Thursday, February 27, 2020

Why I don't stroll down Fifth Avenue any more

Over on No More Mister Nice Blog this morning, I found blogger Steve M. speculating on what would happen if instead of Donald Trump, it was Bernie Sanders who shot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

Could we all please stop talking about shooting someone on Fifth Avenue? 

I know it's only a metaphor, but I live in New York, and every time I walk down Fifth Avenue it gives me the creeps. Why don't we give some other town a shot at Trump going berserk with a pistol in his hand?

How about Donald Trump shooting someone on East Wacker Drive in Chicago? Or Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles? Or California Street in San Francisco? Or Main Street in Columbus Indiana, Mike Pence's home town? 

Come to think of it, what if Donald Trump shot Mike Pence in the middle of Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, close to Mar e Lago? This would eliminate the need and subsequent embarrassment involved in firing the VP if we end up with a widespread Corona Virus epidemic, now that Pence is Trump's official Virus Czar. (It might also discourage some very wealthy people from joining the Mar e Lago club, so there's that.)

Or what if Bernie Sanders shot Donald Trump in the middle of Main Street in Burlington, Vermont, thus eliminating a lot of difficult decisions confronting undecided voters? 

Just speculating, of course. And you know that I'm only kidding.

But also, I'm not kidding. So, if there is still, anywhere in the White House, a grownup wandering the halls, maybe you could find a way to relieve Donald Trump of any firearm he happens to possess before he decides to test out his own theory.

Meanwhile, don't look for me on Fifth Avenue. I'll be on Madison. Or Lexington. Or Third. Or Broadway. And even so, I'll be looking over my shoulder.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Pope Donald I proffers papal indulgences. Drug cartel hippo poop pollutes hapless lake. Bloomberg’s Turbo-fib. Fate bites Senator Susan Collins’ butt. Plus 3 headlines to hope for.

Emotional support animal? I'll get to that  right after
Rob Blagojevich. So start reading

As Blago goes, so goes the nation. 

Oh look!  Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, now white haired and sporting a prison pallor after eight years in the jug, stood before the press showing all the remorse of a pit viper who had just bitten and swallowed a large and rather tasty rodent.

Blago had been sentenced to 14 years for corruptly trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat after Obama had been elected President. Donald Trump just pardoned him. Here are a few nuggets of — dare I call it “Blagovian” self pity? — from the middle of a New York Times story by Julie Bosman:
He described himself as a “freed political prisoner” and said he hoped “to turn an injustice into a justice.”And he spoke of his eight years in prison, the solitary nights behind “the iron door that can shut you in, a small window with bars on it, and a bunk bed.” 
“I slept on the top bunk,” Mr. Blagojevich recalled. “Often late at night I would look through that window and past those bars out into the night sky and I’d think of home, I’d think of my children, I’d think of Patti. Sometimes I could almost feel her near me,” he said.
Hey, as they say where I come from, if you do the crime, you do the time. But Blago had his time sliced in half thanks to the pardon from Trump, who lately has been flinging Presidential pardons around like the late John D. Rockefeller flung dimes. Among still other crooked recipients of Trumpian largesse were Bernie Kerik, New York’s crooked former police commissioner; and Michael R. Milliken, the former inside trader and junk bond impresario. One wonders if there’s any, umm, quid pro youknow involved. 

Some people think Trump is acting as if he thinks he’s the king. My own theory is, he’s way past that. Now he thinks he’s the Pope, and he’s handing out papal indulgences. Unless, of course, it turns out that he’s selling them, like Pope Leo X back in 1517. Hey, a buck’s a buck.

The good that men do dies with them. 
The evil pollutes lakes. 

A case of post-mortem pollution in point: the late Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar. He was, when he lived, prima facie proof that even a multi-millionaire (or perhaps billionaire) gangster needs an emotional support animal. Or in Escobar’s case, whole herds of them.

Perhaps Pablo’s most prominent support critters were his pet hippopotami, which he kept in a Columbian lake. For more on this I refer you to Jessica Leigh Hester’s article in Atlas Obscura, “Pablo Escobar’s Hippo Herd is Treating Colombia’s Lakes Like One Big Toilet.” Among the info you never thought you’d need or want to know, Hester’s article tells us:
The hippopotamus is native to sub-Saharan Africa and grazes on land but spends most of its life in water, and treats rivers and lakes as big toilets. Each year, a single hippo can dump more than 1,650 pounds of carbon and other nutrients into the water—and it does so mainly by pooping, says Jonathan Shurin, an ecologist at the University of California, San Diego.
Escobar is dead, but his rapidly multiplying herds of hippo are now polluting Colombia’s waterways. And there’s no end of this shit in sight.

Bloomberg’s Turbo fib. With the implicit suggestion that he was acting like Donald Trump, Michael Bloomberg was asked during Wednesday’s debate why it was taking him so long to release his taxes. Well, blubbered Bloomberg, his taxes are so terribly complex, you see, that you can’t just use Turbo Tax. No no, Mike. You don’t need Turbo Tax, or a team of accountants. These are tax returns that you’ve already filed with the IRS. All you need to make them public is a Xerox machine to photocopy the copies you were required to retain. Then hand out copies to the press. So cut the hippocrap.

Spineless Susan suffers serious setback in polls. After voting to affirm the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Senator Susan Collins (Republican) of Maine declared that her approval of the extreme right-wing, beer guzzling, accused girl molester demonstrated that she’s a “centerist.”

“I’m an important voice for the nation in an increasingly polarized environment,” she said. “There are so few members left in the center.”

Yeah, sure. Next this “in the center” Senator from Maine voted to acquit already-impeached Trump of his crimes and misdemeanors, declaring that he had learned his lesson. Right, and that lesson is, grab everything you can, from pussies to quid pro quos with both hands and bully the living bejesus out of anybody who stands in your way. However, even in rock-ribbed Republican Maine, voters aren’t buying Collins' act. Salon magazine reports
Collins is in a virtual tie with Maine Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, one of four Democrats running to face the GOP incumbent, according to a new Colby College poll first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Gideon leads the Democratic field in the poll by more than 50% and is the overwhelming favorite to face the Republican in November. 
The Colby College poll finds that 54% of Maine voters have an unfavorable opinion of Collins, compared to 42% who have a favorable opinion of the senator.
Admittedly, Collins has been caught in a sticky wicket. Had she voted against Trump, he quite likely would have reached out to punish her. My own philosophy is, if you’re going to get shot down, at least get shot down for being one of the good guys. Spineless Susan chose to stick with Trump. She may yet survive, I fear. If not, I’d advise her to lie very still while the bus rolls over her.

3 unlikely headlines to wish for:

World Methane Level Drops
As Trump is Rushed to Hospital With
His Rectum Krazy-Glued Shut

Mitch McConnell Refuses to Release
DNA Test Results After Rumors That
He is 25 Percent Galapagos Tortoise

Trump and Bloomberg Collapse of
Simultaneous Heart Attacks
During First Presidential Debate

Thursday, February 13, 2020

How to make a Trumpista laugh. How to get busted for kindness. And how to speak out of both sides of your mouth and be Attorney General at the same time.

Where CNN viewers prefer to find their humor vs. where Fox News
viewers find their favorite yacks. (Or, Bill Maher vs. the Three Stooges.)
Source: an e-mail from Ad Age Datacenter, dated Feb. 11, 2020.
Proof that America is broken in half. The trade newspaper Advertising Age recently reported on a new study conducted by a group called Inscape. The study reveals the comedy preferences of CNN viewers vs. Fox News Viewers. It’s terrifying. 

CNN viewers get their laughs from the likes of Bill Maher, John Oliver, Trevor Noah, and Samantha Bee. Meanwhile, the Fox news crowd slaps its knees at “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” Tom and Jerry cartoons, The Three Stooges, and Looney Toons, among the prime examples. It all somehow echoes a line from the "Network," movie written by Paddy Chayefsky.  "She learned about life from Bugs Bunny." Ditto, evidently, Trump followers and other aficionados of Fox News. 

Is there any overlap? Yeah, a little. Conanan and Jimmy Fallon draw significant numbers of fans from both crowds, as do a piddling puddle of others. See the Venn diagram above. Then, dig a very deep hole, climb in, and pull in the soil after you.

“Whosoever shall take pity and give food unto the poor, verily he shall be thrown in the slammer.” — City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sorry to get around to this a bit on the late side, but in case you missed it, I thought you ought to know that Fort Lauderdale solved the homeless problem. They've done it by outlawing anything that will help people who can no longer afford a roof over their heads to stay alive. In January, the city announced that people in its confines are restricted from activities that include food sharing and engaging in other “life sustaining activities.” 

The so-called “Right to Life” crowd has been curiously silent about this, even after the city busted a 90-year old man for leading a group of volunteers that handed out more than 100 plates of hot chicken stew, pasta, potatoes and fruit salad to homeless people. 
The volunteers are part of a Love Thy Neighbor charity. 

Next time somebody withholds birth control from his employees on the grounds of “freedom of religion” but acquiesces to jailing people daring to “love thy neighbor” by feeding the hungry, punch that damn hypocrite in the nose. 

The marvelous machinations of two-faced Mr. Barr. Hardly a blink and a hiccup after administration toady and Attorney General William P. Barr triggered the withdrawal of four prosecutors from the Roger Stone case by countermanding their recommendation that the convicted felon go to prison for seven to nine years, Barr rebuked the president. He claims that Trump pressured him to do it. And you know how Barr wilts under pressure, the poor baby! 

Trump’s attacks on the Justice Department make it “impossible for me to do my job,” said Barr. Not that he said he’s planning to resign or anything like that, alas. 

Thus Barr became the first U.S. Attorney General in recent memory to eat his cake and have it, too. If he can teach that trick to the homeless in Fort Lauderdale, maybe the people who feed them will be impervious to arrest.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Nancy Pelosi had the right idea. It's time for outraged Americans to rip up Donald Trump.

Should there be a national Tear Up Donald Trump's Picture Day?
Talk about snowflakes!

Nancy Pelosi listened politely to the end of Donald Trump's divisive, falsehood-laden State of the Union Address.

Then she tore up her copy of his speech. What was she supposed to do with it? Carry it home and pickle it in aspic? Wrap it in silk and bury it in her sachet drawer? 

She was given a copy. She followed along during its delivery. Then, even as you or I might do, she tore it up for easier disposal. 

You'd have thought she pulled out an AR-15 and sprayed the Republican side of the hall with bullets. Republican poop hit the fan and splattered far and wide over America.

Liz Cheney, for example, had a tantrum during which she accused Nancy Pelosi of having a tantrum.

Tonight @realDonaldTrump laid out a bold & optimistic vision for our nation, honoring our heroes and lifting up our children. @SpeakerPelosi had a tantrum, disgraced herself and dishonored the House. She is an embarrassment and unfit for office.

Umm, and how is that, Liz? Speaker Pelosi followed along quietly. At the end she had a pile of old news, a used speech, no different in utility than yesterday's newspaper, which at best is useful for lining a birdcage. 

In facts, lining a birdcage might have been a high suitable gesture, had the Speaker thought to bring a parrot to the State of the Union.  Instead, Pelosi did what you might do with any old newspaper, or a flyer for a sale that had come and gone. She ripped it up and tossed it. 

Then there was the White House itself, looking for some vulnerable place in Pelsoi's anatomy to insert one of its stilettos. It missed.

Speaker Pelosi just ripped up:

One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen.

The survival of a child born at 21 weeks.

The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller.

A service member's reunion with his family.

That's her legacy.
Shall we try to get this straight? She didn't rip up an airman. She didn't rip up a child's survival. She didn't rip up any mourning families. 
She ripped up a copy of a speech that everybody had just heard — a speech in which Donald Trump, cynically tried to disguise his racism to praise, at long last, the Tuskee Airmen. A speech in which he took advantage of a child who survived premature birth, and of mourning families, and of a service member's family — all to further his own political agenda and self aggrandizement.
No doubt he did it with all the tender regard that he had for the Ukraine when he tried to hold up the Ukraine's anti-tank missiles while Russian troops violated Ukrainian territory — all for his own benefit.
As for me, I kind of liked this tweet:
Watching the people who decry “liberal snowflakes” clutching their pearls over Pelosi tearing up President Pussygrabber’s speech is probably the best thing I’ve ever seen.
It's pretty clear that the pearl clutchers, including The Trumpster himself, are pretty torn up when somebody shows them the lack of respect that they exhibit toward anybody they don't like. So let's keep tearing.
I propose a national Tear Up Donald Trump's Picture Day, during which millions of Americans print out a photograph of Donald Trump, tear it up, and toss it in the nearest trash basket.
Any takers?