The Friday Fishwrap

Herb Caen Column Heading

Once upon a time there was a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle (that was a newspaper) named Herb Caen. His column ran in the paper six days a week, but his Friday column was called the Friday Fishwrap. A convenient reminder that that morning’s paper would be used in the evening to wrap up and dispose of the remains of the no meat on Fridays throw aways. Thus he filled the column with throw away items, thoughts, flotsam and jetsam.

In his honor I’m going to try that today.

The Democrats missed an opportunity last week with the 1/6 investigation vote in the Senate. They should have let the Repugnicants filibuster, really filibuster, the Jimmy Stewart in MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON type filibuster, where all work in government comes to a stop. The public would have gotten a look at what the filibuster really is. Then the Dems could have gone on a media blitz tearing up the Repugnicants for bringing the federal government to that halt. It could have built a groundswell of support into a tsunami of criticism, the kind of criticism that would prevent the Repugs from trying to filibuster the For The People Act or the Infrastructure Plan.

On HBO Max right now is a film of the play OSLO. It’s about the back channel negotiations that led to the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993 between Israel and the PLO. The key takeaway from the film is that the Norwegians who acted as facilitators between the two parties insisted that each day when the meeting ended all the participants would then sit down and have dinner and drinks together and talk only of their families and friends. In other words humanizing each side to the other. If the Israelis and the Palestinians can do that, surely those of us on the left can have a meal with those on the right.

The San Jose rail system is still down, a week after the proverbial disgruntled worker killed nine. The reason? He had planted bombs at his house and bomb making materials were found in his locker at the yard. The VTA is taking no chances and methodically going through everything looking for explosive material. Maybe if they had combed his employment record as keenly as this, nine of his fellow workers would be alive today. Just saying.

The Army won’t investigate Herr Obermeister Flynn’s comments on the appropriateness of a “Myanmar style coup” here in the country all members of the armed forces swear an allegiance to protect. They say it’s because they never investigate retired officers. OK then, call him back to duty and court martial his ass for insubordination, treason, and any other crime you can think of that he’s committed.

There’s an old saying in politics: If you’ve got the votes, call the roll. Gavin Newsom has the votes to overcome this insipid recall vote so it looks like we will have the election in early September. Once that is finished, can we please talk about making it more difficult to qualify a recall vote? Ten percent of the electorate should not have the power to force a wasteful and unnecessary recall election.

More after the break

I got an early Father’s Day present from my younger offspring. I wear it proudly:

Bank of America was contracted by the state of California to be in charge of paying out unemployment benefits to those who applied during the pandemic. Instead of a check in the mail or a direct deposit you were given a credit card which would be loaded every two weeks with your payment. Unsurprisingly, B of A decided to cheap out and not use chip cards but rather the old fashioned magnetic stripe cards. When thousands of these were hacked and people found their accounts emptied, the bank, rather than issue new cards or admit their mistake, shut down the accounts. Now people couldn’t get any money. A federal judge just ordered B of A to reopen the accounts and replace missing funds. Oh yeah, the private sector can always do a better job than the government (he said with dripping sarcasm).

I’ve been on a lot of cruise ships. One of the first things you have to do before  initially boarding is fill out a form stating that you haven’t been having gastric problems in the past 24 hours or that you haven’t been in contact with someone who has. I always wondered if anyone ever said yes they had. I think asking to see proof of vaccination is a lot more realistic. If Ron DeSantis had ever been on a cruise ship he might know that.  Then he might not be jeopardizing thousands of Floridians jobs. Oh, by the way, anyone who would want to go on a cruise ship these days would want to KNOW that everyone else on the ship is vaccinated.

An 18 year old Texas high school valedictorian spoke truth to power and power didn’t like it. They never do. She swapped out her speech about media and content consumption, one that had been approved by the school administration, for a last minute speech on abortion rights because Texas has just put into law a “heartbeat” abortion bill that bans the procedure anytime after six weeks, even in cases of rape or incest. Now they don’t want to give her her diploma. She showed courage and commitment. Aren’t those what supposedly Texas high school football is all about? I guess those attributes are important only within a football stadium, which is actually where she gave the speech so….what’s the problem?

Anheuser-Busch has announced they’ll buy everyone in America a beer if we reach 70% vaccination by July 4. Problem is the beer they want to buy us is an Anheuser-Busch Natural Lite. Apparently they have warehouses full of it.

And on that note I’ll let the Easybeats ease your way to the end of the week

Shapiro Out

3 thoughts on “The Friday Fishwrap

  1. Going along with San Jose’s rail system being down, (infrastructure problems), there are, at this moment over 800,000 folks in the San Antonio, Texas area without power:
    Did the ice and snow from that winter storm somehow not melt away? Ah, the joys of de-regulation.

    Also, another question, will it occur to Republican voters that if all of the various legislatures’ actions to restrict voter access and overturn elections won by the Democratic and Other parties, are successful, that means the Republican primaries can be overturned if the wrong person wins those?

    1. My father knew Herb from Fairmont Kiwanis club meetings. I’m unclear if Herb was a member or just there for the food, booze, and gossip. I met him once. I liked him.

  2. San Francisco had Herb Caen, Chicago had Irv Kupcinet at the time would not be surprised if every metro area had a columnist who bridged society/ trivia and politics such as those 2.

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