Google, Groot Dance, Right Art, Wealthy Steal, New Tax Law

Saturday Rate of Exchange: Letters from the War on Xmas

found online by Raymond

Vixen Strangely at Strangely Blogged begins with a conservative tweet:

And answers with a transparent fact:

Barack Obama was saying “Merry Christmas” all the time. He was. There was never a War on Christmas. Atheists even like Christmas–family and presents and eating too many cookies is nice!

She has video proof of Merrye Olde Obama:

She continues with an entertaining rant about the annual conservative accusation.

We happen to have a letter home, written by Trey from the battle zone:


I write to you from a trench my buddies and I dug along Candy Cane road. It has afforded the Elves and I adaquate protection from the Seasons Greetings of our enemies. The Battle of Tinseltown does not go well for us. I feel like the belief in this War on Christmas wavers every year.

Continue reading “Saturday Rate of Exchange: Letters from the War on Xmas”

Is a Deep State TrumpWorld Grab-Bag a Thing?

found online by Raymond

From Vixen Strangely at Strangely Blogged:

Fox News’ very awful Jesse Watters had on the Trump Administration’s even more awful KellyAnne Conway, and together they managed to perform a duet on the theme of there being a coup attempt on President Trump, and how, boo hoo, everything was rigged against Trump from the very beginning. I love this kind of argument. Trump was trying to soften the blow of his possible loss in the election all through October 2016 by crying “Rigged!’ whenever he could. And then he won the electoral college despite losing the popular vote by 3 million votes, got sworn in, and is still in office. It doesn’t seems all that “coup-y”.

What has happened, though, is a recent obfuscation campaign on the part of Trump associates and supporters to detract from the Special Counsel’s investigation, claiming that the FBI investigation that it follows on was tainted by partisans. This strikes me as really weird. Comey was a Republican, Mueller’s a Republican, as of a year or more ago, we understood that the FBI has a lot of people who were not Friends of Hill. Since when was the FBI or law enforcement in general a hotbed of subversives who want to overthrow a Republican president?

Except when that president is engaged in a potential criminal conspiracy to undermine national security. See, I can get why law enforcement professionals would deeply care about that.

– More –

It’s Possible

found online by Raymond

From PZ Myers:

This is a good article about the alien bubble silicon valley is rolling around in. What shocked me most was this one incredibly stupid comment.

On his blog, Y Combinator president Sam Altman argued that political correctness was damaging the tech industry. “This is uncomfortable, but it’s possible we have to allow people to say disparaging things about gay people if we want them to be able to say novel things about physics,” he wrote.

If it helps, Altman himself is gay.

No, it doesn’t help.

– More –

Taxed, Worst-Case Scenario

found online by Raymond

From Infidel753:

Well, they did it. No longer can we say “the Republicans can’t get anything done”. The bumbling and duplicity of the process that passed tax “reform” has been amply described on many sites, and I’m not going to rehash it. The point is, they finally got a serious piece of legislation class warfare passed.

Why did they do it? Why did they go all out for an unpopular bill that hands the Democrats multiple talking points to use against them next year? For one thing, as we’ve all heard, some of their rich donors were threatening to cut them off if this didn’t pass; for another, they may have thought it would unite their fragmented base (which is frustrated by the lack of progress on the wall, ACA repeal, etc.), even if the rest of the country doesn’t like it. It could even be merely that the ideological imperative here was much stronger than with other issues — if there’s one obsession that holds all Republicans in thrall, tax cuts for the rich is probably it.

I’ve also seen a more Machiavellian idea suggested: Republicans can see the writing on the wall — demographics, Trump’s unpopularity, generic-ballot polls — and they know they’re doomed to massive losses in 2018 and 2020 no matter what they do. So they’re focused on pleasing the giant corporations and the ultra-wealthy to whom they might go for jobs as lobbyists or whatever after the voters have turfed them out, rather than pleasing their constituents.

My worst-case scenario is something a little different and more sinister…

– More –

Evangelicals Love LGBTQ People? Really?

found online by Raymond

From The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser:

Much like their God, Evangelicals are obsessed with who does what with whom, where, why, and how, sexually. Violations of “Biblical” morality are met with cease-and-desist orders, and when that fails, people not practicing Evangelical-approved sex are threatened with God’s judgment and eternal punishment in the fire and brimstone of the Lake of Fire. Yet, Evangelicals will still, with a clueless straight face, profess to love everyone.

– More –

The Republican Paper Moon


It isn’t the worst movie ever. But it is painful to watch. I can stand it for about 10 minutes at a time, I think.

I used to be a little tougher. I may have gotten almost all the way through it once, 40 years or so ago. But age takes its toll.

Paper Moon is a depression era comedy about an adult/child pair of swindlers who accidentally get involved in the movie business.

Tatum O’Neal starred with her dad Ryan, and she was extraordinary. She would have walked away with the film, if there had been enough film to justify the walk. She did win an Oscar. I like to think it was for heroic effort against all odds.

The acting was not what you’d call subtle. The broad slapstick was tired and predictable. Early on, Ryan hides from an angry client and falls on his face after getting his foot stuck in a pail. If Ace Ventura is just too sophisticated for you, this might be your movie choice.

Not everyone in the mid-1970s felt the same way. The late Roger Ebert gave it a thumbs up. Even reviewers for Rotten Tomatoes were positive.

Insane. All of them.


I confess to a bias that may color my thinking a bit.

The character played by Ryan O’Neal falls in love with the new art of filmmaking and it changes the direction of his life. He has found his calling.

It starts, for him, when he sees a break-through film: The Birth of a Nation. D. W. Griffith is a genius, he declares, and he is committed to the wonderful path technology has created for him.

That the silent movie he loves seriously advanced the vicious racism of the times, contributing to the revival of the Klan, is not mentioned even tangentially. The attack on the very idea that black people could handle the right to vote was passed over. The film coincided with a dramatic increase in the number of lynchings throughout the former confederacy. None of that actually hit the cutting room floor. It was never there to be cut. It did not fit with the film’s comic intent.

I have similar uncomfortable moments as I occasionally come across old episodes of The Honeymooners. Jackie Gleason’s bombast comes perilously close to physical abuse, and continually exposes us to the 1950s assumption that violence is a natural part of marriage.

That Audrey Meadows stands, firm and calm and strong, in the face of those threats is a saving grace of sorts. And the show actually has funny moments at Ralph Kramden’s expense.

I thought about Paper Moon as I read a recent piece on the role played by Steve Bannon in Roy Moore’s near win in Alabama.
Continue reading “The Republican Paper Moon”

Net Neutralityists: Be Careful What You Wish For

found online by Raymond

From libertarian Michael A. LaFerrara:

The distortions in the way the Trump FCC’s rollback of the Obama FCC’s so-called Net Neutrality rules is being reported is disgraceful. For example, AP reported:

The Federal Communications Commission repealed Obama-era “net neutrality” rules Dec. 14, giving internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T a free hand to slow or block websites and apps as they see fit or charge more for faster speeds.

No. The FCC didn’t “give” the ISPs anything. It restored the rights of ISP providers to manage content traffic on their own networks—the networks that they built—as they see fit.

– More –