Trump Wins the War on Christmas

Who knew things could change so fast?

The right-wing mediascape has been dutifully toiling away at its mission, despite the constantly increasing difficulty of the task. The ravings and fantasies of Individual #1, inflamed by the looming approach of Robert Mueller and his G-men, have made the task of turning lemons into lemonade nearly impossible for Fox News and its imitators. Still, they do as they must.

But what we haven’t heard this year is the lament about the War on Christmas, that annual harangue about how the politically correct left is doing everything it can to eradicate baby Jesus from the public memory. Continue reading “Trump Wins the War on Christmas”

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Off the Polls, and Off to the Polls

It’s not a horserace after all.

Like a lot of angry Americans—and by that I mean Americans who are angry for the right reasons—I’ve been glued to TV and newspaper coverage of the polls. I’ve fallen into a funk every time a close race seems to lean toward the Republican candidate, and rejoiced at every Democratic surge. Or at least I’ve tried to, knowing full well that favorable polls can lead to the bitterest disappointment, while unfavorable ones are already disappointing. This I learned in 2016.

But this time even the pollsters are throwing up their hands. Continue reading “Off the Polls, and Off to the Polls”

Big Little Lies

How they live with themselves.

Brett Kavanaugh’s hissy fit during the final aria of his confirmation opera disqualified him for a seat on the Supreme Court in so many ways, which somehow sealed the deal on his confirmation. He dodged questions. He displayed partisan contempt for half the committee. He yelled, he cried, he smirked, he whined. One might have thought he was auditioning to play all the Shakespeare characters at once, except that he used words that would send even The Bard to the dictionary—the Urban Dictionary. Continue reading “Big Little Lies”

Get Out

Angry White Men

My wife and I have worked for decades as volunteers on various elections for decades. We canvassed for Barack Obama, for John Kerry before that, and Al Gore before that. We’ve knocked on doors and chatted with residents and even worked election day in 2004, exhorting people to get to the polls. It’s a hard thing to do, disturbing folks at dinner time or on a Sunday afternoon and pitching your candidate to them cold. But we’ve always considered it a responsibility of citizenship; a way to keep politics personal and local. And in all those years working neighborhoods of varied social class and ethnicity, the experience was pretty benign. The worst treatment we’ve received was a woman who chirped “flippity-flop” at us when she saw our Kerry/Edwards buttons. Aside from that, we never had a problem.

Until yesterday. Continue reading “Get Out”

Poor Man’s Tweets

Occasionally there are stories that need to be mentioned but don’t warrant a 700-word discussion. And since I’m viscerally opposed to Twitter (my revulsion intensified by the Oaf in the Oval), I’ve resorted to clustering these brief comments in my usual space. Enjoy, where appropriate.

 

Man Bites Dog. Iowans were shocked this week to learn of the senseless murder of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a student at Iowa State University, while playing golf. The broad-daylight slaying was the second such crime in Iowa recently involving a foreigner.

Her alleged assailant was Collin Daniel Richards, who is rumored to have been born in another state and migrated to Iowa in his younger years. Many Iowans are incensed that again, an outsider has come to their benign and harmonious state and stolen the life of one of their own. “We can’t keep letting these animals come into our state and murder our young and beautiful girls,” said Sean O’Flaherty, chief investigating officer. The victim’s neighbor, Vladek Przinsky, angrily protested: “She was killed in cold blood by a person who didn’t even speak her language.”

Like nearly all murder victims, Ms. Arozamena was killed by an American citizen. She was a Spanish national who came to the United States to attend the university.

President Trump had no comment on the crime.

 

Supreme Court hearings update: Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley has denied Christine Blasey Ford’s request that the FBI investigate her claims of sexual assault prior to her testimony in the Senate. But he has floated the idea that perhaps the committee could bring in an outside investigator instead; preferably a lawyer and a woman.

Anita Hill, here’s your chance.

 

Sticks nix tix fix. The Toronto Star reports that Ticketmaster and its parent LiveNation have apparently been secretly allowing scalpers to buy large blocks of tickets, so that Ticketmaster can collect larger “convenience fees” when the scalpers resell them through Ticketmaster at a higher price.

What has this world come to when honest businessmen get into bed with a criminal operation like Ticketmaster?

 

 

This Can’t End Well

Judicial hearings must change.

Brett Kavanaugh’s glide to the Supreme Court has hit a snag, as the sexual assault accusation of Christine Blasey Ford has gained enough traction to warrant further hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Both the nominee and Dr. Blasey will testify in open hearings Monday, prompting a once-in-a-generation rumble over the identity of the court. I mean that literally: today it’s Kavanaugh; a generation ago it was Clarence Thomas; the one before that was Robert Bork; before that Earl Warren. . . Continue reading “This Can’t End Well”

Stop Fueling Trump’s Madness

Death threats to journalists were predictable.

 

Groucho
The reporter of the future

Encino man Robert Chain was arrested by the FBI this week for threatening to shoot employees of the Boston Globe, citing Trump’s “enemy of the people” mantra as justification. Perhaps the most depressing thing about it is that my first reaction was a bit of grateful surprise that the FBI was still arresting people acting on Trump’s behalf. Continue reading “Stop Fueling Trump’s Madness”