Monthly Archives: July 2019

Trumper Incitement Speech

Just when we thought things couldn’t get any uglier, the Insult Comedian doubled down on his egregious bigotry. He briefly stepped back from the brink after Republican blowback over his remarks about “The Squad,” but he cannot help himself and was soon back to inciting the red-hatted hordes. It’s just the latest offensive language offensive by the party of Trump.

Trump’s latest racist comments led me to me ponder two legendary Supreme Court cases. In the first case, Schenck v. United State, Oliver Wendell Holmes (surely the best name in SCOTUS history) enunciated the “clear and present danger test.” 50 years later the Supremes limited that test in the case of a Klansman named Clarence Brandenburg, not to be confused with Clarence the goofball angel in It’s A Wonderful Life. In Brandenbeurg v. Ohio case, the Court held:

… that speech advocating illegal conduct is protected under the First Amendment unless the speech is likely to incite “imminent lawless action.”

When it comes to the First Amendment, I’m down with the late Justice Hugo Black who was a free speech absolutist. BUT just because incitement speech can be legal does not make it socially or politically acceptable. We cannot ban it unless it directly provokes violence BUT we can attack it at its source: the Trump regime and the GOP.

We’re seeing the effects of the Current Occupant’s vicious and racist attacks spring to life among his supporters. Rhetorical bombs are being tossed across the country.

Across the Big Muddy from Adrastos World HQ, a veteran Gretna police officer showed classic internet courage by first posting, then removing a Facebook thingamabob about Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez:

The Times-Picayune reported this weekend that police officer Charlie Rispoli had posted a threatening message about Ocasio-Cortez, who used to work as a bartender, on his Facebook page.

“This vile idiot needs a round…and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve,” Rispoli wrote in a caption above a fake article headlined with “Ocasio-Cortez On the Budget: ‘We Pay Soldiers Too Much’”

The cop seemed livid about the article, even though the site Taters Gonna Tate describes itself as a “satire” website and Ocasio-Cortez has never said that soldiers get paid “too much.”

A Trumper falling for a “fake news” article? Imagine that. Of course, anyone who has fallen for the Insult Comedian’s shtick is a fool and/or a poltroon.

Meanwhile, this happened in the Land of Lincoln:

Internet courage was also displayed by this group: they removed this offensive image as well as its even more offensive caption, “Political jihad is their game. If you don’t agree with their socialist ideology, you’re racist.”

That is, of course, Geoffrey Hughes’ character, Onslow, from Keeping Up Appearances, not one of the Illinois GOP honchos. But now that I think of it, all you have to do is add a Bears or Cubs hat and Bob’s your uncle. Your uncle, not mine.

They justified the racist image with this gobble-de-gook:

State Republican Chairman Tim Schneider responded to what he called the “bigoted rhetoric” in a statement, according to the Tribune.

“My intense disagreement with the socialist policies and anti-Semitic language of these four congresswoman has absolutely nothing to do with their race or religion,” he said. “I urge everyone who opposes them to keep the rhetoric focused on policy and ideology.”

Instead of gobble-de-gook, one might call this an Illini lie. Schneider is a German-sounding name, perhaps he should go back to Germany. Of course, German law takes a dim view of incitement speech for obvious reasons. Been there, done that.

The current political environment is ugly and getting uglier by the nano-second. Trump and his supporters will stop at nothing to keep him in office. I am genuinely concerned that this will result in even more politically inspired violence than we’ve already seen.

Like Pontius Pilate, Trump will wash his hands of any responsibility the next time someone gets hurt, especially if it’s one of The Squad. I have no sympathy for that devil, y’all.

And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Trump and his followers are stirring the pot with their incitement speech. At the risk of sounding like an entry in the dictionary of political cliches, they will eventually reap the whirlwind and pay for their actions in the fall of 2020. But it will take hard work and persistence. And Boris Badenov and ilk may help Team Trump just as they did in 2016:

Repeat after me: Republicans lost the popular vote in the mid-terms by 9 points. Their only hope for victory is to depress Democratic turnout by hook or crook and pray for protection from the electoral college.  Never forget: massive turnout by the people Trump is trying to otherize is the cure to what ails the country.

Since bomb throwing is the metaphor of the day, the last word goes to 10cc:

UPDATE: The Gretna, Louisiana cop mentioned above was fired.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Chant Trix edition

Well, folks – this week’s “Obsession” pretty much wrote itself.

First, you had this :

Trump rally crowd chants ‘Send her back’ about Ilhan Omar
The Hill ^ | 07/17/19 | Brett Samuels

Posted on 7/17/2019, 7:18:02 PM by yesthatjallen

Supporters at President Trump’s campaign rally on Wednesday chanted “send her back” about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) after the president launched into a diatribe against the first-term lawmaker and Somali refugee.

Trump tore into Omar early on in his rally in Greenville, North Carolina, a continuation of his days-long attacks against her and three other progressive congresswomen. The crowd raucously booed Omar at the first mention of her name.

The president went on to accuse Omar of demeaning U.S. servicemembers and minimizing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“She looks down with contempt on the hard-working Americans saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country,” Trump said.

The crowd then broke into a chant of “Send her back” in reference to Omar, who came to the U.S. as a Somalian refugee as a teenager.

The president has in recent days targeted Omar and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), claiming the lawmakers “hate our country” and suggested they should leave rather than complain about the government.

He sparked an uproar on Sunday morning when he tweeted that progressive congresswomen “who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

1 posted on 7/17/2019, 7:18:02 PM by yesthatjallen
Places, everyone….
And we’re OFF!
To: yesthatjallen

 

Let them all pick the socialist shithole of their choice, send them there.

4 posted on 7/17/2019, 7:23:06 PM by 5th MEB (Progressives in the open; — FIRE FOR EFFECT!!)

Denmark? Finland?  West Virginia?
To: yesthatjallen
How’d this freaking Skinny
Apparently, “skinny” is the new “nigger”.
get in the wire, anyway. I hear our President brought up her marriage . . . to another Skinny, – her brother 😂This President kicks licks ass. 😂

8 posted on 7/17/2019, 7:24:52 PM by atc23
FIFY.
To: yesthatjallen

 

@rising_serpent
Such is the power of Trump’s ability to change the narrative, he single-handedly made the MSM give the toxic quadruplets more airtime than the entire Democrat presidential clown car combined.
Right now Democrats are wringing their hands in impotent despair  celebrating, at knowing they Trump just torpedoed the GOP and lost 2020.

14 posted on 7/17/2019, 7:38:40 PM by numberonepal (WWG1WGA)

You dumb fucks are lucky I’m not charging you by the word for copyreading.
.
A couple of Freepers glance outside their bubble:
To: yesthatjallen

 

I found that cringe worthy. Not helpful.

30 posted on 7/17/2019, 8:27:46 PM by americas.best.days… ( Donald John Trump has pulled the sword from the stone.)

To: yesthatjallen

 

Will be spun as inciting racism, could lead to genocide.

15 posted on 7/17/2019, 7:38:55 PM by BusterDog

To: RoseofTexas

 

chithole = slit trench

39 posted on 7/17/2019, 9:59:30 PM by 353FMG

Classy.
.
And THEN –
Trump disavows ‘send her back’ chant from his rally
Politico ^ | 07/18/2019 | Quint Forgey
Posted on 7/18/2019, 2:48:07 PM by SeekAndFind

President Donald Trump claimed Thursday he “was not happy” with the crowd at his campaign rally for chanting “send her back,” after he had goaded the North Carolina audience with a fiery attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar.

“I was not happy with it. I disagree with it. But again, I didn’t say that. They did. But I disagree with it,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, adding that he “started speaking very quickly” in an attempt to silence the rally attendees.

Prior to the audience at Greenville’s East Carolina University breaking into their chant Wednesday night, the president tore into Omar, mischaracterizing past controversial statements by the Minnesota Democrat related to the 9/11 terror attacks and Al Qaeda that conservatives have seized upon in recent months.

Just before the incendiary refrain broke out, Trump accused Omar of having “a history of launching vicious, anti-Semitic screeds,” and then silently gazed out over the crowd for roughly 15 seconds until the cheers of “send her back” abated.

“It was quite a chant, and I felt a little bit badly about it,” Trump said on Thursday, later hailing the number of supporters inside the “packed arena” and boasting of the “tremendous support” and “great energy” enjoyed by the Republican Party.

“I say there is far more energy on the right than there is on the left,” he said, adding, “I think we have far more support than they do and I think we have far more energy than they do. And we’re going to have a very interesting election. But I was not happy when I heard that chant.”

1 posted on 7/18/2019, 2:48:07 PM by SeekAndFind
Uh oh.
To: SeekAndFind

 

Truly a stupid and VERY bad move, Mr. President!

5 posted on 7/18/2019, 2:53:54 PM by nopardons

More Freeper reactions below the fold ….

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Talk to Your Kids About Power

From Laura Turner’s wonderful piece (go read it all) about growing up evangelical and reckoning with it as an adult in all kinds of ways: 

Looking back on teachings about sexual purity now—the conversations about modesty, about saving oneself for marriage—I am struck that we never, not once, had a conversation about consent. It was reasonable for a boy to suggest that he was “tempted” by a girl wearing skimpy clothes, but the blame was always placed on the girl for dressing that way. We never talked about power, about how being a man in power could warp a person’s soul, how that warping could turn into abuse, how that abuse would go unchallenged. We were liabilities, even as men thought they were loving us. We were taught that men have the upper hand, and that it was a woman’s job to defuse that lust. We never talked about what it meant to be a person, a complete, vulnerable, whole-bodied person who had control over her being.

I was having this conversation with Kick’s caregiver the other day, about what TV she watches. Like I don’t care if she accidentally catches a sex scene in some movie before you change the channel. She knows what a boob is. Why are those people doing that? Well, they love each other and when you love each other you kiss and touch.

But stories — and there are a startling number of them — about violence or coercion are so much more complicated, and more necessary, and I’m trying to learn about how to have them in ways that don’t make her hate or fear herself. One of the terrible things we do by gatekeeping the appearances of young women — you look too grown-up, you can’t wear nail polish till you’re 20, etc — is make them afraid of their own beauty; it’s BAD to be pretty, how dare you.

When we refuse to teach young people how to recognize manipulation and power we don’t just make them vulnerable to hurt. We make them afraid of happiness. What if you want to be wanted? What if you care about someone and want him to touch you with love and joy? What if you want to be admired, want to have affection, want someone to be attracted to you? What if that relationship is mutual and fun and you have no idea how to keep from poisoning it with fear?

Are you a dirty slut because your boyfriend likes the way you look in a bikini and you enjoy having his eyes on you?

(This, like most purity discourse, assumes straightness, which is a whole other damn kettle of bigoted fish.)

It’s not just about protecting yourself. It’s about learning to live in the world and not hate yourself and fear everyone else. That’s a hell of a lot harder to explain than why two people are naked.

A.

Maybe THIS Will Be It

I honestly have no patience for it anymore, the idea that at some point Trump and his administration are just gonna kind of … resolve themselves. Like we’re gonna get out of this without somebody having to be unpopular, having to say the rude things, having to BRING THE FUCKING ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT. Having to censure him, having to reckon. Like there will finally be something said that will somehow make this easy. This was never gonna be easy.

I don’t know who the hell ever gave these grown-ass adults the idea that any of this would be easy.

Like we waited in the national press for “go back where you came from” before we said “racist” (and even then), we waited for the Mueller report before we said foreign influence, we wait for Kavanaugh before we talk about Roe.

Do we have to start actually murdering children in the camps with our bare hands before we can close them? Does a river need to catch fire again before we acknowledge polluters are polluting? How many more years do the wars need to go on? How many generations are we going to chew up out of vengeance, and how obvious does it have to be that there’s no good way out of there?

We like to think there will be some unavoidable turning point in the future, because we write and learn our histories that way: Rosa Parks said I’m not moving, and that ended segregation. Walter Cronkite said this is bullshit, and that ended Vietnam. We wait and wait and wait for somebody else to do the thing that saves us.

Ignoring that people do this ten times a day and we don’t recognize it because in the moment nobody recognizes it.

The fucking point of the canary in the coal mine is that nobody except the goddamn canary is supposed to die.

We’re up to our asses in feathers, and we keep bringing more birds down and watching them drop.

A.

Not Everything Sucks: Fighting Back Edition

A friend of mine is involved with this group and they’re incredible: 

Surrounded by open suitcases, an air mattress, at least one Popeyes bag, and a mishmash of chips and Cheez-It containers, the two-story row house in DC’s Shaw neighborhood could easily be the site of a sleepaway camp reunion. Instead, this week it served as headquarters for Never Again Action, a brand-new movement of young American Jews calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be shut down and the closure of immigrant detention centers nationwide.

About 15 activists from cities all over the US stayed in the house this week — sleeping on mismatched couches, a futon, and the floor — to pull off their biggest action yet: a march on Tuesday from the National Mall to the ICE headquarters, where they planned to quite literally shut the building down.

People will say, like they said about the Iraq War, that everyone just let this happen. They’ll say it to let themselves off the hook — nobody ELSE was protesting, so I didn’t do it either — but the work these young men and women are doing should not be erased.

A.

Sunday Morning Video: Johnny Clegg & Savuka Live In Paris

It’s time for another tribute to the late, great Johnny Clegg with this 1990 show at the Zenith Paris.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Moon Rocks

This Image Should Have Been On The Cover Of Life Magazine by Alan Bean.

History was made 50 years ago today when Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon. It was controversial among some at the time for being a waste of money and has become the subject of wackadoo conspiracy theories. I watched the moon landing unfold and I thought it was magnificent; even better than Star Trek or 2001. The truth is not only stranger than fiction, it can be much better. I still think the heyday of the space program is way cool or perhaps even wicked awesome.

This week’s featured image is a painting by the late Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean. It’s based on a picture taken by Buzz Aldrin of Neil Armstrong; hence the epic title. I thought it was high time to give it, uh, new Life.

There are a wide variety of moon songs to choose from. For this week’s theme song, I went with one that’s lunar landing specific. Moon Rocks was written by David Bryne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, and Tina Weymouth for Talking Heads monster hit 1983 album, Speaking In Tongues.

Now that we’ve done a bit of space walking, let’s cut the tether and float to the break.

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John Paul Stevens & Jim Bouton, R.I.P.

You’re not hallucinating. That is indeed a signed John Paul Stevens baseball card. It was created by David Mitchner who mailed it to Justice Stevens during the 2016 World Series. You know, the Cubs’ first championship since 1908. Justice Stevens returned the signed card and the rest is history. The photo of Stevens in Cubs gear dates from 2005 when he threw out the first pitch at a Cubs-Reds game in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

You’re probably wondering why I paired Justice Stevens and pitcher/author Jim Bouton in a tribute. They’re both people I admired who died recently, that’s why. Besides, I’m notorious for my oddball combinations. Stevens and Bouton were both genial, kindly men who loved baseball. It’s time to uncouple this Odd Couple; one that’s almost worthy of the late Neil Simon.

Let’s take them in order of demise. We’ll use the time-honored Odds & Sods device of the New York Times link thingamabob as subject headers/dividers.

 

I failed to pay proper tribute to Jim Bouton last week because of the Wednesday flood and the approach of Whatever That Was Barry. He had a mediocre career highlighted by two fine seasons with the New York Yankees in 1963 and 1964. He blew out his arm in 1965 and by 1969 was trying to make a comeback as a knuckleball pitcher with the expansion Seattle Pilots. The Pilots lasted one year before being sold and moved to Milwaukee where they ditched the awful uniforms and became the Brewers.

1969 was the dividing line in Jim Bouton’s life. It was the year that he recorded the diary entries that would become the sensation that was Ball Four. Bouton was pilloried by the stuffy, ultra-conservative baseball establishment for admitting that ballplayers were human beings. Mickey Mantle drank and played hungover? A huge shocker in 1970 but no surprise to anyone who actually knew the Mick.

Along with Catch-22, Burr, and Breakfast of Champions, Ball Four was my favorite book of that era. Heller, Vidal, and Vonnegut were pretty lofty company for a washed-up pitcher to keep. But all four books were irreverent and hilarious; influences I try to put to good use as a writer.

Teen-age me was thrilled to learn that someone who played my favorite sport was an anti-war liberal with a wicked sense of humor. Ballplayers pretended to be apolitical paragons in those days. Bouton was a breath of fresh air.

One of the best tributes I’ve read to Bouton is by my friend Vince Filak. He focuses on Bouton’s unique voice and exceptional story-telling ability. It’s a helluva good read.

I’ll give Jim Bouton the last word of the segment:

“A ballplayer spends a good piece of his life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.”

Let’s move on from a former Yankees/Pilots/Astros/Braves pitcher to a zealous Cubs fan.

John Paul Stevens always maintained that he was a conservative and that SCOTUS had moved so far to the right that he looked like a liberal in contrast. I think of Stevens as the sort of liberal Republican that is largely extinct in 2019.

He grew up in Chicago, which was a town dominated by a corrupt Democratic political machine. The natural thing for an independent minded lawyer was to become a liberal Republican in the tradition of fellow Supremes Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan Stone, and Earl Warren. Stevens’ appointment was by far and away the best thing that Jerry Ford did during his brief presidency.

As a Supreme, Stevens was an independent force with a fervent belief in the rule of law. I think Jeffrey Rosen best summed up Stevens’ credo as a judge:

In our conversation, three consistent themes in his jurisprudence emerged: his belief in the duty of the government to be neutral; the duty of judges to be transparent; and the need for judges to interpret the Constitution in light of the entire scope of its history, including the post–Civil War amendments, rather than stopping in the founding era.

Those are themes that all judges should aspire to but are sadly lacking among today’s conservative justices who are eager to gut precedents they dislike. That’s what John Paul Stevens meant when he called himself a conservative. He wanted to conserve what was best in the law and reform the worst.

Circling back to our baseball theme. As a young lawyer, Stevens was involved in Congressional hearings that addressed baseball’s anti-trust exemption. There’s a swell piece in the archives of the Atlantic about how Stevens changed baseball.

That concludes this odd couple tribute to two men I admired. Jim Bouton and John Paul Stevens made the world a better and livelier place. They will be missed.

Friday Catblogging: Missing Miss Street

It’s been a month since we lost Della Street. I miss her dirty looks and imperious bearing. The look on her face in this box picture says it all:

 

Tweet Of The Day: Nihilistic Neelyism Edition

I wrote a piece for the Bayou Brief last year about Neelyisms, which are the cornpone sayings of the Junior Senator from the Gret Stet of Louisiana, John Neely Kennedy. He’s at it again.

Neely went on the Tucker Carlson Xenophobia Hour and called the Squad, “the four horsewomen of the apocalypse.” There was a follow-up tweet from this twit:

What the hell does the “directions on a shampoo bottle” thing even mean? Is he concussed or is it brain damage caused by his mindless defense of the Insult Comedian? Most Neelyisms make *some* sense, this one does not. He’s as crankily incoherent as Hopper in Stranger Things 3. It’s what comes of defending the indefensible.

As a silent film history buff, I got a kick out of the anachronistic reference to this classic movie, which was based on biblical lore:

I’m not sure many people got the reference but Mr. Google is there to provide guidance. I hope he led people to the 1921 original, not the 1962 remake, a film so bad that even the great Vincente Minnelli couldn’t rescue it. It was such a dog that it’s still barking. Holy shit, that sounded like Dog Hating Donald. Apologies.

It’s no revelation to think that Neely was actually referring to The Bible, but it’s more fun to riff on old movies than armageddon. That’s not my scene, y’all. Besides, if anyone is bringing on the apocalypse, it’s Neely and his president*, not AOC and the Squad.

The last word goes to the Clash:

 

 

President Know Nothing

Trump_Citizen_Know_Nothing

“Racist Ass” description courtesy of Ted Lieu. 

In what barely qualifies as news, Trump’s re-election strategy, to the extent he has one, is letting his racist (to the bone), xenophobic, nativist freak flag fly.

Last night’s hate fest was just the latest chapter in the ongoing shit show.

Yes, Trump’s base will be fired up, and the idiot media, continuing their malpractice from 2016 (her emails!), will insist his base embodies Real America (it doesn’t).

The 2018 midterms weren’t an accident. Trump might be popular with his base, but his base isn’t enough to pull out a win.

The Democrats might be able to pull out a loss, but that’s another story.

In the meantime, sure, it’s ugly, but I’m not ready to cede the country to them.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Maynard Dixon/Dane Coolidge

To go along with the Happy Trails post, I searched for “western paperback covers” and stumbled into some early 20th Century dust jackets. Dane Coolidge was a California writer of genre fiction; mostly Westerns. His first two books featured covers by the great painter Maynard Dixon who got first billing in the post title because I’m very familiar with his work. The only Coolidge whose work I’m familiar with is Calvin and I’m not a fan.

Hidden Water was published in 1910 and The Texican in 1911. Sometimes it’s fun to fall down an internet rabbit hole.

 

Donald Trump Is A Racist

I realize that I’m both preaching to the choir and stating the obvious with this post title. I think it’s important to be direct when writing about the depths of the Insult Comedian’s bigotry and the damage it has done to the country.

Vox’s German Lopez has assembled an impressive timeline of Trumpian public racism that stretches back to 1973. It’s an ugly but must-read piece. Anyone with a lick of sense has known from the beginning that Donald Trump is not only a criminal, he’s a racist.

What else was birtherism but a demand that Barack Obama show his “papers” to prove his citizenship? It didn’t need to be true or even partially true to have a malicious effect on the body politic. Hell, Trump wasn’t even the original birther but he was the most persistent.

I realize that Trump’s “go back” attack on the Squad was an attempt to divert attention from all the Trump scandals. It was imperative, however, to call him on his egregious racism. I wish he would “go back” to Trump Tower and leave the rest of us alone.

There were only 4 Republican House members plus Justin Amash who voted for the resolution condemning Trump’s latest racist tweet. I was surprised that there were any so this kinda, sorta counts as progress.

The GOP response was typified by Mitch McConnell, Steve Scalise, and Kevin McCarthy all of whom claimed Trump is not a racist and that they were nice to then President Obama. It’s all so typical and tiresome. Give it a rest, y’all. You own this guy and his overt racism.

The worst effect of having a racist, white nationalist president* is that it’s now socially acceptable in some quarters to make overtly racist comments in broad daylight. They’re following the president’s* bad example. I wish they would crawl back under the rock they oozed out from under BUT at least we know where we stand. The dog whistle has been replaced with a bullhorn.

Team Trump’s 2020 strategy has been obvious for months: defame, slander, and lie about their opponents to depress Democratic turnout. It’s their only hope of winning since they’ve been shrinking their base since the infamous “American carnage” inaugural rant. The good news is that Trump’s racist, xenophobic mid-term campaign did not work. The bad news is that we’re stuck with this asshole until January, 2021.

One good effect of Trump’s face-off with the Squad is that the MSM is starting to call a racist a racist. Trump’s reaction has been typically overstated:

That’s the Insult Comedian’s version of “some of my best friends are black.” Given his record of sexual assault, there may be one bone in his body that isn’t racist, if you catch my drift.

I may be preaching to the choir but repeat after me: Donald Trump is a racist.

The last word goes to Rodney Crowell:

Johnny Clegg, R.I.P.

Johnny Clegg and Nelson Mandela in 1997.

This news felt like a gut punch. The great South African singer-songwriter and anti-Apartheid activist, Johnny Clegg has died at the age of 66.

Dr. A and I have many of Clegg’s albums with both Juluka and Savuka. We saw him perform live on several occasions. Most memorably at Tipitina’s when he played New Orleans in support of his Heat, Dust and Dreams album. We spoke to him at the stage door. I don’t recall the contents of the conversation but I recall the warmth and kindness exuded by the artist. It’s a pity that it was pre-camera phone so we don’t have a picture with us to remember him by. But we have his music.

The best tribute to any musician is the music itself. Here are a few old favorites:

Finally, a song that Johnny Clegg wrote in tribute to his fallen friend and band mate, Dudu Zulu:

I hope his crossing is a smooth one.

To Sir, With Self-Love

Barack Obama is frequently compared to Sidney Poitier. They’re both dignified, self-possessed pioneers. I never expected to spin a Poitier movie title in a post about Donald Trump’s mendacity but I just did. The world works in mysterious ways, sir. Believe me.

Daniel Dale has been chronicling the Insult Comedian’s lies since he descended on that Trump Tower escalator and ripped into Mexican “rapists.” The lies, half-truths, and exaggerations have, if anything, escalated since that moment. Daniel Dale has been there for all of it; first at the Toronto Star and now at CNN, sir.

Dale’s systematic study of Trumpian mendacity turned up a word that is almost invariably a tell that the president* is lying. You guessed it; the word is SIR.

I’ve fact-checked every word Trump has uttered since his inauguration. I can tell you that if this President relays an anecdote in which he has someone referring to him as “sir,” then some major component of the anecdote is very likely to be wrong.

Lots of people do call Trump “sir,” of course. But the word seems to pop into his head more frequently when he is inventing or exaggerating a conversation than when he is faithfully relaying one. A “sir” is a flashing red light that he is speaking from his imagination rather than his memory.

In poker parlance, it’s a tell.

Yes sir, Mr. Dale, sir.

This is the most disturbing sir story by far, sir, because the stakes were so high, sir:

President Donald Trump told a dramatic story on Twitter last month.

Explaining how he decided to cancel a possible attack on Iran, he wrote, “We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it…”

This was all so Hollywood that I would have been skeptical regardless of Trump’s choice of words. Because he included one particular word, though, I was almost certain the story was inaccurate in some way.

<SNIP>

My “sir” suspicions didn’t betray me on Trump’s Iran tweet last month. Later in the day he posted it, CNN reported that a White House official said Trump was given a casualty estimate much earlier than “10 minutes before the strike.” reported that an administration official said the “150 people” figure was given to Trump by White House lawyers, not in a cinematic exchange with a general.

Yes sir, Mr. Dale, sir. That’s a Lulu of a whopper, sir. Lulu, of course, sang the theme song for the 1967 Sidney Poitier movie To Sir, With Love. Hence the post title: To Sir, With Self-Love.

Another major Trump tell is when he ends a sentence with “believe me.” It’s an indicator that what preceded it is untrue. Believe me, sir. Uh oh, I just shot my credibility to hell.

The last word goes to Lulu:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Happy Trails

Gary Duncan, a founding member of Quicksilver Messenger Service, died at the age of 72 a few weeks ago. The San Francisco based Quicksilver were one of the original jam bands. Their  influence has grown in the last twenty years. Quicksilver’s 1969 live album Happy Trails was one of the jammiest jam band albums of all.

The cover was something of an oddity at the time. It looks more like the cover of a book by Zane Grey or Holly Martins instead of an album by a psychedelic rock band. That’s why it’s so cool. The back cover is swell as well.

Here’s the whole damn album:

Impeach the Cabinet First

Starting with Elaine: 

According to the Politico report, questions about ethical conflicts center on the number of grants DOT has approved for projects in Kentucky, many of which could benefit McConnell politically as he hits the campaign trail for his 2020 reelection bid in the southern state.

Chao has helped greenlight at least $78 million in grants for construction projects in Kentucky, Doherty and Snyder write. Additionally, she helped designate a special go-between that worked with McConnell’s office on Kentucky-related projects:

It’s a win-win-win scenario: Mitch has to defend his wife’s double-dealing instead of running for re-election, she IS ACTUALLY AWFUL, and it doesn’t have the baggage presidential impeachment has. She’s an actual confirmed secretary and not some “acting” schlub who got shoved in there when the real guy got am-scrayed.

Like here’s the thing with yelling at Nancy to impeach Trump. Shit, she needs to, because the only thing a bully understands is a good hard punch to the face (AOC and Omar and Tlaib and Pressley get this, btw), but it’s not her only option.

She can censure him every day. She can impeach his entire cabinet starting with Mrs. Turtle up there. It’s a target-rich environment and Trump’s not the only Chaotic Evil to hit. Take them out one by one and the GOP has to scramble to defend them all instead of focusing on OUR GLORIOUS PRESIDENT like they are now.

A.

Not Everything Sucks

My forever president, John F. Kerry, is still out here trying to tell us what’s going on:

I WILL NEVER BE OVER that we did not have this man as president. Never.

A.

Tweet Of The Day: John Kerry Edition

Before entering electoral politics, Ayanna Pressley was a senior aide to then Senator John Kerry. Big John rose to Pressley’s defense after the president* told her and three of her colleagues to “go back” to their shithole districts. I’m the one who said shithole this time, but he’s said it before and will say it again. Believe me.

The MSM called Trump’s original tweet, “racially charged.” Those of us in the reality based community called it racist. It was a successful attempt to distract attention from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. It’s the only thing the Insult Comedian does well.

A quick note to my fellow Democrats; STFU and stop attacking one another. We’re the big tent party and we need a coalition to win elections. Moderates and Lefties need one another to take on the real enemy: THE PARTY OF TRUMP.

I Come To Bury Barry, Not Praise Him 2

Barry was a non-event in New Orleans. We did not have a “big blow” like the storm in Key Largo, which is my favorite hurricane season movie. Hence the featured image.

Barry was such a nothing burger for us that we didn’t even watch Key Largo. When it came time to view a classic film, we went with Sunset Boulevard. Unlike our past cats, PD had never seen it. It was time to correct that oversight.

Speaking of Paul Drake, here’s some bonus catblogging:

What Barry was in New Orleans was boring. There were some major rain bands to our west and east but they bypassed us. We were lucky but anyone who follows the Euro forecasting Model had an inkling of what Barry would be like in the Crescent City. We had much more rain last Wednesday.

The only entertaining thing about Barry was the national media coverage. Any time a storm *may* hit New Orleans, they’re like a dog with a bone and fixate on us. It was the story of a lifetime for many in the MSM and they’re eager to repeat it. We are not.

My friends Kevin Allman and Lamar White Jr. both wrote pieces scolding the MSM. Thanks, y’all. My phone and social media feeds blew up on Friday and Saturday with people thinking we’d die if we didn’t evacuate. I informed them that we were bored instead of scared.

After Friday’s post, my contribution to the online dialogue was this tweet:

As to the second point, WDSU has a weatherperson who is famous for freaking out whenever there’s a storm in the Gulf. She’s obsessed with people having an ax handy just in case they’re stuck in the attic and have to chop their way out. Pondering her past antics led to another Shecky tweet:

It’s back to what passes for normal in New Orleans. I guess it’s time to catch up on the national news, which I skimmed over the weekend. To distract attention from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, Trump was a racist asshole again. The MSM falls for it every time.

The last word goes to Roxy Music:

Yeah, I know, Neil Young wrote the song: