Monthly Archives: May 2019

Louisiana Tunes: An Unexpected Fan

I shouldn’t still be going on about my Top 50 list at the Bayou Brief BUT I have an unexpected fan:

I’m glad the Senator or whoever does his social media (it also turned up on Twitter) enjoyed the list. I somehow doubt they know that the Bayou Brief is a liberal publication or that I’m a pro-impeachment blogger who calls his president* the Insult Comedian and the Kaiser of Chaos. Thanks, Double Bill.

Since the river is dangerously high in Baton Rouge, the last word goes to John Boutte’s live version of the number one Louisiana Tune:

Louisiana Goddam

I was hoping not to have to write this post but the Gret Stet lege has joined with Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri to pass a so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill. Compounding the horror is the failure to include exceptions for rape and incest. It’s the latest frontal assault on Roe vs. Wade since the Kavanaugh appointment.

Making matters worse is that a Democratic Governor who I voted for and support on other issues, John Bel Edwards, signed the bill into law. I am disappointed but not shocked as he never hid his views. I had hoped, however, that his anti-abortion views were not this extreme.  I wish he had at least given lip service to the aforementioned exceptions. That’s what happened when Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed anti-choice legislation back in 2006. There was even a Gret Stet miracle in 1990 when Gov. Buddy Roemer vetoed an anti-abortion bill. There are no miracles in 2019.

Here’s what the Governor said about his decision:

I strongly disagree that this is a common garden variety disagreement. The fundamental issue is respect for women and their right to control their own destiny. It’s a dark day in the Gret Stet of Louisiana.

Louisiana liberals are on the horns of a dilemma. Here’s my personal plan: I will vote for Edwards but it will be a clothespin vote. I will not actively support Edwards and will not argue with people who cannot support him because of this dreadful bill. I completely understand why they feel that way and respect their views.

Unfortunately, Edwards is the best we can do in deep red Louisiana. Any Republican will be much, much worse. The lesser of two evils rule is depressingly in effect.

Goddam Louisiana, goddam.

Friday Catblogging: Muscling In

Here are Della Street and Paul Drake atop the latest iteration of the tower of terror. Della is smirking as always but Paul looks like a bad ass. Trust me, he’s not.

Courage

Speaker Pelosi has forgotten more about politics than most people will ever know. She’s right to think that impeachment is tricky. It’s unpopular now BUT, like everything else in this mercurial era, that’s subject to change. Public opinion is fluid, not static except for the hardcore rump of Trumpers, which is around 25% of the electorate. Speaker Pelosi is a political genius but even geniuses can be wrong. She *is* wrong about impeachment. It is not just a legal imperative, it is a political one. I think inaction will be more politically damaging in the long run than defending the rule of law against a lawless and illegitimate administration.

Yesterday’s statement by the ultimate G-Man, Robert Mueller, confirmed that the vast majority of the country, let alone members of Congress, have not, and will not, read the report. Despite attempts to make it user friendly, it’s long and detailed and chock full of legal phrases baffling to lay people. That’s not a criticism, it’s a fact. Most people need to see the teevee show, not read a 448 page book. Mueller’s statement was more in the nature of a preview of coming attractions, not the main event.

Mueller said yesterday that he would only testify publicly about the contents of the report itself. That’s fine. Repeat after me: most people have not and will never read the full report. Mueller doesn’t want to testify. Life is full of chores we’d rather not do: I could live without changing the cat box but I do it. I fear the wrath of Della Street and Paul Drake. Who wouldn’t?

If his appearance cannot be negotiated, Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff need to subpoena the  Special Counsel. Unlike the Insult Comedian’s lawless minions, he will comply. It’s time for Bobby Three Sticks to eat his veggies. He can have dessert later.

I disagree with those who say that political considerations should play no role in the impeachment decision. It is an inherently political process. Those calculations increasingly argue FOR, not against, impeachment. Yes, I know, the Senate will not convict as of this writing and the majority is threatening to go straight to a vote and not hold a trial. BUT Democrats are losing the messaging war to Republicans and, worse, look weak. Nancy Smash is not weak but perception is everything in politics. She cannot afford to look weak in these perilous times for our democracy. The president* is terrified of impeachment, when he’s scared, he makes mistakes.

The ground is shifting. The mere fact of Freedom Caucus member Justin Amash’s advocacy of impeachment has made House Democrats look feckless and I give a feck about that. Amash has made cogent arguments in favor of impeachment, which has made the Speaker’s temporizing look weak. He’s obviously read the full report, which is why he came out for impeachment; much like his political antonym, Elizabeth Warren. Repeat after me: most people have not and will never read the full report. They need the teevee show.

At the risk of being repetitive, Nancy Pelosi is not weak but perception is everything in politics. I agree that there are risks involved but life is full of risks and impeachment is the only option we have to establish that the Current Occupant is NOT above the law. If he’s impeached and acquitted by the Senate, he’ll brag about it but he’ll have the scarlet letter I seared on his orange forehead. If he’s not impeached, he’ll brag about winning a showdown with Speaker Pelosi. He’s going to brag either way but in one scenario, Democrats look weak,  in the other they’ve stood up for the rule of law.

Perilous times require courage from our leaders. We don’t elect them to do the easy things, we elect them to do the right thing. Trump cannot be allowed to get away with his crimes without facing the music. Nothing scares him more than the possibility of live, televised hearings into his brazen misconduct. Hence the massive resistance to all requests from Congress. If a formal impeachment inquiry is opened, the House will have more legal power to make the Trump regime comply. All it takes is courage. The future of the Republic not only requires courage, it demands it.

Courage.

Does Mueller Have To Spell It Out?

I_Mpeach_450

I’m with Charles Blow on this

What the hell is it going to take, Democrats?!

What evidence and impetus would compel you to do the job the Constitution, patriotism and morality dictate?

What is it going to take to make you initiate an impeachment inquiry?

Your slow walking of this issue and your specious arguments about political calculations are pushing you dangerously close to a tragic, historic dereliction of duty, one that could do irreparable damage to the country and the Congress.

Political calculation, like it or not, gives at least the impression of political cowardice, and this is exactly the wrong time for cowardice.

Sure, Trump is popular with Republicans, although Justin Amash has demonstrated some political principles, and in doing so, done the Democratic Party an enormous favor. Having said that, it’s not like Democrats will EVER win Republican votes, so I can’t understand why Pelosi thinks she must somehow get the GOP on board.

The job of the political opposition is to OPPOSE. In this case, the opposition has the additional incentive of standing up for the rule of law against a corrupt president who very clearly broke the law, and for whom there’s more than a little evidence of political  and possibly financial ties with Russian crooks. A president who is compromised by a foreign adversary.

Besides, Trump is, I’m convinced, winging it. He has no grand plan, other than to rely on Democrats being weak and mealy-mouthed. He’ll “just figure it out.” Cringing and laying down on this is as much political malpractice as it was media malpractice when the press gave him the freest of free rides in 2016.

Does anyone think the GOP wouldn’t have impeached Hillary Clinton by now? Consider: with little more than an election decided by odd rules, voter suppression/foreign meddling in key states, and dumb luck, they’ve shoved through two Supreme Court nominees — and McConnell openly gloats about how he gave Democrats a big old middle finger with one — they’ve pushed through what amount to abortion bans in four states and are working on more, they’ve gone so far as to insist that in an age of global warming that fossil fuels are “molecules of freedom,” whatever the hell that means…

Barack Obama won two elections decisively. That didn’t stop the GOP from adopting a scorched earth opposition. Politics is…politics. You compromise if you must, but you don’t play to compromise. You play to win, and Democratic issues are winning issues. Geez.

FDR, in 1936, “welcomed [the] hatred” of people far less worse than the corrupt, crooked, and incompetent Trump MAGAt crowd. He sure didn’t betray his own principles for an infrastructure deal that would never go through anyway…

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Dead Ringer

The Dead Ringer is set in a carnival, which explains the peeping gorilla. But was its name Tom?

Malaka Of The Week: Meghan McCain

I haven’t given much thought to Meghan McCain over the years. I try not to aim my fire at the children of famous people. Besides, while she’s as annoying as hell, she’s not as interesting as she thinks she is. John McCain was glory, Meghan is reflected glory and I try not to kick down. The mouthy Ms. McCain made that impossible this week when she lectured Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar about what she’s allowed to say on the campaign trail. And that is why Meghan McCain is malaka of the week.

I’ve enjoyed McCain’s occasional critiques of the Insult Comedian but she was outraged when Klobuchar told a story about Senator McCain’s distaste for the president*:

Speaking before an audience of roughly 200 people during a Saturday campaign stop in Des Moines, Klobuchar described Trump’s inauguration as “dark” and recalled how she sat on the stage between John McCain and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that day while Trump delivered a speech about rampant crime, rusted-out factories and “American carnage.” The fiery populist rhetoric apparently reminded McCain of various authoritarian figures from throughout history.

“John McCain kept reciting to me names of dictators during that speech because he knew more than any of us what we were facing as a nation. He understood it,” Klobuchar said on Saturday, according to NBC News. “He knew because he knew this man more than any of us did.”

Emulating the Current Occupant, Ms. McCain took to the tweeter tube to vent:

Who died and made Meghan McCain god? She’s said worse things about Trump herself. The idea of taking a two-time candidate “out of presidential politics” is absurd as well as the essence of malakatude.

Klobuchar has declined to apologize for a story she told about her friend and colleague. Wise choice. Responding to hissy fits from an entitled princess could turn into a full time job. She’s already obliged to pick and choose which idiotic Trump tweet to respond to, after all.

Meghan McCain sees herself as the keeper of the flame. I get it. But that doesn’t entitle her to censor the words of her father’s former colleagues, some of whom are running for president. It’s a democracy, not a monarchy and she would be wise not to emulate the Trump spawn with scorched earth defenses of her late father. Donald Trump can’t take a punch, John McCain could. She should follow his example, not that of the president* he despised. And that is why Meghan McCain is malaka of the week.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest

The Fugs were an underground band formed in 1964 by poets Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg. This is the first time I’ve selected an album in this space because of its title: It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest. It makes me laugh every time I think of it. There are worse reasons than that, y’all.

Here’s the album in the YouTube playlist format:

 

The War Isn’t Over

Never is: 

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency reports of the 8,156 Korean War personnel missing in action, only 494 have been identified.

Eight thousand.

A.

Not Everything Sucks

Deadwood is still with us and so is David Milch, who I’d take a bullet for and laugh about it: 

Still, the studio’s faith in Milch never wavered. It just wanted him to focus on more potentially lucrative projects, and persuaded him to create a new series, “John from Cincinnati,” set in a California surfing community, a collaboration with Kem Nunn, a novelist whose books can be found in the surf-noir section. It lasted only one season, a consequence generally attributed to a plot-coherence deficit. In the years that followed, Milch remained fiercely industrious. He created “Luck,” set at the Santa Anita Park racetrack and starring Dustin Hoffman, which was shut down in its second season after multiple horses died during filming. Milch also made a pilot—the only episode shot—for an HBO series called “The Money.” (Milch described it to me as “King Lear meets Rupert Murdoch and family.”) Two other HBO projects never progressed beyond the pilot-script stage: adaptations of Peter Matthiessen’s novel “Shadow Country” and “Island of Vice,” a history of Theodore Roosevelt’s tenure as the police commissioner of New York City. Earlier this year, HBO’s “True Detective” aired a new episode written by Milch and Nic Pizzolatto.

What I love more than anything in this world are masters of the craft who still go out and fuck up all the time. Like they could just sit around on their Greatest Hits and chill knowing they’ve created something eternal, but they’re like, “Hey, why don’t I go make this person-shaped hole in the wall, this sounds interesting.”

Do as much stuff as you can for as long as you can. God damn what a life.

A. 

Memorial Day: Who I Remember

There’s nothing like a national holiday to make one feel ritualistic.This post is making its tenth annual appearance at First Draft. It was also published in our anthology, Our Fate Is Your Fate.

I realize it *should* be posted on Veterans Day since my remembered soldier survived the war BUT old habits are hard to break. Besides, I would face the wrath of both Athenae and Dr. A if I didn’t post it. So, here we go again:

The veteran I’d like to remember on this solemn holiday is the late Sgt. Eddie Couvillion.

Soldier Boy

My family tree is far too tangled and gnarly to describe here but suffice it to say that Eddie was my second father. He served in Europe during World War II, not in combat but in the Army Quartermaster Corps. In short, he was a supply Sergeant, one of those guys who won the war by keeping the troops fed, clad, and shod. Eddie was what was called in those days a scrounger; not unlike Milo Minderbinder in Catch-22 or James Garner’s character in The Great Escape. 

Eddie’s favorite military exploit was running an army approved bordello in France after hostilities ended. He always called it a cat house and bragged that it was the best little whorehouse in Europe. One can serve one’s country in manifold ways…

Eddie died 5 years ago [2005] and I still miss him. He was a remarkable man because he changed so much as he aged. When I met him, he was a hardcore Texas/Louisiana conservative with old South racial views and attitudes. At an age when many people close their minds, Eddie opened his and stopped thinking of black folks as a collective entity that he didn’t care for and started thinking of them as individuals. Eddie was a genuine Southern gentleman so he’d never done or said an unkind thing to anyone and confided to me that the only one he’d ever hurt by being prejudiced was himself. I was briefly speechless because we’d had more than a few rows over that very subject. Then he laughed, shook his head and said: “Aren’t you going to tell me how proud you are of me? You goddamn liberals are hard to satisfy.”

Actually, I’m easily satisfied. In 2004, Eddie had some astonishing news for me: he’d not only turned against the Iraq War but planned to vote for John Kerry because “Bush Junior is a lying weasel and a draft dodger.” That time he didn’t need to ask me if I was proud of him, it was written all over my face. It was the first and only time he ever voted for a Democrat for President.

I salute you, Sgt. Couvillion. I only wish that I could pour you a glass of bourbon on the rocks and we could raise our glasses in a Memorial Day toast.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “Bless your heart” edition

What a wonderful week this was for The Darnold!

Documentation dykes bursting everywhere, and that wonderful “meeting” to discuss infrastructure bills blew up in his face like an exploding cigar.  This nincompoop still thinks he’s doing “The Apprentice”, and that’s a full-speed-ahead-in-the-ice-field approach for certain, at least when dealing with Nancy Pelosi.

Now I don’t know if this is just a southern / Texas thing, but when somebody really screws the pooch, they get a condescending “Well, bless your heart.” The unsaid coda to this little expression is “You’re too stupid to breathe, aren’t ya, darlin’ ?”

Pelosi Says She Is Concerned for Trump’s Well-Being — Calls on Family, Administration, Staff to Have an Intervention
Breitbart ^ | 5/23/2019 | PAM KEY

Posted on 5/23/2019, 7:38:52 PM by bitt

Thursday at her weekly press briefing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters she is concerned for the well-being of President Donald Trump. Pelosi said, “We don’t want it to be partisan now, but I can only think he wasn’t up to the task of figuring out the difficult choices of how to cover the cost of infrastructure legislation that we had talked about. The president again stormed out. First pound the table, walk out the door. Next time, have the TV cameras in there while I have my say and that didn’t work for him either. And this time, another temper tantrum. Again I pray for the president of the United States. I wish his family, his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.” A reporter said, “Your prayer comments almost suggest you are concerned for his well being.” Pelosi interjected, “I am, and the well-being of the United States of America.”

1 posted on 5/23/2019, 7:38:52 PM by bitt

BlessYourHeart
To: bitt

 

Hey Nan! Quit whistling through your dentures.

Get them refitted!

3 posted on 5/23/2019, 7:40:15 PM by sauropod (Yield to sin, and experience chastening and sorrow; yield to God, and experience joy and blessing.)

BlessYourHeart2

To: bitt

Pelosi is incredibly disrespectful of the president and the office of the president. Not only is she Trump personally offensive but she he degrades the position of Speaker President.

 

FIFY.

 

Mean and catty.

7 posted on 5/23/2019, 7:44:33 PM by malach (We live in interesting times.)

.
Yes, he is.  And all I can think of here is the line from Monty Python’s “vocation guidance counselor” sketch :
.

Counsellor: “Well, er, yes Mr Anchovy, but you see your report here says that you are an extremely dull person. You see, our experts describe you as an appallingly dull fellow, unimaginative, timid, lacking in initiative, spineless, easily dominated, no sense of humour, tedious company and irrepressibly drab and awful. And whereas in most professions these would be considerable drawbacks, in chartered accountancy they are a positive boon. ”

Back to the fray :
To: bitt

 

BWHAHAHA! Satan’s Prom Queen is “concerned about Trump” ???!!?

I pray to God that He finally stands up and says “That’s IT. I’ve had ENOUGH.”

19 posted on 5/23/2019, 7:58:50 PM by smvoice (I WILL NOTI’m WEAR THE RIBBON8)

.
And then does what? Have her shot, or just poked with a Polonium pellet in an umbrella tip?
.
Also :
.
BlessYourHeart3
To: bitt

 

Pelousy is clearly psychotic , but has been entrenched for many years so there’s no getting rid of her. SAD.

21 posted on 5/23/2019, 8:00:32 PM by GoldenPup

When your FR posts start to resemble the Fuehrer of the Turd Reich’s tweets…..well….
BlessYourHeart4
To: bitt

 

Any meeting with those clowns needs to be recorded.

46 posted on 5/23/2019, 9:36:22 PM by FLvoter

More angst in their pants after the thingy…

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Suffering Isn’t Noble if It’s Not Your Suffering

This is a lot to unpack, so let’s begin early: 

Pointing to recent failed bills in several Republican-led states that equated abortions with murder, they wrote, “Pro-life legislation that creates the right to DIY abortion and fails to categorize abortion as murder does not deserve our support.” In a hearing for the Texas bill, which would have equated an abortion with homicide, a crime that can lead to the death penalty in the state, Jim Baxa of West Texans for Life bluntly stated his support: “A woman who has committed murder should be charged with murder.”

Also on Tuesday, Charlotte Pence, the daughter of Vice President Mike Pence, penned an op-ed in the conservative Washington Times celebrating Alabaman’s draconian abortion ban, writing, “Personally, I would not encourage a friend to get an abortion if she suffered the horrendous evil of rape or incest, because I care about her child—and her. I do not believe abortion provides healing.”

And here: 

I had a second trimester abortion. Our son never formed an airway. Had he survived birth he would have been brain dead. That wasn’t the life I wanted for him. It was the first true parenting decision I ever made. I am not a monster or a criminal.

Here as well:

“We’ve got people all over the United States that can’t have children. They want to adopt children. There are great opportunities there.”

Consider the arguments being made, and the gods they’re being made in service to.

Consider whose suffering is being offered up.

I’ve been a practicing — not skilled, mind — Catholic my whole life, I’m not gonna tell anybody here not to kiss the Cross. Pucker up if that’s what turns your crank. You imagine you would gladly struggle through a non-viable pregnancy, deliver that stillborn child and risk all — future infertility, lethal infection, possible death — that that entails?

You see yourself suffering nobly in order to fulfill God’s plan, which is of course unknowable, because we all play a small part in someone else’s story and maybe your child’s horrific painful death or your own will be a catalyst that leads someone else to the Lord or sets something else in motion? You’re ready to do that?

Fine. Go do it, but do it you, yourself, alone.

You cannot choose martyrdom for another. Imagining that my stillbirth is your butterfly wings flapping the world into a hurricane of God’s glory is not a basis for legislation, it is cosmic chaos theory, the sort of coping mechanism employed by a child praying for good weather on circus day. It’s embarrassingly solipsistic, and it’s not a good reason to be against abortion, or for anything else, either.

I’ve written before about how so much of anti-abortion activism is a pose, a way of BEING instead of a set of solutions. If you seek a great battle in which to distinguish yourself, again, okay, but it’s a lot of pressure to put on the world, to give you a proper stage.

And as far as infertile couples yearning for your unwanted baby are concerned, if you genuinely think that your desire for a child means some other woman should bear one for you, then you can pony up the 40 grand for a volunteer surrogate, instead of asking a stranger about whom you know nothing to endure misery so that you can have joy.

What a horrifyingly selfish argument. What a sociopathic thing to say.

Before we had Kick Mr. A and I heard a LOT of anti-abortion rhetoric from fellow childless couples. One adoption agency we visited lamented the lack of available infants because “abortion exists now,” the implication being that back in the good old days we’d just send the whores to a pregnant girls’ home and then coerce them into giving up their babies which was SO MUCH MORE MORAL. The whole supply-demand argument is extremely gross.

My rights as a lady who wants a baby do not supersede the rights of a person who is pregnant and doesn’t want to be. This shit isn’t hard.

Is there nobility in suffering so that someone else can benefit? There can be. Is there meaning in bearing a child you know will die? Again, perhaps. But I don’t get to write a pretty story about how your pain is valuable because it sends me a message. That’s not for me to decide.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: I Want You Back

Rayograph by Man Ray.

This is the week Mother Nature flicked the celestial switch to turn on the steam bath that is summer in New Orleans. It hit 90 degrees for the first time in 2019. The cats slowed down, and your humble blogger started sweating like Bogie in the greenhouse scene in The Big Sleep. This sort of heat is why people in more sensible countries such as Spain and Greece take siestas. Did I just call the Greeks sensible? There’s a first time for everything.

The big local story was the death of writer, raconteur, and local character Ronnie Virgets at the age of 77. His prose style was unique as was his voice, which landed him on local teevee and radio. Ronnie was a man about town so I ran into him from time-to-time over the years. The last time was at the Krewe du Vieux captain’s dinner. Ronnie was our king in 1996. I told him how much I missed his Razoo column in the Gambit. His reply: “I ran out of shit to say.” It was said with a wink so I didn’t believe it for a second. Our mutual friend, Clancy DuBos, wrote a lovely tribute to Ronnie in which he compared him to both Damon Runyon and Jimmy Breslin. Yeah, you right, Clancy. They broke the mold when they made Ronnie Virgets.

Motown May continues with this week’s theme song. I Want You Back was written in 1969 by “The Corporation” aka Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonso Mizell, and Deke Richards. The song was originally intended for Gladys Knight & the Pips but ended up being the Jackson 5’s first hit. Let me address the monster in the room: Michael Jackson did monstrous things as an adult but he was an abused child in 1969. Besides, my favorite thing about I Want You back is the production, especially the guitar riff that propels the song.

We have two versions for your entertainment. The Jackson 5 original and a cool cover by Graham Parker:

I hope you’ll still want me back after we jump to the break. If you don’t, who can blame you?

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Spotify The Louisiana Tunes

By popular demand, here’s *my* Spotify playlist of my  Top 50 Louisiana Tunes. There are a couple of different versions based on spotty Spotify availability:

  • The Garth Brooks catalog is not on Spotify so I’ve replaced his version of #45, Callin’ Baton Rouge, with one by Brooks Jefferson.
  • Connie Boswell’s rendition of #32, Way Down Yonder In New Orleans, was unavailable so I substituted a live version by Louis Armstrong.
  • At #20 we have some Louis Prima lagniappe, a medley of Basin Street Blues and When It’s Sleepy Time Down South. More of the Wildest is always welcome.
  • # 2c, Zachary Richard’s No French No More is not available on Spotify.

I suspect I’m the only one who cares about these details but I do. Like the list at the Bayou Brief, it’s in reverse order.

Enjoy the playlist, y’all.

The Crazy, It Burns

Yesterday was one of those days when the deadly absurdity of the Trump regime got to me. The president* had public meltdowns two days in a row. Speaker Pelosi knows what buttons to push and when to push them. She doesn’t do it so often that the first dolt will figure out what she’s up to, but his inability to deal with a powerful woman results in craziness. Bigly.

I sometimes wonder if we’re living in Freedonia, the fictional country of which Groucho Marx was the president in Duck Soup. Groucho was a benign, albeit lecherous, lunatic whereas the Insult Comedian is a malign lunatic with no redeeming characteristics whatsoever. I guess I should resume calling him Trumpberius, which is a nod to the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Life not only imitates Duck Soup, it imitates I Claudius as I wrote last August:

Trump increasingly reminds me of another crazy Caesar who was also depicted in the classic teevee series, I Claudius: Caligula’s predecessor, Tiberius. In that great 1976 series, Tiberius was installed via the machinations of his mother Livia. That, in turn, left him dubious of his own legitimacy and led him to do crazy and extreme things. Sound familiar?

At the end of his life, Tiberius isolated himself from the court at Rome and spent most of time debauching at his version of Mar-a-Lago: his villa on the Isle of Capri. Neither golf nor cable teevee had been invented at that point but I’m sure Tiberius would have dug them.

Yesterday as the “extremely stable genius” made his aides publicly attest to his stability and all around awesomeness, I kept waiting for burly men in white to place this deranged narcissist in a strait-jacket. This insecure lunatic should be on Nurse Ratched’s ward, not in the White House. (That’s right, life also imitates One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.) Even for the Trump regime, it was a  bizarre spectacle to behold; with horror. Wednesday’s meltdown may have been calculated, this one was not.

Writing for First Draft is my therapy. The whole country is going to need therapy when this mishigas is finally over. The good news is that I believe that voters will vote to stop the madness next year. The bad news is that we have to put up with this insanity until January, 2021 since his cabinet is populated with non-entities and lackeys who cannot count to 25 as in the 25th Amendment. And impeachment is merely an invitation to remove an errant Oval One; only the voters can remove him since the senate obviously will not.

The last word goes to Rufus T. Firefly:

Friday Catblogging: Still Life Of Cat With Toiletries

Paul Drake is an expert at finding spots that are verboten. Who wants cat hair on their toothbrush? We’ve resorted to keeping the door shut to break him of his latest bad habit.

 

New Tea From The Tillerson

Image by Michael F.

Oil baron and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is back in the news. You didn’t really think I could pass this story up, did you? He was in Washington City to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. I guess the president* didn’t try to block his appearance. Maybe he thought that the “affairs” refer to international nookie or some such shit. He approves of foreign nookie, after all.

Tillerson not only spilled some tea, he threw some shade the Insult Comedian’s way:

Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President Vladimir Putin out-prepared President Trump during a key meeting in Germany, putting the U.S. leader at a disadvantage during their first series of tête-à-têtes.

<SNIP>

Committee aides said that Tillerson refrained from openly disparaging the president but that his inability to answer certain questions was revealing.

In one exchange, Tillerson said he and the president “shared a common goal: to secure and advance America’s place in the world and to promote and protect American values.”

“Those American values — freedom, democracy, individual liberty and human dignity — are the North Star that guided every action I took at the State Department,” Tillerson said, according to a person in the room.

Upon questioning, Tillerson clarified that although he and the president shared the same goal, they did not share the same “value system.”

When asked to describe Trump’s values, Tillerson said, “I cannot,” the person said.

“Just as matter of fact, he stated that he couldn’t or wouldn’t unpack the president’s values for us,” a committee aide said.

It’s because Trump doesn’t have any values, silly rabbit.

The president* was not amused and took to the Tweeter Tube to rant:

And who appointed this “dumb as a rock” and “totally ill-prepared and ill-equipped” man Secretary of State, Donald? Look in the mirror, asswipe. It reflects badly on you. It’s more projection from the First Criminal.

We all know people who are incapable of seeing themselves as others do. The Insult Comedian, however, wins the booby prize (literally) as the least self-aware person on the planet. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have staged that fake tantrum when he met with Chuck and Nancy yesterday. Speaker Pelosi was having a tough week before that presidential* gaffe. She should write him a thank you note. “I don’t do cover-ups,” my ass. That will be the Trumpian equivalent of Nixon’s “I am not a crook.” Tricky was and Trumpy does.

That concludes this nostalgic look at the life and times of Rex Tillerson, tea and oil spiller. It finds the Trump regime miles from nowhere after the Kaiser of Chaos went out on strike yesterday. Do your job, dipshit.

The last word goes to (who else?) my countryman, Cat Stevens:

How They Roll

Liars_Poker_Mnuchin_2

Not exactly a fun day for Steven Mnuchin — he spent it on Capitol Hill trying to justify his violation of law in refusing to hand over Trump’s tax returns — but he nonetheless managed to pull off a classic dick move of the kind the GOP routinely do, announcing publicly that the twenty dollar bill redesign to honor Harriet Tubman has been delayed until, well, he’s no longer Treasury Secretary.

“It’s not a decision that is likely to come until way past my term, even if I serve the second term for the president,” Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee. “So I’m not focused on that for the moment.”

 

“The ultimate decision on the redesign will most likely be another secretary’s down the road,” he said.

 

To be sure, this isn’t THE most critical issue facing the country, yes, it’s mainly a symbolic gesture, Andrew Jackson would probably shit a brick if he found out his face was on paper money, and geez, I don’t use cash all that much anymore…but this is exactly the sort of stuff that’s their stock in trade. Even the smallest issues are matters they’ll fight and claw over. They’ll never pass up a chance to do something that reeks of wingnut.

In contrast, Democrats, faced with Trump making Andrew Johnson and James Buchanan look like twin pillars of gravitas and moral rectitude, continue to play a “let’s-see-if-we-can-meet-them-halfway” game. That’s exactly how, over the course of a generation, we’ve devolved from Reagan to Bush to Trump. Even Clinton and Obama were, in their own ways, GOP-Lite.

I’m not saying Democrats should act like shitheels. But it’d be nice if every once in a while they’d push hard on things they believe in.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Toff On The Farm

John Creasey was a successful and highly prolific crime fiction writer. And when I say prolific, I mean it: he wrote over 600 novels using 28 pen names. He made Stephen King look like a slacker.

The Toff was one of Creasey’s best-loved series. He was a gentleman detective who specialized in “fish out water” stories: hence the urban and urbane Brit at a farm.

My late mother was a fan of Creasey’s work and they were among the first grown-up books I read as a tadpole. No wonder I’m an Anglophile, eh wot?