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.    



Blogger The New York Crank said...

Given the way the election has been going in Florida, somebody who knows his or her ragtime scores should loop a recording of Scott Joplin's "Easy Winners" and keep it playing until Rick Scott Krazy Glue's an index fingers into each of his ears.

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

5:51 AM  

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