President Little Mittens Declares Victory In War Against The Sea

caligula_trump

OK, maybe that’s a little unfair — to Caligula — and DJT’s performance yesterday was more doggie downer (am guessing that will change if/when he makes it a highlight in his wingnut-bizarro-free-association rallies.)

Besides, what the hell, unilaterally declaring victory beats the hell out of DJT putting his stubby little fingers on any button that might escalate things. Also, with his briefing of Congress so pathetic it made Mike Lee and Rand Paul gag, it looks like the real men who were salivating over the chance to REALLY fuck things up will have to wait a little longer.

No word on if/when Trump nominates a horse for counsel.

And you know, it’d almost be funny to watch Pompeo, Mulvaney, and Pence getting ordered to waddle along a beach collecting sea shells as spoils.

Quote Of The Day: State Of The GOP Edition

I originally planned to post this last Friday before the Liar’s War heated up. Hopefully, tensions have been reduced to a simmer. Besides, I’m tired of writing about the Impeached Insult Comedian’s latest fuck up.

Last week, Stuart Stevens, who was Mitt Romney’s chief strategist in 2012, wrote an Op-ed for the WaPo about the current state of the GOP. Here’s the money quote:

Republicans are now officially the character doesn’t count party, the personal responsibility just proves you have failed to blame the other guy party, the deficit doesn’t matter party, the Russia is our ally party, and the I’m-right-and-you-are-human-scum party. Yes, it’s President Trump’s party now, but it stands only for what he has just tweeted.

We’ve seen that clearly this week. Senate GOPers are prepared to stage a token impeachment trial and nobody in the GOP was taken aback by Trump’s conducting foreign policy by tweet. Repeat after me: that’s some dangerous shit.

Unlike some never Trumpers, Stevens understands that President* Pennywise exploited existing conditions in the GOP on his way to taking it over:

Trump didn’t hijack the GOP and bend it to his will. He did something far easier: He looked at the party, saw its fault lines and then offered himself as a pure distillation of accumulated white grievance and anger. He bet that Republican voters didn’t really care about free trade or mutual security, or about the environment or Europe, much less deficits. He rebranded kindness and compassion as “PC” and elevated division and bigotry as the admirable goals of just being politically incorrect. Trump didn’t make Americans more racist; he just normalized the resentments that were simmering in many households. In short, he let a lot of long-suppressed demons out of the box.

Donald Trump as Pandora? I like it. His hair, however, is like Medusa’s.

I keep posting surrealist art because it fits these crazy times. The last word (image?) goes to Rene Magritte and his take on Pandora’s Box:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: From Another World

I’m feeling terse this morning. It’s time for some Space Age Pop circa 1956:

Here’s the whole damn Sid Bass album:

Desertion

On January 2, I signed up for two meal-kit plans and two fitness apps due to some seriously unflattering Christmas photos and also feeling generally like hell after not working out for two months and eating like garbage. The apps were free, of course, til I started “unlocking features” and “connecting other apps” and shit, but the meal plans, together, added up to about $160.

For lunches and dinners for about two weeks.

Now, of course that is insane, and it was fueled by more of a desire for convenience than anything else. Even when I’m not getting suckered into questionable things by social media ads and moments of aging-related panic, I still spend on food. I buy perishable fruits and vegetables, I buy ingredients like sausage from a butcher or a high-end meat counter. I eat a $10 salad (downtown Chicago prices for lunch) instead of a $5 burrito or a peanut butter sandwich from home.

On Sunday I prepped lunches and snacks for me and Kick for the week. I filled and stacked little reusable containers of blueberries and carrots and pita chips and salami-cheese rolls in whole wheat tortilla, strips of fresh bell pepper, soy & rice crackers, quinoa and chicken salad. It took about an hour, was about $30 worth of food. I have both an hour, and $30. What would I do for us if I didn’t?

If you want people to eat healthier, to buy from sustainable farms and local farmers, to prepare their own food instead of using processed, to behave like you do, you need to give them what you have. Which isn’t fancy grocery stores. It’s money. And time.

If I get home at 6, I have time to cook dinner for the family (cauliflower rice, salmon, peanut sauce, veg). If I get home at 7, 7:30, 8, and the kids need homework supervised and the stove’s broken and everybody’s hangry GUESS WHAT WE’RE GOING TO KFC, because I can feed five people meat, potatoes and vegetables for $15 and sometimes you solve the problems in front of you.

These things aren’t inherent virtues. I’m not, like, a better person because I can afford to cook for my kid; I’m just lucky. This stuff is math and physics. Give people money and the time money buys, the leisure and mental room to cook and portion and prep (the “leisure” which was once upon a time referred to as “all the stuff mom did” for middle class kids when she didn’t have to work two jobs to pay her student loans), and they’ll eat healthy. Okay, maybe not AS healthy as our cheftepreneurs would like them to, since sometimes you just want some goddamn potato chips, but this isn’t a case of “if only there was a Whole Foods here nobody would have diabetes.”

This is a case of money buys less and less, and wages aren’t going up. This is a case of God forbid you need food assistance, which has been nickel-and-dimed all to shit by people worried about what the poor will buy for their children, and which of course you CAN use to buy oranges and apples, or, like, an entire week’s worth of cereal for the same price. Poor people aren’t idiots and they make the choices in front of them because that’s what we all do.

Food deserts aren’t just created by not having grocery stores. They’re created by the people in them not having any money to spend on food, having to make short-term choices in the little time poverty affords. It’s the people who’ve been deserted, not the landscape, and the problem isn’t getting solved by looking at a map and finding a vacant plot of land on which to plant a Wegman’s.

A.

The First Casualty

There’s an ongoing debate as to who coined the phrase “the first casualty of war is the truth.” Some credit California Senator Hiram Johnson who said something along the same lines in 1917. He was a progressive Republican, which was not an oxymoron in his case. He was TR’s running mate in 1912 on the Bull Moose ticket.

Others believe that the Greek tragedian Aeschylus coined the phrase. This one-two punch makes it win-win for me as a Greek American who grew up in California. Yay, Team Adrastos.

In either case, the phrase deserves to be in the pantheon of quotes as whatever this thing with Iran is evolves into. The most mendacious administration* in American history is focusing its talent for lying on the Iran crisis. Suddenly, some of Trump’s harshest critics believe his most extreme statements on this subject. Do they think he wouldn’t lie about this? If so, why? Here’s the warning I posted on the Tweeter Tube:

President* Pennywise has threatened to bomb 52 targets in Iran in twisted homage to the Americans held hostage in 1979-80. While it *is* an event that Trump has heard of, I doubt he can count that high. Hopefully, the military won’t screw up again by presenting him with another extreme option:

Pentagon officials usually include a far-out option when they present possibilities to the president in order to make the others seem less extreme. The other options presented to Trump in Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach resort, included strikes against Iranian ships or missile facilities or militias backed by Iran that are operating in Iraq. “The Pentagon also tacked on the choice of targeting General Suleimani, mainly to make other options seem reasonable,” reports the Times.

That’s okay with a rational leader but not with a mentally ill president who is eager to distract attention from his impeachment. It’s either dog wagging or dick waving. It could be both: he’s eager to offend. That’s why I call him the Impeached Insult Comedian.

The next time Trump tweets out some batshit crazy threat, give the Morton Salt girl a holler:

It’s currently pouring Trump regime lies and bullshit. Take everything they say with a massive grain of salt. That goes for the Iranian government: they’re contenders in the Liar’s War as well.

There are unconfirmed but plausible reports of Iranian Americans being detained at the border and airports. What’s next? An embargo on the upcoming season of The Shahs Of Sunset? Reza and I object:

The reason I’m making light of the current situation is my belief that mockery is the best medicine. Besides, we still haven’t the foggiest notion of what course this crisis will take. The Iranian regime is as ruthless and violent as that of Saddam Hussein BUT they’re infinitely more sophisticated. Hopefully, they’re too clever to provoke a land war. That statement comes with an enormous caveat: the Middle East is where prediction go to die. That coupled with Trump’s lack of impulse control makes it almost impossible to predict what happens next. You might as well ask the Morton Salt girl. She knows as much as the next pundit…

All I know for certain is that the first casualty of war is the truth.

Let’s close things out on a semi-optimistic note. The last word goes to the Police:

Lagniappe Catblogging: Twelfth Night/Gotcha Day

I had an epiphany this morning and realized it’s Twelfth Night. Just kidding. I knew that already. Saints fans are drowning their sorrows with King Cake after yesterday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Oh well, what the hell can ya do? Not a damn thing.

In addition to kicking off the Carnival season, Twelfth Night is also Paul Drake’s Gotcha Day. We adopted the mischievous bugger in 2018. Here’s PD’s adoption day picture with Dr. A:

He’s a lucky cat and I’m a lucky man.

Are you ready for some lagniappe lagniappe catblogging? Dennie the Den of Muses Cat has retired from her duties. She’s living at home with her human. Here’s a blast from the past of Dennie with the Spank flag:

The last word goes to Al “Carnival Time” Johnson:

 

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – cofefe and yeggs edition

Ah – I remember so well the righteous indignation of the Freeperati when this news broke:

Oklahoma police officer gets a Starbucks cup labeled ‘Pig’
NY Post ^ | November 29, 2019 | 3:34am | Joe Tacopino

Posted on 11/29/2019, 7:31:53 AM by conservative98

A police officer in Oklahoma was dismayed when he bought a coffee at the local Starbucks on Thanksgiving and noticed the name on the label was “Pig.”

The chief of police the Kiefer, Okla. said one of his officers trekked to Starbucks to get some java for a dispatcher when he received the insulting label.

“What irks me is the absolute and total disrespect for a police officer who, instead of being home with family and enjoying a meal and a football game, is patrolling his little town,” Chief Johnny O’Mara said in a Facebook post that included an image of the “Pig” coffee cup.

1 posted on 11/29/2019, 7:31:53 AM by conservative98
Go get him, boys!
To: conservative98

 

I would FIRE this whole group of employees IF I could not get the truth of WHO did it.

I would make sure that his/her personnel record PERMANENTLY reflected that behavior. In a small town, getting another job with that resume will be tough.

The next thing I would do is buy a coffee maker for the police station along with a few cans of good coffee grounds.

87 posted on 11/29/2019, 11:02:15 AM by ridesthemiles

Yeah!!

To: conservative98
It would be A SHAME if some police emergency happened at Starbuck’s, and no cops showed up. Just Sayin’.

45 posted on 11/29/2019, 8:47:26 AM by ZOOKER (Until further notice the /s is implied…)
Even better!!
To: conservative98

 

The Chief should announce that if the police are not welcome there, then the police will not enter the store for ANY reason…attention thieves

9 posted on 11/29/2019, 7:41:27 AM by Rumplemeyer (The GOP should stand its ground – and fix Bayonets)

TrumpCopCoffee
And then…

Kansas officer faked story of expletive on Starbucks cup Chanel 9 News ^ | 1 Jan 2020 | Staff Posted on 1/1/2020, 4:25:16 PM by BlackVeil

A Kansas police officer has resigned after he admitted to making up a story that a McDonald’s employee wrote an expletive and the word “pig” on a coffee cup, the police chief announced Monday. …

1 posted on 1/1/2020, 4:25:16 PM by BlackVeil
Ruh Roh.
.
Who is to blame here?
To: Red Badger

 

It has metastasized:

This need to cast onesself(sic) as VICTIM.

Long in the ghetto, that new, weird ambition has infected cops.

6 posted on 12/31/2019, 8:34:20 AM by gaijin

To: BlackVeil

 

Eventually, everyone else learns this crap from the homos.

3 posted on 1/1/2020, 4:27:57 PM by fwdude (Poverty is nearly always a mindset, which canÂ’t be cured by cash.)

.
That was easy.
.
More embarrassed rationalization after the cream and sugar.

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Okay. We Gotta Do This Again.

Fine. FINE, fuckers.

God, this is exhausting, at least with Vietnam they bothered to lie convincingly.

But if we gotta do this again, we gotta do it again. Like I said on Tuesday night, bite down on a stick and get ready to play hurt because that’s all we ever do. The Iraq war was a series of fights against not only the horrific GOP but the shitsack spineless Democrats who thought the only way to escape Republican wrath was to give Republicans literally anything they wanted. SPOILER ALERT IT DIDN’T WORK SO GOOD.

I’d like to think the Dems learned something, but one of my resolutions from like eleventy-fuck years ago was to stop deluding myself. They ain’t learned shit. They’ve spent the last two days online and on TV hedging their bets like “I’m glad this bad guy is dead BUT” instead of saying something along the lines of I DON’T CARE WHO THE DEAD GUY WAS THE PRESIDENT IS DONALD TRUMP AND WE’RE IMPEACHING HIM RIGHT NOW FOR BEING TOO DUMB NOT TO CONFESS TO CRIMES ON TV.

I sympathize, somewhat, in that carrying out ill-thought-out assassinations, nominating frathouse rapists to the courts, deporting anything that bugs him, and being a racist prick were pretty much explicitly what Trump ran for president on, so how dare we like, act surprised by literally anything. But it’s not acting surprised to say something other than what every Democratic senator besides Russ Feingold said in 2002 which was “I promise I will be very good, sir, and I trust you not to hit me.” That our national original sin is baked into our Constitution doesn’t make it okay if we continue to sin; there’s a reason confessions end with the exhortation to go forth and knocketh that shit right the fuck off. The lack of will to end shit in 2004 doesn’t make anything happening now okay.

It just means we have to have the same fight again. Fine. We’ll have it again. Disillusionment isn’t an excuse for apathy; if we know we can’t stop it, if we even doubt our ability to slow it down, then at the very least we aren’t starting from zero this time.

We know now that debunking lies is useless and even pointing them out is pointless and the only thing that works is changing the subject. Voting the fuckers out. Registering new Democratic voters, getting the ones we have to show up in November and in every local election from now until then and riding for whatever pathetic half-a-loaf compromise bullshit the Dems nominate as if that person is the second coming of Christ Jesus because we know from bitter experience that’s the only way out of this mess. I will be at every protest just like I have been since this shit started but at least now we know there’s no way out but through.

fightemtilwecan't

A.

 

Saturday Odds & Sods: So It Goes

Spellbound set design by Salvador Dali.

Carnival and Paul Drake’s gotcha day loom. We adopted the dear boy on Twelfth Night in 2018. I guess that means we must consume King Cake on Monday. Poor us.

I said all I have to say about the latest mess in Mesopotamia yesterday. Suffice it to say that I don’t think it’s an Archduke Ferdinand moment but it’s some serious shit,

This week’s theme song was written in 1976 by Nick Lowe for his kinda sorta solo album Jesus Of Cool, which was released in America as Pure Pop For Now People. I said kinda sorta solo album because it featured Nick’s band Rockpile on all the tracks. More about them later.

We have two versions of So It Goes for your listening pleasure: the original studio recording and a live medley with Heart In The City.

Both Nick Lowe and I picked up the phrase “so it goes” from Kurt Vonnegut. So it goes.

Before jumping to the break another Rockpile tune. This time the guys are backing up Nick’s then wife Carlene Carter:

Now that we’ve got all that crying out of our systems, let’s dry our eyes and jump to the break.

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Fools Rush In

American presidents have a fatal attraction to the Middle East; hence the blurry featured image from 1979. It happened again last night. The Kaiser of Chaos ordered a hit on the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ commander, Qassim Suleimani. Making the act twice as provocative is that it happened at Baghdad International Airport. Remember Iraq and the mess in Mesopotamia? This is some serious shit.

The phrase fools rush in comes to mind, which is confirmed by this quote in the NYT:

In killing General Suleimani, Mr. Trump took an action that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had rejected, fearing it would lead to war between the United States and Iran.

While many Republicans said that the president had been justified in the attack, Mr. Trump’s most significant use of military force to date, critics of his Iran policy called the strike a reckless unilateral escalation that could have drastic and unforeseen consequences that could ripple violently throughout the Middle East.

It was an action too reckless for the Bush-Cheney administration. Let that sink in for a moment.

It came shortly after off the cuff remarks by the Impeached Insult Comedian at his Florida clip joint:

“I don’t think that would be a good idea for Iran. It wouldn’t last very long,” Mr. Trump said. “Do I want to? No. I want to have peace. I like peace.”

Glad to hear that, Donald. It would be better if you didn’t oscillate wildly from dove to hawk and back again. Clarity in foreign policy is imperative; something the Trump regime is incapable of.

Trump’s comments remind me of the “light at the end of the tunnel” statements issued during the Vietnam War and Dick Cheney’s assertion that the Iraq War would be a “cakewalk.” We all know how those conflicts turned out: there was no cakewalk and the light at the end of the tunnel was a train that ran us over.

I suspect that President* Pennywise has convinced himself that this is like the Al-Baghdadi and Bin-Laden hits. It is not. This is an assassination of a senior governmental official whose business included state sponsored terrorism. Such an action requires Congressional approval:

It’s apt to be an unconventional war. The retaliatory weapons are likely to be old-fashioned terrorist attacks as well as new-fangled cyber warfare. We’re unlikely to invade Iran but this is bound to get ugly and chaotic. This is some serious shit.

The problem with three years of incessant lying is that more than half the public will not believe anything this administration says about this situation. They’re likely to pour gas on the fire and make things worse. It’s what they do.

The traditional “rally around the flag” reaction will not happen this time around. We’ve been deceived once too often. Believe nothing, trust no one.

Coming in the midst of a presidential impeachment, this action is inherently suspect. It’s unclear if we should label it a “wag the dog” or a “wave the dick” moment. What it is is foolish as is current Iran policy, which is based on the notion that anything Obama and Kerry did was wrong. We’ve gone from our best relations with Iran since the demise of the Shah to this fucking mess. This is some serious shit.

I almost called this post This Is Some Serious Shit because it is. I opted instead to use an old Johnny Mercer-Rube Bloom song whose full title is Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread). The last word goes to Rick Nelson, Doris Day, and Frank Sinatra:

Friday Catblogging: Spicy Tomato Box Boy

Paul Drake doesn’t like to eat tomatoes unless cheese is involved. He does, however, like sitting on a box of RO-TEL tomatoes, which makes him a spicy tomato box boy.

The last word goes to the Jolly Boys:

Willard’s Political Hangover

One of my first posts last year was The Wind Cries Willard. A year later, I still have Willard Mittbot Romney on my mind and he still has President* Pennywise on his. If he so chooses, he will be one of the biggest players in the upcoming impeachment trial. The problem is that the Mittbot is programmed for political caution.

Romney is under pressure to do something, anything major on the impeachment front. Here’s what the Salt Lake Tribune had to say about his prospective role:

Romney has been a rare bird among Republicans, being sometimes willing to criticize the president over specific actions and utterances, not just during the 2016 campaign but since the administration took office. In the current unpleasantness, he has at least tried to hold himself out as an impartial juror, attempting to not prejudge the matter before the evidence has been heard.

It would thus be helpful to his own cause if Romney could muster whatever influence he has to make sure that the Senate does, indeed, hear the evidence.

While the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote to actually remove a president, a mere 51-member majority can make the rules for the proceedings. If all 47 Democrats, and their two allied independents, stick together, the vote of Romney and two other Republicans could force a process where not only the evidence gathered in the House process is placed on the record, but documents so far withheld and witnesses thus far silenced are seen and heard.

If nothing else, such action will expose as a lie the protests of the president that he has not had the benefit of full due process, when it is the president himself who had blocked so much necessary information and so many knowledgeable witnesses.

Romney is, of course, perfectly positioned to play such a role: Trump is unpopular in Utah. It may be a red state, but the Mormon church opposes his xenophobic immigration policies. They view immigrants as souls to be harvested. The Mormon style stresses personal modesty, which is alien to the Impeached Insult Comedian. It’s no surprise that two of the GOPers willing to criticize Trump are Mormons: Romney and Jeff Flake.

Romney is as popular in Utah as Trump is unpopular. Beehive Staters felt honored that he ran for the Senate in 2018. He’s descended from a long line of LDS elders as well as the man who “rescued” the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. He came perilously close to being the first LDS POTUS in 2012. He has the status and stature to become a hero in 2020. What he’s lacking is the temperament. He’s a cautious motherfucker whose political style is best summed up by a cartoon I’ve posted twice before:

I feel another movie analogy coming on. Willard Mittbot Romney has something important in common with the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, he lacks the nerve to be bold:

Willard *could* once again be the King of the Republican forest if he summons forth the nerve to be bold. It took a medal from the Wizard for the Cowardly Lion to be a hero, not a pussy.

What will take for the Mittbot to stand up to the pussy-grabber-in-chief? Perhaps a similar editorial from the Deseret News, which is the organ of the Mormon church. Otherwise, it beats the hell outta me. I’ve overestimated the man who wanted to be the first robot president before and am reluctant to do so again. Stay tuned.

I nearly called this post The Wind Cries Willard Too. It’s a minor classic, after all. It struck me as equally funny to call it Willard’s Political Hangover since the Mittbot is programmed to be a teetotaler. Besides, it aptly describes his status on the national political stage: he’s under extreme pressure to act, which would drive lesser mortals to drink. In his case, inaction speaks louder than words. It’s time to stop blowing with the wind and have the nerve to act.

The last word goes to Squeeze:

America’s Gaslighters

gaslight_trump_rudy_barr

Happy New Year! And why not ring in the new with bugfuck insanity? It was what, barely a month ago when Trump was giving Rudy the who-is-this-Michael-Cohen-of-whom-you-speak? treatment and buses everywhere were being prepped for Ghouliani to be found underneath…minus Rudy’s insurance policy, whatever that was…

Or, what the hell, maybe he does have something, since he’s apparently back in the circle for however long enough, along with twin goons Lev and Igor and whoever else…and they’re all going to insist that we’re the ones with the problem, we’re the ones who support corruption, we’re the ones up to our necks and beyond in Russia or Ukraine…and who are we going to believe? Them or our lying eyes?

This year’s going to be interesting, and not always in a good way.

Oh, and forget about the media doing its job. Two words: Chuck. Todd.

Welcome to the future.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Cornbread Aristocrat

Many Southerners eat cabbage, black-eyed peas, and cornbread for luck on New Year’s Day. The same may be true of the title character in this book. You never can tell.

Speaking of cornbread, here’s a musical selection by my friend David Bankston:

This Will Be Our Year?

I don’t have a hangover but something about New Year’s Day makes one move as slowly as a dial-up internet connection . We had an early supper with some friends, then hung out at home as the fireworks and the odd gun shot went off. My neighborhood was positively sulphuric, which did not amuse Paul Drake. He’s not terrified of loud noises but isn’t crazy about them either. Who can blame him?

I’ve been in the mood for old movies of late. We saw Shadow of a Doubt the other day, which is best described as Hitchcock Americana. It’s a great movie because of its likable villain: Joseph Cotten as Uncle Charlie.

Last night’s viewing featured an unlikable, sociopathic villain: Robert Mitchum as Max Cady in the original Cape Fear. I’m still unclear as to why Martin Scorsese decided to re-make it in 1991. DeNiro and Nolte were unable to match, let alone surpass, Mitchum and Peck. It always amuses me to see Peck turn into a vigilante to rid his life of his hulking stalker. A bonus is the presence of Maybe Cousin Telly Savalas as a shamus with hair no less.

I almost compared Max Cady to the Impeached Insult Comedian who is a combination national nightmare and stalker. Cady, however, is a smart bastard and Trump is as dumb as dirt and twice as ignorant. We need a few more Gregory Pecks to rise against him and expel him from office. He has a death grip on the GOP similar to this headlock at the end of Cape Fear:

Everyone should remember that Trump wants us rattled and fearful. He feeds off the fear like Stephen King’s evil clown in It. That’s why I call him President* Pennwyise. Fuck him.

2019 was a terrible year for some of my friends. I’ve written about the Homans at the Bayou Brief. My friend Kyle of Little Buddy fame lost both his parents in rapid succession last year. It was a rough ride but he posted some hopeful song lyrics today, which inspired the post title albeit with a question mark:

“You don’t have to worry. All your worried days are gone. This will be our year. Took a long time to come.”

The song in question comes from the Zombies classic 1968 album, Odessey and Oracle. They get the last word:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: New Year With Guy Lombardo

I’m on the record as hating New Years Eve. It’s over as is the Decayed Decade. But it’s Wednesday so I made a seasonal selection. I still, however, refuse to wear a silly party hat. They look ridiculous on my size 8 head.

Before there was Ryan Seacrest, Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, and drunk Don Lemon, there was Guy Lombardo. Hell, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve started as counter programming to Lombardo and his big band.

Here’s Lombardo’s final NYE performance:

Happy New Year from New Orleans. Hopefully, it will be a better year for all of us than 2019.

Happy New Year

This one was a motherfucker and next one’s gonna be worse.

Sorry. You here for consolation? Wrong shop, chief.

I wrote this in the wee hours of the morning after Trump’s election, and the fight was barely hours in coming, and we’ve been losing ever since, every day, on everything: Charlottesville, Kavanaugh, Gallagher, abortion, the ACA, the Muslim ban, the border camps, every single fucking day it’s another kick in the guts.

You tired? Anybody here fucking tired?

(We’re all so, so tired.)

They’re counting on us being tired.

Go get a B12 shot, take your stims with a shot of vodka, duct-tape the holes in your shoes. I have nothing to say to you that will make it easier. Bite down on a stick.

Buckle up, bitches. Land hard, roll left. Drink some coffee, pour some whiskey in it if you have to, strap on your knee brace and let’s fucking go.

A.

The Decayed Decade

There’s nothing like the end of a decade to inspire what I like to call Listomania. I succumbed to that temptation at the end of the aughties myself. I’m going to spare you another list after going on and on and on with the Best of Adrastos.

Instead of a list, I’m going to reflect on the downward national political trajectory of the Decayed Decade. I had forgotten that my 2009 list was called Listomania: The Decayed Decade so I’m repeating myself title-wise. Good wordplay is a terrible thing to waste.

The dawn of the 2010’s found us with a Democratic Congress and the first African American president in our history. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, which was a first step in the direction of universal health care. The combination of “death panels, socialized medicine” and racism led to the Tea Party backlash midterm election of 2010.

The 2010 election was just the first backlash against the social changes sweeping the country. It’s not much discussed in 2019 but it opened the door for Trumpism, which is teabaggery without any pretense to principle. The Tea Party wave election dumbed down Congress and brought birtherism to the forefront of the national dialogue, which was capitalized upon by rank opportunists such as the Insult Comedian. The Koch brothers found Trump distasteful, but they set the table for a president* with lousy manners. The Trump regime belches Koch policy preferences without so much as an excuse me:

The political scene got dumber and grosser as the Decayed Decade marched on. Things got so bad in the House of Representatives that Speaker Boner stepped aside in 2015 as he couldn’t control his caucus because of all the yahoos and proto-Trumpers. It’s revealing of our current circumstances than I feel nostalgic for the Cryin’ Ohioan. He at least told the truth as he saw it as opposed to the rank fantasists who currently control the Republican party.

Lies and conspiracy theories became increasingly popular on the right as the Decayed Decade advanced. Democrats and Republicans now live in alternate universes. This is as good a time as any to re-quote a great American:

I wrote about the avalanche of mendacity and bullshit that overwhelmed our political dialogue in a recent post, Sound of Lies. The teabaggers and birthers got the ball rolling, then Fox News and Donald Trump brought mendacity into the mainstream, which is now muddier and more stagnant than a backwater swamp. The word fetid comes to mind.

The backlash was perfected with the 2016 election. The least qualified candidate in American history was elected president* with the help of the Russians and an archaic electoral college system. We’ve had rich businessman candidates before-Wendell Wilkie and Ross Perot spring to mind-but they had longstanding interests in public policy. Wilkie in foreign policy and Perot in the budget deficit. They both brought something to the table: Trump brought nothing but his ego and hollow rhetoric about “the swamp” and “forgotten man.” Both of which he forgot about upon his inauguration.

I don’t have to tell you in detail about the Trump regime’s small-minded and vindictive parade of policy horrors. Suffice it to say they were cooked up by Republican extremists long before Trump was taken seriously as a potential Oval One. Trumpism is Republicanism gone haywire. Extremists such as Stephen Miller realized that Trump was an empty vessel ready to be filled with xenophobic and hateful notions that had been percolating on the far right forever.

The result of the Decayed Decade is a GOP unrecognizable to Eisenhower Republicans such as my late father. They’ve gone so far off the schneid that I believe that Ronald Reagan would find it impossible to vote for the Impeached Insult Comedian in 2020.

A reminder that Reagan was a moderate on immigration and anti-Russian to his core. Putin is a KGB colonel who runs the successor state to the Soviet Union. His goals are indistinguishable from those of pre-Gorbachev Soviet leaders: destruction of NATO and the EU as well as a passion to regain lost territories such as the jewel in the crown of the Russian Empire, Ukraine. It’s called irredentism and Putin has a bad case of it. And Trump has a bad case of loving Putin:

Now that I’ve bummed you out, there are two positive indicators that the Twenties will be better than the Decayed Decade. Images of flappers and Gamaliel are dancing through my head now. The 1920’s roared until they didn’t.

First, the 2018 midterms were a pointed rebuke to the GOP and Trumpism. If not for gerrymandering, the seat pickup would have been greater as Dems won the popular vote by 8 points. For point of reference, the Reagan landslide in 1980 was by the same margin.

Second, impeachment. It shows that Democrats have become battle hardened by three years of resisting Trumpsim. I still hope that some Senate GOPers will vote against the party line BUT impeachment was a major triumph for the resistance. House Democrats did the right thing regardless of the political implications, which I happen to think will be positive. Of course, I’ve been wrong before and will be again. At least I get to call the president* the Impeached Insult Comedian. Thanks, Nancy and Adam.

It’s a relief that the Decayed Decade is just about done. Here’s hoping that the 2020’s will be politically kinder to the country. Who knows: perhaps the Charleston and Lindy-hop will stage a comeback? You never can tell.

The last word goes to Roy Orbison and Squeeze with different tunes titled It’s Over:

Today on Tommy T’s obsession with NextDoor. com – barbarians at the gates edition

Well, people – since I’ve had about enough of Gladys Kravitz’s favourite site (NextDoor) and people who live in a town (Carrollton) that made the list of the safest cities in Texas  constantly complaining about “intruders”, so I decided to post the following in the Nob Hill NextDoor group :

ATTENTION! SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY!!!
Late last night (around 8:00) I noticed suspicious activity in my back alleyway. First, a probable coyote was walking along on the other side of my fenceline, obviously up to no good. If you ignore these vicious predators, they will form gangs and lurk on street corners.

Knowing this, I activated my Ring-a-ding-ding camera’s optional emergency alert system (connected to twin locomotive air horns) to frighten the probable coyote away. This worked, but less than a minute later, someone I didn’t recognize came sauntering down the alleyway calling out for his obvious fellow gang member, “Spot”.

Since the air horns need time to recharge from the air compressor, I called the Carrollton Police department. They took their own sweet time getting here, and approached the probable gang member just as the probable coyote came running to him and lept into his arms and either started eating or licking (lighting was bad) the gangster’s face.

The police started laughing – I assume at me, although I was safe in my fortified danger room monitoring this on the multiple monitors of my Ring-a-ding-ding system. I addressed them through the PA system speakers and demanded that both of these interlopers (obviously in league with each other) be either apprehended or put down immediately.

They replied that it was just a nearby neighbour out looking for his dog, and that Carrollton is one of the safest cities in Texas.

Obviously, the police have been infiltrated by the Deep State, and can no longer be trusted.

I’ll be redoubling my watch, and will be booby-trapping my back gate, garage door, and of course, my front door,

You can’t be too careful these days.

Sorry about no Freeperati post this week, but the lumbar radiculopathy thing has taken a turn for the worse, including a backwards fall off some porch steps. Nothing broken but my pride, but my contribution to the opioid epidemic has increased dramatically.

My contrast MRI is scheduled for Thursday, so hopefully the neurosurgeon will know which nerve roots to burn, and how deep, and do it bloody quick.

Also, “Best Of NextDoor” is now my fave Twitter destination.

And to close out – a real post from my NextDoor group :

Wait for it…..

This guy came by our house around 4:30 on Thursday. The guy was selling security systems. We have one of the city yard signs that warns solicitors about permits and to stay away, so my husband simply told the guy that he better read that sign, then closed the door.

Catastrophe narrowly averted!

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