Friday, April 28, 2023

Everyone's on edge


In a new Netflix series Adele James (left) portrays Cleopatra and already the Egyptian antiquities ministry is angry, asserting that she had "white skin and Hellenistic characteristics."  Which may or may not be true but why pick a fight over it?  Lest you think racism is new to Egypt, back in 1983 they were already angry, banning the TV series Sadat because the assassinated president was played by Louis Gossett, Jr.


Crankiness is ramping up.  William Martys was using a leaf blower in his yard in Antioch, Illinois, probably not for the first time, and his neighbor Ettore Lacchei, 79, decided to do something about it.  He shot Martys in the head.  Nobody likes leaf blowers but this seems extreme.  Of course Antioch is the hometown of Kyle Rittenhouse.

Ron DeSantis went on tour to look "presidential" and try to revive his collapsing campaign.  The last thing he needed was a reporter asking him about Mansour Adayfi's claim that DeSantis enjoyed watching him force-fed at Guantanamo.  Which is what he got at Jerusalem's Museum of Tolerance.  (You can't make this up.)  "It's 2006, I'm a junior officer, do you honestly think they would have remembered me?" he snarled.  Yes, if you were laughing.

Jack Teixeira's lawyers tried to get him sent home to his parents on the grounds that he was just a gamer caught up in the excitement and out to impress his friends with the classified information he stole.  But he's still in jail because the DOJ showed the judge evidence of his plans to build an "assassination van" and stock it with his extensive collection of weapons.  (The FBI recovered handguns, shotguns, rifles, an AK-style weapon, a gas mask and a silencer from his bedroom gun locker.)  He described "culling the weak minded" and opening fire "in a crowded urban or suburban environment."  The judge was not convinced by the assertion that he never meant the information he shared with his buds to be "widely disseminated" because he didn't realize the internet works like that.  He also thought he could cover his tracks by breaking up his computers and XBox.  Massachusetts Air National Guard, try harder.

According to Lauren Boebert, "our children and our children's children will not benefit from the blessings of America" unless people are unafraid to engage in violent encounters with flight attendants.  I have no idea what set this off -- maybe she was told to fasten her seatbelt or put her gun away.  Boebert clearly goes through life looking for a fight.  Are flight attendants woke?

Randi Weingarten is not a doctor.  This was established yesterday at a session of the Overlook Committee.  But apparently the Montana legislature is full of them, and they produced SB 458 to nail down for all time the definition of gender, complete with ALL CAPS in the style of D. Trump tweeting on the toilet.  If you feel boggled, you're not alone.

A Fox News poll found that 19 percent of Democrats support regular Fox guest Robert Kennedy, Jr., for president.  And no wonder:   In an ABC News interview Kennedy accused Democrats of "censorship" but viewers didn't get to hear his views on the long-discounted connection of vaccines and autism.  Even with a disclaimer, the editing was remarkably dishonest.

There was a touching reunion yesterday in New Hampshire, when convicted January 6 insurrectionist Micki Larson-Olson got to hug the man responsible for her six-month prison sentence.  She still thinks Trump is the "real president" and she wants a front-row seat for Mike Pence's execution.  You may remember her for her Captain America costume and the way six cops had to drag her off a scaffold.  Don't be too hard on New Hampshire -- she lives in Abilene, Texas.

On Fox News Tonight Brian Kilmeade is reading all the required gibberish about fentanyl, Biden's "divisive" campaign ad and immigration, but it's not working.  The Carlson Crew won't have it, presumably sitting in the dark for an hour or using the time to catch up on their death threats.   Is Fox shopping for a new hate-meister?  I think Doug Mastriano is free.

In short, throw away the leaf blower and buy a rake.  It's just not worth it.


Thursday, April 27, 2023

Bad people

 "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind," wrote John Donne, but some days I don't feel so involved.  I can't believe the world is left worse by the deaths of Jerry Springer or Carolyn Bryant Donham.  In a small way, they overlapped:  Donham was responsible for the torture and murder of Emmett Till and one of Springer's appalling TV shows was titled "I'm a Breeder for the Klan."  They will be mourned by someone.

Last year Springer told an interviewer, "I just apologize.  What have I done?  I've ruined the culture."  Mrs. Donham, on the other hand, never apologized for fingering Till to her husband and his half-brother.  You can argue that Till's death, and the refusal of his mother Mamie Till-Mobley to let the matter rest, jump-started the modern civil rights movement in 1955, surely the last thing the Bryant-Milam family had in mind.  Nevertheless, I can't find any grief this morning.

"If I were in your shoes I'd be having a conversation with your client," Judge Lewis Kaplan told Joe Tacopina this morning, because he has been made aware of social media posts by Eric Trump.  Afraid that his father's sociopathic rantings were not getting the job done or might result in a criminal charge of jury tampering, Spare decided to jump in and discredit E. Jean Carroll's case because it is "being funded by a billionaire...out of pure hatred, spite or fear of a formidable candidate, is an embarrassment to our country."  Imagine, a billionaire funding something besides the vacations of a corrupt Supreme Court justice.  Outrageous.  (Spare's post was deleted but nothing disappears on the internet.)  Yesterday Dad was already online before the trial started:  how could he, "being very well known, to put it mildly," have raped anyone.  And celebrity has what to do with it? wonders R. Kelly.

Everything's bigger in Texas, including civil rights lawsuit settlements.  The family of Holly Barlow-Austin will receive $7 million because LaSalle Corrections, a private prison, allowed her to die without medical care at its Bi-State Justice Center in 2019.  Denied medication for HIV and mental health issues, she was blind and unable to walk at the end.  If it was anywhere else we might celebrate the end of for-profit prisons, but Texas...

He's back!  "The other thing you notice when you take a little time off is how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are," said Tucker Carlson by way of not explaining why he got the hook at Fox News.  "Where can you still find Americans saying true things?  There aren't many places left but there are some and that's enough."  Vague enough for you?  He could be selling subscriptions to the Christian Science Monitor.  

Margie Greene is always willing to make a fool of herself on a grand scale.  Today she implied that step-parents are not real parents.  Questioning Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers about her credentials she demanded, "Are you a medical doctor?  Are you a mother?"  Neither is in any way involved with running a union but Empty was on a roll.  She accused Weingarten of being "a political activist," as if there's something wrong with that.  For the record, Weingarten is a parent to her wife's biological children legally and in every other way; the Neanderthal stopped short of demanding, "Are you even a woman?"  If she wants to take on step-parents, there are more than 30 million in the US, including Jill Biden and Kamala Harris.  Might even be some in Georgia.

Nikki Haley should get a lab to analyze the skin whitener she is using.  She's starting to look like a mime.  On the other hand, it seems to have made her clairvoyant.  She says a vote for Joe Biden is effectively a vote for non-cosmetically-altered Kamala Harris:  "The idea that he would make it until 86 years is not something that I think is likely."  Don't hold back, Madame Nimarata -- who do you see winning the Derby next month?

People in Southeast Asia and southern Europe are already dying of the heat but Ron Johnson says Americans should "take comfort" in catastrophic climate change, especially those in Wisconsin because it gets cold there.  Some poor economics professor kept trying to get him to see that Wisconsin is not the world.  It's been tried before.  Johnson is very, very stupid.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

...and pass the ammunition

 For a Knight Commander of St. Gregory, Rupert Murdoch doesn't seem to have much patience with public displays of religiosity.  According to our old friend A. Source, he decided to rid himself of this turbulent host after Tucker Carlson made a weird speech to the Heritage Foundation which indulged in the end-times rhetoric now permeating the Republican Party.  There were other considerations -- the Dominion payout, the Abby Grossberg lawsuit -- but Rupe really didn't care to be told that politics is a battle between good and evil, evil being transgender rights which will somehow destroy America.  Here's the money quote:

"I have concluded it might be worth taking just ten minutes out of your busy schedule to say a prayer for the future, and I hope you will."  (Since prayer is mental masturbation that sounds about right for time.)

The last thing Murdoch needs right now is more people nagging him about god.  According to Gabe Sherman in Vanity Fair, Carlson had dinner with the boss and his then-fiancee Ann Lesley Smith.  Somewhere between the soup and the fish Smith pulled out a Bible and started reading from the book of Exodus.  Aloud.  She also told Daddy -- you just know she calls him Daddy -- that Carlson was "a messenger from god."  That apparently sealed his fate.  And this was before the Sermon to the Heritage Foundation.  "By taking Carlson off the air, Murdoch was also taking away his ex's favorite show," Sherman writes.  That is so Rupert.  Heartbroken but still rattlesnake mean.

Maybe I was wrong about Christian Broadcasting Network.  Carlson could be Ed McMahon to Robertson's Johnny Carson.

Trump didn't have the guts to confront E. Jean Carroll in court but that doesn't mean he isn't participating in the trial which began yesterday.  On Ministry of Truth Social he is repeating all his rants about "Witch hunt!" and "complete con job."  This time Judge Lewis Kaplan isn't having it, since this time it amounts to jury tampering ("a public statement that, on the face of it, seems entirely inappropriate").  In other words, Mr. Tacopina, control your client, who is "tampering with a new source of potential liability."  Two other women will testify to a pattern of gross behavior.  They too will be slandered, because Trump is too stupid and arrogant to identify his own best interest.

For conspiring to defraud sapheads who donated to "We Build the Wall" Brian Kolfage was sentenced to four years in prison by federal Judge Analisa Torres.  Andrew Badolato got three years and Timothy Shea will be sentenced in June.  Their co-conspirator Steve Bannon skated on a Trump pardon.  So long, suckers.

The word "demonic" is in heavy rotation, describing everything from transgendered people to music videos, but it really should be saved for cases like this:  Randall Cooke made a delivery for Uber Eats to the home of Oscar Solis in Holiday, Florida.  He was killed and dismembered, his body parts deposited in several garbage cans along with his car keys and wedding ring.  Sheriff Chris Nocco of Pasco County observed, "This person, you always say the word evil, but this is demonic."  Apparently Solis, an MS-13 associate, didn't want to pay for the food.  "Delivery driver" is starting to rival "lumberjack" for Most Dangerous Job in America.

Think of that when you order a pie to try out your new Marsha Blackburn pizza cutter.  It has the Tennessee stars on one side and "Cutting the red tape" on the other, but thankfully no likeness of the Republican Senator.  Only $20 wherever campaign tchochkes are sold (her website).  And tip the delivery person generously.

David Gianforte describes himself as non-binary, using both he and they as pronouns of preference.  Why is this significant?  Because his father is Governor Greg Gianforte of Montana, who has on his desk several anti-LGBTQ bills his son would like him to veto, or at least not sign.  This is a footnote to the case of state Rep. Zooey Zephyr, who terrifies the state legislature and its Republican supermajority.  Not content with refusing to let her speak, the rest of the mob are considering expulsion because that didn't backfire at all when it was tried in Tennessee.  Zephyr disrupted the decorum of the dignity by holding up a turned-off microphone while supporters chanted "Let her speak!" before being dragged out of the gallery.  (In a state whose governor is best known for slugging a reporter, what does decorum even mean?)

The laboratories of democracy, Justice Brandeis called the states in 1932.  I assume he had just seen Frankenstein.

Breaking news:  Fox News is "in bed with the left."  According to Kari Lake, so take it with a grain of salt the size of the Grand Canyon.  The Empress of the Southwest urged Tucker Carlson to speak out and sacrifice all the millions of dollars he won't be paid if he does (once again, according to A. Source).  "We need your voice over the next year and a half to save our country."  Watch out, Donnie -- another messiah shaping up.  Jonah Goldberg also sees a Carlson future in his crystal ball:  "I think there's a very real possibility he goes full Joe Rogan, creates his own thing, then he gets to do things on his terms."  And shaves his head?  I want him to shave his head.

Oh lordy, more tapes.  Specifically, there's one where Ted Cruz chats with Maria Bartiromo about his plot to create a phony "commission" which would succeed where Mike Pence let them down, by pretending to investigate the certification and proclaim it fraudulent.  Ari Melber got a copy from Amy Grossberg, once Tucker's stooge-booker, now Fox's enraged enemy.  Naturally Cruz denies the whole thing.  

On Monday night Carlson's name came up on the network he used to rule, and Sean Hannity cut off debate:  "We're not talking about him."  Now I am king of the cats! he did not add.



Tuesday, April 25, 2023

If I may interrupt

 Some quarters of the internet are still giddy about the disappearing of Tucker Carlson (yes, Wonkette, you know I love you but come on), so I thought it was time to consider some other news.

Americans and maybe others were dosing themselves with horse dewormer to cure covid but that's a choice.  It's not ethical to give people drugs to animals.  I'm talking about the pranksters at the University of Oregon who have been feeding cannabinoids to earthworms to give them the munchies.  Soaking them in it, according to the article -- of course they crave snacks.  What wouldn't?  I'm also talking about a less formal experiment going on in Arkansas, where Bridgette Watkins has been adopting fawns.  She feeds them meth in the hope that they will attack hunters when they grow up.  Fed, I should say, because the police arrested her Friday.  A neighbor discovered her wearing a duct tape bikini and dismantling his clock radio, which one of the fawns allegedly stole.  No charges have been filed against the fawn.

The criminal career of Clarence Thomas is focusing unwanted attention on the whole Supreme Court, with those pesky reporters digging up all sorts of interesting stuff.  For example, it looks like Neil Gorsuch had no luck unloading a luxurious vacation house in rural Colorado until Trump/McConnell/The Federalist Society put him in the seat they stole from Merrick Garland.  Then like magic a lawyer named Brian Duffy appeared and bought the place for $1.8 million.  Does Duffy's firm argue cases before the US Supreme Court?  Nearly two dozen in six years.  Why do you ask?

The law in Oklahoma concerning the termination of pregnancy is so restrictive and so confusing that women are fleeing the state to save their lives.  Ironically, these are women who wanted to continue their pregnancies but miscarried; nevertheless, they are turned away by doctors and emergency rooms afraid of prosecution.  A 21st century John Steinbeck should write a book about these latter-day "Okies" just trying to survive in a pitiless time.

It's hard to say who's taking Tuckerdammerung harder, Peter Navarro or Solovyov Live.  Navarro raged at Brian Kilmeade ("cowardly scumbag") for even thinking he could replace the king of white nationalist TV, while Russian state television hasn't witnessed such grief since the death of Stalin.  Vladimir Solovyov cried, "Tucker, come work with us!" adding "Freedom to Tucker Carlson."  He may not be aware that when you're fired from American propaganda TV you do not go directly to a labor camp.  

"We like our beer cold not woke," tweeted the actual governor of Arkansas as she and some of her sister-governors launched a line of beer koozies to keep your brew chill and let people know you're not chugging that Bud Lite.  "Real Woman" they say (get it?).  If I have to drink beer while being stared at by Sarah Sanders, Kay Ivey, Kristi Noem or Kim Reynolds, I'll need a lot more than one.

Joe Biden announced that he's running for a second term (but he's so old!).  

Harry Belafonte died at the age of 96.  People are living longer.  Not long enough, though.



White squall

 I was up all night (all right, between two and two-thirty) worrying about poor Tucker Carlson.  Where do you go when you've burned through three cable networks?  I suppose the rightward lunge of CNN could afford him an occasional gig but they already have Corey Lewandowski, Rick Santorum and Adam Kinzinger.  ESPN probably isn't looking for another overt racist after its unfortunate experience with Rush Limbaugh.   There's always CBN but I doubt Pat Robertson wants to share the spotlight with anyone.  (Like Murdoch and Kissinger, he is probably immortal.)  

I think I have the answer:  The Weather Channel.

Since largely abandoning its original mission of giving the local weather every ten minutes (it interfered with the flow of the commercials), The Weather Channel has struggled to reinvent itself.  For a while it was showing movies.  Movies with weather in them, but movies.  The morning shift has an enormous couch and has been encouraged to act like a talk show, covering topics like car maintenance, emergency supplies and flu symptoms, and interviewing locals about their experiences with flooding and snowfall.  They have series like "Storm of Suspicion," about people who take advantage of bad weather to commit murder, and "Fast:  Home Rescue" about people rebuilding their storm-damaged houses.  There's a show called "Weird Earth" for people who like their nature supernatural.  It's the go-to channel for hurricanes, if only to find out if Jim "Catastrophe" Cantore is in your vicinity.  But mostly weather is just not riveting.

Carlson could fix that.  I can see him interviewing climate-change deniers, "just asking questions" about whether Big Pharma causes disease, and giving a platform to the latest conspiracy theories.  After all, many people in his Fox News audience are sure the Deep State has the technology to cause horrific weather.  "Have you noticed all the tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas?  But there are no tornadoes in Delaware.  Who lives in Delaware?  Come on, people, isn't it obvious?"  "You have to ask why floods in Florida now.  And how did they end the drought in California?"  "Why have we never had a hurricane named Hillary or Kamala or Ketanji...Katinji...whatever it is?"  "Maybe if those Soros-backed meteorologists got it right their maps wouldn't have to be corrected at the highest level."

"After the break, Robert Kennedy, Jr., will explain how vaccines cause cancer.  By the way, have you noticed that since the Democrat Party took over in Michigan there hasn't been a single earthquake there?  I wonder why that is."

Who says there are no fourth acts in American lives?

Monday, April 24, 2023

Tuck, Tuck...boom!

 Fox News won't be the same without Tucker Carlson, who was apparently fired today on orders from Rupert Murdoch.  According to the Los Angeles Times the proximate cause was not the mendacity or the racism or the Russian propaganda but money -- specifically the pending lawsuit from former producer Abby Grossberg.  It looks like the proprietor, who just had to settle the Dominion Voting lawsuit for $787.5 million, wants to cut his losses before suits from Smartmatic and others come up.  

Stunned fans are putting the best face they can on the tragedy, with some claiming it means Carlson will be Trump's running mate.  His former colleagues are expressing their chagrin but I'll be surprised if one of them invites him to be a guest.  Going out on a limb, I'll predict that Carlson and Don Lemon (who got the long-expected push from CNN today) will form a Rowan and Martin-type comedy act, with Carlson as the straight man.  Long odds but a bigger payout, right?

Carlson's departure is good news for Ray Epps, who told Bill Whitaker last night that Tucker is "obsessed with me" and out to destroy him.  I guess 60 Minutes saw some ratings or journalistic value in providing a platform to Empty Greene and went looking for another Trumper.  Epps went to Washington before the coup attempt and was filmed urging people to invade the Capitol but never did so himself, which is why he was never indicted.  Carlson and others have spent hours accusing him of being a government agent provocateur and he wanted to tell his side.  It looks like he won't be getting that apology now.

"God spoke to my heart quite often about the direction of our country...and the message for us is it's time to unify again."  Joe Lieberman?  Marianne Williamson?  Pat Boone?  We could be here all day so I'll just tell you:  it's businessman/pastor Ryan Binkley announcing that he's available for the Republican nomination for president.  No one has heard of him outside Texas and very few within, but the "Huh?" factor hasn't stopped Vivek Ramaswamy and his "Woke...grrr....bad!" campaign.  Ramaswamy has already spent ten million of his own biotech dollars on this waste of time, while the Reverend Binkley probably sees politics as a fundraising sideline.  The more the merrier, I say.

I've just been handed a note that Ramaswamy was booked on tonight's Tucker Carlson White Power Hour.  Hard cheese, as the Englanders say.

As south Florida struggles to recover from historic flooding (25.6 inches in Ft. Lauderdale without a hurricane), its ambitious governor is in Tokyo praising Japan's military buildup and pushing investment in Florida to make up for all the damage he has done to the state's economy.  Since Disney has a park in Urayasu, he might be trying to talk them into some anti-LGBTQ regulations as well.  According to Haaretz Governor Pudding Paws will also meet Benjamin Netanyahu when he drops by Israel on his way home.  The DeSantis World Tour is scheduled to hit South Korea and the UK.  Is he planning to crash the coronation?  Stay tuned.  

A new book by Anthony Seldon and Raymond Newell, Johnson at 10, takes us where we never wanted to go, inside the good ol' boys Special Relationship between Trump and Boris Johnson.  Apparently Trump amused Johnson on the phone with his nasty impersonations of Theresa May, which the authors call "appallingly rude."  Asked in 2018 why she was so often photographed holding Trump's hand, Mrs. May explained that she was merely helping him up stairs and slopes.  And this is the thanks she got.

You may remember he had to clutch the hand of the Superintendent to descend a ramp at West Point two years later and subsequently spent weeks telling hate rallies it was practically a ski slope.  He even showed them the soles of his shoes.  Fascists can never show weakness, especially obese ones who are unaccustomed to exercise.  With lifts in their shoes.

In response to this morning's bombshell news Lauren Boebert tweeted, "I STAND WITH TUCKER CARLSON!"  One can only hope she will soon be unemployed, too.


Sunday, April 23, 2023

Your Sunday Tabloid

You may have heard the National Enquirer has launched a digital version because there isn't enough utter garbage on the 'net now.  So we bring you the most unlikely stories of the week with just one proviso -- these are real.

Police in Kenya have exhumed twenty-one bodies near the town of Malindi and expect to find many more.  They are investigating a Christian preacher named Paul Mackenzie Nthenge who told his flock to starve themselves during Lent to "meet Jesus."  Turns out you pretty much have to be Jesus to go without food for forty days.

Six dead cows with their tongues cut out were discovered beside a highway in Madison County, Texas.  The sheriff says he's baffled, because he hasn't looked online for tongue recipes.  Yum!

Robert Jones, 79, died of a heart attack while cruising on the Celebrity Equinox last summer.  For some reason his body was stored in a beverage cooler instead of the morgue, and when it was retrieved it was in no shape for an open-casket funeral, according to his wife Marilyn.  She is suing for a million dollars.

The violent criminals who "volunteered" for service with the Wagner Group in Ukraine are returning to their homes with fresh presidential pardons.  Additionally Putin has signed legislation making it a crime to criticize them.  The bodies are already piling up.

When this was published last week it was still amusing.  Then a couple delivering groceries for Instacart drove to the wrong address in Southwest Ranches (Davie), Florida, and found themselves being pursued by a man with a gun.  He fired at their car, hitting it several times as they fled.

Gerald Drake has pleaded guilty to planting a pipe bomb at Cedar Creek Battlefield, Virginia, in 2017.  Initially Drake, a Civil War re-enactor until expelled from his unit in 2014, had tried to blame antifa.

The pandemic is officially over in Japan and the "crying sumo" is taking place at shrines and temples.  The purpose of this exercise seems to be making babies cry by putting on a demon mask and scaring them.  Goes back centuries, it says here.
After being arrested on a misdemeanor charge Lashawn Thompson was determined to be schizophrenic but physically healthy.  He was deposited in a filthy cell last September and died three months later from being eaten by bedbugs.  The Fulton County sheriff's office is investigating but I can save them some time -- it's Fani Willis's fault.

Obligatory for World Books Day 2023:

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Tempers are fraying

 It's late April, it's already hot in a lot of places, and some people are losing it.

Southwest Airlines flight attendant refused to let the plane take off until the passenger(s) who spilled rice in the aisle cleaned it up.  This followed an incident where a woman on a United flight was forced to pick up her children's spilled popcorn.  Flight attendants have finally had it with post-covid fistfights and general rudeness and have decided they are Not Your Mother.

In Republic, Missouri, Larry Gene Gay wanted some steaks from Price Cutters but the meat counter was closed.  As is now standard procedure in the Show Me Your Weapon state, he pointed a semi-automatic pistol at a clerk and requested service.  The clerk complied, and Mr. Gay was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action.  It is not clear if he got the steaks.

There was a similar impasse in Warren, Michigan, where Jobul Hussain had come to the Desi Fruit Market in search of a nice piece of fish.  The fish counter had closed early because of Ramadan, so Mr. Hussain took out his frustration on a store employee, clobbering him with a frozen hilsa, a four-pound herring.  The employee was treated at the hospital and the would-be customer was charged with assault.

In a non-food-related case, a couple booked an Airbnb stay at a villa in Seoul but were dismayed to find it was far from the central city.  They had already paid for twenty-five days and the host, a Mr. Lee, refused to return their money.  So they left the water running and the gas on for the entire time, saddling Mr. Lee with a utility bill of $1,570.  Then they traveled around the country, presumably staying somewhere more accommodating.  It's hard to pick a side in this one.

Governor-in-her-own-mind Kari Lake was leaving the airport in West Palm Beach, probably on her way to share stolen election stories with Trump, when she spotted Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.  She turned around and went back down the escalator to berate them and demand time on their MSNBC show to refute their reality-based comments about the Arizona gubernatorial election.  Lake described Brzezinski as "not very nice" because she began to record the encounter.  Earlier this year Lake claimed she was offered a bribe from "some powerful people back east" to drop out of politics.  Could they have been Mitch McConnell and Rupert Murdoch?

Nathan Pelham was about to go on trial on four misdemeanor charges stemming from the January 6 coup attempt, and was at home in Greenville, Texas.  At the request of a relative who said Pelham had a gun, the Hunt County Sheriff's Office carried out a welfare check.  The house was dark and Pelham came out twice to fire at the deputies before eventually surrendering.  Now he faces four misdemeanor charges and a felony gun charge carrying up to fifteen years in prison.  But will he get a visit from Margie Greene like the other "political prisoners"?

The World Snooker Championship in Sheffield became exponentially more interesting when a Just Stop Oil protester poured orange powder paint on one of the tables this week.  The match between...two blokes had to be postponed.

Oh, that's a bad mess.


Friday, April 21, 2023

Apparently failure IS an option


The Russian air force accidentally bombed the city of Belgorod, just across the border from Ukraine.  Sorry, but close only counts in horseshoes.  At least ten Russian planes have malfunctioned and crashed inside Russia; last October one of them hit an apartment building and killed fifteen people.

In a warmup for next year, rightwing book-banners have been defeated in school board elections across Illinois and Wisconsin.  Usually such elections attract little attention but people are genuinely alarmed by PEN America's report on the growth of censorship in the US.  

Montana usually seems as if it should have been left as empty space between the US and Canada, but some voters there elected a trans woman, Zooey Zephyr, to the state House of Representatives.  She recently said the legislature would have "blood on its hands" if it passed a bill to deny gender-affirming care to youth.  The speaker decided this would be a good excuse to keep her from being recognized:  "It is up to protect dignity and integrity" on the House floor, said Matt Regier.  "Hate-filled testimony has no place on the House floor," Freedom Caucuser Caleb Hinkle chimed in, with a straight face I'm sure.  So Zephyr can't speak until "he" apologizes.  Can you feel the dignity?  And of course thousands of Montanans will have no representation.  Democracy Republican-style staggers on.

Over in Minnesota the Republican minority amuse themselves by proposing idiotic laws that have no chance, and this week they dialed it up to eleven.  Nathan Wesenberg admitted he calls 911 to waste police time by reporting drag performances and John Petersburg doesn't want weed legalized because it's bad for you "like sugar."  But the winner was fashion icon Eric Lucero...

...who's concerned that tax money not be spent on "pictures, plays, sculptures, or any other type of art" which could be used to "channel the occult."  See, a bunch of them Theosophists was raisin' the devil.  Had him about five feet off the ground...Sorry, I thought it was a Firesign Theater bit.

The Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs is turning out to be the least popular in at least a century -- Republicans from Tim Scott to Mitch McConnell to Trump Himself are edging away from it, and even Ron DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban while wearing a Groucho disguise -- and today the same court continued its block of the mifepristone ban by Trump-appointed Judge Kacsmaryk in Texas.  Not surprisingly, Kacsmaryk also has interesting views on the "homosexual agenda" expressed in an interview with a religious radio show, which he forgot to mention at his confirmation hearing.  What is it about the Senate Judiciary Committee that causes situational amnesia in reactionaries?

May Golan calls herself "a proud racist" who has insulted African refugees in Israel in disgusting terms, so Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed her Israeli consul in New York.  The Likud Party says she earned the job through her excellent command of English.  Any resemblance to Abba Eban ends there.  I don't know about New York -- does Israel have a consulate in Rome, Georgia?

If it passes the Texas Senate, and why wouldn't it, SB 1515 would require the Ten Commandments be posted in big letters in every classroom and time set aside every day for students to (be forced to) read the Bible and pray.  That should stop all the shootings.

With Democrats firmly in control of Michigan for the first time in four decades, some insultingly dumb laws are being repealed.  Did you know it's currently illegal for unmarried couples to cohabit?  Has been since 1931 and will continue to be if Republicans have anything to say (not much).  Two weeks ago they revoked another 1931 law -- what the hell was going on then besides the Great Depression? -- which criminalized abortion, no exceptions.   The tyranny of Gretchen Whitmer continues.

In case Republicans try to deny that they hate democracy, remind them that attorney/fundraiser Cleta Mitchell is on the road advising them about ways to suppress voting in 2024 by attacking same-day registration, early voting and especially making it possible for college students to vote on campus.  In the Jim Crow states, Black people who got that far would be sent away from the polls if they failed to construe a portion of the state constitution, or translate a passage of Latin, or in some cases correctly guess the number of beans in a jar.  So there are still options short of violence which Ms. Mitchell hasn't thought of. 

Not content with being "your retribution" for angry, uneducated white people, Trump is promising to be "your justice, too" -- "for those who have been wronged and betrayed."  Stephen Miller isn't even sugarcoating the fascism anymore.  "Obliterate," "banish," "drive out," "rout," everything but "stab in the back."  It's like Oswald Mosley filtered through a song by the Sex Pistols.

The enormous SpaceX rocket didn't just blow up yesterday, it blew up its entire launch pad.  Maybe 420 is not as lucky as Elon Musk thinks.

From today's Washington Post:  "Dear Miss Manners:  Is it rude to turn off the light while the cat is eating?"  There's always someone with bigger problems than yours.


Thursday, April 20, 2023

Blue turning gray

 Researchers at New York University believe they have discovered the mechanism that causes hair to turn gray.  It has something to do with stem cells and hair follicles.  I have other possible explanations.

In Gastonia, North Carolina, six-year-old Kinsley White was playing with a basketball which rolled into a neighbor's yard.  The neighbor, Robert Singletary, emptied his gun at Kinsley and her parents, injuring her and her father.  He is still being sought.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee invited Andriy Kostin, prosecutor general of Ukraine, to testify about Russian war crimes including the abduction of 20,000 children and the use of rape as a weapon of war.  But Scott Perry had more important matters to discuss:  Burisma Oil, corruption, and of course Hunter Biden.  I'm happy to say Kostin treated this with the contempt it demanded.

New details have emerged about the ethical sinkhole that is Clarence Thomas.  When he insisted that right-wing groups connected to Harlan Crow had had no business before the Court during his tenure, he meant that they certainly did.  Chief Justice Roberts has been invited to chat with the Senate Judiciary Committee, but Republicans are horrified, insisting it would be "a circus."  Fire up the calliope.

Klint Ludwig says his grandfather, Andrew Lester, was a day-long consumer of Fox News before he shot Ralph Yarl for ringing his doorbell.  Ludwig is lucky Grandpa hasn't shot him. 

In Fairfield, Iowa, Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale pleaded guilty to beating Nohema Graber to death with baseball bats in 2021.  Her offense was to give them bad grades in high school Spanish.

SpaceX's giant rocket launched today and promptly exploded.  Apparently it had to happen today because 4/20 has special significance for Elon Musk.  It's known as "weed day."  The fact that it's far more notorious as Hitler's birthday is not mentioned in the Independent article.

The latest religious group to face sexual abuse allegations is the Jehovah's Witnesses.  And you thought all they did was ring the bell during dinner.

Did you take the "Prove Mike Wrong" challenge?  Robert Zeidman did and now he's entitled to $5 million according to an arbitration panel.  Zeidman, a computer forensics expert, proved that there was no Chinese interference in the 2020 election.  Naturally Lindell is whining about an appeal, which is usually unavailable after arbitration.  Five million is a lot of lumpy pillows, especially when you're defending a $1.3 billion Dominion Voting Systems defamation suit.  

Trump is longing to attend the trial of Jean Carroll's lawsuit, which begins Tuesday.  But he knows it would cause a traffic nightmare for New York, the city he cares so much about, so he may have to stay home.  New York has many traffic nightmares every year, including the September opening of the United Nations, New Year's Eve, various ethnic parades and the occasional championship celebration of a local sports franchise.  I think the NYPD could probably handle one more.  And I'm sure he'll want to tell Tucker about the sobbing officers at the civil court.  "Tears were pouring down.  'As if you ever needed to rape anyone, sir.'  Tough guys, very tough."

Marco Rubio tweets, "FOUR DAYS and they still can't figure out how to get enough gasoline to South Florida."  Does "they" refer to the oil companies, the government of Florida or the Biden administration?  Why am I even asking?

At least two Florida women nearly died of pregnancy complications.  It's working, Governissimo.

Pregnant Louisiana woman...mother of shooting...mistaken identity...where's that hair coloring?  Maybe I'll just shave my head.


Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Decompression Wednesday

 Today we take a deep breath and a couple of slow stretches while surveying the wreckage.  It's not all bad.

In a CNN interview with Pamela Brown, James Comer used up lot of time to admit that his House Overlook Committee found no wrongdoing by President Biden or his family.  So far, because they're really going to keep looking.  Maybe a grandchild copied someone else's paper during a French test, you never know.  Of course, said the chairman, they found "a lot that should be illegal," but nothing to approach the career of, say, Clarence Thomas.  (He didn't mention Harlan Crow's pet justice.)  It's the fault of the laws for not specifically prohibiting everything Democrats do, but they'll get to work on that.  Harumph.

Kevin Monahan was charged with second-degree murder for shooting Kaylin Gillis with a shotgun from the porch of his Hebron, New York, home.   His lawyer described him as "an elderly gentleman who had an elderly wife" who was naturally alarmed when a car pulled into his driveway.  (He is 65 and arguably not a gentleman.)  He is also a constituent of Rep. Elise Stefanik but she has been too busy to comment.

Meanwhile in Kansas City, Andrew Lester pleaded not guilty to shooting Ralph Yarl when the sixteen-year-old rang his bell by mistake.  Yarl was coming to collect his younger brothers so they wouldn't have to walk home at night through Lester's neighborhood, which could have resulted in Trayvon Martin x 2.  Lester, 84, remains free on bail.  Hundreds of Yarl's fellow students at Staley High School walked out to show their support, joined by several members of the faculty.  

In Elgin, Texas, Payton Washington and Heather Roth were on their way home from cheerleading practice when Roth began to climb into a car which resembled hers.  Seeing a man behind the wheel she apologized and went back to Washington's car.  At that point Pedro Tello Rodriguez, Jr., emerged from the car, walked over to Washington's and shot twice through the window, wounding both girls.  He was charged with deadly conduct but since it happened in Texas, he was probably standing his ground.  

Last Friday in Nashville a Walgreen security guard suspected two women of shoplifting cosmetics.  He followed them into the parking lot and accused them of stealing and Travonsha Ferguson pepper-sprayed him, whereupon the security guard -- excuse me, "team leader" -- shot her; a witness reported hearing seven shots, "a full clip."  Ferguson was seven months pregnant; she and the baby, delivered by C-section, are still hospitalized.  As of this writing Mitarius Boyd has not been charged, but police took his gun away.  

With so much gunplay I nearly missed the mass shooting in Dadeville, Alabama, at a birthday party last weekend.  Two suspects, Ty Reik McCullough and Travis McCullough, neither old enough to vote, have been arrested.  Four people were killed, four are still in the hospital.

What could have convinced so many, varied Americans that they're in constant mortal danger, that the only possible answer is to shoot first?  Let me think about that.

Dominion Voting Systems settled its lawsuit against Fox News for $787.5 million, which only sounds like a lot of money, I guess.  Fox was not required to admit to its audience that it lied its ass off, about Dominion and about the 2020 election generally.  It wasn't even required to cover the settlement of the lawsuit.  A good thing, because there was a lot of breaking news to cover.  Did you know Monday was tax day?  Hannity's audience does, even if they don't pay taxes.  Baby Tuckoo scored a major interview with Elon Musk, who is, as Woody Allen would say, densely populated.  Over two nights they lamented the failure of (white) people to breed like crazy, a shared obsession.  Musk is "worried if we don't make enough people to at least sustain our numbers, maybe increase a little bit, then civilization's going to crumble."  There are eight billion humans on this increasingly watery planet, but "civilization" is what white people do.  Musk grew up in apartheid South Africa; Carlson just acts as if he did.

Tucker didn't even have to explain why he loved Trump and hated Trump and loved Trump more depending on who he was texting.  I would have given a lot to hear that, preferably under oath.  Thanks, Dominion.

Having survived a stroke and clinical depression, John Fetterman is back and wants it known that he does not have a body double.   I so want this man to be president one day.

In Georgia, Trump's fake "electors" are fighting among themselves.  Fani Willis is listening.

On a roll after outing Lindsey Graham, Margie Greene is promoting the lie that Eric Swalwell had an affair with a Chinese spy named Christine Fang.  This one is so old even QAnon has given up on it.  It was the opening of her super-grilling of Alejandro Mayorkas before the Homeland Security Committee.  But when she started screaming at Mayorkas and calling him a liar, Daniel Goldman (D-NY) invoked a House rule to shut her up.  The Republican chairman Mark Green asked her to retract her words and then had her rant stricken from the record.  Cancelled!  Now he appreciates the wisdom of Nancy Pelosi in kicking this nightmare off all committees.  Listen, Margie, it's like this:  Ted Cruz and Gym Jordan and Josh Hawley can pound the desk and yell but you're too shrill.  "Welcome to my world," said Hillary Clinton, opening another bottle of Chardonnay.  "You should smile more."

The voting age was lowered to 18 in 1971 in part because the Vietnam War was raging and people thought Americans who were old enough to be drafted should be old enough to vote.  Now that kids from 14 to 17 can serve liquor in Iowa (among other jobs), will they be lowering the drinking age?  I have many such questions.  Another is, "Hey, Mississippi, what's the holdup?  You usually lead in every category of 'What the fuck is wrong with this country?'"

Disneyland announced its first official LGBTQ Pride Night in response to the Governissimo's latest threats.  I think we know who's going to win this in the end.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

It's springtime in America

 YOU get a plane...and YOU get a plane...Anyway, Ukraine gets a plane.  The Antonov AN-124 cargo plane that has been parked at Toronto-Pearson for over a year will be donated to Ukraine by the Canadian government as part of its latest round of sanctions on Russia.  I hope they load it up with tanks and missiles first.

Aurora borealis fans got a bonus this year as a blue spiral also appeared in the sky over Alaska.  There's a boring scientific explanation involving frozen fuel from the SpaceX rocket, but I prefer to believe it's two snakes chasing each other through the night.

Andrew Lester has been charged with armed assault and armed criminal action for shooting Ralph Yarl through the door of his house.  The police chief said Lester couldn't be arrested until police spoke with Yarl, so I assume he's awake and talking.  Also, he and his family got a call from President Biden.

Get directions, get GPS, get a local resident to draw you a map.  Four people looking for a friend's house in tiny Hebron, New York, pulled into the wrong driveway on Saturday night.  They were trying to turn around when the owner, Kevin Monahan, came outside and fired two shots, one of which killed twenty-year-old Kaylin Gillis.  It wasn't racial, it wasn't gang-related, it was just another instance of guns making Americans safe and free.

Ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been charged in Wisconsin with sexually assaulting an eighteen-year-old man in 1977.  The complainant says McCarrick began molesting him when he was eleven and shared him with other men at parties.  Despite many complaints and rumors, Saint John Paul made him a cardinal in 2001.  

Florida Man of the Day:  Rep. Greg Steube, who said on Newsmax, "I'm happy and honored to endorse Donald J. Chump for president in 2024."  Leave the jokes to us, OK, Greg?

What is it with the Air National Guard?  First Teixeira, now Josiah Garcia of the Tennessee ANG.  In a sting operation that isn't well explained, Garcia answered an ad for a hitman, telling the FBI (for it was their sting) that he was an excellent marksman and thought he'd be good at killing people.  He was also up for torture.  Really?

Then again...Kevin Stitt, co-governor of Oklahoma (with Jesus), has asked some officials in McCurtain County to resign after hearing a recording of the conversation where they discussed hiring a hitman to kill two reporters and bury their bodies.  These county commissioners also joked about a woman who died in a fire and lamented the passing of lynching.  You know, the people's business.  

The FBI also arrested two men from the Ministry of Public Security who were spying on Chinese dissidents -- in New York's Chinatown.  Show this to the next Trumpanzee who demands we "defund the FBI!"

Manual aspiration -- is it the answer or only the next phase of the War on Women?  Dr. Joan Fleischman says it's easy and safe and she can teach general practitioners how to use one of these in the privacy of their offices and clinics or even at home, circumventing the next Supreme Court ruling or legislative assault.  

With training, women could use this method on one another, or on themselves, while the "pro-lifers" are yowling outside a Planned Parenthood clinic and shooting at the homes of gynecologists.  It's safe up to sixteen weeks.  Who knows?  One day we may catch up with Bangladesh.

All right, here's the Trump news:  The days are getting longer and worse for "your favorite president (me)."  He continues to be obsessed with Ron DeSantis, accusing Pudding Paws of being afraid of an ugly reception at the Indiana gun gala.  The judge rejected his request for yet another delay in the E. Jean Carroll case -- Trump complained of "negative publicity" and Judge Kaplan pointed out that the media coverage was "invited and indeed provoked by Mr. Trump."  He's angry at Elon Musk, who reinstated his Twitter account and made the platform fascist-friendly so Trump would feel at home:  "His space company, car company, battery company, tunnel company, and even Twitter, which was illegally controlled by the FBI, need government HELP & SUBSIDIES.  HE IS JUST 'MENDING FENCES!'" by making friends with the "absolutely horrible Biden Administration."  (No good deed, eh, Elon?)  Big donors are flocking to DeSantis, who leads by five points in Michigan, where the Republicans are presumably as barking mad as their new chair Kristina Karamo.  (She's best known for outing Beyonce as a recruiter for paganism and comparing the media to Nazis.  If Michigan is no longer Trump Country he's in deep shit.)  

Workers at the Ben & Jerry's mother store in Burlington, Vermont, have filed for a union election.  If successful, they will join the militant Workers United, affiliated with Service Employees International United (SEIU).  Though technically owned by Unilever, B&J's continues to support progressive causes.  This will be a chance to do it again.  All power to the scoopers!  



Monday, April 17, 2023

There is a fifth dimension...


I am considering a switch to a drug-based diet.  Reality is becoming too much of a challenge.

Over the weekend I became aware that the newest front in the culture war is toilet paper.  Stop worrying about gas stoves, toddlers with shotguns, woke beer and drag queens because this is really important.  Would you believe a "psychic QAnon influencer" named Utsava who says the Deep State is putting 5G technology in toilet paper (and jalapeno peppers) to control your mind?  Well, how about a member of Congress?  It's only George Santos but he's still a Congressman; Squeaker McCarthy lacks the courage to strip him of his AR-15 pin.  He saw an April 1 tweet by New York City Councilman Erik Bottcher about banning "toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex and other single-use paper products," making New York the first "cloth-only municipality."  Santos, who is unfamiliar with the April Fool tradition, had to be reassured that Big Bidet is not coming for his Charmin.

Two other fronts collided when Lindsey Graham went on ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos and denounced Jack Teixeira for leaking military secrets and Margie Greene for cheering him on ("irresponsible").  Greene responded with reserve and dignity by tweeting a photoshopped picture of Graham holding a fake can of Bud Light featuring a picture of trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.  I don't have time to go into that lunacy now but the MAGAts are buying Bud so they can shoot at it -- their version of a boycott -- because Anheuser Busch decided they'd sell more beer with a rainbow flag (not Mulvaney) on it, and Margie wants us to know she's hip to the worst-kept secret in the history of the Senate.  I guess that will put Graham in his place.

After this it gets grim in a hurry.

This is Ralph Yarl, 16, honor student and musician of Kansas City, Missouri, who drove to the home of a friend Saturday to pick up his younger siblings.  He went to the wrong house and rang the bell, whereupon an as-yet-unnamed white man in his 80s shot him in the head through the storm door and then in the arm as he lay on the ground.  According to his aunt Dr. Faith Spoonmore he was able to seek help, which he found at the third house he tried, although the homeowner insisted he lie down and raise his hands.  The police came and talked to the gunman for two hours but left without arresting him.  I imagine he was standing his ground like the McCloskeys over in St. Louis.  Miraculously, Ralph Yarl is home being cared for by his mother and a nurse.  

The pie fight between Disney and DeSantis ramped up a notch, with the Governissimo threatening to build a prison next to the theme park.  He also promised to have the rides inspected, something that evidently has not been done before.  As this view of Champlain Towers suggests, safety regulations are not very stringent in Florida.

Like Justin Pearson and Justin Jones, Alvin Bragg now has a national profile thanks to the bumbling of Republicans.  In the DA's case it's the traveling carnival that Gym Jordan led to New York to "investigate" the city's crime, which is nowhere near as bad as Ohio's.  "Sleazy liar" and "traitor" were some of the signs that greeted him, and C-SPAN isn't even showing it to the knuckle-draggers back home.   

Quick, Henry, the Flit!  Interstellar cockroach in a dentist skin Paul Gosar is back, using his House newsletter (taxpayer funded) to promote a website that praises Hitler and warns:  "Jewish warmongers Nuland and Blinken are dangerous fools who can get us all killed."  Besides being disgusting, Gosar is famous for having family members who take out an ad every two years begging people not to vote for him.  

They're not alone.  Now that Robert Kennedy, Jr., has announced his intention to challenge Joe Biden for the nomination, prominent members of his vast family are stepping forward with non-endorsements ranging from "I'm supporting President Biden" to "I prefer not to talk."  His support, such as it is, comes from heavyweights like Aaron Rodgers, Roger Stone and Steve Bannon.  I will be very surprised if this exercise doesn't end before the South Carolina primary.  

Bernard Herrmann wrote the music.  I didn't know that.

Saturday, April 15, 2023


 It's NRA convention weekend, spring break for the bloodthirsty.  Trump hadn't arrived yet, so the star of opening day was Governor Kristi Noem.  The delegates were upset that Bill Lee broke under pressure, and the governor of South Dakota "reassured" them that her almost-two-year-old granddaughter already has a rifle and a shotgun.  Then Lauren Boebert told them that her son's girlfriend's fetus has an AK-47 and a bazooka.  I'm joking about one of those.  Can you guess which one?

Noem put the power of her office where her granddaughter's life is -- she signed an executive order in front of everybody which prevents state agencies from working with banks that "discriminate" against gun businesses, presumably by denying them loans or mortgages they don't qualify for.  Next:  making it illegal to refuse to deliver pizza to their premises.  Again, making one up.  Vote now.

"Why do the liberals and Joe Biden want our guns?"  Noem demanded.  "Because it will make it easier for them to infringe on all our other rights."  Nobody wants your guns.  And having a gun or several has not stopped your sort of people from infringing on our right to terminate a pregnancy, vote, receive gender affirming medical care, learn American history, or borrow a library book in Missouri.  What is wrong with you?  Are you sniffing the gasoline fumes from the flamethrower you got for Christmas or have you always been like this?

Then Trump said goodbye to the Jack Teixeira Fan Club and lumbered to the podium.  Stephen Miller wrote him a very grownup speech, different from the usual demented ramblings, about how he'll order the FDA to look into how gender-affirming care makes people insane, based on that one shooting in Nashville (six out of 12,000 gun-related deaths so far this year).  It's now a talking point that trans people are ticking time bombs who will destroy all the straight white Christians and then cause a nuclear war with Russia.  They're calling it "trans ideology," whatever that means.  He's also blaming something called "genetically engineered cannabis" which makes you "demonize patriots."  I'm waiting for the English translation.  I fed it into BabelFish and my computer crashed.  The delegates cheered and fired their weapons into the air.  No, of course they didn't, no guns allowed in the NRA convention hall.

"We're going to have a big, big, successful election coming up; we're going to take back that beautiful, gorgeous White House," he assured the gun-humpers, referring to the building he once called "a real dump."  Then he'll get vengeance on the "Marxist DAs" who persecute Christians like him and investigate the Black ones for racial discrimination.  As the psychiatrist-guest at Fawlty Towers observed, "There's enough material here for an entire conference."

Since the death orgy was in Indiana they thought they'd better invite Mike Pence, who didn't realize the housefly on his head was holding a tiny KICK ME sign.  Now officially a traitor for refusing to ignore the Constitution on Coup Day, he was greeted with boos which grew meaner the more he abased himself.  He told them how proud he was to be Trump's vice-president and someone yelled, "Never again!"  He fought subpoenas from the House Select Committee and Jack Smith but not hard enough.  He told them he'd put armed guards in all schools -- think of the additional sales of guns and ammo, ka-ching! -- and there was lukewarm applause.  "I love you, too," he assured them and retired to the green room to be pelted with rotten fruit.  It's hard to be a straight white Christian Republican.

The Liberal Media doesn't want you to know that there were two expulsions from state legislatures.  The one that got less attention was in Arizona, where Rep. Liz Harris (R-QAnon) was tossed for inviting a fellow election denier to testify before the Joint Election Committee in February and lying about it.  She was investigated by the House Ethics Committee, allowed to present a defense and then booted after a bipartisan vote (attention Tennessee, this is how you do it).  Harris is such a dedicated election denier, she objected that her own election, which she won, was somehow rigged.  It makes no sense but you have to admire her commitment.  Like an Old Bolshevik insisting that he must have done something wrong or else why the show trial?

The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, trashed by Trump, has been resurrected by Joe Biden with twenty-four members including Lady Gaga, Anna Deavere Smith, Arnold Rampersad, George Clooney and Kerry Washington.  It's a small thing, but reassuring.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Not only...but also...

 Joe Biden is in Ireland, where he addressed the Dail and quoted his favorite poet, Seamus Heaney (born in County Derry, NI).  But if you read the Brit papers the most significant event was his saying "Black and Tans" instead of "All-Blacks" at a pub in Dundalk.  Also President Michael Higgins's dog barked at him.  If he mispronounces "Rishi Sunak" even a little, he's finished.

Speaking of Sunak, his government is just as chaotic as the last when it comes to aliens.  The Khmelnitsky Orchestra from Ukraine is supposed to tour the UK this month but key members have been denied visas for reasons no one can explain.  The Home Office has taken to housing asylum seekers on a barge in Dorset; those who complain are threatened with deportation to Rwanda.  But these people don't want to take jobs from British musicians -- they want to play and go home. 

It's amazing how real estate and corruption tend to be intertwined.  Pro Publica reports that nearly a decade ago Harlan Crow bought a house and two adjoining lots in Savannah from his dear friend Clarence Thomas and spent thousands of dollars renovating the house, which was occupied by the justice's mother.  Once again, Thomas failed to report this deal.  Crow is such an admirer that he plans to open a Clarence Thomas museum on the site.  Won't that be special?

In the days between the election and the insurrection Trump was frantically raising money from his hordes, with some MAGAts receiving up to twenty-five emails a day.  Did you know it's a crime to use email for the purpose of swindling people?  Yes, it's covered under the wire-fraud statute.  I find that interesting.  So does Jack Smith.

Trump was back in stinky, crime-ridden New York on Wednesday to be deposed in AG Letitia James's civil suit against his corporate shell.  He warmed up by calling her a "racist" and a "LOWLIFE," complaining that she deliberately revealed his arrival time to get him assassinated or something.  Then he relaxed by suing Michael Cohen for breaching confidentiality and "spreading falsehoods."  When it rains in Florida -- torrentially -- filing frivolous lawsuits is the only exercise he gets.  

I swiped this from All Hat No Cattle, currently holding its spring fundraiser.  Give generously.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been a busy little governor since taking office in January.  She just signed a law "requiring social media companies to verify the age of all new Arkansas users" and get parental permission if they're under 18.  Last month she signed a law allowing 14-year-olds to work in slaughterhouses, but obviously TikTok is a bigger threat than wading through animal blood.  Then an application for state jobs was found to contain the question, "What is an accomplishment of the Governor's that you admire the most?"  A "design error" is being blamed -- apparently this is only for summer internships.  Five hundred words or fewer, please.

State representatives Justin Pearson and Justin Jones were re-appointed to the Tennessee legislature by their local governments, with national profiles and an energized voting base.  The episode also drew attention to the likelihood that Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) doesn't exactly live in Crossville, which is a violation of state law.  Also, he lives in Nashville but bills the state for travel expenses to Crossville just as if he got his mail there -- another violation.  Governor Bill Lee was so flustered that he signed an executive order strengthening background checks for gun purchases, and asked the legislature to pass a red-flag law to keep guns away from the unbalanced.  If he shows up at a BLM rally wearing a rainbow shirt, we'll know he's had a medical emergency of some sort.  For Tennessee, a good week's work.

Alexei Navalny has apparently been hospitalized after being poisoned.  So we know there are no high windows at the IK-6 penal colony in Melekhovo.

This just in:  After a Texas Trump judge banned the sale of abortifacient pill mifepristone, a five-day hold has been signed by...Samuel Alito.  I don't even know what's going on anymore.