Selling Out For No Reason Whatsoever

There's a weird but good line from Se7en (1995) when Detective Somerset asks Detective Mills:

"I wonder what exactly was the point of the conversation you were about to get into?"

I thought of that line when I saw Taoiseach Leo Varadkar publicly tell a story to Donald Trump in order to flatter the criminal, bigot president of the United States.

Just what was he thinking? Are Fine Gael ministers this bloody daft?

Selling out is one thing, but selling out for absolutely nothing, to a U.S. president who is universally loathed, is mind boggling.

Fine Gael need to be voted out of power. Just what will it take to motivate the Irish to vote differently at the polls?

Republicans Are Cowards

He's not up for re-election for another 56 months. But Marco Rubio's Senate career virtually ended this week.

Rubio's cowardice was on full display on February 21, one week after the Majory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. What would you expect from the man who said it was "Florida's turn" for a gun massacre hours after the Pulse nightclub massacre less than 2 years ago? The problem for him and the rest of the NRA darlings is that there's no longer any place to hide on the issue of guns. All the ideologically approved slogans have outlived their shelf lives. Guns don't kill people. To stop a bad man with a gun you need a good man with a gun. Mass shootings are proof that the issue is one of mental illness, not the easy availability of combat weapons. "Gun-free zones" attract gun rampages. And these deaths are the price we pay for freedom. Every one of the shibboleths you hear when these tragedies unfold are finally being seen as the empty, hypocritical expressions of a profit-addicted gun lobby. Their time might be up. Throw the creeps out!

He's Not Listening

"I think the two fundamental issues were that Donald Trump doesn't read anything. Let me accent that — anything. Nothing. If you're working for the president of the United States, that's an odd position because how do you get information to him? That's already a major hurdle. But then there's the second hurdle — that not only does he not read; he doesn't listen. So it becomes from Day One, the crisis of the presidency: You can't tell him anything." - Michael Wolff

It's Still A Masculinity Crisis

Professor Sut Jhally wrote about it 18 years ago.

He spoke about it 8 years ago (above).

I wrote about it 11 years ago.

We got possibly the biggest reminder of it in world history last fall.

The world has a serious masculinity crisis. And in the US, that crisis is directly linked to its gun violence epidemic

Laura KIssel raised the topic again this week. And the comments prove two things. First, they strengthen her argument. And second, they prove we will never even try to address this crisis. Not even try. 

The gun violence epidemic in the United States is both a public health and a cultural crisis. Since I last raised this topic in 2007, the number of firearms in the US surpassed the number of living citizens. 100 million new guns. This is our crisis now and until the end of this broken republic. 

Trump Is Obese

Donald Trump is the same height and weight as Albert Pujols. Riiiight. Why does the White House lie like this? It's just absurd. The White House lies about everything, important or trivial. Trump is obese, and everyone knows it. His diet is hideously bad. He must have good genes and the constitution of a bull, because given what he eats and his lack of exercise, he ought to be an invalid.

Oh, and off-topic, where did the leftover inauguration day cash go? That's still missing

Here's Joe Scarborough with an appropriate rant about Trump's physical health summary.

A White House Run By Generals

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders tells the press that criticizing generals is "innapropriate."

When Trump appointed Kelly, Mattis and McMaster to high posts in the government, a chill went through me. There's a solid, history-based reason for insuring civilian control of the military. There are only a few thousand good histories of the phenomenon, available in any University library, or I suppose these days, online. We now have an ignorant president, with a childlike admiration for high ranking military figures. Far too many commentators took solace in that fact, imagining that they would bring intelligence, discipline, and common sense to an otherwise chaotic administration. There is no reason, no reason whatever, to believe that's true. Trump hiding behind generals means we're in deep trouble in this country. Those are totalitarian techniques, and I think it will get a hell of a lot worse in the next few years.