Top 10 Plurals for Goldman Sachs

921458_10208027385623906_8696478903816718290_o

Rachel Maddow issued a challenge for viewers to come up with an appropriate plural designation when speaking of Trump’s Goldman Sachs (GS) hires.  You know, like a group of Sachs or a bag of Goldman Sachs or a school of Sachs and so on.  You will recall that Trump has named, hired, or appointed something like 6 from the Wall Street firm.  Interestingly, and some would say hypocritically so, he brutally criticized Hillary Clinton for being “totally controlled by Goldman Sachs.” Well, it looks like he was secretly winking at her when saying this because it appears that it is he, not she who will be controlled by Goldman Sachs.  So how do we refer to a group of GS Trump advisers? Here is my list of top ten possibilities with brief explanations:

  1. A coalition of GS, as in a coalition of cheetah, or perhaps even more appropriate, a coalition of GS Cheetos.
  2. A tribe of GS, as in a tribe of goats.  Maybe they will say things Trump doesn’t like and in doing so get his goat.
  3. A bloat of GS, as in a bloat of hippos. Hippos, as one knows, are potentially dangerous to people and so too might a bloat of GS be if financial regulations are relaxed.
  4. A romp of GS, as in a romp of otters who are slick to the touch and like to playfully romp around in rough waters. Let’s just hope the romp of GS advisers doesn’t romp around with our investments.
  5. A wake of GS, as in a wake of buzzards. Now, this sounds bleak and terrifying, to be honest.
  6. A wreck of GS, as in a wreck of seabirds is not much better. An unregulated Wall Street could wreck the economy again and your retirement account along with it.
  7. A murmuration of GS, as in a murmuration of starlings. Can’t you see them all flying in formation? What a spectacle it would be.
  8. A descent of GS, like a descent of woodpeckers pecking away at your life savings until there is nothing left.
  9. A plague of GS, like a plague of insects I think speaks for itself.
  10. A scourge of GS like a scourge of blood sucking mosquitoes – not a pretty image.

In all fairness, I am not against Goldman Sachs or any other investment firm or big bank as long as they play by the rules and behave responsibly.  It just seems so hypocritical for Trump to have derided Clinton for her connections to Wall Street when it is clear that his administration is going to BE Wall Street.  Well, he did say he was going to buld a wall, I just didn’t expect it to be made of Goldman Sachs.

What’s this I hear about Last in Space?

269368_10200349970853335_772659309_n

I was trying to read the lineup of shows on TV from the menu of our cable service without my glasses.  I felt like I was taking one of those vision tests.  I proudly boasted that I could read a blurry row near the bottom of the chart and when called upon to do so, mumbled out random letters and numbers with the word possibly thrown in only to have the doctor request that I try to read again but this time three rows up.

As I squinted at the TV program menu, I thought the networks and stations had just gone live with their new lineup of shows, some that sounded intriguing.  I don’t watch much TV generally, but these new shows had me dreaming of early retirement:

Crimea Minds

This must be a Russian version of CSI.

Family Fraud

They are all unrelated, as it turns out.

The Big Bong

With the legalization of marijuana, this new series comes as no surprise.

Mushroomers

I guess Moonshiners has run its course.

Fiends

This sarcastic comedy is about a group of hateful friends.

Monsters in my Barn

Garage Squid

This might be a spinoff of Monsters in my Barn or one of those shows like Gator Boys.

New Grill

I toggled down quickly as I figured this was an addictive infomercial about a revolutionary grill.

American Mustard

America can do mustard too just as good as the French.

Imperial Lockers

I thought this might be something like an SNL spoof on Impractical Jokers but then again it could be about what the rich and famous store in lockers in train stations throughout Europe.

Morning Joke

I imagine this one to be morning political comedy, not unlike Morning Joe.

Miami, Nice!

…until it gets too hot.

The Last Squid

Based on The Twilight Zone pilot, “Where is Everybody?”

Last In Space

Trump might do better to start a space race, rather than a nuclear arms race.

Radiator

Make sure the kids are in bed as this steamy series is sure to carry an MA rating.

Anderson Copper 300

If I had to guess, I would say this is a 5-hour infomercial for a new compression product.

Chicago Tire

This reality shoe about a tire shop in the windy city is sure to be a big hit.

Last Squid Standing

If I had to hazard a guess, I would go with a deep sea, outwit, outlast, survival show with host Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants.

Little Horse on the Prairie

A homesteader with a pony tries to live the American dream but finds life on the range depressingly difficult.

As Roseanne Roseannadanna might have said, “What’s this I hear about Deep Fried Monsters? Oh, Deep Fried Masters? Nevermind.”

New Hampshire 2016

I was last in the granite state in 2008 as I recall and remember seeing lots of political signs for various candidates including then Senator Barak Obama and many more for the maverick senator John McCain in towns like Conway and Warner. As a democrat, I worried that New Hampshire was in the bag for the GOP. As it turned out, my fears were unfounded and Obama won New Hampshire in 2008 and again in 2012. 

In 2016, I am seeing a dusturbingly “bigly” level of support for Trump/Pence as evidenced by signage just as I did in 2008 for McCain. As I drove through Nashua, I even saw a display of Trump signs encircling an impressive and omnious show of civil war canons. This certainly puts a new light on what Trump may mean by “Make America Great Again.” Some of his supporters have actually begun talking about a revolution, an armed one I presume, because Trump along with the NRA controlled GOP, have low information voters, to put it politely, convinced, wrongly, that HRC will take their guns away, a claim they also made against Obama which turned out to be huuugely false. 

Trump now claims the election will be rigged, casting doubt on our democratic institution, as a conspiracy theorist and authoritarian fascist would. It’s not only Trump, however, but also GOP leaders who have been using this voter fraud angle to justify voter suppression laws which have made it harder for people, particularly students, blacks, latinos and the elderly to vote. By the way, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, an inconvenient fact, so this strategy is clearly designed to keep a reliable democratic base from turning out, or voting. The only frightening signal of voter tampering appears to be some sort of Russian hack into electronic voting machines in several states. Given Trump’s unwavering praise for Putin, his announcement that the election will be rigged is alarmingly suspicious. If a large scale hack  crippled voting machines, Trump could then appeal the election results. If HRC does win, Trump will argue that her presidency is illegitimate, not unlike his birther foolishness to delegitamize Obama. 

New Hampshire is an odd place. I am not certain HRC can win here with its predominately white voter base that has an independent streak. And the polls show a virtual deadlock between Trump and Clinton. I’ve seen as many Gary Johnson signs as I have ones for HRC while passing through towns in search of fall foliage, which is in short supply in the mountains but has been plentiful near the lakes region. This may have something to do with climate change, which Trump denies. He’ll instead promise to bring back brilliant fall foliage to the state of New Hampshire as part of his campaign to make America great again, “colors that will make your head spin, believe me.”

Trump Leading in Louisiana Purchase States

DSC_0823

And this just might be his strategy, but it’s a risky one and provides the narrowest path to a victory or a tie.  Drumpf needs to win all 15 of the states that were part of the original  Louisiana purchase: Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Oklahoma and New Mexico.  Currently, he’s winning in 11 of the 14, trailing only in Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado and New Mexico, but trailing pretty badly in the last 3. Even if he were to win all 15, which is highly unlikely, he’d only get 125 electoral votes.  To get to a tie, he’d have to win PA and OH, AND the ENTIRE south, less VA, including, significantly, Florida and North Carolina where he’s behind and that ONLY gets him to 269.  To win outright, he’d have to flip a blue state and I think ME is the only realistic possibility.  If he’s as rich as he says, he might even try to purchase ME, but we won’t know just how wealthy he is until he releases his tax returns, and that ain’t happening.  But never mind ME, for Trump, a tie is as good as a win. If he has 269, so too would Hillary and the election would be decided by the House where the Republicans have an edge. As Napoleon might have said, se la vie.

Olympic Medals Made Of Chocolate

What if those medals all the Olympians win were made of chocolate?  The gold medal would be made of the highest quality chocolate from Switzerland.  The silver medal, perhaps, would be of Belgian extract, although the Italian’s might take issue.  The bronze, well, nobody wants a bronze and so it wold have to be made of a common American chocolate, something like a Hershey’s Kiss, you know, a kiss for a good try, or the unheralded and quite delicious Zero bar, which apparently it still being manufactured, though it’s hard to find where I live.

Were this to come to fruition in the 2020 Toyko games, athletes would no longer have to pretend to take a bite out of their medals; in fact, they could peel off the foil and eat their medals right on the podium stand.

Who’s It Going To Be T or C?

A commentary from the political desk of Ribbie’s Weblog

IMG_0733

Trump could win.  No, seriously.  If you don’t want Trump to become the next President of the United States, here’s what NOT to do.

Don’t stay home on election day.  Not a good idea. If you think your vote doesn’t matter, you’re wrong.  It does.  Even if you live in a solidly blue or red state.  In this Orwellian election cycle, red is blue; purple, pink; blue is red; up, down; fact is fiction.  Hey, my state of Massachusetts is as blue as it gets, but it has elected a Republican governor in 5 out of the last 6 elections since 1991.  It will likely go for Hillary Clinton in the general, but only because there is a strong HRC campaign organization in the area.  In other traditionally blue states like PA and OH, Trump and Clinton are running neck and neck in the polling.  And for you Texans reading this, despite the fact that there are significantly more registered GOP voters than Dems in your Lonestar state, don’t think that your vote doesn’t matter – that Trump’ll win anyway.  Not necessarily.  Cruz won your state as did HRC.  And if you are a Cruz supporter, don’t forget that the Trump campaign has treated him with utter contempt and disrespect.  They invited him to speak at the convention to embarrass him.  Don’t believe for a minute that it was a courtesy to offer him a primetime speaking slot.  They knew he was not going to endorse in his speech and they also knew that he would be booed off the stage, which happened for the most part.  His wife actually had to be escorted out of the building for fear the crowd would turn on her.  For the record, I don’t like him much, but I admire his courage to speak in front of a hostile crowd AND for giving you, if you supported him, the license to vote your conscience.  So vote your conscience and might I suggest the libertarian candidate?  That would be the ticket of former Republican governors, Johnson and Weld.

Don’t vote for Trump because you are a Republican and he’s the nominee.  First of all, he’s no more a Republican than Bernie is a Democrat.  He is a reality star, out to boost his brand and business, not make America great. Do you really want to give a billionaire a hand and your vote?  Ok, so you hate Hillary, fine, don’t vote for her BUT don’t vote for him either, especially if you feel in your heart of hearts that the man is a little off his rocker.  Here’s what you can do instead, vote for the Libertarian ticket, and that would be the aforementioned Johnson and Weld.  Don’t waste a vote on Dr. Jill Stein, who would like to play the role of spoiler and is doing all she can to disunify the Democratic Party, which has a big top big enough for moderates, progressives, and greens. Or you could go to the other side and join me in voting for HRC.  No one will ever know.  You can tell your friends and family that you did what you had to do and leave it at that.  Alternatively, and not recommended, but you could find an excuse not to vote.  Car trouble.  Had to work early or late, or whatever.  If in Texas or some other voter suppressed state, you could conveniently lose your voter ID and gun permit.  I’m sorry. I’m being rude, I know and what’s more, I know not to mess with the great state of Texas having lived there and with family and many friends there.

If you are a Democrat, regardless of who you supported in the primary, or an Independent voter on the fence, vote HRC, if for no other reason than the next president could get 4 supreme court picks.  Folks, these are lifetime appointments.  They’ll be ruling on immigration, gun laws, affirmative action, union issues, marriage equality, reproductive rights, health care, climate change to name a few for years to come. Truly, the balance of the court is at stake.  Will it lean left or tilt right?  Your vote could make the difference.

Dems, it’s time to unify.  Put aside your special interests in the interest of defeating Trump. Don’t let Trump’s rhetoric about HRC fool you.  She’s not a criminal.  She should not be locked up.  She is not a compulsive liar.  On the contrary, practically everything Trump has said over the course of his year-long campaign has been fact checked as untruthful.

Finally, consider this:

In a poll, all of these words were used to describe Trump: ignorant, stupid, idiot, jerk, dangerous, demagogic, bombastic, arrogant, horrible, racist, asshole.

In the same poll, these words were used to describe Clinton: qualified, experienced, good, smart, intelligent, nice, strong, determined, great, Presidential.

Ok, I left out the crooked Hillary mentions and that some feel she’s untrustworthy and dishonest and a criminal – which of course she is not.  And I left out some of Trump’s positives like that he is “honest”, even though fact checks suggest otherwise, and that he is great, bold and outspoken.  But I also left out that people find him to be a loudmouth liar, so there.   Now for you, who’s it going to be, T or C?

The choice between the two is a no-brainer for me.  Think.

Arizona Birkenstock Birko-Flor Review

DSC_0685

New Pair of Arizona Birko-Flor narrow width sandals

I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about a shoe before and probably never will again.  I almost posted a user comment on Zappos where I bought the pair but decided not to give away my content to the website.  I was pleased with their service, Zappos that is. Buying the shoe, sandal, in this case, was easy.  Zappos has a wide selection of shoes in all sizes and widths, provides a UPS tracking link, and delivers on time for free.

But this review is not about Zappos, it’s about the Arizona Birkenstock Birko-Flor sandal, which I am now wearing or breaking-in I should say.  Where to start?  First, this is my third pair.  The first pair lasted about 10 years and the 2nd pair, darn near 15.  Both pairs were leather with the classic footbed.

 

DSC_0687 Time to Retire the 15-year-old pair of Birkenstock Arizona leather sandal
Continue reading

Mad Cows Protest

Pablo Picowso 2

If I were a cow, I would be concerned about the latest bill supported by California Governor Jerry Brown which would make it nearly impossible for cows to get antibiotics.  For the record, cows generally don’t like antibiotics and some even refuse the treatment because it upsets their four chambered stomach, especially when its empty.  However, a key source from the bovine world told me that were the Brown proposal fully implemented, and the cows unable to purchase over-the-counter antibiotics, something they have been able to do since the 60’s, yes, without a prescription, they would agitate and it would not be pretty.  Already some leaders of the various Bovine Unions in California have begun to organize stray cows who have taken advantage of their owners free range practices, and disaffected cows who are fed up with electric fences.  Just last week, a group of Holstein Heifers marched and then grazed on the California capital grounds demanding access to a broad spectrum of antibiotics to combat a nasty case of pink eye going around.  One young calf had also complained of not being able to get a bottle of tetracycline to treat his acne. He said the wildflowers he had tried as a home remedy had not helped and had actually made him “quite mad”, which was related to one of the slogans on a two-sided banner that an Angus cow wore like a saddle – MAD COWS = ANGRY DAIRY.  A group of devious beavers provided a constant drumbeat on empty plastic gallons of milk with their paddles in support of the cattle who chanted MOO, MOO, MOO, which sounded like a tractor motor that was trying to start, but wouldn’t.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to consume angry milk, yogurt with an attitude or crazed cheese. The cows do have a point.  And they are organized!

Ask Brody the GOPbot

Brody is a GOPbot developed with the knowledge of key GOP positions on most issues.  If Brody were a debate participant, it’d sound like any one of the candidates and should produce gaffes with the best of them.

Moderator:  What do you think about the Iran deal?

Brody:  I ran because I want to make the country great again.

Moderator:  No, Iran, the country, not why you ran.  The Iran nuclear deal.

Brody: There is no clear deal.

Moderator:  Nuclear.

Brody:  As Ronald Reagan said, “trust but verify”.

Moderator:  So it’s a good deal?

Brody.  No, Iran took our hostages.

Moderator:  That was 1979.

Brody: A very good year for Bordeaux and the band Peaches and Herb.

Next question:  Where do you stand on climate change?

Brody:  We stand united.

Moderator: That’s not a complete thought, can you tell me more.

Brody:  Fly the friendly skies, of United…excuse me while I compute…we stand united that the earth is 900 years old and flat.

Moderator:  You can’t be serious?

Brody:  Do Ya think I’m sexy?

Moderator:  Excuse me?

Brody:  Rod Stewart, 1979.  And then there was Rod Laver, 1969 and Rod Sterling, 1959.

Moderator:  Brody, let’s focus. What do you think about planned parenthood.

Brody:  Parenthood should be planned.

Moderator:  That’s it?

Brody:  That 70’s show.

Moderator: What?

Brody: That girl, Marlo Thomas.

Moderator:  One last question.  Gun control or gun rights?

Brody:  Right, the far right, The Far Side.  Bill the cat is all that.

Thank you Brody for a most illuminating conversation.

GOP Debate Coach for Hire

If the GOP candidates need advice for the big first debate in Cleveland, I’m their guy.  Full disclosure – I’m not a Republican, but almost became one on a road trip through Europe in 1984. I remember praising President Ronald “Raygun” Reagan for doing his part to keep the exchange rate favorable to the dollar over the Lira and the French Franc, but did an about face in Switzerland where I ran out of money -dang Suisse Franc, that my spell checker advised me to call Issue.

The big debate should be a first class clown show and the spoils will go to the one who makes the most noise.  So how does one make noise?  Well, it is a debate so it’s best to expose the weaknesses of the opponents, but with charm and good humor.  American voters love to be entertained and respect a good one liner – “Senator (Quayle) you’re no Jack Kennedy.”  Here are some crib notes on some of the “big guns”.

Governors Christie and Kasich are polling at 3%.  How relevant can they be? Isn’t Christie the guy from the auction house? And wasn’t Kasich once running for President as a Democrat? Wait, that was Kucinich.  When I first saw a picture of the Governor, I thought he was ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, his doppleganger.

The known stars of the GOP – “Also Ran” Rand Paul whose father once ran for President on the Libertarian ticket, and the Canadian born Ted Cruz – are polling at 5%. If I were a candidate, I would simply say to Rand, “stop whining” and to Senator Cruz, “you sound like a Sunday morning televangelist” and look out at the crowd and say, “and soon he’ll be passing the plate around asking you for a donation.”  Now Trump was big on the birther thing so he should causally mention that Ted Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada and then say something like – “nothing against Canadians, but they do like their medicine socialized.” That would scare the bejesus out of GOP voters.

Carson, Huckabee and Rubio are running at a modest 6% in the polls.  Dr. Carson is a world renowned surgeon, but has never been elected to public office. Huckabee has made so many desperate, incendiary comments that he’s likely to flame out on stage and is best ignored.  Marco “Polo” Rubio is still exploring the issues and is not even the favorite in his home state, trailing Jeb Bush by 12 points in the latest Florida poll.  “Senator Rubio, it’s not your turn yet.”

And the big three – Trump, Bush and Walker.  Walker, Bush and all the others should just say that Trump has no experience and ignore him.  Bush should say that Walker is a divisive union buster with a mean streak and Trump, Walker and all the others should say, “please, not another Bush” and argue strongly against a monarchy. 12 years and 3 wars is already 12 and 3 too many.