Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Cabinet of Deplorables (pretty sure I'm not the first to think of that)


In case you haven't been paying attention (I really envy you), here's a quick rundown on President-Elect ::barf:: Trump's choices for Cabinet and some major Agencies. Note that some of these require confirmation by the Senate, which won't come until next year.

For Commerce Secretary, he picked a guy Fortune Magazine called the King of Bankruptcy.

For National Security Adviser, he picked an Islamaphobe who traffics in ridiculous conspiracy theories, one of which recently endangered a restaurant full of people in DC.

To head the Treasury, he picked a guy who worked for Goldman Sachs for decades and founded One West Bank which made billions off foreclosing on American homes during the Great Recession.

His nominee for Attorney General is a guy who opposes immigration, LGBT rights, voting rights, and went after journalists while a Senator.

Just today he nominated a guy for Secretary of Labor who is against raising the minimum wage and overtime pay and whose company has been fined millions for waged theft.

Of course, his Chief Strategist in the White House is a white supremacist.

His choice for Secretary of Education never attended public school, her children didn't attend public school, and, oh, yeah, she hates public schools. Oh and she's a religious fanatic who wants to teach Christianity in schools.

Trump's choice for the Environmental Protection Agency may be the worst of all, because he's a climate denier in the pocket of the oil and gas companies and wants to gut the EPA.

And for Housing and Urban Development, he nominated a brain surgeon who turned down a post at Health and Human Services because he wasn't qualified, couldn't stay awake during nationally televised debates, and has no experience other than growing up in a housing project and being "urban" in Republican eyes.

Several newspapers said that this will be the least qualified Cabinet in history.  These are the people who will formulate American policy because Trump will likely be too lazy and uncaring to engage.

Yeah, we're boned.


Thursday, December 01, 2016

We'll revisit shortly when the blue line starts to go back up


Indiana!  Listen up. "Saving" 800 jobs while losing 1300 is NOT a win.

Do you want to see what a win for the people of Indiana looks like? Here's Indiana's unemployment rate since President Obama took office.












But you had to vote against his obvious successor and put an idiot into the White House. Great job!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

There's the mainstream media, just doing a bangup job


Oh, screw you, CNN.


Don't normalize this asshat. And don't give him victories when he didn't actually do anything.

Carrier had announced that it would move 2000 jobs to Mexico. Thanks to this "deal" they'll now only move 1300 jobs to Mexico. And Indiana is likely offering tens of millions of dollars of "incentives" for Carrier to stay, meaning that Indiana taxpayers will now pay millions to keep those 850 jobs in the state.
This is a common phenomenon among state tax incentive programs trying to lure or create jobs. A host of research has found that these programs do little to increase jobs and simply expend taxpayer money that could be used elsewhere. One found “the best case is that incentives work about 10% of the time, and are simply a waste of money the other 90%.” ...
Trump and Pence will announce the full details at a press conference on Thursday, where much more will become clear. But if this amounts to a package of financial incentives simply for keeping some jobs in the country, it offers a perverse incentive to other companies to threaten to move jobs elsewhere in the hopes of striking their own lucrative deals with the government.  Link
CNN with its ridiculous headline is supporting the fantasy that Trump is effective and looking out for jobs and working people. He's not and he's not legally in a position to actually do anything about this. This was all Pence, would probably have happened regardless of Trump (Pence IS the governor of Indiana) and probably not a good result in any event.

Screw you, CNN.


So shines a good movie in a weary world


On a less apocalyptic note . . .

Go see Disney's new animated movie, Moana, which proves there is still some beauty in the world,







Seriously, this is one of the best movies of the year. Gorgeous animation, fun characters, wonderful songs, lots of humor and a powerful, moving story. My entire family loved it.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Americans are stupid and doomed


What? Voting for the party that's doing everything they can to hurt me is a bad thing?

People in poverty-stricken Clay County [Kentucky] worry about what will happen to their health care if Gov. Matt Bevin's and President-elect Trump's ambitions to overhaul Medicaid proceed.

In Clay County, 60 percent of residents are covered by Medicaid. They voted for Republican Matt Bevin 71-27, and for Donald Trump 86-11. Neither Bevin, nor Trump, made their opposition to Obamacare secret.

