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Showing posts from July, 2019

Like a Wrecking Ball

On these hot summer days, my Yahoo! news feed is filled with mostly titillating stories like Miley Cyrus stripping down to beat the heat, but Trump has somehow managed to intrude with all his racist comments about Baltimore, his rants against Sweden, and his ongoing feud with Robert Mueller.  There's another Democratic debate coming up this week, but you would never know it as you have to scroll far down the headlines to find it.  First you have to read how annoyed Maryanne Williamson was after the ridicule she received from the first debate.  It's good to know she is sticking with her campaign theme, "love is the answer."

The Trump strategy this summer is just the opposite.  He is casting the Democrats in the worst possible light so as to make them defend themselves.  He's lashing out at everyone from Nancy Pelosi to Barack Obama to Joe Biden, but his harshest tweets have been directed at Elijah Cummings, leading many to view Trump as racist.  His staff says th…

45 is a puppet

It didn't take long for viewers to see there was something amiss about the presidential seal behind Trump as he took the stage of a youth rally sponsored by Turning Point USA.  I thought it was an on-line joke, but it turns out the techie who was in charge for the screen presentation was either grossly incompetent, had his presentation hacked or is the ultimate troll.  Whatever the case, this is a moment neither Trump nor Turning Point will be able to live down for a long time, as the seal has now become the unofficial emblem of the Trump White House.

The creator of the satiric seal has become an internet celebrity.  When he created this image at the height of the 2016 campaign, he could never have imagined that one day Trump would stand before it.  He will have a hard time holding onto the rights of the design, as I'm sure it will be plastered all over t-shirts and caps in the days ahead.  It's the perfect emblem for a faux president who thinks he is king of the world.

T…

Shameless

I didn't expect much from the Mueller hearing, so I'm not surprised to read that it failed to live up to expectations.  What did surprise me is just how shameless Republicans are in defending their Commander-in-Chief.  They wasted no opportunity to besmirch Mueller's reputation, question his judgement, and point out what they regarded to be the many failings of his investigation.  To be fair, Democrats likewise used their allotted time to chasten the President rather than ask Mr. Mueller specific questions.

It didn't matter that he netted several persons within Trump's inner campaign circle, and showed that Russia actively interfered in the 2016 elections, which he had been charged by the DOJ to determine.  In their minds, Trump remains cleared of all charges, even when Mueller specifically said he didn't have the power to indict him.  Instead, he laid out ten incidents where the president could be seen as obstructing justice.

I will never understand why so ma…

Chutzpah

It takes a lot of chutzpah to use your Jewish identity to defend Trump's cages, but that's exactly what Little Stephen Miller did in an interview with Chris Wallace.  He flipped Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's comments on the detention camps along the border into an attack on her, calling her allusion to concentration camps a "historical smear."  He claimed he was "profoundly outraged as a Jew."

Yet, he defended his President's malicious attacks on "the Squad," once again flipping the widespread criticism Trump received in the wake of his North Carolina rally into an attack on Democrats for trying to stifle free speech.  Wallace made attempts to counter Miller but to no avail.  It's like hitting tennis balls against a backstop.
Miller appears to be the dominant force in the Trump White House.  Trump supposedly went so far as to make him in charge of immigration when Kirstjen Nielsen resigned as Secretary of Homeland Security, no longer abl…

Il Douche

You kinda get the feeling Trump is the Grinch Who Stole America, as he stumbled upon his catch phrase for his 2020 campaign.  At first, he appeared to be coming to the defense of Nancy Pelosi, who AOC accused of singling out persons of color in her criticisms, but very quickly it morphed into an attack on four Congresswomen, aka the Squad, who a large part of the conservative electorate believes are foreigners and should be deported.

From a political point of view, it would have been smarter for Trump to continue to support Pelosi in the tiff between the House Speaker and The Squad, as it would have divided Democrats, but Trump (or more likely Stephen Miller) saw a great opportunity to rile up the base, so Trump made Ilhan Omar the poster child of his anti-immigration movement.

Ms. Omar is the only one of the four who was actually born outside the US.  She came to America from Somalia at the age of 10 and is a naturalized citizen.  She has been in the country longer than Melania, not…

Going Back to Scituate

It's a big thing these days to track down your family roots.  My wife and I were watching Eurovision a few weeks back and the constant plugs for My Heritage had us thinking why not?  Some of our friends had gotten their results back on the DNA tests and were busy assembling their family trees on the interactive website.  We're still waiting on our DNA results, but we both started putting together our family trees.

I didn't expect much to come of it.  I had a fair amount of information on the Ferguson side of my family, but almost nothing on the Lahr side.  I figured my mother's father or his father was a German immigrant and not much information is on file, at least not in the US.  I didn't feel like going for the annual subscription just yet, so I started searching around the Internet for information on my mother's parents, mostly to fill in the blanks on the family tree.  Lo and behold I discovered my grandmother's mother was a Sprague, and there was a p…

History repeats itself as farce

Never a dull moment in The Apprentice: The White House Years, as former apprentice Sebastian Gorka strutted over to tell Playboy journalist Brian Karem, "You're not a journalist - you're a punk!" to the chants of "Gor-ka, Gor-ka" from the right-wing media choir whom Trump was honoring at a social media summit on the White House lawn.  It's almost as bad as the time Reagan invited Jerry Falwell and his band of Evangelist ministers to the White House.

Trump may be the dumbest president we ever had, but he is not the worst.  We can thank Reagan for ushering in these kooks back in 1981 when he rode into Washington on the backs of the so-called "Moral Majority."  Reagan, or rather his inner circle, quickly sought to undermine the progressive reforms of the Carter administration and all things Democratic.  The only problem was that Congress was still Democratic, so the House and Senate often overrode his vetoes, like the Clean Water Act that the Gi…

Stranger Things Indeed

Given the phenomenal success of the Stranger Things series on Netflix, I wouldn't be surprised if the Shopping Mall is raised from the dead.  Starcourt Mall plays a major roll in the latest season.  On the surface it is a new mall located in the fictional city of Hawkins, Indiana, but deep underneath a much more sinister world exists.  Leave it to our intrepid gang of geeks to find this hidden world after cracking an all too easy Russian code.  I will say no more, lest you want to visit this homage to 1985.

It's not just the shopping mall, but Polaroid cameras and walking talkies and ham radios that are finding their way back into the mainstream.  The Duffer Brothers, born in 1984, first re-imagined their birth year and turned it into a highly lucrative cable series that is chock full of product placements as we move slowly forward in the 80s.

Stranger Things is not the only television show or movie mining the 80s.  Believe it or not this era is hip.  This is Us takes a more …

MoonFire

I dusted off my copy Of a Fire on the Moon to read this month, as the great mission of Apollo 11 turns 50.  I bought the Taschen version of the book a few years back.  It is loaded with pictures, while still being a convenient size.  I see they have enlarged the format for the golden anniversary, beefing up the price in the process.

Mailler is best when reporting news stories.  His novels tend to be dense, unwieldy things, driven by a false bravado.  The purple prose comes out in his non-fiction books as well, but I like the way he captures the excitement around an event, like he did in The Fight, probably my favorite book of his.

He starts this book with the pre-flight interview by the astronauts.  They were kept in a glass box so as not to pick up any viruses in the movie theater packed with reporters and photographers.  He seems to be attracted to Buzz Aldrin more so than Neil Armstrong, who comes across as wooden.  Michael Collins is pretty much odd man out.

I grew up on the Apol…

Are Democrats too liberal for their own good?

This is the question put forward by the media daily.  We hear not just from moderate Republican pundits like David Brooks, who claims to be seriously courting a Democratic candidate for President this time around, but also from mainstream news pundits as well.

A half dozen or more of the Democrats at the debate professed themselves to be moderate voices, but the only one among them to have gained any traction to this point is Joe Biden, who had been polling around 30 per cent before the debates.  John Hickenlooper, Amy Klobuchar, Tim Ryan, and others all made their cases, but have yet to make a dent in the polls.

On the surface, it appears that Bernie Sanders has done more to energize the party than his more conservative counterparts in the Senate, with the notable exception of Liz Warren.  Democrats want to see a more progressive candidate at the top of the ticket, but not sure which one.  By calling out Joe Biden on federal mandated busing at the debates, Kamala Harris has vaulted …