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Steve Heimoff| Wine Blog

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From the Personal Diary of Donald J. Trump

 Mark As Read    

  Jan. 3 Hi Dear Diary, I really threw ˜em a curveball when I said I have information on the hacking that the intelligence agencies don't. I love it! They still can't figure me out, which is exactly where I want ˜em: off-balance. Keep ˜em guessing. They never know what hits ˜em until it's too […]

Trump: “Nobody knows what’s going on” and “Anyone who didn’t vote for me is my enemy”

 Mark As Read    

  Over the New Year's weekend, Trump made two statements. Both reveal conjoined facets of his personality. Both are deeply disturbing, and call into question, once again, his mental fitness to be President. The first, concerning #Electiongate”which Trump still denies had anything to do with his BFF, Vladimir Putin”was: The whole age of compute...

Two classic examples of Republican false narratives

 Mark As Read    

  Did you ever read an op-ed piece that made you so angry, you wanted to rip it up and flush it down the toilet? I did, yesterday”not once, but twice. The first was called Does a ˜Never Trumper' need to be forgiven?? and was in the National Review. It was authored by Jonah Goldberg. […]

What does Trump mean by unpredictable??

 Mark As Read    

  One of the first things I learned when I started blogging and engaging on social media was to avoid C.U.I., or commenting under the influence.? We all know that people get into trouble when their judgment is impaired and they say and do stupid things online. Anthony Weiner is a good example. But there's […]

On Trump’s choice of Israeli ambassador

 Mark As Read    

  I'm going to tell you a little bit more than I did yesterday about the pernicious influence that rightwing Jews have, both here in America and in Israel. Yesterday I explained how the presence of about one million Russian ultra-orthodox Jews (out of Israel's total population of eight million) has poisoned Israeli politics and […]

An American Jew on the Israel-U.N.-Obama brouhaha

 Mark As Read    

  The Jewish vote in America, while not particularly large, is influential. Jewish voters have traditionally been Democrats since Franklin D. Roosevelt created his coalition in the 1930s. Republicans have long attempted to wrest control of the Jewish vote for themselves, but have failed, for two reasons. First, Jewish sympathies tend toward li...

New wine reviews

 Mark As Read    

  When the wine comes in, I review. If it doesn't, I don't. For the last few weeks, it's been coming in. I still get a kick from reviewing wines. Here are a few new ones. Rock Wall 2014 Jack's Dry Creek Petite Sirah (Sonoma County): $35. Alcohol 14.8%. An absolutely first-rate Petite Sirah that […]

How we’ll defeat Trumpism

 Mark As Read    

  I know a lot of liberals who are depressed these days, and I feel it's part of my job to boost their morale and let them know that this is not the time to give up. It's the time to resist. People don't know what to do. They feel so overwhelmed, so powerless. What […]

“My website was down”

 Mark As Read    

  I hate those terrible words, which from time to time I'm forced to utter, by dint of circumstance. In this case, on Monday I found, to my horror, I could not get into what's called the back end? of my blog website”the administrative side. Nor could the public access the front end, which is […]

Obama and Electiongate: Stockholm Syndrome?

 Mark As Read    

  Like many of you, I was puzzled by Obama’s curiously passive response to Electiongate at his Friday press conference. While most Democrats, and even many Republicans, view Russia’s actions as a form of cyberwarfare—some have called it a digital Sept. 11—Obama’s message seemed to be: This sort of thing happens all the time. No […]

How long does Trump have?

 Mark As Read    

  This is a short post. Trump is off to the worst start of any President-elect of my lifetime, and I’ve seen a lot of them. He will take the oath of office—if he indeed does—under a dark cloud of suspicion. Democrats clearly are concerned about his massive conflicts of interest, which he has done […]

Electiongate casts a pall of illegitimacy over Trump’s election

 Mark As Read    

  When it comes to criminal investigations, there are two kinds of Republicans. The first kind is ALL Republicans when the alleged criminal offense concerns a Democrat, namely, Hillary Clinton and her private email server. The second kind is VERY FEW Republicans when the crime concerns a Republican, namely, the Trump campaign’s use of Russia [...

New reviews, mainly Petite Sirah

 Mark As Read    

  The wine still comes in, not the tsunami like when I was working, but apparently, some people still value my reviews. Here are two new wines from Adler Fels that show this venerable winery still knows how to roll, at a fair price. Adler Fels 2015 “The Eagle Rock” Chardonnay (Russian River Valley-Monterey County); […]

Could ElectionGate be Trump’s undoing?

 Mark As Read    

  Many of us expected Trump to fail sooner rather than later. His lies and incompetence, his sheer cynicism, the banality of his thinking, his vengeance, the way he’s already selling out his supporters, stacking his administration with billionaire bankers, and—last but not least—the fact that a hell of a lot more people voted for […]

ElectionGate: the Putin-Assange-Comey-Trump conspiracy

 Mark As Read    

  I hate to play the “I told you so” game, but as far back as Oct. 30, I described “a conspiracy…hatched in darkness and anonymity, [whose] leaders are the foursome of Donald Trump, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, Vladimir Putin and James Comey,” the latter being, of course, the discredited head of the FBI. Their little […]

The radical anti-gay right and Donald Trump

 Mark As Read    

  Some years ago I got my name on an electronic mailing list from an organization that calls itself “Public Advocate of the United States." Despite its official-sounding name and logo, it has nothing to do with the U.S. government but is in fact a rabidly right wing hate group whose primary obsession is promoting […]

Cold weather, Charlotte’s web, and, yes, Trump

 Mark As Read    

  It’s been cold in Oakland lately—cold by our standards, anyway, if not by those of the upper midwest. I heard an interview today on NPR with Thomas Friedman, who referred to his fellow Minnesotans as the “frozen chosen,” an apt description, I suppose, when the temperature is fourteen degrees below zero, as it will […]

No matter what happens with the Dakota Pipeline, Trump is a loser

 Mark As Read    

  The Dakota Access oil pipeline is another of those issues I haven’t taken a solid stand on, until now, due to my philosophy: I’m not going to have a position on a complicated topic I haven’t studied and don’t understand. It seems to me that too many people on both sides, red and blue, […]

Republicans have a new thing to declare war on

 Mark As Read    

  Three days in the life of the developing necrosis of this incoming administration hardly leave one knowing where to start in writing about the Almanack de Gotha of horrors daily emanating from Trump Tower, or should I say, from the man himself, who to be precise occasionally ventures beyond the escalator of his gleaming […]

Benziger Family Winery: five new reviews

 Mark As Read    

  I’ve followed Benziger’s fortunes for decades, and one thing I can say, they’re always striving to boost quality. The Benziger family began with the hugely successful Glen Ellen Winery, which pioneered “fighting varietals,” before launching their boutique Benziger brand, which they sold to The Wine Group in 2015. These five wines are the fir...

The fish rots from the head down: Trump and his voters

 Mark As Read    

  A Mr. Jack Hamilton, from Silverdale, Washington, wrote a letter to The Wall Street Journal the other day that is so miasmic, so lacking in self-understanding, that I just have to reply. Hamilton’s letter is about a column by the redoubtable Peggy Noonan—a sarcastic right winger who worked for Reagan and the first Bush—who […]

What Fred Trump taught his son, Donald, about real estate

 Mark As Read    

  [The following is based on a true story] [Flashback: Winter 1963. The Wilshire Apartments, Queens New York. The apartment building’s owner, Fred Trump, is meeting with his rental agent, Stanley Leibowitz. Accompanying them is Fred’s 17-year old son, Donald.] FT: So how are we doing on rentals, Stan? SL:  Pretty good, Mr. Trump. We’re […...

An open letter from me to gun freaks

 Mark As Read    

  Some of us got into a bit of a kerfluffle at a Facebook page I won’t identify, to protect the owner’s privacy. S/he had written approvingly about the new “smart gun” technology that the New York Times recently editorialized about, urging that they at least be given a chance, if for no other reason […]

What happens when the President is a pathological liar?

 Mark As Read    

  Donald Trump’s addiction to lying is well-known to most Americans, so his recent assertion that “millions of people voted illegally" in the election will come as no surprise. After all, this is the person who said that "thousands and thousands" of Muslims cheered in New Jersey after the Sept. 11 attacks. The real question […]...

Thanksgiving’s over. Trump isn’t…yet

 Mark As Read    

  Happy Nov. 28! What's your favorite part of the Thanksgiving holiday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, or Black Friday? They’re all such fun days to spend money. I’d be hard-pressed to pick just one, but I’d have to say that, for me, personally, it’s Black Friday! The crowds, the traffic, the lines–it's all so […]...

Thanksgiving

 Mark As Read    

  This isn’t a very thankful time for many of us. Our side lost. I, personally, believe the country as a whole lost, and furthermore I believe that History will agree. A friend of mine, a peaceful man of Latino heritage, told me today he’s thinking of buying a gun, for the first time in […]

On the American obsession with wealth and the Trump phenomenon

 Mark As Read    

  Don’t get me started on the irony—or hypocrisy—of the Wall Street Journal, which has a weekend section called “Mansions” that’s an eat-your-heart-out, too-bad you-can’t have it ode to pool houses, chandeliers and thread counts. Then, yesterday, they had a front-page article, “Advertisers Search for Middle America,” explaining how Americans a...

(1) New Pinot Noirs, old friends in San Francisco (2) On Fighting Drumpf

 Mark As Read    

Part 1 A Pinot Noir tasting in San Francisco You can take the boy out of the wine business but you can’t take the love of the business out of the boy. Or something like that. Anyway, although I formally retired from my career on Sept. 2, I still have “wine in my blood,” so […]

Trump: lies, truth and post-truth

 Mark As Read    

  What is truth? Pontius Pilate famously asked, suggesting its slipperiness. Twenty centuries later, the comedian Stephen Colbert coined the word “truthiness” to convey the sense of statements that were not really true, but that nonetheless “felt right” to the speaker.  A dictionary, Merriam-Webster, chose “truthiness” as its word of the year ...

Postmortem: Putting IPOB into Perspective

 Mark As Read    

  I’ve been hard on the Republican Party for being such ideological purists that they can’t compromise with Democrats (or anyone else) on anything. So in my guise as the F.F.W.C. (former famous wine critic), along the same lines I have a few observances about In Pursuit of Balance. IPOB, as many of you know, […]

Will Oakland Kill Its Infant Marijuana Industry?

 Mark As Read    

  For years, my town of Oakland has been at the center of the commercial marijuana business in America. Downtown is studded with medical marijuana clinics and small shops selling paraphernalia. (I, myself, have had a medical marijuana card for a long time.) Oakland’s pot entrepreneurs were forward-looking visionaries who never doubted that pot...

An open letter to the lady quoted in the weekend’s Wall Street Journal

 Mark As Read    

  She was in a front-page article, “The Places That Made Trump,” which purported to explain the point of view of Rust Belt voters who abandoned the Democratic Party to elect Trump President. Out of respect, I’m not using her name, although it’s right there in the link; I’ll call her Miss Smith. Dear Miss […]

Trump to Democrats: Go f**k yourselves!

 Mark As Read    

  I’m hearing from trump supporters, like a tea party commenter on Facebook, who writes: “Give him (Donald) a chance. I think he's in this for the right reasons.” To which I reply, “What kind of chance did you teabaggers give President Obama? You hated on him from day one, you blocked and obstructed his […]

Republicans: Leave Hillary Alone!

 Mark As Read    

  My peeps are all shocked and saddened, of course, by this Trump thing. Everyone is wondering what to do next. One school of thought is, let Trump govern, or try to; when his voters see nothing changing, they’ll realize he’s no more effective at fixing things than Democrats, so maybe that will topple the […]

Election Day!

 Mark As Read    

  I’m writing this Monday evening, and I’m feeling better about the outcome. I now think Hillary will win. (I don’t know about the Senate.) So, here’s my Winners and Losers of this election. But first, a little fun: Well, I think it's funny. LOSERS CNN. Americans have been turning away in droves from this […]

Down to the wire. And if he wins…?

 Mark As Read    

  Well, tomorrow’s it. This horrible election season will be over. God knows it’s been hard on all of us, I know. I, myself, have not been able to watch any of the news channels for the last two weeks: too upsetting. It’s actually affected my physical health. And me, the biggest political junkie in […]

On Trump’s criticism of the Clintons’ wealth

 Mark As Read    

  One of the biggest Republican attacks against Hillary Clinton, and Bill too, is how rich they’ve gotten since leaving the White House in 2001. Yes, they are rich: by some estimates, more than $100 million. Their wealth has been one of Trump’s main targets. I saw a pro-Trump T.V. ad, aired during the fabulous […]

The Hatch Act and James Comey’s shame

 Mark As Read    

  What is the Hatch Act? It is a 1939 law named after a lifelong Democrat, Carl Hatch, who was U.S. Senator from New Mexico for sixteen years before being elevated to the Federal bench by President Truman. Hatch, who was chairman of the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections, was bothered by partisan political […]

Three new wines from Vina Robles

 Mark As Read    

  I’ve long had a soft spot for Paso Robles. When you think of how far they’ve come over the last 10-15 years, it’s just amazing. One used to think of this inland Central Coast region as too hot for fine wine, but that was a huge mistake. I’m glad that I recognized its potential […]

The vast rightwing conspiracy, 2016-style

 Mark As Read    

  Back in the 1990s, Hillary Clinton famously referred to the “vast rightwing conspiracy” that formed to take her and her husband, President Bill Clinton, down. That conspiracy was led by conservative radicals who today have morphed into what is known as the alt-right, a branch of the Republican party that, twenty years ago, was […]

That upcoming Trump University trial: Trump doesn’t want jurors to hear the evidence

 Mark As Read    

  Imagine you’re a juror at the upcoming class action trial against Trump University, scheduled to begin Nov. 28 in San Diego federal court. The now-defunct Trump University, you’ll recall, was the phony “real estate school” that promised to teach students “the secrets of real estate success.” It bilked hundreds of them out of tens […]

Do red wines get higher scores than whites due to “bias”?

 Mark As Read    

  Is there “a critical bias toward red wines” among wine critics? That’s the thesis of a thought-provoking study that examined 64,000 scores from leading publications and found some fascinating tendencies: reds score higher than whites red wines are over-represented above 90 points whites are over-represented below 90 points So pronounced were...

Tax shelters for the rich, and the Republicans who want to keep them secret

 Mark As Read    

  In a little-noticed event, a high-ranking United Nations official is urging the world “to make the elimination of tax havens a priority to ensure that corporations, billionaires and ‘kleptocrats’ pay their fair share of taxes.” The richest one percent is hiding “as much as $32 trillion…held offshore in secrecy jurisdictions escaping just tax...

Exposed: The secret Trump-Duterte tapes

 Mark As Read    

  Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte has made international headlines with his inflammatory rhetoric, extra-judicial killings of drug dealers and users, and, most recently, his announced “severing of ties” with the U.S. (since walked back)—all of which makes Donald J. Trump his number one fan! Wikileaks has just published a recording made of a...

Trump and Goebbels: “Ve Vill Vin!”

 Mark As Read    

  March, 1945 was not a good time for Hitler’s Nazi government. The war was essentially lost: Russian troops pouring in from the East, British and American troops from the West. Allied air power had reduced scores of German cities to rubble: Berlin, the capital, had no electricity, no transportation, and no food. The German […]

When it comes to gays, Christians should be apologizing

 Mark As Read    

  Some of my readers, especially on Facebook (where this blog also appears, as well as on Twitter and Huffington Post) have accused me of hating on Christians. Well, that’s a serious allegation, so please allow me to defend myself. As a gay American, I’ve been told my entire life by Christians that I, and […]

On the eve of destruction, Republicans turn against each other

 Mark As Read    

  With little ammunition remaining to fend off the impending disaster to their party and candidate, Republican Trump supporters are resorting to the most specious and rhetorical of arguments. Consider, for instance, the Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn. He’s a longtime columnist for the newspaper, which allows us to take a peek at his trac...

How the Democrats will get dead people to vote for Hillary

 Mark As Read    

  Scene: Shady Grove Cemetery, Tallahassee, Florida. Nighttime. An office – darkened, no light except for the moon through the window. A desk with chair, filing cabinets. The desk is littered with files scattered haphazardly. The room is empty, except for the ticking of a grandfather clock. Suddenly: SMASH The sound of a window breaking. [R...

Why does Julian Assange want Trump to win? An analysis

 Mark As Read    

  It’s a puzzle, isn’t it? Assange's Wikileaks has been devoting pretty much all its time to publishing hacked emails to or from or about Hillary Clinton and her senior staff, obviously to the delight of the Trump campaign. But no one is asking, Why is Assange so anti-Hillary? What is Wikileaks, anyhow? Its website […]

When Hillary wins, who will convince Trumpsters not to wage civil war? Hint: It’s not who you think

 Mark As Read    

  Last Friday I blogged about the possible response by the Trump party after he loses the election. My post was, of course, pure fantasy, a scary dystopian hallucination of societal breakdown and violence. Over the weekend, however, just such a scenario has been increasingly considered by many others. I Googled “trump election civil war” [R...

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