The Brain Attached to the Mouth

gibberish

In grade school, if you mentioned that you play the organ, you could expect to be queried on whether you also toot the skin flute. It’s just that way in grade school.

I hearkened back to those dismal days and laughed heartily when I heard Trump claim at a rally in Montana: “I don’t have a guitar or an organ. No organ.” Really – no organ? Just a prosthesis, perhaps?

As everyone knows, Trump gives bad speech. His rallies, where he sounds more like Jimmy Joe Jeeter than the president of the United States, feature the faithful hordes in MAGA gear who hang on his every word salad.

This block of words uttered from the puckered mouth of Trump in Montana had almost certainly been translated from Mongolian to Danish to Esperanto back to Mongolian then to English. Either that, or it’s the output of a seriously mis-wired brain. See if you can follow the path from Elton John to important brains while going through hockey and basketball.

“I have broken more Elton John records, he seems to have a lot of records. And I, by the way, I don’t have a musical instrument. I don’t have a guitar or an organ. No organ. Elton has an organ. And lots of other people helping. No we’ve broken a lot of records. We’ve broken virtually every record. Because you know, look I only need this space. They need much more room. For basketball, for hockey and all of the sports, they need a lot of room. We don’t need it. We have people in that space. So we break all of these records. Really we do it without like, the musical instruments. This is the only musical: the mouth. And hopefully the brain attached to the mouth. Right? The brain, more important than the mouth, is the brain. The brain is much more important.”

Get all of that?

I pity the translators who had to turn Trump hash into Korean during the Kim Jong-Un love-fest in Singapore.

TRUMP: I have broken more Elton John records, he seems to have a lot of records. And I, by the way, I don’t have a musical instrument. I don’t have a guitar or an organ. No organ.

TRANSLATOR (In Korean): Dotard says he stomped on the homosexual who wrote “Rocket Man.” He also admits – as our DPRK intelligence concluded – that he has no penis.

KIM: What an asshole.

TRANSLATOR (In English): Supreme Leader Kim wants you to stop playing war games with the South.

TRUMP: Sure thing. (Points to his head) The brain, more important than the mouth, is the brain.

TRANSLATOR (In Korean): Dotard seems to be quoting the Scarecrow from the “Wizard of Oz.”

KIM: Shit, I would have expected him to quote Toto.

TRANSLATOR (In English): Supreme Leader Kim wants you to lift sanctions.

TRUMP: We’ll see what happens. (Points to his mouth) This is the only musical: the mouth.

TRANSLATOR (In Korean): Dotard asked if you will insert organ into his mouth.

KIM: Time to go.

TripAdvisor circa 1941

Gudrun

Gudrun Burwitz, the daughter of Heinrich Himmler, died the other day at age 88. As the chief Nazi architect of the “Final Solution” to the Jewish problem, Himmler treated his young daughter at the time to visits to concentration camps. One such visit in 1941 included Dachau where 30,000 prisoners were put to death.

Little Gudrun who was about 11 years old wrote in her diary: “We saw everything we could. We saw the gardening work. We saw the pear trees. We saw all the pictures painted by the prisoners. Marvelous. And afterward we had a lot to eat. It was very nice.”

No doubt the guests at Dachau agreed wholeheartedly.

One can only wonder, however, what she might have written had TripAdvisor existed at the time.

“The rooms are tiny – not going to lie – but all have a window that opens with dark shutters to block out the sun. We saw a room with a bunk bed – each room has a very spacious latrine that is cleaned out at least once a year. The heating unit is strong and works great, as you can tell from the never-ending plumes of smoke from the stack. The best part is the overhead shower. WOW – a deluge! I give it five bent crosses!”

dachau-bunks
Bunkbeds at the W Hotel in Dachau

Posted in Obits, Politics | Tagged , | Comments Off

Musings on July 4

declaration

Confident that a Trump cock is bigger than a Hancock, the Orange Man chose July 4th to take his rightful place on the Declaration of Independence, ensuring that his Rorschach Test of a signature goes down as the hugest scribble in Colonial history.

And while he was at it, Trump underlined a few passages he pledged to investigate further, including “absolute Despotism,” “Cruelty & perfidy,” and “obstructed the Administration of Justice.”

3-2-1 Boom!

What would Independence Day be without the fireworks, which thanks to relaxation of laws and rules regulating their possession have sold at record numbers. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association , sales of fireworks to consumers in 2017 reached $885 million – an increase of 7 percent over 2016, and up over 100 percent since states began to expand legality of explosive devices.

When I was a young boy – the kind of person who wants fireworks more than any other demographic – all fireworks designed to blow up were verboten in Pennsylvania. We could light sparklers and black snakes, but not a silver-tube or an M-80, as those products actually exploded.


This was the extent of our fireworks enjoyment in Puritan Pennsylvania.

If someone wanted that kind of contraband they had to drive 30 minutes to Ohio where the rednecks there sold practically every type of fireworks. My friend’s father was one such mule, transporting hundreds of dollars worth of Chinese-made, often low-quality fireworks – many of which failed to explode at the last second, tempting kids into relighting a two millimeter long fuse. And what could go wrong with that?

Eventually, as with lottery tickets and casino gambling, states that restricted sales of fireworks realized they were playing the patsies to bordering states with more liberal laws. Now the map of the country as it applies to fireworks looks like this (curiously, Ohio is now among the most restrictive purveyors):

fireworks

With that much “blue” across the country, the fireworks business (sorry, pyrotechnics industry) should enjoy revenue growth for years to come.

Let’s give them a hand.

hand

Posted in Business, Politics | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Wharton Wants its Diploma Back

trumpharley
Trump in his riding garb, ready to mount his Harley – and then fuck the company that made it.

Harley-Davidson, once upon a time a darling in Trump’s orbit for making iconic motorcycles in America, has now incurred the wrath of the vindictive Orange man. And how did that happen? Harley exhibited the temerity to behave like a for-profit company whose leaders are charged with fiduciary responsibility to shareholders. It’s a concept a Very Stable Genius businessman should understand and embrace, not vilify.

When the European Union retaliated against Harley and other U.S.-based companies for Trump’s tariffs on their metals and other goods (and who could ever have seen that coming?), Harley indicated that they might have to move production of some motorcycles destined for the EU – to the EU. About one-sixth of Harley-Davidson’s revenue comes from sales of bikes to Europeans – a significant slice that Trump put into serious jeopardy with his “national security” tariffs.

To have a chance at saving that portion of their revenue stream, Harley might have to move the production to avoid the EU tariff that would slap thousands to the cost of American-made bike. That’s not un-American – that’s as American as the Wharton School of Business (as anyone who supposedly attended should know.)

But while Trump was throwing around veiled threats in response to Harley’s supposed disloyalty (“Harley Davidson, please build those beautiful motorcycles in the USA, please, OK? Don’t get cute with us. Don’t get cute.”), his illustrious Treasury Secretary, Steve “the Munchkin” Mnuchin opined as follows: “I can’t possibly understand why Harley would be moving production outside of the United States at this point.”

Really, Steve-o? You can’t possibly understand why a company would make business decisions based on market forces? I guess that’s what makes you one of Trump’s “best people” along with protector of the environment Scott Pruitt and Ejucayshun Secretary Betsy DeVos.

By the way, Trump has to be the first person ever to accuse Harley-Davidson – the preferred supplier to the Hell’s Angels – of being “cute.”

Roe v Trump

Sadly, Trump has another opportunity to put a Neanderthal on the Supreme Court now that Anthony Kennedy has submitted his resignation with the understanding Trump would respect the Justice’s legacy (Kennedy also purchased a stake in the Trump Brooklyn Bridge.)

Of course the Jesus-lovers squirted in their pants (or in some cases, on an altar boy’s face) at the notion that someone who will overturn Roe v. Wade is only moments away from joining the court. Early rumors had it that Trump was planning to nominate Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade until someone told him he was dead (and on second thought, Trump decided that as Wade was the “loser” in Roe v. Wade, he’d pass.)

One such squirter is Iowa’s Greg Heartsill, a conservative State Representative who has been pushing for a new law in his state that would prohibit abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected – usually around six weeks into a pregnancy. He hopes the legislation, which was recently signed into law could eventually overturn Roe v. Wade.

heartsill

Heartsill said, “What we are asserting in Iowa with this legislation is that if you have a heart beat you have a life, and if you have a life the government is bound by the constitution to protect that life and ensure equal protection under the law.”

Curiously, Greg carves out an exception for certain people with a heartbeat – criminals deserving of the death penalty for crimes that Greg deems sufficiently evil. Iowa hasn’t had the death penalty for 50 years, but Heartsill thinks it’s time to bring ‘er on back. “This is not just a matter of justice for the victims’ families, it’s about putting another tool in the toolbox of law enforcement, because the death penalty has been used as a huge bargaining chip,” sayeth Heartsill.

And as Heartsill – the protector of beating hearts in the heartland – is the consummate public servant, it’s not a surprise that he also is introducing legislation mandating lethal injection by ethanol. If it that fails to snuff the perp, Heartsill calls for death by corndog.

Kudlow the anti-Nostradamus

fingers

Larry Kudlow, Trump’s economic adviser, former TV personality and the man who has been wrong about everything, made this bogus claim the other day: “The deficit, which was one of the other criticism, is coming down, and it’s coming down rapidly.”

Sorry, Larry – wrong again. And this time you’re so wrong that it took the average mental midget 4 seconds to prove it. The Congressional Budget Office just published a report on the subject and it more or less (OK, more) refutes Carnak Larry.

cbo
Perhaps Larry had a flashback to 1945 after he and Trump won WWII together

At this point, traders listen to Larry and invest against him with 100% confidence, knowing that he can’t even predict yesterday’s weather.

Posted in Business, Politics | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Problems Solved with a Stroke of the Crayon

trumpkick

Let’s face it: Trump, led by the nose by his xenophobic advisers Steven Miller and Jefferson Bagins Sessions, blew it with his executive order separating children from immigrant parents seeking asylum. Yes, this kind of shit plays well with the 30% base, but it also has the potential to rile up the usually-moribund fence-sitters to flip against him – just in time for the 2018 midterms.

The optics of tiny little crying children held in cages disgusted viewers across a spectrum that excludes slavish Fox fans. Regardless of your political persuasion it’s gotta be hard to come to Trump’s defense after he repeatedly lied about a non-existent Democrat law for tying his hands and forcing him to incarcerate children away from their parents – thus inviting comparisons to fellow travelers who once ran Nazi death camps and Japanese internment camps (or if you’re Laura Ingraham, “summer camps”.)

For a week or so Trump shirked the problem he created, blaming Congress for inaction – only to cave in and sign in crayon another stupid “executive order” (aka. memo to staff – do something) stopping the separations. While the immediate turbulence on the southern border subsides somewhat, Trump stews.

Reporting on Trump’s turbid mindset following his humbling retreat on a signature issue, the New York Times wrote “He has instead gone on the offensive, complaining to aides about why he could not just create an overarching executive order to solve the problem, according to two people familiar with the deliberations. Aides have had to explain to the president why a comprehensive immigration overhaul is beyond the reach of his executive powers.”

Imagine that. Trump grumbling for instant gratification. If someone would just give him a piece of paper to sign he could solve the immigration problem once and for all. In fact, why not solve every problem with a stroke of the crayon?

Which brings me to the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture – a complex mathematical problem for which the Clay Mathematics Institute has pledged $1 million to anyone who solves it.

Although Matiyasevich showed in 1970 that Hilbert’s tenth problem is unsolvable – i.e., there is no general method for determining when equations of the form Xn + Yn = Zn have a solution in whole numbers – the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture asserts that the size of the group of rational points is related to the behavior of an associated zeta function ζ(s) near the point s=1. In particular the conjecture asserts that if ζ(1) is equal to 0, then there are an infinite number of rational points (solutions), and conversely, if ζ(1) is not equal to 0, then there is only a finite number of such points.

The Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture has remained unsolved – until today when the Very Stable Genius Donald J. Trump issued an executive order declaring the conjecture solved. After all, while waiting on the fourth tee Trump, doodling on a scorecard, discovered that 26824404 + 153656394 + 187967604 = 206156734.

VSGExecOrder
.
.
.
Red Hen Lays an Egg

sarah_sanders_cartoon
This cartoon should not have been necessary

Read an old blog to see that I was never in favor of people taking legal action against homophobic proprietors who refuse to serve gay people. My view was that it’s better to tell the recalcitrant vendor to fuck off than to force him to perform a service that he might be persuaded to botch up on purpose. You want to force a baker to make you a cake against his will? Expect to cut into a three-layer chocolate, dandruff, booger and toejam masterpiece.

The baker from Colorado who refused to make a wedding cake for a couple of gay dudes prevailed in a case decided by the Supreme Court – an outcome that unfortunately may have fostered a new fugly phenomenon: hyper-public refusal to perform a service to those with whom you disagree.

I’m talking about the bum rush given to Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her friends by the management of a Lexington, VA restaurant called the Red Hen.

Yes, Sanders is a stooge and a pathological liar. But when she strolls in for a bite to eat, it would seem she’s off the clock and should be treated as a civilian. You don’t like her politics? Put a photo of her face on the urinal pucks in your men’s rooms.

The Red Hen people should have asked her politely off-stage to not come back in the future – and for good measure, comp her meal. What better way to demonstrate “when they go low, you go high.” But to throw the party out after being seated – very bad form, and deserving of any half-star Yelps they garnered as a result.

You’re a fucking restaurant, Red Hen. How did you lose perspective? You’re obviously anti-Trump, so why make a Trumpian move that always backfires on people not named Donald Trump?

Hell, you even brought down the wrath of hell on poor old innocent bystander Red Hen in Connecticut.

I hope those gay dudes in Colorado are happy for unleashing the latest cultural war. You just couldn’t elope, could you?

RIP Charles Krauthammer

kraut
womp

Posted in mathematics, Obits, Politics | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

A High-Tech Game of Leapfrog

NEC's Earth Simulator Supercomputer Still The Fastest
The world’s fastest computer in 2002; it now fits in your hand where it can crush candy.

In a high-tech game of leapfrog, makers of the world’s fastest supercomputers (and their countries of origin) compete to assemble the machine that will sit at the pinnacle – a determination that happens every six months and is published on the website Top500.org. Taking the number one spot is seen as a validation of a supercomputer company’s technical prowess, and has become a proxy for the innovativeness of countries at large. This clash of the countries started in 2002 when Japanese company NEC reversed years of American leadership by developing a machine that debuted at 5 times faster than the previous number one machine, an IBM system. Although the NEC machine, dubbed Earth Simulator, stayed at number one for two and a half years (a record for longevity at the time), its fundamentally limited architecture prevented it from growing in a financially viable way. In late 2004 IBM took back the mantle with a system twice as fast as Earth Simulator yet one that consumed a fraction of electricity and floor space.

At the end of the month in Frankfurt, Germany, the Top500 group will formally announce that another IBM system nicknamed Summit will grab the top spot – the first time an American company has taken the crown since China achieved number 1 five years ago – and has continually maintained the position since then. (Sidebar: Summit is about 3 million times faster than the IBM system that retook number one less than 15 years ago.)

power9
This is your brain on metal-oxide.

This remarkable improvement in performance is partially attributable to the ongoing increase in the speed and improvement in the design of microprocessors – just as it is with laptops and smart phones. But today, thanks much to software innovations supercomputers are able to grow in scale by “simply” lashing together more and more computers that work interdependently, breaking up problems into smaller pieces that are solved in parallel.

In reality, the only practical limit to making the world’s fastest supercomputer is money. That’s why the cache of holding down the top spot on the Top500 list is as much about a country’s economics as it is about the computer maker’s technical chops.

Researchers in universities and national labs and less-smart members of Congress all soiled themselves when Japan swooped by native IBM and every other U.S. based vendor. (Some dubbed the arrival of Earth Simulator “Compute-nik” in a nod to American apprehension that accompanied the Soviet launch of Sputnik.) And that’s why the half-decade Top500 leadership by Chinese manufacturers seemed to herald a depressing future where China would come to dominate the making of things more strategic than tee shirts, plastic toys and bootleg DVDs.

If China can fund what it takes to make the world’s fastest supercomputers over a long run, what will stop them from dominating any strategically important sector? No doubt they are conjuring up the resources right now to make Summit a one-termer.

The funny thing about the Top500 list is that the rankings are determined by running a computer workload that is not very representative of the kinds of problems actual companies encounter. It may have been OK 20 years ago, but today there is a deep disconnect between the problem that supercomputers run to get on the list, and what modern industry needs to conduct artificial intelligence – yet the old workload persists so that equivalent comparisons can be made year after year.

As an illustration of how the Top500 has become more of a marketing tool than an honest assessment of the state of computer power, consider how companies respond to the publication of the list every June and November. A search of past company press releases will show that when manufacturers like IBM or Cray achieve the number one spot (or some other milestone like the most entries on the list of 500), they pour out gallons of ink touting their innovativeness and commitment to the scientific community. When those same companies underperform, they make pronouncements that the Top500 is not representative of reality and being on the list is actually meaningless – until they capture the top spot again when magically the list becomes relevant once again.

In a telling article in Market Watch a few years back it was reported that the Chinese were primarily using supercomputers as a PR statement more so than to conduct research. According to the author, “it seems a lot of these massive machines, usually made with large government investment, lie idle after they are made, or are even abandoned midway, due to fundamental defects in China’s traditional bureaucratic management system.”

Perhaps one day the Top500 fever will break and companies and governments will focus their attention on investing in technologies that benefit a broad swath of humanity, and not just on the guys who are trying to perfect a nuclear weapon that can fit in your hat.

IHOP Flip Flops

Presumably sensing greater opportunity in the business of lunch over that of breakfast, the International House of Pancakes – better known as IHOP – is revamping its menu to major on burgers over sugar-soaked stacks of carbs. So dramatic is the move that IHOP is actually changing their name (and all their branding which could costs millions) to IHOB.

Kicking it off is this moronic TV ad campaign featuring Manager I-Blob atop the famous blue tiled roof of his restaurant flipping the switch on the new sign – and then, of course, goofing it up and falling off the roof like every half-wit white guy must do in a TV commercial today.

Who knows if IHOP can make such a radical change in focus and go into the very crowded segment against McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys and the many upstarts like Five Guys. In fact, can we be certain that IHOP won’t go in another direction in the months or years to come?

Rumors abound that in the era of Trump nativism the company wants to concentrate solely on the American market. Also, CEO Julia Stewart is known to favor Mexican food.

Might we then expect IHOB to change again, this time to American House of Lamb Enchiladas?

Will that doughy white guy in the TV commercial get back on the roof to flip the sign to … drumroll, please … A-HOLE?

Posted in Business, Technology | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Trump Gets a Pass This Week

trump bed
OK – We can’t let a blog go by without some level of Trump insult

Trump served up a heap of material this week for those commentators who enjoy skewering his Orange-tinted foolishness. One example: his repetitive lie about a non-existent law (supposedly levied by the Democrats, of course, who they alone can repeal it, but won’t cuz they hate America) that is forcing border agents to separate children from their illegal immigrant parents.

Want another? How about his remarks following the incarceration of Paul Manafort? Trump barely knows him. The dude had really nothing to do with Trump’s campaign and hung around for a mere 49 days, according to Trump – except that it is falling-off-a-log simple to prove Manafort spent 144 days on the campaign, and for much of that time he was the fucking chairman.

OK, one more. Trump claimed during an interview with Fox that many parents of missing Korean War vets lobbied him to intervene with NK to repatriate the remains of the fallen warriors.

My grandmother born in 1905 was the mother of a Korean War veteran. My uncle who died several years ago would have been 90 now, and his mother would have been 113 had she not succumbed in 1977. Still, I’m sure many men and women in their hundred-and-teens have petitioned Trump for action.

No matter. We at Major Terata will let others jerk off to yet another pile of Trump road apples. This week we opine on some topics where we cut Trump a break. After all, any wag who pummels a subject 100 percent of the time without recognizing the occasional blip that contravenes the narrative cannot expect to receive complete and total adoration from readership loyal and otherwise.

Let’s start with Mark Sanford, the sleazy Congressman from South Carolina who was facing a primary opponent in his bid for re-election this year. Some may recall Sanford as the guy who called for Bill Clinton to resign over a sex scandal, but could not bring himself do the same when his affair with an Argentinean woman was revealed.

Mark Sanford
Sanford agonistes

Although the hard-right, Sanford – a card-carrying member of the Freedom Cockus – is the type of supplicant you’d expect Trump to support whole-heartedly, in fact Sanford has become a pariah in Trumpland for having the temerity to level some minor criticism of his president. For such heresy Trump tweet-slammed Sanford at the 11th hour of the primary thus throwing the race to his underdog opponent Kate Arrington who exclaimed this scary observation at her victory rally: “We are the party of President Donald J. Trump.” Uh oh.

Sanford is now playing the weepy victim calling Trumpism a “cancerous growth” on the Republican Party. Dude, look in the mirror. You’re a piece of shit.

Trump ran Sanford out of Congress for the wrong reasons – but who cares. We’re glad that cretin finally got a hot poker up his cracker ass.

It’s surprising no one has yet dubbed it SaluteGate.

During the meet-n-greet in Singapore, Trump worked a line of North Korean potentates. When he came to a ribbon-festooned general who may have committed war crimes, Trump saluted him. Kim Jong-un looked on approvingly. Ouch.

salute

The spectacle of the United States Commander-in-Chief saluting a military officer of a nation with which America is still technically at war caused many in the punditry biz to set their hair on fire.

“I’m not trying to be gratuitous or unfair but isn’t saluting a General from an enemy military sort of a big deal?” tweeted Democrat Senator from Hawaii Brian Schatz. Another Dem Senator, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland noted, “To no one’s surprise, North Korea used our President for their propaganda campaign.”

Despite the negative reviews from the opposition, let’s cut Mr. Bone Spurs a break. Trump appears in a high-stakes summit and is obliged to meet members of the other side. Trump extends his hand to the general and the general instead salutes. What to do? (If you’re one of the 90+ percent of Americans like Trump who never served, you’re not allowed to look up the official military directive on Google.)

Do you stand there with your hand extended? What if the general holds the salute position? Do you stand there like an asshole, eventually putting your hand in your pocket? Do you ignore the guy and move down the line, leaving Mr. Big Hat standing like a commemorative statue from the Korean War?

I think most people in that position would return the salute. It seems appropriate and it lets you move on to the table of hors d’oeuvres. Cut Trump slack. It’s not the end of the world. That’s coming next month.

comey fingers
What has two fingers and fucks over elections? This Guy!!

The FBI Inspector General issued a 500+ page report following their investigation about the bureau’s activities during the 2016 presidential campaign (no, it did not “exonerate” Trump regarding Russian collusion.) As expected, the report killed James Comey – and we don’t care. Although the very tall Comey did the talk show scene after he was fired and tried to pre-empt opprobrium, he remains a pariah to almost everyone. Lefties hate him for shirking established norms prohibiting announcements about ongoing investigations. The guy was constantly blabbing about Hillary Clinton’s emails while he stayed mum about the FBI’s investigations of Trump’s chicanery. (Sidebar: Comey investigated Hillary Clinton for using a private email server while he used a private email server.)

Righties hate him for “disloyalty” to Emperor Trump, a capital offense. No doubt Trump has requested a brief on how his new butt-boy “Lil Rocket Man” might handle such insubordination.
.
Either way, Comey was an incompetent asshole and Trump was correct in firing him – only he should have done it on day one of his presidency when Dems and Reps would have concurred. Instead, he blew it by shit-canning the man in the midst of the “Rusher thing.”

Now, all bets are off – until we enter “Celebrity Pardon Season.”

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Who Will Trump Toss Next Into the Woodchipper?

chipper
Is that the sock of John Bolton?

Despite recorded evidence to the contrary, Trump claimed during the 2016 election that he was against going to war with Iraq in 2003 – using the lie as a cudgel against his opponent Hillary Clinton who voted to authorize the invasion. Of course, it’s easy to stake a claim when you’re a private citizen and your actions are hypothetical, but Trump repeated his pseudo-opposition often.

With that background it might seem strange that Trump-the-anti-invader would bring in as his newest National Security Adviser a hard-core neo-con like John Bolton. The former UN ambassador with the “got milk?” smile has long been among so many chicken-hawks who see all the world’s problems as an opportunity to impose shock and awe (and bomb and occupy.) Why would an America-Firster who made the case that the U.S. should stop trying to police the world hire a rank interventionist like Bolton?

Yes, Bolton talks tough which certainly adds to his appeal to Trump – a like-minded guy who adheres to the ethos of “bomb the shit out of them.” Perhaps he brought in Bolton because Trump isn’t actually a non-interventionist. That would make sense because Trump isn’t any of the things he said he was on the campaign trail.

But I think the real reason Trump brought in Bolton as his National Security adviser was to use him as a punching bag, much like he’s treated such cannon fodder as Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster, Rinse Pubis, and many others. Bolton is one of those guys who postures as the cock-sure expert – and in Trump world there can be only one cock-sure expert. Already in his brief tenure Bolton has taken opprobrium from Trump who took issue with him for cluelessly bringing up the disastrous (for the dictator) Libya play as a useful model for North Korea. Soon enough, Bolton was banished from discussions about the upcoming meeting with former “Little Rocket Man” and now “very honorable” supreme leader Kim Jong-Un. (Sidebar: Will Trump, in an effort to charm the portly Kim, give him the new nickname “The Chosen Un?”)

Expect Trump to remind people soon enough of Bolton’s ill-advised cheerleading on the 2003 Iraq invasion, casting the war-monger as an out of touch dinosaur who couldn’t measure up to Trump’s demanding standards.

The same will happen to Rudy Giuliani as well. Again, Trump brought in Rudy ostensibly to take over the legal communications job with respect to Mueller’s investigation, Stormy Daniels’s lawsuits, and assorted related slime. But in reality, Trump intends to bash Giuliani – a stooped cretin whom he certainly dislikes. Trump was just waiting for Giuliani to make ill-conceived public comments so he could put his boot on Rudy’s turkey neck. No sooner had Rudy gone on TV to reveal Trump’s “secret” Stormy hush reimbursement to lawyer Michael Cohen when Trump blasted Giuliani, saying he was still “learning the subject matter” and will “get his facts straight.” Take that Mr. America’s Mayor!

Expect Giuliani to get the axe within 60 to 90 days – despite Trumpian complaints that rumors of Rudy’s imminent demise are #FAKENEWS. Giuliani is a media whore – but because he doesn’t look the part, Trump would like nothing better than to snuff out his access to the cameras.

Larry Kudlow, Trump’s new Economic Adviser – and one of the most consistently wrong economic pundits ever – harbors ideas that diverge significantly from Trump’s. Kudlow is all about free markets and the power of globalization. Trump is a tariff loving 19th century mercantilist whose understanding of how the world economy works is simplistic and out of step with “reality.”

kudlow-2007-quote

Kudlow is an ass-kissing sycophant, so it is likely he’ll parrot Trump’s viewpoints despite the fact they run counter to Larry’s gut. But it’s only a matter of time before Kudlow stumbles and contradicts his master. And then Trump will pounce. He’ll bring up all the times Larry got it wrong – the stock market, the 2008 recession, unemployment – and force Kudlow to grovel or resign. Or preferably, both.

Mistreatment of others is one of Trump’s favorite sports. For one thing, it can be played by people who have bone spurs in their heels. But treating people like shit helps fertilize the Orange Man’s ego.

Is it any wonder Trump’s “Best People” are actually the worst people? Who, other than masochistic, mediocre hacks who crave access to Trump, would sign up for his bullshit?

Beware that Handshake

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L), US President Donald Trump (C) and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte join hands for the family photo during the 31st Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila on November 13, 2017.  World leaders are in the Philippines' capital for two days of summits.  / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON

Despite Trump’s effusive praise of Kim Jong-Un leading up to their big summit meeting in Singapore, let’s not forget that the portly dictator has ordered some nasty – and fatal – retribution to his enemies. Most recently, North Korean operatives dispatched Un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam in the Kuala Lumpur airport by tricking two women to rub lethal chemicals on the unsuspecting Nam’s face. The two chemicals, once mixed on Nam’s skin dropped him within minutes.


Now, imagine a line of NK diplomats in Singapore waiting to greet the Great Orange Leader from the West. The first has chemical A rubbed on his palm; the second, chemical B. By the time Trump reaches Kim Jong-Un, Pence is president.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

The Whiny Bitch

sessionspreciousTrump is a whiny bitch – that much is evident from the myriad times he’s cast himself as having been treated “very unfairly.” Despite having been born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a convenient bone spur in his heel, the Orange man never passes up an opportunity to portray himself in public as the aggrieved party in any transaction. (Behind the scenes he no doubt brags incessantly about his unmatched prowess in securing the best deals of all time.)

But when it comes to his decision to name Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General, Trump has just got to stop complaining that he got blindsided by Sessions’s decision to recuse himself on matters pertinent to investigations about Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Ever since Sessions “betrayed” his master, Trump has relentlessly gone after the diminutive man from a small Shire in Alabama. He constantly berates Sessions despite the fact that the Justice Department has engineered punitive programs on immigration and drug use that mirror Trump’s most evil inclinations. And in the face of all that opprobrium, Sessions suffers in silence. Still, Trump (whose volatile words, deeds, and tweets about the Mueller investigation suggest he knows he and/or his entourage is guilty of several crimes) beats Sessions on the head for his recusal. A recusal that was eminently appropriate given Session’s intimate involvement in Trump’s campaign while the Russia shenanigans were in full tilt.

The other day, Trump made it clear: he wished he had picked someone other than Sessions.

Trump agreed wholeheartedly with a quote from Trey (Draco Malfoy) Gowdy to make his point. Here’s what Gowdy said: “I think what the President is doing is expressing frustration that Attorney General Sessions should have shared these reasons for recusal before he took the job, not afterward. If I were the President and I picked someone to be the country’s chief law enforcement officer, and they told me later, ‘oh by the way I’m not going to be able to participate in the most important case in the office, I would be frustrated too…and that’s how I read that – Senator Sessions, why didn’t you tell me before I picked you….There are lots of really good lawyers in the country, he could have picked somebody else!”

Trump tweeted, “And I wish I did!”

Here’s the flaw in Trump’s whiny, bitchy argument: it is without doubt that advisers to PEOTUS Trump – including Sessions – knew well in advance of Trump’s decision to appoint Sessions as AG that Sessions would have to recuse himself. Maybe Trump didn’t understand, but there’s no way that given the well-established information about rampant Russian intrusion right after the election and the fact that Sessions was intimately involved in the campaign that an inevitable investigation would require recusal.

In other words, Sessions didn’t need to warn Trump that he might have to recuse himself. That outcome was already predetermined before Trump even considered the little man.

In the waning days of the Obama administration, dozens of Russian diplomats were expelled from the U.S. Clearly, before Trump was president the Russian interference fiasco was a big thing. Anyone with a partial brain could see that Russia might become a real issue to be investigated by Congress and/or the DoJ.

But well before the Obama action against the Russki’s, presidential candidates Trump and Clinton began to receive regular intelligence reports. As early as August 2016, Trump was snoring through intelligence briefs that most certainly had covered Russian interference in the election.

But forget all that formal stuff. Trump had to know he was vulnerable on Russia months before he took the oaf of office. Clinton email hacks. Wikileaks. Paul Manafort. Meeting with Russians in Trump Tower. George Papadopoulos. Roger Stone. Carter Page. Steele Dossier. Even if there was no collusion with Russia, Trump should have known the topic would undergo investigation. And if he picked for an AG a toady who worked on his campaign, said toady would have to recuse.

Once again, our Very Stable Genius stepped on his own dick – and is now ginning a smear campaign against his AG for treating his master “very unfairly.” Oh yes – “VERY UNFAIRLY” – in case you missed the nuance.

RIP: Ted Dabney

I can’t say I’m happy Ted Dabney created Pong.

After all, as an adolescent in the late 60′s I had honed a level of mastery of one of the premier amusement games of the times that still involved the deft manipulation of actual objects (e.g. steel balls on a wooden surface.) I spent uncounted hours in the game room of the airport near my home honing my pinball skills, but it soon became clear that pinball would soon fall to the video game. (Sidebar: In the 1960s, in addition to playing pinball in an airport, you could also visit the tower where the FAA controllers plied their trade and stroll out onto the tarmac without a thing called a “boarding pass” to experience the blast from a DC3 taxiing out onto the runway.)

Ted Dabney
Ted Dabney in full geek regalia next to his invention.

I first encountered Atari’s Pong in the early 1970s at a local bar called the “Lantern” where the proprietors stuck the bulky contraption away from the manly billiard table. I can’t say I liked the moronic simplicity of the 2D black-and-white graphics, but I sensed that times were a-changin’. From there it was a only small step to PacMan, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and, well, you know.

Now slacker dudes and dudesses wearing shades and bulky headphones playing complex computer games with other gamers has become a spectator sport.

Can we thank Ted Dabney, an original member of the Pong team for this unfortunate turn of events? Not really. It was bound to happen that generations of overweight slobs with super-human thumbs would overtake regular humanity – regardless of Ted’s invention.

Posted in Obits, Politics | Tagged , , | Comments Off

The Shit Trump Sez

PoopThis is not a piece about Trump’s wild claims and serial prevarications. Many in the media have dissected his bizarre obsession with the non-crowds at his inauguration, and the provably false assertions that he won the popular vote if you discount the several million illegal immigrants who pulled the lever for Senora Clinton. For years Trump pimped the Obama-Kenya canard, and when he finally admitted Obama was in fact born in America, he took credit for debunking a myth he claimed was started by Hillary Clinton. Yeah, Trump says some weird shit.

But this piece is about the verbal tics that Trump uses; repetitious words and phrases that might suggest the guy has some crossed wires in his addled brain. Consider this mess of words Trump uttered a couple days ago when addressing the on-again/off-again summit with “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong-un.

“We’re gonna see what happens. We’re talking to them now. It was a very nice statement they put out. We’ll see what happens. No, no, we’ll see what happens. It could even be the 12th. We’re talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it. We’re gonna see what happens.”

We’re gonna see what happens. That’s one of the more ubiquitous Trump-tics; spoken so often and in so many situations that the New York Times felt compelled to do a full story on it. Hell, he even got Rex Tillerson hooked on it.

He’s used some variant of “We’ll see” when speaking about the future of Michael Flynn, the Iran deal, Steve Bannon, NAFTA, Syria, Robert Mueller and many other topics for which he has no definite idea what to say. I’m waiting for this inevitable interaction with the press: “President Trump, now that you’ve shit your diaper, will the elastic band withstand the pressure?” — “We’ll smell what happens.”

Trump also loves to go superlative when speaking of himself and his big ideas – so much so that he’s practically worn out the effect.

  • “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. I tell you that.”
  • “I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me.”
  • “I cherish women. I want to help women. I’m going to be able to do things for women that no other candidate would be able to do.”
  • “I am the least anti-Semitic person you’ve ever seen in your entire life.”
  • “I have the best people.”
  • “I am the least racist person, the least racist person that you’ve ever seen, the least.”
  • “I know words, I have the best words.”
  • “I’m speaking with myself, No. 1, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”
  • “I’m the king of debt. I understand debt better than probably anybody. I know how to deal with debt, so well. I love debt.”
  • “I beat China all the time. All the time.”

You almost expect him to apply his over-the-top observations when speaking of bad things. I’m surprised he hasn’t yet noted on his watch the “greatest school shooting ever” or “the biggest, best Ebola outbreak of all time.”

And Trump just can’t help but attach the word “beautiful” to practically every object and subject he speaks about – especially things that are rarely, if ever, associated with beauty – like military equipment, coal and even his fucking temperament!

Of course there’s Trump’s “big, beautiful wall on the Southern Border,” but he’s also said this beautiful shit:

  • “We’re gonna have that big, beautiful door in the wall.”
  • ”I was sitting at the table. We had finished dinner. We’re now having dessert. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen and President Xi was enjoying it.”
  • “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.”
  • “One of the things that we will discuss is the purchase of lots of beautiful military equipment because nobody makes it like the United States.”
  • “And the arena erupted in boos toward the end of his [Ted Cruz’s] speech, because they saw he wasn’t going to endorse. And I thought that was a beautiful thing.”
  • “My temperament is totally controlled, so beautiful.” That’s my favorite.

The man mangles the English language more than Foster Brooks or Jose Jimenez ever did.

waist

Read this and tell me if it doesn’t sound like it was translated from Mongolian into Pig Latin using a Speak-n-Spell. from 1980.

incoherent

Conservatives called Reagan the Great Communicator for his ability to read the teleprompter like the professional actor he once was. Trump will go down as the Most Beautifulest Tawker Ever in the Wholest of the Whole World Ever.

Posted in Politics | Tagged | Comments Off

Mo Better Brains

MoronBrooks
Mo “the Moron” Brooks wonders how to stop the rocks from falling into the ocean.

Growing up in the 1960s at a time when the space race was on, JFK was pushing science and technology initiatives through Congress, and a thing called “new math” was permeating schools across the country, I came to believe as a grade-schooler that American society would inexorably advance and prosper according to scientific principles. I figured that decisions about the economy, health care, energy production and the like would be made on the basis of science, and as such, life in the U.S. – and perhaps the world – would improve vastly.

As a kid I was truly awed by the Gemini and Apollo moon missions, and the first heart transplant. And let’s not forget Jiffy Pop.

I imagined super-sonic commercial air service, cordless phones, driverless vehicles and cancer cures – ideas that came not just from science fiction novels but from actual R&D that was taking place in the heady 60s. I had every reason to believe at the time, given that man had stepped on the moon in 1969, that a mere 32 years later we’d watch astronauts travel to Jupiter (as portrayed in “2001: A Space Odyssey”) on our wrist TVs.

I loved watching a TV spot in the mid-60s called “The 21st Century” where host Walter Cronkite presented lofty possibilities for which an anxious populace awaited.

Check out some of Walter’s previews of the future as seen from a 1960s lens:

Good stuff from such a hopeful time. But today – with nearly 20 percent of the 21st century gone – it’s clear we’ve instead entered a dark, extended period of anti-science. Members of certain tribes in America vehemently adhere to positions that are demonstrably incorrect and deny the findings of settled science. More and more, people understand natural phenomena from what they’ve read or heard about from the fanciful writings of ancient civilizations.

Who would have thought in 2018 that 4 in 10 Americans (and at least one addled lawmaker) believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old? Or that all humans are descendants of Adam and Eve (who frolicked with dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden); and that Noah somehow gathered pairs of all creatures including penguins from the Antarctic and cockroaches from the Lower East Side onto an ark constructed somewhere around Asia Minor?

We once had as the heads of the Department of Energy – the premier organization responsible for atomic research and the nuclear arsenal – physicists holding PhD’s and Nobel prizes. Now we have a shallow Rick Perry at the DoE helm; a man Trump once derided for his stupidity, saying, “he put on glasses so people will think he’s smart.”

We got to witness the spectacle of Sam Clovis, a one-time radio show host nominated to be the chief scientist (!) of the Department of Agriculture who withdrew from consideration after he had to admit he’s not a scientist. Details.

Scott Pruitt at the EPA is making it hard for scientists to do their jobs, the CDC has limited what researchers can report on, and the Census Bureau is planning to use bogus statistical methods to count the population in 2020.

Climate change denier James Inhofe of all people chaired the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and a retrograde congressman named Mo (short for Moron) Brooks continues as a member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Consider this embarrassing charade led by Mo at a recent meeting of the House Science committee where the subject of inquiry was the effect of so-called climate change on so-called rising sea levels. Giving testimony to the skeptical Republican Luddites on the committee was Philip Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts and holder of a PhD in applied physics from Stanford University.

While Duffy tried to blame rising sea levels on melting ice, Mo exercised the unqualified egg-head PhD from the “left coast” on an alternative explanation. Here’s the verbatim retardation:

“What about erosion! Every single year that we’re on Earth, you have huge tons of silt deposited by the Mississippi River, by the Amazon River, by the Nile, by every major river system — and for that matter, creek, all the way down to the smallest systems. And every time you have that soil or rock whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise. Because now you’ve got less space in those oceans because the bottom is moving up.”
Duffy tried to interject, perhaps out of a sense of duty to protect Brooks from making a complete horse’s ass out of himself, but the empty-headed congressman from Alabama (yeah, I know) would have none of it.

“What about the white cliffs of Dover? California, where you have the waves crashing against the shorelines and time and time again you have the cliffs crash into the sea. All of that displaces the water which forces it to rise, does it not?”

A ranking member of a congressional “Science” committee thinks that the seas are rising because rocks are falling into the oceans – kind of like how your pool overflows when you drop your cell phone into it.

Damn. By that logic, every time Mo the Moron farts, it pushes the atmosphere further into space.

How far we’ve fallen from the idealistic years of the 1960s. If Walter Cronkite were around today to host “The 22nd Century” he’d probably be showing us diesel-powered AM radios, pencils made from charcoal, prayer-based gun-control, and how dancing in a circle will halt climate change.

Posted in Politics, Technology | Tagged , | Comments Off

U.S. Moves a Sign

signOn the campaign trail, Trump, like his predecessors dating back decades promised to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from cosmopolitan Tel Aviv to the perennially turbid and contested city of Jerusalem. I wrote a blog predicting he’d never do it – and I stand behind that today. For Trump really didn’t move the embassy; he simply told his minions to pull down the sign that pointed to Tel Aviv and move it so as to point to a small consulate building in Jerusalem. For all intents and purposes, the heart of U.S. diplomacy, including the place where the ambassador and his staff will conduct most of their business, will remain in the fortified confines of the building in Tel Aviv. That didn’t stop the crowds from going wild. Nor did it prevent the terminally narcissistic Trump from sticking his fucking name on the building as if it was the latest “luxury” Trump property.

Trump plaque
How long before this marker is amended to read “Trump Royal Embassy and Country Club” subtitled with the caveat “Negroes, Chinamen and Jews need not apply.”?

Yes, the relocation of a sign drove the crowds wild.

The hard-right leaders in Israel gloated that the new “embassy” signaled America’s inalterable preference for their country’s well-being over all other parties in the Middle East, as if that already hadn’t been well-established since 1948. They’ve remained steadfast in their argument that Jerusalem has always been the capital of the Jews – although the Bible clearly states that the Jews took the city from the Jebusites who were, um, there first. Perhaps the descendants of the Jebusites might one day come forward to reclaim Jerusalem from the invading Jews. Or at least to lobby to operate a casino on the Via Dolorosa.

The so-called “Christian” evangelicals – those zealous “family values” hypocrites who routinely overlook Trump’s multitudinous transgressions against God’s directives – fell into a rapture with the move, as it represents one more step closer to living the Revelations dream. Now that the embassy is located in Jerusalem, it’s only a matter of time before Jesus comes back and smites all the non-believers. Who might they be? Anyone who ain’t a Christian. Who said so? How about the Southern Baptist preacher slash asshole Robert Jeffress who spoke at the embassy opening ceremony – the dude who said “Judaism — you can’t be saved being a Jew,” and further expounded, “Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism — not only do they lead people away from the true God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in hell.” Yeah. A keynote speaker at the opening of the new U.S. “embassy” thinks Jews are going to hell – and the hard-right Israeli leaders batted not an eyelash.

Jared Kushner, his wife Ivanka, Treasury Secretary and the administration’s token Jew Steve Munchkin and countless hangers-on got to do a big reveal in front of a googoo eyed audience longing for a whiff of Trump glamour. Hell, the spectacle smacked every bit as much as the garish ribbon cutting of the Trump hotel in Washington that took place while the Orange Man was running for president – a position that should have precluded him from benefitting financially from the hotel if anyone bothered to uphold the Constitution.

Of course, the Palestinians also went wild, as is their wont. Given their somewhat limited arsenal, they took their usual approach and conjured up low-level mayhem on the border between Gaza and Israel. As they rushed the border fence (soon to be upgraded to a beautiful wall funded by Mexico), the Israeli military mowed them down by the dozens as their Arab “brothers” sipped fine wines and smoked imported cigars.

Jared the quisling summed up the situation: “As we have seen from the protests of the last month, and even today, those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution.” Left out was any contemplation as to why 1.8 million impoverished people locked inside a blockaded strip of land the size of Nantucket but with no place to get a decent bowl of lobster chow-dah would protest in the first place.

Most Middle East experts (that is to say people on the polar extreme from the dimwits in Trump’s advisory circle) believe the movement of the sign was a gratuitous ploy by Trump to chalk up a “win” and further cement his bona fides with his Cro-Magnon base that only served to inject more turmoil in the region. So what if the artist of the deal gave away a valuable bauble for nothing in return – he got to carve his name on a plaque. And if that means America has ceded its tenuous position as the premier peace dealer in the Middle East to Russia, China and Iran, so be it. #MAGA.

White Men Can’t Read Instructions

Once again, a major corporation – this time American Express – seeks to endear itself to prospective customers by running a TV commercial poking light-hearted fun at the stupid, lazy, incompetent and slightly paunchy white male who is one-upped by a woman. Gotta admire those millennials on staff at Amex’s ad agency McGarryBowen for their post-feminism wit and sharp sense of irony.

amex1
Clueless white dude studies what might as well be hieroglyphs before tackling the challenge of assembling a crib. Already we know he’s gonna step on his own dick in a moment.

amex2
Right on cue the three whole parts he tacked together fall apart. The fucking guy can’t even put the legs on the crib.

amex3
Thank goodness the woman knows how to handle power tools. No doubt had the white dude somehow gotten past the leg assembly stage he’d be in an ambulance right now with a a drill bit embedded in his eyeball.

amex4
Mission accomplished, thanks to the ingenuity and perseverance of the industrious woman. White dude can’t even get his droopy ass out of the Barca-lounge.

amex5
Holy shit! Mrs. White Dude is pregnant to boot!? I guess that’s why she built a crib. Meanwhile, lard-ass continues sawing logs as he did through all the buzz and whine of the power tools that the woman so masterfully wielded. Tomorrow, white dude nearly drowns while doing the laundry.

Posted in Politics, TV | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Put a Sock in It!

quiet jim
No, this is not Jim Halpert stifling a young Michael Scott

If you’re a fan of monster movies you know that the monster must always have a weakness – something that allows the tortured protagonists to finally vanquish their nemeses in the final reel. Dracula had his wooden stake and Werewolf had his silver bullet. The relentless T1000 robot in Terminator 2 had a problem wading in molten steel, and the shark in Jaws had a weakness for consuming anything that entered his formidable maw. The indomitable Martian invaders in War of the Worlds succumbed to simple bacteria that feeble Earthlings had built up an immunity to after breathing in funky air and ingesting green-tinted meat for millions of years.

And the aliens in Signs, like the Wicked Witch of the West couldn’t countenance water spritzed upon their skins – which is the movie from which I drew parallel at a recent viewing of A Quiet Place directed by former star of The Office John Krasinski. This time around, an isolated family must bob and weave in total silence to avoid being chomped on by swift, toothful aliens who apparently overtook the entire globe, leaving nothing but apocalypse in their wake. Visual clues like newspaper headlines presented early on “tell” the audience that although the invaders are unable to see they possess ultra-sensitive hearing capabilities. Additional exposition occurs in the form of a white board in the family’s basement that documents a stream-of-consciousness take on the grim situation that includes the question “What is their weakness?”

The creepy aliens (who bear a remarkable resemblance to the stalkers in Signs) have such superior auditory gifts that any creature that should utter a sound, or cause a sound to be uttered is quickly annihilated in the most gruesome fashion.

So A Quite Place is truly a quiet place as none of the nervous characters dare speak, drop a utensil, or even fart. They walk around barefoot on sandy paths and communicate using sign language – for which each is conveniently fluent, as one of the family members is deaf.

The movie is compact and tense, yet relies too often on cheap jump scares. And when you think about it, there are an awful lot of sounds emitted in the wilds of the forest near the family homestead. Why do the aliens always seek out the source of a human whimper or the sound of a breaking plate when there exists a never-ending background cacophony of rummaging creatures, blowing winds and falling trees to confuse them? I suppose the movie sprints along too quickly to allow the audience to question such thing.

But let’s return to the monsters’ weakness – a subject alluded to often in flashes to that white board in the basement. Yeah … what the fuck is their weakness? What could possibly immobilize a creature that possesses super-sensitive hearing? (Remember: all the world’s nations and their military might could not vanquish what is essentially a marauding pack of unarmed jackals – albeit jackals possessing stunning speed and fangs galore.)

Is it so hard to figure out, as our favorite family finally does, that the power of the aliens’ hearing is also the root of their downfall? Shit, a little bit of feedback throws these wretched creatures to the floor writhing in pain, vulnerable to a shotgun blast in what passes for a face on their planet.

Still, I enjoyed A Quiet Place not in spite of but because of its appropriation of material from other films. Watch it for its homage (intentional or otherwise) to Signs, Terminator, Aliens, War of the Worlds, Predator, and Night of the Living Dead.

Schlock Treatment

I love a good old schlocky TV commercial; one that reeks of amateurism. They’re so much more entertaining than slick ads pumped out by Madison Avenue elites bent on harnessing data and analyzing sentiment – only to produce something forgettable or cluelessly offensive.

Say what you want about production quality – everyone remembers Crazy Eddie, the “Clapper” and the myriad Ronco products hawked on the three-digit channels in TV’s off-hours. Pure fools-gold.

Think about this: the 1990 mob classic Goodfellas for which Martin Scorsese earned an Oscar nomination for Best Director was not entirely directed by him. In fact, Scorsese the master turned over the direction of the TV ad for Morrie’s wigs to window salesman Steve Pacca who wrote and directed his own shitty ads. Feast on Pacca’s handiwork from Goodfellas.

Life Alert is another producer of splendiferous TV schlock. These are the ads that instilled “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” into the popular vernacular. There’s always some old fuck prone on the kitchen floor or spread out in the shower stall squirming in pain – too far from the land-line to call the operator and request the number for 911. Luckily there’s Life Alert.

Consider this gem of schlock that is running now.

It opens with a cheesy homage to Psycho where a confused old fossil collapses in the shower, pulling on the curtain as the shower rings pop one by one. Next up is a woman in pain who gets to recite the time-honored Life Alert “I’ve fallen” tag line. The ad wraps up with a dude who seems to be lounging in the park, but is in fact unable to right his flabby ass. Thankfully the Life Alert operator answers the geezer’s entreaties for assistance and announces, “Don’t worry, help is on the way” – in the form of a fire truck?

That’s strange because I’m pretty sure the geezer didn’t say, “I’ve self-immolated and I can’t put myself out!”

Posted in Movies, TV | Tagged | Comments Off

The March of the Wooden Lawyers

Rudy
How long before Trump fires his newest lawyer, Rudy Giuliani?

On March 10, the New York Times reported that Trump was considering Emmet Flood, a one-time counsel to Bill Clinton, for a position on his feeble legal team.

law1

The story miffed Trump who took to Twitter of course to slam the “false story” and express confidence in his team of lawyers. One of those lawyers was John Dowd.

law2

Less than two weeks later Dowd “retired” from doing a great job.

law3

Trump made sure everyone was clear on his satisfaction with the performance of another of his legal team – Special Counsel Ty Cobb.

law4

And then on May 2, the March 10 “Failing” New York Times report that Trump disparaged as a “false story” came true. Trump brought Emmet Flood on board. Oh, and Ty Cobb got the boot.

law5

Just the other day Trump added to his legal team former NYC Mayor and Nosferatu stunt-double Rudy Giuliani. Rudy promptly went on Fox TV’s “Hannity” program and screwed the pooch – and maybe Trump himself. By the time Rudy closed his trap, he had essentially contradicted everything Trump and his former lawyers had uttered about how money moved around the Stormy Daniels affair. Gulp.

law6

Reading this latest headline, one has to wonder whether Trump will recycle this tweet from 2017:

law7

…And Yet the Evangelicals Still Love the Orange Man

Despite his routine infringement of all the Ten Commandments, Trump continues to keep the Jesus-lovers enthralled – which says more about them than about Trump. Yesterday, Trump momentarily cloaked himself in piety and participated in National Prayer Day.

Here’s what one bible-thumping cretin – Franklin “son-of-Billy” Graham – had to say:

pray2

And this is Trump ‘Sitting strong’ on Christian faith:

pray1

Posted in Politics | Tagged | Comments Off

Make America Choke Again

earth dayAlthough it happened almost 50 years ago, I clearly recollect celebrating the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 when our entire eighth grade class marched several block to a nearby college to listen to speeches denouncing the ongoing desecration of the environment and warning of the looming disaster should things carry on as they had for a 100 years.

I also clearly recollect the conditions that drove the demand of activists that the government do something substantial to deal with the problem. At the time I lived near the shores of Lake Erie downwind of several steel mills and other dirty industries located in Ohio that abused the waters and the airs for profit. Ohio was the home of the infamous (and inflammable) Cuyahoga River, slicked with oil and debris which caught fire on several occasions, most notably in 1969 when the fires damaged a bridge and (horrors!) forced some steel mills to shut production temporarily.

I witnessed the devastation to Lake Erie caused by local company Hammermill which during the process of manufacturing paper dumped hot, contaminated water into the lake. Sensing warmth, hundreds of thousands of fish would swim toward the Hammermill docks and quickly suffocate. Looking out from the shores one could watch a silvery carpet of dead fish undulate with the slow motion of the dead lake.

fish

My grandmother owned a cottage on Lake Erie with a private sand beach. It had been in the family for decades. Starting in the mid-60s the appearance of dead, bloated fish entangled in the newly thick seaweed stripped away the allure and romance of waterside living. My grandmother dumped the property for a song when it became clear no one wanted to go there anymore.

On many Saturdays I would accompany my father to the city incinerator where locals with ID could dump household trash directly into a 10 foot square opening in the floor that led to a raging blaze. The only thing left from the incineration was the smoke and ash that was sent directly into the air from a tall, brick chimney. No scrubbing required – just the pure mix of mercury, arsenic and lead to mix with the same miasma emanating from automobiles, trucks and trains running on dirty fuels.

And speaking of dirty, by the time Earth Day was a thing it was becoming noticeable that a lot of people were content with disposing their garbage right into the highways and byways of America, and onto public spaces, and into the waters that communities tapped for drinking. Clearly, Americans just didn’t give a shit anymore. Witness this clip from a Mad Men episode that captures the attitude I remember quite well.

Today, gone is much of what some might call the “good old days” when people were free to shit on the environment and in turn ingested all the poisons thrown back at them with predictable health implications. Hammermill closed shop, and so did the incinerator. Lake Erie is mostly restored, and that cottage my grandmother sold is now among properties fetching several hundreds of thousands. (Sidebar: Lake Erie, the shallowest of the Greats, remains vulnerable to algae blooms from farm runoff, and the effects of an invasive species epidemic.) Vehicles are much less polluting and the internal combustion engine is facing potential obsolescence.

All this thanks to the Clean Air and Water Acts and the formation of the EPA. People born after the early 1970s (about 65 percent of the population) have no recollection of how horrible the environment was in the U.S. – especially in industrial parts of the country. Perhaps that’s why there seems to be little outcry now that the EPA is in the slimy hands of Scott Pruitt – the most corrupt villain in Trump’s house of wax (followed closely by on-the-take Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke who never met an unspoiled expanse of scenic beauty and didn’t see oil derricks and strip mines.)

Today the New York Times paired a succinct summary of some of the milestone environmental disasters that predated the efforts to solve the problems with a devastating expose of Pruitt’s corruption, venality and audacity.

To all those out there content to overlook Trump’s crimes against the environment as long as the stock market rises and the 401k’s grow – contemplate which cancer regimen you’d prefer to spend your portfolio gains.

RIP Verne Troyer

verne-troyerjpg

Diminutive actor Verne Troyer died the other day at age 49. No official cause of death was revealed, although it had been reported that he fell off a sheet of paper. Troyer was most famous for his portrayal of Mini-Me, a tiny alter-ego of Mike Myers’s Dr. Evil character in the Austin Powers franchise. Troyer was hailed as a consummate professional – one who never forgot his lines (or would have forgotten had he had lines.)

Here’s one of my favorite scenes from Goldmember.

At a trim 2’8”, Verne played his first role as a stunt double for a baby. He later found semi-fame performing in music videos, visiting Howard Stern, and playing himself on reality TV where his alcoholism shined. On The Surreal Life Verne drove his scooter into a room on the set, pissed on the floor and summarily passed out.

Upon hearing that Verne wanted to be cremated, Austin Powers co-star Robert Wagner said he knew where to get some dead wood. You know, for the fire.

End Note: Ivana Know Where She Gets Her Ideas

In an interview with the NY Post’s Page Six, Ivana Trump muses on her ex-husband’s pursuit of a second term, concluding, “I don’t think it’s necessary. He has a good life and he has everything.”

She added, “Maybe he should just go and play golf and enjoy his fortune.”

Ivana – dahlink! – what the fuck do you think he’s been doing?

trumpshit

Posted in History, Obits, Politics | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

They Fell for the Con-Man

tenorFlame-throwing maniac Ann Coulter, Inforwars’ crazy-man Alex Jones, talk radio’s Michael “Savage” Wiener and Fox TV’s Fucker Carlson are among many right-wingers who are newly pissed at Trump for bombing Syria. It seems they took the patently obvious con-man for a principled leader.

They apparently believed Trump when he bloviated about the foolishness of intervening in Middle East fiascos and ill-conceived nation building. They reveled in his direct attacks on Obama for being a clueless “leader” at a time when Trump was just a grating private citizen. They adored shit like this:

Trumpsyria

Now that Trump has fully flipped and made good on his telegraphed threat to bomb Syria, the hard right expresses shock and dismay that the Very Stable Genius has reneged on stuff he said over and over, discovering that it all just amounted to armchair conversation.

Alex Jones went on a hilarious, batshit rant, slamming his desk and spouting “fuck Trump” and (horrors) “fuck his family!”

.
Others stuck to Twitter to express their dismay at Trump’s treachery – even suggesting the Syrian government was not responsible for the chemical weapon attack.

syriatweets

Sadly, the real fools in all of this are the Ann Coulters, Alex Joneses, Laura Ingrahams and countless lesser known right-wingers who should have known better. It’s like they ordered the grilled shit sandwich and then recoiled when the waiter brought them a piece of shit between two slices of bread. You really can’t complain about getting a shit sandwich when you order a shit sandwich.

C’mon guys. You must have read Art of the Deal where Trump wrote about his use of “truthful hyperbole” – which most people call lying. You must have heard about his bankruptcies, his serial adultery, his non-payment to contractors, his tax evasion. The man is a consummate prevaricator.

He was going to focus on “making America great again” and “America First” to such an extent that he’d have no time to play golf – or even leave Washington. Right. Consider just this one grotesque account from a devastating timeline in New York Magazine:

“Trump jets to Mar-a-Lago via Air Force One at a cost to taxpayers of $142,380 per hour. For years, Trump heckled President Obama for taking vacations and golfing trips at government expense. If elected, he vowed, he would “rarely leave the White House, because there’s so much work to be done.” In fact, during his first three months in office, Trump’s taxpayer-funded flights to his private properties exceeded $20 million — on track to quickly surpass the amount Obama spent on travel during his eight years in office. Trump made more than 90 visits to his golf courses and played almost twice as much golf as Obama. His family joined in, requiring Secret Service agents to rack up an extra 4,054 days of taxpayer-funded travel to keep up.”

Trump was going to tear up trade agreements, torpedo the Iran nuclear deal, drain the swamp, hire the best people. He was going to repeal and replace Obamacare with “health care that is far less expensive and far better,” and that the whole thing would be done “essentially simultaneously … the same day or the same week … could be the same hour.”

And don’t forget Trump University.

But more than any other promise, Trump was going to build a beautiful wall on the Southern border to keep out rapists and drugs. It was his favorite go-to applause line on the campaign trail. And lest we forget, Mexico would pay for it “one hundred percent.” One week into his presidency, Trump admitted full tilt to Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto that it was all for show – something any eighth grader (let alone a professional political pundit) should have known all along. Trump told Peña Nieto that the wall was “the least important thing we are talking about.”

Trump’s back-down from building the wall was the last straw for Coulter – her shit sandwich, so to speak. Once Trump’s earliest and biggest cheerleader, she now calls him “a shallow, lazy ignoramus,” adding, “he’s not giving us what he promised at every single campaign stop.” Duh.

In a revealing interview with the New York Times, Coulter explained that she’s done with Trump. She’s one of a growing cadre of “Former Trumpers” as she calls them; one-time supporters who are now disillusioned with him.

Disillusioned that a fully-documented con-man let them down.

I would call it deluded instead.

Memo to Starbucks: Coffee is Black

Latest libation from Starbucks: Venti Soverchieria with a Double Shot of Razzismo. Delivered personally by the CEO. List price $50 million (according to some lawyers.)

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Congress Say the Darnedest Things

SayA few months ago the Republican-led Congress placed a tax bill on Very Stable Genius’s desk which he signed, thus lowering tax burdens by the millions for corporations and rich people while showering the proles with an average tax cut of about $12 a week. Of course there is a cost for this largess.

The Congressional Budget Office reported the other day that – thanks to the latest tax scam – the budget deficit is on pace to surpass $1 trillion in just a couple years. The Party of Fiscal Reprehensibility strikes again. Dems – who have only slightly more credibility on this issue – have strived to take the high ground.

Chuck E. (Cheese) Schumer whined, “From Day one the Republican agenda has always been to balloon the deficit in order to dole out massive tax breaks to the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans, and then use the deficit as an excuse to cut Social Security and Medicare.” Nancy Pelosi blasted, “The C.B.O.’s report exposes the staggering costs of the G.O.P. tax scam and Republicans’ contempt for fiscal responsibility.”

Defending the GOP was Representative Jeff Duncan, a conservative Republican from South Carolina who made this provocative statement: “To every House Democrat on social media today complaining about the debt and deficit for the first time: I look forward to seeing you vote for the balanced budget amendment later this week. That is of course assuming you are actually serious about addressing our debt.”

Congress say the darnedest things.

Let’s make this easier to understand with a bonehead analogy: You work at a Home Depot (sorry). Your colleague Jeff Duncan stacks boxes too high and they keep tumbling down on customers. You complain. In response, Jeff, festooned in an orange apron arrogantly defies you to join him in repealing the law of gravity. You shake your head and quickly apply for a job at Lowes.

Now consider this week’s Congressional inquisition of Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg over his company’s fast ‘n loose stewardship of user data. Zuck the Fuck played the proper trained seal and offered a sufficient quantity of mea culpas to the preening senators to ensure a delay on regulations, thus assuaging stock holders who drove the shares up during his testimony. Give him props, at least, for buttressing his financial position.

Many of the Senators on the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees – prepped, no doubt, by millennial staffers 1/3rd their ages – tried mightily as they grilled Zuck to sound in synch with modern technology, invoking terms like cloud, scraping data and dark web. (Sidebar: At least none of the august members of the committee referred to the internet as a “series of tubes” as defunct crustacean Ted Stevens once risibly did.)

.
.
A lot of moral grandstanding and regulatory threats were spewed forth from the high ‘n mighty senators, but one line of attack seemed ill-considered: Ron Johnson of Wisconsin pushed the Zuck on the subject of Facebook’s terms of service. His contention: No one actually reads the lengthy legalese before clicking “agree.” Of course he’s right. The terms are several thousand words long, many of which are more than two syllables.

In other words, Johnson was chastising Facebook for constructing terms of service documents that are too complicated and wordy for anyone to read, resulting in passive acceptance – and all the shit that follows.

But, when it came time to reflect on the big, 2000-page Republican tax cut bill, Johnson saw things a bit differently. After Dems complained about having no time to review last-minute changes made by the Reps, Johnson said, “You really don’t read this kind of legislation … you have to study it and you have to study the major provisions.”

Congress say the darnedest things.

Speaker of the House and Eddie Munster doppelganger Paul Ryan just announced his retirement as a 20-year government-tit man. Noting, “I didn’t want this job at first and most of you know this, I really actually didn’t,” Ryan went on to revel in his many accomplishments including “reforming” taxes such that rich people and corporations get an even bigger slice while the deficit is set to balloon out of control in a couple years. He also articulated his disdain for big government programs, including Medicaid and Social Security. Ryan said in a recent interview that his goal of capping Medicaid was on the verge of success, noting, “We’ve been dreaming of this since I’ve been around — since you and I were drinking at a keg.”

(Sidebar: I’ve had dreams in my youth when drinking at a keg – and it wasn’t about Medicaid. Not even close.)

Curiously, well before he entered the dark world of politics, young Ryan paid part of his out-of state tuition at an Ohio public university with an evil thing right up there with Medicaid: Social Security survivor benefits received after the death of his father. Mr. Anti-Social Security said later on, “It was a tough time for our family, and Social Security was there to help us when we needed the help.”

Right.

Congress sure do say the darnedest things.

End Note: A Great Word

Aibohpphobia – The fear of palindromes.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Death Race 2018: Rise of the Machines

ped1Elaine Herzberg has the dubious distinction of being the first pedestrian killed by an autonomously-driven Uber vehicle which was undergoing tests in Tempe, AZ. Apparently Herzberg was in the process of crossing a busy street while walking her bicycle when she was struck. Although the Uber car was monitored by a human in the driver seat (who was not paying attention, according to video from inside the car), the self-driving system did not respond in time.

Uber temporarily suspended tests in Arizona and California, and then quickly settled with Herzberg’s family – presumably to avoid a court case that could have set ugly precedents for dealing with accidents involving autonomous vehicles.

Clearly, the specter of imperfect robotic vehicles barreling down the road has instilled fear in many who call for a moratorium on testing – and even a ban on deploying the technology altogether.

It’s unfortunate that a shitty company like Uber has invested in autonomous R&D, because they are bound to cut corners and deviate from safety standards which will invariably lead to more negative stories like Herzberg’s – and to more calls to slow down or stop the research. No one is better positioned to scuttle peoples’ confidence than the inept fools at Uber.

That would be too bad. As the technology improves and finds itself embedded into more and more vehicles, allowing them to communicate with each other and share data, highway safety will improve.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “In 2013, there were 4,735 pedestrians killed and an estimated 66,000 injured in traffic crashes in the United States. A total of 4,653 traffic crashes each had one or more pedestrian fatalities. On average, a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 8 minutes in traffic crashes.”

Strangely, none of this generated a call to ban human drivers.

A fatality every 2 hours, and yet no one is calling for human-operated vehicles to be banned. In fact, the trend seems to be leaning toward increasing punishment of the jaywalking pedestrian rather than the motorist. Last December, a guy in Saugerties, NY stepped into traffic from between two park cars, was struck by a car, went to the hospital for shoulder and hip injuries, and received a ticket for failure to yield right of way to vehicle.

So let’s be cool when autonomous vehicles occasionally mow down granny, and think instead of the wonders to come.

Just offer free Amazon Prime and shut him up

trumpbezos1

Trump is upset at Amazon for not paying enough taxes. This from a guy who said minimizing taxes makes a person smart, and probably paid nothing in federal taxes for more than a decade. He also doesn’t like that Amazon sends some of its products using the US Postal Service, deriding the on-line retailer for treating the USPS like a “delivery boy.” The Postal Service hasn’t weighed in on whether it feels like a delivery boy, but they have stated plainly that the contracts they have with Amazon cover costs (which is a concept you rarely connect with the Postal Service.)

Trump has a boner for Amazon for shirking taxes, but he’s flaccid when it comes to other profitable corporations that paid no federal taxes in recent years, such as International Paper, Priceline.com, General Electric, and Duke Energy.

Most likely Trump is pissed because he hates the coverage he gets from the Washington Post which is owned by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. In fact, Trump has often tweeted about negative WaPo articles as fake news and sometimes ends his 140 character tirades with #AmazonWashingtonPost – as if Amazon owns the newspaper.

As with much of what Trump says and does, his attacks on Amazon – because he hates the coverage he gets from a newspaper tangentially connected to the company – are bad for the country. As are his slams against the NY Times, and CNN, as well as his cocksucking endorsements of Fox News and (of all things) grocery store faveThe National Enquirer.

When an insecure, narcissist leader like Trump gets to punish and reward companies based on the level to which they are willing to lick his ass, real trouble abounds.

Posted in Business, Politics | Tagged , | Comments Off

Zuck You!

zuckercock
Mark Zuckerberg holds his cock for you

Although the mesmerizing 2010 film “The Social Network” is not a documentary, it’s clear from the portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg that the Facebook founder was an anti-social douchebag who likely stole ideas from others and fucked over friends so as to develop a Harvard campus-wide platform for picking up girls and humiliating those who chose not to play along. At no time did Zuckerberg seem to envision a time when Facebook would grow to a level that would cross into terrain requiring adult supervision – even as he pressed hard to expand Facebook off the Harvard campus onto other colleges, and eventually across the universe.

As with any entity that takes venture capital and makes an IPO, Facebook eventually had to satisfy investors by making and growing revenue at a dizzying clip. Recognizing that the users of Facebook were not the customers, but rather the product, Zuckerberg and his lieutenants embarked on an aggressive strategy to make money the only way it conceivably could: through advertising. Any advertising. Especially advertising that compelled Facebook users to log in more often, for longer periods of time so they could consume more of it.

For years, Facebook has fooled around with its terms of use and privacy policies – so much so that the users mostly shrugged and complied. After all, the addictive Facebook had become for millions not so much a forum for ideas or a cool way to communicate, but rather a tool for self-validation. Accumulating “friends” and capturing “likes” was proof of existence. Similarly, “unfriending” became the ultimate insult, the most damning form of disrespect (although some might argue that changing one’s status from “in a relationship with X” to “single” without notifying X is more insidious.) The user base gladly, if irresponsibly, shared enormous amounts of personal and psychographic data just so they could give a thumbs up to a gif of a masturbating monkey.

The recent revelation that Cambridge Analytica – founded by the cretinous Steve Bannon, Robert Mercer, and Mercer’s amply-foreheaded daughter Rebecca – vacuumed up detailed profile info on 50 million users without their knowledge or consent just adds further evidence that Facebook is a nefarious entity with no scruples and little interest in maintaining integrity.

rebecca1
Rebecca Mercer shines up her forehead before the drive-in movie is projected on it

And it’s through Facebook that the Trump campaign most likely colluded with Russians to influence the 2016 election. It is no secret that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Prince Jared of Kushner investigated the idea of micro-targeting pliable voters in swing precincts so as to target them with materials that could sway them toward the Orange Man. Here is Jared speaking to Forbes right after the election: “We brought in Cambridge Analytica. I called some of my friends from Silicon Valley who were some of the best digital marketers in the world. And I asked them how to scale this stuff. We basically had to build a $400 million operation with 1,500 people operating in 50 states, in five months to then be taken apart. We started really from scratch.”

Okay, so we know that Trump’s campaign – like others before it – sought to use big data analytics to influence specific voters. But influence them with what information? And when? That’s where the Russians come in. We at Major Terata are convinced that Russians developed phony stories and memes trashing Hillary Clinton that were posted on the Facebook feeds of pliable users chosen by Kushner’s team, and delivered on a schedule determined by the Trump campaign.

satan
Sadly, some Trump voters believe this

The granularity of those chosen to receive bullshit stories was down to the precinct level. So rather than blanket the entire U.S. Facebook population with patently ludicrous messages, the Trump campaign was able to direct the Russians to pinpoint the propaganda and avoid broad opprobrium from less-gullible voters.

And what did the Facebook company do while this subterfuge was taking place? Other than counting profits, nothing.

Zuck you, America!

Weapon of Mass Distraction

Twenty years ago the names Linda Tripp, Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky were spoken ubiquitously on cable news shows. Viewers were bombarded by reportage on a cum-stained dress and moist cigars, the meaning of “is,” and Ken Starr’s fetishes. Meanwhile a little known facial-hair club for men called Al Qaeda was plotting to blow up embassies, sink a U.S. naval destroyer, and hijack planes in an unlikely attempt to destroy iconic buildings. Who knows how much the distractions related to Bill Clinton’s dalliances and subsequent impeachment led to blindness on the looming reign of terror that would peak on September 11, 2001.

I can’t help harkening back to that time when I see non-stop coverage of the lurid stories revolving around Trump, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal on CNN and MSNBC (but not Fox which is smitten instead with Obama and Clinton). As before, should we expect a shitstorm of evil and incivility to follow in the wake of America’s single-minded, idiotic obsession with presidential sex?

stormy
Can anyone answer this question: Why are so many men interested in these women?

WTF?

What is this man offering to the young boy in this statue situated at the Adelaide Catholic school in Australia? Is it perhaps Jared from Subway and his foot-long hero?

dominic

Tee Shirts by Major Terata

Order yours today! Made in America for Americans. Choose from XXL, XXXL, XXXXL, and XnL

tees

Posted in Fashion, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Stroke the Orange Ego – Win a Prize

horsebackIf Trump meets up with Kim Jong-Un – and that’s a big “if” despite Trump’s giddy announcement the other day that he’d do just that – expect the roly-poly North Korean dictator to play the Orange Man with a carefully concocted brew of conspicuous compliments, over-the-top ceremony, expensive gifts, and maybe even an allusion to a future Trump Tower Pyong-Yang.

There’s no way feeble narcissist Trump could resist the pomp and circumstance. Left to his own devices, Trump would pull out the troops from Seoul, give KJU (yes, people now refer to Mr. Un by his initials) a lifetime membership to Mar-a-Lago, and arrange a three-way with Stormy Daniels and his choice of Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders or someone named Tiffany.

And he’d do all those things in exchange for a commitment written in pencil to denuclearize someday, or a declaration that Trump the bestest president in all of history (way better than that Kenyan Obama) – whichever comes first.

Consider what Trump said about Putin during an interview with Bill O’Reilly in April 2016: “I think he said some really nice things. He called me a genius. He said Trump’s a genius. Okay. So, you know, that’s nice.” In return for the disputed “genius” comment Trump has turned a complete blind eye to Russia’s demonstrated affronts to U.S. and European democratic institutions, and their flagrant incursions into neighboring countries.

Philippines president and self-confessed murderer Rodrigo Duterte said in a speech, “Trump is a realist, a pragmatic thinker,” adding “Trump wouldn’t become a billionaire if he were stupid.” Such asslicking has its benefits. Instead of marginalizing Duterte for his thuggish behavior and moronic policies, Trump praises the dictator for his fine work on dealing with the country’s drug problem (by gunning down anyone who might be a drug dealer or user.)

Egypt’s hard-hearted leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with appropriate obsequiousness proclaimed this about Trump, “Since we met last September, I have had a deep appreciation and admiration of your unique personality.” Trump paid it right back. “I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind president el-Sisi. He has done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt, and the people of Egypt.” (Sidebar; Trump also slobbered over el-Sisi’s shoes.)

Other world leaders who have traded no-cost ego-stroking for valuable concessions from Orange-man include Recep Erdogan of Turkey, Chinese president-for-life Xi Jinping, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

In reality, what little competent diplomatic and military staff remains will do whatever they can to dissuade Trump from meeting KJU because they know Trump will fold like a cheap card table. They know that all Little Rocket Man has to do to get Trump off his back AND keep his nukes is hold his nose and stroke Trump’s furry pate.

No doubt the White House comms team has already fabricated stories to spring on the press explaining away Trump’s eagerness to meet KJU. Maybe they can weave in the Stormy Daniels affair somehow.

Celebrities-turned-Politicians

callahan

We at Major Terata do not believe Cynthia Nixon has the right experience to become the governor of New York. The former co-star of “Sex and the City” is probably not even qualified to be the mayor of Callicoon, NY. Likewise we are not convinced Oprah Winfrey would make a good POTUS (although we’ve come to know that “good” is a very fluid attribute.) These observations put us in the camp of the New York Post’s Maureen Callahan who penned an opinion piece titled “When we will get over celebrity politicians like Oprah and Cynthia Nixon?”

The gist of her column is that untested, unqualified left-wing celebs have a lot of nerve deigning to believe they deserve to jump into top level political jobs.

Oddly, Maureen makes only a passing mention of the ultimate, unqualified celebrity hack who aspired to and won top office. And she had nothing to say about right-wing entertainers who have gone directly from the movies or music studios into politics – Clint Eastwood, Sonny Bono, Schwarzenegger – or have toyed around with the idea – Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, Antonio Sabato.

Callahan also picks on Chelsea Clinton, even though the former first daughter hasn’t made any moves to compete for an elected position. Yet she overlooks the political aspirations of another first daughter, Ivanka Trump.

Come on, Maureen, you started out so well only to fall into the NY Post hypocrisy hole.

Get Out … of TD Ameritrade

81610

If you’re a black man and you meet this dude from the TD Ameritrade TV commercial, run away! – or your brain will be harvested for insertion into the cranium of an old, white hedge fund manager whose portfolio hasn’t beaten the S&P 500 for five straight years.

End note: Best synopsis yet for Oscar-winning film “The Shape of Water”

Grinding Nemo.

Posted in Business, Politics | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Doping & Curling. What’s Next, Pine Tar on Those Little Brooms?

curling
Aleksandr Krushelnitckii snorts human growth hormone off his bronze medal.

Curling may not appear to be a difficult game, but precise deployment of a heavy object on a slippery surface combined with the need to follow the object so as to polish the ice in front of it can pose significant challenge to the less adept. Just check out this particular curling fail involving a man whose ability to shuffle down the ice is markedly impaired.

Still, despite the frictionless ice, the special shoes, and the glorified floor scrubber, it would appear that curling is much like golf – a challenging game of skill but not really an endeavor requiring any particular store of strength, endurance or stamina. So it came as a surprise when Russian curler Aleksandr Krushelnitckii and his playing partner wife lost out on a bronze medal after the Court of Arbitration for Sport officially ruled Krushelnitckii guilty of doping.

What possible reason could there be for a curler to dope? Mainlining Moosehead Ale to appear more like a Canadian?

Guns and Cheese

Trump sure knows how to convey empathy as exemplified by his cheesy grin and erect thumb in this official photo taken at the hospital where students are recovering from wounds inflicted by a mass shooter at Marjory Stoneham Douglas high school. Maybe he’s thinking something like “Shot at your high school? Get three free credits at Trump University (if you live to graduation.)”

Trump-cheese

Humira Horror Show

Someone please tell the little girl in this Humira ad (which is titled “Missing” by the way) to watch “Get Out” – and then run awaaaaaaay!!!!!

.
.
.
Term Unlimited

Now that China is moving to rescind its limit of two terms for its leader, let’s start the countdown clock to how long it takes for crazy Trumpsters to start calling in earnest for the same in the U.S. so as to Keep America Orange forever.

We at Major Terata give it to mid-March.

After all, what American wouldn’t want to return to a monarchy under the House of Trump. Next up in 2032, Queen Ivanka I.

Sleepwalking Sarah Sanders

After a full day of prevaricating in front of the cameras, White House spokesblob Sarah Huckabee Sanders likes to take a dreamy walk on the High Line.

sanderswalker

Posted in Politics, Sports | Tagged | Comments Off