Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Ipecac vacation update

Hi! We arrived last Wednesday in Orlando. We spent a few days bumming around, visited a relative and spent two days at Universal Studios.

Today we arrive at Disney World!

That's all I have time for now.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

What are you going to do now, Ipecac?

I'm going to Disney World!

Carol and I are empty-nesters and this is our first real trip alone since Ben went off to college (he's a Junior now!). We're doing a couple of days at Universal Studios, including their Halloween Horror Nights. I'm super excited about seeing the half of the Harry Potter world we haven't seen, and the TEN haunted houses at their Halloween event. And then, Disney World!

I've been planning out the details for a few months now and have all our reservations and Fastpasses set up. Since September is a low attendance month, our dining plan is free! That means one sit down meal, one counter service meal, and two snacks per day. Plus drinks (alcohol). Yes, free drinks. All our reservations are for restaurants we've never tried before and we're pretty excited about that, especially the incredibly hard to get into, Be Our Guest restaurant where we're having breakfast one day.

We're also going to ride the new Avatar rides at Animal Kingdom, see the new Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios, and all our usual favorites. Low attendance means we'll probably get to ride a lot.

We're staying at Disney's Yacht Club for the first time. The coolest thing about the hotel is that it's a short walk to EPCOT's back entrance and a short boat ride to Hollywood Studios. There's also what's considered the best hotel pool at WDW, Stormalong Bay.

Our schedule is to leave this Saturday afternoon (Sept. 15), and ::record scratch::

Yes, we were supposed to be flying out of DC on Saturday, when Hurricane Florence is supposed to be parked over North Carolina, directly between DC and Orlando. So we jumped through a bunch of hoops today and rescheduled our departure for tomorrow night, getting us ahead of the storm. We'll spend a bunch of money on additional days with the rental car and hotels, but it's pretty clear that the Saturday flight will be cancelled due to the storm. So we pushed the date up. Now we have to decide what to do in Florida for a couple of extra days. I'm thinking maybe we'll vote.

I would like to point out at this time that Disney is hella expensive these days, even with a free meal plan, and Carol and I are privileged to be able to afford it. I find it sad that most people can't afford it, because it's a wonderful place.

Hilariously, once you reach a certain price point, Disney suddenly becomes much cheaper. We were originally going to stay for five days but we found a couple of extra days. We called to find out how much those two extra days would cost us. This included Park Hopper passes to go into any park at will, and the dining plan. The cost was $11 per day for each of us. Yes, $44 for two people to go to any and all Disney parks, with food, for two days. Naturally, we took the two extra days.

New blog posts will probably be scarce for a couple of weeks. Follow my Instagram (tasteofipecac)  to see pictures as I post them, or check out the box on the right of my blog.

Oh, and I haven't decided if I really want to see President Soon-to-be-Indicted in the Hall of Presidents. I think the urge to boo and throw things will be pretty hard to fight.

Keep things honest while I'm gone.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The Best People Strike Again

So we just had a huge double whammy of "inside the White House" shenanigans revealed with the excerpts released from Bob Woodward's new book, Fear, yesterday, about working inside the White House, and an anonymous White House Senior Official publishing an Op-Ed in the New York Times this afternoon.

First, let's have some excerpts from Woodward's book.
In one National Security Council meeting that took place on January 19, Trump questioned why the U.S. was spending money on having a military presence on the Korean Peninsula, which included an operation that would detect a North Korean missile launch in seven seconds. Defense Secretary James Mattis told the president, “We’re doing this to prevent World War III,” according to an excerpt from the book published by the Post. 
After Trump left the meeting, Woodward recounts, “Mattis was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader.’
Kelly: He's an idiot. It's pointless to try to convince him of anything. He's gone off the rails. We're in crazytown. I don't even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I've ever had.
The thing is, this shouldn't surprise anyone who has been paying attention over the past 18 months. But still.

