It’s Not About the Manger

I read this over the weekend, as we were putting up our Christmas lights and Kick was asking easy-to-answer questions like, “What’s God?” and “WHEN was Jesus born exactly?” and other stuff Mom wasn’t real ready to talk about while shooing the cats off the weird evergreen bush we bought in 4 minutes because the tree lot was really really cold.

I am sorry to spoil your preparations for Christmas before the Christmas lights have even gone up—though perhaps it is better to do this now than the week before Christmas, when everything has been carefully prepared. But Jesus wasn’t born in a stable, and, curiously, the New Testament hardly even hints that this might have been the case.

I find debates between the religious and the atheist profoundly tiring, much like debates over which version of the afterlife is actually true, because both “sides” of this miss the damn point while they’re yelling at each other about being right. Religion is terrible, people are terrible, blah blah blah are we DONE, can we eat a figgy pudding and watch the Winona Ryder version of Little Women now please? Stop interrogating one of the few nice things we’ve all still got. There’s a way to talk about the harm done in the name of religion that still leaves us room for gingerbread cookies.

There’s no need for a war on Christmas, or over Christmas. In all seriousness, God’s poetry, not prose, and if you try to diagram a sentence on Him you’re gonna wind up pissing both of you off. It’s not about JESUS WAS REALLY BORN IN THE SUMMER, you can yell that at me all you want but it’s not going to stop making me want to lay down and take a nap. It doesn’t let God off the hook to say time doesn’t work for Him the way it does for us, that it’s not so much that He has a plan (He’s absolute shit at planning, worse than the Cylons even) as He doesn’t always think things through. And so we’re left to fill the gaps, with tales we’ve been telling since we were barely not-monkeys, looking up at the unknowable stars.

The story of the Nativity, the story of Christmas, isn’t about a manger. It never was; you’re debunking shadows. Kick has a book about the Nativity that pairs gospel verses with folk art paintings and it’s one of the more effective versions of the story I’ve ever seen: two or three tiny white wooly sheep and their shepherd, against the whole night sky.

I tell her, as we’re hanging lights at 5:30 p.m. and it’s already black as midnight: We do this because it’s dark and we want to let people know we’re awake. If the lights are on, they know we’re up, and they can come to us for help.

I tell her, as we’re putting the Nativity scene out and she’s asking about the Kings, that they brought gifts for the baby Jesus, and that’s why we give gifts at Christmas.

Our religions, our traditions, our holidays, aren’t rooted in fact. They’re rooted in need, the same human need that connects us all the way back to the days of dirt roads and traveling by donkey: A story of grace from unlikely beginnings, the first word of God told to the poor. We told the story about a stable because we needed to know that no matter where we came from, we could be kings.

That story can change without tearing one single bit of it down.

In the Christmas story, Jesus is not sad and lonely, some distance away in the stable, needing our sympathy. He is in the midst of the family, and all the visiting relations, right in the thick of it and demanding our attention. This should fundamentally change our approach to enacting and preaching on the nativity.

That’s the story we need right now: that in a time of violence and fear and otherness, there will be a place for us to rest. A roof over our heads, something soft beneath our bones. That it is humble, doesn’t matter. That it is poor, doesn’t matter. That it doesn’t look like what we think it looks like, that it isn’t the same as the story we’ve been promised, doesn’t matter.

The story is about a baby. About a child. About a king. And about all of us. We forget that, and focus on the inn and the animals, and we lose sight of the star.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Don’t Look Now

Dresden Street by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

I don’t usually go in for cross-cultural generalizations about the state of the world but for every rule, there’s an exception. And 2018 has been an exceptionally bad year. Hell meet hand basket.

The US, UK, and France have gone to political hell and back in 2018. Our main problem is obvious: a corrupt and deeply stupid president*. In Britain, they’re still paying the price for the Brexit referendum catastrophe, which has resulted in bad leadership in both of the “big parties” and political paralysis. In France, Emmanuel Macron compared himself to Charles DeGaulle once too often, now there are riots in the streets just like in DeGaulle’s day. In 1968, they waved red flags. In 2018, they wear yellow vests. There’s a good chance that Macron will be France’s third consecutive one-term president. Burning it down is not all it’s cracked up to be.

I wish I had solutions for these problems but I’m a pundit, not a prophet. I don’t even have a prophet and loss statement. I can hear them groaning all the way to Bunkie, so it’s time to move on.

This week’s theme song was written in 1969 by John Fogerty for CCR’s Willy and the Poor Boys album. The title has been shortened over time from Don’t Look Now (It Ain’t You or Me) by dropping the parenthetical aside. You may have noticed that I live for parenthetical asides but I can live with the deletion of this one. In fact, it’s a delightful deletion.

We have two versions for your listening pleasure: the Creedence original and a 2005 cover by my main man Dave Alvin.

Don’t Look Now is also the title of a fine film by director Nicolas Roeg who died last month. And don’t look now is excellent advice when one jumps to the break: every time I peek, I get dizzier than Tommy Fucking Roe.

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Butina Your Lip

Former Gret Stet Governor Bobby Jindal with Maria Butina.

I have been accused of constructing posts around a punny title. I plead guilty as charged. There’s a lot of that going around this week. The latest to cop a plea is Maria Butina. I have abandoned my futile attempt to popularize the Russian spelling of her name. She’s Two-I Mariia no more. Life goes on and on and on; much like this introduction.

The facts of the Butina case have become somewhat murky. Initially, I compared her to Elizabeth Jennings of The Americans but it looks as if she was more of an influence peddler than a spy; as much K Street as Kremlin.

The prosecution has even withdrawn some of the more sensational characterizations of her activities:

Yet even as prosecutors secured Ms. Butina’s conviction and cooperation, they faced questions about their initial portrayal of Ms. Butina as something like a character out of “Red Sparrow,” the spy thriller about a Russian femme fatale.

Prosecutors had already been forced to back off the most salacious accusations against Ms. Butina — that she used sex as spycraft — and acknowledged in court filings this week that she genuinely wanted a graduate degree, and was not simply posing as a student to live in the United States. They also dropped accusations of her being in contact with Russian intelligence agencies, and that she was only using Mr. Erickson to gain access to other influential Americans.

Agents come in many forms: from the covert to the overt. Butina appears to have been the latter. She bamboozled American gun nuts in broad daylight, revealing them as gullible fools willing to fall for a pretty face and a ridiculous story: a gun rights group in Putin’s Russia? Yeah, right.

There was even a memorable public exchange with the Insult Comedian:

While I still hope that Butina can damage the NRA, it’s unclear how much she knows and who, other than her boyfriend/whatever Paul Erickson, she can hurt. She certainly played them for fools, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Those pictures with PBJ, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum, and Wayne LaPierre are priceless.

The minute I heard that she’d agreed to co-operate, I knew that she was not a spy. We usually trade their spies for our spies. I’m puzzled by Butina’s motives in co-operating with prosecutors as she still faces deportation. Failed Russian agents tend not to have a long shelf life when they return home.

Our readers have surely noticed by now that my mind works in weird ways. This time, it has connected Maria Butina and the Rolling Stones. Her American adventure involved making connections with the NRA in the hopes of influencing the Republican party. That, in turn, evokes a song from the 1967 Stones album, Butina the Buttons:

The album’s real name is Between the Buttons and, in the end, the real connection Maria Butina made was with federal prosecutors.

The post title is also Stones inspired. The opening line of Mixed Emotions is “button your lip, baby.” It wasn’t much of a leap to Butina Your Lip.

The Rolling Stones get the last word:

Friday Guest Catblogging: Why We Don’t Have A Christmas Tree

My friend Kyle’s cat, Little Buddy, is the scamp’s scamp, the imp’s imp. He’s always up to something: trouble is his middle name.

Little Buddy’s most recent antics are seasonal in nature. If there’s a Christmas tree in the house, a cat will mess with it. One of our past cats, Manet, was a plant eater/puker. She and her furry cohort also enjoyed messing with Christmas trees. We surrendered to their dominance years ago, which is a good thing since PD is so strong that he could knock a tree over just by scent marking it.

Kyle is a drummer, so he’s made of sterner (sillier?) stuff. He has a tree as well as the aforementioned cat named Little Buddy. The two collide in these pictures.

Cohen Family Values

This post title may be ironic but it contains a kernel of truth. Trump’s former fixer spent a good deal of time in his remarks at his sentencing hearing discussing the importance of family and his regrets at having let them down. Bigly.

Cohen’s family values are also the best explanation for his limited co-operation with the Southern District of New York. I spent too much time Wednesday watching MSNBC and listening to pundits and legal experts alike discuss this “mystery.” There’s a simple explanation: both Cohen and his brother married into families with extensive ties to the Ukrainian and Russian mobs. It’s unclear if they’re gangsters or associates, but they’re connected. Flipping on them would not only blow up Cohen’s family, it would be hazardous to his health. There’s no mystery there at all.

Additionally, Cohen’s uncle runs a social club in Brooklyn that’s frequented by wise guys from the former Soviet Union. The Fixer sold his stake in the club after Trump’s fluke election victory. At the very least, Cohen’s uncle is a mob associate. To put it in terms that Sopranos fans will get: he’s the Artie Bucco of the story. Artie was, of course, Tony’s childhood friend whose eatery Vesuvio was a hangout for the fictional Jersey mob. Artie was a hapless schmo and sporadic wise guy wannabe, which is how Cohen is perceived by many in the MSM.

The mistake the MSM has made in covering  the Trump scandals is that they’ve treated it as strictly a political story. It’s really the story of how a career criminal was elected president* by defrauding the voters. It’s a crime story. The victim is the American people.

I think all the wise men and women on cable news should read Josh Marshall. He’s been on top of the Cohen/mob story since the Spring of 2017. In case you’ve missed his coverage, here are links to some of Josh’s Cohen stories:

From February 26, 2017: It’s All So Confusing.

From March 1, 2017: Piecing Together The Michael Cohen Story.

From April 17, 2018: The Closer I Get.

From April 18, 2018: Cohen-ology Pays Off After All.

It’s all there, y’all. It explains why Michael Cohen cannot offer the sort of co-operation demanded by the SDNY. They expect co-operators to discuss *every* crime a witness is familiar with, not just their own malefactions. Cohen would rather spend 3 years in jail than deal with the shitstorm that would ensue if he flipped on his friends and family from Brooklyn and Brighton Beach. Who the hell can blame him?

Having explained why I believe Cohen will never sign a full co-operation deal with the SDNY, working with Team Mueller is an entirely different kettle of fish. Cohen seems willing to spill everything he knows about Donald Trump. Those bridges are burned and the only way Trumpberius can hurt Cohen now is with his mouth and tweets. Cohen doesn’t give a shit about that any more. He’s done covering up for the Insult Comedian’s “dirty deeds.”

The last word (image?) goes to my First Draft colleague Michael F:

Quote Of The Day: Repulsion Edition

I wish I had read Frank Bruni’s column about the Ayers rejection before writing my Staff Infection post. I would have quoted it then. There’s no time like the present:

It’s about how he behaves — and the predictable harvest of all that nastiness. While other presidents sought to hone the art of persuasion, he revels in his talent for repulsion: how many people he attacks (he styles this as boldness); how many people he offends (he pretties this up as authenticity); how many people he sends into exile. His administration doesn’t have alumni so much as refugees. H.R. McMaster, Gary Cohn and Reince Priebus are a dumbfounded diaspora all their own.

Careerists who would normally pine for top jobs with a president assess his temper, behold his tweets, recall the mortifications of Jeff Sessions and Rex Tillerson, and run for the hills. Trump sits at the most coveted desk in the world, but almost no one wants to pull up a chair.

I’ve gone round and round on the subject of Trump’s atrocious manners with people who insist they matter less than his awful policies. They matter equally. Exit polls after the midterms indicated that many suburban swing voters turned against Trump because of his unpresidential behavior. That’s why I call him the Insult Comedian.

Shame is a powerful thing. Trump is shameless but a majority of Americans are ashamed of having this obnoxious creep in the White House. He shows no signs of understanding that a president who takes a “shellacking” in the midterms needs to reach out and broaden their base. It’s what Reagan did after 1982 and Obama after 2010. Trump is obsessed with his base, which is one reason why he’s politically doomed. I’m not sure when his demise will come or what form it will take, but it’s coming.

The last word goes to Country Joe McDonald:

Medicated? Or Something Else?

thorazine_trump_pin_light

Yesterday was surprisingly quiet for Trump — for the most part an unusual Twitter silence, a late day even by his lax standards, more TV (they call it Executive Time) than usual. Did they dose POTUS? Or was he in an extended snit after Tuesday’s Oval Office command performance.

Of course, his hard core base probably loved the act. But they’re not exactly known for deep thinking either.

And with sentencing day for Cohen, and, potentially much more damaging, prosecutors announcing they’ve struck a deal with American Media, Inc. — the general mood at the White House can’t be good.

Aside: Speaking of American Media, Frank Figliuzzi told quite a story on the Brian Williams show last night. He was part of the FBI team investigating the anthrax attacks at AMI’s Florida headquarters. In the process of decontaminating the office, he asked David Pecker what objects he wanted above all to save. Pecker’s response? Photos of Elvis Presley in his coffin…and Bat Boy. No, Really.

bat-boy-rick-scott

(slightly modified).

Anyway…is the reality show finally coming to a close? Well…unfortunately, probably not. GOP elected officials are as slavishly cult-like towards Trump as the party’s evangelical base…

And with patriotism as the last refuge, I won’t be surprised over the near term to see DJT cozying up to as many American flags as he can get his small hands and stubby fingers on…he might even find a cross of some sort to carry as well.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Williwaw

I was doing another search when I stumbled into an alternate title for Gore Vidal’s 1946 war novel, Williwaw. I suspect Signet thought Dangerous Voyage was a pulpier title than Williwaw.

Here’s a thumbnail description of the book from Harry Kloman’s definitive Vidal site:

Vidal’s first novel – written when he was 19 and recovering from rheumatoid arthritis that flared up during his military service – takes place aboard an Army FS boat in the Aleutian Islands near Alaska. The title is an Indian word for a big wind, peculiar to that region of the world, which sweeps suddenly down from the mountains toward the sea. Such a wind occurs during the dramatic climax of the novel, which explore its milieu in lean, taut style. It’s a swift read, with well-constructed characters, and it coolly captures the daily routines of men on the fringe of war. And like many books of men at war, it has a moral ambiguity, although in Vidal’s nascent fictional world, there is ultimately no moral reckoning. More than 50 years after its publication, the book remains in print. In the 1950s, the paperback first edition was published under the title Dangerous Voyage, presumably because the word “williwaw” was too off-putting for general audiences.

Thanks, Harry. I’m just wild about your site.

Here are the dueling covers:

Lookit What You Did!

Thanks to your generosity, First Drafters, you paid for Christmas gifts for 85 KIDS. The money you raised for the St. Hyacinth Food Pantry bought gift cards, toys, games, mittens and other necessary stuff for the children whose parents shop there each month.

I’m heading up tomorrow to help them sort through some more donated things, but this is the nicest part: They’ll all get something new and nice for the holidays, thanks to you!

They’ll be able to go get a snack or a treat or something frivolous with their friends without having to worry about it for once. That kind of freedom is delicious when you don’t always have it.

You rock, all y’all.

A.

Staff Infection

Photo via Vanity Fair.

I used to think the Bush-Cheney administration was the most incompetent of my lifetime. But they occasionally looked as if they knew what they were doing. That’s something that can never be said of the Trump regime. If there’s a way to fuck something up, they’ll find it. It reminds me of a venerable military acronym: FUBAR. That stands for “fucked up beyond all recognition” although there’s a G-Rated version that substitutes “fouled up.” Fuck that version: Team Trump is fucking up the country, not fouling up, the foul stench emanating from the White House notwithstanding.

The ongoing saga of John Kelly’s departure from the White House is the best example of Trump’s staff infection. Kelly’s firing has been rumored since March but he’s become the Trump regime’s Keith Richards: a human cockroach who refuses to die.

The Kelly gag was perfected on Sunday when the guy who was expected to replace him, Nick Ayers, turned the job down. Hilarity and chaos ensued. Ayers is Pence’s chief of staff and a greedy hustler who wants to return to the private sector to cash in on his White House connections.

There are manifold reasons for Ayers to leave. Trump’s legal woes have led to an exodus of staffers who don’t want to have massive legal bills. Reporters have started asking Ayers questions about how a 36-year-old political consultant has amassed a vast fortune. The shortest reason is a classic: rats flee sinking ships. And Ayers is a blonde rat with a blonde wife and a blonde family. One could even call his life story Blonde Ambition but I think Reese Witherspoon would object. Who could blame her?

The main reason the Kelly exit is so FUBAR is because the train is being driven by the Slumlord and the Princess. Make that trainwreck:

After Nick Ayers, the Georgia political operative who was the president’s top pick, declined the job — something of a plot twist in a presidency notorious for its episodic cliffhangers — Mr. Trump is without a Plan B. Several of his aides expressed frustration that months of intense campaigning to replace John F. Kelly — an effort led by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s elder daughter and son-in-law — resulted in yet another chaotic staffing scramble in a White House splintered by factions and rife with turnover.

“Why would anybody want to be Donald Trump’s chief of staff unless you want to steal the office supplies before they shut the place down?” said Chris Whipple, who wrote a book on White House chiefs of staff called “The Gatekeepers,” expressing the views of many outside the White House about Mr. Kelly’s job. “If you’re coming into that job, you’ve got to lawyer up.”

The Other Mr. Whipple knows his shit. Javanka should have squeezed the political Charmin before assuming that Ayers would do their bidding. This was a shit show even for Team Trump.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m on about, here’s one of the “don’t squeeze the Charmin ads” featuring Mr. Whipple that ran for some 20 years:

The terlet paper analogy is apt. The Trump regime seems to be circling the bowl right now. His legal situation is dire and nobody reputable wants to be his chief of staff. Leo McGarry weeps. Perhaps Trump should hire an EMT for the job, they’re used to running toward danger.

As someone who watched a certain shitty reality show so you didn’t have to, I have some suggestions for the next chief of staff among Celebrity Apprentice contestants:

  • Gary Busey would appeal to the Trump base; ain’t no man whiter or angrier than Gary Busey.
  • In the unlikely event that the president* wants to expand his base and appeal to black voters, there’s always dreadlock wearing rapper Lil Jon.
  • If Trump wants to retain the support of Gret Stet Senator John Neely Kennedy, Meat Loaf is his man.

A side benefit of the latest White House shitshow is that it’s serving up an extra dose of humiliation for the ultimate Trump dignity wraith, John Kelly. The retired general has been behind Trump’s horrific immigration and detention policies from the git go. Instead of being the adult in the room, he was the other bigot in the room.

I will never forgive Kelly for lying about Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and dismissing her as an “empty barrel.” John Kelly has reached the bottom of the barrel. I hope he drinks deeply of the dregs and sickens himself.

Team Trump’s staff infection shows why nepotism is frowned upon in our government. The Slumlord and the Princess may be grand in a way that their cruder fathers never will be, but they haven’t the foggiest idea of what they’re doing.

As Trump’s legal woes mount and his popularity plummets, he will rely more and more on Javanka’s bad advice. The FUBAR watch remains in effect for the duration. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos. Believe me.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Tijuana Christmas

I’ve been known to post wacky Christmas album covers in this space. This one has an obvious political subtext in the age of Trump.

Big Gavel Energy

I’m not one for body language analysis when the shit that comes out of Trump’s mouth-anus is so horrific but honestly, the way he turns away from Nancy while she’s talking and looks at Chuck like, “women, amirite?” should be in some kind of Man-seum.

At this point not only am I okay with keeping Nancy “Big Dig Energy” Pelosi as leader, I will not rest until she is QUEEN. To sit there calmly while President Fucknut waves his hand at her to literally dismiss her, spews nonsense about a border wall, and says “I’m proud to shut down the government” like he’s not making campaign ads for his 2020 opponent until the end of time … well, that’s restraint I don’t have.

Everything about this is an illustration of a competent woman in a business meeting with an idiot man and his idiot enablers (Chuckles included, for not decking his ass) but it’s also, you know, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES telling the incoming Speaker of the House that she sucks, which is not how anything should work.

A.

The War is Never Over

Read this now.

I don’t know how we can start anything new with these aftershocks still going off all around us. Sometimes it’s absolutely staggering.

A.

Your President* Speaks: Smocking Gun Edition

I swore off doing these posts because the Insult Comedian says and tweets stupid shit pretty much every day. In the wake of his own personal Black Friday, he’s been tweeting up a flop sweat storm. There have been several instant classics, so I decided to bite the bullet much like Neil Young in this song:

We’ll proceed in reverse chronological order. The first panic tweet is a two-parter.

A smocking gun? Is that a cross between smoke and smock or mock and smoke? In either case, it’s eminently mockable.  Try singing this song as Smocking Gun:

Our second entry is the Insult Comedian’s dickish assault on the Senior Senator from the nutmeg state:

You’re planning to travel with the Dick? Will you have spotted dick for dessert?

Now that the Trump-Macron bromance is over, the president* has turned on the younger handsomer man:

The riots aren’t about the Paris climate change agreement. And the rioters are certainly not shouting “we want Trump.” If they were, I’d be more than glad to send him to Paris. It’s time for another marginally relevant musical interlude:

It’s rich for Mister Bone Saw’s best buddy to talk about “questionably run” countries. I bet some of those dictators know how to get away with paying off their side-chicks without getting caught. MBS would just have them killed and dismembered. Perhaps they’d use one of these:

I need the musical interludes to retain what little sanity I still have left. Besides, One Night In Paris is about an American procuring Parisian prostitutes.

Finally, the Insult Comedian had some twitter tea for the Tillerson:

This is, of course, classic Trump projection. He’s the one who’s “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell.” I guess  that makes Mike Pompeo “very legal and very cool.” Sycophants always are. I just realized that made no sense: Trump disease is very very contagious.

Tillerson may not be my cup of tea but he’s an engineer who rose to the top of a massive oil company. He’s an arrogant asshole but not as dumb as a rock. Trump wins that particular trifecta.

The last word (image?) goes to Michael F:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati -Judgement call edition

Hi, readers –  back from Playa Del Carmen. Still unpacking, but there’s time for a short and sweet “Obsession”.

Trump Unleashes on ‘Dumb as a Rock’ Tillerson: He ‘Didn’t Have the Mental Capacity’
msn ^ | 12/7/2018 | Josh Feldman

Posted on 12/7/2018, 3:11:27 PM by detective

President Donald Trump is clearly not happy with comments from his former Secretary of State.

Rex Tillerson got candid today not just about his time at State, but about the President and how “undisciplined” he is. He also claimed that he had to explain to Trump that various things he proposed were illegal.

Trump clearly heard about the comments, and he fired back with some choice words for the man who once reportedly called him a “moron”:

“Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him,” Trump tweeted Friday afternoon. “His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!”

1 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:11:27 PM by detective
IknowYouAre
To: detective

 

Rex was the third most incompetent and lazy SoS in history, just after Hellary and Kerry the Klown.

Thankfully we had a strategic genius of unsurpassed wisdom and courage in the WH keeping things running !

4 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:15:31 PM by WashingtonFire (President Trump – it’s like having your dad as President)

I can only assume he’s referring to the janitor…
.
After a few Tillerson-bashing / derp state posts, someone finally poses the real question:
To: gibsonguy

 

Question—. If Tillerson is so dumb, such an idiot, etc. Then why in the heck did Trump pick him in the first place?

10 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:21:09 PM by Dilbert San Diego

Good question.
To: Dilbert San Diego

 

He has made a lot of dumb hires. In that respect he is very naive, he thinks everyone is as sincere as he is in service to their country.

18 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:24:09 PM by Dont tread and Live (waso)

So, what you’re saying is that The Darnold is easily fooled?
Duh, motherfucker.
To: detective

 

Sometimes Trump can be ineloquent – but you know where he stands and that is rare in a politician

12 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:22:06 PM by laconic

Alzheimer’s is also rare in a politician, but Reagan spent his entire last term drooling into a napkin.
.
Also:
.

Trump “Gibbery gibbery gibberish, la la me, best, biggest, blaggety blah blah tremendous blageddy gibberish.”

Trump supporter in the stands “We love him because he says what he’s thinking!”

To: detective

 

Every one of you misses the point. The point is not that Trump is “man enough” to tell it like it is. (rolls eyes)

The point is, he – TRUMP – is the person hiring all of these “dumb as a rock” people to Cabinet positions. What does it say about his judgement? THAT, is the point.

19 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:24:19 PM by TangledUpInBlue

To: SaveFerris

 

Exxon is a corpocracy. Trump operates an oligarchy type business. (,,,)

33 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:54:25 PM by Sequoyah101 (It feels like we have exchaged our dreams for survival. We just ha va few days that don’t suck.)

Sssh – you’re not supposed to say that out loud.
To: detective

 

Trump has made himself look petty… again. I really wish he would not do that. If he didn’t do this he would be a really great man. He could defend himself without being so much like a 12 year-old.

35 posted on 12/7/2018, 3:57:47 PM by Sequoyah101 (It feels like we have exchaged our dreams for survival. We just ha va few days that don’t suck.)

No.
No, he can’t.
Trump IS a 12 year-old, and he will always BE a 12 year-old.
More after the temper tantrum.

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Clinton (Consultant) Needs to Go Away

For all the talk about how Hillary and Bill need to exit the stage, I think the real cancer on our politics is everyone they employed. Shut UP, Rahm: 

“I don’t think you can make it to the Oval Office without being a good politician. And whatever you want to say-and I am in violent disagreement with this president-he was a better politician than Hillary.”

He’s also a fascist but let’s respect his SKILLZ, right?

Shut UP, Carville: 

James Carville said the Democrats will not have a wave election in the 8pm hour of MSNBC’s election night coverage. He said there is still a good chance that Democrats win the House but some races will be nail-biters.

40 seats, you lizard-headed asshole.

Shut UP, Begala: 

“It is really impressive, the money and the operation that the Trump folks are putting together,” said Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist. As soon as the midterm election is over, he said, Democrats “had better get about the business of re-arming for the next battle.”

I’M GLAD YOU’RE HERE TO TELL US THESE THINGS NOBODY EVER WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF OTHERWISE.

Shut UP, Snuffleupagus: 

STEPHANOPOULOS: 2020 jockeying has already begun. And we talk to two contenders from the Buckeye state, Republican Governor John Kasich and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown.

We’ll break down the politics, smoke out the spin. The facts that matter this week.

The smoke! The fire! The toasted marshmallows!

And STFU forever and ever and ever, Mark Penn & Andrew Stein: 

Penn, a frequent contributor to The Hill, co-wrote a Sunday op-ed for The Wall Street Journal with Andrew Stein, a former Democratic Manhattan borough president and president of the New York City Council.

“True to her name, Mrs. Clinton will fight this out until the last dog dies,” the pair wrote. “She won’t let a little thing like two stunning defeats stand in the way of her claim to the White House.”

You know, I don’t care one way or another if Hillary wants to run again (yes, or Bernie, god you’re all exhausting), but I do wish the people who won two elections on her husband’s back and have been dining out on it ever since would GO TAKE UP KNITTING.

A.

Eating Well is For Pussies!

I don’t understand how it became an article of faith on the right that vegetables are for girls, or something: 

The Obama administration set rules that sought to make school lunches more healthful with exclusively whole-grain pastas and breads, and with nonfat white milk and less salt. It was reacting to an epidemic of obesity in the United States as well as evidence that excessive salt intake is linked to high blood pressure and other health concerns, and that whole grains are more healthful than refined grains.

In 2017, the Trump administration announced it was temporarily easing those rules, and the Agriculture Department is moving to make those changes permanent. It said it would publish on Wednesday a final rule on school nutrition in the Federal Register — the government’s official journal of agency rules and proposed rules.

(I mean, of course I understand how it happened: Big business propaganda filtered through right-wing news sources. Same way everything disparate becomes part of Fuck You Culture, really.)

You know, it is hard enough to feed kids. I’m very lucky in that Kick is omnivorous, loves broccoli and carrots and will eat apples with the skin on them, thinks nothing of eating red peppers as a snack, eats beets for chrissakes. I know people whose kids will only eat four foods, three of them variations on grilled cheese. My little brother once refused to eat any food that wasn’t white, for some reason, and I used to babysit a family whose kids reacted to food touching each other like a nuclear attack.

It’s hard enough to get them to eat anything, much less anything healthy, and this kind of thing doesn’t help. How exactly does it threaten our national manhood or whatever for kids to have some fuckin asparagus once in a while?

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Tangled Up In Blue

The Large Blue Horses by Franz Marc.

The weather has been wild and wacky in New Orleans. It was 80 degrees last weekend, then it plummeted to a day time high of 50 a mere two days later. It’s like being an extra in The Pit and The Pendulum. I have no idea what that means but it sounds good.

We had some car trouble this week. We convinced ourselves we might have major electrical issues. It turned out the car needed a new battery. Whew. Dr. A has named the new used car Hildy, after Rosalind Russell’s character in His Girl Friday. Neither Cary Grant nor Ralph Bellamy were consulted.

Am I allowed to brag? I promise not to go all Insult Comedian on your asses. The response to my Neelyisms: Translating Louisiana’s Junior Senator piece has been very favorable indeed. Thanks, y’all. I hope it will further one of my quirkier causes: getting people to stop calling him by his real name instead of my nickname for him. Repeat after me:  In politics, there’s only one John Kennedy, and his middle initial was F, not N. Just call him Neely.

This week’s theme song was written by Bob Dylan for his great 1975 album Blood on the Tracks. Tangled Up In Blue is one of my favorite Dylan tunes. It’s an almost foolproof song, which is why it has been covered so many times.

We have three versions for your listening pleasure: Dylan’s original, a 2017 cover by Joan Osborne, and a live version by the Jerry Garcia Band.

Now that we’re all tangled up, let’s jump to the break. I hope I can find my blue ripcord.

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Pearl Harbor Day Of My Mind

I had a dream that will live in infamy. Not really but it took place on the Pearl Harbor Day of my mind. It centered around the classic movie, From Here To Eternity.

For some reason, I was hanging out in a bar with Ernest Borgnine, Frank Sinatra, and Monty Clift. Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed were nowhere in sight, alas. I think Deborah was off canoodling on the beach with Burt Lancaster.

The air raid sirens went off and Borgnine bopped Sinatra in the bean with a bottle. They were clearly in character as Fatso Judson and Angelo Maggio respectively.

I awakened with a start at that point and the dream was over. I felt vaguely disappointed that I didn’t make Borgnine laugh. He had a great laugh. So it goes.

One more thing. The post title is meant to evoke Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of my Mind. The beat (poetry) goes on.