Category Archives: Adrastos

Everybody Knows

My insomnia has been raging again. When I have insomnia, I have vivid and usually disturbing dreams. The dreams, in turn, wake me up at odd hours. What I can recall of this morning’s dream gave me both an earworm and the idea for this post.

In this dream, I was chased by shadowy figures much like the ones above who are characters out of Sam Fuller’s film noir, Underworld USA. Being transported to Fuller World in one’s dreams is unnerving but oddly invigorating. It’s not unlike what we laughingly refer to as the real world in 2020. It’s a nightmare but we’re wide awake while experiencing it.

My dreams often have musical soundtracks. Anyone surprised? I thought not. I usually can’t remember what the music was, but this was an exception. The music was insistent and persisted after I awakened: Everybody Knows by the Jayhawks. It’s not a list song a la Cole Porter’s You’re The Top but it inspired the following list of sorts:

Everybody knows that every time Donald Trump opens his mouth, he loses votes.

Everybody knows that nobody should express sympathy  for those accused of procuring minors for a wealthy pervert, especially presidents* who have never done so for people who have perished in the pandemic.

Everybody knows that President* Pennwyise is obsessed with golf and money. These twin obsessions have led to the latest impeachable offense.

Everybody knows that Trump’s Confederate statue fetish and belated but insincere embrace of masking are signs of desperation.

Everybody knows that the MSM should ask the Kaiser of Chaos about Bountygate Noveau every time there’s a press availability. It’s been 26 days since the New York Times exposed the Russian bounty scheme. Why don’t they ask about this egregious dereliction of duty?

Everybody knows that I could go on like this indefinitely. but I won’t.

The song that inspired this post, Everybody Knows, was written by Gary Louris and the Dixie Chicks. It was recorded by the latter in 2006 and the Jayhawks in 2018. They get the last word:

Everybody knows that Leonard Cohen wrote and recorded a song called Everybody Knows in 1988. It was covered by Concrete Blonde in 1990 for a movie soundtrack, but not everybody knows that it was recorded  by Stephen Stills and Judy Collins in 2017.

Everybody knows that I shouldn’t have so many last words in a post but sometimes I can’t help myself. Perhaps it was all a dream. That’s the last word of last words.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Clown

Sad clown? Funny clown? Evil clown? It’s unclear what the great Jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus and designer Marvin Israel were after with this cover. Perhaps it’s crappy clown thrown out of the circus for lazy makeup application. Beats the hell outta me.

Mingus described the title track as follows in the liner notes:

“The Clown” tells the story of a clown “who tried to please people like most jazz musicians do, but whom nobody liked until he was dead. My version of the story ended with his blowing his brains out with the people laughing and finally being pleased because they thought it was part of the act. I liked the way Jean changed the ending; leaves it more up to the listener.”

That sums up my attitude about clowns. They creep me out. The Jean Mingus refers to is Jean Shepherd a writer/actor/radio and tv personality who is best known for A Christmas Story. Holy leg lamp, Batman.

Here’s the whole damn album:

 

The Chaos Squad

Protests have died down in some parts of the country but not in Portland, Oregon. There are many names one could call the DHS thugs who are operating there right now; ostensibly to protect federal buildings and statues. I think of them as The Chaos Squad. Others have called them Stormtroopers, Trump’s Gestapo, or the Goon Squad:

Whatever you call them, they’re an integral part of the Scandal Tornado that touched down on January 20, 2017. Do I think they’re part of a “dress rehearsal” for a coup when Trump loses the election? I do not.

According to Ken Cuccinelli there are only 2000 of them; not even close to enough to stage a coup in such a large country. Their task is to spread chaos and confusion, which is the only thing Team Trump is good at. They’re also incapable of not bragging about what they’re up to. Thanks, Cooch.

A reminder that any time someone puts the words plan and Trump administration in the same sentence, they’re giving them too much credit. These are the same people who brought you the pandemic response and the paper towel toss relief effort in Puerto Rico, after all.

Does that mean I’m pooh-poohing scenes that are reminiscent of Chicago in 1968? Absolutely not. It reminds me of something said on the podium by then Connecticut Senator Abe Ribicoff:

Just substitute Joe Biden and Portland and the jackboot still fits.

DHS is not the only federal agency complicit in the Portland clusterfuck. Bill Barr is up to his neck in this mishigas. Remember when I compared him to Hermann Goering?

Goering was the founder of the Gestapo.

In a brilliant move to counter the Brownshirt tactics of the Chaos Squad, the Portland protesters have brought in the Moms:

This move is reminiscent of the Children’s March in Birmingham in 1963. They faced Bull Connor’s firehose wielding cops who won the battle but lost the war. This Mom’s March is a brilliant way to shame the Goon Squad. If, that is, they can be shamed. Their so-called “leader”, the Kaiser of Chaos, is incapable of either shame or leadership.

The advent of the Chaos Squad is another example of how Team Trump thinks they can win a LAW & ORDER campaign by sowing the seeds of chaos and confusion. As always, they’re all tactics and no strategy. They’re forever lost in the weeds and incapable of seeing the big picture. That’s a damn good thing.

It’s not 1968. They’re in power and the backlash year on *our* political calendar was 2016. In 1968, Nixon was the challenger. Besides, Tricky was a devious bastard who knew how to hedge and tap on the brakes when need be. Subtlety is lost on the Trump Regime. Overkill is all they know.

In honor of the Mom’s March, the last word goes to Mott the Hoople:

John Lewis, R.I.P.

I selected the image above with some care and thought. It was posted on social media in 2016 by John Lewis upon the 49th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act being signed into law by Lyndon Johnson. John Lewis was not only present at this historic occasion, but his activism helped inspire the bill itself. John Lewis *was* American history and now he’s gone at the age of 80 after losing a battle with pancreatic cancer.

John Lewis was one of my heroes. He never lost his passion or sense of humor. He was a man with a big voice and an even bigger heart. He was never petty and was always willing to accept changes in former adversaries. He famously forgave George Wallace in 1979 when the latter expressed remorse over the chaos and havoc he wrought during the Sixties.

The New York Times has republished a 1998 piece he wrote after Wallace’s death, which those who are using John Lewis’ death to settle petty scores should read:

When I met George Wallace, I had to forgive him, because to do otherwise — to hate him — would only perpetuate the evil system we sought to destroy.

George Wallace should be remembered for his capacity to change. And we are better as a nation because of our capacity to forgive and to acknowledge that our political leaders are human and largely a reflection of the social currents in the river of history.

It’s hard to be as big a person as John Lewis but we should try.

He would, however, note the irony of those who would limit the franchise speaking in glowing terms of his lifetime of service. The best tribute to John Lewis would be to reinstate the Voting Rights Act in all its glory.

Central to my admiration of  John Lewis were his kindness and fundamental decency. He was proof positive that you could be a firebrand without being an asshole. Too many Americans confuse assholery with strength and leadership. John Lewis never did. Again, we should follow his example. Being the bigger person isn’t always easy but it’s the right thing to do.

As I searched the internet yesterday, I came upon a tribute that John Lewis wrote about another one of my heroes, David Halberstam after his death in 2007:

I have often said that without the members of the media, the Civil Rights Movement would have been like a bird without wings. David Halberstam, as a reporter for The Nashville Tennessean, was a sympathetic referee who helped to convey the depth of injustice in the South as well as the heart and soul of a movement that would transform America. We talked to him because we trusted him.

We trusted John Lewis to do and say the right thing. He was always focused on the big picture, which is what made him such a singular figure during his nearly sixty years on the national stage. John Lewis kept his eyes on the prize.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: This Forgotten Town

Subway Portrait by Walker Evans.

The weather in New Orleans has been almost as crazy as President* Pennywise this week. We’ve had record heat as well as torrential rain that caused some street flooding. There were thunderclaps so loud that they interrupted PD’s beauty rest. Now that’s loud.

It’s also lizard season in the Crescent City. They’re everywhere. I have to look down as I descend our front stairs to avoid stomping on them. The cat is obsessed with capturing and tormenting lizards whenever they get inside. I’ve rescued several already this year. Leapin’ Lizards.

A new Jayhawks album dropped last week. XOXO is more of a collaborative effort than past records. It features songs and lead vocals by band members who are not named Gary Louris. Tim O’Reagan and Karen Grotberg’s lead vocals are a welcome addition to the Jayhawks’ musical arsenal.

This week’s theme song, This Forgotten Town, is the opening track on the new album. It was written by Gary Louris, Marc Perlman, and Tim O’Reagan. We have two versions for your listening pleasure:

This is not Gary’s first town tune. There’s also this unforgettable song from Smile.

Let’s leave this town and jump to the break.

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The Man That Got Away

It’s Friday afternoon so it’s torch song time. Raise your glass to Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin who wrote this wonderful song for the equally wonderful Judy Garland-James Mason-George Cukor version of A Star Is Born.

I’ve already posted the clip from the movie multiple times, so we begin with Judy Garland live at Carnegie Hall:

You don’t hear as much about Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Harold Arlen Songbook as you should. It’s one of the best of the series featuring arrangements by the great Billy May.

Who among us can forget Sammy Awards? Sammy gender swaps gal for man despite the listing below.

Finally, some West Coast cool jazz with Cal Tjader:

That’s it for today. Have a drink or three. Bottoms up. Cheers.

The last word goes to Dean, Sammy, and Frank. I had no idea until recently how Rat Pack toons there were out there. Here’s another one.

What Will Crimson Tide Fans Do?

Something went right for the Kaiser of Chaos this week. His former Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, lost a bid to regain his Senate seat. Jeff Bo was Trump’s favorite whipping boy after he recused himself from the Kremlingate investigation. It was the only worthwhile thing he did as AG.

Sessions was defeated in the Republican primary by former Auburn head football coach, Tommy Tuberville, who campaigned with his head firmly up Trump’s ample rump. Can he go from Coach Tubs to Senator Tubs? Let’s hope not.

Tubs is not only a bigot-a given for an Alabama GOPer-he’s a corrupt piece of shit whose former business partner was convicted of fraud. No wonder President* Pennywise supported him. The real reason was payback, not pay-offs although Trump loves those too.

College football is some serious shit in Alabama. It will be a factor in the race. Senator Doug Jones went to the University of Alabama so perhaps he should start wearing a houndstooth hat a la Bear Bryant. He can’t very well walk around with a constant scowl like current Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban.

The Alabama Democratic party has a pretty good twitter troll game:

The Iron Bowl is, of course, the annual game between Auburn and Bama, which may not be played in 2020 because of the grotesque incompetence of the Impeached Insult Comedian. Perhaps Senator Jones should blame Trump if the SEC cancels football this fall. They take their football seriously in Alabama, y’all.

Politics make strange bedfellows. As an LSU fan, I hate the Crimson Tide, but I think Doug Jones should leverage the Auburn-Alabama rivalry. He’s the underdog in deep red Alabama so bleeding crimson isn’t the worst strategy.

I’m rooting for Doug Jones. He’s a fine man who has been such a good Senator than one could even call him a Solon.

I like Senator Jones enough to say this: Roll Tide, Roll Doug.

That hurt. I hope Coach O will forgive me.

I’m feeling obvious today, so the last word goes to Steely Dan:

How about a paraphrase? “They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Senator Jones.”

That’s all, y’all.

Friday Catblogging: Mister Cool

Paul Drake is too cool to open his eyes. When you’re that handsome, you need your beauty rest.

Stepien Up

There’s a lot of punditting to be done and only so much time. Hence this potpourri post. It’s hard to keep up when things change so rapidly. Here’s some sage advice from Dwight Yoakam:

We begin with a humble brag. I noticed I was getting a lot of hits on a post from late October of 2019: The Latest Smear Campaign. It was about attacks on Col Vindman and I mentioned Rick Wilson’s role in smearing Max Cleland.

I took a closer look and realized that all the hits came from a piece Charlie Pierce wrote about The Lincoln Project. I nearly swooned when I realized that Pierce had linked to little old me. My life is now complete. Thanks, for inviting me to the shabeen, Charlie.

Let’s get back to business for, as you’re aware, the business of American is business so let’s take care of business with a song written by a Canadian:

Tweets Of The Day: We’ve all had beans on our minds because of what one could call the Goya Annoyas. Team Trump decided they hadn’t violated the Hatch Act enough recently, so the Princess posted this in support of the Trumper who owns Goya food products:

The Kaiser of Chaos posted his own ad for Goya on Instagram but I’m not on it because I waste enough time on two social media platforms. I’d rather show Chris Cuomo’s response to the presidential* message on the Tweeter Tube:

I’ll never call Chris Fredo again.

I don’t, however, regret making this image:

Back to the Goya Annoyas. I wonder if this happened at the White House last night:

Stepien Up: The Trump campaign made some major changes yesterday. There’s that C word again. In a sign of Slumlord Jared’s waning influence, his lackey Brad Parscale was removed as campaign manager and demoted to serving cocktails to Javanka. Parscale had never run a campaign of any sort before and was in way over his head.

This is what losing campaigns do: fire the campaign manager when the problem is a terrible candidate with a horrible record in office.  It can’t be the Impeached Insult Comedian’s fault; nothing is. #sarcasm.

In another sign of Slumlord Jared’s waning influence, Parscale was replaced by Chris Christie protege Bill Stepien. He’s best known for his role in Bridgegate, which was one of my favorite pre-Trump era scandals. Kushner, of course, hates former Governor Asshole, which is one reason the latter lucked out and wasn’t appointed to a Trump regime job.

There are only two reasons this story is of any interest to me: the chance to mention Bridgegate and the new campaign manager’s punny name, which makes for a snappy title. Bill is Stepien up, not out.

The last word goes to Fred Astaire and Oscar Peterson:

 

Bayou Brief: Mask Wars

Image by John Valentino.

My latest 13th Ward Rambler column is online at Bayou Brief. In Mask Wars, I ponder political performance art and three of its Louisiana practitioners: State Rep Danny McCormick, Picvocate columnist Dan Fagan, and State Attorney General Jeff Landry.

After the column was written, Landry tested positive for COVID, which gave me the chance to write a rather amusing afterword. He subsequently issued a legal opinion from quarantine that the mandatory mask order issued by Governor John Bel Edwards is unenforceable. The opinion is strictly advisory, so it amounts to sound and fury signifying nothing. It’s also much like this venerable expression:

“Offering an opinion is like peeing on yourself in a blue serge suit. It feels warm and no one knows you’ve done it.”

There’s a dispute as to who first said this, but I first saw it in Gay Talese’s NYT book The Power and the Glory. It was attributed to former Times executive editor Turner Catledge. Catledge was from Mississippi and retired to New Orleans. After Catledge’s death, Dr. A and I went to an estate sale at his Garden District house. I bought his copy of that Talese tome. If only I could find it among the book clutter in my study. So it goes.

In other Mask War news, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp finds himself in a peach of a pickle. In a breathtaking display of hypocrisy, he’s banning local governments from mandating masks. Other than party affiliation, why is he a hypocrite? He wore a mask while welcoming the Impeached Insult Comedian to Georgia the other day. Trump was unmasked. Freedom, man.

Finally, one more Mask War note. Earlier this week, historian and New Orleanian John Barry wrote an opinion piece for the NYT about the pandemic. It was excellent except for this passage:

Social distancing, masks, hand washing and self-quarantine remain crucial. Too little emphasis has been placed on ventilation, which also matters. Ultraviolet lights can be installed in public areas. These things will reduce spread, and President Trump finally wore a mask publicly, which may somewhat depoliticize the issue.

Trump flip flopped on mask wearing the day after this piece ran. I’m glad Barry hedged his bets by using the word somewhat. Never assume that President* Pennywise will stick to a position for more than a few days. As I said in Mask Wars, “He’s consistently inconsistent.”

The last word goes to Fleetwood Mac with a Christine McVie song:

Pulp Fiction Thursday: 1984

You’re not seeing double. We’ve just moved from music to books and movies.

George Orwell’s 1984 is one of the most misunderstood great books ever. It was a dystopian novel but not sci-fi. For the title, Orwell flipped the last two digits of the year in which he wrote it, 1948. Orwell was a man of the left, not the right. But his experiences during the Spanish Civil made him loathe Stalinism. Big Brother is “Uncle” Joe Stalin.

Here are three vintage paperback covers, which convey Orwell’s vision in emphatically different ways.

Next up the movie posters:

I prefer the 1956 version; partially because it’s in glorious black and white notwithstanding the poster. But Edmond O’Brien and John Hurt are equally good as protagonist Winston Smith.

In lieu of two movie trailers, here’s the legendary Apple ad that ran during the 1984 Super Bowl:

Hard Times

The New Great Depression is shifting into high gear. It’s obvious what needs to be done: the government should give households $2000 or so a month to help them survive the economic impact of the pandemic. It’s equally obvious that Senate Republicans will not go along with such a plan. The spirit of Herbert Hoover is alive in the land. Freedom, man.

This depressing news has inspired a new subset for this feature: songs of economic hardship.

We begin with a song from my favorite Ray Charles album, The Genius Sings The Blues. He also wrote this song:

Eric Clapton covered the Charles classic in 1989. Here’s a live version from the late great teevee show Night Music with host David Sanborn on sax:

Stephen Foster wrote Hard Times Come Again No More in 1854. Here are three 21st Century versions. I suspect you’ve heard of these artists.

Finally, yesterday was the 108th anniversary of Woody Guthrie’s birth. We have two versions of his Great Depression anthem Do-Re-Mi for your listening pleasure by Ry Cooder and the songwriter himself.

John Neely Kennedy Can Go Fuck Himself

The junior Senator from the Gret Stet of Louisiana is at it again: 

“America is going through a rough patch right now,” Kennedy said. “Some people seem to be enjoying it. Maybe they just hate America. Maybe they just enjoy watching the world burn. I think some are liking the chaos because they think it gives them a political advantage. Part of that chaos is being caused by our schools closing. For our kids, we need to open them.”

If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was describing the Kaiser of Chaos. He’s the one who enjoys watching the world burn and uses chaos as a political weapon. Projection thy name is Neely.

I’ve called Neely many things over the years but McCarthyite is not among them. There’s a first time for everything.

People who are worried about the impact of a premature school re-opening, don’t hate America. I know I don’t. I hate President* Pennywise. They’re not synonymous despite what Neely, Hannity, and their ilk think.

Fuck you, Neely.

On with Neely’s rant:

“I can promise you for many of our kids, keeping these schools closed is going to hurt them far worse than the coronavirus can. France, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Vietnam. Even Vietnam has opened their schools,” the Senator said. “And they’ve done it safely and we can too and we should too and if I can say one of the thing.”

They’ve opened their schools because their governments handled the pandemic competently and reduced the number of COVID-19 cases to a tolerable level. We’re currently experiencing an explosion of cases because of premature and ill-advised re-openings. Heckuva job, Trumpy.

What baffles me about the GOP response to the pandemic is that it’s good politics to be on top of it. Angela Merkel’s popularity was at an all-time low, but her handling of the pandemic has made her “mother of the nation” again as she leaves office. In contrast, Donald Trump is the shame of the world six months before he leaves office.

Fuck you, Neely.

“I know some people in good faith disagree with me and I respect that. Let’s have the debate. But there are some people who want to keep our schools closed because they think it gives them a political advantage. And they are using our kids as political pawns and to them, I say unashamedly they can kiss my ass. That’s wrong to do that the kids of America. Not the people in good faith but those who are just enjoying the chaos because they think it’s going to help them in November,” Kennedy finished.

Nobody wants the schools to stay closed indefinitely. I agree that kids are better off in school but they’re not better off if they risk contracting and spreading this deadly virus. I suppose the born again McCarthyite Senator agrees with the old wingnut aphorism, “Better Dead Than Red.”

I do not.

Neely’s extended whine shows that Republicans know that they’re in deep shit and sinking fast. There’s nothing more ridiculous than a politician attacking other politicians for being political. Fuck you, Neely.

It’s a pity that the Louisiana Democratic Party is so dysfunctional and inept that it isn’t mounting a stronger challenge to Neely’s colleague Double Bill Cassidy. At least the current chair, Karen Carter Peterson, will be gone soon. The most noteworthy thing that happened on her watch was her attempt to force John Bel Edwards out of the 2015 Governor’s race. I am not making this up. I wish I were.

Back to Neely. Cussing out your enemies may sound all manly and shit but it’s a sign of weakness and desperation. It makes Neely sound like the bat shit crazy criminal who is leading his party to defeat in November. There’s nothing phonier than a fake tough guy and that’s what Neely, Trump, Hannity, and the whole crew are: fakes in the news as opposed to fake news.

I wish it were anatomically possible for Neely to kiss his own ass or better yet go fuck himself. It’s what he deserves; that and serving in the minority in the 117th Congress.

The last word goes to Harry Nilsson:

The actual title of that tune is You’re Breaking My Heart, but I prefer to be direct when it comes to John Neely Kennedy.

Fuck you, Neely.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: 1984

In the Rick Wakeman segment of last Saturday’s Odds & Sods, I discussed his comeback album: 1984. It was released in 1981 and was a collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice of Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita fame. It’s almost as if Keith Emerson had collaborated with Oscar Hammerstein.

Oddly enough, Wakeman did not like Orwell’s book but made the concept album anyway. There’s no accounting for taste.

The album art was done by the ubiquitous Hipgnosis:

Here’s Rick Wakeman performing 1984 live:

What? No cape?

Better Be Home Soon

I’ve been working on my next Bayou Brief column, so I felt like keeping it relatively brief here. Shorter Adrastos: I don’t feel like writing about Roger Stone and the latest Justice Department horrors. Suffice it to say, I think Stone’s commutation sucks the big one. I’m also not a fan of those who use the words commute, reprieve, and pardon interchangeably. They don’t mean the same thing. There’s a wonderful thing that can even be found online: THE DICTIONARY. Use it.

An old friend who is familiar with my musical taste pointed out that there were two songs notably absent from different entries of Songs From The Pandemic. Woe-is-uh-me-bop.

I somehow managed to post twice about songs with home in the title Home Is Where The Heart Is and Bring It On Home To Me without using one of the homiest (homeliest?) songs ever written. It’s time to remedy that omission:

In the songs of mortality entry, I forgot one of my all-time favorite Kinks tunes, which is, in part, about cremation:

“I’m scattered here and scattered there. Bits of me scattered everywhere.”

More importantly, Ray Davies wrote Scattered in honor of the deaths of his mother and sister:

Scattered was also the final track on the last album of new Kinks material, Phobia. There have been rumors of a reunion recently but I’m not holding my breath after 27 years. The bad blood between brothers Ray and Dave runs deep as you can see from this lagniappe song from the same album:

Frankly, it’s a miracle that Ray let Dave drive the car in the Scattered video. As the youngest child in my own family, I identify with Dave who’s in the same boat.  So it goes.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Heart Of The Sunrise

Wheatfield with Rising Sun by Vincent Van Gogh.

It’s been a difficult week in New Orleans. Mayor Cantrell has, quite wisely, rolled back the “reopening” to what amounts to Phase 1.5. Here’s hoping that people get the message and stop acting as if we’re back to normal. Even Gamaliel wouldn’t find this normal and he lived through the last great pandemic. That’s great as in big, not good. Pandemics are never the latter.

I’m trying to bring some beauty to an ugly era with this week’s theme song. It was written by Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, and Bill Bruford for Yes’ 1971 Fragile album. It was the first track they rehearsed and recorded with Rick Wakeman.

We have two versions of Heart Of The Sunrise for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a 21st Century live version.

Before jumping to the break, another song from Fragile:

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Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

 

In the last Songs For The Pandemic post, I wrote about my hatred of cigarette smoke. That does not, however, extend to the classic Jerome Kern-Otto Harbach tune, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

There are oodles of outstanding versions of this 1933 song. Here are five of them; beginning with the great Billy Eckstein who had the deepest voice in human history.

Billy Eckstein and Sarah Vaughan went way back. They met while both were in Earl Fatha Hines’ big band. Eckstein formed his own band and asked Sarah to join. She did. They worked together many times over the years but this recording of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes is all Sarah.

The Platters hit number one on the pop charts with their doo wop version:

Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry loves standards as much as I do. He recorded Smoke Gets In Your Eyes for his 1974 solo album, Another Time, Another Place:

Finally, an instrumental interpretation by the great Clifford Brown with a little help from arranger/conductor Neil Hefti:

That’s it for this week. Pour yourself a belt of your favorite adult beverage but whatever you do, keep the smoke out of your eyes.

Quotes Of The Day: Trump Family Hunger Games Edition

I’ve never entirely agreed with the opening line of Tolstoi’s Anna Karenina but it’s a good place to start:

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

As Mary Trump’s new book makes clear, Fred Trump created a family straight out of The Hunger Games; only without the chick heroes. There were no heroes in the Trump family only bullies, grifters, cowards, and victims. Mary Trump’s father, Fred Jr, was one of the casualties of the Trump Family Hunger Games. Imagine a family where being an airline pilot isn’t good enough. In a word: Nutty.

I’ve avoided most of the tell-all books about the Impeached Insult Comedian. But I’m interested in reading Too Much and Never Enough. There’s something comforting about a family that’s more dysfunctional than your own. The Trumps take the cake.

I’m tickled by people on social media who are shocked that relatives would screw each other over money. Having first-hand experience, I am not. Money makes people do terrible things. And too much money makes people crazy with greed as indicated by the stories of the Trump siblings looting their father’s estate to avoid taxes and to screw Fred Jr’s children.

The other quote of the day comes from Jennifer Szalai’s review of Mary Trump’s tome:

 

“She says her uncle has the emotional maturity of a 3-year-old and has ‘suffered mightily,’ burdened by what she calls an insatiable ‘black hole of need.’ He was trained to hunger endlessly for daddy’s approval; it’s just that now, as president of the United States, she says, the figures who remind him of home are Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un.”

This is the most plausible explanation I’ve seen for President* Pennywise’s odd fascination with dictators. As the son of a minor league dictator, Donald identifies with the North Korean dictator despite the weirdness of the son of a capitalist identifying with the son of a communist.

The featured image is a picture of Fred and Donald Trump I used in the first Donald Trump Is post: Donald Trump Is A Criminal. That post was inspired by the NYT’s Pulitzer Prize winning series about the Trump’s finances. We’ve learned recently that Mary Trump was one of the primary sources for that series. Hell hath no fury like an heiress scorned.

As I wrote this post, I came to the realization that I have an idea for a Trump family theme song. Just imagine Fred Trump singing “you can’t have love without greed” to his children as they tormented one another as siblings are wont to do. Unfortunately, his second son is currently tormenting the nation.

The last word goes to Graham Parker & The Rumour:

Friday Catblogging: You Can All Join In

I rarely participate in “you can all join in” type things on twitter. I broke down last night because someone asked the world to post a picture of “your pet and what it’s named for.”

I tried to cut and paste the original tweet but the end result was too damn long so here are the Paul Drakes:

The last word goes to Traffic with a Dave Mason song:

Split Decision

The Summer Of Sam Fuller continues here at First Draft. The new Fog Of Scandal image is how the murder of Tolly Devlin’s father was shot in today’s PFT film noir, Underworld U.S.A. What’s more noir than shadows? Not a damn thing.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with the ruling by SCOTUS in the Trump tax cases. Not a damn thing. Don’t jump my shit or I’ll have a Tolly Devlin moment:

 

The post title is not 100% accurate but it’s what I predicted yesterday so I’ll stick with it:

 

I’ve never been compared to a Dutch seer before. I kinda like it. Thanks, Paul. Hmm, I wonder if the Dutch Dude wore seersucker…

The following analysis is as instant as it gets.

There was a clear victory for the Manhattan DA’s office in its case, which re-established the obvious principle that any POTUS is NOT ABOVE THE LAW. Trump’s legal team made preposterous arguments that made him either a king or a deity. The Kaiser of Chaos is neither; that nickname notwithstanding.

Both the New York case and the Congressional case have been remanded to the lower courts to address the details of the complaints so as Yogi Berra probably never said, “It ain’t over until it’s over.”

We may not see the records as soon as we might like but President* Pennywise is a loser in the long run. And he hates losing. Neener, neener, neener. I never get tired of Trump losing.

Other than the rule of law, the real winner today was Chief Justice John Roberts who, like any sensible Chief, prefers to stay out of the political thicket, which is as thick as it’s ever been. Thanks to a president* who is truly as thick as brick, which means as smart as a lump of shit. Make that orange shit and it fits…

Even Justice Bro believes that presidents DO NOT HAVE ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY. The Impeached Insult Comedian is already whining like a stuck pig, but he hasn’t attacked Kavanaugh. Yet. The clock is still clicking.

The cases have been remanded to the lower courts to handle the details. Congress may still prevail if they narrow their subpoena. Btw, that’s a word I can never spell without resort to a spell checker. The mere thought gives me a series of Tolly Devlin moments:

Finally, here’s summation of the case written in the style of Mongo of Blazing Saddles fame:

 

The last word goes to Steve Winwood with Joe Walsh: