Monthly Archives: November 2017

Well, That’s One Way of Looking At It

But there is, of course, another perspective.

The scroll pictured in the photo below was shown during Monday’s Fox & Friends – and yes, The Curmudgeon occasionally watches Fox & Friends.

There is, however, another way of phrasing the very same sentiment:

“Left thinks Flynn will sing like a canary about Trump.”

Maybe There’s Another Reason

The head of the “Papa John’s” pizza parlor chain is blaming the National Football League for the downturn in his company’s business.

Seriously.

According to John Schnatter, Papa John’s founder and CEO, his company is a major advertiser on broadcasts of NFL games, ratings are down because people are angry about player protests and therefore not watching, and would-be customers aren’t ordering pizzas because they’re not seeing Papa John’s commercials.

Better advertising, perhaps, but better ingredients and better pizza? Hardly.

And Schnatter believes the people who run the NFL are at fault and haven’t done enough to fix the problem.

“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter declared recently.

The Curmudgeon has another theory: maybe the founder and CEO of Papa John’s should taste Papa John’s pizza.

 

 

Something New Under the Sun

Apparently they’re selling a new variety of bananas at the local supermarket.

The Trump Watch – Late November

Have you ever made fun of someone who did something wrong or in error or clumsily or badly, only to find yourself later making the same mistake? If you have, you learned one easy lesson that you never needed to relearn: keep that kind of criticism to yourself.

If only our president had learned that one easy lesson.

Yes, what Al Franken did was wrong, and as part of our national process of sorting out what we’re going to do about people who conduct themselves in such an abusive manner, he may end up resigning from the Senate – or being kicked out by his peers.

But that didn’t stop Agent Orange, a long-time veteran of posing a threat to women, from trolling Franken about sexual harassment. Trump tweeted that

The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? …..

This from a guy who was captured on tape bragging about how and where he grabs women he wants regardless of whether the attraction is mutual.

But he wasn’t done.

And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?

That a guy with his track record for inappropriate behavior would have the audacity to criticize another for the very same behavior is just…just…amazing.

Glass Houses, Part 2

A little while back Agent Orange criticized past presidents, and President Obama in particular, for not directly and promptly contacting the families of American soldiers killed in wars overseas. You’d think that someone who had so publicly made such comments would be very careful about not engaging in the very behavior he criticized so harshly.

You’d think – but you’d think wrong.

It took him 12 days even to acknowledge publicly that four soldiers were killed in Niger – and even longer to contact their families.

Pot to kettle: you’re black, dude.

Lying About Taxes

Many times Trump has said that taxes in the U.S. are the highest in the world. Eventually, someone must have pointed out to him that he’s wrong about that, leading to this tangled web of a statement:

Some people say it differently, and they will say we are the highest developed nation taxed in the world. . . . A lot of people know exactly what I am talking about, and in many cases they think I am right when I say the highest. As far as I am concerned, we are really essentially the highest. But if you’d like to add the ‘developed nation,’ you can say that, too. But a lot of people agree that the way I am saying is exactly correct.

“And people thought MY speech was tortured!”

You got it: “some people say” and “they will say” and “a lot of people” and “as far as I am concerned…” means that “If I’m wrong, don’t look at me. That’s what THEY said.”

Have you ever heard such nonsense?

Even this tortured explanation doesn’t cover his tracks, though, because the fact is that taxes in the U.S. are not the highest in the world.

Italy’s taxes are higher than those in the U.S.

India and the U.K. have higher taxes.

France, Canada, and Japan have higher taxes than the U.S.

Australia has higher taxes than the U.S.

And Germany’s taxes are only 0.16 percentage points lower than the U.S.

All, by the way, developed nations.

So when Trump says the U.S. has the highest taxes in the world he’s lying – and he knows he’s lying but he keeps on lying anyway.

The Master of Overstatement

Trump can’t stand Rex Tillerson, is always on the verge of firing Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, has had problems with Steve Mnuchin, and had to dump Tom Price for stealing taxpayer money.

Plus there are, heaven help us all, Rick Perry and Dr. Ben Carson.

Still, he lavishes praise on his cabinet, as reported by the Washington Post.

“There are those that are saying it’s one of the finest group of people ever assembled as a candidate — as a Cabinet,” he said. “This is a tremendous amount of talent,” Trump continued. “We have just gotten really, really, great people. I’m very proud of them.”

Not to equate the capabilities of some of Trump’s cabinet members with an inanimate object, but…

The moment he read this The Curmudgeon immediately planned to do a little research to identify some better cabinets but the Post anticipated that its readers might feel that way and did the work for them:

Sure, George Washington sat around the Cabinet table with John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Knox and Edmund Randolph (note: the cabinet had only four members back then). Abraham Lincoln won the Civil War with William Seward, Salmon Chase and Edwin Stanton by his side. Franklin Roosevelt beat the Depression and the Nazis with Henry Morgenthau, Harold Ickes and Henry Stimson.

But no, Trump believes his is one of the best ever.

Okay, maybe he figures that including Jared and Omarosa as adjunct cabinet members puts his group over the top.

Surely He Didn’t Say That

“No need to give me any talking points. I’m sure I can just wing these calls.”

But surely, he did.

When making condolence calls to the families of soldiers killed in action in Niger, Agent Orange really did say to one of them about their son that

…he knew what he signed up for…

Way to express sympathy, Mr. President. He might as well have declared “Them’s the breaks.”

Paranoia

Yes, Agent Orange really did suggest that the FBI conspired against him, tweeting about the notorious pee-pee papers that

Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?

Does he REALLY think the FBI did that? And if he does, don’t we need to wonder whether he’s REALLY in complete control of his faculties?

Do You Remember?

Trump says he does.

Says he remembers everything.

“One of the great memories of all time”

…he told reporters while pointing to…well, to whatever that is under that bizarre mess atop his shoulders.

One wonders if he remembers what he said about building a wall; about repealing Obamacare on day one in office; about the capabilities of his son in-law Jared; about draining the swamp; about immediately stopping drug trafficking; about bringing back coal and steel jobs; about fighting for LGBT rights; about suing the women who dared accuse him of sexual harassment; about investigating Hillary Clinton; about renegotiating NAFTA; even about changing the name of Mt. McKinley to Danali.

As the Vox web site points out, Trump has boasted about his memory in the past as well, repeatedly and without a shred of proof when continually insisting that, contrary to all available information, he saw Muslims in Jersey City celebrating the 9/11 attacks on New York City by insisting he has

the world’s greatest memory

He’s wrong.

So Much for Branding Expertise

Republicans are great at naming things: the Death Tax; the Reducing Barack Obama’s Unsustainable Deficit Act; Revoke Excessive Policies that Encroach on American Liberties Act – or for easy reference, the REPEAL Act; Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, or REINS; the World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017; and many others.

But when House Speaker Paul Ryan decided to give Agent Orange the honor of naming the Republican tax bill, Ryan got more than he bargained for.

Or less.

Actually, much less.

Okay, much MUCH less.

The best the so-called branding wizard in the White House could come up with is

The Cut Cut Cut Act.

Seriously. That’s the best the branding expert could do: The Cut Cut Cut Cut Act.

A Little Hypocrisy?

No, make that a lot.

Agent Orange has invested a great deal of time and effort in denigrating the New York Times. He says the Times is dishonest, a purveyor of “fake news,” and a failing business. In fact, he routinely refers to it as “the failing New York Times.”

So you have to wonder why he specifically called New York Times reporters after the arrest of his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, to remind them that he himself is not under investigation.

If he’s so contemptuous of the Times, why did he call Times reporters to make this point? There are plenty of friendly reporters who would gladly make that point for him, and of course there’s always the toadies of Fox & Friends.

The Curmudgeon hates playing amateur psychologist – he often refers to such people as “Sigmund Frauds” – but you have to think that deep, deep down Trump craves the Times’s approval and respect.

Still Name-Calling

This time an oldie but goody. Recently Agent Orange tweeted of his old sparring partner Elizabeth Warren that

Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets go FBI & Justice Dept.

He did this just three days after declaring November Native American Heritage Month.

Practice What You Preach

Agent Orange has made it clear that loyalty is very important to him. It was his demand of loyalty from James Comey, and Comey’s refusal to give it, that led to Comey’s firing and in turn led to the hornet’s nest that firing unleashed and it’s what led to that bizarre cabinet meeting in which he invited his top people to sing his praises.

But for Trump we’ve seen that loyalty is strictly a one-way street. The manner in which he’s treated Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is appalling and now Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is getting the Sessions treatment. Confronted with press reports that Tillerson is less than impressed by his boss’s intellectual capabilities and asked if he was keeping Tillerson in that role, Trump told reporters that

We’ll see. I don’t know who’s going to be [here for the] duration.

Loyalty for this president is, alas, very much a one-way street.

Roy Moore

“Hey there, little lady. Ya SURE you wanna pull the Democratic lever?”

When Trump finally –finally! – spoke out about Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate unnaturally drawn to teen-aged girls, his response was

We don’t need a liberal Democrat in the seat.

No, he’d much rather have a sexual predator in that seat.

Better Late Than Never

As he has noted in the past, The Curmudgeon sometimes falls behind in his New Yorker reading; from what he hears, many other New Yorker readers do so as well. During recent confusion involving his move from one home to a new one, moreover, he is often lucky to find the next New Yorker at all, so in addition to falling behind in his reading he also is reading out of sequence – hence the following excerpt from the August 28 edition, written in response to Trump’s indefensible defense of some of the Charlottesville protesters as “very fine people.”

After his press conference in the lobby of Trump Tower last Tuesday, when he ignored the scripted attempts to regulate his impulses and revealed his true allegiances, there can be no doubt about who he is. This is the inescapable fact: on November 9th, the United States elected a dishonest, inept, unbalanced, and immoral human being as its President and Commander-in-Chief. Trump has daily proven unyielding to appeals of decency, unity, moderation, or fact. He is willing to imperil the civil peace and the social fabric of his country simply to satisfy his narcissism and to excite the worst inclinations of his core followers.

The Sheer Size of the Ego is Dazzling

 Last week we learned that Agent Orange has notified Time magazine that he does not want to be considered for Time’s “person of the year” for 2017. He made this request, he explained, in response to Time contacting him about being man of the year but he declined, citing the need for a photo session and interview.

His words, (via tweet, of course):

Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!

This Time cover adorned many Trump properties. It’s a fake.

Only one problem: the folks at Time say it didn’t happen.

That Time didn’t contact him and inform him that he was being considered for man of the year.

Didn’t inquire about scheduling a photo session.

Didn’t inquire about an interview in association with the distinction.

Trump, we know, is obsessed about being on the Time cover and being Time’s man of the year – so obsessed, we learned last year, that he once had his graphics staff created a fictitious Time magazine with him on its cover.

And then hung that fictitious image through the Trump empire as if it was the real deal.

Becoming Time’s person of the year isn’t an election. It’s not a contest. Time decides based on whatever criteria it chooses to employ. People don’t run for person of the year and they don’t get to withdraw from a race they’re not running.

Unless they’re Agent Orange, obsessed with being on Time’s cover and sick over the thought of someone else gaining that distinction and the humiliation he would feel if that were the case.

Fore!  

“Will Louis C.K. or Charlie Rose be joining us?”

Last weekend Trump played a round of golf with Tiger Woods.

What, he couldn’t persuade Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey to fill out his sexual predator foursome?

Isn’t Life Waaaaaay Too Short…

…to have to deal with these things?

Happy 1st Anniversary, Mrs. Curmudgeon

 

Because I’m still in love with you

I want to see you dance again

Because I’m still in love with you

On this harvest moon.

 

“Now There’s a Sentence I Never Thought I’d See”

Words spoken by Mrs. Curmudgeon when the screenshot below appeared on the Tuesday evening episode of All in With Chris Hayes on MSNBC.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Nice to Have Friends in High Places

As you surely know, Congress is in the process of considering something it calls “tax reform” that will mostly result in making things a little harder on working and middle-class people so things will be a little easier for high-income folks. The Curmudgeon guesses this is some people’s idea of “tax reform.”

But he’ll leave the merits of the current congressional effort for another time, assuming he can find the will – or the stomach – to do so.

Instead, today he’d like to touch just briefly on one aspect of what passes for tax reform when you’re a Republican in the U.S. Congress.

Republicans don’t like non-profit organizations, most likely because they have no respect for anyone who’s not trying to get rich, so they’re doing everything they can to stick it to them. One of those things is to take away their ability to sell tax-free bonds to do things like build hospitals, university classroom buildings, county nursing homes, and other liberal things like that. Another thing Congress is trying to do is make it much harder, and in many instances impossible, for local governments to use those same tax-free bonds to help companies come to their towns or expand their presence and other liberal things like that.

Here’s where the friends in high places comes in.

Joe Barton is a member of the House, a Republican representing a district in Texas. Barton used to be a pretty powerful guy as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and while he’s no longer chairman, he still knows how to throw around his weight and get things done in Washington.

Always thinking about the real needs of his constituents

The latest: in exchange for his vote on the latest tax “reform” bill Barton demanded that the provision that limits private sector access to tax-free financing through the sale of bonds include an exception.

What exception?

So glad you asked.

The city of Arlington, Texas is planning to finance as much as $500 million of the $1 billion cost of a major project in that city.

What project?

So glad you asked.

A project to build a new facility for the Texas Rangers.

No, not for him.

No, not the law enforcement agency.

The baseball team. The $500 million in financing would be to build a new, $1 billion stadium for the Texas Rangers baseball team.

Barton is a sly devil, though: he masked his true intentions by proposing legislative language to get the deed done.

That language, as reported by the online publication Roll Call.

… his amendment provides for an exemption for any professional stadium bond “approved by voter referendum of the applicable governmental unit, and the construction of the facility with respect to which began, before November 2, 2017.”

Which is as clear as mud to any ordinary people.

The proposed exemption wouldn’t help a hospital trying to build or expand.

It wouldn’t help a college or university seeking to build new laboratories.

And it wouldn’t help a town seeking to tear down an abandoned building and prepare the site for the expansion of an existing company or the arrival of a new one or to build a shelter for homeless people or a new headquarters for the Cub Scouts or…well, you get the idea.

No, it would only be good to help the Texas Rangers baseball team.

“Brother can you spare a dime?”

A team, by the way, owned by a fellow named Ray Davis who’s worth $2.5 billion.

Isn’t it nice when government can offer handouts to billionaires?

All of which proves two things.

First, that members of Congress know no shame when it comes to distorting the law for their own benefit.

And second, that it’s nice to have friends in high places.

 

 

Sense or Nonsense?

There’s a new restaurant in Philadelphia called “Mad Rex” that apparently offers diners an opportunity to experience life as it might be lived if they survived an apocalyptic event on earth.

Because isn’t that what we’re all looking to do with our entertainment dollar?

The Curmudgeon learned of Mad Rex recently courtesy of an article about the place on the philly.com web site. That article includes the following paragraph:

Gasoline may be in short supply, yet a hockey game’s on view above a bar lined with plush, upholstered armchairs. Scavenging for insect protein proves  unnecessary, as pan-seared scallops with thyme butter and caponata are readily available. And there is no need to pay obeisance to Immortan Joe to obtain fresh water. It — along with a cocktail made with elderflower liqueur, pomegranate juice, and a sprig of fresh rosemary — can be easily obtained by simply asking the friendly, efficient bartender in camo pants and a black pleather bustier (because, I guess, this is a sexy apocalypse).

Okay, so be honest: do you have any idea what the hell they’re talking about?

And then there’s this, which makes a little more sense – but in a way that’s pretty unsettling.

Maybe it’s the VR chamber, where customers can pay $2 per minute to play virtual-reality games without ever slowing down on their drinking; $18 camel bags of tequila punch are available to sip while you play. Maybe it’s the food, including the cook-it-yourself “Survivor’s Menu” of sliced beef, fish. and chicken delivered with a sizzling-hot black rock to grill it on. Or maybe it’s the decor: Mad Maxian outfits arrayed around the bar and dining room, a graffitied aircraft carcass crashing through the ceiling, hatchets and knives embedded in resin in the bar top, a wine cellar that doubles as a decorative weapons locker, and servers in outfits that are a mix of War Boy-chic and standard-issue restaurant worker. (The most convincing special effect, by the way, is the spattering of mysterious, wet-looking globules on the floor —  simulated fresh blood? — that had at least one guest treading carefully to avoid stepping in the mess.) One future draw may be the line of new “entertainment drinks,” including a flaming drink, a shot poured over wood smoke, and the Gryphon, a skull-shaped fishbowl drink for two that will include glowing ice cubes and a sugar cap that, when cracked, will release steam.

Maybe The Curmudgeon is just an old fuddy-duddy but this nonsense seems pretty ridiculous to him. Of course, so do all those zombie tv shows and movies and there’s a pretty big appetite among the viewing public for them.

It’s a big world, so there’s room for all sorts of strange things – different strokes for different folks. But to The Curmudgeon this just seems…weird.

And vaguely disturbing.