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

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Today Is Not The Day

I long for a day -- just one -- when there is literally zero news of any hateful craziness from Don the Con and his Good Fellas administration.  Today is not the day.

"Collusion is not a crime."  It's their latest defense, and they're all saying it.  What message discipline.  Except the message sucks.  The collusion is obvious (as they now admit), and collusion leads inevitably to obstruction of justice.  Next up -- "Crime is not illegal!"

He's already tried prosecuting everyone who crosses the border, even asylum seekers.  He has separated families and put kids in Baby Jail. Now he says he'll shut down the government -- "no problem" --  if Congress doesn't fund his border wall by September 30th. That would be about a month before the midterms.  Brilliant!  Do it, Bratman, do it!  (Maybe Mexico will pay before then.)
After Charles Koch said his groups may spend less on the Trump GOP in the future, the Selfish-Made Man shot back, saying he doesn't need those "highly overrated globalists" the Koch brothers.  Doesn't need all their money and "bad ideas."  Well OK then.  No Koch money for you!

Ramblin' Rudy Guiliani is on all the TV talk shows demonstrating the latest developments in his dementia.  He delivers nonsensical word-salad answers and can now say "yes" and "no" out of both sides of his mouth simultaneously.  It's quite an amazing feat!

Religious Liberty Task Force
Jefferson Beauregard Session's DOJ will launch a "religious liberty task force" because the Racist Keebler Elf declared that religious freedom is "under attack."  (It's not.)  He'll set things right by vigorously upholding the right of snake-handling, hate-mongering Christians to practice bigotry in the name of religion, while he completely bans all other "infidel" religions.  And all Americans will be required by law to say Merry Christmas.  Now that's what I call liberty!  Yee-ha!

The Lasting Legacy

With any luck, Donnie Destructo is a one-termer at most.  The midterms ought to be a preview of coming attractions.  And as awful as he's truly been, a lot of his damage to Obamacare, the EPA, foreign policy, etc. can be and must be reversed in fairly short order.

But what cannot be reversed as quickly are Supreme Court appointments.  A confirmed presidential SCOTUS pick may remain on the Big Bench for 40 years or more.  This is of paramount importance in choosing our presidents.  Policies come and go, but Supreme Court Justices last for generations.

Recent history in this area is vomitous.  Asshole Mitch McConnell stubbornly refused to allow even a Senate hearing on Merrick Garland, let alone a vote, and thus denied President Obama his right to an appointment.  (I still can't believe this was legal/permissable/whatever.)  But the Kentucky Turtle had no hesitation in letting the Clown Prince pick well-vetted right-winger Neil Gorsuch for that same seat, and letting him be promptly confirmed, and there you go -- the 5-4 conservative advantage was nauseatingly preserved.

And then Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement.  He was in reality one of the five conservatives, but had moments of reason -- upholding Roe v. Wade and establishing the rights of gay marriage -- which allowed him to enjoy the undeserved reputation as a "moderate" swing-vote guy.  But he's outta there.

So Trumpolini gets another pick, and it's Brett Kavanaugh, a career conserva-tard thoroughly checked out and endorsed by the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society.  No matter what he says in his confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh has promised his big-money backers that he'll never, ever make those mistakes of moderation that Kennedy did.  No way.  He'll be a doctrinaire ideologue on issue after issue, right down the line.

What will that mean for our future?  The new guaranteed-conservative SCOTUS majority, according to legal analyst and author Jeffrey Toobin, "will overrule Roe v. Wade, allowing states to criminally prosecute any physicians and nurses who perform them.  It will allow shopkeepers, restaurateurs, and hotel owners to refuse service to gay customers on religious grounds.  It will guarantee that fewer African-American and Lationo students attend elite universities.  It will approve laws designed to hinder voting rights.  It will sanction execution by grotesque means.  It will invoke the Second Amendment to prohibit states from engaging in gun control, including the regulation of machine guns and bump stocks.  And these are just the issues that draw the most attention.  In many respects, the most important right-wing agenda item for the judiciary is the undermining of the regulatory state.  The Constitution grants only those rights that the Supreme Court says it grants, and a new majority can and will bestow those rights, and take them away, in chilling new ways."*

Is that what you want?  It's not what I want.  But that will be Yam Face's lasting legacy -- decades of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.  Is there anything we can do to derail Kavanaugh's confirmation?  It appears unlikely, but write your Senator anyway.

(*New Yorker, 7/16/18)

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Daily Trump Temperament Advisory System

The Folly Of Term Limits

Pardon me, but I call Bullshit!
Hardly a day goes by that I don't see some grumpy old fart on Facebook railing against "career politicians" and claiming that a constitutional amendment establishing term limits for members of the U.S. Congress will solve all our problems, and I should "like" and "share" if I agree.

Well, I disagree.  This is the same bright logic which leads some to push for things like mandatory sentencing and installing a private-sector businessman as president.  (That businessman-in-the-White House thing is working out great, isn't it?)

While "throwing all the bums out" might make some misguided folks feel better, it has not had a track record of success and the reason is simple -- such a forced turnover generates a stream of rookies, which limits experience and reduces institutional/cultural knowledge.  Why mandate a constant crop of newbies who don't know where the bathrooms are?

By and large, experience is the best teacher.  Term limits forcibly thin the herd of its useful experience level.  Were you better, smarter, more valuable in your chosen field of endeavor when you first started or after you had some time on the job?  Imagine if you were required to leave your job every 8 years and go find a new one?  What if John Wooden were term-limited at UCLA?

Sure, there can be exceptions to the general experience-is-a-good-thing rule.  (Strom Thurmond leaps to mind.  And we'd all like to term-limit those we dislike.)  But in the big picture, I'll take the old pro over the young tyro every time.

Another reason why political term limits are counterproductive is that they tend to promote a certain laziness in legislators.  Why bust your ass if you're outta here in a couple years?  *The recent study "How Do Electoral Incentives Affect Legislator Behavior?" by Alexander Fouirnaies of the University of Chicago and Andrew B. Hall of Stanford found that when a term-limited legislator is serving his or her last term, that legislator tends to slack off:

"Once term-limited, incumbents sponsor fewer bills, provide less committee service and are absent for more roll-call votes, on average.  Incumbent state legislators work harder when anticipating future elections." 

In other words, lame ducks usually get pretty damn lame.  Term limits and forced retirements are ill-advised.

*The legislatures of 16 states, including Ohio, have some form of term limits.  But the fad is dying out.  In the 22 years since 1996, no state has term-limited its legislature.

*Cited by columnist Thomas Suddes in the 7/22/18 Columbus Dispatch

"Active Shooter" by David Sedaris

This one is a little change of pace.  It's by David Sedaris, author, performer, humorist and storyteller.  Sedaris' amusing tales often veer off onto unexpected tangents.  He's the creator of the hilarious Christmas monologue "Six to Eight Black Men."  

This piece is a bit longer than your average blog post and may not be suitable for those who can only digest 140-character tweet-shrieks from the illiterate Orange Bloviator.  Don't be one of those people.

Remember, reading is good for you and a sign of basic intelligence.  You can read the entire article by clicking the link.  It's a good one.  Some excerpts follow.


It was spring, and my sister Lisa and I were in her toy-size car, riding from the airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, to her house in Winston-Salem.  We came upon a billboard for a firing range called ProShots.

"I think we should go to that place and shoot guns," said Lisa.

And so it was that the following afternoon we arrived for our appointment at the firing range.  My shooting experience was limited to air rifles.  Lisa had no experience whatsoever.

After a 45-minute gun safety class, Lisa stood ramrod straight with a loaded Glock in her hand.  Her first bullet hit the target -- a life-size outline of a man -- and missed the bull's-eye of his heart by an inch at most.  Where did that come from? I wondered.

The bullet I fired was so off the mark, my only hope was that my enemy would laugh himself to death.

I thought of a couple I know in Texas, Tom and Randy.  One night, late, an escaped mental patient stole a car, drove randomly to their house and pounded on the door.  "I know you've got my mother in there!" he shouted crazily.  "You're holding her hostage, you bastard!"

As the door started to come off its hinges, Tom got his pistol and fired through the door.  The man was hit in the neck, but the shot didn't kill him.  Enraged, the escaped mental patient got back behind the wheel and drove into Tom and Randy's house.

"I'm the pacifist in this relationship," said Randy.  "Never held a gun in my life, but there I was, while this madman was driving past my chest of drawers, shouting, 'Kill him!'"

As Tom aimed his gun, the guy passed out from blood loss, and not long afterward the police showed up.  By then, the door was hanging by a thread and had bullet holes in it, and there was a stolen car at the foot of the bed.  This, I thought, was exactly why some people buy guns.

I am not concerned that an escaped psychopath is going to break down my front door in the middle of the night.  Things like that clearly happen, but I'd just as soon prepare by having a back door.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

"I Want To Rule The World" by 10cc

Should we have seen this coming?  Did 10cc predict it back in 1976?

(Song/video below)

I wanna be a boss.
I wanna be a big boss.
I wanna boss the world around.
I wanna be the biggest boss 
that ever bossed the world around.

The "J" stands for "genius"

From the great 1976 album How Dare You! by 10cc, it's "I Want To Rule The World"

Spoiled Child Alert! Unhinged Brooklyn Brat Running Amok!

Our Terrible Tyrannical Tot is bringing the mean, stupid and dangerous every day.

OMG, he sent a midnight all-caps threat tweet to Iran!  (Because lower-case is "SMALL" and "WEAK.")  But the Mullahs have seen Donnie's puerile provocateur act before, most recently with North Korea, and the Mullahs don't care.  And I once thought John McCain was too bellicose to be president.  Silly me.

Says he's looking into revoking the security clearance of any former government official who's ever dared to criticize his large gossamer-skinned ass.  On his shit list are Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Hayden, Rice, and McCabe.  Very petty, very vindictive, and very ignorant.  As retirees, none of them receive classified briefings anymore.  Quasimodo Huckabee Sanders says they've all "monetized their service" and she says the Grifter-In-Chief is shocked -- shocked! -- by this.  Mr. Refuses-To-Divest-From-His-Golf Courses-Hotels-Office Buildings said he would never monetize his service.  He added that he'll also look into posthumously revoking the security clearances of George C. Marshall, Henry Stimson and Ulysses S. Grant.

In an unprecedented move, he ordered his DOJ to release the FISA Court surveillance warrant for bucket-head Russia pawn Carter Page.  This action exposed our intel sources and outed the four previously-anonymous FISA judges, all Republicans, all of whom approved the Page warrant and renewed it three times.  Donnie Dumbass claims the released documents exonerate him in Mueller's Russia probe, and show it's all a rigged witch hunt hoax. It shows the exact opposite.

Honest Vlad Putin says he'd happily let us talk to the twelve Mueller-indicted Russian agents if only we'd let him have access to all of our intel sources -- so Vladi can ID them and kill them.  Novichok anyone?  The well-known idiot occupying the White House fell for it, calling it "an incredible offer."  I hope someone can 'splain to Boy Blunder just how truly incredible Putin's offer really is.

And in bimbo hush-money news, the FBI is in possession of a recording made by Michael Cohen in which Cohen and Donnie discuss the $150,000 payoff to former Playmate Karen McDougal.  Reportedly, the tape shows Trump wanted to just hand her a big bag of cash, but Cohen suggested that a check would be better.  For record-keeping purposes.  Ask Jerry Springer about the advisability of paying for a courtesan by check.  He-he!

A Startling Admission

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Let's Play Scrabble!

I think this is a pretty high score.

Revised Paul McCartney Lyrics

Fake Prez Tees It Up, Twitter-verse Knocks It Out of the Park

Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) - almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!

Just a small sampling of the many clever comebacks: