Thursday, September 29, 2016

Trump and Women

The cascade of lies, half truths, denials, and shit he just makes up continues to flow from Mr. Donald John Trump. All of it in the face of mounting evidence the man is everything we loathe and more.

The latest report comes from the Los Angeles Times which dug into law suits filed against the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, California and a development firm owned by El Don. Details found within the suits, which were filed in the early and mid 2000's, are just now coming to light.

The focus of the golf course suit had to do with labor practices. As in the employees claimed they weren't allowed rest, or lunch breaks required by CA law. But they also touched on an aspect of the big orange guy's personality and behavior he has been struggling with lately.

In a sworn declaration, former club catering manager, Hayley Strozier stated Brother Don consistently wanted women who he deemed were less than attractive to be fired. In fact things got so bad when managers at the club knew Trump was going to drop in they'd reschedule their staff assignments to make sure only those he'd consider physically appealing were on duty.

Ms. Strozier also stated a former Trump bodyguard, turned organization vice president, told her to fire a female employee because, "Mr. Trump doesn't like fat people and he would not like seeing her when he was on the premises."

Strozier wasn't the only one who talked about Trump's tastes. The club's restaurant manager at the time, Sue Kwiatkowski says Trump pulled her aside one day and told her, "I want you to get some good looking hostesses in here. People like to see good looking people when they come in."

Former Hostess Lucy Messerschmidt claimed one of the managers, Bob Wolbers, told her he was giving her time off during a visit from Trump because, "He likes to see fresh faces and young girls." Messerschmidt was 45 at the time. She maintains she was fired later because she complained about age discrimination.

Food server, Gail Doner noted, "The hostesses that were the youngest and prettiest always got the best shifts." Doner, who was 60, said managers slowly cut back her shifts to the point they stopped calling her at all. She had over 20 years of experience in customer service.

The suit was settled in 2013. It cost Trump's company $475,000, but--does this sound familiar--the judgment allowed the club to do so without admitting any guilt. That's right, he can claim innocence once again.

Yes, this is an evil fuck who sees women as nothing more than arm candy and stage props. If you don't appeal to his sense of, décor, he not only doesn't want you around, but he's more than willing to refer to you in the most despicable misogynistic terms imaginable.

All of which brings us back to another delusion. According to Donald Trump, "I have great respect for women and will do far more for women than Hillary Clinton." And then, "...all are impressed with how nicely I have treated women."


How is it we have sunk so low that a lying, sexist, racist and xenophobic beast like Donald Trump is within a few votes of the White House?

Perhaps the question shouldn't be asked, because, ultimately, the answer is too awful for many of us to accept.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

At the End of the First, Hillary Clinton 1-Donald Trump 0

It wasn't the best of nights for Donald Trump yesterday. His performance in the first presidential debate was spotty at best. So much so the MSNBC crew handling the post game analysis were snaking through the studio in a conga line chanting," HRC! HRC! HRC!" Chris Matthews went so far as to say Hillary Clinton pitched a shutout, as others claimed the Trumpster had been reduced to absolute gibberish.

While Matthews' assessment was a tad gushing and the celebration was dangerously premature, it was clear most people around the country believed Mrs. Clinton had won the match. A CNN poll taken of viewers showed 62% believed the former Secretary of State prevailed, while 27% thought Trump had.

Trump, delusional as always, left the stage convinced he had won. He even showed up in the spin room afterward and said of moderator, Lester Holt, "I thought Lester did a great job." That opinion changed once he realized he and his kids were the only ones around who felt he did the better job. By this morning El Don tweeted, "I thought Lester Holt gave me very unfair questions at the end, but I'm not complaining about that."

Actually, Big Orange Guy, a tweet worded that way is pretty much the definition of a complaint. Holt aside, the real Trumpian wrath was reserved for his microphone. He said the mic worked fine when he initially tested it, but once on stage for the actual debate the volume was too low and it wasn't working properly--there was, according to the candidate, a crackling sound. While claiming not to be into conspiracies, Trump hinted he might have been the victim of some mysterious saboteur.

If that was the case the unknown villain was a lousy one, because on TV, the allegedly rigged microphone worked perfectly during the airing of the debate. All of this led Mrs. Clinton to say, "Anybody who complains about the microphone is not having a good night."

The truth is Trump was Trump. He tried to wing huge parts of the conversation with talking points we've heard time and time again. Only last night he wasn't in the middle of a stage full of wannabes where the camera was off him for long periods. He was stuck on an unflinching split screen for over 90 minutes and by the end he seemed to have wilted.

Indeed, despite his assertion Mrs. Clinton not only doesn't appear presidential, but lacks stamina for the job, he was the one grimacing and compulsively sipping at a glass of water. Not to mention snorting and sniffling so loudly into the reportedly malfunctioning microphone it sounded like he was in the throes of a massive hay fever attack.

Amidst the facial contortions a couple of his talk over moments were steeped in arrogance and complete disdain for the people he says he represents. At one point, while speculating why Trump won't release his tax returns, Clinton noted years ago when he had to make them public in order to get a gaming license they showed he paid no federal taxes at all. He interrupted her by saying, "That makes me smart."

When she noted he profited from the housing bubble collapse, which cost thousands of people their homes he said, "It's business."

Ah yes, quite a man of the common people.

The next stop is St. Louis. There is no doubt Trump will alter his presentation, despite saying last night he wouldn't. He simply has to. He might not have suffered a knock out punch at Hofstra, but he clearly lost the round. His lack of preparation and organization, plus the practice of talking over the top of everyone, including the moderator,  just didn't play like it has in the past.

There is no telling if Mrs. Clinton will get a bump in the polls because of last night. Normally it could be assumed she would, but this is anything, but a normal election. No matter what the polls say in the next couple of days she still must remain careful, yet aggressive.

Let's face it, after the first debate four years ago, Barack Obama looked to be on the ropes, but he came back and crushed Mitt Romney in later ones and was re-elected.

No, it doesn't matter how many people Chris Matthews high fives over the next few days. The reality is this thing isn't over and, for many of us, it remains far too close for comfort.

sic vita est


Friday, September 23, 2016

The First Presidential Debate: Unchecked at Hofstra

The first debate at Hofstra University is right around the corner. Thanks to the unabashed animosity between not just the candidates, but their supporters, chances are it will be the most watched campaign event in the history of American presidential politics. Everyone will be in and only a precious few will be neutral.

So what can we expect?

Thanks to Donald John Trump, a man who is completely unhinged, God only knows. He has already said this and the next two debates are, "rigged." In addition, earlier this week, he called on moderator, Lester Holt not to, "fact check," statements made by the candidates during the course of the evening.

In other words let him blurt out any type of lie, accusation, or denial no matter how crazy without restraint. When, Mrs. Clinton calls him on it he can simply shrug, purse his lips and claim she's the liar--all the while knowing his supporters will never doubt him, as she is, hopefully, driven into a state of flummoxed frustration.

What we do know is one of the topics will be, "America's direction." The mind reels at how dark of an abyss he'll say we've fallen into. At that moment, he will start to hammer with his slogan, "Make America Great Again," which we've understood for ages now is really code for, "Make America White Again."

Think not? Yesterday it was revealed an Ohio county Trump chairperson, Kathy Miller told an interviewer, "I don't think there was racism until Obama got elected," and that racism didn't exist in the 1960's. That's the least of it. She went on to say if African Americans weren't successful in the last half century it was their fault, because they had all the advantages. The state GOP chair immediately demanded her resignation because of the, "insane comments."

Miller called it quits, but the fact remains this loon had managed to secure a position within the campaign. Does anyone really think her views weren't known, or shared by fellow Trumpists in Ohio? No, she just fucked up by going public with them.

We also know the Common Wealth Fund commissioned a study by the Rand Corporation which found Trump's health care proposals, if enacted, will cause the number of uninsured Americans to go from 24.9 million to 44.6 million. Included in that number are anywhere from 5.7 to 7.1 million people who are already in fair to poor health.

In addition the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found, Trump's tax proposals will add $5.3 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years while Hillary Clinton's would add $200 billion.

Finally we know, El Don is all for a stop and frisk program either in Chicago, or nation wide, depending on which speech you heard. It would be based on the one used a few years ago in New York City. A federal judge put a stop to it in NYC after it was proven four out of every five persons halted, then searched, for absolutely no reason at all, were either black, or Hispanic. Since then, in order to modernize the term racial discrimination, we've called it profiling.

Yes, these are the things the big orange guy can say aren't true thanks to his demand that Holt and others not interrupt the proceedings with an aside to the audience which contains a touch of reality.

He can also maintain those thousands of Muslims in New Jersey he hallucinated about are still celebrating the attacks of 9-11. And, if he is feeling whimsical, claim the moon is made of blue cheese. All he needs to do is employ the bully boy bluster and complete lack of conscience which served him well during the republican primary debates.

Mrs. Clinton needs to be wary. As we've seen lately truth and reason don't always win. Far too often the loud mouthed sociopath who is unchecked does.

sic vita est

*some of the information in this post was supplied by reports from the Associated Press


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Great American Gun Fetish

Since we're all about guns in this country--hey, you can't shoot the spouse, kids, and yourself without one--it's always good to see someone do a little research on our deadly fetish.

According to a report by The Guardian, public health researchers at Harvard and Northeastern University did just that last year through an outfit named, GfK. It was what's called an opt in survey where people were compensated to participate after they mailed their responses to the company.

There were a couple of mild surprises. The first being the poll indicated there are currently 265 million guns owned in the U.S. today. That's somewhat lower than the 300 million usually cited in articles and essays. The second is that 133 million of those weapons are owned by roughly three percent of the adult population.

The survey found that out of 55 million gun owners most have an average of three weapons. A little less than half that number own a single firearm. 7.7 million people own anywhere from eight to 140.

While the figure might sound odd, market researchers at GfK report it is in line with other products which aren't guns. They say 80% of any product is bought by 20% of the total number of buyers.

Other findings in the survey aren't so surprising. You know, stats like your average gun owner is a white male conservative who lives in a rural area--that 30% of self described conservatives say they own a weapon, while 19% of so called moderates and 14% of people who claim to be liberal do.

When it comes to people who own only hand guns the numbers go askew. 44% of African American and 37% of Hispanic gun owners fall into that category. The research showed people who own only hand guns are concentrated in cities and are more likely to be non white.

The report found there are 70 million more guns in circulation right now than there were in 1994. It also showed there are 10 million additional gun owners since that year and sales have spiked since Barack Obama became president.

Well, what do you expect when people like the NRA and other fringe elements are running around telling everyone the president and now Hillary Clinton want to take away every body's weapon. It's abject bullshit of course, neither of them has advocated gun confiscation, just tighter rules when it comes to being able to lay your hands on one.

Perhaps the most disturbing statistic is that the survey says there are 400,000 guns stolen every year in this country. At least that is the number reported. That means nearly a half a million weapons fall into the hands of proven felons every 365 days.

Of course any survey depends on the honesty of its respondents. There are a lot of rubes out there who think any sort of question asked about gun ownership is some sort of government plot. Who knows how many of them took GfK's money and just made shit up.

What we do know is that of the 30,000 gun deaths a year, two thirds are suicides. Without access to a firearm the act becomes a tad more difficult, or at least less impulsive.

We also know the worn out NRA cliché which says the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun is a terrible lie. More guns simply mean more mayhem. That and despite all the bombast about stopping terrorists, the NRA steadfastly opposes any sort of regulation, or law which might restrict access to guns by those who are suspected of being involved in such gruesome activities.

Yes, we have this unexplainable addiction to guns. We are the collective Gollum to not just, "The One Ring," but 265 million of them. And--we will not only do anything to keep a firearm, we'll justify any nefarious plot and lie in order to make sure we can amass more of them.

No wonder much of the civilized world considers our society not only decadent, but deadly and loathsome.

sic vita est


Friday, September 16, 2016

The Pivot: Don on Xanax

Don Trump jumped on the birther crazy train around five years ago. Despite a multitude of theories, no one is quite sure why. I like to think the motive was nothing more than a crude ploy to boost the ratings of his TV show, "The Apprentice." Something so cruel and self serving certainly sounds like the narcissistic beast we've come to know and loathe.

What we do know for sure is he beat that dead horse relentlessly. And thanks to Twitter and the press, which even then was enthralled by his grotesque carnival side show barking, he took the myth out of ultra right wing chat rooms and the dark corners of You Tube. During the process he placed it--and more importantly, himself--squarely into prime time.

He claimed he had people in Hawaii and what they were finding, "was incredible." He posted on social media, "an extremely credible source," had called to tell his staff the president's birth certificate was, "a fraud."

It didn't matter he couldn't prove anything and ultimately never did. When it comes to the yokels he was preaching to, not being able to prove something is simply further proof the conspiracy is both vast and unrelenting. As for the rest of us, well, we have short memories.

Hey, time marches on, besides, terrible Mexican hordes were on the horizon, not to mention evil Muslim infiltrators.

Then a few weeks ago came the pivot republicans have been waiting so long for. Suddenly El Don calmed his act down. The off the cuff bombast abated and was replaced by teleprompter controlled speeches which focused not on personalities, but policies he would enact when elected. Of course he hasn't gone into any details about how he'd deliver mega tax cuts while pouring billions more into the military and balancing the federal budget. After all, such details would just dilute the presentation of the big picture.

He made a trip to Mexico in order to appear statesman like. It didn't seem to matter within in hours after leaving he and Mexican President, Enrique Pena Nieto were arguing over what they'd talked about. The whole purpose of the visit was the photo op taken after their meeting.

Yesterday he showed up on the syndicated television show hosted by Dr. Mehmet Oz with his medical records. He brought along his daughter Ivanka to talk to the audience, made up of mostly women, about child care benefits. Both hinted they were the first and only people to ever propose expansive paid maternity leave for women. Neither were willing to admit democrats and Hillary Clinton have been pushing the same thing for years, but the republicans in congress have rejected every attempt.

Which leads us to earlier today. At the opening of his new hotel in Washington Trump told the press, "Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it, you know what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period."

Indeed, if it wasn't for me the dark cloud brought about by Hillary Clinton would still be hanging over the presidency of Barack Obama. However, I was finally able to nail down his place of birth and clear his name.

No one should be surprised at this vile tact. For a couple of weeks now Trump's toadies have gone on cable news saying their man knows Obama was born here. Then, while pointedly ignoring all questions about his avid promotion of the birther insanity, to a person, they accused Secretary Clinton of starting it.

It's an abject lie. The Washington Post reported that various fact checking organizations have repeatedly disproven the allegation. In truth there is absolutely no evidence Ms. Clinton, or her campaign ever questioned Obama's birth certificate, or his citizenship.

Yes, it would seem the new Trump is pretty much the old Trump, only on Xanax. Or, as we like to say down here, "You can take them out of the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of them."

And with that ladies and gentlemen, as you can well guess, the bar is open.

sic vita est


Monday, September 12, 2016

The Latest From Duncan, Oklahoma: There is Nothing Quite Like a Mother's Love

Perhaps there is something contaminating the ground water of Duncan, Oklahoma. After all it is the ancestral home of Halliburton Oil, so God only knows what sort of terrible, DNA twisting, toxins have been dumped into the handiest ditch, or man hole over scores of decades.

For those with short memories, Duncan first hit the international news in August, 2013. That's when Michael Jones got behind the wheel of a car and took a spin around town with his pal James Edwards in the front seat and Chancy Luna in the back. At some point they spotted Australian, Christopher Lane, who was in town visiting his girl friend, jogging along the side of the road.

Edwards story was he was busy rolling a joint completely unaware of what was about to happen. Luna, who had a pistol--because, hey don't we all--later claimed he thought the gun was loaded with blanks and he was simply intending to scare Lane. After Lane was shot in the back of the head, one of the merry pranksters initially told arresting officers the crime was committed because the three of them were bored.

Well who isn't these days?

Lane was killed. Luna and Jones were found guilty of murder and Edwards, after it was discovered he had phoned a friend from the jail with instructions to get rid of the weapon, was convicted of being an accessory after the fact.

In October, 2014 boredom wasn't an issue for Alan Hruby, but money was. Early in the year, his father, the publisher of the nearby Marlow Review, had turned his oldest kid into police for stealing five G's of his grandmother's money. The cash was used to pay for a trip to Paris. By that fall, worn out by his son's crazed spending sprees, the senior Hruby cut him off financially.

The decision didn't go over well. Alan Hruby, then a student at the University of Oklahoma, snuck home on a Wednesday night and stole his father's gun out of his pick up truck. He returned to Duncan the next day. That's when he shot and killed his 48 year old mother, Tinker, his 17 year old sister, Katherine and his 50 year old father, John. The theory was, since everyone was dead, the Professor Moriarty wanna be would be the sole heir to the family fortune.

On Friday, after the murders, he took off for Dallas to party hearty all weekend with some buddies during the Oklahoma-Texas football game weekend. A house keeper found the bodies of his family on the following Monday. Young Mr. Hruby is currently doing three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Now, also out of Duncan, comes the tale of Patricia Ann Spann. Last Friday, The Oklahoman ran a story by Nolan Clay which details criminal charges filed against Ms. Spann.

According to the article, Patricia Spann, proving there is nothing quite like a mother's love, married her daughter, Misty Spann in neighboring Comanche county earlier this year. She used the name Patricia Clayton on the wedding license.

However, this being Duncan, Mom marrying Misty isn't the first time the Spann family has gone deep down the rabbit hole. One of Patricia Spann's ex husbands is her son, Jody, who she married in 2008. Their union was annulled in July, 2010.

The elder Spann claims all this bizarre shit is perfectly normal because she gave up custody of her two sons and daughter years ago after they were adopted by their paternal grandmother. Clay writes Spann told DHS workers she and her daughter, "hit it off," after reuniting a couple of years ago.

Misty Spann is now 25 years old. The DHS became involved because the happy couple have been spotted on occasion with a young child in tow. The Stephens County DA says the prosecution will be open and shut because the state doesn't have to prove the newly weds are engaged in sexual activity, just that they are mother and daughter.

If that's truly the case, there is no doubt the members of some future jury will be more than grateful.



Friday, September 9, 2016

No Need For Drugs in the Season of The Teflon Don

It is increasingly clear that taking a hit of blotter acid during this presidential campaign is totally useless. Let's face it, things are so terribly twisted and weird, LSD induced hallucinations would, in comparison, be reduced to nothing more than pleasant and quickly passing day dreams.

Yes, for many of us, seeing the republican candidate for the White House getting on his knees to perform a series of rhetorical blow jobs on the de facto dictator of Russia is stranger than anything we've ever experienced on drugs. Even his excuse for doing so--as long as he compliments me, I'll compliment him--ranks right up there with watching the sash of your robe morph into a boa constrictor bloated by a freshly swallowed rat.

On Wednesday Donald Trump said of Vladimir Putin, "Certainly in that system he's been a leader far more than our president has been a leader."

If one ever needs an explanation of what Trump thinks leadership is about, all you have to do is look at his idol sitting in Moscow. Obviously he equates leadership with doing whatever the hell you want sans political discussion, dissent, or media criticism. All that separation of powers and free press shit just gets in the way. Brute power is what counts.

Well what should we expect from a guy who has always run his business surrounded by vast herds of toadies who are paid good money to tell him he's right no matter what. He has never inhabited a world where he isn't in complete and unquestioned control. One where, if someone gets in the way, you call him, or her every name in the book, then sue them for millions of dollars. That is all Donald Trump knows.

In Putin he sees the same management style, with the added attraction of actually being able to kill the bastards you don't like.

Yesterday he went on RT America to be interviewed by the aged cuckold, Larry King. RT America is a television network owned by the government of Russia and has been repeatedly accused of a pro Kremlin bias.

He spent much of his time complaining to King about the American press. In his words, "The media has been unbelievably dishonest. I mean they'll take a statement that you make which is perfect and they'll cut it up and chop it up and shorten it, or lengthen it or do something with it. And all of a sudden it doesn't look as good as when you actually said it. But there's tremendous dishonesty with the media. Not all of it, but tremendous dishonesty."

This from a man who was nominated, in great part, because he manipulated the media as deftly as Joseph Goebbels ever did for a year prior to the GOP convention.

Trump went on to roundly criticize American foreign policy, condemning not only Obama and Clinton, but also George W. Bush. He also told, King "I think it is probably unlikely," the Russians were behind the hacking of democratic party data bases.

Last year his new best, American buddy turned advisor, retired general Michael Flynn was paid to make a speech at a RT America get together. He sat next to Putin during the dinner. The Washington Post reports Flynn, in an interview, compared RT America to CNN and MSNBC, while ignoring that whole owned by an antagonistic state thing.

The mind reels when you imagine what the conservative reaction would be if Hillary Clinton pulled this sort of stuff. Howls of treason would be echoing through the halls of Capitol Hill. God only knows how many committees would be convened to investigate the terrible seditious acts she'd be accused of.

But, as always, Brother Trump has gotten a pass from all but a few of the right wing. It would seem when it comes to these matters and others he truly is the, Teflon Don.

Yeah, drugs do seem a tad redundant this election cycle.

And--just to let everyone know--those strange buzzing sounds you hear are Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater whirling like dervishes in their graves. Trust me on it.

sic vita est


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Bad Labor Day Weekend for the Oklahoma Sooners and Fox News

If you're a fan of the University of Oklahoma's football team you have just sat through the shortest football season in the history of the game. It began last Saturday just after 11am CDT and ended around 2:30pm the same day.

It was an ugly affair. The University of Houston exposed every Oklahoma weakness and there were more than a few. The final score was 33-23, but it wasn't that close. In fact if Houston hadn't fumbled away the ball as a running back plowed toward the goal line from two yards out the score, at a minimum, would have been 40-17.

As usual braggarts and buffoons had been roaming the streets in the weeks prior to the game, claiming OU was bound for the national championship playoff once again. There was talk of an undefeated season and a Heisman trophy for quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Vegas initially bought into the hype with gusto. The opening line at sports books on the strip for the game was OU by 30. The pros and those not wearing crimson colored boxer shorts immediately jumped on those odds. By Friday the spread had dropped to 10 which meant there were scads of people taking Houston and the points.

After the game emergency rooms through out the state became overwhelmed by old white men driven into the throes of supra ventricular tachycardia. Others chose The Saipan Option and leaped from tall buildings. All of them shared the common knowledge that their team's reputed talent was a terrible sham and thanks to a brutal opening schedule, OU is looking at what will most likely be a 1-4 start.

For many it is little consolation that Oklahoma hasn't been the only highly rated institution to take it on the chin in the last couple of days.

Reports are saying Fox News has reached a financial settlement with former network personality, Gretchen Carlson. Carlson had sued the former head of Fox, Roger Ailes, accusing him of sexual misconduct and harassment. The accusations were, of course, quickly denied by both Ailes and Fox. Another Fox personality, Greta Van Susteren defended Ailes, claiming she had never seen, or heard of him doing anything inappropriate with female staffers.

After a two week internal investigation, Ailes, a politically powerful and vile right wing propagandist was sacked. Which begs the question, if Fox felt it had to fire the guy who basically created the network, what sort of beastly crimes did the sick fuck actually commit? No matter what they were, Don Trump was quick to recognize a kindred spirit. He immediately hired Jolly Roger to help with his campaign against Hillary Clinton.

The New York Times says sources put the pay out to Carlson at $20 million, with a portion of it coming directly from Ailes' wallet. As part of the settlement Fox News was forced to make a formal apology to Carlson. Within hours after issuing it the network announced Van Susteren was leaving and the despicable, Britt Hume will take over her time slot.

Van Susteren's husband, John P. Coale told the Times his wife had invoked a, "key man clause," in her contract. In other words she wants out because Ailes no longer runs the show. Coale added, somewhat cryptically, that he couldn't elaborate on the situation because there are more to things than meet the eye and there might be future litigation.

That's right, it appears lawyers will be involved and big money will be in play as the presidential campaign rages on for the next 60 days. All of which proves what we've suspected for ages. Conservatives hate each other only slightly less than they hate progressives.

Yes, it was a rotten Labor Day weekend and for Fox News an expensive one. They will land on their feet though. The same cannot be said for the university located in Norman, Oklahoma.

Indeed, that cause was lost before it ever began and it looks like there is no where to go from Saturday, except further down the drain. Given the nightmare that's coming, expect season tickets to become available right away at a steep discount.

sic vita est