Monthly Archives: June 2020

Here You Go

I heard this in the car and somehow it was just what I needed, and maybe you need it too:

A.

Racism is for the Rich

The reddest parts of any purple state are its suburbs. Fight me. 

Suburbs, and exurbs, really. Not that there aren’t racist assholes in cities, she says, two blocks from the city that perfected redlining. But the white-flighters are something else, not just racial hatred but the very specific fear of a black invasion of “their” neighborhood.

They’ve had stories handed down to them through two generations now about the beautiful places their grandparents and great-grandparents grew up in, that were “ruined” by “those people.” That those neighborhoods were ruined by deliberate and malicious government policies to devalue the property, that greedy real estate brokers and reptilian politicians are far more to blame, will never reach the ears of someone who drove past their mother’s house and saw a black family living there now.

They see litter on the streets and instead of wondering why their litter is picked up every night and this neighborhood’s isn’t, they cluck their tongues at closed doors without any idea who’s behind them.

“It was such a beautiful place,” they’ll say, “not like now.” And hey, it’s not like they’re using the n-word, right? It’s just … implied. Until it isn’t.

Until it’s wearing a pink polo shirt and pointing a gun at people marching in the street.

It’s astonishing how little distance there is from the kind of nice-lady racism that is so confused as to why “some of them” just “let their houses go” to the wild-eyed pistol-waving Chico’s kind of day Mrs. McCloskey up there was having.

I mean people have handed down these stories like they’re a secret language, and that language is one of war: This is what happened when “blacks” “crossed the line.” We thought such-and-such street would “hold.” You want to talk about the Confederate states holding onto their lost causes; ask a white man of a certain age in Chicago after a couple of beers what parish his mother belonged to. If only “they” had stayed down south where they “belonged.”

Yes, now Donald Trump is openly stoking the kind of paranoia that leads to front-porch displays of the kind of trigger discipline that would humiliate a bachelor party at the paintball range. But who primed these people to listen? Who made that a story they would find easy to believe?

Who told them everything they had could be stolen at any moment? Did they use an example? Was it their great-aunt’s house, where once you didn’t have to lock the doors, and now you couldn’t walk down the street without getting mugged?

A.

Bountygate Nouveau

I suspect that the original Bountygate is forgotten everywhere but in New Orleans. It was the accusation that there was a bounty system on the New Orleans Saints for hits against opposing players. The NFL came down hard on the “implicated” coaches and players including head coach Sean Payton who was suspended for a year. It turned out to be sound and fury signifying nothing after further investigation. That’s a fancy way of saying that it was bullshit.

Bountygate Noveau is infinitely more serious:

American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.

<SNIP>

The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.

The Trump regime is tripping over itself to explain away the latest foreign policy scandal. My favorite excuse is that the Impeached Insult Comedian didn’t read the briefing papers. That’s the presidential* equivalent of that old standby “the dog ate my homework.” Trump, of course, hates dogs. I wonder when they’ll move on to “my grandmother died.” That won’t work either: his grandparents are long dead.

Shortly after the meeting cited by the NYT, President* Pennywise resumed his push to restore Russia to the G-7. How dare Obama ban Putin for attacking and conquering the Crimea? They were just taking it back. #sarcasm. Of course, Trump doesn’t know it used to be part of the Soviet Union and Russian Empire. All he knows is that Putin is a tough guy, not a fake tough guy like himself.

Joe Biden pounced on the latest Trump-Putin scandal:

“Not only has he failed to sanction and impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this egregious violation of international law, Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin,” the former vice president said.

Biden called it a “betrayal of the most sacred duty we bear as a nation — to protect and equip our troops when we send them into harm’s way.”

FYI, the featured image shows the aftermath of Putin throwing the ball and Trump fetching it like a good dog. It’s unclear if Putin scratched his head or gave him a treat as a reward. Good boy, Donald.

On a more serious note, this is NOT the first time that a Republican president has endangered the lives of our soldiers. In its rush to war, the Bush-Cheney administration failed to give the troops proper equipment such as body armor. Like W, President* Pennywise can’t be bothered with the details. So much for caring about the military.

I called this post Bountygate Nouveau because it’s a fresh scandal but reminiscent of past scandals. If it were a wine, it would be Beaujolais Nouveau, which a friend of mine insists on calling Boojelly. I’m not sure if the wine image works but I’m not a sommelier. There ain’t no cure for the sommelier blues

The last word goes to the Lincoln Project with an instant response ad to this newly vinted (decanted?) scandal:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – TL, DR edition

Well, THAT was fun. There was a dead rat in the electric rat-zapper lest Tuesday, so I went out into the alley to dump him where a hawk could find him and have some breakfast. Crossing the concrete-paved alley I stepped (barefoot) into a slick spot where the night’s rain runoff was flowing, slipped and fell backwards, landing on the back of my head.
In the flowing water runoff.
Lump – yes.
Concussion –  I don’t think so  actually, a mild one. Gone in two days
Pain – 7 on a 10 scale.
Damned lucky I didn’t break anything.
I had to struggle to my feet as quickly as I could, because the alley has a 20 – degree down-slope, and people tear down it as they leave to go to work and wouldn’t have been able to stop on the rain-slick concrete. I would have been run over for sure if I’d lost consciousness, or just lain there and waited to recover some.
Alleyway
Anywhoo – a quickie.

Donald Trump’s favorite pollster puts him 12 points behind Joe Biden Daily Mail ^ | 6-15-2020 | Nikki Schwab Posted on 6/15/2020, 10:43:18 PM by ZagFan

The poll comes the same day the Biden campaign announced an impressive $81 million fundraising haul in May.

Rasmussen’s survey with Just The News found that 48 per cent of registered voters nationally liked Biden, while just 36 per cent said they’d support Trump in the November general election.

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

Well, this sucks.
1 posted on 6/15/2020, 10:43:18 PM by ZagFan
Wait for it….
To: ZagFan

Fake Fake Fake Fake news.

2 posted on 6/15/2020, 10:44:16 PM by EnglishOnly (eeWFight all out to win OR get out now. .)

Now RASMUSSEN is “fake news”?
Oy.
To: ZagFan

This means one of two things – either Trump is headed for a Carter-like shellacking by a Reaganesque rout at the hands of Biden, or pollsters have created a very bad model of the electorate, perhaps because of the Trump’s hidden support which is hard to poll. The first alternative is somewhat more likely than the second.

8 posted on 6/15/2020, 10:50:20 PM by nwrep

What could have happened to that reliable GOP-leaning outlier provider??
To: ZagFan

Except this is not the Rasmussen poll. Scott Rasmussen sold his poll, which keeps his name and now does a new poll for an outfit called Just the News. This is a joke. Biden may well be ahead, but Trump doesn’t have 36%. An utter embarrassment for Scott Rasmussen to publish this crap.

3 posted on 6/15/2020, 10:45:47 PM by usafa92 (Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America)

What to do, what to do??
To: ZagFan

If I would be polled, I plan to lie to the pollster, and say I support Biden. Let the pollsters be shocked the night of the election.

10 posted on 6/15/2020, 10:51:22 PM by EvilCapitalist (Fire Fauci)

That’ll show them!
To: Midwesterner53

43% approval and 56% disapprove.

You better all wake up. “Rasmussen sold the company” ain’t cutting it.

15 posted on 6/15/2020, 11:00:48 PM by Williams (Stop Tolerating The Intolerant)

That’s it for this week, good people.  I should be back to normal (whatever the fuck THAT is) later on this week.
Tagged , ,

‘As Leadership on Virus Fails’

Jesus Christ, we STILL can’t name the problem: 

Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Cases Soar Past 2.5 Million as Leadership on Virus Fails

With new cases of the coronavirus suddenly surging across multiple states that had low and manageable caseloads just months ago, confusion and anger is swirling among those who obeyed lockdowns and drastic social measures out of a sense of civic duty to help bring the U.S. outbreak under control.

Nationwide, cases have risen 65 percent over the past two weeks. On Friday, the country reported more than 45,000 new infections, its third consecutive day of record new cases, and a number of states have also been seeing record new levels. On Saturday, Florida, Nevada and South Carolina reported their highest one-day case totals. Before this week, the country’s largest daily total had been 36,738 on April 24.

REPUBLICAN politicians. REPUBLICAN leadership. Joe Biden is out here every single day being president, basically, only nobody’s paying attention because Trump shit some racist nonsense out his mouth again and we have to get all sixteen microphones in front of the shitpile.

I cannot with OUR LEADERS have failed us. The United States of Chicken Fried America has been in the blood-soaked hands of the GOP since 2010 and I don’t think we can give it another decade before we start noticing that. We can’t keep blaming “politicians” and “Congress” and “Washington” and “leadership” if we expect this to get any better at all.

We have a nationwide propaganda network, aided and abetted by nihilistic social media and amplified by the same kind of sociopathic broadcast screamers as inspired genocide a thousand times in history, telling people a million different wrong things all at once, and the money from all of those ventures flows to Republicans.

The NYT can just fuck off all the way into the fucking sea with this:

In recent weeks, some conservatives said they had an additional concern: After weeks of being told that going to church, attending funerals, and participating in protests was a willful, careless spurning of science, political leaders and some public health officials condoned — and even joined — the crowds protesting the killing of George Floyd.

WEARING MASKS, YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKERS, OUTDOORS, NOT INSIDE THE PROSPERITY MEGA-STADIUM OF GAY-HATING, and what’s more, you know the difference, so spare me the fake angst from the fucking exterminators:

“It’s just a real social whiplash,” said Philip Campbell, vice president of a pest control company in Central Michigan, who took part in the first protests against the lockdown in Lansing in April from the cab of his truck. “Two weeks ago you can’t go out because you are going to kill grandma. Now it’s ‘you have an obligation to go out.’ It leaves me feeling that the science and the public health authorities have been politicized.”

Well goddamn, sparky, look at the big brain on you. Could it be that your president has no fucking clue and that the confusion stems from his explicit policy to not do anything that sounds like it might save a few Democrats along the way?

Two hundred thousand fucking people are going to die, and we’re going to act like there is no way any of this could have gone any other way. No clear leadership? WELL I WONDER WHOSE FUCKEN JOB IT WAS TO PROVIDE THAT, COULD IT HAVE BEEN THE PRESIDENT AND THE PARTY IN CHARGE? God damn, what party is that again? I hear its name so seldom I forget what it is.

The confusion you are describing is what happens when there is no national leadership. But maybe while your party was out there with long guns screaming about states’ rights you might have thought about times when we need to be a single country. One would have hoped a few wars would have drilled that into your thick heads but apparently if Japan bombed Pearl Harbor today we’d be having a national debate about how many liberals live in Hawaii and why can’t they pay for their own rebuilding, the lazy fucks.

The GOP has fragmented us day after day after fucking day, it’s been going on for decades now, because they saw a bunch of racists and said, I bet we can ride these stupid ponies all the way to the end of the rainbow. Now, of course, that national action is needed, and the national unity they jizz all over every 9/11 anniversary is actually needed, they’re more than willing to shove the few remaining members of the Greatest Generation in their graves so they can keep clowning on everybody who cares about anybody else.

I am so fucking done not talking honestly about what’s going on here. Obama didn’t unleash the coronavirus and Obama didn’t “divide” the nation by getting elected black and we are not “partisan” because some of us want to be alive and would love some kind of guidance from literally anyone as to how the best way to do that might be. This is what we actually need the federal government to do, people are saying help us,

“It’s all political” is a dumb shrug but it’s the exact dumb shrug with which we’ve been taught to greet every single thing that happens, and as per usual I’d like to reserve the fucking most of the blame for what happens when we act like this for the ones who taught us the words, the ones who cash in when we say them.

REPUBLICANS. God fucking damn it, Republicans.

A.

Not Everything Sucks

Labor is fighting like labor has always fought: 

On June 19, a group of workers plans to picket outside an unlikely location: Union Jacks strip club.

It’s the only club out of nearly 30 Portland establishments that won’t agree to demands to ensure fair treatment of black dancers.

“Who’s gonna cross a strike line of angry-ass strippers?” says Cat Hollis, a dancer who organized the Portland Stripper Strike.

The picket line is a signal that the national movement for racial justice has extended to the quintessentially Portland institution of strip clubs.

More than 100 dancers have issued the following demands to club owners: require cultural sensitivity training on a regular basis for all club staff, owners and management; ensure that black dancers get fair hiring opportunities and desirable shifts; and require owners and managers to participate in listening sessions with black dancers to learn about their experiences working at Portland clubs.

They’re calling themselves the Haymarket Pole Cooperative, which is fantastic.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Darkness On The Edge Of Town

My Brother Imitating Scherzo by Andre Kertesz.

The Saharan dust has arrived in New Orleans. The good news is that it’s a two-edged sword. It fucks up our air quality but hinders tropical development in the Gulf. So it goes.

Bruce Springsteen wrote this week’s theme song in 1978. It was the title track of his fourth studio album. It’s a winner, I tell ya

We have two versions of Darkness On The Edge Of Town for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a 2009 live version.

The rest of this week’s post can be easily found after the break.

Continue reading

Willow Weep For Me

We continue our willowy musical theme today. The good news is that Willow Weep For Me isn’t about death but it’s still a sad song.

Willow Weep For Me was written in 1932 by Ann Ronell. There was some resistance to publishing the song; more likely than not based on gender. They were nuts. It’s been recorded and performed dozens of time over the years. That’s what they call an enduring classic.

As always, the first version I heard of this song was Frank Sinatra’s. The man had a way with a ballad.

The next willowy weeper comes from the 1957 album Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson. It’s a masterpiece melding Louis’ classic style with Oscar’s modern sensibility. Check it out. It’s to die for.

This 1967 version was arranged and conducted by the great Billy May.

Finally, the most recent rendition dating from 1995.

Confidence, Not Cockiness

I got another shrill fundraising email from MoveOn. In it, they warn that “Trump is winning” when all evidence to the contrary shows that he’s not. They warn that Democrats are overconfident about kicking Trump’s ass. I’m not a fan of fearmongering as a fundraising technique. It’s too Trumpy for my taste.

I realize that many remain traumatized by the 2016 election. Some even see Trump as an almost supernatural creature with demonic powers. It’s time to get over it and move on; pun intended, it always is.

President Pennwyise’s real superpower is this: Every time he opens his mouth, he loses votes. Here’s the latest example:

“So we’ve done a lot and we’re very proud of it and we had the best until this artificial problem ‘cause I call it an artificial problem,” Trump said.

“We had to turn off our country to save millions of lives and now we’ve turned it back on,” he continued. “And it’s coming back much faster than anybody thought possible.”

Over 124,00 and counting Americans have died because of this “artificial problem” and the Trump regime’s grotesque incompetence in addressing it. Sounds real to me, fuckhead.

Contrary to what MoveOn thinks there’s nothing wrong with confidence, it’s cockiness we need to guard against. The proverbial ball should remain unspiked until Joe Biden takes the oath of office next January. Does that sound overconfident to you? Trump is NOT winning.

I agree with veteran WaPo columnist E.J. Dionne:

But after 2016, overconfidence will never be the major problem. One of the most debilitating aspects of Trump’s rise is the extent to which it has undercut the confidence of many liberals and moderates in the common sense of a majority of the electorate. This attitude is anti-democratic and self-defeating. Understanding, as Reagan did, the potential to ignite a large coalition for change is the precondition for bringing it to life.

If we’re confident, we win. If we’re cocky or scared, we lose. The future belongs to the bold, not the timid. It’s that simple.

Trump is trying to run an outsider/insurgent campaign once again. It’s doomed to fail: he’s the incumbent. He has a record and a very bad one indeed. Reelection campaigns are ALWAYS about the incumbent. That’s the sound of confidence, not cockiness.

Joe Biden is being slammed by some for “campaigning from his basement.” In fact, he’s running a good campaign attuned to the moment by positioning himself as a calm and compassionate candidate in stark contrast to the fear and frenzy stirred up by the Impeached Insult Comedian who remains the Pigpen of American politics:

Team Biden also believes in two venerable rules of politics:

  1. If you give your opponent enough rope, they’ll hang themselves.
  2. If your opponent is destroying themselves, let them.

Repeat after me: Trump loses votes every time he opens his mouth. That’s confidence, not cockiness.

The last word goes to Graham Parker and includes a message for MoveOn:

Pun intended, it always is.

Friday Catblogging: The Lookout

I have no idea why Paul Drake finds us so fascinating. We’re not.

Bury Me In Willow

I’ve tried  not to be too morbid in this feature, but the worst case scenario of the pandemic is death. It’s a slow, painful, and undignified death. I saw a nurse on Maddow the other night and she said: “COVID-19 is a monster, not a disease.” I concur.

Here are some shocking numbers: the United States has 5% of the world’s population and 1/3 of all novel coronavirus cases. As of this writing, 123,000 and counting Americans have died. Difficult numbers, hard truths. Don’t be in that number: please wear a mask and be careful out there.

Now for the music. These songs are all ones that I’ve told Dr. A that I’d like played at my memorial service. Despite the first song, I’m not into the whole body in the box thing. I want to be cremated and have my ashes on the mantle alongside our deceased cats. Now, that was morbid.

When John Wetton wrote the first song in 2012, he was bouncing back from a bout with the cancer that eventually took his life in 2017:

Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook wrote the next song about the passing of the friend who introduced them. We owe her a debt of musical gratitude:

I always associate this Warren Zevon song with the sudden and shocking death of my friend Ashley Morris in 2008:

This beautiful Neil Finn song breaks me up at least every other time I hear it:

Robbie Robertson wrote Fallen Angel as a tribute to his fallen comrade Richard Manuel. He had a little help singing the song from fellow rock god, Peter Gabriel.

Finally, a song that I posted in my tribute to the late, great Johnny Clegg after his death last year. It was written after the passing of his close friend and bandmate Dudu Zulu:

These songs of mortality were merely the ones that popped into my head. There’s more where they came from. How’s that for morbid?

Nuance Is Dead

There have been many articles over the years proclaiming the death of irony. It turned out not to be so: what’s more ironic, in a sick way, than one of the world’s richest countries having 1/3 of the COVID-19 cases? I am, however, concerned about the plight of nuance. It appears to be knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door.

Nuance and I are old friends. While many see life in stark terms of black and white, I revel in the gray and ambiguous. While I’m still burning a candle for it, I’m afraid nuance is dead in our public life.

I usually detest bothsiderism but both the right and the left share the blame for nuance’s demise. Nuance was finally banished from the Republican party upon the nomination of the Impeached Insult Comedian. House GOPers such as Louie Gohmert Piles, Matt Gaetz, and Gym Jordan have trampled nuance to death with their antics. It’s unclear if they’re three of the horsemen of the apocalypse or the Three Stooges. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

Nuance suffered major blows in the last week with the toppling of a statue honoring General/President Ulysses Grant as well as the Lady Forward statue in Madison, Wisconsin. The latter became a symbol of pride during the anti-Walker demonstrations in what seems like another lifetime. Its downfall certainly vexed Our Scout Prime:

I feel your pain, Scout.

An appreciation for, and an understanding of, nuance would have prevented the toppling of a statue honoring the man who did more to defeat the Confederacy than anyone else, General/President Grant. His father-in-law was a slave owner (as was Lincoln’s) who gave Ulysses and Julia a slave. Grant found the whole thing embarrassing and freed the poor bastard within a year. Many have credited that incident with beginning the process of Grant’s enlightenment on racial matters.

As president, Grant joined forces with the advocates of radical reconstruction and equal rights. The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was perhaps his greatest accomplishment as president. It was struck down by the Supremes in 1883, but it set the template for Civil Rights legislation in the next century. That’s right, Grant was the LBJ of the 19th Century; another historical figure nuance is needed to understand.

If you don’t believe me, here’s what the great Frederick Douglass had to say about Ulysses Grant:

“A man too broad for prejudice, too humane to despise the humblest, too great to be small at any point. In him the Negro found a protector, the Indian a friend, a vanquished foe a brother, an imperiled nation a savior…”

Grant’s historical reputation was the first casualty of the cult of the Lost Cause. In recent years, his star has been on the rise because of his record on Civil Rights while Woodrow Wilson’s has declined because he was a segregationist. Nuance requires that I point out that Wilson was instrumental in passing significant progressive legislation as president.

I dislike criticizing those I agree with and rarely do so. I’m down with removing monuments to Lee, Davis, Calhoun, and others. I’ve even stopped making nuanced arguments about Jackson Square in New Orleans. While I understand the thrill of toppling statues, I prefer a legal process, which has the benefit of being safer. The bronze statue of General/President Jackson is heavy and could hurt someone if hastily removed. I’ll have more about that and the renaming frenzy next week at the Bayou Brief.

Perhaps the post title is melodramatic. Nuance will live as long as people take the time to understand the complexities of our history. History is made by human beings and we’re flawed and, well, human.

A final thought: while we know who is buried in Grant’s Tomb, why is there a statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square? That’s too nuanced even for me.

The last word goes to Oscar Brand with an 1868 campaign song:

Losing It

over_625

So, perhaps a little soon — it’s only June, there’s still almost five months before Election Day…Trump admittedly is like a movie villain with his feral survival instincts…

Biden’s far from perfect, and lord knows the media is feckless and lazy…but recent news and punditry suggests, at long last, enough of the public is ready to can amateur hour.

Sure, the lunatic base continues to be both. But you can only go so far with the crazies, particularly when some of them are peeling off (though Bolton’s more asshole than dumbass).

It might also be a matter of reality. I noted briefly a few weeks ago that real America is not rural diner America, no matter how many reporters seek wisdom in the first small town eatery they stumble upon. The recent demonstrations, um, demonstrate a diversity that ought to shatter any lingering myths about who we are.

Then there’s the disaster Trump’s presiding over. Even with a media that will do flips when a conservative Republican barks an order or offers a treat, it’s painfully obvious that Trump–and the GOP, generally–are out of their league if not their time zone if not their universe in dealing with a real crisis like the pandemic. They’ve lurched between denial and anger, with a bit of bargaining. Trying to sell hundreds of thousands of deaths as a smashing success won’t sell even with the press in their pocket…

Finally, some are pointing out that the grievance politics of DJT, the white male anger over being challenged for supremacy…won’t work particularly well against Joe Biden. Hmm…that’s entirely possible…and if that’s what it takes to make Trump a one-term mistake…

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Irv Docktor

I liked Irv Docktor’s cover art for Art Tatum’s Discoveries so much that I checked out his book covers. Docktor was particularly known for his work with Robert Heinlein so we begin with a pair of those covers followed by two more pairings.

The Scandal Tornado

There were few genuine scandals during the Obama administration. There were plenty of attempts by morally and ethically bankrupt Republicans to conjure up scandals, but the record is clear: nobody on Team Obama was indicted let alone convicted.

In contrast, there’s a deluge of Team Trump scandals; so many that it’s hard to keep track. There’s the scandalous pandemic response, the babies in cages scandal, and the corrupt cronyism and nepotism that’s rampant in this administration. The Mustache of War has belatedly chimed in with a new scandal involving China. Tornadic activity swirls above the White House on a daily basis. It’s amazing that the roof is still on the building.

There are so many scandal tornadoes that it’s hard to keep track of them all. I continue to believe that the worst scandals involve William Herrmann Goering Barr and the Justice Department. There’s cronyism, corruption, and mendacity aplenty at the DOJ but until recently Barr maintained an air of competence in furtherance of his nefarious schemes. Until the botched firing of SDNY honcho Geoffrey Berman last weekend.

Initially, Barr claimed that Berman had resigned. He did no such thing. Then, Barr dragged the Impeached Insult Comedian into it and claimed he’d fired Berman. Trump disputed Barr’s lie with one of his own. In the end, they wound up with a less pliable replacement thereby proving that it truly is the Sovereign District of New York.

Another scandal tornado landed with the public statement of Aaron Zelinsky who was the lead prosecutor in the Roger Stone case:

“What I heard — repeatedly — was that Roger Stone was being treated differently from any other defendant because of his relationship to the president.”

Anyone surprised? Roger Stone and corruption are synonymous. In fact, he’s a one-man scandal tornado. Zelinsky is testifying in front of the House Judiciary Committee today. It should be interesting to see how GOPers handle it. We know that Gym Jordan will shout in defense of President* Pennywise. He has no conscience to wrestle with, after all.

The Kaiser of Chaos took his own personal scandal tornado to the pandemic plagued state of Arizona yesterday. One could even call him the White Tornado like in the old Ajax commercials:

Admittedly, that analogy is imperfect. President* Pennywise spreads dirt and destruction wherever he goes. Perhaps that makes him Pigpen’s evil twin:

The Impeached Insult Comedian was in Arizona to plug his stupid wall and oblige his supporters to sit in close proximity to one another. This time a smaller venue was chosen so it was not a repeat of the Tulsa Trainwreck other than the pandemic spreading possibility of this rally. In a church no less. I guess evangelicals expect the pandemic to bring on Armageddon. I have no idea why they’re giddy at that prospect, but they are. They and Trump deserve each other.

As long as Trump remains in office, the country will be on a permanent Scandal Tornado Watch. The only way to end that is to vote him out. Make it so, America, make it so.

The last word goes to ELO with a tornadic tune:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Discoveries

Art Tatum was one of the greatest and most influential Jazz pianists of the 20th Century. Players who he influenced include Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Ray Charles, and McCoy Tyner among others.

Discoveries is a compilation released in 1960, four years after Tatum’s death. The cover art is by the eminent illustrator  Irv Docktor.

I failed to discover Discoveries on either Spotify or YouTube. Here’s a short clip of Art Tatum doing what he did best:

Here’s some lagniappe, Oscar Peterson and Bill Basie with some Tatum talk:

‘Aggravated Battery’

Of course he’s white, you knew that from the convention of referring to him as something other than a THUG or a TERRORIST: 

A judge has released the man accused of opening fire and shooting a protester. Police say Steven Baca is the man seen on video opening fire at last Monday’s protest regarding a statue of conquistador Juan De Oñate, sending one man to the hospital. Much of the District Attorney’s case was centered around 10 primary witness videos, one of which shows the moments leading up to Baca firing his gun.

While Baca is most known for firing shots, he is not currently facing any charges for it. Baca is facing aggravated battery and two battery charges for allegedly assaulting three female protestors.

Police initially charged Baca for the shooting, but the District Attorney dropped that charge pending further investigation. Baca’s attorneys have argued he fired his gun in self-defense because he was being hit with a skateboard.

In court, Monday, the District Attorney’s office argued that Baca was only at the protest to start trouble. However, with no criminal history and the state not yet finding any of the women Baca is accused of hurting, Judge Charles Brown released him on his own recognizance.

The story is an incoherent-ass mess — police don’t file charges, DAs do, and what does “most known for firing shots” mean, and there are other typos in the parts I haven’t quoted, but …

This guy brought a gun to a protest expecting there would be someone there he could shoot. He showed up at a place where people were protesting, with a gun, to make what point who the hell even knows, to defend the honor of dead conquistador, with firearms. What the FUCK.

There is one intention for something like this and it’s to intimidate people from protesting. From taking down statues. From creating in the world the images of it they feel should be represented. You don’t show up to that with a gun to protect yourself from being possibly hit with a skateboard, come on.

I know it’s tiring to point out how few consequences right-wing white men face for actions like this. Those Bundy assholes, everyone who ever attacked an abortion clinic, who get referred to in the press as acting in some kind of heroic insurrection against an oppressive government. I don’t know if this is a hangover from the Revolutionary War or what, but we keep treating these dinguses like they’re Paul Revere and it’s poisonous.

I went looking for this piece after McArdle opened her mouth hole about something stupid again last week, because it’s one of the most aggressive examples of “my oppression justifies everything, yours is all made up” I’ve ever read in addition to being dumber than a two-day-old tofurkey: 

Using the political system to stomp on radicalized fringes does not seem to be very effective in getting them to eschew violence.  In fact, it seems to be a very good way of getting more violence.  Possibly because those fringes have often turned to violence precisely because they feel that the political process has been closed off to them.

Now contrast that compassion and generosity — extended, in the above case, to the murderer of a doctor — to what is generally said among the I’m No Conservative But crowd about the Black Lives Matter protests today.

I wonder if anyone thinks maybe, just maybe, the political process has been closed off to them?

Nah.

They gotta just be doing it for fun.

It’s not like they’re white, after all.

A.

Not Everything Sucks

Did we know this was still a thing? I DID NOT KNOW THIS WAS STILL A THING!

I am a huge OLD who assumes everything good from my childhood, like making homemade IEDs in the woods out of coke bottles and firecrackers, is long gone, so when I find some small part of it preserved nothing could be more delightful.

A.

The Joke’s On Them

I had not originally planned to spike the ball over the Tulsa fiasco but it’s turning out to be a landmark in the decline and fall of the Trump cult.

I received a nearly hysterical fundraising email from Move On yesterday. It proclaimed that Trump *would* win if I didn’t give them money. The timing was bad after only 6,200 people attended what I will hereinafter refer to as the Tulsa Trainwreck. I feel a segment header coming on.

The Tulsa Trainwreck: The excuses are flying. This admission of failure made me chuckle. No, make that cackle:

Now, some White House officials said the campaign was being dishonest about what had gone wrong, and they conceded that many of the president’s older supporters had decided attending the rally was too risky amid coronavirus fears that Mr. Trump has repeatedly played down.

Dishonest? Ya think? Dishonesty is a given with these people. Delusional is more like it.

Team Trump also trotted out the “it’s just a joke” defense over this comment:

This time the joke’s on them.

The Tulsa Trainwreck is a signal that the vaunted Trump base is neither as dedicated nor as large as everyone claims it is. It’s also a signal that some of them are starting to realize that they’re being used and that President* Pennywise does not give a shit about them. Stay tuned.

Pirating Bolton: In my John Bolton Can Go Fuck Himself piece I urged people to post pirate copies on the internet. Apparently, I missed the fun this weekend as my wish came true. If anyone has a copy they’d like to share, please let me know.

It reminds me of the days of Pirate Radio:

Be Careful Out There: COVID-19 numbers are on the rise. Magical thinking seems to have seized the populace as reports of large gatherings became ubiquitous this weekend. New Orleans is particularly vulnerable as drive-in tourists from Texas, Mississippi, Alabama ,and Florida are showing up to party like there’s no pandemic. Playing American Roulette is for suckers.

This Twitter exchange sums up my feelings as this point:

We’re in the wack-a-mole stage of the pandemic, which is made worse by all the wishful thinking. At least we know who to blame:

Perry Who? I was excited about the Perry Mason reboot with Matthew Rhys in the title role. I even thought I might recap it. Then, I saw the first episode.

It was a trainwreck; there’s that word again. Other than the character names, it has nothing whatsoever to do with either the Erle Stanley Gardner books or the teevee series with Raymond Burr. I *expected* it to be different but not disconnected.

HBO’s Perry Who is a sleazy gumshoe living on his deceased parents’ farm outside Los Angeles. Worst of all, despite being played by a smart actor, he came off as a depressed dolt. Perry Mason was always the smartest guy in the room, not the most depressed.

If anything, Dr. A hated it more than I did. I’m willing to see if the series gets any better because it has such a stellar cast but whatever it is, it’s not Perry Mason. I’ll try and watch it as a period private eye show. Hopefully, future episodes will be better, they can’t get much worse.

Whoever thought that Perry Who should be a mediocre private eye, not a lawyer should have their head examined. Then there’s the matter of character age, Perry Who is a depressed Great War veteran in a series set in 1932. Matthew Rhys is 46 and Raymond Burr was 40 when cast as Perry Mason. In the books, Perry read for the law in his twenties. That makes sense. Perry Who as a 40-something gumshoe does not.

There was a lot of room left by the Gardner books and the Burr teevee series to do something interesting with the Perry Mason characters. The makers of Perry Who dropped the ball.

In the immortal words of the Men on Film of In Living Color fame:

That brings us back to the post title. The joke is a sick one and it’s not only on them, it’s on all of us.

The last word goes to Steve (not Steven) Miller:

 

 

 

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Bolton out of the pack edition

SO.

MUCH.

WINNING!!!!

Ex-adviser John Bolton risks facing charges if he publishes book
DW ^ | 16 June 2020 | DW

Posted on 6/16/2020, 5:21:26 AM by Cronos

Donald Trump said his former National Security Adviser John Bolton may face a “criminal problem” if he goes ahead with the publication of his book that is expected to be highly critical of the president.

US President Donald Trump said on Monday that his former national security adviser, John Bolton, could face criminal liability if he doesn’t halt the publication of his new book that is expected to provide an insider account of the Trump administration.

“I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified. So that would mean that if he wrote a book and if the book gets out he’s broken the law,” Trump said. “That’s called criminal liability. That’s a big thing,” he said.

Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser for about 18 months, is a controversial figure in Washington. He is a Republican policymaker known for his hawkish stance on foreign affairs. Bolton was fired by Trump in September 2019 over simmering differences on a range of foreign policy issues, most notably North Korea and Afghanistan.

‘Addicted to chaos’

In the book, titled “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” Bolton writes that almost every decision by Trump was motivated by domestic politics, and that he committed impeachable offenses even beyond the charges related to Ukraine.

“I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” Bolton writes in the book, according to a statement by the publishers, Simon and Schuster.

The book describes Trump as “a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government,” the statement said.

Pre-publication review

Trump has accused Bolton of not completing the clearance process required for a book by former government officials who had access to sensitive information. While Trump admitted he had not read the book, he said the problem of revealing conversations with the president “becomes even worse if he lies about the conversation, which I understand he might have in some cases.”

“We’ll see what happens. They’re in court or they’ll soon be in court,” Trump said.

US Attorney General William Barr also raised concerns over the pre-publication review process, and added that the Trump administration was “trying to get them to go through the process and make the necessary deletions of classified information.”

Bolton’s lawyer Chuck Cooper has contradicted these statements, saying that his client had painstakingly worked with classifications specialists at the White House National Security Council to ensure classified material is not published.

“This is a transparent attempt to use national security as a pretext to censor Mr. Bolton, in violation of his constitutional right to speak on matters of the utmost public importance,”according to Cooper. “This attempt will not succeed, and Mr. Bolton’s book will be published June 23.”

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

Bolton should stop this publishing action now. What is he trying to do??And look at Bolton’s lawyer pulling out nonsense from his hat

1 posted on 6/16/2020, 5:21:26 AM by Cronos
HEY ROCKY!!!
HeyRockyRINO
RINO ALERT!!!
To: Cronos

 

Bolton is like a JILTED GIRL!! He’s going to do anything he can to RUIN TRUMP!

6 posted on 6/16/2020, 5:44:24 AM by Ann Archy (Abortion……. The HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)

The Darnold ruined himself, a long time ago.
To: Cronos

 

The book describes Trump as “a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government,” the statement said.

Boltons’ book is a lying hit piece straight out. Bolton is a piece of shit who deserves a curb-stomping.

10 posted on 6/16/2020, 6:05:26 AM by TalBlack

CURB-STOMPING ALERT!!
.
Also, you can just say “shit” on Free Republic now?
.
Cool.
To: Leaning Right

 

“John Bolton risks facing charges

You mean like Strok and Paige or Comey or Brennan or Clapper or Schift or Rosenstien or McCabe? You mean that kind of risk? You mean because he stole pages of notes from meetings he attended with Trump and others and used them to write his book. Risks my ass, nothing will happen to him.

14 posted on 6/16/2020, 7:18:40 AM by abbastanza

WeHaveAWinner2

To: Cronos

There was a time when I liked  every Freeper worshiped  John Bolton.

FIFY.

It’s discouraging how many public figures I believed in, only to find out that they were actually a globalist, a Leftist, and/or part of the Deep State.

20 posted on 6/16/2020, 4:29:54 PM by KittyKares (Drain the Swamp)

Well, since nothing (including his disastrous cabinet picks) can ever be The Darnold’s fault, whose fault IS it??
To: McGruff

 

The people who convinced PDJT is hire Bolton in the first place need to sacked immediately. And they have already been so, there(sic) names need to be made public.

4 posted on 6/18/2020, 9:08:57 PM by Armscor38

Wait for it…
To: Armscor38

 

I’d like to know who promoted Bolton to Trump.

9 posted on 6/18/2020, 9:10:56 PM by McGruff

Wait for it…
To: McGruff

 

Hannity and Mark Levin apparently both helped.

11 posted on 6/18/2020, 9:12:37 PM by Aria

To: Armscor38

 

Hannity was one.

12 posted on 6/18/2020, 9:14:02 PM by sheehan (DEPORT ALL ILLEGALS.)

BanHimHannity
.
Much much more, including The Revenge Of The Supremes!

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