Posts Tagged ‘Fox News’

The Ghost Of bin Laden

June 5th, 2017

My grandmother moved out Saturday. Or she was moved out because she is physically frail and needed help. She is nearly eighty, after all. Her scooter and her clothes and different utensils that she had accumulated in over two months with me. She already misses me. I know this because we talked on the phone yesterday before the Warriors-Cavs game. In Whitesville, she knew three people. Four if you count the old lady on the other side of the building who grew up with my grandfather. They sat together and talked a bit during these last few weeks. What a drag it is getting old.


Granny tends to gravitate toward to Fox News, as do many older people. I will never understand the appeal. There is so much fear-mongering that it would keep any one up all night clutching at the walls. So much of it is made up. You don’t need to make up stuff to scare people. Half of the news I get from Twitter scares me more than anything on any network. Reality is frightening enough.


Did you know there are people who think the answer to terrorism (Muslims) is internment camps? People like that Brexit rascal Nigel Farage. Why would anybody listen to that guy? Yet there he is on Fox News, given a platform for his toxic rhetoric. Who loves Nigel Farage? No less a turd than Donald Trump himself? The alt-right and authoritarian fringe want to remake many of the mistakes of the past, including those made in the Second World War.


Are the Republicans in Washington as worried as they ought to be? Are they okay with Russian-rigged elections from now on, so long as they are rigged in the GOP’s favor? The demographics aren’t good for them for future elections. Younger voters and women are furious at the GOP’s deference to the incompetent and sadistic Trump and their increasingly anti-human, pro-donor legislation. Not to mention their stonewalling on the Russia/Trump investigation. Is it worth ripping a country apart in order to maintain control of it?


And that’s how the ghost of Osama bin Laden wins, over sixteen years after the terrible attack on the World Trade Center and six years after his own death at the hands of SEAL Team Six. When our country’s most hysterical power-hungry opportunists and demagogues turn our country into the kind of place George W. Bush feared when we said “we have to fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here”. We will be there very soon if we aren’t already and it is this that drive me up the walls each night.

Analysis Caps On: Bombing Syria

April 7th, 2017

Yesterday morning, I ranked the five known Presidents. Donald Trump, or “Dolt 45”, as at least one Twitter wag named him, came in third behind Presidents Kushner and Pence.


Last night, the third-ranked Dolt 45 sent a flurry of nearly 60 tomahawk missiles to be dropped on a Syrian airstrip.


We need some context here.


Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad authorized sarin gas attacks on some of his own people. Over 70 people were killed. After the bombing commenced, Trump gave a brief statement from the ad-hoc press room at his estate in Florida. He read from a teleprompter and occasionally ad-libbed. MSNBC’s Brian Williams couldn’t contain his excitement as he looked at file footage of Tomahawk missiles. He even quoted a Leonard Cohen lyric.


We need even more context here.


Last week, depending on which poll you look at, Trump’s approval rating sat anywhere from 35 to 40 percent. That’s historically low for someone in the first 100 days of a new administration. Earlier in the day, Senate Republicans (and a few Democrats) voted to change the rules on approving a Supreme Court Justice from sixty votes to a mere majority of fifty-one. The Republicans eliminated the filibuster and employed the nuclear option in order to ensure the induction of Neil Gorsuch into the Supreme Court. . . a vacancy that had been unfulfilled since the death of Antonin Scalia nearly fourteen months ago during the Obama administration. Even as many of them said it would be a dark day for the Senate, Republicans like John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Rand Paul voted in favor of changing the rules permanently. They could have dumped Gorsuch and made a deal on a more mainstream candidate, perhaps, but. . . rules are rules unless they need to be changed, especially in Mitch McConnell’s eyes.


Both the Senate and House Ethics Committees are looking into potential ties between the Trump campaign/administration and the Russian government, going back several years. Many of the claims made in the infamous Buzzfeed “Pissgate” dossier have turned out to be verified (not the actual piss-related claims, though), which seemed impossible at the time. Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor, offered to testify in exchange for immunity and was rejected.  Steve Bannon, Trump chief strategist, was removed from the National Security Council. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General, had to recuse himself from the Russian investigation after he perjured himself during testimony before a Senate subcommittee.


We now know that Trump did not solicit Congressional approval for the bombing and has received mixed reviews for his actions from both sides of the aisle. Rand Paul, who spent the previous weekend golfing with him, criticized him for not bringing this to Congress to deliberate.


In 2013, Obama wanted to attack Syria and asked for Congress approval. He did not get it. Trump attacked Syria without seeking approval first. This may have been a violation of the Constitution.


Will this mean anything? Doubtful. al-Assad will likely continue slaughtering his own people, never mind the many warring factions in Syria trying to upend and oust him. The middle east is a delicate situation and our actions don’t seem to help much. If we act tentatively, we accomplish nothing. If we go all-in like 2003 Iraq, we make things actively worse. Trump, for his part, never thought Obama should go into Syria. So much so that he tweeted about it at least a dozen times.


Obama, for all his mistakes, tried to be careful. Trump is the kind of guy who treats everything like a nail and he’s got the hammer for it. If a Muslim came to him with a case of dandruff, Trump would cure it by having him guillotined. Subtlety and modesty is not his forte.


Last night, the TV news media said Trump finally became Presidential. I’ve heard that one before. It was the night he gave the speech in front of a joint session of Congress. Within a day, the Russia deal inflammed and grew worse and any goodwill Trump gained in his reserved Congress speech evaporated. This Syrian action may likely result in a short-term gain for him and his approval rating.


And all he had to do was drop some bombs?


The non-Trumpers (like me) will never like him and never approve of him and his illegitimate actions. That leaves the diehards and the indifferent and he was steadfastly losing them. Maybe he’ll get them back for a few weeks but not for long. I still don’t think he will be President by the end of the year. There are at least three ongoing investigations on this adminstration. We are looking at a potential Summer of Impeachment.


It’s gonna be a hot one.



The Creep Inside

April 3rd, 2017

There’s a little Bill O’Reilly inside me. There’s a little Donald Trump inside me. There’s a little loathsome creep inside me who wants to glom onto women I’m attracted to.


Fox News has paid $13 million to women who have filed sexual harassment and assault lawsuits against O’Reilly. These were employees of Fox News at some point, working on O’Reilly’s show. Subjected to no small amount of repeated harassment by their boss, the star of a successful network, the scummy jewel of basic cable.


Women are subject to sexual harassment regularly. It takes some pretty egregious harassment and repeated amounts of it for women to come out and file against a media figure as powerful as O’Reilly. It takes a lot of courage to do it, knowing the potential to be maligned by O’Reilly, Fox News, and any other media outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch (now including the Wall Street Journal).


Rupert Murdoch must really value Bill O’Reilly to pay five women $13 million over the last fifteen years. That’s five different lawsuits. What’s that quote from Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger: “Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.”


How would we extrapolate that quote to Bill O’Reilly? “Once it might have been a misunderstanding. Twice he really should have learned by now. Three times he’s just being flagrant about it. Four times he’s not even trying. Five times he’s being emboldened by his employers.” Which he is and was, especially when Roger Ailes was still in charge of Fox News.


There’s a small piece of me that wants to be like that, and it’s not a part of me that I admire. What is this insatiable creep want? Do I really want to be able to catcall women and harass them and just tell them about how I could bring them to orgasm if only they would let me? Is that what I really want? Do I really want the power to crush the spirit of a young woman who wouldn’t engage in a Costa Rican threesome with me and her best friend in the shower while I soap them down with a loofah or falafel? Do I want to masturbate on the phone and talk about sex with someone who is totally uncomfortable about it?


No no no. Stop it. No you keep that in check. Because you’re a person. And so are the women you’d like to objectify. And debase. And stub out your precum-covered cock on their hopes and dreams like a dying cigar.


I hate the little maniac inside me. The little tyrant. The little authoritarian. The hateful opportunist who seeks power in order to flex and exploit. If I ruled the world, I would be a madman. I would be a slightly nicer Kim Jong-un and it is that piece of me that I see in the Donald Trumps and Bill O’Reillys of the world. They’ve gotten away with everything they did wrong and ooze privilege. We hate the things in others we recognize in ourselves.


That’s not all they ooze.