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!”
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.
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.
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?
Trump “supportive” of more gun checks.
Redrawn Pennsylvania congressional districts may help Democrats.
Major GOP donor trying to force party to change its stance on guns.
Students plan walkout and march over gun laws.
What’s the hum in Windsor, Ontario?
Seventeen dead in Broward County school shooting.
South Africa President Jacob Zuma resigns.
Prospects of new bipartisan immigration agreement in limbo.
EPA director says he flies first class for “security reasons.”
In spite of the Olympics, dogmeat still on the menu in South Korea.
DOA — Trump budget ramps up defense spending, cuts safety net.
Cough Up — Trump’s infrastructure plan puts local communities on the hook.
Senate kicks off uncertain debate on immigration.
Vanessa Trump hospitalized after exposure to white powder.
Lions eat suspected poacher.
Which did you think was more likely: the Eagles winning a Super Bowl, or a Holocaust denier being the only Republican candidate for Congress in a Chicago suburban district?
After electing Trump, anything’s possible.
We live in very strange times.
Hawaii officials resign over missile alert.
Yemen separatists take most of port city.
Amazon to join forces with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase on healthcare.
Stocks fall for second consecutive day.
United Airlines bans “emotional support” peacock. Seriously.
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.
Big night and good news for Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey.
Texas gunman escaped from a mental hospital; still able to buy a gun.
ACLU goes after Taylor Swift for threatening blogger.
Charges dropped against woman who laughed at Sessions hearing.
R.I.P. Gemini and Apollo astronaut Dick Gordon, 88.
This is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Nothing will change.
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.
This is a real headline in a real news outlet:
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.
Trump takes credit for Qatar/Saudi break-up.
Kabul truck bomb death toll rises to 150.
James Comey told Sessions not to leave him alone with Trump.
MSNBC leads cable news ratings thanks to Rachel Maddow.
Peacock trashes liquor store in California.
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.
This sounds like something out of a Peter Sellers movie:
A Trump Cabinet member who was with the President the night he launched a military strike in Syria characterized the attack as a form of “entertainment” on Monday.
Reflecting on last month’s strike, ordered as Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said: “It was in lieu of after-dinner entertainment.”
“The thing was, it didn’t cost the President anything to have that entertainment,” Ross said at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference in California, according to Variety.
Requests for comment from the Commerce Department and the White House were not immediately returned.
Maybe we ought to hire a clown next time. Oh, wait…
Dan Quayle was seen at Trump Tower.
For those of you too young to remember, Vice President Dan Quayle was the reason many Americans — Democrats included — prayed nightly for the continued good health of President George H.W. Bush and that when the news flash came from Tokyo that Mr. Bush had suddenly taken ill, the instant horror was that Mr. Quayle might be anywhere close to assuming the duties of higher office, let alone monitoring a spelling contest.
And now he’s being escorted to the seat of power by Kellyanne Conway.