Friday, May 31, 2019

The Friday Link for 5/31/19

Two very different clips for you this week.

First, a re-posting of the exceptional video which is the end of any discussion of what the Civil War's real causes were.  It was about the South wanting to keep slaves, and rising up as an insurgency against the North in an attempt to keep them.  Colonel Ty Seidule is historically and pitch perfect in his explanation.  And a reminder, this is a video from Prager University, not exactly the most liberal group out there.

With talk about the origins of Memorial Day last weekend, how it dated to a celebration by freed slaves in South Carolina, honoring the Union dead in 1865, it brought out the Southern historical revisionists again. Show them this video and just stop talking to them if this doesn't set them straight.

Another historical video for you this Friday, but from a different point of view.  I love historical cooking and English Heritage was a wonderful You Tube channel on British Victorian cooking, as it took place at Audley End House.  This week's episode, we are introduced to Fanny Cowley, the dairy maid!  Her task was to make butter.  This was a lot of work, but you get to see the traditional way of churning butter (I love the table top model) and how you can do this at home.

Think about all this work when you look at butter today.  150 years ago, butter was a luxury item for most people, something you only had on special occasions.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  Hi June!

Finding our Spines

I've been particularly harsh on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lately.  She seems to be frantically trying to find reasons why she shouldn't initiate impeachment on Trump, and I've had it.

We currently should be impeaching Attorney General Bill Barr for outright lying under oath to Congress, something he was caught red handed doing.  We probably should be having some level of House investigation into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, after a brazen donation from a Russian oligarch to Kentucky exposed his compromised state.  And Trump?  Trump should've been gone in the first weeks of his term with the Trump University scandal.  If Hillary Clinton or former President Barack Obama would've had a scandal 1/20th as damning as that, Republicans, and about half of the Democrats, would've removed them from office within a month.

I watched in 2006 as Democrats promised a full investigation (with charges!) if it was determined the Iraq War was started under false circumstances.  All we had to do to ensure justice was to elect them to take control of the House and Senate.  The Democrats won.  I then watched in horror as many of the same Democratic leaders of today, when presented with undeniable proof the W. Bush White House (namely Dick Cheney and his staff) did indeed lie us into a war, shrugged their shoulders and did nothing to hold them accountable.  The Democrats including Pelosi were the ones who stated [paraphrasing] "let's let bygones be bygones," and insisted their stern wagging finger was punishment enough for the people responsible for thousands of needless US soldier deaths, tens of thousands of permanently injured US soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis.

I watched in 2008 as Democrats promised a full investigation into the banking crisis.  All they asked in return was that we returned them to power with President Obama, and they'd clean up Wall Street.  They won again.  All they had to do was call the Chief Financial Officers from each one of the failed banks into Congress, demand to see their incoming and outgoing numbers, and when they couldn't produce them because they were playing the markets with monopoly money, slap the cuffs on them and haul them away to serve life for defrauding the world of billions.  Nope! Not one CFO was called and barely anyone was held accountable.  We had a bunch of Democrats once again deciding sternly wagging their fingers was punishment enough for intentionally defrauding the world of billions of dollars just to ensure banking executives Christmas bonuses got paid.

There were multiple reasons Democrats didn't show up in 2010.  These two failed promises are a large percentage of that election's disinterest.

Why is it imperative to impeach Trump?  Trump has been given the greatest mulligan of all time.  At any other time in this country's history, a sitting president would've been removed from office for 1/100th of the lunacy Trump has produced, yet with a (likely compromised) Republican Party and Senate, they've turned a blind eye to the most incompetent man to ever reside in the White House.

But the Mueller Report changes everything.  From his own words, "if he could've said the President wasn't guilty of a crime, he would've."  He's saying he can't prosecute Trump because of DOJ rules, but the Congress has a Constitutional remedy for this.  They can impeach him, hold a trial in the Senate, which McConnell can't stop, and force everyone involved in this mess to go on the record as to what they think of Trump's guilt.