And now the New York Times Op-Ed, by an anonymous White House senior staff member. This is an unprecedented act by any Administration Official.
The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
I would know. I am one of them.
To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.
But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.
That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.
Allow me to interject at this point. Excuse the French, but FUCK this dude and his associates.

If they want to do the right thing, go public. Expose all of Trump's craziness and demand that Congress do something. Stop enabling this monster and actually take a stand and work on ending his presidency. They think that this makes them heroic, the "adults" in the room, when in reality, they want to have their cake and eat it too, which makes them opportunistic assholes.

Oh, and fuck this too:
Don't get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.
There are NO bright spots to this administration. They are looting the country, giving everything to the wealthy and corporations, screwing over American workers, alienating our allies, gutting the environment and the amount of graft and corruption is staggering.

Let's review another item in the news.

Obama, whose administration had ZERO convictions of major officials for eight years and who was elected twice by millions of votes, didn't get to have his Supreme Court pick confirmed during his entire last year of being President. While Trump, who LOST the popular vote, has had dozens of confederates indicted and several convicted of felonies, and is known by his own cabinet and White House to be a mercurial, narcissistic, petulant moron gets his Supreme Court pick rushed through the Senate by traitorous Republicans who would rather protect the Republican Party than act like patriotic Americans.

This was a BIG week in Trumpland. The wheels are coming off bigly.  

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians

Carol and I went to see Crazy Rich Asians on Friday night (Moviepass lives!).

I had a lot of trouble with this movie. For one thing, there were like three white people in the entire movie and two of those three people were racist assholes. Clearly, the movie was itself racist against whites, especially since they cast Asians in all the lead roles. What the hell, movie? Yet another politically correct move to placate the libs. You should always cast the best actors as the leads and I had only heard of four of these people! How many of these people had Oscars? Clearly, not the best actors. It makes me sad to think how much better this movie would have been with Emma Stone or Scarlet Johansson as the lead, probably opposite one of the Chris's (Hemsworth, Pine, Evans or Pratt). It just sickens me to see Hollywood pandering to the SJW's like that.

Okay, that's about all I can type of that drivel. In case you're tone deaf, that was a (probably lame) satire of the way butt-hurt males feel about every movie that doesn't star white people, and, more specifically white men. If anything, what I just wrote was tame compared to their bitching about having women heroes in Star Wars, or the recent Ghostbusters. They're generally giant man-babies and they really, really suck at being good people.

I thought Crazy Rich Asians was wonderful. The cast was funny, charming and the story rich with strong, some nuanced, performances. I didn't get all the cultural sub-text, nor was I expected to, but that's okay, because what happens is completely understandable ON A HUMAN LEVEL. What a shock, many experiences are universal. If I got a small taste of how Asian audiences may not always grok Hollywood movies because of their distinctly American sensibility, that's an opportunity for me to learn and grow.

I am immensely gratified to see Crazy Rich Asians doing well. I loved it.

I've said it before. If you can't put yourself in the shoes of other people and can only relate to people who look and sound like you, you are a garbage human. Grow up. There's a big world out there.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

In Jesus Name

For my entire life (and before), Christians have claimed to have a monopoly on morality. Other religions are wrong, and those without religion have no morality at all. This is, of course, despite thousands of years of contrary evidence.

The reality is that anyone can be a moral person, and religion conveys no morality whatsoever.

Even so, in America, none have been more vocal about Christian morality than the Evangelical Right. From the party of "family values" has come condemnation and censure of even the slightest perceived (or invented) moral failings by Democrats. While Republican failings are either ignored completely, swept under the rug, or embraced fully (see Mark Sanford, David Vitter and Roy Moore).

