Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – from bad to obverse edition

So – The Darnold decided to bomb the fuck out of Syria to distract everyone from the rolling clusterfuck that is his administration  avenge the dead babies.  What could have turned him from a “Crooked Hillary wants to get us in wars” isolationist/fuck NATO kinda guy into George Patton II? Advice from his Generals? Advice from his (heh) National Insecurity Council? His astrologer?

Funny you should ask.

Eric Trump: Ivanka Convinced President Trump to Strike Syria

Eric Trump: Ivanka Convinced President Trump to Strike Syria
pjmedia.com/thedailytelegraph ^ | 4/11/17 | Tyler O’Neil

Posted on ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎19‎:‎04‎ ‎PM by ColdOne

President Donald Trump’s 33-year-old son Eric told Britain’s The Daily Telegraph that his sister Ivanka, rather than her husband Jared Kushner, convinced the U.S. head of state to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles in retaliation for a sarin gas attack last week.

“Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence. I’m sure she said ‘listen, this is horrible stuff.’ My father will act in times like that,” Eric Trump told The Telegraph in an interview at the Trump Turnberry golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland.

“He also confirmed that President Trump’s decision to bomb a Syrian airbase … was influenced by the reaction of his sister Ivanka, who said she was ‘heartbroken and outraged’ by the atrocity,” the British paper reported.

1 posted on 4‎/‎11‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎19‎:‎04‎ ‎PM by ColdOne
Reactions?
To: ColdOne

 

She is the mother of 3 kids so bombs away.

2 posted on 4‎/‎11‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎20‎:‎46‎ ‎PM by BRL

To be fair, all moms have probably considered calling in an air strike on their kiddos at some point.
To: ColdOne

 

I hope she doesn’t ask him to give 3,504 weeks of maternity leave because single pregnant mothers break her heart 🙂

3 posted on 4‎/‎11‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎20‎:‎59‎ ‎PM by dp0622 (The only thing an upper crust cIonservative hates more than a liberal is a middle class conservative)

Can’t understand what’s keeping the “blood coming out of her whatever” remarks…
To: BRL

 

What’s going to happen when a world event coincides with her being in PMS

4 posted on 4‎/‎11‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎22‎:‎01‎ ‎PM by BRL

Right on schedule – and the third post after the OP, too.
To: BRL
What’s going to happen when a world event coincides with her being in PMS 

The Navy will launch 59 frying pans instead of cruise missiles?

10 posted on 4‎/‎11‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎26‎:‎39‎ ‎PM by 50mm
youguys
To: jimjohn

 

THis is pretty pathetic imo

13 posted on 4‎/‎11‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎28‎:‎02‎ ‎PM by ground_fog ( My God this was from today!)

To: Rebel2016
Ivanka, go back to NYC, leave military business to your dad. 

Agreed….and…..take your husband with you.

11 posted on 4‎/‎11‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎27‎:‎35‎ ‎PM by rockabyebaby (The next four years will be YUGE!)
To: ColdOne

 

Eric, just shut up. White House staffers do not disclose internal deliberations. You people need to climb the learning curve in a hurry.

17 posted on 4‎/‎11‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎30‎:‎19‎ ‎PM by colorado tanker

ThatShipHasSailed
To: ColdOne

 

Upset Ivanka and I’ll bomb you.
Trump’s new foreign policy?

22 posted on 4‎/‎11‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎36‎:‎55‎ ‎PM by VitacoreVision

Fortunately for humanity, she hasn’t toured either Korea yet.
It is a little strange that in a thread with so much Trump daughter hate, there’s not one iota of hate for the person who TOOK Ivanka’s PMS-laden advice.
Not one particle.
And now, the post of the thread!
To: ColdOne

 

I’m giving her a pass because of how good looking she is. If she was ugly, I’d be calling her Amy Carter by now.

25 posted on ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎38‎:‎42‎ ‎PM by Opinionated Blowhard (“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”)

Hold the rimshots!
Could last week have gotten any worse for the Freeperati? Read more and find out!

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Playin’ around in Playacar

As promised last week, pics of previous trips to the Iberostar Quetzal in Playa Del Carmen. Some pics from this trip next Monday,  then back to the depths of Hell  Free Republic.

IberostarBeachSide

 

IberostarJungle

 

495_0380

 

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More below the fold, if you like…

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Tiny Paper Wins Sweet Prize, Throws Raging Kegger

There’s nothing about this story I don’t love: 

Art Cullen, the 60-year-old editor of the Storm Lake Times, doesn’t bother with rinky-dink journalism contests. “I don’t need a wooden plaque or a piece of paper,” Cullen told the Erik Wemple Blog on Monday. That’s when he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing at the twice-weekly Storm Lake Times in Iowa. “They give you 15 grand. That’s worth it,” said Cullen.

So how’s Cullen and Co. spending the money? “We intend to put a jag on, then donate the rest of the money half to IFOIC and other local charities, probably all the other half to Catholic Charities to help resettle refugees in Storm Lake. After the bash, that means IFOIC gets $5 and the refugees get a Big Mac and fries,” writes Cullen in an email.

I have a feeling it’s going to be a bit more than that.

A.

Even For Politico This Is So Gross: Happy Easter!

This isn’t how God works: 

President Donald Trump has increasingly infused references to God into his prepared remarks — calling on God to bless all the world after launching strikes in Syria, asking God to bless the newest Supreme Court Justice, invoking the Lord to argue in favor of a war on opioids.

That … isn’t finding religion. It’s finding a sales pitch.

For, let us be clear, war, war and more war.

“I’ve always felt the need to pray,” Trump said in that late-January interview. “The office is so powerful that you need God even more because your decisions are no longer, ‘Gee I’m going to build a building in New York.’ … These are questions of massive, life-and-death.”

FAITH IS NOT FIRE INSURANCE. You do not get to torch the place and be like, “Well, I prayed about it.” This is why I find so much born-again rhetoric bankrupt. There’s no such thing as a clean slate.

“I believe the weight of the office that he now holds and the burden of responsibility that it carries is humbling him somewhat and causing him to acknowledge and admit his reliance on God,” said Darrell Scott, an Ohio pastor who has known Trump for six years and supported Trump’s campaign and served on his transition team.

FAITH IS ALSO NOT A BOOTY CALL. (Says the girl who frequently Sees Other Deities yet winds up outside church with a boombox over her head every December blaring O Come O Come Emanuel, but I’m me, and not the president, and I’ve never claimed to be anything but a sinner who does not expect forgiveness.)

The White House did not respond to questions about whether Trump has been attending church as president, and if he has, it has been without the knowledge of White House pool reporters.

Still, Trump’s frequent invocations of God in his remarks as of late are a change from both his past life as a businessman and his time on the campaign trail.

So he hasn’t been going to church (which, let’s be fair, no more makes you a Christian than pulling into the garage makes you a car), he’s pursued policies of war and suffering and exclusion (which actually SHOULD disqualify you from from the Flock), but he’s USING MOAR JESUS WORDS HERE ARE A THOUSAND POLITICO ANALYSIS THINGS.

I hate our political journalism right now.

A.

Even the Bald Eagles Have Fucking Had It with Trump

They’ve declared war on us: 

We’re used to seeing our national bird as a valiant hero in nature documentaries plucking salmon from pristine streams, on the back of every dollar bill in our wallets, or on pretty much every federal seal — from the NSA and the CIA to the office of the president. But in Dutch, especially in winter when it’s harder for them to catch fish, you can see eagles for what they really are: hardy, scrappy scavengers.

Turns out that when you live with a federal symbol up close and personal, day in and day out, it’s a little harder to think of them as majestic. Bald eagles show up in the local police blotter alongside reports of drunk fishermen passing out in the wrong bunk or taking off in someone else’s forklift.

My first morning in Dutch I went down to KUCB, the local TV and radio station, to ask people for their eagle stories. Before I’d gone off the air I was getting calls and texts. One man drove straight over to the station in his snowplow to catch me before I’d left the parking lot. Everyone in town has an eagle story, usually more than one.

Sixteen-year-old Ethan Iszler was walking back to school eating a piece of pepperoni pizza when an eagle came, seemingly from nowhere, and stole it right out of his hand.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding

Banjo and Glasses by Juan Gris.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. I’m not religious but I was raised Greek Orthodox. This year Greek Easter is the same day as what my most pious relative calls “American Easter.” My memories of Easter revolve around food: leg of lamb was always the main course at our house. I may not celebrate the holiday but I wish those of you who do well.

In Easter related news, it looks as if Team Trump is screwing up the annual White House Easter egg roll. It’s typically an East Wing thing but Melania lives in Manhattan and nobody else seems to be in charge. Holy symbolic ineptitude, Batman. I hear Harvey and Bugs Bunny are organizing a protest…

This week’s theme song is Nick Lowe’s best known and loved song, (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding. Nick himself is not madly in love with his most famous song:

“Everyone seems to know it. But it’s never been a hit, a hit song so to speak, on the charts,” says Lowe, reflecting on the song’s legacy. “It is really strange — and I don’t want to sound too, kinda, ‘wet’ — ‘cause when I hear it, it doesn’t really sort of sound like my song any more. I don’t feel hugely possessive about it.”

<SNIP>

“The song had a rather humorous birth,” he says. “It was written, initially, from the point of view of an old hippie who was still sticking to his guns and seeing his kind of followers all suddenly wearing pointy-toed shoes and drinking cocktails. … It’s like they had come to their senses, rediscovered alcohol and cocaine. … They were rather embarrassed that they’d ever been hippies … and thought the hippie thing rather funny.

“And he’s saying to them: ‘Well, you all think I’m an idiot. You’re sniggering now. But all I’m saying — and you can’t argue with this — is what’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?’”

I’m presenting three versions for your amusement. First, the 1974 original recorded with the pub-rock band, Brinsley Schwarz. Then the Elvis Costello rendition that put the tune on the map; it was produced by Nick. Finally, the way I like it best: a solo acoustic version by the songwriter himself.

One thing that *is* funny about Nick Lowe is that his hair is still awesome. I should hate him for that but I’m trying to be a bigger man. I am, however, fuming over the injustice of it all right now. It’s best to insert a break at this point while I take a deep breath.

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Remember the 32

I was working the newsroom this week, when my wife sent me a photo with the caption, “Who are these people?” It turned out to be a “Save the Date” card from two of my former students who found love while finishing off their degrees here.

The editor in chief of the paper poked her head over my shoulder and asked what was up.

“I just got a Save the Date card from Ashley and Isaac,” I explained.

She had a blank stare on her face.

“You were here when Isaac was the managing editor, weren’t you?”

Again, a total blank stare. It was at that point it dawned on me that although the kid I was speaking with was 22 and ready to graduate, even she wasn’t old enough to remember a kid who was practically running the newsroom two years earlier.

I often joke that I have “grad-nesia,” an illness that blurs the lines among generations of students to the point where I swear someone just graduated last year while they’ve actually been out of school for half a decade. The truth, however, is a bit more complicated, in that the institutional memory of college institutions is tiny at best. “Back in the day,” for most of my staff was about 18 months ago. “A long time ago,” was two years.

Something that happened 10 years ago? It has the same social relevance of the Tea Pot Dome Scandal or the Bull Moose Party. Even if that event shook the entire nation to its core.

Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre. Student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 students and faculty on campus while wounding another 17 over a three-hour time period before ending his own life. Even in that time of nascent social media, the pure insanity of the event exploded through digital channels and traditional media in a way that kept everyone in the country linked into the devastation.

I had a personal interest in that shooting, as I was pretty close with the general manager of the student newspaper out there. I also knew the editorial adviser. Our student media listserv was flying with questions and concerns for those folks. Both of them were named “Kelly” (one guy, one gal) which led to some “which one?” questions as we all tried to reach them. I finally got a hold of female Kelly and she told me she was safe, things were crazy and her staff was working, so she was probably going to be off the grid for quite some time. At that point, I was able to breathe again.

As my staff watched from safety 1,000 miles away, none of us knew what to do. Our EIC suggested we send pizza, so we did. It was a typical college-kid move, but we weren’t the only ones to think, “Hey, maybe they’re hungry.” Professional and collegiate news staffs from all over the country did similar things to the point where the staff of the Collegian had to ask, “Hey, guys, we appreciate this, but could you stop now?”

The student paper did some incredible work over that amount of time, including obituaries for each of the 32 victims of the shootings. I remember watching male Kelly give a speech on this less than a year later at a journalism convention. He explained that most of his staff was comprised of cub reporters and non-journalism folk. The university didn’t have a journalism feeder program, so this was truly an extra-curricular endeavor for most of them. If the newsroom he had was anything like some of the ones I’ve worked with, you had a handful of kids who had a passion for journalism, a group of folks who were told at one point they were good writers so they showed up to write and a bunch of students who came for the access to sporting events and concerts and to write columns about what they thought was important.

None of them was ready for this. Nor should they have been.

The thing that I remember most about Kelly’s speech was that he talked about gathering his staff and explaining how the newspaper was going to handle the situation on obituaries. The first question a kid raised is the most obvious one: “Nobody is going to want to talk to us. How are we supposed to do this?”

Kelly’s answer is one I use to this day: You might be right. People might not want to talk to you, but you don’t have the right to take that choice away from them. You approach them respectfully and you offer them the chance to speak. If they decline, you express gratitude and you leave. But don’t take away their chance because you’re afraid.

In the end, those obituaries were stocked with sources and stories that captured the essence of 32 people who never made it past April 16, 2007 and propelled the paper to a Pacemaker Award and national prominence.

I have to admit that 10 years have put this story to the back of my mind as well. The year after the Virginia Tech shooting, the Northern Illinois Shooting happened and that one struck a little closer to home. I had interviewed there for a job at one point and many years before, my grandfather had been in the police department in DeKalb, the city surrounding the university. After that, we seemed to be stockpiling shootings and disasters to the point that “Virginia Tech” became less of a euphemism than it once had been.

I also have to admit, it’s easy for things on a university campus to wash away quickly. My first year in Indiana, we had a student get shot and killed by a cop. The name of Michael McKinney was everywhere for more than a year. We covered that story from the shooting through the civil suit and there wasn’t a student alive on that campus who didn’t know that story.

Fast forward to the fifth-year anniversary of the shooting and I told my editor we needed to do the anniversary story on the McKinney shooting.

I got the same blank look my EIC gave me just this week: “Who?”

As far as most schools are concerned, the short-attention-span theater is a blessing in disguise. When horrific things happen in some cities and towns, family members still live there and those moments of pain become imbued in the fabric of the society. Events of agony live on from generation to generation. In the case of colleges, four years can wash away pretty much everyone in the student base who knew what happened. The memories fade to rumor and history.

In the case of the Virginia Tech Shooting, the students there are refusing to let the memory of those 32 people go unnoticed this year. Several cadets are asking that the new residence hall be named for Matthew LaPorte, a sophomore ROTC member who gave is own life to save countless others when the shooter broke through LaPorte’s classroom barricade. The staff of the newspaper published a special edition titled “We Remember 32,” which is complete with a set of 32 stories of the 32 people who died that day. An online version is available here as well.

It’s hard to remember and easy to forget.

But some things need, even if painful, need to be commemorated.

Friday Catblogging: Bookish Cat

It’s time for another Della in a box picture. I believe my copy of Michael Tisserand’s Krazy came in this Barnes & Noble box. Della Street, however, is more of an Ignatz than a Krazy. It’s why we don’t let her near bricks.

Trump: A Feature, Not A Bug

reagan_stained_glass_trump_adam

Rick Perlstein notes notwithstanding the tendency of historians to paint the conservative movement in pastel colors, Trump-style bigotry and hate has always been a pretty generous side if not main course:

The professional guardians of America’s past, in short, had made a mistake. We advanced a narrative of the American right that was far too constricted to anticipate the rise of a man like Trump.

A few historians have provocatively followed a different intellectual path, avoiding both the bloodlessness of the new social historians and the psychologizing condescension of the old Hofstadter school. Foremost among them is Leo Ribuffo, a professor at George Washington University… Ribuffo argued that America’s anti-liberal traditions were far more deeply rooted in the past, and far angrier, than most historians would acknowledge, citing a long list of examples from “regional suspicions of various metropolitan centers and the snobs who lived there” to “white racism institutionalized in slavery and segregation.”

Saint Ronaldus himself, despite his alleged geniality, wasn’t above rhetorical if not actual calls for bloodbaths; if I remember right, he also had a callous, tone-deaf reaction to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. Trump is the merely the distilled essence…the preferred flavor for, goddamn, people who I guess thought George W. Bush was OK, but a little too sophisticated and nuanced. They fervently believe Trump will crack skulls, or at the very least, speak for and to those who’ve decided that what is fundamental — in more ways than one — is “hating liberals, hating Obama, hating abortion and hating same-sex marriage.” And a hating lot of other things.

Fortunately for us, Trump will likely disappoint them. Aside from turning the executive branch into grifter’s paradise for the .01 percent, the administration can’t organize an Easter Egg roll. But…they can still do significant damage…so they still need to be opposed, not ignored and not appeased.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Eunuch Of Stamboul

This post was inspired by the Pulp Librarian’s Twitter feed. I’d never heard of The Eunuch Of Stamboul before. It turns out to have been a wildly successful thriller that has been reprinted many times hence all the swell covers below.

That was a hardback edition. Let’s move on to the paperbacks but first it’s time to don a fez:

The book was made into a movie in 1936. They changed the title and made it less eunuch:

I’ve never seen the movie but I’m interested because I love James Mason and Valerie Hobson. I couldn’t find a trailer but one cover has given me a benign earworm. Here it is:

 

The Americans Thread: He Was Nobody. We Were All Nobodies.

Thus spake Gabriel in a scene with Philip. Crossbreed is one of the best episodes in series history. It’s a perfect jumping off point for the rest of the season. The producers should immediately send a DVD of this episode to Emmy voters. It’s past time for Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell, and Frank Langella to win Emmys on the awards show I do not watch. The Oscars are bad enough even if this year’s ceremony had a boffo ending as did Crossbreed. OMFG as the kids say.

I wonder if I’m the only viewer whose favorite character is Gabriel. Crossbreed is very Gabriel-centric, which is why I enjoyed it so much. There’s even a major plot twist involving him but we’ll save that for after the break. Frankly, I don’t watch to spoil so much Langella deliciousness. See you on the other side.

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Gret Stet Grifter

Photograph via Louisiana Radio Network.

This began life as a malaka of the week post but I came up with a catchy title. It’s still about malakatude on the part of Louisiana Republican Lt. Gov Billy Nungesser. Since Nungesser is on the portly side, it’s tempting to call him our Chris Christie. The difference is that Christie is a smart asshole whereas Nungesser is an entitled dumbass. I’m not sure which is worse but, as former LSU basketball dad Bruce Hornsby would surely say, that’s just the way it is.

Our non-Louisiana readers might recall Nungesser in his capacity as Plaquemines Parish President during the BP Oil Spill. He spent a lot of time rubbishing President Obama and posturing for the press. Billy is a classic fake tough guy: he acts as if he’s self made when he was born on third base. His father was the longtime Gret Stet GOP chairman and helped grow that party from a cult to the dominant force in Louisiana politics. He also got his son out of more than a few tight scrapes. It’s the Louisiana way, y’all.

Nungesser was elected Lt. Gov in 2015. It was his second try at the largely ceremonial position. His primary responsibilities are tourism and the state museum system. That’s one reason he inserted himself into the white supremacist monuments controversy on the “let them be” side. In an effort to suck up to Gret Stet Trumpers, the fat fuck has even asked the Insult Comedian to intervene. Bite me, Billy. It’s a local issue, not a state or federal one. I thought y’all believed in states rights. Of course, Billy only believes in Billy.

In addition to showing off for the media, there’s always been a whiff of corruption surrounding Nungesser: from collusion with the Corps of Engineers and BP while publicly bashing them to rumors of cocaine use. I know one person who insists Billy was born with a silver coke spoon in his mouth so to speak. Additionally, many believe that he’s the real diaper fetishist, not David Vitter. That’s one reason why some call him Bordello Billy. Is any of that true? Beats the hell outta me but there’s often fire where there’s smoke. Besides, I like gossip. It’s the Adrastos way, y’all.

That brings me to a front page story by Jeff Adelson in yesterday’s New Orleans Advocate. One of Nungesser’s few duties is the care and feeding of the state museum system. As a professional spoiled brat, it’s impossible for Billy to not abuse his authority:

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser has been using a Lower Pontalba Building apartment and space in other state museum buildings in the French Quarter for his personal benefit and has engaged in a pattern of political interference with the agency’s operations, the Louisiana State Museum’s interim director said Monday while resigning in protest.

Nungesser’s interference includes attempting to override museum officials and board members who objected to plans to loan U.S. Sen. John Kennedy artworks for his office in Washington, D.C., and threatening to sell museum works of art on eBay to raise funds, said Tim Chester, a museum consultant who took the interim position in October.

“I have never encountered anything like this in the 40 years I’ve worked in the field, ever,” Chester said. “I’ve seen some pretty strange crap come down in museums, but this one takes the cake.”

It’s a classic pattern of malakatude involving the state owned Lower Pontalba and city owned Upper Pontalba buildings. They’re historic buildings located at Jackson Square and have often been involved in Gret Stet grifting. My former shop was in the Upper Pontalba and dealing with the French Market Corporation was no walk in the park. Believe me.

In classic grifter fashion, Billy blasted Mr. Chester and denied everything. It’s as if he said, “Hey, wait a minute Chester, you know I’m a peaceful man.” That would, of course, be a lie.

I hope Nungesser’s latest kerfuffle will inspire a serious investigation. There’s a lot of weird crap involving Billy and his minions:

Chester also alleged Nungesser has been interfering with the lengthy waiting list used to select new tenants for the much sought-after Pontalba apartments.

Chester said his resignation was driven by those issues as well as others, including demands from Nungesser’s staff for keys to the museum buildings so they could use them at their discretion, something that Chester said violated the museum’s security policies.

Another major issue was a request by Kennedy to take 14 pieces of art to Washington, D.C., that had been in his office in Baton Rouge while he was state treasurer, Chester said. Nungesser requested the loan of that artwork be approved, though Kennedy withdrew the request last week, Chester said.

Nungesser said the loan would have been a way to show off artwork that would otherwise be in warehouses. He said Chester’s reluctance to send the artwork to Washington stemmed from Kennedy’s senatorial campaign last year, which included attacks on the state’s public arts program.

John Neely Kennedy is, of course, a legendary phony and hypocrite. It’s probably why he and Billy get on so well: malakas of a feather flock together. The freshman Senator, however, is a smart asshole and will wiggle his way out of this mess like the worm he is.

As to Malaka Billy, avoiding responsibility is what he does best. He reminds me of Tim Holt’s entitled jerk character, George Minifer, in the great Orson Welles film The Magnificent Ambersons. George finally got his comeuppance. I hope Billy does too.

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Out Of Our Hands

My friend Kyle D. Drummer (not his real name but it should be) thinks the only downside of Yes’ admission to the RRHOF is the exclusion of founding lead guitarist Peter Banks. Since I’m partial to guys with that first name, I quite agree. Jon Anderson *did* mention Banks who died in 2013 in his rambling Jonnish acceptance speech. Jon believes in including the excluded.

In fact, Banks gave Yes its name but he was fired from the band in 1970 and replaced by Steve Howe. That makes him the Pete Ham of Yes since their breakthrough came with The Yes Album in 1971. So it goes.

Banks went on to a long  and somewhat checkered career as a journeyman guitarist. His first band after Yes was Flash who released three LPs  in 1972 and 1973. Out Of Our Hands was the third album and it had a swell cover by Hipgnosis:

That was the UK cover art. The US cover had a different coloration thereby proving that pastels are never passé:

Flash’s music was pretty darn good but they never caught a break. I guess that makes them a Flash in the pan. Btw, the band beat me to that pun: their first album was called Flash In The Can. After that groaner, here’s the whole consarn album:

Sean Spicer’s Odyssey From Gum Spice To Malaprop Spice

I planned to call this post Gum Spice Is Gassed. No, not the kind of gas they used at the Holocaust Centers. I was referring to the fact that dignity wraith Sean Spicer appears to be used up and spit out like the Orbit gum he crams in his gob. He’s gassed. He’s done.

Gum Spice’s meltdown Tuesday was the worst since Presidents have had press secretaries dating back to 1929. He made Ron Ziegler look like JFK’s crack spokesdude, Pierre Salinger. You’ve all heard Spicer’s inanely incoherent contortions on Assad, Hitler, and chemical weapons. Subsequent explanations have only made matters worse.

The only way Spicer survives in his job is if Trump gets stubborn over the calls for his spokesman’s pinhead. The Insult Comedian likes to do his own firing, thank you yery much, or as he would say very, very, very, very, very, very much. I do wish he would vary his verys…

If you get a chance to see Rachel Maddow’s Tuesday segment on the Spicer incident, it’s must see teevee. It turns out that Gum Spice has a hard time speaking the language, which is odd given his chosen profession: political flack. He fucks up names: he keeps calling the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Trumbull. His name is Turnbull. T-U-R-N-B-U-L-L. I wonder if there are any flash cards left over at the White House from the Reagan years: they helped Ronnie, why not Seannie? Spicer also has an eerie inability to pronounce the name of the dictator he’s denouncing: Bashar al-Assad.

Since Spicer cannot pronounce, he should renounce his title as Press Secretary. End of Jesse Jackson/Johnnie Cochran moment. Public speaking *is* hard but that’s what he does for a living. Spicer needs a new First Draft nickname as well. I’ve been calling him Gum Spice in honor of his gum habit and my post about it, Sean Spicer Can Lie and Chew Gum at the Same Time. It turns out that I got the lying part right, but when it comes to speaking he’s hopeless. That’s why I am giving him an alternate First Draft nickname, Malaprop Spice. It may be the reason he gets shitcanned: the Insult Comedian is in charge of malaprops in this administration*, thank you very, very, very much.

Every time I think Team Trump cannot be more incompetent, they top themselves. That’s what happens when an entire administration* wings it. I may not be a prophet (with or without honor) but I wrote a piece about Trump in December, 2015 entitled Winging It With The Insult Comedian:

Trump’s tendency to spout off and utter unfiltered bullshit is the most alarming thing about his candidacy, not his ideology. The Insult Comedian has no ideology: the only thing he believes in is himself and the roar of the crowd. The last thing a country with the world’s largest military needs is a guy who wings it as the Oval One. Impulse control is a very important quality for any President to have. The Insult Comedian has none, he’s like the kid who eats all his Halloween candy in one sitting and wonders why he’s puking his guts out.

I stand by my prediction in that post that this would blow up in Trump’s face. I certainly was off in my timing but it’s happening as I write. Between lies and incompetence, the Trump administration* has no credibility left. The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman argues that Trump has had five Syria policies and counting in the last two weeks. He’s absolutely right. It’s what happens when you’re winging it with the Insult Comedian.

Back to Malaprop Spice, the artist formerly known as Gum Spice. I almost feel sorry for him right now. Almost. He’s a beaten man. He’s licked…all over.

Rumor has it that the Trumpers want to hire Reagan’s White House spokesman, Larry Speakes, to replace the man who has gummed up the works. Speakes had the best name ever for someone in his position. He was never formally White House press secretary because Jim Brady continued to hold that title after being shot. Besides, it was more fun to call him White House spokesman, Larry Speakes.

The problem is that spokesman Speakes died in 2014. Perhaps Bannon, Jared, Ivanka, Kellyanne, and Reince can have a seance and bring back spokesman Speakes. I have spoken.

Repeat after me: if you cannot pronounce, you must renounce.

Everything Is An Enormous Pain in the Ass

It’s not just Obamaphones and poor people’s choice of TVs:

It’s that it takes six calls to the insurance company to get routine drugs approved. It’s that there are fees tacked onto everything for seemingly no reason at all. It’s that when you go on the website to make a doctor’s appointment they tell you to call, and the voicemail auto-answering thing tells you to go on the website and then hangs up on you. It’s that you have to swipe or insert or insert and swipe or WHATEVER to pay for stuff. Change your password to something else, but not that password, because we’re not going to tell you what the password requirements are until you’ve screwed them up.

It’s that there are half as many buses as there used to be, for twice as many people, and they don’t clean them as much so the ride to work every morning is gross. It’s that we’re told at every turn that we can’t have nice things, unless we’re super-rich, so most of us have almost-nice things that break constantly and require a roundabout with four customer service reps until we lose it and start screaming at the company on Twitter.

That’s for those of us who can afford to be on Twitter, have things at all, or be consumed with petty shit. The rest of us are sitting at the bus stop, having gotten up an hour early only to find the bus delayed by 30 minutes because it’s snowing, and the bus doesn’t go to the one ADA-compliant stop on the train so we have to roll the damn chair down the middle of the street in the snow because the city doesn’t shovel as much as it used to. Shortage of funds, you know. Can’t salt the sidewalks. Grrr. It’s doing everything the way you’re told — job, home, family — and life STILL being just this hard.

We transfer that anger at corporate bullshit to politicians, and we should, because they’re the ones allowing companies to charge more for doing less and call in the cops when someone says screw that. They’re the ones allocating resources from one place to another, and somehow where the resources end up is never where we think they’re gonna be, and it’s that their misdeeds are presented as happenstance for which there is no redress. Washington “is broken.” Our system “doesn’t work.”

Not that people made it that way and can unmake it, not that actions and laws and regulations and requirements can be made to protect consumers more than producers, but that it’s all fucked up and bullshit, as the kids say. Easier to turn your back on it in disgust. Easier to walk away.

A.

Wingnut Publisher Now Sad Publishing So Wingnutty

Another wingnut sees money to be made bemoaning the State of Things Today, and another company jumps to pay him money for it: 

During his 30 years in editing, Adam Bellow has handled some of the most controversial and notorious right-wing books of our era, including “The Bell Curve” by Charles Murray and Richard J. Herrnstein, Dinesh D’Souza’s “Illiberal Education” and David Brock’s “The Real Anita Hill.”

But last fall, in the middle of one of the most acrimonious and divisive presidential elections in American history, Mr. Bellow, 60, made a surprising pivot. He left his post as editorial director of Broadside, a conservative imprint at HarperCollins, and started a new imprint at St. Martin’s Press, where he plans to edit authors from across the political spectrum.

As a well-known neoconservative culture warrior, Mr. Bellow is an unlikely emissary for fostering bipartisan dialogue. He’s not softening his views, or renouncing the right-wing polemics he’s edited over the decades, some of which continue to kick up controversy. (Last month, Mr. Murray faced violent protests when he gave a speech at Middlebury College in Vermont.)

Instead, Mr. Bellow said he hoped to bring Democrats and Republicans together — or at least onto the same publishing list. “I saw an opportunity to get myself out of the box that I was in,” he said. “Both sides need to re-examine their assumptions, and I want to sponsor that process.”

Both sides need to re-examine their assumptions, even though I made shitloads of money on one side explicitly NOT examining any assumptions, but hey, at least I admit it!

Mr. Bellow played a role in widening the ideological divisions he now maintains he wants to bridge. At Broadside, which he founded in 2010, he edited partisan books by Donald Rumsfeld and Ted Cruz. He helped fuel the right’s attacks on Hillary Clinton as a corrupt career politician, with works like Daniel Halper’s “Clinton, Inc.” and Peter Schweizer’s “Clinton Cash.”

“I plead guilty,” he said. “If it’s true that our public culture has become overly polarized and people no longer argue in a respectful way with one another, I’m sure I had something to do with that.”

You know, I’m not so much mad at this guy as I am at the people who looked at his schtick and said, “Okay, let’s give him a giant pile of money to buy books with.”

This is the natural consequence of us constantly talking about “partisan politics” and America’s “political polarization” as if the state of us just happened, like the weather, as if we all just woke up one morning batshit crazy and full of rage at poor people’s grocery carts. The people who made us this way get to slither on out of the swamp they created and stocked with piranhas, clucking their tongues at how terrible it is to be here these days.

(See also Sykes, Charlie, and “talk radio is terrible now I’m done making money from wrecking Wisconsin.” I swear, every time some liberal approving retweets that asshole into my timeline I want to make them have holiday arguments with my relatives, who all think Charlie is just the shiznit because he helped bust up those dastardly public employee unions back in ’11. The north remembers, motherfucker.)

We have been sold this, for decades, sold a story of America that has never been remotely true, sold a story of selfishness and resentment and paralysis in the face of need, sold a story of government ineptitude and waste and abuse beginning in the 19goddamn30s when those commies wanted to put on plays with YOUR MONEY. We have been offered, night after night at our dinner tables, a meal of rotting meat and blighted potatoes and when some of us got hungry enough to eat it, NOW comes someone to tell us all it’s time to get healthy again?

Just spare me the paychecks written to these types, when I can throw a rock and hit a dozen writers and editors and publishers who have never been wrong about anything political in the last two decades, who are not morally bankrupt or punishingly stupid, who are working day jobs and night jobs to keep writing because there is no Big Publishing Money for being FUCKING RIGHT THE FIRST TIME AROUND.

If you want a job describing the wreckage these days, it seems you have to have had a hand on the detonator.

A.

Quote Of The Day: Rick Wakeman Edition

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I usually make fun of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’ve called it Jann Wenner’s favorite toy and the full Cleveland in the past. The latter was what Hunter Thompson called a dude in a leisure suit with white shoes.

This year I am oddly gratified by the induction of Yes. The RRHOF is always banging on about honoring innovation whilst ignoring prog rock and the most important prog band of all, Yes. They finally broke down and did it; in part thanks to teevee newser Steve Capus.

You’re probably asking yourself: where’s the damn quote? It comes from Rick Wakeman’s acceptance speech. It was really more of a stand-up routine wherein the classically trained keyboard player cracked several dirty jokes. This is my favorite passge:

I’d like to thank, apart from all the guys in Yes that I work with, my father, who played a massive part in my career. Like my family, we were all in the entertainment business. We generally were very, very poor. My father was an Elvis impersonator. But there wasn’t much call for that in 1947. [Laughter] He taught me a lot. I remember he sat me down once, he said, “Son,” he said, “Don’t go to any of those really cheap, dirty, nasty, sleazy strip clubs because if you do, you’ll see something you shouldn’t.” So, of course I went. And I saw my dad. [Laughter]

Take my Moog, please.

I hope that Rick’s raucous speech disproves the notion that Yes are a bunch of stuffed shirts. The only sad note of the evening was the absence of the late, great Chris Squire. Chris was the heart and soul of the band and the *only* member of every version of Yes from 1968 until his death in 2015. He might have tossed off a few wisecracks as well. Cheers, mate.

This post may only be of interest to N Todd, Tommy T, and a few of my friends but what can I say? I’m also happy for Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, Bev Bevan, and Richard Tandy of ELO. I hope it’s Tull time soon. The caption for that one will be: Take my flute, please. Ian Anderson is also a funny fellow.

The RRHOF ceremony debuts on HBO on April, 29 so all we have are audience shot videos. The sound is pretty darn good so they’re still worth posting:

Repeat after me: Take my Moog, please.

Now for the musical entries: their two biggest radio hits. Steve Howe ably fills in for Squire on Owner and Rush’s Geddy Lee on Roundabout:

Once more with feeling: Take my Moog, please.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Bannon Hammer edition

First they were all like :

Bannon Out of NSC? McMaster Prepares To Reorganize Foreign Policy Team
Zero Hedge ^ | Feb 23, 2017 | “Tyler Durden”

Posted on 2/25/2017, 1:13:55 PM by GoldenState_Rose

“…veterans of past administrations and members of Congress from both parties criticized the decision to put Mr. Bannon on the principals committee, saying that it risked injecting politics into national security. President George W. Bush’s senior adviser, Karl Rove, was generally kept out of sensitive national security meetings. Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, attended some national security meetings but was not given formal status.”

“As for Bannon, who may be cut from the NSC, Trump’s decision will be carefully watched as such a move would be potentially perceived as a relaxation of Bannon’s influence over Trump, a topic which has been of material focus for the press in recent weeks.”

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

Steve Bannon is the most important figure in our President’s inner circle. Truly one of our own.
1 posted on 2/25/2017, 1:13:55 PM by GoldenState_Rose
I couldn’t agree more.
Initial reactions were pretty predictable :
To: GoldenState_Rose

More F-ing fake news from Zero Hedge.

2 posted on 2/25/2017, 1:15:53 PM by catnipman ( Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)

To: GoldenState_Rose

More junk/fake news from the Ny Slimes being reborn as new junk/fake news:

(snip)

Zero News, takes warmed over Ny Slimes Fake news and makes it into Junk/Fake News.

7 posted on 2/25/2017, 1:19:53 PM by Grampa Dave (No country has a right to ship their poverty laden, killers, rapists & criminals to our/my country!!)
To: GoldenState_Rose

More fake news. Not one single comment from McMaster on Bannon.

35 posted on 2/25/2017, 2:15:23 PM by LS (“Castles Made of Sand, Fall in the Sea . . . Eventually” (Hendrix))

Groupthink doubleplus ungood.
And then – the Bannon Hammer comes down!

Bannon Removed From National Security Council Role in Shakeup [Link Only] Bloomberg [Link in Body] ^ | April 5, 2017 | Jennifer Jacobs Posted on 4/5/2017, 10:43:16 AM by C19fan

1 posted on 4/5/2017, 10:43:16 AM by C19fan
790dc-exploding_head
To: C19fan

Looks like Ivanka and Jarred are taking over.

2 posted on 4/5/2017, 10:45:38 AM by tennmountainman (“Prophet Mountainman” Predicter Of All Things RINO…for a small pittance)

To: C19fan

What does this mean? Did Mz Rice and the NSA have anything to do with this?

tinfoil full

Does Syria? Who did Bannon PO?

3 posted on 4/5/2017, 10:46:59 AM by BarbM (President Trump. (no tag line needed))

 More pissing and moaning after the thingy… Continue reading
Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Let’s Use Death in Syria to Obsess over Trump’s ‘Character’

For shit’s sake, this nonsense: 

Most of what President Trump has done and said in his brief time in office has bordered on squalid, incompetent or unbalanced. The bold moral clarity of his missile attack against a Syrian air base involved in chemical warfare deepens rather than resolves the mystery of the real character of this president.

He started his campaign calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers.

He thinks you can grab women by the pussy.

He wants to ban Muslim refugees from America based on their religion.

He has told you who he is, over and over and over. At this point even the guys from True Detective are like, “I think we have this figured out.”

I suspect that Trump had something like that deterrent effect in mind as he ordered the missile strikes shortly before he sat down with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Palm Beach to discuss the urgent threat to global stability presented by North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. It is much more difficult now for Kim Jong Un — and Xi — to dismiss Trump’s warnings as bluster.

They struck an airfield from which planes were flying again later. Trump spent a year on the trail promising to “bomb the shit” out of anyone who looked at him funny. I think Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping know exactly what they’re dealing with.

Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson know the Arab, Sunni-led regimes of the Middle East well. Unlike the anti-Muslim activists on Trump’s White House staff, they are well-positioned to fashion a Middle East policy that should recognize and respond to the real dangers that Iran and Syria pose, without letting their Sunni clients’ fears of, and paranoia about, Shiites lead the United States deeper into dangerous quagmires like the civil war in Yemen.

They’re only “well-positioned” in the sense that their offices are physically within shouting distance of Trump. They have the ability to craft a policy … I WOULD FUCKING HOPE SO, given they’re the secretaries of State and Defense. The problem isn’t that Trump had no one to write nice memos. The problem is that the asshole can’t read.

Perhaps Trump will come to see the wisdom in Charles de Gaulle’s adage that nations do not have friends. Instead, they have interests.

Perhaps I’ll suddenly become a DD cup and learn to make soufflés. All things are possible in Christ. More likely, the first time Trump’s asked about Charles de Gaulle, he’ll respond that de Gaulle is doing a splendid job for us and should be recognized for all his hard work, because it’s early days in this presidency and I don’t think they’re that far down in the flash card deck.

In his statement announcing the U.S. retaliatory assault on the airfield from which the chemical attack that killed at least 80 Syrian civilians was launched, Trump characteristically emphasized his personal revulsion and horror at the images of the gas attack.

But he also identified the “vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.” It is a clear commitment to principle that has been uncommon in his presidency.

And which does not mean dick without massive amounts of follow-up and a consistency that is beyond Trump, demonstrable if you have paid any attention to the candidacy and presidency that currently exists, instead of the one in your head.

A missile strike does not a policy or a worldview make. Giving this spasm of violence real meaning will depend on Trump showing a consistency, discipline and attention to detail that have been foreign to him in two-plus months in office.

He has instead publicly shown a blithe inability to care about the consequences of what he says and does. He has seemed content to say, tweet or do whatever pleases him at the moment, and let others clean up after him.

But presidents, like all humans, are the product of their experiences as well as the creature of the character they bring into office.

I spent 8 years of Bush’s presidency watching the national press try to convince the public that a deeply unintelligent human being would suddenly transform himself into Alexander Hamilton, and 8 years of the Obama administration watching the national press make a middle-of-the-road safe-as-houses moderate into the second coming of Eugene Debs. I didn’t think they had this much fiction still lurking in their souls.

I doubt that Trump will ever be the kind of person that many of us can admire. His blatant disregard for his monumental conflicts of interest — his surrender to greed, in other words — is too great for that. But if he can learn to let people who know what they are about be about it, there may be hope for him yet.

There isn’t any. Give it up. I’ve been saying this from like day three: Save as many as you can, for as long as you can, and fight them til you can’t. Don’t wait for help, don’t look for aid, don’t think anyone’s gonna come. Because if all Trump had to do was send out a few missiles and make a speech without falling on his keys for everybody to sigh with relief that we were “back to normal,” we’re not anywhere near normal at all.

A.

GMIOTM: Armageddon

Great moments in otherwise terrible movies:

A.