Yup. Vote Them Out.

It’s the only way:

Trumpism isn’t receding in the GOP — it’s increasing. This year’s Senate and House candidates are more like Trump than the ones in 2016. The voter outrage these candidates are stirring up won’t go away, even if some of the Trumpy candidates get their clocks cleaned in November — remember that many of them won’t, because they’ll be running in deep red states or districts.

After that, either Trump will consolidate power, which will make Trumpism the winning play for 2020 candidates, or he’ll remain under siege, possibly until he falls, which will increase Republican voters’ taste for vengeance.

The minute the cowards McConnell and Ryan decided to throw in with Trump, pussy-grabbing and all, so that they could get their tax cuts, the only way out of this for the GOP was ever gonna be through it.

David Cay Johnston, a reporter so meticulous he once asked THIS VERY BLOG for a correction (and we gave it to him because he Knows Things and also he was right and we were wrong), thinks this is the most important set of elections since the Civil War.

Well, he may win again in 2020. The November elections are the most important American elections since the Civil War, and I’m including 1932.

Based just on normal historic averages, the Republicans should lose control of the House by about four seats. They should lose control of the Senate as well, although the map is pretty awful for the Democrats. If Republicans retain control then I believe what will happen over time is that someone who shares Trump’s dictatorial and authoritarian tendencies but doesn’t have his baggage — someone who is a competent manager and just as charismatic — will eventually arise and you can kiss your individual liberties goodbye. That will take time but it’s the trend we are heading towards.

And everybody who thinks the answer is that the GOP needs to nominate more moderate candidates is bonkers crazy nuts. The answer isn’t that the GOP needs to fix itself. It’s that the GOP needs to be voted the fuck OUT.

Everywhere. In red states and blue ones. In city offices and in congressional races and in goddamn county clerkships from here to eternity.

“But my congressman’s a moderate!” Doesn’t matter. “But my guy does good things!” So what? If he’s still voting with Trump (and every Republican is) then he’s as useful to you as a coal-rolling doomsday-prepping schoolgirl-assaulting Bible-banging yeehaw screaming about child trafficking-pepperoni plots. This is not a time when we can afford to save a few Republicans who are Not That Bad. The aggregate is all that matters and in the aggregate they are All That Bad.

Is this some kind of tragedy? Not really. Should the GOP fix itself? Meh. It’s far more important that AMERICA fix itself and we don’t need them to do that. I get why our political infrastructure are invested in promoting the idea that America needs two functioning parties but I don’t get why anybody who isn’t paid to say so should give a good goddamn.

Convention centers and journalists and Grindr need Republicans but name me one reason America does. What do they bring to the table of any value? The last time they did good stuff they were basically where Democrats are now so maybe we should just have Democrats and Democrats, I don’t care, the goal is to get everybody home safe and alive and not bankrupt so call it whatever you want.

But stop pretending the GOP is gonna turn this around. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel. That’s an oncoming train and they’re driving it, fast.

A.

The Latest Trump Dignity Wraith

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: everyone who gets involved with Donald Trump gets slimed. The latest example is Admiral/Doctor Ronny Jackson who had a reputation as a competent doctor and a nice guy during the Bush and Obama administrations. That began to change when he gave a preposterous briefing about Trump’s health. Then came his nomination to run the Veterans Administration, which is a nearly impossible job given the competing interest groups and the size of the agency.

Tonight there’s breaking news that could derail the nomination altogether:

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs committee is reviewing allegations he’s hearing about Ronny Jackson, the White House physician and President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was unclear late Monday whether the Senate panel would postpone Jackson’s confirmation hearing, which was scheduled for Wednesday, in light of stories about the nominee told by current or former White House medical staff.

Sources familiar with the tales say that Tester’s staff is reviewing multiple allegations of a “hostile work environment.” The accusations include “excessive drinking on the job, improperly dispensing meds,” said one of the people familiar, who was granted anonymity to speak frankly about the situation. The other people familiar with the stories also confirmed those details.

If proven true, “it’ll sink his nomination,” said one of the sources.

This is what happens when you nominate someone without any vetting. There was no interview, no nothing, just a presidential* gut instinct that he liked Admiral/Doctor Jackson and that somehow made him qualified to run a massive bureaucracy. Trump’s gut may be large but his instincts are terrible. The incompetence, it burns.

I considered stealing a line from a tweet by Steven Beschloss, brother of historian Michael, but decided that was too Trumpian:

Excessive drinking can definitely make one hostile. The irony is that none of the post-Nixon presidents have been known as heavy drinkers. The last presidents to drink with their White House physician were FDR and Harry Truman and they were only occasionally hostile. Hostility is Trump’s speciality.

It looks as if Admiral/Doctor Jackson is the latest Trump dignity wraith. Stay tuned.

Holy Unforced Error, Batman

Remember when entertainers didn’t feel the need to pontificate about politics? It wasn’t that long ago when show biz political activists were outnumbered by those who were apolitical or simply didn’t want to stick their necks out and lose fans.

Times have changed. Sometimes even those with a legitimate excuse not to make political comments do it anyway. In Shania Twain’s case, she’s Canadian but she inserted a cowgirl boot shod foot in her mouth by commenting favorably on a certain Insult Comedian with a dead nutria atop his head:

It is not the only way in which she expresses her conservatism. If she had been able to vote in the US election, she would have plumped for Donald Trump, she says. “I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest. Do you want straight or polite? Not that you shouldn’t be able to have both. If I were voting, I just don’t want bullshit. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation of not being that, right?”

The date on this otherwise sympathetic Guardian profile was April 22, 2018. Yesterday. Trump’s status as the liar’s liar and the bullshitter’s bullshitter is well established enough that Twain has already apologized after the inevitable social media shitstorm:

I would like to apologise to anybody I have offended.

The question caught me off guard. As a Canadian, I regret answering this unexpected question without giving my response more context.

My answer was awkward, but certainly should not be taken as representative of my values nor does it mean I endorse him.

I guess that makes this post an instant analysis of an instant apology.

What should we make of this tempest in a Canadian teacup? Not much. Shania Twain is not the only person who confuses bluster with candor and transparency. She’s also not the only person to make uninformed and ignorant comments on the political scene. In her case, it was an unforced error because all she had to say was “I’m Canadian, eh.”

The good news is that writing this post has *not* given me a Shania Twain earworm. Instead, the last word goes to Talking Heads with a song from their final album, Naked:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – random vandals edition

Hi, all – a bunch of bits and pieces this week. Let’s get right into it with – Bimb? Oh No?

Ex-Playboy Model Karen McDougal Sues to Break Silence on Trump
New York Times ^ | 03/20/2018 | By JIM RUTENBERG

Posted on 3/20/2018, 2:08:04 PM by SeekAndFind

A former Playboy model who claimed she had an affair with Donald J. Trump sued on Tuesday to be released from a 2016 legal agreement requiring her silence, becoming the second woman this month to challenge Trump allies’ efforts during the presidential campaign to bury stories about extramarital relationships.

The model, Karen McDougal, is suing the company that owns The National Enquirer, American Media Inc., which paid her $150,000 and whose chief executive is a friend of President Trump’s. The other woman, the adult entertainment star Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, was paid $130,000 to stay quiet by the president’s personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen. She filed suit earlier this month.

Both women, who argue that their contracts are invalid, are trying to get around clauses requiring them to resolve disputes in secretive arbitration proceedings rather than in open court. Mr. Trump has denied the affairs.

Ms. McDougal, in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that Mr. Cohen was secretly involved in her talks with A.M.I., and that the media company and her lawyer at the time misled her about the deal. She also asserts that after she spoke with The New Yorker last month after it obtained notes she kept on Mr. Trump, A.M.I. warned that “any further disclosures would breach Karen’s contract” and “cause considerable monetary damages.”

In an email to The New York Times, her new lawyer, Peter K. Stris, accused A.M.I. of “a multifaceted effort to silence Karen McDougal.”

1 posted on 3/20/2018, 2:08:04 PM by SeekAndFind
To: DIRTYSECRET

 

What is the whole point, was there a rape or sexual assault committed, if not who cares.

11 posted on 3/20/2018, 2:12:48 PM by the_individual2014

To: SeekAndFind

 

What’s the beef? Trump was a rich successful playboy, that’s no secret. Besides, she is hot!

12 posted on3/20/2018, 2:13:28 PM by JoSixChip (He is Batman!)

To: SeekAndFind

 

Not guilty!

20 posted on 3/20/2018, 2:15:26 PM by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)

To: albie

 

She wants everyone to know she’s a pig who screws married men. I don’t have a problem with the president. That’s between him and his wife.

44 posted on 3/20/2018, 3:03:44 PM by Peeps47 (Democrats are as corrupt as they are incompetent)

Ah, the Freeperati – always ready to forgive and forget.
Well, ALMOST always…

Let the Bimbo Eruptions Commence! Is Bill Clinton back in predatory mode? NY POST ^ | 10/13/06 | Richard Johnson Posted on 10/13/2006, 8:48:49 AM by MAD-AS-HELL

Hillary Fans Took No Chances

SAVVY Democrats pushing Sen. Hillary Clinton for president were so worried last year about a possible “bimbo eruption” involving Bill Clinton, they had his friend, former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, confront him, according to a new book. In “The Way to Win,” authors Mark Halperin of ABC News and John Harris of the Washington Post report that rumors swept political circles last year that Clinton had resumed the wayward habits that nearly brought down his presidency in 1998. Concern among his allies grew so intense that McAuliffe was tapped for the delicate assignment of confronting him at his Chappaqua home, according to Democrats briefed on the awkward encounter. “The former president assured McAuliffe that there was nothing to the rumors, although Clinton had been known to make such promises in the past,” Halperin and Harris write. They add that others around the senator believe her husband “has learned from his errors” and is so determined that she become president that he’ll “bring only support and good behavior to a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.”

*******

Oh how I would love to see an avalanche of woman come out and accuse Bill of unwanted advances
Yeah – that would really suck, wouldn’t it?
on the eve of the Democratic National Convention where Hitlery is to accept the nomination. Or even better, Hillary and her goon squad intimidating those same women in order to keep them quiet about the BENTONE.

Maybe Michael Cohen is available?

To: MAD-AS-HELL

 

“The former president assured McAuliffe that there was nothing to the rumors”

Yea, right. Once a whorehound, always a whorehound. Bubba is as addicted to chasing women as an alcoholic is to booze.

17 posted on 10/13/2006, 9:01:28 AM by Polyxene (For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel – Martin Luther)

 Yeah – but is she hot?
To: MAD-AS-HELL

 

In the past Hillary was in charge of putting down “Bimbo Eruptions”. Now who’s going to do it?

40 posted on 10/13/2006, 10:26:31 AM by TruthWillWin

MelaniaTrumpWhoEesResponsible
.
More after the linky thing…

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Basing Your Party on Misogny Has Consequences

It’s almost like three years of telling your voters that women should be in the kitchen making sammiches instead of running the country is … bad, or something: 

McMorris Rodgers is campaigning like she has a contest and a competitive one at that.

In addition to the strong fundraising numbers, she has held multiple town halls: four alone during the last Congressional recess, for a total of 38 since August 2013, according to her campaign.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a powerful GOP super PAC supported by Ryan, has opened an office in the district to aide McMorris Rodgers.

The non-partisan Cook Report recently changed the rating of the race from a solid Republican seat to a lean Republican seat. It may sound like a small change but it sent waves through the political community given the district’s previous deep red ranking.

“They’re either very prepared or very scared or both,” Ridout said of McMorris Rodgers’ campaign.

Aww, poor baby.

A.

You Could Just Ask

Jesus, my fellow white people:

You could just go up and ask, like hi there, you okay? (You could also know your neighbors, such that if you hear a weird noise or see an unfamiliar car you recognize the person behind it, but let’s take baby steps.) I know we’re all about to be raped and murdered by the slavering hordes at any moment, especially nice white ladies who answer to “the wife” at home, but is it completely radical to just speak to someone you don’t know?

Kick talks to every stranger she sees, including Thursday greeting two random high-school-ish boys walking down the street, who then dutifully admired the pile of dead grass she’d begun calling a “garden.” Every day I think to myself that we should start some kind of “stranger danger” talk, especially when she’s chatting up the train drunks, but every day I put it off. There’s so much more damage to be done from fear.

The state of police paranoia being what it is, calling the cops is not some kind of neutral act of precaution. Even if all you want is for someone to move along, if they’re drunk or yelly or just behaving strangely and you think they might need help, calling the cops is not the way to get it.

(Which is another problem, really, and one I’ve been trying to think through: If you can’t depend on the cops to handle a situation without wilding on someone who might be harmless, then you can’t really depend on the cops, can you?)

We white folks have steadily over the past 40 years taught ourselves that everyone who isn’t white is some kind of threat, and fed ourselves and our state this terrified weaponized idiocy until we can’t imagine someone can just exist around us. Be a person like we are. Say hi or respond to a question that maybe we should ask before dialing 911.

A.

Sunday Morning Video: Harry Anderson’s Hello Sucker

Here’s the late Harry Anderson in a 1986 Showtime special:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Up Above My Head

Trout and Reflected Tree by Neil Welliver.

The weather rollercoaster continues unabated in New Orleans. We’ve gone from air dish weather to heater weather and back again. One day of the French Quarter Fest was rained out, which resulted in wet tourists whining about the wash-out. It was a day I was glad to no longer be a shopkeeper. Dealing with drowned Quarter rats was never any fun.

One of Grace’s colleagues gave us fancy club seats to the Saenger Theatre’s Broadway series complete with free food and valet parking. Thanks, Ritu. We saw Rent, which I liked a lot. The best part of the evening was a bossy African-American woman usher who combined sternness and politeness.  One patron was confused about how they ordered the rows and the usher said, “You’re in row H. It’s the alphabet, m’am. It’s the alphabet.” Fuckin’ A.

You’re probably wondering why an agnostic is posting a gospel tune as this week’s theme song. It’s because Sister Rosetta Tharpe was an amazing singer, songwriter, and character.  Up Above My Head is also a real toe-tapper. What’s not to love about a church lady with an electric guitar? We have three versions: Sister Rosetta, Rhiannon Giddens, and the Jayhawks.

Now that we’re imbued with the spirit, let’s jump to the break.

Continue reading

Barbara Bush

I’ve always had a sneaking fondness for Barbara Bush. I come from a family full of tough outspoken battleaxe type old ladies. She always reminded me of one of my aunts who had a barbed tongue much like Bar.

Unlike many New Orleanians, I’ve even forgiven Mrs. Bush for this insensitive post-Katrina remark:

“What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this … this is working very well for them.”

At the time, I was furious but since then I’ve spent a lot of time with old people and they tend not to have a filter. Bush was 80 when she made those awful remarks so I’m inclined to cut her some slack. Some older women of my acquaintance have said worse and many of them are hard core liberals. And if we’re judging her on politics, she voted for her fellow former First Lady at the last election.

In other Barbara Bush news, there was a silly controversy among the humor-impaired and literal minded on twitter about this remark from a story about her final days:

Even in the final days of her life, Barbara Bush retained the sharp tongue that belied her grandmotherly image. When her eldest son, former President George W. Bush, visited about 10 days before her death, the two playfully needled each other in the way they always did.

At one point, Mrs. Bush turned to her doctor. “You want to know why George W. is the way he is?” she asked.

The doctor looked a little surprised. “Because I drank and smoked when I was pregnant with him,” she said.

 It’s called sarcasm, folks. There were actually twitter lefties whose hearts were bleeding for George W Bush because his mama was mean. It’s a joke: it’s well-known that, for good or ill, W was her favorite child and he told the joke on himself to boot.

I realize that these are polarized times but that doesn’t mean we have to be ugly about everyone we disagree with. It’s why I call Trump the Insult Comedian because that’s what he does. In a time when the president* is a criminal, going after Barbara Bush strikes me as petty and small-minded. This is one case that calls for the high road.

While I’m not weeping copious tears, I’m not inclined to dance on Barbara Bush’s grave either. The last word goes to Squeeze with a song that reflected her conversational style:

 

Tenure: Thanks for fucking it up for everybody else

I’ve written before here about the fundamental misunderstanding most people have about tenure, including why it matters, how it works and what it’s supposed to provide. The simplest explanation is that tenure guarantees educators and scholars at institutions of higher education the right to fearlessly challenge convention within a field, seek scholarship in areas that might not jibe with social norms and conduct research in ways their expertise dictates is necessary and valuable.

It’s not meant to protect you when you act like a dick.

Unfortunately, the public seems to think that tenure does this, which is why they’re constantly looking for ways to eliminate it. The term “life time employment” is bandied about whenever tenure is discussed, as is the idea of ivory towers, elitism and generally haughty assholes.

And, again, when people like Randa Jarrar and John McAdams are in the news, it’s easy to see why the public thinks this way.

Jarrar, a creative-writing professor at Fresno State, took to Twitter in the wake of Barbara Bush’s death to call her “racist” and accuse her of having raised “a war criminal.” (I’m assuming she meant Millie, but I could be wrong.)

barbara

She then followed up with this gem:

In another tweet, the professor wrote: “I’m happy the witch is dead. can’t wait for the rest of her family to fall to their demise the way 1.5 million iraqis have. byyyeeeeeee.”

Of course, everything is subtle and nuanced on Twitter, so she completely solved the problem of a grieving nation in less than 280 characters…

Or, a large group of angry Twitter users started spreading this dung pile like Nutella all over the place, allowing CAPS LOCK NATION to come flailing at this educator.

And of course, because Twitter is a place of reason, logic and decency, Jarrar said she understood their point, she did not wish to continue the argument and she quietly let the issue die…

OR, she decided to fuck with each and every one of them over and over again, including posting what was supposedly her private phone number, but actually turned out to be a suicide prevention hotline in Arizona. This led to CAPS LOCK NATION flooding the center with threatening calls and preventing actual work from getting done, so that was helpful…

Still, of all the stupid shit that came out of this, the one that really had me considering a CAPS LOCK NATION MEMBERSHIP CARD was her mention that she had tenure and then this:

“I will never be fired.”

Fresno State says it’s “looking into the matter” which means that six people are now in a room going, “So… that happened…” Still, it’s better than what Marquette University is dealing with this week, thanks to an angry tenured professor on the other end of the political spectrum.

John McAdams is the poli sci prof and “everybody’s asshole grandpa in every bad comedy film” who used his blog as a cudgel against colleagues and foes alike. The university had a stack of paper on this guy dating back to the Clinton administration, all of which basically demonstrating he’s the exact reason people think tenure is a “Designated Asshole Pass.”

The U apparently found the straw that broke the camel’s back in McAdams’ post about a grad student teaching a class, in which a conservative student voiced an opinion the instructor found to be homophobic. McAdams posted about her by name and apparently encouraged people to “let your voice be heard,” which is a great code phrase for “break out the caps lock and call her a whore.” He apparently also was hostile to her, to the point where she dropped out of her program and finished elsewhere.

MU suspended McAdams and he’s now at the state’s Supreme Court, suing to get his job back. His argument is that tenure protects him and that his “free speech” on the blog should not allow for retaliation. (Point of order: Marquette is a private school, so this gets even weirder, as the court is clearly figuring out…)

So, to recap, two people who have diametrically opposing belief systems and who teach in two fields that just scream to John Q. Public “If my kid majors in this, he’s never getting a fucking job,” are espousing their rights to be assholes. They also are arguing their dickish behavior is protected by tenure so, “neener, neener, neeeeennnerrr…”

And academics wonder why people hate us…

Tenure is supposed to be a shield against the encroachment of external forces as we use our expertise to find out greater truths and research complex problems that may go against the societal grain. Running your mouth on social media and then hiding behind your “big friend” isn’t what anyone had in mind for this thing. Even more, all it does is really fuck over the rest of us who are actually doing those things and understand there is a concept called objective reality, something you bypassed long ago.

We’re like the people who are in a fraternity who have good GPAs, do good philanthropy work and then have to explain, “No, we’re not those idiots from Syracuse.” No matter what we say, people are still giving us the stink eye.

So, on behalf of the actual working scholars, academics and people who teach without managing to say shit like “y’know what’s wrong with the Coloreds these days,” I’d like to thank professors Jarrar and McAdams and others who think tenure is a lifetime “get out of fuckups free card,” thank you for fucking this up for the rest of us.

 

Friday Guest Catblogging: The Kitten & The Peacock

My pal Lisa found a kitten and raised her from a puppy. She’d never had a cat before but took Rocky everywhere the first few months of her life. I met her at the Spank function.

Rocky is now 6 months old and recently had a close encounter with Mr. P, the neighborhood peacock. As you can see it went well.

The Americans Thread: Nothing Is Everything

Nothing is going right for our characters in Mr. and Mrs. Teacup. We see everything from failed missions to projectile vomiting to looming financial failure. It’s not a pretty sight. The only good news is that arms control guy Glenn Haskard’s underdog Twins will win the 1987 World Series.

The Americans is a unique show in several ways. First, as Soviet spies, Philip and Elizabeth are the ultimate anti-heroes. They make Walter White and Tony Soprano look like small fry. Second, the Soviets lose the Cold War while winning the espionage battle, so the Jennings’ efforts are ultimately for naught. This built-in futility is one reason so many of us find the show so perversely fascinating.

Nothing Is Everything is the parenthetical part of the title of a Pete Townshend song: (Nothing Is Everything ) Let’s See Action. It’s an ode to Pete’s guru, Meher Baba, but it somehow captures the spirit of this episode for me. I’m weird that way. Let’s play it before the spoiler break:

Continue reading

What Else Can You Call It?

freak_show_el_caudillo

Sometimes I think it gets lost in the day-to-day, but consider just how bug-fuck nuts it’s gotten. On a given day, news about the president includes

Playboy and/or adult entertainers, Twitter, Hannity, Cohen, North Korea, Mike Pompeo, Comey, the Mueller investigation…(aside: the attack on Syria‘s already been bumped from the headlines)…and any other number of WTF moments that would, for any other administration, suck the oxygen out of the news cycle if not generate immediate demands for resignation…or prosecution…

Total freak show.

Additionally…I heard this last night on the Chris Hayes show, and I think saw/read this elsewhere…regarding the Mueller investigation…no one is arguing, for lack of a better term, actual innocence. Trump himself sticks to no collusion, while everyone else speculates on whether or not various people will turn.

POTUS as syndicate. Oh, and maybe (probably) with a pee tape.

Goddamn.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: If He Hollers Let Him Go

The African-American writer Chester Himes is best known for his noirish crime fiction and books set in Harlem. If He Hollers Let Him Go was his first novel. It’s a racially charged story set in post-World War II Los Angeles.

I read it after reading an interview with Walter Mosley wherein he recommended the book. I kept waiting for Easy Rawlins to show up. He did not but it’s a good book even without Easy and Mouse.

If He Hollers Let Him Go was made into a movie in 1968.

Here’s the trailer:

The whole damn movie is available on the YouTube for now.

You Beto Your Life

It’s time to revisit the Texas senate race. Beto O’Rourke remains the underdog but I’m glad people are taking a flyer on his candidacy. If there was ever a year to try to win a statewide race in Texas, 2018 is the year. Besides, what would be sweeter than bloodying Tailgunner Ted’s nose even if he survives? It’s win-win.

I have a suggestion for the Beto Bunch. It’s in the nature of a stunt. Those of us who are old enough to have voted in 1992 should recall Chicken George. He was the dude in the chicken suit who followed Poppy Bush around. The chicken came out of the coop when Poppy initially refused to debate. It was a Democratic stunt to bug Bush and benefit the Clinton campaign. It worked.

I think the gag could be updated but with a retro twist. Not only a retro twist but another pun on the Congressman’s nickname. Puns are important, y’all.

Let me clarify something: I may be old but I’m not old enough to have seen You Bet Your Life when it first aired. I saw the re-runs. Ya got that? I don’t want to have to make like the late R Lee Ermey and go Full Metal Jacket on your asses.

Back to Grouco Marx. Anyone who has ever seen his venerable quiz show knows that there was a secret word, when a contestant said it, a duck puppet dropped down and the contestant won some cold, hard cash. The duck puppet/muppet/marionette, whatever it was, looked like Groucho and evoked Duck Soup as opposed to Daffy Duck or Duck Dunn.

I suspect you’re wondering where the 2018 tie-in is. Here it is: the Beto Bunch should station a dude in a duck suit at every Cruz event. He could carry a pole with a You Bet Your Life style duck marionette that looks, not like Groucho, but like Rafael Edward Cruz. Every time Ted lies or mentions the name Donald Trump, the Duck Dude can quack and wave the marionette.

As a reminder of Cruzian spinelessness, there could also be a sidekick waving a placard with these National Enquirer front pages:

On second thought, the placard is probably a bad idea. Some of Cruz’s supporters may be packing heat and if it’s duck season, the Duck Dude and sidekick could be in deep doo doo like Daffy.

Duck Elmer GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

This proposed stunt is a bit complicated and I realize not everyone will get the joke, but I like to be helpful. Maybe the Duck Dude could duck and cover when Cruz advocates bombing a country. The possibilities are endless as well as endlessly silly.

The last word goes to the Kinks:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Rough Mix

Rough Mix is a 1977 collaboration between Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane of the Faces. Pete was originally supposed to produce a solo Ronnie record but it ended being a joint project. There were guest stars aplenty including Eric Clapton and Charlie Watts.

The album cover was designed by Peter Joyce and features all sorts of British pop culture images from cricket to cars to show biz. It’s busy but still amazing.

It’s gatefold time.

The back cover is a trading card bonanza.

Finally, the album itself. The first track My Baby Gives It Away rocks to a Charlie Watts beat.

Today We’re Gonna Find Out

Today is the day, guys:

Today’s the day Fox News has to prove itself to Chuck Todd. Today. Not any point in the past 30 years. Not during the Clinton murder-stravaganza, not during the “does Barack Obama do terrorist fist jabs” era, not at any time during the “are all liberals traitors who want to suck bin Laden off” 2000s, not during the Swift Boat Veterans for Bullshit, not when Sarah Palin brought sexy back, not at any of those points.

(Not on, say, a random Tuesday, either, when Jesse Watters was being racist or Bill O’Reilly was making lists of things that bugged him or Neil Cavuto was doing whatever that bloated sack of haggis leavings did.)

Now.

Now Chuck Todd needs proof that they’re a legitimate news organization. This derpy bastard.

This is a professional newspersonage, who gets paid SO MUCH GODDAMN MONEY to pretend to an innocence about news and politics that would shame an ingenue.

You went to parties with these people. You shook hands and slapped backs and made nice and you acted like these were your colleagues and in some cases your buds. You didn’t want to say they were bad because that would make you bad, and they are, and you are, and they’ve always been and so have you and no amount of cover you gave them changed things for either of you.

NOW you come out and say this is the test? Now this is the moment?

The goddamn house has burned down, arson investigators are sifting through the ashes, the insurance company’s already sued somebody, and Chuck Todd is swanning around fanning his face, asking does anybody else smell smoke.

For chrissakes, the fire department’s been and gone, Chuck. Home is a scorched and reeking hole in the ground. You watched it happen. Now you think you see a spark?

A.

There Are So Many Stories We Don’t Know

It’s not too late to tell them: 

In her will, Lewis identified herself as a “Spinster and Sculptor.” She asked for a dark walnut coffin, and that a notice of her death be printed in the Tablet, a British Roman Catholic publication. The resulting announcement — a curt sentence fragment — made no mention of her myriad accomplishments, and did not reach those who sought her across the sea. Until, over a century later, it found Richardson.

Richardson sees her research as part and parcel with the efforts of other black women scholars: after all, she noted, Alice Walker found Zora Neale Hurston’s grave, “out in the long grass.” “So I’ve become a cemetery sleuth,” she told me.

Until recently, the grave was unmarked: a slab of stone flush with the earth, overgrown with moss, one among many in the stone forest of St. Mary’s. Last year, however, the town where Lewis was born chose to reclaim its native daughter.

A.

Client Number 3

Everything involving Michael Cohen has a zany aspect:

In a letter Sunday night, Cohen’s attorneys claimed that Cohen had been engaged in “traditional legal tasks” with at least three clients in 2017 through 2018. The letter named President Donald Trump, who has already sought to get involved in the current dispute over the seized documents, and Elliot Broidy, a GOP fundraiser for whom Cohen arranged a hush payment for a Playboy model he impregnated, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Cohen resisted naming the third client, citing his client’s preference that his identity not be made public.

And Client Number 3 is Sean Hannity.

I wonder if hush money was involved? Hannity has always had a devoted family man facade so it if it is, this is getting juicier by the day. From now on, I shall call Hannity Client Number 3. I’d like to thank Michael Cohen for helping me out. That’s much funnier than Fox News Meathead even if the latter is true.

Pass the popcorn and cue the Hannity GIF:

Someone Sean GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Comeypalooza 2018

Comeypalooza 2018 rolled on with his interview with my diminutive countryman, George Stephanopoulos, last night. My evil side wished they’d done it standing up since Comey is 6’8″ and George is 5’7′. Of course, such interviews are filmed with the participants seated but I can dream. This day after kinda sorta instant analysis is *not* a dream.

Watching Comey reminded me of how complex life is. I was every bit as mad at Comey as most Clinton supporters in October 2016. I excoriated him in a post entitled Easy Comey Easy Go. I even unfavorably compared his FBI to one of America’s most distinguished prosecutors, Robert Jackson. I still think he fucked up with his ham-fisted intervention in the election BUT unlike many powerful people he’s willing to admit the possibility that he made a mistake. Comey is not the “untruthful slimeball” of Trumpian tweets but a flawed human being capable of doing fine things but also capable of screwing up. Bigly.

Even if he doesn’t explicitly say that he’s trying to make up for that epic mistake in 2016, it’s obvious that he regrets any role he played in electing Donald Trump. Some of the language he used in the interview with my diminutive countryman was eye-popping. This is the money quote on Trump’s fitness to be Oval One:

A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds. And that’s not a policy statement. Again, I don’t care what your views are on guns or immigration or taxes.

There’s something more important than that that should unite all of us, and that is our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country. The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be president.

On balance, Comey’s role in the rolling dialogue as to whether Trump is fit to be president* is a useful one. He can be on the annoying side when he’s tending the Comey Myth but his insights into Trump’s personality are fascinating. These two men were destined to clash. They’re not just from different worlds but from different solar systems.

Watching Comey I kept thinking this guy must have been a great trial lawyer. He’s a stellar wordsmith and story-teller. Plus juries love a lawyer with a sense of humor, especially a prosecutor. Nobody expects a prosecutor to be funny. The same qualities will make him an outstanding witness for the prosecution.

The George & Jim show only ran for an hour Sunday night but the conversation went on for 5 hours. The full transcript is fascinating reading and can be found HERE.