Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Back To Reality

It’s especially harsh to come back from nearly two weeks of not really paying attention to the news and land with a thud: Trump holding yet again a rally in Florida (although Karma sent in torrential rain to prove that his supporters are not smart enough to know when to come in out of it) and touting the various and sundry stupidities and cruelties foisted upon us by this cretinous vulgarian.  Living on the shore of a fjord in Alaska with no internet connection and eating reindeer pizza suddenly doesn’t sound so nutty.

Of course, I didn’t watch any of this kinderspiel in Orlando, and apparently those who did heard nothing new so they didn’t bother to broadcast it (except Fox News, which has announced that it will soon sell time to broadcast his potty-time).  But reports are that he spent most of the time re-running his 2016 campaign themes: attacking a retired grandmother from Chappaqua, New York, for imagined crimes that his own children have committed, and giving evidence out loud that will be used in some future hearing on mental competency (“I’m going to read you a series of numbers and I want you to repeat them back to me…”).  But as Dana Milbank pointed out, it’s all he’s got since he can’t run on his own record of incompetence, fraudulence, criminality, vulgarity, isolationism, greed, racism, and buffoonery.

On top of that, the regime is on the verge of announcing plans for immigration arrests and deportation.  You don’t need to be a historian to see that this reeks of another regime’s method of dealing with their political scapegoat; you can download “Schindler’s List” from Netflix.

It’s no wonder that two dozen Democrats want to run against him in 2020.  I’m surprised there aren’t more; this should be an easy target for them.  Yes, of course I know that Democrats could lose an ice-skating race to a snake, but if the polls are anywhere near accurate this far out and with this short-term memory-challenged electorate, Trump would lose to any one of the top ten Democrats.  And judging by Trump’s reaction to the reality of his falling numbers, he’s killing off the messengers who are delivering the news.  (Meanwhile, he’s got more people working in “acting” positions in his administration than the cattle-call audition for a revival of “Cats.”)

Today will be my first full day back at work, back to reading what’s going on, and wondering why I came back to this harsh dose of reality when there are otters to watch frolicking in Prince William Sound and reindeer pizza to be ordered in.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Florida Man Meets Darwin

Via Buzzfeed (HT Faithful Correspondent):

A Florida man has died after being attacked by either one or two cassowary birds, which have often been called “living dinosaurs” and are considered one of the most dangerous birds in the world.

The victim, identified as 75-year-old Marvin Hajos, owned the farm where the incident occurred.

“It appears that the gentleman who was killed raised the birds and was injured after falling in a path near the Cassowary enclosure,” Jeff Taylor, the Fire Rescue Deputy Chief for Alachua County, told BuzzFeed News.

Taylor said that there were two cassowaries on the site, but it’s “unclear whether one or both birds took part in the attack.”

Hajos was taken to UF Health Shands Hospital where he later died, a spokesperson said.

“Our crews worked very hard to give the victim the best chance possible at survival,” Taylor said.

Cassowaries are large feathered birds that resemble the emu, according to the San Diego Zoo.

They can run as fast as 30 miles per hour and can grow as large as 6 feet tall.

The animal is native to tropical forests in New Guinea and can be found in Australia as well.

It possess a claw on each foot, which can grow as long as 4 inches, and can “slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick.”

Lt. Brett Rhodenizer, a spokesperson for the Alachua Police, told the Gainesville Sun that “initial information indicates that this was a tragic accident for Mr. Hajos and his family.”

Rhodenizer added that the birds involved are “secured on private property at this time.”

The incident is currently being investigated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and the local sheriff’s department.

Representatives for the Alachua Police Department were not immediately available for comment.

On second thought, peacocks are just annoying.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Going Cuckoo

This antique German cuckoo clock has been in my family for generations. It was in my dad’s bedroom when he was a boy and then it came to our house. I had it repaired and restored in 1974 and I’ve had it in every house I’ve lived in ever since. But here’s the thing: I rarely run it. It’s tick-tock is loud and so is the cuckoo, and it needs to be wound every day. So for the last ten years it has hung silently in my house. Until last Saturday afternoon.

I was sitting in the living room watching TV when I was startled to hear the cuckoo strike five o’clock. I went into my office where it hangs, and there it was, ticking away, the pine-branch pendulum swinging, the hands moving. I was alone in the house and haven’t been near my office all afternoon. I have heard of clocks stopping. But I have never heard of one starting spontaneously. I stared at it for a good minute.

The only thing I can think of is that somehow the air conditioning made the pendulum move and then it took off on its own. Or…

Allen loved the clock. Maybe it was his German ancestry, maybe because it was kitschy, whatever. And maybe… Well, I don’t believe in ghosts or poltergeists, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist and maybe this is his way of saying, “Hi honey, I’m home!”

Monday, October 15, 2018

Oh, Mitt, You’re A Hoot

I’m very glad Mitt Romney didn’t win the election in 2012 for all the possible reasons you can think of, but I do miss his wacky sense of humor.

Mitt Romney, running as the Republican candidate for Senate in Utah, doesn’t think it makes sense to talk about impeaching President Donald Trump — because Trump is a “sitting president.”

“I don’t think it makes sense to be talking about impeachment, not for a sitting president,” Romney said at a debate with Democratic Senate candidate Jenny Wilson, a former US congressional aide who is on the Salt Lake County Council, this week.

Get it?  You’re only supposed to impeach a former president — or maybe one that hasn’t won yet — but not a sitting president because it would be unconstitutional, right?

Think of how much fun we would have had if he’d been elected.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Watch Out, Kim Jong Un

Via Newsweek:

Trump again described his warm relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at a rally in Wheeling, West Virginia, Saturday, saying: “We fell in love.”

Trump began by talking of the massive threat that North Korea posed before he took office in January 2017. But, he said, his ability to develop a warm relationship with Kim during a summit in Singapore in June has been key to easing tensions.

“That was a big big problem,” Trump said of North Korea in front of a typically raucous pro-Trump crowd. “And, you know, when I did it, and I was really being tough, and so was he. And we were going back and forth, and then we fell in love, OK. No, really. He wrote me beautiful letters, and they’re great letters. And then we fell in love.”

And the world screamed, “Ewww, gross!”

Just a word of caution to the dictator of North Korea: watch out for your goodies; we have Trump on tape indicating how he treats objects of his affection.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

TMI

I did not need to know that Brett Kavanaugh was — or claimed to be — a virgin long after high school and beyond.  That’s information I don’t need to hear from anyone; not the guy at the deli counter, not the guy driving the Super Shuttle, not even the hunky guy with the bulging biceps and killer smile who sits across from me at Starbucks, and certainly not the guy holding out for a seat on the Supreme Court.

I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but there are some things best kept to yourself.  I would think that he would know that since he comes from the upper class and went to a classy prep school and Yale.  So I’m hard-pressed to understand why he’d go on Fox News (well, that I get) with his wife (that must have been an interesting ride home) and give America the mental image of someone holding back their virginity.

Setting aside all the accusations and drama; does this revelation on national TV demonstrate the judgment we’re looking for in a Supreme Court justice?  Who talks about that sort of thing in a job interview, much less on cable unless it’s the Jerry Springer Christmas special?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Monday, February 5, 2018

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Nuke ‘Em For Spam

This is insane.

A newly drafted United States nuclear strategy that has been sent to President Trump for approval would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on American infrastructure, including what current and former government officials described as the most crippling kind of cyberattacks.

For decades, American presidents have threatened “first use” of nuclear weapons against enemies in only very narrow and limited circumstances, such as in response to the use of biological weapons against the United States. But the new document is the first to expand that to include attempts to destroy wide-reaching infrastructure, like a country’s power grid or communications, that would be most vulnerable to cyberweapons.

The draft document, called the Nuclear Posture Review, was written at the Pentagon and is being reviewed by the White House. Its final release is expected in the coming weeks and represents a new look at the United States’ nuclear strategy. The draft was first published last week by HuffPost.

It called the strategic picture facing the United States quite bleak, citing not only Russian and Chinese nuclear advances but advances made by North Korea and, potentially, Iran.

“We must look reality in the eye and see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be,” the draft document said. The Trump administration’s new initiative, it continued, “realigns our nuclear policy with a realistic assessment of the threats we face today and the uncertainties regarding the future security environment.”

Even in the hands of someone whose judgment we trust, this widening of the potential use of nuclear arms is dangerous.  Given the present atmosphere and obvious lack of cogent control at the top, we could see a mushroom cloud because someone tried to con Trump into sending them earnest money to guarantee a payoff from a Nigerian prince or some kid in China turned off the lights in Mar-a-lago.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Monday, October 2, 2017

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

What Else Did I Miss?

I get on a plane, travel to Ohio, have a nice dinner with the family, get to the motel, and all kinds of hell has broken loose: Arpaio pardoned, transgenders banned from the military, Gorka out, Russia subpoenas, Hurricane Harvey.  What’s next, dogs and cats living together?

Sheesh, I can’t leave you alone for a minute.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Short Takes

SCOTUS partially lifts Trump travel ban and says states cannot restrict financial aid to churches.

Russian ambassador called back to Moscow.

Philando Castile family receives $3 million settlement from city.

School prayer in Canada runs into controversy.

Hello, Dali: Artist’s body to be exhumed for paternity test.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Someone’s Going To Emergency, Someone’s Going To Jail…

As the old saying goes, politics ain’t beanbag.  Now it’s more like WWE.

From the Guardian:

The Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat has been charged with misdemeanor assault after he is alleged to have slammed a Guardian reporter to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election, breaking his glasses and shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”

Ben Jacobs, a Guardian political reporter, was asking Greg Gianforte, a tech millionaire endorsed by Donald Trump, about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate allegedly “body-slammed” the reporter.

“He took me to the ground,” Jacobs said by phone from the back of an ambulance. “I think he wailed on me once or twice … He got on me and I think he hit me … This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics.”

Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna, field producer Faith Mangan and photographer Keith Railey witnessed the incident, according to an account published by foxnews.com. After Jacobs asked Gianforte his question, Acuna wrote: “Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.

“Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of ‘I’m sick and tired of this!’ … To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff’s deputies.”

Jacobs subsequently reported the incident to the police. The Gallatin county sheriff’s office said on Wednesday night it had completed its investigation and that Gianforte had been issued with a charge of misdemeanour assault.

“Following multiple interviews and an investigation by the Gallatin county sheriff’s office it was determined there was probable cause to issue a citation to Greg Gianforte for misdemeanor assault,” sheriff Brian Gootkin said in a statement. “The nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault. Greg Gianforte received a citation on Wednesday night and is scheduled to appear in Gallatin county justice court between now and June 7, 2017.”

A statement released from Gianforte’s campaign blamed Mr. Jacobs for letting his neck get in the way of the candidate’s grip.