Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Local Judge Shows Remarkably Good Judgment

Franklin County Ohio Municipal Court Judge Julie Lynch is one of my county's longest-serving judges.  Earlier this month, she announced she's leaving the Republican party and will run in the future as a Democrat.  She said she no longer wanted to be affiliated with what the Republicans have become on the national level.

Great decision, Judge Lynch!  Welcome back to the human race! 

Otherwise Blameless?

Judge T.S. Ellis
He ran a consulting firm known as "The Torturer's Lobby."  He has recently been found guilty of tax fraud and bank fraud, and of hiding millions earned as an unregistered Ukranian lobbyist, and of witness tampering.  So naturally enough, the federal judge presiding over the sentencing of the tax and bank fraud crimes, Judge T.S. Ellis, opened his remarks by declaring that Paul Manafort had "led an otherwise blameless life."  Ellis is a conservative old crank appointed by Reagan.  Manafort's crimes carried sentencing guidelines of 19 to 24 years.  Ellis gave him 47 months, less time already served, for a net sentence of just 3 years. 

Judge Amy Berman Jackson
Yeah, on the tax and bank fraud charges, Manafort was lucky.  He got off more than Robert Kraft at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, but this Wednesday is Round Two -- his sentencing for the rest of his most recent crimes.  Different court, different sentencing guidelines (10 years), and a different judge, Judge Amy Berman Jackson.  Signs are that Judge Jackson will not consider Manafort otherwise blameless, and will sentence him appropriately.

Meaning Paulie will be 80 years old, give or take, when he's finally sprung from the can, and thankfully, we can avoid hearing about his skeevy ass for a good decade or more.

When he cools his heels once again, does the fashion plate appear more blameless in prison green or prison orange?

Javanka's Security Clearance Is Nauseating Nepotism

From the start, White House security officials were reluctant to approve Javanka for top-level security clearances, so Trump pressured Chief of Staff John Kelly and administration attorney Don McGahan to do it.  They refused, so Trump did it himself in 2017.  Straight nepotism from Daddy Dearest. 

It should never have happened.  Jared is up to his neck in Russian and Saudi money, and Ivanka pushed her merchandise lines in the Far East.  Neither are exactly top-security material, just greedily money-motivated.

And when asked directly about Javanka's undeserved security clearances, both daughter and father lied awkwardly, as is their habit:

Ivanka:  The president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband's clearance, zero.

NYT reporter:  Did you tell General Kelly or anyone else in the White House to overrule security officials?

Donald Trump:  I don't think I have the authority to do that.  I'm not sure I do.

NYT reporter:  You do have the authority to do it.

Trump:  But I wouldn't.  I wouldn't do it.

No, of course he wouldn't.  But his 2020 federal budget proposal includes not only an $8.6 billion request for his hateful wall which no one wants, but also a $100 million request for Ivanka's "global women's fund."  He would do that.  Daddy Dearest would not hesitate to throw $100 million of our money at his daughter.

It's things like this which nauseate most people.  It's why anti-nepotism policies, such as they are, exist.


Wednesday, March 6, 2019


The South, Horny Old Rich Men, The Far East, The Fake Emergency Money Grab, Climate Change Denial, The House Oversight Committee

Harris and McCready
"Duh, . . . Yep."
The North Carolina Board of Elections has invalidated the 9th District Congressional vote due to election fraud perpetrated on behalf of Mark Harris, the GOP candidate.  There will be a new vote.  Harris edged Democrat Dan McCready by a mere 900 votes.  Most of those were absentee ballots illegally collected and completed by GOP operative McRae Dowless, who's been indicted and arrested.  Harris will not participate in the re-vote.  Good.  Incredibly, Mitch McConnell is blaming Democrats for Mark Harris's fraud, because D's don't support voter ID laws.  Mitch calls it a clear case of voter fraud.  Clearly, it's not.  No voters engaged in in-person voter fraud, e.g. passing themselves off as another person.  Instead, the Harris campaign tried for a large-scale absentee ballot scam, submitting fraudulent ballots.  That's election fraud, not voter fraud, and Mitch doesn't know the difference.

Some Ole Miss basketball players took a knee last Saturday during the national anthem to protest an on-campus rally by white supremacist shitheads in support of Confederate monuments and rebel flags.  Pssst, white supremacists!  The Civil War is over.  You lost.

Pam Northam, wife of Virginia governor Ralph Northam, handed cotton balls to two 8th-grade black girls on a school tour of the governor's mansion and asked them to imagine being slaves and having to pick cotton every day.  What the hell was she thinking?  Does she enjoy bad press?  She sure got some.  Not a good look from the wife of the Virginia governor who's a fan of blackface and KKK costume.  Especially during Black History month.

Alva Johnson
Alva Johnson is a former Trump campaign worker.  She's also #22 -- the current number of women accusing Dolt 45 of sexual abuse, harassment, assault, unwanted contact, and/or rape.  Johnson says at a rally in Tampa in August 2016, behind a campaign RV, Trump approached her, grabbed her firmly and forcibly kissed her without her consent.  Johnson quit the campaign in October 2016, just after the release of the Access Hollywood tape.  This Monday, she sued Trump in federal court, charging him with sexual assault.

Perp walk
Bob Kraft is the wealthy 77-year-old owner of the New England Patriots, close friend of Donald Trump's, and disciple of Trump's sexual procurement habits.  Kraft has been charged in Jupiter, Florida with soliciting prostitution at the Orchids of Asia massage parlor on January 19th.  Captured on video, not only did he solicit, he received.  He came back the next day and received again, then flew off to Kansas City to watch the Patriots defeat the Chiefs in the AFC championship game.  Perhaps the key to the Patriots extraordinary record of success is the boss obtaining a "massage" on game day.

"Gotta go, Kim.  I'm double-parked."
Fanboys of dictators watch in
disappointment as Trump waves goodbye.
The Great Negotiator goes halfway around the world and whiffs.  Trump travelled to Viet Nam to meet again with his lover and pen pal, Kim Jong Un, to try again to get North Korea to agree to nuclear disarmament.  I was hoping Trump could get it done by promising to stay forever with Kim in connubial bliss in Pyongyang.  But alas, they must have had a lovers quarrel.  Trump arrived in Hanoi on February 26th, and two days and two dinners later was on his way home having accomplished nothing.

Trump must have some serious dirt on Japanese P.M. Shinzo Abe.  He asked/begged Abe to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize.  WTF?  Incredibly, Abe did just that, although no one can cite any evidence of Trump promoting peace.  Is there a new Nobel Lying Prize?

Lighthizer and Liu
Trade talks continue between the U.S. and China, and formal memos of understanding -- MOU's -- are being drawn up as the basis for a comprehensive agreement.  Not unusual, except that Trump doesn't understand MOU's, doesn't like the phrase.  During an Oval Office meeting with U.S. Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, and Trump, Trump declared he had no use for memoranda of understanding "because they don't mean anything."  That led to this exchange:

LIGHTHIZER:  An MOU is a contract.  It's the way trade agreements are generally used.  It's not a term sheet.  It's an actual contract between the two parties.  An MOU is a binding agreement.  And that's what we're talking about.  It's detailed, it covers everything.  It's just called a memorandum of understanding.  That's a legal term.  It's a contract.

TRUMP:  By the way, I disagree.  I think that a memorandum of understanding is not a contract . . .  

At this point, China's VP actually started laughing, amazed that Trump and his top trade rep couldn't agree on the purpose and significance of an MOU, on the definition of a routine phrase.  Lighthizer, embarrassed by having been incorrectly corrected by his boss in front of his Chinese counterpart, came up with a solution:  stop using the phrase that Trump doesn't like.

LIGHTHIZER:  From now on, we're not using the words "memorandum of understanding" anymore.  We're going to use the term "trade agreement."  All right?

LIU:  Okay.

TRUMP:  Right.

LIGHTHIZER:  No more.  We'll never use the term again.

TRUMP:  Good.

LIGHTHIZER:  We'll have the same document.  It's going to be called a "trade agreement."  We'll never use "MOU" again.

TRUMP:  Good.  Good.  I like that much better.  I like that term much better.

"Me so smrt!"
That's Trump in a nutshell:  knows less than he pretends to; is more interested in what things are called than what they do.  You can't have a memo of understanding with a guy who understands nothing.  And Trump has never had respect for any contract.

If you can't beat 'em, cheat 'em.  Mexico won't pay for it.  American citizens are opposed.  U.S. Congress refuses to fund Trump's stupid wall.  So Dolt 45 declared a #FakeNationalEmergency and gave himself an unconstitutional authority to grab the power and money to build the wall on his own responsibility.

Donny Dishonesty is continuing his disreputable efforts to decades of climate science.   The Koch-sucker is assembling a "Presidential Committee on Climate Security."  Its purpose is to conduct "adversarial scientific peer review" on climate science, i.e. to be professional climate change deniers.  Trump's pick to head the panel is William Happer, a retired a physics professor with no background in climatology, just crackpot opinions -- climate science is a "cult," carbon dioxide is "not a pollutant," it is demonized just like the Jews were under under Hitler, carbon dioxide is "actually a benefit to the world, increasing it will be good for the human race."

"This woman is my friend.  Isn't it obvious she's a black person?  
So I can't be a racist, can I?"  

The GOP at the house oversight Cohen hearing was childish and embarrassing.  Led by T-Baggers Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows, they decorated the hearing room with posters attacking Michael Cohen.  Posters!  Is this a junior high, or the House of Representatives?
The R's did not care to learn anything from Cohen.  They asked him no questions.  They were there to denigrate Cohen and call him names ("liar!"), and to defend Trump.
Moai Gaetz accused Cohen of adultery,
then stood wordlessly threatening Cohen. 
Fla. Rep Matt Gaetz sent a threatening tweet to Cohen.  The Florida Bar is now investigating Gaetz for witness tampering.  N.C. Rep Mark Meadows brought along Lynne Patton, HUD official and former Trump party planner.  Her purpose was to stand there silently being black, a human prop "disproving" Trump's racism.  Sure.

The best parts of the day-long hearing were the emotional closing remarks by the Committee Chairman, Eli Cummings D-MD.  If you missed his powerful words, here they are again.  Watch him:

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Pence Was Expecting Standing Ovation. Got Sitting Censure Instead.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke Friday at the Munich Security Conference.  Pence was there to polish Trump's apple while asking our European allies to pay more to the U.S., while rejecting NATO and the multinational Iran nuclear treaty.

Speaking first, German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Trump's "America First" policies, reminded the U.S. delegation that there are far more BMW's made in South Carolina than in Bavaria, and received a hearty standing ovation for her comments.  (Ivanka "Kremlin Barbie" Trump remained firmly seated.)

Pence spoke next.  He was clearly expecting a warm reception.  The crowd's reaction was stone-cold silence.  #Awkward.

Pence concluded his remarks by saying, "God Bless America."  The silence was deafening.  #AwkwardPart2.

Trump is really winning hearts and minds, isn't he?