Category Archives: Fog Of Scandal

Shitty People Piss Me Off

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are small and petty people. They treat everyone like servants, even people who are paid to take a bullet for them:

Many U.S. Secret Service agents have stood guard in Washington’s elite Kalorama neighborhood, home over the years to Cabinet secretaries and former presidents. Those agents have had to worry about death threats, secure perimeters and suspicious strangers. But with the arrival of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, they had a new worry: finding a toilet.

Instructed not to use any of the half-dozen bathrooms inside the couple’s house, the Secret Service detail assigned to President Trump’s daughter and son-in-law spent months searching for a reliable restroom to use on the job, according to neighbors and law enforcement officials. After resorting to a porta-potty, as well as bathrooms at the nearby home of former president Barack Obama and the not-so-nearby residence of Vice President Pence, the agents finally found a toilet to call their own.
But it came at a cost to U.S. taxpayers. Since September 2017, the federal government has been spending $3,000 a month — more than $100,000 to date —to rent a basement studio, with a bathroom, from a neighbor of the Kushner family.

That’s right, we’ve gone from Watergate to Kremlingate to Terletgate. Holy shitty use of taxpayer dollars, Batman.

I already knew that Jared and Ivanka were four-flushers. It turns out that they’re six-flushers.

It’s time for the obligatory quote from Scott Fitzgerald:

Given the scatological title, I thought I should class the joint up with a literary quote. Additionally, Jared and Ivanka remind me of careless rich people Tom and Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby.

The small things matter in life. I was raised to judge people by how they treat the “little people” such as janitors, maids, laborers, trash collectors, and the like. I recall my mom saying, “People who do the dirty jobs deserve respect.”

You know who deserves no respect whatsoever? Snobs like Kushner and Trump. It’s going to be hard for them to wash the stink of the Trump regime off themselves no matter how much money they have. And there’s one thing they can’t buy, class.

As a New Orleanian, this strikes close to home. During Carnival, bathroom access is imperative. Since we live near the parade route, we’ve allowed strangers to pee in our terlet on many occasions.

This level of tackiness really irks me, especially coming from people who have enabled a criminal president* who their apologists claimed they moderated. They may face criminal charges themselves. It couldn’t happen to a nicer couple.

I’ve written and thought very little about the couple the tabloids call Javanka. Their reputations have gone from shiny to shitty in four years. Their comeuppance is coming.

Javanka will forever be associated with the Dipshit Insurrection and rioters such as Camp Auschwitz Guy, Zip-tie Guy, and Confederate Flag Guy. Now that I think of it, their comeuppance is here.

The last word goes to Benny Grunch & The Bunch:

The Disloyal Opposition

My late father was a conservative Republican. He was neither a crazy conservative nor “severely conservative” in Willard Mittbot Romney’s memorable formulation. He was a classic business conservative who hated red tape, supported a strong defense, disliked Communism, but also favored Social Security and Medicare. His father came to America alone at the age of 13. My namesake wanted to pull himself up by his bootstraps, so he joined what he thought of as the businessman’s party, the GOP.

Lou and I had many political arguments, but they were usually conducted with genuine civility (I’ll talk about phony civility later) and humor. In short, my father taught me how to argue. I remain grateful that he taught me how to disagree without being disagreeable.

I still lived at home for part of the Carter administration and his opening gambit for many political arguments was, “Your boy Carter did” XY or Z. After reminding him that Vice President Mondale was my boy, not his boss, we were off. In 1980, he supported Poppy Bush in the primaries, but wound up voting for Reagan twice saying that he’d “filed down the sharp edges” as president. I politely but firmly disagreed.

I put my father’s lessons to work many times over the years. I had a string of conservative friends with whom I loved to argue. As far as I was concerned, I usually won the arguments and I suspect they felt likewise. I learned a lot from the smarter ones. That’s right, there used to be many intelligent conservatives, which, even for me, is hard to believe after witnessing yesterday’s impeachment debate.

American politics has gotten ruder and cruder in the last 40 years but it’s not a new phenomenon. Regardless of Kevin McCarthy’s bizarre interpretation of the “civil” 1800 election, Adams skipped the inauguration and he and Jefferson hated one another for the next 20 years. We lived through the War of the Rebellion, McCarthyism, and the excesses of the war on terror. Critics called FDR a “traitor to his class” and implied that he was a Jewish communist. Of course, he was neither. He thought the whole Franklin D. Rosenfeld thing was hilarious.

The turning point in the modern civility wars was the election of Newt Gingrich to Congress. He was a bomb thrower who brought New Left tactics to the New Right. He was out of office by 2010 but the Tea Party wave election perfected the rise of the rude. Overt racism slowly but surely replaced the dog whistle culminating in the whole birther mishigas. Yesterday, Gym Jordan and his ilk accused Democrats of “hating President* Trump” but the cycle of hatred intensified with their racist attacks on President Obama.

I miss genuine civility but phony or forced civility is for the birds. 21st Century phony civility typically involves Republican demands that “the left” bow down and be nice to them. It’s never reciprocal. Genuine civility involves reciprocity: the relationships between John McCain and Joe Biden and John Kerry involved genuine civility, not the ersatz kind. Genuine political civility seems to have been interred with Senator McCain.

It’s time at long last to get to the post title. When I was growing up, we heard a lot about the Loyal Opposition. It was premised on the notion that the things Americans have in common are more important than our differences. It was a concept often honored in the breach, but it was important. It was like the way I discussed politics with my father, respectful disagreement without questioning the other side’s patriotism.

Respectful disagreement is out of fashion. It’s made impossible by the lunacy of the current Republican party and their dear leader, President* Pennywise. Yesterday, House Republicans gave lip service to the idea of unity without practicing it. Unity like genuine civility requires reciprocity. The extremism of Congressional Republicans makes that impossible.

As the Biden administration comes to power it’s clear that, to begin with, Republicans will be the Disloyal Opposition. It took a riot for many of them to admit that the Kaiser of Chaos lost the election.

The GOP not only nominated and elected a malignant narcissist, they’ve allowed right-wing extremists to infiltrate their party. The GOP is no longer a conservative party, it’s a far-right radical party. Genuine conservatives seem to be outnumbered by the wingnuts or they’re too afraid to stand up for their beliefs. That means their beliefs are meaningless. Genuine conservatives would have voted to impeach.

The Disloyal Opposition has been active since the election. There are now QAnon types in the House. They call themselves libertarians but they’re really anarchists. That’s why they refuse to go through metal detectors and insist on arming themselves. This sort of thinking led to the Dipshit Insurrection. Freedom, man.

There are credible charges from New Jersey Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill that some of her more extreme colleagues allowed insurrectionists to conduct what amounts to reconnaissance of the Capitol on January, 5. Group tours were once common, but they’ve been tightly restricted during the pandemic. The only way groups can tour the Capitol now is with the permission of a member and must be accompanied by a member or staffer.

I should have called her Lt. Commander/Representative Sherrill. She served in the Navy as a helicopter pilot. She’s a serious person who observed some serious shit. To prove her seriousness, she isn’t naming names publicly until she’s certain which members are complicit in the rioter’s reconnaissance of a building that’s a labyrinth. Even members sometimes get lost. The insurrectionists knew where they were going. That’s why I call House Republicans the Disloyal Opposition.

Several names have been floated but I’ll only mention one, Rep Paul Gosar of Arizona. That’s because his estranged siblings believe that he was involved in the planning of the Dipshit Insurrection.

The brother of Arizona Representative Paul Gosar (R) said he believes the congressman committed treason for his role in last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol. Five people were killed, including a U.S. Capitol police officer.

“What he’s done personally is commit treason I think,” David Gosar told ABC15. “He has blood on his hands for those people dying in there.”

David Gosar and other members of the Gosar family are lobbying members of Congress for an investigation. They’re demanding an investigation to find out what role Representative Gosar played in organizing and promoting the mob scene at the Capitol.

Ali “Alexander” Akbar, the man who says he is responsible for organizing the Stop the Steal Rally, claims Gosar and Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs (R) were among those who helped with the planning. Biggs denies involvement.

“With his participation in the rally ahead of time, the lies he spread down there about the election, his meeting with Trump, he’s as instrumental as a member of Congress with what happened at that capitol,” David Gosar said from Wyoming where he is a practicing attorney.

If that’s not disloyal, I don’t know what is.

I’m not talking about loyalty to party or president. I’m talking about loyalty to the constitution and to our democracy. The peaceful transfer of power has been pushed to the limit in the past, but it’s always happened. Thanks to the Impeached Insult Comedian and his followers that’s no longer true.

The transfer of power will happen but there remains a chance of violence. The good news is that the federal government is prepared to meet the challenge with overwhelming force. The bad news is that it’s necessary because of the Disloyal Opposition.

The last word goes to Kiwi rock music demigod Dave Dobbyn:

The Impeached Impeached Insult Comedian

Image by Michael F.

I swore not to use the Impeached squared nickname, but the Insult Comedian was my first nickname for Trump, so I wanted to use IIIC in the post title. Holy long sentence, Batman. For the rest of this post I will call him President* Pennywise per the featured image.

10 Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach. Thanks to all of them for finally standing up for the country and the constitution they swore an oath to uphold.

Time for some random and scattershot observations in lieu of coherent instant analysis. Listening to GOPers whining is hard, man.

Gym Jordan wore a mask and his suit jacket. I didn’t know he had any of either. He, of course, lied relentlessly and spoke out of both sides of his mouth. So much for being a conviction politician. The mask muffled his rants so he wasn’t as loud as usual.

House Republicans admitted that Biden won the election and will be inaugurated in one week. Thanks for nothing, dipshits.

House Republicans should be glad that the speech and debate clause protects them for being charged with perjury. There was a whole lotta lyin’ goin’ on.

It was sickening to be told by people who have never criticized Trump for his divisive rhetoric that it’s time to unite. In between inciting a riot, Louis Gohmert Plies had the nerve to issue such an appeal.

I have an appeal to make. I am admirer of Abraham Lincoln. He was the best writer to ever serve as president. But he’s not the only quotable president. GOPers should try Reagan or even TR, he wouldn’t recognize today’s GOP, but he was a Republican until he wasn’t. Democrats, quote JFK, FDR or HST. Both sides quote Lincoln obsessively. Enough, I beg you, enough.

I’m not a big fan of Steny Hoyer but his closing was pretty darn good, especially how he quoted Liz Cheney. Have you ever noticed that she looks like Dick with hair?

Speaking of other members of the House Republican leadership, both McCarthy and Scalise gave tepid speeches. Like the Turtle they’re keeping their options open.

McCarthy was one of the few GOPers to admit that Trump made major mistakes during the Twelfth Night White Riot. He’s willing to censure but not impeach President* Pennywise. Trump would wipe his ass with a censure letter.

I’m tired and hungry from watching the House all day so I’ll close here.

More later or in the morning.

Lightning Strikes Again

The day before the Dipshit Insurrection I wrote a post called The Strangest Bedfellow Of All. It was about the op-ed written by the ten living former secretaries of defense reaffirming the non-political nature of our military. The bedfellow in question was Dick Cheney who initiated the piece. It was the first time I’ve ever agreed with the former Veep. I never expected to praise him, but the world is almost as crazy as President* Pennywise.

Lightning has struck again. Yesterday, Rep. Liz Cheney, who is a member of the House Republican leadership as well as Dick Cheney’s kid, announced that she would vote to impeach the Impeached Insult Comedian. This is, of course, a big fucking deal and gives a green light to right-wingers that’s it okay to abandon ship. Trump has repeatedly betrayed them and the constitution. It’s time for them to return the favor.

Unlike the McConnell leak that he now looks favorably on impeachment for political reasons, Cheney is taking a stand on principle. As with her old man, I never expected to praise her but her statement makes a unequivocal case for why Trump must be impeached in the waning days of his misrule:

“On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic.

I will vote to impeach the President.”

That’s not only unequivocal, it’s eloquent.

In other lightning strikes again news, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have issued a statement reaffirming their support for democracy, the rule of law, and the constitution. Well done, gentleman. Thank you for your service.

The last word goes to Lou Christie and Yes:

 

Quote Of The Day: Pence Follow-Up

I must admit to being proud of yesterday’s Mike Pence Is Made Of Calmer Stuff post. According to Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, and Annie Karni of the NYT, Pence *was* angered by Trump throwing him under the proverbial bus. But in true passive-aggressive style, he vented to others, not President* Pennywise. Mike Pence is a world class tongue biter.

The NYT’s take on the Pence-Trump dust-up is different than that of the WaPo. They obviously had different sources. One thing they agree on is that Pence viewed his role in the administration* as calming down the Kaiser of Chaos and shielding staff from his wrath. Once again, Mike Pence is made of calmer stuff.

You’re probably wondering where the quote of the day is. Here we go:

Mr. Trump was enraged that Mr. Pence was refusing to try to overturn the election. In a series of meetings, the president had pressed relentlessly, alternately cajoling and browbeating him. Finally, just before Mr. Pence headed to the Capitol to oversee the electoral vote count last Wednesday, Mr. Trump called the vice president’s residence to push one last time.

“You can either go down in history as a patriot,” Mr. Trump told him, according to two people briefed on the conversation, “or you can go down in history as a pussy.”

This quote is an exhibit in my ongoing case that irony isn’t dead. It works both ways. After years of being a pussy, Mike Pence finally stood up to his boss and will go down in history as a patriot for a day.

Repeat after me: Mike Pence is made of calmer stuff. During the Twelfth Night White Riot aka the Dipshit Insurrection it paid off.

Mike Pence Is Made Of Calmer Stuff

I haven’t spent much time pondering what makes Mike Pence tick. He’s so stoical, pious, and low-key that it’s hard for someone like me to find someone like him interesting. But I’m a writer and I’m interested in why people do the things they do. Additionally, there’s a fascinating piece in today’s WaPo about the collapse of his relationship with President* Pennywise. That’s why I have Mike Pence on my mind right now.

It’s not just buck-naked ambition with Mike Pence as it is with Ted Cruz. There’s a cultivated blandness there that has always made me uneasy. Pence is the kid in your class who tattles on his classmates and sucks up to the grownups. He was probably middle-aged at heart when the rest of us were having food fights and making crank calls. Mike Pence has never made a crank call in his life. He wouldn’t even know why this is funny:

Mike Pence is *always* understated hence his underreaction to the fly on his head at the Veep debate. The Veep has taken understatement to a whole new level in the aftermath of the Dipshit Insurrection. The mob was chanting “Kill Mike Pence” as they burst into the Capitol. A normal human being would pop their cork, lose their shit, or otherwise display emotion. Not Mike Pence, he’s made of calmer stuff.

A normal human being would have marched to the White House after the riot, demanded to see President* Pennywise, and screamed at him: “You told rioters to come after me, you twisted son of a bitch.” Not Mike Pence, he’s made of calmer stuff.

My father was obsessed with people’s national origins in a non-bigoted way. He was a proud Greek American and thought everyone else should be equally proud of their own ethnicity. This background led me to ponder Pence’s origins, he seems to be 3/4 Irish and 1/4 German. Even using the broadest ethnic stereotyping that explains nothing. Germans are allegedly calm but the Irish-at least on St. Patrick’s Day and in John Ford movies-are excitable. In theory, Mike Pence should only be 1/4 calm. Nobody would select this as Pence’s personal theme song:

Then I pondered his region of origin. He’s a Midwesterner and they’re prone to laconic low-keyness. Is that a word? If not, it should be.

In theory, his Hoosier roots should make him a calm basketball fan, but that doesn’t explain his eerie underreaction to the dipshit lynch mob that howled his name at the Twelfth Night White Riot. Hoosier hoops fans yell at the refs when they blow a call. Not Mike Pence. He worships authority even when it’s personified by an Impeached Insult Comedian with a dead nutria pelt atop his head. Why? Mike Pence is made of calmer stuff.

Next, I sought an explanation in his religiosity. Mike Pence is an evangelical Christian, but they’re prone to snake handling, speaking in tongues, and religious ecstasy. Mike Pence has never been ecstatic in his life. Mike Pence is made of calmer stuff.

If Mike Pence were a normal person, he would have run out of patience with the Kaiser of Chaos last week. We know Pence make some decisions that prevented Trump from issuing orders to the military, which is a good thing. What’s vexing is his refusal to assist in removing Trump from office via the 25th Amendment or urging him to resign. It can’t just be political calculation. Deep down, Mike Pence must know that sycophantic Veeps are rarely elected president or even nominated by their party. Just ask J. Danforth Quayle. He knows.

Most of us would have felt righteous indignation after a run-in with a feral Trumper mob. Not Mike Pence, he’s made of calmer stuff.

As you can see, I spent too much time yesterday pondering what makes Mike Pence tick. I am at a loss. I have a hard time understanding people with no sense of humor. Mike Pence wouldn’t know a joke if it punched him in the balls. Of course, his balls are held hostage by President* Pennywise and kept in an undisclosed location.

In the end, the only explanation I could up with is the one I started with: Mike Pence is made of calmer stuff.

The last word goes to Cyndi Lauper who is not a calm Midwestern evangelical Christian. Instead, she’s a girl who just wants to have fun. Mike Pence is not into fun. He’s made of calmer stuff:

 

Disbar Hawley & Cruz

Josh Hawley’s pasty white fist is one of the indelible images of the Dipshit Insurrection. I’ve promoted it from uprising to insurrection since hearing reports of how violent it was. Heckuva job, Hawley.

There’s much discussion about how to punish the ringleaders of the attempted electoral college negation: Senators Hawley and Cruz who doubled down on their assholery after the sack of the Capitol. I suggested that the senate censure them yesterday since the chances of an expulsion are slim and none and slim is hiding out with the dipshit rebels.

A friend sent me a link to a petition that is circulating in legal circles urging me to urge my lawyer friends to sign it. It has a delightful name: Petition To Disbar Senators Hawley and Cruz:

In leading the efforts to undermine the peaceful transition of power after a free and fair election, Senators Hawley and Cruz attacked the foundations of our democracy. Nearly 160 million Americans exercised their right to vote in the November 2020 election. Dozens of courts rejected unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, and the Electoral College formally ratified President-elect Biden’s victory on December 14, 2020. Despite these clear expressions of the will of the people—and with full knowledge of the implications of their actions—Senators Hawley and Cruz publicly announced their intentions to object to Congress’s certification of the Electoral College’s votes set for January 6, 2021.

In doing so, Senators Hawley and Cruz directly incited the January 6th insurrection, repeating dangerous and unsubstantiated statements regarding the election and abetting the lawless behavior of President Trump. A violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol. Five people have died. The nation and the world watched as rioters took over the very halls and chambers that embody our democracy. Yet after the violence and terror of the day’s events, Senators Hawley and Cruz still chose to stand in the chamber of the U.S. Senate and persist in their baseless objections to the will of the people.

I originally didn’t plan to sign it as I’m on the Louisiana Bar Association’s inactive list but decided to go for it after disclosing my current status. I’ll let the folks behind the drive decide how to handle it.

Any lawyers reading this should sign even you’re not admitted in Missouri, Texas, or the District of Columbia. This hits Hawley and Tailgunner Ted where they live. Both are fond of bragging about their Ivy League legal bona fides. Yale or Harvard cannot rescind their law degrees, but this would be a kick in the ego for both men.

Try as they might they cannot wash off the insurrection stink.

Censure The Dirty Octet

I’m calling them the Dirty Octet because I called the original group The Dirty Dozen as a sort of homage to my countrymen who were in that great action movie:  John Cassavetes and Maybe Cousin Telly Savalas. It’s easy to imagine Telly’s character, Archer Maggot, as one of the dipshit seditionists who stormed the Capitol on Twelfth Night.

That’s right I used the S word: Sedition, which requires action or force. That happened with the Twelfth Night White Riot. Mercifully, many of the dipshit rioters bragged about their exploits on social media, so there were a wave of arrests this weekend. If it were a movie it could be called, The Deep State Strikes Back.

The speakers at the Trump rally including the Impeached Insult Comedian could arguably be charged with inciting a seditious riot, but that’s unlikely to apply to members of Congress who did not speak at the rally. Voting for a challenge to electoral college results is inadvisable, but it *is* authorized by law. Besides, Democrats filed electoral college challenges in 2000, 2004, and 2016. I don’t think of Barbara Boxer and Maxine Waters as seditionists and neither should anyone else.

Expulsion is highly unlikely, but there *is* a sanction available to punish those members who voted to overturn results AFTER the riot: CENSURE. It’s much stronger than it sounds. I realize it’s hard to shame the shameless but censure would put them in the company of Joe McCarthy who is currently rotting in hell. I suspect Tailgunner Joe’s hell is booze and camera-free.

It was surprising that Ron Johnson and Kelly Loeffler did not vote to overturn the results. Johnson is one of the stupidest members of the senate and Loeffler ran a shameless, mendacious, and conspiracy riddled campaign, but they declined to join the Dirty Octet after having been members of the Dirty Dozen. Please listen for the sound of one hand clapping…

Speaking of the shameless and the stupid: John Neely Kennedy is officially more shameless than Loefller and Tuberville is stupider than Johnson. I once thought that Ron Johnson’s status as the stupidest senator was unassailable. Tuberville done trumped him. Tommy Tuberville replacing Doug Jones is as big a downgrade as Ron Johnson replacing Russ Feingold. Oy just oy.

The notion of censure applies to the 138 House GOPers who voted with the Dirty Octet. If the House GOP had any sense, Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise would lose their leaderships roles. Unfortunately, House Republicans are insensate.

I just dropped by to vent. The Saints are playing da Bears in a playoff game later today at the Superdome, so it’s time to turn my attention to more pleasant matters.

Guest Post: The Dead Fish Problem

I’m Greek and believe in cronyism and nepotism if the person is talented. My old friend Shapiro is a talented writer. He has requested that I only use his last name. Request granted. Just don’t call me Chief.

I hung out with Shapiro a lot when we both lived in San Francisco. We went to many ballgames at Candlestick Park together. The ballpark sucked, but the company was excellent.

We were known to heckle opposing players. I’ll never forget the time we went after Pittsburgh Pirates 2B Rennie Stennett. Our group was merciless. Oddly enough, Stennett signed with the Giants the next season and was an expensive flop. That concludes this episode of when I was young and obnoxious theatre. It wasn’t very theatrical, was it?

-Adrastos

The Dead Fish Problem by Shapiro

Hear me out about this.

I don’t claim to be a lawyer (much to my parents’ dismay) or a political operative or a public relations wizard (that position is held by my younger son). I am wrong about political maneuvers I see in the media as often as I am right which probably means I should go into the political operative business because that gives me a higher batting average than many of them.

But I digress.

My point is I am not a pro when it comes to political posturing. But I am a pro when it comes to knowing how to rid yourself of a dead fish.

Dead fish smell. They smell bad. Go ahead, smell one for yourself and see. Told you so. Problem is you can’t just throw a dead fish out. Doing that just stinks up the garbage pail in your kitchen, then the garbage can in the side yard, and if you live in an area that outdoor critters are known to prowl the smell of the dead fish will encourage said critters to tip over your garbage cans in attempts to retrieve what it considers to be a tasty treat and you’re left with your neighbor Fred’s icy stares for being such a slob.

So you must be careful in the disposal of a dead fish. You have to wrap it in plastic to segment it from the rest of the trash, then you have to acknowledge there is a dead fish in the garbage (“Hey Fred sorry about the smell from the dead fish in my garbage”) even if the smell can’t be detected. You have to tightly secure the lid to the garbage can, so no roving band of raccoons get wind of the deliciousness awaiting them inside. Once the garbage company comes and hauls it away no one need think about it again.

Which brings us to the Republican Party and the dead fish that is Donald J. Trump.

Up until January 6, 2021 the Republican Party fully embraced Donald Trump. That embrace covered a wide gauntlet from full on “the election was rigged and unfair” to “we need to investigate possible irregularities in the voting” to “the election was fair, and he lost”, but they embraced him. Why not? He might have lost, but he got the second highest number of votes for president in the history of the country. That’s not a number to sneeze at. That’s a number a Republican challenger in 2024 would like to emulate. Add in the “hold my nose and vote for Biden because Trump is cray-cray” Republicans who you want to return and that’s a winning combination. Embracing him makes full political sense. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley know that and that’s why they are at one end of the embracement scale while Mitt Romney is at the other. The little procedural BS they were going to engage in over the certification of the electoral college was all just so much talk to be able to chop up into fund raising media, a little red meat to throw to the fanatics.

Instead on January 6, 2021 that scale got thrown to the wolverines. Embrace Donald Trump? The man who incited a mob to march on the capitol, break through the doors, desecrate the chambers, and end up with one shot dead before they were pushed out? The man who set up a watch party in a tent on the White House lawn and let his son live cast a few minutes of him cheering on the mob via TV? The man who, when finally forced to attempt to calm the mob down, did so on YouTube instead of network TV even though cell service and Wi-Fi had been cut off to the capital and it’s surrounding area so none of the mob could see it? Who in that message said he loved them and just wanted them to be safe?

For those of you impatiently waiting for Trump’s Lonesome Rhodes comeuppance moment this was it.

Republican senators who had said they would sign on to the notion of a challenge to the electoral vote count began to drop. What once was 15 ended up at 4 (4 others changed votes after the measure was defeated). In the House, the numbers didn’t drop as dramatically, but they did drop. Suddenly congressmen who were afraid to speak against Trump for fear of being primaried in 2022 now had to worry about being primaried for not coming out hard enough against the main instigator of the mob. They were worried that the stink of Trump, like a dead fish, would cling to them long after the carcass had been thrown away.

In the spirit of bringing America together, allow me to offer a suggestion for the Republican Party.

While it’s tempting to just dump Trump in the garbage can, that would not solve your problem. I understand your need to walk a balance beam more agilely than an Olympic gymnast. You don’t want to piss off his supporters who, for the moment and with nowhere else to go, vote for you. But you also need to signal to the vast majority of Republicans, the people who didn’t storm Capitol Hill, and the independents who truly are the difference makers in elections, that you won’t stand for mob rule no matter what the mob was for.  If you urge the VP and the cabinet to invoke the 25th you’re pretty much admitting Trump was crazy from the beginning with the inference being that you enabled him which you did but we’re trying to work on solutions here. If you work for impeachment that just reminds voters, you had your chance a year ago to be rid of him and didn’t take it. Get him to resign? Fat chance he’d do that unless you can guarantee him a billion in gold, a plane to Moscow, and the promise to not try and extradite him back. Whatever you do, his stink will be in your Dolce & Gabbana outlet store suits for years to come.

Unless.

Crazy times call for crazy stunts. You know all that talk about working together to do what’s in the best interests of the country? How about you try it. I know it goes against everything you stand for McConnell, but right now the American people want to see something done. They watched on their TVs as a group of wild-eyed radicals, egged on by a defeated election loser, attack the very bastion of our democracy. That’s crap that happens elsewhere, not here in the good old US of A. They’re scared and anxious about what’s going to happen in the next two weeks. And when parents are scared and anxious their kids get scared and anxious and that’s one thing parents don’t forget easily, especially when it comes time to put that x next to a name on a ballot.

It would be so easy for you to do it. “Hey, you know what, we got conned. We thought he’d be a breath of fresh air, coming in and draining the swamp, but it turns out he’s nothing but a game show carny and we’re glad to see him go”.  Let his most vociferous champions throw their crap at you like apes in a cage, it won’t matter because they themselves will no longer matter. Their fifteen minutes are up. The funniest part of this is that of all things he was the one who handed you the perfect “we’re all gonna work together” issue — $2000 stimulus checks. Send everybody that check and then go one better. We know Biden’s coming in with a national mask mandate. Declare the pandemic to have jumped the fire line, desperate measures need to be taken, masks for all. This isn’t taking away your freedom, it’s giving you a fighting chance against a microscopic killer until everyone gets the vaccine.  If Trump says anything Republicans could turn this into the political equivalent of “new phone, who dis?”

You will have carefully wrapped him, his family, his Proud Boys, all up in plastic, carefully place them in the garbage, made sure all your neighbors know to be aware of the potential stink, secured the lid, and sent him to the garbage heap of history. Hell you might even get some Democrats to vote for you next time.

(To Democrats, that last line was just a tease to Republican leadership, a trail of Reese’s Pieces to coax them out into the world of reality.)

Shapiro Out.

Exodus, Movement Of Jah Trumpers

About the punny title, I’m doing my best to find humor in the dark and desperate ending of the Trump regime. Ridicule remains the best weapon against Trumpism and the sinister forces it has unleashed.

The Kaiser of Chaos is hunkered in his de facto bunker after the Dipshit Uprising blew up in his face. It’s like a Downfall video on a continuous loop. It’s making a loopy president* even loopier. His belated denunciation of the white riot and admission that he’s a loser is too little too late. He can go fuck himself.

The rats are fleeing the sinking ship in great numbers. I’m not going to list them all, but I know who the Pied Piper of Trumpistan is: White House counsel Pat Cipollone. He has been warning staffers to steer clear of President* Pennywise after he incited the Twelfth Night white riot:

As the violent mob incited by President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, some West Wing staffers panicked that they were possibly becoming participants in a coup to overthrow the government. “What do I do? Resign?” one nervous White House staffer asked a friend on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after news broke that a woman had been shot and killed inside the Capitol. The West Wing staffer told the friend that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone was urging White House officials not to speak to Trump or enable his coup attempt in any way, so they could reduce the chance they could be prosecuted for treason under the Sedition Act. “They’re being told to stay away from Trump,” the friend said. The White House declined to comment.

This is some serious shit. I’m still calling it a failed autogolpe, but they’ve moved from words to deeds, which means it’s gone beyond sycophancy to the realm of sedition.

Mild kudos to the staff members who decided to exit the White House before the lifeboats hit the water. Since Team Trump is in charge, they’re likely to have holes in them. They’ve never been able to do anything right and it’s only gotten worse.

I have nothing but contempt for the cabinet secretaries who are fleeing the scene of the crime. They don’t want their fingerprints on any 25th Amendment activity. Elaine Chao, Betsy DeVos, and their ilk are cowards running away from the mess that they’ve enabled for four years. They can go fuck themselves.

Mike Pompeo and Steve Mnuchin’s minions leaked a story about the possible removal of the unhinged president* to CNBC. The gist of the story is that they think it’s TOO HARD and time consuming to do. I call bullshit. The only time the 25th Amendment has ever been invoked was on The West Wing, so we have no idea how much time it would take. Pompeo has presidential ambitions and doesn’t want to alienate hardcore Trumpers. As to Mnuchin, he’s a worm. Make that a slug leaving a track of slime wherever he crawls.

I’m glad that Speaker Pelosi and leader Schumer are calling for President* Pennywise’s removal from office before January 20th. He’s done enough damage. It’s time for him to go.

The first time I saw Bob Marley and the Wailers perform Exodus was on Saturday Night Live. I was mesmerized by the groove and the politically charged lyrics. I still am. That performance is not online so this version from London’s Rainbow Theatre will just have to do:

The Dipshit Uprising

The Trump regime began knee deep in Stupid Watergate, they’re going out after having incited the Dipshit Uprising thereby casting a pall over Twelfth Night and my first King Cake of the season. It harshed my Georgia, Georgia, Georgia buzz as well. It was, however, more memorable than the fakakata election challenge mishigas event that bookended the riot.

That’s right, riot. Make that white riot as the only people of color on the scene were members of congress, the media, and law enforcement. It was white privilege gone haywire as well as a massive security failure. It’s clear that if the rioters had been carrying BLM banners and posters instead of Trump flags they would have been repelled with force and hundreds would have been arrested, not 52. That’s right, only 52 were arrested as if it were an Advent calendar, not a riot. Make that white rioters staging a Dipshit Uprising.

Once they stormed the Capitol, the scene inside looked like Bourbon Street on New Year’s Day. All that was lacking were booze and school colors waved by Sugar Bowl attendees: Roll Tide; How About Dem Dogs. Instead, they were clad in MAGA red and camo green and brown.

The rioters milled about taking selfies, opening desks on the Senate floor, and otherwise occupying themselves as if they’d just fallen off the proverbial turnip truck. In the immortal words of Randy Newman, “They’re rednecks. Don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground.”

I was relieved that nobody relieved themselves as they ransacked offices. I halfway expected one of them to take a shit in Speaker Pelosi’s office. That would have given an entirely new meaning to the term news dump. Gross but true.

I used that scatological analogy because the whole day was disgusting and sickening. From the rioters to the president* and his sycophants who incited them it was a shitty day for America. It exposed the stupidity and short-sightedness of the Trumpers and their dear leader. Anyone with a lick of sense knows that the Kaiser of Chaos and his political henchmen are lying about electoral fraud. Of course, the participants in the Dipshit Uprising probably think that lick of sense is part of Ivanka’s fragrance line…

Where do we go from here? I may have derided the idea of an instant impeachment or last minute 25th Amendment invocation the other day, but after the white riot a legal way to remove President* Pennywise from office is imperative. Pence seems to have taken charge after his rupture with his boss, but an informal ouster isn’t good enough. Lawlessness should be combatted by the rule of law.

No one should praise Pence or Moscow Mitch for their realization that the Kaiser of Chaos is a monster. The headline of a thumbsucker by the WaPo’s Ashley Parker sums it up neatly:

Pence and McConnell defy Trump — after years of subservience

There’s a special place in hell for those who have enabled this evil fucker in his lies and crimes against the public good. The names of Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and all those who voted to challenge the Arizona results should never be forgotten including the Gret Stet contingent of Senator John Neely Kennedy and Congressmen Scalise, Higgins, and Johnson. They can all go fuck themselves.

It’s time for the MSM to stop calling the Trumpist wing of the GOP conservative. They’re not conservatives, they’re rightist radicals who have brought shame on themselves and their party. All to assuage the ego of a petulant and mentally ill criminal. They can all go fuck themselves.

The last word goes to Frank Zappa and the Mothers:

Another Perfect Phone Call

I listened to the latest perfect phone call. It’s an hour of my life I’ll never reclaim. Instead of filing it in a dead letter file where it belongs, I have a few thoughts about it and the entire fakakata election challenge mishigas. You know it’s bad when I go double Yiddish. Oy just oy.

Trump started out by throwing statistics at Raffi and his mouthpiece, Ryan. (Raffi & Ryan sounds like the title of a local kids show.) It’s a pity that none of them were true. My personal favorite was the idea that 5000 dead people voted. Raffi said it was two. Both voted for Trump.

While delusional on the facts, the Impeached Insult Comedian didn’t sound as crazy as he often does on the stump. The bloodthirsty crowds bring out his inner lunatic. Instead, it was a sales pitch. The hard sell. It didn’t work because Raffi and Ryan are unwilling to go to jail for Trump.

The latest perfect phone call may well violate state and federal law. I’ll leave the amateur/back seat lawyering to others. The recording was an exercise in evidence preservation by Raffi and Ryan. The WaPo was attacked for the 4-minute excerpt they originally posted, so they released the entire fakakta recording thereby robbing me of 62 minutes of my life.

As always, there was a lot of nonsense about the latest perfect call on social media. Some called Trump’s Georgia GOP adversaries heroic, which is almost as delusional as the Kaiser of Chaos himself.  Repeat after me: They do not want to go to jail for the mad king. Raffi and Brian Kemp are both associated with voter suppression efforts, but they’re licked and they know it.

The entire fakakata election challenge mishigas is an exercise in futility. Let me count the ways:

  •  It failed in the courts a grand total of 60 times. Some of the filings by Trump’s legal team were not even spellchecked. Judges hate typos.
  •  The congressional challenge is doomed to fail. It should be deplored and denounced but it should not be overdramatized. Repeat after me: It’s sycophancy, not sedition. Such a challenge is allowed by the constitution and an 1882 law, which makes it legal but unwise. It’s fueled by 2 guys who want to be president so badly that they misplaced their law degrees. Even fellow wingnut presidential aspirant Tom Cotton thinks this is a rotten idea. The bottom line is that they don’t have the votes to prevail.

My favorite post-phone call social media moments involved the folks who demanded President* Pennywise’s immediate removal or impeachment. Say what? The evil fucker will be gone in 16 days. There’s instant analysis and instant pudding but there’s no such thing as instant impeachment.

As to the 25th Amendment, that’s up to the executive branch. The chances that Trump’s cabinet of stooges will invoke it are slim and none. And slim just made an offer on a mansion in Florida to be close to the Kaiser of Chaos in exile.

I am constantly amazed by the endless references to the 25th Amendment. The emergency removal provisions were an afterthought, which is why they’re so hard to invoke, even harder than impeachment. The Amendment’s primary purpose was to prevent a vacancy in the vice presidency, which has happened 16 times totaling 38 years. 19th Century Veeps had a habit of dying in office: It happened 8 times. And John C. Calhoun resigned and went home to the Palmetto State.

The fakakata election challenge mishigas is doomed to fail. The Twelfth Night challenge does not have the votes. It’s a clear loser in the House and Senate Dems only need 3 Republican votes for it to fail there. It’s an outlier and a freak show just like the entire fakakta Trump presidency*. It should be treated with disdain and disgust. Instead, let’s focus on tomorrow’s Senate run-off in which the Democrats have a chance of winning both seats. Go Team Blue.

Since President* Pennywise is Georgia bound today, the last word goes to the Allman Brothers Band with a song that is not on Eat A Peach:

 

The Tabloid President*

Image by Michael F

I love using Michael F’s images but I’ve never used one so close in time to its debut. The tabloid baby image was born on Christmas Eve. It’s still in diapers so handle it with care.

The last week has shown yet again the Impeached Insult Comedian’s insatiable need to be the center of attention at all times. It’s the only explanation for his bizarre and belated intervention into the COVID relief bill. His treasury secretary was in the middle of the negotiations and was presumed to speak for the president*. Trump is a moody bastard, so he decided on a whim that the $600 check was not enough. I wish it was because he wanted to help people, but we know better. He wanted the attention.

That’s the key to Donald Trump: he wants the attention. That’s why he did The Apprentice. He wanted the attention and needed the money. It’s what happens when a millionaire lives la vita billionaire.  That stint on reality teevee gave him an image as a shrewd and savvy tycoon. It was, of course, phony but everything about him is phony except his incessant need for attention.

Calling him the reality show president* is accurate but everybody does it. I prefer to venture where fools fear to tread. That’s why I’m calling Trump the tabloid president*. He came to public attention in the 1980’s when there was a newspaper war in NYC between two tabloids who thrived on celebrity gossip: The Daily News and The Post. It was a perfect set-up for a guy who was willing to leak stories about himself to the media. It’s how a mouthy real estate developer with bad hair became a celebrity.

By the 2016 campaign, Trump was able to plant crazy stories about his GOP opponents in The National Enquirer. Who among us can forget these classics?

I never get tired of those covers.

Trump brought the tabloid mentality to national politics. All publicity is good publicity, especially if it brings you the attention that you crave. Trump’s tabloid mentality should have given him thick skin, but he craves attention’s first cousin: love. Denying people benefits is a funny way of receiving love but the Kaiser of Chaos is a funny little man.

Speaking of tabloids, Trump’s pals at the New York Post finally told him to knock it off and accept his defeat. Here’s the money quote:

“If you insist on spending your final days in office threatening to burn it all down, that will be how you are remembered. Not as a revolutionary, but as the anarchist holding the match.”

You say anarchist, I say arsonist. Let’s call the whole thing off. Literally, not figuratively.

The countdown continues:

 

All About Christmas Eve Pardons

Young crooks: Paul Manafort and Roger Stone.

A major wave of corrupt pardons by the crooked president* came last night on Christmas Eve Eve. There may be more to come on Christmas Eve itself. In All About Eve, Margot Channing warned us that we were in for “a bumpy night.” Who am I to argue with a Bette Davis character? Remember when Bette served Joan Crawford a rat in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? Those broads played rough…

It’s time for another Life Imitates The Sopranos moment. Santa Donald has spent the week bestowing gifts on the grifters who refused to rat him out. A reminder that playing St. Nick can be dangerous. The two Sopranos characters who played Santa at the Pork Store Christmas party were wacked: Big Pussy and Bobby Bacala. Not a happy precedent for Paulie and Roger.

I have New Jersey on my mind because of the pardon of Jared Kushner’s father, Charles. That sleazy real estate developer was successfully prosecuted by Chris Christie who used his fame as a portly prosecutor as a springboard to the Governorship. Slumlord Jared still nurses a grudge against former Gov. Asshole who must be fuming right now.

The Impeached Insult Comedian clearly thinks pardoning his Kremlingate cronies is a clever move. I wouldn’t be so sure of that, Donald.

Here’s what former Mueller man and Manafort prosecutor Andrew Weismann said about it on Twitter:

Who’s next? Steve Bannon knows where the early skeletons are buried. He’s one possibility as is Rudy and the odd Trump family member. A reminder that Trump will only pardon relatives if they have something on him. He won’t do it out of love or loyalty. He doesn’t know the meaning of either word. The only love he’s capable of is self-love

Speaking of Who’s Next, I think the Who album cover sums up the situation: Trump and his enablers are peeing on the national obelisk instead of leading. It’s not a good Bargain for the American people:

A quote from a recent Vanity Fair interview with former Trump fixer Michael Cohen comes to mind right now:

“Hand them a shit pie so gross they will choke on it.”

It’s what they given the country, after all. Turnabout strikes me as fair play.

Finally, a few thoughts for those folks who believe that a Trumpist coup is a possibility instead of a fever dream. A leader who is planning a golpe de estado to keep himself in office never leaves the capital. (When Gorbachev left Moscow in the summer of 1991, that’s when the Soviet dead enders struck.) Why did Trump go to Florida if he wants to declare martial law? There’s no plan. There’s never a plan with this guy.

One of the worst things about the Trump era is how conspiratorial thinking has spread across the political spectrum. I hope the trend dissipates after he’s gone, but some usually sensible people on the left have been spouting nonsense about pocket vetoes leading to what Latin Americans call an “auto-golpe.” That’s a coup intended to keep a leader in power. They know about coups in South America. Americans don’t know shit about coups, and it shows every time people mutter about them online and elsewhere. Leave the conspiracy theories to QAnon and Alex Jones, y’all. Please.

The last word goes to Southern Culture On The Skids with a countrypolitan classic whose full title is (I Beg Your Pardon) I Never Promised You A Rose Garden:

Rumor has it that shit pies make excellent fertilizer. I wouldn’t know first-hand: plants die if I so much as look at them.

Behind Barrs?

As a Watergate buff, I’m always pleased to have a pretext to go there. The Trump regime has given me plenty of opportunities. Bill Barr and John Mitchell will be linked in history as Attorneys General who disgraced the office. Mitchell, of course, went to the slammer for authorizing the Watergate break-in and lying about it to the Senate select committee on Watergate. Barr’s fate is as of yet unknown, but we can speculate. What’s a little speculation among friends?

The reputation of the Justice Department is the lowest it’s been since Mitchell and his successor, Richard Kleindienst, were convicted of felonies. They were also newsmagazine cover boys when that mattered:

Barr has acted as if he were Trump’s personal lawyer, not the people’s lawyer, which is what the job really entails. Repeat after me: the Attorney General is NOT “the nation’s top law enforcement official.” That’s one of my pet peeves or hobby horses so I like to mount it whenever feasible.

Barr clashed with Trump recently over the fakakta election fraud claims and a DOJ investigation into Hunter Biden. Trump wanted Barr’s abject loyalty on the former and thought the latter should have been made public. It was one of the few things during Barr’s tenure on which he followed departmental policy. But he deserves no credit for doing so and he’ll get none here.

I’m gobsmacked that anyone thinks that Barr wrote his exit letter. It was obviously dictated by the Impeached Insult Comedian much like the doctor’s letter that claimed he was in the best health of anyone on the planet.

Here’s a sample of Barr’s farewell letter:

I am greatly honored that you called on me to serve your administration and the American people once again as Attorney General. I am proud to have played a role in the many successes and unprecedented achievements you have delivered for the American people. Your 2016 victory speech in which you reached out to your opponents and called for working together for the benefit of the American people was immediately met by a partisan onslaught against you in which no tactic, no matter how abusive and deceitful, was out of bounds. The nadir of this campaign was the effort to cripple, if not oust, your administration with frenzied and baseless accusations of collusion with Russia.

He may be Trump’s bull goose sycophant, but florid language is not Barr’s thing. He writes in bone-dry legal prose. Only Donald Trump can adequately flatter Donald Trump. Barr may, however, have thrown in some of the fancier words like nadir. The only nadir Trump has heard of is Ralph…

You may have noticed that I called this ode to obsequiousness an exit or farewell letter. Nowhere in the letter are the words resign or fired used. I think he was pushed out by a president* eager to torment a new acting AG. Remember President* Pennywise’s last acting AG:

The post title hints at the notion that Barr could face criminal charges for some of his Trumpier actions. It’s unclear if that will happen but at least one former federal prosecutor thinks Barr leaves office with a pardon in his hip pocket:

Barr’s successor is Deputy AG Jeffrey Rosen who is best described as Barr’s Barr. The Failing New York Times has a profile of the acting AG which indicates that he was down for all the DOJ horrors that occurred during Barr’s reign of error.

The other day I wrote about my distaste for the law of sedition. It has traditionally been used by right-wingers to suppress left-wing political speech. If Bill Barr and Jeffrey Rosen had their way, it would have been used against Black Lives Matter protestors:

And in September, Mr. Rosen threw his support behind Mr. Barr’s threat to charge perpetrators of violence amid Black Lives Matter demonstrations with sedition, a word that connotes plots to overthrow the government. In a memo to prosecutors, he rejected criticism of that threat as an overreach, noting that the law also covers seizing federal property or hindering the execution of federal laws outside the context of attempted revolutions.

“Those who have actually read the statute recognize that the text” of the sedition law, Mr. Rosen wrote, “could potentially apply to some of the violent acts that have occurred.”

Rosen also spearheaded the failed attempt to indict Andrew McCabe for conduct that was customarily handled administratively. How was that for a lawyerly sentence? It was almost as bone dry as your typical Bill Barr sentence. If I were a Catholic, I’d say five Hail Marys in penance for that prose but it didn’t help Fredo survive his brother’s wrath in Godfather II so I’ll skip it.

https://otfilms.tumblr.com/post/48862288550/every-time-i-put-my-line-in-the-water-i-said-a

Rosen has shown the same tendency as Barr to implement President* Pennywise’s worst ideas. He’s unlikely to resist unless threatened with disbarment, which is a fate that a big law firm mouthpiece is apt to regard as akin to death. Billable hours are everything to the Jeffrey Rosens of the world.

Here’s hoping that the DOJ bureaucracy will run out the clock on any really bad ideas proposed by Trump to Rosen. Civil servants are revolting against the Trump regime now that it’s doomed. DOJ is full of smart lawyers. They’ll figure something out; at least I hope so.

Times are bleak but here’s a reminder that help is on the way:

 

Sycophancy, Not Sedition

I dislike criticizing people with whom I usually agree. I prefer to aim my fire at the other side, especially since it’s currently overpopulated by sycophantic Trumpers. In this instance, it’s the rhetorical overreaction to the futile Texas Twisted election case that leads me to criticize some of my fellow liberals. I suspect my views will be unpopular with many. So be it.

I’m on the record as believing that COUP is the wrong word to describe Trump’s doomed attempt to steal the election. It’s a con, not a coup. It’s one of Team Trump’s most successful fundraising gambits ever. It’s also a vivid illustration of why wingnuts like to “own the libs.” It’s so damn easy. One of the few things they’re good at is trolling. My ironclad first rule of internet interaction is DO NOT FEED THE TROLL.

A new word is in use by those devoted to rhetorical overkill in the post-election period: SEDITION. The Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, described the Texas Twisted suit as such in his brief to SCOTUS. Others have applied the word to the 126 GOP Congresscritters who supported this idiotic and baseless election challenge. I disagree, it’s sycophancy, not sedition.

My objection to the loaded word sedition is based on our historical experience. Its first major use occurred during the partisan slagging match between Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans over the French Revolution. The former supported it and the latter sided with the British in their opposition. This split resulted in the justly infamous Alien and Sedition Acts, which were a massive First Amendment violation. To his credit, President Adams had qualms about the Acts, but still signed them into law. That led to the second president becoming the first to lose re-election.

We’ll skip the War of the Rebellion as the secessionist South was clearly seditious and move on to some 20th Century examples. The word sedition was slathered over every form of “disloyalty” during the post-Great War Red Scare as well as during the McCarthy period. It popped up occasionally during the anti-Vietnam War protests and was uttered on several occasions by Dick Cheney during the Iraq War.

In our national experience, the word sedition has been applied to suppress unpopular, usually left-wing speech. I am not eager to see it used by the left in overreaction to Trump’s post-election con. Do anti-Trumpers really want to keep company with A. Mitchell Palmer and Tailgunner Joe McCarthy? I certainly do not.

The 126 House GOPers who supported the fakakta Texas Twisted suit were motivated by sycophancy, not sedition.  It’s the fear of a primary challenge or the desire to curry favor with President* Pennywise that led them to sign on to Gret Stet Congressman Mike Johnson’s stupid petition. I refuse to dignify it by calling it a filing.

There are many who want to punish the House 126 in some way. They will clearly not be prosecuted since it involves speech, not overt actions. Some want Speaker Pelosi to refuse to seat the 126 using the 14th Amendment as a rationale. In theory, that’s possible but it would be unwise in the extreme. Nancy Smash is too smart to go there. The result of such a refusal would be the disenfranchisement of approximately 94 million Americans. (The current ratio of voters per district is 747,000.)

Refusing to seat the 126 would open a second front in this ridiculous cold war between Democrats and Republicans. It would cede the high ground to the latter as they could scream about their constituents being disenfranchised. This notion is first cousin to the “led the red states secede” group. For obvious reasons, I disagree with this damn fool notion as it would banish millions of people of color and me from the Union. What happened in first in Virginia then Georgia proves that red states can evolve, especially those with large black populations.

For those desperate for the House to punish the 126, a less incendiary idea is to censure the ringleader, Congressman Mike Johnson. His actions take the Gret out of the Gret Stet of Louisiana and he’s not even the worst member of our delegation. This is also unlikely to happen, but it wouldn’t have the effect of needlessly turning the 2020 election into another 1876. There’s a clear victor in this election as will be ratified by the electors today.

There’s a public health crisis in this country and Congress needs to take a page out of Bill Clinton’s impeachment playbook. Every time he was asked about impeachment, he’d say something to the effect of “I’m not focused on that. I’m doing the work I was elected to do by the American people.” For the first time, there’s some hope on the COVID front. Vaccine distribution and relief for the American people is what Congress should focus on, not 126 sycophantic House GOPers.

If I wanted to be a member of a party of dick wavers and screamers, I’d be a Republican. I prefer to follow the lead of the incoming Democratic president Joe Biden and be prepared to fight off substantive challenges and shrug off the rest. It’s time for the MSM and the public to expel Donald Trump from their heads. He’s the past. He’s just a troll demanding to be fed. Stop giving him the attention he desperately needs.

Repeat after me: DO NOT FEED THE TROLL.

The last word goes to Mr. Spock:

 

Texas Twisted: I Told You So

I’ve felt more like a lawyer in the last week than I have in years. Watching the hysteria on the left over the preposterous Texas election case has driven me crazy. It never had a chance. It was a bad joke concocted by someone with no sense of humor.  And now it’s over. I told you so.

In a blunt and to the point order, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected this fakakta case tonight. 7 justices didn’t want to hear it. Alito and Thomas would have heard it on procedural grounds but were unwilling to lift a finger to help their fellow wing nuts. It’s over. I told you so.

I eagerly await the Impeached Insult Comedian’s meltdown. I cannot wait to hear him accuse Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett of disloyalty. He thought that by nominating them, he owned them like Vito Corleone after he granted the undertaker Bonasera’s wedding day request. Handing him the election was the service he expected from them. A little evidence would have helped. I told you so.

People on my side of the fence need to forget the process and focus on the result. It doesn’t matter how many state AGs and Congresscritters sycophantically followed Trump off the cliff like lemmings. It’s over. They can go fuck themselves.

The media needs to kick its Trump addiction. He’s the past. He’s just a loudmouth sore loser whose words should bear no weight whatsoever. It’s over. He can go fuck himself.

Just in case my title isn’t clear enough, the last word goes to Gore Vidal:

Biden To Delouse The White House

After Joe Biden debated Paul Ryan in 2012, we had a lot of fun with then Veep’s use of figuratively and literally. In this case, it’s both a literal *and* figurative delousing. Who’s a bigger louse than President* Pennywise?

President-elect Joe Biden and his transition team are reportedly already making plans to ensure that the White House, which has been plagued with a series of COVID-19 infections thanks to President Donald Trump’s disregard for protective measures against the virus, is safe enough for the 78-year-old Biden to move in come January 20.

According to Politico, Biden’s transition team will have the White House fully cleaned by General Services Administration (GSA) staffers hours after Trump leaves the building.

A spokesperson for the GSA told Politico that the staffers will “thoroughly clean and disinfect” every area of the East and West Wings that people have touched, including furniture and doorknobs.

A private contractor will also reportedly provide “disinfectant misting services.”

You say disinfect, I say delouse. Let’s call the Trump presidency off.

I hope they plan to tent the place for literal insects and set extra-large rat traps just in case some human vermin linger. I’m speaking figuratively.

Since Joey B Shark is a good Catholic, he should have the house blessed and an exorcism performed if need be. Literally or figuratively.

The last word goes to Father Merrin of The Exorcist. He might be needed in case Ivanka refuses to leave:

Texas Twisted Too: Quantity, Not Quality

I have an update on yesterday’s post about the Texas AG’s pardon bait suit. Seventeen red states and the Trump campaign have joined Paxton’s folly. This is a prairie sized pander to President* Pennywise.

There was a momentary lapse of reason on Twitter yesterday and I’m not talking about the Pink Floyd album without Roger Waters. Many freaked out over the sheer number of states willing to sign on to this massive Rule 11 violation. The case remains as weak as yesterday. In fact, Team Trump’s pleading came from the Kamala Harris Birther Guy, John Eastman whose attempt to peddle that theory flopped.

Mark Joseph Stern spent more time on this fakakta filing at Slate than I’m willing to. Stern thinks the prairie pander is a sign of how aggressively stupid GOP state Attorneys General will be in the post-Trump era. He could be right: Gret Stet AG Jeff Landry joined the suit and he’s a dumbed downed version of David Vitter. He wants to be my next Governor. Oy, such a schmuck.

The last word goes to Pink Floyd with a song from A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, It has nothing to do with the post, but I like it:

 

Texas Twisted

The latest turn in the insane legal challenge to the First Sore Loser’s election defeat got me thinking of one of my favorite professors at Tulane Law School. His name was Luther Love McDougal III and I took two classes from him: International Law and Conflicts of Law.

I did not expect to find Conflicts fascinating but I did because he was such an excellent teacher. Conflicts of Law is all about jurisdictional tangles and Professor McDougal took a puckish pleasure in explaining how to untangle them. He lived in the French Quarter and I ran into him from time-to-time after my parole from law school. He didn’t remember my name when first we met post-law school, but he recalled that I was one of his students and that I had exceptionally bad handwriting. I still have bad dreams involving blue books and blue ink.

Conflicts was one of the few law school classes in which I voluntarily participated because Professor MacDougal’s version of the Socratic Method was not a form of intellectual torture. I learned a lot from him and, more importantly, I retained a lot of information that would have otherwise gone in one ear and out the other after the final exam. That’s the sign of a great teacher.

Professor McDougal suffered a heart attack when I was taking his International Law course. I remember the day the Dean informed us that our prof was on the disabled list and that we’d all be given passing marks in lieu of a letter grade. In typical law student fashion there was outrage about this turn of events. I rose to my feet and said something to the effect of: “What the hell is wrong with you people? Professor McDougal is a good man. He treats us well and deserves the same treatment in return.” My classmates were mostly unmoved, but I felt better. One cannot shame the shameless, after all.

Professor McDougal died in 2004; like all great teachers he made an impact on his students. It’s time to finally explain why I have the wonderfully named Luther Love McDougal on my mind.

The Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is a major buttinski. He’s asked the Supremes to okay a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the election results in Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. It’s a conflicts of law issue. That’s why I thought of Luther Love McDougal: he taught me that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in cases between the states.

I’ll let TPM’s Tierney Sneed fill in the blanks:

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the lengths its top attorney will go to to do the anti-democratic bidding of President Trump.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court that it review a lawsuit challenging the election results in Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Texas is suing those states on the extremely dubious theory that they somehow violated the U.S. Constitution’s Elections Clause in how they handled their elections. It floated allegations — some of them straight-up conspiracy theories — pertaining to the states’ changing their election practices in ways not explicitly authorized by the states’ legislatures.

Texas is asking the justices to block the use of the current results in those states — which Joe Biden won — and to give the legislatures, all Republican-controlled, the opportunity to appoint their own electors to the Electoral College instead.

The U.S. Supreme Court has the power to adjudicate lawsuits between states. But Texas will first need the court’s permission to even formally file the lawsuit, where it is also seeking expedited review.

They pander bigger in Texas as well. This hits President* Pennywise’s sweet spot: his fantasy that the Supremes spearheaded by his nominees will hand him the election. If he thinks 2020 is like 2000, he’s dead wrong. Bush v. Gore was wrongly decided but there was *some* evidence in support of the GOP’s claims. There is *no* evidence in support of Trump’s claims. Paxton’s move is likely to be rejected by SCOTUS in the same peremptory manner that they dismissed a ludicrous attempt by Pennsylvania GOPers to disrupt election results in that state.

The real reason for Ken Paxton’s preposterous attempt to tell other states how to run their elections is spelled: P-A-R-D-O-N. He’s been fighting off Federal charges for years and reckoned that if he stuck his head far enough up Trump’s ass, he might get one of the pardons that the Kaiser of Chaos is considering handing out like stocking stuffers. Hence the new rubric, The Pardon Chronicles, which will only be in use until January 20, 2021.

If Donald Trump knew any history at all, he’d understand that appointing someone to the Supreme Court does not mean that they will back your every move. The unanimous majority in the Nixon-Watergate tapes case included three Nixon appointees: Warren Burger, Harry Blackmun, and Lewis Powell. Tricky was said to be livid that his other appointee, Justice Rehnquist, recused himself from the case.

Ken Paxton may have maneuvered himself into a pardon, but I think it’s time for sanctions against Trumper lawyers for abusing the legal process with specious claims. Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sanctions misbehavior in Federal court. It should be invoked by a judge in one of these cases. The legal process has been abused;  it’s time for the abusers to be abused in return.

That concludes this essay about Luther Love McDougal, conflicts of law, and Ken Paxton’s unpardonable brown nosery that may well be rewarded with a pardon. The election is over. Deal with it.

The post title is a pun on a Little Feat song beloved by Tommy T and me. That’s why they get the last word with this real Texas Twister: