Posts Tagged ‘Charles P. Pierce’

Preview of coming attractions

November 13, 2019

The impeachment inquiry has gone public, but I plan to resist the temptation to follow it extensively here, like a starveling coyote trailing a garbage truck.

My reasoning is that we’ll all read, watch, and hear a lot more than we care to elsewhere. Charlie Pierce is on the case, and I urge anyone who wants the bird’s-eye lowdown on this caper, whatever that means, to become a card-carrying member of his Shebeen.

Also, I imagine that we’re all mostly on the same page here — that the White House has become the Shite House, and that it’s turds all the way down. So I plan to preach to the choir only when I have some fresh take on the revelations.

‘NBC will not be able to predict the winner. …’

June 27, 2019

Eternal vigilance, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

After the briefest of discussions …

“You wanna watch the debate?”

“Nah. You?”

“Nah.”

… we decided against encouraging further silliness from NBC and the Democratic National Committee.

Finding some way to watch would have been a pain in the ass — we don’t have cable, and can’t get much of anything over the air without a rooftop antenna — and then there would have been the actual watching, which, ick.

Charlie Pierce found Tim Ryan full of the bafflegab, Elizabeth Warren on her game, Beto O’Rourke so light of weight that he “spent the evening looking as though he had to be tied down to keep from floating out the door,” and Julián Castro “the one Texan who knew what he was talking about.”

Kevin Drum found Beto “talking in platitudes,” Castro “clear and well-briefed,” Warren “OK for now,” and John Delaney “very annoying.” He also found the general unwillingness to discuss climate change an indication that the candidates “were afraid of saying something that will be interpreted as asking people to make an actual sacrifice.”

Mother Times and the WaPo (that would be a great band name, no?) are awash in the usual morning-after hooey about “divisions among Democrats,” and who “won” and who “lost,” if that’s your idea of a good time.

Meanwhile, Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) remains on the alert. He remains convinced that the Revolution will not be televised.

Prime time is on trails, not TV

February 6, 2019

The February wind was making the clouds skate around all over the sky yesterday.

The State of the Union (El Rancho Pendejo Edition) is as follows:

Herself is now working 10 hours a day, four days a week, so as to have a three-day weekend each and every week.

I am working not quite so much, my career having developed a slow leak at the potholed intersection of Bicycle and Journalism.

Trail time: When the bike is leaning up against the rock I’m probably not going to fall off of it.

I have a cartoon to draw for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, and a review to finish for Adventure Cyclist, and beyond that it’s anybody’s guess. Terra incognita. Here be dragons. All hope abandon, ye who scribble here.

Speaking of hope abandoned, I can’t wait to see the ratings for last night’s comedy special from Capitol Hill. Knowing that Charlie Pierce would be on the case, we gave it a miss, reasoning that if we want to watch a loon pretending to be president we can always dredge up some old “SNL” footage of Chevy Chase playing Gerald Ford.

Instead we caught up on “Crashing,” the Pete Holmes thing on HBO. It’s only so-so — Marc Maron and Bill Burr are more my style, when ol’ Freckles isn’t raving about ball sports — but you get to see some funny cameos by twisted comics like Dave Attell and Jeff Ross.

Beforehand I engaged in wheel sport, taking a quick out-and-back spin on the Voodoo Nakisi, which has been neglected while I review the Jamis Aurora Elite. My mad trail skillz have atrophied, and I was dabbing on sections a fat 4-year-old could handle on a balance bike, but it sure beat working. It beat not working too.

It’s flat crazy out there

November 5, 2018

Michael “McGet” McGettigan, director and owner of Trophy Bikes in Philly, doesn’t want any pesky punctures to prevent people from pedaling to the polls. | Photo courtesy Michael McGettigan, Trophy Bikes

Record-setting early and absentee voting numbers indicate “a great deal of enthusiasm and interest” among New Mexican voters in this midterm election, says one Duke City pollster.

This reflects what I heard from a poll worker when I threw the bums out the other day. Is it good news? Bad news? We’ll find out tomorrow evening, or Wednesday, depending on how close a thing it is.

Both parties were turning them out, but the Donks have the numbers in the early going, and New Mexico has a lot more registered Donks than Elefinks. You can get down in the Land of Enchantment’s political weeds over at Joe Monahan’s place.

Herself has been working the phones and going door to door, and she reports mostly positive interactions with The People, many of whom seem energized by the antics of Il Douche.

Charlie Pierce, meanwhile, is in Kansas, which he considers a bellwether for whether the ruthless avarice and ignorance that helped steer The Republic up to the hubs into a quagmire of orange sewage has overstayed its welcome.

All will be made known after the polls close tomorrow. Well, maybe not all. But we’ll certainly have a better idea of whether we’re still spinning our wheels or have decided to get out and push.

Interbike 2018: Relax

September 21, 2018

Just a little pinprick.

The latest iteration of the Gathering of the Tribes is in the rear-view mirror.

Was it a success? I have no idea. We’ll have to wait for the numbers, which may prove elusive.

Yes, it’s that time of year again.

One astute observer who is not me does not recall seeing any attendance figures from last year’s Interbike, the Last Roundup in Sin City, and thus who knows? Just as in real life, we may have to judge based on anecdotal evidence instead of cold, hard facts.

Speaking of anecdotal evidence, real life, and cold, hard facts, both Charlie Pierce and Kevin Drum are goggle-eyed at the latest plot twist in “The Adventures of Brett Kavanaugh, Boy Wonder.”

If this were real real life instead of a cheapjack “Justice League” porno knockoff, Kavanaugh’s nomination would be as dead as John Holmes. But the Senate is all Jokers and no Batmen.

Meanwhile, a tip of the Rivendell cycling cap to Darren Sherkat, who was the first and only commenter to publicly recognize the lyrics from Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb,” which I was using for headlines on this year’s Interbike posts. Hope you enjoyed ’em.

When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb.

Speaking of heat …

July 27, 2018

Pat Oliphant knew the devil when he saw him at the crossroads.

… my favorite go-to pundits, Charlie Pierce and Kevin Drum, both wonder if we’re finally at the crossroads, where the devil does his pickin’ and grinnin’ and invites you to dance along to his smokin’ licks.

Notes Kevin:

“I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s reminded by this of the years-long drip-drip-drip of Watergate revelations. I was only barely old back then enough to really follow along, so it looks like now I get a second chance in full adulthood. But I’m not sure that helps: so much shit is going down that I still have a hard time keeping up. What’s going to happen next week?”

Chazbo, as usual, has the more colorful take:

“I have no faith at all that enough people will do what needs to be done about this compromised and dangerous man. My first reaction to this news was that it would get folded into some nonsense that pops on the Friday news cycle — a barely coherent rage-tweet, or something stupid from the House of Representatives. But this is the yes-or-no moment. If CNN is right, and if Cohen is telling the truth, then, in the immortal words of J. Fred Buzhardt, that’s the ballgame.”

 

Sausage party

December 2, 2017

More shit soufflé? Of course we accept food stamps. Ha! Just kidding!

When you send whores to church, you should not be surprised to find them turning tricks in the pews.

Charlie Pierce says this more eloquently, and at greater length. The incomprehensible and unread tax bill that cleared the Senate in the wee hours this morning was larded with “conservative fetish objects” and the process “shot through with a contempt for democracy,” because of course they were.

And after this infernal hound comes howling out of the conference committee, and King Donald the Short-fingered gives it his blessing, and it begins devouring everyone who chose his or her parents poorly, and the MAGApies find that their health bennies don’t cover Tegaderm for the ouchy rug burns on their knees and elbows, to say nothing of that famous “burning, itching sensation,” well, you may be certain of one thing:

They will blame the black guy and the woman, not The Turtle and the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver.

‘Cabal, intrigue and corruption’

December 11, 2016
He's not president yet.

He’s not president yet.

Charles P. Pierce engages an Airbnb in The Neighborhood of Make-Believe from which he discusses one way in which we might yet be spared the dubious gold-plated presidency of Donald of Orange.

It’s not entirely unbelievable. While Der Trumpenführer may have powerful friends in Russia (Делайте Америку великой ещё раз!), he has made more than a few comparably powerful enemies right here at home. And given that the the swamp has its own long-established and deeply held notions about governance and personal enrichment, it would not astonish me to see the Electoral College hand the whole sordid mess over to the Congress and say: “Here, you deal with it. We’re off to the pub for a stiff drink or six.”

The House would then pick a president and the Senate a vice president, and then the fun would really begin.

Charlie cites Federalist 68, which says, among other things, that the Electoral College was intended to avoid just the sort of mess in which the Republic finds itself.

Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?

Brother Pierce continues: “We are a month away from inaugurating a manifestly unqualified and ethically unfit man as president of the United States, a man who has lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes, who already is reneging on almost every promise he made while campaigning, who steadfastly refuses to be transparent about who holds the note on his finances and who is on his way to raising conflicts of interest to stratospheric levels, and who now may very well be the willing bobo for a foreign dictator.”

He also says that the matter “is the most stark challenge to a free people that has arisen in my lifetime,” and I agree. Whether we’re up to meeting it is another matter altogether.

Rest day

November 21, 2016
The Irish should not be entrusted with any technology more advanced than the hoe and wheelbarrow.

The Irish should not be entrusted with any technology more advanced than the hoe and wheelbarrow.

Looks like I picked a good day to ignore the news in favor of fiddling with the dark corners of GarageBand (yeah, take cover, you might have to endure another podcast before much longer).

The homepage of The New York Times looks like the mounts of all Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse shat on it in a driving rain, which oddly enough is what we’re experiencing at the moment here in Duke City. The rain, not the horseshit, though that can be had aplenty too, if I am not otherwise occupied, which I am.

Even Charles P. Pierce is starting to make me nervous. When the headline is “Saddened, Angry, Sickened, Defeated,” it’s a solid tip that the guffaws will be few and far between.

Me, I’m just glad I don’t have any pressing deadlines. It was tough to bring the funny for the final Bicycle Retailer of 2016, and while delving into the mysteries of GarageBand is giving me a headache, it is in a largely unused corner of what remains of my brain.

 

Chill

November 10, 2016
Baby, it's cold outside.

Baby, it’s cold outside.

This morning the furnace fired up for the first time this fall.

If this had happened Tuesday evening, I might have considered it an omen. But on Thursday? It’s November, man. It had to happen sometime.

And so, too, probably, did Donald Trump.

Maybe Wisconsin should have been our canary in the coal mine. This former case study in the practical application of progressive politics has turned into its Bizarro World doppleganger, inexplicably clinging to its numbnuts Gov. Scott Walker like some sort of smelly security blanket and telling Russ Feingold to go fuck himself.

Walker the presidential candidate didn’t even make it to the Iowa caucuses, dropping out of the race in September 2015, and we all had a good laugh about how his lame little act wasn’t ready for prime time.

And then Insane Clown Pussy made it all the way to the finish line.

You’ll find any number of analyses for why this played out the way it did, but I find myself agreeing with Kevin Drum and Charles P. Pierce, who think it has a lot to do with what Drum politely calls “racial and cultural identity,” Pierce calls “nativist racism,” and I call “assholes.” (Hey, I don’t have any advertisers to take offense.)

What does it all mean? There are plenty of deep thoughts about that floating around too, and I imagine you’ve already seen, heard, read or had many of them.

But for starters, it means that once again the GOP has done an “Exorcist”-style about-face on just about everything it’s claimed to hold dear whenever Democrats are in charge: Filibusters are bad; the Electoral College is good; and only “spoiled crybabies” dare question the legitimacy of a duly elected president.

What do we do next? Pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back after it — hopefully a little wiser for the experience.*

As E.J. Dionne writes: “(W)e cannot allow fear or anger to drive us from the field. If ever our nation needed a determined, thoughtful and creative opposition, it is now.”

* Speaking of “thoughtful and creative,” let’s not burn any flags, OK? Bad optics, don’t you know. I thought that shit was stupid even when I was a hippie.