Monthly Archives: July 2020

Angel Eyes

Since I wrote about demons yesterday, it only seems fair to write about angels even if demons are more fun.

There are several songs titled Angel Eyes. I’m talking about the 1946 torch song written by Matt Dennis and Earl Brent. We specialize in torch songs during the Friday Cocktail Hour, after all. I’ve always thought that sad songs are the best songs. This is a time for sad songs, y’all.

First up is Nat King Cole with a version arranged and conducted by the great Billy May:

Friday Cocktail Hour regular Ella Fitzgerald often said that Angel Eyes was her favorite song. She proves it here:

The brilliant and irascible New Orleans pianist James Booker recorded an instrumental take on Angel Eyes in 1982:

The Chairman of the Board often closed his live shows with Angel Eyes, which he called the “ultimate saloon song.” The last line suited his sense of drama, “Excuse me while I disappear.”

Here’s the original studio recording arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle.

I made a big deal out of Sinatra performing Angel Eyes so here’s a live version from 1974. His voice cracks but the introduction is hilarious:

At the beginning, I mentioned other songs of the same title. Here’s my favorite of the bunch:

Hiatt’s Angel Eyes was also covered by the Jeff Healey Band but it’s not torchy enough for the Friday Cocktail Hour. But this totally unrelated song is torchier than hell in a prog-rock kinda way:

I still miss John Wetton.

That’s it for this week. Pour yourself a drink and relax. Excuse me while I disappear.

Friday Guest Catblogging: Introducing Dory

I get a kick out of posting pictures of my friends’ cats in this space. I saw this excellent picture on my friend Sue’s FB feed and realized that I had never featured any of her cats here before. Woe is me, bop.

Dory is a 12-year-old tuxedo Maine coon cat. Like all tuxedos, she knows from dirty looks. The late, great Della Street would have been impressed with the haughty expression on Dory’s face. I’m impressed that her human’s desk is almost as messy as mine.

Demon Semen Is The New Bleach

I struggled mightily against writing about President* Pennywise’s latest pandemic related stupidity. It’s been beat to death for days so if I were a wiser man, I would resist the urge to comment on this nonsense but I’m a wise ass, not a wise man or a wise guy for that matter. I also came up with a good title and you know how I am about titles.

Trump keeps some weird company:

 Trump used Twitter to share a video in which a Houston doctor and preacher named Stella Immanuel argues that wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is unnecessary and makes (medically unproven) claims about the effectiveness of the drug hydroxychloroquine in treating the disease. As the Daily Beast subsequently reported, Immanuel also believes that “gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are … caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches” and has said that many individuals in positions of power are actually lizard aliens.

We’ve met the lizard people before, but demon sex is a new one on me. It’s unclear if Dr. Quackenbush (the original name for Groucho’s character in A Day At The Races) has any plans to treat Congressman Covid aka Louis Gohmert Piles. I bet he’d be open to some alien DNA treatments if he doesn’t have to wear a mask.

It’s astonishing that the Kaiser of Chaos keeps going to the “freak show treatment” well after the bleach drinking debacle. Anything to distract attention from the worst economy since Herbert Hoover and a pandemic death toll of 151K and rising. Distraction and confusion are the only weapons Trump has left in his arsenal.

In addition to the title, the other reason I broke down and reluctantly wrote about the latest presidential* imbecility is this:

That’s Lesley-Ann Brandt who plays the demon Mazikeen aka Maze on Lucifer, which Dr. A and I have been devouring on Netflix. Demons, devils, and angels aren’t usually my cup of tea, but this show has got me hooked. When it comes to my favorite demon, resistance is futile.

I’d like to unleash Maze on the Mask Deniers. She’d soon make short order of Dr. Quackenbush, Gohmert, and their ilk. I wish the news of Herman Cain’s Trump rally related death would give Gohmert pause but I know better. New information is meaningless to ideologues. They know everything already even though:

Repeat after me: neither bleach nor demon semen is good for you. Don’t drink either even if your friendly neighborhood president* tells you to do so. Never trust a teetotaler who spends too much time in a tanning bed.

The last word goes to Guster:

Bayou Brief: Trump Trumps Trump

My latest Bayou Brief column is a review of Mary Trump’s extraordinary book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man.

I read the book in one day, revisited the passages about Fred Trump and his sons the next, and on the third day, I wrote the review. Sounds almost Biblical, doesn’t it? That’s the first and last time I’ll use that B-word to describe my writing. Not much of a revelation…

The key to who and what Donald Trump is his relationship with the Freds. As far as he’s concerned, Freddy Trump was the ultimate loser and Fred Sr. was the ultimate winner. He thinks of himself as a winner and is terrified that he’s really a loser. Just wait until November, Donald.

The Trump campaign has reached the desperation phase. They’re throwing shit against the wall and very little is sticking. The candidate’s limited attention span makes it nearly impossible to have a coherent message. It would help to have a coherent candidate instead of a windbag who says whatever pops into his head.

Earlier this morning, Michael F wrote about the MSM’s obsession with any change in tone by the Impeached Insult Comedian. They never last. At age 74, he is incapable of “pivoting.” It’s time for a self-quote:

President* Pennywise thinks sick people are weak: he even mocked his own father when Fred had dementia. Empathy and fundamental human decency are alien to him. He will never change. He’s incapable of it and those in the mainstream media who think he can change should have their heads examined, then read Mary Trump’s book.

With her Uncle Donald it’s all about two things: the Benjamins, and the Freds. He’s Fred Trump’s son; changing is for losers.

I have an ironic last word for your listening pleasure. The Freds are very much alive in the Kaiser of Chaos’ imagination:

The Emperor’s New Tone

trump_warhol_change_in_tone_2

I think it was just this past Monday when the corporate press insisted en masse that DJT was changing his tone.

Um…

As we have seen in cities and towns across our nation, it’s not just Texas oil that the radical Democrats want to destroy, they want to destroy our country. These people are sick. They are sick and you better get used to hearing it because they have some real problems. They don’t love our country. In any way, shape or form, they don’t love our country. There’s no respect for the American way of life. There is no way of life ever in history that’s been like the great American way of life. There’s no respect but there is by you and there is by 95% of our people. Our people love our country and our people love our anthem and they love our flag. Remember that. The radical left wants to tear down everything in its way and in its place they want power for themselves, they want power. Hard to believe, power. They want to uproot and demolish every American value. They want to wipe away every trace of religion from national life. They want to indoctrinate our children, defund our police, abolish the suburbs, incite riots, and leave every city at the mercy of the radical left. That’s not going to happen. That’s not going to happen. By the way, I just ended the rule on suburbs. You know the suburbs, people fight all of their lives to get into the suburbs and have a beautiful home. There will be no more low income housing forced in to the suburbs. I abandoned and took away and just rescinded the rule. It’s been going on for years, I’ve seen conflict for years. It’s been hell for suburbia.

It’s been hell for suburbia. We rescinded the rule three days ago, so enjoy your life, ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy your life. The proud people of Texas will never bow, kneel or surrender to the left-wing mob. You will always stand tall and strong for America.

The only change in tone with DJT will what shade of orange, and that will depend on how much fake tan he has slathered on himself.

They Didn’t Do The Work

I’ve been meaning to write about the “return” of big-time American sports. I’ve been a skeptic and a critic. They claim to have plans and safety protocols, but they seem to be winging it. It’s the current national style, after all. Of course, using President* Pennywise as a role model strikes me as injudicious at best, disastrous at worst.

I thought that baseball was the sport that *might* be able to do it since social distancing is built into the game. Unfortunately, baseball is run by greedy idiots who only care about money. Sounds mighty Trumpy to me, y’all. And I’m talking about the owners *and* the players. I’ve wished a pox on both their houses for years, but I never meant it literally.

The WaPo’s Sally Jenkins brilliantly sums up why this “return” was doomed:

We were given a job to do if we wanted our games back, a very simple job, and we couldn’t do it. Instead we did wings and sheetcake. “You are what your record says you are,” Bill Parcells said. It’s an axiom in sports: Your results speak for themselves. The scoreboard says more than a dozen major league baseball players are sick after just five days of play, and the only record this country is leading in is the number of deaths.

If there is one thing sports teaches, it’s that just wanting to win is not enough. You have to do the work, or you’re going to fail and maybe even embarrass yourself. You can’t cheat the grind, or you’ll lose every time. In this case, the work was easy. Wear a mask. Stay home unless it’s a real emergency. It’s not exactly running wind sprints up hills. Americans still didn’t do it.

Itching to get out, pale and restless, lethal in our boredom and urge to self-gratify, we’ve been unable to sit the hell down and stay there. Instead we’ve club-crawled and dined until swollen on lemon pepper chicken rub and store-bought icing.

Jenkins’ words of wisdom apply across the board to every industry and walk of life. They didn’t do the hard work of shutting down tight for a few months while a concrete national plan was devised to deal with the pandemic. Germany did it. France did it. New Zealand did it. Even Italy did it after a rocky start. Italians are every bit as individualistic as Americans. They stared COVID-19 in the face, didn’t like what they saw, and locked things down tight. Now they’re returning to normal.

The United States didn’t do the work. Neither did Brazil or the United Kingdom. It’s no coincidence that both countries have Trump-like leaders. Both Bolsonaro and Boris have tested positive whereas Trump is tested constantly because, while he claims the virus will disappear like magic, this is one time that he doesn’t believe his own lies.

Another country that has done a good job coping with the pandemic is Ireland. They’ve even gone through an election stalemate that resulted in a coalition of the two major parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. As you might imagine, the UK’s inept response has resulted in some mockery from the Irish including the Guardian’s Seamus O’Reilly with this instant classic zinger:

“Ireland is not outflanking a competent, longstanding neighbour. She just has the pleasure of being compared with the gurning claptrapocracy next door.”

Claptrapocracy is my new favorite word. It’s something that Boris’ Britain and Trump’s America have in common.

Ireland did the work. Great Britain and America did not.

Finally, another quote from a WaPo columnist. This time it’s David Von Drehle who fancies himself a sensible centrist. He has some unsolicited advice for Republicans:

So, let me speak to those Republicans cowering in closets and hiding under stairs in Washington and the state capitals, muttering prayers that Trump might somehow calm the flames that threaten to consume them.

Run away. Close your eyes and duck your heads and sprint as fast as you can away from Trump. Claim amnesia. Say you’ve been hiking the Appalachian Trail. Blame your spirit spouse — whatever. A fury is building in Middle America that has nothing to do with Russia or impeachment or “Access Hollywood.” It’s rising among people who managed to look past all of that to find something they liked about the president. And now he’s repaying them with a stubby middle finger in their faces.

These folks don’t get daily covid-19 tests with results in 15 minutes. Their every contact is not screened and scanned. They live in the real world, a place Trump looks down on from his jets. They understand that covid-19 is not a joke.

The only joke, and a very bad one indeed, is the Current Occupant.

He didn’t do the work.

It’s time for him to go.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Hair

Hair is on my mind as well as on my head. I’ve done some self-trimming and Dr. A has taken a few whacks at the unruly curls that cluster at the back of my head but I haven’t had a haircut since before Carnival. I wish I could say that I had long luxurious locks, but I do not.

That brings me to this week’s album cover. Its full title is long as was the fashion in 1968: Hair- The American Tribal Love Rock Musical.

I used to have the original Broadway soundtrack album, but it got misplaced in one of my moves. I’m not sure that I’d play it very often in any event. There are some good songs but there’s a lot of filler. The cover, however, is a hairy classic:

I’m also fond of Milos Forman’s 1979 film version. Here’s the poster:

If you’re ready to let your hair down and let the sunshine in, here’s the album in the YouTube playlist format:

 

Enough Money

AMAZING: 

He said he was optimistic because readers have become accustomed to paying for online content, noting the sports fans who subscribe to The Athletic. He added that vendors like Pico, Stripe and MailChimp have made it easier for media companies to outsource business functions. In addition, he said, the thinning of newspaper sports sections, the dissolution of ESPN the Magazine and layoffs at Sports Illustrated may have created a vacuum.

Defector staff members said they did not expect the kind of growth coveted by the venture capitalists who have increasingly dominated online journalism. Rather, they said, they hoped to be able to pay themselves competitive salaries while developing a sustainable media business that produces content they are interested in.

What if you could pay your bills and yourselves and that was like, okay? What if you weren’t tying yourself into knots to appease some bullshit trust-fund asshole who wants you to show an 18 percent margin or you’re all fired? What if you just, like, did the job you said you were gonna do and it was cool?

I mean goddamn. I am not trying to be a sarcastic bitch, but my entree into journalism was at a nonprofit, where if we had literally 10 cents more in the bank than we needed it was Christmas fuckin’ morning. It wasn’t, say, a COMFORTABLE way to live, I’m pretty sure I still have anxiety about money based on those three years alone, but we made it work and published what we needed to publish.

I cannot fathom where most of legacy journalism is right now, with money out the ass for investors and profit margins that would make Walmart blush, furloughing reporters while the world is on fire. How can you, with a straight face, tell people there’s no money to pay them when you’re paying your last sexually harassative exec $15 million to get himself gone?

Why did this industry allow that kind of thing to make sense for so long?

God, I’m glad to see people just fucking going for it. Even the tone of this story is different than it would have been five years ago. There’s less skepticism, less gratuitous bitchery about “wowee, a new model” and maybe things have just finally gotten bad enough everywhere that people are noticing this is an insane way to live.

I wish so many good papers and good reporters hadn’t had to die broke while we figured this out.

A.

Not Everything Sucks

God, I love it when fascist amateurs fall on their keys like this: 

Unions for city police officers, firefighters and corrections officers have sued New York City to stop the disclosure of most of these and other disciplinary records. The unions objected to the release of any cases other than “proven and final disciplinary matters.” That would exclude the vast majority of complaints against officers.

“We are defending privacy, integrity and the unsullied reputations of thousands of hard-working public safety employees,” a union spokesman said on the filing of the lawsuit.

On Wednesday, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the city, including the CCRB, from releasing disciplinary records. Judge Katherine Polk Failla also barred the New York Civil Liberties Union from disclosing data it had obtained. ProPublica has not been a party to the case and is not subject to the order by Failla, who has scheduled a hearing for next month.

I will DIE LAUGHING. They didn’t name ProPublica in the suit. They forgot to forbid the NEWS ORGANIZATION from publishing that which they did not want the public to know. They were like GOTCHA NOW NY ACLU, NO FREEDOMS FOR YOU and meanwhile PP was over here just whistling as they worked.

HERF ERF ERF I WONDER IF WE SHOULD ASK THE PEOPLE WHO PUBLISH STUFF NOT TO PUBLISH OR JUST KEEP BITCHING OUT THE CITY.

One of the things I really miss about journalism is how much critical information gets out because people are really fucking stupid. I remember when a local police department started redacting the reports they gave us, and they did it by making copies of the reports for themselves, then using a Sharpie to mark over the originals and SHOWING US THE ORIGINALS. To which you could hold the light, or turn them over, and read everything they didn’t want you to see right through the paper. I thought my city editor was going to hyperventilate to death with hilarity.

Sometimes great journalism comes from skill and sometimes it’s courage (yours or a source’s) but a lot of the time it’s that government and law enforcement are run by absolute clowns who trip over their own giant shoes while falling out of their tiny, honking cars.

A.

Ted Cruz Can Go Fuck Himself

I posted the National Enquirer front pages as a reminder that Ted Cruz has sold his soul to the devil aka President* Pennywise. It also gives me an excuse to type this name: David Pecker. Surely someone in the Pecker tribe changed their name. Who the hell wants to be a Pecker? Imagine if a Pecker married someone named Head. Who the hell wants to be a Pecker-Head?

There’s a fresh reason why the hopefully soon-to-be senior senator from Texas can go fuck himself. Tailgunner Ted went on Face The Nation yesterday and made an ass out of himself again:

Except, the problem is, for 68% of people receiving it right now, they are being paid more on unemployment than they made in their job. And I’ll tell you, I’ve spoken to small business owners all over the state of Texas who are trying to reopen and they’re calling their- their waiters and waitresses,–

–they’re calling their busboys, and they won’t come back. And, of course, they won’t come back because the federal government is paying them, in some instances, twice as much money to stay home as–

I used the transcript because I’m not going to clean up after Ted’s mess. I’m sure he wouldn’t tip me if I did. I’d rather spit on his word salad.

I almost said that Cruz put his foot in his mouth, but this reflects the position of most Republicans. They believe that working Americans are lazy and would rather hang out with St. Ronnie’s Welfare Queen than work.

The truth of the matter is that people are afraid to return to work because they don’t want to catch COVID-19, spread it to friends and family, and possibly become one of the 300,000 Americans projected to die this year because of the grotesque incompetence of the Trump regime and GOP Governors such as Greg Abbott of Texas.

That may have been the longest sentence I’ve ever written. It’s what happens when you’re writing about a windbag like Ted Cruz.

I grew up in a restaurant family. I bussed and waited on tables when I was younger. It’s hard work but it can be rewarding as well. Most of the restaurant people I know miss their customers, co-workers, and the buzz of getting through a challenging service. They provide a vital service and should be treated with respect instead of contempt.

Ted Cruz personifies the worst of the so-called “free market, small guvmint” conservatives. He sounds like Mr. Potter in It’s A Wonderful Life:

Mr. Potter was talking about loans from the Bailey Brothers, but the point remains the same: if you give working people a helping hand, they’ll take advantage of you.  Fuck you, Mr. Potter and Ted Cruz too.

Ted Cruz *should* have a hard time looking himself in the mirror. Perhaps that’s why he grew a beard: there’s less mirror time when you don’t shave every day. But Cruz is shameless. He somehow thinks his sycophancy to the Impeached Insult Comedian is okay because it’s politically expedient. There’s a special place reserved in hell for lackeys such as Ted Cruz.

Crooks & Liars has an excellent summary of the online reaction to Cruz’s egregious malakatude.

Repeat after me: Ted Cruz can go fuck himself.

This is the third in my Go Fuck Yourself series. Once again, Harry Nilsson gets the last word:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Benedict Darnold edition

Eeek!

Reek

I said “EEEK”!!

The Darnold has crossed the Ruby Con!

Trump says coronavirus crisis will ‘get worse before it gets better,’ pleads with Americans to wear masks
Fox News ^ | 7/27/2020 | Andrew O’Reilly

Posted on 7/21/2020, 7:01:47 PM by VictoryGal

In his first official press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic since April, President Trump on Tuesday admitted that the public health crisis is likely to worsen as cases surge across the country and asked all Americans to wear masks in public.

While Trump hailed his administration’s response to the pandemic and the work toward developing a vaccine, he bluntly disclosed what many Americans already know: that the crisis is likely to spread more before it can be contained.

“It will get worse before it gets better,” Trump said of the pandemic that has infected close to 4 million Americans. “That’s something I don’t like saying but it is.”

Trump’s comments come after weeks where he either downplayed the virus’ continued spread or focused on other issues – from unrest over racial injustice in American cities to the removal of Confederate statues – despite cases of COVID-19 surging, particularly, in parts of the south and southwest.

Noting the concerns among many of his supporters that facial coverings impinge on their personal freedoms, Trump pleaded with Americans to wear masks out in public to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“We’re asking everybody when you’re not able to socially distance to wear a mask,” Trump said.

1 posted on 7/21/2020, 7:01:47 PM by VictoryGal
Et tu, FOX news?
To: VictoryGal

 

I feel like he’s been duped.

2 posted on 7/21/2020, 7:02:42 PM by Abbeville Conservative

By whom, exactly?
.
Dr. Fauci?
.
IronyMeterPegged
To: VictoryGal

 

DJT has drunk the kool aid.

Masks are less than useless.

3 posted on 7/21/2020, 7:04:18 PM by P-Marlowe (Freep mail me if you want to be on my Fingerstyle Acoustic Guitar Ping List)

A Freeper complaining that someone ELSE has drunk the Kool Aid?
I’m running out of irony meters.
.
Let the spin – BEGIN!
To: VictoryGal

 

Reverse psychology?

He’s hoping the Left starts to be against masks if he is for them?

4 posted on 7/21/2020, 7:04:26 PM by CheshireTheCat (“Forgetting pain is convenient.Remembering it agonizing.But recovering truth is worth the suffering”)

“Sir Galahad: Let us taunt it! It may become so cross that it will make a mistake.
To: VictoryGal

 

I did not think he was pleading.
Friggin fake news.

10 posted on 7/21/2020, 7:06:44 PM by right way right (May we remain sober over mere men, for God really is our only true hope.)

Only in Freeperville could someone call a transcript of a press conference “fake news”.
To: VictoryGal
Byte me–this means wearing masks until the f***ing New Year at a minimum.I want my life back.

9 posted on 7/21/2020, 7:06:08 PM by Lysandru (f)
You don’t have a frigging life. That’s why you’re on Free Republic.
To: Abbeville Conservative

 

I think he’s been duped too. All of a sudden, it’s MASKS everywhere – Melania has one, Trump LIKES them, every protester in the news has one on, every journalist at the WH. It’s like Trump is Gullivered by a thousand tiny ropes and can’t get free. I don’t like it.

14 posted on 7/21/2020, 7:07:52 PM by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)

“Gullivered” sounds like British slang for an unspeakably nasty sex act.
To: VictoryGal

 

I consider it bullshit and he’s being duped.

30 posted on 7/21/2020, 7:14:11 PM by spacejunkie2001

I remember when posting the redacted word “bulls**t” would get you a Freeperville ban.
To: VictoryGal

 

We’re going to be masked up indefinitely at this rate. Might as well make Biden POTUS now and get the takeover completed. Maybe people will fight back then? Highly doubtful. F*cking sheeple.

38 posted on 7/21/2020, 7:17:47 PM by CatOwner

OtherwiseOK8
More gnashing of dentures and rending of garments below-o the fold-o…

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Ted Yoho’s Daughters

Ted Yoho is a dick, okay, and everything that could be said about AOC pretty much has been, except that I kept thinking about this story: 

Christine’s own parents and siblings — the Blaseys — have not released any similar statement of support. As their daughter and sister has become the country’s most talked-about woman for accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual assault while both were in high school, the Blaseys have strategically avoided the press. Voice mails, texts, emails and letters from reporters have gone unanswered. Friends have politely declined to comment on what the family is going through.

Reached by phone on Tuesday, Ford’s father, Ralph Blasey Jr., offered a brief endorsement of his daughter. “I think all of the Blasey family would support her. I think her record stands for itself. Her schooling, her jobs and so on,” he said before hanging up. Moments later, after picking up the phone a second time, he added: “I think any father would have love for his daughter.”

There are other stories, sourced to horrible people and the Federalist, but no one’s denied them: 

Details of the report claim that staff and members of the Burning Tree Club in Bethesda, Maryland, witnessed Ralph Blasey approach Kavanaugh’s father, Ed, just days after his confirmation to the Supreme Court. “I’m glad Brett was confirmed,” Blasey reportedly said to the elder Kavanaugh while golfing at the club. Witnesses said that Blasey also expressed that the encounter had been hard on both families throughout the confirmation process.

And you think, what kind of motherfucker — this is the story, during the confirmation fight, that made me lose the plot completely — chooses some rich hairdo at the country club over his own daughter. But the streets of this country are littered with children whose parents chose their abusers over them. It happens every day.

Do the math. Your daughter, or your whole entire life? Your job, your friends, your social associations, your ability to walk in the world the way you feel right — or something she told you happened, that you didn’t even see. You weigh the consequences. What happens if you believe her? What happens to everything you love?

What happens to her, if you don’t?

What happens to Ted Yoho’s daughters, if one of his friends takes liberties? If someone he knows, through work or church, hurts one of his children? Would he burn down everything he knows, for that child? Or would he say to her what he said to his colleague, to his fellow member of Congress, that she’s disgusting, that she’s crazy, that she’s a fucking bitch?

Forget what-ifs. What happens to his daughters now, knowing that their father thinks women who get elected to Congress and speak up about what they want are crazy, are disgusting, are fucking bitches?

What are they likely to tell their father, about their lives? What kind of trust would they have, that he would believe anything they say?

He gave a real big speech about how much he loves his family. As if speeches are when you prove something like that. As if fathers don’t reject their daughters, every day, when those girls become inconvenient to them, when those girls cross some line, some norm, some value they consider more important than their children’s lives.

A.

Not Everything Sucks

Ferret edition: 

This little critter may only be 8 months old, but that hasn’t stopped him from raising thousands of dollars for charity.

Over the course of just two and a half weeks, Bandit the pet ferret managed to complete a full marathon by taking the challenge in his tiny stride and completing several miles per day alongside his owners.

I love my cats, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I really miss my ferrets. Pictures at the link are priceless.

Via NancyDrewed.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Higher Ground

Blue Night by Edward Hopper.

The tropics have been busy this week. There are two named storms in the Gulf. Neither is headed our way, but it’s been a wet week. Oh, to be on the dry side of a storm.

It was qualifying week for the 2020 election in the Gret Stet of Louisiana.  Senator Double Bill Cassidy gained a name opponent when Democratic Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins filed to challenge him. He has his work cut out for him: he’s not well known in South Louisiana. The spineless incumbent remains a heavy favorite.

The most interesting local race is for Orleans Parish District Attorney. Incumbent Leon Cannizzaro is retiring, which makes it a wide-open race. City Council President Jason Williams looked like a very strong candidate until he was indicted on federal tax charges. The funniest moment of qualifying week was when Williams told us not to be distracted by his indictment. Dude, you’re running for DA. You need a better argument than that.

This week’s theme song was written by Stevie Wonder for his smash hit 1973 album Innervisions.  It’s about reincarnation or some such shit but I like it for the funky groove.

We have two versions of Higher Ground for your listening pleasure: Stevie’s original and a 1989 cover by Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Glad I was able to funkify your lives today. I took lessons from the Meters:

That George Porter Jr. bass line makes me want to jump…to the break. See you on the other side.

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Miss Otis Regrets

As a songwriter, Cole Porter was not known for his social conscience. Miss Otis Regrets is an exceptional exception to that rule.

Cole Porter composed this song in 1934. Miss Otis the heroine of the piece is unable to lunch because she was accused of murder then lynched. That’s pretty strong stuff coming from the man who wrote Anything Goes.

We have four versions that are posted in chronological order. The first one comes from Ethel Waters in 1934:

Miss Otis is one of the highlights of Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Songbook:

I’ve never understood why Bryan Ferry didn’t become THE rock star who sings standards, but that crown went to Rod Stewart who doesn’t have the voice for it. His rasp is more suited for blues, R&B, and rock but life can be strange.

Here’s Ferry’s take on Miss Otis from 1999:

Finally, a Hammond B-3 heavy version from Van Morrison:

Van also has a voice made to sing standards

Have a drink. Relax. It’s the Friday Cocktail Hour. Cheers.

Yoho Ho & A Bottle Of Dumb

I originally hadn’t planned to write about AOC’s smackdown of Florida Congresscreep Ted Yoho until this post title occurred to me. That happens more than you think. It’s why haven’t done a malaka of the week post in quite some time. If anything, there’s more malakatude in the world, but if you have a catchy title, you run with it, especially if it’s piratical.

Why is that every time a white boy wingnut is vexed with a woman, they call her a bitch? A “fucking bitch” in this instance.

Why is that every time a white boy wingnut is vexed with a woman, they issue a non-apology apology? Good on AOC for rejecting it.

Why is that every time a white boy wingnut is vexed with a woman, they talk about the women in their lives? Being married with daughters is not proof that you’re NOT sexist; mentioning them means that you’re probably a chauvinist pig.

Hell, the Impeached Insult Comedian has two daughters. Does that make him a SNAG? That’s Calvin Trillin’s term for a Sensitive New Age Guy. Trump is an accused rapist and notorious misogynist so I guess it doesn’t.

I remain gobsmacked at the poor quality of House Republicans. Is being crazy and/or stupid part of their recruitment program?

I recently posted a list of the worst House Republicans on the Tweeter Tube. I somehow missed Ted Yoho. Here’s a revised list:

  1. Steve Scalise
  2. Gym Jordan
  3. Louis Gohmert Piles
  4. Matt Gaetz
  5. Ted Yoho
  6. Doug Collins
  7. Clay Higgins
  8. Paul Gosar
  9. Mo Brooks
  10. Steve King

The only reason the King of Bigots brings up the rear is that he’s been retired by the voters. It is, however, sad not to have Ratcliffe and Meadows to kick around anymore. They’re now being kicked around by the Kaiser of Chaos.

Back to AOC. Once again, she’s proven herself to be a master politician. As I watched clips of her speech on the House floor, I pictured the head of every woman I know nodding in agreement. They’ve all been Yoho-ed at some point. The malakatude, it burns.

Ted Yoho is cursed with a punworthy name. Try replacing Yo-Yo with Yoho in this Kinks song. It works beautifully. That’s why they get the last word:

Friday Catblogging: Private Eyes

One of the odder things Dr. A and I do is cast our cats in various teevee roles. (Another time, I’ll tell you about how we cast Cheers.) It’s one reason that we ended up with cats named Della Street and Paul Drake.

I recently got a deal on the complete Rockford Files on DVD. Quite naturally, PD was immediately cast as charming rascal Jim Rockford:

The last word goes to Hall & Oates:

 

Homeland Insecurity

The Department of Homeland Security is a bureaucratic monster spawned by 9/11. The blame usually goes to the Bush-Cheney administration but Slate’s Fred Kaplan has a better memory than most of us:

The DHS was a sham from the get-go. It was the brainchild of Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who proposed the new department in late 2001, just after the 9/11 attacks, as a way of showing that the Republicans in the White House weren’t the only ones trying to tackle terrorism. President George W. Bush opposed the idea, seeing it as burdening the government with another bureaucratic layer. But then, the 9/11 Commission hearings revealed that al-Qaida succeeded in toppling the World Trade Center in part because the FBI, CIA, and other agencies hadn’t shared intelligence about the hijackers’ movements prior to the attack. Coordination and consolidation were suddenly seen as nostrums to our problems.

So, under pressure, in late 2002, Bush signed Lieberman’s idea into law. DHS wound up subsuming 22 agencies from eight federal departments—with a combined budget of $40 billion and a payroll of 183,000 employees—into one hydra-headed behemoth.

The creation of this unwieldy behemoth was the result of partisan politics. This was before Lieberman became a renegade McCainiac. Back then. Holy Joe had his eyes on the 2004 Democratic nomination. He wanted the Dems to look as tough as Team Bush. We’re still paying for his folly in 2020. Fuck you, Joe.

The very name Homeland Security has creeped me out from the beginning. It sounds like something Goering and Goebbels might have cooked up. Americans *never* referred to our country as the homeland before 9/11. It’s one of the manifold ways those attacks adversely impacted our politics.

There’s been much talk of Nixon’s 1968 Law & Order campaign. I’ve done it myself. We should not, however, forget the GOP’s “the terrorists are coming to kill you” campaigns in 2002 and 2004. Anyone who opposed the Iraq War was derided as “soft on terrorism.” Those scare campaigns are also precursors to Trump’s 2020 scare tactics.

If anything, Homeland Security has made the country less secure. It has damaged the mission of the agencies involved including FEMA:

In fact, it made the government less efficient. For instance, before the consolidation, the head of FEMA had been a Cabinet-level official—a member of the National Security Council who attended interagency meetings and enjoyed direct access to the president. Now this official is an undersecretary of DHS. The secretary of DHS can closely follow only a few of the dozen or so issues the department covers. If emergency management is one of the top priorities, then that particularly undersecretary at least has indirect access to the top; if it isn’t, the mission goes largely ignored. This may have been one reason the Bush administration responded so sluggishly to the great natural disaster of 2005, Hurricane Katrina.

Right said, Fred.

It’s time to abolish the Department of Homeland Security and scatter it to the four winds. The advent of the Chaos Squads has made abolition imperative. There’s too much power concentrated in hands of the DHS Secretary and the current creep, Chad Wolf, is the acting secretary. He’s acting in a way that makes us insecure, not secure.

The last word goes to Otis Redding:

The Cruelty Is The Point…And So Is The Rage

trump_rage_711

I’ve been thinking along the same lines (it’s less left vs. right and more modern vs. medieval, etc.) but Roy Edroso puts it way better than I’m able to

…Trump wants the rage and the virus and the unemployment and the financial collapse to continue and, if possible, get worse — because wants his people to have something to be mad about.

He won’t give them any of the stuff he and they claimed he was going to give them in 2016, like mining and manufacturing jobs, new respect in the world, and an improvement on Obamacare. And you know what? I think they know it. In fact, I doubt they ever really thought he would give them those things.

Because just as he wants them to stay mad, they just want to stay mad, too. They want to stay mad that their coal and factory jobs never came back — and they don’t care that it was the globalization their own Republican politicians supported that killed those jobs. They want to stay mad that America is seen globally as a pitiful giant — even though it was Trump who made us a laughing stock. They want to stay mad that protestors are out in the streets of cities they’ll never even visit — even though it’s the smoldering, stinking mess Trump and the Republicans made of everything that put protestors in those streets in the first place.

That’s the really horrifying thing about the situation we find ourselves in now. It’s not a struggle between competing vision of how to fix the country — it’s a struggle between people who want to fix the country and people who just want something to piss and moan about.

Oh, and any major media report citing Trump’s change of tone is bullshit.