Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Hard to deal with

The Washington Post maintains a database of Trump's lies, boasts and sheer nonsense, but I know of no separate listing for all the women he has called "nasty."  To be clear, this characterization is the unfortunate result of having a vocabulary smaller than that of Koko the gorilla (1971-2018).  Nor is the word applied only to women -- recently he declared the Fox broadcaster Juan Williams "nasty" for criticizing his bungled approach to trade with China.

In general, however, Trump reserves "nasty" for women who are smarter and better than he is, who refuse to be intimidated even when he creeps up and snuffles behind them, as in the debate with Hillary Clinton.  A quick survey reveals that other honorees include Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Elizabeth Warren, Sally Yates, Meryl Streep, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Frederica Wilson, Michelle Wolf,  Rosie O'Donnell, April Ryan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Carmen Yulin Cruz, Megan Rapinoe, Christine Blasey Ford, Oprah Winfrey, Meghan McCain, Rashida Tlaib, Nan Whaley, Rachel Maddow, Ilhan Omar, and all the women who accused Roy Moore of molesting them as teenagers.

I don't know how he has so far resisted the temptation to slag off foreign leaders who displease him, since so many are women (Angela Merkel!  Jacinda Ardern!).  That precedent was broken today, when the Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen went on the Nasty list for refusing to consider his very generous offer for Greenland.  The Danes were the clear winners, because they won't endure a state visit from His Orangeness, but they will entertain Barack Obama in late September.  And they get to keep Greenland.  All Trump gets is an enhanced reputation for childishness, louder speculation about his mental health, and a lot of talk about what the Great Greenland Folly is meant to distract from.  (Possibilities range from the stumbling economy to impeachment proceedings to the stuff in Jeffrey Epstein's vault.) defines "nasty" as "bad or hard to deal with, encounter, undergo; dangerous; serious."  Stay dangerous, ladies.  Stay serious.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Laughter in the dark

Sometimes I'll be here staring at the screen incredulously, and suddenly a laugh rings out.  Where is it coming from?  It's mine!  I recognize it.  And then, you know how it is, I can't stop.

Florida man Matt Gaetz won't get disbarred for being an asshole, because Florida.  It all started when he tweeted to Michael Cohen:  "I wonder if [your wife] will remain faithful while you're in prison."  Maybe I've seen too many movies, because I immediately thought of Tokyo Rose as she is always portrayed in said movies:  "Your wives and sweethearts are being unfaithful while you hopelessly struggle against the invincible Japanese Empire."  Then she plays a Tommy Dorsey record, which is the only reason Our Boys keep tuning in.  Giggling, I open up YouTube and click on "Hawaiian War Chant."  Rose would play "Getting Sentimental Over You," but I like the fast stuff, and this has an outrageous solo by Ziggy Elman backed up by Buddy Rich.  And pretty soon I've forgotten all about Gaetz and Cohen and the whole fucking twenty-first century.

The Trumpanzee who killed 22 people in El Paso is on suicide watch.  This news comes as the New York medical examiner rules Jeffrey Epstein a suicide and the conspiracy theories continue to drop like overripe fruit.  It seems Epstein signed his will two days before he resorted to the bedsheet farewell, which certainly sounds like the man had a plan.  Will they do a better job of this in Texas, or are the jails there understaffed and overstuffed?  It seems like the country with the world's biggest prison population could at least keep them alive.  Wait, Sandra Bland died in the Texas lockup, didn't she?  After a traffic stop?

Don't think about that.  Now it's "Boogie Woogie" with Dorsey and Glenn Miller.  There were a lot of trombone-wielding bandleaders, weren't there?  Jack Teagarden, Kid Ory, J.J. Johnson, Will Bradley -- that's what I need now, "Down the Road a Piece" in Bradley's unsurpassed version.  Certainly unsurpassed by the Rolling Stones, though full marks for effort.  I love Ray McKinley's vocal.

Like the great Durante, Trump is always surrounded by assassins, trying to steal the love of the people from him.  (I think that's all he took away from Citizen Kane -- that and "buy a gigantic house in Florida.")  Former confederates who turn on him like Joe Scarborough and Omarosa inspire particularly hilarious Outbursts of misspelled RAGE!!!  Today it's Anthony Scaramucci, who is everywhere promoting his book.*  The Mooch was in and out of Trump's employ in record time and is today's Worst Person In the World.  (I'm stealing that from Keith Olbermann because he stole it from Bob & Ray.)  He and Mark "Appalachian Trail" Sanford are leading what Republican opposition there is, and the hysteria is delightful.  Also, the Deep State has infiltrated Fox News, which keeps releasing "FAKE POLLS" showing diminished support for "your favorite president (me)!" and an interest, probably temporary, in gun control.  That, and the weather in New Jersey, and the news that most of his Twitter-followers don't really exist, combine to make this a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad vacation for Metamucilini.  He can't even enjoy keeping Rashida Tlaib from seeing her grandmother.  Haters!  (He became a grandfather again yesterday but expressed no interest, as a normal human would.)

Still chuckling at the picture of a Steve King town hall at which exactly two Iowans turned up.  Either it's harvest time, or even they have had enough of his racist rapist routine.  Sent ten dollars to the guy who almost beat him last time.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard continues to interfere with shipping, Russia is testing missiles, tensions mount between the nuclear powers that claim Kashmir, the republicans in Northern Ireland are building bombs again, the Italian government is finito, Brazil is accelerating the death of the planet by destroying the Amazon rain forest, and America's foreign initiative is purchasing Greenland from Denmark.  So now we're living in a South Park movie directed by Michael Moore.  If that doesn't make you laugh, do what I do every day.  Hold a mirror in front of your mouth and see if it fogs.

*Scaramucci says he didn't have "a Road to Damascus moment."  Trump wants to know what he is doing in Syria.

Friday, August 16, 2019

King save the god

Debaters will recognize the problem:  When you start with a shitty premise, you can only justify it by going deeper in the toilet.

Rep. Steve King has a lot of free time now that his own leadership has relieved him of all his House committees, and he has spent some of it reading.  (Probably not Nature, which is a respectable scientific publication, but some second-hand source.)  He discovered that millions of men in Asia share DNA with Genghis Khan and concluded that this was a consequence of the ferocious Mongol armies and their rapey progress in the 13th century.  The possibility that the great Khan practiced polygamy and fathered hundreds of children with his wives and concubines did not occur to the Sage of Iowa.  He's probably a descendant of Charlemagne (not a celebrated rapist) -- most Europeans are.  I digress.

King is a devout anti-choicer who believes that his god wants women to bear the children of their rapists, and should be forced to if necessary.  If it's good enough for all those Asian women, it's good enough for some 13-year-old in Pellagra, Tennessee, right?  Pull on your Haz-mat suit, I'm going to quote the Congressman:

"What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest?  Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?  Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages taken place and whatever happened to culture after society?  I know I can't certify that I'm not a part of a product of that."

What exactly did he say?

1. Rape is good because we are all products of it.  (Especially African Americans, he did not add.  Malcolm X hated his red hair as a reminder that one or more of his female ancestors was raped by a white man.)

2. Incest is good because -- well, have you seen the crowd at a Trump rally?  I think they're all cousins.

3. "Whatever happened to culture after society?"  I've been over that six times and it doesn't mean anything, except that Republicans believe English is an elitist conspiracy.

4. He has no idea what "pillage" means but it goes with "rape."  I think we're talking Vikings now.  Or pirates.

5. Rapists do god's work.  The opinions of the blessed mothers don't matter.  Abortion wicked, rape perfectly natural.  Because it happened in the past!

I wonder if the Congressman has read Soul On Ice, where Eldridge Cleaver brags about raping white women as payback for the centuries of rape endured by enslaved black women.   King also showed great restraint in not citing Genesis 19:36, said to be Trump's favorite:  "Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father."  Hubba hubba!

Yet people want to kick this defender of traditional values out of Congress.  Don't you do it, Madam Speaker.  Make the Republicans wear him like an ugly Christmas sweater until Iowa comes to its senses.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Profiles in cowardice

"He's a Hitler lover.  I guess he's an anti-Semite.  He doesn't like the blacks.  He doesn't like the gays.  It's just incredible that anybody could embrace this guy."

Identify the speaker and win a brass figlagee.  (Hint:  it's from nineteen years ago.)  It's a very accurate description of Patrick Buchanan, and he's back.  Yes, Maryland Public Television, for reasons probably having to do with a cash infusion from Sinclair Broadcasting, has hired the Nixon-era thug to be part of a newly launched McLaughlin Group.  (John McLaughlin died in 2016, but the re-animators are working to bring him back.)  It won't be long before MPT shares the bounty with your local site for cooking, gardening, Celtic Woman and endless reruns of Downton Abbey, unless you stop buying their totebags and Andrea Bocelli DVDs and tell them exactly why.  It's not a free-speech issue or a dearth-of-conservative-voices (hah!) issue, or even a nostalgia issue.  It's a very bad man who says vile things and always has, because he really believes the wrong side won the Second World War.  There may be a clown at your local tavern who says vile things, too, but we don't put him on public television.  Media Matters has a short guide to Buchanan's nasty-ass career.

I won't keep you in suspense:  our opening quotation comes from Donald J. Trump, who would soon adopt and enlarge on every one of Buchanan's positions, adding immigrants, Muslims, environmentalists and the media.  If you miss McLaughlin, count on him to re-tweet every bit of Buchanan's oral flatulence, assuming he can find WETA on his cable box.  Trump is more than usually impressed with himself today, having convinced Benjamin Netanyahu to bar Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from Israel because they support BDS but really because they are Muslim.  BDS -- boycott-divestment-sanctions -- is a loose coalition demanding better treatment for Israel's captive Palestinian population through the same peaceful methods that led to the end of apartheid in South Africa (which Trump probably considers another bad thing).  Israel has of course passed a law barring such "terrorists" from the country, but these are members of Congress.  Does Bibi imagine he'll look stronger by running away from two women?  Legislators from the country that pays his bills, part of the Democratic majority that controls the House?  All his action proves is that a coward is a bully turned inside out.

The coward/bullies in Beijing are ramping up to make Hong Kong a second Tiananmen Square.  The protesters haven't gone away and the police are not inflicting enough pain for the government's taste.  Moreover, Xi knows that the dolt in the White House will not do anything in the name of human rights, a concept that has never put a dollar in his sweaty hands.  With all their economic power and their stranglehold on the government, the rulers of China can't think of any way to solve a problem except violence and lots of it.  A coward/bully has to win every pissing contest.

And has to win big.  As the next "election" approaches, thousands of Russians have put their affairs in order, said goodbye to loved ones and joined pro-democracy demonstrations in Moscow and other cities.  The official reaction has ranged from Trump-like verbal abuse ("homosexuals, gypsies, hooligans") to brutal, masked police to Putin's favorite solution, poison.  (Alexei Navalny, described by The Wall Street Journal as "the man Vladimir Putin fears most," had an "allergic reaction" in police custody the other day.  Hey, I'm allergic to polonium, too.)  The lawyer Lyubov Sobol has been on a hunger strike for three weeks and nobody knows where she is, or if she is still alive.  Elections are coming, and if Trump's boss doesn't get 95% of the vote he's just a bear.  Maybe he can import some of those voting machines being built in China by one of Ivanka's companies.

No, I didn't make that last part up.  This is not The Onion.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Tuesday happy-time party

Turn off the news.  I have, and I feel younger and thinner already, with the colonic function of a puppy.  It works.  You can't do a thing about the human catastrophes on this planet as it hurtles toward fiery doom.  So get happy!  (Some bullshit may apply.)

All week you've been subjected to low-information conspiracy theories, so here are some nice ones:

Q exists and she's Oprah!  She's going to save the eagles and give everybody an electric car except Elon Musk, who is clearly insane.

Shakespeare mystery solved!  Bill Clinton wrote the plays and Hillary wrote the sonnets.  Prove I'm wrong, Oxfordian turkeys.

"Frank's Place" will return to network television this fall.

A friend who saw Trump's echo-cardiogram results says to get ready for a happy Halloween.

Big storm in Atlanta area.  Lightning struck Stone Mountain Confederate monument, blasted that sucker into gravel.  Weird, right?  Governor promises investigation, but I don't know.  The guy who deciphered the Gilgamesh tablets couldn't assemble this jigsaw puzzle.  They say.

Comcast is getting right out of the ISP business.  To be replaced by a company that can keep you connected to the damn Internet for more than half an hour.

Still unhappy?  Go here.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Starry messenger

Neil deGrasse Tyson is my favorite astrophysicist, and one of my favorite people.  I like him because he's condescending on Twitter.  He knows more than most of us, unlike other Twitter users, so he's allowed.   The problem with Twitter, it's a radio station/printing press in your pocket.  The temptation must be great to shout the first thing that occurs to you and have it reach thousands, millions, in seconds.  It invites abuse but needs to be used with restraint.

Tyson pissed off a lot of people with his statistical analysis of sudden death in America hours after 34 people were killed with military weapons in El Paso and Dayton.  He pointed out that in the same 48-hour period there were 250 suicides and 200 car accident fatalities, and 40 people were killed with "ordinary" handguns.  "Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data," he chided, because he's a scientist.  Sometimes it's more important to be a mensch.  People were in pain.

Nevertheless, at least thirteen countries have now advised their citizens not to come here -- possibly based on "spectacle," possibly on the fact that eight Mexican nationals and a German died in El Paso.  This provoked the expected squeal from Trump about retaliation and other countries "taking advantage" of us -- the usual empty threats.  What's he going to do, order sanctions on Japan?  Trump once lamented that Norwegians don't immigrate to the United States anymore.  Soon they won't even come here to see Disneyland before rushing back to their socialist hellhole.

Dr. Tyson, they mass-murder because it gets attention.  The daily murders don't make the news unless a celebrity is involved, just like the daily suicides.  Kill five anonymous people and the world will read your manifesto, and the beat goes on.  Some asshole "inspired" by El Paso and Christchurch attacked a mosque in Baerum, Norway, but he only succeeded in wounding one person, so don't expect to see it on the "news."  Unless it bleeds a lot, it no longer leads.  You have to believe in reason, you're a scientist.  This is not an age of reason.    

Sunday, August 11, 2019

One thing we can agree on

One thing is certain: Jeffrey Epstein is dead.

He committed suicide in his cell at the Manhattan Correctional Center.

He was on suicide watch because he tried to kill himself before.

He wasn't on suicide watch.

He committed suicide because one of his accusers said he trafficked her to a surprising assortment of well-known men, including George Mitchell, Bill Richardson, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew.  She claims he recruited her at some place in Florida called Mar-a-Lago.

He was killed because she said he recruited her at some place in Florida called Mar-a-Lago.

He was killed on orders from Letitia James, the New York Attorney General.

He was killed by the vast and sinister Clinton Black Hand, just like Vincent Foster and Seth Rich and John McCain and Antonin Scalia and Tupac Shakur.  Possibly Dale Earnhardt.

He was killed by MI5, like Princess Diana.

He was killed by the real killers of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.  O.J. is on their trail.

He definitely did not hang himself using the simple means of a towel and a door, like Anthony Bourdain and Robin Williams.


He's not dead.  He was sneaked out of jail in a body bag and is now in the Seychelles/Marianas/Bronx.

He never existed.

Prince Andrew?