Monday, October 31, 2016

Odd Bits - The Survivor's Edition

It was kind of a rough week last week; a bunch more people got let go at my office.  Yes, I’m fine, but it really plays on you watching people you like having to pack up their desks and knowing you’ll probably never see them again.

You may remember that my company was bought, last year, by a competitor company. Obviously, any time you have two fully functioning organizations doing the same job, there’s going to be some job loss.  But knowing it’s coming still doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to your friends.

Last year, we had 8 people sitting in our little bump-out at the back of the building.  After two women from our department were let go on Tuesday, we’re down to three.

I know my job is safe for the near future, so I’m not worrying about myself.  And it’s not exactly “survivor’s guilt,” because the two from my group were both in their 60, wanting to retire, and just waiting for that severance package.  They basically skipped out the door like they were going down the Yellowbrick Road.

But one of them, my next-desk neighbor, always asked how my weekend was and listened while I recounted my recent adventures.  She really gave a damn.  And the other one?  That was my TV buddy.  Every morning we’d get together and recap the previous night’s shows we both watched.  Without these two in the office, I’m going to have to actually start working when I get the door.


Early voting opened up in Maryland last week, so I went out on Saturday to vote.  It was completely uneventful, as I suspected it would be.  The poll worker I talked so said it was really busy early, but less crowded and “steady” the rest of the afternoon.  I was in and out in 15 minutes, and that counts about 8 minutes of walking to and from the car.

It was quite a different scene when I voted early before the 2012 election.  There was a big storm/hurricane forecasted to blow through on Election Day and a lot of people (like me) wanted to make sure my vote was in before there was any trouble.  I wrote about it all right here.

One of the things I wrote four years ago, holds true today as it did back then:

“There is really no substantive reason to prevent early voting.  Any safeguards in place on Election Day are in place when you vote early.   The movement to suppress our citizens’ voting rights under the guise of preventing voter fraud is not now, nor has ever been anything but a smokescreen to disenfranchise likely Democratic voters.”

Republicans were trying to rig the game then just like they are now.  The only novel part this season is how they’re accusing the Democrats of doing the rigging, all the while passing law after law that “just coincidentally” happens to affect likely Democratic voters.

In Arizona alone, in heavily Latino Maricopa County, the Republicans have:
·        Reduced the number of polling places by 70%.
·        Printed 2 million Spanish-language ballots with the wrong description for a local Proposition.
·        Printed the wrong polling place on election material mailed out to two heavily Democratic precincts.  (Oopsie!)

Multiply these things by every state run by the GOP and you have election rigging on a massive scale.

Conservative outlets love to talk about the tens of thousands of dead people who are still registered to vote.  You know what? Unless they all pop out of the grave, OR tens of thousands of people come out of the woodwork to vote in their place, it doesn’t make a lick of difference.  It’s only proof of their own shoddy election recordkeeping.  It’s a problem they could fix if they cared to.  All it would take are a couple of interns and 20 years of death records.  But it’s more useful as a political Trojan horse, to fool people who aren’t smart enough to know any better.

And then you have the threat of Russians hacking voting systems and installing the puppet they’re working so hard to bolster via the DNC hacks.  In my opinion, Democratic turnout has to be massive to overcome the deck the Republicans have stacked against them.

It’s no wonder conservatives rely so heavily on logical fallacy and misdirection to sway their followers.  The truth doesn’t help them so deception is all they have.  Like here:

There are two parts here.  The first fallacy is an invalid comparison.  The "4 Americans” in question were in an embassy under siege, with no military support within tactical range.  (Perhaps there might have been, if the GOP congress hadn’t turned down requests for increased security funding for embassies, in 2011 and 2012.  But Conservatives don’t talk about that little detail.)  The Syrian refugees are not hard to find, nor are they going anywhere.  So, of course they are able to be “rescued.”  To suggest otherwise is willfully disingenuous.

The other part is that they get “our benefits and housing free of charge.”  I’m not sure I’d call crowded mass barracks “housing” any more than you would a jail.  But it’s funny how often you see a conservative argument that boils down to this: “Why should we spend money on “X” (foreign issue du jour) before we take care of our own “Y” (pet domestic issue)?

Reading that point, you’d think Republicans actually want to help our own people.  But in reality, Republicans vote against aid to anyone who isn’t running a corporation.  Homeless?  Screw’em.  Working poor?  Screw’em.  Disabled vets?  Screw’em.  (Yes, the GOP loves to talk about helping our returning servicemen, but they voted down anything proposed by this administration, even at the cost of our veterans.)

Here’s another example of conservative misdirection, namely, the Strawman Argument.

No one says that we must take down flags and crosses so we don’t offend Muslims.  No one.

If these guys were honest, they would say, “Liberals won’t let us buffalo our one single religion into public spaces that serve people of all faiths.”  But then that’s not as scary, so they pervert the argument and attack the ridiculous statement they just made up.

None of it has to do with political correctness; it has to do with upholding Article One of the Constitution.  (Conservatives love the Constitution as long as you’re talking about the 2nd Amendment.  The rest is just an impediment to getting more guns.)


This should be the easiest election decision to make, ever, if you’re a reasonable person.  The big rallying cry on the right is what?  Make America Great Again.  Take America Back.  Geez…

Just who the fuck do they think they’re taking America away from?  The 15 million more Americans who voted for Obama over McCain or Romney?  What the hell do they want to be different?

It should be very simple.

If you’re filthy rich or run a top-tier corporation, vote Republican.

If you feel you are within your rights to make personal, life-changing decisions for other people, who may or may not share your ideas, vote Republican.

If you’re afraid of foreigners or feel your benefits of white privilege may begin to diminish, due to growing influence of non-white people, vote Republican.

If you believe that our country of multiple religions and ideologies should be run by the principles of your Christian religion only, vote Republican.

But if you want to continue to allow people who love each other to get married, continue to have regulators watch over the banking industry to make sure they aren’t screwing us like they used to, (and that they don’t collapse the economy again,) allow women and their doctors to make their own reproductive choices, and fight against the very rich to keep them from buying our government, lock stock and barrel, then you have to vote Democratic.

Not just for Hillary, it has to be up and down the ticket.  Republicans in the Senate are already broadcasting their intentions to not approve any Democratic Supreme Court nominees for the next one or two terms.  Republicans in the House are planning for years of investigations, to do to Hillary what they did to her husband.  They are stating that the gridlock will continue until they get their way.

The only way to prevent that is to vote the bastards out.  All of them.

It’s the only way to move the country forward.

I’ve said it before… The emails don’t matter.  The lawsuits don’t matter.  The "he said/she said" doesn’t matter.  (OK, the pussy grabbing matters a little.)  The health reports don’t matter.  The limited vocabulary doesn’t matter.  The incessant lying doesn’t matter.

The only thing that matters is the direction the leadership is going to take this country.  We either go forwards or backward.  We can’t afford to be stuck in neutral.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Third Debate

I’m sorry if this is a couple of news cycles late, but I want to offer up my thoughts on that last presidential debate.  Such is the peril of a once a week blogging schedule.  I may sacrifice timeliness, but I’ll more than make up for it in carefully considered wordsmithing.  After all, I’ve been working on this in my head since last week and am totally not throwing this together slap-dash so I can get on with watching TV. [Snork!]

I’m just going to hit some of the topics they touched on and give Hillary some helpful advice on things she could have said.  It’s kind of like Monday Morning Quarterbacking for political arguments.

Trump showed either a shocking unawareness of why “partial-birth” abortions exist or a brazen indifference so he could pander to the social conservatives he’s trying to woo back to the fold.

The point Hillary should have made was that it’s not like they do these for shits and giggles.  It’s either to save the life of the mother or the baby is severely damaged or non-viable.  Women aren’t having these late term abortions because they just haven’t gotten around to it.  When having to choose between saving the woman’s health or life, and not, it’s not really a contest.  

Aside from the fact that every politician does this in a debate or Q and A session, it really wasn’t much of a pivot.  Hillary explained how the moderator took her quote out of context, which nullified the overall point, and then moved on.  (The moderator, Chris Wallace, was from Fox “News,” and taking quotes out of context is so ingrained there, he probably didn’t even realize he was doing it.)

The Economy
Trump was still pushing the idea that tax cuts for corporations and the rich will result in a benefit for all.  Unfortunately for him, anyone who was alive when Reagan was president, or more recently when GW Bush was president, remembers that tax cuts for the wealthy stayed with the wealthy.  Corporate taxes were at their lowest point in history and regulations had been slashed.  And all the rest of us got out of it was a lousy recession.  Where were the jobs?

Or look to the current Republican-led states, who have implemented the GOP wet dream of government budgeting.

And when Trump complained about how the (she and) Democrats haven’t been able to address jobs or the economy over the last 6 years, Hillary needed to remind him that the Republicans have blocked every meaningful jobs and infrastructure bill they put forth.  They can’t obstruct every bill and then complain that nothing got done.

Well… I guess they CAN, really, because that’s exactly what they’re doing.  But it’s linguistically and intellectually bankrupt.  But that’s the reality.  They would rather nothing get done and have the country suffer than let a Democrat (in general) or Obama (in particular) get credit for something.

King of Denial
I honest to God don’t get how Donald Trump can stand up there and claim he never said things that we all heard him say, even stuff he said at the last debate.  This is stuff that’s on audio and video tape, in context, and incontrovertible.  The man is playing the American public for fools.

The New O’Keefe Video and Election Rigging
Over and over Trump kept going back to how the Democrats are somehow rigging the election against him and citing the new O’Keefe video as proof.

As far as I’m concerned, you can’t believe anything you see in one of this guy’s hack job videos.  His entire history is a series of dishonestly edited undercover videos, where up is edited into down and yes is edited into no.  They have zero credibility.  But at this point, neither does Trump, so I imagine he sees O’Keefe as a kindred spirit.

I have to hand it to Hillary on this one, though.  She totally reeled him in on the rigging thing.  He took the bait and she beat him to death with it, basically calling him a whiner who’s making excuses for losing.

The thing is, though, I do believe the election is being rigged.  But it’s not by the Democrats.  I see a two-pronged attack.  The first is the well-documented GOP voter ID laws and purging of voter rolls, to fix the alleged voter fraud, which no one has ever found in a statistically meaningful way.  And then at the same time, people are trying to obtain the newly required documents, they cut back DMV operations in Democrat-heavy areas.  The GOP has had 4 years to hone their voter disenfranchisement policies and they know what they’re doing.

The second thing is that Russian hackers are raising their ugly heads and are actively inserting themselves into our election, by hacking Democratic servers and leaking emails they consider damaging.  And if they can do that, they can certainly hack into the hundreds of electronic-voting precincts that have no paper backup.  Piece of cake.

So to me, this is why Trump keeps going on about election rigging: If he loses, he already has an excuse and a rallying cry to maintain power and influence.  And if he wins, the Democrats (as well as most everyone else) have already put themselves on record as saying there is no voter fraud and the voting system is sound, so if they complain, then THEY’LL look like the sore losers.  Either way, Trump wins.

Trump blames Hillary and Obama for the Russians and Iranians getting involved with Assad.

Sigh.  Even a numb-nut like me knows that they’ve been involved in Syria for decades.  Christ, Trump, read a newspaper sometime and not just by looking for your name.

The best part of the foreign policy segment was that I came up with this:

That’s for all my Broadway fans… Trump tries to pass himself off as Tevye, but he’s really Lazar Wolf; rich boor and butcher of language.

It was obvious that Trump started out the debate trying to stay calm and under control.  He didn’t interrupt, waited his term, and measured his words.  But then Hillary got under his skin and baited him into going back to the old Trump.

The thing is, the constant interruptions and interjections didn’t make him look clever; they just made him look like a punk… and ill-mannered, back-of-the-classroom oaf.

But I’m glad these things are over with and there are only a couple more weeks until Election Day.  Then we’ll know who’s rigging what.  At any rate, I’m taking advantage of early voting and doing it next Saturday.  You should check your local voting rules and do so as well.  November 8th could be a major nightmare, just getting your vote down, especially in areas where Trump will have his helpful poll watchers out in force.

I don’t expect any trouble in deep blue Maryland, but you never know.  If the ballot asks me to vote “da” or “nyet” on Issue 1, we may be in for more trouble than I thought.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Miami Road Trip - 2016

Last weekend was the highlight of our football season so far, with our family’s trip to South Florida for the Steelers/Dolphins game.  We used to take these destination football/family reunion trips all the time, but we haven’t done it since 2010.

My mom and dad drove out from the panhandle, my sister and her husband came in from Cincinnati, and I flew down with my brother and his family.  We booked rooms at the Ft Lauderdale Hilton Resort and man, was that ever nice.  My brother and family had adjoining rooms with the parents which functioned like a huge suite.  That was where we hung out in between eating events.

I had a King Studio room on the 23rd floor and just loved it. 

The balcony wrapped around the corner.

I mean, look at this view from my balcony!

The place was oddly outfitted, though.

I suppose this is here in case I have a sudden urge to perform a bongo solo.

Once we got ourselves situated and carried up to the room the crates of booze that Dad brought, we had time to mix a few drinks, watch some college football and shoot the breeze.

For dinner, we went downstairs to one of those fancy schmancy “small plates and sushi” restaurants.  Might have been a mistake on our part.  We’re more of a Steakhouse/Italian/Chinese/Sandwich the Size of your Head kind of group.

I did see one interesting menu item…

The Pan Roasted Scallops come with “Forbidden Stir Fry Rice.”

I wanted to try it but I’m pretty sure the waiter would refuse to serve it to me.  I mean, I could see the whole conversation:

Bluz: I’d like the scallops with the Forbidden Stir Fry Rice.

Waiter: I’m sorry, you can’t order that.

Bluz: Why?

Waiter: [furtivelyIt is forbidden.

Bluz: Then why is it on the menu?

Waiter: Ask not a question for which you are not prepared for the answer.

Bluz: Yinz got a big fish sammich n’at? And maybe a Klondike?

We ended up mixing and matching enough small plates that everyone got their fill.  Afterward, we returned to home base for more drinks and an evening of Ohio State football.  Buckeyes beat Wisconsin in overtime, which put a nice cap on the night.

Sunday started out ominously.

There’s a big one brewing…

I hoped it was going to be more of a coastal storm than anything further inland, where the stadium was.

After the breakfast buffet, which didn’t make a bid deal about the size of the plates, we loaded up the car for the tailgate party.  My brother-in-law, the Dolphins fan, and I carried the beer cooler and headed for the elevator.  As we were going down the hall, he said something like, “Isn’t this a shining example of what happens when two opposing teams come together in the spirit of cooperation?

Then we got to the elevator lobby.

And here we have today’s metaphor for the current political atmosphere.

After eventually summoning an elevator, we took off for what is now named Hard Rock Stadium. 

I swear, this is my fourth Dolphins game in Miami and every time there’s been a new name on the facade.

Anticipating that the Dolphins would wear their white jerseys (to better cope with playing in the hot sun) I geared up with my black Antonio Brown jersey and classic Terrible Towel.

My vintage 1996 Battle Towel.  This one has been with me to every Steelers game since the day I bought it in the Pittsburgh airport.

All things pointed to there being a huge Pittsburgh contingent at the game and we weren’t disappointed.

If you didn’t know better, and there weren’t palm trees, you’d think this was a Steelers home game.

But because it was South Florida, it had to rain roughly every 20 minutes.

You see all those little portable gazebos?  Those mark the experienced South Florida tailgater.  We had one right beside us; a small group of Dolphins fans.  Luckily, they took pity on us and let us duck under their shelter.

I told them, “If this had been Baltimore, they would have made us stand out in the rain and laughed at our wet black and gold asses.”

Once we went in, we took our seats in the club level in the end zone.

They ought to rethink their logo design, or else everyone will think it’s called “rd Ro” Stadium.

They just put the roof extensions on this season, for which we were grateful.  It kept us nice and cool in the shade.  And it also would have kept us dry, if it had rained again.

Inside the facility was nice too.  In fact, the bartender was so nice, she let my brother buy beers for himself and his two boys.

Disclaimer: No underage boys were given beer in the stadium.  It just totally looks that way.

Then onto the game.

The game sucked.  The Steelers got their asses handed to them, but good, despite the valiant efforts of me and my Battle Towel.  It was too bad because the place was crackling with Pittsburgh energy.  When the Steelers scored early, the towels were everywhere and they almost tore the new roof off the place with the roar.

But after that, there was nothing left to roar about.  My brother-in-law got so wound up with excitement, he bought this ridiculous hat.

Fins up!

And I got so discombobulated that when we left, I walked off without my camera, which I’d left in the cup holder (for easy access).  All the pictures you see today were shot with my iPhone.  It’s a shame, not only that I have to buy a new camera now, but you’re being deprived of all the incredible action shots I had lovingly composed and framed.  I might have gotten the Nobel Prize for Amateur Sports and Food Photography.

But all told, it was an incredible weekend and we all had a ball.  I highly recommend this particular Hilton, if you’re ever in the area. 

Just bring your own plates.

To quote the Denny’s breakfast menu, this is “The Moon over My Hammy.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Second Debate

This week, my blogging schedule worked out so that I can talk about the second Presidential Debate without it being hopelessly behind the times.  Because most of the reaction came out last night and this morning, it’s only marginally behind the times.  But I play the hand I’m dealt.

I have a weird way of “watching” political debates now.  I pretty much just listen to them, because my nose is buried in my Twitter feed.  I’m either posting a reaction or rolling through other people’s reactions.  So excuse me if this post ends up a little Twitter-centric.

I have to give the Republicans credit for not stepping on their dick coming out of the gate, like they did during the VP debate:

Nothing like letting your hack-dom shine through by announcing a winner before the debate even started.  Not that everyone doesn’t know it’s a foregone conclusion.  Pence could have thrown up on the stage, crapped his pants, slapped Kaine with his dick and then collapsed in a puddle of his own waste, and they still would have called him the winner.

But back to last night…

The opening credits included a family shot of the wholesome Trump boys.  I noticed this even during the old Apprentice shows:

When Hillary was talking something about the innate goodness of people, I had to wonder about her judgement, or at least if she’s ever seen the internet:

It didn’t take long for the moderators to bring up the news of the day; that being Trump’s new “Who Wants to be a Millionaire Molester” videotape.  Over and over, he said it was just locker room talk, and claimed it should be dismissed because it wasn’t as important as the atrocities committed by ISIS.

Kind of a low bar to clear, don’t you think?  Is that the new rule now?  Anything goes as long as ISIS is doing something worse?

Here’s the part that I didn’t see being addressed.

The issue isn’t a bunch of empty words; he was talking about things he did, in real life.  It wasn’t speculative, he was talking about his M.O.  And it’s reprehensible.  So no, it’s NOT just locker room talk, it’s the celebration of abuse.  Yes, it is relevant.

If he can criticize his opponent for the actions of her spouse, he should damned straight own up to his own faults.  But then it’s only a big deal when Democrats do it, right?

For a while, I actually thought this town hall format would keep the interruptions to a minimum, but as the night wore on, we were right back to the family argument over dinner.

A number of times, Hillary tried to “debunk” Trump in real time, but time constraints made that impossible.  To the TV, I implored her to take my advice:
Director’s DVD Commentary: Man, I have GOT to remember to review before tweeting.  “Holliry?”  But come to think of it, that would be a good one if I were a Republican looking to come up with a campaign pejorative for her… “Hollery.”

And honest to God, I think she heard me.  She didn’t use all of the Gambini Defense, but she was there in spirit, when she said, “Everything he just said is absolutely false and I am not surprised.”  I expect a job offer from her campaign any minute now.

For someone who’s supposed to be a tough guy, Trump sure whines a lot. How many times did he complain to the moderators that she was getting more time than him, or that they were all against him?  “Three against one,” he said.  He sounded like a little boy complaining that his sister got a bigger piece of cake than he did.

In his renewed attack on Obamacare, he actually went after the Canadian health care system. I don’t understand why the guy is harder on our friends than our enemies.

He went on to proclaim what a disaster the ACA is and how he’s going to repeal it (as if he can do so without Congress doing it first).  The one thing the GOP never acknowledges about Obamacare is the great lengths they’ve gone to, to ensure it doesn’t succeed.

You don’t get to obstruct every effort at success and then complain that it doesn’t work.

Another thing that pissed me off was all the stuff about how Hillary “had 30 years” to do this or pass that.  It tells me that Trump has no idea of how our government actually works.  Or more likely, he does know but is counting on his supporters not knowing.

Again, he criticizes the Clintons and a couple of big donors for doing exactly what Republican donors do; take advantage of every tax break.

As Trump went on about how disciplined he is, I tried to feed Hillary another line:

Alas, she didn’t pick this one up.  The moderators tried to keep a lid on the interruptions, but I think they were just too polite.  Next time, there’s a better solution:

Interrupt me again.  I DARE you to interrupt me again.”

Because I wasn’t really “watching” much of the debate, I missed one of the biggest talking points for the next morning: the way Trump seemed to stalk her around the stage, always seeming to be looming over her shoulder.

I’m sure it was purely intentional; a way to imprint in everyone’s subconscious that he is large and powerful while she is small and weak.  I just hope people could see through it.  But I doubt it.

Some memes today were comparing it to that famous scene in Alien 3 where the scary monster puts his slimy, dripping face right up beside a terrified Sigourney Weaver.  But I had a different image in mind.

The night HE came home… to an empty mansion.

All night, Trump kept hammering on alleged Clinton misdoings, like the deleted emails, which AGAIN, is something that only outrages Republicans when it’s a Democrat’s emails.

All I can say is that Hillary must be a lot better at covering shit up than Donald is because as far as evidence goes, they ain’t got shit on her and he’s up to his eyeballs in alligators.

People were talking last week about how Trump might bail out on the last two debates.  In my mind, that’s what Hillary should do.  I don’t see how one more debate can do anything else to help her.  I think there’s enough evidence from the last 18 months of who Donald Trump is and what he’s all about.

No matter how many more proven fabrications put forward, or feet put in mouth, his supporters won’t care; they’re locked in.  So why continue this dumpster fire of a campaign at all?

Don’t go low, go high, and go bye bye.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Homeless Thoughts - The Political Edition

I don’t have enough to say on any one of these topics, today, so let’s just do a drive-by and see where we end up…

I’m having a hard time believing that Trump and his surrogates are trying to make an election issue out of Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity.  I mean the candidate, himself, is on his third wife after having cheated on his first two.  Giuliani and Gingrich?  Both of them are on their third wives as well, with Gingrich being a big enough piece of shit that he had papers served to his wife while she was laid up in the hospital, fighting cancer.

And since when do you hold the wife responsible, by default, for the sins of the husband?  It’s Loony Toons out there.  Believe me, if she’d dumped him, instead of sticking around, they’d be criticizing her for that too.

Just goes to show there is no lengths the GOP won’t go to call the kettle black.

I am singularly unimpressed by all the “patriots” who are still fuming about athletes kneeling down during the National Anthem.

I’ll tell you what; standing during the Anthem doesn’t make you a patriot.  And neither do putting ribbon magnets on your car or posting Up With Police/Up With Military memes every half an hour.  That's the easy stuff, which requires nothing of consequence from you.

Want to show patriotism?  Support the First Amendment.  Welcome immigrants to this country, which is a nation founded by people whose ancestors weren’t born here.  Stand up to people trying to subvert the First Amendment by substituting the Bible (or any other “holy” book) for the Constitution.

THEN I will be impressed by your patriotism.  

I’m glad the edges are starting to get chipped away surrounding Trump’s tax returns.  So now we know, thanks to the New York Times, that Trump likely hasn’t paid a dime in taxes because of an almost billion-dollar loss he accrued in the mid-90s.

Conservatives are already washing over this issue because there was, in fact, no laws broken and he was following a legal tax strategy.  

That's true, but it's not really the point.  He’s made such a big issue of how good a businessman he is and how wealthy he’s become.  How does that square with losing so much in one year that you never earned enough to turn that red ink to black?  Is that his solution for the country too?  Just default on your debts and pretend you’re solvent again?

At this point, with this “known” out there, we can determine one of two things.  If he promptly releases his taxes, then this was the big enchilada.  But if he doesn’t, that means there’s something else in there that’s so repugnant, he’d rather take this PR beating, (which he can stonewall, deny, evade and transfer blame) than let his tax return confirm our worst doubts about him.

I think Hillary got him pretty good about it during the debate.  She pulled the Fox “News” gambit, in which all she did was ask questions and said “maybe this, or maybe that…” (which are meant to lead us to the obvious conclusions, while giving the ability to say, “I don’t know, I was only asking…”)

Speaking of the debate, can someone tell my why the GOP is so afraid of fact checking?  Never mind answering, I’ll tell you why.  It’s because their entire campaign (especially this year) is based on complete bullshit.  They want to be able to make up anything they wish and spin it as true, regardless of the dark, smelly cavern from which they pulled it.

A competent fact-checking moderator would keep both participants in check, but that’s what they’re worried about.  They’re trying to brand Hillary as the liar when their own candidate would embarrass Pinocchio.  If lies were tallied, the public would keep score, wouldn’t they?  And then their house of cards might come tumbling down.

Oh, who am I kidding?  They’d just call it proof of a biased media and claim it was fixed.  And their supporters would believe every word of it.

The biggest problem with having a headache is that there are no outward symptoms.  Best you can do to garner sympathy is make a few distressed expressions and whimper.

Have you seen how Congress has now over-ridden their first Obama veto, and now have buyer’s remorse?  Even funnier, they’re trying to blame it on Obama.  (Obviously, because that’s their default reaction to anything that happens in Washington (or the rest of the country, or the world).

The bill was the infamous 911 bill, that allows victims to sue the Saudi government for damages.  The President vetoed the bill because of the damage it could cause to Americans abroad, in general, and servicemen abroad, in particular. 

But Congress, from both parties, in their desperation not to appear to kowtow to Muslims, Arabs, or filthy foreigners during an election year, over-rode the veto.  Now Mitch McConnell just blamed Obama for not explaining the bill (which Congress produced) and his objections more clearly. (I presume in order to understand the issue, Obama would have to use 4th-grade vocabulary, like Trump does.)

So remember the next time a Senator or Congressman makes a statement about how those protesting athletes should be more patriotic; they voted to allow legal harm to come to our current soldiers and public servants abroad, rather than damage their chances for re-election.  Because they’re so very patriotic…

And speaking of that 4th-grade vocabulary, a lot of people assume that Trump speaks that way because that’s the limit of his education.  I believe they’re incorrect.

Trump has a perfectly serviceable vocabulary; he just knows better than to use it on those whose support he’s trying to gain.  He’s dumbing down his speeches so that his under-educated followers will understand.  He’s aware that there are more uneducated than educated, and they are more easily swayed by simple solutions to big problems, described in simple language.  (It’s no accident that college-educated citizens are overwhelmingly against Trump and those with a high school education or less, support him.*)

*The exception being all the rich, corporate fucks who are just trying to keep their massive advantages, like the ability to write off billion-dollar losses.

You know you work in a classy place when you walk in out of the rain and they have these…

Umbrella condoms.

I put this on Facebook last week and the best comment said, “If it leaks, do you end up with a bunch of little drink umbrellas?”