Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The big stall


I'm truly sorry to make you look at that, but underpaid people in Mar a Lago have to see it every day.  

Here's another picture, equally hard to see but for different reasons.

That's some of the evidence the FBI found on its August 8 visit to Florida's most famous crime scene, arranged on the floor to show the SECRET and TOP SECRET markings clearly visible to anyone with Trump's rudimentary reading skills.  This is stuff they found in desk drawers and other random places and suddenly I'm not so sure he was looking for buyers in China or Iran.  If you think you've stolen the crown jewels you put them in the safe surely?  But they were found in some room with ugly carpet next to a box of framed Time magazine covers.  They were released because Trump, desperate to run out the clock, demanded a "special master" to examine docs that even Senator Mark Warner, who chairs the Intelligence Committee, has to read in a guarded room.  That was obviously not going to happen, but the Justice Department had to answer the motion anyway, which they did in a lengthy filing which included these lovely snapshots.  Even Judge Aileen Cannon will have a hard time finding evidence of attorney-client privilege here.   She should brace for a stream of Ministry of Truth Social invective.  After all, Trump appointed her, she's supposed to be loyal to him.  Now he'll have to mock her accent like Jeff Sessions, or body-shame her like Bill Barr.

To cut to the last page, because I'm so tired of this, the Jenius Plan seems to be for Trump or at least DeSantis to get elected president in 2024 so one of them can pardon him and end this.  At the very least a semi-fascist-controlled Congress next year will downplay all the espionage and treason and devote every daylight hour to screaming about Hunter Biden's laptop.  There's not much riding on this except a future of totalitarian rule or the limited democracy envisioned by the guys in the powdered wigs.  

And there's so much else going on!  This is the most epochal August since 1974.  The French, who allegedly all go on vacation this month, will be back tomorrow asking "Qu'est que ce?"  

Mikhail Gorbachev died.  It's generally agreed that he was loved abroad and loathed at home, a bit like Tsar Alexander II, who ended serfdom and was assassinated.  Putin is still mulling whether he can spare a few soldiers to march in a state funeral.  Based on the Ukrainian offensive in Kherson, maybe not.  In order to kill more civilians with fewer losses, Russia has bought a load of drones from Iran, but either they're faulty or the Russians are too drunk to operate them correctly.

Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, is 82 percent Black but that probably has nothing to do with the fact that it is one hundred percent without water.  The O.B. Curtis water plant was limping along before it was overwhelmed by heavy rains last week and now nobody can even flush a toilet.  Today the National Guard began distributing bottled water but ran out.  The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency -- that's right, MEMA -- is supposedly sending water trucks.  Nobody knows when the plant will be repaired.  The mayor of Jackson somehow failed to get an invitation to the governor's news conference because his name is Lumumba and he is a Democrat, but Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency anyway.  Does this sort of thing happen in First World countries?

A second grader at Cochise Elementary School in Bowie, Arizona, is charged with bringing two guns and ammunition to school.  He's seven.  I guess even Arizona draws the line there.

On Fox Business Sean Duffy was seriously offended by Biden's "semi-fascist" remark about Trump's followers.  Hurt, even.  Trump would never do such a thing.  "He went after people individually but he never went after a whole group of people," he asserted, which will be news to The Mexicans, The Muslims, The Fake News Media, people who live in "crime ridden hellholes" like Baltimore, Detroit and Chicago, the citizens of "shithole countries" and anyone who criticized him ("woke left liberals").  But generally, a uniter.  A healer.  Whatever.

Texas has a new law that requires public schools to display donated signs that say IN GOD WE TRUST and, as with forced-birth law, recognizes no exceptions.  But if you donate one in Rainbow font or in Arabic they will hand it back to you and probably call the police.  I wonder if signs in Spanish are acceptable.  

Talking up his Safer America plan, Joe Biden called for increased funding of police, especially for training.  By way of illustration, twenty-year-old Donovan Lewis was shot in his bed by Columbus, Ohio, police serving a warrant.  He had a vape pen on the bedside table.  There is remarkably clear body-cam footage.  Meanwhile, Childersburg, Alabama, police arrested Pastor Michael Jennings in the act of watering his neighbor's flowers.  It's going to take a lot of training.

Women, especially young women, are registering to vote in numbers not seen since, well, 1920.  What could be driving that?

Chaya Raichik has slithered out of her hole again.  You may remember her for unleashing violent threats at Boston Children's Hospital with an unhinged lie about gender-affirming surgery on young girls.  Now she's smearing Karla Hernandez, candidate for lieutenant governor of Florida.  Hernandez was president of the teachers union to which phys ed teacher Wendell Nibbs belonged.  Nibbs pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of nine girls in 2020, and therefore ipso facto res ipso loquitur hic haec hoc, Hernandez is a pedophile or at least a "protector" of pedophiles.  I am so glad I don't live in Raichik's head.  Or in Florida, where Ron DeSantis was happy to echo the lie.

Psychology Today has a thoughtful article called "What Is a Narcissistic Collapse?" by Elinor Greenberg.  It may contain clues to what Trump's future holds.  

Monday, August 29, 2022

Get on with it!

 It's no longer a question of if but when, and by what entity, Trump will be indicted on criminal charges.  He might as well go ahead and shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

He knows it.  That's why the line has changed from "They're mine!" to "They're declassified!" to "The FBI planted them!" to "I want a special master!" to "If you come for me I'll burn this country down!"  

A riot is an ugly thing (said Kenneth Mars in Young Frankenstein) und I think it's time we had one.


Stick a fork in him.  Once you become a joke, you're done.

Trolled by baristas.  You hate to see it.  

This is Rick "Swift Boat" Reed.  He's dead.  Congratulations, John Kerry, you outlived this piece of shit.  Enjoy the holiday weekend.

Blake "Don't Say Abortion" Masters is still running for the Senate and his campaign is trying something new:  Reminding voters about the economy by slandering women, LGBTQ and Black people, especially those who work at the Federal Reserve.  When white men were in charge things were fine, apart from that little bump in 2008, and the hiccup in 2001, and the 1990 savings-and-loan thingie, and the 1980-82 stumble and...

How many insects in human skin are currently living in Arizona?

Pastor wanted:  Matt Chandler is leaving The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, over "unguarded and unwise" communications with a woman who isn't his wife.  On Instagram.  Whatever happened to dirty phone calls?

"If there's a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information after the Clinton debacle, there'll be riots in the streets," Lindsey Graham promised Trey Gowdy, who has come to nest in Uncle Rupert's Fox sanctuary.  Lindsey, they've started.

No, what's that other thing that's like a riot?  A carnival!  The Notting Hill Carnival, to be precise, but I know people who can have one up and dancing here in half an hour, complete with sequins.  

We have one chance to avoid carnival, uh, carnage.  Ministry of Truth Social is still running, for now, and Trump used it to emit:  "REMEDY:  Declare the rightful winner or, and this would be the minimal solution, declare the 2020 Election irreparably compromised and have a new Election, immediately!"  Even Trump knows he's going to jail if he can't stage a successful coup this time.

And speaking of January 6, it's nearly September, time for the House Select Committee to resume its public hearings.  Am I the only one who thinks they're going to be a tad anti-climactic?   Maybe we'll find out if espionage is more serious than fomenting insurrection.  This is a question nobody ever thought we'd have to deal with.

The melting Greenland ice cap will raise sea levels by nearly a foot before this year is out.  Maybe we won't have to deal with it.


Saturday, August 27, 2022

What'd I miss?

 As eventful week follows eventful week, there just isn't time for less consequential but fascinating events.  Which is why we have Saturday.

"The Congressional seat in Florida's 11th district is mine for the taking.  And I will be the Congresswoman from Florida's 11th district.  I actually am the Congresswoman in Florida's 11th district, and everyone knows it."

There's refusing to concede and then there's certifiably delusional.  Laura Loomer is packed and ready to move to Washington in January, when she will presumably handcuff herself to Kevin McCarthy and demand to be sworn in.  As for the minor detail of Rep. Webster, "His health is drastically failing, he is demented, looks ill, he can barely speak, he wears a life alert, and I am willing to bet he doesn't survive until his current term is over or he pulls an early retirement and the good old boys try to hand pick another corrupt successor...I will continue to push Daniel Webster to his absolute physical limits till he resigns in we go scorched earth on the GOP establishment and get even more aggressive in the America First hostile takeover of the Republican Party...luckily I have an army behind me."

Those men in the van are not an army, Blanche, they want to help you.  Go with them.  But by all means, more of this.  Let's have a fascist v. fascist no-holds-barred every day and two on Sunday until the last termite-riddled bits of the party of Goldwater, Reagan and Trump blow away in the next moderately big wind.

Doug Mastriano was an appalling white nationalist antisemite and QAnon follower before someone came across this interesting photo of him and his friends from the U.S. Army College in 2017.  That's him in the Johnny Reb costume.  Why anyone is surprised is surprising to me, but it's today's Big Deal.

Desperate to call attention to his big fat dud of a book, Jared Kushner told that he is working out more because there's an excellent chance he will live forever.  This is only going to reinforce the impression that he is an android.  A friend told two reporters, "It's like a tongue-in-cheek joke."  Yes, Lt. Cdr. Data never mastered humor either.

Editorial standards prevent this blog from posting the "Redact this!" crotch shot of his super-manly daddy posted by Junior Trump, but it's devastating.  Really.  A grown man reduced to begging his father for just a brief acknowledgment after all these years...But I like this one.

The administration of Northwest Public Schools in Grand Island, Nebraska, has opted out of the First Amendment, closing down the Saga newspaper after it printed an article called "Pride and Prejudice:  LGBTQIA+."  To their credit, the bigots did not pretend they did it for financial reasons.

Blake Masters, Trump-anointed candidate for the Senate in Arizona, wants it known that he listens to the voice of the people, especially the ones who shocked America by voting to keep abortion legal in Kansas.  Trailing Mark Kelly by ten points, Masters has decided he doesn't oppose all abortion, just "third-trimester partial-birth" abortion, which is a phantasm of the forced-birth crowd.  He is no longer "100% pro life" as he was last Thursday.  By October he may be escorting women into Planned Parenthood clinics, if there are any left in Arizona.  It's too bad he couldn't have helped Sabrina Enciso, who was injured in a car accident and concerned about a possible miscarriage.  She tried to enter a hospital in Doral, Florida (where she works), and was prevented by two Miami-Dade police.  It's being "investigated."  Mrs. Enciso is fine, thanks for nothing.

Maybe Masters can help Nancy Davis travel from Baton Rouge to North Carolina for a termination.  Ms. Davis has been told her fetus has no skull and will die in any case, but Louisiana wants her to give birth anyway because it's run by people even meaner than those in North Carolina.  If Blake Masters or anyone else wants to donate, there's a GoFundMe.   

In a related story, Luke Bowen, the former political director of Texas Right to Life, was arrested in Conroe for soliciting sex from a minor online.  Who's the groomer now, Luke?

Someone has been "swatting" Empty Greene at her home in Rome, Georgia.  Swatting is sending the police to someone's house on spurious grounds, usually in the hope of causing a violent entry by a SWAT team.  Don't do this.  I doubt Rome has more than one SWAT team.  What if there was a real emergency?

Friday, August 26, 2022

Gloves semi-off


For an old man who doesn't know which Banana Republic he's managing, Joe Biden did good.

Last night in Rockville, Maryland, to kick off the campaign season and aid gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore, Biden said what millions of Americans are thinking:  

"What we're seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy.  It's not just Trump, it's the entire philosophy that underpins the -- I'm going to say something -- it's like semi-fascism.

"I want to be crystal-clear about what's on the ballot this year.  Your right to choose is on the ballot this year.  The Social Security you paid for from the time you had a job is on the ballot.  The safety of our kids from gun violence is on the ballot.  The very survival of our planet is on the ballot.  Your right to vote is on the ballot.  Even democracy.  Are you ready to fight for these things now?"

The Washington Post calls it "a level of partisan combativeness that Biden's administration has often avoided."  Yes, and Obama's before it, but it's past time to take the fight to the fascists.  For example:

Republicans are everyplace that will let them in the door complaining about the plan to forgive student loan.  In rapid response the White House released a handy guide to members of Congress whose PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans from the Small Business Administration were forgiven:

"How is this not a Hatch Act violation?" squealed Sebastian Gorka.  Because it's factual information, you bearded potato-head.  Sitting behind the Resolute desk and trying to strongarm Georgia officials into committing election fraud -- there's your Hatch Act.

I refuse to call it "Joe-mentum" but some kind of disturbance in the field has occurred.

The search warrant has been released and even redacted it's very, very bad for Trump.  It describes classified documents carelessly stored by someone who probably had no right to possess them.  It's hard to believe the parts about the grand jury will make him look less guilty.  Some of the swag, it says, could put "clandestine human sources" (moles) at risk.  At least once before, a covert source had to be pulled out after Trump gave a tour of the Oval Office to some of his favorite Russians.  

Naturally Trump responded by expressing admiration for the way Judge Bruce Reinhart has handled himself despite the torrent of death threats.  No, I'm kidding!  It was the usual spite-storm of grievance and paranoia.  "...animosity and hatred of your favorite President, me.  Why hasn't he recused himself?  Obama must be very proud of him right now!"  We all are, Donzo.  "Affidavit heavily redacted!!!"  Yes, to protect others from the violent threats of your droogs.  Have you thought about where you'll put all this rage when Ministry of Truth Social goes quiet?

According to the very reliable Fox Business, the platform owes $1.6 million to its web host RightForge, which is contemplating legal action.  Moreover, the patent office has rejected an application to trademark "Truth Social" because it's "confusingly similar" to at least two others.  Devin Nunes must be wondering why he gave up a safe seat in the House.  Many people ensnared in Trump business dealings have felt something similar.

It's hard to say whether this is going to add to the mix, but Ponzi schemer and Jeffrey Epstein mentor Steven Hoffenberg was found dead this week.  He was living in "a small apartment in a multifamily home" in Derby, Connecticut.  I don't want to turn into one of those squirrelly people with a whiteboard and a lot of pins and string, but if it turns out he died from a fall like Ivana Trump and Dan Rapoport, I may have to get to the stationery store.

Photo of the day:  Inna Yashchyshyn near the water hazard at Mar a Lago with Trump and his caddy Lindsey Graham.  The FBI is interested in the ease with which this "Russian-speaking immigrant from Ukraine" made herself at home there.  In fact, almost anyone could gain entrance with the right credentials and clothes.  Guess what name she used?  (Empty Greene will appreciate this.)  Anna de Rothschild, of the fabled European banking dynasty.  

Some days you're just glad to be alive.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Points of light


Last Monday I would not have suggested looking to the People's Republic of Florida for anything hopeful.  But it's Thursday, and the primary results are in.  It's not as bad as you think.

This is Judge Jared Smith of Hillsborough County.  I should say "former judge," because the good people of Tampa and environs voted to replace him with attorney Nancy Jacobs, who probably doesn't need a shirt with JACOBS on it to remember her name.  The Tampa Bay Times, which endorsed Smith, thinks it has something to do with his ruling in January (pre-Dobbs) that a seventeen-year-old was not "mature" enough to terminate her pregnancy.  A higher court disagreed, and so have the voters.

The Florida 11th district (which includes the "Vote Early and Often for Trump" enclave known as The Villages) narrowly chose incumbent Daniel Webster in the primary over professional Islamophobe, white nationalist and hand-gluer Laura Loomer.  Webster is bad but Loomer is certifiable.  "I'm not conceding because I'm a winner!" she yelled before calling her party feckless and cowardly and, of course, claiming fraud.  Loomer is now free to pursue her career of being "the most banned woman" on the internet, with GoFundMe, Venmo, Paypal, Facebook, Instagram, Lyft and Uber among those cancelling her.  (She actually sued Twitter, claiming a vast Muslim conspiracy against her.)  Boebert, Greene, Gosar and the rest of the Crackpot Caucus will have to do without her, for now.

Recovering Republican Charlie Crist won the Democratic primary for governor, promising to overturn the state's fifteen-week abortion ban.  But first he'll have to get past this guy:

Governissimo and Tom Cruise cosplayer Ron DeSantis, the man who ended the Disney threat and made it possible for high school graduates to achieve their dream of becoming teachers.  And no, he was never an Air Force pilot.  But the most exciting candidate with the coolest name is Maxwell Alejandro Frost, who is 25 and will probably become the youngest member of Congress after winning the primary for the 10th district.  He wants Medicare for all, legalized sex work and marijuana, demilitarizing the police and restoring voting rights to ex-prisoners.

About those voting rights.  With much fanfare, DeSantis announced that 19 people had been charged with voting illegally (in a state with 21.2 million people).  It now appears that all of them believed they were allowed to vote, in some cases with confirmation from election officials.  Election laws can be maddeningly convoluted, as Pamela Moses learned in Tennessee.  Maybe someone should fix this.

This is interesting:  Up north in New York Democrat Pat Ryan won a special election for the 19th district (which is scheduled for demolition).  He ran against Dobbs and called Trump "essentially traitorous," which works for me.

Carl Paladino won't be joining the Crackpot Caucus either, losing his primary to Nick Langworthy.  I think it was his admiration for Hitler that did it, but I don't know much about upstate.

In Alaska, Democrat and native Yup'ik Mary Peltola is leading Sarah Palin.  Peltola has declined to attack Palin (we'll see if that's reciprocated) and talks a lot about fish.  The Alaskan fishing industry is suffering like other parts of the environment.  Peltola has led the Kuskokwim River Intertribal Fish Commission, which advocates for management of the salmon fisheries.  Palin, as we remember, likes to shoot game from a helicopter. 

As for the Number One Democrat, Joe Biden's approval rating is the highest it has been since June following passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the PACT (burn pit) bill and his action to cancel student debt for millions.  The latter is being reviled by all the usual suspects as a second Bolshevik revolution and a gift to the "rich" at the expense of Joe and Jane Scratchcard, so...good times!  In other Biden news, two Florida sleazebags, Aimee Harris and Justin Kurlander, pleaded guilty to stealing Ashley Biden's diary from the house where she was staying and selling it to Project Veritas sleazebag James O'Keefe.  Apparently they tried to sell it to the Trump campaign but O'Keefe outbid them ($40,000).

(The pitcher's name is Justin Verlander.  I had to look it up.)

How about some Keystone news?  The state, not the Kops, although you might wonder.  Still covered in crudites, Mehmet Oz eventually thought of a comeback:  "If John Fetterman had ever eaten a vegetable in his life, then maybe he wouldn't have had a major stroke and wouldn't be in the position of having to lie about it constantly," his "senior communications adviser" Rachel Tripp said.  I'm old, so I can remember when Michelle Obama took all kinds of fertilizer for planting a vegetable garden on the White House property and encouraging children to eat salad.  Only three weeks ago mobs tried to burn down Cracker Barrel for adding a vegan sausage to the breakfast menu.  Now green is good?  I don't think that will resonate with the state that gave us Philly cheese steak and scrapple.

I wasn't aware that Fetterman was lying about his health.  Yesterday he tweeted, "I had a stroke.  I survived it.  I'm truly so grateful to still be here today.  I know politics can be nasty, but even then, I could never imagine ridiculing someone for their health challenges."  You know who could imagine it?  Who's the Foxnik who radiates good health?  SpongeShawn Squareface, of course.  Hannity sounded like he was having a stroke as he ranted about "trust fund brat...hoodie...lying...hoodie...raising money off my fund brat" and threatened legal action.  It was like having drunk Bill O'Reilly back.  

Next door at Tucker Carlson's House of White Power, the Swanson TV Dinners trust fund brat was losin' it over the plot to forgive student loan, because "student" means people who hate America and majored in BLM studies and become "Xanax-addicted robots with no job prospects."  (I don't know what it means either, who cares?)  Drugs and protest and hippie chicks on the pill, it's still 1968 for Tuckoo, bless his heart.  

Here are some elitist protesters, looking for a handout.

So much more -- Mike Pompeo's Garden of Gethsemane, the swatting of Empty Greene, the redacted search warrant and the world's longest cucumber will have to wait.  I'm working solo.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Annals of law and order

 The retrial of Adam Fox and Barry Croft, Jr., has resulted in their conviction on conspiracy to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, as well as conspiracy to obtain a weapon of mass destruction.  They didn't want to get shots or wear masks and they expressed their reservations in the usual Trumpish way.

Paul Pelosi pleaded guilty to DUI charges and was sentenced to five days in jail, with credit for two already served and two for conduct.  He has also paid fines and restitution to the driver of the SUV he hit and got eight hours of community service and three years' probation.  It's as if he were an ordinary citizen whose wife is not the third most powerful person in the federal government. 

The Government Accountability Board in South Dakota has found that Governor Kristi Noem "may have engaged in misconduct" by intervening in her daughter's application for a real estate appraiser's license.  Among those pushing for further action is former attorney general Jason Ravnsborg, who turned against her when she demanded his removal.  Ravnsborg was impeached by the state legislature over vehicular homicide.  

Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton is congratulating himself and the state because his predecessor Glen Casada and a top aide have been arrested on federal bribery and money-laundering charges.  "Today is a good day for Tennesseans because we did not turn a blind eye on these criminal activities," he said.  But it was the FBI who put the cuffs on them, and they are under siege.  The FBI and DHS report an increase in threats to federal law enforcement since the storming of Mar a Lago two weeks ago.  A little praise from a Republican official like Sexton might go a long way.  Nothing?

About that raid, which will one day be taught to commandos.  Junior Trump, campaigning for Matt Gaetz if you please, asserted, "If Donald Trump actually still had the nuclear codes, it'd probably be good."  Because all our enemies would quake, instead of saying, "Pfft, Joe Biden, he is old and confused, let us land troops in New Orleans!"  Keep helping, Junior.  You're supposed to be saying, "Everything was planted by the FBI.  Also, he has the right to de-classify everything he took by saying 'Declassificio!' even nuclear codes.  Also, I have no idea how nuclear codes work."  I don't think a Gaetz crowd absorbed much of it anyway.  Your little brother is over on Newsmax saying, "The raid is a farce.  The whole country is revolting over it."  Revolting over a farce?  Can you say "cognitive dissonance"?  I know that you can.  

I just checked several news sources and apart from those heavy breathers calling the FBI, there are no actual signs of revolt.  Here are some things I noticed:

Laura Ingraham has ordered her peanut gallery to quit moaning about how terrible the Republican senatorial candidates are and start loving them.  "They haven't had a lot of experience but that's OK!  They're out there fighting for the average person!  They should be respected for getting in the ring!"  (Insert joke about Joe Louis propping up his  

Mike Turner (R-OH) suggested that Trump needed those classified documents (FBI plants, remember) so he could write his memoirs, also presumably classified.  Ed O'Keefe of CBS did not laugh because he is a professional.

"I need people to help me because she's raising all this money from ultraliberals," Marco Rubio pouted on Fox this morning, the second time he's gone there to beg.  "She" is Representative and former Orlando police chief Val Demings, who gained prominence in the first Trump impeachment.  Question:  is an ultraliberal worse than a radicaliberal?  Asking for a close friend.

Meanwhile the Republicans scooped up $1.6 billion from Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society and his Marble Freedom Trust.  (I like my freedom well marbled, medium rare.)  The Fed Society is responsible for the three stooges McConnell Trump put on the Supreme Court, among other outrages.  Fun fact:  Christopher Wray, Trump's choice to run the FBI, is also a member.  Can you beat that?  Anyway, if Demings is out-raising Rubio, she's probably doing it in fifty-dollar increments, each small donation representing one vote.  This looks like a job for DeSantis's election storm troopers.

The authoritarian future the Rightzis salivate over has already arrived for millions.  

In China the party is cracking down on the illustrations in a math textbook because they do not "properly reflect the sunny image of China's children."  Western infiltrators have been blamed for causing "cultural annihilation."  Twenty-seven people have been punished for this offense against "correct political direction and value orientation."  (Perhaps the educators require re-education.)  Texas, take note.


On the left is Iranian writer Sepideh Rashno, looking like a young Cher.  On the right is Sepideh Rashno "confessing" on Iranian TV to wearing "improper dress."  Somewhere between the two, people seem to think she was tortured.  Probably the internal bleeding which led to her hospitalization after July 12, "Hijab and Chastity Day."  Think what Stalin could have done with television in the 1930s!  Anyway, veil up, ladies, if you know what's good for you.

Saturday was a national holiday in Hungary and the "biggest fireworks display in Europe" was scheduled on the banks of the Danube in Budapest.  It was cancelled after the National Meteorological Service predicted high winds and thunderstorms, which actually missed the capital.  For making Orban look bad, director Kornelia Radics and her deputy Gyula Horvath have been fired.  Obviously it could have been worse (see above). 

The Webb Telescope has gone to work just in time, reminding us that the universe is really, really big and our petty problems don't even register on it.  It turns out that a black hole sounds exactly like a black hole.  Share and enjoy!



Monday, August 22, 2022

Broken brains

 Sorry you've been wasting your time, David Hogg.  It wasn't the easy availability of guns.  Relax, Scot Peterson, you're off the hook for cowering outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  Now we know why seventeen people died that day, and as usual, it's the fault of a woman.  Nikolas Cruz's biological mother Brenda Woodard gave him an "irretrievably broken" brain when she consumed "bum wine, crack cocaine and cigarettes" during her pregnancy.  In other words, lock her up!

See how easy that was?  Behind every mass murderer there's a mother who wouldn't take the pre-natal vitamins.  It sounds like a case for compulsory abortion.  There's no telling how many future Jacks the Ripper are roaming around out there.  Since the Opus Dei court does not recognize any woman's right to privacy it should be easy to identify and prevent them.

While leafing through Teen Vogue Lauren Boebert came across a poll showing that 46 percent of college freshman would prefer not to share a room with someone who voted differently in 2020, and she was incensed!  "I bet these are the same kids [Democrats] who like to talk about tolerance and tell people that they're all about good vibes," she tweeted.  Wow, really, good vibes?  Like would they ask you to turn down the Beach Boys LP so they can read Karl Marx?  Or would they just prefer not to room with someone who keeps a Glock under her pillow, whose boyfriend shows up drunk and exposes himself?  Not groovy.

Three police in Mulberry, Arkansas, have been suspended for pounding the daylights out of a white man.  The woman who filmed it is lucky she wasn't next.  I wonder what their mothers did while pregnant.

Ron Johnson from Wisconsin claims today's Sergeant Schultz prize.  Asked about the January 6 insurrection, he insisted, "I had virtually no involvement.  My involvement lasted seconds."  Then he blamed an intern and a "massive conspiracy" by the House Select Committee.  Because victory has a thousand fathers and defeat is an orphan.* 


It's Monday, time for John Fetterman to own Mehmet Oz.  The TV doc inexplicably failed to erase a 2013 tweet about feces ("What does your 'poop' say about your health?") from his Twitter page.  No way that was getting past.  "When I say we need to make more shit in America, this is not what I mean," Fetterman responded.  Trump is now worried that Oz will make him look bad when he loses bigly.  I'd like to hear more about that "poop."

According to the Republicans the additional funding for the Internal Revenue Service in the IRA is the worst thing to happen to America since ever.  They stalk the airwaves and the social media describing jackbooted accountants breaking down doors and snatching meemaw's egg money.  Rick Scott warned accountants not to even apply for those jackboot jobs because the new Republican House will surely defund them.  It was left to Chuck Todd, of all people, to apply a little common sense when he told a raving Andy Barr, "Just stop cheating on your taxes, Congressman."  Now how did he know that?

Forced-birther Melissa Leavitt didn't like the results of the Kansas referendum on abortion and demanded a recount.  Choice still won by eighteen percentage points.  Time to call the Cyber Ninjas.  Oh, wait.

Trump's legal team wants a special bastard to review the stolen documents recovered from his basement.  I'm sorry, that should be special master.  

Will Riley June Williams, alleged thief of Nancy Pelosi's laptop, be allowed off the house-arrest leash to join the other neo-Nazis at the Lancaster County Renaissance Faire?   I heard you, you said something that sounded like "What the actual fuck?"  I heard it.  We'll have to wait and see.

I was going to mention Herschel Walker and his thoughts on trees, but that's enough brain-breaking for today.

*Attributed to John F. Kennedy so probably Ted Sorensen.


Saturday, August 20, 2022

When life gives you a lemon grove

 As he continues to recover in a Pennsylvania hospital Salman Rushdie may think the price is too high, but according to his books are selling like crazy.  It's called spite-buying, as when Americans made The Satanic Verses a best-seller in 1988 just to stick it to the beardy old man with the crazy eyes.  The money Trump is raking in after the "assault" on Mar a Lago, now more destructive than Pearl Harbor, is another example of the same thing.

People who avoid hospitalization or death by a short course of Paxlovid nevertheless complain about the foul taste it leaves, known as dysgeusia.  "Grapefruit juice mixed with soap" and "like I chewed a bunch of vitamins" are among the descriptions given.  It's being seriously studied -- did you know the University of Florida has a Center for Smell and Taste? -- but Pfizer is missing an opportunity if they don't market it as an appetite suppressant.

"Facts are stupid things," said Ronald Reagan, John the Baptist to Trump's Messiah, and that's the best possible explanation for this little-reported story:  For reasons unknown, a Brooklyn realtor named Chaya Raichik decided to start a rumor that Boston Children's Hospital offers "'gender-affirming hysterectomies' for young girls."  That's all it takes.  Who knows?  Maybe Raichik once had a bad experience in the hospital cafeteria.  Despite being denied by the hospital and debunked by fact checkers, this lunacy took off.  "Long past time to start executing these 'doctors,'" wrote one Trumpanzee, while others in the herd chimed in with posts about "physcopaths" and "demons."  Even Stephen Miller -- yes, the Trump courtier -- put in an appearance.  If this was a blackmail scheme, Raichik is more inept than the Pirana brothers.  If not, she (?) needs a hobby.

In other news of the delusional, Mike Pence must be running for president.  Why else would anybody visit New Hampshire and Iowa?  Pence says he doesn't think he took any classified documents when he left office.  I very much doubt he had any.  He wants "unprecedented transparency" in the investigation of Trump's crimes, but he also defends the FBI.  Don't look now, Mike, but the fence you're trying to sit on is collapsing beneath you.

This is the future.  Luis Miguel is running for the Florida legislature on a platform of "Kill them all, Trump will know his own."  Miguel asserts that it is, or it should be, legal under state law to shoot federal agents because the Internal Revenue Service has been "weaponized by dissident forces."  That's just the beginning.  He also calls for the execution of the "traitor" Bill Gates because he supported the Inflation Reduction Act; a firing squad for Kurt Schwab, president of the World Economic Forum;  and Florida independence, which is fine with me.  Miguel is expected to get slaughtered himself in this week's primary.  He's been kicked off Twitter but not disavowed by the party.  Is any of this serious or is he trying to be the Onion's version of Ron DeSantis?  I guess we'll know on Tuesday.

"Hey, this guy's crazy!" -- Steve Bannon

What does it take to lose the love of the GQP?  Read about Proud Goy Jeffrey Perrine right here.  More than six thousand people wanted him in the California Assembly, which might be enough to get him on the board of the San Juan Unified School District.  San Juan?  Shouldn't that be Saint John?

Do you feel violated?  You should.  "My rights, together with the rights of all Americans, have been violated at a level rarely seen before in our Country," Trump whined on Ministry of Truth Social today, promising "a major motion pertaining to the Fourth Amendment."  Now who told him about that one?  University of Texas law professor Steve Vladek observes that it's "virtually impossible to sue federal law enforcement officers for even egregious violations of the Fourth Amendment" (thanks, SCOTUS).  When this "major motion" collapses, his very smart lawyers can invoke the Third Amendment, claiming that troops were "quartered" in his "beautiful home" for several hours on August 8. 

If you bought The Satanic Verses to raise a middle finger to this idiot and his fashion sense, Alyssa Rosenberg explains why you should read it this week.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Just asking questions


Is Josh Hawley wearing tights in the famous "runnin' scared" video?  I haven't seen trousers that tight since the Beatles were new.

Why did Rudolph Giuliani think this would help?  "If you look at the Espionage Act it's not really about taking the documents.  It's about destroying them [like in a toilet?].  Or hiding them [in the basement of a country club?].  Or giving them to the enemy [like Yujing Zhang?].  It's not about taking them and putting them in a place that's roughly as safe as they were in the first place [like the White House when these guys were welcome?]."

Safer than the National Archives?  Sure, why not?  Go home, Rudy, you're drunk.

Now that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s anti-vax group has been thrown off Facebook and Instagram, will it find a home on Ministry of Truth Social?

Which candidate had a serious stroke in May?   Mehmet Oz blames his cratering campaign on exhaustion.  "When you're campaigning eighteen hours a day...I don't think that's a measure of one's ability to run the commonwealth."  He does know he's not running for governor, doesn't he?  And if making speeches is leaving him frazzled, maybe he should eat some real food instead of the supplements and herbal "remedies" he used to peddle.  

Because of shortages of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine the Biden administration is asking the states to distribute it using one-fifth the normal dose.  Is this effective or are we getting into homeopathic territory?

Paul LePage, who calls himself "Trump before there was Trump" (I'd go with "the warden of Shawshank if he really let himself go") was filmed threatening to "deck" a Democratic Party staffer who approached him.  But Trump would never swing at anyone, he's too much of a coward.  Maybe he means "Gianforte before there was Gianforte."


 When Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger were in politics I don't remember them needing to  slug anyone.  Or even talk tough like this slob, who wants to be governor of Maine again.

"If you ask people, which party do you like more, they say Democrats," Tucker Carlson told his terrified audience last night.  What is he prepared to do about it?  Promote more candidates like this?

Thursday, August 18, 2022


 The freedom to read is under assault everywhere.  Did you know that Britney Spears's memoir is ready for the press but Simon & Schuster can't get the paper?  And yet Broadside Books is about to publish Breaking History: A White House Memoir by Jared Kushner, all 512 pages.  I would rather read about Britney Spears, and I have no interest whatsoever in Britney Spears.  (Broadside Books is a division of HarperCollins, which is a subsidiary of News Corp., which was created in a peach tree dish from the stem cells of Rupert Murdoch.  He owns forests.)

Dwight Garner's review in the New York Times is already legendary, like the movie reviews of Pauline Kael or the one-line garrottings of Dorothy Parker.  ("Tonstant Weader fwowed up.")  It seems that two billion dollars of House of Saud blood money won't even buy you the services of a decent ghost anymore, or perhaps no decent ghost would touch it -- rather like the way no respected lawyer will take Daddy-in-Law's case.  Garner shares prose like "Every day here is sand through an hourglass" and "Even in a starkly divided country there are always opportunities to build bridges."  It makes you want to haul the thing home and find out what bridges he built.  Maybe he was the bridge, between the Boss and the people whose praise he quotes:  "You deserve an award for all you've done."  I'm surprised he didn't call it Dreams of My Father-in-Law.  

If Kushner wants to scrape some critical mud off this self-portrait, like Dorian Gray peering at the painting for signs of one good deed, he might speak to his business partner Prince Mohammed about Salma al-Shehab, a 34-year-old dental hygienist and student at Leeds University who was sentenced to 34 years in prison for re-tweeting Saudi dissidents living abroad.  Her mistake was to come home for a vacation.  The Kingdom is investing big in social media in order to get inside information on people like al-Shehab who "cause public unrest and destabilize civil and national security."  This could be a worse fate for Twitter users than the threatened sale to Elon Musk.  And it is reported that al-Shehab's "crimes" were identified with a snitching app which can be downloaded to Apple and Android phones.  Dictatorships like to involve as many people as possible in spying on one another.

When I begin to criticize other countries something usually happens to remind me how demented this one is.  A reliable source for such reminders is Florida, where a court has ruled that a sixteen-year-old is not mature enough to have an abortion but (obviously) mature enough to be a mother.  No matter how many times you read that, it does not make any more sense. 

May I respectfully request that someone give me that old-time religion?  Meet Pastor Carlton Funderburke of Kansas City's Church of the Well, who aired a grievance against his congregation:  They're cheap.  Specifically, "poor, broke, busted and disgusted" because they failed to buy him a Movado watch.  And him the founder of a non-profit "linking corporate America to grass-roots Christian organizations, creating synergy, funding and partnerships."  How can they expect such a man to wear a lousy Timex?  WWJW?

The mission of PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists) is to advocate for free expression and defend writers, journalists and publishers under siege in places like China, Syria, Cuba and Turkey.  And now, teachers and librarians in America.  Mostly our writers are all right, but this guide to the Republican/fascist assault on public schools and libraries, and even some private schools and colleges, would make a Founder weep.  Especially Jefferson, who wanted to be remembered on his gravestone for establishing the University of Virginia and specifically not for being president.

Somebody in the Lawrence County (Alabama) Republican organization decided the original was too subtle for Alabama and added the eyeholes.  But why apologize?

If you had Dan Rapoport on your Enemies of Putin bingo card, please make yourself known to one of the verifiers.  Rapoport's body was discovered outside his Georgetown apartment after he "jumped" from a window.  How many does that make?

Permanently unsuccessful candidate for stuff Carl Paladino has called for Merrick Garland to be executed "probably."  A year ago he was passing sentence on Anthony Fauci, who is alive and well.  Who keeps nominating this guy?  Meanwhile Fox's Mark Levin was comparing Liz Cheney to both Benedict Arnold and Jefferson Davis because he does not history good.  And as John Fetterman continues to eat Mehmet Oz's lunch of broccoli, asparagus and guacamole, Steve Bannon proclaimed him "satanic."  Only August and they're sweating like the Fat Guys Softball Team at a company picnic.

Asked about his chances of becoming Leader of Leaders again, chinless wall-eyed homunculus Mitch McConnell sounded doubtful.  "I think there's probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate.  Senate races are just different, they're statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome."  Babel-fish translation:  "We can't gerrymander whole states.  As for quality, we've got Walker, Oz, Vance, Masters, shit, we'll be lucky to scratch out a win for Johnson, who's an incumbent.  Where does Trump find these boneheads?"  Where indeed?  

Settling scores

The planet is in trouble and the other creatures who have to share it want us to know that they know who's to blame.

A woman in rural northwest Iowa was killed by her five Great Danes.

A bear entered a house in Missoula, Montana, by crawling through the cat door and ransacked the kitchen.  The cat was unharmed.

A woman was killed by an alligator in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

An alligator attacked a man swimming in Lake Thonotosassa, Florida.

A gang of macaque monkeys has attacked more than fifty people in Yamaguchi, Japan.

A couple in Medford, Wisconsin, used a knife and a gun to kill a black bear in their house.

A man in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, shot a 400-pound bear which entered his house by opening the door.

A dolphin in Japan has bitten at least two swimmers this summer.

A breaching whale landed on a fishing boat off the coast of Massachusetts.

Three people have been gored by bison in Yellowstone National Park this year.

Want to see a man fleeing a giraffe?

How about a pissed-off elephant?

Still want my horn for an aphrodisiac, asshole?

Wild boars are terrorizing Rome.  Yes, in Italy.

Off the coast of Florida a woman was stabbed by a sailfish as her friends tried to land it.

A bunch of people, mainly children, have been mauled or killed by family pets.

A black bear messed with a woman who was hiking the Coastal Trail in Alaska.  I don't know how else to describe it.

Sharks, don't even get me started.

It's nice that we're doing something about carbon emissions but I think they're out of patience.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022



Is anything truly unspeakable now?  The word that earned Ralphie Parker a mouthful of Lifebuoy, that even George Carlin (the James Murray of demotic English) said was to be saved for the end of the argument -- "Fuck you and everybody that looks like you!" -- at some point insinuated itself into everyday speech.  For example, last week in Mineral Wells, Texas, Beto O'Rourke was talking about gun control and the Uvalde mass murder when a member of the crowd laughed.  "It may be funny to you, motherfucker, but it is not funny to me," he responded.  This was remarked upon for several days, but nobody seemed to find it disqualifying for a gubernatorial candidate.  After all, Beto has form:  After the massacre in El Paso he had demanded, "Members of the press, what the fuck?" to disingenuous questions about whether Trump bore any responsibility for the deaths of 23 Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.  He also observed that three hundred mass shootings per year was "fucked up."  That became a campaign shirt.  That was two years after Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stated, "If we are not helping people we should go the fuck home," because ladies can swear, too.

There is, of course, a swath of the population that still grabs for the smelling salts (or pretends to) at "vulgar" language.  Some vulgar language, anyway -- they think it's witty when Trump tweets, "Every time I speak of the haters and losers I do so with great love and affection.  They can not help the fact that they were born fucked up!"  (The exclamation point is providing most of the wit.)  Every book about his reign of seditious error is replete with quotes employing similar language.  We've traveled far from newspapers printing excerpts from Nixon's private conversations studded with "[expletive deleted]," usually when he was discussing Democrats, journalists, Jews, the Washington Post and certain judges.  It's hard to believe the Trumpists were really shocked on election night 2018 when Rep. Rashida Tlaib assured cheering supporters, "We're gonna impeach the motherfucker."  

Even so, I was surprised when Barack Obama, who rarely allowed himself to display anger or any other emotion that might scare the suburbs, tweeted his response to Democrats passing, and Joe Biden signing, the Inflation Reduction Act:  "This is a BFD."  Which, as first-graders know, stands for "Big Fucking Deal."  No explanation necessary.  

Is that it?  Can you say anything?  Of course not.  Every society and subset of society defines itself by the forbidden.  Right now some people are asserting their right to be described by pronouns of their choosing, which strikes me as a silly little hill to die on (not to mention an occasion for rightwing mockery) but is clearly important to them.  People have lost jobs through careless deployment of racial and sexual terms, forgetting that a Facebook post is not a bachelor party.  A comedian named Jerry Sadowitz was cancelled by the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for being too offensive, which is the whole point of his act.  (His opening line, "Nelson Mandela -- what a cunt," pretty much defines oh-no-he-didn't.)  Not just offensive in places, like Jimmy Carr or Dave Chappelle.    People walked out because they felt "unsafe."  They're words, not weapons.  And Sadowitz is 60, so he's been doing this for a while.  Who bought tickets expecting Jim Gaffigan?

We'll never agree on what's acceptable, what's funny, what's beyond the pale.  But when we get distracted by the speech police, we lose sight of what really matters.


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Stopped making sense

 The FBI returned Trump's passport collection with a note:  "Thanks, we just needed a laugh."  His photo actually looks like him.

Junior Trump offers a "pro tip for life...Become a Democrat.  Then you can do whatever you want with no accountability, no legal action...they'll just leave you alone."  Former Governor Andrew Cuomo would like to dispute that.  And I believe Adam Clayton Powell and Harrison Williams are calling from the beyond.  Junior needs to find a dealer whose product is not cut with rat poison.  Or read a history book not by Bill O'Reilly.

Allen Weisselberg is negotiating a guilty plea on fraud charges with the Manhattan District Attorney in return for a brief spell on Rikers Island, which is lovely this time of year.  Weisselberg is or was CFO of The Trump Organization, in case you've forgotten.  I'm sure Trump has also forgotten, or barely knew him, he was terrible at his job despite holding it for decades.  Also he lives in a suburban house Trump found "embarrassing" the one time he attended a shiva there and amused the other mourners with pictures of naked women.  Allegedly.  

Add China to the list of countries determined to police women's clothing.  Also people's fantasy lives.  A woman in Suzhou was arrested for cosplaying a character in Summer Time Rendering, a manga series, wearing a Japanese kimono and a wig.  Growing Chinese nationalism and centuries-long scratchy relations with Japan are blamed, but I'm not sure it's different from the French obsession with burkinis or the Taliban draping Afghan women in tarpaulins.  When men have the courage to wear skirts, nobody in authority seems to give them shit.

"There's no meat on that plate!  This is downright unAmerican," complained one carnivorous Cracker Barrel patron of the new vegetarian sausage.  The fried pickle introduced this week sounds unhealthy enough, but they just don't like change.  There's still plenty of meat on offer but the enraged are enraged that someone else may not want it.  "Change the menu back to like it was pre-COVID," another begged.  And why isn't Bonanza on every week?  Are those col...uh, black people you're serving?  I'll take my Family Bucket to go, please.  

The Trump-anointed continue to amuse as they campaign for office this summer.  Today's stooge is Bo Hines, running in the North Carolina 13th.  Today he told a hate-radio host, "A lot of people have likened the situation that's going on right now is, you know, they say we're in a Banana Republic.  I think that's an insult to Banana Republics across the country.  I mean, at least the manager of Banana Republic, unlike our president, at least he knows where he is and why he's there and what he's doing."  A suggestion, Bo -- probably don't insult anyone else's cognitive skills when you don't know what the term "banana republic" means.  Yale, huh?  

If it helps, Bo, it's not going any better for Mehmet Oz.  When will rich office-seekers learn to stay out of grocery stores?  George H.W. Bush gazed at a price-scanner as if it was alien technology, and Oz re-posted a video of himself shopping for crudites, as I'm pretty sure they aren't known in Kutztown.  He was at Wegners, or Wegmans, or Redners, but anyway not at Banana Republic.  Much mirth!

As Joe Biden prepared to celebrate yet another legislative triumph by signing the Inflation Reduction Act, John "Shet Mah Mouf" Kennedy turned up on Jesse Watters's Treehouse to discuss his utter failure and how he has "mismanaged" everything.  The fake cracker does not seem to share our timeline.  I guess it helped the Foxniks get over their butthurt at more bad news.  For example:

Rudolph Giuliani isn't only dodging a subpoena for grand jury testimony, he's under investigation for election crimes himself!  And only weeks after "the left" put him in the hospital with a yuge heart attack.  Disgraceful!  (I'm saving Trump a few keystrokes.)  Also, judges keep ordering Lindsey Graham to haul ass to Atlanta and stop hiding behind the Speech or Debate clause.  Persecution!  Giuliani has a press conference scheduled tomorrow in the parking lot of Marriott Lighting Fixtures in Long Island City.  

What's this?  Could Val Demings really be leading Marco Rubio?  Was it maybe not a good idea to propose a cut to Social Security in a state known as "God's waiting room"?  Got a Bible quote to cover that, Marco?  And is the Republican Senatorial Committee really so short of cash that it is cancelling ads in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona?  What happened to the Red Wave or the Red Menace or whatever it was called?  In a few weeks it might be called DCA (Dobbs Changed Everything).  Even MAGA is energized.  (That's Mothers Against Greg Abbott.)

If you voted in Georgia, Michigan or Nevada in 2020 there's a chance your data was "acquired" by a company called SullivanStrickler working for Trump's lawyers.  It's all just stunningly illegal and may initiate yet another "Witch Hunt!" of the tragically persecuted loser.  Maybe it's time to complete the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Baku, Azerbaijan, and start moving the fugitives in.  Thirty-three floors should be enough.