Sunday, February 19, 2017

Should Americans take what Trump says at face value?


“They should not, because the president and most of his senior advisers are serial liars. It’s that simple,” said Eliot Cohen, a senior State Department official under [George W.] Bush and a member of his National Security Council. “I cannot believe a word that comes out of the president’s mouth, the spokesman’s mouth, the vice president’s mouth, because, frankly, he’s morally comprised now, too.” 
Link.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thanks, on behalf of all women, I'm sure


Yesterday, Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, tweeted the following:
























That's Ivanka, sitting at the President's desk in the Oval Office with Justin Trudeau, the PM of Canada, and her moron father, Trump, the President of the United States. Some people have expressed outrage that Ivanka is sitting in that particular chair, but that's not a problem. Lots of people have had their picture taken seated at that desk.

I have other, bigger, problems with the photo and Tweet.

1. It's 2017. The idea that it's "important that women have a seat at the table" is patronizing and antiquated. Was this picture taken in the 1960s? Sheesh. Of course women should have a place at the table, and in civilized parts of the world, they already do, but only conservatives act like they just thought of it. The Democrats just ran a woman for President of the United States. You may have heard of her?

2. Ivanka is seated while the two men loom over her, diminishing her.

3. Ivanka is the only one in the picture WITHOUT power. She has no job in the government and is only there because her father is President. So saying that she has a seat at the table isn't accurate.

4. Are we really supposed to believe that she had a "great" conversation with her father, the handsy misogynist, about women? Right.

5. Trump is less a "world leader" than a "world destroyer" through his arrogant, ignorant stupidity. Although he is leading us over a cliff, so maybe that one's a nitpick.

6. That's not even a table, it's a damn desk. Geez.


Hey, here's a picture of Trump signing the Executive Order reinstating the Global Gag Rule that cuts off funds for any health organization that discusses abortion as a health option for women in developing countries.

Not shown:  Any Women at the Table
I don't blame Trudeau for any of this; he's a true progressive and not behind the Tweet. And I mostly don't mind the picture, just the ridiculous idea expressed by Ivanka in the Tweet. I mean, like everything her father does, she very efficiently packs a whole lot of wrong in a very small package.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Lego Batman Movie


Carol and I saw The Lego Batman Movie yesterday. While not as good as The Lego Movie, the best animated movie of the past ten years, I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to seeing it again.

I'm not going to summarize the plot because there are some surprises that I don't want to spoil. Yes, there are surprises.

I will say that the movie starts out rather chaotically with an action sequence so busy that it's a little hard to follow what's happening. But once the movie settles down, it's funny, touching and it works. I especially loved Michael Cera's Robin.

I'm looking forward to owning this on Blu-Ray because there is an unbelievable amount of background action going on; this movie probably has the most Easter Eggs of any movie ever produced.

If you're a fan of Batman, you should really love it. And if you're not, you should still find it fun.




The man who thought he was elected king


If you want to get a feel for how things are going a little more than three weeks into the Trump Administration, read this article on Politico now. If you read one article this week, make it this one.


Here's a small taste of what you have in store.
Most of those interviewed for this story requested anonymity to describe the inner workings of a White House where they say the tension has been intensified by the president’s propensity for knee-jerk micromanaging when faced with disappointment, and jockeying among aides to avoid blame or claim credit when possible.
The interviews paint a picture of a powder-keg of a workplace where job duties are unclear, morale among some is low, factionalism is rampant and exhaustion is running high. Two visitors to the White House last week said they were struck by how tired the staff looks.

Gee, who would have thought that electing a narcissistic idiot who obviously knows nothing about how government works would cause problems?

In the face of such ignorance, arrogance and stupidity, we all need a laugh. 



Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Twitter Tantrum's Egregious Effects


A few days ago, the department store chain Nordstrom announced that they would no longer carry Ivanka Trump's line of clothing and jewelry. They said that sales didn't justify carrying the brand.

