Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Comrade Trump Has A Problem

I was watching Fox News yesterday as I was curious to see how Pravda was going to spin the seemingly airtight indictment of Manafort and Toadie.  One would think that a detailed assessment of money laundering Russian payouts and charges of “conspiracy against the United States” would be noteworthy.  Yet Fox News waved it away as some sort of Democrat misdirection away from the idea that it was Hillary Clinton that was colluding with Russians.  The claim, completely devoid of fact or even logic, is one of the talking points of the channel.  There is also a bizarre fascination with the funding of “the dossier” that is attempting to be spun into a conspiracy despite every person that paid for the creation of the “dossier” being out front and saying “I paid for it after the Republican challengers stopped paying for it”.  I think they like saying “dossier” as it sounds much more impressive and foreign than “a report”.

There was passing mention of Papadopoulos’s guilty plea, mostly footage of the very odd looking Sarah Sanders contorting her face while lying about everything.  That woman clearly has no soul.  Still, she is perhaps the most amoral public speaker of all time and that is a gift of sorts.  Even Kellyanne Conway looks at her and thinks “not even one shred of what she is saying could possibly be true.”  Fox News completely avoided the irrefutable fact that Papadopoulos said “I did it” in regards to specifically meeting with Russians, attempted to set up further meetings specifically to work together to get Trump elected, and then lied about it afterwards.

I don’t think we have to debate the Trump campaign’s guilt.  Even douchey Don Jr. admitted to trying to get “dirt” on Clinton from Russian sources.  We know the Russians interfered with the election to get Trump elected.  We know Trump has been bizarrely deferential to Russian interests.  There is a money trail going to his campaign manager.  When the idea of Russian interference first surfaced, Trump went out of his way to block any investigation into it and continues to try to sell the idea of looking at something, anything else, instead.  Let’s be adults here and agree it happened.  Now it is just about ferreting out the details.  You would have to be a goddamn fool to think otherwise.  

The one third of the country that is still, somehow, on board with Trump will fight each step down the road as the picture becomes clearer.  Why these same flag waving zealots don’t feel betrayed by someone that even has the scent of treason on them is a mystery.  The only thing I can figure is that they stay in the Fox News bubble.  It’s easy to believe in Santa Claus when a 24 hour news channel is dedicated to telling you that he is real.  As this continues to fall apart and the country denigrates into madness, I hope I get the chance to sit serenely on a rock amongst a group of rapt listeners so I could say something that sounds like wisdom.  I might even shave my head and wear a monk’s hood when I sit Indian style and say “The one eyed owl sees only what it wants to see…”  Hopefully everyone nods their heads and looks to one another as if to say “That is some Confucius sounding shit!”.  Then maybe we can go out for Kung Pao Chicken.

This is going to be a major crossroads for the country.  The Republican majority has shown no inkling that they are capable of doing the right thing, nor even caring about what that might be.  Those guys would sell their mothers for a tax credit.  Fox News plays back false talking points while insisting it’s everyone else that is lying.  The facts don’t matter nearly as much as the repetition of falsehoods.  For much of America, the lies are the truth.  They backed a criminal, and it’s not easy to say “Wow.  I really fucked up.”.  It's much easier to stick with Your Team than eating crow from loudmouths like me.

This event is like Watergate, but much worse.  At least in Watergate, the country still believed in a collective vision of what America was supposed to stand for, a shared sense of values.  There was a sense of outrage at the crime attached to Nixon.  There was a belief, however self-deluding, to live up to a higher moral standard.  Now we have people living in opposite realities.  If you watch Fox News for an hour, you’ll start to think everyone else is crazy for picking on poor President Trump.  What happens if Trump and his criminals decide to fire Mueller?  What happens if Trump pardons all the people that committed crimes against the nation?  Who is going to fight back?  The Senate?  It seems to be that this shit is about to all go sideways.  Carry a compass.  Good luck.  It’s a rough trail ahead. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Nurse the Hate: NFL Week 8

The Browns are going to London this weekend.  When they scheduled this game, they thought it would be a nice little junket where maybe they could pull out a win.  Perhaps the players could get their picture taken in front of Big Ben.  The team could run their clients out to watch the changing of the guard hoping that would help renew their ill-advised sponsorships with these clients.  Then they can swing on over to the stadium to play the Vikings.  Maybe they could catch the Vikings off guard and win the game.  I’ve been to London.  Things definitely didn’t turn out like I planned.  It’s not going to for the Browns either.

The Browns are getting 9.5 points.  That’s a ton of points against an injured Case Keenum led Vikings.  The Vikings will score about 21 points.  That’s generally not enough to win most games in the NFL.  However, the Browns will be starting DeShone Kizer at QB again.  The Browns believe he is the Future Of The Franchise.  That is an interesting thought.  It’s like me believing I’m a future astronaut.  Or maybe me thinking I will become a rodeo clown.  These are things which aren’t impossible, just unlikely. 

I remain pessimistic about Kizer because after 7 games he is having the worst season for a quarterback in the NFL this century.  That is a staggering fact.  Any shitbag quarterback that you have seen lose money for you with a backbreaking INT is better.  Blaine Gabbert.  Jimmy Clausen.  Charlie Frye.  Danny Wuerffel.  Kyle Boller.  Anyone on that murderer’s row is a better choice to lead a team to a close loss than Kizer.  A win is out of the question.  Can they get within ten?  21-13 Vikings is a Browns cover.  Vikings up 21-6, Browns get a garbage time TD and there’s the cover! 
I will always associate London with disappointment.  I know if I bet this game I will lose and be disappointed yet again.  It’s when you know you are going to get hurt, but you do it anyway is when you can begin to question your sanity.  It reminds me of when Leo told me he was painting a garage with a ladder just a little too short.  He decided to reach for a spot he knew he probably couldn’t safely reach.  “Dude, I knew I probably couldn’t make it.”  What happened Leo?  “I fell off the ladder.”

I’m on the ladder and reaching for it.  Vikings -9.5

The Houston Texans are something I don’t think about very often.  I keep them in my mind in the same compartment where I keep Kohl’s Department Store, Indian Restaurants, Bruce Springsteen records, live theater, and Orlando FL.  These are all things that are theoretically of value, but just don’t resonate with me.  I am aware of what they are, but I am not invested in them at all.  That is going to change this Sunday when I make the cardinal sin of betting against the Seattle Seahawks at home by taking the Texans with the points.

Most degenerate gamblers will tell you that Seattle always covers at home.  It is one of those things that is self-evident like ventriloquist dummies being creepy, or gingerbread houses always being a welcome gift.  However, when I looked into it, I discovered Seattle was 10-8 against the spread at home.  Vegas has adjusted these lines to prey upon this “self-evident” idea.  This is because Las Vegas has been created exclusively to destroy dreams, feast on human weakness, and provide a geographic location for conventioneers to ejaculate into strangers.  They do not have your best interests in mind. 

I believe in DeShaun Watson.  I’m in on this kid.  He’s the new Russell Wilson.  I will take the new Russell Wilson with the points.  Houston +6.   

I got burned with Carolina last weekend.  They gave up two defensive touchdowns and somehow lost to the Bears despite Tribisky completing four (4) forward passes.  My high school team never threw the ball.  We ran a variation of a wing-T offense from 1951.  Playing receiver on that team was like dressing up as football player to watch other guys play a football game while standing on the field.  We completed more than 4 passes a game.  I am going to chock that loss to the Bears up to “embarrassing like shitting your pants at a wedding reception” embarrassing.  It happened.  Now we must move on.

Carolina goes to Tampa this Sunday.  They are a good team to “get right” against.  They have no pass rush.  In 6 games, they have managed 7 sacks.  That’s going to be good for Cam Newton, who seems to get absolutely destroyed every week.  Tampa is 1-4-1 ATS this year.  When teams go on “Hard Knocks” on HBO, the public tends to think more highly of them.  Tampa had plenty of buzz coming into the season.  They just can’t seem to win football games.  The Panthers are 6-2 against Tampa in the last 8 meetings.  The road team is 5-1 ATS in this matchup.  Panthers are 4-0 ATS in Tampa.  Most importantly, I am betting on Carolina not being as bad as that horrible display in Chicago last weekend.  So I am taking Carolina as part of a tease with...       

The Chargers moved to Los Angeles for a reason I still can’t figure out.  They had a reasonable fan base in San Diego.  True, they weren’t like crazy fans in the Midwest.  Here when your team loses, the scene in homes is like this:  “Timmy, get the belt from Daddy’s closet.  I’m going to have to beat you and the dog.  Daddy’s team lost.  Bite down on your crying stick.  Go on now…”.  I have been to San Diego.  I saw them lose in heartbreaking fashion in the AFC Playoffs.  Afterwards everyone left the bar smiling in their powder blue jerseys and went to get fish tacos at the beach.  It’s a much more reasonable approach.

Now the Chargers are in Los Angeles where no one cares.  The NFL wants a team in LA due to it being an immense media market.  They wanted it so badly they moved two teams out there.  They just refuse to face the fact that people like movies out there, not NFL football.  Every crappy waitress out there thinks she is going to be an actress.  Every shitty bellhop has a terrible screenplay.  They are all on the make for “their big break” which is never coming.  They don’t have time to watch a subpar Chargers team.

Very quietly, the Chargers have been playing pretty decent football.   They’ve won three in a row.  They’ve lost to good teams close.  I think the Patriots will beat the Chargers, but the Chargers just always sort of hang around in games.  They are getting 7.5 points in Foxboro, where the Patriots have lost straight up twice already.  With the tease with Carolina that moves the line to Carolina+9.5/Chargers +13.5.

Season Record:  6-9

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Crazy At Work

There is a 75% chance that whenever you make the mistake of asking someone how their job is going, they will respond by telling you that “work is crazy right now”.  It makes absolutely no difference what the field of employment is either.  Work is always “crazy”.  I saw a woman on social media refer to her day as “crazy” because the dog knocked over a bowl of cereal and the kids requested something different for their lunch at school.  It’s all relative I suppose.
I worked at a radio station some years ago. When I was employed there the following things happened within a shockingly brief period of time.  

1.      A new sales guy got hired in.  Part of the job responsibilities were to cold call businesses to solicit them to run ads on the shitty radio station.  Within the first two weeks of his hiring, word came back to management that he was selling pornography out of the trunk of his car.  For example, he would arrive at a car dealership and ask “Would you like to buy some ads on this crappy radio station?”.  The car dealer, being somewhat sensible, would say “no”.  Then the sales guy would make a radical switch pitch and somehow transition into asking if they would be interested in buying pornographic video cassettes from his trunk.  I’m sure he made more money from his porn sales than he did the advertising sales.  It was a brief run though.  Eventually someone called the station to complain.

2.     The new sales manager fired the salesman.  He then quickly hired a new salesman, a man with a synthetic looking tan that I think was named “Tim”.  The sales manager arrived early to the station on Tim’s first day to ready Tim’s work station.  As the first to arrive, he was the one that discovered the cleaning woman had hung herself from the water pipe in the sales area.  He called the police, who quickly cut the body down well in front of Tim’s first day of work.  When other more industrious employees than myself arrived that day and inquired why a police car and an ambulance were in the station parking lot, they were told that it was “nothing”.

3.      Tim began work with no knowledge that a woman had killed herself about six feet away from his cubicle maybe eight hours earlier.  Tim’s career at the station was brief.  He was best remembered for bringing a prostitute to the company Christmas party as his date.  However, my finest memory of him was the event that led to his dismissal.  He had the Tangier nightclub in Akron as an account.  One night he showed up there drunk and demanded special attention from the club staff.  The staff complained and told the owner.  The owner decided to ask Tim to leave.  This situation denigrated into the two of them punching each other in the face as they rolled down the stairs wrestling.  The owner naturally called the station the next day to complain about one of their representatives punching him in the face.  Tim, sensing this could be an issue, refused to show up to the station to be fired.  His reasoning was that if no one physically saw him, they couldn’t cut him loose.  Eventually someone got him on the phone and fired him, though it was almost a week later.

4.      The new evening DJ was a recent hire from Philadelphia.  He came in with a reputation for being great with the teen audience that the station commanded at night.  I remember him coming in to the sales area pitching us on booking him for appearances at teen clubs, movie premieres, and any other place that catered to teenagers.  “I love working with kids.”  A couple weeks later, two plainclothes detectives from Philadelphia arrived at the station after hours.  I saw the security tape.  They had on tan trench coats like a bad TV show.  They arrested the DJ and took him back to Philadelphia to face charges of child molestation.  Before the trial he killed himself in his parent’s garage by closing the garage door and letting the exhaust do him in.

       I would sometimes have difficulty getting my commercials scheduled.  The woman that placed the commercials on the log would sometimes be in the closet across the office from her fucking the chief engineer in the middle of the afternoon.  It got to the point where it was so routine that I remember knocking on the closet door telling her through her heavy panting “Hey, we have to move those Dick’s Sporting Goods spots out of tomorrow.  Make sure and do that when you are done in there.”.  She usually remembered.  She was pretty good at her job.

6.       The woman in charge of accounting would go out to her Firebird at lunch and smoke pot.  She always smelled like weed and cigarettes.  She was stoned 100% of the time.  If you walked into her office quietly, sometimes she would just be sitting there totally zoned out.  She played on the station softball team.  I have an image in my head of her playing second base with a cigarette dangling out of her lips.  She was a pretty decent contact hitter, but the constant smoking made her a bit of a liability in the field.  I have no idea how she balanced the books.

7.       The station program director replaced a guy that was so deeply involved in payola that the record companies would openly call the receptionist to arrange satellite dish TV system installations to his home, vacation trips, patio remodels, and drop off envelopes of money in exchange for airplay.  The new guy was not as openly on the take, but soon descended into drug fueled madness thanks to the 5 “nights out” a week the sales staff booked him into.  He hosted two hour nightclub appearances for $200 cash which we shook loose from club owners in addition to a paid advertising schedule.  He made a lot of money, but the bad news was he spent it all on cocaine at the clubs.  This made him wildly unreliable.  The first time he went to rehab, the station manager gathered the staff for an extremely awkward meeting where the program director apologized to all of us for his behavior and broke down crying.  We all sat in our seats and watched him cry for what seemed like a century.

8.       The morning drive guy fucked the new sales girl at the Christmas party.  When news of this indiscretion spread like wildfire, she decided to exact her revenge by telling station management, the DJ’s agent, and the DJ that he had made her pregnant.  The station DJ was remarkably unfazed by this.  There was a very official looking meeting where Very Important Men In Suits sat down around a table flanking the sales girl and the DJ.  The sales girl repeated her claims.  The DJ produced a medical record of his vasectomy performed a decade prior.  The case was dismissed, the sales girl left, and two weeks later she surprisingly was my waitress at Antonio’s Pizza in Parma in a meal I would describe as “awkward”.  

I could keep going.  It was a pretty out of control situation.  I recognize that everyone has a different definition of what “crazy” is to them.  Perhaps a spilled bowl of cereal and a dog jumping up on your daughter is crazy to this woman on social media.  It’s not though.  That stuff I just talked about?  Now that shit was crazy.  You know what?  It’s the best job I ever had too.