Friday, December 30, 2016

The Tweet Of The Day for December 30, 2016

I don't need to wait until later tonight to pick a winner. The tweet of the day -- the tweet that needs to be preserved and highlighted before it disappears under the relentless surge of Twitter's flood -- came from @SummerBrennan drawing attention to these words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Though this sounds like Bonhoeffer to me, I always like to confirm any quotation I'm given in a tweet or Facebook or blog post. It was easy to find the exact source of this on page 43 of his Letters and Papers from Prison, in case you want to read it in context.

Happy Birthday Patti Smith!

Happy 70th!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

"You're Fired!" A prominent Trump supporter lost his job today.

The Buffalo Bills just fired their head coach Rex Ryan today (and his brother Rob Ryan too). Here's Rex introducing Donald Trump in Buffalo last April, and telling a story about how team-owner Trump threatened to fire his coaches:

Maybe @realDonaldTrump needs to tweet about this outrageous act of anti-Trump prejudice being demonstrated by the Bills ownership!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Hanukkah times two

Pick your favorite Hamilton-inspired Hanukkah production, "Hasmonean" from The Maccabeats or "A Hamilton Chanukah" (introduced by President Obama) from Six13.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Maybe the Trump Inauguration Committee can get these singers

It's no secret that the Trump Presidential Inauguration Committee is having trouble finding performers to play at their January 20th festivities, but maybe -- if they make up for the fact that the campaign stiffed them back in January -- they can still get the USA Freedom Kids to perform.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Today's Fine White Whine comes from whiny (and gropey) Roger Ailes

All of these privileged rich old white guys who would never apologize to anyone about anything on principle, are always the first to demand apologies from others. This time we're not talking about Donald Trump's precious little hurt feelings, but those of the sexual predator who was forced from his job as the head of Fox News earlier this year when the weight of evidence finally became overwhelming.
Roger Ailes personally called New York Daily News columnist Don Kaplan and said "I was hoping you would be a gentleman and apologize" for the gropey old man characterization used in a headline. 

A personal phone call? Hasn't Roger learned that the modern way for rich gropey old men to whine for an apology is in a tweet?

Donald Trump's 5-hour-long Christmas (NOT HOLIDAY!) Yule Log Video

Via Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Tweet of the Day for Sunday, December 18

The tweet of the day for Keith Richards' birthday came from @HeadsNews:

Happy 73rd Birthday to Keith Richards.

In a year during which we lost a lot of great musicians, at least we know that Keith Richards, thanks to the long-term preservative effects of tobacco and heroin, will be with us until well past his hundredth birthday.

You got my heart you got my soul
You got the silver you got the gold
You got the diamonds from the mine
Well that's all right, it'll buy some time
Happy Birthday Keef.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The TBL Tweet of the Day for 12/17/2016

The tweet of the day comes from @JohnFugelsang, who distilled the new word of the day, 'unpresidented,' to its dual meaning in a gem of a tweet.

Question: How does a semi-literate TV addict spell 'unprecedented'?

Before the tweet was deleted and the spelling was corrected.
First of all, the major dictionaries of the English language should overrule their earlier selections in order to make "unpresidented" the word of the year for 2016.
Second, it seems there are only four possible explanations for this tweet from Donald Trump.
  1. He has never read books or articles that contain five-syllable words.
  2. He does know how to spell 'unprecedented,' and this was a purely Freudian slip of a man worried about how the electoral college will render its final verdict on Monday, possibly 'unpresidenting' him.
  3. Vicious left-wing Twitter employees are trying to make him look stupider than he is.
  4. The drugs he takes to keep him up tweeting at 4:30 in the morning are not without side effects.
Somewhere in America, Dan Quayle is laughing.

You can express your opinion in this Twitter poll:

Friday, December 16, 2016

The TBL Tweet of the Day for 12/16/2016

The tweet of the day comes from a 1974 interview with Hannah Arendt that was published in The New York Review of Books in 1978 and excerpted in this tweet from @WoodCowBooks today:

Hannah Arendt wrote and spoke hundreds of thousands of words about totalitarianism that will seem vital (but hopefully not too prescient) in the coming years.

Defending Putin in the Right-Wing Media Bubble

This morning @DonaldJTrumpJr felt it necessary to retweet @FoxAndFriends' tweet about Fox News' dumbest anchor and Trump friend @SeanHannity interviewing Julian Assange about how (contrary to what the CIA and everyone else in the world seems to believe) Russia had nothing to do with the DNC documents provided to Wikileaks.

Sometimes it's helpful to get a quick peek into the completely counterfactual media bubble within which Donald Junior's father has comfortably cushioned himself. Donald Senior is not someone who seems to have a desire to dig too deeply for information on his own (or accept any information that might contradict what he already 'knows'), so this glimpse into his son's Twitter feed is like a glimpse into the President Elect's brain. Maybe he actually doesn't know, or have the ability to believe, the role the Russians played in tipping the election in his favor.

Happy 246th Birthday Ludwig!

This is one of the most joyful musical performances I have ever seen of the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth. Please give it five minutes and forty seconds of your day; you will have tears of joy in your eyes by the end or I will give you your money back!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The TBL Tweet of the Day for 12/15/2016

Today was supposed to be the day that Donald Trump held a press conference to address his many conflicts of interest between the presidency and his businesses, but he weaseled out of the presser because he found more important things to do, standing up for one of his minor businesses. The morning was summarized well by @abwhite7:

The Short-Fingered Vulgarian's Revenge

Earlier this morning, the entity tweeting as @realDonaldTrump took its stubby little digits to its smartphone to attack Graydon Carter, so it seems like a good time to revisit Kurt Andersen and Graydon Carter's conversation with David Folkenflik about Spy Magazine and Donald Trump's most famous nickname that appeared on NPR back on March 7:

It seems clear that the actual reason Trump went after Vanity Fair's editor this morning was not because of a long-remembered slight, but because the magazine published Tina Nguyen's brilliant restaurant review of Trump Grill that should be read by all of America:
And it reveals everything you need to know about our next president.
Will he still be tweeting to protect the honor (and bottom line) of his private businesses after he has taken public office on January 20th? Or will he expect America to ignore his manifold conflicts of interest as completely as we ignored the fact that he never released his tax returns?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The TBL Tweet of the Day for 12/14/2016

The tweet of the day from @RexHuppke is a perfect summation of Donald Trump's half-hearted attempt to deal with his conflicts of interest:

Chickens Coming Home to Roost (2016 Edition)

The phrase about the chickens is most familiar to modern Americans from the fact Barack Obama's Chicago pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, pointed out to his congregation on September 16, 2001, that "America's chickens are coming home to roost." Just as with most figures of speech that contain a lot of truth, that phrase is much older than the current century. Robert Southey used "Curses are like young chicken, they always come home to roost" on the title page of The Curse of Kehama in 1811. Earlier than that, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote "And ofte tyme swich cursynge wrongfully retorneth agayn to hym that curseth, as a bryd that retorneth agayn to his owene nest" in The Parson's Tale in the late 14th century.

In the six centuries since Chaucer, there may never have been a better illustration of the homing instincts of Gallus gallus domesticus than we saw this week when the CIA announced with "high confidence" that Russia had interfered with the US election to help Donald Trump win the presidency. The CIA. They should know. Since their founding in 1947, they have influenced elections on every continent but Antarctica (and maybe Australia?), beginning with the Italian election of 1948. Here's a short audio recap from Tim Weiner, author of Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, that was heard on WNYC yesterday:

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The TBL Tweet of the Day is from Garry Kasparov

Nobody gave @Kasparov63 any serious competition today for's tweet of the day:

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The TBL Tweet of the Day for 12/8/2016

The tweet of the day for today came from @LOLGOP, summing up the ridiculousness of the #WarOnChristmas and that messy intersection where militant anti-political-correctness meets right-wing conspiracy insanity, all in just slightly under 140 characters.

(There may be a gap in picking a #TBLTweetOfTheDay for the next few days, but I'm sure that Donald Trump won't do or say anything idiotic between now and next Tuesday, will he?)

Frontline Feline Foot Soldiers in our Liberal War On Christmas

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

TBL Tweet of the Day for 12/7/2016

THE @JoyceCarolOates tweeted the following about the history of fake news this morning:

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

TBL Tweet of the Day for 12/6/2016

The tweet of the day is from @DaveWeigel. It's another quick reminder of how different the cost of health care can be in places where it's not completely driven by the profit needs of private insurers, hospitals, and others in the U.S. medical and pharmaceutical industries.

"Oh, bummer." -- Jerry Garcia, December 6, 1969

If the popular myth has the decade of "The Sixties" reaching its cultural apotheosis in August 1969 on the green East Coast at The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, then its obituary was written less than four months later on this date in '69 on the dusty West Coast at Altamont Speedway. With Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and The Grateful Dead on the bill of the Altamont Free Concert along with the Rolling Stones, the plan was to recreate heaven rather than hell, but the Dead never took the stage and Jerry Garcia summed up the day with two words:

In the eternal American argument between Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby about our ability to recreate the past, Nick won this round.

Monday, December 05, 2016

TBL Tweet of the Day for 12/5/2016

The tweet of the day for Monday was one of the first I saw today, from @theDavidCrosby, which helped to get my day off to a good start.

Here are David Crosby, Michael League, Becca Stevens, and Michelle Willis performing Joni Mitchell's 'Woodstock' beautifully in a green room. This is a song from the Nixon years; there will be artistic and musical beauty in the Trump years too.

Good Night.

"What is Honour? A word. What is that word Honour? Air."

The combination of Donald Trump's most recent tweet today, "If the press would cover me accurately & honorably, I would have far less reason to 'tweet.' Sadly, I don't know if that will ever happen!", and reading Philip Roth's Our Gang about Dick Nixon, who was pathologically wed to the concepts of "peace with honor" and "an honorable end to the war" (even if that insistence cost tens of thousands of  American lives in Vietnam during his time in office) got me thinking about Republican presidents and their obsession with that hollow abstract noun.

Is this a concept that is more important to Republicans? It seems that way to me. My feelings about the concept are more in line with Sir John Falstaff's in English literature's most famous consideration of honor at the end of Act V, Scene 1 of Henry IV, Part One when Prince Hal speaks to Sir John immediately before the battle at Shrewsbury.

From Bodleian First Folio:
I would it were bed time, Hal, and all well.
Why, thou owest Heaven a death.

'Tis not due yet; I would be loath to pay him before
his day. What need I be so forward with him that
calls not on me? Well, 'tis no matter; honour pricks
me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I
come on? How then? Can honour set to a leg? No: or
an arm? No: Or take away the grief of a wound? No.
Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is
honour? A word.  What is that word honour? Air.
A trim reckoning! Who hath it?
He that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No.
Doth he hear it? No. Is it insensible, then. Yea,
to the dead. But will it not live with the living?
No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore
I'll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon, and so
ends my catechism.

I Trust the Fourth Estate More Than Real Estate Moguls

Over on Twitter today, one of the trending hashtags is #LoveMyNewspaper. During the four years beginning on January 20, 2017, one of the ongoing battles -- if not the most important ongoing battle -- will be between the post-truth president and his media watchdogs, especially those in the print (and e-print) media who are capable of delving in depth and over time into the statements and actions of next administration and its tangled conflicts of interest.

We need to be clear about which side we're on.

TBL Tweet of the Day for 12/4/2016

One of the things I don't like about Twitter is the way that the past quickly disappears in the constant flow of the new; I think that's one of the reasons it was impossible for voters to keep a handle on the accumulating weight of Donald Trump's baggage as we chased the outrage of the moment (which tended with Comey's loose lips and the media's penchant for balance to be Hillary Clinton's emails in the latter days of the campaign).

One of the advantages of blogs is that they are organized with less clutter and with an easy-to-follow timeline, so today I'm starting something new here on I'm picking one tweet from the previous day to highlight, honor, and embed in amber. The first honor goes to @ezlusztig. I know nothing about Elliot Lusztig outside of his tweets and his Twitter cover photo showing one of the world's great artistic moments, Phillipe Petit's 1974 walk above lower Manhattan.

This tweet is not in my style (which prefers using all 140 characters in complete grammatical sentences), but the brevity was perfect here in response to racist Anne Coulter's racist rhetorical question about the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters, "Why do these 'Native Americans' look exactly like the Trump protesters, Ferguson rioters, college hooligans, Occupy Wall St, etc?"

Unlike most of the new features that I have introduced on this blog from time to time, I am going to try to keep this up every day (except when I'm traveling or otherwise engaged in computer-free activities). If I follow you on Twitter, maybe you'll get to be the #TBLTweetOfTheDay soon.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Quotes of the day (and possibly the year) from Jonathan Swift and George Orwell via Philip Roth

The first of many Philip Roth novels I have read was 1971's Our Gang (Starring  Tricky and His Friends), which appeared when I was in high school in the Nixon years.

