Posts Tagged ‘social media’

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.

 

 

Reaching Across (The Stiff-Arm)

March 13th, 2017

In this social media age, how you say something is half the problem, and the only half you control. Perception informs reality. What I think you said becomes what you said because that’s what I think you said. Strip away real world interaction where you would have to look and talk to one another and everything we say to each other is boiled down to words on a screen left for the other to interpret as they will. That is the other half of the problem, their interpretation.

When echo chambers collide

I’ve given this some thought because some of the more considerate left-wing people out there are wondering how to reach out to the Republican voter, or the Trump fan, or the self-proclaimed “conservative”. You’ll notice that I put “conservative” in quotes, there. I did that in order to distinguish between conservatives, who have a set of ideals and ideas in terms of policy and ways of governance, as opposed to “conservatives”, the kind who like making liberals mad and things that make liberals mad as if politics is some sort of Kentucky Wildcats-Louisville Cardinals bullshit.

 

The only thing I’ve been able to figure out is to distinguish the Republican voter from Republican leadership. Because when the bullet hit the bone, Republican voters will feel the hurt just as badly if not more. But you can’t say that the GOP is fucking up when they introduce legislation to deregulate coal companies, gut the EPA, make it easier for mentally ill people to buy guns, make it easier for employers to ask for DNA samples of their workers, etc. . . no, you can’t do that, because the little Republican snowflakes take it personally, as if you said they fucked up themselves. Just now, I referred to them as snowflakes because I’m filled with spite. . . because the voters fucked up in November and can’t see it. At least not yet.

 

On January 19th, the day before Trump’s inauguration, I went to see Steve Earle in Nashville. He played a long show, with a lot of in-between-song banter, mostly about the situation with the country as it stands right now. And I distinctly recall him saying near the end of the night that “people get the kind of government they deserve”. It’s been almost two months so I might be fuzzy on the exact wording, but when he said that I thought “no, no they don’t. Nobody gets what they deserve.”  Nobody deserves whatever is about to happen between now and the end of Trump’s presidency (whenever that may be), not the people who voted for him, or against him, or the people who didn’t vote at all, whether they didn’t have time to or because they couldn’t. Nobody.

 

There may be a better way to reach out to the other side, but I doubt you’ll get far with “conservatives” because they are still beating the drum of drinking coffee cups filled with liberal tears and posting pictures of the electoral map from 2016. It hasn’t hit them personally yet. Or maybe it has and they’re too ignorant to realize it. Either way, it’s hard to reach out to people who would stiff arm you at every opportunity.

 

Of course, there’s always open hostility. Whatever you think is best for the situation.

My Attempt To Join The Borg

November 27th, 2016

Did you know you can apply for a position in the Trump administration? Folks, it’s a new era in America. It’s mo(u)rning in America and as Ronald Reagan once said, facts are stupid things. So with that in mind, I went to greatagain.gov and I applied for a job in the Trump administration as White House press secretary.

 

The way I see it, my job as WH press sec. will come with two objectives: (1) avoid saying anything truthful about the President-elect’s intentions while in office and (2) verbally abuse the assembled reporters for my own amusement. Objective #2 will be incredibly easy as my respect for the mainstream media is at an all-time low.

 

Really, media? All the stuff that’s coming out about the President-elect now could have come out at any time in the previous few months and you could have reported. But nooooo, you had to play along with the FBI’s ginned-up Hillary e-mail story. Between the Russians, the FBI and the media, no kidding we’re in this position. Now you guys are being called to Trump Tower to be yelled at off the record and you throw hosannas anytime the guy backs off from his most rabid campaign promises! “Oh, he promised not to throw Hillary in jail! Wonderful! It’s going to be a glorious Christmas! We’ll all eat the most succulent of goose meat!”

 

Anyway, here we go.

 

servingtrump

Here I am, on the road again. Here I am, on the stage.

 

embarrasstrump

This is the part where they say they’ll vet you lest there be “anything that might embarrass the President. . .”? I didn’t think that was possible.

 

Of course there’s some biographical info you always have to fill out. Name, address, whatnot. Then we get to the good stuff.

 

whymeforpressec

trumpy

 

You can’t read that so I’ll copy it for you.

Please describe why you hope to be a part of the President-elect’s administration:

Despite not agreeing with the President-elect on policy, I do share a seething contempt for the mainstream media. This is why I should be his Press Secretary.

 

This is my cover letter:

Mr. President-elect, you haunt my dreams. I cannot close my eyes without seeing your wretched face. Truly you are the bogeyman my grandmother warned me about. I now realize that the only people in America who will make good money will be the hustlers, the carnies and the lawyers. Honest work is for suckers. Even though I am a registered Democrat, that means nothing. Party allegiance and principle means nothing. You’ve proven that, sir. GFY.

 

Please describe any addition qualifications:

I am as qualified for this position as the President-elect is for his. Far less racist, though.

 

As I said, part of my job as Press Sec. would be evasion. A lot of questions will be asked by the cowardly press and I will have to field those questions. I’ve already prepared some stock answers which will be used liberally.

“I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“What the hell do you want from me?”

“I try to avoid the President.”

“You know, I wasn’t supposed to be here today.”

“You know as much as I do, buddy.”

“I’ll have to get back to you on that.”

“Reality is subjective. Have you ever watched The Matrix?”

“The best Smashing Pumpkins non-single is ‘By Starlight’. End of story!”

“I’m not actually the Press Secretary.”

 

Forget It, I’m Too Petty

November 11th, 2016

I will stay out of your bullshit if you stay out of mine. You are entitled to your dumb thoughts and I am entitled to my thoughts. You hear me, Linda? I’m talking to you, Linda!

 

Just last night I e-mailed my governor about having compassion for “the other”. My governor is a die-hard Republican conservative, but I’d like to think that he has a basic sense of compassion for people even on a human level. Who am I kidding?

 

There is reason to believe that the Russian government has mucked up the works (that’s a technical term) regarding the 2016 election. Do you know why I say that? Because the Russians themselves say so. I direct you to this article in Esquire where a Russian deputy minister mentions their correspondence with the Trump campaign.

 

So this is where the pettiness began. As always, on social media. You had to stick your nose in my business, didn’t ya Linda?

 

imverypetty1

 

Okay, Linda. I’ll get over it. Just as soon as I take care of something first.

 

imverypetty3

 

Yeah, that’s you alright. Telling everybody to get over it. I should get over all those people of color being attacked since Tuesday night, shouldn’t I? All the gays, lesbians and trans people being harassed and attacked? Just get over that, right? I’ll get right on that.

 

By the way, “WAAAHHH MY DAD’S DEAD!I’M SO SAAAAAAD! I MISS HIM SOOO MUCH!” Get over it, Linda. That was ages ago.

 

By the way, if you think I’m being petty for the sake of being petty. . . you’re mostly right. But seriously, Linda. People are worried about the short and long-term stability of our country. We’re worried about people other than ourselves. We’re not just worried about our guns and our Medicare. And just this deal wasn’t on the up and up, what with potential Russian interference. You think Trump is so wonderful, just wait until he turns out to be Putin’s bottom bitch.

 

More importantly, that hurt your feelings and I’m sorry. I did that on purpose because I wanted you to know that being callous and petty on the Internet is a two-way street. You can just as easily have your feelings hurt as you can hurt the feelings of others. This is a lesson about the golden rule which you should have learned about as a child. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

 

So because I am not the kind of person who can hold a petty grudge long-term, I apologize. I didn’t really mean what I said about your dad. I hope, Linda, that you accept my apology and we can mend our differences in a sincere, meaningful way.

 

But really, though. Get over your dead dad, already. Sheesh.

 

Game Of Pricks: 2016 Edition

September 27th, 2016

It’s time to create a shit list, folks. I watched the first debate, like about 80 million other people. You do realize that when this is all over in November, the media will still be around to poke and prod us into hysterics. And that’s the bigger tragedy in all of this. There will never be another Reagan-Mondale election day blowout because there’s no money in it. The media has to game the system as much as possible to make both major candidates seem as equal as possible. False equivalency. Lower the bar for one candidate, raise the bar for another. Move the goalposts. Whatever it takes.

 

The mainstream media deserves a lot of blame for the current state of affairs in the Year of Our Lord 2016. This stoking of collective national anxiety has put a lot of stress on the public. It’s the instant headache everyone gets. Whether you think Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter or No Lives Matter, you can’t disagree that this election cycle has been a disgrace.

 

I don’t know about you but I feel like I’m on shaky ground. Some people think they’ll be fine with President Trump for four years. Yeah? Try eight years then. See how hard it is to oust a incumbent president? We haven’t done it since 1992, when Bill Clinton defeated the incumbent George H. W. Bush. Since then, it’s been Clinton eight years, GWB eight years, and Obama eight years. It’s not easy. Basically, the incumbent party needs to dump a sitting President. I’m not ready for eight years of Trump. I already have to deal with three more years of Matt Bevin as governor here in Kentucky.

 

Rand Paul is one of our US Senators and since he dropped out of the GOP race, he’s basically went into a sour funk. He owes money and doesn’t actually go to Senate committee meetings. Yet, he’s polling ahead of his challenger Jim Gray. Is it that Gray, Mayor of Lexington, is a Democrat? An out and proud gay man? Is it that Obama is still President? Somehow, yes to all of this.

 

Mitch McConnell is our other US Senator and Senate Majority Leader and basically rat fucked the state and goddamn it I have a headache

It’s like Kentucky is in an elevator that’s about to plummet to the bottom and someone is standing on solid ground trying to save us holding his hand out. “Take my hand, I can help you out.” “NO! LEAVE ME!” Kentuckians are stubborn to the point of oblivion. It’s like we’re willing to self-destruct to prove a point.

 

I don’t know about you folks, but like the good brother Marilyn Manson sang “I wanna live, I wanna love but it’s a long hard road out of hell.” Let’s not cut off the helping hands when they are held out in front of us. Trust me, when someone offers you help it’s probably because they see that you need it.

September Song Without Twitter

August 30th, 2016

Twitter is so horrible. I’m on it nearly every day. I keep locking into it like a sick fuck who can’t stop slapping himself with a carp. “Why are you hitting yourself with a carp, self? Why, huh? Why are you hitting yourself with a carp?” Like I’m bullying myself. What a creep, me.

 

I am sick of Twitter interactions. I get it, the dumb and the mean cross-pollinate and make a toxic nectar. And it’s always strangers. Between the people I follow and my followers, I get along just fine. It’s those who butt in on something I didn’t intend for them that make it disgusting. Fuck them. They can take a piss bath. What a total corrosive atmosphere. And here I am letting it corrode me. Oh god. I can’t help it. It’s desensitizing. I fight dumb meanness with smart meanness but it is still mean in the end. What’s the difference when you end up hurting someone’s feelings, even if they are dumb assholes who deserve to suffer a painful death.

 

I’m thinking about taking September off from Twitter. Not the whole Internet. Just dumb shit Twitter. I only lurk on reddit. The only chan I post on is /wooo and only because I enjoy talking about pro wrestling. Life is stupid and awful and why should we treat each other like jerks in this life when there are so many other deserving targets?

 

I don’t know if I can go a whole month without checking Twitter. I am bored shitless in life with or without it. Life sucks. It always has and will. My god. Maybe I will be more productive and in a better mood without the damn thing. Just thirty days. I can do this. I can’t do this. I can do this. Life is a corrosive shitpile. It’s battery acid flowing through your veins.