The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 29, 2017: Presidenting Is Hard

In an interview with Reuters, Donald J. Trump, the man who did not win by the largest electoral vote total for a Republican (even since Reagan), actually said, “This [being president] is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.” This may be because Trump did not know that the entire White House staff would have to be replaced when he took office. He learned this when he sat down with President Obama after winning the election. Apparently no one on his campaign staff knew that either, including his future Chief of Staff and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

So I want to send a great big “FUCK YOU!” to every American who voted for this ignorant, egomaniacal, narcissistic, xenophobic, misogynistic, white nationalist, dictator-loving shit stain on the fabric of our society. Read a fucking book! Try to learn exactly what the government is responsible for doing and how it’s done. Learn about the three branches of government and how they interact with each other. Then try to understand why it is so important to put people in those positions who know what the fuck they’re doing! Try to understand why, no, you don’t want an “outsider” elected to the highest public office in the land for his first job as a public servant. Especially when he surrounds himself with similarly inexperienced people who want nothing but to destroy the liberal framework of our society. You idiot Trump supporters elected a man who is going to take away many of the government services upon which most of you depend. (Read that last sentence back to yourselves a few times. The sentence structure may look funny, but it’s what we call “grammatically correct.”) In other words, your lives are about to take a sharp turn for the worse. That’s the price you’re going to pay for your stupidity. Your only hope is to learn. Somehow.

This is a tweet by the Rogue POTUS Staff account, which is generally accepted to be real inside people tweeting about real inner workings in the White House, so there’s a good chance this is not entirely made up stuff. It will make you laugh, but it should unnerve you a little and make you want to get him out of there legally and as soon as possible. He certainly needs mental health treatment, so it’s a good thing Obamacare covers that.

This is our daily open thread. Fell free to leave a cathartic rant upon any subject you wish.

The Watering Hole, Monday, April 24th, 2017: The Boob Tube Prez

In the same troubling vein as the recent Time Magazine interview with President trump, here’s a few disturbing articles about trump’s overriding fascination with all things TV.
A recent Raw Story article demonstrates the incompetence of both trump and his aides, and shows that trump’s is a presidency without anything resembling an “administration”:

“Some of President Donald Trump’s top aides worry that too much of his time is unsupervised, which — in the past — has led to serious unforced errors that undermine him and his administration.”

Yeah, not to mention the entire country, and world stability.

“And while some advisers support the president’s unconventional approach to the job, others worry that these holes in the president’s schedule are where he goes awry and “watches too much TV”, gets overexcited and posts inflammatory — frequently inaccurate — rants online or speaks by phone with people who encourage his worst instincts.”

What trump’s advisors SHOULD primarily be worrying about is the fact that there are so many “holes in the president’s schedule.” His aides should be scheduling tutors in remedial civics, the Constitution, presidential protocol, history, geography, oh, hell, EVERYTHING he doesn’t seem to have a clue about when it comes to the U.S. government. Maybe if they tried teaching him via videos on a big-screen TV – and kept referring to it as “Reality TV” – they might get him to learn something.

From a second Raw Story article:

“The Washington Post said Sunday that in addition to fretting over what the president will do if left alone too long, Trump’s aides and advisers struggle to keep the president from consuming too much TV or watching things that will upset him and cause him to erupt on Twitter.”

Yes, the President of the United States, the most powerful person in the world, needs a babysitter. I think it would be more helpful if they hired a boot camp drill instructor.

A few excerpts from the Washington Post article by Ashley Parker and Robert Costa:

““President Trump is someone who comes to the White House with a sophisticated understanding of how to communicate, the power of television, the power of imagery, the power of message, and how message, messenger and delivery all work together,” said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president.”

Although Kellyanne managed to actually string words together that made a somewhat coherent sentence, her seeming point that trump’s TV savvy makes him better qualified as a president is ridiculous. The crudeness and ignorance of the actual content of trump’s communications, messages and delivery overshadow any “sophisticated understanding” of the medium used.

“He is also a natural showman. During the campaign, he riveted viewers with his raucous rallies, where he often spoke for more than hour without any notes or teleprompters. And in TV interviews, he sometimes offers tips on matters including lighting and chair placement, with an intuitive sense of what makes for good TV.”

Being a “natural showman” is all well and good for magicians, game-show hosts, carnival barkers, and snake-oil salesman, but again, it is not the top qualification for running a working government. And trump’s speeches where he rambled for “more than [an] hour without notes or teleprompters” are infamous for their non-sequiturs, weird tangents, and outright made-up bullshit.

“During a small working lunch at the White House last month, the question of job security in President Trump’s tumultuous White House came up, and one of the attendees wondered whether press secretary Sean Spicer might be the first to go.

The president’s response was swift and unequivocal. “I’m not firing Sean Spicer,” he said, according to someone familiar with the encounter. “That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in.”

Trump even likened Spicer’s daily news briefings to a daytime soap opera, noting proudly that his press secretary attracted nearly as many viewers.

For Trump — a reality TV star who parlayed his blustery-yet-knowing on-air persona into a winning political brand — television is often the guiding force of his day, both weapon and scalpel, megaphone and news feed.”

This is a president for whom “ratings” and appearance are more important than honesty and integrity. A president who is superficial, crass, and so limited in his ability to learn or mature that, at 70, he still bases decisions as president on what he sees on cable TV, particularly Fox, his favorite propaganda network. A frightening concept, right?

What I find almost as frightening is that the Washington Post article isn’t screaming “THIS PRESIDENT IS TOTALLY FUBAR”, or even “THIS PRESIDENT IS INCOMPETENT”, let alone “THIS IS NOT NORMAL!”

This is our Open Thread – say anything you want.

The Watering Hole, 4/19/17: Trump Creates New Cabinet Position

Trump signed a new executive order over the Easter weekend creating a new Cabinet-level position: Department of Linguistics.

The Department of Linguistics department will be tasked with removing foreign words from the English language. Over the past centuries too many foreign words have illegally immigrated into the English language, destroying its purity and greatness as the greatest of all languages. Removing these foreign words is a high priority for the Trump Administration as it continues its quest to Make America Great Again.

Insiders report Sarah Palin is highly favored to become the new Secretary of Linguistics.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 15th, 2017: Eve of Destruction? Enjoy the View

If we’re lucky, trump and/or Kim Jong-Un won’t blow up the planet this coming week. Unless something insane happens during the imminent fly-by of asteroid 2014 JO25, on April 19th, at a distance of 1.1 million miles, we could get through the week.

And if we’re really lucky and make it safely through these fucked-up times, and humankind is still around ten years from now, another asteroid will be visiting us at approximately 236,000 miles, about the same distance away as our moon. If the scientists are off a bit in their calculations, who knows, perhaps 1999 AN10 will be merciful and finish us off.

In the meantime, enjoy these glorious pictures of a wide variety of places on this planet we call home.

This is our Open Thread-say anything.

The Weekend Watering Hole: Friday, March 24th, 2017: FAUX Pas

On Wednesday, March 22nd, TIME Magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief, Michael Shelton, interviewed FAUX president Donald trump. I give Shelton credit, he apparently did not laugh in the FAUX president’s face (which is the least I’d like to do to trump’s face on any given day at any given minute. But I digress.)  I have to feel sorry for poor Mr. Shelton, as there was no way that any human could possibly keep up with the gibberish uttered by the “Most Embarrassing Man In The World”(TM). ‘Sad.’

The following is an except from ‘President trump’s Interview With TIME on Truth and Falsehoods.’ If you’re not dizzy by the time you’ve finished reading it, you will be if you read the entire interview. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

FAUX POTUS: “Yeah well if you’d look at, in fact I’ll give you the front page story, and just today I heard, just a little while ago, that Devin Nunes had a news conference, did you hear about this, where they have a lot of information on tapping. Did you hear about that?”

SHELTON: “I have not, no.”

FAUX POTUS: “Now remember this. When I said wiretapping, it was in quotes. Because a wiretapping is, you know today it is different than wire tapping. It is just a good description. But wiretapping was in quotes. What I’m talking about is surveillance. And today, [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Devin Nunes just had a news conference. Now probably got obliterated by what’s happened in London. But just had a news conference, and here it is one of those things. The other one, election, I said we are going to win, we won. And many other things. And I think this is going to be very interesting.”

SHELTON: “So you don’t feel like Comey’s testimony in any way takes away from the credibility of the tweets you put out, even with the quotes?”

FAUX POTUS: “No, I have, look. I have articles saying it happened. But you have to take a look at what they, they just went out at a news conference. Devin Nunes had a news conference. I mean I don’t know, I was unable to see it, because I am at meetings, but they just had a news conference talking about surveillance. Now again, it is in quotes. That means surveillance and various other things. And the New York Times had a front-page story, which they actually reduced, they took it, they took it the word wiretapping out of the title, but its first story in the front page of the paper was wiretapping. And a lot of information has just been learned, and a lot of information may be learned over the next coming period of time. We will see what happens. Look. I predicted a lot of things that took a little of bit of time. Here, headline, for the front page of the New York Times, “Wiretapped data used in inquiry of Trump aides.” That’s a headline. Now they then dropped that headline, I never saw this until this morning. They then dropped that headline, and they used another headline without the word wiretap, but they did mean wiretap. Wiretapped data used in inquiry. Then changed after that, they probably didn’t like it. And they changed the title. They took the wiretap word out.”

Almost the last thing the FAUX president said in the interview was this:

“Hey look, in the mean time, I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not.”

So…I gather from all that Nunes held a news conference, and the NY Times took out “the wiretap word”, and voila! he’s magically vindicated. Oh, and also, too, he’s the president.  Badly.  So there!

Words fail me.

This is an early edition of the Weekend Watering Hole. Have at it.

A Nutty Day (A Song Parody)

I love Sir Paul McCartney, and I have nothing but the deepest admiration, awe, and respect for his musical genius and creativity, and I would never dare make a claim that I could do anything better than he when it came to music. But there is one rather small, almost insignificant complaint I have (other than the official lyrics of “Live and Let Die” where he sings “And if this ever-changing world in which we live in [sic],” which can easily be corrected by changing them to “And if this ever-changing world in which we’re livin’,” and nobody would know the difference), and it’s that some of his most beautiful melodies are also his most saddest songs. Take “She’s Leaving Home.” Such a beautiful tune, and yet such a sad, sad song. “Cried For No One,” is another one. I love that tune and yet it’s hard to feel happy when singing it. And the third one, the one below, “Another Day,” is another great tune with such a sad story. One of my personal goals in all these years of writing song parodies was to take one of those sad Paul McCartney songs and turn it into a happy melody we could have fun singing. I hope I succeeded. And I hope I don’t offend my musical idol, Sir Paul McCartney, without whom a great many bass players would not know how to play, and I wouldn’t have been able to write parodies of “Lady Madonna,” “I’ve Just Seen A Face,” “Revolution,” (I’m sure he helped John out here and there) “Too Many People,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Here, There, and Everywhere,” “The Night Before,” “Another Girl,” and the entire “Let It Be” album. Thank you, Sir Paul, and I hope you enjoy this one. Maybe you could sing it for us and give us an even happier tune to enjoy even more, even if it is true. 🙂

This is a typical day in the life of Donald J. Trump, so-called President Of The United States. Or as the acronym that’s most often used on the internet goes, Continue reading

The Watering Hole, Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York who was fired by President Donald Trump last weekend, was so despised by Vladimir Putin’s Russia that he was banned from entering the country in 2013. According to The New York Times, Russia banned Bharara and 17 other Americans in retaliation for U.S. sanctions over human rights violations. The Russian government reportedly targeted Bharara because of his prosecution of Viktor Bout, a convicted arms dealer. Bharara, who is known for investigating officials regardless of political party, also prosecuted three Russian nationals for acting as spies in 2015. “The arrest of Evgeny Buryakov and the charges against him and his co-defendants make clear that – more than two decades after the presumptive end of the Cold War – Russian spies continue to seek to operate in our midst under cover of secrecy,” Bharara said at the time. Bharara was fired by the Trump administration on Saturday after he refused to comply with a request to resign. It was not immediately clear if Bharara was involved in any current investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Surprisingly, Bharara had been personally asked to stay on by Trump last November. Not surprisingly, he had been investigating Fox News at the time of his dismissal. Without directly saying so, Bharara hinted that he may have been investigating Trump, too. Before firing Bharara, Trump tried to call him to thank him for his service, but Bharara refused to take the call without the permission of his superiors. It would have been a breach of protocol for the president to call a US Attorney directly, and it would have been extremely awkward if Bharara was, in fact, investigating Trump. That said, if he did open a formal investigation, his successor could choose to continue that investigation, but they would probably do so at their own peril. Just ask former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

This is an open thread. Have fun.