The Wonderful World of the Teddy Bear (Third Edition)

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One of the more iconic gifts people receive on Valentine’s Day are teddy bears. If you look at the Vermont Teddy Bear website, you’ll find more bears for V-Day than any other holiday. They may be cuddly toys, but they’re not just for kids to play with. In fact, these plushies of cuteness are used for all sorts of occasions and are customized to suit your fancy. You have teddy bears for holidays. You have bears for special occasions. And there are plenty of bears dressed as public figures, occupations, hobbies, fictional characters, and what you will. After all, I did a couple of posts pertaining to them. Still, looking at their beady eyes and fur, you don’t need to wonder why people have loved this toy all over the world. So for your reading pleasure, I give you another assortment of teddy bears. Enjoy.

  1. Cuddle this polar bear on cold winter days.

But if you don’t believe in global warming, then explain to this guy why their polar home is disappearing. Still, you want to hug it.

2. Obear wan Kenobi always uses the Force.

Though he doesn’t seem to have a lightsaber. Then again, he can maul Sith with his bear hands.

3. Everyone wants to hug this Panda bear.

Yes, this little guy’s from China. But it’s American made thanks to the Vermont Teddy Bear Company.

4. You’ll never see anything more saintly than this angel.

Well, she’s decked in white and gold. Still, got to love the wings and halo.

5. There is no Jedi bear more powerful and wise than Master Pawda.

Great warrior, Pawda is. Flips during lightsaber battles, Pawda can do.

6. You’d go mad over Mad King Ludwig II and his swan.

Sure he may have been a terrible and crazy king of Bavaria. But at least he gave his people an assortment of great tourist attractions.

7. Even bears hung out at diners during the 1950s.

Though you wouldn’t guess they’d drive muscle cars and wear poodle skirts. Still, this is adorable.

8. Sultan Ali Bearba always sports an amazing mustache.

Yet, he’ll tear any encroachers to shreds with his claws. Love the turban.

9. Someone’s ready for their close up.

Though the camera bear might need to pull up his pants. For his tighty whiteys are showing.

10. This fair lady bear is all ready for the masquerade ball.

She’s dressed in red and has a golden mask in her paws. Wherever she goes, no one can see her face.

11. Joel le Paz loves to give away presents.

He even gives away bears of all sizes. Got to admire his red cape and hood.

12. Gabriella is always in a fairy bloom mood.

Well, she certainly has fairy wings and dress. But she’s nonetheless a heavenly vision.

13. Wonder Wombear empowers girl bears everywhere.

Kind of had to include this one since Wonder Woman came out in 2017. Too bad that film got snubbed for Oscars.

14. Come to the Emerald City for these bears.

Includes Dorothy, her friends, Glinda, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Toto? Don’t get the last one.

15. Michaelangelbear always knew how to capture the moment of creation.

It’s supposed to be a teddy bear rendition of The Creation of Adam. And yes, it’s quite amazing to look at.

16. Care for a Sunday afternoon in the park?

This is based on a painting by George Seurat. And yes, I think they got the whole thing almost perfect with teddy bears.

17. Draculclaws wants to suck your blood.

So you might want to proceed with caution. For he tempts unsuspecting victims with cuddles.

18. Teddy Bears are always up for a spring family picnic.

Though I wonder if this family hijacked some people picnickers. But here they enjoy a nice, quiet day.

19. Lucy Bear is always in the mood for chocolate.

She’s basically a teddy bear Lucille Ball. And yes, she’s always ready to be zany.

20. Ivanka Trump always knows the height of fashion.

However, while she claims to be for women and children, she’s basically her dad in sleeker packaging. Also, she may sell overpriced clothes. But they’re made by sweatshop labor in countries with human rights abuses.

21. Bianca Bear loves to ice skate.

She also has aspirations to become a figure skater. Like her idol Clawnya Harding.

22. Mr. Right is always just around the corner.

However, you didn’t expect him to be covered in fur with a wet nose and ears. But he comes with roses and chocolates.

23. Whatever you wish, its Genie bear’s command.

Comes with a lamp and 3 hearts for wishes. Still, love the turban. So cute.

24. Chef Paw Paws comes highly recommended.

Here he comes with a gingham scarf on his neck. But he always washes his paws before he cooks. His dishes are quite bearable.

25. This teddy bear is great at kung fu fighting.

Sure he may be a white belt. But he can totally karate chop you if he had the chance.

26. Never guess this bear is a real turkey.

Though a Pilgrim or Indian costume would’ve been less outrageous. Still, people will talk about this turkey at Thanksgiving.

27. The Birthday bear loves to wear a cake hat.

Though there are a few candles on top. Any more and his head would be set on fire.

28. This star quarterback is ready for his forward pass.

Well, he’s not wearing a helmet and shoulder pads. Then again, bears are quite resilient.

29. This injured bear’s fallen for you and has the cast to prove it.

He may have an injured leg and crutch. But you can’t help but cuddle him.

30. Beach bear girl never gets too hot on the coast.

She’s in her own swimsuit, sunglasses, and hat. And she’s ready to get in the water.

31. Anyone would want an angel bear on their Christmas tree.

She’s in a white gown trimmed with gold. And her wings give her a heavenly disposition.

32. Sprinting Susie always works out at the trail circuit.

She wears her own sports bra. But you have to like her sweats and sneakers.

33. See Clawnya Harding do a whirl on ice.

But if Nancy Berrigan beats her in the Olympics, she’ll rip her to shreds. Love the outfit though.

34. Sometimes if you want to get a moose, you’d have to dress like one.

Well, I guess this is for the Vermont Teddy Bear Company to promote their state. But I didn’t know any moose lived in Vermont.

35. Though he loves bacon, he loves you more.

I can understand why bears would love bacon. But a bear in a bacon costume is quite hysterical.

36. “Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house…”

“Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
Also, this plaid pajama bear comes with a mouse in his pocket.

37. Dr. Claws wants to check your teeth.

He even has a tooth with its own eyes and smile. Also, he insists you brush and floss.

38. Glitter Whimsy Bear is always full of sparkle.

She has a purple jacket and pink skirt. But she shines wherever she goes.

39. Coco Bear always dresses at the height of fashion.

Has her own handbag to accessorize. Still, you have to admire her good taste.

40. Anyone can be a ferocious dragon with effort.

Or he could be dressed as a dinosaur. Either way, he’s adorably scary.

41. Snowshoe Santabear needs no sleigh and reindeer.

Though reindeer can make a nice supplement. Still, this is kind of clever.

42. Spirit will put you in the Winter Olympic mood.

He’s ready to go to South Korea for Team USA. And he wears red, white, blue to prove it.

43. It’s always G’day to this Australian policeman.

Though he doesn’t seem as cuddly as other police bears. That’s because he’s patrolling the Outback.

44. Nobody could resist Papi Chiulo.

With his black outfit and red rose, he can make the ladies swoon. And he likes to cuddle.

45. These bears can always catch the rainbow.

Each one is a different color. And their bows usually match their fur.

46. Even teddy bears must go to school.

Each student has a slate board. Guess this is from a one room schoolhouse.

47. You’d almost say this bear is Leonardo’s masterpiece.

Well, it’s a teddy bear Mona Lisa from the Teddy Bear Museum. And yes, she has hair from her ears.

48. “Make mine a double.”

Yes, it’s a teddy bear bar scene. And yes, that patron will be there for a long time.

49. I’m sure you’ll be impressed by this Asian ceremony.

Looks like a wedding ceremony. Since the girl bear is wearing red. Still, quite amazing to see.

50. These bears seem to have a natty fashion sense.

Well, their outfits are quite colorful. And they surely know how to accessorize.

51. Mr. Darcy Bear is a proper gentleman.

Sure he may be kind of a crank at first. But deep down, he’s warm and fuzzy.

52. Didn’t know they had teddy bears at Normandy.

Yes, this is a teddy bear rendition of D-Day. Saving Private Ryan has never looked more adorable.

53. “Four score, seven bears ago…”

Yes, that’s an Abraham Lincoln teddy bear. And yes, he’s in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

54. Teddy bears even visit the Great Wall of China.

Some of these guys are already exhausted. Of course, walking long distances can do that to you.

55. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Virtruvian Teddy Bear.

It’s based on Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing. And yes, it has all the limb movements.

56. Check out this teddy bear emperor tomb.

This is a rendition of the Chinese Emperor Qin’s tomb. And yes, they have teddy bear soldier statues.

57. “Let’s get ready to rumble!”

Though I’m sure if bears need boxing gloves since they have sharp claws. But this is a fight I wouldn’t mind seeing. Okay, maybe not.

58. China is home to plenty of pandas.

So a Chinese panda display is a no brainer. Still, this is so adorable.

59. Care to see bears in their natural habitat.

Sure it resembles the North American wilderness. Though it’s from a teddy bear museum in Hawaii.

60. Of course, I couldn’t forget the teddy bear’s namesake.

Yes, that’s a teddy bear of Theodore Roosevelt. And yes, he has a big smile on his face in the wilderness.

61. “It’s a small world after all…”

Well, you have to love this Disney teddy bear display. There’s even one dressed as Mickey Mouse.

62. “That’s one small step for a bear, one giant leap of bearkind.”

Neil Bearstrong becomes the first teddy bear to land on the moon. And here he greets everyone on Earth.

63. “Ladies and gentlemen, the Beartles!”

These are the Beatles before Sergeant Pepper. Still, got to like their mop tops.

64. Looks like the natives are roasting somebody.

And they seem to have him on a rotisserie. Yes, it’s derogatory but kind of funny.

65. Shrek and Fiona haven’t been more warm and fuzzy.

And yes, they’re green and their ears are ogrish. Come with 3 blind mice and Puss in Boots.

66. Greetings, Professor Einstein.

This is within the home of Albert Einstein. And I’m sure it’s supposed to be his home with his wife and kids. Who he’d end up leaving.

67. Didn’t know that bears ate in their own cafeteria.

And I guess they go all over with the buffet. Because we all know bears eat anything.

68. A cheerleading bear always cheers for you.

Comes with her own pom poms. And she is ready to roar.

69. Always honor the sacrifice of a service amputee.

He’s only missing a leg. But he’s been a brave soldier on his crutches. We salute you, one legged bear.

70. “Frosty the Snowbear was a jolly, happy soul..”

Yet, this teddy bear snowman is guaranteed to melt your heart. Even with the carrot nose.

71. How about a teddy bear in your Christmas tree?

And the tree is fuzzy as the bear itself. Comes with ornaments and a star.

72. Perhaps you might want to celebrate Thanksgiving with these Pilgrim bears.

Though the Indian bears would beg to differ. Mostly because the Pilgrims eventually drew them out and gave them smallpox.

73. Bearcent Van Gogh admires his sunflowers.

Still, he only has one ear. Since the real Vincent Van Gogh cut his off.

74. You can’t get enough with this Valentine Sweetheart.

She wears a red dress and bow. Nevertheless, she’s so sweet and adorable you want to hug her.

75. Prince Charming has your glass slipper on a purple pillow.

Though to be fair, the prince had to go all over town to find Cinderella. Still, he could’ve just given a physical description.

76. This bear always has a jackhammer ready.

He’s decked out in orange to show it. Comes with a suitcase.

77. Anyone would want to cuddle this little Eskimo.

Wears a blue parka and has their own polar bear. A great friend if you live up north.

78. A refined bear should come in a Baroque pink dress.

She has a heart purse and an ornate hat. But the dress is quite lovely.

79. Spirit will always be for Team USA in the sun or snow.

I bet this is for the Summer Olympics. Hope he had fun in Rio but I highly doubt it.

80. I’m sure nobody can resist this Christmas penguin.

Well, he has a beak and a top hat. But seeing this bear in a penguin tuxedo will melt your heart.

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The Candidate and the Charlatan Historian

Back in the fall of 2017, it was found that Pennsylvania US Representative Tim Murphy not only had an affair, but also pressured his mistress to have an abortion during a pregnancy scare. Also, that he was a bastard to his staff that his office experienced a 100% turnover rate one year. So amid all the blatant hypocrisy and drama, Murphy resigned in October. Now a special election is set for March 13 for those in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. The candidates are Republican state legislator Rick Saccone and a former federal prosecutor named Connor Lamb. Naturally I throw my support for Lamb since he fits his district like a glove. He’s an ex-Marine and 33. And he at least tries to present himself as a viable candidate who campaigns on issues important to southwestern Pennsylvania like the opioid crisis, jobs and infrastructure, unions, student debt, affordable healthcare, protecting Medicare and Social Security, and modern energy development.

But most importantly, I support Connor Lamb for his bid to represent Pennsylvania’s 18th district is that he doesn’t endorse any fraudulent historians with theocratic ambitions. You can’t say the same about his opponent Rick Saccone. Saccone is a fan of the much-criticized Christian nationalist historian David Barton. He chose this man to introduce him at a rally in early 2017, signaling the state legislator’s wider political and religious views. For those following Saccone’s political career, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The state lawmaker’s rhetoric centers around Barton’s idea of America as a foundationally Christian nation. In fact, Saccone’s own book, God in Our Government, appears straight out of Barton’s playbook. In it, he argues that secularists have conspired to skew the United States’ Christian history. He’s advocated posting “In God We Trust” on public school walls. Longtime Christian nationalism critic, refers to Saccone on his blog as, “one of Pennsylvania’s biggest David Barton supporters.” This is not a man we should have representing Pennsylvanians in Congress.

As a practicing Catholic, I have nothing against Christianity or religion in general. But what I do take issue with is people using their beliefs to skew history to promote a certain agenda religious or otherwise. But this is exactly what David Barton does to American history. As a self-taught historian and activist who’s received little formal historical training, his sole credentialed degree is a bachelor’s in religious education from Oral Roberts University. Although he later claimed to have earned a doctorate from an officially unaccredited Life Christian University on the basis of his published works. He’s is best-known for a series of books including Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, and Religion, and The Jefferson Lies. Both books argue that America was founded by “orthodox, evangelical” Christians as a Christian nation, and that the Founding Fathers intended for America to be run on Christian principles. In 1987, he founded a company called Specialty Research Associates Inc., whose stated goal was to do historical research “relating to America’s constitutional, moral, and religious heritage.” This would morph into his multi-purpose propaganda machine, WallBuilders that sells a wide assortment of books and DVDs pushing for his fun-house vision of religious patriotism. He hosts a WallBuilders-linked nationally syndicated radio show where he describes himself as “America’s premier historian.” In 1998, Barton launched what he called the ProFamily Legislative Network to help “conservative, God-fearing legislators,” whose annual conference and regular updates still keep several hundred state and national legislators apprised of “pro-family” legislation with expert referrals and supporting research. This includes bills to ban abortion, prevent gay marriage, support religious expression in public schools and life, and resist gun control. Its conferences also offer media training and strategy sessions for far-right lawmakers on how to succeed in getting their legislative agenda through.

However, we shouldn’t see David Barton as an authority on American history. For one, the guy has less academic credentials in history than I have, a history major in college. Secondly, his historical narrative that paints America’s founding as a Christian nation is just plain wrong. Actual historians will tell you that Barton distorts quotes, cherry picks information, cites fraudulent sources, and straight up makes up history to serve his political goals. He’s argued that the Founders never intended for a separation of church and state, which he derided as a “liberal myth.” In his 2000, book Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, and Religion, he claimed that secular, liberal historians were involved in a conspiracy to cover up the “truth” about America’s Christian origins for their own nefarious goals. In reality, countless writings from the Founding Fathers make their intentions for a separation of church and state clear. Because since the 1600s, many colonists from various Christian denominations came to the US to worship as they please. And that not all Americans Christians practiced their faith the same way. As for the Founding Fathers, their religious views were more complicated, often blending Christian aspects with deism, an Enlightenment-era belief in an unknowable creator deity who didn’t operate in human form. In 2012, Christian publishing house Thomas Nelson recalled The Jefferson Lies, after it was revealed to contain major factual inaccuracies despite it making to the New York Times’ bestseller list. One of Barton’s dubious claims has Thomas Jefferson starting church services in the US Capitol. Still, it’s a hagiographic work arguing that Jefferson wasn’t a deist but an evangelical Christian who vigorously opposed slavery and racism. Not the Christian deist who owned slaves and endorsed a wall of separation between church and state, which he certainly was. A book containing as many gross factual mistakes like in The Jefferson Lies would’ve been a death knell for any real historian. To add insult to injury, historians, professors, and Christian scholars voted The Jefferson Lies, “the least credible history book in print.” As Warren Thockmorton and Michael Coulter stated, “David Barton claims he is setting the record straight with this book, but that claim is far from reality. Barton misrepresents and distorts a host of Jefferson’s ideas and actions, particularly his views and practices regarding religion, slavery and church-state relations. As Jefferson did with the Gospels, Barton chooses what he likes about Jefferson and leaves out the rest to create a result more in line with his ideology. In fact, there were so many problems with his book that we wrote an entire book in response.”

Even before the Jefferson book debacle, some of Barton’s claims seem to stem from simple ignorance. But others have been exposed as flagrant omissions and distortions which conform reality to his own fact-free vision of American history. He’s said that Ronald Reagan opposed gun control even after surviving an assassination attempt. Except that after being shot in 1981, Reagan wrote a New York Times op-ed clearly supporting the Brady gun control bill. He’s repeatedly claimed that John Adams supported religious control of the US government, quoting the passage, “There is no authority, civil or religious — there can be no legitimate government — but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it — all without it is rebellion and perdition or, in more orthodox words, damnation.” But Barton conveniently omits the quote’s next part in which Adams clearly mocks those with this belief. As the liberal People for the American Way said on its website, “He has deliberately, clearly and completely transformed Adams’ actual meaning.” Some of his other claims can be more mindboggling to even a child. For instance, according to Barton, the founding fathers, “already had the entire debate on creation and evolution,” and chose creationism. Except that Charles Darwin didn’t publish his theory of evolution in The Origin of the Species in 1859, a time when most of them were long dead. He’s also asserted that the American Revolution was fought to free slaves, which is ridiculous. Since many of the Founding Fathers were slave owners, acknowledged slavery in the constitution they wrote, and the British Empire outlawed slavery 30 years before the United States did. Also, we fought a major war over slavery in the 1860s which Barton doesn’t seem to remember for some reason. In 2010, Barton joined the battle to bowdlerize a Texas social studies curriculum for public schools and supported efforts to excise Martin Luther King Jr. and 1960s farm worker activist Caesar Chavez from textbooks. Because Barton said King didn’t deserve inclusion for advancing minority rights because “only majorities can expand political rights.” Despite that if King didn’t pressure politicians to enact civil rights legislation, much of the country could still be living with legally sanctioned Jim Crow. It’s basically his way of saying that “only white people matter.” Oh, and he thinks that Joe McCarthy was right about everything even though he wasn’t.

David Barton’s revisionist American history is about blending his brand of Christianity with a very specific form of American (usually white) nationalism. Figures like Barton blend the idea that America is a “Christian country” with the idea that the only critiques of the Founding Fathers that mention them owning slaves or contributing to racial inequality come from “politically correct” historians seeking to discredit America’s great history for political ends. Because the Founding Fathers have to be hero-saints in Barton’s view. But central to the idea that America was founded as a Christian nation is the notion that America was founded unproblematically (it wasn’t). And that only a return to this mythologized past will somehow solve perceived problems of structural inequality (it won’t). Thus, “real” America in his view, is above criticism. As Messiah College professor John Fea remarked, “Barton is not interested in seeing historical actors as flawed human beings. Instead, the founders seem to occupy some kind of exalted position. They are not quite angels, but they are not quite ordinary human beings either. They have been somehow immune to sin, which the last time I checked was an important part of the Christian understanding of what it means to be a human being.”

Nevertheless, David Barton’s deeply skewed perspective on American history has been used by several Republican politicians to promote the false narrative of America as a historically Christian nation. Barton remains a prominent figure in evangelical and dominionist circles and a regular on conservative conference circuits. Though since his 2011 fall from grace, fewer and fewer politicians publicly cited him, making Saccone’s choice to feature him at an early rally striking. But despite this, his influence is such that some on the right take his particular narrative as gospel, mostly from the most extreme and uneducated segments of the Christian right. Since the 1990s, Barton and his ideas have made inroads in the political sphere. From 1997-2004, he served as the Texas Republican Party vice chair and was a Republican National Committee counselor in the 2004 presidential election, helping to court evangelicals. In 2005, Time Magazine named him as among the nation’s 25 most influential evangelical Christians. In fact, he’s become the go-to man for tips on conservative Christian voter outreach, advising Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee. But more generally, some within the Republican Party more widely have adopted Barton’s narrative of American history while his work has been regularly championed by the Christian and broader political right. Outgoing Kansas Governor Sam Brownback referred to the fake historian as providing, “the philosophical underpinning for a lot of the Republican effort in the country today.” He’s also said that Barton is “one of my big heroes,” for his preservation of America’s “beautiful heritage.” In 2010, Glenn Beck called him, “the most important man in America.” In 2011, TV news pundit and former politician Mike Huckabee told attendees at a Rediscovering God in America conference, “I don’t know anyone in America who is a more effective communicator. I just wish that every single young person in America would be able to be under his tutelage and understand something about who we really are as a nation. I almost wish that there would be something like a simultaneous telecast and all Americans would be forced, forced — at gunpoint no less — to listen to every David Barton message.”

One major reason for David Barton’s prominence in the Christian and political right is that many political figures like Ted Cruz and Roy Moore have embraced a form of Christian nationalism or Dominionism. Now Dominionism is based on the idea that the American government should run on Christian principles. Therefore, its ultimate goal should be a Christian theocratic state necessary to properly usher in the apocalyptic End Times. It takes many forms from R.J. Rushdoony’s “hard dominionism,” advocating pure theocracy to the “softer” Seven Mountains movement, which encourages Christians to take over the “seven mountains” of culture as a whole, from arts to education to government. But the fundamental principle is that same that Christians must work toward a theocratic state in which Christians are in control. Or, as Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone said in an interview last year with Pastors Network of America, God wants Christians, “who will rule with the fear of God in them, to rule over us.”

David Barton’s focus gives Dominionism legitimacy through perpetuating a cycle. By creating a deeply unbalanced history of America’s foundations, he can legitimize the Christianized state he’d like to promote. And as an (at least ostensible) historian, he can partner with Republican lawmakers to cast a veneer of academic respectability over a thoroughly anti-academic message. That Barton has continued to nurture a reputation as a credible historian and activist says a lot in which some politicians on the religious right feel the need to construct a façade of legitimacy to support their political ends. To create a mythical and simplistic version of the past in which America was founded as a clear-cut theocratic state is to provide an easy, useful narrative. Because the true narrative of America’s actual founding by a nation of Christians, deists, and other post-Enlightenment thinkers working out a complicated project of nationhood doesn’t fit their vision. In the Barton narrative, the United States is supposed to be a Christian nation and thus, any means taken to make the country more theocratic is automatically viewed legitimate.

Of course, considering that historians are human beings, all historical accounts can also be propaganda in a sense. Any narrative of America’s foundation will be mediated by a teller’s specific biases and concerns. National myths have always been about who we want to be as who we really were. And that’s all the reason to promote a wide variety of voices from all sides of the political aisle within the realm of academic history. But what David Barton and his political allies do is worse than that. Like Washington DC’s new Museum of the Bible, Barton uses the appearance of academic inquiry without any of its meticulousness to promote a Christian dominionist approach to governments that ideologues like Saccone are all too happy to accept without question. Still, Christian dominionist concerns are ultimately focused not on America’s history but the apocalyptic End Times a Christian nation is supposed to usher in, according to certain evangelical belief strains. And as Barton’s history centers more on his apocalyptic vision than the actual past, Americans are becoming more ill-informed for it.

Still, we must understand that David Barton is neither brilliant nor a historian. In fact, he’s a right-wing bigot with his own extremist profile at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Aside from all his dominionist nonsense, Barton inhibits very extreme views even by conservative Christian standards. He thinks gays should be sent to prison and thinks they die “decades earlier” than others as well as have more than 500 partners in their lifetimes. He has promoted the anti-immigrant cause and engaged in Muslim-bashing. He opposes immigration reform, saying God established national borders and ignoring American expansionism to the West which involved the US taking a bunch of land in Mexico, including his home state of Texas. He has appeared on hard-line nativist William Gheen’s radio show. And he has cited infamous white supremacist Richard Spencer in attacking US Representative Keith Ellison, the first Muslim congressman. In 2012, he claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated the government at all levels. He insists, based on nothing but his own highly unusual biblical reading, that environmentalism, the graduated income tax, the minimum wage, deficit spending, unions, and measures to battle global warming are all opposed by God.

No one’s saying that David Barton can’t make whatever reckless and false claims he wants. The First Amendment protects him as much as any of us. Yet, that doesn’t mean he should be taken seriously, given a podium, or boosted as a must-read “historian.” Instead, let’s consign Barton’s baseless propaganda to the dumpster of false and obnoxious ideas where it belongs. As a historian, Barton is a fraud, a conman who conveys a false rendering of American history to promote a toxic religious agenda and make money. His vision of American history should never be legitimized by any politician, church group, or anyone else. Since Rick Saccone endorses this historic flim flam man with extremist views, he shouldn’t be elected to represent Pennsylvania’s 18th district.

Fall in Love with These Valentine’s Day Craft Projects (Third Edition)

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When you go into a public place on Valentine’s Day, you’ll find plenty of red, white, and pink heart decorations. This is especially the case in elementary schools where you have children making their own valentine boxes and decorations in art class. Nevertheless, Valentine’s Day can be a holiday some people can go crazy for. Or a holiday people either dread or don’t particularly care about. Yet, any Valentine’s Day die-hard can find plenty of decorations, candy, and other things. But those with a creative streak might prefer to make their own. And you’ll find a lot of examples of such creations on Pinterest or Etsy. Of course, most of the craft projects you’ll see are meant for children. But there are plenty of V-Day crafts for adults. So for your reading pleasure, I give you another collection of Valentine’s Day craft projects for all to love.

  1. Keep your sweets in this candy dispenser.

Well, these have a larger ball on top than the ones I previously shown. But you can put plenty of chocolates in them.

2. Dress your table with this Valentine heart runner.

Contains 3 quilting squares with hearts and flowers. Great for any V-Day home.

3. Greet your guests with this pink rag wreath for Valentine’s Day.

Contains a metal heart in the center. Still, got to love the rags on this one.

4. You can always start a conversation with these hearts on your lawn.

Though to be fair, they can be quite annoying after awhile. But it’s nonetheless a creative set up.

5. May I enchant you with this heart of felt flowers?

Has a tulle bow at the front for additional charm. A wreath for anyone to love on V-Day.

6. Perhaps a wooden heart and arrow might suit you.

So if you’re not a wreath fan, you can always go with this. And if you’re into the whimsy, this is for you.

7. Grace your front door this V-Day with this decomesh heart wreath.

Decomesh on the outside and shiny on the inside. Comes with a polka dot ribbon, by the way.

8. Curl up with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day with this heart pillow.

I guess this is pink on the other side. But you don’t need to sew this one.

9. You can split this Hershey’s Kiss.

Though you can’t eat this one. Mostly because it’s made out of wood. But it’s quite adorable.

10. You can make a wreath with plenty of small berry branches.

Well, this has longer branches than the previous wreath like this I showed. But it’s quite beautiful with a white bow.

11. Anyone would adore a lacy heart doily.

You can put almost anything on this. Except anything that could damage it. Still, it’s quite lovely.

12. You can’t go wrong greeting your valentine with this Cupid wreath.

Well, Cupid here has a heart and is made out of wood. Also, wreath is decorated with fine red ribbons.

13. You can always start a conversation with these hearts.

These are made out of felt with embroidered inscriptions. Great for coasters.

14. Keep yourself warm this V-Day with this quilt of hearts.

These hearts seem like real patchworks. And each one is unique in its own way.

15. Got red ornaments? Make a red heart out of them.

You can see that one of the ornaments was used for a Christmas tree. But some of these are in silver.

16. You’ll find a heart inside this V-Day wreath.

You’ll also find plenty of flowers on it. Great for greeting visitors at your front door.

17. You can always spell out love in blocks.

Each of these blocks is in a different pattern. But “love” is spelled in red letter and a heart.

18. You’ll find that this heart wreath is all ribbons.

Uses ribbons of red, white, and pink. And they take all kindes of patterns.

19. Grace your V-Day table with this berry candle display.

Well, it’s a berry wreath and candle on a doily and red cloth. Great for that romantic candlelight dinner.

20. Sometimes a simple red wreath will do.

Contains flowers and hanging hearts. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know this is a V-Day wreath.

21. Doesn’t hurt to express love with blocks.

Sayings are “love,” “kiss,” and “be mine.” And they’re all painted in red, pink, and white.

22. This V-Day doll comes with her own pocket.

She seems rather cozy in her felt heart pocket. Like she’s in a sleeping bag.

23. You can always hang these hearts on your front door.

This just consists of a V-Day ribbon in a bow along with a few hearts. And yes, it gives a lovely impression.

24. With these candle wraps, you can make any V-Day candle look sweet.

These consist of string wrapped around a candle with a red heart. Great for any romantic evening. Though I’m not sure if you should light these.

25. You can express your love in unique ways with this pallet.

the letters are all in wood pieces. And you’ll find the heart in parts as well.

26. Express your love on Valentine’s Day with this floral heart wreath.

Contains many types of flowers that are white, red, and pink. The twigs on this are also amazing.

27.  It’s easy to please with this pink heart bouquet.

Well, they’re mostly pink roses. But it makes a wonderful centerpiece for a V-Day table.

28. You’ll find all kinds of hearts on this mobile.

And they’re in all kinds of colors and patterns. Keep out of reach of small children and animals.

29. For the sporty types, check out these lovely baseballs.

Yes, these are V-Day baseballs. And each one has a red heart. Perfect for some boys.

30. This flaming heart table is burning for love.

This is made out of wood with fire coming from the surface. The heart makes up the base.

31. There are a couple hearts in this golden frame.

Since two hearts always beat as one. Still, the frame is quite fancy with a red bow.

32. If you don’t like a wreath, how about this heart decoration?

Contains hearts and ribbons. Lovely for any door on V-Day.

33. A bouquet like this can warm anyone’s heart.

Since it depicts a flower arrangement in a heart shape. And in mostly pink flowers, too.

34. Nothing says Valentine’s like the message on this red pallet.

It has “Love” etched in white letters. The heart replaces “o” of course.

35. For a more naturalistic display, try a red pinecone wreath.

Well, red pinecones certainly have a rather stunning effect. Wonderful in any rustic place.

36. You’ll find a lot of hearts all over this grapevine wreath.

They’re all shapes and sizes in white, red, and pink. And it’s touched with a red gingham bow.

37. This festive V-Day centerpiece will warm your heart.

It’s mostly ribbons and decomesh on the bottom. Yet, you see plenty of hearts and berries sticking out.

38. Your valentine might fall for this V-Day bottle lamp.

This one is decorated with hearts and says, “be my love.” Isn’t that sweet?

39. A heart wreath like this can bring out anyone’s wild side.

Now I’m not a big fan of animal prints which I see as tacky. But this is quite unique.

40. You’ll feel warm and fuzzy with this pom pom wreath.

Well, this consists of cyan and blue pom poms besides red. But as long as it’s a heart, it goes on the post.

41. Cuddle up on a couch with your loved one with this hugs and kisses pillow.

Well, they’re marked with “xoxo” which nobody uses anymore. And in red against a pink pattern, too.

