Author's Posts

For those of you who are looking forward to Fall here are some messages from Your People. For for those of us who are dreading the end of Summer, here are some messages from perverts:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This last image (below) almost — almost — puts me in a good mood about the Solstice:

 

And this:

 

As I do every year about this time, when the weather turns cooler, I made a slew of appointments with doctors, dentists, and hair stylists to get myself in order for the eventual bleak times. Because of this, I’ve been talking to a lot of receptionists lately and have been saying my name to strangers with some frequency. 

I like my name. I’ve never been tempted to change or gussy it up with a foreign pronunciation (I knew a guy named Steven who went to Europe for a semester in college and when he got back he insisted that everyone call him Stefan, accent on the “fan”).

I’ve never wanted to disguise it with a cuter nick name, or get rid of half of it by taking either of my husbands’s last names. 

Other people have liked my name, too. A writer took it and made Vivian Swift the leader of a gang of thieves in 17th-centry London for a romance novel whose title I forget. When I was first certified as a diamond grader I worked at a jewelry store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan with a big, loud (in the 1940s she would have been called “blowsy”) salesgirl who got pregnant by the watch repair guy and she named her baby Vivian…I was not pleased. 

Four times in my life I’ve had people ask me  if Vivian Swift was my real name, it’s that good a name.

In the 1980s, when M*A*S*H was on TV and Hot Lips was played by an actress named Loretta Swit, I used to brace myself whenever I had to introduce myself because people invariably heard “Vivian Swit”, and I was not pleased. So thank the lordy for Taylor Swift — I hardly ever have to say my last name twice any more.

Anyway. A few days ago I’m making an appointment  to cut the last 18 months of pandemic out of my hair (it’s so long now that I look like a veteran country singer in a lounge at one of the second-rate casinos way off the Strip in Vegas). Before the pandemic, I had found a good stylist at a salon in my little village that thinks itself quite cool. I call the place and I tell the receptionist my name, and that I want an appointment with Michael V. She taps the info into her computer (I can hear the keys clicking), and then she says, in a voice that dips and rises as if she’s  talking to  a not-very bright three year old:  “Soooo, what-cha thinkin’?”

At first, I couldn’t think what on earth she was on about. “What-cha thinkin’?” What am I thinking? About what? Why do you want to know? This is confusing; I just want a hair cut, not a self-assesment of my most recent metacognitive activities. All I could think to say was, “What?”

She repeated the question in exactly the same intonation, and I was so annoyed that I just let the space between us be filled with dead air while I debated whether I wanted a good hair cut more than I wanted to tell this girl to go fuck off  with her “What-cha thinkin’?”. 

Thankfully, the girl quickly filled the silence by asking me, in normal English, “When would you like to come in?”

So next Tuesday I’m getting all the Miss Havisham of the Pandemic Quarantine Times cut out of my hair so I can look somewhat pre-COVID when I go out in public. If I go. I just want to be prepared.

Just because I happen to have them, here are two pictures of me, taken 39 years apart, so you can see my country-singer hair from last week. . . 

That’s the neighbor’s cat, Anthony, visiting during Happy Hour in our backyard.

. . .  and from 1982.

That second photo is from the archives of my 1982 sweetheart who recently looked up “Vivian Swift” in the inter webs and because there aren’t that many Vivian Swifts in the world, he found me and sent this memento from my Peace Corps days in Niger, West Africa. Thank you, Juan, for this, and thank you for being a Californian because we owe the good citizens of CA a big Muchos Gracias for  defeating the Republican effort to overturn a fair election by recalling the Democratic governor and installing a weird, anti-black African-American asshole named Larry Elder. Gavin Newsom won by a 2-1 margin by making it a definitive defeat for Trumpism.

 

 

 

 

I finally found information about the 18 military advisory board members that Trump appointed and Biden fired: they do NOT get paid for their attendance, but they do get “travel allowances”, so Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s former campaign manager, gets federal money to fly to Colorado to sit in on meetings of the Air Force academy’s military advisory board. Luckily, the Air Force never convened its advisory board while Conway was a member, and now the Pentagon is looking into abolishing all 40 military advisory boards for being nothing more than political patronage any way.

 

 

That (above) is a real story, by the way. A group of five zebras, referred to as a dazzle, have been on the loose in Maryland for over two weeks. The zebras escaped in late August from a 300-acre farm near Upper Marlboro, Maryland, owned by Jerry Holly, who is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to keep 39 zebras. The zebras escaped shortly after they were transported to the farm from Florida. 

Since their break-out, the zebras have been scouring for food in neighborhoods in Prince George County in search of food, water, and sometimes a pool to dip into. Residents have posted photos and videos  of the zebras while local officials struggle to catch them. 

The zebras are not dangerous unless you approach them, but “You can’t hunt them down. They’re just too fast, they run, they won’t let you get near them,” Rodney Taylor, chief of Prince George county’s animal services department.

I, for one, would love to wake up one morning and find five zebras grazing in my backyard. It would really take my  mind off hugely annoying current events, such as what Donald Trump did on September 11 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of one of the darkest days in the history  of America.

On the same day, Rudy Giuliani showed up drunk at a party to…celebrate?…9-11:

 

In case you didn’t know, and I didn’t until I looked it up, the reason we put COVID in capital letters is because it stands for COronaVIrus Disease.

And where some people see a deadly public health emergency, Republicans see opportunity:

 

Speaking of shitbag Republicans, here’s how the Texas anti-abortion law is going:

Back to the latest COVID Karma news:

 

 

 

 

Ryan Cole is the doctor who is against COVID vaccines. So the Republican commissioners of the county — which encompasses the state capital, Boise — put him on the regional health board and said they welcomed Cole’s “outsider” perspective and willingness to “question” established medical guidance. They appointed him over the protests of their lone Democratic colleague.

To critics, Cole’s elevation to a public health-care role is an extreme example of GOP-driven resistance to not only mandates but basic medical guidance, as the pandemic overwhelms Idaho’s hospitals like never before.

The covid-19 patients filling hospital wards and prompting statewide rationing of care are almost all unvaccinated. Yet Idaho’s lieutenant governor recently suggested, falsely, that vaccinated people are more likely to die, and some officials in the heavily conservative state — where many preach “freedom” from government — consider even recommending the shots to be an overreach.

 

 

 

This guy (below)  is an anti-anti-vaxx protestor, so he goes to anti-mask mandate rallies and protests in a most brilliant way:

 

 

 

The far right is going to hold another rally in Washington DC tomorrow, Saturday September 18, but I don’t think we have to worry too much about it.

The rally is being planned by “Look Ahead America,” a nonprofit led by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Barnyard, who is described as “a C-list activist” and a Steve Bannon wanna-be. His group is “dedicated to standing up for patriotic Americans who have been forgotten by our government,” Braynard is focused on claims that the people who staged an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are “political prisoners” who have been unfairly maligned.

Around 500 people have indicated they plan to attend, though the memo notes that past recent events organized by Look Ahead America had significantly lower attendance than expected and were peaceful.

Trump is not the only Republican keeping his distance. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn, who were scheduled to speak at the event, both canceled their appearances. Congress will not be is session on Saturday, so it looks as if there will be no public hangings of Democrats or RINOs. It’s going to be pathetic, in other words.

So let’s catch up with the latest on the real January 6 insurrectionists and then we’ll just hang out and insult Republicans and look at cat memes::

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, lastly, for you Neil Gaiman fans (I know who you are):

That’s another week in America (and that one sad dining room somewhere in the UK), Dear Readers. Have a great weekend everyone. I hope you all have a fantastic Solstice, whether it’s the Autumnal (Northern Hemisphere) or the Vernal (Southern Hemisphere), we are in a period of change and even if we want to whine about it (that would be me, in the background, bitching and moaning) it’s good to change things up, to find new projects, to make adjustments, and to welcome in a new way of being. And remember: if you hear the sound of hoofbeats, it’s only your dazzle coming to get you.  

 

Read more

Everything is suddenly different in September. The air (cooler already), the quality of light (still bright, but not as beguiling), the mornings (darker). I don’t like it. So if I seem more annoyed than usual it’s because Fall is 11 days away and I’m not in the mood.

Here is a picture of what is probably the final Blue Jay feather of 2021, which was delivered to me last Saturday exactly like this:

Wednesday morning was warmer than usual so I got wonderfully drenched one last time by this lawn sprinkler:

Is it weird that I have a collection of photographs of my favorite lawn sprinklers? Is this how people become “odd”?

And now I face the entropy of Fall as an endurance test of my will to live as all the sparkle and joy seep out of my life and then it’s Winter and I will be seriously morose and bored. 

The one bright spot in my ever-more dreary life is my Korean class, in which we keep learning new ways to conjugate a verb (I know 53 ways so far) but I have a hack to keep me engaged in the very annoying task of acquiring a new language. It’s my practice to write ten Korean sentences a day using the latest bizarre verb ending, so what I’m doing lately is writing the filthiest, but most beautifully conjugated, Korean sentences I can think up. I’ve never seen Korean porn (pornography is highly illegal in both South and North Korea)  but I think I have a bright future in smut if the industry ever takes hold over there.

During a discussion of Korean food a classmate recommended that I try radish kimchi instead of the usual napa cabbage kimchi.  So now I have a small tub of radish kimchi sitting in my fridge, uneaten, because kimchi is an acquired taste on top of which I have never eaten a radish in my life and I’m not sure that this is the way I want to start.  However, I have been trying out some Korean recipes and not to brag, but I make an outstanding jjajangmyeon — black bean sauce over udon noodles. I make a very spicy vegetarian version with cabbage and onions and it’s my favorite breakfast dish and if it weren’t so fattening I’d have it for lunch too.

For the past few months I’ve thought that “black bean” sauce meant it was made from “black beans” but this week I learned that there isn’t a single black bean in it; it’s made from a soy bean paste that turns black when it’s fermented. (I’m kind of glad I didn’t know this beforehand, as I am squeamish about soy bean foods, such as the dreaded tofu which is so disgusting that I can’t even look at it.) Jjajangmyeon is the Korean comfort food most equivalent to pizza, and yes, I also frequently have pizza for breakfast, but I put a fried egg on top of it the way they do in France because that makes it more breakfast-y. There’s a holiday in South Korea, called Black Day, April 14, on which single people who didn’t get valentines in February get together and eat jjajangmyeon. Because it’s black. And the holiday is called Black Day. 

As for other culinary adventures, Top Cat and I thought it was vile but the backyard raccoons loved the peanut butter/ketchup dip I made last week. I spread it on whole wheat bread and cut it into raccoon-sized hors d’ouvres and set it out in the backyard with a big bowl of water at dusk and every morsel was gone by morning:

Speaking of vile, are we all agreed that Texas Republicans suck? And that’s saying a lot because Republicans in general are assholes, but the ones in Texas are walking shitstains. Their new anti-abortion law is written so that no state governmental entity or person can be held accountable to it. Instead of the state enforcing the law — the normal way these things work — the Texas law leaves that to private citizens, who are empowered to sue anyone who “aids or abets” someone seeking an abortion — from the doctors who perform abortions to someone who drives a woman to a clinic. It includes a “bounty hunter” provision that allows someone who successfully files a suit to collect $10,000 on top of legal fees. And it also means that a doctor who performs an abortion can be sued by any number of private citizens — a dozen, a hundred, a thousand citizens —  for that one abortion.

 

 

 

 

This guy, Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, has explained that although the anti-abortion law does not make exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape, women don’t have to worry because. . . 

“Let’s make something very clear,” he said. “Rape is a crime. And Texas will work tirelessly to make sure we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by aggressively going out and arresting them, and prosecuting them, and getting them off the streets.”

The governor’s statement  ignores the fact that three out of four rapes are committed by someone known to the victim, and he offered no elaboration as to how exactly his administration would “eliminate all rapists from the streets” before they have committed an actual rape. And he hasn’t explained why, for fuck’s sake, if he can eliminate rape now, he didn’t do it when he was the fucking Texas Attorney General from 2002 to 2015? Or when he was first elected governor in 2014? 

Of course the shitbag is lying about his ability to “eliminate all rapists” because never, in the history of the world, has rape and rapists ever been “eliminated”.  Just wait. Any day now there will be a case of an 13-year old rape victim being forced to give birth to her rapists’s child because she lives in Texas, and we’ll see what bullshit the governor has to say about that.

This is what the actress Maisie Williams has to say:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember that website I told you about last week where Texans can go to to fill out a report about suspected abortion activity? It was called ProfileWhistleBlower, and I and thousands of others logged onto the site and filed fake reports, hoping to crash it.  And then, the site host, Go Daddy, pulled the plug: 

 

And our federal Attorney General did this:

 

Supreme Court justice Brett “I Like Beer” Kavanaugh was one of the conservative votes that let Texas pass the anti-abortion law on Sept. 2. So the senator from Rhode Island did this:

 

 

Which brings us to COVID.

This (above) headline is misleading, but you’d expect that from a conservative news organization (The Daily Mail). The doctor only refuses to see unvaccinated patients IN PERSON. They can still get the medical attention they don’t deserve remotely.

Ivermectin is the horse de-wormer that Republicans take for Covid instead of the vaccine:

 

This is the best Anti-vaxxer story of the week:

A viral video of a woman deliberately coughing on masked shoppers at a Nebraska grocery store while laughing and calling them “sheep”, which was first posted Sunday on Reddit, has been viewed more than 4 million times. In it, the woman approaches a mother and daughter in the produce section of a Super Saver because they were wearing masks (Lincoln, Nebraska, where the store is located, has a citywide mask mandate in place). She follows them, heckling them about their masks and coughing dramatically.

“You’re such sheep,” she tells them. 

When another shopper asks why she isn’t wearing a mask, she responds: “I’m not sick and neither are you.” 

The mother who posted the video added, “There were several other people around wearing masks, but for some reason she chose to pick on me and my kid. She laughed and kept saying: ‘Look at you, it’s so cute how scared you are!’ By this time I was absolutely livid, trying my best to hold it together in front of my kid. I didn’t finish my shopping, instead I went to the self checkout to pay for my stuff. Next she followed me to use the self checkout right next to mine.”

The video also caught the attention of two online activists that have made a habit of identifying right-wingers in such videos: Danesh, known by his handle “thatdaneshguy,” and the TikTok user “Guilt.” The two spent hours sifting through profiles and activity in Nebraska-based anti-mask groups on Facebook. Eventually, they stumbled on the cougher’s profile, and found out that she was a 54-year old named Janene Hoskovec. 

“It was definitely on the easier end of people we’ve found,” Guilt said. 

The two posted her name on Tuesday night, and by Wednesday morning it was a trending hashtag. 

According to Hoskovec’s LinkedIn page, she was born and raised in Nebraska but currently works in Tempe at the Arizona branch of SAP, a German software company. 

On Wednesday morning, SAP put out a brief statement on Twitter, apparently in reference to the incident: 

“The health and safety of our employees and the communities in which we live and work are of utmost concern to us,” the company tweeted. “We are taking the matter of an SAP employee incident very seriously and investigating the situation.”

On Wednesday, the company added: “We have reviewed the incident and can confirm that the individual in question no longer works for SAP.”

Oh, Janene! Look at you! Look how cute you are when you lose your job for being a shitbag!

That’s the Feel Good story of hate week, Dear Readers.

 

And then there’s this guy:

Republican Larry Elder is hoping to become the next governor of California if the recall of Gavin Newsom is successful:

Our President Biden fired all of Trump’s appointees to several military advisory boards:

I tried to find out if these “advisory” positions are paid, but I couldn’t get any info that. 

And then there’s this bitch (Indian – American, Trump appointee to the UN):

My English moots on Twitter are losing their shit over this:

I know ABBA had hits in America and were hot in the 1970s, but they are still GODS in Europe.

And that’s my news round up for this week. The good, the bad, the trivial, and the epic, we made it through another week of madness and it’s FRIDAY! We all deserve a hug and a big stinking glass of adult beverage and a dinner of comfort food.

Sometimes, I go without the french fries:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Let’s put on our sweaters and heave an extra blanket on the bed and look up some hearty soup recipes as we get into the Fall mindset and meet here again next week to cast a cold eye on what new idiocy we have managed to live through. I wish I could reach through this screen and hand you all a glass of my favorite Vouvray, but all I got is this and I hope it tides you over until it’s 5 o’clock in your time zone.

 

 

Read more

So September has announced itself.

On Wednesday we got very alarming text alerts, late at night, about tornados in our area.  But I was on my computer, socializing with 42 members of a BTS Twitter party and I wasn’t going to run down into the basement as advised (because did I mention the monthly BTS Twitter party is called Wine Wednesday and wine makes me very brave?) so I ignored the warning, and then we got some scary  flash flood alerts. However, I know the history of this area. In the late 19th century, when developers were trying to entice people to move out of Manhattan, they lied (like all salespeople do) and called the land where I live “The Alps of Long Island”, meaning that we are on high ground here in Too Many Cats Manor so I knew flooding was not going to be a problem, plus it was Wine Wednesday and wine makes me brave.

In case you are wondering, my house is 91 feet (approx. 28 meters) above sea level. The sea, in the form of Hempstead Harbor, is about a mile and a quarter away. The only way we are going to flood is if the cats leave the bathtub faucet running overnight. So I stayed at the party and had a grand time while the rains and wind did their evil best to make life miserable in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for about 24 hours. But it was almost a non-event for us. We never lost electricity and the basement stayed dry.

In other trivia from My Life, here are a few treasures that I found this past week during my morning outings:

 

 

 

I made a special run for the last day of August, and by “special” I mean that I dedicated the experience to giving thanks and keeping Summer thoughts in my mind. I am grateful for having had an outstanding season. I had projects and I met goals and I had a mission that was not about myself this Summer, all of which had me feeling useful and productive, which is a very fine way to feel.  Plus, a shit load of Blue Jay feathers came my way. So on this last day of spiritual Summer, August 31, I took my early morning run, and I got an excellent final lawn sprinkler drenching, and I found this:

Probably the final feather of 2021:

A lot of people on Twitter seem to care deeply about what will be the Song of Summer 2021. Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, and Billie Eilish all have fans that get pretty pushy about this. Now, I have not given a crap about the Song of the Summer since 1969, when my sister and I declared that More Today Than Yesterday by the Spiral Staircase had to be THE Song of the Summer. I hear that song, even now, and I’m a gawky 13 year old,  at the Warrington, PA Swim Club, sunburnt and standing in line at the snack bar hoping that next year I’ll grow up and be cute like the teenagers on TV, and I’m hearing  someone’s transistor radio blasting Top 40 from WFIL in Philadelphia, “I love you more today than yesterday”. 

Anyway. You might not know this, but BTS, the South Korean pop group comprised of my seven Korean husbands, released a song in English, called Butter, on May 21. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and stayed at #1  for nine weeks, and it’s still on the list, 14 weeks later, at #23. It’s had more weeks at #1 than any other song released this year, so a lot of people think Butter is the Song of Summer 2021.

The only London soccer team with a superstar player from South Korea also thinks that Butter is the Song of the Summer (this is for Top Cat, who is a huge Tottenham fan):

“Smooth like butter” is the first line of the song. In Korean, the Tottenham Hotspurs says that their forward, Son Heung-Min, scores free kick goals smooth like butter. Cute, right?

Butter is cute and catchy and has an adorable music video and I’ve downloaded it a lot. But it’s not my pick for the Song of the Summer. For me, Summer 2021 is Leave the Door Open. 

Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, both born in the mid-1980s, have made a perfect 1970s R&B single. The mv even looks like it was shot in the ’70s in that the clothes and almost everyone in it are ugly. But the intro to Leave the Door Open is already iconic, and although the verse is a bit silly  because Bruno Mars is kind of goofy as a writer (remember 24 K Magic?), the chorus is dead sexy and I think Summer is sexy so, ipso facto…it’s my pick for a totally meaningless honor, Song of the Summer.

Last week I promised you a Katara the Cat painting. Well, I did my best, three times, and I just don’t like any of them. It’s the ears. 

If you remember, this is my reference photo:

I didn’t want to paint Katara with her ears in that position, so I borrowed our #5 cat, Kimmy,  as my Ear Model. . .

. . . but every time I paint Katara’s face with Kimmy’s ears I feel like I’ve got them wrong — the ears feel fake. They aren’t Katara’s ears and it throws me. Alex, I’m sorry to have failed so badly, but I just can’t “get” Katara. Alex, if you ever get a full-face, in focus photo of Katara, please send it to me and I will be happy to paint the REAL Katara. 

In the meantime, everyone: Meet Winston:

Winston has a date with me and my paints next week. 

One last story from my molehill life because I’m in a dilemma and I need advise. 

Yesterday I was parking my car behind the local Total Wine store, in order to stock up for the next Wine Wednesday (and Wine Friday, Wine Saturday, Wine Sunday, etc) and I had to maneuver around a shopping cart that had been left behind by some pissant shopper who is too lazy to put the damn thing back where it belongs.  It’s a point of honor with me that I ALWAYS return my shopping carts to their corrals because I’m a decent human being; so I was pretty annoyed that some entitled asshole had left their shopping cart in the middle of a really good parking spot. When I got out of my car I grabbed the shopping cart to return it to where it belongs with all the other shopping carts because I’m a decent human being, and that’s when I noticed something black was in the cart. I picked up the black thing, and to my surprise it’s an iPad.

Now, on my morning runs, I have found many other things besides Blue Jay feathers, and one of those other things that I have found was an iPhone. It was lying on the side of the road, and I picked it up, scrolled through the phone book, and called the number listed under “Mom”. That’s how I was able to return the phone to a nice young man who was mystified, having no idea how his phone came to be lying on the side of the road, but there you are. So, I now have this iPad, and I figure I’ll do the same thing — scroll through it and find the owner and give the shitbag a piece of my mind about ditching shopping carts in parking lots before I hand over the iPad. I toss the iPad in the back seat of my car and I proceed towards Total Wine because I have more important things to do at the moment. I’ll get to the iPad when I’m home.

Alas, at home I find that the iPad is locked. So now I don’t know what to do with the thing. Do I hand it over to police? Do I return to Total Wine and give it to the manager? Do I go to the Apple “geniuses” and have them break into it? Do I throw it out because the owner is the kind of person who abandons shopping carts in parking lots and he/she deserves to lose their iPad? Do iPads come with tracking devices? Can I let him/her find me? Opinions, please.

Speaking of opinions, everyone with half a brain knows that this one stinks out loud:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to see how scary it is now that Texas has deputized all private citizens to inform on their neighbors, take a look at that website. You would never think to see this in America, but here we are. Andes, I have already left my bullshit “information”.

 

In other national news, this is the Republican’s worst nightmare:

 

 

Mo Brooks is the Alabama congressman show spoke at Trump’s rally and encouraged the crowd to go to Congress and “kick ass”. He also wore body armor on Jan. 6. Is it just me, or is he terrified of the Jan 6 committee?

 

 

 

Remember this insurrectionist?

 

The latest in Covid news is that the Delta variant is spreading like crazy so . . . 

Toilet paper demand has risen at retailers such as Massachusetts-based grocery chain Roche Bros. and Food City, headquartered in Abingdon, Va., with more than 130 retail outlets in southern states. “I don’t think we fully recovered from when the supply chain got a massive hit,” Arthur Ackles, Roche Bros.’s vice president of merchandising and buying, said.

Manufacturers of toilet tissue say they are responding to the latest increase in demand. Kimberly-Clark, which makes Cottonelle and Scott toilet tissue, and Kleenex, “is monitoring the situation closely, and working hard to produce more toilet paper and other essential paper products to best meet consumer needs,” the company said in a statement to USA TODAY. “We remain vigilant with consumer demand and will continue to produce and ship as much product out to retailers as possible.”

Georgia-Pacific, which makes Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper as well as Brawny and Sparkle paper towels, “continues to produce toilet paper and towels 24/7 across our system,” the company said in a statement to USA TODAY. “Our customers may be experiencing small demand surges locally and we are responding. Like other manufacturers, we continue to face a variety of challenges across the supply chain including shipping, transportation, logistics and labor.”

 

This panic-buying not just in the U.S. It’s happening in Australia too:

Australians are really good at messaging for the public good. Her’s another example: 

 

During an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation,Trump lawyer Sidney Powell struggled to respond to questions that the correspondent Sarah Ferguson asked about the truthfulness of Powell’s lawsuits. Powell, flummoxed by Ferguson’s tenacity, threatened to end the interview.

Powell was one of several public figures who propagated the Big Lie,  that mass voter fraud cost Donald Trump the 2020 election. The voting-machine companies Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic have filed billion-dollar defamation lawsuits against Powell over her involvement in spreading the baseless conspiracy theory.

At one point during the interview, Powell responded to a line of questioning by asking Ferguson if she worked for Smartmatic and saying she was confused about why Ferguson had come to interview her.

“Because you’ve made a series of very strong allegations against Smartmatic and against Dominion containing many errors of fact,” Ferguson responded.

Powell stuck by her baseless claims about widespread election fraud: “I am saying that thousands of Americans had some role in it, knowingly or unknowingly,” Powell said. “It was essentially a bloodless coup where they took over the presidency of the United States without a single shot being fired.”

When Powell claimed that the fraud had been planned for at least three years, Ferguson asked, “Do you ever hear yourself and think that it sounds ridiculous?”

 

Because I am so impressed with Sarah Ferguson and whoever wrote that sing about the fuckwads who are hoarding toilet paper, I have gathered other examples of Australian excellence for your viewing pleasure at the end of our news round up. 

Starting with the latest in Covid Karma:

 

 


Aug 30   Robert David Steele, the conspiracy theorist who  called COVID-19 a hoax, has reportedly died of the disease.

Steele, a former CIA officer, was hospitalized with COVID-19 in early August, shortly after he spoke to a large crowd in florida.

Known for anti-Semitic beliefs and falsely asserting that NASA operates a child slave colony on Mars, Steele was also a promoter of the sprawling QAnon conspiracy that centers on the baseless idea that former President Donald Trump will vanquish a shadowy cabal of Democratic pedophiles.

Steele has also claimed that U.S. military bases are “lily pads” used for the smuggling of gold and children.

“We are normalizing pedophilia and idiocy!” he said. “We are normalizing the destruction of the family.”

May he rest in eternal stupidity, along with these guys:

Aug 17 In February, DeYoung (above) published an interview promoting the conspiracy theories that the Pfizer vaccine would make women sterile and that world governments were using the virus and vaccine to centralize power. DeYoung’s guest at the time, Sam Rohrer, said that very few people who were infected lost their lives, calling the vaccine only a “purported solution” and “not truly a vaccine.”

Both host and guest encouraged listeners to read conspiracy-minded materials on the coronavirus vaccine, with DeYoung asking, “Could this vaccine be another form of government control of the people?”

It’s the same story with these shitheads:

 

 

Here’s the latest about that Texas father of three:

And more:

 

 

 

 

The video of this school board meeting is a hoot — this lady, known only as “Melissa”, was protesting a mask mandate.  Her microphone was cut off and she was removed from the room for threatening board members. But “Melissa” should know that no one is anonymous on Twitter:

 

 

 

 

 

Be glad that you don’t live in Mississippi:

 

 

House Minority  Leader Kevin McCarthy (Republican), who is scared shitless that his phone records from the January 6 insurrection will be made public, is in hot water for another reason:

 

A company owned by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s in-laws won more than $7 million in no-bid and other federal contracts at U.S. military installations and other government properties in California based on a dubious claim of Native American identity by McCarthy’s brother-in-law, a Times investigation has found.

The prime contracts, awarded through a federal program designed to help disadvantaged minorities, were mostly for construction projects at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in McCarthy’s Bakersfield-based district, and the Naval Air Station Lemoore in nearby Kings County.

Vortex Construction, whose principal owner is William Wages, the brother of McCarthy’s wife, Judy, received a total of $7.6 million in no-bid and other prime federal contracts since 2000, The Times found.

Vortex faced no competitive bids for most of the contracts because the Small Business Administration accepted Wages’ claim in 1998 that he is a Cherokee Indian. Under the SBA program, his company became eligible for federal contracts set aside for economically and socially disadvantaged members of minority groups, a boon to its business.

Wages says he is one-eighth Cherokee. An examination of government and tribal records by The Times and a leading Cherokee genealogist casts doubt on that claim, however. He is a member of a group called the Northern Cherokee Nation, which has no federal or state recognition as a legitimate tribe. It is considered a fraud by leaders of tribes that have federal recognition.

 

And that’s all the news for this week. 

Time to let FunFriday roll:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And to top it off, here’s AUSTRALIA:

This is from January 2020, when there were terrible fires in Victoria state:

 

 

 

 

Below: “Ripper” is Australian slang for “awesome”, and by the looks of the uniforms, those are Victoria state cops.

 

 

 

 

 

Below: News Corp is the Murdoch media company:

 

This one is my favorite:

 

 

I saw this photo (above) and I wondered, Is that white bread with sprinkles? Read below:

 

And that’s another week, Dear Readers. It’s a three-day weekend here in the US (Labor Day on Monday), four days if you’re Jewish (Rosh Hashanah on Tuesday). If you are celebrating with friends or family, and want to make a special surprise dip, like I did  . . .

. . .  from the recipe that I told you about last week . . .

 

. . . with apologies to Dear Reader Judy: DON’T. It’s disgusting. It’s nutty and sugary in a cloying, rancid, shitty grape-tootsie roll pop covered in sad school lunch kind of way. It’s really one of the worst things I’ve ever tasted, and I’ve eaten fried grasshoppers. 

Instead, celebrate the end of Summer with love and champagne and BBQ, regret and melancholy and the commencement of the dark season’s unrelenting fear of death like normal people. 

See you all next week. 

XXOO

 

Read more

Thank you, everyone, for your emails and notes of concern about Hurricane Henri last weekend. Henri was downgraded to a Tropical Storm and  hit Long Island well east of Too Many Cats Manor. All we got was 41 hours of unrelenting rain, from just before sunset on Saturday to around noon on Monday. Truthfully, I shouldn’t say that 41 hours of rain is “all” we got because the monotony of that many hours of rain is maddening, tedious, and mentally-unbalancing, and the 100% humidity saturated everything inside the house — cotton clothing, wool rugs, paper and cardboard (books), fur, humans — and we felt as waterlogged as if we were living in a moat. But we didn’t lose electricity and we didn’t run out ice or vodka so, YaY.

The last weekend in August is coming up, Dear Readers, and I hope you all get out for a lovely evening stroll to listen to crickets and watch fireflies give their sparkle and hum to the warm August darkness that wraps around you like kindness. Oh, how I love late Summer.

I especially love porch lights in late Summer.  

I specially especially like making a Go-cup of ice-cold Vovray to take with me while I wander around the neighborhood, drinking in the sights and sounds.

This is the time of year I missed out on in 2020 because I had that fracture in my tibia that prevented me from taking long walks from July 21 – Sept 4, which pretty much grounded me for the sweetest and most luscious part of the sweetest and most luscious season. 

I’m very grateful that this year, in the other-wise blighted year of 2021, that I get to experience all these Summer days fully.

Nights like this, I want Summer to last forever.

Another Summer pleasure that we don’t talk about enough is:  lawn sprinklers, specifically the jumping into of them. To beat the heat of midday, I go out for my morning run rather early, usually around 7 or 8 AM. This is the time when a lot of people’s lawn sprinkler systems are turned on to water the golf-course quality lawns that are a necessity on the north shore of Long Island (mostly Kentucky Bluegrass, judging by the amount of watering that goes on). I usually get my pick of lawn sprinklers in which to jump; or, more accurately (since no jumping is actually required), I get my pick of lawn sprinklers under which to stand and get drenched.

Here (below) is a catalogue of my favorite sprinklers, starting with a picture I took on Tuesday morning, the first day I could head out after Henri, which as you know umped 41 hours of rain on us. 41 hours. And yes, less than 24 hours after the rain stopped, the sprinklers were turned on. You would think that the grass had had enough watering from the tropical storm that passed by but, no, all the jets were on and I was thankful:

Next is the house that has sprinklers on a hill so that the jets are making a nice high arc, which is what you need for primo sprinkler-dousing:

Here is another of my preferred sprinklers, catching the rising sun in its cascade and there is nothing finer than to be soaked by droplets sparkling with sunrise:

Dear Readers, you will NEVER guess who it is that has the best lawn sprinkler for jumping into, sprinklers with excellent water pressure, nice height, and easy access, as seen here:

This guy has an array of sprinklers, but for obvious reasons, I only use the ones closest to the street (the obvious reason is trespassing):

You might not recognize this guy’s yard, but you will recognize him by his flag:

Yes, Dear Readers, our local MAGAt has a lovely lawn sprinkler system that I have on more than one occasion been happily drenched by. If you notice, today his big red TRUMP flag, which usually flaps hideously in the air like a big fat Trump lie, is, for now, furled. FURLED.

Maybe our post cards persuaded him to cool it on the Trump flag-waving after all, so YAY for us!  Or maybe it’s because our MAGAt is depressed and laying low while there is trouble in TrumpLand  because, Dear Readers, there is trouble in TrumpLand and I am here for it.

Starting with this:

At a rally on August 21 in Cullman, Alabama, Trump was booed after telling followers that he was vaccinated against COVID-19 and urged his supporters to do the same . “I believe totally in your freedoms, I do. You got to do what you have to do. But I recommend — take the vaccines. I did it. It’s good,” he said. (And good for all those who Boo’d. I hope all his most fervent supporters continue to resist the vaccine. I really do.)

The next day, this happened:

Alex Jones is the rabid Trumper who spews conspiracy theories and misinformation about Covid on his internet show. On Sunday, August 22,  Jones raved about the COVID-19 vaccine and how he’s certain it will create “mutants.” In discussing Trump’s August 21 endorsement of the vaccine, Jones  declared that Trump was following orders from “the left” to “go out and push” the vaccine. He said:

“CNN snaps their fingers. [CNN President] Jeff Zucker snaps his fingers, and Trump clicks his heels and hops up there at attention and says, “How high do you want me to jump, boss?” 

Jones then played a clip of Trump’s message about vaccines in Alabama.

“BS,” Jones proclaimed afterward. “Trump: That’s a lie; you’re not stupid. But, my God, maybe you’re not that bright,” he added. “Maybe Trump is actually an idiot.”

Jones is very popular in TrumpWorld. He claims that his platforms reach 70 million people per week. So, if he starts speeding the word that Trump is a moron, it will definitely shake things up for Donny.

Meanwhile, some of Trump’s lawyers, the ones who filed lawsuits to perpetuate the Big Lie that the election of 2020 was “stolen” from Trump, got some terrible news this week (get out the popcorn, Dear Readers):

Nine lawyers, led by Sidney Powell (above), allied with former President Donald Trump face financial penalties and other sanctions after a judge Wednesday said they had abused the court system with a lawsuit that challenged Michigan’s election results in favor of Joe Biden.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker said the Michigan lawsuit last fall was a sham intended to deceive the court and the public, just a few days after Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in the state was certified.

“Despite the haze of confusion, commotion and chaos counsel intentionally attempted to create by filing this lawsuit, one thing is perfectly clear: Plaintiffs’ attorneys have scorned their oath, flouted the rules, and attempted to undermine the integrity of the judiciary along the way,” Parker said in the opening of a scathing 110-page opinion.

“Individuals may have a right — within certain bounds — to disseminate allegations of fraud unsupported by law or fact in the public sphere,” the judge said. “But attorneys cannot exploit their privilege and access to the judicial process to do the same.”

Parker ordered 12 hours of legal education, including six hours in election law, for each attorney. Her decision will also be sent to the states where the lawyers are licensed for possible disciplinary action there.

It was one of the few efforts to wrench fines or other penalties from dubious post-election lawsuits across the U.S. There was no immediate response to messages seeking comment from attorneys for Wood and Powell.

And lastly, things aren’t looking any better for Trump’s enablers in Congress:

On Wednesday, Trump tried to weasel out of complying with the committee’s request for info.  Wait. I like weasels.  Let’s say he tried to Trump out of taking responsibility:

This is Trump’s statement:

 The Leftist ‘select committee’ has further exposed itself as a partisan sham   and waste of taxpayer dollars with a request that’s timed to distract Americans from historic and global catastrophes brought on by the failures of Joe Biden and the Democrats. Unfortunately, this partisan exercise is being performed at the expense of long-standing legal principles of privilege.

Executive privilege will be defended, not just on behalf of my Administration and the Patriots who worked beside me but on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our Nation. These Democrats only have one tired trick—political theater—and their latest request only reinforces that pathetic reality.”

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the committee’s chairman, said, in response to Trump: “Our Constitution provides for a peaceful transfer of power, and this investigation seeks to evaluate threats to that process, identify lessons learned and recommend laws, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations necessary to protect our republic in the future.” 

Do you detect a whiff of panic in Trump’s statement? Because  I  do.

 

But in addition to the delightful news of the implosion of TrumpWorld, let’s take a look at what else has been up-ended in America, mainly my sense of what constitutes deliciousness:

This showed up in my Twitter tl and cause quite a ruckus. First, people were upset by the misspelling of ketchup. Most of us agree that “ketchup” is the only way to spell this tasty tomato-based condiment once so reviled by the British for being the totem of American cultural imperialism, and a minority could tolerate the spelling of “catsup”, but nobody, and I mean NOBODY could stand “catchup”. 

I’m dying to try this. Notice that Toby (above) used Whole Foods brands to make this counter-intuitive dip. Organic all the way. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

This also caught my attention on the Twittersphere, under the heading: Nobody loves their job more than  a Border Collie scattering seeds in a Chilean forest:

I had to look this up, and the story is too wonderful not to share. In 2017, forest fires in central Chile destroyed over a million acres of forest land. It was the worst wildfire season in the country’s history, taking several lives and creating an estimated $333 million dollars worth of damages. 

The job to replant endless acres of forests seemed like a daunting endeavor. That is until three unusual workers took up the task. Six year old Das and her two daughters, Olivia and Summer,  are three Border Collies who have been trained to run through the damaged forests with special backpacks that release native plant seeds. Once they take root, these seeds will help regrow the destroyed area. 

Here’s a picture of the three Border Collies with their trainers, who are also [human] sisters, Francesca and Constanza Torres:

Here’s 2 more sweet things from the internet to put us in a good mood before we get to the rest of the news:

 

OK, now for the regularly scheduled Survey of Stupid, starting with the usual suspects:

 


This (below) is from the Starlight Bar in Brooklyn, NY:

 

 

 

 

Ding Dong, the smug anti-vaxxer is dead. 

The good news is that he died a horrible, suffocating, slow, painful death that could have been avoided if he hadn’t had his head so far up Trump’s ass.

 

This piece of shit (above) is John Pierce, who temporarily served as the lawyer for Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old charged with killing two men and injuring a third during a 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Pierce was fired as Rittenhouse’s attorney over a financial disagreement.

He is representing at least 17 clients who are suspected of participating in the January 6 Capitol riots. In a January 9 tweet, Pierce referred to riot arrestees as “patriotic Americans being wrongfully detained.”

On July 28, he tweeted, “This whole thing is just beyond ridiculous at this point. Take your mask off and live your life. We are Americans. I can’t even believe this has to be said. If you want to do something about COVID, tell your Congressman to man up and declare war on the CCP [Chinese Community Party].”

On August 17, Pierce tweeted, “The entire 82nd Airborne couldn’t make me get an experimental government vaccine stuck in my arm.”

More from John Pierce:

 

 

I do hope that John Pierce gets the full Phil Valentine death experience, including the agonizing sense of of stupidity that his suffering was avoidable. I’d like him to die with the self-awareness that he is an asshole.

 

So Jim Bakker is still around. He’s the televangelist who, between 1974 and 1987,  hosted the television program The PTL Club. In the late 1980s, Bakker resigned from the PTL ministry over a cover-up of hush money to church secretary Jessica Hahn for an alleged rape.  Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud brought about felony charges, conviction, imprisonment.

This is what Jim Bakker is saying now:

 

 

 

 

The Republican governor of South Dakota is trying to get herself crowned Queen of Stupid:

Ex-football player Herschel Walker wants to be the Trumper to run against Senator Raphael Warnock in Georgia:

Election officials in Georgia have opened an investigation into whether the wife of potential U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker  cast an illegal ballot when she voted in Georgia’s presidential race last fall from her home in Texas.

Ya think?

And this is all I have to say about Afghanistan:

Let the sarcasm roll:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for some happy, pure thoughts of life:

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next time  we get together will be September and and we may or may not be depressed. It’s been in the 90s (that’s 35ish in Celsius world) here on the north shore of Long Island and some people are telling me that they can’t wait for Summer to be over but I’m not friends with those people. I love Summer and OK, September is mostly a Summer month, but it doesn’t feel that way. September always brings responsibility, something that is easily avoidable during Summer. September is the beginning of getting  ready for you-know-what, a mind set that takes a lot of preparation and determination and stuff. I’m not ready.

 

Next week I will show you all the new Katara cat picture I painted that was awful, and the new Katara cat picture that I will paint this week that doesn’t suck.

In the meanwhile, have a great weekend, everyone. Go stand under a lawn sprinkler while you can.

 

 

 

 

 

Read more

Meet Norman:

Norman and I have been running into each other lately, a couple times a week, at the Plandome train station here on the north shore of Long Island. This (above) is how he waits for his daddy to come off the 4:49 from Manhattan. 

The thing is, Norman is a recent addition to this Cadillac SUV that I’ve seen around for a while here at the Plandome train station. When Top Cat takes the 4:49 train, and as I wait for him,  I’ve seen Norman’s daddy walk past my car about a hundred times. I call Norman’s daddy “The Spitter”. He’s a tall, white, white-haired, husky guy who  always hocks a loogie right before he gets in his car. This disgusts me, and every time The Spitter expectorates I think of ways for him to die. 

Then the other week I noticed this adorable face at the car window of The Spitter’s Cadillac SUV and I struck up a conversation with The Spitter’s wife, which is how I know Norman’s name and life story. She seems so nice, and Norman is so adorable, and so now I have to re-calibrate my feelings of total disgust and complete loathing for The Spitter into something more well-rounded, even-tempered, something, maybe, more like mere contempt. Because even Spitters have nice wives and cute dogs.

And that’s the lesson for the day. 

 

It’s been a good week for Blue Jay feather hunting. Here are two that I found on my 5-mile run on Wednesday:

 

When I picked up that second feather, a beautiful covert wing feather, I marveled at the clarity of its deep turquoise blue and the perfection of its exquisite tininess. As I looked up, I saw a girl, about 12, with a little boy of about 8, coming my way from the other side of the street. I had an urge to call out to them, “Look what I found!” and to go over to them and give them this feather, and tell them how they should be looking for these little treasures because the Earth is a benevolent and miraculous place to live and don’t wait until you are a grown up to feel grateful and dazzled for living on such a wondrous planet where there are Blue Jay feathers scattered everywhere.

But in a split second that scenario played out in my mind and I realized that, A, that would be creepy; and B, nobody should be talking to strangers when the Delta variant is running rampant; and C, I don’t like kids.

So I took the little feather home  and put it in the glass jar on top of the refrigerator where I put all my Sumer 2021 Blue Jay feathers. 

Note to Dear Reader Steve about Blue Jay feathers: The feathers that I find are from the molt that Blue Jays go through once a year during the end of Summer (mid-July to early September). The feathers are simply shed and, while the process is not painful, the bird does tend to be irritable while the molt is going on according to people who have made friends with Blue Jays. I’ll take their word for it. I’ve never come across a non-irritable Blue Jay, but I have cats and Blue Jays are not fond of cats or, apparently, cat-owners.

It was very hot here last week. Temperatures were in the high 90s with disgusting humidity so we got warnings for Dangerous Heat and the county opened “cooling centers” for those who don’t have air conditioning. We don’t have air conditioning here at Too Many Cats Manor, so I make do with frequent showers; I step into a cold shower with all my clothes on, and I’m good for the next hour or so. One of the benefits of living in a 100-year-old house is that these places never get really warm in the Winter and they get really hot in the Summer. But thankfully, we have indoor plumbing.

Back to my pet peeve about the Olympics. . . As I mentioned in my July 30 blog post (Some Trouble With Tribbles), I really hate it when athletes pose with their gold medals and they bite into them. I think it’s a stupid tradition but I thought biting into a gold medal was something that only Westerners did. So I learned something new this week:

Tokyo 2020 organizers announced Thursday that Miu Goto, a relief pitcher on Japan’s champion softball team, will receive a new gold medal after Takashi Kawamura, the mayor of her hometown in Nagoya, bit her medal at an event to celebrate her win.

The bite did not appear to damage the medal, but still caused a minor scandal in Japan for Kawamura’s flouting of COVID-19 protocols and perceived disrespect for Goto’s prize. Biting Olympics is a common practice, dating back to its use as a quick test of a gold coin’s authenticity, but it’s a practice you typically see only among the athletes that won them.

After a reported 7,000 complaints to city authorities, Kawamura apologized a day later and even offered to pay for a replacement medal:

“I forgot my position as Nagoya mayor and acted in an extremely inappropriate way,” Mayor Takashi Kawamura said in a statement. “I am fully aware that I should reflect on that.”

Fortunately for the mayor, the IOC will reportedly bear the cost of replacing Goto’s medal.

Well, let’s check in with how our home-grown morons are doing, starting with the Covidiots:

 

 

 

The father (mentioned above) was upset about his kid having to wear a face mask to school so he started berating the female principal and when a male teacher stepped in to protect the principal  that’s how he ended up getting beat up. The Proud Boys also showed up to the meeting:

Things are even worse at Florida schools:

 

“Shit twit” might be my new favorite word of the week.

 

Well, what can you say about the South and their Republican anti-face mask governors except that they deserve each other:

 

 

 

Gregg Abbott, the Republican anti-face mask governor of Texas, has tested positive for Covid.

 

 

 

I saw this news story (below) and it made me wonder, Is there a rule that you have to be ugly to get into state politics?

The sad news is that the Kidwells are now out of the hospital and at home, recuperating. Shit. This is the dick who’s been a “vocal opponent” of wearing masks and even introduced legislation in North Carolina to prohibit the governor from mandating masks. He has also questioned COVID-19 vaccines. He is the chief sponsor of House Bill 572, which would prohibit the governor from issuing an executive order to require vaccination. The bill passed the NC House in May but is currently stalled in the Senate. He also sponsored a bill that would bar state agencies from requiring the shots for licensing purposes.

In an Aug. 5 Facebook post, Kidwell wrote, “Today, I joined 54 of my colleagues in calling on our state’s major hospitals system CEOs to reevaluate its decision to require all staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in the coming weeks in order to keep their jobs.”

Kidwell has also used Facebook posts to criticize vaccine passports and referred to vaccine campaigns as “manipulation.”

I am on watch to see when this shit twit (below) gets to meet St. Peter in person:

According to the National Catholic Reporter, Burke “has expressed skepticism about the need for distancing measures to contain the coronavirus and has opposed mandatory vaccination schemes.”

In a homily given last December, Burke called COVID the “Wuhan virus,” and said, “It has been used by certain forces inimical to families and to the freedom of nations, to advance their evil agenda.”

Burke in a May 2020 address to the Rome Life Forum said vaccinations should not be forced “in a totalitarian manner” on people.

Burke also said “there is a certain movement to insist that now everyone must be vaccinated against the coronavirus COVID-19 and even that a kind of microchip needs to be placed under the skin of every person, so that any moment he or she can be controlled by the State regarding health and about other matters which we can only imagine.”

 

How are things in South Carolina you ask? 

Presley Stutts was a member of the Tea Party and helped found MySCGOP, a conservative organization intended as an alternative to the S.C. Republican Party.

He was a fervent supporter of President Donald J. Trump and posted photos on Facebook of himself with the former president.

After Stutts tested positive for COVID and was hospitalized, he continued to post Facebook messages reaffirming his belief that masks and vaccines should not be mandated by the government.

 

 

 

 

I don’t care much about Afghanistan, but now it’s the only thing that Republicans can talk about so it interested me when Donald Trump removed his April 18, 2021 message to the MAGAts:

Mike Pompeo was Trump’s Secretary of State:

 

 

Moving on, it’s a pleasure to see all the cases from the January 6 insurrection finally coming to court:

 

Dave Mehaffie of Dayton, Ohio, was known to online investigators as #TunnelCommander because he was issuing orders to members of the mob who were attacking officers during a brutal battle at the lower western terrace entrance to the Capitol. Mehaffie was 86-AFO on the FBI’s Capitol wanted list, meaning he was wanted for assault on a federal officer.

A judge signed an arrest warrant for Mehaffie on Aug. 4 after he was indicted by a grand jury as part of an existing case.

HuffPost referenced Mehaffie (though not by name) in a March 26 story on the role that public facial recognition websites were playing in the Capitol investigation. A search of #TunnelCommander’s image on a publicly available facial recognition website pulled up photos of Mehaffie, including one of him on Classmates.com. As HuffPost wrote at the time, Mehaffie had scrubbed his Facebook profile, though there were plenty of images of him available online in connection with the businesses he ran in Dayton as well as his anti-abortion activity.

Regrading another defendant who almost got off lightly for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, here’s a great story from a group called the Sedition Hunters:

They did! They did make it in time!

A much-anticipated sentencing for Capitol riot defendant Robert Reeder was called off at the last moment Wednesday after new videos surfaced mere hours before his court appearance that show Reeder attacking police on Jan. 6.

Reeder had pleaded guilty in June to a single misdemeanor count for parading, demonstrating, and picketing in the Capitol — a nonviolent offense and one of the lowest-level charges filed in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection. He’d been prepared to argue for no jail time, while the government wanted him behind bars for two months because it believed he’d failed to show remorse for his role in the riots.

But those plans swiftly fell apart midmorning Wednesday, when a collective of online sleuths who have spent months independently trying to identify people who participated in the riots posted previously unseen footage that they said showed Reeder attacking US Capitol Police officers. Known as “Sedition Hunters,” the group initially tweeted an image of a man with his arm outstretched making contact with an officer; the man was wearing a red hat and blue jacket that matched what Reeder was photographed wearing on Jan. 6 in other evidence previously filed in his case.

I will keep tracking Robert Reeder, and see if he gets busted not only for attacking a police officer, but also for lying under oath. 

In another story, hope Mrs. Smith gets a boat load of money from the pice of shit who assaulted her husband:

The wife of DC Police Officer Jeffrey Smith, who died by suicide nine days after the January 6 riot at the US Capitol, filed a lawsuit on Aug. 13 against the man it alleges attacked her husband during the violence.

The lawsuit was filed by Smith’s widow, Erin, and alleges that Smith, who was 35 at the time of his death, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the altercation, which led to his suicide nine days later. It contains the opinion of former DC Medical Examiner Jonathan L. Arden, who argued that Smith’s death was caused by “post-concussion syndrome.”

Smith “suffered great pain and mental anguish and mental distress” and “he was otherwise damaged,” according to the lawsuit.

Smith shot and killed himself while driving along on the George Washington Memorial Parkway the day after he had been ordered to return to work. He was an officer in DC’s Metropolitan Police Department for 12 years.

 

 

 

And that’s the news round up for this week. 

This was re-run on my Twitter feed last week, making me once again love Twitter: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This next series is from a website that publishes people’s photos of perfect food. My favorite  is the last one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Have a great weekend, everyone. There are only 2 more weekends in August so get out there and enjoy the final days of Summer. For those of you Down Under who are looking at the end of Winter, enjoy the cool breezes and refreshing rains. This is the best cusp-season of the year, all around the world.

 

 

 

 

Read more

I came across this nugget of information as the Tokyo Olympics were concluding on August 8:

The medals in the 2020 (2021) Tokyo Olympic Games are made from metals recovered from recycled cell phones collected since 2017.

I think that’s pretty nifty. It’s one of those things that made you go, Huh, and in honor of the little things in the world that make you stop and re-think your mental map of realty I collected things from around the internets this week that made me go, Huh. (We’ll also do some watercoloring.) But first let let me tell you about what an excellent Thbursday/Friday/Saturday I had last week, when some of my favorite little things showed up and made me go Well, Whoop-de Huh.

It started Thursday morning when I was taking our kitchen slops out to the composter in the backyard and I spotted this on the edge of the kitchen patio:

Whoa, I said to myself, What a great start to the day. I ran back inside to get my phone and took the picture of the Blue Jay feather in situ, and continued on my way to dump the garbage into the composter. Walking back to the house I saw this in the lawn:

COOL! I said, and so I took another picture (still had the phone with me) and I went my good omens to Top Cat, who was having breakfast on the den patio, and this was laying there, glowing, in the herbaceous border:

This was my first Three Feather Day ever so I was expecting great things to happen on August 5 , 2021, but the only wondrous thing that occurred was that Trump did not get re-instated as President of the United States so, I guess that’s something.

The next day I headed out at 8:33AM for my daily 5-mile run and within a few hundred yards of my house I saw this in the street:

It looks like nothing but as I was still under the influence of the universe’s special love for me (Three Feather Day)  I reached down and turned the feather over:

Yep. I still got it.It” being that certain something that I can’t put a finger on, or monetize, that makes me feel pretty certain of being beloved by the Great Spirit or, on most days, not 100% despised.

I tucked the feather into my armband where I keep my lipstick and face mask and credit card just in case I need to shop or meet up with a hot Korean during my run, and I trotted down the road for about three minutes when this announced itself like the Hallelujah chorus:

Here is where I inform you that Blue Jay feathers are special because Blue is the rarest color in nature as it doesn’t actually exist, rather it is the absorption of certain wavelengths of light so that, when viewed by human eyes, it appears as “blue”, but those compounds that absorb within the requisite range of electromagnetic spectrum are extremely rare and difficult to produce biologically, and that’s the simplest explanation I can give but finding Blue in nature is a big deal.

The Hallelujah chorus, from The Messiah, was written by George Handel.

In 1741, Handel was heavily in debt following a string of musical failures. It seemed that his career was over and he may even be forced to go to debtors’ prison. On April 8, 1741, Handel gave what he believed to be his final concert.

Later that year, two key events changed the course of Handel’s life and the landscape of music forever—his friend Charles Jennens wrote a libretto taken from the Bible, based on the life of Jesus Christ, and gave it to Handel. Then, Handel was given funding by a group of charities from Dublin, Ireland, to compose a new work for a benefit performance that would help free men from debtors’ prison. Handel would also receive his own commission for composing the work, which in turn helped him on his path to reversing his own misfortune.

The Messiah was a huge success, Handel didn’t go to prison, and that’s the kind of  thing I keep expecting to happen to me when I find multiple Blue Jay feathers on the same day: a life-changing reversal of fortune for the history books, but so far, Nah.

Saturday began with another perfect Summer morning and I was about a mile from home when I heard another murmur of the company of angels alerted me to this:

The camera can’t capture what the trained eye sees, so here’s the close up of what I saw glowing under the low branches of this big old pine tree:

I’m not greedy. Well, yes I am, but on this day I was already done, thrilled with how things were going, three feather days in a row starting with a Three Feather Day, and so I continued on my route, filled with the exuberance of being alive on a fine August morn. It was on the return, about 65 minutes later, as I was passing the big old pine tree again, that I got the thought that maybe I should check it out in case the same Blue Jay who dropped one feather could have hung around to molt another. I never prospect for Blue Jay feathers, but this time I thought I’d actually go in search.

My fat finger got in the way of the camera lens, but here’s what I found against a root on the far side of the big old pine tree:

I got sap all over me when I climbed through the branches to get to the feather, but I got my prize:

Here’s the three-day haul:

I had a good week last week, is all I’m saying.

I even did a pet portrait! Requested by Dear Reader Alexandra, we have a cat we got to paint today.

Everyone, meet Katara:

Katara is a very special service cat who passed away this year, 

I LOVE to expression on Katara’s face, but I didn’t want to do the ears in their “fight-or-flight” position, so I drew regular ears on her (sorry, my pencil lines are really light):

I always begin with the eyes. I put several layers of yellow over green to get that weird “cat” color:

Dear Reader Jeanie asked me to some masking, so here’s what I bought. I chose to use Liquitex because the Windsor-Newton stuff I’ve been using for ten years has a child-proof cap that is very annoying and Liquitex has a flip cap, which is easy to use. I bought these extra-fancy toothpicks at my local Korean supermarket, H-Mart. They come in a screw-top container so I’ll never spill my toothpicks again. 

This is a shitty photo of me drawing whiskers with the masking fluid:

 

I like that Katara’s expression is asymmetrical, and each of her eyes is shaped slightly differently:

 

Katana is a gray cat, so I mixed white, pink, brown, and black for her fur:

 

 

I still get a kick out of letting the paint and the water and the paper react to each other:

Ears:

I’m working with very wet paper and very wet pants:

 

 

 

 

 

My girl needs a nose:

Picking up the masking fluid now:

Fixing the whiskers. In the future, I probably won’t use masking fluid for whiskers:

 

DONE.

I think I’m going to re-do this one. The ears don’t convince me.

Still, that’s the smartest this blog is going to get today because it’s time for the weekly news round up and Lordy, we all know that when it comes to current events, the stupid never tops.

 

 

 

 

Only  the StartTrek OGs will get this one:

 

 

Another day, another unvaccinated idiot get COVID-19.  This time, it’s a Missouri Republican state representative and her husband:

Walsh, who serves as majority caucus chair for the House Republicans, told KRCG-TV Thursday that she chose not to get a COVID-19 vaccination because vaccines were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and she had concerns about risk factors.

She also told the television station she didn’t want a vaccination because she hadn’t contracted the virus for more than a year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m i the mood for a retro quarantine joke; how about you?

 

 

Trump’s been out of office for 8 months now so we forget the high, high level of stupidity we had to put up with for four years, so to remind us, he got on TeeVee and said this (an actual quote):

How? How in the world did such a idiot get elected to be President? He’s not even sane enough to be elected Dog Catcher.

Speaking of insane, you know that his die hard believers are still insisting that Trump will be reinstated to the Presidency this month. The precise date keeps changing — reminds me of the Jehovah Witnesses and their iffy dates for Armageddon — so let’s keep on the look out for the miracle that’s supposed to happen at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

 

The company that made the voting machines that Trump says were hacked by Chinese bamboo shoots  still has a live law suit:

 

 

 

 

Actually, Rudy can represent himself in court because there’s no law that you have to be a member of the bar to do so, and people like me are dying to see that happen.

Meanwhile, Rudy’s buddy Trump is so broke that he’s stealing from his supporters but I don’t feel bad for them. If they are dumb enough to give this guy hey, they deserve to be fleeced:

New Federal Election Commission records from WinRed, the Republican donation-processing site, show the full scale of the financial impact. All told, more than $135 million was refunded to donors by Mr. Trump, the Republican National Committee and their shared accounts in the 2020 cycle through June 2021 — including roughly $60 million after Election Day.

“It’s pretty clear that the Trump campaign was engaging in deceptive tactics,” said Peter Loge, the director of the Project on Ethics in Political Communication at George Washington University. “If you have to return that much money you are doing something either very wrong or very unethical.”

The state attorneys general in New York, Connecticut, Minnesota and Maryland have also opened investigations into WinRed and ActBlue’s practices.

WinRed has sued in federal court to stop the investigation by saying that federal law pre-empts any state investigation. Last week, the attorneys general sought to dismiss the WinRed suit, arguing in a court filing that consumer-protection laws gave them jurisdiction.

 

This is the kind of guy who gives Trump his money:

A Donald Trump supporter from Minnesota will be barred from voting for five years, after he admitted to attacking an elderly couple with a golf club, and punching the 80-year-old man in the head, because they were waving an anti-Trump sign on a street corner days after the November election.

Mark A. Ulsaker, 51, of Lino Lakes, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of threats of violence in connection with the attack on Nov. 8. In addition to losing his right to vote for five years, Ulsaker was sentenced to five years of probation and 100 hours of community service, and barred from possessing firearms. The sentence means Ulsaker won’t be able to vote for Trump if he runs again in 2024. 

Five days after Biden’s victory, Ulsaker reportedly pulled up next to the elderly couple, ages 80 and 78, in his pickup truck before shouting a vulgarity at them, police said. He later walked up from behind the couple and began swinging a golf club at their heads, before punching the man in the head.

When police went to Ulsaker’s home, after receiving his license plate number from a witness, he resisted arrest and took a swing at one of the officers. After the officer drew a taser, Ulsaker calmed down and admitted to being a Trump supporter who was upset about the sign, adding that he also drove his pickup truck toward the elderly woman — but only to scare her.

_______

I dearly hope this guy is also a financial supporter of the Grifter:

The man is an Army vet named Michael McKinney, from Des Moines Iowa, and he got 10 years. The girl deferred a leg wound.

And now let’s see what’s happening to the morons who rioted at the Capitol on Jan, 6, 20201:

 

 

 

Other Republicans are getting arrested for things not related to the Jan. 6 riot. Here’s a few: (Please read the following to the end. It’s gets better.

Police launched an investigation into Suzanne Morphew’s  disappearance on May 10, 2020, after a neighbor called to report she did not return home after a bike ride.On May 5, 2021, nearly a year after his wife’s disappearance, Morphew was arrested and charged with murder. Days later, he was hit with new charges that he [allegedly] submitted a mail-in ballot on behalf of his wife for the 2020 election. The ballot for former President Donald Trump was submitted in October 2020—and included the defendant’s signature on the witness line.

“I wanted Trump… to win,” Morphew told FBI agents in April when questioned about submitting his wife’s voting ballot, insisting that she was going to “vote for Trump anyway” and thought he was allowed to vote on behalf of his spouse. “I just thought, give him… another vote. I figured all these other guys are cheating.”

 

After his arrest on August 3 on charges of felony child porn possession, a Maine Republican who is also a member of the Bangor School Committee posted $1,000 cash bail and was released.

It’s not known if Penobscot County Treasurer John Hiatt used a school-issued computer or tablet to download child pornography, but a department-owned tablet was seized by police during an earlier investigation into a harassment complaint against Hiatt. Sexually explicit images of children under the age of 12 were allegedly found.

Hiatt is already facing charges for the stalking and harassment of a woman on social media and in text messages earlier this year. He was arrested on May 14 on multiple charges that included felony invasion of privacy.

Hiatt had said that he was the real victim, alleging that the woman had sexually assaulted him. But when detectives tried to contact Hiatt about his allegations, he reportedly refused to speak with them.

Before his arrest for child porn, Hiatt had vowed  to seek reelection in both his positions, on the school board and to the Miane state legislature. He is also a member of the Republican State Committee.

“I am deeply troubled by the allegations against John Hiatt,” Maine GOP chair Demi Kouzounas said Wednesday. “While John will have his day in court, he should do what is best for his community and resign from all political positions immediately,”

If convicted of either his child pornography or felony invasion of privacy charges, Hiatt faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

The FBI confirmed Anton Lazzaro’s arrest in Minneapolis on Thursday morning. A ten-count indictment  against him was unsealed in federal court in the afternoon.

According to the indictment, Lazzaro has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, five counts of sex trafficking of minors, one count of attempted sex trafficking of a minor, and three counts of obstruction of justice.

______

Ashli Babbitt is the Trumper who got shot in the Capitol as she tried to climb into the Senate chamber through a broken window:

Oh, hell no:

 

And now for those things that make you go, Huh:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would never take a bath in a hammock tub.

 

 

 

 

I fact-checked this. It’s true: there is a Pizza Hut that has this view. It’s on the golf course that’s thiiiiis close to the Pyramids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it for this week, Dear Readers. I will be re-painting Katara so tune in next week to see if  that was the right strategy. 

Have a great weekend, everyone. If next Friday rolls around and Donald Trump has been reinstated as President, let’s all meet here and plot his downfall (again).

Here’s a picture of Teddy doing his Horta impersonation:

 

k

Read more

 

I can’t believe that we are back in full blown pandemic mode. Again. Still. Are we all weary?

All we had to do was get vaccinated, FOR FREE, and there’s plenty of vaccines to go around. 

But Nooooooo, some people have to be assholes . . . 

 

So we are back to this, again:

It’s good to know that, after 17 months of a pandemic, that in Alabama they seem to be catching on:

Tennessee, not so much. This guy is at it agin:

(I encourage you to watch the video. I can’t believe that this guy is a pastor and gets people to go to a church to listen to him but yeah, they do, and I hope they all listen Real Good. Keep them masks off, y’all! We’re thinning the herd!)

This guy:

Tennessee state GOP Rep. David Byrd is urging people to take COVID-19 seriously and get vaccinated after his eight-month struggle with the coronavirus, in which he was hospitalized and put on a ventilator for 55 days.

Here’s the story: In June of 2020, Byrd voted for a resolution that accused the media of sensationalizing the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, last November, he attended a retreat for Republican politicians where they hung out together at barbecues and took several boat tours – everybody was unmasked, of course.

Then, the day before Thanksgiving, about a week after that Republican germ fest, Byrd was diagnosed with COVID-19  and admitted to the hospital on December 5. He says, “I got sicker and sicker, and more and more anxious,” he said. “Every breath was pure agony.”

When his lungs got better, his liver started to fail, and he developed jaundice, again putting him at risk of death, he said. Overall, he spent eight months in the hospital and a rehabilitation facility, he added.

 “Up until that point in my life, I’ve been pretty healthy and active.”(ACTIVE and HEALTHY? Look at his photo. He’s obese and he looks as if just sitting up makes him sweaty and flushed)

“Foolishly, I believed this virus only seriously affected people who are at high risk. “

Byrd said he hoped that sharing his experience would show that the virus is “an enemy that knows no skin color, economic status or political affiliation.”

I’m wondering what took him 8 months to come out and try to convince people that COVID is real. Was he afraid that he wouldn’t bet invited to this year’s Republican clam bake if he “came out” as a believer?

And here’s a big Yay for Texas:

This headline doesn’t spell it out, but H. Scott Apley died of Covid. One down, so many more to go.

And here’s the story about William Carter, who took $12,000 is sick pay when he claimed his family had Covid:

Now that we’re caught up on the Covid news, I want to fill you in on the momentous happenings in VivianWorld this week, but let me start with clearing something up about last week’s blog. I had a series of photos of people with their pet’s reaction to a kiss. If you remember, they were so sweet!

Dear Reader Megan was quite taken with one of the pets photographed, but was at a loss to identify the animal: 

I happen to be familiar with this critter so I can tell you, Megan, with certainty that this fluff ball is a Chinchilla. And let me tell you all that, if you ever get the chance to kiss a chinchilla, DO IT. 

 

 

And if looking at photos of chinchillas hasn’t put you in a better mood already, I found some old photos  when I was going through my iPhoto files that will boost your serotonin:

 

Last week my sister in Florida sent me a photo of her recent thrift shop treasure, a 6-inch by 8-inch painting of a landscape that she recognized as a famous cobblestone street in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico:

My sister even recognized the artist, a man called Edie Rosado, who is well known in Puerto Rico and whose larger works usually sell for a couple hundred dollars. This little image was priced at $1.99, but it was Half Off Day at the Salvation Army so my sister got it for 8 bits.

I was inspired to go treasure hunting at my local Salvation Army for the first time since last March, and although I enjoyed looking at all kinds of old ball gowns, end tables, long sleeve shirts with interesting buttons, picture frames, and cocktail glasses, I didn’t find anything that I had to take home with me. But hang in there, Dear Readers, because I collected other people’s great thrift shop discoveries and I loaded them up at the end of this week’s news round up.

The biggest news story of the past week was a revelation of just how far Shit Stain Trump was willing to go to overturn a free and fair election last November:

This is the New York Times story:

WASHINGTON — President Donald J. Trump pressed top Justice Department officials late last year to declare that the election was corrupt even though they had found no instances of widespread fraud, so that he and his allies in Congress could use the assertion to try to overturn the results, according to new documents provided to lawmakers and obtained by The New York Times.

The demands were an extraordinary instance of a president interfering with an agency that is typically more independent from the White House to advance his personal agenda. They are also the latest example of Mr. Trump’s wide-ranging campaign during his final weeks in office to delegitimize the election results.

The exchange unfolded during a phone call on Dec. 27 in which Mr. Trump pressed the acting attorney general at the time, Jeffrey A. Rosen, and his deputy, Richard P. Donoghue, on voter fraud claims that the department had disproved. Mr. Donoghue warned that the department had no power to change the outcome of the election. Mr. Trump replied that he did not expect that, according to notes Mr. Donoghue took memorializing the conversation.

“Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me” and to congressional allies, Mr. Donoghue wrote in summarizing Mr. Trump’s response.

It’s been a while since I’ve had to say it, but what the hell:

Remember that ballots re-count fuck up, sorry, “audit”, they were doing in Arizona? The one that was looking for evidence of bamboo in the ballots to prove that China had hacked all of Trump’s votes and turned them into Biden votes? the one that was promised to take 60 days and cost $150,000 but has been going on for 7 months and has cost, so far, $5.7 million and is still not done?

This is the letter from the Maricopa County board of Supervisors:

Dear [State] Senators,

It is now August of 2021. The election of November 2020 is over. If you haven’t figured out that the election in Maricopa county was free, fair, and accurate yet, I’m not sure you ever will. The reason you haven’t finished your “audit” is because you hired people who have no experience and little understanding of how professional elections are run.

The Board has real work to do and little time to entertain this adventure in never-never land. Please finish whatever it is that you are doing and release whatever it is you are going to release. I am confident that our staff and volunteers ran the election as prescribed by federal and state law. There was no fraud,  there wasn’t an injection of ballots from Asia nor was there a satellite that beamed votes into our election equipment. It’s time for all elected officials to tell the truth and stop encouraging conspiracies.

Release your report and be prepared to defend any accusations of misdeeds in court. It’s time to move on.

[Signed] Jack Sellers, Chairman, Maricopa County board of Supervisors.

So this is what the Trumper in charge of the crazy in Arizona did:

An Arizona state senator has called for members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to be imprisoned after they sent a letter to condemn and mock the county’s election “audit”.

Wendy Rogers, the state senator who spearheaded the “audit”, who is a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump, on Monday tweeted: “I would like to know if we have enough solitary confinement cells in Arizona available for the entire Maricopa Board of Supervisors and the execs at the fraud machine company. We are going to need a lot.”

Rogers was referring to the baseless claim that Dominion Voting Systems, whose equipment is used in Maricopa County, helped flip votes from Trump to President Joe Biden.

“Should stolen elections be considered treason?” Rogers wrote in a subsequent tweet, referencing the baseless theory shared by Trump and his allies that the 2020 election was illegally rigged against him through widespread voter fraud.

 

Not to be outdone, the Republicans in Washington DC did this:

Republican leaders they took their approach to new and misleading extremes, falsely blaming Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the violence.

Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York and the party’s No. 3 leader, held a press conference and said, “The American people deserve to know the truth that Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility as speaker of the House for the tragedy that occurred on Jan. 6.”  

It amounted to an audacious attempt to rewrite the history of the worst attack on the Capitol in two centuries and pre-empt the damning testimony of four police officers who were brutalized by the mob of Donald J. Trump’s supporters.

 

Speaking of the troubles of January 6, let’s check in with the deplorable:

A former mid-level State Department aide in the Trump administration who is accused of being on the front line of the “first wave” of the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, will be held in custody pending trial, a judge ordered on Tuesday.

U.S. Magistrate Zia Faruqui said Federico Klein’s alleged role in the deadly siege, while he was still a government appointee, makes him a danger to the community. He is the only known Trump appointee to be swept up in the sprawling federal investigation.

The 42-year-old is charged with six counts including obstructing an official proceeding, obstructing law enforcement and assaulting an officer with a dangerous weapon.

 

 

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) on Wednesday asked a federal judge to grant him immunity  from a lawsuit filed in March by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), which accuses Brooks of inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

In the suit, Swalwell alleges that Brooks, former President Donald Trump, and Rudy Giuliani knew when they spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally ahead of the Capitol assault that they were lying when they claimed the 2020 election results were rigged. During Mo Brooks’ address to the crowd, he wore a “Fire Pelosi” hat and declared that “today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”

Brooks is representing himself, and earlier argued that his remarks were within his scope of duty as a member of Congress, and that the case should be dismissed. The Justice Department rejected Brooks’ assertion that he was doing his job, stating that fomenting an attack on Congress is “not within the scope of employment of a representative — or any federal employee.”

Floating a theory of immunity in a 44-page filing on Tuesday, Brooks claimed he was simply “cooperating” with the “White House,” a decision affecting his ability to perform his congressional duties.

However, the lawmaker also noted that he has been “faithful to his wife” of 45 years, has never received a speeding ticket or smoked tobacco, and that none of his four children have been divorced.

 

 

Are Republicans shitty parents?

 

 

Meanwhile, in Antarctica:

A Russian scientist working in Antarctica is facing attempted murder charges after allegedly stabbing a colleague for telling him the endings of books he wanted to read.

Sergey Savitsky, an engineer, is accused of stabbing welder Oleg Beloguzov in the chest. Beloguzov was evacuated to Chile for medical treatment, and his life is reportedly not in danger.

The stabbing took place at Bellingshausen Station, a Russian research station in the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. Savitsky, the alleged attacker, was taken to St. Petersburg and arrested.

The alleged attack was said to be the result of an argument between the two over Beloguzov’s habit of spoiling the endings of books that he’d read from the remote outpost’s library.

Although he faces criminal charges in the Russian city, Savitsky will probably have access to plenty of books that Beloguzov hasn’t already read.

The Russian news agency Interfax reported that Savitsky “surrendered on his own and without resistance to the station manager.”

Alexander Klepikov, the deputy director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, said of Savitsky and Beloguzov, “They are both professional scientists who have been working in our expeditions, spending yearlong seasons at the station. It is down to investigators to figure out what sparked the conflict, but both men are members of our team.”

Some reports suggest that alcohol was involved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As promised:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Christ, would you look at the time.

This comes to you a little late today because I had a heart attack about three hours ago when everything in the blog disappeared. After regaining consciousness, and after much swearing and many long looks at the vodka, I was eventually able to get into the guts of this WordPress program and slowly excavate the lost items. Whew.

So, then, Dear Readers, have a great weekend everyone. Be good, and go cough on a Republican.

Here’s Teddy doing his impersonation of a chinchilla:

 

Read more

This is how my Summer of 2021 is going:

 

It’s been beautiful here on the north shore of Long Island, even with all the record-breaking rainy days we’ve had. These are the days of Summer that I missed out on last year, when I had a fracture in my tibia and had to sit out the most prime weeks of the year, from July 21 to September 4. This year I am making a point to dwell as much as possible in he sunlight that glitters through the trees, the shadows that stretch across the lawn in the afternoon, the smell of fresh cut grass, the glow of porch lights after dark, and all that achingly ephemeral mood stuff.

I took this photo because I really do like the look of porch lights after dark, but I also have to show you what’s called a “Glow Up”, house-wise, Long Island style. This house (above) started out as this:

This is the part of my neighborhood that calls itself The Estates, where the streets aren’t called “street” or “avenue” or “road”. They are all named after trees, and they all start with “The”. The Lindens. The Birches. The Oaks. The Poplars. There’s one called The Intervale, which is unbearably pretentious (an interval is land along a river bank and there isn’t a river in The Estates), and there’s one called The Serpentine, as if it’s part of a vast English estate. But I’m not complaining because I get to walk around these parts in the fullness of the season and I can’t imagine a more lovely daytime or nighttime stroll.

This is as close to bliss as I get, taking it all in on my early morning or late day outings on my own. And this year, I’m making up for lost time, and I hope that’s a thing, “making up for lost time”, as well as making up for future time. Because, Dear Readers, who knows what will be this time next year? Did any of us see the Delta variant coming? Did you ave plans to be “back to normal” by now? Make up for future time, I say, while you still have your health, and your beloveds and the time.

Because of this:

Back at my house in the low-rent district (The Heights), Teddy has been doing his  killer Tribble impersonation:

Look! He can even do one with furry feet and pointy ears!:

That’s me, above, cramming for my first semester of Intermediate Korean which starts next week. After exactly 100 hours of classroom instruction and approx. 1,000 hours of Korean TV-viewing, I now know how to say “Do you want to die?” six ways, according to the level of honorific I want to use. As for speaking it, in a more polite version of course, as if I were in Korea and having to introduce myself to an actual Korean, I can hear myself saying: “Bon jour, je m’appelle Vivian.” 

Are you watching the Olympics?

 

 

 

 

I wish the gold medal winners would stop doing this:

There’s a test you can do for pure gold, in that if you can leave teeth marks (24K gold is very soft) it’s real, so that’s why they do this, and I am really tired of it. Also, it’s just gross.  You’re putting your MOUTH on that?? Do you know how stupid it looks?

Speaking of stupidity, let’s check in with American politics this week.

 

 

Top Republican dickwad Kevin McCarthy (above) nominated 5 fellow Republicans to sit on the Congressional inquiry into the January 6 insurrection, including Jim Jordan and Jim Banks.

Jordan has repeatedly sought to equate the attack on the Capitol to unrest around last summer’s racial justice protests, and accused Democrats of hypocritically trying to punish Shitbag Trump for the riot while refusing to condemn left-wing violence. He signaled that he would use the Jan. 6 investigation to push that narrative.

“I think it’s important to point out that Democrats created this environment, sort of normalizing rioting, normalizing looting, normalizing anarchy, in the summer of 2020, and I think that’s an important piece of information to look into,” Jordan said this week.

The other asshat,  Jim Banks, released a statement after he was chosen to serve as the top Republican on the panel that referred to the violent rioters as patriotic Americans expressing their political views. He said he would use the committee to turn the spotlight back on Democrats, scrutinizing why the Capitol was not better prepared for the attack, as well as unrelated “political riots” last summer during the national wave of protest against systemic racism.

“Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the left’s authoritarian agenda,” Mr. Banks said. “I will not allow this committee to be turned into a forum for condemning millions of Americans because of their political beliefs.”

So, from the get-go, these shitstains were determined to obstruct the investigation as much as they could. McCarthy nominated these two to muddy the waters during hearings, to run interference for Shitbag Trump, and to give counterprogramming sound bites for Fox News to run on its evening programs. I really hate these guys.

Mind you, this is the same Kevin McCarthy who said this:

So the investigation began on Tuesday with testimony from 4 officers from the Capitol Police who were on duty that day:

 

 

 

The reaction on Fox News was predictable:

Claire McCaskill, the former US Senator from Issuer, asks an important question (FOP is the Fraternal Order of Police):

Elise Stefanik has a new idea for evading consequences:

P.S. The Speaker of the House has nothing to do with Capitol security but the Republicans never let facts get in the way of their shit weasel whining.

 

There’s a new book about Trump’s last year in office, called I Alone Can Fix It, by Philip Rucker and Carol Leoning. I’m not going to read it, but I do enjoy the headlines:

When the authors of I Alone Can Fix It asked to interview Trump, Trump agreed to it. So they took their tape recorder and got this:

Donald Trump can be heard gushing over the “loving crowd” that turned up to hear him speak ahead of the Capitol riot in a newly released audio clip. The audio shows Trump at his most misty-eyed about the rioters. “It was a loving crowd too, by the way, there was a lot of love,” he said, referring to the crowd who come to hear him speak before they marched to the Capitol building. “I’ve heard that from everybody—many, many people have told me, that was a loving crowd.” Then, seemingly realizing that he may have been talking too highly of the mob that stormed the Capitol, he added: “You know, it was too bad, it was too bad that they did that.” Asked what he meant when he told the crowd to head to the Capitol, Trump neatly avoided the question and blamed police, who he said “ushered” the rioters into the building. “They were very friendly,” said the ex-president.

Mo Brooks, a representative from Alabama, went to that loving rally on Jan. 6 and spoke to the crowd, telling them to “kick ass”, which according to Brooks was all part of the messages of love that were in the air that day. Except. . . 

Mo Brooks is being sued by Congressman Eric Swalwell for that speech, which incited the crowd to riot at the Capitol to deprive Swalwell of his constitutional rights (Swalwell was there to certify the electoral victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris). Brooks has claimed that his speech was part of his job as a Congressman and that the Department of Justice should defend him against Swalwell. This week the Deprtment of Justice said that inciting insurrection was not part of Brooks’ job and that it will not defend Brooks in that suit. So Brooks is on the hook for mucho legal bills. Maybe he can get his “billionaire” buddy Trump to pitch in a few dubloons.

And this guy just won’t go away:

Lindell has become particularly incensed these past few weeks that the Fox network wasn’t planning to cover his upcoming “cyber symposium,” which he’s long hyped would finally unveil incontrovertible evidence proving that Trump won the election. He’s even gone so far as to say recently that the data he would unveil about voting machine fraud would be so compelling that the Supreme Court would reinstate Trump on August 3 with a unanimous ruling.

So on Thursday night Lindell said that he is pulling his commercials from the network because they won’t run a commercial pushing baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

P.S. 38% of Tucker Carlson’s ad revenue comes from Lindell.

In other Republican news:

Elected Republican officials in a conservative Michigan county who gave themselves bonuses totalling $65,000 with federal Covid-19 relief funds said they would return the money – following days of criticism.

The Shiawassee county commissioners acted after a prosecutor said the payments were illegal, the Argus-Press reported.

The Michigan state constitution bars additional compensation for elected officials “after services had already been rendered”, prosecutor Scott Koerner said.

In a closed-door session the commissioners voted on 15 July to award themselves $65,000 as part of a plan to give $557,000 to 250 county employees as “hazard pay” for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The smallest amounts for recipients were $1,000 to $2,000. But the chairman of the county board, Jeremy Root, got $25,000. Two commissioners received $10,000 each, while four received $5,000 each.

The commissioners also awarded money to other elected officials, including the prosecutor, the sheriff and the county clerk – all Republicans.   They also said they would give it back.

A judge set a hearing for Monday in a lawsuit aimed at rescinding bonuses for the officials, filed before the latest action.

I will follow this case and let you know if these turds get the jail time that they richly deserve.

Let’s see what’s new in Covid this week:

Greg Locke’s church is in Tennessee. What this dick actually said was: “If they go through round two and you start showing up with all these masks and all this nonsense, I will ask you to leave. I’m not playing these Democrat games up in this church.”

I’m OK with Republicans in Tennessee not wearing masks, especially with the Delta variant making the rounds. I am really, really OK with every Republican in America catching the Delta Covid. But what he said there, about “Democrat games”, that sounds like political speech to me, which means that his “church” is a political operation. It’s time to tax the son of a bitch.

Now let’s hear from the geniuses in Louisiana:

This guy is Scott Roe from Baton Rouge. Here’s what he said:

“Here I am recovering, getting out of here finally tomorrow. Am I going to get a vaccine? No,” he said, as he lay in a bed getting supplemental oxygen at Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center in Baton Rouge.

The father and small-business owner recently caught COVID-19 and developed pneumonia, but he said he still would not have gotten vaccinated if that meant he could have prevented the infection.

“I would have gone through this, yes sir,” Roe, who said he’s a Republican, told CBS News’ David Begnaud. “Don’t shove it down my throat. That’s what local, state, federal administration is trying to do – shove it down your throat.”

When Begnaud asked what was being shoved, Roe said, “Their agenda is to get you vaccinated.”

*Sigh* Is it me, or are there a lot more assholes than there used to be?

I’m sure this Louisiana mother didn’t raise her son to be an asshole, but he became one anyway:

Oh shit, there’s more from Tennessee:

A conservative radio host in Tennessee who urged listeners not to get vaccinated against Covid-19 has changed track and called on listeners to get the shot, after contracting the virus and ending up in hospital in “very serious condition”.

In December, Valentine wrote on his blog that former president Donald Trump should get more credit for supporting the swift development of Covid-19 vaccines, but also wrote that “the vaccine isn’t for everyone”.

He added: “If I decide not to get vaccinated, I’m not putting anyone else’s life in danger except perhaps people who have made the same decision. With this thing being 95% effective, there’s really no way I’m going to infect someone who’s had the shot. That’s if I even get the virus.”

He claimed that he was“not an anti-vaxxer. I’m just using common sense. What are my odds of getting Covid? They’re pretty low. What are my odds of dying from Covid if I do get it? Probably way less than 1%. I’m doing what everyone should do and that’s my own personal health risk assessment.

“If you’re not at high risk of dying from Covid then you’re probably safer not getting it. That evokes shrieks of horror from many, but it’s true. I’m weighing the known versus the unknown.”

On Thursday, July 29, Valentine was put on a ventilator.

Boo fucking Hoo.

I don’t even know what to say about this (below):

 

Missouri:

Texas, you get the last word:

Wait. We’ve been at this Covid thing for a year. And he’s just NOW understanding that it’s real?Do you have to be stupid to be a pastor, or is that a requirement only in the South?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a thing in Instagram about kissing your pet and showing their reactions. I think we all need to see pets with their smoochy faces on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what happens when you ask for something “extra”:

 

 

 

 

 

And with this, it’s time for me to say to you all, “Have a great weekend, everyone.” Whatever you do this weekend, take a little time to make up for lost time, and to make up for future time, because who knows where we’ll all be a year from now, right?

And by all means, ask the universe for a little extra something, extra joy, extra love, extra wonder. See if you don’t get loaded down with extra-extra, like the world is your bagel and the Great Spirit has a heavy hand with the lox spread.

 

 

See you next week.

Read more

Thank you to everyone who volunteered, via last week’s Comments and my email, to educate the MAGAt in my life. You know who you are, you wonderful, cahooting, outlaw, democracy-loving truth-warriors.  By now I hope you’ve received your mail from me, providing that the USPS is still a going concern where you live. Please note that I have removed that portion of last week’s blog to protect our psy-op, wink wink, nudge nudge.

It’s been a very rainy July here on the north shore of Long Island, the wettest July in over 50 years. I like rainy days. I like laying on the couch reading a murder mystery and rainy days give you permission to do just that and feel “productive”. I was reading one murder mystery last week and the story starts out with the main character, an English lady, taking a vacation to Robinson Caruso Island, which is waaaay off the coast of Chile. The character tours the place, then goes back to England via Santiago, and nothing else in the book relates to this trip to Robinson Caruso Island. Why? Why have the book open with a trip to Robinson Caruso Island?

I solved that mystery, easy, because I know how the publishing biz works. . The author took vacation to Robinson Caruso Island and put it in the book so she could use that vacation as a tax write-off. 

I’m a genius.

Anyway, it kept raining and as a result, many of my daily runs were washed out so I was sitting at home many mornings when usually I would be out, running. Maybe some of you know this already, but while I was sitting at home I discovered that, when it comes to a daily 5-mile run, it’s easier to not do it.

It’s sooooo much easier to stay home, make a second cup of tea and a third piece of toast, and lie on the couch with a book. And I like my daily run! But what is going on here is a conspiracy of mind and body. After a human hits the age of 40, all Nature wants is for you to die and make room for the faster, cuter, younger humans. So Nature works in concert with your brain to urge you to slow down, wear Capri pants/grow a goatee, and basically give up.

Ha! I’m on to you, Nature! It’s been gorgeous weather this past few days and I, for one, being that I am 25 years past the age of 40, am not going according to plan. So,

 You might wake up some mornin’
To the sound of something moving past your window in the wind
And if you’re quick enough to rise
You’ll catch a fleeting glimpse of someone’s fading shadow

Don’t be concerned, it’s not me chasing the bright elusive butterfly of love. It’s me plodding on, against every inclination to throw in the towel, giving Nature the old F U.

Last week you might remember that I put out a call for watercolor projects and thank you to those who have responded. We are gathering our reference material for exciting Pet Portraits  so I don’t have a new project for you this week. However, I went digging into my archives and I brought back a blast from the past that I did in 2013 that is still relevant today (because it’s a classic).

I start with a tea bag, for size reference:

Apply resist, let dry:

I think you know where this is going:

 

 

 

 

 

This (below) is a picture of my paint brush, which is a size 00, but I cut some of the bristles off to make it a -000:

What we have so far:

Now for a little sky:

 

Painting in the darkest bits for last:

Now that I’ve painted everything I need over the resist. . . 

. . . it’s time to peel it off:

 

I was painting Claude Monet’s garden in 2013 because I was working on my books about the 9 most thought-provoking gardens in the world and I thought I’d include Giverny. But Giverny is a BIG garden, one that deserved its own book, so I separated it from Gardens of Awe and Folly and made a little book all about it, all on its own.

My publisher passed on the project, so it’s been sitting in my closet for years. I looked at it today, first time since 2016, and I still like it. I might re-work it and get it out in time for the 100th anniversary of Monet’s death in 2024.

And now for the regularly scheduled blog:

I like to start our round up of the week’s news with something feel-good:

 

Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a close friend of former President and current Shitbag Donald Trump and one of his top 2016 campaign fund-raisers, was arrested in California on Tuesday on federal charges of failing to register as a foreign lobbyist, obstruction of justice, and lying to investigators.

The seven-count indictment accuses Barrack, 74, of using his access to Shitbag Trump to advance the foreign policy goals of the United Arab Emirates and then lying to federal agents about his activities during an interview in June 2019.

Federal prosecutors said  Barrack used his position as an adviser to Shitbag Trump’s campaign to publicly promote the Emirates’ agenda while soliciting direction, feedback, and talking points via a “burner phone” that gave Barrack a direct line to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the de facto ruler of the Emirates.

Once Shitbag Trump was elected, Barrack invited senior Emirati officials to give him a “wish list” of foreign policy moves they wanted Washington to take within the first 100 days, first six months, first year, and by the end of Shitbag Trump’s term.

Barrack hoped that Shitbag Trump would name him to be a Middle East envoy or an ambassador to the Emirates, because Barrack could “deliver more” in such roles.

Although it’s been difficult to successfully prosecute foreign influence cases in the past, the Feds have pretty hard evidence in the form of emails between Barrack and bin Zayed’s underlings stating explicit quid-pro-quo dealings, They (the Feds) waited until Trump was out of office to arrest Barrack, taking away Shitbag Trump’s ability to pardon Barrack. 

This is my personal favorite part of the news cycle:

A 54-year-old Texas man, Alan Scott, who thought COVID-19 vaccines were “poison”, died from the virus last month and was buried by his wife and three sons on Father’s Day.

 

 

Blake Bargatze contracted COVID-19 and required a double lung transplant, and remains hospitalized. He has expressed his regret he did not get vaccinated for the virus, which has so far killed more than 607,000 Americans. 

Bargatze had told his parents he was putting off receiving a COVID-19 vaccine because he felt uncertain about its possible side effects.

“He wanted to wait a few years to see, you know, if there’s any side effects or anything from it,” said Paul Nuclo, his stepfather. “As soon as he got in the hospital, though, he said he wished he had gotten the vaccine.”

Bargatze was the only member of his family who passed on getting vaccinated. Once hospitalized, however, he asked to be inoculated. 

“The night before he was intubated, he wanted it,” his stepfather said. “So it was a little bit too late then.”

 

Linda Zuern lived in Bourne, Massachusetts. She was 70.

A MedFlight had to transport Zuern to a Boston hospital in early June. She fell into a coma and was placed on a ventilator until she died. She hadn’t gotten vaccinated against the virus, her friends said, because she was a moron.

Zuern opposed local vaccinations efforts, both as a member of the county government council, the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates, and as a volunteer with a local conservative group called United Cape Patriots.

Last December, while serving her third term on the Assembly, she pushed for local doctors to use hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients. Shitbag Trump had also promoted the same anti-malaria medication for that very purpose.

Last week, Zuern was one of four people who protested in Provincetown against the state’s VaxBus program. The bus is a mobile vaccination unit to help inoculate rural residents who might lack access to nearby health clinics.

On her social media, Zuern shared posts claiming that COVID-19 was a man-made virus used by “globalists” to push the “UN Agenda 2030” for a one-world government. She also shared posts pushing the QAnon conspiracy theory and  repeating the claim that voter fraud “stole” the 2020 election from Trump.

Fuck you, Linda Zuern.

 

Olivia Guidry, a registered nurse at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center in Louisiana, tweeted last year: “This vaccine has been released using recombinant DNA faster than any vaccine in the world. It manipulates your DNA at the tiniest molecular level. Do. Not. Get. It. It’s not safe. Am I the only one thinking they are trying to see how much they can control us? We are a straight-up social experiment.”

She was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early July, according to her sister Brittany Smith. Guidry came down with a high fever and had a seizure before being put into a medically induced coma last Thursday after showing signs of brain damage. She was treated with high doses of steroids and antibodies. She died on July 10.

Well, no one is controlling her now. (How do these kinds of idiots become nurses? Don’t you have learn about science and stuff, in a college, to get a nursing license, or is nursing the degree you get when you flunk out of Circus School?)

 

 

 

Now here’s Shitbag Trump weighing in on a vaccine for a disease that he and his party have called a “hoax”:

Democrats will laugh all the way to a 2022 victory:

Oh, wait…I think the Republicans are on to us:

 

 

 

 

On Fox, businesses that require employees to provide proof of vaccination, commonly referred to as a “vaccine passport,” have been slammed frequently. Tucker Carlson has called the idea of issuing vaccination passports the medical equivalent of “Jim Crow” segregationist laws. Another host compared the requirements to communist East Germany, and Laura Ingraham has falsely claimed that such programs are akin to tracking mechanisms.

However, an internal Fox email leaked last month spells out how Fox employees were instructed to enter their vaccination information into the company’s passport program called “FOX Clear Pass”.

 Employees who prove vaccination can then get a FOX Clear Pass, which allows them to bypass certain screening procedures. 

It’s not just the twerps at Fox News who are coming to Jesus:

Even Steve Scales, the biggest Trump ass-kisser in Congress (representing Louisiana’s First Congressional District) got the vaccine and people are suspicious:

 

 

Speaking of the other Big Lie of the GOP, let’s see how the losers who rioted for Shitbag Trump are doing:

A 32-page sentencing memo filed Thursday in defense of Paul Hodgkins references cancel culture, makes religious overtones and includes lengthy asides about the American Civil War. The memo describes Hodgkins’ role in the riots as minimal as it denotes his good character traits, describing him as an Eagle Scout who volunteers helping animals and people when he is not rioting in Washington, DC.

Hodgkins was never accused of assaulting anyone or damaging property so prosecutors said he deserves some leniency for taking responsibility almost immediately and pleading guilty to the obstruction charge, which carries a maximum 20-years prison sentence.

But they also noted how he boarded a bus in Tampa bound for a Jan. 6 Trump rally carrying rope, protective goggles, and latex gloves in a backpack — saying that these forethought demonstrated he came to Washington prepared for violence.

Still, the judge said that Hodgkins must suffer consequences for his actions and gave eight months.

EIGHT MONTHS.

Yeah, that sounds about white.

 

Then there’s this guy:

 

27-year old grocery store worker Brandon Fellows from Schenectady (a shithole town in upstate New York)  had previously been released on bail while facing a five-count indictment for his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection. 

He is accused of breaching the Capitol and entering the office of Sen. Jeffrey Merkley, where he was pictured propping his feet on the senator’s desk while smoking a joint.

The problem with Fellows is that while he is out on bail, he can’t stop telephoning his probation officer Kendra Rennie. He has sent her long rambling sexually explicit voicemails, including one  that he left in May in which he referenced “the size of his dick and the performance of his genitalia.”

He’s even called his probation officer’s mother, which officer Rennie says ” was intimidation. It was frightening. It made me nervous.”

For background, it should be understood that Fellows has previously told Bloomberg News that he had “no regrets” breaching the Capitol on January 6. He said: “I didn’t hurt anyone. I didn’t break anything. I did trespass though, I guess.”.

He goes on: “We were there for one common cause, which is making a statement that the government is crashing down on us,” he added.

So a judge heard testimony from the probation officer and said that Fellows’ repeated behavior could no longer “be given the benefit of the doubt.”HE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. (Yeah, that sounds about white.)

The judge also said that Fellows has previously demonstrated “sustained contempt” for the government, citing one incident in which Fellows sat through his initial Zoom hearing wearing sweatpants and eating his breakfast. Not to mention that Bloomberg News interview.

The judge said: “I am not convinced that you’re a danger to the community, but I do think you’re impulsive. I do think you’re headstrong, and you’re kind of gonna do what you’re gonna do. I tried really hard to avoid having to lock you up, but after months here, I don’t think I can be at all confident that there’s a condition or combination of conditions that you’ll adhere to.”

Fellows tried to worm out of taking responsibility by apologizing for his “annoying” behavior in court, adding: “I wouldn’t want to deal with me if I were on the opposing side.”

It didn’t work. Fellows is in jail, where he belongs, until he goes on trial.

ALL the January 6 rioters should be in jail, right now.

Like these guys:

 

Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Mark Ibrahim became the first member of federal law enforcement to be charged in connection with the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Ibrahim, of Orange County, California, is facing felony charges of entering a restricted building and area with a weapon, carrying a firearm on the grounds of the Capitol and lying to investigators from the Office of the Inspector General.

While the affidavit states Ibrahim didn’t actually enter the Capitol building, the affidavit includes a photo of Ibrahim inside the first set of fencing and barricades that surrounded the Capitol before the crowd broke through and alleges Ibrahim was on Capitol grounds that day.

Through his attorney, Ibrahim has insisted that he didn’t enter the Capitol and wasn’t involved with any violence. He also allegedly said he didn’t display his DEA badge or firearm during the day’s events; however, the affidavit detailing Ibrahim’s locations and actions that day shows him posing several times with his badge and weapon exposed.

Investigators found several photos of Ibrahim among the pro-Trump crowd at the Capitol on Jan. 6, including ones where he displayed both his DEA badge and firearm, which were taken at his request, according to the affidavit. In one of the photos, Ibrahim is posing in front of the Capitol holding a flag saying “Liberty or death” with his badge and firearm displayed on his hip.

Ibrahim also sent a photo of himself standing next to one of the barricades that had been broken through earlier to a WhatsApp group chat with at least five other law enforcement officers, according to the affidavit. It also mentioned that he later sent that same group chat a video of him on a lawn located above the Capitol’s visitor center.

During his interview with investigators, the affidavit states that Ibrahim admitted that he was at the Capitol with a friend who was there to document the event for the FBI. Ibrahim’s friend denied his story, saying he had no instruction from the agency.

The friend told the investigators that Ibrahim went to the rally to “promote himself” and wanted the rally to be “his stage for launching ‘Liberty Tavern’ political podcast and cigar brand,” according to the affidavit.

At the time of the event, Ibrahim was a “probationary employee” of the DEA, according to the Office of the Inspector General, and had, weeks before the insurrection, given the DEA notice of his intention to resign. He was on personal leave when he attended the rally on Jan. 6.

When Tucker Carlson of Fox News isn’t lying about the COVID vaccine, he’s lying about the January 6 insurrection. On Wednesday, July 21, Carlson did this:

Dunn’s response was immediate (I’ll type it below so you can read it):

Tonight Fox News allowed its host Tucker Carlson, who has not served a day in uniform, whether military or law enforcement, to criticize the heroism and service of African-American U. S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn. Our client has served 11 years in law enforcement and on January 6, 2021, fought against an insurrectionist violent crowd – no doubt many of them Carlson’s supporters – to protect the lives of our elected officials, including Vice President Pence.

Officer Dunn, who would lay down his life to protect a Member of Congress, regardless of being a Republican or Democrat, will testify next Tuesday before the Hose Select Committee investigating the events of the insurrection. Frankly, the last thing Carlson wants is for the truth to emerge of what happened that day and why.

I did not know this until now, that Tucker Carlson’s son, Buckley, works for Rep. Jim Banks, a rabid Trumper from Indiana. Banks is a major asshole, and I will elaborate next week because we have to wrap this shit up.

This is the guy who voted to deny communion to President Biden because of his support for a woman’s right to make her own health care choices when it comes to pregnancy:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry, Dear Readers for the delay in today’s blog. Big WiFi problems. Huge. sigh.

Have a great weekend, everyone. WiFi willing, I’ll be back next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more

Every now and then I need proof that I am still the universe’s favorite person.

Dear Reader Jeanie left a comment a few weeks ago about the Blue Jays of Michigan being very stingy with their molting feathers, resulting in the sad fact that she has never had the joy of finding a Blue Jay feather in the grass on a Summer day. So I ascended to my treasury in the north wing of the manor and unlocked my vault and withdrew three Blue Jay feathers from my vast collection — two tail feathers and a primary covert wing feather —  and sent them off to her. 

Why three feathers? No special reason other than I’m human and the human brain seem to have an affinity for things that come in three’s. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…past, present, future…un, deux, trois… 

So the next day, after I had sent those three feathers off to the wilds of Michigan, I was walking down our street early in the morning and, in the space of a few minutes, three beautiful Blue Jay feathers presented themselves to me, one after the other:

So that there is all the proof I need to remember that the universe is looking out for me, just me in particular, because it loves me and wants me to be happy.

About a week later I was doing my run about two miles from my house and I was remembering my Blue Jay feather obsession and my recent luck finding three in one day and I got to thinking that it was strange that I’ve only found Blue Jay feathers close to my house. “I wonder”, I said to myself, “if  the world is actually lousy with Blue Jay feathers all over the place but I only perceive them in the places close to home where I am accustomed to seeing them.” And no sooner had that thought taken shape in my mind when I glanced over at a tree to my left and there, in its shade, was this:

I’m going to start holding World Peace in my mind and see if the universe can’t make that happen for me, its favorite person.

From the sublime to the ridiculous, let’s talk about ice cube trays. For a long time I have disliked the ice cube trays that are currently engaged in the task of providing us with cooling solids for our adult beverages so last week, when my self-esteem was at an all-time high because of all the positive reinforcement I’ve been getting from the universe, I spent five minutes googling Best Ice Cube Tray and reading the reviews and I bought us some new ice cube trays. The ice cube trays arrived via UPS on Friday and the ice cubes they make are really swell.

I know you’re really happy for me and this sudden improvement in my quality of life but wait, there’s more. These ice cube trays think so highly of themselves that they came with a User Manual:

If you want to mildly amuse yourself, imagine that you’re the guy in charge of writing the User Manual for other items in your house. Wash cloths: For best results use with soap and water, but not in that order.  Spoons: Good for soup, steak not so much.  Flip flops: They go on your FEET, OK? Your FEET.  Pencils: Step one, apply pointy end to paper. Step two, push.

You know who would end a User Manual for an ice cube tray?  My cat Bibs. Bibs is seriously a moron. He’s been our cat for 16 years and he still hasn’t figured out the we are not going to kill him. He’ll let us scratch his chin, but get any closer and he’s terrified. He also hasn’t figured out that Taffy is not that crazy about him even though he never lets Taffy out of his sight. Here they are, in typical Bibs-pain-in-the-ass-style napping together on the breakfast patio:

 

 

 

Now for the watercolor idea I have that I teased last week. I have not picked up a paint brush since I finished the last of the Stromness Rock pet portraits, and I miss those blog posts where we all got together and watched paint dry. So, if you would like to gift a friend a pet portrait for Hannukah or mas or Kwaanza or Choesoek or Solstice, whatever, here’s your chance. I will paint it. We all like watching paint dry, right? 

Pet bunny, pet tarantula, or pet miniature goat are all OK. But let’s say you want to gift someone with a portrait of their beach house; I could do one of those. Dead poet portrait? I’ve done Gerard Manley Hopkins; I’m sure I could do any of the Romantics.  Still life with tea cup? Sure. Still life with dead poet? Even better. Give me subject matter, Dear Readers, and let’s get to watercoloring.

Are you in?

 ___________________________

OK, now it’s time for the news.

Trump, speaking last Sunday, July 11, on “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo” on the Fox News Channel, said the Capitol rioters of Jan. 6 were patriots, that some of them were unjustly arrested and jailed, and that a woman who was shot and killed by law enforcement during the insurrection was a great hero.“The crowd was unbelievable and I mentioned the word ‘love,’ the love in the air, I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said of his rally on the Ellipse. Speaking about those who rioted at the Capitol, Trump said: “These were peaceful people, these were great people.”

He added: “Too much spirit and faith and love, there was such love at that rally, you had over a million people,” inflating the size of his rally crowd. (Fact check: the permit for the rally stated that the organizers of the “Save America Rally” expected only 10,000 people; press coverage from the day says that there were “thousands”.)

Referring to his remarks to the crowd before they stormed the Capitol as “a very mild-mannered speech,” Trump also suggested that the blame for any violence that day could be placed on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats because they didn’t take the potential for violence seriously.

“They are the ones that were responsible,” he said.

Trump went on to praise Babbitt, a California-based Air Force veteran and conspiracy theorist  as an “innocent, wonderful, incredible woman.”  He then, without a shred of evidence, stated that Babbitt, who was shot by a member of the U.S. Capitol Police while storming Congress, was instead killed by the “head of security” for a top Democrat. “I will tell you they know who shot Ashli Babbitt,” Trump said, claiming the person’s identity is being protected, but the truth is “going to come out.” 

 

Let’s check in with some of those “great” people at Trump’s insurrection. 

This one is my Traitor of the Week:

Pauline Bauer, a Pennsylvania pizzeria owner, is accused of multiple counts of violent entry, disruptive conduct, and obstruction of Congress after she allegedly broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6. Prosecutors allege that Bauer tried organizing buses to transport people to D.C. for a rally that preceded the riot, and that while in the Capitol rotunda she was recorded on video telling a police officer to “bring Nancy Pelosi out here now… we want to hang that fucking bitch”

But in what experts describe as an inadvisable legal strategy, Bauer has demanded to represent herself in court, appeared to threaten a court clerk with prison time, and declared herself a “self-governed individual” with special legal privileges and has filed court documents claiming to be a divinely empowered entity immune from laws.

As a divinely empowered entity, Bauer does not simply appear in court, as she clarified during a June 11 proceeding via Zoom. “I am here by special divine appearance, a living soul,” she told a judge that day, while stating that she did not want an attorney.

“I do not stand under the law,” she said. “Under Genesis 1, God gave man dominion over the law.”

In a document filed last week, Bauer listed herself as a “flesh and blood person” along with a series of strange alternative spellings of her name in a document that she (incorrectly) claimed freed her from some government control.

Sovereign citizens will often refer to themselves as “flesh and blood’ people because they have this longstanding belief that the government has created artificial versions of them for various nefarious purposes. 

In another new filling, Bauer offered a document that “serves as Proof that my living DNA existed on this Land before there was a UNITED STATES of America or Any STATE Thereof.” The attached document was a family tree showing what Bauer said were ancestors born in Virginia and Pennsylvania before 1776. Even if accurate, this has no bearing on U.S. law.

 

 

Excerpts from a new book coming out about the Trump  administration, called “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year.” One tidbit that got a lot of attention was about Army Mark General Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who you might remember was the guy in camouflage who went to Lafayette Square for Trump’s bible-toting photo-opt last year during the George Floyd protests:

Miller later apologized on TV and to the press, for his participation in the event because it was a political stunt and the American military does not do politics.

Well. This same General Milley, according to this new book, in the final months of Trump’s one term in office, was strategizing with other White House personnel  how to guard against a coup attempt by Trump or those around him.

 Trump, in a lengthy, insult-laden statement lashing out at Milley over a variety of grievances, said he “never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government.”

Yes, it’s true, it’s not a nightmare, THIS guy used to be the president.

 

 

I only have the energy to deal with one asshole Republican at a time, so all I can do about the rest of them is hope that I get the chance one day to spit on their grave.

And here’s a Trump footnote:

 

 

You know, I think this might be the future of the USA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Christ, will you look at the time. 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Keep your eyes and heart open for the Blue Jay feather of happiness to appear in your life and if there aren’t ay Blue Jays where you live, then keep alive for those little moments that are mood-altering, mind-bending, and magic-making. Or just enjoy a stonking big G&T with your cat. Same thing. 

 

Read more