Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cadet Bone Spurs needs cliff's notes


Jesus motherfucking Christ! How much of a sociopath is our president that he needs "talking points" clutched in his tiny baby hands so he can pretend to relate to school students who just saw a bunch of their friends pointlessly gunned down?

I expect to see more sympathy from Patrick Bateman or M.E. Thomas than from our psychopathic president!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Russians are coming

I'm not sure what this means, but it doesn't smell good.

Suddenly my stupid little blog is getting a lot of hits from websites in Russia.

Maybe I triggered an algorithm because of all my references to Donald Trump being a "dick".

But that's mostly on Twitter, and I don't publish them here except on the side bar. Maybe I'll start linking my Twitter to this blog just to get my publishing numbers up.

Anyway, those Czarist fuckers are somehow messing with my blog. And I think it might be not a good thing.

But what the hell...who cares? I can delete the whole fucking thing tomorrow and I wouldn't have an ounce of regret.

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Simple Way To End The Gun Debate


Every time there's one of these senseless massacres, I tweet the same goddamned thing:

"Please release the crime scene photos!"

Just think of how the public would respond to seeing actual photographs of the children with their heads blown off.

With their little chests ripped apart by military rounds.

With their faces frozen into absolute horror as they died in an obscene frenzy of violence.

The idea of it is horrifying!


Yes, it would be gruesome.
Yes, it would be outrageous.
Yes, it would be very painful to the families of the victims.

And yes, it would have an immediate effect on the national discussion over gun control!

One of the ways gun supporters and the NRA have gotten so many politicians to vote for absolute free and nearly unfettered access to military-grade weapons is because the images we see in media are whitewashed of any of those things.

Imagine for an instant what the unified public reaction to images of the Parkland dead or the Newtown victims being shown as they lay in their classrooms; their lives torn from them because as a nation we can't seem to comprehend what most of the world easily knows.

That widespread easy access to guns inevitably results in increased violence!

Look at Australia. They suffered a horrific massacre in Port Arthur, where 35 people were killed in a senseless gun attack. This resulted in the National Firearms Programme Implementation Act 1996, restricting the private ownership of semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns as well as introducing uniform firearms licensing. It was implemented with bipartisan support by the Commonwealth, states and territories.

They worked together on passing this legislation.

It put an immediate end to this kind of tragedy.

For over 20 years, Australians have enjoyed the relative freedom of not being shot whilst going about their business, at least making gun violence as rare as, I dunno, being struck by lightning or choking to death on a kangaroo steak. (I actually don't know the odds of either of those two possibilities, but I expect they're quite remote, as is the possibility of those little kids from down under being gunned down in 3rd grade mathematics!)

So, what's it going to take to get the gun-toting NRA supporters to see the results of their fascination with military-grade weaponry?

Two ways, I think.

One, is for some of the parents of murdered children to publicly call for the release of the photos of their dead child, in order to perhaps make some sense of their deaths. It would be difficult for sure. But then again, I've seen enough interviews with bereaved parents to know that there are some who are so angry they would absolutely want to share the horrible photos of the crime scene in the hope that it will possibly result in effective gun legislation. And it might give them some comfort that their child's death has some meaning in preventing future attacks.

The other is for some law-enforcement or government employee who has had enough of seeing those photos as a requirement of their job to take a leap of faith and leak the photos to someone who has the cajones to release them into the public eye. A thumb drive plugged into the right USB port on the right computer for a minute or so may save countless kids from future attacks. (I would totally be willing to take the hit for releasing data like that, especially if it results in legislation that saves lives.)

This will have the immediate effect of getting the obscene reality of these killings into the minds of every single NRA-sponsored Congressman or Senator. And in the minds of the voters who will decide if they should continue to support them.

And then, those legislators will have to answer horribly awkward questions from EVERYONE about why they aren't doing ANYTHING about stopping this epidemic of gun-caused violence!

The world will change just a little bit, in that instant.

And sometimes, all it takes for history to change is just one, small, courageous step.

This could be that step!

When the mid-terms get really ramped up in the fall, Donald Trump will manufacture a reason to go to war with somebody, as he's already said that a war will be good for the Republicans.

Imagine if these photos were released two weeks before the election!

Every SINGLE legislator who took money from the NRA will be spending a lot more time at home.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Latest School Massacre, brought to you by the NRA

God have mercy on your NRA-kept souls:

Richard Burr
$6,986,620

Roy Blunt
$4,551,146

Thom Tillis
$4,418,012

Cory Gardner
$3,879,064

Marco Rubio
$3,303,355

Joni Ernst
$3,124,273

Rob Portman
$3,061,941

Todd Young
$2,896,732

Bill Cassidy
$2,861,047

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Ned Lamont back in Governor's race



After an eight-year hiatus from active political campaigning, our old friend Ned Lamont has jumped into the race for the soon-to-be-vacant seat of retiring Governor Dan Malloy.

The state is facing a fiscal crisis not too different from the one Malloy inherited from former gov. Jodi Rell eight years ago. The State Senate is dangerously close to the Democrats losing control unless there is a significant outpouring of Dem voters.

So, we're here now with Lamont back in the race. He's probably the candidate with the most name recognition from his past efforts, although there so far isn't a stand-out candidate in the race as far as I can tell. Things can change quickly though; current Comptroller Kevin Lembo was my early choice for the seat, but he bowed out while still in the exploratory phase. Lamont has apparently hastened from exploring to full-fledged candidate in a matter of weeks, as a result of polling he commissioned.

I do not doubt that those numbers showed promise!

So far I haven't see a lot of detailed policy issues discussed, other than general calls for more jobs, better infrastructure, lower health-care costs, etc. He has as recently as yesterday (Jan. 31st) come out in full support of Malloy's plan to add tolls to the highways as a way to generate more income.

It's a plan that's not very popular with the voters, and perhaps Ned would like to see it go through under Dan's watch so he can avoid taking the heat for it.

Then again, Ned has often taken the less-popular stance because he felt it was the right thing to do. We can always use leaders who make decisions with that in mind.

I tend to think that we do need tolls, as unpleasant as it sounds. It's a another form of a tax, but it's a "use" tax, where only the people who use the roads will be liable for it. And with a smart plan that uses the very best ideas other states have in their successful programs, it can be made virtually painless for state residents, while passing a large portion of the costs to out-of-state drivers and especially trucks that pass through Connecticut. A sliding rush-hour scale may encourage more commuters to use public transit, reducing the traffic on overburdened stretches like I-95 between Bridgeport and Stamford. This revenue will be used for projects like widening I-95 where the traffic has the worst bottlenecks.

Of course, there are plenty of issues besides tolls that come to mind. You can look at Ned's website and read up on his various ideas as he posts them, at NedLamont.com.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Night Music Club v.51

It's been a while, but recently I saw a film that reminded me of a lot of great songs from the 1980s, so here I go again...

The Cold-War spy thriller "Atomic Blonde" is a frenetic journey through Berlin during the final days of the Berlin Wall. It's definitely more a comic-book movie than a James Bond-style romp because there is literally NOTHING subtle about this film! Especially the extended, ridiculously violent fight scenes and gun battles! Fortunately, all it takes for Lorraine (Charlize Theron's character) to feel better is a splash in a tub filled with ice!

Well, except for the broken heart...(spoiler alert!)

Anyway, one of the things I liked best about the film was the soundtrack! Tunes by Nena (99 Luftballoons), The Clash (London Calling) and Siouxsie and the Banshees (Cities in Dust, which although was about ancient Pompeii's destruction, it stands as a vivid metaphor to the aftermath of a nuclear war) brought about a bit of cold-war nostalgia.

Being a teenager in the '70s and a young adult in the 80's, I was brought up with the knowledge that the world could end at pretty much any moment! Think about that. The United States and Soviet Union had a nuclear strategy called M.A.D., for Mutual Assured Destruction; or, in other words, both nations had so goddamn many weapons and delivery systems to guarantee that in the case of a nuclear war, there was NO doubt that both countries would be pulverized into radioactive dust, and then the dust would be atomized into a vapor that would no doubt poison the rest of the world!

As a child in the 1960s, I recall that in addition to our standard monthly fire drills, we had nuclear war drills. These were the infamous "duck and cover" routines that may have spared some of us from the initial blast, providing we weren't within the direct kill-zone, but did nothing to prepare us for what we might have had to endure in the succeeding days.

Because, everyone, including the teachers, knew if actual war on that scale broke out, we'd ALL be fucked!

Yeah, try getting a good night's sleep with that thought rattling around your head...

I think that's why I grew up with a sort of hey, whatever happens, happens kind of attitude. Try to effect change where it's possible, but beyond that, you're pretty much at the mercy of...whatever!

Falco released the Euro-hit song "Der Kommissar" in 1981, in German. The following year he released a version in English. But both of those songs failed to chart in America at the time. The band After The Fire released their own English version of the song that was moderately successful, and it brought new interest in the original German version, which became a minor hit.

After The Fire's version is much slicker and marketable, which is probably why I prefer Falco's version in German. The music video looks super-low quality, even for early 80's sensibilities. Which is part of its charm.

Here's Falco - Der Kommissar:



BONUS VIDEO ACTION

I dug a little deeper (2 seconds on Google) and found the After The Fire version of the song, which is a lot cooler and more intriguing than Falco's original. But I still like the Falco version a bit more. Because I think he says "I miss my fucking friends" rather than ATF's safe-for-radio version that has the lyric "I miss my funky friends". But golly, we have a president that says quite a few nations are "shitholes", so I guess the bar for civility has gotten very low indeed!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Trump Year in Review!

Wow. This year has been a real humdinger!

Technically it ain't over yet (I'm writing this on 12/30) but it's the weekend and pretty much everyone is just doing the pre-New Years thing. I'm hoping there are no surprises in the next day or so that will mess up my breezy review of a monumental year in the life of our great nation.


2017 started with an overarching sense of foreboding, as January spelled the final three weeks of having a reasoned, intellectual, empathetic President in charge. Barack Obama remains one of the best presidents we've had in the last 70 years. He may not have done everything I wanted to have him do, but a large part of that was because of the Republican controlled Congress for the last 6 years, led by schmucks that publicly said they would do everything they could to ensure Obama's presidency would fail. If the Democrats had control of both Houses of Congress, there certainly would have been sweeping changes to the culture of corruption that rules the land. We'd have gotten Single Payer Healthcare. We'd have made enormous strides in equality and compassionate care for our least privileged citizens. And we would have led the world in science and technology and socially-responsible legislation.


But in 2016 a minority of Americans voted for a clown from a failed TV show to be their leader, and due to quirks in our electoral process, the guy with 3.5 million LESS votes than his opponent was made president.

Which, by the way, is exactly WHY we need to reform the way we elect our leaders. I'm a big fan of "one person, one vote", and let the people decide. The electoral college is a holdover from the early years of our republic, and we need to move past this obsolete system of choosing our leaders.

Of course, you can't simply say that Trump "stole" the election, because he had a lot of help from unlikely places.


White supremacists loved Trump. His populist message, with his genius slogan "Make America Great Again" (and you have to admit, it was a catchy slogan that translated well to the low-information masses) struck a chord in middle-American. The Russians certainly helped Trump. Voter suppression, especially among minorities, was a significant factor. James Comey's remarks about the Clinton emails (which he quickly retracted immediately after the election) absolutely was a gift to Trump. Wikileaks hacked into the DNC computers and released a boatload of damning emails from many of the main players.


But we cannot deny that Hillary Clinton was very much a victim of her own hubris. By campaigning like she'd already won, it turned off a portion of her base who assumed it was a slam dunk. The machinations of the DNC in tilting the primaries to Clinton absolutely was a factor. I still think the use of super-delegates is the antithesis of the idea of democracy, and running elections on the taxpayers tab that are intrinsically unfair is just plain wrong!

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz didn't quit as head of the DNC right before the convention and take a job with Hillary's campaign because she did everything above board. Clinton's use and destruction of a non-government email server while Secretary of State, which was absolutely against State Department rules, did little to endear her to the undecideds, and it basically gift-wrapped a perfect crowd pleasing chant of "LOCK HER UP!" to every Trump rally and extensive media coverage.

So Trump won in the Electoral College, and the fact that he immediately challenged the results of the popular vote was basically a clear signal of what his presidency would consist of. Trump isn't emotionally stable enough to be "presidential", and his insane obsession with his "popularity" has led him to Tweet his unmeasured thoughts to the world. Usually while he's taking an angry shit, I would think, since that's the ONLY time he doesn't have at least ONE advisor within arms-reach of his thumbs when he's typing a typically outrageous thought.


We saw a million women protest in DC the day after the inauguration, which showed that there is an intense and strong resistance to Trump's rule.

A week into his term, Trump signed an executive order to ban travel from seven countries that he considered hostile. Most were Muslim nations, but he left off the home country for 15 of the 19 hijackers who on September 11th murdered over 3,000 Americans, because he does business with Saudi Arabia and he didn't want to anger them.


In February Trump fired Michael Flynn, his national security advisor, for being dishonest about a meeting he had with a Russian operative. This firing is just the first domino to fall in a year of dominoes.

Trump then set about trying to reverse every single accomplishment of the Obama administration. Not because it would be good for the nation, but merely for the selfish desire to erase his predecessor's legacy. Because it galls Trump to no end that Obama was always WAY more popular than Trump can ever hope to be, and it eats at him like a cancer of his own design! So he is making decisions based solely on his vindictiveness.

At the beginning of March, Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, probably because he is knee-deep in the scandal. Trump then obsessively tweeted about Obama yet again:


FBI Director James Comey was fired by President Trump in early May. The president said he fired Comey for incompetence. Comey suggested at a congressional hearing later in the year that he was fired because the president wanted him to “go easy” on Flynn in the investigation of ties with Russian officials.


On May 17th former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named as special counsel to conduct the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The appointment gave Mueller the authority to investigate potential collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. He takes his job seriously as we'll see.

Wake up and smell the covfefe! Our Commander-in-Grief had a rough July. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned in July after Anthony Scaramucci was named as head of White House communications. Scaramucci, a GOP donor and investment banker, lasted on the job for 11 days, after he mentioned that Trump advisor Steve Bannon enjoyed an activity that studies say is 99.9% impossible for most males to achieve (this study doesn't actually exist as far as I know). But if Bannon does manage that, well, bravo to you pal! Wear a bib.

In late July the president announced – via Twitter – that he would ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military. Many of his military leaders seemed to have a different opinion. And this is once again a position in direct opposition to his campaign promises. I think he wanted this because his BFF Vladimir Putin has cracked down on what he calls "sexual deviants" in Russia, and it may be that Trump is trying desperately to please his father figure Putin. Because Trump's dad never showed him any love.


August brought a cute little Twitter war between him and North Korea's Kim Jung Un (and this is the closest President Bone Spur ever got to battle!) Then, tensions at a white supremacists’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, erupted into violence leaving a young woman dead. As protestors marched at one end of a street in the Virginia college town, a car roared down the street from the other end, slamming into the crowd. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 19 others were injured. Following the incident, Trump was criticized for being slow to condemn the neo-Nazis. Two days after the violence, he condemned both the white supremacists and the counter-protesters.

Of course, the counter-protesters didn't murder anyone, but that doesn't matter to our Dear Leader.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria hit Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, respectively, over a 26-day period, bringing record winds and water. While Trump is somewhat proactive in getting aid to the two states that voted for him, he seems just fine with letting Americans in Puerto Rico suffer and die because of lack of basic services. His remarks about Puerto Rico's economy served as his excuse for letting them die.


On October 30th, Robert Mueller's investigation resulted in indictments to two of Trump's advisors. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner, Rick Gates, surrendered at the FBI field office in Washington, D.C. after being indicted by a grand jury. Also on that day, special counsel’s office announced it had struck a cooperation agreement with former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos, who had in July pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about contacts with Russian officials.

People from Trump's inner circle are talking to prosecutors, and Mueller is patiently building a case that may change the course of our nation's history.

Dec. 1 Former national security adviser Flynn pleaded guilty in federal court to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. The former national security adviser had denied that he talked with Kislyak about sanctions levied by former President Obama. A guilty plea means that he's likely working with prosecutors to exchange testimony for a reduced or suspended sentence. Because really, who wants to go to prison while their boss is acting like a buffoon?


Doug Jones became the first Democrat in 25 years to win a U.S. Senate seat from the state of Alabama. He defeated former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (shown here prancing around the stage with a prop gun). Trump supported Moore up until the day of the election, and after the loss he said he knew it was gonna happen and he really didn't even like the guy. What a nerd! And Moore has refused to concede to this day, even after the election results were certified in Alabama.


In mid-December Trump's horrible head of the FCC Ajit Pai was the tie-breaker when the Federal Communications Commission voted to allow them to speed up service for some websites, and slow down, or even block it for others. Anything that screws consumers, Trump is all for!

Then, on December 20th, in an inevitable end to the year from hell, Republicans who pretended to be moderate voted in lockstep with their corrupt party and gave the wealthiest people in our nation the biggest tax break in history, while adding a trillion and a half dollars to the deficit. The poor and middle class will see a pittance for a few years, but the rich are stealing the wealth of America and adding to the fiscal burden.

This is the most heinous thing Trump and the Republicans could have done, and they did it with smiles and slapping each other on the back.


So, here we are at the conclusion of possibly the worst year in American politics since 1973. And much like that time, when Watergate was just gaining momentum, we are at a very critical time in our nation's path. The coming year may be a reckoning for the powers that be. The mid-terms in November may see a sweeping change in Congress. And as the Mueller investigation goes on, we may start to see members of Trump's party starting to turn against him.

Much like the Watergate years, it will take time to build a case against the President. Much like Nixon, Donald Trump will become increasingly paranoid and tend to lash out at his enemies, with his Tweets being fodder for the prosecution. We may get to see a president resign or be removed from office sometime in mid-to-late 2019.


But we'll have to wait. In the meantime, we need to support our legislators and the candidates who will run against the opposition. There can be no unchallenged Republican seats. We MUST find people who can turn the tide of history!

And hopefully, we'll assign Trump to the dumpster with the eternal label upon him, "Worst President Ever!".

Oh, and Happy New Year to you!

Addendum: One thing I forget when I posted this 20 minutes ago...if Hillary won the presidency, she would have ALREADY been the subject of impeachment hearings, and the nation would be mired in televised hearings already. And regardless of whether or not she was convicted, it would definitely result in a gigantic mid-term victory for the Republicans next year. So as awful as this is, maybe it NEEDED to happen to get this country back on track. Yes, I would have liked for Hillary to win. But the consequences of that might have resulted in an even WORSE situation in 2018 and 2020 than even the most cynical of us can imagine. I welcome comments on this thought. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Alabama saved 2017

I'll take "Words I never thought I'd utter" for 200 Alex.

Yup. Tonight was an historic election. The great state of Alabama got together and voted against a pederast and vitriolic bigot, and elected a somewhat bland Democrat by default who, by the way, prosecuted the KKK for murdering four black children in a racist terror attack.

I'm thinking this would have been a landslide for a candidate like Doug Jones in just about any other state, but I'll take a 1.5% win in this case.

Banned mall visitor and serial child pursuer and removed judge (two times) Roy Moore pretty much stooped to expectations by refusing to concede and instead imploring his supporters to go home by 11PM and sleep on it, and tomorrow he'll begin to try to get a recount.

Winning a seat against a suspected child molester and racist should happen without any doubt. But for a Democrat to win against even someone as evil as Roy Moore in ALABAMA (where Trump won by 23%) is huge!

Congrats to Doug Jones.

Or, as I like to call him, Dougie Jones.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Last Friday was a roller coaster

December 1st started out great! The news that Micheal Flynn was being arraigned and pleading guilty to lying to an FBI agent was awesome! Obviously he cut a deal with the prosecutors to avoid the charges in return for talking about his cohorts with Robert Mueller.

This will all lead to Trump's eventual downfall! Now THAT'S the way to start a day!

Then, later in the day, several of the GOP votes I was counting on to block Trump's insane tax giveaway announced they were supporting it!

And late in the evening (actually, the early morning hours of Saturday), the Senate passed the bill by two votes.

This will all lead to our NATION'S eventual downfall! Now THAT'S the way to ruin a day!

Yes, it'll go through reconciliation, and some of the less onerous provisions may be dropped or modified to appease the fence-sitters.

But the worst parts of this bill will likely be voted through. And we'll all be (with the exception of the 1%) paying for it for decades!

Elections have consequences.

Something tells me we're in for some even WORSE fucking consequences the longer this administration is allowed to carry on.

C'mon Mueller, you're our only hope!

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Big wins for Blue


Just a year ago we were in DC for election night.

Well, we all know how THAT turned out!

In the intervening year, almost every one of my fears of a Trump presidency has been met.

And surpassed!

So, in what I hope is a preview for the 2018 mid-terms, the Democrats won big in state and local elections.

Democratic governors in VA and NJ. Huge pickups in the VA legislature. Massive wins in towns and cities across the nation, including right here in Connecticut and my home town, where we picked up seats on all the town boards, with our mayor running unopposed.

This bodes well as Trump's leadership is bringing down his entire party. A lot of Republicans are polling so poorly in advance of next years mid-terms that they're choosing to retire than have to run a campaign that's almost certain to fail.

And Roy Moore, who is Trump's favorite to replace Alabama senator Jeff Sessions (or as I like to call him, "the guy most likely to get fired next") is being loudly and credibly accused of sexually harassing 14 year-old girls.

Any Republicans who defend the guy are going to find themselves out of the legislature and probably unemployable.

Have fun, Republicans! The chickens are coming home to roost!