Category Archives: Adrastos

Pulp Fiction Thursday: From Here To Eternity

This Saturday is the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It’s time to celebrate the most famous book and movie adaptation set before and during the attack. Even in a crowded field of war novels, James Jones’ book stood out. The movie was pretty darn good as well.

Donald Trump Is A Misogynist

Image by Michael F

Welcome to the latest installment of the Donald Trump Is series, which is now a quartet. Let’s recap past entries:

10/4/2018: Donald Trump Is A Criminal

7/17/2019: Donald Trump Is A Racist

8/26/2019: Donald Trump Is Mentally Ill

We’ve known of President* Pennywise’s fear and loathing of women forever. He’s been charged with sexual harassment, rape, and all around lechery for decades. His typical defense is either “I don’t know her” or “She’s not hot enough for me to hit on.”

Yeah, right. If he paid an after hours visit to Texas A&M, he might join the frat boys in some, uh, sheep dipping. He would, however, draw the line at dog fucking.

In less lecherous moments, Trump has gleefully insulted Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Cortez-Ocasio, and Marie Yovanovitch among others. He seems to take special relish in knifing women as he hides behind his twitter feed and temporary occupancy of the Oval Office. That’s why I call him the Insult Comedian.

One of the more recent examples of President* Pennywise’s gross public misogyny took place at a MAGA rally in Minneapolis:

It’s still hard to believe that he did that in public. It led the target of this vile abuse, Lisa Page, to break her silence and speak to Molly Jong-Fast:

For the nearly two years since her name first made the papers, she’s been publicly silent (she did have a closed-door interview with House members in July 2018). I asked her why she was willing to talk now. “Honestly, his demeaning fake orgasm was really the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she says. The president called out her name as he acted out an orgasm in front of thousands of people at a Minneapolis rally on Oct. 11.

That was the moment Page decided she had to speak up. “I had stayed quiet for years hoping it would fade away, but instead it got worse,” she says. “It had been so hard not to defend myself, to let people who hate me control the narrative. I decided to take my power back.”

The politics of personal destruction has been perfected by the Insult Comedian and Fox News. They don’t care how tangential someone is, if they’re not fulsome in their praise of the Male-Chauvinist-Pig-In-Chief they’re fair game, especially members of what used to be called “the fairer sex.” That was vaguely polite misogyny. Trump is never polite but always sexist in an egregiously hateful way.

We’ve been told over and over again by his apologists that none of this matters because he won the election. I don’t have to tell you how specious that argument is. It may be true of evangelicals who think he’s the “chosen one,” but women are abandoning the party of Trump in droves. Let the white boys defend the indefensible by dismissing the Insult Comedian’s vile antics as “locker room talk.”

Donald Trump is not only a sexist, he’s a pussy. He should grab himself.

Repeat after me: Donald Trump is a misogynist as well as a mentally ill racist criminal.

Quote Of The Day: Impeachment Report Edition

I’m working my way through the House Intelligence Committee’s report. It’s essentially a narrative history of what happened with Ukraine and why it matters. It’s more readable than the Mueller Report. It doesn’t hedge its bets and calls an Igor an Igor and a Lev a Lev.

Today’s quote comes from Chairman Adam Schiff’s preface:

Nevertheless, there remain unanswered questions, and our investigation must continue, even as we transmit our report to the Judiciary Committee.  Given the proximate threat of further presidential attempts to solicit foreign interference in our next election, we cannot wait to make a referral until our efforts to obtain additional testimony and documents wind their way through the courts.  The evidence of the President’s misconduct is overwhelming, and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress.  Indeed, it would be hard to imagine a stronger or more complete case of obstruction than that demonstrated by the President since the inquiry began.

The damage the President has done to our relationship with a key strategic partner will be remedied over time, and Ukraine continues to enjoy strong bipartisan support in Congress.  But the damage to our system of checks and balances, and to the balance of power within our three branches of government, will be long-lasting and potentially irrevocable if the President’s ability to stonewall Congress goes unchecked.  Any future President will feel empowered to resist an investigation into their own wrongdoing, malfeasance, or corruption, and the result will be a nation at far greater risk of all three.

