Friday, July 21, 2017

Civility is back

John McCain Diagnosed With Brain Cancer

"John McCain is an American hero and one of the bravest fighters I have ever known.  Cancer doesn't know what it's up against.  Give it hell, John."
                                 Barack Obama, former President of the United States

"Just. Fucking. Die. Already."

                                 Diana Orrick, Republican National Committeewoman from Nevada


You don't interview Donald Trump.  You just turn on the recorder and get out of his way.

In the course of a stream-of-consciousness performance transcribed by The New York Times (the irony, it stings!) he accused Barack Obama of "losing Crimea," repeated the official version of his secret chats with Putin in Hamburg (adopting Russian babies), threatened Robert Mueller if he insists on doing his job, threatened Jeff Sessions for not doing his job (protecting Trump from the consequences of his crimes), hinted that Rod Rosenstein is unreliable because he comes from Baltimore (I give up), and claimed he had been praised to orgasm by the media for the greatest speech ever given by any president ever on foreign soil (so much for Kennedy, Reagan and Obama in Berlin alone).  At this point I imagine the three Times reporters looked like the first-night audience at "Springtime for Hitler."  And then he moved in for the kill with this analysis of European history/summary of War and Peace:

"Well, Napoleon finished a little bit bad...and his one problem is he didn't go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death.  How many times has Russia been saved by the weather?  Also Hitler ran into some difficulties with the weather."

Did I say War and Peace?  I meant Carry On, Josephine.  The one where Kenneth Williams played Prince Andrei.  Excuse me, I have to re-calibrate my brain.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Annie got her gun

You probably spent the weekend worrying about the imminent collapse of American democracy, the millions whose access to health care is hanging by a thread, that Delaware-size iceberg that broke off Antarctica, the North Korean missile program, or some such trivia.  Maybe you spent it trying not to think about them.  The real news was being generated aboard a Delta flight from New York to Florida.  Ann Coulter didn't get the seat she wanted.  She spent hours studying the plane's design and selected her seat and paid an additional thirty dollars to get extra room for her equine legs -- in coach -- and then some functionary moved her bony ass over by the window and gave her aisle seat to this woman who is clearly non-Aryan --

and who moreover is "dachshund-legged" according to Coulter.  (This is a small taste of the noted author's Twitter rant, which went on for at least fifteen Tweets before I stopped reading.  The flight attendant was compared to Stanley Milgram, Nurse Ratchet [sic] and the East German Stasi, among others.)  You'd think she was dragged off the plane bleeding.

As an example of pissy entitlement opening itself to ridicule, I can't imagine a more exhilarating way to start the week.  The overworked term "snowflake" seems just right here.  But it also made me think about how I would have responded.  Should you lose your shit over a couple of inches of legroom?  If it's that important, there's always first class.  And it's New York to Florida, not across the Pacific.  Yeah, I would have been annoyed.  Probably I would already be pre-annoyed (to borrow from airline jargon) by the whole grim airport experience. 

This is why I do not use social media.  Apart from yelling (which is more or less a federal crime on a plane), it's the easiest way to vent your spleen.  Unfortunately, it's impossible to undo.  The woman who told so many others to quit complaining about their victimization is now a punchline for whining about a seat on a plane, and she has nobody else to blame.  If she had had to stop and think about it, take a deep breath, compose a letter or even a blog post, she wouldn't look like such a monumental ass now.  The social media, and in particular Twitter, with its 140 characters grab-your-phone-and-hit-send ethos, reveals us at our least thoughtful and most choleric.  Many more people would think better of Trump if not for his idiotic Tweets.  All right, some people.  What I'm saying is, not every thought that bubbles up in your head has to be digitized at once and for all time.

At least Coulter can spell, mostly.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Breaking news -- Trump was right!

  "This is the man who facilitated a meeting last year between Donald Trump, Jr, and Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer and Moscow insider, with the promise of information that 'would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.'" (The New York Times)

So this is the "four hundred pound guy on a bed" who hacked the Democratic National Committee's emails.  Unlike Jim and John Barron/Miller, he exists!  Other people have seen him!  He can be photographed!  I'm so excited I could crap.

Have an egg roll, Mr. Goldstone!  Put it on my tab.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

He's fallen in the water!

Isolated and confused at the G20, impotent in the face of the health care debacle, and confronted with irrefutable evidence that his high-quality son is as dumb as a bucket of sand, Trump has turned to his imaginary friend Jim for comfort and support.  As Erik Loomis explains at Lawyers, Guns & Money, Jim was with him (in spirit) during the glory days of the campaign, a fellow client of imaginary publicist John Barron or whatever his name was.  Jim is a man of means (Trump wouldn't know anyone else) who used to take his family to Paris every year, but not any more.  Nobody goes to Paris anymore, it's too crowded -- with the wrong people.  Bad hombres.  Muslims.  It's a hellhole like Brussels and Nice and Berlin and London and Manchester and all those other places that don't have walls around them.  (With the pound plummeting -- thanks, Brexit! -- even Joe the Plumber could afford Manchester right now, but I'll bet he's in Pittsburgh instead.)  Poor Jim.  Trump is in Paris but only because he's always making sacrifices for America, and also they promised he could watch a military parade tomorrow.  Since Bastille Day usually doesn't involve tanks and missiles, I think he'll be disappointed. 

Come on, where else are you going to find references to Yogi Berra and the Goon Show?  I do put some work into this.

A hundred years from today...

...nobody will believe this.

I especially like the secret decoder rings and the blue nail polish.  

"Get thee behind me, Hillary!  Three million illegal votes!  Fake news!  COVFEFE!!!"

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Send in the clowns!

And now, a man with a tape recorder up his nose.

The "president" nearly had to stay at the Hamburg YMCA because his crack staff -- the best people, believe me -- forgot to book a room.  If only the White House had some sort of "travel office" of people who do this sort of thing on a regular basis. 

World leaders were surprised to see the United States represented by a housewife with no education, training or experience in government and international affairs.  Then they decided Ivanka had just about as much to contribute as her daddy.  At least she didn't keep talking about John Podesta and Mika Brzezinski's facelift.

Vladimir Putin assured Trump he had no earthly idea who hacked the Democratic National Committee and state voter databases last year.  So that's that.  Meanwhile, Russians were busy hacking into American nuclear power stations.  Trump has spent most of his life in a clammy sweat that somebody somewhere might be laughing at him.  Yesterday Putin not only laughed at him, he dropped his trousers and mooned him.  What's the Russian for "cock holster"?

Very tough things happened to Poland during the second World War.  Very bad.  Did you know?  Nobody could have known.

Trump spent more than two hours with Putin and Lavrov.  Rex Tillerson was there to make sure they didn't get his wallet and watch.  As yet we don't know what "deliverables" were offered, but there is a rumor that Anchorage will soon be known as Putingrad.  This is in no way comparable to what happened in Munich in 1938.  Chamberlain did not give up the Sudetenland until Hitler demanded it. 

I was going to include the photo of Mike Pence slapping his hand on an exhibit of a space capsule labeled DO NOT TOUCH, but it was just too easy.  The Lab Rat has been musing about American domination of "the heavens," but it's not clear whether he's talking about some missile defense boondoggle or the theocracy he plans to impose as soon as the 25th Amendment is invoked.

Kim Jong-un has demanded that the G20 stop referring to him as "the elephant in the room."  He says he has a thyroid problem and also is big-boned.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Image result for grenfell tower fire
On May 22 at a concert venue in Manchester, a suicide bomber killed himself and 22 other people, some of them children, at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande performance. 

On June 5 two men drove a van at pedestrians on London Bridge, then attacked others with knives.  Eight died, including the attackers.

Last week two bombers in Paris and Brussels only managed to kill themselves.  A man who drove a van into a group of worshippers outside a London mosque is fine.  The imam protected him from the outraged crowd until police arrived.

This is how it's done:  You buy a highrise apartment block in the heart of London and "renovate" it with aluminum cladding and plastic insulation.  Provide no sprinklers or fire escapes.  This ensures that a small kitchen fire will engulf the entire 24-storey building within half an hour.  The exact number of victims may never be known, but is now close to 60.  Similar structures all over England are being evacuated even though there is no plan in place for housing the evacuees -- or for that matter, the survivors of Grenfell Tower (above).

Unlike the killers in Manchester and on London Bridge, these terrorists did not seek "martyrdom."  They were asleep in their beds while people jumped from high floors to escape the flames.  They did not want to establish a caliphate or punish Western decadence.  They just wanted the money.

When it comes to terror, all these angry young men and the organizations that inspire, recruit and train them are clumsy amateurs.  They can cut off hundreds, maybe thousands of heads, but they can't cut off health care for tens of millions.  That takes a terrorist like Mitch McConnell and his eager  stooges.  That takes Paul Ryan and Tom Price and Donald Trump, and those who put them where they are because they just want the money.

Americans will soon have a significantly better chance of dying because they were born with a heart murmur, or because the Planned Parenthood clinic closed before diagnosing their ovarian cancer, or because they can't afford their deductible, than from the actions of an amateur with a gun or an SUV.
Their children will die younger because of what is done, or not done, about climate change and environmental damage.  The only question is why we don't call this terror.           

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Thursday quick-step

There is no recording of the conversation where Trump "hoped" Comey to back off investigating Mickey Flynn -- but we had that here almost two weeks ago.  Hah!

Bill Cosby's lawyer says he will conduct a series of seminars to teach "young people" (men) how to avoid being accused of rape.  It is not known whether the tuition will include free Quaaludes.

HBO is being sued by coal operator Bob Murray over the John Oliver show critical of his methods, including the deadly accident he blamed, without evidence, on an earthquake.  Murray's lawyer points out, a propos nothing, that he is 77 and needs a lung transplant, probably not as a result of black-lung disease.

People in wheelchairs distressed by the Double-Secret Republican Health "Care" bill were manhandled out of the corridor near Mitch McConnell's office.  Good optics for the 2018 campaign.

Trump has showered Twitter with his "thoughts" on everything from the Georgia and South Carolina special elections to his continued persecution by the "WITCH HUNT!" but has yet to utter a word about the seven sailors who died when a container ship rammed the USS Fitzgerald last weekend.  Could it possibly have been...Obama's fault?

It looks like Sean Spicer will soon leave the White House Pantomime Briefing Show and return to his first love.  By next week he will be wearing a kangaroo suit and distributing coupons for Outback Steakhouse.  This represents a promotion from rodent to marsupial.  Good luck, Sean!

Trump's bittersweet romance with China appears to be off again.  "At least I know China tried!" is how his latest tweet ended.  It is not clear whether he was referring to the Warmbier case or North Korea's continued missile tests, or possibly something else.  We also don't know if anyone has told him about the Qatar crisis, or if he understood.  Nothing like foreign policy by Magic Eightball.  But damn, that was some chocolate cake!!

Remember when Ted Nugent invited Barack Obama to suck on his assault rifle?  It was around the  time he offered to sodomize Hillary Clinton with the same versatile weapon.  Meet Ted Nugent 2017, the kinder, gentler Nuge who want to bring civility to the national conversation.  Or he needs some TV time to promote his sad oldies tour.  Whatever, he has a willing dupe in Bill Maher, who never heard of a Rightzi he didn't want to book.  Because political correctness is bad!  Next thing you know the Speech Police expect you to apologize for using the n -- oh, right, he did.*

Did you know smaller planes can't take off when the temperature hovers around 120 degrees Fahrenheit?  Did you know this is the case all over the southwest, including Phoenix?  Did you know global warming is a hoax?   Hey, look, a hurricane! 

*I am willing to be offended if it's done with wit and purpose.  This has been my comedy policy from Lenny Bruce to George Carlin and Richard Pryor and on to Chris Rock and Louis CK.  Maher's use of the word was offensive, pointless and dumb, conveying nothing but the extent to which he relies on his writers.  When he improvises, it's a disaster.