Thursday, September 22, 2016

Just stop

As the demonstrations in Charlotte turned violent last night, Donald Trump had one of his inspired solutions:  Expand the dehumanization of black Americans policy of stop-and-frisk to the entire country.  Or possibly just Chicago.  Exactly how this would apply to a man who was reading a book in his car is not clear -- reading while black has not been a capital crime in North Carolina since 1865 -- but as Maj. Denis Bloodnok used to say,  "I admire your vacuity, sir." 

New York City, where Fourth Amendment violation began under the regime of Il Ducetto Giuliani, should begin by extending stop-and-frisk to Wall Street.  Throw a few hedge fund managers against the walls of the House of Morgan and go through their elegant belongings.  I'm willing to bet the police will find more felony-weight cocaine in an $800 briefcase than in the backpack of a kid on 109th Street.  And that's a good bust, right?  A promotion maker.  But wait, don't forget about Mrs. Fund-Manager on Park Avenue.  She probably has some pills in that Gucci bag that weren't prescribed by her doctor.  See?  You've taken two desperadoes off the street.  Much more important, you've demonstrated that the law applies to everyone, equally.

Yeah, I give it a week. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016


First a correction:  In a post on September 25, 2015, we predicted that John Boehner would soon be lobbying for the tobacco industry.  This week the tobacco company Reynolds American announced that Boehner had joined it, not as a lobbyist but as a director.  The Buttermilk Sky Organization regrets the error.

On December 9, 2015, we speculated that portions of Trump Tower had been purchased by "wealthy Middle Easterners."  Several publications, including the New York Daily News, have since confirmed that this is indeed the case, and that the owners include the family of the late Osama bin Laden.  The Buttermilk Sky Organization is happy to add, "Yadda yadda told ya so!  And what took  you so long?  We don't have a string of investigative reporters here, just our antennae waving at the Zeitgeist.  Get to work, New York Times!  Double down, Washington Post!  Even Cosmopolitan is asking the hard questions.  Apparently."

The BSO is considering a feature called Useless Judge of the Week.  Several days ago there was a hair-raising story out of Ohio about a woman who was abducted, taken to an abandoned house and raped.  She managed to call police and direct them to the house while the kidnaper was asleep.  They found the bodies of two other women in the house, and the alleged perpetrator led them to a third body.  The judge granted bail.  I know it is now customary to give no-TV-for-a-week sentences to (white) rapists, especially if prison might derail their athletic and/or college prospects, but this is frigging multiple murder.  It's a million dollars, but I suspect his online fans could raise that much in a few hours.  (Name something worthless that doesn't have fans.  I dare you.)  Will he get to keep the taser he used on the woman?  Never mind, he can easily buy another one. And won't she sleep well knowing he's back on the street.  Useless Judge of the Week, thank you.


Friday, September 16, 2016

One step sideways

Last week at GQ, Keith Olbermann posted 176 of the reasons Trump is unfit to be president, ranging from lies to quasi-treasonous acts to whiplash-inducing stupidity.  Well, one down, 175 to go.  Today Trump acknowledged being a dupe of the racist Birther movement, apologized abjectly, and withdrew from -- no, wait, I got that wrong.  Actually he accepted credit for forcing Barack Obama to release proof of his American birth, never mentioned dispatching investigators to Kenya to find the "real evidence," and blamed  the whole sad episode on -- deep breath -- Hillary Clinton.  (Yes, she invented Birtherism when she was done founding ISIS, poisoning the tap water in Flint, and causing all those earthquakes in Oklahoma.  Jerome Corsi is going to be pissed.)   The Leader then led the ever-compliant media on a tour of his newest assault on taste hotel, resulting in a free infomercial.  He may be back to 176.

It's all good news for the poor clerk in Honolulu who has spent the last seven years filling requests for the "long form" birth certificate, whatever that may be, but it doesn't make much difference to the rest of us.  Sane people have always called bullshit, while the Deplorables, after some initial confusion not that far from their customary mental fog, will accept The Leader's version as usual.  And just as events in North Dakota have reminded us that Native Americans have bigger problems than what some asshole in Washington calls his football team, so the killing of yet another child by the police in Columbus, Ohio, points to more serious concerns for African Americans.  Indeed, police violence has reached such a pitch, it has radicalized the millionaire athletes of the NFL, a truly remarkable development.  A statement as unarguable as "black lives matter" can raise the hackles of every racist, although no one has said "only black lives matter," much less "death to the police."  Racism appears to have the half-life of uranium, and it may be the most important issue in this election, if it can be said to be about any issues at all.  With four months and three days left in the Obama presidency, this changes nothing.*  Instead of a lengthy press conference, the Congressional Black Caucus should have acknowledged Trump's grudging and half-assed concession to reality in one sentence and gone back to work. 

If Donzo wants to knock another item off the Olbermann Indictment, I recommend the one about keeping a volume of Hitler's speeches beside his bed.  Nothing suggests he has the attention span or the reading skills to get through even one.

*Except to distract everyone from the mysteriously hacked emails of Colin Powell.  "National disgrace"?  Not like the Tsar of Twitter to let that go by in silence. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016


Hillary Clinton has a bad habit of apologizing when it isn't called for.  I think she picked it up from Bill.  The single most principled part of his life was his opposition to the war in Vietnam, and he spent his career explaining it away.  When Hillary described Trump voters as "a sorry assembly of ignorant racist fucknozzles and drooling imbeciles" (I'm paraphrasing), I knew it was a matter of time until she took it back.  Three hours, in fact.  Considering the demented vituperation the orange slob and his degenerate flunkies hurl at her every single day, this seems overly conciliatory.  Ladylike, to use an old-time word.  (But she doesn't look presidential!  But why doesn't she smile more?  How dare she insult the good American patriots who scream for her to be locked up and/or shot?  Didn't she co-found ISIS?)

We need you to own it, Hillary, or should I say "Hitlery Rotten Clitoris" as your decent, god-fearing opponents do.  Repeat it every day.  Galvanize your voters by telling the inbred, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing mud-pounders (paraphrasing again there) to go picnic in a minefield.  And the bloated grifter and his stomach-turning spawn and his zombie spokesmodels and pathetic clowns like Paulie Numbnuts Ryan who just can't say no when asked if they still support this psychopath.  Feel free to use the phrase "lying sack of shit" because you'll be trashed no matter what you say or how demurely you say it.  But whatever you do, stop bringing a rubber hammer to a gunfight.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Trouble with a capital "T"

A wise blogger once wrote, "Why is Republican doctrine indistinguishable from mental illness?"  All right, it was I.  The one can be an effective camouflage for the other, is what I meant, and events have caught up with me.  To be blunt:  I don't give a gnat's nuts about Trump's tax returns -- I'm sure they're as fictitious as  his business "empire."  We should forget the taxes and demand a thorough medical report, including a recent CT scan.  Like, no more than twenty-four hours old.  A letter clearly dictated by Trump and signed by a "gastroenterologist" will not do.

Trump's unvarying response to criticism is the classic nine-year-old's "I'm rubber and you're glue..."  Point out his racism and he calls you a bigot.  Question his sleazy business dealings (of which "Trump University" is only the tip of the iceberg) and he names you "Crooked Hillary."  So last week, when Sean Hannity and other flunkeys pronounced Clinton brain-damaged because she wears glasses or something, I knew there was serious medical information to be obfuscated.  Consider:

At the very moment  you declare your intent to reach out to African American voters (with the spectacularly condescending "What the hell have you got to lose?"), you hire a neo-Nazi blogger named Bannon who calls black people "savages" and toasted George Zimmerman for getting away with murder.

Your trademark position -- "I will build a beautiful wall!" -- and its accompanying promise to deport eleven million people are now up for debate.  Or not.  No, they are again.  What time is it?  Confused stormtrumpers are reduced to calling the Glenn Beck show to vent their frustration, i.e., threaten violence. 

When the President, at the request of the governor, does not end his vacation and rush off to view flood damage in Louisiana, you seize the opportunity to look energetic and presidential, not like that lazy...well, you jump on the "Spirit of St. Vitus" and head for Baton Rouge, there to present people who have lost everything with a carton of Play-Doh.  I did not make that up, and everyone at The Onion wishes they had.

Suggesting your "Second Amendment people" shoot your opponent? 

Trump saw "thousands of Muslims" celebrating on 9/11 in the streets of Jersey City, or possibly Hoboken.  No one else saw them.

Trump heard a request for a "moment of silence" for the sniper who killed five Dallas police officers.  No one else heard this.

Trump saw video of a plane being loaded with cash for shipment to Iran.  This video does not exist.

Trump got a letter from the National Football League objecting to the debate schedule.  They sent no such letter.

Lies or hallucinations?  There is no third possibility.  It is important because even a pathological liar can choose to tell the truth, but if you are hallucinating, you should not be in charge of a laundromat, much less a nuclear arsenal.

And by the way, why does a political campaign have a retired neurosurgeon on staff?  Surely not for his political skills.  These derps almost failed to get their candidate on the ballot in Minnesota, but they have Dr. Carson around  for what?  In case he has another seizure? 

Hallucinations...paranoia...a total lack of impulse control....a severely truncated attention span...delusions of power (have you seen the make-pretend "Cabinet Room"?) -- we really need that CT scan.



Monday, August 01, 2016

The turning point

When the history of this bizarre political season is written, I believe it will be seen to hinge not on the economy or foreign affairs or even race, but rather on a man who died twelve years ago and was unknown to most Americans until last Thursday night.  The words of Khizr Khan, moving as they were, constituted only one statement by a speaker at the Democratic convention, but they penetrated the notoriously thin skin of the Republican nominee and he can not shut up about them.  Can NOT.  All criticism maddens him, but this was like a perfect jab from a master picador, enraging the bull and making him fatally reckless. 

In classic fashion he chose not to respond to what Khizr Khan said, but to what Ghazala Khan did not say in Philadelphia, implying that she was either silenced by Sharia law or just a dumb woman with nothing to say.  Her eloquent response, first in an interview with Lawrence O'Donnell and then on the op-ed page of the Washington Post, threw that back in his face.  So he whined that Khizr Khan "viciously attacked" him by suggesting that he is unfamiliar with the Constitution.  At this point the nominee might have noticed that he was coming under attack by others -- putative allies like John McCain, Erick Erickson, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Gold Star families -- but if he did, it made no difference.  Apparently there is no one in his employ who can persuade him to shut up and let it go.  There is nothing to be gained hereMove on.   The twit keeps tweeting.  Khan is just a dupe.  Hillary's speechwriters told him what to say.  It's all about TERRORISM!  Their son would be alive if Hillary hadn't voted to invade Iraq!!

The grave of Captain Humayun Khan in Arlington has become a place of pilgrimage.  The Constitution his father held up at the convention is one of the top ten sellers at Amazon.   The latest CBS poll has Clinton ahead by seven points. 

He doesn't get it.  He never will.



Friday, July 29, 2016


(random thoughts on a summer night)

When did political conventions start presenting an In Memoriam segment?  It's not the Oscars.  And I had no idea Muhammad Ali was a Democrat.

Is it wrong that I've mentally named Tim Kaine "Rev. Timtom"?

Apparently Trump was being "sarcastic" when he invited the Russian government to hack Hillary Clinton's email.  This does not bode well.  "I have a beautiful beautiful sense of humor, believe me, but the Joint Chiefs don't get me.  They didn't know I was being sarcastic when I said we should bomb Germany because the Germans are very nice people, they love me.  Anyway Angela Merkel was a fat pig and nobody will miss her."

It's good that Mary Steenburgen has a distinctive voice, because she has joined the ranks of Actresses You Can No Longer Pick Out of a Crowd.  Also, Sharon Gless is now bigger than Tyne Daly.  I feel very old.

I didn't hear all of Michelle Obama's speech, but I look forward to hearing it from Melania Trump (or her successor wife) in four years.  "I was born in a house built by Slavs."

Michael Bloomberg will be devastated when he finds out he's "little."  That's all you've got, Donzo?  I thought he nailed you to the floor. 

Bill O'Reilly needs to learn when to shut up.  Like every day that ends in a "y".

All the channels should re-think  the phrase "breaking news."  It should not cover anything two days old, or in the future, or just bloody obvious.  Cronkite interrupting a soap opera with a bulletin from Dallas was breaking news.  "Chelsea Clinton to introduce mother" is not.

My heart is pretty hard when it comes to political spectacle, so believe me when I say these people were masters of the lump in the throat:  Larry Sanders announcing the vote for his brother Bernie and both of them crying...the Mothers of the Movement talking of their murdered children...the anger and grief of Mr. and Mrs. Khan...Mark Kelly and Gaby Giffords...yes, even Paul Simon croaking "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is it wrong to want to feel something beside revulsion?  We've not Vulcans, our politics have never been about logic.  I'm a Hillary skeptic, I don't admire everything about her, but I didn't come to politics two months ago like the Sanders die-hards.  Except when the wheel of history turns up a Lincoln or an FDR it has always been about choosing the lesser evil.  So choose, damn it, or pay the price.  As Sarah Silverman said, "You're being ridiculous."