Category Archives: Fog Of Scandal

Roll Over Josh Greenberg, Tell Matt Gaetz The News

I’ve assumed that Matt Gaetz’s pervy little friend Josh Greenberg would rat him out. The NYT confirmed yesterday that Greenberg has flipped like a flapjack or whatever your preferred name for a pancake is:

Mr. Greenberg began speaking with investigators once he realized that the government had overwhelming evidence against him and that his only path to leniency lay in cooperation, the people said. He has met several times with investigators to try to establish his trustworthiness, though the range of criminal charges against him — including fraud — could undermine his credibility as a witness.

Unlike the Gray Lady, the thought of a criminal testifying against another criminal doesn’t give me the vapors. Most witnesses in federal criminal cases are, well, criminals. Federal prosecutors are always looking for the biggest fish in any investigation. A congressman trumps a local tax collector with delusions of grandeur any day.

Speaking of delusions, Matt Gaetz has torn out a page from the Impeached Insult Comedian’s scandal manual and is on the attack. Of course, Trump was president* when he went after Team Mueller, which means the bully had the bully pulpit and the pardon power to dangle. All Gaetz has is big hair and an even bigger mouth.

It’s much harder to be Mini-Me than Dr. Evil and, at best, Gaetz is the former. His lord and master had the full-throated support of congressional Republicans whereas Mini-Me only has Gym Jordan and Marjorie Taylor Greene. In a word, pitiful.

There’s talk that Gaetzgate may be linked to a Florida election scandal. TPM’s Josh Kovensky thinks it’s a possibility:

Call it a harmonic convergence. Or simply too good to be true.

There are some indications that two scandals roiling Florida politics may actually be connected, tying the federal probe of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to a slate of sham candidates that cropped up across the state in 2020.

Could that possibly be? This may not be the scandal we want, but is it possibly the one we deserve?

<SNIP>

And in the other, there’s an equally bizarre but perhaps more typical political scheme: a plot to run sham candidates across Florida to siphon votes away from the Democratic Party candidates.

It’s not clear how closely the two are connected. But what may bring them together is a confluence of money, Gaetz’s political connections, and a man loudly bragging at a Florida bar.

There’s always a man bragging in a bar with Trump scandals. My disgraced countryman George Papadopoulos’ loose lips eventually led to the Mueller probe, criminal charges, and a pardon from the Kaiser of Chaos. Trumpers do not know how to STFU.

Stay tuned.

The post title is a play on the Chuck Berry song, Roll Over Beethoven. That’s why Chuck, The Beatles, and ELO get the last word.

The Trumpcine?

It’s been swell taking a Trump break. I made a conscious decision to reduce the number of former guy posts. All he’s done since leaving office is lie about the election and everything else. He hasn’t made any news, fake or otherwise until last weekend.

The RNC had its winter retreat at Mar-a-Doorn, if only they’d retreat from their 2016 and 2020 nominee. The joint was jumping with party luminaries and potential 2024 candidates who are Trumpier than the original model.

The keynote speaker was the Kaiser of Chaos. It was a litany of familiar grievances, attacks on fellow GOPers, and lies but he added something new:

The former president said, without saying who, that someone recently suggested to him that the coronavirus vaccine should be called the “Trumpcine.” He bragged about his handling of the pandemic, dismissing the widespread criticism of his approach and not mentioning the more than 500,000 who have died of covid-19.

The Trumpcine? Uh, Donald they name vaccines after living viruses, not living people or monsters in your case.

Just imagine people calling it the Trump Harumph instead of the Fauci Ouchie. Ugh, just ugh.

If the Kaiser of Chaos wants a vaccine named for him, it would be nice if he’d actively promote its use. Never gonna happen, my friend. I’m stealing Paul Reiser’s catchphrase since we’re rewatching Mad About You. I only steal from the best, my friend.

We could, however, use a vaccine against Trumpism and all the forces that former President* Pennywise has unleashed.

If only there was a jab that could cure white supremacy, anti-Semitism, QAnon delusions, and the other maladies that exploded during the Trump Regime. I’d love to jab away my memories of his presidency* as if it were one of those movies or teevee shows that turns out to have been a dream like St. Elsewhere. Now, that would be a happy ending.

In other Trump related news, the investigations in Atlanta and Manhattan are heating up. The Manhattan DA’s office seems to be mounting a full court press to flip the man who knows where Trump’s financial bodies are buried, Alan Weisselberg. Circling around his son, who seems to have lived large and largely tax-free on Trump’s dime, is a classic prosecution tactic. There are no pardons to dangle this time. Break a leg, y’all.

I have a dream that sometime this year, I will augment my original nickname for the former guy and call him the Indicted Impeached Insult Comedian. Make it so, prosecutors, make it so.

Let’s circle back to the Trumpcine with a last word from Roseanne Cash:

Gaetzgate: Blankety Blank

We begin with a couple of housekeeping notes. I wrote my maiden Gaetzgate post before hearing that the Panhandle Pinhead himself made a request:

I’ve decided to take pity on a doomed pol and spell it his way instead of in all-caps. Who knew that the Panhandle Pinhead’s fellow whiny man baby had the wit to make such a good pun?

Since Gaetz allegedly sough a blanket pardon, the phrase blankety blank immediately came to mind. I didn’t realize that it was the name of the UK equivalent of The Match Game. Where have you gone Gene Rayburn, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Brett Somers? They’re all long dead, alas.

Dead is also the word that best describes Matt Gaetz’s political career. It’s so dead that not even the Impeached Insult Comedian could revive it. He’s yet to defend his little friend, Matt; only Gym Jordan and Marjorie Taylor Greene have done so. How’s that for:

I know I’ve made that joke before but I can’t get enough of it. That concludes the classic rock jokes section of the post.

How was that for an epic opening tangent? It’s windy even by my standards.

Let’s move on to the opening lines I wrote immediately upon hearing about the latest Gaetzgate twist:

Blankets have been in the news recently. First Andrew Cuomo, now Matt Gaetz.

in the final weeks of Mr. Trump’s term, Mr. Gaetz sought something in return. He privately asked the White House for blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and unidentified congressional allies for any crimes they may have committed, according to two people told of the discussions.

Around that time, Mr. Gaetz was also publicly calling for broad pardons from Mr. Trump to thwart what he termed the “bloodlust” of their political opponents. But Justice Department investigators had begun questioning Mr. Gaetz’s associates about his conduct, including whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old that violated sex trafficking laws, in an inquiry that grew out of the case of an indicted associate in Florida.

It was unclear whether Mr. Gaetz or the White House knew at the time about the inquiry, or who else he sought pardons for. Mr. Gaetz did not tell White House aides that he was under investigation for potential sex trafficking violations when he made the request. But top White House lawyers and officials viewed the request for a pre-emptive pardon as a nonstarter that would set a bad precedent, the people said.

An idea so bad that even Team Trump flinched at the notion? That makes it a *really* bad even rotten idea. The whole Trump era could be summed up by the title of this failed Mel Brooks sitcom:

While Gaetz may not have known that a gate was to be affixed to his name when he begged for a pardon, he knew that his little friend Josh Greenberg was in deep shit and sinking fast. My hunch is that Greenberg was to be covered in the blankety blank blanket pardon. But was the My Pillow Guy involved? What’s a blanket without a pillow? I deserve to be given sheet for that joke…

I eagerly await the Panhandle Pinhead’s next PR gaffe. Who will he drag into his mess next: Hannity? KMac? BillO? Donnie Junior?

Stay tuned.

The last word goes to The Kinks:

 

Saturday Odds & Sods: Roll Away The Stone

Notre Dame by Pablo Picasso.

I’ve already blasphemed about Easter in my Son Of Jab Talking post so I’ll resist the urge here. Besides, how can a non-believer blaspheme? A question for the ages.

This week’s theme song was written in 1974 by Ian Hunter for Mott The Hoople’s The Hoople album. They’re one of my favorite bands of that era; all flash and swagger. I like flash and swagger in a rock band.

I saw Mott perform live on that tour on a bill with BTO and a totally unknown band from Boston, Aerosmith. Great show although I’m not sure what Mormon rocker Randy Bachman thought of Ian Hunter and Steven Tyler; not to mention Mott guitarist Ariel Bender. That’s a stage name: his real moniker is nearly as colorful, Luther Grosvenor.

We move from glam rock to roots rock with this week’s co-theme song. It was written by Michael Dempsey and Leon Russell for the latter’s eponymous debut album:

Two more songs with stone in the title:

Let’s crawl to the break then jump if such a thing is feasible.

Continue reading

GAETZGATE?

I have Watergate on my mind because the nitwit who “masterminded” the break-in, G Gordon Liddy, died yesterday at the age of 90. Liddy was known for his mindless loyalty to Tricky Dick and post-prison talk radio windbaggery.

We go from no-hair Watergate to big-hair Gaetzgate.

Liddy’s death provided the backdrop for a blockbuster New York Times story about one of the Trumpiest Trumpers of all, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz:

Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida and a close ally of former President Donald J. Trump, is being investigated by the Justice Department over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him, according to three people briefed on the matter.

Investigators are examining whether Mr. Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws, the people said. A variety of federal statutes make it illegal to induce someone under 18 to travel over state lines to engage in sex in exchange for money or something of value. The Justice Department regularly prosecutes such cases, and offenders often receive severe sentences.

It was not clear how Mr. Gaetz met the girl, believed to be 17 at the time of encounters about two years ago that investigators are scrutinizing, according to two of the people.

The investigation was opened in the final months of the Trump administration under Attorney General William P. Barr, the two people said. Given Mr. Gaetz’s national profile, senior Justice Department officials in Washington — including some appointed by Mr. Trump — were notified of the investigation, the people said.

The three people said that the examination of Mr. Gaetz, 38, is part of a broader investigation into a political ally of his, a local official in Florida named Joel Greenberg, who was indicted last summer on an array of chargesincluding sex trafficking of a child and financially supporting people in exchange for sex, at least one of whom was an underage girl.

This is some serious shit, y’all. Greenberg is looking at an extended stretch in the slammer. If he can be induced to flip on Gaetz, the latter could be in deep shit. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

I realize that I’m on the record as opposing affixing a gate to every scandal. But this is an exceptional case because it’s punny and scans so well: GAETZGATE. I think it looks best in all caps.

Like his lord and master, Pennywise, Gaetz looks out for #1. In 2017, he was the only member of Congress to vote against an anti-human trafficking bill.

In response to the NYT story, Gaetz cried SQUIRREL and gave the media hounds something to chase: an alleged extortion scheme.

Gaetz even tried to use fellow wingnut shitbag Tucker Carlson as an alibi. Tucker may be a fucker, but he denied dining with Gaetz and a young lady who is NOT jailbait according to Gaetz. Would he lie? Hell, yes.

GAETZGATE. Try it, you’ll like.

Oh Well, What The Hell

In case you’re wondering about the post title, it’s my new catch phrase. I stole it from Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. I only steal from the best. It’s a catch-all catch phrase that rolls off the tongue. Try it, you’ll like it: Oh Well, What The Hell.

I took the weekend off from the news cycle. The MSM’s insistence on reverting to its pre-Trump form bugs the living shit out of me. They miss the drama of the Trump presidency so they’re focusing on trivia again. I had hoped that dealing with the Madness of King Donald would have cured them of that, but I was wrong. They cannot help themselves.

The MSM spent a month demanding a press conference even though my countrywoman Jen Psaki holds regular briefings. When they got what they wanted, they focused on the hot GOP talking point: the illusory “surge” at the border. It’s a seasonal phenomenon that happens annually.

The “border surge” is what happens when one country conquers the best part of a neighboring country. If you must play the blame game, try blaming the  Mexican-American War after which California was annexed. It was annexation by conquest.

It’s time for a musical interlude:

That song is about Cortez, but it could have just as easily been about Zachary Taylor who parlayed the victory into a brief stint as president. He’s the only Oval One the Gret Stet of Louisiana can stake a claim to, but Virginia and Kentucky should share in the dubious reflected glory of his 16-month reign.

General President Taylor is also responsible for inflicting Millard Fillmore on an unsuspecting nation. The only thing I like about him is his deeply silly name. Oy just oy.

The MSM feels a need to overdramatize everything that happens. It’s a lingering affliction from the Trump regime. I adore Rachel Maddow, but she’s been over-hyping everything of late. She continually expresses amazement that Biden is a normal president who does normal presidential things as if that’s an aberration. Trump was the aberration. It may be a new normal but we’re back to it.

The Impeached Insult Comedian poked his head above the parapet yesterday. There was a wedding at Mar-a-Doorn so, naturally, the Kaiser of Chaos seized the microphone to talk about himself. Even if I died and returned reincarnated as a Trumper, I wouldn’t want him taking over my wedding. It brings to mind the line about Teddy Roosevelt that I’ve used thousands of times, “Corpse at every funeral. Bride at every wedding.” I want a divorce from former President* Pennywise.

Notice how I slipped all three of my main Trump nicknames into that paragraph? It made my day. How pitiful is that?

In other fake news news, Lara Trump is now a paid contributor to Fox News. I guess they’re so busy pandering to the Trumpist base that they’ve forgotten she’s one of the main exponents of the “Dominion rigged the election” mishigas. That company, in turn, is suing Fox for real money: $1.6 billion bucks.  I wonder if they’re paying to shut her up on that subject. Why bother? It’s never worked with any Trump in the past. They never STFU even when it’s in their self-interest; make that selfish interest.

The last word goes to Fleetwood Mac and Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite with a two part Oh Well, What The Hell:

Cuomo Family Values

The Linus of Empire State politics has done it again. Yeah, I know, Linus is sweet, and Andrew Cuomo is an asshole but he’s a blanket toting blankety blank like the Peanuts character. Now that I think of it, he’s more like Linus’ sister Lucy.

There’s even a dog in the cast of Cuomo Family Values: Captain who may be demoted to Private if his human is forced into the public sector. Sorry, Captain.

Let’s extend the Peanuts analogy. I knew Snoopy. Snoopy was a friend of mine. Captain, you’re no Snoopy.

Nepotism and cronyism have long characterized Andrew Cuomo’s political career. They’re back with a vengeance:

The administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) arranged privileged access to state-administered coronavirus testing for members of his family and other influential people last year even as a majority of New Yorkers struggled to access scarce testing, according to multiple reports.

Three people with direct knowledge of the effort told the Washington Post that the Cuomo administration sent a top state doctor and other state health officials to the homes of those who had access to the special treatment. The Times Union of Albany first reported the prioritization effort of Cuomo’s relatives.

Among those known to have benefited from the special treatment are CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, the governor’s brother who tested positive for coronavirus in March. The CNN anchor was swabbed by a top New York Department of Health doctor, Eleanor Adams who reportedly visited his Hamptons home to collect samples from him and his family, people with knowledge of the matter told the Post.

Not only did they get special treatment, they also got house calls, which doctors stopped doing years ago. Has anyone out there ever had a house call unless you have a doctor in the family?

I was something of a mama’s boy, so I don’t begrudge special treatment for the Governor’s elderly mother, Matilda, but his idiot CNN anchorman kid brother? Really, Governor?

That bit of shameless nepotism gives me an excuse to repost this image from a 2019 post:

This latest controversy will not lead to Governor Cuomo’s resignation, but it’s a big problem given how desperate people were in the early stages of the pandemic. There was a collective freak out over the lack of testing and Cuomo was giving special treatment to a select few. Not, cool, Governor, not cool.

I didn’t mean to mock Captain the dog. I’m sure he’s a good boy. I’d like to apologize for channeling Lloyd Bentsen at his expense by giving Blues Image the last word:

 

 

Andrew Cuomo: Public Sector Trump

A blanketed Andrew Cuomo and his dog, Captain.  

There’s a whole lotta stupid happening on political Twitter about Andrew Cuomo’s possible fate. There are those who think the “campaign” against him is a Republican conspiracy to install a Governor who will pardon Trump, which ignores the fact that the Lt. Gov is a Democrat, Kathy Hocul. Besides, there’s no conspiracy against Cuomo: his wounds are self-inflicted.

The other foolishness involves those who think the three-term Governor of New York can be pressured into resigning. I’m not an expert on New York politics but you don’t have to be to know that Cuomo is never resigning. He’s survived previous bouts with unpopularity and one of his goals is to win a fourth term, which his father was unable to do.

There are three paths to his exit: impeachment and removal; not running for re-election or defeat at the ballot box preferably in a primary. He’ll never take the easy way out and resign even if it’s in his state’s best interests. Cuomo is about Cuomo.

The voters don’t seem to be as pissed-off at Cuomo as the political class. His numbers are down but not entirely out. His reputation with voters is as a competent asshole. They didn’t vote him in because they loved him. They know he’s a self-centered creep. In some ways, he’s a stereotypical New Yorker: an asshole and damn proud of it.

There’s been much ridicule of this comment by Cuomo:

“Part of this is that I am not part of the political club. And you know what? I’m proud of it.”

On the surface the comment is preposterous because Andrew Cuomo is a politician to his fingertips. But I’m not one for groupthink. Being a member of a club involves having friends, not just allies. Cuomo is a veteran pol but he’s friendless, which is both a strength and weakness. He’s always governed by fear and assholery, which means that nobody is sticking up for him right now. The upside is that he’s used to having no friends so what others say about him is less important than his enormous ego.

One of the many ironies of 2020 was Andrew Cuomo being held up as the anti-Trump. Like the former president* he was an asshole, but a competent one unlike the Kaiser of Chaos. That aura of competence has been exploded by a nursing home scandal and his mishandling of the sexual harassment mishigas.

Instead Andrew Cuomo and Donald Trump are almost the same guy: angry, sexist, horny, and self-absorbed. Cuomo is, of course, much smarter than the Impeached Insult Comedian, but they’re both brash assholes from Queens who are fond of “locker room talk.”

Andrew Cuomo is the public sector Trump. Their main differences are that Mario Cuomo was much smoother than Fred Trump, and that Andrew has a dog. His name is Captain. In the picture I used as the featured image, he even seems to like the Governor. Woof.

As Tricky Dick would surely say at this point, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am in no way defending Cuomo’s loutish lechery. There’s a strong case for his ouster but he’s not going to make it easy for his critics by resigning. He’s going to hunker down and try to weather the storm. It’s not in the best interests of the people of the Empire State but it’s what self-absorbed creeps like Andrew Cuomo do.

I have some unsolicited advice for Cuomo’s Democratic enemies. They should coalesce around a primary challenger and start raising money pronto. He’s survived past primary challenges, but his number could be up in 2022.

There have been some great pieces written about Andrew’s tyrannical reign as Governor. I’d like to commend three to your attention:

Rebecca Traister at New York Magazine, Inside Andrew Cuomo’s Toxic Workplace.

Jessica Bakeman at New York Magazine’s The Cut, Cuomo Never Let Me Forget I Was A Woman.

Michael Shnayerson at Vanity Fair’s The Hive,  Andrew Cuomo’s Biographer On The Governor’s Brutish History.

In the last piece, Shnayerson describes how Cuomo dangled an interview at him, then reneged on his promise:

By the time I was about to hand in my manuscript, the governor had a book of his own in the works. It was titled All Things Possible. And his intention was to beat me to market. But I was ahead. Back came word that if I would let his book appear first, he would grant me all the interview time I wanted. So I agreed. But the governor pulled a fast one. I never did get that interview; his book came out in October 2014, a full five months ahead of mine. And there was, after all, no longer anything he needed from me. It was a quintessential Cuomo move: underhanded, stealthy, self-serving, and hard-ass.

Remove the word stealthy and who does that sound like? Donald Trump, that’s who. Believe me.

That’s why I call Andrew Cuomo the Public Sector Trump.

Malaka Of The Week: Ronny Jackson

Prolonged exposure to the Impeached Insult Comedian can turn the strongest person into a sycophant. That’s not what happened in the case of Congressman/Admiral/Doctor Ronny Jackson who is not an admirable admiral. He’s a bully who met a more powerful bully who put him in touch with his inner sycophant. And that’s why CAD Ronny Jackson is malaka of the week.

The acronym for Congressman/Admiral/Doctor is perfect for Jackson. He’s a cad who worked for a cad and behaved caddishly. I wonder if he’s ever read this swell show biz memoir:

It’s an excellent book but unlike George Sanders, Ronny Jackson is neither witty nor urbane. He’s a caddish lout in the mold of his master, Pennywise who tried to appoint him Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Montana Senator Jon Tester foiled that attempt to foist an unqualified nominee on one of the government’s toughest jobs. Jon Tester is a mensch, not a malaka.

The long awaited report into Jackson’s conduct whilst the chief White House medico was made public last week. To say it’s unflattering is an understatement:

The inspector general’s report describes several instances of Jackson allegedly consuming alcohol while on duty during presidential trips, according to CNN. A witness reportedly told investigators that in one of those instances, he saw the doctor “pounding” on a female subordinate’s hotel door, then telling her “I need you” and “I need you to come to my room” when she opened it.

The episode reportedly marked one of several moments in which Jackson harassed a female staffer or made comments about her body; the report alleges that the doctor told a female subordinate that he would “like to see more of her tattoos” and that he commented to a male staffer that another female subordinate had “great tits” and “a nice ass.”

Investigators also reportedly found that Jackson frequently hurled abuse at his employees, saying in the report that a jaw-dropping 56 witness “told us they personally experienced, saw, or heard about him yelling, screaming, cursing, or belittling subordinates.”

No wonder Trump loves this guy so much. As long as his people kick down, not up the Kaiser of Chaos considers it acceptable behavior. Other than drunkenness, the IG report describes the teetotaling Trump to a tee. Jackson was Mini-Me to Trump’s Doctor Evil:

I wonder if they’re dancing to YMCA, which is one of Trump’s top rally tunes. I doubt that either of the two Trumper cads can dance like Evil and Mini.

Jackson currently represents Texas’ 13th District in the House of Representatives. It’s one of the reddest districts in ruby red Texas. His electoral platform was a simple one: Trump, Trump, Trump. The malakatude, it burns…

Is anyone surprised that Jackson denied the IG report or that he’s opposed to masking mandates? Lying and COVID denialism are part and parcel of being a Trump sycophant.

Jackson’s naval rank is fitting, he’s a Rear Admiral. He’s a horse’s ass who would be the rear end in a pantomime horse costume. He’s used to having his head up Trump’s rump, after all. And that is why Congressman/Admiral/Doctor Ronny Jackson is malaka of the week.

That concludes the first malaka of the week post of 2021. Songs with admiral in the title are rarer than Trumpers with integrity. That’s why I had to say uncle and give Macca the last word:

Gentle On Tucker’s Mind

I never watch and rarely write about Fox News unless I have to. This is one of those times. Prime time big mouth Tucker Carlson recently said something bizarre even by his own standards:

Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are “gentle people waving American flags”, Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed on Friday night – two months since many joined a mob that stormed the US Capitol seeking to overturn Donald Trump’s election defeat, a riot in which five people died.

“Do you ever notice,” Carlson asked his primetime audience, “how all the scary internet conspiracy theorists – the radical QAnon people – when you actually see them on camera or in jail cells, as a lot of them now are, are maybe kind of confused with the wrong ideas, but they’re all kind of gentle people now waving American flags? They like this country.”

Gentle? Really? Has Tucker ever bothered to look into some of their weirder theories like one cited by NYT columnist Michelle Goldberg:

A clear indication that Marjorie Taylor Greene was more than a dabbler in QAnon was her 2018 endorsement of “Frazzledrip,” one of the most grotesque tendrils of the movement’s mythology. You “have to go down a number of rabbit holes to get that far,” said Mike Rothschild, whose book about QAnon, “The Storm Is Upon Us,” comes out later this year.

The lurid fantasy of Frazzledrip refers to an imaginary video said to show Hillary Clinton and her former aide, Huma Abedin, assaulting and disfiguring a young girl, and drinking her blood. It holds that several cops saw the video, and Clinton had them killed.

This is literally a blood libel. It’s based on ancient anti-Semitic tropes about vampires killing babies by Menorah light. This is gentle? It’s certainly concocted by gentiles. Oy just oy.

On his March 4th broadcast, the teevee dinner heir listed a litany of “liberal fears” including this one:

“They’re terrified that someday an army of tattooed high school dropouts in Confederate flag tank-tops is going to rise up from the trailer parks of West Virginia and take over the country. They’ll storm the cities with their 75 calibre AR-15 assault weapon machine guns with flash suppressors, each one of which can fire over a million bullets per minute when mounted on the back of an F-150 pickup truck, plastered with racist bumper stickers. That is their nightmare. That is the monster under every liberal’s bed.” 

I hate to break it to you Tucker but that’s essentially what happened during the Dipshit Insurrection. Remember when those “gentle patriots” stormed the Capitol on 1/6. It was too cold for tank tops, but they wore MAGA hats and carried flagpoles, which they used as weapons to attack cops on behalf of the law and order president* thereby proving that irony is alive and well.

I’m sick and tired of creeps like Tucker Carlson’s fake identification with the masses. He’s a rich dude who went to the snootiest schools and now he’s an apologist for people who shat on the floor of the people’s house. If he loves the ‘gentle patriots” who stormed the Capitol so much he should prove it. How about inviting the QAnon “Shaman” over for a vegan supper if the latter ever gets out of the hoosegow? (Hoosegow is a word I’m trying to revive. It has a weird origin: it’s a mispronunciation of the Spanish word juzgado or panel of judges, courtroom. Shorter Adrastos, it’s a malaprop and I love those.)

In other Tucker Carlson news, his frequent guest Glenn Greenwald seems to have completed his journey from the far left to the far right by describing Tucker, the Kaiser of Chaos, and Steve Bannon as “true socialists.” I am not making this up. This sort of political peregrination was not unusual during the Second American Red Scare as former communists such as Whitaker Chambers, Sidney Hook, and James Burnham made the same journey. Oy just oy.

If Tucker Carlson is a socialist, I believe that Hillary Clinton had Vincent Foster murdered and that General/President Eisenhower was a commie.

Back to Tucker’s description of the Q creeps as “gentle patriots.” It gave me an earworm as well as a punny post title. The last word goes to Glen Campbell:

That’s Glen with one N as opposed to two-N Glenn Greenwald. One-N Glen’s variety show was called the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. Perhaps Tucker should rename his show The Tucker Carlson Bad Time Hour, at least when two-N Glenn Greenwald is a guest. Just the latest in a long line of “helpful” suggestions. It has the virtue of honesty, which is a rare commodity on the far right nowadays.

It has also given me another earworm. The second last word goes to the Jayhawks with their cover of a Grand Funk Railroad song:

That’s the last last word. I promise.

Haven’t They Heard Of The 20th Amendment?

20th Amendment, Article One

The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

It’s probably unfair to ask the question posed in the post title. But since we’re dealing with the QAnon creeps, to hell with fairness. When were they ever fair to any of us Satan worshippers? The mere thought makes me feel like my countryman John Cassavetes in Rosemary’s Baby.

March 4th was inauguration day until 1936. It was established by custom, not law. It was the day George Washington was supposed to take the oath of office and it was thought to be good enough until it wasn’t. It was huge problem for Lincoln in 1860 with the country falling apart and James Buchanan doing what he did best: nothing, bupkis, nada, rien, zilch.

It was especially problematical in 1933 as the nation suffered through the Great Depression. Loser/President Herbert Hoover tried to trick FDR into supporting austerity measures that would have made matters worse. FDR had no intention of falling for Hoover’s tricks and sharing the blame for the Depression. Democrats were less earnest in those days hence the title of my favorite FDR biography:

One of FDR’s leading supporters, George Norris a liberal Republican from Nebraska decided there had to be a better way and became one of the main sponsors of the 20th Amendment.  Yes, Virginia, along with Santa Claus, there used to be liberal Republicans. One of them New York’s Jacob Javits was among the most liberal senators of his era. He’s better known to our younger readers as the Convention Center Guy.

I thought a bit of history was in order on a day that online domestic terrorist chatter indicates that there could be another assault on the Capitol. The QAnon creeps posit that the Kaiser of Chaos will be returned to power on the original inauguration day. Federal law enforcement is ready for them this time, so it hasn’t happened as of this writing. Empty promises and gestures are Q’s specialties, after all.

There’s a swell explainer piece in the WaPo about what is supposed to transpire on the original inauguration day:

According to QAnon lore, all presidents since Ulysses S. Grant have been illegitimate, so it follows that the day Trump returns to power to set things right would be the original Inauguration Day.

There are a couple of problems with this theory.

First, it’s unclear if the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, is still valid in the Q universe, since that also came after Grant.

Second, March 4 didn’t actually end up being the first Inauguration Day anyhow. That’s when it was scheduled for in 1789, but bad weather — an actual storm! — kept so many members of Congress from getting to the temporary capital of New York City that they failed to have the quorum needed for Washington to take the oath. The first inauguration didn’t take place until April 30, 1789.

Also, this is not the first day QAnon followers have predicted Trump will reveal himself as an American savior. Other dates include but are not limited to: Dec. 8, 2020; Dec. 14, 2020; Jan. 6, 2021 (attempt by followers to make this prophecy come true notwithstanding); Jan. 20, 2021.

So once Thursday passes without a Trump resurrection, what will the new, actual, real, final day be?

Who knows, but Easter — April 4 this year — is TAKEN.

Jeez, they can’t even get their fractured history right.

My favorite part is the bit about the 19th Amendment. One would think it’s valid since there are two Q congresswomen but expecting consistency or coherence from the Q creeps is asking too much. But what do I know? I’m a slave to Beelzebub as far as this lot is concerned.

Our old pal Gym Jordan has weighed in on the chatter:

“Maybe in a way it’s good, because in the next two weeks think about what the Democrats are going to do,” Jordan told Fox News on Wednesday night, ticking off a doomsday list of ways Democrats will “radically change” election and policing laws.

“Maybe it’s a good idea that we’re not here,” the Ohio Republican repeated.

Jordan also cast doubt on the seriousness of the threat.

“I don’t know that the threat is that critical,” he said, adding that he had not received a briefing on the matter.

“But my guess is this is probably not that serious,” Jordan asserted. “But I just don’t know for sure.”

The Jacketless One is at a loss for words? There’s a first time for everything.

If I’m wrong and there’s a second Dipshit Insurrection leading to a Trump resurrection, I yield the floor to Emily Litella:

All this blasphemous babble about resurrection has given me an earworm. The last word goes to Robbie Robertson:

 

 

 

CPAC 2021: Vengeance Thy Name Is Pennywise

Image by Michael F.

My Saturday piece about CPAC idolatry was widely circulated on social media and generated considerable buzz. I knocked that one out in a hurry and was surprised but grateful for the eyeballs. It must have been the golden statue picture.

Before taking a look at Pennywise’s first post White House speech, a few things I missed on Saturday.

One would hope that evangelicals would be appalled by the statue. I’ll let PJ Grisar of the Jewish publication Forward explain why:

It doesn’t take a doctorate of divinity to see the parallel to this ludicrous idol worship and the episode of the golden calf, in which a faction of the Israelites, left alone by Moses for roughly the period Trump’s been out of office, melted down their rings into a “molten calf” and made offerings to it.

This made God (a Jealous God) angry, and Moses, too. I mean, our guy shattered the Ten Commandments when he saw what was going down. It’s pretty clear to see why.

On those tablets, notarized by divine fire, one finds the line item, “Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”

Oy just oy.

Unfortunately, the bible thumpers think Trump (Netanyahu too) will bring on the rapture and they’ll be lifted to heaven because they’re so piously awesome or some such shit. Shorter Adrastos: They’ll stand by their man.

Repeat after me: Oy just oy.

I also missed a joke in my haste to post graven images and Nazi Symbols:

The root of the word Odal is Odin the head Norse God known to Wagner fans as Wotan. We all know who one of Wagner’s biggest fans was.

Like Trump, Wagner’s Wotan is a notorious windbag. That’s why the Ring Cycle lasts 17 hours. Most of the Impeached Insult Comedian’s speeches only feel as if they’re that long. Does this make Donny Junior Siegfried or Ivanka Brunhilde? Beats the hell outta me, I don’t even like opera, and know precious little about the characters. I do, however, know that Wotan is a windbag. It’s extra-funny vhen you use a Hogan’s Heroes style German accent and say it like zis: Votan is a vindbag.

Speaking of windbaggery, here’s how TPM headlined their live coverage of Trump’s CPAC screed:

Sleepy Don: Trump Targets GOPers, Repeats Bogus Election Claims In Low-Energy Speech

I didn’t watch the speech; I didn’t feel like having my head explode. But reports had me thinking in musical terms as in what kind of album it would be. It’s unclear if it qualifies as Pennywise’s greatest hits, best of, box set, or anthology, but he covered all the usual bases, told the usual lies, and threw raw meat at the crowd. The CPAC gourmands are always hungry for raw meat, which is ironic given Pennywise’s preference for well-done steaks as opposed to steak tartare. Let them eat freedom fries. man.

The most revealing part of the speech was when the Kaiser of Chaos vowed vengeance against those Republicans who have crossed him:

The Democrats don’t have grandstanders like Mitt Romney, little Ben Sasse, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey, and in the house, Tom Rice, South Carolina, Adam Kinzinger, Dan Newhouse, Anthony Gonzalez. That’s another beauty. Fred Upton, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Peter Meyer, John Katko, David Valadao. And of course the warmonger, a person that loves seeing our troops fighting, Liz Cheney. How about that?

The good news is in her state, she’s been censured, and in her state, her poll numbers have dropped faster than any human being I’ve ever seen. So hopefully they’ll get rid of her with the next election. Get rid of them all.

Thus spake Pennywise, the wrathful god of Trumpism. It’s unclear how much time he’ll have to personally meddle in Republican politics since he’s going to spend much of the next four years as a professional defendant in both criminal and civil cases.

Directly after attacking the courageous GOPers who took a stand against sedition, Trump delivered a bizarre soliloquy about Democrats:

Democrats are vicious. Remember this, it’s true. Democrats are vicious.

He said evil, well, there is evil there, but they’re vicious, they’re smart, and they do one thing. You got to hand it to them. They always stick together. You don’t have Mitt Romney’s in the group. They always stick together.

Talk about alternative facts. I guess he’s never read any “Democrats in disarray” disarray stories. He should at least be aware of them since he used to be a Democrat himself. Oy just oy.

Trump is the great unifier of the Democratic party. We all agree that this racist and sexist criminal should never darken the White House door again. If that makes us vicious so be it.

Let’s revel in our viciousness by repeating my vicious mantra: Donald Trump is a pussy. He should grab himself.

The last word goes to Lou Reed who may have been Vicious, but never hit Pennywise with a flower:

 

Merrick Garland’s Time

We all hoped that Merrick Garland’s time was in 2016 when President Obama appointed him to the Supreme Court. It was not to be. I still hold a grudge over the way the Turtle killed his nomination. He snuck into the judicial nursery and smothered the nomination with a pillow, then claimed it was an act of principle. The hollowness of that claim was confirmed last fall with the Barrett nomination. It’s always about power with Mitch McConnell.

At the time of the nomination, people were fixated on the labels applied to Judge Garland. People on the left fretted because he was dubbed a moderate by the punditocracy. A reminder: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was called a moderate upon her nomination. Labels have a way of peeling off when a nominee becomes a Supreme. That’s neither here nor there in the case of Merrick Garland as we’ll never know if he would have morphed from a moderate to liberal Justice a la Bill Brennan. It’s why I hate labels. They’re almost as invidious as stereotypes.

Merrick Garland’s time is now. The job is different but it’s one for which he’s perfectly suited: Attorney General. Word of Biden’s choice came the day after the Georgia runoff handed control of the senate to Democrats. It was also the date of the Dipshit Insurrection.

After serving as a line prosecutor, Garland became a deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division during the Clinton administration. He found himself supervising two of DOJ’s most important criminal cases ever: the Oklahoma City bombing and the Unabomber. That’s right, Merrick Garland’s remit was the battle against domestic terrorism. That’s why his time is now.

There’s a must-read piece in the WaPo about the impact the McVeigh-Nichols OKC bombing case had on the next Attorney General:

The truck bomb leveled a section of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, killing 168 and injuring hundreds more in one of the deadliest domestic terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. But as Merrick Garland huddled with the lead prosecutor on the case, he urged caution in presenting the massive amount of evidence from the wreckage.

“Do not bury the crime in the clutter,” he said.

Garland, then a top Justice Department official, was encouraging prosecutors to speed the trial along and jettison superfluous findings in their case against Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted of carrying out the 1995 attack and executed in 2001, said Joe Hartzler, the team’s lead attorney. Hartzler said he found the advice so compelling that he wrote the words on a sheet of paper and hung it on an office wall as a rallying cry for his team.

More than two decades later, Garland, 68, is preparing to lead the Justice Department as attorney general and facing a domestic terrorism threat that has metastasized, with white supremacists and conspiracy-minded anti-government types emboldened by their acknowledgment from former president Donald Trump.

I commend the entire article to your attention, but I posted the first four paragraphs to not bury the article in clutter.

Judge Garland has pledged to make the fight against domestic terrorism his top priority. He’s a man of his word so I eagerly await the end of decades of ignoring right-wing extremists.

Judge Garland has another important task: rebuilding the morale of the Justice Department after four years of political hackery during the Trump regime. It wasn’t just Bill Barr, it was Jeff Bo Sessions and the acting AGs, which sounds like the name of a jug band.

Judge Garland has promised to be “the people’s lawyer, not the president’s lawyer” and I take him at his word. White House meddling was an endemic epidemic in the bad old Barr days. It ends now.

The Garland confirmation hearing was characterized by much bad faith tut-tutting by Republican senators. Tailgunner Ted and Senator Cornhole were particularly sanctimonious in discussing political influence at DOJ. It’s why I could only watch snippets of it. They’re afraid that Trump will be prosecuted by the incoming administration. That’s the politicization they fear. Charges against the Impeached Insult Comedian are a distinct possibility but that will be up to Merrick Garland, not Joe Biden. The president has quite rightly vowed to stay out of it.

There’s been much hand wringing about how hard it will be to restore the apolitical culture at DOJ. Rachel Maddow devoted an entire show to the issue. I love Rachel but she’s the quintessential liberal worry wort, especially on this issue.

Will it be easy? No, nothing worthwhile ever is.

Is it doable? Absolutely.

Why? It’s been done before in 1975 in the wake of Watergate and two Attorneys General going to the hoosegow.

The best appointments made by Gerald Ford during his brief presidency were these two bow-tied Chicagoans:

You probably recognize the guy on the left: Justice John Paul Stevens. The man on the right is the one who turned DOJ around and urged President Ford to appoint Stevens to SCOTUS. His name was Edward Levi.

Like Edward Levi and John Paul Stevens, Merrick Garland hails from the Chicago area.

Like Merrick Garland, Edward Levi was a modest unassuming man.

Like Merrick Garland, Edward Levi faced a difficult task. He did the job, then returned to the University of Chicago where he had previously served as dean of the law school and president of the university.

Like Merrick Garland, Edward Levi was Jewish. He was the first Jewish AG; Garland will be the third. Garland has always been reticent about his background, but Cory Booker worked his magic on the judge:

Senator Booker also elicited this strong statement on racial injustice from the next AG:

Back to Jerry Ford’s attorney general.

Edward Levi is one of the most underrated figures in American history. He not only had to clean up the DOJ, but he also had to reform the FBI, which J. Edgar Hoover had turned into his private police force. He accomplished both in two years. It can be done again.

1975 was Edward Levi’s time.

2021 is Merrick Garland’s time.

The last word goes to Bill Withers:

Ashen Wednesday

The weirdest and coldest Mardi Gras Day of my lifetime ended with a whimper not a bang. There were rolling power outages in New Orleans last night, but we were spared. We seem to have good power karma: as you may recall, we didn’t lose power during Hurricane Zeta. Perhaps the whole Greek alphabet thing worked in my favor or the ghost of Maybe Cousin Telly has some pull with the power gods. Whatever it is, I’ll take it.

There was a minor icepocalypse this morning on the elevated highways in downtown New Orleans. We only had a mild freeze last night, but my people don’t know how to drive on ice and neither do I. It was that kind of morning in the Big Freezy. We are not ice people but we’re competent during hurricane season. I dare people in Frostbite Falls Minnesota to handle our summer climate.

It was too cold for me yesterday but Dr. A went out for a few hours to check out house floats and such. She brought me home a Moon Pie from our friends Bob and Julie’s joint. They did not float their house, but they had a beloved parade throw to pass out. Moon Pies are usually part of our Carnival diet then we don’t eat them for another year. I wish I could say that I gave them up for lent but that would be a fib. My motto is neither a lenter nor borrower be…

I should compensate for that groaner with some music from the North Country:

There’s a genuine winter apocalypse happening down Texas way. Their privatized electrical grid has had a meltdown leading to widespread outages throughout the Lone Star state. I don’t approve of those on social media who say that Texas had it coming. I’m with President Biden who declared miles and miles of Texas a disaster area. I know what it’s like to be neglected by national politicians. It happened to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood. National disasters shouldn’t be wished on anyone even if Greg Abbot is one of the Trumpiest Trumpers out there.

A brief musical interlude before our next segment:

In any crisis, Republican politicians have gotta lie. Some Texas pols are blaming their problems on windmills. What is it with windmills and wingnuts? Windmills are harmless. The Dutch have been using them for centuries. Who’s more harmless than the Dutch or Dusty Springfield for that matter?

In other lying GOPers news, the stupidest man in the United States senate, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, is spinning fractured fairy tales about the Dipshit Insurrection:

But Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on Monday argued that it’s wrong to describe the group as “armed” and accused Democrats of “selectively” editing videos to exaggerate the threat posed by a mob that came within feet of Vice President Mike Pence and other elected officials.

“This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me,” Johnson said on WISN. “When you hear the word ‘armed,’ don’t you think of firearms? Here’s the questions I would have liked to ask: How many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired?”

Johnson added, “If that was a planned armed insurrection, man, you had really a bunch of idiots.”

It takes one to know one, Senator. That’s why I call it the Dipshit Insurrection.

That’s it for this random and discursive potpourri post. The last word goes to John Lee Hooker with some blues for an ashen Wednesday:

The Slow-Motion Reckoning

I wanted to let the dust settle before writing my detailed thoughts about the second impeachment trial. I dispensed hot takes during the five days of the trial. It’s time for reflection.

I’m disappointed but not surprised by some of the reactions to how the final day of the impeachment trial played out. As always, some Democrats are lost in the weeds. Details *do* matter but so does the big picture. I consider the 57-43 vote to be both a rebuke to Republicans and a moral victory. In an election, 57% is a landslide. For example, in the 1984 Reagan landslide he received 58% of the popular vote. Saturday’s vote is only a devastating loss if people allow it to be.

The “always blame Democrats” group is apoplectic about the witness kerfuffle. They say the managers should have stuck to their guns. Many of them were among the most ardent proponents of a second impeachment. They knew, or should have known, that the Senate would vote to acquit. The final vote was no surprise. The current GOP is the party of selfishness and cowardice.

The fact of the matter is that none of the potential witnesses was willing to come forward voluntarily. Subpoenas would have to be issued. That could have delayed the trial indefinitely. The House Intelligence Committee ordered Don McGahn to appear before them in April, 2019. That’s 22 months ago. It’s still in the courts. I am not making this up.

The House managers threw a Hail Mary pass on witnesses; it was not entirely a flop: they got Congresswoman Beutler Herrera’s statement into evidence. It would have been posturing for them to press on without the voluntary cooperation of witnesses, not to mention Senate Democrats. I’m not a member of the “heroes and villains” caucus, I’m a member of the “get shit done” caucus.

Delivering on the Biden agenda is the most important thing Congressional Democrats can do. When the Senate is in impeachment session, it cannot conduct any other business. In a 50-50 Senate that could have resulted in a prolonged deadlock. People are suffering: the COVID relief bill cannot wait. If Democrats don’t deliver, the 2022 mid-terms could be an undeserved windfall for the GOP. They deserve to be beaten like a drum.

It may not feel like it, but a reckoning is on the horizon. This was the most bipartisan presidential impeachment vote in American history. Senate GOPers relied on a procedural fig leaf to justify their cowardly vote. Defenses of Trump’s conduct were rare after the vote. Mitch McConnell’s speech was another attempt to have it both ways, but he denounced Trump’s actions before, during, and after the Dipshit Insurrection. He made it clear that his defense of Pennywise was over.

After the first impeachment, most Republicans defended the Impeached Insult Comedian’s “perfect phone call.” This time, they’re trying to split the difference and looking ridiculous in the process. They’re all Lamar Alexander this time.

The Kaiser of Chaos remains in serious legal jeopardy. There are criminal investigations in Georgia, New York, and the District of Columbia. There will be civil lawsuits from those harmed during the Twelfth Night White Riot. The reckoning will not come as quickly as we would like but it’s coming. A slow-motion reckoning is better than no reckoning at all.

Notice the difference in Trump’s “celebration” this time. He issued a written statement. As of yet, he hasn’t called into Fox & Friends or Hannity. His profile remains low because he’s frightened of what is to come now that he’s out of office. He incited an insurrection for purely selfish motives: to save his worthless ass from jail and/or penury.

While he’s not disqualified from running for president again, Pennywise will spend most of the next four years in court as a defendant in civil and criminal cases. The slow drip of revelations will damage his standing among his supporters. They’re not all QAnon shamen and Proud Boys. Many of them will want to get on with their lives. Donald John Trump is the past, not the future.

A reminder of why I started calling him President* Pennywise in 2019:

We recently watched the 2017 movie IT, which is based on the Stephen King novel. I wasn’t terribly familiar with that terrible tale except for the sinister clown Pennywise. I loved the movie and realized that it was remade for two possible reasons: the popularity of Stranger Things and the rise of Trumpism.

Pennywise the evil clown (is there any other kind?) thrives on fear. He gets stronger the more he fearmongers. It’s what emboldens him to get out of the gutter and come into the open. The Insult Comedian never leaves the gutter BUT he too thrives on fear. That’s why I mock him: he feeds off our fear and recoils from our scorn.

He wants his enemies to fear him. He feeds off that fear. It’s time to eject him from your heads and turn him into the joke that he is. He tried but failed to destroy our country for base and selfish reasons. Don’t let him do it again.

His transformation into the Kaiser of Chaos is complete. He’s an old man in exile at Mar-a-Doorn. He’ll spend the rest of his life bitterly complaining about his mistreatment. He has much to complain about but so do we. He’s a coward who threw his own Veep under the proverbial bus on that fateful day. The betrayals will keep mounting and his support will erode. Will it be as fast as we would like? No, but it’s already happening.

A slow-motion reckoning is not the most desirable outcome, but it will have to do. It’s time for the legal system to deal with Trump and for Congress to do the work of the American people.

Repeat after me: former President* Pennywise is a pussy. He should grab himself.

Day Five, The Final Act: If You Make Yourself A Sheep, The Wolves Will Eat You

More quasi-crypto-pseudo live blogging.

Closing Argument By The House Managers:

The post title is a quote from Hundred Dollar Bill Man Ben Franklin that was used in Jamie Raskin’s opening. It clearly applies to the Senate Republican caucus. They’ve dug their grave, now they can lie in it.

House Managers opened strong with Raskin and Ciccilline. Then shit happened.

Mike Lee pitched a fit. He claims that Coach Tubs did not get a call on his phone. It’s the White House’s fuckup, not the House managers. Talk about a shitty Mormon, most LDSers are almost eerily polite. He’s an asshole he can go fuck himself.

Lee’s intervention was a way to distract attention from the power of the closing argument. That meant they were scoring points with the American people. I, for one, do not care about senate Republicans. They’re the sheep who will be eaten by Trumper wolves.

Lee withdrew his tantrum. Back to the House Managers case.

Madeline Dean was interrupted by Trump’s lawyers. Big mistake on their part. She was stronger after the objection failed.

The youngest manager Joe Neguse appealed to the senate’s history and to the better angels of the senators. Hopefully, some Republicans still have them. I think they knocked them off their shoulders four years ago.

Raskin: Trump also betrayed his followers, the insurrectionists.

The managers emphasized uplift, patriotism, and the best of human nature, which the defense is incapable of. They’re as nasty as their client.

Closing Argument For The Defense:

Van der Veen began with another rant denouncing his opponents. VDV still thinks this is a regular trial. He’s in over his red-faced head. Schmuck.

VDV blew his intro by attacking the other side instead of mounting a positive defense.

He made a ridiculous claim that Pennwyise has denounced the rioters. He’s done no such thing.

At least VDV isn’t shouting. Yet.

I wonder if VDV was a projectionist before he worked for Trump. This shit wouldn’t work in a prdcuct liability or medical malpractice case.

VdV repeated the lie about Rand Paul being attacked by a leftist mob. That was only one of his egregious lies. It was the second incarnation of the American Carnage speech.

VdV is fond of saying the attack was “pre-planned and premeditated.” Too bad his defense was not.

The entire argument was dishonest, disingenuous, disgusting and Trumpier than Trump. It’s unworthy of further commentary. In in the immortal words of Garth Algar of Wayne’s World fame, “I think I’m gonna hurl.”

Raskin rebuttal was fiery and forceful. He’s my new hero.

THE VOTE:

Holy moral victory, Batman. 7 Republicans  voted to convict with 2 surprises Burr and Cassidy.

I am thrilled to be wrong about Cassidy. He did the right thing. Thank you, Senator.

Day Five, Act One: Can I Get A Witness?

A quick note about Friday’s Question Time. Shyster Van der Venal is the Trumpiest lawyer this side of Rudy. He was sneering and contemptuous towards all concerned. The Impeached Insult Comedian loved it, but the Pennsylvania Bar Association will not. VDV lied repeatedly, He’s not under oath but he violated ethics rules right and left. If he does not apologize he will face suspension or loss of his license.

Once again, this will be a highly impressionistic, time delayed live blogging. Live, live, live I’m staying alive. I may, however, break the sucker in half.

ACT ONE

The Witness Interregnum was fascinating, The Incredible Mr. Lindsey wants to gum up the works but the other GOPers showed their hand so there *should* be  54 votes to convict. I’m not sure what’s up with Pat Toomey. Perhaps he’s been shamed by his homey VDV’s horrible performance.

VDV is officially a joke. His Saturday tantrum and bizarre pronunciation of Phillydelphia has made him a laughingstock. He’s the sort of Philly guy who booed Julius Erving, Mike Schmidt, and Donovan McNabb. To be blunt he’s an asshole, a typical ambulance chaser. BOOOOOOOOOOO.

Today’s MSNBC morning anchors are a joke. They’re taking Republicans literally. They’ve forgotten the Maddow Doctrine:

I’m pining for Brian Williams and Nicholle Wallace to take over. Please make it so. My ears hurt from Stephanie Ruhle’s yelling but not enough to watch CNN and the dread Wolf Blitzer.

The exception to the above lament is former Senator Claire McCaskill who has been a rock star. She’s close to some of the major senate players so she’s been invaluable. Legal analysts Goodman and Weismann have done well as well. Well, well, well…

The question of witnesses and retaliatory witness features classic Trumper bluster. The issue is what the Kaiser of Chaos said to K-Mac on the phone. It goes to the facts and his state of mind. Apparently, K-Mac has been blabbing about the Trump call to other members of his caucus, That makes it harder for him to lie about his imperfect call. So far he hasn’t denied the story.

After a break, the senate came to an agreement. Interestingly enough, the Turtle stayed on the floor during the down time. He may be voting to acquit but he’s not helping Trump’s lawyer.

The statement is coming in and the trial continues. I will post again later about the rest of the day’s proceedings.

The last word goes to Marvin Gaye:

 

Day Four: Defending The Indefensible

In a brazen display of arrogance, the senators depicted above Mike Lee, the Incredible Mr. Lindsey, and Tailgunner Ted met with Trump’s lawyers last night. They have contempt for propriety and decency, so I’m not surprised. It was, however, fun to put letters in front of Graham’s big fat bazoo since he never closes it.

Once again, this is the moral equivalent of live blogging or something like that.

ACT ONE

It was hard to watch, impossible to analyze. They weren’t as clownish as on day one. Lawyer Vander Veen is marginally competent but kept setting up straw men and knocking them down. I should have said straw women because the video clips involved women and people of color saying fight, fight, fight. There was never any follow-up. No mob. No riot. No nothing. No incitement.

If you’re a fan of whataboutism, lies, and false equivalency today’s first act was for you.

The most memorable phrase came from Vander Veen, “Constitutional cancel culture.” I said memorable not good or even coherent. I believe it’s called bunkum.

Lawyer Schoen channeled his client by discussing fake evidence. It’s called film editing, asshole. He claimed the House managers didn’t share the “new video” with the defense. They did. Schoen lied.

It’s a good thing that none of the Trump lawyers are under oath. Like their client they’ve been making shit up for the entire time. It’s more painful than having your head nailed to a table. Make it stop.

Then there’s the cavalry cavalry thing:

Senate Democrats were just as confused by David Schoen’s explanation of the “calvary” tweet as you were.

Schoen claimed House managers had misrepresented what Trump was signaling when he retweeted a tweet that promised “The calvary is coming” for Trump on Jan. 6. The tweet, in Schoen’s telling was not a reference to armed supporters, i.e. “cavalry,” but, “Calvary, a public display of Christ’s crucifixion, a central symbol of her Christian faith, with her, to the president’s speech, a symbol of faith, love, and peace.”

Within the chamber, according to the Hill pool, the explanation for the tweet left some Democrats “aghast.”

Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) started talking. The pooler observed Whitehouse saying, “Oh my God.” 

I think the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers meant the guys who rode to the rescue in Westerns. Oy Just oy.

The defense argument amounts to a loyalty oath to Trump and all that he has wrought. You can see Pennywise’s hand in today’s argument. He was a perfect president* who made perfect phone calls.

I survived act one. Onward.

Some soothing music to keep us going.

ACT TWO

You get what you pay for. Or in Trump’s case, what you don’t pay for. This is some mighty bad lawyering. When you’re losing, you argue that the prosecution is bad, very bad. No wonder Cruz visited them on the break.

Everett McKinley Dirksen Bruce Castor kicks off the second act. Aw shucks. Golly gee wiz. Heck.

Thus far he hasn’t said anything as weird as “they’re some judicial thinking people in Nebraska.”

Castor argued Trump’s law and order rhetoric, not the reality of his conduct on Twelfth Night 2021. Then it was back to the red meat videos. I think Mike Lee got a law and order boner. I don’t think playing the same videos over and over is a good way to reach these “jurors.” A word that should always been in air quotes. Oy just oy.

Castor seems to be better prepared but he’s just as folksy. He’s trying too hard: he’s already got John Neely Kennedy’s vote.

I’m tired of the defense acting as if all the protections given to criminal defendants should apply to this trial. That’s ahistorical nonsense. Of course, they work for the Kaiser of Chaos.

I wish Castor would “peacefully and patriotically” stop saying “peacefully and patriotically.” Enough, Mr, Folksy Pants.

If they say fight again, I’ll fight them.

It’s Brad Raffi, not Ben Raffi, Bruce, baby. FYI, one-party recording is allowed in Georgia, dickweed,

I found Castor’s disquisition on the word fine in the “perfect Georgia” call to be less than fine and dandy.

It’s rich for a lawyer making political arguments to denounce politics. The impeachment process is inherently political.

Next up are questions for both sides from senators. Stay tuned.

The last word goes to Robbie Robertson with a song from his Storyville album. The video was filmed in New Orleans:

Day Three: History Will Never Forget

I rarely agree with the Impeached Insult Comedian, but he was right when he said: “History will never forget.” We have different interpretations, he said it in praise of the Dipshit Insurrection, and I use it in condemnation. So it goes.

Once again, I wrote this post over the course of the day in dribs and drabs and bits and bobs. The tone is a bit lighter and the writing looser than yesterday’s installment. There were no beard jokes on Day Two. This entry is more or less live blogging that’s not live. I hope that’s lively enough for you.

FYI, I had manifold technical problems starting with Act Two. Oy, just oy.

ACT ONE

Today’s first act began with a look at Trump’s lack of remorse and refusal to express regrets over the loss of life. As far as he was concerned his conduct was “totally appropriate.” Yeah, right.

We saw a medley of Trump’s greatest stirring up violence hits. There’s nothing worse than someone who incites violence but is unwilling to participate. It’s called cowardice. He’s much like World War II draft dodger John Wayne who was a rabid hawk during the Vietnam conflict. There’s a word for this: Chickenhawk.

As far as the insurrectionists were concerned, they were following orders from their hero. He invited them to walk to the Capitol, so they did. The responsibility should rest at the top with the former president*.

Neither Ted Lieu or Diana DeGette are as compelling as some of their colleagues BUT her section about the cost and long-range impacts of Trump fueled white nationalism scored points. She quoted the head of Cowboys for Trump who channeled General Phil Sheridan, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” After making that statement, he met with Trump and was one of the Twelfth Night rioters. Nice.

I wonder if Willie Nelson wants to retract this:

I’m joking. Right-wing hero John Wayne was a phony cowboy too. He hated and feared horses. Some cowboy. Some he-man.

The act one finale was a presentation by David Cicciline about the devastating personal effects of the insurrection on staff and support personnel.  Yet many want us to move on. Why? Where? Like history, I will never forget.

The abuse of Capitol police was vitriolic, racist, and obscene. They were called traitors and one woman even spouted this nonsense: “1776, bitch.”

Was she talking to herself?

ACT TWO

Joaquin Castro kicked off the second act with a discussion of the impact of the Trump mob on our national security. The mob stole a laptop from the Speaker and documents from the Turtle’s desk. The whole thing was a blatant violation of Pennywise’s oath of office. Of course, the only oath he honors is one to himself. He has no interest in protecting us from “all enemies foreign and domestic.” We need protection from his running in 2024.

I’d like to thank Mr. Castro for having a goatee so I can tell him apart from his brother, Julian. Very thoughtful unlike Eric Swalwell who shaved off his pandemic beard for the trial.

Even better was the quote from Marco Rubio, a man who used to tell dick jokes about Trump but has become as sycophantic as the Incredible Mr. Lindsey.

As always, Trump’s actions and non-actions have helped our adversaries and puzzled our friends. Anyone surprised?

At this point I had cable issues and had to switch to an audio live stream. Holy electrical storm, Batman.

According to Joe Neguse, Team Trump has a warped view of the First Amendment. Nothing unusual there, they have a warped view of everything.

Neguse argued that Trump “lit the match and aimed it at the Capitol.” Incitement speech is NOT protected even when it comes out of Trump’s big fat bazoo. Once again, they have their own set of facts, which are misaligned with reality. No surprise there.

I had more electrical issues, so I moved to the radio as Jamie Raskin hit the stage. It felt like 1940 at Adrastos World HQ.

Raskin stressed that there is NO first amendment defense to impeachment. It’s bunk, crapola, and bullshit. My words not Raskin’s.

Raskin quoted Scalia: “You can’t ride with the cops and root for the robbers.” That applies even more when you’re POTUS. He definitely rooted for the robbers on Twelfth Night. Schmuck.

Raskin made a forceful case for banning Trump from office based on his conduct. I gave him a sitting ovation.

In his dry manner, Ted Lieu focused on Trump’s claims of due process claims. They’re without merit much like my AV issues this afternoon.

The Closing:

The managers brought out their heavy hitters: Raskin and Neguse.

Raskin posed the ultimate question: if this is not an impeachable offense, what is?

Neguse recapitulated the evidence that the managers maintain proves that Pennywise should be convicted. I concur. The man is a helluva lawyer. He’s got a promising future in public life.

Raskin closed with an ode to democracy. He reminded us of the rarity and fragility of democracy and how the Impeached Insult Comedian and his mob stomped all over the system.

He went on to remind Trump’s lawyers that the constitutionality of this impeachment has already been decided. To do so is “frivolous and wrong.” He then posed a series of questions for Team Trump to answer. Talk about painting your opponents into a corner.

Just as importantly, Raskin ran such a tight ship that they came in under time without making major mistakes. The entire country is grateful for your brevity.

The prosecution rested.

The managers factual and legal case was clear and convincing. They were well organized at every stage. They had a more compelling and dramatic case to argue than the Ukraine/perfect phone call impeachment. But Adam Schiff’s closing in that case remains the gold standard: “He will do it again.”

He did.

It’s Not A Horse Race, It’s A Crime

Charlie Pierce calls the dispensers of inside the beltway political punditry “the cult of the savvy.” They provide the conventional wisdom that Newsweek watched in its heyday. Do they even do that anymore? Do I even care? Newsweek is on life support; they should pull the plug.

I alluded to my concerns about the MSM coverage of the second impeachment trial yesterday:

The MSM needs to stop focusing on the vote count/horse race aspect of the trial. The focus should be on Trump’s guilt. He’s as guilty as sin of this atrocity against American democracy.

Allow me to expand on that point. The cult of the savvy has long treated *every* political event as a sporting event. They’re forever asking who’s up or who’s down. My response to that in this context: who gives a shit? The second impeachment trial is about the existential threat Trumpism poses to our democracy. Head counting in that context is obscene.

The MSM’s focus on the horse race aspects of the trial leads people to wonder: “Why are they even doing this if they can’t win? He’s out of office. He didn’t storm the capitol and torture police officers. It’s not his fault.”

Nothing is ever the Impeached Insult Comedian’s fault. It’s time for him and his enablers to take responsibility for all they’ve done to damage the country and our body politic. One way of holding them responsible is this trial.

I agree that it’s unlikely that enough Republican senators will vote to convict their lord and master. But that’s beside the point.

The point of this trial is to establish a historical record about what happened in the aftermath of the 2020 election and on that fateful day in January. The audience for the trial is outside the senate chamber, not inside. People need to know how Trump and his minions whipped up their supporters into such a frenzy that they stormed the Capitol. To focus on the vote count is to minimize the damage caused by the BIG LIE of electoral fraud. It needs to be exposed and examined or it will surely happen again.

The House managers have done a brilliant job in linking the lies told about election fraud to the Dipshit Insurrection. Those lies led to a riot, which turned into what Charlie Pierce called a “hunting party.”

Does anyone doubt that the Trump mob would have killed any politician they got their hands on? The Turtle is likely to vote to acquit, but the mob would have killed him for insufficient fealty to the Kaiser of Chaos. It was all or nothing with that mob. Not that they apply that standard to Pennywise: he lied about walking to the Capitol with them. Of course he lied. It’s what he does.

It’s also time for the cult of the savvy to kick their GOP addiction. The Republicans have been the dominant political party since the Reagan landslide in 1980, but Reaganism died on Twelfth Night 2021.

In his first inaugural address, Reagan delivered an ode to the peaceful transfer of power:

To a few of us here today this is a solemn and most momentous occasion, and yet in the history of our nation it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every 4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.

In 2021, egged on by their dear leader, the Trump mob turned our national miracle into a nightmare. They must be held accountable as many times as possible and in as many ways as possible.

I don’t care what Republicans do. They long ago forfeited the right to any respect. In 2017, the GOP controlled all three political branches. In 2021, they control none of them. The senate Republican caucus has been reduced to a quivering mound of gelatin fearful of being primaried. The MSM has enabled and made excuses for them. The second impeachment trial is not about the Republican party, it’s about the country.

I have some unsolicited advice for the GOP as they cower in contemplation of confronting a primary challenge or a Trump mob outside their residences. It’s a quote from my favorite president:

FDR was also Ronald Reagan’s favorite president. He hated the welfare state but lionized its founder. It’s one of the quirks of history.

In contrast, Donald Trump’s favorite president is himself. He hates everything about our democracy, especially the peaceful transfer of power. There’s nothing conservative about Trumpism, it’s nihilism pure and simple.

The cult of the savvy should cease and desist calling today’s GOP conservative, they’re radicals hell bent on doing to the country what the rioters did to the Capitol. But I know the MSM won’t call them radicals. They’re addicted to the GOP. The madness won’t stop until they kick the habit.

Democrats used to be the fearful party. That changed in the last few years; one of the few good things about the advent of Trumpism. Cowardly politicians would not twice impeach a president knowing that they were unlikely to prevail in the senate. This impeachment is an act of principle. In the long-run it will benefit the principled and damage the cowardly. The first impeachment caused the MSM to dismiss out of hand Team Trump’s attempt to make the 2020 election about Hunter Biden. They declined to be sidetracked. They should try it again.

Repeat after me: It’s not a horse race, it’s a crime.