Jerry Nadler says that he’s not going to “take any shit” from committee GOPers. Let’s hope so. Some of the looniest members of the Republican caucus are on the Judiciary Committee. The first day sounds as dry as a bone so perhaps they’ll nod off. I’m not sure if Louie Gohmert Piles, Jim Jordan, and Matt Gaetz will understand all the big words used by the law professors. I’m skipping it. I’m not in the mood to watch them throw shit against the wall just to see how much of it sticks. Now if Larry Tribe were testifying, I’d be there.

The phone records are particularly interesting. What was the man who puts the cow in Moscow, Devin Nunes, doing on the phone with the conspirators?

A phone song is in order. The last word goes to the Kinks:

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: From Here To Eternally

This week we have dogeared  images via Discogs of a 1979 Spinners album. And what’s not to love about an album title that’s a pun on From Here To Eternity?

The front and back covers are hardcore sci-fi images by prolific illustrator Stephen Marchesi. That giant snake is stuff of nightmares.

Here’s the whole damn album via the YouTube playlist format:

It’s A Plame Shame

The MSM is full of former Bushies trying to convince the public that President Beavis was a prince among men compared to the Current Occupant. While it’s true that Dubya had better table manners, it should not be forgotten that the Beavis-Duce administration was almost as fond of smear tactics as the Trump regime.

According to Team Bush-Cheney, those of us who opposed the Mess in Mesopotamia were soft on terrorism at best, traitors at worst. The difference between Bushies and Trumpers is that most of the time Dubya let others do the lying and smearing on his behalf.  Genuine upper-class twits swells let the help do the dirty work for them: Poppy had Lee Atwater; Junior had Karl Rove. The Insult Comedian enjoys wallowing in the mud alongside Gym Jordan, Devin Nunes, and John Neely Kennedy. More about the latter next week at the Bayou Brief.

That brings us to two people the Bush administration gleefully smeared: the late Ambassador Joe Wilson and his then CIA agent wife, Valerie Plame. Scooter Libby was convicted of disclosing Plame’s identity: his sentence was commuted by Bush; Trump pardoned him in 2018. Karl Rove escaped indictment by the skin of his teeth; surviving to take up residence as a Fox News pundit. Robert Novak the right-wing columnist who published the story was not indicted either, but the man known as the Prince of Darkness finally went to hell in 2009. It’s unclear if he went there in a bucket: 

I think of Valerie Plame with each Republican demand that the Ukraine scandal whistleblower be outed. Here’s what the spy who was forced out of the cold has to say about it:

“I feel personally for this whistleblower. I know what he’s going through,” says Plame. “His career is over. His world, it’s already been upended. I don’t think he’ll remain anonymous for long.”

The good news is that Valerie Plame survived the Bush smear campaign, moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and started a new chapter in her life. After a tough year in which her father and husband died, she’s landed on her feet again. She’s the subject of a flattering profile in the WaPo and is running as a Democrat for a House seat in New Mexico. This ad is a knockout:

The Plame-Wilson affair was such a cause celebre that a movie based on their respective memoirs was made in 2010, Fair Game. Naomi Watts and Sean Penn played the couple. It’s the rare case in which the real people were more attractive than the actors portraying them. It’s a good movie, check it out if you haven’t seen it.

There was also this song by The Decemberists:

The next time a Bush acolyte tries to tell you that their guy is a much better man than President* Pennywise, remember the smear campaign against Valerie Plame. Dubya just knows what fork to use and would have had the good sense to stay off social media. Otherwise, he set the table for the Insult Comedian’s smear tactics.

I couldn’t resist a rock and roll pun in the post title, so the last word goes to Peter Frampton:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Time Won’t Let Me

Hummingbirds by Walter Inglis Anderson.

I hope everyone had a festive and gluttonous Thanksgiving. We had a double header: first in Red Stick with the surviving outlaw, then in the evening with our friends Will and Jennifer. Will is the King Cake Baron of New Orleans. I just wanted to prove that I don’t hate *all* royals, certainly not those that may involve royal icing. I’m not sure if that joke made any sense but when did that ever stop me?

This week’s theme song was written in 1966 by Tom King and Chad Kelly in 1965 for their band, The Outsiders. It was a big hit, reaching #5 on the Billboard charts.

We have three versions of Time Won’t Let Me for your listening pleasure: The Outsiders original, a 1981 version by Iggy Pop, and a 1994 version recorded by The Smithereens for use in the movie Timecop.

Time for another timely tune; hopefully time *will* let me post it:

Time’s a wasting for us to jump to the break.

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Waiting For The Spank Electrician

I need a mental health break from writing about the bottomless pit of Trump scandals until next week. Hell, the country needs a mental health break from thinking about them. That’s why I decided to do a bit of storytelling. The world needs more tall tales even if they’re about short people in small houses. No hobbits were harmed in the writing of this post.

The post title is inspired by the comedy album Waiting For The Electrician Or Someone Like Him. It was the debut album by hippie Dadaists, The Firesign Theatre. The album cover is above and if you click on this link, you can hear the whole damn thing. It’s electrifying.

At long last we begin our story:

We had electrical problems a few weeks ago. One of my Spank krewe mates is a crack electrician so he came over to solve the problem, which turned out not to be as bad as feared. While I waited for him, I began a tweet with the line “Waiting for the Spank electrician.” One of my faithful readers and twitter pals, Al Dunn, said it was the line of the day that day. I decided to see if lightning would strike again at First Draft.

While the Spank electrician worked on our circuit breaker box, I regaled him with stories of our former across the street neighbor, the Polish Electrician. I’ll call him PE for short, which works because the Spank electrician goes by TS. I’m also acronym-ing him because the story I’m telling is strictly from memory, so I changed the names to protect the innocent, not me. I am rarely, if ever, innocent.

We moved into our house in the 13th Ward in August of 2000. In that pre-gentrification era, one encountered the neighbors almost immediately. One of the first neighbors we met was PE’s charming wife Miss V (hereinafter MV) followed in short order by her equally charming husband, PE.

The couple lived across the street in the smallest house on the block. It was a perfect fit because they’re both petite people. As Dr. A liked to say it was “a sweet little house just right for sweet little people.”

They’re both immigrants: MV is Mexican and PE is Polish. They mostly spoke to one another so their mutual accent in English was a mélange of Mexican and Polish. It was simultaneously endearing and hilarious. I’m uncertain whether I should call their patois Mexi-Pole or Pole-Mex. Probably the former, the latter sounds too much like poleaxe. Mexi-Pole it is.

PE’s New Orleans origin story is an interesting one.  It happened during the Cold War. He was then a sailor, hey. He was in port, jumped ship, and defected. In those days, we encouraged skilled workers to come to America and defect from Communist countries. It was long before Tucker Carlson bragged about rooting for Russia. Nobody rooted for Russia then, especially not Poles. Lech Walesa weeps.

PE moved into one side of a double occupied by Polish sailors. The other side was essentially a crack house. It was converted into a single-family home at the end of the previous century. We live there now, unaccompanied by Polish sailors or crack dealers. As recently as 2010, we received mail for one of the crackheads, usually overdue bills or parking tickets. We tried returning them to sender, but they kept bouncing back to us, so we gave up. It’s what I get for taking advice from an Elvis song.

PE could fix anything. In addition to being a skilled electrician, he was a licensed HVAC tech. It was great having a neighbor who would come over at a moment’s notice to help and at family rates no less. It’s hard not to miss a neighbor like that.

A few years after Katrina and the Federal Flood, PE and MV moved. It was a sad day on our block. I miss chatting with them in their Mexi-Pole accents. It was always an adventure. They left behind a legacy of kindness and neighborliness as well as a good story. It was time to share it with my readers.

I gave myself a pair of earworms as I wrote this so the last word goes to Yes and Bob Weir:

Friday Catblogging: Blast From The Past

My Now Be Thankful holiday piece is about loss and renewal. It got me thinking of the dynamic duo of Oscar and Della Street who were together from 2007 to 2017. I still miss these two even if the tuxedo cat always had a bad attitude.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Thursday Turkey Day Murders

Since my Now Be Thankful post has migrated to Bayou Brief, it’s time to get back to the basics with a book cover that ran in 2015 and 2016:

As urban commie pinkos, we here at First Draft believe in recycling. This post is a rerun from last Thanksgiving with some lagniappe at the end:

If your crazy right-wing Uncle who watches too much Fox News goes off on you today, please do not re-enact this book.

How about some cheesecake for dessert?

Thursday Thanksgiving Murders

When I promise lagniappe, I mean it. So do Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg. This is the first time that exceedingly odd couple cooked together on teevee:

 

Bayou Brief: Now Be Thankful

My annual Thanksgiving post, Now Be Thankful, has migrated to the Bayou Brief. I’ve tweaked it and added a tribute to a family friend, former Congresswoman Cathy Long. This version essentially tells my Louisiana origin story. I use that term loosely since I am neither super nor a hero.

The last word goes to Fairport Convention:

 

Rex Meets The Greek Pretender

Elite New Orleans loses its head over royalty, fake and otherwise. That’s why a big deal was made about a recent charity soiree at Antoine’s:

Greek royalty was welcomed to New Orleans Saturday by New Orleans Carnival royalty during an elegant dinner at Antoine’s restaurant.

Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece were greeted with a proclamation by the reigning Rex, King of Carnival, Robert S. Boh, during the dinner, hosted by John and Dathel Georges.

The Greek monarchs were visiting to commemorate the 1953 visit of King Pavlos and Queen Frederika, Prince Pavlos’ grandparents, to New Orleans. The dinner also served as a benefit for the Prince’s Trust, which helps needy children in Greece.

A monarch is one who either reigns or rules. The Greek royals do neither. The proper term for Pavlos is pretender. The Greek royal family have not reigned since 1967 when the pretender’s father, Constantine, connived with the Colonels in a coup against the legally elected government. Constantine’s attempt at a counter-coup failed and he was sent into exile.

This Greek-American is a small r republican when it comes to my ancestral homeland. It’s in the blood: I’m distantly related to President Eleftherios Venizelos who was instrumental in abolishing the monarchy in 1924. It returned in 1935 as the hand maiden of military dictatorship. I will, however, give them credit for not collaborating when the Nazis conquered Greece. They went into exile instead. They’re good at going into exile.

The monarchy was formally abolished by referendum after the fall of  the junta in 1974. Even most Greek conservatives excoriated the royals at that time. Deposed King Constantine was in exile until 2013. The chances of a restoration are slim and none.

I originally planned to write a funny piece mocking two fake royals: Rex and the Greek pretender. When I reminded myself of the bloody anti-democratic history of the Greek monarchy that became impossible. I’m glad that money was raised for a good cause but pumping up the ego of the Greek pretender in the press is creepy.

The host of the event was vending machine and media mogul John Georges. He’s the sort of Greek-American who still calls Istanbul, Constantinople. He seems to fancy himself local royalty when he’s merely a rich guy with a media megaphone. I wonder if he’s hoping to become a fake count or phony duke some day that will never come.

I’ll take the honest fake royalty (if such a thing is possible) of Rex over the pretensions of a pretender any day. Besides, the family name is Glucksberg. Does that sound Greek to you?

The last word goes to Jackson Browne:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Food Glorious Food

I’ve never repeated a post in this space before. It struck me that this post from May 16, 2018  perfect for the day before the most gluttonous day on the calendar. Besides, I’m feeling lazy:

These are dark days because of you know who doing you know what. It calls for comic relief that has bupkis to do with politics. I went in search of comic relief and found some goofy food oriented album covers at a “food culture” web site, Ateriet. That’s right, the food fight theme kinda sorta continues.

Initially, I thought the covers would feature yogurt or cheese since culture was involved. Instead they involve canned goods, Hawaiian food, and a space age weenie roast. Two of the covers are from obscure to me artists and the last one is one of the worst covers from a major band that I can think of. It flat-out sucks.

We begin with a soupy cover from the jazz pianist Roy Meriwether. I’m not sure why the table is set with a knife and fork. I don’t know about you, but I usually eat soup with a spoon. Perhaps jazz soup is different somehow.

The minute I saw the Gerhard Polt album, I nearly did a spit take. It turns out that Herr Polt is a well-known Bavarian satirist, which means that my reaction to the cover was appropriate. I almost made a joke about not knowing that there were German satirists but thought better  of it. What’s funnier than a head on a plate of food, after all?

Finally, Live It Up by CSN. What can I say about this cover? It looks like the Krewe of Spank’s dirty weiner drop game. I bet it was David Crosby’s idea: he’s full of them and it.

 

Trump & The Military

Every once and awhile someone posts an article on social media about President* Pennywise either refusing to leave office or provoking a coup. These articles are rarely by anyone who knows anything about the military or how it operates. Would Trump applaud a coup in his favor? Absolutely. He has fantasies of himself as an absolute monarch who will establish the Trump dynasty; emphasis on the word nasty.

Was it ever likely that the military would go along with a coup? No. While many officers are conservative, they’re also hawks who have been appalled by Trump’s attacks on NATO and his cozying up to Russia. The brass seem to be divided between those who cannot stand Trump and those who believe they have a duty to refrain from all forms of politics.

In typical Trump fashion, he thinks he can buy the military’s support by increasing defense spending. Money is everything to the Insult Comedian ergo it’s everything to everyone. Wrong. They believe in honor, duty, and country whereas Trump only believes in himself.

Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds and war criminal pardons have further alienated him from the military. Former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s searing exit  letter is worth quoting at length:

The rule of law is what sets us apart from our adversaries. Good order and discipline is what has enabled our victory against foreign tyranny time and again, from Captain Lawrence’s famous order “Don’t Give up the Ship,” to the discipline and determination that propelled our flag to the highest point of Iwo Jima. The Constitution, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, are the shields that set us apart, and the beacons that protect us all. Through my Title Ten Authority, I have strived to ensure our proceedings are fair, transparent and consistent, from the newest recruit to the Flag and General Officer level.

Unfortunately, it has become apparent that in this respect, I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me, in regards to the key principle of good order and discipline. I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Spencer’s sentiments are widely shared throughout the armed forces, not just in the Navy. Trump’s interference in the military justice system is bitterly resented, especially his propensity to issue orders by tweet.

That’s not how they do business: the military is process oriented and takes a dim view of Trump’s anarchic disorderly ways. They’re not going to violate their oath to the constitution to keep the Kaiser of Chaos in power. There will be no tanks surrounding the White House on January 21, 2021.

I just saw the Coup episode of season 3 of The Crown. The broad outlines of the story are true: War hero and royal Lord Mountbatten gets involved in some preliminary coup plotting against Harold Wilson’s Labour government. After researching coups, he concluded that in a modern media saturated society such a coup could not succeed without the Queen’s support, which was not forthcoming. We don’t have a queen, just a wannabe dictator with keyboard courage and bone spurs that rendered him unfit for service.

Repeat after me: you cannot stage a coup without the military. There will be no coup.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Behind The Wall Of Sleep

Sleeping Girl by Pablo Picasso.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the impeachment hearings ate my week. It wasn’t a snack, it was a tasting menu of scandal, malakatude, and heroism. Democrats have found their mojo: I was proud of their performance in the face of Republican shouting and conspiracy theorizing. That was down to Chairman Schiff  who refused to take any shit from committee GOPers. I’m less confident of the performance of Judiciary Chairman Nadler but the ball will soon be in his court. Stay tuned.

This week’s theme song was written by the late, great Pat DiNizio in 1986 for The Smithereens debut album, Especially For You. The band had been kicking around New Jersey for years before hitting the big time with this great rock song.

We have two versions of Behind The Wall Of Sleep for your listening pleasure: the original video and a 21st Century live version.

There’s a Black Sabbath song with the same title but metal is not my thing so I’ll pass.

Now that we’ve caught up on our sleep, let’s jump to the break.

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Impeachment: Where Do We Go From Here?

I’ve been in the weeds of the impeachment hearings the last two weeks. It’s time to pause, take a deep breath, and look at the big picture.

The post title poses a rhetorical question: where do we go from here? It beats the hell outta me. Anyone who makes confident assertions or predictions is running a fool’s errand, which could be called pulling a Sondland.

As of today, the House will impeach on a party-line vote. There are some key witnesses we’d all like to hear from: Pompeo, Bolton, and Mulvaney to name a few. Slugging this out in the courts looks like a Sondland aka fool’s errand. There is a possible alternative: witnesses can be called in the Senate and it would be up to Chief Justice Roberts.  Josh Marshall has more about this at TPM.

As of today, the Senate will NOT vote to remove BUT the situation is more fluid than people believe. I think there are multiple Republican Senators willing to vote FOR at least one article of impeachment. But they’ll only do it if there are enough of them: five or more. Willard Mittbot Romney is the one to watch: he’s bulletproof in Utah and not on the ballot until 2024.

The reasons for any GOP removal votes will not be elevated ones. They won’t do it out of patriotism but out of self-preservation. In short, they’ll pull a Sondland if it looks like the GOP will be slaughtered at the ballot box in 2020. I suspect the Mittbot would like to be the Brigham Young of his party if electoral disaster looms.

A quick reminder that Republicans are 24% of registered voters. They cannot win without conservative leaning independents; many of whom are sick of Trump’s antics. Repeat after me: There’s gold in them thar suburbs.

The Turtle wants to preserve his majority as well as his own seat. Right now there are three GOP seats in serious jeopardy: Maine, Arizona, and Colorado. Georgia looks promising: when there are two Senate seats up in the same election, one party tends to win both. Doug Jones in Alabama is the most vulnerable Democrat by far but the prospect of a GOP donnybrook gives him a chance to hang on. Roy Moore, Jeff Sessions, and Donald Trump may give him a path to victory.

One overlooked possibility is Senate GOPers pressuring Trump to make up some cockamamie story and resign. It would have to be coupled with a threat of removal votes but it would serve their interests to get Trump to quit. Some say this is impossible: I disagree. Trump changes his mind on a daily basis about purt near everything.

I am opposed to impeaching Pence alongside Trump. He may deserve it but we should want someone tied to the Trump scandals to be the Republican nominee in 2020. Acting president Pelosi would only fuel GOP “coup” talk. It’s why Carl Albert wanted Jerry Ford confirmed quickly in 1974.

I have no idea which, if any, of these theories will play out in real life. One thing I know for sure is that the Insult Comedian’s fatal inability to STFU will continue to make things worse. Thanks, Donald

The last word goes to The Band:

Friday Catblogging: Face The Face

Dr. A messed with Paul Drake by obliging him to face the face of a fake feline.

The last word goes to Pete Townshend:

Impeachment Hearings Day Five: Hill/Holmes

Another day, another hearing. It was a doozy. It’s time for another round of time delayed live blogging, instant analysis or whatever the hell you want to call it.

—> Fiona Hill and David Holmes were a breath of fresh air after the smug, smarmy, and sleazy Sondland. I don’t think Sean Patrick Maloney will feel the need to administer an Irish barracking to these two. If he did, I’m sure Hill could kick his ass.

—> Devin Nunes pitched a mini-tantrum over Hill’s critique of the Republicans insistence that Ukraine fucked with the 2016 campaign, not Russia. He thumped his report on the table and insisted that it be included in the record. It was but it’s still a tissue of lies.

—> Fiona Hill is formidable and fierce. Her piercing intelligence and deep subject matter knowledge is as impressive as hell. I was touched by her account of how she came to America from the North of England. She has kept her working class Northern accent, which would have been a hindrance in the UK but not here. Don’t mess with a coal miner’s daughter even if her name isn’t Loretta Lynn and her accent is Northern, not Southern.

—> David Holmes is equally impressive. As a serving foreign service officer, he took a risk by coming forward. His first hand experiences with Sondland and Giuliani caused him to testify. I hope he doesn’t suffer retribution. I’m not sure what the foreign service hell post is; in J Edgar Hoover time at the FBI, he banished errant agent to Butte, Montana. Some may have even become dental floss tycoons.

—> The lanky and fair Holmes and the dark and raven haired Hill looked striking together. I know that’s superficial but so is teevee. There was no banter between the witnesses. Dr. Hill is all business.

—> Casting Update: Michelle Dockery as Fiona Hill and Mark Evan Jackson as David Holmes. The latter plays Shawn the head demon on The Good Place. I guess Holmes is his good twin.

I like casting Lady Mary from Downton Abbey against class type, she does fierce well.

It’s time to move on to the afternoon session.

—> STEELE DOSSIER. STEELE DOSSIER. STEELE DOSSIER.

—> Castor Oil dispensed. I think the witnesses found it as unpalatable as I do. Castor has only one facial expression: a frown and a furrowed brow.

—> A reminder that Hill is a Russia hawk who thinks highly of Bolton. She does not have a high opinion of the Hotelier who bragged about his ties to Trump to her. Bragging is big with Trump regime types. Hill was vexed with Sondland for being slippery with her. Imagine that.

—> STEELE DOSSIER. STEELE DOSSIER. STEELE DOSSIER.

—> BURISMA. BIDEN. BURISMA. BIDEN. BURISMA. BIDEN.

—> Nunes had a cow over dealing with witnesses so much smarter than he is. That describes all the witnesses with the exception of Sondland. I was proud of the fierce Dr Hill for not laying the rank ranking member low. Me, I would have asked him about his relationship with Lev Parnas. Eric Swalwell went there later in the hearing. Thanks, dude.

—> Hill disputed Morrison’s comments about Vindman having “suspect judgment.” Her only concern was about his political instincts. The very tall guy got it wrong.

—> Jordan Time: Holmes rolled his eyes and smirked at the unhinged and unjacketed one. Who the hell can blame him? He’s trying to disguise his contempt as Jordan yelled at him and kept interrupting him.

Jordan pissed that Holmes is the “closing witness.” Are you so sure of that, Gym?

—> Nutmeg state Democrat Jim Himes encouraged Hill to debunk the Ukraine conspiracy theory. What the hell does she know? She’s only an expert.

—> Hill established her bona fides as a non-never Trumper by saying a couple of semi-nice things about the Insult Comedian. I still like her.

—> Ratcliffe Time: Thank God this bozo isn’t director of national intelligence. He lacks the latter. He’s as loud as Gym Jordan in a Texas nitwit kinda way. Ratcliffe is shocked that Trump’s conversation bounces around and makes little sense.

—> MORE REPUBLICAN SHOUTING. They seem to think it makes them sound well-hung or some such shit.

—> Ohio GOPer Mike Turner patronized Hill. She almost looked angry, especially as he didn’t let her speak. What the hell does she know? She’s just an expert. Women should be seen and not heard according to this Buckeye Bozo.

—> NO COLLUSION. NO COLLUSION. NO COLLUSION.

—> Hill insisted on being allowed to speak after endless GOP speeches. She’s a fact witness, not a Sondland-esque political hack. In fact, he gives hackery a bad name.

—> WHISTLEBLOWER. WHISTLEBLOWER. WHISTLEBLOWER.

—> WORD SALAD. WORD SALAD. WORD SALAD.

—> Holmes is indiscreet, not  Sondland? Who spoke on an unsecured cell phone in a public place? Oy just oy.

—> Nunes’ closing statement made no sense. Schiff’s did. Anyone surprised? I thought not.

It was another good day for House Democrats. It helps when you have the facts on your side and excellent witnesses such as Fiona Hill and David Holmes.

Finally, two songs in honor of rock star witness Fiona Hill. The last word goes to Lyle Lovett and Pete Townshend.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Charred Witness

The impeachment hearings ate my week. At least I’m not charred:

Impeachment Hearings Day Four: The Hotelier Flips

It was the most dramatic day of testimony by far. I gladly abandoned one possible title: A Fifth Of Sondland.

Consider this moral equivalent of live blogging. Let’s get down to it.

—> I had already read Gordon Sondland’s opening statement but even if I hadn’t I would have known that he was going to come semi-clean by his demeanor. He looked like someone who had a weight lifted from his shoulders.

—> Devin Nunes was blindsided by Sondland’s flip and gave an opening statement warning the hotelier that he was about to be smeared. I enjoyed Nunes’ humiliation.

—> While Sondland named names he did so our of self-preservation, not patriotism. That’s okay, his motives are irrelevant: his lawyer is trying to keep his client out of jail and save his business. The key to the Hotelier flipping was David Holmes’ description of the cell phone conversation between Sondland and President* Pennywise. Dipshits.

Here’s something I tweeted out about Gordo’s motives:

—> I cannot wait for the Insult Comedian and the artist formerly known as Mayor Combover to respond and make matters worse.

—> In his first round of questioning, Nunes decided NOT to attack Sondland. Instead, he peddled the discredited Ukraine did it theory. They’re milking that conspiracy theory like a cow…

—> Counsel Castor Oil is an annoying ninny. He used the Boltonian phrase “drug deal” as if it were meant literally. Of course, Gordo denied being part of a “drug deal.”

In his second round of questioning, Castor took off the gloves and went after the witness after it was clear that things were not going well.

—> BURISMA. BIDEN. BURISMA. BIDEN. BURISMA. BIDEN. BURISMA. BIDEN.

—> Casting Update:  Wallace Shawn as Gordon Sondland and Philip Baker Hall as Castor Oil.

—> Adam Schiff and Danny Goldman were wise to treat Sondland as a semi-hostile witness. The man has lied before and will likely do so again. Most witnesses to conspiracy are co-conspirators, after all.

—>  Gordon Sondland is proof positive that wealth and intelligence are not synonymous. He has a poor memory, which needs constant refreshing. Perhaps that why he drank so much water and perspired profusely.

—> Sondland had a lot of nerve asking his lawyer to request special treatment so he could catch a flight to “resume his duties.” Dude, nobody on the committee likes you and if you had any decency, you’d resign. Pronto. It provoked Schiff to shift into Homey the Clown mode:

I think we need a list of those thrown to the wolves today: Trump, Giuliani, Pompeo, Bolton, Volker, and Mulvaney.

I don’t feel like commenting on shouting House GOPers so it’s time to wrap up this wrap up post even before the hearing ends. One more tweet from some internet wise ass:

I have other things to do so I won’t write about Laura Cooper’s testimony this afternoon. I may have it on in the background. Hopefully, she has a better memory than the Hotelier.

The last word goes to Peter Gabriel and the Smithereens. Hopefully these tunes will refresh your memory:


Impeachment Hearings Day Three: Vindmania

House Republicans keep trying to turn the impeachment hearings into a circus but, like Homey the Clown, Adam Schiff don’t play that. It’s time for my scattershot take on yesterday’s hearing.

—> I almost felt sorry for Jennifer Williams. She was the sideshow, Lt. Col. Vindman was the main event. On the other hand, no one questioned her patriotism or impugned her integrity. Perhaps it’s because she started life as a GOP operative before joining the Foreign Service.

Her testimony neither helped nor hurt her boss, Mike Pence. It did, however, damage *his* boss as well as frustrate committee Republicans who could no longer rant about hearsay and indirect evidence. Williams heard what she heard and told the truth about it. It’s what a good citizen does.

My favorite Jennifer Williams moment was when she hopped into a cab after testifying.

—> Vindman started off jittery and camera shy BUT he warmed to the task brilliantly. This was not a man desperate for attention, publicity, and acclaim. That’s the guy whose conduct he described as inappropriate and wrong: Donald J. Trump.

Both Devin Nunes and oily GOP counsel Steve Castor tried to slime and otherize Vindman. A high point was when Vindman insisted that the rank ranking member call him by his title: Lt. Colonel, not Mister. I halfway expected Nunes to break out in a Mr. Mister song.

Castor went on and on and on about a putative job offer from a Ukrainian official for Vindman to be that country’s minister of defense. It was an offer that Vindman did not take seriously but Castor acted as if it proved he was disloyal and unpatriotic. The whole thing was nauseating. It turned into a set-up for the Colonel to proclaim he didn’t take the job because “I’m an American.”

—> Whistleblower, whistleblower, whistleblower.

—> Jim Jordan tried to score points but Vindman refused to be his punching bag. Vindman swatted Gym away like the annoying fly he is. Jordan seemed to understand that he’d been bested by Vindman and just howled at the moon when he got his second bite at the apple.

 —> After his encounter with the unjacketed and unhinged one, Vindman grew in confidence and scored point after point. He also showed a dry sense of humor when asked what languages he spoke, “Russian, Ukrainian, and a little bit of English.”

—> New York Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney threw Vindman a hanging fastball of a question, which the V Man hit out of the park:

Before the afternoon session, there was a lot of big talk from Republicans about how Kurt Volker and really tall guy, Tim Morrison, would defend the indefensible. These were their witnesses. Things did not go quite as planned,

Both Volker and Morrison confirmed the outlines of the scheme while trying not to piss off their fellow GOPers. Their conduct showed the difference between career civil servants like the previous witnesses and political appointees like these two jokers.

I didn’t watch the entire afternoon session because overexposure to House Republicans is hazardous to one’s mental health. If I had to listen to Jim Jordan holler one more time, I might have been ready for the laughing academy. I wish he’d use his inside voice but I don’t think he has one.

One of the funniest things I saw about the afternoon session came from New Orleans writer Michael Tisserand:

Google Fred (Herman Munster) Gwynne and Lonesome George Goebel and you’ll see what’s so funny.

The last word goes to Robbie Robertson and U2: