Louisiana Politics: Gret Stet Goober Race Wrap Up Act Two

I had a classic blogger moment on social media this morning. An old friend in California asked me how it was possible that David Vitter lost because she’d heard he was a shoo-in. I told her to read my posts and to ignore the national MSM. They have an eerie tendency to engage in group think: Louisiana is a red state therefore it’s impossible for such a thing to happen. This is classic rotation in office, after 8 years of a GOP Goober making a mess of things, the voters elected a Democrat. So many people are locked into the Red state/Blue state narrative that they forget candidates and records matter. That ends this brief lecture on civics.

Let’s get on with some random and discursive comments via my beloved sub-headers:

The Polls Were Right: Many of my friends were freaking out before the election because they expected the worst of the electorate. I could not blame them. Underneath my calm exterior, the hateful refugee baiting made me feel as if I’d consumed 12 cups of coffee. Jittery and overcaffeinated. I fell back on Andrew Tuozzolo’s poll aggregate, which showed Vitter trailing by 12 points. The pollsters nailed it.

Why were the polls right here and not in the Bevin-Conway Kentucky Goober race? The polls there were fewer in number and conducted more sporadically. Politics in the Gret Stet is a major form of entertainment, which means that more frequent pulse taking is no gret surprise…

The Picayune Factor: Once again, the Vestigial-Picayune got it wrong in a glowing endorsement of Bitter Vitter. Instead of being honest and saying, “he may be an asshole but he’s our asshole,” they went on and on about his effectiveness. They came within an inch of calling him a divider, not a uniter. Some uniter, he lost his home parish.

Speaking of the Zombie-Picayune, my friend Kevin Allman has this to say about that:

Let me spell it out: Fuck you sideways, Advance Media fuckheads. The picture in question came from the Instagram page of one of JBE’s communications peeps:


Photograph via MP Kray.

Since our next section involves half of what you see in the picture below, we’ll discuss it after the break. Think of it as the blogging equivalent of wrapping it in plain brown paper if you catch my drift. But first Welcome to Sleazy Town courtesy of the Krewe of Spank:

Hookers & Blow

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Democrats Who Voted for SAFE Act are Cowards & Traitors

Once upon a time: 

What I want to know, what I want to know, is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the President’s unilateral intervention in Iraq?

What I want to know, is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting tax cuts which have bankrupted this country and given us the largest deficit in the history of the United States?

What I want to know, is why the Congress is fighting over the Patient’s Bill of Rights?  If the Patient’s Bill of Rights passes, is a good bill, but not one more person gets health insurance and it’s not five cents cheaper.

What I want to know is why the Democrats in Congress aren’t standing up for us joining every other industrialized country on the face of the Earth in having health insurance for every man, woman and child in America?

What I want to know, what I want to know, is why so many folks in Congress are voting for the President’s education bill — “The No School Board Left Standing Bill” — the largest unfunded mandate in the history of our educational system?


I want to end on a personal note.  Three years ago next month I signed a bill into law called the civil unions bill [cheers], which gives gay and lesbian Vermonters the same rights I have: visitations of your significant other in the hospital, inheritance rights, insurance rights.  Vermont truly is a place where every American is equal in the eyes of the law.

I want the President of the United States to explain to all Americans why he doesn’t believe all Americans should be equal under the law.  [cheers].  I signed, I signed that bill six months before an election when it was at 35 percent in the polls.  I never had a conversation with myself about whether I ought to sign the bill or not because I knew that if I was willing to sell out the hopes and dreams of a significant portion of our people, that I had wasted my life in public service.

Come back, Dr. Dean. Your country needs you now.

Come back, because way too many Democrats are cowards.

In several meetings, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) presented fellow Democrats with polling data showing that lawmakers who didn’t support tighter restrictions would be in the sharp minority. As former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Israel is often called on to give advice on electoral matters. And while he didn’t explicitly encourage members to vote for the SAFE Act, the implication was clear: you will be vulnerable if you don’t support the only piece of refugee-related legislation that has gotten a vote after the Paris attacks.

Come back, because they’re looking at the man in the White House and saying hey, he’s on two weeks’ notice and we still have elections to win.

The top House Democratic aide said that members were encouraged to support the bill in part because they believed it would ultimately fall short of becoming law. That, combined with a sense that the underlying reforms weren’t severe, led many to conclude a “nay” vote wasn’t worth the political blowback.

Come back, because way too many Democrats are traitors.

Come back, because they’re looking to their own pockets, instead of to the values of their country.

Come back, because way too many Democrats are whiny babies who would rather complain that they weren’t wined and dined enough than do the right thing for the sake of their immortal goddamn souls.

One House Democrat, who requested anonymity, said he went into the meeting with administration officials opposed to the bill but left in support of it.

“If the White House hadn’t royally fucked this up they’d have lost maybe 20 Democrats,” said the lawmaker. (He ultimately voted against the bill.)

Come back and rip them another one, and remind them, as you reminded them once, that they can’t give people a choice between a Republican and a Republican. Come  back because if they do that, it doesn’t matter who they vote for. We’ll get Republicans every time.

Come back because they’re doing it AGAIN. Come back and remind them what happened last time they tried this. What happened last time they let a crisis scare them, let a bunch of bullies cow them, let the anonymous poll answers speak for them. Remind them what our country looked like when that was done.

Remind them what another country looked like, too. Remind them how many people died because they either turned a blind eye, or couldn’t be bothered.

Remind them it may take a lifetime but they will answer for that. One of the great solaces of belief is considering what weight the unjust will have to carry, even if it is in some kind of afterlife.

Remind a lot of them they lost elections anyway. Remind them it’s not a deal with the devil if the devil doesn’t even pretend to promise them something.

Not that they care. Not that they’ll listen. They didn’t listen before.

Remind them anyway. It’s our job to remind them. It’s our job to stand up even if it’s useless, even if it’s never worked, even if the club of the most of them are dirtbag losers who run screaming when they see a Rassmussen poll. Remind them so that WE don’t have to feel, as they may someday, that not every single thing was done to make it stop. Remind them so that you can look in the mirror.

Remind them so that they know that somebody fought back, when they couldn’t be bothered.

Light. Them. Up. 


Louisiana Politics: Gret Stet Goober Race Wrap Up Act One


Homemade yard sign in Uptown New Orleans. Photo by Dr. A.

It was the most fun I’ve had watching election results since 2008. John Bel Edwards was elected Gret Stet Goober without breaking a sweat. The same can’t be said of many of his supporters, but I expected this result. I did not, however, expect a 12 point win. The other big shocker of the evening was Bitter Vitter’s announcement that he was NOT running for re-election to the Senate in 2016. I did not see that coming ,but I have the feeling his wife insisted. Some of the NOLA twitter people are starting a Vitter divorce pool. Homey don’t play that.

I’m breaking this mighty effort in two because I started having premature Goober race withdrawals on Friday and, in the immortal words of Bryan Ferry, I simply Can’t Let Go. Additionally, and I know you’ll be shocked to hear this, I’ve been drinking Canadian Club like Don Fucking Draper tonight and while I’d like to teach the world how to sing, I might keel over in exuberant exhaustion. In short, I’ll stick to instant analysis for now.

It was clear by 8:15 that Edwards was headed for victory: he got 59% of the early vote. That came to around 20% of the total of votes cast. It’s now clear that the die was cast when Vitter crashed and burned to 23% in the primary. Despite all the mud he threw, he was toast before the runoff campaign really began. Plain white bread toast. Burnt toast.

Edwards once again exceeded expectations throughout the Gret Stet. He got an Obamaesque 87% of the vote in Orleans Parish and even won Vitter’s home parish of Jefferson 51-49. That was a real shocker. The moral of that story: don’t mess with Sheriff Newell Normand. In my precinct, Diaper Dave got a mere 12 votes out of some 243 cast. I’ve rarely been prouder of my hood.

The relentless anti-Obama message from Team Vitter clearly did not work. People simply did not believe that Blue Dog John Bel Edwards from Amite, La was an Obama liberal. I was also pleased that Edwards did not run away from the President, he merely drew distinctions on certain issues. There are some silly billies on social media who think that Team Edwards reinvented the political wheel. They did not. They went back to the future.  John Bel Edwards is the 2015 edition of the John Breaux, Bennett Johnston, Kathleen Blanco model Democrats who dominated Gret Stet politics pre-Katrina. It’s unclear if that model will work as well in future federal elections but we shall see.

Louisiana remains a red state in national elections BUT I think the racist fever of the Obama years has finally broken. The frenetic attacks on Governor-elect Edwards simply did not work. The spell is broken. It doesn’t mean the Democrats will win Louisiana in 20016 BUT it means we’ve returned to our normalish reddish, purplish hue. That was a very ishy sentence: ish you is or ish you ain’t my baby?

I’m running out of steam right now. It’s been a long day including an awful beatdown administered by Ole Miss to my beloved LSU Tigers. I am so pooped that this post is relatively pun free. I’ll bid you good night and I’ll wrap it up in more detail either tomorrow or Monday. I feel like I was run over by Thunderbird, which ain’t as fabulous as the song below by a certain blues rock band from Austin, Texas:

Wrap it up. I’ll take it.

Saturday Odds & Sods: After The Fire

Keith Haring

Artwork by Keith Haring.

It’s election day in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Rachel Maddow likes to call our Saturday elections weird but I think the proper word is sensible. In theory, it should boost turnout and my philosophy on voting is the more the merrier. It’s another reason I’d make a lousy Republican.

There were a lot of folks urging me to vote early this year. I prefer to stroll 4 blocks and vote at Xavier Prep on Magazine Street. I like the morning walk, plus I enjoy seeing the same poll workers every election day. After Katrina, the polling places were consolidated, which makes good sense but removed a certain element of NOLA quirkiness. For example, I got a kick out of voting in a neighbors raised basement when we lived on Pine Street in the Carrollton district. It was a mom-n-pop polling place, which made it fun to vote there.

I originally wrote a paragraph about my call on the Gret Stet Goober race for this post. I moved it to yesterday’s post, which gives me an opportunity to quote myself:

Speaking of Andrew the T, he’s conducting a Goober election results pool. I finished second or thereabouts in the primary pool. We’re asked to pick vote totals for the candidates as well as a turnout guesstimate. The prize is bragging rights and y’all know what a braggart I am. Here’s my entry, Edwards 52 Vitter 48. Turnout 43%. Here’s hoping I’m right. If Diaper Dave wins he’ll be pissed and we’ll be in a world of hurt. He’ll fling dirty diapers at us like an adolescent zoo chimp. Splat.

This week’s theme song is inspired by last Saturday’s horrific attack in Paris. Pete Townshend wrote it for the Who to play at Live Aid but it wasn’t ready for the show. It’s about what happens *after* a crisis is addressed, in that case, famine in West Africa. Pete’s conclusion is that “the fire still burns.”

We have two versions of After The Fire. The first is the songwriter himself from the 1986 Deep End Live concert video with a stellar band featuring Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour on lead guitar.

Since Pete wrote the song for Roger to sing, he gave him first crack at recording it. I prefer Pete’s rendition. Roger’s studio recording has too much synth and drum machine for my taste. The vocal is good though. No surprise; Roger could still belt it out in 1985.

There will more Odds & Sods after the break and I suspect the break still burns…

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Louisiana Politics: The Night Before Gooberpalooza 2015


John Bel Edwards gives David Vitter the stink eye. Photograph via the Advocate.

The Gret Stet Goober race has been a helluva ride. I’ll take it over a fucking roller coaster any day. I’ve never understood the appeal of going really fast then puking at the end. Now that I think of it, that described the condition of many Louisiana Democrats yesterday. There was a whiff of panic in the air because of Vitter’s decision to run against the non-existent Syrian refugee menace. I was downright jittery myself after losing so many Gret Stetwide elections in recent years even though there was a strong reply ad from GumboPac.

When you have a bad case of political jitters, who you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters, but Deep Blog. I considered sending out smoke signals but that might upset Oscar and Della. Instead, I reached into my bag of Watergate analogies. You may recall that Woodward signaled Deep Throat with a potted plant on his balcony. I signal Deep Blog by mentioning his name on the Tweeter Tube. Then, as if by magic, I got a text with a link:

Actually, the link was to the movie version of Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead, but the Ella Fitzgerald/Billy May version swings more. If we’re going to celebrate, why not do it big?

It turns out that Deep Blog, who has been expecting a Vitter surge, was the soul of optimism about the Goober race. Why? He’d seen a reliable private tracking poll showing Edwards with a 10 point lead. Additionally, that pollster believes that early voting for JBE was so strong that he may have this in the bag.  I’m not as optimistic as that: I think 55-45 is the best it’s likely to get, if our voters turn out in waves tomorrow. I’ll have my more restrained call later in the post, but it looks as if I might be writing Bitter Vitter’s political obituary this weekend. I’ll take a narrower split as long as Vitter loses. But a complete defenestration of Diaper Dave would be more fun than pillaging Aqaba with Lawrence of Arabia.

One reason for my concern has been the deluge of political ads we’ve been subjected to in the New Orleans market. The pro-Vitter ones are increasingly ugly and packed with lies about Syrian refugees flooding the state. 14 ain’t much of a flood. Here’s a teevee ad from a PAC tying Diaper Dave to Gov PBJ:

As my regular readers know, I hate relying on polls as the basis of my analysis. But we seem to have gotten to the point where the die has been cast; as you can see from this tweet by Andrew Tuozzolo:

Andrew is a political professional as well as a self-described “armchair poll QB.” He’s been crunching the numbers throughout the campaign and I respect his analysis. Here’s my reading of the situation: Vittter is gaining but a week of xenophobic “terrorist” baiting is not enough to change the dynamics of this campaign. The voters have Jindal fatigue and seem sick and tired of being sick and tired of Diaper Dave’s baggage as well. I have an admission to make at this point: I thought the hooker issue would not work and would backfire to Diaper Dave’s benefit. I was wrong and Lamar was right. There, I said it.

Speaking of Andrew the T, he’s conducting a Goober election results pool. I received an honorable mention in the primary pool. We’re asked to pick vote totals for the candidates as well as a turnout guesstimate. The prize is bragging rights and y’all know what a braggart I am: TOP OF THE WORLD, MA. BOOM. Here’s my entry, Edwards 52 Vitter 48. Turnout 43%. Here’s hoping I’m right. If Diaper Dave wins he’ll be pissed and we’ll be in a world of hurt. He’ll fling dirty diapers at us like an adolescent zoo chimp. Splat.

Finally, the post title. I realize I’m posting this while the sun is still out but The Night Before is one of my favorite mid-period Beatle songs. The title has NOTHING to do with the brand new bro-comedy of the same name. I have standards and while they’re low ones, I’m not big on slapsticky bro-fests featuring dudes in ugly holiday sweaters. I would never invite those bozos to a Gooberpalooza shebang: they’d get drunk and burn the joint down. And now without further ado, the Fab Four get the last word:

Just take that thing off the wall

In his book “Dealing,” author Terry Pluto detailed a pivotal moment in the rebuilding of the Cleveland Indians franchise. The team had begun rebuilding after a long period of prosperity, using young players and absorbing losing seasons in the process. The team adopted a vision statement that spoke of professionalism, positive attitudes  and an “all for one” attitude. The message hung on the walls of the team’s offices and was a guiding principle for how the team conducted itself.

During this rebuilding process, General Manager Mark Shapiro acquired an incredible player named Milton Bradley (the fun line about him was “He’s a gamer!”). He was exactly what the Indians needed on the field: A young, inexpensive five-tool player who had unrelenting potential. Bradley was also a nightmare when it came to his personality. He was angry, brooding and virtually uncoachable. He had been suspended, reprimanded and more. In short, he was like riding a mechanical bull stuffed with TNT.

The situation came to a head in 2003 when Bradley lost his temper at his manager during a game. He screamed at skipper Eric Wedge, busted up the dugout, changed clothes in the clubhouse and took a cab home. Bradley had been told this was his last chance, so Wedge and Shapiro talked about what to do next. Wedge wanted Bradley gone, but Shapiro was concerned about losing the team’s best player. Wedge worried more about what this would say to the team as a whole if one set of rules applied to Bradley and another to the rest of the team. In his closing argument, Wedge pointed to the vision statement and told Shapiro:

“We could just take that thing off the wall.”

In other words, if we’re not going to do what we say we believe in, why bother having a vision statement at all?

Bradley was traded shortly after this. They lost a quality player but the Indians kept their soul.

It’s never easy to believe in something when it might actually cost you something. Theories are great, but actions are difficult and we as a people seem to be finding that out the hard way in this country. We like to say we’re “The Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave,” but we haven’t been acting like it lately. The attacks on Paris have left us with little more than a new shade of color on our Facebook profile pictures and a “don’t hurt us next” attitude regarding Syrian refugees. The “bravery” we speak of is a false front that in one breath tells us that if we just have more guns, we’ll be able to fight off anything. In the next breath, we have people saying refugees can’t come here because, well, THEY might get one of those easy-access weapons we used to like…

We like to say we’re a melting pot of all people. But how do we square that circle with the 29 (and hopefully not counting) governors who have loudly declared that Syrians are not welcome in their states? Among those in the mix, is Adrastos’ Gret Stet leader Gov. Bobby Jindal, who noted, “We don’t want these refugees in our state.”

If only there were some kind of historical parallel involving Louisiana and the need to massively relocate people in a time of crisis that was not the direct result of these people’s actions and how people felt about them… Maybe then PBJ would be more easily able to see how important it is to have a place for people to go when disaster is befalling them on every front…

We are great at the idea that “all men are created equal,” although we’re also good at the “would you let your sister date one of them?” statements as well. We are fantastic at the origin story myths of “My great-grandfather came here from (Fill in the name of an oppressive shithole) and began a life for his family.” We’re even better at the “dirty, filthy Jose-Come-Latelies who will cram their low-riders with free healthcare” jingoism. When our families did it, it was called “coming to this country” but when other people want to do it, they’re “immigrants.”

(To be fair, not every group of people headed to our shores has the best of intentions. Castro famously claimed during the Mariel Boat Lift of 1980 that he had flushed the toilets of Cuba on the United States. If you watch the documentary “Cocaine Cowboys,” you get a pretty scary version of what happened after that.)

Theories are great, like the one posted on the base of the Statue of Liberty. A gift from France, the statue serves as a beacon to the nearly 4 million annual visitors who bask in the pride we feel about who we are. A bronze plaque mounted there reads, in part,

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It doesn’t have caveats or provide religious tests. It doesn’t say, “You must be at least THIS awesome to ride this country.” Instead, it welcomed all of us. It welcomed the English, the Irish, the Italians, the Germans, the Polish, the Czechs and more. It welcomed my great-grandfather and great-grandmother who met over here as “old maids” (they were in their early 20s) and spent the next 72 years married. It has endured generation after generation of Group A being suspicious of Group B’s arrival until Group B spent enough time here to become “normal.” Group B would then immediately become suspicious of the arrival of Group C…

If we don’t have enough food, shelter and work for these people who are seeking a better life, perhaps we can find enough empathy and courage to make up for it until we do.

If we are afraid they’ll get their hands on guns and other weapons, maybe we can start rethinking how we hand these things out like Halloween candy instead of barring the gates.

If we think that we’ve finally reached “maximum density” for our population, so much so that nothing from the outside can come in, maybe we could consider looking into a “king of the mountain” philosophy and start shedding some dead weight. (I’ll suggest Trump as a first cut…)

If we can’t do any of those things and let freedom ring a little bit around here, maybe we can at least take that thing off the wall.

Friday Catblogging: Upside Down

Here’s Della Street up against her favorite wall with semi-devil eyes;


Hysteria Is As American As Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet


It’s happening again: the hard men of the Republican party are scared to death of Syrian refugees. They’ve turned it into a meme and a campaign issue. The best response I’ve seen thus far came from President Obama:

“These are the same folks oftentimes who suggest that they’re so tough that just talking to Putin or staring down ISIL, or using some additional rhetoric somehow is going to solve the problems out there. But apparently, they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion,” he said. “First, they were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates. Now they’re worried about three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me.”

I’ve already written about David Vitter’s attempts to use this as a wedge issue in the Gret Stet Goober race. It’s unclear if it will work or if voters will give Diaper Dave a wedgy, but Team Vitter took it one step further yesterday. Here’s what Gambit’s Clancy DuBos had to say about it:

I got a phone call this afternoon from Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand regarding an email he received today (Wednesday, Nov. 18) from the Louisiana Republican Party. The email, like U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s entire gubernatorial campaign these days, falsely and deliberately tries to foster mass hysteria about Syrian refugees in Louisiana. It is, in my opinion, the most irresponsible, desperate, even despicable piece of campaign hysteria I have ever seen — and I’ve seen a lot. Worst of all, the GOP has the gall to solicit money at the end of the email.

“Somebody’s going to get killed” because of this kind of thing, Normand said to me. He’s right. Catholic Charities, the arm of the Archdiocese of New Orleans that is helping resettle Syrian refugees in Louisiana, already has received threats, which Louisiana State Police Supt. Mike Edmondson confirmed yesterday (Nov. 17).

Ironically, David Vitter’s wife Wendy is the general counsel for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, which means she also is the lawyer for Catholic Charities — the people who are bringing in refugees. Apparently the senator is so desperate that he doesn’t even mind throwing his wife and Archbishop Gregory Aymond under the bus for a few cheap political points.

For the record, the Syrian man that Vitter and the GOP say is “missing” and “unaccounted for” is totally accounted for. He had to fill out multiple forms before moving around in Baton Rouge, let alone before moving to Washington D.C. to be with his family. (See The Advocate‘s story HERE confirming all this.) It’s noteworthy that The Advocate story came out a full day before the GOP sent the hysterical email, which means they had to have known they were spreading lies in order to foster hysteria — and raise money.

This whole episode shows just how desperate Vitter has become. Apparently there is no lie he won’t tell, no line he won’t cross, no life he won’t put in jeopardy if that’s what it takes to win. He has been called “Bobby Jindal on steroids,” but that’s an understatement. He’s more like Frank Underwood on steroids.

I’ve said FU to Bitter Vitter many times over the years, but this is reprehensible even by his loathsome standards. It’s well documented that Vitter only values human life in vitro and doesn’t give a shit if his rhetoric leads to someone getting hurt. FU sideways, asswipe.

The country is in the throes of its latest bout of hysteria over THE OTHER. It’s nothing new in our history. We’ve had two red scares, repeated bouts of anti-immigrant hysteria, and dizzying flights of xenophobic frenzy since the founders were in knee-pants.

I’m on the record as a full-fledged member of the pro-immigration camp, but there’s a common sense approach to this problem that should satisfy most people except for vote hungry Republican politicians and unrepentant bigots. Only 2% of the immigrants are military age males between the age of 18-30. It is not unreasonable to assume that ISIS/ISIL/Daesh will try to infiltrate a few young fighters into our country. They’re not stupid, after all. That 2% should be subjected to an even more rigorous level of scrutiny before being granted entry. Is that method foolproof? Hell no, but it strikes me as an attempt to instill some common sense into the situation. As always, Charlie Pierce sums it up nicely at his joint.

The level of hysteria on the Right is reminiscent of the cosmic freak out after 9/11. The chickenhawks whipped up hysteria to suit their purposes, but the initial fear was not purely irrational. Who the hell wants to be blown up by some mook wearing a bomb belt? The difference this time is that the White House is trying to extinguish the xenophobic blaze, not adding fuel to the fire with inflammatory rhetoric. It’s a time when it’s good to have No Drama Obama as the Oval One.

The good news about the current hysteria is that it will eventually dissipate. It’s happened before. Remember the so-called Ebola crisis? Republican politicians and the MSM responded in a similar fashion, but eventually that wave of hysteria died with a whimper, not a bang. I even created an Ebola Hysteria category here at First Draft. It was last used over a year ago. This too will pass:

It’s time to circle back to the post title. In various forms, hysteria has been with us throughout our history. American hysteria often involves a toxic mixture of gullibility and xenophobia. Many people assume the worst of others, and believe who or what they want to believe i.e. Fox News. It’s why conspiracy theories are so popular in a country that’s never experienced a military coup. It’s why I’ve come to the conclusion that, as in the old Chevy teeevee commercial, hysteria is as American as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet.

The Fog Of Historical Pictures: Mayoral Mustache Edition

Our readers know by now that I love regular features like your hippie granny loves patchouli oil. I almost said like a pig loves slop but I’m trying to avoid cornpone imagery. Next thing you know I might post episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies or even Hee Haw  I do, however, love the musical stylings of Buck Owens and Roy Clark.

Damn, that was a long aside even for me but that’s beside the point. The new feature is called the Fog Of Historical pictures, which is a twist on the whole Fog Of History thing. It won’t be tied to a specific day, but it *is* tied to a specific inspiration: my friend and fellow punaholic, James Karst. Odds & Sods readers might recognize the name, he’s the bloke wot writes a column for the Picayune called Our Times. (I threw some Cockney in there as an urban antidote to rural phraseology.) James spends a lot of time rummaging through the paper’s morgue for old pictures, ads, and whatnot. He’ll be helping me out with this feature as a sort of eminence gris as opposed to my Eminence Front. According to Pete Townshend, it’s a put on, it’s a put on:

Uh, Pete, people in Toronto understand basic French thanks to the guy whose son is now Prime Minister of Canada. That is, of course, neither here nor there, but digressive sidebars are an integral part of my writing style such as it is.

Since this feature was inspired by James the K, let’s kick it off with this tweet featuring the mustache of Paul Capdevielle who was Mayor of New Orleans from 1900 to 1904.

Personal Note

I hope it’s OK to get a little personal and tell you that, very sadly, this past week I had to say goodbye to a really wonderful best friend. A best friend who in 2008 made it to First Draft … with a little help from Photoshop. No way would he have sat quietly with ANYTHING near his front paws, much less something that could be clawed or attacked :)

From Album 5

This was Tigger.

To keep this short, I’ll just note that while it’s a terribly sad time around here, I’m also trying to keep in mind that I got very, very lucky getting to share my house with this little guy. If you’re so inclined, warm thoughts and/or prayers for him would be most appreciated. He sure was a good boy.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Reign Of The Telepuppets

Amazing Stories was a long-lived Sci-Fi magazine. Here’s the cover of its August, 1963 issue:


Louisiana Politics: Gret Stet Goober Race Gobsmackery

Vitter and Jindal in 2010

Bitter Vitter and PBJ in 2010. Photograph via Getty Images.

I didn’t plan to write so extensively about the 2015 Gret Stet Goober race. I didn’t expect it to be so bloody interesting. Louisiana became more like other Southern states in the post-K/PBJ era, which was a pity for me as both a Democrat and a pundit. This year’s Goober race has changed that: the weirdo factor is back. Big time. If gobsmackery isn’t a word, it oughta be. It certainly fits the mood here with 3 more shopping days until our political Christmas. I’m hoping it won’t morph into Thanksgiving and produce a turkey: a narrow win by Diaper Dave.

I’m going to break this down Saturday Odds & Sods style. It may reflect some wishful thinking, I wish the election were today:

The PBJ Factor: Let’s begin with the seemingly unrelated story of Bobby Jindal’s exit stage far right from the GOP nomination scrum. I was a bit surprised; not because I thought he had a chance but because I assumed Team Jindal was as delusional as always. I expected PBJ to stay in the race until after the Iowa caucus and bible camp. There were times where he appeared to be gaining some traction among the crazed biblethumpers who do the wintery caucus thing in the Corncob state. In the end, the lane he hoped to occupy among homophobes and 1950’s nostalgists was occupied by Dr. Sleepy and Tailgunner Ted. PBJ tried staying alive by saying outrageous shit but nobody does that better than the Insult Comedian. Buh bye, Bobby.

PBJ’s exit is less interesting than its timing. It came 4 days before the Goober runoff and became the top Gret Stet political story thereby overshadowing Bitter Vitter’s attempt to save his ass by running against Syrian refugees.

Here’s the back story: PBJ and Diaper Dave loathe one another. Vitter held his infamous serious sin/hooker press conference on the same day in 2007 that PBJ announced his second, and ultimately successful, Goober campaign. Guess which story got all the headlines? Jindal then declined to support Vitter’s successful attempt to hold on to his Senate seat or his re-election bid in 2010. Now that’s bad blood.

I’m not the only one who thinks that PBJ’s suspension (I’d give him permanent detention instead) was timed to fuck with Vitter’s Goober campaign. The Louisiana Lizard King aka James Carville thinks so too:

“It smothers the news cycle,” said Carville, who has hosted two fundraisers for Edwards. The timing “will help John Bel. When you’re behind, you need to win the news cycle. If you’re Vitter, the last thing you want is to see Bobby Jindal in the news.”


“I wonder if he didn’t do it now to mess with Vitter,” Carville said.

Even if that wasn’t PBJ’s intention, it has the effect of freezing the news cycle and reminding everyone that the widely despised PBJ is still Governor. It hasn’t been easy to tell since he’s been the Dauphin of Iowa for the last 6 months.

I think it’s payback pure and simple. It fits the hoary Sicilian aphorism: “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

Vitter’s Refugee Hypocrisy: Vitter has spent most of the campaign running against President Obama. That hasn’t stopped. He’s now attempting to use ISIL and Syrian refugees as wedge issues. I realize it makes no sense to run against both ISIL and the refugees, but logic has nothing to do with it. It’s a raw appeal to emotion, hatred, and xenophobia. It’s what Diaper Dave does.

I’ve been on pins and needles that it might work, which is one reason I’m giving John Bel Edwards a mulligan on his support for Jindal’s “ban” on Syrian refugees. I put air quotes around the word ban because the Governor has no authority whatsoever to bar immigrants from entering the state. It’s a purely symbolic issue and I don’t want Edwards to die defending that hill in the last week of the campaign. I hope he’ll reconsider when the dust settles and he’s elected Governor.

Essentially, I am an anti-Vitter voter. The only people who think JBE is a liberal are teanuts or on Vitter’s payroll. I believe the top priority is to defeat Diaper Dave and end his political career. He’ll still be a Senator but he’ll be a de facto lame duck if he loses Saturday. That will make him a decoy duck for challengers next fall. The decoy image has me reconsidering my home decor:

It’s time to circle back to Vitter’s rank hypocrisy on the refugee issue. He flew to Washington to preen and posture about it on the Senate floor yesterday. But his frenetic activity has obscured an important fact, Vitter’s wife, Wendy, is Chief Counsel for Catholic Charities in New Orleans. That’s right, the group that has helped to resettle 14 Syrian refugees in Louisiana.

For more on Vitter’s egregious refugee hypocrisy, read Bob Mann’s piece for Salon, David Vitter’s desperate last stand: He throws his wife under the bus-again. For once, the feverish Salonatic headline is accurate.

The Shy Vitter Voter Factor: In addition to my concerns that Vitter’s racist and xenophobic slurs might work, I’m convinced that Vitter is underpolling. Most recent surveys have him 15+ points behind Edwards. I’m convinced that there are a substantial number of Vitter voters who are too embarrassed to admit that they’re voting for the sleazy Senator. I’m not the only one. Gret Stet Democratic campaign consultant Andrew Tuozzolo is also concerned:

The mention of the Bradley effect sent shivers down my spine. It’s a reference to the 1982 California Goober race where longtime Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley led in all the polls and wound up losing on election day. Bradley was moderate and very experienced. His only “liability” in the eyes of many voters was that he was African-American. That’s why people lied to the pollsters, they didn’t want to admit to bigotry at the ballot box. Hmm, Bigotry at the Ballot Box  sounds like a pulp fiction paperback waiting to be written…

In the UK, this is called the shy Tory factor. It came into play at this year’s general election when the Tories surprised even David Cameron by winning a majority. I wonder if the Posh Boy scheduled a date with a pig to celebrate? What is it with politicians named David anyway? At least Cameron isn’t a po-faced, psalm singing son of a bitch like David Vitter.

Here in the Gret Stet of Louisiana, David Duke underpolled in both the 1990 Senate and 1991 Goober races. That’s why I’m as nervous as that proverbial long tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. Holy shit, another corpone image. First purt near and now this. What’s next? Reveenooer references or a guest shot on Duck Dynasty? I don’t think I have to worry about the latter after this or this.

I was so disconcerted by the possibility of a shy Vitter voter factor that I texted Deep Blog last night during my krewe meeting. He/she/it was reassuring about the state of the Goober race in between ranting about Diaper Dave. Here’s a transcript of our non-Socratic dialogue:

Adrastos: Getting nervous about the refugee thing. Vitter is acting more like his old self. The fucker.

Deep Blog: Yep. Vitter is ISIS’ best friend in Louisiana because he’s spreading fear and panic, which is exactly what terrorists want. Vitter and ISIS: a match made in hell.

Adrastos: Do you think it will work?

Deep Blog: Not sure. Latest 2 tracking polls have JBE up by 15. Still, we’re talking about David Viitter, the Grigori Rasputin of Louisiana. No matter how many poisons and bullets you put in him, he refuses to die…

The only difference between Diaper Dave and Rasputin is that Vitter would probably remove a dirty diaper whereas Rasputin would revel in the filth of it all. That’s the difference between a rogue and a hypocrite. I’ll take a rogue any day even if they’re stinky…

Now that I’ve grossed you out, I’ll end this seemingly interminable post by asking my fellow Louisianians to vote on Saturday. If you’re a Lefty, vote for the Blue Dog, it’s important. It’s time to throw Diaper Dave on the ash heap of history alongside PBJ.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: King & Queen

Otis Redding and Carla Thomas should have been Stax’s answer to Marvin Gaye’s pairings with Kim Weston and Tammi Terrell at Motown. Instead it was a one-off recording. It’s a pity because 1967’s King & Queen is fun, fun,fun even if daddy took the T-Bird away in the end.

The deck of cards cover isn’t uncommon but it’s still fun to see Otis as the king of soul.

King and Queen

Here’s the cover to one of the singles off the LP:


Finally, the whole damn album on the YouTube. Give it a whirl, it’s a helluva ride.

There’s Only One Way Out and You Need to Come In

In a letter to Ryan, Ben Carson — the retired neurosurgeon and a Republican front-runner — called for Congress to block funding for any programs “that seek to resettle refugees and/or migrants from Syria into the United States, effective immediately.”

“Until we can sort out the bad guys we must not be foolish,” Carson said in a news conference in Nevada.

Bombing isn’t working and yelling isn’t working and sure as fuck policing what everybody else is Tweeting and Facebooking isn’t working, and if you wanna scream MUSLIMS SUCK at a football game to make yourself feel better, okay I guess, but that isn’t working either. Charlie had some suggestions for the head-of-state level: 

It should be done state-to-state. Stop funding the murder of our citizens and you can have your money back. Maybe. If we’re satisfied that you’ll stop doing it. And, it goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway – not another bullet will be sold to you, let alone advanced warplanes, until this act gets cleaned up to our satisfaction. If that endangers your political position back home, that’s your problem, not ours. You are no longer trusted allies. Complain, and your diplomats will be going home. Complain more loudly, and your diplomats will be investigated and, if necessary, detained. Retaliate, and you do not want to know what will happen, but it will done with cold, reasoned and, yes, pitiless calculation. It will not be a blind punch. You will not see it coming. It will not be an attack on your faith. It will be an attack on how you conduct your business as sovereign states in a world full of sovereign states.

Which is fine by me. The post-9/11 policy that if you bankroll terrorism you’re just as responsible as if you blow stuff up, that always made a lot of sense, except then we went and shut down a bunch of charities and left the Saudi businessmen alone. This isn’t the entirety of the answer, though. This isn’t all of it.

It’s getting cold out.

The other day I took the train into the city in the morning and the light was thin for the first time. It was still warm, but it was that wintry warmth, papered over with the knowledge of its ending. The evenings are blinks, the mornings slow in coming, and my neighbors are starting to drape their homes in strings of stars. I hustle Kick off the playground when her nose starts turning red, wrap another scarf around her.

Everyone has to come inside.

We should say, we should declare, the word should ring forth from America around the world: Come inside. We will open our doors, #porteouverte, America. We will give you homes. We will give your children food. We will give you land if you want to farm, jobs if you want to work. We will take care of you. We will take care of your children.

America can and should take every single refugee fleeing warfare in the Middle East and give them all a place to go right now yesterday today. Come here. Come inside. It’s dark but we are lighting candles. The food is for sharing. The spare bed, the couch, the vacant apartment. We will figure it out. Come here and stay for a while. Come here and stay forever. Be part of us, and let us be part of you, because we cannot make you love us with your bullets.

But bad people will come in! Yes, they will. And we will find them and lock them up and there will be four of them and it will not matter. The good will be in the tens of thousands. Weigh the risks.Weigh your immortal souls, too.

But the practicalities! Don’t tell me it can’t be done. Don’t tell me we can’t afford it. We blew a hole ten trillion dollars deep in the world. We can fill it up again. We have bridges that need building. We have diseases that need curing. We need so much done, and we have so many schoolhouses sitting empty.

But are you going to open your doors? Yes. Yes a thousand times and screw my garbage governor. But your family, your child? Will learn that this is the world, the whole world, and everyone has to come inside.

It’s the only way through this, for us. It’s not the only political way or the only military way, it’s the only way through this for ordinary people who are ordinarily angry and ordinarily scared. It’s the only way out of our national rage spiral, our hunkered-down please-don’t-hit-me-I’m-trying-to-be-good. It’s the only way out that gets everybody out, and we have done this before.

We have the New Deal to look to, the WPA, the Marshall Plan. We have the big things that aren’t explosions in the sky. We have the forces to build and we are letting them sit so that we can feel good about doing nothing, as if nothing ever feels good.

It’s getting dark early and it’s getting cold out. We are going to sit around the fire in the next six weeks and tell a cautionary tale, about a poor couple traveling, facing oppression, about to have a baby and scared for his future. We are going to shake our heads at the innkeepers who sent them back out into the night, sent a poor man and his pregnant wife into the dark alone.

We are going to wish that innkeeper had said, come inside.


Louisiana Politics: The Final Gret Stet Goober Gabfest

I’m glad the Gret Stet Goober debates are over and done with. They’ve been entertaining if you like blood sports, but not particularly edifying. The moderators, were once again, terrible. They asked the crowd to be quiet at the very beginning and never again. The crowd was rowdy, which made it hard for the candidates and viewers to hear the questions. It was another time when the people at a live event *forgot* that it was being televised and stepped on the event. Damn, I sound fussier than Miss Manners inspecting a frat house terlet, but a good moderator can keep a crowd under control. At the risk of being repetitive: these were not good moderators.

I thought Bitter Vitter performed better than in last Tuesday’s LPB debate. He lied constantly but more effectively, especially about his “serious sin.” He now claims it ended 15 years ago but nobody believes him. And why should they? He lies every time he opens his mouth.

Edwards was not quite as sharp tonight. But he stayed on the attack most of the evening and fought Diaper Dave to a draw. The two candidates spent a good part of the evening calling one another liars; even though Bitter *is* a liar, it’s time for John Bel to move on and close on a high note.

The weirdest moment in the evening came when Vitter went on and on about-get ready-a purple party bus:

Vitter hammered Edwards for having an event last week at a “very adult New Orleans night club” and hiring a purple party bus to ferry voters to the polls for early voting. Edwards said he was there with his wife. “Not as interesting as your date night, Senator,” he added.

At least it was LSU purple, Senator. The event in question was held at the Lyve Club on Tulane Avenue in a primarily black neighborhood. It’s not a place that I’m likely to go but the Vitterites are implying that it’s purt near a strip club. It’s not. Despite being a snooty city boy, I love the term purt near. It makes me feel almost bucolic…

Vitter’s purple party bus rant is yet another racist anti-New Orleans attack from his campaign. I’m not sure if it will work: Vitter nailed down the hardcore racist vote long ago.

As I said earlier, I think the debate was a tie, which in baseball goes to the runner; not sure about debateball.  Neither side did much to move any votes. They were no knock-out punches. Vitter, however, was in much better form, which makes me nervous. He may have a few more dirty tricks up his sleeve before this is over. He’s already running a despicable ad capitalizing on the Paris terrorist attacks. Anyone surprised? I thought not.

It smells like 2002 all over again. Let’s hope it doesn’t work this time.

Louisiana Politics: Gret Stet Goober Race Hits The Homestretch

Gret Stet Goober race indicators remain favorable for Democrat John Bel Edwards. A new poll shows him at 51% with 38% of the honky white vote. Sorry for going all Sixties on y’all there. If the election were held today, the undecided vote would break for him 54-38. Early voting was VERY strong for Edwards with a substantial increase in African-American turnout.  The problem is that we’re 5 days out and Edwards *may* have peaked. It’s not a bad thing if he holds his vote but there are signs that Team Vitter may be getting its shit together.

Vitter will be running on a xenophobic, anti-Syrian immigrant theme for the last week of the campaign. He’s hoping that he can scare some GOP voters straight by scaring the diapers pants off them. Here’s an excerpt from an open letter the Vitterites sent to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu:

As you know, New Orleans is expecting an influx of Syrian refugees, some of whom have already arrived. Based on all the information available to me, I have no confidence that these refugees are being fully and properly vetted to ensure they contain absolutely noterrorists elements.

Please join me and others in demanding that President Obama stopaccepting these Syrian refugees immediately, and stop settling any into New Orleans, given this unacceptable lax security and lack of full vetting on their backgrounds.

14 Syrian refugees is an influx? That’s the grand total that have come to Louisiana since civil war broke out in Assadville. Meanwhile, PBJ remembered that he’s still Gret Stet Goober and has joined other Republican Governors in demanding a stop to Syrian immigration.

He had to do something after losing the Steve King endorsement to Ted Cruz. I expect comments about the size of Syrian calves next from PBJ.

Back to Vitter. His use of the Syrian refugee issue makes me nervous. I expect him to hit it hard in overwhelmingly Cajun Acadiana where people have close historical and emotional ties to France. Clearly a Governor has nothing to do fighting ISIL, but it’s likely to scare up a few more votes from Republicans who planned to stay home. I use the word scare literally: fear of the other and of terrorism is all Vitter has going for him at this point.

It’s no surprise that Bitter Vitter is a raging hypocrite on this issue as pointed out by Bob Mann:

U.S. Senate records show that Sen. David Vitter, who served on that body’s Armed Services Committee from January 2009 to January 2015, missed two of three public committee hearing on Syria held from 2012 through 2014.


Vitter is also running online petitions about the issue on Facebook, making robo-calls to Louisiana voters about the refugees and even attempting to use the issue to raise money for his campaign.

Again, I’m not how effective this tactic will be but it could help him with the sort of low information rural voters who have supported him in the past. This is not the sort of issue that brings out the better angels of the Republican base either here or nationally.

Finally, the Democratic Governor’s Association has put up an anti-Vitter web site. It’s a take on House of Cards called Vitter’s House of Lies. Welcome to Word Press, y’all. And a hearty FU to Diaper Dave…


The final runoff debate is tonight at 6 PM Central and I’ll post some instant analysis before the stroke of midnight.

I remain cautiously optimistic that Edwards will hold on and win, but the Gret Stet’s recent political history makes me as nervous as Oscar and Della when they hear the word V-E-T.

Quote Of The Day: John Oliver Edition

John Oliver let loose on the Paris attackers on HBO last night. It’s a profane tirade worthy of our much missed colleague, Jude:

“After the many necessary and appropriate moments of silence, I’d like to offer you a moment of premium cable profanity … it’s hardly been 48 hours but there are a few things we can say for certain.

“First, as of now, we know this attack was carried out by gigantic fucking arseholes … possibly working with other fucking arseholes, definitely working in service of an ideology of pure arseholery.

“Second, and this goes almost without saying, fuck these arseholes …

“And, third, it is important to remember, nothing about what these arseholes are trying to do is going to work. France is going to endure and I’ll tell you why. If you are in a war of culture and lifestyle withFrance, good fucking luck. Go ahead, bring your bankrupt ideology. They’ll bring Jean-Paul Sartre, Edith Piaf, fine wine, Gauloise cigarettes, Camus, camembert, madeleines, macarons, and the fucking croquembouche. You just brought a philosophy of rigorous self-abnegation to a pastry fight, my friend.

“Nothing about what these arseholes are trying to do is going to work. France is going to endure,” he said before concluding, “So to the people of France, our thoughts are truly with you and I do not doubt there will be more to say on all of this as events unspool.”

Holy expletive delighted, Batman. He forgot Manet, Zola, Aznavour, and Truffaut but otherwise well fucking done, sir. Me, I’d like to kick these putains in the Balzac…

I’d like to add a hearty fuck you to all the wingnuts who went on about freedom fries and cheese eating surrender monkeys in 2002-3, BUT are now experts on France. Mange de la merde et mourir.

Here’s a link to a helpful guide to swearing in French.It’s some of the practical French you didn’t learn in high school. In my case, I was distracted by our weirdo teacher who claimed to be the reincarnation of Napoleon or some such shit. I once asked her if she was Napoleon I or III. I was rewarded with a proper Gallic glare…

Here’s Oliver’s bit live and very direct:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Dance Of The Commodeians edition

Well, folks – the filters are starting to get clogged up again with body parts from the advocates of The Darnold versus those of Dr. Jonas Sulk.  Time to give them a good blowing out.

Masks ON!  Ready? Let’s go!

WHAT? Trump Says Ben Carson is Sort of Like a Child Molester!
Truth Revolt ^ | 11/12/15 | Caleb Howe

Posted on ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎29‎:‎36‎ ‎PM by markomalley

On CNN today, Donald Trump had another moment that is sure to haunt news and social media for days, when he made a comparison between Dr. Ben Carson and child molesters:

He said he’s pathological, somebody said he’s got pathological disease, other people said he said in the book, I haven’t seen it but I know it’s in the book that he’s got a pathological temper or temperament. That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that. That’s like, you know, I could say, they say you don’t cure, as an example, child molester. You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure a child molester. There’s no cure for it. Pathological, there’s no cure for that.

Trump added “I’m not saying anything, I’m not saying anything other than pathological is a very serious disease,” but he was arguably well past the point of no return by then. Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord was on later to discuss the comment and said the Trump just “reached out for something that he thought was pathological.”

Yes, well .. reach better, guy. When a CNBC moderator made a comic book comparison with Trump, the Donald and his fans were outraged. Imagine if that moderator had said this about Trump.

The option they are giving us is that either Trump is too dumb to know comparing pediatric brain surgeon Dr. Carson to a child molester would be outrageous and go viral, or he knew that’s exactly what would happen and maliciously made the comparison. That’s what we’re left with. Dumb or malicious.

Unless you want to chose both.

1 posted on ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎29‎:‎36‎ ‎PM by markomalley

I’m going out on a limb here and saying that “markomalley” is on Dr. Sulk’s team.

To: markomalley

…if undeniably accurate..

I suspect Trump did not accidentally let this slip. He doesn’t typically make such errors.

A shot over the bow?

2 posted on ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎36‎:‎38‎ ‎PM by Mariner (War Criminal #18 – Be The Leaderless Resistance)

More like a kick in the crotch.
“Carry_Okie” makes an interesting observation:
To: markomalley

Ronald Reagan would never have stooped so low.

4 posted on ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎39‎:‎49‎ ‎PM by Carry_Okie (Dupes for Donald, Chumps for Trump)

(note his sig line)
My fave, “editor-surveyor” hates him some Trump:
To: Carry_Okie

This isn’t Ron Reagan we’re talking about…

Its Ronald McDonald.

77 posted on 11‎/‎13‎/‎2015‎ ‎12‎:‎16‎:‎01‎ ‎AM by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I’d hoped they’d be)

More after the Happy Meal…

Continue reading

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This Is Why I Don’t Care Ben Carson Tried to Stab Somebody

Look, our Congressional leaders used to try to fuck each other up with their walking sticks and stuff on the House floor; being a violent dickhead does not mean you are bad at your job. See every major sports league and lots and lots of CEOs.

This is far more worrisome:

WALLACE: But who would you call first, specifically to put together an International military coalition?

CARSON: My point being, if we get out there and really lead and it appears that we’re making progress then all of the Arab states and even the non Arab states, who I think are beginning to recognize that the, the, the jihad movement is global…..but if we fight it there, they will have to pool their resources in that area and then we won’t have to necessarily won’t have to fight them here. That’s all I’m saying.

WALLACE: But, can you tell us who you would call first, sir? On the International front.


CARSON: I would call on all of the Arab states….

All of ’em, Charlie!

Who would you call first? Well, I’d start with Poland because everybody gets shirty when you leave them out. I’d probably leave France alone for a while because they’ve got their own shit going on, but “all of the Arab states?” “I would call everyone in this general vicinity,” he says, and draws a big circle on the map with his crayon. What the tits.

For serious, though, this guy knows less about foreign policy than I do, which is terrifying. He doesn’t know what the debt ceiling is. I keep bringing that up because it’s not like he doesn’t know what to do about it. HE GENUINELY DOESN’T KNOW WHAT IT IS. Him becoming president at a time when Republicans are using the debt ceiling like a movie villain uses the hero’s girlfriend is like me becoming Fed Chair while not knowing about these small round copper things worth one cent each.


Democrats Will Always Have to Answer for Republican Insanity

All day yesterday, it was WHY WON’T OBAMA SAY THE WORDS, and then last night at the Democratic debate, three people who have an infinitely better chance of being president than any Republican ever were challenged to SAY THE WORDS GOD DAMN IT.

What were the words?

Apparently if you say “radical Islam” the war is instantly won! ISIS then is all “oh shit they are on to us” and they all hang up their balaclavas or whatever the hell, and nobody ever terrorists again. Wingnuts have been tweeting about this since before Obama was elected, like every time there is a terrorist attack they demand he burn a plate of baklava and yell CURSE YOU ALL MOORS AND SARACENS.

When he does not, because that is dumb, they point to it as proof of his appeasement or something and say this is why Putin doesn’t want to have buttsex with America anymore.

So during Saturday night’s debate, the Democratic candidates were all made to address the prophecy about the Dark Lord, because this is how we live now.

Because they didn’t (see again DUMB) this will be the only thing we will be talking about. Not the people of Paris and Beirut and Ankara, not the people who are being blamed for the attacks, not the refugees who are bearing the brunt of the backlash.

We will be talking about how, in the face of the halfbrights screeching SAY IT like some kind of deranged Dora the Explorer, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley were like sweetheart, you need to take a goddamn nap.

Democrats always have to answer for whatever the Republicans put out. They always have to address whatever Republicans say is the dominant point of the day. They always have to rule out that Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts, that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the US, that Michelle Obama put crack pipes on the Christmas tree, that John Kerry shot himself in the leg so he could run for president 50 years later.

They always have to react to the Drudge siren, to the Politico playbook, to the story Republicans want to be told, and hey, the people making these made-for-Newsmax narratives the foremost topics of discussion are just doing their jobs, after all. This is what is “out there.”

And what makes me crazy is that it makes no difference. If Hillary and Bernie and O’Malley stood up last night and said you know what, Marco Rubio the Poor Man’s Ventriloquist’s Dummy is totally right and we are at war with radical Islam and let’s deport every single Muslim in the US and then invade Europe and fuck up, I don’t know, Denmark just to prove that we CAN, Republicans would still go out tomorrow and make out like they tried to hump Osama bin Laden’s corpse.

There’s no point to this pantomime anymore.



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