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Don't leave home without it

It seems Donald Trump wants to give young black men a platinum card to make up for all the shortfalls in economic relief to black communities over the last several decades.  Trump is once again pushing the idea that the Democrats have imposed a "plantation mentality" on blacks, first pitched by Kanye and other disgruntled Black Americans, who think the Democrats have no real interest in improving their situation.  Only the Donald can give them prosperity, and so he unveiled his "platinum plan" earlier this month as part of his pitch for Black Economic Empowerment.  Not surprisingly, there is little in it to suggest there will be any infusions into black communities, just a bunch of vague promises.However, this was apparently enough to pique the interest of a few rappers, notably Lil Wayne and Ice Cube, who offered to join forces with Team Trump to deliver on these promises.  50 Cent initially expressed interest but has since stepped back, with his former girlfriend…
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It's almost over

It must feel like the world is falling in for the Republicans.  I suppose this is why Mitch the Turtle is so anxious to get Amy Coney Barrett through the Senate Monday.  With her on the Supreme Court Bench, they will be able to challenge the election results as the absentee ballots roll in.  However, at this point it looks like the election will be called shortly after the last polls close on the West Coast, as Biden is pulling ahead in all the battleground states, leaving Superspreader Donny scurrying around the country to drum up last-minute support as he visits as many as three states in one day. Of course, Sleepy Joe can't get too relaxed.  You can never take a vote for granted in the final stretch.Muted Donny had a hard time at the last debate.  Unable to talk over Biden or the moderator, he tried to resort to playing Mr. Nice Guy by complimenting Kristen Welker at one point.  This after disparaging her on twitter in the run-up to the debate.  Releasing the 60 Minutes intervi…

Beyond the Zero

After sorting through all my books, I dug up a dusty copy of Gravity's Rainbow along with a companion volume by Stephen Weisenburger.  Unfortunately it is not the Viking first edition hardback, which can fetch as much as 42 grand on the book market, if you are lucky to have one signed by the author.  I have the Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century edition.  Any number of wonderful fake covers have been made, like the one above by Kacper Kiec.  I've made it through Beyond the Zero, and have to say it is a lot easier going than I expected.  Not that I'm a WWII buff and know all the nomenclature, but I have read a fair amount of Graham Greene, Kurt Vonnegut and other authors who have delved into the subject and know the territory.The relationship between Roger Mexico and Jessica Swanlake reminds me a lot of The End of the Affair, albeit set just after the war.   It's the kind of torrid romance you expect from a city besieged by V-1 bombs.  Roger has worked out a formul…

When fiction trumps fact

As tempting as it is to bite on the the story the New York Post broke on Hunter Biden's emails concerning Burisma, it seems the mainstream media is not taking the bait, other than to question the veracity of the story.  It is full of so many holes that apparently even Fox news passed on the hacked emails Mayor Rudy provided via a Russian agent.  Ghouliani himself couldn't be certain the agent wasn't a spy.  That still hasn't stopped Fox and other conservative media outlets from running with the story, especially after Twitter flagged it as fake news and wouldn't allow users to share it.  Jack Dorsey has since reversed the position taken by his company, after the immense pressure that was brought upon him by Republican senators who claimed he was stifling freedom of expression.  It doesn't seem to matter as the hackneyed story is gaining almost no traction outside Magaland.  This leads one to wonder what has become of the Grand Old Party that it so freely engage…

Moon over Miami

It was another gut punch for the Donald.  Team Trump thoroughly expected to put Sleepy Joe Biden to rest in the Nielsen ratings, but even with NBC cable channels figured in he was unable to top Biden's Town Hall on ABC.  Making it even worse is that Joe went 15 rounds as opposed to Donald's 10, as Joe fielded questions for 90 minutes while Donald ducked out after 60 minutes.  For a guy who has been telling us that Joe is over the hill, Biden was far more cogent and better able to respond to the questions that were addressed to him than was Dodgy Donald Trump, who couldn't even remember when he last took a coronavirus test.Yes, it was another disgraceful evening for our embattled president.  Even his friends at Fox were confused by his performance, given NBC essentially gifted him a 60-minute free political ad at the last moment.  The Donald has had to pull ads throughout the country as funds have run dry in these last three weeks of the campaign.  But, Samantha Guthrie was…

Goodbye Columbus

I never could understand why Italian-Americans embraced Columbus.  Yes, he was Italian, but had no idea where he was, and never set foot on what is now the United States.  Columbus came to Haiti, which he had previously named Hispaniola, floated around the Caribbean on four voyages, eventually making it to the Mexican isthmus, but was still convinced these were all islands in the Pacific Ocean.  Meanwhile, another Italian, Amerigo Vespucci, mapped a large piece of what is now the Brazilian coastline, and determined that this was a new continent, not Cipango, the islands of Japan, which is what Columbus thought the Caribbean islands were, even if the inhabitants didn't look very Asian.Yet, we are loaded with references to Columbus, from the District of Columbia, to the Columbia River to Columbus, Ohio, not to mention all the statues across this great land of ours.  Governor Andrew Cuomo got very defensive when it was suggested that the state should take down the statue of Columbus …

Proud Boys and Mad Men

I guess it should come as no surprise that white supremacists in Michigan were plotting to overthrow the state government.  It reminds me of the BlacKkKlansman, where a black cop was able to infiltrate the local klan in Colorado Springs, which was based on a true story by the way.  Fortunately, these guys aren't very smart as you can tell by their mug shots.  The FBI had long figured out the plot, it was just waiting for enough incriminating evidence to build a strong case against them.  Maybe these were the guys the President was urging to stand down, at least until after the election?While it is not the first time we have heard of such plots, it was a bit scary to think these guys were spread out all over the state.  Several of them were part of the "Wolverine Watchmen," one of many militia groups operating in the state.  If you recall, Timothy McVeigh hung out with Terry Nichols on a farm in Michigan, accumulating enough fertilizer that he was eventually able to blow …

It's time to put Trump behind us

Even though Joe Biden has apparently expanded his lead in national polls to 14 per cent, you have to wonder why it is even that close.  The Trump campaign has been an absolute train wreck, even before the Republican National Convention, and it is on the brink of total collapse.  Yet, he still polls within six percentage points in key states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, and is in a virtual dead heat in Ohio and Florida.Biden was neither my first, second or third choice as Democratic nominee, but I will gladly vote for him over Trump because he is simply the better man.  I'm sure that's the way many Democrats feel, as they put their country over their party favorites.We hear about the many high profile Republican defections, yet Trump still enjoys an approval rating of 94% among the base of the party.  I suppose Republicans are determined to stick with their nominee come full or partial dementia, but do they really think this man has done a good job as president?It…

Fuck Jamie Oliver!

Or When Is a Carrot Cake not a Carrot Cake

My wife knows I have a hard time not making comments any time she lands on Jamie Oliver on the television.  She isn't as turned off by him as I am, as she is always curious in new recipes.  At the height of his pretentious he tried to teach American kids how to eat right with his so-called "food revolution."  It may have done some good, but  Jamie is to food what Dr. Oz is to medicine.  However, I will never forgive him for that awful carrot cake recipe he had in a cookbook someone once gave me for my birthday.  I wanted to throw the cookbook away but my wife wouldn't let me.
The cooking phenomena is really something.  There is no end to cooking shows and cooking competitions on television, not to mention all the cookbooks that have flooded the market.  Every celebrity seems to have a cookbook, even Snoop Dogg.  I suppose it comes after spending so much time with fellow ex-felon Martha Stewart. I venture to say Snoop is probab…

Those Nasty COVID Blues Again

You figured at some point that nasty "Jina Virus" had to catch up with Trump.  He and his entourage have blatantly refused to follow COVID protocols since the virus initially broke out across the country in March.  At the first and quite possibly last presidential debate, his family defiantly removed their masks after sitting for the event and Trump mocked Biden for wearing a mask at public events.  It is this hubris that makes it hard for anyone outside the Trump camp to feel the least bit sorry for the condition he now finds him in.The spread of this virus to Trump's inner circle has been blamed on Hope Hicks, but it seems the spread took place during Trump's announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee, three days before the debate.  No less than 8 persons tested positive for COVID-19 after that event, including two Republican senators on the Senate judiciary committee.  No surprise given all the hugs and kisses that went around.  This would also…

World's Greatest Tax Cheat

What was interesting in hearing the Donald respond to questions about the New York Times expose of his tax returns, is that he didn't really deny the story.  He hemmed and hawed and said he paid a lot of other taxes, but seemed genuinely taken aback that his tax record for the past 20 years has finally been revealed.  The New York Times paints an ugly picture.  It's not jsust that he paid so little in personal income taxes, it is the methods he used to avoid paying those taxes.  To hear Trump talk, he's the world's greatest businessman, but to look at his record, he's the world's greatest tax cheat, finding highly questionable ways to avoid paying any income tax for 10 out of 15 of those years, thanks largely to the enormous losses he reported on his hotels and golf clubs.Of course, tax avoidance is nothing new.  If you have a good tax accountant, or an army of tax accountants in his case, you can find ways to write off anything like $70,000 in haircuts or char…

Romancing the Nurse

Watching Ryan Murphy's latest creation, Ratched, I've noticed he likes twisted happy endings.  It was the same with American Horror Story.  No matter how macabre each season became, it ultimately came to a happy ending of sorts.  Basically, he is a romantic at heart.  This should have made it difficult for him with the infamous Nurse Ratched, truly one of the cruelest, most heartless bitches conceived in a book or movie, but no bother.  He finds a way to reach into her heart over 8 episodes, justifying her seemingly amoral behavior.  Sarah Paulsen gives a bravuro performance as a younger Mildred, but nothing compared to the steely-eyed nurse in One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest, who never broke character for one moment.  Hers was such a cruel role that no leading actress wanted to take it until Louise Fletcher came along.  She was rewarded for her efforts with an Oscar. Watching the series, Judy Davis was closer in character to the infamous nurse, until Murphy decided to revea…