Trump and Russia


I don’t know if there’s collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. I strongly doubt that there is. But I do know that today, during a press conference, Trump urged Russia to interfere with our electoral process.

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Yes, this is Photoshopped. Don’t get your undies in a twist.

This from the nominee of the “law and order” party. This from the nominee of the “God bless America!” party. This from the party that wears its Bible and flag with equal fervor.

Trump has refused to release his tax returns, which is something that every other candidate has done for the last fifty plus years. It’s a way of proving that one’s sources of income are on the level.

Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, with the lame excuse that he’s being audited (which a: may be a lie, and b: didn’t stop Nixon from releasing his during an audit), leads me, at least, to suspect he’s probably been receiving a lot of money from Russian investors. That isn’t illegal, but it sure doesn’t look good, and it really isn’t good when you look at everything else that’s going on with him and Russia.

I do hope everyone keeps up the pressure for him to release his tax returns. There may be nothing there; there probably isn’t anything illegal (I certainly agree that he’s probably not directly working for the Russians). But if he won’t release them, it means he’s probably hiding something, and that’s not acceptable.

She Has Done It


Now she just needs to keep doing it right through November! Congrats, Hillary, on your history-making nomination!

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention via a live video feed at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention via a live video feed from New York during the second night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

How to Regain My Respect


Bernie Sanders is doing it right now. He’s making a full-throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton, and talking about how much more important it is to elect her than it is to allow Trump to win. It’s a good speech, and I’m glad he’s making it.

And I really, really hope that the Bern Outs I know are paying close attention, and will vote for Hillary in November. I know it sounds like a cliche at this point, but it really is true that a vote for anyone else amounts to a vote for Trump.

To My Fellow Liberals: Stop Acting Like Spoiled Brats


So did you hear? It’s such a scandal. Apparently the Democratic party leadership did whatever they could behind the scenes to ensure that the Democratic party nominee for president in 2016 was someone who had been a Democrat for their entire political career, had campaigned for Democrats, raised money for Democrats, supported the Democratic party, and generally helped the Democratic cause.

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Yes, apparently they went out of their way to support the Democrat that was in the race instead of supporting the guy who became a Democrat only a few months before deciding to run as one.

The horror.

First off, this scandal isn’t really much of a scandal at all. As I pointed out, it’s perfectly understandable that the party leadership would support someone who has supported the party. That’s reasonable, right, and proper.

Second…you know, there really isn’t a second here. The first is all that I need, because it’s entirely correct.

Since 1992, the right wing in this country has been consumed with Clinton Derangement Syndrome. Since that year, they’ve hounded Bill and Hillary like no other president has ever been hounded. Hearings? Yes. An impeachment? Oh, yes. Actual convictions? Not really.

The Republican establishment has spread lies, innuendo, and blown every little possible thing out of proportion for the last 24 years. Republicans soak their minds in this. They believe utterly in the evil, corrupt, lying bitch version of  Hillary.

So it’s no surprise to me that people who have been alive about that long, even liberals, also share that view.

But it is very sad.

It’s sad because Hillary is a fantastic candidate. She’s the ultimate survivor in politics, taking everything that can be thrown at her, and remaining a decent person. She would really be an amazing president.

It’s also dangerous for liberals to share this “evil bitch” view of Hillary. You may not have noticed, but this past week the Republicans selected a neo-fascist white nationalist to lead their party. There is a very real chance that this person could be the next president of the United States.

If you are a liberal, that should trouble you way more than any problems you think the Democratic party has or that Hillary has. You have issues with the party? Join the party, work with the party, and help change the party. You have issues with Hillary? Suck it up and deal.

Because no candidate is perfect. None. But while both Trump and Hillary are imperfect, there’s a gigantic difference between the levels of imperfection. Donald Trump is the single most unqualified person ever nominated by a major party, and he has plans to advance a large number of extremely un-American goals.

And Hillary? She’s not quite as liberal as you might want, and might try to enact only 50% of what Sanders promised rather than the 100% he would have tried to enact. It’s worth noting that she’ll probably succeed in that 50% where he would have largely failed.

So you don’t get to vote for your perfect candidate? Tough shit. Be an adult. You can’t afford to be a spoiled brat right now and say, “Well, they’re both the same, so fuck her, and fuck Trump, and I’m voting for Jill Stein!” Because, yes, voting for the anti-science Green party is a smart move!

Politics is about compromise. It’s about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. It’s about accepting that you can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you can get enough of what you need.

Hillary may not be what you want. But she’s substantially better than Trump. She’ll preserve and expand the ACA. She’ll preserve gay marriage, and the right of gays and transgendered people to serve in the military. She’ll protect abortion rights against the forced birth crowd. She’ll work to increase the minimum wage. She won’t start a war with Poland because of what someone said about her hair. She will be a pragmatist who will work hard to bring what change she can to improve all our lives.

So grow up. Stop whining. Accept reality, and quit looking for excuses to not vote for Hillary. The stakes are just too damn high.

Movie Reviews – Absolutely Fabulous and Star Trek Beyond


Today I went to see two movies. They were very good, both of them, and I was very happy to see them. Let’s start with the first!

I loved Absolutely Fabulous back in the day when it first began to air. Of course I did; I’m not straight so I had to love it.

It’s hard to say why it appeals to me so much. I’m not actually gay, and find most of the gay lifestyle to be a little silly and twee. But Patsy and Eddie are just fantastic. I love everything about them.

And thankfully, what I love about them returns in this movie.

In the film, our ageing stars find themselves on in the run in the south of France after Eddie inadvertently knocks Kate Moss into the Thames. The usual levels of hilarity ensue, with Saffie, Saffie’s daughter, Lola, and Eddie’s mom winding up in the south of France as well.

There are plenty of wonderful celebrity cameos, and appearances by pretty much every character who has ever been on the series. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll likely love this movie, and if you haven’t ever seen it before…hard to say. I liked it quite a bit, though.

As for the other movie…I liked the first Abrams Trek movie back a few years ago. It wasn’t great, but it was decent. Into Darkness was, however, deeply disappointing, so I went into this one with great trepidation.

Again, I was very pleased. It was surprisingly good; I liked it more than the other two movies, and liked it more than Ab Fab.

The set up is pretty basic. Kirk and company are on the far reaches of the Federation, visiting a truly impressive starbase called Yorktown. Seriously, the visuals on this are astoundingly good. I was quite pleased with the ambition on the screen, especially as I’ve been very disappointed in that sort of thing in many other sci-fi franchises.

Pretty soon the Enterprise is destroyed, the crew are separated on an alien planet, and a struggle for survival is on.

There’s almost nothing wrong with this movie, which is a pleasant surprise. All the characters have something to do, especially McCoy, which is fantastic given how neglected he’s been in the other movies.

The story flows nicely, and works in some wonderful tributes to the original Trek, a tribute to Nimoy and Yelchin, and, surprisingly, a lengthy tribute to, of all things, Enterprise. That last part really kind of pleased me, which means it’s been long enough for me to escape the pain of that series.

So, really, two excellent films, and I was pleased to watch them, and will happily recommend.

Citizen Kaine


Yeah, it’s the obvious headline, but there you are.

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This is a rather predictable and boring pick. Yes, it sews up Virginia for Hillary, and probably helps prop up Pennsylvania, but…man, how dull. We have a race with three white guys and a white woman. She could have had Julian Castro, which would have given us someone under 50 and not white, but she didn’t.

Kaine is a safe choice, I suppose. There’s nothing wrong with him, really. But…I could just wish for better.

On a side note, I find it very interesting that both campaigns have chosen boring, safe candidates as their VP pick.

Anything But Trump


I don’t have enough mental or emotional strength to watch Donald Trump make a speech about how he’s going to make America “great”. Fuck that guy. So in the spirit of “Anything but Trump”, here’s a funny cat video.

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