The Rant of the Week: Bill Maher – The Good Sex Economy

Friday night Bill Maher, host of “Real Time with Bill Maher.” hit back at his critics who went nuts over his wish for another recession to get rid of Donald Trump. He reiterated that economic recessions are survivable events; what Trump is doing to this country is not.

He clearly stated: “Recessions are survivable events. We survive one every time there is a Republican in the White House.”

File it under Larry Wilmore.

Hard on the heels of the latest article in Tiger Beat on the Potomac about how racist, bigoted, misogynous and both physically and morally unattractive Republicans can’t get laid in D.C. comes the story of how unfair it is that Sarah Huckabee got tossed from a Red Hen franchise because the staff and owner found her reprehensible.

Let me say two words- Masterpiece Cakeshop.

You remember it, it was the decision this month that allowed a baker in Colorado to refuse to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple.

Now I happen to think that was correctly decided provided the vendor was not systemically discriminating against a protected class of people. I can deny you my services for any reason or no reason at all until I enter a contract to provide them.

The example I use is well done steaks. “Mr. Trump, you are welcome to any other item on our menu free of charge but my Chef will not prepare them that way nor will I serve them. If that offer is not sufficient I invite you to patronize another establishment.”

Now sauce, in this case ketchup, for the goose is sauce for the gander. To applaud Masterpiece Cakeshop and deny its logical application to Red Hen is rank hypocrisy.

Which is no stranger to the D.C. twittering class who bemoan our “loss of civility and respect.”

To them I say- “Y’All stop being racist and I’ll stop talking about it.”

The Breakfast Club (& Accordion)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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AP’s Today in History for June 24th

Start of the Berlin blockade during the early Cold War; Boxing champ Jack Dempsey born; Comedian and actor Jackie Gleason of ‘The Honeymooners’ fame dies.

 

Breakfast Tune LIBERTANGO – The Banjo & Accordion

 

Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something to think about over coffee prozac

Phillies fan injured by flying hot dog launched by Phanatic

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — It was a flying frankfurter and not a foul ball that left a baseball fan with a black eye in Philadelphia.

Kathy McVay says she was at Monday night’s Phillies game when the team’s mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, rolled out his hot dog launcher. McVay was sitting near home plate and, she says, all of a sudden a hot dog wrapped in duct tape struck her in the face.

McVay says she is suffering from a shoulder injury, so she was unable to swat the hot dog away.

She left the game to get checked out and was diagnosed with a small hematoma.

She told WPVI-TV she doesn’t plan legal action.

The Phillies apologized to McVay on Tuesday and the team has offered her tickets to any game.

Suspension of Disbelief

Among the most truly bizarre things I’ve experienced is watching Tom Arnold on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show.

Now my memory of Tom Arnold is as Roseanne Barr’s untalented husband who was able to sleaze his way on to her show, first as a writer and then as on air talent. He also had a turn as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s assistant in True Lies, a completely creepy and totally misogynistic film where Arnold abuses the power of his position at some super secret agency or another to stalk his wife Jaime Lee Curtis whom he suspects is unfaithful.

Really, the plot is that bad though it’s played as a Buddy Comedy/Action flick. It’s one of the most outrageous Weinstein fantasies ever committed to the screen.

Then I had the pleasure for a long time of thinking about Tom Arnold not at all even though after his divorce from Roseanne he led a kind of “Z” list fringe Hollywood existence of the type that reminds you of Kato Kaelin and not in a good way.

So it was a shock to see him on my TV during a political show talking in all seriousness about teaming up with Michael Cohen to take down Trump.

And then I realized it made perfect sense.

Until recently The Donald’s main claims to fame were that he was a skeevy Real Estate promoter who could bankrupt a Casino (A Casino!) and he was the “talent” in a basic cable reality TV show. Talk about “Z” list!

Of course those, like Cohen, drafting in his minor celebrity are even more pitiful and fringe. It’s as if one were the nail stylist for one of the less memorable Real Housewives… (can you remember any? I can’t think of one). That such a person would think of Tom Arnold as his big deal actor buddy in show business, the one who’s not Trump, makes all the sense in the world.

And let’s not forget that outside of his “serious” journalism credentials Lawrence O’Donnell is known for exactly two things- he was a Senate staffer back in the day and he wrote for The West Wing.

In serious drama “suspension of disbelief” is the concession the audience makes to the obvious contrivances of the theater, like the stage and sets and costumes, even the ludicrous plots, stilted dialog, and Chekov’s gun.

This couldn’t get greenlit but it’s all too real.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

What To Cook This Weekend

Summer is finally here and everyone with a yard or a deck is grilling. The main course is easy, beef, chicken, pork, fish, but what about the sides? While the meat is resting, here are some really great sides, some can been done ahead or even turned into a main course. Bon appétit.

Grilled Corn with Herb Butter

How do you make grilled corn taste even better? Douse it in flavorful herb butter.

Mushrooms with Béarnaise Yogurt

A classic steakhouse-inspired rub and sauce turn grilled mushrooms into a decadent, meaty meal or side dish.

Grilled Broccoli and Arugula Salad

An unexpected side dish that can be made hours ahead of a party; wait until the last minute to toss together.

Hobo Pack Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

These potatoes steam away in the coals while you grill the rest of your meal. If you’re not eating them right away, keep them in their foil pouches and rewarm them on the grill or in a 350°F oven before serving.

Grilled Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus

Thinly sliced pancetta goes a little crisp, its salty porkiness complementing the asparagus. Though the spears are wrapped, they cook through perfectly and even pick up some grill flavor.

Charred Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Olive Oil

Japanese sweet potatoes are starchier than yams and worth seeking out. Steaming before grilling keeps them moist.

Health and Fitness News

Could Herpes Virus Play a Role in Alzheimer’s?

Pot Still a Drug of Choice for Many U.S. Adults

Tips and Tricks For Tick Prevention

TB Vaccine Linked to Better Type 1 Diabetes Control

WHO Calls ‘Gaming Disorder’ Mental Health Condition

Why Obese People Find It So Tough to Slim Down

Severe Stress May Send Immune System Into Overdrive

Today’s Sleepy Teens Tomorrow’s Heart Patients?

Pediatricians Say No to Spanking

The Breakfast Club (To Be Human)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

A key moment in the Watergate scandal; Adolf Hitler visits Paris after France falls to Nazi Germany; The typewriter gets a patent; Polio vaccine pioneer Dr. Jonas Salk and TV producer Aaron Spelling die.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.

Alan Turing

Continue reading

George Will is not suddenly a good guy.

Among other things he knows nothing about Baseball.

Vote against the GOP this November
by George Will, Washington Post
June 22, 2018

Amid the carnage of Republican misrule in Washington, there is this glimmer of good news: The family-shredding policy along the southern border, the most telegenic recent example of misrule, clarified something. Occurring less than 140 days before elections that can reshape Congress, the policy has given independents and temperate Republicans — these are probably expanding and contracting cohorts, respectively — fresh if redundant evidence for the principle by which they should vote.

The principle: The congressional Republican caucuses must be substantially reduced. So substantially that their remnants, reduced to minorities, will be stripped of the Constitution’s Article I powers that they have been too invertebrate to use against the current wielder of Article II powers. They will then have leisure time to wonder why they worked so hard to achieve membership in a legislature whose unexercised muscles have atrophied because of people like them.

Consider the melancholy example of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), who wagered his dignity on the patently false proposition that it is possible to have sustained transactions with today’s president, this Vesuvius of mendacities, without being degraded. In Robert Bolt’s play “A Man for All Seasons,” Thomas More, having angered Henry VIII, is on trial for his life. When Richard Rich, whom More had once mentored, commits perjury against More in exchange for the office of attorney general for Wales, More says: “Why, Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . But for Wales!” Ryan traded his political soul for . . . a tax cut. He who formerly spoke truths about the accelerating crisis of the entitlement system lost everything in the service of a president pledged to preserve the unsustainable status quo.

The Republican-controlled Congress, which waited for Trump to undo by unilateral decree the border folly they could have prevented by actually legislating, is an advertisement for the unimportance of Republican control.

In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, he is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him. A Democratic-controlled Congress would be a basket of deplorables, but there would be enough Republicans to gum up the Senate’s machinery, keeping the institution as peripheral as it has been under their control and asphyxiating mischief from a Democratic House. And to those who say, “But the judges, the judges!” the answer is: Article III institutions are not more important than those of Articles I and II combined.

Friday Date Night Funnies

Sigh.

Once again Republicans with super sexy florescent prison palors (closer than you think guys) and perverted fantasies you have to pay extra for (but they won’t because they’re not just thieves but poor tippers) are complaining that acquaintances who have to tolerate them at work but realistically fear that any off site interaction will result in rape, don’t find them attractive and they are thus involuntarily celibate.

Young Trumpies Hit D.C.
By DANIEL LIPPMAN and BEN SCHRECKINGER, Politico
June 22, 2018

Washington is a hipper city now than it’s ever been, a place where staffers, especially young staffers who want to drink and date and live normal millennial lives, would want to live.

Ok. I have to stop right there. While D.C. may be hipper than it’s ever been it’s never been hip at all and in general compares poorly with the very seediest sections of Hartford and Bridgeport. New Haven is waaay hipper (also very dangerous) and even nowhere rundown mill towns like Wallingford/Meriden/New Britain, Willimantic, and Waterbury pack more pizzazz in a square foot than D.C. does in a square mile (yeah, we like our “Ws” in Connecticut, what’s it to yah?).

It’s the only town I know that can ruin a Bertucci’s (normally a safe choice if you like chain Italian).

It’s a mosquito infested stinking (try it in summer) swamp that’s totally uninhabitable for 3 months of the year and when it finally cools off enough to breathe you realize nobody knows how to drive when it’s damp. Or snowy. Or at all ever really. The streets make no sense and it’s a true thing I’d rather be trapped on I-95’s Logan Airport access road during rush hour because at least Bostonians are trying to get somewhere and aren’t simply being evil for spite.

The problem is, if you work for Trump, it’s also more hostile territory than it’s ever been. The president campaigned against the very idea of “Washington,” slammed cities as “war zones” and ran a racially charged campaign whose coded messages weren’t lost on the diverse, Democratic-leaning residents of D.C.’s buzzing neighborhoods. The bar-filled areas that became synonymous with young Washington in the Obama era—Columbia Heights, Shaw, U Street, H Street—are full of anti-Trump T-shirts and street art. Even old Republican redoubts like Spring Valley in upper Northwest aren’t very Trump-friendly.

So, what’s a young Trumpie to do? Many still do live in D.C., and to understand what their lives here are like, we interviewed more than 30 millennial staffers from the Trump White House and across the administration, both current and former (many have already left), as well as a smattering of their friends and outside observers. Nearly all spoke on the condition of anonymity, to talk candidly about their personal lives or because they were not authorized by their bosses to comment. They told us their horror stories about being heckled on the street and their struggles to get a date. Unlike their predecessors, who made their mark on the city’s social scene, they largely keep to themselves, more likely to hop between intimate apartment gatherings than to hit the town. “Instead of folks looking outward,” explains one young White House aide, “more folks look inward.”

Faced with open antagonism, Trump’s millennials over the past year and a half have quietly settled on the margins: a stretch of Washington that spans from the Wharf—a shiny new development three blocks south of the National Mall—southeast along the Waterfront and into Navy Yard, on the banks of the Anacostia River. It’s a string of neighborhoods that peer out over the water, separated from most of the city by an interstate, and facing away from official Washington. It’s a bubble within the Washington bubble: Here, young Trump staffers mix largely with each other and enjoy the view from their rooftop pools, where they can feel far away from the District’s locals and the rest of its political class.

Finally, some non-obvious and useful information. Now I’ll know where to stay far, far away from.

Trump’s young crew have, by and large, avoided the heart of the city. Their prime stomping grounds, from the Wharf to Navy Yard, is a swath of real estate at once more sterile than the vibrant urban neighborhoods preferred by their predecessors and more sightly, with clean new apartment towers and waterfront views. Trump staffers cluster in upscale buildings like Lex & Leo next to the Waterfront Metro stop and Navy Yard’s One Hill South, which features two rooftop hot tubs and rents go as high as $3,000 a month for one-bedroom apartments. The president’s two most famous millennial aides, senior adviser Stephen Miller and former communications director Hope Hicks, both took up residence at CityCenter, in the heart of downtown within walking distance of the White House, an area where many Washingtonians work but relatively few live; at the opulent mixed-use development, majority-owned by the government of Qatar and studded with luxury storefronts, a studio apartment rents for about $3,000 a month.

Unlike most of the rest of D.C., where gentrifying newcomers find themselves rubbing shoulders with lifelong Washingtonians, this Wharf-to-Navy-Yard stretch is mostly devoid of true locals—meaning young staffers living there are less likely to be bothered by unwelcoming neighbors. Instead, you’ll find yuppies, tourists and affluent empty-nesters visiting from the suburbs. Stocked with brand-new boutiques and restaurants, as well as chains like Ben & Jerry’s, the area imports the feel of a high-end northern Virginia shopping plaza to D.C. Snobbier millennials might call it “basic.” In other words, it’s right in the comfort zone for staffers who are unabashedly Republican but also carry chips on their shoulders about the elite insiders they beat out in 2016.

When the Trump crowd ventures beyond those sprawling new apartment buildings, they tend toward eateries more upscale, conventional and close to work. The bar and steakhouse at the Trump International Hotel, of course, offer the most obvious safe space. Perhaps even more so than their predecessors, Trump’s young staffers also rely on old standbys near the White House: POV, the rooftop bar at the W Hotel that overlooks the White House; Old Ebbitt Grill, a quintessential antebellum Washington establishment; and Joe’s, a seafood and steak spot, are favorites. So are the nearby restaurant-bar The Hamilton and Blackfinn, a gastropub off Farragut Square. Some staffers prefer the Exchange Saloon, a no-frills sports bar just west of the White House. One young former Health and Human Services official confides that Rebellion, a Southern-themed establishment farther north, near U Street, is “one of the few closet Trump bars” in town.

Even before the era of ubiquitous cellphone cameras and viral social media scandal, young White House staffers sometimes stirred up trouble in public. After the 2008 election, photos emerged of Obama’s young speechwriter Jon Favreau groping a cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton; years later, he was caught on camera again, this time playing drinking games shirtless with fellow staffer Tommy Vietor at a barbecue joint in Georgetown. Trump staffers are perhaps wary of these risks. No one wants to end up like Hope Hicks and White House staff secretary Rob Porter, whom paparazzi caught on a date this past winter. The attention was soon followed by allegations of previous spousal abuse by Porter, who quickly resigned; Hicks departed Washington soon afterward. The caution starts high on the food chain: When the White House arranged for a focus group of four young staffers to sit down with us and sound off on their lives in Washington, we arrived to learn that the session would take place “on background,” the ground rules more often used to brief reporters about sensitive matters of national security.

“There seems to be a lot of paranoia among people inside the White House that if they step out of line, that they will get their heads chopped off by the president’s Twitter feed,” says John Arundel, a magazine journalist and close observer of the Washington scene who says he has known Trump for 30 years. “They don’t want to be seen as acting inappropriately or being seen out with the wrong person. They feel like they’re targets.”

Why? Because they’re bigots, racists, and misogynists who are likely to abuse you sexually or verbally and physically just for sport?

Who wouldn’t fall for a dreamboat like that?

As a former Trump appointee explains, her young peers in the administration are old enough to know that, as divisive as American politics is at this moment, some things about the capital never change. “They don’t care that people are hostile to Trump,” she says. “They still have some semblance of power and access, the things that matter in D.C.”

Affirmations of Sanity

So I was listening to Morning Joe because I fell asleep during Rachel or Chris or Lawrence and I heard something that struck me from, of all people, Donny Deutsch.

Donny’s not the most liberal guy in the world (Morning Joe is not the most liberal program) and that’s probably why it hit me with such force.

It starts about 9:40 into this segment-

What has to happen now this can no longer be about who Trump is, it has to be about who we are.

If we are working towards November we can no longer say Trump’s “the bad guy”. If you vote for Trump you’re the bad guy. If you vote for Trump you are ripping children from parent’s arms.

The mistake we’ve made in the past is look at that bad guy over there, look at that bad guy. What the Democrats have to do is make the next election a referendum not who Trump is, but who you are. And if we all… that’s the big difference, you can no longer now as a voter, because it’s now not about taxes, it’s not even about some abstract term of immigration or nationalism, if you vote for Trump then you, the voter, you not Donald Trump, are standing at the border, like Nazis going you here, you here.

You’ll notice everyone else including Joe, Mika, and Willie kind of just sitting around stunned for a beat or two and at that they all kind of moved away from Donny on the Group W bench there and he didn’t talk much after that.

It shows me at least I’m not the only one who gets it.

Cartnoon

On the other hand, sometimes people hate you for a reason.

Looking right at you Kelly Ripa.

The Breakfast Club (Another Word)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

France falls to Nazi Germany on what becomes a day of several key events during World War II; Joe Louis knocks out Max Schmeling in their boxing rematch; Entertainers Judy Garland and Fred Astaire die.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

Kris Kristofferson

Continue reading

Summer Solstice 2018

The sun reached the Tropic of Cancer this morning at 6:07 AM ET and instantly started its return journey to the south. Summer is here at last. The sun here was blocked by the last of the spring showers that slipped through the north east during the night. As the morning wore on the sunshine reigned supreme on the longest day of the year. The length of today at this latitude is 15 hours and 5 minutes but light will last over 16 hours until the last o the suns light fades beneath the horizon. We have seasons because the earth is tilted about 23.5 degrees causing each hemisphere to receive different amounts of the light as the planet orbits the sun. In June the North receives the most light while the South gets the least.

Over at Vox.com the writer answered some interesting questions about the longest day of the year. one of the most interesting answers as to the question of whether is this the longest day in the entire history of the Earth. The answer is quite interesting.

 

Probably not, although it’s close. And the reason why is quite interesting. Joseph Stromberg did a fantastic deep dive into this topic for Vox a few years back, but here’s the two-minute version.

Ever since the Earth has had liquid oceans and a moon, its rotation has been gradually slowing over time due to tidal friction. That means — over very, very long periods of time — the days have been getting steadily longer. About 4.5 billion years ago, it took the Earth just six hours to complete one rotation. About 350 million years ago, it took 23 hours. Today, of course, it takes about 24 hours. And the days will gradually get longer still.

Given that, you’d think 2018 would be the longest day in all of history. But while it’s certainly up there, it doesn’t quite take top honors.

That’s because tidal friction isn’t the only thing affecting Earth’s rotation; there are a few countervailing factors. The melting of glacial ice, which has been occurring since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago (and is now ramping up because of global warming), is actually speeding up Earth’s rotation very slightly, shortening the days by a few fractions of a millisecond. Likewise, geologic activity in the planet’s core, earthquakes, ocean currents, and seasonal wind changes can also speed up or slow down Earth’s rotation.

When you put all these factors together, scientists have estimated that the longest day in Earth’s history (so far) likely occurred back in 1912. That year’s summer solstice was the longest period of daylight the Northern Hemisphere has ever seen (and, conversely, the 1912 winter solstice was the longest night we’ve ever seen).

Eventually, the effects of tidal friction should overcome all those other factors, and Earth’s days will get longer and longer as its rotation keeps slowing (forcing timekeepers to add leap seconds to the calendar periodically). Which means that in the future, there will be plenty of summer solstices that set new records as the “longest day in Earth’s history.”

 

The Summer Solstice has has links to many ancient cultural practices as different cultures have celebrated it being symbolic of renewal, fertility and harvest. At Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, where the rising sun and the ancient stones align on the Solstices, hundreds of Pagans and non-Pagans gather each Summer Solstice to celebrate at dawn. Another ritual is a fire ritual to celebrate the occasion. People with unlit candles forming a circle around a large central candle and lighting theirs off it one at a time.

In Sweden, it’s traditional to eat your way through the entire day. Feasts typically involve lots of potatoes and herring.

 

A Solstice Approaches, Unnoticed By James Caroll
 

ONCE, HUMANS were intimate with the cycles of nature, and never more than on the summer solstice. Vestiges of such awareness survive in White Nights and Midnight Sun festivals in far northern climes, and in neo-pagan adaptations of Midsummer celebrations, but contemporary people take little notice of the sun reaching its far point on the horizon. Tomorrow is the longest day of the year, the official start of the summer season, the fullest of light – yet we are apt to miss this phenomenon of Earth’s axial tilt, as we miss so much of what the natural world does in our surrounds.

In recent months, catastrophic weather events have dominated headlines as rarely before – earthquakes and tsunami in Asia; volcanic cloud in Europe; massive ice melts at the poles; tornadoes, floods, and fires in America. “Records are not just broken,” an atmospheric scientist said last week, “they are smashed.” Without getting into questions of causality, and without anthropomorphizing nature, we can still take these events as nature’s cri de coeur – as the degraded environment’s grabbing of human lapels to say, “Pay attention!”

Tonight I’ll be lighting a fire in the pit, cooking under the open sky and putting by bare feet on the warm earth and reaching my arms to the sky in wonder.

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