I've Seen This All Before: Trump is Playing Out the Plot to Nightmare Before Christmas

PhotoGrid 1489694881491Let me make one thing clear; I HATE Nightmare Before Christmas. I stand apart from others in my generation and those that came after in adoring this movie. I've seen it multiple times, as is obligatory for people my age; I know the songs and tried so hard to get into it. I just can't. While this movie enjoys a hallowed spot in the pantheon of animated children's fables, to me, this isn't the story of a well-intentioned knave who accidentally steps too far out of bounds. I see a more ominous tale of what happens when one person, dissatisfied with their situation, strong arms themselves into someone else's lane, appropriates their culture with no deep understanding of the meaning behind it and unleashes all sorts of unintended consequences because of their ill-conceived desire to have more than they already have. It smacks of the moral lesson that America is about to learn, bigly.

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David Frum Knocks Down a Strawman

 
A response to Mike Pesca, who hosted conservative thinker and leader of the conservative anti-Trump movment, David Frum, on his podcast, The Gist on Monday, February 13, 2017
 
While I appreciated David Frum's clear-headed critique of Trump's shortcomings and the appropriate steps everyone needs to take to remove him from office, I feel he missed the mark on recognizing the goals of the Women's March and the anti-Trump resistance at large. I can assure him, women and minorities don't need another white man to tell how them how to protest and where to spend their energies. I'm sure Frum represents a broad swath of conservatives who are principled enough to be embarrassed by Trump and recognize the threat he poses to American institutions but would love to keep the opposition laser-focused on the 45th President and redirect the opposition's cross-hairs off conservatives like himself.

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There's No Time To Explain #29: Kris Simeon


20170201 200948I kick off a new year (Second season, Dan!) with a conversation with songwriter and musician Kris Simeon. Kris has been playing around the Southland for many years and used to play in the rock band Spartacus, a regular booking on my Blackbird shows. Kris has been playing music ever since solo and in various projects around town. We talk about songwriting and how music works cathartically to heal painful wounds. Kris plays a few tunes and lets me jam with him on harmonica. Well, I try. The conversation starts at 11:30. I rant about whether it's cool to punch Nazis. If you like this show, please consider supporting me for $1 per episode on Patreon.com/TNT2E.
 
 
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The One Detail About Trump's Scandals That Is Staring Us In The Face

Whatever the source and however credible, Trump's many scandals always seem to be plausible, episodic, and consistent, and that suggests they might all be true.

trumpshrug

Donald Trump's many scandals seem to spring up like weeds in a garden. The media has been ambling to catalog each new flowering as fast as Trump's team attempts to mow them down. The American public watches this dance with intermittent horror and glee. I like "cutting down weeds" as a metaphor for this tactic because the thing that I observe about the "weeds" of our President-Elect's endless scandals is that no one has gone so far investigating them as to pull them up by the root. Regarding the continued revelations, substantiated or not, about Trump's malfeasance and connections to Russia, at some point, all of the circumstantial, unverified, or quickly dismissed evidence needs to be considered en masse.

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Please join me in supporting Camp Quest West

CampI am making a pledge to raise $3000 for Camp Quest West this year. CQW is a summer camp for the children of Humanist, free-thought, and secular families. It's open to all and inclusive of all children, regardless of religion, gender, identity, and ability. It provides a week-long sleep away camp with an incredible curriculum, created by educators and child development professionals based on critical thinking, reason, tolerance, social justice, and Humanism. And, it has all the swimming, archery, singing, hiking, games, and crafts you'd imagine at a summer camp like this. If you are in position to give, please consider supporting CQW in any amount. Your donation will go to fund financial aid requests for families who are seeking it. Please share.
 
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12 Reasons Why Losing the Electoral College is Good for Trump

Donals-Trump-SpeechDear Donald Trump,
 
You got yourself elected President, fair and square. I'm not a fan of yours, but I have to give you the props you deserve; you surprised the hell out of me. I know it bothers you that you lost the popular vote, but there are reasons as old as our democracy why the popular vote isn't used to elect the president. No one who matters questions the legitimacy of your win. In the end, you did what you set out to do: win the election for the Presidency of the United States of America. 
 
On December 19th, the Electoral College convenes to weigh in, and there are whispers of faithless Republican electors, organizing under the name The Hamilton Electors, who hope to cooperate with Hillary's electors to deny you the presidency. I'm sure this angers you greatly, but before you tap up a tweet storm about it, hear me out. I think being denied the presidency by the Electoral College might actually be in your self-interest:

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Assuming the Collar-ary based on the Average.

Jim writes:

One of my problems is I have a GIANT neck compared to the rest of my body. I have 19 1/2" neck, but my body is much smaller. When I buy a 19ish shirt, the body is like a nightgown. My weight fluctuates quite a bit, 230-255, and custom shirts are expensive and hard to get a great fit. Any tips?

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It's Time to Require Birth Certificates and Tax Disclosures to Run for President

donald-trump-vs-barack-obama-1000x600Dear Lawmakers in Congress and the State Legislatures,
 
It's time to pass a bill called "The Presidential Eligibility and Transparency Act." It would require the submission of a valid US Birth Certificate and the disclosure of Federal Tax Returns upon submitting Federal Election Commission Form 2- Statement of Candidacy for all persons who wish to have their name listed on each state's ballot to be elected President of the United States, effective for the 2020 election. It's important that we verify that the people running for President are qualified and free from conflicts of interest that would prevent them from serving in good faith. This measure will not change the eligibility requirements as outlined in Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

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The Christmas Challenge-Donate to Non-Profits in Lieu of Gifts

Brian Parra is a Dork
Dear Friends and Family,
 
I'd like to encourage you to consider making a donation to your favorite non-profit organization this season in lieu of buying me a Christmas or birthday present. I am very fortunate already, and I've obviously been very caught up in the new political reality as of late. I've been thinking about what power an individual has to make a difference between votes and I recall my uncle Robert Sanchez, whom I admire very much, making this request of his family a few years ago. Collectively, you guys will probably drop a couple hundred bucks on me this year, and if I could direct that energy to do good in the world, we'd accomplish more together than if I had a few more sweater vests.

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There is more than one way to be big.

NickDirty Writes:
 
I'm a 6'3" guy and built. My chest and shoulders fit a 46" jacket, but my waist is 34". I'm going to have to have a suit custom made, for sure.
I'd like to stand out a bit, be bold, but still look classic. Can I pull off a pinstripe with as tall as I am? I've read that pinstripes don't work for tall guys because it appears to lengthen you and make you look lanky. However, I'm not a small guy. Would pinstripes work in my situation?
 
I'd like to have a suit for general purpose, I've read that charcoal is a good way to go, but if I'm spending $800-$1500 to get a custom suit, do you think I should go with black so that I can wear it to funerals and formal events? I'm not sure if/when I'll have the occasion to get another suit. If I try to go with the pinstripes, will that take away from the versatility of the suit? If it's a subtle pinstriping like in the picture I sent to you can I still wear it to a funeral or is that a faux pas?
 
I'm going to talk to a tailor sometime soon, but I'm the type to do some initial research. Thanks for your time!

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