So how does that happen? Because of shit like this:
"If anything changed with our insurance to make it more expensive for us, that would be a big problem," [Lisa] Botner, a community college student, said Friday at the Owsley County Public Library, where she works. "Just with the blood tests, you're talking maybe $1,000 a year without insurance."
But then ol’ Lisa Botner voted GOP.
"I'm just a die-hard Republican," she said.  Link
::Pounds head repeatedly::

Ya know, I really wish I could laugh at people like this. They're so tribal, so ingrained in their ways that they can't see which party champions policies that would actually make their life better. A higher minimum wage, affordable healthcare, tuition free college, all Democratic positions that would make a huge difference in these communities.  But they're actively voting for people who will make their lives more difficult. Because they've always voted for the person with an (R) after their name and they've bought into decades of propaganda from FOX News, talk radio and the Republican party and aren't smart or curious enough to learn the truth.

I really wish I could laugh and tell them, "TS. You voted for these monsters, so you deserve what you get." But unfortunately, they're taking millions of other Americans down with them.

Morons.


He still hasn't read the Constitution


God, our new Moron-elect knows nothing.











Flag burning is PROTECTED speech. The First Amendment guarantees the right of Americans to burn the flag in protest.



You don't have to like it, but you can't arrest someone doing it and you can't strip their citizenship.

Fascist idiot.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Another Reminder and a Taste of More to Come


# of Votes - 2016 Presidential Election

   Hillary Clinton                 64,156,255
   Donald Trump                62,238,425

That's Clinton up by almost 2 million votes. And the votes are still being counted.

You may remember that before the election, our Manbaby-Elect was going on about how the election was rigged and he wouldn't concede or acknowledge the results. But then ::gag:: he won.

And true to form, in the face of a recount in several states initiated by Jill Stein (and NOT by the Clinton campaign), suddenly he's against a recount.

In a Tweetstorm this week, he quoted Hillary during one of the debates and ended thusly.




Warning: Language ahead.

So first he is "sad" that people are doing one of the things he repeatedly threatened to do. And then, with absolutely no evidence, the President-elect of the United States called into question the integrity of the entire election, an ELECTION HE WON. That is some dipshit thinking right there. And apparently, in his mind all those mysterious illegal voters voted for Hillary. Because she could never actually get more votes than him. Despite the fact that she did. By that logic, the Indians won the World Series, if you take away all the Cubs runs in the last game.

FUCK YOU, Trump. Seriously, you are a horrible, horrible shitstain.

And finally, he calls into question states which went to Hillary. So he's not only a liar, and a whiner, but he's also a sore winner.

Seriously, this guy is NOT Presidential, WILL NEVER BE Presidential, and CANNOT be Presidential. It's just not in his rotten DNA. He's a petulant, spoiled, selfish baby.

And if you voted for him or Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, YOU OWN THIS.


Monday, November 21, 2016

The real story


While the Pence-Hamilton story and Trump's reaction to it is interesting, the real story of this weekend should not be forgotten.









Trump will be the first United States President ::shudder:: who swindled millions of dollars from Americans trying to improve their lives and who trusted him to help them.

In January, Trump will start doing it to the rest of us.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

It's going to be a long 18 months


President-Elect ::shudder:: Donald Trump is undoubtedly the most thin-skinned person ever elected to the office. He's been President-Elect ::urp:: for less than two weeks and he's already farted out  several Twitter craps.

Here's Donald being all Presidential just this weekend.

 












A bunch of conservative morons are calling for a boycott of Hamilton. Good luck boycotting a show that's sold out till next Fall.

And here's what Drumpf was reacting to. I, for one, thought both of these were awesome.






Saturday, November 19, 2016

Irish Senator kicks Arse


Irish Labour Party Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin is a hero.


Gives me some hope. The more people who call out Trump for what he is, the better.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Tribute and a lament


Heartbreaking and wonderful, here's Kate McKinnon on last night's SNL. Kate is the current SNL cast member who plays Hillary Clinton, and is also one of the most talented cast members of all time.


Stop what you're doing and watch this show!


Hey, stop what you're doing right now and check this out.

Nightmare Next Door

My daughter, Rachel, is playing a murder victim on Investigation Discovery Channel's show, Nightmare Next Door. If you click the link before the next episode queues up, you'll see Rachel's picture on the right (in pink raising her hand). Her episode is called "A Strange Trust" and it airs again today, Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2PM.  She is in it a LOT.  The episode premiered last week but I never had a chance to post before it aired.

So check out my daughter being killed!


