Fox Business Host and former Trump ally speaks hard truths

In an article called “Fox Business Host Drops Hard Truths In Trump-Bashing Segment” by Josephine Harvey of HuffPost, a previous huge fan of the former president takes off the gloves to again criticize him. Here are a few paragraphs with a link to the article at the end of the post.

“Fox Business host Stuart Varney has again gone after Donald Trump for dragging down the Republican Party.

Varney ― a former Trump ally who once insisted the then-president had never told the American people a lie ― devoted a segment Tuesday to criticizing Trump for backing dud candidates in the recent midterms. He also took issue with Trump’s attempt to take back remarks he made over the weekend calling for parts of the Constitution to be terminated to accommodate his desire to be re-installed as president.

“He was talking about terminating parts of the Constitution. That plays right into the Democrats’ hands,” Varney said. “He’s trying to walk it back today but the damage has been done.”

…To cap it off, Varney quoted from a Wall Street Journal editorial that warned Republicans they’ll effectively be ‘terminating’ the GOP should they choose Trump as their nominee for president in 2024. 

Varney has repeatedly criticized Trump in recent weeks. After Trump announced his intention to run in 2024, Varney said the speech lacked some of the ‘old magic.’ He has also accused Trump of ‘dragging the Republican Party into the mud’ with his attacks on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his potential rival for the party’s nomination.”

I do not disagree with Barney’s comments of late. However, I would take strong issue with his earlier statement that Trump does not lie. To the contrary, he has long been a well-documented untruthful person by numerous sources and people in the know. Further, the guy Varney is now criticizing is the same guy he has always been – a thin-skinned ego maniacal person who lashes out with name-calling when criticized or unsuccessful. As his niece Mary famously said, “My uncle will burn it all down to avoid losing the election.”

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Collapse of Russian Federation is now possible per Russian lawmaker

Per the article called “Russia Risks Collapse Over Ukraine Debacle, Lawmaker Warns” by Gerrard Kaonga of Newsweek, an interesting observation and concern is raised on Russian TV by an important source.

“Lawmaker Boris Nadezhdin was called a provocateur by other TV guests and the host after criticizing Russia’s leadership and warning of collapse. Speaking on NTV station show Mesto Vstrechi on Monday, Nadezhdin also said the risk of the Russia Federation crumbling has increased since the war in Ukraine began.

The clip of Nadezhdin’s comments have gone viral on social media since being posted on Monday. The clip has so far been viewed more than 110,000 times.

The video was shared by Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. He captioned the clip: ‘The risks of Russian Federation dissolving increased greatly with the beginning of the special military operation.’

‘Somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing this guy on Russian TV again.'”

Given the source and the fact he feels he could speak with impunity (which may prove false with a vindictive Putin), the comments are very telling. The story is as more than just the what. It is the who, where, how and why of what was said.

Letter posted to Nikki Haley on her recent disappointing comments

I posted the following note to Nikki Haley, who came to the national public eye as Governor of South Carolina. She is one Republican who has stood out at times in a positive way, as when she showed leadership and empathy after the Charleston church shooting a few years ago. Yet, just when she shows promise, she will backslide, often intentionally to appease the more extreme base of followers in the GOP.

Recently, she has noted that Senator Raphael Warnock should be deported by ICE to stir up distrust to counter the existing and growing negativity surrounding his opponent in Georgia. It should be noted the Senator is a Black man born in Savannah, Georgia which last time I checked is in the United States. Haley should know better especially being a minority, which is why this is even more disappointing.

“Dear Former Governor and Ambassador Haley, as an independent and former Republican voter, I applaud your accomplishments. This is why your latest attempts to appeal to the worst part of the GOP and discredit Senator Warnock of Georgia with disinformation is so disheartening. We need you and other politicians to be better than this. We need you to be truthful and lean to the side of your better angels, which you have done in the past.

Your finest moment is what you did after the Charleston shooting. What you did with Warnock is the opposite end of the spectrum. Thanks for listening.”

A conservative pundit calls it what it is

In an article in Raw Story by Tom Boggioni called “Trump finally committed ‘political suicide’ with his latest ‘stupid’ comments: conservative,” he notes the comments of conservative David Strom about the double-down statements of the former president on terminating the constitution so he can regain power.

“In a column for the highly conservative Hot Air, Republican speechwriter David Strom expressed his disgust at Donald Trump’s call for ‘the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution‘ because he thinks the 2020 election was stolen from him.

