Archive for the ‘Deep political thought’ Category

Running on empty

June 6, 2023

And miles to go before I eat.

You think you’re living on the edge, miles from home with a cargo area full of perishable groceries in early June and the low-fuel warning light giving you an orange mal de ojo from the dash.

Until you get passed by someone driving on the rim.

So there I was, motoring back from the Wholeazon Amafoods with a week’s worth of grub, and I knew my low-fuel light was on. It flashed me before I even got to the store to offload a hunk of my Socialist Insecurity entitlement funding on tasty bits of this and that.

Ah, bugger it, I thought. I still have a couple gallons in the tank. Shit, I could probably make it to Santa Fe for an early lunch at La Choza, if I had a cooler and some ice for all this chow. But it’s probably smarter to head for home, refrigerate the perishables, and gas up the next time out.

Thus I’m in the left lane on Wyoming, getting set to hang a left on Comanche, when I hear this hideous racket coming up fast in the middle lane.

I figure it’s the Devil finally come to collect, or maybe just some poor workingman’s beater truck fixin’ to retire before he does, and in some spectacular fashion, too. But it sounds even worse than either of those possibilities, about like three Terminators dry-humping an Alien in a junkyard full of feral cats.

As I make the left lane I glance right and screeching past shudders some shitbag sedan with the left front tire completely gone and the driver either deaf, drunk, or some combination of the two, ’cause he ain’t making any effort to get out of that middle lane and over to some safe place where he can maybe figure out why the hell all these assholes are staring at him and how come he can’t hear the radio goddamnit?

This may or may not be a metaphor for politics in 2023.

Some of us are low on gas, but we’re aware of the situation and hope to address it at our earliest possible opportunity.

Some others are gonna just drive it right into the ground and Dog help you if you’re standing anywhere near where the wreckage skids to a stop.

The good news is, you can hear it coming a long ways off.

‘Where’s the money, Lebowski?’

June 2, 2023

The after-action reports are rolling in, and the general consensus seems to be that Congress spent the latest debt-ceiling “crisis” either jacking off, letting its mouth write checks that its ass can’t cash, or some combination of the two.

Performative government at its finest. Hollywood dreams of getting a script like this. Alas, the writers are on strike.

At The New Republic, editor Michael Tomasky says the mouths that roar over at the FreeDumb CuckUs basically brought a spork to a gunfight. At The Atlantic, staff writer Russell Berman suggests that the GOP really doesn’t want to cut spending in any significant way because — hey, guess what? — their leadership recognizes “that what the federal government funds is more popular than they like to claim.”

And at Esquire, Charlie Pierce dismisses the whole magilla as a matter of the money power flexing a pinkie:

“In other words, politics as usual, a basic Washington transaction conducted in the most basic of Washington ways, a Swamp Thing from start to finish. And all in service to the money power, to the corporate elite, woke and otherwise. [Jim] Jordan, [Marjorie Taylor Greene], et. al. are about as much a threat to the real established political order as a water pistol would be to the Nimitz. ”

That’s the bad news. The good news is that cracker-barrel regular Pat O’B turns 74 today. Happy happy joy joy to him and his. Dog willin’, we won’t be singing “The Parting Glass” to the oul’ fella anytime soon.

A wee bit of civics

June 1, 2023

The backyard maple is trying to coax a bit of rain from those clouds.

June 1. Good gawd awmighty. Three weeks until the first day of summer.

Where the hell does the time go?

It doesn’t feel very summery, not yet. We’re slathering on the sunscreen when we go out and about, but highs have only reached the mid-70s to mid-80s, which are very much bearable.

Thus, we have no excuses for staying inside to watch Sleepy Joe and Charlie McCarthy make the sausage. We’ll be eating it soon enough.

It all reminds me very little of what we were taught in junior-high civics classes. Or home economics, for that matter.

What it reminds me of is gym class, specifically the shower portion, wherein a jock occasionally would pee surreptitiously on some poor geek’s leg while distracting him with conversation.

The geek was usually so astonished to be having a chat with one of his betters that he didn’t notice the augmented fluids coursing down his calf until the giggling began.

And then he couldn’t do anything about it anyway.

The geek didn’t yet know about the sausage. He still thought it was just something mom put on his plate with the scrambled eggs and toast. He still thought Bob Dylan was just singing a song.

Arise, ye pris’ners of … Hollywood?

May 1, 2023

The New York Times is a little short on May Day news, surprise, surprise.

Other than one piece about the French, who remain pissed off about having their retirement-age goalposts shifted two years (To age 64! Zut alors!), I found exactly one labor story on the website.

It concerned the struggles of — wait for it! — screenwriters.


Now, I don’t mean to make light of screenwriters’ issues. They remind me very much of the issues Your Humble Narrator faced as a free-range rumormonger. So, up the rebels, etc.

Nevertheless, it seemed appropriate to make today’s singing of “The Internationale” the version from the 1981 Warren Beatty-Diane Keaton vehicle “Reds,” which I have liberated in the name of the people from YouTube, which is owned by Google.

The writers credited for the flick are Beatty and Trevor Griffiths, according to IMDB, which is owned by Amazon.

And you’d better hope Apple TV flogged Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis and the rest of the writers room into cramming a shit-ton of “Ted Lasso” episodes into the can. According to Mother Times:

Absent an unlikely last-minute resolution with studios, more than 11,000 unionized screenwriters could head to picket lines in Los Angeles and New York as soon as Tuesday, an action that, depending on its duration, would bring Hollywood’s creative assembly lines to a gradual halt. Writers Guild of America leaders have called this an “existential” moment, contending that compensation has stagnated despite the proliferation of content in the streaming era — to the degree that even writers with substantial experience are having a hard time getting ahead and, sometimes, paying their bills.

“Even writers with substantial experience are having a hard time getting ahead and, sometimes, paying their bills.” Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.


April 4, 2023

The Pink Moon, not quite full, glares down through a skylight.

Things are dark enough around here on a Tuesday morning without a bloated fartsack with federal muscle jetting from Mar-a-Lago to Manhattan on Uncle Sammy’s dime to get a kid-gloves arraignment at New York taxpayers’ expense on charges of paying hush money to porn stars, cooking the books, and in general showing all the class of a Hells Angel on a rented electric scooter, or maybe Fredo Corleone in Vegas, before Mikey sent him fishing.

Does this mooch ever pick up a tab?

In a proper world, Your Numble Narrator would be allowed to stay curled up in his toasty puddle of blankets until Old Mister Sun peeps in through the gaps in the vertical blinds, murmuring, “Rise and shine like me! Time for bones creaking, weak thinking, and strong black coffee to set everything aright!”

Alas, no. Herself is a spry young thing who is still on the clock. She arises at dark-thirty most mornings to place her cute lil’ button nose squarely upon the grindstone, that we may have our bacon and beans.

Do not weep for Herself, however. She likes it. She enjoys working and earning and being known throughout The Organization as someone who does not lean on her shovel but rather buckles down and gets the job done.

And if that means getting up at an hour I once considered a reasonable bedtime, well … she’s your gal.

• • •

The air is thick enough to slice for sandwiches.

Some days there is not enough sunshine and strong black coffee in the world, and this is one of them.

I don’t want to pay attention to what’s going down in Manhattan. But I feel obliged to keep one jaundiced eye aimed in that direction, if only because not paying attention is what led us to this sordid back alley of jurisprudence ripe with decades of uncollected garbage.

It’s not fun. Not nearly as nice as sleeping late, sipping a fat mug of joe, and idly skimming the news for lively items about camera-wearing cats.

It’s not even as enjoyable as listening to the wind howling at 666 mph and blowing my nose every 30 seconds because I am among the 26 percent of Americans who suffer from seasonal — ahhhhh-CHOO!allergies.

And though Charles Pelkey and I could probably make a couple thou’ apiece by cranking up the old Live Update Guy machinery to chronicle this mess, we’ll give it a miss.

I mean, where’s the entertainment value? According to The New York Times:

While in custody, he will be fingerprinted, but special accommodations will be made for the former president: He is not expected to be placed in a holding cell and will spend only a short time in the office before his court appearance; he likely won’t be handcuffed or have a mug shot taken.

At the arraignment, Mr. Trump is expected to enter a not-guilty plea himself, rather than through his lawyers, as an act of defiance in keeping with his approach to the day, according to people with knowledge of his thinking. He is also weighing whether to address the cameras before the arraignment, another person familiar with the discussions said.

Just another rerun of “The Apprentice.” Looks like it’ll be a while before anyone gets around to taking out this old sack of trash.

Let us spray

March 31, 2023

What a card.

However will The Mighty Mega NewsHose 9000® pass the time between now and Tuesday, when ’Is Lardship is to journey from Mar-a-Lago to Manhattan to face some long-overdue music?

By jawing frantically with “people familiar with the matter who, like many in Trump’s orbit, spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly share details of private discussions,” as The Washington Post puts it in a piece about how various minions, knaves, and varlets got caught with their pantaloons around their cankles when the indictment was announced.

A shorter item in The New York Times credits “people familiar with his thinking,” which must be a horrific state of consciousness to inhabit, even for traitors, seditionists, and whores.

The anonymous source is the cost of doing business in this shabby neighborhood, where everyone with even a soupçon of inside info is on the lookout for the cops, stoolies, and other potholes on the road to Advancement.

Musn’t abandon this lame candidate for the glue factory in midstream, no sir. Not until a more viable hoss comes clip-clopping along. We see many horse’s asses but very few complete horses.

Meanwhile, the invaluable Charles P. Pierce reminds us that the real game may be afoot in Georgia, where the charges are liable to carry a tad more weight than an indictment alleging someone was cooking the books in New York.

Writes Brother Pierce:

And, even if the former president* were to win in New York, so what? [Fulton County DA Fani] Willis’ charges are far more serious than [Manhattan DA Alvin] Bragg’s are. In Atlanta, the former president* may be indicted for crimes against the republic, for offenses against the idea of popular democracy. That is also Jack Smith’s brief for the DOJ, an investigation that looms like a giant Dust Bowl cloud behind these state prosecutions. Time has come today, in the immortal words of the Chambers Brothers. There are things to … realize.

Fire and ice

February 14, 2023

Free water for the trees. ’Ray!

“It’s a winter wonderland out there!” Herself exclaimed last night.

“No way,” I replied. Last I’d looked, just minutes earlier, it was raining.

“Totally,” she said.

So I looked again, and as usual, she was right. Coming down like Chinese balloons it was.

The forecast has been something of a combo platter for the past few days, as the weather wizards try to cover all the bases (rain, snow, sleet, wind, plague of toads, bloody stones, UFOs, zombie apocalypse, etc.).

With this in mind I availed myself of a pleasant 90-minute ride on Stupor Sunday (48° and sunny). Then yesterday Herself and I enjoyed a short trail run (54° and sunny with a stiff wind out of the SSW).

That breeze — Yahweh’s postal service — was apparently what delivered three of the predictors’ prognostications more or less at once last evening: wind, rain, and snow.

I never know what’s going to be in these packages once I unwrap them — big box of nothin’ or visit to the chiropractor — so I got up way too early this morning and had another look-see.

Oh, goody. About an inch and a half of feathery fluff, but still some moisture to it. Good for the trees.

I broomed the driveway clear for Herself’s launch to the lab and skedaddled back indoors, where the coffee would be once I got around to making some. First things first, as the fella says. If I let any kind of snow sit on that north-facing black-diamond driveway of ours on Valentine’s Day it will stay there until St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe Easter.

And now, we get right back on that meteorological roller coaster (rain, snow, sleet, wind, plague of toads, bloody stones, UFOs, zombie apocalypse, etc.). Also, keep a weather eye out for smoke blowing up your ass.

Naw, it’s not another controlled burn gone sideways. Just Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign. I’m not hearing any fire alarms.

FreeDumb® Friday

January 6, 2023

“‘Stop the Steal?’ I’m just getting started.”

Here’s a Fun Friday Factoid for all the Jan. 6 insurrection re-enactors in the audience: The attempt to overturn the 2020 election was King Donald the Short-fingered’s most successful business venture in 40 years, according to Timothy Noah at The New Republic.

Writes Noah:

As a political maneuver, trying to overturn the 2020 election was a miserable failure. It failed on its own terms—Joe Biden became and remains president—and it created all sorts of legal problems for Trump. … But as a business enterprise, January 6 was and remains an unqualified success.

It seems that the bulk of the $250 million raised to “Stop the Steal” went for no such purpose. Rather, according to the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the Capitol, it was used “to fund the former president’s other endeavors and to enrich his associates.” (See the committee’s report, Appendix Three, “The Big Rip-Off: Follow the Money.”)

Follow along with Noah as he takes a tour of the Trump Treasure Trail. No wonder the election deniers hobbling the House of Reprehensibles enjoy sniffing his farts. They smell like money, son!

Wrapping up, Noah observes:

Trump may be losing his real estate acumen, but he’s found a new market in grifting would-be political insurrectionists. Another late-December revelation from the select committee (this from the testimony of Jared Kushner) was that the Donald wanted to trademark the phrase “rigged election.” Now you know why. From the start, Trump’s insane election claims were a highly profitable business venture for a man whose other businesses have lately, for the most part, been anything but.

Light at the end of the tunnel?

January 5, 2023

“Gimme a minute, that Squeaker’s gavel has to be up here somewhere.”

The House of Reprehensibles is fixin’ to gavel itself on the noggin again starting at noon Swamp time, and you’ll want to have the popcorn and soda within easy reach.

From the sound of things Charlie McCarthy is prepared to give away everything that makes the Squeaker’s gig even halfway meaningful in order to get his pampered paws on the gavel.

Then the Freedumb Fighters will grab said gavel and run away, giggling. “Psych! Now we want a blood oath to the Constitution, mandatory open carry in the House Chamber, and the Squeaker has to do a daily dance on TikTok. In his tighty-whities.”

This is why it’s a bad idea to negotiate with terrorists. Their planning stops at the hostage-taking stage. From that point on it gets Western real quick, all horseshit and gunfire.

Puppet show

January 4, 2023

More puffery to the east.

Look! Up in the sky! Is that the white smoke signaling that a new Poop has been elected by the House of Reprehensibles?

Nope. Just morning clouds over the Sandias. But Charlie McCarthy has been dancing on his many, many strings overnight, trying to attract an audience that is more of a fan base and less of a lynch mob, and the show resumes at noon Swamp time.

I see he has Orange Julius Caesar in his corner now, which may be like having Dracula as your cut man.