Friday, May 28, 2021

Unbelievable Friday

 "Remember and Rise," an event marking the hundredth anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, had to be postponed after the Department of Homeland Security warned of "credible threats" from white nationalists and other Republicans.  

Matt Gaetz looked out at a mob of howling MAGAts in Dalton, Georgia, and decided to combine their love of guns with their newfound hatred of social media:  "The internet's hall monitors out in Silicon Valley, they think they can suppress us...Well you know what?  Silicon Valley can't cancel this movement, or this rally, or this congressman.  We have a Second Amendment in this country and I think we have an obligation to use it!"  The crackers began high-fiving and pulling up maps of California to look for Silicon Valley, which they think is a town like Simi Valley.  Confused, they settled for making more anonymous threats to Tulsa.  On social media, of course.  

Americans are flying again, and they're assaulting and verbally abusing flight attendants at an unprecedented rate.  Mostly they object to being told to wear a mask, but in one case a flight attendant lost teeth because she told a woman to fasten her seat belt preparatory to landing.  It may simply be that covid isolation has removed the thin veneer of civilized behavior and allowed people to revert to a state of nature.  A strike by flight attendants just when airlines and the overall economy are recovering might focus their attention but I doubt it.  Many people were never socialized in the first place, like the rioters of...

January 6, which will not be investigated by an independent commission because only 54 senators wanted it and democracy doesn't apply there, either.  Anybody got a concordance?  Please see if the word "filibuster" occurs in the Bible.  Maybe it will when the God Bless the USA Bible goes on sale in September to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of 9/11.  Clearly meant for the "America is a Christian nation" crowd, a better name would be The Cognitive Dissonance Bible.  In one volume it will contain the King James translation of 1611, considered the central masterpiece of seventeenth century English prose; a key document of the Enlightenment written by (at most) Deists and crippled by compromise; the Pledge of Allegiance by nineteenth century socialist Francis Bellamy; and the deeply bathetic lyrics of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA."  A bargain at $49.99.

As Charlie Pierce reminds us, Newt Gingrich at the height of his delusional grandiosity once described himself as the "definer of civilization's rules," so it's past time he and "high crimes and misdemeanors" Trump partnered up on a new "Contract With America."  It sounds better than "Harmonic Convergence of Pure Evil," doesn't it?   "The Herodotus of West Georgia College" wants to start off by forcing the states to teach history the way I learned it -- no slave revolts, very few Injuns, onward to the sunlit uplands of the American Century.  No 1619 Project much less Howard Zinn or Henry Louis Gates, and stony denial of anything that challenges the white-men-triumphant narrative.  And let's bring back those Dr. Seuss books cancelled by Biden!  Something for Trump to read.  

Neuter Gingrich is a big fan of Texas educationists but the hard work is getting done in North Carolina, where right-thinkin' parents want to burn, uh, ban One of a Kind, Like Me because its story of a boy who wants to dress as a princess is Against the Will of You-Know-Who.  When the new Contract is signed, such blasphemy won't even be published and if it is, well, see Matt Gaetz on the Lord's Second Amendment.  Dark times ahead.


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Land of the home

 Mike Hunter, attorney general of Oklahoma, has announced his resignation due to undisclosed "personal matters."  I'll bet I know.

His secret identity is Irish actor Gabriel Byrne.

Brian KKKemp reported to Fox News to explain why Georgia's motto is "No vaccine passports now, no vaccine passports forever!"  In his big windup he said, "It is America, the land of the home and freedom...range."  By now, "Land of the Home" is probably available as an ironic tote bag.

Over to Tennessee, Virginia Brown decided that words are not enough.  Yelling "No vaccine!" she drove her SUV -- why is it always an SUV? -- into a tent in Blount County where health department and National Guard personnel were distributing Satan's microchips.  Oh Virginia, whatever happened to pulling off people's masks and spitting in their faces?  

Did you know that Lee Harvey Oswald and Barack Hussein Obama both lived on the upper East Side of Manhattan?  (325 East 92nd and 339 East 94th respectively.)  It was several decades apart but Greg Kelly thought it worth tweeting about.  I once sat next to Murray Kempton on a crosstown bus.  Where's my Pulitzer?

To paraphrase Maya Angelou, when someone says he's going to kill a lot of people at work, believe him.  Especially when, like Samuel Cassidy, he has a history of violent behavior to his ex-wife and girlfriend.  Also keep an eye out for bomb-building materials and incendiary devices.  Not that it will make much difference.  It happened in San Jose but Gavin Newsom noted, "Somehow this has become routine...Anywhere feels like this happens over and over and over again."  You're not the only one to notice that, governor.  There's probably a book in Vegas on where the next one will occur.

Despite the face-to-face pleas of Capitol police and the family of Brian Sicknick, Mitch McConnell dismissed the insurrection investigation as "extraneous" and ordered asked Republicans to vote against the commission "as a personal favor."  What does he have to hide that we don't already know about?  Joe Manchin says there's "no excuse" for their intransigence, but he's too much of a coward to break the filibuster so he should shut up.  And Jim Clyburn says the House should go ahead and form a commission anyway.  Why?  We know who summoned the mob, incited the mob and reached orgasm watching the mob on his hugest-model-they-make TV in the safety of the White House.  The mob helpfully livestreamed themselves committing hundreds of felonies because they are stupid.  There's no single-bullet theory to nail down.  Stop talking and start convicting.    


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Little Twitlers

 Back when Sarah Palin was a thing I observed that it doesn't take much more than a pulse to be a successful governor.  I hate being right.  At this minute there are a couple dozen oxygen wasters holding down the job, which gives them the power of life and death over people, not to mention a national platform for their rantings.  Can it get worse?  You bet!  If Democrats don't vote next year like the future of the earth depends on it, it will.  A few exhibits:

Ammon Bundy of Malheur Wildlife Refuge fame has decided he can destroy the government faster from the inside and has filed to run for governor of Idaho.  A few problems, though -- the secretary of state says he's not a registered voter (a prerequisite) and he can't list himself as his campaign's treasurer.  Also, he's banned from the state capitol for a couple of violent altercations about mask-wearing (of course).  Bundy's chances will be improved if several Oregon counties get their wish to join up with Idaho, but it's not at all clear that the Anschluss could occur before the election.

From hero to not-quite zero, Andrew Cuomo has had a bad year, with the multiple accusations of sexual misconduct (not Anthony Bouchard or Matt Gaetz level but unacceptable for a Democrat); the charge that he underreported nursing home deaths in the state; and the revelation that he sought advice from his brother about public relations, which is somehow shocking.  Just when the future looked bleak help arrived from the unlikeliest of places, as Andrew Giuliani threw his MAGA hat in the ring.  You may remember him from such achievements as suing Duke University in federal court because the coach cut him from the golf team, and working as a "sports liaison" for four years in the Trump White House.  That's about two thousands Scaramuccis but it's still a featherbed job for Son of Rudolph.  Andrew, who is 35, claims he's spent "parts of five different decades of my life" in public service, and doubled down when challenged on the Trumpian arithmetic.  "I'm a politician out of the womb.  It's in my DNA," he added.  The owner of the womb, Donna Hanover (Mrs. Rudolph No. 2), was not available for comment.

A few days before the January coup attempt Mike Lindell told the Star Tribune he was "ninety to ninety-five percent" ready to run for governor of Minnesota.  A few weeks later, perhaps depressed by the Biden-Harris inauguration, he moaned to Axios, "Why would anybody want to run if they had the same machines with the election fraud?"  Last night he apparently decided he's already a governor and showed up at the Republican Governors Association annual fish fry, but was turned away.  He had credentials and everything (he says)!   Lindell wanted to confront Doug Ducey and Brian Kemp, who he believes are key to the plot to deny Trump a second, perpetual term.  Which will commence in August, when Mike marches into the Supreme Court and shows them his "evidence."  I have a feeling he won't get in there, either, unless it's on a tour.  Anyway, Minnesota,  the pillow's in your court.  I know you once elected Jesse Ventura but this is worse.

Caitlyn Jenner, American socialite (that's how Google identifies her) is running for governor of California in utter confusion.  She loves Trump's WALL but not enough to vote for him last year (she says).  She's one of the most famous transgender women on earth but doesn't think transgender girls should compete in girls' sports.  She promises to "crack down" on this year's Republican bogey-man Silicon Valley, California's economic powerhouse.  Most people know her as an adjunct to the Kardashians of reality TV infamy, but she doesn't want them involved in her campaign.  In short, she just doesn't like Gavin Newsom.  I don't believe that's enough.     


Does this look racist to you?


Bill Bramhall of the New York Daily News drew it to depict Andrew Yang, the leading candidate for mayor, emerging from the subway in Times Square.  Josh Greenman, the editorial page editor, said it was meant to suggest that there are "major gaps in his knowledge of New York City politics and policy.  Nor has he ever voted in a mayoral election."  In other words, he's just visiting New York like the tourists dressed as Spiderman and the Statue of Liberty.  There were complaints that the first version was drawn as more of an Asian caricature, so Bramhall went back and changed the eyes.  Yang's campaign nevertheless is playing the race card like crazy, to avoid acknowledging the candidate's spotty voting record and lack of experience.

Yang is a businessman and writer who has never held office, although he briefly ran for president last year.   His platform, insofar as he has one, is "human centered capitalism" and a universal basic income of $1,000, which is not enough to live decently in New York City.  Maybe he won't be any worse than Michael Bloomberg, another businessman with presidential aspirations.  Time will tell.  At least he's unlikely to eat pizza with a knife and fork like Bill DeBlasio.  Vergogna!

Matt Wuerker, the celebrated political cartoonist, puts his finger on the real problem:  newcomers to politics like Yang and Trump don't like to be criticized and ridiculed.  They lack the thick skins and long perspective that people like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton develop over many bruising years in public life and they react by lashing out and putting on their Victim hoods.  Yang and his wife held a press conference in front of a Queens subway station where an Asian man was pushed onto the tracks yesterday, as if to equate a cartoon with attempted murder.  (At the risk of being called racist, I have to point out that an awful lot of anti-Asian violence has been perpetrated by Black men.)  If Andrew Yang does become mayor of New York he's going to need, first and foremost, a sense of humor.  Write this down, Mr. Yang:  The Bronx is up and the Battery's down.    

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Unqualified immunity

 Rand Paul was being an asshole about vaccine again, so Richard Marx tweeted that he'd like to buy many drinks for Rene Boucher, the neighbor who mugged Paul over some previous episode of assholery.  A short time later a package of what turned out to be harmless white powder arrived at the Paul establishment.  Paul whined that it's "reprehensible that Twitter allows C-list celebrities to encourage violence against me and my family."  To be fair, Marx had included a picture of Paul with a gun to his head and the words, "I'll finish what your neighbor started, you motherfucker."  

By coincidence, Florida got a shiny new law yesterday that tries to impose penalties for social media platforms that ban politicians for violating their terms of service.   Nobody thinks this unconstitutional attempt by the government to interfere with private corporations is anything but an early birthday present for the Palm Beach demagogue, but bashing "Big Tech Censorship" is very popular with the Trumpanzees this season.  The law would require Twitter and Facebook to ignore tweets portraying a train smashing into CNN, Democratic politicians with rifle sights over their faces, calls for the lynching of Ilhan Omar or Nancy Pelosi, and the daily spewings of demented Georgia congresswomen, but they could sent Richard Marx to Twitter jail.  Unless he announces his candidacy for his local school board, I suppose.

As Congress inches closer to passing the George Floyd bill ending the "qualified immunity" that police have long depended on, Florida wants to extend it to politicians.  They can use social media to indulge their violent fantasies and even to assemble mobs for the purpose of invading the capitol buildings of states or the nation, but the rest of us have to abide by the fine print we didn't read in our haste to open  accounts.  

And what flavor of politicians express themselves through violence and hate?  With very few exceptions who should be ashamed of themselves, it's the Republicans.  When they stop praising free speech and condemning "cancel culture" for five minutes, it's to deny a tenured journalism chair to Nikole Hannah-Jones because The 1619 Project hurts white feelings.   They're fine with reporters being fired for something they wrote years ago on Twitter that was critical of Israel; they encourage it.   

Take Rick Santorum.  Please.  All he said was that nothing happened before 1492.  "We birthed a nation from nothing.  I mean, there was nothing here," he asserted, and when a few descendants of the millions who were here objected, he refused to apologize.  CNN cut its losses and he was soon wailing to Fox, "You get savaged for telling the truth."  No, Rick, Ronald Greene got savaged.  You'll just have to get along without your (I assume) six-figure salary.  I hear there are lots of job openings if you'll work for $12 an hour.  ("Hi, the election was stolen.  Please speak into the clown's mouth.")

I can't think of anything Republicans support that doesn't kill Americans:  downplaying covid, poverty, collapsing infrastructure, poison tap water, guns, lousy health care, racist cops, septic abortions, ignorance/conspiracy theories, global warming.  It's just as well they no longer run on a party platform, just point:  "Whatever the Leader wants."  Above all, they want for there to be no consequences.  This is not Belarus.  You can't physically torture journalists here.


Monday, May 24, 2021

Strap in, it's Monday

A man was found dead inside a papier mache stegosaurus in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Spain.  Police believe he crawled in to retrieve his phone and was unable to get out.  

I decided to start there because it is the only thing I read today that is not insane.

There was a passive-aggressive coup in Samoa today when Fiame Naomi Mata'afa arrived at Parliament to be sworn in and found it locked.  She eventually took the oath in a nearby tent.  The new PM and her Faith in the One True God party have pledged to cancel a port development deal worth a hundred million dollars to China.

Belarus became even more of a pariah when it scrambled a MiG fighter to intercept a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius and force it to land in Minsk.  And all because the country's dictator Alexander Lukashenko is afraid of a 26-year-old blogger named Roman Protasevich, currently under arrest and charged with terrorism and "causing mass unrest."  There is no equivalent law in the US, but give the red states a couple of weeks.

Another journalist is in trouble with the thugs who run Myanmar.  Danny Fenster, the American editor of Frontier Myanmar, was "detained" while boarding a flight at Yangon airport.  By coincidence, video surfaced today of Trump at an April fundraiser sharing a good joke about reporters being roughed up in North Korea while covering his sleepover with Kim Jong-un.  "These were North Korean guards.  They didn't get pushed down," he noted admiringly.  

It's time to play "What Year Is This?"  Former NBA star Dominique Wilkins was refused service at Le Bilboquet restaurant in Buckhead, a suburb of Atlanta.  They say he violated the dress code, he says it was straight-up Jim Crow.

There were at least twelve mass shootings in the US this weekend.  To celebrate, Texas will soon allow people to carry handguns without a license, background check or training, a bill which is opposed by law enforcement groups and sane people.

Prosecutors say they were just about to seek an arrest warrant for defrocked priest Richard Lavigne in the 1972 murder of altar boy Danny Croteau of Springfield, Massachusetts.  Oops!  Lavigne died last week. 

Liz Cheney sees no connection between Trump's loss and the Republican scramble to make voting all but illegal.  I hate to say I told you so.  No, I don't.

"Can we all agree that Marjorie Taylor Green must be expelled from Congress?" Robert Reich tweeted today.  To which she retorted, "Don't know you but when I saw Berkley in your bio I got it."  Yes, the economist and former Secretary of Labor is clearly a "communist" and also misspelled her name, so she misspelled the California city where he went to college.  Look, does the Capitol have an attic where she could be confined?  With a "nurse" to make sure she doesn't escape and burn the place down?

Ivanka Trump must have been disoriented by Daddy's stolen election when she was deposed last December in the Stephanie Winston Wolkoff suit, because she just couldn't place Allen Weisselberg.  He has been chief financial officer of the Trump Organization since 2000.  Board member of the Trump "Foundation."  You remember, princess, the short man who gave you your allowance.

Anthony Sabatini is only a state representative in Florida but I see a bright future for this Republican.  Last week he tweeted, "If Socrates was out philosophizing in American society today, he would be cancelled real quick."  Because he did philosophy at the University of Florida, and whatever "cancelled" means, he's real against it.   

Joe Biden has earmarked an additional billion dollars for hurricane preparedness.  Who is this guy?

Friday, May 21, 2021

Cyber Ninjas, qu'est-ce que c'est

 The Arizona faux-dit is like a highway accident you can't not look at.  I fall asleep wondering what the world is making of this unprecedented case of electoral ptomaine -- the countries where we were instrumental long ago in setting up robust democracies (Japan, Germany and sometimes Italy) and the countries whose democracies we replaced with vicious strongmen (Iran, Chile, etc.).  Are they aghast or rocking with laughter?  

You know about the chicken conspiracy, right?  Republican Stephen Richer, who is a Republican and the Maricopa County Recorder, is also the owner of a chicken farm where fire destroyed a barn and 165,000 chickens.  At first it looked like one of the chickens was smoking, but the Cyber Ninjas are sure they can prove that Richer (who once again is a Republican) fed thousands of ballots to his birds and then burned them alive.  Because he wanted Biden to win Arizona.  Chickens like corn but they will kill for shredded paper.  This is just science.

Science aside, some of the tech experts are ready to rely on spectral evidence.  Like Patty of Latinas For Trump, who came to her job with an open mind:  "The election was stolen, and you don't take from God.  I will die fighting.  We all need to be there.  It is a war."  

The Arizona secretary of state Katie Hobbs advised Maricopa County that it needs to buy all new voting machines after the Ninjas compromised the "security and integrity" of the ones they've been poking, prodding and praying over all month.  Silly Democrat, she doesn't see that the incompetence is the point.  At this point "Maricopa" is shorthand for mental capacity, the ability to compare and contrast sanity with Cloud Cuckoo-land.  Or as someone called Trump said, "The story is only getting bigger."

We have time for a round of "Who's a Nazi now?" special weekend edition.  Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago said that for the two-year anniversary of her election she would give priority to reporters of color in granting interviews.  This was a stupid thing to say and white reporters immediately criticized her.  That wasn't enough for great white hope Tucker Carlson, of course.  "Lori Lightfoot is a monster," he informed the Carlson Klan.  "If someday the Chicago police rounded up the entire population of the city Lori Lightfoot would have no trouble pulling the right ones out of line for punishment.  By the way," he added for the benefit of the slower ones, "in case you're wondering, yes, that was a Nazi reference."  See?  Tuckums is against racism sometimes.

Carlson was practically coherent compared to Marjorie Taylor Guano, who found time in her schedule of yelling through doors and acting as a beard for Statutory Gaetz to give an interview in which she called Nancy Pelosi "mentally ill."  You know what came next:  "...wear a gold star...second class citizens...put in trains...gas chambers in Nazi Germany."  All because the Speaker renewed the mask mandate for the House chamber, since most Republicans still refuse to be vaccinated and will throw their poo against the walls and howl if anybody even asks them about it (which Margie thinks is illegal because, surprisingly, she doesn't know how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability law works either).  

Some Wyoming disciples of the Dork Lord have already announced their intention of replacing Liz Cheney  as the state's sole representative, but Anthony Bouchard probably won't be one of them.  He already acknowledged impregnating a fourteen-year-old girl when he was eighteen, calling it a "Romeo and Juliet story."  Tony did the right thing and married her, because he's a stand-up guy.  They later divorced and the woman committed suicide at age twenty.  Just like Juliet.  Bouchard is a state senator who used to lobby for some gun-nut group, so he might get past this, especially if the other challengers are serial killers or friends of Mitt Romney.

There was more foolery still but it's Friday and we want to get to the-bar home.  I will close by introducing my new best friend Rep. Steven Woodrow of the Colorado sixth, tweeter extraordinaire.  After seditionists spent the week claiming that the January 6 rioters were "just normal tourists" he wrote, "We don't negotiate with tourists."  And later:  "If the GOP started embracing reality they wouldn't need to suppress the vote."  Welcome, Congressman, and don't turn your back on Boebert.

  Here, have a moonflower.



Thursday, May 20, 2021

The men who stare at votes

 When we last checked in with the Maricopa County Follies of 2021, someone had detected Cheeto dust on a ballot, proving something nefarious (like someone eating an unhealthy snack while standing in line to vote).  The self-styled Cyber Ninjas are new to this and improvising as they go, scanning for non-existent watermarks, trying to detect bamboo fibers and sniffing for traces of moo shu pork, which would be definite proof of Chinese origin.  I made up the last one, but they made up the rest.  At one point they howled that an entire database had been deleted; it turned out the ninja just didn't know how to access it in the computer.  The county Board of Supervisors and various Republicans who are still capable of experiencing shame want it to stop, but I've heard they're using the Uri Geller technique, where they stare at a ballot until the little black dot moves from Biden's name to Trump's.  Jennifer Morrell was invited by the secretary of state to observe this flummery and wrote about it for the Washington Post, though it really calls for an Armando Iannucci screenplay.  As with The Death of Stalin he wouldn't have to tweak very much.  

At some point the Cyber Ninjas will fold the tents, fire up the calliope and head home to winter quarters in Florida -- via Georgia, if Vernon Jones has his way.  He's the state rep and Trumpanzee who's primarying Brian Kemp in next year's gubernatorial election, and he has questions!  So many questions, like why Kemp let all those people vote and how to prevent it while fellating the Loser of Mar a Lago.  Georgia counted the ballots three times and peered at the signatures on the mail ballots and Biden still won, but that was before Cyber Ninjas applied their very scientific techniques.  Kemp disloyally refused to "find" the votes Trump needed to save America from Chinese Communism, so it's up to Vern and the Ninjas.

When Trump fled New York because the police wouldn't brutalize the pickets outside Trump Tower, he forgot how unforgiving the heat gets in south Florida.   He and his court have moved to Bedminster, New Jersey, where summers are more temperate.  And if it's too hot in New Jersey he can always blame immigrants.  That's what the attorney general of Arizona (them again!) has done in a bonkers lawsuit which says immigrants engage in activities which release greenhouse gases and force the state to pave over more land.  Lest you think Republican Mark Brnovich dreamed this up himself, it's long been a talking point with xenophobes in Europe where it's known as eco-fascism.  How about we welcome each new American with a green-energy house and an electric car?  You do know that the planet has one (1) atmosphere, and wherever people live they'll use its resources?  Hello?

Now that the New York attorney general and the Manhattan district attorney have combined forces in the criminal investigation of the Trump Organization, the Hudson River may not be enough of a barrier.  Ron DeSantis vowed to prevent the extradition of Florida's most obnoxious resident, but I doubt Phil Murphy has a similar agenda.  As justice closes in, will the Once and Future King light out for a property in Scotland?  Or possibly the 33-storey Trump/Iran Revolutionary Guard Money-laundering Exchange and Hotel in Azerbaijan?  Was it repaired after the fire?  I keep calling Reservations but it goes to voice-mail.

Wherever he goes, I hope there's room for everyone.  Sean Hannity made time for Eric to insist that strangers come up and give him hugs and say, "We miss him so much."  If any part of that is true, why are we paying for the Secret Service to keep strangers at bay?  "Literally sometimes, Sean, with tears in their eyes" -- where have we heard that before?  Oh, Eric, Eric.  People have convinced Lara she's practically a senator already so she's ignoring you even more pointedly, isn't she?  And the only people who might try to hug you are drunks who think you're Gary Busey ("My man, whatcha been doin' since Buddy Holly?").  And the one person whose hugs you crave -- never gonna happen.  He's got grudges to hold and fresh enemies to denounce, like the thirty-five Republicans in the House who voted to investigate his attempted coup.  He also needs a new scapegoat.  So Eric, have you ever been thrown under a bus?

In today's installment of "Who's a Nazi now?" our guest is Stew Peters of, well, I'm not sure.  Responding to the news that Uber and Lyft are offering free transportation to and from covid vaccine appointments, Stew wants us to know that "They gave free boxcar transportation to a place called Auschwitz."  Yes, and several million Africans got free passage to America, too.  What's your point, Stew?  Are you Corey Lewandowski's long-lost twin?

I thought my outrage had run dry, and then the Associated Press got the police bodycam footage of the death of Ronald Greene at the hands of Louisiana State Troopers in 2019.  At first they lied and said he had driven into a tree.  Now they have no comment except to complain that airing the video "undermines the investigative process."  After tasing, handcuffing, shackling, beating, dragging and kicking Greene while he pleaded, "I'm scared!  I'm your brother!" the troopers took time to clean his blood off their hands before driving him to the hospital.  This one was so bad the Barr Justice Department opened a file, though they didn't do much else.  His family has filed a wrongful death suit, and you never saw a more wrongful one.  "I'm your brother" is haunting.

"I have been blessed with a long life and have seen the best and worst of this country," Viola Fletcher told a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday.  Mrs. Fletcher is 107 and survived the Tulsa race massacre of 1921.  She, her younger brother Hughes Van Ellis and Lessie Benningfield Randle seek reparations for the riot that made them "refugees in our own country," as Mr. Van Ellis said.  The Greenwood section of Tulsa was so prosperous it was called "Black Wall Street."  Nothing remains but Vernon A.M.E. Church, another plaintiff in the suit, and the mass graves that are only now being opened.

Amazing things, lawsuits.  The brutalization of Karen Garner at the hands of Loveland, Colorado's finest didn't come to light until her family filed suit.  Now the two officers have been fired and face criminal charges, only a year later.   If you're wondering why so many white people have joined BLM in the streets, remember Mrs. Garner and Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old man slammed to the ground last summer by Buffalo, New York, police, his skull fractured and blood pouring from his ear.  White people looked at that and thought, "That could be my father...that could be me."  It's called the shock of recognition.  Mr. Gugino's abusers are still "on the job," as police like to say, but after his lawsuit, who knows?    

We should not live in a country where these things depend on the civil courts.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Treachery Tuesday

 If Trump had ever heard of Jimmy Durante (remotely possible) or had a sense of humor (no way), he might be tempted to flap his arms like the Great Schnozz and exclaim, "I'm surrounded by assassins!"  The walls are closing in.  He lost two Grahams in one day!

Loyal lapdog Lindsey Graham said yesterday, "I accept the results of the election...2020 is over to me."   We're at the point where an acknowledgment of objective reality by a Republican has to be reported as news.  Around the same time, Franklin Graham was telling Axios that Trump "does not eat well" and may be too unhealthy to run in 2024.  It's hard to judge the condition of someone who lies about everything including his height and has his people defend him by questioning Joe Biden's cognitive abilities.  

Arizona Republicans are embarrassed by the election fraud farce they authorized to appease the one-term loser.  The Republican-ruled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has voted to shut it down. In a letter to the Senate president they said, "It's time to end this.  For the good of the Senate, for the good of the country, and for the good of the democratic institutions that define us as Americans."  But what matters is the good of Trump.  Can't they see that?  

When you're no longer president, it's hard to coax people who want favors into staying in your bedbug-infested hotels and playing golf at your clubs.  The bills pile up -- only unhinged lawyers will represent you pro bono and the big-check donors hesitate to throw bad money after worse.  That's probably why Trump, who made a big deal of giving his salary to charity, has gratefully accepted a presidential pension of more than $65,000 since January along with free protection from the Secret Service he used to disparage.  So it must have stung today when the White House noted, "Today the President released his 2020 federal income tax return, continuing an almost uninterrupted tradition."  No doubt we'll see the "billionaire's" returns in due course, as soon as the New York attorney general is through with them.

Trump's not the only pensioner undermining America while accepting its charity.  A load of his former little helpers are still getting paid for "transition," including Dan Scavino and former Senior White House xenophobe Stephen Miller.  Miller plows your tax dollars into something called America First Legal, which files nuisance lawsuits against Biden policies like covid relief for non-white farmers.  Hey, it beats looking for work.

But really, Trump knew last November that he'd been shitcanned, because he Hereby Ordered all American troops to leave Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Africa and Germany.  Yes, Germany.  It sounds like someone got a midnight call from Putin.  The grownups at the Pentagon smiled and went "sure, sure" and then sat back and waited for help to arrive on January 20.  Jonathan Swan has called that weird period "de facto Twenty-fifth Amendment."  Some Cabinet members wanted the real thing but Mike Pence, the most pathetically loyal creature since Greyfriars Bobby, wouldn't hear of it, even after the Trumpanzees erected a gallows for him.  

Speaking of pathetic loyalty, Kevin McCarthy does not support a bipartisan commission to investigate the gallows or any of the other seditious activities of January 6, because it won't be looking into the Black Lives Matter protests last summer or any other totally unrelated activities.  Damn, I was hoping we could finally get to the bottom of the Astor Place riot and figure out whether William Charles Macready or Edwin Forrest was a better Macbeth.  I'm also confused about why Republicans need to be on the commission -- I don't remember al Qaeda sending even one delegate to the 9/11 Commission.  Those who weren't giving reconnaissance tours to the insurrectionists, updating them on the Speaker's location or upfisting the mob are making up for it now.  They call the murderous thugs "peaceful patriots" and assert that it was "Trump supporters who lost their lives."  Andrew Clyde -- yet another worthless Georgia Republican -- said, "You would think it was a normal tourist visit."  Then video surfaced of Clyde helping to barricade a House chamber door against the friendly folks who just wanted to take selfies and hit the gift shop:

How can a commission do any useful work alongside primates like these?  More crucially, how does a country survive half reality-based and half-demented?



Monday, May 17, 2021

Naughty favors

With comically bad timing Palm Springs has installed a 26-foot steel and aluminum statue of Marilyn Monroe outside the Palm Springs Art Museum.  The statue is painted in lifelike colors (as the statues were in ancient Athens, don't be a snob) and portrays the actress in the famous pose from The Seven-Year Itch as her skirt is blown up by a draft from the subway grating.  Needless to say, opinion is divided.  Louis Grachos, the museum director, thinks it will be "offensive" for kids leaving the museum to see Miss Monroe's "undergarments and underwear," because he clearly doesn't know anything about kids (or women's clothing).  Elizabeth Armstrong, speaking on behalf of the online petition against the statue, says, "It's blatantly sexist.  It forces people almost to upskirt."  No, a statue can't force you to do anything.  The statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in Memphis, hideous as it is, never forced anyone to murder prisoners of war.  These ladies probably would have dressed like this and posed like this if they were visiting an old Spanish mission.

People have enjoyed making and looking at sexy images for a long time.  Take the Cerne Abbas Giant, carved into a hillside in Dorset between 700 and 1110 CE according to the newest study.  He's taller than Palm Springs Marilyn (180 feet), buck naked and proudly erect.  He's in better shape than nearby Cerne Abbey, which went out of business in 1539 (thank you, Henry VIII).  Palm Springs, take note:  the Giant is very good for tourism.

Sex is on people's minds in Florida, too, people like former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, who just pleaded guilty to six federal charges like sex trafficking of a minor.  Greenberg, who was facing 33 counts, also agreed to "cooperate" with the investigation of his friend Matt Gaetz.  I expect this is the reason a small plane buzzed the courthouse towing a sign that said "TICK TOCK MATT GAETZ."  Gaetz was elsewhere, of course, doing the important work the good people of Florida elected him to do:  making speeches to Trumpanzee mobs in urban centers like Strongsville, Ohio, and coyly suggesting that the "naughty favors" he (allegedly) bought are practically the same as a real Congressman adding earmarks to a bill.  Phrases like "cocaine-fueled party" are also beginning to circulate, so this may not be the right time to proclaim that he wants to be Robin to Gym Jordan's Batman; the ex-wrestling coach doesn't need that image in people's minds as he awaits the investigation into his own scandal.

When Rick Santorum was telling young Repubs that this continent was a void before the white man arrived from Europe with culture and smallpox, we wondered what it would take to get a racist fired from CNN.  The answer came today with the dismissal of stringer Adeel Raja.  The Islamabad-based freelancer tweeted, "The world today needs a Hitler."  He was angry about the loss of life in Gaza but this goes back years.  In 2014 he wrote, "The only reason I am supporting Germany in the [World Cup] finals -- Hitler was a German and he did good with those Jews."  Only seven years later CNN shut him down.  It's looking good for Santorum.  Raja retorted, "Glad a single tweet contributed to the Palestine cause and brought it to limelight with me loosing [sic] my job and the West's claim of Freedom of expression and human rights!"  Yes, Adeel, you've been cancelled.  Your invitation to the bigots' pity party is in the mail.

Well, that was grim.  How about some silly?  Rightzis love Chick-Fil-A for its avowed anti-LGBTQ stance and fill their faces with its food, but something has gone terribly, terribly wrong:  there's a shortage of dipping sauce and it's all the fault of Joe Biden!  Kevin Stitt, recently kicked off the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission for refusing to let schoolchildren study any race massacres, is fund-raising off this crisis, while Ted Cruz and Lauren Boebert are predicting America's imminent demise.  What's next?  Shortages of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, PPE,, wait, that was last year.  Never mind.  Is that dog still biting people?

Saturday, May 15, 2021

What year is this?

Three years ago the NFL agreed to a billion-dollar settlement with the Players Association for claims of traumatic brain injury suffered by former players.  The league, however, stipulated that the criteria for normal cognitive function be lower for Black players, who therefore must score lower than whites to demonstrate mental decline.  Why Judge Anita B. Brody and the PA accepted this is unknown, but former players are now suing to have it changed. 

America has a new chess master.  His name is Tanitoluwa "Tani" Adewumi, he came here from Nigeria to evade Boko Haram, and he was homeless until Nicholas Kristof wrote about him in the New York Times.  He is ten years old.

The building in Gaza where the Associated Press had an office was also home to Al-Jazeera and other news organizations before Israeli air strikes reduced it to rubble.  The Biden administration has expressed its concern, saying that the safety of the press is "paramount."  It remains silent about the more than 140 dead Palestinians.

Peru has the world's highest per capita death rate from covid and its legislature has now voted to investigate the use of industrial strength bleach as a cure.  That should help.

Foreign accent syndrome is real.  Angie Yen, a dentist in Brisbane, Australia, had her tonsils removed and now suffers from an Irish brogue.  Doctors have prescribed rest.

A fresh scandal is brewing in Washington:  Joe Biden ordered flags to half-staff for Peace Officers Memorial Day today, only to be reminded that it is also Armed Forces Day, which calls for full-staff.  A bipartisan commission will probably be named to investigate this gross insult to somebody.

Governor Kevin Stitt (R-OK) signed a bill that prohibits teaching public school students anything negative about American racism.  As a consequence he has been kicked off the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, which was probably his plan all along.

Congress has a gym and a barber shop for members but no psychiatric clinic.  They should get one.  Screaming through another member's mail slot like Margie Three-names is a cry for help.  Why wait until she's shoving dog shit through the door?  Also one of her cohort yelled at Eric Swalwell for wearing a mask.  Where is Crazytown, Georgia?  Where, by the way, she's scamming the state by claiming two homestead exemptions from property tax.  Georgia will get its money when they pry it from...

Friday, May 14, 2021

Urgencies and emergencies

Four seditious senators named Boozman, Blackburn, Cotton and Hagerty will have to produce some Trump-level lies to explain why they won't vote for the infrastructure bill.  And they won't even though the Hernando de Soto Bridge connecting their two states at Memphis is going to be closed for months after a routine inspection revealed a massive crack in a support column.  Even the Mississippi is currently closed to traffic, with more than seven hundred barges backed up, echoing last month's Suez Canal traffic jam.  Nobody wants a repetition of the 2007 collapse of the I35-W bridge in Minneapolis, which injured 145 people and killed thirteen.  The American Society of Civil Engineers issued its report card a few months ago so you can check your local bridge, dam, water source or toxic dump in C- America and decide if you feel lucky.  Well, do you?

America has more important things to spend public money on, like the tireless search for election fraud.  Colorado ("Like Florida but with snow!") nabbed another miscreant:  Barry Morphew has admitted mailing a ballot in his wife's name because he's sure she would have voted for Trump if she hadn't disappeared in May 2020.  He has also been charged with her murder so I guess we'll never know.  So what's that, nine?

All the other striking news today involves animals.

Lots of mysterious sea creatures have washed up on American beaches this year.  Sorry, Sidney, no kraken, but there is some video of giant squid.

A woman emerged from a supermarket near Rome and had her groceries stolen by a herd of wild boars.  Farmers have been complaining of boars raiding their land and causing road accidents.  The boars are also a problem in Greece.  Climate change is partly to blame (warmer weather = more boar babies).

Chicago is addressing its rat problem by releasing hundreds of feral cats from animal shelters.  It is not clear if Hennessy was attempting to join them when he jumped from a fifth-floor apartment; probably he was trying to escape a fire.  (He's fine.)

Canada used to be proud of beavers, portraying one on its nickel.  That was before they began chewing through cables and helping themselves to fenceposts and lumber to build dams.

India, Victor Cuevas's Bengal tiger, is still missing in Houston while Cuevas deals with a 2017 murder charge.  Police think India is being passed around a series of "safe houses."  Pet tigers are some kind of Texas status symbol, it says here.

In a tweet Meghan McCain accused Marjorie Taylor Greene of "behaving like an animal" without specifying which one.  McCain was referring to Greene's obsession with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on one recent occasion following her around and screaming at her.  AOC was unimpressed, remarking that she has ejected more obnoxious drunks during her time as a bartender.

Noto, Japan, spent $200,000 meant for covid relief on a giant statue of a squid.  I have to say, it's impressive.  Add a sushi cafe, sit back and wait for the tourists.



Thursday, May 13, 2021

That's not how any of this works

 As of today the US has experienced 194 mass shootings (four or more victims) this year.  At the risk of annoying Ted Cruz, I have to say that's too many even for this freedom-loving, tree-of-liberty-watering mess of a country.  Today, however, there's a glimmer of hope:  Guns are bad for business.

There was a fight over trading cards in the parking lot of a Target store in Brookfield, Wisconsin, and the customer who purchased the cards, beset by four men, pulled his gun (as you do).  Because of this and other incidents, Target says it will no longer carry Pokemon or sports trading cards.  These were not kids, presumed to be the prime market for such items; all five men were in their twenties and thirties.  One of them was prepared to shoot the other four over small pieces of cardboard, a sort of blue-collar Bitcoin, I presume.  I remember when they were free with bubble gum.  

Anyway, this could be a path forward previously unexplored by Mike Bloomberg's Anytown For Gun Safety and similar organizations.  If ill-governed states and municipalities continue to encourage idiots to pack heat when they shop, drink or dine, retailers will gradually stop selling the most fought-over merchandise until Americans grow up.  The market -- source of all wisdom, right?

The Oregon Medical Board has cancelled Dr. Steven LaTulippe for endangering and misinforming his patients.  When entering his clinic they were required to remove their masks and informed that masks cause elevated blood pressure and "carbon dioxide toxicity."  Although he told a Trump mob last year that there were "zero" problems from this madness, the patients disagreed.   No doubt LaTulippe will be attempting to join Cassidy, Paul, DesJarlais, Marshall and the other rogue doctors in Congress next year.  Oregon, you've been warned. 

There's a new space race in town!  Who will be the first movie star to reach the International Space Station and make a film there, Tom Cruise (US) or Yulia Peresild (Russia)?  If they crank the Hubble telescope around this way and aim it at me, maybe it will manage to detect how much of a damn I give.

Its work done, the Lincoln Project has gone quiet.  It's now left to MeidasTouch to provide your daily jolt of energizing rage.  If it's just too early, try Randy Rainbow.

The war is escalating between the EU and the breakaway UK.  Last week the Royal Navy was dispatched to Jersey as French fishermen threatened to blockade St. Helier in a dispute over fishing rights.  Now EU citizens arriving in the UK to look for work are being detained or bundled back to Europe (the rules are confusing and contradictory, the treatment traumatizing and degrading).  Border checks may have to be lightened or eliminated in the face of food and other shortages.  Hey, you Brexit, you bought it.

The purge of Liz Cheney has raised her profile beyond measure -- thanks, Kevin and all you other idiots -- and now she's hinting she'd like to run for president.  The enemy of our enemy is not our friend, and a Cheney is still a Cheney.  Others trashed by Trump include Sessions, Pence, Kemp and Romney.  Avoid them all like the covid.

Radhika Fox has been nominated to head the EPA's Office of Water, but first she has to get past creepy old man James Inhofe (R-OK).  At today's hearing he told her, "I will look forward to working with you.  And if you don't behave I'm going to talk to your daddy."  (Her father was present.)  I suppose we should be grateful the 86-year-old didn't threaten to put her over his knee.  Republican outreach to women is a Sisyphean effort, and Inhofe's attitude is the boulder.

Facing corruption charges and unable to form a coalition government, Benjamin Netanyahu was in desperate need of a distraction.  He got one when Muslims came to pray at the al-Aqsa Mosque and, as they say, "clashed" with Jewish nationalists and the omnipresent troops.  Now it's a full-on battle of rockets and missiles, with the IDF poised to invade Gaza.  On top of the Mount Heron stampede, it's been quite a spring.  

"That instrument is just unsurpassable."  Who said that about her own voice?  Birgit Nilsson, Marian Anderson, Leontyne Price, Aretha Franklin, Lucia Popp, Janet Baker, Marilyn Horne, Eleanor Steber, Zinka Milanov, Yma Sumac, Sarah Vaughn?  Guess again.  Joan Baez, the sound of vinegar.  I always preferred Judy Collins and I always will.


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Crazy times carnival

 Who is "mind-numbingly reckless and irresponsible" and jeopardizes "the entire mission of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office"?  Hint:  It isn't Black Lives Matter.  Or Joe Biden.  Or even George Soros.

According to Sheriff Paul Penzone it's Cyber Ninjas, the ad hoc "company" hired by Arizona Republicans to shake & bake all the county's ballots from 2020, a majority of which were cast for Biden and are therefore illegitimate.  They want router numbers which would give them access to confidential voter information (including medical and tax records) and would jeopardize law enforcement officers, according to Penzone.  Frustrated in their search for bamboo fibers in the paper which would somehow prove the ballots originated in China, they now want to knock on voters' doors and demand to see their papers or something.  

After three weeks of this farce State Senator Paul Boyer, who voted for it, has changed his mind.  "Looking back, I didn't think it would be this ridiculous.  It's embarrassing to be a state senator at this point."  And it could stretch into the summer unless the Biden Justice Department shuts it down first.  At least the Crazy Times Carnival across the street has concluded and moved on, leaving reporters searching for a less obvious metaphor.

All Republican-controlled states are desperate to keep voters from voting and have introduced or passed more than 361 bills as of March 24.  Arizona is just more proactive than most, with a proposed law which would allow the legislature to change the election result even after it is certified by the governor.  In other words, legislators could do, by a simple vote, exactly what Cyber Ninjas are struggling comically to do now.  Before 1913 this is how US Senators were chosen.  I wonder if Arizona voters will still be allowed to do that.

That was the Seventeenth Amendment.  Republican panic, however, can be dated to 1947, when they introduced the Twenty-second, limiting presidents to two terms.  That's because Franklin Roosevelt scared them shitless; they couldn't beat him even when he was dying.  Term limits are implicit in a democratic system, but term limits imposed by law are inherently undemocratic.  Of course, so is the absurd electoral college system, which has foisted loser Republicans on the country three times (1876, 2000, 2016).  

Trump is a cartoon villain who will be remembered for motivating a record eighty-one million Americans to navigate the already restrictive voting laws in order to expel him from office, in the middle of a pandemic he did nothing to combat.  Trump is a chancre on the country's genitals.  One day he'll be gone but that won't mean the spirochetes are not flooding the national bloodstream.   If you don't like that, here's another way to look at it:  there is a leech that lives in the rectum of a hippo, feeds on its blood and finds a mate there.  No other spot will do.  Let's just say the Republicans need a new symbol to replace the elephant.  Once nominally a Democrat, Trump found a home  --  but the hippo was always a hippo.  It's a good match.  

All right, no more hippo leeches.  Let the fun times roll!

According to a new book by Carol Leonnig, the Trump crew had a colorful relationship with the Secret Service.  Not only were agents forced to seek alternative toilet facilities near Casa Kushner but Trump criticized their appearance as if they were some actress who had rejected him.  "I want these fat guys off my detail," the morbidly obese Stable Genius whined.  "How are they going to protect me or my family if they can't run down the street?"  He also considered some of them too short, probably the female ones.  Not everyone in The Family agreed, apparently, because Tiffany spent "an unusual amount of time alone" with her minder, while Vanessa, then Mrs. Junior, was openly dating an agent before dumping Junior in March 2018.  (Imagine, a man who didn't need coke to perform!)  Despite their failure to come up to his Leibstandarte standards, Trump was happy to demand another six months of free protection for his darlings.  Not you, Vanessa.

It's a new day and Bob Baffert has a new excuse:  Medina Spirit was being treated for dermatitis and the antifungal ointment could have caused the positive drug test.   Tomorrow we hear about those Rothschild space lasers that Margie Two-names warned about.  This would be easier if we could ask the horse.

The Rightzis who adopted the Royals as their personal cause after Meghan Markle told Oprah they're a smidge racist are excited.  The queen opened Parliament dressed like a normal person without that five-pound crown on her head because she's 95 and a widow and she has no more royal fucks to give.  Or perhaps she was signaling her distaste for the laundry list handed her by the Johnson government which includes, among other things, a new provision for voter IDs.  You know, to stop all the "fraud," apparently a huge problem for rightwing governments everywhere.  The usual suspects over here all want to know if the "Queen of England" is a racist (which is not what Markle said) because she wants voter IDs (which may or may not be true).  All we know for certain is that known racist Boris Johnson and his crew want them.  

Despite the pandemic and the years-long drought, California is rolling in it.  The accountants predict a $75.7 billion budget surplus this year.  Unable to spend it fast enough on Medicaid, education, the homeless and everything else Republicans hate, Governor Gavin Newsom is contemplating payments of $500 - $600 to residents.   No doubt he'll be accused of trying to bribe voters, but the recall effort was probably doomed even before Caitlyn Jenner became its silly public face.

NASA's got a brand new probe headed for the asteroid Bennu on a two-year mission to dig up some 'roid and return it to earth.  I'm fine with this, I just object to the probe's name, OSIRIS REx (and it took some contortions to arrive at that acronym).  One's Egyptian and the other's Latin, OK?  It just annoys me.  

The Independent has curated "Eighteen of the most bizarre things Trump has already posted" on his blog.  Read it, don't read it, whatever.  My favorite:  "Happy Easter to ALL, including the Radical Left CRAZIES who rigged our Presidential Election, and want to destroy our Country!"  Christ is risen.  (But does he promote Ivermectin as a covid treatment?  It's for worming horses, so yeah, probably.)

If Prince Charles was smiling under his mask at the SOoP today, it may have been because Helmut Jahn has died at 81.  Here are a few of the upsetting structures designed by "the Flash Gordon of architecture."

Worth a flight to O'Hare?


Monday, May 10, 2021

Word salad day

If the phrase "cancel culture" ever meant anything, it can now be dropped into the bin of Words Emptied of All Meaning, and we are indebted to Bob Baffert, who teaches horses to run fast.  Baffert popped up on Fox News, which usually ignores sports unless a human athlete is making veterans cry by taking a knee.  A horse he taught to run fast called Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby last week but was disqualified after a drug test revealed a banned steroid called betamethasone.  Baffert began protesting Medina Spirit's innocence yesterday, promising to "clear his name" as if the horse had been accused of shooting himself up behind the barn.  Here is what he told Fox: 

"We live in a different world now.  This America is different.  It was like a cancel culture kind of a thing so they're reviewing it.  I haven't been told anything."  Baffert has had thirty horses flunk drug tests but insists he runs a clean operation.  He has an elaborate theory about a groom who was taking cough medicine and urinated on some hay which Medina Spirit then ate (for some reason I thought of Rose Mary Woods trying to explain how she erased eight and a half minutes of evidence from the White House tape in 1974).  

So "critical race theory" is a form of lynching, "woke" means fascist, and getting caught doping a racehorse is practically the same as losing your Facebook account for trying to seize power in a coup.  I need to write these down.

I wonder how "moving the goalposts" translates into British.  The Conservatives got their arses handed to them in most of last week's mayoral elections so their solution is to change from the supplementary vote system (choose your two favorites) to "first past the post."  It's so much easier than finding candidates and policies urban voters might like.  All they have to do is hammer it through before all of Boris Johnson's scandals coalesce into one big slag heap.  Apparently putting a consummate liar in charge is no way to run a country.  It all sounds so weirdly familiar.

BloJo is such a rich seam of seamy that British reporters can file their stories and repair to the pub.  It's harder for Americans.  Ever since he locked up the nomination, writers and talkers on the Biden beat have turned over every rock in search of scandal.  Remember Rolexgate, when the president-elect was spotted wearing a watch worth several thousand dollars?  Before Sean Hannity could order the jacquerie into the streets it turned out to have belonged to his son Beau.  Never really took off -- too many people were happy to have a president who could tell time.  Then his uppity wife let it be known that she would damn well be called by the title she had earned, Doctor Jill Biden, even though she was not a real doctor who takes out tonsils and prescribes Viagra.  They moved into the White House on January 20 (despite the previous tenants having sent the butlers home and trashed the garden) with two dogs, one of whom would occasionally bite strangers.  Outrageous!  Ought to be put down!  The dog, too.  

Then came the Affair of the Lawn Dandelion, picked by the President and handed to his wife in full view of everybody.  Does he care that dandelions cause asthma, especially in people already fighting wind turbine cancer?  Apparently not.  What can you expect from a man who would "cancel God on National Day of Prayer"?  (Oh fuck, I missed it again.)  Evidently the proclamation omitted the word "god," rendering it null and void and calling down the wrath of the Lamb on us all.  Or maybe someone thought it was implicit in, you know, prayer.  Think how engorged with anger they would be if it said "god or goddess."  Jesus must be wondering why he gave us our Constitution.

The last straw was a statement Biden made to reporters last Friday about the April job numbers.  Yeah, yeah, said one tribune of the people, but "Why do you choose to wear a mask so often when you're vaccinated?"  "Because I'm worried about you," Biden shot back.  As well he should be -- who can say if strangers have been vaccinated or not?  And nobody says the vaccine confers total immunity anyway, with new strains cropping up all the time.  And people report that they just feel better when protected from air pollutants, seasonal allergens, agricultural toxins, cigarette smoke, etc., not to mention ordinary flu has plummeted this year.  And what business is it of yours? he was too polite to add.  It was the previous occupant who chose to politicize everything about covid so as to avoid doing anything substantive about it.  Ask him why his fat orange face is always hanging out in Florida, America's Calcutta.  

The NRA's Mothers Day message had readers grabbing for their words, too.  A photo of a tattooed mom with a military-grade weapon (if I call it an assault rifle and it isn't they'll taunt me for my unfamiliarity with firearms) beside a sinister child who seems to be auditioning for a remake of The Bad Seed is captioned "Mama didn't raise a victim."  With unfortunate timing, the holiday was marked by a birthday party shooting in Lauren Boebert's home state that created six victims, seven if you count the shooter.  The Murder Lobby may well be "forever grateful for these fierce women" but many people weren't.  One man wrote, "If the NRA was based in another country, we'd be at war with it."

"How many kids have to be shot before we take this seriously?" asked another.  This one was Dermot Shea, the New York City Police Commissioner, referring to an argument in Times Square Saturday afternoon which led to the wounding of four bystanders including a four-year-old girl.  If the commish can't do anything about random gunplay, what are the rest of us supposed to do?  Build a heat ray that will melt all the guns?

How can we cover the slow death of the English language without a Trump tweet blog post?  How can Biden even be president when he doesn't share his thoughts on crucial issues like this:  "So now even our Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit, is a junky [sic].  This is emblematic of what is happening to our Country.  The whole world is laughing at us as we go to hell on our Borders, our fake Presidential Election, and everywhere else!"  Next thing you know some gambler from New York will be bribing ballplayers to throw the World Series.  Then some OxyContin-abusing hate-monger will get a medal from an Adderall-snorting rapist and Missouri will make his birthday a holiday.  What does anything mean anymore?


Friday, May 07, 2021

Hitting the fan

 Critically endangered, my ass.  Cinda Mickols lives on a hilltop north of Los Angeles and is paying the price for all that natural beauty.  A flock of California condors invaded her deck and trashed the place, and now they won't leave.  The birds have a ten-foot wingspan and are not impressed when the five-foot-three-inch Ms. Mickols waves her cane at them.  Their shit is everywhere and so is their smell.  "Yeah, protected species," they taunt.  "Whaddaya gonna do, shoot us?"  Insert Hitchcock reference here. 

People who track stuff continue to track Long March 5B as it hurtles back to earth we know not where.  Best guess this morning was Sudan.  According to the Washington Post "There are no recorded instances of a human ever being killed by reentering space debris -- though a cow in Cuba did lose its life in 1961."  That was right around the time Fidel Castro decided to order some Russian missiles.  Probably no connection.

Ron DeSantis's unhinged WELCOME CORONAVIRUS!! policy may cost Florida its lucrative Norwegian Cruise Line business.  The company sensibly requires all passengers and crew to show proof of covid vaccination before sailing and Florida does not.  NCL's CEO Frank Del Rio, clearly part of the "woke mob," laconically observes that his ships can operate from less idiotic states and also from Caribbean ports just as easily.  Last year there were multiple outbreaks on cruise ships -- Google "floating petri dish" -- and most sane people don't want to go back there.

TripAdvisor has deleted a review of Auschwitz which called it "fun for the family," but only after being asked by the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum.  Initially they found that it complied with submission guidelines.  The reviewer has also been "cancelled" by TripAdvisor, so add them to the "big tech tyrants" Josh Hawley is gunning for.  ( you suppose he took the kids to Poland this year?)

Remember the Twinkie defense?  Back in 1979 Dan White got seven years for a carefully planned double assassination because the jury believed his claim to have been under the influence of junk food.  Maybe another jury will believe Anthony Antonio took part in the January 6 coup attempt because he was under the influence of junk television.  Antonio was stuck in a house for six months where he was subjected to non-stop Fox News, and he went mad, or got mad.  Anyway, he's all over his "Foxmania" now and would like to go home.  Is this a can of worms the insurrectionists want to open?  After all, Fox only amplified the Big Lie told by Trump.  

Then there was the unprecedented Washington Post op ed signed by all ten living former Secretaries of Defense, warning that Trump might try to use the military for an old-fashioned Banana Republic(an)-type coup.  In the New Yorker Susan B. Glasser reveals that it was organized by soon-to-be-former Republican House caucus chair Liz Cheney.  She'll be lucky if her family doesn't get a fish wrapped in her pants suit.

Can the news out of India get worse?  The mind-boggling numbers, the shortages of everything, the dead and dying in the streets?  Yes, it can.  Mucormycosis is a black fungus that results from uncontrolled blood sugar; half its victims die.  The treatment involves amputation; the symptoms are appalling.  And the Indian variant has now been found in San Diego.  I have a terrible feeling this virus is just getting its second wind.

"It's time for a spirit of forgiveness to be happening," says Roger Marshall (R-Kumbaya).  The senator supported every attempt to overturn the election results but he's "just so ready to move on."  Come on, people, smile on your brother, it's not Benghazi.  Hey, Democrats, admit you stuffed the Arizona ballot boxes with panda paper so Roger can get to more important things.  Like repealing the extra $300 the unemployed have been getting.  Go back to work, you lazy slobs!  Marshall's a doctor -- well a "pro-life OB-GYN," anyway.  This one's for you, Rog.




Thursday, May 06, 2021

From the desk of

 With so much to memorialize -- happy birthday, Orson Welles! -- I neglected to welcome the newest resident of Blogenheim.  Please greet  (You need a link?  I forgot how to do that.)

The Forty-fifth and Forever President was banned from Twitter and Facebook after inciting the January 6 coup attempt, and yesterday Facebook's hastily convened "Oversight Board" banned him again (this is starting to look like the Georgia recount).  Nothing daunted, only four months later he's back! with one of these blog things the kids are all buzzing about, issuing proclamations "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump."  We don't know who does the transcribing -- he's afraid of computers -- but the topic hasn't changed since November:  the election was stolen through the cowardice of Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell and punching bag du jour Liz Cheney,  the English language exists to be pummeled with random Capitalizations, and Donald has left the building.  Not really, he hasn't stirred from Xanadu II in weeks, but the site does not accept comments, only donations.  

It also seems a little light on visual interest, so I found this in the archives:

Spare a thought for Mike Lindell, whose own media platform is scheduled to lift off May 10 with the avowed purpose of re-installing Trump in the White House by August.  That's when the Supreme Court will take a look at his "evidence" and issue a warrant for Joe Biden's arrest -- oh, hell, execution -- and order a procession of cheerleaders flinging rose petals to lead Trump in triumph back home.  Please help me, I'm trapped inside Mike's head and it smells weird and I think I'm allergic to crystal meth.  Meanwhile, who's going to visit his new site if they can get the real thing?  A loyal henchman deserves better.

Lindell should learn from the experience of another loyal henchman, Rudolph Giuliani, subject of last week's dawn raid by the FBI.  Like Lindell, Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, he's being sued by the two voting technology companies they slandered for something north of a billion dollars, but that's not the worst of it.  Although putatively a super smart lawyer himself, Giuliani has retained four new lawyers, including two retired judges, to defend him regarding whatever the feds are finding on his computers and phones.  In other words, criminal charges.   His problem now seems to be paying for them; the RNC won't help him out and of course he never saw a nickel of the $400,000 Trump was supposed to pony up for all those electoral challenges and amusing press conferences and flatulent committee hearings.  What do you expect?  He had no more luck than the rest of the merry pranksters in overturning the vote.  Oh, Rudolph, broke, drunk and convicted is not a good look for you, even without the brown stains.  Have you considered starting a blog?

There's a new generation of loyal henchmen.  Exactly four months ago Lauren Boebert was letting the other Trumpanzees know where to locate Nancy Pelosi; now she's threatening Facebook for its insult to the Forever President, promising to "rein in" Big Tech because "free-speech hating fascist Democrats" won't.  Earlier she deleted a post that threatened, "They will pay!"  (She's going to lure Mark Zuckerberg to her restaurant and serve him pork sliders with a side of bloody diarrhea.)

Another victim of Cancel Culture is Josh Hawley  He's so cancelled, he can't get Ben Mankiewicz to interview him on TCM about his book.  Everyplace else it's pretty much wall-to-wall Hawley.  I haven't seen such a media blitz since Tiger Woods totaled his car.  

Javon Pulitzer is a name you may be unfamiliar with, though he's described as a treasure hunter and an inventor.  He's also helping out with the Arizona "audit" where, and you can't make this up, they've decided that 40,000 fake ballots were smuggled in from China and they mean to "prove" it by finding bamboo fibers in the paper.  I told you.  Panda paper, people, direct from the Central Committee.  Pulitzer "invented" the machine that "finds" the bamboo -- listen, can I skip the rest of the quotation marks? -- and can tell which Chinese province the bamboo came from.  I see a Medal of Freedom in Javon's future.  One day a prize for journalism will be named for...what?  There is?

Can't top that.