In advance of the text of his 200-page satire about Trick E. Dixon, Roth chose these two epigraphs to appear:

"...And I remember in frequent Discourses with my Master concerning the Nature of Manhood, in other Parts of the World; having Occasion to talk of Lying, and false Representation, it was with much Difficulty that he comprehended what I meant; although he had otherwise a most acute Judgment. For he argued thus; That the Use of Speech was to make us understand one another, and to receive Information of Facts; now if anyone said the Thing which was not, these Ends were defeated; because I cannot properly be said to understand him; and I am so far from receiving Information, that he leaves me worse than in Ignorance, for I am led to believe a Thing Black when it is White, and Short when it is Long. And these were all the Notions he had concerning that Faculty of Lying, so perfectly well understood, and so perfectly practised, among human Creatures." -- Jonathan Swift, A Voyage to the Houyhnhnms, 1726

" ought to recognize that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end … Political language – and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists – is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."  -- George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," 1946

Lying and the degradation of political language weren't new in 2016, or when Roth wrote about them in 1971, or when Orwell wrote about them in the 1940s, or to Swift in the the 18th Century, but that doesn't mean we should stop trying to fight against them by pointing out examples whenever and wherever they appear.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Is it time to see Donald Trump's school records (as well as his tax returns)?

As a quick reminder, back in 2012 when Donald Trump's racist call for Obama's birth certificate lost traction, he started his racist call for Obama's school records (because, of course, a black man could not possibly get into Columbia and Harvard Law without unfair affirmative governmental action).

Now it's becoming clear that we probably need to see the new PEOTUS's school transcripts before he takes office on January 20th. Specifically, there are so many questions about whether he has ever taken and passed a single class in history or civics. His latest blunder tonight was speaking directly with the President of Taiwan, possibly by accident, reversing 40 years of foreign policy and conceivably antagonizing China before he has even moved into the White House.

Just three days ago, he showed a complete lack of knowledge on a couple of pretty simple constitutional points, flag burning (constitutionally-protected 1st Amendment speech) and revoking citizenship (not a legal punishment), in one quick tweet triggered by his heavy diet of watching Fox News:

His love of Old Glory doesn't mean that he has any greater knowledge about its simple history either, of course. He famously didn't know what the thirteen stripes symbolized in 2008. That fact, if I remember correctly, is probably covered in second-grade textbooks.

This list could easily include hundreds of similar items spread out over every week of this year's campaign. We probably do need to see Donald Trump's complete school records (and his tax returns) before January 20.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Recipe from PETA and Peggy Glenn:

Happy Fucking Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Greetings from the PEOTUS

Sent in 2013, before Donald Trump was the President Elect Of The United States:

I'm sure that he still wishes all of us 'haters and losers' a Happy Thanksgiving again this year, doesn't he? We can hope.

Monday, November 21, 2016

If you don't want Donald Trump to attack you, just say the magic words, "Hail Trump!"

On Saturday night, at the Ronald Reagan Building in the heart of the District of Columbia, this meeting of alt-right Trump supporters from the National Policy Institute took place, making it clear that alt=neo and right=Nazi, even lapsing into German and Sieg Heil salutes in case that formula wasn't previously apparent.

The duty of President-Elect Donald Trump would seem to be obvious -- offer a clear, complete, specific, and immediate repudiation of these supporters, but I guess we shouldn't be surprised that he had more important things on his mind during this weekend of his busy transition period.

On Saturday and Sunday mornings, the most important thing for @realDonaldTrump to tweet about was the fact that the Vice-President-Elect had been booed by some of the audience at Hamilton on Friday night and the cast had given a short post-show speech. The man who famously never apologizes predictably whined for an apology in three consecutive tweets over two days.
After venting about the need for precious snowflake VP Elects to have safe and special spaces, you would think he would have time to give one half-assed short Twitter rebuttal of his neo-Nazi fanboys, but he was distracted by another cultural atrocity on Saturday night, Saturday Night Live.
There's nothing surprising about Donald Trump's thin skin, but there is so much wrong with this SNL tweet: 1) Republicans are supposed to be as opposed to the equal time Fairness Doctrine as they are to Safe Spaces; 2) Equal Time is not really a consideration once the election is over; and 3) Donald Trump was literally THE HOST of Saturday Night Live on November 7, 2015. We have a President Elect who has no understanding of, or respect for, the First Amendment.

UPDATE 11/22 at 8am:
The stubby little Twitter fingers of @realDonaldTrump still haven't addressed the Nazis speaking in his name, but he did roll off the wrong side of the bed early this morning and took three more shots at the nation's one essential newspaper, The New York Times.

Rick Perry to become Secretary of Oops in the Trump Administration?

According to some reports (this link is from the CBS affiliate in Austin, Texas), Rick Perry is being considered for the positions of Secretary of Defense or Secretary of Energy.

The most famous moment of Rick Perry's 2012 campaign for the White House (before he started wearing eyeglasses to make himself look more intelligent) came at the November 9, 2011, CNBC Republican debate when he attempted to list the three cabinet departments that a President Perry would eliminate. They were the departments of "Commerce, Education and the unh ... and unh, what's the third one there?" He couldn't remember his own proposal to do away with the Department of Energy.

RICK PERRY: But the fact of the matter is we better have a plan in place that Americans can get their hands around. And that's a reason my flat tax is the only one of all of the folks -- these good folks on the stage -- it balances the budget in 2020. It does the things to the regulatory climate that has to happen. And I will tell you, it's three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education, and the unh ... unh what's the third one there? Let's see.
RON PAUL: You need five.
PERRY: Oh, five, OK. So Commerce, Education, and the.. unh unh unh
PERRY: EPA, there you go.
JOHN HARWOOD: Seriously, is the EPA the one you were talking about?
PERRY: No, sir, no, sir. We were talking about the unh agencies of government -- the EPA needs to be rebuilt. There's no doubt about that.
HARWOOD: But you can't -- but you can't name the third one?
PERRY: The third agency of government I would -- I would do away with, Education, unh the unh ...
ROMNEY: Commerce.
PERRY: Commerce and, let's see. I can't. The third. I'm sorry ... Oops.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Best Video on YouTube

This video from the early months of the Obama White House is even more bittersweet as those eight golden years are in their final months.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

kak·is·toc·ra·cy. The TBL Word of the Day

Why aren't we hearing the word 'kakistocracy' more often since last Tuesday's vote? Even better than plutocracy or aristocracy or oligarchy, speaking about a government of the kakistos (Greek for 'the worst'), seems so much more appropriate in November of 2016 than talking about government by the ploutos, aristos, or oligos.

It may seem slightly unfamiliar to many today, but kakistocracy is a word that everyone will have added to their everyday vocabulary by inauguration day.

In other big vocabulary news from Oxford Dictionaries, yesterday they announced a 2016 Word of the Year that also had Trumpian and Brexit echoes: 'Post-truth'

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Your semi-regular reminder that there are Americans stupid enough to believe the National Enquirer....

...and they all voted for Donald Trump last Tuesday.
"Hillary & Huma GOING TO JAIL!" Headline on the 11/21/2016 issue
of National Enquirer seen at the supermarket on November 15, 2016.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

One Thing We Can Do Today.

I had a plan for this morning. Though I'm a digital subscriber to The New York Times, I was going to run out early and buy a print copy of today's paper with its headline about America's first woman president. I was going to put it away with these copies from 2008 for my one-year-old granddaughter.

Yes, We Did.

I have no desire to buy (or even see) a print copy of the Times this morning, but I have another plan. I want anyone who reads this to think about subscribing to the Times or the Washington Post, or your local newspaper that probably endorsed Hillary Clinton along with every major print publication in the nation.  In many ways, last night's result was a victory of the illiterate reality-television world over the world of printed words. Subscribe to the Times if only to prove the man wrong who unfailingly and gleefully refers to this essential national publication as the "failing @NYTimes" whenever he tweets about it.

I don't work for the Times or the Washington Post or any other newspaper, but I consider subscribing to at least one paper as a civic duty of anyone concerned about the First Amendment. Think about it as a non-deductible charitable contribution if you need to. Think about it the same way you think about contributing to your local PBS or NPR station. We need them all all the time, but we will need them all even more over the next four years.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Many People Are Saying That This Is One Conspiracy Theory That Actually Makes Sense.

If Donald J. Trump can't read, it would explain a lot.

Happy 73rd to Joni Mitchell.

We all need a little bit of non-election news today, don't we?

Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it's the time of man
I don't know who I am
But you know life is for learning
We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Friday, November 04, 2016

The FBI needs to be kept under control of civilian authorities.

With the election coming in less than four days, it's too late to take any pre-election action against a rogue Federal Bureau of Investigation that seems to be trying to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump with selective last-minute leaks and innuendos, but the FBI is going to have to be put under control after the election.

The 44th President Barack Obama will not be the first chief executive to have concerns about an out-of-control secret federal police force.

Here's the 33rd President, Harry Truman, addressing the Federal Bar Association in April 1950:
"Now I am going to tell you how we are not going to fight communism. We are not going to transform our fine FBI into a Gestapo secret police. That is what some people would like to do. We are not going to try to control what our people read and say and think. We are not going to turn the United States into a right-wing totalitarian country in order to deal with a left-wing totalitarian threat."
It's probably not too much of a stretch to assume that J. Edgar Hoover was at least one of the people Truman had in mind when he suggested that "some people" would like to turn the FBI into a Gestapo-like agency. The FBI can't be expected to police itself, or limit its own power. But somebody has to do it.

Monday, October 31, 2016

"The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!"

This remark of Bernie Sanders' about Hillary Clinton's emails from last October will probably go down as the quotation of the 2016 election, and it's even more true today than it was a year ago as the cable media continue to give wall-to-wall coverage to the "email controversy" to give her contest with Donald Trump the appearance of closeness in these last two weeks.

Monday, October 24, 2016

"...suppress the the Trump..."

I felt I needed to grab and preserve an image of the following tweet from the entity tweeting as "@realDonaldTrump" this morning before it is corrected.
"Major story that the Dems are making up phony
polls in order to suppress the the Trump . We are
 going to WIN!" @realDonaldTrump 24 Oct 2016
Not only is the idea of "phony polls" supporting his fiction of an upcoming rigged election classic Trump, as is the capitalized "WIN!" and the citing of an unnamed "major story" to support his unsupportable rant, but it reaches legendary Trump tweet status with the vaguely Freudian typo about his fear of people out to "suppress the the Trump." The combination of egotism and paranoia in that strange combination of words needs professional exegesis, but it's clear that this tweet belongs in his hall of twittering fame.

Reading it earlier, I couldn't resist one more quick response from the Trump Tweet Translator that makes a regular appearance on the Twitter feed of @TrueBlueLiberal:

Friday, October 21, 2016

Leonard Cohen in the Record Stores Today!

This is not only a musical, but a literary event:

I'm heading out to buy my copy at lunchtime.

Bill & Don's Excellent Adventure in Voting

Back on August 13, I asked here, "Is there any proof that Donald Trump ever voted (before voting for himself)?" There were real reasons two months ago that I had to bring his familiarity with the process into question.

This morning, however, I stumbled on this video of a very short-tempered Donald himself actually voting (or attempting to vote) at various locations on the Upper East Side in November 2004 ... with a camera crew and the notorious Billy Bush at his side. While he does finally vote (or at least fill out a provisional ballot) by the end of the video, this still doesn't inspire a lot of confidence about his knowledge and familiarity with the mechanics of the process that he is now loudly questioning.

The frame of this video is interesting too. Billy Bush and his co-host Kit Hoover at Access Hollywood are in the studio on election day of 2012 looking back at Donald's antics of 2004 and giving an update about Donald's current (2012) racist attempt to get Barack Obama to release his college transcripts and passport documents.

"Your vote is one vote. His vote is a GIANT vote." --Billy Bush, Election Day 2004

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Michelle Obama has given the two best speeches of 2016

The first was, of course, her "When they go low, we go high" speech at the Democratic National Convention.

The second was at noon today in Manchester, New Hampshire:

The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for president of the United States who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning, I simply will not repeat anything here today. And last week we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can’t believe that I’m saying that. A candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women and I have to tell you that I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted. So while I’d love nothing more than to pretend like this isn’t happening and come out here and do my normal campaign speech, it would be dishonest and disingenuous for me to move on to the next thing like this was all just a bad dream. This is not something we can ignore. It’s not something we can sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. Because this was not just a lewd conversation. This wasn’t locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior. And actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us are worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV. And to make matters worse, it now seems very clear this isn’t an isolated incident. It’s one of countless examples of how he has treated women his whole life. I have to tell you that I listened to all this. And I feel it so personally. And I’m sure that many of you do too. Particularly the women. The shameful comments about our bodies. The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect. The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman. It is cruel. It's frightening. And the truth is, it hurts. It hurts.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Happy 99th Birthday to Thelonious Monk!

"Round Midnight" from the Thelonious Monk Quartet (with Charlie Rouse, tenor sax; Larry Gales, bass; and Ben Riley, drums) live in Norway in 1966.

Familiarity with Monk should be part of every American's education. This is what makes America great in the eyes of the world.

"Million Dollar Loan" from Death Cab For Cutie

This song about a certain free-falling presidential candidate that appeared today from Death Cab For Cutie pretty much speaks for itself:

You hate to hit a man when he's down ... unless that man is Donald J. Tr*mp.

Friday, October 07, 2016

I don't want to get all braggadocious*, but...

I saw the following favoriting of a tweet show up in my Twitter notifications today and I was a little bit confused, because I did not remember responding to a tweet of @realDonaldTrump's about Hurricane Matthew currently off the coast of Florida.

It took me a moment to note the 2012 date and realize that this was my response to Donald Trump using Hurricane Sandy as his reason for extending his racist call for President Obama's college and passport documents. Again, not to be all trumpy and braggadocious* about it, but I'd like to pat myself on my own back for pointing out that Donald Trump was "the worst human being now living on the planet" four years before that simple truth became a universally-acknowledged fact.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Another Twitter Poll...

In honor of Donald Trump's love and respect for unscientific online polls, such as those that gave us yesterday's hilarious "#TrumpWon" hashtag, here's another:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Last night's debate summarized by a 36-second video from January...

Last night at Hofstra, Donald Trump's constant sniffles (which he retroactively blamed on the microphone) and the issue of consistently cheating workers were two of the highlights of his resounding debate loss.
In the following video we see last night's 90 minutes on Long Island previewed by 36 seconds in Pensacola on January 13th.

Monday, September 26, 2016

And have we all forgotten "John Miller" already?

This is just to refresh everyone's memory as we're less than 12 hours from the first debate.
If there were tapes from 1991 of Hillary Clinton pretending to be "Johanna Miller" in order to brag about herself to a reporter in the third person, wouldn't we still be hearing every day about how it destroys her credibility? And her sanity?

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Trump Family and the First Amendment

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The Twitter page of Little Donny Junior, famous shooter of elephants and inheritor of wealth and a notorious name, has recently attracted more traffic because of an infamous tweet comparing Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles. When you get to his page, you're confronted with his pinned tweet from last March, les mots he finds the most bon:
I'm only able to refer to this dark-haired scion of the Trump dynasty (pronounced with a "din" rather than with a "dine" to make it sound classier) as Fuckface Von Clownstick Junior because I have not given away my First Amendment rights by signing the infamous Trump non-disclosure, non-compete, and non-disparagement agreement that all employees and volunteers of the Trump campaign must sign, even those who only make phone calls and never actually meet a Trump. This entire agreement is worth reading, but the key clause is the lifetime gag order contained in paragraph two.
2. No Disparagement. During the term of your service and at all times thereafter you hereby promise and agree not to demean or disparage publicly the Company, Mr. Trump, any Trump Company, any Family Member, or any Family Member Company or any asset any of the foregoing own, or product or service any of the foregoing offer, in each case by or in any of the Restricted Means and Contexts.

Sign this agreement and you'll never be able to tweet a bad word "even if fictionalized" about the scams of Trump "University" or the Trump Steak that gave you Mad Cow Disease, without risking a lawsuit from the aggressive Trump legal team. And (I hate to even type these next eight words) if Donald Trump is elected to the presidency, you will be legally enjoined from demeaning or defaming him; that's not exactly in the spirit of the First Amendment, is it Donny?

Where does he stand on the other aspects of the First? Would it be establishing religion to "guarantee" that "if  I become President we'll be saying Merry Christmas at every store...Every store"?

Could it be considered favoring the establishment of a state religion to talk about "one people, under one God, saluting one flag" when speaking to the conservative Christian Values Voters Summit?

Is it in the spirit of freedom of the press for a presidential candidate to threaten to sue the nation's most serious newspaper for having the temerity to investigate his many shady business practices?
This is not a man who has any real understanding of, or love for, what freedom of the press means:
It's not only the sacrilegious mentions of the Trump name that might lead to crackdowns on press freedom; he even blamed freedom of the press for contributing to terrorism earlier this week.

That leaves the question of his views toward peaceful assembly. He has supporters who are happy to take care of protesters, and he's happy to give them directions from his bully pulpit:

How might he use that pulpit if he were to attain the most powerful podium in the world?

Happy Birthday to John Coltrane

He would have been turning 90 today.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

This Week's True Blue Liberal Twitter Poll Is Live...

With Newsweek releasing a major story about the Trump Organization's foreign entanglements today, and New York Attorney General announcing a probe of the Trump Foundation's shenanigans last night, it seemed like a good time to ask the following question:

Friday, September 09, 2016

Trump knows all about "reducing generals to rubble"

"I think under the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the generals have been reduced to rubble." --Donald Trump at NBC's "Commander in Chief Forum," September 7, 2016

Just as Donald Trump has gained a tremendous amount of foreign policy experience by owning the Miss Universe pageant (not just "Miss World," but "Miss UNIVERSE"!), as a young tycoon in the 1980s he also learned a great deal about generals by owning a stable full of Generals (specifically the USFL's New Jersey Generals), and in reducing them and their football league to rubble.

Happy Birthday to Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (September 8, 1945 – March 8, 1973)

Here's Pigpen singing 'Easy Wind' with the Grateful Dead in 1970:

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Satori in the Supermarket

An awful epiphany rolled over me as I was on the checkout line with my lunchtime salad just now. If my local supermarket stocks Donald Trump's favorite newspaper every week, then some customers may be doing more than snickering over its ridiculous cover stories. Some people may actually be buying the National Enquirer and taking it home and opening it up. Even worse, some of those people may actually find its incredible stories credible.

Seen at a supermarket on September 8, 2016.

I have obviously been underestimating the level of stupidity surrounding us on a daily basis. I knew theoretically that many Americans claim to not believe in evolution or climate science or the need for using correct English spelling and grammar in conservative tweets; the Republican convention introduced me to a counterculture of reality-television duck hunters and other "celebrities" existing in a parallel cultural universe; I even half-believed that some people watch pro wrestling and NASCAR and the NFL as if they aren't fixed; but today it hit me on a gut level that there are even people who might look at this Photoshopped picture of Hillary Clinton* on today's checkout line and read (skim) the article about "Hillary's FULL MEDICAL FILE!" and believe its lies about her "3 Strokes, Alzheimer's, Liver damage from booze, and Violent rages," and one of those credulous readers might be Donald Trump. 

Millions of other gullible readers might be enthusiastic Trump voters ready to usher in the idiocracy on November 8.

*Though today's Gaunt Hillary was last month's Fat Hillary.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Happy Anniversary to Blues for Allah, released on September 1, 1975

If a record company attempts to release any album containing the word "Allah" during the upcoming Trump presidency, they will face some extreme vetting. Extreme. Extremely extreme. Vetting.

Some come to laugh their past away
Some come to make it just one more day
Whichever way your pleasure tends
if you plant ice you're gonna harvest wind

Weighty Questions Being Weighed by National Enquirer

Seen at the supermarket
on August 11, 2016.
Why is Donald Trump's newspaper of record so obsessed this month with running fictional stories about the weight of the most prominent Democratic women?
Seen at the supermarket today, September 1, 2016.

There is no way that Michelle Obama has gained 95 pounds this year or that Hillary Clinton has gained 103 pounds, no matter how skilled the Enquirer's Photoshop magicians may be. Could this have anything to do with Donald Trump's own health, or questions about his official sub-200-lb weight?

The nation's favorite checkout-counter reading endorsed Donald Trump in March, and he returned the favor in July.
"I've always said, Why didn't the National Enquirer get the Pulitzer Prize for Edwards, and O.J. Simpson, and all of these things?" -- Donald J. Trump, July 22, 2016

UPDATE 7/19/2022: My original video link from 2016 has gone black, so here's another link from Mediaite with Trump's praise of the Enquirer: