Category Archives: Twitter

Saturday Odds & Sods: Down On The Riverbed

Valley Farms by Ross Dickinson.

Dr. A and I are going to the Antiques Roadshow at the Morial Convention Center today. We’re not 100% certain what we’re taking as of this writing but I’m nervous that she’ll use me as her antique. While I have some patina, I’m not sure how valuable I am. On the other hand, if puns add value I might be worth a few bucks.

A quick political note. Here’s a tweet I sent out marking the resignation of Sean Spicer, the press secretary who could lie and chew gum at the same time:

I chose this week’s featured image because our theme song is tres Californian. So is the artist. The late Ross Dickinson was our friend Bonny’s grandfather. The Bonster went to grad school with Dr. A. End of cronyistic shout-out. Is cronyistic a word? Since I’m Greek I should know; of course, we specialize in nepotism. Unfortunately, the current administration* is giving nepotism a bad name. I take that as an affront to my heritage.

Down On The Riverbed was written by David Hidalgo and Louis Perez for Los Lobos’ fabulous 1990 album, The Neighborhood. The original studio version features John Hiatt singing harmony with some grit but without the syrup. Hominy grits you want with your eggs, Mr. Hiatt? Dave Alvin’s version comes from the 2006 album West of the West whereon he recorded some of his favorite songs written by California tunesmiths.

Now that we’ve been down on the riverbed without drowning, it’s time to don a life jacket (I wish they were still called Mae Wests) and go to the break.

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First Draft Potpourri: I’ll Be Doggone Edition

I used to think of July as the dog days of summer when not much happened. Those days appear to be gone, doggone it, We’ve had another news-heavy weekend so I’m going to run several flags up the pole and salute them; some with a one-fingered salute. I may, however, let one of my handy colleagues above do the dirty work. It’s an all hands on deck moment for the Republic, after all.

No Polish Joke: The other day, I threatened to title a post Polish Joke when the Insult Comedian was delivering his triumph of the will rant in Warsaw. I did not. I didn’t want to revive shit like this:

Ethnic joke books like the one above were popular when I was a kid. It’s one reason I was concerned that Trump would start riffing on Polish jokes. He *is* the first Insult Comedian ever elected president*. Given the tone and nature of his speech, even the nastiest Polish joke would have been better than the mish-mash of white ethno-nationalist nonsense he delivered. The fingerprints of Stephens Miller and Bannon were all over the speech. Oh, goody.

Since there were two outstanding pieces about the No Polish Joke speech at the Atlantic, I’ll send you there for some serious analysis:

How American Presidents Used To Speak Abroad by James Fallows.

The Racial and Religious Paranoia of Trump’s Warsaw Speech by Peter Beinart.

You Say Collusion, I Say Conspiracy:  According to the NYT, the amoral nincompoops of Team Trump went fishing for derogatory material about Hillary Clinton in Russian waters. Trump Junior has told several different stories about this meeting. I, of course, do not believe any of them. Lying comes as naturally as breathing to this crowd.

I saw Junior referred to as the Fredo of the Trump crime family. I disagree, doggone it. They’re a family of Fredos. Only a Fredo would allow his daughter to sit in for him at a major international conference. Nepotism is in like Flynn as it were.

Vlad-n-Donny’s Love Fest: Team Trump spun the meeting as a win for their guy because he allegedly didn’t make any major gaffes.  It appears to have been a triumph for the Russians. It was four liars in a room with two translators. I believe Russian liar Lavrov’s account of the meeting and not the weak tea poured by the Tillerson. The former’s statement comports more with Trump’s previous comments as well as these post-meeting tweets by Putin’s Pawn:

The whole “let by-gones be by-gones” theme struck by both Trump and Tillerson gave Putin the win, doggone it. The sound you hear is past Republican Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan rolling over in their graves. In fact, I believe Ike’s hardline Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was briefly reanimated then died of a heart attack upon learning of the Putin-Trump encounter…

The meeting also inspired one of Trump’s dizzier ideas:

Fox meet hen-house. The reaction was so negative that the president* kinda sorta walked it back during this morning’s tweet storm:

I believe the Watergate conspirators would have called this a “modified, limited” walk back. They should try the Ron Ziegler method and call the  original tweet “inoperative.” If only we could declare the entire Trump administration* inoperative and rewind the past 170 days. It seems like 170 years, y’all.

I wish they’d give us back the dog days of summer but since they won’t, I’ll give Marvin Fucking Gaye the last word, doggone it:

 

 

Back To The Nineties

There’s so much news going on that it’s hard to prioritize. We all need to learn how to multi-task. The Russia scandal and health care are at the top of my list but Trump’s attack on the press, the election commission farce, and his delusional foreign policy *are* important too. It’s like a teevee drama with an A story and B story; only in this case we’re up to E and counting. So it goes.

Today’s focus is on the big story about Russia broken by the Wall Street Journal last week. It takes us back to the Nineties because it involves one of the creeps behind the so-called Arkansas project, Peter Smith. If the fucker were still alive, I’d demand he give me back my name.

I’m quoting TPM’s account of the story because I’m not about to give any money to Rupert Fucking Murdoch:

In the midst of the 2016 campaign, a veteran GOP opposition researcher who said he had ties to ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn contacted hackers hoping to obtain emails that he believed Russian operatives had hacked from Hillary Clinton’s personal server, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Peter W. Smith reached out to computer security experts in the hopes of gaining access to the email trove and explicitly outlined his connection with Flynn in his recruiting emails, according to the report.

Smith was one of the dickheads who spent most of the Nineties in what Charlie Pierce calls “the pursuit of the President’s penis.” He was a close associate of David Bossie who, in turn, is a close associate of Steve Bannon. That’s right, there’s a B3 taint to the whole enterprise. Here’s Josh Marshall quoting a follow-up story:

As you may have heard, this evening The Wall Street Journal published a major follow-up to its story from Thursday which described the work of a GOP money man and oppo research guy, the late Peter W. Smith, who was trying to get hacked emails from Russia and held himself out to be in contact with disgraced Trump advisor Michael Flynn. On its face, the big new break in this follow-up story is a new document from Smith. The document is from what is described as a package of recruiting materials Smith was using to enlist cybersecurity talent in his operation. The document listed key officials in the Trump campaign. These were apparently people Smith claimed he was in touch with or working with, though precisely how or why they were mentioned is not entirely clear.

Here’s the key passage from the Journal article

Officials identified in the document include Steve Bannon, now chief strategist for President Donald Trump; Kellyanne Conway, former campaign manager and now White House counselor; Sam Clovis, a policy adviser to the Trump campaign and now a senior adviser at the Agriculture Department; and retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who was a campaign adviser and briefly was national security adviser in the Trump administration.

Notice the name Kellyanne Conway. Her husband, George, was also neck-deep in the Arkansas Project shit: he served as offstage counsel to Paula Jones. Things keep circling back to the Nineties, y’all.

I’m not sure how the Peter Smith angle will play out. He’s done his final smear: he died shortly after speaking to the WSJ for their blockbuster story. If true, the story ties freelance shitbirds like Smith to the shitbirds who were at the center of the Trump campaign and now have offices in the West Wing. Btw, the WSJ story was partially based on the account of a British cyber security maven named Matt Tait who wrote about his dealings with Smith. The plot continues to thicken. Stay tuned.

In other Nineties throwback news, the president* tweeted a video of him taking down CNN, pro rassling-style. The source was a notorious Reddit bigot. You’ve all seen it but here we go:

The video was edited from an appearance Trump made at Wrestlemania XXIII. Who knew the wrestling malakas did the whole pretentious Roman numeral thing?

The mind reels at the notion of the president* tweeting a fake video of fake wrestling to attack what he likes to call fake news. This, however, is bait the MSM should NOT take. It’s part of Trump’s dominance and submission world view: if one takes the bait, one is playing in the Insult Comedian’s house. Just say no, y’all.

The wrangle over press pressings is another way Trump demeans the media as a way of asserting his alpha-malakatude. They should ignore it. Very little news has ever been made when the press secretary of the day spins the media on behalf of their boss. In fact, some of the best recent White House reporting has been done by the NYT’s Maggie Haberman who mostly works out of the New York office. She works her sources instead of attending Gum Spice and Huckabee’s awful spawn’s press briefings. It’s called reporting, y’all.

There’s a fresh outrage every day, so it’s hard to know how to deal with them. I like what Charles Blow said in the NYT this morning about the hijacking of the presidency by Trump and his wrecking crew. Here’s Blow on the blowhard:

Every now and then we are going to have to do this: Step back from the daily onslaughts of insanity emanating from Donald Trump’s parasitic presidency and remind ourselves of the obscenity of it all, registering its magnitude in its full, devastating truth.

There is something insidious and corrosive about trying to evaluate the severity of every offense, trying to give each an individual grade on the scale of absurdity. Trump himself is the offense. Everything that springs from him, every person who supports him, every staffer who shields him, every legislator who defends him, is an offense. Every partisan who uses him — against all he or she has ever claimed to champion — to advance a political agenda and, in so doing, places party over country, is an offense.

We must remind ourselves that Trump’s very presence in the White House defiles it and the institution of the presidency. Rather than rising to the honor of the office, Trump has lowered the office with his whiny, fragile, vindictive pettiness.

Everything about Trump is horrible: his policies and his persona. It’s the world we’ve been plunged into by his electoral college victory*, which is looking more suspect every day. He’s dragged us kicking and screaming back to the Nineties with his crazy rhetoric and WWE-style braggadocio. Everyone needs to exercise editorial control and decide which of his outrages merit attention and which should be allowed to shrivel and die in the shadows.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Bad Farce Lift edition

Wow.  Remember last week when I said: “You know – I keep waiting for them to snap and say ‘Dear Lord, the man’s a fucking fruitcake!’ “ ?

I’m waiting for a train that will never come.

Yikes – Trump On Morning Joe
Trump’s Twitter ^ | June 29, 2017

Posted on 6/29/2017, 8:10:44 AM by Pinkbell

Donald J. Trump‏ Verified account  @realDonaldTrump 11m

I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..

Donald J. Trump‏ Verified account  @realDonaldTrump 5m 5 minutes ago

…to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!

*******************************

This will not be good for him. I understand his frustration with Morning Joe, and they used to be his friends, so the way they treat him must hurt, but this is going to lead to a negative news cycle that he didn’t need. We were exposing CNN. Now CNN has something to report on and distract from. 

I saw the first Tweet and thought it should be removed before he posted the second. Sure, the internet is forever, but when something is deleted it’s a tacit admission of a mistake. I was hoping someone would stop him.

The second one is worse. I just think this comes off badly and will give him a negative news cycle when the news was taking a beating from all their false reporting and O’Keefe’s tapes.

1 posted on 6/29/2017, 8:10:45 AM by Pinkbell
Ah – pinkbell – you are so wrong. The nutcases here in Freeperville think that this is the neatest thing since those darkies were gunned down on Danziger Bridge.
To: Pinkbell

 

LOL

2 posted on 6/29/2017, 8:12:27 AM by petitfour (APPEAL TO HEAVEN)

So there.
To: Pinkbell

 

I love it as do most real Americans. He doesn’t suffer fools lightly.

4 posted on 6/29/2017, 8:13:26 AM by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)

From what I can see, he gives most of them cabinet positions.
To: Pinkbell

 

The next tweet:

“…to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

It’s great!

Go get ‘em DJT!

12 posted on 6/29/2017, 8:16:53 AM by BBB333 (The Power Of Trump Compels You!)

What a shocker.
To: Velveeta

 

President Trump Don’t stop tweeting ! Fair Game !!!!!

37 posted on 6/29/2017, 8:24:19 AM by ivory49

Fair game?
Of course, all is fair in love and Twitter :
To: Pinkbell

 

What Joe and Mika say about Trump is worse, because it’s mostly speculation and lies.

49 posted on 6/29/2017, 8:27:36 AM by dynoman (Objectivity is the essence of intelligence. – Marilyn vos Savant)

Oddly enough though, some of the Freeperati are not happy with this.
Click “Read more” to hear from them.

