Category Archives: Television

George Wallace Called Him Mousey Tongue

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

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

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

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

Polopopnies? Sounds like my ancestral region, the Peloponnesus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020, man.

The last word goes to Van Morrison:

 

Saturday Odds & Sods: Wang Dang Doodle

Brownstones by Jacob Lawrence.

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

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

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

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

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

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Quote Of The Day: Mystery Guest Edition

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

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

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

That brings me to the quote of the day:

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

Enter and sign-in, please.

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

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

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

The Campaign As Science Experiment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

In 1492, Columbus Sailed The Ocean Blue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Malaka Of The Week: Rod Rosenstein

Rod Rosenstein & Scoot McNairy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Saturday Odds & Sods: For What It’s Worth

Flying Eyeball by Rick Griffin.

Some call it fake fall, I call it a tease. Whatever you call it, the weather has been mild and temperate all week. I’m not going to say more about it because I don’t want to jinx it.

The city of New Orleans is entering Phase 3.1. They’re loosening more pandemic-related restrictions since we did not have a major post Labor Day spike. I thought we would, but I was wrong. It’s not the first time and won’t be the last. Punditting is risky business. I’m still not going inside bars or restaurants but I’m hoping more of them will be able to survive. Let my people go-cup. You’ll have to read 2020 Fatigue at Bayou Brief to get the reference.

Stephen Stills wrote this week’s theme song in 1966. It’s the protest song’s protest song. It was originally written about clashes between hippies and cops on the Sunset Strip, but it’s become a universal protest song. It’s still relevant in 2020.

We have four versions of For What It’s Worth for your listening pleasure: the Buffalo Springfield original; CSN live with Tom Petty; Keb Mo, and Billy Porter with Stephen Stills from this year’s DNC.

Now that battle lines have been drawn, let’s jump to the break.

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Pulp Fiction Thursday: Night Editor

It’s time for another Eddie Muller/Noir Alley special. Night Editor is a swell little noir based on a successful radio series. It was intended to be the first in a movie series but things didn’t go as planned.

Here’s Eddie on Night Editor in two parts:

Dig that crazy home Tiki Bar, y’all. It gave me an earworm:

Saturday Odds & Sods: You Won’t See Me

Masks by James Ensor.

It’s been cool all week in New Orleans. It’s unclear if Fall has fallen or it’s a cruel hoax. My money is on the latter. The heat doesn’t usually break here until sometime in October. The good news is that we’re not under threat of a tropical system. It feels odd not to be checking the spaghetti tracks every few hours but that’s another autumnal augury. End of obligatory weather-related opening passage.

This week’s theme song comes from one of my favorite Beatles albums, Rubber Soul. It was one of the first albums I ever owned. When my father saw the cover he said, “Those are the ugliest women I ever saw.”

To this day I’m uncertain whether or not Lou was joking. The only one who would have made an ugly woman was the drummer. Sorry, Ringo.

You Won’t See Me is a Macca song, but it’s credited to Lennon & McCartney as were all the pair’s songs. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

We have three versions of You Won’t See Me for your listening pleasure: The Beatles original, and covers by Bryan Ferry and Canadian songbird, Anne Murray.

I never expected to post an Anne Murray song at First Draft, but I might as well go big and post her monster hit from 1970:

Let’s spread our tiny wings and fly away to the break.

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That’s Why I Call Him President* Pennwyise

Image by Michael F.

I first called Donald Trump President* Pennywise on 8/16/2019:

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

I don’t see Trump as a figure of fun even though he’s funny. What he’s doing to the country is not funny but he cuts a ridiculous figure as he wreaks havoc. At the risk of sounding like a Reader’s Digest feature, laughter is the best medicine against Trumpism. Their dear leader has no sense of humor unless the joke is on his enemies. That’s why one should laugh at him, not cower, especially when the laughter is provoked by his latest outrageous statement.

I stand by everything I wrote last year. Satire is even more important as President* Pennywise unravels. He’s terrified that he’s going to lose the election. His recent OTT comments about voting being a “scam and a hoax” are a sign of weakness, not strength A reminder that he said some of the same things in 2016. He expected to lose then too. He was half right. He lost the popular vote.

It’s impossible for Trump to publicly admit error or even the possibility that he might lose. Losing is for “suckers and losers” and Trump is a winner in his own feeble mind. As far as he’s concerned, the only way he can lose is to be defrauded and screwed. It’s like the “perfect phone call” to the Ukrainian president that led me to add Impeached to the original nickname, the Insult Comedian.

Before President* Pennywise’s latest series of extreme statements about not honoring the election results, an article by Barton Gellman in the Atlantic had rattled everyone’s cages. Gellman discussed ideas floating around Trumpistan about possible electoral challenges that they might purse in the event of a close loss to Joe Biden.

Despite Gellman’s careful language, people decided that this was a “plan” as opposed to being a scheme at the discussion stage. If I believed in having imaginary teevee friends Rachel Maddow would be one. Last night, she had an on-air meltdown over Trump’s latest fear mongering putting aside her own maxim: Watch What They Do, Not What They Say.

The news is rotten, scary, and terrible so I get it. But instead of giving into fear, we need to fight back and not lose our nerve for the task at hand. If the electorate administers a thorough ass-kicking to Trump, schemes to set aside the electoral college will be abandoned. The fate of the country is in our hands, not some Republican lawyers in Pennsylvania. Team Biden seems prepared to deal with the legal challenges so we should focus on voting. If turn-out is high, we win, and they lose.

I think Democrats may have to tweak our voting plans. The Banana Republicans are counting on being ahead on election night so they can declare victory and attack uncounted ballots even though they usually include overseas military voters. It’s imperative that as many people as possible vote in a way that their vote will be counted on election day. That means voting early in person or by mail or voting in person on election day. We may just have to mask up and stand in line to vote the fuckers out. Mister Google can help you check the laws in your state to make sure your vote will count on 11/3/2020.

Fear is a powerful emotion. It’s why President* Pennywise spends so much time stoking it. Given everything the country has been through in 2020, it’s understandable why people are afraid. Trump wants his enemies to be afraid, so they’ll be too depressed to vote. I think Bob Woodward is on to something with his Trump book titles. We need to move from Fear to Rage and take it out on Trumpism.

It’s time for them to go. Make it so, America, make it so.

We should all be more like Tom Petty and Mudcrutch who get the last word. They don’t scare easy. Neither should we:

 

Saturday Odds & Sods: Wasted On The Way

Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso.

New Orleans dodged a wet and windy bullet earlier this week. Hurricane Sally dumped two feet of rain in some areas on the Florida-Alabama border. I don’t guilty for being relieved. If I were Poseidon, I’d send all tropical systems out to sea. I do, however, feel bad for folks in the affected areas. They got slammed by that evil bitch Sally. Blow ill wind, blow.

I had put this feature to bed and tucked it in when I learned of Justice Ginsburg’s death. I wish everyone would dial their predictions back. It’s unclear what impact RBG’s death will have on the election. I also wish that those who admire Justice Ginsburg would show more respect for her passing, especially since it’s Rosh Hashanah. There was, however, a moment of unintentional levity when the crowd outside the Supreme Court started singing Amazing Grace. It’s a Christian hymn, y’all. I’ll have more on Ginsburg’s passing on Monday.

In some ways, this week’s theme song matches the featured image. Three Musicians = Crosby, Stills & Nash. Graham Nash wrote Wasted On The Way for CSN’s  1982 Daylight Again album. Eagle Timothy B. Schmitt added harmony vocals making that Four Musicians. So much for the Picasso analogy. Oh well, it was imperfect to begin with.

We have two versions of Wasted On The Way for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a live version without Timothy B. Schmitt. Go, Team Picasso.

Stills’ intro to the live version is poignant. I rarely do poignant but sometimes the mood strikes me.

Before we jump to the break, a Neil Young song from the Buffalo Springfield days:

Holy Wall Of Sound-style production, Batman.

Time to take the plunge. See you on the other side.

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Herd Mentality

The Impeached Insult Comedian gave another incoherent teevee performance this week. This time, it was not in the friendly confines of Fox News but on ABC. The host was my diminutive countryman George Stephanopolous who was able to get Trump to repeat his COVID disappearing act. If you pretend it’s not there, it’s gone.

The post title is the latest Trump malaprop. He said, “herd mentality” when he meant to say, “herd immunity.” That seems to have become U.S. policy by stealth as the Shrugging Doctor, Scott Atlas, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force have told states with high infection rates to cancel mask requirements. Midsommar In America has arrived. Freedom, man.

Pondering the presidential* malaprop made me realize that herd mentality describes the entire Trump phenomenon. Hardcore Trumpers are an unruly group when it comes to “owning the libs”but submissive to the whims and wishes of the Kaiser Of Chaos the man whose only plan is to foment enough confusion so that he can stay in office to avoid federal criminal charges. Freedom, man.

Team Trump seems to have given up on conventional campaigning in favor of tweeting out nonsense and holding super-spreader rallies for the foolish faithful. I’m on the record that the Trump cult is smaller than believed. There are, however, lemmings among them:

Freedom, man.

Younger Trumpers think that prancing maskless through a Target is a cool thing to do:

Florida Man meets Freedom, man.

Team Trump is blowing a lot of smoke right now but there’s one positive development.  Crazy Caputo at HHS has taken a 60-day leave of absence. This is the bozo who talked about armed scientists taking to the streets if Trump is re-elected. Despite working with the CDC, Caputo obviously hasn’t met many scientists. They’re not exactly a group of gunslingers. Caputo turned out to be too crazy even for Team Trump. That’s what happens when you let a Roger Stone protege enter the corridors of power. Mercifully, Caputo is Kaput.

Things are so nutty right now that I have a sudden urge to rake the forests, commit election fraud, or do something equally Trumpy. That’s what happens when you’re caught up in the herd mentality. That would also be a swell name for a band: HERD MENTALITY.

The last word goes to the Beatles with some advice we should all heed:

Sally Can’t Dance?

It’s time to sally forth on another week. There’s a storm in the Gulf, which will make landfall near me. It’s taken a jog to the East so New Orleans is  no longer in the bull’s eye but we could still lose power. If that happens, I wanted to chime in early as opposed to often.

I set a precedent with Hurricane Laura of using a featured image from the movie Laura. Today, I’m using my favorite fictional Sally. It’s Sally Rodgers as played by the late, great Rose Marie. She’s surrounded by Dick Van Dyke as Rob Petrie and Carl Reiner as Alan Brady. They’re three zany peas in a wacky pod. If the Van Dyke and Reiner clans were humorless, I’d apologize for using a picture in which Dick and Carl are semi-decapitated. It adds to the surreal nature of this Monday. We still can’t trust that day.

First, our good friend and beloved colleague Tommy T is having some health issues that prevented him from posting this morning. If you’re religious, pray for him but whatever you do, don’t prey on him. Get well soon, buddy.

Best wishes to my West Coast friends who are dealing with a deadly and smokey round of fires. They’re wearing masks for more than one reason today.

We continue with a quote from a Flynn case filing, which means we need a proper subject header:

Retired federal judge, former Gotti prosecutor, and all around badass, John Gleeson filed a brief last Friday blasting Bill Barr’s corrupt DOJ. Here are some snippets provided by TPM’s Josh Kovensky:

The Justice Department’s move to drop charges against Michael Flynn “reflects a corrupt and politically motivated favor unworthy of our justice system,” the court-appointed attorney arguing against the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss stated in a Friday filing.

“In the United States, Presidents do not orchestrate pressure campaigns to get the Justice Department to drop charges against defendants who have pleaded guilty — twice, before two different judges — and whose guilt is obvious,” wrote John Gleeson, a former federal judge and prosecutor appointed to oppose the Justice Department in the case.

The extraordinarily scathing brief alleges in detail and with precision that the Justice Department broke from decades of procedure to help out a friend of President Trump’s. Dripping with contempt for the government’s position, Gleeson argued that federal prosecutors were too lazy to respond to earlier arguments he had made, including whether the content of Flynn’s lies was material.

He added that the DOJ typically does not “make a practice of attacking its own prior filings in a case, as well as judicial opinions ruling in its favor, all while asserting that the normal rules should be set aside for a defendant who is openly favored by the President.”

“Yet that is exactly what has unfolded here,” Gleeson wrote.

Tell us what you really think, Judge. John Gleeson is not afraid of a mean tweet from the Impeached Insult Comedian. He’s the guy who got Gotti, after all.

In other news, President* Pennywise is still holding super-spreader campaign events despite remonstrations from state and local officials. This 74-year-old man is acting like a rebellious teenager. His followers are even less mature. It’s time for them to go. Make it so, America, make it so.

I’m an avid consumer of local news during Hurricane season. I had this amusing exchange with a local weatherdude:

I am easily amused this morning. I tend to laugh in the face of disaster. So it goes.

There was much talk about Sally songs this weekend. Here’s a selection of them beginning with the song that gave this post its title:

The last word goes to Wilson Pickett. If he were still with us, he’d insist:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Six Months In A Leaky Boat

Blue Painting by Wassily Kandinsky.

It’s September and it’s still hotter than hell in New Orleans. Pandemic fatigue is widespread here just like everywhere else. Unfortunately, America didn’t do the work needed to suppress COVID-19 so we’re still muddling through.

The NFL season opens this week and I find myself utterly indifferent. I’m mildly amused by wingnut fans who say that they’ll boycott the season because the NFL has gone BLM on their asses. These are the same people who claim they want sports and politics on separate plains, make that separate planets. The Saints will be playing on Sunday at an empty Superdome. It’s hard to get excited about any of this. So it goes.

This week’s theme song was written by Tim Finn in 1982 for Split Enz’s Time and Tide album. It refers to the amount of time that it took British pioneers to sail to New Zealand and is also a metaphor for the songwriter’s nervous breakdown. That’s a lot of substance for a song that still rocks like crazy.

We have three versions of Six Months In A Leaky Boat for your listening pleasure: The Split Enz original; a 2000 live version by Tim Finn, Bic Runga, and Dave Dobbyn and a 2006 performance by a reunited Enz featuring some stellar keyboard work by the great Eddie Rayner.

Kiwi singer-songwriter David Dobbyn has his own nautical classic:

Now that we’re all seasick, it’s time to don a life jacket and jump to the break.

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Hang Up The Goddamn Phone

I have an admission to make. It may send me to hell in a hand basket, but I’ve developed a sneaking fondness for Michael Cohen. I had a lot of fun at his expense when he was still Trump’s fixer but I quite like Mikey the Flipper as well as his book title: Disloyal.

The Maddow-Cohen interview was more fun than a barrel of monkeys for me, and more uncomfortable than a ferret down the trousers for President* Pennywise. Cohen mostly stuck to what’s in his book but there was a lot a good stuff in the interview. He talked about his and Trump’s role in planting the first story below:

Mikey the Flipper also dished on the Falwell cuckold mishigas. That’s where my new catchphrase comes from: Hang Up The Goddamn Phone. Thus spake Becki Falwell to Jerry Junior. What is it with all the Juniors in this story? It almost makes me nostalgic for this Junior:

Always put the lid on the blender, Corrado.

Mikey the Flipper was cagey and credible last night. He declined to speculate on things he lacked direct knowledge of such as money laundering. He did, however, state something that observant Trump watchers already knew: Donald has no sense of humor. That doesn’t mean I’m abandoning the Impeached Insult Comedian as a nickname. Having a sense of humor requires an ability to laugh at yourself or even smile spontaneously. All Trump can do is mock others and dish out lame nicknames. He’s never come up with anything as good as the Kaiser of Chaos, after all.

One thing that pleased me inordinately about the interview was this colloquy commenced by Rachel:

“You say at the very end of the book that the president and Attorney General William Barr ousted the U.S. Attorney of New York and tried to install, effectively, the president’s golfing buddy as the new U.S. Attorney there because the president, in your view, wanted to arrange for himself to be indicted while he’s still in office because that would give him the opportunity to pardon himself after he lost the election,” she said.

“Well, my theory is that if he loses, there’s still the time between the election and the time that the next president would take office,” Cohen elaborated. “And during that time, my suspicion is that he will resign as president, he will allow Mike Pence to take over, and he will then go ahead and have Mike Pence pardon him.”

“And it’s a very, let’s just say it’s a very Nixon-type of event and it was probably discussed between Roger Stone and President Trump at some point,” he continued. “That this is certainly one way to avoid any potential prison time.”

When Dr. A heard that she said, “That’s what you’ve been saying.” And I said it here at First Draft in an August 13th post,  An Alternative Post-Election Scenario. No wonder I’ve become fond of Mikey the Flipper as opposed to Mikey the Fixer who was a big-time asshole.

I mentioned the possibility that I might go to hell in a hand basket for liking the new improved Michael Cohen. The last word goes to the good old Grateful Dead with an alternate means of transportation to Lucifer’s domain:

Hang up the goddamn phone, y’all.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Turn It On Again

Tomato Soup Cans by Andy Warhol.

I’ve been rationing my Twitter use lately so I missed out on Trump soup canapalooza. This week’s featured image is my sole contribution now that it’s been beat to death. I’m also tired of talking about the Impeached Insult Comedian. It’s Joey Shark’s secret weapon in the campaign: people would like a break from politics from time-to-time. I’m not the only one suffering from Trump fatigue.

It’s time for a First Draft housekeeping note. The Friday Cocktail Hour was bumped so My Uncle Was A ‘Loser’ wouldn’t have to share the spotlight. I put a great deal of emotion and passion into that post. The reaction has been most gratifying. The Friday Cocktail Hour will return next week with a Duke Ellington song. Nothing but the best for my readers.

This week’s theme song was written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford for the 1980 Genesis album, Duke. Rutherford’s lyrics are about someone who watches way too much teevee and confuses it with real life. Much like the Kaiser of Chaos. So much for my avowed Trump fatigue.

We have two versions of Turn It On Again for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a live version:

One could even describe the character in this week’s theme song as follows:

Since we’ve reached a turning point in this week’s outing, let’s jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: We Can Work It Out

New York Movie by Edward Hopper.

We’ve been catless since PD’s passing. It’s the first time in 35 years that I have not been owned by a cat. I miss having the silly buggers around so we’re looking into adopting. I regret not having given Paul Drake a furry sibling after Della’s passing but I was so traumatized by dealing with our former vet that I was slow to pull the trigger. Please don’t try to give us a kitten: we’re looking at older cats. They have a harder time getting adopted. It worked out well with Oscar and PD, after all.

If it’s a boy, Dr. A and I might have to fight over cat names. I want to keep the shamus tradition alive and call him Jim Rockford. She’s in favor of CK Dexter Haven, the name of Cary Grant’s character in The Philadelphia Story. I like both names, so it won’t be much of a tussle. Stay tuned.

This week’s theme song barely needs an introduction. It was written by Lennon and McCartney in 1965 and is one of the songs from that period that sounds like both songwriters were involved. It combines Macca positivity and Lennon’s mordant wit.

We have three versions of We Can Work It Out for your listening pleasure: the Beatles original and covers by Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan.

We Can Work It Out was selected as my high school class’ graduation song. It provided a swell send-off not that I remember much about those days. They’re a bit hazy, which makes posting this song mandatory:

Now that we’ve established that we’re experienced, let’s jump to the break.

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Pulp Fiction Thursday: Deadlier Than The Male

Pulp Fiction Thursday collides with TCM’s Noir Alley yet again. Eddie Muller is good company, especially in his very own tiki bar.

Deadlier Than The Mail was written by screenwriter James Gunn.

Gunn’s book has nothing to do with the 1967 British spy movie of the same title. It was, however, sold to RKO studios and renamed Born To Kill. Gunn did not write the screenplay of this classic film noir.

I mentioned Eddie Muller. In lieu of the trailer, here are somewhat blurry clips of his intro and outro for Born To Kill:

 

 

 

We’ll have more about Eddie Muller, Lawrence Tierney, and Born To Kill in this week’s Saturday Odds & Sods. Stay tuned.

 

Wash That Man Right Out Of Our Hair

It’s no secret that Donald Trump is the weirdest  president* ever. A compendium of his quirks and oddities could fill an entire post or a week of posts. One of the Impeached Insult Comedian’s weirder quirks is his obsession with water pressure. It began with his complaints about low flush terlets and expanded into a full-blown shower fetish.

The federal government is finally taking action on this crucial problem:

Donald Trump’s hair has mesmerized many observers since he began his career in politics, but now the president’s own pride in his locks has prompted the US government to propose an easing of shower pressure standards.

The Trump administration proposed rule changes that would allow shower heads to boost water pressure, after Trump repeatedly complained that bathroom fixtures do not work to his liking.

The Department of Energy plan followed comments from Trump last month at a White House event on rolling back regulations. He said he believed water does not come out fast enough from fixtures.

“So what do you do? You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer? Because my hair – I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect” he said.

His hair is perfect like the Werewolves Of London? The hair that Penn Jilette described as looking like cotton candy piss?

It apparently takes up to two hours daily for Trump’s hair and makeup to be perfect. Who the hell does he think he is: Joan Crawford? What’s next: an attack on wire hangers?

Other presidents have had weird hair. Ronald Reagan dyed his hair orange, but Trump is the first Oval One to remind us of a classic hair care product commercial:

America needs to flush this  failed president*. To paraphrase Rodgers and Hammerstein, we need to wash that man right out of our hair.

The last word goes to Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald:

 

Not Everything Sucks

Doom Patrol still exists: 

Not only do I need to know what happens to my favorite crew of screw-ups, I need more of them working through their trauma and growing. The thing I adore about Doom Patrol is that no one on the show is static. Miranda mentioned in the episode that she wanted to keep Kay and all her personalities moving forward, and even though she was maybe evil when she said that, she’s right.

It’s a weird show about broken people healing each other, which is always my jam, and found family, which is also always my jam, and YES ALL THE GRANT MORRISON THINGS, but it’s also so hopeful, and surprising, and tender and Timothy Dalton is doing IT ALL this season which is not a thing I thought I’d ever write.

If Succession — another show about which I will talk to you for hours — is about illustrating the effects of inter-generational trauma, about how kids would rather believe they’re pieces of shit than hold in their minds the idea that their parents are wrong, then Doom Patrol is about how we go on from the realization that our parents WERE wrong, and what you do when your whole inner life was formed in a funhouse mirror.

The house only looks haunted if you grew up in it.

You keep stumbling forward, limping forward, clawing forward with your nails and the teeth you sharpened in the dark while you waited for someone to pull you up out of the well. And it’s the joy, the unspeakable unfurling wing-spreading joy of grabbing the rope and realizing you’re strong enough now, to pull yourself out. Hand over hand.

A.