As Strom sees it, the former president — whom he believes has previously flirted with destroying his political career — finally committed ‘political suicide’ and will never recover.

Writing, ‘It’s like a social science experiment with 350 million participants. Researchers are asking: just how batsh!t crazy does a person have to be to lose 95% of their fans? For some reason, Trump has decided to participate as the experimental subject,’ Strom added, ‘There are several obvious things about Trump’s statement that are simply politically stupid. Like, really really stupid. Assuming there were no legal or ethical barriers to either calling a new election or suspending the Constitution (stay with me here, I know that is insane!), it is still politically stupid.'”

Dating back to the day after the January 6, 2021 insurrection, I have felt the former president’s political career was over. I still think that. But, I also knew it would take many Republicans and eventually some of his MAGA supporters time to realize that was the case. To be frank, the biggest death knell had less to do with the latest inane, untruthful or mean-spirited comment or action of the former president, but more to do with the failure of his shadow to provide more wins in the mid-terms. His presence actually was unhelpful to more than it helped.

Yet, just prior and since those elections, the former president has gone further off the reservation with his comments and actions, the above reference being one of them. And for him to think having dinner with two well-known antisemitic and conspiracy parroting people is just as crazy as the above reference to bat excrement to define his desires to terminate the constitution. For him to say he did not know these folks were bad news is just a crock, as he should have known if he didn’t. Yet, in my view he is being untruthful as he most often is with his remarks.

I actually like David Strom as I find he has tended to articulate his opinions in a well-thought out manner, even when I do not agree with them. I think this latest reference to the former president is revealing how people are tired of being too polite and should call the actions of the former president what they really are. Per his niece and other sources, the former president does not like being called a “loser,” so I am pretty confident he will not care for his actions being called “stupid” or “bat-sh*t crazy.”

As the blooms continues to fall of the Trump rose, we will witness further melt-downs. The surest sign of the dying blooms is the greater license for elected Republicans to criticize his actions. These frequency of these comments has significantly increased and will likely increase even more.

A few interesting headlines

From John L. Dorman of Business Insider yesterday – “Georgia GOP Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan says Herschel Walker will ‘probably go down as one of the worst candidates in our party’s history'”

From The Guardian yesterday – “Brexit has fueled surge in UK food prices, says Bank of England policymaker: Britons need to be kept aware of the cost of leaving the EU, says Swati Dhingra

From Francine Prose of The Guardian yesterday: “Trump had dinner with two avowed antisemites. Let’s call this what it is: A 2024 candidate broke bread with Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist, and Ye, who has praised Hitler. Don’t normalize this”

From Newsweek yesterday – “Kari Lake lawyers sanctioned by judge over frivolous election lawsuit”

Taking these four headlines in order, let me offer these frank assessments. First, a party must police itself if it intends to serve our country. Republican Lt. Governor Duncan’s words are true, but the sadder part is there are more candidates who could be included on this list. Even sadder is some of these candidates have actually won which means they represent people in Congress.

Second, the UK banks said Brexit was going to be dilutive to the British economy BEFORE the vote was taken. Yet, people preferred to listen to less than factual representations by Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, two folks not known for dealing consistently with facts in their arguments. None of what is happening now should be viewed as a surprise.

Third, of the many inappropriate, untruthful, bullying and even illegal things done by the former president, having dinner with two known anti-semites should not be too outlandish. But, it is. Who on earth would think meeting with two hatemongers and conspiracy peddlers like this is a good idea? One of his defenses is he did not know. Really? One of his rebuttals to critics in his own party is to call them losers. Does that mean meeting with two known anti-semites is a winning idea in his mind?

Four, Kari Lake was the favored daughter of the MAGA crowd and Donald Trump, the future of the party. So for her to claim foul on the election like her idol and mentor the former president does is par for the course. It also is not a surprise. Yet, like with lawyers advising Trump, advising Lake can get them in trouble with judges when they pursue frivolous claims. Is this who you want to associate with lawyers? Please remember ol’ Rudy has his law license suspended in two jurisdictions.

Five, and as a late addition, just when you think the former president cannot say anything more inane, here is a headline by Brad Reed from Raw Story “Trump doubles down on calls to ‘terminate’ Constitution in furious all-caps Truth Social post.” Apparently, he still feels he was cheated out of the 2020 election, which he and others have failed miserably at proving (after a lot of money was spent) in over five dozen lost court cases (with one small win in PA) and losing every recount, audit and review. So, the US Constitution has to go because this person cannot be man enough to admit he lost an election. Maybe he was jealous of the attention Kari Lake was getting with her claims.

