Category Archives: Stupid Republican Tricks

Roll Over Josh Greenberg, Tell Matt Gaetz The News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

<SNIP>

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

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

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

Stay tuned.

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

The Trumpcine?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Plea From The Republican Party

Republican Yellow Box

Great fallings will be onto you if you uncheck the box!

Wonderful greetings. I wish upon you peace and happiness on this beautiful day.

Please allow me to make my introduction. I am Great Honorable Leader Member of Glorious Senate Mitchell McConnell and I have a great and prosperous message for you please.

Here in my country the Republican States of American (g-d be praised) we are under attack from hideous outside force called Demoncrats. They intend to prey on all the innocents unborn and otherwise with their Satanic thoughts and way of life.

Their grandmaster the most dishonorable Joseph Hussein Biden wishes to undo all progress made toward our glorious and pure rebirth by the most splendid and definitely re-elected leader Donald Trump (blessed is his name).

  • He will bring forth a day when all you earn is given to those who do no work and live only for the convenience of the corner store and a pack of six liquored malt.
  • He will cleanse the air of your job and the water of your child’s and force you to take work for which you are untrained and unwilling to train.
  • He will force upon you more of the wicked Obamacare and make it more difficult for honest insurance companies to properly and majestically disapprove drugs and procedures “doctors” say are required.
  • He will send his murderous thugs to remove from your home your legally bought and honorably paid for AR15 which you use to protect your family only and has never been used nor will ever be used to commit the crime.
  • He will use his “justice department” to expel from the Congress the many defenders of the cause such as Her Rightness Margery Taylor Green, Her Eminent Lauren Boebert, and the very sexy and not at all creepy Most Definitely Not A Predator Matt Gaetz.
  • He wishes to bring us a great tithe called Increased Corporate Tax which shall take from those with no voice in Washington and give to those who do not look or sound like you. Why is it fair to tax our Corporate brethren so much when it should be Demoncrats who should pay the tax!
  • He wants to “rebuild” infrastructure. Of what use is that? We have all the bridges we need, all the roads, all the sewers. Even our unfailing electrical gridiron works perfectly, especially in states that rarely see snow or cold weather.
  • And worst he will make the elections by which our power is flowing impossible for us to win by allowing all the many infidels who follow him to vote as they please with no chance for us to properly determine if such votes are valid and real which of course they are not.

You MUST NOT allow these things to happen.  It is only through your contributions to the cause of freedom that we are able to prevent such disaster.

Please I beg of you to take a moment and send a contribution to us so we can continue to do the great work of preserving our Republican way of life.

We have made it super easy simple for you by already checking the yellow box above so you need not uncheck it. Remember IF YOU UNCHECK THE BOX OUR LEADER WILL BE ANGRY WITH YOU! You do not want to make our leader unhappiness. If you UNCHECK this box, we will have to tell the 45th(tm) you’re a DEFECTOR and have gone over to the Demoncrats.

Hoping that is never the case please feel the free to contact me with any ideas you may have. I am always in the love of hearing from good honest Republican citizens such as yourself.

Email: senator@mcconnell.senate.gov

Phone: 202-224-2541

With all the blessings of Trump, I remain as always, your most humble

Mitch McConnell

Shapiro Out

More Hick Schtick From John Neely Kennedy

The junior Senator from the Gret Stet of Louisiana is the man I love to hate. I considered two Sue Grafton inspired titles for this post, P Is For Phony or H Is For Hypocrite, before settling on this one. It would take a crack detective such as Kinsey Milhone to locate Neely’s integrity, after all.

Neely loves to go on teevee and denounce the liberals; one of whom he used to be. That was before he lowered his political IQ and became a Fox News favorite. He did it again the other day but first some background snark about Neely’s hick schtick.

As Treasurer of the Gret Stet of Louisiana for seventeen years, Neely was a publicity hound, but his brand was as a skinflint guarding the public coffers against both Democrats and Republicans, not the rabid wingnut of today. He was every bit as hard on Bobby Jindal as on his Democratic predecessor, Kathleen Blanco. Of course, he was a Democrat until 2007.

Neely didn’t start hicking up his accent and speaking style until he changed parties. Before then, he was not ashamed of being well-educated and articulate. The dumbing down began in his second run for the US Senate in 2008 against incumbent Mary Landrieu who had also served as Gret Stet Treasurer.

Neely perfected his hick schtick in his successful run for the Senate in 2016. Having secured the prize he’d spent his entire life chasing, he became one of the loudest Trump sycophants and enablers in a Republican party full of them. I wrote a long piece for Bayou Brief in 2018 about what I called his Neelyisms: the cornpone “wisdom” he dispenses on the boob tube.

The Neelyisms stopped being funny when he started using them to defend retrograde, racist, and downright stupid policies. After the slaughter in Boulder, Colorado he said that what America needed was idiot control, not gun control. He’s not really an idiot, he just plays one on teevee.

Neely popped up on Fox News the other day and deployed his cornpone “wisdom” against Major League Baseball for relocating the All Star Game from Atlanta to Denver:

Forget Mars. We need to search for intelligent life in the Major League Baseball commissioner’s office. I have never seen anything like this. Commissioner Manfred has a fiduciary responsibility to Major League Baseball. His job is to do the very best that he can not to suck. He has failed at that. Think about what he’s done. Major League Baseball is losing popularity to football and other sports. His job is to grow it. So what is the first thing he does? He decides to get involved in national politics and alienate hundreds of millions of Americans who actually like the Georgia bill and think that it is an honest effort for election security.

The commissioner hasn’t explained why he thinks these hundreds of millions of Americans who support the Georgia effort are a bunch of racists. He hasn’t bothered to explain why he thinks the bill is racist. The only excuse I can think is he made all of these decisions after his morning beer. I have never seen anything like it. It costs $150 to attend a major league baseball game in some cities. Is this going to encourage people to go? I just don’t think so.

This has nothing to do with Jackie Robinson. It has nothing to do with race.

It has everything to do with race, Senator. In fact, Jackie Robinson was born in Georgia, but his family fled Jim Crow and moved to California in search of a better life.

Republicans are afraid that they’re losing their grip on power in Georgia, so that state’s lege passed an atrocious bill that overwhelmingly effects black voters who are overwhelmingly Democratic. It might as well be called the Beat Raphael Warnock Bill.  One would think that logic would reach a man who was an adjunct professor at LSU law school for 14 years, but he’s only interested in the next election. His election.

Neely is also fond of mocking diversity and claiming that racism is not systematic. Our old pal Deep Blog saw the faux idiot on Faux News the other day and got a bellyful of his pseudo ignorant spiel. He sent me a screen shot of Vanderbilt University’s yearbook from 1973. John Neely Kennedy is second from the right on the top row:

The observant among you have surely noticed that, except for two Asian dudes, everyone on this page is of one race. It explains a lot about John Neely Kennedy. He not only mocks diversity, he’s uncomfortable with it. Imagine that.

Presumably, Vanderbilt is considerably more diverse in 2021 than it was in Neely’s day, which was a mere 9 years after that pricey private school was fully desegregated. In the Seventies, Black Commodores were still rare on the University’s Nashville campus unless some students owned records by the band then fronted by Lionel Richie.

John Neely Kennedy is a cornpone con man who thinks diversity is for suckers. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, Neely talks loudly and carries a hick schtick. I look forward to voting against him in 2022.

Since Neely is so fond of guns, the last word goes to The Commodores with the title track of their debut album:

GAETZGATE?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GAETZGATE. Try it, you’ll like.

Quote Of The Day: Montana Meth Nostalgia Edition

Montana is not only famous for dental floss tycoons, it used to have its own homegrown meth. Just ask Senator Steve Daines:

“Twenty years ago in Montana, meth was homemade. It was homegrown. And you had purity levels less than 30 percent,” Daines said alongside other Republican seantors who had traveled to the southern border. “Today the meth that is getting into Montana is Mexican cartel. It has purities north of 95 percent. Far more dangerous, far more addictive, and it’s less expensive.”

Ah, the good old days of meth lab explosions and local entrepreneurship. Dang furriners are taking over everything.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who has a senator who says stupid shit and I mean you John Neely Kennedy.

I used a line from the Zappa song Montana for my senior yearbook quote: “Moving to Montana soon, gonna be a dental floss tycoon.”

A friend’s mother asked him when I was leaving. A minor triumph but it was mine, all mine.

You’ve probably guessed by now that this entire post was a pretext to post those Zappa dental floss images I found on the internets. Just humor me.

The last word goes to Frank Zappa and the Mothers:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Pennies From Heaven

Photograph by Stanley Kubrick.

I committed a faux pas the other day and accidentally published something. I planned to curate a quote from a marvelous teevee essay by MSNBC’s Laurence O’Donnell about our border issues. Instead the whole damn  thing went out raw and I pulled it after it lingered overnight. Here’s a link to the transcript. Scroll down 3/4 of the way and Bob’s your uncle. Make that Uncle Laurence. I’m neither Irish nor from Boston but I’ll claim him.

In jab talking news, Governor Edwards has opened COVID vaccinations to all Gret Steters over the age of 16. I welcome everyone to the Half Vaccinated club. On April 3rd, I will enter of the realm of the fully vaccinated. Cue sigh of relief.

Our theme song continues the flow of the week. In this case from my most recent 13th Ward Rambler column. Pennies From Heaven was written in 1936 by Arthur Johnstone and Johnny Burke. It’s been a hit more times and by more artists that you can shake a stick at. Why one would do such a thing is beyond me.

We have three versions of Pennies From Heaven for your listening pleasure: Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima & Keely Smith, and an instrumental by Stan Getz and Oscar Peterson.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Oscar Peterson? I know: repeatedly. My Oscar love will never wane. That goes for my much missed kitty as well.

Before we jump to the break, look up like the girl in the Kubrick photograph so you can dodge the pennies from heaven.

Continue reading

Full Metal Jackasses

Ruger AR-556

This is my rifle. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless.

 

Whenever there is a mass shooting “incident” a predictable series of news stories follow about 1) how easy it was for the shooter to obtain his weapon of mass destruction and 2) how this isn’t a gun issue, it’s a mental health issue.

The first type of story will show how the shooter walked into their local arms dealer, er, I mean, gun store, filled out all the forms, went through the background check (if applicable) and proudly walked out with a new AR-556 automatic pistol and probably a free box of ammo the arms dealer, er, I mean, legitimate gun store owner threw in as a sweetener to “buy it today”.

You know what you never read about? How much that weapon cost.

So I did a little research on the weapon of choice for the Colorado shooter (the supermarket one, not the movie theater one or the ones at the high school) and found that he probably paid somewhere between $700 and $800 for it. It has a list price of $899 but other than the manufacturer’s website no one sells it for that price.

I’ve sold mediocre furniture and appliances for more than that.

We’ll be generous and say he bought it for $750 (plus that free box of ammo throw in). With the Colorado Springs sales tax of 8.2% he’s out the door at $811.50.

Too cheap. Way too cheap.

We’ll get back to price in a moment.

The second type of story will detail how politicians, Republican politicians to be precise, will prattle on about how this is a mental health issue, that “mental health is a large contributor to any type of violence or shooting violence” and that tougher anti-gun laws are unconstitutional, unnecessary, and will mean that only criminals will have guns.

They will then implicitly or explicitly say that while it’s a problem that needs to be addressed, well there just ain’t the money in the budget to address it with.

Oh you Repugnicans, always having the reason for the problem ready at your fingertips but never wanting to push the button that fixes it.

So in the spirit of compromise, a concept that has gone out of style in politics today, I’d like to offer a proposal that just might make everyone happy.

Tax the shit out of guns, then turn around and use the money raised to fund mental health clinics.

The actual amount of the tax can be debated but I think perhaps a sliding scale based on the type of weapon. Single shot rifles, maybe just 15%. Revolvers 20%. On and on up depending on the ammo capacity and firing rate of the weapon till we reach military style automatic weapons which, though I believe they should be illegal for the general public to own, could be taxed at 200%-500%.

There’d be no Second Amendment issue, the government isn’t preventing you from owning a gun just saying that if you want one you have to pay the taxes on it. There’s already sales tax on the purchase so the concept of the government imposing a tax on that so called constitutionally protected product is legally valid.

Likewise the validity of taking all money raised and earmarking it for one purpose is a well established doctrine.  Gasoline taxes are only used for road building, driver’s license fees are directed to highway safety projects, there are special taxes on televisions to offset the cost of their eventual recycling or on refrigerators for CFC removal.

If you are worried that this is would be a regressive tax that unfairly affects poor people well buddy it’s not poor people who buy large capacity automatic weapons. If they own a gun at all it will likely be on the smaller capacity, single shot end of the gun spectrum and thus less tax burdened.

No our brand of American mass murderers tend to be middle class, just the socio-economic group I’d be targeting with this tax. They could still afford to get that AR-15 but it’s gonna put a serious hole in their bank account, one that just might make them think twice about the purchase.

Look I have no illusions that such a tax would stop a person who truly wants to commit mass murder or who wants to commit “suicide by police” from buying that gun. That last Visa bill is going to go unpaid one way or another. But it might be the straw that breaks the gun manufacturer’s back in terms of mass production of the gun for non-military use. If the gun store owner can’t sell it because it’s bottom line price makes it too expensive for the middle class “gun enthusiast” to own, then the shopkeeper is not going to order as many which in turn will mean fewer being produced which in turn will mean that particular market will dry up.

In the meantime high capacity rapid fire automatic weapons that are sold will at least be doing some measure of good by funding the mental health services that might just turn a potential mass murderer into a productive, not destructive, human being.

Chris Rock had a similar idea. This one’s okay by me as well.

Shapiro Out

A Postcard From Sacramento

Sacramento Postcard

Welcome to Sacramento, state capitol of California. It’s got a bunch of really neat government buildings, a nice river, and um…let me see.. I think there’s a basketball team but that’s really more a rumor than a verified fact.

It’s a town better known for who has left it (Greta Gerwig, Brie Larson, Raymond Carver, LaVar Burton) than who actually lives here. If you live here it’s a 90% chance you work for the state government or for a company that depends on the patronage of those who work for the state government.

Even elected officials of the state don’t stick around unless they have to. Unlike the other large cities of the state there are no jokes about Sacramento traffic or the high cost of living here because traffic isn’t bad and it costs less to live here than any other major city in California. Yet any day they don’t have to be there most state officials skedaddle back to their home districts.

It’s a nice place to do business, but you wouldn’t want to live here.

And the business this past week was a legal insurrection against the duly elected governor of the state.

Governor Gavin Newsom will face a recall election despite the fact that he is currently polling at 52% approval, has the state’s vaccination program up and humming, and has begun to get the state opened up after the COVID blitzkrieg.

Apparently that’s not good enough for the people who are upset that he made them wear a mask in public and slowly, patiently, safely was reopening the state. Oh and back in November he went to dinner at a fancy restaurant and didn’t wear a mask.

So they have once again opted to go all in on a political coup to unseat a governor. Hey it worked in 2003, maybe it’ll work again.

Never mind that it didn’t work the eight other times it was tried. Yes, this will be the tenth recall election Californians have been forced to deal with. Why? Because it’s stupidly easy to get a recall election called.

To qualify a recall measure for the ballot only requires a petition to be submitted containing the signatures of registered voters that equal 12% of the total number of ballots cast in the last election for the position being recalled. 12.5 million votes were cast in 2018 for governor which means, hold on a sec I gotta get the calculator out, you only need 1.5 million signatures.

I could stand outside a Safeway Market in LA or San Diego and get 1.5 million signatures on a petition to bring back MANIMAL.

The point is in a state where the 2018 election was low in turnout, where 17.5 million people voted for president in 2020, where there are 21 million registered voters, allowing just 7% of registered voters to push through a time consuming, expensive, and unnecessary recall election is absurd.

So who’s behind this recall you ask. Well kids, we’re a state that encompasses many diverse communities and many cultures and…oh who the hell am I kidding you know who’s behind this, the Repugnican Party.

They can’t win elections the old fashioned way by appealing to the broadest number of voters thus getting the most votes. They don’t want to do the work to try and actually govern. So they flounder around, yelling and screaming that Demoncrats are stealing elections and forcing people to not die from a horrible contagious disease because you know FREEDOM!

Instead, pretty much since lockdowns began, they send the QAnon Qwazies to sit at folding tables in shopping centers and have them yell at people to sign their petition to recall the governor because they don’t like the way he’s handling the pandemic and ya know, stuff. If you ask how they would have handled the pandemic they yell about how COVID is no worse than the flu, masks don’t work, that this is just a conspiracy to steal people’s livelihoods, yada yada yada.

To be fair, they actually got a little over 2 million signatures on their petition which would be a good number in just about any other state, but here it’s not even HALF of the number of votes the LOSER of the 2018 election got.  Newsom got almost 8 million.

I know Repugnicans don’t believe in math (hence their love for the Electoral College) but I think 8 million is, hold on let me get the calculator out again, FOUR TIMES more than 2 million.

At a time when politicians should be working to help mitigate the damage from a virus which has killed 50,000 people in California, Repubnigans have chosen instead to try a backdoor, immoral way to undo a fairly won election. No need to storm the capitol, no need to incite violence, tell the QShaman to stay in jail, we’re gonna try this with millions spent on deceptive TV ads and playing to the COVID weariness of the voters.

In other words they are going to do what they do best, ignore the real problem and focus on a fictional one.

Recalls were put into the state constitution as a mechanism to oust corrupt politicians from office. That is the only reason they should happen. I’ve kidded around about the rationale for the recall, but of all the charges laid at Newsom’s feet, none of them involve corruption. They all involve dissatisfaction with his policies or his politics.

The mechanism for recall should be available, but the threshold for getting a recall election is ludicrously low. At least make it equal to the number of votes cast for the other candidates in the prior election. That would have meant the recall backers would have had to collect, hold on one more time for the calculator, three times as many signatures.

Recall is like impeachment. It should be used sparingly and only because serious CRIMES have been committed, you know like inciting a mob to attack the Capitol.  You don’t recall a state official because you don’t like his policies. You wait till the next election, try to convince a majority of voters that yours is the correct position, and vote him out. That’s the way democracy works.

The next gubernatorial election by the way would be exactly one year after this recall election.

Can you say pointless?

 

This is the Scottish supergroup Middle of the Road. They were ABBA before ABBA was ABBA. Why is a Scottish group singing about a California city while cruising down a canal in Amsterdam? It was 1971, that’s all I need to say.

Shapiro Out

The House Vax Refuseniks

It’s time for some more jab jabber but you knew that already because of the featured image of Richard Widmark with a needle. A friend asked me if I’d consider using the poster for The Panic In Needle Park but since that flick is about junkies, I told him to stick it. I suspect he’ll continue needling me. If you dish it out, you gotta be able to take it.

I’ve felt like a compendium of vaccine side effects since we last did some jab talking. Nothing major: just a bit of wooziness, soreness, minor swelling, and ennui, which is a fancy way of saying that I’ve slept a lot. I’m following my late mother’s admonition to sleep when under the weather. She was a smart woman.

The mere fact that I’m having side effects means the vaccine is working. It beats the hell out of one of the leading side effects of the virus: DEATH.

The vax news out of Congress is vexing. According to a piece in Axios:

Uncertainty about why only 75% of the House is confirmed as vaccinated against the coronavirus is fueling a debate about when the chamber can return to its normal rules of operation.

Between the lines: The other 25% of members have either refused to get the vaccine, have not reported getting it at home or are avoiding it because of medical conditions. Until the Office of Attending Physician is clear about this, it can’t make recommendations “regarding the modification or relaxation of existing social distancing guidelines.”

  • Congress has its own supply of the coronavirus vaccine. While it’s not certain which party is most to blame for any vaccine hesitancy, the phenomenon is higher among white Republicans than any other demographic group, as Axios has reported.

  • “I won’t be taking it. The survival rate is too high for me to want it,” 25-year-old Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) told Axios in December.

I yield the floor to my colleague from Gotham City to fire a bullet at those bullet points:

Is there really any doubt about which party is to blame? The GOP is the party of Mask Warriors as well as Dipshit Insurrectionists. And side effects of Trumpism include stupidity, malakatude, and COVID denialism.

It’s all about freedom, man. House GOPers also object to security measures adopted since the Twelfth Night White Riot. They impinge on their freedom, man. I suspect they concur with this nonsense from the stupidest solon:

Even though those thousands of people that were marching to the Capitol were trying to pressure people like me to vote the way they wanted me to vote, I knew those were people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, and so I wasn’t concerned,” Johnson said in a Thursday interview with conservative radio host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo.

“Now, had the tables been turned — Joe, this could get me in trouble — had the tables been turned, and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned,” he added.

The Boy Wonder is feeling feisty today:

Racism is one of the nastier side effects of white privilege. Ain’t nobody whiter than Ron Johnson.

Anyway, y’all get jabbed ASAP. If you’re still not eligible, sign up pronto. It’s important: side effects be damned.

The last word goes to Pat Benatar:

The La-Z-Boys of Politics

Martin Crane's La-Z-Boy

What did Tucker just say?! The Demoncrats want to what??!!

My First Draft colleague Cassandra had a piece this week about her Senator Manchin and how he and the Senate Dems played the Republicans to get the COVID bill passed by allowing the ludicrous charade of forcing a reading of the entire bill, then waiting till the Republicans had left the chamber while all the Demos stayed thus allowing Chuck “I’m Amy’s Cousin Not Her Uncle” Schumer to invoke cloture and move the bill, as well as Merrick Garland’s Attorney General nomination, to the floor for a vote.

In other words he used an old jujitsu move on them, allowing your opponent to be done in by their own innate nature.

And what is their innate nature? Very simply, conservatives are lazy. The inherent want of conservatism is for nothing to change because change requires work, sometimes hard work, to one degree or another. Conservatives want to take the easiest, simplest, path, the one that takes little if any work. The easy answer is always no. The hard is “let’s work to find a way”.

Think of any issue, political or social, and you will see this at, well,  work.

Climate change. The easy thing is to say it doesn’t exist and let’s just go on doing what we’ve always done. The hard thing is to say it does exist and new strategies have to be put in place to retard it, strategies that will mean those contributing to the change will have to work hard and maybe even give up some power, money, or influence.

Social justice. The easy way is to say there is no racial divide and those protesting police brutality or pay inequality are only doing so because they want something for nothing. The hard way means working to confront your own fears, prejudices, and greed to make the world more equitable for all.

Gun Control. The easy way is to say second amendment trumps all. The hard way is to note that unlike the first amendment, the second does not contain the words “Congress shall make no law” and then work to make laws that take guns out of the hands of sociopaths while allowing honest, small genitaled…er…I mean law abiding citizens to have them.

The COVID pandemic. “It’s just the flu” versus “Quarantine, social distance, wear a mask, get the vaccine” Whew, that’s a lot of work.

Voting rights. The easy way to win elections is to make sure only your people vote. The hard way to win elections is to have actual programs and ideas that benefit the electorate, then work to convince people yours is the better way.

I bring this up because the passage of the COVID relief bill was by the thinnest of majorities in both the House and Senate. The liberal, Democratic, view of the bill was that people need help and this will help them. The conservative, Republican, view is, well, I can’t really tell what their opposition to the bill was. In their lazy fashion they mumbled something about it being bloated, crammed with liberal policies (without naming those policies) and instead decided to start railing against Dr. Seuss of all people rather than come up with a competing bill because that would have taken work.

What is astounding to me is they didn’t need to be doing this. They could have had a nominal group of no worries about re-election lawmakers cry about fiscal responsibility and vote no and have everyone else join the Dems in voting for a bill that had an astounding 87% of the American people wanting to see passed. Bipartisanship in the cause of helping the American people in a crisis.

But that would have meant doing the work necessary to explain why, after a decade or more of decrying bipartisanship, they suddenly felt it was important to work together even when they didn’t do any of the work involved in writing the bill. It also would have forced them to tacitly admit that the president* they had supported should have done the hard work of fighting the pandemic instead of pooh-poohing it and saying it would like magic disappear once the weather got warm. Who knows, had he done that he might have won the 2020 election instead of having to falsely claim he did.

Now 250 senators and congress people will have to explain to their constituents that the imperative of preventing the economy tanking, people being forced from their homes, children going hungry, or the task of getting the vaccine in the arms of everyone wasn’t as important as the easy culture wars slight of hand of railing against the Seuss estate deleting six books from their back catalog.

Now some of their members are taking credit for the bill’s passage. Senator Roger Wicker tweeted how much the bill will help small business. That’s like telling your constituents to stay strong during an unexpected snow storm while you ride off to Cancun. Oh yeah, one of theirs did that as well.

Taking credit for the work of others. Some call it cheating. Some call it plagiarism. I just call it being lazy.

And to think that I saw it on Capitol Hill.

 

Shapiro Out

 

 

Malaka Of The Week: Ronny Jackson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gentle On Tucker’s Mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s the last last word. I promise.

Day In, Day Out

Some days I want to make like Paul Douglas’ cop character in Panic In The Streets and shake some sense into people. In reality, I’m more like Richard Widmark’s doctor character, looking on before we nail Zero Mostel and Jack Palance in the last act of the movie. That only makes sense in the context of a post featuring random thoughts and ramblings. Some call it madness, I call it First Draft Potpourri.

I hate the culture wars. I’m sick of the right seizing on every momentary story, blowing it up, and giving it more significance than it deserves. This time, it’s the announcement by the Geisel estate that they’re pulling some of the Dr. Seuss books because of “hurtful stereotypes.” That’s not cancel culture, it’s keeping up with the times. Dr. Seuss would get it. He was a liberal, but he was a man of his time and place. Context is everything. For more on this inane dust-up, check out this interview with Dr. Seuss scholar Philip Nel at Slate.

Senate Republicans are getting dumber by the day. The dimmest bulb in the GOP caucus is Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson. He wants to delay the COVID relief bill by any means possible. He insisted that Senate clerks read the entire bill to slow things down. It took 10 hours and 44 minutes but it’s over.

Johnson is as dumb as Hey Abbott and Tater Tot. It’s scary that he beat Russ Feingold not once but twice. This was the biggest senatorial downgrade since J. Danforth Quayle beat Birch Bayh. Bayh was a distinguished senator and Quayle was the guy who couldn’t spell the plural of potato.

Speaking of potatoes, the right is trying to turn the Mr. Potato Head thing into a culture war issue. Really? Are they that intellectually bankrupt? That was a rhetorical question: the answer is a big YES.

I’m sorry that Don Rickles, who voiced Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies, isn’t around to mock the whole mishigas. Oy just oy.

And now for a musical interlude from the Kinks:

“Boiled, French fried, any old way that you want to decide.” That Ray Davies knows from taters.

I commend your attention to an op-ed piece in the WaPo by the great Norm Ornstein who has forgotten more about Congress that most of us will ever know.  He has some productive thoughts about how to reform the filibuster in a way that will get the Man of La Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema’s votes.

The senior senator from Arizona is an odd case. She’s bisexual and used to be a leftist. She morphed into a Blue Dog Democrat in order to win elections in the land of Goldwater and McCain. I’d call her an opportunist, but we need her vote. Read Norm’s piece to learn how that may be possible. That’s Norm Ornstein, not this guy:

Finally, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is a charter member of the Freedom, Man club. In his case, it comes with a dose of corruption. He’s taking care of his donors by making sure that they get vaccinated earlier than the cheapskates who didn’t pony up. That’ll show them who’s boss. For more on this Florida Man moron, check out this piece at TPM by Matt Shuham.

The news cycle is relentless. I had hoped that it would ease up when the Kaiser of Chaos “retired” to Mar-a-Doorn, but it hasn’t. It reminds me of the opening lyrics to the Johnny Mercer song that gives this post its title:

Day in, day out
The same old hoodoo follows me about

The last word goes to the Chairman of the Board:

We’ll hear more from Sinatra and Mercer later today. Cheers.

The Party Of Brezhnev?

The Americans: Season 1 Opening Credits.

I’m rewatching The Americans featuring Spy Family Jennings. That’s what I called them while recapping seasons 5 and 6 when the show was airing; or is that cabling since it was on FX? That’s neither here nor there but an unused joke, like a mind, is a terrible thing to waste.

I’ve gotten to the final season where the Soviet Union is divided between hardliners and reformers. It didn’t matter: the Communist party was doomed regardless of who was in charge. The edifice of the state was rotten to the core and came toppling down with shoves from home and abroad.

That brings me to a fascinating article in the Atlantic by Tom Nichols who is a Russia expert and national security conservative. He’s a lapsed Republican who casts a jaundiced eye on his former party: The Republican Party Is Now In Its End Stages. If anything the tagline is even more revealing:  “The GOP has become, in form if not in content, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of the late 1970s.”

Nichols’ opening paragraphs set the stage beautifully for his comparison of two decadent political parties:

We are living in a time of bad metaphors. Everything is fascism, or socialism; Hitler’s Germany, or Stalin’s Soviet Union. Republicans, especially, want their followers to believe that America is on the verge of a dramatic time, a moment of great conflict such as 1968—or perhaps, even worse, 1860. (The drama is the point, of course. No one ever says, “We’re living through 1955.”)

Ironically, the GOP is indeed replicating another political party in another time, but not as the heroes they imagine themselves to be. The Republican Party has become, in form if not in content, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of the late 1970s.

I can already hear the howls about invidious comparisons. I do not mean that modern American Republicans are communists. Rather, I mean that the Republicans have entered their own kind of end-stage Bolshevism, as members of a party that is now exhausted by its failures, cynical about its own ideology, authoritarian by reflex, controlled as a personality cult by a failing old man, and looking for new adventures to rejuvenate its fortunes.

For those of you too young to remember the Cold War, the Brezhnev era was one of stagnation and confusion. The Soviet regime’s policy vacillations made one’s head spin. The went from detente to a resumed arms race, to collapse within nine years of Brezhnev’s death.

In addition to sucking up to the dear leader,  the only things the Brezhnev regime was good at were spying and oppression. They believed in nothing except for the perpetuation of rule by Communist party elites. Their economy collapsed under the weight of the Afghanistan War and an arms race renewed by the Reagan administration.

Back to Nichols’ point. He bores in on the notion that the GOP is an empty vessel that has been filled by the empty ideology of Trumpism:

The Republican Party has, for years, ignored the ideas and principles it once espoused, to the point where the 2020 GOP convention simply dispensed with the fiction of a platform and instead declared the party to be whatever Comrade—excuse me, President—Donald Trump said it was.

<SNIP>

Falling in line, just as in the old Communist Party, is rewarded, and independence is punished. The anger directed at Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger makes the stilted ideological criticisms of last century’s Soviet propagandists seem almost genteel by comparison. (At least Soviet families under Brezhnev didn’t add three-page handwritten denouncements to official party reprimands.)

This comparison is more than a metaphor; it is a warning. A dying party can still be a dangerous party. The Communist leaders in those last years of political sclerosis arrayed a new generation of nuclear missiles against NATO, invaded Afghanistan, tightened the screws on Jews and other dissidents, lied about why they shot down a civilian 747 airliner, and, near the end, came close to starting World War III out of sheer paranoia.

Nichols is convinced the GOP is doomed. I’m less certain of that. The Soviet system was highly centralized whereas Republicans remain in control of a majority of state legislatures and governorships. Additionally, our system makes it difficult for third parties to get on the ballot, which ties into the point about GOP control in the several states.

The most likely prospect for the GOP is a struggle for its “soul” between its crazy and sane factions. I put the word soul in quotes because the current party is soulless. They sold it to Donald Trump in 2016.

The last word goes to Tears For Fears with a song that some believe is about the Cold War. I’m less sure of that but it sure is catchy:

CPAC 2021: Vengeance Thy Name Is Pennywise

Image by Michael F.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oy just oy.

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

Repeat after me: Oy just oy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tweet Of The Day: Donny Junior Edition

I decided to take a trip to an alternate universe and check out Donny Junior’s Twitter feed. It’s like a sewer that never stops overflowing. One could even call it effusive effluent, but I won’t because those words are too big for Donny Junior. Speaking of words, his favorite word is cancel. It’s cancel this and cancel that. It’s like a warped record that won’t come unstuck: cancel, cancel, cancel.

I’ve heard Donny Junior compared to Fredo Corleone. That’s an insult to Fredo who was a sweet-natured dumbass. Donny Junior is a mean-spirited moron. Besides, he should be compared to other Juniors. He’s more like AJ Soprano who was a dipshit obsessed with conspiracy theories. An even better fictional comp is Jackie Aprile Junior. Another Junior, Corrado Soprano, summed him up best: “The kid was always a dumbfuck, wasn’t he? Didn’t he nearly drown in three inches of water?”

That concludes this Life Imitates The Sopranos, not The Godfather moment.

You’re probably wondering when I’m getting to the Tweet. There’s no time like the present.

It’s a sign of Donny Junior’s arrogant nitwittery that this tweet is still up. The last Democratic Texas governor was the late great Ann Richards. Since 1995, Texas has been governed by three Republicans: George W Bush, Rick Perry, and Greg Abbott; each dumber than his predecessor and that’s saying a lot.

Perry has said the dumbest thing about Texas’ current plight: “Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business.”

Freedom. man.

If Donny Junior is the future of the GOP, I say Cancel Tomorrow. The last word goes to Dottie West:

 

Ashen Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

A brief musical interlude before our next segment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s Not A Horse Race, It’s A Crime

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Many of ‘U’s in Gullible?

 

Trump International Hotel

Step right up, don’t miss the egress!

Oh sweet Ulysses S. Grant on a saloon barstool I swear this is true:

Disgraced former US President* DonnyJohn Trump has a hotel in Washington D.C. just a few blocks from the White House. It served as one of his many side hustles (you know like Dolly sings, it’s all about the “5-9”) over the last years. If you want a deluxe king room at the hotel it normally goes for $476 to $596. But if you want to reserve one for March 3 or 4 it will cost you a sweet $1,331 per night. Two night minimum stay.

“But Shapiro”, you ask, “why would I pay three times the price to stay there in the late winter wonderland that is D.C. in early March?”

Cause Q told you that’s the day DonnyJohn is getting inaugurated for his second term you silly goose. I’ll let the good folks at Business Insider give you the scoop:

 

The importance of March 4 for QAnon supporters is rooted in the bizarre beliefs of the “sovereign citizen” movement.

The basis for that conspiracy theory is that a law enacted in 1871 secretly turned the US into a corporation. It posits that some Americans are therefore not subject to a variety of federal laws.

Supporters of the theory believe that every president who’s been inaugurated since then is illegitimate; they believe that Ulysses S. Grant was the last legitimate president.

Grant, like other presidents in the 19th century, was inaugurated on March 4. The sovereign-citizen movement posits that the republic will be restored and that Trump will become the US’s 19th president on March 4, 2021.

DonnyJohn is never one to miss out on a chance to scalp the suckers. Did you know these same rooms went for $8000 a night the evenings of January 5 & 6 this year? Hmm, something about those dates sounds familiar….

By the way in case you were wondering no other hotel in D.C. is raising it’s prices for those dates.

I’ll leave you with this musical tribute to Trump’s devoted followers:

Shapiro Out