Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Gillibrand and Castro And Babbard

At least 3 more entered the fray this week. None are making me super pumped.

Julian Castor is no surprise. He's been sniffing around for a long time. He is very young, but seems okay.

He says all the right things, was the mayor of the 7th largest US city (San Antonio!) for a while.

But there hasn't been any clamoring for him to run. He seems pleasantly bland. Maybe a pleasant bland Latino is the anti-Trump, but I am not sure that is enough going forward.

His experience seems a bit lacking to me - particularly none in International Affairs and we are going to have to repair a lot of relationships.

He seems fine.
Then there is Kristin Gillibrand.

She is my current Senator. I like her more than Chuck Schumer, but that ain't saying a whole lot.

Here's my 2cents on Gillibrand. She is in many ways perfect. She's a centrist (although recently she has been tacking left for the primary), she has valued women's issues for a long time.

She is reasonable, smart and capable. Again, she's not going to set you on fire.

But her big drawback is Hillary Clinton. IN two ways. First as a Democratic Senator from New York that was pretty conservative and is now more liberal - just like Hillary.  Second she worked for Hillary's election pretty hard. She is going to be easy to paint as a 2nd Hillary. And that is not good.

And then there is Tulsi Gabbard. That is a hard no for me.

Tulsi spent much of her early career fighting hard against gay marriage in Hawaii. She worked for her father's group "Stop Promoting Homosexuality" and the "National Campaign to Protect Marriage" and Hawaii's own "Save Traditional Marraige"

I know people can change their mind and I don't want her to lose her seat or anything, but I won't be supporting her.

From Fox News: Gabbard was a visible force against same-sex marriage, and in 2004 spearheaded a fight in the state against a same-sex union measure. “To try to act as if there is a difference between ‘civil unions’ and same-sex marriage is dishonest, cowardly and extremely disrespectful to the people of Hawaii,” she said at the time. “As Democrats, we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists.”

Disagreeing with me on a topic is fine, saying that my wanting to get married is somehow dishonest, cowardly and extremely disrespectful is her right. And my right is to judge her purely by her words. So let me respectfully say, no thanks.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Roman Amphitheater parts used to build church of St. Donatus, Zadar

Round Church in the center left is St. Donatus
Stumbling across some pictures as I am trying to get them ready for Jane. These are of the church of St. Donatus in Zadar, Croatia.  Here is the blurb from wikipeida...

The Church of St Donatus is a church located in Zadar, Croatia. Its name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. Originally named Church of the Holy Trinity, in the 15th century it was re-dedicated to St Donatus. Wikipedia
It is fascinating because it is now a museum / performance space. A lot of the columns are set on pedestals that were pulled from the old roman amphitheater or graveyards.  Look at see.

The Tuesday New York Times Sceince Section

I do like the New York Times. Should we leave New York, leaving the NY Times will be tough to do. For me, for years, the LA Times was a great paper.

I actually sent it to my mom when she lived away from Los Angeles. And when I was in grad school in San Diego (1988), I had it delivered in La Jolla. Actually it was San Diego's biggest paper (edging out the San Diego local paper) because of it's reporting and seriousness.

The full sad story of the LA Times can be found here, but that isn't the point of this post.

No, today's post is to celebrate the New York Times. And no better example of their service is that they still have a weekly Science Section. Today's was about the European Jackal.
The image is from the online version, but the physical paper has a "Science Section" every Tuesday. It's very cool.

Spoiler alert, the Jackal population has has boomed as the European Wolf eradication in the Balkans has opened up a ecological niche.  Climate Change is now increasing the potential Jackal territory.  You see, Jackals can't live where snow is on the ground more than 100 days - which used to keep them in the Balkans (hemmed in by the Hungarian Steppe and Julian Alps). but now, as there is less snow they have left the Balkans and are now seen in Austria, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Estonia.

And yes, they are very much coyote like, but not quite as social and still afraid of people.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Senate Outlaws Lynching. Evangelicals Lobby House of Representatives to Remove Restrictions for LBGT Lynchings from Bill

Really, say you?  Aye, Aye, say I.


 You see, it is a slippery slope. If you protect fags from being lynched, then they will want other protections...

(FYI - It is not the first time LBGT people and rights from harm have been spelled out in the Federal Law.)

Yes, Collusion.

In case you missed it this week, there was proof of collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Russian intelligence services.


