Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A Special Thanks

Nikto and I would like to thank everyone for reading our little small-town blog in 2019. We started off a few years ago with just a handful of readers and now, thanks to exposure on Twitter, Quora, Medium and Reddit, we average between 500 and 1000 readers every day.

2020 is going to be a crazy year in terms of politics. A sitting president will be running for reelection after being impeached and having a Senate trial. Will he make it through the year? Or will they find him emotionally exhausted and jibbering to himself with his thumbs on his Twitter feed? We can't wait to find out!!

Monday, December 30, 2019

"Conservative" SCOTUS Judges Vote With Liberals Nearly Half of the Time

Take a look at this graphic.

See, now what I can't figure out is why conservatives are so hell-bent on Kavanaugh. He is more liberal than Roberts! In fact, when you really look at the cases, 7 of the 9 judges barely move into the red area at all. Where is all that originalism I keep hearing about all the time?

I submit that they don't really care how the people they support vote. They just want them to be "conservative" whatever the fuck that means. It's pure tribalism.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Trump's Best Words 2019

Wow. Seriously, Trump supporters, this is your guy?

Friday, December 27, 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019

Deprogramming The Cult

There is a new poll out that shows the highest number of Americans that want Trump impeached and removed from office that we have seen thus far. 51% of those who responded want him out while 43% do not want him out. The more interesting numbers show that 54% show that the Senate should call additional witnesses who were blocked from coming to testify by Trump himself.

Further and far more significant, 46% of American strongly disapproves of the job Trump is doing while only 27% strongly approve. That tells me that Trump is fucked in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Something else of note is Trump's numbers among independents. 48% approve of the articles of impeachment while only 41% disapprove.

Taken all together, we are beginning to see how much trouble Trump is in if 51 senators vote to hear from Bolton, Mulvaney and Pompeo. I think several other senators want to flip as well given the reality of their political lives if they don't. Susan Collins and Corey Gardner are already likely to not make it. Joni Ernst and Martha McSally are also in trouble. Even Mitt Romney might be the man of integrity he is and vote for more witnesses and, ultimately, removal.

And then we have this...

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Living in Two Worlds

Check out the list of issues that are on voters' minds and how they rank their importance? Could we be any different?

Conservatives, seriously, your top priorities are

1. Don't impeach Trump
2. Don't ban guns
3. No slavery reparations
4. Build a Wall

Compare this to liberals.

1. Don't separate immigrant children
2. Impeach Trump
3. No ban on abortion
4. Don't build a wall

The party of "fuck you, keep away" compared to the party of compassion and law. Good grief...

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Trump Costing US Billions of Dollars

The future of energy is renewable. Period. Donald Trump and the rest of the AGW deniers are costing the US billions of dollars in the race of this emerging market.

The withdrawal could lock U.S. businesses out of a huge portion of the rapidly growing global market, already worth an estimated $164 billion, that seeks to put an economic price on the greenhouse gases warming the planet — a potential economic loss causing concern among American-based companies such as the food and candy maker Mars.

...the push to reduce the world’s carbon pollution is also creating major economic opportunities. Those include trading systems, already present in parts of Europe and the U.S., in which companies essentially buy and sell the right to pollute — a setup that gives polluters an economic incentive to cut back while generating new income for businesses that help clean the atmosphere.

Yep, it's that fucking bad. And guess which countries are filling up that market and making money?

Thursday, December 12, 2019

How To Intellectually Dominate Someone Who Says, "We are a republic, not a democracy."

Ever been in an online discussion about politics, majorities and minorities, and someone (usually a libertarian) will say something like, "We are a republic, not a democracy," to sound all smart and stuff? Well, Ryan McMaken has a solution for you! He tells you what they are really saying...

"I don't like your idea, and since it involves aspects that are democratic or majoritarian, I'll invoke the republic-not-a-democracy claim to discredit your idea." 


"A majority of the population appears to support this idea, so I will invoke the republic-not-a-democracy claim to illustrate that the majority should be ignored."

and then he proceeds to tell you how to get them to STFU. Enjoy the entire piece. It's simply wonderful.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Cult of Both Sides Pwned

“The phrases “they’re all the same” or “everybody does it” are thrown around loosely in order to deflect criticism of indefensible behavior. And yes, of course, I’m referring to President Donald Trump. Some of my Republican friends try to excuse or rationalize Trump’s dishonesty, vulgarity and immorality by saying all politicians do it. They are guilty of employing false equivalency.

 If I’m a murderer and you drive over the speed limit, you wouldn’t claim we’re the same since we both broke the law. Similarly, it is not accurate or fair to equate a serial liar — a cheating, philandering, bribing narcissist — with the exaggeration and occasional dishonesty of traditional politicians. Trump is in a league of his own, bereft of decency, unique in his level of depravity. Equating him with other politicians is not only false, it is dangerous.”


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Trump Admits He Is Totally Full of Shit

Finally, Donald Trump has opened his big fat yap about something you'd think he'd know everything about: excrement. The man is so full of bullshit, you'd think he'd start turning orange. (Um, wait a second...)

But it turns out that he doesn't know shit about shit. Last week the Oracle of Mar a Lago had this to say:
“We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms, where you turn the faucet on — in areas where there’s tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it — you turn on the faucet, you don’t get any water,” [geeze, this guy is so inarticulate and incoherent] he said Friday at a White House meeting about small businesses and reducing red tape.

Mr. Trump also noted that “people are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once” and that “they end up using more water,” according to a transcript of the discussion.
When Donald Trump says "people," he means Donald Trump. Apparently the notorious germophobe is totally full of shit, and needs to flush the toilet 15 times every time he takes a dump.

The reason there are rules mandating low-flow toilets and shower heads is that water shortages are rampant in many parts of the country, particularly in the Southwest, California and Montana. There's a thing called "senior water rights," which means that if you build a new house, the guy who owns the old farm up the river has the right to stop you from watering your lawn. Or even flushing your toilet, if the previous owner of the land didn't use water for that. It's really a bogus law, but it's endemic out west.

Even in places where there's plenty of rainfall, the deep underground aquifers that supply many suburbs (like mine) with drinking water are being completely drained, and those aquifers literally take millennia to replenish.

The average person urinates six to eight times a day. Defecation rates are more variable, ranging from three times a day to three times a week. Since people urinate between two and 14 times as often as they defecate, water usage should be optimized for urination.

You don't need much water to flush urine: the 1.6 gallons used in low-flow toilets is way more than enough. Frequent bowel movements are also likely to have lower stool volume, and require less flushing. Yeah, some bowel movements might require two, three or four flushes (but 15? Gimme a break!), using three to six gallons.