I’m a loser

From the minds of Lennon and McCartney, as sung by The Beatles, here is the final stanza and chorus of “I’m a loser:”

What have I done to deserve such a fate?
I realize I have left it too late
And so it’s true pride comes before a fall
I’m telling you so that you won’t lose all

I’m a loser, and I lost someone who’s near to me
I’m a loser, and I’m not what I appear to be
.”

Although this song is about missed opportunity with continuing love, I think of the chorus when I read or hear the recurring use of the term “loser” as counterargument by an adult male in his 70s who once was president of the United States. Quite often, when someone is critical of the actions, words or behavior of the former president, the counterargument is the childlike retort of “He’s a loser.”

Per the several biographers of the former president as well as his psychologist niece Mary, the worst thing one can be in the eyes of the former president is a loser. So, he reserves this retort as his most vehement backlash to criticism.

Forget that having a dinner meeting with a known white supremacist does not rank as the most intelligent of ideas, some critics of the said move have been called “losers.”

Forget that in several studies that tariffs fail to achieve the intended objectives just as they did here, critics are losers.

Forget that he was told his bogus election fraud claims were BS by his own Attorney General, he is a loser that must be fired.

Forget that taking classified documents to an unsecure location is not the wisest of moves, those who are investigating him are losers.

Forget that using his Foundation as a piggy bank and being ordered by a judge to repay the money, terminate it and distribute the funds to charities, the judge is a loser for so ordering.

Forget that hiring unscrupulous people like Roger Stone, Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani and acting surprised when they screw up, these hires are the losers not the person who hired them.

Why do people accept name-calling as argument time and time again? I almost expect the words “I am rubber and you are glue, what you say bounces off of me and sticks to you,” to come out of the former president’s mouth. Maybe he name calls as he self-professes to not like to read. His staff said his briefing summaries have to be short and include photos. So, he may not have a lot of ideas to counter with as he chooses not to know them.

Call me crazy, I just want a leader who can articulate a few why’s and how’s along with the what’s and when’s. Maybe I am just a loser who wants to know more.

This was no accidental meeting

Per Peter Wade’s article in Rolling Stone called “Trump’s Meeting with White Supremacist Is ‘Empowering’ Extremists, Says Republican Governor:”

Donald Trump’s dinner with Kanye West and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes has so far drawn criticism from two elected Republicans, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Rep. James Comer of Kentucky.

‘It’s very troubling and it should not happen,’ Hutchinson said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, making him the senior most member of the GOP to call out the former president for the Mar-a-Lago dinner. Hutchinson has previously stated that he is ‘very seriously’ thinking about running for president in 2024.”

As he has done all of his life, Trump is backpedaling on his meeting claiming he did not know how bad Fuentes was. Per Hutchinson, “this was no accidental meeting.”

More than a few Republicans have condemned the actions of the former president for having this dinner to begin with. Yet, many of those have stopped short of calling out the former president. Some even have said he is not a racist.

Let me offer two frank comments. For a person in his position to deny awareness of who he was meeting with is simply a crock. At that level, he should and probably does have a briefing summary on everyone he meets with. If he does not, then that is also indicting for not thinking through the issues.

Further for people to say the former president is not racist is simply gaslighting. Of course he is. His history tells you this. He settled one lawsuit for discriminatory housing practices, then had to be re-sued as he did not honor the settlement agreement. That is just one example.

However, I like to quote his long-time attorney and fixer Michael Cohen who said under oath, “Donald Trump is a racist, he is a con-artist and he is a cheat.” Again, this is from a person who made Trump’s problems go away.

The lesson continues to remain unlearned by far too many Republicans and sycophants. When you fly to close to the Trump sun, you will burn your reputation. It does not get any simpler than that.

Let’s be different and call it an Orange Friday

Black Friday started as a day of shopping for others, but has turned into a month long inventory close out event for personal shoppers. Oh, a few gifts are bought, as well. I have never cared for Black Friday, so when we visited my grandparents for Thanksgiving, I would always take my cousin and sister to a movie on Black Friday. It was a lot quieter then.

So, rather than call it Black Friday, let’s call it Orange. As per the show about women in prison, “Orange is the new black.” I am not saying we are all prisoners of the retail engine, but we should just use a more fun color and do something different. Orange is brighter and more vibrant.

