Thursday, March 15, 2018

Change will happen

While the past year hasn't had too many moments to be proud of as an American, yesterday was full of them, as thousands of American kids walked out of their schools to protest our easy access to guns. People who want to criticize young people for being disengaged and uncaring can shut it.

Rarely have I been this proud to be an American. And hopeful.

And this was just wonderful:


Click through to watch the video.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Swamp drained!

I'm a federal worker. I have to abide by very strict ethical guidelines, especially in regards to outside employment. That's the main reason this is an anonymous blog. I don't want anyone assuming that I'm representing my agency, because I am not.

For others, who more recently joined the government, those pesky ethics rules don't seem to be much of an obstacle.
Here’s what we found: At least 187 Trump political appointees have been federal lobbyists, and despite President Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp,” many are now overseeing the industries they once lobbied on behalf of. We’ve also discovered ethics waivers that allow Trump staffers to work on subjects in which they have financial conflicts of interest.
We also found — for the first time — dozens of special-government employees, or SGEs, who work as paid consultants or experts for federal agencies while keeping their day jobs in the private sector. This rare government gig allows them to legally work for both industry and the Trump administration at the same time. 
This is what corruption looks like.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Shooting from the hip

This is why it's probably not a good idea for the U.S. to work without a functioning State Department, South Korean Ambassador, or, you know, experts.
On North Korea, Trump gambles from a position of weakness
Or put another way, Trump has agreed to give Kim Jong-un exactly what he wants. North Korean leaders have sought this kind of meeting for decades because it would necessarily elevate the rogue state: it would show the world that North Korea’s leader can be treated as an equal by the Leader of the Free World. Previous American presidents - from both parties – have left open the possibility of such engagement, but only as a reward for meaningful and tangible results.
Trump, however, tends to assume his modern predecessors were fools who lacked his awesomeness. Why would this president take the one step other presidents would not? The question practically answers itself: Trump agreed to the talks precisely because other presidents didn’t. Politico had a good piece on this overnight, highlighting Trump’s “taboo-breaking instinct.”:
It doesn’t seem to occur to Trump to ask why others haven’t taken such actions. Worse, the president apparently hasn’t thought through the scope of the risk he’s taking. 
Remember, Trump is still an amateur, with no foreign policy vision that couldn’t fit on a bumper sticker, who has literally never been a direct participant in delicate diplomatic talks.  Link
This is what it's like being governed by someone who has no idea what he's doing.

Are we great again yet?

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Clash of the Titans

Big news tonight! (And get ready for a humorous turnaround, coming up).

President Donald Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May in an effort to persuade the regime to abandon its nuclear weapon program, South Korean officials said Thursday.  Link
This will be an incredible challenge for all parties. One of these men is an unpopular, authoritarian leader of a backwards, xenophobic country, and the other is Kim Jong Un.  Bam!  (See what I did there?)

Seriously, this could be a complete fiasco, a nothingburger, or a true harbinger of peace and the first step towards a safer, more peaceful planet.

And this is the guy we've chosen to represent us at these critical talks.

Okay, that was a cheap shot. Here's a better, more representative, picture.

Maybe we'll get lucky and Trump will defect to North Korea.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Health Report - March 2018

It's been a while since I've posted one of these.

During the month of February, I visited nearly all my doctors. I went to the dentist, the eye doctor, got my regular blood test, and visited my family doctor.  I also saw a neurologist.

Here are the results of my blood test:
 93 Glucose
122 Total Cholesterol
207 Triglycerides (only number that's out of range)
 54 LDL (bad) Cholesterol
 41 HDL (good) Cholesterol
5.2 A1C

These are some excellent numbers.

The good news from my physician and the eye doctor is that my diabetes is under control. There's no evidence of diabetic eye disease and my blood numbers are great. I did report to my doctor that I've been having somewhat more frequent diabetic neuropathy incidents and I have a numb spot on my thigh. So, that's why I visited the neurologist.

The neurologist was quick to diagnose the numb spot as Meralgia Paresthetica which is probably due to a bit of weight gain and the way I prop my knees up on the seat in front of me so I can sleep on the Metro. I'm working on losing a few pounds and no longer propping up my knees to sleep (which is making me very sad). The numbness should go away over time.

My dental report was also excellent.

So it's all good. If you have insurance, go see your doctors regularly. If you don't have insurance, don't vote for Republicans.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

2018 Movies

It's March 4th. Here's the list of all the movies I want/expect to see in theaters this year. The list will undoubtedly change because of reviews and my schedule, but these are the movies I want to see on the big screen. (In release order)
A Wrinkle in Time (I'm squishy on this one)
Tomb Raider
Pacific Rim Uprising
Ready Player One
Avengers: Infinity War
Deadpool 2
Solo: A Star Wars Story
The Incredibles 2
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Ant-Man and the Wasp
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
Yeah, that's a lot of superhero movies. And nothing that's not a genre film. But I like spectacle, I guess, so long as there's a good story and characters behind it.

El Presidente


Chinese President Xi Jinping is coming up on the Communist Party's two term limit, instituted after Mao, China's ruthless dictator, died. Unfortunately for the world, the Party just eliminated the two term limit so Xi can serve indefinitely. That didn't work out so well last time, so this is bad news all around.

Except to one American.
“He’s now president for life, president for life. And he’s great . . ."

Yes, this is the President of the United States, happy about China becoming more of a dictatorship.

This is, by itself, horrible and stupid and anti-democratic. Not because China is a democracy, but because it moves them further from becoming a democracy and makes them much more authoritarian, subject to the whims of one man. The idea that a U.S. President would praise such an event would have been unthinkable before this human dumpster fire became President.

But that's not the worst part. Because, nevertheless, he persisted.
“And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday,” 
Okay, here come the swears.

FUCK YOU, YOU DELUSIONAL SACK OF AUTHORITARIAN SHIT. Most people in this country don't want your sorry, ignorant ass in office another week, much less for the rest of your miserable, stingy, intolerant, addled, paranoid life. We want to see you rot in jail, asshole.

Okay, swears over.

This is the President of the United States (joking?) about becoming a dictator. I'll assume he was sort of jesting, but we've seen enough of Trump to know that there's always some nugget of seriousness in everything he says. He doesn't really have a sense of humor because he's not smart enough to know if the joke is on him. Don't believe me, watch him react when watching something funny. He laughs when other people laugh but looks confused and never laughs at himself. I'm sure he was half serious when he said it.

And here's another fun dose of modern America in the age of Trump.
[Moronic Comment] . . .  Trump said to cheers and applause from supporters.
Please take a minute to seriously contemplate the reaction from Republicans if President Obama had ever said he would consider being "President for life". Oh, you don't have to. They promoted all kinds of stupid conspiracy theories that his intent was exactly that. Because they're hypocritical, unpatriotic idiots who want to be ruled by a know-nothing, banana republic dictator. Because "winning" I guess.

And the best part is, this wasn't even the most outrageous thing Trump said or did this week.


Sorry, I guess the swears weren't quite over.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Sure you would, tubby.

In reference to the Florida school shooting.
“I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that too,” [Trump] said during a White House event with the nation’s governors.
Uh huh.

Considering that you've never had a selfless thought in your life, I'm sure you'd just Rambo your way right in there, Cadet Bone Spur.

In fairness, he's so delusional that he probably actually does believe that he would do that. But no one else believes that bullshit. I mean, "run"? Waddle, maybe.

Although, this monstrosity running at you would be pretty terrifying if all you had was an AR-15:

Friday, February 23, 2018

The worst and the best

This is Trump's DC hotel. You know, the one he should have either divested or put into a blind trust run by someone who isn't also named Trump. Now he uses it to violate the Constitution and enrich himself by having foreign diplomats stay at his hotel to curry his favor.

And this is the album cover of one of the greatest albums of all time.

And now I'm sad.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

And suddenly the world is a slightly better place

This asshole is dead.

Make no mistake, the world became a worse place because Billy Graham made it so.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Gun Problem

Trump had a "listening session" today with some devastated, hurting people who have been involved in school shootings (victims, parents, friends) and some assholes (Mike Pence, Betsy DeVos). This was pretty remarkable given that Trump SUCKS at listening.

Trump, having no actual policy ideas of his own, parroted the Republican talking point that the solution is to put MORE guns in schools, because they think handing some poor teacher a gun and expecting them to make life or death decisions amidst the terror and confusion of an active shooter event and being responsible for shooting one of their own students is something we should ask of educators. Trump also indicated that he might favor expanding background checks. At the same time, he endorsed overriding state laws and enacting nationwide concealed carry, meaning people could carry concealed guns everywhere in the U.S. To say that that would loosen gun control is an understatement.

Here's the thing. No matter what Trump says about gun control. No matter what reasonable position he might suggest -- DON'T BELIEVE HIM.

Trump is a liar and a con man. He'll say something today and contradict it today (he's too impatient to wait until tomorrow). He's speaking to the conservative wank-fest CPAC this weekend. Do you think he'll side against conservatives and have the courage to call for greater gun control? Right.

If you think that turning our schools into armed camps with fortress-like security methods is a price we should pay in America, then you're part of the problem. Kids in high school today have never known a day in school without fear of a shooter. They were all born AFTER Columbine. Active shooter drills have been part of the curriculum since kindergarten. This is insane. This is wrong.

The ONLY way we're going to get any gun control measures passed in this country is to vote the Republicans out in November. That's the only way we can end at least some of this madness.

I'm sure they'll just love it when all the plants die

Yesterday and today, the temperature in Washington DC nearly reached 80 degrees. In February.

And for two days I've heard people in person and on the radio gush ecstatically over the weather.

Dear idiots,

80 degrees in February is not normal.  80 degrees in February is a sign that things are very, very bad.

Yes, it's a nice day. We have quite a lot of them in April and May and the fall months. But being excited about it being 80 degrees in February is kinda like getting excited because you're cold in bed but the house fire is warming up your toes.

Our house is on fire. Stop being excited about it.


Peter and his Heckler

You may have seen this posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago.

I pretty much love this.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Finally! A principled Republican

I give you Mitt Romney from 2016, during the Republican primaries.

 And now, yesterday, after Trump endorsed Romney (not without insulting him) as U.S. Senator for Utah.

Hmm. That actually doesn't seem principled at all. I'm starting to think that Romney is a political opportunist with no real integrity or moral principles.


Never forget this.
[T]he problem isn’t “Washington.” It isn’t “Congress,” either. The problem is elected officials from a single political party: the GOP.

Republicans in the White House and Congress are the ones standing in the way of helping “dreamers.” They are not merely obstructing gun reform but also rolling back existing gun-control measures.
You’d never know it from the usual “blame Washington” rhetoric, but there are lots of common-sense policy changes, on supposedly unsolvable issues, that large majorities of voters from both parties support.  Link
Also, no surprise here; this is monstrously callous.
Just 45 miles from where the mournful families broken by the latest school shooting laid their loved ones to rest, the President of the United States slipped on a white polo shirt, put a matching white cap on his head and set out for the golf course.

The President arrived at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach shortly after 9 a.m. Monday, and was there two hours later as 14-year-old Alaina Petty’s friends and family filled a Coral Springs Church and talked about her smile. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

That sure was timely

Oh thank god! It's about time the White House got some rest from all the scandals.
“For everyone, it was a distraction or a reprieve,” said one White House official, speaking anonymously to reflect internal conversations. “A lot of people here felt like it was a reprieve from seven or eight days of just getting pummeled.”
What's he talking about? The school shooting that killed 17 students and teachers in Florida. The White House views it as a "distraction or a reprieve".


Sunday, February 18, 2018


President Trump reportedly skipped a day at the golf course on Saturday following the Florida school shooting that took place just miles from his Mar-a-Lago resort.
White House aides told Bloomberg that the decision not to golf was a show of respect for the victims and grieving families of the school shooting in Florida. Link
Man's a god-damned saint.

I finally understand the tragic toll that school shootings take on Americans.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

At least they have some standards

George David Banks, who had served since February 2017 as special assistant to the president for international energy and environmental policy, told POLITICO that he was informed by the White House counsel’s office Tuesday that his application for a permanent clearance would not be granted over his past marijuana use.  Link

Let's sum up:
White House Security Clearance Standards
Smoked marijuana in the past:     No security clearance
Beat multiple wives:                     Security clearance!

Seems pretty straightforward.

Jumanji: WTTJ

Carol was working a show last Saturday night so I had the evening to myself. I decided to go see a movie and the only one I had considered seeing was Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which has had surprising legs, taking first place at the box office for six of its first seven weeks. I've never seen the entirety of the original Jumanji movie because I'm not a big Robin Williams fan, but the trailers for this looked pretty good.

You know what? It was a LOT of fun.The story was entertaining, the cast (Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black) played off each other well and were clearly enjoying themselves, there were some touching tributes to the original movie, and the script was pretty clever. I'm looking forward to seeing it again on home video.

Things were looking bad for a few minutes there

Another day, another 17 students and teachers dead in a school shooting in America.

The real victim, however, is Donald Trump, who had to interrupt his busy schedule of watching TV and eating Big Macs in order to react to the crisis.

Here's a list of the flurry of activities in which Trump was embroiled when the news of the school shooting hit.

  1. "Monitor" situation by watching TV.
  2. Call Florida Governor Rick Scott to show "concern".
  3. Tweet out his "thoughts and prayers".
And that's it.

Oh, wait, that wasn't so bad after all! Whew. Problem solved.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Shutdown Redux

"Senator" Rand Paul, tonight, on the pending bill to fund the government:
"My party is now complicit in the deficits"

Dear Rand Paul,

Shut the fuck up.

Republicans have ALWAYS been complicit in the deficits. Driving up huge deficits started with Reagan and continues through today. Republicans overspend on the military and cut taxes to deprive the government of revenue. Shockingly, this increases the deficits.

Then, Democrats come in, raise taxes on the wealthy to increase revenue, spend more money on programs that give average Americans money to put back into the economy for things like rent, food, clothes and healthcare, and then, ta-da, the economy grows, creating jobs, and generating more tax revenue. This lowers the deficits. (See Clinton and Obama, e.g.) It's not rocket science, a fact that Republicans, including deficit hawks, never seem to grasp.

And two months ago, you, RAND PAUL, voted for the stupidest tax cut in history, which will increase the debt by $1.5 trillion. Maybe you should have thought about your precious deficits when you did that, you mindless hypocrite.

So, I say again, shut the fuck up, Rand Paul, you stupid git.



Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Now I understand

On the Trump military parade.
“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” a military official told the Post. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.”

I think I've identified the military parade in France that Trump is thinking about.

Now I understand why he wants one.

Oh, look!  There's even some video!

I really should look into Movie Pass

If you enjoy genre movies, especially superheroes (no, ESPECIALLY superheroes), then 2018 is likely to be the greatest year in movie history.

I mean, holy crap.


And all but one of the movies above is Disney. Good thing I have that one share of Disney stock!

(This list doesn't even count another Jurassic Park Movie, Fantastic Beasts 2, Wreck it Ralph 2, and another X-Men movie. This is an unbelievable year.)

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Oh for f**k's sake

President Donald Trump has instructed government officials to start planning for a massive military parade to take place in Washington, D.C., sometime this year, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” a military official told the Post. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.”

Sunday, February 04, 2018

The bland face of hatred

I'm not a big fan of Jimmy Kimmel's show, but I really admire how he's been turning his microphone into an opportunity to support good government programs that help people; first Obamacare and now DACA.

This week he aired the following video, bringing together conservatives who hate DACA and a family who face their wife/mom being deported.

It's an interesting idea, but not surprisingly, no one really changed their mind. Aside from the fact that two of the panelists turned out to be known members of actual hate groups, the saddest part is the absolute lack of empathy, compassion and understanding from the conservatives. They hate immigrants and even seeing the most compelling face of DACA imaginable, they don't change their minds. They would happily tear this family apart because of a "crime" that none of them committed and send this young woman, wife and mother to a country she never knew.

Their obvious lack of humanity can only be compared to what happened in NAZI Germany.

We are on a dark path. Fortunately, I know that most Americans are appalled at these people.