Today in Tommy T’s Obsession with random ruminations – Halloween fun edition

Halloween fun in days gone by I used to own a half-duplex, with a sidewalk that passed by the guest bedroom window. One Halloween, I wanted to do something other than just hand out candy, and (being allergic to decorating) I decided to set up a scary surprise. I plugged my 400W bass head into one of my 2X15 cabinets, and set my Yamaha SPX90 effects processor on top of the head, then plugged a SM57 mike into the processor and set the processor to pitch-shift. OK – let’s try this thing out. I dropped the pitch by one full … Continue reading Today in Tommy T’s Obsession with random ruminations – Halloween fun edition

Saturday Odds & Sods: In The Midnight Hour

Max Schreck as Nosferatu.

It’s been chilly the last few days in New Orleans; not Vermont or Minnesota chilly but it will do. Of course, we were subjected to a helluva storm before things cooled off. Cool air hitting muggy air tends to do that. The light show accompanying the storm would have been spectacular if it wasn’t so scary. I jumped a few time in response, but we didn’t lose power. It had to happen.

This week’s theme song was written by Wilson Pickett and Steve Cropper in 1965. It became a monster hit on both the R&B and pop charts shortly thereafter. It remains a classic as well as perfect for this feature, which goes live every Saturday at midnight.

We have three versions of In The Midnight Hour for your listening pleasure: the Pickett original as well as covers by The Jam and Roxy Music.

Now we’ve that waited til the midnight hour, let’s jump to the break. I suspect more music awaits us on the other side. Go ahead and jump.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: In The Midnight Hour”

Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun began life in 1947 as an instrumental composed by Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke. According to show biz lore, Johnny Mercer heard the song while driving from Los Angeles to Palm Springs and started the lyrics in his car. If that story isn’t true, it oughta be.

We begin with the first recording of the Mercerized song by June Christy in 1954:

Ella Fitzgerald recorded Midnight Sun on three occasions. This time, with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra:

Continue reading “Midnight Sun”

Wrap It Up

It’s been a long and newsy week. Part of me wants to hide under the covers, but I can’t help peeking. I’m going to break this post into segments like an Ikea bookshelf. I’ll try and keep the directions simple. Mercifully, there’s no translation from Swedish to English involved.

Publisher’s Note: I nearly plotzed when Athenae told me that she was leaving First Draft. I took her presence for granted, but didn’t try to talk her out of it. I still, however, miss her distinctive voice. Nobody drops F-bombs with her verve and grace.

I was pleased when Athenae asked if I wanted to succeed her as publisher. I’ve been telling jokes here since 2009. I love this joint and our readers.

I’m proud of the group of writers we’ve assembled over the course of the year, Both Tommy T and Michael F have been here longer than I have. I encouraged Tommy to branch out knowing that our readers would be interested in what makes him tick, tick, tick. His random ruminations have been a joy to behold. As to our photoshop wizard Michael F, I love using his images in my own posts. I only steal from the best.

I asked two old friends, Shapiro and Cassandra to join First Draft earlier this year. They’ve settled in nicely into their respective slots: Cassandra on Wednesdays and Shapiro on Tuesdays and Fridays. He received an excused absence today because of his son’s wedding. Our newest addition, Jamie O, agreed to fill in for our wandering blogger. He’ll be back doing matinees on Monday and Thursday next week.  Cassandra commended Jamie to my attention. Thanks, C,

I wish that my buddy Ryne Hancock posted more BUT his contributions have been exceptionally good. Quality is better than quantity, after all. I provide the latter.

I’m still open to submissions from guest writers and returnees. The more others write, the less I have to. I’m not quite as bone idle as Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances but I aspire to it.

I’d like to thank our writers for being such good team players. I seem to be achieving my goal as publisher: to let them to do their thing with minimal input from me. I think of myself more as a traffic cop than an editor.

First Draft endures because of the strong foundation built by Athenae, Holden, Scout, Jude, Doc, and everyone else who has written for First Draft. Thanks, y’all. We’re still walking in your footsteps.

Cue musical interlude:

Enough self-back-patting, on to the news of the week, which was on the bleak side. We’ll wrap it up in a neat package after the break.

Continue reading “Wrap It Up”

A Clarity Of The Current

This week, fellow First Drafter Cassandra wrote a piece about how angry people are right now – at the wrong stuff, due to being clueless about the current situation. This will continue that general theme. Americans tend to not be very good at knowing what’s really happening. The public tends to have completely wrong beliefs about crime, child abduction, and American exceptionalism. These false ideas are driven by prejudice, bad information sources, and American mythology. This is not good, because a shared, accurate sense of reality is vital for our democracy. We now, more than ever, need something that can … Continue reading A Clarity Of The Current

If Basket of Deplorables Is Unacceptable…

…how about sack of shit? On Monday, the right-wing youth organization Turning Point USA had an event during which founder Charlie Kirk took questions from members of the audience. At one point, a bearded man asked one, as seen in video obtained by Media Matters. “At this point, we’re living under corporate and medical fascism. This is tyranny,” he said. “When do we get to use the guns?” Members of the audience applauded. “No, and I’m not — that’s not a joke,” he continued. “I’m not saying it like that. I mean, literally, where’s the line? How many elections are they going … Continue reading If Basket of Deplorables Is Unacceptable…

Home Sweet Home

The NBC Evening News on Tuesday ended with a story about how Ken Burns wants there to be a National Home Town Day and about how he’s getting famous people to record stuff about how wonderful their home town is. The reporter asked him if he was doing this to alleviate “the divisiveness of social media” and he said it was. This BOTH SIDES-ing of fascism is MADE FOR TELEVISION bullshit of the highest order. There is no doubt that the United States is in the middle of a cold civil war, with hot skirmishes unfortunately breaking out. There is … Continue reading Home Sweet Home

They Just Want Their Slaves Back

Application Results Pie Chart

I hear people don’t want to work in America. At least that’s how the stories in the media are painting the picture.

Employers are claiming they can’t get people to even apply for work because unemployment benefits are so generous that people don’t NEED to work. Never mind that the federal unemployment add-ons ended in September and many states ended paying them out in June or July. According to many employers people are just too lazy to work when the federal government is handing out the cheese.

I’ll be nice and just say Bunk. And I’ll add in, I’m insulted.

Not that I’ve been looking for a job. I’m employed doing what I love to do, give tours. I will say that a lot of the companies that employ me to do tours are saying it’s hard getting tour guides right now. Well part of that is many of the guides who worked in the industry had to get into new industries when our industry collapsed because of COVID. I call that industrious. The employers understand that and are making adjustments to accommodate the fewer number of guides available. Some of the guests we are hosting though, well, they have that “nobody wants to work” attitude.

On the other hand, there are a few employers in the business who don’t want to pay the going rate for good tour guides. Never mind that it’s the same rate we all were charging in the before times, these employers were expecting us all to “just be grateful” for the employment we’d work at any price.

Guess again Sparky.

You may have seen a story from Business Insider that was making the rounds of the internet last week. In it a Florida man, tired of hearing how businesses couldn’t find people to work, applied for sixty (60) entry level jobs. Out of the sixty, he got one (1) interview. That interview was from a construction company that advertised a payrate of $10 per hour, but when he went to the interview he was told the pay was actually $8.65 per hour (the Florida minimum wage) and that “with seniority” it would rise to $10. He was qualified for all the jobs he applied for, in fact he made sure to only pick jobs he was qualified for and not over qualified for. He was trying to make the sample as pure as possible. I think he should apply for a job as a statistician.

What’s truly amazing is that all those companies were ones complaining they couldn’t get people to apply. If that was the case our friend should have been inundated with interviews since according to these companies he would have been practically the only one applying for the job. 20% sent back an email acknowledging the application and nothing else. 5% called him but did not invite him in for a face to face interview. Only the one actually had him in for an interview. See the graphic at the top.

His theory of why only the one interview?

Continue reading “They Just Want Their Slaves Back”

Squid Game Ain’t Playin’ Around

You may have heard people talk in passing about the South Korean Netflix show “Squid Game.” The first thing you need to know about it is this: The show is very violent. As in, lots of blood and people being shot in the head. So, based on a few social media reactions I’ve seen, if you don’t like violence, the first “game” is going to be really upsetting to you. There are some people tuning in to see what all the fuss is about and are traumatized. It’s also a show where the less you know going in, the better. … Continue reading Squid Game Ain’t Playin’ Around

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Bitch at Mitch edition

All hail Mitch McConnell – the ruler of the Republican party, right?

I believe we’ll start with the present and work our way back – starting with:

Corned beef rehash!

McConnell: GOP should focus on future, not ‘rehash’ 2020
The Hill ^ | 10/19/2021 | JORDAIN CARNEY

Posted on 10/19/2021, 2:38:59 PM by ChicagoConservative27

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) urged his party to focus on President Biden heading into 2022, and not relitigating the 2020 election that former President Trump still falsely claims was stolen.

McConnell, speaking to reporters during a weekly press conference, was asked if he was comfortable with the party embracing Trump. The former president was at a retreat over the weekend for Senate Republicans’ campaign arm and endorsed Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) for reelection in Iowa earlier this month.

“Well I do think we need to be talking about the future, not the past,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday.


1 posted on 10/19/2021, 2:38:59 PM by ChicagoConservative27
Why yes – he is!
Any comments?
Comment #3 Removed by Moderator
Do you kiss your Mom with that mouth?
To: ChicagoConservative27
Some of us can chew gum and walk at the same time even if you can’t you turtle looking MF.
10 posted on 10/19/2021, 2:44:43 PM by billyboy15
That’s better.  A little.
To: ChicagoConservative27
If Republicans refuse to correct the rampant voter fraud of the past, and instead turn away from protecting people’s ballots, and guaranteeing election integrity, there is no future…no future for our country, and no future for the Republican Party. I won’t be voting again until voter fraud is annihilated.
28 posted on 10/19/2021, 2:54:55 PM by mass55th (“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” ~~ John Wayne )
Works for me.
Oh, look! Someone was nice enough to quote the above deleted post :
To: The Fop
“Mitch McConnell and his CCP wife lying in a pool of blood on Bardstown Rd. would be a nice start for the future for the GOP.”
I like the way you think!
33 posted on 10/19/2021, 2:58:33 PM by Macoozie (Handcuffs and Orange Jumpsuitss)
Tell you what, you foolish fop – try it and let me know how it works for you.
To: ChicagoConservative27
Somewhere in the rules of free republic there is a ‘no profanity’ tenet. Which is a good thing.

Free Republic moderators :

I have read other forums and do not do so any longer. The foul language is horrific.

Any time you get a bunch of chickens together in one place, you’re gonna get a lot of fowl language.

Nevertheless, I can’t write what I want to write here in response to the uttering of this fraction of a man the leader of the senate minority but I will say this. He always seemed to me to want the gop to be the minority party

38 posted on 10/19/2021, 3:07:47 PM by stanne

To: ChicagoConservative27
“,,,that former President Trump still falsely claims was stolen.”
Every lying, lib media jerk adds this statement. That’s opinion, not fact.
Starting to think “journalists “ should be licensed.
68 posted on 10/19/2021, 4:05:29 PM by Fledermaus (I’ll wear a mask when Dr. Fraudchi shuts the hell up.)
By the state? By the feds? Interesting concept, especially if you’re not into totalitarian dictatorships.
To: ChicagoConservative27
Will someone give this a$$ COVID-Delta!?
74 posted on 10/19/2021, 4:34:36 PM by SgtHooper (If you remember the 60’s, YOU WEREN’T THERE!)
Um – he got vaccinated.  He isn’t as stupid as you are. Besides – “it’s just like the flu”.
Isn’t it?
More Mitch-bitching below the profanity-free fold….

Continue reading “Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Bitch at Mitch edition”

Today on Tommy T’s obsession with random ruminations – “You rang?” edition

You rang? I was staying with a (platonic) girlfriend overnight and head the doorbell ring. Thought “who could it be this early in the morning?” Heard a conversation at the front door, so I got up from the couch, dressed, and went to see. My very nice host had opened the door to a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and was trying to be nice and still get them to leave. Wasn’t happening. I came up beside her and slipped my arm around her shoulders, saying “Who are these fine people, sweetheart?”. She looked at me and advised me that they … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s obsession with random ruminations – “You rang?” edition

Saturday Odds & Sods: Wild World

Hirondelle Amour by Joan Miro.

We’re gearing up for a municipal election in New Orleans and I’m disinterested at this moment. One reason is that two of the major offices, mayor and one at large city council seat, have pre-determined outcomes. Mayor Teedy will be reelected as will Council President Helena Moreno. I’m resigned to the former and pleased about the latter, but my level of interest is not high right now. Oh well, what the hell.

We received letters this week informing us that we won’t be voting at the Catholic school where we’ve voted since Katrina. I’m old school and still prefer casting my ballot on election day. Sorry, Shapiro. Instead, we’ll be voting at the former HQ of NOPD’s second district. I wonder if we’ll get to see the former holding cells. Beats the former hell outta me.

This week’s theme song was written by Cat Stevens for his 1970 album Tea For The Tillerman. In addition to being his commercial breakthrough, the album title inspired several Tea For The Tillerson posts in the early days of the Trump regime. It’s a pity that Rex hasn’t spilled any tea about the man he called a “fucking moron” when he was secretary of state.

We have three versions of Wild World for your listening pleasure: the Cat Stevens original as well as covers by Jimmy Cliff and Maxi Priest:

Oh baby baby it’s time to jump to the break.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: Wild World”

Fascinating Rhythm

Rhythm is one of those words I cannot spell; another is subpoena. I wonder if Ira Gershwin had the same problem. It’s a subject I find endlessly fascinating. Why? I’ll never know.

George and Ira Gershwin wrote Fascinating Rhythm in 1924 for their smash hit musical Lady Be Good, which is another swell-n-swinging song.

Fascinating Rhythm has been recorded nearly 300 times according to the bible of the Friday Cocktail Hour, You didn’t think I did this without help, did you?

We begin with the Velvet Fog with the Marty Paich Dek-tette:

Next up, Ella Fitzgerald and her fascinating friend Nelson Riddle:

Continue reading “Fascinating Rhythm”

Fool Me Once

Dopesick Cast

There is a terrific new TV series on Hulu right now called DOPESICK. It’s the story of the OxyContin plague that still continues to plague the American public. Told from many viewpoints the audience gets to see the machinations of the manufacturer Purdue Pharmaceutical and it’s owners the Sackler family as they scurry to create “the greatest drug ever”, the effects on one particular woman who becomes addicted, the Justice Department’s two hotshot prosecutors who go after the manufacturer, a DEA agent, the sales reps for Purdue and one coal country doctor who is initially hesitant about the drug then becomes a spokesperson for it before he realizes how devastating and deadly the drug truly is. The doctor is played by Michael Keaton and for the first time in many years I was able to watch a performance by him and not half expect to hear him say “I’m Batman”.

Also Richard Sackler, the head of Purdue Pharma is played by Michael Stuhlberg who is the greatest actor on the planet today and if you don’t know who he is that just proves how great an actor he is. He’s played real life characters before, from Lew Wasserman to Edward G. Robinson to Arnold Rothstein to Richard Clarke. He brings a bit of each one to this performance.

OK, so that’s enough of an ad for Hulu. Let’s talk COVID vaccine hesitancy.

It’s been bandied about in the media that African Americans have been reluctant to vaccinate because of doubts and worries about the vaccine. Many in the community see it as just another example of the government using them as human guinea pigs. They have a justifiable right to that fear, inspired in no short part by the Tuskegee Experiments of the mid to late 20th century where black men were unknowingly inoculated with syphilis to see how the disease progresses in the human body. I understand that fear, especially when it’s then boosted by the anti-vaxxer crowd.

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

What I’ve had a hard time understanding is lower class and poor whites who are against the vaccine. Where did that come from? Yeah I know, Faux News and Repugnicant politicians are the easy ones to blame, especially when they sow doubt in the general population as to the vaccine’s efficacy and safety while being first in line to get the jab. But lower class and poor people are the ones least able to afford getting sick in general and specifically in the case of COVID. They should have been at the front of the line demanding access to a FREE ounce of prevention. Instead they were willing to take their chances with non-vaccination and the possibility of getting a preventable deadly disease.

And here’s where we get back to Purdue Pharma, the Sacklers, and OxyContin. Continue reading “Fool Me Once”

Welcome To The Party, Pal

He won’t get the nomination, this is a joke campaign. He won’t win the nomination.  America would never elect someone like Trump. He’ll have to change, the office of the presidency will change him.  Tonight he became president.  He’s pivoting (at least a dozen times over four years). He’ll just disappear once he loses. His supporters are all talk, there won’t be any violence. And so on. A lot of people, from the elite-iest of the DC media elite to your neighbor, were constantly and consistently wrong about everything Trump-related. David Brock, former conservative critter and now Democratic strategist, was … Continue reading Welcome To The Party, Pal

Manchin Fatigue

Image by Michael F

I woke up this morning with a less than earth shattering revelation: I’m sick of writing about Joe Manchin. I’m sick of seeing him on TV. I’m sick of reading about him. I dream of a Manchin-free news cycle. It’s an impossible dream. We’re stuck with him as long as there’s a Fifty-Fifty senate.

Yesterday, the Man of La Manchin dominated the news. Senate Republicans refused to allow debate on Manchin’s voting rights bill. So much for his assurances that at least ten GOPers would vote for cloture to allow the measure to be debated. I’m sick of Joe Manchin’s empty promises.

David Corn of Mother Jones published a piece about Manchin’s supposed two-stage plan to leave the Democratic party if he doesn’t get his way on damn near everything. Manchin denounced the article as BULLSHIT.

I’m sick of Joe Manchin’s bullshit. I also don’t believe he plans to become an American Independent. He says he favors tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans. No GOPer in Congress today has *ever* voted to raise income taxes

Manchin says he supports a $1.5 trillion human infrastructure plan. The GOP’s topline is zero, zed, zip, zilch. Plus, Manchin sponsored the voting rights bill they shot down yesterday. The GOP favors voter suppression, not electoral reform.

This was also the week that the coal state senator came out in opposition to the climate provisions of the reconciliation bill that I call the RIF. Coal made Joe Manchin a wealthy man, so we shouldn’t be surprised. But he also voted for a budget resolution that included a $3.5 trillion RIF jampacked with climate provisions. That’s right, he was for it before he was against it.

Manchin seems stuck in the triangulating Nineties. He wants a work requirement for the child tax credit. This, too, is bullshit. He represents one of the poorest states in the nation. The child tax credit benefits the vast majority of his constituents except for the coal barons he loves so much. Speaking of the descendants of robber barons, former Democratic Governor/Senator Jay Rockefeller’s adult children came out in favor of the RIF arguing that West By God Virginia needs it, By God.

The Man of La Manchin styles himself as a man of action. He claims to seek bipartisan solutions to the nation’s problems. That, too, is bullshit. Every time he gets involved in major legislation, it fails, flops, fizzles. Remember the post-Newtown massacre attempt to pass gun control legislation? Manchin got a lot of favorable coverage that time too. The legislation failed but Manchin still took a bow for his efforts.

As you can see from the featured image, Michael F was the first at First Draft to call the senior senator from West By God Virginia, the Man of La Manchin.  It’s not only a brilliant pun, it captures the essence of the man as a legislator. He poses as a legislator who wants to get shit done. That’s, in his own words, bullshit.

Continue reading “Manchin Fatigue”

Matt Gaetz And Jim Jordan Appear Before The Rules Committee

And it went pretty much as you might expect Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Wednesday struggled to answer questions about his communications with then-President Donald Trump during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, telling a House panel that he doesn’t recall the number of times he spoke with Trump that day. The statement from Jordan, a staunch Trump ally and a potential witness in the House’s investigation of the attack, came during a Rules Committee meeting on whether to hold former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon in contempt for refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena. “Of course … Continue reading Matt Gaetz And Jim Jordan Appear Before The Rules Committee