About brobrubel

Retired journalist. I've reported and edited for newspaper in Florida, Kentucky, New York, Brussels and London. I also spent a few years as a government flack in Pennsylvania. This blog contains random thoughts on politics, world affairs and entertainment

Republicans and Thanksgiving turkeys


This involves the great turkey pardon of 2014. At this point, I can only shake my head in disgust:

The examples of the GOP’s reflexive opposition to President Obama’s agenda are many but this may be the best one yet: By a 27 point margin, Republicans say they disapprove of the President’s executive order last year pardoning two Thanksgiving turkeys (Macaroni and Cheese) instead of the customary one. Only 11% of Republicans support the President’s executive order last year to 38% who are opposed — that’s a pretty clear sign that if you put Obama’s name on something GOP voters are going to oppose it pretty much no matter what. Overall there’s 35/22 support for the pardon of Macaroni and Cheese thanks to 59/11 support from Democrats and 28/21 from independents.

Yeah, I know you don’t believe this. But check out the data at Public Policy Polling. Here’s the link.

And here’s a photo of one of the lucky turkeys, Cheese:


According to the Allentown Morning Call last year:

Mac is a “feather shaker” who weighs in at 47 pounds and boasts a melodious gobble that has a hint of bluegrass, #TeamMac supporters within the White House confirmed.

Cheese is a “grand champion” who weights in at 49 pounds and has a gobble that manages to be both romantic and has a country ring, #TeamCheese White House aides said.

The 2015 White House turkey pardon is tomorrow. One turkey, named Tom One, from California has already been chosen to be spared the roaster. If I were Obama, I’d pardon three this year, just to piss the turkeys (the GOP, not the fowl) off even more.

Our Thanksgiving paradox

An interesting opening sentence involving Thanksgiving that my son referred me to on the website Five Thirty Eight:

Thanksgiving — when we give thanks and celebrate a tale about the welcoming of foreign refugees to American shores — is once again upon us.

Very appropriate, but my problem is that I thought too much about it. Because the reality is, it would have been better for the natives if they had kept the refugees out.


An overstatement? Not really. Here’s a video on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian involving what the first European immigrants did to the people who had lived here for centuries.

Just to clarify, this is not an anti-immigrant post.

It’s just an observation that there is absolutely nothing today’s immigrants can do that’s worse than what the original immigrants to this country have already done.


The art world has gone to the dogs


This painting sold for $658,000 at Sotheby’s. I don’t know what to say. Here’s some history from the Sotheby’s catalog:

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge (1844-1934), began painting the daily life of some very humanoid canines, an artistic subspecialty that was preceded by a string of careers. In the upstate New York town of Antwerp, Coolidge worked, almost simultaneously, as a druggist, painter of street signs and house numbers, and founder of the first newspaper and earliest bank all within the years between 1868 and 1872. It was after a trip to Europe in 1873 that he turned up in Rochester, New York, as the portraitist of dogs whose life-style mirrored the successful middle-class humans of his time. Coolidge’s first customers were cigar companies, who printed copies of his paintings for giveaways. His fortunes rose when he signed a contract with the printers Brown & Bigelow, who turned out hundreds of thousands of copies of his dog-genre subjects as advertising posters, calendars, and prints.

“Coolidge’s poker-faced style is still engaging today. His dogs fit with amazing ease into such human male phenomena as the all-night card game, the commuter train, and the ball park. His details of expression, clothing, and furniture are precise. Uncannily, the earnest animals resemble people we all know, causing distinctions of race, breed, and color to vanish and evoking the sentiment on an old Maryland gravestone: MAJOR Born a Dog Died a Gentleman” (“A Man’s Life,” American Heritage, February 1973, p. 56).

Don’t know who bought it. I guess it’s the kind of a barometer of taste that you don’t want people to know about if you’re a rich person. Or maybe the rich person just bought it for his dog?

Because there obviously wasn’t anything better the person could do with the money.

Rubio, Cruz and their effort to ban refugees

So Ted Cruz, the son of Cuban refugees, says the risk of Islamic militants infiltrating the refugee population is too high for America to accept them with open arms.

And Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants says that the U.S. shouldn’t take in more refugees from Syria because there’s no way to run a background check on them.

Let’s take a little side trip through history, 1976 to be exact, from the New York Times (via the Rude Pundit):

“Nine Cuban refugees are to go on trial here Monday in the murder of Luciano Nieves, an exile leader who had advocated a United States dialogue with Cuba. The case, in which four other suspects are still at large, will focus new attention on Miami’s Cuban terrorists, who are a major force in the city’s Latin-American community, according to the authorities. …

“Their political goal has been to prevent what they view as an impending rapprochement between the United States and Cuba…Despite their limited numbers, the terrorists have had a major impact on south Florida. In the last three years, more than 100 bombs have exploded in Miami. At the height of the campaign, there were 10 blasts in a 24-hour period, including one outside the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, one in Miami police headquarters, and a third in the office of the State Attorney.”

So according to Cruz and Rubio, Ted and Marco shouldn’t be in the United States because the risk of Cuban militants infiltrating the refugee population was too high for America to accept them, and the U.S. shouldn’t have taken refugees from Cuba because there was no way to run a background check on them.

So long, guys.  Here’s some travel information. Don’t let the door at customs hit you on the butt on your way out.