media for amplifying the divisions and reducing a thorny international dispute to what he viewed as sloganeering.
Yet he urged his former aides to “take in the whole truth,” seemingly attempting to strike a balance between the killings on both sides.
“What Hamas did was horrific, and there’s no justification for it,” Mr. Obama said. “And what is also true is that the occupation and what’s happening to Palestinians is unbearable.”
He continued: “And what is also true is that there is a history of the Jewish people that may be dismissed unless your grandparents or your great-grandparents, or your uncle or your aunt tell you stories about the madness of antisemitism. And what is true is that there are people right now who are dying, who have nothing to do with what Hamas did.”
With thousands protesting in DC yesterday and many many more in cities around the globe, Netanyahu remains steadfast in his brutal and criminal choices.
It’s quite a pretense in conservative circles to claim that non-heteros abound who ‘groom’ minors to become LGBTQ. But just as Hitler’s team created the Hitler Youth brigades, this seems closer to actual grooming.
Trump has promised retribution with multiple firings of government workers, should he get elected again. So GOP leaders appear to be training young impressionable minds to take over those positions as extremists.
Exxon posted their Q3 profits as $19,660,000,000. That $19.66 billion is the highest recorded quarterly profit in their 152-year existence.
The GOP says this year’s gas price increases were somehow the fault of Joe Biden. By next Memorial Day when it peaks again, I can pretty much guarantee they’ll claim Hunter Biden caused it while he was high on Fentanyl that he bought from a Hamas terrorist who smuggled it across our southern border in Hillary Clinton’s purse.
And you think I’m kidding.
But John-John Kennedy told me this during my annual inspection of missile silos in Nebraska.
Here’s a military veteran running for Congress from Arkansas. The video at the top is a great example of convincing messaging. It’ll be interesting to see how effective it is by next November in a very Republican state.
And on Twitter, Republicans and Russian trolls no longer call Biden ‘Sleepy Joe’. They now prefer to call him ‘Genocide Joe’. And anytime anyone protests anything near the Capitol or the White House now, they call it an ‘insurrection.’ They believe it’s effective to message this way, they have lots of Twitter followers so they call themselves influencers. But they’re yelling into echo chambers.
With such clever messaging, they’re furious that Taylor Swift still won’t date them. Nor will most women. They act like prima donuts. The day old kind.
Calendar for the coming week
Donald Trump (Monday) will testify in the NYC bank fraud case.
Tuesday is Election Day.
Ivanka Trump (Wednesday) will testify in the NYC bank fraud case. Wednesday night is the 3rd GOP debate in Miami.
Steve Bannon’s appeal of his Contempt of Congress conviction will began at 2 pm Eastern on Thursday.
Friday is the national Veteran’s Day holiday.
“When we came to make what will be the last Beatles record – it was a demo that John had that we worked on and we just finished it up, it will be released this year – and we were able to take John’s voice and get it pure through this AI,” McCartney said. “So then we were able to mix the record as you would normally do.”
It’s not at all clear where the AI begins and ends. There’s old footage of them playing the song, some fresh Paul and Ringo mixed in but a lot of the mugging done for the cameras, especially by John and George looks like it could be AI too.
It sounds reasonably authentic but wouldn’t make my list of favorite Beatle tunes.