Monthly Archives: September 2019

Whither Deep State Throat?

Until my memory was refreshed by a piece in the WaPo by Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks, I had almost forgotten about Deep State Throat. That was the nickname I gave the person who wrote the anonymous NYT op-ed piece: I Am Part of the Resistance.

The piece was published September 5, 2018. It has not aged well. If anything, the Insult Comedian is twice as unhinged as he was a year ago. I am fast losing patience with Republicans who are willing to grumble off but not on the record. Surely Rex Tillerson isn’t afraid of a mean tweet from his former boss and he doesn’t have the military/salute the flag excuse of McMaster and Mattis. It’s time for all of them to speak out. Loud and clear.

The so-called internal resistance has failed. The latest impeachable offense proves that. Since my prime Deep State Throat suspects were former DNI Dan Coates and/or his deputy Sue Gordon, it’s time for them to speak out. John Bolton and his mustache of war too. Loud and clear.

The Ukraine scam distills everything that is wrong about Trump’s national security policy. It’s really an international protection racket: he shook down a weak foreign leader and tried to make Ukraine take the fall for 2016. He even tried to get Kiev to exonerate Paul Fucking Manafort, the man who gave their former president corruption lessons.

It’s time for Kurt Volker who resigned as a special envoy to Kiev to speak out. Loud and clear. He’s the head of the McCain Institute, it’s time for him to act like McCain, not Lindsey Graham. McCain would speak out. Loud and clear.

In other cowardly Republican news, Jeff Flake also has an op-ed in the WaPo. It should be titled Do As I Say, Not As I Do. He urges GOPers to break with their lord and master when all he was willing to do was make fine speeches while voting with the administration time and time again. If Republicans turn on Trump, it won’t be to save their souls, but their asses.

Jeff Flake is a pussy. He should grab himself.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Eat a Impeach edition

Good morning, everyone! All things considered, I’ll say the Freeperati took last week’s news fairly well.

Initially, from Clown Hall :

Reports Of A Change In Tune? Speaker Pelosi Is Feeling Out Caucus On Impeachment
Townhall ^ | 09/24/2019 | Matt Vespa

Posted on 9/24/2019, 1:06:43 PM by SeekAndFind

For the most part, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been a rational bastion in the ‘get Trump’ fever that has overtaken House Democrats. The calls to impeach Trump have been drumming for nearly four years has always been met with skepticism from Pelosi, who knows the risks. It will galvanize the GOP like no other, push away Independent voters, and will offer loads of ammunition to be used in political ads. With the presidency in Republican hands, along with the bully pulpit, the GOP has the advantage in this fight, especially if the reasons to impeach are seen as politically driven. The fact is that they are politically-driven; they just don’t like Trump. He is being impeached because he won the 2016 election. That’s it. The Trump-Russia collusion myth was their best shot—and Robert Mueller torpedoed that.

(snip)

Let’s see what happens.

1 posted on 9/24/2019, 1:06:43 PM by SeekAndFind
Yeah – let’s see what happens.
.
TrumpPhoneCalls
.
From the 13th-dimensional chess brigade :
To: SeekAndFind

 

I don’t know how many moves ahead Trump has planned, but I am convinced he and his team actually launched this “Ukraine Whistleblower” narrative.

It seems to be working perfectly. Its got even CNN talking about Biden’s corruption in Ukraine, thus hobbling Biden even further. Its got the media once again chasing a completely BS story. Its got his GOP opponents saying stupid things which will come to nothing.

The Dems going bonkers on “impeachment” may be yet another PR benefit.

11 posted on 9/24/2019, 1:10:33 PM by PGR88

What a cunning stunt!
To: SeekAndFind

 

The Democrat House impeaching Trump does not worry me as much as the thought of those snake Republicans in the Senate pulling a last minute “McCain” attempt to save their jobs.

14 posted on 9/24/2019, 1:14:03 PM by Trumpnado2016 (Welcome to Trump World.)

FIFY.
.
And then – suddenly, this summer :

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expected to announce impeachment inquiry MSNBC ^Posted on 9/24/2019, 1:50:30 PM by janetjanet998

The Washington Post reported Tuesday afternoon that Pelosi would announce a formal impeachment inquiry after meeting with Democratic lawmakers.

1 posted on 9/24/2019, 1:50:30 PM by janetjanet998
Damnit, janetjanet!
To: goldstategop

 

It might not get to that, we may see 2 million armed angry people in Washington before then.

6 posted on 9/24/2019, 1:52:50 PM by cowboyusa (America Cowboy Up)

Bwahahaha
Or to put it another way :
More Freeper hysteria and histrionics after the you-know-what…

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Not Everything Sucks

This Star Wars thread exists. 

At least once a week I think “weed van” like on the bus or something and start giggling uncontrollably to myself.

Team Weed Van needs to be the official name of The Resistance.

A.

Sunday Catblogging: Courting Ada Edition

Ada had a visitor yesterday:

This orange fellow is Remy. He lives next door to us and prowls the neighborhood during the day, then in the evening reappears to yowl incredibly loudly until his people let him in to eat.

Because we live in Mayberry, well-meaning neighbors often post pictures of him on Facebook and declare that he is lost and they’ve taken him in to feed him, and then when somebody says he’s an outdoor cat, it’s 567 posts about how terrible it is for cats to be outside. If the half a bird I saw him dragging into the yard the other day is any indication of his skills, Remy can more than hold his own with what passes for wildlife around here.

He’s friendly as hell. He follows Kick around begging for pets whenever she’s outside, and Ada desperately wants to go on outdoor adventures with him and thinks it is the height of injustice that she isn’t allowed. Remy is street-smart and Ada could lose a battle of wits with a dust bunny so for now they are star-crossed lovers Romeo-and-Julietting through the back door.

A.

Pope Chunky Reese Witherspoon flaps his mouth again

Reading a Douthat column, my expectations are always low, but every time it’s like looking into the hose of a Shop-Vac after you’ve hoovered up your storm drains. Like just look at this: 

Ask an intelligent Republican staffer what they imagine awaits their party after Donald Trump, and you’ll get an interesting disquisition on the factions and figures that might shape conservatism, the political and policy arguments to come.

Let me simplify for you so you can get back to calling girls on birth control unfuckable: The future of the party is the same as it’s always been.

Racism, racism, and racism.

The divisions you speak of exist within racism. The diversity of views and policies and goals you lionize are the differences between open racism, covert racism, Foghorn Leghorn racism, book club rosé lady racism, just-moved-here-for-the-schools racism, plantation wedding racism, and that guy on the corner screaming about Obama still coming to take his guns racism.

That’s been your party for 50 years and it’s not going anywhere else.

What an interesting disquisition.

Ask that same staffer what happens if Trump is re-elected, and you’ll get a heavy sigh, a thousand-yard stare and then a hopeful “Well, maybe we can just pretend he isn’t there …?”

That would be a real risk if there weren’t thousands of members of our Sacred Fourth Estate ready to hold accountable the system that created, promoted, nominated, elected and enabled Trump.

Wait.

Shit.

Instead Trump will bestride his party like a decaying colossus, and his administration’s accelerative deterioration will be the G.O.P.’s as well.

Your mouth-anus to God’s ears, though I’m sure She’s sick of listening to you by now.

My days of writing high-dudgeon columns demanding that Republicans act in concert against Trump are behind me; cynicism and bemusement define my attitude toward G.O.P. decadence these days.

How nice for you.

Refugee kids at the border have a different view of things, looking out as they do from behind the bars of their cages, but you do you.

Dick.

But in a bored-Roman-aristocrat drawl, I just want to suggest — mildly, dabbling my hands in a convenient finger bowl — that the current impeachment inquiry might, in fact, be that magical remote control: a chance to hit fast-forward and summon the post-Trump future into existence here and now, for the 2020 campaign.

Hitting the button requires only two things: the swift, before-primary-season impeachment schedule House Democrats are entertaining and then 20 Republican votes in the Senate for conviction, if the Trump-Giuliani operation in Ukraine looks as bad in a few months as it does today.

OH MY GOD I TAKE IT BACK THIS IS HYSTERICAL.

You think you just get to get OVER this? You think you just get to get past it? This isn’t like your previous Republican presidents, the four horsemen of the Dorkpocalypse, in order Resignation In Disgrace, Incompetence, Bigotry and War Crimes. Trump has done something none of your previous monsters managed to do, which is make you all look just RIDICULOUS.

People might forget criminals but they remember clowns. Trump will follow you to the end of all your living days and I will be right there beside him ringing a cowbell as loud as I can to make sure everyone knows that here proceeds a clasp of lepers.

You don’t get to have an after. If the dead refugee kids don’t, neither do you, cocksock.

And let’s just take a moment to laugh at the idea that the BRIGHT SIDE for the Republicans right now is this motherfucker getting impeached as quickly as possible. That’s the best case scenario for the ex-pope’s hype man up there.

With Trump gone, everyone from Haley and Carlson to Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley could jump into an accelerated primary campaign against the unloved Republican “incumbent,” Mike Pence.

So Trump crossed with a wine mom, TUCKER FUCKING CARLSON, a guy who couldn’t beat Trump in a pissing contest, and Woody from Toy Story if Woody was racist, would all jump into a primary? Against Mike Pence, who is adored by the evangelical base?

I’m not gonna bag on anyone’s political fantasy life but I have a better chance of convincing John Kerry to make me his Chief of Whatever He Needs These Days than you have of making this kind of fetch happen, Ross.

Call me, John.

You know, time was people got the sense that the Times’s conservative voices had ears within the party. Now Ross is the guy on the corner screaming anti-Semitic shit about FDR, and the soapbox is giving him splinters.

I think these conservatives underestimate, as liberals did with Bill Clinton long ago, the advantages in jettisoning a corrupt leader.

Not to defend Bill here, as he is our gross old perv, but I don’t recall any major Democratic figures skipping his wife’s convention, whereas at Trump’s every ex-president you had alive was on a fucking milk carton.

But I would still ask — swirling my wine and adjusting my NeverTrumper toga — worse than what? Worse than a world where Trump survives impeachment, the Ukraine miasma chokes Biden’s campaign, Warren proves less electable than her supporters hope, we replay 2016 with the Electoral College and enter a second Trump term with the ship of state rudderless, Democrats yet more radicalized, and all those icebergs looming for the country and the G.O.P. alike?

Liz is going to clean you all like a clock and speaking of togas, Dr. Professor Senator Zero Fucks left hers at your mom’s, so when you’re done jerking it to a 97-part history podcast of the fall of Rome maybe you can pick it up and take it to the dry cleaners.

You can’t say that you didn’t have an early exit from the Trump era. You can’t say you didn’t have a choice.

That’s why the  club of the fucking most of us voted for somebody else, and/or jumped ship right around the time he kicked off his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. We all knew we had a choice. Why didn’t you?

Schmuck.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Long Black Veil

The Bird, The Cage & The Forest by Max Ernst.

This is the first time since the infancy of this feature that I’ve used the same featured image two weeks in a row. It captures my mood.

We’re attending a memorial service this morning for Gligamesh Homan who died in a horrible accident last week. He was the son of some old friends and was in his freshman year at LSU. I’ll have more about Gil in our second act. Suffice it to say that there’s an open  wound in my circle of friends right now.

I’m not feeling very expansive today so I’m going to keep this week’s outing relatively brief.

This week’s theme song was written in 1959 by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin for Lefty Frizzell. It’s become a staple of the country music repertoire and has been recorded countless times.

We have three versions of Long Black Veil for your listening pleasure: Lefty Frizzell, Gillian Welch, and the Chieftains with Mick Jagger on lead vocals.

Try not to trip over your long black veil as we jump to the break.

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Neil Young: Let’s Impeach The President

Friend of First Draft, Monkeyfister, suggested I post this song. Instead of monkeying around, I decided to comply.

In this instance, Neil is talking about George W. Bush but it’s still timely:

Young hit the road in 2006 with his partners in crime Crosby, Stills & Nash. For some reason there were audience members who did not know that CSNY were pinko peaceniks:

 

 

Whistleblowin’ In The Wind

It strikes me as a good time to quote John Fogerty quoting Yogi Berra, “it’s like deja vu all over again.” Fogerty was referring to the Iraq War. I’m referring to Kremlingate: The Sequel aka Donald & Rudy’s Excellent Ukrainian Adventure. Duuuuuuude.

I grew up during the Cold War; like Vladimir Putin, I didn’t expect the Soviet Union to disintegrate so rapidly. Unlike Putin, I don’t have any nostalgia for the USSR. Putin is a KGB man at heart who pines for the glory days of the Soviet Union and wants to reassemble its lost empire. This irredentist stance led to the invasion of the Crimea and the pollution of the American political system by Putin and his little buddy Donald Trump. Every ventriloquist needs a dummy.

We returned to the scene of the Crimea this week with the release of the damning phone call memorandum and whistleblower report. This blew up in the Trump regime’s face leading to a formal impeachment inquiry focusing on the latest and most understandable scandal.

One reason Donald & Rudy’s Excellent Ukrainian Adventure is more understandable than Kremlingate is the brevity of the whistleblower’s charges as opposed to the 448-page Mueller Report. Additionally, this was not perpetrated in the shadows by underlings such as Page and Papadopoulous. It involves the actions of POTUS* and his current fixer, the artist formerly known as America’s Mayor. You know, this bozo:

Team Trump’s defense is different as well. Instead of “no collusion, no collusion” their current line is the less adamant, “we did it, so what?” They appear to believe that it’s no big whoop because he’s the president* and the Nixon-Barr doctrine applies:

Team Trump’s game plan is “same as it ever was, same as it ever was” ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK. The Insult Comedian trotted out another old favorite yesterday: witness intimidation. He made not so veiled threats about stringing up the whistleblower and others in the White House who helped him reveal this staggering abuse of power.

This is some serious shit, y’all. The staffers who enabled this scandal by “overclassifying” Trump’s call with the hapless Ukrainian president may face criminal liability. They’ve apparently done the same thing with other calls. What other White House Horrors are they hiding?

The term White House Horrors brings us full circle to Watergate. It was coined by Nixon AG/campaign manager/convicted felon John Mitchell. Another popular term in the Watergate lexicon was smoking gun. We interrupt this paragraph with a pertinent (impertinent?) musical interlude:

The so-called smoking gun tape was not released until August 5, 1974. We already have the Ukraine scandal’s smoking gun embedded in the whistleblower’s complaint.

We end the post, as we started, with a quote. In this instance, it’s a paraphrase of Bob Dylan: the answer, my friend, is whistleblowin’ in the wind.

The last word goes to a musical odd couple (trio?) Sam Cooke and Flatt & Scruggs:

 

Friday Catblogging: The Carpet Crawler

It’s not really carpet, it’s a rug. It’s Paul Drake current favorite spot. You’ll see why I call it a carpet after the picture.

A double-barreled last word goes to Genesis:

 

The Honey Drippers: Impeach The President

I’d forgotten about this 1973 funk ditty until it was posted on my old friend Loki’s FB feed. Thanks, George.

FYI, this is NOT Robert Plant’s Honeydrippers. They’re two guys from Jamaica, Queens who Fred Trump would have never rented to.

It’s still timely after all these years:

The Latest Trump Dignity Wraith

I watched the first 2 1/2 hours of Admiral Maguire’s testimony. It was a sad spectacle to watch a man with such a distinguished service record jump on hand grenades to protect a president* who would stab him in the back without any hesitation.

Like so many others in this administration, Maguire confuses his oath to protect the constitution with an oath to protect President* Pennywise. Maguire is just the latest in a long line of Trump dignity wraiths. His testimony was not only cringe inducing, it was in clear violation of the first rule of holes: when you’re in one, stop digging.

The notion that you should clear a complaint with persons mentioned in it defies logic. Trump and Barr are discussed in the whistleblower’s complaint yet they had a say in its release. Unbe-fucking-lievable. Why didn’t Maguire run it by Rudy Giuliani while he was at it?

The high point of the hearing was when Illinois Democrat Mike Quiqley set up a devastating inquiry about Rudy by discussing how arduous the security clearance process is. The artist formerly known as Mayor Combover does not have a security clearance but seems privy to all sorts of secrets, which he, in turn, blabs about on television.

I must admit that the Republicans on this committee are not as stupid as House Judiciary Committee GOPers. There’s no Gym Jordan or Louis Gohmert Piles on the Intelligence Committee. Of course, Devin Nunes claimed that Democrats are hunting for “nude pictures” of Trump. Nobody other than the Insult Comedian himself wants to see such pictures. I’m certain he would find them “perfect and beautiful” like his phone conversation with the hapless Ukrainian president.

Finally, committee Republicans made a big deal over Democrats “destroying” Maguire’s reputation. If that happened this morning, it was political suicide, not murder. Anyone who gets involved with Trump gets slimed; even retired Navy Seals with impeccable records. Maguire is just the latest Trump dignity wraith. He won’t be the last.

If the Admiral wishes to escape the well-deserved obloquy heaped on past Trump dignity wraiths, I have some unsolicited advice: Retire, Maguire.

American Red State Gothic

gothic_trump_giuliani

Trump and his buddy Rudy keep flailing around like they’re in quicksand as the Ukrainian spin fails to get any real traction beyond the right wing media and the base that’s, well, pretty gullible to begin with.

I keep thinking about how the MAGAt, rural, (white), diner dwellers bought, hook, line, sinker…rod and reel…the sales pitch of someone who’s lived his whole life in New York City…who’s idea of nature is golf…while Ghouliani looks like the kind of person who’d wear a suit visiting a farm. Yeah, real red-staters.

Their elected representatives aren’t exactly open to reason either.

Which means impeachment, regardless of how it’s done (narrow versus broad, quick versus longer in duration) won’t be a coming together in bipartisan harmony. Democrats will have to move this along minus any dream Republican Hero scenario…and accept that, no, they won’t get a conviction, but instead need to use this as a political lesson to, not the lost cause (in more ways than one) MAGAt GOP base, but the people who were never very comfortable with Trump to begin with.

As for DJT himself, no, he’s not playing 11 dimensional chess. Sure, he’ll do anything to motivate his base, but claiming he’s courting impeachment is a pretty desperate attempt to polish a giant turd. Besides, his base won’t put him over the finish line…or at least won’t without a combination of massive fraud, voter suppression, and unprecedented muddying the waters. He also got a remarkably free ride in the last election (“her emails”).

And he’s still bluffing.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Lady, That’s My Skull

It’s time for an encore performance of a 2016 post with a twist. This time we have a triptych of covers:

Impeachment: Where Are We Going, Where Have We Been?

The post title is a paraphrase of a short story title. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? was written by Joyce Carol Oates in 1966 and tells the story of a young woman who is seduced and devastated by the devil incarnate, Arnold Friend. Sound familiar? Arnold Friend is Donald Trump. Donald Trump is Arnold Friend. Believe me.

The situation is as fluid as mercury in an outmoded thermometer and may have shifted as I wrote this post. It’s what happens when you have a president* who changes his story every few hours. It’s why nothing he says should ever be believed. If he says it’s raining, you need to step outside and splash about in a puddle.

Here’s how I summed up the state of play yesterday afternoon:

As First Draft readers know, I’ve been for impeachment forever BUT I’m aware of the perils and pitfalls of the path we find ourselves on. It’s not a time for high-fiving and spiking the ball. This is some serious, solemn shit, y’all.

Nancy Smash’s announcement is the culmination of months of investigation that was thwarted by Trump regime stonewalling. The process was already under way but the dam broke this week and it’s another self-inflicted wound by an incompetent and idiotic president*. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.

I have thought all along that if we reached this point the House leadership wanted to be dragged along kicking and screaming. Speaker Pelosi has been leery of risking the majority on impeachment as she was willing to do to pass the ACA in 2010. While I’ve disagreed, I understand her motives: this will not result in the removal of President* Pennywise. I’m alarmed that many people do not seem to understand this.

WaPo foreign policy columnist David Ignatius has a succinct explanation for why this move was imperative:

Why is this more than just another Trump vs. Democrats mud fight? Because the Ukraine issue is about compromising U.S. national security — and direct pledges to allies — for the president’s personal political gain. That’s what’s so outrageous about Trump’s alleged push to get dirt on his potential 2020 rival, former vice president Joe Biden, in a July 25 phone call with newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Not for the first time, Trump was putting himself above his country.

Trump isn’t even bothering to deny the basics. He confirmed Tuesday that he had held up delivery of a promised $391 million in military aid for the Ukrainians in mid-July, before his call to Zelensky. Trump claimed he wanted to pressure “Europe and other nations to contribute to Ukraine.” Trump had suggested Sunday that in the July call he had urged Zelensky to investigate Biden’s son’s work for a Ukrainian gas company.

The call was made the day after Robert Mueller’s public testimony before Congress dampened enthusiasm for impeachment. Trump felt bulletproof so he overplayed his hand. It’s what he’s done his entire life. That coupled with his fatal inability to STFU made impeachment inevitable.

Impeachment was at death’s door until Trump reanimated it like a bizarro world Victor Frankenstein. It’s called pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. Thanks, Donald.

The administration is making a show of turning over documents to the intelligence committees. Does anyone trust this White House to turn over an honest transcript of the call? I would hope not. Besides, according to the whistleblower, the call is not the only reason for this crisis.

I think the process will move faster than most others do. The articles of impeachment almost write themselves. It will be interesting to see if cracks develop among Republican members of Congress. At some point, the politician’s instinct for self-preservation is bound to kick in. Of course, I’ve been saying that for years. Stay tuned.

Finally, there is no legal requirement for the House to send impeachment to the Senate, which will not remove Trump from office. I’d let it sit there like a loaded gun without a Senate trial or vote. Ending the process in the House would have the virtue of denying the Insult Comedian a victory lap. That would drive Trump nuts; make that nuttier.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Roger and Out/Dang Me

Dr. A and I have been watching, and enjoying, Ken Burns’ County Music. One of the better stories in the film involves Roger Miller and how he decided to give up recording and focus on songwriting. But he gave it one more shot. Hence, the original title of this 1964 album: Roger and Out. It became a hit and was released with a new title: Dang Me.

Here’s the whole consarn album:

Time to Impeach the Motherfucker

Okay, good. 

But.

Before we pop the champagne.

Look.

Trump’s mouthbreathing supporters are wilding out and shooting up synagogues and running over protesters and threatening to murder undocumented immigrants, Muslims, women who won’t blow them, etc, for months, and that was when he was winning.

We need to think about what we’re doing now. Who can call who for help. If you are, like me, a relatively safe white person, you need to intersperse yelling things like SUCK IT YOU FASCIST ASSHOLE with checking on the people in your community who will be at risk.

Please.

A.

Don’t Say It’s Over

A reminder that your nihilism is embarrassing: 

The activists’ progress was often slow. The group launched a campaign against Kroger and Walmart in 2014; one ad ran in national newspapers and on billboards in Kroger’s home city of Cincinnati showing a girl holding an ice-cream cone in a Kroger store next to a man with a rifle, pointing out that only the girl was violating the store’s policy. They gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures on petitions. But both stores were unwilling to change. “I went and met with their executives in 2015,” says Watts. “And it was very clear that they would not consider changing their policy. But we just kept the pressure on. And then after the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, we began conversations again with Walmart executives and gave them counsel on policies that would make their store safer.” After Walmart announced its new policy—including, beyond the new open-carry policy, a plan to stop selling ammunition—the group pivoted to pressure Kroger, which made its announcement the next day.

This is how work gets done. I get that it’s not as Capra-film inspiring as someone rising on the Senate floor and saying I HAVE HEREBY CHANGED MY MIND and then we all applaud and cry and the law is changed and no one dies anymore, but this is how the work gets done. In living rooms. In grocery stores. Day after grinding day.

It’s slow and it’s miserable and you lose more often than you win and you risk looking just RIDICULOUS, but if you don’t care how much of a ridiculous miserable loser you are, if you’re not afraid of how long it’ll take, if you see the passage of time not as proof that you’ve lost but as a record of how long you stayed standing, you will change the goddamn ridiculous miserable motherfucking loser WORLD.

What has happened with Moms Demand and Everytown is what happens when you just stop believing that despair is the only option, when you stop expecting the avalanche and start chucking rocks. It’s so EASY to tune out the horrors of the world. It’s so EASY, most of the time, to convince yourself to do nothing because there’s nothing you can do.

But then comes the hour between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. When you can’t sleep, and you realize that none of us get out of this alive, that none of us are in this for peace, that “there was nothing I could do” isn’t an answer but an excuse and not a good one, that you are literally presented with a hundred thousand things a day that are chances and if you pass them by you are doing something, and that something isn’t good. When that hour comes, you’ve got to answer for what you’ve done with every minute, and let’s be honest, most of us can’t.

You can face that and dig even deeper into your despair or you can pick up an axe and get to work. Or you can send out that horrible tweet again about how Sandy Hook was the end. I’m not telling you how to live your life, but these women are making it harder to lie to yourself that nothing will change and that’s really quite something, now isn’t it.

A.

Keep Not Saying It

Can’t be racism. Can’t be: 

Like many people interviewed for this article, Ms. Cerep, who is 35, liked some things about Mr. Trump. But she found his language vulgar, and was tired of the cycle of insults and angry retorts.

“I see the good things he’s done, but he’s done a lot of messed-up things, too,” said Ms. Cerep, who was babysitting a friend’s children.

Ideologically, Ms. Cerep is eclectic. She said she voted for Barack Obama because he “was the type to roll up his sleeves with everybody and was not some Republican that’s going to sit there and say, ‘Pick that shovel up and do this.’”

But she also used to listen to Rush Limbaugh — a habit she’s dropped — and she doesn’t like that “they are taking all our monuments down in the South.”

Our monuments. Our. Monuments.

Okay.

The whole piece is premised on the idea that “America” isn’t polarized, and features interviews with lots of people who are disengaged and think that their kids having matching socks isn’t “political,” which they view as the shouting on TV, as cable news, not as anything that affects those socks or how much time they have to make sure the socks match.

Many people interviewed in Lackawanna County said they were not regular news consumers, but that might actually be a boon in one respect in today’s divided age. Those who are more politically engaged tend to have exaggerated views of their political opponents.

Michael McCorey, a dancer visiting from Philadelphia, said that for him, social media was news and that he looked at it a lot on his phone.

“He’s like Thanos in the Avengers, the evil guy who looks for stones that give him more power,” he said of Mr. Trump. “His supporters are just as small-minded as he is. They are O.K. with others’ suffering.”

Emphasis mine. Show me the lie. Other than Trump’s marked lack of any Infinity Stones, show me the exaggeration.

Recent polling has found some darker impulses — an us-versus-them thinking reminiscent of populist movements where there has been a democratic breakdown. About 30 percent of partisans thought the other party was a threat to the nation’s well-being in 2014, according to Pew Research, and that number rose into the 40s in 2016. And between 5 percent and 15 percent endorse political violence or have no sympathy about harm to political opponents. In another poll, 18 percent of Democrats said they thought violence would be justified if the Republicans won the presidential election in 2020, and 14 percent of Republicans said the same (if Democrats won).

BOTH SIDES. BOTH SIDES. BOTH SIDES.

We’ll get to the double digit murders by white supremacists just as soon as we finally find the baby parts Planned Parenthood is selling at the Antia Murder Rally.

Christ.

“Look, I’m not some crazy Republican,” he said. “I don’t have flags in my yard or hit you if you like Hillary. But if Trump doesn’t get it, it’s over. We’ll be pushed to the side. They’ll be letting people in and giving them everything. We’ll get squished against the wall.”

There’s an interesting story in here somewhere about people who don’t think they’re that bad who are actually really horrible, or maybe that’s a case study. I get them mixed up sometimes.

A.

Not Everything Sucks: Springsteen At 70

Athenae and I disagree about the Beatles but we’re in complete agreement about Bruce Springsteen. The Boss turned 70 today but Bruce don’t crack. He looks and, more importantly, sounds great.

It’s time for me to tell my Springsteen fan origin story. I hate hype so I was put off when this happened:

After the media hypefest abated, I heard and liked some of Bruce’s music but didn’t buy any of his albums. In retrospect, that strikes me as odd, especially since I wasn’t fond of either of the dominant musical trends of that era: punk and disco.

In December of 1978, my old friend Russell Cole called and told me he had an extra ticket to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at our favorite venue: San Francisco’s Winterland. The ticket was a mere $7.00 but I’ve always liked free stuff so I accepted with alacrity. Besides, Russ was good company and he drove. Win-win. Thanks for inviting me, man. I’m still grateful after all these years.

I had no idea that I was about to have a life-changing musical experience and learn how to chant BRUUUUUUUUCE. This concert on December 15, 1978 is the stuff of legend and I was lucky enough to be there. I don’t even mind admitting to my dotage. Hey, I still get around without a cane or walker and have more hair than Russ; not much but more.

From the opening chords of Badlands, I was hooked. It made me a Springsteen fan for life much like the kid in the recent movie Blinded By The Light. I guess I should grade it now: 3 1/2 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B+ It’s a reminder of how much fun movies can be and how important music is.

The set was broadcast on Jive 95: KSAN-FM and is widely considered one of the greatest rock concerts of all-time. Here’s the set list in all its glory:

First Set:

  1. Badlands
  2. Streets of Fire
  3. Spirit in the Night
  4. Darkness on the Edge of Town
  5. Factory
  6. The Promised Land
  7. Prove It All Night
  8. Racing in the Street
  9. Thunder Road
  10. Jungleland

Second Set:

  1. The Ties That Bind
  2. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
  3. The Fever
  4. Fire
  5. Candy’s Room
  6. Because the Night
  7. Point Blank
  8. Mona / Preacher’s Daughter / She’s The One / I Get Mad
  9. Backstreets
  10. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

Encore:

  1. Born to Run
  2. Detroit Medley
  3. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
  4. Raise Your Hand   
  5. Quarter to Three

The show was widely bootlegged. I had it on cassette at some point but lost it in one of my cross-country moves. Thanks to the internet I can give the Boss the last word. Happy Birthday, Bruce. Thanks for all the pleasure you’ve given the world over the years.