42. Put your valentines on this “forget me not” board.

You can even use heart shaped push pins. But it’s nonetheless amazing for any wall.

43. A decomesh V-Day candle holder is perfect for any V-Day table.

Decorated with red hearts, flowers, and bows. Make sure the candle holder is glass.

44. Perhaps this V-Day tree may suit your fancy.

Apparently, trees aren’t just for Christmas. Contains hearts and baubles among pink foliage.

45. You’ll find a few hearts in this burlap sack.

Contains 3 hearts against a plank of wood. Brings in a certain rustic charm so to speak.

46. Care for a crocheted rose?

Well, a crocheted rose with a silk and wire stem and leaves. Not sure if I want to tango with this.

47. A V-Day centerpiece vase can be as elaborate as you want it to be.

This bouquet is on a tiered serving tree. And it’s decorated with heart ornaments. So pretty.

48. How about a V-Day bouquet with gum balls?

Well, the gum balls are inside the vase. And the flowers are touched with red hearts. Perfect V-Day centerpiece.

49. Snuggle with your sweetheart with this striped heart pillow.

Though the heart doesn’t exactly seem symmetrical, it hardly matters. Still, the stripes go well.

50. Welcome your V-Day guests with this yarn heart wreath.

Decorated with red, pink, and white flowers. Perfect for any front door on Valentine’s Day. Love it.

51. Got an urn? Put some angels on it.

This one has the word “love” in gold as well as flowers. Kind of morbid but charming.

52. A Valentine’s Day tree should have two hearts on the top.

So you don’t necessarily need to put away your Christmas tree. Just make it into a V-Day tree.

53. Speaking of trees, check this one of pink roses.

Sure they’re made from tissue paper. And it’s tied with a bow for a more decorative touch.

54. You can find a lot of hearts within this picture frame.

The fancy frame is painted white. There are 20 shiny hearts crammed inside. Pretty.

55. Try to stick pins into this heart.

It’s a felt heart pin cushion, obviously. And you can stick as many pins as you want in it.

56. You’ll start a conversation with this wreath.

Well, at least this puts those candy hearts to good use. Since they usually taste like sugar and chalk.

57. Keep warm this V-Day with this big-hearted quilt.

You can see it’s made out of all kind of red, white, and pink cloth strips. And yes, the heart looks quite amazing.

58. Perhaps a lovely close pin wreath is just as sweet.

Well, this seems like a doable project. Just make sure you find a place that sells red, white, and pink clothespins.

59. Maybe you’d prefer two heart wreaths beating as one.

Both of these have matching bows and flowers. Yet, one is smaller than the other.

60. Perhaps you might prefer a heart on a stick.

Each one is in a different color and pattern. But they’re all held up by skewers.

61. Grace your Valentine’s Day table with this tulip and jelly bean bouquet.

Though tulips don’t bloom until the spring. Then again, roses don’t bloom until summer.

62. A Cupid basket makes a magnificent Valentine’s Day centerpiece.

Cupid is in a shiny gold paint. There are also plenty of beads and cards for a vintage feel.

63. You’ll find love on these coat hooks.

Consists of “love” in big red letters. And they’re all strapped on burlap over a set of hooks.

64. How about a bouquet with marshmallow and candy hearts?

Because you can’t eat either of them. One is inedible sugar covered marshmallow. The other is a chalk heart.

65. Show your love this V-Day with this wreath of pink silk.

Well, it’s certainly in the Valentine’s Day spirit. And it’s quite shiny for all to behold.

66. Anyone would fall in love with these two sweethearts.

Sweethearts, get it? And yes, the blue one is supposed to be a guy with his bow tie.

67. Perhaps a heart centerpiece of flowers may suit you.

This one has bouquets of flowers around some candles. Bet this display looks amazing when lit.

68. On a cold night, you don’t want to do without this Valentine’s Day quilt.

Well, this one is said to have a vintage inspiration. Nevertheless, it’s quite a magnificent sight.

69. Anyone would want to hang this crocheted wreath on their front door.

Yes, all the flowers are crocheted on this. And they come in all kinds. Lovely.

70. How about a V-Day tree on your kitchen counter?

Too bad I can’t do this to my sister’s Christmas tree. Nevertheless, it’s decked with streamers and baubles.

71. This bejeweled crocheted bunny will melt your heart.

Has a bejeweled heart on its head and back. Nonetheless, you’d fall in love with this adorable amigurumi.

72. Cuddle up with this plush Cupid.

Yes, he’s naked. And I’m sure he’s made with no junk. Since he’s meant for children.

73. Perhaps you might prefer these fancy hearts.

Most of these hearts are red. But many have rather interesting patterns.

74. You’ll find red hearts all around this wreath.

It’s a grapevine wreath with hearts of all sizes. And they’re quite sparkly, too.

75. Light up the night with these heart lights.

Seems like all of these are made of paper and wire. Still, these look amazing.

76. Any little girl would love this crocheted V-Day doll.

She’s wearing red and has a heart balloon. Even the string is in the shape of a heart.

77. Anyone would find this plush cup of chocolate hot.

Includes a cookie and marshmallows. And yes, they’re all smiling and adorable.

78. These felt hearts will bring a smile to anyone’s face.

Each heart is in a different configuration. On the bottom you’ll find a jingle. What it’s for, I don’t know.

79. A red tulle heart wreath will certainly shimmer.

Is hung with a red ribbon. Has jewels all over the tulle. Lovely.

80. Get a load of pink on this tree.

Yes, you have a lot of pink streamers on this tree along with lights. And yes, it’s absolutely stunning.

81. A red wreath can always do with some ribbons.

This one has a burlap and polka dot ribbon around it. Includes a couple of hearts.

82. There’s so much to love with these two koalas.

Here we have them holding a heart on top of hearts and under an arch. Awwww.

83. Seems like an arrow has struck through this wreath.

Well, a golden arrow on top of the wreath, anyway. By the way, wreath is decked with felt roses.

84. Nobody can resist these two love bugs.

Here they are enjoying a cup of coffee. The guy is blue. The girl is pink with a heart on her torso. Cute.

85. There’s nothing more to love on Valentine’s Day like these cushions.

These come in all shapes and sizes in red and white. And they’re all arranged in a heart.

86. Put valentine’s into this crocheted box.

You can guess this is for a child. But it’s mostly a cover for a cardboard box.

87. You’ll find plenty of flowers on this yarn V-Day wreath.

Flowers are gray, red, and pink. Lovely to put on any front door. So pretty.

88. What would Valentine’s Day be without this Hershey’s kiss?

This has the “xoxo” on the paper. Still, you’d want to give this little guy a kiss any day.

89. Protect your hands in the kitchen with these V-Day potholders.

Each of these has a red heart in the center. Though I’m not sure if I’d want to put burn marks on these.

90. Let your little one pass the time with Cupid’s tic-tac-toe.

It’s a crocheted game with circles and hearts instead of x’s and o’s. Squares are in two shades of pink.

91. Curl up on a cold winter night with this Valentine’s Day quilt.

This one has 4 red hearts directed at the center. And the border is all flowers.

92. Care for a feather on a V-Day wreath?

This is a pink yarn wreath with a feather and the word “love” on it. Got to admire this creation.

93. You can’t go wrong on Valentine’s Day with these heart doilies.

Each one of these is in a different color. But together, they make a grand design.

94. Perhaps a Valentine’s Day tree quilt may suit your fancy.

This is a pink quilt with a patchwork and heart border. Still, the tree is incredibly magnificent to see.

95. Nothing makes Valentine’s Day like these crocheted hearts.

Each one of these comes in a different color. But you can put them all in a circle.

96. Make your home shine with this wooden hanging of hearts.

The hearts are made from wood. And they’re all topped with red and polka dot bows.

97. Share the love in your home with this floral Valentine’s Day heart wreath.

It’s decked with red and white flowers and foliage. The red ribbons add an extra touch.

98. You’d want to snuggle with this Valentine’s Day panda.

Comes with a heart on a stick and on its chest. At any rate, this will melt your heart with its big beady eyes.

99. All these red bears want is your love.

This is crocheted as these bears hold felt hearts. Love the bows on their ears.

100. Spend this Valentine’s Day snuggling with this monkey.

Here is a crocheted monkey hugging a felt heart. And yes, it’s incredibly adorable. So sweet.

Be Mine With These Valentine’s Day Treats (Fourth Edition)

happy-valentines-day-party-ideas

Of course, you can’t have a Valentine’s Day without treats. Yes, I know plenty of people give their loved ones boxes of chocolates. But sometimes you really don’t know what you’ll get from them. Still, wherever you go, you’ll find plenty of treats with hearts and lot of pink. Or at least have such packaging if you look at a pack of Hershey’s Kisses at the store. And yes, you might have the occasional Valentine’s Day party. As you can see above, everything you see here is in red, white, and pink as well as contains hearts to represent love. I know many people might find such displays as sickeningly sweet. But since Valentine’s Day generates great profits than any midwinter holiday, I can’t really avoid it. So for your reading pleasure, I give you another assortment of Valentine’s Day treats for all to love.

  1. Treat your sweetheart to these cheesecake squares.
valentine-dessert-1

Each one of these is covered with a cheery layer and a heart. And yes, they’re quite small as far as I can see.

2. Care for some hearty pasta dish?

This one includes meatballs, cheese, and pepperoni hearts. Perfect for a romantic candle light dinner.

3. Anyone could love this cookie arrangement.

Yes, this cookie dish is professionally made. Includes hearts and flowers.

4. These cookies are especially kissy.

Well, they have imprints of lip kisses on the icing. A fine addition to any dessert platter.

5. The best kind of candy box is one you can eat.

Even better, it contains M&Ms inside. Covered in red or pink icing and flowers.

6. There’s nothing sweeter than these sugar coated marshmallow pops.

Each of these is dipped in sugar with hearts on top. Come in red and pink.

7. Get a bite out of these V-Day cake pops.

Each of these is covered in white and red icing. Contains stripes, sprinkles, and heart.

8. You’d be mad to resist these hearty red velvet cakes.

These are stacked and decorated with pink icing. And you can put them in 4s.

9. These heart pizzas are especially cheesy.

Well, they do have tomato sauce and cheese on them. Basically the minimum ingredients you need for a pizza.

10. You can’t find anything sweeter like these pink heart cakes.

Each of these is uniquely decorated after being dipped in pink icing. Perfect for a sweeter dessert platter.

11. I’m sure any guy would fall for these cookies.

Kind of on the raunchy side. But hey, Valentine’s gifts for men are hard to come by.

12. Treat your sweetheart to some heart sushi.

Make sure you keep the parts together. And as long as you use vinegrated rice and seaweed.

13. Grace your dessert platter with a heart cake covered in roses.

Has an icing ribbon tied in a bow across. Oh, and the roses are pink.

14. A heart cake should always have roses around it.

Well, they’re covered in icing red roses. So feel free to put on any message you wish.

15. Wake up this Valentine’s Day to some heart mini-waffles.

Helps if they have heart shaped butter wads and syrup all over them. Part of a balanced breakfast.

16. Anyone would love these cheesecake heart brownies.

Contains red velvet cake. Because since it’s for Valentine’s Day so red is essential.

17. Perhaps you might go for a heart cake with raspberries.

This one has raspberries and icing between the layers. And it’s decorated with a chocolate heart.

18. Wow your V-Day guests with this appetize tray.

Yes, these are shaped with hearts. But the biggest one contains cherry tomatoes.

19. Perhaps you and your sweetheart might enjoy these His and Her heart cookies.

The men cookies have a distinctive mustache. The women cookies have kissy lips and a mole.

20. Your sweetheart will fall in love with this Valentine’s cookie house.

Well, it seems quite colorful for a V-Day house. But I sure love the roof decor.

21. For your Valentine’s Day lunch, may I suggest a PB&J?

Just includes peanut butter, bread, and jelly. Oh, and you might need to cut out a heart on top.

22. You’ll find this cake covered in hugs and kisses.

Though they’re represented with x’s and o’s. But you have to love the decorations.

23. These sandwich cookies can be for anyone to love.

Well, they’re more like DIY Oreos. And all are imprinted with hearts.

24. These honey bee treats can be just as sweet.

These are Twinkies with chocolate stripes and antennas. Also, their wings are icing in a heart shape.

25. Care for a V-Day cookie gift?

Yes, they may be professionally made. But these hearts have their own wrappings.

26. With these, your heart might just skip a beat.

And these are decorated with stripes. Kind of fancy. But if you like fine dining, it can’t hurt.

27. Perhaps these fancy cookie boxes might suit your fancy.

Each of these has a photo inside and is decorated with fancy icing. Love these.

28. A fancy V-Day cake should have a heart on top.

Well, you have to admire the design on the cake. But I doubt if you can eat this heart.

29. Impress your V-Day guests with these sweet cupcakes.

These are arranged in a heart. And all are uniquely decorated with red, white, pink, and chocolate icing.

30. Serve your V-Day guests with this cookie cake candy heart.

Even if it is smothered in pink icing, it’s still better to eat than the real thing. Because real candy hearts taste like chalk.

31. You can please anyone with this hearty pizza.

Save the occasional vegetarian, of course. Since the hearts consist of pepperoni.

32. Take a taste of these V-Day blueberry tarts.

Each of these has a cookie heart on them with sprinkles of red and pink. To give an idea that they’re for Valentine’s Day.

33. Nobody could resist these V-Day love bird cake pops.

Each of these are blue with candy heart wings. Kind of reminds me a bit like the Twitter bird in some respects.

34. You can’t go wrong with these sweet pea taffy pods.

Since you’ll find two peas in each pod. By the way, they’re flavored green apple.

35. Care for some “Love Stinks” skunk tail mints?

Each of these is a heart shape peppermint with icing and sprinkles. Quite easy to make and they don’t really smell like skunks either.

36. There’s nothing you can’t love about this V-Day cake.

Covered in red icing with small harts dotted on it. Includes a lacy pink ribbon, too.

37. Bet you can’t resist this chocolate heart cherry torte.

Though I bet it could taste rather disgusting. But at least it has all the cherries on top.

38. This chocolate fondant will melt any chocolate lover’s heart.

Indeed, since it’s a chocolate heart cake smothered in chocolate sauce with some ice cream on top. Looks so tasty.

39. Speaking of chocolate, how about try these hearts?

Each of these is a heart with cream inside. And they have “love” etched in icing.

40. Wow your guests at the V-Day party with some conversation heart fudge.

Comes in many sizes and colors. Still, hope the fudge doesn’t taste like sweetened chalk dust.

41. These mini V-Day cookies are a hoot.

Well, they consist of hearts and small owls. But the pink owls are nonetheless adorable.

42. If you’re in the mood for more fruity treats, may I suggest cranberry hearts?

By the way, these are supposed to be dog treats. Didn’t know that dogs were into cranberries.

43. You can’t go wrong with this jello heart.

This one has red and white layers on a heart dish. Perfect for any V-Day party.

44. Bet your sweetheart would appreciate this heart cupcake bouquet.

Yes, these are professionally made. Yet, unlike the previous one I’ve shown, these have leaves.

45. Nobody would complain about these ice cream cupcake cones.

Each of these has chocolate cake inside and icing on top. Each is topped with a red heart.

46. You can’t have a heart cake without strawberries.

Kind of resembles a tart more than a cake. But it’s nonetheless, decorated with heart impressions. And no icing required.

47. Heart pretzels can make a great Valentine’s Day snack.

Yes, I had heart pretzels last year. But these look quite different since they have twisty ends.

48. You’ll find this pizza full of hearts.

Well, pepperoni hearts all over the cheese. And yes, it’s shaped like a heart, too.

49. Perhaps you might care for the veggie version.

This one has pepper hearts all over it. But feel free to sprinkle some cheese as well.

50. This love bug cake is hard to resist.

Yes, this is professionally made. But it’s quite an original V-Day concept. And the love bug is cute.

51. Grace your dessert platter with this heart cake with chocolate roses.

Because nothing says love like chocolate roses. Be they’re hard to pull off in a bakery.

52. Use your leftover candy canes for these candy pops.

These mostly consist of candy canes and white chocolate. And yes, they’re covered in sprinkles.

53. You can’t get more lovey with these love bird cookies.

Each one has two birds on top of one with sprinkles. So adorable.

54. These lions are just full of love.

However, unlike what you see on The Lion King, male lions don’t make ideal romantic partners. I mean they mate with multiple lionesses and kill their stepkids.

55. There’s so much to love with these mini warm fuzzy cheese balls.

Well, these are cheese balls covered in mozzarella with pretzel and pepperoni antennas. Their feet are made of crackers, too. So cute.

56. Get a load of these jello kiss lips.

Well, they’re all in red with icing. Not sure if I’d want that on a dessert platter though.

57. Nothing makes a great V-Day dinner like some heart pasta.

Just google heart pasta and you’ll find stuff like this. And yes, these have parmesan cheese on them.

58. Treat your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day with this teddy bear taco tart.

Didn’t know that taco tarts even exist. Nonetheless, this tarty teddy bear is adorable.

59. Show your love through a spaghetti dinner.

Well, that may do the trick. Like how they used bread for an arrow.

60. You can delight with these ice cream cone cupcakes.

This one has a layer of icing with sprinkles as well as a red fruit-roll up cover. Great for parties.

61. For V-Day dinner, feast on some hearty meatloaf.

Well, you can pretty much make ground beef resemble anything. Though use a generous amount of ketchup on top.

62. Perhaps you might love these heart cookies.

They’re sugar cookies with hearts on them. But at least these are doable for many.

63. Wake up this V-Day to some hearty waffles.

This one contains raspberries inside with whipped cream on topped. Kind of reminds me of what you’d see at IHOP.

64. Start a conversation in the morning with these toasty hearts.

Each one of these is in so many different colors. And each has a unique inscription.

65. These cinnamon rolls are all hugs and kisses.

Well, they’re made with a giant X and O. But I wouldn’t mind having these for breakfast.

66. Everyone has to love these cupcake homages.

This one depicts famous couples. Nevertheless, some of these didn’t end well.

67. Care for some dessert sushi for your V-Day night?

Haven’t heard of that food either. Still, each of these has a heart in the center.

68. Treat your V-Day guests with this heart and cheese platter.

Sure it’s not all cheese. But all the food here contains a heart.

69. On a cold day, warm yourself with some hearty tomato soup.

As you can see, it contains a heart in the middle. Great for lunch on a cold winter day.

70. Everyone would feast their eyes on these heart calzones.

You can see these contain a pizza inside. Still, you have to love these.

71. You can always take a break with these white chocolate bark bites.

Has M&Ms and sprinkles on top. And yes, it looks quite doable if you ask me.

72. For healthier options, may I suggest this V-Day fruit platter?

Well, it’s certainly a colorful display. Includes raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

73. You can’t help but love these cookie sentiments.

Yes, these are all cookie speech bubbles. Each one of them contains a lovely message.

74. For a warm and fuzzy V-Day, check out this warm and fuzzy cake.

This one is covered in red icing. Has pink heart base and pink heart antennas. So cute.

75. You’ll find plenty of love notes in these cookies.

Consists of hearts and envelopes galore. Some even contain messages.

76. Everyone would crave for V-Day cupcakes that are pretty in pink.

Well, they’re all in pink icing. Yet, each one has their own unique decorations.

77. Serve your guests to some heart pudding cups.

These have whipped cream and raspberries on top. But best of all, they’re chocolate.

78. You’ll have to be mad not to love this heart sticky bun.

This one even ahs pink drizzle on it. Great for any V-Day breakfast. Unless you’re on a diet.

79. You’ll find a sweet surprise from these hearts.

And fortunately, the surprise is M&Ms. Because no one would want one of these hearts containing the conversation heart candies. Since they taste like chalk.

80. You’ll find plenty of roses on this V-Day cookie cake.

Well, it’s mostly a ring of pink icing. But it’s nonetheless chocolate chip and shaped like a heart.

The Insanity of the Snowflake Court

On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States, which was a day that will live in infamy. Since then, he and his Republican sycophants have unleashed a series of unfortunate events which have undermined the democratic process, disrespected American values and civil liberties, and ignored the will of the American people. Not surprisingly, Trump has proven to be an incurious and incompetent executive as well as a friend to plutocrats and white supremacists. He has broken democratic norms and brought out the American ugliness that was meant to be buried all those years ago. He has alienated our allies and praised despots known to inflict atrocities on any of their citizens who dare challenge their authority. He has divided the country with his incendiary rhetoric, especially whenever someone publicly says something he doesn’t like. He has tried to delegitimize the media who’ve reported negative stories about him as “fake news.” He has surrounded himself with sycophants and crooks in his administration as well as berated and fired those not willing to put personal loyalty above all else. He has tried to undermine an investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia. And he doesn’t care of the consequences of his actions unless they affect him personally, despite the vast damage he’s inflicted with his cruelty. Nor does he take responsibility for his callous actions. It is impossible to list the scandals, controversies, and incendiary rhetoric coming from this man or his administration.

Since 12:01 on January 20, 2018, the federal government shut down. Republicans and Democrats are still stuck in a struggle to reach an immigration deal. On January 18, House Republicans passed a bill to fund the government for 4 weeks and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program for 6 years, after Congress had failed to reauthorize the program for the last 4 months. But on a procedural vote late on January 19, which needed 60 votes to advance the House spending bill, 45 Senate Democrats and 5 Senate Republicans rejected it. Democrats are frustrated with Donald Trump’s unwillingness to accept a bipartisan to address the nearly 700,000 immigrants in legal limbo after he pledged to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. And they felt of having no choice or leverage but to reject the House spending bill to force DACA negotiations. Several Republicans working on the DACA fix joined in and are angry over the inability to cut a long-term funding deal for the military. Meanwhile, Republicans have pitted DACA recipients against CHIP despite that their majority failed to extend the program. Yet, Democrats still believe they have a compelling case for DACA after Trump’s latest tirade calling some countries “shitholes” in an immigration meeting with lawmakers. But so far, there has been no easy resolution. Though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has offered Democrats a shorter short-term spending deal keeping the government open until February 8 and promised to open immigration negotiations then. Now the mad scramble to fund and reopen the government begins.

Now a federal government means that a lot of so-called “non-essential” government activities suddenly cease. Federal employees are divided into “essential” and “nonessential” groups. Nonessential employees receive furloughs like an unpaid leave of absence until the shutdown’s resolved. Essential employees also stop getting paid but still have to work. But when a shutdown’s over federal workers usually get the salaries they went without. Likewise, a shutdown usually suspends various government functions. Military, air traffic control, federal prisons, Social Security and other benefit programs aren’t typically affected. However, the Office of Management and Budget estimated that the shutdown resulted in 120,000 fewer jobs and cut economic growth by .2-.6% in the last quarter during the last government shutdown in 2013 whose effects were substantial. Tax refunds totaling $4 billion were delayed. Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program went underfunded. Federal research activities at the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly shut down entirely. Environmental Protection Agency inspections halted in 1,200 locations. The Food and Drug Administration delayed approval of drugs and medical devices. National parks shut down, resulting in $500 million lost in consumer spending from tourists. And reviews of veterans’ disability applications slowed to a halt, with nearly 20,000 applications per week not being processed. So it’s a very serious matter.

It’s not unusual for Congress to go on the brink of a shutdown since it happened several times in Trump’s first year of office alone. But failure to actually make the deadline is rare. But since the federal government has shut down, Congress has to pass a spending bill. They have 3 options. First, they can pass the appropriations bills in an omnibus which crams 11 of these together into one spending package. Second, they can pass a “continuing resolution” funding government at its current levels to buy more negotiating time for the actual appropriations bills. Or third, they could pass a “CRomnibus,” which combines the two as well as extends the deadline on certain more contentious appropriations like the Department of Homeland Security and passing a spending bill on the rest. Though McConnell has proposed another CR, Democrats voted one down amid stalled immigration negotiations, which have recently intensified after months of inaction. So it’s unlikely they’d vote without some agreement on DACA’s future. Still, Donald Trump and the Republican leadership keep engaging hardline immigration hawks showing no interest in compromise. And his Orange Hind-Ass has reportedly told Senators Tom Cotton and Mark Meadows that he won’t support a proposal without these hardliners’ blessings. For Democrats, this is a serious red flag since their votes are needed to pass anything on immigration, which Republicans want kept out of the spending talks.

Naturally, both parties have spent the last few days trying to set up the other side to take the blame for the shutdown due to budget impasse. Republicans have made plans to force vulnerable Senate Democrats to take uncomfortable votes. Democrats claim that since Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House, not keeping the government open is their fault. At the same time, Republicans accuse Democrats of withholding needed Senate votes to press a resolution to the immigration debate impasse, even at CHIP’s expense. Of course, that’s ridiculous since Congress could’ve easily resolved the whole CHIP thing months ago. However, the truth is that Republicans didn’t even have the votes to keep the government open on their own. Yet, Democrats weren’t going to let the government remain open without a DACA deal even if Republicans had the votes. Nonetheless, after Lord Cheetohead blew up the DACA talks in the “shithole” meeting, they felt they had no choice and saw the spending bill as the best leverage. For both parties know that tying a DACA deal to a spending bill was the only way to assure its success. Because immigration hawks want to blow up such a deal from a bipartisan group of senators. So the hardliners and Republicans have dug in while Democrats have decided that now is the time to force the DACA issue. So the government won’t open until one side feels the squeeze and blinks. And it could’ve been avoided had Hamsterhair accepted the bipartisan DACA deal in the first place.

We need to remember that Donald Trump set the current crisis in motion last September when he revoked Barack Obama’s executive order protecting DREAMers from deportation. But he offered no guidance about what he wanted to happen next other than Congress to do something. His lack of clarity has emboldened the GOP immigration hardliners while raising immigration reformers’ hopes for a deal. Unfortunately, Trump’s intervening behavior ruined everything and left everyone feeling he might screw over at any moment. Nobody is exactly sure who’s shutting down the government or what the White House is trying to achieve by rejecting a bipartisan proposal that would’ve averted one. The country has mostly coped with Trump’s inability to do his job through outsourcing governance to congressional GOP leadership. But congressional Republicans are less unified while Trump is more invested in immigration than on most issues. So his actual personal leadership as president is critical for moving the system forward. However, the mere fact that these circumstances require Trump to act like a real president doesn’t change the fact he’s a lazy, ill-informed conspiracy theorist prone to tweeting cryptic statements about delicate issues from Fox & Friends segments.

As a candidate Donald Trump loudly, frequently, and obnoxiously promised to “build a wall” on the US-Mexican border and “make Mexico pay” for it. Of course, these ideas never made any sense since Mexico would never pay for such a thing. But once Trump won the election, turning them to actual policy imperative became important to the overall Republican Party. And the White House got behind the conceit that Congress could reserve funds for it that Trump would assert was some kind of advance on the nonexistent future Mexican repayment. But this left the problem of actually getting the money since congressional appropriations require 60 Senate votes. Not surprisingly, many Republicans were lukewarm on the wall all along. Thus, Trump was considering forcing a government shutdown to try to get his way. In May 2017, he tweeted, “The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We…. either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good “shutdown” in September to fix mess!” Obviously, this was a bad idea and other Republicans seemed to have talked Trump out of it. But the problem of getting Democratic votes for the wall remained. One natural way would give Democrats a big legislative win of their own. Yet, since a lot of congressional Republicans weren’t very excited about the wall, they’d revolt over giving away policy concessions of any real value. Then came an idea of canceling DACA allowing Trump to generate new leverage and give concessions on the DREAMers in exchange for wall money and leaving Republicans no worse off than they were before.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump has deeply hawkish views on immigration thanks to his personal and ideological racism as well as deeply ill-informed on all subjects aside from the art of the con. Besides, the basic problem with a DREAMers-for-wall swap is that the wall is a phenomenally stupid idea that wouldn’t accomplish anything to reduce immigration to the United States. Also, walls to keep people out or in have been tried countless times in history and have failed to do so. Not to mention, the billions of dollars spent to maintain and guard it which would make a wall a colossal waste of money. And if legislative DREAMer protections ended up creating a path to citizenship, it might actually result in increasing immigration since the new citizens could sponsor visas for relatives. Thus, better-informed immigration hawks like White House senior adviser Stephen Miller and Sen. Tom Cotton began working with Chief of Staff John Kelly to avoid the kind of deal Trump had repeatedly suggested and even at times explicitly agreed to in general terms. While hawks successfully scuttled a deal by souring Trump on a bipartisan compromise by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin, they haven’t introduced any plausible ideas of their own.

However, instead of negotiating positions, immigration hawks have produced a comprehensive wish list for entirely transforming the American immigration system to a tiki torch wielding white supremacist’s delight. They want billions of dollars in new border security along with the full RAISE Act vision of cutting legal immigration in half while ending family and diversity visas in favor of an exclusive focus on job offers and educational attainment. This is what Donald Trump means with his various asides about the perils of “lotteries” and “chain migration.” Consequently, there’s just no way Democrats will agree to these changes as the price for helping the DREAMers. There’s just a total disproportion between these demands’ scale and the DACA issue’s significance. To get sweeping changes in the immigration system enacted, conservatives would need to come to the table with some kind of help for the entire long-settled undocumented immigrant population. Like the kind of comprehensive immigration reform they’ve eschewed for years.

So if Democrats blink and cave into Donald Trump on the shutdown question, Donald Trump will get none of the policy changes he wants. He’ll have no change to diversity visas, no change to family visas, and no wall money. In exchange, he could start deporting DREAMers but the capacity of American courts to do so is already maxed out. Still, losing legal status will harm DREAMers in concrete ways. It’ll force some out of active-military service and others out of legitimate work and education activities. But those who’ve grown up and spent their whole lives in the US aren’t going to “self-deport,” and crowding the deportation pipeline with sympathetic DREAMers won’t help immigration hawks’ case. It’s possible that Trump doesn’t care and thinks hurting DREAMers is its own reward. If that’s so, he at least should admit that and let the country move on. Even if it makes him seem like a horrible person which won’t hurt him much. I mean low approval ratings and mass protests should illustrate that most of American people think he’s a piece of shit anyway.

The current situation’s perversity is that Donald Trump has always publicly maintained that he wants to do something to help the DREAMers when his actions show us that’s not the case. He has repeatedly used the word “love” in this context despite that he was perfectly willing to put 700,000 immigrants in legal limbo just to get money for his stupid, useless wall. Though his supposed willingness to help the DREAMers has raised expectations among Democrats and immigration activists that a deal can be struck. If Trump doesn’t actually want a deal, he may narrowly prevail on the government shutdown. Democrats from red states with low Latino and Asian populations won’t hold out forever in a futile effort to help DACA recipients. Had Trump had signaled opposition months ago, there probably wouldn’t be a standoff today. But if he wants a deal, he needs to seriously engage with the process and lay out some concrete ideas on the table. Instead, by veering from handshake deals with “Chuck and Nancy” to profane ranting about “shithole countries,” he has confused everyone on Capitol Hill and brought the political system to breaking point. And he thinks he’s a master in the art of the deal.

Nevertheless, we must note that Donald Trump’s remarks on immigration from “shithole” countries reflects a larger, more pervasive, and more dangerous viewpoint on the intersection of immigration and race. By referring nations like Haiti and African countries as “shitholes,” he’s not just expressing what some conservatives view as “politically incorrect” sentiments. Rather he and importantly members of his staff are embracing what used to be a fringe theory held by the farthest of the far right. It’s a theory claiming that white people are being systematically “erased” by their inferiors, and thus require an influx of white babies and new white immigrants (at the exclusion of their nonwhite counterparts) to survive. This viewpoint has resulted in the federal government shutdown. We must understand that the current debate at Capitol Hill has little to do with border security concerns. It’s about halting immigration, especially from nonwhite countries. In the final days and hours before the government shutdown, Donald Trump sabotaged a bipartisan compromise that was Congress’s best shot at passing a package that would’ve kept the government open and do something about the DACA program Trump ended last year, but wanted “fixed.” This would’ve given him much of what he wanted out of immigration reform like the border wall and an end to “diversity” visas. Instead, Trump turned toward restrictionists like Sen. Tom Cotton and White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller who has long influenced his attitudes on immigration policy. Miller’s silent hand on Trump’s DACA views was noteworthy enough that Sen. Lindsey Graham told MSNBC that his approach had, “no viability.” Breitbart fired back at Graham, running a piece which called him, “pro-amnesty” while referring to Cotton as, “the heir to Jeff Sessions’ pro-American immigration reform agenda.” Cotton has said that the “American people” like Trump’s and more importantly, his own “economic nationalist approach” favoring cuts on legal immigration, harsh penalties on DACA recipients and legal immigrants, and criminalizing undocumented immigrants’ status whose presence violates civil law. The language used by sites like Breitbart make it clear that this is all about mythmaking and fearmongering. As John Binder writes describing Cotton’s extremist policy: “By 2023, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the legal and illegal immigrant population of the U.S. will make up nearly 15 percent of the entire U.S. population.” The Center for Immigration Studies is an unreliable source for immigration data since its fonder John Tanton of embracing eugenics and reportedly told a friend, “for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” Now Tanton’s allies are attempting to put these ideas into immigration policy. And they wonder why Democrats aren’t interested despite the obvious white supremacist implications. Judging by Trump’s actions on revoking temporary protected status on DREAMers, Haitians, and El Salvadorans, I’m guessing he’s with the hardliners. Thus, as far as I see it, I don’t see any resolution in sight to this shutdown.

The Wonderful World of Vintage Valentines (Fifth Edition)

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Now that it’s late January, you’re bound to see plenty of red, pink, and white hearts at the store for Valentine’s Day. Sure it’s a day when people celebrate love and romance within the confines of the unpredictable snowy weather. Well, as far as we see it in the foreseeable future. So naturally, it’s a time when people send valentines to each other to express their love, along with candy and a stuff animal. This wasn’t much different back in the day. And while you might see plenty of cute valentines from that time, you’ll find some that seem rather strange. Some might contain double entendres. Some might be outright racist. Some may be creepy and contain unsettling messages. Some might defy all sense of logical explanation. But whatever the case, sending these old timey cards to your sweetheart might result in an inevitable breakup. However, feel free to look at these for a good laugh, especially if you’re single. So for your reading pleasure, I give you another assortment of crazy vintage valentines from yesterday.

  1. “Valentine! Speaking of spooks and haunts and such-beware! Help! Watch out!”

For one, Halloween has been over for like months. Second, sentiments like “beware,” “help,” and “watch out” don’t have good connotations.

2. You can even say the Devil has a heart on Valentine’s Day.

And here he stabs one with a pitchfork. All the other hearts below him are in a pit of fire. Not sure what to make out of that.

3. “Stop de-baiting and be my valentine.”

Still, we know why fishermen bait a fish. And it’s more along the lines of catch to eat. Nevertheless, the fish kind of reminds me of a Creature of the Black Lagoon winking in makeup.

4. Seems like some Indian wants you in her teepee.

Boy, that’s racist. Not only the speech seems offensive but the Indian looks pretty white.

5. All this guy wants is a girl in the kitchen to cook for him.

Some like light boys. Some like dark boys. But all I want is a guy who can make his own damn sandwich.

6. “Forbidden fruit is sweetest.”

Well, let’s say that this boy is budding pervert looking up that girl’s skirt. Bet this won’t go well.

7. Painting a heart can always do the trick.

I know it’s supposed to be red paint. But it looks like blood. This boy may love but he has a sick way of showing it.

8. “If you’ll be my sweetheart, I will be your beau.”

Sorry, Bobby, but I don’t think she’s interested. She’s still hung up over Pete going with Gretchen.

9. “O, Cupid, Cupid, how could you be so cruel!”

Takes “playing games with my heart” to a whole new level. But in this case, it’s soccer.

10. One always has eyes on their valentine.

Though I don’t take the guy’s stare as a loving embrace. Reminds me of some guy with a sick murder fetish.

11. “I aim to win you. You’re the ‘big shot’ in my life!”

But does she really need to use a cannon? Even if the balls have hearts on them. I’m sure she’d have better luck with the unusually short skirt.

12. Apparently, the Krampus has something to do with Valentine’s Day.

Though sometimes Krampus can get bored waiting until next Christmas to terrorize you. So he spends Valentines roasting hearts on a rotisserie.

13. Sometimes a valentine choice depends on what kind of house one lives.

So Jenny won’t live with Jimmy in a cottage. But she’ll have him in a bungalow. Apparently, she has her preferences.

14. “I feel awful funny whenever I think of you.”

So Bubbles the Clown has two hearts with an arrow stitched on his ass. Then again, his smile sends an uncomfortable vibe.

15. “Don’t be afraid, it’s only me with your Valentine.”

But showing up with a freaking mask doesn’t help matters. Then again, even without the mask, the kid still looks pretty creepy.

16. Love can always be better than money.

Basically, this valentine says, “I may be broke, but I have plenty of love to go around.” Still, he kind of seems a bit all over her. Yet, she doesn’t seem to mind.

17. “I’d like to label you ‘all mine’ and tell the gang you’re my valentine!”

Though putting a heart on her back doesn’t seem to have good implications. This is especially if she’s bewildered by the whole thing.

18. “Don’t keep me in the dog house, my valentine.”

And yes, this boy is literally in the dog house. Still, I’m not sure what would put him in the dog house. Nor do I want to know.

19. “I’ll come clean, be my valentine.”

Unfortunately, this scene sends a lot of Sandusky locker room vibes. Let’s just say, I find this valentine as disturbing as hell.

20. “It beats all how much I like you, Valentine!”

Sorry, but this Black Sambo beating a drum won’t win over that black person you’re trying to impress. Because it’s incredibly racist.

21. “You’re unusual, Valentine. Be mine.”

But saying she’s unusual like a carnival attraction might not go over well. Also, the girl’s in a cannon.

22. “The ‘bare fact’ is I want you for my valentine!”

Note that she’s naked and has a towel over her naughty bits. You can get what she might imply from the intended recipient.

23. Police clown wants you to be his valentine.

Though I wouldn’t want to be caught by this guy. Since he’s the stuff of nightmares. And he’s angry.

24. “Boom goes my heart!”

Note how he has the cannon positioned at his nether region. If you’ve looked at my other posts with boys and cannons, you can probably guess what this implies.

25. “This is no ‘boner,’ you’re my sweetheart.”

Actually, ‘boner’ meant a mistake at the time. But considering it’s a valentine, it might mean what you get from Viagra.

26. “No monkeying- I’m starving for you, my valentine.”

Though the girl’s holding the banana rather suggestively. And, no, that doesn’t look right.

27. “There’s ‘space’ in my heart for you, Valentine!”

Here he hugs onto the rocket. Not sure what that means, but I can guess there’s a phallic implication.

28. “Here is a king size chocolate wish for you!”

For nothing suggests love like the prospect of lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems. Awww.

29. Even in injury, some just don’t know when to quit.

The fact he has a bump and bandage on his head doesn’t seem to get him to come to his senses. Also, if his valentine is a private secretary, then he might be liable for sexual harassment.

30. No guy would be wise to turn down Lixie.

Yet, I’m not sure what the candy she’s selling. Though it seems rather stick like. Oh, wait…

31. Sometimes a heart can be a bait for a trap.

You mean they had rats in valentines? Seriously, this is just so messed up. And yes, I think the heart is a trap.

32. “I’ll never forget/So you can bet/I’ll get you yet!”

Let’s just say the idea of an elephant coming to get you is just frightening. Also, suggests that the giver has no idea how to conduct a healthy relationship.

33. This guy is all tied for his valentine.

For nothing says love like tying oneself to a heart with Cupid’s help. If you and your sweetheart love kinky sex games, this is for you.

34. “I get a ‘bang’ out of you!”

Yes, hammer motifs in valentines are pretty disturbing. And this one pretty much nails it in.

35. “My love is hot by ginger, Valentine!”

Another instance of misplaced holiday icons. Still, the gingerbread man’s face may seem borderline offensive to some viewers. Or creep you out.

36. “You’re really ‘solid,’ let’s start now.”

I think I know where this going. And I’m implying beyond the kissing and hugging stage here.

37. “I have nine lives of love for you, my valentine.”

Nonetheless, Felix the Cat has just been released from Arkham Asylum. And he’ll wreak havoc on Gotham City as we speak since Batman has cat allergies.

38. “I’m ‘crying’ my eyes out for you. Be my Valentine!”

Sure the message may be sweet. But using a freakish yellow onion clown from nightmares doesn’t do any favors.

39. “Gr-r-r. I’ll be angry if you won’t be mine!”

Looking at that tiger, I don’t think this is a healthy way to initiate a relationship. Guess not good rejection.

40. This kitty wants to play a song for you.

Nevertheless, I’m not sure if I want to hear this cat on the piano. Seems a bit angry in the eyes. Like she’ll scratch you up if you reject her.

41. “It’s strictly business, be my valentine!”

I’m sure this girl should report this creep to Human Resources. Also, note how this guy looks at her back.

42. Cupid sends Valentine’s greetings.

And he has a large chest with hearts all over it. Don’t really want to know what he has in there. In fact, I’d rather not dwell on it.

43. Even Superman isn’t immune to love.

Yes, to Superman, love is like Kryptonite. It makes him weak. So I guess the man from Krypton shouldn’t fall in love. Too bad he’s with Lois Lane.

44. “Hope I make a hit with you. This time I’ll put some punch in it. Be my Valentine!”

Okay, this seems to suggest interpersonal violence, which is a relationship no-no. Also, the kid seems a bit angry and can’t take a hint.

45. “Anyone can plainly see/My teacher is O.K. with me. Be my Valentine!”

He’s holding an awfully long ruler. Anyway, I think I know what he’s suggesting. And it’s what we usually don’t talk about in school until the 8th grade.

46. “Dear, don’t see how you can live in such a cold place.”

And I can’t see how Cupid rises from a heart with a fur shawl. Okay, I guess this suggests that the recipient is a cold bitch. That’s kind of insulting.

47. “I’m cooking up a scheme to get you to be my valentine.”

And I see she’s probably cooking something in a cauldron over an open fire. Hope it’s not a love potion since it’s a date rape drug.

48. When it comes to romance, expect some disturbance.

From Viral Wonderz: “Hugging may be romantic, but this guy has got his eyes somewhere else. His Valentine is looking at him lovingly in the eye, but he has his eye on other parts of her body. They may look innocent, but there’s nothing innocent about this guy. The message is even more disturbing. This looks like a crime waiting to happen.”

49. “Why not ‘juice’ me for your valentine?”

From Viral Wonderz: “Read more: “We’re not sure if this card is advertising a juicer for Valentine’s day or has a different meaning altogether? Yes, we love our refreshing lemonades but we think this vintage card wants to juice something else. Just hope that the father of your valentine won’t see this or else you’ll be the one juiced up.”

50. “I have to join two hearts in one/And wish this tender task were done.”

However, she has all those hearts on her dress and just has to have one more. Not surprisingly, she breaks a few.

 

All the Snowflake King’s Men

On Tuesday, January 9, 2018, California US Senator Dianne Feinstein released a full transcript of Fusion GPS Glenn Simpson’s extensive 21-hour testimony before 3 Congressional committees. According to her, “The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice. The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public.” The move follows a decision by Republican Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham, who after months of testimony, issued a criminal referral for Steele, alleging the committee had reason to believe the former spy has lied to the authorities about his conversations with the press regarding the dossier. His spokesman, Taylor Foy called it, “confounding” that Feinstein released the transcript “unilaterally” over the Republican majority’s objections. Well, of course, she did because she knew the Republicans were cover up that testimony to protect Trump’s ass. But according to Foy, “Feinstein’s unilateral decision was made as the committee is still trying to secure testimony from other witnesses, including Jared Kushner. Her action undermines the integrity of the committee’s oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid voluntary testimony relating to the independent recollections of future witnesses.” By releasing the transcripts against objections from Republican colleagues, Feinstein didn’t cause much harm. She broke no law. Though Simpson testified in a closed session, he wasn’t a government official. Nor did he discuss classified information or anything about anyone’s private life. Besides, Simpson had already called for his testimony’s full release. What Feinstein violated was the normal rules of Senate decorum, which Republicans had been using to cover up a key point that debunks some of their own talking points about this matter.

Simpson’s testimony contains many revelations. He touches upon how the Trump Organization handles taxes saying, Donald Trump’s relationship with gangster Felix Sater, how his country clubs aren’t making any money and that someone might’ve been killed as a result of the dossier. But most importantly, his testimony revealed that the FBI was already investigating potential links between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government before they even heard anything about Christopher Steele’s infamous dossier on the matter. During the hearing, Simpson stated when Steele spoke to the FBI about his findings, the bureau, “believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing, and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump Organization.” That along with a report from the New York Times suggests that Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos who during a night of heavy drinking in May 2016, accidentally kicked off the Trump-Russia investigation by telling an Australian diplomat that Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.

We must not forget that Feinstein released this transcript over her Republican colleagues’ objections. Recently, conservatives had been pushing a theory that the basis for the FBI investigation was an opposition document compiled at the Clinton campaign’s behest. On January 3, key House conservative Rep. Jim Jordan rolled out a tweetstorm of 18 questions about the FBI and Russia, many of which centered on the Steele dossier. Along with another leading House conservative Rep. Mark Meadows, Jordan is calling for Trump to fire Jeff Sessions and put in a new attorney general to oversee and possibly quash the Russia investigation. This is part of a broader effort to discredit the Robert Mueller investigation which in turn is part of the conservative counternarrative on the whole Russian scandal. The dossier plays a key role in this conspiracy theory. By putting the dossier on trial, they have tried to impeach the basic case that people in Trump’s circle may have coordinated with the Russians who attacked the election. Trump allies have also used the dossier to go on offense against the FBI and the Justice Department, charging that “biased” federal investigators used what Republicans call partisan, Democratic-funded propaganda as the basis for the whole Russian investigation. However, the reality is that while intelligence circles hold Steele in high regard, there’s no evidence that the FBI has ever used his work as the basis of its Russia investigation. Besides, the case for collusion goes beyond the dossier and includes outreach by Russian agents to the Trump campaign as well as meetings between Trump associates and Russians.

Now who is this Glenn Simpson and what is Fusion GPS? Simpson is one of the co-founders of Fusion GPS which is a “strategic influence” firm first hired by the conservative publication called the Washington Free Beacon in 2015 to conduct opposition research on Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee contracted the firm once Trump’s Republican nomination became more imminent. In turn, Fusion hired former MI-6 Russian specialist Christopher Steele to specifically look at Trump and Russia. The former British agent used his Russian contacts to compile a dossier describing efforts by Russian President Vladimir Putin to cultivate a relationship with Trump and his entourage and to gather material to blackmail the candidate if necessary. He did not pay sources for the information. His investigation ended with a several allegations including that Russian security services are blackmailing Trump with a recording of him paying prostitutes to pee on his bed at the Moscow Ritz Carlton presidential suite. And that Trump’s campaign was the beneficiary of a multifaceted Kremlin plot to interfere in the 2016 US election. Obviously, Steele felt his findings went beyond political campaign fodder and made him worry that there was a genuine threat to US national security. So he took the info to the FBI who was already getting tips and reports something was going on. Steele’s information just confirmed the seriousness of the situation. Buzzfeed published Steele’s dossier in January 2017 which set off a firestorm of controversy and intrigue which neither man intended to happen. But in recent months, it had taken new life as the centerpiece of a conservative counter-conspiracy theory that Trump’s political enemies cooked up the whole Trump-Russia investigation. Simpson’s testimony primarily debunks the conservative narrative placing the infamous dossier at the center of the story and confirms the Times account of a drunk Papadopoulos kickstarting the Trump-Russian investigation.

But how could a drunk Papadopoulos be the start of the Trump-Russian investigation? Let’s just say that it all boils Papadopoulos having a drunk conversation with Australia’s ambassador to the UK, Alexander Downer about Russia having dirt on Hillary Clinton. Downer, of course, shared the details with other Australian officials who ultimately passed word of it to their American counterparts once the hacking of Democratic email accounts became a big deal. And thus the FBI investigation ensued that July. All because Papadopoulos said the wrong thing to the wrong guy while under the influence. They listened to Steele because they already had an investigation into the Trump-Russia question underway. While the investigation hasn’t yet proven the existence of anything like the vast conspiracy Steele alleges, it certainly has uncovered a real evidence of wrongdoing. This consists of a Papadopoulos guilty plea along with serious criminal charges against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. We’ve also learned that key Trumpworld figures like Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. were at least eager to potentially collaborate with the Russian government into revealing anti-Clinton “dirt.” Rather than taking a cue from Downer in alerting the authorities to the existence of the of an active Russian intelligence effort aimed at the United States. There also continues to be an ongoing investigation that might yet reveal other criminal activity. Or it might not. Either way, Simpson’s testimony is more evidence that law enforcement took the Trump-Russian collusion question seriously for reasons that had nothing to do with the Steele dossier.

Steele may have overreacted as well as got things wrong. Yet, fundamentally, it doesn’t matter since the investigation doesn’t rise or fall on his credibility. Even so, he turned the dossier to the FBI for no obvious reason other than his allegiance to our closest ally. Despite what the Republicans think, the Steele dossier was not a purely political document paid for by Democrats to hurt Donald Trump. Else Steele wouldn’t have reported such information to the FBI. In fact, the Democrats hardly made a concerted effort to hit Trump where it hurts during the 2016 election and they didn’t need a dossier suggesting treason to do it. For Trump’s history of corruption of dubious business practices is simply mindboggling. Also, he’s a narcissistic sociopath who has consistently abused any position of power he’s had to enrich himself. Besides, allegations of collusion with a foreign power to interfere in an election are far more serious than the traditional political punches.

While Republicans decry that Feinstein’s decision to make the Simpson testimony public undermines the congressional investigations, it was the their own efforts to obstruct inquiries that prompted to her to release the documents in the first place. Because they’d rather stick with Trump for their own selfish interests despite the damage he’s done to this country, how many norms he’s violated, and how he’s enriching himself. In an op-ed Fritsch and Simpson write, “We suggested investigators look into the bank records of Deutsche Bank and others that were funding Mr. Trump’s businesses. Congress appears uninterested in that tip: Reportedly, ours are the only bank records the House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed. [We] found widespread evidence that Mr. Trump and his organization had worked with a wide array of dubious Russians in arrangements that often raised questions about money laundering.” The House committee investigating Trump’s Russian connections was an utter joke while led by Rep. Devin Nunes who was on Trump’s transition team! Last year, the California Republican betrayed his oath of office on behalf of a faction within the Trump administration. Hell, he practically went to and from the White House telling Trump and his allies the House committee’s activities. In siding with Trump, Republicans have put their party over nation and principles. In essence, instead of pursuing what Fusion GPS found out about Trump, they’ve become enablers to a possible traitor who has no love for the country he’s supposed to lead, no respect for the democratic values he’s supposed to protect and promote, and no affinity for the rule of law he’s supposed to abide.

Nevertheless, the fact Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans didn’t want the Simpson testimony released to the public speaks volumes about their motives. As Simpson and Fusion GPS co-founder Peter Fritsch wrote in an op-ed that the committees have “known for months” of credible collusion allegations but have chosen instead to “chase rabbits.” And yet, Republicans tried pushing a conspiracy theory that Trump’s political enemies created the dossier to defame him and launch an FBI witch hunt. It’s clear conservatives in Congress have been misleading people about the origins of the FBI investigation into Trump and Russia with hopes in discrediting it. We all know that Republicans want to hold on to their power to enact policy they want no matter how unpopular it is. We know they’re willing to support Donald Trump so they can get their way. It is one thing for a major political party to unite behind a corrupt president. But it’s a very serious concern when the GOP unites behind a campaign of willful disinformation at the country’s expense. As Joshua Marshall wrote in Talking Points Memo, “What’s happened is that we’ve had a year tarnishing the reputation of a man who did right by the United States for no obvious reason other than his allegiance is to our closest ally and creating a comic, degenerate alternate reality in which the people who alerted us to the problems and those who first sought to understand them are the malefactors rather than the people who were at a minimum cozying up to a foreign power. It is actually quite like the cliched story of the whistleblower who speaks up and then becomes the scapegoat in the cover-up of the bad acts he was trying to bring to light. In fact that’s exactly what it is.” Now that Republicans have chosen to protect their Snowflake King, we must remember how their selfishness at Capitol Hill has disgraced the nation.