Monday, September 2, 2019

I want to talk to you a moment about fear.

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, and then just as I was about to publish it we had a slew of mass shootings, including one in my own geographical back yard, at a festival I've attended with my family. It seems to me that being afraid of gun violence is the one exception to my entire essay, and it does poke a big hole in it.

We can't be afraid to close that hole. So here is that essay.


I have said for a very long time now that the only useful place for fear in on Rollercoasters. Maybe horror movies. That it. Nothing else. But I want to dig deeper on that theme for a moment, if you don’t mind.

For getting on close to 2 decades now, there has been a political party in this country that has wanted you to be afraid. Usually it’s to be afraid of Muslims, terrorists, foreigner… anything other. They want you to believe that crime is getting worse. They want you to believe the country is financially unstable. They want you to believe there is a gay agenda that will change your life for the worse. A Trans-gender agenda. An Atheist agenda. A war on Christmas. Fear of packages in the mail. Fear of people in black communities, with their high crime rates. Fear of immigrants and the crime they bring. Fear of cartels and gangs that don’t even have a presence in this country. Fear of the Deficit. Fear that higher taxes will kill the economy. Fear that Iran is building an atomic bomb. Fear that the government will take over your healthcare. Fear that the government will take your guns. Fear that the government will take your freedoms.

This really ramped up after 9/11. I won’t kid you, that was awful. Grotesque. I can remember every damned moment of it – feeling genuinely in shock but being brave for my children, who were frightened out of their wits. Grabbing my children from their schools. Picking up my wife from her teaching job and the protocols that say that teachers needs to stay at their posts can go fuck themselves. Hunkering down and wishing it were all over. Thinking about the flight originally bound by my adopted hometown, and our own skyscrapers. It was awful and it opened a horrific wound.

Thing is, when do we get to heal? Why do we need to stay afraid? How can we possibly heal if we’re still afraid?

I’m asking that all of you please, stop being afraid. We’re not the greatest country in the world anymore but we sure used to be. We dreamed big, accomplished even bigger, and created the world’s next great adventures. We don’t do that anymore.

Fear is holding us back. Fear of the other. Fear of the world and how different it is from us. Yeah, we got hurt, badly hurt, but it’s time to heal. It’s time to stop being afraid to heal. It’s not easy, and I don’t deny that. But let me offer you a few notions about fear that maybe you haven’t considered.

I’m not afraid of Muslims. They’ve been part of this country going back to its very foundation. There are more Muslims in the world than there are Americans and there always has been. 9/11 didn’t change that. We’ve been fine with Muslims. Sharia Law isn’t being introduced anywhere in this country. It’s just not. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying, and wants you afraid. If Muslims were such a big problem why are we as a nation so damned friendly with Saudi Arabia? Senegal? Pakistan? Morocco? Singapore? Egypt? Kuwait? Morocco – the first country to recognize the United States as an independent country (1786), and with whom we maintain the longest single treaty in US History?

A Muslim named Fazlur Tahman Khan (an American) invented the engineering system that allows skyscrapers to be built, including the Twin Towers, Sears Tower in Chicago and even the Trump International Hotel and Tower in the same city. He also built the Metrodome. A Muslim named Ernest Hamwi invented the Ice Cream Cone at the 1904 World’s Fair (Martha Stewart has published his original recipe too).

I’m not afraid of terrorists. I actually know someone who died on 9/11 and I completely understand the anger, the fear. I’ve felt it. It’s a physical thing you can feel and touch. But you know what? The country seems to have learned its lesson about how to anticipate this sort of thing. I’d like to think we can relax now. There are people whose jobs are to be vigilant and they’ve been successful since that awful day 2 decades ago. I think we can relax. And if I’m wrong? What’s the point of dying scared? Laugh at death – it’s going to laugh back. Don’t take life so seriously, it was never meant to be permanent.

I prefer to think of them simply as criminals. In addition to not being afraid, don’t make them important.

I’m not afraid of foreigners. I want to see the world, and see the differences and the similarities in other cultures. I want them to be our partners on this pale blue dot. Being afraid of the rest of the world seems just so… lonely. We’re not built for lonely. You’re here, reading this right now, aren’t you? Lonely makes people into monsters thanks to the echo chamber that is our own brains and we must be better than that.

I’m not afraid of crime. Despite all the crime shows on television, cable and podcast crime is actually way down, and is trending down. Even the FBI says so.

I’m not afraid of the country being financially unstable. Yes, we have good days and bad days but overall the country is still the largest economy on the planet and will continue to be for a long time unless we intentionally intervene to make it worse. We have safety nets we didn’t use to have. Social Security isn’t going broke. Nowhere close. We have plenty of money. It does, however, need a slight adjustment in who is holding on to it.

I’m not afraid of gays. For the most part, every gay person, every Trans person I have ever met has wanted only one thing – for everyone else to not care that they’re gay or trans. Or anywhere else on the non-binary spectrum. It doesn’t affect you in any way whatsoever. The LGBTQA agenda in schools? Mostly it teaches that it doesn’t matter. Can you stop being afraid of this? Yeah, some religions say that this is a sin but can you stop being afraid of it long enough to take to heart one great lesson in that book of yours? Even if you believe it’s a sin, you love the sinner. That’s it. Stop there. Never, never, never add hate to that. “Love the sinner, Hate the sin” isn’t in the Bible, the Koran or the Torah. Anything further isn’t religion – it’s justifying what you’re afraid of; most likely yourself.

(As a side note, for those of you who use the Bible to justify your fears of these people, I find it hilarious that you keep using the parts of the Bible written by the Romans after they co-opted Christianity. But who am I to judge?)

I’m not afraid of Atheists for the same reason. You know what they want? For everyone else to not push their own agenda on them, just like you don’t want someone else’s agenda forced on you. The Constitution is quite clear on this – no religion will be established by the state. Atheists would like you to support this very American ideal. That’s it.

There is no war on Christmas. There simply isn’t. Atheists exchange gifts too, because it’s nice to do.

I’m not afraid of packages in the mail. Yeah, there was some scary stuff sent out just after 9/11, but the number of people who got those packages/envelopes can be counted on one hand, and it isn’t your hand.

I’m not afraid of black neighborhoods. Crime really isn’t any higher in black neighborhoods than it is in white ones, not when the economics are taken into account. When people have money crime goes down, regardless of the color of one’s skin. Go to any white community where they income levels and cost of living are the same as any similar black neighborhood and you’ll find that the crime rates are just about equal. But the people trying to keep you afraid are white, and black is part of “the other”. There are good people living in those neighborhoods. Kind people. People who would help you.

Stop calling the police on black people. Stop being afraid. Be kind.

I‘m not afraid of immigrants or any crime. Yes, a couple of stories have been sensationalized, but statistically immigrants cause less crime than those of us born here. I’m not afraid of them taking our jobs. If the jobs are there and you want them, apply for them. Those jobs they’re taking are jobs you didn’t want, and they’re there. Immigrants tend to work hard, because they want what we used to be, and what they believe we can still be.

Fear of foreign gangs? Seriously? This might surprise you but MS13 members haven’t been making it across the border. You don’t find them in our detention camps. That’s because they’re not here.

Fear of the deficit? Nope, just can’t do it. Not when the political power who wants you to be afraid stops caring about it when they’re in power, and starts caring about it when they’re not. Besides, when they are it balloons, and when they’re not it decreases. Almost like they’re the cause or something.

I don’t fear higher taxes. Most people simply don’t make enough money where changes in the marginal tax rate will even touch them. Will it destroy the economy? No. The economy could change though. If money gets returned to the lower classes they’ll spend it. The economy should actually get better. The economy was great when Eisenhower was President. When Kennedy was President. We built highways. We went to the moon. You know, when taxes were higher.

Taxes, right now, are lower than they have been in your entire lifetime. Unless you’re over 90 years old.

Iran isn’t building an atomic bomb. They could, if they’re not engaged with. Obama realized this and got them to stop. I’m not afraid on Iran. But some people haven’t recovered from the wound given us in 1979 by Iran. Trump may just be one of them. His National Security Advisor certainly hasn’t.

I don’t fear the government taking over my health care. I’d kind of rather they did so, actually. My mother has Medicare and they’ve treated her better than my doctors sometimes treat me. Her healthcare also costs one hell of a lot less. If we move to a system like the one Canada has then yes, your taxes will be higher. But your healthcare costs will be lower. Much lower than how much your taxes go up. I’d say that’s a trade to not be afraid of.

I don’t fear the government taking your guns. I’d actually be quite happy if they did it but that’s a conversation for another time. It’s simply not going to happen. We do need to have an honest conversation about it though. We’ve lost too many children to guns. Come on people, we can solve this.

There is so much more that people have been trying to make us all afraid of over the past couple of decades. Much more than I could list here. Vaccines, Godless schools, Black people voting, improper birth certificates, QAnon, Impeachment… the list just goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on. I’m not afraid of any of it.

And I’m not afraid of Donald J. Trump. Or Mike Pence. Or Moscow Mitch McConnell.

I’m not afraid of anything. I’m an American. A citizen of what used to be The United States of America. I’d like you to be too.

Being afraid is downright un-American. So stop it. All of you.

You can do this.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Cheap Shots!

Cheap Shots Friday! Choose your libations wisely!

“The crap you think of is unbelievable!”

Mike Pence will abandon you.

Scare the fuck out of misogynistic internet trolls? Yes please.

So what you’re saying is that if we knew who owned a stake in the companies that make voting machines that our trust in the sanctity of our elections would be placed in doubt?

Neck Acquired.

It’s all speculation, but it makes sense.

Pull your boobs out – at first when I saw the accompanying photo I thought that Santana and Everlast had re-done that song.

Sure, I could do it – she could double-fault.

You know, as much as some people want to be Roddy Piper, that movie simply isn’t real.

Apparently, you can auction off a veto.

And because I love you and because there is nothing not awesome about this, I present Ed Sheeran with Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars:

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Just can’t take any time off anymore

So I was sick for a little bit there and if anything the world has gotten even crazier. I’m not even going to go into the child rapist who is ensnared with TWO presidents, one from each party, a cabinet member and a few other notables. I’m not even going  to go into the idea that  we’re already wondering if the new Levees in New Orleans will hold up this hurricane season – or even this week. I’m not even going to go into the deaths taking place in ICE Concentration Camps, moving us from a 7 to an 8 on the 1-10 scale of comparing ourselves to Nazi Germany scale. I’m not even going to go into the GOP mailer that darkened the skin of Colin Kaepernick’s skin tone, just so that you could be certain that he is a black man.

I’m not even going to go into Trump defying a ruling by his own Supreme Court on the census, moving from elected official territory to elected tyrant territory. Update: he instead laid it to rest in the Rose Garden.

Let’s talk about a meeting taking place today at the White House. It’s being called a “Social Media Summit”, but you will find no representatives from Facebook or Twitter or Ello or MeWe or Google or tumblr there. This is social media produced by and promoted by the most anti-social, gut-wrenchingly hideous people on the planet, including:

  1. Bill Mitchell – he’s the radio host that promoted QANon on twitter and the likely creator of the pizzagate hoax, which led to shots fired outside of a pizza place in Washington D.C.
  2. Carpe Donktum – he’s a man who likes to create memes that are offensive to liberals.
  3. Ali Alexander – the person who tried to claim that Sen. Kamala Harriss isn’t an American Black.
  4. James O’keefe – Mr. pimp video himself, a convicted felon.
  5. Failed (and returning) Senate candidate Roy Moore – a man who loves the 10 Commandments so much that he breaks 2 of them almost daily/
  6. Charlie Kirk – founder of Turning Point USA, which often tweets lies as if they were truths, usually as “quotes” from public officials.
  7. Benny Johnson – a journalist who has been fired TWICE (by BuzzFeed and the Independent Journal) for plagiarism.
  8. Ben Garrison – antisemitic cartoonist (google his cartoon about Jews controlling the Federal Reserve if you have a strong stomach). Oh wait, we’re Israel friendly now – he got disinvited.
  9. Heritage Foundation – basically a think tank sponsored by the heirs to the Coors brewing company, Richard Mellon Scaife, and the Koch Family Foundations. Another noted member is Marlboro Cigarettes.
  10. Claremont Institute – A think tank considered to be the foundation of “Trump-ism”. Mostly invited because their founder has been complaining about how he shows up as a hateful troll on Google searches.
  11. Brent Bozell – who once compared President Obama to “a skinny, ghetto crackhead”.
  12. Senator Marsha Blackburn – who believes that social media is censoring conservative content and wants a rating system installed.
  13. Rep. Matt Gaetz (Florida) – who called John Dean “a prop” in a congressional hearing, tried to expel two fathers who had lost children at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School from a hearing, and tweeted about suspected infidelity by Michael Cohen when Cohen flipped on Trump.
  14. Jim Hoft – The Gateway Pundit founder, a hoax news site.
  15. Brad Parscale – Trump’s reelection campaign manager.

Face it, these are ALL fringe players on the internet. Some are loud and some had marginal influence, but all will have more after today. This is an entire panel of Sheridan Whitesides and we won’t be rid of them for quite a while thanks to this.

That last name is concerning. Brad Parscale LEFT THE WHITE HOUSE so that he could take his current job. He shouldn’t be on White House grounds at all, let alone at a meeting. You know what this is about? Strategy for the 2020 election. Making certain that everyone is on the same page. Hatch Act be damned.

As someone who has seen the real weight of the social media industry thrown around I can tell you that what the White House has done today is to invite in the fleas. We’re going to be stuck with scratching them for a while.

Cheap Shots (Ceflax, to the arm):

Okay, one thing about Jeffrey Epstein. Did he attempt to destroy all the evidence? Scroll down and look at what happened this past April.

So much for Bernie.

This is the WORST casting of 12 Angry Men I’ve ever seen. They’re all in the Jack Klugman role, except for Kushner. He’s Piglet.

Fear Factor. 3rd section down.

Ooh, the Rightie Whities are all triggered that conservatives actually banned weren’t invited.

Pay them girls what they worth.

The Kidney has a special place in the heart. Well, not really.

And because I love you, The Kinks:

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

This is America

We have Concentration Camps in this country, mostly for people who were turned into criminals because the current administration has a policy of not allowing legal immigration at our southern border – forcing those who are trying to escape their former lives to break the law. Some of these people are being shipped to Guantanamo Bay.

The person who most people call our President (I’m not one of them) plans to ride a tank through the streets of Washington D.C. tomorrow.

We live in a country where his supporters have their own hand signal to signify recognition of each other.

Bill Cosby is given a sentence for his crimes that amounts to the rest of his life, and it seems he deserved it. But if you’re a white boy under the age of 20 you get to go home after a few months, or be tried like a juvenile.

We have a television channel that most people in the country have access to that is a propaganda machine for said “President”.  Radio too.

We have equalized the tin-pot dictatorship of North Korea, with only a few footsteps.

We live in a country where the propaganda channel referenced above is called TRUTH and every other news outlet, no matter how well sourced or referenced, as FAKE.

We live in a country where all of the experts on the growing climate crisis who work for the government have been told to move from Washington D.C. to Wichita, Kansas or be fired by next week.

Nazis are back. It’s my opinion that as we sent thousands upon thousand of men to their deaths to wipe Nazis off the face of he planet that no one should “get” to be a Nazi. But Nazis are back.

So are Poll taxes.

We ordered airstrikes on a sovereign nation over intelligence about two ship bombings that the people actually bombed dispute happened the way we as a nation claimed. And then the weakling in the White House changed his mind on a whim. But we cyber-attacked them anyway.

We live in a country where the people screaming the most that they are being persecuted are persecuting those who don’t follow their scriptures EXACTLY. I’m talking about Abortion, folks.

We live in a country where the “President” doesn’t know what “Western Liberalism” is. i.e. the foundation of western democracy.

We live in a country where the “President” continually badmouths, blames, and punishes cities and states that didn’t vote for him.

We live in a country where the “President” and his staff blatantly break the law daily. Sometimes Hourly. Sometimes every second. Look up Enoulments, or The Hatch Act. Why Orin Hatch, who wrote that specific law and is STILL IN THE SENATE hasn’t been up in arms over it I still don’t know. Oh wait, yes I do. They’re in the same political party.

We live in a country where the people in power lie to us so often that CNN has hired an expert on lying as a regular correspondent.

We live in a country where several people have lost their jobs over POSTURE. Where people have lost their jobs because they didn’t walk fast enough.

We live in a country where 2 women running for President are constantly being asked and checked on their “electability”, despite leading every man in the polls.

We live in a country where one state is actually proving that American citizens are in fact American citizens, by questioning them about the food they eat, reptiles that are native to their island, and know colloquialisms. This state requires Voter ID, so you need to know about a specific type of frog to get a drivers license. In other words, it’s a test to see if they can vote.

We live in a country where toddlers are expected to act as their own lawyer in immigration court.

We live in a country with a cognitive dissonance so great that the current party in power is cozying up to the very same people they wanted thrown out as Unamerican only a couple of decades ago.

We live in a country where we blow shit up beautifully and over-indulge in bad food and alcohol to celebrate the country’s birthday.
All THIS. Is. America.

“America is not the greatest country in the world…

“(We) sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws… struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on Poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed. We cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were and we never beat our chest. We built great big things. We made ungodly technical advances and explored the universe, cured diseases and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy.

“We reached for the stars. Acted like men. We aspired to intelligence and didn’t belittle it – it didn’t make us feel inferior.

“We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn’t… we didn’t scare so easily.

“We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men – men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.”

Cheap shots (Wednesday, so Gin!):

Is Trump dead? Where’s Waldo?

Actually, I suspect he wants to pop out of a tank like a stripper out of a cake, and is building up the surprise.

We’re not a country that accepts only “a step up”. We’re better than this you fucking sweat-stain. Or at least we sure used to be.

“No, my lunch will eat you!” So long Arte.

Because Trump supporters must be shown as people he’d be more likely to want to fuck.

And then there were… what… 24?

It would appear that they are backing down from their previous position of backing down.

Look if Rosa Parks had $250,000, she wouldn’t have been taking the damn bus. So just shaddap!

Fucking Alabama, man.

The new favorite of Wall Street is… Elizabeth Warren?

Make the Better Decision:

Ingredients1.5 oz Tanqueray Gin
.75 oz Cappelletti
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup

InstructionsCombine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Serve on the rocks in a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Happy 4th of July my friends. And because I love you, The Allman Betts Band. The magic truly starts about 3 minutes in:

Saturday, June 29, 2019

David Gilmour and $21,198,250

Friday, June 28, 2019

Be my friend on Pokemon Go - Code 2054 5019 8436

It’s Friday so it’s time for some more CHEAP SHOTS! (Tequila!)

How very White of you Joe.

There was a little girl in California who was bussed to school.

Analyzing being a centrist (which I’m not).

I handle numbers for a living, and I’ve said many times that I just don’t see how Trump carried Ohio, Wisconsin, or Pennsylvania.

In this sentence you will not find a link to The Washington Post, or The New York Times. They’re good newspapers, mostly, but they are far too biased towards the East Coast. I find that neither one of them are talking about Mayor Pete’s best moment of the night; when asked who we need to mend fences with first he pointed out that we don’t yet know who Trump will piss off between now and the end of 2020.

Chris Matthews is really a horse’s ass.

Can do what on 5th avenue now and get away with it?

Another reason to be afraid of Americans.

You should know how to make a Tequila Sunrise. Now that the song is in your head, please note that you MUST use Agave Tequila. 95% of all Tequila sold in the U.S. is NOT Agave. It’s the shit you use to get frat boys drunk and sailors wasted at Mardi Gras. Agave tequila is a smooth, wonderful drink. All others might get you into a bar fight. Thing is, you have to search for it. In San Francisco, for example, there is only one bar that serves it. I could do without the cherry, but that’s just me.

1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger tequila
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
ice cubes
1/2 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger grenadine syrup
1 slice orange, for garnish
1 maraschino cherry for garnish

Stir or shake together tequila and orange juice. Fill a chilled 12 ounce glass with ice cubes; pour in orange juice mixture. Slowly pour in the grenadine, and allow it to settle to the bottom of the glass (be patient). Garnish with a slice of orange, and a maraschino cherry.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

More reasons to never live in Florida.

And because I love you, a fun Beatles cover by one hell of a band (and backing band):

Thursday, June 27, 2019

So now Gerrymandering is legal. Fixing that.

The Supreme Court today, by a very narrow margin threw out over a century of constitutional law and now says that Gerrymandering is Constitutional on the state level. The vote was 5-4, Republican judges versus Democrats. Think that Garland nomination didn’t matter?

Tell you what. Let’s have California gerrymander the Republican party out of existence. It wouldn’t be all that hard. Then let’s see what they do.

Cheap shots (Gin today!):

I watched the debate, so, um, NO.

So I saw the photo of Oscar and Valeria, which I will not post here. Yes, I’m pissed off.

One thing I know is that Alan Dershowitz is NOT a Liberal Democrat.

Everyone should know how to make a Tom Collins. If your bartender asks, “gin or vodka?” find yourself a new bartender. GIN. ALWAYS. GIN. The other drink is called a Vodka Collins.

·        1 1/2 cups ice
·        2 fluid ounces gin
·        3/4 fluid ounce lemon juice
·        1/2 fluid ounce simple syrup
1 cup ice
·        2 fluid ounces club soda
·        1 lemon wedge

  1. Fill a Collins glass with 1 1/2 cups ice, set aside in the freezer. Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add 1 cup ice, cover and shake until chilled. Strain into the chilled Collins glass.
  2. Top with club soda and garnish with a lemon wedge.

And Because I love you, They Might Be Giants

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Mueller Report - a play in 10 acts.

Reagan was wrong. Full stop.

I know that some of you look back at the era of Ronald Reagan as the high point in Republican politics. His big message was that people could do a better job than the government – not just with their tax dollars but with everything. Land management, infrastructure, policing, fire departments, retirement – everything. He was wrong. I’ll give some examples in a moment.

The actual high point in Republican politics in the modern era was Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was progressive and had a big hand in the rebuild of this country after World War II. He made the highway system happen – yes, the highway system we all take for granted is actually a recent invention. The idea that people could just get into a car and drive to another state for a vacation is an invention of the 1950s and 1960s. And the tax rates were the highest they’ve ever been since WWII.

The first Republican in the Presidency after Eisenhower was Richard Nixon; a racist, anti-communist crook of a man, paranoid beyond belief and this eventually led to his downfall. But how did he come to be in power in the first place? Because the Democratic party was in transition itself and was weak. They had ejected a lot of people for racism, and for supporting policies that were wedged into the past while the party leadership wanted to go forward. He was also, for a time, a good liar – you should check out his speeches about the war in Vietnam while he was a candidate; he comes across like a hippie. Ford was a steward at best. Carter was a good President, but the US got its nose bloodied by the hostage crisis in Iran and between that and gas prices, something he had no control over, Carter was doomed. Reagan was next.

And now we gat back to my original point. Reagan ran on a platform of saying repeatedly that people could spend their money better than the government could. He also embraced the “Christianist” leanings that were rising in the deep south (anti-abortion, covert racism, any beliefs that didn’t follow their strict views seen as oppressing those same views) and between those two item and the problems hung around Carter’s neck he won the Presidency easily. Every Republican since that time has run on the same platform – that taxes are too high, despite the fact that they’ve been getting lower and lower since Eisenhower. You have to figure that at some point the tax cuts go too far.

That happened a while ago. During Reagan’s time. So, let’s take Reagan’s maxim and look at it more closely shall we?

Health insurance: The idea is that your own insurance is better than anything the government can do. However – Administrative and Waste make up 13.2% of the cost of private health insurance. For Medicare it’s 5.8% (Washington Post – 2017)

Infrastructure: Well shit, do you know of ANY private companies doing infrastructure? This is a government thing, and we’re spending less and less on it.

Welfare: For every $200 in benefits, about $10 is spent in overhead (inclusive). This is an efficiency rate of 5% (Source – Forbes). In private charity, that same $200 generates anywhere between 85% and 25% going to the individuals in need of the funding. In addition, while the government has a fairly impressive track record in collecting taxes to be used for welfare, on average charities receive less than 50% of the funds pledged to them (source – Charity Navigator/New York Times).

I could go on but I don’t think it’s necessary. Following Reagan were so many republicans who had convinced themselves of Reagan’s right-ness that they started getting mean about it. Keep doing what Reagan wanted no matter the cost to the people of the country. Eventually, they even seemed to forget why. I don’t see anyone quoting Reagan anymore. Only the meanness remains.

And that has given us Donald Trump, a con-man rapist bully with questionable business credentials, and Mike Pence, a man so convinced in his own right-ness that he uses the bible to back himself up, even on the idea of using the health of children kept in cages as a bargaining chip.

You don’t work with mean. You squash it. I have said repeatedly that these are men who deserve to get their asses kicked.

They have lost the path – but the path was going to get them lost anyway.

Cheap shots (Monday, so vodka – see below):

Did you know that we attacked Iran through cyberspace at the same time that Trump sent planes, then called them off? The cyber attack wasn’t called off.

Does anybody care about covering the news about our Rapist-in-Chief?

So funny I almost forgot to laugh.

Vetting, very good.

For me the question is; will it be eligible for the Tonys next year?

For the life of me I can’t tell if they’re trolling or not.

Tapeworm says what?

(In my finest southern belle voice) Why, I say, they are simply unraveling mah 1st amendment rights! It’s a scandal!

And TMZ breathlessly wonders if George Takei was there.

Here’s the thing. Cornyn wants that 1 white vote. Democrats should be trying to get all 10.

Have a Vodka drink: The 20th Century:
1.5 oz Vodka
.75 oz Lemon Juice
.25 oz Crème de Cacao
.25 oz spiced pear liqueur
.125 oz maple syrup
1 dash chocolate biters

Combine everything in a shaker with ice and shake it to combine. Strain into a wine glass and garnish with a lemon.

And, because I love you, Manic Street Preachers: