Thursday, November 29, 2018


The year winds down and the prize-givers limber up.  It's time for another season of "Here's Your Award, Choke On It."

Most awards are vaguely controversial, at least among those who don't win.  "It's an honor just to be nominated" may be the most dishonest sentence in the English language.  But this year, in keeping with the national mood of simmering rage, every piece of honorary bric-a-brac seems to be trailing drops of blood and specks of saliva.  For example, the Mystery Writers of America are giving their Edgar Award to Linda Fairstein, presumably because they like her crime novels.  Before she turned to fiction, Fairstein was the Manhattan assistant district attorney who prosecuted the Central Park Five, the Latino and African American teenagers accused of raping and nearly killing a jogger in 1989.  Their convictions were vacated in 2002 when another man confessed, and after they had spent nearly thirteen years in prison.  I can understand why this case continues to anger people, especially since Fairstein maintains that the five somehow "participated" in the crime.  Donald Trump goes further (of course), insisting even now that the men should be executed.  Well, if he can't stand to admit he was spectacularly wrong, why should she?  And what has any of this to do with Fairstein's abilities as a novelist?  The MWA aren't naming her Humanitarian of the Year.

We have already seen what Trump considers to be outstanding service to America -- earlier this month he handed out Presidential Medals of Freedom just like a real president.  Well, sort of.  The lucky winners included Orrin Hatch, now ending his career as a reliably far-right monster; Antonin Scalia, already ended; Roger Staubach and Alan Page of the NFL Hall of Fame (Page also served as a judge); Elvis Presley (sure, why not?); Babe Ruth (but not Rogers Hornsby, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Roberto Clemente, Nolan Ryan, Bob Gibson...); and most egregiously Miriam Adelson.  Adelson is a physician and researcher, but nobody doubted for a second that she was honored for being married to Sheldon Adelson, sugar-daddy to the right.  (If this were Britain they'd be Baron and Baroness Baccarat or something.)  Freedom's just another word for "keep those checks coming."

Trump presided over the event with his customary Friars Club-roast panache, leering at Mrs. Scalia's fecundity, singling out Hatch's most important quality ("He likes me") and generally making every non-Trumpanzee who witnessed the proceedings yearn for the eloquence and grace of George W. Bush.  The award to Elvis must have triggered one of his lone remaining synapses, because weeks later, campaigning for Cindy Hyde-Smith in Tupelo, he suddenly remembered that in his youth he was often mistaken for Elvis.  The sneer, I'm guessing.  Once again the Kennedy Center Honors will be celebrated in the blessed absence of Trumps, and probably not just because they can't be arsed.  The host will be Gloria Estefan, and even if she is from Cuba, she is the face of naturalized immigrant America and everything Trump hates.  Philip Glass?  Wayne Shorter?  Who the hell are they?  Cher?  She must be like a hundred.  The creators of "Hamilton," the show where the audience and the cast all tried to kill Mike Pence?  No thanks.  That just leaves Reba McEntire.  Does she like me?

For comic relief we turn to Mexico, still unwalled, whose outgoing president is having fun with the people who didn't re-elect him by presenting the Order of the Aztec Eagle -- and remember, I'm making none of this up -- to slumlord-in-law Jared Kushner.  He credits the s-i-l with exercising "restraint" which kept Mexico in NAFTA, or whatever non-Clintonian name it carries now, and with preventing a full-scale US invasion.  Imagine what the House of Saud owes him.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Satire, how does it work?

National treasure Randy Newman is 75 today.  Happy birthday, Randy!  We have a problem.

Remember when you had a rare top-40 hit with "Short People" back in 1977?  Some listeners, lacking a sense of humor as well as height, or perhaps just unfamiliar with your other songs, failed to understand that this was a non-didactic attack on prejudice.  You could say it went over their heads.  And you had to explain that you, a tall person, do not hate short people and that they do indeed have a reason to live.  Although for me, life without a sense of humor is not worth living, but anyway.

The issue has come up now because that...occupant of the White House gave another of his Sundown Sermons to the Washington Post.  I have no idea why, since he hates all real newspapers and especially the Post, which is owned by a self-made billionaire who won't tell him how you do that, even with huge piles of daddy-cash.  Amid the tangle of lies, fantasies, boasts and incoherence that have become depressingly familiar, he let slip that he doesn't want to appoint Janet Yellen to a second term as chair of the Federal Reserve because she is only 5 feet 2 inches tall.  We know that "little" is a term of abuse with this jerk -- "Little Marco," "Little Bob Corker," etc. -- which is probably just the result of having a second-grade vocabulary.  But what if "Short People" was on the radio one night as the limo sped him to Studio 54 and it lodged in his already disordered brain -- "they got little hands, little eyes, they walk around telling nasty little lies" -- remember, Spy was already calling him "short-fingered" -- and it's still in there?   How would you like to be responsible for the Federal Reserve being turned over to another Cabinet-level fuckwit who will assume his assignment is to do to the economy what Carson is doing to public housing and DeVos to public education and -- oh, lordy, I don't even want to think about the rest of them?  How about that, Mr. Birthday?

Jesus, what if Trump heard "Political Science"?  Right after the "inauguration" he was demanding to know why we have nuclear weapons if we never use them.  "Let's drop the big one and see what happens" -- are you prepared to stand behind those words, Mr. Funny Song Writer?

I know.  In 1977 Jimmy Carter was president and the Democrats controlled Congress and it seemed as if reason and law were in the post-Watergate saddle forever.  You could afford to be a little edgy, a little oblique and tricky with the lyrics.  What sane person could have imagined Trump, even with the drugs available in those days?

It's not just you, Mr. Newman.  If someone re-printed A Modest Proposal and substituted "black" for "Irish," there would be riots, and not only because Swift is not taught in our high schools as he should be.  Any number of Republicans, Proud Boys, Fox News pundits and MAGAts would hail it as the solution to most of our national problems.  The people at are exhausted from researching every quote to see if it originated with Stephen Miller or The Onion.  I don't know about you but I'm tired of living in a world where everything is at least plausible.  Remember the Caravan of Doom that posed such an existential threat before the election?  I'm pretty sure the part about refugees having leprosy originated with some zany blog like this one.  Leprosy in 2018 Honduras -- but some charlies bought it.

