Monthly Archives: March 2018

Now We Know Why the Weather Has Been So Bad

It’s the Jews’ fault!

At least that’s the inspired thinking of Washington, D.C. city council member Trayon White Sr., whose YouTube video last Friday declared that the recent snow was caused by “the Rothschilds controlling the climate.”

The reference to “the Rothschilds” resurrects an old conspiracy theory that Jewish bankers clandestinely control world events, including banking and, incredibly, the weather, for their own financial advantage.

As reported in the Washington Post, White declared in his YouTube video that

Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation. And D.C. keeps talking about ‘We a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”

You can see the video here (assuming YouTube hasn’t removed it).

And this guy is a city councilman. The inmates truly are running the asylum.

Celebrity Apprentice: White House Edition

The Trump White House is a veritable revolving door. What we didn’t know, but should have suspected, was that Agent Orange would conduct his internal affairs like an episode of The Apprentice, with high-ranking officials continually on the receiving end of the “you’re fired” speech.

Only in some cases, the speech is now a gutless tweet.

But as was the case with The Apprentice, when the appeal of witnessing the firing of people we’ve never heard of started to wear thin, Trump has upped the ante by introducing the celebrity version. The Curmudgeon calls it Celebrity Apprentice: White House Edition.

Last year, you may recall, Trump flirted with naming tv nincompoop Dr. Oz his Secretary of Health and Human Services after Tom Price stole his way out of office. He also publicly flirted with the idea of appointing Fox News’s Kimberly Guilfoyle his press secretary but that didn’t pan out, either.

What does he know about the economy? Apparently, damn little.

Now he appears to be getting more serious about adding celebrities to his inner circle. Last week he hired Fox News talking head Larry Kudlow to head his council of economic advisors. Kudlow is a snappy dresser – The Curmudgeon previously complimented him on his shirts and The Curmudgeon is a guy who is SERIOUS about shirts – but Dana Milbank of the New York Times, upon learning of the appointment, wrote a column titled “Larry Kudlow may have been more wrong about the economy than anyone alive” that captured the essence of Kudlow: he doesn’t know much about much (except snappy dress shirts, perhaps). Just 24 hours later we learned that Trump is talking about hiring Fox & Friends weekend host – good lord, he’s not even good enough for the weekday show – Pete Hegseth to be secretary of the Veterans Administration even though the only thing Hegseth’s ever run in his professional life is his mouth and even though when there was talk of Hegseth running the VA after Trump was elected several veterans groups strongly objected.

We all know Trump values celebrity and reputation and big money more than he does ability or credentials, so with the White House now a merry-go-round of the mediocre and the president on the hunt for glitz and glamour, The Curmudgeon thought it might be fun to speculate on the next round of Trump appointees.

So let’s play Celebrity Apprentice: White House Edition.

  • Secretary of State – Leonardo DiCaprio, because he’s reportedly had a lot of foreign affairs.
  • Director of the FBI – Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., because considering how little Trump respects the FBI, the job might as well be filled by a guy who died four years ago.
  • The few, the proud…

    Secretary of Homeland Security – Claire Danes, who’s demonstrated that she can handle the job through her work in Homeland, don’t you think?

  • Secretary of Defense – Bill Murray, the perfect soldier from the movie Stripes; that’s the fact, Jack!
  • Secretary of the Treasury – Ben Stein, not only because he was host of the Comedy Central game show Win Ben Stein’s Money and taught economics in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and offers commentary on the economy on a number of tv networks but also because he was a speechwriter for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. In addition, his father, Herbert Stein, was chairman of the council of economic advisors under presidents Nixon and Ford, which is probably how Ben Stein got the speechwriting gig, and if nepotism is good enough for Jared and Ivanka (see below) it should be good enough for Ben Stein.
  • Attorney General – Bob Odenkirk, because when a guy like Trump needs a lawyer of limited ability and questionable ethics who’s not above bending the rules he’d Better Call Saul.
  • Secretary of Agriculture – Matt Damon, because if he can grow food on Mars he can certainly help make American agriculture great again.
  • This guy clearly knows a thing or two about drugs

    Secretary of Health and Human Services – Hugh Laurie, because Trump loves obnoxious people who think they know it all and that’s pretty much what House was all about.

  • Food and Drug Administration director – Gary Busey, because he appears to have been a major consumer.
  • Federal Aviation Administration – amateur pilot John Denver – oh, that’s right, never mind.
  • Surgeon General – Patrick Dempsey – McDreamy returns!
  • Secretary of Education – Dennis Haskins, who played Mr. Belding, the school principal, on Saved by the Bell.
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs – actor Gary Sinise, who has been an advocate for veterans for more than 30 years, has a foundation that sponsors programs for veterans, and even has a band that plays about 50 concerts a year at military bases.
  • Secretary of Commerce – Michael Douglas, for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street and his character’s belief that “greed is good,” which might as well be the official motto of the Trump administration.
  • Well, he lived in the projects on television, isn’t that enough?

    Secretary of Labor – Ivanka Trump, who’s gone through labor three times (so far).

  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development – comedian Jimmie Walker, who played a resident of the projects in Good Times and would no doubt understand the need to dy-no-mite all remaining public housing projects. The only reason Trump originally gave the job to Ben Carson, he said, was because Carson grew up in the projects – surely it had nothing to do with Carson being black and Trump thinking all black people surely must understand public housing – but Walker played a resident of public housing on tv and that should be good enough.
  • Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency – Iron Eyes Cody, the Native American who in that famous commercial paddled his canoe down a river and let that one tear roll down his cheek when he saw all the pollution he encountered along the way. Cody’s been dead since 1999 but since the Trump administration has no interest in doing anything to help protect the environment, he’ll be up to the job.
  • N. ambassador – Real Housewives alumna Bethenny Frankel, because no one understands better the importance of being diplomatic.
  • Here come da judge

    White House communications director – actor Tony Papenfuss, who played the character Darryl – no, not THAT Darryl, the other Darryl – on the sitcom Newhart. Papenfuss appeared in 91 episodes and never said a word, which makes him the ideal candidate to replace the highly uncommunicative former communications director Hope Hicks.

  • Next Supreme Court nominee – Diana Ross, for obvious reasons.
  • Press Secretary – Allison Janney, first for the obvious reason and second because any list with Allison Janney on it is automatically a better list.

Have ideas of your own? The Curmudgeon would love to hear them.






How is it Possible…

…that after a madman uses an automatic weapon to kill 17 children in a Florida high school the U.S. Congress makes it clear, from day one, that it has absolutely no intention of doing anything to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again but that within 24 hours of when we all learn that a dog died after being placed in an airplane’s overhead bin, a member of Congress vowed to introduce legislation to ensure that such a thing never happens again?

That’s What the Headline Said

Telling the tale of an early morning traffic problem outside Philadelphia, the web site explained that

Tractor-trailer carrying egg yolks crashes, drivers scramble


No Wonder Elected Officials are So Uninterested in Addressing Easy Access to Guns

It’s easy not to worry about the dangers posed by virtually unfettered access to guns when you live and work in a cocoon.

Visit the Capitol in Washington, D.C. or your own state’s capital or even your city or town hall and you’ll find those places crawling with police. Even so, you’ll usually have to pass through a metal detector to get into those buildings because cops aren’t enough for our elected officials: they want even more protection than that. Go into almost any public building these days, in fact, and you may have to pass through a metal detector – and if the alarm goes off, some oversized guy who can barely spell “gun” if you spot him the “g-u” will try to manhandle you to find out why you made his machine go beep-beep-beep.

Yes, public officials spend a lot of money keeping themselves safe, but what about the rest of us? What are they doing for us? On a proportional basis, federal financial support for law enforcement at the state level is down and state financial support for law enforcement at the local level is down. Spending to protect state and federal legislators? That’s up.

So if they’re not willing to spend the money, which is only because they don’t believe we’re worth it, why can’t they at least make it harder for the bad guys, and especially the crazy bad guys, to get guns?

Because our own elected officials don’t identify with the problem, that’s why. Despite all the mass shootings, they still don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

If they have a security problem where they work, they just ramp up the cop count. When congressman Steve Scalise was shot last year during a congressional softball game, the damage would have been greater if the participants hadn’t been accompanied by their own, special security detail – and once the ones who weren’t shot got back to the Capitol, there was already additional security staff there to protect them.

Wouldn’t it be nice if YOU could get that level of service from your elected officials?

The Curmudgeon has been thinking about this aspect of the gun issue for years but was inspired to write when he opened his newspaper earlier this week and read about a member of Pennsylvania’s state legislature who dated a fellow state legislator until that relationship went south a few years ago. The guy, it turns out, is violent and threatening and is known to carry a gun and intimidate people with it. When the woman went to court and got a restraining order because he apparently harassed, stalked, and menaced her, her colleagues in the legislature made it clear that they were going to go to any lengths necessary to protect her.

The Curmudgeon has no problem with an appropriate response to such a dangerous situation – but why don’t the rest of us get that kind of support when we’re endangered by crazy people with firearms? Why does this particular woman rate such special attention and special protection just because she happens to be an elected official?

In the long run, seeing one of their own threatened by an angry guy who’s known to carry a gun and known to threaten people with it isn’t going to persuade legislators that they need to do something – anything – about guns. In their minds, they’ve seen a problem and they’ve addressed it. Why should they do anything more, anything bigger, when they can simply abuse their power and provide special, expensive protection for their own, whether it’s a colleague, a friend, a family member, or an influential supporter?

And the rest of us? What about people who don’t have a personal relationship with a public official who can do things for them – things like protect them from someone with a gun and a grudge?

No, we’re on our own. Every time elected officials insist that guns aren’t the problem but that bad people with guns are the problem, they’re telling us that we’re on our own because they’re not willing to do anything to attempt to identify and help bad people and they’re not willing to do anything to prevent bad people from getting guns.

Every time they tell us they won’t lift a finger to make it harder for crazy people to get guns, they’re telling us we’re on our own.

Every time they tell us there’s no money for police, they’re telling us we’re on our own.

Every time they tell us there’s no money for cops in schools, they’re telling us we’re on our own.

What a lot of them are really telling us is that the best thing to do when we’re on our own is to go ahead and arm ourselves and fight fire with fire – hence, all this nonsense about arming school teachers. (The Curmudgeonly Sister: “Can you imagine ME on one of my bad days with my second-graders and a gun?”) After all, that’s what public officials do when they get extra security every time they feel threatened. Also, at least in Pennsylvania, state legislators are permitted to bring their own guns into the capital to protect themselves. Oh, technically it’s against the rules, but a number of them are known to do it and legislative leaders refuse to talk about it, so you know they’re doing it and doing it with the blessing of their leaders.

Including the guy a fellow legislator needed to seek protection from through a court order.

But do they give the same right to other people who work in that building? To the people who work for the people who carry the guns? To the building maintenance people? To the folks who work in the cafeteria?

Can YOU bring a gun to work if you feel threatened in some way?

Of course you can’t. But they get to make the rules and they get to give themselves a level of protection that they begrudge us.

No, they’ll take care of their own and we’ll just have to suck it up and figure out a way to take care of our own, too – because when it comes to such matters, our government just doesn’t care, doesn’t care because it doesn’t feel our pain, doesn’t feel the sense of personal jeopardy and peril we feel because they’ve granted themselves the resources – our resources, by the way – to deal with any such problems they might personally face. Empathy means a lot, and when it comes to the threat posed by guns, there’s nary a shred of empathy in legislative bodies because the people there live in protected cocoons.

Take away their own security, though, remove the metal detectors and the protected parking, the extra police, and the personal, armed guard escorts to parking lots after dark, let them feel as vulnerable as the rest of us, and maybe then – maybe then – they’ll take seriously the idea of changing gun laws to protect people. That will only happen, though, when they see themselves as “the people,” too – and clearly, they don’t right now. Let’s see them experience the same vulnerability that the rest of us now feel. Until then, though, their focus is on helping themselves and when it comes to the cost of doing so, the sky’s the limit.

And we all know what will happen until this changes.

Parkland will happen again.

Orlando will happen again.

Las Vegas will happen again.

Sandy Hook will happen again.

Columbine will happen again.

Those who have the power to do something about it won’t, because they can’t be bothered, because they don’t think it’s a real problem.

And those of us who don’t have the power will just have to cross our fingers and hope we don’t end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Because we’re sure not going to get any help from the people we elected to help us.

Another Product Nobody Needs

An Alexa-powered toilet.

Seriously: a toilet that heats the seat, raises and lowers the lid, and plays music.

It’s brought to you by the folks at Kohler, one of biggest sellers of toilets in the U.S.

Kohler is looking for a bigger payday with the Numi intelligent Wi-Fi-connected Kohler commode, which, according to USA Today,

You can ask it to heat up the seat, lift the lid, play your favorite tunes, and of course, flush. “Numi delivers hands-free control, personalized cleansing functionality,” reads the release, “that let users fine-tune every aspect of their experience to their exact preferences.”

The Curmudgeon especially loves the reference to “personalized cleansing functionality” – although it does make rather conspicuous a pretty important part of the, um, cleansing experience that the Numi intelligent Wi-Fi-connected Kohler commode neither participates in nor enhances.

The john absolutely no one needs will be available later this year: the standard Numi starting at $5625 and the black model from $6500.

Order yours now.


Meet the Candidate

The Curmudgeon would like to introduce you to Courtland Sykes, who is running for the Republican nomination for the Missouri Senate seat currently held by Democrat Claire McCaskill.

The Washington Post takes it from here:

“I want to come home to a home cooked dinner at six every night, one that she fixes and one that I expect one day to have my daughters learn to fix after they become traditional homemakers and family wives,” he wrote of his fiancee, Chanel Rion, saying he wanted his world to be more Norman Rockwell — the painter known for his depictions of classic American life — than the feminist Gloria Steinem.

 The candidate, Courtland Sykes, wrote that “radical feminism” has a “crazed definition of modern womanhood.”

 “They made it up to suit their own nasty, snake-filled heads,” he said. “Men and women are different and gender-bending word games by a goofy nest of drugstore academics aren’t going to change anything — except the fantasy life of those confused people in ivory towers.”

Looking very dashing in what appears to be his main campaign photo


Of the daughters he envisioned himself having in the future, he wrote that he wanted them to build “home based enterprises.”

 “I don’t want them [to] grow up into career obsessed banshees who [forgo] home life and children and the happiness of family to become nail-biting manophobic hell-bent feminist she devils,” he said.

And the Post shared a few thoughts Sykes has shared in writing.

In that document Sykes “praises Breitbart News, derides ‘Big Media,’ belittles the Muslim faith and, in a jab at the nation’s education system, says Detroit ‘is crawling with uneducated people who can’t read a breakfast menu,’” the newspaper wrote.

 He called for a ban on “Muslim immigration” saying that he opposed “Muslims — and their Koran.”

“Big media has become too many dumb blonds,” he wrote according to the paper, “too many leg dangles, too many ‘tee-hee’s,’ too many hate-Trump stories, too much ‘fake news,’ too many left-biased reporters, too much mud-slinging — the credibility is shot to hell and with it big media.”



A New Low, Even For Bravo

LIke sands through the hourglass, these are the Days of Our LIves

Bravo TV, the cable network that has brought us unbearable housewives, obnoxious real estate agents, and any other combination of people who offer the potential for behaving badly that its programmers so desperately crave, may have reached a new low recently with its new morning programming.

Reruns of the soap opera Days of Our Lives.

And not just any Days of Our Lives reruns, either: Days of Our Lives reruns from 2011.

What’ll they think of next?

The Devil Made Him Do It

No commentary needed: the following comes courtesy of Mrs. Curmudgeon from the online publication Law360.

BigLaw Life Drove Him To Crime, Ex-Akin Gump Atty Says

By Kat Greene

Law360 (March 1, 2018, 11:25 PM EST) — An ex-Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP attorney said the stress of his work in private practice drove him to try to sell stolen U.S. Department of Justice information, and he asked for leniency as prosecutors seek a nearly three-year sentence, according to filings in California federal court Wednesday.

Making Law-Abiding Citizens Feel Like Fools

Or maybe suckers.

What else should law-abiding Philadelphians think after their mediocre, pandering city council passed a bill extending amnesty to people with unpaid parking tickets?

That’s certainly what The Curmudgeonly Sister had in mind when she emailed her brother twice, and then called him, to bring this matter to his attention.

A curmudgeonly chip off the old block, she is.

Under the program, people who have unpaid parking tickets dating back to before 2013 will have those tickets forgiven if they pay for all tickets they’ve earned since the beginning of 2013.

And they don’t even have to pay their tickets all at once to be forgiven, either: they can sign up for a payment plan to pay them off over time.

No one’s saying what happens if you enroll in the program, have your tickets forgiven, and then don’t pay.

Not paying for parking tickets is apparently a major thing in Philadelphia; in fact, it looks as if paying may be the exception rather than the rule. According to local authorities, the city is holding nearly $600 million in unpaid parking tickets.

That’s a LOT of money and a LOT of dishonest people.

Philadelphia’s mayor never signed the bill for the amnesty program. Oh, he opposed it, all right, saying it was unfair to people who pay their tickets, but did he veto it? Of course not: before showing the courage of his convictions he’d first have to develop some convictions.

This program amounts to really bad governing: if people can afford cars, can afford insurance, and can afford gasoline, they can afford to pay their parking tickets. Also, there’s a really, really easy way to deal with parking ticket problems: ABIDE BY THE FREAKING PARKING LAWS IN THE FIRST PLACE!

And law-abiding Philadelphians who get parking tickets and, because it’s the kind of thing some people do when they do something wrong, pay those tickets?

Your government is playing you for a fool and a sucker so it can curry the favor of people who couldn’t be bothered either following the law or doing the right thing when they break it.