Sunday, July 31, 2016

Over Time with Bill Maher, July 27, 2016

Bill and his in-studio guests – Cornel West, Alex Wagner, Matt Welch, and former Rep. Barney Frank answer viewer questions after the show.


The Simpsons Rips Donald Trump

The Donald isn't going to be saying "excellent," that I can tell you.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Keith Olbermann Runs Donald Trump's Personality Through Psychopath Test

This is tremendous. I miss Keith Olbermann a helluva lot. We could use him right now.

[Excerpt]

COULD DONALD TRUMP PASS A SANITY TEST?

Short answer: probably not.

First, several important caveats. There is little worse and nothing cheesier than questioning the psychological stability of a public figure, especially a candidate for president, even in this case.

Except that in his year of campaigning, Donald Trump has called Lindsey Graham “a nut job,” Glenn Beck “a real nut job,” and Bernie Sanders “a wacko.” Trump has insisted Ben Carson’s got a “pathological disease,” and asked of Barack Obama: “Is our president insane?” He called Ted Cruz “unstable,” “unhinged,” “a little bit of a maniac,” and “crazy or very dishonest.” He also called the entire CNBC network “crazy.” He called Megyn Kelly “crazy”—at least six times. . .

Read more (or better yet, watch the video) at: Vanity Fair

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Bombshell: Trump Would Delegate Presidency to Vice-President if Elected, According to Kasich

Future "Vice President" Mike Pence?
This should disqualify Donald J. Trump for the presidency, should in fact effectively end his candidacy. If Ohio Governor John Kasich is to be believed--and why shouldn't he be--Trump's plan is to become a figurehead president, essentially in charge of American morale, while his Vice President does the work.

This is hardly a complete surprise as an eventuality. But it is a shocking thing to find out in advance. Nobody ought to really believe that Trump wants the day-to-day grind of the job of the Presidency. He wants the title, the prestige, the ego-stroking, the political "happy ending" (double-entendre intended and encouraged). But this means this cult of personality frothing at the mouth for Donald J. Trump, celebrity? Would be getting TRUMP stamped on the front of the White House, while President Pence runs things.

That ought to freak out anyone who isn't a far right-wing social conservative. That ought to become the biggest news story going. It should be drowning out Mike Pence's speech (which is happening as I type this). Hillary Clinton should hit this, and hit it hard: Donald Trump has no intention of doing the job of president.

[Excerpt]

Trump's offer to Kasich to be running mate: Be in charge of both domestic, foreign policy 

CLEVELAND — John Kasich could've become America's chief operating officer, the most powerful vice president in U.S. history, if only he'd said yes to becoming Donald Trump's running mate, several Kasich sources told The Dispatch.. .

Read more at: The Columbus Dispatch

Stephen Colbert Resurrects Character, "The Word," Jon Stewart and Coins "Trumpiness"

Perfect. I've been saying for months (seems like years) that the whole Donald J. Trump phenomenon seemed to hinge upon "truthiness," and "gut-feel," a form of fact-free-but-feels-right politics, practiced by arch Republicans. But it never felt like enough to explain it. After all, truthiness has been a Republican thing going back to the beginning of the Dubya era, at least. The Trump thing, this unbelievably unqualified, unexplainable famous-for-being-famous, reality star turned politician as an actual candidate for president? It's so strange, so out of explainable historical context, it just seems like bad writing. Who would have believed it, if it was foretold twenty years ago? Ten?

But, having been prescient before, Stephen Colbert has resurrected his arch conservative character (also called Stephen Colbert), brought along retired Jon Stewart, and his character-defining comedy segment, The Word, the bit that brought truthiness into being, in his very first show. And the new Word is:

TRUMPINESS.





[Excerpt]

Stephen Colbert Brought Back “Stephen Colbert”—and Jon Stewart—to Explain the Rise of Trump
 
The 2016 Republican National Convention is a scary time for many Americans—including many Republicans—and so on the Late Show on Monday night, Stephen Colbert brought back two figures from the in-retrospect quite comforting era of the mid-to-late 2000s: Stephen Colbert (the character) and Jon Stewart. . .

Read more at: Slate

Garry Marshall, ‘Pretty Woman’ Director and Creator of ‘Happy Days,’ Dies at 81

Marshall with Julia Roberts, from source, Variety

Awwww. Damn you, 2016! I've been a fan of Garry Marshall since before I knew who he was. Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy were pop culture touchstones of my childhood. I loved his acting appearances (he could seemingly turn up anywhere), particulrly in Soapdish, and his sister Penny's Jumpin' Jack Flash. Garry Marshall just knew FUNNY. RIP, Mr. Marshall. Maybe Chachi jumping the shark at the RNC is what did it?

[Excerpt]

Garry Marshall, ‘Pretty Woman’ Director and Creator of ‘Happy Days,’ Dies at 81

Garry Marshall, who created some of the 1970s’ most iconic sitcoms including “Happy Days,” “The Odd Couple,” “Laverne and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy” and went on to direct hit movies including “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” died Tuesday of complications from pneumonia. He was 81. The news was first reported by Access Hollywood. . .

Read more at: Variety

Roger Ailes Out at FOX "News"

Grab-ass Murdoch, from source, Reuters
I'll bet Jabba Roger Ailes never thought that positively ancient Rupert Murdoch would live long enough to outlast him at FOX "News," and probably was more worried about doing battle with Murdoch's kids, should they inherit the place. But it looks like the loathsome toad (Ailes, not Murdoch) is going to be out on his ass, and very soon!

[Excerpt]

Murdochs decide to oust Fox News chief Ailes: report

Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of 21st Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O), and his sons James and Lachlan agree that Fox News Channel boss Roger Ailes should leave the company but they have not settled on the timing, New York magazine reported on Monday, citing anonymous sources. . .

Read more at: Reuters

Monday, July 18, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Does Anybody Really Know What Crime it is? (Another Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

Rocky Mountain Mike's inspiration, maybe?
(See what I did there?)


Now that Hillary Clinton's email "scandal" is behind her, along with Bernie's overdue endorsement and the sputtering out of the most recent Benghazi report, she can finally, finally focus on the national election. But it won't stop the die-hards from sputtering and fuming that the email thing didn't pan out. So, just like Benghazi, they'll probably keep at it, trying to turn it into something. And maybe--as when Ken Starr turned an unrelated investigation of real estate dealings into one about cigars and blowjobs--something will eventually stick.

But don't tell me anyone is actually outraged about emails or servers. Liberals are outraged at a) conservatives who can't drop a bone, and b) Hillary for making such a rookie mistake. Conservatives are only outraged that they couldn't dredge anything up to hang her with. And they've hung Comey up to dry, right next to where the #BernieOrBusters put Bernie himself after his "sellout" to Hillary. But, does anyone really know what the crime is Mrs. Clinton is alleged to have committed? Glad you asked.

Just George W. Bush, Acting Goofy, at a FUNERAL

Michelle Obama trying gamely to play along with the goofball.
Politics is weird, and getting weirder. There are double-standards, and then there are stark, bold-letter, hypocritical double-standards, you know? I mean, think about what it must feel like to be these presidential contenders, listed with the thing that pretty much ended their chance to be president:

- Michael Dukakis: filmed driving a tank, wearing a helmet
- John Kerry: wore a hazmat suit at a science facility, went windsurfing that one time
- Howard Dean: screamed enthusiastically at a rally, magnified by a unidirectional microphone
- Al Gore: sighed audibly at a debate

Why is one of these things not like the other?
Yup. Almost universally, people would agree, those men's hopes of election were stopped by those little events. Matched up against the lengthy list of foibles, flubs, and downright outrageous things said and done by Donald Trump, they don't amount to anything. But that was it for them. For all the whining about there being a double-standard for Bill and Hillary Clinton, Trump seems to have a permanent "SKIP" UNO card when it comes to disqualifying events. Nothing shakes his base, and virtually nothing goes beyond a couple days in the news cycle, before they reset to default.

But here is another double-standard, and it goes to the double-standard for Clintons that is much more rarely addressed. For all of the certainty so many claim to have that the media and the system are "in the tank" for the Clintons, the fact is, they're held to a tougher standard than most. Making it more remarkable when they do manage to bounce back, or shrug off the brutal treatment they get. Case in point.

Bill Clinton was at a funeral for Sec. Ron Brown, and was seen on camera smiling and walking with someone. When he noticed a camera trained in his direction, he did what your grandmother would scold you to do: he wiped that smile off his face right quick, and tried to look somber. This was and remains fodder for right-wingers to this day, as an example of Clinton disingenuousness. When in fact, it's something probably anyone might do. Contrast that with yesterday's memorial for the police officers slain in Dallas this past week.



Presidents Bush and Barack Obama both gave stirring speeches. Dubya's was much shorter, obviously prepared for him, and rehearsed. And he couldn't help but keep his colloquial Texas twang. But it was fine. But check him out later, while holding hands with his much more mannered wife, and our current first lady (who, poor lady, is fairly trapped there with this goon) dancing around and acting goofy. At a funeral.

Think this will be brought up endlessly--or ever--by conservatives? Or even make more than a light ripple on the news before going down the memory hole?

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Picking the VPs: The Name Game

You've got to wonder if something as simple as a person's name can be an immediate disqualifier from political office, regardless of personal accomplishments and aptitude. You'd think it could, but who could have predicted "Barack Hussein Obama?" Or even "Newt Gingrich?" That last one is waddling up to the trough again, unbelievably, as a potential Donald Trump ticket-mate. Which would be particularly funny: Family Values Party ticket with six wives between them?

But I mean something more obvious like double-entendres, unwanted associations, things like that. For instance, you take a bonafide political star, a practically super-powered megawatt hit like Cory Booker? Everyone loves him, he's demographically perfect, but,

CLINTON - BOOKER?

How quickly would a mind as juvenile as Trump's seize on the "Book her, Danno!" sound of that?

CLINTON? BOOK HER!

Another potential pitfall would be name association, say if Mrs. Clinton picked another up-and-comer like Julian Castro?

CLINTON - CASTRO!

Tell me there wouldn't be posters with an unflattering picture of HRC alongside Fidel Castro.

She's going to have trouble with bad conservative humor no matter who she picks though, no getting around that, so maybe for Hillary, it's a secondary concern. I mean, you could conjure the bad memes and jokes just by thinking about them for a minute. Al Franken? Frankenstein's monster and his Bride. Elizabeth Warren? An American Indian theme of some sort (they've got little else there), or something sexist/homophobic about two women.

But, Trump has another problem: "Trump" is a verb. And a noun. His name could inadvertently comprise a full sentence just on his pick alone. A good one (were the man himself a potential pick) Andrew Card would yield

TRUMP - CARD.

Not bad! But it could get bad. It could get weird and confusing, say if he picked Utah Rep. Mia Love:

TRUMP - LOVE!

With an effective campaign and some sweet graphics, you might pull it off, but we're talking about Trump here. You're treading into the three-wives, alleged rape, "my daughter is hot" territory that late night comics could have a FIELD day with.

TRUMP - CORKER?

Hilarious, jokes write themselves.

TRUMP - PENCE

Runs together awfully easily: Trumpence. Sounds a bit lit Tuppence.  Do they consider things like that?

There is Joni Ernst, whose last name sounds like an accidental body noise (and who, let's face it, is Palinesque). And those whose names are also parts of speech, and could just form a confusing sentence. Say he picked Keebler Elf Jeff Sessions:

TRUMP - SESSIONS! Whaaa???

Or Steve King of Iowa?

TRUMP - KING!

You've got to be Trumpking kidding me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bulletproof: Hillary Clinton Clear of Email "Scandal"; Benghazi


The way my posts (when I actually get around to writing them) go is, a bit of editorializing on my part, followed by a story in today's news that backs up my point. And if I get another story about this up today, I'll probably do that. But for now, on this subject, I'm just going to say something loudly and clearly that I believe to be true:

FOR HILLARY CLINTON, BENGHAZI AND THE EMAIL "SCANDAL" ARE OVER.

That's it. They're wrung out, they're exhausted. Right Wing World is furious, but when are they not? The thing is, they're not furious about four dead Americans, or the political consequences of what happened in Libya. They're not furious about a former Secretary of State potentially endangering state secrets, or leaving the country open to a attack, or any other potential pitfalls or consequences. They're furious that it didn't stick. They're furious that their Fitzmas didn't come, and that it didn't send Hillary Rodham Clinton to jail, or to obscurity.

Remember, there was no fury over any other prior email scandal, attached to George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Rick Perry or Jeb! Bush. Remember also, that Benghazi was a) originally used as an albatross around President Obama's neck, not Clinton's. It was tried to prevent a second term. It didn't work. Then, someone got the bright idea to attach it to Hillary Clinton instead. They've been trying ever since. Along the way, they picked up the email "scandal," which--let's face it--had to be known to anyone who cared for literally years.

Hillary Clinton sent thousands upon thousands of emails. Each time she did, there was a recipient, whether it was an underling, a family member or the President. And whenever she did, it would say who it was from. It could not have gone unnoticed if she didn't have an official ".gov" or whatever designation the officially correct one was. That's been the great mystery to me. If this was such an obvious, grievous breech of protocol, why didn't anyone she sent mail to ever question it and/or her? Why did it take muck raking to decide this was a terrible, terrible thing?

Anyway, this thing; these things are now dead. Right Wing World will continue to bellow and bleat. We'll continue to hear things about decision making and trustworthiness and the lot of stuff they already throw at her. But nothing is looming anymore. The subjects as headwinds are gone. This was a great week for Hillary Clinton, I don't care what pundit says otherwise.
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