Friday, September 6, 2019

Monday, July 29, 2019

How To Handle A Racist

The Baltimore Sun hits back, and how.

In case anyone missed it, the president of the United States had some choice words to describe Maryland’s 7th congressional district on Saturday morning. Here are the key phrases: “no human being would want to live there,” it is a “very dangerous & filthy place,” “Worst in the USA” and, our personal favorite: It is a “rat and rodent infested mess.” He wasn’t really speaking of the 7th as a whole. He failed to mention Ellicott City, for example, or Baldwin or Monkton or Prettyboy, all of which are contained in the sprawling yet oddly-shaped district that runs from western Howard County to southern Harford County. No, Donald Trump’s wrath was directed at Baltimore and specifically at Rep. Elijah Cummings, the 68-year-old son of a former South Carolina sharecropper who has represented the district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1996.

It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. The congressman has been a thorn in this president’s side, and Mr. Trump sees attacking African American members of Congress as good politics, as it both warms the cockles of the white supremacists who love him and causes so many of the thoughtful people who don’t to scream. President Trump bad-mouthed Baltimore in order to make a point that the border camps are “clean, efficient & well run,” which, of course, they are not — unless you are fine with all the overcrowding, squalor, cages and deprivation to be found in what the Department of Homeland Security’s own inspector-general recently called “a ticking time bomb.”

In pointing to the 7th, the president wasn’t hoping his supporters would recognize landmarks like Johns Hopkins Hospital, perhaps the nation’s leading medical center. He wasn’t conjuring images of the U.S. Social Security Administration, where they write the checks that so many retired and disabled Americans depend upon. It wasn’t about the beauty of the Inner Harbor or the proud history of Fort McHenry. And it surely wasn’t about the economic standing of a district where the median income is actually above the national average. No, he was returning to an old standby of attacking an African American lawmaker from a majority black district on the most emotional and bigoted of arguments. It was only surprising that there wasn’t room for a few classic phrases like “you people” or “welfare queens” or “crime-ridden ghettos” or a suggestion that the congressman “go back” to where he came from.

This is a president who will happily debase himself at the slightest provocation. And given Mr. Cummings’ criticisms of U.S. border policy, the various investigations he has launched as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, his willingness to call Mr. Trump a racist for his recent attacks on the freshmen congresswomen, and the fact that “Fox & Friends” had recently aired a segment critical of the city, slamming Baltimore must have been irresistible in a Pavlovian way. Fox News rang the bell, the president salivated and his thumbs moved across his cell phone into action.

As heartening as it has been to witness public figures rise to Charm City’s defense on Saturday, from native daughter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, we would above all remind Mr. Trump that the 7th District, Baltimore included, is part of the United States that he is supposedly governing. The White House has far more power to effect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress including Mr. Cummings. If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone’s, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land.

Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner — or ruefully point out that he failed to spell the congressman’s name correctly (it’s Cummings, not Cumming) — we would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are “good people” among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.

Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Visiting Hours

Via TPM:

The White House, in a statement from National Security Advisor John Bolton, walked back President Trump’s invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin for a meeting this fall in a statement that said that the “President believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over.”

Here’s a handy guide to plan that post-witch hunt meeting.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Solid Gold Snark

What else would you call it? Via the Washington Post:

The emailed response from the Guggenheim’s chief curator to the White House was polite but firm: The museum could not accommodate a request to borrow a painting by Vincent van Gogh for President and Melania Trump’s private living quarters.

Instead, wrote the curator, Nancy Spector, another piece was available, one that was nothing like “Landscape With Snow,” the 1888 van Gogh rendering of a man in a black hat walking along a path in Arles, France, with his dog.

The curator’s alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet — an interactive work titled “America” that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country.

For a year, the Guggenheim had exhibited “America” — the creation of contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan — in a public restroom on the museum’s fifth floor for visitors to use.

But the exhibit was over and the toilet was available “should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House,” Spector wrote in an email obtained by The Washington Post.

The artist “would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan,” wrote Spector, who has been critical of Trump. “It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care.”

There’s a perfectly nice companion piece to “America” over in France.

Heh.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

And The Horse You Rode In On

Roy Moore isn’t going to be the next senator from Alabama, and he can forget about that job as a wrangler.

Roy Moore wants you to believe in his cowboy bonafides. So much so that he once waved a gun around during a speech while wearing that stupid cowboy hat of his. Moore is a fraud in every other way, so why wouldn’t that apply to his cowboy image? According to a growing calvary [sic] of Twitter horse-riding analysts, we may now have an answer.

This Tuesday, Moore arrived on horseback at his polling place in Gallant, Alabama to vote in the special Senate election where his opponent is Democratic candidate Doug Jones. According to Moore, he rides his horse “Sassy” to the polls in every election to “have good favor.”

“I think it’s a good thing to do,” Moore told CNN in September, when he rode Sassy to the polls in his runoff election against Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.). “I won the last time I rode a horse.”

But after video of him careening down a hill with Sassy caught the eyes of quite a few horse aficionados, the consensus was that Moore rides like someone who can barely hang on.

According to Snopes.com reporter Bethania Palma (who also happens to be my sister and who grew up riding horses), Moore could use a few riding lessons.

This guy is trying to play cowboy but has no idea how to ride a horse. He’s grasping the horn like a 3-year-old on a pony ride and pulling back on the reins, probably because he’s scared. That signals the horse to stop. But the horse is moving, meaning he’s confusing it. This horse is hating life right now.

I watched the video, and the next thing that should have happened was Sassy bucking him off.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

Double-0 Seven Entendres

After this picture appeared, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin was asked what he thought of being compared to a villain in a James Bond film.

“I never thought I’d be quoted as looking like villains from the ‘James Bond’ [movies]. I guess I should take that as a compliment that I look like a villain in a great, successful ‘James Bond’ movie,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

I suppose that would make Louise Linton Pussy Galore.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

Moscow On The Potomac

Time magazine’s current cover.

Reuters:

Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.

The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Six of the previously undisclosed contacts described to Reuters were phone calls between Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, and Trump advisers, including Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, three current and former officials said.

Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations, four current U.S. officials said.

Here’s what I don’t understand, and I’m hoping someone can explain it to me: what’s the attraction for Trump and his minions with Russia?  It’s a huge country with a lot of natural resources like oil and gas and raw materials, but it is still functioning like it’s the 1930’s and still under Stalin.  It makes nothing we want to import: would you buy a Russian car or cell phone or TV?  Do they even make them beyond what they cranked out under Communism?  Unlike China, Russia has not embraced the benefits of capitalism — a booming middle class — without abandoning the strict controls of dictatorship — who needs freedom of the press when you can drive a Maserati into Tienanmen Square?

The only thing Russia has going for it is that it’s ruled by a man who doesn’t take shit from anybody and can pretty much do what he wants and still be considered “duly elected.”  Vladimir Putin is everything Trump is not but would like to be: strong, confident, ruthless with his opponents, able to keep a story straight, and doesn’t care what anyone outside his country thinks of him.  He’s disciplined — when was the last time Putin tweeted his innermost thoughts at 4 a.m.? — and even when he bullshits he at least makes it sound plausible.  He’s even unashamed to show his bald head in public.

But other than the fact that Trump clearly has a teenage-boy style crush on the big badass jock, I don’t get it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Just Haggling Over The Price

TPM shares some juicy dish about how Kellyanne Conway really felt about shilling for Trump.

The co-hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, claimed on Monday that senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway used to say she needed a shower after defending Donald Trump on air.

[…]

“I’m just doing this for the money,” Brzezinski interjected.

“‘I’ll be off this soon.’ I don’t know that she ever said ‘I’m doing this for the money,’” Scarborough said. “But she said, ‘This is just my summer vacation, my summer in Europe and basically I’m just going to get through this.’”

“‘But first I have to take a shower because it feels so dirty to be saying what I’m saying.’ I guess she’s just used to it now,” Brzezinski said.

Yeah, well, it doesn’t matter if it’s twenty bucks or a million, it’s still the same job.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

Stupid Call

[Scene:  My living room.  Phone rings. I’m bored so I answer it.]

Scammer: I’m calling from Microsoft Windows to tell you that your computer is infected with malware.

Me: How terrible!

Scammer: Yes sir.

Me: I mean, how could this happen?

Scammer: Well, sir, I’m here to help you repair it. Now, please go to your keyboard…

Me: No, I mean, after all these years, how could people still fall for your bullshit? No wonder they elected Trump.

[Click]

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Short Takes

President Obama visits Berlin on his farewell tour.

Minnesota officer faces manslaughter charges in shooting of unarmed black man.

Terrorism possible in deaths of three U.S. soldiers in Jordan.

Thousands have donated to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s “honor.”

Hillary Clinton speaks up: “Never ever give up.”

Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello — both former Tigers — win Cy Young award.