I have to admit – I’m a 50s horror movie buff. I used to sneak out of bed at midnight, tune in to the distant (distant from Waco, anyway) DFW channel 11, adjust the rabbit ears, and sit in front of the TV for movies like “The Giant Claw” and “The Crawling Eye”.
Another fave was “The Beginning Of The End”, which featured giant grasshoppers (harvested, coincidentally, from the farmland around my Dad’s farm) attacking Chicago as a finale’.
So I have been duped by Conservatives and Q Followers alike. Trump was supposed to be soooooo close to dropping info to prove Biden stole the election. What happened? Biden is now our president. Nothing on Horowitz. Nothing on Durham. Nothing on Declass. Nothing on stolen elections. Trump packed it up, split town and left us with Biden. Brilliant! It feels like I’ve been punched in the gut. I’m sure there are others out there that feel the same way. I listened, and bought into, the BS about saving the world… Yadda Yadda Yadda. I am done. I believed the hype and have nobody to blame but myself. That is all. It was fun while it lasted.
I’m not the only one at First Draft with pardons on their mind. Shapiro has a modest proposal for President Biden.
Pardon Me, Do You Have Any Get Out Of Jail Free Cards? by Shapiro
There’s a joke going around the internet. A Rolls Royce pulls up next to Biden’s presidential limo. The back window rolls down and Donald Trump sticks his head out. Biden rolls his window down. Trump says “pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?” Biden looks at Trump for a minute then says “I’m not pardoning you for anything” as he rolls up the window and has the driver take off.
OK, the joke’s not very funny but it gave me an idea:
Joe Biden should pardon Donald Trump.
You heard me right. And before you get all up on your high horse or want to string me up as the enemy of the people Trump once said the media was, hear me out.
Pardon Trump with three conditions.
First, he must admit it was all a scam. Everything.
The Muslim ban?Hey, they weren’t staying at my hotels so why should I care.
The Ukraine call?I thought that was how diplomacy works, you want from me you gotta do for me.
The Russian investigation?Bobbie Three Sticks was right all along.
Putin was giving you orders to carry out?Duh, da.
Downplaying the seriousness of COVID so you could get re-elected? Actually he already admitted that on tape. (Jeez how dumb can one guy be, admitting to THE Watergate reporter who told him he was taping the conversation that it was all about re-election.)
Did you incite the mob that attacked the capitol? Of course, autocoup was the last chance I had and besides, it always works in those shithole countries.
Did you make those deals with the Mob to get your buildings built? Jeez of course I did, how do you think real estate in NYC works? Same as in Moscow, only the Mob there is called the Putin regime or the Middle East where it’s called the House of Saud.
On a side note this pardon will allow Trump to keep Secret Service protection but still he’d better get fitted for a bulletproof suit so one of Putin’s or bin Salman’s guys doesn’t go all Hyman Roth at the end of Godfather II on him.
In addition Trump needs to admit to everything we have always suspected no matter how bizarre or outlandish.
The pee tape?Absolutely true.
Did you sleep with Ivanka?You bet.
Is there more than one Melania?Absolutely how could you not have seen that before.
Were you grinding up Adderall and snorting it?How do you think I could stay up all night Tweeting and watching TV?
Was Stormy Daniels right when she said your dick looked like a little mushroom?Yeah, well, whatcha gonna do, genetics.
Oh and he’s gotta admit to sexually assaulting and/or raping all those women. E. Jean Carroll, Ivana, the Miss Teen USA contestants, the Fox News correspondents, all of them. That includes the girls Epstein got for him. Speaking of which Donny John you gotta fess up you had him whacked.
But most of all he has to admit that everything he said about the 2020 election was a lie. He will have to stand up and say there was no fraud, Biden won the election fair and square, all the lies he told after the votes were counted were just in a vain hope of overturning the outcome. He will have to tell the American people the truth, even if it’s for the first time in his life, that he didn’t win, there weren’t 11,800 votes in Georgia to be found for him, that Cindy McCain was right and he pissed off Arizona Republicans by trash talking her dad, that all the bluster and all the prevarication was just so much hogwash. That it all came down to this: Donald Trump just couldn’t stand the thought of being branded a loser.
The second condition of the pardon is no takebacks. No turning around and saying, “oh I just said it to get the pardon”. Nope. He’s gotta admit it all in a joint interview with Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow broadcast on every network in the cablesphere. Hell, let Nickelodeon do a version like they did with that NFL playoff game, complete with him getting slimmed. He’s gotta tell the entire sordid story, come clean about anything and everything. Look at the bright side Trumpy, you always wanted to be the biggest star on TV so here’s your chance. The ratings would be better than any Super Bowl, any Olympics, hell they’d beat the final episode of M*A*S*H.
The third condition I’ll admit this one is just for my own personal perverse pleasure. We’ll call it the Sophie’s Choice condition. Donny John you have to pick one of your kids to get a pardon with those same two conditions as yours. But only one. So decide if Vanky, Jr., or the dumb one gets to skate and which two must learn how to make friends with their new cellmate. I’d love to see the backbiting, groveling, pathetic cloying they’d all do to get that pardon. I wouldn’t even mind if Mark Burnett gets him big upfront money for a one shot special so we can all watch. Hell if it goes well, Burnett could turn it into a series starring all of the supporting characters from the last four years. The Kushner, Bannon, Miller episode would make delightful holiday viewing.
Now why would I put this proposition out to the world? 81 million plus people in this country want Trump’s hide hung high. 74 million people think he’s the cat’s meow and had a second term stolen by evil Demoncrats. It’s obvious to me that the only way these two extremes can meet in the middle, the only way this nation will heal from the four years of divisiveness Trump stoked with his angry, insipid, malevolent words and actions is for the people who fell for it to understand they were lied to and for the people who always saw through it to get the vindication they deserve. The American people need to be told by the person who lied to them that he did it only for the power and the money and that he never really cared about them or their problems. That for the last four years they were nothing but the toys a narcissistic man-child pulled out from the closet to play games with, even when playing with those toys meant sadistically pulling them apart limb from limb. This is the way we can begin to heal. I have no delusion his doing this causes everyone to join hands around the campfire and sing Kumbaya, but if we can at least get the temperature down to 2012 level when political discourse was sharp but not stick a knife in your neighbor sharp then maybe we can get on with solving some really big problems this country and the world face.
If we’ve learned anything over the last four years, it’s that Trump and his family are all about pay for play. So here it is, the biggest payday. Refuse it and you will face the remainder of your life as defendant, bankruptee, and inmate. On the other hand accept this pardon with all its conditions and you skate away from all responsibility for the harm you have done and kickstarted the process of healing. And for the first time in your life you will have done a service to your country.
That’s my proposal to President Biden. I submit it in the hopes he will give it all the due consideration it deserves.
PS: If you clicked on the link for the Grey Poupon commercial and happen to be a fan of British television, yes that’s the guy from Yes Minister and the guy from the original House Of Cards.
I grew up in Texas, where playin’ da blooz is a rite of musical passage. “Nobody gets out of here without playing the blues!” isn’t just a line from a movie, it’s a way of life. It’s why Stevie Ray Vaughn, Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and Johnny Winter existed.
Having said that, it’s one of the most boring and soul-crushing things a bass guitarist can do on stage. You’re basically (see what I did there?) playing I-IV-V-IV over and over and over, and every 16 bars you get to do a walk-up / walk-down. Whoopee.
Yes, I know it’s a sacred part of our musical heritage, and the springboard to most of rock music, but unless you’re the guitarist who gets to play 12 minutes of solos, or the vocalist, it’s boring as shit.
I can’t even begin to imagine how the drummers feel.
It’s been a long week at Adrastos World HQ. I’ve been tidying up my study/home office to make it easier for an AT&T tech to upgrade my internet service. It’s a daunting task. I’m a notoriously bad housekeeper so I’ve discovered dust bunnies the size of the late, great Paul Drake as well as the odd desicated peanut and Cheerio under the desk and book stacks. Clutter thy name is Adrastos.
Because of my clean-up attempt and hours spent watching the inauguration, I’m keeping this short by ditching our second act altogether. Who has time to write about longread-type articles when you’re at war with dust and clutter?
This week’s theme song is a lesser-known John Hiatt rocker. It’s a particular favorite of mine. It’s a road song that was written in 1997 for the Little Head album.
We have two versions of Pirate Radio for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a 1997 live version with Hiatt’s then crack band, the Nashville Queens:
While we’re being all piratical and shit, here’s ELP with a prog pirate song:
It’s time to shiver me timbers and jump to the break.
People are often surprised when they learn I like the Eagles. They’re widely considered uncool. I’m not cool now but I used to be. Of course, I was cool when Glenn, Don, and the gang were uncool. Coolness can be tricky.
I selected Lyin’ Eyes for this week’s Friday Cocktail Hour as a sort of perverse tribute to the Impeached Insult Comedian’s departure from office. Who’s a bigger liar than Donald Trump? In a word: nobody.
Lyin’ Eyes is perhaps my favorite Eagles song. It was written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey for 1975’s One Of These Nights album. It features one of Frey’s finest lead vocals.
Are you ready to take a trip to the cheating side of town?
We begin with the Eagles original album version. I have no use for the hit single version as it omits an entire verse.
Kenny Rankin cut a mellow version of Lyin’ Eyes in 1980:
Jack Jones was a saloon singer in the tradition of the Rat Pack. FYI, his father Allan was in A Night At The Opera:
In 2012, the great Buck Owens recorded an album of Eagles tunes. On it, he took a trip to the cheating side of town:
Finally, in 2016, jazz singer Gwen Hughes put a chick spin on the Henley-Frey classic:
That’s it for this week. Raise a glass and toast the end of the Trump regime. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.
Cassandra is back with her reactions to the Biden-Harris inaugural.
For There is Always Light by Cassandra
Sometime yesterday afternoon I realized could breathe again. I had actually started breathing again before that, during the inauguration ceremony as I watched Michelle Obama greet Kamala Harris, and when the Biden grandgirls made their neopolitian and sneakered entrances. I was breathing again when I cried as amazing women shared their talents with us, even though I hadn’t quite realized it yet.
I consciously started breathing again when the Biden clan clambered out of fortified vehicles and made their way up Pennsylvania Avenue. I know that piece of pavement well, because I had a part-time job when I was in grad school in DC, and my bus stop was right there, in front of the Treasury Department (this was back in the days when there was unfettered access to the area in front of the White House.), with the grandchildren bickering about whether they should hold hands as they walked and then deciding it was too corny. I breathed again as I watched President and Dr. Biden stand at the front door of the White House and hug each other in amazement and relief and joy.
And I bawled through fireworks. FIREWORKS! I love fireworks and for 20 years watched them on Independence Day, either from The Mall or up at the bell tower at National Cathedral (I was part of the change ringing group there and we had an excellent vantage point to watch them, plus I only lived a few blocks away), but I have never cried during a display. Somehow the exuberance of that display shook the last bits of fear and dread out of me (and it was really loud because my friends in DC who never hear the Independence Day fireworks immediately started tweeting and posting on social media how it scared the crap out of them at first).
Wasn’t it wonderful to wake up this morning without that burden of dread about what the president had done? I know there are a lot of very serious problems that remain unsolved, but we’re no longer helpless and at the whims of severely damaged men. I worried at the start of the pandemic that we might lose our collective ability to recognize joy. Yesterday proved I was wrong to worry. Joy be with you all.
In repose they do indeed resemble what I prefer to call a Klan gown. I know they’re called robes, but they look like a graduation gown’s evil twin. They also resemble the robes worn by old line New Orleans Carnival krewes. It’s probably best that Krewe D’Etat, which dispenses right-wing satire and is ruled over by a dictator is in mothballs this year along with the rest of the krewes. That way we’re spared an election fraud float.
The flag display looked less Ku Klux-like when the wind picked up but there was still a major problem: the flag color.
White flags? Really? The city of New Orleans honored our COVID dead with the international symbol of surrender. Holy misplaced symbolism, Batman.
Repeat after me: NO WHITE FLAGS.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell is an odd political figure. She ran an excellent campaign complete with a great communications strategy. As Mayor, her comms operation has been oddly inept. The white flag display is not their first mistake and is unlikely to be their last.
Lucky for Cantrell, the last incumbent mayor to lose re-election was Robert Maestri way back in 1946. Mayor Maestri is best remembered for accompanying FDR to Antoine’s and saying, “How ya like dem ersters, Mr. President?”
Political trivia doesn’t get more trivial than that.
The last word goes to Bruce Springsteen with a song that John Kerry used as his campaign theme song in 2004:
There was the Square Deal, the New Deal, the Fair Deal…why not the Big F***ing Deal?
OK, Biden’s demanding decency, so effing is out, and I dunno, with the obscenity of the last four years, maybe a little decency is a refreshing alternative for now.
But I’d still argue The Big (Effing) Deal is something to consider.
And anyone who spent the last four plus years enabling Orange Narcissus that takes to clutching pearls or lurching to the fainting couch can fuck off.
If nothing else, there’s no longer an official imprimatur of, name it, xenophobia, overt racism, white supremacy, the use of the big lie as a means of political control…the Trumpification of the Executive Branch. (And let’s not forget that the previous Bush Junior/Dick.Cheney regime wasn’t exactly a modern day Era of Good Feelings.)
Trump Steaks. Trump Wine. Trump Republicanism.
That’s not to say Trumpism is gone.
The MAGA minions/MAGA millions (possible inspiration for a future Photoshop, I’m thinking along the lines of the ultimate losing lottery ticket); anyway, the MAGAts are still around.
Trump, loathe as I am to admit it, could re-emerge like a horror movie villain.
And if he doesn’t, MAGA maestro wannabees like Cruz or Hawley are ready, even eager, to be the next wingnut Nosferatu.
But, for the moment, it’s, if not nice, a relief. The last four years were exhausting.
So, a cause for celebrating.
Oh, one more thing…this idiot is smiling
There was some debate over whether he was the absolute worst…not anymore.
Timing is everything in life. This is Joe Biden’s time.
His inaugural address was excellent but the most important thing that has happened in the last few days was the COVID memorial on Inauguration Eve as seen above. It’s the first time a president has acknowledged the horrors of the pandemic instead of shirking blame. Thank you, Mr. President.
President Biden’s speech was the opposite of triumphalist. He knows that he has a hard row to hoe, but he’s equal to the challenge. He made it clear that the unity he mentions is aspirational. It’s also imperative to end what he accurately called our “uncivil war.”
I’m exasperated with the people who insist on damning Joe Biden with faint praise. It’s unclear if any other Democrat could have defeated Trump. Cross-over votes from suburban women and conservative leaning independents carried the day. I think we should thank the President for coming out of retirement at an advanced age to rescue our imperiled democracy.
A reminder to those who worry that President Biden will relapse into his supposedly centrist ways:
Franklin Roosevelt was regarded as a lightweight when he was elected president. Nobody thought he would be a transformational leader. He rose to the occasion.
Harry Truman desegregated the military and saved Western Europe from starvation and Soviet domination. This from a man who used the N word and made ethnic jokes in private conversation. He rose to the occasion.
Jack Kennedy was all profile and no courage when it came to McCarthyism and its creator. Joe McCarthy was popular with JFK’s Irish Catholic base so JFK pandered to them. As president, he proposed sweeping Civil Rights legislation, which was passed by his successor. He rose to the occasion.
Lyndon Johnson voted against every Civil Rights bill until 1957. As president, he passed Medicare, the Civil Rights Act, and Voting Rights Act. He rose to the occasion.
I believe that Joe Biden will rise to the occasion. He certainly did in his historic selection of Kamala Harris as his vice president.
America also rose to the occasion. Security was tight today but we did not cower and move the ceremony indoors.
Times are tough but hope is back in fashion. Thanks Joe and Kamala.
Finally, I’d like to thank Joe Biden for allowing me to remove the asterisk from the word president. It’s been a long time coming.
I’m tired of writing about Donald Trump. I will do it again because he won’t go away gracefully. When did he ever do anything gracefully?
The Dipshit Insurrection has made soon-to-be former President* Pennywise a pariah in more places than before. The Turtle has positioned himself to vote either way in the Senate trial. I almost called it a removal trial, but the voters removed him in November. Good job, y’all.
Pardonpalooza has come and gone and I find myself not caring. Steve Bannon got a pardon, Joe Exotic did not. Why the latter thought the Kaiser of Chaos gave a shit about him is beyond me. Trump asks only one question when making a decision: what’s in it for me?
Trump has mused about starting a new political party. I’d be delighted if he did so. But once he discovers what hard work it will be, it’s unlikely to happen. Besides, he’ll be busy in court both civil and criminal.
The Impeached Insult Comedian will be violating the Hatch Act one more time with a farewell rally at Andrews Air Force Base. I know it’s now called Joint Base Andrews but it’s too early in the morning for a joint.
In a final act of presidential* incompetence, Team Trump invited some people who have turned against him: Mooch, the Mustache of War, and John Kelly. I bet they all got a good laugh out of that. I know I did. The new Q House member from Colorado will be there. I wonder if she’ll be packing heat.
However big the crowd, I expect Team Trump to lie about it. They came in lying about crowd size and they’ll go out the same way.
It’s been 152 years since an outgoing president skipped the inauguration of his successor. It puts Pennywise in bad company: Andrew Johnson. It’s a fitting pairing since those two are at the bottom of my personal worst presidents ever list.
There’s been a lot of ink spilled about Trump’s departure. I’m trying to keep this short. I’d rather accentuate the positive: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are about to replace Trump-Pence in office. Even though Pence showed some spine since the Dipshit Insurrection, to say that it will be a huge upgrade is an understatement.
Donald Trump disgraced the office of the presidency for 4 years. The last 3 months were the worst by far. The big lie about the election caused the Dipshit Insurrection. There are still people who believe the big lie but they, and their dead leader, can go fuck themselves.
This is my last post about Trump as president*. I refuse to use the honorific after he’s out of office. He’s just plain Pennywise from now on.
There’s only one song to send the Kaiser of Chaos off to exile in Florida: You’re Breakin’ My Heart aka The Fuck You Song. The last word goes to Harry Nilsson:
I forgot something: Donald Trump is a pussy. He should grab himself.
The Association were never cool. They were the sort of band who usually wore a uniform when playing live: often white suits and white shoes. They looked like Louisiana legislators in the summertime.
The psychedelic cover for their 1968 album Birthday was an attempt to be cool.
In lieu of the album, here’s a compilation of the Association’s appearances on The Smothers Brothers Show. The brothers were not only cool, they were hip. The Association were not but their intricate harmonies are to die for.
When I contacted my friend Shapiro about writing for First Draft, one reason he accepted was to reclaim his surname from the dread wingnut pundit, Ben Shapiro.
That sounded like such a noble cause that I suggested he write about his Shapiro quest. The result is this open letter to Ben who is neither gentle nor a gentile.
To My Nephew Ben by Shapiro
Dear Nephew Ben:
Let me say right off that no, you are not my nephew. We share a last name that’s more common amongst those of our lineage than those outside the tribe suspect. Some of our forebearers came from the old countries with it, some were given it by a harried immigration official at Ellis Island. Whatever. I do have a nephew who is like you in that he is married to a professional woman (a lawyer, I believe your wife is a doctor) and both you and he each have three kids. Like you he trained as a lawyer after attending private schools his entire academic career. Also like you he claims to be conservative bordering on libertarian. Have to wonder if private schooling begats conservative thinking. Nah, don’t have to wonder about it, it’s pretty obvious it does.
I’m writing to ask you to stop using our common name as a way of selling books. It’s a proud name, the name of poets (Karl), scientists (Norman), businessmen (Herman), lawyers (Robert), a few mobsters, singers (Helen who had an opening act called The Beatles in the early 1960’s), and thousands of everyday people who just go about their lives trying to do good and raise their kids to be decent human beings. You are using our name to pridefully insist that you are the smartest kid in the room, that you know better than anyone else. You seem to have forgotten, or perhaps you were never taught, that the smartest people in the room are the ones who know they can still learn from someone else and who can process new information and even change a long-held opinion.
When I use my name it’s in the service of making the world a better place. You use it in a vain attempt to blow up 2000 years of western civilization just so you can buy a bigger house. Even the most ego driven capitalist never went that far; the soon to be booted president being the exception. Then again, he’s a goyim and that’s their gig. We don’t believe in that.
We believe in Tikkun Olem, the concept of repairing the world. Surely at that LA Yeshiva you went to high school at they must have mentioned it, but if they didn’t it basically means live your life in a way to better the lives of others. It is a great way of living; I’ve been practicing it for over 60 years. It’s garnered me absolutely wonderful friends, compelled me to travel to far distant places, to care about my community, and to be able to sleep well at night. I don’t know how well you sleep at night, but if I were calling large swarths of humanity somehow less than human, it would probably be with one eye open.
When you say LGBTQ people should have no rights to marry, let alone no rights at all because they are somehow lesser as human beings for choosing to love a person you wouldn’t choose to that’s not making other people’s lives better. That’s going out of your way to put a vile hateful message out into the world that someone, already filled with rage and hatred, will take as an excuse to assault, and even kill. “Well that smart Jew fella told me I should”.
You call Jews like myself Jews In Name Only (JINO) and deride us because we think that global warming is a greater threat to mankind’s survival than if Exxon gets to hit its stock valuation. You say we don’t care about Israel because we think human rights are a greater imperative than subjugating an entire group of people. You have said that doctors who perform abortions should be prosecuted but prosecuted for what? In case you were absent that day in law school abortion is a legally protected medical procedure. What you call “cancel culture” the rest of us call the consequences of your actions. What you disdain as “political correctness” we simply call good manners. And then of course there is the whole “Big Tech is stifling the voices of conservatives” brouhaha to which I can only say hahahaha. The highest rated cable news network is a conservative mouthpiece plus now there are two competitors that are even more conservative. Big Tech doesn’t seem to have stifled any of those voices. Oh yes, that little KKK koffee klatch called Parler got taken down but that was because the owner didn’t want to abide by the rules that he agreed to when he set up the site. Wow, imagine that, a tech company enforcing their rules. Next thing you know restaurants (when we can go to them again) will enforce “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service”.
The events at the Capitol on January 6 were not directly at your command, but you gave the mob an intellectual underpinning that allowed what we have been seeing in all the days that followed from Republicans and their allies:
“STACEY ABRAMS never accepted her election loss (she still claims she was the victim of voter suppression).”
Stacey Abrams’ followers never marched on the Georgia statehouse calling for the beheading of the governor, nor did she incite them to.
“The real impeachment charge against Trump is extraordinarily reckless and inflammatory rhetoric and behavior. But that sort of rhetoric is, unfortunately, commonplace in today’s day and age, and sometimes even ends with violence (see, e.g., a Bernie Sanders supporter shooting up a congressional softball game).
First of all you are in large part responsible for the commonality of inflammatory rhetoric and behavior today. And if you don’t want to admit credit for that you must at least admit that you yourself do nothing to tamp down that vitriol. As for the guy who shot up the congressional softball game, he was a nutcase acting alone with (and I can’t help myself on this point) LEGALLY purchased guns not under the direction of anyone other than the voices inside his head. The President of the United States didn’t tell him to do it.
Where do I start with that one? I tell you, let’s just leave it at no one has ever used a Hefty bag zip tie to secure, well, even a Hefty bag let alone a government official.
You could do so much to make the world a better place. You have the intelligence and charisma to command attention and thoughtfully delineate a point of view. Instead you choose to take those gifts and throw firebombs. In fact, you’re not just yelling FIRE in a crowded theater, you are locking the doors from the outside, calling the fire department telling them to disregard the alarms, and forcing ambulances down the wrong street. You incite instead of inspire, tear down instead of buildup, negate instead of collaborate. You hate with a ferocity generals would want in their shock troops. Those are characteristics I find abhorrent in anyone, but in someone with the same last name as mine I take an even greater offense.
One last thing, you are not a conservative. By definition classical conservatism does not reject change, but insists that changes be organic, rather than revolutionary, arguing that any attempt to modify the complex web of human interactions that form human society purely for the sake of some doctrine or theory runs the risk of running afoul of the law of unintended consequences and/or of moral hazards. No you are as revolutionary as they come. The reason you write and speak and broadcast what you do has nothing to do with a desire to make the world better, but to enrich yourself and those who have placed the MAGAphone in your hands. You could say you believe in oligarchy. I would say you believe in fascism.
My editor, Adrastos, suggested I call this piece Give Me Back My Name after the Talking Heads song. After reading so much of what you have spilled out into the world, I thought a more appropriate song reference would be from Bob Dylan, Idiot Wind:
You’ve probably heard of pocket vetoes, but even I hadn’t considered the possibility of pocket pardons until recently. Others call them secret pardons but I like alliteration so we’re calling them pocket pardons. It’s also a tribute to one of my favorite Dickens characters, Herbert Pocket. Not really, but I have a lifelong obsession with Great Expectations so why stop now?
There’s nothing in the Constitution’s pardon clause that requires publication. Article II Section 2 keeps it as simple as the President* Pennywise’s brain; all it says is that the president “shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardon offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”
Vague language such as that is why I am not an Originalist. The Constitution is a structure that needs fleshing out. That’s why I’m an adherent of Justice Brennan’s notion of the Living Constitution.
As far as I can tell, a pocket pardon has never been issued. The Impeached Insult Comedian regards his presidency* as an exercise in disruption so it’s possible that today’s pardon list will be incomplete. He may hold back announcing any preemptive pardons for his kinfolk and/or Rudy so they can use them like an immunity idol on Survivor or a get out of jail free card in Monopoly. Trump has treated the presidency as a game so it would be perversely appropriate.
The pardon watch continues as does the countdown until we have a asterisk-free president:
The closing peroration is just as relevant in 2021 as it was 54 years ago:
“Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” Vanity asks the question, “Is it popular?” But conscience asks the question, “Is it right?” And there’re times when you must take a stand that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but you must do it because it is right.”
In 1967, those words applied to King’s decision to turn against the Vietnam War. It was a difficult decision because Lyndon Johnson had done so much for the cause of Civil Rights.
in 2021, those words apply to the upcoming second removal trial of Donald Trump in the Senate. I hope Senators will heed Dr. King’s words and put country above party.
It’s only been 12 days since the Twelfth Night White Riot, but the arrest toll keeps mounting. The arrestees are a hodge-podge of superficially respectable citizens and raging monster looneys who aren’t affiliated with the satirical British political party of that name. They’re just lunatics.
But one group of people has already come forward and directly implicated Mr. Trump in the riot at the Capitol: some of his own supporters who were arrested while taking part in it. In court papers and interviews, at least four pro-Trump rioters have said they joined the march that spiraled into violence in part because the president encouraged them to do so.
In the past few days, a retired firefighter charged with assaulting members of the Capitol Police force told a friend he went to the building following “the president’s instructions,” according to a criminal complaint, and a Texas real estate agent accused of breaching the building told a reporter that by protesting in Washington, she had “answered the call of my president.”
A Virginia man has told the F.B.I. that he and his cousin marched on the Capitol because Mr. Trump said “something about taking Pennsylvania Avenue.” And a lawyer for the so-called QAnon Shaman — who invaded the building in a Viking costume — said that Mr. Trump was culpable, and he planned to ask the White House for a pardon.
“Does our president bear responsibility?” the lawyer, Al Watkins, told The New York Times. “Hell, yes, he does.”
The so-called QAnon Shaman is the dipshit in the featured image above. I rarely use the tern cultural appropriation as I love eclectic fusion cuisine and eclectic multi-cultural music, BUT this case is an exception. An exceptional exception. He’s not a shaman, he’s a dipshit in a cheesy costume that would be mocked on the streets of the Marigny on Mardi Gras day.
The so-called QAnon Shaman is a jerk named Jacob Chansley whose Q moniker is Jake Angelli. He’s anything but angelic. He’s the Dipshit Insurrectionist who left a note threatening Pence then demanded a vegan diet in jail. I don’t give a shit about the latter, but the former is some serious shit.
Another Disphit Insurrectionist of note is a blonde realtor from Frisco, Texas named Jenna Ryan. She’s the poster girl for white privilege: she took a private plane to participate in the sack of the Capitol. She called it one of the best days of her life. She’s now whining about her arrest and demanding a pardon from President* Pennywise.
Ryan went on a PR offensive after the riot, telling Spectrum News that she “answered the call of my president” and proudly stormed the Capitol because the election was rigged. “It’s not necessarily about taking over the Capitol, it’s about, ‘We the people own this building,’” she said.
According to a criminal complaintfiled in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Ryan diligently documented her participation in the mob—starting from her flight on a “small private aircraft” on Jan. 5.
The next day, she posted a bathroom mirror selfie on Facebook with the caption: “We’re gonna go down and storm the capitol. They’re down there right now and that’s why we came and so that’s what we are going to do. So wish me luck.” She added: “This is a prelude going to war.”
In a since-deleted video, she filmed herself going into the Capitol through the Rotunda. She walked past broken windows, up some stairs, and said, “We are going to fucking go in here. Life or death, it doesn’t matter. Here we go.”
Then, she turned to the camera and added, “Y’all know who to hire for your realtor. Jenna Ryan for your realtor.”
By the time Ryan made it to the door of a building “clearly desecrated, with broken glass windows shattered, and security alarms sounding,” she yelled “U-S-A! U-S-A!” and “Here we are, in the name of Jesus!,” the complaint says.
Patriot or dipshit? Clearly the latter. At best, the Jenna Ryans of the world are cosplay patriots.
Team Trump has tried to fob off the blame on Antifa and “the Democrat party,” but the rioters keep undermining those preposterous claims. The Dipshit Insurrection is not a false flag event, it’s a Trump flag event.
The Kaiser of Chaos’ Twelfth Night speech makes him morally culpable for the Dispshit Insurrection, but whether he’s legally responsible is another matter. I think he should be charged but Con Law experts offer differing opinions on whether his speech falls under the 1969 SCOTUS decision, Brandenburg v. Ohio. That’s why continuing the impeachment process is so vital. Stay tuned.
Back to the Dipshit Insurrectionists. It’s cute that they think the Impeached Insult Comedian cares about them. He only cares about himself. The associates he’s pardoned thus far had something on Trump. The vague claim that they were following Trump’s orders when they vandalized and looted the Capitol is not enough to secure a pardon. Sorry, Jake. Sorry, Jenna. You’re morons who wouldn’t get the pun in the post title.
The Incredible Mr. Lindsey was on Fox News yesterday whining about national disunity. He claims that continuing the impeachment process will further divide the nation and that it’s up to Democrats to fix the shit that Republicans have broken. There’s a simple thing Republicans can do to unite the country: admit that the election fraud claims were all a lie and that Joe Biden won fair and square. You won’t be risking a mean tweet since Trump is banned from his favorite platform. Try telling the truth for once. A novel approach for the party of Trump but it might feel good.
Finally, it’s John Hiatt month on Saturday Odds & Sods. Hiatt wrote a song in 1995 about the “militia” types of the Clinton era, Native Son. The chorus is still relevant 26 years later:
Take your wife
Take your family
Take your gun
Running through the woods
And the burned out neighborhoods
Looking for someone
A member of your tribe
A Place you can hide
‘Til the war has begun
‘Cause in the fields before the flood
You’ll be spilling blood
Like a native son