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Just a reminder for the next four years


# of Votes - 2016 Presidential Election

   Hillary Clinton                 60,839,922
   Donald Trump                60,265,858

Friday, November 11, 2016

Here's the bill


Over the next few years, a lot of things are going to change under a Trump/Pence Administration and a rabid Republican congress. Let's start the list of things Americans are likely to lose.
Obamacare - 22 million people will lose their health insurance
Net neutrality
Environmental regulations - You don't really want clean air and water do you?
The Arctic wildlife preserve
Pell grants
Immigration reform
Women's right to choose
The protection of the Voting Rights Act
An increase in the minimum wage - They might even get rid of it
The deal keeping Iran from getting nuclear weapons
Federal protection for LGBTQ Americans
The Paris Climate Accord
Freedom of Religion - Well, you're still free to be a Christian
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - (They've only gotten $11.7 billion in relief for consumers)
The Department of Education

And that's just for starters.

Trump has his few policy priorities and no doubt will push those hard. But I'm pretty sure the Republican congress will realize pretty quickly that Trump will sign anything they put in front of him. He's not going to stand up to them when they want to cut Medicare and Medicaid because he doesn't really care.  And the Republicans in Congress have shown for eight years how pathologically they pursue certain policies.

I hope you enjoy paying this bill, Trump voters.


Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Fear


Don't understand why so many people are afraid today?  Van Jones nails it. This is truly moving.






Unity


Warning: Language ahead.

Let's review, shall we?

The 2000 election was very close and contested. There were voting irregularities in Florida, a court challenge, multiple attempted recounts, and then the conservative Supreme Court intervened and said, "No recounts. Bush wins." This was, of course, controversial.

Nevertheless, Democratic candidate Al Gore stepped aside and conceded graciously. George W. Bush became President for 8 years, during which time Democrats worked with him, especially after 9/11.

At the end of those tumultuous 8 years, the United States had lost thousands of lives, was mired in two wars, and the economy was cratering. Barack Obama was elected President in 2008 by nine and a half million votes and won the electoral college 365 to 173. At the end of such a catastrophic Presidency, one might expect Republican leadership to acknowledge mistakes, understand why they had lost so badly, and act with contrition, working with the new President, to put themselves back on track.

Not these fine folk.

Before President Obama was even inaugurated, they decided in secret to oppose every single initiatie Obama wanted. President Obama appointed Republicans to his cabinet. He appointed Republicans to key posts (James Comey, the FBI director who blew up the election a couple of weeks ago is a Republican), adopted Republican ideas, like what became Obamacare, and constantly reached across the aisle. For his troubles, they stonewalled, they obstructed, they attacked him, and even, for his entire Presidency, questioned his status as an American citizen. Republican obstruction slowed the economic recovery and hurt millions of Americans. Republican Senators have even sat on a Supreme Court nomination for 10 months, something unheard of in modern politics, and, when it looked like Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election, suggested never allowing her to appoint any Justices.

Finally, for their 2016 candidate, they chose the one guy who most embodies the "Birther" movement, denying President Obama's citizenship, Donald Trump.

Which brings us to today. Now that Trump is in the transition stage, post-election, suddenly Republicans are calling out for unity. It's time for all Americans to come together. We need to put this divisiveness behind us for the good of the country.

Well, FUCK. THAT. NOISE.

Seriously, they acted like angry selfish children for 8 years, hurting millions of Americans, and now that they're back in control they want people to treat them kindly? It's okay to behave that way when Democrats are in charge but not when they hold the power?

FUCK. THOSE. GUYS.

The President and Hillary, both patriots with honor and dignity, today called on people to give Trump his due and wished him a successful Presidency. I respect that and them.

But FUCK. THAT. SHIT.

And just today Mitch McConnell began salivating over the idea of immediately repealing Obamacare in January, costing 20 million people their health insurance. He is gleeful at the idea of Americans being once again at the mercy of a heartless, money-based healthcare system.  This will literally cost people their lives and he's excited about it.

FUCK. MITCH. MCCONNELL.  Just fuck that immoral, soulless, asshole.

This entire election has been like a nightmarish satire. While Clinton may not have been the best candidate, she is a smart, experienced, compassionate leader who would have been a good President, maybe even a great one. But she couldn't overcome 30 years of Republican slander and sexism. And her opponent is a pathological liar who has no interest in or knowledge of policy; he's in it all for the accolades, to serve his enormous ego.

I never for even a moment thought Trump had a chance at this thing. I had too much faith in the decency and intelligence of the American people. Hell, like Al Gore, who had 500,000 more votes than Bush nationwide but still lost, Hillary has 200,000 more votes than Trump. But because of our stupid, archaic electoral college, for the second time in 20 years, the candidate that received the most votes lost.


FUCK. TRUMP. NOT MY PRESIDENT.


Here's the plan



The first thing we need to do is to send Hagrid north to talk to the giants.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

The final night


Well, here we are. This is literally the most important election of my lifetime. Not because the issues facing America are especially dangerous relative to other times, but because one of the candidates is so unpredictable, so out of control, so ignorant and arrogant, that there's no telling what catastrophes he'll cause. One of our two parties has been deteriorating for years and needs to be smacked down hard. They not only question the legitimacy of our current President, but the very idea of government itself. The government, of the people by the people and for the people, is our best tool to improve the lives of Americans. Going down the nihilistic path plotted for us by the Republicans is to ensure the eventual destruction of the American way of life.

This isn't an election between two candidates of opposing philosophies. Trump has no philosophy. He has no positions or policies other than his own self-aggrandizement. The fact that the party of supposed "family values" supports this man should be an ever-lasting shame. The fact that Christians support this man means I never have to listen seriously to their moralizing bullcrap ever again.

A point that is often overlooked is that a vote for Hillary Clinton shouldn't just be because Trump is so bad. Hillary has served the American people to the best of her ability for 30 years. She served honorably as first lady, Senator from New York, and Secretary of State. The controversies surrounding her are not due to any corruption on her part, but unrelenting attacks from conservatives who have irrationally hated her for as long as they've known her. Despite all they could throw at her, no wrongdoing has ever been found. Dozens of Congressional committee investigations and even an FBI investigation found no criminal wrongdoing. Maybe, just maybe, that's because she's innocent and these were witch hunts.

The choice in this election isn't even close. Vote for a smart, knowledgeable, compassionate, dedicated public servant over a racist, misogynistic, narcissistic, greedy, immoral asshole who will burn the country to the ground.

This is it.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Election Rigging


A few weeks ago, Donald Trump said this.
They even want to try to rig the election at the polling booths and believe me there’s a lot going on,” he told supporters at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. “Do you ever hear these people? They say ‘there’s nothing going on.’ People that have died 10 years ago are still voting, illegal immigrants are voting -- I mean, where are the street smarts of some of these politicians?”
What's the response to this charge?
Now this is pretty easy to debunk because dead people can’t vote, because ... dead. Undocumented immigrants can’t vote because you have to be a citizen. What he’s talking about is fraudulent voters taking their spots, but the things is that this almost never happens, as comprehensive research has shown.
So far, I’ve found about 31 different incidents (some of which involve multiple ballots) since 2000, anywhere in the country. If you want to check my work, you can read a comprehensive list of the incidents below.
To put this in perspective, the 31 incidents below come in the context of general, primary, special, and municipal elections from 2000 through 2014. In general and primary elections alone, more than 1 billion ballots were cast in that period. 
So when conservatives are going on about election rigging and voter fraud, they're full of crap. Even so, in the name of voter fraud prevention, they've managed to erect obstacles to people voting all around the country. These obstacles include voter ID requirements, closing down polling places in minority districts, limiting early voting days and hours, and of course, that old favorite that's kept Republicans in power for decades, Gerrymandering election districts to their benefit.

Republicans have also resorted to the charming practice of voter caging. That's where they send out mass mailings to minority districts. Any mailings that are returned are taken as evidence that the intended recipient is dead or no longer in the district, so the Republicans purge them from the voter lists.
Just weeks before early voting began in North Carolina, Grace Bell Hardison, a 100-year-old African-American woman, was informed that her voter registration status was being challenged. If she didn’t appear at a county board of election meeting or return a notarized form she would be removed from the voting rolls. 
Hardison has lived in Belhaven, North Carolina, her entire life and voted regularly for the last twenty-four years, including in North Carolina’s presidential primary in March. “The first thing out of her mouth was ‘I can’t vote,’” her nephew Greg Sattherwaite said after she received the letter. “She loves to vote. She will not miss election time.”
Hardison’s registration was challenged by Shane Hubers, a Belhaven Republican, based on a mailing done last year by a candidate for Mayor. Mail that was returned as undeliverable in 2015 became the basis for the challenge list.  Link
And when this 100 year old woman complained, Republican Hubers didn't relent, he continued to fight to keep this woman from exercising her Constitutional right to vote.

Of course, all of these measures are an ACTUAL ATTEMPT at rigging the election. (Republicans are really good at projecting.)

The most fundamental of all American rights is the right to vote. It is the right of every person to have a voice in selecting who will lead us. Every single American of legal age should be able to exercise this right without hindrance, expense or intimidation. If you don't believe that certain people should vote because they disagree with you, then you are going against the fundamental beliefs on which this country was founded. We are a modern, technological society and there's no reason that registration and voting shouldn't be free, easy and quick. Access to voting is also a moral question. It is immoral to prevent others from voting.

Unless you believe that other Americans shouldn't have the same rights you do.
When is making it easier for people to vote doing a disservice to the civil rights heroes who fought for that very right? 
When you’re Republican John Merrill, of course!
As Alabama’s secretary of state, Merrill is responsible for all the ballots cast by his constituents. And as a dedicated public servant, you’d probably expect him to be in favor of lowering the bar to electoral participation, right? Wrong! According to Merrill, efforts to automatically register Alabamans to vote when they turn 18 aren’t just “sorry” and a “lazy way out,” they’re actively insulting to people like Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks.  Link
Let's send these assholes a message on Tuesday.



If Congress was your coworker





Please note that the Democrats in Congress do not act this way.  Also note that Chris Pine and Alan Tudyk are awesome.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Vote! (Blue)


Carol and I voted today. Feels good to get it out of the way.

It also feels good to vote against a blowhard, racist, misogynist, grifting, cheating douchebag.

America's future is too important to leave to divided government. Vote blue so we can once again have an effective government which does things to improve the quality of life of all Americans. There are hundreds of thousands of federal workers who do that every single day. It would be great to once again have a Congress who joined us.



Friday, October 28, 2016

Seriously, Oregon, WTF??


Remember those militia assholes with a whole bunch of guns who took over a federal bird sanctuary in Oregon for 41 days earlier this year? They threatened people, dug defensive trenches all over the place, kept people from doing their jobs, damaged artifacts, and cost the local economy and the state millions of dollars. Oh, and as some of them tried to escape, they got one of their own guys killed by federal agents when he tried to pull a gun.

Yeah, a jury found them innocent on all counts today.

W-T-F?

Seriously, this is one of the most bizarre outcomes I could have imagined. They clearly did ALL of the things they were accused of. They clearly threatened people and cost millions of dollars in damage.

And they get to walk away.

Guess it's good for them they weren't black, huh? Because it's pretty clear what would have happened then.

Oh, and in contrast, just today, militarized police moved in and violently ousted a bunch of people peacefully protesting the building of a pipeline through native American land. A pipeline that threatens local water supplies.

Lesson learned. If you want to protest in a modern, twenty-first century civilization, be violent. Because violent protest clearly gets you off scott-free. At least in Oregon.

Oh, unless you're black, Then any protest, or even driving your own car, or walking in your own neighborhood, can get you killed by police.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Huge News in Renewable Energy


This is awesome.
A new report put out by the International Energy Agency shows that renewable electricity capacity growth reached an all-time high in 2015, hitting the 153 gigawatt (GW) mark. That’s a 15 percent increase from 2014.  . . . Incredibly, about half a million solar panels were installed each day around the world last year.
The lion’s share of this growth (about three-quarters worth) came in the form of new onshore wind and solar power plants. The IEA says that, for the first time, “renewables accounted for more than half of net annual additions to power capacity and overtook coal in terms of cumulative installed capacity in the world.”
...
That last point bears repeating. Renewables in the form of solar and wind now account for more installed capacity than any other form of electricity, including coal.
 Link

One of the reasons for this growth is recent sharp reductions in costs for both solar and wind power. It should be noted that today in the United States there are more than twice as many people employed in the solar industry, than in the coal industry.

So let's contrast that good news with a nuanced take on renewable energy.
Our energy companies are a disaster right now. Coal. The coal business is – you know, there is such a thing as clean coal. Our miners are out of work–now they’re just attacking energy companies like I’ve never seen them attack anything before. 
They want everything to be wind and solar. Unfortunately, it’s not working on large-scale. It’s just not working. Solar is very, very expensive. Wind is very, very expensive, and it only works when it’s windy.  Link

Guess who? Yes, Trump, the would-be President, knows squat about the actual reality of energy in the United States and the world. What a shock. (But not a shock from wind power, it's not windy right now.)

Oh, and by the way, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CLEAN COAL.  Get over it.