Donald Trump

Hammer: YETI stuff too expensive to blow up!

IMG_5658(1)It’s no secret to Truth or Dara followers that the National Rifle Association and Texas-based YETI are in a shoot-out over the high-dollar cooler-maker’s decision to abandon the national gun-rights group.

The decision prompted NRA supporters and Second Amendment advocates to turn to social media sites to launch an all-out assault on YETI, using the #BoycottYETI campaign, pics of YETI coolers turned into port-a-potties and videos of folks blowing up pricey YETI supplies — the coolers range from $200 to more upwards of $1,200 — in retaliation.

So it might come as a surprise that NRA Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer, a former president of the national gun lobbying-group, sent out an alert urging gun owners to drop their assault on YETI equipment.

“Don’t blow up your Yeti cooler. Don’t shoot your Yeti cooler full of holes. Don’t chain your Yeti cooler to the back of your pick-up truck and drag it down the highway. Don’t glue a toilet seat to Yeti cooler. Don’t hang your Yeti cooler in a tree and beat it with a baseball bat,” Hammer wrote in an email alert .

We’re not sure if Hammer’s message was meant to add to the bag of tricks already employed by disgruntled YETI owners.

But the Tallahassee-based great-grandma advised unhappy NRA folks to convert their YETI into a statement.

“Put a big ‘I stand with the NRA Foundation’ sticker on your YETI cooler and keep using it. They cost too much money to destroy to make a statement. Let a sticker make your statement,” she wrote in the alert.

By our kitchen-table standards, she’s right.

YETI coolers start at $200, and can run upwards of $1,200 for boaty brand-conscious buyers.

The NRA will be handing out stickers to cover YETI labels in Dallas at its annual convention in Dallas this weekend. The stickers will be available at the “NRA Foundation Wall of Guns” raffle, according to Hammer’s alert.

President Donald Trump is expected to attend the convention.

 

 

Graham grabs endorsement of progressive ‘trailblazer’ Tammy Duckworth

30789731_6102639375688_7819687006950129664_nWe don’t usually highlight endorsements, but this one caught our attention because, after all, the male-dominated U.S. Senate changed its rules to allow U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth to bring her new baby, Maile, onto the Senate floor. (She got her a jacket so the newborn could conform with Senate protocol.)

baby clothes

Plus Duckworth, a wounded war veteran and Purple Heart recipient, is a rock star among progressive Democrats, so her endorsement of former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, for what it’s worth, could be considered a coup in a heated Democratic gubernatorial primary. Especially if the Illinois senator campaigns for Graham in Florida.

Graham’s announcement of the endorsement carries on with an all-about-Trump theme (remember her first digital ad?), with both women bashing the president.

“No one is better equipped to defend Florida against Donald Trump and his harmful policies than Gwen Graham,” Duckworth said in the press release. “She will take on Trump to defend the Affordable Care Act and expand healthcare for Florida families. Gwen will protect Florida’s waters from Trump’s dangerous oil drilling plans. And she will put people — not special interests — first by passing an increased minimum wage.”

Graham, who last year nailed the endorsement of  New York U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and who served with Duckworth during Graham’s brief stint in Congress, called the Illinois senator “one of the toughest women I know” who “sets an incredible example for all Americans.”

“As governor, I will fight with her to take on Donald Trump and fight to expand healthcare, protect our environment, and defend Floridians from his bullyish attacks,” Graham said in the release.

The endorsement of the lefty Duckworth could give Graham — who’s been criticized by progressives for being too conservative — a nudge in a heated primary. Both Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who has has captured support from some progressives, and Orlando entrepreneur Chris King, bashed Graham for her congressional voting record during last week’s debate, which is certain to be an issue throughout the coming months in the match-up — also featuring former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine — to replace outgoing Gov. Rick Scott.

That’s probably why this morning’s announcement includes Duckworth bragging on Graham’s tenure in the House.

“Serving together in Congress, I saw Gwen fight for our shared progressive values. When Republicans tried to repeal Obamacare, Gwen voted to save it. She defended a woman’s right to choose and sponsored legislation to improve healthcare for mothers and babies. And after the devastating shooting at Pulse, Gwen took on Paul Ryan to demand a vote on common sense gun safety legislation,” she says in the release.

Here’s the full announcement:

On the heels of releasing her first digital ad slamming President Donald Trump, Gwen Graham is announcing support from U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, a progressive trailblazer leading the charge against Trump in Congress.

“No one is better equipped to defend Florida against Donald Trump and his harmful policies than Gwen Graham,” Duckworth said. “She will take on Trump to defend the Affordable Care Act and expand healthcare for Florida families. Gwen will protect Florida’s waters from Trump’s dangerous oil drilling plans. And she will put people — not special interests — first by passing an increased minimum wage.”

“Serving together in Congress, I saw Gwen fight for our shared progressive values. When Republicans tried to repeal Obamacare, Gwen voted to save it. She defended a woman’s right to choose and sponsored legislation to improve healthcare for mothers and babies. And after the devastating shooting at Pulse, Gwen took on Paul Ryan to demand a vote on common sense gun safety legislation”

Duckworth, a Purple Heart recipient, and Graham served together in Congress. Together, they fought for progressive values, to defend women and to support our country’s veterans.

“Senator Duckworth is one of the toughest women I know. She sets an incredible example for all Americans, and I am honored to have her endorsement,” Graham said. “As governor, I will fight with her to take on Donald Trump and fight to expand healthcare, protect our environment, and defend Floridians from his bullyish attacks.”

Yum! White House dishes up menu for Trump administration’s first state dinner

unnamed(8)We’ll bypass some of the other details about President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s first state dinner, but we’ll share the menu for political junkies who are also foodies.

The first course will include goat cheese gateau and buttermilk biscuit crumbles.

For the main course, rack of spring lamb and Carolina gold rice jambalaya, “which will be cooked in a New Orleans tradition and scented with the trinity of Cajun cooking—celery, peppers, and onions, and spiced with herbs from the South Lawn,” according to a press release from the White House. For dessert, a nectarine tart.

The Trumps are hosting President Emmanuel Macron and Mrs. Brigitte Macron of France for the administration’s first state visit.

Sadly, details about the guest list and Melania Trump’s gown won’t be released until just before the dinner begins, according to a release.

But what the first couples will be sampling tomorrow night:

State Dinner

The color scheme is cream and gold and the china settings consist of the Clinton china for the baseplate, along with both Bush (43) and Clinton china for the dinner service.  The First Lady chose the Bush china with the green color palette to complement the spring green and white flowers that will be featured in the State Dining Room.  Mrs. Trump has also selected pieces from the extensive Vermeil collection as well as American Silver from the White House Collection—from Tiffany & Co. and S. Kirk & Sons—to add to the décor in the State Dining Room.

Entertainment

Washington National Opera from the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts

 Floral Arrangements

The Cross Hall will feature over 1,200 branches of cherry blossom, all grown in the United States.

 The State Dining Room will feature more than 2,500 stems of white sweet peas and nearly 1,000 stems of white lilac—both California and Dutch grown mixed. 

 The parlors will feature a variety of mixed garden flowers.  The Stephanotis vines, which will also be featured in the parlors, are from California.

 Menu

The menu will be a showcase of the best of America’s cuisines and traditions, with nuances of French influences prepared by the renowned White House Executive Chef, Christeta Comerford (a full menu can be found at the bottom of the release).

 The first course celebrates the wondrous first harvest of spring, using greens from the White House kitchen garden.

The main course will  be a Rack of Spring Lamb and Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya, which will be cooked in a New Orleans tradition and scented with the trinity of Cajun cooking—celery, peppers, and onions, and spiced with herbs from the South Lawn. 

Dessert will be a Nectarine Tart infused with White House honey and accented by crème fraîche ice cream.

 Wines

The wines were selected to complement the menu and embody the historic friendship between the United States and France, which dates back to the American Revolution.

 The Domaine Serene Chardonnay “Evenstad Reserve” 2015 is the product of American and French collaboration—a combination of French plants from Dijon that thrive in the volcanic Oregon soil and colder temperatures.  The wine was aged in 40 percent French oak barrels for more than 12 months.

The Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir “Laurène” 2014—This wine uses the motto “French soul–Oregon soil.” The grapes at Domaine Drouhin are harvested and sorted by hand and fermented in French Oak barrels.

 Schramsberg Demi-Sec “Crémant” has been served in the White House for official and ceremonial events many times over the years.  The subtle sweetness and creamy effervescence of the 2014 vintage is the perfect accompaniment for a nectarine tart. 

Full Menu:

First Course:

Goat Cheese Gateau

Tomato Jam

Buttermilk Biscuit Crumbles

Young Variegated Lettuces 

Main Course:

Rack of Spring Lamb

Burnt Cipollini Soubise

Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya 

Dessert:

Nectarine Tart

Crème Fraîche Ice Cream

Corcoran cozies up to Trump over welfare

IMG_2734House Speaker Richard Corcoran performed some colossal cozying up to President Donald Trump in a letter genuflecting to the president for his efforts to overhaul welfare programs.

Trump this week ordered federal agencies to strengthen work requirements in federal assistance programs. The move could affect recipients of food stamps, cash assistance and housing aid.

“Your comprehensive plan to move struggling Americans off government assistance and into the ranks of the working class is proof you’re doing the job that the American people elected you to do,” Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican who is purportedly mulling a bid for governor, wrote in a two-page letter to Trump dated yesterday.

Corcoran used Trump’s proposed welfare reforms as an opportunity to trash former President Barack Obama, without naming him.

“Unlike your predecessor, you recognize the dignity and self-respect derived from a hard and honest day’s work,” Corcoran wrote, accusing “the previous administration” of fostering “a culture of government dependency.”

In contrast, according to the speaker, Trump has “reinvigorated the pioneering spirit with your ‘can-do’ attitude.”

Corcoran’s love note came the same day excerpts from a new tell-all memoir by FBI director James Comey, whom Trump fired, were released.

Not surprisingly, Comey, the political version of a bitter ex-wife, paints a very different picture of the president than Corcoran, likening Trump’s handling of the White House to that of a mob boss.

“We are experiencing a dangerous time in our country, with a political environment where basic facts are disputed, fundamental truth is questioned, lying is normalized and unethical behavior is ignored, excused or rewarded,” he wrote in “A Higher Loyalty,” due out next week.

 

 

 

Dennis Ross congressional district shifts from ‘safe’ to ‘likely’ — for now

rossFlorida Congressman Dennis Ross’s “Safe Republican” seat has moved to “Likely Republican” pending further review by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, after the Lakeland politician said yesterday he won’t seek re-election.

Ross’s announcement came the same day that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R, Wis.) revealed that he, too, intends to retire from Congress.

Ryan’s decision drew the bulk of Wednesday’s attention from the center’s political prognosticating crew, headed by Larry Sabato.

“Ross’s seat, the now-open FL-15, is also potentially competitive, and Trump won it by 10 in 2016,” Kyle Kondik, managing editor of the school’s Sabato’s Crystal Ball, said in a press release Thursday.  “We’re going to start it as Likely Republican with the possibility of a more competitive rating after we analyze it further.”

The reliably Republican district, that covers parts of Hillsborough, Polk and Lake counties, actually had more registered Democrats — 170,656 — than Republicans —  169,403 — in the 2016 general election, according to the state Division of Elections. The district also had 119,338 unaffiliated voters and another 10,948 listed with the Independent Party at the time.

However, President Donald Trump won the district with 53 percent of the vote, according to the Cook Political Report. Democrat Hillary Clinton received 43 percent.

Ross, who rode into Congress on a Tea Party wave in 2010, won his first congressional contest by 7 percent points, garnering about 15,000 more votes than Democrat Lori Edwards in 2010. He went unopposed in 2012 before winning by nearly 44,000 votes in 2014 and more then 47,500 votes in 2016.

There are now 59 open seats — 39 held by Republicans, 20 by Democrats — in the House, the second-highest post-World War II mark, according to Kondik’s latest post.

By Jim Turner.

In first digital ad, Graham runs against Trump

Florida gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham’s first digital ad serves up a taste of what’s sure to be a common theme for Democrats in the 2018 election season.

The former congresswoman’s digital spot focuses solely on her favorite whipping boy, President Donald Trump, whom she calls “an embarrassment,” a “bully,” and someone “that could not be more ill-suited to be president” of the U.S.

Graham’s campaign “is placing a significant buy behind the ad across various digital platforms, starting in Palm Beach, where Trump and administration officials will continue to visit Mar-a-Lago through the month of April, before expanding the ad statewide,” according to a press release announcing the ad this morning.

Graham’s entrée into the campaign ad world comes after competitor Philip Levine has forked over more than $4 million in TV spots in advance of the August primary.

 

Nelson to Trump: Don’t outsource space!

iss054e022063Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida who likes to remind you he’s traveled into outer space, is criticizing a proposal by President Donald Trump to privatize the International Space Station after its current U.S. funding expires in 2024.

“The administration’s budget for NASA is a nonstarter,” Nelson said in a release. “If we’re ever going to get to Mars with humans on board and return them safely, then we need a larger funding increase for NASA. The proposal would also end support for the International Space Station in 2025 and make deep cuts to popular education and science programs. Turning off the lights and walking away from our sole outpost in space at a time when we’re pushing the frontiers of exploration makes no sense.”

Trump’s budget proposal for 2019 has NASA turning over operations of the station to commercial operators or the other nations partnering on the space platform after 2024. Nelson’s already griped about the president’s position on NASA.

The station costs about $3 billion a year to run.

The station is currently expected to be in use through 2028, the 30th year after its first component was launched into orbit.

President Barack Obama in 2008 extended the U.S. operational portion of the ISS until 2024.

— By Jim Turner.