Contributed Photo / Then-President George W. Bush laughs with two women while dining in Chattanooga during a visit here during his second term.

Never said it

You could hardly have missed it recently when The New York Times reported former Republican President George W. Bush and his brother, former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, said they would not be voting for Republican President Donald Trump this fall.

It was repeated by many national news blogs and made it all over social media.

The only problem? It was a lie.

"This is completely made up," George W. Bush spokesman Freddy Ford said in an email, according to the Texas Tribune. "He is retired from presidential politics and has not indicated how he will vote."

The Times said the Bush brothers, based on "people familiar with their thinking," and other "Republican leaders" would not vote for Trump.

The newspaper story even quoted Ford saying Bush "would stay out of the election and speak only on policy issues." Yet, they moved forward with the story.

One wonders, with so much misinformation in the national media, how one can take their reporting seriously?


There she goes again

For the second time in as many years, Democratic senatorial candidate Amy McGrath has angered someone by misrepresenting an individual or individuals in one of her ads in her race against Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

This time around, she used the image of the late Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, in his vote not to overturn the Affordable Care Act. But McCain's widow, Cindy, was none too happy.

"I'm disappointed in [McGrath's] use of my late husband ... in a partisan attack ad against his good friend [McConnell]," she tweeted. "John's memory should be used promote common ground and civility, not to stoke division."

McGrath didn't seem to care, saying the vote was a "moment of public record" and that she thought she had permission from some member of the McCain family.

In 2019, coal miners said they were duped into appearing in one of her ads, saying they were never told political purposes were the intent of the video. They said they were led to believe the video was being made for a documentary relating to the work of the Black Lung Association. They said they were not political activists for either party.


$55 million and counting

An update from the Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development department has estimated the damage to businesses in the city where black suspect George Floyd died while in white police custody at a minimum of $55 million.

And that's just one city in one state.

Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey said he expected the damage would be "tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars." Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz said he hoped to get federal government assistance for the damage, but neither Congress nor the Federal Emergency Management Agency has consistently aided cities plagued by riots.

The planning and development agency said at least 220 buildings had been damaged, but the Minneapolis Star-Tribune put the number at nearly 500. The department, while providing the minimum total of $55 million, said it was "not yet ready to produce a credible estimate" of the losses.

"We will do everything we can as we shift to recovery mode," Frey said. "We're recovering from crises sandwiched on top of each other, from COVID-19 to the police killing and then the looting which took place afterward."


My rules, or else

The if-I-can't-get-what-I-want movement about the United States Supreme Court is back. Floated most recently by now-defeated candidates for the Democratic nomination for president, an open letter signed by prominent liberal groups now suggests the court be expanded to 11 members.

The signatories include Take Back The Court, Demand Justice, the Progressive Change Institute, Demand Progress, the Sunrise Movement, the Hero Action Fund,, Friends of the Earth, and

Politico says such a move would require simple legislation, not a constitutional amendment.

The groups are naked in their desired power grab, saying, "The fastest, most effective way to reverse the Republican theft of the Supreme Court and make the court representative of all Americans is to enact legislation increasing the size of the Court by at least two seats, and to quickly fill those seats with justices who will safeguard our democracy."

Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to do the same thing in the 1930s to ensure support for all his New Deal legislation, and even many of his Democratic supporters opposed him.

In recent years, judicial nominations first became openly partisan in 1987 when Democrats opposed the nomination to the court by President Ronald Reagan of Robert Bork. Kudos if you know the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at that time was Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, the same man who wants to be president today.