Moore in Common with Trump Than Moore Wants to Admit

Trump haters good, Trump lovers bad? If only life were that simple. But I know some basically decent people who still support Donald Trump (no, I don’t get it either), and some awful people who hate him. And sometimes those on either side have more in common than they care to admit.

Which brings us to Michael Moore.

The filmmaker’s Traverse City Film Festival was recently sued by Boston Light & Sound Inc., which claims Moore’s company not only owes the supplier $159,055, but has been smearing BL&S instead of paying its debt.

Moore apparently called BL&S trying to collect the debt “a personal vendetta.” Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin told The Daily Beast, “I don’t call it a personal vendetta when I get stiffed for money that I’m owed and that I’ve done the work required to do . . . And Michael Moore is a man who’s always stood up for the little guy, right?”

Apparently until the little guy wants to get paid for services rendered. Hmm, who does this sound like?

USA Today Network reported during the 2016 campaign that Trump was involved in hundreds of lawsuits with American small-business owners and individuals claiming Trump’s companies refused to pay them for their work. Trump replied that these plumbers, waiters, painters, real estate agents and dishwashers did “inferior” jobs — yet he often offered to rehire them if they’d drop their claims.

It’s no secret that Trump and Moore can’t stand each other. “I think we have someone in the White House who has no respect for the rule of law,” Moore recently told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, “and who dislikes democracy to an incredible degree.”

They both, however, think the president is a genius. While Trump refers to himself as a “very stable genius,” Moore calls him an “evil genius.”

Besides allegedly stiffing suppliers, do Trump and Moore have anything else in common? Both achieved fame through the entertainment industry, have huge egos, and despite their supposed love for the little guy, both have been called out as abusive bosses.

Is there a life lesson here? How about beware of overstuffed, wealthy, self-styled “working-class heroes” in baseball caps?

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An Open Letter from Donald Trump to Google

Dear Google:
I am getting so sick of Googling myself and seeing negative, nasty news and remarks. You are RIGGED! You love the left, hate me and all conservatives, and report FAKE NEWS! I want to launch an investigation of you guys, and if it besmirches the reputation of another thriving American company in the process (I’m also talking to you, Amazon and Harley-Davidson), so be it!

Google “Trump News”, and what pop up? “Another former Trump official found guilty!” Almost every day now. Negative! I recently Googled “Trump, McCain”, and you know what came up first on your search engine? “Trump lowers White House flag to half staff, then raises it, then lowers it again before McCain is even buried.” How dare you make me look so small, petty and incoherent!

But my fellow Americans, if you don’t believe your stable genius president, try it yourself. Google “Trump, Putin”, or “Trump, Entertainment Tonight,” or “Trump, Trump University.” Negative, negative, negative!

Some of you Googlites had the nerve to ask if I even understand how your search engine works. You don’t have to be a stable genius like me to understand that every time you Google my name on almost any subject, some nasty, petty or ignorant remark I supposedly said or tweeted magically appears.

Go on, try it. Google “Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions.” What comes up first? Trump calls Jeff Sessions a retarded southerner! I rest my case.

I find your statement responding to my claim laughable: “Search is not used to set a political agenda, and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology?” LOL! You want me to believe that you use objective “algorithms” to establish a “PageRank” formula? Please! First of all, these aren’t “pages”—Google isn’t a newspaper or magazine. So sad that you don’t know that! Now you claim “PageRank” was named after your CEO and co-founder Larry Page? How stupid do you think I am?

And your sacred “algorithms?” Nice try, Google. Let’s examine that word carefully. What are its first letters? Right, Al Gore! (okay, Al Gor)__the liberal Democrat who invented the internet! I’m supposed to trust him?

Sorry Google, it’s not me that’s biased and dishonorable. It’s you!

Your very stable genius president,
Donald J. Trump

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I Scream, You Scream, Save Us From This Subway Hell

The tourist had no idea what was coming.

“Great shoes!” bellowed the smiling, chunky woman from her seat on the crowded downtown 6 train. “Thank you,” replied the flattered tourist. “For a whore!” cackled the woman.

Wide-eyed, the tourist and her companion tried to retreat down the car, but the foul-smelling woman’s booming voice followed her. “Slut! What’s with that dress? Everyone can see your cooch! And what the hell are you other mother-(expletive) looking at?? (Expletive) you all!”

All too familiar with this, locals on the train stared benignly at their cellphones as the woman screamed profanities with obvious delight. But the tourists seemed in shock. Perhaps they were waiting for a plainclothes cop to emerge and throw this abusive woman off the train. Yeah, good luck with that.

This incident happened only days after Governor Andrew Cuomo tried to fend off challenger Cynthia Nixon’s relentless attacks on him in last week’s gubernatorial debate. When Nixon said Cuomo “uses the MTA like an ATM,” it wasn’t only a clever line, it rang true.

Cuomo seems to have a safe lead in the polls, and Nixon is probably too far left to win many votes upstate. But her words on our rapidly deteriorating transit system stung Cuomo, who falsely claimed that “the subway is owned by New York City.” Meanwhile, Nixon is correct__Cuomo has indeed looted the MTA for pet projects, including five million to boost state-run ski resorts, according to the NY Times.

I’m sure that Nixon, who regularly rides the subway (I’ve seen her on the west side lines more than once), has experienced her share of maddening delays and belligerent subway bullies. Cuomo? He’s up in Albany, removed from the hell millions of us endure each week. The next time you see Cuomo (or Mayor Bill de Blasio or members of the MTA board) on the subway, you can safely bet it’s for a photo op, not to actually get to an appointment.

When dead silent riders piled off the 6 train at Grand Central, the chunky woman screamed “Have a nice day, you (expletive) suckers!” Perhaps Cuomo can steal that line for his campaign slogan.

Yes, that foul-mouthed woman needs help. So do we.

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The White House Is Going Flipping Crazy

Why do I feel like I’m watching The Godfather, Part IV?

As President Donald Trump’s associates scramble to save their skins by cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the Godfather of Golf is flipping his lid.

The Don assured Fox News that “I know all about flipping” (admitting guilt and giving information on co-conspirators), damning those who cooperate with federal law enforcement as “rats.” Can he make them an offer they can’t refuse__such as a pardon? His lawyers say doing so would be a fast pass to impeachment.

Be that as it may, all the president’s men seem to be scrambling to jump off the sinking POTUS 45 ship. Whoever said there is no honor among thieves spoke the truth, as flipping is suddenly the rage among former White House officials and associates. Trump consigliere Michael Cohen recently pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, saying Trump directed him to make hush money payments to two women with whom our current president was allegedly having affairs.

Meanwhile, Trump pal David Pecker, publisher of The Enquirer, was recently granted immunity from prosecution to testify. Trump organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, who oversaw Trump’s corporate ledgers for decades, has also been granted such immunity.

In addition, Mueller has been issuing subpoenas to a number of associates of Trump political advisor Roger Stone. Among them is Randy Credico, whom I remember as a fellow standup comic back in the day. Credico says Stone is trying to make him the “fall guy”, to which Stone responded with a series of gangster-style e-mails, calling Credico a “rat” and a “stoolie.”

Who will be the next associate to flip? Jeff (“Little Jeffy”) Sessions? Chris (“Bag O’Donuts”) Christie? Jared (“Fredo”) Kushner?

Turning on a leader can be traced back to ancient Rome, when Julius Caesar got too big for his golden britches and was done in by a number of senators and others close to him, including his supposedly dear friend Brutus. It is less than surprising that Trump is reported to be increasingly stressed about these White House flippers, uncertain which of his associates will be the next to spill the beans on him.

Et tu, Ivanka?

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For Local Book Stores, It’s Back to the Future

If you wait long enough, everything comes back in style. Bell-bottom jeans. Fanny packs. Independent book stores.

Neighborhood pharmacies and card shops have been swallowed up by the mass chains of the world, and independent bookstores followed the same death spiral. Then an amazing thing happened. As national book chains struggled, indie book stores began rising from the dead.

What accounts for this resurrection? I visited some local book outlets for clues.

The Barnes & Noble on Broadway and 82nd Street offers a little bit of everything: coffee, cake, greeting cards, gifts, toys, and yes, even some books. But something was amiss, and I may have discovered the core problem while searching for a copy of Sports Illustrated.

Entering the magazine aisle, the first thing that caught my eye was an abundance
of publications devoted to guns, including Ballistic, AR-15, Guns & Ammo and Handloader. I opened one at random, to an article titled “Elk Stopper!”

“The thousands of titles we sell are based on local customer interest”, B&N’s senior vice president Mary Ellen Keating told me. Has the uber-liberal Upper West Side suddenly turned into a nest of gun-crazed hunters?

Meanwhile, at Book Culture a few blocks away on Columbus Avenue, there are no weapons magazines__but you can register to vote, in both English and Spanish.

“With the Amazon shopping online explosion, people are starting to miss the community experience,” says Maeve Nolan, manager of this Book Culture store (there are four). “Everything in this store is staff selected, not by a corporate structure, and reflects what the neighborhood actually wants.”

Shakespeare and Company, a neighborhood fixture until it went out of business in 1996, has reemerged, opening two new stores this year in Manhattan. Meanwhile indie bookstores are springing up all over the city, including The Lit Bar in the Bronx and Books Are Magic in Brooklyn.

I asked Book Culture customer Gary Ardan, a registrar at Columbia University, why he shops there instead of a larger chain with more selection. “It doesn’t feel like I’m in a mall,” says Ardan. “Service is more personal__they know me.”

In a growingly impersonal online world, there remains a longing for the human touch. Maybe you could find a book on it.

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Governor Grumpy Vs. Miranda Hobbes: Anyone?

Less than a month to go until the Democratic primary in this year’s election for New York governor! Can you feel the excitement?

Neither can I. Our president has sucked the air out of the room, grabbing all the headlines. This leaves Gov. Andrew Cuomo and challenger Cynthia Nixon, best known for her role of Miranda Hobbes in “Sex and the City,” to fight hard for the scraps before Sept. 13.

At least Nixon will. Up about 30 points in the polls, Cuomo has no desire to draw more attention to the Nixon challenge. Perhaps she can spur momentum with a catchy campaign slogan. How about “Nixon’s the one”?

New Yorkers face serious issues, and it would be nice to know whether the contenders have any real solutions. So far, no good.

The NYC subway system has the worst on-time performance of any major rapid transit system in the world, according to The New York Times, and New Yorkers have reached their boiling point. With a mismanaged, bloated MTA budget, too much money goes to gaudy vanity projects, and too little to fixing core problems, such as antiquated signals that slow down the system.
The LIRR isn’t doing much better, reporting constant, maddening delays.

Cuomo recently made news with his insistence on spending millions of MTA dollars on installing gaudy blue-and-gold tiles inside the Queens Midtown and Brooklyn Battery tunnels instead of plain white. Will that turn our frown upside down as we whiz through?

At the same time, Nixon embarrassed herself by questioning New York’s Taylor Law, which gives public sector unions the right to collective bargaining but sets severe penalties for job walkouts. Strikes by transit workers and teachers have disrupted the lives of commuters, parents and children in the past. Does Nixon want to bring back those dismal days?

Meanwhile, homelessness has increased, and affordable housing remains scarce. But such issues rarely get the attention they deserve.

Perhaps the campaign will yet shine a spotlight on these problems, and the candidates will provide workable solutions. Let’s hope. But if they do, will we read about them in the media — or will it still be all Trump, all the time?

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Love Affair Cheater Breaks Trump’s Heart

We’ve all been there. We meet someone who charms us, strokes our ego, writes flowery love letters and wins our hearts — only later to find out they are coldblooded cheats. Love hurts!

Such seems the case with President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

We can see the attraction and similarities. Both were given a big boost to success by their fathers, both despise the free press, both have elaborate hairstyles. After meeting Kim for the first time on June 12, Trump was smitten by how everyone “stood at attention” when Kim entered a room

Sure, Kim lies, starves his people and may have killed his half brother and uncle. Who among us is perfect?

Trump’s friends tried to warn him. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently cautioned that Kim is not living up to his word to denuclearize. But love is blind, it seems.

Only days after The Washington Post confirmed last week that U.S. intelligence agencies see signs that North Korea is working on new missiles, the White House revealed that Trump received a second flattering note from the diminutive dictator Trump teasingly calls “Little Rocket Man.” Trump tweeted his thanks to Kim “for your nice letter — I look forward to seeing you soon.”

After returning home from the June meeting, Trump excitedly spoke of the “chemistry” they had.

“You know he loves his people,” he told Fox News’ Bret Baier, who replied that Kim is “a killer.”
“He’s a tough guy,” Trump responded, before quickly returning to fawning. “Hey, when you take over a country, tough country . . . and you take it over from your father . . . if you could do that at 27 years old, I mean that’s one in 10,000 who could do that.”

When Baier pleaded, “But he’s done some really bad things,” Trump quickly replied, “Yeah, but so have a lot of other people.” Oy. But now it seems Kim has been leading Trump on all along.

Hey, we’ve all been played. Sure, the creeps who led us astray may have had another lover instead of a nuclear arsenal, but the concept holds. Because when you think you’ve found a kindred spirit in this lonely world, what’s a guy to do?

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Hey Look, A Dog With a Fluffy Tail!

President Big Baby’s latest tantrum includes a loud threat to shut down the government if he doesn’t get America to fund his asinine, waste of billions wall. Hey, wait a minute, didn’t he promise that Mexico will pay for it? Fake news!

Will he succeed in shutting down the government? Probably not. Did he succeed in pulling his numerous schemes, embarrassments and possible crimes off the front pages for a few days? Absolutely.

Let us check off the ways President Three Card Monte masterfully distracted the rubes this week with his “Look, I’m Burning Down Your House–Only kidding!” strategy:

Did it distract from Michael Cohen’s statement that the president knew in advance about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians? Yes!

Did it distract from the continuing fallout from the Putin Puppet Show in Helsinki? Yes!

Did it distract from the fact that the North Koreans continue to merrily build their nuclear arsenal after getting the concessions and respectability they sought from President Sucker? Yes!

Did it distract from American farmers’ outrage about getting screwed by the unnecessary trade war Trump started__and the U.S. taxpayers’ outrage as Trump tried to buy the farmers off with $12 billion of our money? Yes!

Did it distract from the Paul (“Benedict Arnold”) Manafort trial? Yes!

Did it distract from President Panicky’s impulsive, obstruction of justice demand that Attorney General Jeff Sessions step in front of the freight train Mueller investigation and stop it cold, after Sessions recused himself from the investigation over a year ago? Yes!

The president must think we’re pretty stupid, huh?

Is he right? Yes? No?

We’ll find out in November.

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Is Trump Dropping Hefty Hints on Hacking?

Many are infuriated that President Donald Trump continues to hedge on Russia hacking into our democratic process. This despite overwhelming evidence and unanimous reports from American intelligence. But does he know something we all don’t?

Even when grudgingly reading statements acknowledging Russian meddling, Trump can’t help blurting “but it could be other people also.” Such as? Back in 2016, Trump said the real hacker “could be a guy from New Jersey” or “someone sitting on his bed that weighs 400 pounds.”

Who could the president possibly have in mind? Oh my God—of course. It’s Chris Christie!

Would a man known for chasing a protestor down a Jersey Shore street brandishing an ice cream cone, or accused of shutting down the George Washington Bridge in a petty effort to get back at a Democrat who dared not support his candidacy for Governor, do such a dastardly thing?

Let’s examine the evidence.

Who was dying to be in Trump’s White House cabinet, only to be denied? Who led the chant of “Lock Her Up!” about Hillary Clinton at the GOP National Convention? Who is a bullying suck up, morbidly obese and lives in the Garden State? Bingo!

Because if it’s not Vladimir Putin, we’d better get to the bottom of this mess soon. The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that Russia was targeting the American power grid, poisoning it with malware. Director of national intelligence Dan Coats said last week that the current cyber threats were “blinking red.”

So why isn’t Trump reading Putin (or Christie, or whomever) the riot act? Hmm…

The rumor persists that Christie wants payback for his loyalty to Trump. With senior staff leaving the White House at dizzying rates, Politico recently suggested that Christie is “putting himself in a prime position to land a plum job in the administration.” He seems to feel Trump owes him.

But could the perpetrator really be Christie? Nah, he wouldn’t (would?) do such a thing, which means the real hefty hacker may still be out there. So if you happen to know of another 400 pound man sitting on his bed in New Jersey eating nachos while wreaking havoc on our democracy, please alert officials ASAP. Thanks!

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Thanks for the Mammaries: No Choice For You!

Women have made progress in controlling their own bodies over the past few decades. Hey, it was nice while it lasted.

So far, July has been no day at the beach for women. First, the United States stunned attendees at the World Health Assembly by opposing a breastfeeding resolution saying mother’s milk is healthiest for children, while pushing the interests of infant formula manufacturers.

You read that correctly. When the measure to “protect, promote and support” breastfeeding was about to be introduced by Ecuador, the United States threatened to impose punishing trade measures on the South American nation until it dropped the resolution. Was Ecuador suddenly concerned about the welfare of poor formula manufacturers? I think not.

“What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on the best way to protect infant and young child health,” said Patti Rundall, policy director for the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action.

But come on, what’s more important — the health of babies and mothers, or campaign contributions? Some women can’t breastfeed, but this was overkill by U.S. officials. Drain the swamp — right into babies’ mouths. Talk about boobs!

On the heels of that fiasco, President Donald Trump nominated conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. If he’s approved, women’s rights to a safe abortion may go the way of the hula hoop. While campaigning in 2016, Trump promised that abortion rights case Roe v. Wade would “automatically” be overturned if he’s elected.

When swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, “Students for Life” President Kristan Hawkins told NPR this was “a day we’ve been waiting for.” The group’s goal has been “to make abortion illegal and unthinkable.”

But Ms. Hawkins, pro-choice doesn’t mean pro-abortion. For example, China isn’t pro-choice. If you get pregnant after having two children in China, they can force you to have an abortion. On the other end of the spectrum, such nations as El Salvador ban it completely. Neither are what Americans would consider bastions of freedom.

Frowning on breastfeeding. Reversing Roe v. Wade. Back to the 1950s we go.

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