Category Archives: Political Crack

Essential Worker Or Hoosier Typhoid Mary?

If anyone doubted if Mike Pence is as horrible a human being as his boss, those doubts should be gone. Pence’s staffers are dropping like rona infected flies. Their boss should be under quarantine, but he campaigned yesterday and will preside over the Senate vote to confirm Her Illegitimacy, Amy Coney Barrett. I always thought Typhoid Mary was an Irish cook from New York instead of a pompous German Irish Hoosier.

The White House claims that Mike Liar Liar Pence On Fire is an essential worker. Say what? He’s Vice-President fer chrissakes. I can think of only four Veeps who had any power or influence whatsoever: Mondale, Gore, Cheney, and Biden. And both Gore and Cheney were sidelined in their second term. Most past Veeps agree with Cactus Jack Garner who said, “This job isn’t worth a bucket of warm piss.” The quote was cleaned up for many years with spit replacing piss. It was still an apt analogy.

In the 19th and early 20th Century, being Veep was hazardous to your health: seven died in office. Before the 25th Amendment was enacted, the office was vacant for 37 years and 290 days. And that doesn’t even include the four years J. Danforth Quayle was Veep.

Because the Current Occupant is mentally ill, recent discussion of the 25th Amendment has focused on the removal process. The primary reason the amendment was thought necessary was because Lyndon Johnson’s backup for 15 months was House Speaker John McCormack who was a 216-year-old drunk. I exaggerate slightly: McCormack was 72 when JFK was murdered but he looked three times his age.

Past Veeps would be dazed and confused by Pence being dubbed an essential worker. John C Calhoun resigned the office and Andrew Jackson barely knew he was gone. How’s that for a terrible ticket? Wilson’s Veep, Thomas Marshall, wasn’t even sure what his boss was sick with: the Spanish Influenza or a stroke. I could cite equally awful examples for hours, but I won’t.

The Trump regime’s recent pandemic related actions show why they’re losing the election and know it. Pence is running around infecting people and Mark Meadows is waving a white flag and admitting that their policy is herd immunity without uttering the words. It’s time for them to go.

The good news is that Joe Biden was treated so well by Barack Obama that Kamala Harris’ name will be added to the list of influential Veeps. That’s another reason to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket.

Harris will be a dramatic improvement over the Hoosier Typhoid Mary. When she was in contact with infected people, she left the trail for two days and they weren’t as close to her as Pence’s Chief of Staff and body man are to him. I suspect that famous fictional body men Charlie Young and Gary Walsh would prefer Harris over Pence any day. Kamala is bound to be easier to work for than Selina Meyer, after all. Then again, who isn’t?

I keep expecting Senator Harris to adopt a new slogan:

It’s a winner, I tell ya.

The last word goes to Harold Lloyd hanging on for dear life in Safety Last:

Since we have a voting season now, I decided I should modernize the tick tock. Now that I think of it, Team Trump’s slogan should be SAFETY LAST.

That is all. I promise.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Fortunate Son

Target by Jasper Johns.

John Fogerty wrote this week’s theme song in 1969 for Creedence’s Willy and the Poor Boys album. It’s an unusual protest song in that its protagonist is a soldier lashing out at the rich kids for whom he’s fighting.  Fogerty recently enjoined the Trump campaign from playing it at their rallies. They don’t get the irony: Donald Trump is precisely the sort of Fortunate Son that’s lambasted in the song.

We have three versions of Fortunate Son for your listening pleasure: the CCR original, John Fogerty live, and Fogerty live with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

I have “It aint me. It ain’t me” stuck in my head. Let’s dislodge it with this Dylan cover by Bryan Ferry:

Now that we’ve been mellowed out by Ferry’s silken tones, lets languidly jump to the break if such a thing is possible.

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Guest Post: Ryne Hancock On Elections Past & Present

Guest blogger Ryne Hancock tells us how he spent Election Night in 2016. It was in a club in New Orleans with a bunch of comedians. The evening was anything but funny.

-Adrastos

Don’t Let “They” & Complacency Win by Ryne Hancock

Long before Chris Trew’s creepy behavior sank him and his comedy club on St. Claude, a group of local comedians, including myself, gathered to watch the results of the 2016 election.

Adding to the intrigue was the fact that we were celebrating Kaitlin Marone’s appearance on the ballot for United States Senate, something that was commemorated with a sign from Jessica Hong that read “We Didn’t Do It!!!!”

From the onset, I figured that the sign was about Marone’s campaign (as I recall she got over 4,000 votes) and not the presidential election. Like most of everyone and their dog, I figured Clinton would eke out a narrow victory in the electoral college with maybe 280 or so votes and we wouldn’t have to be annoyed by that orange turd.

Then shit happened.

What was supposed to be a celebration became a tragic day for democracy. Instead of electing the most qualified person ever to the highest office in the land, this country decided to elect a dribbling idiot.

You can sift through all the reasons why the orange idiot won, most notably the bullshit about both candidates being the same or the fact that the most qualified candidate ever didn’t represent true white womanhood, but the facts remain bare for all to see.

We as a country got too comfortable with the fact that the 2016 election was in the bag.

This time around, we can’t get tired.

We can’t get complacent.

It’s just like what I told a friend of mine that owns a business on Magazine Street.

“They want you to be tired. They want you to give up. Don’t fucking get tired. It’s weary now but morning will come. It eventually comes.”

That’s my message to you guys that haven’t voted yet.

Don’t let “they” win.

Because that’s what “they” want.

Stay in line, mail your ballots, run the fucking score up to fight for the soul of this country.

Because in the end, the morning comes.

And my lord, what a morning it will be.

Malaka Of The Week: Rudy Giuliani

Image by Michael F.

This is the artist formerly known as Mayor Combover’s second turn as malaka of the week. It’s quite an accomplishment for the Man Who Got Trump Impeached. It was made possible by Sacha Baron Cohen and his deranged alter ego Borat. He pranked the hell out of Rudy Giuliani in his latest moviefilm. And that is why Rudy Giuliani is malaka of the week.

I usually avoid literal malakatude, but it’s been a big deal this week. First, there was Jeffrey Toobin and the Zoom Dick Incident. I’m not defending him, but I like his books so I’m giving him a pass. Rudy Giuliani neither gets nor deserves a pass. On anything. Ever.

I waited to write this until Borat Subsequent Moviefilm went live on Amazon Prime. It was weird watching it in the morning, but life is weird nowadays. 2020, man.

In Borat’s return, an actress playing his daughter maneuvers Rudy into a room. The president’s* lawyer puts his hands down his pants. Then Borat bursts into the room and offers to give Rudy his “15-year-old” daughter. I put the age in quotes because the actress playing Borat’s offspring is not jailbait.

Borat tweeted a statement of support for the Man Who Got Trump Impeached:

Sacha Baron Cohen has been pranking prominent people since his Ali G days some twenty years ago. Anyone who falls for his shtick deserves whatever happens to them. In this instance, Rudy gives an entirely new meaning to the term abandoned laptop. And that is why Rudy Giuliani is malaka of the week.

Debate Roundup: Come On, Man

I used the North By Northwest image because I wanted to flee the debate. Any time spent listening to Donnie from Queens’ nasal whine take a lot out of me. He is quite simply the most annoying public figure of my lifetime. I’m cautiously optimistic that this will be his last debate as a presidential candidate. Repeat after me: Donald Trump is an asshole, misogynist, racist, and mentally ill criminal.

It’s hard for me to judge these debates because I detest President* Pennywise and his every utterance. He was not as unhinged or feral as in the first debate. I’d give him 7 out of 10 on the Trump awfulness meter whereas he scored a perfect 10 last time.

Trump’s task was to convince alienated Republicans and Republican leaning independents to give him another chance. He failed. The “Biden corruption” segment was only comprehensible to political junkies and those who live in the right-wing media bubble. Most people think that Joey B Shark is an honest man, and that Trump is not. Repeat after me: Nobody cares about Hunter Biden.

Unlike many in the Crack Van, I thought Kristen Welker did a good job. It’s impossible to stop Trump from going on and on but she did a better job of containing his verbiage than Chris Wallace did in the first debate. It’s all you can do with this rude, mouthy motherfucker.

Biden was not quite as good as in the first debate, but he did what he had to do. He scored points, especially in the COVID, race, and “babies in cages” segments. Trump was appalling on all those issues. One thing I know for sure is that the guy who says they’re the “least racist person” in a given room is actually the most racist.

Trump’s most horrifying moment was when he showed no compassion for the migrant children who have been separated from their parents. President* Pennywise kept claiming that they’re well-treated and they were brought to America by “coyotes” not their parents.

Trump unleashed a blizzard of bullshit and an avalanche of lies during the debate. I’m glad I don’t have the fact check the lying bastard. Daniel Dale is a freaking saint.

A reminder that every time the Kaiser of Chaos opens his mouth, he loses votes. Here’s why: he only cares and talks about himself. Period. Case closed.

The stakes were lower for Biden. I thought that he won the debate. He’ll keep his lead and, hopefully, become the 46th president. I look forward to removing the asterisk, which will remain permanently attached to his opponent like Hester Prynne’s scarlet letter.

People are tired of the Impeached Insult Comedian shooting off his big fat bazoo. It’s time for him to go. Make it so, America, make it so.

October Surprise Overkill

The phrase October Surprise was first coined in 1980 by Ronald Reagan’s campaign manager/CIA Director Bill Casey. How’s that for a Republican combination? So much for not mixing national security and politics.

Casey was referring to the possibility that the Carter administration would free the American hostages in Iran before the election. It did not happen. Many years later, a guy named Gary Sick claimed that Team Reagan had interfered with the negotiating process a la Team Nixon in 1968. The latter meddling has been confirmed, the former has not. So it goes.

Like a group of demented chimpanzees on meth, Team Trump is throwing one October Surprise after another at the wall. It’s like shit, they figure some of it is bound to stick. Thus far it’s only stuck with committed Trump voters; some of whom should be committed to what used to be called the laughing academy. President* Pennywise should be the first in line.

They’ve tried bizarre variations on the Hunter Biden theme. Nobody cares about Hunter Biden. To be effective, an October Surprise must be something the public gives a shit about such as the Vietnam War, the Iran hostage crisis, or Comey-Clinton. Perhaps not the latter but the jolly green former FBI director cared. About his image.

Speaking of images, some wingnut Trumper posted this:

How dare Joey B Shark love his son. Heartless bastard.

I hope I’m the first to call this bozo Cardildo, but I somehow doubt it.

Another October Surprise landed last night. The man who puts the Rat in Ratcliffe held a sinister presser announcing Iranian interference in the election. The Director of National Intelligence/political hack made the announcement at FBI HQ. It looked like a hostage video starring Chris Wray. Hmm, is he related to Link?

Funny thing that it’s the Iranians doing the October Surprise Rumble, not Russians. Let’s party like it’s 1980 and Walter Cronkite is still counting down the number of days Americans have been held hostage.

In other October Surprise news, Trump is thinking of firing Barr and Wray because they didn’t produce one. How dare Bill Barr fail in his mission to frame Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. What’s next? A “lock him up” chant aimed at Barr? Or as President Pennywise recently said at a MAGAPALOOZA: “Lock them all up.” To paraphrase the legendary movie mogul Sam Goldwyn: “Include yourself in.”

Sam Goldwyn didn’t actually say all the Goldwynisms attributed to him. I wish the same could be said for Trumpisms. It’s what happens when you’re an asshole who never shuts the fuck up.

The one October Surprise I was devoutly hoping for isn’t happening as of this writing. The Impeached Insult Comedian isn’t bowing out of a second debate. Now I have to watch and write about it tomorrow. Damn you, Donald.

Repeat after me: Donald Trump is a pussy. He should grab himself.

Since October Surprise Overkill gave me insomnia last night, the last word goes to Colin Hay:

George Wallace Called Him Mousey Tongue

The special Senate election in Georgia is getting nasty and weird. Doug Collins, seen above next to George Wallace, is attacking Kelly Loeffler over the Warhol that was spotted at her palatial crib:

George Wallace called him Mousey Tongue. How about you, Dougie?

Rich people have Warhols, Dougie. If your man President* Pennywise had any taste, he might own one himself. He did, however, consort with Andy and a polo pony:

I betcha thought I was making that up. It reminds me of a classic Ed Norton moment from The Honeymooners:

Polopopnies? Sounds like my ancestral region, the Peloponnesus.

My mother loved that Honeymooners routine. In fact, she added Poloponies to the name of the infamous Brutus the beagle chihuahua mix. Not my favorite dog: I caught Brutus peeing on the cover of my copy of Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison. It’s a pity that Van wasn’t there to admonish the dog who renamed that fine album Tupeelo Honey. Now I need some of this:

It’s funny to watch Collins and Loeffler try to be the Trumpiest Trumper in Trumpistan when the Impeached Insult Comedian is increasingly unpopular with other GOPers. Does that make them Throwback Trumpers?

If David Pecker still ran The Enquirer, he’d want to know. Enquiring minds and all that shit.

I don’t know about you but I’m rooting for this guy:

For some reason, Georgia has adopted the Louisiana open primary system. Who copies the Gret Stet in politics? Food, yes; politics no.

I refuse to call it a jungle primary because of connotations that George Wallace and Doug Collins would surely get.

2020, man.

The last word goes to Van Morrison:

 

Donald Trump Is An Asshole

This post began life with another title, Quote Of The Day: Over Thinking The Election. It was a good title but not catchy enough. The “quote” turned into “quotes” and I realized that the title had to change to something snappier. Besides, I haven’t written a Donald Trump Is post in 2020.

Enough navel gazing. As Bugs and Daffy would have surely said at this point: On with the show, this is it.

I wrote the other day about how the elite inside-the-beltway media has been in the bag for the GOP since the Reagan years. That’s particularly true of Politico. Every time a politically unsophisticated friend shares a Politico piece on social media I cringe. Half the time their articles are poisoned darts aimed at Democrats. Politico specializes in “Democrats in disarray” articles. It’s long been a fanzine for the Republican Party. That’s why Charlie Pierce calls them Tiger Beat On The Potomac.

One of the openly pro-GOP Politico types is Tim Alberta. In 2019, he published what is supposed to be a good book about the Party of Trump. Like many other GOPers and fellow travelers, Alberta does not care for Donald Trump. I’m not sure why Cheney and Rove were okay when they were just as assholish as the Impeached Insult Comedian, but progress is progress.

Alberta is one of those Politico writers who specializes in “who voters would like to have a beer with” style campaign coverage. This is what nailed Al Gore to the wall in 2000. He wasn’t as warm and fuzzy as Poppy Bush’s amiable offspring. That amiable dolt got us into a deeply stupid war. Oy, just oy.

The genre is especially weird in an election featuring two teetotalers. Maybe someday, I’ll write about that phenomenon. It almost makes me nostalgic for the days of “Bourbon and branch water” pols like Harry Truman and Sam Rayburn. The latter often used the euphemism “let’s strike a blow for liberty” when it was time for cocktail hour in his Capitol Hill hideaway office. Bottoms up, Mr. Sam.

Alberta has gone back to the well in 2020 and produced a winner. I never expected to praise and quote a Tim Alberta “who voters would like to have a beer with” piece but 2020 is a weird-n-wacky year.  It’s a longer quote that I typically use but, hey, 2020.

Tim Alberta concludes that we’re over thinking the election:

But if Trump loses, the biggest factor won’t be Covid-19 or the economic meltdown or the social unrest. It will be his unlikability.

As I wrote last week in a dispatch from Arizona, sometimes you hear a voter say something “so basic, so one-dimensional, that you’re inclined to dismiss it until you hear it for the thousandth time.” That’s the story of this election: All across America, in conversations with voters about their choices this November, I’ve been hearing the same thing over and over again: “I don’t like Trump.” (Sometimes there’s a slight variation: “I’m so tired of this guy,” “I can’t handle another four years of this,” etc. The remarkable thing? Many of these conversations never even turn to Biden; in Phoenix, several people who had just voted for the Democratic nominee did not so much as mention his name in explaining their preference for president.

But if Trump loses, the biggest factor won’t be Covid-19 or the economic meltdown or the social unrest. It will be his unlikability.

Generations of pollsters and journalists have fixated on the question of which candidate voters would rather have a beer with—a window into how personality translates into political success. Here’s the thing: Americans have been having a beer with Trump for the past four years—every morning, every afternoon, every evening. He has made himself more accessible than any president in history, using the White House as a performance stage and Twitter as a real-time diary for all to read. Like the drunk at the bar, he won’t shut up.

Whatever appeal his unfiltered thoughts once held has now worn off. Americans are tired of having beers with Trump. His own supporters are tired of having beers with Trump. In hundreds of interviews this year with MAGA loyalists, I have noted only a handful in which the person did not, unsolicited, point to the president’s behavior as exhausting and inappropriate. Strip away all the policy fights, all the administrative action (or inaction), all the culture war politics, and the decision for many people comes down to a basic conclusion: They just do not approve of the president as a human being.

Shorter Tim Alberta: Donald Trump is an asshole who won’t STFU.

President* Pennywise let his asshole flag fly again in Erie, Pennsylvania at his most recent MAGAPALOOZA:

“Four or five months ago when we started this whole thing….before the plague came in, I had it made,” Trump said during a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania. “I wasn’t coming to Erie. I mean I have to be honest, there’s no way I was coming. I didn’t have to.”

Unfortunately, the President complained to his supporters, the pesky COVID-19 pandemic that’s caused his approval ratings to plummet forced him to actually reach out to them.

“And then we got hit with the plague, and I had to go back to work,” Trump said. “Hello, Erie. Can I please have your vote?”

That’s why I call him the Impeached Insult Comedian.

Repeat after me: Donald Trump is an asshole.

The last word goes to Leadbelly:

Republicans In Disarray: They Know They’re Losing

It gave me great pleasure to write that post title. I’m still gazing at it with affection after all the ‘Democrats in disarray” headlines in Politico and elsewhere over the years. As Athenae pointed out yesterday, the elite political press has been in the bag for the GOP since the Reagan years. They should get out of the bag and wake up and smell the coffee.

Republicans are not only in disarray, they’re in denial as this WaPo report from the capitol of wishful thinking, the Trump White House, indicates:

Trump’s team spent much of its time in recent days trying to position itself for a 2016 repeat, scouring the electoral college map for what advisers concede is a shrinking set of potential paths to victory and looking for voting populations that could still be swayed by the campaign.

<SNIP>

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans have urged the campaign to focus on messaging that would help senators in difficult states, such as Arizona, Maine and North Carolina. But Trump has argued to McConnell and others that the senators would be doing better if they were more supportive of his agenda.

Multiple people involved in the Trump effort said the Thursday meeting at the RNC led to agreements on the way forward that have ended, for the moment, a mood that has at times grown grim inside the Trump operation, with finger-pointing over who should be responsible for a potential loss — and whether it should be attributed to an undisciplined message, the coronavirus pandemic or campaign spending and choices made by former campaign manager Brad Parscale.

See what I mean about denial? The incumbent president* is still trying to run an insurgent campaign; an effort that’s doomed. He has an indefensible record to defend. His disastrous handling of the pandemic had led to an economic crash much worse than in, say, the European Union. They took COVID seriously and dealt with it early. The pandemic, however, is so bad that countries such as France are *still* having a second wave. Imagine Team Trump trying to cope with a second wave here. I shudder at the thought. Herd mentality. Freedom, man.

The WaPo article also discusses Team Biden warning its supporters to keep their foot on the gas pedal or as an American naval hero once said, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” It was fun to quote Admiral Farragut’s disputed quote. It fits the moment.

Team Biden’s warnings are precisely how a winning campaign approaches the home stretch of a campaign. They cautioned against complacency in the face of great polls but remain confident in their approach to the campaign. I wrote about the distinction between confidence and cockiness in June. It applies to complacency as well.

The reason I’m confident in the outcome is that Republicans know they’re going to lose. This quote from the Denver Post illustrates the extent of their disarray:

“There is no reason for either side to put another dime into this state. It’s over,” said David Flaherty, a Republican pollster in Colorado who predicts “historic” losses for his party Nov. 3.

“It is undeniable. The train wreck and implosion of the president will bring a historic number of other Republican candidates down, and if you don’t believe that then you have your head in the sand,” he added.

Senate races in Colorado and Arizona show the importance of recruiting strong candidates: John Hickenlooper and Mark Kelly appear headed to victory. I’m feeling good about Maine and Iowa as well. Many of the other races depend on a strong showing by the top of the ticket as happened for the GOP in 1980 and the Democrats in 2008. A 7 to 10-point win will lift other Senatorial boats; a reminder that Democrats won the 2018 mid-terms 53-45%. That depends on a strong turnout focused on defeating a horrendous president* and horrible senators. The term “throw the bums out” was never as salient as it is in 2020.

The original focus of this post were the Republican rats fleeing the sinking ship by saying publicly that Trump is going to lose and drag his party down to defeat. It’s another reason for my confidence in the outcome. They know they’re losing.

Among the Republican grandees who think the Kaiser of Chaos will lose in a landslide are Rupert Murdoch, Ben Sasse, and Ted Cruz. I have no compassion for any of them. A venerable aphorism comes to mind: “You made your bed, now lie in it.”

Texas Senator John Cornyn has issued a milder rebuke. He compared his relationship with Trump to a bad marriage. I am not making this up.

Sasse and Cruz are among the GOPers who have long understood what a loathsome human being their party’s nominee was and is. Now they’re worried about a “bloodbath.” Poor babies. #sarcasm. In the immortal words of the Rolling Stones:

Senators such as Sasse and Cruz sold their souls to President* Pennywise in exchange for tax cuts and judges. Cruz, who is almost as horrible a person as Trump, should have known better. I don’t know about you, but I’d never forgive the man whose henchmen were behind this:

I love re-posting that image. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Democrats should be relentless in the last two weeks of the campaign. Joe Biden has been an excellent and surprisingly disciplined candidate. He’s focused like a laser beam on the intertwined issues of the pandemic, economy, and health care.  He has refused to rise to the Republicans’ bait on culture war issues. He’s waved them off with a laugh and a grin.

Mockery is always the best medicine against the Impeached Insult Comedian. He’s a bully who can dish it out but can’t take it. Repeat after me: Donald Trump is a pussy. He should grab himself.

As long as Trump insists on focusing on his “miraculous recovery” from COVID, he’s destined to lose. A clear majority of the country think his handling of the pandemic has been a disaster. Hell, even Moscow Mitch believes in masking up and social distancing. It’s a pity he seems on the way to winning his race, but Turtles excel at self-defense unlike cartoon villains.

The last word goes to The Beatles with a song dedicated to Republicans in disarray:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Wang Dang Doodle

Brownstones by Jacob Lawrence.

We’re not playing hurricane dodgeball this week in New Orleans. It had to happen. In fact, we’re experiencing what some observers insist on calling a “cold front” but I call a cool front. As always, it’s likely to lead to an orgy of overdressing by locals desperate to wear non-summer clothes. My coats will remain in the closet. I might, however, be daring and wear a long-sleeved shirt. That’s as rad as I’m gonna get for now. It will be back in the eighties next week.

Willie Dixon wrote Wang Dang Doodle some time in 1959 or 1960. The chronology is almost as fuzzy as with this week’s Friday Cocktail Hour tune. Here’s how the songwriter described what the title of  this rollicking song means:

 In his autobiography, Dixon explained that the phrase “wang dang doodle” “meant a good time, especially if the guy came in from the South. A wang dang meant having a ball and a lot of dancing, they called it a rocking style so that’s what it meant to wang dang doodle”

We have four versions of Wang Dang Doodle for your listening pleasure: the original recording by Howlin’ Wolf, Koko Taylor’s hit version, the Pointer Sisters, and the good old Grateful Dead who performed the song 96+ times. All night long, all night long.

Now that we’ve pitched a wang dang doodle, let’s jump to the break.

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Quote Of The Day: Mystery Guest Edition

My mother loved game shows be they lowbrow or highbrow.  I spent many hours as a kid watching them with her. She was a bridge grandmaster with a fiercely competitive streak who hated to lose at anything. She was a nice woman who was a killer at the card table or game board.

One of mom’s favorite game shows was What’s My Line? Along with Jeopardy, it was on the highbrow side of the spectrum because of the smart and posh people populating the panel. It was a simple game. The contestant entered and signed their name on a small blackboard, which led to the show’s catch-phrase: “enter and sign-in, please.” Then the contestant would attempt to fool the panel as to what line of work they were in.

The final segment of every show featured the mystery guest. The panelists masked up and tried to guess the identity of the mystery guest. They were usually well-known show biz or sports personalities who attempted to bamboozle the panel with curt answers and silly voices. Sometimes the mystery guest was the relative of a famous person and masks could be dispensed with.

That brings me to the quote of the day:

To anyone who feels overwhelmed or apathetic about this election, there is nothing I relate to more than desperation to escape corrosive political discourse. As a child, I saw firsthand the kind of cruel, selfish politics that Donald Trump has now inflicted on our country. It made me want to run as far away from them as possible. But trust me when I tell you: Running away does not solve the problem. We have to stand and fight. The only way to end this nightmare is to vote. There is hope on the horizon, but we’ll only grasp it if we elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Enter and sign-in, please.

The quote comes from Caroline Rose Giuliani whose famous father I mocked yesterday. She wrote a scathing piece for Vanity Fair urging Americans to vote for Biden-Harris and end our long national nightmare by voting out this “toxic administration.”

Ms. Giuliani appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show last night. I’m pleased to report that she didn’t inherit her father’s big scary teeth. They’ve always reminded me of tombstones.

It’s time to sign-out with the last word, which goes to Madonna:

Dissing Rudy’s Latest Disinformation Campaign

Image by Michael F.

The artist formerly known as Mayor Combover is at it again. Rudy is peddling another false Ukraine-Hunter Biden story. The man who got Trump impeached continues to be a useful idiot for Russian intelligence. The story was peddled to the New York Post, which is one of the Trumpiest news outlets in Trumpistan.

Does this pass the smell test?

One of the most bizarre and suspect aspects of the Post’s article is the way in which the reporters say they obtained the Hunter Biden dirt. In April 2019, according to the article, an unidentified individual dropped off a water-damaged MacBook Pro at a computer repair shop in Delaware, Joe and Hunter Biden’s home state. The customer never returned to retrieve the laptop or pay the bill, even though the shop owner repeatedly tried to reach out, according to the Post. The owner couldn’t positively identify the customer as Hunter Biden, but he says he noticed a Beau Biden Foundation sticker on the laptop. (The repair receipt that the Post claims to have obtained also lists Hunter Biden as the customer.) The owner then looked through the laptop’s hard drive and supposedly came across the emails, along with a lascivious video and images of Hunter Biden, so he alerted the FBI and handed over the devices. Before turning in the materials to the feds, though, the shop owner copied the hard drive and inexplicably decided to give a copy to Robert Costello, Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer. It was Giuliani who then supplied the reporters with the hard drive’s contents.

EMAILS. HUNTER BIDEN’S EMAILS.

Sound familiar? It’s not very original. Thus far, the MSM has been leery of the story. So, too, have Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s hoping that MSM won’t be fooled again by this mishigas. They bought into the Hillary Clinton email scam so you never can tell.

If anything ever smacked of desperation this sleazy gambit does. It didn’t work the first time: nobody cares about Hunter Biden.

Repeat after me: They know they’re losing

Here are links to some articles that diss Rudy’s disinformation campaign:

Aaron Mak at Slate

Josh Kovensky at TPM

David Corn at Mother Jones

The estimable David Corn contacted the repair guy and tweeted about it:

The thread is longer so if you want to read it, click on the first tweet.

I’m surprised the guy’s name isn’t Vladimir or Ivan. The story is terrible, nonetheless. I hope that pun was Badenov for you, Boris.

The last word goes to Pete Townshend with a message for the MSM:

 

Tweet Of The Day: Mama Told Me To Not Come

My friend James Karst worked at the Picayune for many years. One of his specialties is digging up obscure items from the newspaper’s morgue. This one is a doozy:

In case you can’t read Linda Coney’s letter in the tweet, here it is in all its dubious glory:

So much for Judge Coney’s claim to be open-minded about Roe v. Wade. She learned her views at her mother’s knee.

I’m not going to belabor the obvious pun in the post title other than quoting the song: “That ain’t the way to have fun, son.”

Instead, I’ll give the last word to Three Dog Night. Wilson Pickett, and the man who wrote the song, Randy Newman.

Three Dog Night put Not To Come in parenthesis. I’m sticking with Randy Newman’s take. He wrote the damn song, dammit.

FYI, Newman never released the song as a single hence the omission in the featured image. Mama told me to add that.

The Campaign As Science Experiment

We begin with a few words about the featured image. It comes from a season-one episode of MASH: Yankee Doodle Doctor. Hawkeye is channeling Groucho and Trapper John is making like Harpo. Honk, honk. That’s a bit too highbrow for the Trump regime: they’re more like The Three Stooges or The Bowery Boys. For all we know, Donny from Queens could be Huntz Hall’s evil twin…

In the immortal words of REM, “let’s begin again, begin the begin.”

The Trump regime has openly joined the herd immunity stampede. Quack medicine is in the saddle at the White House and on the campaign trail. It’s well and truly Midsommar In America.

Herd immunity has been White House policy since Dr. Scott Atlas Shrugged became the head wrangler of the dormant COVID task force. They’re finally admitting it now that the Impeached Insult Comedian is holding swing state super-spreader events. He’s making bizarre claims of immunity and supernatural health. He’s not immune and he’s certainly not Superman.

We need a double-barreled musical antidote to the mishigas coming from Team Trump:

Long-time readers know my motto: there’s a Kinks song for every occasion. Thanks, Ray.

Mockery remains the best medicine when it comes to Team Trump, but this latest nonsense is deeply disturbing. They’re putting public health and safety at risk with their rallies, which pack unmasked Trumpers in close proximity to one another. Then there are the vague pronouncements on Trump’s health by his lackey, Dr. Sean Conley who should be investigated by whatever licensing agency he answers to.

The herd immunity stampede appalls Dr. A’s homey, NIH director Francis Collins:

“What I worry about with this is it’s being presented as if it’s a major alternative view that’s held by large numbers of experts in the scientific community. That is not true,” Collins, the NIH director, said in an interview.

“This is a fringe component of epidemiology. This is not mainstream science. It’s dangerous. It fits into the political views of certain parts of our confused political establishment,” he said. “I’m sure it will be an idea that someone can wrap themselves in as a justification for skipping wearing masks or social distancing and just doing whatever they damn well please.”

That’s the sound of mild-mannered Dr. Francis Collins boiling with righteous indignation. What does he know? He’s only one of the most eminent scientists in the world. Who needs experts when President* Pennywise’s gut instincts are in charge?

In other campaign news, the Kaiser of Chaos’ support among senior citizens is slipping. That could cost him Florida. He’s been trying to woo them back then he tweeted this out:

The picture is obscured. I don’t want to let them off the hook so here it is:

 

Mocking seniors strikes me as a weird way to win their votes back. But the Kaiser of Chaos is a weirdo.

Joey B. Shark struck back with a blunt attack on his opponent:

“You’re expendable. You’re forgettable. You’re virtually nobody. That’s how he sees seniors,” Biden told a crowd of senior voters on Tuesday. “The only senior that Donald Trump cares about — the only senior — is the senior Donald Trump.”

The 2020 campaign has become an ordeal thanks to the incumbent. They’re conducting a weird science experiment on the body politic. It will be interesting to see if President* Pennywise gets it right this time and calls it herd immunity, not herd mentality. Either way, it’s insanity.

The last word goes to Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and my homey Kris Kristofferson:

 

 

 

 

Why I’m Not Watching The Barrett Hearings

I hate Senate hearings, especially illegitimate ones. I’m usually the guy who says, “don’t boycott.” But this time I wish they had. I understand the reasons for Democratic members participating but I don’t want any of them catching COVID from the senator we know has had it, Mike Lee, or the senators who refused to be tested, Graham and Grassley. It’s not worth it, y’all.

I have a personal reason for hearing avoidance: the junior senator from the Gret Stet of Louisiana, John Neely Kennedy. I cannot stand watching him hick it up and sound like a hillbilly ninny. He’s the second phoniest man in American politics. Repeat after me: John Neely Kennedy can go fuck himself.

As to the process itself, it’s a rush job to cram an extremist judge down our throats. We all know that she’s itching to reverse Roe, but they keep denying it. I may not be watching the hearings but I’m reading about them and watching the clips. You could cut the sanctimony in that room with a knife.

I’m baffled by the Republican focus on the “injustice” done to Justice Bro. Why do they want to relive that nightmare? It’s not going to help them politically. Just ask Runaround Sue Collins. They know they’re losing, that’s why they’re putting their hypocrisy on parade.

I wish they weren’t there, but I agree with the Democrat’s focus on health care. The ACA and COVID are winning issues for Team Blue. Since this process is strictly political, they should milk it for all it’s worth.

The clips I’ve seen from day two show an over rehearsed almost comically evasive nominee. It’s the same act that GOP nominees have been doing since John Roberts, but he did it with style and panache qualities that Judge Barrett lacks.

I’m glad committee Dems are scoring points but life’s too short to invite Ted Cruz into my living room. I don’t want to traumatize Kitty Claire Trevor.

A brief thought about “court packing.” I think it’s high time for SCOTUS reform, but I wish our side would STFU about court packing. It’s a pejorative term that was used by FDR’s enemies during his attempt to reform the high court. Call if reform, call it anything else but don’t call it packing. Words matter. I agree with the headline of a recent Josh Marshall post: It’s Not ‘Court Packing.’ Don’t Be A Moron and Call It That.

It’s time to gavel this post to a close. In an attempt to inject some levity into the proceedings, we have two judge songs for your listening pleasure:

In 1492, Columbus Sailed The Ocean Blue

Team Trump was not content with pandering to Italian Americans on Columbus Day. They attacked “political correctness” as well:

Sadly, in recent years, radical activists have sought to undermine Christopher Columbus’s legacy.  These extremists seek to replace discussion of his vast contributions with talk of failings, his discoveries with atrocities, and his achievements with transgressions.  Rather than learn from our history, this radical ideology and its adherents seek to revise it, deprive it of any splendor, and mark it as inherently sinister.  They seek to squash any dissent from their orthodoxy.  We must not give in to these tactics or consent to such a bleak view of our history.  We must teach future generations about our storied heritage, starting with the protection of monuments to our intrepid heroes like Columbus.  This June, I signed an Executive Order to ensure that any person or group destroying or vandalizing a Federal monument, memorial, or statue is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

This is a White House, not campaign statement. They don’t distinguish between the two. They’re equally incompetent at both so why not?

I’m not a “radical activist” but I agree with the Columbus revisionists. The White House statement left out the bits about corruption and slave trading. Details, details, details.

This statement is a perfect distillation of Trumpist grievance politics. You build a straw man, then burn it down. It’s a pity that they couldn’t work Hillary’s emails into it.

It’s time for my annual viewing of the Sopranos episode, Christopher. Some think it’s the worst episode in the Sopranos canon, but I like it. What can I tell ya? It beats the hell out of the two major movies made about Columbus who was played by two great actors neither of whom were remotely Italianate looking, Fredric March and Gerard Depardieu:

I have no idea why the March image looks like a baseball card. I wonder if there are stats on the back and stale bubblegum that tastes like cardboard in the pack? Questions, questions, questions.

As always, I think the best medicine against Trumpism is mockery and ridicule, especially when they put out such a ridiculous statement. I guess President* Pennywise doesn’t want to piss off his pals in la Cosa Nostra. Wise guys are one of the few groups Trump’s not eager to offend. He identifies with them, after all.

Here’s the Impeached Insult Comedian with his old buddies Big Paul Castellano, Fat Tony Salerno, and Roy Cohn:

Oops, I forgot to call him Don Donaldo Il Comico Insulto.

The last word of this meandering Columbus Day post goes to Burning Spear with a song that includes this refrain: “Christopher Columbus is a damn blasted liar.”

Malaka Of The Week: Rod Rosenstein

Rod Rosenstein & Scoot McNairy.

One of the best things about Showtime’s The Comey Rule is its portrayal of Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein comes off as a schlemiel, putz, worm, nerd, weasel, and toady. By all accounts, it’s an accurate depiction. And that is why Rod Rosenstein is malaka of the week.

Rod Rosenstein was briefly an unlikely resistance hero. He was seen as the man who prevented Bob Mueller from being fired. There were even demonstrations to “save” Rod Rosenstein from being sacked by the Kaiser of Chaos. From what we’ve learned this year, they should have been calling for his pinhead on a pike.

Bob Woodward has argued that naming the post-Comey investigation after Robert Mueller is a misnomer. He believes that it was really the Rosenstein probe. I concur and I think history will as well. That’s why it was doomed.

Malaka Rod was instrumental in steering the Mueller Probe away from two of the most promising aspects of its investigation: counter-intelligence and Trump’s finances. It always comes down to money with Donald Trump.

Rosenstein let Team Mueller think that the FBI was continuing with its counter-intelligence probe when, in fact, it withered and died after Andrew McCabe was demoted and later fired.

Rosenstein ordered Mueller NOT to investigate President* Pennywise’s ill-gotten gains. Bobby Three Sticks is a rule-follower and an honest man. They were able to flip those good qualities against him and effectively neuter the investigation.

In addition to his Rosenstein probe malakatude, Malaka Rod was up to his neck in the worst thing Team Trump has done: the family separation scandal.

The five U.S. attorneys along the border with Mexico, including three appointed by President Trump, recoiled in May 2018 against an order to prosecute all undocumented immigrants even if it meant separating children from their parents. They told top Justice Department officials they were “deeply concerned” about the children’s welfare.

But the attorney general at the time, Jeff Sessions, made it clear what Mr. Trump wanted on a conference call later that afternoon, according to a two-year inquiry by the Justice Department’s inspector general into Mr. Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy.

“We need to take away children,” Mr. Sessions told the prosecutors, according to participants’ notes. One added in shorthand: “If care about kids, don’t bring them in. Won’t give amnesty to people with kids.”

Rod J. Rosenstein, then the deputy attorney general, went even further in a second call about a week later, telling the five prosecutors that it did not matter how young the children were. He said that government lawyers should not have refused to prosecute two cases simply because the children were barely more than infants.

“Those two cases should not have been declined,” John Bash, the departing U.S. attorney in western Texas, wrote to his staff immediately after the call. Mr. Bash had declined the cases, but Mr. Rosenstein had overruled him. “Per the A.G.’s policy, we should NOT be categorically declining immigration prosecutions of adults in family units because of the age of a child.”

Jeff Sessions’ role in this atrocity should come as no surprise: Steven Miller was his bequest to the Trump regime. Like fellow lackey Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel, Malaka Rod was just following orders. He’s a dutiful schlemiel, after all.

Back to The Comey Rule. The fine Australian actor Scoot McNairy plays Rosenstein as an awkward, ill-at-ease, and nervous little man. He was eager to please his superiors and easily impressed by more secure men such as Comey and Mueller before turning on them. Weasels will stab you in the back given half-a-chance and a green light from someone higher up the ladder. Orders are orders.

One of the Impeached Insult Comedian’s few talents is an ability to uncover the dark side in other people. It’s part of the con man’s art. He figured Malaka Rod for a mark early on, squeezed him until he was hollowed out, then discarded him. Everything Trump touches turns to shit; even “distinguished lawyers” such as Malaka Rod. And that is why Rod Rosenstein is malaka of the week.

As I wrote this post, I thought of the lyrics to a John Lennon song:

You can wear a mask and paint your face
You can call yourself the human race
You can wear a collar and a tie
One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

The last word goes to John Lennon whose birthday it is. He would have been 80 if he were still with us:

 

Bluster, Bravado & Bullshit Backfire

I decided to revive the North By Nothwest campaign notes meme because Republicans are finally running away from President* Pennywise. The separation has been slow but even such lackeys loyalists such as Texas Senator John Cornyn are putting distance between themselves and Trump. Cornhole’s rebuke was a mild one but he’s never even vaguely criticized Trump before:

“I think he let his guard down, and I think in his desire to try to demonstrate that we are somehow coming out of this and that the danger is not still with us — I think he got out over his skis and frankly, I think it’s a lesson to all of us that we need to exercise self discipline.”

In Arizona, Martha McSally who is on the verge of losing her second Senate race in two years declined to praise Trump in her last debate with Mark Kelly. Kelly is crushing her in recent polls and is helping Biden build a lead in the Grand Canyon state. The last Democrat to carry Arizona was Bill Clinton in 1996. There’s something in the air.

The WaPo’s Robert Costa used to work for the National Review, so he’s hooked into the conservative network like few other reporters. The headline on his news analysis piece yesterday says it all:  ‘A Republican Party unraveling’: GOP plunged into crisis as Trump abruptly ends economic relief talks, dismisses virus.

The GOP is unraveling, and Trump is floundering because he’s running his own campaign. He doesn’t listen to anyone because he’s a self-proclaimed “stable genius” whose gut instincts are brilliant. There is no strategy. There is no plan to reach non-base voters.

Trump’s recent conduct is repelling voters he needs: seniors and suburban women. Fewer and fewer of both groups support him. Why should seniors support a candidate who wants to abolish the Social Security payroll tax? Why should suburban women support Team Misogyny aka the Trump-Pence ticket? There’s something in the air.

Trump’s confrontational take no prisoners style is backfiring with precisely the groups he needs to reach to be competitive in the election. He’s just being himself, y’all. He is who he is.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the most grandiose piece of bluster, bravado, and bullshit offered up by the Impeached Insult Comedian is backfiring. I’m referring to his petulant threats to not accept the election result if he loses. While some have been quaking in terror at the prospect, others are voting early in record numbers. They want a clear outcome on election night to neuter Trump’s fascist fantasy. I think he’s bluffing but the surest antidote to bluster, bravado, and bullshit is a landslide.  Make it so, America, make it so.

The last worst goes to Thunderclap Newman:

Debate Roundup: Return Of The Fly

We’ll call this semi-instant analysis as I wrote most of this post after the Crack Van closed. It was a bumpy ride and Scout could not get that pesky fly off the ham no matter how hard she tried. It kept coming back “more horrific than before.” The same goes for the unctuous soon-to-be former Veep.

Is it just me or did Mike Pence look ill during the debate? It’s unclear if the man even had a pulse, his performance was so low key. He appeared to have pink eye, which is a malady that hangs out with the ‘rona. He has been exposed repeatedly to folks who are COVID positive, after all. The man needs a quality PCR test pronto.

Then there was the real star of the evening, the fly on Pence’s head:

He never once shooed the damn fly away. There’s no way I could let a damn fly stay on my head unmolested for several minutes. It runs in the genes: my father could never let a fly go unswatted. He was known to chase them about the house in his pajamas and slippers. I am more dignified than that. I let the cats chase flies. They’d do it anyway. Thanks, kitties.

I plead guilty to being captivated by the fly on Pence’s head. I’d also never noticed what beady, shifty eyes he has. I don’t trust people with beady, shifty eyes. Never have, never will.

I’m biased but I thought Kamala Harris won the debate on both style and substance. She was lively and decidedly had a pulse. She hit all the major points that the campaign needed hit and she did it with passion and eloquence. To paraphrase Pat Benatar, she hit us with her best shot.

In contrast, Pence is a champion mansplainer. He talked over both Senator Harris and moderator Susan Page. He spoke without inflection or passion. He knows that they’re losing, which is one reason for the low wattage performance. Lordy, he was boring.

Pence was so laid back that I halfway expected him to take a cat nap. Perhaps he was channeling this song written by fellow Hoosier Hoagy Carmichael:

Wherever his debating style came from, he was condescending and patronizing to both his opponent and the moderator. Harris’ new catch phrase is: “I’m Speaking.”

Harris did what she had to do last night. Pence did not.

Let’s return to the fly. Imagine finishing third in a debate to your opponent and a fly. Sigh, Mike, sigh.

There are now 26 days until the election. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

The last word goes to Curtis Mayfield:

Madman On The Balcony

American politicians have long avoided posing for pictures on a balcony. It leads to ridicule and comparison to the Three Stooges short, You Nazty Spy.

Donald Trump is made of sterner stupider stuff. He doesn’t mind comparisons to notorious dictators like these creeps:

That’s Benito Mussolini on the left and Juan and Eva Peron on the right. These are the dictators that Trump is most comparable to even if Melania makes an unlikely Eva Peron. Don’t cry for me, Slovenia?

President* Pennywise has been behaving erratically lately even by his low standards. The motorcade to nowhere so alarmed Donny Junior that Gabriel Sherman filed this report on Monday:

Donald Trump’s erratic and reckless behavior in the last 24 hours has opened a rift in the Trump family over how to rein in the out-of-control president, according to two Republicans briefed on the family conversations. Sources said Donald Trump Jr. is deeply upset by his father’s decision to drive around Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last night with members of the Secret Service while he was infected with COVID-19. “Don Jr. thinks Trump is acting crazy,” one of the sources told me. The stunt outraged medical experts, including an attending physician at Walter Reed.

According to sources, Don Jr. has told friends that he tried lobbying Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and Jared Kushner to convince the president that he needs to stop acting unstable. “Don Jr. has said he wants to stage an intervention, but Jared and Ivanka keep telling Trump how great he’s doing,” a source said. Don Jr. is said to be reluctant to confront his father alone. “Don said, ‘I’m not going to be the only one to tell him he’s acting crazy,’” the source added.

Donny Junior is an asshole, but he has a history of standing up to his deranged daddy. Of course, he’s currently all profile and no courage.

After staging his ludicrous balcony photo-op, President* Pennywise went on a twitter bender. These are the two that doomed his candidacy:

He crawfished on the second one owning the failure of a COVID relief package, but the damage was done. He stands by the first one.

It’s apparent that the Impeached Insult Comedian’s manic behavior is partially caused by the cocktail of drugs dispensed by his docs. Steroids are just as likely to cause a sense of euphoria as roid rage. I’m not sure how disrespecting the memory of the 212,000 and counting Americans who have died during the pandemic helps his cause politically.

In his newsletter, Press Run, Eric Boehlert poses this question:

His erratic actions pose grave concerns for the country. Yet newsrooms today refuse to address the mounting, obvious signs that Trump remains a deeply unstable man.

It all needs to be addressed, unapologetically, in the news coverage and not left for opinion writers and pundits to ponder Trump’s troubled state of mind. It’s a fact and it’s a news story, so why shy away from it? Why don’t we regularly see, “Trump is a Madman” headlines in the news pages?

I agree 100%. The MSM continues to treat this lunatic as if he’s a normal person. Haven’t y’all read Mary Trump’s book?

Repeat after me: Donald Trump Is Mentally Ill.

The last word goes to Elton John and Genesis: