Today’s thoughts.

  1. If Mueller’s report is particularly damning, then releasing it on the Ides of March would be one hell of a Shakespearean reference.
  2. Donald Trump autographing Bibles is like me autographing a Gold’s Gym membership. Or a calculus textbook.
  3. I’ll bet yesterday’s Facebook outage did more to prevent Russian meddling in America’s affairs than our President has.

 

 

4,445 Falsehoods.

That has a nice alliterative ring to it, doesn’t it?  It’s the count at which the Toronto Star has currently arrived  in its tally of Donald Trump’s false claims as president.

Why does it sound poetic?  Does it just remind me somehow of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses?

 

 

The president wants “retribution” against … “Saturday Night Live?”

The morning after declaring a national emergency to fund the border wall without  Congressional approval, the President of the United States asked (via tweet, of course) how television networks could “get away with these total Republican hit jobs without retribution.”

This is the President of the United States, people.

The tweet can (arguably, I suppose) be interpreted as an implicit call to violence against television networks.  It all boils down to whether or not you view the word “retribution” as intrinsically violent.  In fairness to the president, the various online dictionaries don’t actually require that — “retribution” can be defined as benignly as “recompense” or “reward,” or as ominously as “punishment for a crime” or “the act of taking revenge.”

But I will tell you that “retribution” is a word that I immediately associate with organized crime movies.  (The example that springs to mind first is Robert Patrick growling it ironically in 1997’s “Cop Land.”)

Where were you that night, Jack?

I had nothing to do with it. That would be retribution, and that I leave to God almighty. I’m Gandhi.

If it helps to determine the president’s intention any, we can look at the Stalin-esque phrase he invokes, yet again, in his follow-up tweet: “THE RIGGED AND CORRUPT MEDIA IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”  (And we know the man is sure of his assertion when he types it in all capitals.)

I’m personally reading the man’s comments in the context of what I’ve been reading lately from a few Trump supporters in my orbit via social media.  I wrote previously on this blog about one of them openly calling for the large scale execution of “journslists” (they can never quite spell it) and Democrats.  I have also heard from these individuals that the Second Amendment was created to protect us from journalists, while another hoped brightly that journalists get “eaten alive” (a metaphor, to be sure, yet hardly one that suggests a peaceable course of action).

But back to the tweet about “Saturday Night Live.”  As though he were proceeding from some official Online Imbecile checklist, he was sure to include the term “Fake News” (his dumbed-down catchphrase for whatever he perceives as propaganda), as well as something childish (“very unfair”), something vague (“many other shows … should be looked into”) and something with inscrutable logic (“This is the real Collusion!”)

Again — this is the President of the United States, people.

Enjoy your Sunday.

 

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A short review of “The First Purge” (2018)

“The First Purge” (2018) isn’t the best horror-thriller I’ve ever seen, but it certainly isn’t the worst, either.  I thought that I would be all purged out by now, but this fourth entry in the film series is a solid prequel — I’d rate it an 8 out of 10.  (There is also a TV show set in “The Purge” universe, which USA has renewed for a second season, and I’m told that it’s pretty good.)  I suppose this is a durable franchise because its premise could be explored through countless different characters.

The movie has some weaknesses.  The pacing is off, and you could argue that the political theme of “The Purge” films, though compelling, is getting redundant by now.  (There are some specific jabs this time out at Donald Trump and his following; they’re heavy-handed, but they’re fun to spot.)

But “The First Purge” is still a suspenseful and disturbing dystopian horror film.  It’s got a terrific bad guy in Rotimi Paul’s “Skeletor” psychopath and some surprisingly damned good action sequences.  There is another difference here, too — this “Purge” is far less campy than the second and third films.  There are fewer plot twists, fewer over-the-top characters, and far fewer trippy visuals — it feels more like a straight horror film instead of a zany one.  Depending on your preferences, you might find it superior.

One more thing — given its obvious love for Staten Island, this film would make a great double-feature with “Bushwick” (2017), another thriller which seems like a love letter to its own setting in Brooklyn.  And they are both urban neighborhood thrillers with a similar storytelling style.

 

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Everyone is talking about the Covington kids.

(And that sounds like one weird-ass children’s TV show, like maybe a right-wing Care Bears or something.)  But let’s also remember there are other things going on in the news today as well:

  1. Michael Cohen postponed his February 7th testimony before Congress about the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia during the 2016 election because he claimed that his family was being threatened by President Trump.  Then the Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed him to testify next month anyway.
  2. The White House has been drafting a national emergency proclamation to unilaterally require the Defense Department to erect Trump’s border wall without Congressional approval.
  3. Roger Stone was arrested by the FBI this morning in connection with Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.  He was indicted by a grand jury last night on seven counts, including one count of witness tampering.  (As of this writing, he was just released on a $250,000 bond.)

You can’t make this stuff up, ladies and gentlemen.

 

 

 

Have you heard of the new “Trump Combo” at Burger King?

It’s a hamberder, a cup of covfefe (served smocking hot), and a side of lies.

(You could also substitute orange soda for the drink, if you want.)

[Update: a couple of clever pals of mine on Facebook suggested that we should also include word salad and Cheetos. ]

 

He DID say that Mexico would pay for the wall outright.

This article from the Washington Post shows a letter from the Trump Campaign to Robert Costa and Bob Woodward, dated 2016.  Click the link below and read the letter on its original letterhead.

Donald Trump indeed indicated that he expected Mexico “to make a one-time payment $5 to $10 billion” to pay for the wall.

(Seriously. He did say it.)