Saturday Odds & Sods: Bad Moon Rising

Masks by James Ensor.

I spent part of Tuesday and all day Wednesday fretting about Hurricane Zeta. That didn’t leave much time for assembling a proper Odds & Sods post. Instead we have an improper one. Of course, Halloween is for trick or treating. Consider this edition a trick.

This week’s theme song was written by John Fogerty in 1969 for CCR’s Green River album. In concert, Fogerty is known to substitute “there’s a bathroom on the right” for “there’s a bad moon on the rise” on the final chorus of the song.

We have four versions of Bad Moon Rising for your listening pleasure: the Creedence original, John Fogerty live, Emmylou Harris, and Queen Ida.

There’s no jump or second act this week. Damn hurricane. I did, however, prepare two third act segments before Zeta roared into town.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: Tricky Dick is the man I love to hate. I hate Trump more but he’s not as interesting as the Trickster.

Here’s a Tricky Trio: Anthony Hopkins, Frank Langella, and the man himself.

True story: I fell asleep while seeing Oliver Stone’s Nixon bio-pic on the big screen. Stone’s movies usually give me a headache.

Saturday GIF Horse: I love the old Universal horror movies. I used to watch them on Creature Features on KTVU when I was a tadpole. Bob Wilkins was the host. So every time I was admonished  for my Dwight Frye as Mr. Renfield impression, I’d blame Wilkins. It was actually Dracula’s fault.

That’s it for this whirlwind edition of Halloween Odds & Sods. The last word goes to Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye:

No One Ever Tells You

No One Ever Tells You is a torchy blues song that was written in 1956 by Carroll Coates and Hub Atwood. It was first recorded by Frank Sinatra for his A Swingin’ Affair album. It’s peak Sinatra and peak Nelson Riddle.

We have three versions of this swell song. We begin with the patron saint of the Friday Cocktail Hour:

Shirley Bassey recorded No One Ever Tells You in 1959:

Next up, B.B. King and Diane Schuur. I told you this was a blues song.

Finally, some lagniappe with another song with the same title. This No One Ever Tells You was written by Carole King, Gerry Goffin, and Phil Spector:

That’s it for this week. I wrote this as Zeta bore down on New Orleans. After the big blow, one thing is certain: I need a cocktail and so do you. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.

A Four-Legged Stool Of Trump Regime Scandals

Several days of focusing on Hurricane Zeta have left me behind on campaign related stuff as well as the latest Trump regime scandals. I’m also dealing with a wicked bad headache caused either by the late hurricane or the current cold front. Enough of my whining, on with the show this is it:

That was posted to prove to frequent commenter Larry the Red that I know my toons. On with the show this it redux.

Team Trump have so flooded the zone with scandals that it’s hard to know where to begin. There’s a four-legged stool of Trump regime scandals that have been revealed this week. They’ve been busy diverting attention from their own malefactions by pimping fake Biden scandals to the right-wing media and Glenn Greenwald who continues to be the poster boy for far left and far right convergence, He’s also a self-righteous prick and malaka but this post is not about him. He can go fuck himself.

The first leg involves Turkey’s elected dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan. You know, the Impeached Insult Comedian’s Islamist buddy. Erdogan tried to get the Obama administration to play along with him on several legal issues, but Joe Biden was sent to Ankara to say no. So much for Joey the shark as crook. The Kaiser of Chaos can go fuck himself.

Since I’m blogging hurt, I’ll use a Tweet by Matthew Gertz of Media Matters to explain the Turkish scandal and link to the NYT article on it:

Matthew Gertz is no relation to imbecilic Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz much to the former’s relief.

The second leg of the scandal stool involves the latest egregious conflict of interest of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. That semi-senile plutocrat has been on the team negotiating a trade deal with China while still having business interests in that country.

Here’s an explanatory Tweet from a guy with a colorful name:

The third leg of our Trump regime scandal stool involves sleazy doings at the Department of Health and Human Services. Trumpers have attempted to turn that cabinet department into a propaganda arm of the Trump campaign. Explanatory Tweets have worked thus far so here’s another one:

I’m not sure if Eric is any relation to spoon-bending psychic Yuri Geller.

The fourth and final leg of our Trumper scandal stool involves State Department sleaze:

We’ve completed our four-legged stool of Trumper scandals. I hope the instructions were clearer than the ones you get from IKEA.

Friday Catblogging: Stretching

As I said yesterday, Claire Trevor was so unperturbed by Hurricane Zeta that I was tempted to make another Key Largo joke, but thought better of it. Instead I wrote that very long sentence.

Dr. A took the picture below when our friend Mother Mary came to meet young Claire. She came bearing gifts. What kitty doesn’t like catnip toys? They made her stretch with delight:

Tucker Carlson: The Dog Ate My Disinformation

It’s a mystery to me why so many ostensibly intelligent Republicans have turned to stupidity during the Trump era. My Senator John Neely Kennedy is one of the foremost fake dipshits.

Another fake dumbass is Fox News loudmouth Tucker Carlson who is also a fake populist. He’s currently claiming that he has something big on Joe Biden:

On Wednesday night’s show, Tucker Carlson reported that his team had acquired incriminating documents. However, they sent them from Washington to Los Angeles, and the documents disappeared. And they neglected to make any copies. So now the only copy of the documents that would nail the probable next president of the United States are gone.

https://twitter.com/TuckerCarlson/status/1321608055549775872

Have you consulted with the Postmaster General yet? He’s only supposed to lose Democratic ballots.

This is weak tea from the Swanson’s teevee dinner heir. Unlike his colleague Sean Hannity, he’s not a meathead, he only plays one on teevee. Hannity puts the boob in boob tube. Given his family pedigree, perhaps Tucker’s problem is brain freeze.

Tucker used to wear a bow tie. Has the change in neckwear lowered his IQ? Is neckwear even a word? I’m getting all tied up in Windsor knots.

The last word goes to Adrastos crony and former Gambit Tabloid editor Kevin Allman:

Does a tweet qualify as the last word? Beats the hell outta me. In any event, it’s better than the dog ate my homework disinformation.

That concludes this edition of Stupid Trumper Tricks.

Zeta, Man

Zeta’s Eye Over the 13th Ward photo by Dr. A.

Hurricane Zeta was the fifth named storm to make landfall in the Gret Stet of Louisiana this year. That set a record that we could do without. 2020, man.

Zeta was a weird system. Conditions were NOT favorable for development, but it blew up anyway. My favorite local teevee meteorologist was alternately vexed, puzzled, and apologetic about his forecast. No worries, Chris. 2020, man.

Winds in New Orleans peaked somewhere between 65 and 75 MPH. It was scary at points but since Claire Trevor lived through the big blow in Key Largo, she slept through Zeta. She *was* the hero of that movie: she slipped Bogie the rod that he used to vanquish Johnny Rocco. 1948, man.

We were lucky. We lost cable but not power. It’s a minor miracle. In 2012, we lost power for 7 days after Hurricane Isaac blew through town. As a result, I missed seeing Clint Eastwood talk to the chair at the Republican convention. 2012, man.

Adding to the oddity of Zetapalooza, the first cold front of the season is rolling through town. That makes it easier on those who lost power. We sweated like Bogie in the greenhouse scene in The Big Sleep after Isaac. 1946, man.

Zeta was a fast-moving storm system. The worst lasted only for a few hours. Since it was a direct hit, I experienced the eerie beauty of the eye for the first time. It was genuinely surreal. It was like a Magritte painting only without the bowler hats or are they derbies? That’s a question for another time.

The friend and Spank krewe mate who I call Nurse Candace wrote something lovely on my FB feed about *her* experience with the eye of Zeta: “The most poignant contrast of Nature’s fury and tranquility that I’ve ever experienced.”

The Zeta eye sky also reminded me of one of my favorite John Hiatt ballads. That’s why he gets the last word:

 

At The Omaha Rally

OK, that might be Photoshopped a little, but it does capture a bit (or more) of the zeitgeist

Hundreds of people who attended President Donald Trump’s rally Tuesday evening at Eppley Airfield spent up to three hours in freezing temperatures waiting for buses to take them back to their cars.

Officer Michael Pecha, an Omaha Police Department spokesman, said 30 people received medical attention and seven were taken to area hospitals with various medical conditions.

And just wait for the spike in covfefe, um, I mean covid cases.

No word on whether the cult faithful were urged to drink the Kool Aid.

But it did get me thinking…what would DJT do to keep himself in office?

Obviously freeze and/or infect someone with a potentially deadly disease.

Punch a guy in the face?

Certainly…though only if the guy being punched couldn’t hit back, because that’s how bullies like Trump work.

Disown his kids? I’d guess yeah, except for Ivanka, and, ugh, I don’t even want to think why he wouldn’t disown her.

For sure he’d throw sand in the gears of anything and everything, including the postal service, which, amazingly, the press is covering as a normal news story, and not an outrage.

Same with the overt attempts to suppress voters. This isn’t a both-sides-we-report-you-decide issue. It’s a deliberate subversion of representative democracy.

And…watch, if Trump is losing on election night, he and the GOP will turn on a dime re: mail in ballots…and the elite media will act as if that’s completely normal.

The memory hole is alive and well.

Dog Gone

It’s been a rough week in more ways than one, good people.  Besides dealing with the shitstorm of stupid that is Freeperville, fighting off a horrific infection and The Darnold’s frantic and constant flailing to remain in power, Barbara and I lost our wonderful and too-sweet-for-words doggie girl, Brillo.

Barbara picked her up at a rescue day event at out local Petco. She told me what was happening, and I was OK with it, of course.

After a week, she had her shots and papers and was ready to come live in her forever home. I still had yet to even see her.  I was driving home from work, and Barbara called me, and advised – “Baby? She’s not the prettiest dog in the world…”

A very long pause went by, and I replied: “OK.  Just how ugly IS she?”.

When I got home I found out. The one-and-a-half-year old was mostly Scottish Deerhound and a little bit something else, which means that her outside coat looked like something you use on the sink one last time before you throw it away.

I took one look and declared: “Brillo.” This was validated when we were walking her down at the greenbelt and two young ladies came up and asked her name.  I told them, and they both dissolved into laughter.

And from that time on, Brillo she was, among other things.

She was also “Big Girl”, “Miss Demeanour”, “Miss Adventure”, “Miss Mess”, “Miss Appropriated”, “Miss Apprehension”, and many other things.

She spent all of every evening going back and forth between Barbara and I, to get pets. I mean constantly. “I would say “Go see the Mommy”, and she would trot over to that side of the couch and get petted until Barbara got tired and said : “Go see the Daddy”, whereupon I would pet her for the next 15 minutes or so.  All night. Every night.

I was referred to as “The CPO” (chief petting officer), and loved my position.

And so It went for over 14 years, until she started losing weight and energy. We tried every high-calorie food we could find.

It was Lymphoma. We said our goodbyes a few days ago.

She was a Very Good Girl.

 

 

 

 

 

.

Goodbye, Pretty Girl.

Too Much Is On The Ballot/Hurricane Zeta Update

My latest column for the Bayou Brief is online. It’s my reflections on the upcoming election with a local emphasis. Here’s the tagline:

13th Ward ramblings on the 2020 election, Orleans Parish style. Sidney Torres is NOT on the ballot; he just acts like he is.

In other news, Hurricane Zeta strengthened in the wee small hours of the morning. After half-a-dozen games of hurricane dodge ball it appears headed our way. I’m not sure how this will impact my blogging, but I expect to lose power as this is a wind event. Anything I’m able to schedule this morning will appear but it’s unclear if there will be a Saturday Odds & Sods this week. Only the Shadow knows and we’re not speaking.

We just moved our porch furniture inside. Claire Trevor digs it. I thought she’d be unnerved by the extra clutter, but she just sniffed it and moved on. Cats are much tougher than humans.

I’ll try and check in later today. I *was* planning to write about why the 2020 presidential election is NOT 2016 but I need to remove any possible projectiles from our back yard. The good news is that Zeta is moving fast. It’s always better when an uninvited and unwelcome guest does not linger.

Believe it or not, we’re having a cold front tomorrow after Zeta zips through. 2020, man.

The last word goes to John Fogerty:

I wouldn’t advise walking in this or any other hurricane, y’all.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Wake Up, America

In addition to being a rabble-rouser who was one of the Chicago 7, Abbie Hoffman fancied himself a standup comedian. He was pretty good as didactic political comedians go.

Wake Up, America is Hoffman’s only album. Being on the lam for six years makes it hard to perform and record your act.

The artwork is by Peter Bramley. It’s heavily influenced by R Crumb. It’s okay: Crumb got his own movie and Bramley did not. So it goes.

Here’s the whole damn album via YouTube:

My favorite Abbie Hoffman moment was when Pete Townshend kicked him off the stage at Woodstock. Pete was in the right. Hoffman interrupted the Who’s set:

I could not find video of the incident. So it goes.

One. Week.

Guys? Guys? Here on out, shit’s only gonna get stupider and crazier. Hold on tight, DM me on Twitter if you need anything, and I wouldn’t call it crazy to stock up on some groceries just in case shit goes sideways.

But.

I have faith. I always do, I did in 2004 and I did in 2008 (he was a black man named Barack Hussein Obama, maybe you forgot what country we are) and I did in 2016, and the times I’ve been wrong still sting. Still, I have faith.

Better to be absolutely poleaxed by reality every couple of years than be the guy going “I knew it” because you still get screwed AND you sound like a jerk. As I say to people all the time when they shove their cynical white-boy shit in my face: Why be so happy you predicted the avalanche, you’re still buried up to your neck.

Here are my predictions.

The mail-in ballots that don’t arrive by election day won’t matter. The long lines won’t matter and the weather won’t matter and whatever Joey B. Shark says to eat his own kicks in the next seven days won’t matter and whatever dumb slogan Democrats put on signs won’t matter. The shit we fight over on Twitter matters even less. A butterfly flaps its wings in Wisconsin and there’s a hurricane in Georgia and someone spelled a sign wrong on a golf cart in one senior citizen park in Florida, and all of it might make the difference, but I don’t think any of it will.

I think we are going to lift ourselves up in a way we haven’t seen in any of our livin’ lives and I think it is going to be overwhelming and I am tempting the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing but I think, I hope, I believe, that it was over after the first debate. That when those two men stood side by side, and one shouted about his opponent’s son and the other looked into the camera and said have courage and have hope and it will be all right, that it was over then.

Donald Trump is, like many of his GOP contemporaries, a small mean man who thinks everyone else is small and mean as well. The people who love him — I ain’t talking “hold your nose and vote because he’s better than the other person,” I mean his serious fans — love the excuse he gives them to chest-puff and yell. He lied to a lot of people that he cared about the things they care about, that he’d make their lives better. Yes, they should have listened when people who knew him said he was a liar, but you want to believe what you’ve always believed, you want not to have to change your heart.

No one has that excuse anymore. If you’re voting for him now, you know what you’re willing to put up with to get what you want, and you know who you’re willing to hurt to get it. And I can’t think of a less productive use of my time than talking to you about that.

All that matters now is turning out more people, more and more and more and more, until across this country it’s not like anything we’ve ever seen. Because the last four years have been like nothing we’ve ever seen, and we can’t see any more. We have to at least start seeing beyond this. We can’t fix what we can’t even focus on with all the noise.

So hold fast. Figure out who in your lives needs taking care of. Let your friends know if you have food, money, a safe place to sleep that you can offer someone, a place by the fire. If you’re well-supplied, supply someone else.

Put your time and money where it can do the most good. Pay for bail for protesters, masks and gas for organizers driving people to the polls. Give to Democratic candidates for state legislature who control the water you drink and the roads you drive on and how and when the kids go to school. Ask who has faith in the system they’re asking you to let them run. Ask who wants to govern, who wants to work and compromise and who believes in the idea that we can help one another.

That’s all there is. That’s what I believe. You don’t lose anything by believing, you don’t lose anything by working for what you care about, you don’t lose anything by loving the broken imperfect people around you so much you’ll make a fool of yourself over and over and over for them every time they ask.

One more week. Let us know what you need.

A.

Essential Worker Or Hoosier Typhoid Mary?

If anyone doubted if Mike Pence is as horrible a human being as his boss, those doubts should be gone. Pence’s staffers are dropping like rona infected flies. Their boss should be under quarantine, but he campaigned yesterday and will preside over the Senate vote to confirm Her Illegitimacy, Amy Coney Barrett. I always thought Typhoid Mary was an Irish cook from New York instead of a pompous German Irish Hoosier.

The White House claims that Mike Liar Liar Pence On Fire is an essential worker. Say what? He’s Vice-President fer chrissakes. I can think of only four Veeps who had any power or influence whatsoever: Mondale, Gore, Cheney, and Biden. And both Gore and Cheney were sidelined in their second term. Most past Veeps agree with Cactus Jack Garner who said, “This job isn’t worth a bucket of warm piss.” The quote was cleaned up for many years with spit replacing piss. It was still an apt analogy.

In the 19th and early 20th Century, being Veep was hazardous to your health: seven died in office. Before the 25th Amendment was enacted, the office was vacant for 37 years and 290 days. And that doesn’t even include the four years J. Danforth Quayle was Veep.

Because the Current Occupant is mentally ill, recent discussion of the 25th Amendment has focused on the removal process. The primary reason the amendment was thought necessary was because Lyndon Johnson’s backup for 15 months was House Speaker John McCormack who was a 216-year-old drunk. I exaggerate slightly: McCormack was 72 when JFK was murdered but he looked three times his age.

Past Veeps would be dazed and confused by Pence being dubbed an essential worker. John C Calhoun resigned the office and Andrew Jackson barely knew he was gone. How’s that for a terrible ticket? Wilson’s Veep, Thomas Marshall, wasn’t even sure what his boss was sick with: the Spanish Influenza or a stroke. I could cite equally awful examples for hours, but I won’t.

The Trump regime’s recent pandemic related actions show why they’re losing the election and know it. Pence is running around infecting people and Mark Meadows is waving a white flag and admitting that their policy is herd immunity without uttering the words. It’s time for them to go.

The good news is that Joe Biden was treated so well by Barack Obama that Kamala Harris’ name will be added to the list of influential Veeps. That’s another reason to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket.

Harris will be a dramatic improvement over the Hoosier Typhoid Mary. When she was in contact with infected people, she left the trail for two days and they weren’t as close to her as Pence’s Chief of Staff and body man are to him. I suspect that famous fictional body men Charlie Young and Gary Walsh would prefer Harris over Pence any day. Kamala is bound to be easier to work for than Selina Meyer, after all. Then again, who isn’t?

I keep expecting Senator Harris to adopt a new slogan:

It’s a winner, I tell ya.

The last word goes to Harold Lloyd hanging on for dear life in Safety Last:

Since we have a voting season now, I decided I should modernize the tick tock. Now that I think of it, Team Trump’s slogan should be SAFETY LAST.

That is all. I promise.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “I FEEL ‘APPY!” edition

[clang]

Bring out your dead!

CUSTOMER: Here’s one.

CART MASTER: Nine pence.

DEAD PERSON: I’m not dead!

CART MASTER: What?

CUSTOMER: Nothing. Here’s your nine pence.

DEAD PERSON: I’m not dead!

CART MASTER: ‘Ere. He says he’s not dead!

CUSTOMER: Yes, he is.

DEAD PERSON: I’m not!

CART MASTER: He isn’t?

CUSTOMER: Well, he will be soon. He’s very ill.

DEAD PERSON: I’m getting better!

CUSTOMER: No, you’re not. You’ll be stone dead in a moment.

DEAD PERSON: [singing] I feel happy. I feel happy.

[whop]

*******************

OK – a bit of an explanation. Labour day weekend, I noticed a cut in my upper lip from the electric razor I use to trim my mustache was red and getting redder. Two days later, it was spreading fast enough to scare me, and prompt me to head for the local Doc-In-The-Box on Labour day. They gave me oral antibiotics and told me to come back the next day. It was getting worse rather then better, so I headed for the E.R.

After a six hour wait (the admissions room seemed to be filling up with people who were coughing for some reason), they admitted me, diagnosed cellulitis, and started me on a triple regimen of I/V antibiotics. I was there for a whole week, then discharged and told to go see my PCP. My PCP prescribed two of the heaviest-duty oral antibiotics made, which I stayed on for two weeks. VERY slow recovery. My face no longer looked like something Tom Savini slapped together during his lunch hour, but the brain fog from the antibiotics has made it impossible for me to concentrate on anything. I was trying to figure out how many more days worth of Clindomycin I have left to take, and had to ask Barbara how much 14 plus 56 are. Really.

I told Barbara “Remember when you were a young mom with two little girls in the back seat yelling, fighting, and kicking your seat back while you were trying to navigate a complex intersection you’d never driven through before? It’s like that, only a little worse.”

At the same time, Freeperville was coming apart at the seams like a “Made In GYNA” MAGA hat. I felt like Mike Joy being asked to turn around and sign autographs while a 40-car pileup was occurring on the Talladega speedway.

So – I’m back. I’ll be assembling “Obsession” posts about reactions to events of the last month, in chronological order, and there’s a buttload of them, so bear with me.

It’s not like all that much has happened in the last month anyway, has it?

Has it?

PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS HE IS GOING INTO QUARANTINE WITH FLOTUS MELANIA
breaking 911 ^

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S TWITTER FEED: POTUS AND FLOTUS TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

President Trump’s Twitter feed ^ | 10/1/20 | President Trump

Posted on 10/1/2020, 11:59:49 PM by Yossarian

To: Yossarian

Holy crap.

2 posted on 10/2/2020, 12:00:38 AM by deadrock (<img src=”WIDTH420WIDTH420.jpeg” width=”420″>)

To: Yossarian

Holy sh*t

3 posted on 10/2/2020, 12:00:44 AM by Sarah Barracuda
To: Yossarian

SH*T!

11 posted on 10/2/2020, 12:04:02 AM by nutmeg (Mega prayers for Rush Limbaugh)

Don’t worry – it’s just a hoax.
Oh – and Limbaugh’s fucked, too, while we’re at it.
To: Yossarian; All

The President took Hydroxychloroquine as a preventative. I guess so much for the effectiveness of HCQ.

8 posted on 10/2/2020, 12:02:41 AM by Kenny
To: krogers58

He was talking to hannity earlier seemed fine

17 posted on 10/2/2020, 12:04:59 AM by Sarah Barracuda

I’m sure Hannity wasn’t concerned even in the slightest.
Heh.
More goodies after the break…

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Took Four Years But The Times Got Here

The GOP is the problem: 

With his dark gospel, the president has enthralled the Republican base, rendering other party leaders too afraid to stand up to him. But to stand with Mr. Trump requires a constant betrayal of one’s own integrity and values. This goes beyond the usual policy flip-flops — what happened to fiscal hawks anyway? — and political hypocrisy, though there have been plenty of both. Witness the scramble to fill a Supreme Court seat just weeks before Election Day by many of the same Senate Republicans who denied President Barack Obama his high court pick in 2016, claiming it would be wrong to fill a vacancy eight months out from that election.

Emphasis mine, because … The thing is, LITERALLY EVERYBODY TRIED TO TELL YOU THIS, 20 YEARS AGO. That we were heading exactly here. That this party was being propped up by feral critters prowling and growling underneath the banquet tables and eventually they’d slip their chains and start mauling the buffet.

The GOP wasn’t so much “enthralled” by Trump as the money guys looked at their spreadsheets and said eh, how bad could it possibly be? They gambled that if they let this happen the damage wouldn’t be obvious.

It worked out great for them last time, after all: 

It’s not only liberals who have noticed that Bush’s most committed followers are caught up in the fact-filtering force field of a personality cult. In January, Paul Craig Roberts, assistant secretary of the treasury during the Reagan administration and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal’s far-right editorial page, published a damning column in the progressive Z Magazine about fascist tendencies in the conservative movement. “In the ranks of the new conservatives, however, I see and experience much hate. It comes to me in violently worded, ignorant and irrational emails from self-professed conservatives who literally worship George Bush,” he wrote. “Even Christians have fallen into idolatry. There appears to be a large number of Americans who are prepared to kill anyone for George Bush Like Brownshirts, the new conservatives take personally any criticism of their leader and his policies. To be a critic is to be an enemy.”

Sound familiar? Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket, do you GET IT NOW? Now that enough people are dead? Do you get what all us damn dirty hippies were trying to tell you? This was a long time coming and I take no pleasure in being able to say a hell of a lot of us saw it coming by a couple country miles. It’s why we didn’t want these people — nor anyone, really, but if you give arm one moron you arm ’em all — to have warrantless surveillance capabilities.

But that guy danced with Ellen and paints funny pictures of dogs now, so it’s all good.

Back to the performative innocence of the Times:

For all their talk about revering the Constitution, Republicans have stood by, slack-jawed, in the face of the president’s assault on checks and balances.

Um, they’ve actively assisted him, just as they assisted his GOPredecessor, who for those of you who didn’t have to live through this bullshit as adults was basically WHAT IF NIXON BUT SPIN IT OUT TO THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT OF LAWS IDEA. The grand old men of the once-glorious Republican Party actively fought for Bush and Cheney’s right to detain people without charges, without warrants, without recourse. They actively fought for RETEROACTIVE IMMUNITY for telecom companies, come on. Plus that whole “weapons of mass destruction” thing, which is still killing people to this day.

The only difference between what they did and what Trump is doing is that they bothered to make excuses for it.

Trump’s attitudes towards women and minorities are crude and crass, but his attitudes towards governing are right in line with three decades of Republicans telling us they would run government like a business, in which the CEO just yells something and everyone has to hop to. How many senators and governors of this party have promised to just magically say the right words and everyone will behave? Here in Illinois we’ve had two of these guys and they’ve both noped out of the job the minute it became clear they’d have to work with people instead of screaming at them to obey.

And GOP intransigence during the Obama years only worsened the problem, because when you shut down all legislation you leave open the only door there is, and the president’s gonna use it, come on. Nobody, I don’t care how saintly, gives up power they don’t have to give up, so don’t throw B. Barry Bamz’s executive orders in my face. He kept trying while these tea people’s constituents were burning him in effigy.

Mr. Trump’s corrosive influence on his party would fill a book. It hasin factfilled several, as well as a slew of articles, social media posts and op-eds, written by conservatives both heartbroken and incensed over what has become of their party.

But many of these disillusioned Republicans also acknowledge that their team has been descending into white grievance, revanchism and know-nothing populism for decades.

DOES IT ONLY COUNT WHEN REPUBLICANS SAY IT? Because I remember quite a few people mentioning this as far back as 2001. I remember a whole lot of Democrats and HILLARY YOUR MOM CLINTON saying this during the 2016 campaign while our national punditry worried she was too smart and capable for the job.

Here’s Michelle Goldberg again, writing in 2003: 

The conference was packed with events devoted to denouncing the perfidious left. There were panels titled “Modern Feminism: The Bilking of the Taxpayer,” “Real Stories of Real Liberal Bias on Real College Campuses,” “NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus and other Professional Victims” and “Myths, Lies & Terror: The Growing Threat Of Radical Environmentalism.” Dan Flynn, author of “Why the Left Hates America,” was on hand to sign his book. Ann Coulter, there to push her own book, was greeted with a thunderous standing ovation, after which she ripped into the “treason lobby” — the Democratic Party — whose platform “consists in breaking every one of the 10 commandments.”

But back then, we were starting a war that would be over in a couple of weeks, and everything was going great, and only pansy idiot fifth-columnists were worried about the racism and lawlessness embedded in that war’s cheerleaders. Only hysterical pussies were listening to the genocidal turns talk radio was taking and saying hey, this is going to inspire violence. Only conspiracy theorists thought our elections weren’t safe.

Maybe next time it won’t take 225,000 dead Americans for the Times to notice who’s been right about this all along.

HAHAHAHA even I’m not that naive.

A.

Happy Joe Biden Things

I know it seems like I’m desperate, right, like all I want in this job now is a MAMMAL and I’m flexible, like if we can rig up some lights for the iguana maybe that could work, but Joey B. Shark represents the forlorn recollection of a time when we had a president who didn’t treat people like shit: 

Yet, far more telling is Joe Biden’s history of support for transgender and non-binary people, something that has surprised even the occasional seasoned political reporter when I’ve briefed them. A week before the election in 2012, Biden told the mother of a transgender child that discrimination against trans people is “the civil rights issue of our time,” in that moment the most assertive public statement of support by any national leader specifically addressing trans rights.

In 2017, he endorsed Danica Roem, the first openly trans person to be elected to a state legislature in U.S. history. Del. Roem — who has won rave reviews for her laser-like focus on constituent concerns like transportation — received a phone call from Biden the night she won and made history, captured in a photo that went viral. Two years prior, Roem had met Biden after the death of his son Beau Biden, and she wrote movingly of his empathy in that moment.

Sarah McBride, the first openly-trans person to speak at a national convention and currently in a bid to become the first openly-trans state senator in the United States, has spoken numerous times of the Biden family’s insistent public support for trans rights, specifically the vice president, who wrote the foreword to her memoir released in 2018.

It would be so nice to have someone in office who doesn’t kick kindergarteners. It really would.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Fortunate Son

Target by Jasper Johns.

John Fogerty wrote this week’s theme song in 1969 for Creedence’s Willy and the Poor Boys album. It’s an unusual protest song in that its protagonist is a soldier lashing out at the rich kids for whom he’s fighting.  Fogerty recently enjoined the Trump campaign from playing it at their rallies. They don’t get the irony: Donald Trump is precisely the sort of Fortunate Son that’s lambasted in the song.

We have three versions of Fortunate Son for your listening pleasure: the CCR original, John Fogerty live, and Fogerty live with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

I have “It aint me. It ain’t me” stuck in my head. Let’s dislodge it with this Dylan cover by Bryan Ferry:

Now that we’ve been mellowed out by Ferry’s silken tones, lets languidly jump to the break if such a thing is possible.

Continue reading

Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry

 

Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry is so torchy that it’s opening stanza uses the T word:

The torch I carry is handsome
It’s worth its heartache in ransom
And when that twilight steals
I know how the lady in the harbor feels

It was written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn  in 1944 for the musical Glad To See You, which bombed in Boston and never made it to Broadway. The songwriters were later heavily associated with Frank Sinatra as is this song.

We begin with Sinatra with a version from the “sad clown” album, Only The Lonely.

Sarah Vaughan’s version is dominated by Ernie Freeman on the electronic organ. As always Sassy’s interpretation is, well, sassy.

I’ve neglected Carmen McRae in this feature thus far. That ends today.

Frank’s favorite sidekick also hung his tears out to dry with this sax-heavy version:

Finally, what would the Friday Cocktail hour be without a jazz instrumental interpretation of this week’s song. This one features the torchy trumpet stylings of Wynton Marsalis:

That’s it for this week. Dry your tears and pour yourself a drink. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want you to do. Never argue with them.

Guest Post: Ryne Hancock On Elections Past & Present

Guest blogger Ryne Hancock tells us how he spent Election Night in 2016. It was in a club in New Orleans with a bunch of comedians. The evening was anything but funny.

-Adrastos

Don’t Let “They” & Complacency Win by Ryne Hancock

Long before Chris Trew’s creepy behavior sank him and his comedy club on St. Claude, a group of local comedians, including myself, gathered to watch the results of the 2016 election.

Adding to the intrigue was the fact that we were celebrating Kaitlin Marone’s appearance on the ballot for United States Senate, something that was commemorated with a sign from Jessica Hong that read “We Didn’t Do It!!!!”

From the onset, I figured that the sign was about Marone’s campaign (as I recall she got over 4,000 votes) and not the presidential election. Like most of everyone and their dog, I figured Clinton would eke out a narrow victory in the electoral college with maybe 280 or so votes and we wouldn’t have to be annoyed by that orange turd.

Then shit happened.

What was supposed to be a celebration became a tragic day for democracy. Instead of electing the most qualified person ever to the highest office in the land, this country decided to elect a dribbling idiot.

You can sift through all the reasons why the orange idiot won, most notably the bullshit about both candidates being the same or the fact that the most qualified candidate ever didn’t represent true white womanhood, but the facts remain bare for all to see.

We as a country got too comfortable with the fact that the 2016 election was in the bag.

This time around, we can’t get tired.

We can’t get complacent.

It’s just like what I told a friend of mine that owns a business on Magazine Street.

“They want you to be tired. They want you to give up. Don’t fucking get tired. It’s weary now but morning will come. It eventually comes.”

That’s my message to you guys that haven’t voted yet.

Don’t let “they” win.

Because that’s what “they” want.

Stay in line, mail your ballots, run the fucking score up to fight for the soul of this country.

Because in the end, the morning comes.

And my lord, what a morning it will be.

Malaka Of The Week: Rudy Giuliani

Image by Michael F.

This is the artist formerly known as Mayor Combover’s second turn as malaka of the week. It’s quite an accomplishment for the Man Who Got Trump Impeached. It was made possible by Sacha Baron Cohen and his deranged alter ego Borat. He pranked the hell out of Rudy Giuliani in his latest moviefilm. And that is why Rudy Giuliani is malaka of the week.

I usually avoid literal malakatude, but it’s been a big deal this week. First, there was Jeffrey Toobin and the Zoom Dick Incident. I’m not defending him, but I like his books so I’m giving him a pass. Rudy Giuliani neither gets nor deserves a pass. On anything. Ever.

I waited to write this until Borat Subsequent Moviefilm went live on Amazon Prime. It was weird watching it in the morning, but life is weird nowadays. 2020, man.

In Borat’s return, an actress playing his daughter maneuvers Rudy into a room. The president’s* lawyer puts his hands down his pants. Then Borat bursts into the room and offers to give Rudy his “15-year-old” daughter. I put the age in quotes because the actress playing Borat’s offspring is not jailbait.

Borat tweeted a statement of support for the Man Who Got Trump Impeached:

Sacha Baron Cohen has been pranking prominent people since his Ali G days some twenty years ago. Anyone who falls for his shtick deserves whatever happens to them. In this instance, Rudy gives an entirely new meaning to the term abandoned laptop. And that is why Rudy Giuliani is malaka of the week.