Monthly Archives: December 2019

Saturday Odds & Sods: Suspicious Minds

Charing Cross Bridge by Andre Derain.

It’s Pearl Harbor Day. This Saturday might live in infamy for another reason: we’re attending a top-secret event in an undisclosed location this evening. I can’t tell you what it is but if you’re a member of a certain benign but bawdy organization, you know what I’m talking about. If not, you may be feeling thoroughly befuddled. So it goes.

Speaking of bombs, the 2019 British general election is heading into the homestretch. I haven’t written about it because it’s so depressing. The two big parties have terrible leaders neither of whom is fit to be Prime Minister but Corbyn is the lesser of two evils. Bozza the Bozo who currently holds the job has bad hair and an even worse slogan: “Get Brexit Done.” The pro-European Union Liberal Democrats shot themselves in the foot by declaring they could win the election when they currently have 20 seats. They’re still limping away from that absurd declaration. Making matters worse is that the Tories deserve to lose and there’s a good chance that they’ll win.

This week’s theme song was written and recorded by Mark James in 1968. His version bombed but Elvis Presley’s did not. It became the King’s’ biggest hit of the Sixties.

We have multiple versions of Suspicious Minds for your listening pleasure: Mark James, Elvis, Waylon Jennings & Jessi Colter, and a reggae version by the Heptones.

Now that you’re suspicious, let’s clear the air by jumping to the break.

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Friday Night Music: Little Sister

It’s time for some musical foreshadowing. Tomorrow’s Odd & Sods theme song is a tune that Elvis Presley made famous as is Little Sister. It was written in 1961 by the killer songwriting team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman.

We have three rocking versions for your listening pleasure: Elvis, Ry Cooder, and Dwight Yoakam. You’ll be hearing from Dwight again tomorrow as well:

2020 Candidates In A Word

I haven’t been as wrapped up in the 2020 presidential campaign as I usually am by this stage. Instead, I’ve been following the twists and turns of the impeachment inquiry. It’s hard not to. The national house is on fire and the arsonist lives in the White House. I hate to give that stupid evil fucker the attention he wants but it’s imperative that his malefactions be exposed whatever happens in the Senate.

I thought I’d dip my toe back in the campaign pond by giving my impressions of the candidates in one word. It won’t be easy for a writer who dubbed his Bayou Brief column 13th Ward Rambler. I like words and word play but sometimes you gotta keep it short; unlike this introduction. If I miss anyone, too fucking bad. I’m including some of the dearly departed candidates for shits and giggles.

DEMOCRATS:

  • Biden:                Garrulous.
  • Sanders:            Grouchy.
  • Warren:             Brilliant.
  • Buttigieg:          Unqualified.
  • Bloomberg:       Plutocrat.
  • Booker:               Warm.
  • Klobuchar:         Smiley.
  • Steyer:                 Who?
  • Gabbard:            Troll.
  • Castro:                Impressive.
  • Patrick:               Late.
  • Bennet:               Eyebrows
  • Yang:                   Why?
  • Harris:                 Enigmatic.
  • Delaney:             Bald.
  • O’Rourke:          Gestural.
  • Williamson:       Flaky.
  • Sestak:                Huh?
  • Swalwell:           Young.
  • Gillibrand:         Blonde.

REPUBLICANS:

  • Trump:               Asshole.
  • Weld:                  Patrician.
  • Walsh:                Teabagger.
  • Sanford:            Olé.

I realize that the columns are crooked but so is the Current Occupant. I did them manually without resort to a manual or a chap named Manuel:

The last word goes to Yes and The Beatles:

Friday Catblogging: PD In Profile

Paul Drake lost his collar under something or other. One of these days, we’ll hunt it down but for now he’s a nekkid cat:

Talking Turley

I only watched bits and bobs of the Con Law seminar on the Hill yesterday. Watching Louie Gohmert Piles causes my blood pressure to spike and Gym Jordan gives me a headache, so I need to ration my exposure to them. I am, however, acquainted with the GOP’s witness, Jonathan Turley who, as far as I know, is not a Republican and didn’t vote for Trump in 2016. I was relieved to hear that.

Turley was for impeachment before he was against it. It was a repeat performance: He testified before the Judiciary committee during the Clinton impeachment inquiry as did Michael Gerhardt, I’m not sure why they missed Professor Karlan back then. Perhaps their premonitive powers told them she’d make a joke about a future president’s* then unborn child. The Barron flap was right up there with Barack Obama’s tan suit as a phony “scandal.” It was barren of genuine outrage, but everything is phony about the Trumps.

Back to Jonathan Turley. I knew him when he was a baby law professor at Tulane, and I was a student. He was among the friendlier and more approachable faculty members. I can’t say that I knew him well, but I socialized with him in groups because of the POPS program. When I was a 2L, Tulane Law instituted a community service requirement, that’s when Turley launched the Program for Older Prisoners.

The premise of POPS is that older prisoners have mellowed with age and are unlikely to commit crimes upon release. It’s pitched to conservative pols as a cost-saving measure and to liberals as a humanitarian policy. Law students were dispatched to prisons to interview candidates for the program, reports were prepared, and passed on to the authorities. It’s more involved than that but, as you’ll soon see, my personal experience with the process is limited.

I made two trips to Angola State Prison to meet with prisoner/candidates. I seem to have drawn the short end of the straw: both convicts were convicted rapists and pedophiles. One was a very muscular, heavily tattooed 65-year-old who was unrepentant about his perverted predilections. I asked him why he’d applied given his lack of remorse. He hadn’t a visitor in years and wanted someone to talk to. The other guy was a repentant perv, but a poor candidate for early release. Suffice it to say I didn’t recommend either of them. My skin crawls recalling the first guy whose name I’ve withheld to protect the guilty.

Turley was a surprisingly subtle choice for committee GOPers to make. His position is not that Trump is a good guy who should never be impeached but that Congress should wait for the courts to rule on the pending witness and document cases before proceeding. In the abstract, there’s some merit to this argument BUT given the Trump regime’s relentless stonewalling it’s a terrible idea in the real world. The reason for the expedited process is a genuine concern that Team Trump will stage an encore performance of 2016 in next year’s election. Two stolen 21st Century elections aren’t enough; they want to complete a trifecta in 2020.

Unlike the House Republicans who called him to testify, Jonathan Turley is neither a bad nor venal person but he’s wrong about the Trump impeachment inquiry. I would, however, be remiss if I didn’t link to Dana Milbank’s hilarious takedown of the Turley testimony in the WaPo. I can’t resist quoting Milbank quoting Turley:

“I get it: You are mad,” he testified. “The president is mad. My Democratic friends are mad. My Republican friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are mad. Even my dog seems mad — and Luna is a goldendoodle and they don’t get mad. So we’re all mad.”

Damn right we are! But nowhere in the Constitution does it state that a president shall not be impeached if people — or their dogs — are mad.

I’ll be doggone. Lawyers say the darndest things.

The last word goes to Aaron Neville and the Neville Brothers:

Just A Bunch Of Fucking Goons

goon_squad

Stupid Watergate continues, and despite the the best efforts by the librul media to pull out all the usual flags — Democrats in disarray, the GOP’s terrified of their base (well, that one…yeah, maybe they should be a little afraid), both sides, Melania (for real — christ) — one thing I keep noticing, in part because I’m still dealing with a busy work schedule, is that, regardless of what you think of the pro-Trump side…at a glance, they all look like a bunch of fucking goons. No lie.

And if what you’ve heard or seen at the hearing, or even simply over the last three years of the daily assault on the senses that is the DJT administration, doesn’t make you look up and say, goddamn, what a bunch of goons, then…

I only did up four, but offhand I can’t think of a single Trump administration official, or hanger on, or Congressional cheerleader, who doesn’t look like they could easily fit in a book of classic gangster mug shots. Contrast them with the career civil servants and legal scholars who testified (and consider Trump Junior’s hack statement that his dad was elected to fire them).

So…sure, the press has to sell newspapers, or at least the eyeballs of those who read newspapers (or view/hear other forms of media) to advertisers, but I can’t imagine anyone having a look and not being able to make up their mind.

You’re either comfortable with the goon squad, or not.

I’m not.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: From Here To Eternity

This Saturday is the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It’s time to celebrate the most famous book and movie adaptation set before and during the attack. Even in a crowded field of war novels, James Jones’ book stood out. The movie was pretty darn good as well.

Donald Trump Is A Misogynist

Image by Michael F

Welcome to the latest installment of the Donald Trump Is series, which is now a quartet. Let’s recap past entries:

10/4/2018: Donald Trump Is A Criminal

7/17/2019: Donald Trump Is A Racist

8/26/2019: Donald Trump Is Mentally Ill

We’ve known of President* Pennywise’s fear and loathing of women forever. He’s been charged with sexual harassment, rape, and all around lechery for decades. His typical defense is either “I don’t know her” or “She’s not hot enough for me to hit on.”

Yeah, right. If he paid an after hours visit to Texas A&M, he might join the frat boys in some, uh, sheep dipping. He would, however, draw the line at dog fucking.

In less lecherous moments, Trump has gleefully insulted Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Cortez-Ocasio, and Marie Yovanovitch among others. He seems to take special relish in knifing women as he hides behind his twitter feed and temporary occupancy of the Oval Office. That’s why I call him the Insult Comedian.

One of the more recent examples of President* Pennywise’s gross public misogyny took place at a MAGA rally in Minneapolis:

It’s still hard to believe that he did that in public. It led the target of this vile abuse, Lisa Page, to break her silence and speak to Molly Jong-Fast:

For the nearly two years since her name first made the papers, she’s been publicly silent (she did have a closed-door interview with House members in July 2018). I asked her why she was willing to talk now. “Honestly, his demeaning fake orgasm was really the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she says. The president called out her name as he acted out an orgasm in front of thousands of people at a Minneapolis rally on Oct. 11.

That was the moment Page decided she had to speak up. “I had stayed quiet for years hoping it would fade away, but instead it got worse,” she says. “It had been so hard not to defend myself, to let people who hate me control the narrative. I decided to take my power back.”

The politics of personal destruction has been perfected by the Insult Comedian and Fox News. They don’t care how tangential someone is, if they’re not fulsome in their praise of the Male-Chauvinist-Pig-In-Chief they’re fair game, especially members of what used to be called “the fairer sex.” That was vaguely polite misogyny. Trump is never polite but always sexist in an egregiously hateful way.

We’ve been told over and over again by his apologists that none of this matters because he won the election. I don’t have to tell you how specious that argument is. It may be true of evangelicals who think he’s the “chosen one,” but women are abandoning the party of Trump in droves. Let the white boys defend the indefensible by dismissing the Insult Comedian’s vile antics as “locker room talk.”

Donald Trump is not only a sexist, he’s a pussy. He should grab himself.

Repeat after me: Donald Trump is a misogynist as well as a mentally ill racist criminal.

Quote Of The Day: Impeachment Report Edition

I’m working my way through the House Intelligence Committee’s report. It’s essentially a narrative history of what happened with Ukraine and why it matters. It’s more readable than the Mueller Report. It doesn’t hedge its bets and calls an Igor an Igor and a Lev a Lev.

Today’s quote comes from Chairman Adam Schiff’s preface:

Nevertheless, there remain unanswered questions, and our investigation must continue, even as we transmit our report to the Judiciary Committee.  Given the proximate threat of further presidential attempts to solicit foreign interference in our next election, we cannot wait to make a referral until our efforts to obtain additional testimony and documents wind their way through the courts.  The evidence of the President’s misconduct is overwhelming, and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress.  Indeed, it would be hard to imagine a stronger or more complete case of obstruction than that demonstrated by the President since the inquiry began.

The damage the President has done to our relationship with a key strategic partner will be remedied over time, and Ukraine continues to enjoy strong bipartisan support in Congress.  But the damage to our system of checks and balances, and to the balance of power within our three branches of government, will be long-lasting and potentially irrevocable if the President’s ability to stonewall Congress goes unchecked.  Any future President will feel empowered to resist an investigation into their own wrongdoing, malfeasance, or corruption, and the result will be a nation at far greater risk of all three.

Jerry Nadler says that he’s not going to “take any shit” from committee GOPers. Let’s hope so. Some of the looniest members of the Republican caucus are on the Judiciary Committee. The first day sounds as dry as a bone so perhaps they’ll nod off. I’m not sure if Louie Gohmert Piles, Jim Jordan, and Matt Gaetz will understand all the big words used by the law professors. I’m skipping it. I’m not in the mood to watch them throw shit against the wall just to see how much of it sticks. Now if Larry Tribe were testifying, I’d be there.

The phone records are particularly interesting. What was the man who puts the cow in Moscow, Devin Nunes, doing on the phone with the conspirators?

A phone song is in order. The last word goes to the Kinks:

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: From Here To Eternally

This week we have dogeared  images via Discogs of a 1979 Spinners album. And what’s not to love about an album title that’s a pun on From Here To Eternity?

The front and back covers are hardcore sci-fi images by prolific illustrator Stephen Marchesi. That giant snake is stuff of nightmares.

Here’s the whole damn album via the YouTube playlist format:

Giving Tuesday, Get On It

I know all y’all’s favorite nonprofits are all over you today because it’s Giving Tuesday but I wanted to find out if we, The Blog, could get together and raise some funds for the St. Hyacinth Food Pantry this year.

Remember the pantry? It’s the one we started boosting back in 2016 to help out the folks most likely to be hurt by what we’re all now just calling The Way Things Are Nowadays.

Every year they do a MASSIVE toy drive for the little kids so they can have some holiday presents and they’re well-supplied, but need $500 for gift cards for the 50 or so older kids. Think about how in high school your buds want to go out for a burger, or over to the Starbucks to study, and you don’t have any money to buy anything. Wouldn’t you like to be able to give some kid the ability to feel normal for Christmas?

The pantry, run by my uncle and aunt, runs on a shoestring and this year has been serving a large community of refugees, so they could really use this boost to give everybody a happy holiday.

Can we get this done by Friday? HIT UP THE FD PAYPAL LINK HERE AND LET’S FIX SOMETHING WE CAN FIX. 

A.

It’s A Plame Shame

The MSM is full of former Bushies trying to convince the public that President Beavis was a prince among men compared to the Current Occupant. While it’s true that Dubya had better table manners, it should not be forgotten that the Beavis-Duce administration was almost as fond of smear tactics as the Trump regime.

According to Team Bush-Cheney, those of us who opposed the Mess in Mesopotamia were soft on terrorism at best, traitors at worst. The difference between Bushies and Trumpers is that most of the time Dubya let others do the lying and smearing on his behalf.  Genuine upper-class twits swells let the help do the dirty work for them: Poppy had Lee Atwater; Junior had Karl Rove. The Insult Comedian enjoys wallowing in the mud alongside Gym Jordan, Devin Nunes, and John Neely Kennedy. More about the latter next week at the Bayou Brief.

That brings us to two people the Bush administration gleefully smeared: the late Ambassador Joe Wilson and his then CIA agent wife, Valerie Plame. Scooter Libby was convicted of disclosing Plame’s identity: his sentence was commuted by Bush; Trump pardoned him in 2018. Karl Rove escaped indictment by the skin of his teeth; surviving to take up residence as a Fox News pundit. Robert Novak the right-wing columnist who published the story was not indicted either, but the man known as the Prince of Darkness finally went to hell in 2009. It’s unclear if he went there in a bucket: 

I think of Valerie Plame with each Republican demand that the Ukraine scandal whistleblower be outed. Here’s what the spy who was forced out of the cold has to say about it:

“I feel personally for this whistleblower. I know what he’s going through,” says Plame. “His career is over. His world, it’s already been upended. I don’t think he’ll remain anonymous for long.”

The good news is that Valerie Plame survived the Bush smear campaign, moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and started a new chapter in her life. After a tough year in which her father and husband died, she’s landed on her feet again. She’s the subject of a flattering profile in the WaPo and is running as a Democrat for a House seat in New Mexico. This ad is a knockout:

The Plame-Wilson affair was such a cause celebre that a movie based on their respective memoirs was made in 2010, Fair Game. Naomi Watts and Sean Penn played the couple. It’s the rare case in which the real people were more attractive than the actors portraying them. It’s a good movie, check it out if you haven’t seen it.

There was also this song by The Decemberists:

The next time a Bush acolyte tries to tell you that their guy is a much better man than President* Pennywise, remember the smear campaign against Valerie Plame. Dubya just knows what fork to use and would have had the good sense to stay off social media. Otherwise, he set the table for the Insult Comedian’s smear tactics.

I couldn’t resist a rock and roll pun in the post title, so the last word goes to Peter Frampton:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Back and forth edition

Short one today, as recurring #^@#& back issues preclude sitting for very long.

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First up – it’s good not to be da king!

Former White House counsel Don McGahn must obey subpoena to testify before Congress, judge rules
NBC News ^ | November 25, 2019 | Pete Williams

Posted on 11/25/2019, 5:15:37 PM by Coronal

WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled late Monday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must obey a subpoena for his testimony issued by the House Judiciary Committee.

Federal District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said McGahn must appear before Congress but retains the ability to “invoke executive privilege where appropriate” during his appearance. The judge did not put her own ruling on hold, but the Trump administration will likely seek one to put the effect of her ruling on hold while it pursues an appeal.

“It is clear to this Court for the reasons explained above that, with respect to senior-level presidential aides, absolute immunity from compelled congressional process simply does not exist,” Jackson said in her ruling

(Inexplicably left out of the above excerpt by the poster, for some reason 🙂

Judge Jackson also explicitly said the president “does not have the power” to stop his aides from responding to subpoenas from Congress – adding that “presidents are not kings”.

1 posted on 11/26/2019, 12:46:25 AM by Berlin_Freeper
I’ve replaced IDJIT  PDJT with Folgers crystals “Kings”. Let’s see if anybody notices…
To: Berlin_Freeper
not true, they can be forced to show up but still trump can claim executive privileged(sic) and they don’t have to say a word.
Someone really needs to read the court decision on this one. 

2 posted on 11/26/2019, 12:52:13 AM by oldenuff35

But the important part – what colour is she???
To: italianquaker

 

Affirmative Action judge.

8 posted on 11/25/2019, 5:20:28 PM by bkopto

Well, there you go, then.
To: Coronal

Affirmative Action judge.

Actually no. Getting into Harvard could easily be through AA; however, graduating magna cum laude can only be done through talent. Same with Harvard Law where she graduated cum laude. Udumbo was an AA slacker dullard. Not this one, though.

20 posted on 11/25/2019, 5:37:35 PM by KevinB (“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” – Charles Darwin)
What about the “King” thing?  Didn’t any Freeper take objection to that? Didn’t any Freeper actually READ the linked article? Or is it just a case of :
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DangerClose
To: Berlin_Freeper

A federal judge has ruled…

He says breathlessly.YAWN!…BFD.

4 posted on 11/26/2019, 12:52:36 AM by lewislynn (STOP SUPPORTING CHINA AND ANTI-AMERICAN GLOBALISTS! DO IT NOW!)
shootthemessengerbugs
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You gonna let him talk to you like that?
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To: lewislynn
10 posted on 11/26/2019, 1:05:21 AM by Berlin_Freeper
Bazinga!
To: Berlin_Freeper

 

If YOU had donated to FR,you would know that there is an option to donate anonymously. Some of us use it to avoid tit4tat bullschiff with leftist trolls like you.

21 posted on 11/26/2019, 1:33:04 AM by SanchoP (Yippy,the next generation search engine.)

To: SanchoP

If YOU had donated to FR,you would know that there is an option to donate anonymously. Some of us use it to avoid tit4tat bullschiff with leftist trolls like you.

The problem you have with that is, I am the one being trolled and we are posting anonymously so why wouldn’t someone simple(sic – I think, anyway) say “I have donated money to FR”?

27 posted on 11/26/2019, 1:41:15 AM by Berlin_Freeper
To: Berlin_Freeper

 

Because it’s none of your business,dumbass.

28 posted on 11/26/2019, 1:43:56 AM by SanchoP (Yippy,the next generation search engine.)

ClownSlapFight
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More clown slap-fights below the fold….
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It’s A Mystery

This is a lot of words about why “we” don’t believe in science anymore just to NOT say “Republicans:” 

We are abandoning our last greatest hope and assuming enormous risk when our policy makers stand at odds with science without any rational foundation for their dissent. The U.S. has long led the world in scientific discovery and putting science into practice to advance human health, energy, agriculture and food safety. Yet, now, amidst impending crisis, are we to deny our own strength and step back from leadership?

I mean …

I can’t imagine why one political party in one country has a stranglehold on all discourse, not to mention funding, for various kinds of science including climate science. Our “policy makers” do not stand at odds with science. Our REPUBLICAN policy makers do, but articles like this perpetuate the fiction that ALL government is the problem, instead of saying outright that right-wing government is the problem.

And it’s frustrating because that maintains the terrible state of things, that cynical LOL EVERYTYHING’S RUINED thing we think is so savvy and cute. If we don’t name the problem, if we don’t say outright that what we need to do is elect NON-REPUBLICANS, we will continue to stand around staring at each other and wondering why there are no more polar bears or whatever.

A.

Not Everything Sucks

The Packers exist:

I love this team of large adult sons so very much.

A.