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Hot Wingnut Monkey Love

Fox News is a fucking brothel fobbing itself off as a news organization. Roger Ailes got popped trying to diddle with airhead Gretchen Carlson and all-around horrible bitch Andrea Tantaros. Billo is going to be spending more free time with his falafel. Megyn Kelly, Greta Van Susteren and Alisyn Camerota have all gone elsewhere to find respectable journalism jobs after fighting the sexist culture at Fox.

Another worm has slithered out from under the Fox harassment rock. And I’m really grossed out, worse so than I am already.

To me, Roger Ailes looks like Baron Harkonnen from Dune:

heart plug 2

The idea of him canoodling with the Fox foxes makes for a fairly sickening tableau. I can see it, but he’s just a dirty old man with a lot of money.

For some reason, however, I can’t deal with the idea that Sean Hannity might be a sexual being.

He’s married going on 24 years. Who knew? And she’s not uncute. No kids, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t do it.

But that beady-eyed hairspray addict has a 24-year itch, apparently. And he’s feeling guilty about it so he picked a dog as his quarry.

Rumors of a divorce swirled in 2016 so all may not be well in House Hannity.

Those of you who were part of the blogosphere back when it was hot shit know who he tried to pick up.

Yup, Debbie Goddamned Schlussel. Try not to throw up in your mouth imagining these two human-shaped cephalopods moistening each other.

Debbie traded on her looks for a little while, doing the hottie conservative shtick:

sclhuss

After about seven drinks (one after the other, double fisted), she may still look like this. However, this is the only picture of Debbie Schlussel ever taken that looks good. To this day she heads her blog with it.

When you are sober or liberal, this is what you see.

debbie_schlussel-600x371

Eeeek! Double-bag that shit.

I’m vaguely aware that I might be being a sexist pig my own self. Oh well, nobody’s perfect. They are both plug-ugly inside and that’s what matters. Given the chance to make light of something like a Hannity/Schlussel coupling, I’ll go with it. It’s a hell of a lot easier than trying to finish anything else I’m not doing.

Thinning The Absurd

 

Regular lurkers here know that I came out against calling things “fake news”.

Oh, it’s not that it doesn’t exist. Our president is a regular consumer and producer of it.

But he and others have used a bit of rhetorical jiu-jitsu and now “fake news” is news you don’t want to hear or simply do not believe- even if it is true. It’s become one of Twitler’s favorite smears against news organizations who are up his ass. So I’ve decided I’m not going to play this game of what’s “fake” and what’s not and just discontinue use of the phrase anymore.

Now, I also said I wasn’t going to take a swing at a specific left-leaning news site because I am ideologically aligned with them, but I’m about to renege on that. I said that because I think some of the emerging farm team writers generate good content. The best political bloggers of the golden age of the ‘sphere got paying gigs long ago, leaving the medium dormant. Only pikers like me use personal desktop publishing to talk politics anymore. In its place today, we are seeing this second generation of political journalism that is being made possible by social media. These new farm team sites can pop up and piggyback upon each other and proliferate news and opinion on Facebook, where there are opportunities to grab the grail of websites-the click. Money and notoriety can follow.

This has caused, to put it lightly, problems.

When a click is all you are looking for, it’s very tempting to sensationalize your headline in order to get the most eyeballs. People are hungry for breaking news and exclusivity, and if there isn’t any of that around, some sites will simply create it. This is not “fake news” per se. It is merely misleading flotsam. And I think it’s just as pernicious as making things up out of whole cloth.

You’re blacking the eye of left-wing journalism, nay, journalism in general when you write a screaming headline that has the slimmest tangential relationship to the article you are writing.

I had to unfollow, unlike and de-link one of these sites today. Here’s the tease that caught my eye, from yesterday:

All 8 Supreme Court Justices Come Out Against Trump’s SCOTUS Pick

SAY WHAT?

Oboy, the Court is appalled by the machinations of Mitch McConnell to get Neil Gorsuch on the bench at any cost and they are speaking out! Yay!

*click*

What’s this? The fucking source material is THREE WEEKS OLD! It’s nothing but a retelling of the fucking story of the Court unanimously overruling an opinion written by Gorsuch. I fucking know about that! Fuck! Fuck this fucking site!

Can you relate?

You’re lying if you say you can’t. We have all been taken in by a site that preys on our emotions, imaginations and desires to desperately see something be true. The only truth is they got your click- and these manipulative motherscratchers didn’t worry about how they did it.

So, I have a job to do today. I’ve got to have a reckoning here and on Facebook and separate out the hyped-up chaff that is doing no one any good. As I said, there are some that do decent second tier work, but some are profiting off credulity in an irresponsible, unethical manner. We are living in an age when the outrageous is a possibility, and it’s getting harder to tell truth and nonsense apart because they look the same. So check and re-check before you give these fly-by-night operations more ad revenue.

 

 

Make-Believe

Donald Trump is going to die by his own hand. I think we’ve known this for a while.

Word is out that the Tomahawk strikes didn’t damage the runways of Al-Shayrat. Planes are still leaving from the base.

It’s turning out to be a rather expensive shot across the bow rather than a show of force.

But you wouldn’t know that by listening to President Numbnuts. He is satisfied with what was accomplished. A president wears many hats, and Trump has a construction helmet, complete with reflective vest, work boots and a spade in his collection. Check it-he’s an expert at public works:

“The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!”

When did you find that out- the last time you bombed a runway?

Donald, let me stop you at the word “reason”. I’ve been watching you for a bit now, and reasons and explanations are not your strong suit. I am no public works expert either, nor am I versed well in the destructive capabilities of our armaments. But I am pretty sure a thousand pound warhead makes a crater somewhat bigger than the ones you and I occasionally run over when we drive. Furthermore, a jet takes off at a rather high speed and I’m guessing that “filling and topping” is not something that can be done quickly or haphazardly. If I remember right, it took a few months, and a lot of concentrated resources and people to fix Baghdad International after we strafed it in 2003.

To wit: Tomahawks don’t make potholes. And a plane is not a car. Trump seems to think that a few shovelfuls of hot gravel is all it takes. Perhaps he has seen a hole in a road being repaired in Manhattan getting “filled and topped” from his limousine and drew an analogy. Adorable.

The Near-President needs to shut the fuck up. Desperate to spin the narrative of this story, he’s made a jackass out of himself yet again by injecting his moronic Twitter commentary into a very serious situation.

Surprise!

 

OK, Let’s Stop Using This Phrase

“Fake news”.

Culture, you’ve lost your right to use these words together.

We used to call this stuff “misinformation”, “tabloid journalism”, “hoaxes”, or just “lies”. Then 2016 happened, and the old-time press started calling internet bullshit “fake news”.

They didn’t realize it, but they birthed a monster, one that attacked its parents.

Perhaps you all remember a guy named Karl Rove. He is best known for helping the  soon-to-be second biggest fucking idiot ever to claim the title President get elected, George W. Bush. One of his trade secrets was how to deflect charges of weakness in his candidate. In Rove’s political parlance, the dictum was:

“Accuse your opponent of what they are going to accuse you of.”

It’s a peculiar form of what psychologists have called projection. And it is hard to combat.

It wasn’t too long ago when the term “low-information voter” entered the lexicon, brought into use by liberals.

Rush Limbaugh, who is smarter than I give him credit for, understood the power of those words together and since conservatives usually don’t have anything original to add to a conversation, used the HELL out of it until you only heard it in right-wing circles to describe liberals.

That’s about where we are with the words “fake news”. Maybe it isn’t liberals’ fault that the concept boomeranged on them, but we started overusing it, often in internecine warfare between the newest wave of left-wing political bloggers who often employ sensationalism to steal clicks from what is now the internet establishment. I’m not gonna name names here, because I believe that calling out lefty blog sites, however misleading they are, is part of what allowed the concept of “fake news” to slip the leash and become a weapon for conservatives.

The situation right now? Well, you all know. The President-the-fuck-Elect thinks that the august and, to be sure, often fatally flawed CNN is “fake news”. Low poll numbers are now fake news.

Fake news is now defined as something you don’t want to hear about irrespective of its veracity.

Its misuse is spreading like typhoid. Bill Donohue, who is a truly repugnant religious fuckwad, wants to help spread this redefinition of “fake news”. A gay man was fired from teaching at a Catholic school because he posted about his marriage on Facebook. Nobody asked him, but Donohue, ever the moral scold, couldn’t help inserting himself into the issue. He refuses to admit that men can get married because…because…oh, screw it, I’ll let him tell you:

“I know that the Catholic Church opposes same-sex marriage,” says Billard, “but I don’t think my commitment to my husband [sic] has any bearing on my work in the classroom.” [Note: husbands are men and wives are women, so if Billard’s partner is his husband, that would make him his wife, and no one really believes that to be true. The Catholic League does not tolerate fake news.]

The phrase has been reduced to meaninglessness. And it’s only going to get worse-it will prove to be an impossible box to close now that the titular leader of the country thinks anything disagreeable written about him is fake. We’re going to lose this war, liberals, because they are better at projecting than we are. We need to be more careful in the future how we use shorthand like this. We need to deal in facts more than we need to glibly call out lies. There’s probably enough people listening to win the next election.

 

Eye Of Newt

Yesterday, I talked a little bit about the possibility that Trump is purposefully distracting the media with outrageous tweets and playing up drama so he can assemble the Cabinet Of Darkest Evil and run away with the taxpayer’s money. I said I doubted he was that smart and I stick by that. For example, he’s hooked on Twitter like I’m hooked on Facebook. He’s locked in mortal combat with his detractors-even when they are 16 years old. He doesn’t like that he got caught with no evidence of the massive voter fraud that he alleged took place, so he asked people to prove that there wasn’t any.

Oh, brother. This is like people asking me to prove that God doesn’t exist after I ask for proof that he does. This is known in smart people circles as “trying to prove a negative”, which, as I understand it, is often not possible nor useful to a logical argument. I could make up just about anything, much like Mr. Trump-and demand proof that what I said is not true and you will not be able to do it if my claim is outrageous enough and beyond the realm of disprovability. Therefore: if you have no proof that God doesn’t exist, he must. It’s absurd on its face. If you have become an Internet ninja, you know that these logical fallacies are verboten, almost as bad as not knowing how to punctuate or use their/there/they’re correctly. Me, I’m still an apprentice ninja, because advanced formal logic involves word problems and math, neither of which I will ever be any good at. I can spot some of the easy ones, perhaps maybe someday I will be a better arguer.

Anyway, Newt Gingrich has come to his defense on Fox, and he is confident that Donald Trump is playing games with the media on purpose by pushing false or misleading information:

During an interview with Fox News, former House Speaker Gingrich said that Trump’s success on the show The Apprentice taught him how to play up the “tension” and “showmanship” surrounding his incoming presidency.

Gingrich explained that Trump diverts the media with “rabbits,” or unimportant stories to throw them off from pursuing real stories.

“[Trump] understands the value of tension. He understands the value of showmanship. And candidly, the news media is going to chase the rabbit. So it’s better off for him to give them a rabbit than for them to go find their own rabbit.”

I think from his perspective, that’s terrific. It gives everyone something to talk about.”

“He does not think of this as chaos. He thinks of this as creativity,” Gingrich added.

Try not to throw up or throw something after reading that.

Let me get this straight, Newt- what you are saying is: it’s OK for the president-elect to make up things, spread disinformation and dissemble…I mean, c’mon people, that’s just his style! It made great TV, so it’ll make a great presidency! What chaos?

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. From being the most dangerous Speaker of the House in modern history to flacking for the most mentally challenged man ever to assume the presidency.

Newt, I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to provide a little more proof that Donald Trump’s behavior is “creative”. In a twist of logic, it would be easier to prove that he isn’t. Just roll the tapes.

Follow Suit

What is Donald Trump?

It’s actually hard to know. Because you can listen to the man, and be befuddled by his musings. Then a whole bunch of professional apologizers and explainers burst from the woodwork to tell you what he actually said or meant.

Donald, at bottom is a fraud. He actually doesn’t know what he’s talking about-and that’s why he’s so hard to take and so hard to handle as a candidate. Really, it makes him a perfect Republican-there are some serious airheads who say amazingly stupid shit and are sitting members of Congress, for example. But he’s demonstrated absolutely no acumen indicating that he should be a president. None. Even George W. Bush knew how to give a moving speech off a teleprompter. Trump forgoes that technology, having convinced himself that authenticity is really the issue that separates voter from candidate. It may be in certain circles. But judging by the poll numbers of late, more people prefer experience, knowledge and poise over what is being passed off as “down to earth”, as if Donald Trump has ever walked even two feet in a working poor person’s shoes. Trump is a fake populist demagogue- promising privileged, uncritical, uneducated and unsophisticated people success, weapons, primacy, pride and all the blessings of God if they would but vote for him. People gravitate towards him because his rhetoric is as hopelessly fractured as the mindset of his adherents. He talks in sound bites that contradict each other. But his supporters never notice the lack of consistency contained in even a small bite of Trump truisms.

Anyway, here’s some classic Donald doublespeak that I found on Think Progress. He’s asked about freedom of the press. Now, Trump lives by the press; he’s saved absurd amounts of money by saying outrageous and unprecedented bullshit on the internet and on camera, and the major media purveyors couldn’t get enough of it. However, one of the things you must do as a conservative is have no respect for the media. This is where Donald ultimately dies by the press. The minute he began to turn on and abuse the mainstream media, they set out to destroy him, challenging his ramshackle policies, calling out his lies and distortions, and ceaselessly reporting the myriad scandals that he is embroiled in.OK. Here’s the transcript:

DEFEDE: Again you’ve brought up the press. In the past you have talked about wanting to amend laws to and rework things to make it easier to sue do you think there is too much protection allowed in the first amendment?

TRUMP: Well in England they have a system where you can actually sue if someone says something wrong. Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it. And i think we should go to a system where if they do something wrong… I’m a big believer tremendous believer of the freedom of the press. Nobody believes it stronger than me but if they make terrible, terrible mistakes and those mistakes are made on purpose to injure people. I’m not just talking about me I’m talking anybody else then yes, i think you should have the ability to sue them.

DEFEDE: So you’d like the laws to be closer to what they have in England?

TRUMP: Well, in England you have a good chance of winning. And deals are made and apologies are made. Over here they don’t have to apologize. They can say anything they want about you or me and there doesn’t have to be any apology. England has a system where if they are wrong things happen.

England? I don’t know why Trump is waxing thoughtful on the English press. I think he’s been hanging around Ben Carson too much or something. And Trump has not been stopped from bullying who he pleases for slander or libel. Generally, people go to press on things because there’s something to say. Now, supermarket tabloids corner the market on made up stories, and I guess to him the media looks like one giant Enquirer. But he misunderstands professional journalism. The majority of the media does not want to go to press with nothing substantial; credibility is the currency of coverage, despite what hayseed “ah don’ trus’ the MSM “wisdom wants you to believe. Being dishonest will ruin a media enterprise because of the public’s ability to associate freely with our outlets for information, unless you dig Fox News-in which case there’s enough suckers out there who don’t want to hear the truth. That is not the case here. Donald Trump hates the press because it tells the truth about him. But in this interview, he wants us to know that he loves freedom of the press. At any point, however, Donald would like to reserve the right to threaten it if it does not do his will. It’s a chilling interpretation of our constitutional rights. Outlets without lawyers on retainer and cash on hand will be silenced. He’s already bullied several tiny Internet sites with cease and desist threats that demand retractions and apologies.

If anything, our media isn’t tough enough. Perhaps it is because they have to deal in an industry that asks questions of the powerful that they pause and give deference. Maybe there isn’t enough thirst for rawer news, which is doubtful, since internet news is shaming old media as far as good journalism goes. But whatever the case, I don’t want Trump’s freedom of the press-no way-because that’s precisely what it isn’t. And I need a president who really means it when he says protect and defend the Constitution, not some slippery, aging crybaby playboy who’s looking for the ultimate power trip.

 

 

 

Capital Punishment

I didn’t get my degree in economics. Everything I know about the subject is like a fabric made of motley stitchings. I do what I can to know what I’m talking about. It’s complex. It involves math and countless variables. In America, we hate numbers like crushed tomatoes. There are people who pen hasty polemics that don’t show that the author understands the difference between the national debt and the deficit. And even when they do distinguish these large numbers, they don’t understand why we can sustain that debt and why it is important to global finance that it doesn’t get paid back too quickly, if it does so at all. It makes no sense on its face, but our debt makes the world hum-we are A Safe Bet. And we still finance at ass-kicking low rates.

Sustainable? I’m gonna pull a Donald Trump and say: look at the world. You see what’s going on. America is still great for the profit class-surprisingly stable- and that is a fucking ineluctable fact. Oh, sure, someday soon the house of cards we call capitalism will eventually collapse when labor can’t afford to buy its own products(we’re already halfway there) but for now, we are still an economic powerhouse that attracts investment. We will be part of tomorrow one way or another and the world knows it. And that truth transcends the numbers and the graphs. America has its thumb on the global economic scale, so worry not about the big scary zeroes, friends.

That’s all a circuitous way of coming around to talking about the goddamn Epipen. Does its saga make any sense?  When a private company makes a vital product, can it be relied upon to provide it in a responsible fashion? This is a question we should be asking when a company like Mylan risks the health of thousands to make millions.

You’ve all seen the story, no need to recap. It’s pretty obvious by now that Mylan got caught being super greedy. Everyone in the upper echelons gets paid when they retag the price of the auto-injector, their flagship product since 2007. This last time around though, they took such a big bite that everyone noticed. Now the company is under political fire for their gouging.

I understand and accept that every company has to include in its price several things, including profit. And I understand grudgingly that this profit must increase. Such is the nature of a growth-oriented economy. But damn, when you’ve got a consumer base that isn’t going anywhere, that is to say, a group that can get sick and die without your shit, hold your horses before you rob them. Slowly, slowly screw them over so they don’t notice or don’t mind.

Mylan has a lot of chutzpah. Their product’s component parts are valued at approximately twenty dollars. The delivery system is not their own invention-that would be some guy at NASA. Now they are tweaking the design of the original auto-injector so they can patent it. They pulled off an incredible marketing coup by tying federal grants to placement of the pen at schools. The FDA has shielded them from competition, swatting down several possible rivals. All while enjoying  inversion. So they are having a GOOD run. All the planets are aligned for continuing good fortune for Mylan Pharmaceuticals.

By the bloodless rules of supply and demand, Mylan can do whatever it wants as long as the market can hack it. And they have. Which brings us back to the question-should lifesaving medicine be exposed to market forces? After all, in other areas of the economy there are metrics in place for when regulators must step in, when trusts need busting, and when prices need some controllin’. Know what I say? If drug companies cannot mind their manners in the free martketplace, then they get an offer they can’t refuse. Buy them out. Take a controlling interest in the company. Am I suggesting a little socialism? Sure. A little red-line of sorts. Wouldn’t be the first thing we planned out. Some parts of it are too important to be left to the caprice of shareholder desires. Besides, they get most of their R&D budget from the government to start with. It’s at least in bad taste to be screwing over the taxpayer if you are in pharmacueticals.

My pinko dream may never need to come. Public outcry may be enough to shame the companies and our politicians into acting. I guess that’s the reason for the sudden decision by Mylan to produce a generic for its own product. Which, to this untrained mind, makes no sense at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throwing The ‘Book

I’m on a Facebook strike again.

The food pictures, the location-marking, the memes, it’s all got to go. Your friends are devolving into boring mush…at least when I was insane, I was entertaining. This type of crazy I’m talking about is the crazy of middling, where if anyone were honest with themselves about who they have become would stick a pistol in their mouth.

Hell, I bore myself. I shouldn’t add to that collective pain that urges us to be noticed.

So begins my Facebook fast-how long it will go on, I do not know. I may only last days, but I hope to get a few months in. I don’t even use it right-I have blocked so many annoying people that all I get constantly is the borderline psychosis of magazines like Salon, who don’t like editors.

This means I will be blogging some more. Hooray for my one constant reader!  For now, I will just do some more railing against religion and making fun of politicians who piss me off. Just like I did with Facebook…I just don’t want to be constantly tweaking the nose of what’s left of the hollowed out shells I call(ed) friends. Here, you have a choice-you even get to tell me off when I am wrong-which is against good FB etiquette, and a good as reason as any to get the hell off it since no one says what they really think.

Facebook delenda est! Let’s have a conversation, a good one.

 

Ghouls

Searching for upsides to Oregon? Look no further:

The deadliest mass killing in the state’s history had taken place a few miles away and to the staff and customers of the Roseburg Gun Shop it was clear they faced a grave threat – from Barack Obama.

Authorities had just discovered a cache of 13 weapons possessed by the shooter, Chris Harper Mercer, but the man they feared was thousands of miles away in the White House, plotting, as they saw it, to confiscate their weapons and leave them defenceless

“I’ve just ordered some more ARs,” said the owner, Candi Kinney, referring to assault rifles. “There’s always a rush on them after a big shooting. We can’t keep the stuff on the shelves.”

These sick fucks are exactly the people who happily sell deadly weapons to anyone with a pulse and a clean rap sheet. All “Roseburg” gun stores are complicit in these horrific murders. They have the sheer nerve to say that when these things happen that they are the solution, not the other way around. There’s no common sense to the gun argument anymore. Guns a problem? Get more! Being armed is an addiction that we can’t seem to tame.

Something is very, very wrong with us. How can one be so sanguine about selling the death tool after it has been used to assassinate so many people? I guess in the end, killing is business…and business, for slime like these shop owners, is good.

Another Bad Apple

Jeb Bush is a moron, just like his brother. How did he get a reputation as the smart Bush?

Bush sported his Apple Watch during a town hall meeting in Arizona on Thursday, and referenced it when asked about Obamacare.

“On this device in five years will be applications that will allow me to manage my health care in ways that five years ago weren’t even possible,” he said, pointing to his watch.

It could, for example, alert someone with bad blood sugar when they’re eating something they shouldn’t be eating. “You’re diabetic, you can’t do that,” Bush said, mimicking what the watch would say if someone chows down on a butterscotch sundae, for example.

The point of the illustration is to show how health care can become more manageable on the individual level and shift the entire health care system away from what he described as an overly complicated and enormous system.

“Obamacare makes that journey even harder,” he said, calling for the law to be repealed and replaced. “It’s so complex and so big.”

Questions I need answers to: Who’s going to provide these watches? Will there be Bushwatches like there are Obamaphones (which was a GWB program)? How the fuck can you manage the myriad types of illnesses and accidents that befall human beings with a motherfucking wristwatch? Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants specifics. Me too.

Here’s Jeb at the town hall, making a delectable word salad that might make Sarah Palin envious.

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