Is there any guarantee Trump would be thrown out of office?  Of course not, but impeaching Trump does two very important things beyond potentially removing him from office.  First, Democrats would make it plain and simple; If you commit a crime in the White House, you will be impeached!  The Democrats shouldn't look at whether Republicans would come on board to back them up.  Find your spines and impeach the bastard!  He's guilty, Robert Mueller basically said so, and so for Pelosi and the Democrats to wait for focus groups to tell them what to do is embarrassing.  I'd rather be the person impeaching Trump and not removing him from office than be the person too scared to do the right thing.  And for all those saying Trump supporters will be emboldened, Trump supporters were never going to vote Democrat anyway!  They were always going to vote Trump regardless of what Democrats do, so ignore their threats and do the right thing, DAMN IT!

The second thing the Democrats would do is prevent Republicans from weaseling away from their blind support of Trump.  If you don't impeach Trump, when it finally does comes out how crooked Trump really was (and it will eventually come out), all Republicans will say the same thing; "If the Democrats would've impeached him and brought this evidence to light, of course I would've voted Trump out of office.  But since the Democrats were the ones who decided to not impeach Trump, there is nothing I could do."  You create a valid excuse for Republicans ignoring Trump's antics.  If Pelosi does nothing, it gives Republicans the best of both worlds.

Speaker Pelosi and all Democrats, if you do nothing, Democrats will lose big time in 2020.  People want to be inspired.  Not impeaching Trump would only give a glimmer of hope to people who'll never vote Democrat anyway.

I see Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schemer and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer all sitting in the burned out husk of the Congress, the remnants of the once majestic building smoldering and blackened, charred embers, a complete loss.  The three of them turn to each other and say, "I think it's time to call the fire department!"

If the Democrats do nothing to hold this Administration accountable, the stereotype which has emerged about the left in this country will be proven true; all we are is a bunch off wimps, easily pushed around and manipulated.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Ayn Rand's Victory Lap

A man set himself on fire in front of the White House on Wednesday morning.  Seriously.  You probably heard nothing of it. Here's a news photo, and I apologize for the graphic nature.

The Maryland man died from the injuries he suffered.  This would be the second person who set themselves on fire at the White House this year alone.  As a society, we may disagree about a lot of things, but human beings killing themselves with self-immolation in our nation's capitol is not a sign of a healthy country.

People will point out the obvious; that this man was mentally unstable.  That's a given. Conservatives will probably blame President Obama, as ludicrous as that is.  The reality is people have had it.  After 40 years of wealthy-centric, conservative rule, people are at their breaking point.  This country is dying because the political machine has moved us so far to the right it's leaving most of us without hope.

Ayn Rand wrote about how greed was a virtue and compassion was a sickness.  Rand believed a government helping its own citizens was the real crime, that people should be able to do whatever they wanted and reap the benefits of their success, no matter how many bodies they had to step on to achieve their goals.  She portrayed selfishness as the greatest human characteristic of all time, and built a following of believers to her cause.  The fact she was a fraud, dependent on government assistance under a false name in her later years, is ignored by her most loyal followers, many of whom currently write laws in this country.  Rand has been a major influence on the modern Right politicians, along with the Gordon Gekko 'greed is good' speech from Wall Street.

How far towards Rand have we fallen?  We have Republicans stopping the most basic form of government, natural disaster emergency relief, because they feel the money is more important than the people suffering, or because they want money for their agenda before they help the devastated.  Republicans have simply forgotten about Puerto Rico, an island of US citizens scoured clean by a hurricane, just because they're not white.  Russia interfered with our election, an undeniable fact, and most Republicans seem perfectly fine with the foundation of America being cracked with a Russian wrecking ball.  Trump is preparing to pardon war criminals, people who are guilty of heinous crimes, people who have been tried in military courts and who have been found guilty, because he feels killing Muslim women and children is not really bad.  He has ripped children away from their parents and has lost thousands of them in a US bureaucratic system seemingly designed to never reunite them with their grieving parents.  Many of these children have been sexually assaulted, and more than few of them have died in our custody.

And this legislative cruelty has boiled down to the state levels.  Republicans in Minnesota stopped creating a stockpile of emergency insulin to help poor diabetics who can't afford the life saving medication.  They gleefully voted it down, an action which will undeniably end up killing some people.

America is broken; it has no more soul.  We no longer worship loving peaceful Gods, only wealth and money.  The US is slipping further and further into madness, with droves of conservative voters screaming in delight as the people and things they've been told to hate are dealt harsh punishments.  A man lighting himself on fire out of mentality compromised frustration doesn't even register as a blip on our radar.  No sadness.  No pity.  No remorse.  No compassion.

Can we return from this wasteland?  Even if we could, will we be allowed to?  Scarier yet, what percentage of the population will eagerly want to stay?

Friday, May 24, 2019

The Friday Link for 5/24/19

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone!

I'm in my own personal hell right now.  I've written in the past how bad May is for parents when it comes to getting anything done.  The last three weeks have been brutal, and this blog suffers.  There are posts I started three weeks ago, haven't been able to write a thing since, and now I have to decide if I try to finish them or move on.

I know...cue Dawson crying clip...

Two for you this weekend.  First the exceptional Our Cartoon President and their take on Pelosi and the Democrats fighting over impeachment.  There is a little rough language, so you've been warned!

The second clip will scare you.  It freaking terrified me as a kid.  I still remember watching this back in the 70's, nearly wetting myself.  Space 1999 was an enjoyable bit of 1970's science fiction TV.  The science was pure garbage, but they actually had good writing and adopted the darker storylines of science fiction of the time, making a science fiction which was intertwined with straight up horror.

Dragon's Domain scared me so bad I couldn't sleep for a week.  My father prevented me from watching the show from then afterwards (I believe it was during this hiatus from Space 1999 I stumbled upon Doctor Who, so it was all good).  I'm actually surprised they allowed this episode's villain creature to be on television in the 1970's.  When it spits out the bowling pin corpses (you read that right!), you'll wonder how it got through the screeners of the time too.  Enjoy!

Have a great weekend everyone.  Drive safe!

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Friday Link for 5/17/19

Was there any doubt it was going to be Tim Conway this week.

Conway got his start with McHale's Navy in the early 60's and was a standout performer.  He made stops at some other shows (like Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In), but it was when he ended up on The Carol Burnett Show that he became a household name.

I love Carol Burnett, but Tim Conway could steal the show in every sketch. He only was on for less than half of the shows as the other main characters but his bits were so good.  I never got into his Dorf stage from the 1980's.  He rode Dorf, and episodic TV, until his death this week.

For you this Friday, some of the best of Conway from the Carol Burnett Show.  Hands down, this one sketch could be the greatest American comedic skit of all time.  Yes, I'm serious.  I still laugh watching this one, and I've seen it at least 50 times.  "The Dentist":

The next bit, although not the best quality video, shows you his wit.  Every time Carol Burnett would record, they would do the sketch twice, supposedly one on script, and the second one off, allowing for some improvisations. The story I heard is they told Tim to make up the elephant story twice and he did. No one has the slightest idea what he's about to say, only that they have to allow him to get the story finished.  This clip features both takes from that night. Brilliantly brutal.

Here's the first appearance of his Old Man Character he would revisit for many years on the show.  Multiple times he had the rest of the cast losing it.

And finally a short piece with Tim making his on screen partners Harvey Korman lose it, something he did often.

Many other great skits from Tim.  Please go enjoy.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Spring Has Sprung

I went to the Arboretum.  I needed some Spring color.

Mission Accomplished.

FYI, it will probably be perfect this weekend, but it will be a freaking madhouse.

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Friday Link for 5/10/19

I'm sure we eventually we hear how certain members of Marvel's movie lineup didn't like each other, but as of right now, all of these guys look like they're good friends. No only do they all seem to be getting along on these never ending press appearances, but they're also branching out to help with developing other Marvel ventures.

Tonight is some fun with Anthony Mackie, Letitia Wright, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sebastian Stan going through a Marvel version of an Escape Room.  Sweet lord would it be fun to go through an Escape Room with these four.

The second video is for Mother's Day from the Peanuts characters.  It really has very little to do with Mother's Day (until the very end) but the little bits are fun.  Sounds a little off.

Short and sweet this Friday.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

My Email to Fox News

Dear Fox News producer ____,

Thanks again for having me on.  It's always a hoot!

I want to express some concern about how today's segment went.  Usually you contact me a few days beforehand, to see if I'm available.  If I am, you let me know what the topics will be on Sunday morning, a few hours before we go live.  I then drive to Fox 9 and stare at a blank camera as I listen to audio feed of the Fox News show, fed to me on a 1960's quality telephone line.  I try to participate in a discussion of the issues, as I decipher what everyone is saying.

The host I usually talk to, Leland Vittert, seems to be nice enough but you can tell he's not a fan of anything from the left.  That being said, he's been surprisingly even keeled on my previous segments, but that seemed to come to an abrupt end today.

This morning (Sunday) you had sent me two emails on today's topics.  The first was about former Vice President Joe Biden's comments about Jim Crow laws, comments he made in South Carolina.  I prepared to talk about the Democratic race and how he was right about the attempts at voter suppression.

Then about an hour before the show, you sent me a second topic email, this one about Senator Amy Klobuchar, and her calls for a return to civility in the White House, how she's calling for a leader kids can look up to.

Okay, pretty clear cut.

We went live and the first subject on Biden went fine (although the jackass conservative who was supposed to be a counter point seemed to only be there to throw out crass, insulting comments, like a REALLY bad [and possibly drunk] Andrew Dice Clay cosplayer).  Then Leland introduced the video clip of Senator Klobuchar. After the clip ended, Leland got a little weird.

Leland said he wanted for me to talk about Klobuchar's comments as they related to the economy.  O...kay...???  Klobuchar's comments in no way related to the economy, but fine, I can roll with the punches.  Then, taking another incredible abrupt turn, Leland then asked me a history question (???), if I could name one president seeking re-election during an economic boom who had lost.  In hindsight, I think Taft might fall into that parameter, but I could not recall such a detailed historical fact under pressure.  I did then say that even though the employment numbers are currently very good, and that the stock market is in high territory, there are undeniable bad signs in the economic sector, like trade, housing, and the fact most of the jobs being created in America today fall into he lowest paying category.

For the record, NOTHING Leland had asked me related to anything Klobuchar had stated.  And for the record, I wasn't the one who played the Klobuchar clip, THEY were.

Leland went back to ADC-lite (who's disgusting and inappropriate insults about Klobuchar seemed to be the ONLY reason Leland played the Klobuchar clip in the first place).  My problem is with how Leland segued back to the troll; "It sounds like Matt is endorsing Trump in 2020."


How in the hell did Leland even get that impression from anything I said?  There's nothing I said which could even be misconstrued as a Trump endorsement.  This was supposedly a neutral TV journalist, one of Fox News' self proclaimed 'news people,' making this outrageous claim.  I know he'll insist he was just joking, but in no way did he convey that to the audience and he never gave me a chance to rebut his dickish comment.

This comment, suggesting I endorsed Trump, crossed a line.  He should've NEVER said that, even jokingly.  No one puts words in my mouth, and you sure as hell don't credit me with false and incredibly contradictory opinions either.

And before Conservative guy insists I can't take a joke, this wasn't a joke.  I'm not angry about the changing of the topic, or the loaded question which was designed to catch me off guard (which I handled quite well, thank you).  I'm bothered by the lame attempt at a smear.  If I were to ever imply a Republican was endorsing President Obama, or any Democrat for that matter, and then cut them off before they could respond, I'd have a thousand weeping, "victimized," snowflake Rightos threatening legal action, and demanding my firing, without a freaking doubt.

I don't mind giving up the occasional Sunday, as up until today I enjoyed helping you guys out.  Plus the very real fact Trump himself might be watching is funny as hell.  I know the list of progressive/liberal/Democratic talk show hosts isn't exactly lengthy, and the ones who will appear on your network is probably 7 or 8 total.  I feel as if I get some minor benefit, but this is not a career maker for me.  It's just something I can do, so I do it.

I'm agreeing to be part of a back and forth discussion on Fox News about a predetermined set of topics, topics and contexts which I'm made aware of prior to going live.  I understand there will always be some improvisation, but today boggled the mind.  If you're only looking for a Democratic foil to insult and demean, I'm not your guy.  I've worked too hard and too long to have some D-list weekend host try to ruin my reputation, jokingly or not.

In the future, if you are needing someone for a discussion, please be in touch.

Kindest regards,


Friday, May 3, 2019

The Friday Link for 5/3/19

Two political ones for you tonight.

First up is a great clip from Colbert.  It's an NRA Public Service Announcement.  Who's ready for armed cats?!

Before I get to the next cut, let's go to a sensational tweet, self own from Tomi Lauren, @handnf, collected by @maninthehoody:

And for a great recap of the last few weeks of Mueller craziness, Randy Rainbow is our point man! 

Have a great weekend everyone!