Clown at a diner on Thanksgiving in Reno, Nevada by Thomas Hoepker.
The New Orleans weather yo-yo continues as temperatures rise and fall. Making matters worse is that it’s happening in the middle of the night. We’ve had more than a few days where the high or low was at the stroke of midnight. Oy, just oy.
The weird weather has led to some weird dreams. The most puzzling one involved staying with two friends who were married in my dream but don’t know one another IRL. They refused to change bathroom lightbulbs or allow me to do so. I am not a fan of showering in the dark. I did it after Hurricane Ida but didn’t like it. I have no idea what this dream means but it’s sufficiently weird to share. Oh well, what the hell.
Our Thanksgiving was pleasant and low key. We didn’t get the turkey dinner at the drug store because such a thing is impossible in 2021. We had a quiet dinner at home then visited some friends we hadn’t seen since the lockdown. It was an exercise in Gamalian normalcy. Not bad for a guy who has developed a crowd phobia. It’s a far cry from the rock and roll infused days of my wayward youth.
This week’s theme song was written in 1972 by Pete Ham for Badfinger’s Straight Up album. It marked Ham’s emergence as a songwriting force to be reckoned with. Sadly, Pete Ham killed himself just three years later. It was a great loss.
We have two versions of Name Of The Game for your listening pleasure: the Badfinger original and a recent cover by Susanna Hoffs and Aimee Mann.
It’s time for another trip to disambiguation city. Bryan Ferry wrote The Name Of The Game for his 1987 album Bete Noire.
Now that we’ve pondered names and games, let’s jump to the break,
I’ve been meaning to take a poke at Manly Man Josh Hawley’s attempt to open a new front in the culture war. The time is nigh:
“The left want to define traditional masculinity as toxic. They want to define the traditional masculine virtues … as a danger to society. Can we be surprised that after years of being told they are the problem, that their manhood is the problem, more and more men are withdrawing into the enclave of idleness and pornography and video games?”
There’s an enclave of idleness? I bet that’s where the Impeached Insult Comedian can be found when he’s not golfing, chasing porn stars, or shooting off his mouth.
Ironies abound in this pro-manhood salvo fired by a preppie who attended Stanford and Harvard Law. Hawley is not exactly the spitting image of “traditional masculine virtues.”
I bet Hawley thinks John Wayne was like the characters he played onscreen instead of a careerist who dodged the draft and was afraid of horses. I am not making this up, but Hawley makes up a lot of stuff. He only fights with his mouth.
But since his first day as a presidential candidate, I have been baffled by one mystery in particular: Why do working-class white men—the most reliable component of Donald Trump’s base—support someone who is, by their own standards, the least masculine man ever to hold the modern presidency? The question is not whether Trump fails to meet some archaic or idealized version of masculinity. The president’s inability to measure up to Marcus Aurelius or Omar Bradley is not the issue. Rather, the question is why so many of Trump’s working-class white male voters refuse to hold Trump to their own standards of masculinity—why they support a man who behaves more like a little boy.
I am a son of the working class, and I know these cultural standards. The men I grew up with think of themselves as pretty tough guys, and most of them are. They are not the products of elite universities and cosmopolitan living. These are men whose fathers and grandfathers came from a culture that looks down upon lying, cheating, and bragging, especially about sex or courage.
The answer is that the Republican brand in 2021 is hypocrisy. They claim to be conservatives yet support or minimize the Dipshit Insurrection, which was the worst attack on our constitutional republic in history. They claim to revere the military yet support a man who defames the honored dead as suckers and losers. They’re radicals, not conservatives.
As to Josh Hawley’s manly man shtick, like everything else in history, it’s nothing new. Remember the ridiculous men’s movement of the 1990’s? It led to dudes gathering around fire pits and beating drums like fake Native Americans. Oy, just oy.
Real men treat others with respect.
Real men believe women can do anything men can do; usually better.
Real men don’t parade around with guns.
Real men don’t lie or brag about sex or courage.
Trumpers like Josh Hawley and his ilk are little boys pretending to be manly men. They make me sick.
The Kaiser of Chaos has lost his bid to invoke executive privilege on documents sought by the House Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee. Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected the Former Guy’s argument that he was above the law. That was his effective argument, not his actual one. Even his shitty-n-shifty lawyers wouldn’t make such a specious argument. They dressed it up with legalisms, but it still went down in flames. One could even say it was pantsed…
The ball is now in the Justice Department’s court. On October 21st, the full House of Representatives voted to hold Mr. Unmade Bed dba as Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with Congressional subpoenas. That’s 20 days for the DC US Attorney’s office to decide whether to press the charges in court. The last time such a citation was issued it took 8 days for charges to be brought.
As with most things, the media has gotten this process wrong. The initial decision belongs to the DC US Attorney’s office. Since it’s a high-profile case Attorney General Garland’s role in the process is to confirm or reject the decision made by his subordinates. Presumably, the Bannon case has landed in Judge Garland’s lap by now.
There’s a strong possibility that Garland was waiting for a ruling in the Trump executive privilege case before moving against Bannon. If so, the time is nigh to move forward with the criminal charges against the contemptible Bannon.
Now, the only thing I can imagine my former student Merrick Garland thinking why he hasn`t acted already and I really think he should have, he`s smart enough. The case is clear. The statute says when Congress refers someone in contempt of Congress, refers them to prosecution, the U.S. attorney should convene a grand jury. The only possible argument is there are a couple of legal counsel one in 1980 and one in 2008 that suggest that when executive privilege protects the assertion by someone that he or she cannot compile with a congressional subpoena, the department should not prosecute.
Well, perhaps Merrick Garland being a good lawyer and wanting to dot his is and cross his T`s was waiting to hear a court say the executive privilege doesn`t apply to the former president when the current president doesn`t assert that privilege and when there is a legitimate need for the information. If that`s what he was waiting for, he got it tonight and if he does not move immediately will be inexcusable.
Like Professor Tribe, I’ve been patient with Judge Garland thus far. He has the herculean task of restoring DOJ’s good name and the morale of its people. Jeff Beau Sessions, Bill Barr, and the acting AGs brought DOJ into disrepute. It’s not an easy job.
DOJ has made some good moves in the areas of abortion and voting rights BUT it’s been largely silent on the abuses of the Trump regime. My hope has been that they’re methodically investigating the last four years and are keeping quiet so as not to let the bad guys know what they’re up to. The best investigations are opaque, not transparent. I remain cautiously optimistic that that’s the case in this case. That’s a whole lotta cases.
Having said that, it’s time for Garland to piss or get off the pot on the Bannon case. Bannon’s claim of executive privilege is even more laughable than that of the Impeached Insult Comedian. It’s time for the Attorney General to give line prosecutors the green light to go after Bannon and others who flaunt Congressional authority.
I remain less harsh on Garland than many observers. Going after a former president* is not an easy choice. Placing Donald Trump in the dock might inspire the Democratic base BUT it will inflame Trumpers.
A reminder that a convicted felon can still run for president as did Eugene V Debs in 1920. Impeachment and conviction were the only way to permanently bar the Kaiser of Chaos from federal office. That’s why any prosecutorial decision to charge Trump himself should be a legal, not a political one.
I, too, am tired of waiting for Garland. I hope that, unlike Godot, he will show up and go after Trumper scofflaws like Bannon.
I was raised to mistrust euphemisms. My mother was a plainspoken Midwestern farmer’s daughter. She said what she meant and meant what she said. She rarely cursed but disliked the euphemisms for shit, “The word poop is cute. Shit isn’t cute.”
Mom was a courteous, polite, and kind person who wouldn’t tolerate bullshit or lies. The phrase “let the chips fall where they may” was made for her. She told it like is even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear.
I haven’t always lived up to her example, but I’ve tried. It’s gotten me in trouble at times but I, too, prefer to let the chips fall where they may. To be blunt, I’m blunt.
That brings me to the Washington Post’s great three-part article, The Attack. They weave together various strands of what happened before, during, and after the 1/6 Dipshit Insurrection. It combines original reporting with the known facts in a coherent and interactive fashion. It’s a story that was made for the internet.
As much as I hate to cavil about such a magisterial accomplishment, cavil I must. Throughout all three parts, the word lie is rarely used. Instead, they deploy variations on falsely claimed. It’s a phrase you might use when you catch someone you care about in a lie but using it in the context of the Dipshit Insurrection is like calling shit, poop.
Whose feelings are they trying to spare? The Impeached Insult Comedian? The insurrectionists? The My Pillow Guy? John Eastman? Fuck that poop shit.
A lie is a lie even when it’s called a false claim. The WaPo’s use of this particular euphemism doesn’t wreck the piece, but it undermines it. The Dipshit Insurrection was based on the BIG LIE that the 2020 election was rigged. The BIG FALSE CLAIM doesn’t work.
It’s time for the media to stop calling the shit that went down on 1/6/2021 poop. Shit is not cute, neither was the Dipshit Insurrection. A lie is a lie even when it’s called a false claim.
We have a four-headed last word from The Rolling Stones, Manassas, The Black Keys, and En Vogue:
I took most of the day off from social media on Sunday. I call it a palate cleanser although it has nothing to do with my taste buds. It’s more of a brain defogger but who the hell wants to admit to brainy fogginess?
Upon first reading, I agreed with the Twitteratti for a change: the story looked like a sensational revelation. Upon second reading, I realized that much of the information was already out there including this segment:
Along with Greene, the conspiratorial pro-Trump Republican from Georgia who took office earlier this year, the pair both say the members who participated in these conversations or had top staffers join in included Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).
The Seditious Seven all spoke at or attended the pre-riot rally. There were previous reports that they had met with riot organizers BUT this is the first time we learned that two of the organizers were talking to the House Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee. That still makes this story a big deal as it holds out the possibility that these people might turn on the Seditious Seven or even the Impeached Insult Comedian. I bet that would make the cover:
Josh Marshal wrote a detailed post about the Rolling Stone article, so I don’t have to. Click here for the details. FYI, Hunter Walker is a TPM alum, which means that he can hunt and walk at the same time…
I agree that there’s a strong case for expelling the Seditious Seven once a report has been issued. There’s no chance of it beforehand as members traditionally prefer to let the voters deal with congressional miscreants.
Lauren Boebert is the most vulnerable member of the Seditious Seven: redistricting has put her in the same Colorado district as rising Democratic star Joe Neguse. As to Majorie Taylor Greene, a lot of money is being thrown at her challengers, but both she and Trump were landslide winners in 2020. The district is scarlet red. Somebody stick a Scarlet Q on her head already.
A less sensational but equally interesting article about Dipshit Insurrection planning appeared in the Bezos Post. The venerable Willard Hotel was the center of nefarious efforts by Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Boris Epshteyn, and Bernard Kerik to overturn the election by Dr. Hook or crook.
Remember Bernie Kerik? He was Rudy’s police driver when he was mayor. He was later promoted to police chief. Rudy talked W into making Kerik Homeland Security honcho, but the nomination sank in a fetid swamp of scandal. Kerik later pled guilty to 8 felony charges and was eventually pardoned by then President* Pennywise. Of course, he was.
The motley crew of Giuliani, Eastman, Epshteyn, and Kerik (GEEK) tried to convince Vice President Pence to flip but failed. GEEK sounds like an acronymically named rock super group ala CSNY or BLT. Make that stupor group.
I heard a cable news panel call GEEK’s efforts both “sophisticated” and “a well-oiled machine.” If so, why did it fail so spectacularly? Anything involving Giuliani is best described as delusional, booze-addled, and ham-fisted. John Eastman is already running away from his infamous memo. He clearly has a healthy and well-founded fear of disbarment.
The Rolling Stone and WaPo stories have made me even more interested in the work of the Dipshit Insurrection Committee. I wish people would stop calling it a commission. That boat sank earlier this year. The cause was GOP sabotage.
There’s no such thing as the Bannon Canon, but it’s swell word play, and you know how I am about word play. Besides, I wouldn’t be sorry if Bannon were shot out of a cannon. I would, however, worry about where he’d land. He’s not only a slob, he’s a big slob.
Unless you were hiding under the bed with the Impeached Insult Comedian yesterday, you’ve heard that the House Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee voted unanimously to hold Bannon in criminal contempt. The full House will vote on it tomorrow. I’ve long held Bannon in uncivil contempt, the guy is a giant asshole and a pox on our body politic.
Most of the morons around the Kaiser of Chaos are instinctive Fascists, Steve Bannon is the real deal. One could even call him Giovanni Gentile to Trump’s Mussolini. Gentile was the self-styled philosopher of Italian Fascism. Mussolini was the empty vessel into which Gentile poured his odious ideas. Mussolini was strictly an opportunist who wanted power for power’s sake. Gentile was among those who gave Mussolini’s movement what little coherence it possessed. It was always about power. Like Donald Trump, Mussolini was not big on details.
To Bannon, the 1/6 Dipshit Insurrection was supposed to be the MAGA equivalent of the Black Shirts march on Rome in 1922. It didn’t turn out that way: Trumpism was too incoherent to seize power with one dramatic gesture. Italians thrive on dramatic gestures, Americans not so much.
Bannon has taken an interest in Italian politics: a Black Shirt revival would be good for American red hats. The good news is that Bannon’s attempt to open a school in a monastery south of Rome for wingnut “gladiators” has failed. One could call it the BIG FLOP.
As I pondered the potpourri images, it occurred to me that there’s been a lot of dumbassery this week. That’s why I went with the Magritte dumbbell caveman image. I hope I can live up to Magritte’s vision, if not I can always wear a derby/bowler in penance. Unfortunately, the only derby I have is green, which I wear during Carnival season and on St. Patrick’s Day. It hasn’t been worn since the pandemic started. Le sigh.
I rarely watch sports on the idiot box anymore. I felt compelled to watch the Giants lose to the Dodgers last night. It was a bummer, man. It was also a long bummer: a 2-1 pitcher’s battle shouldn’t last over 3 hours. Oy just oy.
I was also surprised by how many sports betting ads there were during the ballgame. I commend Shapiro’s sports gambling post to your attention. It’s the real deal. I used to play poker with Shapiro back in the day. He’s a real card. He never “let that Deal go down.”
Back to sports gambling teevee ads, there were a shit-ton of them during the New Orleans Saints-Washington No-Names game. I know I just said that I rarely watch sports anymore but viewing Saints football is a civic duty here in Debrisville.
Caesar’s Palace just obtained the naming rights to the Superdome, which has resulted in cheesy gambling-Roman crossover ads. None of the fake Caesars can top Peter Ustinov as Nero in the 1951 movie, Quo Vadis:
It’s a great performance in a bad biblical movie. I recently watched Quo Vadis on TCM OnDemand and only viewed the Ustinov scenes. I kept hoping that Nero would light the eternally wooden Robert Taylor’s character ablaze. I’m not talking about the RT who played Walt Longmire. He’s the strong silent type but like Gary Cooper that RT can emote.
There was a lot of Dipshit Insurrection news this week. A rioter named Brandon Fellows is representing himself in court. In classic Trumper fashion, he’s stupid and garrulous. Judge Trevor McFadden was not amused:
“You are charged with a federal felony. This is not a community college where you get pats on the back.”
“You’ve admitted to incredible lapses of judgment here on the stand, not least of which was seeking to disqualify a New York state judge. You’ve admitted to obstruction of justice in that case, and you’ve admitted to what was probably obstruction in this case in trying to have me disqualified, and only Ms. Halverson’s advice stopped you from doing so. You’ve engaged in a pattern of behaviors that shows contempt for the criminal justice system, and I just have no confidence that you will follow my orders if I release you.”
Fellows is still incarcerated. I’m waiting to hear him called a MAGA martyr when he’s really a MAGA meathead.
That’s why I call it the Dipshit Insurrection.
It looks as if Steve Bannon will be cited with criminal contempt for refusing to cooperate with the 1/6 Committee. The Twitteratti are excited by this news. They’re hoping for a perp walk and extended jail time. They’ve been watching too many cop shows. The truth will be less dramatic since Bannon is unlikely to make like Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon:
As Jon Gruden would surely say, Steve Bannon is a pussy. He incites riots. He leaves the rioting to dipshits like Brandon Fellows.
“If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ’22 or ’24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do.”
Bring it on, Donald, bring it on.
It’s time to stop stirring the potpourri and give the last word to Graham Parker & The Rumour:
I’m sick of writing about Donald Trump. I had a lot of fun mocking him for 5 years, but much of the fun went out of it with the 1/6 Dipshit Insurrection. He was always a menace but the threat amped up over 100 decibels on that day. Ever since then, the Impeached Insult Comedians and his followers have minimized what happened. Their motto is: When In Doubt, Lie.
One of most dangerous lies they’ve told about the Dipshit Insurrection is that Ashli Babbitt was a martyr to the MAGA cause. They’ve turned a deeply disturbed woman into their very own Horst Wessell. I explained that in the first Ashli Babbittry post:
Like most right-wing populist movements, Trumpism is based on grievances, real and imagined. Such a movement requires martyrs. The Nazis had Horst Wessel a Brownshirt who allegedly died in a street fight with Communists. The truth was more complicated but his death led to an anthem of the Nazi movement, Horst Wessel Lied. Lied is of course the German word for song but it describes the modus operandi of both Nazism and Trumpism better known as the BIG LIE.
It Can’t Happen Here and Babbitt have converged in the name of Trumpism’s latest martyr, Ashli Babbitt. She was one of seven people to have died as a result of the Dipshit Insurrection. The Trumpers, however, have chosen to honor a troubled woman instead of the police officers who died defending the Capitol from attack. So much for law and order.
Yesterday would have been MAGA martyr Ashli Babbitt’s 36th birthday. The MAGA Maggots celebrated her sad, pathetic life as if she were a hero instead of a victim of the Big Lie.
“My heart and the hearts of millions of Americans across the country are with everyone — everyone — who knew and loved her,” Trump said, after wishing Babbitt a happy birthday.
“Together we grieve her terrible loss,” the former president said toward the end of the brief video. “There was no reason Ashli should have lost her life that day. We must all demand justice for Ashli and her family. So on this solemn occasion, as we celebrate her life, we renew our call for a fair and nonpartisan investigation into the death of Ashli Babbitt. I offer my unwavering support to Ashli’s family, and call on the Department of Justice to reopen its investigation into her death on Jan. 6.”
Her death *has* been thoroughly investigated. The actions of Officer Michael Byrd have been vindicated by the DOJ. The reason he’s been singled out is that he’s Black.
It’s a racist trope straight out of The Birth of a Nation, a dangerous black man harmed an innocent white chick.
Former President* Pennywise made his feelings clear at a rally in July:
“If that were on the other side, the person that did the shooting would be strung up and hung.” At least one person in the crowd responded by shouting “Hang him!”
Robert Kennedy once said that “Richard Nixon represents the dark side of the American soul.”
Nixon was a piker next to Donald Trump. Nixon was a racist and a criminal, but he was smart and slick. He played on racial fears but never advocated lynching. Nixon was a seething pit of resentment and grievances, but he had a hardscrabble childhood to explain it. Trump grew up in a mansion wanting for nothing. His grievances reflect his greed for more, always more.
Trump not only represents the dark side of the American soul, he brings out the worst in people. He’s the reason that Sinclair Lewis’ dark vision in It Can’t Happen Here remains a threat to our polity. All the lies and Ashli Babbittry in the world cannot explain that away.
Scalise is cynical, not stupid. He blows with the wind and the prevailing breeze comes from Mar-a-Dorn. Scalise would rather look like a stupid hack than face an angry Kaiser of Chaos. I think Scalise is afraid of hearing jokes about his hair. It does look like an early-stage chia pet, after all.
Scalise doesn’t mind looking like a hack because he is one. He’s a loyal party man. He waited his turn for the Congressional seat vacated by David Vitter in 2004. He yielded to Bobby Jindal who used it as a stepping stone to a second run for Gret Stet Governor.
Scalise is currently the number 2 GOPer in the house. He’s biding his time waiting for KMac to slip. Scalise has been urged to slit the incoherent one’s throat, but he’s a patient man: if he could wait for PBJ, he can wait for KMac.
As a loyal party man, Scalise is selling the Big Lie and all its variations. He doesn’t believe any of it, but he’s sticking with Trump because he represents the most Republican district in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. He’s another weakling pretending to be a tough guy.
Speaking of fake tough guys, there was a raucous argument on the Tweeter Tube last week started by Never Trump Republican Rick Wilson. He claimed that Democrats were folding on the Dipshit Insurrection investigation. Later that same day, the White House announced that it was REJECTING the Impeached Insult Comedian’s assertion of executive privilege. Wilson then took credit:
Rick Wilson has always been a puffed-up chump and a lying sack of shit. He was the campaign consultant behind the smearing of Senator Max Cleland in 2002. Cleland was a genuine American hero who lost three limbs while serving in Vietnam. Wilson concocted the campaign against him on behalf of empty suit Saxby Chambliss. Cleland was “with the terrorists” so he lost his reelection bid. It was the political equivalent of this scene from Kiss Of Death:
Wilson has been invited to repudiate these tactics but has refused to. As a result, he cannot be trusted. Despite his detestation of Trump, Rick Wilson is a good party man who still enjoys owning the libs. That’s why I will never trust him. I know how to hold a grudge, y’all.
Steve Scalise and Rick Wilson are opposite sides of the same Republican coin. They’re both what John Dean called “conservatives without conscience.” Scalise is putting his hackery to use in service of the Big Lie whereas Wilson still supports the GOP smear tactics of the aughties: “You are either with us or the terrorists.” Thus spake George W Bush who is also a Never Trump Republican.
To be fair to guys like Rick Wilson, they’re still in the conservatives without conscience phase. His fellow puffed-up chump and lying sack of shit Steve Scalise long ago moved on to the radicals without remorse phase. Power is what he wants and if lying for Trump will get him there, so be it.
And that’s the view from the Gret Stet of Louisiana, home of Steve Scalise one of the hackiest hacks who ever hacked me off.
The last word goes to Randy Newman from whom I stole the puffed-up chump line. I only steal from the best.
I have many things on my mind, so it’s time to dial back my role as your Hurricane Ida correspondent and write about some of the other weird shit happening in the news. I do have a few storm related items so we’ll begin there.
You may have noticed that the fundraising sticky atop the blog is gone. The Bayou Project has met its original goal, but they’re still raising money if you want to donate. Thanks to everyone who supported this kickass cause.
One thing people don’t know about me is that I have an excellent sense of smell. That’s why the Debrisville Post Ida Stank has bugged me so much. The phrase gag me with a spoon comes to mind.
I also have an inordinately high threshold of pain, which is why my head injury hasn’t bothered me much except on Bloody Monday. When I was a little leaguer, a batted ball broke my nose. My coach told my father, “This is the first kid I’ve seen that happen to who didn’t cry.” So it goes.
In more Teedy trash talk, the mayor has rolled out a new strategy. She’s deploying what she calls a Mardi Gras style pickup, which involves dump trucks and police escorts. Sounds better than takeout trash.
Mayor Teedy immediately undermined her policy by claiming that cops were needed because garbagemen had been threatened by hostile citizens. Say what?
This tweet from a State Rep describes what has happened across the city when the garbage trucks appear:
I don’t know what y’all are seeing…but when I saw garbage trucks in my neighborhood yesterday evening, the residents were treating the workers like the heroes they are. Praising them and offering them water, etc.
Let’s move on to some national potpourri to cover the smell of rotting shrimp shells.
The Woodward-Costa book is causing a sensation. The bit about Liar Liar Pence On Fire calling J Danforth Quayle for advice is hilarious as is Trump’s response:
“I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this,” and later said: “You’ve betrayed us. I made you. You were nothing.”
Neener, neener, neener. He forgot to threaten to hold his breath until he turned blue.
By my reckoning, that’s toddler tantrum eleventy-billion by the Impeached Insult Comedian.
And now a musical interlude inspired by the Trump tantrum:
Republicans suddenly believe in civilian control of the military. Why? General Milley went all-out to prevent war with China and military involvement in a Trump coup. Better to be Jiggs Casey than James Mattoon Scott. Those are Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster’s characters in Seven Days In May.
In the past, GOPers were outraged when Truman fired Gen. MacArthur, Carter fired Gen. Singlaub, and Obama fired Gen. McChrystal for insubordination and malakatude. How dare a Democratic president exercise the powers of their office?
There are Democrats who think President Biden should “drop the hammer” on recalcitrant senators Manchin and Sinema. Such a hammer does not exist in a 50-50 senate.
Speaking of hammers, I feel a musical interlude coming on:
At our Wednesday event there were a lot of calls for Biden to drop the hammer on Manchin and Sinema to get a vote on the latest version of the For the People Act. As I said at the event, my great worry is that he’s not dropping the hammer because he knows it won’t work. If a leader says something has to happen and then it doesn’t happen the leader is much off worse than he started. The thing he wanted to happen didn’t happen in any case.
We keep hearing about LBJ and how he knew how to bring the power of the presidency to bear. But wow … this is just bad history. How did LBJ get people to fall in line? In the 89th Congress, which was sworn in in January 1965, the Democrats held 68 senate seats. Just think about that for a second. 68 seats! Sure, there were a bunch of pro-segregation Dixiecrats. But LBJ had plenty of votes to spare. And there were only relatively few of them who opposed him in the way an opposition party might.
Repeat after me: 50-50 senate.
Joe Biden has forgotten more about the senate than most people will ever know.
With a 50-50 senate it’s all carrot and no stick.
It’s time to circle back to the post title. It’s been a brutal few weeks for me: the hurricane, my Ida related malady, losing my friend Will, and my bloody pratfall. Having said that, I’m doing okay: “Oh, you don’t know the shape I’m in.”
I don’t mean the killing me bit literally. It’s a vivid image that I’ve used countless times on Twitter. It’s also why I used the Hamilton Burger-Perry Mason featured image. Now that I think of it, fictional lawyers know more than amateur attorneys. The amateur ones are a Raymond Burr in my saddle…
I nearly used this title when I wrote The Law Is Slow, but I thought that title brought more light than heat. I’m big on bringing light when so many others only bring heat. It’s the curse of our age.
The latest know-nothing legal Tweet comes from former Tea Party dude turned Never-Trumper, the Other Joe Walsh.
The amateur lawyers are killing me. There are clear indications that there is a criminal investigation but these things are not announced in public to placate people on twitter. https://t.co/9bqDe15QS6
I could just leave it there, but I feel like expounding. It’s what pundits do.
One of the most important recent legal developments took place a few weeks ago. It’s when DOJ announced that Trump regime officials could NOT invoke executive privilege. I celebrated it in a Not Everything Sucks post, but it was largely ignored by those who prefer drama to substance. That includes most of the MSM who miss the constant drama and leaks from the previous administration.
I think First Draft newbie Cassandra nailed it as a part of last night’s Other Joe Walsh conversation:
i say this over and over. this White House and this DOJ do not leak. it'll all come out when all of the evidence is there and it is airtight. there are Proud Boys cooperating. everyone needs patience.
BTW, if you don’t follow Cassandra on Twitter please do so. I’m uncertain if she’ll sing any strange opera, but she’s insightful and fierce as well as operatic. As long as it’s not Klingon opera, I can handle it.
Back to recent legal developments. Former acting Attorney General Rosen testified because of DOJ’s move on executive privilege. I hope nobody thinks that Bill Barr’s former deputy did this out of the goodness of his heart. He’s hoping to avoid prosecution and/or disbarment. Besides, coup plotting was a bridge too far for both Rosen and Barr. I just said something nice about Bill Barr. There’s a first time for everything.
There’s been a lot of talk about the House Select Committee, but Dick Durbin the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is determined to get to the bottom of the intrigue at DOJ.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, under Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL), appears to be doing most of its work in private, rather than in set-piece hearings. Things appear to have kicked into higher gear after Attorney General Merrick Garland allowed former Trump-era DOJ officials to testify about what is now emerging as a fairly elaborate coup plot hatched in the waning months of the Trump administration. Judiciary committee investigators jumped at the chance and some who were involved in the plot – or at least were witnesses to the plot – have jumped themselves … to testify. Rosen apparently was in a bit of a rush to testify – once Garland gave the go-ahead – before anyone on the Trump side could get into court to try to stop him. The testimony was also conducted out of the press spotlight so it would be done before anyone who might want to block it knew.
That’s how investigations should be handled. It’s best to sneak up on suspected criminals before pouncing, especially when they’re former presidents*. One reason the Mueller Probe was a disappointment was that Team Trump saw it coming and mounted a concerted albeit mendacious counterattack.
All of these factors lead me to believe that there *is* a current investigation at DOJ. I realize the amateur lawyers don’t think so because they prefer to wallow in their “Merrick Garland sucks” narrative. Repeat after me: The law is slow.
Former US Attorneys Barbara McQuaid and Joyce Vance collaborated with Larry Tribe on a roadmap for a Trump investigation. When I saw Joyce discuss the piece on MSNBC, she said that she thought an investigation was underway. She added that she too preferred to investigate behind closed doors when she was a US Attorney. Always trust a cat person:
Another way in which the amateur lawyers are killing me is this: the incessant chants for Trump to be jailed immediately. While I’m in favor of prosecuting Trump, in America, we don’t just lock people up before filing charges. That’s what the Impeached Insult Comedian wanted to do to his enemies. It’s company that I don’t want to keep.
Even if Trump is indicted and convicted, he can still run for federal office unless the GOP changes its nominating rules. Anyone think that’s even remotely possible?
… a reminder that even if Donald Trump is convicted of a crime, he can still run for office from prison. Eugene V. Debs received 913, 664 votes while languishing in federal prison in 1920. Debs was a political prisoner locked up for his anti-war views. Trump is, of course, a criminal who deserves everything the justice system can throw at him.
The amateur lawyers of the MSM and Twitter need to learn patience. The law is slow, it doesn’t work as fast as Twitter, nor should it. We need to get this right, not fast.
The last word is an ironic one. It goes to the Real Joe Walsh with a song he wrote with Glenn Frey and Don Henley:
I admit to being surprised that Andrew Cuomo resigned yesterday. I was not, however, as gobsmacked as the cable news pundits. The ones I saw on MSNBC came up with all sorts of elaborate scenarios as to why it happened. As always, I looked for the simplest answer: He did not have the votes in the lege to stay in office, so he went albeit grudgingly and gracelessly.
The tone and content of the speech reminded me of Tricky Dick’s resignation speech on 8/8/74. I considered doing a side-by-side analysis but New York Magazine’s Ed Kilgore beat me to the punch. Suffice it to say, both Tricky Dick and Handsy Andy stressed the politics of resigning not the ethics or morality. It’s a good thing because to say both men were ethically challenged is an understatement.
I have been too familiar with people. My sense of humor can be insensitive and off-putting. I do hug and kiss people casually, women and men. I have done it all my life. It’s who I’ve been since I can remember. In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate, and I should have. No excuses.
I have to give Handsy Andy credit for ending that passage with some unintentional levity. No excuses? Really? The previous sentences are chock-full-o-excuses. I halfway expected him to break out in this song:
Cuomo and Nixon share some negative qualities: egotism, self-pity, and sexism. They also share a redeeming characteristic: they love dogs, which makes both of them better than the Impeached Insult Comedian.
The featured image shows Cuomo with a younger Captain and Tricky with legendary scandal dog Checkers. I wonder where Pat’s “Republican cloth coat” was when this picture was taken.
Otherwise, Cuomo and Nixon are very different. Cuomo is the cocky son of a famous man. Nixon was the insecure son of a nobody. Cuomo is a touchy-feely New York ethnic. Nixon was a hands-off California WASP. Both were forced to resign high office because of scandal. That’s the most important thing they have in common.
As a resident of the Gret Stet of Louisiana, I’d like to point out how many scandals there have been in the Empire State. Former Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned because of his predilection for prostitutes. Former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned amidst charges of sexual assault and general kinkiness. Now it’s Andrew Cuomo who also served as AG before becoming Governor. These creeps make Louisiana pols look like pikers with the exception of Diaper Dave Vitter.
Cuomo’s exit makes Kathy Hochul the first woman governor of New York. I wish her well, but she has a mess on her hands.
I’m glad Cuomo will be leaving office in two week. My only regret is that I didn’t call him Handsy Andy until today. I guess it’s because Andys tend to be nice guys, not arrogant pricks. As far as I know, nobody calls Cuomo Andy not even his idiot kid brother Chris. Why risk being pantsed, stuffed in a locker, or getting a swirly? Those are things that bullies do. In the end, Andrew Cuomo is a bully. He can go fuck himself.
I woke up this morning in a charitable mood and changed the post title. The original title was Creepy Crespi Cuomo. Frank Crespi is the guy on the left. He played 2B for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1938-1942. He was only a regular for one season: the war ate the rest of his career. The 1930’s were a time described by Bill James in his Historical Baseball Abstract as when “nicknames got nasty.”
There’s no indication that Frank Crespi was called Creepy because he was a groper. It seems to have been an alliterative play on words. Creepy Crespi is the one I felt charitable towards since he seems to have been an okay fella. As to Andrew Cuomo, he can go grope himself.
The first post title that came to mind was: Careful What You Wish For. It was Creepy Cuomo’s idea for New York AG Letita James’ office to investigate his misconduct. Since she had been a Cuomo supporter, she farmed it out to some independent lawyers.
The report was expected to land like a hand grenade, instead it exploded like an H-Bomb. It was that bad, y’all.
Was the allegation previously known? No. Did Trooper No. 1 work for the state? Yes. Summary of Trooper No. 1’s allegations: Trooper No. 1 says that after Cuomo encountered her during an event on the Triborough Bridge in 2017, he arranged to have her join his Protective Services Unit, though she did not meet the qualifications. She says that after she was assigned to his personal protective unit, he sexually harassed her multiple times. She says that during one incident he ran his hand across her lower stomach while she held a door open for him, and that during another he ran a finger down her back and said “Hey you” in an elevator.
Hey you, you’re an entitled asshole.
Creepy Cuomo even wanted this state trooper to wear a dress: the better to leer at her. I don’t wear frocks, but I would imagine that it would be hard to pack heat in a skirt. She was there to protect and serve, not to protect and service Creepy Cuomo.
Creepy Cuomo’s first defense was to release a video in which he said he was creepy with everyone:
Incredible moment as Cuomo displays face-touching slideshow: “I do it with everyone. Black and white, young and old, straight and LGBTQ, powerful people, friends, strangers, people who I meet on the street.” pic.twitter.com/CIwbAJj9R3
Creepy Cuomo has been in tight spots before. He’s survived them all. He’s used to being hated and feared, so that doesn’t bother him. This time the reaction is best described as disgusted. His few remaining allies have either turned against him or are hiding under the bed with his idiot kid brother, Fredo. I mean Chris. It’s time to repost my favorite Chris Cuomo image:
Creepy Cuomo considers himself to be a master deal maker. Now that he’s likely facing impeachment, he’ll want to cut a deal with the lege. His hopes of topping his father’s three terms have been dashed and he doesn’t want to be impeached and convicted.
Team Creepy is likely to propose a deal that will include prosecutors and the AG’s office. As those of us who watch Billions know, the state AG has limited prosecutorial powers. It’s unclear if prosecutors in Albany and Manhattan will go along with any deal that involves ruling out criminal charges against Creepy Cuomo. It’s what he’ll want. Stay tuned.
Another pressing question is whether Creepy Cuomo’s dog Captain will forgive him:
I’m sure the pooch will forgive him if he gives him treats and promotes him to Admiral.
Back to the post title. I changed it because I didn’t want to offend any of Frank Crespi’s relatives. His baseball career was short, but he played on a team that went 106-48 and beat the Yankees in the World Series. What’s not to love about that?
I kept the featured image because I spent way too much time on it. Time is money even when you work for free.
I gave myself an earworm while working on this post. It’s the Beach Boys song Funky Pretty, which fittingly was co-written by rock creep Mike Love: I’ll leave his cousin Brian Wilson out of it. I find myself singing Creepy Cuomo, Creepy Crespi in lieu of “funky pretty, pretty funky.” It’s weird but it works.
I took a shine to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman during the first impeachment hearings. As an immigrant serving our country, he personifies the best of America. The “Trump is perfect” crowd didn’t see it that way and took special pleasure in demonizing him.
Doing the right thing took a toll on Vindman. He was frog marched out of the White House, denied a well-deserved promotion, and obliged to retire from the Army at the age of 45.
The playwright Lillian Hellman wrote a book about the second American Red Scare called Scoundrel Time. She described how some groveled to people in power who were pursuing a destructive and dishonest agenda. I thought of Scoundrel Time during Alexander Vindman’s time in the barrel. Instead of cowering before the likes of Gym Jordan and Devin Nunes, he stood his ground confident that “here, right matters.” It no longer matters to right wing scoundrels but it’s a helluva book title.
I just finished reading an excerpt from Vindman’s book at the Atlantic. Like the author, It’s thoughtful, cogent, and honest. He describes his reaction to Trump’s “perfect phone call” to a Ukrainian president who was desperate to please. One of Trump’s few talents is one he shares with many mob bosses: he can sense fear and desperation. He knows how to exploit it.
Vindman’s riveting description of listening to the “perfect phone call” with his fellow future witnesses Tim Morrison and Jennifer Williams convinced me to order a copy of Here, Right Matters from Barnes & Noble. My sister-in-law always gives me a gift card for my birthday and this time I’m spending it on the odd combination of Alexander Vindman and Los Lobos.
Regardless of any impact on the president, or of the domestic- and foreign-policy consequences, or of personal costs, I had no choice but to report what I’d heard. That duty to report is an important component of U.S. Army values and of the oath I’d taken to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. Despite the president’s constitutional role as commander in chief, at the apex of the military chain of command—in fact, because of his role—I had an obligation to report misconduct.
Yevgeny, who had the highest security clearances, was therefore uniquely positioned to advise me on the proper procedures, and I knew that he would support my doing my duty. He would protect, at all costs, my telling the truth. He would never be swayed by any institutional or presidential interest in covering it up.
I made sure to close the door behind me. “If what I just heard becomes public,” I told my brother, “the president will be impeached.”
It’s been a year of turmoil for the country, and for my family and me. I’m no longer at the National Security Council. I’m no longer an officer in the U.S. Army. I’m living in the great unknown, and so, to a great degree, is our country.
But because I’ve never had any doubt about the fitness of my decision, I remain at peace with the consequences that continue to unfold.
Thank you for your service Col. Vindman, that’s not just boilerplate, I mean it. Standing up to the scoundrels isn’t easy but it has to be done.
In the interests of perfecting the oddball combination of Vindman and Los Lobos, the last word goes to the guys from East LA with a song about America:
…let me be clear, last week’s violent attack on the Capitol was undemocratic, un-American and criminal. Violence is never a legitimate form of protest. Freedom of speech and assembly under the constitution is rooted in non-violence. Yet the violent mob that descended upon this body was neither peaceful nor democratic. It acted to disrupt Congress’s constitutional responsibility.
The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action by President Trump, accept his share of responsibility, quell the brewing unrest and ensure President elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term. The President’s immediate action also deserves congressional action, which is why I think a fact finding commission and a censure resolution would be prudent.
Not long after these brave words, KMac went to Mar-a-Doorn and renewed his vows of subservience to the Impeached Insult Comedian. It’s the only way KMac thinks he will ever become Speaker of the House.
The ventriloquist and his dummy plan a campaign based on the election BIG LIE and defense of the Dipshit Insurrection. If that’s a winning campaign strategy, I’m Edgar Bergen. Bring it on.
The last word goes to ZZ Top with the late Dusty Hill holding down the bottom.
While we’re at it, Dwight Yoakam did a swell cover of I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide.
I just realized that I’d dropped the Not Everything Sucks flag. It was mostly Athenae’s banner, but I helped run it up the flagpole a few times. It’s time to pick the flag up and run with it or some such shit. Holy exhausted metaphor, Batman.
I have no illusions that last night’s cloture vote means that Congress will become less constipated BUT it’s a sign of progress. 17 Republican senators acted like politicians and voted to debate sending home the bacon. It shouldn’t be that hard but unrelenting obstructionism has been the name of the GOP game since the Turtle became their leader. He actually voted for cloture, which was unexpected. Mitch McConnell can still go fuck himself.
A swell subplot to yesterday’s vote was the fact that the Impeached Insult Comedian denounced Senate GOPers as cowards and RINOs as the negotiations intensified. It does not signal a break with that malevolent moron, but any progress is welcome however incremental.
People have forgotten what legislating looks like. It’s never pretty as it involves much posturing and some prevaricating. That’s why I don’t take seriously the Sinematic senator’s announcement that she’s not voting for the Democrats only infrastructure bill, neither does Josh Marshall:
I think this is best interpreted as Sinema throwing up a flag that she’s going to continue to preen and create drama for the purpose of building a reputation as an uber-‘moderate’ and generally have everyone kiss up to her. She wants to come out of this as the person who wasn’t totally down with Democratic priorities and shaved the numbers down, at least a bit. If she really wanted to stop the process she wouldn’t vote to let it begin, which she is. That tells you the story.
The flags are really flying today. Here’s some more from Josh:
Sinema meanwhile is a preening phony. She started out as a member of the Green party. Then she was a progressive Democrat. Now she’s an uber ‘centrist’. She’s a total phony and I doubt very much that she will be able to pull any of this off if she’s there alone without Manchin. Without Manchin, she’ll fold.
Sinema’s annoying antics are just part of the legislative game. One that we could live without.
In other good news, the Justice Department announced that it would NOT invoke executive privilege in the inquiry into misconduct by Trump DOJ officials after the election. That inquiry is being conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee and another log was placed on that fire last night by a WaPo story about daily “perfect phone calls” from Trump to the Acting AG, Jeffrey Rosen. Stay tuned.
The DOJ also declined to defend Alabama wingnut Mo Brooks in the Swalwell Capitol riot lawsuit. Essentially, Brooks claimed that inciting a riot was part of his job description. DOJ disagreed. I can’t wait until he’s deposed by Swalwell’s lawyers. Stay tuned.
Finally, President Biden is expected to require federal employees to get jabbed. This common sense measure will make it easier for state governments and private sector employers to follow suit. Cassandra isn’t the only one tired of being held hostage.
That concludes this sprawling edition of Not Everything Sucks. I’m not spiking the ball, but incremental progress merits an incremental celebration. I’m not sure what that entails but it scans well.
Writing this post gave me two earworms: one inspired by the legislative gamesmanship (gamespeopleship?) and the other by more perfect phone calls by the Kaiser of Chaos. That’s why Bryan Ferry and Badfinger get the last word.
I usually hate Congressional hearings. The members talk too much. Most of them have no idea how to pose or frame a question. The first day of the House Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee hearings was different: solemn, dignified, and focused.
Speaker Pelosi should thank feckless House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy for boycotting the committee. There are no wingnuts determined to speak over others and put on a show for the cameras. The committee is small: only 9 members. The two Republicans are willing to face the scorn of their idiot leader who denounced them as Pelosi Republicans. Nobody cares what KMac thinks. He maneuvered himself into oblivion last week.
The four police officers who testified were great witnesses and deserve a shout-out: Aquillo Gonnell, Michael Fanone, Daniel Hodges, and Harry Dunn. They epitomize the sort of people who *should* be in law enforcement. During the Dipshit Insurrection, they protected and served. As Adam Kinzinger said, “You guys won. You guys held.”
They were all impressive, but Capitol copper Harry Dunn stood out: both literally and figuratively. Dunn is a big dude. He’s 6’7″ and built like an old school NBA power forward such as the late Wes Unseld who played his entire career for the Baltimore/Capitol/Washington Bullets.
Officer Dunn was denounced before the hearing by that entitled little shit Tucker Carlson as “an angry left-wing activist.”
Dunn, a 13-year-veteran of the force, testified that as rioters were nearing the a room directly off the House floor, they shouted about having been invited by Trump to “stop the steal” — prevent the congressional affirmation of Joe Biden’s victory. He said those rioters said “nobody voted” for Biden.
“I’m a law enforcement officer, and I do my best to keep politics out of my job, but in this circumstance, I responded: ‘Well, I voted for Joe Biden. Does my vote not count? Am I nobody?'” said Dunn, who is Black. “That prompted a torrent of racial epithets. One woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled: ‘Did you hear that, guys? This n—– voted for Joe Biden.’ Then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people, joined in screaming, ‘Booo, f—— n—–.’
“No one had ever, ever called me a n—– while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer,” Dunn continued, adding that after the riot he heard from other Black officers who faced racial abuse from the mob. “One officer told me he had never, in his 40 years of life, had been called a n—– to his face, and that streak ended on January 6th. Yet another Black officer later told me he had been confronted by insurrectionists in the Capitol who told him to ‘put your gun down, and we’ll show you what kind of n—– you really are.'”
The Trump mob showed what kind of cowards they are. There’s safety in numbers. None of them would have dared to abuse Harry Dunn one-on-one.
The sub-text of the hearing was ingratitude. The ingratitude of Republican lawmakers whose lives were saved by the cops who risked their own lives to protect them. The Trumpers are lionizing Ashli Babbitt and calling her fellow rioters political prisoners. I know what to call them: Terrorists.
Congressional loons Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, and Louis Gohmert Piles (hereinafter the Four Gs) showed what they were made of yesterday. They staged a “protest” outside the Justice Department. They demanded the release of insurrectionists who they claim are political prisoners. So the QAnon Shaman is the new Andrey Sakharov? Who knew?
It was a disgusting display of cosplay courage: they were run off by a guy with a whistle. I am not making this up. Here’s the proof:
The officers made it clear that they want those behind the insurrection held accountable. It was Harry Dunn who inspired the post title: “If a hitman is hired, and he kills somebody, the hitman goes to the jail. But not only does the hitman go to jail, but the person who hired him does.”
We all know who he’s talking about: former President* Pennywise. He’s incapable of planning anything but capable of inciting a riot. That’s what he did on Twelfth Night, 2021.
The last word is inspired by the Four Gs DOJ Mishigas and the guy who made them look ridiculous:
How dare Speaker Pelosi not allow Gym Jordan to wreck the investigation? KMac selected him to turn it into a shit show. Pelosi refused to play along.
The MSM was confused by Nancy Smash’s power move so much so that KMac walked into her trap by withdrawing from the Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee. That perfects their fuck-up in refusing to participate in a 1/6 Commission over which they’d have veto power over subpoenas. Now they have no representation, influence, or power. They won’t be on teevee when the hearings air either. It was a stupid move by a stupid man. Thanks, KMac.
When hundreds of angry Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 after being incited by the president, Rep. Liz Cheney was inside with other members of congress, including Rep. Jim Jordan.
Jordan — who had supported Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen — offered to help Cheney out of the aisle.
She wasn’t having it, according to a new book.
“That fucking guy Jim Jordan. That son of a bitch,” Cheney told Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley on the phone, detailing the siege, according to I Alone Can Fix It, by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.
“While these maniacs are going through the place, I’m standing in the aisle and he said, ‘We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you,’ ” recalled Cheney, then the House of Representatives’ No. 3 Republican, per the book. “I smacked his hand away and told him, ‘Get away from me. You fucking did this.’ ”
I undeleted the expletives. We still have a fuck quota at First Draft even without Athenae and Jude. Fuck, yeah.
One thing I respect about the Cheneys is that they’re good haters and even better grudge holders. Liz Cheney’s hate for that fucking guy Gym Jordan runs deep.
I’m debuting a new featured image meme today. I’ve used the above image with the Fog of Scandal, but the ultimate scandal of the Trump Regime deserves its own meme.
Books about the disastrous final year of the Impeached Insult Comedian’s reign of error are flying off the shelves. As my mother used to say, it was “uglier than boiled sin” in public and even worse in private. I asked Mom to explain this Midwesternism. She told me to try boiling sin to see what it looked like. It was a non-answer but a funny one, so I let it slide. I guess she had a feeling inside that she couldn’t explain:
Mom never did Roger’s mike toss or Pete’s windmill. I would have paid to see either…
Back to the Dipshit Insurrection. General Mark Milley is a central figure in I Alone Can Fix It by the WaPo’s Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker. (The book should really be called I Alone Can Wreck It.) We’re going to focus on the General’s reaction to the Trump regime’s end game and my reaction to Milley’s reactions. Sounds reactive…
As he showed in responding to Matt Gaetz’s CRT question, Mark Milley is an erudite and well-read man. I was appalled when he joined the Kaiser of Chaos on his bible waving jaunt but pleased when he apologized. It takes a big man to take responsibility for their mistakes. Something Donald Trump has never done in his Lilliputian life.
… the general’s worries grew rapidly as the president plunged the nation into chaos following Election Day. Seven days later, Milley got a call from “an old friend” with an explicit warning that Trump and his allies were trying to “overturn the government.” Milley was confident that any attempts by Trump to hold on to power would be thwarted, because the military wouldn’t go along. “They may try, but they’re not going to fucking succeed,” he told aides. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with guns.”
That is, of course, the classic definition of a coup. A definition I agree with. What happened on 1/6/2021 was a riotous insurrection. Whatever word you use, it was some serious shit that should never be forgotten.
I long ago discarded Godwin’s Law in discussing Trumpism. So too did General Milley.
…Milley was disturbed by the sight of Trump supporters rallying to his cause in November, calling them “Brownshirts in the streets.” Leonnig and Rucker wrote that Milley “believed Trump was stoking unrest, possibly in hopes of an excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act and call out the military.” The general likened the U.S. to Germany’s fragile Weimar Republic in the early 1930s. “This is a Reichstag moment,” he said, referring to the arson attack on Germany’s Parliament that Hitler used as a pretext to assume absolute power and destroy democracy.
And that was before the Dipshit Insurrection. The aftermath of 1/6 is where the Reichstag Fire analogy works best. They’re trying to whitewash the event and pretend that, in Trump’s recent phrase, “it was a love fest.” Oy just oy.
This was Milley’s reaction to the crowd watching Trump’s 1/6 screed:
“These guys are Nazis, they’re boogaloo boys, they’re Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II.”
I’ve said the same thing myself: my uncle died fighting Fascism. The shame of the thing and its follow-up are staggering. Of course, former President* Pennywise’s picture is in the dictionary next to shameless.
There’s been a controversy as to whether General Milley should have done more to counter Trump. I understand those who think he should have, at the very least, testified at the second impeachment trial or spoken out publicly. It’s a close call, but I think it’s more important to preserve the principle of civilian control of the military.
If Milley had spoken out, he would have had to resign. I’m glad a General who understood that Trump was “preaching the gospel of the Fuhrer” was in place. Unlike Trump, Milley has heard of the Nuremberg Principles and would have refused to obey illegal orders to involve the military in a coup.
As a young man. I heard stories from my Greek relatives of tanks rolling through the streets of Athens in 1967. Thanks to General Milley, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and other senior military commanders, it didn’t happen here. It was, however, a close call.
I chose a punny title for this post because Mark Milley was indeed run through the mill by the Trump regime. I’m glad someone who knows history and understands the nature of Fascism had a seat at the table during the bleak final days of the Trump administration. Besides, what’s not to love about a guy who told Stephen Miller to “shut the fuck up” during the BLM protest season?
The last word is inspired by a punny title I discarded, Walk A Milley In My Shoes. That’s why it goes to an unlikely trio: Joe South, Bryan Ferry, and Billy Eckstein.
Some things never change. Republicans have long identified enemies, then raised money by attacking them. For many years, Ted Kennedy was the GOP’s main boogieman even after his presidential hopes ended. They raised hell and buckets of bucks off the Clintons, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi. Now the Trumpiest Trumper of them all, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is continuing this odious tradition with an unlikely target: Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Say What? You heard that right. Team DeSantis is selling tacky anti-Fauci: merch.
NEW TODAY: Our team just dropped EXCLUSIVE merchandise on our brand-new @WINRED storefront.
Freedom, man. A friend has suggested I slap that on a t-shirt or koozie and sell it on Etsy or Red Bubble, but too many people would take it literally instead of ironically. (The first time I heard about Etsy, the name made me chortle. Etsi-ketsi is Greek for so-so. So-so it goes.)
The Impeached Insult Comedian was the one who started the hate campaign against one of the world’s most eminent scientists. What Trump does, Ron DeSantis immediately imitates.
DeSantis avoided statewide mask requirements even as leaders across the political spectrum embraced them amid growing evidence of their effectiveness. This spring, he suspended all virus-based local rules for businesses and individuals.
The governor has encouraged people to get vaccinated but also banned businesses from requiring proof of vaccination, arguing that such measures are a form of discrimination against people who refuse vaccines for medical or religious reasons. He also successfully sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep it from enforcing its coronavirus rules on cruise ships in Florida, a major part of the state’s tourism industry.
DeSantis is bragging about Florida’s “freedom based” economy while ignoring the latest explosion of COVID in his state. Freedom, man.
In recent days I spoke with a half dozen GOP insiders about the recent flare-ups between DeSantis’s and Trump’s camps. The sources agreed that DeSantis and Trump are on an inevitable collision course as the 2024 GOP field takes shape. “There’s going to be a blowup,” a prominent Republican said. “Trump fucking hates DeSantis. He just resents his popularity,” a Trump confidant told me. Asked for comment, Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington said: “Governor DeSantis has shown great respect.”
Part of Trump’s irritation with DeSantis is that Trump famously claims credit for anyone in his orbit who gains attention. “Trump tells people, ‘I made Ron,’” the prominent Republican said. “Trump says that about a lot of people. But in this case it’s actually true.” According to sources, then congressman DeSantis cultivated Trump’s support during the 2018 gubernatorial primary by hanging out at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel. “Ron basically ran his primary campaign out of the hotel. He buttonholed Trump supporters and his friends,” the prominent Republican said.
I look forward to a collision between Dr. Evil and his Mini-Me. It will be entertaining as well as destructive to the Republican party. Game Of Thrones ended badly, hopefully Trump-DeSantis will too. Stay tuned.
Back to Tony Fauci. He’s a tough old bird who can take a punch. He’s from Brooklyn before it became Hipster Central. In Fauci’s day, it was a tough working class enclave. Dr. Fauci has been vilified before; by AIDS activists in the 1980’s. He was able to win them over with a combination of charm and substance, but they were good people who wanted to stop a deadly disease. Ron DeSantis is a bad person who has allowed a deadly disease to spread to further his political ambition.