condescending twatbags, healthcare, Military, obits, politicians, politics, poor judgment, stupid people

Another Republican politician dies of COVID-19. It’s like watching Darwinism in real time…

Last night, after I played my latest solo project for Bill, I took a gander at the news. There it was… another sad news story about a “freedom fighter” dying of COVID-19, years before her time. This time, the deceased was one of my contemporaries, 46 year old Kelly Ernby, who was a “rising star” in conservative politics in California.

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.

In spite of losing the election, Ernby remained passionate about politics. Before the pandemic, Ernby was especially riled up about a California state law that tightened immunization rules for children in school. According to the Los Angeles Times, Erby said at the time:

“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.

I think she should have been paying more attention to what was going on in her own backyard. If she spent any time in Norway, she might have noticed that Europeans, as a whole, are more community minded than Americans are, and less selfish. Also, Norway is not nearly as populated and has a very different medical system. It’s interesting that she was a Republican, but looked favorably at a country with universal healthcare coverage as a model to emulate.

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.

It’s too bad she wasn’t vaccinated. I have read that Kelly Ernby was a somewhat sensible Republican. She might have done some real good.

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.

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condescending twatbags, law, politicians, politics, poor judgment, stupid people, Trump, YouTube

Jenna Ryan’s positive thoughts about her upcoming prison lifestyle…

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.

@dotjenna

Keep Positive- Prison Fit Check #jennaryan

♬ original sound – Jenna Ryan

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.

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.

@dotjenna

Prison Sucks

♬ original sound – Jenna Ryan

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.

MOVING ON…

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 cursed a lot while watching this video. James sure has pretty eyes and teeth, though. He’s prettier than Marjorie is, that’s for sure.

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.

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book reviews, narcissists, politicians, politics

A review of I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House, by Stephanie Grisham…

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.

Name calling… yet another one of Trump’s least attractive qualities that is constantly on display. I think the fact that he blatantly abuses women should have disqualified Trump from running. He should have been arrested, instead.

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.

AND

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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bad TV, disasters, Duggars, narcissists, politicians, politics, poor judgment

Jim Bob Duggar makes another run at state politics… this could get entertaining fast!

The featured photo is being posted on the Duggar’s Facebook post about this event… I think it could quickly turn into a shitshow.

It’s another foggy morning in Croatia. I’ve just learned the latest hot Duggar news. In the wake of the scandals that have plagued his famous family ever since it came out what a sex pest eldest son Josh is, Boob has decided to run for public office. Below is the “exciting announcement” that appeared on the official Duggar Facebook page…

What could be prompting Jim Bob to run for Arkansas State Senate District 7 at this time? In about a month, his son, Josh, will be put on trial for possession of child pornography. Josh could go to prison for a very long time. Jim Bob knew about Josh’s problems, which became apparent over 19 years ago. His solution for dealing with Josh’s obvious problems was to shave the lad’s head and send him off to do pointless physical labor for a friend. As we can see, Josh’s time doing hard labor did nothing to curb his perverted appetites. And now, the father of seven is likely to lose his freedom.

Given all of that… NOW Jim Bob thinks he should run for office? Is he doing this to take attention away from Josh? Boob does have some rather self-centered proclivities. He would probably enjoy the spotlight, since the Duggars aren’t on reality TV anymore. And I’m sure there’s money involved… and definitely power. But does he really think that this won’t be a total shitshow? And why can’t he just enjoy what he has?

Years ago, on my old blog, I wrote a post about the Duggar family that was called “Why don’t you eat what you’ve got?” I titled it as a nod to my mom, who used to say that and give me a look of disgust when I wanted more food and hadn’t enjoyed what was already on my plate. I compared my mom’s irritation and disgust to the irritation and disgust I experienced when I saw the Duggars announcing another pregnancy and reminding everyone about how God kept “gifting” them with more children. I found that sentiment extremely insensitive and narcissistic, especially since so many people who want to be parents can’t be due to situations beyond their control.

Not long after I wrote that post– I think it was written after the news came out about Michelle’s pregnancy with Jubilee Shalom– the Duggars announced that Michelle had miscarried. One of my friends, then a Duggar fan, got upset with me because she thought I was making fun of the Duggars after their loss. I wasn’t making fun of them. I don’t wish miscarriages on anyone. But I do think that when you have many children under 18, and you almost died during your last pregnancy, and your last baby was born extremely prematurely and almost died, you might want to consider whether or not you need to keep accepting God’s “gifts”. And I wondered why Jim Bob and Michelle couldn’t simply enjoy what they had? Why did they need more?

Well… I think we know why they need more. Jim Bob Duggar, like Donald Trump, and all the other power and money hungry men who want to control women, craves fame and power… and money, of course. They can’t simply enjoy what they have. They have to keep going for more. And it doesn’t matter that the family has been disgraced by a son with obvious sexual perversions who is about to go on trial. It doesn’t matter if the adult children in the family never got paid for being on the reality show and one of them had to sue to get minimum wages for her part on the show. It doesn’t matter that there are still children under 18 in the house who need their parents… but their parents have abdicated that responsibility to the older siblings. And it doesn’t matter that conservative politics are literally killing people.

Jim Bob says he’s “pro-life”. Then he says he’s “pro-gun”, which means that he cares more about his guns than the already born babies and people who died due to gun violence. He doesn’t want to force his constituents to get the COVID-19 vaccine, because “people should be able to make that choice for themselves”. But he has no empathy for a young girl who has been the unwilling recipient of a rapist’s sperm and winds up pregnant… He has no thought for the young girl who was raped by her big brother or uncle or grandfather and gets pregnant. Pregnancy isn’t contagious. COVID-19 is, and it doesn’t discriminate.

But even without all of that… I just think it’s crazy for Boob to re-launch a political career now, when his eldest son is about to be tried by the feds. I know he’s not Josh, but it does seem to be an extremely tone deaf thing to be doing. But then, I’ve come to expect that from the tone deaf Duggars. One only has to listen to Josh sing “The Loyalty Song” to his wife, Anna, at their wedding and then look at recent history to see that.

Ugh… just dreadful! I know some of his sisters play piano well, but they’re still tone deaf.

Well… we’ll see how this goes. I’m sure some people will vote for him, just like some people will vote for Donald Trump again. I just think this is proof positive that Jim Bob Duggar only cares about himself. It’s pathetic and embarrassing, and I think this could be a decision that he ultimately regrets. But he’ll never show it to the masses… because that would entail showing people that he has a soul and empathy and the slightest scintilla of shame. He’s been in the public eye for a long time now, and I have yet to see any evidence that he has any of those qualities.

The Duggars are like an unusually virulent case of herpes… and they just keep erupting at the most embarrassing and inconvenient times…

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healthcare, politicians, politics, poor judgment

The COVID curse… Lora Reinbold, an outspoken conservative, comes down with the virus.

Several weeks ago, I read about Republican Alaska lawmaker, Senator Lora Reinbold, having an unusual problem. Reinbold represents Eagle River, Alaska, which is near Anchorage. The capital of Alaska is Juneau. Reinbold is not able to travel to Juneau, because it would require flying on Alaska Airlines, which is the only airline that offers flights this time of year between Anchorage and Juneau. Reinbold is not allowed to fly on Alaska Airlines right now.

Last April, Lora Reinbold, an outspoken critic regarding federal face mask mandates, got into an argument with Alaska Airlines staff at Juneau International Airport about the mask rules. Because of that heated exchange, which was captured on video and went viral, Reinbold has been banned from flying on Alaskan Airlines until the federal mask mandates are lifted. At this writing, they have been extended until January 18, 2022.

I’m sure a new meme is forthcoming…

Delta Airlines offers flights to Juneau at other times of the year, but is not offering them now. So Lora Reinbold’s choices are to either take a boat, or drive for two days, to get to the state capital. She has been excused from legislative sessions until next year.

Meanwhile, as she sits at home, stuck in Eagle River, Reinbold has now come down with COVID-19 herself. She announced on social media that she’s got the virus and has promised to defeat it. Below is a screenshot of her Facebook post.

Well… I do hope she can stay out of the hospital. But other outspoken conservatives before her have made similarly bold statements on social media and did not survive to do a victory dance.

And here’s a follow up posted 12 hours later. She paired this with a photo of a sweet looking golden retriever.

I hope, for her sake, she’s right… but I wouldn’t necessarily bet the farm. She might still “buy the farm”, if you know what I mean.

All of the photos I have seen of Lora Reinbold show her wearing what looks like some kind of plastic mask thingy. It does appear to cover her nose and mouth, but it’s made of a clear material, so her whole face can be seen. I don’t know if that type of “mask” is effective or not. I’ve never seen anyone else wearing them. I do remember last year, some waiters and waitresses at a restaurant Bill and I like had a sort of clear shield that covered the lower half of their faces. We visited that restaurant the other day and no one was wearing them then; they all had surgical masks.

I don’t know if the plastic mask Reinbold has been shown wearing does more or less than a surgical mask would. I have never had much faith in cloth masks and, in fact, have never worn a cloth mask myself. They aren’t allowed in Germany, anyway. I mean, you can wear one if you want to, but if you want to go into a shop or take public transportation, you have to use a medical grade mask. I have stated from the beginning that if I have to wear a mask, I prefer them to be masks I didn’t buy on Etsy. I also think that staying away from people is better than wearing a mask, especially when the isolation is coupled with a COVID vaccination. I also don’t know if Reinbold is vaccinated. It was not made clear in the articles I’ve read. Based on the screenshot below, I suspect she’s not been innoculated.

Oh dear.

I do think it’s interesting that after she made a big stink about wearing a mask on a plane and referred to the masks as “suffocating”, Lora Reinbold now has the virus. Now she has to put on a brave face to her public. She says she’s doing fine. I truly hope she is. Alaska hospitals don’t need another patient. From what I’ve read, hospitals in Alaska are having a hell of a time dealing with COVID patients.

I don’t cheer for anyone getting COVID-19, even people who act like fools. Well… okay, maybe I did kind of smile when Trump got it, but that’s because I despise Donald Trump. I think Trump is dangerous and repulsive. But I recognize that even Trump has loved ones who would miss him if he died. I’m sure Lora Reinbold does, too. Aside from that, I’ve read that dying of COVID is a pretty awful way to go. I try hard not to wish suffering on others, even if sometimes I fail. I’m human… but the Golden Rule is still a good mantra. If I were sick and dying, I would hope most people wouldn’t cheer about it. I know a few people would, though. I’ve got my enemies.

What I do find concerning is the way people “laugh” about COVID. Below is a comment someone left for Senator Reinbold. Notice that she got “laughing” reactions. I don’t understand why people are so shitty. It appears that the people who “laughed” are liberal types… I guess it just goes to show that assholes come in all political flavors.

She’s a human being who just lost her mother. That’s not really a laughing matter, is it?

I do hope Lora Reinbold recovers and is able to stay at home. And I hope if her “get well soon” recipe works, she’ll share it and help save some lives. However, it’s my guess that she may be in for a tough time… I have some friends who have had COVID. At least a couple of them had to spend time in the hospital. We’re all about ten years younger than Lora Reinbold is.

I like to hear about people getting over COVID-19, especially since while some of us are sick from COVID, we’re all really sick of COVID. So count me among those who hope that Lora Reinbold gets well soon, even if she did make an ass of herself at the airport. I don’t blame her for hating face masks. I hate them too. I hope someday, they are no longer necessary. I do my best to stay out of situations that would require me to wear them for long, including flying on airplanes. Bill has to go to Poland next month. He invited me to go with him, but it would require flying, and I just don’t know that I want to deal with that, even if I would enjoy seeing Warsaw.

I do think that the situation with flying isn’t going to improve as long as masks are required. Many people keep saying they’re “not a big deal”, but clearly they ARE a big deal to some folks. There’s been a noticeable uptick in bad behavior in airports and on planes since the masks became required. So obviously, not everyone is okay with wearing them. And while I cooperate with the mandates myself, I can understand why some people feel the need to fight them, even if I don’t condone violence or bad behavior. What I’m saying is that I get that the masks suck, and I think it should be okay to say that without being “corrected” by the PC police. At the same time, COVID sucks more… and we’re not going to get past this shit until people cooperate.

I don’t think Lora Reinbold’s approach to COVID is a particularly smart one, but it’s her life. I don’t know that Ivermectin and vitamins are going to save her, but we’ll see what happens. Maybe she has a super excellent immune system… or maybe she got a less dangerous variant… or maybe she’s going to be lucky. Time will tell. I hope the other conservative pundits who want to publicly declare their superiority over COVID will take note. Maybe they shouldn’t say it out loud. At this writing, several conservative radio show hosts have mocked COVID and later died of the virus. It’s way past time more people started taking this seriously. COVID is not a joke.

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