McCrory Discovers Privacy

Republicans in North Carolina are in full “pushback” mode from criticism over the passage of HB2 last week. As the negative economic impact of the controversial law becomes clearer, Governor McCrory and other proponents have stepped up their p.r. game. Senator Phil Berger launched to help supporters of HB2 network and express their thanks to the Governor McCrory. The website features this image

McCrory Bathroom

which turns North Carolina’s Chief Executive into “The Guardian of the Crapper”. I’m very interested in how they cast the creepy, lurking guy in the background. Was it a Craig’s List ad?:

Wanted: Creepy-looking, somewhat ethically ambiguous pseudo-Caucasian guy. Must look like the guy who spent a little too much time looking at your wee wee in the shower after 8th-grade gym. Also, must be a tad more sinister looking than the governor of the state of North Carolina

Also, it doesn’t help that they picked a shot of McCrory that looks like he’s straining as if to…well, you know

Another great “pushback’ initiative is this video, which looks like it was shot by a mid 40s dad, who was trying out his iPhone upgrade

Governor McCrory looks into the camera earnestly and appeals to North Carolinians to put away the rancorous politics and work for solutions to make HB2 better

  1. You created the rancor. This is sort of like the guy who cut one decrying the lack of air quality in the car. He who smelt it, dealt it, guv
  2. Why does it need to be fixed? You didn’t sign an unsustainable bill into law just for political gain, did you, Pat?

Previously, I looked at McCrory’s curious, consultant-driven use of language and I found an interesting tidbit in his 5-minute “Pushback Video”. He uses the phrase “expectation of privacy” three times, which I found very interesting. First, because I’ve never, personally, had much of an expectation of privacy when I use a public restroom. It has the word public right before the word restroom and that lets me know that, in many cases, people can walk in while I’m doing my business and they can see me in the throes of answering nature’s call. So, my “expectation of privacy” isn’t much

But, when I’m having a medical procedure done, that’s a different story

You see, Mr. McCrory signed a bill into law last year that would have some interesting consequences on women seeking abortions

The bill also requires doctors who perform abortions in which the fetus is older than 16 weeks to send an image of the ultrasound and other information to the state Department of Health and Human Services. No other state requires that

And, gosh, we know that stuff that’s sent to government entities never gets leaked to the public. And who knows who might see these images in the doctor’s office and as HHS. So, it seems, when it comes to privacy, Mr. McCrory’s concern ends at the urinal

But, hey, at least he’s not advocating that women who get an abortion be punished, like the (likely) guy at the top of the ballot. Well, at least, he isn’t yet

But, this wasn’t Pat’s first crack at putting restrictions on the procedure. In 2013, the state passed the infamous “Motorcyle Abortion” law, which made the agonizing, private decision of some women even more difficult. It may be difficult to remember this one, as it was many belly laughs ago, but it was one of the governor’s first forays into making the state he (allegedly) loves into a national punchline

You see, the word “privacy” has been, traditionally, a word that’s been used by pro-choice groups. While there is not an explicit “right to privacy”, the Supreme Court of the United States found that the Fourteenth Amendment, informed by the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments formed a de facto Right to Privacy in Roe v. Wade. I won’t bore you further with the legalize because we’re talking about language. Thus, the mantle of “privacy” has been carried as a banner by groups who advocate that abortion should be kept safe and legal. That is why it’s quite curious that an anti-choice governor like Pat McCrory should co-opt the language for his own purposes here

I expect that McCrory will continue down this path and claim that his vision advocates for a “freedom of choice”. The freedom to choose a urinal where you can be free from the prying eyes of some “creepy lurker” (see above pic) who just wants look at your willy. Something like that

It’s not that I dislike privacy, Pat. It’s just that I think a woman should have a greater expectation of it when she goes to the doctor than I do when I’m hitting the head at Applebee’s


If You Could Go Back In Time And Abort Or Nuke The Sacred Fetus Hitler, Would You, Mr. Trump?


Screen shot 2016-03-31 at 10.59.33 AMRod Serling: “Imagine a man so thoughtless and empty, devoid of rational thought, whose appeal to millions rested on his moment-to-moment ability to appease those worst madding crowd instincts to the detriment ofScreen shot 2016-03-31 at 11.04.38 AM all mankind.  Then…. picture him as President, a disastrous stop on the previously unimaginable but avoided nuclear journey to….. The Twilight Zone.”

In the heat of the 1988 campaign, Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis was asked the most famous question in the history of presidential debates by Bernard Shaw:

“Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?” Dukakis answered instantly and smoothly. “No, I don’t, Bernard,” he said. “And I think you know that I’ve opposed the death penalty during all of my life.”

Dukakis had flubbed the answer, showing no emotion, triggering instant analysis by all that he had effectively lost the election right there.  No matter that he was being utterly consistent with his own beliefs; this was no flip-flop or pander.   By the way, Dukakis to this day fully admits he blew it.  Most importantly though, it was an answer to a direct question, posed in such a provocative, unpredictable way that Dukakis’ answer, at minimum, was ice-cold but understandable.  Here it is, in all its sweaty splendor!

In 1988 it was one answer, one time, to one question.  Game, set, match.  This is what has driven so many of us up and over that big, beautiful wall about Donald Trump.  He has blurted out Dukakis-level/elimination-style statements and answers regularly since last June that have been continuously and erroneously predicted to be fatal mistakes.  And that’s not even considering the 120mph barrage of lies on every subject all the time.  We’re all tuned in, by now, that the shock jock, WWE, you’ve-been-screwed-by-politics-as-usual-I’m-the-last-honest-man shtick has worked among a plurality of Republican primary voters.  Need we go through this again?  Megyn Kelly’s menstruation, mocking the disabled NY Times reporter, the Trump Tower In My Pants contest with Marco Rubio, being the Original Barack Obama Birther, his periodic but consistent remarks about wanting to have sex with his daughter Ivanka, the new mommy, the list is endless and grows each day.

This week, having decided he hadn’t yet pushed the electorate and the world over the cliff, Trump went nuclear with both abortion and the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The longtime pro-choice Trump decided a few years ago that a path to the Republican nomination necessitated him switching teams on abortion.  He never gave it much thought, like everything else he appears to do in this campaign, spouting what he thinks is the most rigid, outrageous, definitive position designed to force everyone else to react and respond to his statement, controlling the news cycle once more.  There is no doubt that his answer this week that women who get abortions in Trump’s America are criminals who must be prosecuted for their crime was pure, unadulterated Trump; completely thoughtless, mindless pandering to what he thought would be the right-wingiest thing he could say.  Those women are breaking the law that he would singlehandedly change on Day One or through beautiful Supreme Court Justices who he’ll soon name.  He may as well have said that while “I would never say it’s ok to shoot abortion doctors who kill babies…. I wouldn’t say that…. I’m not condoning it….I can understand why people do it….”  Finally, living up to his pledge to be the greatest uniting president ever, Trump finally brought together the wholly incompatible pro-life and pro-choice movements in condemnation.   The guy who never has made a mistake, never admits he’s wrong, walked it all back within hours with a prepared statement written by his lawyers, who must have Googled the question:  how do we sound like we know what the hell we’re talking about?

“If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed – like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.”

Yea, that sure reads the way Donald Trump speaks, doesn’t it?

I found that as far back as August, Trump broached the subject of the use of nuclear weapons, always reserving the right to use them against ISIS. Here he was on Meet the Press on August 9th, responding to a question about authorizing nukes to combat Islamic extremism:

“Let’s face it, these people are barbarians,” Trump said. “And thanks to Obama’s failed policy in Iraq and Syria, they’re beheading Christians all over the world… Civilian casualties are an unfortunate “reality of war” according to Trump, who justified the use of nuclear weapons saying they “send a clear message to those who conspire against America and her allies.” Mr. Trump said that unlike past and present administrations, he possesses the “moral fortitude to do what must be done” to protect America. “We’re losing to China. We’re losing to Mexico. We will not lose to ISIS,” Trump said.

He has skated by and grown his numbers with this kind of irrational bluster (equating ISIS terrorism with our relationships with Mexico and China).  Unable to keep two thoughts in his pretty little head at once, the last few days he’s moved on from telling us how he’ll rip up the deal with Iran regarding their nuclear program, essentially breaking with the policy of non-proliferation out of disgust that we pay too much to keep the world safe and everybody’s gonna be nuclear someday, so let’s get it on.  How do you deter North Korea and its crazy boy from dropping or lobbing a bomb on South Korea or Japan?  Let them have nuclear weapons too.  It’s only fair!   It’s as if his number one advisor on nuclear weapons is Wayne LaPierre of the NRA.  “The Only Thing That Stops a Bad Country With a Nuke is a Good Country With a Nuke.”  Now everyone is noticing.  Here’s the Vox version:

Donald Trump: make America great again by letting more countries have nukes

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: It has been a U.S. policy for decades to prevent Japan from getting a nuclear weapon.

TRUMP: That might be policy, but maybe…

COOPER: South Korea as well.

TRUMP: Can I be honest are you? Maybe it’s going to have to be time to change, because so many people, you have Pakistan has it, you have China has it. You have so many other countries are now having it.

Can the imagination fathom President Donald Trump in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis?  What will it be like to have a president who literally has a nuclear temper?

‘Total catastrophe’: Experts say Donald Trump’s position on nuclear proliferation would be a disaster says Business Insider


Occasional Trump Dump 03/30/16

THE BIG NEWS: It was “Abortion Day” for DJT and he looked like even more of a buffoon than usual. The Republican frontrunner said initially that women should face some sort of punishment if the procedure were ever outlawed then changed his tune under a barrage of criticism. The Washington Post says this is yet another reason why DJT could be a disaster for the GOP

And, while Trump’s comments on abortion are the news of the day (and problem of the day for Republicans) what they expose is an even more troublesome reality if you are hoping to run and win as a Republican with Trump as the nominee: He is wildly and deeply unpredictable.

Today these comments on abortion. On Tuesday, a refusal to condemn a campaign manager charged with battery. On some other day a retweet of a white supremacist. Or a slam on Hillary Clinton’s looks. Or a fight with Pope Francis. Or a less-than-full throated dismissal of a violent incident at a rally.

You get the idea. The hardest thing to handle in the context of a political campaign is unpredictability. Trump not only is unpredictable to the nth degree but he also seems to revel in his willingness to say and do random stuff. If you are any Republican not named “Trump” who hopes to still be in the House or Senate come January 2017 that is a huge problem. Maybe even a YUGE problem

Make no mistake about it: The fight in North Carolina over the recently passed anti LGBT law is ALL about Trump (potentially) being on the top of the ticket in November. North Carolina’s governor Pat McCrory and the Republicans, who only took control of state government for the first time sine the 19th century back in 2013, are scared stiff that Trump will have Republicans sitting this one out if Trump captures the party’s nomination. So, they need to fire up the conservative base and do so by stoking the fires of the social conservatives. Meanwhile, many companies have expressed deep reservations about the new law and the state stands to lose millions, perhaps billions of dollars. So, Mr. Trump is already having an effect

Meanwhile, it’s been a minute since we saw violence at a Trump rally, so here’s video of a protestor being pepper sprayed and slurred at a DJT event in Janesville, WI on Tuesday

The teenager said she was groped by a male in the crowd, then was pepper-sprayed by another individual after she pushed him away, according to a news release from the Janesville Police Department. A 19-year-old woman was also hit by second-hand pepper spray, police said.
Authorities are looking for one person in connection with the alleged sexual assault and another in connection with the pepper spray. Police released an image Wednesday of one individual in connection to the alleged incident, but they did not specify which alleged crime the person was possibly connected to
We’ll see if Mr. Trump provides a vigorous defense of the perpetrator despite video evidence a la the Corey Lewandowski excuses he offered earlier this week
Trump’s attorneys say he’s under continuous audit from the Internal Revenue Service. Shouldn’t they coordinate these stories better and have them come out closer to April 15th for maximum impact?
In the letter, released by the Trump campaign to demonstrate that the candidate is in fact under audit, Sheri Dillon and William Nelson wrote that Trump’s personal federal tax returns “have been under continuous examination by the Internal Revenue Service since 2002, consistent with the IRS’s practice for large and complex businesses.”
Sorry. Couldn’t type for a moment due to all the tears in my eyes. Is this crap really designed to appeal to the common man who understands what it’s like to be harassed by “out-of-control government” or some such nonsense?

Omar Maher couldn’t have been prouder Wednesday to become “a citizen of the No. 1 nation in the world,” even though one recent poll showed that half of his new countrymen support Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

“I am very bothered, but you can’t control the minds of everybody,” said the Egyptian-born Muslim engineer from Dublin. And besides, his 18-year-old daughter, Salma Maher, chimed in: “Trump doesn’t represent Americans, just like we don’t represent terrorists.”

WHEW! Somebody gets it. I’d rather live next door to Omar than DJT any day!

While the rest of America will be enjoying Wrestlemania™ on Sunday (an event DJT headlined back in 2007), The Donald will be attending his grandson’s bris

However, according to Jewish tradition, he cannot have the role of the “sandek,” the person, often a grandfather, who holds the child while it is being circumcised by a mohel (pronounced like “royal”). That job must go to a practicing Jew, said New York City-based Dr. Emily Blake, a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist who now works full-time as a mohel.

“So unless he’s going to convert very quickly,” joked Blake, “I don’t think he’ll be doing it. He doesn’t want to lose that Christian vote.”

But, she says, he could perform the role of the “kvater,” the person who carries the baby into the room. “The rules on that are a little looser,” she said


Thomas Paine Had Common Sense, Pat. You’re Just a Jerk

We, the citizens, of North Carolina are in an unhealthy relationship with our Governor, Pat McCrory

It’s hard to say when things turned toxic. Maybe it was the whole “cookie incident”. Perhaps it was the whole “motorcycle abortion” thing. Could have been the whole coal ash fisaco. Whenever it happened, make no mistake about it, this is all-out bad blood

Take, for instance, last week’s passage of the infamous HB2, which has made North Carolina into a national laughingstock. This is how things work in bad relationships. We, the people of The Great State of North Carolina, gently bring up to Pat that, maybe passing such an idiotic law wasn’t the best thing and Pat responds with two simple words: YOU’RE CRAZY

Well, maybe not exactly, but, you see, Mr. McCrory has been brainwashed coached by political consultants to say the phrase “common sense” over and over again. He uses the phrase in this press release defending himself from media criticism of the law. He uses the phrase twice in 90 seconds in this video which, once again, blames the media (super original, guv). He used the “common sense” defense when he signed the controversial “Voter ID” law in North Carolina back in 2013

The message here is clear: If you oppose this, you’re crazy! Have you ever been in a relationship where someone responds to every critique by questioning your sanity? Why would you think I’m texting my ex? Are you crazy? Yes, I was three hours late, but you must be insane if you think I was with someone else. If you think I was having lunch with someone else, you must be out of your mind!

Of course, this is a technique of the most deranged liars and sociopaths. They make you seem like the odd one, when, in fact, they are doing things that defy logic. For example, needlessly creating an atmosphere where companies don’t feel especially comfortable doing business in North Carolina might be characterized as an act of someone who is, shall we say, less-than-sane

McCrory’s handlers have also made sure that he repeats New York Times, Washington Post, and Huffington Post when he cites the media offenders who are besmirching the good name of North Carolina. As a matter of fact, kudos to the wannabe Karl Rove who has hammered into the governor’s head that this particular attack on NC is an affront to the very honor of our state, suh! Let’s go back to the video of Pat being, oh so, offended

There’s a very well-coordinated campaign…a national campaign, which is distorting the truth, which is frankly smearing our state, in an inaccurate way

(is there a way to smear a state in an accurate way)

Ah declare, suh! They have sullied our good name and ah will not stand for it, suh!

Well, he may be a horrible governor, but he damn sure is coachable

If you oppose HB2, not only are you insane but you’re a traitor to North Carolina. Hell, you may as well break into The Skylight Inn and foul their delicious barbecue with a tanker full of Kraft™ Barbecue Sauce. You might as well walk into the Cheerwine™ plant in Salisbury and pee in a vat of that delicious nectar. You might as well paint a weiner on that statue of Andy and Opie

You get the idea

Control of the language is the last refuge of a scoundrel. If Pat McCrory had any record of achievement to run on he wouldn’t have to pull these propagandist tricks. But, I’ll assume his coaches will have him spouting all kinds of mind-controlling nonsense, which he’ll pay big bucks to have drummed into his brain, so he can repeat them to you and pepper your eardrums with shibboleths this summer and fall. And maybe it’ll work

As for me, I think voting Pat McCrory out of office is just using good old common sense

Occasional Trump Dump 03/29/16

THE BIG STORY: Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski turned himself into authorities in Jupiter, FL because he’s accused of battery against former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields on March 5th. Here’s the video

That’s fairly cut-and-dry. Even Ray Charles can see that Lewandowski committed battery and he’s both blind and dead. Given the undeniable visual evidence, did Donald J. Trump:

a) Admit Corey did something wrong and fired him immediately

b) Issue a statement saying that he would let the legal process play out

c) Ignore the obvious and act like a lunatic defending the indefensible

If you picked “c”, you have the minimum IQ required to draw breath on this planet

That’s right; Mr. Macho now objects to a 120 lbs. woman touching him

Nothing there…except a man COMMITTING THE ACT OF BATTERY against a woman

But, you have to see this

REPORTER: She did get bruises on her arm

DJT: I don’t know if they were bruises from that! Who said they were bruises from that? How do you know those bruises weren’t there before?

REPORTER: That’s what the police–

DJT: I don’t know what the police said! How do you know those bruises weren’t there before? I’m not a lawyer. I mean, to me, you know, if you’re gonna get squeezed, wouldn’t you think she would’ve yelled out a scream or something if she has bruises on her arm?

Let’s unpack this. Michelle Fields obviously was in an abusive relationship and her boyfriend put some bruises on her. So, to cover for her bf, she went to cover Donald Trump’s “Victory Press Conference” at Mar-a-Largo and enticed Corey Lewandowski to grab the very same arm that had been previously bruised just to make Lewandowski look bad. I give him credit for not saying that he applied the bruises after-the-fact, but I’ll check tomorrow’s tweets for that. Option 3 would be that she used makeup to make her arm appear bruised and I’ll be looking for that one from DJT by the weekend

To make all of this even more awesome, the attorney representing Corey Lewandowski had to resign as a U.S. Attorney after biting a stripper

Trump vs. Cruz makes talk radio hosts pick sides

“Who am I to come in and tell them to vote for this person?” Mr. Hannity asked in an interview, referring to his listeners. “I don’t think I serve them well that way.”

But he warned that any effort to deny Mr. Trump the nomination if he came close to the 1,237 majority of delegates would be the downfall of the Republican Party.

“If they try to steal this nomination or disenfranchise the voters, it would be the end of the Republican Party,” he said. “I guarantee you, it’s over.”

Sean Hannity telling people to think for themselves is a hoot and a half. Like Benghazi, for example. He often tells his audience to keep an open mind and consider that Hillary Clinton didn’t do anything wrong. Right?

Sure. And I’m dating Sofia Vergara

Milwaukee talk radio host Charlie Sykes gave Trump a hard time during a rare interview in which the Republican frontrunner was actually challenged

“I am a conservative,” Trump said. “I’m not so conservative when it comes to the pure aspects of trade… I believe in free trade, which is nice and conservative,” he said before repeating his usual talking points about being a tougher negotiator with other countries by threatening to implement costly tariffs on imported goods.

“It’ll never happen,” Trump said of a tariff. “But you have the threat out there.”

“Well you’re a much better negotiator than I am,” Sykes said. “But you just said it’ll never happen, so you’ve basically said your negotiating ploy is a bluff.”

Trump stammered and repeatedly insisted that other countries like China, India, and Mexico are “killing us.”

That Wisconsin primary is on Tuesday and WI Governor Scott Walker endorsed Ted Cruz today. Trump responded by criticizing Walker for not raising taxes

Seriously. The guy who is the top pick of conservatives in this country just said a governor screwed up by not raising taxes. THAT HAPPENED!

Trump accuses Cruz of not even knowing that his home state is

DJT says he’ll no longer honor his pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee because the Republican establishment “has not been very fair to me”

Whoa! What ya got there, buddy? Bruised ego?

WAIT JUST A MINUTE! How do I know those bruises weren’t already there?

Final Four- Insanity of the States Edition- IN, TX, AZ, NC

If it were to come to pass that Trump’s astounding unpopularity outside the core of his most-supportive, unshakable followers not only would guarantee a Goldwater-sized defeat and a flipping of the US Senate, Screen shot 2016-03-25 at 12.36.28 PMmaybe the House, and changes in statehouses and governors’ mansions across America…. what a wonderful world it would be.  Let’s drill down and see what’s going on in the Blue Chip States of Creativity, those wonderful laboratories of democracy.

  1. Indiana!:  Remember the brouhaha a year ago over Memorie’s Pizza, the Indiana pizza joint whose owner said he’d refuse to cater a gay wedding?  Not that he’d ever been asked to, and not that he was refusing to actually serve gay people in his restaurant… but that was enough to start a moronic social-media firestorm that ended up with a million dollars being raised for the guy via GoFundMe, and more recently another $40,000 when the owners finally decided to throw in the towel.  We should all go out of business so lucky.

But that pales in comparison to the latest move by the Hoosier legislators and the governor on one of your Big Three Wishes For Republican Purification of America… in the arena of gay rights, voting rights, or abortion rights.

Abortion Is Now Illegal in Indiana If the Reason You Want One Makes Republicans Uncomfortable, For Instance a Fetal Genetic Abnormality Such as Down Syndrome

NARAL reacted: “This is one of the most extreme anti-abortion measures in the country and only further penalizes Indiana women and their doctors for accessing constitutionally protected abortion care. Preventing a woman from choosing abortion based on a medical diagnosis substitutes a politician’s ideology for a woman’s judgement. Politicians like Governor Mike Pence who insert themselves into a woman’s private medical decisions aren’t just practicing bad medicine, they’re betraying the seven in ten Americans who support safe and legal access to abortion.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD spoke up: “Now Indiana’s Legislature has passed a bill that forces women to give birth if a doctor has detected a fetal abnormality. Which, yes, would mean that a pregnant woman who contracts Zika would lose her right to abortion, while a woman with a healthy pregnancy would retain her right to say no to giving birth.”

THE INDIANA RIGHT-TO-LIFERS: “By signing the dignity for the unborn bill, Gov. Pence has again signified his commitment to protecting life. We are pleased that our state values life no matter an individual’s potential disability, gender or race. We also believe that the other measures in the bill are positive steps forward for providing dignity and compassion.”

Assumedly this (?) is what Ronald Reagan meant in 1986 when he zinged out his now-famous quip: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help force you to have that baby.”  Oops, I cheated and that would have been 14 words.

2.  Texas!: This is the state that has given us Ted Cruz.  That’s enough. I should stop right there, but I won’t!  Along with Donald Trump, he forms the Axis of Republican Inanity.Screen shot 2016-03-25 at 1.39.27 PM I have no idea whether conventional wisdom will hold and the Republican Party will cease to exist following a Hillary blowout of LBJ-1964 proportions.  But the Republican anti-Trump movement is certainly real, his attack last week on Cruz’s wife possibly the only way humanly possible that Ted Cruz has ever engendered any degree of sympathy in the campaign, even from former opponents like Lindsey Graham and other folks who find him the poison to Trump’s firing squad as not much of a choice.

3. Arizona!:  Long-time leader and favorite to make the finals, Arizona just keeps coming up with new ways to top itself. As part of the state’s long-running stage version of “Old White Men Who Are Obsessed With Abortion And The Women Who Love Them,”  they were at it again this past week.  They never stop trying to prevent pregnant women who need or want an Screen shot 2016-03-25 at 3.56.01 PMabortion for personal, private reasons from getting one, forcing them to cross borders, possibly to California if they can afford it. Read the latest from the Cactus League of Extraordinarily Silly Gentlemen here.  Other gems that have just passed include:

Affordable Care Act: A bill that bars the state from using any resources or staff to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act. Most importantly, said sponsor Rep. Justin Olson, R-Mesa, if the bill is signed by Gov. Doug Ducey, it would prevent Arizona from establishing its own health-care exchange.

Apparently, after all these years, some Arizonans inside the health care establishment weren’t fully onboard with hatin’ on Obamacare enough.

Plastic-bag ban: 1.The bill would block cities, towns and counties from passing ordinances that ban or regulate the use of plastic bags, Styrofoam and other containers. 2. The bill also would prohibit local governments from requiring businesses to report how much energy they use, halting efforts by Tempe, Flagstaff and Phoenix officials, who are considering new environmental ordinances.

I guess even the question “paper or plastic” is too pro-choicey for Arizona politicians.  And part two there is just one more state legislative Big Foot move by Republicans, the ones who have reinterpreted “states’ rights” to mean a state government always gets to tell the cities and counties who’s in charge.

4. North Carolina! is my home, and now clearly the favorite to go all the way.  It’s quite an impressive, tone-deaf, obstinate, bigoted, small-minded, wrong-side-of-history, pander to prejudice that they’ve just pulled off in Raleigh.  The gift of geriatric gerrymandering keeps on giving to the residents of the Tar Heel state, who looked the other way in 2010, got steamrolled in the Tea Party backlash election, and have paid for it ever since, with ever-increasing arrogance by near one-party control of Screen shot 2016-03-25 at 3.35.56 PMlawmaking.  This time, it was special legislation to make sure Caitlin Jenner still must use the little boy’s room.  Scrambling to quickly waste $42,000 of taxpayer money on a special session, the New York Times notes that Orwellian-labeled House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act was triggered by:

the passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance in Charlotte last month that would permit transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, rather than their gender at birth. But the law passed by the legislature on Wednesday night, which prohibits municipalities from passing their own ordinances allowing such bathroom use, also prevents cities from protecting gays and bisexual people against discrimination generally.

Greensboro News & Record columnist Susan Ladd notes that in a demonstration of cynicism and what they think will be some kind of business-friendly move, the law also “limits the ability of cities like Greensboro to provide a living wage. While the city can control the wages of its own employees under this bill, it cannot mandate a higher minimum wage for private businesses or companies contracting with the city.”  More here.

Yes, “business-friendly” for the Republican state legislators apparently means a financial irrelevancy like Hobby Lobby or another Christian-based business.  And Billy Graham already lives in North Screen shot 2016-03-25 at 3.41.44 PMCarolina.  Too late for that.  Only about 150 Chick-fil-A’s in NC…. always room for more of those!   They have no idea what a modern workforce looks like. The cigar-chomping Republican goobers in bolo ties from the small towns that dominate a state legislature have really blown it this time.  There’s probably more open debate right now in the Iranian Parliament than in the North Carolina statehouse, where the Democrats in the state senate walked out and didn’t vote on this travesty, claiming they were not allowed to participate at all during the process. The Charlotte Observer makes it irrefutably clear:



Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Next time, I say we swap Liam Neeson for Jeremy Irons (Alfred) and have someone snatch his daughter and let Batman chase down the kidnappers for a hundred and eight minutes. We’d probably end up with a better movie

Of course, I’m only joking


Take a Baby Ruth™ bar. Take it out of it’s wrapper and put it on a plate. Put it in the microwave at full power for 75 seconds. What you have on that plate when the beeper goes off is Batman v Superman: A blob of good stuff that had a chance at being cohesive and delicious

I’ll try to summarize the plot as I remember it: A discovery of kryptonite is made at the bottom of the Indian Ocean and Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) makes a play for taking it and turning it into weapons just in case old Supes (Henry Cavill) ever gets a little too out-of-control. Meanwhile, Superman goes a little nuts in the desert rescuing Lois (Amy Adams) and wipes out some people, drawing the ire of one Democratic Senator from Kentucky (Holly Hunter). Then Lex kidnaps Ma Kent (Diane Lane) and demands that Superman bring him the head of Batman (Ben Affleck) or he’ll kill the mother of Superman. The two titans fight, Wrestlemania III style and the whole thing is ended when Batman is reminded that both of them had mothers named Martha (really!). Then Lex creates this monster that looks like the Hulk mated with Darkseid (longtime Zack Snyder observers will be relieved that he didn’t give this creature a gigantic schlong) and Wonder Woman shows up and Superman dies

WHEW! Was that like your 7-year-old nephew telling you a joke he heard at lunch?

In between we are treated to flashback/fantasy sequences that show horrific things. Like a horrible creature emerging from Bruce Wayne’s mother’s tomb and attacking Bruce. And Clark Kent saying howdy to his deceased father (Kevin Costner). Snyder throws these in willy nilly. Also, we get various ruminations on Gods and Men, governmental limitations (Ayn Rand fans will get a kick out of Holly Hunter’s character implying that Superman shouldn’t act unless it’s with the consent of the United States government. That would be a hoot and a half, these days. First of all, Obama would have to pretend to hate Superman or Congress wouldn’t even consider using him at all)

There seemed a moment where it all could have crystalized: Lex Luthor is able to smuggle an explosive device into the United States Senate and detonates it. Suddenly, the once-vilified Man of Steel™ is being reached for by a fickle public to save them

I suppose the hatred directed at Superman and Batman in this film are the DC version of anti-Mutant sentiments in the Marvel Universe

I liked Eisenberg as Luthor. I liked Adams as Lois Lane. Henry Cavill was ok. What of our man, Affleck? I thought he acquitted himself well in the role, but this felt more like Clooney than Bale. I suspect he’ll get another crack at it, as we were introduced to the makings of a Justice League™. Here’s your murderer’s row: Bats, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Flash, and Cyborg. Someone explain to me how Cyborg became the breakout star of the Teen Titans™

And while you’re at it, explain to me why Wonder Woman even needed to be in this movie. I think it’s got something to do with some senior executive getting yelled at because the property is just sitting there doing nothing and, damnit Steve, we need a big third quarter and girls need something to scream at their mothers to buy them the next time they’re in Wal-Mart

(Hey! You ever see Dave Chappelle’s Wonder Woman bit? It’s great)

So, re-rack, re-gather, and re-think Mr. Snyder. And don’t you dare, for one second, think about working your anatomical magic on Wonder Woman’s naughty bits

Occasional Trump Dump 03/23/16

THE BIG STORY: T Dawg was still sounding off over the Belgian attacks and taking some heat for threatening Heidi Cruz. But, Hillary put Trump on the defensive in a speech today

“If Mr. Trump gets his way, it’ll be like Christmas in Kremlin,” the Democratic front-runner said during her remarks here at Stanford University. “It will make America less safe and the world more dangerous. When it comes to the struggle against ISIS, we need our allies as much as ever. We need them to be strong and engaged for they are increasingly on the front lines.”

Trump responded on the twitter machine

BOOM! Also, she’s a founder of ISIS, according to former NYC Mayor Rudy “9/11 9/11 9/11” Giuliani

A mixed bag for DJT in new Bloomberg poll

“Trump’s numbers are bad and getting worse,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, who oversaw the survey. “A majority of Americans now describe their feelings toward him as very unfavorable. That’s a 13-point spike from November 2015.”

In the process, the Republican front-runner may also be tarnishing his party’s brand. Sixty percent of Americans view the GOP unfavorably, easily the highest level recorded in the poll since it was started in September 2009. The Democratic Party, in contrast, is viewed negatively by 43 percent


Overall, Americans are much more likely to agree with Clinton’s view of America’s status than with Trump’s. His campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again,” while she has pushed back against that by declaring at rallies, “America has never stopped being great.”

Asked if America is “no longer great” or “never stopped being great,” 63 percent pick Clinton’s version

Despite all that, Donald, I can’t help loving you

“I’ve never voted for anyone like him,” said Denise McLemore, 56, a Trump supporter and kindergarten teacher from Lexington, North Carolina. “He seems very arrogant and outspoken and he reminds me of my kindergarten students: whatever he thinks in his head, he says.”

Despite his shortcomings, McLemore said she wants to take a chance with Trump. “I don’t know if I can trust him, but I like that he’s different,” she said. “He’s made me a believer.”

That’s because it’s all about the love when it comes to Trump. At least that’s what they found over at Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Newt Gingrich has been working in the shadows on behalf of Trump

For some time now Gingrich has been stumping for Trump behind the scenes, on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Last week in a closed-door meeting before more than 100 Republican chiefs of staff from the House and Senate in Baltimore, Gingrich raved about the Republican frontrunner, calling him a “blue-collar bar room brawler.”

“[The] guy who knows how to run Miss Universe, The Apprentice, Trump Towers, construction, golf courses, casinos, ties… hotels,” Gingrich bragged, according to a chief of staff in the room and confirmed by The Daily Beast. “A guy who runs that every morning—you think he can’t run a presidential campaign?

“You should study Trump and apply it to your member,” Gingrich said. “There’s a lot to learn here which you can take back to your member’s office.”

Apply it to your member? UGH!

The Donald got some good legal news

A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s modeling agency, saying there was insufficient evidence a foreign-born model had been misled or was owed back pay.

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres found that Alexia Palmer had not provided proof that Trump Model Management LLC fraudulently applied for a U.S. visa for her or that she had been denied fair wages

I guess The Trump Modeling Agency is yet another incredible Trump business success. Maybe they represented George Costanza in his hand modeling career

Ford Motor Co. CEO fires back at Trump

“Well, the last I looked Ford Motor Company is here to stay in the United States,” Mark Fields said during an interview in New York City with CNBC.

“It’s presidential politics. We’re just going to stay focused on the facts. We are very proud as a company of what we do in terms of contributing to economic development here in the U.S.”

Which, of course, gives Trump the opportunity to claim victory, as he did when he “forced” Obama to produce his birth certificate. Yet another win. Isn’t he sick of winning? I know I’m sick of him winning

Please translate this article and find out how Keith Richards pulled a knife to get rid of Donald Trump

Meanwhile, one of DJT’s advisors hopes to talk him out of torture as a deterrent to terrorism

Phares defended Trump’s repeated statements on torture as not an actual policy but as “a reaction to a very complex and difficult and challenging situation.” Trump is calling for torture “because we are in a political season,” he said, but in the White House “he’s going to be tasking experts to answer that question, and I’m not sure that the experts are going to recommend any form of torture.”

Speaking to NPR, Phares also seemed to draw a distinction between “torture” and “enhanced interrogation” techniques such as waterboarding. Defenders of such techniques commonly do not accept that they meet the definition of “torture.” Torture would violate current law and has been called ineffective or unreliable by many specialists in interrogation. The Trump adviser appeared to favor only “enhanced” techniques that in his view fall short of torture.

Trump has drawn no such distinctions

That’s from the new NPR program Morning DUH!


Occasional Trump Dump 03/22/16

THE BIG STORY: The day started with news of the attacks in Brussels and ended with DJT threatening The Cruzer’s Old Lady. Let’s dig in…

Trump predictably exploited the tragedy in Belgium and used it to push (again) for torture when it comes to terrorism suspects

“We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized”

No word on what constitutes a “Muslim neigborhood” (it’s down at the end of Crescent Street, it’s Jihad Hotel…you’ll be so lonely baby…you’ll be so lonely baby…you’ll say Allahu Akbar). Trump also took to the twitter to criticize Obama for staying in Cuba

He was also nice enough to throw down an “I Told You So”

History has taught us, great leaders know how to heal in times of trouble and nothing is more soothing than an “I Told You So”. Millions of Belgians slept more peacefully tonight because Donald J. Trump’s ego rubbed one out

For the record, the above tweet was published two hours and five minutes before

Remember when Jesus said “I knew you dumbasses were going to run out of bread and fish” before he fed the multitude?

You really must read this transcript of DJT’s Monday meeting with The Washington Post‘s editorial board. It’s kind of the greatest thing ever published. So many highlights, allow me to hit a few

HIATT: Well, forget Freddie Gray, but in general, do you believe there are disparities in law enforcement?

TRUMP: I’ve read where there are and I’ve read where there aren’t. I mean, I’ve read both. And, you know, I have no opinion on that. Because frankly, what I’m saying is you know we have to create incentives for people to go back and to reinvigorate the areas and to put people to work.  And you know we have lost million and millions of jobs to China and other countries. And they’ve been taken out of this country, and when I say millions, you know it’s, it’s tremendous. I’ve seen 5 million jobs, I’ve seen numbers that range from 6 million to, to smaller numbers. But it’s many millions of jobs, and it’s to countries all over. Mexico is really becoming the new China. And I have great issue with that


Would you care for some balsamic vinaigrette on your word salad?

Trump had a discussion about libel with WaPo‘s excellent columnist Ruth Marcus

MARCUS: So in a better world would you be able to sue me?

TRUMP: In a better world — no — in a better world I would be able to get a retraction or a correction. Not even a retraction, a correction.

RYAN: Well, now, you’ve been a plaintiff in libel suits so you know a little bit of the elements …

TRUMP: I had one basic big libel suit, it was a very bad system, it was New Jersey. I had a great judge, the first one, and I was going to win it. And then I had another good judge, the second one, and then they kept switching judges. And the third one was a bad judge. That’s what happened. But, uh…

RYAN: But there’s standards like malice is required. Would you weaken that? Would you require less than malice for news organizations?

TRUMP: I would make it so that when someone writes incorrectly, yeah, I think I would get a little bit away from malice without having to get too totally away

And then the subject of violence at Trump’s rallies came up

HIATT: Sorry, when you say we don’t condone violence —

TRUMP: I say that.

HIATT: You say that. But you’ve also said, “In the good old days, he would have been ripped out of his seat so fast, you wouldn’t believe it.” Isn’t that condoning violence?

TRUMP: No, because what I am referring to is, we’ve had some very bad people come in. We had one guy — and I said it — he had the voice — and this was what I was referring to — and I said, “Boy, I’d like to smash him.” You know, I said that. I’d like to punch him. This guy was unbelievably loud. He had a voice like Pavarotti. I said if I was his manager I would have made a lot of money for him, because he had the best voice. I mean, the guy was unbelievable, how loud he was. And he was a swinger. He was hitting people. He was punching and swinging and screaming — you couldn’t make — so you have to stop. You know, there is also something about the First Amendment, but you had to stop

DJT is such a businessman that he was trying to figure out a way to make money off the vocal talents of a protestor

And on and on it went. The transcript should be required reading in high schools and colleges across America. Or maybe source material for improv night at “Yuck Yucks” in Moline

Also, this happened

What the hell does he know about Mrs. Cruz? She looks like she’s never done anything worse than return a library book seven minutes late. Here’s what homeboy was so pissed about


Which was distributed by the “Make America Awesome PAC”, which supports Cruz. Cruzer fired up his twitter

OOH! #twitterfight. Suck on that, Aaron Burr!

But, seriously: Heidi is a serious player on The Street that is Wall, so the implication here is that DJT has some pic/video from the 80s that’s stars Heidi in something resembling Wolf of Wall Street meets Caligula. Stay tuned

Trump yarmulkes sell like hotcakes at AIPAC

This is one of the most depressing pictures EVER!


The seminal religion of Judaism has been set back at least 3,000 years. Seriously, what do you do if someone shows up at your Temple wearing one of those bad boys? I’m guessing we won’t see this

Trump Muslim

anytime soon. How about this one?

Trump Muslim

B&B Podcast 03/22/16 says GO HEELS! Make your appointment today to get special care from Dr. Hyman, Dr. Bell, and their great staff. B and B look at an annoying poll of the worst songs ever, attacks in Brussel, trying not to talk about Trump