Sunday, February 26, 2017

Poll: How will Trump's first speech to Congress go off the rails?

We all know that Donald Trump's first appearance before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday will be a train wreck, and that it will go off the rails early, but we don't yet know exactly how it will leave the tracks.

These seem to be two of the most obvious possibilities:

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Today's Twitter Poll about Steve Bannon

A quick one-day Twitter poll to go along with yesterday's video insight into Trump's Rasputin via The Big Lebowski:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sorry Chuck, but your'e [sic] wrong.

There are certain grammatical tics by which our right-wing brethren reveal themselves on social media, but you have to give @realDonaldTrump's fellow game show host turned conservative twitterer @ChuckWoolery some credit for making an effort to understand the difference between the contraction for "you are" and the second-person possessive adjective. In the slightly incoherent pinned tweet on his Twitter page, which he wrote almost a year ago, he did get all the correct letters of the contraction in the correct order, but he had a little bit of trouble with the placement of the apostrophe.
Screen grabbed on February 15, 2017 at 10:30am EST.
Good try Chuck. It's almost English!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New TrueBlueLiberal Twitter Poll About the Two Steves that Deserves to End in a Tie

I honestly don't know how I'd answer this:

The USA is exceptional (and almost 69 years behind the UK) in at least one area.

The National Health Service began on July 5, 1948.
I'm simply retyping the historic text of the page above in order to make it searchable and readable on all devices:

Your new National Health Service begins on 5th July. What is it? How do you get it?
    It will provide you with all medical, dental, and nursing care. Everyone--rich or poor, man, woman or child--can use it or any part of it. There are no charges, except for a few special items. There are no insurance qualifications. But it is not a " charity ". You are all paying for it, mainly as taxpayers, and it will relieve your money worries in time of illness.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Quotation of the Day -- and Slang Vocabulary Enrichment -- comes from John Waters

Maybe you knew before today, but until I read this in The Guardian, I had no idea what a 'Hair-Hopper' was.

When John Waters says that he has never watched a reality television show, Rebecca Nicholson asks him if he has really never seen The Apprentice, the show that brought Donald Trump to national prominence among America's couch-potato demographic.

 He answers:
“Never. No! I hated him before. I hate a hopper. A hair-hopper is someone who pretends they’re rich, who really wasn’t brought up very wealthy but now tries to brag that they’re rich, and they spend too much time on their hair.”

One more April Saturday in Washington, D.C.

Here's one update to the American Spring calendar I posted last week.

I saw a tweet from George Takei with a link to the Twitter page of @FIRE_THE_FOOL promoting their gathering on the National Mall on April Fools' Day (which falls conveniently on a Saturday this year, just like all these other anti-Trump actions).

Click to sign up for at least one or two, either in D.C. or at a local satellite location!

Friday, February 10, 2017

The True Blue Liberal Twitter Poll of the Week

Why is the current resident of the White House ignoring the most obvious and deadly group of terrorists in America?

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Professor Irwin Corey (7/29/1914--2/6/2017) and Thomas Pynchon's National Book Award

I was surprised to hear today that Professor Irwin Corey, "The World's Foremost Authority" and an absolutely unique comedian, has just passed away. Most of my surprise springs from the fact that I thought Professor Corey was 80 years old when I first saw him on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1966, more than fifty years ago. So, needless to say, I was more amazed that he had still been alive earlier this week, and only 102 years old, than long gone and 130 years old.

I immediately thought about the Professor's greatest moment (at least for someone whose favorite book is Gravity's Rainbow). The following video (with oddly appropriate German subtitles) even includes the audio of Irwin Corey impersonating Thomas Pynchon, or "Richard Python," at the 1973 National Book Awards ceremony and video of him reading the novel's opening lines.

Rest in Peace Professor.

How did I not know that February 7 is "International Clash Day"?

Rolling Stone let me know about the International Clash Day holiday today. It was new to me, but I'll be sure to mark my calendar so that I remember to take off from work to celebrate next year.

What are we gonna do now?
Taking off his turban, they said, is this man a Jew?
'Cause they're working for the clampdown
They put up a poster saying we earn more than you!
When we're working for the clampdown
We will teach our twisted speech
To the young believers
We will train our blue-eyed men
To be young believers
The judge said five to ten-but I say double that again
I'm not working for the clampdown
No man born with a living soul
Can be working for the clampdown
Kick over the wall 'cause government's to fall
How can you refuse it?
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?
The voices in your head are calling
Stop wasting your time, there's nothing coming
Only a fool would think someone could save you
The men at the factory are old and cunning
You don't owe nothing, so boy get runnin'
It's the best years of your life they want to steal
You grow up and you calm down
You're working for the clampdown
You start wearing the blue and brown
You're working for the clampdown
So you got someone to boss around
It makes you feel big now
You drift until you brutalize
Make your first kill now
In these days of evil Presidentes
Working for the clampdown
But lately one or two has fully paid their due
For working for the clampdown
Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong! (working for the clampdown)
Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong! (working for the clampdown)
Yeah I'm working in Harrisburg
Working hard in Petersburg (working for the clampdown, working for the clampdown)
Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong!
Beggin' to be melted down
And I'll give away no secrets

And a bonus version of  'Clampdown' from Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello in 2014:

Monday, February 06, 2017

"109 Inconvenienced Passengers" is the Big Muslim-Ban Lie

As I type this there's another Republican spokesperson (Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida) on the PBS Newshour defending Donald Trump's Muslim Ban in the same terms used by all the Administration voices repeating the same strange justifications of a ill-conceived policy that many of them describe as "working out very nicely" despite obvious evidence to the contrary. The most annoying statement to me has been Sean Spicer repeating the strangely specific number of only 109 people inconvenienced at U.S. airports because they were in the air when the policy changed.

There are obviously tens of thousands of others stuck in foreign airports, refugee camps, intermediate waystations, or various stages of the multi-year vetting process who are now in limbo. Those are the people I heard described in the episode of This American Life I listened to in the car on the way home tonight. This hour of audio is so much more informative than any of the quick "insights" and factoids you'll hear in any of the televised back and forth from the usual suspects we're used to seeing on TV.

 (If the embedded This American Life player isn't showing up or working on your browser below, Click Here to go directly to Episode 609: "It's Working Out Very Nicely")

American Spring, or, We Can Do This Every Weekend!

Is your calendar also filling up with plans for the American Spring demonstrations and marchs in Washington, D.C. and around the nation in April? If not, here are links to some of the major events happening every Saturday starting on April 15th.

When I was in high school, I put up posters and handed out flyers for the upcoming Student Mobilization Committee/National Peace Action Coalition protests against the Vietnam War. I no longer have permission from any administrators to use Scotch tape on the walls of their school hallways, but I do have this blog and a Twitter account to keep spreading the word of new protests in the Age of Trump.  I hope to see many of you doing the same. And I hope to see many of you out in the streets.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Making Saturday Night Live Great Again!

I never believed in the summer of 2015 that Donald Trump was actually serious about running for president, and the fact that his kids couldn't figure out how to register as Republicans in the New York primary will always stand in my mind as proof of that. Some say it was just another attempt to increase the TRUMP brand's visibility, some say it was just an ego trip, some say it was part of a negotiating strategy with NBC over his Celebrity Apprentice contract, but I'm going to suggest another possibility: Maybe Trump was working with his employers at NBC to increase the appeal of a floundering Saturday Night Live franchise by giving it a joke presidential candidate to spice up an election year that was threatening to be a Bush vs. Clinton snoozefest.

The Alec Baldwin performances as Donald Trump gave SNL new life and high ratings as NBC employee Trump pretended to be offended, but the show reached a new height last night when the accidental president's press secretary Sean Spicer was portrayed by Melissa McCarthy. I've been watching SNL on and off since it began in 1975 and at the moment I can't think of anything funnier than this. I can't stop watching it.

Sorry Sean Spicer, but this is one of those defining performances. Just as no one can see Sarah Palin speak without thinking of Tina Fey's "I can see Russia from my house" imitation, no future press conference of yours will ever be seen without Melissa McCarthy's impression in the back of every viewer's mind.

Thanks SNL.

Update 2/5/2017 at 8pm:
The Trump/NBC conspiracy to Make SNL Great Again has officially succeeded.  According to Variety today, the show has its best ratings in 22 years thanks to Donald Trump's antics and attacks.

Friday, February 03, 2017

It's not too early to start the #NoIranWar movement. (Poll)

As long as unhinged hothead General Michael Flynn and alt-right Crusader Steve Bannon have the attention of the ear leading to the Propecia-addled brain of Donald Trump, the chances of an unprovoked military attack on Iran continue to grow.

I know where I stand on this, and for the next seven days you can vote in this poll.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

March For Science date has been set for April 22

So now we have a dilemma, or at least some of us do. I have already RSVP'd to travel 325 miles to the People's Climate March in D.C. on April 29; yesterday the organizers of the March for Science finally announced that their march date would be one Saturday earlier on April 22, which is a date with a ton of symbolic importance and historic significance, being Earth Day.

I'm not going to be the only one trying to choose between the two (I might be tempted to do the drive on both weekends if I weren't already committed to being in D.C. on May 6th as well). I just put up this quick 24-hour poll on Twitter to get some sense of where other people were leaning:

Of course, if you live in or near Washington, D.C., you have no excuse not to be at both marches.