Thursday, January 23, 2020

Mme. Galzogorist unleashes psychic dings and Gypsy curses against Donald Trump. (I wouldn’t flush even once if I were you, Donald.)

Parisian graffiti (circa 2014) of a different Donald with
related-but-different issues.
I just knew this was bound to happen. 

Madame Galzogorist, the fortune teller who occupied a walk-up space near my office in the seediest block of New York’s Garment District, back in the days when I had an office, has put a monster-sized hex on the Trumpster.

I found out about it when I stopped by her business digs, in search of a prediction about who would win the Democratic Party’s nomination for President, and whether that person would beat Donald Trump in the November elections. 

“Forget it, just forget it, wipe it out of your mind,” Mme. Galzogorist nearly shouted when I posed my questions to her. “I have no answer for you. I have trashed my crystal ball. Ditto the tarot cards and the tea leaves. I’ve had it trying to predict that creep. From now on, when it comes to politics, I deal only in curses.”

“Same as most of America,” I told her.

Hexes, dings and hernias

“No no no, not that kind of curse,” Mme. Galzogorist said. “I’m talking about deep hexes. I’m talking about humongous dings. I’m talking about conjuring doom and gloom onto The Trumpster’s head. I’m talking about about the kind of witchcraft that brings on vomiting and hernias and incurable migranes.”

That sounded slightly scary, so I asked Mme. Galzogirst what specifically she had done.

“Many horrors, many afflictions straight from the bowels of hell!” Mme. Galzgorist said.

“Yes, but for example?” I asked.

“I have cursed Trump’s toilet, so that it will lack the capacity to flush away the crap he deposits into it daily. I have cursed it to overflow ceaselessly, flooding his bathroom, creating a fetid pool of toilet backup around his bedroom slipper and his ankles, and getting soaked up by the cuffs of his pajama every time he sloshes into or out of his bathroom.”

“That’s pretty gross,” I said. “But he can just call the White House maintenance staff to patch things up….”

Stephen Miller 
isn't safe, either

“No! I have also put a hex on anybody whoever cleans up after Donald. That includes not only maids and plumbers, but also everyone from advisors to special assistants. For example, all the hair that once grew out of Stephen Miller’s head? That will now grow out of his nostrils and his ears in thick clumps. It will be difficult to cut. It will be almost impossible to keep up with.”

“I think Miller could fix that with a pair of scissors,” I said. 

“It will soon grow really fast, Mme. Galzorist said. “He can keep chopping away at it, but if Miller ever appears on TV, it will have to be with a pair of scissors up his nose.”

“That sounds terrible,” I said.

“You don’t know the half of it. I have also cursed Trump’s taste buds. It takes a while for that curse to kick in, but when it does, hamburgers will taste like spinach to him. And hamburger buns will taste like kale.”

“You’re so heartless!” I said.

“In fact, everything will taste like spinach or kale to him.”

“You’re impossibly cruel,” I said.

Confidentiality agreements?
You ain't seen nothing yet!

“I’ve also cursed his teeny little weeny,” Mme. Galzogist volunteered. I have filled it with spiritual jello. His woodie days are over. From now on, it’s eternally soft and trembly. Wait until you see the kind of non-disclosure agreements his lawyers are going to be writing the next time he tries to get involved with a woman. They’ll be rolling on the conference room floor. Not that they'll be able to disclose the source of their mirth."

“What else have you cursed?” I asked. 

“His comb over. May it fall out and need to be replaced by a wig, and may the wig blow off very publicly in a gust of hot air. Also, headaches. To punish him for writing off those poor GIs in Iraq who experienced severe concussion brain injuries which Trump dismissed as  ‘headaches,” I’m going to give him the Mother of All Headaches. I’ve got an incantation for that.”

“You know,” I said, “if all these things actually happen, Trump may suspect you of witchcraft.”

“Good,” said Mme. Galzogorist. “Then let him start a witch hunt.”

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Megan Shmegan, Harry Shmarry. The world is teetering on the edge of catastrophe, and the press keeps harping on the royal(ish) couple.


King Louis XIV is what royalty used to look like when
 it really mattered.Thankfully, the world has progressed
beyond that. Except when it comes to Megan and Harry.
Does anybody in the American press really care about the state of anything other than royal unions in England?

We have, probably at best, ten or eleven years before climate change becomes irreversible and earth goes down the chute and becomes something like Mars. (Yo! Yes, I’m talking to you, you astronomers on the Planet Nictubombolius, or whatever you call it. Those things that look like canals in your telescopes, indicating there might once have been life on earth? You’re right. Those are canals, specifically the Suez, the Panama and the Canal St. Martin in Paris. You also might want to check out the Gowanus, if you can find Brooklyn on your sky chart.)

To continue. Eighty-seven percent of the world’s oceans are dying. Half the world’s coral reefs are already dead. Australia’s on fire. The Amazon basin’s on fire. California is no longer on fire because there’s almost nothing left to burn. But Donald Trump is torching democracy to the ground. And what do you fill up our media space with?

Megan and Harry. 

First of all, common decency (to them) dictates that they ought to be left alone. Slavery is against the law even in Great Britain, or what’s left of it, last time I checked. If Megan and Harry don’t want to live like royals (whatever that means) and endlessly open shopping centers and host charity balls, or whatever else it is royals do these days, let them be.

But, but, they want to hold on to the royal trademark and their royal house? 

Y’know what? I don’t give a flying Brexit. That might be a small legitimate concern for Brits, but it’s as relevant to anything that currently matters in the USA as a raft full of rubber duckies drifting down the Thames.

So why is NPR giving it the time of day? Or the New York Times? Or any of our nation's network news media?

Yes yes, I know the answer, too. It raises ratings. But this is a time when the press ought to do as they say they want others to do. If you’re going to babble on and on about Harry and Megan at all, perhaps you really ought to go after it from the point of view of racism in the British press, some of whom deserve the same treatment meted out to Hitler's lieutenants. 

Can we please all learn to ask like news reporters instead of Dr. Goebbel's Propagandasteffel? A little more substance, people. A little less bubbleheaded gossip.

Yeah, that’ll be the day

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Discombobulated

This is not right. But what is?

Sorry. Due to unexpected interruptions in my thinking, this blog has been dormant for the past week and may remain so for a bit longer. However...

Check back often. I'm not done railing yet.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Trump, Ivanka, Chelsea, witch hunt, cheese, strawberries, "Queeg balls" — and clear evidence that life imitates Bogart

It’s old and rather tiresome news that just when you think Donald Trump’s administration can’t get any crazier, it becomes crazier.

Recently, news emerged that the interminably long Trumpian opera buffa, now going into perhaps its forty-thousandth act, pulled yet another cuckoo clock out of its hat, and it’s a wowser. 

Talk about witch hunts!

In 2017, the State Department, then still under the command of Rex Tillerson, instituted an investigation. The investigators delved into who in the USA's  mission to the European Union in Brussels “liked” a tweet that Chelsea Clinton posted on Twitter, according to both The Daily Beast and Salon 

The tweet actually got half a million “likes,” but the concern was that one or two of the "likes" — or maybe, God forbid, a dozen of them — might have been posted by U.S. Government employees.

All this started in July of 2017, when The Trumpster decided that instead of directly participating in the G-20 meeting of the world’s economic powerhouses in Hamburg, his daughter Ivanka should round out her resumé by attending in his place and perhaps sharing her learned economic expertise with the world's leaders and finance ministers.

For some reason (I’m sure the Trumpster can’t imagine what reason), this attracted a wave of criticism. So The Trumpster took to Twitter to defend his then-most-recent act of nepotism. In one tweet he wrote: “If Chelsea Clinton were asked to hold the seat for her mother, as her mother gave our country away, the Fake News would say CHELSEA FOR PRES!”

Whereupon Chelsea tweeted back, “It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me. Were you giving our country away? Hoping not.”

As previously stated, half a million Twitter followers “liked” that tweet, including some from the U.S. mission to the European Union. 

Fire in the hole!

Those "likes" must have ignited an explosion of paranoia. The Daily Beast tell us:
That kickstarted a weeks-long investigation, prompted by the secretary’s office, into who exactly at the Brussels mission had access to the Twitter account and hit “Like” on Clinton’s tweet, according to two former U.S. officials. (Full disclosure: Clinton sits on the board of IAC, The Daily Beast’s parent company.) At least 10 people were interviewed about whether they, as administrators of the account, had mistakenly or deliberately pressed the “Like” button. All of them denied any wrongdoing, those sources said. One individual familiar with the exchanges said the secretary of state’s top managers in Washington “wanted blood” and called Brussels numerous times demanding the name of the culprit.
Somehow, all this brought to mind The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, a movie derived from a novel by Herman Wouk, in which another seemingly insignificant affront to an authoritarian figure launched an investigation.



So now we have life, or at least the real life Donald Trump, imitating Bogart in search not of a cheese pilferer or a strawberry thief, but of a tweet-liker. You can’t make this stuff up, which I find to be a cause for hope.

Because if life continues to imitate Bogart, we may ended up with Trump at a Bogartian denouement, in which Trump, like Bogart, loses his shit during a public legal proceeding such as, say, a Senate impeachment trial. 

The the only significant difference might be that instead of using a pair of steel ball bearings as if they were worry beads, Trump will fiddle with his cell phone and its Twitter app. Go ahead, watch the scene here, but imagine that Humphrey Bogart is orange:



Sunday, December 29, 2019

FAKE NEWS! (Iron Clad Guarantee: all news headlines below honestly fabricated with genuine fabrications, or your money back.)

Fake News! People are talking about nothing else. That's whatI've heard. On Sunday morning, Chuck Todd devoted his entire hour to Fake News: What it is. How it gets faked. Who's faking it. Why they fake it. Plus real commentary on fakery from Very Thoughtful People.

Today's Sunday Times devoted most of its Op-Ed articles to fake news despair. The words "Twitter" and "Cesspit" appeared in the  headline and subheadline of the same op-ed piece. Ross Douthat's own headline was, "The Decade of Disillusionment." Ruchira Sharma told us "Economic Forecasters got the 2010s wrong." Only Nicholas Kristof sang out of key, claiming, "This Has Been The Best Year Ever." But hey, it's Kristof.

All of which led me to great feelings of shame for having tried not to lie, misinterpret, or fudge on this blog. At least not intentionally. I mean, at least most of the time. Clearly, I have to rectify that. So herewith, I give you some genuine FAKE NEWS headlines, ripped from...wherever.

FIRST PHOTOS OF IVANKA’S
MARTIAN CHILDREN!
DNA Tests Reveal 3 Generations
of Martian Blood On Trump Side of
 Family, Scientist Declares

_________

DEVOS PROPOSES ELIMINATING
HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY CLASSES
TO TEACH "BIBLE LITERACY"
But Creation Science Would Still Provide
Firm Background for Students Interested 
In the Life Sciences, Education Secretary Says

_________

TRUMP HEALTHCARE PLAN 
WOULD REPEAL ACA AND REPLACE IT
 WITH DRUG STORE VOUCHERS
They won't cover prescriptions, but Trump insists,
"You're gonna save so much on toothpaste and makeup,
you're not going to believe it. Believe me, you'll save."


_________



TRUMP AND KIM JONG-UN
ADMIT TO GAY RELATIONSHIP!
"What could I do," says Trump, when caught
holding hands with North Korean leader,
"He sent me such a beautiful love letter"


_________

TRUMP HELPS HIMSELF TO
$70 BILLION FROM US TREASURY
It's all for a good cause, he claims. Transferred funds
to his Swiss bank account "only temporary, for safekeeping"


_________

EXCLUSIVE: RUDY GIULIANI 
CAUGHT TELLING THE TRUTH! 
Blames "too many pinot noirs at dinner"
and insists he was "only kidding"


_________


TRUMP PICKS MIAMI MEGACHURCH 
WITH PASTOR WHO SPEAKS IN TONGUES 
FOR EVANGELICAL EVENT


Sunday, December 22, 2019

What will happen next with “L’Affaire Trump” — an open discussion

Some wiseacre entitled this photograph
"Mitch McConnell and his Merry Band"
Dang! The commentary tank is empty. I’m as dry as a dead steer’s skull on a sandhill in the Sonora Desert. I’m plumb drained of outrage, or anxiety, or indignation, or loathing, or pick your own adjective that reflects life as you see it in the age of Trump. 

So here’s what I’m going to do, people. I’m throwing this post, right here and now, open to you folks in the audience. The question of the day is, what’s the next big thing that’s going to happen relating to the mess that is Donald Trump, not to mention the mess he’s made of America? 

Yes, that young man in the first row?

A premonition? What premonition?

Well, that’s an interesting and entertaining concept, but even assuming that you’re correct that there is a God, I don’t think it’s possible for an actual bolt of lightning to shoot out of the ceiling in the Capitol Building and strike Donald Trump as he delivers the State of the Union Address. Not even if, as you put it, it’s a “divine” lightning bolt. We still have unchallenged laws of physics, even if the laws of the United States are under assault. Any other ideas?

Yes, that angry-looking woman wearing the “Me Too” button and the pink knitted cap? 

Sorry, I can’t agree with you at all. In the first place, I think the whole thing is a misnomer. Even Russian technology must have gotten past videotape by now. If anything, they’d release a pee disc, or even a pee MP3. Or maybe streaming pee from a cloud. But even assuming  they have one, if they release it, what happens to their leverage over Trump? Poof! The leverage is gone. Okay, if you insist, sssssss! It’s gone. So I don’t buy it. Surely somebody out there can do better. Anybody? Yes, you with the T-shirt that says, “And still she persisted.”

Well, I’m afraid the election is still a a very long way away. And then you have to assume that Elizabeth Warren will get the Democratic nomination. And then you have to assume that Trump agrees to debate her. And after that you have to assume that by October of 2020 he’ll be so out of control that he’ll walk up to her podium while she’s speaking and try to grab her by…well, you know. But I agree, if she then hauled off and socked him square in the face he’d go down like a concrete block off a tenement roof and probably start to cry like a baby. 

What? Hmm, I didn’t think of that. You’re quite right. Trump would probably get Bill Barr to arrest her for assault on the President. That would pull her off the campaign trail and do serious damage to her chances of winning, even though at least 48 percent of the nation, and maybe more, would cheer. Anybody have some other ideas? Yes, that boy wearing the hoodie?

No, sorry. Trump’s opponent will most certainly not be chosen by a cabal of Martian space invaders. Well just because the ad says so doesn’t mean it’s true. And I think the Russian ad agency that’s buying space from you to advertise that crap has gone off the rails. You ought to clean up that account, and take down those ads .No, it is not in the spirit of free and open debate. You’re talking about paid-for lies, and you collect the pay. No, just sit down and shut up, Mark. In fact, leave the room. 

All right, I have time for one more contribution. Anybody? Yes, that man waving the big basket full of $500 bills. Come to the front and tell us what you think.

That interesting. I think you might. On the other hand, you very well might not. And if you do win the nomination and the election, what does it say about America? That control of government is a matter of who shells out the most cash for it? That some of the most progressive Democratic ideas are kaput? I mean, like raising taxes sufficiently for the government to provide services every other advanced nation on the planet offers its citizens? 

Well I know you can outspend Trump. But there has to be a better set of criteria than that for becoming President of the United States.

No, I will not shut up! No, I will not! I really mean it, I will not! What? Really? Okay, just wire it to my Swiss bank account. I'll open one in the morning.

Cross-posted (with some modifications) at No More Mister Nice Blog

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Republicans to Nadler: "No fair! You didn't vote on impeachment in the middle of the night!" Plus: The Desktop Escapades and other causes for Republican ragefests.

Meanwhile, firemen have begun a frantic search for freshly
discarded staff and hangers-on from the Trump Administration.
The Too-Public-For-Republicans ballot ballet: After bitterly denouncing Congressional Democrats for gathering evidence in "secrecy" — a rather preposterous claim given that the full complement of Republican membership was there for the closed door hearings before everything went public — Republicans last week had another reason to have a meltdown.

This time, they were upset the the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee were not holding their impeachment vote in secret. Well, half-secret.  Rather than hold a midnight vote while half of America slept, Chairman Nadler postponed the vote until 10 a.m. the next morning, when more of America could witness it.

What happened next? Republican heads exploded, that's what! Here's Fox News (Yes! Fox News!) reporting on this "scandalous" turn of events:
Gobsmacked Republicans made known their fury and frustration late Thursday as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., abruptly wrapped up an all-day marathon hearing on the adoption of two articles of impeachment against President Trump by delaying planned votes on the matter until Friday morning. 
Ranking Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., raised immediate objection as Nadler began leaving, saying it was "the most bush-league stunt I have ever seen."
Right-O, Doug. Bush league because it deprived the Republicans of a bush-league stunt of their own — complaining the next morning that while America slept, those awful Dems passed articles of impeachment in...well, you know what's coming......"The middle of the night!."

What the Republican whining boils down to is simple. When you've got nothing, nothing, nothing at all to complain about, complain about everything, preferably in a very loud voice. Who knows, maybe something might stick. 

Repubs nix press pix. While right-wingers in the courts continue whittling down your expectations of privacy and mine, Republicans will fight to the death for a Congressman's expectation of privacy, even if the Congressman is a Democrat who hasn't complained that his privacy was violated.

Seems that while the Judiciary Committee was taking a break on Thursday, a Reuters news photographer "surreptitiously" snapped pictures of a Democratic Congressman's "notes," a Republican ranted.

Who was the ranter? Why, Republican Matt Gaetz of Florida, of course, who gives the impression that his control nob is frozen in rant mode, a deed that could only have been committed by a subversive prankster with a pot of Krazy Glue. But never mind that.

The stuff spread across Democrat Ted Lieu's desk was in plain view. Anyone passing by could have read it. Except, there was nothing much to read. The most interesting item was a dog-eared copy of The Federalist Papers. (Are the Republicans afraid that people will find out Democrats are better read than most Republicans?) Then there were cover sheets for a couple of reports which, as Congressional business, are public anyway, a folded newspaper, two closed ring binders, a couple of manilla filed folders, a pencil, and a wad of crumpled paper. What a scandal!

I wonder what the fury is all about. Do the Republicans have feelthy pictures atop their own desks? Or little black books of hookers' phone numbers with gold embossing that says, "Hookers Phone Numbers?" I don't know, although I wouldn't be surprised. But here's the actual photograph of the actual objects on the actual desk-top of an actual Democrat. Russia, if you're listening, go back to sleep.

What does a Democratic Congressman keep on his desktop? Nothing that
shouldn't be there. No wonder Republicans flew into a rage over this photograph.

It indicated that they have absolutely no dirt on one of their Democratic colleagues/
The poor photographer got the heave-ho from the House.


Sunday, December 08, 2019

The $150,000 banana, a theory about Trump’s toilet habits, and the Social Security “increase” that’s actually an income cut for millions of retirees

You want proof that a lucky few have too much money? I mean money that would do more for this country if it were taxed away from the one percent, as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders propose — and spent instead on worthy causes, like housing, or healthcare, or education, or infrastructure, or even reduction of the national debt?

Go no further than Miami Beach. Recently, at an exhibition called Art Basel Miami Beach, they were selling — in fact sold — a banana that had been stuck to a wall with a piece of duct tape for $150,000. 

And this was after a big contretemps involving an artist named David Dutana, who ripped the banana off the wall to which it had been taped and ate it.

A banana's lesson in economics

So why was a banana worth more than a garage full of automobiles, and how could it be worth anything at all after it entered Datuna’s alimentary canal?

First things first. Evidently the star of the Art Basel Miami Beach show was the banana, and what made it special was the idea of taping it to the wall. Maybe that’s why the banana on the wall was titled Comedian. Yuck yuck.

The idea of taking an ordinary object and declaring it art isn’t even entirely original. Over a century ago, the Dadaist artist Marcel Duchamp put a urinal on a pedestal, signed it “R.Mutt” and everybody declared it art. 


It's art because Duchamp said so!

So what does that make the banana? Nothing more than a semi-conceptual copycat with an edible center.

Here it is, for all to see:



Shocking? It doesn’t matter. The exhibitor, the Perrotin Gallery, had brought along an extra banana just in case.And they taped that banana to the wall, and hocus-pocus, it was now worth $150,000. Not only that, even after the banana ripens, and then rots, and then begins attracting flies, and then gets thrown in the trash, the buyer will not only have his money’s worth, he’ll have a certificate of authenticity to prove it. 

The transubstantiated fruit

Now just stop that. I don’t want to see your eyes cross again. This is for real. Here’s what Vanity Fair magazine reports on the matter:

“Without the artist's certificate of authenticity, it reverts to being just a banana,” Perrotin said to ArtNet News prior to the unauthorized snacking, evoking a kind of readymade transubstantiation clause.”

 Maybe the buyer is going to go home, frame the certificate of authenticity, and hang that over his mantlepiece. That's a great way to avoid an every-other-day art replacement run to the supermarket produce aisle.

Vanity Fair went on to report:
Most famous, though, is America, a fully functioning 18-karat solid gold toilet. In 2016 it was installed in one of the Guggenheim's rest rooms, for anyone to use. (A security guard was posted outside as people waited in line.) When the Trump White House requested to borrow Vincent Van Gogh's Landscape With Snow in 2017, the Guggenheim offered America instead. The piece was recently stolen from Blenheim Palace in England, where it was on loan. Arrests have been made but the toilet has not been recovered.
Presumbly, if I may haul out an old joke and, uh, polish it up a bit, the mystified occupants of Blenheim Palace are looking urgently, but they have nothing to go on.

Trump’s terribly
temperamental toilet tirade

Speaking of toilets, while the rich were paying $150,000 for a duct taped banana, and God-knows-what for gold toilets, Donald Trump was ranting about how many times he has to flush. This happened during a small business round table conference. Trump went off not on why so many small businesses are being squeezed out of existence by Amazon, or about the competition of cheap goods from abroad, but on energy-saving lightbulbs that he says make him look orange, and then on plumbing, including flush toilets.

“People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once. They end up using more water. So EPA is looking at that very strongly at my suggestion,” The Trumpster gushed.
Who these frequent flushers are, or how our busy and usually incurious President researched the number of times you and I flush was not explained. I suspect that “people” in this case refers to a single “people” whose name is Donald Trump. And I have no doubt that he personally sometimes needs to flush 15 times instead of once. In fact, have a very simple theory about the matter:

That’s what happens when you’re full of shit.

Now even Social Security
has stopped being secure

At the end of November, America’s geezers, among whom I number myself, received what for many of us was a go-screw-yourself letter from the Social Security Administration.

It started out with putatively good news: “Your Social Security benefits will increase by 1.6 percent in 2020 because of a rise in the cost of living.”

The cost of living in what? Here in New York, a one bedroom apartment can rent for more per month than I paid for my first new car. (Well okay, it was a Volkswagon, but even so.) A raw chicken breast in the supermarket meat case costs more than a pound of sirloin cost a few years ago. I pay more to have my shoes re-heeled than I once paid for shoes.

Anyway, 1.6 percent is at least something.  But then, payments from Social Security to my Medicare Part B medical insurance and Part D Prescription Drug Plan were increased — and subtracted from what Social Security sends me. Net net? I take a $48-and-change per month cut in Social Security income. (If you’re retired, your mileage may vary, depending on past and current income.) 

Heaven forbid the government should cut drug companies’ profits instead of old peoples’ incomes. Hey, no need to worry yet, drug companies. It won’t happen under a Trump administration. They’ll just keep redistributing income to you from the poor, the old, the marginal, and the sick.

And yet, many of my fellow geezers just love Trump. Maybe they'll love him less come their January Social Security checks. 

Or maybe they're already brain dead.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Ectopic pregnancy, abortion, and “reimplantation” for dummies. I’m talking to you, Ohio House of Representatives.

Dummy: Ohio Rep. John Becker 
(Republican) co-sponsored a bill that 
requires Ohio doctors to do the 
medically impossible or possibly
face murder charges. But medical 
science is, like, you know, his opinion.
Dummy:  Ohio Rep. Candice Keller 
(Republican) not only co-sponsored 
the ectopic pregnancy law, but also 
“drag queen advocates” and 
“recreational marijuana” for mass 
shootings.
Uh oh! The Republican rocket scientists in the Ohio House of Representatives are at it again. 

It’s old news by now, but just in case you missed it…

Having banned abortions after five weeks of pregnancy — a ban that was blocked by a Federal judge whose IQ, if it’s merely normal, is probably higher than that of all the Republicans in the Ohio House combined — the House went on to something bigger and dumber.

It's legislative name is HB 182, but it ought to be called the Ohio Medical Nincompoop Act. This one involves ectopic pregnancies. An ectopic pregnancy is a mistake nature makes — okay, that God makes if you pro-life fundamentalists insist — that causes a fertilized egg to attach to the wrong place.

Usually that wrong place is a fallopian tube, where  the egg ends up fatally, instead of descending to the uterus, where the egg can grow normally and develop into a healthy fetus.

If the ectopic pregnancy isn’t terminated, not only will the baby die prior to birth, but the mother very well may bleed to death, too. So the only proper and humane way to deal with this tragedy is to abort the pregnancy. Hey, don’t take my word for it. I get this stuff from the medically renowned Mayo Clinic, which sums it up this way:
“An ectopic pregnancy can't proceed normally. The fertilized egg can't survive, and the growing tissue may cause life-threatening bleeding, if left untreated.”
 But trust those “Get the government off our backs” Republicans not only to get on women’s backs, but to crawl up into women’s private parts and begin practicing 12th Century medicine in there.

What did Representative Becker come up with? Why, a bill criminalizing abortions of ectopic pregnancies if the doctor fails to do the impossible and “reimplant” the aborted fetus in the woman’s uterus. The doctor who fails to comply with this compliance-proof law would face “abortion murder” charges.

Meanwhile, Daniel Grossman, writing in in the Ohio online journal Cincinnatti.com, tells us:
While HB 182’s focus on a fictitious treatment is concerning, even more dangerous is the fact that the bill eliminates insurance coverage for the standard treatments for ectopic pregnancy unless the pregnant person’s life is in danger. This exception for life is not sufficient, since doctors may feel their hands are tied unless they are 100% certain that the patient is at death’s door. Ectopic pregnancy is the leading cause of pregnancy-related death in the first trimester, and as our nation faces a crisis of maternal mortality– particularly among African-American women – it is unconscionable to place obstacles in the way of treating ectopic pregnancy.
I assume that the next matter the Ohio House will deal with is the exorcism of witches from elementary schools. Stay tuned. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Michael Bloomberg’s gamble with opprobrium

Michael Bloomberg's 6,000-or-so square foot beach shack in Bermuda.
He escapes there frequently via private jet, usually to play golf. Sound familiar?
In quite a few ways, Michael Bloomberg is simply Donald Trump Lite.

Trump has Mar e Lago. Bloomberg has a waterfront estate called Stokes Bay, in Bermuda.

Trump, when he’s not tweeting obsessively, plays golf obsessively. Ditto Bloomberg when he’s in Bermuda. In fact, “obsessively” is just the word the New York Times used to describe Bloomberg’s golfing behavior there.

Perhaps more pertinently, neither man has demonstrated much respect for established law. With Trump I wouldn’t know where to begin. With Bloomberg, I know where it all might end. After New York City’s voters approved mayoral term limits by referendum, Bloomberg overrode the referendum by a tricky political maneuver. He essentially bribed New York City Council members by granting them an extra term as well. 

Bloomberg's excuse for flipping his own city's inhabitants the bird was that he needed a third term to fix the city's financial crisis. He alone could do it! Does that sound familiar? 

The 120-year-old President?

So much for the will of the people, and possibly for presidential term limits. If Bloomberg, now 77 years old, lives to be 120, we could have a 120-year-old President of the United States.

Would Bloomberg be a better president than Trump? Absolutely yes, for the same reason that getting bitten on the ankle by a rabid pig would be better than getting crushed to death and then swallowed by a boa constrictor. 

Bloomberg has already placed “at least” $37 million worth of advertising, CNN reported recently. Even billionaires don’t throw that kind of money around just to hear the sound of money bags knocking network advertising sales managers off their feet.

That’s also why, just for starters, Los Angelinos who watch the local news on NBC in the afternoon or evening could be seeing nine ads for Michael Bloomberg every day, according a tweet from Shane Goldmacher, a New York Times political reporter.

Moreover, Bloomberg’s sudden apology to the African-American community, for 12 years of stop-and-frisking black people for the offense of being outdoors while black, rang loud with almost the same total lack of sincerity that marks Donald Trump when he reads a prepared speech written by some political consultant.

An apology of convenience

“I see now that I was wrong,” Bloomberg said to a black church congregation that he had chosen for his mea culpa

How come now rather than a dozen weeks ago, or when you were mayor for twelve years and could do something about it, Mike? You didn’t notice all the lives needlessly ruined, all the jobs lost, all the loss of civic comity created by needlessly harassing African-Americans for twelve years? Of course you didn't. Or perhaps you just didn't care.

For Mr. Bloomberg’s sake, if God forbid he wins the Democratic primary, I sincerely hope he also wins the Presidential election.  Because if he jumps in and spoils it for strong Democratic candidates, and then the election goes to Trump, the cloud of opprobrium that follows Bloomberg for the rest of his life will be so thick you’ll be able to cut it with a crowd of waving pitchforks. And my guess is, he'll want to spend even rainy weekends in Bermuda. Not to mention midweeks.

If he gains the Democratic nomination, Bloomberg will either make himself President … or the Democratic Party’s biggest pariah in history.