Listen up, folks.
September 30, 2016
September 30, 2016

Why couldn't they go with Wilma Flintstone?

September 30, 2016

The editorial board of USA Today has never endorsed a candidate for president. They are not endorsing a candidate in this year's election. But today they issued a remarkable editorial judgment: "This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency."

It's worth reading.

September 30, 2016

I am going over to the dark side. Donald Trump pushed me there. He pushed me over at 5:00 a.m., when I was asleep and he was sending out vicious tweets about the former Miss Universe whom he has called a pig and worse.

Like many of his late-night tweets, last night's were counterproductive. Trump actually thought that the smart response to being accused of insulting a woman was to insult the woman again. His campaign team must be chewing the furniture in frustration.

Like much about Trump, this behavior is erratic and inexplicable. He works himself into fits in the wee hours, when he's wound up and the rest of the planet is snoring.

Like many people, I noticed his sniffling at Monday's debate. I noticed that he was strong, sharp, alert for the first half-hour or so, then he started sagging into a puddle of distraction and incoherence. Yep, he was coming down.

According to every informed report to date, Trump doesn't drink and doesn't use drugs. I'm no longer buying it. It's become too obvious. I am not joking, I am not being a smart-ass: I believe that Donald Trump has a cocaine problem.

Plug that into what you know about Trump and his campaign. A cocaine habit, which in turn exacerbates his innate narcissism, explains everything.

September 29, 2016

Today the Detroit News endorsed Libertarian Gary Johnson for president. Yesterday, when asked by MSNBC's Chris Matthews to name a foreign leader that he admires, Johnson was unable to name any foreign leader, admirable or otherwise. The best he could do was, "The former president of Mexico." Pick one. Earlier in September, Johnson drew a blank when asked about the situation in Aleppo.

For the last 143 years, the Detroit News has endorsed Republicans. According to them, “We abandon that long and estimable tradition this year for one reason: Donald J. Trump.” Then they descended into the absurd: "this is an endorsement of conscience, reflecting our confidence that Johnson would be a competent and capable president and an honorable one.”

The competent and capable Johnson has also been endorsed by the New Hampshire Union-Leader, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, John Stossel and Melissa Joan Hart. Not to mention both Penn and Teller. Jesse Ventura. Drew Carey. Larry the Cable Guy.

It's a movement.

September 29, 2016

You may recall the extreme outrage that Doctors Without Borders vented when U.S. forces screwed up and attacked a hospital in Kunduz. MSF (the acronym for Doctors Without Borders in its original French) accused the U.S. of violating the Geneva Conventions and called for an investigation by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission. In plain language, they wanted a prosecution for war crimes.

Lately the Russians and the Syrian air force have been deliberately and repeatedly bombing the crap out of hospitals in Aleppo. The MSF has issued press releases that deplore the attacks without naming the attackers. Similarly, in a speech to the United Nations Security Council about attacks on hospitals, MSF's president mentioned Russia only once—in regard to the general Syrian conflict, not in connection with the hospital attacks. It carefully ascribed the destruction of hospitals to "Syria and its allies."

Amazingly, the greater part of the MSF president's speech concerned hospital damage in Yemen caused by the Saudi-led coalition that is fighting Houthi Islamic extremists. The coalition is indeed routinely hitting below the belt, but it is remarkable that MSF focuses on the Yemen conflict instead of the larger and more dangerous conflict in Syria, where the Russians and Syrians make calculated attacks on civilians and sanctuaries in an effort to empty and destroy rebel-held neighborhoods.

Naturally, the speech also took a moment to mention the U.S. attack in Kunduz, effectively casting us in a worse light than the Russians.

Sure, this is typical and we should be used to it by now. But it's still worth pointing out, and worth mentioning the next time MSF paints us as the Great Satan.

September 29, 2016

When did Rudy Giuliani turn into such a nasty asshole? I used to like him.

September 27, 2016

It's starting to look like Trump really doesn't pay any taxes. When Hillary accused him of that last night, he said it was "smart." Okay, we can all identify with that, in a way. We all try to pay the least taxes possible. But you know, when you're running for President of the United States....

Rather than mash his face over the issue, Hillary pretty much moved on to other things. I think she should have popped him one. It boils down to this: Who's going to pay the bills? Why shouldn't Donald Trump bear his share of the cost of the military, the highways, the Veteran's Administration, the first responders, the diplomatic corps, food and drug oversight, and all of the other functions that our government performs? When he flops his big-ass jet onto the runway, why are we the only ones paying the air traffic controllers? Why should a bloated billionaire get a free ride?

Someone should point out that the idea of Trump not paying any taxes is not just unfair and distasteful—it's obscenely unpatriotic.

September 26, 2016

Apparently I have earned my official Senior Citizen Certification. I have started getting IRS scam robo-calls that tell me I'm about to be sued and put in jail unless I pay up. They give me a number to call. According to Google, they've been using the same number for a while without getting shut down. Amazing. I'm tempted to call and mess with them, but then they would mark my phone number as responsive and I would start getting personal phone calls from Nigerian princes.

September 26, 2016

Land's End stock is down another 15% so far today. I think that's not because Ms. Marchionne left, but because her departure vividly captures just how screwed up the company is. Sears bought it a few years back, then they sold it, and it's bounced around. I'm no expert, but Land's End looks like one of those companies that has become a plaything for big investors with no real commitment to the core principles of the business. It's owned and operated by strangers.

September 26, 2016