Not Everything Sucks

National Farmworkers Week exists: 

Now in its third year, the event helps mark National Farmworker Appreciation Day, which takes place Aug. 6 each year.

It’s an event that’s dear to Jaime Valero. Valero, workforce consultant at the organization, worked in the fields after school starting in seventh grade.

Farmworkers’ contributions to the community extend beyond the field, he said, and the work they do deserves appreciation.

“It’s how everybody eats. Onions are a big cash crop here and the workers make money and then use that money in this area,” said Valero.

Appreciate the people who make your food possible.

A.

Sunday Morning Video: Etta James Live In 1991

If you need some pep in your step, this set by the great Etta James should do the trick:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Deeper Water

Gulf Stream by Winslow Homer.

Since we have something of a nautical-as opposed to naughty-theme I thought we’d dive right in without any dockside formalities. I won’t invite you into my stateroom because this might happen:

I would never take a cruise. The thought of doing so reminds me of the not so great Poop Cruise of 2013. Hell, I get seasick contemplating the Winslow Homer painting above.

Let’s move on to this week’s theme song. Singer-songwriter Paul Kelly is often called the Bob Dylan of Australia but he never broke through stateside. Kelly co-wrote Deeper Water in 1994 with Randy Jacobs of Was (Not Was) in case you was (not was) wondering.

We have two versions for your listening pleasure. First, the 1995 studio version that was the title track of Kelly’s tenth album. Second, a 2013 live version from a show Kelly did with Neil Finn. For some reason it’s listed as Deep Water but it’s the same tune. Wow, that’s deep, man.

I hope we’re not in over our heads. Let’s mount the diving board and jump to the break.

Continue reading

Jay Inslee Is Out, The Other Joe Walsh Is In

Regular readers will recall that I used this image of Harold Lloyd in Safety Last to count down the 2018 mid-terms. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

Since American democracy is hanging by a thread as long as President* Pennywise is in office, it seemed fitting to re-purpose it for 2020. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of the presidential race.

OUTS: Jay Inslee exited the race with the same class, grace, and substance that he entered it. His focus on the crucial issue of climate change made a positive impact and prodded the leaders of the pack to respond. He was always my favorite among the no-hopers. I’m glad he’ll be running for re-election for Governor of Washington state.

Seth Moulton pulled out after I wrote the post title. His impact was minimal. It struck me as a vanity campaign, which like that of Tim Ryan was essentially an extended fuck you to Speaker Pelosi. He can return to the Hill to annoy Nancy Smash. My hunch is that he’ll be joined by Ryan sooner as opposed to later.

The presidential race knocked the former Governor of Colorado for a Hickenlooper so he exited. He just declared his candidacy to challenge the most vulnerable Senate GOPer, Corey Gardner, thereby morphing from a political minnow to a whale.

The last word of the segment goes to Stephen Stills and Manassas, which is in Virginia but the song is about Hickenlooper’s home state. Go figure:

INS: The Other Joe Walsh came to our attention as an unhinged Tea Party Republican. He served one term in the House before losing to Tammy Duckworth who is now the junior Senator from Illinois. Walsh is a strident opponent of Barack Obama turned strident opponent of Donald Trump. His twitter feed is highly entertaining.

The Other Joe Walsh is on the verge of entering the presidential race where he’ll join Bill Weld as a GOP no-hoper. I still think Weld will do fairly well in New Hampshire but I welcome anyone who’s willing take on Trump from the right. Thus far, the Never Trump Republicans have been all talk, no action.

I like what Slate’s Jim Newell wrote about the GOP “race” in The Surge:

Joe Walsh, Mark Sanford, Jeff Flake, John Kasich

Let’s get slaughtered and be legends.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’re cheating by lumping four candidates together. But (a) the greatest trick the Surge ever pulled was convincing you there were rules, and (b) each of these four Republicans considering a primary challenge to President Donald Trump amounts to roughly ¼ of a legitimate presidential contender, so the math checks out. As the Washington Post reported this week, “the anti-Trump movement inside the Republican Party—long a political wasteland—is feeling new urgency to mount a credible opposition to Trump before it’s too late.” This “movement,” which appears to be the usual gang of Bill Kristol and a couple of his interns, has been displeased with the lack of enthusiasm out there for the existing Republican primary challenger, boring patrician Bill Weld, and is working the phones for a new candidate to also elicit zero enthusiasm. The idea is that only one of them should run to unify the anti-Trump conservatives. Much like Weld, though, this idea is boring and makes the primary challenge easier for Trump to ignore. All of them should get in, and there should be televised Republican primary debates, tempting Trump to participate.

The Insult Comedian loves shooting off his big fat bazoo and showing off his “very good brain” so that’s actually a possibility. Run, Republicans, run.

The last word goes to the Real Joe Walsh:

Tweet Of The Day: Grim Reaper Edition

Tea Party tycoon David Koch is dead. I was raised not to speak ill of the dead so I’ll let lawyer and pundit Elie Mystal do it for me:

The last word goes to Blue Oyster Cult:

Friday Catblogging: On The Job

Private eye Paul Drake turns psychic investigator. Not really: the specter you see is Dr. A taking this picture.

You Say Culvert, I Say Canal

I’ve lived in New Orleans for more than half of life. I’m used to our being a news of the weird capital but this story by Jeff Adelson surprised me:

At this point, it’s no surprise when workers pull loads of trash — even literal tons of Mardi Gras beads — out of New Orleans’ clogged drainage pipes.

Entire cars, however, are still a bit of an unusual find.

An underwater camera employed by the Sewerage & Water Board on Tuesday revealed what appeared to be at least one, and possibly more, vehicles crammed into a drainage culvert known as the Lafitte Canal that runs under Jefferson Davis Parkway near the Lafitte Greenway.

The cars, embedded in a pile of other debris, are clogging up one of the key pipelines used by the pump station that drains parts of Mid-City. That station is also an important link to portions of the drainage system that cover other areas that have seen repeated flooding.

Oy just oy. Last year’s Spank theme was It Came From The Catch Basin but our focus was on beads, not automobiles. I suspect one of my krewe mates will suggest a sequel but I prefer to keep things lemony fresh.

There’s a raging debate as to whether we should call this car cemetery a culvert or a canal. The former could lead to headlines such as this: CULVERT ACTION NEEDED. But culvert is too specific for my taste, I prefer canal because it has anal connotations and cars in the canal is an asinine thing to contemplate.

The Sewerage & Water Board claims that things are getting better but it appears to need a root canal. Move the fucking cars, y’all. Things are weird enough without cars in the canals. Oy just oy.

The last word goes to Mike Perlstein of WWL-TV Eyewitness News:

 

The Colossus Of Toads

statue_of_trump_4

So, after yesterday’s performance, does anyone really doubt the conclusions of Rachel Bitecofer? Her analysis of the 2018 midterms, in which she predicted a strong showing by Democrats, included the following

Although Trumpism has been an effective rallying cry for the GOP base, it has galvanized a previously complacent part of the electorate; white, college educated millennial women as well as all voters under age 40, who represent a far more diverse and liberal voter universe than their older counterparts

2018 is a story of turnout and turnout was powered by one thing, and one thing only: Donald J. Trump. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Democrats did not flip these Republican districts via the support of moderate Republicans due to their focus on health care. Instead, I’ll show in a forthcoming analysis of the voter file that Democrats’ sharp reversal in their abysmal midterm electoral fortunes was powered by large turnout surges of partisan Democrats and Independents. This turnout surge had profound impacts on the demographic and partisan compositions of the electorates in the competitive districts, leading 40 of them to flip on Election Day.

For better or for worse, American elections are low turnout affairs and it is increasingly clear that in the polarized era, as voters have become more entrenched in their respective parties, elections are increasingly decided by which party (and their Independent leaners) has a turnout-boosting enthusiasm advantage. Analyzed this way, contests are assessed by their turnout surge (or decline) potential. Using this metric, despite Democrats’ impressive 2018 performance, they left a half dozen seats uncontested in the 2018 cycle that may well have flipped if they had been identified as competitive by the Democrat’s campaign apparatus.

In other words, you can forget about swaying Reagan Democrats, because they no longer exist. They’re extinct. And Trump voters are Trump voters. Yesterday’s clown show accusing Jewish Democrats of disloyalty while claiming to be the chosen on (by whom and for what?) won’t change their minds. Nothing will. They are, to use some else’s term, a basket of deplorables, and that’s putting it nicely.

Shitheels might be putting it nicely.

The election will be all about who can get their voters to vote. We know what Trump is. Who are we?

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Hippie Doctor

The guy on this cover looks like a regular guy circa 2019. Times have changed.

I wonder if the Hippie Doctor was at Woodstock? They needed help with the brown and flat blue acid, man. He looks tough enough to subsist on apples, gruel, and JCC sammiches, man.

The last word goes to CSNY, man:

Political Performance Art

The Insult Comedian has been giving his big fat bazoo quite a workout. It’s all smoke and mirrors: an attempt to obscure his latest cave to the NRA on gun control, a drooping economy, and dire re-election prospects. I halfway expect him to open carry a long gun to reassure the gun nutterazzi that he’s still with them.

The Kaiser Of Chaos has thrown three stacks of raw meat to divert attention from his failures and to throw the hounds of the MSM off the scent. (They’re all bark and no bite despite being called “fake news” by Trump.) Two diversions are funny, the other loathsome. It’s quite literally the cherry on his hissy fit shit sundae.

DIVERSION-1: Trump has engaged in a word of words with Denmark of all countries over Greenland of all islands. Who the hell feuds with Denmark? The Danes are great. Perhaps Trump is confusing the people with the dog breed. We know he hates dogs. Who the hell hates dogs?

Initially, I thought the “I wanna buy Greenland” story was either a hoax or a prank.  It turned out to be neither. Trump took to twitter to blast the Danish government and cancel a trip there. I expected him to call it the land of porn and cookies but he pulled his punches. Those cookies are like butter, I tell ya.

The good people at the New York Daily News came up with a banner headline for the ages:

Is anyone surprised that I love that Ford/Fjord pun? The only thing I don’t like it about it is that I didn’t think of it first.

The best thing I saw on social media came from my pal Kat of Sky Dancing fame:

 

Thanks for giving me a swell post title, Kat.

DIVERSION-2: Trump has also been feuding with the Mooch. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Mooch started the “feud” to augment Trump’s own personal smoke machine. I don’t think the Mooch has done a sincere thing in his life. Why start now?

I’m not buying this unctuous creep’s reformed sinner shtick. The only thing I like about it is that it gives me a pretext to post this soundie:

What’s a Trump diversion without some bigotry in the mix?

DIVERSION-3: Trump’s despicable comments about American Jews have caused a tremendous amount of agita and anger:

“Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they’re defending these two people over the state of Israel? And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty, alright?”

If President* Pennywise ever read anything, I’d swear this was straight out of the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion. That bigoted tract was, of course, the product of Tsarist Russian intelligence and we know how Trump loves Russian spooks.

The reaction has been swift and furious. The Insult Comedian trotted out a sycophant on the tweeter tube to rebut the critics:

So, he’s the messiah now? Oy just oy.

I had to google this Wayne Allyn Root bozo to learn that he’s a wingnut radio shouter and writer. I feel unclean after typing his name. Ugh.

Only Trumpberius would divert attention from his failures by making racist comments. Note to the MSM: this is not normal, stop covering him as if he were a normal person, not a deranged bigot. In the immortal words of Hank Hill:

That’s a book Trumpy might be able to read. It’s got lots of pictures. Besides, Hank’s neighbor  Dale (Bug Man) Gribble is bound to be a Trumper albeit a fictional one.

I think the Insult Comedian should stick to fat shaming his supporters instead of calling the majority of an ethno-religious group traitors. It may thrill his shrinking base, but it appalls the rest of the world. Of course, it’s just political performance art at its most artless.

Repeat after me: THE BOY AIN’T RIGHT.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Wooden Head

I disappeared down an internet rabbit hole and emerged not only unscathed but with an interesting cover. Wooden Head is best described as the Turtles contractual obligation album. They had broken up and owed their record label an album. The result was Wooden Head, which was a somewhat sketchy compilation album of out-takes and the like.

Frontmen Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan had left the band to work with Frank Zappa. Until Wooden Head was released in 1970, they were obliged to use a pseudonym, the Phlorescent Leech and Eddie; later shortened to Flo and Eddie.

The first time I saw the cover I immediately thought of the 1989 Crowded House album Woodface. Whether or not Nick Seymour’s cover was inspired by this one, is a mystery for the ages.

The cover was done by Kittyhawk Graphics aka DeanTorrence of Jan and Dean fame. It’s unclear if the Little Old Lady From Pasadena was involved.

Here’s the whole damn album via the YouTube playlist format:

 

Not Everything Sucks

Future President Cardi B exists:

I love her willingness to talk about things like this with her followers, most of whom seem otherwise pretty disengaged (mercifully so) from the day-to-day nonsense of this administration and the primary crap. She’s not speaking in Beltway-ese but she’s not stupid, plus her very existence pisses off all the right people:

A.

‘knowing that some of my friends would dislike it’

Let’s unpack Donna Brazile, who like most of Clinton’s staffers has been using her ex-boss’s victory as her entire resumé for years, agreeing to be in a book intended to launch Mark “I Masturbate To My Subordinates” Halperin back in to the mainstream:

Because there’s something more going on here than just Donna deciding that her friendship with this filth pig is worth more than the women he assaulted, and it’s particular to the Clinton Democratic Generation who are running around all mad right now that nobody’s listening to them about the future of the party.

I don’t know what kind of friends Donna has, but when mine tell me things like, “you are doing this thing and it’s dumb” or “your behavior is problematic” or “knock this off, asshole” I tend to … listen to them. They’re my friends. I respect their opinions and experience and understand they love me and have my best interests at heart even when I am doing my best to set my whole life on fire.

So if all my friends were like, “why would you choose to deal with this disgusting jerk” I would take that as a caution, not an endorsement. But Clinton Democrats, who saw their ex-boss and themselves rewarded by the national press for shitting non-stop on their own base and their own beliefs, see criticism from fellow centrists and liberals as validation.

My friends hate this, therefore it has value! My friends are advising me not to do this, so full speed ahead! My friends are hosting an intervention, therefore I’m on the right track with this whole heroin thing!

And you can trace an entire generation lost to pointless triangulation and political calculation that people will value you more for being contrary than being, you know, right, back to this impulse to go against the grain, because mavericks and bucking trends and new and different and etc. Never mind the grain is fine and maverickness is less valuable than, say, competence.

They’ve always been like this because when they were coming up “Democrat” meant losing loser who loses, and “liberal” meant hippie pussies spitting on troops. The only way to win elections in the face of that was to be a Democrat but not one of THOSE Democrats, you know, the ones who suck. How do you do that? You pick a random Dem and you shit on them, or you pick a policy central to your party’s existence and you kick the crap out of it on TV.

This is the environment Donna thrived in and she thinks she’s still in it because it worked once. That everyone involved in that victory was immediately enshrined in our national media (looking at you, Stephanopoulos) seems to them like proof it’s the right way to go. It explains everything about our national discourse, about what Democrats have refused to stand for in the past 30 years.

Democratic support for welfare reform. For increased policing and incarceration. For tax cuts for the rich, for pointless foreign wars, for refusing to punish war criminals and tax cheats, for Joe Lieberman’s VP candidacy and subsequent invitation onto every TV in the land to trash the few people who got it and fought back.

So when Donna’s friends say she’s making a bad decision — like when they said she shouldn’t go on Fox— where the rest of us would hear a note of caution, she hears the kind of approbation she’s always received, and thinks their condemnation is praise.

It was never really defensible but at one time in the past it was effective. Now it’s neither. It’s just sad.

A.

American History Is A Mixed Bag

Like Athenae, I’m fascinated with the NYT’s 1619 project and appalled by some of the wingnuttier online responses to it. An exchange I was involved in this morning inspired this post:

This particular Benny should cool his jets. I think President* Pennywise is doing an excellent job of delegitimizing, dividing, and demoralizing our citizenry. In his case, I would add a third D: dumbing down, dammit.

People have a hard time with complexity. It’s just more obvious (oblivious?) in the social media era. Ronald Reagan was a master oversimplifier. It was one reason he defeated the overcomplicator, Jimmy Carter. Reagan was a creature of the Golden Age of Hollywood, and his vision of our history was impacted by the movies he’d seen. In fact, the man Gore Vidal dubbed “the old TV president” was known to conflate movie plots with real life. Reagan also believed in the World War II slogan, KISS or “Keep It Simple Stupid.” In 1980 Reagan ran circles around Carter who thought and spoke like an engineer.

Life is complicated, American history even more so. Thomas Jefferson co-wrote the Declaration of Independence and was an unrepentant slave owner. The greatest liberal president of them all, Franklin Roosevelt, went along with the internment of Japanese-Americans without due process. There are thousands of similar examples but those are the best examples of our history at its worst and its finest.

Our history has involved a constant tension between our highest ideals and our worst impulses. It’s why I cannot stand with either the “America is pure evil” or “America: love it or leave it” crowds. They’re both wrong and guilty of egregious oversimplification.

Repeat after me: American history is a mixed bag. It’s what makes our national story so damned interesting as well as maddening.

The last word goes to Elton John:

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, R.I.P.

The first, and thus far only, woman elected Governor of the Gret Stet of Louisiana, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, has died at the age of 77 after a long battle with cancer. It’s often forgotten that Blanco was a strong, effective, and popular Governor on her way to re-election until Hurricane Katrina struck. It was a life changing event for all concerned and, unfortunately, led eventually to the election of Bobby Jindal who ran the state into the ground.

Much of the post-K criticism of Blanco was unfair. The storm was expected to hit the Florida panhandle until the 10 PM advisory on August 26. There wasn’t much time to prepare for a massive evacuation but it could have gone far worse. It *was* a mess but most of that was down to panicky and inept New Orleans Mayor C Ray Nagin. The subsequent flood was a federal affair.

The Bush administration, in conjunction with Nagin, chose Blanco as their political patsy. That was made obvious when the White House made Karl Rove its Katrina point man. Turd Blossom left his partisan stink all over the recovery effort and our Democratic Governor took the fall for Bush and Nagin’s mistakes. She stood her ground and won many battles, but lost the PR war.

Kathleen Blanco was a kind, compassionate, empathetic, and warm human being. She was “pro-life” but, unlike our current Governor, insisted that there be exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother in an anti-choice bill passed by the lege during her term as Governor. Her record otherwise was sterling, big-hearted, and liberal for a Blue Dog Democrat.

Blanco’s reputation has grown since leaving office. She was so effective in her dealings with the lunkheads in the lege that she earned the nickname, The Queen Bee. And the term steel magnolia seemed to have been invented for his charming, kindly but tough woman.

Other than shaking her hand at a public event, I never had the chance to meet Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, so I’m linking to three friends who had the pleasure of her acquaintance: Bob Mann, Clancy DuBos, and Lamar White Jr.

Finally, it was a rough weekend in New Orleans. Beloved local anchorwoman, Nancy Parker, died in an airplane crash while doing a story on the pilot. I’ve enjoyed her work over her 26 years as lead co-anchor at WVUE, but I’m a WWL news viewer. It’s a tribute to Parker that the competition has devoted so much airtime honoring her. Like Kathleen Blanco, Nancy Parker was famous for being nice. They will both be missed.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati -mental health day edition

OK, people – making good on my promise to take a week off.

It’s a running gag that I don an ISO suit before I plunge into Freeperville, but in truth, there is no ISO suit and no protection. I have to read hundreds and hundreds of posts to choose what to post here, and there’s no insulation from the stupidity, the hatred, the vicious brain-dead rantings of the Freeperati.

Then, after I’ve read the dozens of threads and hundreds upon hundreds of odious posts, I have to go back through them again to pick the stinkers I’m going to quote, and place them in some kind of order in my post.  Like reading that shit once isn’t enough.  Sometimes I put my Monday post together early Friday morning, and sometimes I put it off until the last minute because I just can’t deal with the world-class stupidity. Then I go and beat the dog, .and finish off by downing a bottle of bleach.

If evil had a smell, the evil I rub up against in Free Republic on a weekly basis would lead my home to be declared a hazardous waste site, condemned, torn down, and salt poured over the land on which it once stood.

So – no post this week – and we’ll see how I’m feeling by next weekend.

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He is Bad At His Job

This corn dog has more relevant insights about American politics than Mark Halperin and it has never masturbated in front of anyone.

God damn it, do you know how many people are begging online for money to pay for their cancer treatment, all of whom have more to say in America right now than this fucking filth pig?

Let’s review exactly what Mark Halperin did:

The new accusations from the four women include that Halperin masturbated in front of an ABC News employee in his office and that he violently threw another woman against a restaurant window before attempting to kiss her, and that after she rebuffed him he called her and told her she would never work in politics or media. The alleged incidents occurred while Halperin was in a position of significant authority at ABC News, while the women were young and had little power.

And this is the stunning insight that justified this kind of TRULY HORRENDOUS crap being summarily dismissed:

News coverage generally does not make it clear if time is on the side of the  Force of the Hong Kong rebels or on the side of the Beijing Empire’s Death Star.  If the choice is to bet on freedom or propaganda, an American president might choose the latter, but history always wagers on the former in the end.

What a fucking idiot. That’s from MARK HALPERIN’S WIDE WORLD OF NEWS, for which ABC should sue the living shit out of him for copyright infringement and also FUCK this guy. Not only is he a pervert and an abuser, he’s also goddamn bad at his job. His “take” is that it could go one way for Hong Kong, or it could go another way! Nobody knows! Pay me!

Like how do we justify assigning any kind of value to this?

Nothing is propping up Biden’s frontrunning horserace number as much as his electability lead. If the latter disappears, the former is deeply endangered.

If Biden can’t get elected, he can’t get elected! Wow, were we suffering without that. Wherever would we find a racist-curious middle-of-the-road’s-dick-sucking sentient tote bag without THIS man? How could we possibly have had a whole ass election and an entire politics without his incisive commentary?

This goddamn remora. He’s not even attached to a shark. He’s attached to other remoras, with this. Like Bob “Don’t Call Out the Swiftboaters” Shrum, and a bunch of other people who’ve been wrong about everything and could be replaced with your average left Twitter account for half the money and twice the electoral votes.

We have a man who shouldn’t get to do anything in journalism anymore writing a book about people who shouldn’t have anything to say in politics and people will book him on their shows and for their “ideas festivals” and it’s no wonder people are mad and disaffected all the time, that this is what gets you a parade.

A.

1619

Read all of this and then meditate with me upon the COMPLETELY PREDICTABLE ALSO SAD right-wing freakout over “how can we possibly remember our history if it’s different than what we remember?” 

The very first person to die for this country in the American Revolution was a black man who himself was not free. Crispus Attucks was a fugitive from slavery, yet he gave his life for a new nation in which his own people would not enjoy the liberties laid out in the Declaration for another century. In every war this nation has waged since that first one, black Americans have fought — today we are the most likely of all racial groups to serve in the United States military.

My father, one of those many black Americans who answered the call, knew what it would take me years to understand: that the year 1619 is as important to the American story as 1776. That black Americans, as much as those men cast in alabaster in the nation’s capital, are this nation’s true “founding fathers.” And that no people has a greater claim to that flag than us.

Like imagine being so sad as a human being that you can’t find inspiration in another human being if they don’t look exactly like you. Imagine holding onto a story about a bunch of white men who said fuck you to the entire British Empire and brought it down, and not being able to make room for the black men and women who not only did that too, but they then brought down their white oppressors.

Imagine thinking history is one static thing, instead of a thousand stories and new ones being told every day.

But as the sociologist Glenn Bracey wrote, “Out of the ashes of white denigration, we gave birth to ourselves.” For as much as white people tried to pretend, black people were not chattel. And so the process of seasoning, instead of erasing identity, served an opposite purpose: In the void, we forged a new culture all our own.

I just … how do you not find that just as stirring as any speech given by Thomas Paine? Imagine being able to draw inspiration only from those who look like you. Imagine having that unimaginable luxury, the privilege to be that selfish.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.

I survived jury duty. I even got a diploma of sorts. I’m uncertain if it’s for good behavior; more like bored behavior. I was called upstairs for voir dire on the last day. I tweeted about it after graduation:

Canny is Leon Cannizzaro, Orleans Parish District Attorney. Here’s what I said about him in the Bayou Brief in 2017:

He’s a notoriously hardline, tough on crime District Attorney with the demeanor of an irritable undertaker and the strange uncharm of a grim Dickensian authority figure such as Mr. Murdstone. I had dealings with Canny when he was a criminal court judge and I was lawyering. He was arrogant, biased, rude, and dismissive. His success in electoral politics has always been a mystery to me but some people confuse assholery with strength. The Current Occupant of the White House is the best example I can think of. At least Canny has better hair.

Well, they asked for full disclosure…

People have been asking me if I planned to write at length about the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock. The answer is no. Why? Too many people focus on things other than the music and mud. Too many get bogged down in generational politics; one of the dullest subjects on the planet. It’s dull because it’s cliche laden: not all Baby Boomers sold out, not all Gen-Xers are slackers, and not all Millennials are twitter obsessed airheads. More importantly, not all members of the greatest generation were all that great. I often thought that my late father’s motto could have been, “We won the war so we don’t have to listen.” That concludes my rant about generational stereotypes.

This week’s theme song was written in 1933 by Al Dubin and Harry Warren. It was featured in the 1934 movie Moulin Rouge and sung by blond bombshell Constance Bennett. Ooh la la.

We have three versions of this torchy torch song for your listening pleasure: Constance Bennett,Tony Bennett, and Diana Krall. Ooh la la.

Constance and Tony are not related. His real name is, of course, Anthony Benedetto.

It’s time for a trip to Disambiguation City with a song written for the 2004 American Idiot album by the boys in Green Day. Same title, different song. Ooh la la.

Now that I’ve shattered your dreams, let’s jump to the break. Ooh la la.

Continue reading

President* Pennywise

Image by Michael F.

We recently watched the 2017 movie IT, which is based on the Stephen King novel. I wasn’t terribly familiar with that terrible tale except for the sinister clown Pennywise. I loved the movie and realized that it was remade for two possible reasons: the popularity of Stranger Things and the rise of Trumpism.

Pennywise the evil clown (is there any other kind?) thrives on fear. He gets stronger the more he fearmongers. It’s what emboldens him to get out of the gutter and come into the open. The Insult Comedian never leaves the gutter BUT he too thrives on fear. That’s why I mock him: he feeds off our fear and recoils from our scorn. President* Pennywise is a pussy. He should grab himself.

I don’t see Trump as a figure of fun even though he’s funny. What he’s doing to the country is not funny but he cuts a ridiculous figure as he wreaks havoc. At the risk of sounding like a Reader’s Digest feature, laughter is the best medicine against Trumpism. Their dear leader has no sense of humor unless the joke is on his enemies. That’s why one should laugh at him, not cower, especially when the laughter is provoked by his latest outrageous statement. Remember the Maddow Doctrine:

Words to live by.

I seem to have missed the Insult Comedian’s exchange with California Governor Gavin Newsome during the 2018 campaign. Trump called Newsome a clown, here’s his tweeted response:

SNAP.

Courage is what the resistance to Trumpism requires. I know that many are still traumatized by the 2016 election BUT remember that Democrats won the mid-term popular vote by 9 points. And Trump is running on the same issues that flopped in that campaign.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Trump’s only path to electoral college victory is to destroy his opponent and resort to massive electoral fraud. He will not win the popular vote and has a narrow path to winning the electoral college, particularly with the economy circling the bowl. He’ll try and blame the Fed or Democrats but the voters blame the Current Occupant for economic woes. It couldn’t happen to a “nicer” guy.

Trump’s opponents need to take a deep breath and keep fighting. Remember: this guy and his cretinous followers thrive on your fear just like Pennywise. It’s up to us to look at the big picture and not be pennywise and pound foolish. Laugh at him, mock him, but don’t let him spook you. Victory belongs to the brave at heart. President* Pennywise can fuck off back to Trump Tower in 2021.

The last word goes to Elvis Costello and the Attractions: