Monday, February 27, 2023


Just when you think MT Greene can’t say anything dumber, she comes out with her suggestion of a “National Divorce.” I guess she’d know all about it because she is not only divorced from her former husband, but from reality. Or maybe it had been a while since the State of the Union Speech and nobody was talking about her for a hot second.

While I don’t think this will ever happen, not in a thousand years, it IS an intriguing proposition. Many others have opined on how exactly the Red portion of the country is going to survive without the welfare dollars from the Blue portion. It’s been well documented that Red states take in far more in federal dollars than they contribute, which is heartily ironic, given their penchant for speechifying on taking handouts.

Personally, I’d look forward to seeing an improvement in test scores across the board, once the states with the lowest marks in education secede. Let them all go to Sunday school. The only thing they’ll be prepared to do is enter a life of menial jobs and servitude.

And I don’t think this grand experiment will last very long, were it to come to pass. Once the next pandemic hits, without those mean old Blue States to develop and distribute vaccinations, they’ll die off like mold in the sun.

What really gets me curious, though, is how exactly the country would get divided up? I don’t see a way that the Blue States can remain contiguous. The biggest obstacle is a north-to-south lineup of Red States that creates an impermeable barrier. Look at North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, all stacked atop one another. Where’s the weak link that can be turned Blue?

So either the Blue States of America would not be able to abut, or they’d have to create three countries… Blue East, Blue West, and Red. And maybe Texas. They’re not known for playing well with others.

I’m sure there would have to be some further slicing and dicing within the states themselves. This would be the perfect time for Eastern Washington and Oregon to go and unite with Idaho. Perhaps Dallas, Houston, and Austin would want to break off from the rest of Texas. Florida may also want to claim independence just because no one else wants to be associated with them.

There would have to be treaties from the start, to allow free trade and passage amongst all entities of the former USA, although I don’t know how long they would last. I can see them as the first casualty to fall for the cause of international lib-owning. Before long, the plains states will resemble the terrain from the Mad Max movies. Maybe someone can build a tunnel from Illinois to California. OR, maybe everyone would just have to get used to driving east to west and back by way of Canada.

Anyway, it’ll never happen. It’s just one more way for political pinheads to say, “Hey, look at me!”

Headline News

How is this even a story?

Ah, it’s from Fox “News.” Why would any Democratic governor ask a Democratic Senator to resign, short of criminal activity? And who says the Governor has the authority to tell a Senator to do anything? All over a health issue, one that can be addressed? It’s not like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. (That would be Senator Feinstein.) Depression can be treated, unlike the conditions afflicting people like MT Greene, Lauren Boebert, Gym Jordan, Matt Gaetz, et al., who look at meanness and ignorance as virtues. When are they going to resign for being dimwits who have yet to deliver a tangible benefit to their (non-wealthy) constituents? I’ll take an honest guy like Fetterman, slowed as he may be, over those other malicious clowns every day of the week.

The real story: TFG claims the Democratic President didn’t fix Republican destruction of rail safety regulations fast enough to avert a tragedy.

Just remember the GOP talking points:

·         When a Democratic politician doesn’t show up at an emergency site, he’s abandoning the people.

·         When he does, it’s dismissed as just a photo op.

Did you see where Republicans are now claiming that East Palestine is being ignored because of racism against white people?
Never in my life have I heard people twisting themselves into such knots in order to claim victimhood. I will definitely agree that they are victims of believing their own bullshit.

I’m glad that there is a concerted effort to get this footage into additional hands. The only way a distorted edit works is if no one ever sees the raw footage. I think Fox “News” wants to give James O’Keefe something to do, now that he has all this time on his hands after being fired from the much-disgraced Veritas Project.

I’ll be curious to hear the word salad sure to issue forth from Speaker McCarthy, as he tries to come up with a logical reason why he can’t give the footage to anyone but Fox.

Oh, who am I kidding? They don’t even try to hide their shady dealing anymore.

It was with much sadness that I read about Scott Adams going ‘round the bend like that. Dilbert has always been one of my favorite comic strips. As an almost 25-year veteran of office work, it was like he had spies telling him everything that went on in my world.

I was a regular reader of Adams’ blog a few years back. He had some interesting ideas on how TFG was getting so popular and actually predicted his win in the presidential election. He seemed to think TFG was some kind of genius at communication, tricking people into assigning positive qualities to the open-ended statements he used. I thought it was an interesting hypothesis at the time but after watching the guy since 2015, I’m back to thinking he is an idiot.

I suspect Adams had to have known this would blow up the way it did. Maybe he was ready to retire from cartooning and wanted to go out with a bang. He wasn’t stupid, by far. He had to have known that such obviously racist comments would end his career. Either that or he wants to live out his life by entertaining the MAGAs, Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and the Klan.

And as a pre-emptive strike, for when the inevitable defenses come out (like from Elon) about how Adams is a victim of “cancel culture,” let me reiterate that people have always been responsible for the fallout from what they say. It’s not new, it’s just the way it is. When you say something wildly offensive, you have to deal with the consequences.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Fox Libel and Other Headline News

I’ve been watching with great amusement the story of Fox “News” being sued by the Dominion voting machine company over their post-election broadcasts, in which in one of many whacko conspiracy theories they pushed, Dominion machines were programmed to switch votes from Biden to Trump.

As a result of the discovery process of their suit, Dominion has obtained and released text messages that prove that Fox “News” on-air talent and management knew full well that this accusation was unsubstantiated bullshit.

This matters bigly… in order to sue successfully for libel, you have to prove malicious intent. Most parties plead ignorance. Normally, that would be a slam dunk with any case involving Fox, but here, the intent is clear. By knowingly broadcasting a damaging lie, there’s no other reading of the facts that eliminate malice.

It’s not like they were spreading allegations of runaway decency and fairness; they were making accusations of election tampering they knew to be untrue. This accusation caused damage to business and reputation. If that’s not malicious activity, I’d like to know what is.

This information is even more damaging to Fox than if they “didn’t know” the accusations were false. It shows that they were more concerned with upsetting their viewers with the truth than telling them lies they wanted to hear. It was a conscious choice. And no matter how much backpedaling the talking heads do, the film doesn’t lie. They wholeheartedly pushed this story out there.

Naturally, Fox is falling back on the freedom of speech defense, which tracks with Republican tendencies. Whenever they can’t defend their speech, they fall back on defending their right to speak it.

How long will it be before they once again defend themselves in court by claiming they’re not really a news service, they’re an entertainment channel? That seems to be their go-to Get Out of Jail Free card.

I’ll be quite interested to see how this thing shakes out. Fox finally went too far, by smearing an entity that can demonstrate loss and has enough money to go toe-to-toe with a major media outlet. If Fox knows what’s good for them, they’ll stick to hazy unspecified conspiracy theories in the future. Here’s to hoping the financial penalties make this lapse of ethics really hurt.

Headline News

Now onto some headlines I saw last week on my news home page:

More bullshit from Fox “News.” Wasn’t this Rep. Ronny Jackson the same guy that sent out that wildly discredited health report on TFG? You know, the one that looked like it was written like a 2nd grader doing his own report card because he was too scared to bring the real one home to Mom and Dad?

I heard some of the details on the radio… they published Biden’s actual stats for BP, bloodwork, and such. There’s no reason to believe the numbers are untrue, other than that they conflict with Fox’s predetermined view that Biden has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. This is just one more of the hundreds of examples of Republicans accusing Democrats of things Republicans have already done. And the “details left out” of TFG’s medical report were, basically, all of them.

This is another example of Republicans’ predilection for arguing either side of the same issue. All over conservative media, the standard line about East Palestine OH has been “Biden hasn’t shown up” or “Buttigieg hasn’t shown up.” But when someone does show up, the National Review calls it a “publicity stunt.”

As far as I’m concerned, all such appearances are publicity stunts. When was the last time there was a crisis somewhere, a flood, a tornado, a mass tragedy, and someone said, “If only there was a politician here!” I guarantee that if someone from the Administration had shown up right off the bat, Republicans would not only call it a publicity stunt but decry the inevitable traffic tie-ups and lock-downs that go with any presidential visit. You can’t win with these guys, they will argue any side of a point as long as the Democrats are on the other side. And then whine about a lack of unity.

In a related rhetorical flourish, Republicans are all for States’ Rights until a State disagrees with Republican dogma. In this case, Former Veep, Mike “Not Hung” Pence wants to ban the abortion pill in all states, presumably because it defeats conservative efforts to discourage, delay, and increase the pain and inconvenience of a woman’s attempt to end her own pregnancy.

Abortion pills have been proven safer than office visits for a manual abortion and are expected to be the number one way around state bans, so of course Republicans want to kibosh them nationally.

But it’s all for a woman’s health, mind you. Because somehow in the forced birth movement, it’s safer to endure giving birth, a process that numbers show to be far more hazardous to a woman’s life, than the one that prevents it.

Republicans may not be able to force changes to pro-choice states’ laws, (yet), so they’re trying to ban the tools. Same end destination, just different ways around the block.

The only way this shit ends is with continued resounding defeats at the polls and a mandate from the masses.


I agree with the idea that something has to be done about the current Social Security system, lest it run into insolvency by the end of the great Baby Boomer Retirement. But the answer is not to cut benefits or raise the qualifications; it’s to shore it up with new money. Or old money, via paying back the massive “loan” Congress took from the fund in the 1980s, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

So I’m excited to see where the new Sanders/Warren Social Security bill goes. This bill ends the cap on Social Security payroll taxes currently set at $160,000, after which people earning more pay nothing further into Social Security.

There is no good reason why people should be immune from paying into Social Security once they pass this arbitrary limit. This cap is nothing but a big sloppy kiss to the asses of the rich. I imagine the theory behind it is to not hamper the job-creating intentions of the business class, but we already know that more profits don’t translate into more jobs. Only higher demand for goods and services can do that.

This should be an easy fix and is already wildly popular. I think the biggest drawback is that it’s sponsored by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. I’d bet that if the same bill was signed by Republicans, it would be universally hailed. Not that such a thing is possible; corporate Republicans HATE the idea of Social Security and have been trying to end it for decades. Their tummies are all tied in knots just thinking about the existence of a giant pile of money out there that they can’t skim.

Monday, February 13, 2023

The Super Bowl LVII Viewing Experience

I still enjoy watching the Super Bowl and I don’t apologize for that. I’ve been a football fan since I was a young boy and still remember watching my first Super Bowl, number III. I was rooting for the Colts, not because I had anything against Joe Namath and the upstart AFL, but because I liked their bright blue uniforms better than the Jets’ white and green ones. I mean, I was seven, that’s all I had to go on.

Obviously, it wasn’t the big deal then that it is today, which is practically a national holiday. So much money changes hand over this one football game, it boggles the mind. (Now more than ever, with the ubiquitous sports book apps running full steam ahead.)

So I sat down last night, stiff drink in hand, to take in the experience so I could tell you what I thought about it. And please note, this will be about the general watching experience, not a breakdown of the game. I figure anyone who would care already knows all about it.

I didn’t really have a dog in this fight. My Steelers were not involved, nor were any of our “arch-enemies” or inter-division foes. I enjoy watching Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs so I was rooting for them. But I picked the Eagles to win. I had them in mind to pick right after the conference championships, then changed my mind Sunday morning when our local paper’s sports columnists were split 3-3 on picking the winner. The Pro-Chiefs trio, which includes the guy with the best picking record among them, made some convincing arguments. These are the guys I mentally compete against. I don’t have any money on the game, I just make picks for shits and giggles and try to outdo our local “experts.”

But then later, every single pre-game show host on Fox Sports picked the Eagles. So I figured I’d go back to my original pick and went with Philly. I made my “pick” official by telling Sweetpea. She then invoked the “no take-backs” clause, so I was locked in.

So then, onto the game… eventually. Man, do they ever drag this stuff out. I am so done with all the flag hype and national self-reverence. The NFL spares no opportunity to entwine itself with patriotism and the military. Geez, it’s just a football game. A big one, but still a game. Get on with it.

Babyface did a nice job with America the Beautiful. I think THAT should be the national anthem. But only Ray Charles version. Chris Stapleton did the longest and slowest version of the Star Spangled Banner I’ve ever heard. He wasn’t missing out on his time in the spotlight, was he? I presume the sports books were taking bets on the length. I should have bet the “over.”

And then just when you think it’s time to play a little ball, they start with another clip package, about the Pat Tillman scholarships. Just more ways to wrap the NFL in the flag. I think Tillman would have been appalled at being used this way. When he was alive he wanted nothing to do with hyping his military service. Maybe they should play some clips of how he got killed by friendly fire and the Army bent over backward to cover it up.

Eventually, they began the game and next thing you know, it was time for the much-ballyhooed Super Bowl commercials. I had some thoughts, courtesy of my iPhone Notes app.

·         Dunkin’ Donuts, showing Ben Affleck working at a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru (for some reason) . Ben looked about engaged in this commercial as he did at the Grammys. I got a laugh when JLo rolled up, wondered why he was there (much like me), and then said, “Bring me a GLAZED.”

·         Avocado ad where Anna Faris wonders what it would be like if Eve ate an avocado instead, sparing the world from original sin, and clothing. Interesting idea, but it didn’t seem like it went anywhere though.

·         Ooh yeah! New Indiana Jones movie coming out. I bet Harrison Ford’s stunt double gets a real workout.

·         Serena Williams for Remy Martin. This one bugged me because I spent the entirety of the commercial wanting to know what the product was. At the very end, it’s Remy Martin. I’m like “what does all this hoo-ha have to do with cognac? There were a lot more spots like these to come… It’s like, “Here’s an A-list celebrity talking and doing stuff. Boy, we really spent a lot of dough on this ad buy. Oh by the way, here’s the product. And out…”

·         Bradley Cooper and his moms with outtakes from a T-Mobile commercial. They should have done the straight commercial first and then later, ran the outtakes commercial. Would have made more sense.

·         I thought the spot with the giant talking Stallone boulder was funny, but again, I was straining to find the point. I guess it was for the Paramount streaming service or something.

·         In the first of some recurring ads, Michelob Ultra decided to remake Caddyshack, with stunt casting. Great idea on paper, I guess. Anytime you can reference Caddyshack during a sports broadcast, it’s guaranteed to carry universal recognition among guys. (I loved the movie, and I don’t even golf.) There’s Serena again. And Tony Romo as the Bill Murray character fit right in.

·         The Adam Driver commercial for “Websites making Websites.” The thought behind this seemed to be, “Let’s get a celebrity and surround him with eye-popping special effects that’ll make all the drunks’ heads explode.”

·         Will Ferris for electric vehicles… more A-Listers slumming for dough.

·         Diddy for Uber. Same thing. All heat, no message.*

*I came to understand later that several hip-hop all-stars were also in that spot, which included songs for which they were famous. Obviously, I am not the target audience for this ad. No wonder I had no idea what was going on. It totally had nothing to do with my vodka and tonics.

·         Amy Schumer (briefly) in the Google phone pic ad highlighting the ease of editing things out of pictures that don’t belong there, like exes. I liked the idea but then it kind of drifted.

·         Animals doing the Electric Slide in a Jeep commercial. “Hey, look what we can do with SFX! Now buy a Jeep.

·         The (Jon) Hamm and Brie (Larsen) ad for mayo was cute. But then they add Pete Davidson, for no apparent reason other than to pad their lineup with another star.

We interrupt this blog for a note on the game. My note was “Mahomes hurt before the half. That’s (the end of the) game (for the Chiefs).” I believed that if Mahomes stayed out, the Chiefs would never be able to hang with the Eagles.  They were barely staying in it WITH Mahomes, even after benefiting from an interception return for a touchdown.

·         Dorito triangles. This was my favorite one of the night. Finally, something funny and on point. I hope they keep running this one.

·       The Blue Moon ad, is awfully daring to feature Coors Light and Miller Lite and only bring in your own product in the last two seconds. Again, I was sitting there wondering why there would be a commercial for both Coors and Miller together. I’m not sure they thought this one through.

Halftime! Excuse me, I meant the “Jeep Halftime,” which included the “Apple Halftime Show.” Now they’re just double-dipping. How many sponsors can you have for the same time period?


·         The halftime show: Again, I am certainly not the target audience for Rihanna. I’ve never heard a single song she did during the show.

·         I did like her staging… thought it was a good idea to use some of the vertical space in such a cavernous stadium. No one ever thinks to work “upward.” I didn’t like that she was lip-syncing. I say if you’re a serious musical act, get out there and sing your songs.

·         The dancers were surely working hard. I appreciate how much work it must’ve taken to get that choreography together. There must have been a hundred dancers, at least.

·         The diamonds in the sky effect with the lights… we did that at Super Bowl 40 when they provided little squeezy flashlights. Today they probably just use their cell phones

·         In recent years, they seem to have given halftime over to pop and hip hop. I yearn for the day when they bring back some rock-n-roll. I lucked out in the Super Bowl I attended, the Rolling Stones were the halftime show. Just breathing the same air as Keith Richards will add 3 years to your life.

But in particular, AC/DC needs to play the Super Bowl halftime show. Sure, they’re past their prime now, but so is their main audience. Angus Young still rocks harder in his 60s than anyone else out there.

On to a few 2nd half ads

·         Breaking Bad chip ad was good and at least made sense. I’m really going to have to binge-watch Breaking Bad sometime. I’d probably like it.

·         I liked the Kia ad with the Dad looking for his kid’s binky. (Not that one, the other one.) Total slice of life for a family man. Although if I were making this ad, it would have been for vodka.

·         I also liked the Crown Royal/thank you Canada/Dave Grohl ad, although it took a while to reveal the product. Yes, thank you, Canada, for providing a nice counterpoint to all the hyper-Americanism. And hockey.

·         The Roast of Mr. Peanut was a great idea, and almost made me want to scan the QR code and watch the extended clip. Almost.

·         I loved the Workplace/Rockstar ads, which were clever and very well done. As a disclaimer, I should probably admit that as Joan Jett’s biggest fan, I would think anything she’s in is awesome, by default. But Ozzy was pretty good in it too. Now that’s one for which they should show the outtakes.

·         I had a problem with the Dodge Ram EV commercial because it seemed counterproductive. They reel off all the perceived faults of electric cars and then basically tell you to go look up the real facts at the end of the commercial. As if anyone is going to remember to do that. They’ve just been sent away with subconscious reminders of every Koch Brother-supported anti-EV meme. Not helpful.

·         The Busch/Sarah McLachlan animal commercial parody was inspired. “Sarah, that’s a wolf!”

·         Who knew Jesus was going to start buying ad time? There was a Jesus commercial in the first half, showing lots of cuteness and hugging children, while the 2nd half spot consisted of still shots of people screaming at each other. The tagline was, “Jesus loves the people we hate.” What I want to know is… Who the hell is the “we?” And who is it that “we” are supposed to hate? I thought this was the ugliest commercial of the night. And most other nights.

·         I would watch a reality show starring Snoop and Martha Stewart. I can’t believe that hasn’t happened yet.

And that was the last of the relevant commercials. There was some game left though. This turned out to be a real barn burner. Philly had just tied the game at 35, but the Chiefs were driving with about two minutes left when the controversial moment of the game arrived. Philly was called for defensive holding, which gave the Chiefs a first down inside the 20. They were already in field goal range, but now they could burn most of the time left and kick the field goal with under 10 seconds, which they did.

The announcers seemed to have the opinion that they shouldn’t call such a penalty at a critical point of the game. Granted, the violation was hardly flagrant, but it was still a clear call. I say you can’t just turn off the rules when it’s crunch time. That just ensures everyone will try to take liberties when the game is on the line. If you would make the call on the first play of the game, you should make it on the last as well. I have no sympathy for the ref whiners. Even the guy that the penalty was called on said, “Yeah, I held him. I just hoped they’d let it slide.

I’m sorry, if it’s a penalty then call it a penalty, regardless of the situation because the rules of the rules should not be situational.

So, the Chiefs won 38-35 in an entertaining game. I hope my guys get a turn next year, but we’ll see. And now, hockey gets my undivided attention.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The State of the Union, Such as it is

Well, that wasn’t a typical SOTU, was it? It may be on the way to being the “new normal,” however, as long as one side feels bold enough to heckle from the peanut gallery. More on that later.

These are a few of the thinks I thunk as I was watching President Biden deliver the annual address to Congress.

·       I’m sure there was a contingent of Fox “News” viewers who tuned in to see an old man stumble around and drool on himself because that’s how conservative media portrays him, all evidence to the contrary. Watching him up there taking shots and dodging bullets must have been a big surprise. Of course, this is where conspiracy theories come from… when reality doesn’t meet expectations. There has to be another angle involved, to keep someone’s deeply held beliefs from being considered untrue.

It was a body double. He’s getting a feed from an earphone. George Soros is under the podium, working him like a Muppet.” All theories are more believable than them being wrong.

Yes, there were some times that Biden tripped on his words, or elided others. Fox will likely play each instance all mashed up in a loop for the next week. But as far as I’m concerned, that’s a non-issue. Public speaking is hard. YOU try to read for an hour straight without tangling some words. It’s tough under the best of circumstances, let alone when you’ve had to overcome a stutter. It is certainly not an indication of diminished capacity.

·       Speaking of Fox, I saw one of their headlines this morning:

I say Fox “News” doesn’t get to talk about misleading claims coming from the presidential pulpit, not now, not ever. Not after they embraced the outright pants-on-fire falsehoods that spewed forth from TFG. It’s a given that all politicians distort data to suit their needs. It’s the cost of doing political business. But their guy was an unfiltered torrent of verifiable bullshit and Fox lapped it up and pushed it out every night. We felt the effects of it on 1/6/21 and they are still echoing today. Fox should STFU about anyone’s “misleading claims” until they atone for their own role in the dumbing of America.

·       I wonder who’s tracking the standing/sitting/clapping data from the SOTU. That seems to lead most discussions after the fact: who stood for what, who sat when, and who applauded. It all seems like political theater. People in prominent camera positions, like Speaker McCarthy, have to be cognizant of what they’re doing at all times because the base is watching. It makes for an interesting experience watching the guy squirm. He has to decide how to react to widely agreeable items, proposed by his political enemy. He can’t be seen applauding much of anything, even though if one of his guys said the identical thing, he’d have more clap than a Texas cat house.

They panned to Ted Cruz several times amidst the raging applause, as he sat there with a look on his face like someone was holding a turd under his nose. (Although I do recognize that it could well be his regular Resting Turd Face.)

But it’s telling because those who refused to stand or applaud positions that are so favorable to so many, have to explain why such popular items are not worthy of support. 

I hope the media provides aggressive follow-up on those who sat on their butts and hands when the President was talking about lowering drug prices and supporting the middle class. They need to seek explanations on why they don't support ideals that are so obviously beneficial to average Americans.

·      Once again, I sat in stunned amazement as members of the GOP thought it would be a good idea to heckle a president giving the SOTU address. MT Greene was especially vocal, reminding me of the guy who goes to comedy clubs to heckle the comedian because he thinks the rest of the crowd would really rather hear him than the act they paid to see.

Cruella Taylor Greene in action. The look on the faces of the two people in front of her says, "Won't this broad ever shut up?"

This woman isn’t a legislator, she’s a performance artist. Her only asset is the ceaseless mocking of her opponents. Maybe one day her constituents will realize that owning the libs isn’t really making their lives any better. But I doubt it.

·       One such bone of contention was the statement (of fact) that TFG spiked the deficit. The Republicans reacted like he just blamed them for a fart in the room. That’s how well-trained they are to do their donor’s bidding because the data on the deficit is crystal clear. TFG’s tax cut for the rich ballooned the deficit, with little to no residual (or trickle-down) benefit for anyone else.

It’s bad enough that they all went along with it. The least they could do is own up to their actions.

·       I loved Biden’s comments on the infrastructure bill, which Republicans voted against, but still tout their own imaginary involvement to their constituents when the investment pays off at home.

If Biden had nothing better to do, I’d love to see him show up at every ribbon cutting made possible by the infrastructure bill. Just to highlight who got things done and who voted against them.

·      The jewel of the night was the Social Security issue. I don’t know if this whole thing was intentional from the outset, or just wound up this way with Biden flying by the seat of his pants. But the end result is that he just got all the Republicans in Congress to publicly come out against cutting Social Security and Medicare. They were so aghast that he mentioned their (previously announced and well-publicized) plans to curtail Social Security and Medicare, that they jumped right into the trap.

The thing is, they DO want to cut back and/or privatize Social Security so that their donors can get their hands on all that money and all the inevitable processing fees that would come with managing it on behalf of American citizens. But they don’t want to be seen doing it.

I guarantee that this issue comes up again, just as soon as the Republicans can come up with a way to blame the Democrats for it. I expect it will be something like, “Because the Democrats blah blah blah, we are now forced to take action on ‘entitlements.Not because we want to, heaven forbid, but because the Democrats are making us.” Just like what every abusive douchebag says, "Look what you made me do."

·       Just a note on that “Junk Fees” bill the President was flogging. It’s a nice idea but I can’t see that it will ever happen. Added fees are the lifeblood of modern business, from banking, to entertainment, to utilities, to travel, and more. Corporate America will find a way to kill this bill in its sleep. They will never give up such a cash cow, ever.

Obviously, they will have the Republicans on their side. All they’ll need to do is lock down Manchin and Sinema, which is not exactly a reach.

And even if it were to pass, affected businesses would just add that much more to the cost of service. All it would really be doing is managing consumer expectations.

·       I saw a conservative friend’s response to the SOTU on Facebook this morning, complaining that Biden did nothing to unite the country. Seriously.

Remember, this is coming from people whose standard-bearer’s inaugural address is known as the “American Carnage” speech. How uniting was that?

The only way to unite Republicans with Democrats in 2022 is for Democrats to become Republicans and embrace their positions completely. (And even then, it would be iffy.) What could the President possibly have said that would move Republicans to unite with the sane part of the country? He already offered lower drug prices, a stabilized Social Security, money for border security, money for infrastructure, and so on. Modern Republicans don’t negotiate, they demand complete capitulation and threaten to bring down the whole show if they don’t get it. There’s no uniting with this, there is only outnumbering them.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Sorry, All the Good Balloon Puns Have Been Taken

 So it looks like this will be the new Most Important Thing in the World for the next week. China let a spy balloon loose over America and people are losing their minds.

It was a given that the Republicans would have a field day of blame-placing. It’s the same old story. It’s always the Democrats' fault. Even the three balloons that seem to have visited during TFG’s administration were somehow the Dems’ fault. It never changes. Maybe they were waiting for someone to fire the Jewish Space Lasers.

I guarantee you that if we would have shot it down over Montana, they’re be raising hell about risking the safety of the people on the ground. Republican people, at that! I can hear it now:

They stole the election, and now they want to endanger their opponents!”

Republicans are nothing if not adept at arguing either side of a point, just as long as the Democrats are on the opposite side of it.

Frankly, I can’t believe no one in Montana didn’t pack up their survivalist rifles, commandeer a crop duster, and go get it.

The news said President Biden wanted it shot down last Wednesday, but military leaders persuaded him to wait for it to drift over the Atlantic. That’s definitely a long way to drift. But maybe it wasn’t just a matter of public safety. Maybe they liked the odds of recovering the hardware better if it didn’t come smashing down onto the ground. Who knows? I don’t. You don’t. And all the people throwing fits about it don’t either. They’re no more experts on international surveillance than they were on respiratory contagions, macroeconomics, South American drug cartels, the Constitution, or the capabilities of alternate power sources. But they sure sound smart down at the end of the bar!

What you have to keep in mind with things like this is that we are rarely given the complete story. Everyone makes their pronouncements about blame or lack thereof without knowing what’s really going on. So doesn’t it make better sense to reserve judgment until more facts come out? Granted, cable news outlets have 24 hours to fill, so that’s not going to happen. They gotta talk about something… Spy balloons are certainly more intriguing than the next economic forecast. And with the new unemployment numbers, the last thing Republicans want to talk about right now is the economic recovery. Better to distract with scary spy talk than forfeit a talking point for the next campaign.

Director’s DVD Commentary: I’m leaving this post a little short so I may add to it later, after the State of the Union address this week. Or if there’s enough to chew on, I may make it a separate post. Stay tuned.

Update: There was way too much going on at the State of the Union address, so my thoughts on the night are in another post. Please check it out.