Hillary, PLEASE Skip Trump’s Inauguration

January 18, 2017

By Karen

Dear Hillary,

What the hell are you and Bill thinking? After all the poor decisions during the campaign that caused you to blow it with the Electoral College, how can you add this boneheaded move to the pile? NOBODY wants to see you behind Trump as he gets sworn in to the job you should have gotten — except maybe Trump.

Forget the baloney about the “peaceful transfer of power.” That’s Obama’s hand-off to make, not yours, not Bill’s. Obama will have George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter watching his back. Three former presidents kowtowing to Trump will be stomach-churning enough.

Besides, Trump has no interest in peace. He never hesitates to verbally attack countries, world leaders (exception Putin), and even individual American citizens. And on Friday, this country hands him all our bombs and our military might. Do you really want to stand there and condone that?

You know Trump won’t resist gloating and smirking at you as he takes the job you worked so hard for. And when he does, the heads of the 2,864,974 more Americans who voted for you over Trump will explode. It will be the last straw after having the Electoral College spit on their votes.

Your presence in Washington will only stoke fury in hundreds of thousands of people who will be there on Saturday to protest Trump and every abomination he stands for. Do you really want to do that? Don’t you think Trump himself has already given people plenty to be incensed about without giving him the opportunity to diss you one more time?

Dozens of congress members won’t be there, nor will your successor, Secretary of State John Kerry. I’m begging you and Bill to follow their example and stay home.


Trump’s a Product of Poor Potty Training

January 10, 2017

By Karen

Donald Trump’s introduction to the toilet must have been so traumatic it’s influencing all his behavior today. My theory is that Trump’s nannies didn’t praise every boom-boom he made effusively enough to suit him so, as an adult, he wants to force the world to make it up to him.

It would be unseemly and messy for Trump to go around literally dropping deuces for all to admire, although I don’t rule it out in the future as his mind continues to unravel. Right now, his bathroom sessions mostly manifest as tweets.

Trump spends an inordinate time on Twitter. It’s like he’s trying to outdo himself by making every tweet stink more than the last, intended to dazzle and shock and elicit praise for his cleverness.

So far, we’ve seen Trump raise his leg on the established etiquette of quietly getting up to speed on his new job while the current president finishes his term undisturbed. Trump has pissed all over Obama’s recent decisions on Israel, Russia, and Gitmo. He’s sprayed diarrhea in the face of the media and our intelligence agencies. He tries to dominate every news cycle like a petulant brat who can’t stand NOT to be the adults’ center of attention.

He does all this while fomenting the Porta-Potty stench of nepotism, conflicts of interest, and even treason that will hang over Washington for the duration of his term like the rankest aftershave.

Trump obviously believes the more he reeks, the more attention he gets. And if it’s negative, that’s OK. It’s more fodder for his Twitter dumps.

We see Trump strut and preen, smirk and gloat like an evil toddler with a load in his pants, seeking to foul the shoes of the next grownup who crosses him. Just ask Meryl Streep, who decried at the Golden Globes everything Trump stands for…

His closest advisors (his son-in-law?) and billionaire cabinet members — unqualified, lacking appropriate experience, and some even opposed to the very existence of the entities they’ll oversee — are little more than a pile of steaming turds Trump’s shoveling at Congress with glee. We can only hope some get flushed during confirmation hearings.

At this point, it doesn’t matter who you voted for. No rational adult can be watching Trump’s boorish, fact-free, childishly destructive approach to running this country and not be filled with dread.

China already has Trump’s number, and it’s No. 2. To celebrate their upcoming Year of the Rooster, they erected in Taiyuan on Dec. 24 this giant sculpture with Trump’s hairstyle and hand gestures.

© STR/AFP/Getty Images

© STR/AFP/Getty Images


How Oprah Goosed Weight Watchers Stock

December 22, 2016

By Karen

Here’s another perfect example of the media not doing its (math) homework. All Oprah Winfrey had to say was, “Hey, look, I lost some more weight!” and it became big news, no questions asked.

Oprah joined Weight Watchers® in August 2015, investing $43 million in the company in exchange for a seat on its board. By the end of January 2016, she filmed an ad claiming she had lost 26 lbs. eating bread every day.

I calculated she was losing 1-2 lbs. a week, which is reasonable, but hardly worthy of a media blitz, especially when you factored in how much Oprah needed to lose.

To provide some context, I followed the WW Points Plus® plan myself in 2012 and lost 50 pounds in 9 months.

So today we get this big announcement that Oprah has lost “more than” 40 pounds. Not “an additional” 40 pounds. Forty pounds total.

And if she actually lost “more than” 40, don’t you think she’d proudly give the exact number, like she did when it was 26?

So let’s do the math. She was down 26 in late January, and now 40 in late December. That’s 14 lbs. lost in 11 months.

Therefore, in 2016, her average loss has been 1.27 lbs. a MONTH. That’s 20.32 ounces. Averaging four weeks in a month, she’s been losing about 5 ounces a week.

And on that paltry progress, Oprah’s stake in the company grew to $77 million because the media didn’t do the math and put the story in proper perspective.

I’m really happy that Oprah feels she’s finally got the situation under control. I’ve been there. It’s a never-ending struggle.

What I have a problem with is Oprah growing even richer touting weight-loss results that would have most dieters in despair.

I once had a friend who’d say he could lose that much weight taking a good dump. Come to think of it, anybody could.


Watching Trump Play at Being President

December 12, 2016

By Karen

Donald Trump and his enablers are radiating crazy with LED intensity. When he isn’t preening for the stream of supplicants vying to be on his cabinet, he’s jetting off to “thank you” rallies where he babbles lies to fawning admirers. Like the Carrier workers in Indiana he duped by inflating the number of jobs not moving to Mexico, so as to appear a bigger savior. To bask in their grateful applause, he lied to 300 people’s faces that their livelihoods were safe.

He hasn’t even been sworn in yet, but he’s already re-elected himself, telling Fox that he’s blowing off daily intelligence briefings because, “I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years.”

And now that the CIA is getting warmer on how Russia tipped the election scales, Trump’s calling their investigation “ridiculous.”

I believe Trump knew what Russia was doing, which was why he kept saying the election was rigged. He was pissed because he didn’t think it was working, until it did. Now he lies that he won “by a landslide” and that those 2.7 million more votes that went to Hillary were “illegal.”

Meanwhile, he may ask the head of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, to be secretary of state. Vladmir Putin once pinned Tillerson with a friendship medal, so who other than Tillerson would more eagerly cover Donald and Vlad’s dirty tracks, whether they lead to ill-gotten votes or corrupt business deals?

Trump’s other cabinet choices look like a lead-footed Dancing with the Stars cast, heavy on Wall Street fat cats he dissed during the campaign, and generals for whom he expressed nothing but contempt. Sprinkled in is cannon fodder — Ben Carson for HUD — who will give Trump his first cue to bellow, “You’re fired!” when Trump needs to distract us from some criminal activity.

Two other light-weights being considered are Sarah Palin for Veterans Affairs (341,000 employees serving nearly 22 MILLION veterans when she couldn’t hack governing 740,000 in Alaska), and Rick Perry for Energy, a department Perry wanted to abolish in 2012.

The emerging pattern is Trump’s intent to head every agency with a person who, if unable to undermine by imposing upon it contradictory ideology, to bring it down through sheer incompetence. Trump must think federal agencies threaten his omnipotence, so they have to be crippled or destroyed.

And conflicts of interest with his businesses and family financial interests already feel ingrained in his every move.

Trump plans to continue as an executive producer of The Apprentice, which compromised all NBC journalists, his co-workers. Kellyanne Conway nonsensically compared Trump’s dabbling in Apprentice to Obama playing golf.

Let’s not forget Trump’s other hobby — cyberbullying private citizens on Twitter.

Carrier union leader Chuck Jones accurately said Trump “lied his ass off” about the number of union jobs he saved, so Trump tweeted that Jones had done a “terrible job” representing workers. That was enough for Trump’s groupies to send Jones death threats.

Consistent with his behavior campaigning, our future president incites violence against private citizens he thinks have crossed him. Does this make him a petty, egomaniacal dictator yet?

The world watches while this ignorant maniac assembles a gaggle of racists, hawks, backward-thinkers and know-nothings destined to sow chaos from the moment he’s inaugurated.

My only consolation is that Melania’s not moving into the White House with him. The longer she stays away, the more I respect her. She knows he’s dragged her in way over her head, and to limit her and her son’s exposure to Trump’s insatiable need to be worshipped can only be a good thing.


“Appetites” by Anthony Bourdain: A Book Review

November 23, 2016

By Karen

Since Anthony Bourdain hit critical mass, turning whatever he touches to triumph, it’s unsurprising that Appetites: A Cookbook is hitting best seller lists and getting rave reviews.

It’s beautifully produced under his own Ecco imprint, with recipe titles in a font that must be called BourdainHand. Its many full-page photos include several of wife Ottavia and daughter Ariane (never full face; he explains it’s her decision on how public to go when she’s old enough). Ottavia’s grappling dummy and Eric Ripert even make appearances.

Overall, the photos and artwork are intended more to shock and awe than illustrate. Bourdain told a talk show host (one of the Jimmys) that bookstores are wrapping the book in paper because the cover art is disturbing. Inside are gratuitous animal parts and guts, including a pig bladder inflated to float like a balloon.

appetites

I’m surprised the photo of Tony (page 176) armed and barely recognizable in camo hasn’t been hijacked by the alt-right. He could be Donald Trump’s poster boy.

It’s probably the only cookbook you’ll ever own with the words fuck and shit sprinkled throughout like condiments.

It’s dedicated to Ariane and Jacques. No, not Pépin, but Ariane’s BFF, the son of her Filipino nanny (see page 246).

As a Bourdainiac, I was fascinated by his deconstructions of what we’ve seen him eat. The dishes reflect his constant globetrotting, and perhaps unintentionally drive home that someone else cooked and cleaned up later. The book’s a towering testament to how thoroughly out of touch he has become with how regular people eat.

He claims the recipes are from his childhood, his travels, and “food memories” he shares with his daughter. If that’s true, Tony and Ariane are the creepiest father-daughter duo since Gomez and Wednesday Addams because 9-year-old Ariane must be possessed of the presence of mind to ask, “Daddy, can I have a Roast Beef Po’ Boy?” two days before she wants to eat it, because that’s how long it takes to make one (page 81).

Many recipes have a two-day lead time, not including shopping at specialty stores or Amazon to assemble myriad ingredients you’ve probably never heard of. This makes them also very pricey and will leave you with a pantry full of slightly used shit you’ll have no idea what else to do with.

For example, Korean Fried Chicken (page 165) looked good until I realized I was fresh out of gochugaru, gochujama, and cheongju, not to mention four QUARTS of oil, and I needed two days to fry it twice.

His whole steamed chicken, “Poulet ‘en vessie,’” (page 168) seems reasonable enough until you need to grab four whole truffles and 4 oz. of foie gras out of the fridge.

With each recipe, he thoughtfully includes a list of any special equipment needed. This often consists of a plate “lined with newspapers” for draining.

REALLY??!! Does he ever gaze out over his adoring, hip young audiences during personal appearances and see people who would ever dream of buying an actual newspaper? Would they even recognize one if they saw it?

Otherwise his cooking instructions and advice are pretty spot-on, if snarky, with occasional lapses into Les Halles-speak. For example, as an alternative to tossing his Salad of Boston Lettuce with Radishes, Carrots, Apples, and Yogurt-Chive Dressing (page 29), he suggests leaving everything “segregated, as for salade composée.” Got that?

My current idol, Jacques Pépin, gets mentioned in the first two recipes involving eggs for his cracking and stirring techniques. But Bourdain reveals himself as the unPépin of home cooking. Where Jacques relies on ordinary ingredients and simple preparation, with an eye always on the budget, Bourdain’s recipes are the polar opposite.

I noticed Tony lifted one recipe, Linguine with White Clam Sauce (page 126) from Pépin, which was named after Pépin’s wife, “Gloria’s Linguine with Clam Sauce.” The only differences are that they prefer different types of clams, Bourdain throws in butter (he uses vats) and he doesn’t mention topping with parmesan cheese.

Appetites probably won’t be your go-to cookbook when you need a quick and tasty meal on the table. If your idea of what constitutes a good recipe matches mine…

  1. Is it straightforward and uncomplicated?
  2. Do I already have most of the ingredients?
  3. Can I make it without destroying the whole kitchen?
  4. Can it be done in one day?

…for most of Bourdain’s dishes, the answers are no, no, no, and no.

I did like his tip on making a Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions (page 84). Instead of butter, he slathers the outside of the bread with mayonnaise for a nice brown crust. But then he blows it by recommending freaking Japanese milk bread, whatever the hell that is.

There’s no dessert chapter because Tony says he’s not a pastry chef and would rather have cheese.

Pépin, on the other hand, has many dessert recipes from his childhood that often call for a simple store-bought dough or cake, with fruit and preserves. They require no special skill, they’re quick, and they look tasty.

Bourdain’s chapter on Thanksgiving seems useful until he recommends roasting a small “stunt turkey” for looks and then a “business bird” you actually carve and eat — AND making stock with an additional 5-7 lbs. of wings and necks.

Blogger Treehugger totally went off on the stunt turkey, so I’ll let her handle that.

The book’s best, most usable chapter is Sides. I’d definitely try the Roasted Cauliflower with Sesame (page 241) because jazzing up cauliflower is a thing for me. And I’ve already tried Korean-Style Radish Pickles (page 251) because I had an abundance of radishes, although not the daikon he recommends.

It’s only been two days (he recommends three), but here they are. They look more like chopped hot dogs now, but they taste OK, slightly sweet, with a tad of bite.

pickledradishes

I consult my two Pépin cookbooks almost daily, Appetites isn’t meant to be like that. It’s more of a grand “Fuck you!” to the cookbook genre.

I’ll let it sit beside Tony’s also little-used Les Halles Cookbook and maybe ask for an autograph if he ever passes through Richmond again and forgives me for this review.

BONUS VIDEO: Tony recently stopped by to cook with Mario Batali on The Chew. They made Budae Jjigae, a Korean SPAM stew (page 58).

BONUS PLUS: Michael Brendan Dougherty in The Week had an interesting take on Appetites, comparing it to Alton Brown’s new book, Everyday Cook, as spiritual autobiographies.


Coping with the Trump Transition

November 16, 2016

By Karen

My depression hit rock-bottom last Sunday over Donald Trump’s dominance in the Electoral College. You’ll never hear me say Trump “won” this election because he didn’t. Trump lost the actual vote by 797,724 as of Nov. 15, according to Politico.

To restore my sanity, I’ve made some temporary changes in how I receive news because the thought of Trump holding the reins of this country makes me want to vomit.

I skipped the 60 Minutes interview. The few snippets I couldn’t evade indicated that Trump’s already backpedaling on the wall, deportation, and eliminating Obamacare. I hope his worshippers are keeping score.

I’ve temporarily stopped watching MSNBC. I don’t need Rachel Maddow or Lawrence O’Donnell’s speculations because Trump is telling the media NOTHING. Since Trump and most of his hangers-on have no idea what they’re doing, their course can change from minute to minute. Waiting until things are in place saves some churning.

I’ve stopped watching morning news shows. I only read the newspaper — on paper, not online. Trump’s machinations are easier to handle in print, where I don’t have to hear his voice spewing out of his pink blowhole, nor see his saggy orange face.

Photo - CNBC

Photo – CNBC

I commend Ben Carson for turning down Trump’s offer to become secretary of health and human services or education because he “has no experience running a federal bureaucracy.” I wonder what the hell Carson thought being president entailed, if not presiding over the WHOLE federal bureaucracy?

For now, it’s enough to be outraged that Steve Bannon has become Trump’s Machiavelli. We now know Trump intends to have a grubby, bottom-feeding, hate-mongering racist constantly whispering in his ear. Let’s hope bipartisan outrage makes Trump rethink that decision.

As for the rest of it, I’m waiting to see where the chips fall. Chris Christie seems to be toast. Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich will probably snag positions at their highest levels of incompetence, where they can soon disgrace and embarrass Trump into saying, “You’re fired!”

Trump still clings to Twitter as his best means of communication. By not cooperating with journalists in the least, he’s creating a vacuum they will fill, and it won’t be to Trump’s glory. Meanwhile, the public will grow more fearful and angry with nothing to go on but Trump tweeting lies, empty promises, flip-flops, and attacks on anyone who has ever crossed him.

My most fervent hope at this point is that Inauguration Day is gale-force windy. While Trump is taking the oath of office, may an icy blast blow that orange ferret off his head, letting the whole world see the reality of the vain, arrogant, ignorant buffoon a majority of voters DID NOT choose to be our leader.


Donald Trump’s To-Do List

November 11, 2016

By Max

Right out of the gate, Donald Trump has set a “Do as I Say, Not as I Do” tone for his administration by insisting that his job applicants disclose all their financial dirt while he continues refusing to reveal his own. But there’s way more on his plate if he hopes to make good on all he’s promised. So, instead of composing nasty tweets when he can’t sleep, he’d do better to work on his to-do list…

  • Day 1: Start construction on the “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful wall”
  • Repeal Obamacare — replace w/ “something terrific”
  • Launch investigation to convict & jail Hillary Clinton
  • Send roses to FBI Director James Comey — owe him one
  • Invite Vladmir Putin to tea
  • Tear up trade agreements, incl. NAFTA
  • Withdraw from TPP
  • Hire deportation force to kick out 11 million immigrants — humanely
  • Inspect all mosques — MUST be hiding something
  • Ban Muslims from entering country — terrorists
  • Suspend Syrian refugee program — mooches
  • Order more Stop & Frisk — profiling prevents crime
  • Get torture gear out of storage — need child sizes for terrorists’ families
  • Eliminate crime — shows my concern for everybody
  • Sue New York Times
  • Sue all women I never groped
  • Clone Antonin Scalia at least 2X — 3X just in case
  • Fire & replace most of the generals
  • Bomb ISIS, seize the oil
  • Bring back all manufacturing jobs
  • Place hiring freeze on all federal employees — except ones I’m hiring
  • Revive coal industry — black gold!!!
  • Cancel Paris climate agreement — who needs polar bears
  • Cancel every executive order Obama ever signed — disaster!
  • Cut off payments to UN global warming programs — winter’s coming
  • Pass biggest tax cut since Reagan — wealthy deserve YUGE break
  • Pass amendment for congressional term limits — get rid of bums who didn’t endorse me

But all work and no play will soon exhaust Trump’s tiny attention span, so let’s add in some spice…

  • Defund Planned Parenthood
  • Repeal same-sex marriage
  • Grab a bunch of pussies

Women should line up for that last one, since Trump’s now so much more than a tacky reality-show star.


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