Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Round-Up Of Ridiculosity

The Pathetically Petty Payback Mentality of the Pretend President.  Timed for maximum inconvenience, the Baby-In-Chief waited until the last minute to cancel a trip of Nancy Pelosi's bipartisan Congressional delegation scheduled to depart this afternoon for Belgium, Egypt and Afghanistan.  Just as she controls access to the House of Representatives, he controls access to government aircraft.  So he wrote her a note telling her she couldn't use government planes until the "Shutdown"* was over, but could fly commercial instead.  Of course, the Man-Baby had used a government aircraft when he visited troops in Iraq during the shutdown, but somehow that was different.  At age 72, he's still just a spoiled brat, a juvenile jerk.
(*His brief 132-word note contained 8 instances of unnecessary and grammatically incorrect capitalization, e.g. "Strong Border Security." 😖)

Real Food Heroes.  tRump hosted the national champion Clemson football team at the White House for a celebratory meal of non-nutritional, cold, greasy fast food.  He tweet-bragged about personally paying for "hundreds of hamberders."  A low-class embarrassment, like everything else he does. But some real food heroes stepped up with much better offers of real food:  Michael Strahan will feed them lobster and caviar.  Nick Kokonas, owner of Alinea, a 3-star Chicago restaurant, invited them to the Windy City for a gourmet $200-a-plate dinner.  Ayesha Curry, chef of International Smoke, invited them to her restaurant for a "real feast with no ten-cent dipping sauces."  Even Quavo of the Migos offered to feed them and show them "how champs are supposed to be treated.  Y'all welcome to come by anytime."  In the near future, it looks like nobody will be eating better than the Clemson football players.  And hamberders won't be on the menu.

The Other Confirmation Hearing.  Andrew Wheeler, the acting EPA chief and former coal lobbyist, is finally getting a hearing to be confirmed as the real-deal administrator.  I'm ashamed to admit that Wheeler is a native Ohioan.  He may not have the unethical stench of his predecessor Scott Pruitt, but he has the same ideological desire to destroy anti-pollution regulations and protect the fossil fuel industry.  When asked, Wheeler said climate change was not a "crisis," but merely an "issue" that must addressed "globally."  Translation:  Until the rest of the world cleans up, we'll do nothing and will allow American business the continuing opportunity to pollute for profit.

Parochial School Fool.  Karen Pence, wife of VP Holy Mike Pence, will return as an elementary level art teacher at Immanuel Christian in Virginia.  The school is adamantly anti-LGBT, literally prohibiting the presence of any LGBT students, parents or staff, and requiring a "biblical lifestyle."*
How is this blatant bigotry allowed?  Immanuel Christian is a private school.  You pay tuition for the religious freedom privilege of having your child taught that gay people are dangerous and hell-bound.  With the news of the VP's wife joining the faculty of this hotbed of homophobia, activists are sending 100 copies of John Oliver's A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo to the school.  It's a children's book about a boy bunny who loves another boy bunny -- just the thing to make a Pence tense.
(*If you're truly living the "biblical lifestyle," you live in a small village of small, mudbrick houses with no safe drinking water and no plumbing at all.  Your meals consist mainly of bread.  There are open latrines, and dirt and dust everywhere, along with slavery, crucifixions, and the stoning of non-virginal women.  With such a lifestyle, you might just wanna kick off your sandals and get carnal with the cutest goat in the herd.  That's biblical as hell!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Barr Is A Low Bar For Justice

William Barr is Trump's nominee to be Attorney General.  Barr has already been A.G. -- 28 years ago.  Now age 68, he's a millionaire lawyer in private practice.  Why on earth would he want to be A.G. again?  Does he have some sort of agenda?

Barr met with Trump in 2017 about the possibility of becoming Trump's personal attorney.*  Barr declined the offer.

I call Trump "Safe!"
But in mid-2018, Barr wrote a weird legal opinion memo.  In 19 pages that no one asked for, he described his opposition to the Mueller probe, said the president can't be indicted for obstruction of justice, claimed the president has unlimited "unitary" powers**, said Trump did nothing wrong in pressuring James Comey to go easy on Michael Flynn, said Trump was justified in firing Comey, and asserted Trump should not be investigated.

Barr's memo does not align with the majority of legal opinion on these matters.  Unsolicited, he sent his memo to Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein, and sent copies to all the lawyers in Trump's inner circle. 

Why -- out of the blue -- did he write such a position piece and distribute it so widely?  At yesterday's confirmation hearings, Barr said it was common practice, an academic exercise, and entirely proper.  B.S.!  It's most uncommon, especially for a lawyer in private practice.  Barr is indeed a man with an agenda, and his memo was his job application/resume on the one issue that frightens Trump the most.  

Mueller's final confidential report will be provided to the DOJ.  At the hearings, Barr refused to guarantee that he would release the full report to the public.  He might use his black Sharpie and redact the shit out of it, or he might decide to release nothing and just sit on it.  What an insult that would be!

Some believe Barr's partisan memo should disqualify him as A.G., or should at least necessitate his recusal from any decisions regarding the Mueller probe.  Yesterday, Barr said he'd welcome advice from the DOJ's ethics professionals on the question of his recusal, but if he didn't like their advice, he'd disregard it and do whatever the fuck he wanted, regardless.  Don't look now, Bill, but your bias is showing.

The prospect of William Barr as Attorney General is not comforting.  He is far more likely to be a Trump-protecting roadblock than an independent arbiter of justice.  But given the Republican majorities on the Judiciary Committee and in the Senate, he is virtually certain of confirmation.

The silver lining for us is that Trump is doomed and, one way or another, Barr will go down with the ship in no more than two years.

*  Trump has just added another 17 lawyers to the White House legal team, bringing the total to 35 lawyers on staff.  It seems to me that most people who are so completely innocent of all wrongdoing, as claimed by Trump, do not require 35 lawyers.

** Unitary executive powers, as desired by Trump and upheld by Barr, means that the president is commander-in-chief of not only the military, but also of the judiciary, the legislature, and damn near everything else. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Walloping The Wall Nut

Another great parody from Randy Rainbow:

Followed by a small serving of Jules Winnfield:

House of Carbs

Only a gold-plated trailer trash con man would invite the national champs to the White House, then serve them a cheapo fast-food buffet illuminated by golden candelabras.  Stay classy, Don!

Naturally, Reddit and Twitter had a field day mocking the Lard of Dorkness.  Click the link for some hilarious examples.


Monday, January 14, 2019

U.A. to C'Bus: Culture Shock

We know a couple who are lifelong residents of Upper Arlington, one of the more "prestigious" suburbs of Columbus, Ohio.  It has a population of 35,000, of which 39% are age 50 or older, 92% are white, and a majority are Republican.  Upper Arlington has a median income of $101,000, and the highest property taxes in central Ohio.

They're selling their U.A. home and moving to Columbus proper, with its population of 880,000.  Only 18% are age 45 or older, just 56% are white, and the majority are Democrats.  Columbus has a median income of $49,000 and relatively modest property taxes.

Basically, they're trading small, white, old, conservative and rich for bigger, more diverse, younger, liberal, and less affluent.

The move is bound to be a bit of a culture shock for these self-proclaimed "one-percenters."  Being of wealth, they really don't need to leave the lofty land of Arlington.  They just want to, mainly to cut their cost of living with lower taxes.

To aid them in adjusting to the declasse Columbus lifestyle, Buster offers these tips for fitting in:
  • Most people in Columbus assign no status or value to your bank balance.
  • Most are not Republican.
  • Most do not have a broker.
  • Most do not play golf.
  • Some do not have a yard.
  • Most will not recognize you.  Many neighbors will simply ignore you.
  • You'll hear hear many more non-English speakers than you're accustomed to hearing in U.A.
  • Most Columbus dogs are mutts, not pure-breds.
  • Unlike the semi-official U.A. "uniform" of button-downs, khakis, plaids, scarves, boat shoes, $200 sunglasses, and anything from Talbot's, Ralph Lauren, or L.L. Bean, there is no particular Columbus uniform.  Wear whatever.
  • The City of Columbus picks up your trash for no additional charge.
Welcome to C'Bus!  Welcome to average!

Republican Freak-Out Over AOC Is An Old Re-Run

Excerpted from a recent column by Leonard Pitts, Jr. of the Miami Herald

This is that movie we've seen before where the right wing, alarmed by the risks of the Scary Other, seeks to manufacture scandal, spread rumor, sow confusion, impute some sense of the sinister.  The less they have to work with, the more shrill, desperate and idiotic they become.

Back then, it was Barack Obama.  He wore a tan suit and conservatives sank onto their fainting couches.  He greeted his wife with a fist bump and Fox "News" thought it might be terrorism.  And how many conservatives, with furrowed brows and studious miens, pretended to believe there was some reason to doubt that he was born in Hawaii?

Obama's "otherness" came of being a black guy with a funny name.  Alexandria Octavio-Cortez, though, hits the trifecta.  She is young (29), a woman, and of Puerto Rican heritage.  Add her ideology to that mix, and you have a perfect storm of panic for those who consider power the birthright of gray-haired white men.

Ocasio-Cortez is another unwelcome reminder for them that change is here -- and that power will henceforth no longer be the province of the favored few.  They've had over a decade to acclimate themselves, so it is sad to see the right wing retreat instead to the same old script -- especially since it reveals more about them and their 'fraidy-cat bigotry than anything else.

Yes, we have indeed seen this movie before.  It was a lousy film the first time around.

It has not improved.


Trump's thumb up your asses on that one.  He-he!
"We The People Will Build The Wall."  Well, no, the people won't.

A couple weeks ago, a Florida man started a GoFundMe campaign with a goal to raise $1 billion in donations to go to the Trump Wall fantasy.  Right-tards gleefully took to social media, proudly congratulating themselves on their cleverness while venomously trolling any who dared to disagree.

But soon enough, two things became clear:  1. The federal government cannot accept such unappropriated money, and 2. The campaign's donations of $20 million fell well short of its $1 billion goal.  As a result, GoFundMe's terms of service require a full refund of the $20 million.

LMFAO!  What do say now, Wall-Nuts?