Toledo Mayor kicks out Marines



Mayor Carty Finkbeiner website has been down for a while now - but if you would like to visit it and learn more about the mayor, click here...

GLENN: Let me go to Fred LeFebvre of WSPD in Toledo, Ohio, the home of quite possibly my favorite mayor.

LeFEBVRE: Oh, really?

GLENN: Yeah. Fred, I don't even remember this guy's name. What's his name again?

LeFEBVRE: Carlton S. Finkbeiner. It is pretty cartoonish as are most of his behaviors recently and before we go forward, I'd like to help you with your positive potty problem.

GLENN: Are you a positive potty role model?

LeFEBVRE: I am. And I understand that you suffer from MPPP. So you may want to pick up the book "Everybody Poops."

GLENN: Really?

LeFEBVRE: Have one of your guys pick that up. Have Stu find that for you, "Everybody Poops." Just read that.

GLENN: Fred, is it really a book?

LeFEBVRE: It really is a book.

GLENN: It really is a book. How old are your kids, Fred?

LeFEBVRE: My kids are out of college already.

GLENN: Yeah, you son of a...

LeFEBVRE: But we read it to my children.

GLENN: Really? "Everybody Poops"?

LeFEBVRE: "Everybody Poops."

GLENN: You know, I've forgotten because I've got college kids and I have a 2-year-old and everybody does poop, we have learned that.

LeFEBVRE: That's right.

GLENN: But I have forgotten the joys of the phone calls in the middle of the day, you know, when you're in meetings with high powered people and you have to say, excuse me just a minute, "Who went poopy on the potty! Good for you!"

LeFEBVRE: Well, it never got that bad for me, thankfully.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah, it has for me but I'm not a positive potty role model, but anyway --

LeFEBVRE: Well, you will be. There's always hope. I just hope that our mayor here, Carlton S. Finkbeiner becomes a positive role model. I don't see that happening anytime soon.

GLENN: He kicked the Marines out of Toledo.

LeFEBVRE: Yeah, he did, Friday night, company A, 24th battalion, first marine. We're coming into town to do what they refer to as urban patrol exercises. You may have seen it around when they come into a city, urban practice, they practice in abandoned buildings, they work on the streets, not live fire or anything.

GLENN: Carlton must know there's no city better for abandoned buildings than Toledo, Ohio.

LeFEBVRE: Well, the interesting thing is after scoping them out and then referring to them the following day in his press conference, he said we would be glad to have them back, we have plenty of other abandoned buildings for them to use. He just, he wasn't aware of it apparently. There was a miscommunication according to him. He didn't know they were going to be in the central business district on a Friday evening.

GLENN: Isn't that where the mayor is keeping most of the abandoned buildings there in the central business --

LeFEBVRE: That's where ours are, where we're setting up there that are abandoned. The problem is these guys came all the way from Grand Rapids, Michigan, a four-hour drive. They were just about set up --

GLENN: Hang on just a second. Wait just a second. A four-hour drive, please tell me they weren't driving Humvees. They were driving something that was a little more environmentally friendly.

LeFEBVRE: Military vehicles.

GLENN: Prius.

LeFEBVRE: Very environmentally friendly.

GLENN: Of course they are.

LeFEBVRE: Probably about 3 miles per gallon but that's okay.

GLENN: All right.

LeFEBVRE: They were almost set up, they were ready to go. When the mayor sent word that because he hadn't been informed of it, even though everybody else knew, TV stations, radio stations, newspaper, all were aware of it and had made it known to the public, he wanted them out by 6:00.

GLENN: By 6:00. What time did they arrive?

LeFEBVRE: Probably around 3:00, something like that. They were just getting set up. The other vehicles were on the way. Captain Davis had come in early. He was the one in charge. He was setting up.

GLENN: Right.

LeFEBVRE: At that point Captain Davis changed out of his camo into a regular uniform as a sign of respect to the mayor.

