Saturday, July 30, 2022


 The Slap (Will Smith versus Chris Rock) riveted the world, or at least its news media, for two weeks, but now Smith has issued a video apology all of us can share.  Maybe Rock won't take his call.  Anyway, Rock jokes about it in his shows.  Smith is under a ten-year ban from the Academy of Motion Picture whatever.  I don't know if that means he can't vote, can't be nominated, can't attend or can't watch it on television.  Does anybody watch it on television?

Paul Manafort used some of his free time to hire a ghostwriter who produced Political Prisoner:  Persecuted, Prosecuted But Not Silenced, his remorseful account of helping Putin rig the 2016 election.  I kid.  He makes the astonishing claim that Trump apologized to Ted Cruz for accusing his father of conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy and calling his wife a fright.  I assume Cruz accepted the apology.  He would hardly dare not to.

In other forgiveness news, Ivana Trump accused her ex-husband of rape but he still had her gold-plated coffin buried at the Bedminster golf course, near the first tee.  The ground was "consecrated" so she could have a Catholic burial.  As Maynard G. Krebs used to say, I'm getting like all misty.  I wonder how much a plot in a real Catholic cemetery costs.

Jared Kushner didn't quite bring peace to the Middle East but he says he reconciled Daddy-in-Law with Rupert Murdoch.  According to his ghost-written memoir, back in 2015 the Boss was already tired of Murdoch's withering criticism.  "This guy's no good.  And I'm going to tweet it."  Kushner pleaded, "You don't need to get on the wrong side of Rupert.  Give me a couple of hours to fix it."  What a guy.  No wonder the Boss thought he could sort out the Sunni and the Shia.  Now what is the slumlord going to do about those editorials in the Wall Street Journal and New York Post?  Not to mention Fox's failure to carry his big policy speech in Washington.

F. Andino Reynal, attorney for Alex Jones, is sorry for flipping the bird to the plaintiffs' attorney Mark Bankston in an Austin courtroom.  "I apologize for yesterday's outburst.  It was not appropriate," he said.  Mr. Bankston has probably accepted the apology because his mother raised him right.  She  operates Juanita Jean's, The World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, which you should be reading.

The Czech Republic's ruling Civic Democrat party has called climate change "bogus" and those who worry about it "a threat to freedom and economic growth."  But that was before fire devastated a national park near the German border and smoke engulfed the whole country.  Now Prime Minister Petr Fiala says he "would have to wear blinkers and not think rationally" to go on ignoring the high temperatures and changing climate of all Europe.  Which is sort of an apology for the wishful-thinking approach to environmental degradation.

Meanwhile Kentucky has the opposite problem:  Too much water has killed at least twenty-five people in flash floods and others are missing.  I am not among those who think blinkered, irrational Kentuckians and their Republican representatives are getting a good lesson, but I would like to see Tom Massie and his kids stop the rain with their long guns.  Aren't guns the answer to everything?

Thursday, July 28, 2022

I just report 'em

The two candidates for leader of the Conservative Party, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, are so terrible that the moderator passed out while they were debating. 

The Eastern Fort Museum in (here we go) Swinoujscie, Poland, considered "one of the best-preserved Prussian coastal artillery forts in Europe," placed a notice on its Facebook page asking that visitors stop having sex amid the exhibits.

At yesterday's White House press briefing, Steven Nelson of the New York Post wanted to know if Joe Biden was deliberately infected with covid by the Saudi government.  NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby called the idea "absolutely ludicrous."

The Oglala Lakota Nation and its president, Kevin Killer, have kicked the Jesus Is King Mission off the Pine Ridge reservation for distributing pamphlets which demonize Tunkasila ("Creator" in Lakota) and misquote Black Elk, Crow Dog and AIM activist Russell Means.

Trump says "Nobody's gotten to the bottom of 9/11" and therefore it's perfectly fine for Bedminster to host an LIV golf event because who even knows if Saudi Arabia was involved in any way?  Many people are telling him they weren't.  The families of the victims don't know, even though they are angry and upset.  The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia has so much money.  Yuge prizes.  The best players.  If you want to see Bedminster's proprietor without orange clown makeup but with dried drool on his chin, go nuts.

Once you've shared an orb it's like Freemasonry or something.

If you can wait until May, Josh "Usain" Hawley's Manhood:  The Masculine Virtues Americans Need will be available wherever Herrenvolk books are sold.  That's not soon enough for Margie Greene, who says "toxic masculinity" should be the "number one requirement" for military recruitment because the US Army does not have enough war criminals and rapists.  No doubt she prefers the Russian army.

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh is opening his own Lebensborn.  He promises to raise any unwanted children his players happen to sire, consensually or through good old toxic masculinity.  "I believe in having the courage to let the unborn be born" and he and his wife Sarah will bring them up (she is also a forced-birth advocate with apparently limitless free time).  

In Hungary, where they don't bother with innuendo and euphemism, Zsuzsa Hegedus has resigned as an adviser to Viktor Orban.  For her the last straw was the president's speech denouncing "race mixing," which she calls "worthy of Goebbels."  Orban will be a featured speaker at CPAC in Dallas next week because of course he will.

Simone Gold, MD, JD, RSVP, FAFO, has begun serving her two-month jail sentence -- not for being an irresponsible anti-vaxer but for taking part in the failed coup of January 6.  "What is utterly shocking is that a judge would sentence a non-violent misd age, my 60 days of prison time!  What a travesty!" she whined.  I don't know her age but once you've been to law and medical school you don't get to hide behind your gender.  

Checking in at the home office, Sam Alito addressed a Rome get-together about religious liberty and sneered at foreign leaders who were appalled by his Dobbs decision, especially Boris Johnson, who "paid the price."  Sorry, Sam, I don't think your theocratic bullshit was one of the reasons Johnson had to quit, but thanks for playing our game.  Maybe you'd prefer to live in Rome permanently.  I hear they may soon install the neo-fascist Brothers of Italy party in power.  Would you like to be capo di tutti giudici?

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Today is another day

Even a natural pessimist like me has to acknowledge that sometimes if you just wait twenty-four hours, the weather can change.

Matt Gaetz, the man you instinctively move away from in the grocery store, was riding high at the "student action summit" of Turning Point USA in Tampa, talking up Christian theocracy and calling women who support choice ugly (while sharing a platform with Empty Greene -- go figure).  He abused Houston activist Olivia Julianna by name as too fat to impregnate and "odious from the inside out."  Then he made the mistake of calling out Mike Pence.  This drew the ire of Pence's former chief of staff Marc Short:  "I don't know if Mike Pence will run for president in 2024 but I don't think Matt Gaetz will have an impact on that.  In fact, I'd be surprised if he's still voting.  It's more likely he'll be in prison for child-trafficking by 2024...I'm actually surprised the Florida law enforcement still allows him to speak to teenage conferences."  Words, if sharp ones -- Short seems a lot more alert than Pence.  The best revenge, though, was Olivia Julianna's:  The 19-year-old raised $200,000 for her Gen Z For Change in about a day.  

Remember OAN star Alison Steinberg?  No?  Here are a few reminders:  She abused a Starbucks employee who asked her to wear a (legally mandated) mask.  She thought it was hilarious when Anthony Fauci and Joe Biden got covid.  She demanded that Huntington Beach, California, pull down its "disgraceful" Pride Flag.  She calls Disney employees "pedophiles."  She hates fat women, though apparently not fat men like Trump.  She says vaccines are "poison."  She calls liberals "sick demons who thrive on the thought of death."  But now, with OAN circling the drain, she has called on us sick demons to join hands and Fight the Power:  "It is absolutely crucial that for once we defy the powers that be, we all come together, set aside our differences in a united effort."  Because without OAN Alison will be the barista asking some asshole to put on a mask.  Voltaire is supposed to have said, "I don't agree with what you say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it," or some such.  Well, Voltaire died in 1778.   Go and do likewise, OAN.

Olivia Julianna, meet Addison Gardner.  "I play varsity volleyball and I run track.  My education is very important to me and I plan on doing great things in life.  If a man decides that I'm an object and does unspeakable, tragic things to me, am I, a child, supposed to carry and birth another child?  Am I to put my body through the physical trauma of pregnancy?...Some here say they are pro-life.  What about my life?  Does my life not matter to you?"  Addison, who is twelve, addressed those words to the West Virginia House as they contemplate yet another insane forced-birth bill.  The children are way out in front on this and she will do great things, probably not in West Virginia.

Possibly in Seattle, which voted to become a sanctuary city for women seeking abortion and the doctors who care for them.  Already Washington, Oregon and California have said they will not extradite those facing criminal prosecution for fleeing hellholes like Oklahoma and Texas for the procedure.  Legal protection could also be extended to those seeking gender-affirming care.  The Opus Dei Court will have to do some Astaire-level dancing to overturn these laws while maintaining its reactionary support for states' rights.

Hulu abruptly changed its policy and will accept political ads from Democrats after all.  I have no way of knowing but I'd guess the change wasn't brought about by death threats and intimidation.  But if it was, well done!

Will there be a debate between Herschel Walker and Senator Raphael Warnock?  I can't sleep for wondering.  Brian Kilmeade put the question this morning and Walker responded, "Senator Warnock has nothing else to talk about.  He don't want to talk about the high gas prices, he don't want to talk about high groceries," he don't want to talk about Georgia's lack of English teachers neither.  "I'm ready to debate him any time, any day, I just want to make it for the fans [sic], not about a political party or some media...I want to make it a fair and equal debate for the people."  And on he rambled, about the moderator and how he doesn't want to see men in women's sports and how Warnock voted for "the crime," and even with Kilmeade's help it didn't get any farther than that.  WE MUST HAVE THIS DEBATE.  You know, for the fans.

Of course it's much uglier in Pennsylvania where Christian nationalist Doug Mastriano will reclaim the Dominion for Jesus as soon as he finishes off "Soros puppet" Josh Shapiro.  I have barely scratched the surface, although my surface now needs a Karen Silkwood shower.  At least they have Mehmet "huntin' and fishin'" Oz for comic relief.  If Oz were a real doctor he wouldn't question John Fetterman's fitness because he is recovering from a stroke.  But then he probably wouldn't be running, either.

Yesterday the House of Representatives ("We get shit done") passed the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act despite twenty Republican votes.  Oh, look!  One of them was Matt Gaetz!  Daily Kos has a list of others who support human trafficking and it's your basic Sedition Caucus.  

I almost forgot.  Trump went to Washington to make a speech and it was grimly amusing.  He wants to give drug dealers two-hour trials and then execute them, didn't specify firing squad or guillotine but he's very enthusiastic about the way they do things in China, for once.  He wants to move the unsightly homeless out of cities where they bring down the tone of the neighborhoods and dump them on waste land beyond city limits (barbed wire fences optional) where they can "get their life back on track."  He wants to put the National Guard in charge of majority Black crime-ridden cities currently run by Democrats.  And our hero police should be unleashed without having to worry about bleeding-heart politicians or laws or any of that guff.  (He loves the police, just not the Capitol Police so much.  Crisis actors.)  "There is no longer respect for the law," he complained, and then went home to rage about former staffers who respond to subpoenas.

Anyway, Junior's coke dealer:  You're on notice.

This just in:  Trump wants to sue CNN and literally hundreds of other media who have called him a liar.  All across the country civil court judges reach into the bottom drawer for the Jim Beam.  Don't do it, Donzo, look what Judge William Bertelsman just did to Nicholas Sandmann.

Addison Gardner, you are our future.


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Quiet, please

If ever there was an argument for regulating social media, it's "Blackout Challenge," where Tik-Tok users as young as nine are encouraged to choke themselves unconscious to gain -- I don't know, fame?  I know there has long been an adult kink that involves orgasmic asphyxiation but these children don't know what orgasm is, nor do they understand the risks.  A twelve-year-old boy in London is about to be taken off life support because doctors have determined that he will never recover from brain stem injury.  The mother of a dead ten-year-old girl in Chester, Pennsylvania, is suing Tik-Tok, and she is not alone.  What kind of insanity is this?  These platforms have been used to promote dumb, dangerous stunts before but this is Russian roulette for those too young to own a revolver.  Censorship?  Hell, yes.  If Tik-Tok won't police itself, call the cops.

The times are filled with accusations of "cancelling" or censorship, some valid, most not.  One America News ("Fox for Nazis") was dropped by its last cable carrier Verizon and responded by calling it a "radical Marxist corporation" because words mean just what I choose them to mean, said Humpty Dumpty.  Verizon may have received complaints from subscribers troubled by rants about stolen elections or calls for the execution of political opponents, or they may just want to make room for a channel devoted to Icelandic cooking.  It's a corporate decision and calling for fans to cancel Verizon is  pointless.  (How many will subscribe just so they can cancel?  See Keurig.)

Hulu, the Disney-owned streaming service, is refusing to run ads from the Democratic Party dealing with abortion and guns, citing a policy against "controversial" topics.  Several campaign committees and individual candidates have complained about this, but I can't find any evidence that they consider Disney an agent of the Republican Party or recommend dropping Hulu.  Because they're adults. 

Even some future doctors are angry about the overturning of Roe.  On Sunday the University of Michigan medical school held its "white coat" induction event for medical students and invited Dr. Kristin Collier, an assistant professor, to share her anti-abortion views.  A number of students walked out.  Before some Foxnik yells "Cancellation!" remember -- Dr. Collier got to finish her speech, she is still on the faculty and these students will probably have to learn internal medicine from her.  Both sides made their point.  Was that so hard?

Tampa rapper Rollie Bands probably wished he had censored himself.  On Instagram he posted what I'll call the Rollie Challenge:  "I sleep in peace.  If a n---a want smoke I'm at my crib in 5 mins."  Five minutes later he was shot in the parking lot of his crib and died in a local hospital.  "The tongue is so powerful...he signed his own death certificate," one mourner wrote.  Word.

Banksy shredded one of his paintings minutes after someone paid $1.4 million for it, establishing a precedent for canceling one's own work.  Now Damien Hirst promises to burn a heap of his paintings for reasons that are somewhat opaque.  Something to do with NFTs, which might as well be Linear A for all I understand.  If I were running MOMA I'd make sure the fire coverage is up to date.

The Alex Jones defamation trial is on at last, with Jones and his amusingly named company Free Speech Systems being sued by several Sandy Hook parents for calling them liars and claiming their murdered children are fictional.  Jones claims he has already been "cancelled" and is down to his last few dollars.  In a recorded opening statement he called the judge a "Democratic party George Soros-funded judge"  running a "rigged trial."  Alex, have you heard about Rollie Bands?  Learn when to shut up.


Monday, July 25, 2022

I hate this year

 Paul Sorvino and David Warner on the same day.  

I need something to laugh at.

Oh, here it is.  America's most obnoxious back seat driver, Donald J. Trump, had form when he assaulted his Secret Service chauffeur on January 6.  In one of the trademark monologues so beloved of mental health professionals he told a bunch of paying dopes in Florida about that time he flew to Iraq and it was so dangerous they had to dim the lights on Air Force One to avoid detection, because nobody in the Middle East has radar.  This apparently unnerved him so much that he decided to help the pilot land.  In his telling, "I said, 'Captain, we're pretty low.  Captain, what the hell is going on?  You wanna pull up, Captain?'  I don't see any runway.  I don't see anything."  Somehow the "captain" (at least a colonel, I'm sure) managed to get them down, whereupon "I told my wife how brave I was."  

Wait, that's not the punchline.  "I wanted to give myself the Congressional Medal of Honor but they wouldn't let me do it.  I've always wanted that but they said it wouldn't be appropriate."  

First of all, I thought it was the Purple Heart he coveted, for screwing so many women without contracting a disease back in the 1970s.  Second, how are the bone spurs?  If it was Trump's intention to denigrate the highest military award this country has by making it the subject of his so-called wit, he didn't quite succeed.  Does he have any idea why so many Medals of Honor are posthumous?  Does he care?  

And who is they?

This day is really working my last nerve.  Here we have pathetic Trumpanzee Marco Rubio snarling at Pete Buttigieg about marriage equality and calling him a "Marxist misfit."   That would be Lieutenant Pete Buttigieg, USNR, recipient of the Joint Service Commendation Medal for service in Afghanistan, you pudgy little sock-puppet.  Say, Marco, why don't you swim home to visit your primos?  Sharks are especially abundant this summer, maybe America and Cuba will both get lucky.

Bishop Lamor Whitehead was conducting a service in his Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries church in Brooklyn when "three to four men" with guns walked in and robbed him and his wife of all their personal and episcopal bling.  Little did they know the service was being livestreamed.  Also, somebody got the number of the thieves' white Mercedes.  Nobody was hurt, so I'm allowed to find all this hilarious.

The Wall Street Journal and New York Post both published editorials on Friday condemning Trump's lack of "character" (snork) during the January 6 insurrection.  Today everyone wants to know if Rupert Murdoch has joined the woke mob or is just reaching around in the barrel for a more viable candidate.  If he pulls out a dripping Ron DeSantis we'll know for sure.  Say, didn't someone say about six years ago that Trump lacked the "temperament" to be president?  Blonde lady, pants suit, during a debate?  I'll have to research that.  Meanwhile, an apology might be in order, Rupert.  If not from you, one of your ankle-gumming newts at Fox.

While campaigning for governor in Rochester, New York, Rep. Lee Zeldin was attacked by a man with a dangerous keychain.  Or was he?  The alleged assailant, David Jakubonis, says he was drinking and also that he had no idea who Zeldin is.  Zeldin is trailing Governor Kathy Hochul by nearly twenty points.  Could this be...a false flag?  Isn't that what Alex Jones or some other load always says when there's a gun massacre or a Proud Boys riot?  

Back off.  I mean it.  I'll turn you into one of these.


Friday, July 22, 2022

Scene of the crime


The expression you have when the guy you voted for sets his dogs on you for the second time.

This is CNN commentator Michael Fanone, formerly of the D.C. Police, at last night's hearing of the House Select Committee.  On January 6, 2021, Fanone was beaten and robbed of his radio and badge, and subsequently suffered a heart attack.  On July 21, 2022, he was leaving the Capitol with a less violent mob in pursuit, shouting insults and demanding, "Are you a real cop?"  A man with an anti-Trump banner interposed himself between Fanone and the mob, whereupon one goon threw himself to the ground like a diving soccer player and yelled, "He attacked me with his pole!"  As you might expect, the would-be Samaritan was promptly arrested and handcuffed by police.

It was that kind of an evening.  The committee's tech geniuses synced up video of the rioters with simultaneous radio calls by Mike Pence's Secret Service detail, obviously believing they might soon die and communicating last words to loved ones.  That jolting echo of 9/11 was followed by some comic relief, Josh Hawley fist-saluting the gathered Trumpanzees and Josh Hawley running for his life down a Capitol corridor.  The laughter in the committee room was soon exceeded by the national laughter when the video of fleeing ferret-face was set to appropriate music.  And as the Kansas City Star observed, he's still fund-raising off the ridicule.  Strange times.

The Case of the Missing Text Messages was not addressed although it has been the main topic of the week and has led to several agents hiring lawyers.  Is it possible that the Secret Service agents who thought they might die also willingly deleted incriminating evidence just to protect Trump?  Maybe we'll learn more in September.  Last night's subject was:  What did Trump know and for how long did he refuse to do anything about it? and the answer was the better part of three hours.  From undeleted communications we know he ignored Kevin McCarthy, Kayleigh McEnany, several Fox News allies and his own children essentially saying "You alone can fix it."  According to Pat Cipollone everyone in the White House wanted him to end the insurrection (except Melania, who was too absorbed in her photographic duties to notice smoke rising from the Capitol).  Eventually Mogul was coaxed into the desolation that was Jacqeline Kennedy's Rose Garden and presented with a speech, which he rejected ("I don't wanna say the election's over").  That was where he finally came out with the stern dismissal his troops heard ("We love're very special").  Not very different from "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by."  The next day in the press room it took an hour to get him to stumble through a condemnation of the "heinous" attack (this is a parody, but only just).  It was hard not to think of Marilyn Monroe's 47 takes needed to produce the line "It's me, Sugar" in Some Like It Hot.

Liz Cheney still thinks there's a line separating Trump Republicans from Real Republicans, a distinction without a difference that I think even Adam Kinzinger has abandoned.  It's not as if the Reagan Republicans or the Goldwater Republicans or her father's Republicans were a big improvement over the MAGA mob, they just found more subtle ways to damage democracy.  The 2000 election overthrow, for instance, focused on Florida and had the imprimatur of the Supreme Court.  We know now that it was a dry run which benefited from Al Gore's refusal to tear the country apart.  That's what decency gets you.

And today, twenty months on, the chair of the Wisconsin Assembly's elections committee is still trying to deliver the state's electoral votes to Trump, employing the word "tyranny" to describe the multiply-recounted results of 2020.  It never ends.

What has rule by the White-Right minority brought us today?

South Carolina wants to make it illegal to discuss abortion online or on the phone.  That's South Carolina, not North Korea. 

In Oklahoma librarians can be fired or prosecuted for helping library patrons find information about abortion, or even for using the word.  

What we need is a group called "Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections."  Probably not involving Bill Barr, Karl Rove and others of that stripe, though.  I see more voter IDs, fewer days of voting, vanishing drop boxes and lots of litigation.  I see red (state) people.

At the Opus Dei Court, a 5-4 decision written by Brett the Boofer overturned US v. Kagama (1886) and gave states back the right to interfere in the affairs of tribal reservations.

We need some nice news.  Steve Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress.  Not less than a year, which is what the Hollywood Ten got.  A shower a week for fifty-two weeks -- cruel and unusual?

Here is a monarch butterfly.  Like me, they're nearly extinct.

The last word is from Michael Fanone:  "Josh Hawley is a bitch.  And he ran like a bitch."



Thursday, July 21, 2022

Intestinal derpitude


It's not funny.  It's hilarious.  Is he wearing pants in this picture?  Did he eat at Boebert's?

Christopher Rufo, having slain "critical race theory" (which was never taught in any K-12 school anywhere), has invented a new thing for the Rightzis to panic about, "gender ideology."  All teachers are "grooming" all children for unspeakable preversions and he can prove it.  It's all part of the larger effort to end public education, with this thug pushing from one side and Betsy DeVos pulling for the Department of Education to be destroyed from the other.  We don't need no education -- it's un-American.

Rufo is not even the biggest rash on the body politic to be identified today.  Meet former Peter Navarro apprentice Garrett Ziegler, who was hauled in front of the House Select Committee this week.  He's credited with leaving a side door open so Sidney Powell, Giuliani, the Overstock guy and others could slip into the Oval Office for what's being called the Crackpot Summit of December 18, 2020.  Ziegler insists he didn't say anything but "[invoked] my right to silence under executive privilege in the Fifth Amendment," which seems to be a mash-up of self-incrimination and a right which does not actually exist.  (You see what I mean about education.)  But there's so much more to Ziegler, who casts a wide net while Rufo focuses narrowly on getting teachers assaulted.  He claims to have stolen and published the diary of Ashley Biden as well as thousands of documents from her brother's celebrated laptop.  He also takes credit for some of the more colorful fantasies about Dominion voting machines and, according to Navarro, plans to visit "an Indian reservation investigating outrageously illegitimate bribes for Biden votes."  (Firewater?  Many ponies?) 

Ziegler may have stiffed the Committee but he had plenty to say on the Telegram platform.  The Trump is strong in this one.  The investigation is "a Bolshevistic anti-White campaign" targeting him because he's "a young Christian who they can basically scare, right?"  Cassidy Hutchinson and Alyssa Farah Griffin, who testified previously, are "thots and ho's" (in other words, sex workers) while he's "the least racist person that many of you have ever met."  I gaze into the future and I see a Ziegler-Rittenhouse ticket. 

Joe Biden tested positive for covid.  He has mild symptoms and is isolating.  You wouldn't think that was enough to fill a five-minute news bulletin but it was repeated endlessly to the exclusion of the killer heat, the fall of the Italian government, the war in Ukraine and everything else.  They brought in "presidential historians" to talk about every executive ailment back to Lincoln's constipation.  Even the price of gas was temporarily given a rest.  And now the shocking fist-bump with Prince Salman looks like the height of wisdom, not that anyone would admit it.  

A more sinister health story out of Rockland County, New York, was the report of a case of polio, the first since 2013, the first "naturally occurring" case since 1979.  Are there parents so irresponsible that they are avoiding the Salk vaccine, too?  Was this a person from a country where it is still common?  Nobody is saying yet.  And we have to assume that no disease is eradicated, not even smallpox. 

It's too dark in here.  Have a tea rose.



Wednesday, July 20, 2022

This could be important

 From the Independent:

"Scientists have created a new phase of matter in which time has two dimensions...The perplexing quality was discovered in an almost equally astonishing way:  by shining lasers, flashing in a pattern of pulses inspired by the Fibonacci sequence, at atoms inside of a quantum computer."

I wish the Big Bad Bald Bastard was here to read this.  It sounds like just the topic for Secret Science Club.  Me, I haven't a clue.

The real agenda of the right is becoming apparent -- women who suffer miscarriages are being denied medical treatment because everybody is afraid of being arrested or bounty-hunted under insane new NO ABORTION! laws.  Eventually pre-menopausal women will be denied any kind of care just because something might happen to an undetected but Constitutionally protected, precious little life, far more precious than any mere breeder's.  That will be fine with Matt Birk, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Minnesota, who says "American culture loudly but stealthily promotes abortion" by telling women "they should have careers."  Also abortion is just like slavery.  Herschel Walker is not the only victim of CTE on the ballot this fall.

Here's a consequence of forced childbearing nobody talks about:  nearly a dozen babies and toddlers have died this summer after being "forgotten" in cars during hot weather.  I'm sure some of those miserable deaths were really inadvertent.  If it's triple digits next year, we'll know more.  

Do you think the new logo of East Side Elementary in Cobb County, Georgia (Gingrich's old district) resembles the Nazi eagle?  Rabbi Amanda Flaks, whose synagogue is across the street, thinks so.  Anti-semitic imagery has doubled in Georgia over the past year according to the ADL.

The Secret Service managed to find and turn over just one text message from the insurrection, probably a reminder to pick up coleslaw.  This story has changed more than the excuses from the Uvalde Police Department.  Where exactly were they planning to put Mike Pence if he hadn't refused to get into the car?  We may never know.  

Rusty Bowers, you've been censured by the Arizona party as an unreliable element because you talked to the House Select Committee.  Will you still vote for Trump if he runs (as he apparently plans to do in order to avoid prosecution)?  Confess!

Actually Vlad the Invader had a pretty good week.  He renewed his friendship with the Islamic Republic of Iran and a bunch of his stooges in Congress voted against allowing Finland and Sweden to join NATO.  Also, he might import North Korean slaves workers to rebuild Donbas, which he seems to think is now totally Russian.  So what if the civilized world considers him a piece of shit?

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Geometric finality


If I seem movie-mad today, it's because they narrate, illuminate and anticipate our times so perfectly.  Threats to Congressional witnesses inevitably summon up Vincenzo Pentangeli, brought from Sicily to silently warn his brother that it would be unwise to testify against Michael Corleone.  Trump's Big Lie was lifted straight from the alternate front pages of the New York Inquirer:  "KANE ELECTED" or "FRAUD AT POLLS!"  At least once a day I hear the suave voice of Claude Rains:  "I'm shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that..." some fresh atrocity has come to light.  

Today reality outdid itself in imitating art.  Out in Nevada, unnoticed by me (probably I was watching a movie), Joe Lombardo won the Republican primary and is running for governor.  Oh no, he didn't, says Joey Gilbert, who lost by eleven points but, as is now traditional for Republicans, refuses to accept reality.  According to his lawsuit against, well, almost everyone, "Mr. Gilbert will demonstrate with irrefutable geometric finality that he handily won."  It was that "geometric" that triggered the indelible scene in The Caine Mutiny.  Joey's going to prove that a duplicate key does exist if he has to strip-search everyone in Nevada.  And his "algorithm" is even nuttier than watching someone ladle sand in the middle of the night in the middle of the Pacific. 


I think I've earned a pass on this local story because there is so much other mishigas to occupy my time.  Like Dr. Anthony Fauci's announcement that he will retire at the end of Joe Biden's first term.  He is 81, he has been in public service for over forty years and he's tired of having fractious children as patients.  Time to put his feet up, play with his grandchildren, catch up on Netflix.  You'd expect the horse dewormer-and-exorcism crowd to be content with that, if not ecstatic.  Lauren Boebert will not have it.  "Not on my watch [sic].  He belongs in jail," she tweeted.  I think the former owner of Boebert's Barf-o-rama has a problem with public health in general, not that she's alone in her ravings.  But it's hard to fund-raise off FIRE FAUCI if he quits.  It will be even harder to replace him unless all Republicans are confined in the nation's zoos by then.

Herschel Walker said a true thing -- in 2019 but that counts, right?  He said he spent a week at an FBI school in Quantico where he shot a gun on an obstacle course ("I had fun").  This does not make him an FBI agent any more than Baseball Fantasy Camp makes you one of the Dodgers, but Walker still tells people, "I worked in law enforcement."  Etc.  Is it possible that one of his personalities landed that plane on the Hudson River in 2009?  It's not impossible.

Mehmet Oz explained to Dr. Laura why he's so far behind John Fetterman in fundraising:  "When Republicans get mad, we go out and mow the lawn.  Democrats, when they get mad, donate money to their party."  Outrageous!  And those sneaky Democrats are mad about the Opus Dei court and the failure of Build Back Better and especially about the possibility of another quack doctor in the Senate.  Sensing Trump's loosening grip on the party he went on to call him "a pretend populist...My parents were immigrants..." And they did all right, to judge by the fight he and his sister are having over an allegedly forged will in the Turkish courts.  Millions of dollars/lira.  Populism pays.

I don't believe I have ever eaten Skittles, which may be a good thing.  A class-action lawsuit by a group of (dying?) Californians accuses the Mars company of not removing titanium dioxide from the candy as they promised to do in 2016, or to warn consumers that they were risking their lives.  Yes, like virtually everything else, it can cause cancer.  Of course, M&Ms are always an option.

In conclusion, this is pure joy.  Enjoy.


Wildfires in East London


I remember a joke on The Goon Show (1951-1960) about "earthquakes in East Acton."  Not impossible but rare enough and mild enough to be funny.  Today in London it's 40C (104F) and there are fires burning everywhere.  Not from a baker's oven in Pudding Lane or the Luftwaffe but our new enemy global warming -- tinder-dry grass, stiff winds and people who have not yet learned about disposing of fag-ends.  People who also mostly don't have air conditioners.  Cutting off avenues of escape, the airports were already scaling back service (understaffing) before the runways began to melt.

I'm trying to decide if I want to spend $3.99 to watch the weirdly prescient The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961), one of those movies which has slipped through the cracks, possibly because its biggest star is Leo McKern.  As befits its Cold War origin it offers a simple explanation for the heat -- the US and the USSR, unbeknown to each other, have tested thermonuclear weapons at the North and South Poles more or less simultaneously, knocking the planet out of orbit and sending it rocketing into the sun.  In 1961 very few people were saying things like "Hey, what's that hole in the ozone layer?"  It was easier to blame the two big bullies who had supplanted the British Empire as global superpowers.  Now we'd accuse China.  Some of us already have.

Of course, China is suffering, too, and India, and continental Europe and most of North America.  From Lake Mead to the Po River, water sources are drying up.  Crops are dying.  So are people -- more than 1,700 in Portugal and Spain alone.  This will increase the price of food and fuel inflation, which has already brought down the government of Sri Lanka.  The unusual weather extends even to the south Pacific, where winter storms sent fifteen-foot waves crashing into Hawaii and Samoa.  Not normal, say the meteorologists.  What's normal anymore?   Earthquakes in East Acton?

The ever-opportunistic viruses which share our planet have sensed weakness.  In Ghana two people have died this week from the Marburg virus and another 98 are quarantined.  Monkeypox is everywhere in the US and the response has been slow -- there is a vaccine but HHS is only now getting it distributed even to the District of Columbia, which has more cases per capita than any state.  It's affecting sixty other countries, and covid spikes regularly enough to spur the use of a new vaccine, Novavax.  (The announcement that Rep. Bennie Thompson has been diagnosed created some anxiety about the House Select Committee he chairs.)  It looks like this critter is here to stay. 

As I recall, Val Guest's movie begins with Brits enjoying the unusual warmth of an August bank holiday at a time when "English summer" was still something of a grim joke ("Missed it last year, I was shaving").  As the heat persists and increases, people treat it as a prolonged holiday until...maybe I should watch it again.  

Monday, July 18, 2022

Hot, huh?

 Let's just get this out of the way:

Weekend mass shooting:  Greenwood Park Mall, Indianapolis

Suspect:  Jonathan Sapirman, 20

Materiel:  Sig Sauer Mode M400 5.56 caliber rifle; M&P 5.56 mm rifle; Glock 33 pistol; over 100 rounds of ammunition

Bought legally?  Looks like

Victims:  Three dead, two wounded

Motive:  Unknown, but all three fatalities were Latino

Outcome:  Sapirman killed by "22-year-old bystander with a long gun"

Luckily it was "Bring a long gun, get a free Slurpee" day at the mall.

On a related note, National Safety Shelters of Fort Pierce, Florida, has the solution to school shootings and climate change -- this safety pod promises to keep children safe from military-grade weapons and tornadoes.  


There may be resistance from older kids who have seen Sullivan's Travels.

Or The Bridge on the River Kwai.

Speaking of bridges, Rotterdam says it will most certainly not temporarily dismantle the Koningshaven Bridge so Jeff Bezos can sail his honking great yacht out, although Oceanco shipyard was happy to get the job of building it.  There was a lot of popular discontent when the bridge-altering scheme was announced.  If some additional Bezos bucks were to come Rotterdam's way, who knows?

Fox gargoyle Maria Bartiromo must have watched Cassidy Hutchinson testify about the ketchup-splattered walls and the backseat tantrums of the previous Commander in Chief and decided it was time for some damage control.  She invited mental health expert Ronny Jackson on to ask him "Who's running the White House right now?  Are they covering up for these mental issues?"  Jackson, who has never spent a minute with Joe Biden in his former capacity as a "medical doctor," was cagy:  "We don't know if it's Susan Rice or Ron Klain or if it's Joe Biden or who it is."  Trump's physician went on to display a curious degree of knowledge about "drugs that can increase your alertness and your I'm sure some of that's going on as well."  They didn't even have the grace to suggest that Jill Biden is examining state papers like Edith Wilson in 1919.  Just to prove how mentally healthy he is, Dr. Ronny topped off the day by posing with several of his favorite assault rifles and pledging, "I will NEVER give up my firearms."  All right, Ronny, calm down.  Do you have a Xanax in your jeans?

And the stable jenius has a new hobbyhorse:  the "very disloyal" PGA which sanctions golfers who participate in Saudi Arabia's new LIV tour.  Trump just loves startup ventures, especially when he and his incompetent son-in-law collect barrels of Saudi cash on the deal.  I am not sure why this makes the PGA "disloyal," but I understand why 9/11 families and relatives of Jamal Khashoggi are cool to all this wonderful new golfing.  Maybe it's because the 2022 PGA Championship was moved from Bedminster to someplace in Oklahoma.  (By the way, LIV is 54 in Roman numerals.  It represents the lowest score you can record if you birdie every hole on a par-72 course.  That's five minutes I won't get back.)

Sunday, July 17, 2022

The worst of Times

 If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.

Ray Epps, Marine veteran, business owner and ardent Trump supporter, traveled from Arizona to Washington on January 5, 2021, to prevent what he had been told was a terrible injustice.  The following day when he found himself part of a well-primed mob, Epps did not enter the Capitol.  That was his first mistake, or possibly his second.  

Epps gave an interview to the New York Times this week but I am unable to read it without giving them money and I would rather have all my teeth removed by Rory McIlroy with a driver.  Business Insider will do nicely.  Epps agreed that he and his fellow patriots should indeed enter the Capitol, but when the riot began, there is video of him trying to prevent violence between "tourists" and Capitol police.  He says he contacted the FBI's National Threat Operations office on January 8 and records confirm this.  Another mistake.

Participants in the failed coup were divided at that point between calling it a visit by tourists and a false-flag operation by antifa/the deep state/Black Lives Matter/your villain here.  Sure enough, Ray Epps began to be accused on right-wing media of being an FBI undercover or informant stirring up trouble, a theory soon amplified by Ted Cruz, Thomas Massie, Tucker Carlson and other garbage humans.  He and his wife began to receive the customary death threats and he thought it prudent to sell his home and business and move into a mobile home somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.  Ray evidently knows what his fellow Trumpers are capable of.  

"And for what -- lies?  All of this, it's just been hell," he told the Times, echoing Shaye Moss, Adam Kinzinger, Christine Blasey Ford, Ilhan Omar, Anthony Fauci, and thousands of other politicians, librarians, doctors, teachers, election officials, judges and probably postal workers in the time of Trump.  I can only wonder why the Newspaper of Record thought Ray Epps's story was worthier than all the rest.  

Or rather, I could until I remembered the space and time they devoted to sympathetically interviewing anti-choice activists (mostly over 70) in blue states who can't take any joy in the forced-birth ruling of the Opus Dei court because that wicked medical procedure is still legal in places like New York and California.  (Florida, ladies, Florida.  Put your house on the market today.)  Or their ever-expanding roster of columnists evidently picked up at a National Review yard sale.  

Well, lookie what the Guardian says today:

"The Reuters Institute revealed last month that 42 percent of Americans actively avoid the news at least some of the time because it grinds them down, or they just don't believe it.  Fifteen percent said they disconnected from news coverage altogether."  The figures are even worse in the UK and Brazil where, coincidentally, democracy is also running for its life.  A Washington Post columnist, Amanda Ripley, says she has been "actively avoiding the news for years."  I hope she's a food writer.

The National Suicide Prevention hotline now has an emergency number:  988.  But we're just fine.  Keep America Great.


Saturday, July 16, 2022



Many Twitterati have enjoyed "Man Crossing London Street Dressed As Snail" but few understand that this is the Homemade Costume part of the Conservative Party leadership contest.  Next comes the dance competition, followed by Who Does the Best Sean Connery?  Since the previous election resulted in Trump Lite, they decided to try something different.

The city of Shanghai has declared an extreme heat warning for the third time this month as temperatures above 100F are recorded.  This must be the most incompetent climate hoax ever attempted.

                                                          Glacier collapse in Italy

A study in The Lancet, a totally serious medical journal, says people under forty should not consume more than two tablespoons' worth of wine or one shot glass of beer per day, which is kind of pointless.  People over forty, on the other hand, can benefit from "a drink or two" to stave off heart attack, diabetes and stroke.  They want us to face the twenty-first century sober?

As the inspector general of the DHS continues to seek crucial text messages sent by the Secret Service on January 5-6, 2021, the explanation for their disappearance continues to evolve.  First it was "software upgrades," then "device replacements."  Other possibilities include "solar flare," "5G magnetic pulse" and "Jewish space lasers."

According to Jonathan Lemire's new book, Steve Bannon said Trump "would lie about anything."  But he meant it as praise!  Last year Ira Rosen said Bannon was in favor of invoking the 25th Amendment because of Trump's "dementia."  But he meant it as praise!

If you were wondering what the International Olympic Committee does between games, here's a glimpse:  They have reinstated Wa-Tho-Huk a/k/a Jim Thorpe as the sole winner of the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon.  He died in 1953.

I think it's time to...RELEASE McCRACKEN!

Friday, July 15, 2022



It doesn't matter if you can read this touching tribute on Ministry of Truth Social.  What matters is "DONATE TO SAVE AMERICA."  Yes, he's fundraising.  Always Be Grifting.

She was found "unconscious on a staircase" and the medical examiner is investigating.  I believe this was the point in the Watergate case when Martha Mitchell was abducted and tranquilized during a call with Helen Thomas of UPI.  But I could be wrong.

For sheer trumpishness it would be hard to top Tina Peters, the former clerk/recorder of Mesa County, Colorado.  Although Trump won the county by 28 points, Peters insisted there was vote-rigging and created a fake ID for a man named Conan Hayes so he could "document" the updating of Dominion voting machines.  Allegedly.  Judge Valerie Robison removed her from office when she was indicted.  She then ran in the Republican primary for secretary of state, finishing third.  (More vote-rigging, she says.)  She violated the terms of her bond and left the state.  In Nevada for the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers cookout she made a speech blaming -- wait for it -- Lauren Boebert for conspiring to copy data from the voting machines (which had to be replaced).  As for Tina, she's in the jailhouse now.  Yeah, judge ordered it.  Here's Tina in happier times, with big pillowy Mike:


Did you know the uterus is as extraneous as the appendix?  Listen to this expert:

"The womb is the only organ in a woman's body that serves no specific purpose to her life or well-being.  It is truly a sanctuary," says Brad Tschida, candidate for the Montana state senate.  No, he's not asserting that trans women are women, too, no matter what Joanne Rowling says.  No, he doesn't appear to be confusing it with a marsupial's pouch.  No, he's not a doctor (fortunately).  He's a graduate of the University of Montana, but I can't determine what his major was.  What he is is a Republican, which means he can just make shit up.  And this is some Herschel Walker-level made-up shit.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) doesn't see it that way.  She has introduced the "Freedom To Travel for Health Care Act of 2022," which does what it says on the tin, keeps reactionary states from preventing women from traveling for necessary medical procedures.  It's almost as if Senator Cortez Masto suspects them of planning to do just that, maybe by electronically tagging the breeders, maybe by some form of pre-natal confinement.  Steve Daines (Montana, for fuck's sake) calls it "very very extreme" and even worked "woke" and "abortion tourism" into his rant.  I have read the bill -- very dry, frankly -- and I don't see the word abortion.  Suppose one needed to leave the state for a kidney transplant, say, or some experimental cancer treatment?  Anyway, like so many others, it will likely die in the Senate like a woman in Oklahoma with an ectopic pregnancy.

This is one reason Dr. Meg Autry, a California ob/gyn, wants to put an offshore clinic in the Gulf of Mexico.  In the great tradition of Radio Caroline and Prohibition rumrunners it would circumvent repression while waiting for the law to catch up with the people.  It's too bad Montana is so far from a coast.

"Ultimately what's important in this family is the brand and the name Trump...The presidency, democracy, ransacking the United States Capitol, these things are all secondary to the most important thing which is the brand, which is the family name...and keeping, at least in this case, their father in power."  That's Alex Holder's take on the most toxic family since Saddam Hussein's.  The truest of true believers seems to be Eric, while the smarter Ivanka dares to tell the Select Committee she doesn't believe the Big Lie.  Holder, director of Unprecedented, says trying to argue with Trump is like "dealing with somebody who is saying the sky is green."  He pronounced himself "unnerved."  We had four years of this, mate.

As temperatures in the Southwest rise to the level where stray cats explode, take a moment to thank Joe Manchin for making sure nothing will be done about climate change this session.  Manchin is worried about inflation.  Do you know how much it costs to fuel a yacht?

According to a new book George W. Bush thought Rick Perry was dumb.  And Rush Limbaugh thought Oprah was fat.  Is it the weekend yet?

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Look down that loathsome road

 "If a ten-year-old became pregnant as a result of rape, and it was threatening her life, then that's not an abortion so it would not fall under any abortion restriction in our nation," Catherine Glenn Foster of Americans United for Life told Rep. Eric Swalwell at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.  He was confused, too.  Foster is evidently unaware of all the "under no circumstances" states, or she's a practiced liar.  That "if" suggests that there is some doubt, which was indeed the Lie of the Day from Fox meathead Jesse Watters.  He suggested it was a "hoax" perpetrated by Dr. Caitlin Bernard, the Indiana doctor who treated the girl.  Todd Rokita, the Indiana attorney general, says he's opening an investigation into Dr. Bernard, though it's not clear why:  "This is a horrible, horrible scene caused -- caused by Marxists and socialists and those in the White House who want lawlessness at the border."  That last bit was a reference to the arrest of Gerson Fuentes, who allegedly told police he raped the girl twice.  And he's undocumented, which will allow the Rightzis to save face.  Even Gym Jordan, who had to delete the tweet where he said "Another lie.  Anyone surprised?"  By now the former athletic director should know enough not to comment on sexual abuse or call anyone else a liar.

You knew this was coming:  A lawyer named Jim Bopp from National Right to Life (remember those assholes?) had advice for Miss Roe II.  Under the laws he dreams up "she would have had the baby and as many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we would hope that she would understand the reason and ultimately the benefit of having the child."  This is why Margaret Atwood should sue America for copyright infringement.  Not that it should matter but she's ten.

The State Department believes Iran is planning to assassinate "current or former" senior American officials to avenge the murder of General Qassem Soleimani in 2019.  They thought Joe Biden's arrival in the Middle East was a good time to share this.  Biden is being criticized for "legitimizing" the murderous Saudi regime, evidently to get more oil on the market.  I wonder why Iran doesn't seem to threaten Israel, which regularly rubs out highly placed Iranians, seven in the last three months.  In fact, assassination is a recognized tool of Israeli foreign policy, starting with Count Folke Bernadotte of the UN in 1948.  Maybe we should worry about which country Biden is legitimizing.

Just in time for the beach, Lauren Boebert has "written" a book, which Graig Graziosi describes as "221 pages of God, guns and election fraud claims" and she describes as a memoir.  Of her political career, I assume.  If it tempts you to plan your vacation around a trip to Rifle, Colorado, there's bad news:  The House of Ptomaine has lost its lease.  A taste of the book:  Boebert says her husband Jayson did not expose himself in a bowling alley in 2004, perhaps the quintessential white trash crime, to which he pleaded guilty and for which he served time.  Fake felony! 

An Arizona carbuncle, Andy Biggs, has been kicking up a lot of dust lately, ranting about "coyotes" at the border, demanding an Official Investigation of the nonsense in Dinesh D'Souza's comedy smash 2,000 Mules.  He must have been good and spooked when his name was mentioned in the pardon context at that other Congressional hearing.  

Speaking of which, the inspector general of DHS has determined that the Secret Service erased texts they exchanged on January 5 and 6, 2021, after the IG asked for them.  That's an "oops," at least.  Coupled with the denial of Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony about Trump's tantrum in the car and the agent on Biden's detail who was sent home after an incident in a Jerusalem bar -- well, maybe a double "oops."

Ivana Trump died today, affording Fredo, Other Fredo and Princess an excuse to avoid testifying in New York.  Otherwise I'm sure it's a sad time.

I love how Hillary just Does Not Care anymore.

A man digging up his lawn in New Jersey found over a thousand dollars in 1934 bills, all Series A.  If this turns out to be Lindbergh ransom money, someone owes Bruno Richard Hauptmann an enormous apology.


Wednesday, July 13, 2022


For people steeped in mystery novels and police procedural shows, there is nothing more maddening than murder without motive.  A month after Robert Findlay Smith allegedly killed three people at a potluck supper at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, nobody knows why.  He apparently used to call police regularly to complain of "suspicious persons" or request extra patrol, but no one thought this was strange behavior for a seventy-year-old gun dealer with a houseful of weapons.  Alcohol may have been an issue.

Who now remembers Ethan Crumbley?  Several school shootings ago the fifteen-year-old killed four other students at Oxford High School in Michigan.  His parents were also arrested for involuntary manslaughter after apparently making a run for the Canadian border, not to mention ignoring repeated statements from their son like "The thoughts won't stop.  Help me."  They also bought him the gun.  I can't find out anything more, but the son's lawyer entered an insanity defense.

Give me a murder with a clear explanation.  Give me Larry Sanders of Oklahoma, who strangled his friend Jimmy Knighten while they were fishing near Ada.  Sanders told the sheriff that Knighten had summoned Bigfoot to kill him so he had to act first.  See?  Was that so hard?  We know Bigfoot is a problem in Oklahoma because state Rep. Justin Humphrey introduced a bill to create a Bigfoot hunting season, with licenses and a $25,000 bounty for trapping him.  He's a Republican.  (Humphrey, not Bigfoot, as far as we know.)

There was no reason for James Lambert to be beaten to death by a group of Philadelphia teenagers, none of them old enough to vote.  Some things happen only to reinforce belief in evil.



Tuesday, July 12, 2022


 The January 6 committee ended today with what I can only call a Butterfield Moment.  Alexander Butterfield is 96 and lives in Pensacola, an Air Force veteran who won the Distinguished Flying Cross, but in the 1970s he was a deputy to H.R. Haldeman and then to President Nixon.  On Friday, July 13, 1973 he was being questioned by Donald Sanders, a minority counsel to the Senate Select Committee, about some detailed quotes previously offered by John Dean.  Asked if it was possible they were taped, Butterfield replied, "I was wondering if someone would ask that.  There is tape in the Oval Office."  In fact he had directed the installation of the microphones.   I seem to remember a stunned silence as everyone absorbed the news that Nixon had recorded his own incriminating evidence about the Watergate burglary, the cover-up and other activities.  Forty-nine years ago tomorrow, the Nixon presidency began to unravel.

Today, led by Jamie Raskin and Stephanie Murphy of Florida, witnesses connected Trump's tweets urging the faithful to converge on Washington ("Will be wild!") with the violence they subsequently committed, especially his Proud Boy storm troopers.  We heard details of the December 18 White House wingding where Michael Flynn demanded that voting machines be seized, Sidney Powell tried to get herself appointed Law Supremo, and Giuliani called the other lawyers "a bunch of pussies" before the brawl moved to the second floor and then outside ("make sure Giuliani doesn't wander back in").  As the Day of Days approached this online exchange occurred:


Liz Cheney then lit the closing bombshell:  "After our last hearing President Trump tried to call a witness in this hearing."  The witness wouldn't take the call and informed their lawyer, who called the Committee, who notified the Justice Department.  That's right, not only is he watching the hearings but this strunz is doing his own witness tampering.  Tune in next week to learn the mystery witness's name!

In the meantime other cases proceed.  Trump and his Trumplings cancelled a hate rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, because they have to testify in New York AG Letitia James's investigation of Trump Organization finances.  Those who paid up to $3,955 for a ticket can use them at any other hate rally this summer or wait for Greensboro to re-schedule.  No refunds, suckers.

Fulton County DA Fani Willis may also subpoena Trump to appear before the grand jury for pressuring Brad Raffensperger to invent votes.  Giuliani is still laying low in the hospital but Judge Robert McBurney ordered Lindsey Graham to testify on August 2, calling him "a necessary and material witness."  Busy, busy summer.  Well, the family that perjures together...plans mergers together?

John Bolton was on CNN today disparaging Trump's coup-plotting abilities.  "As someone who has helped plan coups d'etat -- not here but, you know, other places -- it takes a lot of work."  As for Trump's efforts, "It was just stumbling around from one idea to another.  Ultimately he did unleash the rioters at the Capitol.  As to that, there's no doubt."  Jake Tapper's head did not explode, but that's just the world  we live in.  Bolton was in on the scheme to install Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela but apparently Trump and his myrmidons couldn't even do that right.  Amateurs.

Congratulations to Steve Dettelbach, who will be the first permanent head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in sixteen years.  He was confirmed today by 46 Democrats and two Republicans.  The Republicans don't want any of those things regulated and have held up previous appointments but all the mass murders have shaken a couple of them loose.  Bipartisanship, huh?