Paul Manafort submitted a filing and his lawyers missed redacting part of it. Therefore it is available for people to read. In the unredacted filing, he acknowledges that - as Trumps Campaign Manager - he shared internal polling data with a Ukrainian who is tied to the Russian Intelligence. He admits to lying about it (or forgetting to mention it). The Russian intelligence used detailed polling data to identify targets on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

President Trump's campaign conspired with a foreign power - and not just any foreign power, but Russia - to sway a United States election.

I would say, what if a Democrat did this, but you know what a Democrat, and person of honor would not do this. No other Republicans did.

Have the Republicans, who continue to stand behind this man, have no shame?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

So Scott, What The Hell is Going On over there?

For my British friends that are perpetually confused by American government, and extra confused now. Here are the basics.

About 1/2 of our government is either working without pay or shut down. This includes our Airline Security personnel (the TSA and the Air Traffic Controllers) and our Border Agents, all of whom are expected to work without pay.

It effects about 800,000 government employees - many who will probably get back pay later - and about 600,000 contractors who will not get back pay for the last 21 days.

It all started, as these things do, with a Trump about-face. A stumble by the Republicans, fully. In December, the President agreed to fund the government for a few months at current levels with no wall.  This was to cover the government until the Democrats took over the House of Representatives.

That agreement passed the Senate 100 - 0 and went to the House of Representatives. But, in the 2 or so days between Senate and House votes, the conservative press complained loudly that there was no wall money. And, with the Republicans loosing control of the House of Representatives, this was the last chance to get wall money. The press in general, and Ann Coulter in particular, made fun of Trump's manliness and we were off to the races.

Must ... stop ... brain ... hurts... so very muchhhhh

She got keen competition....


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Because you taste like Lucky Strikes...

I was going to post the new video of Trump saying he never said Mexico would "Pay!" for the wall. and then, going to YouTube, I found this.  I like it better....

Have you ever crushed on anyone so hard that even their cigarette smoking made you think of them...

Lucky Strikes ...

I Am Rather Opinionless on Kamala Harris

I don't have much of an opinion on Kamala Harris and her bid for President. I don't really know enough about her, she rose to prominence after I left California. I am not negative towards her, but also not positive. She was very good (or very bad depending on your position) in the Kavaugh hearings, but that isn't enough of sample for me.

President Trump gets flustered, bitter and racist when dealing with women of color, so it would be a particularly ugly campaign and a bitter loss for either side. I am not sure that is the best thing for the country. But I an uncomfortable letting a racist determine who should run.

I am not sure she is progressive enough to inspire voters, but I am sure that her recent movement towards overt progressive positions smack of political expediency. I suppose we will see.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Palm Springs Dreaming (or is it a fever dream)

So, we all know I love house porn. Sometimes I dream of moving back to Palm Springs and I look at houses. I have a Trulia pop-up when there is a house I am thinking of.

Usually the houses have been redone by that whole "house-flippers-do-mid-century-modern-gay" vibe that I really do love.  Occasionally, though, one is sent that just slays me.

This one says it needs updating. That is an understatement! I both love and hate this house. It is like the worst of the 70s. It is SO over the top, I kind of want it!!! It is so horrible, it has moved right to kitsch. I think you could rent it for bad movies....

Cuz you can't have too much orange.

Bathroom 1

Bathroom 2

Yes kids, the Aztec god is guarding the orange shag game room!

Well... THAT was a waste of time.... (Update)

(Update) I do want to say that Trump's fearmongering was effective. He rightly talked about 3 attacks from illegal immigrants. They came back from Mexico at points where there were already walls, but they did commit crimes - heinous crimes. Like any criminal, they should be fully prosecuted.  And, sanctuary city or not, any criminal should be turned over to ICE when convicted of a crime.

That was 30 minutes I'll never get back.

For those of you lucky enough to miss it, President Trump delivered a massively dull speech that tried to spark fear in the hearts of millions. It then fell to Nancy Pelosi to bore us with the facts and Chuck Schumer to bore us with emotion on the Democratic Response.

My guess is that this did nothing to change anyone's mind.

It did have Ed and I wondering if the President is snorting Adderall or Cocaine.  His deep inhales through a clearly blocked nose were a give away that one could not stop hearing. And his feverishly calm manner lead me to believe Adderall. It was like he was being tortured to sit still.

Now I (honestly) have never snorted Adderall, but I worked at a bar long enough to know the signs of someone who wants to get away from the cameras for a minute just to get a hit.

And now for something a bit lighter... our very own Very Special Genius President reminder me most of... Brenda Vaccaro hawking Tampons....

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Motis Distractus

The President is going on TV tonight to explain why our Meixcan border is a security crisis - even though there are already 600 miles of fencing in the most critical areas....

Presumably, he will not discuss why he agreed to pass a budget with no wall money and then changed his mind when Fox News and Ann Coulter bitched at him. Presumably he will not discuss how the $1.6 Billion from the last Congress hasn't been spent yet, but getting another $5.6 Billion is a crisis. Or that border crossings are way down....

Presumably he WILL reiterate the lies that his office has said over and over.

**Surely the American people won't let these side-show tactics force them into forgetting that: Trump's emoluments lawsuit is going forward, that Trump's New York investigation into Campaign Finance violations found he violated the law, that the Supreme Court today denied a foreign company's request to ignore the Muller investigation, the the Muller Investigation has found multiple guilty verdicts and pleas.** (This paragraph should have been in sarcasm font.)

Just to get ahead of the lies, USA Today (no liberal bastion) has checked some facts which Very Special Genius has lied about. Repeatedly. (FULL LINK)

Illegal border crossings are down. Significantly.
In 2000, 1.6 million people were apprehended trying to cross the southern border into the United States. In 2001, 1.3 million were apprehended. In 2018? Less than 400,000. That’s not just a decline. It’s a significant decline.
A lot of the decline was because of the recession, which dried up jobs migrants were seeking to fill. But if we’re being fair, apprehension numbers reached a low of about 310,000 in 2017 in part because of increased border enforcement and fear of Trump and his anti-immigrant policies.

Monday, January 07, 2019

When I'm Down...

I put on a little From Justin To Kelly (director's cut) and I feel better.  It does raise some questions thou, and here they are (from Vulture in 2017 even thou the movie was from 2003 - it has a cult following...)

14 Lingering Questions We Have About From Justin to Kelly

Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini. Photo: 20th Century Fox
Let’s travel back, for a moment, to the summer of 2003. It was a simpler time. People were earnestly wearing cargo pants. BeyoncĂ© was crazy in love. And our friends over at American Idol thought it would be a great idea to take their first-ever winner and runner-up and contractually obligate them to appear in a musical rom-com about finding true love on spring break while surrounded by people in bucket hats. (There are so many bucket hats.)
To give the year 2003, the producers of American Idol, and our younger selves some credit, From Justin to Kelly made a lot of sense, at least on paper. It was only natural that American Idol would want to capitalize on its surprise reality-show hit. People loved Kelly Clarkson. People loved Justin Guarini. People loved bucket hats. Who wouldn’t want to see them all hanging out in Florida, singing sweet tunes and falling in love? Apparently, all of America. The movie was released in theaters on June 20, 2003, and performed so poorly that the DVD was quickly pushed out two months later on August 26, 2003. It was a widely panned disaster. Movies need both plot and characters that have at least partially been developed. Who knew?
In honor of the 14th anniversary of the swift DVD release of From Justin to Kelly, a terrible movie about two very likable people, Vulture thought it would be fun to finally ask some of our lingering questions about the 81-minute 2004 Razzie Award winner for Distinguished Under-Achievement in Choreography.
1. Why are any of these guys friends?
Photo: 20th Century Fox
Let me introduce your male leads, also known as the “Pennsylvania Posse.” They are Brandon (Greg Siff), the playboy partier who “raps”; Eddie (Brian Dietzen), the nerd (he says things like “cyber-chatting”); and Justin (Guarini), the Normal. Brandon and Justin are the kings of spring break — they “own” a party promotion “company,” although their business model is hazy at best. Eddie, I think, was kidnapped and brought to spring break against his will. The only problem (just kidding, there are as many problems as there are bucket hats): None of these guys would ever be friends. Justin has too much dignity (I’m serious) to be linked to Brandon, and honestly, I’m surprised Brandon even knows Eddie’s name. There are ways of explaining these unlikely male friendships — I don’t know, maybe these three guys have been friends since they were in diapers and even though they all grew apart they still make it a point to come together once a year, down in Florida, for sunshine, parties, babes, and friendship? But even that background story, which I just came up with in the span of 60 seconds, is more in-depth than anything offered up in this film.
2. Who came up with the name the “Pennsylvania Posse” and may I have a word with that person?
This group nickname sounds like something one of their dads, who definitely wears high-waisted shorts, came up with. It was probably Brandon’s dad. At least narrow it down to a major metropolitan area, boys. The Harrisburg Homeboys. The Scranton Squad. The Pittsburgh Pirates. Okay, that last one is already taken, but you get the idea. Also, what group of guys in 2003 willingly calls themselves a “posse?” I have so many questions about this group of males.
3. What’s with all the towel choreography?
Photo: 20th Century Fox
Towels are a normal item one would find on the beach; subsequently, it makes sense to have towels featured in this film. But the opening group dance number almost exclusively features dancers using towels. There’s towel-shimmying. Towel-waving. Wearing towels like capes. Wearing towels like skirts. Back to the cape thing. Lifting women up with towels. Who is washing all of these towels?
Is this the move that won the film its choreography Razzie?
4. Did people really send text messages like this in 2003 (or at any point in human history)?
Photo: 20th Century Fox
And this?
Photo: 20th Century Fox
And this?
Photo: 20th Century Fox
Forget the fact that the third text is extremely threatening (NO MNS NO, JSTN), these text messages look complicated. Sure, this was before phones had a full keyboard and you had to scroll through the letters on each number key in order to spell out a word (the horror!), but still, removing vowels seems very labor-intensive and also could lead to a lot of misinterpretation. Which is important, considering the texting is basically the crux of this entire movie; for those unfamiliar with the machinations of the plot of From Justin to Kelly, Justin thinks he’s texting Kelly, but her supposed BFF Alexa (Katherine Bailess) actually gave him her own number because she’s hella jealous and wants him all to herself (who could blame her???). It’s also where the title comes from (Get it? The texts are From Justin to Kelly).
5. Who invited Alexa?
Photo: 20th Century Fox
Whereas the Pennsylvania Posse doesn’t make sense in any combination, at least we can agree that when it comes to the three female leads, Kelly and Kaya (Anika Noni Rose) would probably be friends. As for Alexa? At one point, Kaya asks Kelly, “Why are we friends with her?” and I don’t think she’s kidding. It’s very clear Alexa is merely around to service the plot; without Alexa and her text-message meddling (see: question No. 4), Kelly and Justin would’ve just met, smashed faces, harmonized with their angel voices, and generally enjoyed spring break. Which, honestly, sounds like a great movie in comparison.
6. Why didn’t Justin Guarini make more rom-coms?
Photo: 20th Century Fox
This question is coming from a person who teared up watching Justin Guarini’s Idol performance of “Get Here”… this week. So take it as you will. Watch the scene in FJTK in which our heroes meet for the first time in the ladies restroom as Justin is trying to flee from some rabid spring break biddies, and tell me you don’t laugh at his self-deprecating “Girl, my hair won’t even fit through there” when Kelly suggests escape via tiny window. This guy was made for rom-coms! I know Guarini is doing well in the theater world (I know because I’ve seen it with my own two Guarini-loving eyes), and that he has blessed us with “Lil’ Sweet” on those Diet Dr. Pepper commercials, but maybe one good thing can come out of the mess that was From Justin to Kelly. Unless he is scarred for life, which is not out of the realm of possibility.
7. Why do Kelly and Justin wear matching white outfits on their first date?
Photo: 20th Century Fox
Is this a visual representation of how Justin and Kelly are made for each other? Are they both just really into white athleisure wear? Did they plan this offscreen? Does everyone sport white track suits on boats and I, a permanent land-dweller, am just unaware? Per usual, one question leads to countless more.
8. How did the tie skirt not become the fashion must-have of summer 2003?
Photo: 20th Century Fox
Kelly wears the tie skirt after she comes to believe Justin is blowing her off (text-message mishaps know no bounds!) because she’s not a party girl. Like Sandra Dee before her, Kelly dons a sexy outfit in order to show Justin that she, typically a “good girl,” is down to party when necessary. Look at that thing! It’s a walking conversation piece, it’s comfortable, and it promotes good air flow. All of which are very important factors when selecting your spring break wardrobe. Bring back the tie skirt!
9. Why wasn’t this movie just 81 minutes of Kelly Clarkson and Anika Noni Rose duets?
Photo: 20th Century Fox

We don’t even need a plot, just let those singers sing! (Full disclosure: I really wanted to highlight that tie skirt again. It does a lot of work for this movie and it deserves some recognition.)
10. Who decided it would be cool to throw in a subplot about the difficulties in dating between social classes?
Photo: 20th Century Fox
As the old saying goes, “Every rom-com about spring break needs a main character falling for a waiter, going to an underground salsa party with that waiter, standing up to that waiter’s boss because she doesn’t think the waiter (who she met yesterday) is being compensated properly, getting that waiter fired, and having to stand there and listen while that waiter shouts, “Some of us are home and we want more out of life, too! We need our jobs!’ ” If they would’ve made that the main story line of the movie and called it Dirty Dancing 3: We’re Singing, Not Dancing things may have worked out better for all parties involved. Anika Noni Rose, who gets saddled with this plot, has a powerful voice, but it’s not enough to make this work. It may, however, be powerful enough to heal social-class divides.
11. Is there a precedent for two men fighting over a woman using hovercrafts and throwing balls into laundry baskets?
Here’s the deal, you guys. Alexa (still the worst) realizes that her texting machinations will not be strong enough to keep spring break soulmates Kelly and Justin apart, so she calls up Luke (Christopher Bryan), Kelly’s admirer from home. Luke drops everything and drives from Texas to claim Kelly as his own. Justin, god love him, isn’t having it. In his infinite wisdom, Brandon encourages the boys to have a hovercraft-off.
Photo: 20th Century Fox
Yes, a hovercraft-off. Whoever gets the most balls in his opponent’s laundry basket (?) while riding a hovercraft (??) wins Kelly, or something. They’re never clear on the rules, and also Kelly isn’t property, so I think it’s more of an excuse for two dudes to jump on some hovercrafts, which I get. Technically, Justin is the winner, but it’s only because Luke gets injured (Kelly seems concerned for three minutes), so in reality he loses. We all lose.
12. There are three girls and three guys; why didn’t they just pair the main cast members up?
Photo: 20th Century Fox
We have to sit through a parade of side characters who become our main characters’ romantic interests, including: a teenage boy’s fantasy of what a cop looks like, that waiter trying to teach us a lesson, a Xena Warrior Princess fanatic the nerd met on the internet, and a whole slew of barbacks who show up in Alexa’s fantasy song-and-dance number about how sad it is to be the party girl. It’s tough for a movie to have both too much going on and not enough for anything to make sense, but From Justin to Kelly manages to do just that. Maybe keeping the story line count down to three would’ve helped.
Don’t worry, I hate myself for trying to fix this movie, too.
13. Why wasn’t Justin and Kelly’s ballad “Anytime” a huge hit?
Photo: 20th Century Fox
In the end, Kelly sees Alexa kissing Justin and assumes he’s been playing her the whole time. Justin, a very sweet boy, tries to explain that Alexa is a terrible friend, but Kelly won’t hear it. (Yes, we really are talking about this movie in this much depth.) He uses this outburst as another example of Kelly being hot and cold with him. Justin flees. Then, within the time it takes Kelly to figure out Alexa’s scheme AND sing two verses worth of “Anytime,” we’re informed that offscreen, Alexa intercepts Justin on his way to the airport and confesses everything, allowing him to return and join Kelly for the final few bars of that glorious number. If the purpose of all those shenanigans was simply to lead us to some sweet Justin and Kelly harmonies, so be it; this was a reason someone, somewhere thought this movie could work. Most awkward transition from talking to singing aside, those riffs and runs straight-up move me. And after all, isn’t that what spring break is about?
14. Finally, what?
Photo: 20th Century Fox

One has to Admire "The Hawks" Grip on Power

In the abstract, one must admire the defense hawks grip on the cogs of power. On December 19th, Very Special Genius President Trump announce a pull out from Syria within 30 days.

The pro-war crowd threw shit at the fan. The Defense Secretary resigned, Lady Lindsey Graham threw himself a hissy fit, even Fox news blew a gasket. Since I liked Trump's action (yes I really did, LINK here), I knew it was trouble.

Well the military hawks, or, as Dwight Eisenhower called it, the military-industrial complex went apoplectic. And with results. This is only the second thing Trump has backed down on. The kids in cages at the border, now this. He hasn't said a word - we all know he hates to admit he can't do what he wants.

But Senator Graham came out a few weeks later and said Trump said 30 days, but meant about 4 months. Now John Bolton, his National Security Advisor said he really meant whenever all the right conditions are met, maybe a few months, maybe a few years from now.

The Afghanistan walk-back was immediate, but Syria took almost 3 weeks for the war party to get President Trump to back down on.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Kevin Spacey's charges in Nantucket are kind of bullshitty

I don't bow to a lot of people on my protection of children, or my queasiness of Kevin Spacey. He's a great actor, a creep and a liar. And my opinion of him has been pretty consistent. I've met him a few times and he is also fairly charming one on one.  I give all this as prelims.

He is charged in Nantucket with ...

"Spacey, 59, has been charged with felony indecent assault and battery for his alleged role in a 2016 incident inside a Nantucket restaurant. According to the allegations in Massachusetts, Spacey touched an 18-year-old man against his wishes in a sexual manner inside a Nantucket eatery in July 2016."

And, in this matter, the charges are pure ass bullshit.  Normally I wouldn't say anything, but I think judicial overreach in case like this distracts us from the actual sexual assaults against women, children and others.  This is such a huge judicial over reaction that it demeans actual rapes and sexual assaults.

The gentleman who was the victim was 18 years old. Which I know doesn't absolve what happened. But Kevin Spacey was flirting with him, and he bragged about it to his girlfriend.

When she didn't believe him, he took pictures of Kevin Spacey's hand on his crotch over his clothes, went to the bathroom, sent them to his girlfriend, walked back to the bar and had more drinks with Kevin Spacey.  That isn't assault.

Women being attacked don't take pictures of it to send to their friends then go back out and sit with an attacker!  And to pretend it is assault cheapens when women call it out.

Yes the guy was 18. And a 56 year old hitting on an 18 is creepy, like I said. But it is legal. And in straight relationships - not that unusual. It is legal for them to have sex, get married. And 18 is plenty old enough to say no.

Even if you think an 18 year old, wowed by a movie start can't say no in general... he got up, left Kevin Spacey and texted his girlfriend. And came back. He could have left!  He could call the police! He could have the girlfriend call the police! He could have the girlfriend come a throw a scene to save him!

Just say you want cash - like we know you do.  Save the charges against Kevin Spacey for real acts of assault, there are probably plenty.

Aren't We Going Overboard on Shaming People

Is continued Public Shaming helpful?
I listened to a fascinating pod-cast the other day. I have tried and tried to find it, but I can't. I have sent Ezra Klein a message to see if he can help.

The premise was that for a certain subset of people, particularly younger people, shaming others publicly, but almost anonymously, generate a level of power and status.

The article to the right is an example. This writer has gone off because she thinks Ellen let Kevin Hart off too easy. She harps on the negative things he says but dismisses his actual apology as "too easy".  Here is the quote.

"Before he resigned, he posted several Twitter and Instagram responses to the public criticism that followed his Oscars announcement, all of which maligned his “trolls” as “angry” and “negative,” and none of which contained an apology. (A thin one—“I’m sorry that I hurt people”—came after he quit the show.)"

So I have to say, I don't think his apology was "thin".  His apology actually said he was sorry and he owned it. Not that chickenshit, I'm sorry if some people were offended or hurt by my actions.

If someone does something wrong, but is never fogiven, then why try to get better. Does doing a few standup jokes years ago put Kevin Hart (or any of us who did that) on Santa's shitlist forever? And they were a very few of the jokes in the grand scheme of Mr. Hart's career.

Folks, we have real problems in the world, Kevin Hart's offhand jokes about gay people from years ago, that he has apologized for, are not the hill to die on. And crapping on Ellen isn't the way either.

Yes Ellen has every right to decide if he apologized, for her and her audience. For you and your audience, you get to "decide" that he hasn't been publicly flogged enough and you can maintain your outrage.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

A Made Up Problem With No Solution

Donald Trump has painted the Administration into a corner. It is quite possible he wins this stupid ass fight because we have seen Democrats time and time again cave to pressure.

Yes, an actual tweet from our President.

But it is a completely made up problem for Candidate Trump to score points with. The truth is that immigration is down. We have a wall / fence / monitor along the border with Mexico where it makes sense to have it. In fact, Real Donald's tweets about why we need a wall, actually has the wall in the background.

As for the numbers... less people are coming over the border all the time. The "caravans" of people are heading to border crossings in the current wall because they are applying for refugee status. Drugs aren't apprehended coming over the border in the desert, they are found cmuggled in at ports of entry (if Mexico) or in cargo if Chinese.

Yes, we must have a system of border controls, but we have it.

If you think more money is necessary for the current system, the $1.6 billion dollars appropriated last year hasn't been spent yet.

If you think we need a "Wall" and Mexico will pay for it, you have been suckered in by Fox News the same way you were suckered in about Ebola in 2012, Benghazi in 2014, the Deficit  in 2016 and the "Caravan" in 2018.  But if you think for yourself for a minute and not via Fox News, this is silly.

And you don't give into a bully, it just encourages them.