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

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Carl Has A Message For You. Listen Up!

How It Ends

No matter the outcome of the November 6th midterm elections, Dick a la Orange will still occupy the White House.  And Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian connection will methodically roll on to an eventual conclusion.  It's impossible to know how this chapter of history will end, but it's fun to speculate.  The NY Times Book Review asked five notable spy and crime fiction authors to do just that for their 10/28/18 issue.  The full piece is linked, but my favorite story of the five is reproduced below.  Remember, it's fiction -- just a story.



by Zoe Sharp

The Russian landed at Dulles after 48 hours of travelling.  Of necessity, he came from Moscow by a circuitous route.  A long way with a very specific task.  There would be no return flight.

In the airport bars, the TV's were tuned to different news channels but the story was the same.  First the president's campaign manager, then his lawyer, a Republican congressman, former aides, family members.  Those who weren't indicted were subpoenaed.  House arrest had become fashionable.

The Town Car sent by the hotel had a flat-screen for his entertainment on the 45-minute drive into D.C.  The channel once snidely referred to as "state TV" now delighted in showing long shots through the White House railings of men in uniforms removing boxes of incriminating paperwork.  The president himself was not in residence.  He was holed up on home ground.

The walk across the hotel lobby included a brush with a businessman intent on his cellphone.  The Russian did not touch the inside pocket of his coat, into which his new identity had been adroitly slipped, until he reached the desk and produced it.

The clerk was slow to respond.  His attention was on the TV in the bar.

"They're saying the Russkies put him up to it," the clerk said, handing over his room key.  "And I voted for the guy!"

The Russian shrugged.  "Fake news . . . "

But the clerk did not look believing.

He spent the day in his suite, watching the slow grind toward impeachment.

Around 11 p.m., his contact arrived.  The man had been in deep cover for decades.  In his briefcase was a bottle of Stolichnaya and a 9-millimeter Makarov semi-automatic pistol.

"There is no other way?"  It was intended as a statement.  It emerged as a question.

The contact shook his head.  "When it comes out that he was handpicked at the highest possible level, our great nation will be the laughingstock of the world," he said.  "He must be silenced."

They drank vodka until the early hours.  The contact left for the airport.  The Russian drank on alone.  Throughout his career, he would have spent these hours going over the plan, the escape route.  This time, there was no escape route -- only honor.  And death.

At 7 a.m., he showered.  The bar of soap had the hotel name stamped into both sides.  He made sure to wash his ass with it.  Then he shaved and ate a last room-service breakfast.  He dressed in the porter's uniform that had been obtained for him, tucking the Makarov into the back of his waistband.

When it was time, he went downstairs, took his place in the lobby before the entourage appeared.  The hotel staff had been lined up to see their boss, the president, go by.  A few of them applauded.  Most did not.

The president didn't seem to notice.  He waved, in his desultory fashion.  The Secret Service agents clustered around him, ushered him toward the armored limo idling outside at the curb.

The Russian waited until they were a few steps past before he drew his gun.  He sighted on the center of the president's back, and squeezed the trigger.

The Makarov misfired.

The Secret Service agent at the president's shoulder heard the click, spun into a crouch.  He registered the scene instantly, drawing his own weapon with razor-edge reflexes.

The Russian tasted failure.  He closed his eyes and waited to pay the cost.

It did not come.

He opened his eyes.  The Secret Service agent stood before him, presenting his Glock, butt first.

"Here," the agent said politely.  "Use mine . . . "

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Desperate to change the topic from domestic terrorism incited by his own big, fat mouth, the Racist-In-Chief says he's going to re-write the Constitution by executive order -- with the stroke of his pen, he'll just do away with birthright citizenship . . . for certain American-born, non-white babies of non-citizen residents.  (Apparently, the Bombastic Bozo doesn't know that the Constitution can't be changed by executive order.)

And just in time for a mid-term photo op, Don the Con is sending 5200 military troops to southern border to stop an "invasion" of a small number of small, brown refugees from Honduras.  tRump calls these downtrodden souls an "infestation" and claims they're bring "disease" like smallpox.  (The last known case of smallpox was in 1977, in Somalia.)

Oh, dear readers, there is indeed a disease, an infestation, troubling our country, and it's a national emergency.  It's source is not south of the border, it's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Patient Zero lives here.

The GOP is thoroughly infected with the Trump virus of racism, bigotry, hatred, violence and lies.  Eradicate the disease!  Elect Democrats, reject Republicans!


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Memes Of The Moment

It's Been A Hell Of A Week

Racism, bigotry and ideological violence are on the rise, running rampant in America.  The problem is profound.

Yes, these things have always had an unwelcome presence in our society, but they were ugly fringe elements never legitimized by the president -- never, that is, until Donald Trump came along.

No, he didn't personally construct pipe bombs, or murder black people in Louisville, or gun down Jewish people in Pittsburgh.  But he might just as well have mailed the packages and pulled the trigger.  By his words and deeds, he bears tremendous responsibility.  Oh, he'll recite a solemn prepared statement after the fact, but then quickly return to stirring his big ol' pot o' hate.  He whines that "this bomb stuff" is a distraction and possibly a false flag conspiracy.  He blames the media for bombs mailed . . . to the media!  His solution to hate crimes is the death penalty (already have it) and armed guards in grocery stores and synagogues and everywhere else.

As the Pittsburgh mayor said, "You can't rationalize irrational behavior."  You can't fight hate and inhumanity with more hate and inhumanity.  (The death penalty is vengeance, not deterrence.)  You can't fix our gun problem with more guns.  (The U.S. already has more guns than people and it doesn't solve a goddam thing.)

We cannot rationalize our irrational Asshole-In-Chief Donald Trump, nor can we rationalize his destructive handmaidens in the servile GOP.  All we can do is rid ourselves of the menace by voting them out.  It starts November 6th!  VOTE!  VOTE!  VOTE!  And vote smart.


Friday, October 26, 2018

One Thing Leads To Another

Easily-Offended Old Man Wakes Up At 3 A.M. To Yell At TV

Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, “it’s just not Presidential!”

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Lie That Will Not Die

This may be his biggest lie of the day (so many to choose from!):

This is the complete and total opposite of reality, of truth.  The Daft Twerp is joined in this outrageous whopper by every lying sack-of-shit Republican running for office -- an entire political party of blatant liars.

Democrats gave us the ACA -- the only thing, ever, which guarantees full, fair and nondiscriminatory coverage of pre-existing health conditions.  Prior to the ACA, there was no such guarantee.  And Republicans have tried from the outset to get rid of it.

Our Mango Mugabe lies all day, every day.  The mainstream media, which he despises and attacks publicly, fact-check his statements and call out his lies.  This is not bias, it's not inaccurate, and it's not fake news.

It's called reporting.  It's called journalism.

Vote Democratic!


Joe Biden, Robert DeNiro, and counting.  Dinky Donny and Sarah Huckster Sanders take no responsibility for their provocative rhetoric.  Instead, they blame the media.  (Of course.)

We do not have a presidential administration running our government.  We have an unsupervised brat running a Twitter feed.  We had better do something about it, soon.  Say, November 6th.

Image result for targets of ten pipe bombs

  1. A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!

.@realDonaldTrump asked Americans “to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the USA” Yet you chose to attack and divide. America should unite against all political violence.

After pipe bomb scare, Trump asks rally, 'Do you see how nice I am behaving tonight?'

"They told me I better act nice,
but I don't wanna!"

REFERENDUM!  We must do better than this!  Vote the bastards out, now and again in 2020.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Nationalist

Not A Coincidence

Right-wing crazies will believe anything that Donnie Diablo tells them.  I see it here in Buster's Blog, in a recent spike in angry anonymous comments.  Some troll wanted Border Patrol to deliver all the Central American refugees to my door, and called me a "distinguished intellectual elite."  (Why, thank you!)

This is the package bomb sent to CNN
And sadly, in the past two days we've seen a spike in real-world right-wing craziness as well, far more serious than blogosphere flame-ons.  Some person or persons attempted to mail package bombs to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, Maxine Waters, George Soros, and the CNN building as well.  The [fake] return address on several of them was Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  The common thread is obvious -- people who've been critical of our Dictator-Tot.

After hours of Twitter silence, a White House speechwriter dutifully churned out a perfunctory "condemnation" for Trump to read, and he read it (even though he had to pronounce some big, unfamiliar words, e.g. "egregious.")  But his condemnation rang hollow.  And his call for "unity" is flat-out laughable.  That's because Trump is the very reason why such a statement was necessary -- he's the instigator, the motivator, the enabler of this terror.  He's the biggest purveyor of disunity we've ever seen.  His violent, fascist rhetoric, his constant lies, his incendiary attacks on the free press have had the intended effect -- instability and chaos just before a crucial election.

It's not a coincidence.  In essence, he asked for it, and some wing-nut was only too happy to comply.  Next time, maybe they go to guns. 

Enough of this bullshit!  Enough of Trump!  The demented pig has gotta go, one way or another.  Unlike Trump himself, I won't advocate violence.  (But if His Lardship was to eat one KFC bucket too many and croak from a coronary, I can't say I'd shed a tear.)  No, the best way, the most satisfying way to remove Our National Disgrace will be at the ballot box.  We end his Reign of Terror by voting him out in 2020!

It starts by sending him a clear message on November 6th.  There's not a single Republican -- federal, state or local -- who's willing to stand up to Trump and call him out as the dangerous, corrupt lunatic he truly is.  They're all in Trump's pocket now.  A vote for any Republican is a vote for Trump, and if you vote that way, you're as big a lunatic as he is.

So vote Democrat all the way!  It pisses off the right people, and it will make a difference in our future.


Monday, October 22, 2018


Here Comes The Fear Again

(Or maybe I should say "still," since the fear-mongering never stops with the Blunt Orange Object.)

It's the tried-and-true recipe for right-wing turn out:

1.  Take one or two gut issues of the moment, say, immigration and transgender rights.
2.  Stir in large quantities of fear and hatred, seasoned with inflammatory exaggerations and absurd lies.
3.  Half-bake on Fox News for a couple weeks and -- voila! -- foamy-mouth morons who believe anything will show up to vote.

Cheeto Benito's latest hot takes, now in heavy rotation:

The thousands of Central American refugees heading northward into Mexico are a "caravan of illegal alien criminals" for which "Democrats are to blame."  "Democrats will give them free welfare, free healthcare, free education, a driver's license, a Rolls Royce, and the right to vote."  The Tiny-Fingered Vulgarian also claims that "people in California are rioting to get out of their sanctuary cities."

All lies, 100% fact-free, not to mention impossible.  But be afraid!  Brown people are on the move!

The fake president also says he'll send the military to stop them at our southern border -- "Not the National Guard, the Armed Forces!"  Donnie Dipstick's gotta a hard-on to blow up some scary Honduran mothers and children.  Yee-ha!  We don't need no stinkin' wall!  We got the Army Navy, Air Force and Marines, and they're ready to kick some little brown ass!

And his Dept. of Health & Human Services would like to refuse services to some humans by redefining one's sex/gender as "immutable and fixed at birth."  Oh, fuckin' c'mon!  There is literally no reason for this other than to be cruel, to pander to the stupid fears of stupid people who are afraid of trannies in the bathroom.  As far as I'm concerned, Laverne Cox and Chaz Bono can pee wherever they like.

Reject the fear and the lies!  Vote!



Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Original "Turn Blue!"

An earlier post today ended with an image of a goateed man's face and the slogan "Turn Blue!"  Attentive readers of a certain age, raised in a certain geographical area, will recognize that grinning visage as that of Ghoulardi, a.k.a. Ernie Anderson. 

In the early 1960's Ernie Anderson was the unknown station announcer for WJW-TV, Channel 8 in Cleveland, Ohio.  But then, improbably, he became the hottest thing on the local broadcast airwaves in those pre-cable days.  Given the job of hosting the Friday late-night horror movie "Shock Theater," he created the character of "Ghoulardi" -- a wise-cracking hep cat in a fright wig, lab coat, and sunglasses with one lens missing.

From 1963 through 1966, Ghoulardi's irreverent on-air anarchy was a phenomenon in northeastern Ohio.  The WJW station managers lived in fear of what he might say or do next, who he might piss off, but his sky-high ratings gave him cover.  Kids thought he was cool -- we loved him and imitated him.  Parents worried he was corrupting their impressionable youth.  His popularity soon earned him a second time slot on Saturday afternoons.  He had exhibition softball and basketball teams.  He was a merchandising goldmine.  For four years, Ghoulardi was everything and everywhere. 

Disdainful of TV norms, his show was only marginally about the movie.  It was more about Ghoulardi's schtick.  He made fun of the movies he hosted:  "If you wanna watch a movie, don't watch this one."  He inserted himself into the movies he showed.  He blew up dolls and plastic cars with firecrackers.  He played nonsense songs like "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" and "The Bird's the Word" by the Rivingtons.

He adopted his own odd, beatnik-ish lingo:  He told us to "Turn blue."   You could be a "knif"  (fink backwards), or even a "purple knif."  (Was that better or worse?  We didn't care.)  Other Ghoulardi-isms:  "Stay sick!"  "Hey, Group!"  "Cool it with the boom-booms."  "You won't believe!"  "Ovah-dey!"  

Dorothy Baby!
He made relentless fun of local TV personalities like the sacharrine kiddie show hosts Barnaby and Captain Penny, talk show host Mike Douglas, and the elderly, ultra-serious news commentator Dorothy Fuldheim ("Dorothy Baby!").  He ridiculed the middle-class suburb of Parma.  According to his Parma Place skits, the town was nothing but plastic yard flamingoes, polka music and white socks.   (Consequently, I grew up referring to white socks as "Parma socks.")

It was unscripted, live TV and anything could happen.  Ghoulardi once rode a motorcycle onto the set, and another time set some curtains on fire with his on-air firecracker explosions.  He may or may not have done his show while drunk.  He was assisted in his mayhem by sidekicks "Big Chuck" Sodowski, Bob "Hoolihan the Weatherman" Wells, and in the early days, Tim Conway.

After the 1966 season, he followed Conway's lead by abruptly quitting WJW and moving to Los Angeles.  Once again just plain old Ernie Anderson, he became the main network voice-over announcer for ABC-TV in the 1970's-1980's.  Anderson's son is the film director Paul Thomas Anderson.

Ernie Anderson died in 1997.  But Ghoulardi lives on in memory, and on YouTube. 

Evangelical Trolls Have Found Me!

In my "Times Have Changed" post of 10/19/18, I remarked on the irony of the one-time "family values, moral majority" Republican party devolving into the no-values, amoral minority Trumpanzee party.

My off-the-cuff observation drew this curious response:

We are are praying for you.
Government is not God. Politics and policy are no substitute for religion. In the grand scheme of life, government and politics are quite trivial. If your happiness and life satisfaction is based on political policy and government programs, you will always be left empty and unfulfilled.

So, don't worry, just pray?  Really?  Plaster-saint evangelicals can rationalize anything, as long they get a couple anti-abortion SCOTUS judges and are allowed to deny cupcakes to gay people.

My anonymous commenter has it exactly backwards: 

  • It's religion which is no substitute for public policy.  
  • My happiness and satisfaction are based on many things, including government policy and programs.
  • It's religion which has always left me empty and unfulfilled.

As for praying for me, thanks, but don't waste your time or breath.  If you really want to help me, clean up the dog turds in my backyard.

Times Have Changed, Part Two -- a.k.a. Mob Up!

Time was, conservatives would mock liberals as bleeding heart, tofu-eating, tree-hugging, whale-saving, clean air-loving, white wine-sipping, NPR-listening, Prius-driving weenies.

Somehow, we lily-livered libs have morphed into "radical, angry, dangerous mobs."  Ooh, scary!

Once again, times have changed.  (Is a group of women protesting sexual assault really as frightening and life-threatening as a group of head-knocking, alt-right Proud Boys?)

Mob up!  Mobs to the polls!  Vote the hypocritical bastards out!


Their Other Favorite Lie

It's a new release, but it's rocketing up the deception charts and has now become their other favorite lie.

The Democrats are making hay with the issue of health care and the critical importance of covering pre-existing conditions.  Nationwide, all the Republican midterm candidates are suddenly claiming that, just like the D's, they've "always" worked to preserve pre-existing conditions coverage.  It's their new on-message talking point.

And it's complete bullshit, a total lie.  But they're all doing it.  They figure if they repeat the lie enough, a lot of low-info conservative morons will actually believe it.  Ohio Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine has even enlisted his daughter Anna to help him lie about the issue.  In one campaign ad, she says her dad has a "caring heart" which is why "he supports health-care coverage for people with pre-exisitng conditions."

Her language is pure Republican fog -- doesn't say what level of pre-existing coverage, or how it will be provided, or at what cost.  That's because Republicans don't have any of those answers.  (When pressed, all DeWine has offered is a feeble suggestion of high-risk pools, which have been tried before and simply do not work.)

DeWine and every one of the Republican candidates out there now talking about how they "support" pre-exisitng coverage is lying.  It's a cynical, coordinated group lie.  What they've all supported is repealing the ACA, which would necessarily mean a repeal of the mandate to cover pre-existing conditions.  So STFU!

At my regular check-up last week (I'm good, BTW), I was congratulated by my doctor and two nurses for my TV ad on this issue for Democrat Rich Cordray.  These health professionals realize how many people have a pre-exisitng condition (you probably have one), and how important it truly is to have assurances of full, comprehensive coverage.  It's literally a life-saver.

The only thing we've ever had in this country to guarantee full, fair, nondiscriminatory coverage of pre-existing health conditions is the Affordable Care Act.

Protect the ACA.  Protect Social Security.  Protect Medicare.  Vote Democratic on November 6th!

Turn Blue!