There Is ONLY ONE Q

My colleague Tommy T wrote extensively the other day about the low IQ Q conspiracy. It’s a new one on me. I can’t keep up with all the tin foil hatters on the extreme right so I let Tommy do it for me. This new mad hattery brought out my inner Emily Litella:

For those of you who aren’t comedy buffs, Emily Litella was a befuddled character from the early days of Saturday Night Live. She was created and played by the late, great Gilda Radner.

I thought of Emily because as far as I’m concerned there is ONLY ONE Q:

Q was an all-powerful character who delighted in tormenting Captain Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Since Q is an immortal space traveler dude he also turns up on Deep Space 9 and Voyager, but the Frenchman with the Yorkshire accent was his favorite whipping boy.

I refuse to acknowledge the New Q unless it turns out to be a hoax perpetrated by lefties to fish in gullible Trumpers. There is ONLY ONE Q.

Since I made a Gilda Radner reference earlier, I’ll give Q and Emily Litella the last word with Emily’s stock closing line:

Not Everything Sucks: Hey Luc At Me Now

Since so much bad shit happens on the tweeter tube, I reckoned I should share some rare good news about everyone’s favorite French Star Fleet Captain with a Yorkshire accent:

Jean-Luc Picard has been on hiatus so long that I’ve been unable to pun on his name during my time as a blogger. It’s one of many reasons I’m tickled about the return. The name seems to inspire me to break out in punny show tune memes:

It’s more like the Stern Luc Of Love. It’s what authority figures do, y’all.

The next one is more menacing. It’s when Picard was assimilated and became Locutus of Borg.

At this point, we’ve gone from make it so to make him stop. The last word goes to David Byrne who was also born in Scotland but was never assimilated as far as I know:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get

The Dramatics are an anomalous soul group for their time and place. They came out of Detroit but had to go to Memphis based Volt records to hit it big. The title track of this 1971 album put them over the top. It was written for the Dramatics by Tony Hester and, yeah, they do sound quite a bit like the Temptations; one reason they didn’t stick at Motown.

I don’t know about you but I’ve got my eye on this cover:

Here’s the gatefold. I skipped the back cover because it’s pedestrian as well as eyeless.

We have two versions of the smash hit title song for your enjoyment. The extended album version followed by the guys lip syncing to the single on Soul Train:

The One Constant of the Trump Administration

Is that they are all very bad at doing crimes: 

Over several months, in speaking with 21 people who know Ross, Forbes uncovered a pattern: many of those who worked directly with him claim that Ross wrongly siphoned or outright stole a few million here and a few million there, huge amounts for most but not necessarily for the commerce secretary. At least if you consider them individually. But all told, these allegations—which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements, and an S.E.C. fine—come to more than $120 million. If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history. . . . Ross “was like a kid in a candy store,” says one of his former employees. “He pilfered it.”

Seriously, I’m offended by how bad they are at this.

It’s one thing to lose one’s country to a skilled operator, who does things with efficiency and even with style.

It’s another to lose it all to a bunch of people so bumbling and befuddled that you hear them defend themselves by saying they were too stupid to know the laws and you think to yourself, “Yeah, that’s plausible.” Like I actually do believe Junior was dumb and met with Russians thinking that it was legal. It’s not a defense, exactly, but it is an explanation: They’re all just idiots.

I can’t believe these people get to run America. Just cannot.

A.

Want to Save Journalism? Do It Yourselves.

For serious, nobody’s gonna save you: 

Even before it was officially announced, The Daily Memphian had become an open secret within an increasingly small coterie of Memphis print journalists.

For the first time in years, high profile reporters were leaving the Commercial Appeal, not because of layoffs, which had become semi-regular events at the Gannett-owned paper.

They were just walking away: food writer Jennifer Biggs, sports columnist Geoff Calkins, popular blogger Chris Herrington. Others followed; the mystery of their departures a source of growing speculation.

They left for a new web-based newsroom now being built from scratch by a nonprofit funded by philanthropists, many of them anonymous. The Daily Memphianwas the result of wealthy citizens’ frustration over the gutting of local news.

And look, I know there’s griping about the philanthropic model, like is it enough, and won’t you then be beholden to donors, etc etc something something ethics-cakes, but this is the conversation currently happening in the for-profit world:

Journalists: We need money. To pay us, and hire photographers, and do research, and travel, and produce stories. We need money to cover the news. Will you give us some money?

Media company owners: How about a redesign?

J: Nope, money.

MCO: We’re re-branding and pivoting to video!

J: Give us some money. Our interns are eating their household pets to survive. Our lights got shut off last week for six hours, on deadline.

MCO: What if we launched a spinoff publication? We’ll call it “WHOOMP THERE IT IS.” The kids love it.

J: MO. NEY.

MCO: You’re always asking for money. You can’t just throw money at a problem.

J: Let’s try it, just once.

MCO: We’ve renamed the company. Your e-mail address now ends in “wheeze.com.”

J: …

MCO: It’s gonna be great.

Faced with THAT, I will take the ethical minefield that is “wealthy citizens” who actually want to fund the news. Because at least they’re not gonna take the money and light it on fire. One hopes.

A.

GOP SOP

It’s human nature to want to think the best of people. Hell, even I give *most* people the benefit of the doubt, and I was first called a curmudgeon in my teens. But I don’t think this presumption should be extended to Republican politicians and anyone with the last name Trump.

Since the president* is on “holiday” at his golf club in Jersey, he’s had an itchy twitter finger. He’s made several admissions against legal interest and also slammed two high-profile African-American gents:

I thought the Kaiser of Chaos never watched “fake news” CNN. Guess he’s lying about that. Go figure.

The occasion for LeBron’s interview was the opening of a school for at risk kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio that the hoops legend is funding. An act of generosity equivalent to his style as a “make everyone look good” basketball player. LeBron made a few mildly critical remarks about the Insult Comedian. I’m sure you’ve heard the details so I’ll skip them. It wasn’t as strong as this earlier LeBronism:

U Bum. How short and sweet it is.

The reasons, such as they are, behind Trump’s tweet are multi-faceted: projection of his own intellectual inferiority on to others and, most importantly, racist red meat for his idiot base. Trump has a habit of calling black people “dumb” or “low IQ” when, in fact, he’s the dumbass. It’s all a part of his pandering to the worst instincts in white America while dog howling (the whistle has been traded in for a larger model) his own bigotry.

The most interesting thing about the LeBron affair was the press and social media reaction to Melania Trump’s reaction. Melania’s people issued a statement that mildly praised LeBron:

“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today.”

In a spurt of the sort of human generosity I alluded to at the top of post, people gushed praise of FLOTUS* including those who should know better. This is the same reaction that greets many of Ivanka Trump’s mild disagreements with her monstrous father when, in fact, she’s Agrippina to his Tiberius. (I guess that makes Junior, Nero.) Here’s how my pal Dakinikat put it in a post about the Sam Bee flap a few months back:

 I’d like to remind y’all that vaginas are deep and warm and Ivanka Trump is neither so I suggest we think of a better set of words to describe KKKremlin Caligula’s daughter than “feckless cunt”.  We could adopt Demoness reincarnation of Diva August or good ol’ Aunt Livia to keep it all in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Historically, Livia was the mother of Tiberius and if you know anything about Roman history of the time, you’ll know he was as perverted and evil as the rest of them. Remember, Rome was still supposed to be a Republic at the time but that dreadful set of ghouls–including the fiddling Nero–ruined nearly everything within a few generations.  We could give her a nick name based on Agrippina but that would be a weirder sexual dynamic than I’m prepared to put through my mind.  However, I am praying for a few good men with lean and hungry looks to end our Trumpvian nightmare.

I know that was a long-ass quote but I think good writing should be rewarded.

Back to the post title: it’s SOP (standard operating procedure) in the GOP for female relatives of a leader to soften their image. It’s been going on for years, most notably in the Bush family, as Slate’s Christina Cauterucci explains in a wonderfully titled piece, Make-Believe Mutiny:

In 2001, Laura Bush famously departed from her husband’s stance on abortion by saying she thought Roe v. Wade should stand. The first lady was contradicting her president spouse on an issue of great import, and at the time, I thought it was a gutsy move that could have a positive impact on GOP abortion politics.

<SNIP>

And before Laura, Barbara Bush criticized the GOP during George H.W. Bush’s second presidential campaign for enshrining a “fundamental individual right to life” for “the unborn child” in its party platform. The strategy neatly aligns with the right-wing model of a heterosexual partnership: The big tough man makes big tough decisions from a place of rational judgment and patriarchal authority, while the woman respectfully registers a slightly different opinion, borne of feminine emotion. He is free to take or leave her suggestion, which carries no meaningful weight or influence. If he does modify his stance to lean towards hers, he can claim that his hypermasculine immunity to empathy—a quality Republicans fetishize in their leaders—blinded him to the nuances of an issue that needed a female touch.

This is particularly important when the Republican president* is an asshole of epic proportions like Donald Trump. It’s well-nigh impossible to humanize Trumpberius but they’ll continue trying. The media and public should be leery of this because it’s just spin. In fact, it’s the only slightly skillful spin to come out of the Trump administration. So everyone should treat it as what it is: disinformation calculated to distract and divert attention from the evil incompetence of the Insult Comedian and his team of sycophants.

So, the next time Melania or Ivanka slightly deviates from the Trump line, just remember: it’s GOP SOP.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – It’s the New Q Review!

Take it away, Pepe The Frog!!

 

(Sarah Huckabee Hippo’s got some moves, don’t she?)

Well, I saw CNN’s “How a right-wing conspiracy theory is going mainstream” article last Thursday morning, I knew I’d better get over to Freeperville tout suite’!

Trump base latches onto ‘Q’ internet conspiracy cult
The Seattle Times ^ | August 2, 2018 | Marc Fisher and Isaac Stanley-Becker

Posted on 8/2/2018, 11:37:19 PM by 2ndDivisionVet

Energized by the internet persona Q’s complex web of conspiracy notions about the forces aligned against President Donald Trump, Q’s followers have spread virally online and now, in real life too, forming a movement known as QAnon.

From somewhere in the vast and mysterious “deep state,” a dissident agent rises up to give the people cryptic clues about how their heroic president will push back the forces of evil and make America great again. The renegade informant is known only as “Q,” and if he actually exists, it’s not as a character in a movie, but somewhere in the Washington, D.C., bureaucracy.

Energized by Q’s complex web of conspiracy notions about the forces aligned against President Donald Trump, Q’s followers have spread virally online and now, in real life too, forming a movement known as QAnon that is making itself visible at Trump’s rallies and other public gatherings.

QAnon is the latest in a string of conspiracy ideas that take hold of the public’s imagination in times of social stress and technological change. And QAnon is something new, a leaderless popular movement made up of people who believe in no one and therefore are willing to believe almost anything.

To believers, Q is a pseudonym for a well-placed U.S. government agent who is posting online distress messages and bits of intel, known as “breadcrumbs,” in an effort to save the country — and Trump — from hostile forces within the government. Q’s missives started appearing last October on 4chan, the mostly anonymous website where fringe ideas incubate and blossom….

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

How did you think the media was going to cover this once they were forced to?
1 posted on 8/2/2018, 11:37:20 PM by 2ndDivisionVet
First post :
To: 2ndDivisionVet

 

We are the Q internet conspiracy

2 posted on 8/2/2018, 11:42:00 PM by AndyJackson

No, I’m Spartacus!
Second post :
To: 2ndDivisionVet

As I’ve written before, this crackpot conspiracy BS is going to bite people. I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t turn out to be some kid in his parent’s basement. Or, worse, some Never Trumper or Democrat playing people. Either way, anonymous sources and authors is bad news and often lead to bad results: Fake News.

3 posted on 8/2/2018, 11:44:10 PM by Reno89519 (No Amnesty! No Catch-and-Release! Just Say No to All Illegal Aliens! Arrest & Deport!y)

Was that as good for you as it was for me?
To: 2ndDivisionVet

They are going to treat Q the same way they treated everyone that exposed PIZZAGATE.

And the pedo arrests keep adding up…

6 posted on 8/2/2018, 11:46:32 PM by Dogbert41 (When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own dwelling, his goods are safe. -Luke 11:2

IronyFry
To: Reno89519

 

Sorry, I vehemently disagree. I believe Q is military intelligence preparing America for some bad s—t.

11 posted on 8/3/2018, 12:03:47 AM by Extremely Extreme Extremist (GOAT POTUS TRUMP)

I think America is already aware that there’s a sociopathic moron with his finger on the nuclear trigger, thank you very much.

To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Military intelligence? In one of its first droppings

Heh.

it said Hillary would be arrested at a certain time and date. It never happened. That’s a source?

38 posted on 8/3/2018, 12:58:36 AM by JonPreston

 

To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Then Q needs to speak clearly, or not speak at all. This indecipherable crap just makes us look like lunatics for paying attention to it

14 posted on 8/3/2018, 12:09:07 AM by j.havenfarm ( 1,000 Posts as of 8/11/17! Still not shutting up after all these years!)

You say that like it’s a BAD thing.
To: 2ndDivisionVet
“How did you think the media was going to cover this once they were forced to?”

Pretty much like this, but perhaps with a false flag attempt or two involving “Q” shirt wearing perps thrown in, to bolster the coordinated “stupid, crazy, violent, dangerous” narrative.

When that doesn’t set us all against each other,

In case you haven’t noticed, it already has.

what will they do then?

30 posted on 8/3/2018, 12:45:56 AM by EasySt (Truth will Prevail)

PopcornPackage
More Q-y chewy goodness at the “read more”…
.

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Happy Birthday Adrastos!

Adrastos is a relentlessly kind and generous human being who is a great blog partner. And it’s his BIRFDAY so we wish him a happy one!

A.

This Isn’t About Manners

Bruni interviews a Republican governor in a blue state (Maryland) and listens to him talk about how he doesn’t really feel the need to speak out about anything Trump does other than, you know, the whole “tweeting” thing: 

You said, regarding Trump, I don’t want anything to do with this.” Anything to do with what?

He wasn’t the type of guy who I thought should be president. I didn’t like the tone during the campaign. There were a lot of people running, and I didn’t think he was the most qualified. I didn’t think he was going to win, either.

I’ll say this: One on one, he’s a different person than the persona you see out there. But I don’t like the tweeting. I don’t like the name-calling. The divisiveness really is not good for the country. But he’s not the only one to blame.

In what ways do you think he’s doing the most damage?

I wish he would stop tweeting.

I’ll be the first person to say that the inside of Donald’s head is like the third Port-a-Potty from the main stage on Lollapalooza weekend but that’s not, in and of itself, a disqualification from being president.

If FDR had needed to grab some pussy to win WWII and pass the New Deal I’m sure we could have found some volunteers. Lyndon Johnson’s mouth makes Donald Trump’s sound at home in the Sistine Chapel. John F. Kennedy was putting a dude on the moon while actually inside a Mafia prostitute. We have no IDEA the sorts of things Rutherford B. Hayes got up to.

The tweeting isn’t the problem. The name-calling isn’t the problem. Donald Trump’s issue isn’t that he’s a shitty human being. It’s that he’s a shitty president, corrupt and incompetent in equal measure, and the party that nominated and elected him is being all EWWWW GROSS when he’s not actually veering from their chosen path all that much.

What matters to them, really? Pointless belligerence on the foreign stage, judges who oppose abortion rights, and tax cuts. He’s satisfied all those requirements, like any Republican president would have, so this is all just goddamn dinner theater. Not the good kind. The kind where you gum your boiled beef and watch a former member of the Monkees warble his way through Oliver.

Republican candidates are going to start coming out and trying to challenge Trump for 2020, and they’re going to have to be asked the question none of these garden weasels could answer in 2016: How are you any different?

Because, you know, Ted Cruz might not have been an actual fascist but he certainly would be nominating judges off the same Christianist pecksniff cheat-sheet. John Kasich, that voice of moderation and reason, is actually wandering the wilderness to the right of Trump on abortion, and not just the kind for one’s mistresses. Mitt Romney ran against his own health care program after Obama took it national.

The only thing these personifications of whiskey-dick can offer is the idea that they will be nicer about their regressive, segregationist positions than Trump is. Their conventions will feature “Blue Lives Matter” segments instead of physically humping the flag. They’ll deny women medical care, but won’t call them cunts. They’ll leave insinuations about opponents’ patriotism to their surrogates and think-tank partners, and deny any relationship when questioned.

How refreshing.

The problems we’re having under Trump are not because Trump is weird and gross and probably a rapist, and spends too much time on Twitter. The problems we’re having under Trump are the problems we’ve had under Republican rule in 30 plus states and the federal government: exacerbation of economic inequality and segregation, gerrymandering and vote suppression, encouragement of racism and/or punitive patriotism, contempt for education and labor, I could go on.

Trump disappears tomorrow, and that baloney pony Bruni’s interviewing up there or someone just like him will breathe a sigh of relief, get elected president by yelling the word UNITY a thousand times, and quietly deregulate some more giant banks that foreclosed on widows and orphans. All without a tweet.

A.

Sunday Catblogging: And Thank You!

You all were amazing with the fundraiser this week, have some Slade toesies.

Every year we try to raise what we need to pay our hosting fees, whatever wear and tear there is on our laptops, sometimes a project or two, and every year I think well, this is it, they’re all gonna tell me to fuck off and they don’t care anymore and it’s time to shut this pop stand down and go do whatever it is people do when they’re not glued to the news.

And every year, every ask, every project, you all come right through. For FOURTEEN YEARS goddamn I am old and we are old and it remains one of the best things in my life, the idea that we do something here that you value.

Thank you. Thank you to every single one of you.

Now, next crisis.

A.

Sunday Morning Video: The Doors Live At The Hollywood Bowl

Doors week continues with this 1968 concert. The good news is that Jim Morrison neither exposes himself nor gets arrested.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Riders On The Storm

Rain, Steam, and Speed by JMW Turner.

There will be no tin cup rattling today since we reached our goal Friday. I’d like to thank everyone who supported what we do here at First Draft. I suppose I should thank Al Capone for helping out but what does a dead wise guy care? Btw, I neglected to state that Stephen Graham in Boardwalk Empire is my favorite reel Capone.

The big story in New Orleans is the ongoing clusterfuck involving the Sewerage and Water Board. A year from tomorrow, there was major street flooding in Mid-City. I hate hearing about the August 5th flood since it’s my birthday but what can ya do? The people whose homes, businesses, and cars flooded hate it even more.

The latest mess involves billing. The lunkheads at SWB have computerized the way they bill customers. In theory, it’s a fine idea, but in practice they failed to adequately train the meter readers in the new system. The result has been crazy large bills that customers have refused to pay. The SWB vowed to crack down on what our new Mayor called “bad actors” by cutting off their water.  They backed down the other day when it became clear that some of the “bad actors” were poor people with $5,000 bills *and* that they could only disconnect 50 customers a day. TFC: This Fucking City. Stay tuned.

I selected this week’s theme song after it popped up in the last episode of Sharp Objects. That show seems to be a love/hate proposition for viewers. I’m on the love side for the music, atmospherics, and acting, especially the divine Amy Adams.

Riders On The Storm was written by the Doors for their last full-blown LP, L.A. Woman. Jim Morrison’s lyrics are moody and expressionistic even for him. We have two versions for your consideration: the original studio track and a live version by 21st Century Doors, a band featuring Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robbie Krieger. I wish they hadn’t hired a Morrison lookalike as their singer: it’s creepy.

A quick story about Jim Morrison. My sister-in-law’s mother-in-law went to high school with Morrison. She remembers him as a nice boy. I bet you’ve never heard that anywhere else.

It’s time to break on through to the other side and jump to the break.

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Life Imitates I, Claudius: Trump As Tiberius

There have been a spate of stories this week depicting the Trump White House as the court of a mad king/emperor. We’ve learned that many of Trump’s associates prepare CYA documents because of his slipperiness, mendacity, and disloyalty. The Insult Comedian expects absolute loyalty from his underlings but, as we’ve seen over and over again,Trump’s loyalty is a one way street.

Then there was this alarming report by Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman:

 Whether it’s confidence, bluster, or delusion, Trump is venting to advisers both inside and outside the White House that the Manafort trial proves Mueller has nothing on him and his family, because Manafort’s trial doesn’t involve Russia or the 2016 campaign. “The Manafort trial is spinning him into a frenzy,” one Republican in frequent contact with the president told me. Another Republican told me Trump thinks “the only thing the trial shows is that Manafort is a sleaze.”

It takes one to know one. Trump is also being fed patent nonsense by his lawyers:

Trump’s latest attacks on Mueller are partly being enabled by conversations with his attorney Emmet Flood, one source told me. “Emmet feels there’s nothing there with collusion, so it’s fine for Trump to comment and tweet,” the source explained. This person added that Trump appears to be in earnest about his desire for Sessions to end the Mueller probe, and spoke of a timeline of a couple of weeks. Otherwise, Trump has threatened to fire Rosenstein himself.

Sessions has recused himself from the investigation he CANNOT fire Rosenstein and/or Mueller. Ever since Trump’s disastrous performance in Helsinki, elected Republicans seem less inclined to further his “you’re fired” delusions. They’re not criticizing him but they’re showing more caution, especially since the Jordan-Meadows attempt to impeach Rosenstein fizzled. But the truth has no meaning for Trump, so who the hell knows what he’ll do next? I’m a pundit, not a prophet.

I’ve spent part of this week comparing historical characters and their fictionalized selves to the freak show that is the Trump administration. I’ve also dubbed Trump the Kaiser of Chaos because of his similarities to the infantile and petulant Kaiser Wilhelm II. BUT Kaiser Bill was never this crazy.

My friend Dakinikat of Sky Dancing fame calls Trump Kremlin Caligula. It’s a good one but Trump increasingly reminds me of another crazy Caesar who was also depicted in the classic teevee series, I Claudius: Caligula’s predecessor, Tiberius. In that great 1976 series, Tiberius was installed via the machinations of his mother Livia. That, in turn, left him dubious of his own legitimacy and led him to do crazy and extreme things. Sound familiar?

At the end of his life, Tiberius isolated himself from the court at Rome and spent most of time debauching at his version of Mar-a-Lago: his villa on the Isle of Capri. Neither golf nor cable teevee had been invented at that point but I’m sure Tiberius would have dug them.

It’s side-by-side picture time. On the left is Trump without his epic combover and orange spray tan. On the right is George Baker as Tiberius who is oranger than Trump in this shot.

The good news is that George Baker grew up to play nice Inspector Wexford in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries. Trump will never grow up. He’ll always be Trumpberius.

Friday Catblogging: Throwback Fundraiser Edition

I still miss Oscar. This is an image I’ve used for past fundraisers.

Please click here if you’d like to keep the cat pictures flowing here at First Draft.

Here’s a weird reason to donate. Once we meet or surpass our goal, I won’t have to use this as my twitter avatar:

Please save me from Dollar Bill. It’s what Oscar would have wanted.

Annual Fundraiser: The Capone Shakedown

I had a lot of fun writing Life Imitates The Untouchables: Scarface Paul Manafort. It occurred to me that I missed the chance to raise some money for First Draft. The last I heard from our publisher/Chancellor of the Exchequer, Athenae, we were 2/3 of the way to our goal of $1650. It’s time to go gangster on your asses:

Don’t worry, Gabby Hartnett won’t get it. The Hall of Fame Chicago Cubs catcher died on his birthday in 1972. Capone was long gone.

Hartnett got in trouble for signing an autograph for Capone’s kid at Wrigley Field. Then commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis called the Cubbie on the carpet and told him not to consort with gangsters. There are many versions of this story but my favorite is that Gabby said to the irascible commish, “You try saying no to Al Capone, Judge.”

That was a long-winded way to ask you to support our annual fundraiser. We’re the most benevolent shakedown artists you’ll ever encounter except for Della. She’s a badass.

The last word goes to the Grateful Dead. Let’s take a trip to Shakedown Street:

Let’s see, I gave you gangsters, baseball, cats, and the Dead. How can you not donate after that? Here’s the link again.

Life Imitates The Untouchables: Scarface Paul Manafort?

The Kaiser of Chaos was a busy boy with an itchy twitter finger yesterday. The tweets dripped with flop sweat and palpable panic.  He “ordered” Jeff Beau to end the “rigged witch hunt” and praised Paul Manafort for his work for Ronald Reagan and Bob Dole. Those tweets arguably constitute witness tampering by tweet since Trumpy hands out pardons like Oprah doles out cars.

Ending the “rigged witch hunt” could bring the Manafort trial to a screeching halt, which would be a pity: I want the jury to hear more about Paulie’s lavish wardrobe. It’s also a pity that Judge Ellis has barred the use of the term oligarch. I believe in calling an oligarch an oligarch. Ole Garch sounds like a Swedish architect to me. I wonder if he had anything to do with the theft of the Swedish crown jewels? It could have been an angry Norwegian outraged over 91 years of Swedish domination of his homeland. If revenge is a dish best served cold, ain’t nothing colder than a Scandinavian winter or an angry and bitter Norwegian.

Enough of my weirdness, the weirdest of Trump’s recent tweets was this one:

Does this mean Manafort is a syphilitic murderer? He’s certainly a tax avoiding motherfucker like Scarface. Speaking of the gangster, the Insult Comedian misspelled his name: it’s Alphonse with a PH, not Alfonse with an F. That proves that Rudy Giuliani didn’t write this tweet: he’d spell a paisan’s name correctly. Remember when Rudy used to be anti-gangster? Now he’s a mob lawyer working for Don Donaldo Il Comico Insulto. Many of us become what we hate.

I think Josh Marshall nailed *why* Trump used this seemingly bizarre analogy:

To Trump, Capone was a winner. He was rich. Everybody gave him respect. But he was brought down on BS charges, mundane financial crimes. He was treated very unfairly, to use the President’s signature phrase. This isn’t hyperbole or a mere attack. Over a forty-plus year career, Trump was deep in business with some of the most notorious and violent mobsters of the late 20th century. Trump managed not to get in to trouble first because he had the right friends but just as much because he kept the relationships largely passive. He laundered their money. His main overt act was willful obliviousness. Trump Tower itself was a notorious haven for all sorts of organized crime figures, mostly from other countries. Mostly from Russia and the former Soviet Union.

There have been many fine movies and teevee series over the years featuring Alphonse with a PH. I should thank the president* for giving me the latest in a series of Life Imitates post titles. First, there was The Sopranos, then The Americans, and now The Untouchables. Cue an extended version of the theme music, which was written by the great Nelson Riddle:

Now that I think of it, Ennio Morricone’s theme music for Brian DePalma’s 1987 film is pretty darn swell as well:

Al Capone *was* a fascinating character, which is why he remains such a famous gangster 71 years after his death. It is disturbing however that POTUS* identifies with him, not Eliot Ness. One would think he’d like comparisons to the best-known screen Nesses, Robert Stack and Kevin Costner. Hell,Costner is even a Republican; at least he used to be until the advent of the Trump regime. Good on ya, Kevin.

Enough Elliot Nessery. It’s time to post a rogue’s gallery of actors who played Alphonse with a PH. We begin with a two-fer: Ben Gazzara from a decent 1975 bio-pic, Capone, and Robert DeNiro in the DePalma/Mamet take on The Untouchables.

Next up from left to right: Neville Brand in teevee’s The Untouchables, Stephen Graham in Boardwalk Empire, and chewing a cigar as well as the scenery, Rod Steiger in 1959’s Al Capone. Steiger was a walking slab of prosciutto in this role. He’d be in the hammy actor hall of fame if such a thing existed.

There’s bound to be a white-collar gangster movie about Paul Manafort at some point in time. I’ve already made a casting suggestion in the form of a Separated at Birth segment:

Chazz Palminteri has played more than a few wise guys in his career including Big Paul Castellano, boss of the Gambino family before he was whacked by John Gotti. The Trumps, of course, had ties to the Gambinos and Rudy is the one whose team brought them down. It’s a small fucking world, after all.

With Essence of Kompromat

putin_ad

So there’s the Mueller investigation and the Manafort trial, both of which would in ordinary times and with a normal administration be crippling if not fatal. But the Trump crazy train/cult careens on, in no small part because the true believers might as well be in a cult. They seem to think Donald Trump…Donald fucking Trump…is some sort of divine intervention, which tells me more about their state of mind and what they consider ordained or divine. To which I can only reply…good lord.

So, fuck those folks. You’re not going to reason with them, they’re way beyond that, assuming they ever managed to get to reason to begin with. But…they’re not a majority, or I hope like hell not…and if they are, well, better that we know.

Anyway, just my .00002 cents worth, but forget those folks, and instead, focus on getting our base out…and if there are any undecideds (but how can anyone possibly be undecided in this age?), anyway, for anyone not sure, point out all the times Orange Narcissus has hardly been the alpha male he claims to be, but instead has groveled or otherwise displayed to the world how laughably obsequious he is towards not just Vlad Putin, but even dirtbags like Kim Jong Un.

And tie him to the whole damned Republican Party. Why not? They’ve tied themselves to him. Democratic opposition researchers should be ready to plaster every available media format with material that, over and over again, displays Trump as a toady weakling. That’s what he fears, that’s what he scared of. Being revealed as an ineffective — or worse, incompetent — idiot.

Game on.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Deadly Mermaid

This book has nothing to with either the movie Splash or my friend Charlotte’s post-K blog, Traveling Mermaid.

The Insult Comedian’s Florida Man

Florida Man Ron DeSantis and Trump. Photograph by Octavio Jones/Tampa Bay Times

The president* held one of his incoherent rallies yesterday in Tampa, Florida. He said one of the stupidest things he’s ever said and that’s saying a lot:

Trump claimed Democrats were attempting to give undocumented immigrants the right to vote.

“Which is why the time has come for voter ID, like everything else,” Trump told the crowd. “You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card. You need ID.”

In a career of specious arguments, this one is near the top. When was the last time the Insult Comedian went grocery shopping? Has he ever gone grocery shopping? The only times I’ve ever been carded was when I’ve bought booze. We know the Darnold only drives people to drink, he’s not a drinker himself.

I conceived this post before the Kaiser of Chaos put his foot in his mouth last night. He was in Florida campaigning for Congressman Ron DeSantis who is running in the GOP primary to succeed Governor Bat Boy. Typically, Oval Ones stay out of primaries but Trump cannot help himself. FYI, Rick Scott, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, skipped the rally. He’s nervous about appearing in public with his fellow megalomaniacal rich guy.

Trump endorsed DeSantis because of his appearances on Fox News as a fierce MAGA Maggot and Trump flatterer. That’s right, the Fox and Friends effect is in force. Anyone surprised? You shouldn’t be, the Insult Comedian schedules impromptu meetings based on what he’s seen on his favorite show. I wish I were making that up but I am not.

Florida Man DeSantis’ head is so far up the Trump rump that he made the ickiest and most obsequious pro-Trump ad of the year thus far.

I hope young Casey DeSantis grows up and rebels against her father’s stupid politics.  It’s what he deserves after exploiting her in that ad. Oh, the malakatude.

Tweet Of The Day: The Sound Of Mueller

The New Orleans Advocate’s Walt Handlesman is justifiably proud of his Walt Toons. This one is best described as Rodgers and Hammerstein meet Kremlingate. It’s so good that I set aside a lifetime of loathing The Sound of Music to post it.

If you enjoyed The Sound of Muller, please donate to First Draft’s annual fundraiser.