The Debate was a Shit Show: What I Learned Today – Wednesday, September 30

Yesterday’s debate… my god. There were no real highlights from it to post. Trump was a bull in a gyyyyyyyna shop, even turning on the moderator who meekly attempted to keep him to the rules that his camp had agreed upon. Chris Wallace did indeed do a poor job at moderating but I’m curious to see how the other moderators will try to keep Trump hemmed in. It seems that the only way to keep Trump from interrupting would be to cut his microphone but that won’t happen. But how bad did it get last night?  Welp:

The White House once again has overruled the CDC. This time on cruise ship bans. The CDC wanted to ban them until 2021 but the Trump Administration thinks that the floating petri dishes need to open up a lot sooner.

Disney is laying off 28,000 employees because of the pandemic.


Sarah Cooper has finally posted a new video.  I guess she’s been busy working on one of her new 47 shows she is developing:

I don’t want this job.  If you think the climb is bad, just wait:

First Presidential Debate Live Blog



10:40 PM It’s over.  Mercifully.  I’m headed to bed. Trump doesn’t want a debate, he just wants to filibuster and boast about his shitty lies.

10:36 PM Trump is already declaring the election fraudulent.

10:31 PM On Voting, Biden: “Vote vote vote”.  Trump: “It’s a fraud.”

10:29 PM I’m exhausted.  That’s the update.

10:21 PM

10:16 PM Trump bringing up Ukraine again and again, which got him impeached, is a bit short sighted.  Of course Biden lets it slide.  My god.

10:11 PM Just saying but we could have had taco trucks on every corner instead of this.

10:03 PM Biden to Trump: “You wouldn’t know a suburb if you took a wrong turn.”

10:00 PM An hour into this. Trump won’t stop interrupting and Joe is leaving a lot on the table. Trump asks Biden if he’s in favor of law and order.  Might have been a good time for Joe to bring up the names of everybody in Trump’s administration who is now in jail or charged.

9:55 PM Chris Wallace appeals to Trump to stfu for 2 minutes.  Trump lasts 30 seconds before he has to interject.

9:52 PM This debate is such a mess.

9:50 PM Chris Wallace is just going to let Trump steamroll through again and again.

9:44 PM I’m fairly underwhelmed with Biden hitting back. Trump is giving him a lot of openings to hit on (Nobody got sick from a Trump rally?  SHOUT OUT HERMAN CAIN)

9:35 PM I’m not sure how effective it is for Biden to provide Trump a laugh track. I dunno.

9:23 PM

9:22 PM Chris Wallace to Biden: “the question goes to you, 2 minutes, uninterrupted.”  Biden: “Good luck.:

9:18 PM It’s going to be a long night.  Switching to whiskey.

9:17 PM Trump got 15 minutes in before using a racial slur.

9:14 PM Trump thinks he is debating Chris Wallace now.

9:12 PM Trump is the personification of a stuck CAPS LOCK KEY.

9:06 PM I see Trump with the extra Oompa face dye tonight.

9:00 PM And we’re starting. The audience is spaced out but still look pretty close for my comfort.

8:53 PM Does Trump snort Adderall in powder form or just stick the entire capsule up his nose?

8:32 PM Why is Rick Santorum still getting paid tv gigs?

8:11 PM My debate watching partner has passed out from anxiety:

7:57 PM CNN has dug up 14 undecided voters who are either lying to get onto CNN’s focus group or.  No, that’s the only feasible reason at this point.

7:41 PM Biden has released his tax returns a few hours ago. He actually paid taxes on his income and probably doesn’t even have a golden toilet.  Sucker.

7:37 PM The Trump campaign just did an email blast declaring that Trump won the debate, a good 1.5 hours before the debate actually has begun.

7:30 PM Oh, it starts at 9. I’m so not ready for this.

7:25 PM Ok, I’m watching it on ABC News (I think. I suck at finding any specific channel nowadays) but if you can only watch from the web, here’s the YouTube Embed. I’ll be posting updates on here so you may need to refresh every so often. I have some leftover Shakshuka, a big box of wine (because I’m classy) and a pissed off cat. I’m ready for this.


Debate Night and Chocolate Chip Cookies the Size of Rhode Island: What I Learned Today – Tuesday, September 29

Debate night. Yes, I’ll be watching. I mean, if I were driving past a derailed flaming train, I would look and then complain about everybody gawking at it creating a traffic jam so I’m in. Trump is a terrible debater but is a walking unpredictable dumpster fire. Remember when he countered the Access Hollywood “grab them by the pussy” tape by bringing out Bill Clinton’s accusers to the debate?  His complete lack of shame and decorum is actually his strength. It shouldn’t be of course. Anybody else would have been laughed off the political platform long ago. I don’t know why it works for him. But it does. And it’s unfortunately effective. The only truthful thing he has ever really said was that he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and not lose any supporters. So I’ll be watching what most likely may be the demise of my beloved home country as Trump finds a way to take the discourse to a new record low.

His hysterics have already begun:

Reporter Julia Ioffe had all the symptoms of Covid-19 but kept receiving negative test results. Her doctors didn’t believe the results. Her story is quite the ride and illustrates how little we still know about this disease. It also highlights how dangerous covid is if you are not one of the lucky asymptomatic carriers. She is in her thirties with no pre-existing conditions and was sick for 5 weeks with partially collapsed lungs.

Trump pressured the C.D.C. on school openings. Naturally.

Anti-maskers are the biggest snowflakes:

You know she makes a really, really good point.

I’m not even going to bother to read the story for this (Nobel Peace Prize nominations are just kinda ridiculous), I just love that Trump is going to have a conniption about this:

A valve failed bigly and out came 50,000 liters of a Spanish rojo.

2020 just won’t let up!

John Oliver on The Supreme Court:

Nerdwriter’s latest video: How James Gandolfini Navigates Emotion

How to make thick “Levain style” chocolate chip cookies from Serious Eats. I first tried these at Levain bakery in NYC and fell madly in love.  From the picture, they look almost muffin like, but they really do have a cookie consistency. I’m a sucker for a good chocolate chip cookie and have made this recipe a few times in the past.  Not too often because they are the size of a throw pillow. But in times of dire stress, these are an amazing comfort food. Trust me:

After you form the dough they are the size of a tennis ball. I usually bake one or two after I make them (ok, three) and throw the rest in the freezer to take out during times of desperate chocolately need. Perhaps for a presidential debate?


Happy 17th Birthday Cynical-C Blog! What I Learned Today – Monday, September 28

Today marks the 17th anniversary of Cynical-C Blog.  I started it out of boredom to be honest.  I had just been laid off from a job as a software developer and had started a boring admin job just to pay the bills which left me needing something more challenging.  Blogs were fairly new in 2003.  I remember having to explain to more than a few people what a blog were, “short for WEBlog,” I would tell them as they nodded their head and moved on to the next topic of conversation. There was no Facebook nor Twitter. I don’t  even think MySpace was a thing back then for that matter (I just checked. MySpace started in 2005). So I  decided one day that I would give it a try, thought of a silly name in a few minutes not giving much thought that I would be stuck with it forever, and started posting things that I would find on the web that interested me. I never expected anybody would actually want to  read it besides a friend or two. But blogs were still a small enough network back then that  other bloggers noticed when you linked to them. I started getting links back to my content. Comments slowly started to come in. Within a few months I started getting about 100 visits a day and traffic started to double every two months. I think the height of this blog’s popularity, about 2009, the Golden Age of blogging) I would get close to half a million visits a month regularly. When I started doing the “You Can’t Please Everyone” posts, traffic went though the roof and I hit the one million hits a month mark. It was a crazy time. I found that the larger the readership became, the more stressful it was to keep the blog entertaining on a daily basis. I had three jobs at that point. One was my day job, the other was posting content, and comment moderation became an enormous time drain just to keep things civil and remove spam. I was being compensated through google ads which were still lucrative at that point. (My memory is around 2009 when the audience was peaking, so were google adsense, which meant I was making about as much money through ads as I was at my day job.)

But the web started to change after 2010. Blog readers started to flock to Facebook and Twitter which were platforms that could give them an instantaneous outlet.  No longer did somebody need to create their own blog or make a comment to be heard. When somebody signed up for a Facebook account, within seconds they had their own personal blog and audience through their connections which Facebook served to them on a platter.  By 2013, Google ditched their rss reader (this was a huge death blow for weblogs since rss readers were the arteries which supplied our core readership) and also changed their algorithms pushing blogs deeper down in their search results. This had a tremendously negative impact on even bigger blogs such as Metafilter which had to start laying off staff. Megapopular blogs like Boing Boing started selling products in blog posts interlaced with their content, (I’m guessing it was because ad revenue was no longer consistent. I never understood readers who were proud of using ad blockers to circumvent blog ads.  Hosting got very expensive as web traffic grew. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to afford web hosting for my traffic without ad revenue. But god forbid they have to see an ad in the sidebar.)

I quit blogging sometime after that. I was just burned out. And tired of getting hateful comments and email after every single post. Even cat posts would get an angry comment or two. I took a break, and came back a few months later. But the landscape was different. And that was fine. Things change. And with the web, they change quickly as new platforms emerge and other platforms fade almost overnight. (Were we even talking about TikTok last year?)

And that brings us up to today.  17 years after starting this silly hobby that has been one of the strangest journeys of my life. I’ve grown quite a bit since 2003. My opinions have shifted a little.  I’m certain that opinions that you could dig up in posts from the past are no longer the ones I hold today. But basically, I’m the still liberal atheist cat loving curious blogger that I have been since creating the domain name back in the Autumn of 2003.

There is one thing I never took into account when I did start this blog up though. Something that caught me by surprise and the thing I’m most grateful for that has kept me going all these years.  The readers and commenters who have taken the time to visit me these years. You have added to this blog when I have come up short. You have kept me going and filled me with joy during the down days. You have help shift opinions and make me try to be a better person. Thank you for being with me on this crazy but fascinating journey that we all traverse online. And I hope you will be with me for the next 17 years.

Now, let’s see what kind of shitty fuckery is going on during another day of 2020.

Today’s huge story is the NY Times has years of Trump’s tax returns and it turns out, Trump pays virtually nothing in taxes claiming huge business losses and debts. He’s a tax cheat, a failed businessman, and a pathological liar. There’s something terribly wrong with a system where the gold toilet guy pays less in taxes than you or me.

Meanwhile, Trump’s former campaign manager, the one who was replaced after saying that a million people wanted to go to Trump’s first rally after covid, seems to have had something of an episode after the NY Times story broke:

A new study suggests that opening schools up has led to 3,200 new cases per day in the US.

France is entering their second wave with a record breaking 16,000 new cases in the other day

In Florida coronavirus news, oh boy.  Ron DeSantis has lifted restrictions on bars and restaurants allowing them to go back to full capacity inside and out. My god! DeSantis also wants a full Super Bowl this year with no social distancing.

Well, this made me almost die laughing:

Lola paid the same amount in taxes as Trump in 10 of the last 15 years. She is irate about it and needs treats to calm her.

How to Steal Like Wes Anderson:

I’m posting this now but the day is young. Subscribe to the newsletter for any updates that may occur as all hell potentially breaks loose on an otherwise normal day:

Trump isn’t Hiding Himself at all: What I Learned Today – Thursday, September 24

I haven’t been much in the mood to post the past few days.  I’ve been busy with a few other things and the news has just been nothing but depression inducing. But, it is what it is and ignoring it for a day or two is fine for your mental health, but ignorance won’t solve anything.

Trump says he may reject the stricter FDA vaccine guidelines for COVID-19. Trump, in case you don’t know, is not a doctor. In fact, I would be shocked if Trump could even spell “doctor”. But here we are with the guy who sold steaks in an electronic store overruling actual scientists so he can rush out a vaccine and look like a hero.

Yes, Trump refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of presidential power if he loses is scary,  but not really all that surprising at this point is it?

The Atlantic has a lengthy analysis of what would happen in a variety of circumstances if (or more likely, when) Trump refuses to turn over the reins. The title of the piece is probably the most optimistic part of the story: The Election That Could Break America.

Voter registration has surged since Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.  Which is good! I mean, besides that it is kinda like closing the gate four years after horse bolted, but baby steps I guess. (And yes, I’m still bitter that people didn’t take this more seriously back in 2016. We knew who Trump was back then.)

The Missouri governor who is also an anti-masker has tested positive for being a fucking moron of the highest degree.  Oh, he has covid too.

Justin Trudeau is declaring that the second wave of COVID-19 has started in some parts of Canada. This is where I feel good about living in the US where we are in no way worried about a second wave. We’re never going to get over the first.

870,000 new filings for unemployment. But there is only one job that the GOP cares about.

Halloween, 2020

RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg and 200,000+ Covid-19 Victims: What I Learned Today – Monday, September 21

A makeshift memorial for Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Harvard Law School.

Trump expects to make his announcement on who he will nominate to replace Justice Ginsburg on Friday or Saturday. I hope nobody is really surprised about the hypocrisy from the GOP by this point. McConnell would have tried to ram a conservative judge through even if a Justice died three days before the inauguration if Trump loses.

CDC is finally admitting that Covid-19 can be spread through the air. How on earth are they just updating their guidance regarding this now?

The Washington National Cathedral rang their bells 200 times for the 200,000 victims of Covid-19.

Trump’s defenders will say this is just a joke, but we all know that Trump has no sense of humor and is looking for some legal excuse to do this:

This is fact!:

I’m really enjoying the hell out of Chef Billy Parisi’s YouTube channel.  I need to make these Thai Drunken Noodles soon!