But so what? Instead of wasting the five to seven gallons of water that old-style toilets used every time you take a leak, just flush the number of times needed. If the "average" person urinates six or seven times more frequently than defecating, they're using only 10 gallons of water a day with a low-flow toilet, as opposed to 30 to 40 gallons as was the case with older toilets. Does it really make any sense to for every American needlessly flush 15,000 gallons of water down the toilet every year to satisfy Donald Trump? That would be four and a half trillion gallons of water!

In some countries toilets have two flush modes: one that uses a small amount of water and another that uses more. But why bother with that gimmick when you can just flush again if needed? One improvement in toilet design that's clearly necessary is a way to make the porcelain slicker, so that excrement and stains just don't stick. We definitely need to make toilets easier to clean, now that Trump is kicking all his undocumented maids out of the country: heaven forbid he'd have to clean his own bathroom!

Come on, Republicans. Don't you long for the days when a president didn't say something completely stupid and make a fool out of himself five, six, seven, ten times a day? Trump is making it so easy for the guys on late night TV to ridicule him. Just impeach him and save yourselves the embarrassment of having to defend his every stupid tweet and utterance...

By the way, it was a Republican, George H. W. Bush, who signed the original 1992 law mandating the 1.6 gallons per flush standard. Not all Republicans are horrible wastrels.

The Russification of the GOP

Ronald Brownstein from the Atlantic has a great piece up about the Republican Party. Essentially, conservatives have become stooges for Putin and his propaganda. Clearly, they view their fellow Americans (in this case, Democrats) as a greater threat than Russia, who is still trying to undermine our global hegemony.

As I have been saying for years now, conservatives are traitors. Time to put on trial and sent to federal pound me in the ass prison.

The Cult of Donald Trump

Monday, December 09, 2019

Best Sales Quarter in Years For Gun Grabbers, Dick's Sporting Goods

Remember when Dick's Sporting Goods decided to stop carrying assault rifles and high capacity magazines? The NRA and their mouth-foaming supporters tried to put them out of business. Well, they just had their best sales quarter in years.


Sunday, December 08, 2019

Crickets From The Right On The Naval Base Shooting

Why in the actual fuck is a Saudi Air Force guy training at a Naval base on US soil? I mean, I get that Trump loves the Saudis but I figured even an idiot like him would remember that 14 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi. Saudis and our airplanes aren't a good idea. Not at all.

It was nice to see, though, how easily he could obtain a firearm. Terrorists who want to attack our country need look no further than gun rights supporters for help in killing Americans. Yet another reason why those assholes should be Gitmo'd.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Monday, December 02, 2019

Using Your Religion Against You

When I was a kid in the 1960s my mom was a Jehovah's Witness. She had been recruited by a woman going door-to-door for the Watch Tower Society. My dad didn't like it, for some good reasons (Witnesses are opposed to blood transfusions and discourage interaction with non-Witnesses), and for some bad ones (they condemn certain sex acts that my mom didn't want to do in the first place -- and yeah, it's weird that my mom told me that when I was a kid).

My dad went to the church closest to his real estate office and sought advice. The pastor told him that the Bible says the wife must obey the husband. My father battered my mother with this argument endlessly: "But the Bible says!" he would intone, even though he didn't believe in God or the Bible. Eventually she relented and quit the Witnesses.

The Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult, and it's a good thing my mom got away. The Watch Tower Society is  infamous for predicting the end of the world is nigh. They predicted some form of Armageddon would come in 1878, 1881, 1914, 1918, 1925 and 1975. My mom was caught up by the Witnesses in the late Sixties and early Seventies, when they were pushing the "World-Wide Jubilee."

We didn't go to church, but before joining the Witnesses my mom sent us kids to an evangelical "Good News Club" at a neighbor's house, where we sang songs, did crafts, had treats and studied the Bible.

But the most important Bible lesson came from my father, who didn't believe in the Bible at all: he showed me that the entire purpose of religion is control. My father controlled my mother by using her own beliefs against her. The same way religion has been used to control people since time immemorial. It's not an opiate, as Marx would have it, as much as a yoke to keep the people pulling the ruler's plow.

Religion has always been a favorite tool of dictators for keeping the population in line: today in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran with Islam, Russia with the Orthodox Church. In the past, Chinese emperors with Confucianism, Japan with Shinto (which deifies the emperor), Medieval Europe with Christianity, which stipulated that kings ruled by divine right.

Tyrants had a fling with Communism in the 20th century, but it just doesn't work. True communism states that everyone is equal, that the working man has dignity, that everyone should have a voice in the operation of the commune. That's a hard sell when everyone on the Central Committee is a rich fat cat and your kids don't have shoes or food.

Religion, on the other hand, is extremely hierarchical. It preaches that you should suffer in silence and mindlessly obey those at the top, rendering unto Caesar, etc. The Bible is full of stories about kings who commit vile acts of murder and slavery, yet still enjoy God's support.

And this is where we get to the point: religious conservatives are all in for Donald Trump, even though he is the most corrupt, immoral, mendacious, sclerotic, vengeful, petty, cruel, greedy, hate-filled, immature, boastful, blustering, narcissistic, irreligious, gluttonous, racist, sexist, back-stabbing, money-laundering, mobbed-up, emolument-soaked, pussy-grabber/president this country has ever seen.

Oh, sure, religious conservatives pretend to deny Trump is all these things. But everyone knows what kind of scumbag he is. And yet his religious supporters don't care. "He's the modern King David," they intone, as though a Biblical analogy for sinfulness excuses all crimes.
“God uses imperfect people through history. King David wasn’t perfect,” Rick Perry said, before relating that he’d told the president that he embodies “God’s plan for the people who rule and judge over us on this planet in our government.”
But as Eliot Cohen points out in his article in The Atlantic, Trump is no King David. For all his faults, David was a man of God, even though he was consumed by his other passions. He felt guilt and remorse. He repented and confessed. And he could actually read and write poetry!

Trump is utterly without conscience. He will not admit error, much less repent, confess or ask God for forgiveness. He does not or cannot read. His only use for religion is use it to control his supporters. He is bent on revenge and the accumulation of wealth (usually at the same time). He lies incessantly, without surcease, to sow chaos and confusion and hatred.

Trump supporters often claim that they hate liberals because liberals think they're so much smarter than conservatives. It's not so much that liberals think conservatives are stupid, it's that Trump plays them for fools (constantly telling lies that are demonstrably false and committing dozens of clearly unethical, immoral and illegal acts), and they go along with it. Some Trump supporters might be naive or misled or truly stupid, but that means the rest are complicit in Trump's perfidy. Which is far worse than being merely stupid.

And besides, it's Trump who is constantly telling us how much smarter he is than everyone else, when clearly he knows nothing about anything, especially religion (Two Corinthians, anyone?).

The David analogy plays right into this. Trump supporters claim he is an imperfect vessel of God's will, like King David. But his followers are being played for fools again, because they have forgotten (or never knew, as I didn't) what David's ultimate fate was:

As Cohen sums it up:
Nor does God (or man, for that matter) simply disregard David’s sins or dismiss them as peccadilloes that might perhaps merit private punishment but no public reaction. David lusted after Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, the Book of Samuel relates. He arranged to have her husband, Uriah the Hittite, placed in the front of a desperate attack. He died, and the king carried off the widow. Not quite murder, perhaps, but a foul and tricky deed.
In the next chapter, Nathan the prophet stormed into the royal palace, and told the startled David a story about a rich man who has stolen a poor man’s ewe. When David expressed indignation at the villain of the tale, Nathan thundered at him, “You are the man!” And then followed David’s doom, intoned in the name of the God of Israel:
“And so now, the sword shall not swerve from your house evermore, seeing as you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.” Thus says the Lord, “I am about to raise up evil against you from your own house, and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your fellow man, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it in secret but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.”
David confessed and repented, but the doom came nonetheless. His son Absalom revolted against him, he was chased from his throne (which he recovered after much hardship); he was humiliated by his inferiors; and he ends his days in the midst of another son’s revolt, decrepit and apparently impotent. David’s sin was not only a private sin, and it did not receive a merely private punishment. Nor did he alone suffer: His humiliation included a revolt that turned his kingdom upside down, and led to waves of political murders even after his death. Apparently, the Ancient of Days was not willing to let bygones be bygones. 
Conservatives: please, please, please don't let Trump use your own religion to lead you away from what you know is the righteous path. Because he is not one of you. He is just using you to escape prosecution for decades of tax evasion and money laundering for the Russian mob.

In the end, Trump's reign will be just as disastrous as David's.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Whither TV?

Recently Disney debuted its Disney+ streaming service, which launched a plethora of stories in the press about "streaming wars," like this one.

As someone who has always hated the way Comcast operates (lousy service and constantly jacking up prices), I'm glad to see these new options.

Streaming services are either supposed to sound the death knell for cable and broadcast TV, or start a bloody massacre among streamers like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Now, Apple TV and Amazon as they spend billions of dollars on new programming to attract customers.

Many are afraid that quirkier cable channels like AMC (home to hit shows like Madmen, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, etc.) and BBC America (home to Orphan Black and Killing Eve) will go away when people cut the cord.

But I'm not so sure that's the case.  Streaming services like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and Sling Orange + Blue offer those same channels and most live local channels for much less than Comcast. These streaming services also provide video on-demand (VOD) for shows previously broadcast on these channels. VOD doesn't allow skipping commercials, which should make advertisers happy.

There's a lot of hand-wringing that streaming services will force people to choose which shows they watch because they can't afford to subscribe to all the streaming services. Some people are even saying that this new paradigm will cost people more than the Comcast model did, because they'll have to pay for five or six or ten different services, at $7 to $15 bucks a pop.

But that's hard to believe: Comcast bundles are usually more than $100 a month. With services like YouTube TV, HBO Now, Disney+ and Netflix, you can get significantly more TV for less money.

And if you're concerned about cash flow, remember that you don't need to subscribe to streaming services on an ongoing basis. You can pick them up and drop them as new content appears and you finish watching it.

Want to see the new Watchmen or His Dark Materials but don't feel $15 a month is worth it? Subscribe when there's a month left in the season, binge the previous episodes and everything else you like in the catalog, watch the final few episodes in real time, and then let the sub lapse. Or use the free trial (usually a week) to binge-watch the whole season at once. These services are always eager for subscribers, and will frequently offer you another free week within a few months.

Yes, it's true, if you want to be one of the cool kids and be up on every show, it will cost you a lot of money (and time!). These big companies count on laziness, impatience and peer pressure to fill their coffers.

Will there be a streaming service massacre? Maybe. Will there be further consolidation, along the lines of the Disney/ABC/Marvel/Fox mergers? Probably. But the market for these entertainments is world-wide, and even if people only subscribe a few months out of the year, we're still talking hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

I see a place for all these streaming services, the cable channels, local TV channels, and content providers who actually make the shows we want to watch. What I don't see is a place for giant corporations like Comcast who use their monopoly power to overcharge customers physically tied to their cables.

And as long as Disney+ doesn't try to become the next Comcast, more power to them.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Bloomberg? No. Just No.

Mike Bloomberg, former Republican mayor of New York and billionaire owner of a major news organization, announced that he is running for the Democratic nomination for president.

There are a ton of reasons why Bloomberg shouldn't be running for the Democratic nomination.

1) He's too old. At 77, he's the same age as Joe Biden, who also shouldn't be running because he's too old. There's a better than 4% chance he'll be dead before inauguration day, and a better than 1 in 4 chance he'll die before the end of his first term.

2) He has a horrendous conflict of interest. Bloomberg News has announced that it will not investigate Bloomberg during the campaign, nor will it investigate his Democratic opponents. But it will still publish stories about his opponents from "credible journalistic institutions."

This is pure bull. Bloomberg flunkies can still print flattering stories about him from the New York Times, and ignore the unflattering ones, and vice versa for the other Democratic candidates.

And what happens if Bloomberg wins the nomination? Will Bloomberg News stop researching stories about his Republican opponent, Donald Trump? To be fair, they'd have to stop printing stories about the presidential race, international diplomacy and the economy because those topics involve Trump.

The only way to avoid a conflict of interest is for Bloomberg to sell his company, which is which Trump should have done.

Trump's conflicts of interest constantly undermine his every decision. Did he pull troops out of Syria because it was best for the United States (which it clearly wasn't, for dozens of reasons), or did he pull out because Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan threatened two Trump hotels in Istanbul? And, as it turned out, Trump didn't actually pull the troops out of Syria, he just moved them to oil fields, allowing Turkey to invade and kill and capture hundreds of Kurdish fighters who had stood by the United States in Iraq and Syria for decades.

Basically, every international, national and economic news story involves the president at some level. Bloomberg News would have to cease publication to avoid a conflict of interest if Bloomberg won.

3) We don't need another billionaire running for president. Yeah, Bloomberg would be better than Trump. Pretty much anyone would be. The problem with billionaires is that they are terrible at dealing with human beings. They are used to buying everything they want and bulldozing through people with their money instead of working with them.

Trump's wealth is the core of why he is such a horrible president and person.

4) Bloomberg's flip-flopping from Democrat, to Republican, to independent, then back to Democrat, is fishy. As is the way he got the New York mayor's office two-term limit removed so he could serve a third term.

5) The only one who wants Bloomberg to be president is Bloomberg. No Democrats want him. His racist stop-and-frisk policy in New York (which he recently characterized as a mistake, and for which he apologized) alienated a large segment of the Democratic party, including blacks, Hispanics, and anyone who isn't a racist.

Yeah, Bloomberg has done some good work on gun policy. But he would serve this nation far better continuing that project than injecting yet another wild card into a Democratic field that already has too many candidates.

The 2016 Republican field had too many candidates, and look how that turned out. If Bloomberg does win the Democratic nomination, Republicans will (hypocritically) claim he bought it. And Russia will use Bloomberg's stop-and-frisk disaster on Facebook and Twitter to even more successfully convince blacks and Hispanics to stay home as they did in 2016.

If Bloomberg wants what's best for this country, he should let the primary process play itself out and let the American people choose the Democratic nominee by popular vote, then help level the playing field during the general election by making contributions to counter the Republican PACs funded by corrupt billionaires like Sheldon Adelson.

He can keep his interest in Bloomberg News, and the organization can continue the important work of reporting the truth, countering the lies spewed by the Russians and Fox News, which has become just another propaganda outlet for Vladimir Putin and his puppets, which now include Donald Trump and nearly the entire Republican Party.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Your Party Sucks

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Oh, It's Cold, Climate Change Can't Be Happening!

Because it's cold, conservatives are denying the reality of climate change again. And the news media are aiding and abetting them with stories like this:
The Arctic blast that descended this week on a swath of the country stretching from the Rocky Mountains to New England continued Tuesday, bringing record-breaking low temperatures, snowfall in some Northeast areas and school closings in the Mid-South.
Yeah, baby, it's cold outside. But only here. In a lot of other places, like California and Australia, which are burning to the ground, it's really hot.

And it's also very warm in Juneau, Alaska, where it's 46 degrees as I write this. That's 20 degrees warmer than it is here in Minnesota.

This is part of a pattern, where warm air moves into the polar regions and pushes the cold air south into the continental US. Yes, it's true: global warming can make it colder in some places while the rest of the planet is getting ever hotter.

Climate change has screwed up the jet stream, which used to keep arctic air bottled up at the north pole. But the jet stream has weakened, allowing more episodes like the current cold wave to occur.

That's why, several years ago, scientists started using the term "climate change" in preference to "global warming." Conservative climate denialists thought this was some kind of bait and switch.

But a warming planet does not warm evenly. Some of the changes in climate have counterintuitive effects. A hotter atmosphere holds more water, meaning that there will be more rain, but that rain is not spread evenly over the planet. Some areas get hammered by horrible hurricanes and destructive downpours, while other areas are socked by droughts and wildfires.

That extra water in the atmosphere has other effects: all that rain and snow that hammered the Great Plains and Midwest last spring and summer killed off the oysters in the Gulf of Mexico:
The [oyster] business, and the distinctive cooking and dining traditions it supports, had already been battered by Hurricane Katrina five years earlier. And now it is enduring an even bigger setback: This spring and summer, the Mississippi River, swollen by Midwestern rain and snow, inundated coastal marshes, lakes and bays with freshwater, killing oysters by the millions. That has led to shortages and soaring prices.
The country grows a lot of food in places like California and Arizona, which are getting hammered by drought and excess heat, exacerbated by global warming. That excessive rain in much of the Midwest this spring delayed or prevented planting of corn and soybeans, piling more financial distress on farmers already burdened by the loss of markets caused by Trump's tariff wars (which were supposed to be so easy to win, yet they've been going on for three years now). To top it off, the farm bailout Trump promised is mostly going to agribusiness, not small family farmers.

Climate change is quickly destroying our food production, and if we don't do something about this soon there will be permanent environmental damage, followed by famine, more mass migration and war.

Monday, November 11, 2019

“Your liberal angst gives me great pleasure.”

I've been saying for years that conservatives have only one conviction: trolling liberals. Due to whatever problem they had with authority in their lives, their first reaction to liberals saying facts and stuff is to try to get attention by being obnoxious.

Well, here's a fine example.

“I am going to continue hiding these books in the most obscure places I can find to keep this propaganda out of the hands of young minds,” the mystery book relocator wrote in a note left for Ms. Ammon, the library director, in the facility’s comment box.

“Your liberal angst gives me great pleasure.” 

People with this mindset should never be in charge of anything.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Trump Derangement Syndrome Part 7

The followers of Donald Trump are violent. They repeatedly call for a Civil War if Trump is removed from office. They claim they will use second amendment solutions if he doesn't win reelection in 2020. The final characteristic of someone with Trump Derangement Syndrome is "irrational thoughts potentially leading to criminal and terroristic behavior."


I've been saying this for years, even before Trump. The right-wing of this country need to spend some time in Gitmo. I'm glad they were right about keeping it open:)

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Trump Is Incapable of Learning

Donald Trump is facing impeachment now because he tried to blackmail the president of Ukraine into producing dirt on Joe Biden's son. Trump apparently has bought into a counterfeit story Rudy Giuliani is pushing that Ukraine, not Russia, is behind the hack on Democratic email accounts.

They also apparently think Hillary Clinton's email server is floating around in Ukraine, which is totally ridiculous. That email server never left Clinton's office: she deleted some personal emails with the approval of her lawyers. Trump apparently doesn't understand the concept of putting emails in the trash -- he seems to think that means she took the whole server to the dump and the Ukrainians made off with it.

Trump is angry at Ukraine because he thinks the country is behind the "whole Russia thing." But Trump's problems all started when he and his campaign got all buddy-buddy with the Russians. In particular, his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, had worked for Viktor Yanukovych, a corrupt pro-Russian Ukrainian politician who was kicked out of the country by his own countrymen. (His extravagant presidential estate became of tourist attraction, a "museum of corruption," displaying the lavish lifestyle of an oligarch.)

Manafort was working for Trump free of charge. Trump, ever the cheapskate, thought this was a great idea. But no one works for Trump for free. In August 2016 Ukrainian investigators uncovered a ledger that showed Manafort received $12.7 million for working for Yanukovych's party, which Manafort of course had not disclosed on his taxes. Manafort had just finished tilting the Republican Party platform severely toward Russia at the expense of Ukraine, which Russia had invaded a few years earlier.

Clearly, Manafort was still working for Russia and/or pro-Russia Ukrainians, and being Trump's campaign manager was just his cover story.

Manafort was quickly kicked off the campaign, and Trump claimed he hardly knew the guy. Manafort is currently serving a prison sentence for his various crimes.

This is relevant now because history is repeating itself. Rudy Giuliani is working as Trump's "personal lawyer," free of charge. He has been interfering with American foreign policy in Eastern Europe, and has been the driving force in extorting Ukraine to fabricate dirt about Joe Biden and his son.

Like Manafort, Giuliani is not really working for free, or for Trump: he's been doing some dirty deals with two Ukrainians with connections to Russia, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who have been charged with making illegal campaign contributions on behalf of Russians who want to get into the marijuana business in the United States (yeah, Giuliani -- the former prosecutor -- and his buddies are in bed with drug dealers).

Recently it was revealed just how Giuliani was getting at least some of his payoff: he got a Trump supporter, Charles Gucciardo, to "invest" half a million smackers in Parnas's company, Fraud Guarantee (that's the actual name!). Parnas then turned around and gave that money to Giuliani.

This, of course, reeks of corruption: the president's personal lawyer leans on a Trump supporter to invest in a bogus company that puts the money back into Giuliani's pocket.

Hey, Rudy, back in your prosecutor days you would have called that kind of a mob deal "money laundering."

Meanwhile, Giuliani was running around Ukraine demanding that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy "investigate corruption," which is Trumpspeak for manufacturing fake evidence against the Bidens.

It is clear that Giuliani always intended to corruptly cash in on his position as Trump's lawyer, while claiming to work for free. Just like Paul Manafort.

Didn't Donald Trump learned anything from the whole 2016 election mess? He's gone and done exactly the same thing: employing some corrupt bozo making crooked deals in Ukraine.

Trump is either a total idiot, or he's fully aware of the corruption and doesn't care. Or both.

Geeze. How can Republicans continue to support this crook, and all the crooks who work for him, enriching themselves at the expense of the United States' good name?

After three years of Trump we've become just another corrupt oligarchy.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Trump Derangement Syndrome Part 6

Trump folks are always pissed off and the president encourages it. After all, he is a Russian asset working quite hard to divide our country so Russia can have more say in the world. A sure sign of TDS is "Extreme levels of aggression and anger aimed at anyone unwilling to join the cult of personality."

It's important to note that this is where they really try to engage their projection tactics. Breathless posts on social media and blogs about how angry liberals are and how they are the ones that are violent etc. It takes a grand total of a second before Antifa is brought up with the hopes of forgetting just how fucking hate-filled and angry Trump people are.

If Trump encouraged them to kill liberals at a rally, his followers would do it.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Don't Steal Our Water!

We've known for more than 30 years that climate change is a serious problem. Places like California, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona are suffering from decades of worsening drought and wildfires.

After a horrendous fire season last year, California is being torched again this year. The main problem is that people keep building houses in the hills and forests, and when those forests burn, their houses do too.

In Phoenix temperatures this past August were over 100 degrees every day, and hit 110 or more twelve days (twenty years ago, there were only three 110+ days). It's unsafe just to go outside in heat like that, and you certainly can't exercise or work. Even planes can't take off when it starts getting that hot.

We live in Minnesota, where a lot of people complain about the winters (which aren't anywhere near as cold or snowy as they used to be). The thing about winter is that you can still go outside and do things if you dress properly.

But when it starts getting to 118, 120 degrees, you can't put on clothes to get cooler. You'd have to wear a liquid cooling system like a spacesuit to keep your body temperature down.

Yet people continue to move to these areas. We're in a bike club and have acquaintances who just bought a house in Phoenix. But they have to come back to Minnesota in the summer to ride their bikes because you can't exercise outside in Arizona in the summer. It's just too damn hot.

And because of the heat island effect, the more buildings and houses they put up in Phoenix, and the more plants and natural soil they displace, the hotter it will get.

This is the core of the problem. There are far too many people living in areas that have too few resources. Water, in particular, is in very short supply.

Which brings us to the issue that brought on this rant: a railroad company is proposing to steal water from an aquifer in Minnesota and ship it to the southwest. They want to ship half a million gallons a year by rail.

The company doesn't think there's anything wrong with this:
Dakota County officials said Progressive Rail would work with Oregon-based Water Train, which provides water to government agencies in Colorado, Utah and Arizona. Water Train’s website says the company is “nothing more than delivered bottled water, except our bottles (railroad tank cars) hold more than 26,000 gallons each.”
Oh, it's just bottled water, only our bottles are 26,000 gallons. Right. This is a terrible analogy, because bottled water is a terrible scourge.

Worse, shipping water by rail, which burns diesel fuel to power the engines, will only exacerbate the problem that's causing the water shortage in the first place: global warming.

A few years ago the water level in White Bear Lake, a large lake northeast of St. Paul, dropped precipitously because of aquifer depletion. It takes tens of thousands of years to replenish aquifers. It's ridiculous to drain our resources so that geezers can flee south for the winter.

Clearly, the answer is not to send water to the Southwest. People should start moving out of those areas to return the population to levels that local resources can sustain.

And, of course, we should stop burning so much oil flying and driving around the country to escape the global warming that we're causing by burning so much oil and coal and gas.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Trump Derangement Syndrome Part 5

People with Trump Derangement Syndrome have "the belief that anything negative is in no way related to Donald Trump, but anything positive somehow is." This photo sums it up nicely.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Remember when conservatives hated deficits?

I guess it's OK if Trump does it.

Trump Derangement Syndrome Part 4

Trump supporters are traitors. They care more about their own tribe than Americans in what they perceive to be other tribes. They view Democrats as enemies of the state. Looking for evidence?

So, a fourth key characteristic of Trump Derangement Syndrome is a "loss of perspective on what Patriotism means exactly. Symptoms include tolerance of Un-American Ideals, Worship of unfriendly foreign states, respect or Tolerance for ideological influences we have literally had to go to war with at various points in history."

I always used to laugh about the mouth foamers on the right when they talked about reeducation camps. Well, perhaps we should give them what they fear. After all, that's how you deprogram someone in a cult.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Trump Derangement Syndrome Part 3

Donald Trump has lied more times than any other president. In fact, he has many false statements and many pants on fire statements. A key sign of Trump Derangement Syndrome is the "inability to distinguish fact from Fiction."

Specifically, "symptoms include believing a man who lies so regularly that more falsehoods escape his lips than truth, especially when that man says someone else is lying."

So, it's NEVER that Trump is lying. It's ALWAYS a plot by someone else, usually a liberal elite who is out to get Trump and his supporters.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Trump Derangement Syndrome Part 2

The next characteristic of Trump Derangement Syndrome is Incapacitating Cognitive Dissonance associated with anything related to Donald Trump. All negative news about Trump is somehow the fault of the left or isn't real. Take note of how quickly whataboutism or bothsidesism is employed when Trump makes a mistake. 

As noted in the link, "Symptoms include extraordinary mental discomfort related to contradictory beliefs i.e. “Law Enforcement cannot be questioned” “the FBI is Evil” — “Corporate Media is all Fake News” “Fox News is always right”

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Trump Derangement Syndrome Part 1

Since Donald Trump was elected, his supporters have tried very hard to blame his multiple and deep issues on the rest of  us. As is often the case with school children, the "NO YOU!" strategy has been employed and, thus, Trump Derangement Syndrome was born.

Recall that this phrase was originally used to denigrate people who were upset about George W. Bush lying to get us into a war that ultimately was very poorly executed and resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. Later it was accurately used to describe people who would have mental and emotional meltdowns when Barack Obama was intelligently doing his job and helping the country.

There is such a thing as TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) but it's not something the rest of us have. There are six distinct signs of TDS and today I'm going to begin a series that will highlight each one. Please use these signs if you encounter a Trump supporter who is accusing you of TDS.

The first key characteristic of TDS is “an absolute and blind adoration of a cultivated personality. Symptoms include odd facial expressions, changes in behavior and wardrobe, sudden illegibility of social media feeds, the sudden belief that a bankrupt reality show host would make a good leader of the free world.” Please refer to the examples of this below for visual evidence.

This is what a cult looks like. People that are in cults are deranged and highly dangerous. I'm fairly certain that many Trump supporters are going to have to have behavioral management therapy after Trump's time is done.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Amen, Brother

Saturday, October 05, 2019

The Presidential Age Limit, Revisited

Bernie Sanders went into the hospital last Tuesday after having a heart attack. His campaign wasn't upfront about this at first, and only admitted that it was an actual heart attack Friday morning.

Sanders had an earlier scare when he cut his head on a shower door and required 7 stitches.

At 78, Sanders is clearly too old to be running for president. If he were elected, he would be almost 80 when he assumed office in 2021.

Donald Trump is 73, and is also far too old to be president. His fast-progressing dementia is exactly why there should be an age limit for presidential candidates.

Joe Biden is 76, and is too old. His performance in the debates showed that he is definitely slowing down.

Elizabeth Warren is 70, but she seems fine, and as a woman will probably outlive all the men in the race. But, as a woman, she's more prone to osteoporosis and could be one fall away from a broken hip and steep physical decline.

Different people do age at different rates. Their genetics, weight, exercise habits, sleep hygiene, diet and other activities directly affect their longevity, health and cognition.

Donald Trump is clearly inferior to the other candidates on all fronts. His father died of Alzheimers. He is an obese -- and I'll use his own favorite word to describe people who have the same physique that he does -- pig. He doesn't exercise and believes that exercise hurts your health. He sleeps only a few hours a night. He eats garbage. All he does is whine on Twitter and watch television. And he can't even walk up a hill.

The problem with the elderly is that they do not recover from minor accidents that younger people simply brush off. The slightest accident -- or another heart attack -- could send Bernie Sanders into a series of health crises that ultimately incapacitate or kill him.

If Sanders is the Democratic candidate, a slip in the shower next October could hand the presidency back to Donald Trump (if he hasn't been impeached or suffered a mental breakdown by then).

I'm lumped in with the same generation as Warren and Trump, the baby boomers, even though people my age were too young to be drafted in the Vietnam War or take part in the sexual revolution of the 1960s. My age cohort was more influenced by events of the 1970s: the moon landings, Watergate, Three Mile Island, and the Iran hostage crisis.

But I'm still old enough to realize that 60-65 is the maximum age for a presidential candidate. The rigors of the campaign and the office are too stressful for the elderly. Once you hit your 70s, the supposed advantage of experience turns into recalcitrance and an inability to change and adapt to new circumstances.

On a practical note, both Sanders and Biden are older than Trump, and in the general election Republicans would hypocritically hammer on their age endlessly, even though both of them are much healthier than Trump.

Biden and Sanders should step aside sooner, rather than later, and clear the decks for candidates who can make it all the way to the finish line.

Little Donald is Getting Away

Friday, October 04, 2019

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

The Fall of John Bolton

John Bolton and I rarely agree on anything. But one thing he's right about is North Korea:
“The strategic decision Kim Jong-un is operating through is that he will do whatever he can to keep a deliverable nuclear weapons capability and to develop and enhance it further,” Mr. Bolton said during an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Under current circumstances, he will never give up the nuclear weapons voluntarily.”
This is a direct rebuke of everything Donald Trump has done in his courtship of Kim Jong Un. The reason for Trump's pursuit of this is pure and simple: he thinks he deserves a Nobel Prize. He's jealous that Barack Obama got one.

As Bolton said, Kim will never give up his nuclear weapons. It would mean his death, because the elites in North Korea (rightfully) believe that nuclear weapons are the only thing keeping their regime afloat.

Look at Saddam Hussein. He gave up his weapons of mass destruction and now he's dead.

Look at Muammar Ghaddafi. He gave up his nukes and now he's dead.

This is all the result of George W. Bush's 2002 "axis of evil" speech, in which he named Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Iraq had been defeated by a grand coalition led by the United States in the 1990s. In defeat Saddam relinquished all his WMDs. He was a toothless old man, allowed to rule his country but kept in check by the United States and other forces.

But that wasn't good enough for Bush. He wanted a war. And so in 2003 he got one, acting unilaterally against Iraq (albeit with a smattering of support from a couple of countries trying to curry favor with the US). Bush claimed Saddam had WMDs squirreled away somewhere, and in 2003 weapons inspectors were racing around Iraq looking for them. After months of searching it had become clear that Saddam had none, so Bush invaded before the momentum of frenzy ran out.

The reason Saddam was being cagey about the WMDs was that if he admitted he had none, he would lose face domestically and his people would no longer fear him, inviting revolution.

So Bush invaded Iraq, taking his eye off the ball on the war in Afghanistan.

Iraq was an unmitigated disaster. There were no WMDs. The people did not greet us as liberators. It cost us a trillion dollars, handed Iraq over to control of Shiites beholden to Iran, and created ISIS. A decade later ISIS took territory in Syria, causing mass migration out of Syria and into Europe. That destabilized political systems across Europe as they dealt with the massive influx of Muslim refugees, causing an upwelling of racist and right-wing politics, resulting in nonsense like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

Given this background it's clear that talking to Kim is a total waste of time. He knows that showing any weakness will get him killed, like Saddam and Gaddafi.

Yet Trump keeps trying to seduce Kim, talking about the "very nice letter" Kim sent, and all that nonsense. Meanwhile North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and constantly threatens Japan and South Korea with missile launches into their territorial waters.

Actions against our allies which Trump just ignores.

John Bolton is right that we can't deal with North Korea. He's wrong to think that we should invade the country, because doing so would get millions of South Korean and Japanese citizens killed, as well as thousands of American military personnel stationed there, and potentially Americans within range of Kim's ballistic missiles on the west coast.

So what does Trump think he can get from Kim? Headlines and attention. That's it. He's playing this up in the press the same way he played up his romances with Playboy models like Karen McDougal, before he payed them all off and forced them to sign NDAs. He's wasting his State Department's time and money on this dalliance with Kim in the vain hope that the Nobel committee will give him the prize he covets so much.

Is Trump stupid enough to fall for fawning praise from Kim's PR guys?  Or to believe that Kim would abide by an agreement even if he signed one? Trump rejected the Iran nuclear deal, and they were actually holding to it!

Bolton recently left his position as Trump's national security advisor in disgrace because he kept harping against any North Korean deal. Like pretty much everyone who works for Trump, Bolton's reputation is now destroyed, permanently stained by the corruption of the scumbag in chief.

Yet when he criticized Trump's North Korea policy, Bolton didn't mention the name of the moron responsible for it, though it's clear that's how Bolton perceives Trump. Like pretty much anyone who's ever worked for him. Yet precious few of them raise their voices against the orange skidmark in the Oval Office.

Republicans, please learn from John Bolton's shame. You will be hailed as heroes by all future generations of Americans if you force this clown to resign.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

The NRA is a Russian Asset

The United States Senate has released a report that states what those of us who live in reality already know. The NRA is a foreign asset of Russia. The report details how various members of the NRA and its board were offered business opportunities in Russia (gee, that sounds familiar) in exchange for access to conservative and political outlets in the United States.

In short, they are traitors. And for all the caterwauling I've heard over the years from Kevin Baker on his gun blog about communism, deep states and Orwellian futures with leftists in charge, he and his followers are doing a damn fine job of becoming exactly what they claim to fear. Classic propaganda technique, right? Accuse your enemy of doing the very thing you are doing and demonize them for it. Goebbels 101.

Kevin and followers (who I still see read my blog every day), you have zero credibility. You have sold out your country merely because of adolescent spite of the left. How fucking pathetic...

Friday, September 27, 2019

What Trump Really Did to Ukraine

Everyone is talking about what Donald Trump did to Ukraine. They're framing it as though Trump had merely tried to blackmail Ukrainian President Volodymy Zelensky into fabricating dirt on Hunter Biden, or "finding" a server with Hillary Clinton's emails on it.

Trump had just withheld about $400 million in funds Ukraine desperately needs to fight its war against Russia, and to get that money Trump wanted "reciprocity" from Ukraine and for Zelensky to "play ball."

But the unspoken threat was really this: "Come up with dirt on Hunter Biden or I'll have Russia invade you." Everyone knows that Trump is in Vladimir Putin's pocket. Zelensky knows this better than anyone, and it's why he emphasized that he stayed in a Trump hotel when he traveled to New York (and that's a perfect example of Trump's conflicts of interest and his violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution).

Trump is a mob boss threatening to have Vito kneecap guys who won't play ball. Trump has always talked like a mob boss and now he's acting like one. He can't spin this implicit threat as playing hard ball to get a better deal for the United States. Because letting Ukraine fall to a Russian invasion would make us -- and Trump -- look even weaker than we already do.

Yet Trump made that implicit threat.

And since Zelensky is president of Ukraine, a Russian invasion means certain death for him. That's why Zelensky is playing patty-cake with Trump. Trump, in essence, threatened to have Zelensky killed by the same Russian war criminals who shot down a civilian airliner over Ukraine unless Zelensky "investigates" the Bidens.

This is clearly a misuse of presidential power for partisan political gain, the very definition of the high crimes and misdemeanors the Constitution refers to in impeachment proceedings.

If Republicans let Trump get away with this heinous, they will never be able to complain about a future Democratic president's actions on something as innocuous as, say, extending health care benefits to Americans who aren't covered by insurance.

That was the horrible executive overreach that Republicans said Obama was guilty of.

Impeach. Trump. Now.

More than ever.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Gun Humpers Are Going To Need A Bigger Boat

I've been waiting a long time for gun safety ads like this. Hey gun humpers, you're going to need a bigger boat, assholes.

We are coming for you and nothing is going to stop us.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Sean Spicer Embarrasses Himelf -- and All of Us -- Once Again

After completely embarrassing himself by repeating Donald Trump's lies about the most obvious things (like inauguration attendance), Sean Spicer made it even worse by appearing on Dancing with the Stars:
Mr Spicer opened his performance dressed in a neon, lime-green ruffled shirt and white trousers, banging a pair of bongos as he danced with partner Lindsay Arnold to the Spice Girls' 1997 hit, "Spice Up Your Life".
However the judging panel were unimpressed with the performance, awarding the pair a lowly 12 out of 30, ranking them near the bottom of the contestants.

After his performance was mocked by some spectators, Mr Spicer framed his battle for success on the show as a clash between ruling elites and the American heartland.

"Clearly the judges aren’t going to be with me. Let’s send a message to #Hollywood that those of us who stand for #Christ won’t be discounted. May God bless you," he said in a tweet.
Yes, Spicer tried to play the Christian card. Sorry, Sean, you can't play the Christian card after selling your soul to the demon Trump.

And what's really crazy about this appeal is that Trump's most fervent supporters are evangelical Christians, like the Southern Baptists and the people who run Liberty University, who ban dancing outright.

I'm really getting tired of having to repeat this, but it becomes ever so much more obvious the longer the Trump administration drags on: the Republican Party is full of nothing but hypocrites.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

An Energy Policy Dictated by Vanity

We recently built a house, and one of the primary considerations was low energy consumption. Thus, all the light fixtures use LEDs or LED bulbs.

How much energy do LED bulbs save? An incandescent 60-watt light bulb uses, obviously, 60 watts. An LED bulb that produces the same amount of light (800 lumens) uses 9 watts. LEDS use only 15% as much power as incandescents.  You can get 8 LED bulbs at Home Depot for less than 10 bucks. That's a buck and a quarter per bulb.

LED bulbs will typically last more than a dozen years. They will save almost as much electricity in a single year as they cost ($1.08) with typical usage. It's a total no-brainer.

LED bulbs now come in a wide variety of "temperatures." They're no long just harsh bright white light, they come in warmer and cooler colors. You can get a bulb that casts a yellowish "warm" light (2700K), or a cool white (3100K) or a bluish daylight (5000K).

Not only do they use less power and are cheaper than incandescents, they are also safer: LED bulbs usually have a plastic shell that won't shatter into a thousand tiny shards of glass like old incandescent or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs.

LED bulbs are also less sensitive to vibration. An incandescent bulb has a thin tungsten filament that's prone to breaking if the bulb vibrates.

Why are we talking light bulbs? Because the Trump administration recently nixed regulations that promoted energy-efficient lighting. They claimed that the new bulbs would cost more, which is totally false. The reality is that they're cheaper to buy outright and they're far cheaper to use.

Obviously, the stated rationale is false. So what's the real reason? Donald Trump has a personal grudge against LED bulbs. He thinks they make him look orange. Seriously.

Trump always looks orange because he uses bronzers (spray tanning products):
The president’s skin tone, said makeup artist Jason Kelly, is more likely the result of artificial tanning and an overapplication of bronzer, a type of powder or cream designed to give a tanned look.

Kelly, 45, was the official makeup artist for the Republican National Convention held in Cleveland in 2016. When then-candidate Trump came into the makeup room, he already had his hair and makeup done, Kelly said, and was sporting a thick layer of bronzer. Kelly applied a layer of loose powder on Trump, but according to the makeup artist, Trump “came in, and he said he thinks he already looks pretty good.”

According to the New York Times, aides close to the president have reported similar experiences: Trump tends to prefer to do his makeup in private.

Kelly said it is generally recognized among makeup artists that Trump’s application of bronzer is atypical. “When I see him, I see a line of oxidized bronzer around his hairline,” Kelly said. “The application is like a kindergartner did it.
LED bulbs have nothing to do with Trump looking like an orangutan.

Why is this country's energy policy being set by a vain old man who's afraid to let professional makeup artists get too close to his ridiculous toupee?

The Biggest Problem With The Democrats

During the Democratic debate on Thursday night, Beto O'Rourke had the line of the night.

It was fantastic and spoke to exactly what most voters want. Yet, for the last few days, Democrats have been wringing their hands and having conniption fits that it will cost them votes.


The biggest problem with the Democratic party is they never seem to understand where the electorate is at. So, they wilt under right-wing bullying and behave in an overly cautious fashion. This is exactly why they lose elections.

They need to fucking go for it. Start talking about banning guns. If someone doesn't like it, tell them to fuck off. Tell the gun humpers that we are coming for them.

And it's not going to be pretty.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Moscow Mitch!

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Monday, September 02, 2019

Meme of the Year

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Saturday, August 24, 2019

A Tough Week For the United States

Donald Trump's presidency has always been marred by his erratic personality. Each week brings some crazy pile of nonsense that chips away at his support. This time around it was attacks on the Fed chairman, trying and failing to buy Greenland for the oil reserves, and calling himself the "chosen one" while looking up to the heavens. The cherry on top was the latest round of tariffs coupled with an adolescent outburst towards US firms doing business with China.

All of this is perfectly in line with Trump's role as a Russian asset. Their goal is to erode our hegemony in the world and they are doing a good job of it. The stock market is all over the place, everyday people are taking financial hits as a result of the tariffs, and some of Trump's own supporters are beginning to question him.

“I voted for Trump in 2016 because I thought he was saying what everyone was thinking. But I’m disappointed,” says Debbie Dymek, an estate sale manager, as she pushes her cart through the aisles of a Meijer grocery store in Sterling Heights. “The bashing of everything and everyone, is that necessary? I’m an outspoken person, so when he says things that bother me, I know it must bother others.”

What Ms. Dymek likely doesn't understand is the army of trolls out there that love all of this. Most right-wing bloggers and commenters are rooting for the country to fall apart. They sooooo want this because of their emotional issues with authority figures. Trump has brought all these assholes out of their slimy holes and this is their time in the sun. The crazier Trump gets, the more they love it.

But average folks like these Iowa farmers aren't loving it anymore.

But fellow farmer Mike Holden, standing nearby, respectfully begs to differ. Though he has historically voted Republican 80% of the time, he doesn’t support Mr. Trump. He points out that farmers have no control over the weather, the cost of inputs like seed or machinery, or the price of grain, so they can’t pass on the cost of something like tariffs, which have driven the price of soybeans down by roughly 20%.

“We have enough uncontrollables,” says Mr. Holden, who raises beef and grows corn and soybeans. “We don’t need another one in the government.”

Mr. Ulch, who for years ran a fertilizer company on top of farming, had always wanted a businessperson to be president, so that he or she would understand “what goes on out here.”But he would have preferred someone like Mitt Romney. “To be honest with you, my vote [in 2016] was more against Hillary than it was for Trump,” he says – and that was before the trade wars hit. 

 “I’ll have a hard time voting for Trump again,” says Mr. Ulch.

So who will they vote for? Ms. Dymek gives us a clue.

“Warren?” she says, confirming that she named the Massachusetts senator correctly. “I like her because she’s forceful in a good way. I think she believes what she says.”

I'd ROTFLMFAO if Warren out populists Donald Trump and wins.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Trump Stoking White Nationalist Attacks on Jews and Hispanics

If there was any doubt that Donald Trump is a white nationalist who is intentionally egging on white supremacists to attack ethnic and religious minorities, two stories from earlier this week should allay any doubts.

The first:
A Nazi sympathizer who threatened to butcher a Hispanic woman and boasted that President Trump would wipe out nonwhites in a “racial war and crusade” was arrested on charges of making threats, the F.B.I. said on Tuesday. 
Prosecutors said that the suspect, Eric Lin, 35, sent a barrage of chilling and gruesome Facebook messages to the unidentified woman, who lives in Miami. Mr. Lin was arrested on Friday in Seattle, where he had recently moved from Clarksburg, Md., but was charged in Miami. 
“This is a RACE WAR and ALL of you will DIE!” Mr. Lin wrote to the woman on Facebook in early June, according to a criminal complaint. The next day, he wrote, “You want to see what a real Nazi can do?” adding later that he was operating under the authority of Hitler. In July, he wrote that “I thank God everyday President Donald John Trump is President and that he will launch a Racial War and Crusade.”
No matter how much Trump denies that he is responsible for the massive uptick in anti-semitic and anti-Hispanic attacks, it is clear that he has inspired racists to kill Hispanics and Jews in shootings in the Walmart in El Paso and synagogues in Pennsylvania and California.

Then Trump himself accused American Jews of being disloyal:
President Trump said on Tuesday that any Jewish person who votes for a Democrat is guilty of ignorance or “great disloyalty,” intensifying his efforts to drive in a partisan wedge over religion and support for Israel even as he appeared to draw on an anti-Semitic trope.

Mr. Trump did not go into specifics about what he considered to be Jews’ disloyalty, but his language was reminiscent of the anti-Semitic smear that Jews have a “dual loyalty” and are more devoted to Israel than they are to their own countries.
How can American citizens who happen to be Jewish be "disloyal" to Israel? They're Americans! The current right-wing government of Israel, run by that petty criminal Benjamin Netanyahu, has occupied the Sudetenland West Bank and Gaza strip, turned Christian and Muslim Israelis into second-class citizens, and kept millions of Palestinians in ghettos reminiscent of 1940s Warsaw. American Jews, in particular, are quite conscious of how dangerously close Israel is to morphing into a clone of Nazi Germany.

Was Trump's father disloyal to Germany when he opposed Nazi Germany in WWII? (At least we assume he opposed Nazi Germany -- maybe he didn't. That would explain a whole lot about his son, wouldn't it?)

Donald Trump is this close to telling American Jews that they should leave the United States and "go back" to Israel, just like he told four women members of the House of Representatives to go back to the countries they came from -- when three of them were born in the United States.

When neo-Nazis hear Trump accusing Jewish Americans of "disloyalty" he's saying exactly what they're saying, giving them justification for murdering Jews. Any nuance about it being Israel they're being disloyal to will be lost -- the neo-nazis who love Trump will only hear that Jews are disloyal and conclude that Trump wants them to kill Jews.

And then Trump has the gall to call himself the king of Israel. Well, Donald, if you're king of Israel you are automatically disqualified from being president of the United States.

We'll expect your resignation in the morning.