Thursday, December 27, 2018

No thanks for the memories

Bob Hope is dead so Trump had to entertain the troops in Iraq yesterday.  He has to do everything.

Like Hope, he brought along a busty starlet for the boys to ogle.   All right, she's pushing fifty, but she dresses like an actress who had to be nice to a lot of producers to get a small role in Faster and More Furiously.  Like Hope, he recited some jokes well past their sell-by date, about Democrats and pay raises for the troops and how brave he was to fly in a plane with no lights.  He didn't mention the vertiginous stock market, the government shut-down, the impending torrent of subpoenas from the new House, or the way children keep dying to make Kirstjen Nielsen look bad.  He did mention, by name and with pictures, SEAL Team Five; Hope would never have been that stupid.  Hope actually cared about the troops.  He didn't use them to fluff his drooping ego, and he would have taken a bullet before he put them in danger.

When Trump does something every president has done without fuss or complaint, like attend a funeral or read a speech off a TelePrompter, the media praises him like a two-year-old who went potty all by herself.  So he must have been disappointed at the muted response.  Even on Fox they weren't happy with his telling the troops, "We're no longer suckers."  No longer?  Well, Cadet Bonespurs considers a sucker to be anyone who volunteers to serve in a dangerous place for minimal pay, or even submits to a draft.  No surprise there.  The troops were also a little confused when Trump assured them that ISIS is finished, and that Turkey will destroy it.  I'm a little confused, too.  What exactly will the Turkish army be doing to a force that no longer exists?  Oh, that's right, annihilating our Kurdish allies.  Erdogan says they're terrorists and his word is good enough for Donnie.

By the way, Bob Hope was an immigrant.



Monday, December 24, 2018

Do we know it's Christmas?

When I was a little one, the schools closed for a week, not the federal government.  This has happened often enough to be considered a tradition, like fruitcake and bad performances of Messiah.  I can't reach the DHHS, but I can call NORAD and a holly jolly volunteer will tell me exactly where Santa is.  Unless I'm fortunate enough to get patched through to the White House, where Good King Don was making one of his doomed attempts at normal human interaction.  "Are you still a believer in Santa Claus?  'Cause at seven it's marginal, right?" he asked a boy (I'm guessing) named Coleman, according to pool reporter and drawer of the short straw Kevin Diaz.  The child's answer is not recorded, but if he's lucky, he doesn't know what "marginal" means.  I'm not sure Trump does either.

It was that kind of a week, and it's only Monday.  Pope Francis opened a clinic in the Vatican for Rome's homeless, and then asked that priests guilty of sexual crimes turn themselves in to authorities.  Francis is neither stupid nor naïve, so why would he think that will happen?  In other misconduct news, Kevin Spacey is about to be charged with felony sexual assault.  His response was to put on a holiday apron and record a strange video as Frank Underwood, his character on the American version of House of Cards.  So, insanity defense? .

Gatwick Airport closed for 36 hours because of a drone.  A married couple were arrested and 'assisted  police with their inquiries' before being released, but in the meantime the British press went full Richard Jewell on them, publicizing their names and calling them "morons,"  They're not having a happy Christmas and neither are the 140,000 people who missed their flights.  And tomorrow, millions of other idiots will be unwrapping drones under the tree.  Nothing substantive will be done until one of these things takes down an Airbus.

Enough.  I'm going to eat scrambled eggs and watch The Death of Stalin.  Be of good cheer, for the days are getting longer.


Toady in the hole


Mick Mulvaney is one of the best people.  We know this because Trump keeps hiring him.  But the lying enemy of the people media have video of Mick Mulvaney calling Trump "a terrible human being" and his precious Wall "stupid," and they shared it with the rest of us.  Apparently it wasn't on Fox News because Trump was surprised when he heard about it, as surprised as when someone read him James Mattis's letter and explained the complicated parts and he realized Mattis was not thanking god for allowing him to serve Trump.  So Mick Mulvaney had to go on Fox News and explain the "thinking" behind Trump's "strategy" of bugging out of Syria.  Loudly, so Trump could hear him.

Basically, it's this:  All the people who can find Syria on a map and have some knowledge of its political and military situation were appalled when Sir Tweetsalot shared what his gut told him on the golden throne last week.  A short list would include Mike Pompeo, Mattis, Chairman Joe Dunford of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Brett McGurk, who Trump had never heard of but was envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition before he quit, and even John Bolton, who is a bloodthirsty loon.  But the hell with them (said Mulvaney) because they aren't the People who elected Trump and who count on him to make the big decisions since, in his words, "Ordinary Americans have no idea about those things."  It was the most devastating critique of democracy since Plato's Republic.  Although the Mulvaney Thesis makes no reference to Putin, Erdogan or the Kurds, it's probably true.  Trump only cares about the paste-eaters who attend his hatenannies.  He needs them more than ever, and they'll bellow even louder when he gives NATO and South Korea the Judas kiss, too.

If Mulvaney doesn't get promoted after this, it won't be for lack of effort.  What's better than White House Chief of Staff, you ask?   Well, a slot may be opening up at the Federal Reserve if Trump fires Jerome Powell, the guy he just hired.  Steve Mnuchin sent an encyclical to the biggest banks telling them to calm down, everything's cool, and then Trump sent the Dow into a Christmas Eve death spiral by blaming the slowing economy on the Fed, so Mnuchin may join the exodus.  How many jobs can Ivanka hold down and still get to her yoga class and her nail appointment?  Governing is hard!

But unlike thousands of furloughed government workers, Daddy is hard at it, tweeting "Still in the White House (poor me) waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security" (if Ryan and McConnell couldn't jam Wall into their continuing resolution, why should...oh, never mind) and making lists of Words to randomly Capitalize in Future.  And so, as the White House kitchen scrambles to put together a Christmas dinner they didn't plan on, I leave you with this from the much-missed Anthony Bourdain:

"People who order their meat well-done perform a valuable service for those of us in the business who are cost-conscious:  they pay for the privilege of eating our garbage...the philistine who orders his food well-done is not likely to notice the difference between food and flotsam."

Eat your steak, Donnie.  KFC's closed today.  

Friday, December 21, 2018

Turn out the lights

In normal times, the resignation of even a major Cabinet secretary is a one-day story.   In 2018, it blots out the sun.  Some responses to the Mattis "retirement":

"Everything that indicates stability, everything that indicates strength, everything that indicates knowledge, is leaving this administration."  (Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY)

"He will not be easy to replace."  (Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL)

"Deeply worrisome."  (Adm. James Stavridis, USN)

"This is scary."  (Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA)

"A national security crisis."  (Sen. Chris Murphy, D-CT)

"This is bad news for the nation and the security of the world."  (Rep. Will Hurd, R-TX)

"Old Marines never die, but they do resign after the President ignores their advice, betrays our allies, rewards our enemies and puts the nation's security at risk.  Turn out the lights when Mattis leaves; we will not see his like again while Trump remains in office."  (Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA)

"Oh shit."  (Rep. John Garamendi, D-CA)

And if you think they're gobsmacked, think how James Jeffrey feels.  He's the U.S. special envoy for Syria engagement, and it's only been four days since he assured everyone we were there for the long haul, go home, enjoy your Festivus, nothing to see here.  He's almost as stunned as the Kurds, the ally we betray and abandon on a regular basis, this time at the request of their worst enemy, Recep Ergodan (probably relaying orders from V.V.P.).  If ISIS has indeed been defeated in Syria, a lot of the credit is theirs, so they probably feel justified in promising to release over three thousand captured ISIS fighters, which will make life interesting for the Syrian people, to say the least.  It's the bottomless bowl of shit here at Orange Garden -- grab a spoon!

Next, here's Ivo Daalder, former U.S. representative to NATO, quoted in today's Stars & Stripes:  "Yesterday, Syria.  Today, Afghanistan.  Tomorrow:  South Korea?  Germany?  It all fits a pattern and it shouldn't be surprising.  Trump has said he would since the day he ran for President."  

Clearly this was the last straw for Jim Mattis.  Coming on top of the purely political deployment of troops to repel the Caravan of Doom last October -- generals really hate it when some draft-dodging moron uses soldiers as window dressing -- and empty bluster about forcing said troops to become masons and bricklayers, he decided he could best serve by refusing to serve any more.  The spectacle of John Kelly in retreat and Michael Flynn humiliated by Judge Sullivan may have helped to convince him that anyone who associates with Trump for even a scaramucci will never be able to wash off the taint, even a decorated general.  Maybe he has been reading the work of his great predecessor Smedley D. Butler in the small hours.  Butler particularly objected to having the Corps used as "enforcers" by corporate America.  Don't bother looking in your child's American history textbook -- Butler was disappeared long ago and he won the Medal of Honor.  Twice.

It is no comfort -- all right, maybe just a drop -- that no one was made more jittery by all this cut-and-run than the Israelis.  Trump may not care if Russia dominates the Middle East, but they have to live there.  Bibi could erect a Golden Calf with Trump's face on it, but his sole concern right now is keeping the bigots and bozos who make up his base as sweet as possible.  Mueller is closing in, the House Democrats are already drafting their subpoenas, and Trump has to believe his supporters will "revolt" if anyone comes after him.  Thus, shutting down the government unless he gets five billion for a Wall that would cost ten times that much and for which Mexico will pay not a centavo.  Thus, deporting, or refusing asylum to, or just killing all the non-white people who can be found.

Shit got real this week when even Trump's chorus of cretins turned on him.  He was forced to un-Twitter Ann Coulter, author of Truly, This Trump Is the Son of God, who condemned him because there is no Wall yet.  He had to listen to Brian Kilmeade, dean of the Fox Couchetariat, call the Syria retreat "stunning and irresponsible."  ("If I've lost Kilmeade I've lost Fuckwit America," Trump might say if he knew anything about Johnson and Cronkite.  Although apparently LBJ never said that, it's part of our folklore.)  Kilmeade went on to accuse him of "re-founding ISIS," because the right has also persuaded itself that Obama "founded" ISIS, with seed money from George Soros and lizard people from Planet Icke.  That's gotta sting.  Appease the right!  Free James Fields!  Find Jakeline Caal and kill her all over again!  We're at war, just not in Syria any more.

And for the record, I  have opposed all this Middle East bombing and blundering since our troops weren't greeted with candy and flowers when they marched into Baghdad.  I remember the known unknowns, and the looted museum, and the billions of dollars that disappeared in the desert.  I was in New York City when a gang of mostly Saudi Arabians flew hijacked planes into buildings, and even then we knew Bush was rounding up relatives of Bin Laden and flying them to safety prior to ramming his PATRIOT Act through Congress unread and undebated, and setting his long-standing Operation Revenge for Saddam Threatening My Dad in motion.  We can't fix the Middle East.  But bugging out and leaving instability behind is nearly as bad a bugging in.  Hours and hours of harassing Hillary Clinton about Benghazi, and the one question Republicans never ask is "Why was Libya so violently anarchic in the first place?"  Why the hell do you think?

Well, you want the goofy news or the great news?  Goofy:  Trumpette Katrina Pierson demanded on Twitter that John McCain answer her question about his role in compiling the Christopher Steele dossier.  McCain did not respond.  Katrina needs to lighten up on the blue hair dye.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold a lower court's ruling against Trump's latest anti-immigrant order.  This is great news for immigrants, and fabulous news for fans of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who cast the deciding vote from a hospital bed.  She underwent surgery to remove cancerous nodules from her lung.  Bill O'Reilly was overjoyed to hear that an 85-year-old woman had cancer for the third time, but decent human beings hope she's back on the bench soon.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Mad Dog 2019

Image result for mad dog 2020

Jim Mattis is quitting as of February.

Another job for Mick Mulvaney.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Poor butterflies

Paul Ryan is delivering his Farewell to the Troops.  I'm watching Mary Astor on TCM.  Old Speakers never die, they just become lobbyists/get into the dope business/go to prison.  Sorry, no, just got something in my eye...(sniff)

What am I supposed to do with all these bump stocks?  Do the gun dealers sell a kit for converting them into eight-track tape players?  I think I still have a few somewhere.

What is it with the right and fictional characters?  They cough up blood when someone suggests that Santa Claus or James Bond might not necessarily be white.  Their obsession with children's-show characters is beyond creepy:  Are Bert and Ernie a couple?  Could one (or more) of the TeleTubbies be gay?  Now it's gingerbread cookies.  One place in Scotland designated them gingerbread people rather than men, and Tucker Carlson lost his shit.  Shouldn't he be out looking for advertisers to replace the ones who baled on his latest xenophobic rant?  The Pillsbury Doughboy is very white and clearly a boy -- give them a call, Tuck.

Good news!  The troops are coming home from Syria because ISIS has been defeated.  I guess the guy who shot up the Christmas market in Strasbourg last week forgot to check his messages first.

Metaphor of the week:  The regime is destroying a butterfly refuge to make room for the big, beautiful wall at the Mexican border which will never be built.

Oops!  The Treasury Department forgot to tell the State Department it's lifting the Congressionally-imposed sanctions on companies owned by Oleg Deripaska (you know he's a lowlife because he has ties to Vladimir Putin and Paul Manafort).  This and the Iraq pullout make quite a nice Christmas present for Putin, who apparently thinks he should get all he can before Trump is expelled from office and the kompromat is as worthless as a Tsarist kopek.  He can read the signs, too:  White House Chief of Staff is now a part-time job for the budget director, Mick Mulvaney, and the communications director Bill Shine has a monthly lease on his Washington apartment.  And Melania's Christmas "decorations" came from the estate of horror director Wes Craven.

Weird.  This sudden Republican interest in reforming the federal prison system.  Just weird, that's all.

Finally, you should treat yourself to The Kominsky Method on what I think of as the Netflix network.  Michael Douglas (who looks more and more like his father as he ages) plays a famous acting coach, but Alan Arkin is giving a master class in acting here.  If he doesn't win an Emmy, then the Emmys are over.  This is so far above everything Chuck Lorre has done for network TV that I have to credit his writing partners Alan J. Higgins and David Javerbaum.  Emmys all around and put it on my tab.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

General merriment

It's only Tuesday and I'm already reduced to postlets.  If it's not a recognized word, I'm copyrighting it.

After more or less comparing him to General Benedict Arnold, Judge Emmet Sullivan postponed Michael Flynn's sentencing for three months.  This touched off panic in the West Wing, as staffers rushed to the White House counsel's office to ask if you can postdate a pardon.  You know, like a check.  Flynn's lawyers implied that he had still more to disclose to the special prosecutor, though why Mueller's people can't talk to him through the wire mesh in the visitors room, I don't know.

Speaking of checks, if you have already mailed your year-end contribution to the Donald J. Trump Foundation, it may not be tax-deductible.  The New York attorney general has shut down that particular scam after revealing that its funds were spent on oil paintings (bad ones), autographed collectibles (depends how you feel about Tim Tebow) and various odds and ends, but nothing resembling charity.  Oh, wait, there was a check to cover Donzo Junior's Boy Scout dues.  They're a non-profit, I guess.  I hope he learned to Be Prepared, because the AG's lawsuit continues.

We're number six! on the list of the world's most dangerous countries in which to practice journalism. The others are Afghanistan (war), Syria (war), Mexico (drug war), Yemen (war) and India (search me).  With the Second Amendment and a "president" who calls journalists "enemies of the people," I'm sure we can move up in 2019.

Bahia Amawi is a U.S. citizen of Palestinian descent who taught children with speech disabilities in Austin, Texas, for nine years.  She no longer does, because she refused to sign a pledge, mandated by state law, that she would not take part in BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), which brings those Constitutionally-protected pressures to bear on Israel.  Well, when I say "Constitutionally-protected," I should add that 25 other states have similar requirements.  No other foreign country is favored in this way.  You can boycott North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Congo, Russia, Vatican City, Somalia, China, no problem.  You can ask your retirement fund to sell its stock in the Emirates, the Seychelles and the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.  You can demand sanctions be imposed on Barbados because it rained all the time you were there.  But if you want to work in the public sector, you have to smile and tiptoe around Israel.  If Ms. Amawi is raising money for a legal challenge, I think I can find a few dollars, because this is seriously messed up.

Finally, because I'm tired, we salute Paul McCowns, who works in Brooklyn, Ohio.  He went into the Huntington Bank on December 1 to cash his paycheck, bringing the requisite two forms of identification.  The teller was sure there was something wrong, and the police were summoned.  After Mr. McCowns was briefly handcuffed and put in the back of their car, his employer confirmed that it was indeed his check, yes, he really does earn that much money.  Paul McCowns, you are the first person to be arrested for Cashing a Check While Black.  Would you like to open a money market account?


Monday, December 17, 2018


With the protests in France, the Brexit muddle in Britain, the Senate voting to end American support for Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen, and the outrage of Saturday Night Live making fun of Trump, you may have missed it:  Paul Ryan has chosen to end his undistinguished career with an act of sheer ethnic pandering.  Knock me over with a cheese, right?

Ryan has noticed that there are 10,500 E-3 "green card" visas set aside every year for Australians who want to work here in "specialty occupations," but only about half are used.  He has introduced a bill which would give the rest to Irish citizens who are in the country illegally, having emigrated in the 1990s when the high-tech "Celtic tiger" economy went tits-up (their expression, not mine).  Most are employed in the shadow economy as nannies, restaurant workers, construction workers, etc., frequently paid in cash and ineligible for Social Security or other benefits -- like Mexicans, Chinese, Filipinos, Central Americans, etc.

Why the Irish?  Certainly not because his name is Ryan.  Think of it as reparations for all those NO DOGS OR IRISH signs, or the cartoons of Thomas Nast.  Did you know the first Irish to come here were actually slaves, captured during Oliver Cromwell's campaigns or kidnapped from their homes and sold to planters headed for Virginia in the seventeenth century?   Truth.  Not even considered "white" when that category was being willed into existence in the land of the free, the Irish survived a long and dismal history to reach the ascendancy of John F. Kennedy.   So a better question is "why just the Irish?"  What exactly separates them from all those other groups besides a weakness for bagpipes?

Need more time?

The unembarrassed racism of Republicans is breathtaking.  Though the Irish have entrusted their government to a man whose parents came from India (as once they entrusted it to a man whose father came from Spain), they are certainly "white" now, and Paul Ryan has no problem with Making America White Again.  If the Australians won't come here -- nobody expected those people with "specialty occupations" to be Aboriginal -- and the Norwegians and Swedes and Germans won't give up their social safety nets, let's make it easier for the Irish to stay.  They already speak English!  They pay taxes and have families, children who are Americans under the terms of the Fourteenth Amendment!  Identifying and deporting them would be expensive and economically disruptive, same as with Mexicans, Chinese, Filipinos...

Amusingly, there are Rightzis complaining that the Ryan project would reward "illegals," though it doesn't move them a step closer to citizenship.  Which is to miss the point:  Which "illegals" are being rewarded, and why?  For half a century America welcomed any Cuban who could get one foot on a Florida beach; will we extend the same bienvenidos to Venezuelans as their country implodes?  Or Brazilians fleeing fascism?   Isn't the Trump regime already deporting Haitians who came here after the earthquake in 2010?   Does it not want to deport Vietnamese who came after 1975 and have no place to go back to?  I'm for rewarding all "illegals" who haven't been convicted of a felony and have managed to evade la migra.  We couldn't run this place without them, even educated Europeans who will literally take jobs away from Americans if they no longer have to work as bartenders and babysitters.  Even the people who make the beds at Mar-a-lago.

So good luck, Paul, you tool.  Maybe Speaker Pelosi will introduce a bill that makes up for all the shortcomings in yours.

Friday, December 14, 2018

It's a fact!

Revealed This Week:  Paying Off Porn Stars Doesn’t Pay

Many men cheat on their wives, even when the wives aren't all gross from having just pushed a baby out of their whatever.  However, only idiots pose for pictures with the strange.  Professional pictures, not the kind you take with your phone.  So the next time someone asks why you get a picture like this one when googling "idiot," there you go.

Thursday, December 13, 2018


Twitter users mercilessly mock Mike Pence for 'Elf on the Shelf' performance in Oval Office

(Mmmm...gonna get some blue drapes for this room in a few months...Jackson's gone, picture of Jesus in the garden, always liked that...have to make sure I'm never alone with Nancy...what's this, Wednesday, cottage cheese and strawberry Yoohoo for lunch...wonder if I still have that badminton racket...badminton could be my thing, like golf for Ike and Tubby here...Nancy has amazing legs, what is she, eighty?, no, think about cottage cheese...Mother has legs like cottage cheese...gosh, Tubby, let the lady finish a sentence...poor Kelly, he was actually crying while he cleaned out his desk...have to throw him a bone when I take over...ambassador to someplace warm...Ayers was a nice guy, but I overheard him take the Lord's name in vain...have to remember, get that recording system in my office guy can install his own...Nancy's from Sin Francisco, really be a feather in my cap on Judgment Day if I brought her to the Lord...we could read the Bible in here...must stop thinking about Nancy! hungry...wall, wall, enough about the stupid wall...I wonder if she and Schumer -- no, that's crazy...why exactly am I here?)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Some of these days

After three days of rain and gloom, the sun was shining this morning.  I turned on the computer and things just kept getting better.  Everywhere I went, good news.  Unbelievable.

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that Planned Parenthood can keep getting paid by Medicaid, and states run by misogynistic fanatics who rage about "baby parts" can't stop them.

Nick Ayers doesn't want to be Pence's chief of staff anymore, and he doesn't want to be Trump's, either.  The search goes on for someone to fill John Kelly's big racist shoes.  Sideshow Bob?

A jury in Virginia which convicted James Fields of first-degree murder for the death of Heather Heyer has recommended that he spend his life in prison.

Milo Yiannopoulos is broke, having been banned from various online venues and cut off by his rich patrons.  Moreover, he is allegedly two million dollars in debt.  I know someone who needs a chief of staff.

At a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) asked Google CEO Sundar Pichai, "If you Google the word 'idiot' under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up.  How would that happen?"  Mr. Pichai explained about algorithms, as if she didn't know.  Meanwhile thousands of people Googled "idiot" just to check.  I don't know much about algorithms, but I'm pretty sure that only made it better.  Worse, I mean worse.

Mr. Pichai could have referred the Congresswoman to today's comedy matinee, "Wall or Nothing At All."  He's still at it, demanding billions to wall out the diseased terrorists and drug mules, or America will cease to be.  What was apparently supposed to be a photo-op with Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the newly embalmed corpse of Mike Pence turned into a televised debate/tantrum, with Trump repeating "wall" over and over while Pelosi tried to explain that even now, the House won't give him the money, and in three weeks it even more won't.  Meanwhile, Schumer maneuvered Trump into bragging that he'll "shut down the government" and take full responsibility.  By actual count he interrupted Pelosi nineteen times in ten minutes and repeatedly called her "Nancy" because that's how Daddy taught him to talk to bitches.  She was unimpressed, and no doubt will continue to be unimpressed until 2021 or the end of Trump's presidency, whichever comes first.

Curtain line:

The Dealmaster:  "We can go two routes with this meeting -- with a knife or a candy."

The Speaker:  "Exactly."

He's done.  Ask Ann Coulter, author of Trump Is My Co-Pilot or whatever her campaign effusion was called.  Today she tweeted (concerning his claim that the Wall's already rising), "Does Trump think his supporters are dumber than a WaPo reporter?"  You tell me, supporter.

Michael Cohen sentencing tomorrow!  I'll bring the finger sandwiches.


Sunday, December 09, 2018

Double standard, meet Both-siderism

Remember Zoe Baird?  She was Bill Clinton's first choice for attorney general way back in 1993.  Her nomination was withdrawn because of a cataclysmic scandal the media tagged with the lazy term "Nannygate."  It  seems she and her husband had employed two undocumented Peruvians as nanny and chauffeur, and failed to pay Social Security and income tax for them.  A nation was shocked, shocked, and the ground was prepared for the Whitewater Follies and eventual impeachment.

It seems that Both Sides Do Indeed Do It.  Four women have now come forward, risking deportation, to say they were employed as housekeepers at the Trump Intergalactic Golf and Sedition Center or whatever it's called, in Bedminster, New Jersey.  One of them gave details of being alternately tipped by Cadet Bonespurs and excoriated for failing to get the orange makeup out of a white golf shirt.  Really.  I couldn't make that up.  Yes, the management knew they had no papers and told them to acquire phony ones.  Their names and countries of origin are known to the media, and now presumably to the ICEstapo.

I can picture a weary Robert Mueller saying, "Holey socks, I'm not starting another charge sheet at this point.  I'd like to wind this thing up before my grandkids finish college."  But it would be worthwhile to point out that 1. Clinton didn't break the law, and 2. Clinton didn't spend every day raging at poor people who come here to work and have a better life, not to mention 3. Clinton didn't put their children in cages.  I'll bet that with a little digging, the Liberal Media could find any number of undocumented busboys, caddies, gardeners, porters and dishwashers at any number of Trump properties,  rather than waiting for them to get fed up with the racist attacks and come forward.  It would look like they were doing their job.  


I get it.  I understand why the right froths at the mouth on the subject of "political correctness."  We may not mean exactly the same thing -- they believe it means denying their right to be racist, sexist and generally obnoxious -- but I think I can tell when people get silly about words spoken (or written) in innocence and drafted into our endless game of Moral Preening.

The topic of today's homily is Frank Loesser's 1949 song "Baby, It's Cold Outside," which has been banned by a number of radio stations because someone decided it celebrates date-rape.  I just went over to YouTube and treated myself to the supremely sexy Betty Carter-Ray Charles recording -- research, you know -- and apparently the objectionable line is "So what's in this drink?"  The people enraged by the song apparently stopped listening at that point and didn't hear the woman add "At least I'm gonna say that I tried."  In other words, for all her protests -- "I really can't stay" -- and reservations -- "My father will be pacing the floor" -- she is more than happy to take advantage of the weather and spend the night with this man, and to hell with her maiden aunt.  (People, any song that references "maiden aunts" is not to be taken seriously.  See also Dorothy Fields's lyric for "A Fine Romance.")  The drink is just a drink.

Before we awake in an Andrea Dworkin dystopia, where all sex between men and women is unavoidably rape-y, I direct you to another songwriter, Tom Lehrer, who advised us that "filth, I'm glad to say, is in the mind of the beholder" ("Smut").  Here endeth the lesson, and I'm going back to  YouTube to check out the Leon Redbone version.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Too much caffeine

Midweek madness...Trump's cybersecurity expert Rudolph Giuliani doesn't know how Twitter works, so he inadvertently abetted the creation of a new website,  Go there.  You'll like it.

Michael Avenatti is not running for president after all, and neither is Deval Patrick.  Neither am I, for  that matter, and my decision is final.

The national debt has now topped $21 trillion, thanks in large part to demented military spending, Republican tax cuts, and the sabotage of American industry and agriculture.  Asked if this is likely to make the economy implode, Tariff Man replied, "Yeah, but I won't be here."  In other words, it's what Douglas Adams called SEP -- somebody else's problem.  Meanwhile, blame will be shifted to Medicare, foreign aid, Headstart (if that still exists) and the damnable expense of natural disasters.  Tighten the belts!  Rake the forests!

"Substantial assistance" to the Mueller investigation may keep Michael Flynn, Sr., out of jail.  I don't care, as long as at least one Trump goes in his place.

Eight hundred points in one day!  Glad I'm not an investor.  Thanks, Obama.  We haven't worked out all the details, but I'm sure it's your fault somehow.

The White House Correspondents Dinner organizers couldn't find a comedian who was either right-wing and funny, or liberal and prepared to endure death threats from the Q Continuum, so they have asked the biographer Ron Chernow to speak instead.  A delighted Trump, who believes he ended the career of Michelle Wolf, has threatened to attend.  He should probably read (hah!) Mr. Chernow's op-ed in the September 23, 2010, New York Times, "The Founding Fathers Versus the Tea Party."  It might not be the tongue-bath Donnie anticipates.

Trump is still trying to get the post office to raise its rates just for Washington Post proprietor Jeff Bezos.  That should bring Amazon to its knees.

CIA director Gina Haspel told Senators it looks like the Saudi crown prince is up to his houndstooth red tablecloth in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.  I was shocked, too.

I just checked, and the world is still laughing at Trump's G-20 antics, especially the part where he left the president of Argentina alone onstage and wandered off, saying, "Get me the hell out of here."  It was clearly the fault of President Macri (Argentina) and President Macron (France) for having practically the same name.  He also has trouble with Balkans/Baltics and June/July.

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke has concluded that he might now be Senator-elect Beto O'Rourke had he asked Barack Obama to campaign with him instead of, say, Willie Nelson.  He has had several meetings with Obama to discuss running for president in 2020.  Not that there's anything wrong with Willie Nelson.  Why not both, Beto?

The surviving members of the Daley machine and Tammany Hall have written to North Carolina Republicans to protest that they have never seen this level of election fuckery.  All right, I made that part up, but it could have been true.  Who came up with door-to-door "collection" of mail ballots?  Inspired.


Monday, December 03, 2018

Drag ball

Don't keep next January open.  The Silver Jubilee has been cancelled.

Friends of Rudolph Giuliani -- and they totally exist -- were planning a party to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of his becoming mayor of New York, after a campaign whose naked racism prefigured Trump's.  (Remember the Giuliani rally/near riot of cops outside City Hall, ramping up  hatred of the incumbent "washroom attendant" David Dinkins?  Good times.)  An article in today's Daily News quotes an unnamed source as saying America's Mayor is "too toxic" to party with, owing entirely to his current employment as Trump's loyal mouthpiece.  The source goes on to compare the proposed shindig to a "mafia wedding," with LEOs and reporters studying, filming and photographing the guests for future reference.  The article says planners "struggled to find supporters willing to pay for tickets."  Well, sure, who wants to go to a party where you have to pay?  Even Roy Cohn never demanded cash for the privilege of attending his parties.  Of course, he wasn't saving up for his third (probable) divorce.  Free food -- that's how they got people to show up for Scrooge's funeral.  And one day, Giuliani's.