Today, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES tweeted this:



Let's go through the many reasons this Tweet was ridiculously wrong.
1.  The POTUS attacking an (AMERICAN) company could harm that company, causing its stock to drop, hurting investors and suppliers, roiling markets, and costing AMERICAN jobs.
2.  Ivanka has not been "treated unfairly". Nordstrom made a business decision to drop the line and explained their reasoning. Isn't Trump supposed to understand business decisions?
3.  If Ivanka is indeed a great person pushing Trump to do the right thing, maybe she should push him to STOP TWEETING.
4.  Trump's Twitter tantrums have already caused other companies to give him credit for things he didn't do in order to stay on his good side. For example, he didn't save hundreds of millions of dollars in costs on the F-35, those price discounts had been in the works for months before he took office. But he took credit and Lockheed Martin let him so he wouldn't tank their stock. Also, some companies have already started pretending to go along with Trump to get a favorable Tweet.
5.  After he Tweeted this on his personal account, something he shouldn't be doing as President, he RETWEETED it on the official Presidential account. 
And finally,
6.  He's using the Office of the President here in an attempt to help his family financially; an ongoing, highly problematic conflict of interest. What, Ivanka isn't rich enough already?
All those problems in a short, simple Tweet. You have to give him credit for efficiency, at least.


Really, this is perfectly normal. Nothing odd about this at all.


Uh . . .
President Donald Trump was confused about the dollar: Was it a strong one that’s good for the economy? Or a weak one?
So he made a call ― except not to any of the business leaders Trump brought into his administration or even to an old friend from his days in real estate. Instead, he called his national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, according to two sources familiar with Flynn’s accounts of the incident.
Flynn has a long record in counterintelligence but not in macroeconomics. And he told Trump he didn’t know, that it wasn’t his area of expertise, that, perhaps, Trump should ask an economist instead. Link
I thought the one thing this so-called business-genius President was bringing to the table was his business acumen?



The Timeline of Ipecac


I was born 52 years ago.

I started dating my wife 36 years ago.

I graduated from high school 34 years ago.

I graduated from college 30 years ago.

We were married 29 years ago.

I graduated from law school 27 years ago.

I started working at my current job 27 years ago.

My daughter was born 22 years ago.

My son was born 19 years ago.

I switched to the department I'm in now 19 years ago.

I became the deputy manager of my department 16 years ago.

I was diagnosed with diabetes 12 years ago.

I became the head manager of my department 11 years ago.

I started this blog 10 years ago.

My daughter graduated from high school 5 years ago.

My daughter graduated from college and my son graduated from high school 1 year ago.

Both of my parents are still alive. All of my grandparents are gone.

Time flies.

(All times are rounded to the year)

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Weep for the children


This is the today-confirmed, Secretary of Education in the Trump Administration, Betsy Devos. She is the first ever cabinet level appointee who was confirmed on a 51 to 50 vote with the newly elected Vice President breaking the tie.



She is not a teacher or any kind of educator.

She has never attended a public school.

Her children have never attended a public school.

Her long term goal has been to shift public money to private, religious schools.

She is utterly unqualified for the position of Secretary of Education.

She is the new Secretary of Education because she's given over $200 million to Republican candidates.


Here is Senator Al Franken, from the floor on the Senate today, imploring his Republican colleagues to do their jobs.
I'd like to close by asking a few questions of my colleagues who are still considering a vote in her favor. If Mrs. DeVos's performance didn't convince you that she lacks the qualifications for this job, what would have to have happened in that hearing in order to convince you? If you can not bring yourself to vote against this nominee, is there anyone President Trump could nominate for any position that you could vote against?

And if we cannot set party loyalty aside long enough to perform the essential duty of vetting the president's nominees, what are we even doing here?

Mr. President, the constitution gives us that power to reject cabinet nominations specifically so that we can prevent fundamentally ill-equipped nominees like Betsy DeVos from assuming positions of power for which they are not qualified. Let's do our job.

For the sake of our children, let's do our job.
They didn't. And now the education of America's children is in the hands of Betsy Devos.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

There is still hope


Huge respect to 84 Lumber for this moving Super Bowl Ad. Fox refused to air more than the first three minutes. The second half was available on the 84 Lumber site, which crashed due to all the traffic.

It's about 6 minutes long, but please watch it.




84 Lumber, this is for you.



Super Bowl LI


I'm pretty sure that Atlanta Democrats are having flashbacks to election night right now.

Lady Gaga, however, was awesome.

Week Two of President Moron


I apologize if the titles of these weekly posts offend you.

The Office of the President is more than two centuries old and an important, venerable institution that deserves respect. Unfortunately, the current occupant of that office is a narcissistic, immature, vile, ignorant, mean-spirited, racist, sexist, intellectually incurious, douchenozzle who sullies the office he occupies. The only real fault in calling him President Moron is that it's an insult to morons.

So I apologize to all morons for associating you with Donald Trump.

                                                                                                                                                              Image by Mark Sumner.

The funny thing is, here we are after two weeks of the Trump Regime and he has done NOTHING that I can honestly praise. He has handled no situation with grace and dignity, proposed or enacted no policy that I could get behind. He has done literally everything wrong and really screwed up a lot of people's lives in the process.

So, let's take some solace in mocking him, which surely must be driving him (even more) insane.






Monday, January 30, 2017

Sally Yates is a steely eyed missile man


Tonight, Moron Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to defend his unconstitutional Muslim Ban. In dark times, some people stand up for what's moral and right.

Sally Yates is such a person.

Sally Yates is a hero.

So say we all.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

President Moron had a fantastic first week making America great again


It seems rather remarkable that only one week into the Trump ::gag:: Presidency, he's already one of the worst Presidents we've ever had, and possibly the worst. He's not only a thin-skinned, lying, racist, sexist, probably mentally ill, ignorant asshole; he's incompetent as well. He's issuing unconstitutional executive orders, written not by lawyers or experts in government, but written by an actual NAZI.

Attribution: Mark Sumner

I am reasonably confident that all of this plays into the hands of the no less horrible, Machiavellian, mainstream Republicans, who will wait until Trump has disgusted everyone but his loyal core of voters, and then boot him out of office and install Mike Pence, an equally terrible person in his place.

If you support Bannon's Trump's Muslim ban, then you suck as a human being. Also, look how you're being played. Not only is the Muslim ban an offense against human rights, it makes terrorism against the United States more likely, as we turn our allies against us and enrage even more Muslims, many of whom have assisted us for years. And it's not even targeted against the countries that have hurt us.


As we continue the fight against this monster and the loss of our American ideals, just remember, you are not alone.





Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Women's March


Yesterday, Carol and I attended the Women's March in Washington D.C., to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump and to support progressive policies, especially policies relating to women. D.C., of course, has lots and lots of protests, and I've never attended one before, but I felt strongly that I should attend this one. I'm glad we did.

Carol and I left home after the rally had already started so as not to make too long a day of it. We were forewarned by the radio that Shady Grove Metro station had no parking, so we went to the Rockville station and paid to park at the Rockville Town Center garage. That was a great decision. We walked over to the station and immediately caught a train. Awesome.

I commute every day on the Metro and have often seen it with standing room only crowds. So seeing it packed with people wasn't unusual to me. However, typically on a Saturday you don't see this. Here's a picture of our train car at around 11:30AM. It got even more crowded the farther we got into the city.



Our luck continued as we arrived at Gallery Place-Chinatown and immediately caught a yellow line train southward. Arriving at L'Enfant Plaza two stops later, we hit our first real obstacle. Exiting the station onto D street (which I presumed would be the least-used exit) took us over 20 minutes! With new trains arriving and depositing people on the platform behind us, this was a little scary for a while.


Upon our arrival on the streets, we moved north towards Independence Ave. where the march was going to take place. The crowd prevented us from crossing the street to join some friends, so after some back and forth we finally settled for a spot on the large patio surrounding the Federal Aviation Administration, which put us slightly above the crowd.



We could more or less hear the rally speakers, with occasional interruptions from the nearby religious nutjobs who were blasting out their nonsense with a bullhorn. We heard Scarlett Johansson speak as well as Janelle Monae and Alicia Keyes.

As usual with these types of things, they booked way too many speakers so the event went long and there were rumors that we wouldn't march because too many people were in attendance (this actually happened in Chicago). Finally, the organizers announced that we would indeed be marching, but were rerouting to Constitution Ave.  We made our way down to Independence Avenue and started out, looking to cut across the mall as soon as we could.

As we began to actually march, the rally continued on behind us. The crowd roared "bigly" when Amy Shumer was introduced and she in turn introduced Madonna. As we marched, Madonna performed two songs, which was kind of cool.


We ended up on Pennsylvania Ave. and went all the way down to 15th Street which runs adjacent to the White House. They weren't allowing anyone into Lafayette Park so we couldn't march directly in front of the White House. Carol and I peeled off from the march at New York Avenue. We discovered later that the march ended one block after we left it.

At one point, our march took us past the new Trump International Hotel, which used to be the Old Post Office. In addition to booing and a lot of people giving the building the finger, many marchers left their signs on Trump's doorstep.


Carol and I ended up walking all the way to DuPont Circle. We had 8PM tickets for the play Copenhagen at TheatreJ where Carol works part time. We spent some time at a coffee shop (far off the beaten path as many marchers were still with us and looking to come in from the cold), then we had dinner and saw the excellent, thought-provoking show. We made it home around midnight.

During the march, cell service was unavailable because of the huge number of people so we really had no idea how big the crowd was. Estimates put it around 500,000 people, more than twice as many as attended Trump's inauguration. It was incredible and a jolt of hope after a really bleak two months since the election.

Here's an incredible video of the crowd taken from the roof of the FAA. Carol and I are standing almost directly beneath the camera.


Now the fight begins.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Ipecac takes a selfie!


Here are a couple of selfies I took while Pence and Trump were being sworn in. Thought you might enjoy them.



Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump has the yugest crowds


In case you were wondering how big a crowd Trump had for his inauguration, here's a comparison with President Obama's first inaugural.




Thoughts on the inaugural speech 2017


Terrible. Divisive. Insulting. Nationalistic. Simplistic. Borderline racist. Lacking any connection to reality. There was so much stupid that it was hard to keep up.

Did you know our country is a hellhole with a terrible military and no borders? Apparently the new President thinks so. And Mr. anti-Vax, I don't use a computer, is going to bring in a new techological revolution. Uh huh.

I also loved his line about how America needs to regain its wealth lost to other countries.

See these 8 guys? 6 of them are American. These 8 guys have as much money as half the world (3.6 billion people). How about we reclaim our wealth from these guys instead?



Invoking stupidity


I just turned on the inauguration (I know, I'm a glutton for punishment) because I want to hear Trump stammer through his 50 word vocabulary speech. As it came on, a Christian minister was praying. When he finished, a second Christian minister said a second prayer, in Jesus' name.

HOW THE HELL IS THIS APPROPRIATE?

We're a secular nation with thousands of different religions, including non-belief. They didn't have a Hindu, Jewish or Muslim invocation. Why do we separate people out like this? It should be an entirely civic ceremony. If you want to invoke your religion, do it in your home or church.

We don't need this nonsense in our civic ceremonies.

Signs


I woke up this morning, looked at the clock and it read

9:11

How fitting.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

This is what character and integrity look like


Check out the table of scandals below.  President Obama has run the least corrupt administration in decades.


Of course, Donald Trump will violate multiple ethical and even Constitutional provisions the instant he's sworn in to office. Not to mention his rich, corrupt Cabinet of Deplorables. I will bet money they'll beat Reagan's record and challenge Nixon's.

Man, I'm going to miss President Obama.

Oh, and for added fun, check out the breakdown by party. Notice anything different between the Democrats and the "family values" "party of morality" Republicans?


Hat tip to RoyalScribe.


Here's our new (unqualified) Secretary of Education


Guns in schools are okay!



Access for disabled children is NOT okay!



She seems nice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Viewing recommendation: A Series of Unfortunate Events


Everyone in my family has read Daniel Handler's excellent series of 13 kids' books, A Series of Unfortunate Events. We also enjoyed the 2004 movie by the same name starring Jim Carrey which retold the first three books. We've always been sad that that movie never had a sequel, leaving the story in limbo.

But now Netflix has come to the rescue! This weekend, Carol and I started watching Netflix's new streaming series, A Series of Unfortunate Events, starring Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf and Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, and absolutely love it. We're only two episodes in, covering the events of the first book. I was reading some online comments and the consensus is that subsequent episodes get better and better. If true, this is a going to be a fantastic show, because the first two episodes were great.

They're covering each book with two, approximately one hour long episodes, which means they'll use 26 episodes (over three seasons) to tell the entire story. It's an incredible way to tell what is a dark, nuanced, funny, clever, and tangled story, so I'm really excited about it. It's clear from the first two episodes that they're layering in a few new characters and twists, but they're staying very close to the books.

If you're interested (and you should be), here's the trailer in an earlier post.

Edited to add: The show has a real Pushing Daisies vibe, which is another reason to recommend it.