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















Saturday, April 29, 2017

100 Days In Hell


"During the first 100 days, there's never been a better time to be a standup comic, and never a scarier time to be a human on the planet Earth."
-- Kathy Griffin


Friday, April 28, 2017

Three Friday Funnies


At least I thought they were funny!





Terrible Tots In Nuclear Standoff


It's hard to imagine a pair of world leaders any more narcissistic, provocative and dangerously ignorant than Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.  Both behave like spoiled children with horrible haircuts, which is, of course, exactly what they are.  Kim rose to tyrant level in the traditional way -- he inherited the family dictatorship. In America, Idiot Nation that we are, we actually elected our 70 year-old brat.

And our tiny-thumbed orange brat finds benefit in fear-mongering and exaggerating the North Korean nuclear threat.  Yes, Lil Kim has nuclear weapon capability.  Has had for some time.  Their missile systems are a bit shaky, but yeah, they could probably lob a nuke at some place nearby.  Again, nothing new about that.  What's new is Trump's determination to be a military blowhard.  It distracts from other issues, plays well to his base and seems to be good for his poll numbers.  Clearly, he intends to sabre-rattle his way into better approval numbers.

Today, Trump called for nuclear disarmament by Kim and said that without it, there's a chance the U.S. could have "a major, major conflict with North Korea.  Absolutely."

He sent the Secretary of State, Rex the Wonder Diplomat, to the U.N. with the same message.  Tillerson called for more and more economic sanctions against North Korea.  He asked China to stop sending them coal, and said "all options remain on the table, including military action."

Is North Korea really worth this sort of bellicose rhetoric?  Is it wise for America to start making pointed threats like these?  I think not.  This whole issue is Trumped-up, and Donnie Destructo is playing a very dangerous game.

I heard some pundit this morning put it this way:

Let's say you told your child to clean up the toys in his room and he didn't do it.  So you told him, "If you don't pick up all these toys right now, I will pick them up and throw them all in the trash!  No more toys for you!"  That's a big-ass threat with dire consequences, but what if he still didn't do it?  Would you really follow through and throw out all his toys?  And what message would it send if you didn't follow through?  That your threats are hollow and meaningless, just a bunch of belligerent hot air?  You've painted yourself into a corner, genius!

I prefer the "strategic patience" of previous administrations from both parties.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fatigue


I have fatigue -- Trump fatigue, that is.  His first Hideous Hundred Days have just about worn me out.  Constant lies, bombast, conflicts of interest, nepotism, shiny-object distractions, and outright ignorance mixed with blatant hucksterism have yielded lots of news coverage but very little in the way of accomplishments.  (Which suits me, since everything he wants to accomplish is abhorrent!)

Some of the latest soul-sucking time-wasters from the Blunt Orange Object and his Insane Clown Posse:

Resurrected Health Care Reform.  BS!  This time the administration pandered to the Tea Bag Freedom Caucus, with a "reform" idea to keep Obamacare but throw a bone to these ultra-conservative assholes -- states can opt out of offering essential medical benefits, and could charge higher premiums to those with pre-existing conditions.  Lovely!  And they exempted their own coverage from those changes.  WTF?  This crap is unlikely to pass the House and is DOA in the Senate if it does.




The World's Greatest Tax Reform Plan (Brought to You by the King of Debt!).  BS!  It's not a tax plan, just a sort of tax cover sheet.  Yesterday, Steve Mnuchin and Gary Cohn announced this fabulous "reform" plan.  They could not have been more uncomfortable if they stood there stark naked before the cameras.  They came with new lower tax rates and little else.  "What are the income brackets?  Which deductions would be eliminated?"  "We don't know yet.  We'll get back with ya."  (Brilliant plan!)  "It's estimated this plan would slash federal revenue by $6 to $12 trillion over 10 years.  How would this huge cut be paid for?"  "By stimulating economic growth."  (The "growth" concept is just another version of Supply Side/Trickle-Down Economics.  Which. Does. Not. Work.)

Paying less tax might be nice, but what do we give up in the less-revenue bargain?  It's just a plain old tax cut with little to offset it.  It would mainly benefit the wealthy and it would increase the deficit, which is what Republicans always do.  The tax plan is a no-go.


Blame Puerto Rico!  (And Obamacare.)  BS!  Last night, apropos of nothing, Adolph Twitler decided to fire off an angry nonsensical tweet which somehow accused an unincorporated U.S. territory, a popular health insurance law, and the Democratic party of being in league to waste our tax dollars:

Democrats are trying to bail out insurance companies from disastrous , and Puerto Rico with your tax dollars. Sad!

Yo, Yam Face!  You are wasting our tax dollars -- bigly! -- with your every-weekend golf trips to Mar-A-Lago, and by maintaining your Slovenian super-wife in her gilded cage in Manhattan.  Sad!


The first 100 days have been exhausting -- feels like 100 years.

#FDT




     






Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Slogans For United Airlines


Sent by a faithful reader, and promptly swiped by me.  Thanks, faithful reader!
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New slogans for United Airlines...
 
We have First Class, Business Class, and No Class.
 
Our prices can’t be beaten...but our passengers can be.
 
We put the hospital in hospitality.
 
We beat our passengers, not the competition.
 
We have an offer you can’t refuse. No, really.
 
Board as a doctor, leave as a patient.
 
Not enough seating? Prepare for a beating.
 
And you thought legroom was an issue.
 
If our staff need a seat, we’ll drag you out by your feet.
 
We treat you like we treat your luggage.
 
Fight or flight.
 
You may have patients, but we don’t have patience.
 
We have red-eye and black-eye flights available.
 
Now serving free punch.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Well-Behaved Family


A friend of ours has three boys, all middle school age or younger.  All three are baseball maniacs, playing on multiple teams.  Dad  is a coach, and Mom drives the minivan and provides moral support from her seat in the stands.

A couple days ago, she had an interesting post on her Facebook page.  At one of her recent games there was a kid sitting nearby in the stands with his father.  Out of nowhere, the kid starts throwing Goldfish snack crackers at his little brother, saying "I wish I had a Democrat to throw these at!"

With that, our friend piped up and said, "I'm a Democrat," at which point the little brat starts pelting her with Goldfish.  She said she immediately resolved to remain calm and not react at all.  So she just sat there and took it, waiting for the kid's oblivious father to take some notice, which he finally did, suggesting that Dear Junior might want to "stop that."  And the kid stopped.

Our friend's restraint was admirable.  I know I could not have been as so stoic.  I'd have yelled at the kid or lashed out or done something effective but embarassing and regrettable.  I'd have done the same if my kid were the one being a little jerk.

We all know that a misbehaving child has no sense of time or place.  But how does a child grow up learning it's OK to throw snack food at complete strangers who do not share his parents' political persusasion?  He picked up his vocal hatred of Democrats somewhere.

Just another symptom of our national high-speed dumbing-down; an example of what now passes for a well-behaved family here in Trumplandia.


A Study In Contrasts


On Sunday, the AP released the full transcript of a recent interview it conducted with Cheeto Jesus.  It reveals an unintelligible, inarticulate, meaningless argle-bargle of Trumpspeak.  Here's the link to the transcript:  https://apnews.com/c810d7de280a47e88848b0ac74690c83

And here are some of the gems excerpted from his steady stream of lying bullshit:

Said he's "mostly there" on his "100-day action plan."  Uh, mostly not.  Not even close.

"Never heard of WikiLeaks, never heard of it."  C'mon, Donald!  While campaigning, you "loved" WikiLeaks.

Said the Electoral College is "very difficult for a Republican to win" because it's "so skewed" toward Democrats.  No, it's not.

Admitted he didn't understand NATO, and claimed that "back when they did NATO, there was no such thing as terrrorism."  NATO is a political and military alliance formed in 1949 for the mutual defense of its member nations.  It is not an anti-terrorism agency.  And BTW Donnie, terrorism has been around forever.

Describing a meeting with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md):  "Well he said, you'll be the greatest president in the history of, but you know what, I'll take that also, but that you could be.  But he said, will be the greatest president but I would also accept the other."  Huh?  And WTF??  I need Sarah Palin to translate that mess.

Claimed his pipe-dream Mexican wall is "not going to be that expensive."  The DHS projects it'll cost over $20 billion.  It should be free, since Mexico was going to pay for it.

Cleared up the whole flexible vs. exact thing, then offered his interviewer a soft drink:  "You have to have a certain flexibility, Number One.  Number Two, from the time I took office till now, you know, it's a very exact thing.  It's not like generalities.  Do you want a Coke or anything?"  LOL!
___________________________

By way of contrast, on Monday President Obama spoke at his first public event since leaving the White House.  He led a discussion at the University of Chicago on the need for young people to engage and participate politically.  As usual, my Cousin Barry was cool, calm and well-spoken.

The New Yorker's Andy Borowitz put it this way:

Obama's Barage of Complete Sentences Seen As Brutal Attack on Trump
In an appearance at the University of Chicago on Monday, former President Barack Obama unloaded a relentless barrage of complete sentences in what was widely seen as a brutal attack on his successor, Donald Trump.

Appearing at his first public event since leaving office, Obama fired off a punishing fusilade of grammatically correct sentences, the likes of which the American people have not heard from the White House since he departed.

"He totally restricted his speech to complete sentences," Tracy Klugian, a student at the event, said.  "It was the most vicious takedown of Trump I'd ever seen."

"About five or six sentences in, I noticed that all of his sentences had both nouns and verbs in them," Carol Foyler, another student, said.  "I couldn't believe he was going after Trump like that."

Obama's blistering deployment of complete sentences clearly got under the skin of their intended target, who, moments after the event, responded with an angry tweet:  "Obama bad (or sick) guy.  Failing.  Sad!"


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Strategic Impatience As Policy


As just certified by the Trump administration, Iran is fully complying with the terms of its 2015 international nuclear agreement.  But then somebody handed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a script to read which berated Iran for "sponsoring terrorism," unspecified "provocations" and other complaints unrelated to the nuclear deal.

Stiffly reciting the prepared remarks like an uncomfortable school boy, Big Rex said the era of "strategic patience" with Iran is over.

Oh, great.  A strategy of strategic impatience?  Brilliant!

Trump has no coherent policy, foreign or otherwise, but some people have said nice things about his impetuous bad-boy act -- bombing Syria and Afghanistan, threatening North Korea and Iran, etc.  Having a narcissistic personality disorder, he craves praise and turns even the faintest amount of it into an epic personal triumph for himself.

It's sad (SAD!) that Trump's unfocused knee-jerk military reactions now pass for "policy" and distract us from his myriad shortcomings, both foreign and domestic.

Stop feeding the beast!

Do You Know Hill & Knowlton? No? Then You Just Got Spun!


Hill & Knowlton is one the oldest public relations firms in America.  Infamously, they created Big Tobacco's PR campaigns of the 1950's and 60's -- cigarettes are fine, maybe even good for you!  Hill & Knowlton pushed a strategy for their tobacco clients to cast doubt on scientific evidence linking smoking and lung cancer.

Since 2009, Hill & Knowlton has been the official PR firm of ANGA, the American Natural Gas Alliance.  They're pushing a strategy for their nat gas clients to cast doubt on scientific evidence linking fracking and contamination of ground water and drinking water.

Just like there is no safe cigarette, there is no safe frack well.  But some things never change.  For a price, these PR weasels will try to sell us poison.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Just Desserts For O'Rapey


He gone!

Bill O'Reilly has been fired from Fox News for being a serial sexual abuser and a lying sack of shit.  Couldn't have happened to a more deserving slimeball.

Not just at Fox News but every place he's ever been, O'Rapey has been the very definition of Gigantic Asshole.  The wonder is not that he finally got canned, but that it took this long.

Now let's do the same for the Gigantic Asshole in the White House.

Arkansas Madness


As I'm sure you've heard, the state of Arkansas has gone officially stark raving mad.  They intended to execute 8 death row inmates in a two-week span before the end of this month.  This would have been a new American capital punishment record for both speed and quantity.

Why the rush?  Arkansas' supply of one of the lethal injection drugs will expire on April 30th and they're not sure they'll be able to get more.  (It's like asking the hangman to pick up the pace because we're running low on rope -- absurd, but not really funny.)

Courts have granted stays of execution for three of the eight men.  Makers of the drugs to be administered are objecting because their drugs were never intended for this use.  And it's unclear if Arkansas obtained its supply of these drugs legitimately.

Nevertheless, Arkansas intends to go forward and start killing the five men without stays, beginning tomorrow night.  Madness!
____________________________________

Regular readers know Buster is opposed to the death penalty.  Here's a snippet of an old post from 2014, just after Ohio's last execution:


Today we Buckeyes showed we're not only still dedicated to official government-sanctioned killing, we're willing to get creative about it.  Ignoring all objections and protests, we took a Death Row prisoner and field-tested our own brand-new chemical concoction on him.  It was a blend of massive doses of a sedative and a painkiller.  (Texas Gov. Rick Perry suggested we toss in some Drain-O and some Clorox for good measure.)  Whatever it was, the shit killed him, but it took 15 minutes and he was convulsing, twitching and gasping for the last 10 minutes.  And yes, he was a murderer.

The funny thing about any form of criminal punishment, from probation to a jail sentence to execution, is that it never eliminates similar future crimes.  Society continues to insist on its pound of flesh -- a price must be paid -- but the members of that society seem to keep doing the same stupid criminal shit again and again, no matter what we do to them.  I won't pretend to have any answers. 

I'm opposed to the death penalty and I know I'm in the minority.  Execution changes nothing, but if our social compact requires that we avenge a death with another death, then what the State of Ohio did today is not the way.  We've done away with the gallows, the gas chamber and the electric chair for a reason.  Trial-and-error Popular Mechanics-style lethal injections are not the answer.

So how about this?  If some bad people simply must be executed, let's bring back the guillotine.  The desired death is certain, painless and instantaneous, but it's a little messy.  The head bounces on the floor, blood spurts all over, but that sumbitch is dead for sure.  The guillotine, in all its breath-taking, gory finality might also make some of the capital punishment cheerleaders get up close and personal with their own motives, and maybe think twice.

"Don't Make Me Use My Angry Squint Face Again!"


In the service of creating fears of nuclear Armageddon, V.P. Mike Pence recently went to South Korea and promised that the U.S. would not take a back seat to North Korea when it comes to scaring the world shitless.

He warned Kim Jong Un "not to test our resolve.  We can be just as reckless and crazy as you, we have way more bombs and missiles than you, and ours actually work."

Pence drove home his message by aiming his "angry squint face" across the DMZ toward North Korea.
______________________________________

I'm reminded of the classic bit from Monty Python's Holy Grail:  "Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!"  Enjoy!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

"So I Got That Goin' For Me"


Yesterday, I received the nice email below from my nephew Chris, who lives in Charlotte with his wife Meg and their two kids.  He shared my cancer diagnosis and treatment with Meg's great aunt, Sister Miriam, who I remember fondly from back in 2012.

http://bustergammons.blogspot.com/2012/04/wedding-my-new-little-sister-and-nice.html

Here's Chris's email:

I hope you don't mind that I shared your current situation with Meg's great aunt Miriam, the nun from Louisville. You might remember talking to her at our wedding. She is now 93 and continues to amaze us - she recounted to me the conversation the two of you had in the bus on the way to our reception and remarked on your shared interest in history.

She wanted me to assure you of her concern and prayers for your improved health. In fact, your name has been entered into a book at the convent and you now have the entire order of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth praying for you! (plus a smaller contingent of non-Catholics here in Charlotte). You should feel those healing vibes coming your way shortly. Enjoy!

-Chris

I'm not a religious person, but as I told him, I'll take it and I'm honored to have an entire order of nuns praying for me!  

"So I got that goin' for me, which is nice." -- Carl Spackler, groundskeeper in Caddyshack.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Who's Running The Bomb Show? And Will It Matter After We're All Dead?


"We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the military-industrial complex."  -- President Dwight Eisenhower, 1961


"What I do is authorize my military . . . We've given them total authorization, and that's what they're doing." -- Dolt 45, 2017

So, that means "the generals" can do whatever they like, and the guy who says he's "knows more than the generals" has given them carte blanche??

Or maybe it means that Donnie Destructo is giving the orders and, after the surprise bombings in Syria and Afghanistan, is now completely shit-faced drunk on his bomb-dropping and war-making capability??

Either way, it's a frightening state of affairs.  And now comes news from U.S. intelligence sources that our military is ready to preemptively bomb North Korea if Lil Kim goes through with his promise to test a nuclear weapon this weekend.

The Combover Kid vs. Lil Kim in a battle of Terrible Tots!  But it isn't funny.  Intelligence also reports that China has moved 150,000 of its troops to the North Korean border.

The Trumpocalypse could be upon us.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Emperor Has No Clothes


Both sides see it clearly now:  Trump is just a feckless empty vessel, a dangerously incurious and unprincipled gameshow host.

Here are two succinct summations of recent events, both of which essentially draw the same conclusion.  The first is by Steve Benen, a liberal writer for the Maddow Blog.  The next is by David Frum, a neo-con Republican, Atlantic editor and former speechwriter for Dubya:
_______________________________

On health care, it was Paul Ryan who effectively told Trump, “Never mind what your instincts tell you; my plan is the way to go.” On Syria, it was his national security team that did the same thing, effectively telling the president, “Never mind what your instincts tell you; this is an issue 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles can make better.”

It’s a safe bet Trump’s entire presidency will continue to unfold this way. It’s not that he’s determined to deliberately do the opposite of what he promised voters; it’s that he doesn’t seem to take any of those commitments especially seriously. Someone he knows and trusts – Paul Ryan, James Mattis, H.R. McMaster, et al – comes into the Oval Office, presents him with an idea, tells him it’s the smart thing to do, and Trump says, “Sounds good.”

He didn’t necessarily change his mind about his vision; Trump never really made up his mind in the first place.
____________________________

Not even 100 days into his presidency, Trump has done exactly what he attacked Hillary Clinton for contemplating.
Some have described this reverse as “hypocritical.” This description is not accurate. A hypocrite says one thing while inwardly believing another. The situation with Donald Trump is much more alarming. On October 26, 2016, he surely meant what he said. It’s just that what he meant and said that day was no guide to what he would mean or say on October 27, 2016—much less April 6, 2017.
Voters and citizens can expect literally zero advance warning of what Donald Trump will do or won’t do. Campaign promises, solemn pledges—none are even slightly binding. If he can reverse himself on Syria, he can reverse himself on anything. If you feel betrayed by any of these reversals, you have no right to complain…
Every decision presents risks and costs, and any responsible decision maker insists on a detailed itemization of those risks and those costs. That cannot have happened here. Trump has walked into a military confrontation that implicates regional and global security with only the haziest notion of what might go wrong. One friend of mine has warned: If it were good foreign policy, Trump wouldn’t be doing it. Foreign policy is hard, and even the best process does not guarantee good outcomes. Sometimes you get lucky, and can escape the consequences of a bad process. But the odds are the odds. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred, bad processes lead to ugly results.
_____________________________




Baseball Cards




Monday, April 10, 2017

For-Profit Health Care Is An American Sickness


"If we had applied our current profit-driven mentality to the search for a cure for polio, we wouldn't have successful vaccines today.  Instead, we'd have iron lungs in seven designer colors, complete with free Wi-Fi and a variety of iPhone apps."

-- Elizabeth Rosenthal, author of  "An American Sickness"

Her point:  In our system today, lifetime treatment is always more profitable than discovering a cure.

Tomahawk Missiles As P.R.


He launched the missiles the next day, 4/6/17.
After a few days reflection, it's clear to me and others that Dolt 45's Syrian missile launch was just a Trumpian method of changing the subject:  "I'm sick of being criticized about Russia and health care and Jarrod & Ivanka and my cluelessness and my stupid tweets.  So watch this!"

To a degree, it has worked.  Trump captured the news cycle and his missile gambit received good reviews in some quarters.  "Presidential!" some said.  Oh, bullshit!  Stop praising him for his reckless action.  (Praise is like crack to a narcissisct like him.)  There was and is no strategy, no long term plan.  He just opened his toybox and reactively scratched an itch with 59 Tomahawks.  Did it change anything in Syria?  No.  The Syrian airbase resumed operations promptly.  (John Oliver said you'll experience longer delays on any Delta Airlines flight!)

Perhaps now Trump has a new appreciation of Obama's relutance to entangle the U.S. in the Syrian morass.  Perhaps he'll reflect on the wise words of Dan Rather:

"War must never be considered a public relations operation.  It's not a way for an administration to gain a narrative, it is a step into a dangerous unknown and its full impact is impossible to predict."

Typical Sean Sphincter Press Briefing



Friday, April 7, 2017

Man-Baby President Plays With Missiles


Back in 2013, President Obama wanted Congress to authorize a U.S. military response to the Syrian government's gas attack on its own people.  From his hideaway in Twitter Tower, Citizen Trump warned against U.S. retaliation over and over again, and insisted that Obama would need Congressional approval.  Most Republicans on the hill were opposed, and no approval ever came.

During the campaign, Candidate Trump denounced Hillary Clinton's foreign policy, claiming she wanted "to start a shooting war in Syria in conflict with nuclear-armed Russia.  It could lead to World War III."

He campaigned on his "America First" platform and urged us to build closer ties to Vladimir Putin.

A week ago, Trump administration officials declared that "our priority is no longer getting Assad out" (Nikki Haley) and "the status of Assad will be decided by the Syrian people" (Rex Tillerson).

Captain Kangaroo has more military experience
And now?  With his insular administration in a state of constant upheaval, it's suddenly "Assad must go!" and Dress-Me-Up Donnie is wearing his military ballcap and firing missiles into Syria.  Just like that.  And without the necessary Congressional approval.

So, Hillary Clinton would stupidly start World War III, but President Donnybrook (who "knows more than the generals") will not.  Let's fervently hope not.

As someone who despises Syrian refugees, he's about to create a hell of a lot more of 'em.

For all his bloviation in one direction, to do a 180 course change -- with missiles! --is mind-boggling.  But Trump is a man without principles -- he lives moment to moment in the 24-7 news cycle, knees jerking and fingers flailing as he reacts to this and that.  He's not just unpredictable, he's unstable, unhinged.

Could this be the start of the Trumpocalypse?  


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Trumposity


Trumposity, n. of or relating to Donnie's supreme cluelessness, ostentatiousness, and constant effort to dissemble, deflect and distract with made-up bullshit.


Recent examples:

Trump said he would not continue with Obama's "Assad must go" policy.  The Syrian dictator could stay in power, no problem.  (Essentially the Russian position.)  After that pronouncement, Syria promptly launched a deadly chemical attack on its own people.  Trump blamed it on Obama!  Then he back-pedaled.

To divert attention from the Russian election hacking probe, a month ago Trump came up with the lie that Obama had placed him under surveillance.  In support of that lie, he pulled another shiny object out of his ass -- his claim that Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice leaked the names of some Trump associates appearing in a foreign intelligence report, and that this constituted a crime.  A crime?  "Yes, I think."  Proof or evidence?  "Later, at the right time."  What exactly is her crime?  He couldn't say, but "it's going to be the biggest story."

Advertisers are bailing out, but Fox News renewed its contract with serial sexual harasser Bill O'Rapey.  (Roger Ailes taught him everything he knows.)  And to kick off Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Trump said O'Rapey was "a good person.  I don't think he did anything wrong."  (From one pussy-grabber to another.)

Special Presidential Assistant and daughter-wife Ivanka told an interviewer that she does indeed differ from Daddy Dearest on some issues, and she effectively and privately expresses her opinions to him.  But she will not do so publicly, on the record, and so "most people will not actually know about it."  (Ooh, that's effective!)  

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Donald Lists His Friends


Sent by dear friend and reader Barb.  Very funny!  Thank you!
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It's all complete baloney until he gets to the very end.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Video: The Psychopathic Politician Blues


Sent by faithful reader and fellow blogger J.T.  Thanks, Joe!  This video is just marvelous!




"Sorry, I'll Be Golfing At Mar-A-Lago"


For the first time since 1910, the president will not throw out the ceremonial first pitch at an Opening Day baseball game.  Trump claims he has a scheduling conflict.  Puh-leeze!

Far more likely reasons that the man who once claimed to be, as a youth, "the best baseball player in New York" will not perform this traditional rite of spring:

  • Mr. Pixie Fingers can no longer properly grasp the ball in his tiny little hands.
  • When he did it in the past, he looked like he was taking a horrible shit.
  • He's afraid of being publicly booed by 40,000 people at Nationals Park.
  • He's scared of the numerous Mexican and Latino players on the rosters of both teams.
Our fearless leader is a frightened little weenie.


Bill O'Rapey


It is reported that over the years, Fox News has paid $13 million in hush money to five different women to settle sexual harrassment and abuse charges against Bill O'Reilly, the supposed bell cow of their primetime lineup.

How does this asshole keep his job?

"Beats me!"

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Great Businessman


There's always been a school of thought which has insisted that the obvious solution to all of government's problems would be to "run the government like a business," or better yet, "put a business man in the White House."  

Well, be careful what you wish for!  Dolt 45 has been on the job for just a couple of scandal-plagued months, and one thing should be abundantly clear even to the most rabid Trump fan -- our Hair Furor has no idea what he's doing.  He's finding out in a hurry that government and business are two different things.  And maybe it's dawning on him why America has never before elected a businessman with no governmental experience as president.

But if you still believe we need a businessman in charge, Trump's particular business background is a bad fit for the Oval Office.  He's never run a publicly-held company, never had to answer to shareholders or a board of directors.  In all his experience as a "great businessman with a really good brain," The Donald has essentially operated as a king or a dictator, surrounded by sycophants and family members.  D.C. doesn't work that way.  Threats and screaming and not paying the help won't get you anywhere.

His administration is full of corporate executives, tycoons and ideologues who've similarly never held elective office nor had governing experience, least of all in Washington D.C.  And just down the West Wing hall he has his daughter-wife Ivanka, his Special Assistant.  None of them know what they're doing!  And none of them will dare stand up to King Don.

The Know-It-Alls are running the store now, and they're going to run it straight into the ground.

http://bustergammons.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-business-of-government-is-not.html

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

More American Exceptionalism


Although the Trump-Ryan attempt to kill Obamacare failed (big sigh of relief!), America remains exceptional in healthcare -- we're still the only major nation in the world without a universal single-payer health insurance system.

And as if that weren't enough, American is also exceptional because we're now the only nation in the world with leaders --Trump and the EPA's Scott Pruitt -- who actively deny that man-made carbon emissions cause global warming.  They say it's a hoax.

Trump's latest executive order seeks to reduce enforcement of climate/enviornmental regulations for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry.  He's gung-ho to trade the certainty of increased CO2 and global warming for the unlikely possibility of a small, short-term increase in dirty energy jobs.

After signing his order, Mr. Fantasy blew it out his ass speaking of "clean coal, really clean coal."  I mean, coal so clean that when you mine it, all it leaves is a light dusting of powdered sugar, and when you burn it, it emits nothing but little clouds of Chanel No. 5.  It's unbelievable!  (Yes, it is.)

Climate change is a big problem, but it has many solutions.  Trump has chosen none of them.  And that makes us exceptionally stupid. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

All Shadow, No Tree


"Reputation is the shadow.  Character is the tree." -- Abraham Lincoln

Since coming to Washington in 1998, House Speaker Paul Ryan has somehow gained a reputation among some as an intellectual conservative and a wonky policy genius.  But in reality, he's an ineffective hack with no significant accomplishments.  All he's done is push a bunch of goofy dogmatic ideas which have all gone nowhere -- from privatizing Social Security to replacing Medicare with private insurance vouchers to various cruel budget proposals to his latest debacle, the failed American Health Care Act, which died a well-deserved death yesterday.

Ryan's reputation as the philosopher prince, the GOP's big thinker, is horseshit.  He's a zombie-eyed granny killer, an ideologue and political extremist dedicated to serving the corporate class and the super-rich.

And his decision to advance those greedy goals by playing opportunistic kiss-ass with the horrific Donald Trump reveals his true character, or rather, his complete lack thereof.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

There Are No Words


The leader of our great nation is a mentally disturbed little boy with no adult supervision.  Way to go, 'Murica!

(Meeting today on the White House lawn with a group of truckers.  Little Donnie Diaperpants loves his toys.)






































Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Call Austin Powers!


Strange Bedfellows


The GOP's Health Deform Act is in serious jeopardy thanks to opposition from the so-called Freedom Caucus.  These are hard-rock Tea Bag Republican congressmen who refuse to toe the party line.  There are 20-some of them and they're the stupidest, most unreasonable reps in the U.S. House.

And strangely, for the moment, I'm with 'em!  Go, assholes!

Of course, our motivations are quite different.  I'm opposed to the Ryan plan because it's cruel and punitive and will harm millions of Americans.  The Freedom Caucus doorknobs are opposed to it because it's not cruel, punitive and harmful enough!

But if their opposition is enough to gum up the works, I'm all for it.  Stay strong, you lunatics!

My temporary new BFF's Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows,
Freedom Caucus nitwits

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Fake Freedom Of American Health Care


With their horrendous health care proposal taking fire from all sides, Republicans are spinning like mad, working hard to rationalize the screw job in terms of "choice" and "freedom."  Trying to wrap this turd in shiny ribbons of faux patriotism is so GOP, and so despicable.

What follows are excerpts from a 3/19/17 New York Times article by Anu Partanen, a Finnish author who's now a U.S. citizen.  His points are excellent.  Please read it and think about it.

Full article link:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/18/opinion/the-fake-freedom-of-american-health-care.html?_r=0
____________________________________________


The new Republican health plan would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 24 million.  Republican leaders seem unfazed by this, because in their minds deciding not to have health care because it's too expensive is an exercise of individual free will.  

The idea is that buying health care is like buying anything else.  Paul Ryan says, "Freedom is the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need."  Mike Pence says the GOP plan will "bring freedom and individual responsibility back to American health care."

In practice, though, this Republican notion is an awfully peculiar kind of freedom.  It requires most Americans to spend not just money, but also time and energy agonizing over the bewildering logistics of coverage and treatment -- as employers, insurers, doctors and pharmaceutical companies, not consumers, decide which plans are available, what those plans cover, which doctors patients can see and how much it will cost.

And I haven't even mentioned the millions of Americans who don't earn enough to pay for insurance.  If you can't afford it, not buying it is hardly a choice.


Like other Nordic countries, Finland has invested in a universal, taxpayer-funded and publicly managed health care system.  Finns constantly debate the shortcomings of their system and work to improve it, but in Finland I never worried about where my medical care came from or whether I could afford it.  All Finns are covered for for all essential medical care automatically, regardless of employment or income.

It is Americans who are getting a raw deal.  Americans pay much more than those in other countries but do not get significantly better results.

The trouble with a free-market approach is that health care is an immensely complicated and expensive industry in which the individual rarely has much actual market power.  It is not like buying a consumer product, where choosing not to buy will not endanger one's life.  It's also not like buying some service tailored to individual demands, because for the most part we can't predict our future health care needs.

The point of universal coverage is to pool risk, for the maximum benefit of the individual when he or she needs care.  And the point of having the government manage this complicated process is not to take freedom away from the individual.  The point is the opposite:  to give people more freedom.  Public health care management is just vastly more efficient than forcing everyone to go it alone.

I wish Americans could experience the freedom of knowing that our health care system will always be there for us regardless of our employment status.  I want the freedom to know that the system will automatically take me and my family in, without my having to battle for care in my moment of weakness and need.  That is real freedom.

So is the freedom of knowing that none of it will bankrupt us.

Republicans:  If you really want to free Americans and unburden American employers, why not try some form of government-managed health care, like almost every other capitalist democracy?

No health care system is perfect.  But in a nation that purports to champion freedom, the outdated disaster that is the U.S. health care system is taking that freedom away.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Beavis In The Woods




Whenever I commune with nature, I always use extra hair gel.

Bigfoot?  Where?

The County Seat is back in business!

This is where Dad made me kill my first hobo.  Buried him in the trees back there.

Look!  I have new boots!

The rest of the Scout troop packed up and left camp while I was asleep.

This will run in the fall L.L. Bean catalogue

I wish I could could cut off a dead elephant's tail again.  Good times!

I guess I'm a little late to the whole Seattle-grunge thing.