Thursday, April 25, 2019

Racist Republican Congressman Steve King survives a near crucifixion experience — according to Racist Republican Congressman Steve King

Congressman Steve King preparing to cook up a little something — perhaps
another  tasty blend of racism, ethnocentrism, and self-pity. (Photograph courtesy
of the website of racist Republican Congressman Steve King.)
Quite frankly I’m surprised that it’s the bigoted Congressmen from Iowa, and not Donald Trump, who has all but declared himself the doppelgänger of Jesus Christ. But hey, Republicans have gotten so weird lately, there’s no telling where the next crazed sputtering of a madman will come from.

So I guess I'm only a tad surprised that earlier this week, Congressman King declared that the the opprobrium he has aroused with his racist and culture-centric remarks has all but elevated him to the level of Christ on the cross.

A racist? Who me?

While King's self-declared martyrdom occurred in late April, the story goes back to January when King was being interviewed by the New York Times and found the opportunity to spew vile racist memes irresistible. The Times reported:
Mr. King, in the interview, said he was not a racist. He pointed to his Twitter timeline showing him greeting Iowans of all races and religions in his Washington office. (The same office once displayed a Confederate flag on his desk.) 
At the same time, he said, he supports immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is “the culture of America” based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe. 
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Mr. King said. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
White supremacist? White nationalist?” You gotta be kidding, Steve, right? As if Afro-Americans, who contributed everything from centuries of unpaid labor, to several entirely original musical idioms, (jazz not least among them),  to the scientific knowledge generated by scores of scientists and explorers from Astronaut Mae Jemison, to the astronomer Benjamin Banneker, to the African-American doctor who performed the first open-heart surgery, to the African-American who received the first United States patent, were really whites who merely appeared black after a tragic collision with a paint truck. (For a longer, but still incomplete list of African-American scientific and technological achievements, begin here.)

Western civilization? As if it would have been possible if Eastern civilizations had not first invented the alphabet, and algebra, and engineering, and the concept of law — to mention just a few of the principles that make so called "western" civilization possible.

He's poison even to Republicans

Shooting off his bigoted mouth cost King dearly. His own embarrassed party kicked him off the House Judiciary and Agriculture Committees. And even Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that King ought to find, “another line of work.”

So you’d think Steve would at least shut up. No such luck. Here’s part of a report in the right-wing Washington Times:
Rep. Steve King said Tuesday that the widespread criticism he recently faced had given him a better understanding of what Jesus Christ “went through for us.” 
“For all that I’ve been through — and it seems even strange for me to say it — but I am at a certain peace, and it is because of a lot of prayers for me,” the Iowa Republican said at a town hall at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Cherokee, CNN reported 
“And when I have to step down to the floor of the House of Representatives and look up at those 400-and-some accusers — you know we just passed through Easter and Christ’s passion, and I have better insight into what He went through for us partly because of that experience,” he said.

Right-o, Steve. We completely agree. Which is why we think you ought to show us the scratches below your receding hairline made by the crown of thorns. Show us the scars on your back where you were scourged. Show us the scar where a Democratic soldier rammed a spear through your side. Show us the wounds in your hands and feet where you were nailed to the cross and left to die of exposure, hunger, thirst, and shock.

Show us your stigmata, Steve. 

Or shut up.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Should The New York Crank seek the Democratic nomination for President? This is an extremely serious question (almost).

Thanks to free clipart like this example from
anybody can make a poster and run for President. And  it looks as if
quite nearly everybody does.
I mean, why the hell not?

As of this posting, there are already 29 declared Democratic candidates for President. That rises to 30 if you count not-quite-announced probable candidate Joe Biden. It rises to 31 if you count not-yet-decided Stacey Abrams and to 32 if you count not-yet-decided Bill deBlasio, the less-than-wonderfully-competent mayor of New York.

A million gurgling bile ducts'
worth of incompetence

Given that incompetence seems to be a prerequisite for the job of head of state these days, I will bet up to two cents…no, make that three cents…no, make that a nickel…. that deBlasio will sooner or later declare himself a candidate. But I’m getting ahead of myself. So back to the incompetence thing.

Exhibit A, of course, is the creepy clown, (or should that be kreepy klown?) currently occupying the White House. Collusion or no collusion, it’s a wonder the guy can tie his own shoelaces without inadvertently hanging himself. 

The little staff
that wouldn't

Until recently, it would appear that all kinds of horrors were not visited on the people of the United States, and possibly of the world, simply because Trump's underlings ignored his orders. This was exacerbated by the fact that Trump either forgot he had issued the orders, or didn’t know what to do when people disobeyed him.

It would appear that after two years, Trump figured this out, fired most of the Defiant Ones, and is slowly replacing them with Yes men (there seems to be a shortage of Yes women) whose slavish devotion to His Klownship for all I know might lead us either eventually or very quickly to a major depression. Or runaway inflation. Or a nuclear war with North Korea. Or us unilaterally nuking…I dunno, maybe France or England.

We don't need comic opera.
We have Donald Trump.

The thing about Donald Trump is that he’s on trend. Incompetence at the top of national governments used to be confined to nations about which composers of limited talent wrote operettas back in the 1920s. As one parody of these operettas, written by a nearly-forgotten humorist named Newman Levydescribed the quintessential  situation:
The scene: a public square in Ruritania  
Fair Ruritania, land of gay romance
Where the people have a strange and curious mania 
For gathering in the public square to dance.
Derision of the gods

You don't have to limit the current examples of Ruritanian comic opera to Brexit. (You didn't think I'd leave out Brexit, did you?) For another contemporary recreation of Ruritanian incompetence, I herewith submit to you Ukraine. 

There, a comedian with zero political experience, who stars in a TV sitcom about a shlub with no political experience who is accidently elected President of Ukraine, was in fact elected President of Ukraine. A perfect example of life imitating art, imitating life, imitating art, in a zen-like wheel of repetitive insanity. 

We don’t need versified parodies of operettas. The gods are already mocking us.

The new Ukranian President Zelenskiy almost makes Trump look good. He has no political experience, and makes promises that call for explanations, without offering any explanations. In other words, he's just like Trump, only funnier. Zelenskiy has promised to fight governmental corruption without explaining how he’ll do it. Ditto his promise to end the conflict with Russia in Eastern Ukraine. 

(Maybe he’ll do both by simply surrendering the nation to Russia. That would serve the citizens of Ukraine right for thinking they’re in on the joke.)

Should deBlasio's campaign slogan
be "You could do worse?"

Now we come to wavering U.S. Presidential candidate Bill deBlasio, who presently happens to be mayor of New York, the city where I live. DeBlasio's strongest claim to the Presidency, so far as I can determine, is that he is not really the worst mayor New York has ever had. He is merely incompetent. Not to mention tone deaf.

For an example of his tone deafness I give you his stubborn insistence on going to the gym each morning. No, there’s nothing wrong with going to the gym. It’s how and where he goes to the gym.

The mayor lives in an official residence on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He works in City Hall, in lower Manhattan. Between those two points there are, last I counted, three Ys (the closest to him only a few blocks from his residence) and more private health clubs that I can count. So where does he go?

To his favorite YMCA in Brooklyn, a round trip drive of — I’m estimating here — twelve miles. But deBlasio doesn’t take the subway, the way the late Mayor Abe Beame often did. Instead, he gets into a gas-guzzling SUV, followed by a a security detail in two other gas-guzzling SUVs, and burns carbon all the way to Brooklyn and back.

Cogestion pricing? That's
for the little people.

Then, because traffic gridlock is so bad in New York, deBlasio slams the city with a congestion pricing tax that has upped my taxi fare whenever I need a taxi to go to the doctor, or when I’m horribly late to someone’s home. 

DeBlasio's traffic congestion tax adds to the impossibility for most New Yorkers of owning any kind of a car, for any reason, in Manhattan. Make an exception here for the super-rich, who deBlasio aids and abets while opposing them.

And then he positions himself as an environmentalist.

Why won’t he walk to a neighborhood gym? He evidently loves his Brooklyn Y more than he loves any thing else. Which means, if he becomes President, that Air Force One will be flying him to New York each morning, where a Presidential motorcade will meet him on a daily basis and take him to his Brooklyn Y and then back to the airport again. Terrorist crisis? Let it wait. President deBlasio is on his treadmill to oblivion.

Did I mention that in New York the subways are a mess, public housing is falling apart, potholes are a plague, infrastructure is rusting, affordable housing is vanishing, triple-digit million dollar skyscraper condos are sprouting like weeds, and most of the city’s once great schools continue to be mediocre at best?

One reason for all that? Fourteen of the city’s agencies, offices and corporations lack a permanent head. The mayor simply hasn’t gotten around to doing that part of his job. It’s more Trump-like than Trump.

Will they love him in November
like they do in Nevada?

Meanwhile, incompetent deBlasio busily buzzes off to faraway places in Iowa and Nevada, testing the waters for enthusiasm about his candidacy for President.

All this is right on trend. Tone deaf incompetence is creeping toward universality. Have I mentioned Venezuela? Do I need to?

So that’s why I’m considering running for President. If elected, I promise to sleep in, wake up in foul moods, throw temper tantrums wherever and whenever possible, secure world peace including between Israel and Palestine, eliminate nuclear weapons, tax the rich until they bleed from their eyeballs, fix the environment, lower temperatures two degrees Celsius, get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, provide Medicare for all (but only for the people who want it), and force every child of a celebrity millionaire to take the college entrance exams under the trained and watchful eyes of murderous thugs armed with AR-15s. 

Vote for me.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Donald Trump wants to send oodles of immigrants to sanctuary cities. Thanks to municipal rights of eminent domain, here are a few places where we can house them.

New York City has been welcoming immigrants since a local band of Indians sold some immigrating Dutchmen Manhattan Island, reputedly for twenty-four bucks worth of items like mirrors and axes. 

A sudden influx of immigrants is nothing new to us. You can quibble with the figures I suppose, but for openers, this from Google is an eye opener: 
"It is estimated that as many as 4.5 million Irish arrived in America between 1820 and 1930. Between 1820 and  1860, the Irish constituted over one third of all immigrants to the United States. In the 1840s, they comprised nearly half of all immigrants to this nation."
As for Mr. Trump's own ethnic group (on his father's side) there are nearly 50 million German-American descendants of immigrants, and most of them originally landed in New York. We're accustomed here to taking in immigrants in large numbers, even if some of them are disreputable, women-trafficking brothel keepers, like Trump's grandfather. (Just sayin'.)

 If the Trumpster sends a huge crowd of immigrants here, I would suggest that our mayor declare a state of emergency. (I hear you've heard of those, Mr. Trump.) 

Then, citing the emergency created byTrump, our mayor could exercise the city's right of eminent domain to take over the several Trump hotels and the Trump Tower, evict the present occupants, subdivide the vast interior spaces into small but livable apartments, and welcome the immigrants in.

I imagine there might be some back-and-forth in the courts over compensation. Fortunately, it has been alleged that that Mr. Trump has valued his properties in more than one way — a high valuation when he's talking about how rich he is, or when he's borrowing money using the buildings as collateral, but a low valuation when he's getting taxed on his properties.

The city (and other cities with Trump properties) could cite Trump's own low valuations in paying compensation.

Year later, when the immigration crisis is solved, the city could sell the buildings for a higher price than it paid, since the buildings will be much improved by getting Trump and his people out of there. This is a phenomenon not overlooked by New Yorkers who lived in a couple of buildings with Trump's name on it and improved their property by taking Trump's name off.

Just sayin'.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Holy cosmic guacamole! It’s the end of the world! No, the end of the galaxy! No, the end of the universe! No, the end of Donald Trump!

No, it won't look like this. You should be so lucky.
Fortunately for everyone involved, it’s all probably going to take a while. That black hole that scientists found, or announced that they found earlier this week, is 55 million light years away from earth. So we don’t have to sweat it. 

At least not for a few days. 

But maybe by next month.

Here’s my thinking on that.

A black hole, in case you’ve been hibernating so deep in a black hole of your own that you’ve missed the news, is a kind of gravitational vacuum cleaner in space. It’s so powerful that it permanently sucks up everything that comes near it, compressing the mass of the stuff it swallows, then adding the new mass to the old mass.

Quantum physics for dummies

Now, gravity equals mass times momentum. So, even if things keep going along at the same rate of speed, the more mass the black hole gobbles up, the more its gravitational power grows. 

Anything that falls into a black hole never gets out again. It just gets squished into a mushed-together clump of gravitational whatever-the-hell it is. Its gravitational pull is so powerful that even light can’t get out of it.

I confess that all this is kind of, oh let’s say several thousand light years above my pay grade. So let's just consider everything that's said here an interpretive extrapolation. Or a speculative construction. Or a conflative reduction, whatever the hell that means. 

Even so, it seems to me that like the ramjet whose behavior can be described as, “the faster it goes, the faster it goes,” the rule of thumb on black holes ought to be, “the more it eats, the more it eats.”

It’s not just an insatiable appetite. It’s an appetite that gets increased by eating. Which means that in time, it will eat its entire galaxy. Which will make it even hungrier — okay, more gravitational, if you insist. Which means it will start eating other galaxies. Which will make it even hungrier. Until it finally eats our own galaxy. Although I understand our own galaxy has its own black hole to worry about.

Salt the margarita glasses now, Mabel
‘cos we’re all just cosmic guacamole

Shorter version? You, and I, and whatever political philosophy we rode in on are doomed to get squished into an extremely dense, and probably highly unappetizing form of cosmic guacamole.

There’s no escape. Not even for those well-heeled Silicon Valley dudes who bought up property in New Zealand to stay safe when “It” happens. Because “It” is global this time. In fact, it might be universal.

Even the Silicon Valley guys who took the trouble and the mega millions to build a rocket ship outta here won’t escape. (Got that, Mr. Space X?) Because the black hole gravity is so powerful, nothing’s getting outta here. And even if they got out, where would they go? The moon, and Mars, and the planet Venus, and the planet Saturn, and the former planet Pluto, and Jupiter are all getting squished into the same bowl, or hole, or guacamole. Ditto the Milky Way.

That’s the bad news. 

The good news is, so is Trump.

What will Trump do?

Not that I expect The Trumpster to take it lying down. First of all, he's probably familiar with the concept of black holes. Why do I think that? Because his attorney general is making one in which to insert any meaningful findings of the Muller investigation. But I digress.

If Black Hole Panic begins to spread during the next election campaign, you can count on Trump to do two things. Well, come to think of it, three things:

1. Find a way to blame it on Hillary and Obama.

2. Promise us that he alone can fix it.

3. Demand immediate appropriations to build a wall around the Milky Way to keep the black hole out. (And that will, of course, work no better than a wall on our southern border will keep out immigrants. There’s no stopping a massive mass, whether it’s a mass of matter or a huddled mass of immigrants yearning to breathe free.)

Meanwhile, expect all the usual suspects to have a field day with this.

Look out for “They”

The conspiracy theorists are going to point out that “They’re not telling us,” how fast the black hole is growing, or how long it’ll be before it swallows up the earth.

The “They” who aren’t telling us are, of course, are The Deep State. Or Democrats. Or “The Muslims.” Or “The Jews.” Or Socialists. Or Barack and Hillary. Or paid professional Crisis Actors from the Stanislavsky School of Method Crisis Acting, reconstituted as an evil cabal of conspiring astrophysicists. Or whatever They is at the top of the secret conspiracy list this week. 

And why aren’t They telling us? So that we won’t panic  and riot and destroy property, of course. Because property values are property values, even when your 500-acre weekend ranch and your $50 million yacht are both ninety seconds short of getting squinched down to the size of Donald Trump’s you-know-what. 

Or They’re not telling us so that They can institute Sharia Law. Or so that They can get all the jellybeans before the Apocalpse. Or, most likely of all, because They have just enough space ships to take Them off the planet and onto a secret and not commonly-known planet outside the gravitational field, while everybody else gets compressed denser than a lead brick.

Then there will be the deniers who, just for openers, will deny the Great Gravitational Squish to Come, because the Bible doesn’t say it’s going to happen that way. 

Or because they have a team of learned scientists with bought-and-paid-for degrees from the Betsy DeVos For-Profit College of Advanced Knowledge, and both those guys say it’s not going to happen.

Or because at least fifteen people woke up this morning and called in to work to say they felt light-headed, which means they can’t possibly be getting heavier.

But junk robocalls
must and will continue!

One thing’s for certain. Until the phone system goes down the black hole for all eternity, the junk phone callers will still be at it. 

While I was writing this, I got two — yes two junk calls! — from the scam artists in India who call to tell you they’re very, very official, and they need to fix the viruses in your computer. I asked my first caller if he was from the U.S. Government. He didn't deny it.

Maybe he'll call Donald Trump's cell phone next. Tell him to hurry. I'm suddenly feeling very heavy.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

How to blow the next presidential election and hand it over to Trump — 3 surefire techniques for Democrats who want to lose

The Kindlifresser, a statue in Bern, Switzerland
of a monster that eats little children. Democrats
are eating their own candidates — and their
chances for electoral success.
1. Keep on calling it Socialism. This one’s for you, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And you too, Bernie Sanders. And even you, Elizabeth Warren. I love most of the things you favor. Government-sponsored health care. Guaranteed incomes for all. Some long overdue redistribution of wealth. Publicly paid-for college education. Paid parental leave. Just one little catch.

The best way to get none of those things is to call them “Socialism.” 

“Socialism” is the Freddy Krueger of American politics to a wide swath of Americans. They want all the things you want them to have. But they don’t want Socialism, or at least they think they don't. You say Socialism, they see Venezuela. Yes yes, I know. That’s not true about your own base. But we’re talking about getting a majority of votes from as many of the 50 states as possible.

You’re really talking about Scandinavian-style Socialism in free and democratic nations like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Germany — the kind of countries from which Donald Trump says he wants to see more immigration to the United States. (Fat chance! Happy people don’t pick up and change countries.)

But accurately referring to the part of the world where the S-word brings happiness and stability might help progressive Democrats win. So don’t call it “Socialism.” Call it “Scandinavian benefits.” Or even better, “Aryan benefits.” Now let’s see The Trumpster lace into your program. What’s he gonna do — declare himself anti-Aryan and shoot his entire base in the head? 

Or call it Northern European benefits, if you want to tone it down. Just don’t call it Soc…Soc…Soc…you know.

2. Kill the candidacy of any male Democrat who gets accused of anything by a woman. Yeah, I know that touching a woman’s shoulder or smelling her hair seems kind of creepy these days. But it used to not be. The culture has changed. Fast. The notions of what are acceptable social behaviors always change and evolve. Give your fellow Democrats a chance to catch up.

Compared  to corruption, self-dealing, hypocrisy, unrestrained greed, habitual lying, "grabbing' 'em by the pussy," and, who knows, maybe even treason, smelling somebody’s hair is a hell of a flimsy reason to disqualify a candidate for office, even with our changed norms. We've already pretty much disqualified two strong vote-getters, Joe Biden and Al Franken, imprisoning them in the forever penalty box. They're finished. Done. Kaput. For what?

It’s getting to the point where, if I were a Republican strategist, I would wait until the Democrats nominate someone and then hire a few nobodies to claim the candidate breathed on them. Or kissed them on the cheek. Or called them "darlin'." What if the candidate is a woman? 

Make the claim anyway. Accuse her of being a closeted lesbian predator. Or of coming on to male high school campaign volunteers. Trust me, I’m not giving the Republicans any ideas. They probably began inserting these ideas into ring binders for distribution among the party weeks ago. But if we keep going the way we’re going, the Republicans won’t need to sic fake accusers on our candidates. We’ll have killed off all our own candidates for them.

The only way to prevent this is to draw a red line. Credible claims of rape, undue and repeated pressure to engage in unwanted sexual activities, or pederasty? Sure, if those are credible, throw the creep out. In fact, call the cops out. But as for the rest of these piddling grievances, drop it, willyuh? We’ve got an election to win. And a vulture named Trump to send home to his Fifth Avenue aerie where he can feed on his own golden bile. Or orange bile on his golden toilet. Or whatever.

3. Play stupid manipulative games with your own voters.  Normally I don’t contribute to political candidates. Oh shut up, I know I should, too. I just don’t. Except once, recently, when a Democrat I admire sent me an e-mail asking for “Just $5” for some urgent thing or other. Hey, for five bucks, why not? I filled out the online form. I charged it to a credit card. I clicked on the “contribute” button. I started to feel good about what I'd done. I began thinking that this was so painless, I could do it more often. Until…

….maybe three minutes later. I got another e-mail, from the campaign committee of the same politician. Y’know, they told me, it costs money to process all these contributions. Would I please send another three dollars “processing fee?” 

Say what? They killed any hope I'd ever contribute another nickel not only for their own candidate, but for any candidate from my party who might ever ask me for money again. If you wanted eight bucks, you scuzzball, why didn’t you just ask for eight bucks instead of jerking me around? You've not only fouled your own nest, you've fouled every Democrat's nest. At least for me.

Positive afterthought: Remember the Hillary Clinton - Donald Trump debate, where the Trumpster wandered away from his own podium and stood way, way too close behind Hillary while she was answering a question? If Hillary had wheeled around, snarled, “Back off, Buster! and then kicked Trump in the nuts, right there on TV, she would today be President of the United States. 

I hope all the nice women who feel the sudden urge to go whine to the news media that a politician made them “feel uncomfortable” will remember this. If somebody’s making you feel uncomfortable, and that’s pretty much the extent of it, tell him firmly and loudly to buzz off — and forget about crying about it to the news media.