Saturday, February 13, 2016

Breaking: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dead at 79

Image from Wikipedia
Wow. I have this short list--very short list--of people for whom my compassion runs so low, that mustering even a modicum of sympathy for their passing, timely or otherwise, is very difficult. You could throw a couple of Cheneys in there, maybe a Schlafly and a couple of televangelists. But Antonin Scalia, long-serving Supreme Court Justice is on that list. I'm reminded that he was very good friends with fellow justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, so I'll keep that in mind, and remember that he's got a family, and they might have had warmer feelings for him than I do. Maybe. So, I'll give them all my sympathy But I'm going to have difficulty working up a tear.

FOX "News" was in such a hurry to get this story out,
that they only managed a sentence, and a faulty headline.
Scalia was not "Chief Justice."
Now, all eyes will turn to the nominating process, and whether or not the US Senate will try to run out the clock so that President Obama doesn't get a third justice on the bench. I think it would be tremendously bad form, for there is absolutely no reason they should stall other than playing politics.  But the stakes for the presidential election just shot through the roof. And the delicacy of the language that the candidates, pundits and other politicians use around the situation could prove daunting. I say, wait for Donald Trump to say something crass before saying anything but the most boilerplate statements. Then, carefully guide the issue to one of fairness, justice, the American way. Don't play politics, the Senate must do its duty, etc., etc. Force the Senate to do their jobs.

We'll see.

[Excerpt]

Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court justice, dies at 79

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died at the age of 79, a government source and a family friend told CNN on Saturday.Scalia died in his sleep during a visit to Texas. . .

Read more at: CNN

Friday, February 12, 2016

In Case You Missed It: Johnny Depp as Donald Trump in The Art of the Deal

This has been buzzing around the internet for several days, I know, but I just got around to checking it out. I was surprised to see how much they committed to it. This isn't your standard two or three minute sketch. I think they really nailed it. Your mileage may vary.



GOP Clown Car Update: Who Dropped Out Today?



Well, one more down. Today, Jim Gilmore decided. . .oh who cares? Here's the updated graphic!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Is Donald Trump Related to Pharma Douche Martin Shkreli?



I'm not sayin'. . .I'm just sayin'! Know what I'm sayin'?



The resemblance is uncanny. pic.twitter.com/HVtx4i0EnE
— Anyone But Trump (@AnyoneButDTrump) February 11, 2016

Help Kickstart The Randi Rhodes Show

Radio Goddess Randi Rhodes retired a couple of years ago, breaking the heart of this daily listener. As much as I love The Stephanie Miller Show (even sans Chris Lavoie), Randi was always my girl. And now she's attempting a comeback. I'm presently on a bit of a financial diet while The Other Half and I pursue career changes, but then I thought. . .hey, I've got this here blog thingy! If nothing else, I can promote her. So, please, if you ever were a fan, check out this video, head on over to the site (bounce your boobies if you feel like it), and consider helping crowd fund this needed voice.







Randi Rhodes Air Force

David Ippolito's Tom Cruise Scares Me Updated for 2016



I haven't checked in with David Ippolito, "That Guitar Man from Central Park" in a while, but I hoped he had a new version of Tom Cruise Scares Me up for the 2016 election. He didn't disappoint. Well, not much. Ippolito is a Bernie Sanders supporter (not that there's anything wrong with that), and his update takes a shot at Hillary Clinton. But let me reiterate, that though Clinton is my preferred candidate, I'll happily support Bernie if he winds the nomination, and that all of the candidates on both sides "scare me" to one degree or another. But Bernie or Hillary much less so than anyone running on the Republican side.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New Hampshire Takeaways

I'm a bit puzzled by the media reactions to New Hampshire, and frankly, over the whole presidential campaign. Even voices I like and respect seem to have blind spots, and odd analysis. Here are my short takes.

Hillary Clinton: Hillary lost New Hampshire by somewhere around what she was predicted to by polls and speculation. There were no particular surprises that I could see. And she gave a decent speech, congratulating Bernie Sanders on his win, and rousing her supporters. I have no idea what all of the hand-wringing was about, from pundits and journalists. Should she lose South Carolina? New story.

Bernie Sanders: The only thing surprising about Bernie's performance was that he finally got some decent coverage. I think the astonished reactions may have had something to do with the press largely ignoring him and his events, and then being forced to witness that he has support akin to Trump's. But, of course, with far more substance, and with followers who are considerably more informed, and demanding politically. That's not to say I don't have significant issues with the "Bernie Bros."

John Kasich: That my Ohio Governor Milquetoast came in second is the absolute flip-side of front-runner Trump, showing that there are more nutbars in Vermont than we thought, but that they're are people who respond to what by contrast seems normal, sensible. He's not. But he's eminently preferable.

Marco Rubio and Jeb! Bush: Both continue to be plagued by saying or doing the "wrong" thing in the eyes of the press. Bush continues to be barely a footnote, and Marco, after a strong finish in Iowa, has been assailed as a talking-point regurgitating robot. Anything and everything considered a mistake or error for these guys wouldn't even register if Trump did or said it. I'd take either of these guys over Trump or Cruz. But I wouldn't be happy about it.

Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie: The field is being culled, and only Ben of these three remains standing. I'll be shocked if he isn't the next to go. Chris Christie I'll be sorry to lose. Bully that he is, I think I liked him best of the worst.

Ted Cruz: Cruz is far and away the candidate I'd have the hardest time dealing with if he won the general. He's a disingenuous Dominionist, bent on eliminating the wall between church and state. He's unctuous, creepy, and just plain awful. Fortunately, he won the Iowa caucus, and that is usually the kiss of death. I'm hoping so.

And finally. . .

Donald Trump: The media is going into convulsions (likely only rivaling those of Reince Preibus and the rest of the GOP establishment), self-flagellating over having treated Trump as a clown and a sideshow. Newsflash, news people: He is still a clown and a sideshow. Oh, he may continue to do very well. He may very well win the nomination. And--to my increasing horror--the voters of the United States may have hit peak Idiocracy centuries ahead of schedule, and lead to his eventual election. I hope not.

While the media continues to mea culpa all over itself over the wrong thing, what they should be doing is actually turning their syntax parsing onto him. His speeches--regularly played in their entirety on cable news, regardless of their newslessness--are filled with repetition that makes Rubio's current drubbing completely unjustified. They aren't even speeches at all. They're ad libbing, and bad ad libbing at that. They're akin to Sarah Palin word salad, but half as entertaining. [Story continues below]



Trump's "victory speech" in New Hampshire, if you subtract his thanks to dead and living relatives and his skeevy staff, was more of this empty, crass, 5th-grade level blather. No other candidate in the entire race (or any other) would survive this horrible speech. At best, anyone but Trump would suffer a days-long dissection of its awfulness, to speculation of his dropping out, or dire warnings that he must course-correct. Not Trump. They don't even mention it.

But here, don't take my word for it. Read a few verbatim quotes from the "speech." Tell me this is presidential. Tell me this wouldn't disqualify anyone else. Try to parse any of it for coherency. It's terrible.

Read it here: Haaretz

GOP Clown Car Continues to Empty Out: Carly Fiorina & Chris Christie

Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina have bailed  out of the 2016 GOP Clown Car. We can only hope she landed on him, and not the other way around.

Carly was far too icy and prickly to ever gather any steam, as far as I'm concerned. For all of the "unlovableness" people try to heap on Hillary, Carly made her look like your favorite pie-baking, cuddly grandma. And Carly was the mean, brittle other grandma you'd cry when you'd have to visit, and you couldn't enter that one room, or sit on the furniture unless it was covered with plastic. Like her face (ha!).

Christie was probably in my short (very short) list of GOP candidates who wouldn't have freaked me out if he'd won. He's a bully. And probably corrupt. But he'd also get things done without pulling Jesus into everything. and without embarrassing the living crap out of America for the next four years. I'm a bit sorry to see him go.

Monday, February 8, 2016

SNL: Bernie Sanders and Larry David as Bernie Sanders

Good stuff, good episode, actually. I might have enjoyed it more, if I'd ever watched Curb our Enthusiasm, I suppose.


SNL: Nobody LIkes Ted Cruz (Except Iowa)

Saturday Night Live continues with the (entirely on-target) meme that Ted Cruz is unlikable, both visually and on every other level, despite winning in Iowa. And Taran Killam is still entirely too attractive to be playing Cruz.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dr. Ben Carson Causes Pile-up, Confusion at GOP Debate

Hilarious.

Over Time with Bill Maher, February 5, 2016

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Open Letter to Arianna Huffington: "Queer Voices" Has Got to Go

Ms. Huffington:

In recent days, The Huffington Post has unceremoniously re-branded its LGBT news section, "Queer Voices." Its previous name, Gay Voices was deemed to be too exclusionary, as not everyone under the sexual minorities umbrella considers themselves to be gay.

Yes, ma'am, I'm talking to you.
The problem is, "Queer" as a word carries a lot of baggage, most of it quite negative. To many--and I'm one of them--it's plainly offensive, particularly if used by others to define me. If a person wants to identify as "queer?" Knock themselves out. Don't assign it to me. If a gay organization or publication wants to use the word or a "Q" or a variant (such as Queerty)? It doesn't bother me. It's from the community, for the community. There is no hint of malice. But when it's a section of what is essentially an online mainstream newspaper? No. No.

I understand the impulse to change the name, and it is doubtless true that you've probably received criticism from trans people, bisexual people and anyone else who doesn't identify primarily as "gay." I also understand that coming up with a short, succinct heading is quite difficult, because by its nature, a short name has a difficult job being inclusionary. Somebody is bound to be left out of a lot of the options out there.

My own gay section doesn't try to solve the riddle, since it's
just little old me here. I'm not LGBT, I'm just "G."
This is borne out by the history of the most common identifier of LGBT. We've gone from "Gay" to "Gay & Lesbian," to "Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual," to "GLBT," (which is pronounceable as glibbit, and includes trans-, whether transsexual or transvestite), to LGBT (ladies first, but unpronounceable). That pretty much stuck, but it started to gather barnacles of other letters and symbols, because it still didn't include everybody. And though that seems only natural, it also starts getting unwieldy, and begging your pardon, quite ridiculous.

The entire point of an abbreviation is that it be shorter, and succinct. LGBTTQQF*GPBDS? doesn't do that. And, invariably, it's still going to leave somebody out. So, I can appreciate HuffPo's dilemma. "Gay" doesn't cut it, what are the succinct alternatives?

- LGBT Voices, probably nixed for the reasons listed above
- Pride Voices, reasonable, inoffensive, probably in use somewhere else
- Lambda Voices, probably too obscure
- Rainbow Voices, probably too vague
- Alternative Lifestyles, nearly as bad as Queer Voices for a lot of reasons

So, again, I understand your dilemma. I happen to think you blew it, royally. You'd have done better by inventing a word, and sub-titling it with a description. You could've done something plain like, "Huffington Post Pride Page," or something more vague like, "Our World: Huffington Post's LGBTetc. Pride Page." Ultimately, it's not up to me. That's why you, Ms. Huffington make the big bucks. But changing "Gay" to "Queer" to be more inclusive and less divisive utterly misses the mark.

I wrote this as an open letter for the simple reason that this little dark corner of the internet was inspired by The Huffington Post, though my sights weren't nearly as lofty (thank goodness). Along with John Aravosis' AmericaBlog, I decided to start my own blog because of HuffPo some nine years ago. I've continued to read it daily, and have used it many times as a source for articles and links. I haven't loved everything, and am utterly lost as to why your entertainment writers are seemingly obsessed with the Kardashians to the point of absurdity. But I've always felt included in the Gay Voices section. Queer Voices doesn't feel remotely as welcoming.

Sincerely,

James L. Greenlee, Editor
Greenlee Gazette

GOP Clown Car Gets Less Crowded (Dem Side Down to Two)

It was bound to happen. It's still too full. But the 2016 GOP Presidential Clown Car is finally shaking loose some of its more useless passengers. It's difficult to tell if the crazy level has dropped on average. I mean, Rand Paul is out of there, but he's always been half reasonable/half cuckoo. Mike Huckabee somehow got his fat behind out of that little trunk, but he wasn't ever so much crazy as oily and evil.  Rick Santorum was a frothy mix of very sincere (but awful) religious principles, and desperation. . .with maybe a little crazy in with the lube and unfortunate fecal matter.

But they're leaving behind the primary drivers, Donald J. Trump and Rafael "Ted" Cruz, who between them encompass at least a dozen overlapping negative qualities to different degrees, including batshit crazy. It's a VENN diagram I don't even want to contemplate. Still stuffed in the back seat are Ben "Dr. Stabby" Carson, Jim "Who?" Gilmore, Carly "Bring me those puppies!" Fiorina, (poor, sad) Jeb! Bush and John "Dishwater" Kasich. Marco Rubio is climbing furiously over the center console to try to get a front seat, and I'm guessing Chris Christie is on the roof rack, or tied to the fender or something. But it has to be a little more comfortable with three losers dumped out at the curb.

Likewise, the much smaller batch of Democrats can now focus a little better, being pared down to two after the departure of the dull but dreamy Martin O'Malley. Thursday night's debate, co-moderated by Rachel Maddow, will be the first one-on-one debate of the whole dang 2016 season. No kid's table, no extraneous candidates.

Buckle up kids, we're finally getting the whole thing in actual gear after sputtering around for over a year!


The Most Photo-Shoppable Donald Trump Photo Ever



Ohhhhh, sometimes my talents as a graphic artist, and my sense of inappropriate humor collide. So far, I have not succumbed. . .but it's. . .hard. . .

Image from AOL

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Donald Trump Would Nominate SCOTUS Justices to Overturn Gay Marriage Decision

Okay, here's yet another story where Donald Trump simply doesn't understand how the United States works. He's "not a fan" of the way the Supreme Court ruled in the Obergefell decision that rendered same-sex marriages legal across all 50 states, but he doesn't really have a clue about the issue. He says he'd want the decision overturned, and have it decided in the states.

It was left to the states. The states made a series of anti-gay amendments to their individual constitutions. These amendments were challenged. They worked their way up through local and state courts, to appeals courts to federal courts and ultimately to The Supreme Court of the United States. SCOTUS ruled them unconstitutional. Individual states (and their people) cannot legally enact unconstitutional laws.

THAT IS HOW IT WORKS.

Donald Trump fundamentally does not understand that, apparently. Nor does he seem to remember that as recently as a year ago, he called the whole thing a dead issue. He is clearly some combination of clueless, bullshitter, panderer and ignoramus. I'll let you decide on the percentages.

[Excerpt]

Donald Trump Says He Wants Supreme Court To Overturn Same-Sex Marriage

Donald Trump says he isn't a fan of the way the Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage. 
"I would have much preferred that they ruled at a state level and let the states make those rulings themselves," Trump told Fox News. . .

Read more at: Newsy

Over Time with Bill Maher, January 29, 2016

Bill Maher and his guests – Kristen Soltis Anderson, Thom Hartmann and former Rep. Trey Radel – answer viewer questions after the show.

Rachel Maddow to Moderate New Hampshire Democratic Debate

Image from Frontiers Media
Well, good on you, Ms. Maddow! Though unfortunately, Chuck Todd will also be moderating. Of course, Todd's non-substantive style, lack of follow-up questions, and softball lobs are generally confined to Republican guests on Meet the Press anyway. But with Rachel on board, we're ready to see some real, issue-oriented, meaty questioning. She's been prepping for this for her whole life, practically, so this should be good.

[Excerpt]

MSNBC to host New Hampshire Democratic debate

 . . .The debate will take place at the University of New Hampshire in Durham at 9 p.m. Eastern and be moderated by Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow. All three Democratic presidential candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are expected to attend.. . .

Read more at: MSNBC

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Donald Trump vs. FOX "News": Which Side is More Ridiculous?

This is a "good" picture of Donald Trump. I still can't understand his
cult of personality. Image from source, AJC.com
You'd think that when the Republican GOP front-runner for president is in a war with the media arm of the Republican Party, a moonbat liberal like me would be ecstatic. And yeah, some of it amuses the shit out of me. On the other hand, there's something very depressing about a lot of this stuff. I think I might be getting laughed-out as we get closer to the real deal election process.

We have Donald Trump, a man manifestly not qualified for the highest office in the land. He's a juvenile, crass, uncivil, uncouth, undiplomatic, unserious embarrassment. And he's representing essentially half the country, for our most important political office. On those rare occasions when Trump himself won't appear on a news program to explain his latest tantrum, one of his spokespeople will turn up (as Trump does, often on the phone), and is just as abrasive and inappropriate as Trump himself.

I could tick off a list of things that might not fit in a blog post (which are virtually infinite) that would disqualify any other candidate on either side, that Trump's fans ignore. More than that, there is nearly as long of a list that would cause any other conservative candidate to be ejected by conservatives. He's changed parties at least eight times, has held both positions on most hot-button issues, and is squishy on bedrock conservative issues. As I said before, he has a cult of personality, but his personality sucks. Hence, my combination of amusement and dismay. [Story continues below]



So, initially, when I heard that Trump was boycotting the FOX "News" debate on Thursday night, I was as giddy as Nelson Muntz at an Andy Williams concert. But the more I read about it, the stupider it seemed, and I realized this will just tickle Trump's fans all the more. And I got a little bummed out again. And when FOX getting a thumb in its eye can't amuse me, there's really something askew.

How utterly bizarre, this war between crybaby Trump and Roger Ailes, a man more responsible for the existence of candidate Trump than anybody, and over Megyn Kelly, a conservative water-carrier. Kelly shows flashes of actual journalism, it can be argued. But her rightward leanings have been eminently obvious since long before she got her evening show opposite Rachel Maddow. She's only as biased against Trump as a conservative-leaning moderator could be, which is, not very much. Until, of course, Trump started this war.

Naturally, his manufactured battle has made further debates with her much more sticky. But honestly, why does the candidate get to pick his moderators, the questions, what will be discussed and when? And in such a public, childish way? And to see FOX itself behaving in just the same manner? It's funny, but it's also sad.

[Excerpt]

Donald Trump is skipping the Fox News debate

For the first time in this very long election cycle, we may have a Donald Trump-less Republican presidential debate. The presidential candidate has been threatening to skip Thursday's Fox News Debate for at least a day now. "Nothing's 100 percent," Trump said in an interview with CNN on Monday. "I'm not 100 percent. I'll see. If I think I'm going to be treated unfairly, I'd do something else. . ."

Read more at: Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Sunday, January 24, 2016

SNL: Tina Fey Returns as Sarah Palin (with Darrell Hammond as Trump)

Image from source, MediaIte
As hoped by millions, after famous-for-almost-no-reason Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump for president, Saturday Night Live alum returned as everyone's least favorite hockey mom. Needless to say, Fey was terrific. And Darrell Hammond seems to have taken over the Trump role from Taran Killam for good.

[Excerpt]

Tina Fey Returns As Sarah Palin to Endorse Donald Trump in SNL Cold Open

. . .Shining comedy star and SNL alum Tina Fey returned to send up former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin‘s endorsement of Donald Trump earlier this week. . .

Read more (with video) at: MediaIte
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