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, January 31, 2011

Kasich Issues Brochure To Administration Employees Further Clarifying His Diversity Policies & Procedures

(To enlarge, go to "view" on toolbar, then "zoom".)

Kasich Clarifies His Position On Diversity

Governor John Kasich has taken some heat recently for his solid-vanilla Cabinet appointments. Ohio's Black Congressional Caucus is particularly upset with the Honky In Chief.

Kasich sensed the political pickle and explained his position as follows: "I'm sensitive to the issue. I'm all for diversity, as long as diversity and I can work together and diversity has the same philosophy as I do. So what I'm saying is, diversity better be a heartless white male Republican with experience in business or lobbying. That's what I call diversity! Yee-haaa!!!!"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Where's The Republican?

Here's a fun new game for all ages I invented last night while watching the co-mingled crowd at the State of the Union address. It's called "Where's The Republican?" It's a lot like "Where's Waldo?", but easier. You just look at this picture from last night's speech, and try to find the Republican. See? You did it already. Good job! Thanks for playing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crying Shame

(Below are a few excerpts from Matt Taibbi's article "The Crying Shame of John Boehner" in the 1/20/11 issue of Rolling Stone. If you've never read Taibbi, you should. He's one of the best and funniest political writers working today. If you want to read the full article -- it's worth it -- just click on the article shown under Buster's Links.)


THE CRYING SHAME OF JOHN BOEHNER. The new speaker is a lazy, double-talking shill for corporate interests. So how's he going to fare with the TEA Party? by Matt Taibbi

John Boehner is the ultimate Beltway hack, a man whose unmatched and self-serving skill at political survival has made him, after two decades, the hairy blue mold on the American congressional sandwich.

He's a five-tool insider who can lie, cheat, steal, play golf, change his mind on command and do anything else his lobbyist buddies and campaign contributors require of him.

It's hard to imagine a more unlikely marriage than John Boehner and the pitchfork-wielding, incumbent-eating TEA party, whose blood ostensibly boils at the thought of business as usual. Because John Boehner is business as usual, a man devoted almost exclusively to his own political survival by tending faithfully to the corrupt and clanking Beltway machinery.

In the Nineties, Boehner started weekly meetings with a group of lobbyists that helped him develop close ties to [big-time corporate interests]. And what does Boehner do with lobbyists? Well, one thing we know he does is play golf -- shitloads and shitloads of golf. [Boehner] reportedly copped to playing 100 rounds a year, while collecting a six-figure salary paid for by U.S. taxpayers. His political action committee spent almost $83,000 on golf events in 2009, and over the past eighteen months he has run up a $67,000 tab at the Ritz-Carlton golf resort in Naples, Florida.

Boehner is an innovator in the loathsome new political phenomenon of men crying in public, co-owning mastery of the habit with screeching media dillweed Glenn Beck.

Boehner has been a Bush Republican, i.e. a corporate schmoozer and remorseless spender of taxpayer money for whom the notion of small government is just something to say when the cameras are on, or when the public money in question might go to poor people, or immigrants, or other such unlikely golfers.

[Once upon a time] Congress was an easy job for any man with a nice fairway stroke, a limited moral compass, and a keen sense of bureaucratic loyalty. Things are different now. The new speaker represents an increasingly endangered class of Beltway jobholders who know how to raise money and get elected, but not much beyond that. The tee times are over.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Republicans Rehearsing Grouchy Facial Expressions For State Of The Union Address

(by Andy Borowitz for the Huffington Post)

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) - Preparing for what most political insiders agree is their most important performance of the year, congressional Republicans have spent the past week rehearsing their grouchiest facial expressions for Tuesday's State of the Union Address.

For seven grueling days, GOP congressmen have been behind closed doors, refining their best winces, grimaces, and other sourpuss mannerisms under the tutelage of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio).

"Looking like you've just sucked on a lemon is harder than it seems," said Mr. Boehner. "It doesn't come naturally for everyone like it does for Mitch McConnell."

Mr. Boehner has been employing a "method acting" approach with his House colleagues, urging them to imagine "the most unpleasant thing they can think of - like Keith Olbermann being back on TV."

But given the new vogue for "civility" that has swept Washington in recent weeks, Mr. Boehner is instructing House Republicans to restrain themselves from outbursts like that of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), who famously shouted "You lie!" during President Obama's congressional address in 2009.

"If you feel an outburst coming on," Mr. Boehner told his colleagues, "I ask that you instead limit yourself to a simple, tasteful jerking-off hand gesture."

Mr. Boehner said that while he wants his Republican members to look as grumpy a possible throughout Mr. Obama's speech, "I want them to show him the same respect we would show to any other foreign visitor to our shores."

Immediately following the President's speech, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis) will give the official Republican response, followed by Michele Bachmann (R-Minn), who will give the official moron response.

Gallagher To Sue Boehner

Buster has learned that washed-up 1980's comedian Gallagher has filed a lawsuit against Speaker of the House John Boehner, charging him with trademark infringement.

Said Gallagher, "Everybody knows 'The Really Big Hammer' is my schtick, my thing. I'm famous for it. Now here comes this political dude, and he suddenly has a really big gavel? No watermelons yet, but just wait. It's an obvious ripoff! No fuckin' way, man."

Boehner replied that "imitation is the most sincere form of flattery" and said that "Gallagher has always been my favorite comic." He added that he would smash "only the job-killing watermelons."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Michele Bachmann, Madwoman of Minnesota

Michele Bachmann is a Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota. An actual, genuine U.S. Representative. I cannot explain how the good people of the Gopher State allowed this to happen, because there's no one out there who can top her for embarrassingly ignorant statements. Maybe Palin on a really good/bad day.

A sampling of bizarre logic and bat-shit crazy, straight from Bachmann's small, bent brain directly to her mouth:

"No one that I know disagrees with natural selection — that you can take various breeds of dogs ... breed them, you get different kinds of dogs," she said. "It's just a fact of life. ... Where there's controversy is (at the question) 'Where do we say that a cell became a blade of grass, which became a starfish, which became a cat, which became a donkey, which became a human being?' There’s a real lack of evidence from change from actual species to a different type of species. That's where it's difficult to prove."

"Gay marriage is probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in the last, at least, thirty years. I am not understanding that."

"[Terry Schiavo] was healthy. There was brain damage, there was no question. But from a health point of view, she was not terminally ill."

"And what a bizarre time we're in, when a judge can say to little children that you can't say the Pledge of Allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it."

"I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970's that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. And I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence."

"There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design."

"Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas."

"Normalization (of gayness) through desensitization. Very effective way to do this with a bunch of second-graders, is take a picture of "The Lion King" for instance, and a teacher might say, 'Do you know that the music for this movie was written by a gay man?' The message is, I'm better at what I do because I'm gay."

"If we took away the minimum wage -- if conceivably it was gone -- we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level."

"I just take the Bible for what it is, I guess, and recognize that I am not a scientist, not trained to be a scientist. I'm not a deep thinker on all this. I wish I was. I wish I was more knowledgeable, but I'm not a scientist."

I Should Have Such Problems!

Earlier this month, Playboy's Hugh Hefner announced he was engaged to be married to yet another former Playmate. This one's name is Crystal Harris. He's 84, she's 24.

Naturally, his doctors cautioned him about the potential health hazards of such a marriage. Said Hef, "Hey, if she dies, she dies."


Nobody saw it coming. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann announced during last night's telecast that it would be his last as the host of Countdown. There was no prior notice, and K.O. gave no reason. The liberal icon is brilliant and hilarious, but he works on his own terms and is notorious for his refusal to kowtow to higher-ups. This is not a useful trait if you're into job security. Years ago, he blew himself up at ESPN and, probably, he's done it again.

Olbermann's articulate rants would piss off all the redneck red-staters (many of whom are too dumb to understand him in the first place), and he'd routinely give Fox-wad Bill O'Reilly the verbal finger. His nightly segment, "Worst Person In the World", was classic.

Yes, he's a white-hot leftie, but he always has a little twinkle in his eye. I'll miss him, but he'll turn up somewhere soon. Too talented not to.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rick Santorum's Racist Family-Values Dumbfuckery

Rick Santorum is a former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania. He is a conservative Christian to the extreme who fancies himself a potential 2012 Presidential candidate.

This week on the Christian cable channel CBN Santorum repeated for the umpteenth time that he believes life begins at the precise moment of conception (with fertilization instantly creating itty-bitty microscopic men and women.)

He claimed that Barack Obama does not share that belief. Rick said he therefore finds it "remarkable for a black man to say, 'Now we are going to decide who are and who are not people'."

Yes indeed, Ricky, how dare that slave have an opinion on what constitutes an actual human being!

In the "Biggest Idiot In the World" contest, Santorum appears ready to give Sarah Palin a run for her money.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jesus Is His Brother . . . And You're Not

My grandmother always taught me that politics and religion should never be discussed in polite company. Pretty good advice. (Doesn't apply to Buster's Blog, but I figure you're here by choice.) And it's particularly good advice if you happen to be a politician.

Evidently, the new governor of the state of Alabama disagrees. This Monday, at his swearing-in ceremony, here's what came out of Robert Bentley's mouth: "Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother. If the Holy Spirit lives in you, that makes you my brothers and sisters. Anyone who has not accepted Jesus, I want to be your brothers and sisters, too."

Huh? His comments were unprovoked and appropos of nothing. They certainly had nothing to do with becoming governor. He said the spirit moved him and he couldn't help himself. Hallelujah! Gov. Bentley also promised that at his next speech, he would handle snakes and speak in tongues.

In the photo above, Bentley shows us how he'd "smite the heathen non-believers", as called for in the Alabama Revised Code.

Suddenly, Kasich looks good by comparison.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Sensible Gun Policy

The recent rampage in Arizona has reignited the issue of gun control, or rather, the lack thereof. Some have suggested that ammunition clips be limited to 10 rounds, with expanded 50-100 round clips outlawed. Others proposed that it be illegal to carry a gun within 100 yards of a federal employee.

These are good ideas, but are also essentially wimpy half-measures. No such small stuff for Buster. Let's think big (or at least as big as I can manage after 10 minutes of heavy cogitation.) And so, here is my proposed legislation: Buster's Ammo & Gun Reduction Act for Safe Households, a.k.a. BAGRASH.

This is federal law, and all future gun/ammo laws will be federal. States and localities have no trump cards. Arizona can go piss up a rope.

Immediately if not sooner, the National Rifle Association gets its nuts cut off. This is the worst PAC/lobbying organization in the country. I cannot understand how these assholes gained so much traction in recent decades. Their policies have done nothing but increase the number of guns and the amount of bloodshed in America. So, in the interest of the greater good, all reasonable citizens agree to legislate the NRA out of business. We'll shut 'em down, seize their assets, and never allow anything like them to exist again.

You're a gun owner? Relax. Buster will let you keep them (even though your 2nd Amendment "right" to arm bears or bear arms or whatever is a MYTH. More on that another time.). Just two stipulations:
1. You must register all your guns with the federal government -- all of 'em, and in person.
2. You take and pass a basic mental health exam every 3 years.
Fees, possibly substantial, will apply. But complete these two simple steps and you'll have legal possession of federally licensed firearms. If it takes a month of Sundays to complete the process, sorry, deal with it. If you don't go through the process, your guns are illegal. If discovered, they'll be confiscated and you'll be subject to fines and jail time.

You're a "collector" with numerous guns? See the previous point. Register your entire collection and pass your psycho test and you'll get licenses for each of your guns. One more stipulation:
If your collection includes automatic weapons, assault rifles, howitzers, cannon, grenades, bazookas and the like, these pieces will have their firing pins removed and permanent trigger locks installed during registration. And ammo for such things is no longer available for purchase by private citizens. You may gaze upon your mini-arsenal with dewy-eyed fondness, but you're just not gonna be able to fire the fuckin' things!

Gun dealers must hold a federal license as well. The bar for this license will be set high. Approved dealers will be few and far between. Many current gun retailers will disappear.

Gun dealers will have old-time bankers' hours, open 9 to 3 Mon. thru Thurs., 9-5 Fri. No more buying 500 rounds of 9mm ammo at 2:30 a.m. Deal with it.

Gun dealers will sell genuine hunting rifles, shotguns, selected handguns, ammo for same, and that's it. Machine guns and military-grade weaponry are unavailable to the general public. And no, you don't "hunt" with an AK-47.

Any and all ammo is available only at federally-approved gun dealers. Big-box retailers like Wal-Mart are not on the list. The amount of ammo purchased will be severely restricted, registered, and tracked. Buying case-load quantities of shells is out of the question.

Gun sales between licensed private owners are strictly forbidden. You want to sell your gun? Sell it to a federally-approved gun dealer. Want to buy a gun? Same deal.

You're a would-be first-time gun buyer? OK, probably, but no guarantee. And be patient, because this is gonna take awhile. There will be a lengthy application, a thorough background check, and a comprehensive psychological evaluation. With fees. Those with even the slightest bit of hinkyness will wash out. Those who make the cut must then take and pass a gun safety program. Only then may they purchase and register their gun. All this hoop-jumping may take 6-9 months, so don't be in a hurry. And basic psych exams will still be required every 3 years.

On a go-forward basis, any new gun owner may legally possess no more than 3 guns at any one time -- 1 rifle, 1 shotgun, and 1 pistol.

Current owners who already have more than 3 guns are grandfathered in and can keep them, but can't add to their number. You're more than sufficiently armed right now, thank you very much! If you want to buy a new rifle, you'll need to sell or trade one of your old ones at the same time.

Your license to possess a specified firearm cannot be sold or transferred to another person. It applies to you and only you.

As personal property, guns may be bequeathed in a valid will, and may be subject to probate. Heirs may legally inherit up to 3 guns per person, subject to the standard licensing process. If more than 3 guns are bequeathed, the excess weapons may be sold, or the excess may be kept if they are properly licensed, then disabled (no firing pin, trigger lock). Choose wisely, Grasshopper!

Private citizens have no right to carry or display a gun in any public place. Never, ever. This is real life, not a cowboy movie. Concealed carry, open carry? A stupid, dangerous policy. It's history! Try it, and you will not pass Go, you will not collect $200, but you will proceed directly to jail.


And there you have it. None of the foregoing would apply to law enforcement and military personnel. They can have any sort of weapons they want, and in any quantity.

Yes, I know the BAGRASH plan does not deal with the black market in illegal guns and ammo. That's a hard one. Where there's a will, there's a way. And you know the NRA will trot out its old logic-challenged slogans and shriek that "When RPG launchers are outlawed, only outlaws will have RPG launchers!" Wait a sec. I forgot I already eliminated the fuckin' NRA. Hot damn, that's a good thing!

For the rest of us, BAGRASH would slow things down and make buying a lethal weapon a bit more challenging and a bit less impulsive than buying a Big Mac. This would be a good thing. Long term, it would slowly but steadily reduce the number of those lethal weapons. Another good thing.

And it's all a dream. Not a snowball's chance in hell of any of the above actually happening. Oh well.

Oil Wells In State Parks?

Buster told you about this a couple weeks ago. Now that the Kasich Krew has actually taken office, it's a step closer to reality.

Kasich's director of Natural Resources is an oil industry hack named David Mustine. He says he's "open" to the idea of allowing oil and gas wells to be drilled in Ohio's state parks and other public lands. This is a reversal of long-standing ODNR policy. Because the state might make a bit of money from such wells, Mustine says it could help reduce the budget deficit.

Bullshit! The R's will now try to justify every hair-brained scheme as a way to cut the deficit. In this instance, Ohio would not make that much at all. Those who'd really get rich would be Mustine's old buddies in the oil and gas industry. Fuck them!

Check out the graphic above, showing the area around Salt Fork State Park. Every little black dot marks the location of an existing oil or gas well. (Those within the park were drilled before the state bought the land in 1960.) That's a hell of a lot of wells! But not nearly enough to suit the oil companies. They won't be happy until they fill in the blanks and completely cover Salt Fork with their goddam little black dots. This is just so wrong on so many levels.

Tom Stewart, an industry lobbyist and adviser to Mustine, has said that opening up our public lands to oil and gas leases will "take the burden off the taxpayer and make these properties support themselves." Hmm. That's an interesting way of looking at it. (Make that lazy property get up off its ass and get a job!) Let's start by making John Kasich's property support itself by drilling a bunch of wells in his backyard! Do that first and have John-Boy report back to us.

Monday, January 17, 2011

GOP Gets Ready To Grandstand On Health Care . . . Then Everything Else

"Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends!"

The US House of Representatives, led by Sir John of Orange, is ready to start "debate" on the Republican Bill HR 2, officially known as the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Reform Act" Act. (Act Act?? Gotta be one of the worst names for a piece of legislation in American history! The GOP is off its game. Where's the snappy title, like "Patriot Act" or "No Child Left Behind"?)

It's all for show, of course. It will easily pass in the House, but is DOA in the Senate, and would be vetoed promptly if it ever reached Obama's desk, which it won't. But the R's believe this false "repeal" will score political points, which is all that counts.

The GOP's rhetoric is, as usual, calculated, cynical, and bumper-sticker simple: "Obama-Care is a government take-over of your health care, and it's bad, bad, bad. Did we mention bad?" What hilarious horseshit! Why is it bad? It's "job-killing", of course. How so? Which jobs? They never say, believing only that they don't have to.

Meanwhile, the Dems flail about wonkily, making policy speeches highlighting 24 benefits of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. They correctly point out that most Americans like these things, think they're good, not bad. All this is perfectly true, but requires explanation, thought, and comprehension -- not the long suit of the average American. So the R's are banking on boredom and misunderstanding. Craven douchebags!

I sent an email to my new congressman, Steve Stivers (R). Told him I was opposed to HR 2, and wanted him to vote against it on principle. Since Stivers campaigned on health care repeal, I knew how he'd vote. Just wanted to hear what he'd tell me.

Ten days later, I heard. (Kilroy used to reply the next day. I miss her already.) Stevie Wonder tells me he'll vote for HR 2, for repeal -- no debate necessary for him. He is of course in favor of reducing health care costs, increasing access to care, and reducing the number of uninsured. Of course! But he's decided Obama-Care doesn't do this "fully", so fuck it, he's against it, and let's just get rid of the whole thing. Oh, OK, Steve-O. What a reasonable position: "I like it, but because I don't like 100% of it, I'm 100% opposed to it."

Stivers is a former insurance industry lobbyist and a big, fat liar. I look forward to voting his sorry ass OUT in two short years!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"But Honest, Officer, She Looked So Natural."

A man from Geneva, Ohio has been arrested for having sex with a dead woman. When questioned by police, the man said he thought the woman was alive. He went on to say that during their date that night, the woman "was less talkative than normal, had very little appetite, was chilly, and slept through the entire movie." He nevertheless believed she was enjoying herself.

Police charged him with abuse of a corpse and possession of marijuana. Could be a connection there.

Sarah Palin's Arizona Matzah Recipe

On the very day of the memorial service for those killed in Arizona, before President Obama spoke so movingly at that service, Sarah Palin decided to release a video statement. Sister Sarah wants us all to know that it's not her fault, that she's not sorry about anything, and it's yet another instance of the liberal media attacking her unfairly. So, you see, she's a victim too.

Yeah, right! Is there a bigger blockhead anywhere than Sarah Palin?

(Click the link for her special matzah recipe.)


Monday, January 10, 2011


As the world knows by now, on Saturday Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D) was shot in the head during an event in Tucson. The shooter was a 22 year old man full of paranoid right-wing crap. He killed six and wounded several others. It's clear he intended to assassinate Giffords. She's still alive, but may never be the same again.

The killer was a loner, estranged from family and friends, and slowly going nuts. He was suspended from college in September after several disruptive incidents. A condition of his return to school was that he take and pass a thorough mental exam. He never did. Instead, in November, he went to a gun shop and bought himself a Glock pistol.

A couple questions:

When will this country wake up and adopt a sane gun policy? Because right now, at least in fuckin' Arizona, the insane can evidently purchase handguns with no trouble at all.

When will the far-right flame-fanners admit their culpability in this tragedy? In the fall campaign, Sarah Palin infamously put rifle-scope crosshairs on a map of the U.S. to indicate the Democratic candidates she had "targeted" for defeat. (Giffords was one of them.) The headline on her map was, "Don't Retreat, Re-Load!" Giffords' opponent used a campaign slogan, "If not votes, then bullets." Beck, Limbaugh, and O'Reilly spend endless hours getting the dumbasses all lathered up. The TEA Baggers respond with frenzied, incoherent anger. No, none of them pulled the trigger, but they all played a role. They should all be ashamed, but they aren't.

If this won't cool off some of the hot-headed horseshit rhetoric out there, what will? ENOUGH, already!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Boehner Has A Really Big Gavel

. . . and I hear he has a massive hammer, too. I bet it's orange! Hee-hee-hee!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The New Congress Will Be Well-Read

It's new year and a new Congress takes over today. John Boehner is the new Speaker of the House of Representatives. As a sop to the TEA Party loonies who helped him gain this position, the Orange Man will open this session of Congress by reading aloud the U.S. Constitution in its entirety. He'll then read them Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America", followed by the latest issue of the Weekly Standard, then some recent editorial columns by Cal Thomas.

Don't you love it when someone reads to you?