So enjoy your birthday.  I mean it.  This is not your fault.  And you are a national treasure.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Joy to the world

Got my White House Christmas Card today.  Right back at ya!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Thanks a lot

I'm thankful to Ivanka Trump for being stupid enough to conduct whatever government business she conducts on a private email server after listening to Daddy rant at Hillary Clinton for the exact same thing for the past three years.  Maybe she doesn't really listen.*  I can relate.  Anyway, we've all had several days of laughing and pointing and yelling "Lock her up!" and now we can settle down and get back to surviving the continuing national nightmare.

I'm thankful that there's one less pain in the ass missionary in the world.  You can't say he wasn't warned.  Boatmen wouldn't take him to the Andaman islands,  the Indian government says to leave the Sentinelese alone, but John Allen Chau just had to bring them the good news about Jesus.  Jesus, even Mormons, the most mission-y nuisances in the world, know enough to stay away.  So now John Allen Chau is dead, or if you like "martyred," and maybe the next missionary will get a brain, moran.

I'm thankful to Interpol for choosing Kim Jong Yang of South Korea to be its new president.  For a while it looked as if the organization would fall into the undoubtedly bloody hands of Alexander Prokopchuk, a thug from Putin's Interior Ministry.  That would have been bad news for a lot of people Putin doesn't like, including British journalist Bill Browder, the instigator of the Magnitsky Act.  Mr. Kim's first job should be asking China what became of the last president, Meng Hongwei, who seems to have disappeared.

I'm thankful to Chief Justice Roberts for explaining that "an independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for."  Gave me a good laugh.  Exactly how independent does he think his new Brother Kavanaugh will be?  Or the silent but deadly Gorsuch, who was built in the same laboratory?  At least the Ninth Circuit is still making Donzo choke on his turkey.

I'm thankful to the industrious journalist who dug up another Matt Whitaker scam, the "Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust" (FACT, get it?), a paper charity putatively investigating the harmful effect of environmental regulations on business.  It has never published a report and has no employees but Whitaker (several "board members" have denied any connection to it), but it sure is laundering receiving a shit ton of money.  Why didn't Trump just make Bernie Madoff his attorney general?

I'm thankful for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is already driving the Republicans crazy.  Crazier.

*"Email is the key to prosecuting just about everyone," it says in Ivanka's "book," but there is no evidence that she has read it.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Short attention-span theater

The four unions that represent postal workers, with the backing of many members of Congress, are fighting a scheme to privatize the postal service.  Because private prisons have been such an outstanding success, and because private mail delivery is working so well in Britain (higher prices and worse service).  If this happens, guess who will be the principal losers?  Yes, the rural white people who still support Trump.  It's almost poetic.

Maybe Betsy DeVos wouldn't need round-the-clock bodyguards if she would stop making it easier to get away with sexual assault on campus.  Maybe she's just paranoid.

Because it has nothing better to do and no other legal problems, the White House is still fighting to get Jim Acosta of CNN permanently banned from the premises.  Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, has told them to stop violating Acosta's Fifth Amendment right to due process, so expect a deranged tweet directed at him.  And possibly an executive order abolishing the Fifth Amendment.

Thomas Frank, author of Listen, Liberal and What's the Matter With Kansas? is the expert on how America hates progressive politics.  I look forward to Bedtime For Bonzo:  How the Republican Party Got Its Ass Kicked Out of Orange County, California.  The epicenter of Reaganland is now bluer than the bonny blue flag.  Mr. Frank?  (By the way, Laura Kelly defeated Trumpite voter-suppression ninja Chris Kobach and will be the next governor of Kansas.)

The Defense Department has just been audited for the first time, and has failed resoundingly.  It seems there are millions of dollars nobody can account for.  (As Everett Dirksen liked to say, "A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.")  Could take years to track it all down.  Will this give Trump the excuse he needs to fire James Mattis?  The general has been the only effective brake on Cadet Bone Spurs, and the only member of the Cabinet Trump fears, possibly because he actually seems to understand/care about his job.  Holiday weekend distractions notwithstanding, this would not be a good time.

On November 10, the Trumps flew all the way to Paris to display their contempt for the few remaining allies of the United States and the dead of World War I.  This week Trump decided it was a good time to revive his feud with retired Admiral William McRaven, who has called him "the greatest threat to democracy" we face.  McRaven led SEAL Team 6, which killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, but no one deserves any credit for that:  "Wouldn't it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner?" Trump asked.  (Perhaps in the 1980s, when he was our man in Afghanistan, standing up to the Evil Empire.  Or during Bush II, when we declined to lay siege to Tora Bora.  Just not during the Obama Administration.  What a mess that guy left.)  McRaven is a tool of Obama and Hillary, and Trump would absolutely have run into the Abbottabad compound alone and unarmed.  He's just that awesome.

This morning a "bipartisan threesome" of retired Army colonels, Gordon Adams, Lawrence B. Wilkerson and Isaiah Wilson III, published an op-ed in The New York Times condemning Trump's deployment of troops to the Mexican border, "an unprecedented use of the military" as a political stunt just before the midterm elections.  Veterans are waiting years for their GI Bill benefits because the DVA's computers are still running on punch-cards, and somehow neither Jared Kushner nor Trump's country-club pals are close to fixing the mess.  Out of sight of the fire-obsessed "news" media, American sailors are very much in harm's way in the South China Sea.  Is there any branch of the military Trump hasn't shat on?

Yes, the fires burn on, more than seventy people are confirmed to have died horribly, hundreds are unaccounted for, towns are gone (including one heartbreakingly named Paradise), thousands are living in tents and shelters -- at least one infected with norovirus, as if it couldn't get any worse -- the scope of this disaster is too much for a normal mind to take in.  But the proprietor of a deeply abnormal mind dropped in this weekend and immediately put his finger on the problem:  California keeps having fires because nobody rakes the forest floors.  The president of Finland told him that.  (No, he didn't.)  I have to give credit, I didn't think there was anything to laugh at here.  Well, there it is.  We laugh to keep from going mad.  #RakeAmericaGreatAgain!

I have come to the conclusion that the only pre-existing condition recognized by Trump is his own congenital syphilis.    

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Fair and balanced

The Buttermilk Sky Organization tries to be even-handed about politics and politicians, no matter how difficult it is.  In the wake of Blue Tuesday, it is necessary to call out the good guys for some bad ideas.

1.  The movement to expel Steve King from the House is probably a waste of time and energy, and would set a dangerous precedent.  Sure, he's a Nazi-loving piece of crap in a party full of them, but Iowa voters seem to have no problem with that.  It's up to them to pull the plug.  Unless a member of Congress is convicted of a crime, censure should be enough.  (How has someone this vile not been recruited onto Team Trump?)

2.   I would love to see Maxine Waters become Speaker, but she doesn't seem interested in the job, and I don't know enough about Marcia Fudge, who has emerged as a contender.  If the fight will only result in simmering grudges, might as well stick with Nancy Pelosi; she's done this before, and done it well.  The problem isn't Pelosi, it's Chuck Schumer over in the Senate, a born lapdog and corporate stooge (Facebook, specifically).  Looks like a job for Sherrod Brown or Ed Markey.

3.  This one hurts.  Everybody knows elections were stolen in Georgia and Florida through breathtaking acts of chicanery that were the reason the Voting Rights Act was passed back in 1965, only to be demolished by the Roberts court.  It's time to start work on a second one.  In the meantime, Stacey Abrams should have conceded instead of starting on her next campaign.  It's what you do even if you've been royally screwed as in Bush v. Gore.  Nelson and Gillum conceded; Abrams will be remembered as a sorehead and a whiner, which would be unfair to this smart, energetic woman.

4.  On a happier note, the House is about to change a very old rule so Ilhan Omar (D-MN) can wear a headscarf on the floor.  This is going to drive some of the Republicans into a very ugly place (expect a torrent of rage tweets).  So let's not abuse it with cowboy hats, gimme caps, sports gear and miner helmets just to make heads explode.  (Exception for Frederica Wilson, who is already known for her distinctive hats.)

Enjoy it.  Back to partisanship tomorrow.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Hell week

This is not his happy face.

Nor is the master impressionist delighting the crowd with his "Ed Sullivan introduces the Beatles" impersonation.

Trump might well be thinking of Ishmael's words about "a damp, drizzly November in my soul" if he had ever read Moby Dick, or if he had a soul.  Much more likely, he's thinking along the lines of Ed Sorel:  "Until I think of someone I want to kill, I can't get out of bed in the morning."  Of course, Sorel kills you with his art.

Trump couldn't kill that "dumb Southerner" Sessions, but he could fire him five minutes after the polls closed in Hawaii.  Sessions was as racist and worthless an attorney general as a boy could wish for, but he didn't stop the Mueller investigation.  Since he was embroiled in it himself, Sessions chose recusal -- maybe the most ethical-looking thing he has ever done -- and let Rod Rosenstein supervise Mueller.  Rosenstein also didn't stop it, so he doesn't get promoted.  Meet the new AG, Matthew Whitaker.  Trump saw him on the television once explaining why Mueller is totally running a witch hunt, and that's all the vetting he needed.  Most people appointed to positions of such power get a background investigation by the FBI.  Surprise, Whitaker is already there -- the FBI has some questions about the company he used to work for and the people it allegedly ripped off, not to mention some truly entertaining scams about Sasquatch, time travel and urinals for the super-endowed -- well, let's just say that World Patent Marketing made Trump University look like the Sorbonne.

Speaking of Paris, no one is to speak of Paris.  When he got home the damn Democrats were still winning seats in the House and people -- even John Bolton, who can usually be relied on for bad advice -- wanted him to go out in the rain and put a stupid wreath on the tomb of some anonymous dead guy.  Couldn't even use the helicopter-in-the-rain excuse this time because you can practically see Arlington from the White House.  What's more, John Kelly has come up with something called "policy time," when Trump has to get dressed and sit at his desk, dealing with documents.  This takes a bite out of "executive time," i.e., "morning."  Kelly is on thin ice.

The last thing he needs now is a bitch-fight.  So fucking Melania decides she's had it with Bolton's deputy Mira Ricardel, who yells at people and who had the temerity to criticize Melania's safari outfit in Africa.  Trump tells Kelly to get rid of her -- "I don't need this shit" -- and then offers Ricardel the job of ambassador to Estonia.  (Her parents are from Croatia and Estonia is in the Balkans, right?  Never mind.)  She's not interested.  She's going to write her book now.  "Some people, they don't work here any more," FPOTUS gloats, leaving us to wonder how many others have been Khashoggi'd.

That's a story that refuses to die, unlike people who run afoul of Prince Mohammad bin Salman.  The Turkish government says it has audio tape of Jamal Khashoggi's last moments inside the Saudi consulate and will release it unless it gets Certain Concessions.  The main one is an elderly cleric named Fethullah Gulen, who has permanent resident status (a "green card") and has lived in Pennsylvania for nearly two decades.  Recep Erdogan has accused him of instigating the 2016 "coup" and wants him deported to Turkey.  The problem is, he hasn't so much as the proverbial parking ticket in the United States.  Trump never met a dictator he didn't envy and try to emulate, or at least accommodate.  Last summer he was ready to send Michael McFaul, an American citizen and former ambassador, to Russia for "interrogation."  What are the odds he has already ordered Bolton to come up with some pretext for kidnapping Gulen and renditioning him to Ankara in the middle of the night?  Anything to avoid embarrassing our "spectacular ally" Saudi Arabia, which is almost certainly going to finalize that weapons order any day now.  So many great jobs!

Another strong leader, Kim Jong-un ("he wrote me beautiful letters...we fell in love") has turned out to be a disappointment, according to the CIA, whose satellites reveal that the North Korean rocket and nuclear plants are humming like Santa's workshop.  Of course, why trust the CIA, which is part of Crooked Hillary's Deep State?  If Trump wants the truth, he turns to Fox News.

What the hell has happened to Fox News?  Andrew Napolitano, an actual lawyer, keeps saying that Whitaker's appointment is unconstitutional because the attorney general needs Senate confirmation.  Naturally Sean Hannity says that's "stupid" and demands to know why Robert Mueller was never confirmed by the Senate, in the same way that Archibald Cox, Leon Jaworski and Kenneth Starr weren't.  George Conway, Kellyanne's husband, co-writes an op-ed for The New York Times explaining that a "primary" officer who reports to the president needs Senate confirmation, while a special prosecutor, who reports to the attorney general, does not.  Too long for Trump to read, too hard to understand.  (Did Conway really call the Trump regime "a shitshow in a dumpster fire"?  Kellyanne may soon decide she wants to spend more time with the kids.)  And Fox News treacherously filed an amicus brief in CNN's lawsuit to get Jim Acosta's White House credentials back.  Disloyalty everywhere.

Have to fly all the way to California to look at some smoking foundations and tree stumps and more of those stunned-looking people who probably voted for Newsom.  And they'll all want money now, money we could be spending on a big, beautiful wall because the invasion is coming.  Trump hasn't mentioned it because he's been busy tweeting about stolen elections and how the Antifa terrorists better not mess with the Proud Boys.  And how Mueller is this close to a psychotic break, throwing shit at the walls and yelling at the rain and triple-dog-daring Trump to fall into a perjury trap, which is where they ask you questions other than "Can you draw this camel?"  But the caravan of ISIS fighters and MS-13 and Deep State globalists is practically in Houston, raping everybody.  And he "very easily" answered all the questions on Mueller's written test because NO COLLUSION.

Prison reform.  Why does that suddenly seem like an idea whose time has come?



Thursday, November 15, 2018


"If you buy a box of cereal you have a voter ID.  They try to abuse everybody by calling them racist...anything they can think of when you say you want voter ID.  But voter ID is a very important thing.  Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again...It's really a disgrace what's going on."

How did Trump figure it out?  It should have worked.  It was working.  We would have taken the Senate, too, but I guess we just put too much effort into getting out the vote.

I myself spent a small fortune on cornflakes until I got a box with "voter ID" -- no specially-marked packages.  Then I had to get a pirate costume, a Groucho disguise, and a copy of the dress Ginger wore when she danced "Cheek To Cheek" with Fred.  (I'm especially proud of that one.)  But come election day, the lines were just too long.  It would have taken hours to vote even twice.  In the end, I had to settle for voting as myself.

Please, don't tell Mr. Soros.  He said he'd kill my dog.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The end of the affair

The autumn leaves drift by my window, and the brief spasm of love has ended.  Manny et Donnie, fini.

When they met, Trump was impressed by Mme. Macron and how fit she looks.  Suspiciously impressed.  Emmanuel came and brought him an oak sapling, which was planted on the White House lawn and then unplanted, but it's the gesture that counts.  Trump was so excited by the July 14 military parade that he started planning one of his own for Washington, and he would have had it, too, but that big meany Jim Mattis and the Democrat mayor wouldn't let him.  But Macron, great guy, not like that dumpy German woman or the English haters with their stupid balloon.  Not a Putin or an Orban, you know, but still a good guy.  With a hot wife.

So Trump was really excited about his trip to Paris and a chance to forget the elections and Mueller and the surprising response to his new attorney general and all the rest.  He loves Paris, but not in the winter, when it drizzles.  They wanted him to go out in the rain and visit some American military cemetery, where they make you take your hat off, so fuck that.  And then people started making fun of him.  Everybody knows you can't fly a military helicopter in light rain, okay?  And driving would cause a traffic mess even on a Saturday.  So just shut up.

Sunday, the actual centenary, it was still raining, and the leaders were going to walk all the way up the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomph like a bunch of idiots, so now it was time to drive.  At least when he arrived the great Vladimir Putin was there and it was like a ray of sunshine.  So he had to read some thing that somebody, obviously not Stephen Miller, had written, while standing out in the rain.  How come those old guys get to sit under a cover?  World War II veterans?  They must be really old.  "You look like you're in really good shape, all of you.  I hope I look like that some day."  Big laugh.  Still got it.

And then Macron gets up, fucking Macron, and he really pisses Trump off:  "Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism.  Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism."  Blah blah moral values, blah blah climate change, poverty, inequality, oh, Manny, what happened to you?  You sound like Pocahontas or that Beto guy.  "Old demons are resurfacing."  You talkin' to me?

Today, as France observed the third anniversary of the Bataclan terrorist attack, Macron got the twitter-beating he was asking for.  Did you know Parisians were learning German during the war, while waiting for the United States to liberate them?  Macron has very low approval ratings!  French wine is unfairly competing with American wine, must have tariffs!  France wants to form a European army to fight the United States!  "MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!"  He actually typed that.

In other words, hit the road, Jacques.  Forget Paris.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sexual politics

Front Cover

In her new memoir, Michelle Obama writes about suffering a miscarriage and eventually conceiving her two daughters through in vitro fertilization, a procedure filled with difficulty.  A normal person's reaction would be sympathy, or empathy, or just being quietly impressed by her strength and determination.  On the right, where the abnormal and subnormal cluster, the news has re-ignited the bizarre insistence that she is "really" a man or at least transgender, because of course her husband is gay, everyone knows this, he owns a tan suit, he haunts the bathhouses of Chicago and may in fact be from a different solar system.  And so on.

I wish this were a simple case of Rightzi knuckleheads getting their hate on, but as you can see from the illustration, it isn't.  By October 1995 Graydon and Kurt and the other boys at Spy decided that Hillary Clinton was exercising too much power in her husband's administration, so they depicted her in classic Marilyn Monroe/Seven-Year Itch pose with unmistakable male genitalia visible in male underwear.  On the cover.  Did I mention that this was Spy and not National Review?  Spy the required reading for sophisticates of the Eighties and Nineties, the magazine that gave Donald Trump the indelible sobriquet "short-fingered vulgarian" (to this day he doesn't know it means "cheap"), which would certainly have gone all-in for Hillary had it still existed in 2016.

