Saturday, August 13, 2022

Dog days aftermath

 That was quite a week.  It began with a preview of Maggie Haberman's coffee table book Toilets of the White House (or at least the ones with Oval Office papers visible in the pan) and ended with speculation about when Trump will be indicted under the Espionage Act.  Please keep hands and feet inside the ride.

At least now we can better understand those love letters from Kim Jong-un:

"Dear Donald,

Saw you on TV -- have you lost weight?  Thank you for the map of the "missile silos," whatever those are, LOL.  As you suggested, I have bought a gold frame and hung it over my bed.  Sorry, I am not able to "nuke California" for you right now.  (What exactly is a "woke Hollywood liberal"?)  Can't wait to meet you again in the DMZ.  Wait till you see my hot new interpreter.  She has huge kimchees, which I know you like. 

Your BFF, 

Kim 💕"

Although Lindsey Graham and Rudolph Giuliani continue to defy their subpoenas, Trump decided it was time to get serious about Fani Willis's grand jury investigation and hired a real lawyer.  (The Georgia bar is still chasing Lin Wood with a butterfly net.)  A lawyer who represents rappers, but still.  This was right after he spent the day taking the Fifth in New York like a common Frank Costello.  You can do that, apparently, if the investigation is a totally political and unfair Witch Hunt, as all investigations into Trump crime are.

Jonathan Turley, who I'm told was once a real lawyer, is now a Trumpologist frequently booked on Fox.  His explanation for those top secret documents listed on the property receipt borders on the farcical:  Trump didn't have time to sort out the classified stuff from the menus and birthday cards he was allowed to take away.  It was a crazy time, what with the January 6 event of which he was completely innocent and the legal challenges to Dominion voting machines being laughed out of courtrooms all over the country.  Mike Lindell is calling every day to say he has all the proof this time definitely, Sidney Powell is yelling about a kraken, those museum guys are packing up the Andrew Jackson portrait, Jill Biden's in and out measuring for drapes, there's hardly enough "executive time" in the day.  We've all moved house, it's chaos.  What do you throw out, what do you give away, what goes to the National Archive and what did Kislyak say he'd like as a memento?  Damn, the Mayflower van is here!

At least Turley is creative.  The best Trump could do was yet another lie about Barack Obama:  "What happened to the 30 million pages of documents taken from the White House to Chicago by Barack Hussein Obama?...Will they be breaking into Obama's 'mansion' in Martha's Vineyard?"  It took the National Archives and Records Administration about ten minutes to shoot that down.  If the papers are in Chicago, who would look for them in Massachusetts?  The scare-quotes around "mansion" are nearly sad.  It's like he doesn't even try anymore.

Beans were spilled by another Trump mouthpiece when Christina Bobb, who signed the receipt, revealed that she did not observe the search -- but Trump did.  At least, he could have.  "The folks in New York -- President Trump and his family -- probably had a better view than I did.  Because they had the CCTV they were able to watch."  Knowing Trump he probably got bored and tried to click over to the Harris Faulkner show.  And now the Justice Department is studying lots of CCTV footage to determine who was in and out of the rake closet, document dump and ball-washer storage area.

Brian Kilmeade is dizzy with power as he substitutes for Tucker Carlson.  Thursday he displayed an image of Bruce Reinhart, the magistrate who signed the search warrant, getting a foot massage from Ghislaine Maxwell.  Friday he had to confess it was an obvious fake.  And claiming it was all a joke didn't even impress Hannity.  Brian is not ready for prime time.

From time to time Trump remembers that he's still married to the odd-looking woman he once called Melanie.  "Just learned that agents went through the First Lady's [sic] closets and rummaged through her clothing and personal items.  Surprisingly left area in a relative mess.  Wow!"  Yeah, I wonder how long it took the maid to clean that up.  No, I don't.  I really don't care do U?

With covid making one of its regularly scheduled returns, monkey pox on the rise and polio showing up in the New York sewer system, I jump on any good medical news.  John Fetterman has recovered sufficiently from a stroke to resume campaigning in Pennsylvania, his syntax "largely fluent."  The news about Salman Rushdie is more grave, but at 75 you don't bounce back from a vicious assault.  He remains on a vent after surgery to repair damage to his liver and arm, he may lose an eye, but he's hanging on in a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania -- coincidentally, the place Fetterman chose to re-start his campaign.  I don't go in much for omens but this could be a good one.

As Republican hopes to take over Congress fade amid Democratic success stories -- the House passed the IRA this morning and Biden signs it next week -- Kevin McCarthy, with outstanding comic timing, chose this moment to ask, "Is America better off today than they were two years ago?"  Scrambled syntax aside, he thinks the answer is no -- inflation, gas prices, inflation, he's still not Speaker, and also gas prices.  We haven't reached Dr. King's promised land, we probably never will, but the prospect of Trump in handcuffs is a lot closer and something may finally be done to reverse climate change.  Best of all Tucker Carlson, Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, Dinesh D'Souza, Roger Stone, Vladimir Putin, Peter Navarro, Stephen Miller and Rupert Murdoch have zero influence on the executive branch.  

California is better off than most places, owing to its budget surplus.  Not only is it preparing to give residents a substantial tax refund (while supporting poorly run states like Alabama and Georgia) but beginning in September all public school students will be eligible for a free lunch.  How the hell did they do that?  A Republican state senator sponsored the bill after seeing kids at his own kids' school take leftovers from plates.  It isn't even means-tested -- they're going to give everybody eat!  That's your state, McCarthy, why can't you be a mensch like Brian Dahle?  

Can you stand more Schadenfreude?  As if it hasn't made enough enemies, the Justice Department announced an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Well, SBC, you did a bad job of investigating them yourself.  Now you reap what you sowed.  (Bible?  Shakespeare?  McCormick Reaper catalogue?)


Cue the choir of caterwauling Christians.  I'm going to have lunch.



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