Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Strange One

There was so much news to digest today that I had to turn it off and go to Turner Classic Movies, where they were featuring 1957's The Strange One. It's about this military school student who bullies everyone around him and oversteps his bounds drastically until all of his colleagues make him sign a confession and then throw him out of town on a train. I'm serious. That's the movie.

Does that sound exactly like today to you at all?

You know I've played around with my pet names for the current president a lot. Sippycup. Sharpie. Always Preznit Carnage as an honorific. But that last part has always been different because he's always screwing up in some different or unusual way that requires a new variant. But after today, that stops. From now on, the official pet name for the current chief executive of these Untied States is:

Preznit Carnage the Incursion Inciter.

Because that's what he did, and that's what he did. He invited people into Washington, D.C., a place I called my residence for 14 years and one of my homes for many years before that. Background: My Dear Old Dad moved to Washington when I was like 12, so I spent much time there as a youngster, exploring anywhere I wanted on the Metro, which was actually safe and worked well at the time. Later, I moved there and had a career as a journalist and as a web-slinger for a medium-sized trade association. 14 years. And when you have that much Washington in your experience, you tend to take an attack on the Capitol PERSONALLY.

In 1989, Sen. Claude Pepper died, four days after receiving the National Medal of Freedom from Pres. George H.W. Bush. My Dad and I went to pay our respects to Claude in the Rotunda, where he lay in state. Another time, Dad and I were momentarily detained by Capitol Police as some muckety-muck from overseas walked through with his entourage. I have roots in the building. Memories. It was a visual background to much of my life and many memories. I have been in that chamber as a tourist and as a student. And I still revere that site and the democracy that those people create and nurture in it every day.

We're going to walk down. Anyone you want, but I think right here, we're going to walk down to the Capitol-- And we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.

Preznit Carnage the Incursion Inciter invited these people to the President's Park South, also known as the Ellipse. This is the staging area for the annual Easter Egg Roll. This is the site of the Christmas Pageant of Peace. White House garden tours start here. And this is where Donald J. Trump gathered his marauders and gave them their marching orders. This is where the bloodshed started. From here, people were eventually crushed to death, or shot, or [allegedly] tased their balls to the point of fatal stroke. From here is were many more were injured. And it could have been so much worse. When those hairy gross marauders took the chamber, they were looking for Vice-President Mike Pence.

We want to be so respectful of everybody. And we are going to have to fight much harder. And Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country. Because you’re sworn to uphold our Constitution.

Trump mentioned his own vice-president to the crowd and was throwing chum in the water. Tell me he wasn't doing that on purpose. Tell me he wasn't intent on harm to the man who has spent the last four years looking at the back of his head like it was a delicious cookie straight out of the oven. Those people went in looking for Mike Pence, and they said so, and I do not even want to think about the headlines had they found him.

He invited these people to Washington, D.C. He held an event for them. He spoke at that event, and he told them to go to the Capitol. Rudy Giuliani borrowed from Game of Thrones in the weirdest way, calling for "trial by combat." He told them to go up Pennsylvania Avenue.

So we are going to--we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we are going to the Capitol, and we are going to try and give--the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote but we are going to try--give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don't need any of our help, we're try--going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let's walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.

He told them to go, and they went. People were shot to death. People were crushed to death. People probably spread bug-loads of SARS-CoV-2. There was lots of smoke. They made our Capitol look and feel like New Caprica, after President Baltar had signed the kill orders, and the Cylon forces going on the hunt. Yes. It was that bad.

So I am buoyed by the Democrats' plans. We've called for his resignation. Beyond that, we've called for his removal via the 25th amendment. Beyond that, we're going to impeach. A fourth option would be to shove him in a prison cell with a fresh copy of the Washington Post and a pistol, but I reckon Ernst Röhm's fate is too good for this eczema shit who still has the title "President" for 12 more days.

I don't know about you. But I want every lever thrown at this that can be thrown. I want impeachment. I want pressure on Pence and the Cabinet to exercise the 25th. I want pressure on him to resign. I want investigations. I want subpoenas. I want people to get divorced for this; I want them impoverished; I want boils on their skin and diarrhea pouring out of them constantly. I am so angry about his event that I am ready for giant Earth-holes to just open up and start sucking up every Trump and Trump-related asshole in the whole wide world.

Except for Mary, of course. We love Mary Trump, down to the acoustic guitar she casually leans on the wall behind her when she's interviewed.

But for all the rest of them, I want the Earth to gobble them up, starting with their faces.

I apparently am a lucky boy, for my wishes are starting to come true. Twitter today has disallowed Trump's tweets. And let me be clear that this is not undue censorship because the government is not initiating it, and because when you sign up for Twitter, you click on a EULA, and because obscenity is not protected speech, so SHUT UP. Facebook is shunning the dude as well. As is Reddit. Google is threatening to take Parler off its store. And, oh yes, Congress is going to impeach his humongous ass AGAIN.

Like many of you, probably, I have been subsisting through this negligent, lazy, purposely uninformed, wreckless, bullying, shitty presidency for four years, figuring hey, I survived W, I can do this. The problem is that we're not. We're not surviving this. We're up to 4,000 deaths a day from Covid-19, a crisis that, with much better management from the White House, could have been much less fatal. By the way, if you're looking for a job, sign up as a contract tracer. I have a friend and former boss who has been out of work for nearly a year due to Covid and has finally landed as a contact tracer. Wishing you just as much luck as our economy is just as much a morgue as those refrigerated trucks.

Aren't you tired of this? I'm so tired of this. And even though we've come this far, after what we saw happen Wednesday, I just don't think we can do it any longer. Not another day. Not another minute. Not another second. We have to do everything we can to end this presidency as soon as possible. I don't care how many days are left or what the chances are of a conviction in the Senate or what the political ramifications are.

Take every step possible to remove him as soon as possible. If I were king of the world I would doth decree.

So say we all.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Well, That Was Some Weird Shit

"Time for a shower."

This was the last line I typed into my personal journal at about 1:30 p.m. today. Previous to this, I had summarized some of what was going on in Congress on the TV.

I think the joint session approved a couple of states, and then they got an objection submitted in writing for Arizona. Now they’re debating. Preznit Carnage One-Term Loser is seeing "0-12" in the chyron right now and going "See? I won! Look! See? I won! Yippee!"

Little did I know.

My ablutions complete, I came back to my tube, expecting to witness an annoying, unnecessary, drawn out legislative process led by an extremist sect, to question some of the already most thoroughly-vetted national election results ever. I un-muted—I had muted the television when Ted Cruz was on, which I think is perfectly understandable—but I was ready and looking forward to it.

And then, the weird shit began to happen.

I was watching MSNBC (because of course I was). The pool cameras went to mute. Some in the chamber started gesturing weirdly. Vice-Preznit Pence was rushed out of the room. People started dashing around. At some point, official looking people rushed in. Soon, the reports limped in. The Capitol was being invaded. The safety of our Congress-critters was in question. They all went on lockdown. I've never seen the sweet, sweet Katy Tur every sound so upset.

(What? I have a crush. Who doesn't?)

That was a tough spot for me. Because I was feeling horrified and really really sad for my country. And because, right at that time is when I usually start logging into my tools for my day job.

I don't mind telling you that I momentarily considered calling in. And I do not call in unless I'm dead.

But I got it together for the job but kept an eye on the TV and an ear on another longtime media crush of mine, the one and only Randi Rhodes. And hearing her familiar voice freaking out right along with me, well, it helped.

Anyway, I can't help but think about Charlottesville. Remember Charlottesville? "Unite the Right?" Buncha honkies marching with tiki-torches uttering nonsense concerns about "Jews" "replacing" "us?" Heather Danielle Heyer assassinated by automobile? Yeah. Doesn't the energy of that day feel a teeny little bit like the same energy surrounding today's violent and terrifying assault on the Capitol?

Charlottesville was in August 2017. That's eight months following the inauguration of Preznit Carnage Sippycup Is The New Black. A whipped up crowd of undeservedly or misled angry white people with violent, destructive intentions seems to be an inevitable result of having this person as our chief executive. This seems to be his magick. Even if one doesn't think in terms of magick or energy, it certainly is telling that events that have the spittin' image of a putsch will bookmark this presidency in its legacy.

Notwithstanding some miracle, he has 13 days left. Buckle up.

Friday, November 20, 2020

A Vital PSA From Rachel Maddow

From last night's TRMS. Stick with it through her technical issues. Is worth it.

Friday, November 13, 2020

On November 13...

On November 13, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence; that request came from his wife. Deep down, he knew she was right, but he also knew that some day he would return to her. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his friend, Oscar Madison. Several years earlier, Madison's wife had thrown HIM out, requesting that HE never return. Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?

(Thanks to my friend Todd, who remembers this date every year.)


Can somebody please explain to Impeached Preznit Carnage 217 Electoral Votes that he did such a good job as preznit that he doesn't need to serve another term?

Monday, November 9, 2020

Yellow Taxi

Joni Mitchell's vision is literally happening directly outside of my apartment. "They paved paradise; put up a parking lot." It seems I can never move anywhere and just be left in peace.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

A Good Day

I am enjoying my favorite salad, an olive salad with juniper dressing, and I am listening to this weird bootleg-sounding CD I picked up some time ago of Duke Ellington circa 1971. I don't expect the best sound quality when enjoying music of this era, but this bad recording is missing the charm of earlier Ellington bad recordings and just sounds like some wisenheimer snuck in with a tape recorder they borrowed from the high school AV closet, so I turned the volume down a little, but it is a nice break nonetheless as sometimes the MSNBC, after I've consumed it in large quantities, scratches my brain bumps in bad ways. And today has been a large MSNBC day here at the Serious Poo-Poo Institute of Technology, my friends.

As you may know, Rachel Maddow is in COVID lockdown presently but was able to provide some of her cogent color from her bunker, and she enunciated a thing I've been thinking all day, how before today, Impeached Preznit Carnage One-Termer's threats to not concede, to sue, to stamp his widdle feet and cry, to not concede, to not recognize the legitimate results, how that threat prior to today felt like a dark and cold approaching storm. However, she said, today, these efforts seem merely "laughable," and yes, that is the word she used. And, she's right.

I had expected a Biden victory to emasculate Trump. I hadn't expected it to have happened so quickly. Earlier today, Twitter covered up four of his tweets consecutively, due to them being full of bullshit. He snuck away to go golfing, and America went and called the race in his absence. By the way, whose job was it to try to convince him that going golfing on today of all days is the most horrible of ideas, and does that person still have a tongue in their head? How about the person who had to deliver the news while this dipshit was on the links?

And I know I've been somewhat of a Pollyanna regarding Biden—funny, Joe Scarborough used the same word this morning by way of self-description—but the micro-era I'm driven to in my thoughts is when we were all wringing our hands about the running mate. There were reports Susan Rice was in the mix, and Karen Bass, and Val Demings, but whether you remember the short-list names, you certainly remember the waiting. We'll announce on Aug. 1. That became next week in August, and on Aug. 11, it became we'll tell ya real soon, so there was even more waiting that day, which is when he announced. But to me, the waiting, the seemingly stretched process by which he decided, I think it offers assurance. The VEEP pick is the nominee's first preznentshul decision. Joe Biden did it right. And I think he did it right ever since. And today, these Untied States of America are enjoying the fruits in a one-term Trump.

That there was any question is a wonder. A re-elected Trump would have been a re-elected impeached president. He would have been a re-elected president with 120,000 COVID deaths on his head, with 550 needlessly orphaned children on his head, a re-elected president who did not bother to press the issue of the murder of American resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a re-elected president who used the military to clear peaceful protesters from the premiere protest park in Washington, D.C. just so he could hold up a Bibble and take a picture, a re-elected president who dared to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Fucking Limbaugh.

Biden is already getting to work. Axios reports that he will soon announce a COVID Task Force. There is already talk about his Cabinet. The projected president-elect and vice-president will speak tonight and claim victory. And Americans are dancing in the streets.

It was, indeed, a good day.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Perfection

Joe Biden did this weird thing today where he made a brief speech and said exactly what was needed to be said. Here is a link to the transcript of his speech today. And here is what I consider to be the nut graf:

We the people will not be silenced. We the people will not be bullied. We the people will not surrender. My friends, I’m confident we’ll emerge victorious. But this will not be my victory alone or our victory alone. It’ll be a victory for the American people, for our democracy, for America. And there will be no blue states and red states when we win, just the United States of America.

He spoke 796 words today. 796 words. And with the words he chose, he offered comfort, and sanity, and leadership. His speech was not about minute-to-minute politics. It was not about winning or losing. It was about comforting a reasonably jagged-feeling America. It was a fireside chat. And it helped.

This is why Joe Biden is the perfect candidate for our times. It's why he's the best choice to be president right now. Since his nomination, I have been unable to shake the feeling that the Democratic Party accidentally somehow stumbled into perfection like a guy in a tux who trips in the mud. Without an apocalyptic challenge in front and, let's face it, all around us, he'd just be Joe Biden, older Joe Biden, who doesn't cope as easily for his stutter anymore, who seems to yell more than he needs to, who says "look" and "folks" a lot.

But what we've been lacking has been a president who rises to the occasion. Impeached Preznit Carnage Weird-Lean Pear-Shaped Hickey is a president who has been offered the greatest opportunity to do that thing a president does when challenged, to grab the bullhorn on top of the smoldering pile of rubble, to yell at the German man to tear down the wall, to say the thing about asking not what your country can do for you, to break out and sing "Amazing Grace." No president has been more challenged to rise to the occasion, and, weirdly, Impeached Preznit has willfully crossed his arms, pouted, and refused to do so every stinking time.

Joe Biden isn't even the president yet, and he rises to the occasion every time he's seen in public.

We’ve had a hard campaigns before. We’ve faced hard times before. So once the selection is finalized and behind us, it’ll be time for us to do what we’ve always done as Americans, to put the harsh rhetoric of the campaign behind us, to lower the temperature, to see each other again, to listen to one another, to hear each other again, and respect and care for one another, to unite, to heal, to come together as a nation.

This is a study in contrasts to how the current occupant of the Oval approaches it:

This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election. So our goal now is to ensure the integrity — for the good of this nation, this is a very big moment. This is a major fraud on our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.

This is a country in sore need of a chief executive capable of rising to the occasion, capable of registering empathy, capable of embarking on a sensible path forward, capable of leading with integrity and by solid example. Joe Biden does nothing but prove himself to be this.

Somehow, the Democratic Party chose the best person for the job, I think nearly by accident. Joe Biden is no mere second banana any longer. He's not just good.

He's perfect.

We'll know more later today. But keep honking your horns, America. We've got this.