In our family, we have a larger dinner gathering with multiple siblings and cousins where we can knock out more leftovers after our smaller Thanksgiving meals. Yes, I will be eating more today. So, more hiking, Yoga and Pilates will be required.

A few odds and ends for this Orange Friday are as follows:

In Alaska, the votes are tallied and the results are favorable. Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, one of the few Republicans with the courage to stare down and call out the deceitful actions of the former president, won her Senate race. And, Native Alaskan and Democrat Mary Peltola won her Congressional seat defeating former governor and vice president candidate Sarah Palin. It should be noted the former president endorsed the opposition in both races, so this adds two more to the tally of failed candidates under his purview.

In Oakland, a new mayor was voted in named Sheng Thao, a progressive who defeated the moderate Loren Taylor. What proves interesting is Thao was at one time a homeless person after a split up from her abusive husband fifteen years ago. Plus, she is the first woman of Hmong descent to ever be elected mayor. Her parents were refugees.

I find these two sets of stories very compelling. To me, they show more glimmers of hope that Democracy can survive when too many folks are trying to bully, lie and cheat their way into office. It is not surprising that outgoing Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro is contending his election loss (this was an easy prediction of a few weeks ago), nor is it surprising that Kari Lake won’t concede her Arizona governor race loss, even though the existing Republican governor is welcoming incoming Democrat winner Katie Hobbs. Both Lake and Bolsonaro like to emulate the former US president and his penchant for tossing the checkerboard when he loses.

So, let’s celebrate an Orange Friday. Enjoy your families, enjoy the day and enjoy that the candidates who emulate the orange hair guy did not win.

A few odds and ends this Friday before Thanksgiving

A few odds and ends on this Friday before Thanksgiving.

– I think Representative Liz Cheney should be a candidate for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for her political courage to hold the former president accountable for his role in the insurrection on the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. My guess is Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy will win the nod given his bravery and leadership in standing up to another autocratic individual, but I wanted to mention Cheney.

– I saw where the Republican Party will spend most of its time with its House majority doing endless hearings to discredit people, rather than performing actual governance. This is a waste of taxpayer money and does not serve the American people very well. Sadly, my former party has not voted on a platform, so what it stands for is a good question.

– Republicans like to point out the hearing on the former president as a “what-about-defense,” but that involves an insurrection against the Capitol building endangering incumbents of all stripes. Getting to the bottom of the former president’s culpability on that is a matter of national security and must be done. Republicans made a huge mistake by choosing not to be involved in this process, with the exceptions of Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

– There is irony that the new Speaker will be Kevin McCarthy under this mission. He would have been Speaker instead of Paul Ryan after John Boehner retired a few years ago, but he blabbed in an interview the real purpose of the endless Benghazi hearings were to discredit Hillary Clinton not get at the truth. So, Republicans had to replace him with Ryan. It is not appropriate to use taxpayers’ dollars for political reasons and this was an obvious example.

-I saw where Nancy Pelosi will be stepping down from Democrat leadership in the House in January. To be frank, I have never been a huge fan of Pelosi’s as she tends to grandstand, but she is nonetheless a very effective Speaker of the House. She does have a knack for getting things done. So, she deserves respect for that.

-Finally, in one of the most bizarre campaign speeches, candidate Herschel Walker when off on a long tangent about werewolves and vampires. Not only did it not make much sense, but why on earth would you talk about that analogy in the middle of telling folks you have credibility? To be honest, it reminds me of a 2010 New Jersey senate candidate named Christine O’Donnell who felt the need to do a TV commercial saying “she was not a witch” as a past issue arose where she claimed such.

Since, Halloween is behind us, we can put away all the werewolf, vampire and witch costumes. And, now we can move on to Thanksgiving. Safe travels all.

Moving on from the election – a letter to editor

I forwarded the following letter to my newspaper editor. Hopefully, they will publish it. I also forwarded it to some folks in an email. Please feel free to adapt and use.

As an independent voter and former member of both parties, it was good to see a significant number of election deniers and Trump sycophants defeated in the elections last week. While a few got elected in, the voters seemed to be saying enough of that storytelling and let’s move on.

I do feel the Republican Party needs to get back on track and move away from those who feel they must lie to curry favor with the former president. We need a conservative voice in our country and the current vintage of the GOP is not it. They could begin with cutting the lines to the anchor of the former president’s deceitful and allegedly seditious behavior. They could cut a few lines to his sycophants as well.

The sooner they do this, the better it will be for our country and their party.