Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"...Patty's only seen the sights a girl can see from Brooklyn Heights..."

After hearing the news about Patty Duke passing away today at the age of 69, here's the song I'll have stuck in my head for the rest of the day; it should be stuck in yours too.

Meet Cathy, who's lived most everywhere,
From Zanzibar to Barclay Square.
But Patty's only seen the sights
A girl can see from Brooklyn Heights — What a crazy pair!

But they're cousins,
Identical cousins all the way.
One pair of matching bookends,
Different as night and day.
Where Cathy adores a minuet,
The Ballet Russes, and crêpes suzette,
Our Patty loves to rock and roll,
A hot dog makes her lose control — What a wild duet!
Still, they're cousins,
Identical cousins and you'll find,
They laugh alike, they walk alike,
At times they even talk alike —
You can lose your mind,
When cousins are two of a kind.

(Sid Ramin / Bob Wells)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Birdie Sanders

On a day in which the internet was aflame with the National Enquirer's #CruzSexScandal and Donald Trump's relentless misogyny, I got home from work to find this video from today's Bernie Sanders rally in Portland, Oregon.

"I think...I think there may be some symbolism here.
I know it doesn't look like it,
but that bird is really a dove
asking us for world peace. No more wars."
-- Bernie Sanders, 25 March 2016

While Bernie Sanders gives the little avian attention hog a loving smile, I can't help picturing Donald Trump flinching backward and letting one of his bald goons "take care" of the little feathered creature. That, of course, would never happen. Birds are far from stupid. Birds know kind people and they know to give the unkind a wide berth.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Brussels :"Pulvérisés sur l’autel de la violence éternelle "

In regard to today's terrorist attacks in Brussels, I don't have any pronouncements as important as the prescriptions for more torture from Donald Trump or Muslim-neighborhood harassment from Ted Cruz, but I can't get this song from 2002 out of my mind, so I'll share this.

"Manhattan-Kaboul" was specifically about one anonymous victim of the 9/11 attacks in Manhattan and another young victim of the violent US response against Afghanistan, but today's events are an extension of the continuous cycle of violence that Renaud and Axelle Red sing about here. The fact that Renaud is a Parisian and Axelle Red is Belgian only adds to the fact that this seems the essential song for the day (at least for me, but I've been an Axelle Red fan for for a long time).

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Trumpism of the Day

The quote of the day from the improbable GOP frontrunner came during an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program yesterday. When asked to name his foreign policy advisors, Trump answered:
“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things."
Hearing that, one can't help but wonder where that very good brain gets its data. Unfortunately, I think we already know. As with the people who support him, he admitted on CNN back on August 19th that he learns much of what he knows about the world from watching TV (which, until his highly-publicized romantic breakup with Megyn Kelly, meant an almost exclusive diet of Fox News' paranoid world view):

Finding this screen grab from last summer made me realize that we can all learn a lot from watching television; Mr. Trump seems to have gained some weight on the campaign trail. Hasn't he learned yet that all seasoned politicians are experienced bulimics who vomit out their endless trail of obligatory campaign meals and required ethnic snacks?

Update at 3:30pm EDT
The foreign-policy-expert/candidate now also gets bonus bogus information from unverified internet postings as well as his television!


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Time for Dave to Rescind this "Apology" to Trump?

Is it time for David Letterman to repeal this half-assed 2012 apology to Donald Trump for having called him a racist on an earlier show?

In case you're wondering why David Letterman had called the slumlord dope a racist, it goes back to Trump questioning President Obama's intelligence:

 "I heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?... I'm thinking about it, I'm certainly looking into it. Let him show his records." -- Donald Trump, April 25, 2011
The insinuation plays into some of the deepest and most common racist resentments -- that somehow a less-intelligent black man was given the place at Columbia University and Harvard Law School that could have gone to a more deserving white right-wing nutjob or a rich child using the more traditional forms of affirmative action known as nepotism and family ties to grease his or her easy path through Yale University and Harvard Business School, or Wharton.

"My point is, it's all fun, it's all a circus, it's all a rodeo, until it starts to smack of racism, and then it's no longer fun." David Letterman on Donald Trump April 28, 2011.  
The quote comes at the 1'30" point in the video up above, but watch the whole thing to see how Letterman won't let Dr. Phil jokingly let his friend Donald off the hook. "If he comes back on this show -- and I'm not sure we want him back on the show under those circumstances -- he ought to be prepared to apologize ... ought to be prepared to apologize just for that kind of behavior."

Speaking of apologies now in 2016, it's time for David Letterman to rescind his "apology" to Donald Trump in 2012, even if it was glib and obviously insincere.

Today in Corporate-Media "News"

Why should today be different from any other in our Trump-dominated media landscape?

From the @realDonaldTrump Twitter feed, 16 March 2016.

After ranting about "lies, deceit, viciousness" among the "disgusting reporters" who showed up for his incoherent victory speech last night, those lying, deceitful, and vicious reporters (or, at least, their ratings-obsessed corporate overlords) are anxious to have the short-fingered vulgarian on their screens again this morning. The media were also told that last night's event was supposed to be a press conference, but the candidate took no questions from the reporters he berated in front of his tuxedoed and bejeweled guests at his Mar-a-Lago Club.
If the media had any guts, they'd be giving all their airtime to John Kasich this morning and ignoring this man who bullies them into lying on their backs in submission.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Combining Shakespeare Week with la Semaine de la Langue Française et de la Francophonie

England this week is celebrating Shakespeare Week and across the channel the week is dedicated to the French language and French speakers throughout the world. Rather than start another Hundred Years' War over these competing celebrations, here's the most famous scene from a Shakespeare play written and performed in French (this performance from Branagh's 1989 Henry V features Emma Thompson as Katherine de Valois and Geraldine McEwan as Alice):

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

de•us ex ma•chi•na -- The TBL Word of the Day.

Mitt Romney recently tried to play this deus ex machina role for the Republican Party's current trumpsterfuck of a primary season, but the GOP is going to need something a little more Zeus than machine to solve their Donald problem.

A hat tip to Episode 18 of the Folger Library's Shakespeare Unlimited podcast -- "Rarely Performed Shakespeare" -- which I was listening to at lunch time, and which discussed the deus ex machina of Jupiter descending on a eagle while throwing lightning bolts in Act 5 of Cymbeline.

Maybe Mitt should have channeled his inner Shakespearean Jupiter before dashing back to his beach house with the car elevators:
No more, you petty spirits of region low,
Offend our hearing; hush! How dare you ghosts
Accuse the thunderer, whose bolt, you know,
Sky-planted batters all rebelling coasts?

[The dictionary entry photographed above is from The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, Unabridged, 1987.]

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

The Twitterati Have Spoken! Cruz is more horrifying than Trump!

In a Twitter poll conducted by @TrueBlueLiberal yesterday that is every bit as scientific and accurate as any of the other polls that we've seen in 2016, Ted Cruz at 54% is officially more horrifying than the horrifying Donald J. Trump at only 46%.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Climate Change circa 1958

Maybe if President Trump or President Cruz succeed in taking the nation back to their dream decade of the 1950s, we can rediscover this film about human-induced global warming produced by Frank Capra for "The Bell Telephone Hour" in 1958:

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Today's Spelling Lesson from Trump University

And you don't even need to give Donald Trump $35,000 in tuition!

"You have lyin' Ted Cruz.
I call him.
I nicknamed him -- lyin'.
I say ly - in'.
How would you spell that?
L - Y - E - N.
With a big [making double airquotes with stubby fingers while pausing to search for the big word] apostrophe."
-Donald J. Trump, Wichita, Kansas, 5 March 2016

ESTA'BLISHMENT. The TBL Word of the Day

Establishment, a French word that is being used as an epithet by a billionaire from a rich family acting as an anti-establishment rabble rouser in the GOP primaries, seemed like a good word to examine today, using the first real dictionary of the English language.

Of course, though Samuel Johnson included six definitions of the word, he didn't include the meaning the word took on in the 1960s -- a meaning that is also being revived in this year's Democratic primaries.

[Today's dictionary entry comes from A dictionary of the English language : in which the words are deduced from their originals, and illustrated in their different significations by examples from the best writers : to which are prefixed, a history of the language, and an English grammar by Samuel Johnson, 1785, available online at The Internet Archive.]

Friday, March 04, 2016

vul•gar•i•an -- The TBL Word of the Day

Have a man and a noun ever been as perfectly matched as Donald J. Trump and vulgarian?
"A vulgar person, especially a prominent or wealthy individual with coarse or conspicuous tastes and manners."? Bingo.

Graydon Carter improved on The Donald's nickname in the pages of Spy magazine by giving him immortality as the short-fingered vulgarian in that short-lived monthly's pages. In last night's GOP debate on Fox News, the thin-skinned Trump once again erupted over the issue of his tiny hands and stubby digits (and what that might have to do with the size of his penis).

"He [Rubio] hit my hands. Nobody has ever hit my hands; I've never heard of this one. Look at those hands. Are they small hands? And he referred to my hands, 'If they're small, something else must be small.' I guarantee you, there's no problem. I guarantee." -- Donald J. Trump, 3 March 2016
He never heard any remarks about his short fingers before? That may be the biggest of his many lies. Marco Rubio referred to his hands because he knows what a sensitive area this has always been for Trump since a young age, when his little sausage fingers prevented him from reaching his true goal as a concert pianist.

To get back to the word of the day however, even if we hand Donald Trump the possibility that his fingers may be nearly normal size, there's no denying that he is the perfect illustration of a vulgarian.

[Today's dictionary entry comes from New Webster's Dictionary of the English Language, Encyclopedic Edition published by Delair Publishing, 1981, page 1114]

Thursday, March 03, 2016

trump•er•y - The TBL Word of the Day

Occasionally on Twitter I'll include definitions of words that are appropriate for the news of the day, such as this tweet from this morning related to the word trumpery:

Sometimes the words are less related to the news and simply a product of my love of dictionaries, but I like the idea of adding a TrueBlueLiberal word of the day on this blog (if only to keep me dedicated to updating this page more regularly). We'll see how long it lasts.

Meanwhile, please try to use today's word in a sentence.

[The dictionary entry photographed above is from The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, Unabridged, 1987, page 2030.]