The grandkids are visiting and have been here for almost a week, so any attempts at writing even a semi-serious blog have been totally wasted efforts. I would much rather be with my darlings anyway, but in order to keep my standing as a weekly blog columnist (something only I, apparently, care about) I pulled this out of the cyber-drawer where it's been sitting for a while. If you weren't expecting much, this should do it for you. I'm off now. See you soon.
When the whole SOPA/PIPA blackout was going on, most of us, like the sheeple we are, just grabbed something someone else did and closed up shop, but The Oatmeal, like the creative peeple they are, got creative. You can see it here.
Carlsberg Beer, like the creative peeple they are, (I didn't know that about Carlsberg, did you?) pulled a stunt involving tattooed bikers in a movie theater. You can watch it here.
Yes, it's FRIDAY FOLLIES! I know, it's been a while, and I keep getting requests to bring it back so here it is. (Two requests so far, one of them a relative, but still. . .) I have no explanation for why I've neglected it for so long. I could say I just wasn't feeling it but that's so unprofessional.
I'm not one to laugh at the plight of others, especially at elderly ladies whose family makes a request for meals on wheels, and I'm certainly not going to do it now, but can I at least laugh at the picture in my mind of people delivering those charity meals to limousines that will then whisk them off to a millionaire's mansion?
Bob Dalrymple and his girlfriend, Kathy Neal, are leaving Michigan and heading for Colorado, because, Bob says, the economy's suffering, the winters in Michigan are too cold and it's time for adventure. He wants to go someplace warm. That's what he says. His two kids live in Colorado, but apparently they've neglected to tell him there's a reason crowds of retired Snowbirds aren't descending on the Centennial State. It's snowy and blu
WARNING: Hot graven images ahead. Turn back if you believe Jesus' image on toast should remain a miracle and not be used as a promotion by clever, sacrilegious Vermonters for a Made in China toaster. (It's International Blasphemy Rights Day today but I swear I didn't know that when I chose this segment. Not that I'm not okay with it. I am.)
I can't believe it's not butter! In Wisconsin there is a law on the books that forbids restaurants, schools, hospitals and prisons from serving margarine instead of butter. This weaker version of a 1897 law has been on the dairy state's books for 44 years but most restaurants can get around it, since the interpretation of the law these days is that if a customer asks for margarine it's okay to give it to them. No mention of how the margarine is delivered to table -- in plain sight or disguised as something else. (The bovine version of "Don't ask
This is the start of the Labor Day weekend. We've been celebrating Labor Day since 1882, an amazing feat considering all those bastards throughout these long years who would like to strike from our memories the fact that it was labor unions who started the whole thing.
How jealous are we of that lavish, over-the-top Royal Wedding the Brits got to celebrate this year? So pathetically jealous we had to pretend we're capable of having one of our own by latching onto the lavish, over-the-top Kim Kardashian-Kris Humphries wedding.
A few weeks ago, when I wrote about the Bulwer-Lytton contest for the worst first sentence of a novel, I had no idea there was actually a worst novel in the world, too. The consensus, from what little research I've done on the subject, is that Amanda McKittrick Ros is the author who wins, hands down. (A literary group that included Tolkien and C.S.
Michele Bachmann was on Newsweek's cover this week and editor Tina Brown swears to all who will listen that Bachmann's bizarre cross-eyed skyward gaze was meant only to "capture her intensity". About the crossed-eyes, Tina says she doesn't see it. She honestly doesn't know what all the fuss is about. (Cough, choke, gasp, gag.)
All alone, I'm so all alone... When the Sarah Palin docudromedy "The Undefeated" debuted last week, Conor Friedersdorf happened to be visiting his parents in All Red All the Time Orange County. He went to see the Sarah movie hoping to interview Sarah fans to find out what the hell they're thinking. Except he didn't find any. In fact, he didn't find anyone at all--hardly. He
I guess you've heard that the Orlando policehave been busy arresting people from Orlando Food, not Bombs who have been busy feeding the hungry and the homeless in the city's public parks. That was a big story in itself, but the even bigger story was that, among the protesters, there was one lone supporter of the police. He prefers to remain anonymous, but he's pretty clear about why he's s
Roswell, NM is in the news again with only just another suspicious "crash". The "crash" supposedly burned "28 acres" of "grassland". Uh huh. The official word is that the pilot "ejected safely". No ID on the "pilot". Nobody is allowed to "see" him. The base is "asking the public to cooperate with military and civilian authorities at the scene to ensure the safety of everyone involved."
Happy Canada Day (formerly Dominion Day), July 1, and Happy Fourth of July (formerly Independence Day), July 4. Both days celebrate independence from Great Britain, the only difference being we dropped the Brits in 1776 and the Provinces to the North went on bitching about them until 1982.
Rachel Maddow, dear-heart, I'm begging you--never, ever do beat poetry at the bongo drum AGAIN! Gawd! That was painful! I'm telling you, it was excruciating! I love you truly but that was just gawdawful. Really.
I've always dreamed of someday meeting the Dalai Lama (hasn't everybody?); sitting down with him, picking his brain, asking him the questions of the day: What do you think about war and famine and global warming? If I knew I was actually going to have the chance, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be working up a joke to tell him. But then I'm not Australian anchor Karl Stefanovic, who had been saving his best joke (I'm guessing) for his best interview ever only to find it painfully lost, in translation and ever
Muhammad Ali Jr., the 44-year old Muslim son of the world-famous boxer who died last year, was held for several hours at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Feb. 7 when he and his family returned home from a trip to Jamaica.... "This is an outrage," Chris Mancini, a former federal prosecutor and the family's lawyer, told the Miami New Times. "I don't know what is going on with Mr. Trump's claim that his ban is not religion-based.
Ami I deceiving myself, or is this bunch of yahoos committed firmly to a "Clash of Civilizations" (sounds like one of those MOOG Games) model which will not tolerate institutional ambiguity on that point.
KT McFarland was spozed to be gone by now--part of Harward's clash with Trump was his unwillingness to keep her on as demanded and there was troubling vagueness in Spicer's statement that McMaster will have control of his staff, but the hiring and firing will be Trump's-. A state of intolerable internal tension. Today McMaster announced he was keeping her on.
I will venture to say that she or McMaster will not greet the Spring as part of the National Security Advisory arm of President Trump.
[.....] The House of Representatives has refused to investigate either one of the two massive ongoing legal and ethical violations involving the Trump administration: President Trump’s opaque ties (financial and otherwise) to Russia, and his ongoing self-enrichment in office and violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
I understand the vehemence. Trump is a demagogue who vilifies and scapegoats refugees, Muslims, undocumented immigrants, racial minorities, who strikes me as a danger to our national security. By all means stand up to him, and point out his lies and incompetence. But let’s be careful about blanket judgments.
My hometown, Yamhill, Ore., a farming community, is Trump country, and I have many friends who voted for Trump. I think they’re profoundly wrong, but please don’t dismiss them as hateful bigots.
....Passengers on Delta Flight 1583 were asked to show their IDs to armed U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents as they stepped off the aircraft onto the jet bridge, according to passengers who snapped photos and posted them online.....The individual was determined not to be on the flight."
ICE has a tip line for reporting things, no cash bounty yet for informers.
To be sure, these realities do not mean any of the various candidates cannot become standout fundraisers, hire top-notch staff or oversee an expanded small-dollar program that makes up for lost ground. It does mean that despite the more progressive slant of the party since November, the practice of traditional party fundraising — something many Democratic activists reject — will need to continue. All those voting for the next head of the DNC should keep that in mind.
Money quote: "the left needs to settle on an overarching narrative to galvanize opposition and offer an alternative vision for the country, primarily geared toward addressing concerns about a rigged economic and political system."
It’s a fine romance. And we’re not just talking about La La Land taking US$12.5 million at the Chinese box office on that most commercialized of Western non-holidays: Valentine’s Day.
Hollywood’s bumpy love affair with China’s foreign film quota has received a double boost. Ahead of key Sino-American talks later this year, the state run Global Times newspaper recently predicted that the current limit of 34 foreign films granted access to the Chinese market per year could go up by a dozen and foreign producers’ take on ticket sales might jump from 25% now to 40%.
David Brock and some of the biggest donors from across the left are rallying behind an effort to stave off a Republican avalanche in state-level races that could bury Democrats for decades.
The effort, affiliated with a previously low-profile group called the State Innovation Exchange (or SiX for short), aims to offset Republican advantages in state-level campaigns, policy debates and looming redistricting fights.
"House Republicans and the Trump administration on Tuesday filed a joint motion seeking to delay lawsuit proceedings that threaten to undo President Barack Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act"......Republicans: "classic Marxist strategy known as “heightening the contradictions,” in which you intentionally exacerbate the problems you’re criticizing the ruling powers for creating, in the hopes of bringing your revolution all the closer." Is going down in flames as they will own the disaster.
From what I can see, H.R. McMaster may be Trump's best appointment by far. If you've been following the news, you know about his acclaimed Ph.D. dissertation: "Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam." Here are some of takeaways from the dissertation:
The president was lying, and he expected the Chiefs to lie as well or, at least, to withhold the whole truth. Although the president should not have placed the Chiefs in that position, the flag officers should not have tolerated it when they had.
One of the overlooked takeaways from Thomas Piketty's groundbreaking Capital in the 21st Century was that the reduction of wealth inequality in the 20th century came about largely because of the World Wars and the Great Depression. This Atlantic article takes that bleak conclusion to the next level, arguing that only catastrophic violence, disease, or institutional collapse can produce substantial gains in income equality.