Thursday, June 30, 2016
I saw too many attack ads today.
The video snippet is way out of context. Strickland was speaking about how he changed his views on gun rights and gun control, not his economic record. This ad is pants-on-fire bullshit!
Big contributors to the Fighting For Ohio Fund include the Carl Lindner family (Chiquita Brands, Great American Insurance, United Dairy Farmers, and former owners of the Reds) and the Bob Castellini family (Castellini Group produce distributors, and the current owners of the Reds -- the wretched, last-place Reds.)
These are slick ads for stupid people. I can't compete with Robbie's money men. I sent $10 to Ted Strickland's campaign.
As some readers know, young son Buster Jr. works at a Deputy Registrar's License Agency (part of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles) while simultaneously going to school at Columbus State, soon to transfer to Ohio State. We had this text message exchange today:
Son -- "Sooo . . . Urban Meyer is coming in today to get his license renewed. I'm gonna see if I can shake his hand. :)" 1:05 pm
Me -- "Alright! Tell him you still have athletic eligibility left and would appreciate a full ride. ;)" 1:19 pm
Son -- "Didn't get a chance. He was in and out really quick and had a small entourage with him to make sure we communicated with him as little as possible. He kinda seemed like a d-bag, honestly. LOL." 2:20 pm
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Now you can impersonate J.R. with this incredible new tee-shirt! It faithfully reproduces his body "art," but for full authenticity, I say it needs to be a long-sleeved turtleneck. Plus a pair of gloves.
The GOP has done it again. The House Select Committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi consulate attack has finally concluded its labors and has found . . . nothing. No wrongdoing, no cover-up, nothing new, no nuthin'. Just a tragic loss of 4 lives that could not have been predicted or prevented. But that didn't stop the Republicans from wasting a lot of time and money turning it into another witch hunt.
Prior to the House Select Committee, the Benghazi incident had been previously investigated seven times. Eighth time's a charm!??
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Cal) boasted that the real purpose of the Select Committee was to damage Hillary Clinton politically.
The Committee's chief counsel, Army Lt. General Dana Chapman commended the military response to the Benghazi attack, and acknowledged that nothing could have affected what occurred.
Not to discount the loss of life, but there are risks inherent in diplomatic work abroad. The American Foreign Service Association says that 76 American diplomats were killed in 40 separate attacks from 1973 to 2013.
Unlike all those other incidents, the Benghazi investigation by the Select Committee took over two years and cost most than $7 million. It was the longest congressional investigation in American history -- longer than the inquiries into Pearl Harbor, JFK's assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra, Hurricane Katrina, and the 9/11 attacks.
And what was the result? The Committee's final report is 800 pages of rehashed old news. There is no "there" there. It's just a big, embarrassing doorstop. The GOP should be ashamed of itself.
Benghazi? Case closed.
Monday, June 27, 2016
A good old friend is a moderate, open-minded guy with some wacked-out, wing-nut friends and family. (Not alone in that regard, is he?) Recently, a couple of them saw fit to share a gloriously batshit conspiracy-theory ghost story on social media. Here's the link, and caution -- a little goes a long way:
|Yep, and if you believe that, you are effin' nuts!|
Just look at the horrible consequences of the obvious murder of Scalia. Today the 8-member Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that a Texas anti-abortion TRAP law* was an obviously illegal, unconstitutional POS that had nothing to do with women's health and safety and everything to do with making abortion damn near impossible.
If only Scalia hadn't been assassinated by Obama, it would have been a different story. No, wait -- it would've been the same decision, just 5-4.
*TRAP = Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. In red states, it's a popular ALEC-generated legislative idea to designed to close facilities and make abortion access extremely difficult. TRAP laws mandate that abortion facilities have hospital-admitting privileges, surgical capabilities, and other unnecessary hurdles not required of any other out-patient facility. There are 23 states that have adopted TRAP laws, including Ohio. Today the Notorious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) gave notice to those states that their who-do-you-think-you're-fucking-fooling laws will not stand.
Maybe you've seen this ad from the Koch brothers. It's been in fairly heavy rotation here in swingy ol' Ohio, part of their down-ballot strategy:
So let me get this straight. Two of the richest men in world would like you to believe they give a shit about poverty, racism, unfairness, and the big have/have not divide. And they want you to believe that the best way to fix these societal problems is to "remove the red tape and excessive government regulations" (i.e. all the rules they don't like) so that they can prosper to an even greater extent. (The Kochs are hurting? They are somehow oppressed?)
They want you to swallow it and like it and believe that somehow the entire nation will benefit if only we do everything the Koch way.
Don't swallow. Don't believe. It's tired old trickle-down B.S.
And BTW, can any of my conservative readers (semi- and other) give me a single example of an excessive, repressive government regulation? Tell me how it's killed your business and ruined your life. Tell me everything, I'm all ears.
The survey found the least likely to give a shit are evangelical Christians, with just 5.5% caring about the poor. I know my fair share of those people, and I'm not surprised in the least.
As the great George Carlin once said, "I think everyone should treat one another in a Christian manner. I will not, however, be responsible for the consequences."
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Squeaker of the House Paul Ryan says that the John Lewis-led House shut-down/sit-in/stand-up last night over sensible gun legislation was nothing but a "publicity stunt."
Paulie, puh-leeze! These are publicity stunts:
|Washing already-clean pans at a closed and empty soup kitchen.|
|"Hey girl! My posed workout pix|
are definitely not a publicity stunt."
|Guns are great, and just so damn funny!|
File this one under sad but true -- further proof that Donald Trump is a fraud, just another cheap bastard.
It seems Donald is in the habit of giving the gift of diamond cuff links to friends and acquaintances. Really generous, right? Yeah, except Donnie hands out fakes.
Click the link for the story and a short, funny video of Charlie Sheen recalling the time that the Great Trumpkin gave him some fake diamond jewelry.
"The appraiser recoiled and said, 'In their finest moment, these are cheap pewter and bad zirconias."
Reminds me of a very similar case involving a car dealer I once knew. He's dead now, but in his day he was successful, but arrogant and dismissive of other people, most of whom he considered to be beneath him. Knew him, didn't like him.
And soon enough, they did. The pre-nup made the divorce settlement pretty cut and dried -- she got a little money and some other things, and of course the huge diamond ring worth mucho dinero. She intended to sell the ring and cash in, but upon appraisal, it was found to be just an ordinary cubic zirconium, worth maybe $200.
She sued her ex for fraudulent misrepresentation, and won her case. She was awarded the full amount of the ring as it was represented to her by her ex -- $150,000 as I recall.
The car dealer was just another cheap bastard trying to pull a fast one. He was probably related to Donald Trump.
Today, conservatives are trying their best to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. They are all praising Donald Trump for his apparent ability to read.
In yesterday's speech, Trump's attacks on Hillary Clinton may have been virtually absent of facts, but at least he avoided his usual off-the-cuff detours into incendiary bigotry. For the most part, he just read the teleprompter, although he did get a little stuck on the word "Americans":
Trump's message still sucks, but Republicans are rightly thrilled by the demonstration of his reading skills. When he sticks to the speechwriter's script, his vocabulary seems to rise from it's typical 3rd-grade level all the way up to 4th grade. Very presidential! The best!
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) has led a sit-in protest which has shut down the U.S. House for eleven straight hours, to illustrate the lack of any meaningful legislative action on gun violence. "No bill, no break!" "We shall overcome!"
House Squeaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has just reconvened the members for a vote on a Republican bill to allow investment brokers to more easily lie to their clients. Yeah, that's really sooo important. "Shame, shame!"
House rules be damned! This shit is coming to a head. When it comes to moral authority, credibility and significance, John Lewis has it all over Paulie Smallnuts, and always will.
|Elizabeth Warren brings snacks for House D's|
Since the Gilded Age, Republicans have hated taxes of all sorts. (OK, none of us love taxes, but some of us understand their necessity and utility. They are the price we pay for a decent civilized society.) Many in the GOP are still under the thrall of Trickle Down Economics, the Reagan-era zombie lie. Perhaps the California-Kansas contrast will cause some conservatives to snap out of it!
In 2012, California raised taxes on the wealthy, creating one of the highest tax rates in the U.S. -- 13.3% on individual taxable income over $1 million per year. Conservatives freaked out, and promised an economic Armageddon for the Golden State. Per a recent Washington Post report:
"California grew just fine the year the tax hike took effect. In 2015, California's economy grew by 4.1%, according to new numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, tying it with Oregon for the fastest state growth for the year. That was up from 3.1% growth in California in 2014, which was near the top of national pack."
"The Kansas economy, on the other hand, grew just 0.2% in 2015. That's down from 1.2% in 2014, and below neighboring states such as Nebraska (2.1%) and Missouri (1.2%). Kansas ended the year with two consecutive quarters of negative growth -- a shrinking economy. By common definition of the term, the state entered 2016 in a recession. Kansas' GDP is still less than it was in 2011. Meanwhile, the economy in the rest of the country continues to expand."
Have conservatives been properly chastened by this? Have they learned a goddam thing?
What do you think?
(I routinely flog the Columbus Dispatch for being an amateurish conservative tool -- which it is -- but today writers Bill Bush and Mary Morgan Edwards told me something I didn't know. Did you know this? Now that I know it, I don't like it. An excerpt follows.)
The Ohio General Assembly has a formula for determining the per-student amount each district and charter school should receive.
The formula says that Columbus schools and all the charters that serve students who live in the district were owed a total of $387.2 million from the state last school year, or $5500 per student on average.
But the state doesn't have that much, so the GOP-dominated General Assembly capped the total at 296.9 million, with the twist that charters still get their full per-pupil amount, and the district gets anything left over. Columbus City schools got less than $3000 per student; charters got $7866 per student.
Today, Columbus charters get $142.4 million to teach 18,000 students. The Columbus city schools get $154.4 million to teach the remaining 52,000 kids, many of whom rank among the poorest in the state.
Today Donald Trump delivered his "big speech" devoted to attacking Hillary Clinton. He was fairly well-rehearsed and stuck to his script, but his script was still chock-full of gross exaggerations, misrepresentations, lack of understanding, and bullshit. It was essentially his "crooked Hillary" line stretched out to an hour's worth of bloviation. According to Donald, anything bad which has occurred anywhere on the planet during Hillary's lifetime is her fault.
One of his punchlines today was calling Hillary "a world-class liar." Most of us would agree that no one is 100% honest. Politicians, as a class, are especially known as dishonest hair-splitters, baloney-slicers, and double-talking spin-meisters.
- The financial website The Street named Donald Trump as the Biggest Liar of 2015.
- PolitiFact has found that the biggest liars of the 2016 election cycle so far have been Donald Trump and Ben Carson. The most honest? Hillary Clinton.
It's like the old joke:
How can you tell if Donald Trump is lying?
His lips are moving.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Jesus! I am no theologian and neither is Donald Trump. Not even close. He has no business discussing religion with anyone. If this lame-ass talking point is an example of his "new direction" campaign, he's in even deeper shit than anyone thought.
Donald Trump couldn't spell "bible" if you spotted him two b's and the i.
One of these days, dear readers, America will progress to the point where our elected officials will not be required to prove their Christianity, or any sort of religious affiliation. Then we will be free to elect, say, a Buddhist, or a Jew, or an atheist, or someone who simply maintains that his or her religion, or lack thereof, is a private matter and is none of our damn business. And that, my friends, will be progress indeed.
Yet again -- still, actually -- the vast majority of American citizens are demanding something be done to reduce gun violence. The slaughter of little schoolchildren couldn't generate any action. Maybe the worst mass shooting in American history will.
Or not. Yesterday's unsurprising time-waster in the U.S. Senate showed just how influential the NRA really is. Four gun control proposals came to the floor, and all four were shot down (to use a phrase.)
The sensible proposals were the two from Democrats: 1. A ban on selling firearms to those on the TSA no-fly list, a.k.a. No Fly-No Buy, and 2. A new requirement for background checks for internet sales and gun show sales.
The Republicans/NRA came up with two craven, chicken-shit proposals of their own: 1. A 72-hour waiting period for those on the no-fly list. (These aren't home equity lines. We're talkin' about lethal weapons!), and 2. More money for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), but no expansion of checks for internet or gun show sales. In fact, this proposal would make it more difficult to deny a gun for mental reasons, and easier to appeal such a decision.
The Democrats returned the favor by rejecting these toothless schemes.
It appears that no amount of horror, bloodshed or public outcry can pry Republicans from the clutches of the NRA. They are cowards, but it's hard to think rationally when your paycheck is written by the devil.
Monday, June 20, 2016
It was redemptive for Bron Bron, and very satisfying for old Cleveland fans like me. As has been mentioned so often lately, it's been a long time since the last championship of any kind for the city of Cleveland (the 1964 Browns). So I've now been witness to two Cleveland championships.
Our rate of winning it all isn't very high -- once every 52 years like clockwork -- which only makes it that much sweeter when it finally happens. BELIEVE!!!
On many a Sunday evening, a small group of neighbor friends will gather at the pool to have a couple beers and chat about all sorts of stuff. We call ourselves the Circle of Trust (although given our ages, Circle of Rust is more apropos).
Politics is a frequent topic. Most of the Circle is of a fairly liberal viewpoint, except for the neighbor I call Little Rush, because he favors the outraged, shout-em-down style of non-discourse employed by radio loudmouth Rush Limbaugh. Our neighbor is a good guy in so many ways, but his political imagination runs the gamut from A to B.
Last night, Little Rush acknowledged that Trump is a nut-job loser, and that Hillary will almost certainly be our next President, but wanted us to know he wouldn't vote for her because she's "fat, wears a size 62 pantsuit, has 'cankles,' and she's old."
That's what left of the conservative argument: "Yes, our party's candidate is a deranged mental patient, but your's is fat and old." Classy.
If you're into disparaging remarks about age and weight, for the record, the oldest president to date was Republican Ronald Reagan. Hillary would be younger. And the fattest was Republican William Howard Taft. Tipping the scales at over 360 pounds, Taft was so fat he once got stuck in the White House bathtub. And his suit size was about 162.
|Yes, Hilz loves her some pantsuits. Gotta problem with that?|
Friday, June 17, 2016
A group calling itself One Nation America is running some TV ads on behalf of Ohio's Republican Senator, Rob Portman, who's up for reelection this fall. The spots are a classic example of FUD -- fear, uncertainty and doubt. You're not exactly sure what they're talking about, but you know it's bad.
In this case, it has something to do with the Obama administration's proposed change to Medicare Part B drug coverage, and from the tone of the ad, you'd think Obama was murdering old cancer patients.
Wow! No specifics, but it's an evil "experiment" to "reduce access, increase cost, take away choice, and insert the government." So says "Dr. Bane." Dr. Bane does not bother to explain how these horrible things will actually occur. Who the hell is Dr. Bane? Is he really a doctor?
Here's the scoop: The proposed change would impact about half of all Medicare providers. Under Part B, it would change the reimbursement for certain prescription drugs (like chemo drugs) from 106% of the drug's average retail price to 102.5%, plus a flat fee of $16.80.
The pharmaceutical industry, the AMA, and the American Hospital Association are all opposed. So is Robbie Portman, their bought-and-paid-for Senator. They say it amounts to tackling the drug price problem on the backs of all those poor Medicare doctors and hospitals.
Poor, my ass! I'm sure their backs can bear up under the strain. You're already being reimbursed above retail! Under the proposed change, it would still be above retail, just slightly less. If you can't get by on over-retail reimbursements, the problem is all yours.
And now you know.
|"We shoulda stayed in Iraq and kept bombing the shit |
out of the place until something good happened."
Obama pulled "everybody" out of Iraq, thus "creating" ISIS, and the nightclub shooter claimed he was an ISIS "member," so -- voila! -- it's all Obama's fault. He might as well have pulled the trigger himself.
Complete horseshit, of course.
Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq began in 2007 and ended in 2011, per the Status of Forces Agreement signed by George W. Bush. Obama merely stuck with Bush's timetable. We maintain 3500 troops in Iraq today as advisers. The Pentagon sees no need for any more.
If anyone is directly responsible for creating ISIS, it's Dubya. His disastrous, lie-based invasion in 2003 destroyed Iraq and turned the entire region into 13-year quagmire -- an endless procession of the unexpected. Those who supported Dubya's Iraq folly, like John McCain, certainly bear some responsibility too.
The Orlando shooter was a U.S. citizen born in Queens. Visiting an ISIS website and phoning in some last-minute "allegiance" does not make him a credible ISIS member, just a sick puppy.
Soon after his ridiculous remarks, McCain said he "mis-spoke." Puts it mildly.
I'm so grateful we elected Barack Obama in 2008 instead of the bellicose warhawk McCain. Time for that goofy old bastard to retire.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Re the Orlando gun massacre:
I am a constituent. I am strongly in favor of federal bans on military/assault-style weapons, semi-automatic weapons, and high capacity ammo clips/magazines. I am strongly in favor of universal background checks for all firearms purchases, and the establishment of a federal registry of all known firearm owners. I'm in favor of preventing those on the "no fly" list from purchasing firearms. I hope you favor these things as well.
I strongly support the Brady Campaign, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action and Americans For Responsible Solutions. I hope you support them too.
I am adamantly opposed to the NRA’s dishonest leadership and their lobbying and legislative tactics. I know you have a history of supporting the NRA and taking their money. Since you continue to accept contributions from the NRA and do their bidding, I cannot support you. But I sincerely hope that you will change and henceforth refuse all contributions from the NRA, financial and other, to your office and to your future campaigns.
The NRA is political poison. You should disavow them completely.
I've sent you this comment, or a version of it, after every gun massacre since Sandy Hook. There have been far too many. You've intentionally ignored the will of the people and done nothing. But you can still change your tune, and you should. Better late than never.
It’s time to do the right thing. As Gabby Giffords once said, “You must act. Be bold. Be courageous.”
When you send these guys an email, you must choose your topic from a drop-down list. It's curious that neither of these fine public servants lists anything close to "Guns," "Public Safety," or even "Crime." They don't want to talk about that stuff if they don't have to. With Portman, I had to pick "2nd Amendment." With Tiberi, I went with "Healthcare."
The other day, I was watching a gaggle of TV pundits discuss the historic ascendancy of Hillary Clinton, the first female presidential nominee. They noted that she nearly achieved the distinction eight years ago, but was sidelined by another history-maker, Barack Obama, the first black nominee. And wouldn't it be such a sweet satisfaction for her to follow America's first black President by becoming our first woman President?
A conservative commentator in the bunch piped up and said she "wasn't into identity politics, and wouldn't vote for a candidate just because she was a woman."
Got it. It's basic conservative code. Candidates other than old white men -- e.g. blacks, females, Hispanics, Asians, and other likely liberals -- are just pandering and playing "identity politics."
They have nothing to offer other than their genetic makeup. Right.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Liar / angry / smirking / fish-lipped / tiny-fingered vulgarian / feckin' arsewipe / demagogue / extremist / agitator / bully / Make America Hate Again / fraud / fake / grandiose / braggart / douche-lord / buffoon / blowhard / misogynist / disrespectful to women / racist / inflammatory / bigot / Islamophobe / Latinophobe / homophobe / xenophobe / five-time bankrupt / scammer / deadbeat / business failure / flake / bullshitter deluxe / flim-flam man / con artist / thin-skinned / insecure / pin-dick / gigantic asshole / soulless / snake oil salesman / deceptive / greedy / wanton / malicious / birther / fear-monger / hate-monger / conspiracy theorist / reckless / naive / dangerous / clueless on policy matters / no elective or governmental experience / argumentative / loudmouth / 3rd grade vocabulary / loathsome / philanderer / selfish / escaped mental patient / antagonistic / dictatorial / authoritarian / instigator of violence / fascist / nationalist / chauvinist / jingoist / isolationist / threat-maker / narcissist / tacky / tasteless / orange raccoon / bad spray tan / seriously, dude, WTF is up with the hair? / talking yam / orangutan / tweet-a-holic / expired bottle of Sunny Delight / disagreeable / unqualified / temperamentally unstable / disqualified / whiner / cheapskate / dog-whistler / self-important / egomaniac / shameless / incoherent / embarrassing / charlatan / inarticulate / a verbal vomitorium / a faux celebrity / torture advocate / not deserving of respect / ball-grabbing circus monkey / media whore / insane / the kind of asshole other assholes look at and say, "Now THERE'S an asshole!" / spoiled brat / tax cheat / trashy / crude / wants to bang his own daughter / megalomaniac / delusional / callous / anti-choice / anti-abortion / climate change denier / tax cutter for the rich / NRA ass-kisser / walking mass of personality disorders / obnoxious / noisy / comtemptible / dickweed / clown / ass hat / carnival barker / preferred by under-educated white men angry about something they can't quite explain / thrice-married, foul-mouthed tit judge / Humpty Trumpty / The Great Trumpkin / Donnie Drumpf / orange rage-monster / will make Mexico pay for it / "I love the poorly educated!" / "There must be some form of punishment" / shyster / dried-up saddle bag with Cheez Whiz on top / and, lest we forget, . . . LIAR! LIAR! LIAR!
Hallelujah! Holy shit!*
(Surely there are many more descriptive words and phrases. Leave a comment or send me an email and we'll add to the list! While you're working on that, enjoy Chevy Chase's epic rant* about his rotten boss from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. He could be describing Trump!)