Thursday, November 30, 2017



"There's a special place in hell for people who prey on children."  

And now for something depressingly the same

Don Blankenship at a -- get this -- Labor Day event.

This is Don Blankenship.  He was the CEO of Massey Energy in 2010, when its disdain for safety  regulations led to a coal mine explosion that killed 29 miners.  He served one year in minimum security, whining about being a political prisoner.  Now he's running for the Senate from West Virginia, the very state where the miners lived and died.  No points for guessing which party, but it's very bigly on "clean coal" and believes there's too much regulation, stifling free enterprise.  Isn't that a swell costume?  Because despite the awful way his country has treated him, Don Blankenship is a patriot.

If you want to take something away from this that won't make you want to rip off your ears and bleed into your beer, take this:  felons can vote in West Virginia.  Or at least run for office.

The Buttermilk Sky Organization apologizes for making you look at that picture, but points out that it also considered one of Kellyanne Conway.  That's because the White House spokesmodel, currently under investigation for violating the Hatch Act, is America's new drug czarina.  Jared Kushner was supposed to solve the opioid problem  (white people dying from opioids), but he's busy trying to keep his ass out of prison; presumably he has also handed Reorganizing the Federal Government and Fixing the Middle East to others.  Now Conway will tell the white addicts to not get messed up on the pills their doctors prescribe and, if they do, to not transition to the ferocious heroin presently available on a corner near you.  Of course, the heroin will vanish as soon as Mexico's check clears and work starts on the big, beautiful wall.

First drug czarina.  What glass ceiling?

Does Jeff Sessions need a new nickname?  Do I need an unlimited credit card?  We've been calling him "Poison Dwarf" but we got a testy cease-and-desist letter from lawyers for the family of Joseph Goebbels.  For a while we considered "Three-Fifths of a Man," mostly for its Constitutional/historical  resonance.  How do you like "Big Giant Wussy"?  That was proposed by an anonymous wordsmith at Blackwater, four of whose "contractors" are still being prosecuted by Sessions's Justice Department for "murdering" a dozen or so civilians in Baghdad in 2007.  The wordsmith complains that Sessions is not using the DOJ to cover up crimes like this, as a proper Attorney General would:  "never has there been a more spineless, worthless guy holding that chair than him."  "Big Giant Wussy" it is, then.  It's funny because when he lies to a Congressional committee, his feet don't touch the floor.  Get it?

It's kind of generic.  We may yet go with "Three-Fifths of a Man."

The 2017 White House Christmas (and definitely not Holiday) party will be the biggest, best-attended party of all time.  Absolutely yuge, although April Ryan (bureau chief for American Urban Radio and pebble in the shoe of White House press secs) has not been invited, and CNN says its people will not attend, and others may decide they need to spend that evening catching up on Suits because they're not quite sure who Meghan Markle is.  Immense party.

Nothing to do with the soul-eating decorations.

The Trump Plaza Casino Hotel and Human-Trafficking Center on Atlantic City's historic Boardwalk is being demolished as soon as they can figure out how to deal with all the asbestos in it.  It was built in 1995, decades after responsible builders stopped using asbestos.  Looks like those commercials for mesothelioma lawyers will continue for the foreseeable future.

Many jobs being created in the asbestos-abatement industry.  MAGA!

Last Sunday the New York Times ran a polite and respectful profile of a hard-working blue-collar American who likes to write songs and thinks Mr. Hitler had some good ideas.  The Times drew a lot of criticism for not using such phrases as "the crazy shit that got twenty million people killed between  1933 and 1945" and "what the omnivorous fuck?" and trying to make us think he's just the welder next door with a viewpoint we should at least pretend to take seriously.  Well, now Mr. Nazi Welder and his Nazi wife have lost their jobs, which is too bad but not (as some will assert) a First Amendment issue.  So they don't also lose their house, a Nazi crowd-sourcing site is throwing them a rent party, and I can't believe I wrote that either.

Goyfundme.  I swear.  I swear.

(Suggestion for next Sunday:  "Charles Manson, a Reappraisal."  "People just didn't get Charlie, you know?  His quirky sense of humor.  Like, how could you start a race war by killing a bunch of richies?  He was all, like, I can't believe you guys actually took me seriously!  Then he put on The White Album and we all, like, grooved, you know?")

This is why I don't do social media, part 64:  People who post things critical of Twitler are getting robocalls from a person identifying himself as "Russell from Citizens for Trump Foundation."  He goes on:  "We've been monitoring you...Listen, we're going to have to ask you to lay off the negative and derogatory posts about Trump, OK?  We'll keep an eye on you.  Have a nice day."  Hey, Russell, what about us bloggers, toiling in obscurity because sometimes even 480 characters are not enough?  Unpaid, unread, we drag ourselves to the laptop every day for the sheer catharsis of it.  Unlike you, 'Russell,' we don't cower behind fake phone numbers.  We don't hide our thuggery behind Office Space locutions.  We don't try to scare people on behalf of a bullying, whining sack of shit.  Have a nice day?  You have a nice day, you sleazy pile of pus.  You have a nice day and be sure to not lie down in front of a freight train because you might get hurt or dead and somebody, like our Nazi welder, might mourn you.  Monitor this, pathetic bed-wetting turd.  See this?  Monitor this.


Hey, how do you get a Democratic senator to vote for your "Breaks for Billionaires" tax scam?  You go to her state and lie about her.  I said "her," because, oh, you know, women.  And it amused the Trumpanzees in St. Charles, Missouri, but it could have gone better.  If only you had a racist nickname for her.  McCaskill....sounds Scottish.  How about "Lady Macbeth"?  No, that won't work because Trump never heard of her, and by the time someone explains it, he will have lost interest and wandered off.  Meanwhile, how do you get an unfathomable dictator to shut down his (let's admit it) remarkably successful ICBM program, a day after he demonstrates the ability to land a missile in Grovers Mills, New Jersey?  Call him names!  Threaten to "totally destroy" his country!  Then go back to feuding with the mayor of London, the British prime minister, the special counsel, "Chuck and Nancy," LaVar Ball, NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, the Secretary of State, Rosie O'Donnell and reality.

Being president is like defecating.  Any asshole can do it, if someone else cleans up the mess.  


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mere sociopathy

A lot of us took time off last week to reflect, eat a big dinner, or just stare into space.  And we're paying for it now.  The shit is hitting the fan and flying in every direction, and just when you think you've cleaned it off, there's more.  I was going to write about the White House Christmas decorations, and what a grim holiday this apparently is in Slovenia, but who has time?

Monday we were treated to yet another of those events that would make Bull Connor say, "Damn, man, show some class."  At a White House ceremony designed to honor the Navajo Code Talkers, Trump couldn't resist an opportunity for racism.  Positioning the World War II veterans before a painting of Andrew "Trail of Tears" Jackson (the White House doesn't have a portrait of Col. James Forsyth, the cavalry commander at Wounded Knee), he thanked them for their bravery and then failed to shut up, and this came out:  "You were here long before any of us were here.  Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago.  They call her Pocahontas."  The veterans were too shocked or too polite to walk out.  The representative is actually a senator, and "they" don't call her anything but Senator Warren, but what's the point?  After all this time I think I can trace it through the guttering synapses of Trump's diseased brain:  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, with considerable support from then-professor Warren, and Trump just appointed a new director to hasten its destruction (another Obama legacy), and Warren was on his "mind," and in addition to being a despised woman-Democrat she has Native American ancestry, so these Injuns would be amused to share in the witticism that always brings a roar from the trumpanzees,'s not worth the journey, is it?

Pope Francis recently sent out a message to world leaders called "Migrants and Refugees:  Men and Women in Search of Peace," castigating politicians who bash immigrants to promote a racist agenda.  And that was before Trump began re-tweeting some snuff videos from a gang called Britain First purporting to show Muslims killing white Europeans.  His actions got him called out in the House of Commons, with even Theresa May telling him to knock it off, a proud day for the "special relationship."  (The assassin of Jo Cox shouted "Britain First!" before stabbing and shooting her in the street.  UKIP is too conciliatory for them.)  Meanwhile, Prince Harry announced he is marrying an American divorcee whose mother is black.  He gets it.  (I know, I know, he once went to a fancy-dress party in an SS uniform.  We grow up, some of us.)

In New York magazine, Jonathan Chait writes, "He might be in the grip of a mental health issue, or at least one more serious than mere sociopathy."  Mere?  There is no such thing as "mere sociopathy" when you have a soldier following you around with a bag of launch codes.  Trump's sociopathy is why Hawaii will now test its "North Korean missile headed for Waikiki" siren every month.  It's why he's still obsessed with Obama's birth certificate.  It's why he now claims the infamous Access Hollywood tape is a fake:  "We don't think that was my voice."  (We?)  It's probably why he demands an investigation into the death of an intern in Joe Scarborough's Florida office back in 2001 (and long ago found to be from natural causes).  I'd like to think it's why he wants to turn the Census Bureau over to Thomas Brunell, author of Redistricting and Representation:  Why Competitive Elections Are Bad For America, an enthusiastic commercial for even more gerrymandering.  Who knows?  There's a fine line between right-wing policy and mental disease.  Mere sociopathy is loosed upon the world, and we are all its victims.

Oh, the hell with it.  May your days be merry and bright....

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Here you go, "Mr. President"


In a job with so few perks, I think you should have this one distinction.  You can hang it over the ball washer in the clubhouse.  (Ball washer -- tongue bath -- get it?)

Nice suit.  Did the undertaker pick it out?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Black Friday

What's up?  Did I miss anything good?

A North Korean soldier defected to the South, aided by some brave ROK soldiers after being shot five times by his own guys.  He is recovering in a hospital, where he is said to be fascinated by American TV -- nobody has had the heart to tell him that CSI was cancelled.  The doctors say his body is full of parasites.  Well, the NK water is probably worse than Flint's, and no telling what they have to eat.  All day CNN has been treating us to stock footage of goose-stepping North Korean troops.  Which I have to say, I love.  When Russians or Germans (in the old days) do the Gansefahrt you can see the effort, but these guys look like wind-up toys.  I swear, I can almost hear the Victor Herbert music.  Please, don't tell me it's because of the parasites.

Football players are still taking a knee, and Trump is still pitching a fit.  He now accuses Roger Goodell of "losing control" of them, possibly confusing the commissioner with Jonas Wilkerson, the slave overseer in Gone With the Wind.  A few weeks back, Goodell issued one of his trademark "protest is good but maybe this is not the place" statements, designed to appease both the Players Association and the owners.  He spends so much time sitting on the fence, he must need rectal surgery by March.

As more women complain of his hands-on approach to politics, Al Franken continues to apologize for "making some women feel badly," which is bad grammar and worse politics.  He should deny, deny, deny, like this guy, who sent a woman an Anthony Weiner pic that nobody should have to look at:Texas congressman Joe Barton says police investigating after nude photo surfaces

That's Joe Barton, Republican of Texas, who threatened the woman with the cops if she posted "revenge porn."  Revenge, maybe.  Porn -- well, Tom Lehrer said "filth is in the mind of the beholder," and you'd need a pretty odd mind to get excited by his sixty-eight-year-old liverwurst.  No wonder Congress has no time for actual legislation.  John Conyers, who has been in the House since the Johnson administration, is another one apparently making women feel bad, and we are learning about this mysterious office which occasionally pays abused workers out of the public treasury for misbehaving Congressmen, if the victims can figure out its labyrinthine procedures.  (The flow chart is crazier than a Louie Gohmert graphic connecting everything to George Soros and the Illuminati.)  Did anyone think the Harvey Weinstein scandal would represent a thread which, when tugged, unraveled the whole society?

Of course, the Pussygrabber-in-Chief is providing most of today's entertainment as he desperately tries to fend off the approaching Mueller end-time.  Needless to say, he's in Florida working in a quick eighteen holes before returning to his "documents" and his running commentary on his version of reality.  He finds Roy Moore's denials as plausible as Putin's.  He takes credit for all the wonderful things happening here, especially the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  He continues to feud absurdly with LaVar Ball, while his droogs direct abusive tweets at LeVar Burton because reading is hard and thinking is harder.  The terrible attack on an Egyptian mosque, with more than two hundred dead?  It was the work of terrorists, travel ban, Wall, bla bla.  Earlier this week he assured "his" troops that they were doing great work in Afghanistan, where Americans have been for fifteen years with no clear goal or end in sight.  (I understand Ken Burns is already working on the documentary.)  He didn't mention the three airmen who died when their cargo plane crashed in the Philippine Sea, or the sailors killed this year in collisions with civilian ships.  He never does.

Male-type humans, listen up.  Your genitals were not sculpted by Michelangelo.  You are not David, and we don't want to see them.

Now go shopping and make America great again.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

In lieu of flowers

Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Dmitri Hvorostovsky died this morning in London, and I've been listening to him on YouTube all day.  When they got to the Pearl Fishers duet with Jonas Kaufmann I had to stop because I was crying too hard.  I have no stomach for skeevy politicians and media monsters today.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Serious business

All right, now they're just fucking with us.

This gang are masters of distraction, and the media take the bait.  While they moan about kneeling football players or snipe at some celebrity, we're not supposed to notice the grave crimes against the planet and its people committed, mainly behind closed doors, every day.  Look over there!  Hillary took all our uranium and sold it to Russia to finance her slave colonies on Mars!  Why is nobody holding hearings?  And by the time we patiently explain that Because it's bullshit, there are three more.  So when Carter Page showed up for his rendezvous with the Senate Intelligence Committee in this egregiously silly hat, you could be sure that we were supposed to not look at this:  

1.  The Keystone XL Pipeline has leaked over 210,000 gallons of oil into the soil and water of South Dakota.

2.  There was a military coup in Zimbabwe.

3.  The House has passed Trump's Screw the Middle Class tax bill, and the Senate wants to piggyback yet another ACA repeal onto it, for additional screwage.

4.  The contract to provide security at the US Embassy in Moscow, and consulates in three other cities, has gone to Elite Security Holdings, run by retired Gen. Viktor Budanov.  He was Vladimir Putin's boss when he was head of KGB counterintelligence.  Why not just leave the key under the mat?  Now I can't wait to find out what the Russians have on Trump.

5.  The corruption trial of Sen. Robert Menendez ended in a hung jury, with 10-2 favoring acquittal.

6.  Six Democratic Congressmen have introduced articles of impeachment.  No, not against Hillary, though apparently there are people who think that would Make America Great Again.

7.  Carbon emissions are increasing for the first time in three years.  More beautiful clean coal!

Image result for conway inauguration outfit

Ah!  It's the hat Kellyann Conway wore to the inauguration, with her Trump University marching band uniform.  Who gets to wear it to the Flynn trial?

So long, and thanks for all the covfefe

Apparently we're supposed to Give Thanks for things at this time of year.  Can I think about it?

LiAngelo Ball and two of his UCLA basketball teammates were arrested for stealing a pair of sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou, China.  This was a remarkably stupid thing to do, I think we can all agree.  Trump happened to be in China shortly thereafter, on his "most expensive geography lesson of all time" tour, and is claiming credit for getting them sprung.  Anyway, they thanked him, but apparently not fervently enough.  Then Ball's father LaVar, described by Charlie Pierce as "America's most insufferable sports parent" (I bow to his expertise, knowing little of these things), got involved, claiming that it was no big deal and he has seen far worse things than shoplifting.  This display of uppityness was too much for Trump, who can never let anyone else have the last word.  "I should have left them in jail!" he thumb-thundered.  (Actually the three roundballers were confined to a rather nice hotel.)  That was Saturday.  On Sunday Marshawn Lynch of the Raiders sat out the national anthem and earned himself another tweeter-lashing.  So Trump can be thankful for several different black people to verbally abuse in a single weekend.

Today Jeff Flake denounced Roy "Hello baby" Moore, and was tagged with the clever nickname "Jeff Flake(y)," which I'm pretty sure nobody ever thought of before, especially in grade school.  And there's more bad news about Al Franken, so it's shaping up to be quite a happy holiday for Donny.  His lawyer, Ty Cobb, keeps assuring him that Robert Mueller's investigation is hours away from clearing him and indicting, I don't know, Hillary or Susan Rice or Loretta Lynch or whatever it takes to keep him quiet and happy.  In the real world, where White House staffers greet each other with "Good morning, are you wired?" not so much.  Any day now, Jared will decide he's too pretty to go to prison and make a deal.  That will be the day Twitter crashes.

Tomorrow Trump is scheduled to pardon a turkey.  The bird damn well better be grateful, or he stars in a Sarah Palin video.

All right, I've got it now.  I give thanks that Jacqueline Onassis is not here to see how tacky the White House has become.  She worked so hard on it, and now it looks like some shitty Trump hotel.  She will never walk into the Oval Office and see a grotesque Macys parade balloon in an ill-fitting suit, its lobster-bib tie anchored by a wad of Scotch tape, gobbling a Quarter Pounder.  It's bad enough to be spattered with your husband's brains without having to see that behind his desk.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

No excuse

It was eleven  years ago.  You were a professional comedian doing something altruistic, touring with the USO.  You didn't hold public office then.  She was over 21.  She works for Fox News now.  It only happened once.

No excuse, Senator Franken.  Or as someone wrote over at Wonkette, "Et tu, Al?"

You apologized.  You didn't deny.  Nobody tried to brush it away by claiming Biblical license (in  your case I'd go with randy old King David), or calling Leeann Tweeden a liar, or saying it happened because you were a Democrat then.  You yourself called for an investigation by the ethics panel, but it's no excuse for "aggressively" putting your tongue in her mouth.

You have been on the right side of every issue.  You don't set up as a policer of other people's private lives.  If you lumbered onstage with a silly hat and an itty-bitty gun, we'd know it was a comedy bit.  And gosh darn it, we liked you.  

Your constituents will be the final arbiters.  Barney Frank overcame the prostitute scandal, and plenty of New Yorkers would like to see Eliot Spitzer run again.  In a few weeks we'll know if Alabamans want to be represented by "the Don Juan of Cinnabon" (again, thanks, Charlie).  Nobody's perfect, but the double standard requires that you good guys be less imperfect than the others.

So shape up.  Please.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Senior moment

Image: Kevin Neal

Why would you not sell this American a semi-automatic rifle and a couple of handguns?

First he terrorized his neighbors by firing hundreds of practice rounds.

Yesterday he drove to an elementary school, but the doors were locked.  So he drove around Rancho Tehama Reserve, California, shooting people at random, killing four before the police killed him.

Today his wife's body was discovered under the floorboards of their house.

Obviously jet-lagged and one mass murder behind, the president* (thanks, Charlie) tweeted this yesterday:  "May God be with the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas.  The FBI and Law Enforcement has [sic] arrived."

Only last week Trump was whining because the North Korean news agency called him a "lunatic old man."  It was "old" he objected to, threatening massive retaliation by calling Kim "short and fat."  (Height is an obsession of Trump's, and he does not seem to realize how fat he is.)  "Old" stepped on his massive vanity.  I think he should embrace it.

For a start, he could drop the daily Propecia, which has resulted in growing only a bizarre crop of fuzz on his scalp.  The side effects -- sniffing, dizziness, insomnia, impotence -- are not worth it.  Not to mention the time he must spend having the fuzz dyed lemon yellow, which fools nobody.

As the Russia investigation comes to a climax, more and more of his relatives and courtiers will be taking cover behind the "I can't recall" defense, extensively employed by Jeff Sessions in his latest perjurython at the Capitol.  There is no reason Trump shouldn't join them, despite his boast of having "one of the greatest memories of all time."  After all, if you're senile, you might not remember how bad your memory is.  Doubly effective!  Forgot the Alzheimer's, forgot the collusion!  Who exactly is this Flynn guy?  Where is Russia?

Trump's approval rating, even measured by Fox State News, hasn't approached forty percent in months.  If he began to wander around Washington in a bathrobe and flip-flops, stopping strangers to inquire about, say, a lost kitten, he could be as beloved as Ronald Reagan when he was drifting into the sunset, i.e., his entire second term.  Grandpa Don, of course, won't have a second term.  Surely invoking 25 would be the compassionate thing to do, with minimal political consequences for his gutless Cabinet of Blunders.  All the lies and idiotic statements of the past two years would be chalked up to "the old boy's eggs are coddled."  The Republicans could crawl out from under him and avoid, perhaps, another rout like last week's.  Mitch, are you reading this?

