Category Archives: Political Crack

Malaka Of The Week: Beth Mizell

The Gret Stet lege made history this week, holding the first ever veto override special session. Both houses are required to override with a 2/3 vote. The session was a flop: the lege did not override any of Gov. Edwards’ vetoes. It was a great relief because of two measures: a “freedom, man” concealed carry bill and a ban on transgender folks in school sports. The sponsor of the latter bill was State Senator Beth Mizell. And that is why she is malaka of the week.

I have a confession: I don’t follow the doings at the state lege as closely as a pundit should. They do some crazy shit, and I don’t want my blood pressure to spike. I did, however, follow the Veto Session. That would have made a good pseudonym for Vito Spatafore when he was outed and fled to New Hampshire in the final season of The Sopranos.

Back to the Gret Stet lege.

Mizell is a Republican who hails from Franklinton. It’s a small town in rural Washington Parish. Even though it’s only 70 miles away from New Orleans, it might as well be a thousand miles. Some call those folks rednecks, I prefer the term peckerwoods. It’s more evocative.

Mizell was the original sponsor of the hateful and unnecessary anti-trans bill. The senate overrode Gov. Edwards’ veto, but the house did not. I guess they had a fleeting moment of sanity.

Mizell claimed that transgender folks in sports was the most important issue for the people of the Gret Stet of Louisiana. I have my doubts that these claims are true:

“If you have not heard the voices of the large majority of people in this state by emails, by phone calls, by personal visits, there’s no words I can give you,”

I have a word for this: malakatude. Bigotry is another word that comes to mind.

It remains weird to live in such a blue city in such a red state. The lege is full of people who hate New Orleans. One reason they hate us is our diversity and tolerance of those who are different. Sounds pretty darn Christian to me but bible thumpers like Malaka Mizell don’t see it that way. It’s what happens when you live on a steady diet of red meat…

Mizell is term-limited and will leave the senate on January 8, 2024. I have no idea if she plans to run for another office. It’s one of those things that I don’t care about.

Mizell has promised to push her despicable bill in the next legislative session. That means we’ll have to fight this stupid battle all over again thanks to Mizell’s malakatude.

I’m not sure if Mizell is praying in the featured image or if she’s hanging her head in shame. I hope it’s the latter: she and her cohort have much to be ashamed of. And that is why Louisiana State Senator Beth Mizell is malaka of the week.

The last word goes to Dwight Yoakam:

First Draft KMacpalooza: The Grand Finale

This tweet I sent this morning was a bit premature:

I thought that after that and Michael F’s brilliant and punny press post, we’d exhausted the subject. I was wrong. It’s still KMac day at First Draft.

The brain-dead response of the MSM to Pelosi’s power play has been hilarious as pointed out by Never Trumper Tim Miller:

How dare Speaker Pelosi not allow Gym Jordan to wreck the investigation? KMac selected him to turn it into a shit show. Pelosi refused to play along.

The MSM was confused by Nancy Smash’s power move so much so that KMac walked into her trap by withdrawing from the Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee. That perfects their fuck-up in refusing to participate in a 1/6 Commission over which they’d have veto power over subpoenas. Now they have no representation, influence, or power. They won’t be on teevee when the hearings air either. It was a stupid move by a stupid man. Thanks, KMac.

Cassandra discussed Liz Cheney. I’d like to expand on her thoughts by quoting People Magazine quoting I Alone Can Wreck Fix It.

When hundreds of angry Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 after being incited by the president, Rep. Liz Cheney was inside with other members of congress, including Rep. Jim Jordan.

Jordan — who had supported Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen — offered to help Cheney out of the aisle.

She wasn’t having it, according to a new book.

“That fucking guy Jim Jordan. That son of a bitch,” Cheney told Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley on the phone, detailing the siege, according to I Alone Can Fix It, by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

“While these maniacs are going through the place, I’m standing in the aisle and he said, ‘We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you,’ ” recalled Cheney, then the House of Representatives’ No. 3 Republican, per the book. “I smacked his hand away and told him, ‘Get away from me. You fucking did this.’ ”

I undeleted the expletives. We still have a fuck quota at First Draft even without Athenae and Jude. Fuck, yeah.

One thing I respect about the Cheneys is that they’re good haters and even better grudge holders. Liz Cheney’s hate for that fucking guy Gym Jordan runs deep.

The main reason I’m wrapping up KMacpalooza is this:

“We will run our own investigation,” McCarthy said at a news conference, calling Pelosi a “lame duck speaker” and accusing her of an “egregious abuse of power” and of “destroying the institution.”

That was KMac’s OJ Simpson moment. Remember when the Juice got loose and claimed that he’d investigate the murders? That never happened. Instead he wrote a book called If I Did It.

KMac’s book could be titled How I Tried To Kill Democracy.

I eagerly await a subpoena landing on KMac’s desk.

The last word goes to The Kinks. Just imagine Gym Jordan singing Dave’s part and Liz Cheney singing Ray’s.

 

Clowntime Is Over

My husband and I finally began watching “Ted Lasso” last month. For some reason he became enamored of the word “wanker” and used it delightedly all the time. Because of household osmosis, now I am using it, too.

Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, is a tiresome wanker. He really, Really, REALLY wants to be Speaker of the House, and until that day comes he is determined to try to outsmart Nancy Pelosi. He gets very few opportunities of course, but you can’t say he doesn’t make the most of them when they come along.

For example, he’s been stringing this 1/6 Select House Committee along for weeks now. Now no one actually thought House Republicans were going to happily participate in this fact-finding mission. And no one thought McCarthy wouldn’t name poisonous House members to the committee.

I have to say that I was impressed by McCarthy’s restraint in only naming 2 trainwrecks—I was sure he was going to add 5. And I wasn’t surprised at all that Pelosi rejected Jims Banks and Jordan, and nor were any of us that after that, McCarthy pulled all of his suggestions and walked away, crowing about the dangers of partisanship.

Except the 1/6 Select Committee is already bipartisan:  Pelosi named Liz Cheney as one of her selections. On one hand, ensuring that the committee would be bipartisan was an excellent tactical move.  McCarthy doesn’t realize he’s already been checkmated. Pelosi is going to put Cheney front and center to emphasize that the committee isn’t just Democrats. This won’t matter to Trumpers, but it will resonate with never Trump Republicans and with independents.

On the other hand, elevating Cheney in this way makes Cheney a credible politician whose ideas should be taken seriously, instead of just another GOP wingnut, albeit one who does not subscribe to The Big Lie.  Anti-Muslim, pro-torture, anti-marriage equality, anti-choice—apart from wanting to save democracy, she’s interchangeable with the rest of the haters in her party and I am sorry that she is going to emerge from these hearings with a luster of legitimacy.

But having the hearings take place in an orderly, professional, serious fashion is more important than my distaste for radical Republicanism. McCarthy has juggled his last plate regarding the 1/6 insurrection.

Things I Don’t Care About

The MSM are experiencing Trump withdrawal. Cable news ratings and internet clicks are down. They’re flailing, searching for drama where none exists. This week has been a prime example. Here are three things that are getting play that I don’t care about.

Billionaires In Space: Who cares about Jeff Bezos’ and Richard Branson’s brief and expensive foray into space tourism? Neither flight lasted as long as Alan Shepard’s 15-minute Mercury 7 flight. All they proved is that if you have enough money, you can spend your way into space. Yawn.

I agree with Senator Professor Warren’s pre-flight take:

“He’s laughing at every person in America who actually paid taxes,” Warren said. “Jeff Bezos’ trip to outer space is being financed by all the rest of the US taxpayers who paid their taxes so that Jeff Bezos didn’t have to.”

She added: “Jeff Bezos kept all of his money and uses it on a space ticket. Uh-uh.”

The only tantalizing question is whether Jeff Bezos has billionaire hair envy. Richard Branson has a full head of hair, Bezos does not. All he has is a cowboy hat that doesn’t fit. I guess he thinks he’s one of these guys:

Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and James Garner had the right stuff. Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos merely have the green stuff.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Drama: The MSM remains so addicted to the GOP narrative that they’ve forgotten who is driving the train in the Senate. Democrats show signs of breaking up with the Rob Portmans of the world and folding traditional infrastructure spending into the larger bill and passing it via reconciliation. That’s always been plan B, a point that’s lost on the media. Backup plans are boring.

Wingnuts Get Jabbed: Suddenly, the folks at Fox News are urging people to get jabbed like they all are. The MSM is in a tizzy wondering why this happened. Here’s why: the stock market cratered on Monday because of fears that the Delta variant is out of control. It’s a sign of greed, not enlightenment.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise hews to the Fox News line. The Metry mediocrity announced that he got vaccinated after resisting it like other wingnut dummies in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Thanks, Steve?

Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

The last word goes to The Byrds:

Book Review: Forget The Alamo

You’re not seeing double: I did write a Saturday Odds & Sods segment about Forget The Alamo. I’m doubling down and reviewing this terrific tome by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford; hereinafter BTS, not to be confused with BLT or BTO. They do, however, take care of business.

To some degree Forget The Alamo answers this question: what did the authors do during their COVID lockdown? They used the time productively by grinding away on this book. They knew it would be controversial and it is: the Alamoheads are up in arms over this latest revisionist history. The Alamo myth is important to Texans and Walt Disney, John Wayne, and Lyndon Johnson brought it to the whole damn country.

If they were more self-aware, the Alamoheads would agree with this quote from John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance:

I put the quote over a picture of the Alamo as an extra twist of the Bowie knife. Everything the Alamoheads believe about what happened in 1836 is a legend. It’s the Texas creation myth that BTS call the Heroic Anglo Narrative.

BTS do an excellent job deflating the Alamo myth. The Texian rebellion against Mexico was not about freedom but about slavery. Mexico had abolished slavery and wanted it gone from the province. Anyone surprised? Everything was about slavery before the War of the Rebellion settled the issue of human bondage but not of white supremacy. It’s still with us like a pernicious tumor that defies eradication.

Tejanos have long viewed the Alamo as a symbol of white supremacy. Their voices are finally being heard despite attempts by Texas Republicans to mute or gag them. Anyone surprised? The Texas GOP is on the wrong and most extreme side of every issue. That goes for their own history as illustrated by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick ordering the state museum to cancel a panel discussion of Forget The Alamo. I guess he forgot he was against cancel culture.

I referred to Forget The Alamo as revisionist history earlier. That’s not exactly so. It’s historiography, which is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particulars from the authentic materials, and the synthesis of particulars into a narrative that will stand the test of critical methods

Historiography is my jam. I love the clash of ideas, facts, and myths. While I’m on the subject I have some historiographic recommendations: Explaining Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum and John Wayne’s America by Garry Wills.

Wills has made a career out of historiography. I wish BTS had relied on Wills’ take on John Wayne’s 1960 cinematic ode to the Alamo myth, which he coupled with the Cold War. Who knew that Santa Ana was a proto-Commie? I always thought he was a shameless opportunist whose redeeming characteristic was loathing slavery.

BTS do an excellent job of explaining the Alamo myth before demolishing it with a flurry of facts and satire. BTS are funny; another reason Forget The Alamo rocks.

It turns out that Genesis drummer turned pop star Phil Collins is a fanatical Alamohead and collector of Alamo artifacts. He’s also an easy mark for unscrupulous dealers peddling spurious objects including Jim Bowie’s “own” Bowie Knife, which appears to date from the 1970’s, not the 1830’s. Collins maintains that it’s genuine after spending $1.5 million on the knife. That makes Collins a walking drummer joke.

As you may have noticed, I loved Forget The Alamo, I give it an Adrastos Grade of A and 4 stars.

The last word goes to Phil Collins with a video that may explain why he’s such an easy mark for Alamo grifters.

Run Through The Milley

I’m debuting a new featured image meme today. I’ve used the above image with the Fog of Scandal, but the ultimate scandal of the Trump Regime deserves its own meme.

Books about the disastrous final year of the Impeached Insult Comedian’s reign of error are flying off the shelves. As my mother used to say, it was “uglier than boiled sin” in public and even worse in private. I asked Mom to explain this Midwesternism. She told me to try boiling sin to see what it looked like. It was a non-answer but a funny one, so I let it slide. I guess she had a feeling inside that she couldn’t explain:

Mom never did Roger’s mike toss or Pete’s windmill. I would have paid to see either…

Back to the Dipshit Insurrection. General Mark Milley is a central figure in I Alone Can Fix It by the WaPo’s Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker. (The book should really be called I Alone Can Wreck It.) We’re going to focus on the General’s reaction to the Trump regime’s end game and my reaction to Milley’s reactions. Sounds reactive…

As he showed in responding to Matt Gaetz’s CRT question, Mark Milley is an erudite and well-read man. I was appalled when he joined the Kaiser of Chaos on his bible waving jaunt but pleased when he apologized. It takes a big man to take responsibility for their mistakes. Something Donald Trump has never done in his Lilliputian life.

General Milley’s antennae began tingling right after the election:

… the general’s worries grew rapidly as the president plunged the nation into chaos following Election Day. Seven days later, Milley got a call from “an old friend” with an explicit warning that Trump and his allies were trying to “overturn the government.” Milley was confident that any attempts by Trump to hold on to power would be thwarted, because the military wouldn’t go along. “They may try, but they’re not going to fucking succeed,” he told aides. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with guns.”

That is, of course, the classic definition of a coup. A definition I agree with. What happened on 1/6/2021 was a riotous insurrection. Whatever word you use, it was some serious shit that should never be forgotten.

I long ago discarded Godwin’s Law in discussing Trumpism. So too did General Milley.

…Milley was disturbed by the sight of Trump supporters rallying to his cause in November, calling them “Brownshirts in the streets.” Leonnig and Rucker wrote that Milley “believed Trump was stoking unrest, possibly in hopes of an excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act and call out the military.” The general likened the U.S. to Germany’s fragile Weimar Republic in the early 1930s. “This is a Reichstag moment,” he said, referring to the arson attack on Germany’s Parliament that Hitler used as a pretext to assume absolute power and destroy democracy.

And that was before the Dipshit Insurrection. The aftermath of 1/6 is where the Reichstag Fire analogy works best. They’re trying to whitewash the event and pretend that, in Trump’s recent phrase, “it was a love fest.” Oy just oy.

This was Milley’s reaction to the crowd watching Trump’s 1/6 screed:

“These guys are Nazis, they’re boogaloo boys, they’re Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II.”

I’ve said the same thing myself: my uncle died fighting Fascism. The shame of the thing and its follow-up are staggering. Of course, former President* Pennywise’s picture is in the dictionary next to shameless.

There’s been a controversy as to whether General Milley should have done more to counter Trump. I understand those who think he should have, at the very least, testified at the second impeachment trial or spoken out publicly. It’s a close call, but I think it’s more important to preserve the principle of civilian control of the military.

If Milley had spoken out, he would have had to resign. I’m glad a General who understood that Trump was “preaching the gospel of the Fuhrer” was in place. Unlike Trump, Milley has heard of the Nuremberg Principles and would have refused to obey illegal orders to involve the military in a coup.

As a young man. I heard stories from my Greek relatives of tanks rolling through the streets of Athens in 1967. Thanks to General Milley, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and other senior military commanders, it didn’t happen here. It was, however, a close call.

I chose a punny title for this post because Mark Milley was indeed run through the mill by the Trump regime. I’m glad someone who knows history and understands the nature of Fascism had a seat at the table during the bleak final days of the Trump administration. Besides, what’s not to love about a guy who told Stephen Miller to “shut the fuck up” during the BLM protest season?

The last word is inspired by a punny title I discarded, Walk A Milley In My Shoes. That’s why it goes to an unlikely trio: Joe South, Bryan Ferry, and Billy Eckstein.

 

 

The Senate Is Slow

Thanks to the Turtle, the United States Senate was a moribund body between 2015-2021. They cut taxes and tried to gut the ACA, but otherwise little of note was accomplished. That began to change when Democrats won a narrow majority and passed the American Rescue Plan via the reconciliation process.  That was a surprisingly fast process, but the senate is back to its slow, slow ways.

I’ve criticized Bernie Sanders in this space before. It’s time to praise him. In his new role as Budget Committee chair, he did a masterful job of steering the human infrastructure bill through his committee. Senator Sanders didn’t get everything he wanted BUT the scaled back bill pleased committee progressives and moderates alike. It’s unclear what the Emperor of the Senate, Joe Manchin, thinks. The 50-50 split gives this guy too much power but that’s democracy in action.

Mercifully, the above bill can be passed via reconciliation, but that’s the majority’s last bite at that apple for now. Everything else is subject to the McConnell era filibuster and he’s vowed to obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. It’s uncertain if the bipartisan infrastructure bill will get the necessary ten Republicans vote. I’m expecting the rug to be pulled out from under it, but Democrats will get points from the broader public for the effort. Independents love bipartisanship.

Republican senators dislike both voting rights bills that have been proposed by Democrats. They’re expected to vote in a solid bloc against both measures. Times have changed. The last time the Voting Rights Act was renewed in 2006 the senate vote was unanimous. That’s right, Mitch McConnell voted for the VRA before it was gutted by Chief Justice Roberts.

All roads in 2021 lead to the filibuster. The amateur senators were up in the arms that President Biden didn’t mention it in his stirring speech about voting rights. They’re demanding that he demand its abolition as a sign of his sincerity. I, too, support abolition BUT it would have been an empty gesture for the president to do so. The votes aren’t there, and the situation calls for our old friend nuance.

The best we can hope for is filibuster reform. A carve-out for voting rights seems to have 48 votes as of this writing: we all know who the two holdouts are.

TPM has been keeping track of where each Democratic senator stands on the filibuster. Using the TPM filibuster tracker’s terminology, here’s how it broke down as of two weeks ago:

The Status Quo Sect: 2

The Reformers: 24

The Nukers: 14

The Nuke-Curious: 10

TPM’s head count shows that there are only 14 firm votes to nuke the filibuster with a ceiling of 24. That’s substantial progress from past years. Senators such as Dianne Feinstein, Jon Tester, and Angus King have moved into the reform column this year. Hell, current nuker Bernie Sanders was a reformer until recently.

The amateur senators want brave speeches and absolutist stands from Joe Biden. I think a six-term former senator knows more about the upper chamber than the Twitteratti. What’s called for right now is cunning and guile.

Biden and one of his closest allies, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, are playing the inside-outside game on voting rights. Biden is privately lobbying senators while Clyburn is speaking out publicly. This is the way politics is supposed to work.

I’m cautiously optimistic about things working out in the senate. I realize, however, that things could fall apart. Major legislation often appears to be doomed before it passes. That was the case with the ACA, among others. Stay tuned.

Whatever happens, it won’t happen overnight. Repeat after me: the senate is slow.

The last word goes to goes to Foghat:

Don’t Fauci My Florida?

Some things never change. Republicans have long identified enemies, then raised money by attacking them.  For many years, Ted Kennedy was the GOP’s main boogieman even after his presidential hopes ended. They raised hell and buckets of bucks off the Clintons, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi. Now the Trumpiest Trumper of them all, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is continuing this odious tradition with an unlikely target: Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Say What?  You heard that right. Team DeSantis is selling tacky anti-Fauci: merch.

Freedom, man. A friend has suggested I slap that on a t-shirt or koozie and sell it on Etsy or Red Bubble, but too many people would take it literally instead of ironically. (The first time I heard about Etsy, the name made me chortle. Etsi-ketsi is Greek for so-so. So-so it goes.)

The Impeached Insult Comedian was the one who started the hate campaign against one of the world’s most eminent scientists. What Trump does, Ron DeSantis immediately imitates.

DeSantis’ record on the pandemic is one of the worst in the world:

DeSantis avoided statewide mask requirements even as leaders across the political spectrum embraced them amid growing evidence of their effectiveness. This spring, he suspended all virus-based local rules for businesses and individuals.

The governor has encouraged people to get vaccinated but also banned businesses from requiring proof of vaccination, arguing that such measures are a form of discrimination against people who refuse vaccines for medical or religious reasons. He also successfully sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep it from enforcing its coronavirus rules on cruise ships in Florida, a major part of the state’s tourism industry.

Freedom, man.

DeSantis is bragging about Florida’s “freedom based” economy while ignoring the latest explosion of COVID in his state. Freedom, man.

At last weekend’s summer CPAC event DeSantis came in second to Trump in a 2024 presidential straw poll with 21%. According to Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman, Trump was already jealous of his Mini-me:

In recent days I spoke with a half dozen GOP insiders about the recent flare-ups between DeSantis’s and Trump’s camps. The sources agreed that DeSantis and Trump are on an inevitable collision course as the 2024 GOP field takes shape. “There’s going to be a blowup,” a prominent Republican said. “Trump fucking hates DeSantis. He just resents his popularity,” a Trump confidant told me. Asked for comment, Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington said: “Governor DeSantis has shown great respect.”

Part of Trump’s irritation with DeSantis is that Trump famously claims credit for anyone in his orbit who gains attention. “Trump tells people, ‘I made Ron,’” the prominent Republican said. “Trump says that about a lot of people. But in this case it’s actually true.” According to sources, then congressman DeSantis cultivated Trump’s support during the 2018 gubernatorial primary by hanging out at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel. “Ron basically ran his primary campaign out of the hotel. He buttonholed Trump supporters and his friends,” the prominent Republican said.

I look forward to a collision between Dr. Evil and his Mini-Me. It will be entertaining as well as destructive to the Republican party. Game Of Thrones ended badly, hopefully Trump-DeSantis will too. Stay tuned.

Back to Tony Fauci. He’s a tough old bird who can take a punch. He’s from Brooklyn before it became Hipster Central. In Fauci’s day, it was a tough working class enclave. Dr. Fauci has been vilified before; by AIDS activists in the 1980’s. He was able to win them over with a combination of charm and substance, but they were good people who wanted to stop a deadly disease. Ron DeSantis is a bad person who has allowed a deadly disease to spread to further his political ambition.

Freedom, man.

The last word goes to Bessie Smith:

Ashli Babbittry

Sinclair Lewis is back in fashion because of his parable of American fascism, It Can’t Happen Here. I’m not sure how many people have read the novel as opposed to posting pictures of the cover on social media. That’s more common than you might think. It’s gotten to the point where I ask errant social media commenters if they’ve read the post of mine they’re attacking. They usually have not.

I had a high school English teacher who was kin to Sinclair Lewis. I don’t recall the consanguinity, but her stock line was “Sinclair Lewis, not Upton Sinclair.”

People were just as easily confused in the 20th Century as they are now. I wish I could say that Twitter birthed mass stupidity, but its been with us forever. Hell, when I ran a Google search for Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair’s name came up almost as often.

That brings me to another Sinclair Lewis novel Babbitt, which is a fine example of satire circa 1922. It was the story of a Midwestern real estate developer named George Babbitt. He was the epitome of vapid conformity and banal boosterism.

It’s every writer’s dream to coin a word or phrase that makes the dictionary. That happened with Babbitt, which is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as:

“a person and especially a business or professional man who conforms unthinkingly to prevailing middle-class standards.”

A mini essay at Merriam-Webster.com adds this thought about Babbittry:

The values, attitudes, and mores associated with the American middle class in the 1920s can be summed up in the word Babbitry. It derives from the protagonist of Babbitt, a satirical novel by Sinclair Lewis published in 1922. George F. Babbitt epitomizes the unimaginative and self-important businessmen that Lewis found typical of the provincial cities and towns of America. Despite his evident prosperity and status, he remains vaguely dissatisfied with life and makes tentative attempts at rebellion; however, in the end, he finds his need for social acceptance greater than his desire for escape.

To a great extent that describes the conformism that is Trumpism. Trumpers tend to trumpet the cliches they’ve heard on Fox News, Newsmax, Breitbart, and other wingnutty web sites. Trumpism is a conformist creed that relies on talking points instead of independent thought hence the anti-intellectual attacks on science and education. Who among us isn’t tired of hearing about cancel culture?

The anti-intellectualism of Trumpism is nothing new. George Wallace was fond of attacking “damn pointy-headed intellectuals who can’t park their bicycle straight.”

The Impeached Insult Comedian was never that witty.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Silent House

House By The Railroad by Edward Hopper.

Since the recent death of a family member, I’ve had mortality on my mind. Hence this week’s theme song and an appropriately somber featured image by Edward Hopper.

Silent House is a song about grief and loss. It was a collaboration between Neil Finn and Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, and Emily Robison of The Dixie Chicks. For more information about the song, click here.

The Dixie Chicks recorded Silent House first on their 2006 album Taking The Long Way. Crowded House cut their version for 2007’s Time Of Earth. Since I’m more of a Crowdie fan and prefer their version, we’ll start with it. Sorry, Chicks.

I hope everyone remembers the whole The Dixie Chicks controversy involving their opposition to the Bush-Cheney administration’s War in Iraq. In this Rodney Crowell song, the Yuppie neo-con narrator calls them out.

Now that we’ve heard Rodney sing “give it to me” repeatedly, let’s jump to the break.

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Malaka Of The Week: Michael Avenatti

Glory Days: Stormy Daniels & Michael Avenatti.

As a satirist I have a firm rule. I always kick up, never down. Kicking down isn’t funny, which is one reason my original nickname for Donald Trump, the Insult Comedian, is ironic. He always kicks down, never up. As a result, he’s not funny.

As a human being I have an analogous rule. My father taught me never kick a man when he’s down. There are exceptions to every rule. And that is why Michael Avenatti is malaka of the week.

I never cared for or wrote favorably about Malaka Michael. The MSM was madly in love with him because he was colorful and quotable. Besides, he represented a porn star going after then President* Pennywise. What’s more colorful than that?

I was struck by the man’s high regard for himself. He reminded me of a law school classmate who was my friend until he made law review. Then he dropped all his 1L friends. It was a classic kick down. It was no great loss; he was an asshole anyway. There’s a character based on him in my law school novel. Tongue In The Mail. He wasn’t the murderer just your basic malaka mouthpiece wannabe.

I began to detest Avenatti when he intervened in the Kavanaugh Mess. He made an easy target for Republicans who were able to paint him as a hyper partisan jerk who was only interested in himself not SCOTUS. Malaka Michael’s posturing made it harder for undecided GOP senators to vote Kavanaugh down. Thanks, dude.

Avenatti decided that being a porn star lawyer and cable news rock star qualified him to be president:

I wrote about this creep’s brief foray into Democratic presidential politics in a post with an apt title, The Ego Has Landed: Why Not Me Avenatti 2020?

His campaign slogan was ironic given his current circumstances: Restore Integrity.

The malakatude it burns.

Stephanie Clifford DBA Stormy Daniels made Malaka Michael a celebrity. Representing her turned out to be his undoing. His ego exploded to the point that he attempted to extort money from Nike. Pro-tip: never shake down a corporation that’s worth between 15 and 25 billion dollars.

Cue Carl Sagan meme:

Avenatti called it negotiating for a client, Nike called it extortion. A Manhattan jury agreed with Nike and found him guilty of extortion last year. Yesterday, Avenatti was sentenced to 30 months in jail by a federal judge who called him “drunk with power.”

Avenatti goes on trial in Los Angeles next week for stealing money from his clients.

In his future is another federal trial for stealing Stormy Daniels’ $300K book advance. Stormy giveth and Stormy taketh away.

Avenatti is a walking cautionary tale of the perils of believing your own publicity. A bit of humility never hurt anyone. And that is why Michael Avenatti is malaka of the week.

The last word goes to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers:

Taking A Schott At Trump

Here we go again. The Kaiser of Chaos is back in the news for all the wrong reasons. It’s the only way he makes news, after all.

The Guardian scored an early copy of a book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender. The source of the story is obviously John Kelly who is willing to tell the truth about his former boss privately but never publicly.

Here we go again:

On a visit to Europe to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, Donald Trump insisted to his then chief of staff, John Kelly: “Well, Hitler did a lot of good things.”

<SNIP>

But Bender says unnamed sources reported that Kelly “told the president that he was wrong, but Trump was undeterred”, emphasizing German economic recovery under Hitler during the 1930s.

“Kelly pushed back again,” Bender writes, “and argued that the German people would have been better off poor than subjected to the Nazi genocide.”

Bender adds that Kelly told Trump that even if his claim about the German economy under the Nazis after 1933 were true, “you cannot ever say anything supportive of Adolf Hitler. You just can’t.”

Unnamed sources? Only Kelly and Trump were in that room. I understand Bender not wanting to burn his sources, but John Kelly is a coward. I don’t usually say that about generals, but I’ll say it again: John Kelly is a coward. He’s retired from the military so he can speak freely about the Kaiser of Chaos. The same goes for General Mattis. At least he doesn’t leak stories, so he’s not quite as bad as Kelly but he’s guilty of the same moral cowardice.

The incident took place on the same European trip that Pennywise made the infamous suckers and losers remark. John Kelly heard all of this hateful shit but remains silent in public.

Repeat after me: John Kelly is a coward.

Here we go again. Nobody is surprised when Trump says something nice about Nazis. He’s done it before, and he’ll do it again.  It’s probably something Donald heard his father Fred say. Before World War II, Hitler was popular among conservative German Americans because he “fixed” the German economy. Money is all that matters to Trumps past present and future.

That brings me to the post title and featured image. The minute I heard about Trump’s remarks, I thought of former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott. She’s been out of baseball since 1999 and dead since 2004, but she made some unforgettable comments about Hitler in 1996:

“Everything you read, when he [Hitler] came in he was good,” the Reds owner said in an interview aired by ESPN last night. “They built tremendous highways and got all the factories going. He went nuts, he went berserk. I think his own generals tried to kill him, didn’t they? Everybody knows he was good at the beginning but he just went too far.”

Oy just oy.

Like Donald Trump, Marge Schott was German American.

Like Donald Trump, Marge Schott only cared about money.

Unlike Donald Trump, Marge Schott loved dogs, St. Bernards in particular. It was her redeeming characteristic. Donald Trump has none.

I have no doubt that Marge Schott would be an ardent Trumper if she were still alive. Praising Hitler wasn’t her only racist outburst. She called two of her star players Eric Davis and Dave Parker “million dollar n*****s.”

Schott wasn’t crazy about Jews or Asians either. I could go on and on, but I won’t.

Marge Schott was suspended by Major League Baseball several times for her bigoted comments and eventually run out of the game. I suspect contemporary “conservatives” would claim that she was a victim of cancel culture. Her wounds like those of the Impeached Insult Comedian were self-inflicted but the worst thing she could do was ruin a ball club, not a country.

About the featured image. I somehow missed the 2017 Stern cover and the Politico story about it when it ran in the wake of the Charlottesville mishigas. I remember the Sports Illustrated cover of Schott who was a heavy smoker as well as a bigot and poor excuse for a human being.

About the title. In addition to Schott and Trump, I kicked around several ideas. Then I thought of the old song Taking A Chance On Love, which begins with “Here I go again.”

Somehow Taking A Chance On Love became Taking A Schott At Trump.

It’s an odd inspiration for this punny post title but I’m an odd guy. Ironically, the song debuted in a musical about Black folks, Cabin In The Sky. I shudder to think what Donald and Marge would say about that.

Here I go again, the last word goes to Ella Fitzgerald:

The House Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee

It’s been six months since the Dipshit Insurrection. Former President* Pennywise is demanding the release of insurrectionists but Speaker Pelosi is moving forward with an investigation. See the post title.

Count me among those people who thinks that getting at the truth of what happened on 1/6 and during the Trump regime is more important than prosecuting crimes. Most aspects of the Dipshit Insurrection are clearly criminal whereas many Trump era scandals involve the violation of norms. We need to get at the truth of those norm violations, then figure out how to address them. The criminal law is a blunt instrument and cannot be used for everything.

The House Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee’s mission is to investigate what happened before during and after 1/6. The poorly led House Republican Caucus painted themselves in a corner by not supporting the commission. Congressman Katko cut a good deal, which gave them clout in the investigation. But KMac blows with the wind and the prevailing breeze comes from Mar-a-Doorn. KMac and the Turtle bowed to the Kaiser of Chaos’ wishes and are now living to regret it.

If only they could take responsibility like the guy in the Jackie Wilson song:

I find myself in the weird position of quoting Gret Stet Senator Bill Cassidy without any mockery. This is how he explained his vote for the 1/6 Commission:

“The legislation I voted for ensured Republicans had equal power over the commission and set a deadline of December 31, 2021 to prevent a needlessly drawn-out process,” he said in a statement.

“Without this commission, there will still be an investigation,” he added. “But it will be a House select-committee set up by Speaker Pelosi – the nature of which will be entirely dictated by Democrats and would stretch on for years.”

Cassidy feared a Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi style committee. That seems unlikely but the GOP shot itself in the foot by voting against the commission.

KMac got extra mad when Liz Cheney accepted a slot on the select committee. He’s running around like a headless chicken shaking blood over everything. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Dumbass.

Back to the substance of the committee’s work. There’s been talk of White House involvement in the Dipshit Insurrection. That should be a focus of the committee’s investigation. They may or may not be able to establish any violations of the criminal laws, but the facts need to come out.

I have no illusions that any of this will shake the faith of hardcore Trumpers and QAnon creeps. Frankly, I don’t care about them. They’re lost souls. I am, however, interested in keeping the GOP on defense in the House and elsewhere. The Dipshit Insurrection committee should stick the knife in slowly and let them bleed out.

Here’s the best-case scenario:

They’re not our friends but I like the funeral and bleeding stuff. Besides, I’ve gone to the Let It Bleed well too often.

As of this writing KMac hasn’t said whether they’ll participate in the select committee. They would be wise to do so. When Nancy Pelosi was confronted with the same choice over the Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi select committee, many thought Democrats should boycott, she did not. It was the right decision. Of course, KMac is not known for his judgment. I guess he’ll have to call the Impeached Insult Comedian for instructions.

Finally, if you haven’t seen the New York Times recent look at the Capitol riot, CLICK HERE. 

The last word goes to Roy Byrd DBA Professor Longhair with another fault-based song:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Wicked Game

The Witch Of Endor by William Blake.

It’s been wickedly hot across the country. It’s been hotter in Portland and Seattle than in New Orleans; that’s some weird shit. We all have air-conditioning and most of my friends in the PNW do not. Imagine how hot Paco the Maine Coon mix was during the heat wave. It’s hard having a luxurious fur coat.

I’m sticking with a witchy/magical theme this week. How can I follow Witchcraft with a chirpy tune? I used a painting by proto-surrealist artist William Blake since Magritte and Ernst are overheated and didn’t feel up to it. I know, dead guys can’t suffer from heat stroke, but some humor was in order.

Chris Isaak wrote this week’s theme song in 1989 for his Heart Shaped World album, which established him as a major rock star. The video for Wicked Game established him as a major heartthrob. Some guys have all the luck.

We have three versions of Wicked Game for your listening pleasure: the sexy video, a 2006 live version, and Tom Ellis at the piano in Lucifer.

Dr. A and I watched the second half of season 5 of Lucifer this week. It had its ups and downs, but an emphatic up was Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam in which the gang broke into song at the behest of God played by Dennis Haysbert. I was three years behind God at San Mateo High School. Go, Bearcats.

Here’s one of the songs featured in that thrilling episode of Lucifer:

Now that we’ve gone to hell and back, let’s jump to the break where more wickedness awaits.

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Trump Family Values

As I luxuriated in the Indictment Thursday coverage I found myself asking: what does Mary Trump think? I reviewed her book last year for Bayou Brief. Too Much and Never Enough made me respect her judgment and her take on her kin folks.

The most interesting moment of Mary’s interview with Rachel Maddow last night was this:

RM: Allen Weisselberg is being charged for benefitting from that scheme. The indictment says, other executives also benefitted from that scheme. And now, we`ve got solid reporting that the investigation continues. That raises the prospect that further charges could be brought against his children.

MT: Yeah, it does. And I — again, I think they should be quite anxious right now. Donald, on the other hand, will expect the same kind and level of loyalty from them, as he expects from Allen. You know, as far as Donald`s concerned, they have what they have because of him. And they should be willing to take whatever hit they are going to take.

He doesn`t understand, I guess, how these things work. Prosecutors won`t stop at my cousins. They will be going for the bigger fish, which would be Donald, who`s been running this organization for over 30 years, now.

So I think he would be surprised to learn that I don`t believe my cousins would exert that kind of — exercise that kind of loyalty towards him because his relationship with them and their relationship with him is entirely transactional. So — and conditional, I should say.

So, they`re not going to risk anything for him, just as he wouldn`t risk anything for them. So, it could get really, really interesting as these things unfold, because there are so many more documents that New York prosecutors have at their disposal.

RM: So, you have more confidence that Allen Weisselberg would — wouldn`t cooperate, than you do that the president`s — former president`s children wouldn`t cooperate?

MT: Yeah. I think, as far as I understand it, and, you know, I`m not a lawyer. But it seems that, as — as serious as these charges are, they may not end up with jail time or any significant amount of jail time. And the downside of cooperating with prosecutors, for Allen Weisselberg might be larger than the downside of going to jail if it`s for a short enough period of time.

So, again, it`s going to be very interesting to see just the — the case that can be made. And the sentencing, if it comes to that, because I think that will factor in, for sure. But I`m much less sanguine about my cousins` loyalty to their father.

Sorry for the long quote, but I wanted everything to be put in context. Mary Trump might be wrong about her cousins but the mere possibility they *could* flip on former President* Pennywise is fascinating. We all have fickle and untrustworthy relatives, but this takes the cake.

Speaking of cake and relatives who work together, I feel a musical interlude coming on.

The current edition of Crowded House has three Finns. I don’t think Liam or Elroy would flip on papa Neil. Their Uncle Tim never did. There’s more Eighties music to come at the end of the post. It was the decade in which Donald Trump became famous, after all.

Now that we’ve had dessert, back to the main course: the Trumps. There have long been rumors of discord between the Two Donalds. Junior rebelled against his father after his mother was so publicly dumped. That’s one of the few good things I’ve ever heard about Junior.

Don Junior seems to think he can be the next John Quincy Adams or George W Bush: son of a president who becomes one himself. Adams set the bar high, but W lowered it considerably; making even grandson of a president Benjamin Harrison look good. Ratting out the Kaiser of Chaos would be bad for Junior politically, so I think he’ll stay on the sinking ship.

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Like A Summer Thursday

There’s a lot going on in the legal world today. Make that too much. My head is spinning and glistening with sweat because it’s summer. That was almost melodramatic enough to score a gig as a cable news host. I can hype things with the best of them, but I choose not to. I value my sanity. I’ll never be able to sigh as much as Rachel Maddow…

I did a search for songs with Thursday in the title. I was surprised at how many there are. I picked this Townes Van Zandt song because it’s summer and it’s Thursday:

It has nothing to do with the law, but I like it. We need something mellow on such a frantic news day.

I’m not writing this in order of importance. The SCOTUS stuff and the Trump Org indictment are clearly the top stories for this edition of the Legal Docket, but we begin in Pennsylvania.

Castor Oiled: Cassandra wrote a swell post about the Cosby case and I’m following up with a few notes on the law. While the ruling by the Pennsylvania supremes is bizarre in its reliance on a Bruce Castor press release, the Cosby prosecution fucked up.

Prosecutors should have done a better job insulating their case from Castor’s promise not to prosecute Cosby. They’re only partially to blame for this clusterfuck. The bulk of the blame goes to Bruce Castor.

We all remember Castor as the faux folksy lawyer who worked on the second Trump impeachment.  He wasn’t any more competent as District Attorney of Montgomery County, PA.

I don’t agree with the court ruling but it’s not baseless since Castor made such a mess of everything. The good news is that it didn’t exonerate Cosby. The bad news is that it freed him so he can pontificate and lecture the rest of the country. He’ll always be a convicted sex offender to me. Fat Albert can fuck off too.

There are some fine instant analysis pieces by sharper legal minds than mine:

Daniel Joseph Stern at Slate.

Harry Litman at the WaPo

Barbara McQuade at the NYT.

SCOTUS: There was a major decision in an Arizona voting rights case. Plaintiffs said the laws discriminated against minorities. The majority opinion by Justice Alito dismissed those concerns. It’s genuinely frightening that Sam Alito created a new test to be applied to voting rights cases. Shorter Alito: Republicans good, Democrats bad. I oversimplify but that’s the end result.

California had a law that forced non-profit donors to disclose their identity. Transparency is good, right? Not according to 6 supremes who struck the law down. They even compared Americans for Prosperity to the NAACP during Jim Crow. AFP is a Koch brothers group. Oy just oy.

There’s been a lot of speculation that Justice Breyer *might* retire today but nothing has happened as of this writing. I remain concerned that the pressure campaign might have backfired. As I wrote a few weeks ago: “These tactics didn’t work with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, why would they work with Justice Breyer?”

Watch this space.

Manhattan Melodrama: I wrote this segment in bits and pieces before and after the arraignment hearing. Here we go.

I wish I could augment my original nickname for Donald Trump and make it the Indicted Impeached Insult Comedian, but his head is not on the chopping block today. Since he never thinks ahead, he’s apparently celebrating that fact. The indictment of the Trump Org could doom it as a business enterprise. It owes hundreds of millions to lenders who may call in the loans. Spiking the ball prematurely is never a good idea.

I was hoping that Allen Weisselberg would flip but there’s still time. Why does he think that Trump will reciprocate his loyalty? Beats the hell out of me. Perhaps he sold his soul to the elder Trump long ago.

The indictment makes it clear that the charges involve a long-running scam to avoid taxes on the part of Weisselberg personally and the company. The amount listed is substantial: $1.5 million but the crime is not as sexy as insurance or bank fraud.

Prosecutors made it clear that the investigation continues. My hunch is that the indictment is a club to hang over Weisselberg’s head. They’re hoping he’ll flip now that he’s been cuffed and charged. If he doesn’t, it makes it less likely that Trump will be a defendant in this case.

A reminder that the law is slow.

Stay tuned.

I’ll be back if anything major happens today, but I’d rather focus on the Top Chef finale.

The last word goes to David Bowie:

 

The Law Is Slow

Charles Dickens famously wrote that “the law is an ass.” He should have added that it’s slow. 21st Century American law is not quite as slow as in Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, the interminable case in Bleak House BUT it’s still slow. The featured image is of Francis L. Sullivan as Pip’s solicitor Mr. Jaggers in David Lean’s 1946 version of Great Expectations. I used it instead of an image from Bleak House to slow things down…

This slowness is currently driving the MSM and the amateur lawyers mad. (I used the Britism to keep the Dickensian theme going.) There have been rumors that charges will soon be brought by the Manhattan DA’s office, which has left the MSM twitchy, and the amateur lawyers vexed. They seem to have forgotten how they reacted to similar slowness during the Mueller probe. Andrew Weissmann, who prosecuted Paul Manafort, has not:

… it`s fascinating now being on this side. You know, I spent two years where the press was speculating on what the special counsel investigation had and whether we had the goods and on who. And we`re doing the same thing now with respect to Manhattan.

But it`s clear something is going to happen. And to me it sounds like there may be individuals who are charged. There may be companies that are charged. And to me that`s sort of a classic case where they may build to go up and pressure people to cooperate.

But you`re not hearing that they yet have the goods on Donald Trump. There are no signs of that yet, although we could be surprised.

In addition to being slow, the law is also surprising. What shouldn’t be surprising is that rumors of impending action are often wrong. They fail to take account of the law’s slowness and the secrecy of the grand jury process.

One synonym for slow is methodical. Investigating the finances of a criminal organization must be done carefully. They have to start from the bottom and work their way up. Think of an investigation as a pyramid: you start at the bottom and build your case layer-by-layer, brick-by-brick. You need a solid foundation otherwise the case will collapse. They should not move against the boss until the underlings have been dealt with. The foundation of a case against the Impeached Insult Comedian is his company. That’s why it’s likely to be indicted first. Hopefully, the Weisslebergs and Calamaris will jump ship. The latter should land in a hot pan with garlic, onions, and olive oil. I like my calamari simple…

This brief treatise applies to Merrick Garland and the DOJ. Judge Garland is clearly a methodical, process-oriented lawyer. It’s what we should want after the Wild West shoot-from-the-hip Trump days. Think of Sessions, Barr, and the various acting AG’s as hired guns much like Jack Palance in Shane. They made a mess of DOJ and cleaning it up is going to be a slow process. New policies are in place, but the devil is always in the details. Detail work is always slow, especially when lawyers are involved.

The MSM and amateur lawyers have a hard time accepting how much of the spadework for legal investigations is done in secret. For example, the public did not learn that the FBI was investigating the Trump-Russia mishigas until well after the election. They were building a case. The DOJ’s Inspector General is already investigating Trumper misconduct, and the FBI may be at it as well. Whatever they’re doing it will be slow.

Larry Tribe recently admonished two Never Trump former Republicans for conclusion jumping:

The Salon headline in the second tweet is clearly click bait. Even if the Kaiser of Chaos had been charged, he’d be out on bail annoying wedding parties at Mar-a-Doorn.

Shorter Larry Tribe: The law is slow.

Finally, the wheels may grind slowly, but tomorrow is supposedly the day indictments will be handed down by the grand jury. I’ll believe it when I see it.

The last word goes to The Beatles:

Quote Of The Day: McCloskey Mishigas Edition

One of the stupidest things to come to national attention in 2020 was the McCloskey mishigas. They’re the St. Louis couple who raced out of stately McCloskey manor to “defend” themselves from BLM protestors. It’s hard to take someone who’s dressed like a mime seriously. I hate mimes. I’m not crazy about Mark and Patricia McCloskey either.

The McCloskeys have ridden this dubious incident to a speaking slot at the RNC, a guilty plea, and a senate run by Marky Mark or is that Macky Mac? They should have taken some gun safety classes instead. I’ve never even held an unloaded gun and I know better than to point a rod at anyone. I learned that from watching Mike Hammer and Frank Cannon.

This minor league Pennywise held a rally the other day in a parking lot. It bombed but led to a hilarious piece in the Riverfront Times by Daniel Hill. The opening paragraph is a classic:

Noted local criminal Mark McCloskey played host to a barbecue/political rally on Sunday afternoon, drawing tens of admirers to the sweltering parking lot of a closed outlet mall in St. Louis County to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the time he pulled a gun on a crowd of people who otherwise would never have noticed or cared he existed.

Make sure you read the whole damn piece. It contains spit take after spit take. Well done, Mr. Hill.

The entertainment at this rally ducked by Trumpist “luminaries” such as Michael Flynn and Madison Cawthorn was a Deep Purple cover band whose lead singer used to be in REO Speedwagon. I am not making this up.

The last word goes to Deep Purple with a song that was performed by the aforementioned cover band at the sparsely attended rally:

It’s Still A Trap

I have some good news for y’all:  just like I hoped they would back in February the Democrats are FINALLY playing politics. And boy are the Republicans mad!

It was very clear what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s game plan was:  to try to corral the moderate Senate Democrats in a bid for bipartisanship, to agree to a plan that was sub-optimal, pass it, let it fail the American people, and then blame the Democrats on the campaign trail in 2022. And they might have gotten away with it…if their chief opponent hadn’t been Joe Biden.

See, congressional Democrats had already decided among themselves that there would be 2 bills:  one that the moderates could show bipartisanship on, and one that progressives could tout next year and use reconciliation to pass, both of which Democrats would pass. And the Republicans knew this all along—in fact, Shelley Capito referenced it back in May:

And McConnell himself referenced the 2 bill plan:

And like I said back in May:

Capito and friends met again with President Biden this week and I give him a lot of credit. Everyone knows that even if the Democrats agreed to everything the Q Party wanted, they’d still vote against it! And I mean, even if it had everything, including leaving their precious corporate tax rate alone, they have no intention of giving Biden and the Democrats another accomplishment.  That’s because:

There won’t be any Q Party votes for any Democratic proposal. Ever.

And so here we are once again.

In reality, it’s a tempest in a teapot, sustained by McConnell and his buddies because their Grand Plan was thwarted they think they now have a great excuse to do what they always planned anyway. Both bills should pass and McConnell will have to find another excuse to explain away his pre-planned obstruction.

The reason that this non-issue is getting attention is our lazy mainstream media. It’s hard to write interesting stories about straightforward facts, and it’s even harder to get clicks on those stories after all of the circuses of the trump administration. In lieu of actually working, the press just repeated Republican lies.

From AP:

Senators were described as “stunned,” “floored” and “frustrated” after Biden publicly put the conditions on accepting their deal, according to two people familiar with the private conversations who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the reactions.

Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at NYU, tweeted this as an explanation for how egregiously the press is handling current events

He’s wrong. You don’t need a journalism degree to know one side is lying. And you don’t need a journalism degree to push the narrative that prizes the truth. It’s not pedagogy that is failing journalism; it’s character. Democracy might die in darkness, but it is also strangled by intellectual laziness.

 

 

Trumper Tittle-Tattle

It was a long night. I woke up at 3:30 and couldn’t find my iPhone, which I use as an alarm clock. I felt like an overage millennial zombie as I searched. I found it but the search made me wakeful. Oh well, I came up with the idea for Arriving UAP while tossing and turning.

I’m not feeling perky right now so I’m just going to throw some links at you and see what sticks. I worked the morning shift for Tommy T and those are big shoes to fill. I skipped the clown shoes jokes because he doesn’t wear them, he just writes about them.

Trump On Dipshit Insurrection Day: There’s a smashing excerpt from Michael Woolf’s upcoming book at nymag.com. It’s a blow-by-blow account of how the Impeached Insult Comedian spent Twelfth Night, 2021.

Trump spent the day wallowing in his delusions and Rudy was drunk off his ass. Most teetotalers I know are uncomfortable with drunkenness. I guess Pennywise thinks it makes them easier marks or some such shit.

This is my favorite passage:

But it was also a pretty good insight into Trump’s relationship to his army of supporters. The president often expressed puzzlement over who these people were with their low-rent “trailer camp” bearing and their “get-ups,” once joking that he should have invested in a chain of tattoo parlors and shaking his head about “the great unwashed.”

Yet they still admire the nasty son-of-a-bitch. Go figure.

Barr Bites Back: The former AG is trying to salvage his reputation. It’s unlikely to work but he sat down with anti-Trump conservative Jonathan Karl to discuss the White House meeting wherein he broke with Trump.

I love Karl’s description of the meeting:

Barr, Levi, and Cipollone walked to the president’s personal dining room near the Oval Office. Trump was sitting at the table. Meadows was sitting next to him with his arms crossed; the White House adviser Eric Herschmann stood off to the side. The details of this meeting were described to me by several people present. One told me that Trump had “the eyes and mannerism of a madman.”

He went off on Barr.

“I think you’ve noticed I haven’t been talking to you much,” Trump said to him. “I’ve been leaving you alone.”

Barr later told others that the comment was reminiscent of a line in the movie Dr. Strangelove, in which the main character, Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper, says, “I do not avoid women, Mandrake, but I do deny them my essence.” Trump, Barr thought, was saying that he had been denying him his essence.

Trump brought up Barr’s AP interview.

“Did you say that?”

“Yes,” Barr responded.

“How the fuck could you do this to me? Why did you say it?”

“Because it’s true.”

The president, livid, responded by referring to himself in the third person: “You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump.”

I’ve always hated people who refer to themselves in the third person. It’s the sign of a weak disordered mind even when it’s true as it is here. Who among us doesn’t hate Trump? Adrastos does…

Javanka On The Run: The funniest story of last week came from the good people at Vanity Fair’s The Hive. It certainly had me buzzing.

Ivanka and Jared continue to be as deluded as her father. They seem to somehow think they can separate themselves from Papa Bear.

In a move right out of the same playbook they used during their time at the White House—wherein they would literally flee the scene any time Trump did something extra bad, and hope people would think they had nothing to do with it despite being senior advisers to the president, Jared and Ivanka are now reportedly trying to convince people who don’t know any better that they’ve all but cut ties with the 45th president over his erratic behavior and insistence that he won the 2020 election. Naturally, sources “familiar with the matter” have shared the couple’s alleged chilliness with Trump…

Their porridge must be spiked with some hallucinogens, y’all.

That’s it for this groggy edition of First Draft Potpourri. The last word goes to The Kinks: