Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Numbers Don’t Lie. Trump Does.

banner 1screen shot 2019-01-25 at 10.22.55 pmbanner 3Events are moving fast in Trump era America.

Trump confidante Roger Stone just got indicted.

img_7463House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pulled the plug on Donnie’s State of the Union MAGA rally.

And the serial swindler who sold his passionate, ill-informed minions on a fantastical Mexican border wall was forced to eat his brain-dead campaign promise — by a girl!

How fast are events moving?

Only a couple days ago, millions of Americans took to the streets nationwide to resist President Trump and his agenda – and the news and social media were buzzing about the dust-up between BuzzFeed and Special Prosecutor Mueller over whether it’s kosher to say there’s solid evidence that Trump told his lawyer-fixer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress.

img_7456Now, Cohen says Trump told him to lie — which sounds entirely plausible. Given Mango Mussolini’s reputation as a pathological liar, it’s completely reasonable. In fact, if it’s a question of whether or not Trump’s lying or encouraging lies, the answer is nearly universally, yes.

Yes! Trump is lying and promoting lies.

But as Trump tries to Tweet-twist the facts, the negative drumbeat continues. His lies piles on lies. And lately, his lies have begun to catch up with him. Remember that wall across our entire southern border that Mexico was going to pay for?

screen shot 2019-01-25 at 10.37.34 pmStarting today, Trump’s Great Wall Cave-in will ignite even more strident right-wing blowback. It was Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter who buckled him into a political straightjacket – and surprise! – Donnie’s no Houdini. Might they spare him for attacking windmills at their behest? (I doubt if any of them ever actually read Cervantes.)

Taking the political temperature today, I predict that by the summer of 2019, President Blowhard Bankruptcy will be revealed to all but his most ardent fascist-religious fans to be a dismal, derelict, treasonous failure.

Why do I think so?

img_7440Part of it is a gut feeling.

I feel this to be true.

I can sense where this Trump/Russia thing is going. Like I could sense trouble when I was a kid and my brother and I were wrestling around in the living room – and we broke our mom’s best vase.

We could lie. We could tell the truth. But no matter what we said – we were guilty of the crime. And we’d ultimately pay for that crime.

Now, President Trump is paying for his crimes.

So, what will Americans think of Trump by the summer of 2019?


Women’s March 2019 Los Angeles. You had to be there.

Let’s look at the numbers.

img_7474And not just the hundreds of thousands who showed up in downtown Los Angeles to enjoy the Women’s March 2019. (I’ve illustrated this post with photos of the march, as I accompanied my wife & some wonderful friends.)

Let’s focus on dry, nerdy numbers. Cold, hard numbers are hard to dispute. Especially numbers that mean so much to our Dear Orange Leader…

How is Trumpty Dumpty doing in the national approval polls?

Let’s take a look at Trump’s current poll numbers in comparison to, say. George W. Bush…

img_7447When President George W. Bush left office in January of 2009, he was one of the most unpopular departing presidents in U.S. history. The Iraq War was a crime. There were no WMD. Then the economy collapsed. And oh yeah, Hurricane Katrina, too.

According to a CBS News/New York Times poll, George W’s final approval rating was 22%. 73% disapproved.

bush 3Bush’s final approval rating was the lowest for an outgoing president since Gallup began asking the question over 70 years ago.

C’mon, Donnie! You can underperform Dubya!

You can do it!

For what’s left of you Donald Trump fans out there, dig this…

img_7462Trump’s current approval rating is far below the final ratings of two-term presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, who both ended their terms with a 68% approval rating.

Barack Obama — the first black President — enjoyed a 53% approval rating while Hillary Clinton took on Trump during the 2016 election.

Two years later, Trump is in deep trouble.

Nate Silver and 538’s average poll numbers on the eve of the 2018 mid-term elections indicated a substantial Blue Wave. Trump’s approval was at 41.8% — and his disapproval at 52.8%. Trump was underwater by 11%.

img_7454Sure enough, the GOP got its clock cleaned in the 2018 mid-term elections — giving the gavel back to Speaker Pelosi. Hello, Madam Speaker!

As of tonight, 538’s Presidential approval poll average puts Donald Trump’s support at 39.3% His disapproval is 56%.

Trump is now underwater by 16.7%.

He was down by 11% before the midterms. He lost nearly 6 points before he caved on his Wall.

img_7465It’s only going to get worse for Orange Julius Caesar.

What follows are my favorite shots from the Women’s March in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, January 19th.

Let’s have fun and march until Mango Mussolini falls — and drags the GOP into the dustbin of history.


Who could possibly disagree?


Over-the-top satire? I don’t think so, Vice President Pence.


This is my Women’s March 2019 posse. Bad ass, for sure. I was very safe.


This was a big, big march. And everyone was having fun! Winning feels good!


What else is there to say?






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The Wondrous Watts Towers

I’ve wanted to see the celebrated Watts Towers for a very long time.

Finally, after seeing the urban folk art mosaics of Isaiah Zagar in Philadelphia this year and, shortly after that, reading my friend Sally Nemeth’s blog post on her own visit to the Watts Towers – I was determined to go to Watts and explore this singular work of art for myself. So on Sunday, September 19, 2010, Victoria and I headed south down the 405 freeway, then east on the 105, bound for the Watts Towers.

I remember first becoming aware of the Watts Towers as a kid when I saw them on an episode of Dragnet. At least I had that image of seeing the towers on Dragnet lodged deep in my mind. In doing a little research for this post, I learned that this memory of mine is about 40-years old, as the Watts Towers did in fact appear on a Dragnet ’69 Season 3 episode called “Management Services.” So, it wasn’t just my imagination.

The Watts Towers are Simon Rodia’s imagination. Writ large. Very large.

It took less than an hour to get from my house in Woodland Hills to the tough, working class Watts neighborhood where Italian immigrant Simon Rodia lived and worked – and built his incredible, deeply-personal, monumental masterpiece with his own gnarled hands.

Rodia bought his lot on 107th Street in 1921, and for 34 years, he crafted his elaborate towers all by himself. Rodia didn’t use machines or scaffolding or bolts or welds. He used simple hand tools. Rodia didn’t even work out his complex designs on paper. His wondrous creations of concrete, steel, glass and ceramic odds and ends sprang day-by-day, year-by-year, out of his head.

Simon Rodia once said, “I had it in mind to do something big and I did it.”

Yeah, he sure did.

Somehow, this hard-working immigrant laborer and tile setter, with very little money, managed in his spare time to create an artwork that has become for the humble community of Watts what the grand work of the great Antoni Gaudí is to Barcelona, Spain: a source of artistic and civic pride.

The tallest of Simon Rodia’s towers rises less than an inch shy of 100 feet and contains “the longest slender reinforced concrete column in the world.”

The Watts Towers installation also includes a gazebo that has been used for church services and baptisms by a number of local congregations, three birdbaths, and a ship sculpture based on Marco Polo’s ship.

The outer wall running along 107th Street is fantastically adorned with tiles, seashells, broken pottery, glass bottles and handcrafted designs – which obviously helped to inspire Isaiah Zagar’s work in Philly.

The Watts Towers were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990. Good call. The Towers have taken some hits from earthquakes over the years, but it’s impressive that, despite being located in such a tough neighborhood, they’ve suffered scant damage from vandals. No graffiti mars Simon’s amazing wall – and nobody has dared to tag the Watts Towers.

If you live in Los Angeles, go see the Watts Towers as soon as possible. If you visit Los Angeles, make sure you put Simon Rodia’s masterpiece on your agenda. There’s nothing like it in the world.

It’s hard to believe it took me 20 years since I moved to L.A. to visit them. But, now that I’ve seen the wonders that Simon Rodia wrought, I know I’ll be taking people to see the Watts Towers for many years to come.

Until you get there to see them for yourself, here’s a gallery of photos from our visit…


Filed under Art, Beauty