Friday, August 18, 2017

Trump is right. Let's give credit where credit is due.

Our ::barf:: President ::barf:: is very proud of the economy that he's happy to take credit for (when it's doing well). Of course, no President can have a real impact on the economy until some of his priorities get enacted, something that isn't exactly happening for Trump.

Anyway, here's what he said about unemployment.
"Our country is doing very well in so many ways. We have record -- just absolute record employment. We have unemployment, the lowest it's been in almost 17 years. We have companies pouring into our country. Foxconn and car companies, and so many others, they're coming back to our country. We're renegotiating trade deals to make them great for our country and great for the American worker. We have so many incredible things happening in our country. So when I watch Charlottesville, to me it's very, very sad."
Let's look at the last ten years of unemployment, shall we?

And how about the stock market?
Business is looking better than ever with business enthusiasm at record levels. Stock Market at an all-time high. That doesn't just happen!
Indeed, it doesn't just happen.

Hmm, what was I thinking? Oh, yeah.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hey, here's a good way to kill yourself!

I know way too many people who embrace "alternative" medicine. "All natural" herbs and homeopathic pills, Reiki, acupuncture, ear candling, chiropractic, the list is endless and the "medicine" useless.

Please don't embrace this crap.

Patients who chose alternative therapies to treat a common, curable cancer instead of opting for the recommended medical treatment double their risk of death, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

I bolded it and made it bigger to emphasize the REALITY.

We've made enormous, huge, gigantic leaps forward over the past century in understanding the human body, genetics, disease, and how to live longer, healthier lives. Modern medicine is still developing but it's rigorously tested and empirically shown to work.

Alt Medicine kills. It's not scientifically tested. It's pseudo-scientific nonsense. Stop using it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

There's nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal, even a fat, orange one

With his Administration crumbling around him, Trump is undoubtedly getting pretty desperate, bringing us to a very dangerous time in the Trump Presidency. One thing that never fails to unite a nation is an attack.

Beware a Reichstag fire.

Sure, Trump's goons are so incompetent they'll screw it up, but don't be surprised if they try.

By Unknown - Item from Record Group 208:
Records of the Office of War Information, 1926 - 1951

The Talk

This is moving and powerful.

If you don't know what "the talk" is, then you're lucky and privileged. Because tens of millions of Americans have experienced it as a matter of life and death.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What would Indiana Jones do?

Hey, everyone! How's it going? Anything happen today? I wasn't paying attention.

Oh, yeah. The President of the United States put himself firmly on the side of NAZIS.

You're going to read and hear a lot about what happened today, so I'll just respond to a few of the comments made, not by a 22 year old skinhead or an immigrant to Argentina in the mid-1940s, but the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. He wasn't supposed to talk to the press, but since he has the self-control of a toddler, he made the mistake of answering some questions when they were shouted to him at Trump Tower.

The first question was why did he wait so long to repudiate the attack by NAZIS in Charlottesville? (Reminder, it took him two days).
I didn't wait long. I didn't wait long. I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct, not make a quick statement. The statement I made on Saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement, but you don't make statements that direct unless you know the fact. It takes a little while to get the facts.
Then later.
When I make a statement, I like to be correct. I want the facts.
DONALD TRUMP wanted to make sure that was he said was correct.

I'll just leave this right here.  Trump's Lies.

And here's the part where he equated NAZIS (and also KKK and White Supremacists) with the people protesting against hate.
I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it. And you have—you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that. But I'll say it right now. You had a group—you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent.
Excellent point. Here's one of those very, very violent anti-racist protestors getting his blood all over the metal poles of those innocent NAZIS.

That's De’Andre Harris, an instructional assistant for special needs kids at the local high school. He was ambushed by the guys who, to be fair, did have a permit.
All those people—excuse me. I've condemned neo-Nazis. I have condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee.
Here's some of those definitely NOT neo-NAZIS protesting the removal of the statue.

But it's not all bad!
Excuse me. You had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.
Here are some of the fine, fine people on the equally bad side.

Aw, they're waving hi to you!

Here's the bottom line. 

If you are comfortable marching alongside a NAZI. You are a NAZI.

And our President is a racist, ignorant, stupid asshole who has done something that no President has done before. He has defended NAZIS.

This will not be forgotten.

PS. Here's the ONLY appropriate response to NAZIS.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Where I stand

Every time America gets involved in a foreign conflict, there's a call to "Rally 'round the flag" and support the President. This happens in every foreign involvement, most recently in our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Those that don't "rally" are called traitors.

I will state this plainly right now.

If we attack North Korea, whether or not they attack us or our allies, I will NOT stand behind President Trump. Trump has handled this developing crisis like a bully, without any sense, understanding or maturity. He is pushing a crazy, unstable dictator into a pissing contest with nuclear weapons.

Whatever happens, it's President Trump's fault.

(In case you missed it, yesterday Trump suggested we might intervene militarily in Venezuela. What moron would think that would be something we might do? Oh yeah, the moron we idiotically put in charge of our armies.)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to calm the fears caused by Trump's reckless Tweets and statements this week by saying that Americans can sleep well, suggesting that we're not really in any danger.

Hey, Tillerson. I'm not concerned with my own safety at the moment. I'm concerned with the millions of people who live within range of North Korean missiles. Those in South Korea, Japan, Guam and even Hawaii. If North Korea strikes, those are the lives on the line. Those are the lives President Trump is endangering with his rank stupidity.

I will not stand behind President Trump in this or any war of his own making.

The sorry state of America

Here's your daily does of outrage. 

First up, Scott Pruitt, who leads the Environmental Protection Agency. You know, the people whose job it is to make sure we have clean air and water?
Mr. Pruitt, according to the employees, who requested anonymity out of fear of losing their jobs, often makes important phone calls from other offices rather than use the phone in his office, and he is accompanied, even at E.P.A. headquarters, by armed guards, the first head of the agency to ever request round-the-clock security.
A former Oklahoma attorney general who built his career suing the E.P.A., and whose LinkedIn profile still describes him as “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” Mr. Pruitt has made it clear that he sees his mission to be dismantling the agency’s policies — and even portions of the institution itself.
But as he works to roll back regulations, close offices and eliminate staff at the agency charged with protecting the nation’s environment and public health, Mr. Pruitt is taking extraordinary measures to conceal his actions, according to interviews with more than 20 current and former agency employees.  Link
It's been our reality for some time, but if you step back and think about it, the idea that some people in America are against an agency dedicated to making sure we have clean air and water is absolutely crazy. Also, I work at a federal agency and the thought of the Chairman having armed guards is bizarre and frightening.

Next up, reason #704 why America has become a laughing-stock among even our allies worldwide.
[Trump is] … chiefly driven by an obsession with unraveling Barack Obama’s policies. “It’s his only real position,” one European diplomat said. “He will ask: ‘Did Obama approve this?’ And if the answer is affirmative, he will say: ‘We don’t.’ He won’t even want to listen to the arguments or have a debate. He is obsessed with Obama.”  Link
Yep. Any time you hear about Trump doing something particularly inane out of the blue? Odds are it's because Obama took the opposite position.

And finally, here's a Twitter story about how propaganda has deliberately put us where we are today.

This may be the scariest story of all. Because how do we recover from that?

No Dignity at All - Charlottesville Edition

An act of right-wing terrorism took one life today and injured at least 19, when someone rammed a car into a group of people protesting the white nationalist, KKK, Nazi and alt-right "Unite the Right" marchers. This was a deliberate attack on the people who were protesting against hate.

So what does our "let's unify" President say in response?
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides," Trump said during a short statement. "It has been going on for a long time in our country -- not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America." (Emphasis added)

Trump can't even bring himself to condemn the right-wing, racist, nationalist hatred that inspired this attack. He can't even bring himself to condemn NAZIS. 

If the driver turns out to be a Muslim, do you think he'll be going after Muslims?

It's not MANY SIDES. It's not BOTH SIDES.


Make no mistake, the people marching for the Confederacy and the person who drove into a group of protesters support TRUMP. Trump has encouraged this through his words and his deeds and his message speaks very clearly to those (mostly white and male) who hate others.

I say this with all due respect. Fuck you, Donald J. Trump. Fuck you.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017


North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening – beyond a normal statement – and as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which the world has never seen before.

Yes, putting a senile, narcissistic bully without any sense whatsoever in charge of the world's biggest nuclear arsenal was a brilliant idea. Way to go, America!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

The world (for now) continues to spin

Sorry I haven't had much time to post lately. Lots going on in my life at the moment. And I feel bad that so many of my posts are reactions to the tire fire in the White House rather than something more uplifting. But it's important that we document everything that's going on for history.

I don't have any outsized ideas about having any influence or reach. But if everyone, from news agencies down to average bloggers is speaking out, it reinforces the actual history we're living, instead of the fake BS the Republicans are trying to establish.

For your nightly outrage, here's something.
Six months into the Trump era, foreign-policy officials from eight past Administrations told me they are aghast that the President is still so witless about the world. “He seems as clueless today as he was on January 20th,” Boot, who is now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said. Trump’s painful public gaffes, they warn, indicate that he’s not reading, retaining, or listening to his Presidential briefings. And the newbie excuse no longer flies.
“Trump has an appalling ignorance of the current world, of history, of previous American engagement, of what former Presidents thought and did,” Geoffrey Kemp, who worked at the Pentagon during the Ford Administration and at the National Security Council during the Reagan Administration, reflected. “He has an almost studious rejection of the type of in-depth knowledge that virtually all of his predecessors eventually gained or had views on.”  Link
Yeah, and sadly the same applies to most of his supporters.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Next up, he's taking a cruise on the Titanic!

Lifelong Republican who became a Democrat in 2015 to run for West Virginia Governor (and won), is switching back to being a Republican.
Gov. Jim Justice announced he’s joining the Republican Party during a rally with President Donald Trump on Thursday evening. Justice was elected as a Democrat in 2016, defeating Republican Bill Cole.

“Today I’ll tell you, as West Virginians, I can’t help you anymore being a Democrat governor,” he said during his remarks at Trump’s rally. “So tomorrow, I will be changing my registration to Republican.”
Yeah, seems like a great idea.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Let's try to imagine for a moment if President Obama had said this

Oh, for f--k's sake.
“That White House is a real dump,” Trump reportedly told members of his Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey, before teeing off recently.  Link

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I did not see that coming

Looks like I have to give credit to John McCain after savaging him earlier this week.

I don't know when he decided to vote NO on the Repeal Obamacare and Screw Over Americans Act, but he did and millions of Americans will get to keep their healthcare.

So, great job, John McCain. You surprised everyone. And this time in a good way.

Of course, the ACA isn't safe as long as Republicans are in power, so this fight isn't over. But for now, this is a good win.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

True colors always shine through

Once upon a time, John McCain was called a "Maverick"; a Republican Senator who was willing to buck his party to DO THE RIGHT THING. He rarely lived up to that nickname, but he did now and then. In his finest moment, during the 2008 Presidential election against Barack Obama, he stood up to a woman in the audience at one of his rallies. Watch:

The election loss apparently broke John McCain because he was never the same since. He lost his objectivity, his sense of right and fairness. Once in a while he would say something that sounded statesmanlike, but over the past 9 years those instances became more or more rare. And, of course, he's the man who unleashed Sarah Palin on the world.

Today, John McCain had a chance to regain his status as a statesman. As a Maverick.

The Senate voted this afternoon to move their Obamacare repeal legislation forward. With two dissenting Republicans, they needed every single other Republican to vote for the measure so that Vice President Pence could break the tie. But McCain was in Arizona due to recent surgery because of brain cancer.

Without revealing how he would vote, John McCain flew back to Washington. There, he had a choice. By voting No, he could end, hopefully for good, the Republican drive to destroy Obamacare and he could SAVE THE HEALTHCARE OF TENS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. Or, he could vote Yes and by his vote DEPRIVE TENS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE OF THEIR HEALTHCARE.

Keep in mind that McCain is currently being treated for a
often fatal
incredibly expensive
form of brain cancer

McCain voted No. Obamacare repeal lives on.


You didn't even have to vote. If you had just stayed in Arizona you could have plead illness and not even gone on the record opposing your party. But you flew all the way across the country to screw over people and families. All for a tax cut for rich people.

You will forever be known as a cranky old hypocrite who foisted Caribou Barbie on us and laid the cornerstone for killing thousands of other Americans by DEPRIVING THEM OF THEIR HEALTHCARE. In the end, you were as craven, immoral and uncaring as the rest of the Republicans in Congress.

You had once last chance and you blew it. You are no Maverick.

You are a monster.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Another rat flees the sinking ship

So long, former White House Spokesman Sean Spicer, you half-witted, colluding, liar. This is yet another time when I kind of wish I believed in Hell, because there would be a place reserved for Sean Spicer.

I agree with this 100%:
The White House attracts all manner of toadies, suckups and flatterers seeking the president's favor, but never did any staffer demean, degrade and humble himself to the chief executive the way outgoing press secretary Sean Spicer did. [...]
[W]e find no Trump transgression so foul that Spicer would not grovel before it. When Trump praised North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and invited thuggish Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House, Spicer dispensed sympathy and understanding upon the despots. No Trump mistake was too mundane for him to correct: He insisted that the word “covfefe,” which appeared in a late-night Trump tweet, wasn’t a typo. When Trump alluded to secret Trump-Comey audio recordings, Spicer dodged all questions about their existence. After the president claimed Obama had tapped his phones at Trump Tower, Spicer created a diplomatic incident by falsely accusing British intelligence of doing the snooping.
 -- Jack Shafer
Go ahead and read the whole article.

The only reason Spicer will be remembered, besides being a liar for the most lyingest President ever who's probably going to end up in jail or kill us all, is because of this:

I love it about 20 seconds in when the audience figures out who's playing Spicer. Sadly, as funny as this sketch is, I would rather it not have been necessary.

I hope the only time I ever hear Sean Spicer's name again is when he's arraigned.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kids, use this as a cheat sheet in history class!

One of the things that leaders do is inspire us with their wisdom and understanding of the human condition. A knowledge of history is important and good leaders often use history to show where we should go by showing where we've been. And, of course, the ability to communicate directly to people in a relatable, understandable way is key.

(Actual quotes from a New York Times article)

For the time in office, five months and couple of weeks, I think I’ve done more than anyone else. They may have taken it as more than anyone else, period. But I’m talking about for my time. I heard that Harry Truman was first, and then we beat him.

Well, Napoleon finished a little bit bad. But I asked that. So I asked the president, so what about Napoleon? He said: “No, no, no. What he did was incredible. He designed Paris.” [garbled] The street grid, the way they work, you know, the spokes. He did so many things even beyond. And his one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death.

Same thing happened to Hitler. Not for that reason, though. Hitler wanted to consolidate. He was all set to walk in. But he wanted to consolidate, and it went and dropped to 35 degrees below zero, and that was the end of that army.
I have had the best reviews on foreign land. So I go to Poland and make a speech. Enemies of mine in the media, enemies of mine are saying it was the greatest speech ever made on foreign soil by a president. I’m saying, man, they cover [garbled]. You saw the reviews I got on that speech. Poland was beautiful and wonderful, and the reception was incredible.
Truly, wisdom has been revealed.

Oh, wait, those are the ravings of a senile grandfather in a sub-standard nursing home.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Losers taking responsibility like losers will

Now that Obamacare repeal has crashed and burned in the United States Senate, a body controlled by Republicans who also control the House, the White House and the Supreme Court, the usual champions of "taking personal responsibility" for the rest of us are certainly not doing so themselves.

Mitch McConnell, Senator Majority Leader:
"I imagine many Democrats were celebrating last night. I hope they consider what they’re celebrating. The American people are hurting, they need relief, and it’s regretful that our Democratic colleagues decided early on that they did not want to engage with us seriously in the process to deliver that relief."
By relief, he means taking away their health insurance. Kind of how you relieve a dog's suffering by putting it down. That kind of relief.

And by "American people are hurting" he means rich people, who need more money for their money fountains. Because golden showers aren't cheap.

Oh, and in case you weren't paying attention, the Senate "healthcare" bill was developed in secret by the Republican leadership without allowing any input from ANYONE, even their own Republican colleagues, not just Democrats. So "decided early on that they did not want to engage"? Not so much.

Idiot manchild with nuclear codes:
I think we're probably in that position where we'll just let Obamacare fail. We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We'll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats will come to us and say how do we fix it, how do we fix it, or how do we come up with a new plan.
Uh, hey asshole, you're the f'ing President of the United States. You already OWN IT. You swore on the Bible and the Constitution to faithfully uphold the laws of the United States. You don't get to ignore that oath because you hate the black guy. Look, I know you're a lazy SOB and you'd rather be golfing than helping Americans, but if you kill Obamacare through neglect, then you are PERSONALLY responsible for every single person who dies because they've lost their insurance.

And if you're really interested, the Democrats already know how to fix the problems with Obamacare and have been trying to get Republicans to cooperate to do so for six years. Democrats are NOT the problem.

You selfish, compassionless, nasty, ignorant, reality ignoring pieces of shite are the problem.

Whatever happened to "family values"?

Weren't the Republicans supposed to be the party of family values?
Jesus Lara, an Ohio father of four American citizens, was deported to Mexico earlier today after nearly two decades in the U.S. Lara had no criminal record, was a taxpayer, and followed ICE’s rules by checking in regularly for years. That didn’t matter to immigration officials, who treated Lara no differently than they would someone who actually did pose a danger to public safety. Instead, he was ordered to leave.  Link

Oh, right. He's not a white American, so Republicans don't value HIS family. Got it.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

He was just spitballin'

Today, a presumably competent adult, one with great responsibility, who is definitely not a moron or insane, said this to the press when talking about a giant wall:
[B]ut you have to have openings because you have to see what's on the other side of the wall. And I'll give you an example. As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don't see them—they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It's over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall. But we have some incredible designs.
So we'll be building a giant, solar-power-generating, transparent wall between the US and Mexico because drug dealers will be throwing 60 pound bags of drugs over the wall and we want wall tourists to be able to see those bags are coming.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Brighton Rock

Queen's Sheer Heart Attack was one of the first albums I ever owned and Queen was the first band I ever called "my favorite". As a teen, I listened to that album A LOT. One of the songs on the album, Brighton Rock, is apparently in the new movie, Baby Driver, and so has garnered recent attention.

The other day, someone posted the lyric video below and I watched it. Even though I had heard the song countless times, I realized I didn't exactly know all the words (hey, it's sung in sing-songy British English). To my surprise, I was struck by how literate and charming the lyrics are.

Check out the song below.  If you'd like to skip back to the lyrics once the instrumental part starts at 1:54, skip ahead to 4:38.  But really you should just listen to the whole thing.

An Important Question

Can we now, finally, put aside the asinine notion that we need business people to lead the United States instead of experienced politicians and civil servants?


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

You'd think he'd know what it is since he takes up so much of it

Below is the actual transcript of Buzz Aldrin (Colonel Aldrin) and Donald Trump (Dumbass) at the signing of an Executive Order revitalizing the National Space Council (without any actual NASA folk on board).
DUMBASS: So, I just want to tell you that we are now going to sign an executive order, and this is going to launch a whole new chapter for our great country. And people are very excited about it and I can tell you, I’m very excited about it. Thank you all very much.
COLONEL ALDRIN: Infinity and beyond. (Laughter.)
DUMBASS: This is infinity here. It could be infinity. We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something — but it could be infinity, right?
Our "President" doesn't get a Toy Story reference, and doesn't seem to actually understand what space is.

Here's Buzz at that moment.

I'm with you, my friend.

Happy Independence Day 2017 edition

Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post:

We have a president who neither understands nor respects the basic norms of American democracy. Make no mistake: Donald Trump is a true aberration. There is no figure like him in U.S. history, for which we should be thankful.
Trump’s inexperience is unique; he is the only president never to have served in government or the military. This weakness is exponentially compounded by his ignorance of both policy and process, his lack of curiosity, his inability to focus and his tremendous insecurity. He refuses to acknowledge his shortcomings, let alone come to terms with them; and he desperately craves the kind of sycophantic adulation that George Washington, a genuine hero, pointedly rejected. [...]
The Founders, mindful of their own faults, ultimately designed a system to contain a rogue president. They limited his elective term to four years, gave checking and balancing powers to the legislative and judicial branches, and designed impeachment as a last-ditch remedy. The Trump presidency compels all of us to be mindful of our constitutional duties.

David Remnick at the New Yorker:

Donald Trump, who, in fairness, has noted that “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job,” represents an entirely different tradition. He has no interest in the wholeness of reality. He descends from the lineage of the Know-Nothings, the doomsayers and the fabulists, the nativists and the hucksters. The thematic shift from Obama to Trump has been from “lifting as we climb” to “raising the drawbridge and bolting the door.” Trump may operate a twenty-first-century Twitter machine, but he is still a frontier-era drummer peddling snake oil, juniper tar, and Dr. Tabler’s Buckeye Pile Cure for profit from the back of a dusty wagon.

Trump is hardly the first bad President in American history—he has not had adequate time to eclipse, in deed, the very worst—but when has any politician done so much, so quickly, to demean his office, his country, and even the language in which he attempts to speak? Every day, Trump wakes up and erodes the dignity of the Presidency a little more.

Hat tip to Daily Kos.