Friday, February 9, 2018

Out of Town

We're headed sown to Mexico in the morning and we won't be back until we get them to agree to pay for the dang wall!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Megan McArdle is the worst.

Ugh, Megan McArdle is just the worst.
She's like a female Tucker Carlson. Born with a silver spoon up her ass and dedicating her life to telling poor people why it's their fault they're poor and trying to make sure nothing ever gets better for them. Now she thinks that her 45 years of privileged living have imbued her with a wisdom that she should share with the rest of us who may not have her gift for understanding how to live our lives.

After 45 Birthdays, Here Are '12 Rules for Life'

by Megan McArdle

Forty-five is somehow a very definite year; there is no question that you are middle aged.
At 45 one takes stock. The building years of your life are over, and what you are now is pretty much what you are going to be. Soon it will be what you were.

Wait. It can't be both. If what you are now is what you will always be, then it isn't going to be what you were. Oh, unless you mean you'll be dead soon, but Christ, you're only 45. You could easily have another 40-50 years left in you.

You can no longer tell yourself that you might move to Lisbon, learn Portuguese, and take up the guitar. You cannot learn Portuguese at your age. You can’t remember new words anymore; you can’t even remember where you have left your keys.

Really? I mean, I may not have the wordly experience of a Megan McArdle, but I know a guy who went back to school and became an architect in his forties. (And his name is Mark, so his designs are technically "Markitechture." - Yeah, he didn't think it was very funny either.) Dennis farina didn't take up acting until he was in his 40's. I'm pretty sure there are plenty of 45-year-olds who could learn Portuguese. My friend Lisa was pushing 40 when she moved to Mexico and learned Spanish

Okay, anyway, let's see these rules.

1. Be kind.

Oh fer fuck sake. It took you 45 fucking years to figure that one out? That is the most obvious, cliche, banal rule that you could have. It's the basis of most of the world's religions. It's fucking obvious.

Also, when the hell have you ever been kind? The first time I heard of you was when you were making the argument that stopping poor people from burning to death just wasn't worth the money.

2. Politics is not the most important thing in the world. 

Yes it fucking is!
Politics is the reason that we have mass shootings every few days in this country and nobody will do anything to stop it.
Politics is the reason why Canadians can go to the doctor when they're sick without worrying about going bankrupt but we fucking can't.
Politics is the reason that working people aren't making a living wage while executives get wealthier by the minute.
Politics is why same-sex couples weren't allowed to marry for most of our country's history but now they are.
Of course politics is the most important thing. The only people who think it isn't are the people who are already getting their way. You can bet your bottom dollar that if we'd had a few decades of lefty presidents and senates and congresses the Megan McArdles of the world would have a pretty goddamm good idea of the importance of politics.

Politics is not the most important thing in the world. It’s just the one people talk about the most. That’s because everyone shares the government; only you are married to your spouse, and can knowledgeably expound on their habit of mashing up soft-boiled egg and ketchup into a disgusting paste; this makes it hard to have much of a dialogue with your friends on the subject.

If my wife regularly feasted on tomato-egg sludge, I'd never stop talking about it. I would be stopping strangers on the street and asking them "please tell my wife that mashed up boiled eggs and ketchup is freaking gross." And then I'd say "see? I told you it's freakin gross." Like every freakin day.

3. Always order one extra dish at a restaurant, an unfamiliar one. You might like it, which would be splendid. If you don’t like it, all you lost was a couple of bucks. If you can’t afford to order that one extra dish, then the restaurant is too expensive for your budget and you should find a cheaper one.

Yeah, we all have extra money burning holes on our pockets to order additional unwanted entrees that will likely go to waste. And God forbid we treat ourselves to the occasional nice meal in a pricey restaurant if we can't afford to buy three dinners. We should just drag our peasant asses to the local burger stand and be happy we get any food at all.

And this is one of your "12 rules for life?" You only get twelve and you're going to use one of them on "get extra food?"

4.Give yourself permission to be bad. You know what you’re really good at? Things you’ve done many times before. Mastery is boredom. Unfortunately, we like feeling like masters; we hate feeling like idiots. So we keep ourselves bored in order to protect ourselves from feeling stupid. This is a bad trade. (Trust me, I wrote the book on this.) 

Honestly, I'm not 100% sure what you're saying here. You get paid to write, do ya? But it seems like you're saying to try new activities. Like maybe learning a new language, or taking up a musical instrument, or something else that you just said it's already too late to do.

5. Go to the party even when you don’t want to. Nine times in 10, you’ll be bored and go home early. But the 10th time, you will have a worthy experience or meet an interesting person. That more than redeems those other wasted hours.

No. I went to a party once I didn't want to go to. I only knew one person there, the friend who invited me. The experience I had with the interesting person I met there was that interesting person asking me where I was from, then swinging a bottle at my head before being tackled by another party-goer.
If you like parties, great. Go to parties. Go to all the parties. Some of us don't enjoy parties. Don't presume to tell us we should go to something that we won't like just because someone like you finds people "interesting."

6. Save 25 percent of your income.

 Oh for the love of. . . do you have any idea how many people live paycheck to paycheck? Saving 25 percent of your income is a luxury most people can only dream of being able to afford.Most people spend the bulk of their income on keeping a roof over their heads. Especially if you live in an expensive city like New York or DC.

No, don’t tell me how expensive your city is; I have spent basically my whole life in New York and Washington, DC. You can save if you want to;
Okay. Fair enough.
Oh, by the way, this is how you described your time in New York:

YOU WERE LIVING IN YOUR PARENTS' PLACE RENT FREE! And you were still "broke!" Although, somehow you had enough money to be able to pay your medical bills in cash. Most people have to pay rent. You have no idea what real life is like.

Yeah, see, that's the sort of thing that doesn't happen to normal people. This is an experience that only people born to affluent, well-connected parents ever have.

So, yeah, you're the perfect person to give us guidance on how normal people should live their lives.

That's only 6 of the 12 rules, but I just can't take any more of this shit.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Good News For a Change

Trump Evangelical Adviser Says You Don’t Need Flu Shots When You Have Jesus

“Inoculate yourself with the word of God,” says Gloria Copeland.

Halle Freakin' Lujah!

A controversial minister linked to President Donald Trump said flu shots aren’t necessary when you have Jesus.
“Inoculate yourself with the word of God,” urged Gloria Copeland

: (  It won't fit in the syringe : (

“Well, listen, partners, we don’t have a flu season,” Copeland said

Well that's just true. There's four seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Ipso facto, there is no season of "flu."

“And don’t receive it when somebody threatens you with, ‘Everybody’s getting the flu.’ We’ve already had our shot: He bore our sicknesses and carried our diseases. That’s what we stand on.”

**sigh** That is NOT how it works.

Seriously, do you think that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, left his throne in Heaven, came to Earth for 40 miserable non-heavenly years, and allowed himself to be killed by slow torture so you wouldn't get the fucking flu? The whole point of Christianity is that Jesus came to earth to for some reason get punished for the sins of everyone else even though he didn't do anything wrong because God has a weird idea of what justice is and someone needed to die if He was gonna start letting people into Heaven. The goddamm flu doesn't enter into it.

Where in the Bible does it say that Jesus died for your immune system?

She said the faithful who don’t have the flu can ward off the infection by repeatedly saying, “I’ll never have the flu. I’ll never have the flu.”

Wait. Seriously? Do you have to click your heels three times while you say it?
Why you had the power to not have the flu allll alonggg! 
All you had to do was repeat this idiotic phrase over and over!
You know, like in the Bible!

For those who are ― somehow ― sick anyway, she offered a prayer. 
“Flu, I bind you off of the people in the name of Jesus,” she said, “Jesus himself gave us the flu shot. He redeemed us from the curse of flu, and we receive it and we take it, and we are healed by his stripes, amen.”

Speak directly to the flu.
I'm sure that must be awfully effective.
 All those little nubs are ears!

So, the good news?
Looks like we might start thinning the herd a bit.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

People who should just shut up.

Here are some people who should just shut up. Just go right ahead and shut right up. Just stop speaking, shut their pie holes and never re-open them. Just shut up.

First up, Florida Congressthing Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-duh!)

Republican congressman defends notorious Holocaust denier he invited to SOTU

Yes, this actual member of the actual Congress of the United Actual States of America invited a notorious holocaust-denying anti-Semite to be his honored guest at the State of the Union, and now he thinks he can defend this choice.

As he faces continuing backlash for inviting Charles Johnson, a notorious far-right troll dubbed “the web’s worst journalist,” to Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) desperately tried to defend the invitation 

 “I met Chuck just briefly before allowing him to snag a ticket that was at our office,” Gaetz told Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto Thursday.

 Seriously? You expect people to believe that? You gave a ticket to the State of the Union Address to some guy you met once and basically knew nothing about? Like there's just a big stack of tickets to the SOTU on your receptionist's desk and any random constituent can just wander in off the street and "snag" one? A ticket to be the plus-one of a sitting Congressman at the most prestigious event of the year, and this stranger just happened to pop in to your office and "snag a ticket?" Please!

“But some of the claims against Mr. Johnson are not accurate. He’s not a Holocaust denier, he’s not a white supremacist, those are unfortunate characterizations of him. I did not know he was as infamous and controversial as he was when he came by.”

I don't know the guy, barely met the guy once, but I know that he is not a white supremacist or a holocaust denier and by the way, I really had no idea who this guy even was that I'm so certain is not a racist at all.

And, by the way, if you really didn't know anything about this guy before handing him the toughest ticket to get in DC, you could easily find out with a few minutes on Google. Or, you don't even have to do that, because the great Bob Slatten has already done it for you.

Let’s make this completely queer:
Gaetz’s guest at the SOTU, Chuck Johnson, has a crowdfunding site that raises money to defend Nazi leader Andrew Anglin and other far-right extremists.
Chuck Johnson was banned from Twitter in 2015 after soliciting donations to “take out” Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson.
That’s who Gaetz brought to SOTU and is now trying to back away from.

Gaetz also had this to say about Chuck Johnson, the man about whom he knows nothing other than the true depths of his character:

“He is not guilty of the things that some people have charged him of as it relates to those claims,” Gaetz said. “He’s a controversial figure, there are plenty of controversial folks at the State of the Union. I don’t just cavort with people who hold my views. I think there are people on the right and the left who you spend time with, learn more about [and] understand their viewpoint.”

Holocaust denial is not a "viewpoint." It is not some point of view about which you might want to learn more and come to understand. Either you invited him to the most exclusive event on the DC social calendar because you share his "viewpoint" or you were just so monstrously careless that you accidentally brought a Nazi sympathizer to the SOTU. Either way, it reflects awfully poorly on you. Your best bet now would be to just shut up.

Person Number Two: New York Times columnist David Brooks:

The Abortion Memo

To: Democratic Party Leaders
From: Imaginary Democratic Consultant
Re: Late-Term Abortions

Dear Democratic Leaders,
Last week I watched as our senators voted down the Republican bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks.

So that's good, right? Taht's what Democrats are supposed to do - stand up for reproductive rights. Buuuuuut I'm guessing you're going to find a way to cast this as a negative somehow, right?

Our people hung together. Only three Democrats voted with the other side. Yet as I was watching I kept wondering: How much is our position on late-term abortions hurting us? How many progressive priorities are we giving up just so we can have our way on this one?

Wow, what a surprise David Fucking Brooks is going to advise Democrats to abandon one of their core values. Gosh, I wonder if he'll advise them to "move to the center?"

Let me start with some history. Before Roe. v. Wade, the abortion debate looked nothing like it does today. Many leading anti-abortion groups were on the left. The first pro-life rally on the National Mall was organized by the National Youth Pro-Life Coalition, which a co-founder described as “an extremely liberal group.” The National Catholic Welfare Conference endorsed a platform that included a right to a living wage, a right to collective bargaining and a right to life from the moment of conception.

So. . . the Catholics are still anti-abortion, they just no longer seem interested in workers' rights. Therefore, the Democratic Party should, um, do what exactly? Give in on abortion rights? How is that going to help anything?

In 1971, Ted Kennedy could declare, “Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized — the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.” And in the 1960s, conservative states like Mississippi, Georgia and Kansas passed laws legalizing abortion.
In 1973, Roe v. Wade changed all this.

Welllll, not exactly. What changed was that the cynical marketers of the right wing realized that they could use Roe v. Wade to motivate fundamentalist Christians to get involved in politics. Previously, most Christians believed that it was at least unseemly to combine religion and electoral politics. Now the Paul Weyrichs of the world were able to use ministers to turn worshippers into activists who would work and vote for conservative candidates who promised to overturn Roe v. Wade

I understand that our donors (though not necessarily our voters) want to preserve a woman’s right to choose through all nine months of her pregnancy. But do we want late-term abortion so much that we are willing to tolerate President Trump?

Oh for fuck sake! i am so goddamm sick and tired of Conservatives trying to pin the blame for Cheeto Mussolini on "liberals" or "progressives" or Democrats, or anyone other than the stupid racist fucks who voted for him, i.e. REPUBLICANS/CONSERVATIVES.

Do we want it so much that we give up our chance at congressional majorities? Do we want it so much that we see our agendas on poverty, immigration, income equality and racial justice thwarted and defeated?

 Do you really not understand how electoral politics works, Brooks? You can't be this fucking stupid. Democrats lose elections, even in the absence of shameless gerrymandering and voter suppression, when they run middling centrist milquetoasts who do not inspire their base to turn out. Do not pretend that you actually believe that there are these "centrist" voters out there who would love to vote for a Democratic candidate on the basis of economic or immigration policy, but just have to reluctantly pull the lever for the Republican because they oppose abortion after 20 weeks. Those voters don't exist. And Democrats are not going to pry loose any Republican voters by abandoning their base. That's pretty much how they got into the terrible situation in which they find themselves now.

Let’s try to imagine what would happen if Roe v. Wade was overturned. The abortion issue would go back to the states. The Center for Reproductive Rights estimates that roughly 21 states would outlaw abortion. Abortion would remain legal in probably 20 others. There’s a good chance that a lot of states would hammer out the sort of compromise the European nations have — legal in the first months, difficult after that. That’s what most Americans support.
The pro-life movement would turn its attention away from national elections. Single-issue anti-abortion voters would no longer be automatic Republicans. The abortion debate would no longer be an absolutist position on one side against an absolutist position on the other.

 You live in a fantasy world.
You really think the religious right would withdraw from national politics if they gat Roe overturned? You think there's any possibility they'd be satisfied with that? You don't think that they'd turn their focus to getting a one-man-one-woman amendment to the Constitution? Or a national You Can't Pee Here law? Or outlawing Islam or something? You think they're going to ever let these suckers off the hook? As long as the rubes will subscribe to their newsletters, buy their miracle cures, hoard buckets of freeze-dried End Times foodlike substances and donate to every sleazy candidate for any office who promises to "stand up " for their "Christian values" or whatever, these scumbags will keep sucking every last dollar they can out of these demented delusional dotards.

Roe v. Wade polarized American politics in ways that have been fundamentally bad for Democrats. If you don’t believe me, compare the size of the elected Democratic majorities in 1974 to the size of the Republican majorities in 2018. Without Roe v. Wade the landscape would shift.

Roe v. Wade didn't shift the political landscape. Well, okay, it probably contributed. But the tectonic shift came when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act, sending southern racists (and Northern ones) running from the Democratic Party to the GOP.  And it was exacerbated by Nixon's "Southern Strategy." And pretty much every Republican candidate since has played on white America's racial fears and resentments. And male Americans' fear and resentment of uppity women, and hetero Americans' fear and resentment of LGBTs, and Christian Americans' fear of Muslims and resentment of "secular humanists." You think Democrats throwing womens' reproductive rights under the bus would somehow counteract all that? If I thought you actually believed that, I'd think you were nuts.

We also shouldn’t take millennial voters for granted. Boomers saw the pro-choice movement as integral to their feminism. Millennials do not. In 1991, 36 percent of young voters thought abortion should be legal in all circumstances; now only 24 percent do. Young voters don’t like the Republican total ban. But they don’t like our position, either.

Yeah, Democrats don't have "a position." Many Democrats are pro-choice-full-stop. Many others are mainly pro-choice, but with some restrictions. Some are not pro-choice at all. And if you think that Democrats will attract more voters by abandoning their commitment to choice, well. just ask Bernie Sanders how campaigning for Heath Mello went over with the base.
here's a hint:

I’m asking us to rethink our priorities. What does America need most right now? One of our talking points is that late-term abortions are extremely rare. If they are extremely rare, why are we giving them priority over all of our other issues combined?
Your Imaginary Consultant

Person Number Three: Arizona Senator John McCain

Mr. President, stop attacking the press