Seventy-one is officially old.  Make it work for all of us.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I need a laugh


Fortunately, there is plenty of news for those with a twisted sense of humor.

Whitefish Energy (you remember them) billed FEMA $319 per hour for each lineman working in Puerto Rico, but paid them only $63.  Which was generous, because the work they did was crap -- the section of San Juan they repaired promptly crashed again.  Most of the island is still in darkness.

"Every time [Vladimir Putin] sees me he says, 'I didn't do that.'  And I really believe that when he tells me that he means it," Trump blushed and simpered after his tryst with VVP in Vietnam.  Because the Russian dictator who has his critics murdered is inherently more trustworthy than the political hacks at the CIA, the NSA and the FBI, not to mention Robert Mueller who is totally a Democrat.  When not canoodling, Donzo asked Vietnamese president Nguyen Xuan Phuc to buy lotsa American weapons because he needs a "quick win" before the 2020 election.  (If not, there could be a witty tweet making fun of his name.)  That retching sound from John McCain's office may or may not be a reaction to chemotherapy.

A former pharmaceutical executive has been nominated to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.  What could go wrong?

Trouble in paradise:  Republican sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson has declined to appear in public with Steve Bannon and is snuggling closer to Mitch "Deep State" McConnell.  Bannon hates McConnell almost as much as he hates Jews.  Oh, I think I get it now.

Ivanka Trump wants the Congress to hurry and pass Daddy's "Tax Cut Cut Cut Bill" so that all families will be able to afford a Mandarin tutor like the one she hired to teach the Trumplings.  If I could make this stuff up, I would be working for The Onion.

Joaquin Guzman Loera, better known as El Chapo, is not allowed to have a Bible in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (Manhattan) because it might contain coded messages.  What's that, evangelical Christians?  I can't hear you.

To rent a venue at the University of Florida for his mass meeting, white nationalist Richard Spencer sent a check for ten thousand dollars and change.  It bounced.  Before you take over America, you might want to learn to balance a checking account, dick.

We found out this week that Alabama has the best judges, and the tradition continues:  Trump has nominated Brett J. Talley to the federal district court in Montgomery, despite the fact that he has never tried a case; forgot to mention on his questionnaire that his wife is a lawyer in the White House; was rated "not qualified" by the U.S. Bar Association; and -- wait for it -- spends his spare time looking for ghosts, as part of the Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group.  None of this disturbed the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who have already approved him for the lifetime appointment.  (And maybe afterlife, too --- woooowoowooo!)

I saved the best for last:  Julian Assange wants Trump's support in becoming Australia's ambassador to the United States.  "I love WikiLeaks!" Trump shouted last year, before remembering that he never heard of it.  Congratulations, Julian, you win the Brass Chutzpah.  With bronze oak leaf palm.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Free Anthony Weiner!

Well, thank you.  I can't watch Casablanca anymore.  It's no longer a classic romance of three people whose problems don't amount to a hill of beans in a world torn by war, fighting back against fascism, cynicism and despair.  With Ingrid Bergman, the most beautiful woman who ever stepped in front of a camera.  No, now it's the story of a powerful man, a prefect of police, who demands sex from attractive, desperate women in exchange for exit visas.  And no amount of Claude Rains's charm can make that go away.  Louis Renault is the Harvey Weinstein of French Morocco.  Also, the treatment of Sam is kind of racist, but that's for another day.

It's not news that men are pigs, but the scope of the problem is boggling.  Every day there are fresh accusations and multiple complainants.  The acts run the gamut from rape to fondling to hey-look-at-this masturbation to the new crime of digital flashing, i.e., "sexting" someone a picture of your genitals.  Naturally, the guy who did that is in prison, while the rest are still among us, along with their astonishing defenders.  And the worst part is, I didn't originally despise them all.  Some of them I never heard of.

The most egregious and shameless offender is Roy "Ten Commandments" Moore, the would-be senator from Alabama.  The Washington Post published an exhaustively sourced story about his abuse, nearly forty years ago, of a 14-year-old and three others, and even the Republican Party is divided about its response (today Mitch McConnell called for him to drop out).   Among the scumbags defending him, no surprise, are Steve Bannon and some radio clown called Wayne Allyn Root, whose argument is that the teenagers "could have passed for 20" (were you there?).  Also, "Where are the women Hillary's dated all these years?...I've heard rumors about Bathhouse Barry" (he means Obama).  When you have to change the subject by sharing your own lurid fantasies, Wayne Allyn, it's time for that CT scan you've been putting off.  Sean Hannity is another loud defender of statutory rape, which has cost him sponsors and sparked one of the more hilarious "boycotts," as Rightzis destroy their Keurig coffeemakers in a display of ... let's go with stupidity.  And Judge Roy himself has borrowed a technique from Trump and threatened to sue his accusers, brave women who still live in Alabama.  Liars, politically motivated, crazy, all of the above.

At the other end of my personal spectrum, Louis CK, what the fuck?  At least he has admitted to making women watch him jerk off.  Since simulated masturbation is part of his HBO special Shameless, we've all had to watch him, I guess.  Wanking is a private act, like praying.  (Exactly like praying.)  What's the attraction of an audience?  I will never understand this.  But I'm proud of him for owning it, especially as it has affected the release of his movie, disturbingly titled I Love You, Daddy.  What can I say?  He makes me laugh, part of an ever-diminishing group of people who do.  I won't bail on him.

We have arrived back at the old argument about whether it's possible to detach the art from the artist, to enjoy the work of people who do (did) awful things.  It has raged for years around everyone from Roman Polanski and Frank Sinatra to Ezra Pound and Herbert von Karajan, but Exhibit A is always Richard Wagner -- adulterer, grifter, half-assed revolutionary, racist, anti-Semite, and without question the greatest composer of the nineteenth century.  Can you separate the work from the man, or must you deny yourself a potentially life-changing experience?  If not yet, when?  If Leonardo did get in trouble over his relationship with a young male model, when can we look at his paintings again?  Will Kevin Spacey have to wait five hundred years?*

I feel like we are on the verge of a new blacklist, with sexual misbehavior in place of liberal politics. Instead of naming names, its subjects will have to enter rehab for "sex addiction" and apologize tearfully on television.  (It beats touring in Darkness at Noon, I guess.)  Will all of them be men?  Probably.  Men have had license to act swinishly for ten thousand years, more or less, and that's not going away.  Look, there are powerful women in entertainment and public life; while they may abuse the help (like Leona Helmsley and Martha Stewart), it's rarely sexual.  If Oprah has been sexually harassing people, she must be having them killed, too.  If Ruth Bader Ginsberg made prospective clerks drop their trousers, there would be talk, not to mention outraged shrieks for her impeachment from self-appointed moralizers like Roy Moore.  If Hillary -- well, hell, they just make up shit about Hillary (see above).

Reading over this, it seems a little heartless.  Maybe the incessant drumbeat of "bad touch" has brought out my oversexed sarcastic side (see what I did there?).  Maybe I just don't like self-pity.  I remember Beverly Sills long ago (on Dick Cavett's show) talking about getting felt up by Leopold Stokowski and then by Pablo Casals, both in their eighties, while sitting in a box at a gala.  She thought it was the funniest thing in the world, and so did Cavett.  In a lifetime of real hardship (cancer, two children with serious birth defects, Rudolf Bing), she was the least self-pitying of women.  I miss that.

Anyway, can we agree that this is a win-win for Democrats?  If Doug Jones is elected to the Senate -- and there is at least a realistic possibility now -- it will be a victory for the man who put the last two 16th Street Baptist Church bombers in prison and a defeat for Bannon, Trump's Rudolf Hess.  If Moore wins, the Republicans can spend six years explaining away a child molester whose malignity will be neutralized by ninety-nine other senators.  Happy days are hardly here again, but it's a start.

All I ask is that the next sordid revelations not involve Mister Rogers.

*Spacey's scenes in a forthcoming movie are being re-shot with Christopher Plummer.  Will no one stop these Canadians from taking American jobs?

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

So much winning

This is a photograph of Braxton Winston, taken at a demonstration on September 20, 2016, to protest the police killing of Keith Lamont Scott.  Yesterday the Black Lives Matter activist was elected to the City Council of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Let it stand for all the electoral defeats handed to Donald John Trump and his fellow racist thugs.

It's almost too rich a banquet to consume.  The main course was served in Virginia, where Ralph Northam resoundingly defeated Ed Gillespie for governor.  Immediately the Orange One and his Trumpanzees identified the problem:  Gillespie was not racist and homophobic enough.  Really? Twitter now gives you 480 characters to play with and that's all you've got?  Don't expect more, because poor Gillespie is now DEAD TO HIM!  From New Jersey to Maine to...Helena, Montana (!), voters sent a message:
Woman fired after flipping off Trump's motorcade
Dessert also comes from Virginia:  Danica Roem, a transgender reporter running as a Democratic Socialist, defeated Bob Marshall, Republican whip of the state House of Representatives.

Larry Krasner, a civil rights lawyer, is the new district attorney of Philadelphia.

African Americans were elected mayor of Milledgeville, Georgia and St. Paul, Minnesota.

As Charlie Pierce put it, "Diversity and inclusion had their revenge."

I need a Bromo.


Sorry to hear about the death of Roy Halladay, a great pitcher and, by all accounts, a good guy.  (He appeared in a PSA for #ItGetsBetter while with the Phillies.)  I wish baseball players would stop trying to fly their own planes.


Tuesday, November 07, 2017

I am a terrible person

 Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the caffeine.  Maybe I'm just hollowed out by this terrible year.  Did anybody else hear about the Sutherland Springs massacre and think, "Well, twenty-plus fewer Trump voters"?  No, just me.  I am dead inside.

We know why it happened.  According to "Judge" Andy Napolitano, it's extremely easy to buy a gun in Texas.  Rupert Murdoch pays him good money for these insights.  But that's not why, that's how.

Why?  Because there's really no point in trying to pass gun-restricting laws because "Laws don't work."  That is a direct quote from Ken Paxton.  It seems like a strange position for an attorney general, which is the job Paxton does in Austin every day.  Texans elect their attorney general, so I suppose they know what they want.

Devin Kelley, America's newest mass murderer, was taking anti-depressants.  I'm not sure how Pat Robertson came by this information, but he's satisfied that it explains all the killing.

When Kelley was kicked out of the Air Force (for assaulting his wife and fracturing the skull of her baby son) he should have been entered in the "don't sell this man an assault rifle for the love of god" database, but some clerk messed up.  THANKS, OBAMA!

The secular left is dividing America, according to Paul Ryan.  Not really relevant, he just wanted to get it out there.  I suspect Kelley was not a Mother Jones subscriber, but I guess he could have been triggered by the failure of the Antifa uprising on Saturday to materialize.  (Full disclosure:  I was disappointed, too.)  Ryan, who I am almost certain grew from a maggot which escaped from the grave of Joe McCarthy, is the NRA's greediest Congressional whore.  He sends thoughts and prayers.

Fuck, everybody sends thoughts and prayers!  Do you need a list?  What better place to be blown to pieces than in a church?  Even the pastor says so, when he isn't contemplating his ruined building.

Despite his full beard, Kelley was not a terrorist.  That's a load off.  He was insane, or evil, or both, but not even slightly Islamic.  The real hero was the civilian who shot him to death, a classic Good Guy With a Gun.  Of course, now we can't ask him if he was crazy or evil or just angry at his ex-mother-in-law, who was among the dead.  Hang on.....

Insane, evil, now don't bother Trump when he's in Asia struggling to get a decent hamburger.  He makes so...many...sacrifices!

Sunday, November 05, 2017

No comedy tonight

I see where Larry David is in trouble for Joking About the Holocaust on Saturday Night Live.  Except that he didn't.  He said he had always been obsessed with women, and wondered if that would have been the case had he found himself in a camp.  "There are no good opening lines in a concentration camp.  'Uh, if we ever get out of here...'"  In other words, it was a joke about the uncontrollable nature of libido, particularly male libido, even in horrific circumstances.

Lenny Bruce told a similar joke half a century ago, about a man who loses his leg in an accident, and "in the ambulance, he's making a play for the nurse.  'Are you crazy?  Your leg is off!' 'I can't help it, I'm horny.'"

Rule No. 1:  Before you tweet your outrage, make sure you understood the joke.

I have written before about comedians as necessary truth-tellers, the descendants of the "licensed fools" who could be frank to kings and princes without repercussion.  In a time when everybody's position is tediously familiar, they still occasionally have the ability to shock us, surprise us, and even make us think.  In his Netflix show Louis CK 2017, he takes on the oh-no-not-again topic of abortion, calling it "the last line of defense against shitty people."  The power to abort should lie with women:  "She should be able to kill someone when they're in her pussy.  You're allowed to kill people if they're in your house."

That's a lot to unpack.  It acknowledges that abortion is indeed "killing someone," while asking when it's all right to do so -- because he's trying to steal your microwave?  Because she's on your porch?  Why is it acceptable to "stand your ground" but not to decide the fate of someone inside you?  At its most basic level, society is about controlling the right to take life.  Should that power rest with the state, or with anyone who can obtain a gun?  And if the state cedes its power to gun owners (and law enforcement officers), how can it refuse to cede the right to abort, "shitty people" or "innocent babies," depending on your point of view?

I didn't think there was anything new to say about abortion.  Leave it to a comedian to find something.  

Today a man shot up a church in Texas.  Find something funny in that.    

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Spring forward...fall down

Rosa Maria Hernandez is looking much happier since she was sprung from a detention center and returned to her family, and all it took was a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.  Keep this in mind the next time you want to stop supporting them because they also fight for the Constitutional rights of Nazis and Klansmen.  The ACLU is under attack from a vengeful and frustrated Justice Department because they helped a 17-year-old get released from ICE detention (Texas again) for an abortion, so give till it hurts.

The military's investigation into the SAPFU in Niger has revealed that Sgt. LaDavid Johnson became separated from the other three soldiers and was apparently taken prisoner before being shot.  At least we know why Trump was so dismissive to his widow:  he likes people who don't get captured, OK?

Republican versus Republican, evangelical Christian versus evangelical Christian -- say what you will about Commander Bonespurs, he has a gift for dividing the previously undivided.  (Maybe we are "relitigating" the Civil War.)  All I'm saying is, don't be surprised if there's an East and West Korea when he returns from his Asiapalooza tour.  This morning he and FPOTUS arrived in Hawaii to look for Obama's birth certificate visit the Pearl Harbor memorial.  And maybe a little grift?  Reporters were surprised by a non-scheduled stop at the Trump Hotel Waikiki; I'm surprised they're still capable of being surprised.  When he gets to the Philippines, perhaps Duterte will let him shoot a drug dealer --  it will soothe his rage over not being able to use the Justice Department to harass a private citizen because she got more votes than he did.  Even Sessions isn't that bent.

Before daddy went away, he left a big pile of tweets for the kids to play with.  Predictably, the sentence involving no (more) jail time for Bowe Bergdahl is "a disgrace" (don't tell me -- death penalty?).  The Book of the Trump Club recommends the "new Donna B book" (the Help don't need surnames), which appears to be an attempt to reopen the wounds of last year's primary season for reasons I can't imagine -- like Trump, I haven't read it.

Sometimes the untweeted is the most significant.  No congratulations to the Houston Astros.  No comment about the (white) man who killed three (Latino) people in a Colorado Walmart -- the justice system, however ponderous, can deal with this obviously "troubled" individual who definitely did not yell "Alahu Akbar."  And no protest over the jailing of an American writer in Zimbabwe who called Robert Mugabe "a selfish and sick man" on Twitter and is facing twenty years for "plotting to overthrow the government."  If the babysitters have even tried to explain this to Trump, he probably wishes we had similar laws to protect him from haters like Martha O'Donovan.  If we had a functioning State Department they'd be going through channels on her behalf.  But we don't need one, he told rightwing nut radio, because "I am the only one that matters."

Oh lordy, it's time to change the clocks again.  Standard time will last until March 11, when we have to do it all over again.  Yes, a little more than four months.  Can we just pick one and be done with it?

Friday, November 03, 2017

"The potential for error is huge."

That remark, from an unnamed "administration official," could describe everything that has happened since January 20, but in this instance expresses anxiety about the impending Asia visit of Mr. and Mrs. Trumpelthinskin.  Valiant attempts have been made to "brief" him ("Asia is very very big and they really don't appreciate the 'me so solly' thing you do at parties").  He will be kept away from the DMZ but there is no way to skip South Korea altogether.  Perhaps nobody will bring up the "comfort women" dispute with Japan.  Don't mention nuclear weapons.  Tweeting is not allowed here, as it causes earthquakes.  No praising Nazis.  Just wave.

I imagine he'll be happy to leave Washington, where MAGA now stands for Manafort And Gates Arraigned.  Manafort has more passports than the Von Trapp family, so the judge has ordered him to stay at home and wear a cunning ankle device until his trial begins, or until he works out a deal to roll on Jared or whoever.  Many people are trying to remember exactly what they said the last time they had drinks with George Papadopoulos, and then there are those other, sealed indictments to be opened like the world's greatest Advent calendar.  Pound for pound, this is the most entertaining administration since forever.  I could watch the Manafort perp walk all day, and I love the Papadopoulos guilty plea so much, I may set it to music.

This circus has so many rings.  For instance, try this exchange from the daily Mendacity Matinee:

APRIL RYAN:  What is the definition of compromise as it relates to slavery and the Civil War?

HUCKABEE SANDERS:  I'm not going to get into and relitigate the Civil War.

You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.  The Confederacy didn't sue the United States, they attacked it.  With artillery.  Is that the kind of history they teach in Arkansas?

Nobody with a fourth-grade education or better believes we can go on burning fossil fuel, but Rick Perry came up with the dumbest rationale to date:  it provides electric lights and therefore prevents sexual assault.  Now I grant, sexual assault is a huge topic right now, but this feels like a desperate lunge from a man who, five hundred years ago, would have been hired as a court jester.  Is he asserting there's no other way to produce electricity?  Or that rape doesn't happen during daylight hours?  Who the hell knows?  Rick, as Elektra says in the Strauss opera, shut up and dance.

Have you met the long-promised tax bill?  As Cthulu is my judge it's called "The Tax Cut Cut Cut Bill."  Guess who came up with that.  And is he proud proud proud.  Three scoops tonight!  And three more bottles of Chateau Lafite for the table, as Corporate America celebrates its good fortune.  The ninety-nine percent, not so much.

When Al Franken named his new book Master of the Senate I assume he intended a joking reference to Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon Johnson.  It's turned out to be an excellent description of his own role as leader of the hounds pursuing Jeff Sessions.  The Judiciary Committee keeps putting him under oath and Poison Dwarf keeps perjuring himself on the topic of Russian collusion.  And Franken is right there, questioning and re-questioning, narrowing the perimeter and getting ready for the kill, the inevitable indictment.  Somewhere, Harry Daugherty and John Mitchell are saving Beauregard a seat at the Crooked AGs Table.

Speaking of Mitchell, we had a Nixon moment this week.  Remember when Nixon pronounced Charles Manson guilty while his murder trial was still going on, nearly provoking a mistrial?  There was a terror attack in New York on Tuesday (why do they always choose amazingly beautiful autumn days?), eight people dead after a fanatic drove a rented truck into a pedestrian walkway.  The bodies were still in the morgue vehicles when the tweeting began.  Since New York lacks a Muslim mayor like London's, blame was hurled at random Democrats like Chuck Schumer, followed by demands for the death penalty for this "animal."  (All the money in my pocket says Uzbekistan shows up on the next, doomed version of the Travel Ban List.  I wonder where he thinks it is.)  Oh, Donnie, we know you're not one of them fancy Constitutional lawyers like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but could you possibly make a better case for a change-of-venue motion, certain to be filed by any wide-awake paralegal?  How can this guy get a fair trial in a country whose "president" has already condemned him?  Let's move it to, let me think, Iran?

At the end of the day I love to pop a cold one and watch Republicans fight one another like badgers in a hole, even if it's mainly the ones who have decided to quit politics.  Trump's unparalleled ability to divide and disrupt has now spread to the religious, if I read this correctly -- something called "exvangelicals," Christians who don't wish to be associated with Brother Pussygrabber.  One of them is even a grandson of Billy Graham, which suggests a fracture in that famous family.  Protestants are constantly dividing like amebae anyway, but it's fun to cheer them on.  You divide, we'll conquer.  Resist.