Friday, July 19, 2024

Fundamental rights at stake

Just one of the many things on the line this November.

[Senator Elizabeth Warren] said if Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress in 2025, “the first vote Democrats will take in the Senate, the first substantive vote, will be to make Roe v. Wade law of the land again in America.”
...
“We can make Roe v. Wade law of the land if we have, and I have to be clear, we’ve got to have a majority in the House — skinny majority. We can take a really skinny majority in the Senate, I’ll take fifty. And a Democrat in the White House. We have those three things we will suspend the filibuster,” Warren said.
Link

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Two morons walk into a bar . . .

Convicted Felon Trump called independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. the other day to ask Kennedy to drop his candidacy and endorse him. The Felon probably thought that since someone had shot at him, Kennedy would be in a mind to do what he wanted. It didn't work.

At the start of the conversation, in an attempt to connect with Kennedy, Trump tried to bond over a shared vaccine skepticism. Below is what Trump said.
"When you feed a baby a vaccination that is like 38 different vaccines and it looks like its meant for a horse, not a 10 pound or 20 pound baby ... Then you see the baby starting to change radically, I've seen it too many times. Then you hear that it doesn't have an impact, right? You and I talked about that a long time ago."
We know this happened because apparently someone in Kennedy's campaign leaked a video of the call. Probably because what Trump said was JUST. THAT. STUPID.

Sheesh.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Takeaways

I'm sure you know that some troubled young, REPUBLICAN, man tried to assassinate Convicted Felon Trump last weekend. An attempted Presidential assassination hasn't happened since 1981 and it's a horrifying, yet not surprising, development in America.

Here are my takeaways.

Some people are saying this gives Convicted Felon Trump the election. I don't think so. There are still months to go, Trump's vile personality and horrific ideas haven't changed, and abortion is on the ballot. Plus, there probably aren't a lot of people in the "I wasn't going to vote for Trump, but now that someone took a shot at him, I'm going to," demographic. Any bump from this will be temporary.

I've heard people say that if Trump had died, he'd be a martyr and a smarter and more competent MAGA person would be elected in his place. I disagree for the simple reason that there are no smarter and more competent MAGA folk who could actually take Trump's place. His VP pick, JD Vance, isn't especially respected within MAGA land, nor is he smart or competent. Who else is there? Matt Gaetz? Marjorie Taylor Greene? Don Trump, Jr? The attempted elevation of any one of these to replace the Convicted Felon would result in a MAGA civil war. Plus, establishment Republicans would try to regain control of the party. MAGA is a cult of personality. It doesn't survive Trump.

There have been calls for both sides to tone down the threats and violence. Such obvious both-sidesing is utter bullshit. Republicans were responsible for the Jan. 6th violence that killed nine, the attack on the husband of Rep. Nancy Pelosi and the plot to kidnap and murder Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Republican congresspeople wear AR-15 pins on their lapels. Republican Reps. and Senators frequently call for violence against Democrats.

Trump himself MADE FUN of the hammer attack on Paul Pelosi. He has also frequently praised the Jan. 6th insurrectionists. He has called for the EXECUTION of people on his enemies list, including everyone involved in his various court cases and former Rep. Liz Cheney and The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley. You may be able to find Democratic voters making violent remarks about Republicans, but you won't find elected Democratic officials or President Biden doing it. The two parties are NOT the same. Trump sowed what he reaped.

On Sunday night, President Biden said this:
Violence has never been the answer, whether it’s with members of Congress in both parties being targeted in the shot, or a violent mob attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6, or a brutal attack on the spouse of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, or information and intimidation on election officials, or the kidnapping plot against a sitting governor, or an attempted assassination on Donald Trump. There is no place in America for this kind of violence or for any violence ever. Period. No exceptions. We can’t allow this violence to be normalized.
Over the past 48 hours, Republicans blamed Democrats for the assassination attempt because Democrats have called Trump a threat to democracy. This is ridiculous because Trump's "policies" aka Project 2025, *are* a direct threat to democracy. That's a fact and Democrats shouldn't stop saying it. Democrats need to make clear, and they have, that violence isn't an option or a solution, but Republicans trying to gaslight them into ignoring Trump's fascist-leanings or his desire for a dictatorship would be political suicide if followed. If Republicans want Trump not to be seen as a wanna-be dictator, maybe he should stop being a wanna-be dictator.

I'm glad he's not dead, but he's responsible for over a million COVID deaths, the taking away of a Constitutional right, and taking America to the edge of a dictatorship, among other horrors. He gets no sympathy from me.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Classic Joke

This is one of my favorite jokes of all time. I still remember it some 40+ years after I saw it on The Muppet Show with guest star Christopher Reeve. It's queued up to 47 seconds.


I thought about the joke today and thought I'd share.

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

The Supreme Court just fundamentally changed our democracy

Do you want some explanation and context for this week's incomprehensible Supreme Court decision giving American Presidents absolute immunity for criminal conduct? (We all know this decision was directed at Convicted Felon Trump). 

This video puts the decision in context. It's worth ten minutes of your time.



Sunday, June 30, 2024

Like a poor marksman, they keep missing the target

Some political pundits and newspaper editorial boards have called for President Biden to drop out of the race due to his bad performance at the debate. None of them ever called for Convicted Felon Trump to drop out because he's a wannabe dictator and convicted felon, who tried to overthrow the US Government and does nothing but lie and commit additional crimes. Seems to me that's more disqualifying than "needed a nap".

The Philadelphia Inquirer got it right.
To serve his country, Donald Trump should leave the race
Trump, 78, has been on the political stage for eight years marked by chaos, corruption, and incivility. Why go back to that?

To build himself up, Trump constantly tears the country down. There is no shining city on the hill. It’s just mourning in America. [...]

Trump told more than 30 lies during the debate to go with the more than 30,000 mistruths told during his four years as president. He dodged the CNN moderators’ questions, took no responsibility for his actions, and blamed others, mainly Biden, for everything that is wrong in the world.

The debate served as a reminder of what another four years of Trump would look like. More lies, grievance, narcissism, and hate. Supporters say they like Trump because he says whatever he thinks. But he mainly spews raw sewage.

Trump attacks the military. He denigrates the Justice Department and judges. He belittles the FBI and the CIA. He picks fights with allies and cozies up to dictators.
God Damn straight.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

The Debate

I watched the entirety of the debate tonight between President Joe Biden and the Convicted Felon Trump. It was a terrible debate by Biden, as the media is really anxious to tell you. He lost his train of thought a couple of times, he seemed older than he has in the past, and he seriously turned some home run topics into singles (for example, abortion should have been an easy grand slam). I didn't like all his answers and he let himself get pulled off-topic way too often. 

The convicted felon still spoke from crazy town, took credit for a bunch of Biden's accomplishments, got increasingly unhinged and racist, and lied and lied and lied. (Good job with the NO FACT CHECKING, CNN).

But, on election day, the choice is still between a caring, knowledgeable, competent civil servant, who is obviously a bit past his prime, but who has thoughtfully served the American people for decades, and a compulsively lying, ignorant, narcissistic, racist, convicted felon who's only running because he's too psychotic to take a loss, and it's the only way he stays out of jail for the rest of his life.

I only hope enough of the American people see that. Because if the Convicted Felon wins again, we're screwed.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Preview of a long-awaited reunion

Last week, Convicted Felon Donald Trump returned to Capitol Hill to meet with the Republican caucus. Despite having sent a mob to kill them in 2021, the Republicans embraced him enthusiastically, even though many of them held him personally responsible for trying to kill them three years ago.

Of course, Republican hypocrisy and perfidy is not news.

What is news, is this:


I really didn't expect to see this until Mitch McConnell and Convicted Felon Trump met in hell. I guess they're ahead of schedule.

Since it was Convicted Felon Trump's birthday, they also had a present:
House members paid tribute to the ex-president with a bat and game ball they won after trouncing Democrats in the annual congressional baseball game Wednesday.
I will give them credit, presenting Convicted Felon Trump with a bat took a lot of courage, the way many of them had bad-mouthed him over the years. I really expected the bat presentation to go like this:


Lucky for them, Convicted Felon Donald Trump probably doesn't have the strength to lift a bat.

Friday, June 14, 2024

The FDA should say that they SHOULDN'T jump off a cliff

At this point, let's just stand back and let natural selection sort them out.  
A conservative advocacy group headed by scam artist Charlie Kirk is pushing Americans to drink raw milk at a time when a widespread flu outbreak makes this potentially fatal. This is just one of several moves by right-wing groups and media pundits since the Food and Drug Administration cautioned against drinking raw milk following the rapid spread of H5N1 bird flu among dairy cattle.
...
It is well-established by the FDA that there are absolutely no health benefits from drinking raw milk instead of pasteurized milk. Raw milk was dangerous even before the rapidly spreading flu and is known to spread multiple diseases, including tuberculosis.
  Link


They're also selling a t-shirt that says, "got raw milk", because of course they are. Hilariously, the picture on the t-shirt is clearly a BULL. With horns.

I don't think Republicans know where milk comes from.


Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Some nice news

I've seen this guy on Instagram, and his videos are wonderful and heartwarming.


Someone doing something nice for others, and treating migrants like human beings is, unfortunately in this terrible country, news. But that doesn't take away from his kindness.

Go read the whole thing.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

GUILTY

Note: I didn't use the "politics" tag for this post because this trial wasn't about politics. It was about crime and justice.

FAFO is the lesson for today.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

This is pretty fucked up, right here.

The headline below, from the Washington Post, is one of the many reasons why the United States, and in particular, the Supreme Court, is terrible.


"Permitted partisan gerrymandering."

The conservatives on the Supreme Court had previously ruled that gerrymandering election maps is OKAY, so long as it's done to ensure the domination of the party in power (usually Republicans). 

"You're in power? Feel free to draw up maps to keep yourself in power. That's okay with us!"

They gave lip service to the idea that racial gerrymandering was not okay, but are very, very stingy in making that determination, even when lower courts find racial animus in the drawing of the maps.

Gerrymandering is anti-democratic, it's autocratic, it silences American voices, and it should be illegal EVERYWHERE.

Monday, May 06, 2024

Bear

If you've seen the "Man or Bear" kerfuffle on social media recently, but don't understand what it is:
The question, directed towards women, seems simple: Would you rather be alone in the woods with a man or a bear?
Many, many women have answered "Bear", which has a whole bunch of men, who don't pay attention to what women actually say (or want, or need, or deserve), blowing their collective gaskets.
People rankled by the number of women choosing to take their chances with a bear have called the question “misandrist” and said it’s an excuse to freely hate on men. Others, missing the point entirely, have taken the opportunity to mock and belittle women in response.
The answer "Bear" makes perfect sense to me and doesn't surprise me even a little. Even today, in the 21st century, it's a sad fact that in America (and most of the world) being a girl or woman is dangerous and terrifying, every single day. As a white man, I can move around most places without fear of either humiliation, abuse or violence. But women cannot. I can absolutely empathize with how incredibly difficult it is for women (as well as all minorities) to simply exist in a public space.

CNN has a pretty good article explaining the question and various perspectives on the responses. It's worth a read.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

How low will he go?

Time Magazine recently interviewed Trump to ask about his plans if he wins reelection.

Courtesy of DailyKos, here are just a few of the wonderful plans he has in store to help the American people.
  • build migrant detention camps and deploy the U.S. military, both at the border and inland
  • let red states monitor women’s pregnancies and prosecute those who violate abortion bans
  • at his personal discretion, withhold funds appropriated by Congress
  • fire a U.S. Attorney who doesn’t carry out his order to prosecute someone
  • pardon[] every one of his supporters accused of attacking the U.S. Capitol
  • gut the U.S. civil service
  • deploy the National Guard to American cities
  • [let our allies be attacked] if he felt that country wasn’t paying enough for its own defense
  • close the White House pandemic-preparedness office
  • staff his Administration with acolytes who back his false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen
Sounds great, doesn't it? His plans will undoubtedly bring health and happiness to the American people and, really, people around the world.

Also, Trump didn't say it to Time, but the list could also include "use the government against his political enemies and anyone else he doesn't like", and "pardon himself" so that he never pays any price for his crimes.

The man is a monster and this November we have one final shot at stopping him.

VOTE BLUE NO MATTER WHO.

Monday, April 08, 2024

Rapture Bust

Apparently, according to social media, a good number of Christians thought that the total solar eclipse in the United States today would signal the rapture and the beginning of the end of the world. The rapture is where all good Christians are beamed up to heaven (kind of like the Thanos snap), so they don't have to face the terrible tribulations brought on by the Antichrist and the eventual return of Jesus.

(Full disclosure, I used to believe in this when I was in Junior High School and a Christian).

Let's lay out a few facts.
  • There are at least two, and up to five, solar eclipses on Earth every single year and a total solar eclipse every 1-3 years. Obviously, to the Christians, those don't count because only the United States is special enough to bring about the apocalypse.
  • The last total solar eclipse that crossed the United States was in 2017, so not that long ago. There have been 11 total solar eclipses worldwide since 2010. Again, none of these triggered the end of days, so I'm not sure why this one was so special.
  • The rapture is NOT a biblical concept, the word rapture not appearing in the Bible. The current doctrine of the rapture does not appear in historical Christianity, but first appeared in the 1830s. Numerous predictions of its coming have failed to actually occur, which is kind of important if it's a real thing. 
  • Jesus has not reappeared. If he did, Republicans would attack him for being "woke".
  • Finally, if anyone on earth is the Antichrist, it's Trump, and the fact that evangelicals can't see what a horrible person he is, almost makes me believe. Then again, they're idiots, so them not recognizing the Antichrist as the guy they worship above all else would really not be that shocking. 
Perhaps surprisingly, I am disappointed that Christian rapture believers didn't disappear today. Those of us "left behind" could have quickly made the world a better place without their constant, selfish, hateful, ignorant, backwards interference.

Monday, April 01, 2024

The Poseidon Adventure

I first saw The Poseidon Adventure as a kid on the ABC Sunday Night Movie during the 1970s. ABC famously paid $3.2 million for a single showing of the film in 1974, and while I don't know if that's the exact airing I saw, I like to think it was. As a sensitive kid, the movie made quite an impact on me.

We watched the movie on Amazon the other night, because I haven't seen it in a long time and wanted to show it to Carol, who's never seen it. Aside from just a couple dodgy effects, the movie holds up really well. If you're unaware of the plot, it's pretty simple. A cruise ship on its last voyage gets hit by a wave, capsizes and the survivors have to make their way to the surface through the upside-down ship.

The characters are mostly cliches - the old Jewish couple, the rebellious priest, the annoying kid - but the actors are compelling and the situation is dire. I especially enjoyed Ernest Borgnine shouting every single line, even before the disaster, and Gene Hackman is always great. Years before his starring role in a very different disaster movie that would redirect his career, Leslie Nielsen has a brief role as The Captain of the doomed ship. As with most of his roles pre-Airplane, it's fun to watch him in serious mode, because you keep expecting him to do or say something silly.

If you haven't seen The Poseidon Adventure, it's worth a watch. And to be clear, I'm talking the original version from 1972, not the remake from 2006, which I haven't seen. 

Monday, March 11, 2024

A reminder


In case you haven't seen this, it's worth watching. The first four minutes are especially important to remember.


Friday, March 08, 2024

And a fun time was had by all (in Gilead)

After Joe Biden's barn-burner of a State of the Union address last night, Alabama Senator Katie Britt gave the Republican "rebuttal".  Why ANYONE willingly takes this job, which RUINS political careers, is beyond me. Alas, it may shock you to learn that Senator Britt did not prove equal to the challenge.

I watched about 30 seconds of Senator Britt before I gave up, because I've already seen enough high school theatre in my life. (Apologies for the comparison, every high school theatre in history.) Since last night, I've seen a few more clips and learned a few things.

From the histrionics, to the Handmaid's Tale garb, to the utter lies, to the fake compassion, her speech was entirely cringey throughout. When it started, my initial reaction was to shout out, "They put her in a kitchen!?!"  Of course they did. They hate women.

Anyway, many people have had very funny takes on the debacle, so I thought I'd point you to some of them.



Go check them out. I wish I was as clever as many of these folk. But at least I'm more clever than anyone involved in the "rebuttal".

Don't fall for this

A group of political "independents" who want to run a third party candidate for President, voted today to go forward with a nomination.

This group, called No Labels, purports to be politically centrist and promote bi-partisanship. Sounds reasonable. But some of the people involved, and those they've looked at for their Presidential candidate, expose that lie -- people like Joe Lieberman, Joe Manchin, Nikki Haley, Larry Hogan, and Chris Christie. What do those folk have in common? None of them are centrist, and most are very conservative. Senator Joe Manchin is technically a Democrat, but during the first two years of Biden's term he held up dozens of progressive initiatives and has scuttled myriad vitally-needed climate change bills.

There is some debate over the impact of a No Labels candidate on the election. They clearly won't win, but they could throw key races. For example, the No Labels candidate could be an option for Republicans and Independents who don't like Trump and might otherwise vote for President Biden. This could result in Trump taking states that he would not otherwise, if the No Labels candidate runs, despite No Labels frequent refrain that they don't want to inadvertently bring Trump back into power.

So why are they not taking off this election cycle, other than a potentially fatal case of stupidity? As usual, follow the money:
The most discussed potential candidate for No Labels has been Manchin, who has declined to say whether he would participate in this effort. Poll data suggesting a No Labels campaign would hurt Biden more than Trump—as well as the conservative bent of the few previously known funders of the group, such as billionaire Harlan Crow, the billionaire benefactor of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a collector of Nazi memorabilia—has prompted Democratic strategists to speculate that this endeavor is a not-too-secret project to elect Trump or another Republican. Prominent Democratic operatives and Never-Trump Republicans recently met privately in Washington, DC, to discuss how best to counter a No Labels presidential campaign. 
Because it's a dark money organization, it's impossible to identify all of its donors. But one is Harlan Crow, and I think that says it all. He's not promoting candidates to promote progressive (or even centrist) ideas and policies. He's trying to manipulate the system.

I long ago concluded that No Labels is not a serious political party, but an attempt to throw the election to Trump and put the United States under the control of a fascist, white Christian Nationalist dictatorship.

Don't let them.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Hardware Wars

I think about this every few years, but I haven't seen it in decades.


This was made in 1978 on 16mm film.

My biggest question is how the heck did they get Disney Legend, Paul Frees, to narrate?

Monday, February 26, 2024