Thursday, January 19, 2017

Disconnected thoughts

You know you are in big trouble when the least disturbing thing about the new president is that he has a good friend named Joey No-Socks.

At least ninety senior Obama officials have agreed to stay in their jobs because the moron-elect was too busy feuding with Meryl Streep and CNN to hire replacements.  These people are true patriots.  I would have told him to go trump himself.

It's fun to laugh at the Russian pee-party stories, but we need to remember that this is only the distraction, the salacious detail for the entertainment of the perpetually adolescent, like Bill Clinton's cigar.  It's not a crime to enjoy getting pissed on.  Whatever Putin has on Trump is much more serious, penitentiary stuff.  It would even shock the Stormtrumpers who wouldn't care if he shot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue (his own words).  But I have never missed Bill Hicks so much.   

First Rick Perry wanted to abolish the Department of Energy.  Then he decided that he wanted to be Secretary of Energy.  Then he found out the job doesn't entail peddling Texas oil and gas to the world but requires him to supervise America's nuclear arsenal.  Now his head hurts.

If Trump is following the Tom Price hearings, he may have his first inkling that insider trading is a crime.  Trump believes that no laws apply to him -- immigration laws, tax laws, labor laws, bribery laws, the Cuban embargo, even the laws of science.  Even the law which says that if you consume more calories than you burn, you'll get fat.  When Donzo looks in a mirror he doesn't see a grotesque old man with dyed hair, weird orange skin and more chins than Mount Rushmore.  He sees a young Brad Pitt.  Even Brad Pitt doesn't see that anymore.

No more Corporation for Public Broadcasting?  Who will bring us stately British costume dramas and documentaries about Egyptian mummies?  Sad!

President Obama ended his final news conference by telling the press, "Good luck."  It looks as if they'll need it.  There is talk of rousting them out of the James Brady Room in the White House because --get this -- the room isn't big enough.  (Il Douche doesn't like to perform before crowds of fewer than five thousand, preferably chanting his name.)  If this encourages reporters to actually report, investigate, pursue, or just pore over public documents as I.F. Stone did, it could be the best thing that has happened to them in a long while.  Besides, it can't be fun to work in a place named for a press secretary who was shot in the head.

I wish I'd said it:  SPRINGTIME FOR TWITLER.  Good night, and good grief.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

America: A Vision

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night...but then he was replaced by a different dream. 

It's Inauguration Day and noon is approaching.  Melania Trump, determined not to be upstaged by her stepdaughter for once, has had her silicon implants upgraded from Malibu Barbie to Dolly Parton, but she isn't used to them yet.  She stands up, holding the Bible -- a top quality Bible, absolutely the best Bible, believe me.  She stumbles on her six-inch heels and the right boob pops out.  Hits John Roberts in the temple.  Knocks him cold. 

Hillary has a very distinctive laugh and it now begins to echo off the marble.  She makes no effort to control it.  Why should she?  The microphones pick it up and carry it all over the Mall.  Struggling to get control of her mammary, Melania drops the Bible; Pence picks it up and cradles it like a baby.  Paramedics rush to Roberts, while Kellyann Conway jumps loyally in front of FPOTUS.  Just then the other boob breaks free with a cartoon "DOI-OI-OING!" 

Hillary has slipped off her chair, laughing helplessly.  Bill tries to pick her up but he's laughing, too.  Bush is trying to hold it in, but a bubble of snot has appeared in one nostril.  Laura searches for a tissue, silently blessing the inventor of adult diapers.  The Obamas are cool, as always, yet vibrating slightly.  They don't dare look at each other, or at Joe Biden, who is having some kind of coughing fit. 

With the help of a Marine and some duct tape, Kellyann has corralled FPOTUS inside her dress and coat.  Trump, meanwhile, has pulled out his phone and is tweeting something incoherent about Rosie O'Donnell, or Rosie Perez, or Rosie Grier -- anyway, it seems to calm him, like Captain Queeg with his ball bearings.  Melania tries to take the Bible back from Pence.  They seem to be struggling for it.  Apparently there was no time to have it gold-plated, so it was sprayed with the same yellow paint that is applied to Trump's head and is now stuck to the vice-presidential hands.  After a minute, she pries it loose. 

Roberts is back on his feet but groggy.  He begins to administer the Boy Scout Oath.  Trump, who has never read any part of the Constitution, parrots it back, punctuated by hiccups from an exhausted Hillary:  "On my honor I will do my best [HIC!] to do my duty to God and my country [HIC!]..."

Soon, Trump has been sworn in as a Boy Scout.  The leader of the Marine Band, like the commandant of the District of Columbia National Guard and the guy who announces the parade floats, was fired this week.  The band tries to strike up "Hail to the Chief" but they sound like Spike Jones and His City Slickers, and after a few bars they give up.

Eight hundred miles away an elderly couple sit in front of the television, wiping tears of laughter from their faces.  Jimmy turns to Rosalynn and says, "I told you we should have gone."   

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Donald and his very good brain #3

"They don't know it yet but they're going to pay for the wall.  On day one we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern wall."   (A powerful wall?)

Well, maybe not.  Now we learn of the End Illegal Immigration Act, which "fully funds construction of a wall on our southern border...with the full understanding that the country of Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such a wall." 

Whose "full understanding"?  When was this pact signed?   How will it be enforced?  Sounds like Joe and Jane Scratchcards will be laying out ten to forty billion dollars with no real prospect of getting it back, beyond the promise of a known liar.  Factor in the additional burden of tax cuts for the rich and the additional medical costs created by the destruction of the Affordable Care Act and the potential gutting of Medicare and, well, that had better be a hell of a wall. 

Unless we just send Mexico (ATTN:  National Treasury) a bill on the first of the month, mixed in with the gas bill and the phone bill, and hope they pay it without looking too closely at it.  As you do.

On a totally unrelated note, the Washington, D.C., Trump Trivago is being sued for over five million dollars by contractors who have not been paid.  May as well tack that on to the wall bill.  By then, the financial affairs of the United States and the Trump Organization will be hopelessly tangled anyway.   

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Happy new year, same as the old year

Less than a week after it began, 2017 has seen its first mass shooting, eleven people in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, five dead.  The shooter's name was quickly given as Esteban Santiago, an army veteran from New Jersey, at which five million Muslims sighed with relief.  The people who determine such things have yet to declare whether this was an act of "terrorism" or not, which begs the question, "What the hell else was it?"  Shooting a lot of random strangers is always terrorism, whether you were "radicalized" by ISIS or Alex Jones or Sesame Street.  The only way to curb this kind of thing is to forget about the motivation and concentrate on the act, which would scarcely have been possible without a gun.

We always end up back here.  For the last eight year every atrocity has been followed by shrieks of
"Obama is coming to take your guns!" which has been followed by the sound of revving engines as the Second Amendment People raced to Annie's Get-Your-Gun* to stock up against the impending confiscation.  No one ever came for their guns, of course, but it's like the Rapture -- they just know it's coming, soon.  Clearly that particular ploy won't work any more, and I admit I'm curious to see how Wayne LaPierre and the murder lobby plan to keep gun sales prosperous in the age of the short-fingered vulgarian.  Already we have the spread of "open carry" laws in states that like to encourage gunplay in churches, malls, restaurants and schools.  (And airports.  Yes, Florida has such a law.  Need you even ask?)  An obvious next step would be "compulsory carry" laws requiring folks to be locked and loaded whenever they leave the house, with the possibility of exemptions for Buddhists, Quakers and the blind.  Knowing that all African Americans are armed, as opposed to just assuming it, opens up all kinds of law-enforcement opportunities, too. 

You think I'm being snarky as usual?  Well, I'm not.  As Andy Richter wrote, "It's a great time to be alive if you're dumb and mean."  Staying alive is going to get a lot trickier.

*An actual store patronized by last year's Santa Barbara mass murderers.       

Monday, January 02, 2017

Donald and his very good brain #2

"I don't care what they say, no computer is safe.   I have a boy who's ten years old, he can do anything with a computer.  You want something to really go without detection, write it out and have it sent by courier."

"SEAL Team Six to Command, we are in the compound, repeat, we are in the compound.  Do we go on bin Laden?"

"Negative, Six, wait for courier from C in C.  Should arrive tomorrow pm.  Try to hide three massive helicopters until then.  Over."

"Courier?  The fuck?"

Someone could try explaining encryption to the idiot if he ever finds time in his schedule of parties and rallies for an intelligence briefing.  Trouble is, he trusts no one outside the family.  So brief the ten-year-old and ask him to describe the world to Daddy, using small words and toy soldiers.  Or enjoy the mental picture of couriers racing through the tall grass, carrying notes in cleft sticks.   I do.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Points of light

This is Comet 45P.  It has a longer name.  If you look up now, you might see it. 

Comets were once considered harbingers of dread, but that would be redundant.  And trite.  I prefer to close the year with words from a woman I never heard of until she resigned from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir because she could not bring herself to participate in an event scheduled for January 20, 2017.  This is what Jan Chamberlin wrote:

"Tyranny is now on our doorstep; it has been sneaking its way into our lives through stealth.  We must continue our love and support for the refugees and the oppressed by fighting against these great evils."


Monday, December 26, 2016

With charity for all

Someone asked Carl Paladino, onetime candidate for governor of New York and now Trump state chairman, what he wanted to see in 2017:

   "Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford [sic].  He dies
    before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret [sic] who died weeks prior after
    being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady [sic] cellmate mistook her for being a nice
    person and decapitated her...Michelle Obama, I'd like her to return to being a male and let loose
    in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably with Maxie the gorilla."

It's all there -- the appalling grammar, the fixation on bestiality, the bizarre but unshakeable alt-right trope that the most glamorous First Lady since Jacqueline Kennedy is really a man --I pity the public school children of Buffalo with this sitting on their school board.  Our next ambassador to South Africa?

Here's something I learned only recently from reading Bill Bryson's One Summer:  America 1927:  When Italian immigrants came here at the turn of the twentieth century and settled in the South, their children were often required to attend black schools.  They were not considered white by local government and were harassed by the Klan for being immigrants and Catholics.  This doesn't excuse anything, but maybe it helps to explain why awful individuals like Paladino and Giuliani feel they have to work harder (often grotesquely harder) at their racism than regular bigots like Trump and Sessions.  No dog whistles for them, always looking over their shoulders, never quite sure that they are "white" enough even now.  What a terrible way to live.