Saturday, October 31, 2020

Fool moon


Remember this charming bit of Americana -- Iowana, actually -- from 2016?  What it will look like when they "lock 'er up"?  Politics was so civilized then.

Today some Trumpanzees drove a hearse to the Biden Bus Tour in Missouri City, Texas.  In the hearse was a casket, and in the casket was a mannequin depicting Kamala Harris.  "Collecting Democrat votes one dead stiff at a time," read the sign, somewhat redundantly.  These people really hate women.  The good news is that they were outnumbered by Biden supporters 4-1.

Miss Juanita Jean at The World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon reports that they also brought a tank.  Outnumbered but not outgunned.

Despite being ordered by numerous judges to stop fucking with the mail, Louis DeJoy has done nothing to unfuck the mail.  A  large pile of it was discovered in a post office in Princeton, Florida, this week.  Yes, there were ballots.  A study by the Guardian in Michigan (where a court has ruled that ballots received after Tuesday won't be counted) found that mail is slowest in Detroit.  I'm shocked.

Wisconsin Republican chairman Andrew Hitt claims that hackers stole $2.3 million from their account.  He's sure they didn't spend it on salons and spas like Ronna McDaniel, or on sports cars and Superbowl ads like Brad Parscale, or on the three-dollar-a-glass water at Mar a Lago.  He also swears he has never seen the movie Sneakers.

You probably thought that, at least for now, there's a far right majority on the Supreme Court.  Yet they just ruled 5-4 that votes can be counted after Election Day and Trump is whining about it:  "That's a terrible, political, horrible decision that they made.  November 3rd is going to come and go and we're not going to know.  And you're going to have bedlam in our country."  (Sounds like a threat.)  Well, we waited weeks in 2000 and no cities burned, although there was increased larceny in Tallahassee.   Still, best to cancel the election night gala at the Trump Trivago Hotel.   Oh, you did?  

China caused the pandemic!  China conspires with Hunter Biden!  China has a venture capital company called Huaneng Invesco WLR with the Secretary of Commerce on its board!  Wait, what?  Wilbur Ross?  Part of "a major state-owned power producer"?  Again, shocked.

We have lost the respect of every non-dictatorship, but we still have a State Department and it still has an inspector general.  And the inspector general is just amazed at the extent to which Mike Pompeo has misused State Department resources for everything from house repairs to special favors for his son's software company.  How is the IG tracing all this misbehavior?  HIS EMAILS!  And while Susan Pompeo has been living la vida loca at our expense, her husband keeps promising to release more of Hillary Clinton's emails.  Because she's a private citizen in the New York suburbs and it couldn't be more important.  

I started with another implied assassination threat, so I'll end with comedy:  Trump's "secret weapon" Nigel Farage, whom he introduced in Arizona as "the king of Europe."  Marina Hyde's essay is pure holiday fun.

Friday, October 30, 2020

"A very big heart"

I take it back.  Initially American taxpayers provided Melania Trump with the new "kidneys" she had installed at Bethesda Naval Hospital in 2018, but she has earned them now.  Campaigning in Tampa the First Escort accused the media of spreading hate, and she didn't mean by amplifying her husband's words.  She then went on to extol his "very big heart" and love for us:  "My husband's administration is focused on the future, the health and safety of the American people, the education and well-being of our children."  This slice of campaign cake could have come anyone from Grace Coolidge to Michelle Obama, but it was the irony icing that caught everyone's attention.   And she kept a straight face, though Botox probably demanded it.  Well done, Mel.  In the future, law schools will study that pre-nup.

It's been a week when President Bigheart exposed his followers to biting cold, suffocating heat, and always a deadly virus, and they panted for more.  My sympathy is reserved for those whose jobs require them to attend the Rolling Chunder tour.  Like the media who are abused and threatened everywhere.  Like the Tampa Fire Department who saw people in distress and began spraying the crowd with water.  Their reward was to have Bigheart ask if they were "friend or foe" and then order the mob, "If they're foe, let's take care of those sons of bitches."  Because it's not a rally without some fantasy violence.

Today it was historical fantasy violence.  In Michigan he proclaimed the protests in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd "like Berlin in its worst day during the war...the worst day they ever had."  No one can pack so much bullshit into one phrase.  The idiot said he saw it on CNN but it was Ali Velshi on MSNBC, and he was reporting from Kenosha, and in addition, Donzo, you know fuck-all about Berlin at any point during the war.  Unless the Red Army was bombarding Kenosha while gang-raping women, just shut up.   Then he celebrated Velshi's wounding by police with rubber bullets:  "He was down.  He was down.  Nobody cared.  Those guys didn't care.  They moved him aside.  It was the most beautiful thing.  Wasn't it really a beautiful sight?  It's called law and order."  "Those guys" being the police.  By then Trump was so excited he had to hug the lectern.  Who needs Viagra?  

Is it time for a new conspiracy theory?  Here's a hot one:  "Our doctors get more money if someone dies from covid.  You know that, right?  I mean, our doctors are very smart people."  Oh, no, he's on to us.  Tell Soros to cancel the covid bounty, stat.   Junior Trump is right.  Hardly anyone is dying, really, and they don't matter.

Back in the dreary old land of reality, covid continues to spike and hospitals set up tents in parking lots.  It's easy to forget Americans who had a hit-or-miss health system before the Trumpandemic and are suffering, too.  Today's Guardian tells of a man with Type 1 diabetes who lost his health insurance along with his job and has to come up with $1,500 a month for the insulin he needs.  In the meantime he buys insulin from Walmart for $26, which is not as effective.  The only thing Trump loves more than the baying of the mob is signing stuff and showing it to us, and he has signed several executive orders designed to lower the price of prescription drugs in general and insulin in particular.   Strangely, they don't seem to solve the problem.   Meanwhile his regime fights to destroy the Affordable Care Act, this man's best hope after the GoFundMe money dries up.  In other words, even if you dodge the coronavirus, you're screwed anyway.  Four more years of Bigheart and we'll be counting the dead hourly.

We have many weapons, though, and one of them is the meth-addict mental processes of the Trumpanzees.  Like these two members of The Base, arrested yesterday for neo-Nazi-terrorizing the wrong house in Michigan.  Two innocent people and their infant -- why can't you threaten someone your own size, like the governor?  This family is lucky they didn't get swatted.  

Then there's the woman in Orlando who went into labor and made her husband stop at the polling station so she could vote.  They checked her ID and gave her a ballot, she filled it out, and then she went to the hospital.  It doesn't say who she voted for but I have my suspicions.  Anyway, cheers.

And when we need to kick back and have a few laughs there's fake investigator "Martin Aspen," whose Hunter Biden intel fools no one except, well, fools.  Fools named Rudolph, for instance.  This one is a Borat movie.

And the rapidity with which they turn on one another.  Like Laura Ingraham wearing a mask because she doesn't want to die.  Political correctness!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Rogue planet

Good afternoon and Przemek Mroz!  That's the name of the astrophysicist at Cal Tech who discovered a "rogue planet" wandering through our galaxy, untethered by any star.  It may or may not be my new Netflix password.  The planet does not have a name yet.

In October it tends to be cold in Nebraska and hot in Florida, but all this is news to the team at MAKE AMERICA SICK AGAIN 2020.  Monica Alba of NBC News tweeted:   "It's so hot here in Tampa (87 degrees) that there's a truck blasting water at the back of the Trump rally crowd.  Multiple people have passed out already..."  No reports of heat prostration at the subsequent Biden rally, but I'll bet a lot of people were really sticky in their cars.  Meanwhile Trump pushed on to Arizona, where he graciously shared the stage with struggling Senator Martha McSally:  "Martha, just come up fast.  Fast.  Fast.  Come on, quick.  You got one minute!  One minute, Martha!  They don't want to hear this, Martha!  Come on!"  That should sound familiar to his wives.  Where will Trump campaign tomorrow?  How about Colorado -- still some active wildfires?

So Tucker Carlson flew all the way to Los Angeles to interview Tony Bababooey about some absolutely dynamite documents he found on "Hunter Biden's laptop" but he forgot to pack them.  As you do.  Irreplaceable bombshell proof of evildoing and no copies exist, so he got his producer to send them ASAP via UPS, the postal service in this country being now less efficient than Yemen's.  Welp, it seems the package turned up with no dynamite docs!  It's a complete mystery, because they most definitely existed.  Wow, the TV dinner trust fund boy can't wait to share his outrage with his rapt audience in about half an hour.  And if Jack Berkman and Jacob Wohl are reading this -- I think you've got a third for the act.

Trump rarely needs fresh rage fuel but he got some from Miles Taylor, f/k/a Anonymous.  Ooh, "bad things" are going to happen to him, just like Marie Yovanovitch and Sally Yates and Alexander Vindman and so on all the way back to Graydon Carter ("short-fingered vulgarian").  Also, the New York Times should be prosecuted for publishing his op-ed.  At this point, it's just funny.

Not as funny as this:  Jerry Falwell, Jr., is suing Liberty University for -- wait for it -- damaging his reputation.  The basis of the complaint is that Giancarlo Granda, who had an affair with Mrs. Jerry while Jerry watched, worked with The Lincoln Project and other enemies of the people Trump.   As I recall, there was also a photo of Jerry on a yacht with his pants drooping and a lady who was not Mrs. Jerry.   How the hell did TLP arrange that?

I think we can tell who won last night's David Perdue-Jon Ossoff debate:  Perdue just wimped out of their final debate scheduled for Sunday.  His equally worthless colleague Kelly Loeffler told a reporter in Buford that she's never heard of the Access Hollywood tape.  For someone who apparently wanted to be a senator for the insider-trading opportunities, Sticky Fingers is strangely ill-informed -- "grab 'em by the pussy" is the phrase for which Trump is best known.    

Who said it?  "Interesting when you look at both candidates, in some ways one not taking the virus seriously enough at all, and one, if there's a criticism, might be, is he taking it too seriously, at least when it comes to campaigning?"  Yes, it's the exquisitely balanced Chuck Todd worried that Joe Biden might be a little obsessed with "the virus" that has killed over 228,000 Americans and continues to spread exponentially.   Yeah, he hasn't even mentioned the Dodgers winning the World Series minutes before Justin Turner ran onto the field to share covid with his teammates.  Sports, the economy, the film industry, the airlines that may file bankruptcy, the hospitals planning for triage, the schools, "the virus" is at the heart of everything now, Chuck.  Ignoring it isn't working.  


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Another perfectly normal day

 After attacking the governor of Michigan as "a disaster" who had to be rescued by the FBI from kidnapping and murder, Trump shares his fantasy about Biden:  "Three weeks in, Joe is shot, let's go Kamala, are you ready?"  (Yes.  She is.)  I notice he's become a lot more blunt since the coy "Second Amendment solution" he proposed for Hillary Clinton four years ago.  His niece Mary says he needs help because she's a psychologist and believes in therapeutic solutions.  I disagree.  As Bob Diamond (Rip Torn) tells Daniel in Defending Your Life, "After a while the universe just throws you away."  

Trump's been whining about the cold all over the Midwest, so you might think the people who organize (if that's the word) his campaign would take it into consideration.  A rally at an airport outside Omaha suggests otherwise.  The faithful couldn't get there, had to park miles away and climb aboard crowded buses to start pre-spreading the coronavirus, and afterward -- no buses.  Apparently they were only chartered to deliver, not pick up.  Hundreds of people, many elderly, were stranded in freezing weather as the great silver bird bore The Leader back to Washington.   Some needed medical intervention.  Eventually the Omaha police took charge, summoning city buses and ambulances.  The good folk had served their purpose and Trump took no responsibility, as usual.  And now, if they haven't already, they will give him their votes.   

As if there wasn't enough grief, two of Philadelphia's Finest emptied their guns into a Black man named Walter Wallace on Monday night, leading to two nights of protests and sporadic violence.  Wallace was some distance away but may have had a knife; he may also have been suffering from mental illness.  His mother and brother witnessed his death, which Kayleigh McEnany hurried to blame on "the Liberal Democrats' war against the police."  "Walter's life mattered," rejoined Joe Biden.  Why does he hate law and order?

Poor, poor Lindsey Graham.  He worked his lily-white fingers to the bone installing Coney Rabbit, only to see Jaime Harrison pull in still more money from outraged donors.  He was abused by Lou Dobbs for not treating the "Obamagate" idiocy as an actual crime.  The Laura Ingraham Show cut his mic as he panhandled for funds.  Now The Lincoln Project is calling him "a political parasite...despised and desperate."   The parasite's host has been to North Carolina six times but I can't tell if he plans to grace South Carolina without visiting the Trump website, and I am not visiting the Trump website.  It looks like he's already written Lindsey off as a loser.  Just like the old folks in Omaha risking hypothermia, he doesn't need you anymore, Lindsey, you poor parasite. 

Now here's a  real Southern senator, circa 1954.  Cindy Hyde-Smith knows how to deal with Black Lives Matter and all those other Outside Agitators:  strengthen the military "because everybody wants a safe Mississippi."  I'd like to see Cory Booker try to move into her suburb.  

Virginia "Ginni" Thomas has been using her Facebook account to spread Biden-Ukraine conspiracy theories and accuse the media of "shielding" Joe Biden.  What makes this news is that "Ginni" is not just some random Facebook nutter.  She's the nutter whose husband Clarence is an associate justice of the Supreme Court.  I guess Justice Thomas will recuse himself from any cases involving Trump's political agenda.  I guess I'll be winning the Nobel Prize for Blogging, too.

Another site I won't be visiting is "," where Jason Harpe takes Trump's "covid is good for you" program to the next level.  He proposes to organize flashmobs to rush into stores, restaurants, etc., and deliberately spread coronavirus to unwilling victims.  What's the matter with Kansas?  I'm serious, what the fuck is the matter?

Possibly the same thing that's wrong with South Dakota, where Governor Kristi Noem is taking a victory lap after her underpopulated state managed to spread covid to an estimated 260,000 people nationwide thanks to the Sturgis rally.   You do know the numbers are supposed to come down, right?  Unlike the Dow, which lost 900 points today?  It's supposed to be market goes up, dying comes down.  Let me get out the sock puppets.

Now that Trump is facing defeat, Miles Taylor has courageously come forward to announce that he is Anonymous, the mole who wrote that scathing op-ed back in 2018.  No longer helping the Department of Homeland Security abuse immigrants and steal their children, he now works for CNN and caucuses with Republican Voters Against Trump.  That'll do, Miles.  That'll do.



Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The week of living dangerously

Trump is right!  We are "rounding the turn."  Not on covid, that's worse than ever.  But every prediction from Pew, Quinnipiac and the Magic Eight-Ball says there's a Biden-shape light at the end of the tunnel.

Vladimir Putin can see it, too.  Days after Benjamin Netanyahu carefully distanced himself from Trump in front of witnesses, Putin gave an interview where, according to Reuters, he "took the time to knock down what he made clear he regarded as false allegations from Trump about the Bidens."  No wonder the bot army has apparently been ordered to stand down.  

Gerrymandering, voter ID requirements, purges, limited hours, defective machines, long lines, a crippled postal service, what will they think of next to prevent democracy?  How about a little fire?  Ballot boxes in Los Angeles and Boston have been set on fire in the past week, destroying some of the contents.  Trump is encouraging armed goons to show up at the polls when people try to vote, especially in largely Black cities like Philadelphia.  (You know, the place where they wrote the damn Constitution.)  A cornered Trump is a dangerous Trump.

For some reason, people just aren't responding to his litanies of self-praise and staggering mendacity.  The whole campaign is in disarray.  For some reason African Americans don't respond to Jared Kushner's suggestion that they don't "want to be successful" enough to overcome systemic racism the way he did, by being born rich and white.  Nor are women excited to read things like this:

It explains the unseemly haste but underscores the misogynistic hate.  Not cool, House Judiciary GOP.  Prepare to see your minority continue to shrink.

Did you see that debate, where Biden said "Poor Bois" instead of "Proud Bois"?   Dementia, right?  Then you'll love today's exploding cigar.  Biden confused Trump with George Bush!  Except he didn't.  Before the video was doctored it was clear he was responding to a question from the comedian George Lopez.  The Today Show on Trump's old network gleefully spread the story and had to back down when Ana Navarro-Cardenas pointed out their error, or to use her phrase, "unethical crap."  NBC apologized, which is more than President Covfefe has done.

Are the Republicans short of cash or just really, really dumb?  Last week it was a Facebook ad of a purported American doctor that might as well have had Cyrillic graphics.  Now they've been caught using another actress to portray Typical American Voter-mom in Senate campaign ads in Maine, Kansas and Iowa.  Did Berkman and Wohl recruit her on Craigslist and then fail to pay her?  We're a week from election day, guys, put your backs into it.

Like these people in the Biden Disinformation Collective.  The George Lopez interview didn't work out, OK, they got right back on the horse.  Biden made a speech in Warm Springs, Georgia, where FDR used to take the waters, and said, "Why am I doing this?  Why?  What is my real aim?"  Ha, more video of the foolish, fond old man.  Except it turns out he was quoting from an encyclical of Pope Francis.  I suspect the next Trump ad won't make that clear.  And Trump is working as hard as ever, watching Fox News and complaining because they carried Barack Obama's drive-in rally in Orlando:  "no crowd fake speech."  He still doesn't get this social distancing thing.  "Fake speech"?  Sounded real to me.  Dementia?  Sounds real to me.

Trump always takes the high road, so he left it to Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) to make fun of Biden's stammer.  Which, to be honest, I was completely unaware of until this year.  That's how well he handles it.  And it's a full-time job.  I once heard Jonathan Miller talk about the circumlocutions he used to avoid certain consonants.  I could not do it, I think I'd resort to hand-signals.  We used to admire people who overcame disabilities, like Helen Keller; like Jim Abbott, the pitcher born with one hand; like Wilma Rudolph, who overcame polio and racism to win three Olympic gold medals.  We're pitiful.  They're not.

Trump calls the Sixty Minutes interview, in which he willingly participated for free publicity, "a very hostile attack by a woman who does nothing."  So now Lesley Stahl joins Anthony Fauci, Christine Blasey Ford, Ilhan Omar and Yoel Roth of Twitter's site integrity team in learning to live with bodyguards.  Death threats:  Valentines from impotent cowards.

Dr. Fauci says the US is still in its first wave of covid.  Except for the White House, which is in its second.

None of this may matter because the ice in the Arctic Ocean has begun to melt, releasing vast amounts of methane.  But why listen to "the experts"?

American survivalists are preparing for the election by buying guns and toilet paper.   Relax, Trumpanzees, you can always use your MAGA hat to wipe your ass.  Your lawn sign, too, in an emergency.

Amy Coney Rabbit has been on the job for less than twenty-four hours but Norman Ornstein has explained how she can be impeached.  That sounds complicated.  To get rid of all three McConnell stooges, all we have to do is make perjury a crime again.  The statute of limitations has run out on attempted rape, but not on the shit Kavanaugh was slinging at his confirmation.  (Do you know that polka, Brett -- "In Prison There Is No Beer"?)  Right now perjury is a job qualification, which is why nobody could get a straight answer out of them.  No need to expand the court, just call Merrick Garland and two other qualified justices.  And maybe move Dianne Feinstein onto the agriculture committee where she can't do much harm.

Trump has already taken bows for the CDC directive to prevent evictions of people unemployed by the pandemic.  Astonishingly, it's not working.  Well, that's one way to cut down on voting -- you can't vote if you don't have an address.  Oh and look where the evictions have begun:  Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas.  Well played.



Monday, October 26, 2020

Do you believe in magic?

 It's not the Fake Chinese Flu that has Trump looking so exhausted and weak and in need of extra layers of Clown Orange. It's having to do so many jobs.  Like sorting out the facts from the fiction, as Rob Brydon says on that panel show, and explaining what is and isn't news.  And even though it has killed north of 225,000 Americans, covid is not news.  It's so not news that even talking about it "should be an election law violation!"  They're only doing it to make him look bad.  And he will never come closer to owning any of those 225,000 deaths, so relish it.  Trump makes people forget by yelling "COVID COVID COVID COVID" at his MAGAts, and by having his chief of staff say, "We are not going to control the pandemic."  It's all right to be confused.  Enraged also works.

Bob Murray has died, either from black lung or from being harassed to death by John Oliver.  Or it could have been a spell.

You think I'm joking, because it's 2020 and not 1692 and sane people don't believe in that junk.  But the fundagelicals do, like Lance Wallnau.  Brother Lance has identified the source of Rush Limbaugh's lung cancer and reversed it with prayer, and none of your "weak prayers" but his own patented formula.  He does go on a bit but I guess the witches' spell was a real challenge.  Too bad Brother Lance didn't have time to save Bob Murray.  Or Herman Cain.  It's not too late to save Mitch McConnell from the necrotizing fascist-itis that is eating his face and hands.  Hurry, Lance!

In other news from this Year of Magical Thinking, Renea Turner has declared herself to be the governor of Ohio.  That is to say, she had herself "sworn in" and declared that her predecessor Mike DeWine "has become concentrated, grown and has become a tyrant and will be held accountable immediately."  DeWine apparently thought being a Republican entitled him to order pandemic-preventive methods like some kind of Gretchen Whitmer.  Turner and her "posse" were going to kidnap DeWine and possibly exile him, and before you say exile from Ohio sounds more like a reward, just don't.  It's cruel.  Other Ohioites or whatever they're called agree with her on the tyranny but not the kidnapping.  They want to observe legal procedures.  I hope they do.

Five people who work for Mike Pence (including his "body man," which probably sounds worse than it is) have now tested positive for coronavirus, but Pence refuses to cancel any of his campaigning or deny himself the satisfaction of watching the Senate anoint Amy Coney Rabbit.  I'm going to predict he doesn't even wear a mask because he's protected by prayer, a/k/a wishful thinking.

Hospitals in Utah are getting ready to ration care as covid spikes, and a field hospital has been opened at the Wisconsin county fairgrounds in Milwaukee, but the real problem is still too much testing!  Also, doctors and hospitals are raking in wealth for over-reporting cases, or so says Trump.  It's not clear who's paying out on this dastardly plot to steal the election from him, but it's probably George Soros.  It usually is.  

I don't understand how all these people are getting sick in the White House.  Did you know Trump had a prophet named Bill Johnson anoint all the doors to ward off demons?  I'm not crazy.  Read it.  Should have used extra virgin olive oil. 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Mere anarchy

This has been a terrible year for all kinds of reasons, including the almost daily reports that another culture hero has died -- most recently James "The Amazing" Randi.  So it's comforting to know that Tom Lehrer is 92 and presumably getting ready to celebrate Hanukkah in Santa Monica.  He has outlived all the people his songs castigated (Hubert Humphrey, Wernher von Braun, George Murphy) and now he has made of them a gift:  All Lehrer lyrics are now freed from the bonds of copyright!  This could be the beginning of the end of all LAW AND ORDER, or the birth of a satirical Renaissance.  Whatever, you can go to Tom and hear Daniel Radcliffe sing "The Elements" while you decide.

Unless the Twitter account @GOP has been hacked by The Onion or Andy Borowitz, the following is an Official List of Trump's second term priorities:

*Establish Permanent Manned Presence On the Moon

*Send the 1st Manned Mission to Mars

*Build World's Greatest Infrastructure System

*Establish National High-Speed Wireless Internet Network

I know who wrote this.  Look at all the capitalized words.  I still want whatever drugs he's on.

I'm old enough to remember John Cleese thanking the morality police for their condemnation (sight unseen, of course) of Monty Python's Life of Brian.  The extra publicity at least doubled the film's takings on first release.  It remains to be seen if Trump calling Sacha Baron Cohen "a creep" will do the same for Borat:  Subsequent Moviefilm, but it can't hurt.  If Giuliani had any credibility left -- remember, I said if -- he couldn't recover now even if Hunter Biden's "laptop" turned up with video of Joe Biden taking aim on the grassy knoll in Dallas.  Not when "tucking in my shirt" has supplanted Mark Sanford's "hiking the Appalachian Trail" as a sniggering euphemism.  Just when you think it can't get worse Giuliani blundered into an anti-Trump rally in Manhattan.  (He was at Trump Tower visiting some Russian oligarchs and delivering freshly laundered money.  Allegedly.)

From Fifth Avenue, soon to become Barack Obama Boulevard, you can't see this Times Square billboard which has galvanized Princess, Slumlord-in-Law and their attorneys.  That's an actual Kushner quote, though the can of Goya beans has been airbrushed out of his wife's hands.  "False, malicious and defamatory," they splutter, to which The Lincoln Project  -- yes, it's theirs -- happily point out that these two are no longer private citizens, unfortunately, and will have to roll with the punches.  And as with the two films referenced above, thanks for calling more attention to it.  They never learn.  

As for daddy, he was in New Hampshire boasting to the "Live Mask Free and Die" voters about his two Nobel Peace Prizes, for Serbia-Kosovo and "something else."  Then he said he meant nominations, and uttered a sentence in impeccable Trumpish:  "I don't know, you know, I don't know."  If you think of it as another language it often makes sense.  Like:  "I take full responsibility. It's not my fault that it came here.  It's China's fault."  All you need to know is responsibility = praise.

There's a new pathogen in town and it killed six wild swans in the Netherlands.  Farmers are being told to keep their poultry indoors.  Just what we needed, another avian flu.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Popcorn time

 I have been reading W. Bruce Lincoln's Red Victory, a history of the Russian Civil War (1918-1920) -- yeah, it's a non-stop roller coaster here at the Sky -- and I've come to two conclusions:  The Cheka could have given the Gestapo lessons in sadism, and the Whites had a serious chance of winning if they hadn't fought endlessly among themselves.

American political parties have always seethed with disagreement, usually beneath the surface, which is a good thing because otherwise they'd be Lenin's Bolsheviks.  "Democrats In Disarray" has become an ironic meme because they aren't shy about airing their grievances.  This time, though, it's the Republicans who resemble a circular firing squad, with the Lincoln Project leading the way.  

But I wasn't prepared to find Lou Dobbs calling for the defeat of Lindsey Graham.  No one has worked harder to ram through the Amy Comey -- sorry, Coney Barrett nomination that half the country opposes.  No one has so abased himself before the Trump agenda, despite Trump having called him "one of the dumbest human beings I've ever seen."  Yeah, but what have you done for him lately?  Dobbs is angry about Graham's "inert response to these pressing issues of our day."  Which pressing issues?  The pandemic, the economy, the environment, the systemic racism and police violence, the Russian election interference?  Don't be absurd.  Graham has refused to hold hearings into "Obamagate," the batshit conspiracy that even Barr's tame prosecutor couldn't find.  He won't ferret out the "liberal bias" of Facebook and Twitter.   He's a lap dog, not a rabid pit bull, so Dobbs would prefer to see him replaced with Jaime Harrison.  Hey, me too!   And even if Trump and Dobbs treat him the way Bill Sikes treated Bullseye, he'll keep fawning and whining and coming back for more, like Romney, Sasse, Murkowski, Collins, Hogan, Baker, Kasich and the rest.  Even when Trump starts calling him "Liddle Lindsey," his ultimate put-down, and making fun of his Sessions-like accent.  And he will.

Not surprisingly, Trump told a bunch of donors at a share-the-virus event in Nashville that Republicans will take back the House but may lose the Senate.  He's not completely delusional, but of course he takes no responsibility:  "There are a couple senators I just can't get involved in...You lose your soul if you do.  I can't help some of them.  I don't want to help some of them."  No Democrat, however deep in disarray, would say that out loud.  Do not think about Trump's soul.  Just don't.

Barack Obama continues to be a draw, wowing crowds with zingers like, "If you're too scared of Lesley Stahl and Sixty Minutes, you're not that tough."  Too true.  Lesley Stahl, Kristen Welker, Savannah Guthrie -- nobody would confuse them with Oriana Falacci or Martha Gellhorn.  They were hired (by men) because they're pretty and unthreatening.  Weak, stupid bullies make them appear formidable, like Katie Turek ambushing Sarah Palin by asking what magazines she read.  Vicious. 

Some Trumpanzees showed up and made noise at Joe Biden's drive-in rally in Pennsylvania but he was unruffled, promising to "work as hard for those who don't support me as for those who do, including those chumps at the microphone out there.  Look, that's the job of a president, the duty to care for everyone."  Peace, it's going to be wonderful.  So much boredom we won't be able to stand it.  


Friday, October 23, 2020

It's funny because it's true

 ...and because I need to laugh.  

Much speculation about the weird discolorations appearing all over Mitch McConnell.  Could they be what Trump's Clown Orange No. 5 is designed to conceal?   Is he in fact a giant interstellar cockroach in a McConnell suit?  Why hasn't his campaign come up with some story by now?  Four years ago we were told that Hillary Clinton was dying every time she coughed.  Payback's a mitch.

First sad story:  The Trump campaign got caught using a Facebook ad evidently made in Russia with an actress pretending to be an American doctor and praising Trump for his incredibly brilliant success in developing a covid vaccine (personally, I guess).  To rub in salt, they used stock film of a field in Slovenia.  Even the Russians have lost interest.  They used to be better at this.

Second sad story:  Israel and Sudan have established a framework for normalizing relations -- which is great -- and Trump wants all the credit, which is silly.  So he called in the cameras during a call with Benjamin Netanyahu and begged like the prime minister was Daddy Fred:  "Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi, Sleepy Joe?  Do you think he would have made this deal?  Somehow I don't think so."  Silence.  Then Netanyahu said, "Well, Mr. President, one thing I can tell you is that we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America [my italics] and we appreciate what you've done enormously."  Not quite the fawning Trump had in mind but in front of reporters he couldn't call Bibi a "watermelon head."  It sounds like someone's getting ready to deal with President Biden.

Third sad story:  Now would be a good time to look for a bigger place, New Yorkers, because Trump has declared your city a "ghost town."  Or as a beloved New York figure once put it, "Nobody goes there, it's too crowded."  True, the city lost 24,000 inhabitants to the Trumpandemic, but others will  come to take their places.  It's been that way for centuries.  Soledad O'Brien is always going to have trouble parking on the street.

It's not quite Israel-Sudan but Trump also wants credit for saving Big 10 football.  And possibly for getting John Dillinger.  

Maybe those sharp ads from The Lincoln Project have convinced you that Trump's the aberration in an otherwise sound party.  If so, you should read about Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) who believes his wife has second sight.  She had a dream about "federal squads" coming to confiscate their weapons, water and food, and he decided this was something to share.  This guy's on the Homeland Security Committee and gets classified briefings.  He's also a racist but you knew that.  Sorry, TLP, but it's sociopaths all the way down.

Exhibit B is North Carolina Congressional candidate Madison Cawthorne, whose special dog-whistle is accusing a local reporter of collaborating with Senator Cory Booker to "ruin white males."  Relax, Madison, we had you pegged when you posted your vacation pictures of Berchtesgaden.  Or was that another "syntax error"?

Remember the Minneapolis police precinct that was shot up during last May's protests?  And how Trump needed to send troops to protect the city from Antifa and Black Lives Matter?  He forgot Boogaloo Bois.  For it was one of theirs, Ivan H. Hunter, who drove up from Texas with his AK-47 and is now facing federal charges.  That makes three Boogalosers in custody and unavailable for voter intimidation duty.

Don't look for Alexander Treisman, either.  He was arrested on a charge of possessing child pornography and, we learn, also had big plans for Joe Biden -- the kind that involve assault rifles, explosives and night-vision goggles.  

Even as Pope Francis called for same-sex civil unions -- yes, he's late to the party but it took them five hundred years to admit they were wrong about Galileo -- the US was joining with other outlaw nations in an anti-abortion declaration promoting 1950s-style "family values."  Franklin Graham will be pleased, but it's not going to help Trump convince all those suburban women (and poor Tiffany's many gay friends) that he's on their side.  When your opponent is kicking himself in the chram, Joe -- let him.

Eighty thousand new cases today.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Can I go now?

Remember that great movie The Asphalt Jungle where Marilyn Monroe, playing the mistress of a corrupt lawyer, addresses a policeman as "You big banana-head"?   She also says things like "Yipes!" and addresses her sugar-daddy as "Uncle Lon" because she's young and fairly unsophisticated.  So it was startling when the aged, jaded, ignorant but hardly innocent Trump unveiled his new nickname for Adam Schiff:  "watermelon-head."  But how does he hold it up with a "pencil neck"?  More to the point, when can I open my browser without fear of seeing that swollen, stupid face that looks like an old catcher's mitt dipped in marmalade?  See, my insults are apposite. 

We're all tired of this shit-flinging baboon and his flunkies and his spawn and the trail of slime he leaves.  Everybody's talking today about the commercial that was unveiled last night, "Go From Here."  To be honest, I wasn't sure if Sam Elliott was trying to get me to vote for Joe Biden or buy a Ford truck.  In my head I heard him drawl, "The Dude abides," and I thought, for how long?  Jeff Bridges announced this week that he has lymphoma.

Already on the brink, I saw the video of Biden in Parkland, Florida, after the 2018 terrorist attack.  When the son of a murdered coach, who appears to have Down syndrome, runs over and Biden hugs him -- even now it's hard to write about.  A simple, unplanned human interaction, and it's being passed around social media like a first look at a comet.  This was once unremarkable, people.  And I am not going to Breitbart to see if they're using it as evidence of pedophilia.  Because then I would have to break something.

Oh, the election ratfuckery is reaching a climax like the 1812 Overture.  Robert R. Lynn, registered Republican of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, was busted for requesting an absentee ballot for his dead mother.  People who got their ballots legally and would like to mail them should know that Louis DeJoy, the Harry Daugherty of John Mitchells, ordered all Postal Police to stop protecting the mail and its carriers for the next two weeks.  (You may remember them from the Steve Bannon arrest.)  And those deep state lifers at the DOJ are still working to stop Russian election interference even as the Trumpers howl, "Iran, it's IRAN!"

In the last act of this turkey, we're about to be introduced to a new character, Tony Bobulinski.  More melted cheese from the October nothingburger, would be my prediction.  But while we wait, enjoy this photo of Mitch McConnell turning into a Black man, one section at a time.

So. Very. Tired.


Oranges and lemons

It's time to read Nineteen Eighty-four again.

I started looking for my yellowing Signet paperback when Antifa became a Designated Enemy of the administration last summer.  Antifa -- short for "anti-fascist" -- has launched a thousand tweets and burned the topless towers of Portland, it seems, despite being a descriptive rather than an actual organization.  We're supposed to fear it.  I closed my eyes and remembered that for a brief but eventful period in history, anti-fascism was not just tolerated but official government policy.  Millions of Americans were supplied with weapons and training and sent far away to kill fascists.   Thousands died in the effort.

This did not please the "America First" isolationists who had no problem with fascism and even less, if possible, when the Third Reich invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941.  To them it looked like the right people were being killed.  When Pearl Harbor was bombed, and then Hitler declared war on the United States, they had to swallow their disappointment and pull on their patriot pants.  Anything else would have been bad for business.   The antifa window was open from December 7, 1941, until the German surrender on May 8, 1945.  After that, business as usual.

The House Committee on Un-American Activities had been around since 1938 but after the war it fell into Republican hands.  Americans were supposed to regret their support for "Uncle Joe" Stalin and his evil empire an hour after the war in Europe ended; Hollywood forgot it ever produced propaganda like The Red Star or Mission To Moscow.  For those who refused to erase history there was a stupefying term of art:  "prematurely anti-fascist."  If you marched in a May Day parade in 1938 or went to a meeting or signed a petition, you could renounce your past and denounce your friends or face a blacklist.  Across the ocean, a dying journalist saw what was happening and wrote "Oceania is at war with Eastasia.  Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia."  He invented the terms "Newspeak" and "memory hole" to describe the massive intellectual dishonesty that appalled him.  The enemy is the enemy until he isn't anymore, because the nations with the loudest ideals can abandon them when they become inconvenient.  (Even if they're terrible ideals -- see Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.)

Perhaps only George Orwell could fathom American involvement (what a bland word) in the western parts of Asia.  He wasn't a humorous man but he might have read with a wry smile that US Air Force drones are assisting the Taliban to fight Islamic State in Afghanistan.  Of course it would have to be Afghanistan, where back in the 1980s we helped the mujahideen (and Osama bin Laden) fight invading Soviet forces.  When the Russians left the Taliban took over most of the country, so American troops had to drive them out.  Now, apparently, the Taliban are the good guys because they are fighting Daesh, or ISIS, or whatever their name is today.  And we're helping them!  And Afghan people are still dying, and nobody seems to have a plan.   Terrorism, counterterrorism, counter-counterterrorism, the Great Game has dwindled into tic-tac-toe.   

Note:  The Trumpers want tonight's Nashville free-for-all to concentrate on foreign policy.  I want to hear the words "drone" and "Taliban" at least as frequently as "Ukraine" and "laptop."

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Wednesday winners


This is James Dale Reed, 42, captured on a Ring door camera at 4:30 in the morning.  Reed dropped off a note at a house in Frederick, Maryland, with a Biden/Harris lawn sign.  It read, "This is a warning to anyone reading this letter, if you are a Biden/Harris supporter you will be targeted.  We have a list of homes and addresses by your election signs.  We are the ones with those scary guns.  We are the ones your children have nightmares about..." followed by some threats to sodomize Harris and beat Biden prior to "executing" them on national television.  Some other people with scary guns have now taken custody of Reed because FREE SPEECH FIRST AMENDMENT! apparently cuts no ice when you threaten somebody with a Secret Service detail.  Too bad, James, you should have stopped at "targeting" the homeowner.  Now your children, if any, will have nightmares.  But congratulations, because the Buttermilk Sky Organization has chosen you as its DUMB CRIMINAL OF THE WEEK.  You have a rich fantasy life, James, and we envy it.  Now don't you regret not wearing a mask?

Man from USSR springs "honey trap" on clueless American involving underage girl -- is that how Putin came to own Trump?  It would be irresponsible not to speculate.  Was it the inspiration for "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm," in which the documentarian from Kazakhstan introduces his fifteen-year-old daughter to Rudolph Giuliani?  Who can say?  These October surprises are almost too rich for my arteries.

Overheard in the Great Hall of the People:

President Xi:  I've had it up to here with this Trump clown.  I know, elections, but now he wants us to give him a Three-Gorges-Dam-ton of money because he says we caused the pandemic.

Finance Minister Liu Kun:  Forget it.  Did you see the thing in the Times about how much tax he pays us?  I couldn't believe it, I had to look it up.

Xi:  Oh, right.  All those development deals and I don't see one of his crummy hotels.  So...lunch?

Liu:  I feel like Mexican.  Speaking of which -- some great wall he's built, huh?

Lawyers at the firm Jones Day have donated $90,000 to Biden/Harris and $50 to Trump/Pence.   It's amusing because Jones Day are Trump's lawyers to the tune of $4.5 million since 2019.  How do you say "My client is an asshole" without breaking confidentiality?

In keeping with his "Amtrak Joe" image, and with a nod to Harry Truman in 1948, Joe Biden leased a private train for a tour of Rustbelt states.  I think he likes trains.  But several Republican members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure see this as a dastardly plan to make the Trumpandemic worse.  They think Biden's fancy train will obstruct freight traffic and slow delivery of PPE and other important goods.  Actually, it's Amtrak that's always being shunted aside for freight.  This is not one of those first-world countries with special track dedicated to bullet trains.  Also, did he get a discount?  How much?  They think throwing some money at Amtrak in a time of layoffs due to fewer riders is a disgrace.  Also, Republicans as a species do not like trains and have been trying to kill Amtrak for years, so maybe stop the fake outrage?  Jeez, you guys are dumb.  James Dale Reed dumb.

A dumb Englishman pried a possible Banksy stencil off a wall in Brighton and took it to be valued by an expert on Antiques Roadshow.  No dosh for him.  Banksy has safeguards.  Banksy thought this might happen.

Remember newspapers?  Remember when their endorsements mattered?  To date, two "major" papers have endorsed Trump, and one of them is owned by Sheldon Adelson.  The other is the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.  And speaking of Arkansas, even Trump-mad Mike Huckabee says it's time for Sarah's former boss to get over his Hunter Biden obsession.  

Watching Barack Obama speak in Philadelphia.  Damn, that man could sell me Brussels sprouts.  I hate Brussels sprouts.



Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Good news at last

 Neil deGrasse Tyson says an asteroid the size of a refrigerator may hit the earth on November 2.  "Buzz-cut" is the expression Dr. Tyson uses, which is a little unclear, and it needs a catchier name than 2018VP1.  But this could be the answer to a lot of problems.  Maybe all of them.

The timing is also a little unclear.  The Prophet Robertson said unto his followers this morning that Trump will be re-elected, bringing about the End of Days.  Since every other such prophecy has been wrong for two thousand years, it will be impressive if he's only off by a day.  

The Prophet won't be pleased to learn that Trump is a friend to The Gays, unless he recognizes that claim for the bullshit it is.  At a "Trump Pride" event in Tampa, Tiffany was assigned to assure that people are wrong about her daddy just because he doesn't want trans people in his army.  "It saddens me," she lamented.  "I have friends of mine who reach out and they say how could you support your father, we know your best friends are gay."

No.   No gay friend would let you leave the house like that.

Meanwhile, Daddy continued his charm offensive in Arizona, proclaiming himself  "Superman" when not criticizing Anthony Fauci's pitching ability and singing the praises of Regeneron, which he still thinks is a superdrug.  He's now threatening to crowdsurf, which would kill several MAGAts faster than covid.  The problem is not the overflowing ICUs and spiking infection rate, no, it's covid fatigue.  "They're getting tired of the pandemic.  Tired of the pandemic.  You turn on CNN, that's all they cover...People aren't buying it, CNN, you dumb bastards.  They're not buying it."  If you don't test, you don't find it.  If you ignore it, it goes away.  At least the idiot's consistent. 

Also consistent is his hatred for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which nearly got her killed, and for everyone but the Murdoch Post for laughing at the Hunter Biden laptop follies.  Adam Schiff identified it as Russian propaganda, causing Trump to demand he be "put away."  (Is that worse than "locked up"?)  Several score of former intelligence officials agree.  This laptop, which no one has seen except Rudolph Giuliani after a pizza-and-grappa bender, is now a Holy Grail for idiots, taking any form they need.  Giuliani swears it has pictures of Hunter smoking crack; Ron Johnson (R-DUMB) says it's full of child pornography probably; Glenn Greenwald says Schiff is a liar and besides, Hillary's emails.  I say it's cat pictures from Julian Assange's embassy years.  

Bleach didn't work, why not shoot the coronavirus?  The University of California, Davis, reports that 110,000 Californians have bought guns, supposedly to protect themselves from the coming civil unrest, asteroid, end times, etc.  Masks are cheaper but emasculating.  You can shoot the fires, too!  

Keep watching the skies.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Which side are they on?

This is what happens when a party's platform consists of "Il Duce ha sempre ragione" ("The Leader is always right").  A cult of personality is not a program.  As disaster looms it's every rat for himself.

I've never understood that particular metaphor.  Rats are not stupid and they're not brilliant swimmers.  No way they would leave a sinking ship unless they could get into a lifeboat.  Which is why several prominent Republicans have already staked out places for themselves.  We already met two "moderate" governors who want to have a future on a national ticket.  Charlie Baker says he may not bother voting for president, as if it matters in Massachusetts.  Larry Hogan of Maryland proudly says he voted for Ronald Reagan.  I agree, a decomposing corpse is better than Trump, but is Zombie Reagan entitled to a third term?  If not, the governor may have wasted his vote.

Mitt Romney is counting on Joe Biden being a one-term president and would love to take another shot in 2024, so he's preening as the conscience of politics in general.  Both sides need to stop being so vitriolic and follow his country-first example; after all, he did vote for one of the articles of impeachment, knowing it could not affect the outcome and would only bring him some spittle-covered tweets.  Mitt's a uniter and a healer, if you ignore his contempt for 47 percent of us.

Ben Sasse (R-NE) also has harsh words for the leader he only voted for 87 percent of the time.   Did you know that Trump "regularly sells out our allies" and "kisses dictators' butts"?  Even more shockingly he's "flirted with White supremacists."  Flirted?  Oh, Ben, they've sent out invitations and are picking out a china pattern.  Trump moved on the Nazis like a bitch and they loved it!  Where have you been?  Worrying that supporting a "TV-obsessed narcissistic individual" would alienate women and young people?  Could be.  

Unlike the guys, who aren't up for re-election, Susan Collins is drowning in the rising blue tide.  Her opponent Sara Gideon is raising more money and out-polling her, and she is responding with the tactics of David Perdue and Lindsey Graham, implying that out-of-state (Jewish) money is pouring in and tying her to Chuck Schumer.   (Gideon is of Armenian and Indian ancestry; too bad she doesn't have an unpronounceable name like "Kamala.")   Collins has seldom deviated from the party line but says she just might refuse to support Judge Ofjesse Barrett for the Supreme Court.  Funny, she's had no problem voting to confirm 181 Trump-McConnell judges so far.   And she "regrets" her votes on impeachment because he hasn't learned his lesson after all, so disappointing.  Trump says she's "not worth the work!" and I won't argue.

John Cornyn (R-TX), also up for re-election, compared his relationship with Trump to an abusive marriage, "maybe like a lot of women who...think they're going to change their spouse, and that doesn't usually work out very well."  Which is why divorce was invented, but Cornyn would rather keep covering up the bruises and locking himself in the bathroom when the tweeting begins.  As Pascal said, the heart wants what it wants -- tax cuts, reactionary judges-for-life and no damn Meskins. 

Kim Kardashian says she knew she was risking her reputation by associating with Trump, but it was worth the occasional photo op/tongue bath to get clemency for deserving prisoners.  This is Kim Kardashian we're talking about, famous for no particular achievement, wife of unstable Kanye West, daughter of one of O.J. Simpson's lawyers.  I didn't know she had a reputation.  Also, doesn't it sound like she's positioning herself to advocate for people like Alice Marie Johnson in the next administration?  Like, next year?

Sometimes it's even hard to be sure which side Trump is on.  While still using Anthony Fauci in campaign ads despite his protests, he called the doctor "a disaster" because Americans are "tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots" who want to save them from death (over 220,000 as of today).  He barreled into Nevada to warn voters that Joe Biden will "listen to the scientists" -- the man's a monster.  (No, wait, that's Harris.)  Moreover, "Carson City will become a ghost town and the Christmas season will be cancelled."  Then the Savior of Christmas went to,  I swear I'm not making this up, the International Church of Las Vegas.  Like most of the flock, Trump didn't bother with a mask even though Nevada had clocked 960 new cases of covid the previous day; after all, he's immune.  (It wasn't his first choice, but visiting a successful casino always makes him sad.)  And then it was off to Arizona, where people love it when you slang off an astronaut and his wife who was disabled by a Second Amendment warrior.

George Stephanopoulos questioned RNC chair Ronna McDaniel about QAnon yesterday.  She wouldn't say she condemned it but she did say she dismissed it:  "It's a fringe group.  It's not part of our party."  Uncle Mitt does not agree, but she's probably not speaking to him either.  Families are coming apart everywhere you look -- Caroline Giuliani writes, "The only way to end this nightmare is to vote.  There is hope on the horizon, but we'll only grasp it if we elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris."  Ms. Giuliani must have been mortified to read that Dad took his bullshit Hunter Biden laptop story to the Murdoch Post because no reputable newspaper would touch it.  

Imagine thousands of other families like these.  Maybe Christmas really is cancelled.



Sunday, October 18, 2020


 Jim Williams of Birmingham, Michigan, was in the final stage of cancer but determined to vote.  On September 24, the first day of early voting, he did.  Assisted by his son and daughter-in-law he walked to the box and dropped in his ballot.  Because he died eight days later his vote will not be counted under state law.  Because he voted for Joe Biden, expect accusations of "voter fraud!"  Nevertheless, he persisted.

Postal workers in Scarborough, Maine, have re-assembled one of two high-speed sorting machines dismantled by order of the "postmaster general."  The other was scrapped, but they're back to a 20,000-piece-an-hour capacity.

Absentee voting in North Carolina is especially difficult, as the voter's signature must be witnessed.  As a result, hundreds of ballots are being returned, meaning that in most cases the voter must appear personally at a polling place.  I predict that they will.

In Georgia you can wait up to ten hours to vote, but Adrienne Crowley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "I would have voted all day if I had to."  Not this time, Kemp.

Texas's urban Harris County (Houston) and rural Denton County saw the biggest increase in early voting, as various judges overrule each other on Governor Abbott's attempt to limit each county to one drop-off box.  Meanwhile they're arguing about requiring poll workers to wear masks.  Next:  pants.

Mail service is especially slow on the Navajo Reservation, but Arizona is fighting an extension of the deadline for mail-in ballots, of course.  When the polls close and the fighting begins, there are going to be plenty of lawyers who are up to date on election law, if nothing else.

A company called Midwest Direct was supposed to deliver mail ballots to several Pennsylvania and Ohio counties nearly two weeks ago but is "overwhelmed."  Not to worry, they're "working overtime" and they took down their Trump flag.  Absolutely not affiliated with Diebold Election Systems.

Keep on keeping on.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

A world elsewhere

Lest we forget, large parts of the planet have no particular interest in our problems and concerns of their own.

Jacinda Ardern and her Labor Party won a landslide victory in New Zealand.  Being Trump-trashed doesn't seem to have hurt her at all.  In fact, her handling of the pandemic is being called one reason for her success (only twenty-five people died).   She opened her election night address with what the papers call thirty seconds in "fluent Maori," the language of native New Zealanders.

It's been more than five years since the Charlie Hebdo massacre and Samuel Paty, a history teacher in a Paris suburb, apparently decided his students were ready to learn what all the violence was about.  After telling them they could leave the room if they wished, he showed them a cartoon from the magazine.  The father of a girl who was absent that day made a YouTube video claiming that Paty had insulted the prophet Muhammad and calling other parents to "collective action."  This week Paty was decapitated by an eighteen-year-old asylum seeker who lived in Normandy, who was himself killed by police.  In five years some other teacher will have to decide what to tell the kids about Samuel Paty.

If you think Japan is the land of the future with its scary robots and bullet trains, you'll be reassured (a little) to know they're still fighting to end paperwork.  The new government has taken aim at fax machines, and at the ancient practice of hand-stamping everything.  

Climate change and a bacteria that causes "olive tree leprosy" are devastating Italy's olive oil industry.

Cong Peiwu, China's ambassador to Canada, warned that country not to grant asylum to activists from Hong Kong and basically threatened to hold hostage the 300,000 Canadians who live there.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to back down, saying Canada "will stand up loudly and clearly for human rights all around the world."  Americans felt shame, but we're used to that.

Those badass Canadians have also suspended arms shipments to Turkey, which is using them against the Kurds in Syria.  More shame, as Erdogan is on Trump's "Best Buddies" list.

Saying that "an armed attack on Sweden cannot be ruled out" and citing Russian "aggression in Georgia and Ukraine," the Swedish defense minister Peter Hultqvist proposed a 40 percent increase in military spending.  For the record, the last time Sweden fought Russia was the Finnish War (1808-9).  The Russians won.

Lake Kivu in Africa's Rift Valley has a unique mixture of methane and carbon dioxide in its depths which could be a source of renewable energy for Rwanda.  It could also produce a hell of an explosion as climate change brings more rain to the region, stirring up the lake bottom.

Thousands of Cape fur seal fetuses are being discovered along the coast of Namibia and South Africa.  When food is scarce fur seals will often abort or abandon their young, but seldom on this scale.

Demonstrators in Bangkok and other cities are demanding sweeping reform of Thailand's government and monarchy.  Some of the leaders are communists.  What year is this?

In Lagos, Nigerians continue to protest police brutality and to demand the breakup of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.  The army is about to begin its annual exercise with the sinister name Operation Crocodile Smile, and says it is ready to restore order if necessary.  Also in Nigeria, fourteen soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack on an army base in Jakana.

The wild and crazy guys of the Royal Navy ballistic missile sub HMS Vigilant broke quarantine at Kings Bay Submarine Base in Georgia and went in search of the things sailors go in search of.  More than thirty returned to the boat with covid.  Doesn't anybody get the clap anymore?

Friday, October 16, 2020

It's you I like

I gave up Tunes of Glory on TCM to watch Joe's town hall, but it was worth it -- he pulled two million more viewers than Triumph of the Swill on NBC.   I know, FAKE RATINGS!!!  No gotcha moments or shocking revelations, but I'd already voted anyway.  A trumpista called Mercedes Schlapp thought it would be clever to compare it to "Mister Rodgers [sic] Neighborhood," i.e., boring.  As her boss struggles to win votes there, someone should have told her that Fred Rogers is a Pennsylvania demigod.  

But she's right -- the comparison is stark.  Mister Rogers told children they were safe and loved, and if they didn't feel safe they should "look for the helpers."  He could not have comprehended cruelty for its own sake, taking children already in a strange place away from their parents and forcing them to live in squalid cages.  He was a gentle man but his words for the monsters who do that would not have been gentle.  Nor would he have praised Nazis with tiki torches; the Tree of Life Synagogue is in his Neighborhood.  He told children they were fine just as they were.  They didn't need plastic surgery to make them "beautiful."  They should not have their disabilities mocked by some crude sociopath for the amusement of other sociopaths.  He would not have permitted it.  Schlapp got it.  She just doesn't understand why most of us prefer Misterogers Neighborhood to the the Ministry of Love.

In Misterump's Gated Community it seems to have been the usual shit-flinging madness.  Savannah Guthrie did her best to keep him tethered to reality but straight answers were scarce, even the yes-no "Were you tested for covid before the first debate?"  She gave him every opportunity to move even a few inches from QAnon but he wouldn't grab the lifeline:  "I do know they are very much against pedophilia," he said, implying that Democrats are wildly in favor of it.  They admire him and that's enough, and when he re-tweets their imbecilities he's just doing us a favor because the Lying Media won't.  Intellectual freedom!  

Savannah Guthrie was the designated Nasty Woman at hate rodeos in Florida and Georgia but she wasn't the only one.  David Perdue (R-GA) had a ton of trouble pronouncing Senator Harris's name:  "Ka-MA-la, Ka-MA-la, or Kamala, Kamala, -mala, -mala, I don't know, whatever."  If only she had a normal American white-lady name like Melania or Ivanka.  Perdue -- that's French for "loser," ain't it?

Does any of this help people to make up their minds when they get in front of a ballot?  Who knows?  Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, says he wrote in Ronald Reagan.  Hogan wants the presidential nomination of what's left of his party in 2024, so you might expect him to have more sense.  Of course, he also campaigned for Susan Collins, who donated to a couple of Qrackpots running for the Maine legislature.  We'll have to start calling you Suzy-Q, Senator.  

Today's number is eight million.  That's how many Americans have been diagnosed with covid.  It's also the number of Americans who have fallen into poverty as a result of the Trumpandemic, according to a study by researchers from Notre Dame and the University of Chicago.  Not to worry, Trump says covid will "peter out," telling Floridians, "We are rounding the turn.  I say that all the time."  Yes, he does, although yesterday saw the highest one-day increase since August.   Keep saying it.  See what happens.  

Hours after Twitter-screaming at California to "VOTE FOR TRUMP," he denied the state's request for federal disaster assistance, then changed his mind after calls from Kevin McCarthy and Gavin Newsom, presumably with tears in their voices.  They were properly grateful.

Ha!  Joni Ernst doesn't know the price of soybeans.

State Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) knows what causes "inner city" obesity:  fried chicken.  He has many other equally thoughtful opinions about health.

Forgetting that he was still in Florida, Trump suddenly began ranting that Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota hates Israel and "married her brother."  This is a favorite trope of the right, so it probably was not caused by his course of experimental drugs.   We won't know for sure until the necropsy.

Then he re-tweeted a story from a "Christian satire site" called The Babylon Bee, unaware that it was satire.   I often lament not having been born rich or attractive, but at least I was born with a sense of humor, and these days that's everything.  Poor clueless Donald.  

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Wanted: New Material

 I have probably observed before that only two things of significance ever happened in Iowa:  Bix Beiderbecke was born there and Cary Grant died there.  So when Trump threatened never to return if he fails to win the state, it wasn't much of a sacrifice.  There may be a soybean museum, I haven't checked.

I'm almost tempted to say  "I'll have what he's having," because the pharma cocktail they're pouring into Trump has made him as manic as 1980s Robin Williams.  In Johnstown, Pennsylvania, he threatened to kiss everyone (in a super-hetero manly way, of course) because he is now "immune" to covid.  He made the same proposition in Sanford, Florida.  In North Carolina he roused the patriots with an empty promise to give flag-burners a year in prison.  Lawn signs, police stations, California, plenty of things are burning but I haven't heard of anyone burning a flag in years. (Yeah, but what about those draft-card-burning hippies?)  He boasted about making Mark Meadows share his helicopter and contract coronavirus as if it was an honor;  for all I know, Meadows agrees.  His latest schtick involves tossing face masks at the mob, but no one will say if he infects all of them with Official Donald J. Trump Coronavirus first.  

Trump has expressed admiration for the way President Duterte of the Philippines deals with suspected drug dealers, by having them shot on sight.  So it was no surprise when he more or less took credit for the US Marshal's Service's "summary execution" of Michael Reinoehl, "admitted Antifa member," in Portland.  "They knew who he was, they didn't want to arrest him, and fifteen minutes, that ended."  So long, due process, it's been good to know you. 

The steroid-and-stem-cell julep appears to have stripped the last bits of reasoning capacity from the Stable Jenius.  He told the Tarheel Trumpanzees that Mother Hubbard's evasive and dishonest answers prove "she's toying with those Democrat, evil people."  Evil!  Picking on poor Amy just because a nominee to the Supreme Court apparently never heard of the First Amendment.  He compared himself to Jesus, who just edges him out in popularity -- careful, Donzo, remember what happened to John Lennon.  And -- this is just sad -- he launched a desperate tweet at California:   "VOTE FOR TRUMP, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE!!!"  

Sad because California probably has a majority of the nation's Asian American voters, and this was the day some staffer "accidentally" sent YouTube a video of funnyman Rudolph Giuliani doing his  "Chinaman" routine.  Not helping, Rudolph, but I'd like to buy that staffer a beer.  

We keep being promised an October surprise, but it's always more hate hash.  Giuliani and the deeply reliable Murdoch Post cooked up a variation on the Burisma story where Hunter Biden's laptop turned up on Funk and Wagnall's porch or something, but it went nowhere.  Tara Reade resurfaced with a self-published book about her claim to have been groped by Joe Biden, but even Amazon isn't selling it despite outraged shouting on Fox News.   And Trump still thinks it's 2016, telling Greenville MAGAts that "the glass ceiling broke her," Hillary of course.  I can't understand why the suburban women aren't falling at his feet.   

But the free press and the news media will save us, right?  Trump was afraid to debate Biden again because he can't stand to be in a room where even one person doesn't praise him and that's how a debate works.  So he wheedled NBC into giving his broke-ass campaign a free hour-long "town hall" tonight at exactly the same hour Biden's is on ABC.  Then he insulted the sucker -- uh, Peacock network, explaining the joke because they're pretty slow in North Carolina:  "So I'm doing this town hall with Concast -- C-O-N, right?  Con, because it's a con job."  NBC is getting it from both sides just because they're supine ratings whores who used to make money from his "reality" show.  Trump doesn't care how many Americans die but he's obsessed with ratings.  Vote with your remote.  (There's talk of an NBC boycott but I've always been able to do without "American Ninja Warrior" and "Ellen's Game of Games" anyway.)

This just in:  We can all relax because China is paying for the coronavirus relief package.  Guess who said so.

Back away slowly.  Do not make eye contact.