Monthly Archives: October 2015

Saturday Odds & Sods: Shine On You Crazy Diamond

By Syd Barrett

Artwork by Syd Barrett.

It’s October in New Orleans, which means there’s suddenly way too much to do now that summer’s gone. Many of us hunker down all summer long. Who wants to be outside and drown in your own sweat in August? Not me. I’m a hunkering motherfucker. In October, there’s suddenly more stuff to do than you can shake a stick at. Why anyone would do such a thing is beyond me. I’ll stick to shtick…

It’s election day. Some of y’all may think having an election on Saturday is weird. We do it French style here in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. It used to lead to high turn out for our statewide elections. That’s no longer the case. It looks as if turnout will be 45-50%. It’s been an ugly, nasty, and dispiriting campaign, especially the Goober race. I’m going to vote for the Conservadem John Bel Edwards on one issue: medicaid expansion. He’s the only candidate who’s unambiguously in favor of it. I’m also hoping that he’ll end the attacks on higher education and Planned Parenthood initiated by the current Governor. JBE’s best chance to win is to face David Vitter in the run-off. Not an elevating choice by any means as you have seen this week. The mere thought of Bitter Vitter makes feel like I need delousing. He is, after all, delouse of louses…

[Note: I wrote this post before the Gret Stet Goober race got even crazier.Hookers and spying,only Louisiana has elections like this. Also, my phone and social media blew up Friday night, which means that I didn’t polish the Saturday post as much as usual. I was too busy gossiping and trolling the Vestigial-Picayune on Twitter. ]

This week’s theme song was written by David Gilmour, Roger Waters, and Rick Wright for Pink Floyd’s great Wish You Were Here album. It is, famously,a  tribute to original member Syd Barrett who had more than his share of mental health problems. Syd’s story provided a lot of material for the Floyd over the years. He was also a talented artist as you can see from the picture above. Btw, as an artist he used his given name, Roger. That’s right, the bombastic and pompous Roger Waters was intially the Other Roger in Pink Floyd. Without further ado, here’s the album version featuring the guitar and vocal stylings of Syd’s replacement, David Gilmour:

Pink Floyd had a notoriously acrimonious breakup. There was a legal dustup over the band’s name and Gilmour, Wright, and drummer Nick Mason ended up with the rights. Roger Waters was not amused. He claimed to have a picture of David Gilmour inside his terlet that he peed and shat upon.

Onslow 2

Waters obviously did not take part when the band regrouped in 1987. The only time Waters played live with his former bandmates onstage after their last show in 1981 was in 2005 at the Live 8 benefit concert in London. Here’s that performance:

It’s time to end the Floydcentric part of the post and get on with business, which in my case involves funny or monkey business but you’ll have to wait until after the break to learn which.

Continue reading

The Vitter Files: It’s Getting Weirder By The Minute

Just when I thought the Gret Stet goober race couldn’t get any stranger it has. A gumshoe employed by the Vitter campaign was caught spying on Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand a prominent Republican who is NOT supporting Vitter. Normand is pointing the finger of blame at Team Vitter. It’s like something out of an Elmore Leonard novel complete with comic ineptitude. It’s looking as if the pursuit of Vitter’s diaper may be yielding something new and extra stinky.

I’ll give y’all some links so my non-Louisiana readers can keep up with the craziness:

The Advocate: Man arrested after trying to record Jefferson Sheriff Newell Normand and his breakfast club; sheriff suspects David Vitter behind it.

Breakfast Cub? Now it sounds like a John Hughes movie with a pulpy twist. I wonder if Molly Ringwald is involved? The inept shamus also seems to be digging up dirt on Jason Berry of American Zombie. It’s looking a bit like the Watergate break-in only without Cuban veterans of the Bay of Pigs fiasco and their incompetent CIA handlers. Hmm, I wonder if Liddy is involved?

CenLamar: Lamar White has been on the story all day and posted an hour before the Advocate ran the story. The Vestigial Picayune has been silent thus far. They’re supporting Vitter. Fuck them, they’re less than useless.

There are rumors flying around about *why* Normand was the target of Vitter’s not-so private eye. One is being floated by Derek Myers the reporter who claimed that the Vitter campaign got him fired from his job at a Baton Rouge teevee station:

A little background. Normand’s predecessor and mentor Harry Lee, the Chinese Cowboy Sheriff, and Vitter were bitter enemies. Actually, enemy is not a strong enough word: Harry HATED Bitter Vitter and the feeling was mutual. It looks as if Vitter’s love child may exist and that Normand has the goods on Diaper Dave. This is the craziest damn story I’ve ever heard. This makes the Duke-Edwards-Roemer race from hell in 1991 look normal

I’ll let Lamar have the last word about Vitter’s inept investigator:

 

I’m sorry the facts don’t fit your narrative: Guns edition

As HRC continues her walk of shame through the Republican gauntlet of stupid, I found two moments completely perfect in capturing how some people just don’t get it.

The first, and the funniest, was the exchange she had with Alabama’s Martha Roby (R-Darwin’s Waiting Room) in which Roby asked Clinton if she was home alone the night of the Benghazi attack. When Clinton responded that she was, Roby’s reply was golden:

“The whole night?”

This, of course, had Clinton laughing and Roby not getting it, which is to say she’s either a bible-thumping Alabama housewife who couldn’t conceive of how this sounded like a sex joke or just an idiot. If Clinton weren’t running for president at this point, I’m imagining her response would have been something like, “Other than the five times Jesuelle the Hot Puerto Rican Pool Boy came over for some hot fuck action, yes.”

The second and perhaps more telling moment was during her exchange with Ohio’s Jim Jordan (R-Thank God LeBron Came Back) regarding the root cause of the attacks. Jordan kept pressing forward with his view on why Clinton did something she clearly didn’t. Clinton kept correcting him until she essentially said that she was sorry that reality “doesn’t fit your narrative.”

Narratives are fun when they work for you, but in most cases, these are ascribed to fairy tales and simple stereotyping behaviors. They’re not meant for serious discussions on complex topics.

We’ve got a similar “doesn’t fit your narrative” situation boiling here in the Land of Cheese, in which an attempt is underway to allow concealed carry within university buildings. Two state legislators who are from parts of the state that lack heavy university ties, and whose district names look like attempts to cheat at Scrabble, are hot on the case, arguing that only a “good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.” Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) and Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) noted that the bill wasn’t in response to the shooting at an Oregon community college but rather something that has been in the works due to the rising violence near UW-Milwaukee.

Aside from the standard gun narrative, a second narrative here clearly emerges: Milwaukee, that urban hell hole full of “thugs,” “punks” and “ballers,” is unsafe for all those good, clean-cut college kids who feel their under siege and thus to level the field against all this violence, we need to let them carry at all times.

Of course, what we find out from the people who actually work and live near UWM tells a completely different story:

Concerned that a Republican lawmaker cited an uptick in violent crimes in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee neighborhood while proposing students and faculty be allowed to carry concealed firearms at campuses across the state, UWM officials have produced crime statistics they say contradict the lawmaker’s statement.

Milwaukee Police Department records show robberies dropped by more than 30% between Jan. 1, 2014, and Oct. 15, 2015, in the two neighborhoods that surround the UWM campus. Aggravated assaults were unchanged in one neighborhood, and were down 13% in the other neighborhood, according to the statistics.

In other words, the facts don’t fit the narrative. After meeting with UWM officials who told them as much, Kremer and LeMahieu decided to kill the bill, saying that the facts don’t support them and they understand better now the needs of students on campus decided to blame the media:

“We used UWM as an example because there were some issues there,” Kremer said Wednesday. “Singling out UWM didn’t come from me. It came from the media. I also discussed the fact our law enforcement on campuses do an outstanding job and our campuses are extremely safe.”

Right. The campuses are totally safe thanks to law enforcement, who by the way don’t WANT additional weapons on campus, and yet just in case we encounter a whack job who is bent on destruction, even though that’s not why we proposed this bill, we need other armed people around just in case, because, y’know… um… freedom! Fuck yeah!

I’ve made my position on guns very clear over the years, citing data and research and these things called facts. I understand that guns have their place and that hunters and collectors have the same right to their interests as I do to mine.

I also understand that the bill these two gentlemen are proposing has about as much to do with safety and security as World War II had to do with Hitler’s rejection from art school. This bill is like every other bill that is meant to prove to a certain type of voter that these politicians can be “tough” on whatever the issue is that will get that beaver-brained constituent to pull the lever for them.

It’s unlikely that the people who WANT to see guns in campus buildings have spent a lot of time in one. Even people who say they love guns, like the head of the University of Texas System, don’t want to see these things in the classroom for exactly the reasons normal people would expect: Accidents, fear of anger escalation etc.

However, to these legislators, it’s about the narrative: Guns save lives and we understand you people who want to save lives via guns and freedom. It’s a narrative that speaks to the basest of their base in the way that a law defining life-starting conception being the moment the man unhooks the woman’s bra speaks to that group.

It’s a game of “If you think THAT was totally right-wing, patriot-American, check out THIS thing I’m doing.”

However, look at this from a different perspective that also fits a narrative they love: Do you want those lazy, mentally incompetent, dipshit professors you keep battering with bill after bill carrying weapons in the classrooms where you send your children? I mean, if you all can pass the background checks and concealed-carry classes, so can we. Concealed carry is for ANYONE who goes into the building so imagine how much fun it would be for Governor Deadeyes’ kids to sit in a poli sci classroom, hearing about how badly their dad fucked up this entire state, wondering all the time if they stood up and said something, if they’d be facing a Sig Sauer.

Instead of arming your 21-year-old constituents, think about having someone at the front of the class who is armed, pissed off at your ilk and clearly unstable, someone who doesn’t like their “worldview” to be altered or their “authority” to be challenged.

And when Little Johnny reaches into his backpack in a quick and potentially threatening way to grab his phone, this professor, who is now told to believe that everyone might have a gun, has no choice but to empty his Glock into the kid. Of course, his aim might not be perfect, as these concealed-carry courses require no amounts of rigorous range time or shooting proficiency. Thus, Little Jimmy and Little Jannie and Little Suzy will also likely take some lead.

Hey, maybe you’re lucky! Someone else is carrying as well and takes out the professor before he kills any more people or can reload. Maybe that kid doesn’t accidentally shoot someone else either in the melee that is sure to follow, as students are all fleeing from a pit class with the calm and order of a group of feral wolverines on meth.

And at that point, anyone who isn’t dead or wounded gets to go home early from Peace Studies 104.

Friday Catblogging: Shoebox Kitty

Another day, another picture of Della Street in a box:

Della Shoebox

Murky & Sordid: Vitter Story Update

My name is Adrastos and I’m your lying hooker/politician correspondent. There have been several developments in the Vitter story in the last two days, but it remains as clear as the mud that’s polluting the Gret Stet Goober race.

Jason Berry interviewed two woman for American Zombie. He calls one of them “Vana” and she kinda sorta supports Wendy Ellis/Williams/Cortez’s story. The reason I say kinda sorta is that it’s pure hearsay: “Wendy told me Vitter kept her, knocked her up, and told her to get an abortion.” She doesn’t appear to have ever seen Ellis/Williams/Cortez pregnant with Vitter’s spawn.

The other AZ interview is with Jeanette Maier aka the Canal Street Madam. This interview is of limited usefulness because she says she “knew of Wendy,” but didn’t know her. Instant Update: Berry just posted another interview with Ms. Maier wherein she claimed that she “serviced” Vitter in the 1990’s.  I’ll watch the video tomorrow. I don’t feel like rolling in that particular gutter tonight.

While Wendy Ellis/Williams/Cortez’s motives remain murky, I  think I know *why* the one-time Canal Street madam wants Vitter to lose. She’s a damn librul who I kinda sorta met at a pro-Kerry event in 2004.

There was a Goober race debate on the LSU campus on Wednesday night between Blue Dog Democrat Jon Bel Edwards and two Republicans, Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle. Vitter was absent, which probably made the following inevitable:

In the final debate before voters head to the polls Saturday to vote for governor, Republican Scott Angelle launched the most pointed attack yet on rival David Vitter’s prostitution scandal.

“We have a stench that is getting ready to come over Louisiana, if we elect David Vitter as governor,” Angelle said, pivoting from a question about higher education.

“There is a shadow that has been cast over Sen. Vitter, a shadow that if it continues, will follow Louisiana. When that follows Louisiana, it hurts our ability to create jobs. It hurts our ability to grow our economy. We can’t have a cavalier attitude about this. I understand a serious sin. It is now perhaps a lifestyle that we need to examine, a lifestyle that Louisiana cannot afford.”

Angelle urged the live audience at LSU and viewers who were watching from around the state to go to a New Orleans-based blog that has been posting videos of a recent interview with Wendy Ellis, a prostitute who claims that Vitter was a client of hers in the late 1990s.

Vitter, the only one of the four major candidates for governor who did not participate in Wednesday’s debate, was in the Senate passing a small-business disaster assistance bill, his campaign said. He has previously denied the allegations.

“Desperate candidates in last place do desperate things,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for his campaign. “Grasping at a story on a shady blog that’s been proven completely untrue is pathetic.”

After the debate, Angelle said he had watched the videos posted to http://www.theamericanzombie.com and finds them embarrassing to the state, whether true or not.

“I don’t know what to believe,” Angelle said. “They’re concerning.”

This race gets ickier by the second. I don’t know what to believe either. I believe that Vitter had sex with prostitutes but I’m not sure that I believe Wendy Ellis/Williams/Cortez most damaging allegations. Her story is too full of holes and inconsistencies. One thing I’m certain of is that David Vitter is a macho he-man conservative who hides under the bed when the going gets rough. Candy ass wussy motherfucker.

There’s one more story. This one was written and reported by Gambit editor, Adrastos friend and First Draft reader Kevin Allman:

A longtime French Quarter barber tells Gambit that U.S. Sen. David Vitter visited “the hooker’s house” on Dumaine Street in the late 1990s — and that Vitter occasionally got his hair cut while “waiting for the girl across the street” to return home.

That location is where former New Orleans prostitute Wendy Ellis (aka Wendy Cortez) claims she lived while carrying on a sexual liaison with Vitter, which Vitter has denied for nearly a decade. At a 2007 press conference in Metairie, after Vitter admitted “a serious sin” in connection with his phone number turning up in the records of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the “D.C. Madam,” the senator was adamant that “those New Orleans stories in recent reports — those stories were not true.”

The barber, Ricky Ketchum, disputes that. “He claims … that he never went over there, at the hooker’s house. I know that’s not true. Because I do know — I can’t tell you what they did behind closed doors — but I do know he went over. He was over there,” Ketchum tells Gambit.

That confirms the one fact that everyone agrees on: that Vitter liked having sex with prostitutes. He’s probably one of those sickos who think that it’s not cheating if you pay for it.

I’m inclined to trust Kevin’s story more than Jason Berry’s. Don’t get me wrong, Jason has done some good work, but his reporting on this story is a bit on the obsessive side. Does that make the Wendy Ellis/Williams/Cortez story untrue? No, it doesn’t but the new allegations remain very difficult to prove as Kevin points out at the end of his Gambit piece:

So whom to believe: Ellis, Vitter or neither of them? A few obvious questions:

• Why would a prostitute, who received $5,000 per month from a john-turned-paramour-turned high-profile Congressman, not demand financial support if she was carrying his child?

• If Ellis indeed told Hustler Vitter impregnated her, why would publisher Larry Flynt — who delights in pointing out hypocrisies of the powerful — NOT print that claim, opting instead for an blander, sanitized story?

• As for Vitter: Why would a Metairie state representative make repeated trips to a hair salon in the French Quarter — a salon located across the street from a brothel, during the exact same time a prostitute there claimed he was her client?

It’s hard to say; Berry says Ellis has broken off contact with him since the interview. But Berry says he has more information, calling the original interview “the tip of the iceberg.

“I have much more information I will share in the near future, from this interview and hopefully others, as I obtain it,” he wrote on American Zombie, adding, “Stay Tuned.”

As of this moment, I believe neither Vitter nor Ellis/Williams/Cortez. They’re both proven liars. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. One thing I’m sure of is that the almost pornographic glee shown by some people at the periphery of this story is distasteful. And I say that as someone who has never been accused of prudishness.

I’m sure there will be more updates, especially if Vitter makes the run-off. The good news is that there’s now a decent (if you can use that word in the context of this race) chance that he could lose to Democrat John Bel Edwards. The bad news is that we’ll keep hearing about this sleazy shit for another month.

One of the weirder details of this sordid story is that Vitter’s wife and mistress share a first name. That’s why I’m giving Concrete Blonde the last word:

The Fog Of Congress: Pass The Malaka Trey Edition

I watched most of this morning’s Gowdy committee hearing. Malaka Trey promised the witness no interruptions, which lasted about 11 minutes. It was like watching a major leaguer pitching to little leaguers. The major leaguer was, of course, Hillary Clinton. She was polite and courteous while the committee members asked bizarre, irrelevant questions, and pulled stunts like this:

22benghazi-stacks-jumbo

Photograph by Doug Mills/New York Times

The massive stack of librul paper is a cliché of wingnut politics. It was hilarious in this context. OMG, EMAILS. Here are a few random tweets to give you the flavor of these tasteless and tacky proceedings:

And, yes. Trey Gowdy lost his cool and pitched a fit during the hearing. I’m not sure whether or not his face is still blue.

In These Uncertain Times…

From Album 5

It’s nice to know you can count on one thing: William Kristol will always — always — be utterly wrong. There must be an extra dose of lead in his crystal ball, sufficient to further dull the dim bulb and sick music box that serve as his muse. He could be the anti-oracle. Station him in some suitable location — a combination gas station/Taco Bell/KFC/video poker parlor/roadside casino (or, I don’t know, a Trump branded resort?), and let people approach seeking answers and/or enlightenment. Then, whatever he says, they’ll know to do the exact opposite.

Because his record is beyond random chance. It’s punditry in reverse…

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Poison For One

I would not want to run into this chap in a dark alley:

Poison For One

In Which Adrastos Says Something Nice About Mississippi

Every state has a neighboring state that they like to sneer at. Nobody should be proud of it but it’s inevitable because people suck. Residents of the Gret Stet of Louisiana tend to mock Mississippi. They’re one of the only states that rates below us on *both* the good and bad things lists and that started long before the advent of Buzzfeed listicles.

The reason for this change of heart is a letter from the Ole Miss student guvmint to the university administration:

Student senators at the University of Mississippi voted Tuesday night to ask the school administration to remove the Mississippi flag from campus because it contains a Confederate battle emblem that some say is an offensive reminder of slavery and segregation.

The vote to adopt the nonbinding resolution was 33-15, with one senator not voting. Administrators on the Oxford campus will consider it later.

“The Confederate emblem that’s on the state flag is deeply connected and rooted in ideas of white supremacy and racial oppression, and that symbol has no place on our campus,” Allen Coon, the student senator who wrote the resolution, told The Associated Press in an interview after the vote. “If we claim to respect the dignity of each person, that flag cannot fly on our campus.”

Coon, who is white, said if administrators do not act quickly to remove the flag, student senators will push the Faculty Senate and a governing body for non-faculty university staff members to adopt a similar resolution.

Jeffrey Vitter, who was announced Monday as the state College Board’s choice to become the new University of Mississippi chancellor, said he is committed to diversity. During an interview Monday, he offered no opinion on whether the Mississippi flag should fly on campus.

“I’m very supportive of what the students are doing this year in terms of talking about the issue of the flag and having that discussion,” said Vitter, a Louisiana native and current University of Kansas provost.

I am impressed. I am, however, a bit alarmed that the incoming university chancellor is David Vitter’s older brother. I did not know that Bitter Vitter had a brother who was an educator, but that gives me a *different* reason to sneer at Mississippi. I hope Dr. Vitter doesn’t consult with Diaper Dave about the flag. He’d tell him to fly it.

Despite the Vitter connection, I promise not to sneer at Ole Miss students after that letter. The kids are alright:

 

Lagniappe Catblogging: Thanks For Kicking Into Our Kickstarter Kitty

I suspect you’ve heard already that our Kickstarter campaign was a great success. But I wanted to add my thanks. Our readers are the best.

It means that I can stop using Oscar, Della, and movie characters to shill for the anthology. I did, however, promise people that they would be rewarded with more Devil Eyed Della snaps. Here’s the latest:

IMG_4373

Devilish butt-lifter. Photograph by Dr. A.

UNRELATED NEWS UPDATE: The Veep has stopped Biden his time and is NOT running for President. I never thought he would, so to the folks who insisted he would be a candidate: I TOLD YOU SO.

Malaka Of The Week: Trey Gowdy

Draco Malfoy & Trey Gowdy

Draco Malfoy and Trey Gowdy. Photograph via Buzzfeed.

Trey Gowdy is one of the whitest people on the planet. Buzzfeed was right when they paired him with Tom Felton who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. Felton also had a star turn in the inaugural season of Murder in the First playing a narcissistic and homicidal tech mogul who was always just a nano-second away from throwing a tantrum. Trey Gowdy had his own public tantrum recently, and that is why he’s malaka of the week.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few years, you know that Gowdy is the wingnut chairman of the House BenghaziBenghazi committee. The committee was established to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton and its purview has been expanded to cover the increasingly tiresome email “scandal.” It took the Kevin McCarthy (R-Hungria) gaffe for the dolts of the MSM to admit that this is a strictly partisan inquiry aimed at taking down Hillary Clinton. That’s a scandal in and of itself as Josh Marshall said at TPM:

Again we have the same basic dynamic: journalists either felt that they needed such a statement to start looking at what this investigation was about or, in some cases, were just so ignorant that they didn’t know what was going on in the first place. From personal experience, I know there are reporters in both categories. But it’s those in the first that most interest me. Everybody knew what was up. But you couldn’t say it because doing so violated the ‘two, equally valid arguments on both sides’ rule. Like I said, McCarthy’s statement was the permission slip. And that’s really not the way it should work.

It also violated the Clinton Rules as pointed out by Eric Boehlert in a piece where he aptly compares Malaka Trey (sounds like a pupu platter) to Kenneth Starr. Of course, Starr was a pious fool whereas Gowdy is merely a fool. Hell, Malaka Trey probably considers a Starr comparison to be a compliment. He should not. The only difference is that Starr’s investigation wasted even more of the taxpayer dollars that GOPers claim to find sacred than Gowdy’s. Malaka Trey’s panel has already been quite profligate having spent $4.6 million and counting. So much for fiscal conservatism.

Gowdy has been aided and abetted by the flying monkeys of the inside-the-beltway press corps. They’ve been lazily feasting on leaks from the committee, which has insulated it from the criticism it deserves. The worm, however, is starting to turn as Gowdy has had a disastrous few weeks. From whistleblowers to other GOP Congresscritters, everyone is picking on poor widdle Trey.

I mentioned Malaka Trey’s mini-meltdown. It came in an interview with the enablers of spoiled brats like Gowdy, the creeps at Tiger Beat on the Potomac:

“I would say in some ways these have been among the worst weeks of my life,” Gowdy said this weekend during a lengthy interview with POLITICO. “Attacks on your character, attacks on your motives, are 1,000-times worse than anything you can do to anybody physically — at least it is for me.”

There you have it in a wingnutshell: Trey Gowdy and other members of the House Malakatude Caucus (aka the GOP majority) are bullies with glass jaws. They can dish it out but can’t take it. Gowdy even claims that he’s running a “factcentric investigation” and, of course, Politico swallows this indigestible claim whole. Oy such malakatude.

Malaka Trey’s recent tantrum perfects the Draco Malfoy analogy. They’re both palefaced, entitled bullies. Malfoy has supernatural powers but the little putz is a fictional character whereas the damage caused by Trey Gowdy’s witch hunt is real. I suspect the actor Tom Felton might object to the comparison: at this point, he’s movie star handsome whereas weak-jawed Trey Gowdy looks like the product of generations of peckerwood inbreeding.

The show trial hearing is tomorrow and my money is on Ms. Clinton to rout her foes on the committee who are so zealous that they keep making huge mistakes:

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) appeared to leak the name of a CIA source by accident while responding to a scathing letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings (R-MD). Cummingswrote Gowdy early Sunday demanding that he apologize to Hillary Clinton for falsely claiming she mishandled classified information by forwarding an email containing the CIA source’s name to an aide. His letter noted the CIA notified the select committee on Saturday that the email contained no information it deemed classified.

The Gowdy committee is “factcentric” in the same way that Fox News is fair and balanced. Of course, Roger Ailes is an evil genius whereas Malaka Trey is an evil dolt. And that is why Congresscretin Trey Gowdy is malaka of the week.

I’m not sure what’s on it, but pass the malaka trey just for the hell of it. Perhaps it has wingnut wings or, better yet, oaf offal…

Now that I’m finished punning, I’d like to propose a theme song for Master Gowdy:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Bad Hair Day

Weird Al Yankovic is a remarkable recording artist. When he first burst on the scene, I assumed he’d  have a few hits and then either write music for kids shows or vanish into obscurity. Somehow he’s managed to endure for more than 30 years. It’s truly amazing, particularly his ability to secure the rights to parody so many hit tunes. Apparently, it’s cool to be mocked by Weird Al.

I selected Bad Hair Day because we’ve all had them. Additionally, it contains one of Al’s most brilliant videos, Amish Paradise, which is a take on Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise.

Weird Al Yankovic Bad Hair Day

BadHairDay.side4

I mentioned Amish Paradise. Here’s the video:

Successful Fundraising Ferretblogging: Claire Kisses Edition!

KICKSTARTER GOAL ACHIEVED!  With 5 days yet to go!

Not only will this get our book produced, it’s also the most we’ve ever raised for our annual fundraiser. We’re not a huge blog. We depend on your support, and we appreciate every bit of it. You’re going to help keep this party going through the 2016 madness, and we  couldn’t do it without you!

Claire would like to say thank you in her own special way, by kissing you to death:

A.

Kids are Brave and Smart and Will Figure This All Out

What it comes down to, I’m starting to understand, is trust: 

Hand-wringing over what has become known as hookup culture is nothing new, of course — the panicky-sounding term has been around for decades now. But a hookup is not always the blithe and meaningless sex with strangers that the term conjures. Even among college students, it’s defined differently from person to person and situation to situation. It could mean anything from kissing to intercourse, with a crush, with a friend, or, yes, sometimes with a relative stranger. The script, according to this ritual, is: First you fuck, then (perhaps) you date. Or, more likely, you just continue to hook up, creating a long-term relationship — minus feelings, theoretically — out of a series of one-night stands.

You mean they make their own decisions about their bodies and what they do with them? GASP PEARLCLUTCH. Imagine. The nerve.

We don’t trust anyone else to do what we did. Maybe because it was so difficult for us, figuring our shit out, or maybe just because we’re more comfortable in misery than we are in hope, but we don’t trust that anybody else is gonna be able to come through adolescence being mostly all right.

Look at the shit that’s still being written about Millennials, who are like 30 now. They’re still getting pilloried as entitled, brand-obsessed posers who live in their parents’ basements.

We don’t trust that some young woman (or young man, though all this is generally couched in terms of the young ladies who are too dumb to know they are being exploited) will be smart enough to say you, I want to get with you and here is how. We don’t trust that some young people will be able to get their heads around who they are and what they want from each other (if they want anything at all).

We don’t trust that if they screw up and they will, they’ll be able to pick themselves back up and start again.

We don’t trust them to handle information about contraception, abortion, consent, rape, STDs, or babies, either, because their fragile little minds. We simultaneously infantilize them and blame them for their infancy.

The kids will be FINE. Sometimes I wonder if this is me being lazy, thinking the kids will be fine, but I know they will be fine. If I am fine, and I did some profoundly stupid shit in college with regard to my love life, anyone can be fine. In fact, these kids are smarter and braver and have more access to information than I did. If I’d been able to Google the unsuitable weirdos I was dating or the one I eventually fell hard and dumb for, I would have been a lot more careful with my heart.

And that’s what really matters here. It’s not how many sessions of sex you have with how many partners of which gender or whatever. It’s not what happens in the tunnel of love, it’s how bruised you are at the end. I know people who had tons of sex in school who weren’t as wrecked as people who had none, and all that matters is that you’re not so bruised and battered you can’t be what you want, with who you want, eventually. We lose sight of that, because we don’t think anyone else could survive what we survived. We don’t think anyone else is as strong as we are.

They are. They’re stronger.

A.

Election Day Canadian Style

I make no pretense to having any expertise in Canadian politics. I do, however, know more than most Americans. But I’d somehow missed all the stories comparing Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the man I love to hate, Richard M. Nixon:

What a long, strange slide it has been for Canada since 2006, when Stephen Harper became prime minister. You thought you saw the last of Richard Nixon when he helicoptered off the White House’s South Lawn. Wrong: the man had a clone. And that clone must have been watching a lot of Sarah Palin speeches. Harper is Nixon without the charm, he’s Nixon without the progressive social and environmental programs, he’s Nixon but he worships at a fundamentalist church. If he wins reelection in October, Americans might want to consider a northern wall.

<snip>

Canada once had what was semi-seriously known as a natural governing party, the Liberals, who were famously led in the Nixon era by Pierre Elliott Trudeau, an international-minded intellectual and devoted federalist. (Trudeau’s son Justin now leads the Liberal Party and is the political rival Harper hates most.) In the Canada most Americans grew up next to, the Liberals ran the show. They were reasonable people who believed in consensus and generosity, bilingualism and multiculturalism, free national health care, women’s rights, and an unofficial national slogan, “Peace, order, and good government.”

Harper, meanwhile, is a vengeful, damaged, grudge-holding punisher of the “urban elites” who vote Liberal, and has spent a lifetime plotting to transform Canada into a nastier version of Texas. He and his allies took what was once called the Progressive Conservative Party (filled with Red Tories, akin to the long-gone Rockefeller Republicans of America’s eastern seaboard), merged it with a nightmarish pressure group of government haters called the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party (they realized too late that the acronym would be CCRAP), and created the modern Conservative Party.

Nixon had charm? Who knew? A brief correction: any progressive programs Tricky Dick had were not of his doing but due to Congressional Democrats such as Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Kids today.

Otherwise this is a good magazine piece, but it’s behind the polling curve as it now looks as if the center-left Liberals are poised to win the election. Here’s hoping that the Canadian polls are more accurate than those in Israel and the United Kingdom.

Here are a few Harper-Nixon images that tickle my fancy:

Harper Nixon

Cartoon by Theo Moudakis.

Cartoon by Patrick Corrigan.

Cartoon by Patrick Corrigan.

Harper even campaigned last weekend with 2013 malaka of the year Rob Ford. I am not making this up. There were no reports of any body slamming or crack smoking:

sunday-scrum-ford-harper-101815

Rob Ford and Stephen Harper. Photograph via CBC.com.

John Oliver did a swell segment last night about the Canadian election wherein he said:

“Canada is America’s next-door neighbor, and Stephen Harper is her dickhead boyfriend. You know, the one she won’t split up with despite the fact that he tells her what to wear and makes her listen to his shitty, shitty band.”

Here’s the piece complete with a guest appearance by Mike Myers as a Mountie:

Finally, Dr. A is dodging the Canadian election returns bullet until *after* our krewe meeting. We’re picking our theme tonight and I couldn’t miss that even to <knock on wood> watch Harper go down.

Another Fine Mess: The Vitter Files

I originally thought I’d be writing David Vitter’s political obituary after Jason Brad Berry of American Zombie published an interview with Wendy Ellis who claims to be his former mistress. Furthermore, Ms. Ellis alleged that Vitter got her pregnant, demanded that she get an abortion, but she refused and had the child. The abortion allegation could have destroyed Vitter’s candidacy since he’s on record as a down-the-line hardcore “pro-lifer,” but it appears to be backfiring.

I’m not sure what to think at this point since both Vitter and Ellis are liars. Given my own misgivings about the entire mishigas, I’d like y’all to draw your own conclusions. Here are some links for your perusal:

American Zombie:

10/17- Chasing Ghosts, Finding Skeletons. This is Jason’s account of chasing down the story.

10/18:- David Vitter- Interview with Wendy Ellis, October 13.2015. This post includes video of Berry’s interview with Ms. Ellis/Williams/Cortez or whatever the hell her name is.

10/19- David Vitter “responds.” This is a marginally legible scan of a letter Ms. Ellis/Williams/Cortez wrote that is covered in the segment below:

Gambit Weekly:

10/18- Vitter update: inconsistencies come to light. Gambit publisher and veteran political pundit Clancy DuBos is a long time supporter of American Zombie, so he jumped on Berry’s initial story. On Sunday his story was pulled and replaced by this one. Here are several money passages:

The woman, identified by Berry as Wendy Ellis, has an extensive criminal record (including forgery and theft) and has made prior inconsistent statements that undercut her overall credibility. She did pass a polygraph test in 2007 that reportedly verified her having a sexual relationship for “at least four months” with Vitter. Vitter in 2007 denied all stories relating to prostitutes in New Orleans, but he has since refused to discuss anything related to the woman’s claims, including the polygraph or Berry’s recent online story.

<snip>

According to court documents in Arkansas, Ellis (then known as Wendy Williams) in September 2001 sent a handwritten plea to a judge who had just sentenced her to 10 years in prison for violating the terms of an earlier probation. In that 2001 letter, she makes several statements that contradict portions of what she has since told Berry and others.   Two of those statements stand out:

• Ellis has said to Berry and others since 2007 that she worked for an escort service in New Orleans and she met Vitter through that service. In her 2001 letter to the judge, she wrote: “Now, when I stood before you, I was accused of working for an Escort Service and stripping. Sir, yes I danced as I told you but I never worked for an Escort Service.” That statement to the judge directly contradicts her later statements about working for a service in New Orleans in the late 1990s.

[Bloggers note: I omitted the second statement. The one above is the money quote for our purposes.]

There’s little doubt that the Vitter campaign, or someone close to it, was the source of the second story as well as one by WDSU’s Jonathan Shelley. Ms. Ellis/Williams/Cortez is now telling a more elaborate story: that she was Vitter’s “kept woman” for 3 years, which led to pregnancy, NOT getting the Vitter demanded abortion and putting the baby up for adoption. This is a new twist to her public story, which, apparently Hustler declined to publish. I have no idea if any of this is true since no supporting evidence has been posted such as a birth certificate. That’s something tangible that could be published without compromising the identity of the alleged “love child.”

Before this weekend, this was a classic she said, he said story. It has become a she lied, he lied story. I quite frankly don’t believe either of them unless and until there’s some corroboration of Ms. Ellis/Williams/Cortez’s story. I agree with my friend Lamar White Jr who, after initially supporting, the story has become as skeptical as I am:

Stories like Wendy Ellis’s are provocative and sensational and, I’ll admit, a little bit of fun for people like me, aficionados of Louisiana politics. But ultimately, I want what is best for the state, my home, not what generates the most attention to my small corner of the Internet. Ellis’s story, in my humble opinion, is destructive, because it is riddled with huge holes; it is flawed; and with all due respect to the reporter, it was not properly vetted. In fairness, Berry promises more reporting on the issue, and I hope that he follows through. I know him to be a passionate advocate for Louisiana and a fierce champion of accountability. But it would be a huge mistake and reckless miscalculation to assume Wendy Ellis will be given any credibility at all after next Saturday.

The story is either there, or it is not. Right now, the story isn’t standing; it’s crumbling.

This whole episode illustrates why I was leery of using Vitter’s “serious sin” as a campaign issue/weapon. I wrote about what I called the pursuit of Vitter’s diaper 5 weeks ago. Vitter has subsequently struggled in the polls and I am concerned that a backlash to this story will only help his candidacy. To paraphrase an old adage, when you try to kill the King, you better be certain that he’s really dead.

David Vitter has been written off as politically dead many times but the bastard is too mean to die. Absent any more tangible evidence, this story is, more likely than not, going to boomerang, backfire or some other B word. Vitter is despised by many people, myself included, but that doesn’t make this story true. Wishful thinking is a poor substitute for proof.

 

 

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “That was Zen, this is Meow” edition

Morning, everyone!

If haven’t yet gotten on the First Draft anthology/fundraiser  kickstarter train yet, please consider getting a ticket.

A decade of Ms. A, Adrastos, Jude, Michael F, Doc, Holden, Scout, and some jerk with a low sense of humour and love of memes – such a DEAL!

OK – the shill is gone – on to the iso room for a little housekeeping!

AirlockDoor

.

Then :

Pelosi Intrudes Into Wayne’s World

by Wayne Simmons

As I reflect back over the 27 years I spent hunting terrorists and those supporting them on virtually every continent in the world, I can’t help but wonder how my case officer would react today if he was alive to watch the Speaker of the House of the Congress of the United States attack and attempt to dismantle the CIA, the single most important intelligence agency in the world.

In 1975, I watched the Church Committee decimate the CIA’s human intelligence — “humint” — capabilities. As a result, for over 25 years the U.S. was subjected to brutal, deadly attacks by Islamic terrorists at our bases and embassies around the world and on the high seas.  This did not seem to alarm anyone other than those of us with the CIA and FBI until the Islamic terrorists drove jets into the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. Only then did Congress want to know why the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies did not or could not foresee the attack that killed almost 3,000 people.

Nancy Pelosi, who I suggested was a “pathological liar” on the Fox News Channel 4 months ago, told reporters in May that she had not been informed that waterboarding was used against terrorism suspects (though she finally acknowledged she had been briefed in at least 2003).

That was, of course, despite the fact that the CIA compiled, the DNI released, and HUMAN EVENTS broke the story of the memo that showed Pelosi had been briefed on September 4, 2002 which “enhanced interrogation techniques” — which we know included waterboarding — had been used on Abu Zubaydeh.

It is exhausting just trying to keep up with Pelosi’s stories

…and NOW :

Wayne Simmons, recurring Fox News guest, charged with lying about CIA ties
WYFF4, CNN ^ | Oct 15, 2015 | Dylan Byers

Posted on ‎10‎/‎15‎/‎2015‎ ‎4‎:‎47‎:‎26‎ ‎PM by familyop

Simmons is accused of falsely claiming that he worked as an “outside paramilitary special operations officer” for the CIA from 1973 to 2000. On Fox, this was often shortened to “former CIA operative.” He was also indicted for using that false claim to gain government security clearances and an assignment as a defense contractor, where he advised senior military personnel overseas…If convicted, he could face up to 35 years in prison…Fox’s web site lists dozens of appearances and quotes, usually labeling him a former CIA “operative,” “analyst” or “officer.”…The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that along with the CIA-related fraud, “the indictment also alleges that Simmons defrauded an individual victim out of approximately $125,000 in connection with a bogus real estate investment.”

Oops.

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

He also falsely equated Russia with the U.S.A. in his rants about the War on Terror. How many more “analysts” will they scrape up? Stay tuned!
1 posted on ‎10‎/‎15‎/‎2015‎ ‎4‎:‎47‎:‎27‎ ‎PM by familyop
If by “they”, you mean FOX news, the end is listless.
To: familyop
They also kept Mansoor Ijaz around long after it became clear he was simply making his reports up.And don’t even get me started about Geraldo Rivera.

2 posted on 10‎/‎15‎/‎2015‎ ‎4‎:‎51‎:‎05‎ ‎PM by SeeSharp
The obvious answer? Cut your own throat with Occam’s Razor!
To: familyop

Accusations coming from Obama’s DOJ bear scrutiny for motive, going against a Fox News analysis(sic).

3 posted on 10‎/‎15‎/‎2015‎ ‎4‎:‎51‎:‎37‎ ‎PM by AU72

Comment #6 Removed by Moderator
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
To: familyop

As always, should you or any of your IM force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. Good luck, Jim (Wayne).

25 posted on 10‎/‎15‎/‎2015‎ ‎5‎:‎44‎:‎33‎ ‎PM by No One Special

TinfoilConspiracy
.
Freepers – how can you possibly turn this embarrassment around??
To: SeeSharp
OMG!! Mansoor Ijaz was a FAke??? I always kind of liked him and wondered what became of him!Lesson….NEVER trust a Muslim.

30 posted on ‎10‎/‎15‎/‎2015‎ ‎5‎:‎59‎:‎02‎ ‎PM by Ann Archy (ABORTION……. The HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
Dang – that was a close one!
More after the covert op.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

A Tale of Two Stories: Helicopter Parenting and Poverty

The Washington Post: 

And how can parents help their children become self-sufficient? Teach them the skills they’ll need in real life, and give them enough leash to practice those skills on their own, Lythcott-Haims said. And have them do chores. “Chores build a sense of accountability. They build life skills and a work ethic.”

Lythcott-Haims said many parents ask how they can unilaterally deescalate in what feels like a college-admissions arms race. How can they relax about getting their child into Harvard if every other parent is going full speed ahead?

The Washington Post: 

The 86 members of Ruleville Central’s senior class had attended a school given an F grade by the state. Nearly everybody qualified for government-provided lunches. The school was so strapped for teachers that in 2014 it brought in seven from India — during the middle of the year — to instruct math and science classes.

And then, with graduation, those students walked out the door.

Some new graduates went off to local colleges. Others lacked money or test scores. One turned down an offer from his dream school — the University of Mississippi — because of the cost. Another who had bragged about an awaiting football scholarship ended up working at a truck stop. The school’s guidance counselor said she can count on her hand the ones who will finish college.

Five’ll get you ten which one is all over the morning housewife TV shows like Today and GMA. Three guesses and the first two don’t count. This is what we should be worrying about: Helicopter parents. Not unemployed parents, not poor parents, not addicted parents who can’t find help, not parents working three jobs who still can’t move anywhere safer than the set of Escape from LA. Helicopter parents, screwing up their babies with Spanish lessons and complaining about test scores.

I get it, right? You talk to your audience and your advertisers’ audience and I am the audience there, so I get it. I’m a middle-class white chick with a so-far neurotypical, physically healthy child whose college education, should she wish to have one, will not require going into hock to the Russian mob. We live in a metropolitan area where she can find a job whether she chooses to dig ditches or practice law, and though I lock my doors at night it’s pretty much Mayberry in the ‘hood. Clearly my worry should be whether I am over-parenting.

(I am under-parenting. We watch a lot of Curious George in our house. I take Kick to a music fun-time session where the other children show up adorably coiffed in outfits for a Pinterest-worthy violin recital, and she rolls in looking like she’s there for Rave of Thrones. The other day she ate Cheddar Bunnies for dinner, and I’m only teaching her another language if smartass counts.

“What does Mama do at work?” I ask her. She grins and replies, “Make da money.”)

My worry for the future isn’t a worry for her future. It isn’t that she’ll be intellectually inferior to some richer girl down the road, who will get into Harvard instead of her, make partner instead of her. My real worry is that the world she will grow up in will be some kind of post-apocalyptic hellscape in which a college education and making partner won’t even matter, because parts of this country will have absolutely caved in and the people who come from there will be murderously pissed at anyone who isn’t them and rightly so. My worry for her future is that the things middle-class America is furiously convincing itself are important for its children are going to be washed away. My worry is that instead of worrying, I should be stockpiling dry goods and WE’RE ALMOST OUT OF FLOUR.

Over and over we’re told that the biggest problem with Kids Today is technology and helicoptering interference, not bombed-out schools and open-air gun markets and Grandma getting the heat shut off because she can’t pay the bill. We’re spending a lot of time making economically comfortable moms and dads feel like shit for driving their kids to too many activities, and absolutely no time making wealthy politicians feel like shit for allowing children to grow up in a world that raises its middle finger at them. Then we’re making those kids feel like shit for being desperate and broke. We’re worrying about all the wrong stuff, all the time. We’re worrying about the wrong people. We’re worrying about ourselves, instead of about others.

My kid’s biggest problem is not going to be that her overprotective mom sat in the principal’s office and argued she had a good reason for blowing off an assignment (she’d better have a good reason). My kid’s biggest problem is that the kid two desks over got evicted from his apartment because his dad threw his back out three years ago and his disability checks kept getting smaller and his mom lost her job and they’ve been eating out of the restaurant garbage bin and this kid has had it with the universe fucking him over and he’s going to make a big noise before he goes.

Maybe while we’re freaking out over little Johnny needing to have mom do his laundry until he’s 30, we could spare just a few minutes to make sure Johnny and his mom have enough to eat.

A.

We Don’t Believe Women Get Sick, Not Really

There’s pretty much nothing that can’t be solved by the hysterical bitches just calming down a little and maybe admitting it’s all in their heads: 

“That to me felt like this deeply personal and deeply upsetting embodiment of what was at stake,” she said. “Not just on the side of the medical establishment—where female pain might be perceived as constructed or exaggerated—but on the side of the woman herself: My friend has been reckoning in a sustained way about her own fears about coming across as melodramatic.”

“Female pain might be perceived as constructed or exaggerated”: We saw this from the moment we entered the hospital, as the staff downplayed Rachel’s pain, even plain ignored it. In her essay, Jamison refers back to “The Girl Who Cried Pain,” a study identifying ways gender bias tends to play out in clinical pain management. Women are  “more likely to be treated less aggressively in their initial encounters with the health-care system until they ‘prove that they are as sick as male patients,’” the study concludes—a phenomenon referred to in the medical community as “Yentl Syndrome.”

We are so, so, so afraid of making noise.

Girls. Women. We are so scared of the sound of our own voices that we will lie in pain in a hospital hallway without making a peep because we can’t, like, get in anyone’s way.

We are taught from the day we are born to take up as little space as possible in the world and then, when we are hurt or overlooked, we are asked why we didn’t speak up.

I was lucky, when my ovarian cyst burst more than 10 years ago now, that the EMTs and ER doctors we called on took it seriously. I had surgery, good medication, follow-up care. But that’s all it was, luck, luck that we found someone to listen. That’s what our lives hinge on, the blind stupid chance that the person we are calling out to won’t assume we don’t know what we’re talking about, and ignore us.

I’ve been ignored in doctors’ offices, though, before and since. My first infertility doctor refused to listen to any of my concerns before putting me on medication that I didn’t need, that made me sicker than I’ve ever been. I had a GP once tell me that I should stop taking anti-depressants because, “What, do you want to be on pills for the rest of your life?” I had a therapist cancel an appointment, not tell me, and then later kick me off her service because I didn’t keep the appointment. Some of this is just run-of-the-mill pain in the ass stuff that could have happened if I was a dude, sure, but all along the way I’ve been made to feel exceptionally bad about myself for getting upset about it. Shh, there are other patients. Sit down. Don’t make a fuss.

This is a time in our society when you have to be a fierce advocate for your own medical care, for your rights as a patient, and of course when you most need those rights you are least physically and emotionally capable of defending them. I’m not surprised women’s pain is ignored until they make themselves un-ignorable. Why should our pain be different from any other aspect of our existence?

A.