|Je m'appelle Big Trouble|
How corrupt is Republican politics? Well, let’s just say that how far you get in Congress all depends on what you pay. Or what you can get others to pay on your behalf. The following is verbatim from Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, a proudly corrupt Trumpista from Florida:
“Donations to the party do not officially determine which committees you’ll sit on or how prestigious your spot will be, but unofficially money sure seems to make a difference. I won’t pretend I walked away from the game. On the contrary, I was playing to win, and I did. I was eager to meet with Leader McCarthy in hopes of getting a spot on the Armed Services Committee, which is very important to decisions that affect the lives of many military personnel and veterans in Florida’s First District. I expected that when I did meet with him, I’d have to explain the potential impact on my constituents, my relevant experience with military issues, and the ways in which I was (or was not) in sync with the rest of the party on military and foreign policy issues,” Gaetz writes of an exchange he had with McCarthy as a freshman congressman. “To my shock, he looked me straight in the eye and said it would be helpful if in the next ten days I could direct $75,000 ‘across the street,’ which meant into the coffers of the National Republican Congressional Committee. I frankly told my supporters back home about how things apparently work in D.C., and they agreed I should try rolling the dice. I quickly ponied up $150,000, twice the ask, and ended up not only on Armed Services but the Judiciary Committee as well.”
And if all that sounds either unbearably depressing or so infuriating you fear your head may explode, let me soothe your nerves with a mischievous rodent.
“Je m’appelle Coypu and what I do is chew.” A coypu is a rather large, impossibly cute rodent that looks like a cross between a beaver and Punxsutawney Phil, the woodchuck who brings you six more weeks of winter if he sees his shadow on Groundhog Day. A coypu recently had some uncounted number of citoyens tearing their hair out in and around Marsan in southwestern France.
They lost their e-mail. They lost their Google. They lost their entire Internet. Complaints from disgruntled customers of Orange, which is sort of the French G-mail, were flooding the switchboards.
Connexion France, my go-to source for silly stuff about France reports:
Telephone engineers turned detective to track down the culprit who cut the internet to several communes in southwest France for several days last week.
Two days searching along a remote and hard-to-access 14km stretch of cable, uncovered the scene of the 'crime' - and revealed that service had been cut in nine communes around the small town of Nogaro by a coypu chewing through underground cables.
The article goes on to say that the coypu is native to South America, but was, umm, “introduced” to France. Evidently, it not only chews up the Internet, but also “Its tunnelling can cause riverbanks to collapse.”
Coypus are now classified as pests.
How’s that again, Tom Friedman
of the NY Times? Oh, nevermind!
Tom Friedman, the New York Times columnist who for a very long time promoted his book “The World is Flat” by using that phrase in column after self-serving column, has now taken to explaining the results of Jared Kushner’s “peace initiative” in what Friedman calls “a soap opera analogy.”
It is as if Jared Kushner was a lawyer who set out to arrange a divorce between a couple, “Mrs. Israel” and “Mr. Palestine.” In the process, though, Mr. Kushner discovered that Mrs. Israel and Mr. Palestine were so incompatible that they couldn’t even sit in a room together, let alone agree on his plan for separation.
But along the way, Mr. Kushner discovered something intriguing: Mrs. Israel was having an affair with Mr. Emirates, who was fleeing an abusive relationship with Ms. Iran.
So, Mr. Kushner stopped trying to arrange a divorce between Mr. Palestine and Mrs. Israel and seized instead on the mutual interest of Mrs. Israel and Mr. Emirates to marry — not to mention the self-interest of President Trump to serve as the “justice of the peace” who would officiate on the White House lawn in the midst of a presidential campaign
Cut to commercial.
I’ve got a better cut. Cut out reading Tom Friedman.
Virus shmirus! I’m wearing a mask, right?
What, you weren’t in Rennes, France, last weekend? Too bad! You missed “the first cycling and nudist gathering in France.”
This raised some concerns, because of the very recent growth of Covid-19 cases in town. So the city center was off-limits to the cyclists, there in the nude “to raise awareness for the vulnerability of cyclists in urban areas, and also to promote naturism.”
Faceless naturism, as it turns out, because the riders were required to wear face masks, whatever other parts of them were uncovered.
Meanwhile, the number of cyclists in the city has increased by “around 15 – 20% according to Connexion, France.