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

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Trump Visits The Proctologist

"What shall we stuff up there, Dr. Kaine?"
"It's your call, Dr. Clinton.  By the way, this isn't lube, it's Super Glue!"


Got more captions?  Sure you do!  Leave a comment or send an email.  I'll re-post.   

Friday, July 29, 2016

Penn Jillette On Trump

"The American public prayed for somebody on the political scene who would tell the truth without filters.  And like the monkey's paw, it's come back and bitten them in the butt.  You like it, America?  Here's someone without filters.  Is this what you want?  It's kind of refreshing, except that he's wrong about everything!"

What I Missed At Dem-Con, Day 4

Missed very little.  Watched most of it last evening.  The highlights:

Kareem Abdul Jabbar:  "Hello, I'm Michael Jordan and I'm here with Hillary.  I said that because I know Donald Trump couldn't tell the difference!"

Khizr Khan, whose son was an Army captain killed in action in Iraq:  "You [Donald Trump] have sacrificed nothing."

Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the Moral Mondays movement:  "I know it may sound strange, but I'm a conservative because I work to conserve a divine tradition that teaches us to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our god."

(I'm not religious, but I thought he was the most powerful speaker of the night.  Tell it, preacher!)

Hillary Clinton:  "A man you can bait with a tweet is NOT a man you can trust with nuclear weapons."

Now the shows are over and we get down to cases.  Go, Hilz, go!

(Predictably, Trump reacted with a series of peevish late-night insult tweets.  How mature.)

"F*** Your Conscience. Vote For Hillary."

I stumbled upon this.  It is strong stuff!  Ashley Wool is musical theater performer in NYC.  She's a total stranger to me, but I like her message and I like her style -- it's quite possibly more profane, snarky and disrespectful than my own.  Some excerpts follow the full-article link.


This op-ed is not addressed to Donald Trump supporters. Because at this point, if you’re still supporting Trump, you’re at least one of three things. Either you’re not paying attention at all...or you’re the stubborn kind of stupid that cannot be fixed with the presentation of facts, logic, citations, and reality...and/or you’re the kind of heartless that cannot be fixed by appealing to your better nature, because you have none.

But this message isn’t for you. So go on back to playing with your guns and Confederate flags until I feel like dealing with you again.

Louder now, for the people in the back: Fuck your conscience. Your conscience does not matter. Wanna know what does matter? Your vote. Your conscience only belongs to you, but your vote belongs to everyone.
You don’t vote for the Facebook likes. You don’t vote for you. You vote as a way to help give your entire country the best chance it can realistically have at this point in time.
Hillary Clinton is far and away the best realistic option we have. Therefore, if you don’t vote for her this year, regardless of whether or not you like her or agree with her, you are not voting in your country’s best interest.
You might say, “I hate Trump, but I can’t vote for a Democrat because I’m a lifelong Republican!” In which case, fuck your conscience extra hard, because you let Trump happen. You let your party stray too far from the ideals you purport to extol, so it took a swift nosedive into Assholeville and you didn’t stop it, and now you have an incompetent narcissist on your ticket. He is your fault. If you didn’t want Hillary Clinton in the White House, you should have nominated an opponent who’s anywhere near worthy of competing with her. Alas, you didn’t. So now you have to vote for her to destroy the monster you created.
Open your mind to the idea that maybe you actually would like her if it weren’t for so many people saying you aren’t supposed to.
Vote for Hillary. Your conscience will get over it. America will not get over the alternative.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

What I Missed At Dem-Con, Day 3

Actually, I saw a lot of it.  I did miss Gabby and Panetta and Bloomberg.  Saw Kaine and Uncle Joe and Cousin Barry.

It was Trash Trump Night!

Gabby Giffords:  "Speaking is difficult for me.  Come January, I want to say these two words:  Madame President."

Leon Panetta:  "Trump asks our troops to commit war crimes, endorses torture, and praises dictators."

Tim Kaine:  "He's a slick-talking, empty-promising, self-promoting, one-man wrecking crew!"

Michael Bloomberg:  "I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one.  Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's running his business?  God help us."

Joe Biden:  "No major-party nominee in history has known less or been less prepared.  He has no clue, period."

President Obama:  "Donald Trump . . ." [a chorus of boos erupted] ". . . Don't boo.  Vote!  He's not really a plans guy.  Not really a facts guy either.  Does anyone really believe that a guy who's spent his 70 years on this earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion?  Your voice?"

Bradley Cooper Disappoints

Bradley Cooper is a well-known, accomplished actor who has played many intriguing roles on screen.  One was his portrayal of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in "American Sniper."  The film was a hit and became a big favorite at conservative pajama parties -- they loved watching Iraqi bad guys get blown away.

When Cooper was shown in attendance at the Democratic Convention, the conserva-tard Twitter-verse went nuts.  "OMG!  Cooper's not a Republican?  I'll never watch him again!"

Bradley Cooper playing Chris Kyle is what's known as "acting."  It doesn't mean he's actually a Republican or a sniper.

Conservatives were equally disappointed to learn that Anthony Hopkins doesn't really eat people, and that Morgan Freeman isn't really God.

No On Issue 1

(Pardon me for being ultra-local in this one.)

Here in Columbus, we have a special single-question election coming up on August 2nd.  It's called Issue 1, and it proposes to completely restructure our City Council.  

It would remove our current seven at-large council members and replace them with a ward system and a much larger council.  There would still be three at-large members, plus a number of ward/district council members -- ten at first, growing to as many as 22 eventually.  A City Council of between 13 and 25 people.  Ward/district maps would obviously need to drawn.  By whom?  On what basis?  No one knows.    

Supporters of Issue 1 claim it would give us more direct "representation."  It would certainly give our Council more bodies.  Not so sure about anything else.

Issue 1 supporters are, for the most part, white Republicans unhappy to be living in a Democratic city with a Democratic Council.

If you haven't voted yet, please read the ballot language before you pull the trigger.  It is a lengthy thicket of confusing crapola, and a recipe for regular gerrymandering.  Even the Dispatch says it's no good.

Our long-standing City Council structure is very simple.  And by any objective measure, as a large and growing city, Columbus is doing very, very well.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Vote "No" on Issue 1.

False Consensus

Twice in the past week, I've gone out of my way to greet a neighbor at the community pool and say hello.  Twice I've wished I hadn't.

The first guy, who was there with his two young grandkids, replied to my generic, "What's new?" with bizarre rant about low sales taxes in other states, and his dislike of the gummint and that "goddam Muslim" running it.  "OK," I said, standing to walk away, "Sorry I asked."

"You're not a conservative, are you"? he said.

A few days later, I said hi to another guy.  He wanted to know if I'd received his email.  It was about supporting our local Issue 1 -- it would totally revamp our city council -- and he wanted me to forward it to the entire neighborhood.  I got it, but told him I wouldn't share it because our HOA Board doesn't get involved in politics.

"Really?  But it would give us real representation from this area" he said, "not some 26 year-old like Shannon Hardin.  The only reason he's on city council is he's black and gay."  Whatever, dude.  I'm still not forwarding your email.

My evidence is empirical, but it seems to me many conservatives are convinced that everyone shares their world view.  I see it all the time, not just from the preceding examples.  They can't keep their opinions to themselves (even the offensive ones).  They assume consensus, they assume everyone agrees with them, and are shocked to find out otherwise.

In psychology, this condition is called the "false consensus effect" or "naive realism."  In my experience, it's fairly prevalent among conservatives and relatively rare in liberals.

I wonder why that is.

Omarosa The Expert

Theresa "Omarosa" Manigault is a former reality show contestant on Donald Trump's Apprentice shows and professional cipher.

Asked about Trump a year ago, she said, "I'm a Democrat."  Nevertheless, this year she was named the director of "African American Outreach" for the Trump campaign. ( LMFAO!  That's a gig with a lot of free time!)

This week, Sean Spicer, the RNC Chief Strategist and Communications Director, trotted her out at an event to "discuss Hillary Clinton's foriegn [sic] policy failures."

You can't make this stuff up.  The Republicans have a foreign policy expert who's a C-list reality TV nit-wit, and a Communications Director who can't spell.  Perfect!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Trump: "Me So Smrt!"

Today, Donald Trump offered his opinion that the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine "did a terrible job in New Jersey."

For once, Trump was correct.  Tim Kaine did indeed do a terrible job in New Jersey.  In point of fact, Kaine did literally nothing for New Jersey.

Tim Kaine was the governor of Virginia.

How Much More Outrageous Can Trump Be?

This is just unbelievable.  Donald Trump wants Russian hackers to steal (or release, if they've already stolen) the emails deleted from Hillary Clinton's private server:

"I hope they have [her emails].  Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.  I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

Then, in a tweet, "Perhaps they should share them with the FBI."

First, Trump rooted for the housing crash and Great Recession because he thought he could make money.  Now he's rooting for a foreign country to hack the internet accounts of his American political opposition -- which is a crime -- so he can win the election.  He's asking Russia to help him beat Hillary!

This is literally unprecedented.  It's treasonous.  It's despicable.  He's advocating for foreign espionage for his own personal benefit!  And in just a few days, as the GOP nominee, Trump will gain access to classified intelligence briefings.

Donald Trump is a selfish, no-class asshole.  He's a dangerous scumbag and he must not be allowed to get anywhere near the White House.  If you vote for him, you are a silly, delusional fool.  Don't do it.

As for things that really should be shared, how about releasing your friggin' tax returns, Donald!

What I Missed At Dem-Con, Day 2

Missed the first two, but caught Bill live and Hil on the video link.

It was history-making day in Philly, as Hillary Clinton officially became the first major-party woman presidential nominee.  Sort of a big deal, I'd say.

Mothers of the Movement (black moms whose children died in racially-charged incidents):  "Hillary Clinton isn't afraid to say that black lives matter."
"In memory of our children, we are imploring all of you to vote on Election Day."

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood:
"Well, Donald Trump, come November, women are going to be more than an inconvenience.  Women are going to be the reason you're not elected!"

Ol' Bubba: 
"What's the difference from what I told you [about Hillary] and what they [the GOP] said?  One is real.  One is made up.  [The GOP's] only option is to make up a cartoon.  They're running against a cartoon."

Hillary (on video):
"If there are any little girls who stayed up late to watch, let me just say, I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next!" 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Rachel Maddow, Arch-Conservative Drinker

In a recent interview, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow was asked to reveal the most conservative thing about herself.  Her answer:

That's a bottle of Blanton's.  You can't do better.
"Probably my drinking habits.  I am a rigorous curmudgeon when it comes to alcohol.  All the mixed drinks and cocktails that anybody needs were pretty much settled a generation before I was born.  There's no reason to have, like, cordials made from new flowers.  There's no reason to put bacon in your fucking bourbon."

Oh Rachel, I've loved you for many reasons.  Now I have another.

Johnson Vs. Non-Johnson

One of my oldest and dearest friends is that rare, reasonable Republican.  He is properly disgusted by Donald Trump and says he will not vote for him.  Good.  (And him at least, I believe.)

He recently sent a message suggesting, tongue partially in cheek, that he might vote for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, and playfully nicknamed him "Big" Johnson.

Well, ol' buddy, if you must, you must, but I say we already have way too many Big Johnsons in Washington D.C.  I say it's time for a non-Johnson, if you catch my drift.  And I don't mean Jill Stein.

What I Missed At Dem-Con, Day 1

Buster is an equal-opportunity avoider of political conventions.  Mostly.

Things I missed last night in Philadelphia (but caught later online):

The "Bernie or Bust" people were indeed ridiculous.  They are the die-hards, they are few, and they missed the memo.  Hillary Clinton is the nominee.  End of story.

(By the way, for all her faults, Debbie Wasserman Schultz did her job.  She delivered an historic and highly capable candidate to the Dems.  Reince Priebus gave the Republicans Donald Friggin' Trump.)

Michelle Obama stole the show.  Didn't see it live, but OMG, what a speech!  Hey Melania!  There's more great material for you to rip off!  
"When they go low, we go high."  "All our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States."  I'm really gonna miss Michelle.

Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker were righteous stem-winders.  
"What kind of man roots for an economic crash?  What kind of man cheats students, investors and workers?"  "Trump's entire campaign is just one more late-night infomercial." -- Warren
"America's greatness is not measured by how many billionaires we have, but by how few people we have living in poverty."  "We.  Will.  Rise." -- Booker

I did watch Bernie Sanders speak.  If you don't respect Bernie by now, there's something wrong with you.  He fought the good fight, impacted the platform, accepted his runner-up status gracefully, and acknowledged what is at stake.
"Any objective person will conclude that, based on her ideas and leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States.  The choice is not even close."

Meanwhile, Donald Trump was somewhere with his phone in his tiny hands, sending out childish, bitter tweets into the wee hours.

Monday, July 25, 2016

"Oh, Daddy!"

Is it "presidential" to be as pervy as this?

Democrats Vow To Avoid Email Entirely

New DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile's first order of business was to promise that Democrats would never, ever use email again.  "Our track record on this is not good.  The internet is forever, and stupid email comments come back to bite us in the ass.  All future Party communication will be by carrier pigeon and written in lemon juice.  Whispering in the hallways will also work."

Reality:  Ousted DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz didn't even pretend to be impartial, but even without her help, it was always going to be Hillary in 2016.  No one is surprised by the inevitability of it, not even Bernie.  And although some of his supporters are freaking out, to his credit Bernie remains the grown-up in the room, focused on defeating Humpty Trumpty.


Questions about Russia's possible involvement are more intriguing and more important.

We know that DNC computers were recently hacked by Russian intelligence agencies, and that the emails released by Wikileaks had passed through Russian computers.

Trump has had business dealings in Russia for decades and is heavily reliant on Russian investment for many of his real estate developments.  He owes them.

Trump has openly expressed his admiration for Vladimir Putin.  (They are both grandiose birds of a feather -- both have an eponymous cologne.  Seriously.)

Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort spent seven years working with Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych to move that country into Putin's gravitational pull.

Trump's foreign policy advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn sat with Putin at a Russian news media gala held last year.

Trump has repeatedly stated his displeasure with NATO.  Putin would love nothing more than to see NATO go away.  An isolationist America would be Putin's wet dream.

So, would Putin and Russia really release stolen emails in an attempt to influence the American presidential election?  Sure.  Why not?

Feelings Over Facts

"I don't care about the facts.  All I know is how I feel."

We all know some folks like that, people who, as John Oliver put it, are convinced that believing something to be true is the same as it being true.  And, as Oliver pointed out, many of them were on display at last week's GOP Convention:

Jon Stewart Sees Your B.S.!

Oh, how I've missed him too!

Jon Stewart stopped by Stephen Colbert's Late Show to rip the vile GOP Convention and the current sad state of American conservatism:

“You feel that you’re this country’s rightful owners. There’s only one problem with that: This country isn’t yours. You don’t own it. It never was. There is no ‘real America.’ 
You don’t own it. You don’t own patriotism, you don’t own Christianity, you sure as hell don’t own respect for the bravery and sacrifice of military, police and firefighters. Trust me.
I saw a lot of people on the convention floor in Cleveland with their ‘Blue Lives Matter’ rhetoric who either remained silent or actively fought against the 9/11 First Responders Bill reauthorization. I see you, and I see your bullshit...” 

Friday, July 22, 2016

What I Missed at Trump-Con, Day 4

(Missed it again, and so glad I did.)

The GOP Convention ended just like it began, with another Fear Night in America.

This is what we should be afraid of.
No "Morning in America" feel-good vibe from Donald Trump.  No way.  Instead, it was Nixon's Law & Order, Huey Long's populism and Hitler's nationalism all rolled into one big ugly thing.

Trump trotted out a long and fallacious list of things to be afraid of -- crime and violence (code for black people), illegal immigrants, Muslims, domestic disaster, international humiliation, job loss, death, destruction, terrorism, weakness!  It's the apocalypse!  Aargh!! Run for the hills!

But wait!  There's only one solution to all these ginned up "problems" -- Donald J. Trump himself.  "I alone can fix it."  "I am your voice."

This is classic demagoguery as practiced by tinhorn dictators:  Terrify, then reassure.  Be very afraid, but don't worry -- Strong-Man Trump will make everything "great" again.  (He just never says how.)

The Big Don said he'll even protect our LGBTQ community, but only from being murdered by all the Islamic terrorists pouring into our country.  Meanwhile, VP Mike Pence will make sure that LGBTQ people can't get married or order a birthday cake.

Let's go for positive, not negative.  Don't drink the Fear Kool-Aid.  Reject Trumpism.  It's insane.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Unarmed. Lying Down. Hands Up. Care-Giver. Black. Shot By Police.

If you're still clinging to the false notion that cops do not unfairly target black citizens, please read this and watch the short video.  Time to cut the crap with the excuse-making about "All Lives Matter" and "Blue Lives Matter."  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Yet it's the black people who are disproportionately shot and killed.  Luckily, Charles Kinsey is alive, but we obviously have a deeply ingrained policing problem in this country and the right wing is in denial.


The Uninformed American

Isn't this pathetically dumb, misleading, and logic-free?  Three references to Civil War-era legislation giving human rights to people of color, plus an Obamacare mention.  Unconnected and meaningless.

Is the point that Republicans used to be great but now they suck?  No, I don't think so (even though that's very true).  I think the intended point is a convoluted dog whistle -- more along the lines that black people ought to be grateful for what Republicans gave them 150 years ago and should now be eternally quiet and well-behaved.  What any of this has to do with Obamacare is . . . nothing.  The whole premise is stupid.

The image was on the Facebook page of a website called "The Informed American -- A Beacon of Truth in a World of Lies."  This description is false advertising -- it may be a beacon of something but truth ain't it!  It's more of a collection of predictable white right propaganda and photos of Obama in a Nazi uniform.  "The Informed American" is a champion of gun-nut nonsense, racism, and bigotry of all sorts.  It's awful.

The image was re-posted by a friend on his FB page.  I've mentioned a number of similarly unenlightened posts from him in the past and chalked them off to carelessness.  No more.  Things don't get posted by accident.  You post it, you re-post it, you own it.

Facebook is the Swamp of Indiscretion.  My friend's posts are an example of why many people shouldn't be allowed to use social media.  They are Uninformed Americans.

What I Missed At Trump-Con, Day 3

(More stranger-than-fiction weirdness that I didn't see, because I refuse to watch.)

It was Loser's Night at the GOP Convention in Cleveland.

Scott Walker spoke and made everyone remember why he never came near the nomination.  (Hilariously, Donald Trump tweeted his post-speech appreciation to @ScottWalker6, a New Orleans TV newsman.)

The disembodied head of Marco Rubio appeared via videotape.  Marco regurgitated Islamophobia and Benghazi BS.

Newt Gingrich told scary stories about Sharia law and predicted that Hillary Clinton's election will mean the end of America as we know it.  (At least he's got the election called correctly.)

And Ted Cruz did not endorse Trump.  He instead told everyone to "vote your conscience" (which assumes that conservatives have consciences, all evidence to the contrary).  Cruz was lustily booed!

V.P. nominee Mike Pence, a virtual unknown who apparently will run the country if King Donald is elected, introduced himself to the crowd and vowed to unite the party around the critical issues of gay-bashing, potty police, and the illegal suppression of a woman's right to an abortion.

Eric Trump, another son with long, greasy hair (someone should tell the Trumps that the Pat Riley-Exxon Valdez hairstyle is dead) took the podium and praised his father for turning the GOP debates "into must-see TV."

It's all just a televised beauty pageant to these dipshits, and Daddy Dearest is their Miss Universe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Stephen Colbert" Returns With The Word -- "Trumpiness"

Oh, how I've missed him!

"Truthiness" was from the gut.

"Trumpiness" clearly comes from much further down the gastrointestinal tract.

The Donald Who Would Be King

From Steve Benen, on the MaddowBlog, on an incredible offer Trump made to John Kasich:

The New York Times’ Robert Draper reports today on an amazing attempt at outreach from Team Trump to the Ohio governor.
One day this past May, Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., reached out to a senior adviser to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who left the presidential race just a few weeks before. As a candidate, Kasich declared in March that Trump was “really not prepared to be president of the United States,” and the following month he took the highly unusual step of coordinating with his rival Senator Ted Cruz in an effort to deny Trump the nomination. But according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?
When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.
Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?
“Making America great again” was the casual reply.
This reminds me of a story that went largely overlooked a few months ago.
In May, Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, sat down with the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman for a lengthy interview, which touched on the search for a running mate.
“He needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn’t want to do,” Manafort said in reference to Trump. “He sees himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO.”

What I Missed At Trump-Con, Day 2

The first night was Fear Night.  The second was Hillary Hate Night, because no one really likes Trump, so let's unite in Hillary Hate.

Sympathy For the Devil.  Ben Carson was aroused from his slumbers long enough to assert that Hillary is a big fan of Lucifer.  Hate her.

Also, Hillary caused Boko Haram to kidnap hundreds of girls in Nigeria.  Hate her.

Hillary is a criminal.  Hate her.

Hillary is a pig.  Hate her.

Curb Your Enthusiasm.  Mitch "Yertle" McConnell and Paul "Smallnuts" Ryan both extolled the virtues of "our nominee -- what's-his-name, the guy with the hair who yells a lot."

Donald Trump Jr. continued the family tradition of irony-free public appearances (and long greasy hair).  Donnie Jr. maintained that "fancy colleges and degrees and MBA's" are for losers.  (Both Donnie Jr. and his father were in the MBA program at Wharton.)

"I was born a poor black child."
And Donnie Jr. thought we should know that, "It has not been easy for me.  I started off and my father gave me a small loan of a million dollars."

Yessir, Junior, that's hard times.  Very few of us would consider a loan of a million dollars "small."  Very few of us have a father capable of lending us a million bucks.  Junior, you're just a regular Joe Baggadonuts.

Once again, I happily missed all of the above!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Trump Was Right

Roger Ailes -- Is Anyone Surprised?

By almost all accounts, long-time Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is out on his fat ass after Gretchen Carlson's allegations of sexual harassment led to many more similar accusations.

No one should be surprised.  Ailes built his career as a political operative specializing in dirty tricks, lies, racism, sexism, and packaging/spin.  Fox News was his crowning achievement -- an all-propaganda "news" network dedicated to waging a 24-7 partisan assault on public opinion.  A lot of suckers swallowed it whole.

Ailes was a proudly unreformed sleazy asshole, and it finally caught up with him.  Ignominiously dumped by the Murdoch clan.  Couldn't happen to a more deserving piece of shit.

This article has been in the Buster's Links sidebar for five years, but it's still great if you want to read more about Ailes and Fox News.


Bedtime At The Trump Mansion

What I Missed At Trump-Con, Day 1

Melania, the Slovenian Super-Wife, opened her mouth and actual words came out, although those words were stolen from, of all people, Michelle Obama!  OMG!  Ha-ha-ha!

Melania also had a little Rick Astley moment when she vowed that The Donald "will never give up and he'll never let you down."

With the GOP's most anti-LGBT platform ever and a staunch anti-gay VP nominee, the Lord Donald took the stage, without a trace of irony, to the music of Freddie Mercury.

It was Fear Night at the convention, with so many things to fear:  Hillary Clinton will kill somebody.  ISIS will kill somebody.  Illegal Mexican immigrants will kill somebody.  Black Lives Matter will kill somebody.  Baby parts will be sold by Planned Parenthood.

Obama is still a Muslim.  Gotta be afraid of Muslims, too.

Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi . . . snore.

A couple things that are good:  (Both got huge ovations from the crowd.)  The Baltimore cops who managed to turn Freddie Gray from alive into dead keep getting acquitted.  And the state of Texas continues to execute its prisoners as fast as it can.

Baio!  I missed Scott Baio!!

You can't make this shit up!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Trump: "I'm A Leader, Not A Reader"

I know a few folks just like this -- attention span of a gnat, functionally illiterate, and they're voting for Trump.  Jesus!

There’s a memorable scene in “The Simpsons Movie” from 2007 in which President Schwarzenegger is told there’s a crisis in Springfield. His aide presents him with five folders, each of which includes a different response. Schwarzenegger can’t be bothered to review any of them.
“I was elected to lead, not to read,” he said before choosing folder #3 without opening it.
Four years later, in November 2011, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was pressed to explain his incoherence and alarming ignorance about international affairs. Cain not knowing details isn’t important because, as he put it at the time, “We need a leader, not a reader.”
Now, life is imitating art once more. The Washington Post reported today that Trump doesn’t much care for reading, and while he has a variety of magazines on his desk – each of which has Trump’s face on the cover – the Republican candidate does not have shelves of books in his office or a computer on his desk.
He said in a series of interviews that he does not need to read extensively because he reaches the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.”
Trump said he is skeptical of experts because “they can’t see the forest for the trees.” He believes that when he makes decisions, people see that he instinctively knows the right thing to do: “A lot of people said, ‘Man, he was more accurate than guys who have studied it all the time.’”
The article added that Trump believes he “absorbs the gist of an issue very quickly,” leading him to skip past long documents. He also apparently intended to read some presidential biographies – since he’s, you know, running for president – but decided he didn’t have time.
Looking back, some presidents have had greater appetites for reading than others, and it’s not always indicative of performance in office. But Trump represents an unusual case: he has no background in government or public service; he’s not an academic; he’s never demonstrated any expertise in any area of public policy; he’s never shown any real intellectual curiosity; and on top of this, he apparently doesn’t like books or even long memos.
It’s this combination that leads to concerns about how, exactly, a President Trump would make decisions. If there’s no base of information upon which to draw conclusions, how would Trump be any better than the fictional, animated President Schwarzenegger, pointing at answers with no meaningful thought?
Allan Lichtman, a political historian at American University, told the Post, “We’ve had presidents who have reveled in their lack of erudition. But Trump is really something of an outlier with this idea that knowing things is almost a distraction. He doesn’t have a historical anchor, so you see his gut changing on issues from moment to moment.”
I realize there’s a strain of anti-intellectualism in the U.S., and it’s contributed to Trump’s rise in Republican politics. But I also remember taking a closer look at the last president who didn’t like to read (Dubya), and the results for the country were nearly catastrophic.