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Bought and Paid For Journalism

Never heard of Sinclair Broadcast Group? Well you should know them, because they very well could be filling your head with far-right-wing propaganda. And if Donald Trump has his way, it will get far worse. Believe me.


Old-school Neo-Nazis

© Keef Knight

As long as Donald Trump keeps clarifying his statements on Charlottesville, we may as well join in. After all, he has taken almost every possible position except this one.


On the Road Again

I have a big work trip starting up, so posts will probably be a bit scattered for the next month or so. I’m sure I will post occasionally, and I’ll be back at full strength sometime in October, so don’t worry!

UPDATE: This trip has been busier than I ever expected. Work has been absolutely crazy, but great. Our new product is getting so much attention. I have one more week to go before returning home. I hope everyone has been getting their news from in my absence. Their recent posts have been particularly good.


The Two Faces of Donald Trump

Donald Trump fired his longtime aide George Gigicos, who has planned almost all of Trump’s rallies since the start of the presidential campaign. Why? Because there weren’t enough people at Trump’s rally in Phoenix.

Of course, that didn’t stop Trump from bragging about the size of the rally, calling it a “packed house” and saying a week later “You saw the massive crowd we had.”

All lies.

Meanwhile, as Hurricane Harvey continues to pummel SE Texas with record-breaking rain and flooding, rescue crews are having problems:

They’re making it difficult for us to rescue them. You have people rushing the boat. Everyone wants to get in at the same time. They’re panicking. Water is rising. … We have boats being shot at if we’re not picking everybody up… they’re kind of under attack.

That’s right, people in Texas are shooting at rescue boats.

But according to Donald Trump:

We see neighbor helping neighbor, friend helping friend and stranger helping stranger. We are one American family. We hurt together, we struggle together and believe me, we endure together.

Making America Great Again.


Late Night Political Humor

[Jokes from Aug 22, 2017]

Before announcing his decision on Afghanistan, President Trump was said to have made a ‘rigorous’ review of the issue. Yes, Trump said, “I must have read at least four tweets about it!” – Conan O’Brien

In his speech on Afghanistan, President Trump said, “Attack we will.” Then Trump introduced his new military strategist: General Mad Dog Yoda. – Conan O’Brien

There were a lot of protestors at a rally today in Phoenix attended by President Trump and Vice President Pence. Things got awkward when it turned out that the “Impeach Trump” chants were being led by Mike Pence. – Conan O’Brien

Mark Wahlberg has been named 2017’s highest-paid male actor. Today, Mark said, “I don’t know why either.” – Conan O’Brien

There’s a new beer coming out that contains marijuana. Unfortunately, the inventor cannot for the life of him remember how he made it. – Conan O’Brien

India has outlawed its long, long practice of “instant divorce.” However, India will still continue to offer its popular “Cool Ranch Divorce.” – Conan O’Brien

Arby’s is celebrating the “Game of Thrones” season finale by offering its customers a giant turkey leg. It’s all part of their “Game of Thrones” tie-in, “Diarrhea is Coming”. – Conan O’Brien


Record Breaking Loser

Donald Trump has broken a presidential record. He has now achieved the lowest approval rating in his first year in office of any president, ever, and he even has five months left in his first year! The first year is supposed to be the honeymoon, so Trump can expect to go downhill from here.

So what happens next? I mean, besides Trump’s cowardly attempt to use a natural disaster (Hurricane Harvey) to hide his pathetic pardon of racist Joe Arpaio, again attack transgendered soldiers, and piss off conservatives by booting out Sebastian Gorka.

Could Trump go any lower? Of course! What happens when the economy starts to go south? You know, like caused by the government shutdown that Trump is threatening if we don’t pay for his stupid wall, or more natural disasters (what’s next, locusts?), or a trade war with China, or a nuclear armed conflict with North Korea (or sinking deeper into the quicksand of Afghanistan), or any number of other things that Trump is likely to do (perhaps just to get attention).

Or when Robert Mueller issues his report on all the crimes that Trump has committed (and he’s got so many to choose from, both before and after he became president).

Or when conservative media like Breitbart start attacking Trump. Even the Wall Street Journal just called Trump a RINO.

Who knows?

© Ruben Bolling


Late Night Political Humor

[Jokes from Aug 17, 2017]

In a tweet this morning, President Trump called Confederate statues “beautiful”. People were shocked because it’s the first time Trump has complimented anything that’s over 40 years old. – Conan O’Brien

Trump thinks these 100-year-old Confederate monuments are beautiful. Which is weird. Usually Trump doesn’t call anything beautiful if it’s over 30 years old. – James Corden

President Trump tweeted this morning that he’s “sad” over the removal of our “beautiful statues”. Of course, Trump may just be sticking up for his fellow bronze-colored symbols of hate. – Conan O’Brien

I love how he’s trying to pretend these white supremacists are art lovers and historical preservationists. “Grab your tiki torch and swastika, Bob, they’re trying to take our sculptures away.” He knows we’re not building one for him, right? – Jimmy Kimmel

I saw that a life-sized statue of President Trump was just installed on a park bench here in New York. Even pigeons were like, “I’m gonna take my business elsewhere.” – Jimmy Fallon

This morning, on Twitter, Donald Trump complained about Confederate statues being taken down, saying that our country is being ripped apart by the removal of these beautiful Confederate monuments. “Beautiful Confederate monuments” — or as pigeons call them, “toilets”. – James Corden

Speaking of statues, did you see this today? The president tweeted that removing Confederate statues takes beauty out of our parks that can never be replaced. Then he said, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go cut down a bunch of trees to build a hotel and golf course.” – Jimmy Fallon

President Trump is having a historically bad week, which he kept going strong with a string of combative tweets this morning. He makes one good point. If we’re going to start taking down every monument that pays tribute to racists, we should probably take down every building with the name “Trump” on it. – Jimmy Kimmel

“There’s literally no difference between Robert E. Lee and George Washington” — that’s a quote from Donald Trump. Literally no difference, except there’s literally a difference, like literally their names are different. You literally don’t know what literally means. – James Corden

The dating site OkCupid is banning white supremacists. So, white supremacists will have to look for love where they usually do — family reunions. – Jimmy Fallon

Some white supremacists are now upset because they’re taking DNA tests and discovering they’re part black. And you know who’s even more upset? Their black ancestors. – Conan O’Brien

President Trump said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s choice to not attack Guam was a “wise and well-reasoned decision.” Trump said, “Someday I’m gonna make one of those.” – Conan O’Brien

The American Cancer Society has decided not to host its charity event at Trump’s resort, Mar-a-Lago. You know it’s not a good sign for Trump when he’s considered too toxic for cancer. – Conan O’Brien

Today was National Thrift Shop Day. And to celebrate, our president is 99 percent off. – Seth Meyers

Meanwhile, the vice president, Mike Pence, cut his trip to Central America short to come back to Washington with all this going on. He was in the White House today measuring the drapes. – Jimmy Kimmel

A song which consists of nearly 10 minutes of silence has made it to the top 50 purchases on the iTunes charts. Said Mike Pence, “This rocks!” – Seth Meyers

We haven’t heard much about Russia lately, but this is interesting. They did an international survey, and most countries now have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than Donald Trump. Out of 37 countries, 22 of them said they have more faith in Putin. Other countries are now watching “Rocky IV” and hoping Drago wins. – Jimmy Kimmel

Only 5 percent of Mexicans say they trust Trump, which still seems like a lot. That’s like 5 percent of Smurfs trusting Gargamel. – Jimmy Kimmel

Axios today published a list of groups that President Trump has alienated during his first seven months of office. And now the world is out of paper. – Seth Meyers

Hillary Clinton is coming out with a book called “What Happened.” Out of habit, Bill Clinton immediately came out with his own book called “Baby, I Can Explain.” – Conan O’Brien

In a new interview, Kim Kardashian revealed that she did karaoke with former President Obama. Said Obama, “That was just the National Anthem…” – Seth Meyers

Twenty-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has been accepted to Oxford University. When she puts her Nobel Prize on the shelf, her roommate will quietly put away all her youth soccer trophies. – Jimmy Fallon

You know the band Belle and Sebastian? Well, they accidentally left the drummer behind at a Walmart in his pajamas, with no phone or wallet. So they called Walmart to see if there was a guy wandering around in his PJs with no phone or wallet, and Walmart said, “You gotta be WAY more specific.” – Jimmy Fallon

The jackpot is up, an enormous sum. Playing the Powerball is a great way to spend quality time with strangers outside gas stations. – Jimmy Kimmel

If you win and decide to take the money in a lump sum, $324 million before taxes. And I’m not an expert on finances, but you should take the lump sum. The way things are going right now, you may not make it to your second installment. – Jimmy Kimmel

Some schools are giving kids an Eclipse Day, a day off, because they’re worried teachers might not be able to protect their eyes. These kids haven’t looked up from their phones since January. – Jimmy Kimmel

A man in Texas accused of having sex with a chain link fence failed to appear in court last week and is now on the run from police. Which is weird because it sounds like he would have a great time in the prison yard. – Seth Meyers


Total Flop

This has to be the flip-flop of the year. Is Donald Trump really going to hold the federal budget hostage just because he is a terrible negotiator?


Hidden Messages

Last week, the Presidential Committee on the Arts and the Humanities disbanded themselves in protest of Donald Trump, but they did something interesting in their letter of resignation. The first letter of each paragraph spelled out R-E-S-I-S-T.

Not to be outdone, this week the State Department science envoy resigned, and the first letters of his resignation letter spelled out I-M-P-E-A-C-H.


The Good Old Days?

© Matt Lubchansky

Make America Great … Again?

What good old days do they want to go back to? The Civil War?

© Steve Kelley


Late Night Political Humor

[Jokes from Aug 16, 2017]

Last Saturday, Nazis and the KKK provoked violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. That’s what they wanted. That’s why they went there. After a Nazi killed a young woman named Heather Heyer, Donald Trump made a statement and improvised during the statement, that there was violence on “many sides, many sides.” And people were upset — other than Nazis. Nazis liked it. – Stephen Colbert

Let’s start off with some good news. Donald Trump did not have a press conference today. – James Corden

I’m still recovering from President Trump’s kamikaze press conference yesterday, where Donald let Donald be Donald — the consequences and our country be damned. It was truly one for the ages — specifically, 1939 to 1945. – Stephen Colbert

We are enjoying a little bit of calm after a storm named Hurricane Donald ravaged much of the country yesterday. – Jimmy Kimmel

And mind you — this is him on vacation! He can’t even get VACATION right. Imagine coming back to the office — “Hey, how was your two-week break?” “It was good — I defended Nazis. What’d you do?” – Jimmy Fallon

I guess this morning, Trump went to the Trump Tower Lost & Found looking for his mind. “I lost it yesterday afternoon.” – Jimmy Fallon

The effects are still being felt and talked about. I don’t know about you, but I feel like this is the only thing anyone talks about. Trump and maybe “Game of Thrones.” – Jimmy Kimmel

And “Game of Thrones” only has two episodes left. So, we’re kind of screwed when that goes. – Jimmy Kimmel

Yesterday, President Trump gave a big press conference on the subject of infrastructure. And all he had to do was stop right there. Just. Stop. Talking. For five minutes, just stop talking! – Jimmy Fallon

While President Trump fielded questions yesterday about Charlottesville, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was seen staring at the ground with his arms crossed. And after hearing the press conference, so was the Statue of Liberty. – Seth Meyers

So, Chief of Staff John Kelly pressed Trump to make another public statement. Grudgingly, Mr. Trump agreed. “OK, I’ll say Nazis are bad, but you can’t make me mean it. OK? Fingers crossed. Fingers crossed. I call Nazi backsies.” – Stephen Colbert

Last night, the city of Baltimore removed four statues of Confederate heroes. Or, as Fox News reported it, “Baltimore liberals force pigeons from their homes.” – Conan O’Brien

But, today Donald Trump completely disbanded his manufacturing council after eight members quit in 48 hours. The way these CEOs are leaving Trump, you’d think they were married to him. – James Corden

President Trump dissolved his [manufacturing] advisory council because a bunch of CEOs dropped out. Trump said they didn’t “take their job seriously”. Trump then went back to golfing and retweeting memes while sitting on the toilet. – Conan O’Brien

Forget creating new manufacturing jobs in this country. Trump can’t even manufacture manufacturing councils. – James Corden

The CEOs of Intel and Under Armour both resigned. Which means, somehow, Donald Trump figured out a way to lose the nerds and the jocks at the same time. – James Corden

The CEO of the company 3M also resigned, and when Donald Trump asked why, they said that 3M doesn’t want to be associated with three K’s. – James Corden

The Trump administration named a new interim communications director and her name is Hope Hicks. So, apparently now they’re on the H’s. – Conan O’Brien

I’m starting to miss the old days when we were on the verge of nuclear war with North Korea. – Jimmy Fallon

As you probably all heard, North Korea has backed off its threat to launch a nuclear missile at Guam. So now the title of “Crazy Tyrant Most Likely to Destroy America” returns to defending champion, Donald Trump! – Conan O’Brien

The studio behind the “Hunger Games” movies announced that it will be opening a theme park in South Korea dedicated to the films. They’re calling it “North Korea.” – Seth Meyers

When asked yesterday about his confidence in chief adviser and accused white nationalist Steve Bannon, President Trump said, “We’ll see what happens.” This is how much Trump cares about ratings — he ended a press conference on a cliffhanger. “Will Steve Bannon lose his job? Will Mike Pence and his wife finally go all the way? Find out tomorrow on ‘As the World Burns’!” – Seth Meyers

I read that New York City could host the World Cup in 2026. That’s right, thousands of people trying not to use their hands — or as that’s called in New York, “riding the subway”. – Jimmy Fallon

In Washington, D.C., yesterday, vandals spray-painted graffiti on the Lincoln Memorial. Historians are calling it the second worst thing to ever happen to Abraham Lincoln. – Conan O’Brien

The Connecticut lottery’s mobile app malfunctioned this weekend and told some lottery winners they had lost. When instead, they should have been told, “You have a lottery app on your phone — get help.” – Jimmy Fallon

Today, all McDonald’s in Canada are offering 67-cent burgers — as if Americans need yet another reason to move to Canada. – Conan O’Brien


Making Fun of Nazis

The New York Times has an excellent article on how to deal with white supremacists, racists, and Nazis. They call it “humorous subversion” but it really is just making fun of them. Here’s one example:

For decades, Wunsiedel, a German town near the Czech border, has struggled with a parade of unwanted visitors. It was the original burial place of one of Adolf Hitler’s deputies, a man named Rudolf Hess. And every year, to residents’ chagrin, neo-Nazis marched to his grave site. The town had staged counterdemonstrations to dissuade these pilgrims. In 2011 it had exhumed Hess’s body and even removed his grave stone. But undeterred, the neo-Nazis returned. So in 2014, the town tried a different tactic: humorous subversion.

The campaign, called Rechts Gegen Rechts — the Right Against the Right — turned the march into Germany’s “most involuntary walkathon.” For every meter the neo-Nazis marched, local residents and businesses pledged to donate 10 euros (then equivalent to about $12.50) to a program that helps people leave right-wing extremist groups, called EXIT Deutschland.

They turned the march into a mock sporting event. Someone stenciled onto the street “start,” a halfway mark and a finish line, as if it were a race. Colorful signs with silly slogans festooned the route. “If only the Führer knew!” read one. “Mein Mampf!” (my munch) read another that hung over a table of bananas. A sign at the end of the route thanked the marchers for their contribution to the anti-Nazi cause — €10,000 (close to $12,000). And someone showered the marchers with rainbow confetti at the finish line.

Will such tactics work in America? They have!

We do have similar examples of humor being used to counteract fascists in the United States. In 2012, a “white power” march in Charlotte, N.C., was met with counterprotesters dressed as clowns. They held signs reading “wife power” and threw “white flour” into the air.

“The message from us is, ‘You look silly,’ ” a coordinator told the local news channel. “We’re dressed like clowns, and you’re the ones that look funny.”

The bottom line is “nonviolent movements succeed because they invite mass participation.” Humor can do that; violence less so.


Whistling Dixie

© Brian McFadden

Every since Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” Republicans have been courting racists and bigots in the name of states rights, voter fraud laws, harsh and excessive drug laws aimed primarily at minorities, attacks on immigrants, “three strikes”, “stand your ground” and other racist laws. The one thing they can’t stand is someone actually, you know, being obvious about being a racist or a bigot — that’s a step too far.

So it is back to dog whistles for the GOP.


Three down

Four to go.

Or should I say “Five to go”?


The Eclipse Conspiracy

[I absolutely love this article from The Atlantic. Especially the last line. –iron]

The scientists are all talking like it’s a sure thing.

On August 21, the “moon” will pass between the Earth and the sun, obscuring the light of the latter. The government agency NASA says this will result in “one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights.” The astronomers there claim to have calculated down to the minute exactly when and where this will happen, and for how long. They have reportedly known about this eclipse for years, just by virtue of some sort of complex math.

This seems extremely unlikely. I can’t even find these eclipse calculations on their website to check them for myself.

Meanwhile the scientists tell us we can’t look at it without special glasses because “looking directly at the sun is unsafe.”

That is, of course, unless we wear glasses that are on a list issued by these very same scientists. Meanwhile, corporations like Amazon are profiting from the sale of these eclipse glasses. Is anyone asking how many of these astronomers also, conveniently, belong to Amazon Prime?

Let’s follow the money a little further. Hotels along the “path of totality”—a region drawn up by Obama-era NASA scientists—have been sold out for months. Some of those hotels are owned and operated by large multinational corporations. Where else do these hotels have locations? You guessed it: Washington, D.C.

In fact the entire politico-scientifico-corporate power structure is aligned behind the eclipse. This includes the mainstream media. How many news stories have you read about how the eclipse won’t happen?

Meanwhile the newspaper owner Jeff Bezos is out there buying all of Seattle with the revenue from these “eclipse glasses.”

You’d think there would be a balanced look at even considering the idea that the eclipse isn’t going to happen. It’s like no one is even thinking to question this. Where are their voices? Why does Google give so few results that say the eclipse is fake? I would start by looking at Mark Zuckerberg and Charles “Chuck” Schumer.

I am not saying the eclipse isn’t going to happen. I’m just saying there are two sides to every story.