Category Archives: COVID-19

Gohmert Gone To Texas

I’m not sure what Louie Gohmert Piles is praying about in the featured image. If I were the praying sort, I’d pray for the people of Texas. Gohmert is going home to run for Texas Attorney General on an anti-corruption platform. I am not making this up:

“A priority will be election integrity so that every legal vote counts. Though our current AG has had two terms — it seems he really started working harder after so many of his most honorable and very top people in the AG’s office left, complaining of criminal conduct. If you allow me, I will not wait to be my busiest until after some bad press about legal improprieties. I’ll start boldly protecting your rights on day one,” Gohmert said, listing priorities like “unconstitutional mandates,” “parental consent,” immigration at the southern border and voting laws.

It *is* true that Ken Paxton’s picture is in the dictionary next to corrupt piece of shit, but Gohmert Piles is a staunch defender of Matt Gaetz and the Impeached Insult Comedian. It doesn’t get more corrupt than that. Oh well, we in the Gret Stet of Louisiana are used to “conservative reformers.” That was how David Vitter styled himself, after all. That’s right, Diaper Dave called himself a reformer. No wonder I’m leery of that label.

It’s also odd that Gohmert is giving up a safe congressional seat when there’s a good chance that the GOP will take control of the House next year. Perhaps he resents no longer being the craziest House Republican: Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert make him look *almost* sane. He’s still the stupidest member of the House although Louisiana’s Clay Higgins is in contention as well.

As to his nickname, Louie Gohmert Piles, Michael F, Tommy T, and I have been calling him that or just plain Gohmert Pyle for at least a decade. I added the s because he always looks constipated or some such shit. Now that Gomer Pyle USMC is in reruns on Me TV maybe the kids will get the joke.

Here’s an image Michael F did in 2011 of Louie with Speaker Boner as Sgt. Carter:

One thing I learned in researching this piece is that Gohmert has a normal-seeming family and three attractive daughters. His middle child, Caroline, is a singer-songwriter who performs under the name BELLSAINT. She emphatically disagrees with his politics and publicly chided Louie Louie  for his COVID denialism when he came down with the virus. In 2019, she wrote a song called Much Like My Father:

The song begins with these lines:

“Everybody loves you/But there’s poison in the water / You get away with everything / Much like my father.”

A note about the post title. Gone to Texas or GTT was a phrase in vogue with 19th Century Texas emigrees. They were often folks with something to hide. Hell, even Sam Houston had a checkered past before he did the GTT thing.

If Gohmert Piles is elected Texas Attorney General, he won’t even be the dumbest AG on the Gulf Coast. That honor goes to Louisiana’s Jeff Landry who is as dumb as a bag of hammers and just as obnoxious as Louie Louie. Oh baby, me gotta go.

The last word goes to Caroline Gohmert d/b/a BELLSAINT. WFNEO is an acronym for We Fucking Need Each Other. Other than her dim old dad, who would argue that point?

happier days are here again

When I retreated from the world in August because Covid was once again out of control in West Virginia I was pretty angry at having to restart all of that bullshit again. But 3 months later, just about everything has changed. I got my vaccine booster 2 weeks ago, and although West Virginians have decided they like still spreading Covid so our rate has suddenly stopped its steady downward progress, I’m back to in-person shopping and in-person church and generally anything that allows me to keep my mask on until I’m back outside.

And along with all of this, my husband has finished his physical therapy for his torn meniscus. He’s walking without pain and has restarted walking on our treadmill. He’s also lost a lot of weight and feels so much better. He celebrated by getting his first barbershop haircut in 2 years. I did learn to clip his hair during the pandemic, but I’m not a professional and he really needed someone to smooth out the rough edges.

I’m still annoyed at the willfully unvaxxed, but I’m done hiding from them. The availability of boosters is a game changer. One of my oldest and dearest friends is in DC this week, and he took the train out to have dinner and stay with us last night. We met in graduate school and had been lucky enough to live close enough to each other to visit regularly. At one point he and his now husband lived in Silver Spring, MD while I was in DC. Even after we’d all moved again, me to WV and them to my dad’s hometown, Scranton, PA, we would visit them when we traveled to CT to visit my family. But their latest move took them far from us and I hadn’t seen him since 2018 when I went to Philadelphia for his father’s funeral. It’s been 10 years since my husband had seen him.

I am always amazed at the seamless nature of long term deep friendships. I am blessed to have a bunch of them; friends of 25, 35, 45 years. These are friendships where when you finally see each other again you immediately pick up where you last left off. These are intimate friendships where deep connections of love maintain the bonds of attachment and you can just be yourself. In other words:  it was a great evening. In a pandemic of small joys, this is a major joy and would be one even without Covid.

The larger world is pretty terrible at the moment so I’m going to keep my focus close to home this week and concentrate on the tangible good things in my day-to-day life, including today being our wedding anniversary. We didn’t meet until we were in our 40s and my life is immeasurably better for having met him. Joy be with you all.

The sing out writes itself:

The Refusenik Wannabes

I used to be one of those people who tried to do too many things at once. Over time, I have simplified my approach to life. I strive to do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on. It doesn’t always work out that way but it’s a worthy aspiration. Life is hard enough without over-complicating it.

I feel an early musical interlude coming on:

That brings me to the curious case of the Refusenik Wannabes. In the Soviet Union, dissidents were called refuseniks, especially Jews who were denied permission to emigrate. I’m using the term in the broadest sense possible. Besides, it’s an analogy, so cut me some slack, jack.

The refuseniks were lionized in the West but many were thrown into mental institutions in the USSR. The state viewed those who rejected the status quo as mentally ill; at least they claimed to. The governing communist party was as hypocritical as the current American party of stupidity and sedition. So it goes.

As the pandemic grinds on, there’s a group of people who will do anything to avoid getting jabbed. They’ll spend thousands of dollars on bogus treatments instead of getting a free shot of Pfizer, Moderna or J&J. They think that it’s an act of political courage to defy the status quo. It’s really an act of self-destructive stupidity. Hence my new nickname for them: the Refusenik Wannabes.

These anti-vaxxers think that they’re striking a blow for freedom, man; instead, they’re risking their lives and those of others in an act of supreme selfishness. Soviet refuseniks hoped to break the grip of oppression for everyone or at the very least emigrate. Dissidents such as Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn were willing to sacrifice a cushy life as members of the elite in order to change their society. In contrast, the Refusenik Wannabes want their fifteen-minutes of viral fame and glory. Freedom, man.

There’s a perverse irony at work here. The big shots who are urging the Refusenik Wannabes to resist getting jabbed have all been vaccinated. Fox News has one of those vaccine mandates they decry when imposed elsewhere. Right-wing hypocrisy has never been so blatant as it is now. And that’s saying a great deal.

Mistrust of the government is as American as apple pie. Rebellion has long been embraced by both the right and left. The Beatniks were rebelling against the status quo in the Fifties even though it was unclear what they wanted. It’s best summed up by this scene in The Wild One:

That applies to the Refusenik Wannabes. It’s unclear what they want but they want it now, dammit.  Freedom, man.

Back to the practicality of getting jabbed. It’s much easier than being a rebel without a cause. The Refusenik Wannabes are so aggrieved that they make their lives twice as hard as they need to be,

The same goes for Sixties veterans and contemporary anti-vaxxers such as Eric Clapton and Van Morrison. They’re self-proclaimed rebels but that haven’t the foggiest notion as to what they want. It’s what happens when you over-complicate your life.

The last word goes to Three Dog Night with a song from the musical Hair. It should be just as easy to be easy as it is to be hard.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “Burger King of Kings” edition

Ok -good people – every so often, threads start up that even the Freeperati can’t stand.

Bear in mind that when the Qberts first appeared on the scene, they were hassled by some of the Freepers to the extent that Jim Rob took action.

And by “took action”, I don’t mean mass bannings like the Romney Purge, or forbidding any “Q” posts, I mean he gave them their own threads! And warned other Freepers about posting derogatory replies in them.

Yep. He gave them their very own “safe space” and cancel cultured any dissent in it.

Until now, anyway : (composite of two threads)


Hundreds of QAnon Fans Are Going to Texas to See JFK Return. No, Seriously.
Vice ^ | 11/2/2021 | Vice

Posted on 11/3/2021, 1:31:23 PM by TexasGurl24

Hundreds of QAnon supporters are currently traveling from all across the U.S. to Dallas, where they expect to see John F. Kennedy suddenly reappear on Tuesday night and ordain former President Donald Trump as the “king of kings.”

Some QAnon followers were so eager to secure their place for the return of JFK that on Monday night hundreds of them gathered in Dealey Plaza, where Kennedy was shot in 1963, waiting for the latest QAnon conspiracy theory to come true.

1 posted on 11/3/2021, 1:31:23 PM by TexasGurl24
Have we finally crossed the “Too stupid even for Freepers” line?
To: TexasGurl24
This could be the stupidest thing ever since the internet was invented.

No, that would be Free Republic,  Carry on.

Very reminiscent of the end-of-the-world cults. Bound to be disappointed.

2 posted on 11/3/2021, 1:32:47 PM by hinckley buzzard ( Resist the narrative.)

Let’s get back to the money line in the lede :  “ordain former President Donald Trump as the “king of kings.”
To: TexasGurl24
I seriously doubt this is s true Qtards are not that stupid.
3 posted on 11/3/2021, 1:33:19 PM by Fai Mao (I don’t think we have enough telephone poles., )
Followed by :
To: Fai Mao
You might lose that bet. This was the picture from yesterday on Dallas
21 posted on 11/3/2021, 1:44:14 PM by The MAGA-Deplorian ( Democrats are lawless because Republicans are ball-less! )
One Freeper replied that the four people in the above pic were the only ones there.
I beg to differ :
To: Fai Mao
I seriously doubt this is s true Qtards are not that stupid.
Sure they are. Have you never visited one of their threads right here on FR? Talk about a buncha kooks. I believe this wholeheartedly.
36 posted on 11/3/2021, 1:58:02 PM by dware (Americans prefer peaceful slavery over dangerous freedom)
Let’s take a look at one, shall we?  Obviously a minority fringe of Freeperville with only………..
1,433 replies.
This, by the way, this statement is at the very top of all official Jim Rob sanctioned “Q – trust the plan” threads:

“Do not enter onto a thread on a topic you don’t like just to disrupt, rattle cages, poke sticks, insult the regulars, or engage in trolling activities, etc.” ~ Jim Robinson

Ok – back to the “King of Kings”/ Dead Kennedys thread, where the Qberts finally show up to bash the non-believers.


Right after this word from our sponsors…


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Sacked On His Own Pretense

Aaron Rodgers

Did I do something wrong??!!

I’m still in a post wedding state of unaccustomed happiness. The snark will probably return next week. In the mean time this story came across my radar a couple of days ago and at least got the deeply buried snark vibe going a bit.

In the past few years my involvement with the National Football League has grown dimmer and dimmer. Can’t tell you exactly when it started, maybe when routine quarterback sacks were turned into occasions for dance recitals. My high school coach always said not to celebrate anything on the field, it makes it look like it’s the first time you did it. At any rate my passion for the game has ebbed to the point of total disinterest.

But this is America, where the NFL owns a day of the week (and is trying to buy another one) so it is hard to totally discount the organization. Like it or not you, as a member of the American public, can not help but be aware of at least some of the league’s goings on. Television networks, either those who currently show the games or those currently trying to get the rights to show the games, will make sure of that.

And so we come to what is now being referred to as the “Aaron Rodgers situation”.

For those who don’t know, Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. You might better know him as an insurance pitchman or a wanna be Jeopardy host. Or you might know him as the guy who dumped Olivia Munn for Shailene Woodley, a move which, in my opinion,  makes his judgement suspect.

Wednesday he tested positive for COVID. And if that wasn’t bad enough, his positive test brought the entire NFL under a viral microscope.

You see Rodgers earlier in the year had been asked by a reporter if he had been vaccinated. His reply was that he was “immunized”. The reporter, and thus the public he was feeding information to, took that to mean Rodgers had gotten the jab. Turns out he hadn’t gotten jabbed. Instead he claimed to have gotten an “alternative treatment”, a treatment he petitioned the league to accept as the same as vaccination. To their credit (and this is likely the only time I’ll use that phrase in the context of the NFL) the league said they would not.

Yet the league allowed Rodgers to act as if he were vaccinated. Vaccinated players don’t have to wear masks on the sidelines, can be within six feet of others, and generally act the way they would have acted pre-COVID. Unvaccinated players must be COVID tested nearly daily and basically follow all procedures that were in place before the vaccines became available. Rodgers has been seen prowling the sidelines sans mask and in close contact with other players and coaches. Again, reporters all did interviews up close and personal with him while admittedly unvaccinated players did their interviews from six feet away or even over Zoom. And why not, he had told them he was “immunized”.

All of this came crashing down after his post Halloween party (where he dressed as John Wick) COVID test showed him positive. Hope Shailene enjoyed her Keanu Reeves fantasy night.

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A Good Night For The Party Of Stupidity & Sedition

I agree with everything that Cassandra said this morning. Glenn Youngkin is about to make Virginia safe from Critical Race Theory and Beloved. It’s racism pure and simple. It’s what the party of stupidity and sedition does. Let’s move on from there.

I’m never sure how important these off-year Governor’s races are to the national picture. This year, they were nationalized because everything is right now. It was much easier to scare the shit out of white suburban women because of the grind of the pandemic. They just wanted a politer messenger than the Impeached Insult Comedian. On the stump, Youngkin was like a better version of Willard Mittbot Romney. Let’s call him Mittbot 2.0 and be done with him. To paraphrase an old and rather lame song: Youngkin get out of my mind.

I shouldn’t be too hard on Gary Puckett and the Union Gap; they were on the right side in the War of the Rebellion, after all. Youngkin ran as a de facto Confederate sympathizer. Hell, he’d replace CRT with Confederate Race Theory if they actually taught CRT in Virginia schools. The MSM’s response to the CRT lie was predictable: clever tactics by Team Youngkin. They haven’t learned anything from the Trump misadventure. The media continues to normalize the party of stupidity and sedition Ugh, just ugh.

I’m almost as angsty about the New Jersey Governor’s race. Phil Murphy is an excellent governor who should have swept to reelection. Instead, he’s locked in a close race with some Italian guy I’ve never heard of and hope to never hear of again. As of this writing, it looks as if I don’t need to learn his name. It should never have been this close.

There’s something local at work in Jersey: the last Democratic governor to be reelected was Brendan Byrne in 1977. That’s right, the Giants Stadium/Meadowlands guy. Byrne bucked the whole “out party wins in an off-year election” thing. It looks as if Phil Murphy is the Brendan Byrne of the 21st Century. Cue sigh of relief.

As far as I know, Brendan Byrne is no relation to David although this song title describes Team Youngkin’s mendacious approach:

Two disappointing statewide races shouldn’t be enough for Democrats to form a circular firing squad, but they will anyway. The inside the beltway press corps will insist.

Here’s what we learned last night:

  •  No state is permanently blue or red.
  •  Racism works best when it’s dog whistled.
  •  Trumpism Lite seems to sell in suburbia.
  •  Voters can be misled if a campaign appeals to their existing prejudices.
  •  Voters are sick of the pandemic.

Who isn’t sick of the pandemic? One reason it has receded is the Biden administration’s vaccination push. That’s been a two-edged needle as the anti-vaxxer crowd has grown louder. I wish they’d STFU but that’s not going to happen.  Dipshits gotta dipshit.

I revived the Harold Lloyd Safety Last image for today’s post. My pen name Adrastos means undaunted, which fits Harold Lloyd’s onscreen persona. Harold would keep climbing and refuse to jump off the building despite the hecklers below urging him to jump. They can go fuck themselves as can the party of stupidity and sedition.

I don’t know about you, but these results gave me the Blues Before and After. The last word goes to some guys from Jersey:


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The DeSantis Delusion

Image by Michael F.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been called Trump’s Mini-Me so many times that it’s become a cliché. I try to avoid clichés, so I’ll skip the Austin Powers/Dr. Evil shtick. Like most clichés, it’s stuck because there’s some truth to it. Ron DeSantis rose to power by attaching himself to the Impeached Insult Comedian like a tapeworm. A gross image but true. At least it’s not a cliché.

I feel an early musical interlude coming on:

Unlike Todd Rundgren, Ron DeSantis is neither a wizard nor a true star, but many in the media think he is. One of the worst, indeed Trumpiest, governors in the country is being touted by some as presidential timber. Cue woodworm jokes.

Despite his disastrous performance during the pandemic, the DeSantis Delusion has been spreading like a viral infection. The worst example of this infection comes from a recent article at The Atlantic by a usually sensible pundit, Conor Friedersdorf hereinafter Con Fried. The title is scarier than any horror movie: Why Never Trumpers Should Bet on DeSantis Now.

DeSantis frustrates and disappoints me within normal parameters. He hasn’t yet frightened me, as Trump does, as being superlatively incompetent, divisive, morally degenerate, or authoritarian. As MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough put it last June, when COVID-19 numbers were failing and DeSantis was peaking in the polls, “We’re going from the political heroin to the political methadone.” However bleak the analogy, that’s a significant step toward recovery!

Say what?

DeSantis is the guy who cooked the Florida COVID books by firing the person in charge of compiling the numbers.

DeSantis is the guy who recently encouraged anti-vaxxer coppers (try saying that 5 times in a row) to come to Florida to spread the Delta variant.

Those are just two of many harebrained Trumpier than Trump schemes launched by the Florida Man.

My colleague Michael F wrote a post last June about one of DeSantis’ cockamamie/Trumpy schemes. The featured image comes from that post. I only steal from the best.

To be blunt, are you out of your fucking mind, Con Fried? I’m familiar with the non-Mini-Me clichés about the lesser of two evils and desperate times calling for desperate measures, but Ron Fucking DeSantis? Really, Con Fried? Is this for real or just contrarianism run amuck?

I realize that Never Trumpers are grasping at straws to remove the Kaiser of Chaos from the political equation but Ron Fucking DeSantis? Gimme a break.

I agree with New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait who recently wrote about the DeSantis Delusion:

Ron DeSantis is the patron saint of a segment of the conservative Establishment that has made its peace with Donald Trump largely by pretending he does not exist. DeSantis has followed their strategy of ignoring Trump’s lies and authoritarianism while cultivating his followers with more refined attacks on their shared enemies.

Ironically, however, DeSantis has moved far enough to the extreme that they have now been forced into the position of applying the same method to DeSantis that they used for Trump. They have constructed an imaginary version of DeSantis, lavishing praise upon the “Ron DeSantis” they created who shares all the positive qualities of the real-life politician of the same name, with none of his glaring flaws.

Isn’t it bad enough that the Republican establishment has a bad case of the DeSantis Delusion without spreading it to the Never Trumpers?

I’ve already compared the DeSantis Delusion to a viral infection, this perfects that analogy. I also like Chait’s Imaginary Friend imagery. It beats the hell outta the Mini-Me cliché. That cliché, however, is one reason why former President* Pennywise has come to hate DeSantis. He views him as a threat. I’m skeptical that he’s a real, as opposed to an imaginary, threat.

The scenario laid out by Con Fried and others in the throes of the DeSantis Delusion has two flaws:

First, DeSantis is up for reelection in 2022. He’ll need to win by a substantial margin to be a viable presidential contender.

Second, I doubt that DeSantis has the balls to challenge Trump in 2024. The entire Republican party has been spayed and neutered by 5 years of subservience to the Former Guy. DeSantis will only run if the Impeached Insult Comedian does not.

Con Fried has another delusion: that the Never Trumpers will act. Thus far, they’re all talk with a few teevee ads sprinkled in. It’s hard to imagine them mounting an effective challenge to Trump or forming a third party to siphon votes away from the GOP in 2024. Besides, third party talk is for losers and the deluded.

The DeSantis Delusion is just another symptom of the MAGA disease that’s infected our body politic. Con Fried and the Never Trumpers are like kids playing with fire. They’re the ones most likely to get burned by the beast that has destroyed conservatism as we knew it. What’s next? A Hawley, Cotton, or Cruz Delusion? Oy just oy.

The last word goes to Crowded House:

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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “I love the poorly educated” edition

Oh deary dear dear dear.

Every time – I mean, EVERY TIME I think the stupid over at Freeperville can’t get any worse, they surprise me by flooding the room.

The U.S. Postal Service began changing first-class mail delivery time frames in October.
19 October 2021 | Vanity

Posted on 10/20/2021, 12:40:01 AM by zeestephen

“This change may result in mailed statements, new or replacement cards, and payments you mail, taking longer to arrive.” – I received this message in my online bank account this evening. I have a different account that is required to mail me a monthly hard copy. Five years ago, that statement would arrive before the 10th. More recently, around the 15th. This month, already the 20th, and still no statement. Let’s Go, Brandon!

1 posted on 10/20/2021, 12:40:01 AM by zeestephen
This should be good. Since this is being caused by The Darnold’s very own appointment Louis DeLoveless, the Freeperati have two choices here:
1. Proclaim it as a good thing, since it’s another step in the dismantling and destruction of the hated USPS.
2. Proclaim it as “fake news”, as neither The Darnold nor his appointees can do any wrong.
Let’s replace screwy Louis with Folger’s crystals and see what happens.
To: zeestephen
The Brandon administration is just AWESOME!!

2 posted on 10/20/2021, 1:16:10 AM by kiryandil (China Joe and Paycheck Hunter – the Chink in America’s defenses)

Oh – and because you’re reading this and pay attention to all that weird politicking stuff, you already know what the “Let’s go, Brandon” trope is all about.
But somehow, it hasn’t penetrated all the gutters and glory holes of Freeperville yet :
To: zeestephen

Who the Hell is Brandon?

14 posted on 10/20/2021, 7:39:15 AM by BuffaloJack (Socialism always ends in concentration camps and murder.)

To: BuffaloJack
LOL you need educated.


“You need educated”.

Maybe he can tag along with you to Remedial English class?

just look up “let’s go Brandon”

17 posted on 10/20/2021, 8:16:48 AM by RebelTXRose (Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for us! PRAY THE ROSARY!)

Let’s don’t and say we did.
Anywhoo, back to the attempt to depict Louis De Idiot as President Biden’s appointee :
To: telescope115

The elites are raising their expectations—it is the masses that will need to learn to obey and lower their expectations.

Think of it as “progressive” policies in action…

18 posted on 10/20/2021, 8:20:42 AM by cgbg (A kleptocracy–if they can keep it. Think of it as the Cantillon Effect in action.)

More stupid after the station break –

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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?

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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

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – sub-penis edition

Well, well – look at this :

Bannon ‘not required to respond’ to subpoena in Jan. 6 probe, lawyer says
NY Post ^ | 10/14/2021 | Bruce Golding

Posted on 10/14/2021, 1:51:14 PM by ChicagoConservative27

Steve Bannon is “not required to respond” to a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol because former President Donald Trump says their communications are protected by executive privilege, his lawyer claimed in a letter Wednesday.

Trump’s lawyer told Bannon that the ex-president “is exercising his executive privilege” and instructed him “not to produce documents or testify until the issue of executive privilege is resolved,” lawyer Robert Costello wrote.

“That is is an issue between the Committee and President Trump’s counsel and Mr. Bannon is not required to respond at this time,”

Costello wrote in the letter, posted on Twitter by an ABC News producer.

1 posted on 10/14/2021, 1:51:14 PM by ChicagoConservative27
Very first comment :
To: ChicagoConservative27
Let’s see if Pelosi and gang forcibly have Bannon arrested (no-knock entry, etc.). They probably figure the American public would just shrug if it happened, and I suspect they would be right.

2 posted on 10/14/2021, 1:54:24 PM by CatOwner (Don’t expect anyone, even conservatives, to have your back when the SHTF in 2021.)

The hell with shrugging – I’m stocking up on popcorn.
To: ChicagoConservative27
Bannon is the real deal and will go down with the  ship  shit…


But not so Patel and Meadows, as I’m led to understand, they are in the process of flipping big time. We’ll just have to see

5 posted on 10/14/2021, 2:00:25 PM by AmericanInTokyo (Green Bay Packers. Yeah. + Ohtani-san, you better not move on from Angels to NY!)

To: Col Frank Slade
I don’t remember a D ever responding to a subpoena.

7 posted on 10/14/2021, 2:08:12 PM by allwrong57

To: ChicagoConservative27

Very, very dangerous ground.

Bannon had better be able to trust his lawyer.

15 posted on 10/14/2021, 2:47:06 PM by redgolum (If this is civilization, I will be the barbarian. )

I’m sure the Commission will let Bannon off with a warning…

January 6 panel moves to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt CNN ^ Posted on 10/14/2021, 12:59:32 PM by janetjanet998

CNN)The committee investigating the January 6 Capitol Hill riot announced Thursday it is moving forward to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena, as his game of chicken with the House panel now enters a new and critical phase.

“Mr. Bannon has declined to cooperate with the Select Committee and is instead hiding behind the former President’s insufficient, blanket, and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke,” Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the committee, said in a statement on Thursday. Bannon was scheduled for a deposition in front of the committee on Thursday, and Bannon’s lawyer wrote in a letter the day before to the panel saying that his client will not provide testimony or documents until the committee reaches an agreement with former President Donald Trump over executive privilege or a court weighs in on the matter.

1 posted on 10/14/2021, 12:59:32 PM by janetjanet998
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What Country Friends Is This?

This sceptered isle

Shortages of, well, everything. Fuel, groceries, hope. The party in charge of the government shucking and jiving at it’s party conference, on the one hand singing karaoke and on the other blaming everyone but themselves for the country’s problems. Citizens incensed that even after election year promises not to raise taxes, taxes will indeed be raised. All as inflation rages, a pandemic endures, and no end is in sight for the misery.

Some third world s***hole nation?

No, this is England.

More specifically this is Boris Johnson’s England. The England of Brexit, the England of “You can’t tell us what to do Brussels”, the England that reveres it’s monarchy as the monarchy becomes more soap-operay and less relevant every day. This is the England that said “21st Century? Nah, thanks mate, we’ll stick with the 20th. Course it’d be better if it were the 19th”.

Rue Britannia.

A recent article in the no longer failing New York Times points out the disconnect the English public is experiencing with their Tory government. While the Tories spent a weekend partying at the party conference in ever so manly Manchester, the public was attempting to find food at the grocery stores and fuel for their cars. A shortage of lorry drivers (that’s truck drivers for all us US of A types) has the supply chain for many items ground to a halt. Why the shortage? Lots of them were older men who took the pandemic as a sign to retire. Meanwhile newer younger drivers were prevented from getting the proper licenses because the licensing offices were closed because of the pandemic.

Ah you say, so it’s all about COVID. Well, it’s a contributing factor, but a bigger reason is that 20% of the nearly 100,000 drivers needed to keep the English economy moving left the country when it voted to leave the European Union. Why? Because they were the so-called “wave of immigrants” who were keeping the English working man from having a good paying job according to the Brexiters. Hence those immigrant workers took the attitude that it was better to jump than be pushed and went over to the Continent for a surer paycheck, oops I meant pay cheque, and the better employment standards they were used to under the EU, standards that the English were proudly declaring they were going to do away with.

All products ultimately make it to your shelves via a motor vehicle. It’s the basic number one fact of the consumer society. And if there is no one to drive the motor vehicle, despite the best intentions of Waymo or their competitors, the shelves don’t get stocked. Same for the gasoline that your dino-mobile runs on. It doesn’t get to the pump without someone bringing it there first.

Thus England has lines down the block for petrol (gas) stations. Headlines in newspapers scream about “lines lasting days”.  That fabled English stiff upper lip gets more and more difficult to maintain when sitting in a queue just to get some petrol. Keep in mind also that just as petrol stations can’t get the black gold, Texas tea, neither can the public buses that ferry so much of the population. And when a modern country’s population can’t move about freely the economy of said nation starts to grind to a halt.

And what does the Prime Minister, the head of government, say to all of this?

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Some Assembly Required

Sears Home Kit Ad

Once upon a time you could buy a home and have it shipped to you.

Some assembly required.

Sears Roebuck and Company, the Amazon of it’s time, sold everything. At first they sold everything via their catalog, everything shipped via the US Mail and the Wells Fargo Wagon. Later they opened those stores so many of us will forever associate with the smell of fresh popcorn, an aroma artfully aimed to draw in passersby who might otherwise wander into the Montgomery Wards.

They didn’t call Richard Sears a marketing genius for nothing.

After years of selling all the stuff to stuff into a house, Sears decided well why not just sell them the house as well? At the height of their popularity, Sears offered almost 400 different styles of homes all ready to assemble. All you had to do was select the model, send in the money, then wait for the railcar to appear down by the train depot and start hauling out the precut, fully numbered, ready to assemble components along with the building instructions. With no skills at all you could have your new home ready to occupy in as little as 90 days.

And you complain about putting a bookcase from Ikea together. Wimp.

In one of the first of the 75 pages or so of the instruction manual was a warning to follow the directions given to the letter. Don’t succumb to the professional carpenter who happens to wander past your home site and sniff “That ain’t the way I’d do it”. No, why should you listen to a professional who has spent his entire life building homes when you have an instruction manual that details how to build THIS house.

And you were wondering where all of this was headed.

This notion that anyone can do anything a professional can do and obtain the same, if not better, results has been around since the dawn of time. But the internet has made it even more pervasive. It’s moved beyond putting your own house together to being your own information gatherer, transportation specialist, accommodations guru, and even research scientist and/or medical professional. I mean why should you employ a travel agent who spends her day researching all options for your only two weeks of vacation in the year when you can spend all day trying to navigate Kayak just to find the worst hotel in all of Hilo (“but it’s such a bargain!”). And by the way, you don’t pay the travel agent, the best hotel at the best price in Hilo would pay her.

Travel is the least of the problem.

The worst of the problem isn’t even the yahoos who spend a couple of hours reading online forum posts about how “COVID isn’t real” or “Trump won the 2020 election” or “Biden was secretly replaced with a lizard alien shape shifter” and then yell and scream about it so much that you, me, all of us have to spend time shouting him down. I got news for you, COVID is real, Trump lost, and Biden was replaced with Jim Carrey not a lizard alien. OK, that last one isn’t true. Maybe.

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Thou Shalt Not Lie

Conway Regional Hospital Testament

So here we are, a year an a half into the pandemic, coming up on nine months since the release of the vaccine, and we still have those for whom the vaccine is a non-starter. I honestly don’t know which is worse, the general public who refuse to get the jab or the health care workers who refuse to get it. The general public refusers are unaware idiots who believe in conspiracy theories and the rantings of right wing talk shows. The healthcare workers, that’s another story. To have heard patients struggling to gasp their last breath, to have seen the anguish of a spouse or a child and to still say they won’t take the simplest of precautions, that takes a special kind of asshattery.

So here’s a little story to brighten the day of sarcastic hearts like mine.

It seems that the Conway Regional Health System of Arkansas has mandated that all employees must get the vaccine or have a COVID test done every 48 hours. They are being generous though and offering an out of a kind to employees who have sincerely held religious beliefs regarding the vaccine because it was developed with the help of fetal cell tissue. For the uninitiated that means cells from fetuses that were either spontaneously or surgically aborted. Many abortion opponents feel that nothing short of burial is the proper disposition for the mass of cells constituting that which is removed from a woman’s body during an abortion. Use for the development of new drugs or the upgrading of old drugs is out of bounds to these folks.

So many “religious” anti-vaxxers who refuse to get the jab do so with this as their reasoning. And they probably feel all smug and sanctimonious about it. But the folks at Conway have decided to call their bluff.

If an employee claims a religious exemption they must sign the statement that you see above. If you don’t see it, it basically says, “okay I agree that by saying I have a religious reason for not wanting the jab because it was developed with the aid of fetal cell tissue therefore I agree to ALSO not use any of the 30 drugs listed in the document”. This list of drugs includes Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, aspirin, Tums, Lipitor, ibuprofen, Sudafed, Benedryl, Senekot, and many other common over the counter and prescription medications that also were developed with the aid of fetal cell tissue.

So good luck if you get a cold while also having an upset stomach and heartburn which elevates your cholesterol count and makes you unable to take a shit. Man I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

I take that back, I would wish it on anyone who uses religion as a convenient excuse to avoid doing their part to end this pandemic. The gullible Fox News genuflecting gentry who do it simply to “own the libs” are bad enough. These folks pushing the religious angle are a whole dimension away from sanity. Continue reading

Guest Post: I’ll Have A Medium Pizza, Hold The Mask

We’re still trying new things in the post-Athenae era at First Draft. This time, it’s a writer who was recommended by Cassandra. In this instance, her prophecy is looking pretty darn good instead of dire.

I give you the first post by Jamie O aka Blue Man In Red Land.


Blue Man In Red Land: I’ll Have A Medium Pizza, Hold The Mask by Jamie O

 My wife and I live in a small town in central Pennsylvania about 10 miles west of State College. By small town, I mean, small town. Not a person who lives in a large urban center’s idea of a small town with say population 10,000, but a truly small town of just 600.

We moved here from Pittsburgh in 2002. Prior to this, I lived all my life in a blue city environment (I grew up in York, PA, a small Democratic city). The town I live in now is decidedly not blue. Trump took our town 67%-30% in 2020.

Like a lot of small rural Pennsylvania towns, things are not great. The poverty rate is around 20%, and the median household income is just over 32,000. My wife and I joke that if we moved, we’d drop the median even more. It’s also very white, and I would imagine the COVID vaccination rate is quite low.

This brings me to the town’s pizza parlor, which is run by a very nice Central American family. They provide a dash of diversity to our white-and-camo populace. The food is pretty good and we’re regular customers, and they were good about masks and social distancing. I wanted to be sure to support them and help them through the pandemic. We had conversations about COVID, and they said they were doing okay and were very adamant about the importance of masks, vaccines, and social distancing. But about a month ago, I noticed that their masks were gone.

This was sudden. One day I stopped in to pick up a pizza and inside there were about a dozen other customers and three employees. I was the lone masker. Did I get stares? Oh, you betcha. A couple of old boys wearing camo hats and smirks gave me the stink eye for being one of those silly libs who give a darn about others.

I’ve returned to the pizza place a few times since, and no masks remains the new policy. Being a bleeding-heart, I am not really mad at them because I think I understand why. I have empathy for them. I imagine there are challenges to running a business as a Hispanic in a community where some of the populace are programmed to wonder if you are “an illegal.” Despite this, the community embraces them. They do well and my neighbors speak highly of them. But just imagine telling someone in a MAGA hat to put on a mask if you are a brown person. Can’t be easy.

Maybe one day, they got a threat and decided it wasn’t worth it. Hard to say. But the suddenness of it makes me wonder. I don’t want to abandon them, so now when we order, we get food during off hours, having late lunches or early dinners. Risk assessment, you know. Have to weigh when the mouth-breathing horse paste enthusiasts are in there, and try to avoid them whenever possible.

Having to consider when it is safest to order a pizza to avoid picking up a virus from a conspiracy theorist. What a ridiculous time to be alive.

What I Meant To Say Was…

A Tour Guide On A Bus

Not me, but an amazing simulation of me.

In real life outside the world of internet punditry, my profession is that of a tour guide. I take people from all over the world on tours of any and all of the sights around Northern California, from as far south as Monterey up to the Napa-Sonoma wine country. The wife (Cruella) also is a tour guide. She’s the one who got me into the profession for which I am forever grateful. I love doing it.

After all how many professions can say the job is to pick up strangers at elegant hotels and show them a good time? OK, yeah, there is that other one as well. My job doesn’t pay nearly as well as the other one but I do get to keep my clothes on for which my guests are forever grateful.

I recently took a group of Texans for a tour to some of the Napa wineries. Along the way we passed by the notoriously expensive ($350 per person without wine for a pre-fixe tasting menu) restaurant The French Laundry. That particular restaurant has been on the minds (and thus on the tongues) of conservative media lately as Gavin Newsom had a misstep early in the pandemic of being photographed having dinner there right after he enacted strict COVID restrictions on all restaurants. Mind you, The French Laundry was adhering to all those restrictions when the picture was taken. Also the picture had been cropped to make it appear he was dining indoors when in fact that room is open on two sides. Nevertheless, bad optics and it was a rallying cry used in the catastrophically lopsided recall election that kept Newsom in office and may have destroyed the Repugnicant Party here in the Golden State.

Now I bring this up because as we drove past, the gentleman seated in the front seat of the bus snickered “Bet Nancy Pelosi eats there”. We’ll forget for a moment his mixing up of liberal California Democrats. My response was a simple “to be honest, I wouldn’t know” and a quick moving on to other subjects. I reserve my liberal snarck for my dear readers.

But here’s what I meant to say:

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It’s Election Day Dude!

Gavin Newsom Keeps All

As you read this Californians are going to the polls to decide the fate of the recall effort against Governor Gavin Newsom.

Yeah who am I kidding? Statements like that are a thing of the past. Californians have been voting for almost a month by now on this insipid recall referendum. The days of standing in line to dutifully cast one’s ballot are as quaint and old fashioned as going to the malt shop with your high school sweetheart to sock hop with all the cool cool cats. I mean you could do it, but you’re gonna get some odd looks from the vast majority of your fellow citizens.

Though the national media is focusing on the horse race of the recall, Californians are looking at this more as a referendum on how Newsom has handled the pandemic. And that’s been the most effective tool for Newsom. Don’t like how I mandated masks and vaccines and social distancing? Um, have you seen the death rate in places like Texas and Florida? Would you rather have that?

And it doesn’t hurt that the leading Republican candidate campaigns on how much “freedum” ™ those states have. Yeah guy, just keep singing that song, especially when your fellow conservative unvaccinated antivaccine radio talk show hosts keep dropping like flies.

Californians’ have come to realize Newsom’s handling of the pandemic is like that personal life moment when you realize your parents, who previously had been nothing but nagging kill joys, were actually pretty smart about life and things.

Remember back in the early days of the pandemic when the two “voices of reason” among the American political landscape were Gavin Newsom and that guy in New York, what’s his name? I don’t want to diminish the facts that brought down Sonny Corleone…er…I mean Andrew Cuomo but I can’t help but wonder how it is that two governors who were held in such high esteem just a year and a half ago were targeted for ouster.

And thus we come to how Repugnicants try to gain power in this country. They can’t win fair elections so they gerrymander districts, run recall elections, shout about election fraud, enact laws making it harder to vote, make voters fear their neighbors both in the physical and the international senses, and play to the uneducated and easily led astray. All for the benefit of the super wealthy so they can remain super wealthy and not be forced to settle for being reduced to just really wealthy.

And they really really hate the way California runs elections. Ballots mailed to every registered voter a month before the election? Ballots that can be mailed in, dropped off at secure drop boxes located in every community? Ballots that if you really want can be dropped off at polling locations on Election Day? Voting shouldn’t be that easy! Why if it were the entire adult population would vote! Can’t have that!

And for those who decry the notion of a mailed out ballot as being a blow to the concept of community (ahem….like I once was) let me just say that the world and the way we work in it has changed so the way we vote needs to change. It’s not the first time we’ve changed the way we vote. Once upon a time you had to be a white male over 21 who owned land in order to cast a vote. You also had to have the time to come in from your farm to the closest town and put an X by a name. And then you couldn’t legally go down the dusty street to have a shot of redeye at the saloon.

The world changes. Blacks, women, teens who have hit 18, all got the vote. Polling stations were set up in neighborhoods. Xs were replaced by pulling a handle, then punching a card, then touching on a screen. Bars remain open on Election Day in most communities. Life moves on.

Move on or get run over.

Shapiro Out




The Man Who Lived By The River

As the rains from Hurricane Ida fell across the Gulf Coast I thought of this moment from THE WEST WING. It has been floating in my brain for the past few weeks for other reasons, but I took the storm as a sign to bring it out. It’s an old joke, but it perfectly summarizes the state we find ourselves in vis-a-vis some in the community who believe they don’t need vaccines because “god will protect them”.

Of course it never hurts to have a great actor like Karl Malden deliver it.

But really I do have to wonder why the religious who claim to not need the vaccine don’t see the vaccine creators as having been “touched by god” to create it. Really, are you that narcissistic to believe only you know the mind and ways of that being you call the all knowing, all powerful? Is it at least possible that he (she) has sent you the solution, but you don’t want to believe it because it came through that art known as science? Their are many who believe science is merely man attempting to understand the mysteries of god. Not my take, but at least it is a rational take that the “god will protect me” squad might want to think about.

When you meet him at the pearly gates and ask why he took you, don’t be surprised when he says he sent you masks and social distancing and finally a vaccine, what more did you want? Then he introduces you to a man of wealth and taste.


Shapiro Out

Random Thoughts on Labor Hashanah

Jewish Women Labor Strikers

It’s always fun when a corporal holiday collides with a religious one.

I write this on Monday which is Labor Day here in the States as well as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, around the world. It feels like we ought to be throwing confetti so long as it is union made confetti from a factory that practices profit sharing, respect for labor, and a low highest paid employee to lowest paid differential.

Those would all be very Jewish ideals and after all, isn’t New Year’s when we think about the ideal way in which to live?

By the way, while it is certainly fine and acceptable to wish your Jewish friends a “Happy New Year” keep in mind that the holiday to follow in a week or so, Yom Kippur, is officially the Day of Atonement when you ask forgiveness from all you may have hurt in the recently ended year. Don’t wish those same friends a “Happy Yom Kippur”, it’s bad form.  Kinda like sending your Catholic friends a sympathy card on Good Friday.

But speaking of Labor Day, Delta Airlines and many other companies have decided the cost of insuring employees against COVID has gotten to the point where they will be imposing at $200 per month surcharge on the health care plans of any unvaccinated employee. In addition

in compliance with state and local laws, COVID pay protection will only be provided to fully vaccinated individuals who are experiencing a breakthrough infection.” Unvaccinated employees who contract Covid, without exemptions, will have to use their sick days after that.

I’m usually not in favor of large corporations picking out a minority of employees and targeting them with lower wages (deducting $200 from their paycheck makes their wages lower) but there are two mitigating factors here.

  1. It’s already being done for other health related matters. For instance, smokers pay a higher premium than non-smokers.
  2. GET THE FREAKING VACCINE. It’s not just about you. This is an airborne communicable disease that has killed 4.5 Million people worldwide and in this instance your “rights” are not greater than anyone else’s right to not be infected. Those same rights you claim come with responsibilities, to your fellow workers, your customers, to the world at large. Just as I have a right to free speech I also have a responsibility to not yell “There’s a gremlin on the wing of the plane trying to make it crash”. (The only time I will go with Shatner over Lithgow)

Back to Rosh Hashanah. I am what is referred to as a “Eating and Gifts” Jew as in I only celebrate the holidays that involve a big feast or presents. Rosh Hashanah is a big feast holiday. Besides looking forward to the new year it is a celebration of the fall harvest. The table groans with the weight of beef brisket, potato kugel, late summer vegetables, and sweets for as far as the eye can see. Not a one of them pumpkin spice flavored for which I am eternally grateful.

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