Album Cover Art Wednesday: Best Of Brahms

I have no idea why this 1972 compilation album has bacon and eggs in a skillet on the cover. Did they think it resembles Johannes Brahms or conductor William Steinberg? Beats the hell outta me.

All I know is that grim times call for comic relief as well as a good breakfast.

Best of Brahms does not eggist on the YouTube. One of the compositions excerpted was Brahms’ 4th Symphony so here’s the whole damn thing:

You Set the Agenda

Something I think our August Media Betters, those who protect us against Democracy Dying in Darkness every day, have utterly forgotten:

I’ll go one better.

Run it on every news show. Every night. Every single night until this ends.

Every day on the 24-hour networks. All day long.

That’s all it is. Stories from the camps. Stories about the camps. People talking about what to do about the camps and I don’t mean inviting one Democratic senator who’s going to talk about civility and one racist fascist fuckface who’s going to yell about Obamaphones and illegal aliens. I mean activists, attorneys, people trying to get to their families.

Wall to wall coverage. The kind you get when a pretty white girl is on trial for killing her baby.

The kind you get when a president wants to lie about a war.

The kind you get when, as I said over the weekend, one baby falls down one well.

Every single newscast in America could do this TOMORROW. They could do this TONIGHT. They could throw everybody in a room together and say this is what we’re about. This is what we’re doing. This is all we’re doing and it’s all we’re doing until it ends.

And 20 years from now we would remember those journalists as heroes. We would laud them in our history books. We would mention their names in the same breath as our liberal elders mention Murrow, as they mention Cronkite. Not that it’s the most important thing ever, in comparison to closing the FUCKING BABY CONCENTRATION CAMPS, but if vain and lazy reporters need a reason, here’s one: It’s what God put you on this earth to do.

But the advertisers, the bosses, the politicians, the accusations of bias, the OTHER STORIES, dear Liza, the other stories that need telling too. The panel you’ve already set up for Sunday that will change so little about the world, the favors you owe people and the fear of being fired. The mortgage you have to pay, the kids’ college fund, the money the money the money the money. The learned helplessness we’ve all watched journalism practice over the past 35 years.

The routine: get both sides, shrug your shoulders, and go home.

The pretense to powerlessness is humiliating to watch on a good day, but today? Today is unlike any other day. It’s rarely so very clear what needs to be done. You should be thanking heaven for the camera in your hands.

It can’t be done? There’s too much calcified inaction, there’s too much resistance? It’s impossible? You cowardly fucks. You all went to college for one hundred and fifty-seven years. You all studied this shit and you all, I guarantee, puffed your asses up about how fucking hard you were gonna tell truth to power.

Here’s truth: We are running concentration camps and people are dying.

Here’s power. It’s in your goddamn hands. Seize the mics and barricade the doors.

I’m going to take you all on a trip down memory lane. It’s called America Held Hostage, and you may have heard about it on a little program run by an obscure journalist named TED GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING KOPPEL:

I was chief diplomatic correspondent. I’d be on the evening news and then I’d be on the late night news at 11:30. And these programs were infamously called “America Held Hostage: Day 5,” Day 7, Day 20, etc. And then one day I remember being on the phone with Roone saying, “You know, there’s nothing going on today. I mean, we really shouldn’t even be doing a special tonight.” And Roone said, “Tell me what a mullah is. Tell me what an ayatollah is. Explain the difference between Shia and Sunni.”

GQ: So he told you to be creative.

TK: He told us to be creative—Tell us stuff about the shah, tell us stuff about the religions, tell us stuff about the political make-up in Iran. All perfectly legitimate things to discuss, but not the kind of thing that you would normally put on a network at 11:30 at night. But such was the level of interest in the fate of the hostages that people were really tuning in.

Now, you can make all kinds of criticisms about the way this program treated a Democratic president and the way it fueled Reagan’s election (Koppel makes some of those himself in the interview) but what happened was a news program decided to make something THE issue of the day and they just fucking did it come hell or high water because they wanted to.

Years later, they did it again:

ABC issued a statement defending the program, which aired one day before the anniversary of President Bush’s May 1 declaration that major combat was over in Iraq.

The ABC statement noted that on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks it aired the names and pictures of the victims.

“ABC News will continue to report on all facets of the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism in a manner consistent with the standards which ABC News has set for decades,” it said.

The show, titled “The Fallen,” aired at 11:35 p.m. ET Friday, and ran until 12:09 a.m.

ABC News showed the tribute live on its Jumbotron screen in New York’s Times Square.

Imagine that, with the camps. Imagine it every day until it’s over.

Now go DO IT, dammit Jesus.

A.

Don’t Do Nothing

The Texas Tribune has a list of organizations working to help families at the border. 

There are worldwide candlelight vigils against the camps on July 12, mark your calendars, bitches, and get in the streets with us. I’ll be at the Chicago event and/or helping organize one in my own neighborhood.

Call your reps. Tell them to close the camps. Even if they’re Democrats, even if they already want to. Make this their issue. Make it yours.

A.

Not Everything Sucks: Crowded Shotgun House

I never miss a chance to mention that the great New Orleans musician, Deacon John Moore, lives not far from Adrastos World HQ. John is a helluva nice guy as well as a helluva singer and so is Crowded House’s Neil Finn.

Deacon John has left his musical comfort zone and recorded two songs from Crowded House’s eponymous debut album. This an experiment that works. I hope he records more of Neil’s songs in addition to the two tracks on Crowded Shotgun House.

It’s always cool when my worlds collide:

Watch What They Do, Not What They Say

I’ve stopped reading the president’s* twitter feed on a regular basis. It’s full of bluster, bigotry, braggadocio, and bullshit. Every once in a while the Insult Comedian changes “policy” by tweet. He enjoys seeing the country jump when he says something outrageous. It’s how this sick fuck gets his kicks. I wish he’d stick to Route 66.

Trump also uses his twitter feed to try and blackmail his opponents into submission but there’s usually a tell. That was the case with the so-called “ICE round-up of millions.” It was all about the announcement, not the round-up. When any law enforcement agency conducts a raid, it’s a tightly kept secret so as not to give the subjects time to flee or destroy evidence. Trump’s tweet was the tell that he was lying. He also gets a sadistic kick out of upsetting his enemies. Repeat after me: cruelty is the Trump regime’s only immigration policy. The rest is a sick charade.

I’m gobsmacked that anyone takes anything this president* says at face value but they still do. Another recent example is the lie told after he “called off” a bomb strike against Iran. He claimed that he hadn’t gotten a casualty count before the planes were in the air. In fact, it’s SOP for the military to include that information upon briefing any president including those without an asterisk. It’s all about the drama, it has nothing to with the real world.

I realize it’s frustrating to deal with this sort of fantasist but it’s our current reality. That’s why I’d demand verification even if the Insult Comedian were to say: “I’m a fat guy with bad hair and a fake tan.” Of course, he’d say none of those things but it’s a sign of his extreme mendacity that I wouldn’t believe him if he did.

I am a firm believer in what I call the Maddow Doctrine: Watch what they do, not what they say.  Words are cheap and in this case there’s usually some sort of bluff involved; if we pretend otherwise, he’ll steal everything that isn’t nailed down including our souls. There are no silver bullets to slay this particular monster except for one: the 2020 general election.

The last word goes to Michael F with this image from an April post, He’s Bluffing:

Image by Michael F.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – last week today edition

All right, everyone – as I mentioned, last week’s Obsession wasn’t doable due to days of lightning storms here in Dallas, so please allow me to serve up some older Freepitude, meant for the post that never was.

First up – going off half-Koched!

Billionaire Kochs to Financially Back Democrats Pushing Amnesty, Free Trade
Breitbart ^ | 6/9/2019 | John Binder

Posted on 6/9/2019, 10:41:02 PM by bitt

The pro-mass immigration Koch brothers’ network of billionaire, donor-class organizations is readying to financially back Democrats, so long as they promise to support amnesty for illegal aliens and vote to advance free trade at all costs.

In a memo to its staff, the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP) organization announced that the economic libertarian group is set to back any elected official in Washington, DC, — including Democrats — who support their agenda of amnesty for illegal aliens and endless free trade, and oppose the GOP voter-preferred economic nationalist agenda of less immigration and tariffs to protect American jobs.

The memo read:

The threat of being primaried prevents policymakers from leading on difficult issues and driving principled policy reforms. AFP or AFP Action will be ready to engage contested U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and state-level primary races, including Republican, Democrat, Independent or otherwise, to support sitting legislators who lead by uniting with others to pass principled policy and get good things done. [Emphasis added]

The Koch effort to financially support pro-amnesty, anti-economic nationalist Democrats would come to fruition through the creation of multiple issue-specific Political Action Committees (PACs), all under the larger Koch network umbrella.

Support for free trade absolutism, amnesty for illegal aliens, and an anti-economic nationalist voting record are basic requirements for Democrats and Republicans who want financial support from the Koch brothers, as outlined in AFP’s memo:

(snip)

The initiative is set to put the Koch brothers’ network of donor class organizations in line with Democrats such as Joe Biden — who has backed amnesty for all illegal aliens and continues to support the NAFTA free trade deal that eliminated nearly five million American jobs — and Republicans such as Justin Amash who opposes the use of tariffs and has previously suggested support for an amnesty for illegal aliens shielded from deportation by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

1 posted on 6/9/2019, 10:41:02 PM by bitt
You see, not so very long ago, it was like this :
To: SeekAndFind

 

The far left has latched onto the “Koch Brothers” as a boogieman. It’s kind of funny. The vast majority (and I mean vast) have never even heard the name much less know anything about them. And yet this seems to be their go to topic this year. It just makes them look paranoid. I hope they stay focused like a laser beam on this…

9 posted on 10/4/2014, 9:59:08 AM by DouglasKC

But all of a sudden…

To: bitt

 

They almost sound like traitors. Keep praying everyone. God doesn’t care how much money they have to throw around. He owns it all . . .including them.

6 posted on 6/9/2019, 10:45:06 PM by Maudeen (Remember . . . Jesus is already in all of your tomorrows.)

And…
To: bitt

 

Koch bros. treason wedded to Soros treason,
Surprise! NOT

10 posted on 6/9/2019, 10:47:38 PM by A strike (Import third world become third world)

And…
To: bitt

 

I thought they reliably always supported R candidates.

What happened to them?

17 posted on 6/9/2019, 10:50:15 PM by Innovative

Offhand, I’d say Trump happened to them.
.
Imagine two museum guards who see someone with a flamethrower running down the hall towards the room where all the Rembrandts are kept.
.
And, finally a Freeper dares to say it :
To: Secret Agent Man

 

Didn’t Freepers used to defend the Kochs?

37 posted on 6/9/2019, 11:31:53 PM by rintintin (q)

DuhNapoleon
More stupid below el-foldo.

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Not Everything Sucks

In the hellhole that is the internet, Swear Trek and Spock’s Dick remain a bright spot: 

For all you young’uns who didn’t experience the glory of Web 1.0, this is basically what it was like all the time, along with some cats.

A.

What Can You Do?

Children are dying in our camps: 

The purpose of the quote, from the commissioner’s point of view, was to establish that the Border Patrol has no choice about this. There are too many migrants for the existing system, at existing funding levels, to detain the children in safe, uncrowded conditions.

What Sanders was describing, however, was a choice. If the law requires the Border Patrol to detain migrants in safe and clean conditions, and if it is impossible to provide safe and clean conditions with current funding and current facilities, then the Border Patrol can let the migrants go.

The law that says the migrants must be detained is no more binding than the law that says people must be kept in humane conditions. The question is which part of the law the Border Patrol will ignore: the part of the law that is killing children, or the part of the law that would allow the children to live.

Before we begin: No, Democrats are NOT complicit in this for not stopping it, they are NOT just as bad as Trump for not stopping it. That’s some hysterical victim-blaming bullshit designed to stoke “no difference between the parties” nonsense in advance of the election and I’m seeing way too many smart people falling for it and repeating it online. Knock it off. If you think for one hot second President Hillary would be building kiddie concentration camps at the border you need all kitchen implements removed from your vicinity immediately. For your own safety. Butter knives included.

HOWEVER.

Not enough is being done to stop this.

I don’t mean impeachment. I mean STOPPING THIS.

I mean, what can honestly be done? Can you barricade the doors? This is state-sponsored murder and you are the state, can you walk up to the guards who are holding rifles and stand there until they stand down? Can you pull a Tiananmen Square? How does any of this work? We know where most of these facilities are, where the children are. What would it take to free them?

We muster the might of nations for a baby fallen down a well, for miners trapped in a cave, we have round-the-clock coverage and infographics and analyses and everyone thinks, what can I do to help? And we can’t get these children out of their child prison camp and settle them with their families? What would it take? A march? A barricade? Another thousand thousand lawsuits? How do you get the children out before more of them die? Before all of them die?

Maybe there is no way, but I refuse. I refuse to believe there’s no way. “There’s no way” is something you say when you don’t want to do anything and we can’t not want to do anything.

I don’t know if any of that would work. I don’t know how much of that is even legal. And I don’t fucking much care either way because holding hearings and passing bills and talking to people about health care is not ending the goddamn child concentration camps where baby prisoners live in filth.

The Republican obstruction of the past 15 years has had the effect of conditioning us to expect that nothing will be done about anything. The GOP domination of the news has made us used to the idea that government is bad and dumb and broken and can’t address problems it is specifically designed to address. We’ve come to expect paralysis from one another and so we’ve come to excuse it in ourselves: There’s nothing we could do.

Except that’s almost never really true.

There’s nothing we could do without inconveniencing ourselves. There’s nothing we could do without upsetting someone. There’s nothing we could do without potentially doing the wrong thing, or getting in over our heads, or etc etc etc. But there’s always something. As long as we’re alive there’s something.

So what is it? What’s the thing that will stop this not in 8 months when the number of dead children doubles but right now today? And then can we yell at Democrats until they do that thing? I’ve got stacks of blank postcards, let’s go.

A.

Who’s Selling Hate to These People?

This story is full of more assholes than a bag of assholes but the biggest assholes in it aren’t named: 

Across the state, this network includes conservative radio hosts, think tanks and digital media that focus on anti-refugee news in Minnesota, as well as small community groups like C-Cubed, which repeatedly invite anti-Muslim speakers to town, leading to clashes and protests. Formed in 2017 to support more nativist candidates on the City Council, C-Cubed is a small group of only about a dozen members, but its existence has already changed the city’s political landscape.

C-Cubed supported four candidates for City Council last year, and two won seats, although Mr. Palmer himself lost. Members say they are raising questions about the state’s refugee program in order to determine its total cost. But in interviews, many repeatedly outlined more fundamental fears, including the belief that an influx of people who were nonwhite and non-Christian posed a cultural threat.

Several of the group’s members and their allies said their stand against immigration was a small part of a broader national conflict, in which the rising tide of a multicultural, multiracial Democratic Party must be opposed.

Who runs the sites and funds the radio stations and tells people to specifically compare abortion to the Holocaust? These people all say the same things and nobody asks where they heard it?

We are running story after story after story about Trump voters holding them up to be shamed, and yes, they should be shamed. These people make my fucking skin crawl. Imagine spending your life curled up around that kind of hatred. Like these are your days, reading angry websites and hosting meetings to be mad at refugees, this is what you’re doing with your time? These people should be shamed for buying this crap.

But the GOP should be shamed more, for selling it. In the most charitable interpretation of the sort of Republican Party Joe Biden wishes still existed, the GOP has benefitted immensely from racism in every form for the past 50 years. Even when they weren’t screaming it from the pulpit, racism was getting them elected. And at any time they could have said you know, this isn’t what we need to do right now. They didn’t, and they drove out the ones that tried.

So while we all cluck over the individuals in this story — they’re awful, and they’ll be judged for it in this world or the next — we need to keep in mind the structure that nourished and supported them, that confirmed their suspicions and validated their fears, and profited from them. They’re not victims, but they’re not the ultimate victors either.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Every Picture Tells A Story

The Sorrows Of The King by Henri Matisse.

It’s a solemn day in New Orleans: Dr. John’s memorial service and second line are later today. There was already an informal, impromptu second line but this is the real deal. Rest in peace, Mac. We’ll miss you.

The news has been relentlessly bleak of late, which is why I’ve turned my attention to the New Orleans Pelicans success in the recent NBA draft. Zion Williamson seems to be a real game changer. While I’m uncertain if he’ll be the next LeBron James, he may be the next Charles Barkley. We needed some good news after the way Anthony Davis pouted his way out of town. New Pels honcho, David Griffin, took the Lakers to the cleaners in trading away AD and seems to have drafted and traded wisely. This pre-draft tweet sums things up quite well:

Here’s hoping the Zion era doesn’t end like the Baron Davis, Chris Paul or Anthony Davis eras. That concludes the inside New Orleans basketball portion of the Saturday post.

I’m “I remember when Rod Stewart was a respected artist and critics darling” years old. This week’s theme song was the title track of Stewart’s 1971 commercial breakthrough album. Every Picture Tells A Story was written by Rod Stewart and Ron Wood. It’s the opening track of one of the best albums of the 1970’s. Unfortunately, Rod the Mod threw it all way artistically when he moved to Los Angeles and released the shitty “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” and other horrendous hits. I hope I didn’t give anyone an earworm.

We have two versions for your listening pleasure: the original and a live medley of Too Bad and Every Picture Tells A Story. The Faces are the backing band in both instances and, as always, they rock hard.

Now that you’ve got the picture, let’s hop into one of those prop planes and fly to the break. I’m reluctant to say jump because I don’t want to bail out on y’all.

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Not Everything Sucks: David Gilmour’s Guitars

One of my musical heroes, David Gilmour, is a generous man. He auctioned off many of the guitars that he played during Pink Floyd’s heyday raising over $21 million, which he promptly gave away:

A day before the auction, Gilmour revealed that the money from the auction would benefit ClientEarth, which funds environmental lawyers and experts in the fight against climate change. “The global climate crisis is the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face, and we are within a few years of the effects of global warming being irreversible,” he said in a statement. “We need a civilized world that goes on for all our grandchildren and beyond in which these guitars can be played and songs can be sung.”

I try to avoid the obvious, but sometimes it cannot be helped. Gilmour’s donation proves that he’s nothing like the jerk in this song:

Friday Catblogging: Peek-A-Boo PD

Many people have asked how Paul Drake is doing, so here’s an update. In addition to searching for his missing big sister, he’s been somewhat depressed and withdrawn. Last Monday, Dr. A and I were angry at our vet’s support staff and he picked up on it. Empathy thy name is PD.

He was so upset that he sought comfort in his litter box. Cats find the scent of their own urine comforting when they’re stressed. Go figure. We’ve tried harder to mask our feelings since then and he’s bouncing back. We’re spending as much time as possible with him and it’s starting to help. Poor dear.

He’s also sought comfort in boxes. Anyone surprised?

The last word goes to Robert Cray:

The Fog Of History: Semantic Antics

Choosing sides between Liz Cheney and Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez isn’t difficult. The latter called Trump’s migrant detention centers, concentration camps, and the former denounced this characterization. It’s a bit rich coming from a woman whose father is a torture fan but that’s life in the Trump era. It’s a theatre of the absurd more confusing than the crazy house/hall of mirrors scene in The Lady From Shanghai:

There’s a nightmare of the Trump regime’s creation at our Southern border. I’m glad it’s back in the spotlight but the semantic antics on the right are diverting attention onto their current bete noire: AOC. The implication is that calling a concentration camp what it actually is makes AOC some sort of Holocaust denier/minimizer; a David Irving with better dance moves. This is, of course, toxic nonsense.

Many scholars of the period have pointed out the difference between Nazi concentration camps and death camps. One could justly call the camps in which Japanese American citizens were unjustly detained concentration camps. This circular discussion reminds me of an absurd scene in another classic 1940’s film, To Be Or Not To Be:

The bottom line is that the United States government is holding migrants in camps wherein conditions are so appalling that they’ve resulted in 24 deaths. Adding horrifying insult to egregious injury is that children are being separated from their parents; in many instances permanently. That’s what matters, not what you call the camps. Words are important but people’s lives are infinitely more so.

Adding to the crazy house aspect of this debate is that babies are being locked in cages in the name of the rule of law. It’s beyond hypocritical coming from an administration that’s engaged in obstruction of justice on myriad fronts. It’s a small leap from myriad to the hall of mirrors in the crazy house.

Crazy House Mirror Maze

Image by Greg Biermann.

There are three articles about the Cheney-AOC debate that I highly recommend:

Dahlia Lithwick & Susan Mathews: The AOC-Liz Cheney “Concentration Camp” Fight Might Just Be A Distraction.

Andrea Pitzer:  How The Trump Administration’s Border Camps Fit Into The History Of Concentration Camps.

Eric Levtiz: With Trump’s Migrant Camps, The History We Should Fear Repeating Is Our Own.

Levitz issues a reminder about America’s inglorious history at our Southern border:

…progressives shouldn’t need to invoke the Holocaust to place migrant-detention centers in their proper context. The border separating the United States from lands dominated by nonwhite peoples has been a site of white-nationalist violence since the founding of our republic. America’s southern border is itself an artifact of a war of conquest that our government launched against Mexico — an invasion that Ulysses S. Grant called “one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation.” According to General Winfield Scott, commander of U.S. forces during that war, American troops committed atrocities against Mexican civilians so egregious they would “make Heaven weep, & every American, of Christian morals blush for his country. Murder, robbery, & rape on mothers & daughters, in the presence of the tied up males of the families, have been common along the Rio Grande.” In the decades that followed, Klansmen, citizen’s militias, and the uniformed officers of the Texas Rangers regularly lynched Latinos whom they regarded as invaders or threats to America’s racial order and purity. This is the history that Trumpism emerged from; these are the atrocities it threatens to repeat. Before Americans likened the violence at our borders to the Nazis, the Nazis likened their conquest of Eastern Europe to the violence at our frontiers.

History has a funny way of repeating itself although the results themselves are rarely funny ha-ha. We’re currently trapped in a crazy house hall of mirrors and blinded by the fog of history. All the semantic antics in the world will not change that; only the voters can. Make it so.

Pondering the wingnutty reaction to AOC has given me an earworm. The last word goes to Bryan Ferry:

What They See

trump_oru_prayer_tower_cult

Here’s as good an example as any of the sort of people Joe Biden thinks we can work with if we’ll only get back to civility.

These guys really aren’t even trying to hide how feckless and corrupt they are anymore, are they.

On ‘All in With Chris Hayes’ this evening, Republican congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin made the argument that a robust economy in Wisconsin during the presidency of Donald Trump means it’s perfectly okay for Donald Trump to commit impeachable offenses.

Duffy’s no James Eastland or Herman Talmadge. But do you really think he’ll reach across the aisle for any reason other than maybe to grab someone by the shirt…or the hair?

The MAGA-ts are fully brainwashed. They’re in the cult. Oddly, the media is as well, but that’s more proof they’d brag about the money they made selling the rope used to hang them.

However, there is hopeful news. Despite everything, Trump’s support peaks at about 45-46 percent in polls (and right now it’s a bit less). Of that, most are likely the cultists, and sure, it’s a damn uphill battle with the idiot media pushing the horse race, and the gerrymandering, the voter suppression, and so on. But Trump, despite all this, is weak. He only wins with another fluke inside-straight election. Playing to the base isn’t enough.

So…when it comes to civility, or whatever…nope. This election is straight up strength versus strength. From a campaign perspective, it’s pretty much over, except for who can turn out their voters. Game on.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Gypsy Rose Lee

Gypsy Rose Lee was the exotic dancer as proto-rock star. I recall seeing her on teevee chat, variety, and game shows when I was a tadpole. And her memoirs were adapted into the great 1959 musical, Gypsy.

Lee “wrote” two successful crime fiction books. New Yorker staff writer Janet Flanner aka Genet was her ghostwriter. Flanner was best known for writing the Letter From Paris feature, and her attempt to referee Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer during their legendary verbal brawl on The Dick Cavett Show.

Let’s get bookish:

The last word goes to the Divine Miss M with a showstopper from a 1993 version of Gypsy:

On Joe Biden’s Civility Fetish

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: one thing Joe Biden has in common with Donald Trump is a fatal inability to STFU. The former Veep has a tendency to trip over his tongue every time he talks about civility. One might even call him a Lost Civility Causer.

This time Biden took it way too far:

As evidence of his ability to forge personal bonds, the former vice president pointed to his 36-year career in the Senate, which stretched back to 1973 and overlapped with the service of leading Southern Democrats. Biden cited the late senators James O. Eastland (Miss.) and Herman E. Talmadge (Ga.), who were steadfastly opposed to civil rights and racial integration.

“I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland,” Biden said at the fundraiser, where he was introduced by Eric Mindich, an investment manager and former Goldman Sachs partner.

The Democratic presidential candidate, who has led his competitors in early polls of the crowded nominating contest, briefly impersonated the southern drawl of the Mississippi cotton planter, lawyer and lawmaker. “He never called me ‘boy,’ ” Biden said. “He always called me ‘son.’ ”

Biden’s campaign didn’t immediately return a request for comment about why it would be notable that the Dixiecrat — who thought black Americans belonged to an “inferior race” and warned that integration would cause “mongrelization” — didn’t call Biden “boy,” a racial epithet deployed against black men.

The garrulous gaffe machine also invoked the name of former Georgia Senator and Governor Herman Talmadge who was a second generation race baiting segregationist.

Even with Talmadge — “one of the meanest guys I ever knew” — Biden noted, “at least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done.”

Biden cited two of the worst Dixiecrats who remained in the Senate during his early years. There were other segregationists such as John Stennis and Russell Long who changed with the times and were never as overtly racist or hateful as Eastland and Talmadge. Biden might as well have cited Strom Thurmond.

I’ll never forget a story that went around the Hill about Eastland. The Senate threw a reception for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during one of his visits when Carter was president. Eastland took one look at Sadat and said in a loud stage whisper: “Why, I believe the president is a nigra.” He stepped out of the reception line so he wouldn’t have to shake Sadat’s hand. I guess Biden would say of that story, “at least he called him a nigra, not the other n word.” Civility, try it, you’ll like it.

Do I think Joe Biden is a racist? Absolutely not. Do I think he needs to think before he speaks? Absolutely. He seems bound and determined to talk his way out of the Democratic nomination. Another reason I support Elizabeth Warren.

Repeat after me, Joe:

Tweet Of The Day: Limerick Edition

I thought some Album Cover Art Wednesday lagniappe was in order since the tweeted limerick in question comes from the Divine Miss M:

The president* seems to have belatedly discovered that First Ladies can be political assets, so he’s been trotting the future ex-Mrs. Trump out with some regularity of late. He even said that Melania was his “Jackie O.” Of course, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was not Jackie O until she married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis five years after JFK’s murder. Talk about Beauty and the Beast.

The Insult Comedian ignited his fair-to-midlering feud with Bette during his stay in London by calling her “a washed up psycho.” She’s taken ownership of the phrase with quite amusing results.

The last word goes to Bette with the big hit from her debut album, The Divine Miss M. It’s obviously not about Cadet Bone Spurs:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Bayou Cadillac

This 1989 album by Cajun music gods Beausoleil features some swell pictures by New Orleans based photographer Rick Olivier. He specializes in photographing artists from the Gret Stet of Louisiana and has done many album covers. This is one of the coolest.

Here’s the Bayou Cadillac Medley:

Future Conversations with Trump Voters

In light of this nonsense, I look forward to this NYT/Washington Post/Atlantic series about people who WOULD vote for Democrats, except for all the socialism:

Inside Carol’s Cozy Corner diner in East Westville, Pennsylvania, the air was thick with bacon grease and coffee that doesn’t cost $5. There are no lattes here, no free-range chicken sausage wraps with vegannaise. You’ll get your buckwheat flapjacks and like them, hippie.

Sitting at the counter, his oil-stained hands gnarled from years of real, hard work in the mines, Joe America scoffed when asked if he’d consider voting for Elizabeth Warren.

“She’s a socialist,” he said, and his buddies next to him nodded assent. “My grandfather didn’t fight in Korea so we could have socialism in America.”  

Joe America hasn’t benefitted at all from Trump’s policies, but says he’d consider voting for the president again.

“At least he’s against infanticide,” he said, cutting into his ham steak. “Democrats want to kill babies in the hospital right after they’re born. Say what you like about Trump, at least he doesn’t want babies killed. Unlike those socialists.”

What WOULD persuade such a person to vote for a Democrat for president? For senator, representative, town council? Joe considered for a moment, then looked around the diner.

“See people like this? Hard-working people?” He gestured to his fellow patrons, all of them doubtless miners, plumbers, roofers and railroad workers since everyone knows no soft-handed office workers ever visit a diner for breakfast. “Democrats don’t understand people like this. They don’t offer them anything.”

Joe stared into the distance as a truck carrying coal from the coal-filled coal mine rumbled by. One thing is certain from this encounter in red rural country: If the Democratic Party wants to appeal to voters such as this one, they have to abandon policies perceived by low-information voters to be socialist. Or infanticidal.

I mean I just can’t wait for these takes. No one will ask people what they think socialism IS, or how they believe Chuck Schumer is sneaking into hospital rooms to personally club healthy infants, or what specific policies they could point to that would convince them he’s not.

It’ll just be a morass of “people believe what Fox News and talk radio tell them, but we’ll never use the word Fox or the word News, because we don’t want to call people sheep and we don’t have room to get into the influence of a 24-hour propaganda machine for the GOP, it’s the thing we all know but don’t talk about ever.”

Socialism and infanticide are the Fox- and talk-tested flashpoint words and everyone will go along with the charade knowing it’s a charade and then pretending that going along with the charade means fulfilling their missing to keep democracy from dying in darkness, like this sort of shit saves the world. I’m so glad we’re killing journalism and building something new.

A.

Our Commenters are AWESOME

Let’s just turn today over to JTO, from my Sunday post, reminding me to get off my ass, shall we? 

The hour is running late, that is true, but it is also just as true that it is still early.

It is true that this is a frustrating, infuriating fight – but it is the fight that we have always had. It was the fight for the recognition of every working man’s humanity, of every woman’s suffrage and every POC’s equality. And those we fight are never defeated, they simply retreat, regroup and try again – just like we do. Just like we have to. Just like we have always done.

Will they first take, then corrupt our 4th Estate? Will they deny us the vote? Will they say our gigging economy is because of freedom and irresponsibly tasty avocado on toast brunches? Will they stack the Supreme Court, and start 4 month old children in kennels? Will they kill every single living thing on the planet – from microscopic plankton to Africa’s megafauna – for sport and a selfie?

Of course they will, or they will try.

And blast that crater we are all in – just a little bit bigger, deeper – even as we work to fill it in, and at the same time prevent them from making it worse.

Please, keep at it.

Go read the whole thing.

I was so tired before I read that, dude. And now I feel like I could run through a brick wall. THANK YOU.

A.