It’s been a long week at Adrastos World HQ. I’ve been tidying up my study/home office to make it easier for an AT&T tech to upgrade my internet service. It’s a daunting task. I’m a notoriously bad housekeeper so I’ve discovered dust bunnies the size of the late, great Paul Drake as well as the odd desicated peanut and Cheerio under the desk and book stacks. Clutter thy name is Adrastos.
Because of my clean-up attempt and hours spent watching the inauguration, I’m keeping this short by ditching our second act altogether. Who has time to write about longread-type articles when you’re at war with dust and clutter?
This week’s theme song is a lesser-known John Hiatt rocker. It’s a particular favorite of mine. It’s a road song that was written in 1997 for the Little Head album.
We have two versions of Pirate Radio for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a 1997 live version with Hiatt’s then crack band, the Nashville Queens:
While we’re being all piratical and shit, here’s ELP with a prog pirate song:
It’s time to shiver me timbers and jump to the break.
In repose they do indeed resemble what I prefer to call a Klan gown. I know they’re called robes, but they look like a graduation gown’s evil twin. They also resemble the robes worn by old line New Orleans Carnival krewes. It’s probably best that Krewe D’Etat, which dispenses right-wing satire and is ruled over by a dictator is in mothballs this year along with the rest of the krewes. That way we’re spared an election fraud float.
The flag display looked less Ku Klux-like when the wind picked up but there was still a major problem: the flag color.
White flags? Really? The city of New Orleans honored our COVID dead with the international symbol of surrender. Holy misplaced symbolism, Batman.
Repeat after me: NO WHITE FLAGS.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell is an odd political figure. She ran an excellent campaign complete with a great communications strategy. As Mayor, her comms operation has been oddly inept. The white flag display is not their first mistake and is unlikely to be their last.
Lucky for Cantrell, the last incumbent mayor to lose re-election was Robert Maestri way back in 1946. Mayor Maestri is best remembered for accompanying FDR to Antoine’s and saying, “How ya like dem ersters, Mr. President?”
Political trivia doesn’t get more trivial than that.
The last word goes to Bruce Springsteen with a song that John Kerry used as his campaign theme song in 2004:
And the winner is Blue Sky since Warnock and Ossoff won their races. The alternative was a song that, along with Louie Louie, I used to request at every rock concert I attended in my wayward youth: Whipping Post.
David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler must feel like they’re tied to the Whipping Post this morning. They should have won their races, especially Perdue who is well-known in the Peach State and has won elections before. Loeffler is an awful person who ran a terrible campaign. For some reason, Gov. Kemp thought she’d be a formidable candidate partially because she was a semi-moderate GOPer before selling her soul to Trump. She should demand a refund instead of a recount.
This tweet from the former Republican strategist who ran Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign nails Loeffler to the Whipping Post:
As someone who in past years has had to listen to major donor Kelly Loeffler going off on how the Republican party was way too conservative, it’s hard to express the depth of her nothingness. She makes Martha McSally look like Margaret Thatcher
Jon Ossoff had the tougher task this time around, but Reverend Doctor Senator Raphael Warnock has to run again in 2022. The good news is that Stacey Abrams is gearing up for a grudge rematch against Brian Kemp, which will boost Warnock’s chances. It was a bad year for Kemp: he tried his best to please the Impeached Insult Comedian but wound up on the latter’s shit list for refusing to risk going to jail for him. That makes him a slacker Trumper much like Vice President Pence or former AG Bill Barr.
Warnock ran ahead of his Democratic colleague all night for a variety of reasons: Loeffler’s attack on his church, wealthy black Republican ticket splitters, and the overall awfulness and fakery of the wealthiest woman in the US Senate. Make that wealthiest short-term senator. I wonder if she still plans to posture and pose at the fakakta election challenge mishigas event later today. Stay tuned.
As always, I watched the returns on MSNBC. In large part to watch the antics of Steve Kornacki who never sits down and seems to have the bladder of a camel. I’m glad they turned Kornacki’s producer Adam into a character last night, so it doesn’t look like Steve is a lunatic talking to himself.
