Category Archives: 2016 Presidential Election

Hot Air: The Soul(less) Train

Help Me

Questions: Am I naive? Am I a fool? Am I whistling in the dark?

Deep down inside, I’m certain it’s impossible for Donald Trump to become president of this holy land. Sure, this nation is chock-full of dopes, rubes, suckers, nitwits, halfwits and no-wits, mouth-breathers, the addle-pated, sausage-eatin’, lite-beer-drinking, jelly bean-addicted, ball-scratching, muffin-top exposing couch monkeys who don’t believe a thing in this cosmos exists unless they see it on TV, but are there enough of them to elect America’s Shart?

Are there some 60 to 70 million such evolutionary failures to elevate Donald Trump into the Oval Office?

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 1.34.47 PM

How Many?

I like to think not.

But this feeling is not based on any scientific polling data. It’s mainly faith that a species that can destroy itself, has not yet because there’s something within it stronger, smarter, more sane than everyday observation might indicate. Stronger, smarter, and saner enough not to turn this operation over to Trump.

If Donald Trump is elected president, this nation as a democracy is finished. Democracy itself will have proven to be as moribund a system as Soviet communism a quarter of a century ago. When the body politic can gather behind a grifting, insulting, know-nothing reality TV star and raise him to the position as the most powerful man on the planet, well then, democracy is a failure. And good riddance.

But I don’t want to believe any of that can happen. Can it?

Please tell me no.

Very Good, Sir

So, Trump’s former butler, who’s now the in-house historian at the Trump villa Mar-a-Lago, takes to social media to recommend that Barack Obama be rubbed out in some way, shape, or form. Either our Army should pump him full of lead or executioners unspecified should hang him or he should be iced by any means necessary. One of the main reasons Obama should be removed from the rolls of the living, says this fellow, Anthony Senecal, is the “corruption” the current president has overseen.

Which is ironic considering what I wrote yesterday — that the Obama admin. has been historically clean, in terms of simple graft, personal gain, and monetary scandal. The “corruption” Senecal refers to, I imagine, is Obama’s putative secret identity as a Muslim Manchurian Candidate. Senecal writes:

I cannot stand the bastard. I don’t believe he’s an American citizen. I think he’s a fraudulent piece of crap that was brought in by the Democrats.

There you have it: Obama was brought in by the Democrats. What in the hell ever that means.

But let’s not be distracted by the depths of this great thinker’s rage and hatred. Let’s keep in mind that Donald Goddamned Trump had — and presumably still has — a freaking butler!

Does he have footmen as well. Groomsmen? Does a chambermaid change his bed linens? Does he dump his excreta out window from its ceramic receptacle every morning upon awakening?

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 1.41.54 PM

A butler, for chrissakes.

This whole Trump phenomenon gets more deranged every damned day.


Men running for president used to participate in the age-old tradition of posing in Indian headdress with members of one Native American group or another. I suppose they don’t do it anymore because, well, it’s tacky as all hell and prob. insulting, considering only a very few tribes wore those stereotypical big headdresses. It’s the whole sneaky Jap, ugly Russian woman, murderous Arab, shiftless Negro thing. Y’know, the Injuns wore feathers and always were on the warpath, right?

So, I went looking for pix of prezes who donned the feathers. Funny thing is, I came across one photo of Barack Obama doing it in the Oval Office. I dunno. It looked awfully PhotoShop-py to me. I can’t imagine BHO engaging in such a thing. Ergo, I’m not posting that photo. Look for it yourself if you’re interested.

Anyway, here you go:

Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 5.13.36 PM

Franklin Roosevelt

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 5.15.02 PM

Dwight Eisenhower

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 5.09.05 PM

Richard Nixon

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 5.13.11 PM

Jimmy Carter (With Iron Eyes Cody)

As an added bonus, here’s Elvis in a war bonnet.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 5.17.42 PM


Guess which former US Senator from Indiana, former vice president, and scion of a wealthy newspaper publishing family made the rounds yesterday of the morning talk shows.

Yep, this guy:

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 11.15.05 PM

James Danforth “Dan” Quayle

And guess who he loves for president this year.

Nah, don’t. Why ruin your day?

May 13th Birthdays

Daphne du MaurierRomantic period novelist whose stories often left readers hanging; she eschewed neat tie-ups and satisfying endings. Her short story, “The Birds,” was adapted by screenwriter Evan Hunter for the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name. Hunter and Hitchcock, as Hollywood types are driven to do, changed much of the original story, stressing the eponymous avians as symbols for the dangerous, frightening sexuality lead character Melanie Daniels introduces to the town of Bodega Bay, California. BTW: Hitchcock apparently was inspired to make the film after the California town of Capitola was overrun with crazed and dying seabirds who suffered shellfish poisoning in 1961.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 1.27.34 PM

Joe Louis — “The Brown Bomber,” Louis was the world’s heavyweight boxing champ in the late 1930s and throughout most of the ’40s. He’s credited with being the first black man to become a national hero in the US, overturning the previously-held attitude that black contenders were villains who were robbing white men of their deserved laurels.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 1.25.14 PM

Louis (R) With Muhammad Ali

Jim Jones — Cult leader who somehow convinced nearly a thousand people to commit mass suicide in the jungles of Guyana in 1978 after members of the group had assassinated Leo Ryan and others when the congressman and his party visited the cult’s camp on a fact-finding mission.


Harvey Keitel — Member of the stable of actors who perfected the New York amoral tough guy image, especially in films by Martin Scorsese. As a young man, he studied under Lee Strasburg at the Actors Studio. He was originally cast as Captain Willard in Francis Ford Coppolla’s Apocalypse Now but was replaced after a week of shooting by Martin Sheen because the director was dissatisfied with his portrayal.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 1.15.05 PM

Keitel (L) With Robert De Niro In “Taxi Driver”

Armistead Maupin — Author of the Tales of the City novels about gay life in San Francisco. Ironically, early in his career Maupin worked in the newsroom of a TV station run by notorious conservative and future US Senator Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina). Maupin admits to being conservative and even segregationist, like Helms, at the time. Maupin later disavowed any philosophical or moral connection with Helms.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 1.08.28 PM

Manning Marable — Pulitzer Prize winner in history for his biography Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. Marable was a Columbia University professor who also wrote biographies of W.E.B. du Bois and Medgar Evers, among other scholarly works dealing with race in America.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 1.05.28 PM

Stevie Wonder — Born Stevland Hardaway Judkins and who originally performed under the name “Little Stevie,” he was inked to a recording contract with Motown’s Tamla Records when he was only 11 years old. Wonder’s a recognized genius but occasionally slips into treacle when he collaborates with the likes of Paul McCartney and Celine Dion.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 12.59.01 PM

Allison Goldfrapp — Leader of the duo Goldfrapp (her stage partner, Will Gregory, plays the synthesizer), she sang for groups in the ambient techno and trip reggae genres before striking out on her own. Her releases were praised by critics but didn’t sell well until she moved more into the dance genre. Among her many inspirational influences are 1970’s Polish disco.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 12.57.20 PM

On this day in 2013 Dr. Joyce Brothers died. A psychologist, she was the first person to host a TV show featuring relationship advice. She gained fame as the first woman to win the top prize on the $64,000 Question game show, cleaning up in the boxing category. She went on to serve as a commentator during the national TV broadcast of a Sugar Ray Robinson bout before her turn as a relationship expert. She said of herself once: “I invented media psychology. I was the first. The founding mother.” She made a fortune simply by being an extraordinarily smart woman.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 12.55.16 PM

Hot Air: Loads Of It

The Illusion

I hate like hell to admit it, but John Steinbeck was right:

The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 10.28.34 AM

Honesty, Honestly

Has it occurred to you that this Obama administration, now well into its eighth year, has been shockingly free of venal scandal? I mean, I can’t think of a single Obama White House functionary who’s been brought up on charges of swiping from the public trough or peddling his or her influence for personal gain.

Usually, presidential administrations in their second terms are wracked by accusations, investigations, and indictments of major and minor officials who’ve fattened their wallets thanks to their positions of power.

Not now, though. Not in this presidency.

Obama seems a decent human being. Perhaps his leadership imperative, communicated to all hirees from the get-go, was Do no wrong. It can’t be just dumb luck can it?

And, believe me, if there were even a hint of malfeasance, the vultures  who control the House and Senate as well as those in talk media and the blogosphere would have been on it like flies on dog droppings.

Phew, That Could Have Been Terrorizing!

Here’s something I just don’t understand. Perhaps you can explain it to me.

Yesterday, a mentally-broken man went on a knife rampage in Taunton, Mass., killing two and injuring four others before an off-duty sheriff’s deputy shot him to death. The man apparently went on the random spree after ramming his car into a truck outside a home in Taunton. He then entered the home and stabbed an 80-year-old woman to death and seriously injured the her daughter. He went out on the street, jumped back in his car, and wound up at a nearby mall. There, he attacked several other people, killing one before the deputy stopped him.

A horrible story, indeed. But, somehow, authorities wished to console us in our confusion and worry over the incident. Taunton police made certain to tell reporters the attacks were not related to “terrorism.”

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about the whole affair.

Was the aim of such an announcement to comfort us that no swarthy foreigners were responsible for the death and carnage, but simply a misguided poor soul from this holy land?

And if these attacks are not “terrorism,” what are they? Merely lack of impulse control on the part of a fellow citizen — who, thank god, happens not to be dark or unbearably different. That’s better?

Hillary’s Handiwork?

Have you seen that social media meme aimed at Bernie-ites purportedly showing them how to make home-made glow sticks but in reality is actually a recipe for a mini-bomb?

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 7.43.19 AM

No one knows where this ugly little “joke” came from but I guaran-goddamn-tee at least some Bernie true believers are convinced it was the handiwork of operatives from Hillary’s campaign. Hell, there’s gotta be some in this holy land who are certain Hillary herself posted the freakin’ thing!

The Stark Truth

The Loved One and I watched All the King’s Men last night, the 1949 movie based on Robert Penn Warren‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Willie Stark, a populist demagogue who rises to power from the dirt furrows of farm country. Stark becomes wildly adored, with wits and wags wondering if he’s a messiah or a tyrant. The movie based on the book won the Academy Award for Best Picture just four years after Warren won his Pulitzer.

Willie Stark is nothing like Donald Trump but the whole idolatry thing, the “outsider” challenging the powers-that-be, the snake-oil salesman promising a new way of running things, is at the core of Trump’s appeal.

Smart guys used to fear a new Huey Long (upon whom, it is said, Willie Stark was based) coming along, galvanizing the poor and the disenfranchised by telling them what a lousy deal they’re getting and how the big boys are laughing their way to the bank on the backs of the common clay.

It’s tempting to say ATKM is a harbinger of the 2016 presidential race wherein populist demagogue Donald Trump roars to the Republican nomination despite all the analyses of the experts who pooh-poohed his quest. But it’s not. Trump most certainly is not a man who came from dirt furrows and challenged the powers that be. He was a trust fund baby who inherited tens of millions of dollars from his slippery daddy-o and has always been one of the powers that be.

Sure, many of those going gaga over Trump are poor but many, many more are reasonably comfortable, at least in relation to the rest of the world. A Trump rally is not populated by modern day analogs to the subjects of, say, Dorothea Lange’s Depression-era photos.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 10.11.50 AM

Lange’s “Migrant Mother” (1936)

Trump’s fanboys and -girls, in fact, look awfully well fed and clearly have had a good night’s sleep in warm, comfy beds. King-sized, most likely.

They see themselves as unduly screwed, which is bizarre. And Trump keeps telling them they are, which is only the first of his bald-faced lies, of which he’s trafficked in an alarming many.

Guys like the fictional Willie Stark and the real Huey Long had an extremely limited appeal, touching the hearts only of those self-aware enough to accept that they were dirt-poor hicks — “Just like me!” Stark roared. Today, nobody wants to admit they’re a dirt poor hick. Screwed, yeah. Dirt poor, no. Let’s go to Faulkner again, who hit it square:

[The American poor] see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

And not only the Murrican poor see themselves that way. Even the well-fed and cozy comfy feel they’re only one lucky break away from sharing caviar and Moët et Chandon w/ the likes of Donald Trump or the Kardashians. These days, they desperately believe, those lucky breaks are being denied them which is a far worse injustice than mass starvation in Bangladesh or the kidnapping, raping, and killing of schoolgirls by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Only a borderline sociopathic liar like Trump could feed and reinforce in people this line of bushwa. Nothing Trump says is based on any set of acts or reality, which sets up his ultimate untrue punchlines. Murricans have been waiting breathlessly for an uber-rich man to come along and lie to them. Rich men, too many in this holy land deeply believe, are special, a higher form of life, nearly messianic.

Their words are scripture, their bank accounts proof of their divinity.

Naw, America never needed to worry about a fascist demagogue coming along and appealing to the poor. The real danger was the incendiary who spoke to the temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

May 11th Birthdays

Laskarina Bouboulina — Known as the heroine of Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire, she commanded the rebel Greek fleet and, later, became an admiral in the Russian navy.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 10.53.05 AM

Chang and Eng Bunker — The most famous Siamese (now, more acceptably, conjoined) twins. Both married (two separate women) and had, between them, 21 children.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 10.58.36 AM

Harriet Quimby — The first women to be awarded a pilot’s license in the United States and the first female to aviate across the English Channel. She also was a Hollywood screenwriter, penning scripts for seven films directed by D.W. Griffith.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.03.57 AM

Irving Berlin — Born Israel Isidore Baline, he wrote gazillions of standards now in the great American songbook including “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “God Bless America,” “White Christmas,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” and countless others.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.48.33 AM

Martha Graham — Perhaps the most revered American dancer in history, she conjured the “Graham Technique,” a method of modern dance style and teaching that revolutionized the art form.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.46.51 AM

Salvadore Dali — Painter and art world personality.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.45.31 AM

Richard Feynman — Nobel Prize winning physicist, iconoclast, bongo player, and author of, among others, Six Easy Pieces. One of my favorite humans ever.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.42.56 AM

Mort Sahl — Humorist who specialized in political and social issues, he used a newspaper as a prop onstage, opening it up and commenting on stories within. Steve Allen called him “the only real political philosopher we have in modern comedy.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.39.36 AM

Louis Farrakhan — Controversial leader of the Nation of Islam, an American organization dedicated to the uplift of Black Muslim young men. Farrakhan also has spouted anti-semitic and anti-gay lines. Many in the American Black Muslim community believe he was involved in the plot to assassinate Malcolm X.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.36.45 AM

Martha Quinn — One of the original five VJs on MTV.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.32.18 AM

And, finally, Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, died on this day in 2001.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.31.04 AM

Hot Air: A Memory That’ll Never Die

A Life Sentence

So, Indiana University has fired Jacobs School of Music senior lecturer Guo Ping Wang for sexually assaulting a student.

The U is not releasing any details but the charge came to its attention only six weeks ago, on March 28, at which time Wang was suspended. Now he’s canned. That’s rather quick action.

Whatever he did and whatever evidence the unnamed student provided against him, it’s heartening to see this kind of thing adjudicated apace. Usually these sexual assault charges meander through the system, often with the accuser suffering a wrecked reputation and a shattered emotional state.

The IU cops have the case now so Wang’s got a lot more to worry about than where his next paycheck is coming from.

You know what sucks most about this? Wang’s accuser must now go through life with this memory hanging over her (I assume she’s a her). Wang, if found guilty of a crime, may serve his time and eventually get out of prison. His accuser, though, is trapped for life.

A Half Year To Go

Neil Steinberg ruminates today on the upcoming presidential contest between the two parties’ putative official nominees. He reminds us there’s six whole goddamned months to go of Hillary and America’s Shart bashing the bejesus out of each other and, trust me babies, they’re gonna bash in a way none of us living have ever seen.

Steinberg quotes from the New York Times:

[The race will be] the ugliest, most cringeworthy presidential contest of the modern era . . . a half-year slog through the marital troubles, personal peccadilloes, financial ambitions, social-media habits and physical appearances of “Dangerous Donald” and “Crooked Hillary.”

We will be embarrassed before the world, kids. This is a world, BTW, that counts (or has counted) among its leaders the likes of Vladimir Putin, Silvio Berlusconi, Kim Jong-un, Robert Mugabe, and Bashar al-Assad. We like to think of ourselves as better than the lands wherein those reprobates have exercised their no-goodness. Well, we may not necessarily have murderous sadists and criminally mobbed-up oligarchists as leaders but our clowns are just as inane as anybody’s.

I know this: I’ve been voting for presidential candidates since the year 1976. I’ve tabbed a total of five winners in that time — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton (twice, for which I ask absolution), and Barack Obama (also twice, no apologies). I refused to vote for stumblebums like Mike Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry and I went with the losers when Walter Mondale tried spitting into the Reagan wind.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.28.59 PM

Paper Tigers

I mean, during their debates George H.W. Bush leveled the charge against Dukakis that he was a member of the ACLU, which was true. Dukakis sort of pawed at the the Linoleum with his toe and acted all apologetic. For chrissakes, I wanted him to reach into his wallet, pull out his ACLU membership card and exclaim, “You’re damned right I’m a member. I support the rights guaranteed in our Constitution, don’t you?” But, of course, he said no such thing.

And when Kerry was savaged by all those Swift Boaters who libeled and slandered him and his Vietnam War record, I longed for him to lift up his trousers leg and show the world his shrapnel scars and say, “Look at this, you em-effers!”

I voted for neither of them, for cause as outlined above.

For his part, Gore was too eager to eschew the help of Bill Clinton — at the time the country’s most capable and charismatic politician — in the 2000 race, mainly because he, Gore, wanted to distance himself from his soon-to-be-former boss’s Oval Office blow jobs. The moralizing dope. He didn’t get my vote either.

Still, I’d vote ten times over for any of Dukakis, Gore, or Kerry over either of Hillary Clinton or — gag — Donald Trump. When this whole 2016 presidential tournament started early last year, I was sure the match-up of Jeb Bush and Hillary would be the snooze of the new century. Damn, I’d take that snooze now over this choice between the Goldman Sachs apologist and, well, the trust fund a-hole.

Give Hillary this, though: She’s a leader and she won’t take shit from anybody. She’s my half loaf this annum. Or maybe quarter loaf.


Food Music

What a treat! The Loved One and I walked into the Kroger Theme Park yesterday afternoon and discovered the store’s live musical guests were the Hoosier Darling dames: Ginger Curry (guitar), Suzette Weakley (mandolin), and my former guitar teacher Sarah Flint (on the ukulele). And it was Suzette’s b-day. Overall, it made for great vibes as we selected our green peppers and tomatoes.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 11.17.49 PM


Recuperants (Made-up Word — So Sue Me)

What another treat it was to run into erstwhile Soma Coffee barista Justin Kirkwood who himself endured a serious medical ordeal at the same time I tilted against cancer this winter and spring. He had to lay on his parents’ couch for weeks due to his immune system being compromised after receiving a new kidney.

Justin waited a tad under two years for a donor and then, mirabile dictu, he ran into an a old Bloomington friend whom he hadn’t seen in five years at the Farmers Market. Just about that time one possible donor was rejected, the old friend heard about it, and — unprompted — contacted Justin and offered his own kidney. He turned out to be a match.

That, my babies, is the love of a friend.

[BTW: Justin, who looks like a brand new man post-transplant, now works at Hopscotch Coffee.]

May 9th Birthdays

John Brown — Radical abolitionist who was either a saint or a madman, depending on which historian you trust. Of course, he might well have been and saint and a madman. It’s not an uncommon combination.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 10.56.38 PM

J.M. Barrie — Scottish-born author of Peter Pan, Or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. He was pals with the likes of H.G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, P.G. Wodehouse, Jerome K. Jerome, G.K. Chesterton, A.A. Milne, and other literary notables.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 10.57.41 PM

Fay Kanin — Hollywood screenwriter who was really the first female president of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Bette Davis technically had been the first but she’d only stayed on the job a month), chair of the Library of Congress’s National Film Preservation Board, president of the screenwriters arm of the Writers Guild of America,  and served on the board of the American Film Institute.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 10.58.49 PM

Mike Wallace — Television journalist (when such a calling actually existed).

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 10.59.53 PM

Daniel Berrigan — Died a little more than a week ago, he was a radical anti-war, pro-civil rights Jesuit priest who led protests, participated in acts of civil disobedience, and served a lengthy term in prison as a member of the Catonsville Nine. That group, including his brother Philip, broke into a Maryland draft board office and destroyed files to dramatize their opposition to the Vietnam War. After he was released from prison, he helped found the Plowshares Movement, as part which he, his brother and others vandalized nuclear missiles in their silos. Overall, a very cool guy.


Sophie Scholl — German university student and underground anti-Nazi activist, she joined her brother’s White Rose group and helped distribute flyers urging German citizens to resist the Nazis. She was arrested, tried, and executed in 1943. She said as she was led to the guillotine: “Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 11.01.59 PM

Also on this day in 1981 Nelson Algren died: He authored The Man with the GoldenArm ( for which he won the National Book Award); A Walk on the Wild Side; Never Come Morning; and Chicago, City on the Make; among others. He also was the lover of internationally-known feminist author and Jean-Paul Sartre consort Simone de Beauvoir.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 11.03.02 PM

Hot Air: Sunday Sundries

History In The Making

I don’t know why this hasn’t occurred to me before but, no matter what, the Dems this summer will nominate either the first woman or first Jew as a major party candidate for president.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 12.18.34 PM

Either Way

The Republicans, meanwhile, are going with the guy who calls women “fat pigs” and who has the support of KKK-types who believe the nation — and the world — are run by a secret cabal of Jews.

Yeah, there’s no diff. between the parties. Nah.

I’m surprised nobody’s making a big splash about this. It speaks well of the party, no? Then again, nobody wants to speak well of the party — either party — these days. Too bad.

Of course, the parties have nobody to blame but themselves.

Private Benjamins

Let’s just all agree right here and now that privatization is a dirty word, okay?

Case in point: The city of Seattle has hired a private firm at $240 and hour to tear down, sweep up, and otherwise trash homeless encampments. Yep. Hat tip to my old Ever-So-Secret Order of the Lampreys pal (and leader thereof) Kenneth Morrison for the tip.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 12.12.01 PM

So, the city many of us view as the nation’s model of progressive goody-goodness would rather spend its dough thusly than on, say, maybe simply providing shelter for the poor souls who can’t afford a home.

Nah. That’d be government overreach, wouldn’t it?

Getting To Know Me

I’ve just come to the conclusion that I’m driven not to be driven. I suppose that’s why I never got a college degree or won the Pulitzer Prize.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 12.24.20 PM

Nah, That’s Okay. I Don’t Need One. Thanks Anyway.

Yeah, sure, that’s it.

Getting Better All The Time

Another landmark in my recovery process. Yesterday afternoon I yelled at another driver for the first time in months. I was thrilled; my voice was strong and my tongue sharp.

The background. It’s been my experience that scads of left-turners in this sprawling megalopolis are loath to pulling out into an intersection on the green light while waiting for oncoming traffic to pass. This leads, often, to just one car making the left turn, which is criminal.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 12.28.21 PM

So, yesterday I was intending to make the left turn onto Covenanter off southbound College Mall Drive to get to the Kroger Theme Park. The black Infiniti in front of me was going to make the left as well and, just as we hit the red light, it turned green. Fine, right? I’d make this light, right behind him.

Only he would not pull into the intersection. I gesticulated dramatically, hoping he’d catch my drift in his rear view mirror but, alas, he wouldn’t bite. But, I figured, I could tail him closely when he did make the turn at least after the light would turn yellow.

The light did turn yellow and he wouldn’t budge! So neither of us made the turn. I bellowed: “Fer chrissakes! Get out there you numbskull! Make the goddamned turn! Jesus Christ in heaven!”

Again, he wouldn’t bite. No glance in the mirror. No satisfying flash of the middle digit in response. No nothing. He must have had the windows rolled up. The jerk.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the satisfaction of reaming him verbally even if he couldn’t hear it.

Slowly but surely, I’m getting back into the swing of things. Wahoo!

Okay, Mother’s Day

Here are Ma and Daddy-o in 1945 with the old man home on a surprise leave. He looks like a kid in a candy store and she’s got that dewy-eyed look straight out of a romance novel.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 11.54.37 AM

BTW: Daddy-o returned to his base to help the Allies win the war by scrubbing garbage cans and making sure his bed was properly made.


Hey, we’re not the only country that’s tackling terribly important social problems (from Atlas Obscura):

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 12.37.56 PM

Hot Air: Literally

Smart Woman

Here’s a good gag from my old Whole Foods Market pal, David Staples:

Science professor: “Does everyone here know what Watson and Crick discovered?

Voice from the back of the hall: “Yeah, Rosalind Franklin‘s notes!”

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 1.04.19 PM

Unsolicited Advice

Personal to Hillary: As long as you’ve demonstrated the ability to wear a variety of political cloaks depending on how strongly the wind is blowing, you’d better don the very liberal/progressive raiment ol’ Bernie’s pushing you toward. Y’know, the one the Republicans have been accusing you and your husband of wrapping yourselves in ever since you came out of Arkansas? The one, BTW, you’ve never really worn despite what the Far Right imagines.

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 2.45.07 PM

Look Left

America’s Shart, Donald Trump, has the angry white guy vote all wrapped up. Now, you’ve got to nail down the angry everybody else vote. And there’s getting to be a lot more of everybody else than there are of angry white guys.

It’s just simple math.

Bernie’s Gotta Build, Redux

Sheila Kennedy, who’s one of the smartest folks around, writes today, citing the opinion of Ed Brayton, about how Bernie ought to start building up his movement, as opposed to focusing solely on gaining the Dem nom — which he’s not going to get.

Now I realize Bernie Nation is going to have apoplexy when they read what I’ve just typed (the he’s not going to get part) but that’s okay. It’s clear these days Bernie’s most rabid fans like having apoplexy. In any case, she writes the same thing I did yesterday in these precincts.



Kennedy calls herself a Republican, although I have no idea why. She positions herself a tad to the left of Hillary. I suppose she’s holding fast to the notion that there have to be at least two teams going strong in this holy land and she’s going to do her level best, as an IUPUI Law and Policy professor and respected observer of the political landscape, to keep the dual party concept going.

I read SK’s blog posts every day and so should you. And thanks to Susan Sandberg for turning me on to her.

Journalism Royalty

How very cool! Historian Rick Perlstein will interview legendary journalist Seymour Hersh at the Printer’s Row Lit Fest in Chi., Saturday, June 11th.



Hersh broke the My Lai Massacre and cover-up story back in 1969, winning a Pulitzer Prize for his work. He’s written scads of books tearing the covers off the lousy tricks our gov’t likes to pull. For his part, Perlstein has written a thoroughly engaging series of books on the birth and growth of the modern conservative movement that began with the national ascendancy of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and has resulted in the rise of you-know-who, America’s Shart, today.

The PRLF has been going strong for 32 years as a street fest for the hyper-literate. Over the years, notable and fascinating authors from Augusten Burroughs and Chuck Palahniuk to Rick Bayless have appeared for panel discussions and readings at the event, formerly known as the Printers Row Book Fair. Each year hundreds of antiquarian and rare booksellers as well as publishing industry types and independent authors set up tables and booths on a five-block tract just south of Congress Street. Printers Row is an historic old Chi. district that used to be the center of the nation’s printing industry. It’s towering, elephantine old structures were built super-strong to bear the load of thousands of rotogravure machines and multi-ton rolls of paper. Now the buildings have been transformed into chi-chi apartments and condos for the new urban middle class. And, it being Chicago, there’s loads of food to be eaten at the fest.

Among the big names scheduled to appear this year:

  • Buzz Aldrin — The second human to walk on the moon and author of Magnificent Desolation and No Dream Is Too High
  • Sidney Blumenthal — Senior advisor to Bill Clinton and author of The Clinton Wars and The Permanent Campaign
  • Amy Goodman — Journalist, co-host of Democracy Now!
  • Ethan Hawke — Screen actor and director who dabbles in writing
  • Steve Inskeep — NPR Morning Editon co-host and author of Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab
  • Sebastian Junger — Author of  The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea  and War; directed the documentary film Restrepo
  • David Maraniss — Pulitzer Prize winner and author of First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton and When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi
  • Terry McMillanWaiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Getting to Happy
  • Ruth Reichl — The last editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and best-selling cooking writer
  • Marilynne RobinsonHousekeeping, Gilead, Home, Lila
  • R.L. StineGoosebumps and other children’s series
  • Vu TranDragonfish: A Novel
  • Andi Zeisler — Co-founder of Bitch magazine

If you dig books and street fairs take in the PRLF.

May 5th Birthdays

Søren Kierkegaard — Danish philosopher and notorious buzz-killer

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 3.14.12 PM

Karl Marx — The original Marxist

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 3.13.45 PM

Nellie Bly — Muckraking journalist born Elizabeth Seaman, exposed harsh conditions in mental institutions

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 3.10.32 PM

James Beard — Bestselling cookbook author specializing in American cuisine

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 3.09.53 PM

Leo Ryan — Member of the US House from California, was killed by Jim Jones’s People’s Temple cult in Guyana in 1978

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 3.09.18 PM

Sylvia Fedoruk — Physicist specializing in cancer treatment, politician, and member of the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 3.08.17 PM

Tammy Wynette — The First Lady of Country Music, sang “Stand By Your Man”

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 3.01.55 PM

Michael Palin — Member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and author


Adele — Chanteuse

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 3.00.19 PM

Hot Air: Advice For BS… And More

Personal To The Winner Of The Indiana Primary

Bernie, baby, please, please, please: Start organizing a slate of allies running for US Congress, governorships, statehouses, city halls, county boards, and dogcatchers.

Who are your cohorts? Who will help you make this hugely popular so-called revolution happen? The real revolution only will come when your ideas, your aims, will be put into effect across the nation by legislators and political executives all the way down to the most local levels.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 10.09.18 AM

Who Are You With? Who’s With You?

I want to know who’s going to push through your revolution. I want to know who’s going to make the revolution an official part of the Democratic Party platform. Start acting like the effective leader of a movement. Make my vote for you count.


Congrats to Shelli Yoder who took the Dem nom for Bloomington et al’s 9th District US Congress seat. I like her. I also like the fact that Todd Young, who benefitted from the Tea Party mania that remade Congress in 2010, won’t be in the House come January. I worry, though, he may simply walk down the hall to get sworn in to the Senate.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 10.07.21 AM

Yoder, Left

I can only hope the apparent coronation of America’s Shart, Donald Trump, as the Republican standard bearer in November, will depress GOP turnout and sabotage the hopes and dreams of Young and the rest of his Me Party brethren and sisteren.

Civil War

This day, 46 years ago, student protestors faced off against Ohio National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University. By the time the confrontation was over, four people were dead and nine wounded.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young even got a hit song out of the affair:

The killing of students and other protestors appalled Americans, natch. That’s the myth we’ve come to believe. What we forget is the sheer numbers of citizens of this holy land who cheered the shootings and said the scruffy “unpatriotic” kids got just what they deserved. That swath of the Murrican electorate went on to help reelect unindicted co-conspirator and noted psychological piece of work Dick Nixon in one of the greatest landslides in the history of the United States.

Another thing we like to forget is the killing of two students on the campus of Jackson State University in Mississippi just eleven days later. Jackson State, like many campuses around the nation at the time, was beset by upheaval, including vandalism, arson, and attacks on uniformed law enforcement officers and firemen. The dramatic lawbreakers squeezed out the many more serious protestors, civil rights activists, and war resistors for news media attention. As at Kent State, authorities were itching to respond to the lot of them with overwhelming force and on the evening of May 11th, 1970, they did so. Some 40 Jackson city cops and Mississippi state patrolmen opened fire with shotguns and sidearms at a women’s dormitory building, killing two and injuring a dozen. Police claimed they’d been fired upon first by a sniper from a window in the high rise but a subsequent investigation found no evidence that any shots had come from the dormitory.

Mind you, this incident occurred long before the Black Lives Matter movement so the dead and injured were swiftly forgotten. They were black. The Kent State kids, OTOH, were white and so they live on in our collective memory. Such a shame, bleeding hearts may say, that youngsters had been cut down in their idealistic youth. Hardliners say, well…, you know what the hardliners have said for some five decades now.

No pop or rock stars, BTW, managed to get themselves a hit thanks to the Jackson State killings.

Winning For Losing

If Hillary is indeed the Dem frontrunner, as many wits and wags continue to insist on believing, she’s the most inept frontrunner I’ve ever seen.

I guess I grasp her supposed strategy: She and her strategists are certain they’ve got the Dem nom all wrapped up so they’re forgoing expending any time, energy, and — most important — dough on state primaries that’ll do little to pad her delegate numbers. Still, the seemingly constant onslaught of primary and caucus losses makes her look like nothing more than a loser. And believe me, her GOP opponent, Donald Trump (by god in heaven, I still can’t believe reality compels me to type those words) will hammer her with the L word every day and night from now through November.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 10.13.01 AM


No matter what makes strategic sense, anybody involved in a competition must maintain at least the appearance of, y’know, competing. How do Hillary’s various state volunteers and paid campaign workers continue to give their all when their candidate is shrugging her shoulders? Will Hill and her peeps be able to ramp up their ardor and work habits when crunch time comes versus America’s Shart?

Hillary’s likely to beat Trump in the general election. Or maybe that’s just me whistling past the graveyard. I dunno. What I do know is this 2016 presidential beauty contest is the most depressing, uninspiring national race I’ve ever seen. It certainly is no good advertisement for democracy.

Close One

My beloved hometown, Chicago, just may be losing its chance to be the site of a proposed George Lucas museum on the lakefront. Plans had called for the razing of the oldest of the McCormick Place exposition facilities, the Lakeside Center, and the construction in its stead of a modernistic-looking home for the paean to the man who imposed Star Wars upon the human culture.

I saw the original Star Wars at a movie theater in the summer of 1977 when it came out. I remember next to nothing about it other than understanding it was a cowboys and Indians picture set in the distant future. I’m not anti-Star Wars; I only suggest it was only a nice little light entertainment that helped me pass the time one night. Some people take a harsher view on what has became an American — and world — cultural touchpoint. Historian Rick Perlstein posits that Star Wars, along with the original Rocky, helped transform us into a nation of pollyannish eight-year-olds. Me? I figure we’d been eight-years-olds for decades before Han Solo and Princess Leia became known to every human being, dog, higher primate, and parrot in existence.


Lucas, Right

Not that I dismiss Lucas out of hand. His American Graffiti was a revolutionary film, its continuous oldies pop hits soundtrack changing the way directors have made movies to this day. Now, rather than depend on old school mechanisms like story, character development, editing, or visual makeup of the scene (mise en scène), a movie’s music consultant simply plugs in an appropriate chestnut from our hazy, dreamy past to convey mood and advance narrative. AG‘s slice-of-life, featuring and glorifying otherwise utterly unremarkable high school kids, set the stage for scads of knock offs — some even far superior to Lucas’s effort; Barry Levinson’s Diner, for instance. We now gladly accept spending a couple of hours and upward of $15 skins a ticket to see hundred-million-dollar productions about people normally no more interesting than your thirty-something niece, her boyfriend, and their circle of friends. Call it the triumph of the humdrum if you’re a cynic; a long-needed celebration of the common folk if you’re…, well, a pollyanna.

Lucas became this era’s Frank Capra, another director whom I’ll grant was proficient and worthy of attention, but — like Lucas — spoonfed us happy horseshit, blurring the line between what we wished we were and what we are.

Since Lucas has been elevated to the Capra pantheon level, he’s become a zillionaire. He and his wife decided they should fund the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and staged a little competition between cities for the honor of hosting it. Chicago “won.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel took a break from fighting school teachers and enriching his Wall Street and LaSalle Street pals and granted the Lucases prime real estate on the city’s world-renowned lakefront for their ego monument.

When the original McCormick Place was built on the shores of Lake Michigan back in the late 1950s, public-spirited citizens kicked and hollered, citing architect and city planner Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan for Chicago. The Burnham plan, co-authored with Edward Bennett, called for Chi. to become a “Paris on the Prairie” with parks within walking distance of every citizen’s home and — the key here — a lakefront that would forever be free and clear of industry and development. Burnham and Bennett saw the lakefront as a lush green collar on the shimmering lake, open to all, its views unimpeded by smokestacks or ritzy apartment buildings.

But Chicago Tribune publisher Col. Robert McCormick and then-mayor Richard J. Daley wanted the huge exposition hall built on the lakefront at 22nd Street so Daniel Burnham, Edward Bennett, and public-spirited citizens be damned. Today, the Lakeside Center sits next to the water like a steel and glass aircraft carrier in drydock.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 10.14.47 AM

McCormick Place Lakeside Center

(The original McCormick Place exposition hall, BTW, was destroyed in a spectacular late night fire in January, 1967, the second greatest conflagration in the city’s history next to the Great Chicago Fire, and was replaced by a more modern structure in 1971.)

The almost-original McC. Place hall is woefully out of date, so say the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority bureaucrats who run the place. Tear it down they say, most likely cued from offstage by Rahm. The Lucases appeared out of nowhere and last year granted Chi. the privilege of being home to their homage to himself. We’ve got just the site for you, Rahm told them, grinning.

Now, the Friends of the Parks, another gang of public-spirited citizens, one that carries a bit of clout as well, has filed suit in federal court to prevent the construction of the museum. If the Lakeside Center is to be torn down, many suggest, why, there’s our opportunity to reopen that stretch of the lakefront per Burnham and Bennett’s vision.

Lucas’s wife, Mellody Hobson, is a big shot, high-rolling investment banker who serves on the boards of Starbucks, the Sundance Institute, Estee Lauder, and DreamWorks. And, man, is she ticked off. Hell, she complained yesterday, the poor little “black and brown children” of Chicago will suffer now because they won’t get to go downtown to see exhibits on great modern art. To which, obviously, she’s referring to movies like Antz, American Beauty, Shrek, and the forthcoming Ready Player One. All of which have been or are being produced by DreamWorks. Did I mention Hobson sits on the DreamWorks board?

Anyway, she says she and her hubby are taking their ball and going home. “We are now seriously pursuing locations outside Chicago,” she told the Tribune yesterday.

Good. Take your monument to your husband and your favorite movie production company’s movies and go somewhere else. This is the second bullet Chicago has dodged in the last few years. The first being the decision of the International Olympic Committee not to grant the 2016 Games to the city back in 2009.

There are world class cultural institutions and there are international quadrennial events. There are, too, monumental headaches and blights on the city’s front yard. Chicago can do quite well without the latter two.

May 4th Birthdays

Bartolomeo Cristofori — Invented the piano around the turn of the 18th Century. Acc’d’g to one history, Cristofori wanted to name his invention the arpicembalo. Lucky for us he didn’t get his way.


Audrey Hepburn — The only actress who could have played Holly Golightly.


Pia Zadora — Child star of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and, later, a much-maligned grown-up actress and slightly-less-criticized singer.


Zadora, Right

Will Arnett — GOB

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.45.23 AM

GOB, Left, With Buster

Erin Andrews — ESPN sportscasting figure who was surreptitiously videoed in the nude through a peephole in her Nashville, Tennessee, hotel room. The video went viral and Andrews suffered emotional trauma. This past March she won a $55 million judgement against the hotel chain (hotel employees had provided the videotaper the dates and times she’d be staying). The videotaper, a weasel named Michael Barrett, was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.47.07 AM

Hot Air: Doing My Duty

A Democrat In A Democracy

I voted today in the Indiana Democratic primary. I swung up to Bloomington’s downtown early voting center at 7th and Madison. A nice lady came out and held the door open for me. She even offered me a wheelchair. (Jeez, do I look that decrepit? I guess so.) I walked in, laid down my ID, signed my name, grabbed a ballot, and started X-ing.

About as simple as swallowing a gulp of water…, er, well, maybe that’s a bad analogy because I still am not swallowing. In fact, I went and voted immediately after going to my first swallow therapy session at the IU Health rehab center. More on that in a separate My Olive Pit™ post later.

Now then, voting. You’d better sit down because here comes a major finger wag. I’m still as weak as a sick kitten. I can’t walk much more than a few feet w/o feeling as though I’m on the upper third of Mt. Everest. I still haven’t had a thing to eat — by mouth — in a month and a half. I still can barely talk. The list of chemoradiation side effects goes on. Yet still, I shagged my sick near-corpse to the polling place and did my duty as a citizen of this great and holy land. So I don’t want to hear anybody’s horseshit about how it’s too hard to vote. If you say that, you’re lying. Period.

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 2.08.35 PM

So, who did I vote for? I was most interested in the presidential race between Bernie and Hillary and the 9th Congressional District contest between Shelli Yoder and a trio of guys known primarily to their families and close friends. Some guy named Bill Thomas sounds like he accidentally registered to run as a Dem but would have been more comfortable running as a Tory. Another guy, Bob Kern, has run in previous Dem primaries for two other Indiana Congressional districts and had the bejesus beaten out of him both times. James McClure, Jr. was last seen on a milk carton. He, too, seems oddly out of place in a Democratic primary, ranting against “insane spending” and “big government.” Shelli was my choice, natch.

Truth is, I would have gone for Shelli even if she wasn’t running against that triad of stumblebums. She’s been putting in the long hours, pressing the right flesh, making connections the right way, all while maintaining a fairly progressive agenda. She surprised the Democratic field back in 2012, entering the primary race late but still swamping a crowded field. She lost the general election to Todd Young because, of course, this is Indiana. She’s learned a lot about politics since that defeat and, this being a presidential election year, Democratic voters just may decide to go out and actually, y’know, vote this coming November. She’s got a great chance to go to Washington for my money.

As for governor, mustachioed John Gregg is running unopposed in the primary in his second effort to best Mike Pence. I would have preferred Glenda Ritz as the nominee but she was an early dropout due to lack of dough. Too bad. Here’s hoping she can take the lessons learned and become a real candidate for guv next time. I didn’t even mark my ballot for Gregg because I loathe the idea of people running unopposed for anything. Same with Baron Hill, running unopposed for the Dem nom for US Senator. Democrats of Monroe County and the state of IN: get your act together, savvy?

As for Monroe County Commissioner, I’m going with Amanda Barge because I dig her on the issues and, yeah, because she’s a woman. Geoff McKimm is my choice for Monroe County Council because he’s an overall good guy and, too, we’re sympatico on the issues..

BTW: I did not vote for Mary Ellen Diekhoff for judge of the circuit court. As much as I can’t stand the idea of people running unopposed for office, I’m even more allergic to the wife of the city’s police boss sitting in judgement of cases brought before her by his officers. That’s bad juju, baby.

That leaves us with Bernie and Hillary. What a choice! And I’m not all that thrilled about it. I mean, I was jumping for joy at the opportunity to put an X next to Barack Obama’s name back in 2008. Hell, I volunteered for his campaign in Kentucky, which makes me a very courageous partisan indeed. This year, I’m not so enthused. Hillary is Richard Nixon redux. Bernie is a fist-shaker whose optimal place is in the Senate, raising hell, pointing out the inconsistencies and hypocrisies in Washington, and not worrying about bringing disparate groups together to get things done.

So, who did I X? This may shock you, since I’ve made a name for myself on social media telling rabid Bernie fans what pains in my huge ass they are, but I voted for Sanders. I had to. If we’re going by the issues, he’s my guy. He’s talking about the wealth gap, income redistribution, health care, corporatization, Wall Street privilege — all the bugbears that make us a nation that does not serve all its citizens. Hillary’s probably going to win the nom, and she’s the poster child for modestly liberal, let’s-keep-the-economics-game-rigged Democratic Party her husband essentially sired 25 years ago. Nevertheless, I’ll vote for her in the general election because the Republican opposition — no matter who it is — is too gruesome to even consider.

I’ll take a half a loaf over none at all.

As for all these Bernie-or-Bust people, here’s my personal memo to you: Use your goddamned heads, wouldja? If you think either America’s Shart, a megalomaniacal, unprepared, borderline sociopathic acquisitor of wealth or a theocrat who may or may not even be eligible to become president is just the same as Hillary, you’re nuts. Jump off the Bernie cult just as soon as she wins the nomination, okay? And, please, do me a favor — would you just vote for him in your respective state primaries (as I did, I remind you) and shut the fuck up about how Hillary is the most evil human of the 21st Century?


Hot Air

Book It!

Taking a tiny break from my book-writin’ hiatus to get this on the record because I have a gut feeling not only is this prediction going to pan out, I’ll be the only one in this holy land making it.

Okay, here goes, with a little backgrounder first:

If you’re a betting dame or dude, you may already be putting some scratch on Donald Trump to stay strong in the Republican race into next year. Yep, the smart money has “the short-fingered vulgarian” playing to the crowd through the Iowa caucus and the early primaries.

And, quite possibly, the corporate media will be having the vapors over this candidate of the cerebrum-free masses threatening to take a major party’s nomination.

But — and here’s part one of the prediction — it ain’t gonna happen, babies.


Simple — part two. Donald Trump’s speeding train to the White House will be derailed by the revelation of his affair with Sarah Palin. Yup. This one’s as easy to call as forecasting a January snowstorm in Wasilla.


C’mon, You Know You Want Me!

Think of it:

  1. Donald Trump is a rapacious, acquisitive capitalist who views women as trophies.
  2. There aren’t many bigger trophies than a former candidate for Vice President of the United States.
  3. He also doesn’t like the idea of women holding power and the best way to defang them is to get them under his gross, panting, sweaty corpus.
  4. Sarah Palin’s nutty for strutting, cock-of-the-walk types like Vladimir Putin and Trump.
  5. She’s hot in that loathsome, suburban, Protestant mom sort of way.
  6. He’s hot in that ghastly, vain, narcissistic, rich old man sort of way
  7. Palin despises the idea of work — witness her quitting her day job in August 2009 and trying to earn a mint through the twin get-rich-quick schemes of a reality TV show and giving paid motivational speeches.
  8. Trump is rich enough — even taking into account all his bankruptcies and ledger book gibberish — to keep a mistress like Palin in jewels until the end of her life.
  9. The two are spiritual and intellectual cousins.
  10. Palin’s daughter Bristol is jumping on the Trump bandwagon as we speak and you know that if Sarah is thinking of banging Donald, she’s gonna confide in her equally morally rationalizing spawn. Bristol, clearly, will approve.

So, there you have it. Call your bookie now.

It won’t be Trump’s xenophobia, his con artistry, his worship of mammon, his boorishness, or any other obvious character flaw that brings him down. It’ll be sex. And, come to think of Trump humping and gasping, maybe the Republican anti-sex moralists are right: Sex is disgusting!

See you all here again, soon.

Hot Air

Take Me To Your Leader

You think the GOP field of presidential candidates is already an overflowing clown car? You don’t know the half of it. Or even the quarter of it.

As of this AM, no fewer than 27 Republicans have declared themselves in on the 2016 lottery. Another two have active exploratory committees raising dough in their names. Those 29 are the somewhat serious among all those who’ve filed campaign declarations — or are about to — with the Federal Election Commission. Not to be terribly outdone, the Democrats thus far offer 15 honest-to-gosh candidates. Independents, Libertarians, the Greens, and other wannabe third parties have mustered up dozens and dozens of future answers to trivia questions. The numbers including such statesmen as Sydneys Voluptuous Buttocks of Buffalo, New York, or Ole’ Savior of Minneapolis, Minnesota. In fact, the FEC’s list of folks who’ve filed the necessary paperwork to run in the 2016 beauty contest has reached an astounding 421 names.


Here’s the latest comprehensive list of declared as well as just-about-declared Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential election:

Charles “Skip” Andrews III — 66-year-old father of 11; born on a US Army base in Frankfurt, West Germany 9don’t get your shorts in a bunch — anyone born to American parents on a military facility is eligible to become president); a Kansas construction and remodeling business owner, has written two books, one on personal morality and governance and the other on how the monetary system works

Michael Bickelmeyer — A self-styled inventor from Ohio, one of the gadgets he has a US patent application for is a space-based weapon system — it collects the sun’s rays while orbiting the Earthj, magnifies them, then directs them via mirrors and things and then directs them to the ground where they zap terrorists, swear to god; he also includes a photo of his birth certificate on his campaign website (you know what that means)

Kerry Bowers — A Nevadan who lists his strengths as “listening, planning, organizing, directing, leading and achieving” (sounds like he’d make a fine housewife); retired Air Force colonel

John Ellis “Jeb” Bush — Campaign slogan: “We’re all in this together”

Ben Carson — Retired neurosurgeon; writes hooray-for-America books; the GOP’s favorite dark-skinned Murrican

Dale Christensen — “I am first and foremost a family man and a patriot”

Chris Christie (exploratory committee) — The newly-svelte New Jersey governor is expected to announce next week

Ted Cruz — Another foreigner; Harvard-educated although he has mastered the art of speaking Ingnorantese


Ted Cruz

Brooks Cullison — Says “America, and indeed much of Western Civilization and the world are under seige by violent, barbaric jihadists whose ideology is extracted from Islam”; born in Vincennes, Indiana; now a lawyer and banker in Olney, Illinois

John Dummett, Jr. — No jokes about his name please — I’ll handle the humor around here; calls himself “a common ordinary patriot”; says things like, “I fear for our nation and our way of life,” and “Time is short”; he’s a god-ist who is strongly opposed to the usual evils: abortion, same-sex marriage, illegal immigrants, and anyone who believes the Constitution can be amended, I can’t find any info on what the 59-year-old does or did for a living

Mark Everson — A 60-y-o New England prep schooler and Yalie, Everson was raised in Yonkers; worked as an international propagandist for the US in the Reagan Administration; a CPA, after spending time in priavte industry, he served as Bush II’s commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service

Carly Fiorina — Former big cheese at Hewlett-Packard; acc’d’g to most observers, the corp. was in worse shape after she left than it was before she came aboard


Carly Fiorina

Lindsay Graham — Suspiciously unmarried US Senator from South Carolina; digs war

Jim Hayden — “We are currently under constant threat of attack from the Muslims…. [W]e have got to defeat the Muslims….”; former Marine from Tennessee; does not dig the IRS

Chris Hill — Oops, he’s dropped out already!

Mike Huckabee — From a campaign ad for Huckabee’s previous run for president:

Mike Huckabee: My plan to secure the border? Two words: Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris: Mike Huckabee’s a lifelong hunter who’ll protect our Second Amendment rights.

MH: There’s no chin behind Chuck Norris’s beard, only another fist.

CN: Mike Huckabee wants to put the IRS out of business.

MH: When Chuck Norris does a push-up, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the Earth down.

CN: Mike’s a principled, authentic conservative.

MH: Chuck Norris doesn’t endorse, he tells America how it’s gonna be.



Bobby Jindal — Once warned fellow Republicans they must “stop being the stupid party”; Jindal and his Republican-led Louisiana state legislature recently passed a budget that will cut $600 million form higher education funding

Michael Kinlaw — A native Texan who moved to Colorado and even once ran for the US Senate from that state, he’s against and for everything that all the other conservatives are against and for except, oddly, he’s in favor of same-sex marriage; owned a mortgage banking co. that went belly-up during the 2008 mortgage banking crash; his website does not open up, which is probably appropriate

Dennis Michael “DML” Lynch — Documentary filmmaker who has taken on the “liberal media” and illegal aliens; is working on a documentary celebrating the confrontation at the Bundy Ranch in 2014; he also says he’s a public speaker and an entrepreneur

George Pataki — The former New York governor must be bored

Rand Paul — Honestly? A serious candidate for president

Rick Perrysigh

Michael Petyo — Writes that the next prez should be, “[O]ne who is chosen by GOD to defend the rights of the people and their Nation. One who when he speaks the words will flow from his lips as does honey from a hive” [all sic]

Marco Rubio — Another serious candidate for president

Brian Russell — Boss at Florida’s Bluefin Investments, actually claims that because his brother is in the Army, he has a unique and valuable perspective on foreign policy

Rick Santorum — “santorum


Rick Santorum

Jefferson Sherman — Government should be small, the military should be big, blah, blah, blah; he’s from Maryland, that much I know; all I could find out about what he does is a Radaris line that he’s worked in the “food preparation” industry — is a he a busboy? search me

Donald Trump — The clowns’ clown

Scott Walker (exploratory committee) — The Koch Boys’ boy

Okay? Now you’re a more informed voter. Stay tuned for all the Dems and other party candidates.

My Prayer

Not that I pray, but if I did….

For The Loved One, in honor of her birthday week

Hot Air


I’ve never tried to conceal the fact that I’m an atheist, either in this space or in any other setting. At the same time, I’ve always felt it was best to take a kid glove approach to people who do believe in a god.

I figured, hell, this world is mad, this life is crazy, and if believing in a distant, invisible being who created the universe and who, albeit rarely, will grant your wishes helps you get through it, fine. I use things like music and comedy and red wine and perhaps another substance or two — unnamed, natch — to negotiate the insanity. Who says my crutch is better than yours?

Now, though, I’ve reached the end of my rope. I’ve had it. The gloves are coming off. This mad, maddening, mad-making, so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act that Gov. Mike Pence will sign in a private ceremony this morning is the deal-breaker for me.

Here’s the offending clause in RFRA, AKA Senate Bill No. 101, 2015:

Sec. 8. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a governmental entity may not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability

See what the bill says? The gov’t may not force a person to violate her or his religious standards even if her/his actions violate laws or the rights of another person. If the rest of us have to play nice and by the rules vis-a-vis other human beings under the law, you, homo-fearing, transgender-fearing, butch-fearing, effeminate-man-fearing, and — most importantly — god-fearing shop owner may deny service to those people whose appearance scares you to death.

All ya gotta do is say god told you so.


Enough. Stop the madness.

You want to believe in god, go ahead. But keep it to yourself. Don’t make rules and laws based on the supposed utterances of a deity or his representatives, the vast majority of which inspire constant discord and strife even among members of your own club. If there are three billion people on this planet who believe in god, there are three billion who disagree over precisely what god wants them to do.

Take pleasure and comfort in your supposed solidarity with an ancient, pre-technology, pre-literate, nomadic desert tribe. Just leave me out of it. And leave my city, my state, my country, and my world out of it. Burn all the incense you want. Raise your hands and pray that the most powerful entity in all creation is looking down upon you with paternal love in his eye. Give all your money to your preacher. Teach your kids that there is only one true god — yours, of course. That’s your right.

My right? Not to be bothered by your bullshit.


Okay kids, here’s the early form chart for the 2016 presidential election.

2016 Odds

Business Insider Chart

You want some advice? Here it is:

1) Bet $500 on Hillary. You’ll make a c-note that way and the risk is really, really minimal.

2) If you can stand merely breaking even on the election in a worst-case scenario, drop another hondo on Ted Cruz. If he loses either in the primaries or the general e., you’re covered. But if he wins — which I don’t believe to be too deranged a proposition (well, yes, a Cruz presidency would indeed be deranged but the possibility of it happening is not) — you’ll cop a cool thirty-three hundred skins. That should take a bit of the sting out of a Cruz victory.

With the way things are headed in this holy land, I’ve got a funny feeling about a Cruz long shot.

[h/t for the chart to Rich Lloyd, Vanderbilt University prof. and player emeritus.]

Carson’s Diagnosis

This may be my fave headline of the month:


So, the leader of this holy land joins an elite club including such luminaries as Charles Manson, John Warnock Hinckley, Mark David Chapman, the Unabomber, and even Norman Bates and Patrick Bateman. Golly gee, thanks for the clarification, Dr. Carson!


We Now Have It On Good Authority

%d bloggers like this: