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, March 31, 2018

"Justified And Reasonable"? Baton Rouge Shame

This is upsetting to watch, but you should watch it.  Everyone should watch it.  Most especially, every gun-toting law enforcement officer in America should watch it.  It's another case study in race-based police brutality, unnecessary use of lethal force, and thuggish cop mentality.  And it has happened all too often across this country. 

This occurred two years ago in Baton Rouge.  The black man, Alton Sterling, is dead, of course.  Murdered, you might say.  Four days ago, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced that his investigation determined that the killing of Sterling was "justified and reasonable," and the police officers involved would face no charges.  Would you agree?  Do you find this to be acceptable police behavior?

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul finds it unacceptable.  Yesterday he released four previously unseen videos of the fatal incident, one of which is above.  And he fired the cop who tasered Sterling, pumped six point-blank rounds into him as he was pinned to the ground, then stood over him yelling profanities at his dead body.  Justified and reasonable, my friggn' ass!

Chief Paul's action is welcome but obviously too late.  An innocent man lost his life.  A guilty cop lost his job.  A.G. Landry ought to lose his job too.

And to think there are conserva-tards who claim they just can't understand the Black Lives Matter movement.


Not only does Roseanne Barr play a Trump-loving, bigoted, alt-right conspiracy theorist on TV, she is one in real life as well!  She's an appalling Twitter troll!

Here's a screen grab from her charming tweet mocking the student survivors of the Florida high school shooting.

Rightwing conspiracy alleging David Hogg made a Nazi salute
Living in obscurity for the past couple decades, the no-longer-funny, has-been comedian has descended into paranoia and neo-fascism.  Everyone is entitled to their opinions, it's just that Roseanne's are particularly putrid.

This week, the reboot of her old TV show debuted to strong ratings in Tulsa, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.  In other markets it was a non-event -- must-miss TV.  But many Trumpanzees, including the Orange Shit-Gibbon himself, are so desperate for a "win" they're celebrating the ratings for a recycled sit-com.  Whoopee!

I, for one, refuse to watch this deplorable woman's TV show.  Tulsa, she's all yours!


More examples from her Twitter gallery of hate, fear and stupidity:

Another awful Hitler-based photo tweet.  The response is from Kurt Eichenwald, a respected Newsweek journalist.

The photo is real. @therealroseanne burned cookies that looked like people in an oven while dressed as Adolph Hitler. I am actually crying. I think of the anguish of my family. I think of this little boy, Antosh, my sons' great uncle, murdered at 11. One of Roseanne's cookies.

In 2016, young Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was shot and killed while walking home in D.C.  The shooter has never been caught.  Police believe it was a botched robbery.  Even so, with zero evidence, right-wing media cooked up the theory that Rich was murdered because he secretly provided DNC emails to WikiLeaks.  Not a speck of truth to it, but Roseanne is a believer.

In this bit of idiocy, she accepts as fact the wildly absurd and instantly debunked conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton was operating a child sex ring from the basement of a D.C. pizza parlor.

More of her off-base bile on "Pizzagate."  Roseanne is the one who needs to wake up.

In a triple-header of WTF craziness, she trashes the FBI, women's rights, and the Russia probe in a single tweet.

Here's a pair of tweets with her typical ugliness -- name-calling and telling people to eat shit.

Apparently, she finds value and self-worth in being a vile, obnoxious harpy.


Friday, March 30, 2018

The Three Branches Of Government

Jared Must Go

Jared Kushner's appointment as White House senior adviser has been a travesty.  It's a clear violation of the federal anti-nepotism statute, notwithstanding Attorney General Beauregard's incorrect opinion that the president is somehow exempt from compliance.  As bad as that is, Jared's conflicts of interest are worse.

Last year, Kushner met at the White House with Citigroup and Apollo Global, a real estate finance firm.  Those two companies subsequently loaned $500 million to the Kushner Companies, the family real estate development business.

While supposedly working on U.S.-China policy, Jared solicited financing for his family business from a company linked to the Chinese government.  He sought business loans from both Israeli and Qatari investors while supposedly pursuing a Middle East peace plan.  The Kushner Companies bragged about its White House connections while trying to sell visas to wealthy Chinese investors.

Most of this begging and borrowing is tied to a boondoggle Manhattan office tower, 666 Fifth Avenue, which the Kushners bought in 2007 for a record $1.8 billion.  The building has yet to cover its nut, losing tens of millions of dollars each year, and a $1.2 billion mortgage is due and payable in full just 10 months from now.

Forgetful Jared had to revise his security clearance form over 100 times due to "errors and omissions."  His clearance was finally downgraded.  He had to amend his financial disclosure filings 39 times after "inadvertently" forgetting about assets worth millions.  And he's completely forgotten to disclose that he owns Cadre, a real estate company with ties to Russian state institutions which have substantial financial stakes in Facebook and Twitter.

Government officials from China, Mexico, Israel and the UAE have discussed the ease of exploiting and manipulating Kushner due to his inexperience and financial entanglements.  The leader of Saudi Arabia boasted that he had Kushner "in his pocket."

What a tangled web we weave!

Jared has only nominally divested himself from this mess.  (His divestiture trust is overseen by his mother.)  While he's allegedly working in the public interest, he still stands to gain financially from all his personal, private business holdings.

Bottom line -- the "Secretary In Charge of Everything" has spent most of his White House time working on side deals for the family business.

The whole damn thing is unprecedented.  How can we allow this?  The nepotism is clear, the brazen conflicts of interest are obvious, and the attitude is arrogant.  Jared Kushner must go.  He has no business being in the White House.  He's an entitled rich kid/brat who's dangerously untrustworthy in the public sphere.  Exactly like his father-in-law.

Mr. Mueller would like to have a chat with both of them.

Trump Tweets Throughout History

  • HuffPost

  • HuffPost

  • HuffPost

  • HuffPost

  • HuffPost

  • HuffPost

  • HuffPost

Yes, Virginia, there is an asshole gene, and the fake president has it.  

Are these real tweets or fake news?  You decide.  

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Family Affairs

Like father, like son.

Damage Report

The latest from the Drumpfster fire.

A federal judge says an anti-corruption lawsuit filed against the fake president by the State of Maryland and Washington D.C. may proceed.  Plaintiffs allege that those seeking government business while staying at the Trump D.C. hotel are providing illegal personal benefits to Trump.  And they are.  Can you say "emoluments"?

A top Trump fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, received $2.5 million last year from United Arab Emirates adviser George Nader.  Broidy doled out the cash to U.S. lawmakers to ensure that a sanctions bill would contain language labeling Qatar a "terrorist state."  Qatar and the UAE are enemies.  Nader is now a witness in the Mueller probe.  Can you say "influence peddling"?

Last year, Trump's personal attorney floated the idea of pardons for Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn in conversations with their lawyers:  Tell your clients to clam up, take the fall for Cheeto Benito, and we'll take care of you later.  Can you say "obstruction of justice"?

"Russia?  What Russia?"   That's Devin Nunes of the House Intel Committee.  Donnie Destructo's favorite toady and subject-changer now wants to investigate Democrats, Fusion GPS and the FISA court.  And he says if he doesn't get cooperation, he'll hold the DOJ and FBI in contempt and he'll "impeach" them.  (How do you impeach the FBI?)  FU, Nunes!  And FU, Paul Ryan for not removing this venal tool from his position on the committee.       

Our "239-pound" Lard-Ass-In-Chief who is in "excellent health" has chosen his personal physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson,  to be the new head of the Veterans Administration.  LMAO!  Listen, Ronny ol' pal, experience is overrated.  We know you can't ride a bicycle but we'll teach you how by entering you in the Tour de France! 

The EPA has issued a memo instructing staff on approved climate change talking points.  Magic words like "uncertain," "incomplete science," and "debatable."  Here's another magic word:  Bullshit!  FU, Scott Pruitt!

The Secretary of Commerce has decided to insert a citizenship question -- "Are you a U.S. citizen?" -- on the 2020 census form.  Not only is this not what the census is for, it's a blatant attempt to instill fear and reduce responses in the hope of continuing Republican-gerrymandered redistricting.  FU, Wilbur Ross!

Unarmed black citizens continue to be gunned down (murdered) by out-of-control, trigger-happy cops, and the cops continue to get away with it, avoiding indictments, convictions and punishment.  Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the White House has no opinion on this because it's all "a local matter."  Bullshit!  And FU, Sarah!

Facebook took out full-page ads to say it's "very sorry" for knowingly and willingly allowing Russia/Trump to use the personal data of 50 million Americans to influence the election for Trump.  Too little, too late.  Zuck off, Facebook!

Chicken-shit conserva-tards have gone out of their way to insult, mock, defame and lie about the student survivors of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.  The high schoolers have far more dignity, honesty and intelligence than their hateful "adult" critics.  Sad!  Hooray for the kids, and FU, Laura Ingraham, Iowa Rep. Steve King, Min. Rep. Mary Franson, Colion Noir of NRA-TV, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Tomi Lahren, Breitbart, Alex Jones, Wayne Lapierre, Dana Loesch, et al.

Spanky with that woman he doesn't know.
Spanky claims he doesn't know Stormy Daniels, knows nothing about having an affair with her, knows nothing about his non-disclosure agreement with this person he doesn't know, knows nothing about any $130,000 payment to her, has no idea why his personal attorney Michael Cohen would mortgage his house to pay it to her, and denies reimbursing Cohen for the payment.  Wow.  For a genius with a really good brain who's, like, really smart, that a whole lotta ignorance.  Too much.  FU, Spanky!

Roseanne?  Really?  Deplorable!  FU, Roseanne!

On a positive note, it's Opening Day.  Play ball!  And kudos to the Chicago Cubs, who took the field for today's pre-game warm-ups wearing #MSDStrong teeshirts.  Well done, Cubbies!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Retired SCOTUS Justice: Repeal The Second Amendment

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is still on his game.  His editorial in today's NY Times is a righteous call to get rid of the 2nd Amendment, which he calls an "18th century relic."  Makes me wish he hadn't retired.  An excerpt follows the link.


For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment, it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation.  In 1939 the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit possession of a sawed-off shotgun because the weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a "well-regulated militia."

During the years when Warren Burger was our chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge, federal or state, as far as I am aware, expressed any doubt as to the limited coverage of that amendment.  When organizations like the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and began their campaign claiming that federal regulation of firearms curtailed Second Amendment rights, Chief Justice Burger characterized the NRA as perpetrating "one the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime."

Constitutional rights are not unlimited rights.

The Second Amendment is a single-sentence train wreck of garbled syntax and random punctuation.  Any semi-conscious 7th grade English teacher would give it an F.

It is an amendment, a change, an alteration, an addition.  It is not Holy Writ.

That which has been added can also be removed.  In 1919, the 18th Amendment added the prohibition of alcohol to the U.S. Constitution.  In 1933, the 21st Amendment removed it.

Because the 2nd Amendment is in fact an antiquated relic, and especially because the NRA has successfully perverted whatever useful meaning it may once have had, we can safely get rid of it and devise a sensible and reasonable replacement.

(I've commented on this subject so often I've lost count.  He's one example referencing the 1939 decision mentioned by Justice Stevens.) 


Sunday, March 25, 2018

White House TV Programming PSA

The White Old-Fart Perspective

If I hadn't been sent to the wrong place, this could've been me yesterday!  😉

GOP To NRA: "I Wish I Knew How To Quit You"

But they don't.  The NRA's money is too good, and the GOP is addicted to it.

The latest Congressional Republican spin/fiction on the NRA's blood money goes like this:

"Some people are exaggerating the NRA's political influence.  The NRA is powerful not because they've bribed our party and purchased our loyalty for decades.  Actually, they give us relatively little money.  The NRA is powerful because all their members are so dedicated and vocal."

Oh really?  It's true that the NRA's direct campaign contributions to Republican candidates are somewhat modest, but its "outside spending" on candidate/issue advocacy ads and on federal/state lobbying is much larger.  Since 1998, the NRA has given $3.5 million to candidates while dropping a cool $200 million on outside spending.  That's 2% on candidates, 98% on other stuff.  It's the other stuff that really counts.  (And when you add in the NRA's 501c "affiliates," the organization spent over $54 million on the 2016 election alone.)


As for all those dedicated, vocal NRA members, there are 3 to 5 million of them.  The actual number is a secret, but depending on the day, Wayne Lapierre has claimed 3 or 4 or 5 million.  With 326 million people in the U.S., the NRA's membership represents just one percent, give or take.  That few with that much influence???  C'mon! 

This GOP excuse-making is weak, their math is bad, and they are ignoring the wishes of the majority.  To borrow from Parkland's Emma Gonzalez, I call B.S.!  Huge B.S.

The Republicans' balls are caught in the NRA's money clip, and they don't know how to get them out.  I don't believe they really want to.


One Of The Articles Of Faith

Saw a piece a few days ago in my local fish-wrap about how the gerrymandered GOP majority in the Ohio legislature will be pushing to reduce the number of state regulations.    Why?  Because Republican orthodoxy states that business and industry have the god-given right to operate with impunity, and that any regulation is, by its very nature, "restrictive," "unnecessary" and a "barrier to economic growth."  Therefore, cutting regulations for the sake of cutting is always appropriate.  It's an article of faith with the GOP.  (It's also dogmatic, sound-bite claptrap lacking any evidence or proof of validity.)

Ohio Senate president and slimy tub o' goo Larry Obhof  maintains that Ohio has the third-highest  number of "restrictive regulations" in the nation, thousands more regulations than the average state.  He objects to "restrictive words" in regulations -- words like shall, must, may not, prohibited, and required.  (Egad, what horrible words!)  He'll lead the charge to place a hard cap on the raw number of Ohio's regulations, and would like Ohio to adopt the Trumpian idiocy of eliminating two existing rules every time a new rule is instituted.  Just because.

Obhof gets his data and his marching orders (and pretty much every thought in his head) from a little-known right-wing "think tank" called the Mercatus Center.  The Mercatus Center is connected to ALEC, and like them, is funded by the infamously anti-regulation petro-billionaires, the Koch brothers.  And that explains that.

For more "articles of faith," click the link (a old post that still rings true):


Saturday, March 24, 2018

OK, OK, I'll Be Catholic For A Few Days

It's March Madness.  My Buckeyes have been eliminated.  So have those giant-killers, the Maryland-Baltimore Country Retrievers.  So the best remaining Madness underdog is now the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers.  An 11-seed, they've been amazing and have just played their way into the Final Four.

And everyone is captivated by Loyola's hoops-lovin' 98-year old team chaplain, Sister Jean Schmidt.  Even me.  Go Ramblers!  Go Sister Jean!

My Non-March Today (Will Rogers Was Right)

Today was the day for the March For Our Lives, a peaceful protest against our national gun insanity and a call for a sensible gun policy.  It was organized by the wonderful, incredible kids of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.  The main event was in Washington D.C., but there were hundreds of other marches across the country, including one here in Columbus.

Statehouse at 11:00 a.m.
I received an online invitation to attend the Columbus march.  I wanted to show my support for students and teachers and common sense.  My invitation said to be at the Ohio Statehouse at 11:00 this morning.  It was cold and windy but I was there.  So were some other people, but not very many -- maybe 25 or so.  WTF?  Slowly, our numbers grew, perhaps to 100 by noon.  But still, where was everybody?  This was ridiculous.

Bit by bit, we learned that all of us at the Statehouse had been misinformed.  All the marchers and speech-makers and bands were congregated not where we were but at Genoa Park, about half a mile west of the Statehouse.  From there, they would march up to the Statehouse, reassemble there, then march back down to Genoa Park.

We waited.  We heard they would reach us at 12:30.  We waited some more.  It was almost 1:00, still no marchers in sight, and I had been standing around freezing for two hours.  I gave up and went home, thus concluding my non-march.

Meanwhile, at Genoa Park
Eventually the marchers did arrive at the statehouse.  It's been reported that the turnout in Columbus was around 5000 people.  Sorry I missed it.

It's like Will Rogers once said:  "I don't belong to any organized political party.  I'm a Democrat."

Genoa Park

Statehouse, some time after 1:00 p.m.


Bubble Dwellers Encounter Strange New Life Form

At our favorite watering hole, the lovely Mrs.Gammons and I have become marginally acquainted with a couple I'll call Mike and Christy.  They're nice enough folks, but political conservatives.  Announcing his departure, Mike will often say, "I'm gonna go home and watch Fox News."  Last night he was showing off his new car to a few of us.  His satellite radio was blaring the 24-hour Fox News station.

It just so happened that last night Mrs. Gammons was carrying a monogrammed handbag which she had custom-made about a year ago.  Mike noticed it and asked her what "FDT"stood for. 

"Fuck Donald Trump!" she answered brightly.  Mike was not prepared for this.  He turned his back in apoplectic anger, then began babbling about how her purse was disrespectful and in poor taste, how Trump was doing great things, how he didn't give a shit about Trump's serial lying and serial infidelity, and his disbelief that anyone could ever vote for that awful Hillary.  "She was a better choice than Trump," was Mrs. Gammons only reply.  Mike ended his diatribe by saying, "Well, he's a lot better than that f***ing n****r Obama!"  Christy asked me if I had voted for Hillary too.  I smiled and nodded yes, and her face clouded over with disgust.

We didn't bring up the topic in the first place and didn't care to discuss it further.  It was enough to watch the veins pop out on their astonished temples. 

Mike and Christy are examples of the bubble dweller phenomenon.  They've lived under the Fox propaganda dome for so long, they've drunk so much Murdoch Kool-Aid that they just can't conceive of anything outside their alt-right unreality.  In their conceited delusion, they truly believe that everybody is just like they are.  And when they stumble upon non-believers such as ourselves, it's shocking for them -- like encountering a strange new life form.  Boo!

Things for bubble dwellers to ponder:  We acknowledge your rabid Trump-love, and we understand that Hillary lost narrowly in the electoral college, but she still got 3 million more votes than your guy.  Fifty-four percent of voters chose someone other than Trump.  And that was before Trump's popularity and approval ratings fell into the abyss.  Registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans.  And now Robert Mueller is about to crawl up Trump's ass and make a nest.  Your bubble is about to burst.



Friday, March 23, 2018

The Biden-Trump Kerfuffle

Witches Speak Out

"Of Course You Realize This Means War!"

When Daffy Duck said that, it was funny.  Not so funny when contemplating John Bolton as the new National Security Adviser (a position which doesn't require senate confirmation).

John Bolton has a particularly belligerent, far-right, militaristic worldview.  He believes conducting the Iraq War under false pretenses was just fine and dandy, and he's in favor of bombing Iran and North Korea first and asking questions later.  He doesn't believe in treaties, arms reduction or negotiating with other countries.  He was briefly our ambassador to the U.N., an organization he openly despised.  (A most undiplomatic diplomat.)  He resigned that post in 2006 when it became clear he would not be re-confirmed by the Senate.

Total asshole, bad actor
Nice guy, good actor
In short, John Bolton is an America Alone war hawk who doesn't play well with others -- a real Trumpian threat-making, hot-headed bomb thrower.  How wonderful.  (And he looks like Wilford Brimley's evil brother!)

Since '06, Bolton has spent a lot of time holding forth on Fox News.  Since Trump just picked Joseph diGenova, a greaseball Fox News legal "expert"/anti-government conspiracy theorist/attack dog to be his latest lawyer of the moment, this may now be the first administration to be made entirely of TV personalities.