This Kornacki-related tweet by TV writer and former New Orleanian Matt Brennan was one of the winners of the evening:
I admit to having a case of the heebie jeebies when Perdue led by over 100K votes. By the time I went to sleep it was clear that Ossoff would eke out a win. His current lead is bigger than Biden’s margin, which was good enough to win. I should have calmed myself by remembering the election nights in which New Orleans’ votes were out and Mary Landrieu narrowly trailed her Republican opponent before winning.
Since this post has degenerated into a tweet fest, here’s one for and from the history books:
Leo Frank, 31-year-old president of the Atlanta chapter of B’nai B’rith, was lynched in Marietta, Georgia, 105 years ago last summer, causing many fellow Jews to leave the state. This is one important backstory of Jon Ossoff’s campaign to become a U.S. Senator tonight. pic.twitter.com/pjO6YwCP8c
Jon Ossoff became the first Jewish senator from the Peach State and RDS Warnock became the first black Southern senator to enter the senate via election since Reconstruction. South Carolina’s Tim Scott was appointed before winning his seat; something Kelly Loeffler tried and failed to do. Heh, heh, heh. Democratic Senate, baby.
It was a long night and it’s going to be a long day of yelling at Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and John Neely Kennedy as they suck up to the Sore Loser In Chief. Like yesterday, it will turn out to be a good day for democracy when this preposterous and futile challenge fails.
The last word is obvious. It goes to the Allman Brothers Band:
As a Watergate buff, I’m always pleased to have a pretext to go there. The Trump regime has given me plenty of opportunities. Bill Barr and John Mitchell will be linked in history as Attorneys General who disgraced the office. Mitchell, of course, went to the slammer for authorizing the Watergate break-in and lying about it to the Senate select committee on Watergate. Barr’s fate is as of yet unknown, but we can speculate. What’s a little speculation among friends?
The reputation of the Justice Department is the lowest it’s been since Mitchell and his successor, Richard Kleindienst, were convicted of felonies. They were also newsmagazine cover boys when that mattered:
Barr has acted as if he were Trump’s personal lawyer, not the people’s lawyer, which is what the job really entails. Repeat after me: the Attorney General is NOT “the nation’s top law enforcement official.” That’s one of my pet peeves or hobby horses so I like to mount it whenever feasible.
Barr clashed with Trump recently over the fakakta election fraud claims and a DOJ investigation into Hunter Biden. Trump wanted Barr’s abject loyalty on the former and thought the latter should have been made public. It was one of the few things during Barr’s tenure on which he followed departmental policy. But he deserves no credit for doing so and he’ll get none here.
I’m gobsmacked that anyone thinks that Barr wrote his exit letter. It was obviously dictated by the Impeached Insult Comedian much like the doctor’s letter that claimed he was in the best health of anyone on the planet.
I am greatly honored that you called on me to serve your administration and the American people once again as Attorney General. I am proud to have played a role in the many successes and unprecedented achievements you have delivered for the American people. Your 2016 victory speech in which you reached out to your opponents and called for working together for the benefit of the American people was immediately met by a partisan onslaught against you in which no tactic, no matter how abusive and deceitful, was out of bounds. The nadir of this campaign was the effort to cripple, if not oust, your administration with frenzied and baseless accusations of collusion with Russia.
He may be Trump’s bull goose sycophant, but florid language is not Barr’s thing. He writes in bone-dry legal prose. Only Donald Trump can adequately flatter Donald Trump. Barr may, however, have thrown in some of the fancier words like nadir. The only nadir Trump has heard of is Ralph…
You may have noticed that I called this ode to obsequiousness an exit or farewell letter. Nowhere in the letter are the words resign or fired used. I think he was pushed out by a president* eager to torment a new acting AG. Remember President* Pennywise’s last acting AG:
The post title hints at the notion that Barr could face criminal charges for some of his Trumpier actions. It’s unclear if that will happen but at least one former federal prosecutor thinks Barr leaves office with a pardon in his hip pocket:
Bill Barr “resigned.” Well, if that’s true (and with Barr, one never knows), then that suggests Barr already has that pocket presidential pardon he’ll be needing once the indictments start flying . . .
Barr’s successor is Deputy AG Jeffrey Rosen who is best described as Barr’s Barr. The Failing New York Times has a profile of the acting AG which indicates that he was down for all the DOJ horrors that occurred during Barr’s reign of error.
The other day I wrote about my distaste for the law of sedition. It has traditionally been used by right-wingers to suppress left-wing political speech. If Bill Barr and Jeffrey Rosen had their way, it would have been used against Black Lives Matter protestors:
And in September, Mr. Rosen threw his support behind Mr. Barr’s threat to charge perpetrators of violence amid Black Lives Matter demonstrations with sedition, a word that connotes plots to overthrow the government. In a memo to prosecutors, he rejected criticism of that threat as an overreach, noting that the law also covers seizing federal property or hindering the execution of federal laws outside the context of attempted revolutions.
“Those who have actually read the statute recognize that the text” of the sedition law, Mr. Rosen wrote, “could potentially apply to some of the violent acts that have occurred.”
Rosen also spearheaded the failed attempt to indict Andrew McCabe for conduct that was customarily handled administratively. How was that for a lawyerly sentence? It was almost as bone dry as your typical Bill Barr sentence. If I were a Catholic, I’d say five Hail Marys in penance for that prose but it didn’t help Fredo survive his brother’s wrath in Godfather II so I’ll skip it.
Rosen has shown the same tendency as Barr to implement President* Pennywise’s worst ideas. He’s unlikely to resist unless threatened with disbarment, which is a fate that a big law firm mouthpiece is apt to regard as akin to death. Billable hours are everything to the Jeffrey Rosens of the world.
Here’s hoping that the DOJ bureaucracy will run out the clock on any really bad ideas proposed by Trump to Rosen. Civil servants are revolting against the Trump regime now that it’s doomed. DOJ is full of smart lawyers. They’ll figure something out; at least I hope so.
Times are bleak but here’s a reminder that help is on the way:
Joe Biden knows who elected him. It was women voters, especially women of color. The latest wave of appointments totals 13 of whom 11 are women; 6 of them are women of color and 2 are lesbians. Of the two men appointed one is a black guy for a grand total of 7 people of color in this wave.
Biden is off to excellent start in keeping his pledge to have an administration that looks like America.
This crisis-tested team will help lift America out of our current economic downturn and build back better—creating an economy that gives every single American a fair shot and an equal chance to get ahead. https://t.co/F6JMBHUgVx
When I first heard Janet Yellen’s name mentioned I had a D’oh moment. What Democratic woman is better qualified that the former Fed head who will be only the second person to hold both jobs? Senator Professor Warren is equally qualified, but her state has a Republican Governor. That’s likely to rule out Senator Bernie Sanders for a cabinet job as well: GOPer Phil Scott is Governor of Vermont. They’re both moderates but unlikely to select a Democrat to replace a Senator appointed to the cabinet. As the old saying goes: you gotta dance with those who brung you.
The most controversial nominee is apt to be Neera Tanden who has enemies on both ends of the ideological spectrum. Her detractors dislike Tanden because of her close ties to Hillary Clinton and her bad ass persona on the tweeter tube. I wasn’t aware that mean tweets were disqualifying. I’m also glad that Biden is willing to nominate someone who will generate heat, not light. There will be many battles to fight in the next 4 years, so a bit of controversy is a good thing.
The best thing about the all-chick comms staff is that it provoked a tirade from Kayleigh McEnany. Anything that pisses her off is fine with me.
I’m tired of writing about Team Trump so I welcome the chance to celebrate Team Biden-Harris’ commitment to diversity. It doesn’t surprise me: Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris proved that he’s serious about having a government that looks like the country.
A final request. I wish people would stop freaking out every time a name they dislike is floated by the media. It’s best to look at the totality of the team not those rumored to join it. Besides, after 4 years of Team Trump, anyone is an improvement. Who could be worse than Ross, Mnuchin, or Miller?
Several days of focusing on Hurricane Zeta have left me behind on campaign related stuff as well as the latest Trump regime scandals. I’m also dealing with a wicked bad headache caused either by the late hurricane or the current cold front. Enough of my whining, on with the show this is it:
That was posted to prove to frequent commenter Larry the Red that I know my toons. On with the show this it redux.
Team Trump have so flooded the zone with scandals that it’s hard to know where to begin. There’s a four-legged stool of Trump regime scandals that have been revealed this week. They’ve been busy diverting attention from their own malefactions by pimping fake Biden scandals to the right-wing media and Glenn Greenwald who continues to be the poster boy for far left and far right convergence, He’s also a self-righteous prick and malaka but this post is not about him. He can go fuck himself.
The first leg involves Turkey’s elected dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan. You know, the Impeached Insult Comedian’s Islamist buddy. Erdogan tried to get the Obama administration to play along with him on several legal issues, but Joe Biden was sent to Ankara to say no. So much for Joey the shark as crook. The Kaiser of Chaos can go fuck himself.
Since I’m blogging hurt, I’ll use a Tweet by Matthew Gertz of Media Matters to explain the Turkish scandal and link to the NYT article on it:
This story has everything: Trump's love for dictators and the conflicts of interest that permeate his administration combining to thwart U.S. policy, enforced by AG Barr's willingness to make his office an arm of Trump's personal desires. https://t.co/nGsOpuCQkf
Matthew Gertz is no relation to imbecilic Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz much to the former’s relief.
The second leg of the scandal stool involves the latest egregious conflict of interest of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. That semi-senile plutocrat has been on the team negotiating a trade deal with China while still having business interests in that country.
Here’s an explanatory Tweet from a guy with a colorful name:
Exclusive: Wilbur Ross served on the board of a Chinese joint venture until 2019. In other words, while helping run the Trade War, the Commerce Secretary was partnered with a Chinese state-owned enterprise. Thread on this massive conflict of interest. https://t.co/Dbza7INy4Q
The third leg of our Trump regime scandal stool involves sleazy doings at the Department of Health and Human Services. Trumpers have attempted to turn that cabinet department into a propaganda arm of the Trump campaign. Explanatory Tweets have worked thus far so here’s another one:
"The Trump appointee who steered a $300 million taxpayer-funded ad campaign to "defeat despair" about the coronavirus privately pitched a different theme last month: 'Helping the President will Help the Country.'"
On Wednesday night’s show, Tucker Carlson reported that his team had acquired incriminating documents. However, they sent them from Washington to Los Angeles, and the documents disappeared. And they neglected to make any copies. So now the only copy of the documents that would nail the probable next president of the United States are gone.
Have you consulted with the Postmaster General yet? He’s only supposed to lose Democratic ballots.
This is weak tea from the Swanson’s teevee dinner heir. Unlike his colleague Sean Hannity, he’s not a meathead, he only plays one on teevee. Hannity puts the boob in boob tube. Given his family pedigree, perhaps Tucker’s problem is brain freeze.
Tucker used to wear a bow tie. Has the change in neckwear lowered his IQ? Is neckwear even a word? I’m getting all tied up in Windsor knots.
The last word goes to Adrastos crony and former Gambit Tabloid editor Kevin Allman:
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:
Chinese dictator Mao may have killed more babies than the Democrat party. Something that’s sadly, very hard to do. Why @KLoeffler , did you buy a $56,000 portrait and hang it in your Atlanta mansion? pic.twitter.com/YZ5ZbHoCkL
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.
This week’s entry took me on a voyage of discovery; a minor one. Initially, I wasn’t sure if The Dirty Look Librarians was a genuine vintage cover or a parody. It’s the real deal.
Hell, I couldn’t even find a file big enough to post here until I consulted with the Pulp Librarian. That’s a fancy way of saying I stole these pictures from one of his old tweets, which is posted below the pictures. I did, however, use the teeny-tiny picture of the cover as the featured image. I like messing with my readers.
I don’t know about you but I’d never mess up their shelving.
A dirty look is worth a thousand words. I learned that from living with the Queen of Dirty Looks, Della Street.
Do you know what you have done?
Do you know what you’ve begun?
Domino by Genesis. Lyrics by Tony Banks.
People have been parsing images from the Amy Coney Barrett Super-Spreader reception as if it were the Zapruder Film. There’s only grass, no grassy knoll.
This captioned photo from Getty Images was tweeted out by the CNN anchor whose name is better than his reporting:
These six people have tested positive for coronavirus since they were in the White House Rose Garden for last Saturday’s announcement of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court. Let’s hope they all have a speedy recovery. pic.twitter.com/Qqe1rnRU0J
Since I’m an evil bastard, I hope Bill Barr will contract COVID from getting up close and personal with Kellyanne Conway. I am, however, sorry that Conway’s daughter caught it from her mother. Poor kid has been through enough. Imagine being the spawn of the right-wing Bickersons. Get well soon. Claudia.
I’m glad to report that the last week has been an unmitigated disaster for Team Trump. The fundamental dynamic of this campaign is that any time the pandemic is the main topic of conversation, it hurts President* Pennywise. Trump’s vilest outbursts at the “debate” were provoked by any mention of COVID-19.
This weekend’s events are a reminder of Trump’s recklessness and selfishness. That fakakta motorcade to nowhere needlessly endangered the health of the Secret Service agents in the SUV with the Impeached Insult Comedian.
Trump’s Sunday stunt was so horrific that a Walter Reed Doc took to Twitter:
Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential “drive-by” just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.
That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.
Dr. Phillips is head of disaster medicine at GW as well as a CNN contributor. I may have to watch CNN more after that righteous outburst.
The motorcade to nowhere was all about the show. Message: I’m a tough guy. The real message is that he’s a reckless and selfish prick. I feel a musical interlude coming on:
Trump isn’t the first POTUS* to lie about his health but he’s among the most brazen. Dr. Conley’s briefings have been evasive at best, dishonest at worst. Instead of addressing the nation, Conley had an audience of one: the patient. My favorite part was when Conley said he didn’t want to damage the upbeat mood of the team. Really, Doc? I thought your profession’s motto was, “first, do no harm” not “don’t bum anyone out.”
Another classic moment was when Conley said that he didn’t know what Trump’s temperature was at its peak, he’d have to ask the nurses. Another lie. All he had to do was read the patient’s chart. Leave the nursing staff out of this. It’s on you, Doctor Commander Conley.
Trump’s docs need to be careful to maintain their professional integrity. A reminder that everyone who gets involved with Donald Trump gets slimed.
On Saturday, the West Wing plunged into damage-control mode after Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, told reporters that Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday—a day earlier than Trump previously disclosed. The new timeline meant that Trump would have been contagious when he debated Joe Biden on Tuesday and attended a fundraiser on Thursday at his Bedminster golf club.
The White House released follow-up statements saying Conley misspoke, but they did little to quell the chaos. The White House’s shifting chronology and lack of transparency are being driven, in part, by Trump’s desire to conceal the seriousness of his illness from the public. Three sources said Trump argued with his doctors on Friday after they told him he needed to be moved to Walter Reed. “He didn’t want to go to the hospital a month before the election,” a Republican close to Trump told me. Two sources said doctors gave Trump an ultimatum: he could go to the hospital while he could still walk, or doctors would be forced to take him in a wheelchair or on a stretcher at a later point if his health deteriorated. “They told him, ‘You can go now or we’re taking you later and it’s non negotiable,’” a second source close to the White House said. Trump waited to leave for the hospital until the stock market closed on Friday, a source said.
After spending months denying the dangers of COVID-19, Trump is expressing an emotion aides have rarely seen: fear. On Friday, Trump grew visibly anxious as his fever spiked to 103 fahrenheit and he was administered oxygen at the White House, according to three Republicans close to the White House. Two sources told me Trump experienced heart palpitations on Friday night—possible side effects of the experimental antibody treatment he received. Trump has wondered aloud if he could defeat the disease. “Am I going out like Stan Chera?” Trump has asked aides, referring to his friend, New York real-estate developer Stan Chera, who died of COVID in April.
The COVID chickens are coming home to roost. The GOP dominoes keep tumbling. TPM’s Josh Marshall wonders if the Kaiser of Chaos himself is the super-spreader. That means he’s gone from Trumper Superman to Super Chicken to Super-Spreader in the course of one disastrous week.
Inside the West Wing’s narrow corridors, where staffers for months have worked in proximity largely without masks, what had long been an atmosphere of invincibility turned into one of apprehension and panic. “People are losing their minds,” said the outside adviser.
First, aides fretted about their own risks of exposure. If the president got infected, so might they.
Then they considered the political implications, coming so close to the Nov. 3 election. “We don’t want to be talking about coronavirus and now we’re talking about coronavirus,” the outside adviser said. “The hit writes itself: He can’t protect the country. He couldn’t even protect himself.”
He also can’t protect his own people; not that this reckless and selfish prick gives a shit about that.
The election cake is baked, especially with the RNC Chair and Trump’s campaign manager sidelined by COVID. Democrats and our allies need to execute, and victory will follow. Here’s hoping that it’s a landslide that will send the Trumper rats running for cover. The GOP dominoes are tumbling.
I’ve never really bought the coup talk. It’s always struck me as a diversionary tactic. Does anyone seriously think that Team Trump can pull off a coup when they can’t even run a competent cover-up?
Although we have to prepare for the worst, Josh Marshall is skeptical of Trump’s staying power when it comes to defying the election results:
Our democracy is in grave danger. But all of his history tells us that, for all the threats and boasts, at the critical moment Donald Trump will slink away like the little bitch that he is. More than anything else he’s a coward.
I concur. I think it’s Trump’s latest con game. He’s making excuses for losing. We’ll be hearing the same pitiful refrain until he either dies or goes to the slammer. President* Pennywise is a pussy. He should grab himself.
I have a busy day today so I’m going to keep this brief. I’ll be back at 4pm sharp for the Friday Cocktail Hour.
The last word is dedicated to the Impeached Insult Comedian. Consider it foreshadowing for when we next meet:
The Kaiser of Chaos is living up to his nickname. He’s stirring the pot, inflaming racial animosity and violence. Despite being the most lawless president* in American history, he’s determined to duplicate the 1968 Nixon-Agnew Law & Order strategy.
Tricky, of course, was the nominee of the out party whereas Trump is the incumbent. Another irony lost on the Impeached Insult Comedian is that both Nixon and Agnew were criminals who were forced from office due to their malefactions. Projection thy name is Donald.
Despite all the angst from Democrats and spin from right-leaning MSM pundits, it appears that the Republican ticket got an itty bitty bounce from their convention in the early surveys from 2 to 4 points. The cult of the savvy were impressed by the illegal hate fest that was the Trumpvention, but so far, the voters are not. It’s hard for any president to be re-elected with a 31% favorability rating as opposed to 59% negative. That’s -28. That’s unpopular.
If the election is a referendum on Trump, he will lose. His path to victory is a narrow one despite what Michael Moore thinks. As long as Trump’s opponents do not get depressed and give up, he’s in deep shit. He has a record and it’s a bad one. All the lying in the world, can’t reduce the COVID death toll, which stands at 183.000 and rising.
Regardless of the objective realities, Democrats will consistently anticipate loss or worry about loss while Republicans will consistently be confident of victory. This is a good rule of thumb regardless of the objective realities of the moment, to the degree they can be known. This is not an absolute of course: overwhelming odds will buoy Democrats and hopeless situations will nudge Republicans to despair. But in general this is almost an iron law of political psychology in the United States.
This may be obscured by the genuine shock and horror Democrats experienced on election night four years ago. Democrats were pretty confident and all their worst fears were realized. But a closer look shows the general pattern was actually in effect through much of the 2016 cycle. Indeed we saw a particular example of it during the 2018 midterm election. The fall of 2018 was chock full of theories and predictions about how two years of ‘resistance’ activism were coming up short. It was the ‘caravan’. It was Trump’s 12 dimensional chess. It was low turnout among young voters. So pervasive were Democrats’ latent fears of coming up short that they actually persisted well into election night and even the first couple days after the election – until late returns, results of close call races and just the actual numbers made clear Democrats had won a decisive victory.
Despite being old enough to have experienced the 1972, 1980, and 1984 Republican landslides, I’m usually cautiously optimistic about elections and skeptical of other things. Perhaps it’s because I had a Republican father. Beats the hell outta me.
In weirdo campaign news, Herman Cain’s family is still running his Twitter feed. They seem to have forgotten how he died:
Teleprompter Donald showed up to give his acceptance speech. Teleprompter Donald is a dull speaker. The content of the speech was, predictably, appalling. Earlier this week I said this:
“The Trump regime is like a three-legged stool held up by ethical violations, sycophancy, and hypocrisy.”
I’d like to amend and extend my remarks. It’s really a four-legged stool. The fourth leg is mendacity. President* Pennywise showed that leg at least 20 times last night according to the great Daniel Dale.
In addition to the lies, there were malaprops and mispronunciations aplenty. He “profoundly accepted” the nomination. He pronounced “walled-off” as Waldorf. It’s unclear if he meant the hotel or its signature salad. The speech was loaded with indigestible word salad.
The speech was aimless and meandering. Stephen Miller may be the worst presidential* speechwriter ever. It was a series of unstructured buzz words calculated to scare people shitless. The boring delivery made it seem as long as a speech by Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez. The running time was 70 minutes. It was an ugly boring mess.
It’s been said by many people but the use of the White House for this COVID super-spreader rally was another unconscionable abuse of power. The Hatch Act may be toothless, but they need be called on this shit every time. MSNBC’s Joy Reid nailed it:
Sometimes the best comments are terse and to the point:
There were a few masked faces in the crowd but people were crammed together like tinned sardines only not as tasty. It will be interesting to see who follows in Herman Cain’s footsteps, contracts the virus, and dies. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross looked like a prime candidate to join the 180K and counting Americans who have perished during the pandemic.
Alternate worlds in sci-fi are sometimes more pleasant than reality. The alternate world depicted by Trump is a dark and dangerous place where people jump out of the shadows to slit your throat. Hence the featured image from Sam Fuller’s Underworld USA.
I like how Jeet Heer of The Nation described it:
1. One thing people really shy away from talking about — I think because it's so disturbing — is Trump's love of death porn: of stories of grisly murders by gangs, rioters, and terrorists.
Click on the link and read the whole thread. It’s well worth your time.
Trump’s dull and toxic speech does not strike me as a winning message. Unfortunately, very few watched it live so its long-term impact is unclear. More important in this election will be turn-out and the pandemic death count, which grew by 3,500 during the RNC. Much as they try, they can’t lie those numbers away.
I woke up angry. Angry that we have a malevolent idiot as POTUS*. Angry that one of our major parties incites violence against immigrants and minorities. To listen to Trump, Joe Biden has been running the country for the last 47 years. Who knew he was that powerful?
Our publisher was angry about the misuse of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah:
Jesus fucking Christ I thought you were all kidding about Leonard Cohen, I am going to fucking fistfight God I'm so angry now.
Again. click on the link and revel in Athenae’s righteous indignation.
I came up with the post title as the Impeached Insult Comedian droned on. He had obviously neither practiced nor read the speech. I was a sleepwalker as a small child. Apparently, I’d wander aimlessly from room-to-room muttering under my breath about nothing in particular. I outgrew my sleepwalking. I hope that the country will awaken from our long national nightmare and send the First Sleepwalker to oblivion where he belongs.
I’ve gone on about NOLA rain in this space this summer. It was the wettest July in recorded history, and it happened without any tropical systems getting too close for comfort. That much rain can be inconvenient, but it keeps the temperatures down. That concludes this brief weather report. If I had a green screen, I’d go on longer, but we don’t have the budget for it.
Like everywhere else in the country, life has been grim in New Orleans of late. Small businesses, especially restaurants have been failing daily. It’s estimated that up to 50% of restaurants here will close for good. They need help and since the government ordered them to close, it should come from them. I am not optimistic that Moscow Mitch and his merry band of miscreants will reconsider and ride to the rescue. In the immortal words of Mel Brooks:
This week’s theme song is an ironic choice for this moment in time: ain’t no bands on the run or even on the road.
Paul McCartney wrote Band On The Run in 1973. It was the title track of Wings’ smash hit album, Band On The Run. Was that a run-on sentence? Beats the hell outta me. I’ll stick a band-aid on it just in case.
We have two versions of this Macca classic for your listening pleasure: the Wings original and a raucous cover by Foo Fighters.
Let’s run to the other side of the break. I think I hear band music in the distance.
There’s a lot of punditting to be done and only so much time. Hence this potpourri post. It’s hard to keep up when things change so rapidly. Here’s some sage advice from Dwight Yoakam:
We begin with a humble brag. I noticed I was getting a lot of hits on a post from late October of 2019: The Latest Smear Campaign. It was about attacks on Col Vindman and I mentioned Rick Wilson’s role in smearing Max Cleland.
I took a closer look and realized that all the hits came from a piece Charlie Pierce wrote about The Lincoln Project. I nearly swooned when I realized that Pierce had linked to little old me. My life is now complete. Thanks, for inviting me to the shabeen, Charlie.
Let’s get back to business for, as you’re aware, the business of American is business so let’s take care of business with a song written by a Canadian:
Tweets Of The Day: We’ve all had beans on our minds because of what one could call the Goya Annoyas. Team Trump decided they hadn’t violated the Hatch Act enough recently, so the Princess posted this in support of the Trumper who owns Goya food products:
The Kaiser of Chaos posted his own ad for Goya on Instagram but I’m not on it because I waste enough time on two social media platforms. I’d rather show Chris Cuomo’s response to the presidential* message on the Tweeter Tube:
"On your dime, in the middle of a pandemic, they're selling beans!" says @ChrisCuomo, outraged over Pres. Trump's "magic beans" photo.
Back to the Goya Annoyas. I wonder if this happened at the White House last night:
Stepien Up: The Trump campaign made some major changes yesterday. There’s that C word again. In a sign of Slumlord Jared’s waning influence, his lackey Brad Parscale was removed as campaign manager and demoted to serving cocktails to Javanka. Parscale had never run a campaign of any sort before and was in way over his head.
This is what losing campaigns do: fire the campaign manager when the problem is a terrible candidate with a horrible record in office. It can’t be the Impeached Insult Comedian’s fault; nothing is. #sarcasm.
In another sign of Slumlord Jared’s waning influence, Parscale was replaced by Chris Christie protege Bill Stepien. He’s best known for his role in Bridgegate, which was one of my favorite pre-Trump era scandals. Kushner, of course, hates former Governor Asshole, which is one reason the latter lucked out and wasn’t appointed to a Trump regime job.
There are only two reasons this story is of any interest to me: the chance to mention Bridgegate and the new campaign manager’s punny name, which makes for a snappy title. Bill is Stepien up, not out.
The last word goes to Fred Astaire and Oscar Peterson:
The Summer Of Sam Fuller continues here at First Draft. The new Fog Of Scandal image is how the murder of Tolly Devlin’s father was shot in today’s PFT film noir, Underworld U.S.A. What’s more noir than shadows? Not a damn thing.
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with the ruling by SCOTUS in the Trump tax cases. Not a damn thing. Don’t jump my shit or I’ll have a Tolly Devlin moment:
I’ve never been compared to a Dutch seer before. I kinda like it. Thanks, Paul. Hmm, I wonder if the Dutch Dude wore seersucker…
The following analysis is as instant as it gets.
There was a clear victory for the Manhattan DA’s office in its case, which re-established the obvious principle that any POTUS is NOT ABOVE THE LAW. Trump’s legal team made preposterous arguments that made him either a king or a deity. The Kaiser of Chaos is neither; that nickname notwithstanding.
Both the New York case and the Congressional case have been remanded to the lower courts to address the details of the complaints so as Yogi Berra probably never said, “It ain’t over until it’s over.”
We may not see the records as soon as we might like but President* Pennywise is a loser in the long run. And he hates losing. Neener, neener, neener. I never get tired of Trump losing.
Other than the rule of law, the real winner today was Chief Justice John Roberts who, like any sensible Chief, prefers to stay out of the political thicket, which is as thick as it’s ever been. Thanks to a president* who is truly as thick as brick, which means as smart as a lump of shit. Make that orange shit and it fits…
Even Justice Bro believes that presidents DO NOT HAVE ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY. The Impeached Insult Comedian is already whining like a stuck pig, but he hasn’t attacked Kavanaugh. Yet. The clock is still clicking.
The cases have been remanded to the lower courts to handle the details. Congress may still prevail if they narrow their subpoena. Btw, that’s a word I can never spell without resort to a spell checker. The mere thought gives me a series of Tolly Devlin moments:
Finally, here’s summation of the case written in the style of Mongo of Blazing Saddles fame:
The pandemic has driven me to spend more time on the Tweeter Tube. It can be annoying as hell but sometimes I see swell stuff. I used Captain America punching Hitler as the featured image because I can never get enough of it. It’s also relevant to the post as you’ll see directly.
We have three pictorial tweets for your amusement. They’re good enough that I’m using a Kinks song as part of the title. I assume you’re familiar with my Kinks Theorem: there’s a Kinks song for every occasion.
Our first entry is dedicated to readers and viewers of The Plot Against America: