In Which I Argue with Idiots about Their Own Damn Jobs

This week, the Huffington Post decided Donald Trump wasn’t a real thing anymore: After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won’t report on Trump’s campaign as part of The Huffington Post’s political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette. And immediately the brightest lights in the political … Continue reading In Which I Argue with Idiots about Their Own Damn Jobs

Sunday Morning Video: The Lost World Of Communism

I watched part of a really bad documentary about the late Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausecu on Netflix the other day. It was all raw video with no point of view whatsoever. It led me, however, to discover this three part BBC Two series. The only cavil I have with it is that there aren’t episodes dealing with Poland and Hungary. Otherwise it’s superb. I’ve put the episode title above the video, which only lists the country name. A Socialist Paradise The Kingdom Of Forgetting Socialism In One Family Continue reading Sunday Morning Video: The Lost World Of Communism

Saturday Odds & Sods: Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)

Sideshow banner by Fred G. Johnson.
Sideshow banner by Fred G. Johnson.

Summertime, when the living is sweaty. The NOLA heatwave continues and I’m not hearing much from those folks who claim they can live here without air-conditioning like in the good old days. The local good old days contingent is busy freaking out about the debate over Confederate monuments. They’re acting as if the plan is to replace Lee with Spoons Butler. I’m inclined to think that their brains are baked from overexposure to the blazing sun. In any event, the Lee statue’s life expectancy is even shorter than that of a pre-AC New Orleanian, which was 10 years below the national average. The heat goes on and so do I.

This week’s theme song comes from the fertile (febrile?) minds of David Byrne and Talking Heads at their peak. The refrain “take a look at these hands” embedded itself in my consciousness from the instant I first heard Remain In Light. The heat goes on and so do I is the refrain for this week’s post. I’m feeling a bit surrealistic so I should just say hello Dali and get on with the theme song already:

Guess I was born under punches myself or am I just punchy? We’ll try and figure that out after the break. Now where did I put my Surrealistic Pillow?

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)”

Friday Guest-Animal Blogging

I’m doing some work for my local humane society, and one of the perks is sharing my office with this little fella: His name is Rocky, and that is Bullwinkle, the stuffed moose not much larger than him that he cuddles when not beating its ass. A. ps. Sorry I’ve been even more absent than usual of late. This is the busiest month of the year for me at work and I fall into bed at night so tired I don’t even remember to crawl under the sheets. I’ll be back in full force soon, promise. (None of you even … Continue reading Friday Guest-Animal Blogging

An open letter to Scott Walker

Dear Governor Walker, Congratulations on finally declaring your candidacy for president, which was perhaps the world’s worst kept secret. It’s been pretty clear that, unless you had plans to complete a hostile takeover of Des Moines, you were spending a lot of time in Iowa to start the process of becoming “The Most Powerful Man In The World.” It’s also pretty clear that this is the start of your breakup with the state of Wisconsin. As Dan Bice’s recent story noted, you’re probably on your path to Palin-dom as a political outsider/defender of the faith for Fox News or the … Continue reading An open letter to Scott Walker

Knee Jerk Nuke Jerks

The Republican freak out over the Obama-Kerry-Moniz nuclear agreement with Iran is in full fury. They don’t know what they’re for but they’re against anything proposed by this administration.  It’s called a knee jerk reaction hence the post title. The knee jerk nuke jerks have a beef with the proposal. They are convinced that doing what we’ve been doing for years will suddenly work as if by magic. It’s very much like their reaction to recent changes in Cuba policy. Give the sanctions a chance to work say Marco Rubio, man of the future, and his ilk. And they call … Continue reading Knee Jerk Nuke Jerks

Tinfoil Hat Time

From Album 5 Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I hear the term Jade Helm, I think of old Jesse. Sure, he has an “s” at the end of his name, but close enough, and besides, I doubt consistent spelling is much of a priority among his kind of people…who happen to occupy not only large swaths of territory where the Jade Helm exercise is planned, but also plenty of political offices in the Gret Stet of Texas, where the only thing they hate worse than libruls is…the military? To be fair, I’d probably not much like having to detour around … Continue reading Tinfoil Hat Time

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Night Walker

Because of all the inane chatter about the Jade Helm military exercises, I did a search for Matt Helm covers. It was a popular spy thriller series by Donald Hamilton that became a hit movie series starring-of all people-Dean Martin. That’s right, ring-a-ding-ding-ding Dino as a spook. The Matt Helm covers were nothing special but these Night Walker covers caught my eye: Continue reading Pulp Fiction Thursday: Night Walker

Malaka Of The Week: David Frum

Former Bush speechwriter turned neo-conservative, chickenhawk, wingnut columnist David Frum is overqualified for this humble weekly honor. He’s a very strong candidate for the malakatude hall of fame, which should have an entire wing devoted to the Bush/Cheney gang. David Frum routinely writes, says, and tweets stupid and untrue things so there’s a wealth of material to choose from. His recent gratuitous and mendacious comments about Serena Williams take the cake and that is why David Frum is malaka of the week. It started on the Tweeter Tube.  The tweets were deleted but Frummy remained unapologetic in the Beavis-Duce administration … Continue reading Malaka Of The Week: David Frum

Headline Of The Day: Space Edition

I just spent way too much time trying to embed the image the WaPo has on this blog post by Rachel Feltman but it was not to be. It’s still a great headline and I’m pretty sure that it’s intentionally humorous. Ms. Feltman is a funny science chick. Uranus might be full of surprises Guess I should have said that it was tongue in cheek. I finally figured it out via the strange magic of the Tweeter Tube. My life is  complete. I’ll just bugger off now. Continue reading Headline Of The Day: Space Edition

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Charlie Parker With Strings

We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave this week, which has me feeling like a lazy lima bean. So, I decided to use a Telegraph article about Verve Record LP covers as the basis for this week’s  post. Verve was, of course, the legendary Jazz label founded by Norman Granz. He brought Jazz into the mainstream of American music. He even tried mainstreaming the Bird with mixed results.

Here’s how the Telegraph article described Charlie Parker with Strings:

Charlie Parker with Strings was a 1950 Verve Records album with artwork by David Stone Martin (1913–1992). Martin, who drew using a crowquill pen, illustrated more than 400 albums and his work is represented in the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian Institution. On this album Parker worked with a Small classical string section (as well as a jazz rhythm section) and recorded songs by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart and George and Ira Gershwin. The album was admitted to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1988.

Here’s the cover:


More Birding after the break.

Continue reading “Album Cover Art Wednesday: Charlie Parker With Strings”

Gospel of Athenae 1:1-15: Fuck This Guy

Behold, a massive jerkoff sits at the controls of the North Mississippi Daily Journal: I don’t write a column often, but as publisher and CEO of the Journal there are times when I feel a responsibility to share my thoughts on a subject and ensure our company is not misunderstood based on our job to report the news and share both sides of a story. I’ll also preface the following thoughts by saying if you don’t believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and the source of authority that trumps all others, you’re not likely to agree with … Continue reading Gospel of Athenae 1:1-15: Fuck This Guy

It Begins to Look Needy: Trump and the Self-Perpetuating Narrative

He’s newsworthy because he’s newsworthy because he’s newsworthy:  But few things are more self-perpetuating than coverage. Acknowledging the excess, Bruni began his Wednesday column by allowing that “I keep reading that Donald Trump is wrecking the Republican Party.” He keeps reading it because every writer in America with an ounce of self-importance thinks it’s up to him or her to personally deliver this news. Bruni’s advice to the GOP is to exploit the obsession. “If they had any guts, they could use him,” said Bruni of Trump’s Republican rivals. “They could piggyback on the outsize attention that he receives, answering … Continue reading It Begins to Look Needy: Trump and the Self-Perpetuating Narrative

To Kill A Legend

Many writers have only one great book in them-Joseph Heller and Catch-22 immediately comes to mind-but only a few have the self-awareness to publish just that one great book. Harper Lee was one of that number until the “re-discovery” of Go Set A Watchman, which is being published tomorrow. I am neither a fanatical Lee devotee nor one of those people who say that To Kill A Mockingbird perpetuates the white savior complex. I like the book, but haven’t re-read it in many years. I’ve seen the film multiple times and believe that much of the cult of Atticus Finch comes from Gregory Peck’s brilliant  performance in … Continue reading To Kill A Legend

Bloomin’ Good News

Cartoonist, political satirist, and curator of Binkley’s closet of horrors, Berkeley Breathed, has announced Bloom County’s return to the funny papers. I have a funny feeling that the billionaire blowhard’s candidacy might have something to do with it. Trump looks as if he’s wearing one of Bill the Cat’s hairballs on his head, after all. This post is an excuse to post one of my favorite Bloom County strips. It requires a set-up. For many years, quite by accident, I lived near the domiciles of religious cults. In San Francisco, I lived on Bush Street a few doors down from … Continue reading Bloomin’ Good News

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – bitchin’ pieces edition

Good morning gentle people – well, let’s get this over with…

Donald Trump is in First Place in GOP Primary Poll
Vox News ^

Posted on 7/9/2015, 8:09:00 PM by Din Maker

Donald Trump has been inching upward in the polls lately, and now we finally have one from The Economist and YouGov showing him in a clear first place.


“Trump supporters may be making more of a statement than voting for someone they consider a contender,” Kathy Frankovic writes at YouGov. “Just one in five of Trump’s supporters think Trump will win the nomination.” Other tidbits Frankovic points out are that Trump’s supporters tend to back the Tea Party and to identify as “very conservative,” and are less likely to be college-educated.

The new poll is probably a bit dispiriting for Jeb Bush, though. He had gotten a small bump to first place in three national polls conducted after his June announcement, and his team clearly hoped this would finally let him break away from the rest of the large field. Now, though, he’s down at 11 points, tied for second with Rand Paul. This new poll could be an outlier, or it could be the first sign that Jeb’s announcement bounce has worn off. (Bush’s fantastic fundraising news should help with any disappointment he feels, though)

But Trump’s 15 percent is not a particularly impressive performance in a crowded field — Bush, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, and Mike Huckabee have all hit or passed that number in at least one poll. Also, Trump hasn’t yet led any polls in Iowa or New Hampshire, which are generally more important than national polls. Still, it’s national polls that are being used to determine which candidates qualify for the first GOP debate, and Trump clearly makes that cut at this point.

But the big question about whether Trump will show up on stage in Cleveland on August 6 isn’t about his polling — it’s about whether he’ll actually turn in the required financial disclosures to the FEC. As Slate’s Josh Voorhees writes, many are skeptical that Trump would publicly disclose so many details of his “business empire.” It’s up to Trump to prove them wrong.


For all you FReepers who say if a RINO is nominated you will stay home or vote Third Party, here’s your Third Party guy.
1 posted on 7/9/2015, 8:09:00 PM by Din Maker
To: Din Maker

Tired of Political Correctness and the Cultural Marxists, so for now I’m going with Trump, no apologies.

3 posted on 7/9/2015, 8:12:01 PM by junta (“Peace is a racket”, testimony from crime boss Barrack Hussein Obama.)

To: Din Maker

Other tidbits Frankovic points out are that Trump’s supporters tend to back the Tea Party and to identify as “very conservative,” and are less likely to be college-educated.

I think we were just disrespected

12 posted on 7/9/2015, 8:16:58 PM by Chauncey Uppercrust (BLUE LIVES MATTER)

Of course, there’s always gotta be a killjoy :
To: Rome2000

Any third party that isn’t Communist pretty much guarantees a Dem win.
As Trump himself said the other day, without Ross Perot, nobody today would remember who the Clintons are.

45 posted on 7/9/2015, 8:42:51 PM by nascarnation (Impeach, convict, deport)

Amid all the usual Trumpaholic hoo-haw, one Freeper feels a chilly wind:
To: Godebert

Yes, we’re pretty much screwed.

or in abbreviated terms


But do you really want to see 8 years of Hillary and Huma on tv every day?

54 posted on 7/9/2015, 8:54:28 PM by nascarnation (Impeach, convict, deport)

More assorted stuff after the comb-over…

Continue reading “Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – bitchin’ pieces edition”

‘A Matter of Perspective’

It’s as if nothing created poverty, and no one benefitted from it:  But the troubles in the Deep South go well beyond race to include frayed state finances, which have eroded the safety net for the poor, as well as public school underfunding, which leaves those who can afford it scrambling to private schools. And it extends to a growing technological divide that has left significant rural areas without access to the digital world; a rise in single-parenthood, which is a major indicator for generation-to-generation poverty; and the decline of rural job opportunities in states that have long relied on … Continue reading ‘A Matter of Perspective’

Scott Walker’s Lex Luthor Party

One thing we have to do immediately is prosecute whistleblowers:  The state budget passed this week by the Legislature repeals a law that encourages whistle-blowers with evidence of Medicaid fraud to come forward. Wisconsin has recovered millions of dollars from lawsuits initiated by whistle-blowers since the law was enacted in 2007. The repeal of the law — no more than a few words and a reference to a section in the state statute — was included in an omnibus motion on Medicaid by the Joint Finance Committee and drew little attention. There were no hearings or even public discussion by … Continue reading Scott Walker’s Lex Luthor Party

NPR, You Are Supposed to be Better Than This

Come the fuck on: So @johnmcquaid pointed me to the flip, dismissive attitude in this section name at NPR’s site: ‘it’s all politics.’ — Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) July 10, 2015 I suppose calling it “honestly, we have no earthly idea why we even bother, we could be making so much more money at Dad’s law firm” would have been too on the nose. A. Continue reading NPR, You Are Supposed to be Better Than This

Sunday Morning Video: Amy Winehouse Live In London

Amy Winehouse had a big voice, big hair, big eyes, and big teeth. She was a big talent but what her career lacked was longevity. The new documentary Amy does an excellent job of explaining why. It also conveys what it’s like to have your every move reported on and to have the paparazzo stalking you. I give it an Adrastos Grade of B+, 3 1/2 stars and an Ebertian thumbs up. One person who would not agree is Amy’s father; I’m not sure if he’s a piece of work, a piece of shit or both. On to the Sunday Morning … Continue reading Sunday Morning Video: Amy Winehouse Live In London

Saturday Odd & Sods: Let’s See Action

the-who odds--sods

It’s been a turbulent week. The South Carolina lege passed the “take the damn flag down bill” thereby proving me wrong. I thought it wouldn’t happen but I don’t mind being wrong on this one. In New Orleans, Mayor Landrieu threw deep on Confederate symbols asking for even more sweeping changes than I’ve advocated in this space. I hope the Council takes its time on some of these proposals so we get it right.

It looks as if Greece, the EU, and its creditors have reached a tentative deal that isn’t much better than the one rejected by the voters last Sunday. In this instance, I’m not glad to be right. I thought the Syriza government was staging a drama and would cave and that’s what appears to have occurred. Expect more turbulence in the streets of Athens: the Greek Left knows how to throw a demonstration. If I were a cabbie, I wouldn’t go anywhere near Syntagma Square if you catch my drift.

This week’s theme song takes this feature back to its Whovian roots. No, not this Dr. Who:

Peter Capaldi as Dr. Who

I’m talking about THE WHO. And, yeah, I know it’s not on Odds & Sods but Let’s See Action fits the moment, especially since it was first recorded by Pete Townshend as Nothing Is Everything (Let’s See Action.) We begin with Pete’s version from his homespun and charming first solo album, Who Came First, followed by the Who playing it live, which is always action packed:

After the break, I will prove that nothing *is* everything.

Continue reading “Saturday Odd & Sods: Let’s See Action”

Friday Guest Catblogging: Ladder Day Spirit

I live to make puns on the Mormon church’s official name. It’s not much of a life but it’s mine, all mine. This week’s guest feline is a 10 1/2 week old kitten named Spirit. Her human, my friend Jo, is painting their 9th Ward crib. Spirit decided she wanted to help. Things are definitely looking up: Spirit is all like, I’m an artist, not a house painter, man. I wonder if she has the same earworm that I have? Continue reading Friday Guest Catblogging: Ladder Day Spirit

Ken Stabler, R.I.P.

The heroes of my youth are dropping like flies, first Chris Squire, and now Ken Stabler who died today at the age of 69. The Oakland Raiders in the 1970’s were rebels, badasses, and the darlings of the Bay Area counterculture. Snake Stabler was their leader and, quite simply. the greatest QB of his time. You can keep doofus Terry Bradshaw or goody two-shoes Roger Staubach, Stabler was the man; what a character. No lead was ever safe for Raiders opponents. Stabler was a genius at the two-minute drill and would do whatever it took to win: from Hail Mary passes … Continue reading Ken Stabler, R.I.P.

Malakas Of The Week: Moralistic Scolds

We’ve all encountered moralistic scolds. We see them at grocery stores talking down to checkers while making sure that people with food stamps aren’t buying lobster or caviar.  We see them being high maintenance at restaurants then stiffing the servers. They’re all over social media, telling people how to live; many of them specialize in being buzz kills who take all the pleasure out of life. You may be related to some by marriage and/or blood. The proverbial crazy uncle who watches Fox News all day is invariably a moralistic scold. They are ubiquitous and some of them are in the news this week.  That is why moralistic scolds are malakas of the week.

Many moralistic malakas aren’t in a position to damage others lives. They may want to tell us what to do but they can’t make us. Neener, neener, neener. The sanctimonious scolds who lecture about the evils of air-conditioning epitomize this genre of self-righteous malakatude. I’ll let Slate’s Daniel Engberger upraid them for us:

Anti-AC sentiment persists in spite of basic facts, and without convincing evidence. It relies instead on naked ideology and posture. To rail against the air conditioner is a way for cosmopolitans to claim their bona fides, and to place themselves in opposition to irresponsible, American excess. When they proudly say they’d rather use electric fans, they show their neighbors that they’re tasteful intellectuals—right-minded and upstanding. That is to say, they’re members of the brrr-geoisie.

They’re also victims of a blinding bias. The brrr-geoisie are thermal bigots: They put a moral value on the thermostat that doesn’t correspond to common sense. Heating, good; cooling, bad—that’s their moral calculus. Why discriminate among degrees? They have no cogent answer. It may be true that America is overcooled, but then again it’s also overheated. No one writes op-eds to make the latter point.

Brrr-geoise? I like that. This is a classic case of telling people how to live based on a faulty premise, junk science, and ideological posturing. I dare these moralistic malakas to live without AC during a New Orleans summer. Dr. A and I lived without air dish for 5 days after Hurricane Isaac blew though New Orleans in 2012. It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was downright stinky. You’ll have to pry my damp, sweaty hands off my thermostat before I give up my AC. Btw, I *never* put the thermostat lower than 75 degrees anyway. I’m not trying to refrigerate meat in my living room, after all.

There are two infinitely more important examples of moralistic malakatude in the news right now. We’ll get to those after the break.

Continue reading “Malakas Of The Week: Moralistic Scolds”

Reince Priebus Feeds a Troll

From Album 5 If you haven’t yet seen it, and can devote a the half hour or so, you really should grit your teeth and try to stomach this jaw dropping trainwreck of an interview with The Donald. Whether it was the reason for the panic, or just one more contribution, it got Reince on the phone, if not on his knees, to beg Trump to tone it down…which, one can hope, will have the same effect as tossing chum to a shark. So…seriously, watch it if you can, if only for the historical/anthropological context. Trump is the triple distilled … Continue reading Reince Priebus Feeds a Troll

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Rockin’ The Pulps

I’m slowly recovering from the Dead not playing a single Chuck Berry tune during the Fare Thee Well run, so I decided to rock the pulps.  Our first cover dates from 1957. It’s rare to find a scan of both the front and back of one of these books. This one is tagline heaven:

Rock-n-Roll Gal

I found another obscure book by the great Harlan Ellison. It was published before he found his niche in sci-fi.


More rock-n-roll pulpiness after the break.

Continue reading “Pulp Fiction Thursday: Rockin’ The Pulps”

Fare Thee Well

Poster for the final Bay Area shows.

Dr. A indulged me the last two weekends by not complaining about my watching the live stream for *all* of the Fare Thee Well shows from Santa Clara and Chicago. In short, I am Grateful that I’m not Dead. Sorry about that pun, but the ACAW post got me in a Diltz pickle this morning that I did not relish. I really need to stop pandering to the pun community…

I also had a little help from my friends in accessing the stream, which was wobbly at times but crystal clear at its best. The band, of course, started every show at least 30 minutes late and took breaks of around an hour each night despite Bob Weir’s insistence that they’d be back in a bit.  An hour is not a bit, not even a bit-o-honey. But that’s how the Grateful Dead have always rolled: to the beat of their own drum solo. I have a Pavlovian response to the Hart-Kreutzmann drum solo: I take a pee break, which, thanks to auto-correct, led to my tweeting about a pea break during the last show. That, in turn, led to considerable hilarity at my expense. But if you dish it out, you gotta be able to take it. Beats the hell out of mock terrapin station soup

I promise to mind my peas and cues after the break.

Continue reading “Fare Thee Well”