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.


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.


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.


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,
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.


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.


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

Ted Cruz Promises Iowa Crowd that Gay Marriage Will Be Reversed at SCOTUS

[Click to embiggen]
I've been toying with creating a Ted Cruz graphic ever since he came out with that "TRUSTED" graphic. It reminded me of United Airlines' ill-fated spinoff, Ted, a budget airlinelet. Cruz may not realize it, but he sort of ripped off their marketing schtick. And he surely didn't realize that a bunch of United employees had some fun with the (Word) + Ted, some unprintable.

I can't stand the man, as you might have surmised by my politics. But it goes beyond simple right vs. left. I find him odious on multiple levels. And when I think he's reached bottom, I find more levels.

This time, it's his promise to voters in Waterloo, Iowa that the Obergefell ruling by the Supreme Court, which effectively legalized same-sex marriage, will be overturned. With the implication, of course, that electing him will cause this "eventuality" to pass. This in a state that has had marriage equality for longer than most of the rest of the nation to no ill effect. Just a bunch of butt-hurt conservative crybabies like Steve Deace, Bob Vander Plaats, and oddly enough, a conservative preacher I went to school with.

So, Ted, here you go. Some brand new slogans to try out. They're more honest.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Computer Woes: The Un-Googleable Computer Problem That Only Affects YOU

This happens to me all the time (and I'm barely exaggerating): I have a computer problem. It can be a common, irritating problem that occurs on more than one computer (work PC, home PC, laptop), on more than one platform (PC, Mac), on more than one browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari), using more than one internet app (Facebook comments, Twitter, Disqus). I seek out help, via Google or elsewhere, and nobody else seems likewise afflicted.

Oh, other "computer gurus" will try to help, always with the same "well, what were you trying to do when it happened?" or "what programs/services/apps are running?" They're fishing. They don't know the problem or the solution at this point. If they did--if they had any idea what my problem really was--they'd start with a list of solutions, and not be trolling for more information.

By far, my biggest pet peeve with my usual surfing/blogging and other online activities is with what has got to be the simplest, most basic computer function: typing. I'm a touch-typist, and have been for over 30 years. I type almost as fast as I can think. But I'm constantly thwarted by a typing delay. The cursor suddenly stops moving. Sometimes, it will catch up, and everything I have typed will just appear in an instant. Other times, random letters will have been skipped. Still other times, everything between the initial pause in typing, and when it "catches up" will have been lost, and the typing will resume.

This happens most often when typing in comments via Disqus or Facebook commenting (either within Facebook, or on a site that uses their system). It also can happen in Blogger (a blogging platform), or in any other internet area that might require typing, such as a petition or any other form requiring input. As previously stated, it happens to me fairly regularly irrespective of platform, browser or system. It happens more often on a PC than a Mac, more often in Internet Explorer than any other browser, but it can actually happen anywhere.

The only thing that I do on computers that maybe a usual user might not, that I can think of, is that I commonly have more than one browser open at a time, and it's not uncommon for me to have several tabs open at once. I realize this uses processor power. But I'm not using bargain basement Celeron PCs with 1 GB of RAM either. My home PC has a high-mid-range AMD quad processor, with 16 GB of RAM! My laptop is a MacBook Pro Intel i5 with 8 GB of RAM. Not top-of-the-line, but not hand-me-down Tandy TRS-80s either.

Typing is just about the most basic thing a computer should have to do. Processor power should never be so bogged down that something that basic gets caught in a time warp. And if it does? If there is so much processor power being hogged by something, that it's causing this much drag? Shouldn't--by now--there be a friggen' E-Stop button, program, or notification that let's you just DUMP whatever is causing the problem?

If I could beg a programmer to come up with a new feature for the next version of any operating system, I think that would be it. A big, red E-Stop button, like on an amusement ride panel, whether hardware or software. A button that just dumps you out of whatever a processor hog is doing. Something better than CTRL+ALT+DEL or the Apple equivalent. Something that looks at the thing that is causing soooo much drain, and asks you in plain English: "Stop [level 3 diagnostic, or whatever] to free processor?" Something better than "Service Host: Local System (Network Restricted) (12)." Something that gets you out cleanly. Even if it includes the option, "Exit all running, non-system required processes and programs."

In the meantime, I'd love an answer to what's going on with my specific typing pet peeve. I'd love an answer that doesn't start with fishing. Something that starts with a solution, or a list of possible solutions. Anyone?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Stephen Colbert's Hilarious Response to Sarah Palin's Trump Endorsement

If you thought moving to CBS would neuter Stephen Colbert, maybe you should revisit him at The Late Show. Here is Stephen, showing he's just as funny as himself as he was as a caricature of himself. Sarah Palin, of course, provides a wealth of comedy gold nuggets for him to mine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sarah Palin's Ridiculous, Pointless, Rambling Trump Endorsement

Herself, also too. Image from source, MSN.
Sarah Palin is the ultimate symbol of the current Republican Party. She has a cult of personality. She has no particular political talents, no particular base of knowledge. She has shown little interest in becoming any "better" at being this weird type of celebrity she epitomizes. No need for book learnin' or basic sentence construction. She's just Sarah Palin, and no matter how ridiculous she appears to most of the world, inside the conservative base bubble, she is awesome.

If Palin is the ultimate, Donald Trump is whatever comes after ultimate. He's the male version of Sarah Palin. So, naturally, the two are teaming up. There are three or four takeaways from this momentous occasion:

- Palin is one of the few personalities capable of shutting up Trump. For a long period of time. And at his own event.
- It says something really sad about the GOP that its two leading contenders--Trump and Ted Cruz--actually wanted Palin's endorsement.
- Palin truly outdid herself, spewing forth a word salad of head-scratchers, run-on sentences (and paragraphs), non-sequiturs, mangled clichés; served alongside a stew of mistruths, distortions, bad conclusions, inapt analogies and downright lies. This was Palin on eleven. [Story continues below]

All of this was carried LIVE!!! on all of the cable news channels, even the "liberal" ones. What made this a newsworthy, live, prime-time event? Who is Sarah Palin today, exactly? She served as the mayor of a small town, then a governor--for half a term--of a small state. She campaigned for all of a couple of months as John McCain's running mate, and that's it. That's the sum-total of her political oomph. As already amply spelled out (and if you check my archives, there are loads more examples), she's little more than a celebrity. Less than that, she's a celebrity has been, who has failed to parlay her fame into anything beyond a few short-lived reality series, a couple of short-lived stints on FOX "News," opining on every subject with the depth of knowledge of your dotty Aunt Gertrude.

Ann Coulter is backing Ted Cruz. It must be killing her that she got barely a whisper compared to this. Poor old gal. But don't you have to ask yourself (for me, it's with open-mouthed astonishment) why either of those women would be considered a positive endorsement? Something you'd tout as a plus? What the hell is wrong with the Republican Party? What is wrong with its base? How can they criticize absolutely every action or inaction by Democrats with the air of superiority of a serious party, when they're this deeply unserious?

PS: Anyone calling Hillary Clinton shrill? STFU.


Sarah Palin Endorses Donald Trump, Rallying Conservatives
Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice-presidential nominee who became a Tea Party sensation and a favorite of grass-roots conservatives, endorsed Donald J. Trump in Iowa on Tuesday, providing Mr. Trump with a potentially significant boost just 13 days before the state’s caucuses. . .

Read more at: MSN

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Over Time with Bill Maher, January 15, 2016

Yay! Bill's finally back! With Cornel West, Nicolle Wallace, Ralph Reed and John Krasinski.

SNL Skewers 6th GOP Presidential Debate

Tonight may be a Democratic debate, but it's mostly the GOP slate that continues to provide fodder for Saturday Night Live. They've still got Darrell Hammond doing Donald Trump to allow Taran Killam to be Ted Cruz. Which is curious since creepy Cruz probably ought not be played by such an attractive actor. On the other hand, finding a face like Cruz's (or trying to imitate it) can't be an easy task. . .

I Don't Want Ted Cruz or Trump Tonight! (Another Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

Something to play before the seventh (or eighth, or twelfth) GOP Presidential Debate. Good job, Rocky Mountain Mike (and Steve in Ann Arbor)!

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Unavoidable Gun Cliché

From a gun made of words, to words full of guns!
Image from

It struck me, when reading comments regarding President Obama's executive orders on guns, first that we have a hair-trigger overreaction as a culture, whenever even a whisper of "gun control" is uttered. And, more superficially, that we have an inordinate number of gun-related clichés. To the point where it's almost impossible to read a comments section or editorial on the issue without recognizing unintentional double-entendres.

Off the top of my head I can think of:

Give it a shot
On target
Jumped the gun
With a bullet
Lock and load
Lock, stock and barrel
Bite the bullet
Pistol whipped
Missed its mark
Gun shy
Calling the shots
Get the lead out
Shooting blanks
Itchy trigger finger
Going great guns
Zero in
Going postal
Drop the hammer
The whole shooting match
Broad side of a barn
Under the gun
Quick draw
Loaded for bear
Riding shotgun
Set your sights on
Dodged a bullet
Trigger happy
Went off half-cocked
A shot in the dark
Pulled the trigger
Under the gun

I'm quite sure this is a very partial list. Because you find endless variations. Especially when writing colloquially, as most tend to do on blogs or comment sections. It may be as difficult to avoid as Biblical quotes and allusions are for an atheist! It really says something that we're so steeped in gun culture that we don't even notice that the language is shot clean through with them!

David Bowie, Dead at 69

Bowie looking utterly normal.
When I was little, I remember being up late--Mom usually let us stay up late on weekends--and watching The Midnight Special. I don't know how young I was, exactly. But young enough to be baffled at what I was seeing. A man in a bright red fright wig, bright makeup, high-heeled  platform shoes, and a strapless feather dress, singing.  "Does not compute," I thought, if not in those exact words. I had no idea what I was looking at, but I recognized it as daring, different, intriguing.

It was David Bowie, and my first concrete realization that maybe I was different too. I'm not saying I got why, exactly, and I'm not saying that whatever was driving Bowie to be a gender-bender in those days has anything to do with my own sexual identity (especially since I was clueless on that front at the time), but I felt kinship. and though I may have one or two details wrong, I never forgot it.

Along the way, as I started paying attention, I'd catch Bowie being Bowie, and still feel that pull of kinship (but alarming, unspoken kinship), when I saw his Diamond Dogs album cover. And as with Freddie Mercury and Elton John (more of that familiarity for no yet known reason), he was considered to be edgy and cool. I still don't know how he and they managed rock star status in the 70s without any notable backlash.

Bowie's memorable look from Labyrinth
Bowie dropped the glam-rock image over a few more years, and by the time I was in high school, Bowie had gone from Space Oddity to the MTV era. Suddenly, he was simultaneously a rock legend and a hip, with-it, video star. He had hit after hit, and was part of the soundtrack of my teenage years, culminating with a charity duet with Mick Jagger (he of similar otherness and legend status) with Dancing in the Streets.

Bowie started popping up in movies too, and whether the films themselves were notable or not, his image always was. There's something riveting about how Bowie looked, even when he wasn't trying to shock or alarm. The magnetism of his character in Labyrinth for instance is more memorable than anything else from the film.

There have undoubtedly been many other Bowie eras in his career that I didn't take such note of. He was noted for his constant reinvention, perhaps only rivaled by Madonna in that regard. But beyond the remixing and reissue of his 70s classic Fame (which featured John Lennon), they don't stand out in my memory. It doesn't matter. He was solidly, permanently part of the rock and roll Mount Olympus.

The passing of David Bowie is more than the death of a celebrity. And though it's not a personal gut punch, I'm positive it is for a lot of people. To some, I'm sure it's as momentous as the passing of Mercury, Elvis Presley or John Lennon. He's at least as important of an icon. RIP, Mr. Bowie. And RIP to another part of my life's soundtrack.


David Bowie Dies at Age 69 After Battling Cancer

David Bowie has died after a battle with cancer, his rep confirmed to Billboard. He was 69.

"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief," read a statement posted on the artist's official social media accounts. . ."

Read more at: MSN

I couldn't find the exact Midnight Special that I can conjure from my memory, but here is David Bowie (in his Ziggy Stardust era) looking every bit as shocking, from that period.

And a much more mainstream, handsome Bowie from my high school years.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Oregon Refuge Standoff, and the Derp of Knee-Jerk Politics

Well, the fifth day of the year is almost over, and I've yet to blog once! I guess that tells you about my waning desire to blog of late. Utterly committed to keeping it going, but very low on the blogging bug. Too bad I never managed to monetize the thing, that might have done the trick! Annnnyway. . . .

The one thing capturing my attention (especially with sheer boredom setting in with the pre-Iowa, post-never-ending-months-of-campaigning 2016 battle) is the Oregon standoff. It's funny. It's stupid. It's absolutely larded with misinformation, complete with a compounding and conflicting back-story. And the best part is, this is the best they could do.
Don't believe everything you read. Particularly in a Facebook meme.
For years now, the fringy-fringe of the increasingly mainstream fringe of the conservative-Republican-Libertarian side of politics have been threatening revolution. Whether it's over legal gay marriage, abortion, gun "grabbing," government overreach, race wars. . .pick one or all. They've been threatening "2nd Amendment Solutions." The loons over at FreeRepublic have been itching for Civil War for at least since Obama was elected, probably as far back as the Clinton years. And it was easy to laugh, conjuring images of obese, older white men (and a few women) riding their hover-rounds in formation, with big old guns strapped across their backs to compensate for. . .shortcomings.

They're always a combination of vague on reasoning and solutions, and OCD-levels of detailed on their conspiracy theories. They can belch out long strings of data about what the government has done that aggrieves them. It's barnacled with half-truths, supposition, illogic, lies and loads of Alex Jones' InfoWars tinfoil-hat conspiracy crap. Do you see the meme posted here? It's culled from the Facebook page of one of my mother's conservative friends. It has more than a half dozen errors in it. Here are the ones I'm aware of:

- The Bureau of Land Management was created by FDR in 1946, which pre-dates 1964 by 18 years.
- The Hammonds were accused of setting at least one of the fires to cover up poaching crimes.
- Their fires spread to federally owned land. Which is. . .federal land. . .even if portions of it were being leased by the Hammonds.
- The charge was arson, not "terrorism."
That gun is pointing at the Feds. No one was shot. Isn't that something?
Image from Business Insider.
- They weren't charged with "terrorism" again, or ever.
- The BLM didn't send them to prison, a judge did, after a jury found them guilty.
- They were sentenced to complete their original mandatory minimum sentence, as the original judge didn't follow the correct sentencing guidelines.

To top it all off, the Hammonds themselves willingly turned themselves in. They don't support these yahoos in their "freedom fight." The Bundy family and their allies are not from Oregon, either. In fact, it would seem that the Bundy family--not content with their conservative fame when they held of the Feds at gunpoint and miraculously weren't fired upon--is simply spoiling for a fight. They're looking to start that insurrection the conservative whack-a-doodles have been promising for so long. By taking over a closed bird sanctuary. Ooh, how daring. But they are armed and dangerous, I suppose. Idiots strapped to the tits with weaponry usually are. And one can't help but wonder if they would even still be breathing if they were any other group, taking over a government installation with weapons. Any other color, specifically, but I imagine even any other religion, any other political ideology, any other kind of lethal weapons, rather than guns. I suspect we'd have nuked the site from orbit, metaphorically speaking.

But the meme above is eaten whole by people like my mother's friend. They'll immediately believe anything that seems to comport with their politics. They'll somehow blame it on Obama. And they'll insist Trump is the answer. And I'm sure The Donald would insist that he is too! Because he's just as vague but certain as they are.

Bundy Boys Promise To Hold Refuge Until People 'Claim It'

Wow, talk about a nanny state. For all the proclamations about liberty and freedom, Ammon Bundy is behaving like a protective grandma. . . Read more at: Crooks and Liars
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