Why this obsession with the sexuality of powerful women (or even women proximate to power, like First Ladies)?  Some cluck wrote an article positing that Queen Elizabeth I was a boy raised as a girl for some unfathomable reason; no woman would choose life-long virginity just because she feared death in childbirth and submission to a man, not to mention the pox.  There's a completely crazy movie that has her bearing a dozen bastards, including Will Shakespeare, which I refuse to waste two hours on.  The Netflix series The Crown owes much of its appeal to titillating, perhaps wholly fictitious suggestions about the intimate relationship of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, and the ten-year gap between the births of their second and third children.  If Catherine the Great had as many human and equine lovers as the myth says, she would have had no time to rule Russia, correspond with Voltaire, or sleep.  Was Eleanor Roosevelt a lesbian?  Why did Roseanne Barr decide (or at least re-tweet) that Valerie Jarrett is a man "with big swinging ape-balls"?  What does that even mean?  Remember the joke Newt Gingrich liked to tell back in the age of civility:  "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?  Because her father is Janet Reno."  There has to be something weird and kinky about the sexuality of women who engage in politics, unless they're family-values Republicans.
The more power they have, the more the men fear their derision.

"Men are afraid that women will laugh at them," Margaret Atwood wrote, "women are afraid men will kill them."  Justifiably.  Is it true that Hillary Clinton's pants suits are designed to conceal a Kevlar vest?  Ask any police officer how uncomfortable those are, and you can't help admiring her toughness.  If I were the object of that much hate and all those threats of violence, I wouldn't leave the house, body armor or no.  And as that magazine cover reminds us, it comes from all over the spectrum.  The problem with Sarah Sanders, we need to remember, is not her fashion sense or her makeup, it's her hostility to facts.  Nobody cared about Sean Spicer's shoes.

The new House of Representatives will have a hundred female members, the largest number in history.  It would be good if everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Stephen Colbert at least tried to judge them by what they say and do instead of how they look.  I'm not optimistic about Limbaugh.      


May I say something?  If I were a Marine who fell at Belleau Wood and I could come back for a day, I would prefer my grave be visited by a Marine general, no matter how debased of late, than a bloated draft dodger who's afraid of the rain.
View image on Twitter
Unless he's playing golf.

Friday, November 09, 2018


"No ragtime group of liberal activists or lawyers from D.C. will be allowed to steal the election from the voters in this great state," said Rick Scott, frustrated by Bill Nelson's refusal to concede yesterday.  Which was grand, because I needed a laugh.   At first I thought he was referring to the musical style associated with Scott Joplin, but that just didn't compute.  Does he think it's the street slang all the kids are using?  "That is lit, bro.  It's ragtime."  Or did he mean "rag-tag"?  Republicans have a lot of trouble with The Words.

It's just possible Scott, who never struck me as a reader, was referring to E.L. Doctorow's novel.  (Maybe he saw the movie.)  A group of terrorists seize J.P. Morgan's library with a very specific set of arguably just demands:  a car and a fire chief.  They get the car but their victory is ambiguous, and the library, symbol of high culture and capitalism, is saved by the brazen dishonesty of the authorities.  No, I'm sure he meant "rag-tag."

Scott's tantrum -- there's a lot more to it -- was occasioned by the counting and re-counting of ballots still going on in Palm Beach and Broward Counties.  It seems they're determined to get it right this time, unlike 2000 when "Florida recount" joined the language of fuckuppery alongside "pig's breakfast" and the unfortunately racist "Chinese fire drill."  There's a lot less at stake this time, one Senate seat instead of the presidency and all the avoidable disasters that came with Bush (9/11, WMD, Katrina, etc.).  But the Republicans have had eighteen years to hone their election-stealing skills, so it's only natural they'd go on the attack.

Anyway, the Ragtime Lawyers is the name of my techno-skiffle-bluegrass band.  Come and hear us as soon as we find a banjo player who doesn't mind using an amplifier.

It seems strange to watch the news without a commercial every seven minutes warning that a vote for X is sure to end life as we know it.  While we were recovering from the campaign (so called because it's like war for old people), stuff happened.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized with three broken ribs.  And you should see Brett Kavanaugh's face.

George Conway wrote an op-ed for The Failing New York Times ("All the News That Fails We Print") explaining why the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Attorney General is illegal.  I imagine his wife Kellyanne had some explaining to do when she reported for work this morning.

An American destroyer and a Chinese warship narrowly missed each other in the South China Sea.  This has happened before.  The article called it "playing chicken."  I call it "scary as hell."  Putting tariffs on Chinese goods only hurts the Americans who buy them, and nobody really believes it was China that hacked the 2016 election, but these ships carry live ammunition.  Some older readers may remember an incident in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Do you want to smile?  Nineteen mostly young African American women ran for judgeships in Harris County (Houston), Texas, and all of them won.  They called their group campaign "Black Girl Magic."  In response, a grumpy judge named Glenn Devlin released almost every defendant who appeared before him yesterday.  A public defender explained, "Apparently he was saying that's what the voters wanted."  That's right, Harris County voted for anarchy, chaos, and streets running with blood.  What an ass.

At least Trump had a good day -- he got to attack three black women.  When Abby Phillip of CNN, Jim Acosta's replacement, asked if he had appointed Whitaker to destroy the Mueller investigation, he responded, "What a stupid question."  (I would have asked, "If Mueller has nothing on you, why are you so afraid of him?" which is why I don't work for CNN.)  He called April Ryan a "loser."  And somebody told him Michelle Obama's forthcoming memoir calls his birther lies "crazy and mean-spirited" and posed a threat to her daughters' safety, triggering an insane rant about how her husband left the military in tatters ("I'll never forgive him").  Like the staggering economy and the rampaging hordes of immigrants, it's one of those problems visible only to Trump and his MAGAts.  But if you're going to lie, go big or go home.

A Marine veteran with PTSD killed twelve people and himself in a country-and-western bar in Thousand Oaks, California, injuring many others.  Several of the witnesses had also been present at the Las Vegas shooting last year.  Country music is even more dangerous than hip-hop.  I have absolutely nothing beyond that lame joke.  Two mass murders in ten days have left me numb.

I used to love to visit the Morgan Library.  It was quiet and I often had it to myself.  Peering over the velvet ropes, you could imagine old J.P., nose aglow, examining his latest acquisition.  Then they had a show of Rembrandt drawings from the royal collection at Windsor Castle.  The line wrapped around the block, and the management saw what a potential goldmine it was.  They hired Renzo Piano to louse up Stanford White's stately old building and installed a cafĂ© on the ground floor.  With ferns yet.  I still went for the recitals of the George London Foundation, but I didn't linger.  Now it's just another museum in a city filled with them.  Although I'm glad Coalhouse Walker, Jr., didn't blow it up.    


Thursday, November 08, 2018


Why would Trump decide to hold a press conference yesterday?  He looked and sounded like he found Nixon's forty-five-year-old stash of Dilantin and swallowed a dozen before Kelly wrestled the bottle away.  Why would anybody hold a press conference if he didn't want to answer questions from the press?  What did he expect, compliments and early Christmas greetings?

Maybe the stable genius was distracted by thoughts of all those House committees getting Democratic chairs with subpoena powers.  What if they get hold of his tax returns, which have been "under audit" for longer than it took to translate Gilgamesh?  Has Kelly fired the dumb Southerner  yet?  Is it safe to go back to the office?  Golf...mmmm…..

So when Jim Acosta brought up the Russians, he was treading on an inflamed bunion.  Normally Trump would only have to say "enemy of the people" and Acosta would be roughed up by a bunch of MAGA-hatted patriots, but the room was filled with enemies of the people.  All Trump could do was denounce his rudeness and order an intern to grab the microphone.  She tried, and in the ensuing struggle was assaulted and thrown to the floor, suffering probably whiplash at least, according to Huckabee Sanders and some doctored video.  Sane people saw Acosta brush her arm as she grabbed.  Only Peter Alexander of ABC came to Acosta's defense.  No one came to Yamiche Alcindor's defense when she asked Trump to distance himself from white nationalism; he pronounced her a "racist" for bringing it up.  And April Ryan got only, "Sit down, I didn't call you."  So much for the uppity women.  "Why do I have the highest poll numbers ever with African Americans?" Trump asked rhetorically, and the answer is, "Those were Teabaggers wearing blackface for Halloween."

After that, it got weird.  Three-fifths of a Man Sessions was fired/resigned, and was replaced by an interim goon who has been given a picture of Robert Mueller with a rifle-sight superimposed on it.    "If Jeff Sessions is fired there will be holy hell to pay," said Lindsey Graham.   Does hell take American Express?

Of all the democracies, the United States is the most uncoordinated when it comes to elections, so at midday Thursday we still don't have all the results.  The Secretary of State of Georgia has just resigned, finally agreeing that he should not be involved in counting the votes.  More likely he has run out of ways to jimcrow the election -- the voting machines that arrived in one predominantly black precinct without power cords was an especially creative touch -- and feels good about his narrow lead holding up.  In other news...

MONTANA -- the gigantic state with just one Representative, Greg "Bodyslam" Gianforte, re-elected Jon Tester to the Senate, despite no less than four Trumpsapaloozas for his opponent.  (By way of contrast, not one hate rally in populous California or New York.)

NEVADA -- Democrat, don't let the sun go down on you in the 36th Assembly District.  Dennis Hof won in spite of being dead for a month.  Better a dead brothel owner than a live Democrat, I guess.  Yet Jackie Rosen (D) defeated Dean Heller (R) for the Senate.

TEXAS -- You ran a good race, Beto, and I'm fucking proud of you, too.  Look at it this way:  the other Republicans will have another six years of Ted Cruz, who is almost as popular as genital warts.

MASSACHUSETTS -- an easy victory for Elizabeth Warren, and Ayanna Pressley becomes the state's first African American Congresswoman, the seat once held by John F. Kennedy I believe.

WISCONSIN -- No more Scott Walker!

CALIFORNIA -- No more Dana Rohrabacher!

FLORIDA -- once again, you embarrass us.  But at least the state's residents with a felony conviction, over a million of them, may have their voting rights restored.  So that's something.  DeSantis taking away your healthcare is punishment enough, I guess.  Classiest move of the week was Andrew Gillum suspending his campaign after the yoga studio murders and not whining about lost "momentum."  

This has been called the Rainbow Wave.  First Muslim Congresswoman (Rashida Tlaib of Michigan), first Somali-American (Ilhan Omar, Minnesota), two Native American women (Deb Haaland of New Mexico and Sharice Davids of Kansas), and Jared Polis in Colorado, the first openly gay governor in the country.  Democrats will be embraced to the extent that they embrace diversity.  It isn't a dirty word.

Trump calls this "a very Big Win."  Wait till he starts getting subpoenas from the new House chairs:  Jerrold Nadler (Judiciary), Elijah Cummings (Government Oversight), Adam Schiff (Intelligence), Richard Neal (Ways and Means).  There isn't one he hasn't smeared.  But I would prefer that "Low IQ Maxine Waters" not become head of the Banking Committee.  Now is the hour for a wartime consigliere.  Try this on and tell me what you think:  Speaker Waters.  Could you love it?  Remember the third debate, when Trump lumbered up behind Hillary Clinton and breathed down her neck?  Now picture him stumbling through a State of the Union message with Aunt Maxine's eyes boring into the back of his preposterous head.

I'm going to picture it for a while.      


Monday, November 05, 2018

Dear Mike

I may call you Mike, may I not, Mr. Vice President?  We have politicians around here who go by Sonny and Buddy, although they have perfectly normal names, so "Mike" seems a little formal.

Anyway, Mikey, sorry I missed you on your brief visit to the Peachtree State last week.  I don't live near Atlanta, but I know they made you feel welcome.  I understand you were put out to get less attention than Oprah, who was here the same day.  You said (I hope this is accurate), "This ain't Hollywood, this is Georgia."  Maybe so, but Georgia is damn glad for the $9.5 billion Hollywood pumped into the state's economy last year, and the jobs it created.  Movie and television folks love our piney woods and elegant architecture and that evocative Spanish moss, which is really neither.  Did you see Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil?  Probably not, since the story was about those people you think should be killed.  It was filmed right here, and now you can guess where I live.  It's the city General Sherman gave President Lincoln as a Christmas gift in 1864.  Some of us are still chuckling over that.

Why "ain't," Mikey?  Is that how y'all talk up yonder in Indiana?  It's almost as if you're signaling to the people your boss courted when he said, "I love the poorly educated."  I think even they know that this ain't Hollywood, and that in any case Oprah lives in Chicago.  Which is within shouting distance -- I nearly wrote "shooting distance" -- of Indiana.  Or is "Hollywood" code for "sinister Jewish billionaires" or something?  Really, I need to get my code book updated.

I have to tell you that your charisma wasn't much help to Brian Kemp, gubernatorial candidate and serial abuser of power as Secretary of State.   Ol' Brian remains at 46 percent in the polls, dead even  with Stacey Abrams.  (We call him "the schmuck with the truck" because he won the primary by promising to drive around and pick up "illegals" with his truck, which governors can definitely do.)  Kemp had already used his office to purge several million voters from the rolls, lose thousands of registrations sent in by the Democrats, disallow thousands of others because the signatures looked "wrong," close a whole county's worth of polling places until some judge told him to knock it off, and -- well, let's say there are some defective machines that change people's votes.  Since there isn't time for Trump to repeal the Voting Rights Act by executive decree, Kemp decided to accuse the Democrats of trying to hack the election Russian-style.  He wants the FBI to investigate, as if they don't have enough to do.  Some of us think he's anticipating an embarrassing loss tomorrow by pre-emptively yelling "Fraud!"  Ain't that a pisser?  And you should hear the robocalls:

"Years ago the Jews who own the American media saw something in me -- the ability to trick white women into thinking I was like them and to do what I told them to.  Where others see a poor man's Aunt Jemima, I see someone who women can be tricked into voting for.  Especially the fat ones."

Jews, female gullibility, racist stereotypes, fat-shaming -- the only thing missing is the jungle sounds they used against Andrew Gillum and the suggestion that Abrams is a secret Mau-Mau Muslim.  Still only 46 percent.  Well, there's some good ol' Libertarian boy running, so there will almost certainly be a run-off.  What I'm saying is, Mikey, keep the date open and plan on visiting Savannah next time.  I sure would like to have a word with you.

                                                                                      Ol' Buttermilk Sky

PS:  Some folks say you look like the older brother of Roger Stone, who left the farm for the big city and wound up owning a chain of payday-loan stores.  I don't see it myself.

Vote, damn it

The magazine added, "Roger Angell is ninety-eight years old, legally blind, and heading to the polls tomorrow."

Consider yourself shamed.  If you're lazy, or the candidates aren't sufficiently perfect, or it's raining when you get up, go anyway.  If there's a line, stare at your phone or even try talking to people.  If you don't know how to mark the ballot or use the machine, ask a poll worker.  If you have a dentist appointment, change it.  If you're still not motivated, think about John Lewis at the Edmund  Pettus Bridge or force-fed suffragettes or whatever the hell it takes.  Go.  Or don't come back here.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Fractured family tales

Osama bin Laden once predicted that the United States must inevitably become disunited.  He was a keen student and critic of this country, but Donald Trump seems to have escaped his notice, though he often railed against such Trump-adjacent topics as gambling and sexual depravity.  He'd be ecstatic about the state of our disunion in 2018.

After the mass murder at the Tree of Life, former (?) UN ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted, "I have struggled w. what happened in Pittsburgh bc it's so similar to what happened in Charleston.  This country was very racially divided @ the time.  We didn't once blame Pres. Obama."

Oh, but you did.  You implicitly blame him now.  "At the time" implies that a country which has been racially divided since 1776 was miraculously healed when white rule was restored in January 2017.  Your response as governor of South Carolina was to shed tears and finally haul down the Confederate flag that had flown over your state house since the 1960s.  Yes, 1960s, a raised middle finger to the civil rights movement that sent an unmistakable message to Dylann Roof and countless others.  Your reward was a showy, powerless job in the Trump regime representing us in an organization Trump despises.  Madam Ambassador, you are full of shit.

Political groups fragment and re-form all the time, most dramatically in my lifetime when the Southern racists abandoned the Democratic Party in the 1960s, just as Lyndon Johnson predicted they would when he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  (Two decades earlier Strom Thurmond led the way after Harry Truman de-segregated the armed forces, though he didn't join the Republicans until much later.)  Now, thanks entirely to those racists, the Republicans are coming apart.  First there were the NeverTrumpers, who didn't quite change parties but who indicated, at least before Trump was nominated, that he made them seriously queasy.  Then, one by one, prominent conservatives bailed as the madness escalated:  David Jolly, George Will, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, and most recently the hero pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger.  (If Trump noticed, he probably said, "I like pilots who don't hit birds and land on the Hudson River, okay?")  These people joined the party of Dwight Eisenhower, Jacob Javits, Margaret Chase Smith and, yes, Richard Nixon, a party now gone with the wind.

In this election season the fracking has reached into families.  Relatives of Adam Laxalt, Republican candidate for governor of Nevada, and the siblings of Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona have made ads in support of their Democratic opponents.  ("There isn't a kooky, crazy, nutty thing that he isn't a part of," said David Gosar.)  I almost wept when I read the words of Emily West:  "I can't imagine his being in any level of government."  She was talking about her father, Rep. Steve West of Missouri, who is a real piece  West claims "Jewish doctors" at St. Jude Hospital (!) are making children sick with vaccines -- surprise! he's an anti-vaxer, too -- so they can experiment on them with cancer drugs, all for money, of course.  And lest you think it's only the political professionals who are engaged in family feuds, some Trumper named Steve Spaeth of West Bend, Wisconsin, was happy to say he anticipates civil war when the socialists (like his sister, a Democrat) carry out their planned coup:  "I would have no problem shooting her in the face."  I'll bet.

The loudest smack-down came from David S. Glosser in an essay on Politico:  "I have watched in dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family's life in this country."  Dr. Glosser provides a brief history of his family since his father fled Russian pogroms in 1903 and arrived in New York.  The nephew in question is Stephen Miller, who wouldn't exist if his grandfather had been murdered along with everyone else in the shtetl of Antopol.  Passover at the Glossers' must be a little tense.

If the killings at the Tree of Life can be said to have a positive outcome, it is that the Republican Party has suddenly realized some of its members are a smidge anti-Semitic, and that this is not always a good thing.  They haven't gone so far as to call off the two-minutes' hate directed daily at George Soros, but, you know, baby steps.  Steve King, who has been the cornfield Trump through six terms in the House, recently visited Europe to work on his game.  After a pro forma visit to Auschwitz he said he wanted to see it "from the Polish point of view," and if that was too obscure he added that if far-right elements in European politics were American, they would be Republicans.

Well, of course they would.  We know the white supremacist Southerners who remade the party in their image, but what of the thousands of Nazis who either slipped into this country or were invited to become valued members of the intelligence and aerospace communities?  Books have been written (Operation Paperclip, for example) but this is not a subject most Americans know anything about.  Did you know Time Magazine cover-boy Wernher von Braun was not just a scientist, he was also an SS officer?  Read.  King, however, who should be worrying about what Iowa farmers are going to do with their soybeans, also spouts Trump's fear-the-foreign rhetoric, and he has finally gone too far.  The Republican Congressional campaign is nervous, his contributors are backing away, and he has a real chance of being defeated.  The National Review said, "Conservatives need to draw the line at Steve King," and Karl Rove -- yes, that Karl Rove -- laconically tweeted, "I agree we do."  That's what "too far" looks like.  King is the stand-in for Trump, who is probably even worse -- I'm not going to make charts -- but around whom they still dare not "draw the line."

I don't imagine the election will change the nature of the Party of Trump for the better.  They will cling to hate and fear because it works for them, until it doesn't.  "I'm not saying he's a racist," Andrew Gillum said of his opponent, Ron DeSantis, "I'm saying racists think he's a racist."  I guess we'll find out exactly how many racists there are.  And where they live.  And a lot of Thanksgiving dinners are going to end with somebody getting gravy poured over his MAGA hat.


Saturday, November 03, 2018


When I was a kid in the Garden State, we would sometimes drive at night along the legendary Route 3.  As we approached Secaucus -- this was long before it was graced by Giants Stadium, where the New York football teams play for some reason -- my mother would say, "Roll up the windows."  This was because Secaucus had a distinctive aroma which we attributed to pig farms, or possibly slaughterhouses.  Whatever it was, I have never forgotten it.

I've been smelling old Secaucus quite a lot lately.  Some would say "That's fishy," or "I call bullshit," and it's all the same thing.  The old familiar funk was generated by the death of Whitey Bulger in the federal prison at Hazelton, West Virginia.  Bulger was an unmournable piece of garbage.  He was also 89 years old and had just arrived after a five-year tour of the federal prison system.  Hazelton is notoriously violent, underfinanced and understaffed, and less than 24 hours after he checked in, Bulger checked out, beaten unrecognizable by persons unknown.  In his cell.  The media said he had been "brutally murdered," although no one has yet been tenderly murdered to my knowledge.  The authorities have fixed the blame on a lifer employed by the Mafia (Bulger was also a rat for the FBI), so case closed.  This leaves unanswered questions like "Who knew he was coming?" and "Who left his cell door open?" and of course, "What did Bulger know and when did he know it?"  Apparently one of the many things the government can't do is guarantee the safety of people in its custody.

Far more troubling are the deaths of the Farea sisters, Tala (16) and Rotana (22), citizens of Saudi Arabia whose bodies were found on a bank of the Hudson River.  They were duck-taped together facing each other and, according to the medical examiner, were still alive when they went into the water.  And yet no less a personage than Dermot Shea, Chief of Detectives of the NYPD, says "there is nothing pointing to a crime."  Nothing except the fact that they had applied for asylum, and the Saudi government had ordered them to return to their country.  And the reach of Trump's favorite Arab regime, as we have seen, is extremely long.  Like Jamal Khashoggi, the sisters were legal residents of Virginia.  Can you think of thirty or forty easier ways to commit suicide?  I can.

The alleged MAGAbomber Cesar Sayoc was arrested in Florida on October 26, charged with mailing explosive devices to people and organizations Trump hates.  Yesterday a package described as similar to those was spotted at a mail sorting facility in Burlingame, California, addressed to Tom Steyer, the billionaire who started NeedToImpeach.  Is it normal for a package to take over a week to go from Florida to California with first-class postage on it?  Or does Sayoc have a friend?

I smell Secaucus.


Thursday, November 01, 2018

Lives w/mom, has no brains

View image on Twitter

I wasn't going to bother with this sideshow, but "corruptness" triggered the long-buried English teacher in me.  Also that picture, which should be a tee shirt to wear with your MAGA hat.

I won't go into the details, which are abundantly available at and elsewhere, but Wohl is a twenty-year-old pisher who may not live with his mother but uses her voicemail.  So anyway he and his friend Jack Berkman got together three weeks ago to establish a company called SureFire Intelligence.  (That's not the joke.)  Berkman evidently aspires to be the Republican Dick Tuck, which is still not the joke.  This -- I don't know, detective agency like Spade & Archer? -- was supposedly approached by a woman, or maybe a lot of women, who had #MeToo dirt to dish on -- and now here's the joke -- ROBERT MUELLER.  Which would discredit him so much he would slink away and maybe even go to prison for rape, but in any case stop the witch-hunting of patriotic Americans who would never collude with Russians, as if Trump needed help from Russians to win the most votes ever, much less money from Russians to shore up his incompetently run businesses -- where was I?

Sorry, it's easy to get shunted onto a siding in this story.  So SureFire calls a press conference at a Holiday Inn in Virginia to introduce the woman Mueller got fresh with years ago when he was in a completely different city.  Only she's so afraid for her life that she doesn't show up or even give the partners her right name, which might be Caroline or Carolyn or Cass or Theodosia, who can ever tell with these women who are usually lying about being assaulted?  (Says Berkman.)  Like the women who told various reporters that these two geniuses offered them money to sign false affidavits accusing Mueller, who did give their names and which even I know is referred to in the business as "suborning perjury."  And these women, unlike Theodosia, have spoken to the FBI instead of the Fly-By-Night Detective Agency and Screen Door Company.

There's much more.  By all means treat yourself to the video of the press conference, where I understand one of the geniuses had his fly open.  (Possibly a signal to the QAnon Continuum.)  Then join me in reciting our new Pledge of Allegiance:  "In a world full of corruptness..."      


Image result for obama pictures

Former President Barack Obama pronounced himself "angry and embarrassed" as he spoke at a political rally today.

"For eight years I begged the Congress to do something, do anything about gun control.  Even a law to keep assault weapons away from diagnosed schizophrenics would have been progress.  Nothing.  Nothing.  Now I find out all I had to do was sign an executive order repealing the Second Amendment.  I'm sorry, America.

"All those years teaching Constitutional law and I never came across the part where the president can do that.  I'm angry and I'm embarrassed.

"I'd shoot myself if I had a gun," he added.