Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Transforming this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of peace

Good news! Bipartisanship is returning to the capital! The national news media can stand down. After almost three long months, the military state (along with the Kushners, we're told) is pulling Donald Trump back into the folds of the Washington political consensus.

Tomahawk missiles were launched against Syria early Friday and Senators McCain and Graham, Schumer and Pelosi, the Clintons, and nearly the entirety of the Fourth Estate approve of Trump's handling of the imminent global threat that is Bashar al Assad, one of the few secularist leaders in the Middle East, a man who’s fighting, with the aid of the Russians, against the Islamic State and other rebel groups backed by Saudi Arabia, but a man who never once made a financial contribution to the Clinton Foundation. Trump, the man we were told was a mental incompetent, is now showing that he’s worthy of respect, don’t you understand, as NBC’s Brian Williams marvels at how "beautiful" is America’s firepower. Fareed Zakaria declared on CNN over the weekend, regarding the military strikes, “I think Donald Trump became President of the United States” (last night). Bombing translates to maturity in Washington circles. The grown-ups inside the shadow government are back in charge.

Don't lament, though, liberals. Your representatives inside the Beltway are still committed to bringing down the president. Don’t go limp on them now. They just have to switch tactics to continue the crusade. They don’t have the moral authority to criticize the violation of international law that’s he has committed because it’s well-known that their man, our man, former President Obama, wanted to do the same thing-- that is, target the Syrian government with his attack. The Obama War Department had already dropped a number of bombs on Syrian innocents, but the Democratic president was rejected by the Senate in his bid to target Assad installations. Assad is the target now by stated purpose, and unlike the terrifying missiles seeking blood and death that Trump now deploys, the 26,171 bombs that President Obama dropped on Muslims just during the calendar year of 2016 alone were filled with candy hearts and gum drops.

The agreed-upon justification is that Assad gassed his own people-- you know, those same people we now care deeply enough to defend militarily but that can’t be accepted within our borders as refugees. (The old “bomb-and-ban” from the post-9-11 playbook.) This alleged crime by Assad came less than two months after Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice boasted to National Public Radio that the U.S. had succeeded in getting the Syrian leader to surrender his stockpile of chemical weapons. I guess the investigation is complete as of Friday.

The Democrats have been played for fools again as Trump executes his politically-motivated hit upon the Syrian government and the host of innocents. They can’t criticize the attack because their militaristic posturing since 2001-- including Hillary Clinton’s repeated criticisms of Obama for failing to target Assad-- preclude it, yet Trump only stands to gain in the polls at home by starting a war. That one never fails to fly here. As Trump targets Vladimir Putin’s top ally in the Middle East, the bombing also does damage to the Democrats’ claim that Trump is Putin’s puppet. Because the Democrats can’t shake themselves of their “Putin controls the White House” narrative, they’re left to grasping at conspiracies with new angles, that Trump warned Russia about the Syrian strike before it was carried out. Ooh. I guess they don’t consider that “heads-up” an act of diplomacy, though Russia is-- applicably noted in this context-- not a country we’ve declared war against.

Especially confusing in these topsy-turvy political times is how Democrats transformed themselves in just one day last week from proponents of the argument that Trump is a dangerous sociopath to getting behind the greatest example to date of the supposed mad man’s violent aggression. All along the campaign trail, the man said he would bomb the hell of 'em, and that he is doing. He said he would target the families of terrorists, and I’ll be damned if he didn’t do that exactly with his targeted strikes in Yemen back in February. And now he’s the Commander-in-Chief for all of the people. Presidential. He unleashed the missiles and unzipped the missile from his pants.

Democrats and Republicans continue to have everything in common in respect to military and foreign policy. Neither party has a plan for peace other than to continue the bombing and killing of innocents. They murder to posture. It took Trump fewer than 100 days to break his campaign promise and rally behind the U.S. tradition of forcing "regime change" upon other sovereign nations, less than three months to involve us in another war that does not impact our national security in the slightest, except as it serves to create more terrorists. This particular attack is historically notable in that it commenced exactly 50 years and three days after Martin Luther King delivered his speech at Riverside Church and his historic declaration that the United States “was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”

Chuck Berry's funeral

Fateful circumstances-- that is, a Cardinals game and a Chris Rock concert-- led me to St. Louis this past weekend and to the public viewing tribute to Chuck Berry as he lied in state at the Pageant Theater on Sunday. The Father of Rock and Roll died on March 18th, and his family opened up the doors of this theater to the general public for a viewing of the body five hours before the private funeral service on Sunday afternoon.

It was an interesting mix of people in line around my brother and me. It seemed to be largely local people. We were the outliers as visitors from out of town and out of state. Directly behind us in the line, which wrapped about two city blocks early in the morning, were the proprietors of the city’s most iconic music store, Vintage Vinyl, which is located down the street from the Pageant and directly across from Berry's star on the city's Walk of Fame and a statute of Berry. Next to them happened to be the mother of a college football coach that just signed on as a graduate assistant with my alma mater, Iowa State University, for the 2017 season. You find out that it's a small world when you talk to people.

A team of limousines were lined up on a closed off block of Delmar Boulevard even six hours before the funeral. Inside the venue, Berry was laid out in a casket just below the theater’s stage. He was to be buried in his signature Captain’s hat and with his red Gibson ES-335 guitar. I must say that the body looked magnificent. The casket was flanked on either side by a pair of well-dressed guards in white gloves. Imposing is the wrong word for their appearance, impressive is the right one. We were encouraged to sign a guest book, which we did, and a program was handed out. During our time passing by the body, “Maybellene” played overhead. That was Berry's first hit record in 1955. Near the casket, a large floral arrangement in the shape of an upright guitar was a gift from the Rolling Stones. The first 300 members of the public in an auxiliary line at 11 am were given entry passes for the private service, but we were destined to be on the road by that time. Had we waited, we would have easily made the cut. Among the luminaries that would be on hand for that event were the frequent Berry collaborator Johnny Rivers, KISS’s Gene Simmons, and TV’s Paul Shaffer.

Chuck Berry was committed to the earth late in the day on Sunday. He already belonged to the ages.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Don Rickles upon his death

I saw Don Rickles perform on stage twice. After a show at the casino in Osceola, he stood atop a balcony inside the hotel and blessed all of us below as if he was the Pope. He anointed us with bottled water and called us dummies. He was so offensive that he wasn't offensive at all. Not only was he the funniest comic, in my book, but I would argue that he may have been the most important because of the purity of his style and what he represented about the power of laughter to disarm every human exchange. For decades, no performer could follow Don on stage. He punctured everything that came close to him. Though he was 90 years old, he had more to give us, and that adds to the tragedy of his death. He walked the highest tightrope of all the comics with what Bob Newhart called "that act of his," but Don made the balance look easy because he did it so well for so long. He's gone and we don't have another one.

The more-or-less fast-approaching defeat of Trumpism

Jonathan Chait and Ed Kilgore at New York Magazine are still all in for the corporate wing of the Democratic Party. From the cold, dead hands of the agents of the party's defeat, I guess.

Nobody on the Eastern Seaboard was a bigger cheerleader for Hillary Clinton last year than was Chait. He opposed Bernie Sanders' call for a $15 federal minimum wage, and called Sanders' campaign against free trade "more ignorant than Donald Trump's." My favorite among his criticisms of Sanders that were, in retrospect, an unintentional indictment of the Clinton campaign instead is that last year's Democrats "risk losing the presidency" by nominating a candidate who has been "shelter(ed).. from necessary internal criticism."

For his part, Kilgore, during that period of the campaign just before WikiLeaks exposed to voters the anti-Sanders machinations inside the DNC, argued that Clinton should "offer Team Sanders the fool's gold of platform concessions and maybe the promise of a look at primary laws and procedure" rather than actual concessions and, it would seem then, the basic courtesy of respect and consideration. Kilgore also opined last May, more than half a year ahead of the Rust Belt Revolt, that "the actual working-class voters Sanders claims to represent view Clinton as the devil isn't borne out by the numbers."

So when these two cats lean in to tell you that Donald Trump's political death is imminent, grab a pen and a college-ruled, spiral-bound notepad and form a Lotus-position at their feet because they're most certainly hooked to something big.

Chait's editor has chosen for his latest cheer routine the headline "Republicans Are Going to Wish Hillary Clinton Won." This is New York Magazine politics at its finest. Give the people the reality they want. Reinforce their most strongly-held beliefs about the purity of their own motives and the wisdom of the electoral choices that they make. Though there are some odd comic elements to the article, Chait seems legitimately convinced that Republican Party is (again) on the verge of collapse. In fact, I could have put that phrase "verge of collapse" in quotes. He writes that exactly-- even as he then follows that immediately with an acknowledgement that the nation's dominant party is about to add a Supreme Court justice, "a host of federal judges, and a wide array of deregulation."

Kilgore's April 5th offering is titled "Trump will Help Dems Solve Their 'Midterm Falloff' Problem." He's already predicting big gains for the Dems in the 2018 mid-terms, something that-- if it happens as he suggests-- would be a historical rarity indeed as Democratic turnout is typically horrendous in off-presidential years.

Where can all of this optimism be coming from unless they're still unmoored from reality? Few other details are offered by either man. Where are the candidates of opposition? What will they look like? What will their message be? They've got a live one out in Montana, but they're ignoring him. There's no evidence that anything has changed at all in the mindset of the leadership of this party that is now relegated to minor status-- controlling neither the White House, nor the Senate, nor the Congress. Only 16 of 50 state governors are Democrats. The party was obliterated at the local level during the Obama presidency, experiencing a net loss of 1,000 seats in state legislatures during the last eight years.

Have they changed their message? Are they reaching out to the disaffected working-class voters in Rust Belt states that handed Clinton her defeat and helped send an overwhelming majority of Republicans to Washington for 2017? You tell me. Do you hear any of them, or their surrogates, talking about jobs? About trade? About a living wage? We might claim different news sources, but all I hear from them is xenophobic shit about Russia. Their only apparent strategy for combating what Chait refers to as Trump's "power of ethnonationalism" is a little ethnonationalism of their own. If only they aped his rhetoric of economic populism instead.

What we're getting instead from Chait and Kilgore, and from Democrats in general, is a doubling-down on a strategy that has already face-planted-- a rigid focus on their hopeful perceptions of a "Trump hate" existing among the populace, and still refusing to develop a populist message of their own despite the gaping vacuum Trump has created for a version of the real thing. Trump has indeed exuded an extraordinary incompetence during his first two-and-a-half months on the job, but the Democrats are still gifting him with the same antidote for his defeat.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

The ungrateful refugee

What a writer this woman is-- Dina Nayeri. I'm going to be quoting from this article for the foreseeable future.

"(I)sn’t glorifying the refugees who thrive according to western standards just another way to endorse this same gratitude politics? Isn’t it akin to holding up the most acquiescent as examples of what a refugee should be, instead of offering each person the same options that are granted to the native-born citizen? Is the life of the happy mediocrity a privilege reserved for those who never stray from home?

..."Despite a lifetime spent striving to fulfill my own potential, of trying to prove that the west is better for having known me, I cannot accept this way of thinking, this separation of the worthy exile from the unworthy. Civilised people don’t ask for resumes when answering calls from the edge of a grave. It shouldn’t matter what I did after I cleaned myself off and threw away the last of my asylum-seeking clothes. My accomplishments should belong only to me. There should be no question of earning my place, of showing that I was a good bet. My family and I were once humans in danger, and we knocked on the doors of every embassy we came across: the UK, America, Australia, Italy. America answered and so, decades later, I still feel a need to bow down to airport immigration officers simply for saying 'Welcome home.' But what America did was a basic human obligation. It is the obligation of every person born in a safer room to open the door when someone in danger knocks. It is your duty to answer us, even if we don’t give you sugary success stories.

..."The refugee has to be less capable than the native, needier; he must stay in his place. That’s the only way gratitude will be accepted. Once he escapes control, he confirms his identity as the devil. All day I wondered, has this been true in my own experience? If so, then why all the reverence for the refugees who succeed against the odds, the heartwarming success stories? And that’s precisely it – one can go around in this circle forever, because it contains no internal logic. You’re not enough until you’re too much. You’re lazy until you’re a greedy interloper.

..."A person’s life is never a bad investment, and so there are no creditors at the door, no debt to repay."

Saturday, April 01, 2017

The Father of Rock-n-Roll

A week from tomorrow, Chuck Berry will be laid to rest. He was a musical icon, a St. Louis icon, and an American icon. Props to Robert Zemeckis' 1985 film Back to the Future for perpetuating the reality that Berry invented rock and roll. Thanks in part to that popular Michael J. Fox vehicle, I hope that it was generally understood by the public, upon Berry's death week before last, that Berry was, indeed, the man most responsible for what rock and roll would eventually become and how we would come to understand it, even as we acknowledge that each of these popular art forms are very fluid in their origination story and possess many parents. If not its inventor, however, Berry was certainly the music's designer and engineer.

Berry's guitar licks gave the genre its power and its electricity. They are on display in such timeless recordings from the mid-1950's to early '60s as "Johnny B. Goode," "No Particular Place to Go," "Maybellene," "Roll Over Beethoven," "School Days," and "You Never Can Tell," and it has been cited as the predominant influence on the work of everybody after that is considered to be under the rock and roll umbrella. He also sold the music hard, providing the swagger that became the music's foremost characteristic, and it was a signature of his art as well up until the end. He is "the Father of Rock-n-Roll." In 1977, Berry's recording of "Johnny B. Goode" was chosen for inclusion on the Voyager Golden Record, a collection of vinyl grooves snuggled firmly aboard the Voyager 1 probe and launched into space with the intent of communicating to extraterrestrials the story of  humans on planet Earth.

Also "time capsuled" on the Voyager are interpretations of the work of Mozart, Beethoven, and Stravinsky, and a recording by at least one other American, the gospel blues singer Blind Willie Johnson. During a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch in 1978, a character portrayed by Steve Martin psychically intuited that the aliens had responded to the gift by returning a four-word message "Send more Chuck Berry." According to prominent and respected internet sources, the Voyager Golden Record passed the orbit of Pluto in 1990, and left the solar system in 2004. In 2012, the probe was reported by NASA to be 17.9 billion km from the sun, and in 2013-- still capable of sending back data transmissions-- it had left the heliosheath and entered interstellar space. In only about 40,000 years, Voyager 1 will come within about 1.8 light-years of the star Gliese 445 in the constellation Camelopardalis. That's a long bus ride from The Ville neighborhood in North St. Louis, where Berry was born in 1926. Due to housing covenants and other legal restrictions, African-Americans in St. Louis were-- and have been-- concentrated in this 0.42 square-mile area for decades, though its borders could not contain the talent and the drive within. Other native sons and daughters of The Ville include Arthur Ashe, Grace Bumbry, Dick Gregory, Sonny Liston, and Josephine Baker.

Until 2014, Chuck Berry still performed one Tuesday night each month in the Duck Room of the Blueberry Hill club on Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis. I will be in St. Louis on Sunday. His funeral will be a private event that day for friends and family, but the Berrys have scheduled a public viewing for us at the Pageant theater on Delmar from 8 am to noon. Berry also recently completed a record of new music that will be released posthumously.
 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Upon the Feast of St. Patrick

Happy St. Paddy’s Day, boy-oh. Of course, it isn’t a particularly happy one, not here in the United States, where a day that celebrates the immigration of one particular nationality is slated to be overwhelmed by the terrible narrative of the times-- a xenophobic president pushing construction of his border wall and targeting specific other nationalities for exclusion, and doing so in a shockingly-open fashion.

Second-generation Irish-American Andrew O’Hehir has a very thinkable piece up at Salon addressing his Irish countrymen and countrywomen in the New World. He claims that, "among all but the affluent classes, nearly everyone in Ireland has a friend or family member who has worked illegally in the U.S. or is doing so now.” He expresses embarrassment that the prime minister of the Republic of Ireland has arrived in Washington this week, and rather shamelessly made the tone-deaf, lopsided suggestion-- face-to-face with the U.S. president-- that, despite the current political climate, the roughly 50,000 Irish citizens that are living illegally here now have their status legalized. O’Hehir also laments that so many of the descendants of the U.S.’s once-despised Irish immigrant population are now on the front line of Trump’s war on the hungry, tired, and huddled masses. It’s worth calling them out by their Gaelic surnames: (Steve) Bannon, (Sean) Spicer, (Kellyanne) Conway, (John) Kelly, (Kevin) McCarthy, (Michael) Flynn… and I’ll add (Paul) Ryan. It’s the American way, it seems-- climb the proverbial ladder yourself and saw off every wrung behind you as you go.

I wish how it weren’t the same for my people, today’s German-Americans, whose rich Central European culture we abandoned, or were forced to abandon, in a virtual instant at the outbreak of World War I. At the time of the Archduke Ferdinand's assassination in 1914, there were still dozens of German-language newspapers just in the state of Iowa alone. But there he is now, instead: Mr. Drumpf, in the White House, spitting at the brown and black. Are today’s immigrants less educated, less hard-working, more dangerous? Why don’t they just play by the rules, many of you ask, the way your foremothers and forefathers did? Well, how easy did my emigrant ancestors have it compared to the migrants of today? Hardships of a hard land, my ass. Wood fires don’t keep you as warm as a high-velocity heat pump, that much is true, but those resettled Americans then were considered United States citizens, with all of the accompanying privileges, almost the instant they stepped off the boat on South Manhattan’s Castle Garden.

This was the 1860s. There were entrance tests for health, but none for citizenship, nor for language. There was no such thing as temporary status, no overstaying a visa, no restrictions on work permit or school enrollment. Those endeavors were actually encouraged without qualification. There was no need for detention centers for expulsion, separation of families, no “expedited removals,” no immigration prisons, to say nothing of a detention industry for profit. The length of the line to get in was measured not in years, but in mere hours. There was no such thing as being “illegal,” and no quota systems for national origin, not for the Europeans anyway, but they were coming soon for groups like the Chinese.

And how easy did my ancestors have it economically, relative to 2017? After they landed as citizens, they were given land. It was called the Homestead Act, signed into law by Abe Lincoln in 1862. What did the land cost? How did they pay for it? Your questions aren't even correct. They paid only a small filing fee-- eighteen dollars. The land itself was free. All that a man 21 years or older had to do to own this allotted land was go live on it for five years, and then it belonged to him. This policy of land grant was in place for a long period of time. The amount of acres allotted by the legislation was increased in 1909 and again in 1916.

The door is no longer open. With the rights of the migrants disappearing, ours disappear as well. Now we have debates about which newcomers are the “good ones,” which ones are the “bad ones.” We make up false narratives that immigrants drive down the wages of the native-born and that there are more crimes committed among the newly-arrived than among our tenured residents. Both major political parties openly admit that we value them more highly if they are skilled than if they are unskilled, even though the nation’s economy has always demanded the contributions of both groups. We wonder why the “illegals” just don’t get in line when there is actually no line to get into.

Above all other reasons, we despise them because they are poor. We make a presumption of their guilt, even for refugees. The entire game is rigged against them. It's built on the historical fiction of hardship referenced above, and one that is, in truth, specifically designed not to deliver new Americans out of peril, but to keep them in it, ripe for manipulation and exploitation.

Migration is a human right. Without it, our other rights fade to nothing. The lord and savior of a predominantly Christian nation had his parents turned away at his birth. Then he was turned away during his life. He preached for inclusion and never once gave any indication that he would support the garbage that is our bureaucracy today, or even the concept of a national border. Though we looked to these parables for meaning for decades, they are now just lost lessons on a collapsing empire that is, taken as a whole, mean and stupid.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The unhinged

I wish I could laugh at the assertion of Kellyanne Conway that the federal government is capable of eavesdropping on us through our microwave ovens, but this is just more unfocused nonsense-- courtesy of a dim-witted administration-- that needlessly distracts from the very real information release by WikiLeaks last week that the Intelligence State is listening in on our calls, is reading our emails, and possesses the capability to cover their tracks when doing either. The defenders of the Surveillance State that control the Democratic and Republican parties are steering you away from the horrific reality of unconscionable Fourth Amendment violation by jumping on this dumb microwave comment or inflating the comical image of President Obama purportedly eavesdropping each night during the summer of 2016 to the goings-on at Trump Tower. The current political debate regarding our inalienable right to privacy perfectly encapsulates this date and time of our collapsing republic-- an executive branch incapable of accurately identifying-- or keeping its focus trained upon-- what are actual threats to American democracy (that is, our own institutions), and an opposition party more committed to party loyalty and entrenched financial interest than to Constitutional safeguards.

As Senator Rand Paul accurately explained on Face the Nation Sunday, the NSA is tapping into our international calls, backed by the blanket approval of the FISA court, with the expressed purpose of surveilling foreigners, but with the true purpose of listening to Americans. This conspiracy has enjoyed bipartisan cover for some time as both former president Obama and GOP representative Mike Rogers, former House Intelligence Chair, have defended it. (Rogers famously said in 2013, "You can't have your privacy violated if you don't know your privacy is violated.) Both of those politicos have publicly called such practice of listening in on Americans “illegal,” which it should be considered, but domestic eavesdropping without a warrant was legalized by them and other lawmakers with the 2008 FISA law (in particular, Section 702) that then-Senator Obama voted for after he had vowed to filibuster against it.

The law states that the target of such surveillance must be the foreigner (which itself is a Constitutionally-dubious initiative, but whatever), yet the government gets “back door” access in this way to Americans as well; and, note, our government doesn’t need to “target” anyone at all in order to collect huge volumes of communications. 250 million internet transactions are captured each year by the NSA, along with an unknown but likely vast number of phone calls-- and this is done without a warrant being issued or the burden of probable cause. It’s extremely likely that Americans’ conversations account for much of this collected data.

The Democratic Party-- the new preferred political party of the Central Intelligence Agency, has adopted the tack of vilifying WikiLeaks for disclosures such as this CIA hack, ones they feel commit the unpardonable sin of politically aiding the current president. Speaking out against this secret overreach is liable to get one branded a traitor in chat-rooms, that, and/or an agent of Vladimir Putin, the evil genius of Eurasia that masterminded Hillary Clinton's electoral defeat, along with the Democratic Party’s net loss of more than a thousand legislative seats at the federal and state level during the eight years of the Obama presidency.

Thanks to WikiLeaks’ hack, we know that the CIA develops software for targeting Android smartphones and Apple iPhones to gain information about our locations, communications, and contacts. We know now that the CIA can bypass encryption by hacking directly into someone’s phone. Edward Snowden says the big reveal in this release is that the United States is paying the Google, Microsoft, and Apple corporations to retain the encryption vulnerabilities. We have also learned that the CIA is able to spoof Russian IP addresses, which would allow the agency to, theoretically, pin any hacking actions by their agents to Russian provocateurs. The unfocused political strategy from Washington that defends these actions and attacks the WikiLeaks reveal runs the spectrum from “this disclosure puts us in a precarious position with, and provides comfort to, our enemies” to “well, duh, tell us something we didn’t already know.” Which is it, I wonder? A dangerous new geopolitical development or a meaningless one?

The paranoia of liberals and their allied news organizations in respect to Trump’s Russia drama has been incredibly self-defeating. It is discrediting the news sources, destroying reputations, and lowering the discourse to the level of the president's strength. It’s not hard to understand their impulse, however. The Clinton wing of the Democratic party is, according to close study, incapable of self-reflection, unsuited to direct its focus to serious and documentable problems, and powerless to reform itself. It stood to reason that we would arrive here. The corporatists on the Democratic side that have been unexpectedly cast as outsiders to real power have no resonant message for the American people, as proven during a thorough election cycle that stretched more than 18 months, and they obviously believe that this “ends justify the means” political hatcheting strategy won't eventually bring down our democratic institutions, so we are saddled with an opposition campaign to a xenophobic conspiracy theorist president, that is, itself, a xenophobic conspiracy theory. I mean, do they really think Trump is an agent of Putin and the Russian state? Meanwhile, six Democratic Senators voted to confirm Ben Carson as HUD secretary, and ten supported Rick Perry’s bid for energy chief, the destruction of both departments part of the current Washington agenda.

The Democratic Party has spent the better part of the last three decades mainstreaming the Republicans’ greed- and fear-based policies, and this latest trend to buck logic continues the trend in a new way. Several years ago, Hillary Clinton, eternally attracted to slime as she is, latched herself onto David Brock, the political strategist first famous for smearing Anita Hill on behalf of the Republicans in the late 1980s and a walking, breathing indictment of the accusation that there’s a hair’s difference between the two major American political parties. Now we’re seeing Brock's methodology at work in support of the Democrats, the spewing of Russian-based murder conspiracies, for example, that hearken back to the greatest hits of Rush Limbaugh. This hysteria has been bubbling over ever since the Great Lakes states turned red on our televisions on November 8th. Trump’s surprise victory was an existential defeat for the Clinton Democrats that was a parallel to the metaphysical blow the United States endured when the 9-11 hijackers attacked us and then committed suicide, depriving us of our identify-defining chance at revenge. It reveals a deep, damaging insecurity in these people that nearly mirrors that of the current resident of the Oval Office, and it’s ultimately a political loser because it's an attack on reason.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Letterman on Trump

The retired king of late night in the current New York Magazine, discussing the art of satire and President Trump...

"Comedy's one of the ways that we can protect ourselves. Alec Baldwin deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Sadly, he's not going to get it from this president... The man [Trump] has such thin skin that if you keep pressure on him-- I remember there was a baseball game in Cleveland, and a swarm of flies came on the field and the batters were doing this [mimes swatting at flies] while the pitcher was throwing 100 miles an hour. Well, that’s Alec Baldwin and Saturday Night Live. It’s distracting the batter. Eventually Trump’s going to take a fastball off the sternum and have to leave the game."