Friday, February 26, 2021

Lady Gaga's bulldogs

 Is anyone surprised that a dognapping, however violent, has to be investigated by the FBI?  Two men jumped out of a car in Los Angeles and shot Ryan Fischer four times as he was walking Lady Gaga's French bulldogs on Wednesday night.  They got away with two dogs; one escaped.  The feds are involved because of a report that the singer was targeted after she performed at Joe Biden's inauguration last month.  

If that seems far-fetched, try this:  Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told a House subcommittee, "We know that members of the militia groups that were present on January 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible" when Biden addresses a joint session of Congress in the coming weeks.  I give this Guido Fawkes fantasy a big "C'mon, man," but I understand why it has to be taken seriously.  To kill everyone they hate the Trumpanzees would cheerfully sacrifice Hawley, Greene, Boebert, Gohmert, Ron Johnson, Jordan, Paul, Scalise, Cruz, Gaetz, Gosar, both Scotts, Nunes, Blackburn, Graham, Kennedy and two-thirds of the Supreme Court.  Martyrs to be worshiped like the Golden Idol.

You haven't?   Permit me:


  I have trouble believing this is an authentic feature of CrapPAC, since one of the men is wearing a mask.  (Boo!  Freedom!)  Also the hair appears to be based on Conway Twitty c. 1959.  And what about those flip-flops?

I guess we'll know if they pray to it.

A report from the Director of National Intelligence says Mohammad bin Salman approved the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.  But you knew that.

The Senate parliamentarian has decided that the minimum wage can't be increased to a paltry $15 as part of the covid relief bill.  See if I vote for her again.

Matt Gaetz is in Orlando bewailing the real crisis facing America, the neutering of Mr. Potato Head (the toy, not the governor of Florida).

Self-board-certified ophthlamologist Rand Paul is also a self-certified expert on transgender medicine.  His bigotry knowledge was on display as he questioned assistant HHS secretary nominee Rachel Levine.  Rand has not read anything longer than an eye chart since he finished Atlas Shrugged.

In a conference call with health leaders, Queen Elizabeth urged Britons to get a covid shot.  Of course she would say that, she's queen of the lizard people!

This one keeps getting better:  the police reviewed South Dakota AG Jason Ravensborg's phone records and discovered he was engrossed in a Washington Times conspiracy theory about Joe and Hunter Biden when he smashed into and killed Joseph Boever.  It's not hit-and-run if you have to get right home and finish the article, then share it with your email list.  Priorities.

I hope the bulldogs are all right.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Half-staffed Thursday

By the time you read this we may be at war with Italy.  The New York Times published a recipe for pasta carbonara which calls for bacon instead of guanciale, parmesan instead of pecorino, and -- wait for it -- tomatoes.  Have they forgotten the French recipe from 2016 with its onions and creme fraiche?  It nearly broke up the European Union before British crackpots had a chance to.  Per Bacco, don't mess with the carbonara.

The trouble with symbolic language is that it's often non-specific.  For example, lowering flags to half-staff as a mark of respect for someone who is dead.  Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered American flags in Florida lowered for dead Florida asshole Rush Limbaugh, and numerous state officials responded NO DAMN WAY.  Mayor Rick Kriseman of St. Petersburg is one of them; he has, however, lowered his flags in honor of Deputy Michael Magli, who was killed in the line of duty while pursuing a drunk driver.  To add to the confusion, President Biden ordered flags to half-staff for five days in memory of the over 500,000 Americans lost to coronavirus.  So if you're driving through Florida and you see flags at half-staff, it means whatever you want it to mean.

More flag news out of Harrisburg, where Pennsylvania lieutenant governor John Fetterman is defying the legislature and displaying the Rainbow, Trans Pride and Legalize Weed flags outside his office.  He promises to take them down as soon as the Republican-controlled leg. passes anti-discrimination laws and legalizes marijuana, so I assume they'll get right on it.  Or impeach him.  Either way, Fetterman is running for the Senate next year.  I wish he lived in West Virginia.

There's an LGBTQ Equality Act pending in the House and one of its supporters is Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL), whose daughter is transgender.  After speaking in favor of the bill she placed a Trans Pride flag in front of her office.  Unfortunately her neighbor is Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-QAnon), who popped out of her lair in one of the low-cut outfits she now favors and posted a sign that said "There are Two genders:  MALE & FEMALE.  'Trust the Science!'"  The "science" she references is of course a compendium of Bronze Age superstitions known as The Bible.  The even earlier Epic of Gilgamesh is much wiser about death, sexuality and barmaids, and a lot shorter.

I don't know what sort of flag Riley June Williams pledges allegiance to.  The 22-year-old currently in her mother's custody after invading the Capitol in the abortive coup of January 6 bragged about her trophy, a laptop from the Speaker's office (or as she put it, "STOLE SHITT FROM NANCY POLESI") and had an idea about passing it to Russian intelligence.  Now we have video of her prancing about her bedroom endorsing "Accellerationism" and yelling "Heil Hitler" while throwing a fascist salute.  "Accellerationism" believes American society is near collapse and needs only a nudge from racist terrorism like the Tree of Life massacre.  This is where it gets complicated.  Putin is a fascist and disciple of Ivan Ilyin, but "fascist" is a term of abuse in Russia frequently hurled at Ukraine, NATO and just about any other opponent, a holdover from the Great Patriotic War (1941-45).  Williams knows a fascist when she sees one, but could Putin accept stolen intelligence (assuming she had any) from someone who shouts "Heil Hitler"?  Quite a predicament.  The fascism, the hatred of America, the love of violence at someone else's expense -- got it!  A Trump flag.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021


To overwhelm or bewilder, as with magnitude, complexity or strangeness (

What boggles Anthony Fauci about covid-19?  The ease of contagion, the array of symptoms, the rapidity of viral mutation, the still-mysterious origins, the lingering after-effects for many people?  Nope.  It's "how reality can just be put aside in denying the seriousness of the situation we are in."   I've lived through SARS and H1N1 and AIDS and various kinds of "regular" flu.  I've read about pandemics from "Spanish flu" to the Black Death.  Nobody knew what caused them but neither did anyone dismiss them as hoaxes.  I'm sure there was plenty of denial -- "I'm fine, I have a cold, I'll be back at work in the morning" -- but not a completely fractured reality.  The dead are pretending?  The doctors exaggerate the numbers for a cash prize?  The vaccine is worse than the disease?  Intellectual dysfunction on that scale should doom us as a species.  If we can't agree on what's right in front of us, how can we agree on anything else?  It's a conspiracy, all right, and its aim is to make everyone as crazy as an anti-vaxxer who keeps expecting some Q event to execute all the lizard people.

What boggles me?  Lots of stuff.  Like why do I keep seeing commercials for funeral directors?  Don't they have more business than they can handle?  Wouldn't it make sense to use those advertising dollars to hire more embalmers?  Or those people who apply cosmetics to the dead, a job I could never do and,  if my father was anything to go by, doesn't do the dead any favors either.  I understood why my mother insisted on a closed casket.  I also had no wish ever to re-read The Loved One.  I'm getting cremated.

Has anyone considered the possibility that Ron Johnson is an Antifa sleeper, assigned to make Republicans look like morons?  They're cunning like that.

America can never have enough right-wing media, apparently, but Al Jazeera?  Former Fox Newser Scott Norvell launches Rightly (how much thought went into that?) tomorrow for "Republicans who feel left out of mainstream media."  Al Jazeera is funded by Qatar, which did who-knows-what to secure next year's World Cup, so maybe they want the 2024 Republican National Convention to be held in Doha.

Is there a way to block your phone so that even in a moment of stress you don't unthinkingly call 911?  Angelo Quinto, a thirty-year-old Navy veteran, was having a psychological crisis at home in Antioch, California, so his sister called the police.  They came over and knelt on his neck until he died.  This happened in December.  Yesterday we learned that the Rochester, NY, police who restrained Daniel Prude and put a hood over his head will not be charged in his death because he had a small amount of PCP in his system.  St. Paul and Minneapolis are being fortified by National Guard two weeks ahead of the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.  If America's police are not prepared to abandon this particular type of informal execution, perhaps they could occasionally kneel on the carotid of a white thug in a MAGA hat?  

What could you do that is so awful, even Kristi Noem thinks you should quit?  Hit someone with your car so hard that his bloody faceprint is on your windshield and his glasses are in the front seat, then drive home and lie about it.  That's what South Dakota attorney general Jason Ravnsborg did last September.  But he's not resigning, he says, and anyway he's only charged with three misdemeanors, not vehicular homicide or anything.  Will the rest of the Borg come to his assistance?  Speculation is irrelevant.

She's got three passports, couple of visas, you don't even know her real name -- oh, wait, it's Ghislaine Maxwell.  She's tired of living in the no-rent part of Brooklyn (the federal lockup) and says she'll turn in her French and British passports if granted bail.  Could there be other passports?  Gallic shrug.

Liz Cheney says it's important "for us as Republicans to make clear that we aren't the party of white supremacy."  Will she be the first member of Congress to be censured twice?   It's not as impressive as being impeached twice but you get in the record books any way you can.

Slammed by the pandemic, the Metropolitan Museum of Art may have to sell some artwork.  I've had my eye on this Hokusai landscape for years...

Let's talk.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Reprehensible views


The Conservative Political Insurrection Conference, which is all about the free speech, felt it necessary to explain that Young Pharaoh's "reprehensible views" got him cancelled, like "all the censorship & pedophilia on social media is being done by Israeli Jews."  Otherwise, they might be accused of racism.  Apparently they had no idea he was an anti-Semite when they booked him; it was brought to their attention by Media Matters.  As long as Mr. Pharaoh confined himself to conspiracy theories about vaccines and Hillary Clinton, no problem.  Good to know there's still a red line.

Christopher Pekny, 28, was killed and his brother Michael, 27, seriously injured while rigging a bomb in a garage in Liberty, NY.  Oaf Keepers?  Babaloo Bois?  No, they were preparing for a gender reveal party, a custom mercifully dormant during the worst of the pandemic. Americans are getting back to normal, as dumb as ever.

Ted Cruz is no longer blaming his young daughters for his bad judgment.  He has reverted to a favorite target, the media, casting about for something to criticize now that Trump is mostly gone from our lives and screens.  Ted had some advice:  "Don't be assholes.  Just, you know, treat each other as human beings, have to some degree some modicum of respect."  Then he went back to work, questioning Merrick Garland about something Eric Holder did in 2012.

Jim Jordan will be the next to demand better treatment as George Clooney begins producing a documentary about the sexual abuse scandal at Ohio State, when Jordan was a wrestling coach there.  Sports Illustrated called it "the most widespread sexual abuse scandal in the history of American higher education."  If I were Hunter Biden I'd arrange to be on a retreat in the Himalayas when this is released.

Michael Cohen has presumably seen Trump's tax records, and he suggests his former client think about "getting a custom made jumpsuit."  He hasn't been wrong so far, apart from signing on with Trump in the first place, but why should prison garb fit better than his suits from the Homer Simpson collection?

His name is Ron Johnson, he comes from Wisconsin, and he uncorked a ton of gaslighting at today's hearing about the abortive coup of January 6:  It was "leftist agitators" and "antifa" using a crowd of peaceful patriots singing "We Shall Overcome" as cover for their dastardly attack.  He may actually believe this.  He won "Stupidest Senator" every year until Alabama sent up Tommy Tupperware.

Did you know that Facebook  has an Oversight Board?  And that Trump is begging them, with tears in his eyes despite being "Mr. Man" (Limbaugh's term), to be let back on?  If they don't he'll have another grievance to air at CPAC.  Attendees should bring power bars and urine bags -- this could take a while.

Snowflake isn't doing badly compared to these poor strays in Dzerzhinsk, Russia, near an abandoned chemical plant.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Starting the week with a bang

In the wake of the Apu crisis, Harry Shearer will no longer voice Dr. Hibbert on The Simpsons.  He will be replaced by a Black voice-over artist named Kevin Michael Richardson.  Since the character is clearly based on Dr. Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show I'm surprised he wasn't quietly dropped years ago, but there you are.  Now all they need is a closeted gay man to voice Smithers.

Since the lockdown began last year, pundits phoning in their commentary have usually positioned themselves in front of bookshelves.  Anyway, I haven't seen any tropical fish or drive-in-size TV screens.  So Junior Trump decided to shake things up by posing in front of his gun collection for an attack (verbal) on teachers' unions.  Not to be outdone in the competition for daddy's love, Eric explained that the Texas weather disaster was caused by two months of Biden policies and not Texas's decision to start its own power grid in 1970.  Because he's real smart.  

Not as smart as Meghan McCain who, although she's a front-line worker at The View, is outraged that she still hasn't been able to get a covid vaccine.  She wants Dr. Anthony Fauci, who's been running the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, replaced with "maybe someone who does understand science."  Congratulations, Meghan, you're our Karen of the day.  But you still can't go to the front of the vaccine line.

The evening news reported again about the United flight that lost an engine over Colorado and made an emergency landing on Saturday.  Surprisingly, they ignored a similar story out of Europe:  A Boeing 747 cargo plane lost an engine after taking off from Maastricht in the Netherlands and had to land in Liege, Belgium; falling debris injured a woman on the ground.  If it doesn't involve Americans, it didn't happen.  

Texas police have been especially busy, as you might expect, but they still found time to arrest a Black man in Plano who was walking home in the snow.  Rodney Reese was charged with being a pedestrian in the roadway; the charge was dropped and he is still alive.  Turns out there really is a law against walking while Black.

Has Mike Pence been radicalized?  He turned down an invitation to CPAC, moved to Orlando for the convenience of its star, the president-in-exile.  There are murmurs that he doesn't care to speak from the same stage as the man who painted a target on his back last month.  We'll know if he shows up at a fund-raiser for AOC, I guess.  CPAC also booked and then un-booked "Philosopher Scholar Musician" Young Pharaoh.  He has many interesting views about Q and vaccines, but it looks like his anti-Semitism got him -- what's the word?  cancelled.  Never mind, Trump has had over a month to store up rage and bile like a constipated muskrat.  He can go all weekend.  Expect at least an hour on the "so-called Supreme Court" alone.

Well-known punchline Ted Cruz shared pictures of himself distributing bottled water to some of the 14 million Texans who have no clean water.  He expected to be savaged by John Oliver and SNL.  It was the mariachi band in front of his house that pushed him over the edge.


Sunday, February 21, 2021


 Twitter is boring.  Ever since Trump was banned from quit the site, nobody goes there anymore.  He said so.  Joe Biden has a Twitter account but he uses it to wish people a happy lunar new year and express concern for Americans coping with natural disasters and stuff like that -- who cares?  Not a single message from the White House predicting the imminent demise of the New York Times or threatening to annihilate everyone in North Korea or warning the world about windmill cancer.  B-O-R-R-I-N-G.

So the Trumpites are heroically stepping into the social media breech to keep us from dying of ennui.  On Friday, something called Newsmax brought us something called Greg Kelly complaining that the Bidens' dog Champ looks like he's "not well cared for" -- in fact, "from the junkyard."  An insult to the dignity of the house where mice were falling out of the ceiling not long ago, and Trump was serving Big Macs in the original Styrofoam.  According to Google, Champ is twelve years old.  Until a few months ago he lived in a shelter, which is basically canine death row.  And like men who are exonerated and released from prison after decades (and always seem to be African American for some reason) he's a little disoriented.  His friend Major is still teaching him not to bark at the Secret Service and not to flinch when people take his picture.  He doesn't know he's being used by humans like Greg Kelly to distract from the plight of dogs with uncaring owners, like Snowflake Cruz.

I am also learning not to flinch, when the newsreader says "the President" or when a graphic of a tweet appears.  It's wonderful to be bored instead of nauseated.  I know I won't see a grotesque clown snogging a flag or praising a dictator.  When Joe Biden re-introduced us to the world last week, I think my tail wagged a little.  I love the sound of crickets.


Friday, February 19, 2021

Random acts

 I have learned not to depend upon the kindness of strangers, but sometimes they come through -- if only to make us happy by behaving so ridiculously that we laugh in spite of ourselves.

Here, for instance, is Senator Chuck Grassley (87 and it's relevant) paying tribute to the man who taught a generation to hate:  "Sad abt Rush Limbaugh's death he was a gr8 American patriot who really helped the conservative cause & will hv a decades long impact on the movement I kno listeners will miss him gr8ly"

What amused you more, the notion of the gross, foul-mouthed OxyContin addict as a patriot or the attempt of Grandpa Chuck to write in hip-hop?  Look, there's nothing wrong with preferring Glenn Miller to Lil Wayne but who does he think he's fooling?  Iowans?

In less than a week Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has raised more than $2 million for organizations providing water, food and shelter for Texans.  As Trump would say -- probably is saying -- "I don't get it.  What's in it for her?"  Nothing.  She will continue to be Satan's personal representative for most Texas politicians and maybe even most Texans.  Unlike Beto O'Rourke, who has organized people to check on the welfare of thousands of seniors, she is never going to run for office in Texas.  It's just the right thing to do for people burdened with "leaders" like Tim Boyd and Rick Perry.  

We're back!  That was Joe Biden's teleconference message to the G7 and Munich Security Conference today.  And we're sorry about the last four years, an aberration resulting from our weird, undemocratic method of electing presidents.  We're back in the Paris Climate Accords, in the World Health Organization, and open to talking with Iran about enriched uranium and other subjects.  Once again, sorry.  Please come visit us when this pandemic ebbs, Muslim-majority countries.  Have you seen the Grand Canyon?

Chef Bill Williamson, who used to work at the Trump Trivago Hotel in Washington, has come forward to amuse us with a story about how Trump once griped that his steak was not as big as his dinner companion's.  I'm surprised he didn't fire Williamson on the spot.  When you order your steak "incinerated" it tends to shrink, President Escoffier.

Air Force General Jacqueline Van Ovost and Army Lt. General Laura Richardson are getting the promotions they should have had last year.  The Secretary of Defense and Chairman Milley held them up because they feared (i.e., knew damn well) that Trump would throw a tantrum because he hates women.  They will be recommended by Secretary Lloyd Austin for a fourth star and new commands next week.  Because Biden is not afraid of women.

Texas being Texas, Ted Cruz will probably survive Cancungate, but he will never be forgiven for leaving the family's poodle Snowflake behind in the house his wife described as "FREEZING."  Never.  Remember what happened to Mitt Romney when he made his dog ride on top of the car?



(Is that a mezuzah?)


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Everyone onstage for the Hawaiian number!

Some people have electricity but no water, some people have water but no heat, some people have run out of food, hundreds of communities are totally unprepared to deal with snow and ice on the roads, so Senator Ted Cruz did what any Texan who can afford it would do.  He gathered his family and flew to Cancun, Mexico, where it's 85F.  And he got rumbled and had to sneak back into the country.  In coach.  The horror.  The Family Cruz also required a police escort to Bush airport, because the Houston PD had nothing else to do.

Calgary Ted isn't even the worst person in Texas.  That would have to be Rick Perry.  You may remember him as the Secretary of Energy who didn't know what his department did, a qualification he shared with most of the Trump cabinet.  "Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business," he asserted on Kevin McCarthy's blog.  I was shocked -- Kevin McCarthy has a blog?  Wait till Texans get power back and can use their computers for something other than emergency information.  Meanwhile, FEMA is bringing generators and water for those who don't mind having the federal government in their business as an alternative to death.

Gallery Furniture in Houston has opened as a warming center/shelter.  Joel Osteen's MAGAchurch, not so much.

Unnoticed amid the weather news, covid-19 deaths passed 500,000.  America has a one-track mind. 

Geneticists at the Institute for Having Fuck-all Else To Do have sequenced DNA from a mammoth that lived in Siberia a million years ago, more or less.

Anne Sacoolas, sought in the UK for killing Harry Dunn while driving on the wrong (i.e. right) side of the road, now wants to enter "mediation" with his family.  She probably thinks this administration won't be as sympathetic to her claim of diplomatic immunity as the last one.

Walmart is raising the pay of 425,000 "associates" (shelf stockers).  Kroger, which is also racking up record profits during the pandemic, continues to announce layoffs.  This time they're closing two stores in Seattle because of a new law requiring "hazard pay" for frontline workers.  And Amazon is fighting unionization like it's 1892 in Homestead, Pa.  They even got a traffic light re-timed to make it harder to canvass workers stopped at the corner.  That's way too much power.

Dolly Parton, who twice declined a Medal of Freedom from Trump, has told the Tennessee legislature she'd rather not have her statue in the state capitol.  I'd like to think she's as appalled as I am about their new "father's rights" bill giving men the right to prevent an abortion even if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.  But she's not saying.

UPDATE:  Ted Cruz has managed to make it even worse, blaming his daughters (age 12 and 10) for demanding he take them to Cancun.  He wanted to be "a good dad."  Being a good public official was already out of the question.  At Esquire Jack Holmes wonders why he didn't have the sense to fly on a private jet, and whether it really matters in a political culture bereft of shame.

When Nancy Pelosi put Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, the hero of post-Katrina New Orleans, in charge of making security recommendations for the Capitol, she may have been secretly hoping he'd say the things she's too refined to say.  He has.  On Twitter he called Josh Hawley "a little piece of shit who should be run out of DC and disbarred."  Tucker Carlson clutched his pearls so hard the string broke and they bounced all over the studio like frozen peas in a lousy Swanson TV dinner.  When pistol-packin' Lauren Boebert declined to be searched by Capitol police the general observed, "Put her stupid ass on the no-fly list."  "This is like putting Joy Reid in charge of security, this is insane," gasped Tuckie (they're both Black, see?).  I can't wait to read his other recommendations, and I can't wait for the Speaker to put them in practice. 

I know everyone is breathless about the 2024 elections, the prelude to which was played last November 8.  Nikki Haley made the mistake of saying Trump "let us down" before trying to get an audience with the once and future king.  It appears that he's lost her number.  Ah, what might have been...

"Why, thank you, Mr. President.  As soon as that photographer leaves I'll get them out."

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Smash Wednesday

I just watched the demolition of the El Trumpo Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.  I've never heard sustained cheering for a planned implosion before.

If you gave up drinking for Lent you may be kicking yourself right now, as word comes of the long-anticipated death of Rush Limbaugh.  He was 70, which is 164 in reptile years.  To paraphrase Bette Davis, "You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good.  Rush Limbaugh is dead.  Good."

Texas has frozen over.  I have deep compassion for the state's many good people, whose suffering is made worse by the incompetence and blame-hurling of their politicians.  Unwilling to excoriate the Christian god, Governor Greg Abbott is blaming his state's lack of preparedness on the "Green New Deal" and its proponents, especially Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  A glance at the numbers shows this to be vicious nonsense, literally politicizing the state's failure to regulate just about everything.  The sun is shining and the wind is blowing, while refineries all over the state are closed for lack of power and water.  And I'm trying not to remember the 1970s oil crisis, when Texas cars sprouted bumper stickers that said "LET 'EM FREEZE IN THE DARK."  That meant us Yankees.  Fuck you, Abbott, but I hope your people survive, even the ones who voted for you.

Oh, and the first chucklehead who says "What global warming, look at all the snow, hur hur" will feel my size-nine boot up his trumpward end.

Abbott voters are not the only ones feeling like mutts right now.  The residents of Colorado City were chatting on Facebook about the possibility of warming centers being opened when Mayor Tim Boyd got tired of their whining and posted a uniquely-spelled letter that climaxed with "Only the strong will survive and the weak will perish."  It's all the fault of their "raising."  He may not be mayor anymore (the Dallas Morning News wasn't sure), but that doesn't mean he won't get re-elected.  Forget it, Jake, it's Texas. 

The aristocracy of white privilege mingled with the proles on 1/6.  L. Brent Bozell IV, known to his entourage as "Zeeker," has been charged with "obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct," which makes sedition sound like putting a horse in the dean's office.  I doubt he'll do any time but what would Great-Uncle Wm. F. Buckley, Jr., say?  Something pompous, I expect, although he could express himself in one-syllable words when provoked by Gore Vidal.

We've got a peach of a Florida Man story, or rather Men.  Two guys checked into the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort and began flashing fake credentials (including "U.S. Marshal" and "Cherokee Nation Marshal") and threatening people with arrest.  Were they after free rooms, or an upgrade, or exclusive use of the pool?  No, they just didn't want to wear masks.  And now they're under arrest.

So Mitch McConnell voted no on impeachment and then he got up in the Senate (where he used to be a big shot) and made a speech saying Trump was "practically and morally responsible" for the 1/6 terror attack.  So then Trump, who is still banned from all semi-respectable social media, put out a statement calling McConnell "a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack" who "begged" for his help to be elected to his eighth term in the Senate.  So then Lindsey Graham went on Hannity and said McConnell was "indispensable to Donald Trump's success,"  by which he meant losing the popular vote in two consecutive elections, I guess.  Right now Lindsey is a lapdog without a lap and is apparently hoping McConnell will adopt him and scratch his ears the way John McCain and Trump did.  It is all highly entertaining, too much for such a solemn day.  I will now do penance by reading T.S. Eliot's "Ash Wednesday."

Who wants to close by joining me in a chorus of "Round and around Limbaugh's grave"?  If you don't know the melody, Pete Seeger will teach you. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Terrible swift nerf bat

 "The idea that democracy is the best antidote to terrorism has enjoyed widespread acceptance recently.  This is too simplistic.  Terrorism has occurred in democracies the world over.  Terrorism is employed by minorities.  (If they were not in a minority, they would not need to resort to terrorism.)  To be a permanent minority within a democracy can be a frustrating position, and unless democracies can demonstrate that they provide not only a nonviolent means of expressing dissent but also a nonviolent means of redressing the grievances of minorities, they are unlikely to be an acceptable substitute."  (Louise Richardson, What Terrorists Want, 2006)

"Is there anyone who doubts he'd do it again if he could?"  (Steven Beschloss)

There's nothing like a murderous, seditious mob of white people to reveal that American judges are a bunch of softies.  Enjoy your Mexican vacation/gluten-free organic tapas/no-bail release into the custody of Mommy!  Middle-class white people are inherently trustworthy, unlike that Latino kid picked up with a bag of weed.  Judges are in the law enforcement business, so there was no reason to think a bunch of Republican senators, who are in the insider-trading/fund-raising/clinging to power business, would do any better.  I was amazed that a handful remembered the sphincter-clenching fear they must have experienced on 1/6 long enough to vote for conviction.  And they're all paying for it now, being scolded ("censured") by state parties and getting death threats from constituents.  

At this point the Republicans are a disaffected minority as defined by Professor Richardson, angry, frustrated, and surviving by the grace of the Electoral College and the district fiddling named for Elbridge Gerry.  Their base of uneducated, resentful white people will be a demographic minority in a few decades; in some places it already is.  There isn't a Republican-controlled legislature that isn't considering vote suppression laws undreamed of since 1964.  It would be remarkable if they didn't turn to terrorism.  Nancy Pelosi wants a "9/11-style commission" to study the Trump coup attempt, as if its origins were as secret as an al-Qaeda strategy meeting.  We know who did it, we know why.  Let's not waste months Benghazi-ing this.   Only short trials and long prison terms will prevent the next one.

I continue to be puzzled by the lack of response from the country's many powerful police unions.  One officer murdered, two others driven to suicide, over 140 injured -- it usually takes a lot less to get them outraged.  They can't all be busy sharing racist Valentines.   That they are makes me wonder if the Blue Line will stand against the Red Hat mob next time, or join in.  There is no point pretending that the Rightzis have learned anything from this, because they never do.  Force has to be applied.  


Friday, February 12, 2021

Year of the Ox

The First Lady just tweeted Lunar New Year greetings.  Am I awake?

Dr. Biden also decorated the White House lawn with hearts for Valentine Day.  Is she being mocked by the Rightzis?  What do you think?

Never mind the Speaker's laptop -- all it contained was one of those boring Powerpoint presentations.  Yesterday we found out there's a second "nuclear football" in the possession of the Vice President, or there was on 1/6.  Infinitely more interesting to whoever Riley June passed it to, had she and her friends dragged it away from the Air Force officer who carried it.  Why was this thing in Pence's proximity?  Maybe because Trump's covid was worse than reported, including significant lung damage.  Not enough to prevent him fomenting seditious mobs, unfortunately.

Josh Hawley's wife Erin wrote an account of the terrifying candlelight vigil held by twenty people outside her house in Vienna, Virginia, complete with baby in arms and husband far away.  The Vienna police say there was no evidence of property damage or trespass, but it's still frightening:  Josh Hawley has reproduced.

A grand jury in Buffalo refused to indict the police who shoved Martin Gugino down and fractured his skull last summer.  This proves that there is no systemic racial bias in the criminal justice system.  He got as much justice as Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown and Alton Sterling, apart from not being dead.

As Republican Senators cuddle up a little closer, Nikki Haley opened her 2024 presidential campaign by trying to distance herself from her "friend" Trump.  "He let us down," she told Politico, because apparently she expected more from him, like competence and legality.  

After a decade down here I knew Southerns can't drive on ice but come on, man -- ONE HUNDRED THIRTY VEHICLES?  When this happens in a Blues Brothers movie, nobody dies or even gets hurt.  Fort Worth, you need to purchase a substance called "rock salt."

Can we all agree that Gorilla Glue lives up to its name?  Shit is strong.  Don't put it in your hair.   Don't put it on your face.  If you must clown it up for the social media, please resume dumping ice water on yourself.  Or even used cat litter.  I won't tell you again.

The best thing about the Senate impeachment trial has been the relative lack of time the cable shows have to devote to the antics of Marjorie Taylor Greene but she's finally getting some stick from at least one Republican.  Shaun Holmes, whose son has Down syndrome, objected to her characterization of him and others as "stupid" and "a retard."  She has yet to apologize or retract, of course, because she asked herself What would Donald J. Trump do? but it's a start. 

I had a feeling this would happen, just not during an impeachment trial.  One of Trump's dumber lawyers -- you choose -- just confused Brad Raffensperger with Ben Roethlisberger.  I have the same problem with Wallace Ford and Wallace Reid when I watch old movies.

Short summary of the Trump defense:  He did nothing wrong (FIRST AMENDMENT FREE SPEECH!) because so many other people have used the word "fight" without causing terrible things to happen therefore NOT GUILTY CASE DISMISSED.  Saved you a migraine of a day.

I really thought they would go with "Well, he never said go and kill Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi and all other Democrats and maybe police, where did he say that, show us!"  It's our old friend "Where is the order signed by Hitler, he was shocked to hear Jews were being shot in the millions."  How about "We're going to the Capitol"  -- with that weird upward inflection that sounds like Trump's breaking in a Jerry Lewis tribute act -- "I will be with you" (not physically, of course, I'm going to ascend into the sky like You-Know-Who).  You still don't see it?  And right on cue Hitler fanboy Madison Cawthorn pipes up, "Are we going to impeach Jesus next?"  It's a cult.

Enough.  Guo nian hao and remember to write if you get work.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

"Remember this day forever!"


Senate Republicans study impeachment evidence

(Not pictured:  Josh Hawley, relaxing in the gallery)

It's easy to be on a jury when you already know the outcome.  A lot of brilliant work by some former prosecutors was wasted on the Senate today, including a video presentation that climaxed with the horror of Officer Daniel Hodges being crushed in a door.  He survived.  Others lost fingers, an eye, or sustained brain injury.  The Blue Lives Matter mob barely glanced up until it was time for Mike Lee to bitch about Democrats' "inflammatory comments" regarding his suggestion that the terrorist inciter deserved a "mulligan."  (I had to look it up:  "an extra shot allowed after a poor shot."  As if Trump's whole life hasn't been one endless mulligan.)  Senator Lee was probably referring to the classic tasty stew.  Poor Donald must keep his strength up.

Other jurors were equally impartial, exactly five weeks after facing death at the hands of an armed mob.

"Welcome to the stupidest week in the Senate."  (Kevin Cramer (R-ND) 

"The trial is of dubious merit and even more dubious constitutionality."  (Rand Paul, R-KY)

"A complete waste of time."  (Rick Scott, R-FL)

"They hate Donald Trump...So I guess next year, I don't know, maybe it'll be the impeachment of Jimmy Carter, or the impeachment of Bill Clinton, or the impeachment of Barack Obama, because that's what we do in Januaries."  (Ted Cruz, R-TX)

But it's not just senators who are childish and dumb -- here's their House leader Kevin McCarthy:  "Everybody across this country is to blame.  Think about four years ago after Trump was sworn in.  What happened the very next day?  The title was 'resist,' with people walking in the streets..."

Walking in the streets.  In pink hats!  Twenty-four hours that shook the world.

He hasn't commented but apparently Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has an iPad hidden in his desk so he can read.  (Play solitaire, more likely.)

There might be a vote from Mitt Romney now that all the world has seen Officer Eugene Goodman escorting him out of danger, but the rest of these neo-Nazis can't be arsed.  I get it.  Impeachment is a political process and Bruce Castor was probably right when he suggested that Trump be indicted instead.  (Just as well he wimped out on prosecuting Bill Cosby.)  The Democrats are going to all this trouble to make sure every sentient voter, all 81 million of us, sees exactly what Trump did on the day he exulted, "Remember this day forever!" and "We love you."  When the Republicans endorse the murder of Brian Sicknick and the other atrocities, it becomes their big toasted shit sandwich.  

Remember this impeachment forever. 


Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Impeachment Tuesday again

I watched the stomach-turning video.  I was emotionally manipulated when Jamie Raskin referred to his dead son.  I was impressed by the passion and charisma of Joe Neguse, whose speech put him on the political map like Barack Obama at the 2004 convention.  I was baffled by the defense put forward by Bruce Castor -- Senators are great people, we respect Senators, I grew up dancing to my parents' Everett Dirksen records -- until I heard his second chair David Schoen claiming impeachment is a sin against the Holy Ghost Constitution.  Roger Stone's mouthpiece is still talking to fill up the time until sunset on Friday, when he has to stop defending anti-Semitic fascists because SHABBOS.  Whatever.

Easily bored, I wandered off.  Here's some stuff you won't read in most blogs today:

David Nasaw in The Nation reports that Christopher Hitchens's widow and literary agent are circling the wagons -- how Hitch would hate that cliche -- to prevent "self-appointed" biographer Stephen Phillips from writing a biography of Christopher, urging all their friends and "comrades" to freeze him out.  Nasaw, a biographer and historian of some note, rightly asks if all writers are not self-appointed except  hacks-for-hire.  I ask, is there a better example going of cancel culture, of prior restraint, if you like?  The author of Proximity:  A Novel of the Navy's Elite Bomb Squad seems an odd choice for fleshing out Hitchens's own Hitch-22 but he's a writer trying to make a living.  Christopher would have respected that.

Thinking of buying a place in New Zealand, maybe applying for a second passport?  Admire its inclusive culture and peaceable outlook?  Not so fast.  Rawiri Waititi, MP, was ejected from Parliament for refusing to wear a necktie.  He dressed instead in "Maori business attire," with a greenstone necklace in place of a tie.  Other than the necklace he wore a Western-style suit.  What's the problem?  We've got a clown named Jordan who can't keep his jacket on and the seditious idiot has never been 86'd for that.

Although he has been cited as an expert, along with Kenneth Starr (!) and John Yoo (!!), Alan Dershowitz just told Newsmax he "has no idea" what Trump's lawyers are doing.  On the other hand, he seems to be proud of his former student Jamie Raskin.  

The FBI just picked up Brad Houck in Oklahoma for writing on Parler "Hey Mitch, how are your grandkids doing?"  Seems friendly enough until you also read his death threats to George W. Bush, John Roberts and his children, Chuck Schumer, James Lankford and Lindsey Graham.  Mrs. Houck says he wasn't at the 1/6 terror attack.  Probably at home counting his "thousands of rounds of ammunition."

Joe Biden is bringing back FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps, sort of.  Climate Corps America would hire up to half a million veterans and young people to address environmental problems and make Republican heads explode.  Jeez, next he'll be packing the Court!

Neera Tanden, nominated to head the Office of Management and Budget, chose to apologize for such factual statements as "vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz."  I hope she doesn't plan to run the OMB in so pusillanimous a manner.  Because she's right about Tom Cotton being "a fraud."

Today's blood pressure raiser comes from the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, where a lawsuit alleges that Derek Chauvin, last seen kneeling on George Floyd's neck while grinning like Widmark in Kiss of Death, is being guarded by white officers only and receiving other kinds of special treatment.  At least he isn't demanding organic catering and a Mexican vacation.  It's not just 1/6 terrorists who are pampered by the courts.

President Biden must feel like he's playing Whack-a-mole:  No sooner does he deal with one Trumpsterfuck than another one pops up.  In defiance of his orders the ICEstapo deported 72 people to Haiti, 22 of them children.  Read the bulletins, guys.  New boss, new policy.

Justice delayed is...I forget, but a hundred-year-old man is being tried as an accessory to murder for his actions at Sachsenhausen from 1942 to 1945.  Last week a 95-year-old woman was charged with being a secretary at Stutthof.  After a while it just becomes pointless.

Speaking of which, Newsmax is kicking Fox's ass when it comes to crazy and vacuuming up all the nipplehead viewers.  They found a guy called Marc Rudov, who says IT is practically the same as the Holocaust, and has come up with something he calls "panoramic Marxism."  He has all kinda views about women and racism which he should have promoted during the last administration, which would have hired him in a sclerotic heartbeat.  Is there a court in exile at Mar a Lago?  Maybe not.

"Panoramic Marxism" and "the clitoral hood."  Hitchens would have loved it.

A personal note

 This has to stop:

I've seen it all over.  Al Lewis was a mensch and a progressive activist.  His radio show on WBAI was one of the first to reach out to the incarcerated.  He ran for governor of New York and got enough votes to guarantee the Green Party a place on the ballot.  Ted Cruz, on the other hand, is sewage.

Let's have more like this:

Thank you.

Monday, February 08, 2021

The future is now

To save time, we present the news of the coming week.  Sorry, no lottery numbers.

After several weeks of declining numbers, hospitalizations will jump in response to the inability of Americans to grasp that viruses do not recognize holidays.  Not even Super Sunday.

Viewers will analyze the shit out of the football game, especially its commercials.

Peter Navarro will continue to float insane conspiracy theories as he lobbies for the Lou Dobbs spot on Fox Business.

Tucker Carlson will mock Sen. Tammy Duckworth's bill to assist families who cannot afford diapers.  At some point, he or another Trumpoid life form will question whether she really is an Army veteran.

The impeachment trial will be less surprising than an episode of Father Knows Best.

Ignored by American media, people in Myanmar and Belarus will continue to defy armed troops to demand rights we take for granted (and a significant number of us obviously don't care about).

Trumpanzees will maintain that something said by Maxine Waters or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is exactly the same as telling a mob armed with hockey sticks, slip ties and at least one spear to break into the Capitol and shit on the floor.

Stormy Daniels's description of her encounter with Trump ("the worst ninety seconds of my life") will be the springboard for endless easy jokes.  Comedy writers will miss him most of all.


Friday, February 05, 2021

Crazy salad

Students in other countries trying to understand how America works must be astonished at the mishmash of laws and law enforcement we take for granted.  In the UK, for instance, all the police are administered by the Home Office and the penalty for stealing a car in Liverpool is exactly the same as it is in Cardiff.  The US is more like fifty principalities waiting for a Bismarck to combine them into one country.  Factor in the wide latitude given to judges, and American justice becomes a combination coin-toss and blindfold darts.  As Robert Klein put it with mild exaggeration, "Smoke a joint in Texas and it's consecutive life sentences, no chance of parole or visitors.  Shoot somebody in Rhode Island, you can't watch television for a week." 

I thought of this when I read that Virginia became the first Southern state to abolish capital punishment.  But it was already on my mind as the story of 1/6 -- and we might as well start referring to this terrorist attack in the style of 9/11 -- continues to unfold.  The top story today concerns "QAnon Shaman" Jacob Chansley a/k/a Jake Angeli a/k/a Jack Sprat, whose lawyer says he lost twenty pounds from being denied organic food.  (Do they weigh prisoners every week?)  A judge in DC ordered that he get his free-range prunes or whatever is required by the religion Chansley made up.  Over in Texas, Jenny Cudd expected the judge to approve her four-day "retreat" in Mexico; instead, she and her friend Eliel Rosa were hit with new charges, all felonies, so maybe not.  (Hate the Mexicans, love their beaches.)  Riley June Williams, charged with stealing a laptop from the Speaker's office and trying to pass it to Russian intelligence, was released in the custody of her mother despite being an adult of 22, by an indulgent Pennsylvania judge.  

Where's Kyle Rittenhouse?  He was last seen downing beers in a Wisconsin bar, wearing a "Free As Fuck" shirt.  He's 18, but it's all right -- his mom was there along with some Proud Boys.  This is the same woman who drove him from Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha last August to shoot three people, two of them fatally.  A Wisconsin judge set bail at $2 million, which he raised in November with help from Mike Lindell and others.  But mail to the address he gave the court is returned and even Mom says she doesn't know where he is.  It's not her money.  Parenting is hard work!  And Wisconsin judges seem unfamiliar with ankle-monitor technology.

A couple of Pennsylvania patriots called Mark Aungst and Tammy Bronsburg a/k/a Butry were ratted out apparently because they annoyed the other Trumpites on their chartered bus.  They kept everyone waiting and Aungst was "intoxicated."  One by one the dimes are dropping.

Remember Bill Price?  The Florida lawyer who gave people explicit instructions on how to register at his brother's address in Hiram, Georgia, so they could vote in the January Senate elections?  Yeah, he kind of got lost in the rush of events but he's still being investigated for election fraud.  He's a Republican, by the way.  He deleted the ratfucking seminar but Facebook never forgets.

Given the vagaries of law enforcement in the Theoretically United States it's anybody's guess how these and other cases will turn out.  Assassinate the mayor and a city supervisor in San Francisco, serve two years because the cupcakes made you do it.  Vote in Texas while on parole and you get more than twice as much time.  Robert Klein was joking, but he wasn't.  

Thursday, February 04, 2021

The power of Trump compels you!

 I don't know if Joe Biden is getting enough exercise but he's setting a record for being exorcised.  The first Catholic president in 58 years belongs to a church that seems to be split between Papa Francesco and Charles Coughlin, with the latter half yearning for the second coming of the adulterous, lying rapist of Mar a Lago.  Go figure.

Even before the election Father Ed Meeks of Towson, Maryland, declared Biden the leader of "the party of death."  Last week Father John Zuhlsdorf lost his job in Wisconsin for conducting a live-streamed exorcism of so-called election fraud (because demons are "very good with electronic equipment" like voting machines).  Father David Fulton took part in the fascist coup attempt of January 6 (when he should have been back in Nebraska celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany) and explained that "the obvious steal" was triggered by "a demon called Baphomet."  Apparently the Knights Templar were involved.  This thing goes a lot deeper than even Qs believe.  (Similarities between the names Baphomet and Muhammad are all in your head, you paranoid radicaliberal.)  Fulton has been reprimanded by his bishop not for insurrection and criminal trespass but for impersonating an exorcist.  Apparently you have to get a credential.

Mostly their objections to Biden are the same as the Protestant fundamentalists' -- support for LGBTQ rights and reproductive freedom, and the wild-eyed socialism that calls for Americans to enjoy the same living wage and health care as people in the civilized countries.  But while the fundies embarrass themselves with prophecies that never quite come to pass, the Catholics prefer to embarrass themselves with holy water, Latin incantations and the promise of spinning heads, green vomit and other spectacles.  We all saw the movie.  To compete with the Q Shaman and the Jewish laser conspiracists, they need something new.  They need to get crazier.  Then the Catholic Church, like the Republican Party, will fragment faster, which is good for everyone.  

Good for Polish women, who are risking their health during a pandemic to protest the country's abortion ban.

Good for Ireland, seemingly stuck investigating an endless series of scandals involving the abuse of unmarried mothers, their children, and children in general at the hands of the Church.

Good for the priest-abused Catholics of England and Wales, sacrificed again to their church's reputation.

Good for US taxpayers, who involuntarily donated $3 billion to the Church through the Paycheck Protection Program last year.  Is it a religion or a business?

In conclusion, tax all the churches.  Especially this one.

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

RU Privileged?


This is Ian Rogers with the pipe bombs and the "White Privilege" card the police confiscated when he was arrested in his Napa Valley garage.  Rogers apparently didn't trust the card and has dyed his hair an unconvincing shade of yellow.  If you're really white, you don't need a card.  

Nevertheless thousands of people are buying them, or versions on mugs, shirts and the newest message board, face masks.  I suspect not all of them are being deployed ironically.  

Only about a hundred very white people have been arrested out of the thousands who invaded the Capitol on January 6, and most of them are out on bail or in the custody of their moms..  Raising the bar for chutzpah, Jenny Louise Cudd of Midland, Texas, told the judge she would like permission to attend a "work-related bonding retreat" in Mexico for four days because it's already paid for.  I'm not sure what sort of retreat involves florists, as she describes herself, but she needs a break after the exhausting day she had:  "We did break down Speaker Pelosi's office door and somebody stole her gavel and I took a picture sitting in the chair and flipping off the camera and that was on Fox News," she tweeted triumphantly.  "Hell, yes, I am proud of my actions."  Also everyone who criticized her or suggested Midlanders buy their flowers elsewhere is "100 percent cancel culture."  How dare they.  The judge will decide tomorrow, but in the meantime a set of Big Brass Balls is on its way to Ms. Cudd from The Buttermilk Sky Organization.

You may have moderate to severe White Privilege if you incriminate yourself with every expectation of getting off Rick Scott free.  Erstwhile Trump lawyer and current disbarment candidate L. Lin Wood admitted to WSB-TV that he voted in Georgia even though he had moved to South Carolina.  He's being investigated by the secretary of state's office as soon as the staff finish high-fiving and marching around the office singing "Rambling Wreck From Georgia Tech."

It was just two years ago that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was removed from the Judiciary and Agriculture committees for telling the New York Times, "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization -- how did that language become offensive?"  He had been saying and doing racist things for years, from displaying a Confederate flag on his desk to the infamous description of migrants with "calves the size of cantaloupes" from carrying drugs over the border.  Losing the Ag committee was the kiss of death, as Iowa Republicans chose someone a little subtler to run for his seat.  The point is, it shouldn't be so hard to separate Mad Marge from the Education committee (!) as she has spouted more vicious craziness in a month than King did in eight terms.  Why is everyone so reluctant to talk about expulsion?  

Thanks to Lindsey Graham's latest hissy-fit -- evidently his last as Judiciary Committee chair -- we still do not have an attorney general but Joe Biden is putting his stamp on the department.  Today the DOJ dropped the lawsuit it filed last October against Yale, accusing the university of discrimination against Asian and White students with regard to admissions.  The school that accepted George W. Bush clearly has no problem with melanin-challenged mediocrities.

The lawyer representing Jacob Chansley a/k/a The QAnon Shaman, says his client has lost twenty pounds because the jail refuses to provide him with organic food.  The shaman also describes himself as "duped" and wants to testify against the duper, Trump.  It's a matter of time before he starts claiming he's a political prisoner who fears being smothered with a MyPillow.  Don't DC judges have the authority to order a psych exam?

The saddest thing:  When I heard about the Rochester police -- about a dozen of them -- handcuffing and pepper-spraying a nine-year-old because she was having a loud argument with her mother, I didn't even have to see the video.  "I'll bet she's Black," I said to nobody.   I was right.  

After lying in honor in the Capitol rotunda, Brian Sicknick was buried in Arlington.  No one has yet been arrested for battering him to death with a fire extinguisher.  I don't even have to see the video.  I'll bet he's White.

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Change comes slowly

 In addition to dragging all those firsts around, Kamala Harris is the first vice president to be scrutinized over her wardrobe.  She apparently has been caught wearing clothes from Dolce & Gabbana despite the company's history of being accused of racism, homophobia and being Italian.  All these deficits, not to mention labor practices and workplace behavior of executives, must be vetted before you can buy a blouse that you really like.  Does she not know this?  Remember when Al Gore wore a Hugo Boss suit, even though they made uniforms for Hitler's Wehrmacht?  Who can forget the scandal of Spiro Agnew's cotton/nylon blend socks, which briefly drove Watergate from the front pages?   First the Vogue cover, now this -- is it time to talk about impeachment?

Or perhaps we could talk about something more important, like almost anything.  Like the military coup in Myanmar, or the jailing of Alexei Navalny, or even the snow event in the Northeast.  Or impeachment.  Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu of Axios have an account of the Gang That Couldn't Coup Straight's December 18 Oval Office strategy meeting that is so rich and filling I may skip lunch.  I especially love the part where Trump wanders off to get a snack while Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn, Eric Herschmann, Pat Cipollone and Patrick Byrne (founder of, filling in for the pillow guy) scream about martial law and how every judge in the country is corrupt.  At one point Byrne offers, "I bribed Hillary Clinton $18 million on behalf of the FBI for a sting operation."  Nobody knows what he's talking about or why he's even there, but in the circumstances it doesn't seem all that bizarre.

It's strange to live in bizarre-free times after so long as hostages to madness.  More than three years after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico will receive the rest of the $66 billion voted by Congress and blocked by the previous administration on the grounds that those Spanish-speaking brown people would just squander it on lottery tickets and ivory dominoes.  Besides, the lady mayor of San Juan was very disrespectful about the paper towels.

"Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country," said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell today, and since he didn't name names I won't either, but I think we all know who he meant.  "Somebody who's suggested...that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.'s airplane is not living in reality."  So the Deep State got to McConnell.  He still hasn't apologized for posing in front of a Confederate flag.

McConnell went on to defend Liz Cheney, as did Lindsey Graham.  But Graham then refused to schedule a confirmation hearing for Attorney General-designate Merrick Garland because the re-impeachment is taking up all his time.  At this point Judge Garland must be thinking, "Is it me?"  It's not clear why Graham still thinks he's chairing the Judiciary Committee, but it is clear that all the happy talk about unity and healing is over.  President Biden sat down with some Republicans and explained where they can stick their cheese-paring objections to his $1.9 trillion covid relief package.  Nicely.  Then he told ICE to get all those parents and kids reunited like TOMORROW.    

When Vice President Harris meets the leaders of China, and she must, it's even more important to dress carefully.  The Chinese are a tad oversensitive about symbols only they can interpret.  Back in 2010 David Cameron led a delegation to Beijing in November, when every self-respecting Brit wears a Remembrance Poppy, even to play football.  To the Chinese, however, it was not a memorial to Flanders Fields but a taunt about the 19th century Opium Wars.  Now Canada is in hot water because a diplomat in China ordered -- but has not yet worn, as far as I can tell -- a Wu-Tang Clan shirt with a stylized W which resembles (to some) a bat.  This was taken as an accusation about the coronavirus which supposedly originated in bats sold in a wet market in Wuhan.   Never the twain shall meet, or it is racist even to quote Kipling?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a survivor of sexual assault who used to tend bar in the Bronx.  She probably thought she would feel safer as a member of the US House of Representatives.  She was wrong.   Everyone should read her story of January 6 before Tin-tray Tucker laughs at her fears tonight.  I wonder what the thugs and bullies would say if AOC started carrying a gun.  And we still don't know who ripped the alarm out of Ayanna Pressley's office.  

People are spending days on the phone and hours in line to score a single shot of covid vaccine but Steven Brandenburg took it upon himself to destroy 570 doses in Wisconsin, where he used to work as a pharmacist.  Brandenburg checks all the usual boxes -- survival supplies, multiple firearms, being divorced by frightened wife, microchip panic, immanent eschaton, flat-earther, sky isn't real -- huh?  That's a new one for me -- he believes the government created the "sky" to keep us from getting a look at God.  This is the man who filled your prescriptions, Badgers.  Sleep well.