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

Monday, October 24, 2016

And Now, Another Moment With The Deplorables

Quoted in the Boston Globe, Steve Webb, 61, of Fairfield, Ohio says that on November 8th, he'll be an active albeit unofficial election observer on behalf of Trump:

"I'll look for . . . well, it's called racial profiling.  Mexicans.  Syrians.  People who can't speak American.  I'm gonna go right up behind 'em.  See if they're accountable.  I'm gonna make 'em a little bit nervous."

Thanks, Steve!  That was indeed truly deplorable.  And illegal.

Not Steve Webb, but close enough.

Gettysburg Address

Donald Trump was in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania over the weekend to make a "major address."  I didn't listen to it, but from what I gather, it boiled down to this:

The Donald learns about Gettysburg for the very first time
from a federal employee whose job he will eliminate.
"First, I will sue all the lying nasty women, just like Abraham Lincoln did.

Then I will stop fraud and corruption with a hiring freeze on all federal employees because, as everyone knows, government employees are always, by their very nature, fraudulent and corrupt."

Some who were in attendance are saying that Honest Don's Gettysburg Address actually went like this:

"Fourscore and seven weeks ago I brought forth upon this continent a tremendous campaign, conceived as the most lucrative deal ever and dedicated to the self-evident proposition that nobody is my equal.
Now I am engaged in a rigged election, testing whether that nasty bitch is going to steal what is rightfully mine, or whether my campaign can lock her up where she belongs while I divert millions in donations into profit for my companies. I come here to dig up this sacred ground and lay the foundation for the greatest Trump Hotel ever, a luxurious resting place for scores of gorgeous models, whom I will date as soon as they turn 14. This I may with all my properties do.
But, in the making America great sense, after I inaugurate, I cannot allow anyone ever again to regulate or litigate against me or my enterprises. The corrupt media and party traitors who struggled to bar me from my goal I will subjugate. The world will deeply note, and forever remember, what I say here because I will order it engraved and covered in gold leaf on every building for 100 miles in every direction and memorized by every school child in the nation.
It is for me, the soon-to-be greatest president who ever was or will be, to obligate the nation to undertake the great task remaining ahead—that, from this day forward all shall be unwaveringly devoted to that cause for which I have dedicated myself, culminating in the birth of a government of me, by me, for me, to cherish forevermore." *
(* from Meteor Blades at dailykos.com)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Buster's Major Announcement

Today I, Buster Gammons, am making a major announcement.  I would like to promise and pledge to all of my readers and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic World Series -- if Cleveland wins.

Go Tribe!  
Party at Napoli's!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Third Debate, a.k.a. The Sh*t Show

The Shit Show.  That's what young son Buster Jr. called it, and I'd say that's an accurate description.  The third and final presidential debate (or whatever it was) is over.  Hallelujah!  Some of the best/worst WTF moments:

"Will you accept the result?"
"I'll look at it at that time.  I'll keep you in suspense." 
There's no suspense here, Donald.  You lose.  Bigly!

"We have some bad hombres here and we're gonna get them out."
Wow!  Who knew Donald could speak Spanish?

"No puppet!  You're the puppet!  You're the puppet!"
C'mon, I said it twice!

"Such a nasty woman."
That's President Nasty to you, Donnie.

"They rip the baby out of the mother in the ninth month."
OK, Dr. Trump.  Does the procedure begin when you grab her by the pussy?

Hey ESPN! Where Are The Indians Game Highlights?

As I hope you know, yesterday the Cleveland Indians moved on to the 2016 World Series by eliminating the Toronto Blue Jays four games to one.  Kind of a big deal, a big sports story.

So at 9 this morning I turned on ESPN's SportsCenter to see some game highlights and coverage of the Tribe's ALCS victory.  The 9:00 a.m. live edition of SportsCenter is (or used to be) the official start-of-the-day telecast for ESPN, and the Indians had to be the lead story.

Or not.  ESPN opened with highlights of the Cubs win over the Dodgers to even the NLCS at 2 games each.  Next was a discussion of what's wrong with Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, followed a piece on a New York Giants wife-beating asshole.  Then a segment on Alabama football.  Jeez!

At 9:18, they finally got around to the Indians.  ESPN anchor Jay Crawford showed some of his old Tribe swag from his childhood.  The two-champions-in-one-year dream scenario was debated, as was Jose Bautista's "shaking in his boots" bulletin board comment.  But still no game highlights!

What's going on?  Did ESPN change the rules and forget to tell me?  I switched the channel to the MLB Network.  Better.  All baseball, all the time.  Shoulda started there in the first place.

Go Tribe!  Party at Napoli's!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I'm Against Term Limits (And Anything Else Trump Says At This Late Date)

Donald Trump has finally decided to announce a pair of policy positions.  Ooh, how presidential!

First, he has issued an "Ethics Reform" statement.  Puh-leeeze!  The thought of Donald Trump lecturing the nation on ethics should result in either of two reflex reactions on your part -- convulsive laughter, or throwing up in your mouth a little bit.

Second, he has come out in favor of term limits.  Says he wants to "drain the swamp in D.C."  Not long ago, Trump was opposed to term limits, but whatever.  Term limits are like libertarianism -- sounds kinda good until you take a closer look and really think about it.  Won't happen, since it takes a Constitutional amendment, but thanks anyway, Donald, for blowing it out your ass.

As a general rule, term limits are a bad idea.

Fans of term limits talk about bringing in fresh faces and new ideas, fighting corruption in politics, and reducing the influence of money and lobbyists.

Politicians, both incumbents and wanna-be's, are engaged in public service.  Some politicians are better public servants than others, and many are individually well-off to begin with (campaigns take money), but nobody runs for city council or Congress or the White House just for the salary.

If you're a fresh face and if your new-trick ideas are really that much better than your old-dog opponent, then you have a fair and square chance of being elected.  Will you need connections, a good campaign staff, and sufficient funding?  Of course you will.  This is politics, Pollyanna.

Corruption can and does occur in politics, and in business, and in virtually every field of endeavor, but it is certainly not a given in any of them.  Does mere length of political service really increase the chance of corruption in an individual?  I don't think so.  There are many Reps and Senators who've accomplished things and served for decades without a whiff of stink.  Don't underestimate the value of experience and institutional knowledge.  That's why a lot of the old dogs get re-elected.  

The real problem with term limits is that the concept does nothing to reduce the influence of money and lobbyists.  In fact, term limits would increase that influence.  Term limits create an unwise revolving door -- current good politicians, old pros who know a thing or two, would be arbitrarily forced out.  And their replacements would not be legally allowed to stick around for very long.

What would stick around?  All the money, all the lobbyists, all the K Street crowd.  They wouldn't go anywhere, and they'd be only to happy to "educate" the endless stream of rookies promoted the big leagues.

As the great Charlie Pierce puts it, "The lobbyists would be the only ones left who know where the bathrooms are."  

I will say that I'm in favor of selective term limits, especially if I get to do the selecting.  Off the top of my head, I'd term-limit Robbie Portman, Pat Tiberi, and Mitch McConnell for starters.