Thursday, February 22, 2024

The War

If you're not familiar with much of the background and current state of the Israeli invasion of Gaza, Vox has an absolutely fascinating, in-depth analysis, covering not just the war, but potential scenarios for the future. The story is horrific, disturbing and tragic and the human toll is hard to grasp. 

Unfortunately, there are many parallels with the United States' disastrous reaction to 9/11.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

It's like a mirror

These were two stories on the front page of the Washington Post online, today.

Notice a difference?


Thursday, February 15, 2024

I see no lies here



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Don't fall for this, Montgomery County

I live in Montgomery County, Maryland. We're a very diverse county (my town, Germantown, is the most diverse in the country!). We're also very blue.

Unfortunately, that diversity includes radical nutjob Republicans trying to fake their way onto our Board of Education by running as Democrats.
"Add now to the assorted fruit loops Bethany Mandel, a home-schooler, book-banner, and anti-Disneyite who is running for a seat on the Montgomery County school board."
The Amazon blurb for Mandel's book says this:
“The Left is waging an all-out battle on the American family, particularly the youngest members. If they can make our children miserable, lead them to question every building block of society, and rebuild their entire concept of reality, then the Left and their woke indoctrinators will consider that a victory. But we can't let them win.”
Sounds like a Democrat all right!

Unfortunately, the school board has had some recent, terrible, scandals that might open the door to whackaloons.
The school board, recently rocked by the scandal of having ignored truly gross sexual misconduct and bullying allegations against a middle-school principal, has three of seven seats open. The primary is May 14 and the general election November 5. Fortunately there are 13 other candidates, and some of them sound sane.
Check out additional nut-jobbery details here.

DON'T VOTE FOR BETHANY MANDEL!!



Monday, January 22, 2024

What do you give a "billionaire" who has everything?

Jesus H Fucking Christ.

Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced today that he is supporting State Senator Ileana Garcia's bill SB 1740 to create a "Florida Freedom Fighter's Fund" to provide millions of dollars to fund Trump's criminal defense legal team. 

One day after Ron Desantis drops out of the presidential race, the push is on to use state resources and funding to finance a private citizen's legal defense in criminal cases. While tens of thousands of indigent Floridians are represented by Public Defenders with massive caseloads due to limited budgets, Florida's CFO wants the state to provide millions to Trump, who testified recently that his net worth is in excess of $10 billion and that his Florida home is the most expensive in the world.

Yes, the state of Florida is likely to use TAXPAYER money to fund Trump's (a supposed BILLIONAIRE) legal fees for all manner of criminal conduct, including an attempt to OVERTHROW THE U.S. GOVERNMENT.

Meanwhile, Florida ranks third in the country for the number of homeless, at around 30,000. Oh, and large chunks of the state are going to be underwater within a few decades.

These people are psychotic.


Thursday, January 11, 2024

A sociopath says what?

Remember when Texas used to be a blue state? Sigh.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appeared on right-wing gun fetishist Dana Loesch’s “The Dana Show,” recently to talk about his inhumane border policies.

When Loesch asked about the “maximum amount of pressure” he could apply in his border policy, Abbott responded, “We are using every tool that can be used from building a border wall to building these border barriers” to passing a law that makes it illegal for undocumented immigrants to enter the state. Abbott did note that the latter move was now the subject of a federal lawsuit from the Biden administration questioning a state’s right to make up immigration law.

Then the Texas governor added, “The only thing that we're not doing is we're not shooting people who come across the border because, of course, the Biden administration would charge us with murder.”

Poor Greg Abbott, sad that he can't have non-white people murdered to advance his political career. It must be tough being so oppressed. 

But he's a Christian, so I guess he gets a pass from Republicans, right?

Texas has become a real nightmare state.

Monday, January 01, 2024

Crypto

If you can't embiggen the image below, the original is here.

As you read, remember, all of this is ON TOP of a catastrophic energy and climate crisis. Bitcoin, a scam and huge waste of resources, couldn't have come at a worse time for the human race. 


People should be in jail for foisting this on us.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Santa won't help us















From Tom:  

You can help me keep this cartooning thing sustainable by joining my weekly newsletter, Sparky’s List — or even by purchasing a gift subscription for someone else! And of course there’s always the TMW store for an exceedingly narrow percentage of your holiday shopping needs!


Monday, December 18, 2023

Election Fraud

Duh.

It's still (kinda) shocking to me that so many people in the Republican party believe that the 2020 election was stolen, despite a complete lack of evidence (almost as if it never happened /s). But if you repeat the "Big Lie" often enough, people start to believe it. Trump got that idea from the Nazis.

As always with Republicans, the whole thing is projection; Trump tried to steal the election and failed. So, naturally, the Democrats were the ones who stole the election.

Vote Blue to save American democracy.


Saturday, December 16, 2023

Another thing that NEVER happened

Trump's "tell" for when he's lying is when he opens his mouth. 

Another is when he's telling a story about some "big strong man" who had "tears in his eyes" and called Trump "sir". Any time he starts a story like that, he's lying. Also, see his first tell above.

In the vein of things that Trump clearly lied about is this truly inspiring story from a speech he gave last weekend.
“A general, who’s a fantastic general, actually said to me, ‘Sir, I’ve been on the battlefield. Men have gone down on my left and on my right. I stood on hills where soldiers were killed. But I believe the bravest thing I’ve ever seen was the night you went on to that stage with Hillary Clinton, after what happened. And then that woman asked you the first question about it.’ And I said, locker room talk! It’s locker talk! What the hell?! What are you talking … Locker room talk!”
An "actual" fantastic General compared Trump going onto a debate stage during the 2016 campaign and giving an obvious bullshit excuse for the "grab them by the pussy" scandal, to soldiers dying on the battlefield. Not only did he compare those two things, but what Trump did was the "bravest thing I've ever seen."

Let me repeat that. 

According to Trump, a soldier told him that Trump answering a question from Hillary Clinton was more brave than soldiers who gave their lives in combat. Uh huh.

Trump never sacrificed nor served. His complete contempt and disrespect for anyone who has served is frequently made glaringly obvious. He was the Commander in Chief for millions of people, and still can't even speak of them with any gratitude or respect. What a shitshow of a person.

I wouldn't recommend it, but if you want to see the actual video, it's in this story.


Friday, December 15, 2023

Thoughts and Prayers

Yesterday was the 11th anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Andre Braugher

This death hit me harder than most celebrity deaths. I'm a big fan of the movie Glory, Braugher's first film, where he plays Thomas Searles, the freeman and friend of Matthew Broderick's Colonel Shaw. It's not a huge role, but Braugher makes a big impression with a nuanced, heartbreaking portrayal of a man giving up his relatively comfortable existence to fight for freedom. 

During the pandemic, I binge-watched the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, then re-watched the entire series with Carol, and then again with Ben. B99 is Michael Schur's funniest show, and it's fantastic, filled with fun characters in a workplace comedy. Andre Braugher, playing the black, gay, stern, wonderful Brooklyn precinct captain, Raymond Holt, is an absolute joy in the show.

Here's one of my favorite cold-opens.


By all accounts Braugher was a smart, thoughtful, kind, and obviously talented person. I'm sad he's gone.

 

Friday, November 17, 2023

Can we please STOP electing complete morons to Congress? No. Alrighty then.

This week on "God, these people are tedious and stupid and horrible and tedious" is Senator (R-F'ing Moron) Tommy Tuberville of Alabama. For months, Senator Tommy has single-handedly held up hundreds of military promotions to pressure the Armed Forces to change their position on allowing military personnel to travel out of state for medical care. This has actually harmed America's military and those serving in numerous ways. (I won't even go into the stupid rules of the Senate that allow one guy to do this.)

The military's completely reasonable position is that if you're stationed in bum-fuck, red state, you might not have access to the kind of healthcare you need, so the military allows you to travel out of state. Senator Tommy doesn't like that pregnant people might travel out of Gilead to get an abortion in an actually free, blue state.

Here is Senator Tommy recently on Fox News:

Here's the quote:

“You know, it’s been rape, incest, or health of the mom, but we asked in one of our hearings, you know, what month are you going to go by for the abortion? They couldn’t tell us whether it was abortion after birth."

Of course, this idea isn't unique to this dipshit. In America, in the 21st century, the Republican party actually "believes" that Democrats want to allow abortions after birth and that this is a thing that happens.

If you have even a toe in reality, you know that after birth abortions are NOT A THING. An after birth abortion would actually be considered MURDER and does not happen anywhere in America. In fact, even third trimester abortions are very rare and happen ONLY when there is a medical necessity, and are almost universally considered a tragedy because the pregnancy was WANTED. But the Republican base believes whatever they're told, so now the rest of us have to deal with this stupidity.

STOP VOTING FOR THESE ASSHOLES.


Thursday, October 26, 2023

Nomenclature

Just a thought.

This is a pie:


These are pies:



This is a (gross) pie:


This is a pizza. It is not a pie.



That is all.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

(Likely) Speaker for a day

It's time to meet the new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson!

(Seriously, he's never held any leadership position in Congress, so 99% of Americans have never heard of him.)

Let's take a brief look at Mike's resume!

  • Mike was one of the "intellectual" leaders of Republican Representatives who voted not to certify the 2020 election.
  • Mike is in favor of a national abortion ban.
  • Mike is a Christian Nationalist.
  • Mike is against fair wages and capping medical costs.
  • Mike is extremely anti-LGBTQ.
  • Mike doesn't want women protected by the law.

Here's a quick graphic of things Mike has voted for/against.




To be fair, ANYONE in the Republican caucus would be a terrible speaker with stupid, hateful, positions on all issues, and an insurrectionist. The supposed "moderates" in the caucus all voted for this guy. But no worry, I'm sure Mike will be great.

Vote Blue.


Friday, October 20, 2023

Republicans can't govern

Stop voting for these fascist asshats. A nation of over 300 million people needs a functioning government.

Sheesh, America. Why is this so hard?

Don't vote for non-serious, seditious, idiots who are working against YOU.




(If you don't know what I'm talking about, read the news.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

A cell phone for every veteran and fewer insane whales

Watch this clip for direct evidence that Joe Biden Donald Trump is demented. Seriously, I hate subjecting people to his voice, but this would be comedy gold if it wasn't so terrifying. And keep in mind, all of this is just from a two week period in September.

I especially enjoyed his plan to use canals to irrigate America's homes and bathrooms. If you want more, Google "Trump shark electrocution" to find out which way he would rather die, by being electrocuted or eaten by a shark. Because that's something he talked about. (Spoiler: He HATES sharks.)

All of this nonsense was before he received a gag order this week in his NY fraud trial for bad-mouthing and endangering innocent court personnel. So things aren't getting better for him.

As far as I'm concerned, if you support this addled, traitorous moron, you are obviously a little demented yourself.


Saturday, September 23, 2023

Don't let the door . . .

Aw crap. 

A bunch of Christians were predicting that the Rapture would happen yesterday, September 22nd, raising all good Christians up to heaven. Apparently it didn't happen. Or maybe there are so few good Christians in America that no one noticed.

Either way I'm disappointed. I was looking forward to finally getting things done to make this country a better place.

Seriously, you guys can go. The rest of us are good.


Thursday, September 21, 2023

The rich mindset

I've never understood how those people at the top of the corporate ladder, who get paid millions of dollars, don't recognize the contributions of the actual workers who do the work to get them those millions of dollars. Oh, wait, yes I do understand. They're sociopaths.

“People decided that they didn’t really want to work so much anymore through COVID and that has had a massive issue on productivity,” he said. “They have been paid a lot to not do too much in the last few years, and we need to see that change.”

...

We need to see unemployment rise —unemployment has to jump 40 to 50 per cent, in my view.

We need to see pain in the economy. We need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around. There’s been a systematic change where employees feel the employer is extremely lucky to have them, as opposed to the other way around. It’s a dynamic that has to change.

That's Australian billionaire Tim Gurner, founder and CEO of the Gurner Group, lamenting that his workers might not fear him so much since they can easily get another job. He'd rather that hundreds of thousands lose their jobs so that he can once again rule over them like desperate serfs.

Fuck this guy.

Oh, wait. He has since apologized, once he realized that his remarks made him look like an arrogant, insensitive dickhead.

Fuck this guy.


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Addled

Yes, these seem like the demented ramblings of an incompetent, confused 80 year old man. /s

 And, forgive me, let's see what this disphit has to say:

When Trump addressed the United Nations in 2019, they laughed at him when he claimed that he had “accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”  

Aw, bless his heart.


Consequences

This story is heartbreaking and tragic. And it's sad that it took a personal tragedy for these folk to realize what the policies they supported were doing to others.
Beth and Kyle Long were so excited. After four years of trying to have a baby, through multiple rounds of expensive and difficult fertility treatments, Beth was finally pregnant.The implanted fetus had a heartbeat seven weeks in. “We’d spent years working on this, thousands of miles, thousands of dollars trying to get here, and it finally felt like it was worth it,” said Kyle in this gutting CNN story. Things still looked good at week 16, and the Ohio couple shared the happy news with their family at Christmas.

But things took a cataclysmic turn after the new year, when blood work suggested that all was not well. Further tests discovered that their baby had limb body wall complex, a rare condition in which the baby’s organs had developed outside of the body. “They will die. There’s no way there will be a life,” a doctor told CNN of the condition.
...
The pregnancy had to be terminated, but then they got hit with the next terrible news—because of Ohio’s regressive state laws, Beth’s insurance as a state employee was banned from covering the abortion. While the law allowed it when the mother’s life was endangered, the language was vague, and doctors seemingly weren’t willing to risk running afoul of the law.
Go read the rest to see what eventually happened and the impact it had on this family. 

Regressive anti-choice laws harm women and they harm families. They take an already devastating situation and make it much much worse. These healthcare choices should always be available, at every point during pregnancy, and should be made by those affected and their doctors, not right-wing politicians and religious activists.

You may not like abortion, but tough shit. That doesn't give you the right to deprive others of their fundamental rights.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Food is overrated anyway

One of the more appalling positions taken by the current Republican party is the legislative push AGAINST programs providing free breakfast and lunches for schoolchildren. Such programs have shown to have excellent results. Free food programs cost little and children who eat regularly are healthier and have improved learning results. Such programs also avoid the stigma of poor kids getting sub-par or no lunches. Of course, Republican-controlled red states are actually passing BANS on providing free breakfast and lunches for schoolchildren.

In case you were wondering, this also extends to providing any poverty assistance for children.

The U.S. Census Bureau says that child poverty in this nation skyrocketed last year. Child poverty rates in 2021 had reached an all-time low of 5.2%. In 2022, however, that number soared to 12.4%.

The reasons child poverty in the United States more than doubled in a single year are not disputed. It’s because of the expiration of the Republican-hated expanded child tax credit and the shift away from providing direct monthly payments to at-risk families.

...

So there you go. We discovered a way to slash the number of children in poverty by over half, quick and simple. Then we stopped because Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin demanded we stop. It won’t be enacted again so long as the same pro-coup Republicans are in control of the House and can stop it.

(Of course, right-wing Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is also against feeding children.)

Meanwhile some blue states have already passed free school food for all.

As a reminder, U.S. taxpayers pay approximately $20 BILLION to hugely profitable oil and gas companies every single year. But better that than those mooching kids get a free bologna sandwich, am I right?

Stop saying that both parties are the same. That's bullshit. And stop voting for people who don't care if your children starve.


Sunday, September 10, 2023

The current space race and supervillains

If you like space and space-tech, there's a fascinating article at Daily Kos that goes into the history of the decades-old, previous monopoly players in the American space launch vehicle market, and the upstart SpaceX, which is crushing them by lowering launch costs. It does a great job explaining the current space launch situation. The article also lays out the details of SpaceX's global satellite internet project, Starlink, which has been used by the Ukrainian military in operations against Russian invaders.
There were a total of 186 space launches last year; 87 of those were in the United States. Of those, 61 of them were SpaceX. By the end of this year, it will almost certainly have launched more rockets than everyone in the U.S. did last year—SpaceX included. Musk’s company plans on a minimum of 100 launches next year, and is very likely to get it.
It just so happens that Carol and I were in Florida this week, and were able to witness a SpaceX launch from about 80 miles away. Here's a screenshot from a video I took. It was very cool to see.




Oh, and the story also involves a little light treason.

What were the consequences of stopping a Ukrainian attack on the Russian Black Sea fleet?

 The Russian Black Sea fleet has fired hypersonic missiles into civilian structures across Ukraine, resulting in some of the most horrific war crimes of Russia’s unprovoked, illegal invasion. Those attacks continue today due to the decision of one man.

This is the world we live in. Where a super-rich - let's just say it, supervillain - can condemn innocent civilians to death by the push of a button. Reminder, Musk is a bigoted, racist, transphobic, anti-semitic jackass.

Tax the rich out of existence. 

Saturday, September 02, 2023

SNL's Slide

I follow a lot of TV and movie news, and often read the comment threads. One thing I would really, really, really like to stop is people saying, "Saturday Night Live hasn't been good since X" where X is whatever cast they grew up with. This happens literally every time Internet people discuss modern day SNL.

Here's the deal. SNL premiered on October 11, 1975. I guarantee you that when the second episode premiered a week later, there were already people going on about how "SNL hasn't been good since last week."

Of course, comedy is subjective and also very tied to its time. While the original cast of SNL created something amazing and groundbreaking for American television, most of those early shows are not really funny today.

And surprise, Jane Curtin agrees with me


Monday, August 21, 2023

Yep, it's a cult

 

More here.