Monday, January 29, 2024

When Up is Down and Down is Up

The MAGAs are still out there pretending that the economy is Biden’s Achilles’ Heel. I harvested this meme from the weekend:

I saw a similar one, which I unfortunately neglected to capture, that wanted everyone to go grocery shopping and fill up the tank before they go to vote.

That one had to be old… I agree with it 100%. I think by November, unless Republicans do something to tank the economy in the name of maintaining another avenue for campaign attack ads, the economy will be just fine. Gas prices are always a question mark because so many things can send them shooting up. Production issues, transport issues, war, terrorism, and just plain greed can spike gas prices. And as it’s often said, gas prices go up like a rocket and come back down like a feather.

I think Democrats need to do a better job at highlighting how the prior inflation rise was primarily due to corporate price gouging rather than the after-effects of the federal COVID stimulus. We need some charts circulating that show how when the inflation was at its peak, so were corporate profits. If the cost of supplies was really the culprit in high prices, profits wouldn’t have been smashing records.

Granted, such presentations are likely to put those who most need to hear them to sleep.

It continues to rankle how Republicans keep trying to compare current gas prices to when COVID had cratered them. All it took for gas to fall under $2.00 was a mishandled pandemic that made people stay home, dried up demand for gas, and caused the deaths of over a million Americans. Although I’m sure they’d take the deal in a second if the dead were solely made up of brown people, gays, and non-Christians.

All the metrics are looking good right now. Wages are up, joblessness is down, and inflation is as low as it was before the pandemic. Polls say people feel they are personally doing well, but still think the overall economy is a disaster. This is 100% the media’s doing, especially the Right Wing Echo Chamber, which pushes the bad news regardless of actual statistics to the contrary. When a Democrat is in power, it’s all bad news, all the time. And mainstream media doesn’t broadcast economic successes nearly as forcefully as they do the preceding failures.


In other news, Republicans could not look worse on The Border than they do right now, what with the Senate taking orders from TFG to tank a bipartisan bill to address the southern border so that he (and the rest of the party) can run on the immigration chaos for this year’s elections. They refuse to take any action that might look like a “win” for President Biden.

Last I’ve seen, they’re pretending that this bill is so terrible, even though their teammates were in on its creation. But in actuality, it’s like I’ve been saying about abortion, election security, and other issues: Republicans don’t really want to address the problem if they can campaign on it. They prevent solutions so they can stoke fear over Democrats’ inaction. That’s page one in the GOP playbook. Democrats need to highlight this practice at every opportunity.


Lastly, congratulations to E. Jean Carroll, for becoming filthy rich at the expense of TFG. Although I wouldn’t make any big plans, just yet, for how to spend all that dough. It will be a long time before she sees a dime if TFG can do anything about it. I’m sure he’ll pull every delaying tactic available to get avoid paying out, from endless appeals to limited bankruptcy. And when it eventually does come time to pay, I have no doubt he’ll try to draw the money from other people via “loans” he never pays back, or fundraising from his sheep.

E. Jean should also avoid going up in any tall buildings, lest she become another victim of faulty Russian staircase design, wherein that first step is a real killer.

Monday, January 22, 2024

The Setting Sun

I don’t know how big of a national splash this made last week but they announced that David Smith, the owner of the Sinclair broadcasting group, bought my local paper, the Baltimore Sun, as a personal investment.

Sinclair is an ownership group that buys up all the local stations it can muster and turns them into right-wing MAGAphones, including the mandate that they all run pre-recorded editorial content from the “home office.”

Maryland is a blue state and the Sun has traditionally reflected that, although not so much so that they didn’t endorse a Republican governor or two, over the years. But this has effectively come to an end.

The new owner says he wants The Sun to function like our local “Fox 45,” which is also owned by Sinclair. In other words, one more piece in the right-wing echo chamber. Sinclair owns Fox 45 in Baltimore, as well as the local CW channel.

Both networks specialize in attacking the local government and school systems. They love to ambush public officials on their way to their car at night, to lob loaded questions while the camera rolls. Every night, when I’m usually watching syndicated shows, I see the promos for their news broadcasts, and it’s always the same.

They proclaim how they’re “keeping local officials honest,” but that’s just a cover. It’s an unrelenting drumbeat of bad news, day in and day out.

It’s one thing to cover news that makes officials look bad. But it becomes disingenuous when positive stories are omitted or skewed to make them look bad. I’ve had this argument with people before when they say, “But what if this news is true? What if this really is a bad thing?”

I counter that there’s never a “good thing” aired, even when good things abound. Lies of omission are still lies. When a broadcaster’s only objective is to smear the ruling party, that’s not journalism, it’s just PR and propaganda.

A couple years back, I decided to take some notes on the subjects of the local Fox and CW nightly news promos, which I did for about a week or so before I lost interest. (I was hoping to make a post out of it, but you know… squirrel!) I still have the notes though, so, Score!

These were the stories they were hyping at the time:

·         CW: High price of gas.

·         Fox: Violence in Baltimore City, State’s Attorney ethics charges.

·         Fox: Save Our Schools: Lawsuits filed against the school district.

·         CW: Crisis at the Border, Baby Formula crisis haunts the Biden Administration.

·         Fox: Electric vehicle fires

·         CW: The danger of letting the WHO determine what is a pandemic.

·         CW: While government fights record inflation, migrants are flooding in.

As you can see, it’s just a compendium of Republican talking points, blaming Democrats for inflation, bad schools, the pandemic, corruption, and electric cars. It’s All Crisis, All the Time while propping up the fossil fuel industry, private schooling, and catering to the MAGAs at every turn.

This is what will become of our deep-rooted bastion of journalism, a paper version of Fox “News.” I’m sure we’ll never see another big half-page story on a decrease in border crossings, like the one I ran in my last post. Such good news will never be set in ink again if it benefits a Democrat.

What I’m going to do next, I don’t know yet. I’ve been a Baltimore Sun subscriber ever since I came to town in 1998. I’ve always been a newspaper guy, a habit I got from my dad, who always had the paper delivered, wherever we lived. Sometimes we even got two, like when we lived in Columbus Ohio, and got the morning Citizen Journal and the evening Columbus Dispatch.

In practical terms, I get most of my news online, via the blogs on my blogroll and my Yahoo home page. The Sun staff is a mere shell of what it used to be. Most of their content comes from news syndicates and affiliates. Aside from TV listings, my primary use for the Sun is the comics page and puzzles.

Doing crossword puzzles (and the Jumble and Sudoku) are baked into my weekday lunchtime routine. On the weekends, Sweetpea and I both work on the morning puzzles.

I know I can get crosswords online, but I don’t like doing them via computer, nor do I want to have to print the puzzles every damned day. But I feel sick at the prospect of giving those vultures any of my hard-earned dough.

For the time being, I intend to stay put and watch what happens. After all, this could be a good feeder system for Right Wing material to pick apart, or maybe even to rebut via letters to the editor. It’s not a bad idea to see what kind of BS the other side is pushing. It’ll let me know whether they have serious points, or if they’re pushing myths and illusions. Then when they eventually cross the line, I can, with haughty indignity, write in, refute their stories, and end it with “Cancel my subscription, you odorous band of kowtowing mullet-heads!

Fun at the Grocery Store

Sometimes, when checking out a new grocery store, the aisles are arranged in such a way that I can create a little mirth, for those that know how to find it.

Bloody Vikings...


Monday, January 15, 2024

It Was a Call to Action

People were horrified last week when TFG publicly stated that he hoped the economy would crash in the next 12 months, meaning he could then blame President Biden throughout the campaign. For every other politician, such a cravenly selfish statement would bring them down in flames, but as you know, this guy is fire-repellant (as well as the usual kind of repellant.) A statement like his is completely on-brand for him. His fans expect nothing less.

But don’t look at this as just another self-serving proclamation. If you have paid attention to his previous speeches, it reads more like a call to arms. He’s not “hoping,” he’s asking/telling. Just like his statements about hoping “the Russians are listening,” “stand back and stand by,” “will be wild,” and “second amendment solutions,” this was a dog whistle to the select people who have the access and means to crash the economy.

He’s asking for business leaders to create more supply chain problems, for retailers to price-gouge a little more, for layoffs to roll out, and for his oil friends like the Saudis to cut back on production. He’s actively creating the crisis for which he’ll blame his opponent. And if that isn’t “on-brand” for TFG and the Republicans, I don’t know what is.

Just look what they’re doing with the southern border.

From the Baltimore Sun, last Monday.

Not only do they mischaracterize the situation by inferring that it’s much larger than it really is, but they refuse to even sit down to create solutions. It’s much more important to them to use it as a campaign issue than to fix a national problem desperately needing fixing.

The Eco-Destruct message also carries to his governmental partners in crime. He wants nothing more than for the government to be shut down. Obviously, no matter how it takes place, they’ll blame it on the Democrats, for not agreeing to every poison pill they can conjure up and put into play. Fledgling Speaker Johnson apparently didn’t get the message the first time, given his preliminary deal with Senate Leader Schumer, so this was a way to amplify the MAGA message: Never agree with a Democrat! Better to bring down the whole establishment than to cede ground on a single inch.


No matter what the Democrats do, it’s imperative that this guy doesn’t assume the reins of the government again. As I’ve said before, this time there will be no adults in the room to rein in his whack-a-doo impulses, only aiders and abettors. Did you see the statement from his former Communications Director about how he actively wanted to have people killed? In particular, regarding an aide who leaked negative information about him?

This guy as President, with complete immunity (as he is currently seeking in court), would be like having King Joffrey running the country.

Picture every wonton whim being carried out by enthusiastic yes-men and sadists, eager to please the Boy King, the gorier the better. Once he stacks the Justice Department with his toadies, “justice” will be for “Just Us,” as in Trump followers only. Anyone who displeases him in any way, like by opposing an idea, protesting unfair treatment, or merely saying something negative about him, will be dealt with and will most likely never be heard from again. It wouldn’t surprise me if he did like his autocratic idols do and charged the family for the bullet. Or in the case of a Putin-like long fall from an open window, charge them for sidewalk cleanup.

The Supreme Court may or may not find a way to claim TFG was/is immune from prosecution. The only sure way to keep the nightmare scenario from coming to pass is to not vote him in!

Monday, January 8, 2024

It's Just Not Funny Anymore

 Just as the national economy is rounding into shape, the Village Idiot, aka TFG, wants to come in and “fix” it. Naturally, his “fix” will undo all the progress made since COVID shut things down, and provide another zillion-dollar care package for the rich.

Worst of all, he can do much of this on his own, without Congress, which is like giving a kid the keys to the candy store. He plans to raise tariffs on all foreign goods by 10%, be even more aggressive in deporting undocumented aliens, and roll out another round of tax cuts. This is so “out there,” even the conservative economists think it’s crazy.”

It all makes sense, through the lens of TFG. He still thinks raising tariffs on imports sounds good, like he’s sticking it to the foreigners, where in fact, he’s sticking it to the Americans who buy the goods, which often aren’t available as domestically produced merchandise. Or maybe he does know better, and he and his inner circle have a great laugh at his MAGA fan club who eats this shit up, only to lose a bigger chunk of their family dollars. They know it will just get blamed on the Democrats anyway.

It also sounds good to his racist band to get tough on illegal immigrants, even though they are a vital force in keeping prices down. Those salad fixins’ aren’t going to pick themselves, nor will the hotel beds be made without the maids. If Republicans really wanted to do something about illegal immigration, they could go after businesses that hire them. When was the last time you heard a proposition like that from Republicans? That’s the last thing they’ll ever do. It’s much more fun for them to round up the brown people and try to best each other over who can be more cruel.

Republicans don’t want to solve the “border crisis,” they just want to use it as a campaign issue they can use to scare Middle America into voting Red. Didn’t they just refuse to vote for a $13 billion border package to add agents on the ground and ramp up processing capability? That alone tells you they’d rather yell about immigration than address it.

Lastly, anyone telling you that cutting taxes on the rich will eventually help everyone else is lying to your face. It never happens. It’s been tried throughout the last several decades and not once has it helped anyone but those who directly received the governmental largesse. I can’t believe they even try to push that bullshit anymore, but here they are again, pretending that the Reagan, Bush, and Trump tax cuts didn’t single-handedly wreck economies of their times. That’s probably another thing they laugh about over drinks in the Inner Sanctum.

If The Former Guy becomes The Current Guy again, he’s not going to tolerate a bunch of career politicians foisted on him who will act like a brake on his deluded agenda, like he did before. This time around, it’s Yes Men all the way. No more sanity checks before the executive orders are signed. And if the judiciary finds them unconstitutional, he’ll just find some new judges. So if we’re stupid enough to elect him again, there will be no stopping the damage he’s prepared to do, all in the name of feeding his ego and owning the libs. He’ll be like Fat Rambo, coming to destroy your town, your state, and your nation.

But that won’t matter to the MAGAs; they’ll be in hog heaven.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Jingle Bells, Donald Smells...

 This week, I’ve been highly amused by the mini-drama that has erupted over the degree to which TFG smells bad.

Former Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger posted on X on December 16, "I'm genuinely surprised how people close to Trump haven't talked about the odor. It's truly something to behold. Wear a mask if you can."

He went on to add to the description: “The former president has a distinct smell of armpits, ketchup, a butt, and makeup, that’s been … put into a blender as if it has been bottled as a cologne. I’ve been amazed that everybody is just kind of learning about this now.”

I’ve always assumed that TFG smelled like a mixture of hairspray and powder. I was sure a guy as reportedly fussy as he is about his appearance would also take care to manage his aroma. In fact, I’m surprised he hasn’t slapped a name on and branded it.

I don’t know if what Kinzinger is saying is true, but in today’s world, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that people are talking about it. It’s getting mentions in the press and there are memes everywhere.

TFG had to issue rebuttals to it, which I’m sure takes valuable time away from planning the destruction of our system of government. You know it’s already taking up brain capacity in a place where there isn’t much volume to start with.

The Lincoln Project has already released an ad on the topic because they know that this is the kind of thing that gets under his skin. It’s like that with anything that takes a chunk out of his meticulously crafted image. They want to distract him and make him look unhinged; maybe provoke him into making a bigger fool of himself than usual.

I’m enjoying this because it serves him right. After all the personal attacks he’s lobbed at opponents, here’s a big one coming back on him.

And it becomes important because smell is something that gets a visceral reaction. It bypasses reason and goes straight to the central nervous system. So labeling him as one who smells bad and including some features that sound believable is a skilled PR move. Whether it changes any votes remains to be seen. If the Republicans stick to their usual form, they’ll be coming up with countercharges about how President Biden smells, maybe a combination of hair tonic, Werthers, and arthritis cream.

So, truth or not, it doesn’t matter. If TFG has proven anything, it’s that a lie becomes the truth to many people if you repeat it often enough.


I don’t care if this is actually the first of the year, I’m treating this as my last post of 2023, and as such, it’s time for a meme dump! This is where I post all the memes I harvested over the last year and then held for an opportunity for use that never came. Or I forgot.



This is probably the most important one of all:




Just for Fun



And on that note, thank you for spending time with me this year. I hope you continue to visit in 2024 Happy New Year from the House of Bluz.