Archive for the ‘Deep political thought’ Category

We’re in the soup

March 11, 2020

This soup didn’t come out of a packet.

We were not Jewish. But whenever one of us was sick, Mom would break out the chicken soup.

Well, kinda, sorta.

It was the sort of soup a harried Midwestern Presbyterian considered suitable for ailing children, a saucepan of rehydrated Lipton chicken noodle, with a side of Premium saltines. And if I played my cards right, I could work Mom for the fake soup and a couple of comic books. Winning!

Well, here we are again. The Plague is upon us, we’re shivering under the comforter, and someone is bringing us a plastic bowl of industrial soup with some dried-up old white crackers.

Say, who is that wearing Mom’s apron? It’s … it’s … oh, my God, it’s. …

Yes, it’s another thrilling episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: It’s another low-and-slow-fi episode this week. I used an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic, and skipped the Zoom H5 Handy Recorder in favor of recording directly to the MacBook Pro using Rogue Amoeba’s nifty little app Piezo. Editing was as usual, in GarageBand. You’ll recognize Babe and the gang from The Firesign Theatre (“How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All”) and the doctor from “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.” The background music is by Your Humble Narrator, assembled from bits and pieces in the iOS version of GarageBand on a 9.7-inch iPad Pro.


March 9, 2020

It is not dying. But it is sucking.

Hey, what can I tell you? The old Beatles album seemed appropriate for today’s indoor-cycling soundtrack.

“Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.”

Downstream appears to be where we’re headed, a’ight. In the SS Wall Street, a cruise ship full of coronavirus and cheap oil, captained by a drug-addled golf cheat with a crew of button-down barnacles, lampreys and other hangers-on.

Tomorrow may never know, but today isn’t exactly up to speed, either.

Requiescat in Pace

March 4, 2020

When I went to bed early on Super Tuesday it seemed Texas was trending socialist.

This was obviously a hallucination. I was critically low on endorphins after 11 days without exercise, thanks to a broken right ankle. And I was slightly crazed on antihistamines, the junipers, mulberries, cottonwoods, willows, and elms all having sprung to hideous life seemingly overnight.

Even while thus impaired, I knew a Texas Democrat could pass for Republican practically anywhere else, and the thought of that crowd going for Comrade Eeyore in the primary seemed the product of a disordered mind. You know. Like Ronald the Donald winning the last presidential election.

And sure enough, it was. Daffy Uncle Joe bounced back while I tossed and turned, slobbering all over my pillow and freezing my nuts off in the guest bedroom, because somebody around here has to get a good night’s sleep before going to work in the morning, and that somebody is not me.

Sure, Texas has embraced a wide swath of eccentrics. Kinky Friedman. Ted Cruz and his beard. Molly Ivins. Louie Gohmert. Actually, Ted Cruz’s beard deserves a mention all its own.

Ted Cruz’s beard.

But Comrade Eeyore is a cranky old socialist from Brooklyn. The thought of him prevailing in Texas over Joe Stalin, much less Joe Biden, put me in mind of the 1980s Pace Picante Sauce commercial featuring a bunch of cowboys playing cards and talking salsa.

“Why, this stuff’s made in New York City!”

“New York City?”

Of course, Pace Foods Ltd. would be snatched up a few years later by the Campbell Soup Co., with headquarters in Camden, New Jersey. Not New York, but close enough to take the bloom off that San Antonio rose.

But by then Texas was preoccupied with developing products for export that were even even feebler than bottled picante sauce. I refer you to George W. Bush and Rick Perry.

And Ted Cruz’s beard.

Speaking of the coronavirus, which we were not, is anybody else revisiting apocalyptic tales like “The Andromeda Strain” or Stephen King’s “The Stand?”

A random quote from the latter popped into my head this morning. While collecting chickens to feed her visitors, Mother Abagail notes, “The only thing dumber than a broody hen was a New York Democrat.”

Maybe so. But I don’t know why she’d want to restrict the dumb to New York.

Daffy Uncle Joe and his backers are dancing a jig over his performance last night, and yeah, it truly was the sort of comeback-kid narrative that has veteran political reporters writing hack bullshit like “comeback kid.”

But let’s keep in mind that the states where Unc’ prevailed were largely ones where the Hilldebeast got stomped like ants at a picnic in 2016, when it wasn’t just Democrats and broody hens voting: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.

And if the Anybody But Bernie Caucus proves victorious, and Daffy Uncle Joe becomes the nominee, well, sure, we’ll be spared the easy shots about socialism, Fidel, and honeymooning in the Soviet Union.

But we’ll also have the United States Senate working as an arm of the Republican campaign, trying to beat ol’ Joe to death with his own son.

I get it. Charlie Pierce says “a large part of the Democratic primary electorate is hungering for a president that it can ignore for four or five days a week.”

But how do you sell that empty suit with aviator shades to the customers who weren’t buying in 2016? Or 2004, or 2000?  The ones who wondered why a woman couldn’t get a fair shake, or were surprised to learn that “socialism” is one of Carlin’s Seven Words, or bought all the tripe about how Hillary was the Devil and Gore was a geek and Kerry was a Viet Cong spy?

Kinky Friedman already tried “Why the Hell Not?” and “How Hard Could It Be?” And “Bemused, Not Batshit” isn’t much of a bumper sticker.

• Editor’s note: I was going to do this as a podcast, but my brain seems stuck in first gear and there’s smoke coming out of my ears. So, um, no.

• Editor’s note revisited: OK, so I did it anyway. This one’s lo-fi even by my casual standards — I used an ATR2100-USB mic, and skipped the Zoom H5 Handy Recorder in favor of recording directly to the MacBook Pro using Rogue Amoeba’s nifty little app Piezo. Editing was as usual, in GarageBand. I sucked it up despite illness and injury because I’m fixated on doing a podcast a week for no particular reason.

Stupor Tuesday

March 3, 2020

The air hereabouts is of a very low quality indeed today.

Jaysis. As if the banjaxed ankle weren’t annoying enough, now the trees are conducting biological warfare against my tender sinuses.

I’ve actually been compelled to take drugs, and not the interesting kind, either. Blaugh, etc.

Last night I slept mostly not at all, and between that and the drugs I’m having trouble staying focused on all the Super Tuesday doings, beyond noting that the Anybody But Bernie Caucus is forming up right smart.

Crucifixion? Good. Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each. Next?

Why vote for the lesser evil?

March 2, 2020

He’s not just a Good Old One. He’s a Great Old One.

We’re getting down to nut-cuttin’ time, folks. I say go big or go home.

Asked whether her candidate would be suspending his campaign and endorsing Daffy Uncle Joe, spokescreature Shub-Niggurath replied, “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn! No further questions.”

Make it March

March 1, 2020

We got some Sandia pink going on in the backyard
this first morning of March.

Buds on the maple, bits of grass peeking out, and some pretty pink clouds. Well done, Yahweh.

Elsewhere, I see the media are finally getting the story they’ve been craving — Daffy Uncle Joe Resurgent, a.k.a. “dude just won his first primary in three presidential campaigns,” and he had to go to what Chazbo Pierce calls “the home office of American sedition” to git ’er done, with a big assist from Rep. Jim Clyburn.

Now that they’ve got it, of course, they have to dry-hump it. What next? Does Daffy have Big Mo®? Will Comrade Eeyore hammer ’n’ sickle him on Super Tuesday? What about “the remaining candidates?” Etc.

Over at the WaPo, Dan Balz notices the same thing I did: The networks (and the WaPo, and the NYT) all called it for Daffy about 30 seconds after the polls closed, based on exit polling, with something like 1 percent of the vote actually tallied.

Notes Balz: “That guaranteed him hours of positive analysis on cable television and the setting of a narrative favorable to him between now and [Super] Tuesday.”

It’s all about the narrative, bay-beee.

Stone him!

February 20, 2020

Whoof, dude, you need some Visine. You’re gonna scare the mystery meat out of your bunkie at the Graybar Hotel with peepers like that.

So, assuming Judge Amy Berman Jackson gives Roger Stone some jail time today, how long do you figure it will take Impeachy the Clown to give him a full, complete and unconditional pardon (and probably the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the helm of the Justice Department to boot)?

The Granite Slate

February 12, 2020

Is Comrade Eeyore strictly a creature of the hard left?
Depends on who’s talking.

“There’s a lot of supposin’ going on in the immediate aftermath of New Hampshire,” writes Mojo’s David Corn.

Oh, yeah.

John Nichols at The Nation says Comrade Eeyore, lacking definitive victories and facing electability questions thanks in part to less-than-amiable press coverage, must move beyond simple sloganeering to make his campaign “a new center where Democrats, independents, and millions of new voters have a place. …”

Meanwhile, the talking heads who want those “new center” voters pretty much anywhere but Bernie’s place are taking heart in the rise of Amy “Minnesota Nice” Klobuchar and, to a lesser degree, in the tenacity of Mayor Pete.

Senator Professor Warren is now said to be sliding off the back by the same keen observers who ignored her performance in the Hawkeye State Hayride & Corn-Fed Clusterfuck®. If nobody covers you and your campaign stumbles, does it make a sound? Apparently so.

Daffy Uncle Joe is one step closer to that rocker on the porch.

And Mike “Stop & Frisk” Bloomberg still has a big, fat wallet and is looking to slap the shit out of someone with it.

Everyone seems astonished that the Democratic contest remains … well, a Democratic contest. Messy. Noisy. Inexplicable at times, with a smattering of candidates you wouldn’t elect to a school board.

But I guess I’m relieved that we don’t have an Anointed One this time around. Daffy Uncle Joe thinks it’s his turn, or did at one time, but he was and is sadly mistaken.

I’m gonna have to give Minnesota Nice a closer look. There’s something about her that rubs me the wrong way and I’m not sure what it is. Maybe she reminds me of a publisher I’ve butted heads with. There’s a certain smugness in her expression that says, “Oh, I think we can do nicely without you and your bullshit.”

And Mayor Pete? Can’t say I’m a fan. He seems a little too well drilled, and about half a Republican. I’d like to see him on the back foot, watch what happens to his confidence when someone snatches the script away from him.

Don’t take it for granite, Joe

February 11, 2020

Frosty the Snow Toad awaits news from New Hampshire.

O, ’tis a frosty auld morning out there, cold enough to freeze the stones off a three-peckered snow toad.

I haven’t checked the forecast for New Hampshire, where ’tis rumored that the Granite State may lay a nice stone over the grave of Daffy Uncle Joe’s presidential ambitions, the third time being less than a charm, it seems.

I’ll always have a soft spot for Joe, if only for the way he hee-hawed Lyin’ Paul Ryan and his zombie-eyed, granny-starvin’ bullshit right off the debate stage in the 2012 pestilential campaign.

But he’s not the man for the job this time. He has the affect of a fella who feels obliged by circumstances and the voices in his head to apply for a job that he really doesn’t want.

If Daffy Uncle Joe were the nominee, I’d vote for him, of course. I’d vote for Frosty the Snow Toad if he were running against Puffy the MAGA Dragon.

But I’d feel like a fella obliged by circumstances and the voices in his head to do a job that he really doesn’t want to do.

Meanwhile, back in Iowa. …

February 7, 2020

The DNC strives to make chicken salad from … well … you know.

Reg: I now propose that all seven of these ex-brothers be now entered in the minutes as probationary martyrs to the cause.

Loretta: I second that, Reg.

Reg: Thank you, Loretta. On the nod. Siblings! Let us not be downhearted! One total catastrophe like this is just the beginning!

• Editor’s note: My sense of humor briefly deserted me yesterday. But I think I should get off with crucifixion (first offense).