Category Archives: Political Crack

Malaka Of The Week: Willard Mittbot Romney

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Remember all the MSM pundits who swore that the robot who wanted to be president would run for the Senate as an anti-Trump Republican? They were, as usual, wrong. Willard Mittbot Romney remains the flip floppingest, panderingist pol in the game and that is why he is malaka of the week.

Willard Mittbot Romney blows with the wind and in the GOP the wind is generated by the blowhard president* who endorsed Willard this week. Other than a few diehards, the #NeverTrump bubble seems to have burst. Willard isn’t the only one crawling back to the Insult Comedian. There’s a swell piece in the Failing New York Times about how Republican pols are forgetting about “decency” and coming to grips with the fact that Trump is popular among their tribe. Bob Corker is one of the rats returning to the sinking ship alongside Willard. Remember when Corker was lionized by the MSM? His head is back up Trump’s rump.

Nobody should be surprised that a man who changes home states like others change underwear has caved in to the pressure to conform.  Willard is a born conformist who never sticks his neck out when he doesn’t have to. So much for the brave words in his “Trump is a con man” speech. Like the man himself, the words were as hollow as a cheap chocolate Easter bunny.

As we enjoy mocking the MSM for getting something wrong again, let’s not forget that Willard could flip back to the #NeverTrump side if the Insult Comedian’s grip on the GOP base loosens. He’s such an opportunist that anything is possible. I’m not sure I buy the arguments made by Max Perry Mueller in Slate that Romney is on a Mormon mission to fulfill some goofy prophecy made by Joseph Smith.

The first rumors of a possible “Senator Romney,” which began to swirl in April 2017, brought new life to the long-whispered “White Horse Prophecy” that combines this messianic constitutionalism with Mormon politics. Depending on whom you ask, the White Horse Prophecy holds either that Mormons will one day save the American constitutional system in its darkest hour, or that Mormons will overthrow American democracy to create a latter-day theocracy. The prophecy is attributed to Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith Jr. In 1843, Smith purportedly told his followers that on the day when “the Constitution of the United States is almost destroyed… hang[ing] like a thread,” out of the “Rocky Mountains” the “great and mighty” Mormon people will, like the “White Horse” of the Book of Revelation, rush east to save the Constitution.

The last thing we need is a Mittbot on a white horse to save us. He’ll have to make up his mind as to whether his distaste for Trump’s table manners will turn into genuine opposition. It depends on what happens in November, which is why Democrats need to redouble efforts to flip the House and Senate. A blue wave could result in another epic Romney flip flop. Believe me.

Mitt Romney looks and sounds like a president. But he lacks the backbone to take on a president* of his own party until a challenge polls well. That’s a fact even if it’s a revelation to much of the MSM. And that is why Willard Mittbot Romney is malaka of the week.

The last word goes to Tom Petty with a tune that could be the theme song for Willard, Corker, and their craven ilk:

Your President* Speaks: Dumbbell Caveman Edition

It’s President’s Day. The Current Occupant is currently at his Florida pad and there’s a tweet storm brewing. Who am I kidding? He’s been watching Fox News, hanging out with his idiot sons, and whining about the cards life dealt him all weekend. Self pity is never pretty and when it comes from an Insult Comedian with a dead nutria atop his head it’s uglier than Steve Bannon’s wardrobe. What’s the deal with the shirt layering, Steverino?

A note about the featured image/meme. I was searching for a Magritte painting for Odds & Sods when I came across Perpetual Motion. This image of a caveman with a dumbbell head screams Donald  Trump. The analogy breaks down somewhat since the caveman dumbbell is svelte and fit but what’s not to like about the bone in his hand? Trump is boning the country, after all. Bigly.

The Kremlingate indictments obtained by Team Mueller have the Kaiser of Chaos flailing and ranting. His is not the leadership that doesn’t let one see him sweat. The flop sweat has been rolling in rivulets across the Tweeter Tube.

I picked three of the Trumpiest tweets ever to quote and dissect. By Trumpiest I mean self-serving, self-pitying, and reprehensible as he blames everyone but himself for his latest woes.

This tirade is factually challenged even for Lyin’ Donny. The FBI’s Miami office is the one that dropped the ball on Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter. It has nothing to do with investigating Kremlingate. The president* claims to love local law enforcement, especially those who beat the shit out of suspects, but they fucked up in this instance as well.

More importantly, the murder of 17 students and teachers is not about Donald Trump. He thinks he’s the sun, the stars, and the moon when he’s really just a black hole of suck. If Trump were a planet, he’d be Uranus. Believe me.

The main event on Trump’s twitter feed this weekend was, of course, Kremlingate. Trump’s national security adviser may not be the McMaster of his domain but he seized upon the indictments to tell the truth about Russian interference in the 2016 election. His boss was not happy with his statement. McMaster forgot to lie, which is a Bozo no-no in the Trump administration.

I doubt if the Insult Comedian read the indictment but I did. It makes a plausible case that the election results were influenced by the drumbeat of anti-Clinton propaganda. We all know ostensibly liberal people who swallowed whole what turned out to be Russian disinformation. The most gullible among them sat out the election or voted for useful idiot, failed folkie, and Crunchy Granola Machiavelli, Jill Stein.

The charge of collusion between Democrats and Russia is absurd but predictable in the fact free zone that is Trumpworld. The Russians were out to get the former Secretary of State and help the Kaiser of Chaos. Speaking of chaos:

Trump *is* the chaos the Russians were hoping to create. The federal government is dysfunctional, understaffed and at war with itself. They helped elect a president* who has so many scandals going that some of them cannot break through the wall of white nationalist noise and corruption erected by Team Trump. It’s the only wall they’ve built thus far.

As a veteran political observer, I still believe the country can move past this catastrophic presidency*. We’ve had terrible presidents before but none of them deliberately set out to damage the country and its institutions; not even Tricky Dick. Once again, Trump is worse than Nixon.

Ever since finding the dumbbell caveman painting, Perpetual Motion, I’ve had a classic Yessong in my head. Perpetual Change is what we need right now as an antidote to the selfish nihilism of Trump and what I dubbed the Me Party in 2013. They need to be drubbed up and down the ballot in 2018 to give the country a better chance to recover from the misrule of the Dumbbell Caveman and his wrecking crew. Believe me.

Yes gets the last word:

Words Matter

The word treason is being thrown around rather freely of late. It is a very specific crime. In fact, it is the only crime that is defined in the Constitution:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

An additional definition is offered in the constitutional dictionary:

treason n the offense of attempting to overthrow the government of one’s country or of assisting its enemies in war.

At the risk of sounding pedantic, Team Trump has skirted around the edges of treasonous behavior but has not committed the offense itself. We’re not at war with Russia and while conspiring with them to alter election results is an extremely serious crime, it’s not treason. There are other laws on the books and they’ve broken many of them. For one thing, the entire administration is a rolling (reeling?) RICO violation. And RICO is some serious shit.

Why does this matter? Words matter, that’s why. Words are the weapon of choice in a democracy. In fighting a corrupt, mendacious, and authoritarian government, it’s tempting to fight fire with fire. But the reality of what the Trumpers have done is so bad (to use the Insult Comedian’s favorite word) that hyperbole is unnecessary. Words matter.

I firmly believe that you fight lies with the truth, not exaggeration or hyperbole.  The facts are damning enough, gilding the Trumper lily to heighten drama is tempting but gets in the way of exposing their manifest and manifold malefactions. The truth is dramatic enough and will send many of this president’s* men to prison. Truth trumped (pun intended, it always is) Nixon’s lies and it will eventually take Trump down. Words matter.

The most important word in the political lexicon right now is ELECTIONS. One thing that politicians understand is the power of the ballot box. It’s why GOPers have worked so hard to make it difficult to vote. They only want the *right* people to vote. That’s why the resistance’s focus should be on registering voters and getting them to the polls. That’s how you send politicians a message, by voting them out.

Words matter. Use them wisely and well.

I’m old enough to remember when conservative Republicans stood with Eastern European dissidents against totalitarian communism. Now they stand with a former KGB agent whose goal in life is to avenge the “humiliation” of the Soviet Union. That’s why the last word goes to the late Vaclav Havel who knew something about defeating the big lie with truth.

 

Quote Of The Day: Birds Of A Feather Edition

I’m peeking my head out of the Carnival bubble because Josh nails the Insult Comedian and his creepy criminal cohort yet again:

We can start with the simple fact that this President surrounds himself with men who abuse women. Abuse and predation may know no party. But abusers seek out and run together. Trump’s politics are rooted in grievance, both gendered and racial. Trump is consistent if nothing else. He is an embodiment of his politics. It’s no surprise that this isn’t theoretical or merely expressed in political terms but is interpersonal and personally violent as well. Abusers know the President is one of them. They seek him out and he protects them in turn. Few men in the President’s coterie have multiple wives who’ve been willing to take the step of describing their former husband’s violence on the record. But it’s remarkable the number of Trump’s top advisors who have a history of abuse, whether it’s accusations of harassment or sexual assault or chronic physical violence against former spouses or girlfriends.

The Porter scandal is simultaneously appalling and fascinating. We already knew Trump didn’t give a shit about predatory behavior but we’ve had another reminder that John Kelly is just a slightly more polished version of his boss. Spousal abuse doesn’t seem to faze  him one bit. He may be an officer but he’s not a gentleman.

It’s also been fun watching the hapless Hope Hicks flail. It’s what happens when you place a sycophant who is also dating the wife beater in a position that she’s woefully unqualified for. They might bring back the Mooch who is also woefully unqualified to be communications director. Woefully Unqualifed would be a good Trumper band name.

Okay, time to re-enter the Carnival bubble. The real world bites the big one right now.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Box Of Rain

It’s been a somewhat stressful Carnival season thus far. The reason has been the weather: it’s been chilly and wet. The skies opened and poured down rain on the all female Krewe of Nyx on Wednesday night. We braved the elements and watched large chunks of the parade because we have friends in it and wanted to show our support. We can also run home and change clothes if we’re soaked. Props to the ladies who rode and survived the deluge of 2018.

Our annual Muses open house was a roaring success as was the parade itself, which took place on a dry Thursday evening. Half of New Orleans seems to come to Adrastos World HQ every year and 2018 was no exception. We had a record number of children including the legendary child army. New kitty Paul Drake came out to meet company but eventually got spooked by a close encounter with Lagniappe who is the craziest, cutest, and funniest 2+ year old I’ve ever met. Believe me.

Muses is another all-chick krewe who are famous for their shoe throws and marvelous themes. This year’s theme, Muses Night at the Museum, was their best yet. They riffed on masterpieces by artists such as Seurat, Magritte, Matisse, and Hopper and gave them a satirical twist. It was brilliant thematically and beautifully executed. My years in Krewe du Vieux have made me something of a parade critic but I have no criticism of this parade. It was stone cold brilliant. Four stars all the way, y’all.

Muses has a swell slide/show photo gallery of their floats at their Facebook page. Take a peek you’ll enjoy it, even this one:

Here’s the counterpart to that float. It’s as wistful as hell:

I know what you’re thinking: another Grateful Dead tune as the theme song? It’s actually tied to Carnival by analogy. We live inside what is referred to as the parade box. On parade days, except for Mardi Gras day itself, our movements are constricted by the parades. We even have parking wars.  This forecast for the rest of the weekend is a shit ton of rain. Hence Box Of Rain:

I have just two articles to suggest this week, so we’ll forego the break and usual segment format. I’m not sure if it’s innovative or lazy; probably the latter since hosting a party of 100+ people is hard work. I feel as if I was run over by a float.

Dr. A wanted to see the Super Bowl half time show even though we only watched snippets of the game. She was disappointed by it as was Vulture’s Brian Moylan who was inspired to write a list ranking Super Bowl half time shows from worst to best. Moylan is something of an Irish Shecky who is known for his hilarious recaps of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills aka Rich Ladies Doing Things. I particularly enjoy how he rags on one of the husbands. He once called this chap a pustule with legs. Now that’s entertainment.

It’s Black History Month everywhere except the Trump White House. The Failing New York Times published a list of must-see movies:

It’s a great list. I’ve only seen half of the films listed so I have some catching up to do. I am pleased that they like Devil With A Blue Dress as much as I do.

That’s it for this week’s limited edition of Saturday Odds & Sods. I can’t assure you that it will grow in value but it’s mercifully short. That’s something, innit?

The last word goes to the Krewe of Muses:

Everybody Loves A Parade

Carnival swings into high gear this evening. We live inside the parade box, which is even more intense at the beginning of the route where Adrastos World HQ is located. A highlight of every parade are the military marching bands, especially the Marines in their gorgeous dress blues.

Everybody loves a parade including the Current Occupant:

President Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces.

Trump has long mused publicly and privately about wanting such a parade, but a Jan. 18 meeting between Trump and top generals in the Pentagon’s tank — a room reserved for top-secret discussions — marked a tipping point, according to two officials briefed on the planning.

Surrounded by the military’s highest-ranking officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Trump’s seemingly abstract desire for a parade was suddenly heard as a presidential directive, the officials said.

“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” said a military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the planning discussions are supposed to remain confidential. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.”

Everybody loves a parade including Third World tyrants and the Banana Republican who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue at the moment. I wonder if the Kaiser of Chaos plans to repair the streets that are damaged. Not that he’s thought that far ahead: he’s a tween who wants what Macron has. But that sort of parade *is* a tradition in France, not in America. It’s not a parade to celebrate the military but to celebrate Trump’s ego and prove that his dick is bigger than the handsome young French president’s.

In many parts of the world, tanks in the streets means that there’s a coup d’etat in progress. I heard stories of Athens, Greece in 1967 from my de facto Uncle Lou who was stationed there with NCIS when the colonels overthrew the duly elected government. (A quick personal story. Lou is the reason I cannot watch NCIS: New Orleans despite being a Scott Bakula fan. In his many years of service, he never drew his weapon. He would have considered it a failure to do so. Real NCIS agents are investigators, not action heroes.)

The building on the right is parliament at Syntagma Square. That’s constitution square for anyone keeping score. The score that day was colonels ten, democracy zero.

The Greeks have learned their lesson about tanks in the street. It’s what happens when democracy fails and authoritarianism prevails. Is that what we want to see in our nation’s capital? A parade staged to gratify a vainglorious despot wannabe? No fucking way.

Trump recently called Democrats “un-American” for not applauding him during his desultory state of the union speech. What’s un-American is staging a military parade when we’re not celebrating the end of a war. It’s an act of egomania conceived by an insecure man who is called Cadet Bone Spurs by a real war hero, Senator Tammy Duckworth. Believe me.

America should be secure in the knowledge that our military is second to none. We don’t need tanks in the streets to gratify an Insult Comedian with a dead nutria atop his head.

Everybody loves a parade.

Exhuming McCarthy

Trump with arch-McCarthyite Roy Cohn.

I spent the weekend in the Carnival bubble, which is a good place. I stayed there even when two of the leading resistance activists in my area came over for a parade party yesterday. We didn’t feel like dissecting the Nunes memo and what, if any, significance it might have.

The memo itself is a damp squib: Nunes has admitted that he hasn’t read any of the underlying material. He’s emulating his dear leader who was left alone with a 3 1/2 page memo for several hours. Trump claims to have read it but I think he watched teevee instead. The Nunes memo does, however, aid and abet the possibility of what many have called a slow motion Saturday Night Massacre.

It’s not an original insight to apply the label neo-McCarthyism to Nunes and his doings, especially now that he plans to give Foggy Bottom a spanking next. The State Department was Tailgunner Joe’s main target, after all.

One hears the word unprecedented a lot in the age of Trump. Sometimes it’s used correctly. But it is not unprecedented for Republican politicians to attack arms of government to suit their own political aims. It’s what Joe McCarthy did and it’s what Devin Nunes and Donald Trump are doing right now.

Once again Trump proves that he’s worse than Nixon. Tricky’s assault on the FBI and CIA was mostly subterranean whereas Trump’s is out in the open and on the tweeter tube. Trump’s is more egregious: he is willing to take down the FBI to save his own ass. It surprises but does not shock me that GOPers do not understand that if one is not-guilty one does not need to obstruct justice by finagling to shut an investigation down. One is not the loneliest number in this post.

Will it work? I’m not sure. Slate legal eagle Dahlia Lithiwck thinks it might. If nothing else, the Nunes memo has sown the seeds of chaos, confusion, and discord that Team Trump thrives on. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos. His operating principle is that if you throw enough shit against the wall some of it will stick.

The post title is taken from an REM song from their great 1987 album, Document. Exhuming McCarthy was written in response to the Iran-Contra scandal and the rise of the likes of Newt Gingrich who specialized in McCarthyite attacks on their opponents. The lyrics are just as relevant to the current situation and the Current Occupant who lie as easily as the worst of the Reaganites. The good news is that they’re not as good at it as St. Ronnie and his cohort. Reagan had an aura of niceness that mitigated his lies in the eyes of many. Trump is a prick who is only believed by hardcore cultists. The Reaganites attack on the truth worked: it remains to be seen if the Trumpers efforts will work. One thing I’m sure of: Reagan would be appalled by Trump’s fealty to the neo-Soviet government of Vladimir Putin. Even the Reaganites had their limits.

A reminder: Donald Trump considers Joe McCarthy’s henchman Roy Cohn a mentor as you can see in the featured image at the top of the post. As I wrote during the campaign, oy such a mentor.

The last word goes to-who else?-REM as it did in the Trump-Cohn post.

Quote Of The Day: GOP Fantasy Camp Edition

It comes from former Justice Department spokesman, Matthew Miller on the damage done by GOP attacks on reality:

The first one they went after, starting decades ago, was the media. Now Republicans don’t believe what they hear on any channel other than Fox News. Then they moved to scientists … and now you see in polls Republicans who just don’t believe in scientists. They’ve turned on universities, and you see this rising discontent among conservatives about university. They are now turning on federal law enforcement.

And if a significant percentage of the population — 35, 40 per cent — believes that federal law enforcement is biased, you’ll see those people less likely to co-operate with investigations, less likely to blow the whistle, and less likely to believe DOJ prosecutors when they sit on juries. It is extremely damaging to the long-term ability of those institutions to do their jobs.

This is all about saving Donald Trump’s ass. I am horrified that they’re willing to go such extreme lengths so save his skin but I’m not surprised. The GOP has been running a political fantasy camp since Reagan who often confused real life with old movies. The Beavis-Duce administration amped up the fantasy quotient by lying us into war and attacking members of the “reality based” community. I wish people would stop saying the Bushies weren’t as bad as those of us with memories longer than a nano-second think they were. They were horrible.

Another thing that alarms me is the erosion of the oversight functions established after Watergate. We learned that the FBI and CIA abused their power, and Congress clamped down on them. There was NO oversight of the CIA until the 1970’s and J Edgar Hee Haw was a law unto himself.  The oversight functions ain’t what they used to be, but under Trump they may disappear.

Remember when the Republicans were the law and order  party? You can’t have law and order without law enforcement and for all its flaws the FBI is one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the world. It’s beyond insane to damage it in the name of protecting the criminal who currently lives in the White House, especially since the FBI’s culture is conservative and predominantly Republican.

As a member of the reality based community, I hope the “Nunes report” blows up in his and the president’s* face. Of course, the Alex Joneses of the world will believe that the FBI released a letter that damaged Hillary Clinton but was really designed to hurt Trump. That’s what Fox News and the GOP fantasy camp has led us to.

The last word goes to Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton. Rock-n-roll can’t cure what ails the country but it can’t hurt it either.

 

Spanktuary City

Photograph by David Aguiar.

The forecast was dire for last Saturday’s Krewe du Vieux parade. I am the Krewe of Spank’s voice of weather doom but I was wrong. It poured off and on until 3:30 PM, then the front moved on leaving us with slightly slippery streets and a dry parade.

The sub-krewe of Spank’s theme this year was Spanktuary City. I’ll let a neutral observer, my boy Kevin Allman of the Gambit Tabloid, describe it for you:

Krewe of SPANK, which always mounts ambitious floats and even more ambitious themes, paid tribute to the pushme-pullyu over New Orleans’ status as a sanctuary city with the theme “SPANK-tuary City” and a float with an elaborate, moving whack-a-mole game.

Time to edit the editor. There’s no hyphen in Spanktuary, dude. It’s our pun and we’ll decide how to punctuate the sucker. Besides, we’ve used that moniker for our annual parade route party since its inception. Additionally, it’s Spank-a-Mole as you can see in these pictures taken by Dr. A:

Spank-a-Mole is a game of endurance wherein you beat the mole into submission. That’s what the anti-Trump resistance has to do: keep spanking the ugly orange mole. I understand the SOTU was an endurance test as well. I skipped it. 80 minutes of an Insult Comedian with a dead nutria atop his head? No thanks.

It’s time for some non-Spanky pictures involving members of Drips and Discharges. They mocked pervy NOLA celebrity chef John Besh. This headpiece won the parade:

My buddy Brother Bob Bolin is also in Drips. Here he is slumming it with me:

Here’s a close up of Bob’s sign:

A reminder: Krewe du Vieux is a homemade parade. All the work was done by the talented members of the various sub-krewes. That’s what makes it so distinctive and great. The satire is pretty darn good as well

A quick shout-out to my fellow Spankster and Deadhead David Martin for turning me on to the marvelous parade route photo by David Aguiar. Thanks, man. To read more about the parade take a closer look at Kevin’s instant analysis.

Finally, this year members of the Krewe of Spank costumed as Lady Liberty with blue togas. We looked like an inebriated gang as we marched. I’m not sure if we were the Jets or the Sharks. We *were* the first Blue Wave of 2018:

Hush Money

I’ve never seen the movie depicted above. I assume that it’s about blackmail. The phrase hush money is a venerable one, dating as far back as 1709. And no I was not the original coiner…

The first time I heard the term was after transcripts of the expletive deleted  Watergate tapes were released. Tricky Dick’s potty mouth was one reason his popularity plummeted.

I’ve had hush money on my mind ever since the Stormy Daniels story came out of the cake. I remain gobsmacked that this story hasn’t had silk stockinged legs. It’s got it all: sex, lies, and pay-offs. The problem is that there are so many scandals that the MSM is less interested in pursuing this president’s* tiny penis. After all, he’s got a big mouth that keeps saying stupid shit. So much so that the Guardian’s Steve Bell depicts him thusly:

That’s right, Trump the Talking Terlet. Btw, Bell depicted former British PM John Major as wearing his underpants on top of his trousers and David Cameron as encased in a condom. Good times.

Back to the Insult Comedian. His big bazoo is the gift that keeps on giving, which is why I’ve come to the conclusion that the person who should be paid hush money is the president* himself. This is the guy who told Lester Holt why he *really* shitcanned Comey and volunteered to testify under oath. Dumbass. You’re the president*, not just a sleazy real estate developer: your words matter, dipshit. That’s the problem with being a serial prevaricator. It’s hard to keep the lies straight.

I have some unsolicited advice for Ty Cobb and John Dowd. The only way to shut your client up is to bribe him. He loves taking bribes; in fact, he lives to take them. He’s the grifter-in-chief, after all. Sure, the hush money will only work for a while but a few moments of Trumpian silence could be golden. Believe me.

America Held Hostage Day Three

If Yogi Berra were still with us, he’d say it was “deja vu all over again.” The last federal government shutdown was in 2013, which was when I inaugurated the first incarnation of this feature with this opening paragraph:

I keep dating myself (I kiss and tell too) on this blog but I do it for a good cause. I remember when ABC News launched a late night newscast after bored students stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and took a bunch of hostages to avoid studying for finals. The show was originally called America Held Hostage before morphing into Nightline, which is apparently still airing but I haven’t seen it in eons. A late night network news show is now kinda quaint but it was cutting edge in 1979.

This could be called the Stupid Shutdown since the Republicans control both houses of Congress and the executive branch. Stupid is on brand for the Trumpified, post-Tea Party GOP as is the whole notion of a government shutdown. Anything that is the brain child of N Leroy Gingrich is presumed stupid until proven otherwise.

Since government shutdowns have been part of the GOP brand since 1995, Democrats should hold firm on their demands. A closely divided Senate gives them leverage on DACA, which is an idea everyone but the dimmer people on the White House staff claim to support. Despite Trump’s urging, Chinless Mitch ain’t nuking the filibuster. He’s been in the minority before and will be again, hopefully in 2019. Veteran senators take the long view on the filibuster. Besides, the filibuster was the Turtle’s best friend when he was minority leader.

As to the White House, I call Trump the Kaiser of Chaos for a reason. He thrives on chaos, disorder, and instability: they’re part of his brand. As far as he’s concerned, this is Congress’ problem, he’ll sign whatever they send over. Some leader, some leadership.

The White House has provided some unintentional comedy relief as you can see in this tweet from Krazy author Michael Tisserand:

I am, however, disappointed that Michael missed the Get Smart shoe phone:

As Agent 86 would surely say at this point: “Missed it by that much.”

FYI, the bad guy spooks in Get Smart were Chaos. Sound familiar? I hear they have a Kaiser, not a Tsar.

The bumbling in Washington would be funnier if the real life implications weren’t so potentially terrible. Republicans expect Democrats to behave as responsible adults and cave. It hasn’t quite worked out that way in the past but it’s their expectation. What tends to happen is bi-partisan caving. Repeat after me: moderates always cave.

The joker in the 2018 shutdown deck is the Insult Comedian. Other that his stupid wall, he doesn’t believe in anything or care about anyone, he just wants a win. Every time he opens his mouth or unleashes his itchy twitter trigger finger he upsets an apple cart. I figured I should use an arcane phrase because he’s trying to take us back to the pre-civil rights, pre-feminist era. What he wants to do when he gets there is beyond me. Chaos is the result.

The teabagger driven 2013 shutdown lasted 16 days. The 2018 shutdown is driven by stupidity and Trump’s love of disorder. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos. Right now, he’s stupidly happy:

Repeat after me: the Kaiser of Chaos is stupidly happy.

Bedlam

Bedlam was originally the nickname for an early psychiatric hospital in London. The word has subsequently become synonymous with madness, chaos, and disorder as well as this swell 1946 movie:

In the Trump era, our nation’s capital has become the world’s largest loony bin even if the president* passed a cognitive test administered by his doctor. He may not have early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s, but he’s a fucking moron with a short attention span and impulse control issues. Boris Karloff might have said that he’s nuttier than a fruitcake. I concur: he’s every bit as nasty as one too; his “incredible genes” notwithstanding.

The Kaiser of Chaos has no idea what his policies are or how to argue for them. Congressional Republicans want to use CHIP as a weapon against Democrats to blame them for a shutdown.  Such subtleties are lost on the Insult Comedian who blew up this strategy on the Tweeter Tube:

He’s already tweeted against bills that his administration proposed and is likely to continue doing so. His position on DACA shifts hourly depending who he last spoke to. The result is chaos, confusion, and bedlam.

Trump has convinced himself that a 2018 government shutdown will be a “good shutdown.” There ain’t no such thing. The notion that voters will blame the party that controls none of the political branches of government fails the smell test. It’s the Insult Comedian pandering to a diminished base who are the only ones who still believe anything he says. The result is chaos, confusion, and bedlam.

Well-meaning personally decent Republicans like Jeff Flake are speaking out against the bedlam. Flake’s recent speech comparing the Trump to Uncle Joe Stalin was a good one BUT fine words aren’t enough in this situation. Flake has voted the Trump party line 90% of the time. Flake’s critique is increasingly reminiscent of someone who corrects your grammar or table manners. It’s all style and no substance. It contributes to the chaos, confusion, and bedlam.

Things are so bad that reports about Trump’s affair with Gret Stet born porn star Stormy Daniels are getting no traction. This is the sort of story that the Beltway press corps used to live for, but now they seem to have scandal fatigue. They’re increasingly numb to the chaos, confusion, and bedlam.  (Parenthetical aside: Stormy threatened to run for the Senate against Diaper Dave in 2010. There’s a swell account of this by Mitch Rabalais at the Bayou Brief. Y’all know how much I love sub-plots and this is a juicy one.)

The country has been battered, beaten, and abused before, but we’ve never had an administration with so many scandals that the press has a hard time prioritizing which one to cover. The extent and scope of the Trump administration’s crimes dwarf anything we’ve seen in our history. Teapot Dome was a tempest in an oily teacup compared to the Trump scandals. The result is chaos, confusion, and bedlam.

Kevin McCarthy: Candyass Candyman

In 2015, I wrote a funny post about how House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy blew his chance to replace Speaker Boner. It had a classic title if I do say so myself and I do, Untrustable in Hungria: The Kevin McCarthy Story. McCarthy has trouble with the language, which may be one reason Trump likes him; that and his obsequious toadying:

President Trump and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) were alone in the presidential suite on Air Force One, flying east toward Washington in early October, when the president reached for a handful of Starbursts, the square-shaped candy fruit chews.

But instead of unwrapping all the treats, the president was careful to pluck out and eat two flavors: cherry and strawberry, McCarthy noticed.

“We’re there, having a little dessert, and he offers me some,” McCarthy recalled in an interview. “Just the red and the pink. A bit later, a couple of his aides saw me with those colors and told me, ‘Those are the president’s favorites.’ ”

Days later, the No. 2 Republican in the House — known for his relentless cultivation of political alliances — bought a plentiful supply of Starbursts and asked a staffer to sort through the pile, placing only those two flavors in a jar. McCarthy made sure his name was on the side of the gift, which was delivered to a grinning Trump, according to a White House official.

First, Starbursts are nasty. I thought only small kids and teenagers ate that sticky and nasty shit. It makes sense that the arrested adolescent president* would like them. Ick. What is it with Republicans and nasty artificial fruit flavored candy? Reagan was a jelly bean freak. Now it’s the Insult Comedian and Starburst. One would think that a man with orange hair would favor that flavor instead of pink and red. Is it a subliminal message that he’s a pinko? His pal Vladdy used to be a red, after all.

Second, having a staffer sort Starbursts is an example of your tax dollars at work in the  Trump era. Admittedly, it beats the hell out of taking away health care from millions of Americans, but it still sucks. Plus it’s icky and sticky. Perhaps the staffer in question will quit and write an expose: I sorted Starburst  for Trump. I guess Kev didn’t know you could buy the red kind separately…

Kevin McCarthy is a dolt and  a world-class sycophant. His head is so far up Trump’s ass that the president* calls him “my Kevin.” That’s as sickly sweet as Trump’s favorite treat.

Writing this post has given me dueling earworms from an unlikely pair: Sammy Davis Jr. and the Grateful Dead and they’ll get the last word. We’ll go with the hit first:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Eyes Of The World

Train Smoke by Edvard Munch.

It’s going to be another cold weekend in New Orleans. Yesterday’s high temperature was at midnight, and it steadily declined thereby requiring me to layer up; beats the hell out of lawyering up. I’m not sure if I looked more like a seven-layer burrito, a wedding cake, or the Michelin Man. It was a dress rehearsal for today’s den day. The Den of Muses is a warehouse and it holds the cold. Holy Raymond Brrrrrr, Batman.

The big local news is that the Saints won their first playoff game and are playing in the frozen North against the Minnesota Vikings. I’m glad it’s in a domed stadium for two reasons. First, many New Orleanians are attending the game and we’re not used to the arctic cold. Second, a domed stadium is the Saints natural habitat: Drew Brees is one of the greatest indoor athletes ever. Hmm, that sounds naughty but you know what I mean. I hope all the Packers fans out there are rooting for my guys.

I chose a lesser known painting by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch because it’s bloody cold and I mocked Norwegian food on Thursday. The post title is one of my better efforts so it bears repeating: Shithead Says Shithole.

Munch’s most famous painting is, of course, The Scream. When Dr. A was writing her doctoral dissertation, she had a blow up doll of The Scream dude in her office as a stress reliever. She passed it on to our friend Dr. Bonster so she could do likewise. I’m not sure what happened to the blow-up screamster. Perhaps it ended up in the office of Richard Belzer who played Detective John Munch on Homicide and Law & Order SUV. I’ve always wondered what kind of SUV it is: a Ford Exploder? Yeah, I know it’s SVU but it’s a pun I’ve been making for years and you know how I am.

January in my house means the music of the Grateful Dead. I’ve been indoctrinating young Paul Drake in the ways of the Deadhead and he seems down with it. This week’s theme song was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter in 1974 and became a fixture on the band’s, and its spin-offs, set list. First up is the studio version from Wake of the Flood followed by an epic 1990 live version with Branford Marsalis on saxophone. I could call it When Homies Collide but I won’t. Oops, guess I just did. Never mind.

Now that we’ve awakened to discover the new day or some such shit, let’s jump to the break. We better make it snappy after that awkward paraphrase of Robert Hunter’s lyrics.

Continue reading

Shithead Says Shithole

Today on President’s* say the darndest things:

President Donald Trump on Thursday asked lawmakers why the United States allows people to immigrate “from shithole countries” like Haiti and African countries, the Washington Post reported.

The Washington Post reported, citing two unnamed sources briefed on Trump’s meeting with lawmakers, that Trump asked, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

According to the report, Trump made the remark in reference to Haiti and African countries, and then suggested the United States should allow more immigrants from countries like Norway instead. Trump met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Wednesday.

The MSM is having the vapors right now over having to say shithole. That’s half the fun of this latest flow of rascist diarrhea from the Insult Comedian. We already knew that he hates people of color and thinks African is full of cannibals like in cheesy old B-movies. All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.

Past potty-mouthed presidents had the good sense not to curse in big meetings, and their staffs were loyal and did not leak stories wherein presidents used what the failing NYT would call “off-color language.” We didn’t know what a foul mouth Tricky Dick had until the White House Tapes were full of expletives deleted to my unexpurgated delight. Truman and LBJ were known to swear like sailors too. It’s not the language, it’s the unvarnished bigotry.

As to the Norwegian  comments.  (ICYMI, I’m half-Norwegian: my darling mother was one of them very white white people.) Has Trump ever had Norwegian food? Lutefisk and Pickled Herring should be banned from the country. Ack. Barf.

I think it’s time to have a cuisine test: only immigrants from countries with good food can be admitted. It’s one way to keep Nigel Farage from immigrating.

It’s just another day in Trumpworld where Shitheads say shit like shithole everyday.

Don Donaldo Wants To Wet His Beak

I haven’t used Trump’s wise guy nickname for quite some time: Don Donaldo, Il Insulto Comico. It’s not because he’s stopped grifting but because there’s so much shit going on, which is why I also call him the Kaiser of Chaos. It’s time for Don Donaldo to play a return engagement at First Draft.

<drum roll>

Today on Life Imitates The Godfather Theatre:

Remember the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere”? The Montana Sheep Institute or the now-shuttered North Carolina teapot hall of fame?

Congress years ago eliminated funding for these types of pet projects, known as earmarks, after they became derided as government boondoggles, largess and a pathway to corruption.

President Trump now wants to bring them back.

In a freewheeling meeting about immigration with congressional Republicans and Democrats this week, Mr. Trump lamented the gridlock that has gripped the capital in recent years and suggested that earmarks, the practice of stealthily stuffing funding for pet projects into legislation, be exhumed from the legislative graveyard.

“Our system lends itself to not getting things done, and I hear so much about earmarks — the old earmark system — how there was a great friendliness when you had earmarks,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday. “Maybe all of you should start thinking about going back to a form of earmarks.”

So much for draining the swamp. Of course, he might have already changed his position by now. He’s an ignorant and erratic swamp critter, after all.

I have mixed feelings about earmarks. One person’s pork is another’s important project but the system *was* repeatedly abused. Pork barrel spending was a frequent target of the late Senator William Proxmire (D-Wisconsin) who was a liberal but a cheapskate and proud of it. Proxmire had his Golden Fleece Award, which he bestowed upon shady pork barrel spending projects from 1975 to 1988.

In contemplating earmarks and pork, one should consider the source. In 2018, the source is the most personally corrupt president* in American history. Don Donaldo has ties to both the Italian-American and Russian Mafia. In short, he’s in it for himself.

That brings me back to this episode of Life Imitates The Godfather Theatre. In Godfather Part II,  young Vito Corleone made his mark on the New York crime scene by whacking the greedy, cruel, and ugly Don Fanucci. Here’s Don Fannucci’s best known line:

Like the avaricious fictional mob boss, Don Donaldo wants to wet his beak. That’s why earmarks should not be revived as long as he’s the Current Occupant. Let’s keep his beak dry.

Fuck Yeah, Dianne

Dianne Feinstein is a cautious politician. In her four terms in the Senate she’s developed a reputation as an institutionalist who will work in a bi-partisan manner to get shit done. That has changed with her release of the Glenn Simpson/Fusion GPS transcript, which bends Senate norms in the national interest. I’m still working my way through the transcript so my focus is on Senator Feinstein who became a national hero yesterday.

Apparently, the final straw for the senior Senator from California came when Grassley and Little Lindsey referred Christopher Steele for prosecution last week. She was not consulted and thought the notion of prosecuting a whistleblower was ludicrous. Feinstein has a long fuse but, by all accounts, she was royally vexed. In releasing the transcript, she’s dared Grassely to do something about it. He seems to be folding like a poker player caught dealing from the bottom of the deck.

The big news coming out of the Feinstein-Grassley smackdown is confirmation that Senate Republicans have been lying about the origin of the FBI’s Kremlingate investigation. They’ve claimed that Steele and Fusion GPS started the investigation, which means that it’s somehow Hillary Clinton’s fault. Simpson’s testimony UNDER OATH proves that Grassley has been blowing smoke to divert attention from the fact that the FBI was already on the case when contacted by Steele.

The Insult Comedian chimed in on the tweeter tube:

That’s one of his worst nicknames ever. Dianne Feinstein is famously blunt and direct. If she’s sneaky, I’m a Trumper. Additionally, she has never said that collusion has not been found, and the release of this document is legal and in the public interest. It’s Senate Republicans who have disgraced and abased themselves to protect a criminal president*.

I chuckled when I typed the post title. Dianne Feinstein has always been a prim and proper pol. I doubt that she swears but fuck yeah is the ultimate accolade here at First Draft. So fuck yeah it is.

Dianne Feinstein is one tough cookie. It’s what happens when you’ve lost three elections and keep coming back for more. If Donald Trump thinks she’s going to crumple, he’s even crazier than I think he is. It’s just more dick waving from the idiot-in-chief. It’s a waste of time. Dianne don’t play that.

I am proud of my former mayor at this moment. She’s not always right but always tries to do the right thing. In this instance, she stuck the landing.

Fuck yeah, Senator Feinstein.

A Very Stable Genius or a Horse’s Ass?

That’s a rhetorical question. I think you know where I come down. I’ll skip the jokes about cleaning out the Augean Stables but it’s what the next Oval One will have to do. That’s recent American history in a nusthell: Democratic presidents cleaning up messes made by their Republican predecessors. The Insult Comedian will leave steaming piles of shit everywhere. So much for skipping the stable jokes. I was not up to the Herculean task of restraining myself.

There was a parade of crazy, no make that a freak parade, last week. I’m glad that the president* raised the subject of his mental incapacity in the wake of the Wolff book because the MSM has been reluctant to do so. At a minimum, he’s extremely insecure about his intelligence. Nobody who is secure in their intelligence talks about their “very good brain” or calls themselves a “very stable genius.” That’s a sign of raging insecurity and, in this instance, horse’s assery and downright lunacy. Believe me.

Genius is one of those words that is overused and misapplied. Genuine geniuses are few and far between in any field of endeavor. When I was a kid, I tested at the genius level IQ-wise. Was I then or have I ever been a genius? Absolutely not. I used to get solicitations from MENSA and I always threw them away. The group sounds like a self-congratulatory circle jerk to me.

Donald Trump is not a very stable genius, he’s a very unstable menace. I think he’s mentally ill but I agree with something Josh Marshall wrote the other day:

That brings us back to the point. It’s really only the behavior that matters to us as citizens. A diagnosis would only be helpful to learn about behavior we don’t know about or predict future endangering behavior. Since we know about the behavior we’re talking about, none of that matters or applies. In common sense, every day rather than clinical language Trump is clearly unstable, erratic, impulsive. In a word, he’s nuts and not well. As citizens, we are entirely able and entitled to make these determinations. They are ordinary English language descriptors that the psychiatric profession doesn’t control and shouldn’t want to control. The entire debate over whether Trump is “mentally ill” is simply a diversion, premised on the idea that we need either permission or dictation to say he is not able to safely or competently fulfill the job of President. We don’t. The observed behavior is really all that is necessary and all that matters. It’s very clear.

It is indeed. Josh has a “very good brain” but he’s not a “very stable genius.” Believe me.

Repeat after me: it’s the behavior, not the diagnosis that matters.

Speaking of freak parades, the last word goes to Todd Rundgren and Utopia:

Twelfth Night Odds & Sods: Iko Iko

1912 Twelfth Night Revelers Invitation.

It’s the first day of Carnival. In New Orleans, the Epiphany means we can consume king cake and hang our krewe flags outside the house. A reminder of mine:

Our cold snap continued all week, which meant dripping faucets to prevent bursting pipes and huddling around space heaters inside our drafty houses. It’s nothing compared to the winter hurricane hitting other parts of the country but neither our people nor our houses are built for freezing weather. Anyone who wants to mock me as soft should try living through a New Orleans summer. I double dog dare you.

Since it’s Twelfth Night, we have a seasonal classic as our theme song. The Dr. John version features Mac performing with Ringo’s All-Starr Band featuring three members of The Band and Joe Fucking Walsh among others.

The big story of the week was Michael Woolff’s “fly on the wall” account of life in the Orange House. I wrongly thought Reince swatted all the flies when he was head lackey.

Crying Woolff: Like Doc, I have reservations about the Wolff book. He’s an unreliable narrator as well as a raging, gaping asshole. His method is akin to that of Merle Miller whose book of Harry Truman interviews, Plain Speaking, was a monster hit in the 1970’s. Miller let Truman speak his piece and didn’t fact check the former president’s most egregious whoppers.

There’s an interesting piece by James Warren about Wolff’s method at Vanity Fair’s Hive that has people buzzing. Warren’s conclusion is that Trump and the creep with the extra f in his name deserve one another. “They’re like conjoined twins tied at the ego.”

In the end, Woolf confirms many things we already knew about Trump’s West Wing: it’s loaded with knaves, morons, and buffoons.

Steve Bannon’s current problems can be traced to a fatal inability to STFU as you can see in a piece  by Gabriel Sherman at the same publication. One of the interesting things we learn is that Sloppy Steve’s nickname for the hardcore MAGA Maggots is “Hobbits.” Btw, I think Sloppy Steve is one of the Insult Comedian’s better derogatory nicknames.

Before we move on, a musical interlude from Todd Rundgren:

Let’s transition from the West Wing to the Old West.

Godless is a revisionist Western mini-series produced by Netflix. It stars Jeff Daniels as Frank Griffin a half brilliant half crazy outlaw/preacher. He’s a complicated character who informs us throughout the series that “I’ve seen my death and this isn’t it” even when he expires in the final episode. Uh oh, the spoiler police will be all over me now. I don’t care: Frank Griffin is your basic doomed outlaw.

Godless centers around the town of LaBelle, New Mexico whose population is 95% women because of a mining disaster that killed almost all the men.

The cast is outstanding and includes Scoot McNairy of Halt and Catch Fire and Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery. The only thing her character Alice Fletcher has in common with Lady Mary is a love of horses and a bad attitude.

Here’s the trailer:

Godless is streaming at Netflix. I give it 3 1/2 stars, an Adrastos Grade of B+ and an exuberant thumbs up.

Tweet Of The Week: This one comes from lil’ ole me. The current Veep and former Veeps Fritz Mondale and Joe Biden met up this week when the two formers attended the swearing-ins of baby Senators Doug Jones and Tina Smith. Selina Meyer was not there. Of course, she’s fictional, which could explain her absence. It would fun to see Julia dance like Elaine on the Senate floor but it was not to be.

Saturday GIF Horse: I had an Epiphany this Twelfth Night and decided to post two Carnival related GIFs. Apologies for the exclamation points in the second one.

Let’s shut this party down with some music.

Saturday Classic: For a fleeting moment, Mac Rebbenack was a rock star with hit singles. This 1973 album, In The Right Place, contains both of them.

That’s it for this week. Since I mentioned Selina Meyer, I’ll give the last word to her and her “crack” staff; make that crack me up.

A rep makes it hard to Wolff down this book

As much as I want to, I really don’t believe what Michael Wolff has written about President Donald Trump in the book “Fire and Fury.” The excerpt that has made its way around the internet is full of the kinds of things I traditionally believe about our president (or as one person referred to him “Dolt 45,” a term I’m planning to steal.) Examples include:

  • Trump never really thought he would be president and now that he is, he has no idea on how to handle things.
  • He has the temperament of a toddler and he is among other things, “semi-literate” “dumb as shit” and “a fucking moron.”
  • He is remarkably thin-skinned and will take out his rage on people who he knows can’t fight back, like cleaning staff and underlings.

That said, I’m just waiting for someone with half a brain and a conservative bend to pull a copy of this thing and gut the shit out of it. I’m sure the core tenets of the book (Trump? He cray.) are true, much in the same way that Sabrina Erdman’s main assertion in “A Rape on Campus” was true. However, in that same vein, I’m sure the “Jackie” elements of Wolff’s book are lying in wait, ready to undermine the volume’s essential premise.

If you want to know WHY I tend not to believe Wolff’s over-the-top recounting of the Trump Train to Hell, you can look at various media coverage of him over the years. He has used unethical techniques to gather information, glazes over basic facts for more glamorous innuendo and essentially told people, “Hey, reporting is for pussies.” The profile The New Republic (a place once rocked by its own inbred arrogance and fraudulent storytelling) did on Wolff provides a picture of him as more of a carnival barker than a truth-teller:

Much to the annoyance of Wolff’s critics, the scenes in his columns aren’t recreated so much as created–springing from Wolff’s imagination rather than from actual knowledge of events. Even Wolff acknowledges that conventional reporting isn’t his bag.

Others have also noted his ability to create a scene by having a concept of how something “should be” kind of just pass through his mind and emerge as reality. When he spent time writing about media moguls and the upper-crust NYC East Side crowd, those scene setters were both entrancing and yet immaterial. Whether someone cried or someone else demanding a particular type of vodka wasn’t the end of the world. Here, however, it actually matters if the future first lady who had been promised, “Don’t worry. We’re never going to win this thing” was sobbing at the concept of becoming the country’s “leading lady.”

And this is where we have trouble in journalism: You’re only as good as your reputation and once you set it, make it, kill it or whatever, it is what it is. Michael Wolff might come up with a cure for cancer at some point, but I’m not taking that shit until someone with a better overall rep comes by to prove to me this works.

This isn’t just Wolff’s problem. Other people have fucked up their reputations in the minds of readers and thus have them trapped in a conundrum. Case and point hit my email this week when I got this story sent to me about UW-Milwaukee and its record on sexual harassment claims. The story itself doesn’t read all that well, but the core of it rings true: Professors trying to grope, fondle or fuck students is happening and the U is trying to cover it all up over many years. This isn’t a difficult premise to conceptualize.

After reading the story, I was ready to pass it along to a bunch of people I know and support the journalists as I had been asked to. However, just before I got into the mix, I got a quiet email on the side about this. The concern wasn’t necessarily about the students, but the faculty instructor leading the project: Jessica McBride.

I’ve written about her issues here before and my concern about the ethics associated with them, so I’m not going to rehash them here other than to say this issue reemerged in the subsequent years. I know people who worked with her at various stops in her career from college through her stops in Milwaukee and they relayed various anecdotes that gave me pause about the quality of her reporting and her methods in getting stories. The person who emailed me gave me the “Why don’t you give this a couple days to breathe before saying anything” head’s up, which usually means to be careful of lavishing praise or criticism on something until more stuff comes out.

I wanted to pump that story up and push it out to more people because I really BELIEVE the core concept and I think it’s an atrocious abuse of power, both on the part of the professors who do it and the part of universities who hide it. However, given this individual’s connection to it and prior concerns that emerged about her work, I just couldn’t do it. And that really bothered me.

Reputations carry far and wide. Some aren’t fair while others are well earned. I have always worried about about this kind of stuff ever since I was a kid getting ready to go to college. My father’s only admonition to me, as I headed to the land of beer and vomit (AKA UW-Madison) was, “Don’t bring shame on the family. That’s my name, too.”

Fair or unfair, the source colors the lens through which we will see the work.