Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wonder Woman Is Also A Comic Book Character!

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
All the world's waiting for you,
and the power you possess.

In your satin tights,
Fighting for your rights
And the old Red, White and Blue.

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
Now the world is ready for you,
and the wonders you can do.

Make a hawk a dove,
Stop a war with love,
Make a liar tell the truth.

Wonder Woman,
Get us out from under, Wonder Woman.
All our hopes are pinned upon you.
And the magic that you do.

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
You're a wonder, Wonder Woman.

Hi there! Welcome to I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog that can make a hawk a dove, stop a war with love. I’m Dave-El and I’m fighting for your rights in my satin tights.

Yes, the Wonder Woman movie is coming and so far, the word is it doesn’t suck! Which puts it above Suicide Squad, Batman V Superman and Man Of Steel. In fact, the buzz on Wonder Woman is that it does better than simply “not suck”. It’s reportedly actually pretty damn good.

Well, that’s nice.

It’s nice to see a DC Comics movie actually get a high level of approval usually reserved for Marvel’s cinematic universe. But not only that, it’s good to see that the first major motion picture starring a female comic book super hero getting some really good reviews.  And even better, that the female comic book super hero is Wonder Woman, the first super powered woman to headline her own comic that was not a spin off from an existing male super hero.  As such, Wonder Woman holds a special place of affection for women, comic books or not. 

Most know of Wonder Woman from the TV show starring Lynda Carter back in the 1970s. Yes, the show was cheap and cheesy but Carter herself was a perfect choice to play Wonder Woman who looked like the character had stepped right out of the pages of the comic books. Carter’s Wonder Woman was strong and beautiful but she brought a sense of joy and compassion to the role.

Wonder Woman was part of the Super Friends which gave her even more exposure to a wide audience. Super Friends was no artistic achievement but it did show Wonder Woman on equal footing with the other male super heroes, a character of strength, competence and confidence on par with Superman and Batman. 

Wonder Woman/Super Friends model sheet by Alex Toth

Wonder Woman received more nuanced characterization but was still a strong and capable hero in the far superior Justice League animated series from producer Bruce Timm.

There are millions of women who are fans of Wonder Woman who perhaps never read a Wonder Woman comic book. 

The again, Wonder Woman has not necessarily excelled is in the medium of her birth, comic books.  Wonder Woman was created by writer William Moulton Marston who had a very progressive view of women as powerful and dominant. It was this perspective that informed his creation of Diana, a princess of the Amazons from long lost Paradise Island. Using powers and weapons of the gods, she came to man’s world on a mission of peace but more than ready to fight against tyranny, oppression and evil. 

But while Marston thought women were superior, he had a predilection for tying them up. Wonder Woman was forever getting chained up or bound with her own magic lasso. It is a standard trope for heroes to be caught in a trap. Batman and/or Robin would get conked over the head and wake up tied up to some dynamite or something. But Wonder Woman’s status of being tied in a trap was so ridiculously recurring in almost every story and several different times within a story, editors at DC had to constantly remind Marston to tone it down. One reason Marston got away with it as much as he did was his choice of artist to draw Wonder Woman.

Born in 1880, Harry G Peter was a magazine illustrator since the start of the 20th century. He was already an old man when Marston recruited him to draw Wonder Woman. Peter’s aesthetic was more towards children’s fairytales. For all the bondage stuff going on, there was a lack of sexualization in Peter’s art. After Marston died in 1947, H G Peter continued to draw Wonder Woman until his death in 1958.

Bob Kanigher took over from Marston and remained in charge of Wonder Woman until the 1960s. While Kanigher pulled back considerably from Marston’s excesses, he was prone to some really strange story ideas. After H G Peter, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito took over as the regular art team. With a cleaner line and more standard comic book style, Wonder Woman by Andru and Esposito was statuesque and beautiful but lacking in any overt sex appeal. Except for the costume, wonder Woman could have been your mom at a PTA meeting.

After a misbegotten effort to return Wonder Woman to a Golden Age style with Andru & Esposito doing their best H G Peter impression, Kanigher was off the book and a new direction was taken by Denny O’Neil, Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano. Wonder Woman was stripped of her powers and her alter ego Diana Prince became a super spy in the mold of TV’s Emma Peel from The Avengers. It was a move made with the best of intentions, to make Wonder Woman relevant to the late 1960s and showing how awesome she could be even without powers. 

However well intentioned, this new series sent the message that Wonder Woman could only make it by giving up power, the opposite message of the nascent feminist movement of the early 1970s. Gloria Steinem, the leading spokesperson for feminism, addressed the issue of Wonder Woman being without power directly to DC Comics who re-powered the Amazon Princess and put her back into costumed action.

The cover to the 1st issue of Ms. magazine; I think the art is by DC artist Murphy Anderson. 

But DC Comics didn't always seem to know what to do with Wonder Woman. Bob Kanigher returned to the title but was revising old scripts from the 1940s to be drawn as new stories. 

Dealing with a memory loss, Wonder Woman refused to rejoin the Justice League without testing herself. Various Leaguers took turns watching Wonder Woman to prove to her she still had what it takes. Below is the cover of one of these issues. This is the cover to the first Wonder Woman comic I ever bought. 

When the Wonder Woman TV series debuted, it was set in World War II. So the book switched to the adventures of the Earth 2 Wonder Woman in World War II; the book stayed with that long after the TV show moved to the present day. 

Finally, the book went back to Earth 1 and present day stories. Ultimately, Wonder Woman's title came to an end in 1986 with Diana being killed by the Anti-Monitor in the last issue of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

It was then that George Perez got involved, plotting and pencilling a new Wonder Woman series, crafting a new mythology on the blank slate left in the aftermath of the Crisis. 

It was perhaps the first serious long term approach to developing adventures for the Amazon Warrior. George scrapped the pastiche of gods and goddesses of the past, focusing on Greek mythology. This Wonder Woman had a point of view unique among DC's super heroes: she was truly an ambassador of peace first and foremost; but she was trained as a warrior. As a warrior, she could more of a threat than Superman or Green Lantern. Wonder Woman balanced the demands of peace and the power of war in a way no one else could. 

Since George Perez set the standard, Wonder Woman has attracted top shelf creators like John Byrne, Phil Jiminez, Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, Liam Sharp and more. 

The upshot is that Wonder Woman has been afforded more respect with creators who have a vision and a plan. Since DC's Rebirth initiative launched last year, I've been following Greg Rucka's return to this amazing character; paired with great art, Wonder Woman I would dare say has never been better. 

And at a time when Wonder Woman is about to take  the biggest stage of her career, in a major motion picture that is being talked up as one of the best super hero movies ever. 

The plan is for my family to see Wonder Woman this Saturday as part of wife's birthday celebration. I will have a write up about that on the blog next week.  

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

It's what Wonder Woman would want you to do.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Nobody Likes Donald Trump (Not Even Doctor Who!)

Hi there! Welcome to I’m So Glad My suffering Amuses You, a secret back channel to the highest levels of the Russian government. I’m Dave-El, your humble blogger and secret golf partner to Jared Kushner.


So whazzup?

The Russia story took another twist in the last few days as the investigation into Russian meddling in the US election process and possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's campaign leads right up to Li'l Donnie's front door. Seems Trump's son in law and all around go-to guy Jared Kushner is in the crosshairs for apparently trying to set up a back channel line of contact with Russia using Russian resources. Yes, a line of communication open to the Russians but not to our government. Damn! There's less fishiness at a Red Lobster.

Trump keeps pushing the narrative that the whole Russia thing is "fake news". It's funny how Trump has embraced the mantra of "fake news" as his "get out of jail free" card for any news he doesn't like when it was fake news about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the Democrats that helped hand him the election. 


So Donald Trump is back in the United States. Damn! Where’s a travel ban when you fucking need one?

While Li’l Donnie managed to not start any wars during his first big boy trip all by his widdle self, he didn’t do much for his rep with the heads of state he met on his journey.
  • Germany’s Angela Merkel went home and said, “Fuck the Americans! We’re on our own.”
  • French President Macron made it a point to say that he would not back down to Trump no more than he would back down to Russian’s Putin or Turkey’s Erdogan. Yep, Macron compared Trump to autocratic strongmen Putin and Erdogan who are both extremely disassociated from democratic ideals.  Of course, Trump would be dumb enough to see that as a compliment. 


Even Israel’s Benjaimin Netinyatu distanced himself from Trump. Netinyahu was very, very happy that Trump would be President after Obama was gone. But Trump blundered into the proverbial minefield of Israeli/Palestinian relations with Trump making comments that run counter to Netinyahu's preferred hardline. 


Essentially what I could gather was that there was a lot of eye rolling by various foreign leaders in reaction to Trump’s overseas trip. Trump gained no respect from the leaders of the world and lost what little he had.


So Trump is an embarrassment at home AND abroad. If that’s what you were going for, then way to go, Li’l Donnie!

And speaking of no respect, get a load of this headline from Huff Post: 

Early in “The Pyramid At The End Of The World,” the secretary-general of the United Nations asks the Doctor’s companion Bill (played by Pearl Mackie), for help finding the president. 
“How would I know the president? I mean, I wouldn’t have even voted for him,” she replied. “He’s... orange.”
As it turns out, the secretary-general wasn’t looking for President Donald Trump, but rather another leader: The Doctor himself, played by Peter Capaldi, who is president of the Earth. 

On the subject of Doctor Who and The Pyramid At The End Of The World,” where is the write up on this episode that aired this past Saturday? 

It's becoming clear that I'm just not going to be able to deliver my post on Sunday or even Monday, my post on The Pyramid At The End Of The World" will appear this Saturday (June 3rd) and for the rest of this season, my posts on a new Saturday episode will appear on this blog the following Saturday. If you need info on the new Doctor Who episode sooner than that, there are excellent recaps and reviews on The, Entertainment and 

By and by, it looks like I won't be writing more about Class. We are now three weeks behind on this series and there's not a lot of importance being attached on catching up.

Tomorrow, what with the Wonder Woman movie coming out this weekend and Saturday being Wonder Woman Day (it's also my wife's birthday), the blog will take a look at Wonder Woman. Thursday and Friday will be on same damn thing or another (at least once, something on Trump; sorry!).

And Saturday will be my Doctor Who post on The Pyramid At The End Of The World". 

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

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

Hi there! It's a Monday but I'm not at work.  Here in the United States, today is Memorial Day, a day to grill meat or meat-like products, go to the pool or the beach and mark the beginning of the summer season of blockbuster movies, out door BBQs and going without pants whenever possible. 

It is, however and primarily, a day of remembrance, of veterans of our armed services who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and never made it back home. 

For all the fun that can be had on this day (and yes, my day will include hot dogs and time at the pool), let's not forget why the day exists. 

In case you're wondering, no, I do not have the post ready for this past Saturday's Doctor Who episode, The Pyramid at the End of the World. It was quite the doozy of an episode but time has not been on my side to write about it. I may have to just start aiming to have these ready for the following Saturday after an episode airs. 

Or something. 

Anyway, until next time, remember to be good to one another. 

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. 

The Wheel of Death and Life Turns

Putting the “fun” in funeral, at the service for former First Lady Barbara Bush, former President Barack Obama made current First Lady M...