On Monday evening, 100 evangelical leaders met with Trump in the White House. Not to call him to task for his flagrant, ongoing, hugely immoral behavior, but to receive their marching orders.
Donald Trump met with evangelical leaders on Monday evening, urging them to push their flocks to the polls to vote Republican in November. In fact, Trump went further, saying he’d gotten “rid of” the law that calls for churches endorsing candidates to lose their tax-exempt status—even though the law remains in place, and Trump simply told the IRS not to enforce it. Translation: you owe me, so get out the vote, and let’s both just ignore the law here, okay? Link
And here's what he said:
“I just ask you to go out and make sure all of your people vote,” Mr. Trump told the group of about 100 evangelical ministers. “Because if they don’t — it’s Nov. 6 — if they don’t vote we’re going to have a miserable two years and we’re going to have, frankly, a very hard period of time because then it just gets to be one election — you’re one election away from losing everything you’ve got.”
Again, please note that this is ILLEGAL under U.S. law and thus, presumably, immoral. (Frankly, if they want to give up their tax exempt status, I encourage them to do this.)

When I was growing up as a United Methodist, I was pretty fascinated by the idea of the Antichrist and the Apocalypse. I always imagined Christians fighting against an ever encroaching evil led by a charismatic, brilliant politician on the non-religious side. Even now, that's how most evangelicals see the Antichrist.

Meanwhile, their leaders embrace and follow a non-charismatic idiot who:

  • is a serial adulterer
  • paid off a porn star and a playboy model to keep quiet
  • lies ALL THE TIME
  • cheats business partners and employees out of money
  • regularly attacks those weaker than him
  • venerates himself above all others
  • is not religious, but fakes it in as obvious a manner as possible
  • afflicts the afflicted
  • harms the poor
  • works to take healthcare away from millions
  • shifts money from the poor to the rich
  • advocates for war
  • and basically just sucks as a human being

Yeah, a real sterling role model you've got there, evangelicals.

I've said it before. While you Christians never really had it, you have lost ALL rights to claim moral authority from now until the end of time. I am happy that people are leaving your church in droves and look forward to the extinction of your hypocritical, self-serving, manipulative, evil religion.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

John McCain

I'm not sure how I feel about Senator John McCain.

McCain used to be someone who could speak truth to power and occasionally stepped up to earn his "maverick" nickname, such as when he saved Obamacare. He was also a vigorous opponent of torture, having survived years of it in Vietnam, a tool which modern Republican Presidents seem to love.

His best days were during the time when he goodheartedly appeared regularly on The Daily Show and called Jon Stewart a friend. But he was also a warmonger, the biggest Senate cheerleader for the war in Iraq, and behaved pretty badly during the Obama Administration, seemingly at times driven by revenge for having lost the election. After the election, he stopped appearing on The Daily Show.

So upon his death this weekend and plaudits raining down from both the Left and the Right (notably NOT from our Toddler in Chief), I was feeling ambivalent.

Until I read this:  The Myth of John McCain

I think it pretty accurately lays out how McCain had a positive reputation, despite his actual votes on a host of bad policies. Rather than me repeat the whole thing, just go and read it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Media Bias

Want to see American institutional bias in action?

Want evidence that the media furthers bias against people of color in America?

Check out these two Tweets. These types of contrary images can be seen every single day.

Be aware when you see/read the news. View the news critically and remember that images can make an impression on you that you may not even be aware of.

Corruption Update! 08-22-18

Just a reminder of some of the close Trump associates who are indicted, plead or found guilty in a criminal case, or resigned in disgrace because of corruption.
  • Trump Campaign Chair, Paul Manafort: Guilty
  • Trump Lawyer/Fixer, Michael Cohen: Guilty
  • Trump Deputy Campaign Manager, Rick Gates: Guilty
  • Trump National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn: Guilty
  • First Trump congressional backer, Rep. Chris Collins: Indicted
  • Second Trump congressional backer, Rep. Duncan Hunter: Indicted
  • HHS Sec. Tom Price: Resigned
  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt: Resigned
  • VA Sec. David Shulkin: Resigned
Tick, tock, Trump.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A reminder - 752 days in Hell

Just a few notes.
Trump has been bragging on and on about black employment, saying he's been better for African Americans than any other President. Yeah, not even close.

And here's how much the great Republican tax cut helped your average working American.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tipping? An idea whose time has passed

Here's another, very interesting, reason to pay waitstaff a real, living wage and eliminate tipping. Tipping may result in higher salaries for some high end restaurant workers, but it's a terrible and unpredictable system for millions of others who aren't so lucky.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Spring and Summer Movie Roundup

On March 4, I posted a list of the movies I want to see this year. I thought this might be a good time to review that list to date.

Before I start, this has been an interesting summer because it was the summer I had Moviepass. Here's Moviepass from Wikipedia:
. . . the service allows subscribers to purchase a single movie ticket per day for a flat subscription fee per month, quarter, or year. The service utilizes a mobile app, where users check-into a cinema and choose a film and showtime, which results in the cost of the ticket being loaded to a prepaid debit card, which is used to purchase the ticket from the cinema as usual.
When Moviepass lowered their price last year, I hesitated before joining, fearing it would crash and burn. But as the number of subscribers skyrocketed, I bought in earlier this year, paying $90 for a full year's subscription. For that year, I can see one movie a day, paid for by the company. But I can only see each movie one time on Moviepass.

I have gotten my value out of Moviepass, so far seeing 11 movies, which means a total cost of around $8 a movie. I hope the service will continue long enough for me to see a few more, but it looks like Moviepass won't survive much longer.

I've noted which movies I saw on Moviepass with an MP. Some of these I saw more than once, but only once with Moviepass. A few minor spoilers below, but nothing important.

A Wrinkle in Time
Decided not to see it due to lukewarm reviews. (pre-Moviepass)

Tomb Raider (MP)
Not a fantastic movie, but I really enjoyed it. (Even though the final action sequence was stolen from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). I like that it was based on a specific Tomb Raider video game title, and I'm sorry it didn't do well enough to merit any more films in the series. I'd like to see more.

Pacific Rim Uprising (MP)
A pretty big disappointment. A poor followup from the original, and the human villain (no spoilers here) was a HUGE mistake.

Ready Player One (MP)
I've never read the book and had few expectations, but I liked it. The virtual reality visuals were pretty incredible and the story, while mostly a stock "rebels against the empire" plot grafted onto a buttload of pop culture references, worked for me. I look forward to seeing it again on video.

Avengers: Infinity War (MP)
The movie of the year. Incredible. A miracle that it works and it works hugely. Saw it four times in the theater.

Deadpool 2 (MP)
I haven't decided yet if I like this better than the original Deadpool or not. Still profane, still very funny, the plot here is more convoluted than the first and dives even deeper into the X-Men mythos,  with some broader MCU digs thrown in. Also, Domino is one of the greatest superheroes in film. Saw it twice in the theater.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (MP)
I think this deserved to do better than it did. Another fun movie that worked for me, with a great cast and some incredible visuals. Any movie with Woody Harrelson and Donald Glover is a winner in my book. And Glover was GREAT as Lando.

Incredibles 2 (MP)
A direct continuation of the first movie, the Incredibles family takes a big step back before moving forward. Some of the visuals here, particularly involving the Screenslaver are just, well, incredible. And of course, more Elastigirl and more Frozone are very welcome. Loved it. Saw it twice. Hopefully we won't wait 14 years for the next one.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (MP)
The strangest Jurassic Park movie takes the franchise off the island, forever. They obviously realized they couldn't keep doing the theme park/post theme park back and forth. Some fun moments, but no humans are as stupid as the ones in this movie.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (MP)
Loved it. A great, hilarious, lighter MCU outing to help people heal from Infinity War. Still, watching the first end credits scene on opening weekend with an enthusiastic crowd was one of the best theater experiences I've EVER had. The audience reacted with puzzlement for a few seconds and then erupted into a huge gasp. Really, really great. Saw it twice.

I did see a few more movies that weren't on the list, almost certainly because they were free via Moviepass.

Ocean's 8 (MP)
You know the formula for the typical heist movie. A criminal mastermind gets his crew together and they plan a big, complex heist. Things seem to go wrong, but in the end, it was all part of the plan. Now, take that basic formula and remove the "things seem to go wrong" part and you have Oceans 8. I liked the all-female cast, but the heist plan went exactly according to plan, with nothing going wrong. What?

A Quiet Place (MP)
A great horror movie about a family living in utter silence after an invasion by alien bugs that can hear but not see. Really well done, one of the best movies I've seen this year.

Rampage (MP)
Everybody likes Dwayne Johnson, he's great fun to watch. Unfortunately, this story, based on the great Rampage video game, doesn't have enough fun making the game into a movie. The relationship between the two is pretty perfunctory, so it's mostly disaster porn with a likable lead. It also contains a horrible, unnecessarily misogynistic death.

Still to come on the list:

X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

Thursday, August 02, 2018

A Moron Jr. Says What?

This is so stupid, I'm going to start with a facepalm.

Now that that's out of the way. The stupid.
"I've been out hearing the left talking about all these things, fascism, Nazism on the right," Trump Jr. said. "And when you look at the actual history of how these things evolved, and when you actually look at that platform versus the platform of the modern left, you say wait a minute, those two are really heavily aligned and, frankly, contrary to the right."
. . .
"You see the Nazi platform in the early 1930s and what was actually put out there ... and you look at it compared to like the DNC platform of today, and you're saying, man, those things are awfully similar, to a point where it's actually scary," Trump Jr. said.

In case you'd like to compare, here's the current Democratic platform.

Democratic Platform

And here's the Nazi party platform from 1933.

Nazi Platform

(To be fair, if you can't read, they do seem awfully similar).

Also, if you believe that Donald Trump, Jr. has any knowledge of ACTUAL world history, he's got a bridge to sell you.

Finally, a personal note to Donald Trump, Jr:

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

A Moron Says What?

Amazing job, and amazing job. So amazing that we’re ordering hundreds of millions of dollars of new airplanes for the Air Force, especially the F-35. Do you like the F-35? I said how does it do it in fights, and how do they do in fights with the F-35. He says we do very well, you can’t see it. Literally you can’t see. It’s hard to fight a plane you can’t see right? But that’s an expensive plane you can’t see. And as you probably heard we cut the price very substantially, something other administrations would never have done, that I can tell you.”  Link
-- The Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces

An American F-35 in action.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Seems a little uncomfortable, doesn't it?

Climate change is here and wreaking havoc around the world.

Meanwhile, the American government actively works AGAINST measures to fight it. Because the rich can't have their livelihoods threatened, even if it means the loss of civilization.
In early July, all-time heat records were set all over the world. The Algerian city of Ouargla set a new recorded high for the entire continent of Africa: 124.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or 51.3 degrees Celsius, on July 6. But that’s far from the only place where—to quote Cole Porter—it’s too darn hot.
  • In Texas, the extreme heat is widespread. Multiple cities are reporting runs of five or six days in a row with temperatures over 100. The record-breaking heat is overwhelming the state’s electric power grid. One day was so hot that the grid set a new system-wide all-time peak demand record.
  • An “unprecedented” heat wave in Japan has been declared a natural disaster. Kumagaya, a city near Tokyo, recorded the highest-ever temperature in Japan—41.1 degrees Celsius, or 105.98 degrees Fahrenheit. At least 80 people have died of the heat so far, but some weather officials say the death toll is more likely in the hundreds. More than 30,000 people have been hospitalized for heatstroke. The extreme weather also is forcing officials to postpone construction of venues for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
  • In Sweden, high temperatures and persistent drought are being blamed for the spread of some 44 wildfires. Sweden has asked other European countries for assistance in fighting the fires. These wildfires are reaching as far north as the Arctic Circle.
  • Heat records are being broken all over: Denver; Los Angeles; Montreal; Glasgow, Scotland; Shannon, Ireland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and many locations in Russia, including Siberia. In the U.S. alone, nine all-time temperature records have been broken and 10 have tied records.
There are many, many more examples, including boiled bats in Australia. All of this follows 2017, which also had record-breaking heat. As a matter of fact, the five warmest years on record all have occurred since 2010.  Link

I do have some hope that humanity will figure out a way around this. But every year of inaction by one of the biggest polluters on the planet makes that less and less likely.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


This was in The New Yorker last August and is as true today as it was then.
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.”
Criticism of Donald Trump among Democrats who served in senior national-security positions is predictable and rife. But Republicans—who are historically ambitious on foreign policy—are particularly pained by the President’s missteps and misstatements. So are former senior intelligence officials who have avoided publicly criticizing Presidents until now.
“The President has little understanding of the context”—of what’s happening in the world—“and even less interest in hearing the people who want to deliver it,” Michael Hayden, a retired four-star general and former director of both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency, told me. “He’s impatient, decision-oriented, and prone to action. It’s all about the present tense. When he asks, ‘What the hell’s going on in Iraq?’ people around him have learned not to say, ‘Well, in 632 . . . ’ ” (That was the year when the Prophet Muhammad died, prompting the beginning of the Sunni-Shiite split.*)
“He just doesn’t have an interest in the world,” Hayden said.

Sounds like good traits for a President. We're so smart for choosing him to negotiate the complex realities of modern foreign relations.

Also, they forgot to add that Trump is narcissistic, a bully, selfish, spiteful, a white supremacist, a liar, belligerent, lacking compassion, an asshole, and pretty much a sociopath who cares about nothing but himself.

Welcome to America.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

This is what we're up against

Virginia Kruta is an associate editor at the right-wing The Daily Caller. She recently attended a Democratic campaign rally in Missouri, where Democratic Socialist and rising star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was speaking. And, as a conservative, what she heard "terrified" her.
“I saw something truly terrifying,” Kruta wrote. “I saw just how easy it would be, were I less involved and less certain of our nation’s founding and its history, to fall for the populist lines they were shouting from that stage.”
“I saw how easy it would be, as a parent, to accept the idea that my children deserve healthcare and education,” Kruta wrote. “I saw how easy it would be, as someone who has struggled to make ends meet, to accept the idea that a ‘living wage’ was a human right. Above all, I saw how easy it would be to accept the notion that it was the government’s job to make sure that those things were provided.”  Link

She was terrified of the idea that making a living wage is a human right.
She was terrified of the idea that her children deserve healthcare and an education.
She was terrified that the government's job might be to provide those things.

Apparently our "nation's founding and its history" means we can't have those things.

What about this?
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
How do you convince someone who doesn't even believe her own children deserve to see a doctor and to go to school?

Fortunately for her, there are people in this world who believe that ". . . all men are created equal, that they are endowed . . . with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

Of course, her argument is that the richest country in the history of the world can't afford these things. The same country that just gave $1 TRILLION back to rich people who don't need it. We just can't afford it.

Fortunately for her, other people care about her children and their rights and will fight for them.

Even if she doesn't and won't.

TwaitorTweets away!

Putin's lapdog, Trump, was in fine Tweet form today, unleashing two really outstanding Tweets.

 First up, Trade Wars are awesome! Oops, I'm sorry. The greatest!

This is like the schoolyard bully on the first day he's discovered that he can hit other kids with his fists and get things he wants. Of course, in this case since the U.S. imports far more than we export, the bully is actually the smaller kid who's breaking his fists on the bigger kid's chin.

Things are so bad for farmers due to the tariffs that the White House today said they're going to spend $12 BILLION in taxpayer money to farmers who are being hurt by Trump's trade war. Yes, Trump is inflicting wounds ON US and then we're paying to keep Trump's stupid voters happy. Those same stupid voters who unleashed Trump on the world.

Now I do want to acknowledge the most significant part of the Tweet: "everybody's talking!" To Trump, that's really all that matters. That he's costing American consumers billions of dollars in higher prices (because that's what tariffs do) and industry bailouts while tanking whole industries doesn't matter. Everybody's talking about him! Woo hoo!

And now, the most wonderful, magical, Trumptacular Tweet of the day!

Okay, it's true. NOBODY wants Trump. Ask Melania.

To use the "Trump is a child" metaphor again, this is the kid who gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar and spends the next hour trying to convince you that he suspects the neighbor girl of stealing the cookies.

Here's Trump "being tougher on Russia" than anyone, from the Surrender Summit:

from CNBC.

Note this exchange from the video:

REPORTER: Did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?
PUTIN: Yes, I wanted him to win. Because he talked about bringing the U.S. Russia relationship back to normal.
So Putin WANTED Trump to win. What a shocking revelation. Admittedly, even Putin has to realize that the relationship is not "back to normal".

Of course, if Trump really believes that the Russians are going to interfere with the elections in favor of the Democrats, shouldn't he be cooperating with Democrats who WANT increased federal involvement in protecting our elections from hacking and other interference? Hmm.

In conclusion, yes, our President is a delusional fuckwit. But then, we already knew that.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

I wouldn't send this guy to negotiate my car loan

This week, a dozen actual Russian agents, working for Putin, were indicted by the Department of Justice for interfering with the 2016 election that gave us Trump. Tomorrow, Trump will meet ALONE with Putin and likely only a Russian interpreter (not even an American translator) as he's done before.

In normal situations, it would be inappropriate for the President to meet with a foreign adversary without anyone else present, if nothing else to provide a second set of ears to make sure there was no misunderstanding of what was said. But for THIS President, who at the very least benefited from Russian interference and is under investigation for active collusion, meeting with Putin at all right now, let alone BY HIMSELF is absolutely unconscionable and, frankly, dangerous.

Trump is a terrible negotiator even in the best of times (not knowing anything and being too lazy to be brought up to speed tends to hamper negotiations) and these aren't the best of times. When asked about discussing extradition of the indicted agents with Putin, Trump said he hadn't thought about it. Honestly, we don't even know if Trump IS on our side against Putin. (Yes, we do. He's not.)

Nothing good can come of this. Americans, who expect the President to advocate on behalf of America, should be outraged.


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Those little slackers should pay to eat!

Is Trump unhappy with the competition?
This week, in a move that contradicted decades of research proving that breastfeeding benefits babies and mothers, the Trump administration rejected a World Health Organization resolution limiting the misleading marketing of formula, which—if replaced with breast milk—could save more than 800,000 infant lives a year.
Health officials were "shocked" and "stunned" by the news, The New York Times reported. But for the scholars who study this issue, nothing about this decision is surprising. The United States government, the largest purchaser of formula in the country, does more than market milk substitutes: It gives them away for free.  Link

"Party of Life" indeed.

GOP Morality

This is worth noting, again and again.

Jim Jordan is a Republican congressman currently being accused by at least a dozen former wrestlers that when he was an assistant wrestling coach, he stood by and allowed the coach to sexually molest the kids. Jordan denies it, and Republicans, most notably Trump, have stood by him.

What the Jim Jordan scandal tells us about GOP morality
Today, when allegations of this sort surface against a Democrat, the first impulse of those in the Democratic Party is to assume that the victims are probably telling the truth and ask whether the member should resign. That wasn’t always their response in the past, but now it is. The first impulse of Republicans when such a scandal touches their own, on the other hand, is to defend the member no matter what the facts suggest and charge that it’s a liberal conspiracy.
That may be partly because they all pledged their loyalty to a president who is on tape bragging about his ability to commit sexual assault with impunity (“When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”), and who was credibly accused of sexual misconduct by a dozen women. Whatever the reasons, they haven’t caught up to the morality of the 21st century.  Link

If character or morals matter to you, remember that in November.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Just a reminder: Parties

The Republicans, who currently control the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House, represent a MINORITY OF AMERICANS.

Senate elections 2012-2016:

Republican votes: 102.3 million
Democratic votes: 117.4 million

15 million more Americans cast votes for Democrats in a Senate that is now controlled by a 51-to-49 GOP majority.

Presidential election 2016:

Republican votes: 62,985,134
Democratic votes: 65,853,652

The only thing the Republicans took with more votes was the House of Representatives in 2016, where they won 63,173,815 to 61,776,554. And despite winning by only 1.1%, they have 10.8% more seats.

This is intolerable in a democracy, especially the supposed greatest democracy on the planet.

Trump is right, the system is rigged. But it sure as hell isn't rigged for the Democrats. Or the majority of Americans.

Monday, July 09, 2018

I spent a lot of time thinking of the exact, appropriate response

Earlier today, traitor to our country, Senator Mitch McConnell, said this about Trump's Supreme Court appointment:
"Justice Kennedy’s resignation letter had barely arrived in the president’s hands before several of our Democratic colleagues began declaring their blanket opposition to anyone at all,” said McConnell.

“There’s not even a nominee yet,” he said with a laugh. “We should evaluate this president’s nominee fairly, based on their qualifications. And we should treat this process with the respect and the dignity that it deserves.”
This is the SAME Mitch McConnell who held open a Supreme Court seat for an entire year when Justice Scalia died, stealing the seat that President Obama had the right to fill. McConnell didn't even give Obama's appointee, Judge Merrick Garland, a hearing.

So, with all respect due to the Senate Majority Leader.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Okay, why isn't he one of the Avengers?

Last week, Trump put up some simply awesome Tweets. Awesome in grammar. Awesome in self-awareness. Awesome in their understanding of how linear time works.

First up, let's examine his awesome ability to forge peace!

It is going well! Except that it really, really isn't.

North Korea has increased nuclear production at secret sites, say U.S. officials

There have been other "8 month" periods where North Korea hasn't had any launches or tests. That would be in 2015 and 2016, in the BEFORE TIMES.

Finally, let's think about the last sentence. "If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!" What does that actually mean? That President Hillary would have gone to war with NK? That doesn't seem likely, given her deep understanding of Diplomacy and how the world works and all. Does it mean that we were on the brink of war with NK during the Obama years? No, that is definitely not true. Does it mean that Trump's awesomeness kept himself from attacking NK? Hmm. Will require more thought to parse that one out. Then again, maybe he's just an idiot.

Next, there was this gem of a Tweet!

Yes, Harley Davidson made a yuge mistake when they crossed Trump by reacting rationally to European retaliatory tariffs by moving their European vehicle manufacturing to Europe. They made a mistake SO BIG, their sales went down a YEAR BEFORE THEY ANNOUNCED THE MOVE! 

That's our Pr*sident for you! He is so powerful that to cross him is to warp the very fabric of space-time. He's better than an Avenger, he's basically Thanos with all six of the Infinity Stones.

Except Thanos is kinder. And more compassionate. And smarter. And not as crazy. And better looking.

But otherwise, yeah, he's Thanos.

Friday, July 06, 2018

How did the party of Lincoln become the child-stealing, race-baiting, vote suppressing, racial segregating party of today?

Modern Republicans like to point out that the KKK was started by Democrats (true) and that Republicans are the party of Lincoln, who freed the slaves (also true). This is disingenuous, of course, because since Lincoln, the two parties have completely switched positions on civil rights. It is inarguable that now it's the Republicans who are threatening the civil rights of any people who are not white, while the Democrats are the party defending the civil rights of ALL people. (For example, see PUERTO F'ING RICO).

But don't take my word for it. Check out these really great Twitter threads by Kevin M. Kruse outlining the whole flip-flop by the parties on civil rights, from the Civil War to today.

The Parties' Switch

And for a list of individual politicians.

Sure, Let's Do This

Both are a great read.