Is America the Greatest Country in the World? A Rant.

Is America the Greatest Country in the World? A Rant. December 7, 2019

You might have seen a popular clip from the television series The Newsroom (2012 – 2014) where Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels) is the anchor and managing editor of a news show. In the clip, McAvoy is part of a panel in front of a live audience.

McAvoy takes nothing seriously at first, but things get real at 1:36 in the video. Then at 2:30, in response to a softball question, “Why is America the greatest country in the world?” he says,

There’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force, and number 4 in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies.

McAvoy dismisses the pleasing answer and instead follows the evidence.

Inspired by this stream-of-consciousness speech, here’s the unhinged rant I’d like to hear from one of the politicians in the presidential race. There must be one who’s fed up with the status quo. To someone in a crowded political field who wants to go out with a bang, let me give you the first draft of your goodbye speech. If you can’t change the society by getting elected, maybe you can change it by giving it a kick in the ass.

“When I consider those stats, I see government as a big part of the problem. There’s no backbone, no willingness to make the tough call and take the heat. Politicians fiddle while Rome burns. Take climate change—yes, reducing our carbon footprint is difficult, but aren’t we adults here? Can’t politicians do what’s right? Do their job? Make the tough decisions?

“The scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change is plain enough, but there are political benefits to ignoring responsibility and leaving the mess for someone else. But put aside any controversy. Suppose climate change were real, humans were largely responsible, and all the evidence pointed there. Would political and business leaders then be ready to take the tough steps necessary to improve society? Of course not! Defiance on this issue would look just like it does today. ‘Lack of evidence’ is a smokescreen. Our leaders have become Bartelby—they’d ‘prefer not to.’

“There are 40 members of the House Science and Technology Committee. How many reject the scientific consensus on climate change, evolution, or the Big Bang? What I find incredible is that when political leaders reject science, they often aren’t shy about it. They publicly and proudly reject the consensus in a scientific field they don’t understand.

“Imagine what their political forebears in the wake of Sputnik would have said. Science delivered—indeed, it took us to the moon twelve years later. We followed science then, but we can pick and choose now? Let me suggest that competitive pressure from other countries, eager to capitalize on those poor educational stats, creates every bit of a Sputnik moment right now. We don’t have the luxury of appeasing science-averse special interests.

“Remember what JFK said about putting a man on the moon: ‘We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.’ What is our Apollo program? Are there no more big projects to tackle? Do we no longer have the stomach for that kind of national challenge?

“After 9/11, an outraged America turned to President Bush, and we would’ve followed him anywhere. For example, he could’ve said that this attack highlighted our energy dependence on the Middle East, so we needed an Apollo Project for energy independence—practical solar power, safer nuclear power, maybe even fusion power. And while we’re at it, recreate the world’s energy industry with America in the middle of it again. But no, we had a trillion dollars lying around, so we spent it on a war. Opportunity missed.

“Conservatives hate big government, unless it’s an intrusive government that tells you who you can’t marry and what religious slogans to have in public buildings. They hate government spending, unless it’s on things they like, like the military or anything in their district.

“My conservative friends, I’ve got to comment on your priorities. You seriously put opposition to same-sex marriage near the top of your list? You’re standing in the way of marriage, two people who love each other. I can’t imagine a worse target to put in your crosshairs from a PR standpoint. What’s next—grandma and apple pie? Hate fags in private if you must, but you really need to think about how this looks to the rest of society.

“And just so I piss off everyone, let me note traditionally liberal nuttery like a mindless rejection of nuclear power and GMOs, fear of vaccines, and coddling of college students. You remember college, the place where you’re supposed to be challenged? Students at many colleges are encouraged to be thin skinned and easily offended. Being uncomfortable and off-balance sometimes is part of the learning process.

“Limiting offensive speech can be another liberal tendency. So a religious group is feeling put upon by frank criticism—tough. Ditto anyone who is offended by a religious sermon. I energetically support free speech for pastors saying that fags are evil and atheists deserve hell, because I use the same free speech right to argue how idiotic their positions are.

“Today we find ourselves in another interminable presidential campaign cycle. It’s a tedious and expensive chess game where candidates try to avoid saying anything interesting that might come back to bite them. Last time, this process cost over $2 billion. I’m sure any of us could’ve found smarter ways to spend 95 percent of that.

“Many candidates are eager to show America how pious they are. Some will brag about how they pray before major decisions or choose the Bible over science when they conflict. What’s the problem with America’s politicians? Last time I checked, there was a single openly nontheistic member of Congress. In science, religious belief decreases with competence, but we’re to believe that all but one of the 535 members of Congress are theists? Congratulations, Christianity—you’ve subverted Article 6 of the Constitution and imposed a de facto religious test for public office.

“To see how Congress likes to spend its time, there was a 2002 Ninth Circuit ruling declaring ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional. In protest, the House assembled on the steps of the Capitol to publicly say the Pledge and loudly accentuate the ‘under God’ bit. Take that, First Amendment! Another example: we had a motto that fit America beautifully, E Pluribus Unum, but Congress replaced that with the one-size-fits-all ‘In God We Trust.’ I’ll bet that made God’s day.

“Congress always seems to be able to fit Christianity into its agenda. On the list of goodies religion has been given, the one that annoys me the most is closed financial records. The American public makes a contract with nonprofit organizations—we give them nonprofit status, and they open their books to prove that they spent the money wisely. That’s true for every charity in America except churches, and about $100 billion annually goes into religion’s black box. Want to find out if CARE or the Red Cross spend their donations wisely? You can find their IRS 990 form online in about 30 seconds, but don’t try the same thing with a church.

“You might say that churches fund soup kitchens and other good works. Sure, but how much is this? Maybe ten percent of their income? Or is two percent closer to the mark? Call churches ‘charities’ if you want, but these are charities with 90 percent overhead or more. Compare that to 10 percent for a well-run charity. Christians, don’t you see how bad this makes you look? You’re okay with God knowing what your churches do with their money, but you’re embarrassed to show the rest of us who are picking up the slack for your tax-free status. Christians should be shouting loudest to remove this perk.

“And let’s compare churches’ $10 billion a year of good works to what happens when society helps people. Federal programs for food, medical care, disability, and retirement spend about 1.5 trillion dollars annually. Government support for public schools and college is another half-trillion dollars. As a society, we do much good, and churches’ contribution is small change.

“Christianity in America has become more of a problem than a solution, though it wasn’t always so. Christians will point with justified pride to schools and hospitals built by churches or religious orders. The Social Gospel movement from a century ago pushed for corrections of many social ills—poverty and wealth inequality, alcoholism, poor schools, child labor, racism, poor living conditions, and more. Christians point to Rev. Martin Luther King’s work on civil rights and William Wilberforce’s Christianity-inspired work on ending slavery. But today, we hear about the Prosperity Gospel, not the Social Gospel.

“Can you imagine—Christians at the forefront of social improvement? They’re sometimes on the generous side of social issues today, but the headlines go to the conservative heel draggers.

“To see Christianity’s impact on society, consider some statistics: 46 percent of Americans believe in some form of the Genesis creation story, 22 percent think that the world will end in their lifetime, 77 percent believe in angels, and 57 percent of Republicans want Christianity as the national religion.

“This is the twenty-first century, my friends. When you open your mental drawbridge to allow in Christian wishful thinking, consider what other crazy stuff comes in as well. It also distorts our priorities, and the time spent wringing our hands over same-sex marriage or fighting to keep a Christian monument on public property is time we’re not spending on actual problems—international competitiveness, infrastructure like roads and bridges, campaign finance reform, improved education and health care, and so on.

“Christian morality is Bronze Age morality, which serves us poorly today. Christians scour the Bible for passages to support what they already believe. They might keep the verses against homosexuality, say, but reject those supporting racism, slavery, rape, and genocide. Christians celebrate faith, just about the least reliable route to the truth. And they’ll pray, thinking they’ve achieved some good, rather than actually doing something about a problem.

“We can agree to disagree—you have the right to believe in the supernatural, but know that in this country, the Constitution calls the shots, not God. Elected officials answer to the law, the Constitution, and their constituents. If you want to answer to a supernatural power that’s higher still, don’t run for public office. The Constitution defines a secular public square, and we’re stuck with it. Creationism and prayer stay out of public schools, and ‘In God We Trust’ stays out of the city council chambers. Though many Christians are determined not to see this, keeping religion out of government helps them as well as atheists.

“America the greatest country? There was a study comparing 17 Western countries, America included, on 25 social metrics—suicide, lifespan, divorce, teen births, alcohol consumption, life satisfaction, and so on. We were dead last for more than half of those 25. But who cares when we were number one in God belief, prayer, belief in heaven and hell, and rejection of evolution!

“Remember this next time some conservative politician or pundit tells you that society is going downhill because of lack of God belief. No, God belief is inversely correlated with social health.

“Another way society is broken is in income disparity. I love capitalism, but c’mon—there’s a limit. To get a condensed introduction to this, look up ‘Gini coefficient.’ It’s a single value that captures an economy’s income inequality. It was constant for decades, but it shows that U.S. income inequality has become steadily worse for the last thirty years.

“Another look at income disparity is the pay of top company’s CEOs. Americans think CEOs make 30 times more than the average worker. In fact, it’s ten times higher than that, which is a far higher disparity than that in any other country.

“Conservative politicians have gotten Christians protecting the status quo. Machiavelli would be proud, but is this really the society that Jesus would be pleased to see? Would Jesus be standing in the way of expanded health care? Would he be pro guns and pro death penalty? Would he be more concerned about first-term abortions, or would he be more concerned about the 10 million children under five who die in the Third World every year? Perhaps you’ve forgotten the Jesus we’re talking about—he’s the one who said, ‘What you have done to the least of these brothers and sisters of mine you have done to me.’

“Christians, politicians are leading you around by the nose. They assure you that the sky is falling so you’ll rally around, but they have no incentive to solve problems. Solved problems mean no reason for voters to support them. Think for yourself.

“Look, I don’t have the solutions. As with Cassandra, no one would much care if I did. But let me suggest some of the problems: religion that doesn’t know its place and politicians who don’t know their jobs.

“Does someone have to sacrifice their political career by doing their job? Making the tough call? Big deal—in decades past, Americans sacrificed their lives. Do the right thing. Make a decision you can look back on with pride. Maybe America will surprise you and actually pay attention. A politician doing the right thing, and damn the consequences? That would be newsworthy.”

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 10/21/15.)

Image from Beverly, public domain



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  • LastManOnEarth

    Yeah, but other than that?

    • Phil

      I feel a Monty Python moment stirring!

  • Steven Watson

    Make America Great Actually. What a horrible thought; I prefer a USA that is as dysfunctional as possible: it is less of a danger to the rest of the world that way.

    • I prefer a USA that is as dysfunctional as possible: it is less of a danger to the rest of the world that way.

      You’re talking about a country that has the worlds largest nuclear arsenal. Dysfunctional is really not something that you want out of a nuclear superpower that has been the defacto world police for the last 70 years.

      • BertB

        I think it might be helpful if we as a nation lost some of our exceptionalism and arrogance. The current occupant of the White House is a caricature of what other nations think of as The Ugly American.

        • The video of other leaders laughing at Trump at the NATO summit was a perfect example of world leaders exemplifying what many of us foreigners think about Trump. World leaders are usually a little more diplomatic, but it’s hard to be diplomatic about such a man.

          I do hope your country is able to sort out that mess of corruption that you’ve got in your federal government.

        • Judy Thompson

          What so many people from other countries don’t realize is that yes, a LOT of us are utterly horrifed by what we have sitting in the WhiteHouse right now, and horrified that other countries seem to be blaming all of us for it. Or him. or whatever. In a way it feels like we are trying to flee a forest fire and everyone is blaming us for the lightning that started it.

        • I can’t speak for everyone else in the world, but I don’t blame all Americans for electing Trump. Unfortunately Americans, and much of the rest of the world, must live with the consequences of the gullible masses that elected him. I sincerely hope that 2020 gives the rest of the world a better result.

          Sadly, the world is a less safe place as long as Trump remains in office, and there’s very little that I, as a non-American, can do about it.

        • BertB

          I hope we fix the problem next year, but I fear that the madness could continue. If it does, we, as a nation, deserve our fate.

        • epeeist

          I hope we fix the problem next year, but I fear that the madness could continue.

          If not in the States then in other countries, consider the likes of Johnson, Orban, Bolsanaro, Modi and Duterte amongst others.

        • Pofarmer

          I just read an article by Chris Hedges about what’s going on, and it took me a minute to realize he wrote it in 2004. We’re dead in the middle of the rise of Christian Fascism. And what we do about it is going to define our country.

        • BertB

          …And what we do about it is going to define our country.

          Or destroy it.

        • BertB

          I share your frustration. You and I did not vote for him, but a lot of our fellow citizens did. So we must share the blame for this debacle.
          We ARE to blame! We let it happen. We didn’t work hard enough, or offer enough arguments for why he was going to be the disaster that he is. So now, we need to fix it. We need to get rid of the disease that is plaguing our democracy, and humiliating us in the eyes of the world. If we don’t, if we don’t succeed in ousting him, then…either we are not committed to our cause…or…our cause is lost, and we and our nation deserve our fate…oblivion.

        • Phil

          “We ARE to blame! We let it happen. We didn’t work hard enough, or offer enough arguments for why he was going to be the disaster”
          By the same token that we in the UK are responsible for the Brexit disaster. At least you can fix your problem in a year or so. We will probably never be able to fix ours, once US pharmaceutical companies get to peddle their wares without restriction as part of an fantasy trade deal with the US.

        • BertB

          I was shocked to see that Conservatives got a big win in the recent election. I thought Brits were having second thoughts about Brexit, but apparently not enough of them.

        • Phil

          Yes there was enough of them but because of our electoral system, like your college system, they got in with 43% of the votes. Plus we had Corbyn who has been totally ineffectual. So we were left with no real opposition parties that could overcome all the fake news.

  • larry parker

    I don’t know that a person needs to wait until they’re read to drop out before deliver this speech.
    If someone kicked of their campaign with it, I would vote for them.

  • Joslyn Renfrey

    “They might keep the verses against homosexuality, say, but reject those supporting racism, slavery, rape, and genocide.”

    … incorrect, actually, it appears that white evangelicals are on board with all of these things, given how they adore confederate statues, sic the police on black people while they’re in public, support the prison industrial complex, pay no mind to Donald Trump’s history with women and get uppity when people protest neonazis.

    • susanney

      I read it like he meant they PICK and CHOOSE what to believe and what verses to follow. Like they are totally fine with children in cages but furious when it comes to womens rights to choose whats best for her. They are twofaced, they follow what Suits them. Its like you cant be a good person unless you believe, Well then Im a very bad oe, eventhough I help the homeless, Take care of the elderly and so on, And I have never hurt anyone intentionally thats against my religion.

  • NSAlito

    Politicians fiddle while Rome burns.

    A while back I learned of another term like NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). NIMTO (Not In My Term of Office) is the response politicians will give you after they agree with you that there’s a problem that would kill their careers to fix.

    The solution to going to the moon was straightforward*, unlike AGW/CC.
    – It’s everybody’s problem so it’s nobody’s problem.
    – The reward for spewing GHGs in the atmosphere is immediate, and the cost is diffuse.
    – Humans suck at thinking in terms of planetary scales.
    – Reality TV is easy, science is boring.
    – While stopping smoking is a benefit to the individual, reducing one’s carbon footprint doesn’t seem to matter much on a world of 7.7 billion people.
    – Nefarious Globalists® made up climate change to take away your SUVs and golf.

    *Straightforward as in having a well-defined goal and a series of problems with technical solutions.

  • RichardSRussell

    And just so I piss off everyone, let me note traditionally liberal nuttery like a mindless rejection of nuclear power and GMOs, fear of vaccines, and coddling of college students.

    As a certifiable liberal, I can only say Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! And let me throw in denigration of historical giants because they didn’t measure up to the social standards of the 21st Century.

    To hear the “coddling” bit expounded at book length, with footnotes, maps, and diagrams, I refer everyone to The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt.

    • let me throw in denigration of historical giants because they didn’t measure up to the social standards of the 21st Century.

      That’s a tangent but an interesting one. With Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, Harvey Weinstein, and others connected to sex crimes, are we allowed to admire their work? Or is any good they’ve done now permanently polluted?

      • RichardSRussell

        I long ago learned that there are no perfect human beings. To my mind, it’s still possible to admire people for the things they got right (and everybody gets SOME things right) while deploring the things they got wrong (and everybody gets SOME things wrong). I’ve just never understood this attitude that, as soon as somebody screws up (or, more accurately, as soon as it becomes KNOWN that they’ve screwed up), absolutely everything else in her or his life gets immediately chucked into the trash bin as if it never occurred. Throw too much bleach on history in an attempt to purify it and you end up with nothing but uniform bland whiteness.

      • Judy Thompson

        That’s bothered me too. Add Garrison Keillor. They booted him so fast it caused shockwaves. But what they did as performers and creative souls still stands up, and it should. Quality is quality, and none of us is flawless. Granted there’s degrees, but still, great work is great work.

      • Phil

        What about all the science that stems from Nazi research? Do we abandon rockets and Fanta?

        • Well, what have rockets done for me lately? But Fanta? Now you’re getting close to home.

  • Jim Baerg

    I mostly like your rant but there are a few points I’d change
    “safer nuclear power”
    Nuclear power is already safer than any other energy source.

    The opposition to nuclear power is to a large extent why global warming, and many other environmental issues, are problems

    “faith, just about the least reliable route to the truth”
    Change to
    “faith, the most reliable way away from truth”

    • Lark62

      The problem I have with nuclear energy is we are creating a mess we haven’t yet learned to clean up. If we had the technology and will to clean up after ourselves it would be okay.

      • Jim Baerg

        1) It is a very small & contained mess compared to the messes created by many other energy sources. The used fuel rods take up much less space than the leftovers from other energy sources, and so are much easier to keep contained.
        Here is why
        2) The ‘mess’ would be even smaller if not for the opposition to breeder reactors which use up *all* the uranium rather than only about 1% of it, & turn it all into relatively short lived isotopes so the leftovers are about as radioactive as the original ore after a few centuries rather than many thousands of years.
        Look up ‘Integral Fast Reactor’ for the details of one such reactor. See also Molten Salt Reactors which may turn out to be better than the IFR and can use Thorium as well as Uranium for the fuel, thus increasing the available fuel by a few times.
        See the book ‘Plentiful Energy’ for technical details on the IFR as well as the shameful story of its suppression.
        See’ Prescription for the Planet’ for a discussion of the IFR & 2 other technologies which could greatly reduce environmental problems. The IFR & the Plasma Torch look like sure things. Boron as a fuel looks like it needs some R & D to check that is is really practical.

        All the anti-nuclear talking points turn out to be misleading half truths, when they are not just lies. They get repeated by people who have heard & believed them.

        • Can you summarize the boron thing? Surely they’re not talking about burning boron as if it were coal?

        • Jim Baerg

          This would be burning boron in pure oxygen to run cars & other things that can’t be plugged into the grid. The resulting boron oxide stays in the car & gets taken to a recycling center where energy from an IFR gets used to turn it back into boron to be reused. Part of what makes me skeptical is the question of how small & cheap a device for extracting pure O2 from the atmosphere can be made so it can be put in a car.
          Besides that lithium batteries seem to be getting pretty good & lithium air batteries might be feasible. If lithium air batteries work they would have an energy density much better than any existing battery. About as high as a tank of gasoline, but with much higher efficiency than an internal combustion engine.

        • Thanks. I wonder if supercapacitors will eventually become competitive compared to batteries.

        • BertB

          I am hoping. They are the Holy Grail as an energy storage device for EV’s.

        • Greg G.

          The resulting boron oxide stays in the car

          The car would get heavier as you drove it, unless the pure O2 was in a tank but that would limit the travel distance between fill-ups, I expect.

    • Yes, nuclear power has already proven itself. My point was that it could be safer still. In the US, we’ve thrown away the last 40 years or so, maintaining the designs we have instead of improving them further. For example, the Integral Fast Reactor in the 1980s was inherently fail-safe and produced just 1% of the waste than earlier designs. It was shut down by anti-nuclear Democrats.

      More in my summary of the movie “Pandora’s Promise,” about nuclear power:

      • Jim Baerg

        Given that nuclear is already safer than the alternatives, the important thing is to make it cheaper too, so it gets built instead of those more dangerous alternatives.That is the promise of the IFR or various molten salt designs.

        • BertB

          One of the big costs of nuke power that has been largely ignored is the cost of decommissioning old plants. I am particularly conscious of that because I live in SoCal where the decommissioning of the San Onofre plant cost a bundle, after an attempted renovation was botched. Of course we ratepayers are picking up the check for that. And, of course, the problem of nuke waste disposal. As Bob says, there are other designs that produce less waste, but as I recall, they also produce material that can be used in bombs. Please correct me on that if I am wrong on that. I am not against nuke power, but a big investment in nukes would probably divert funds from solar, wind and other clean renewable sources, which I think are preferable.

        • Thorium reactors, as I understand them, neither create nor use material that can be used to make a nuclear bomb.

          a big investment in nukes would probably divert funds from solar, wind and other clean renewable sources, which I think are preferable.

          Nuclear, like fossil fuel plants, are dependable. If it’s not windy or sunny, wind or solar won’t help you (though energy storage is reducing this problem).

        • Jim Baerg

          My understanding is that the cost of decommissioning was *NOT* ignored. The cost is included in the price of electricity from the nuke plant & set aside to be used when the nuke is finally decommissioned. Given the dishonesty of other antinuclear talking points I would be surprised if that one is accurate. Of course the longer a nuclear plant remains running the smaller the decommissioning cost is as a fraction of the revenue generated. Antinukes know this & try to shut down reactors to make the economics of nuclear less good.

      • It doesn’t happen to often, but when they they go bad they have the ability to badly contaminate the entire planet. Look at Chernobyl. it did contaminate the atmosphere. We humans like to believe we can build indestructible machines.

        Power cells are the future.IMHO

  • Michael Neville

    Hear! Hear!

  • Phil Rimmer


    makes interesting reading. There is not an all or nothing single policy decision here, but a broad push for fairness.

  • abb3w

    But let me suggest some of the problems: religion that doesn’t know its place and politicians who don’t know their jobs.

    Perhaps more exactly, religion that seeks to have its power exceed its authority, and politicians who seek the benefit of their faction at the expense of the good of all people.

    I’d also add, politicians who are blinded to facts when those facts are inconvenient to the interests of their faction.

  • Cheryl Simon


  • kikipt

    But does the Constitution really call the shots? The Constitution is whatever the Supreme Court says it is and means whatever they say it means. Right now trump controls the courts. A rational understanding of the Constitution (which is far from flawless – consider the Electoral College) is not likely at present.

  • Judy Thompson

    bravo, bravo, bravo.

  • Jason Carpp

    I regret that I’ve never watched “Newsroom”, but I’m well aware of the series. I have to agree with Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels). I don’t believe that the United States is the greatest country in the world. It’s a good country, with some good ideas, but I don’t think we’re the greatest country in the world, far from it, in fact. I don’t think there’s any country in the world that deserves to be labelled “the greatest”. We still have racism, we still have homophobia, we have hatred for people who aren’t like us. We have a government whose president hates people and wants the rest of the country to hate its own citizen. I know I’m not perfect. I’ve been guilty of calling people names that some might consider hateful or hurtful, even though I don’t hate anyone.

  • RMS

    In america, the most important thing that matters is Money. Nothing else even comes close. If you don’t go into politics rich, you’ll come out that way, and with a nice pension & lifetime health care.

    These people will do anything to stay in office, including selling their country down the river.

  • B.J. Blazkowicz

    No longer. It’s turning into a 3rd world Banana Republic.

  • ralphmeyer

    The U.S. the greatest country??? Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha….what a laugh, especially with the Grungy Outlandish Prats (GOP) controlling the country and with a crappy crud, Trump, the louse, in the White House befouling the place with his stinking presence!

  • Rennyrij

    A Great country? I’d rather have a Good country. What is so great about being “Great”? (It reeks of a readiness to be Condescending toward others. Wow! What a way to make friends!)