Stuff you learn owning a house: Aging ding-dong edition

  1. The average lawn is made up less of spunkily uniform blades than a crazed patchwork of competing, unidentifiable green things. Letting it grow allows the illusion of something called “lawn,” but every mow reveals the weird, scrabbly jungle beneath.IMG_2083
  2. YouTube how-to videos are a godsend the likes of which our handier ancestors would have knelt and prayed for. I also have yet to truly accomplish the seemingly straightforward repair instructions contained in one.
  3. Ceiling fans should not be installed in rooms where the tallest member of the house can touch the ceiling. Say, when making a bed, for example. IMG_2085
  4. It is immeasurably more fun to scrounge at Goodwills and yard sales for the perfect furniture and assorted stuff you need and want than to buy all that stuff new.
  5. There is no such thing as too many randomly accumulated bookcases, especially when scrounged from Goodwills and yard sales.
  6. Randomly scrounged bookcases are surprisingly stackable.IMG_2094
  7. Find a source of cheap metal brackets to clamp rickety towers of mismatched bookcases together. Trust me on this. (See #10, below.)
  8. It’s really easy to just take doors right off their hinges. If, for example, you need more library bookcase space. Which you will.
  9. You can also just paint, add, remove, or simply nail stuff to walls. It’s your house. (After decades of apartment living, this is something that only dawns on you gradually, leaves you dizzy with ambition, and then subsides to a reasonable level once you remember that, if you break it, you have literally already bought it.)
  10. ReStores are completely freaking indispensable and undeniably cool. It’s like Goodwill, but with focus and lots and lots of cheap, functional power tools. And brackets.
  11. You’re gonna want that wholesale club membership. There’s nothing more oddly comforting than unloading a pallet’s-worth of toilet paper into your storage areas. (I said it.) But screw the Walton family—find a BJs.
  12. It’s possible to be bad at mowing a lawn.
  13. Yeah, you have mice.
  14. Thinking of the place where you live as an ongoing creative project rather than the box where you pay to haul your carcass to life each morning is, unsurprisingly, more fun.
  15. Who’s going to fix that thing? Oh, it’s you. It’s always you.
  16. You can’t Google “tending your garden path” without winding up on some New Age nonsense instead of practical weeding and edging tips.
  17. Turn your music up. Sing it. Do a little dance. Who’s gonna stop you? Nobody, that’s who.

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Consign my innermost thoughts to the flames

So we just moved back in April to our new (and forever) home. Things are going very well, thanks for asking. Anyway, I’m finally getting around to unpacking some odds and ends. And odd ends. And the ends of oddness. Speaking of the latter, I came across this mess.


Yup, that’s a pile of old journals.


As anyone who knows knows, it’s been a tumultuous but ultimately fucking outstanding last few years. Not for the world—god, no. There’s a racist would-be dictator reality show clown rapist Russian asset in the White House, so that ain’t good. But for me—yeah, not bad. You can read about it if you’re all excited for that sort of thing, but the upshot is, I have found myself blinking in the unaccustomed daylight, so to speak.

Anyway, what do I do with all this… stuff? “Stuff” in this case referring to decades-worth of scribbled pain, and longing, and daily minutiae, and purple prose thereabout. Not saying that poor guy wasn’t doing his best, or that all that hunched, sweaty effort didn’t contribute to the growth and the learning and the whatever and whatnot. Not to mention the fact that I am currently—and just—making a living as a professional writer. So thanks, big fella.

Still, one of the components of the different-than-the-last-40-years state of mind I now mostly happily find myself in is a willingness to let the past go. Or, to be more accurate to that previous 40-plus years, I am no longer crippled by the obsession to review, sift, and rehash every interaction, every moment, every goddamned perceived failure, humiliation, or disappointment in order to reaffirm the bedrock belief that I am utterly and incontrovertibly worthless.

Yeah, it’s been a real pip.

So, on this rainy Sunday, with time on my hands and mischief in my heart, I’ve come up with four options for what to do with these musty, dusty repositories of undoubtedly embarrassing soul-baring and unrealized writing projects.

A. Read them with a new eye, culling the best bits for possible future use and the worst bits, possibly to tweet out in a series hashtagged #dontkeepdiaries. Safe in the knowledge that our past is part of us, perspective is finally possible, and even the worst thing you ever wrote has no power to destroy you.

B. Burn them in the outdoor clay bread oven that came with the house without reading a single word. Burn and move on.

C. Stick them in that Rubbermaid tub and shove them in the garage (we have a garage), knowing that this means the temptation to read them will still exist, and that—should I die before consigning them to the flames or seeing them turned into chipmunk bedding (we have chipmunks)—someone will inevitably read them. Shudder.

D. Gradually burn them for warmth in the coming winter, using their twisted and crumpled pages as firelighters in the tiny woodstove in our kitchen, perhaps taking a glance through an odd page or two before making use of them. Yes, we have a woodstove.

I know burning is in there twice.

Totally serious. Vote.

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Thoughts on this random collection of 1978 Topps baseball cards I bought at Goodwill for $2

IMG_1793Larry Milbourne (Mariners, SS-2B). I have no connection to or memory of Mr. Milbourne, but, as the guy on the front of the taped-together plastic sleeve these cards were packed in, curved toward their backs like Pringles, it seems only fair to give him the leadoff spot.
Photo: It looks like 1978 was still in the ‘pose like you just did something cool on an empty diamond” era, as Milbourne stares down the cameraman while assuming the posture of a right-handed followthrough swing. In the Mariners’ second year of existence, he’s wearing the powder blue with white and yellow trim look that did not strike fear into opponents’ souls, the Neptune’s trident logo an oversized, pale yellow eyesore on the cap. Mr. Milbourne is sporting a fine 1970s mustache.
Memories: As I said, this is my first exposure to Larry Milbourne, in any capacity.
Career: Milbourne played a respectable nine years in the league as a spot starter and utility man, with the Mariners being team two of an eventual six. He hit .254 with a whopping 11 career home runs, a relic of a completely different time when that sort of thing was still acceptable.
Fun fact: From Wikipedia: “At the start of spring training in 1975, Milbourne failed to report to the Houston Astros, and his whereabouts were unknown.” I’d watch that movie.

IMG_1791Paul Reuschel (Cubs, P). If you think you’ve heard of Paul Reuschel, you’re thinking of Rick Reuschel, who, in addition to being a much better pitcher with a much longer career, was also Paul Reuschel’s little brother. Ouch.
Photo: Against a pale blue sky, Paul Reuschel poses in contemplative, pre-pitch readiness, presumably looking in for the sign, although, as in keeping with custom, he’s actually showing three-quarter profile to the cameraman. And what a profile. Little brother Rick was apparently known as “Big Daddy” for his burly physique, but Paul just looks like daddy, his chunky sideburns, chunky mustache, chunky glasses, and lack of chin the very illustration of a father’s weekend beer league mop-up guy. Or a suspect in the Zodiac killings. Reminder that Zodiac was never caught. Has anyone matched up Cubs-Giants series to those killings? I’m just asking questions.
Memories: Rick was pretty good, as I recall.
Career: The Cubs and Indians split Reuschel’s five-year journeyman career and 16-16, 4.51 career line.
Fun fact: Rick Reuschel’s brother.






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Claim my junk… for the greater good. (And so I don’t have to pack it.)

Spurred on by a number of things, I’ve come up with a plan to give you some of my stuff.

—Our apartment is ridiculously small and getting smaller with every trip to Goodwill or a yard sale I take.
—We are moving! To a huge, weird old house! Sure, it’s probably haunted, but that’s part of the appeal. Also, I do not want to move one single thing I don’t have to.
—I am constitutionally unable to resist a great movie find—even if I have the thing in question already or have no remotely real need for it.


—I am constitutionally disposed to battle this Republican shitshow in any way possible.

So here’s the deal:

Donate any amount to any of the following organizations: ACLU, CAIR, Lambda Legal, NAACP, Everytown For Gun Safety, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, DonorsChoose, or, basically any organization whose values represent the sort of humanistic concerns the Trump administration stares at blankly, as if they are communications from another world. Or, hey, donate to a Democratic candidate out to unseat a conservative jackass. Make the case. Sure, the more money you donate to these worthwhile organizations, the better. But simply knowing that I steered a few pennies toward them will, again, keep me sane. You, too, maybe. I’m not a doctor.

Send me a copy of the receipt. (Here or to Minus any compromising information, which, c’mon, I shouldn’t have to tell you that these days. Smarten up. My rules: First bid, first choice. Also, it’s gotta be a new donation. Don’t try to game the system. Basically, this is a goof—don’t turn it into a huge waste of time!

Pick any of the used but fully functional and lovingly cleaned up DVDs, boxed sets, CDs, tchotchkes, or assorted media I’ve got rattling around my gradually-boxed-up apartment. Then I’ll mail it to you, at any address you want.

That’s it. Sort of charitable. Sort of utilitarian. Definitely one more of the tiny ways I’ve chosen to retain my tenuous grip on sanity in the face of this hateful, ignorant garbage.

Let’s do this thing… and TAKE MY JUNK! I don’t care how that sounds!


IMG_1568    —Psych: Season 1 on DVD! I don’t know how you don’t love this show. Wait, you do? That’s right… you do.


IMG_1569    —Psych: Season 3 on DVD! Oh, this is still happening. C’mon, son.


IMG_1570     —Wet Hot American Summer on DVD. The movie! Still sealed. Found at a Goodwill I know that hasn’t gotten in on the whole “jack up the movie prices” train like some fancy-pants Goodwills I know, so it was just sitting there for a buck. I am not strong. Plus, who would give this away? Some people…


IMG_1571     —The Baxter on DVD. Sticking with the whole The State alums idea, I love this movie from writer-director-star-mensch Michael Showalter. Sort of like Show’s ideal version of the rom-com he parodied with David Wain in They Came Together, it’s an indie-minded, genuinely sweet and funny little gem of a movie. Michelle Williams is just outstanding.


IMG_1572    —Grand Piano on Blu-Ray. John Cusack taunts pianist Elijah Wood for some reason. I cannot resist any Blu-Ray for a buck. I’ve heard it’s not bad-ish. Sort of a palate cleanser.


IMG_1573    —Broadchurch: Season 1 on DVD. Who wants to watch some depressed British cops investigate some depressed British suspects? Yeah! David Tennant and Olivia Coleman, people.


IMG_1574     —Broadchurch: Season 2 on DVD. Ditto!


IMG_1575     —Jack Taylor: Set 1 on DVD. Starring Iain Glen, who everyone knows as that guy who loves that lady on that Thrones show. He’s a good actor. This is probably another season’s worth of depressed British criminality!


IMG_1576      —Wonderfalls: The Complete Series on DVD. Before Pushing Daisies. Before Hannibal. Before that weird Munsters reboot. Before he split from that Star Trek thingy. Bryan Fuller’s first TV series is a typically weird and delightful comedy starring the weird and delightful Caroline Dhavernas. She sees talking doo-dads. It’ll make your life a little more weird and delightful.


IMG_1577     —Louie: Season 1 on combination DVD/Blu-Ray. I know. Still, this is a pretty great show, turned cultural artifact.


IMG_1578     —Lucky Louie: The Complete Series on DVD. Again, I know. Still sealed, if that’s a draw. Pamela Adlon’s really cool. Look, I didn’t make the thing.


IMG_1579      —Inside Amy Schumer: Seasons 1&2 on DVD. Still sealed! Who gives this stuff away, anyway? Buncha weirdos out there.


IMG_1580      —Injustice: The Complete Miniseries. Five episodes of some more British murderous dourness! Starring James Purefoy! The Following was not really his fault!


IMG_1582     —Storefront Hitchcock on DVD. Of course, Stop Making Sense is the best concert film ever made. (Fight me, you’ll lose.) But this more intimate concert film, also by Jonathan Demme is as strange and fascinating as its subject Robyn Hitchcock himself. Plus, it’s out of print, you guys. (The cover’s a little janky, but the disc is fine. Relax, you.)


IMG_1583     —It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Seasons 1&2 on DVD. Man, I could write thousands of words about why this is one of the best sitcoms in TV history. Oh, wait, I have. Boom, lawyered.


IMG_1584     —Bioshock for PS3. I genuinely do not know why I have two copies of this. I may have bought this used one in some sort of fugue state.


IMG_1585     —30 Rock: Season 4 on DVD. Who needs to be sold on 30 Rock? Well, 30 Rock is really great. So here.


IMG_1590     —Dave on DVD. This is just a good movie. About an unqualified president who turns out to be a decent, patriotic human being. Ah, fiction.


IMG_1587      —The Invisibles: The Complete Series on DVD. British mystery/comedy series. It’s got Giles!


IMG_1638      —Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars on CD. One of the joys of moving is discovering you were dumb enough to have bought two copies of the same record over the years.


IMG_1639      —Small Change by Tom Waits on CD. Ibid.


IMG_1640      —Naked by the Talking Heads on CD. It’s got a monkey on the cover!


IMG_1641      —Bossanova by The Pixies on CD. If you don’t like The Pixies, well, I don’t know what to say to you. Pick something else, I guess. Go in peace.


Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 10.47.13 PM      —Shakespeare action figure! Speaking of random crap I have two of, inexplicably.


IMG_1643       —Purple Rain. Can you really have too many copies of Purple Rain? Well, you can when you look at the mounting mountain of moving boxes you’re going to have to hump across the state. Come and get it.


IMG_1644       —Nanobots by They Might Be Giants on CD. I got this one as a duplicate gift. There’s no such thing as a bad TMBG album and this one has “9 Secret Steps,” a haunting hidden gem that I wrote about in this list for the site Sports Alcohol.


IMG_1668       —’Toons For Our Times-Bloom County. I have two of these, it turns out. I cannot overstate how much this strip got to me as a teenager. Still good stuff.


IMG_1667       —Sex, Drugs, And Blueberries (DVD and book combo pack!) From Maine writer/filmmaker Crash Barry, this is a no-BS tale of a guy trying to make a living in the Maine blueberry fields. Barry made an indie film of his own book, and both are really solid. (Also, should Crash read this, I have two copies of each, please don’t be mad at me.)


MORE TO COME!!! I have a lot of crap!

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After Stephen Colbert opens up his secret bar on The Late Show, Jennifer Lawrence calls Harvey Weinstein an “ass-boil”

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Just because I’m about to delete it from the AV Club CMS “drafts” folder, here’s a largely irrelevant story item I wrote about a memorably fun late-night TV interview. Memo to all you kids out there: If the site you write for has a carefully thought-out story-claiming process in place, use it! Otherwise, you’re scrambling to replace an hour of work with a few more hours of work. Possibly at 3 a.m. 

After Kyle Chandler brought along the whiskey for his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week, the throwback “watch celebrities get sauced on talk shows” vibe continued in delightfully entertaining fashion on Monday. There to talk to host Stephen Colbert about her upcoming Russian spy thriller Red Sparrow, Jennifer Lawrence gleefully accepted Colbert’s offer of refreshment (in the form of some good-looking Cuban rum) from the bar he has hidden behind some paneling on the Ed Sullivan Theater set. It’s hardly the first time Colbert has broken out the hooch for a guest (or just himself), but, unsurprisingly, the professionally free-spirited Lawrence took to the bit with abandon, as did Colbert.

The two-segment chat between the two proceeded in predictably unpredictable fashion, as Lawrence sounded off in increasingly relaxed bluntness on a series of subjects. Sure, it’s unlikely Colbert’s plan to ply Lawrence with liquor wasn’t planned beforehand, but it was pretty clear that that wasn’t prop iced tea, as Lawrence upped her already garrulous persona as the show went on. (Second guest and noted liquor aficionado Patton Oswalt, following in Lawrence’s boozy, shoeless footsteps, nodded appreciatively when Colbert busted out the bourbon for his segment.) She answered Colbert’s question about Harvey Weinstein’s attempt to use Lawrence to rescue his irredeemably obliterated reputation by calling Weinstein, “that horrible ass-boil that won’t go away.” She told Colbert about her double-shot of inappropriate behavior at Amy Schumer’s recent wedding, hinting at some saucy dog talk that managed to make even seemingly unshockable comic Bridget Everett blush, and making a long, unreciprocated pass at fellow guest Larry David. And, after taking off her shoes and stroking Colbert’s face before the first commercial break, Lawrence told the host about her plans to take a year off from acting to work with students on “getting big money out of politics,” stressing that her hiatus isn’t in any way due to being burned out with the grind of press tours and dealing with being dragged into industry sex creeps’ public meltdowns. “I really love my job and I’m very happy,” deadpanned Lawrence, before shooting the camera a long, long look, and taking another drink.

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The last smart stuff I can think of in the last 45 minutes of 2017

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Do it.

—This has been a shit year in the country at large, and more on that later. But, for me, it’s been, in wholly unexpected ways, a bewilderingly good one. I’m not doing cartwheels, I’m not wealthy, or free from worries (about money, about health, about the people I love). But…

The end of 2016 was the lowest I’ve ever been in my life. In my head. Which, if you’ve ever known me, says quite a bit. Despite a lifelong and whole-other-tale aversion to the idea, I took antidepressants for the first time in my life, starting in January. It became necessary, is what I’ll leave it at. My long-suffering and indispensable therapist (named Bill, called “Doc,” in my ongoing attempt to deflect residual and increasingly irrelevant shame) walked me through the process—two other doctor visits, a little cash—and so I took my pill a day. And… “it’s worked” sounds glib, but, yeah, it has.

I also stopped drinking at the same time. Same day, actually. I’ve never liked to make myself a “thing” in talking about myself, so… here’s a short version. For two decades or more, I used alcohol (cheap beer, almost exclusively) to get through. Depression, or whatever it is, had dogged me my entire life. The ability to freely consume alcohol gradually and inexorably became my way to cope. In ways, I was the ideal drunk, in that I never got crazy, or violent, or irresponsible. My mind turned always inward, and my life did, too, with alcohol giving the retreat form, and ritual. Days were about surviving, then scurrying home in search of oblivion, and safety, of a kind I always recognized as exceptionally needy, and sort of heartbreakingly childish, when I could surface enough to consider.

The year (January 5 will be exactly that) has been marked by a surprisingly not-difficult withdrawal from all that wonted withdrawing. I started (pills—Prozac, 40mg), stopped (alcohol, completely) all at the same instant. And it was—fine. It makes me reflect that I must have been genetically lucky—with regard to alcohol, anyway. Once I made the decision, really made it, there was little bother with the sort of stereotypical white-knuckling, “walk faster past the beer cooler at the supermarket while averting your eyes” thing. I just stopped. Considering the response from the GP I had to see to get my shiny pills once he found out the extent of my alcohol consumption (both in duration and volume), I gather that he thinks I’m lucky, too.

I miss it. I just came from a good friend’s New Year’s Eve party where I’d have loved to drink as of old with good friends I don’t see often enough. I didn’t. I brought him a comically disreputable bottle of booze. I may choose to drink again, theoretically in the moderation that was always unthinkable when it was used—consciously or not—to get me through my days. I’d like to. Especially with good friends I don’t see often enough. But I didn’t on NYE, on my way to January 5 and that nice, round number that means something to me, for whatever reason.

Moving on.

I wrote all year, and for the second year in a row, that’s all I did to keep myself alive. And—I’m alive. Housed, fed, possessed of a vehicle and health care (thanks, Obama!), all thanks solely to the money I can make from my brain. Thanks to the A.V. Club, thanks to the Press Herald. Seriously. It helps that I don’t need much, or do much, but I’m calling this a win for Dennis nonetheless. I’m proud of myself. I am a professional writer, and I’m alive. I will most definitely take that.

My love, my angel, my Emily. She’s doing it, too. Writing. Living. Loving me, inexplicably. She’s always told me how proud she is of me, no matter what, and I’ve always believed her. But, this year, I feel like it’s easier for her to say that, maybe. I’m proud of that, too.


We got a cat. His name’s Cooper. And he’s made me happier than I’d thought possible. I’ve had a cat before (good ol’ Baldrick, RIP), but, as my kind sister Therese could attest once she took over his care once my life fell completely apart—that time—I never truly appreciated him. I’m going to spoil this little bastard fucking rotten, for his entire life. He’s my good little guy.

I’ve alienated the hell out of some people in my life, and, weirdly, I’m okay with that in a way I’ve never been. I’ve always been my angry, cause-happy self, but the events of this shit-cake of a year have driven me to not truly care about making people comfortable. (Even a family member or two. What are you gonna do?) I have a weird visibility online, so I use it. There’s a fascist simpleton bigot rapist Russian asset in the goddamned White House, and a controlling political party clearly determined to enable his dangerous, treasonous lunacy. So fuck it. Shit’s on. And it’s staying so.

Along those lines, while the election of said dipshit illiterate man-baby certainly helped precipitate the extremity of depression that saw me escalate my treatment thereof, this grotesque horror-clown show has also spurred me to greater engagement than ever before. An unexpected windfall at the start of the year saw me give more money to charities (the ACLU, SPLC, CAIR, Planned Parenthood, others) than, collectively, I ever have before. Beyond that, I marched with my friend and friend-hero Sam against Nazis in Boston. (I got heat stroke and he had to pull into a McDonald’s for an embarrassing post-march pit stop, but hey.)20915651_10211266445791028_6355090732767484057_n

I went to demonstrations. I held signs. I signed petitions. I made innumerable phone calls to my representatives (mainly the thoroughly hypocritical and disappointing Susan Collins), urgency quickly stripping my hatred of confrontation and cold calling in the face of the latest GOP bullshit. I started a monthly catalog of actions on this here blog, mainly, I think to reassure myself that I wouldn’t peter out in my resistance to this venal, racist, thoroughly un-American horsecrap. I finally stopped in September, mainly because I didn’t need any such encouragement. Chronicling what I was doing to battle Dipshit Trump only slowed down the actual fighting against Dipshit Trump, basically.


Everyone in my life lived through the year, more or less whole. For that I am deeply grateful, and wish only to copy and paste this same sentence on this night next year.

I have five minutes left. Lightning round. Hopes.

Write even more. Pitch bigger, broader ideas. I love writing my reviews, and am grateful for the opportunity. But it’s time to put this more positive frame of mind toward action. Time to think bigger.

Spoil Emily, Spoil Cooper. Spoil my family. Be a better friend. Reach out to people I miss, so I don’t have to miss them.


Amplify the voices of people whose work and whose words I respect. Continue to connect with others who are fighting this corrupt, hateful nonsense. Fight despair, fight fear. Fight.

One metaphor to end 2017, as I am fond of those. Every day for 40-plus years, I started out each day in a hole. If I could manage it, I clawed my way up, and out, only to crawl along the ground in a scrambling attempt to dispense with what I felt was expected of me. Then back into the hole, and start underground again the next day.

Now, I feel like I start out each day (or most days) on the ground. Like I said, I ain’t doing cartwheels. I’m not flying. But I don’t have to climb up and out just to start living. Time to keep looking around. Deciding where to walk.

Happy New Year, everyone.

—Portland, Maine. 12:01 AM, January 1, 2018.


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John Oliver explains the flaws in forensic evidence with the help of Josh Charles’ Crime Scene Idiot

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Note: Wrote this for the AV Club but it ended up not getting used for… reasons. It’s an infuriating segment and a funny skit with a lot of people I like.

On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver and the rest of his crack, Emmy-winning team of comedy investigators did their usual in-depth piece on an important issue that makes you want to scream and throw things once you learn what they know. This week, their topic was all that snazzy, iron-clad forensic analysis we see on literally every third channel we turn to, day or night. You know, the computer 3-D models, the brilliant, socially dysfunctional (but in a fun way) science geeks with preternatural insight, and lots and lots of that neat spray stuff that makes blood glow in the dark. Well, as Oliver presents it in his signature meticulously funny fashion, the satisfyingly crowd-pleasing cop science of your average, super cool TV procedural is, in actuality, startlingly prone to convicting the wrong B-list guest star each week.

Oliver shows how old CSI standbys like bite mark reconstruction are routinely used in courts even though the field’s most-heralded proponent now repudiates his own work in a technique independent scientists say “does not meet scientific standards.” He introduces us to a man named Santae Tribble, freed from prison after 26 years once someone finally got around to testing the stray hairs that FBI experts used to convicted him of murder, only to find that not only were none of them his, several belonged to a freaking dog. Or the Innocence Project’s assertion that a staggering number of overturned convictions (including those of at least nine people that have been executed) are based on forensic evidence that has been proven to be flawed to the point of being useless. Again, Last Week Tonight will make you throw stuff.

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Perhaps reasoning that, since TV has biased jurors, attorneys, and even judges in favor of the infallibility of unreliable forensic testing, only TV can fix it, Oliver called in some famous friends. Featuring Josh Charles as a David Caruso-esque, sunglasses-sporting, crime-scene-bon-mot-spouting forensic investigator, CSI: Crime Scene Idiot showed just how the cult of the slick television blood-swabber is about as realistic to actual police and lab work as Sherlock’s mind palace. Charles plays a hilariously smarmy douchebag as only he can, while more principled and scientifically rigorous colleagues Samira Wiley, Robert John Burke, Josh Lucas, and Shannon Woodward all roll their eyes and lecture him on proper procedures, the meaningless of the oft-employed phrase “a reasonable degree of scientific certainty,” and the fact that they, as forensic scientists, don’t actually work for the police. (You know, as opposed to his team of “experts,” including an old-timey prospector, two toddlers in trench coats, and a crime-sniffing pony.) Now if only this show would get picked up for 23 episodes by CBS, the word might filter down that accused people’s fates deserve a lot more deliberation that what jurors and law enforcement types see on television. Especially since a program intended to advise the DOJ about these issues was recently discontinued by Attorney General and “xenophobic Boss Baby” (according to Oliver), Jeff Sessions. Commence throwing things.

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My “fight Trump and everything he stands for” September page-a-day calendar


Friday, September 1

—Trump is, naturally, attempting to pack every court in the land with the whitest, most racist extremists in all the land. Let’s not have that shit.
—And again.
One more time.
Seriously, and the Republican Party is all about that nonsense, as well. Let’s not forget them when this horrorshow crumbles.

Saturday, September 2

—We need to keep information on DREAmers from wee bigot Jeff Sessions. There’s an act that congress should pass.
—And let’s keep these slavering bigots from wrecking 800,000 DREAmers lives in the first place.
—Here’s a good one-stop shop to fight this white supremacist bullshit.
—And here’s another. Do it, you.

Sunday, September 3

—In a non-Trump palate cleanser, Pepsi is murdering the rain forests.
—Hey! Republicans want to gut Social Security to pad their pockets! I hate them! Reject H.R. 3423, the Social Security Commission Act of 2017.
They’d really like a racist Game of Thrones wall, too.
—Letter to Susan Collins urging her to continue opposing Republicans’ efforts to kill people who can’t afford healthcare.

Monday, September 4

—The Democrats really need to (learn to) stand up and take swings every time Dipshit opens his damn mouth.
—HahahahahaaaaaaaaaaAAAAaaaaaa…. Trump has nominated an Oklahoma congressman named Jim BrideOfFrankenstein Jim Bridenstein to run NASA. Great pick! You know since Dingus doesn’t believe in climate change or, you know, science.

Tuesday, September 5

Billionaire dilettante rape apologist Betsy DeVos wants to destroy the public school system. She was a Trump nominee to head the Department of Education, shockingly.
—She’s also really, really interested in protecting the rights of campus rapists. Like, it’s her hobby.
Climate change and science denier Scott Pruitt was also put in charge of the EPA. Just leaving that there.
—And let’s urge Pruitt to ban a poisonous insecticide, which he will never do because of his aforementioned corporate shilling.
—Calling all Democrats to resign from the bogus, racist Trump voter fraud commision led by Trump bigot-pitbull vote suppressor Kris Kobach.

Wednesday, September 6

—Las Vegas police arrested NFL player Michael Bennett (violently) for no discernable reason. Oh, and Bennett is black. And has sat during the national anthem at NFL games to protest, among other things, police brutality. So, yeah.
—Seth Meyers had another voice of sanity, Jake Tapper, on his show and I wrote about it for the AV Club.
—Republicans want to renegotiate NAFTA to—wait for it!—pad some motherfuckin’ pockets.

Thursday, September 7

—Hey, you know how Texas and Florida are underwater due to climate change? Trump moved to gut Obama-led rules to combat flooding—in areas affected by climate change.
—DACA. Save it.

Friday, September 8

—There is simply no reason for Trump and his white supremacist li’l kobold Jeffy Sessions to cancel DACA other than bigotry.
—Same goes for banning trans people from serving in the military. Which that bloated cane toad never had the balls to do. So to speak.
—Oh, and more DACA. Congress needs to pass the DREAM Act. Now.

Saturday, September 9

—Urging Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree to join in on a formal censure of Trump for… well, it could be a lot of things, really.
—Some pathetic, dickless little toads sure looove their Confederate flags.
—The GOP would like to know my opinion on their traditional “tax breaks for us and our wealthy donors, fuck the poor and needy” tax plans. You know, I don’t care for them, as a rule

Sunday, September 10

—North Carolina continues to vie for the “shittiest state” title (although it’s too close to call). Here is a petition calling the state’s “it’s not rape if a woman withdraws consent” law, because, as everyone in NC knows, once you get a man all revved up, he deserves to ejaculate inside you.
DACA. Save it from bigots. It really is that simple.
—Speaking of bigots and other assorted soiled weasel-bedding, here’s John Oliver beating the squirmy crap out of Trump’s buddy, racist, disgraced (then shamefully pardoned) cop Joe Arpaio in the AV Club.

Monday, September 11

—Just get rid of the electoral college already.
—Republicans are really invested in passing laws protecting people who drive their cars deliberately into protesters.
—Seth Meyers puts all this “is Trump actually an independent?” gibberish to bed. Wrote about it for the AV Club.


Tuesday, September 12

—Hey, Democrats? Yeah, Dennis here. Anyone who capitulates to Trump in the time before this flailing national nightmare comes crumbling down will be primaried. Just a heads-up on this tax break nonsense, Heidi Heitkamp and Tim Ryan, you spineless goons.

Wednesday, September 13

—Trump has picked another—wait for it!—Wall Street lawyer to regulate Wall St. So that sucks.
—Speaking of feckless greed, Wells Fargo is shitty, even for a huge corporate banking entity.
—ESPN has reprimanded Jemele Hill for, among other things, calling Donald Trump a white supremacist. Which he empirically, unquestionably is.
—For the AV Club, wrote about Samantha Bee (who I love) doing a Full Frontal segment that I found a little “white privilege-y” concerning what to do with Nazis. You decide.

Thursday, September 14

—Bernie Sanders has a dozen or so Democratic senators co-sponsoring his latest Medicaid-for-all bill. Sure.
—Not specifically Trum-ian, but Brazil’s government is looking to despoil the rainforest at an even more Earth-strangling rate.
—Wrote about journalist Katy Tur talking about Trump’s creepy, creepy, creepy obsession with alternately insulting and sexually harassing her on Conan for the AV Club. Ew.

Friday, September 15

—The GOP simply will not rest until they kill some poor people by stealing their health care. Lindsay Graham and Bill Cassidy are pushing another “murder the poors” plan. Jesus Christ.
Letter to Susan Collins, urging her to remain opposed to this hateful bullcrap.
—And if there’s anything Republicans love more than poor-murder, it’s despoiling public lands.
—Pumpkinhead wants money for his racist, ludicrous Game Of Thrones wall. Let’s give that to hurricane victims instead, hey?

Saturday, September 16

—Now there are rumblings that trump has caved on pulling the US out of the Paris climate agreement? or not? Anyway, here’s to mayors and governors signing on in defiance of him pulling out in the first place.
—Seriously. Enough with the wall nonsense, you ninnies.

Sunday, September 17

—Donated $25 to ILAP (Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project: Maine). I don’t have a lot, but I’m donating far more to worthy causes than ever before. So, thanks, Trump, you motivationally racist scumbag!
—Facebook took over $100,000 from a Russian troll-farm (which is not nearly as magical as it sounds) during the election, and is refusing to divulge the information. Zuckerberg…

Monday, September 18

Called Susan Collins office urging her to, again, stand up against the most recent effort of her party to murder some poor people.
—Another letter to Collins and King on the same, grotesquely cruel subject.
Defend DACA from Trump and his sweaty white supremacist pals.
—So says Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin. And, you know, me.

Tuesday, September 19

Called Susan Collins (still silent), Angus King (stolidly against), and Paul LePage (raving asshole-bigot-bumpkin) urging them to come out against the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal nonsense.
Another petition, on the same infuriating subject.

Wednesday, September 20

—Another delightful aspect of the new GOP health-destroyer bill is elimination of protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Because, evil.


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My “fight Trump and everything he stands for” August page-a-day calendar


Another month. Still here. The worst people in the country run it. The rest of us do what we do. I can’t do much, not on my own. You’ll see, as ever, a lot of petitions, a lot of phone calls, the donations I can spare to organizations full of people with more will and organizational skills and smarts than I’ve got. This blog got taken over by this monthly exercise in keeping the panic tamped down, venting profanely, and giving myself documentation of the concrete things I do each day. That way this whole rotten tangerine nightmare doesn’t just melt together into a toxic sludge of ignorance and hate and hopelessness. It actually has worked relatively well, in that respect, at least.

Regardless, not gonna stop. Not ever. The country’s on fire. Let’s go. Hit it.


Tuesday, August 1

—One of the main elements of the prison-industrial complex is disenfranchising felons. Petition to kick things off.
—Another one is locking up disproportionate numbers of young black men for weed while America marches toward legalization. Senator Cory Booker is introducing a nationwide legalization effort.
—Dead-souled corporate shill Scott Pruitt (who’s also the head of the EPA because Trump has turned America into a sick, remorseless joke) wants to gut smog regulations. He’s the head of the EPA. Just putting that out there again.
—The August Twitter offensive begins.
—Wrote about Al Franken—that’s Senator Al Franken, to you—on Colbert for the AV Club. If we have to have unlikely TV personalities as influential politicians in our lives, I’ll take him, Al Franken.

Wednesday, August 2

—Sinclair Broadcasting is the largest owner of local news stations in the country. They also force local stations to carry low-rent Fox News-esque propaganda. Maine’s Channel 13, WMPG is one such station and Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree ain’t happy. (Here’s a fine piece by John Oliver about this bullshit.)
—Hey, maybe don’t get into a shooting war in Syria. Just a thought.
—Wrote about Samantha Bee’s musical takedown of Trump’s pet racist (voter suppression variety), Kris Kobach, for the AV Club.

Thursday, August 3

—Biggest to smallest, top to bottom, the Republicans are leaving no way to hurt poor people untried. Now—let’s take away their cell phones!
—And their access to low-cost, completely necessary medications!
—And another!
Billionaire dilettante bigot Betsy DeVos (the head of the Education Department, because America is in the hands of literally the worst possible people) is meeting with rape apologists and “men’s rights activists” (you know, sad, dickless cretins) to undermine rape protections on college campuses. No, that’s not me making up crazy shit to prove a point.
—Hey look, Washington DC cops are openly wearing KKK regalia. So that’s… horrifying.
—Twweeeeeeet, damn you.

Friday, August 4

—Made a recurring donation to ProPublica, largely in response to racist little hate-kobold Jeff Sessions most recent attacks on the press.
Abortion rights are human rights. No debate. I’m done debating with people who don’t see women as human.
—Look, John McCain got all the press (as he intended) for voting against the Republicans’ loathsome health care bill. But Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) is also battling cancer, and she interrupted treatment to vote against it—without having to be forced into it. Hero.
—Trump and his pet spider monkey racist Attorney General Jeff Sessions are attacking affirmative action, using the age-old white person excuse “reverse racism.” Which is the grossest proof yet of this administration’s white supremacist agenda. I mean, it’s a close race, but…
The Twitting. 

Saturday, August 5

—Trumphead is blundering ahead with his bigoted transgender military ban (differentiated from his bigoted Muslim ban). Fuck this guy.
—Pressure banks to stop funding Trump’s bigoted agenda by getting them to stop investing in his immigrant concentration camp detention centers.
—And hey, bank-folk, how please note that your funding of disputed, polluting oil pipelines has not escaped our notice.
—People in congress—including a shocking number of democrats—want to make it a felony for individuals to take part in boycotts of other nations (it’s about Israel) for political reasons. This is unconstitutional nonsense, obviously.
—The grift is on, what with the Grifter-In-Chief in the White House and all. Now he’s looking to abolish regulations that ban US companies from dodging billions in taxes.

Sunday, August 6

—Prisons are cutting off in-person visits in favor of expensive, unreliable, and isolating phone or Video-only visitation. Senator Tammy Duckworth is calling bullshit, and so am I.
—Naturally, the Republicans see Trump as their casino greeter to despoiling the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge.
—Tinyhands McGoo is looking to fire Robert Mueller, the person investigating him and his cabal for treason. Anyone who stands for this is one of those stereotypical peasants whose fruit carts get tipped over by El Comandante’s stormtroopers in a bad movie.
—The Democratic Party would like me to sign on in support of their “A Better Deal” agenda. I did so, even though the Democratic Party remains mumblingly awful at promoting itself.
—Nissan is engaging in some serious Pinkerton shit in trying to keep some of its American workers from unionizing.

There is power in a union. Also, this is just a great movie. 

—Trump turned a Boy Scout jamboree into a neckerchief-ed, short-pantsed white supremacist rally.

Monday, August 7

—Hey, GOP? Yeah, that game show host with the long history of racism and sexual harassment (at least) that you (sort-of) elected president is going to tweet us right into a nuclear war that ends life on Earth. So, thanks, dickheads.
—As cartoonishly venal as Trump is, the Republicans are doing everything they can to bull-rush every horrible thing they can get away with before… well, you know. That’s evil. Here’s where they’re trying to despoil some ocean.
—Bernie wants Medicare for all. I’m tiring of Bernie and his increasingly bro-ed out, dismissive acolytes, but sure.
—Trump’s on vacation and still managed to bring the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust. Wrote in the AV Club about Colbert and Meyers‘ takes on that whole… situation.

Tuesday, August 8

—Credo Action petition urging Dems to support Medicare for all while everyone’s super-pissed at the Republicans’ attempt to literally kill moms, kids, and loved ones.
—White House site petition urging Dipshit to not interfere with a governmental report about climate change. Because that’s something we have to fucking worry about now.
—Wrote about Stephen Colbert’s take on how we’re all gonna die for the AV Club. It was funny. We’re all gonna die.

Wednesday, August 9

—When billionaire bigot dilettante Betsy DeVos isn’t the worst person at the Department of Education, that’s a problem. Meet Candice Jackson, who took the side of rapists and rape apologists everywhere when she proclaimed that “90%” of all campus rapes are the result of silly drunk women lying. These are evil people, and Claire McCaskill would like Candice Jackson fired, please.
—Hey, Colin Kaepernick still doesn’t have a QB job. And the NFLPA (his union!) won’t say a word on his behalf. Nothing like a league-ful of old, white men deciding to punish an uppity black man for daring to speak out about equality.

Thursday, August 10

—As a palate-cleanser amidst all the racism, here’s a petition demanding UPS pledge not to ship “hunting trophies.” You know, the decapitated heads of endangered species that rich white scumbags pay thousands to shoot so they can feel like big, manly men with functional, adequate-sized penises. You know, like the dipshit sons of the dipshit “president.”


Pictured: Two trust fund halfwits grinningly holding the corpse of a creature worth approximately 5000 times more than they.

Friday, August 11

—Wrote about Stephen Colbert havin’ a li’l fun at Trump’s childishly megalomaniacal need for complete and constant validation at all times for the AV Club.
—Donated $25 more bucks to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Dunno what else to do.

Twitter-wars, this night mostly about the caught-on-camera-and-soon-to-be-publically-shamed-if-I-can-help-it white supremacists rallying in Charlottesville tonight.
Anti-Nazi petition.
—”Hey Fuckhead, don’t toilet-tweet us into a nuclear war with north Korea” petition.

Saturday, August 12

—In Charlottesville, the Nazis marched, and then one of them drove his car into a crowd of anti-Nazi protesters. Many injured, 30-year-old Heather Heyer is dead. A Nazi terrorist attack in a US city. Donald Trump called out “both sides.” Refused to mention, let alone condemn, the white supremacists chanting Heil Trump and making Nazi salutes in his name while they carry torches. The president if the United States is a white supremacist. Been saying it for a long, long time, and been called a hysterical Social Justice Warrior for the trouble. Well, Heather Heyer was a Social Justice Warrior. Warrior. And so am I.
—Here’s a Twitter hashtag I started to call out and identify bigots. Flush them into the light and then flush them out to the damned sea. #MakeBigotsFamous. 

Sunday, August 13

—The NRA is a racist terrorist organization.
—In addition to human decency, Trump and his minions hate science.
James Alex Fields Jr. is a Nazi terrorist who killed a woman and injured a lot more people. Jeff Sessions is a stone-cold racist who’s also—because America is trash—the Attorney General. He will fight any attempt to call white supremacist bigots what they are, let alone prosecute them.

Monday, August 14

—There are several bills (from those wacky Republicans) seeking to make it legal to run over anti-racist protesters. Because that’s who these people are.
—And let’s not forget the whole Trump-Russia thing.

Tuesday, August 15

—So today, Donald Trump openly doubled down on his defense of the Charlottesville Nazis. Unequivocally. I don’t care if it’s Bannon, Miller, Gorka, or Satan himself whispering in this prick[‘s ear. Donald Trump has tossed in, once and for all, with Nazis. Gloves off. Shit’s on.
—And to start things off on the meekest possible note—petition! Granted, it is for Shithead Johnson to be impeached, but I’ll do better.
—Even weaker: This petition only calls for Fuckhead to be censured.
—But seriously, impeach this bitch.
—The Dems are calling for a motion of “no confidence.” Which, meh.
—Marginally better: Called Maine Republicans Susan Collins and Bruce Poliquin to tell them that they will be held accountable if they don’t immediately call for Trump’s impeachment.
—Hey, you know how Trump went out and made a point to make excuses for the Charlottesville Nazis? Stephen Colbert wasn’t having it, and I wrote about that for the AV Club.

—Wednesday, August 16

—Trump and his wee little hate-leprechaun Jeff Sessions are trying to get an anti-Trump website to turn over the personal info of over a million people who think he’s a dick. He’s a dick. Please feel free to read this website, wherein I spell out why you’re a dick. My name is Dennis Perkins, and I approve that message.
—Fire Trump’s Nazi Hutt, Steve Bannon.
—As Seth Meyers showed, Donnie doesn’t like to be told to condemn Nazis because Donnie is a big, racist boy. Wrote about it for the AV Club.
—The Twits.

—Thursday, August 17

Defend DACA. You know, against the white supremacist president.
—Bing-Bong and his fellow corporate stooges are shutting down any science that might prevent them from looting the world’s natural resources.
—Hey! Remember how Trumpies said we were being hysterical when Trump cut off funding and manpower meant to investigate the rise of white supremacist terrorism? Because I sure as fuck do.
SNL is back! Sort-of. I wrote about the Trump-heavy Weekend Update: Summer Edition for the AV Club. I don’t think I nailed Tina Fey. (Yes, I wrote that on purpose.) Still, her “sheetcaking” bit was funny, and I think there’s more going on that the criticism being lobbed at it would suggest. Regardless, I’m pissed I didn’t get into it more fully.

Friday, August 18

Wrote for the AV Club about Stephen Colbert bringing on the host of Face The Nation to get tipsy and very genteelly suggest that Donald Trump is off his fucking nut.


Saturday, August 19

—My friend Samuel James and I dove down to Boston to march against the Nazis planning their “free speech as long as we’re talking about yelling slurs at brown people, Jews, and women” rally. It was a long, restorative, inspiring day, where 40,000 people scared the piss out of the 100 or so Nazis who dared to show up (for about a half-hour). Poor babies.
—Twitter, with heatstroke.


Me, Sam. Not pictured: Nazis, who fled.

Sunday, August 20

—John Oliver took time out from ripping Trump (okay, he did some) to write about how Congress keeps kicking the nuclear waste can on down the block. Wrote about it for the AV Club.

—I had a wonderful sunny Maine afternoon looking at wild animals with my perfect niece. That’s what you call self-care, people.

Monday, August 21

—After betraying his knuckle-dragger followers (Mexico ain’t payin’ for nothin’), Dipshit wants Congress (you know, meaning those tax-paying knuckle-draggers) to pay for his racist Game Of Thrones wall.
—Amidst all his racist bullshit, never forget that Trump’s in this to loot the country.
—Bannon and Gorka are out, but let’s pressure the networks to stop booking them (and still-employed minor concentration camp commandant Steven Miller) on their airwaves.

Tuesday, August 22

—A judge messed with Texas, throwing out the Texas GOP’s bullshit, racist gerrymandering and voter suppression-for-all. Beto O’Rourke, who’s running to unseat human slime-salamander Ted Cruz wants people to sign on against the Republicans trying that nonsense again.
—Another greedhead, polluting pipeline is set to despoil some sacred Native lands. Enbridge’s Line 3 Pipeline, in case you’re looking for a new thing to be pissed about.

Wednesday, August 23

—Petition for news organizations to stop using the term “alt-right,” a rebranding effort by Nazis, white supremacists, and assorted dickless scumbags. All of which would be acceptable replacements for “alt-right.”
—I think people should be able to afford necessary medications. That’s what a Commie I am.

Thursday, August 24

—There’s something called the DISCLOSE Act, which would force politicians to, um, disclose sources of what’s currently called “dark money.” Strangely, they don’t like that idea. Hmm.
—Racists hate DACA. So does the Trump administration. Hmm.

Friday, August 25

—Before Trump tweets us into nuclear war from his gold toilet.
—Or gets a reporter or someone he rage-dumps at killed. Again, from his golden toilet.
—Oh, Trump wants cow cursed into human form but still possessed of a cow brain Sam Clovis to be the head scientist of the USDA. You know, despite the fact that he’s outspokenly anti-science. And a conspiracy nut. And a bigot. And not a scientist. Moo.
—Petition to stand up for science. The concept of science is under attack by these people. Science.

Saturday, August 26

—Hey, Trump voters! Dickhead wants to cut your overtime pay! Great work, gang!
—Senator Kamala Harris wants hearings on the (Trump-endorsed and aided) rise of white supremacist groups in the United States.

Sunday, August 27

—Houston is underwater, so naturally Trump’s racist shock troops at Border Patrol and ICE are using the mass evacuations of families fleeing a hurricane to look for more brown people to deport. I hate these people. Just, hate.
Seriously. Hate.

Monday, August 28

—Trump wants to use NAFTA to pillage other countries without oversight. Which is so him.
—Corporate stooge (and head of the EPA, because everything sucks now) Scott Pruitt wants to end the ban on several deadly pesticides, because they’ll only be poisoning poor people, presumably.

Tuesday, August 29

—Scotty also wants to end the Clean Water Act. There’s a buck in it.
—In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and another, possibly worse storm heading for Florida, Republicans are trying to gut federal flood insurance. There’s a buck in it.

Wednesday, August 30

—Scumbag and Scumbag Inc. want to deport DREAM-ers.
—Seriously, I hate these people.

Thursday, August 31

—Jeff Sessions really has a tiny little elf hard-on for low-level, nonviolent drug offenders.

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My “fight Trump and everything he stands for” July 2017 page-a-day calendar

Onto month seven and Donald Trump is worse than even I thought. Or, at least—giving him the most drastic benefit of the doubt—he’s done every terrible thing his pre-election apologists claimed he wouldn’t do. Clichés are clichés and all, but, seriously, when someone shows you who they are, fucking believe them. Donald Trump is a dim, racist, megalomaniacal, sexist, tetchy, paranoid, inarticulate, thieving, boorish, power-lusting asshole. Who’s colluded with a dictator to steal an American election. That’s all he’s ever been, and that’s all he’ll ever be.

Honestly, after seven months of this bullshit, if you’re still whooping on the Trump train while tossing shitty American beer cans at brown people, gays, and women, then I genuinely think you’re a bad person. He told you who he was, and, if you hung on hoping that he’d just be the sort of measured conservative you really want only to hop off along the way, then we can talk. If you’re still with this fraction of a man at this point as he actively attempts to undermine American democracy and demonize anyone not exactly like him and his white, wealthy pals and donors, then, from me, go fuck yourself. The fight is on, and you’re not on my side. To it.

Saturday, July 1

—Called the Maine Secretary of State, again urging him to join in the now 27 states refusing to comply with the fraudulent voter fraud commission led by noted bigot and vote-suppressor Kris Kobach.
—Amazon is still advertising on racist conspiracy site and Trump morning toilet-read Breitbart.
—Urging the Golden State Warriors not to come to Trump’s White House for the obligatory NBA champs smile-a-thon. Sure, it won’t change one thing, but you know it would make Trump just tooth-gnashingly insane. It’s the little things.
—The Twitter-war against intellectually dishonest, ill-schooled ignoramuses continues. Like NRA spokesperson and person who never got over being a mean girl in middle school Dana Loesch.

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 2.20.26 PM

I have fun.

Sunday, July 2

Wells Fargo is trying to foreclose on a dead guy’s home, all while Trump and his cronies attempt to repeal all regulations on banks doing that sort of thing.
—John Oliver did a long and alarmingly funny Last Week Tonight segment on Sinclair Media Group, which is why your folksy local newscast is gradually turning into a dimwitted mini-Fox News. Wrote about it for the AV Club.
—There’s something called the Disarm Hate Act, which makes the kooky suggestion that those convicted of committing hate crimes should be able to buy guns. Shocking, the NRA is against it, as that would cut heavily into profits.

Monday, July 3

—Another petition about the Trump-Kobach “give your SSN to Russia and steal your votes” commission.
—Trump and his lackeys are bullying the hell out of the press. Respectfully—grow a pair. Get some of that Hunter Thompson in you, media members.
—In his quest to people the US government with the absolute worst people possible, Trump wants author of the CIA “torture memo,” Steven Bradbury, to be general counsel for the Department of Transportation. Yes, Trump is so shitty, I care passionately about the general counsel for the Department of Transportation.
Twitter War.

Tuesday, July 4

—Ted Cruz has a plan to save the Republicans’ terrible health care bill. It’s terrible!
—Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden is not happy that Trump is sharing info with Russia, since they’re a brutal dictatorship who stole the election fro Trump and is engaged in ongoing attempts to infiltrate our democracy and all.
—The Tweetering.

Wednesday, July 5

—Aaaand, Trump wants to allow people to just blast sonic air guns underwater in pursuit of… something. Fuck you, whales and dolphins!
—Very few states (like one) have complied with Trump and Kobach’s voter suppression campaign. It should be none. 

Thursday, July 6

—Mitch McConnell (in the running for anti-American of the decade) is looking to subvert congressional rules to pass a corporate polluters bill, S 1460, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017. Letter to Susan Collins.
—Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has a petition against the Republican health care bullshit.

Friday, July 7

—Susan Collins has claimed she’s a no on the Republicans’ health care (sorry “health care”) bill. Called to thank her—and, you know, remind her.
—As of today, it appears that only Arkansas is turning over its citizens’ private information to voter suppression asshole Kris Kobach. One too many.
—And another petition on the issue.

Saturday, July 8

—Ted Cruz is looking to make deals on the Republicans’ shitty health care bill now. Since Cruz is about as popular (even with other Republicans) as antibiotic-resistant VD, that doesn’t bode well for the death bill of theirs. Still, a letter to Susan Collins doesn’t hurt.
—Religious bigots are super-hard to discriminate against gay people in housing. Pass H.R. 1447, the Fair and Equal Housing Act.
Hey, remember how Trump promised a kajillion dollar infrastructure plan? Yeah, he lied. Save Amtrak.

Sunday, July 9

—Another letter to Collins on health care.
—Orrin Hatch (R-UT) wants “input from corporations” on how best to reform the tax code. Psst: They don’t want to pay any taxes, and they’re willing to spend a goodly amount of cash to people like Hatch to represent their money-grubbing interests.
—The Republican Party knows its ideas are shit. That’s why they gerrymander districts to disenfranchise non-white people and others who see through their venal, racist bullshit.
—Petition from VoteVets that the Idiot Manboy In Chief should not be able to launch military action against North Korea. Frankly, there should be a long, long series of checks before this dipshit can use his phone.

Monday, July 10

—Anything called “ACLU vs. Trump” is worth a signature of support. This case is about Trump’s bullshit voter suppression tactics.
Same goes for Common Cause.
—Hey, the Republicans are all-in on S. 1460, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017. Which, naturally, means it’s a real land-raper.
—You know, gun nuts like Ronald Amidon shouldn’t have any place in the government. Like, not at all.
—Li’l Donnie Trump Jr., now dad’s third-favorite child and falling, admitted that he met with Russian agents specifically to get dirt on Hillary Clinton during the campaign. So, that’s treason. Let’s have the little bastard in for questioning, huh?
—Wrote about Stephen Colbert’s take on Li’l Fredo’s treasonous fuckup for the AV Club.


Tuesday, July 11

—Claire McCaskill isn’t a fan of the Republicans’ health plan. Me neither.
—I’m not a fan of Tweeting at dummies, either. Oh, I do it.

Wednesday, July 12

Called Susan Collins office, urging her to hold to her opposition to the Republicans’ health care debacle and to spout off about Trump-Russia. Trump’s nominee for head of the FBI is being super-shifty in his confirmation hearing right now about the whole “the president is clearly a traitor” thing.
It’s Net Neutrality Day, wherein people attempt to stop Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, the FCC, and Trump from fucking up the internet.
—John Oliver popped by to visit Stephen Colbert, and pronounce us “turbo-fucked.” Wrote about it for the AV Club.

Thursday, July 13

—Ted Cruz just released his version of the shitty Republican health bill, which is_wait for it—incredibly shitty. It does however, attempt to buy off GOP senators in key states with baubles and beads and so forth. Angus King isn’t on board and he’s got a petition.
—League of Conservation Voters want King and Collins to protect Maine’s environment from Trumpian land-rape. It’s not like tourism is important to Maine, right?
—Tom Udall prompt on health care, in the form of a thought bubble caption. I used mine to insult Ayn Rand. You have to have fun.
The Twitter.

Friday, July 14

—The only doubt I had about signing this petition urging Trump to have a meal with people that have been granted clemency from their prison sentences is that they’d have to watch Trump eat.
Trump’s war on brown people continues apace.
—If the Republicans’ plan to gut health care to procure massive rich-dick tax cuts doesn’t pan out (and it’s looking shaky, thankfully), Orrin Hatch has another scheme for backup!

Saturday, July 15

—Petition to the convention of District Attorneys calling for opposition to cornpone racist Jeff Sessions’ plan to reinstate the failed mass incarceration drug policies of the past.
—Republicans would like to kill the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is as shitty a thing to do as it sounds.
—Trump’s pally and Turkish sort-of dictator Recep Erdoğan loves to jail civil rights activists.

Sunday, July 16

—The appropriately sinister sounding Section 702 allows for warrantless surveillance of American citizens.
—You really want Net Neutrality. Seriously.
—The Tweeting.

Monday, July 17

—Seth Meyers and the rest of the late night hosts are back, which means so are my always Trump-adjacent AV Club Newswires. Here’s one on Meyers dissecting Donnie Jr.’s bumbling, stumbling admissions of some trust-fund treason!
—Speaking thereof, how about one of those full, independent investigations?!

Tuesday, July 18

—Hey, that pesky Republican effort to repeal, replace, and otherwise dump all over Obamacare appears to be dead. It is dead, actually, with two massive, humiliating defeats this morning and afternoon, but, knowing these sadistic goons, I’m not gonna hop up and down until I’m doing do on the grave containing its holy water-drowned ashes and covered in salted earth. Still—Fuck you, McConnell, Trump, Ryan, Bruce “I hope no one notices me, ever” Poliquin, and the rest of the GO-motherfuckin’-P. Seriously. Here’s a letter to my senators urging them to stab this thing until it is most assuredly dead.


—That being said, let’s move on the fact that in no way should this tetchy manbaby have the ability to start a goddamned war.
—There’s nothing Trump’s hand-picked, unqualified, right-wing dilettante Education Secretary Betsy DeVos likes more than shaming poor kids comes school lunchtime.
—Speaking of DeVos, a big fan of protecting rapists, North Carolina is passing a law saying it’s not rape if the woman says no when you’re all revved up. I’m paraphrasing, but the MRA crowd is feverishly masturbating over this one.
—Keegan-Michael Key resurrected Luther on Colbert last night, and I wrote about it for the AV Club. Catharsis.

Wednesday, July 19

—McConnell, Trump, and the Asshole Gang are determined to force a vote on health care, despite their humiliating defeat yesterday. Now they want to just destroy Obamacare with no plan in place to look out for the—CBO estimated—32 million Americans that would hurt. Kamala Harris isn’t having it.
—Wrote about Samantha Bee just straight-up going piñata on Republican bigot-simpletons Dana Rohrabacher, Louie Gohmert, and Iowa’s favorite white supremacist, Steve King. Wrote about it for the AV Club.

Thursday, July 20

—Stephen Colbert took some of that CBS cash and checked into the infamous pee-pee tape room (allegedly) at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton. Cue the pee-puns, both from Colbert and me, in my write up at the AV Club.
The Tweets, where all the bing-bongs come out to play their racist reindeer games.

Friday, July 21

The People’s Platform want my name! I’m not sure what it is, but I gave it to them! This is my life now! Take it, take my name!
—Trump keeps yowling the word “coal” like a code word for “stuff that was good before the gays and the women and the blacks.” He has a horrible new coal plan!
—Ohio botched its last execution, but now, 3+ years later, they think they’ve got it right—so Governor John Kasich is planning to okay a 27-man execution assembly line. Considering that 9 guys who were scheduled to die for crimes they didn’t commit are sending a letter to Kasich, the least I can do is sign on.
Twitter fights.

Saturday, July 22

—Remember how Trump was all “Hillary is beholden to Goldman-Sachs and I’m gonna drain the swamp and other childish, simplistic catchphrases,” Yeah, Trump voters are even dumber than I thought.
—House Democrats have introduced a “no confidence” motion about the fact that Donald Trump is a dithering, blustering manbaby (not official bill language). It’s meaningless, as is my signature, but let’s do it anyway.
—The Tweets. 

Sunday, July 23

—Another letter to Susan Collins. She’s voting no on the GOP death care bill, but I don’t know what else to do.

Monday, July 24

—Another Trumpcare petition, this one from Martin Heinrich. Just found out that John McCain is coming back from his brain-cancer sickbed to vote on the motion to proceed tomorrow. Will the MAVERICK crawl into the chambers to vote to repeal health care for people with the exact same needs his government insurance is taking care of? Well, you know…

Tuesday, July 25

—Well, the Republicans have passed the motion to proceed on destroying health insurance for tens of millions who desperately need it. All for cash. All for fucking power. This party needs to be burned to the ground. Donated to Jacky Rosen, the Democratic opponent of Nevada Senator Dean Heller, who caved in despite speaking out against the bill just last week. It’s a start. Fuck these monsters.
Called Susan Collins about health care again.
—Wrote about Colbert on the health care assholery for the AV Club.

Wednesday, July 26

—Woke up to news that draft-dodging bigot traitor Donald Asshole Trump tweeted on the toilet and announced trans people aren’t allowed in the US military any more. It’s a sop to his bigot base, the work of Bannon and Pence, and utterly fucking unconscionable. —Called Susan Collins urging her to speak out.
—And here’s a petition.
Called Maine’s bigot-bumpkin Governor Paul LePage, urging him to speak out, as many other, better governors have done, against the GOp repeal effort. He’s human trash, but whatever.
—There’s a right-wing, climate denier group called the US Chamber of Commerce that’s supported, in part by companies like Pepsi, The Gap, and Disney.

Thursday, July 27

—That was a long fucking night. I managed to write this for the AV Club at 3 a.m., after the Republican ghouls failed. Only three of them showed some character, so I give Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and John McCain that. I’m firm but fair. As is Seth Meyers.

Friday, July 28

—Called Lisa Murkowski. Left a message to say thank you. Unsurprisingly, she and Collins are being both ignored in favor of McCain’s showboating and being subjected to a sludge-wave of sexist attacks—some from their own Republican colleagues.
—The Tweets are not getting smarter out there.

Saturday, July 29

—A petition for lots of goals Democrats should embrace! They probably won’t get to all of them!
—The Tweets. 

Sunday, July 30

—I went to the Red Sox game with my mom and little brother. Sue me. Restorative.
—Still came home with a Fenway sunburn to write about John Oliver dismantling the huckster side of loony beanbag Alex Jones for the AV Club.
—Aaaaand, Twitter.

Monday, July 31

—Trump is grumbling about firing Robert Mueller. Fox News thumb in a wig Sean Hannity is openly calling for Mueller to be fired. That would remove all doubt that Trump is making a play for dictator status at the seven-month mark.
—Speaking of getting shitcanned, adios to The Mooch. Colbert sang him out into well-deserved disgrace. Wrote about it for the AV Club. One sideshow ends, but another monthlong racist, jackass circus continues into August. Onward. Sing us out, Steve.

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