Songs of Rehabilitation

O bane of my existence,

O sling!

You keep my arm in place so it can heal

I could not do without you — and yet:

I hate you hate you hate you





Who’s in charge???

I think there may be something important to be learned from this week’s report of Trump’s telephone call with Australian Prime Minister Turnbull. In typical fourth-grade level speech, Trump called a deal previously made with Australia to take 1,250 of the refugees detained on 2 Pacific islands “dumb” and “the worst deal ever.” And apparently went on to tell Turnbull that this was the worst phone call ever. Childish and rude, at the very least.nauru

But I am struck by the clear conflict between this whining and the fact that the recent Executive Order on immigration and refugees had a clause in it that specifically exempted the refugees in the Australia deal. It really looks to me like Trump didn’t know anything about that. It was quite clear that he had not paid much attention to the issue — he implied they were either illegal immigrants or prisoners in the sense of convicted criminals, and he never could come up with the actual number of refugees. So who the hell put that exception into the immigration ban? We know he’s not going outside his inner circle for input on this stuff. Maybe this is why — he’s not even writing these orders. Does he even know what he’s signing?

Who the hell’s in charge?

And just as disturbing but for different reasons — do we actually have a president who can’t even see human suffering and doesn’t care? All he cared about on this issue was what a “bad deal” it was for America. No benefit whatsoever in saving people’s lives. No recognition that desperate people ought to be helped just because they are human beings.

But of course, we already knew that about Trump.

Destroyer in Chief

How Real Estate, Violence, and Public Protest Destroyed These Iconic New York Artworks

Artsy Editorial
By Isaac Kaplan
Oct 14th, 2016 10:41 pm

Art Deco bas-reliefs, Bonwit Teller building


Donald Trump courted controversy and a reputation for destruction long before his current presidential campaign. In 1979, when he was a relatively unknown New York real estate developer (the mind boggles), a 33-year-old Trump acquired the historic Art Deco Bonwit Teller building, only to demolish it a year later to build what would become Trump Tower. He promised, however, to save two 15-foot-high bas-relief panels that adorned the Teller building and donate them to the Metropolitan Museum of Art should he be able to remove them. Despite his word, the “pieces that had been sought with enthusiasm by the Metropolitan Museum of Art…were smashed by jackhammers yesterday on the orders of a real estate developer,” as the New York Times report from the time tells it.

That unnamed developer was Trump, and the paper condemned his actions. Trump’s organization retorted that the two-ton panels lacked “artistic merit,” and that saving them would have created an undue delay on construction and cost $500,000 (that figure was a fraction of the total cost of the building, which was estimated at $100 million). The Vice President of the Met’s board, Ashton Hawkins, provided a dismayed quote to the Times, saying that “architectural sculptures of this quality are rare and would have made definite sense in our collections. Their monetary value was not what we were interested in.”

Read more at:

You learn something new every day

trump, v.1

Pronunciation:  /trʌmp/    Forms:  see trump n.1; also ME Sc. trwmp.
Etymology: Middle English < Old French tromper (12th cent. in Godefroy), < trompe , trump n.1


 1.  b. To give forth a trumpet-like sound; spec. to break wind audibly (slang or vulgar).

c1425   Wyntoun Cron. vi. ii. 176   In publik placis ay fra þat day Scho was behynde þan trumpande ay; Sa wes scho schamyt in ilk steid.

1552   R. Huloet Abcedarium Anglico Latinum   Trump or let a crackke, or fart, crepo.

1598   J. Florio Worlde of Wordes   Trombeggiare, snort, to trump or bray as an asse.

1719   T. D’Urfey Wit & Mirth I. 35   She who does Trump, Through defect in her rump.

1798   R. Cumberland tr. Aristophanes Clouds ii,   I too..under sufferance trump against your frights..Have pinch’d and cholick’d my poor bowels so.

† trump, v.2

Forms:  Also ME Sc. trwmp, 15 trumpe, 15–16 tromp(e.
Etymology: < French tromper (14th cent.), of uncertain origin; perhaps the same word as trump v.1: see Littré.(Show Less)


Obs.  trans. To deceive, cheat. In quot. 1631, perh. identified with trump v.3

1487  (▸a1380)    J. Barbour Bruce (St. John’s Cambr.) xix. 712   Than sall we all be at our will, And thai sall let thame trwmpit [1489 Adv. trumpyt] Ill.

1513   G. Douglas tr. Virgil Æneid i. vi. 82   That fals man,..With wanhope trumpit the lele luwair.

1584   J. Carmichael Let. in D. Laing Misc. Wodrow Soc. (1844) 415   To haif bein trompit with fair words.

1598   R. Dallington View of Fraunce sig. E iij,   They very wrongfully tromped the heires of Edward the third, of their enioying this Crowne of France.

1631   B. Jonson New Inne i. iii. 103   When she [sc. Fortune] is pleas’d to trick, or trompe mankinde.

From Oxford English Dictionary



Here are 4 endorsements of the Democratic presidential candidates from a variety of serious-ish sources (by which I mean they are less likely to stick memes on your Facebook newsfeed, not that they are necessarily unbiased). There are 2 for Clinton and 2 for Sanders, 1 each from January and 1 each from this week.

I read all of these, mainly because I am just so overwhelmed and sick of all the hysterical Facebook posts going around on both sides about the Democratic candidates. Most of it is hyper-emotional finger pointing and very short on facts — and even shorter on any kind of perspective. So I wanted to read some opinions based on something.

NYTimes endorsement Clinton

The Nation endorsement Sanders

NYDaily News endorsement Clinton

Sen. Jeff Merkley(D-OR) endorsement Sanders

So, if you care, here’s what I got out of them. We have two worthy candidates running. They are very different in the way they go about things and their priorities, but I’m good with either one of them as President. I think they will both try to do what’s right for actual American people, and not what’s right for the wealthiest possible few or what’s right for the most insane and self-serving minorities (yeah, I’m talking about you, Republicans). I am leaning toward Sanders because of my own priorities — he is the only person I think will ever get around to doing anything about Citizens United and the disgusting spectacle of money in politics and government. But if Clinton wins the nomination, I will be happy to vote for the first woman president and then I will keep urging her to do something about campaign finance reform.


Irresponsible — and contagious. It’s all about the fear, Baby

The irresponsible pronouncements just keep coming. Do they all get their marching orders from the same place? Fear Fear Fear — I guess that’s the Republican platform this year.

“In a revealing interview, Trump predicts a ‘massive recession’ but intends to eliminate the national debt in 8 years”

Donald Trump said in an interview that economic conditions are so perilous that the country is headed for a “very massive recession” and that “it’s a terrible time right now” to invest in the stock market, embracing a distinctly gloomy view of the economy that counters mainstream economic forecasts.

The New York billionaire dismissed concern that his comments — which are exceedingly unusual, if not unprecedented, for a major party front-runner — could potentially affect financial markets.

“I know the Wall Street people probably better than anybody knows them,” said Trump, who has misfired on such predictions in the past. “I don’t need them.”

LePage Warns of 900 Layoffs, But Where They’ll Come From is Anyone’s Guess

“There’s a big company – it hasn’t come out yet,” he said. “I happen to know about it and I’m sworn to secrecy until they make a public announcement. But we’re talking 900 jobs. Nine-hundred jobs in the most prosperous part of our state. Down south, in northern Massachusetts.”

But LePage adds in his own special brand of nastiness too, as you can see with the disparaging label of “northern Massachusetts” applied to what he just referred to as the most prosperous part of our state. I wonder how folks in York and South Portland feel about being ejected out the state of Maine by the sneering governor? Do you think there’s anyone that Governor Giant Baby actually likes? We already know he hates poor people, black people, Democrats, women. I thought he liked wealthy people, but apparently only if they live closer to Augusta.

Un Un-Qualified

Could we all step back a little from the “You’re unqualified!” “No, you’re unqualified!” accusations? No candidate up for nomination in any party is 100% qualified for the presidency by everyone’s standard. Look at the dipshit George W. who led this country for 8 years despite his lousy qualifications.

In contrast to the Republican candidates this year, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are among the best qualified candidates around. Neither one of them should be attacking one another’s qualifications to be president and I’d like to call on their supporters to quit it too. There are plenty of issues and policy positions to talk about. Attacking one another just isn’t productive for anyone except the ultimate opponent in the general election. If you get enough Democrats to say they will never vote for Clinton, I’m sure the Republican nominee will send you a cookie. And if you insult enough Clinton supporters, I’m sure they will stay home or even jump ship if Sanders ends up on the ticket.

The real issue in this election, in my opinion, is not which Democrat is most qualified to be President — there is no lack of information on what each stands for, and each of us can decide for ourselves. The real issue is that the only possible 2 frontrunners for the Republican nomination are two sides of the same nightmare. Trump is obviously unqualified for office by his record (NONE), and he is unfit to speak in front of children, let alone to represent the U.S.A. in front of the world. His “policy positions” are based on what causes the most incendiary reaction from poorly educated and unsophisticated crowds. On the other hand, Cruz has run-of-the-mill traditional qualifications for office, but his opinions on social issues are so off in the fringes that most people actually cringe when confronted with the possibly of a Cruz presidency. He is grossly unqualified to lead a big diverse country primarily due to his lunatic religious views. Anyone who values religious tolerance, diversity, intellectual curiosity and freedom cannot support him.