Saturday, May 27, 2017

Late Night TV or Trump Is Good For (Funny) Business


Hi there! It’s another day of Donald Trump playing dress up as President. The idea of Trump as President is like a grizzly bear wearing clothing and accessories from the Ivanka Trump collection: 


It shouldn’t have happened.

It shouldn’t be happening.

What can we do to stop it happening?   

The concept of Li’l Donnie as President is like the plot of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie: it doesn’t makes sense.  

What is Trump in the White House good for? I’m tempted to say “Absolutely nothing! Huh! Say it again!” But he has been good for one thing.  

Trump in the White House has been good for business if you’re in the field of late night television comedy. 

Saturday Night Live wrapped up it’s season last week with a number of departures. Cast members Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa bayer & Shameer Zamata are moving on to other things. And we may have said good-bye to Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump.  

Poor Alec! When he was approached last summer to play Donald Trump on SNL, he thought, “Eh, why not? It’ll be good for a few laughs: Besides, it’ll be over after November 8th.” 

Then Li’l Donnie went and won the election, you li’l stinker, you! So SNL was not done with Trump and Alec Baldwin was still on the hook. And Trump as “President” provided a rich mine of new comedy even as the thought of it filled our minds with nightmares and our stomachs with revulsion. So Trump is in the White House and we’re so doomed. If we can’t stop the son of a bitch, we will sure as hell laugh at him. “Yes, Li’l Donnie, we’re NOT laughing with you. We are laughing AT you!” 

One of the funniest things spinning out of the Trump presidency was Donald’s choice for Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, an angry sputtering individual with no self-control. Yeah, lets put this guy in front of a bunch of pesky reporters with their pesky questions and their pesky habit of expecting honest answers that make sense. But it was a very unexpected stroke of luck or genius to cast Melissa McCarthy as Spicer. Melissa was like Super Spicey, ramming the press podium into reporters, blasting them with leaf blowers and fire extinguishers, using dolls to explain what Trump is doing. Fun stuff!

But Spicey may be on the way out. It seems the rumors keep circling that Sean Spicer’s days as Press Secretary are numbered. At the end of the Spicer sketch, Spicey tells Trump, “We had a good run, didn’t we?” When the summer is over and SNL returns in the fall, we may not have Spicey to kick around anymore. 

We will, God help us, likely still have Trump with us. You might rubbing your hands together with glee that this whole Russian mess will blow up and Li’l Donnie will get his fat, orange ass impeached. But the Republicans in Congress won’t do that and even if they did, these things take time. 

But Alec Baldwin? Dude, the guy has other things to do than sit in a make chair each Saturday to get slathered in orange Play-Doh and riff on whatever dumb ass thing Trump did that week. Darrell Hammond is still on the show as it’s announcer and he was a perfectly fine Trump before Baldwin came along. But to really piss Trump off, they should get Leslie Jones to do it. Li’l Donnie being made fun of on TV by a black woman? I think he might crack. 

But who knows. By this fall, the zeitgeist may have shifted and we no longer find “what shithead fuckery did Trump do this week” to no longer be that funny.

But the season just past, Trump was good for SNL’s business with the show enjoying it’s highest ratings in years. 

Also looking at ratings success in the Trump era is The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Colbert really came into his own with his lacerating attacks on Trump’s competence and character and the significant lack thereof. Late night talk shows hosts doing jokes at the expense of whoever is the President is nothing new. Johnny Carson got his licks in on Lyndon Johnson to Bill Clinton. But it was humor based on their personal foibles and less about actual policy. Stephen Colbert is different. Colbert’s humor comes from the no-holds barred assessment that Trump is a horrible human being and should not be President. It seems to be working as Colbert is winning his time slot. 

Meanwhile at 12:30 and over at NBC, Late Night With Seth Meyers is producing some really great comedy based on Trump and his Republican enablers, particularly in a segment called "A Closer Look". This is a long form takedown of the news beyond the headlines. It's insightful and well researched journalism matched with Seth's biting wit. It's the kind of stuff that The Daily Show did so well when Jon Stewart was there. (Oh, Jon, we still miss you so.)  

So Donald Trump may be the worse thing to hit the American Presidency since Bill Clinton flicked cigar ash on the Oval Office rug. But at least we can laugh at Trump's imbecilic actions and those of his cohorts. 

God help us, we may ultimately die laughing. 


Friday, May 26, 2017

Trump’s World Tour (Brought To You By KFC)


I'm going to babble a bit about Trump's trip abroad ("No broads; Melania's coming with me!") but first, I can’t let this go without comment: did you hear about Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for Congress in Montana who body slammed a reporter for asking a question about health care?

‘Tis true! The candidate’s campaign issued a statement blaming the altercation on a rude and pushy “liberal” reporter. Well, there’s an audio recording that corroborates the reporter’s story. And 3 people with a Fox News crew backed him up.



Dude, you’re a Republican and even Fox News isn’t taking up for you? Dude!



Would this act of violence hurt Greg Gianforte? Hell, he probably ticked up a couple of points in the polls from voters who heard that he body slammed a “liberal” reporter and went, “Oh HELL yeah!” 

Get a load of this exchange: 

Last month, a voter at a Gianforte town hall pointed out a journalist in the room, called the media “the enemy” and mimed the act of wringing a neck. 

Gianforte smiled and pointed at the reporter. 


“We have someone right here,” he said, according to the Ravalli Republic. “It seems like there are more of us than there is of him.” 

For the source of that and more about Ginaforte, click here.  


The election was over last night and guess what? Greg Gianforte is going to Washington DC to presumably body slam Nancy Pelosi. Oh, the White House may be in his future.


OK, on to today's regularly scheduled topic.


Trump’s World Tour (brought to you by KFC) continues and so far, he hasn’t started any wars so good on you, Li’l Donnie. Of course, the trip ain’t over yet.



Trump levels of hypocrisy were on display.


1) Melania arrived with Li’l Donnie in Saudi Arabia sans head scarf. Guess who bitched about Michelle Obama on her previous trip not wearing a head scarf being a sign of disrespect to the Saudis? I’ll give you a hint: he’s orange, has small hands.


2) Li’l Donnie bowed as King Salman bin Abdulaziz placed a medal around Trump’s neck. Guess who bitched about Barack Obama for bowing to a foreign leader?  Yep, Li’l Donnie. Not only did Trump bow, he curtsied. Yes, Donald Trump bowed and fucking CURTSIED!


3) Trump-wad also announced a multi-million dollar sale of fighter planes to Saudi Arabia; Trump said he would make sure they got a good deal. Guess who use to bitch that America was always coming up short and getting the shaft on our deals with other countries? The same guy angling to give the Saudis a discount. Hey, Trump-ass, how about making sure we’re getting a good deal? Wasn’t that supposed to be your whole thing? 



Then Trump forgot where Israel was. While in Israel, he remarked that he just come from the Middle East. Where the fuck does Li’l Donnie think Israel is? Maybe the high density of Jews per square mile confused him and he thought it was in South Florida.



Then it was off to the Vatican to meet the Pope. Yeah, the Pope. The same Pope that Li’l Donnie got into a Twitter feud with last year. Yep, Trump decided to pick a fight with a guy with a direct hotline to God. Given that Trump got elected, I don’t think God’s answering his phone. So Trump and the Pope were going to have a meet-up? AWKWARD!



Get a load of this photo.




The Pope does NOT want to be there with Trump. And the Pope is a nice guy. He loves everybody in the whole damn wide world.



Except this one guy.



In case you’re wondering about why Melania and Ivanka are dressed in black, they are not in mourning for the death of their souls in service to the orange tinged clown. Turns out, there’s a dress code for women meeting in a private audience with the Pope: you must wear black and keep ‘em covered. Keep the neckline up and the hemline down. There is an exception to the dress in black rule: if you are a woman who is Catholic and of Royalty, you get to wear white.



OK, that tangent got away from me. Where were we? OH yeah.



The Pope thinks Trump is an idiot.



And Pope Francis is a man of the people.

And then it was on to Brussels which Li'l Donnie once called a "hellhole". So  yeah, they really love Trump in Belgium, don't you know. Trump was there for a NATO summit. Trump has not had many nice things to say about NATO.

So yeah, this meeting is going to go great. 

NATO was ready for Trump. Foreign leaders were instructed not to engage with Li'l Donnie for no more than two minutes which is the limit of Trump's attention span. 

Trump reasserted his complaint that other countries in NATO are not paying their fair share of maintaining NATO. Then Trump spent the rest of the summit haggling over the bill, insisting he only had a salad and a glass of water. 

Hey, get a load this: 



President Donald Trump engaged in some sharp-elbowed diplomacy Thursday when he appeared to shove aside the prime minister of a tiny Balkan country and barge to the front of the pack for a group photo at the NATO summit. 


In a video that quickly went viral, an apparently grimacing Trump can be seen placing his right hand on the shoulder of Montenegro prime minister Dusko Markovic and then pushing him aside during the photo op in Brussels. 

Well, this is fun. 

Oh and there's this: 

Trump Reportedly Calls Germans 'Very Bad,' Vows To Stop U.S.-German Car Sales 

Well, well, well. Maybe Li'l Donnie will start a war after all. Over Volkswagens? Oh, why not?  

There's more to come of Trump's World Tour, brought to you by KFC!



Thanks for dropping by. Until next time, remember to be good to one another. 



Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Trump's Budget" or "Mick Mulvaney, You’re An Asshole"


So the Trump White House issued a issued a budget proposal on Tuesday that like most things associated with Trump is beneficial to the very rich and is a giant “fuck you” to his campaign promises to the not very rich who supported Trump in the 2016 election. 

 

Trump’s budget plan calls for more than $1 trillion in cuts to a wide range of social programs with millions of beneficiaries, from farm subsidies to federal student aid. That includes a $600 billion cut to Medicaid over 10 years, despite Trump’s repeated promises on the campaign trail not to cut the program. The budget also takes an ax to the federal food stamp program and Social Security Disability Insurance.

 

Trump also proposes some of the deepest cuts to agriculture subsidies since Ronald Reagan, squeezing out nearly $50 billion over 10 years.

 

In ten years, domestic spending would be capped at $429 billion per year while military spending soars to $722 billion.

 

The annual budget proposal – which has no chance of becoming law as proposed even though Republicans control Congress because GOP lawmakers write their own budget – serves as a starting point for negotiations and as a messaging document for the president and his party.

 

White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, one of the budget’s chief architects, rejected accusations that Trump’s budget unfairly targets the poor. “We need folks to work. We need people to go to work. If you’re on food stamps, and you're able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you’re on disability insurance and you're not supposed to be, we need you to work. There’s a dignity to work, and there’s a necessity to work.”

 

When I was a child, my family spent time on the food stamp program, not just when my dad was out of work. Even when he found a job, our income was still so low as to qualify us for food stamp assistance. There are millions of people in America today dealing with that same reality: even with jobs, they don’t earn enough. Even with jobs, they still struggle to climb up over the poverty line.

 

And that’s assuming there’s a job to be found. The level of desperation that drove people to vote for that idiot Trump was they thought they had been ignored by the system and by the economic recovery since the Great Recession. These are people who have been unemployed or under employed or under paid for nearly a decade.    

 

“There’s a dignity to work”? There a lot of Americans desparate to have that dignity. But until then, they need help.

 

Mick Mulvaney, you’re an asshole.

 

Trump’s budget would tighten the belt on programs for low-income families ranging from cash assistance to the child tax credit. Nearly $200 billion in cuts will come directly from the federal food stamp program, which helps feed 44 million people each year.

 

Trump would also slash $72 billion by tightening the rules for programs for people with disabilities — programs that Trump’s advisers have described as riddled with fraud and abuse. A federal watchdog, however, found last year that 17 anti-fraud programs already exist.

 

Mulvaney said, “We looked at this budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the bills.” 

 

Mick Mulvaney, you’re an asshole. AND a total dick. 

 

Let me be honest: I don’t like taxes. They are a burden, an annoyance. I pay property taxes on the Fortress of Ineptitude and one other home. And two cars. I pay sales tax on everything I buy. My income is taxed by the state of North Carolina and the United States government. That’s a lot of taxes! As one of the people who are actually paying the bills, Mr. Mulvaney, if you were to cut my taxes to zero, I would love that. Yay! No more taxes! I would take that!

 

Mick Mulvaney, you would still be an asshole. AND a total dick. And you know what? So would I! Fuck you, people in need! My taxes are gone! Woo-hoo!!!!

 

Who we are is best revealed by how we respond to those who are worse off than ourselves. Yes, Mr. Mulvaney, save me some money on my taxes but let’s not forget why we pay those taxes. To make sure that our nation is strong, healthy and safe. This condition is not a privilege of only the rich; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a privilege that is shared by all Americans. Whacking away at social safety net programs like the Grim Reaper wildly swinging his scythe does not make the people of this nation strong, healthy or safe. When the least of us is denied access to the American dream, of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we are diminished as a nation

 

Democrats vowed on Tuesday to ensure that the GOP pays a political price for the massive social safety-net cuts in Trump's budget, regardless of whether Congress follows through on enacting them.

 

But even some Republicans — both inside and outside Congress — say they’re worried about the sheer magnitude of the proposed cuts.

 

“I’m deeply concerned about the severity of the domestic cuts,” Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.). Rogers has been an outspoken critic of Trump’s proposed cuts to programs that benefit rural regions like his home state, like the Appalachian Regional Commission.

 

“I think we do need healthcare reform. I think we do need welfare reform. But the kinds of reductions that he’s talking about go exactly against the states that brought [Trump] to the dance, so to speak,” said G. William Hoagland, a former long-time Republican Senate budget aide.

 

He added, “The argument can be made that there are certainly programs that are not achieving their goals. That doesn’t mean we should take the money away and forget about it.”

 

The Trump White House budget proposal is just that, a proposal. Congress controls the purse strings and it's they that set the budget. But this proposal sets the baseline for budget negotiation and the message it sends should be a cold, sobering take on what Trump and his cronies really think: it’s the bottom line vs. human compassion.

 

And the bottom line is winning. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

When Dark Crosses Light


It is a disheartening thing when the darkness of tragedy crosses with the light of our entertainment ephemera.

I was thinking about this unfortunate confluence when I heard that Zack Snyder, director of the upcoming Justice League movie, was stepping away from the project in the wake of his family’s terrible loss, the death of his daughter at age 20 of suicide. No parent wants to outlive their children, especially under such heart-rending circumstances. Snyder had thought going back to work would help him cope but it didn’t. We need to give ourselves time to heal and that applies to wounds both physical and mental. Suddenly, the spectacle of seeing DC’s iconic super heroes teaming up and whether or not the movie will be any good seem trivial in a time of pain and loss. 
 
Art is important. Entertainment has a purpose, to exercise the imagination and our creative gifts. To sing, to act, to dance, to write, to draw, to tell jokes, its these talents that shapes the best of humanity against the worst.
 
Like in Manchester, England. Arianna Grande sang and dance, bringing joy and happiness to thousands of people in attendance. All Salman Abedi could bring was death and destruction in the form of a bomb. Arianna was there to raise the spirits of her fans. Salman Abedi was there to shatter those spirits.
 
It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? One minute, you’re dancing and singing along, laughing and feeling the happy uplift of the joy of being alive. In a second, that gets destroyed, in a shattering blast. Now there are screams of terror, cries of pain, the bone chilling stillness of the dead.
 
What did Salman Abedi  bring to this world? Nothing but death and destruction. Pathetic! Death and destruction are easy. Any stupid moron can kill, can destroy. But what about building something, of bringing joy to life? Death is easy; life requires more skill, more effort. Life requires art. Life needs art to light our way. Without art, we are lost in the dark, lost with our fear and ignorance. There are too many pathetic losers in this world like Salman Abedi. We have enough darkness.
 
We need more singers and actors and dancers and writers and artists and comedians. It’s hard to remember when the darkness of tragedy crosses with the light of our entertainment. But art is important. Art lights our way.
 
We can always use more light. 

Everyone, be good to one another. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Doctor Who Is NEW!: Extremis





Hi there! Yes, it's Monday once more before I can get my Doctor Who write up completed. I'm just too tired Saturday night and to be blunt about it, too lazy on Sunday.


And writing about this newest episode was a bit tricky as the Doctor faces a new alien threat without sight in a world that may not be real.

Whoa.


So after the break, I'll try to make sense of things. Caution: there will be spoilers, sweetie. 



The Doctor discovers a long lost secret Harry Potter novel.


Extremis
by Steven Moffat


A long time ago, we learn about the Doctor's oath, how and why he swore it, who he swore it for. Yes, we know who is in the vault.

Today, the Doctor is still blind when he gets a visit from the Pope. Apparently some weird stuff is going down in the Vatican. An ancient text called The Veritas has been translated and anyone who reads it immediately commits suicide. So the Doctor, Nardole (filling in whatever the sonic glasses can't convey to the Doctor) and Bill (whose date with a woman named Penny gets interrupted by the Pope) are off to a secret chamber deep underneath the Vatican. 

There the gang discovers a cardinal with the Veritas... and a laptop with a translation of the Veritas. The cardinal says he's "sent it", then runs away. A gun shot later tells us that another reader of the Veritas has taken his own life.  

There are portals opening up in the secret chamber. While the Doctor is working on reading the Veritas (yes, he's blind; more on that in a minute), Nardole and Bill explore the portals which are transports to different parts of the world. In one of them, Bill and Nardole discover a group of nuclear scientists who have read an emailed translation of the Veritas (that'll teach you to click on those questionable links in your emails) and are preparing to blow themselves up in a mass suicide.

Escaping from the suicidal scientists, Nardole realizes that the portals are not transporting them to other parts of the world but are holographic simulations. Then he discovers to his horror that he too is a simulation and vanishes. Bill is a bit bugged out by this and she follows a trail of blood through a portal, in search of the Doctor.

Backing up a bit, the Doctor is trying to jump start his eyesight to read the Veritas. The Doctor is borrowing from his future to be able to see but time is running out. Yes, there are aliens behind all this, tall, gaunt aliens of rotting flesh (yuck!) cloaked in red hooded robes. One of these alien monks takes the Veritas but the Doctor escapes with the laptop that has the translated Veritas on it. 

But whoops! The Doctor's eyesight is fading again as he stumbles through a portal. 

Which brings us back to Bill whose portal takes her to the White House to find that the president has killed himself because he too read the Veritas. The Doctor is there behind the Oval Office desk. He's read the Veritas. Or rather, he used an app to have it read to him.

The Veritas is the story of demons come to Earth to conquer it but create their own Earth to learn about Earth and practice how to best conquer the real thing. 

This world, the Doctor tells Bill, is not the real thing. It is a simulation and they too are simulations.  Bill vanishes with this knowledge. Leaving the Doctor alone with an alien monk. "The Doctor" tells the alien they made this world too good. His sonic sunglasses have been recording everything. The simulated Doctor sends all this information via an email...

To the real Doctor waiting outside the vault and his sonic sunglasses. Brought up to speed, the Doctor calls Bill who is not on a date with Penny as she thinks Penny is way out of her league. The Doctor says no, Bill should call her... NOW, in fact. Something is coming, something very bad and the Doctor thinks they're going to be very busy. 

OK, let's get this out of the way.

<ahem!>

WHO'S IN THE DANG VAULT?!?!

Well, it's Missy. 

OK, bit anti-climatic. The most common guesses involved the Master, either Michelle Gomez as Missy or John Simm's version. The story of the vault, who is inside it and the Doctor's oath to guard it is told in flashback. Missy is set to be executed and the Doctor, as a fellow Time Lord, is there to act as witness and executioner. The process also includes an oath to guard the body for a thousand years in case, you know, the deceased tries something.


The Doctor appears to carry out the execution but he may have messed with the wiring bit. Missy isn't dead.  The Doctor notes he made an oath to guard the body but there's nothing in that oath that says that the body has to be dead. Nardole helps the Doctor put Missy in the vault.


So Missy's in the vault.


But...


C'mon! This is Steven Moffat we're dealing with. We still have not actually seen inside the vault. We're presuming a lot of things that have not been confirmed.  Like actually seeing Missy in the vault.


Extremis is a particularly mind trippy episode as it goes full bore Inception. What we think is real isn't real. It really pulls the mind into a knot to realize that the bad guys have been controlling the game from the point the Pope and his posse of Cardinals come calling on the Doctor.


Nardole gets a couple of bad ass scenes in this episode with his appearance at Missy's execution and his standing up to Bill. Don't mess with the only person in the universe who has been officially sanctioned to kick the Doctor's ass. 


We find out the Daleks love to gossip about the Doctor. Missy mentions she knows the Doctor has been on Darrilium because that's what the Daleks say.


Dalek 1: How are you doing?
Dalek 2: Exterminate this! Exterminate that! I need a break.
Dalek 1: Did you hear what's up with the Doctor?
Dalek 2: I heard the Doctor was on Darrilium.
Dalek 1: Yeah. And he's there with his wife!
Dalek 2: His wife? No way!
Dalek 1: Yes, way! It's his last night with her before he meets her for the first time!
Dalek 2: Bugger! You need a flow chart to make sense of this.
Dalek 1: Tell me about it.
Dalek 2: Well, time to get back to work. Exterminate!
Dalek 1: Exterminate!


All joking aside, things have taken a darker turn from the previous episodes and not just literally for the Doctor who is still blind. It has been established that Time Lord's can regenerate at will, not just in a time of crisis; seems a quick regeneration would fix up the Doctor's vision. Maybe that will still happen. But we've seen regeneration has a re-set; the Doctor goes back to his current form before changing to a new body. So the Doctor could regenerate in the next episode (for example) but not change form until, say, the end of the 2017 Christmas special.


There's a lot to think about has we head into the back half of Series 10 and Peter Capaldi's swan song as the Doctor.


Until next time, remember to be good to one another.




Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Gravity of Trump


Poor Li’l Donnie! He’s the victim of  “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.” Well, Donald Trump said so. 


He’s also pissed that his administration is under the scrutiny of a special prosecutor while others just get off scot free. “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel [sic] appointed!” the president wrote on Twitter Thursday morning. What illegal acts is he accusing Clinton and Obama of committing? Well, does it matter? You know they must’ve done something illegal. Arrest them! 


I guess Trump must’ve been constipated during his morning Twitter session/bathroom break. He was in a better mood in  a statement released by the White House Wednesday night.


“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity,” the Wednesday-night statement from the White House, credited to Trump, said. “I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”


Wow. Li’l Donnie sounded almost grown up. But Thursday morning, the gravity of his insecurity pulled him back down as his fat ass hits the porcelain, his fingers dance across Twitter and Trump the Aggrieved Martyr is back! 


The Department of Justice announced Wednesday night that former FBI director Mueller will lead an independent investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in last year’s presidential campaign as well as into the possibility of collusion between the Kremlin and Trump associates.


The White House is battling multiple scandals — including Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, his alleged leak of highly classified material to Russian officials, and reports he pressured Comey to drop an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Scandals all of Trump’s own making.  If Trump is the target of “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history”, Li’l Donnie has been busy handing out the pitchforks and torches himself. 


While Trump jumps into a deep, dark pit of his own design (all the while insisting he was pushed), he’s dragging down other people who get caught in the gravity well of his ego and incompetence.  There's at least one person who maybe doesn’t deserve this. 


H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, spoke twice to cover for President Donald Trump after he was busted Monday by the Washington Post for blabbing highly classified terrorist threat intelligence to visiting Russian dignitaries.


McMaster: “No! No way! The President did not do that!”


Later…


Trump: “Yeah, I did that.”  


Alas, poor  McMaster, we had such hopes for you. You wrote the book on how a senior officer should not bend in serving the truth to the powerful. Now what? Perhaps the most respected officer of his generation was giving up his soul to provide shade for the Liar In Chief. 


McMaster earned the respect he was afforded by the press and his peers.  An intellectual with a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina, he made his rep on the field of battle, laying waste to bunches of Iraqi tanks during the first Gulf War. No arm chair general, H R McMaster fought and won in war, commanding respect from soldiers and civilians.


But now his veneer of respectability was threatened.  McMaster is a man of duty, thinking he had an obligation to serve the commander in chief of the armed forces if called. According to press reports, he’s not been Trump’s lackey prior to now, confronting him on the issues and even lecturing him on occasion. A condition that Trump has, unsurprisingly, not regarded favorably. 


So why, pray tell, did McMaster throw himself on this particular grenade? No good came of anyone who sacrificed their honor on Trump’s behalf. The gravity of Trump’s incompetence and amorality can’t help but drag down even good men. As McMaster is surely realizing to his regret.

The pull of Trump's gravity is too damn strong.



Pray he doesn't pull us all down with him.    

Friday, May 19, 2017

Speaking Ill of the Dead

I’m not one to speak ill of the recently deceased. Whatever judgments of history can wait until those who mourn have had their time to do so.


But of Roger Ailes who died yesterday?


Roger Ailes was a reprehensible excuse of a human being who devastated the principles of journalism while leaving a shattered democracy in his wake.


  • Donald Trump in the Oval Office? Roger Ailes made that possible.
  • An ideologically frozen Congress unable to maintain the basic functions of democratic governance? That’s on Roger Ailes!
  • An electorate ruled by fear and hatred? Lay that at the feet of Roger Ailes. 




It was Roger Ailes who started Fox News on the basis that news is a marketable commodity. Dress it up with beautiful mostly blonde women in short skirts to draw in the eyeballs of horny middle aged men and then give them an earful about what’s wrong with this country. 




There was nothing too small on the left of the political divide that wasn’t worthy of Fox News’ most outraged scorn.  And there was very little on the right side of the political divide that didn’t warrant fawning adulation and praise.

Fox News’ slogan was “Fair and Balanced” but Roger Ailes made sure it wasn’t, pushing a hard right conservative agenda and constantly haranguing of anything that remotely smacked of anything that wasn’t. another slogan for Fox News was “We report;you decide.” But Roger Ailes made sure that Fox News spent the entire day telling you what to think. There was no mere difference of opinions between Republican and Democratic views. No, Democrats were absolutely against you and your way of life. They hate America and will drag it down into liberal hell if not for the God-fearing, true blue patriotic Republicans. And it must be true. Those beautiful mostly blonde women in short skirts wouldn't lie to us, would they?





It was this toxic stew that Roger Ailes cooked up that gave us Donald Trump. Fox News and their brethren on the even farther right had pushed their viewers to such a state of angry indignation, they gave their support to a clearly unqualified buffoon. A Fox News viewer didn’t disagree with Hillary Clinton; no, they HATED her and cast their lot with the small handed, orange skinned moron with the gopher on his head.


Roger Ailes made that happen. Years, decades of grinding that axe against the grindstone of fear and hate, Ailes stoked a white hot rage that refused to countenance bi-partisanship. Compromise? Hell no! You don’t compromise with evil!


There’s an idiot in the White House and sniveling sycophants in the House and the Senate and Ailes’ creation is what put them there. 





I used to watch Fox News. There was a loose, friendly charm about the hosts and who am I kidding, it was for the hot babes in the short skirts. I’m a perv, OK? But I'm not only one.




Oh, Steve Doocy! You bad, bad boy.  

But I became aware of a disturbing repetitive nature to what I was hearing. Democrats were always wrong and Republicans were always right. ALWAYS! I’m a registered Republican; the first President I voted for was Ronald Reagan. And Democrats have a bad habit of failing to find their own asses with both hands behind them. But they weren’t always wrong! And when they were wrong, they were just, well, wrong, not all to undermine the American way of life. And Republicans were NOT always right. Sometimes their views defied logic and facts but Fox News would still sing their praises.






Roger Ailes gave us that. And we as a nation are so much poorer for it.


Roger Ailes just died yesterday but it’s not too soon to start shoveling dirt over his misbegotten place in American history.

Oh, here's a photo of Roger Ailes.



Sorry. My mistake. That's Jabba the Hutt. Let's try this again. 



Dammit! Jabba again?!? 

Oh never mind. 

And I'm so glad my suffering amuses you.  
______________________________________

OK, one last thing relating to Fox News. I commented on Wednesday that Donald Trump figured his problem isn't his message but his messengers. Was Press Secretary Sean Spicer on his way out? And would he be replaced by Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle? 

Guilfoyle gushed about the opportunity to take on that role. 
“I’m a patriot, and it would be an honor to serve the country,” she said. “I think it’d be a fascinating job … you need someone really determined and focused, a great communicator in there with deep knowledge to be able to handle that position.”

According to the Washington Examiner, President Trump picked up on her not-so-subtle message, but it had the opposite effect: Instead of endearing her to the president, Guilfoyle’s remarks reportedly made him “furious.” Apparently Li'l Donnie doesn't like others getting ahead of what he's going to do and thought Guilfoyle's comments were self-serving. (Does the kettle knows the pot is black?)  

So it may well be that this...



...will NOT wind up behind a White House press podium.  


Late Night TV or Trump Is Good For (Funny) Business

Hi there! It’s another day of Donald Trump playing dress up as President. The idea of Trump as President is like a grizzly bear wearing cl...