Last night, as I was preparing to go to sleep, I took a look at the Recovery from Mormonism messageboard to see if anyone had posted anything interesting. Sure, enough, someone posted a link to an article about a Republican from Michigan who hopes to be the next governor.
The man in question, Garrett Soldano, is facing some heat because of a comment he made regarding sexual assault survivors who get pregnant. Mr. Soldano, obviously rabidly pro-life, said to April Moss on her conservative Face the Facts podcast:
“And so what we must start to focus on is not only to defend the DNA when it’s created, but, however, how about we start inspiring women in the culture to let them understand and know how heroic they are? And how unbelievable that they are?”
“That God put them in this moment and they don’t know that little baby inside them may be the next president, maybe the next person who changes humanity, may get us out of the situation in the future,” Soldano added, per a video of the conversation that Heartland Signal tweeted Monday. “We must always, always protect that DNA and allow it to have a voice.”
Sigh… I wonder if it’s ever crossed Garrett Soldano’s mind that telling people that their developing fetus might grow up to be a President of the United States might not be a comfort? Especially since some presidents turn out to be corrupt, cruel, and power mad, and they openly try to overthrow the government… Also, while a pregnant person may very well be gestating someone great, the opposite could also be true. What if, for instance, Charles Manson had been aborted? Or perhaps Adolf Hitler or Pol Pot… or Vladimir Putin?
Of course, even if those infamous men had been aborted, it’s likely that other people just as horrible might have been born in their places. The truth is, every person is unique, and you just never know what you’re going to get when you make a baby. But one thing is for certain. A fetus conceived in rape can, and probably will, traumatize its mother. I might be able to agree that it’s not the fetus’s fault it was conceived in an act of violence, and there is the potential that the fetus may wind up being a blessing to all. However, I still maintain that Soldano, as a cisgender male, will never have to worry about the burden of gestating a baby, so he probably ought to be much quieter about this particular issue.
Apparently, Soldano the 100 percent “pro-lifer”, decided to open his mouth about how pregnant rape victims should not get abortions because his mentor, who was adopted, found out that his birth mother had been gang raped in a subway station. According to NBC News:
It kind of like tore out his heart when he found that out, but then he started to really appreciate and understand what his birth mother went through, that she had the courage to deliver him,” Soldano said, adding that his mentor went on to help thousands of people improve their lives.
Given Soldano’s brand of “help”, I wonder if everyone agrees that his mentor had helped people improve their lives. And also, I wonder if the reason his mentor’s birth mother was so “courageous”, was because she couldn’t access abortion services. Abortion wasn’t legal everywhere when I was born in 1972. It wasn’t until the following year that Roe v Wade was decided by the Supreme Court. I’m not even in menopause yet, so I assume it’s likely that Soldano’s mentor’s birth mom might not have had the option to terminate. Not surprisingly, a lot of people are truly “sickened” by Soldano’s comments, which come across as very Handmaid’s Tale.
State Senator Erika Geiss rightly responded:
“We should be inspiring women who’ve been raped to press charges & we should have a system that takes them seriously,” Geiss tweeted. “We should have a world where men don’t think they’re entitled to women’s bodies. We should have a world where ppl respect #ReproRights.”
Word. Guys like Garrett Soldano are surprisingly, and apparently hopelessly, out of sync with the other half of the population who can get pregnant and don’t want to be forced to birth for any reason, but ESPECIALLY after a sexual assault. I don’t think Mr. Soldano has even considered just how truly horrifying and devastating sexual assault is. He’s never even thought about it, has he? I’ll bet he’s one of those guys who think that women should just lay back and relax when they are attacked by men, since sex is supposed to be “fun”. I’m just shaking my damn head at this… I’ll never understand the psyche of some men. It’s just revolting. He probably also thinks that rape doesn’t often result in pregnancy, since, as the late Representative Todd Akin once said during his 2012 Senate campaign that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy. Akin said “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
I’m so sick of clueless men running for office and getting elected. I would be grateful that I don’t live in Michigan, but alas, I am a Texas resident, and the stupidity of male conservative politicians regarding abortion is even worse down there…
Just for shits and giggles, I turned on Ms. Moss’s video. April Moss is a former meteorologist who left her job at CBS 62 Detroit last year because she disagreed with pandemic mitigation measures. Right off the bat, she thanks Mike Lindell, the famous drug addict turned My Pillow Guy. Lindell is a hero to Trump supporters, of course, and he was all about keeping Trump in power, even though Trump tried to overthrow the government. But then Moss brings on Garrett Soldano, her super conservative guest, who says that the liberals are ruining the country and he wants to fix that.
Soldano says that Gretchen Whitmer “must be stopped”, and that “critical race theory” is “absolute hot garbage”. He wants to “take our schools back”… and it sounds a lot like Mr. Soldano is all about freedom, as long as it’s freedom for white, conservative, religious (Christian) people like him. I should mention that his family homeschools, so obviously his children aren’t being “poisoned” by their teachers’ influences. (eye roll) It sounds to me like he’d prefer children to be taught by robots.
So then I visited Garrett Soldano’s official Web site, where users are invited to text “Freedom” to 33339 to join. Next, I see he’s modeling himself after Donald Trump, with a “drain the swamp” promise. I think Mr. Soldano would do well to realize that Trump was defeated and impeached twice. Some people still think Trump is awesome, but a lot of people think he’s a dangerous psychopath. Maybe it would be better for up and comers to present themselves as a bit less like Trump. But also… it’s disingenuous for a politician to use the word “freedom” as he proposes that pregnant people should be forced to birth.
In April Moss’s podcast, Soldano mentions that he doesn’t care if people get vaccinated against COVID-19, and he wants to get rid of the mask and vaccine mandates. So he’s yet another one of those conservative “freedom loving” guys who cares a hell of a lot about freedom, but only as it applies to people like him. And he conveniently ignores that the COVID-19 mandates aren’t just an issue in the United States. The pandemic is a worldwide thing that has nothing to do with conservatives or liberals in the United States. Unfortunately, I don’t think the average Trump lover thinks about issues beyond his or her own backyard.
Garrett Soldano who waxes poetic about his impoverished upbringing as the son of a school bus driver and an Army dad, is a chiropractor. He’s also written a book called God’s True Law, which is a guide to raising successful children. I wonder what qualifies him to write such a book. It doesn’t sound like he’s a very experienced or evolved person, and he’s just parroting the same shit we’ve heard from all of the other Trump clones. But at least he hasn’t yet bragged about grabbing anyone by the pussy…
Well… I suppose I’ve complained enough about this. Time to get on with the day. It’s Thursday, which means I have to vacuum. But my copy of Maus arrived yesterday, so maybe I’ll start reading that. Hope everyone has a good day. Tomorrow, my sweetass will be home again. I just hope Garrett Soldano doesn’t get elected, but given that the Michigan race for the governor’s seat is so crowded, he’s probably going to be left in the proverbial dust. But then, I thought the same thing about Donald Trump, back in 2015…
Ms. Ernby was a political newcomer and served as the Deputy District Assistant Attorney in Orange County. Two years ago, she ran for an Orange County state Assembly seat as a Republican candidate, challenging Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon in the primaries. Ernby lost to Dixon, who then lost to Democrat Cottie Petrie-Norris.
“I don’t think that the government should be involved in mandating what vaccines people are taking,” she said. “I think that’s a decision between doctors and their patients…. If the government is going to mandate vaccines, what else are they going to mandate?”
More recently, Ernby was fighting COVID-19 vaccine mandates. On December 4, 2021, Ernby spoke publicly outside the Irvine City Hall against vaccine mandates at a rally organized by a group called Turning Point USA, which has chapters at the University of California, Irvine and California State University, Fullerton. The Los Angeles Times reports that the event drew “dozens”… which may be impressive, given it was California.
Ernby, who was the daughter of Navy veterans, said “There’s nothing that matters more than our freedoms right now…” She also compared the vaccine mandates to so-called 1960s era “socialist ideals”, claiming that requiring people to be vaccinated is a violation of their civil rights. I would submit that freedom is totally useless when you’re dead.
Kelly Ernby, who was unvaccinated, is now dead, and leaves a grieving husband, who has been speaking out against conservative wingnuts who are falsely claiming that his wife died because she was vaccinated. After Ernby’s death was announced, seemingly left-leaning trolls flooded Ernby’s Facebook and Twitter accounts with laughing reactions and mocking comments. They did the same to Ernby’s husband. Mattias Axel Ernby’s social media accounts are now being hammered with comments from people on either side of the spectrum. Lefties are laughing about her death, while right wingers are promoting ridiculous conspiracy theories. It’s a fucking circus and a disgrace.
I don’t think it’s funny that Kelly Ernby died. I think it’s sad, and it was probably preventable. If she had been vaccinated, she probably wouldn’t have gotten so sick that she died at just 46 years old. I think it’s shameful that such an obviously bright and articulate woman didn’t take COVID-19 seriously enough to save herself and get a safe, effective vaccination. I think it’s sad that her widower now has to deal with Internet assholes who are taking this opportunity to harass him, when they should show him basic respect and leave him alone so he can grieve.
After I read about Kelly Ernby’s unfortunate death, I saw another article run by the Army Times about how the Navy has been blocked from acting against 35 sailors who refused COVID vaccines on “religious grounds”. A federal judge in Texas has granted a primary injunction against Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s decision to make COVID vaccines mandatory. Although servicemembers can theoretically refuse to get vaccinated for religious or other grounds, no one who has applied for an exception to policy has been granted the waiver. So Justice Reed O’Connor, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, wrote:
“The Navy servicemembers in this case seek to vindicate the very freedoms they have sacrificed so much to protect… The COVID-19 pandemic provides the government no license to abrogate those freedoms. There is no COVID-19 exception to the First Amendment. There is no military exclusion from our Constitution.”
Again, to Judge O’Connor, I would say that freedom is pretty useless when a person is dead. I have never served in the military, but I have been around military folks my whole life. One thing I know is that the people who sued for the right to skip COVID vaccines should probably start looking for new work. I think their careers are over now. Of course, I could be wrong… but I doubt I am. The Army Times continued:
O’Connor wrote that they objected to being vaccinated on four grounds: “opposition to abortion and the use of aborted fetal cell lines in development of the vaccine; belief that modifying one’s body is an affront to the Creator; divine instruction not to receive the vaccine, and opposition to injecting trace amounts of animal cells into one’s body.”
“Plaintiffs’ beliefs about the vaccine are undisputedly sincere, and it is not the role of this court to determine their truthfulness or accuracy,” the judge wrote.
What I do know is that the military depends on the concept of “readiness”, which means that everyone has to be “ready” to deploy anywhere in the world. The last place an unvaccinated person needs to be is on a ship or a submarine, with super tight quarters and no access to medical facilities. We also know that COVID-19 spreads faster than a hooker’s legs. So a COVID positive person on a ship, in a tank, or an airplane, or any of the other tight spots where servicemembers typically operate, would be potentially disastrous.
Vaccines are just part of military and government service life. They were part of my Peace Corps experience, too. I had to get MANY shots to serve in Armenia, and I still came home with a nasty bug that took three courses of very strong antibiotics to get rid of permanently. I don’t know what these sailors have been doing over the course of their careers, but I’d love to know how COVID-19 can be exempted on religious grounds, when they clearly had no issues with the other shots they no doubt had to receive.
I went to the comment section, because I noticed a lot of gleeful laughter and love reactions. Sure enough, the first comment was by a guy who claimed that vaccines don’t work. He based his comment on the fact that vaccinated and boosted people are still getting infected. One lone brave man made a comment challenging him. I decided to chime in too, even though I usually regret communicating with certain military types, because a lot of them are ignorant and don’t appreciate “uppity women” like me. In fact, I noticed that the guy did respond to me, but I chose to ignore him completely, because I was about to go to bed.
What I wrote was that the vaccines are intended to prevent people from getting seriously ill. They are to keep people out of the hospitals so that folks with chronic diseases can still access care and the poor doctors and nurses who have to take care of the sick and dying can get a respite. I will admit I was a little testy in my response, mentioning that people who think they know more than scientists do are DYING, and many of them are pitifully BEGGING for the vaccines before they go. And then I linked the story about Kelly Ernby, who is just the latest Republican “anti-vaxxer victim” who has succumbed to COVID-19.
As much as I dislike it when people behave irresponsibly or ignorantly, I don’t take any pleasure in reading or hearing about people dying of COVID-19, alone, and gasping for breath or waiting to be intubated. I don’t laugh at people who die because they are stubborn or willfully ignorant. I think it’s tragic, and I feel sad for the people left behind when these folks refuse to behave in a sensible, community-minded, responsible manner. And I especially feel sad for the medical personnel who have to stand by, exhausted and defeated, while another one of their patients dies in front of them.
After I wrote my response to the snarky servicemember, who probably answered me in the style of “Slow down there, ‘Dependa'”, it occurred to me that people like Kelly Ernby and her ilk have the LUXURY of speaking out about “optional” vaccines because generations before them did their parts and got vaccinated. Diseases that used to be much deadlier, like polio, smallpox, diphtheria, measles, influenza, cholera, malaria, anthrax, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and so forth, no longer kill as many people as they once did. And so, people like Kelly Ernby have no concept of how terrible communicable diseases can be, and how they can KILL innocent people, or cause permanent disabilities.
A few years ago, before COVID struck, I wrote a post about how a politician was promoting an episode of The Brady Bunch as an example of how “not serious” the measles is. Honestly, some politicians are truly stupid. Ignoring the fact that The Brady Bunch was, in no way, akin to real life, I suggest that anyone who thinks measles can’t be very serious and wants to use a 70s era sitcom as “proof”, first take a look at a 2001 episode of ER called “A Walk in the Woods” for a different perspective on how measles can affect and kill children. Yes, it’s true that many people don’t get that sick from measles, but it can and does make some people very sick and cause premature death. That’s why we’ve had a vaccine against it for so many years.
I’m against government overreach, as a basic rule, but when it comes to communicable diseases, particularly the kinds that are as deadly as COVID has proven to be, I definitely think that one person’s freedom of bodily autonomy ends where another person’s begins. And until COVID mutates to something less harmful, I do agree with vaccine mandates affecting those who can take the shots. It’s a matter of life and death for some people.
And as much as I don’t want to see Republican fringed nutjobs like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert in charge, I also don’t enjoy seeing people die of their own stupidity. I really hope some of these folks wise up and learn a lesson from people like Kelly Ernby. Unfortunately, it takes personal experience to change the hearts and minds of people who can’t see beyond their own pride. Isn’t it interesting that so many Republicans are supposedly devout Christians, but they still haven’t learned a very basic proverb– “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Let’s hope a few Republicans stop applying for Darwin Awards before they go completely extinct.
Sorry to write another post about the Duggar family. I promise to read more of my latest book, which has nothing to do with fundies, so I will soon have another topic to cover. On the other hand, based on the hits I’m getting, I can see that I’m not the only one who is fascinated by what’s going on in America’s best-known, supersized, “Christian” family. So I will write today’s post about Jim Bob, and what a colossal cluster fuck his life has become in December 2021. I know I shouldn’t be giving him more “press”, but I just can’t help myself.
Yesterday was the last day residents of Springdale, Arkansas could vote for candidates in a primary election to replace the seat vacated by former Republican Senator Lance Eads, who recently resigned. Back in late October, while Bill and I were basking the golden glory of Croatia, Jim Bob announced that he was going to be running for that vacant seat. Some readers might remember that I was both amused and horrified by that announcement.
Three other Republican candidates also ran, as well as two Democrats. Lisa Parks has won the Democrat nomination in the primaries. Colby Fulfer won the Republican primary, with 1387 votes; however, because he did not win 50 percent of the votes, he will face the second place winner, Steve Unger (941 votes), in a run off election that will take place in January 2022. Then, in February, the winner of the run off will face Lisa Parks in a battle for the vacancy in the Arkansas State Senate. Jim Bob came in distant third, with 456 votes. The fourth place winner was Edge Nowlin, with 188 votes.
Jim Bob issued a “gracious” statement, conceding the results of the election, thanking his supporters and promising to support the Republican candidate. He had no words of congratulations for Lisa Parks. Democrats are evil, don’tcha know? Especially when they’re “uppity women folk”. I hope Lisa Parks beats the pants off her GOP opponent.
I’m not the only one who thought this was a strange time for Jim Bob Duggar to be trying to get back into politics. I can only attempt to speculate what he was thinking. Maybe he coveted the meager salary he would get from the job? God knows, he has a lot of bills, even when he doesn’t have a son sitting in the local jailhouse, awaiting a prison sentence. Maybe he liked the idea of having an office to retreat to and an official title to bestow an air of respectability on him again. There was a time when Jim Bob had the respect of a lot of people. He even served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999-2003. Maybe Jim Bob thought people could separate him from his son’s vile criminal behavior toward children. I don’t know.
I did read, however, that Jim Bob spent a LOT of money on this election— significantly more than any of the other candidates. It obviously was a race he badly wanted to win. And, just as he must have thought God would save Josh from the slammer, he must have also believed a miracle would happen and people would vote for him. Thankfully, the people of Senate District 7 have more sense than that. As I read the headlines about the nearly $40,000 Duggar dropped on this race, I can’t help but think of the irony. This is a man who used to brag about buying things used and saving the difference. He is reportedly very cheap. I suppose one would have to be cheap in order to support so many children. But he spent LOTS of money on advertising for his Senate campaign, a campaign that was doomed to fail.
Perhaps most damning in the wake of the election are statements made by two men who once counted Jim Bob as a friend. One came from his former best friend, former Arkansas Senator Jim Holt, who used to worship with the Duggars. Jim’s wife, Bobye, testified against Josh Duggar in his recent trial. Their daughter, Kaeleigh, is two days older than Josh is. When they were fourteen, Josh and Kaeleigh were betrothed to each other, as Jim Bob and Jim Holt were very tight and the families had been friends for decades. But then Josh confessed to Bobye about what he did to his sisters, and the relationship ended. Now, Jim Bob and Jim are no longer friends. And, in fact, Jim issued the below statement to encourage voters to choose another candidate other than his old ex friend, Jim Bob Duggar.
The other damning statement came from Jim Bob’s own son-in-law, Derick Dillard, who has a freshly minted law degree, and may someday wind up running for public office himself. Derick was supposedly introduced to his wife, and Jim Bob’s daughter, Jill, by Jim Bob himself. But now, Derick has lost all respect for Jill’s dad… He’s shouted it from the figurative rooftops with the below statement.
I don’t agree with either of these men’s politics. There was a time when I might have had more sympathy for their conservative views, but I don’t any longer. I’m not so sure that either of them is an angel when it comes to being truthful and not manipulating people to push their own agendas. However, I do think it’s likely that these two men are better men than Jim Bob is. It’s becoming clearer by the day what a complete sham of a person Jim Bob is, and how he screws over people to get what he wants. He uses his “Christian” facade to prop up his image, but if you look beneath the surface, you find that he doesn’t practice what he preaches, and his real god is power, closely followed by cash and sexual gratification.
Yesterday, I forced myself to sit through an interesting video made by Observe, which looks at the body language of people in the public eye. I initially didn’t want to watch the video below, because I started watching another video done on this channel that was about Josh Duggar. That video was probably accurate in terms of Josh Duggar’s body language, but the people who made it got some facts wrong. But I did find myself with some free time yesterday afternoon, so I fell down this rabbit hole…
It looks to me like Jim Bob Duggar’s walk in the sun is about finished. He’s lost his lucrative reality show. His son is going to go to prison for a truly disgraceful crime. Some of his children. who used to be completely under his control, are now turning on him. He’s lost a lot of trusted friends and allies. And his personal wealth continues to dwindle by the day, along with his reputation. This is a man who used to boast about being in God’s favor. And now, it appears that God is raining some vengeance upon him, or at least he’s reaping what he’s sown. Or… if you’re a more secular person, like I am, it looks like Jim Bob is finally getting his just desserts.
Strangely enough, I don’t take a lot of pleasure in seeing Jim Bob being knocked off his pedestal. I usually find it disappointing when it turns out someone has been ripping off the masses, especially when they are also revealed to be massive hypocrites. I mean, yes, I’m glad to see that people are opening their eyes, but I don’t take pleasure in finding out that someone is a liar and an abuser, especially when there are innocent children involved. Jim Bob still has a passel of underaged children in his home who are still heavily influenced by him and under his control.
Thanks to what has recently happened regarding Jim Bob’s eldest son, the Duggar minor children may soon be faced with having to talk to government officials about painful subjects. At the very least, I assume Josh and Anna’s children with be interviewed and examined by child protective services. Or, at least, I would hope they would be… although if it does turn out they’ve been abused to the point at which they would need to be removed from Anna’s custody, that will be traumatic for them. Placing children in foster care is necessary sometimes, but it’s not always the best situation for children. Sometimes, they end up in families who don’t care about anything but money, or worse, are also abusive. While there are plenty of extended relatives in the Duggar family who might be able to care for Josh and Anna’s children, they may have to be split up. Seven children is a lot to take on. But we’ll see what happens in that regard. I could be totally off base. Or, I could be on point, but Arkansas officials just don’t do anything.
Anyway… I have a feeling that 2022 will not be much kinder to Jim Bob as his son gets sentenced to prison and is shipped off to whatever facility is assigned to him. It’s not a given that Josh will be staying in Arkansas. In fact, I think it’s very likely that Josh will be moved to a prison in another state, one that can accommodate his special “needs” and perversions. He will probably have a more difficult time than most people while he’s locked up, mainly because he’s a relatively famous and wealthy white guy who is doing time for crimes against children. Incarcerated people don’t historically look too fondly on people who commit crimes against women and children. So Josh will probably have to be separated for his own safety. I wonder how that will be for a man who grew up in a huge family and has a huge brood of his own. Time will tell.
Well, it’s time to close this post and get on with the rest of the day. I will probably be wrapping presents later, which I don’t necessarily look forward to doing. My gift wrapping skills are pretty terrible. Maybe tomorrow, I will write about a new topic. Time will tell. I’m really glad Jim Bob lost the election, though. That’s a ray of sunshine in my world.
Josh Duggar is not the only one staring down a prison sentence after the new year. Come January, Texas real estate broker, Jenna Ryan, will also be headed for a stint in the jug. Last night, I read a story about how she’s trying to think positive thoughts about spending time locked up for her part in last year’s attempted insurrection. She even took to TikTok, dressed in leggings and a sports bra, to talk about what she hopes to accomplish during her planned sixty day stay at a federal prison.
I was astonished to see Jenna step on a scale, revealing to the world how much she weighs. She says that while she’s locked up, she plans to lose weight. She figures the food will suck, and she says she won’t be able to drink alcohol or eat snacks. Because the food will be terrible and Jenna figures she’ll have nothing but time for exercise, she thinks she can lose up to thirty pounds during her sixty day stint.
I’ve got to hand it to Jenna Ryan. She’s definitely got some moxie. And there’s something to be said for trying to maintain a positive outlook. There’s nothing she can do about her upcoming prison stint. She’s going to have to report and do her time. Then, when it’s over, she has the rest of her life to live. So kudos to Jenna for realizing that. But… I am still very surprised that Jenna Ryan thought she could do what she did last January and get away with it. And she’s still putting herself out there, showing everyone her naked and extreme self-regard and lack of a clue. In fact, she’s pretty much almost naked in her video. The arrogance and lack of insight she shows is incredible.
I must say, Jenna Ryan’s nerve astounds me. Ever since I first became aware of her last January, I’ve been repeatedly surprised by the things she says and does. She doesn’t seem to have any shame. I guess that’s a good quality in someone who sells houses for a living. But it also makes me think that she’s not a very honest person, nor is she particularly decent. I sure wouldn’t want to do business with her, especially since she doesn’t seem to understand just how serious this situation is. I hope, for her sake, she gets a clue. Not that I’m hoping for it, but I suspect that if she doesn’t wise up, someone might want to beat the crap out of her while she’s locked up.
I would imagine Jenna Ryan is the type of person who has no consideration for anyone but herself. Jenna probably has a lot in common with the very first roommate I had when I was in college, who would go out partying with the girl across the hall and come in at 3:00 in the morning and turn on the overhead light. She didn’t care that I was sleeping and had an early class the next morning. She was only concerned about herself. She rather ruthlessly forced me out of the room during our first week of school, even though it was as much my room as it was hers. She didn’t care. She had no shame.
Likewise, Jenna Ryan didn’t care that Donald Trump didn’t win the election. She wanted to force the rest of the nation to continue to endure him, even though Trump lost. HE fucking LOST. And he totally deserved to lose. Many of us were DELIGHTED and extremely relieved that Trump lost. Jenna didn’t care that a lot of voters were happy to see Trump leave office. She showed up in DC, trying to thwart the political process that would enable Joe Biden to take his rightful place in the White House. It didn’t matter to Jenna that Donald Trump is an obviously terrible person. Apparently, what the rest of us want didn’t matter to Jenna and her fellow insurrectionists. While Trump supporters told us to “get over it” when Trump won the White House, Jenna Ryan and her ilk weren’t able to take their own advice last winter.
I remember last January, thousands of people converged on the Capitol building in Washington, DC, hoping to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. Jenna Ryan was there, dressed in a souvenir hat and scarf, sipping white wine, and screaming “we are armed and dangerous!” She was caught on video, advertising her real estate business, announcing that she needed to go to the bathroom, and very proudly screaming “We are not going to be quiet! We’re fucking pissed!” She later tweeted, “We just stormed the [Capitol]. It was one of the best days of my life.” Yep… and it was also the day that has led Jenna to her current predicament.
Mmm’kay… so you were pissed, Jenna, and apparently, you also needed to take a piss. Where did screaming about being “pissed” in Washington, DC while also needing to take a piss get you? Remember how you bragged about flying in a private plane with a cute guy? Remember how you posed for pictures and starred in videos as thousands of Americans, emboldened by Donald Trump, tried to derail the government? Remember how you, and thousands of other crazed Trump supporters, tried to usurp the will of the people? And then you had the nerve to ask Trump to pardon you for your part in endangering the lives of lawmakers, police officers, and everyone else who was tasked with seeing that the U.S. election results were certified? Quite predictably, Trump didn’t do shit for you, just like he doesn’t do shit for anyone but himself. Was supporting Trump worth spending time locked up in prison? We shall see at the end of your time in the joint.
I didn’t see this until now: Dallas area realtor & life Coach Jenna Ryan declared “we are armed and dangerous”. She’s since been arrested by the FBI and is now asking President Trump for a pardon, saying he’s the reason they went there to “stop the steal” pic.twitter.com/vkNivhKj7O
My guess is that Jenna Ryan is going to be hearing a lot of screaming and cursing in prison, too. And she correctly points out that prison food is notoriously horrible, although former prisoner Jessica Kent has pointed out in her many YouTube videos about prison that some items aren’t too bad. My guess is that Jenna Ryan is probably going to lose her resolve to subsist on prison chow. She’s gonna want some commissary, and from what I’ve seen, a lot of the food that is available from prison commissaries consists of junk food. Yeah, she’ll be denied booze, although some prisoners have figured out ways to make hooch (aka Pruno). If Jenna is smart, she’ll stay far away from Pruno. Not only is partaking of it likely to get her punished, it’s also reportedly pretty disgusting stuff.
Maybe Jenna will have the opportunity to take a class. Maybe she will learn a new life skill. Jenna says she looks forward to “working out”, “doing yoga and cardio”, “reading books”, and “detoxing”. Well, there’s nothing wrong with that, I guess. It’s not a bad thing to try to live a healthy lifestyle. But prison is an inherently unhealthy place to be. Even if she manages to stay out of trouble, eat less junk food, and stop drinking, the stress of being there won’t be easy. And while she says she’s worried about the quality of the food, she says she hopes there will be protein shakes and protein bars available. Um… what does she think prison is? A spa?
Most prisons aim to feed people as cheaply as possible. That means a lot of carbs will be offered– they’re cheap and filling. Also, carbs help keep people more compliant and docile. I don’t know if the commissaries in federal prisons offer protein bars and shakes, but it’s my guess her choices will be limited. Jenna Ryan ought to approve of that. She is a Republican, after all, and Republicans aren’t usually in favor of treating prisoners like human beings with needs. A lot of Republicans are fond of saying, “You do the crime; you do the time.” and it doesn’t matter to them that prisoners have to deal with inhumane treatment, bad food, unpleasant accommodations, and disrespect. A lot of people who viewed Jenna’s video were laughing at her. Some were clearly disgusted at her lack of humility. I noticed at least one person declared that Jenna was showing off her “white privilege”.
A few days after she posted her controversial TikTok video, Jenna was back with another video. This time, she tried to clarify her position, reminding everyone that her charge is a misdemeanor, not a felony, and when she gets out, she can go back to work. She says she has a “beautiful life” awaiting her after she goes through “hell” temporarily. Nice attitude, and I guess, technically, she’s not wrong… she can come out of prison and enjoy the rest of her life. But I think she may be underestimating the potential effects of prison and her notoriety. She certainly doesn’t seem to be taking it very seriously, at least at this point.
I think I would be a lot more impressed with Jenna Ryan’s positive attitude if she seemed genuinely contrite about what she did and realized how very wrong she was to participate in the “festivities” of January 6th, 2021. She absolutely deserves to go to prison. No, I don’t think she needs to spend years there, nor do I wish any violence on her while she’s there, but I do think a taste of life in the big house will do her some good. I do hope she learns from it, comes out healthier, and lives a better life within the confines of the law.
On a somewhat related topic, yesterday Bill and I watched Fundie Fridays’ latest video, which happened to be hosted by James– boyfriend of usual host, Jen. James says he’s going to resign from his job so he can help Jen create YouTube content. It amazes me how many people make money on YouTube– so much so that they can quit their jobs and make videos for a living. I have a YouTube channel myself, but it’s not a popular channel. I use it to make music– try songs written by other people that I want to see if I can do, and to make travel videos for my travel blog. I don’t have a lot of subscribers, and most of my videos have copyright claims, so I don’t make money from YouTube at all. And, after seeing some of the ridiculous dramas people get into on YouTube, I don’t think I’d want to make it my job. However, I do enjoy several channels, as well as some of the truly talented personalities who share their stuff on YouTube.
Anyway… Fundie Fridays’ latest video is about Marjorie Taylor Greene, the repugnant Republican from Georgia who is so proud of being a Trumper and carries big guns, which she poses with in her ads. I seriously cannot stand this woman. It pisses me off that she prances around with large weapons and tries to ram her reprehensible politics down everyone’s throats. She has no shame. She and Jenna Ryan, as well as Lauren Boebert, are all clueless twits who are helping to lead America down a very dark and undemocratic path.
I get being conservative. I understand wanting to be a Republican and voting for Republican candidates. But why not show some fucking class? Why harass victims of school shootings? Why champion Donald Trump, who has openly expressed his disdain for anyone who can’t do anything for him? Where are these women’s brains? Why do they only care about money, prestige, gun rights, and fame, instead of the people they are supposed to serve? I’m so tired of these unhinged people making names for themselves by being insufferable assholes who inflict their obnoxious behavior on the rest of us.
Meh… well, it’s another Monday, and I’ve got other shit to do, to include picking up the dog shit that is no doubt waiting for me in the backyard. So I guess I’ll close today’s post and get on with the day. I hope everyone has a productive Monday, and stays off of TikTok and out of jail.
When Bill isn’t home, our dogs– usually Arran– often wake me up in the middle of the night. After they have their midnight pee or poo break, they come back in and go back to bed. I, then, spend another hour or so, trying to get back to sleep. That’s what happened to me in the wee hours of this morning, when Arran got me up TWICE— once to pee, and once to poo, and both times, demanded a cookie reward for doing his business. Noyzi, on the other hand, didn’t bark at me through the bedroom door early this morning, as he has the past two mornings, nor did he want to join Arran on his nocturnal potty runs.
It’s because of Arran’s second potty break that I finally finished Stephanie Grisham’s 2021 book, I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House. While it wasn’t a particularly difficult book to read, it did take me some time to plow through, mainly because I’m not capable of reading as fast as I once was. Nowadays, if I’m reading in bed, I fall asleep. I have to be careful, too, because I usually read on an iPad. I don’t want to get hit in the nose or teeth, or roll over on the iPad and break it. It also took time because I happened to be reading it while we were on vacation, and I was busy doing other things… like watching Netflix and hanging out with Bill.
I hadn’t actually planned to read Stephanie Grisham’s book. I remember reading her comments defending the Trumps when Donald Trump was 45. Many of my regular readers know I despise Donald Trump, and I’d like to forget about him. Still, I have found myself drawn to books written by people who worked for him at the White House (there is no working with him— the man is a raging narcissist and thinks he is the most important person alive). I did read Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s book, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady. I figured I might as well give Stephanie Grisham’s book a chance.
So now I’ve read it… and I have to say, for the most part, it wasn’t terrible.
Ambitious Stephanie Grisham had always dreamt of being the White House Press Secretary. In 2016, when Trump was running for president, she was a “junior press wrangler”. By 2020, she had worked for both Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania. For a time she simultaneously worked for BOTH Trumps, when Trump hired her to be the White House Press Secretary and Communications Director, and Melania Trump’s Communications Director. Grisham was an extremely rare high profile Trump employee, in that she was there for almost the entire time Trump was in office. She finally quit on January 6, 2021, in the wake of the attack on the Capitol, as pro Trump rioters breached one of our country’s most beautiful and recognizable government buildings in an attempt to prevent the 2020 presidential election results from being certified.
Having read Grisham’s book, and about all of the frustrations and mistreatment she no doubt faced, particularly at the hands of some of her male co-workers, I’m surprised it took her so long to finally throw in the towel. But Grisham has an explanation. She, like so many of us, was “trained” to take abuse from people, and she got unusually good at doing that. And she also claims that she’s a Republican and believed in what Trump was doing. She writes that he had some good policies, although she doesn’t really spell out which specific policies she thought were so good.
This book isn’t really about Donald Trump’s policies, though. It’s about what it was like to work for the Trumps. Grisham writes about what it was like to fly on Air Force One, which took the Trumps and their entourage on exotic foreign trips– at one point, meeting the British Royal Family, at another, visiting four countries in Africa. Much of what Grisham writes seems to be more about working for Melania, which I got the impression she did longer than working for Trump himself.
There were a few instances in the book in which Grisham seemed to want to be friends with Melania, but Melania apparently wasn’t interested. For instance, one day Melania seemed kind of depressed. Grisham invited her to take a walk on the beach, as if they were friends. Melania wanted to know if there would be photographers there. Grisham then found herself trying to arrange an impromptu photo shoot with real photographers. Throughout the book, Grisham mentions how beautiful and stylish Melania is, as if she really admires her, in spite of Melania’s hot and cold treatment of her and eventually being completely discarded by the former First Lady when the Trump era ended.
Incidentally, Grisham mentions Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s book on more than one occasion. I get the sense there’s no love lost between those two. However, I also get the sense that both of them fancied themselves “close friends” of Melania’s. It’s almost as if they’re jealous of each other (Wolkoff also mentions Grisham in her book). Wolkoff eventually realizes that Melania is no friend to anyone. Grisham, conversely, seems to hold out hope that she and Melania could one day be besties or something. Spoiler alert– it ain’t happening. Melania is into herself, and maybe her son, Barron. That’s about it.
I’m being honest when I write that Grisham comes off as a likable person to me, probably because she uses a lot of profanity. I mean… she uses a LOT of cuss words, including the “f” word. As much as I like cussing myself, that was one aspect of her writing that I noticed and thought detracted a bit from her manuscript, especially given that she’s a journalist. On the other hand, she writes as if she’s having a conversation, which I also tend to do. And if cursing is something she does in her natural voice, maybe it IS appropriate, in terms of her authentic voice. I think if I had to work for either of the Trumps to make a living, I would cuss a lot too. And I would probably drink a lot more… which would not be a good thing. However, while the profanity makes Grisham seem more relatable to me, it also makes her seem less polished and professional. I guess that makes sense in Trump’s White House, given his penchant for “pussy grabbing”.
Grisham offers some details about some of the Trumps’ most notorious moments in the press, as well as Jared and Ivanka, whom she collectively refers to as Javanka. Like Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, she refers to Ivanka alone as “the princess”. Barron gets one mention at the end of the book, and she paints him in a good light. The other Trump kids are described as entitled brats, for the most part– but especially Ivanka. Grisham doesn’t seem impressed with Jared Kushner, either.
Toward the end of Grisham’s book, she writes about an abusive romantic relationship she was involved in with another Trump staffer. She doesn’t identify the man, but she does describe him, and her description of him certainly paints the picture of a classic abuser. This was a man she’d lived with, and even adopted a dog with, and at the end of their relationship, he turned out to be a total dick. One night, she got very upset and hung out with some friends. Another friend brought over some wine and encouraged Grisham to take an Ambien, which she did. It promptly knocked her out cold. Next thing she knew, she was being asked if she was okay by two guys in her bedroom. They were from the Secret Service. Her friend got worried and called the White House. They got the idea that she was suicidal.
At the same time she was reeling from her breakup, Grisham was also dealing with Mark Meadows, one of Trump’s many former Chiefs of Staff. Meadows made Grisham’s life hellish, and basically fired her from working with Trump. Although Grisham had supposedly wanted to keep the Ambien incident quiet, word got out, which is probably why she addresses it in her book. Meadows also got wind of it and was apparently quite the bastard about it, and a lot of other things. Make no mistake about it; Grisham and Mark Meadows are definitely not on good terms.
As she sums up her time fulfilling her ambitions of being the White House Press Secretary, among other things, Grisham discloses her own personal epiphany. She realizes that she has been well-trained to tolerate abuse, especially from men. She says she was abused by her White House boyfriend, by Mark Meadows, and even by Trump. She wrote that she’d gotten used to men being mean to her, calling her names, and treating her like a doormat. I must say, I was a little surprised that she hadn’t seen Trump as an abuser ages ago, especially since she’s a journalist. One of the main reasons why I despise Trump so much is because it’s so OBVIOUS to me that he’s abusive. It was very clear that Trump was an abuser, even in the 1980s, which is when I first heard of Trump.
I remember, in 2016, reading an article about the 1993 book, Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump by Harry Hurt III. Within that article, there was an excerpt from the book about an incident that occurred between Donald Trump and his first wife, Ivana. It basically described Trump as having raped his first wife. I was horrified, and decided to read and review the book for myself, which I did, back in April 2017. You can find my repost here. Below is a screenshot of the passage in the article from The New Yorker that I read about Trump’s little domestic violence episode. This attack is also described in Hurt’s book.
Stephanie Grisham seems to like Melania, even though Melania hasn’t said a word to her since the day Grisham quit her job. She does state that both Donald and Melania basically use people and discard them when they are no longer useful. In that sense, they’re both narcissists. However, Melania apparently comes off as a more “human” and less extreme version of a narcissist. Melania is probably more of a garden variety narcissist, while Trump is an obvious, off-the-chain, malignant narcissist. He was put into power by people who are probably actual sociopaths and are a hell of a lot more intelligent and cunning than Trump will ever be. I know there are snakes on both sides of the political spectrum, but the Republicans have really shown their asses in a dangerous way. It saddens me that so many Americans have fallen for it, hook, line, and sinker.
At the end of the book, Grisham does concede that she wished another Republican, other than Donald Trump, could have run for president in 2020. I can understand that. Before Trump took office, I had some sympathy for the conservative cause. However… as far as I am concerned, Trump has ruined the Republican Party. I think it’s unlikely I will vote Republican ever again. Grisham, on the other hand, still says she’s a Republican, and at times, even seems to apologize for the Trumps– including Donald, but especially Melania.
Below are a couple of insightful excerpts from Grisham’s epilogue (bolded emphases are mine):
IT HAS OCCURRED TO me as I’ve been writing that I seem to be blaming everyone but myself for how things turned out for me in the White House, especially in the last six months. According to me I was the victim of covid, of Meadows and his people, of my ex, of the former East Wing chief of staff, of some of my own East Wing staff, of some West Wing senior staff, of the president, and even of the first lady at the very end. And although the stories I have laid out are all true and it was very much a perfect storm of certain personalities coming together in opposition to me, I don’t feel that I am a victim who did no wrong. It is my fervent belief that when you are the common denominator in situations like this, you need to look within and determine where your own responsibility lies. People need to hold themselves accountable to situations so that they can learn from them and apply them in the next chapter of life, and that includes me.
I think the first part is obvious: I became heady with power. I got cocky. You get inside the walls of the White House, the most important building in the country and arguably the world, and you are catered to like nowhere else. You go in wanting to help the people of the United States, but I don’t think many people in the Trump administration left there as the best versions of themselves; I know I did not.
Grisham, Stephanie. I’ll Take Your Questions Now (p. 326). Harper. Kindle Edition.
I did think somebody needed to stick around to look out for Mrs. Trump. I was loyal to her personally, and I didn’t want her to be staffed by incompetent or untrustworthy people who didn’t have her best interests at heart. And as she had most always been good to me, I felt gratitude. But her apathy in response to the January 6 riots made it hard for me to stay at the very end.
I also turned a blind eye toward my own falling into a trap I saw over and over again: believing I was a trusted and valued member of Trump World. The plain truth is that most of the Trump family dismisses and cuts people from their lives on a whim. They demand total loyalty, but they are loyal to no one. I don’t blame them, to be honest. They are businesspeople, and business should not be personal. Some people learned that once and walked away; others kept going back for more, and there are many who are still doing it. I allowed my ego to grow in such a way that I never considered that the Trumps would allow me to be treated poorly. I put myself onto the same level as Hope Hicks, Dan Scavino, even Javanka, and that was ludicrous. Mrs. Trump did defend me when she could, and privately she always told me of her anger on my behalf, but I’m not sure it ever went farther than that, and I wrongly expected that it should have.
Finally, and most importantly, I should have spoken up more.
Grisham, Stephanie. I’ll Take Your Questions Now (pp. 326-327). Harper. Kindle Edition.
A lot of narcissistic, abusive people rise to meteoric heights and great fame, with many loyal, hardworking people like Stephanie Grisham working tirelessly and thanklessly to put, and keep, them in power. But not every successful person is like this, nor should they be. These are not qualities that are healthy or desirable in world leaders. Until Stephanie Grisham recognizes and acknowledges that, I fear that she’ll keep making the same mistakes… and allow her ambition to blind her to toxic behaviors from others that will simply make her miserable. More importantly, these behaviors also make innocent people miserable… including the folks who went to the Capitol in January of this year, mistakenly thinking Trump would reward their loyalty by pardoning them for the crimes they committed on his behalf.
Grisham said it herself– the Trumps expect loyalty, “but they are loyal to no one.” Trump even ominously told this to Grisham straight up, when he said to her “I am the only one who matters.” I really think Stephanie Grisham should think about that, and reevaluate her idea of what makes appropriate and effective leaders… or even appropriate people to have in her private life. In order to be a great leader, the leader must care about other people and be a decent person themselves. Otherwise, they’re just power hungry toxic people who use others and spit them out when they’re deemed worthless. They’re just like parasites. And they aren’t even polite or kind about it. At one point, Grisham writes that Trump asked her Grisham’s ex boyfriend if Grisham was “good in bed.” When they later broke up, Trump wanted the details, and didn’t seem to care that Grisham was obviously upset and crying about her pain. Trump has no empathy, and that makes him unworthy of anyone’s vote or attention or anything else.
The fact that Grisham recognizes that the Trumps dismiss and cut people from their lives is a positive step in the right direction. However, I think she still has some work to do, because in the next sentence, she writes that she doesn’t blame them. In fact, there are several times in her book that Grisham makes excuses, not just for the Trumps, but for herself. I recall reading more than once that Grisham had gotten DUIs– maybe it was only one, but I know there was at least one– but she basically explains that she got caught drinking and driving after hanging out with her girlfriends, and blows it off as if it’s not a big deal. Then, there was the Ambien incident, apparently after she’d enjoyed some wine. Maybe she should also seek some professional attention regarding her use of substances.
So… that about does it for my review. I’m not sorry I read I’ll Take Your Questions Now, even though I initially wasn’t inclined to read the book. I don’t agree with Stephanie Grisham’s politics, but I appreciate her decision to share her story. I think Stephanie Grisham is, deep down, an okay, but deeply flawed person… maybe even someone I’d enjoy talking to, in spite of her politics and deep flaws. After all, most of us are deeply flawed. What can I say? I still have Republican friends and family members.
I just hope Stephanie Grisham finds herself a good therapist and explores her own self worth more. My friend Audra shared these two thoughts on Facebook yesterday. If Stephanie Grisham ever reads my review, I hope she’ll read them and take them to heart. Based on her book, I think these are lessons she should practice a bit more.
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