Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Trump Doth Protest Too Much

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks" is a quotation from the 1599/ 1600 play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. It has been used as a figure of speech, in various phrasings, to describe someone's too frequent and vehement attempts to convince others of some matter of which the opposite is true, thereby making themselves appear defensive, and insincere.


Because Li’l Donnie Trump is a bad boy who just can’t help himself, he can’t make any statement or Tweet with lying about something.


For example, get a load of this Twitter shit from Trump:  


“The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!”

To quote the outgoing Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, "What a fucking moron." 


Where to start? Well, since Trump is stupid, let’s make this easy and start at the top.


The probe wasn’t started because there was collusion or a crime. The probe was started, among other things, to see if there was collusion or a crime.


And Mueller was only brought on board because Li’l Donnie fired FBI Director James Comey after he testified before Congress two months earlier that his agency had been investigating allegations that Trump's 2016 campaign might have contacts with Russian entities.

While Trump insists there “was no crime,” Mueller has charged 19 different individuals with crimes, including Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman (Paul Manafort) and 13 Russian nationals. In addition, five individuals have pleaded guilty, including Trump’s former national security adviser (Michael Flynn), a former top Trump campaign and transition official (Rick Gates) and a former Trump foreign-policy adviser (George Papadopoulos).

Trump says there was “no collusion” but even Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee call that into question. “What we said … is that we found no evidence of it,” Rep. Michael Conaway said.  

Damn! Back to the whole “fake dossier” shit again? Hell, Democrats and Republicans have both admitted the original inquiry began with George Papadopoulos’ conversation with an Australian diplomat that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton. “The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Peter Strzok.” That bit is from the memo Rep. Devin Nunes produced and no one is sucking on Trump’s tiny dick more than Nunes. 

Was the FISA wiretap of former Trump adviser Carter Page surveillance of the Trump campaign? The FISA court order to begin surveillance on Page took place after Page left the campaign. 

Trump’s constant criticism of the Mueller probe does beg the question: If Trump is telling the truth (Ha!) and there was no collusion or crime, then the probe would vindicate him, right?

Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, said if the president was innocent, he should ‘act like it’ and leave Mr. Mueller alone, warning of dire repercussions if the president tried to fire the special counsel.

Li'l Donnie doth protest too much, methinks.  

Monday, March 19, 2018

This (Non) Sporting Life: NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Welcome to another edition of This (Non) Sporting Life, a blog post about sports written by a guy who does not know a lot about sports. This post is on the NCAA Men's Basketball  Tournament. 

I know North Carolina is out of it, defeated in the 2nd round by Texas A&M. I know this from the overwhelming vortex of heavy dejected sighs that surrounds my wife, Andrea. She's a life long fan of the Tarheels and she does not cope well when they are defeated. She really takes it personally and when Carolina gets bumped out of the NCAA Men's Basketball  Tournament, we're talking "death of a close relative" levels of sadness. 

Never mind that Carolina did not get knocked out of the tournament last year but wound up winning the whole damn thing. But that was last year. 

The Duke Blue Devil's advanced in both rounds this weekend which makes me happy. Yes, this is a household that has a Carolina fan married to a Duke fan. How does that work? Well, I do try to be respectful of Andrea's feelings. Yes, Duke is going on to the Sweet 16 next weekend and in my heart I'm all like....


But because Carolina got beat and is now out of the tournament, I have to outwardly be all like...


Is that fair? Who cares? If I push too hard on this subject, i might be forced to defend why I'm a Duke fan. Since it all began many non-married years ago when I was working on getting inside this girl's pants who happened to be a Duke fan, I really don't think that would be a subject I should get into with my wife.  

And heaven help me if the subject did come up and then I have to answer if I succeeded in getting inside this girl's pants and if Andrea knows this person. Yes, this is a subject I should avoid. 

So Duke is going to the sweet sixteen? Yes and my response to that will remain...


Speaking of the number "sixteen",  the big story from this weekend's NCAA Men's Basketball  Tournament was a 16 seed beating a number 1 seed for the first time ever in the history of NCAA Men's Basketball  Tournament.   

Andrea and I saw history actually unfold as we watched 16th seeded UMBC defeat #1 seed Virginia. And it wasn't even close with UMBC defeating Virginia by 20 points. Wow!  

OK, what the hell is UMBC? 

UMBC is the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, a public research university, located in Baltimore County, mostly in the community of Catonsville. UMBC has been named the #1 Up-and-Coming University for six years in a row, since 2009, by US News & World Report which has also placed UMBC in the top ten for best undergraduate teaching six years in a row.  

I can imagine whatever bookie took a bet on UMBC winning against Virginia is one pissed off bookie.  

I actually watched the 2nd half of UMBC's 2nd game on Sunday against Kansas State where the magic came sadly to an end. But was cool while it lasted.  

That's it for this edition of This (Non) Sporting Life. Remember to be good to one another and don't forget: 


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Doctor Who and the Queen's Paycut

Queen Elizabeth II makes less than Prince Phillip? And it’s all Doctor Who’s fault!!!


Two producers of Netflix's royal family drama "The Crown" admitted that Claire Foy, the actress who plays the lead character, Queen Elizabeth II, was paid less than Matt Smith who plays Prince Philip. 


Suzanne Mackie, creative director  on "The Crown”  said that Smith received a larger paycheck due to his fame as the titular character on the long-running BBC sci-fi series "Doctor Who."  Claire Foy was relatively unknown when she was cast to play the Queen.


Ok, it sort of make sense. Matt Smith was a marquee name from his four years on Doctor Who so it stands to reason that his compensation would  be impacted by that notoriety.


However, Queen Elizabeth II is the lead character in The Crown. It is her journey as monarch that drives the narrative. While Smith’s level of fame may have boosted his pay, it seems to me that Foy’s level of responsibility of carrying this damn show should  reflect a commiserate level of compensation.  


I can see how Smith’s fame may have driven up his salary in a supporting role to match the lead role but it should not exceed the lead actor’s pay. 


Suzanne Mackie  did note that "going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.” 


The show is recasting roles as the characters age. Starting in Season 3, the Queen will be portrayed by Olivia Colman. New casting for Prince Phillip has not been announced. 


Meanwhile, Claire Foy and Matt Smith are off to decidedly less royal and less glamorous roles with Patient Zero, a horror film Smith shot in 2015 finally set to be released sometime this year and Claire Foy will be seen in Unsane, a psychological horror-thriller film by Steven Soderbergh due to be released next weekend. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

This May Not Be Where You're Going

If you're going where I think you're going.....

...you may be in the wrong place.   

Friday, March 16, 2018

How To NOT Succeed In Business

Hi there! Welcome to the I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You Business Report, brought to you by Mattresses.


I’m Dave-El and I wanted to touch base on a couple of recent developments in the world of business.


Toys "R" Us is going out of business in the U.S. which involves shutting down 735 stores which will put about 33,000 people out of work which is a serious bummer. 


Toys "R" Us declared bankruptcy in September last year but was unable to convince creditors to refinance its more than $5 billion in debt. 


This dire end for Toys "R" Us did not happen overnight. The chain was hobbled by debt stemming from a 2005 leveraged buyout, a deal placed it at disadvantage against Amazon, Walmart and Target which have really dominated the market for toys and games over the last decade. 


I know from personal experience that I have not been in a Toys "R" Us in years. When I did go there, it was often against my will when Andrea said it was time to go shopping for our daughter’s birthday and Christmas. In recent years, we have made toys and game purchases through Amazon, Walmart and Target.  


My issues with Toys "R" Us mostly stemmed from my own distastes for overstimulating environments with too much stuff, too much light and noise. If Toys "R" Us was competitive when it came to prices  I would’ve been more tolerant of the excess but I personally never saw a significant savings in buying toys from Toys "R" Us as opposed to purchasing stuff from Amazon, Walmart and Target. 


Nonetheless, I am still sad to see Toys "R" Us heading to extinction. It was always fun to see what could be found in the Toys "R" Us overstuff sales catalog for Christmas. I will even miss the Toys "R" Us commercial jingle.


And there’s that whole  <insert word here> "R" Us thing it was fun to name businesses after.  


Lookheed-Martin becomes Airplanes "R" Us.

Whole Foods can be Overpriced Food "R" Us.
Oscar Meyers would be Luncheon Meat "R" Us.

Smith & Wesson could be Guns "R" Us.


You get the gist.  



I was interested to hear that iHeartMedia filed for bankruptcy.


Talking in less money than the debt is going up, iHeartMedia reached an agreement to restructure more than $10 billion in debt.  


The company has struggled with falling revenue in recent years, as it competed with streaming rivals like Spotify and Pandora.


Also contributing to its woes is iHeartMedia’s mission to suck the soul and joy out of radio. Basically, an iHeartRadio station in Massachusetts will sound pretty much like an iHeartRadio station in Alabama which will sound like  an iHeartRadio station in Nebraska which sounds like every iHeartRadio station everywhere.


Radio works best when it can relate its local or regional audience. On iHeartRadio stations, play lists are homogenous, on air talent is irrelevant. There is little incentive to listen to radio instead of a music streaming service that sends you music designed specifically for you.


When I was younger and imagined I might have a career in radio, there were opportunities to establish a point of view, a personality whether it was the afternoon drive guy, the night time DJ or the overnight graveyard shift. Now, the only timeframe that allows anything resembling a distinctive on air identity is morning drive and even there, unique shows compete with syndicated packages broadcast over different stations. Since there is little to draw ears to traditional radio and  iHeartMedia is determined to erase what’s left, it’s no wonder iHeartMediais struggling. It is a struggle that it has helped to bring upon itself. 

This has been the I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You Business Report, brought to you by Chicken.

The Russian Thing

The Russian Thing is still a thing. The House committee looking into this has declared the opposite, that the Russian Thing is NOT a thing but the Senate committee is still looking into this as is special counsel Robert Mueller.

Specifically, the Republicans running the House committee investigating the Russian Thing have said there’s nothing going on here. The Democrats on that committee seem to think such a pronouncement is premature but they are not in charge and we all know the Dems are just a bunch of pussies who can’t cope that Hillary lost, right?

Should we address that House committee chairperson Devin Nunes has been in the tank for Trump since day one? Probably no need for that since we can be sure that Nunes would not be biased in favor of Trump, now would he? 

Meanwhile, the office of special counsel Robert Mueller still thinks the Russian Thing is still a thing. It looks like Bob wants to chat with Li’l Donnie Trump himself which could be a problem for Trump. His own lawyers don’t like this because of Trump’s active aversion to facts. What you and I call “lying”. 

There is also Trump’s active aversion to intelligence. What you and I call “stupidity”.  

There are concerns that Mueller could “trick” Trump somehow. And Trump, a man who has frequently boasted of his smarts, would fall for it.

Maybe such trickery would go down like this.

Mueller: Did you collude with Russia?

Trump: No.

Mueller: Yeah, you’re too stupid to know how to collude with Russia.

Trump: Too stupid”? Me? I’m smart. I know all the best words! ME? Let me tell you….

(30 minutes later)

Trump: Then Jared gave the envelope of unmarked bills to Manafort who made the drop at a park bench in Moscow. Then Putin sent the data file to Assange who posted Panetta’s emails! Me? Too stupid to collude with Russia? HA!

 Oh, that darn Mueller, he's a sneaky one, ain't he? 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Oh No! Not a Post About Tariffs...AGAIN?!?!

Oh my God! I’m not going talk about tariffs again, am I? OK, just a brief point.


  • Li’l Donnie’s chief economic advisor Gary Cohn opposed putting tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
  • Li’l Donnie’s all “Nyah! Nyah! Nyah! I’m President and you’re not” and put tariffs on imported steel and aluminum anyway.
  • Gary Cohn figures, “Hey, I don’t need this shit" and quits as Li’l Donnie’s chief economic advisor.
  • Li’l Donnie’s choice for his new chief economic advisor is Larry Kudlow.
  • Larry Kudlow opposed putting tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.


OK, so how did Larry Kudlow get the job? This is what Kudlow had to say about Li’l Donnie’s leadership: "He's completely in command. He's a smart man.” 


To be blunt, Trump doesn’t care what he  believes. Will putting tariffs on imported steel and aluminum help him with his base? It does? Then damn boy, let’s put some fucking tariffs on fucking imported steel and aluminum.

And if Trump doesn’t care what he  believes, why should he care what his subordinates believe? Li’l Donnie is going to do what he wants, no matter what. In fact, Trump loves pitting himself in battle against others in Washington, even if those persons are in Washington because he put them there.


What Trump cares about is, as always, his own ego. The fact that Kudlow and Cohn are not that far apart on free trade and tariffs is irrelevant. What Kudlow brings is the willingness to say stuff like "He's completely in command. He's a smart man.” 


Trump Doth Protest Too Much

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks" is a quotation from the 1599/ 1600 play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. It has been ...