GLENN: Yes.

LeFEBVRE: Went down to 1 Government Center to have a face-to-face with him and see if they could work something out. The mayor was too busy.

GLENN: Really?

LeFEBVRE: Yeah.

GLENN: Was he, like, walking his dog or something?

LeFEBVRE: He had somebody else walk the dog.

GLENN: He really does bring a dog to work, doesn't he?

LeFEBVRE: Yes, he does.

GLENN: I like a mayor that feels comfortable enough to have his dog in city hall.

LeFEBVRE: Well, I think he needs it. It's one of those therapy dogs. If he doesn't have the dog with him, he will kick somebody else.

GLENN: Really?

LeFEBVRE: Yeah.

GLENN: Oh, does he have a John McCain temper?

LeFEBVRE: Yeah, I would say so. There are stories of the mayor actually slapping his PI, his public information officer.

GLENN: Really?

LeFEBVRE: Throwing coffee cups and chairs, all kinds of wonderful things like that.

GLENN: That's too bad. I hope this interview is pissing him off.

LeFEBVRE: It doesn't matter. He won't come to me.

GLENN: So Fred, so he's kicked the Marines out and he did it because he didn't know. But I've heard also that he said that it was frightening people to have Marines there.

LeFEBVRE: Well, the number one -- first of all, like all Democrats there are a number of reasons, and the reasons change as the days go by.

GLENN: Sure.

LeFEBVRE: The first reason was that he hadn't been told there was a miscommunication.

GLENN: Got it.

LeFEBVRE: The second reason was --

GLENN: Wait, wait. So the first thing that you do is kick the Marines out? There was a miscommunication. So kick the Marines out of your town.

LeFEBVRE: Yeah, there are --

GLENN: The last thing you do is trust the Marines, yeah. All right.

LeFEBVRE: The second reason that he didn't want them there is because it would frighten people.

GLENN: Oh, that's a good one.

LeFEBVRE: The thousands of people that are downtown according to the mayor, the 10,000 to 14,000 people who are leaving work, the schoolchildren who are getting on the bus and, of course, all the people who went to the RV show this year.

GLENN: Yeah. Were they still in town just meandering around?

LeFEBVRE: No, no, he sent them home.

GLENN: No, I mean the RV show people.

LeFEBVRE: No, they're gone.

GLENN: I didn't know if they were still meandering around. They were like, the RV show was so great, I still want to just hang around all these empty buildings.

LeFEBVRE: No, they got frightened by the mayor and left.

GLENN: Does the mayor know that people are running from the center of town as it is? They don't -- maybe the Marines being present might actually make people feel more comfortable?

LeFEBVRE: Actually it probably would to know that there was a presence downtown, since the police force is kind of small right now.

GLENN: And I've talked to some of the police in Toledo, Ohio, and none of them really want to go on the record.

LeFEBVRE: Well, that's the thing. The mayor is also known for retribution. Yeah, he's not a friendly guy. So the Marines got kicked out, they had to be out by 6:00. They went back to Grand Rapids.

GLENN: Yeah.

LeFEBVRE: And from there the things have just blown up. Not only are the local people, citizens and ex-armed force people upset, it has spread on the Drudge and on CNN and on Fox News and now on your show.

GLENN: Those damn CNN people.

LeFEBVRE: Even ESPN had a blog about it.

GLENN: How did they tie that into sports in

LeFEBVRE: I have no idea. It was on ESPN and it was on our New Orleans Saints blog that our mayor had done this.

GLENN: Maybe they tied it in. Do you remember how the Baltimore Colts moved out of Baltimore in the middle of the night and just kind of abandoned the city? Maybe ESPN kind of went, oh, abandoned cities? Oh, it must be a sports story.

LeFEBVRE: Well, I think it was a little bit closer because this particular branch of the Marines has their public affairs officer based in New Orleans and so I think that's where the Saints tie-in came in, how it got to ESPN

GLENN: Okay, all right.

LeFEBVRE: The interesting thing is you would think, and you've dealt with these people on a pretty regular basis over the last few years. You would think that at some point he would say, like a sports guy, you know what, I'm really sorry, I made a mistake. No, yesterday at the state of the city address he said if this occasion rose again, I would do the exact same thing.

GLENN: Amen, brother. Kick those Marines out.

LeFEBVRE: That's right.

GLENN: Those damn, dirty Marines that you can never trust.

LeFEBVRE: And if you disagree with him and his terms of safeguarding Toledoans in his own words: We may disagree but you have my respect.

GLENN: Oh, gosh, I wish I could be reciprocal on that one. Let me ask you this: So he was safeguarding the people of Toledo from the Marines?

LeFEBVRE: Yes. According to him, his first priority, and this is again yesterday in his state of the city address, is the health and welfare and safety of Toledoans. I never asked for his help in my healthcare or my welfare.

GLENN: But Democrats do know about healthcare and welfare. So --

LeFEBVRE: That's what they want to do.

GLENN: Yeah. And usually everybody in the city is healthy because there's only like four people left and --

LeFEBVRE: I'm sorry to say some days that I'm still one of them.

GLENN: Okay. So he's guarding against the Marines and that's a good thing that you've got, that you've got -- you know you've got a mayor that if you're ever invaded by the Marines, he's going to kick them out.

LeFEBVRE: That's right. And at least the populists won't be frightened.

GLENN: Yes, okay. So Fred, thanks for filling us in on this and let us know what the cartoon mayor does, you know, if there's any other new developments.

LeFEBVRE: Well, I tell you what, the new development today city council is getting together at 2:00 here in Toledo and they are getting a resolution together. The worst part of it is they want to, according to the resolution, have the City of Toledo offer an apology. I think that's wrong. The City didn't do anything. It's the mayor that did.

GLENN: Why would the City of Toledo?

LeFEBVRE: Well, because that's council and they are all Democrats for the most part. Yesterday we did hold a demonstration outside.

GLENN: Did we -- hang on just a second. Wait, wait, wait. Didn't everybody else know about this, right?

LeFEBVRE: Everybody knew.

GLENN: It was only the mayor that kicked them out?

LeFEBVRE: Yeah.

GLENN: Yeah. City council should grow a set.

LeFEBVRE: That's what I said this morning.

GLENN: Yeah. Maybe they should just go to the mayor and say, you know what? You should probably offer an apology.

LeFEBVRE: That's exactly the way I feel. They shouldn't apologize. The city did nothing wrong. The citizens, in fact, have stood up for the Marines and have for years.

GLENN: Of course, of course they did. I mean, you know, it's not Berkeley, California, for the love of Pete.

LeFEBVRE: No, but we hate the idea that people are actually comparing us to Berkeley this week.

GLENN: You know what, because I read this story. I read the story yesterday and we talked and quite honestly laughed about it because of the cartoon mayor in the office yesterday. There's not a soul, at least at the CNN office or here, at least on my program I can speak for, that laughed about or compared Toledo to Berkeley. We compared the mayor to an idiot.

LeFEBVRE: Well, thank you. I appreciate that because the citizens here are behind the Marines 100%.

GLENN: I tell you what, you tell the mayor that if he just continues the policies that he's doing right now, he won't have to worry about anybody in town being afraid of the Marines because there will be no one left.

LeFEBVRE: Well, I appreciate it and I will pass that word on to him and let me just mention --

GLENN: Are you having lunch with him?

LeFEBVRE: -- very quickly before we go. We had a demonstration yesterday in front of city hall. We're doing one again today beginning at 3:00 for people who want to show their support for the armed forces and the Marines in particular.

GLENN: Unbelievable. Thanks, Fred.

LeFEBVRE: Thank you, Glenn.

Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?