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Mr. Bad Example

It just occurred to me that I haven’t suggested any theme songs for the Trump administration* for a few months. In April, I suggested the venerable 10cc tune I Wanna Rule The World as a foreign policy anthem. Today’s suggestion is more in the way of a personal theme song for the loathsome pig who won the electoral college in 2016: Warren Zevon’s Mr. Bad Example.

Before posting the song and lyrics, I’d like to take a slight detour into Your President* Speaks country. The Insult Comedian tweeted something this morning that was despicable even by his low standards. It’s a reminder of what a misogynist asshole he is:

Unlike Dipshit Donald, I don’t watch Morning Joe. He’s lying about that too. I consider plastic surgery jokes the lowest form of humor. I also don’t think that a man who looks like this in tennis shorts should be mocking anyone’s appearance:

Now that’s a scene out of a very white, very cheesy horror movie. I would ordinarily not make fun of anyone’s looks but sometimes one has to fight fire with fire. I wonder how Melania’s anti-cyber bullying thing is going? I believe in the old aphorism: charity begins at home. She should heed it.

Back to Trump’s Mika mockery. It’s not only vile and disgusting, his nickname for her isn’t very good. Psycho Joe ain’t bad but Low IQ Crazy Mika? Gimme a break. That would be stupid coming out of the mouth of a 5-year-old let alone a 70 year-old president* with a fat ass and a nutria atop his head. Btw, the Insult Comedian is an ironic nickname. I never said he was good at insulting people. Nevertheless, he persists.

One more thing about the war of tweets between Donald (I have a good brain) Trump and Ms. Brzezinski. It’s extra gross because her father died a month ago. Surely, Donald heard about Zbig’s death on cable news. He was rather well-known, after all. One might even call it Zbig news…

Now that I’ve horrified you with Donald’s Zbig ass, I’ll Mika up for it by circling back to the ostensible purpose of this post: Warren Zevon’s Mr. Bad Example.  It’s a witty little ditty about a con man, which makes it a perfect signature song for a man who flim-flammed his way to the White House.

WZ was a wordy bastard, so I’ll post the tune before the lyrics. First, the original studio version followed by my fave rave, which is live and acoustic.

I posted both versions hoping to set a good example. Who am I kidding? Here are the lyrics in all their cynical glory:

I started as an altar boy working at the church
Learning all my holy moves, doing some research
Which led me to a cash box labeled “Children’s Fund” —
I’d leave the change and tuck the bills inside my cummerbund

I got a part-time job at my father’s carpet store
Laying tackless stripping and housewives by the score
I loaded up their furniture and took it to Spokane
And auctioned off every last naugahyde divan

I’m very well acquainted with the seven deadly sins
I keep a busy schedule trying to fit them in
I’m proud to be a glutton and I don’t have time for sloth
I’m greedy and I’m angry and I don’t care who I cross

I’m Mr. Bad Example, intruder in the dirt —
I like to have a good time and I don’t care who gets hurt
I’m Mr. Bad Example, take a look at me —
I’ll live to be a hundred and go down in infamy

Of course I went to law school and took a law degree
And counseled all my clients to plead insanity
Then worked in hair replacement swindling the bald
Where very few are chosen and fewer still are called

Then on to Monte Carlo to play chemin de fer
I threw away the fortune I made transplanting hair
I put my last few francs down on a prostitute
Who took me up to her room to perform the flag salute

Whereupon I stole her passport and her wig
And headed for the airport and the midnight flight, you dig?
Fourteen hours later I was down in Adelaide
Looking through the want ads sipping Fosters in the shade

I opened up an agency somewhere down the line
To hire aboriginals to work the opal mines
But I attached their wages and took a whopping cut
And whisked away their workman’s comp and pauperized the lot

I’m Mr. Bad Example, intruder in the dirt —
I like to have a good time and I don’t care who gets hurt
I’m Mr. Bad Example, take a look at me —
I’ll live to be a hundred and go down in infamy

I bought a first class ticket on Malaysian Air
And landed in Sri Lanka none the worse for wear
I’m thinking of retiring from all my dirty deals
I’ll see you in the next life, wake me up for meals

Your President* Speaks: No Comey Mix Tapes Edition

The Insult Comedian is usually full of surprises. Today’s tweets merely confirm what we all knew, there are no Comey tapes.

This is shyster speak, not Trump talk. It yet again exposes him as the lyingest liar who ever lied. The second tweet is particularly weasely as it implies that he didn’t lie when he claimed to have Comey mix tapes. Wrong. I’m not sure what tunes would be on such a mix tape but here are three that work for me:

Imagine the late Warren Zevon’s reaction to the idea of president* Trump: “You’re shitting me, right?”

Trump gave a typically unhinged speech in Iowa last night. Money, adulation, and applause are what he lives for, which is why he loves these campaign-style rallies. Time for a few excerpts from Maggie Haberman’s NYT piece:

“They have phony witch hunts going against me,” Mr. Trump said nearly an hour into a speech that veered off script repeatedly. “All we do is win, win, win. We won last night.”

<snip>

He toggled back and forth between telling farm-rich Iowa that he had fought for forgotten voters and lauding the wealth of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic adviser and a former executive at Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street giant that Mr. Trump derided in commercials in 2016.

“In those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person — does that make sense?” he said of Mr. Cohn’s job and that of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, another immensely wealthy man whom Mr. Trump lauded as a “legendary Wall Street genius.”

“Brilliant business minds” are what the economy needs, he said.

Brilliant business minds like the Goldman Sachs guys who tanked the economy back in 2008? Or are you referring to yourself, Donald? All you are is a grifter, con man, and mountebank. I think it’s high time for a revival of the last word. It fits the Insult Comedian to a T.

One version of Lawyers, Guns, and Money is simply not enough, so WZ gets the last word:

Cindy Incidentally

Some of our readers have reached out to ask how we’re faring with Tropical Storm Cindy. Thus far, very well indeed: Della Street remains defiant. We still have power but since the storm is lurking offshore, I thought I better post before we lose it. My friends who *always* lose power when it rains, have lost it but not their shit. Sorry, y’all.

I woke up this morning and wondered if  it was all over but the teevee shouting. Instead, it’s the lull before the next band of rain comes our way. It is not, however, anything comparable to past systems and most of us are using it as a dress rehearsal. Weather Channel danger guy Jim Cantore will just have to be disappointed. He’s reduced to hanging out with the Mayor:

I’d like to point out that Mayor Mitch seems not to know that one runs away from Cantore. What a poser.

The current storm names, Brett and Cindy, sound like high school prom royalty to me. Not scary at all. At least it’s not Cindy with an I. Of course, then we could crack jokes about the eye of this wet but relatively minor storm.

First Draft pun consultant James Karst summed up the local reaction to Cindy last night on the tweeter tube:

The chair recognizes the Faces for the last word:

First Draft Potpourri For $200, Alex

Last week’s potpourri post smelled sweeter than jasmine so I thought I’d do it again. Actually, I hate potpourri: I had a distant relative who had it everywhere in her house even in the urn with her late husband’s ashes. I am not making this up. It made me sneeze: the potpourri, not the ashes. I do, however, like Jeopardy-style potpourri.

Eat Two, Brute? We begin with the Trumpers who are outraged about the Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar depicting the Insult Comedian as Caesar. I guess the protesters never studied Julius Caesar in high school or they’d know that the plotters are NOT the heroes of the piece. Besides, there was a production a few years back with an Obama-like Caesar, which ran without incident. Details are beyond people who say shit like this:

“People like me, I don’t even know if they’d let me in,” Ms. Pujol said outside the Delacorte Theater, the home of Shakespeare in the Park. “I am not far right. No one here is far right. We’re only accused of being far right because we love America.”

You could have bought a ticket, ya cheap bastid. Shakespeare did not have the Scalise shooting on his mind when either he, Christopher Marlowe, or Francis Bacon wrote the play. It was first staged in 1599, after all. Besides, if you were a film buff you’d know that James Mason was in his villain phase when he played Brutus in the 1953 film version. Btw, he looked almost as good in a skirt as Brando.

Is He Is Or Is He Ain’t? Team Trump is confused. Anyone surprised? Me neither. Trump’s new mouthpiece Jay Sekulow claims the president* is not under investigation as opposed to what a certain Insult Comedian with cotton candy piss hair tweeted out:

It’s more likely than not that Trump hired Sekulow because the wingnut lawyer makes frequent appearances on Fox News. He’s NOT a criminal defense lawyer. For all we know, Trump hired John Dowd because the latter wrote the report that got Pete Rose banned from baseball in 1989. Trump *is* a Yankees fan and the Big Red Machine swept them in the 1976 World Series.

Trump’s defense is going to be as entertaining as it is inept. He’ll inevitably pit them against one another, not listen to any of them, and refuse to pay. Fun times. Believe me.

Rumor Mill Blues: This is a weird one. The Hill is mentioning New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu as a Democratic “dark horse” for the 2020 presidential race. The Mayor has shown no interest in running to replace Trump, Pence, or Ryan. It’s hard to tell which one will be Oval One in 2020. The Gambit’s Kevin Allman has the details.

Speaking of the local alternative weekly, they quoted yours truly in their commentary on the Scalise shooting. Thanks, y’all.

Tweet Of The Weekend: There’s a weird cat related tweet going around. I’m uncertain if it’s meant literally or as satire:

What about white cats? I had one that-to my everlasting shame-I named Q-Tip. He was too dim as well as too sweet to plot against anything or anyone. Believe me.

Finally, a more uplifting message from the NYT’s Charles Blow:

The Scalise Shooting

This one hit close to home for me. Steve Scalise represents the district next to mine. I don’t like his politics, but I want him taken out peacefully at the ballot box, not violently in a park.

I wrote about the good part of social media earlier today. We’re seeing the dark side of it now. This time around, it’s bipartisan malakatude since the shooter was a Sanders volunteer. To his credit, the Senator has already taken to the Senate floor to denounce the shooter. It’s not about him, it’s not about right or left, it’s about fundamental human decency.

Not everything is a political issue to be instantly batted about by social media trolls and keyboard warriors. That’s too abstract for my taste, it shows a fatal lack of empathy; a quality we need now more than ever. This is how I summed it up on my Facebook timeline:

Things were already terrible and this will only make it worse. Today, I don’t care that the shooter was a Berner. Today, I don’t care that Scalise has horrible views on everything under the sun. He does. I’ve even made him malaka of the week. But this is not how we *should* do things in America. Unfortunately, violence is as American as apple pie. Our reaction to this event should not be colored by our personal politics. We need to try to be better than that. There’s plenty of time to discuss gun violence and health care. This sort of event doesn’t lend itself to instant analysis. A deep breath is called for.

I told a funny story earlier today,  it’s time for a more serious one. I was a high school freshman when George Wallace was shot. I was a young McGovernite. It was the first time I volunteered in a campaign. As horrible as it sounds, I was in the mood to celebrate when I arrived at my Poli Sci class. My teacher was just as liberal as I was: we stuffed envelopes together at McGovern HQ both before and after the shooting. She informed me that gun violence is wrong regardless of the target. She reminded me that the main reason we both supported George McGovern was to end the war in Vietnam. I realized she was right and felt ashamed for trying to score political points over the Wallace shooting. If it had been George McGovern, I would have cold cocked a kid who was celebrating. She said something that has always stuck with me: “There’s a fatal lack of empathy in the world and that’s what we need.”

It’s true to this very day. The world needs not only love but empathy. Today’s social media discourse reminds me of Adrastos’ first two rules of satire:

  1. Always kick up, never down.
  2. Violence, especially gun violence, is only funny if its slapstick. It’s never funny when it’s real and life threatening.

I learned the second part the hard way when I wanted to tell Wallace jokes way back in 1972. I’m glad I had a teacher who straightened me out. I learned that what the world needs more than anything else is empathy.

I realize some of you won’t agree with parts of this post. So it goes. There will be a time when this is grist for the political mill. I think it’s a good idea to let the dust settle and know what we’re talking about. I prefer the clarity of facts to the fog of social media.

Make sure you read Athenae’s post on the shooting, You Never Thought. She comes at it from an entirely different angle. It’s good stuff.

Tweet Of The Day: Larry Tribe Edition

One of the pleasures of Twitter is following people one admires. One is apparently not the loneliest number. I guess Harry Nilsson was wrong. Enough of this one-upsmanship. Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe is one of the ones I refer to. Below is one of the Tribal tweets about the Sessions Session:

I called it preemptive executive privilege in my instant analysis post but I yield to the distinguished gentleman from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  He literally wrote the book on American Constitutional Law. It’s one of the few readable legal treatises I’ve ever picked up; most of them make good door stops when not in use. That explains why Tribe is good at the whole 140 character thing.

In addition to one punning, the reason for this post is that I have a Tribe-related law school war story to tell. I have omitted the name of the Professor because I can. He was my “con law” prof so I’ll call him Con Law. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and enjoy.

Con Law was a small man who was originally from New York and had the accent to prove it. My contemporaneous impression of him sounded like Jon Lovitz’s SNL character Tommy Flanagan (not to be confused with the actor who played bad ass biker Tig on Sons of Anarchy.) Unlike the pathological liar dude, Con Law was a good man and an excellent professor as well. He was, however, prone to bragging about the well-known people who knew and loved him. In short, Con Law was a name dropper. I know what you’re thinking: so I am. That’s true but it’s beside the point. I’m not sure what the point is but there’s bound to be one somewhere.

One of the names Con Law dropped was Laurence Tribe. He never called him by either his full name or title and surname, he was always Larry Tribe. Con Law turned both names into a multi-syllabic pronunciation extravaganza. There would come a point in most classes that I’d nudge a friend and whisper, “here IT comes.” The IT in question was a Larry Tribe name drop; usually about how they’d discussed an issue and agreed on it. It was Con Law and Larry Tribe against the world, y’all.

Con Law’s relentless braggadocio was the reason I used the voice of the pathological liar character in my impression. Not because Con Law was lying but because of his OTT boasting. It was actually charming in a cocky short man kind of way. Con Law may have been short but he ran with the big boys including Larry Tribe.

To this day when I see Professor Tribe on teevee or read his tweets, I think of Con Law and hear his voice in my head saying Larrrr-eeee Tryyyyyy-buh. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

First Draft Potpourri For $500, Alex

The mind reels over how much is going on in the world. The breaking news is flying so thick and fast that it’s hard to keep up without going mad. Hence this experiment with some quick segments, one-liners, and tweets.

Blighty Blighted? We begin with the British election in which the Tories screwed up and Labour did better than expected. The former are not dead yet and Labour should stop acting like they won. The current leadership has proven they’re good campaigners, now they need to prove they’re an effective parliamentary opposition and government-in-waiting.

My favorite image about the late UK campaign came from a tweet from a German cartoonist. I saw it in the Guardian, which is where all good things come from:

There were a whole lotta froms in that segment. Of course, Fromm *is* a German surname…

Tweet Of The Day: Our old “pal” Roger Stone is hawking tee-shirts to fund his next Nixon tattoo:

Takes one to know one, Rog.

Speaking of Twitter oddities. Twitter offered to translate my Comeypalooza post tweet from the original Lithuanian. Hell, I don’t even speak Latvian let alone Lithuanian…

Poor Ivanka: The First Daughter was on Fox & Fucking Friends this morning and got all whiny. She claimed to be gobsmacked by the “viciousness” of Washington. This from a woman whose horrid father was birther-in-chief and whose criminal father-in-law hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law and mailed the tape to his sister. Now that’s vicious, as is this Lou Reed song:

Qatar Reminder: My NOLA blogger buddy and Spank krewe mate, Noladishu tweeted a reminder of Qatari post-K support for New Orleans.

He would indeed. I don’t want the Ashley-geist vexed with me so I thought I should share this Noladishu dish. It also allows me to make the following Qatari puns:

My Qatar Wants To Kill Your Mama.

Perfectly Good Qatar.

On behalf of the pun community, I’d like to thank Noladishu for the straight line. It’s what friends are for; my friends at least. My late friend Perfesser Morris would have approved too, he liked puns as much as he hated ennui:

Watergate Junkie Fix Time: The great Ron Rosenbaum shared a NYT article wondering how Tricky’s takedown would be covered in 2017:

When will they ask the eternal question: what did the Insult Comedian know and when did he lie about it? What is everything and constantly, Alex. Believe me.

The Obituary Cafe: You’ve all heard of the passing of Adam West at the age of 88. His campy but deadpan “Bright Knight” take on Batman was an important part of my childhood. I realize that people take comic book movies seriously now but they involve grown-ups in tights fighting cackling villains. What’s campier than that?

George Segal as Pops in The Goldbergs is on Team Bright Knight:

Finally, did anyone know that the guy who first put pineapple on pizza was Greek-Canadian? I did not until the other day. The Greek in question, Sam Panopoulos died recently at 83. I’ve always been opposed to pineapple on pizza and I don’t recall my father’s position on it. But he was always proud of Greeks who made it and an obituary in the Guardian is making it.

As far as I’m concerned pineapple on pizza is only a misdemeanor and Sam sounded like a great guy otherwise. But I’m not claiming cousinage even if Lou might have. I’m almost as prickly about pineapple on pizza as the Icelandic President.

That concludes this edition of First Draft Potpourri. Pass the pizza, skip the pineapple.

Saturday Odds & Sods: One Way Out

Part of the Migration Series by Jacob Lawrence.

It was politics Thursday here at Adrastos World HQ. In addition to Comeypalooza,  Oscar and I watched the British election returns. It’s always great fun to see the BBC’s venerable David Dimbleby at work in what are the wee hours in the UK. He gets a bit punchy whereas the young uns are falling out. I dig their graphics, especially the virtual House of Commons. It’s uncommonly cool.

The Tories ran a dreadful campaign and fell short of a majority in the House of Commons. The Maybot has vowed to soldier on with help from the Ulster Unionists but Tory knives are sharpening after her big gamble flopped. I’m not a huge Jeremy Corbyn fan BUT the man is a good campaigner and Labour made impressive gains. If the Maybot attempts to stay indefinitely there may be another election sooner than the British people would like. Stay tuned.

We return to our regularly scheduled Saturday programming.

The topic of who wrote this week’s theme song is the subject of considerable debate. One Way Out has been credited to both Elmore James and Sonny Boy Williamson. I haven’t the foggiest idea who the real songwriter is but it’s a helluva tune. There was even a 1965 variation by GL Crockett called It’s A Man Down There.

I’m not getting involved in the authorship fracas other than posting multiple versions of this blues classic. In fact, I’m staying out of the Sonny Boy/Elmore thicket altogether by posting the Allman Brothers Band, Crockett, and a rendition by John Hiatt from a Gregg Allman tribute. We begin with the version that I first heard on the radio longer ago than I care to admit. There ain’t nothing better than live Allman Brothers:

There’s only way out here at First Draft as well. I’ll show you the exit after the break.

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Your President* Speaks: Rebel Without A Clue Edition

Fuck the implications should be the motto of the Trump administration*. The Insult Comedian is on his way to losing a Supreme Court case because he insists on calling a ban, a ban; thereby undercutting the DOJ’s argument that it’s “extreme vetting,” not a ban.

One thing that should be banned is the word ban…

The punditocracy are still pondering the deeper meaning of this defiantly stupid behavior. There is NO deeper meaning. Trump is a childish moron who’s rebelling against the office he holds. With apologies to Tom Petty, that’s why he’s a rebel without a clue. It’s also why he couldn’t get any fancy Washington lawyers to represent him. Who wants a client who won’t listen and will, more likely than not, stiff you on his bill.

I know that Gorka and Conway don’t want us to take the presidential* tweeting literally. Their boss begs to differ and, as one of his enemies, I hope he keeps pitching tantrums on twitter. The next tweet is also a message to his staff:

Your staff wants you to STFU too, Donald. I do not. I’m a fan of his hole digging. I am not, however, a fan of  inciting hostilities between Qatar and its neighbors.

He’s not only inciting conflict, he’s bragging about his role in fomenting it. This is where this shit stops being funny and becomes scary. He hasn’t a clue as to what he’s talking about. Of course, that’s his modus operandi. Does he even know that we have a substantial military presence in Qatar? It wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day at Adrastos World HQ. It’s Comey Thursday *and* the British general election is the same day. The Tories have blown a big lead but I still doubt the voters want Corbyn as their PM. Besides, the UK polls have been wrong since the 1970’s. I wonder if Trump will insult the pollsters after the election…

That concludes this edition of Your President* Speaks.

Everything In The World

It was confirmed  this weekend that everything in the world is about Donald Trump. The London bombings were somehow about his immigration policies. I’m not sure how that works anywhere but in his tiny mind. The Insult Comedian also decided it was time to go another round with London Mayor Sadiq Khan. I call it kicking someone when they’re down, but it’s just another day for the WWE/reality teevee president*. Khan’s staff kicked back and got the best of the exchange. It’s usually easy to outargue idiots except in the minds of other idiots. Too many people are worried about placating those idiots. Fuck them.

I spent quite a bit of time in London when the IRA was still actively bombing British targets during The Troubles. I don’t recall people blaming all Catholics for the Provos terrorist campaign. I recall some bad Pat and Mike-style Irish jokes but no calls for internment. Most Brits don’t scare that easily: memories of the Blitz are part of their DNA. That old school stiff upper lip comes in mighty handy at times like this, eh wot? We’ll leave the bed wetting to Trump sycophant Nigel Farage.

Let’s not kid ourselves that Trump’s clumsy attempt to manipulate public opinion after a terrorist attack is anything new. The Bush-Cheney administration waved the bloody flag of 9/11 until the bitter end. It worked during the first term, but eventually people started tuning them out except the same idiots who take Trump seriously. Repeat after me: fuck them.

My favorite response to Trump’s twitter antics came from Never Trump Republican and WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin:

One is prompted to ask if he is off his rocker. But this is vintage Trump — impulsive and cruel, without an ounce of class or human decency. His behavior no longer surprises us, but it should offend and disturb us, first, that he remains the face and voice of America in the world and, second, that his fans hoot and holler, seeing this as inconsequential or acceptable conduct.

You may recall that Ms Rubin was so pro-Romney in 2012 that we called her his girl friend. I’m not sure if the worm has turned or she woke up and smelled the coffee, but I take special delight in the Never Trump conservatives who refused to sell their souls to the Orange Devil. Most Republican office holders have been binge drinking Trump’s orange Kool-Aid. I eagerly await the hangover.

I officially apologize for the string of cliches in the previous paragraph. It’s what happens when you spend too much time analyzing the Darnold’s thought process. Besides, they worked; certainly harder than the golfer-in-chief.

Just remember, folks: it’s Trump’s world. We only live in it. Since Difford and Tilbrook provided the post title, Squeeze gets the last word:

Instant Update: Trump has attacked Mayor Khan again. The Mayor is, of course, trying to keep his people calm. The Insult Comedian prefers panic in the streets.

 

 

Quote Of The Day: Slumlord Jared Edition

I’m still rolling out my new nickname for the Trumper Tsarevich: Slumlord Jared. If you haven’t read the Pro Publica/NYT piece about his shameful slumlord antics in Baltimore, click on this link. He’s the sort of landlord who lets his properties fall apart, blames the tenants, evicts them, then raises the rent. A slumlords gotta slumlord…

The QOTD comes from a Politico article. They quoted his former digital maven at the New York Observer, Harleen Kahlon:

“We’re talking about a guy who isn’t particularly bright or hard-working, doesn’t actually know anything, has bought his way into everything ever (with money he got from his criminal father), who is deeply insecure and obsessed with fame (you don’t buy the NYO, marry Ivanka Trump, or constantly talk about the phone calls you get from celebrities if it’s in your nature to ‘shun the spotlight’), and who is basically a shithead.”

In short, he’s a Trump clone with better hair. No wonder Ivanka married this little shit. Slumlord Jared sounds almost as insecure as her idiot father.

The good news is that their insecurity, stupidity, and arrogance will be their eventual undoing. These Banana Republicans believe they’re above societal norms and rules. That’s why they constantly violate the first rule of holes: when you’re in one, stop digging, Twitter is Trump’s hole. His bluster there will bury him. Jeez, now I sound like Nikita Khrushchev. I have no plans, however, to pound on a table with a shoe. I’ll leave the tantrums to Trumpy.

 

Glengarry Glen Ross On The Potomac

I didn’t take part in the #covfefe war on Twitter.  It’s another meme that got beaten to death by conformists trying to be cool kids. I prefer to be as original as possible instead of joining in a dog pile over a typo by an idiot. It will all be forgotten in 48 hours. And Putin’s Pawn will still be president*. That concludes this rumination on the folkways of social media.

I’ve been pondering  movie/literary analogies for the news that Team Trump is starting a war room to deal with the escalating and multi-faceted Russian scandal. Since Slumlord Jared  is involved, it should be dubbed the cover up room.  The proposed war room is already down a body as David Bossie of B3 fame is begging out but Corey Lewandowski is still likely to bring his unique brand of malakatude to the cover up. He’s good at roughing up reporters, which seems to be a qualification for admission to Trumpistan’s inner circle. The fact that it was a chick reporter gives him bonus points with the pussygrabber-in-chief. Believe me.

The Trumpers claim that they’re going gangster. Movie:

The proposed war room, Axios reported, will be filled with “experienced veterans from the campaign trail who recognize the gravity of the situation.” In an apparent acknowledgment of the seriousness of the situation, Trump staffers have reportedly begun using the phrase, “Go to the mattresses,” a line from “The Godfather,” meaning to go to or prepare for war.

Godfather buffs should recall that  going to the mattresses was ordered by the ill-tempered fathead Sonny Corleone. It resulted in a protracted, futile, and downright stupid war with the Barzini and Tattaglia families. Downright stupid *is* a word associated with Team Trump but not one they should invoke themselves. The Insult Comedian is no Vito, and Jared is no Michael. Imagine anyone calling Michael naive? They’d get it in the eyeball like Moe Greene. Jared does have a Fredo air about him. Of course, there’s a lot of competition for the title of stupidest Trump. It’s a family of Fredos headed by a Sonny who lacks Santino’s violent bravado and good hair.

It strikes me that a better analogy for the war/cover up room is David Fucking Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. This play about sleazy real estate salesmen won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1984. The 1992 film version had an astonishing cast including Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, Jonathan Pryce, Alan Arkin, and Alec Baldwin. Yeah, the same guy who plays Trump on Saturday Night Live. Believe me.

Glengarry Glen Ross is set in a real estate boiler room where all that matters is closing the sale. Deceit is not only commonplace, it’s expected by the bosses.  They’re con men practicing egregious flim-flammery. Sound familiar? It’s Trump and Kushner’s world complete with exploding F-bombs. In my experience, real estate developers swear like sailors or Mamet characters. Fuck yeah.

I can just imagine Trump/Baldwin giving the war/cover up roomers a pep talk and telling them to do whatever it takes to fucking close the fucking story. Lewandowski will sucker punch a reporter and  Slumlord Jared will squeeze his tenants to inspire their war/cover up roomery. Is that a word? If not, it should be. It’s tremendous. Believe me.

There’s only one person to give the last word to: Alec Baldwin. First as asshole real estate developer Blake meeting his salesmen then as asshole real estate developer/president* Trump meeting his supporters.

Put that covfefe down, it’s only for closers. Another day, another last word fib.

Saturday Odds & Sods: All Shook Up

March by Grant Wood.

The monuments aftershocks continue here in New Orleans. I went to a friend’s kid’s birthday party and was warned to skip the subject because there were some rabid Lost Causers invited. They went there, I did not. I asked for a gold star but did not get one. I considered pitching a fit but thought better of it.

While we’re on the subject of the late monuments, I have two articles to recommend, nay, commend. First, Adrastos acquaintances Campbell Robertson and Katy Reckdahl collaborated on a story connecting the monuments and family histories. Second, the local public radio station, WWNO, has a piece about a proposed monument to Oscar Dunn a former slave who was Gret Stet Lt. Governor during Reconstruction. The monument was never built. Dunn, however, is worthy of one. That’s where I’d like this process to go: Civil Rights figures. It’s what makes sense if we were striking a blow against white supremacy and the Confederacy.

I saw this week’s bucolic featured image on the Antiques Roadshow. I used it because I like the austere lines of the print by the austere Iowan, Grant Wood. Austere seems to be the word of the day. Besides, Dr. A won tickets to the Roadshow when it comes to New Orleans this July. I want them to know we’re coming.

I was horrified to learn from the Guardian that Elvis Presley’s spell is waning with the kids today. If they think of him at all, they think of bloated Elvis from the end of his life or the notorious body in the box picture.

As his peer Fats Domino would surely say, Ain’t That A Shame. Elvis brought rock-and-roll to the masses and was its first King, Besides, what will NOLA’s own Rolling Elvi do if the Elvis mystique is diminished?

Rolling Elvi, Muses Parade, 2011. Photo by Dr. A.

This week’s theme song, All Shook Up, was written by Otis Blackwell and recorded by Elvis in 1957. According to his biographer Peter Guralnick, the reason Elvis received a writing credit is that he came up with the title.

First up is Blackwell’s rendition followed by Elvis’ studio version and then the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart belting it out.

I don’t know about you but I’m, uh, all shook up, which is why we’ll take a break at this point.

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GOP Impulse Control Blues: Greg The Goon & The Insane President Posse

Trump spawn and Greg the Goon. Photo via the Toronto Star.

A venerable expression of disputed origin that I’ve been using for years has become a cliché or truism. There’s a reason for that: “a fish rots from the head down” is true. It certainly applies to the Republican Party whose members have gotten crazier and crazier since the Insult Comedian became its bull goose loony. One wouldn’t think that impulse control would be a problem for candidates and office-holders, but it is in the New Gilded Age. Trump sets the tone for his party.  It’s an ugly and discordant tone; not unlike skinhead thrash metal complete with guttural vocals. Tremendous. Believe me.

I suspect you’ve all heard about the special behavior exhibited by Montana special election candidate/rich Republican malaka Greg (The Goon) Gianforte. He assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs last night. Jacobs’ offense was asking a question about Trumpcare. Gianforte does not like the Guardian because they wrote a piece about his ties to Russian companies. (Why is it always Russia with these fuckers?) Greg the Goon has been charged with misdemeanor assault for body slamming the bespectacled journalist. He should be charged with rampant mendacity as his campaign’s account is contradicted by a Fox News crew’s account:

Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna, field producer Faith Mangan and photographer Keith Railey witnessed the incident at Gianforte’s campaign headquarters in Montana, according to an account published on the Fox News website. After Jacobs asked Gianforte his question, Acuna wrote: “Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.

“Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of ‘I’m sick and tired of this!’ … To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff’s deputies.”

That’s right, Fox Fucking News; the home of Sean Hannity’s falling ratings. I wish I could say I was surprised that many GOPers defended Greg the Goon. Said defense inspired a brisk rejoinder from Never Trump conservative Rick Wilson. Here are the first three tweets of a 12-part tweet storm:

Yeah, you right, Rick. The president* has brought the WWE mentality to national politics. Only the impulse control impaired party practices it. You guessed it: the GOP. It’s not very grand of them is it? G should be for goon from now on.

It’s a pity that Greg the Goon may still body slam his way to victory. The downside of early voting is that 50% of the ballots have been cast. The race, however, has been tightening and Montana has election day registration. The assault cost Greg the Goon some newspaper endorsements. The Missoulian don’t play that.

Greg the Goon isn’t the only Republican having impulse control issues. The GOP’s bull goose loony, president* Trump has them as well and in a more lethal form.

I am referring, of course, to Trump’s propensity to leak classified information whilst in the throes of braggadocio. In addition to his Oval Office exploits with the Russian Foreign Minister and GRU Rezident/Ambassador. Trump bragged to fellow insane President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philipines about submarine positions. This is a big no-no: loose lips sink ships, especially subs. Submarines by their nature are stealthy. It would be a mistake for Trump to tell the leaders of Britain, France, or Japan let alone a member of the Insane President Posse.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is pissed off at Team Trump for leaking details about the Manchester bombing including the name of the alleged bomber. May plans to admonish Trump but it’s unlikely to have any impact. One doesn’t learn impulse control at age 70. Besides, Trump never listens to women even Brexiteering ones.

We’re at a depressing stage in the history of the Republic. One of our major parties is in the hands of a leader who reflects all of its worst qualities. The few diehard Never Trump GOPers are not office-holders but people like Rick Wilson, Ana Navarro, Evan McMullin, and David Frum. Congressional Republicans are content to be pro-Trump as long as they think he’ll sign anything they send to him. The good news is that scandals like the Russian affair have a way of paralyzing government, especially when the Insult Comedian’s specialty is making things worse.

I’ll give Peter Gabriel the last word with a song from the PG3 aka Melt album. Greg the Goon certainly had a meltdown last night as well as no impulse control whatsoever.

At the risk of being branded a last word liar, I came up with the second part of the post title after it was written. The piece was too tight to disrupt, so here it is. Greg the Goon & The Insane President Posse is a helluva band name innit?  I see them riding off into the sunset on their pygmy ponies after checking out the dental floss bushes. You really didn’t think I’d do a post about the place Gus McCrae always called Montany without mentioning Zappa did you?

The Americans Thread: The Penultimate Episode

I love the word penultimate as much as epistolary or eponymous and since I used those words earlier today, there was only one title for my recap of The World Council Of Churches.

The reason for that unwieldy, even bureaucratic, episode title is that the KGB secured Pastor Tim a sinecure in Argentina to get him out of the Jennings’ hair. I’m uncertain if it’s their real hair or one of their flotilla of wigs but, in any event, he’s out of it. And Paige is wigging out with glee.

Before taking our spoiler break, here’s a musical selection inspired by Phillip’s Brad the pilot persona. You know the guy who “adopted” Tuan. The pilot may be ready to drop the Vietnamese Kid if you catch my drift. More about that anon.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)

Struggle For Existence by Clifford Odets.

The unseasonably cool weather continued through the middle of this week in New Orleans. Summer’s cauldron is finally upon us, but this May has a chance to be one of the coolest on record. The coolish weather has thus far kept the Formosan termite swarms in check in my neighborhood. I have another theory: that the new and very bright street lights on Napoleon Avenue are attracting the swarms and keeping them away from Adrastos World HQ. It’s  just a theory but if I’m right it will be a less swarmy and pestiferous year.

Here’s last year’s termite theory in Tweet form:

Actually, I should give credit where it’s really due:

Let’s get back to where we once belonged, 2017.

I’m burnt out on Lost Cause Fest. I’m glad that the Lee statue came down in broad daylight yesterday. At 16 feet tall, it was too big to be removed at night. I’m just glad it’s over. I haven’t gone to spectate at any of the removal spectacles; mostly because it’s slow, arduous, and somewhat boring. Lost Cause Fest involves statues but it doesn’t rock. This front page headline does:

Photo by Milo’s human.

This week’s featured image is a 1947 painting by Clifford Odets. Until I saw last Monday’s  Antiques Roadshow, I had no idea that the playwright/screenwriter was a gifted painter. I guess that’s why they call PBS educational television.

This week’s theme song was written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer for a 1943 Fred Astaire movie, The Sky’s The Limit.  One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) is the torch song’s torch song or is that the saloon song’s saloon song? I am easily confused but you already knew that. If I were pretentious, I’d tell you that I curated three versions of the song but I’m neither a curate nor a cure-all…

We begin with Fred Astaire singing to an indifferent bartender named Joe followed by fabulous versions by Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday. Frank called it a saloon song whereas Billie torched it up, y’all. There will be more about torches anon.

Now that Joe has set ’em up, let’s go to the break. It’s not a spoiler break as with The Americans recaps, it’s more of a length break. I do tend to go on.

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