Archive for the ‘Feddle gummint’ Category

Work song

April 29, 2021

We almost skipped Sleepy Joe’s address to Congress Lite last night.

Our “Northern Exposure” DVD collection has been getting a workout — you’d be surprised how well that series holds up after 30 years — and I already had a pretty good idea of how “The Joe Show” was gonna go. I’ve seen that one before, too.

But we watched ol’ Joe spin his tale, and I’m glad we did.

It was light on chest-thumping and finger-pointing. It felt less like theater and more like a routine business meeting.

“We all know the drill here, ladies and gents. The Old Home Place is in a helluva state. But we can fix it, if we all pitch in and get our hands dirty, and here’s where I think we should start.” Etc.

I particularly liked his attempt to take back “We the people” from the knuckleheads. I’ve said this for years. We are the government. “L’etat, c’est nous.” If it’s a trainwreck, well, we let it go off the rails, didn’t we? Sat there and watched and pitched a bitch because nobody gave us free marshmallows to toast in the subsequent three-alarm fire.

So here comes Sleepy Joe and he sez to ’em he sez: “Fuck me, what a mess. Let’s put out that fire, get this thing back on the rails, and see where we can go with it. Now I think of it, these rails could use a little work. And is that a road or a gravel quarry? Jesus. Call up the pavers. Whaddaya mean you haven’t got any bars on your phone? Well, shit, add that to the list.

“And quit picking on the kid. Who cares what bathroom s/he uses? We don’t do something about the pipes we’re all gonna be shitting behind the bushes before much longer. And the bushes are gonna be on fire because climate change! Hel-lo! Make another note, Kamala. I’ll bet you wish you hadn’t answered your phone when I called you up and asked you to join the ticket, hey?”

Joe knows he has a teeny-tiny window of opportunity here. From what I’ve read, the Richie Riches and Corporate America don’t mind paying a smidge more in taxes at this moment in history because they know it’s tough to do bidness in a burning building while hanging from the rafters in a stylish suit of tar and feathers and the customers are engaged in running gun battles outside, too broke to pay their bills but not broke enough to pawn their guns.

Too, odds are he loses the House in the midterms thanks to all the three-card Monte that took place at our local carnivals while we were focused on The Big Top. He might be a one-termer whether he likes it or not.

So, yeah. That was quite a laundry list of chores he laid out last night. But he wasn’t a dick about it, and you can’t deny the Old Home Place needs a little work. Deferred maintenance has a way of piling up like turds behind bushes. Or in the House of Representatives.

Nothing but blue skies

March 26, 2021

Puffy clouds to the north, above the garage.

Wednesday’s snow tamped down the pollen for a while, which is a pleasant respite for the snotlocker.

It’s still not warm — 39° at the moment, which would be 10 in the a.m. on a Friday morning — but as we’ve noted before, nobody who lives in the desert should complain when it’s cool and damp. Because it never lasts.

Sleepy Joe held his first presser yesterday, but I had to bail on it after just a few minutes because I kept hearing Dana Carvey’s spot-on impression of him in my head and couldn’t focus on what the real Joe was saying. I know, I know, bad citizen, bad bad citizen! 

But from what little I saw, and read afterward, I feel confident when I say that Sleepy José is unlikely to challenge his predecessor’s score on the Loon-O-Meter® anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Herself is slated to get her first jab today. She and a colleague will each get a dose of Moderna, and then if the weather permits they might find some nearby bistro for a socially distant bite of something and perhaps a celebratory shot that doesn’t go in the arm.

And I am scheduled for round two in late April, at the same place that stuck me on Wednesday. Round one left me with an achy arm and a touch of fatigue, though the latter could have been weather- or allergy-induced. As far as I know my DNA remains unchanged, I am not shedding mutant viruses, and I have not croaked. Yet.

Or is that just what “they” would have you believe?

More, late*

December 21, 2020

A little light and a lot more tunnel.

“Pandemic Deal by Congress Provides Economic Relief, for Now,” reports The New York Times.

But it’s too little, too late, and perhaps the last of Uncle Sammy’s pennies in the ol’ tin cup for a while, adds The Old Grey Hoor, in an analysis by Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley.

The injection of money comes months too late for tens of thousands of failed businesses, however, and it may not be enough to sustain unemployed workers until the labor market rebounds. Moreover, it could be the last help from Washington the economy gets anytime soon.

Call me cynical, but I think we need some brighter bulbs on this job.

*Apologies to Chris in the Morning.

Let them eat shit

December 10, 2020

“Be Best?” How about, “Begone?”

So I’m standing in the kitchen after a morning of bad dreams, idly thumbing through the news on my phone as the toaster mutters to itself, when I stumble across these two items back to back on The Washington Post app:

• Stealing to survive: More Americans are shoplifting food as aid runs out during the pandemic. One manager interviewed said he usually doesn’t call the John Laws, but instead tells the offenders not to come back.

“It’s become much harder during the pandemic,” he said. “People will say, ‘I was just hungry.’ And then what do you do?”

• Dismissing health concerns, State Department treats 200 guests to holiday drinks, tours and leftover “Be Best” swag. The hoopla included a tour of the White House holiday decorations, beverages at Blair House, and “Be Best” merch’ from the phenomenally unremarkable anti-bullying initiative by the First Plagiarist, Countess Malaria Dracula.

“It’s time to get rid of the leftovers,” said one official.

Indeed it is. There’s never a guillotine around when you need one. Jan. 20 can’t come soon enough.

Three weeks

October 13, 2020

Miss Mia bags it. “Wake me when it’s over, or when it’s dinnertime, whichever comes first.”

Miss Mia Sopaipilla has the right idea here.

I was following her lead earlier this morning. Herself arose at stupid-thirty, as is her practice. I remained abed, head buried ostrichlike under the covers, hoping that if I just stayed under wraps for a while everything that annoyed me would go away.

Nope.

I got out of the sack three weeks too early. Give or take a couple months of lawyering.

Is it really three weeks until we get our next chance to roust this crime family? I’d give a healthy organ to see a “Cops”-style perp walk, with a disheveled Don Cornholio frog-marched to the paddywagon in guinea tee and cuffs. But this may prove elusive since La Hosa Nostra has spent the past three years and change packing the nation’s benches with capos, soldatos, and other reliable associates.

“It’s a fair cop, but society is to blame.”

“Right, we’ll arrest them instead.”

Some like it hot

September 17, 2020

Lessee, there’s freedom of the press, freedom of speech,
and freedom to run like hell from the cops with their heat ray. Got it.

H.G. Wells got it wrong. Mars isn’t the problem.

Before the feds drove protesters from Lafayette Square in June, according to an Army National Guard major who was there, the Defense Department’s top military police officer in the Washington region emailed officers in the D.C. National Guard to ask whether the unit had “a microwave-like weapon called the Active Denial System, which was designed by the military to make people feel like their skin is burning when in range of its invisible rays.”

According to The Washington Post:

The technology, also called a “heat ray,” was developed to disperse large crowds in the early 2000s but was shelved amid concerns about its effectiveness, safety and the ethics of using it on human beings.

Pentagon officials were reluctant to use the device in Iraq. In late 2018, The New York Times reported, the Trump administration had weighed using the device on migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border — an idea shot down by Kirstjen Nielsen, then the Homeland Security secretary, citing humanitarian concerns.

But in the email, on which DeMarco was copied, the lead military police officer in the National Capital Region wrote the ADS device “can provide our troops a capacity they currently do not have, the ability to reach out and engage potential adversaries at distances well beyond small arms range, and in a safe, effective, and nonlethal manner.”

Federal police ultimately were unable to obtain a heat ray device — or an LRAD — during the early days of protests in D.C., according to the Defense Department official.

“During the early days,” hey? Don’t forget to wear your Alcoa cammies when you’re out smashing the state, boys and girls. And spray yourself with a little olive oil, maybe stuff a few onions, taters, and carrots into your undies. The “Martians” are going to need a lunch break at some point.

Executive ordure

August 8, 2020

“Nah, that’s not chicken shit. That’s chicken salad. Enjoy!”

The U.S. Constitution is a poor defense against a ruthless huckster hellbent on selling snake oil to the rubes.

“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriation made by Law. …”

“Fuck you. Sue me. And guess who pays for the lawyers?”

Good trouble

July 18, 2020

A police mugshot of John Lewis from Nashville, during the Sixties.

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)

“I just happened to be wearing black on a sidewalk in downtown Portland at the time. And that apparently is grounds for detaining me.”Mark Pettibone, a Portland protester snatched off the street by anonymous men in camo who sprang from an unmarked van.

When Mother Jones asked the Homeland Security Department for details of what DHS agents are doing in [Portland], a spokesperson sent a press release in which acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf described nearly 100 incidents allegedly perpetrated by “violent anarchists” — mostly vandalism of the courthouse and other federal buildings. (A typical example: “Violent anarchists graffitied the Hatfield Courthouse.”)Dan Friedman, Mother Jones.

Glide path, v2.0

June 30, 2020

“We’re coming in hot. …”

James Fallows, himself a pilot, wonders what the National Transportation Safety Board might make of Adolf Twitler’s response to the pandemic.

In the previous two decades of international public-health experience, starting with SARS and on through the rest of the acronym-heavy list, a standard procedure had emerged, and it had proved effective again and again. The U.S, with its combination of scientific and military-logistics might, would coordinate and support efforts by other countries. Subsequent stages would depend on the nature of the disease, but the fact that the U.S. would take the primary role was expected. When the new coronavirus threat suddenly materialized, American engagement was the signal all other participants were waiting for. But this time it did not come. It was as if air traffic controllers walked away from their stations and said, “The rest of you just work it out for yourselves.”

“We’re approaching our final destination. Please return your tray tables and seat backs to their fully upright positions, place your heads between your legs, and kiss your asses goodbye. And thank you for flying Trump Air.”

Implausible deniability

June 6, 2020

“What’s all the hubbub … bub?”

And now, for your listening pleasure, Attorney General Bill “Droopy” Barr  performs “An Ode to Self-Exoneration” on the butt-trumpet:

“I’m not involved in giving tactical commands like that,” Barr told the Associated Press. “I was frustrated and I was also worried that as the crowd grew, it was going to be harder and harder to do. So my attitude was get it done, but I didn’t say, ‘Go do it.’ ”

Gee whillikers, a fella just can’t find good help anymore, even with the unemployment rate in double digits. This gasbag makes John Mitchell look like Clarence Darrow.