Category Archives: Humor

Me, trying to be funny.

Send Out the Clowns — Trump in Europe, Congress in Sane

July 12th 2018

“I can’t help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk how many times did you look all innocent in your wife’s eyes and lie about Ms. Page.”

And with that, Louie Gohmert, well known as being the most vicious clown in Congress, managed a new personal low, talking that august body, the House of Representatives, with him.

Wait, did I say ‘august’? Silly me. It’s only July. Although a case can be made for Congress being August; after all, that’s the dog days, and Congress has no shortage of curs.

Gohmert was attacking Peter Strzok, the FBI employee who wrote emails to his girlfriend disparaging then-candidate Donald Trump. Gohmert was exercising whatever it is that passes in him for moral outrage to defend the honor of serial adulterer Donald Trump.

It was a low point, but not by much. The Republicans were doing everything in their power to discredit Strzok, the FBI, the Justice Department, and anything and anyone that might bring Donald Trump and much of their own criminal party to justice.

The ones that weren’t vicious were almost preposterously stupid. Paul Gosar, an Arizona dentist who got tired of working for a living and ran for Congress, said to Strzok, “I’m a dentist, OK? So I read body language very, very well. And I watched you comment in your interactions with Mr. Gowdy. You got very angry in regards to the Gold Star father. That shows me that it’s innately a part of you and a bias.”

Well, OK, then. Let’s see if we can recreate the situation in that air conditioned dentist’s office that made Gosar such an expert.

Observe, Watson. The patient has his hands drawn into claws. His back is arched, his face is red, tears are streaming from the sides of his eyes, and he is emitting a loud, shrill, unpleasant noise. Do you note?”

“Amazing, Gosar. I have observed, and noted none of these things. How do you do it?”

“Acute powers of observation, Watson. Nothing more. But what do you deduce from this?

“The patient is, perhaps, a Democrat.”

“That is possible. Likely, even. But it suggests something a more immediate nature, Watson.”

“What would that be, Gosar?”

“That I forgot to administer the novocaine.”

Yes, he’s a member of Congress. Three terms now. The tide brings him in every two years, and the voters keep throwing him back. Bad teeth must be a small price to pay.

Republicans actually tried to threaten Strzok with contempt of Congress for refusing to divulge FBI investigation details that he is forbidden by law to answer. It happened like this: After declaring a motion to adjourn out of order, Chairman Goodlatte, who will never be associated with a tasty coffee drink, erupted in fury that Strzok refused to answer questions pertaining to confidential or secret FBI matters and threatened him with Contempt, despite an existing agreement that the committee honor such restrictions on what they could demand of him. Gleeful Democrats demanded the committee recall Steve Bannon, who also refused to answer some questions, but his basis was that to do so might embarrass President Trump.

They even tried accusing Strzok of claiming Trump supporters stink because he went to a Walmart in the sticks and “could smell the levels of Trump support.” Apparently metaphor is beyond the intellectual capabilities of the moral giants and magic dentists of the GOP.

The Republicans were betting the farm that they would find something, anything, to suggest that a) Strzok was tring to influence the 2016 presidential election and b) that the Russians were not. It’s safe to say they failed miserably, managing in front of a huge television audience, to thoroughly cover themselves in shit. Contempt of Congress isn’t a crime; it’s a sign of mental health.

Congress wasn’t the only branch of government making a complete ass of itself, of course. Trump barreled through Europe, doing all he could go blow up NATO. (Ironically, at the same moment that Strzok was explaining to the Committee that his remark that Trump must be stopped was based on Trump’s campaign pledge to make defense of NATO allies conditional on how much vig they put up.) He deep-sixed his own ally other than Putin by telling Prime Minister Teresa May publicly that she handled brexit all wrong.

(Remember the howls of outrage when Obama told the Brits that Brexit would move the UK down a notch as a trading partner to America? “Monstrous outrage” was one of the terms they used. According to Faux News, “Trump slams British PM over Brexit plan, warns US trade deal ‘probably’ dead in the water.” with the sub header, “Despite anger in London, Trump finds support in England’s pro-Brexit working“-class towns.” Oh, well, that’s OK then. He has support in Sheffield, so who cares what London thinks? )

Obama said Brexit was a mistake, and was clearly trying to interfere in someone else’s election, and that’s not a bit like Trump’s best budyy, that nice Mister Putin, who wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing.

Speaking of which, Putin and Trump meet in Finland next. No staffers, no aids, no interpreters. No witnesses.

It’s a truly terrifying prospect.

But perhaps Congressman/Dentist Gosar will read their body language as they leave the meeting, and tell us just how badly Trump has sold us all out.

NOTE: Article corrected to reflect that Putin and Trump are meeting in Finland, not Iceland as I originally stated.


Blame Canada — Or maybe it’s Canadian Bacon

Blame Canada — Or maybe it’s Canadian Bacon

June 10th 2018

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) just defined the term “custard head” by agreeing that if the summit between Pissmop and Little Rocket Man blow up, it’s all Canada’s fault. The only reason he won’t replace “custard head” in the dictionary is because it’s much easier to spell and pronounce than is Krishnamoorthi. Still, his constituents, in a deep blue district, need to peer closely at their Congressman and ask themselves if the man is secretly an idiot, or maybe just had one too many that morning.

You expect this sort of lunacy from the Trump administration, and most of the Republicans in Congress, who are so busy trying to conclude their coup against the United States that they basically don’t give a wet shit how crazy Donald is, so long as they can finish off the New Deal and those pesky Civil Rights that they hate so much.

It’s easy to dismiss Krishnamoorthi as a custard head. It’s kind of the default state of Trump supporters these days. There’s also the crooks and the traitors, but they tend to be a subset. Most Trump supporters are fools. Either they know what he is and don’t care, or they don’t know what he is. Either state requires a heroic amount of stupidity.

“Krishnamoorthi was cuing off shameless Trumpenflak Peter Navarro, who actually said out lout, “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door, and that’s what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference…That’s what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did, and that comes right from Air Force One.”

OK, I immediately thought of the song, “Blame Canada” from the animated movie “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.”

But I also thought of Michael Moore’s foray into fictional satire, the movie, “Canadian Bacon.” In it, a US president (Alan Alda) is tricked into a near-nuclear war with Canada by a lunatic businessman (GD Spradlin) whose business failure he blames on Canadian tariffs. As the crisis mushrooms (so to speak) Alda’s character tries to phony up a new cold war with the Russian president, a fellow named Vladimir, and when that fails, proposes an international war on terrorism, a concept his cabinet dismisses as too absurd for words. He doesn’t want a war with Canada; he is educated, and knows what happened whenever the US tried messing with Canada. It never went well.

It’s depressing how sane and intelligent the characters, even Spradlin’s, are, compared to what we have in reality now.

Michael Moore made that movie 23 years ago. Obviously this is all his fault.

OK, so if Trump screws up in his meeting with Kim Jung Un, it’s Trudeau’s fault. He made Trump look weak, foolish and brittle, qualities nobody had ever suspected of Trump before the all-powerful Trudeau destroyed him.

I suspect that Trudeau, who is widely viewed in Canada as a kitten with some housebreaking issues, is Trump’s go-to foil, someone he can blame for if the talks are so catastrophic that even Trump can’t put lipstick on it. Trudeau is a lightweight who is a bit too cozy with oil and some other vested interests. He does great photo op, and has a knack for crowd-pleasing moves. Machiavellian and possessed of great personal power he is not. If his last name was “Smith” he would probably be in the Civil Service, in charge of teaching French in Newfoundland and Labrador. Yes, Canada has a province called “Newfoundland and Labrador.” It used to be just “Newfoundland” but someone decided a mouthful like that needed four more syllables. It’s not quite as goofy as “The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim”, but it is in the same league. Oh, wait. No, it’s in the Canadian League. But I digress.

I spent some time trying to think of historical parallels to this. I’m sure there are some, since many leaders in history have been childish, bratty, and incapable of normal human relationships. Most of them have been (wisely) forgotten by history. A fellow named Dr. Robert Sternberg wrote a book called Why Smart People Can Be So Foolish, and identified five fallacies associated with bad or unwise leadership. These fallacies were, in order given: Unrealistic Optimism; Ego-Centrism; Omniscience; Omnipotence; and Invulnerability. All involve large amounts of self-deception, slopping over into delusion.

Hmm. Looks like Trump is what the baseball scouts call “a five-tool player”. He makes Louie Gohmert look sane. That’s terrifying. He makes Krishnamoorthi look smart, even as he makes him sound stupid. That’s pretty scary, too.

Now, I’ve said in the past that I never expected this summit to take place. I figured someone in the Trump administration would figure out a way to put the brakes on this diplomatic disaster. But I keep underestimated the Republican capacity for servility and cowardice when it comes to Trump. They really are pathetic.

Trump, barring a massive political insult even he can’t ignore, will come back, gloating over his great victory. He will have convinced North Korea to destroy its nuclear arsenal, and in return, all America will have to do is destroy its own nuclear arsenal, cede Hawaii to North Korea, and become a province of Russia. Hawaii, because volcanoes and it will annoy the shit out of Barack Obama, and Russia because…well, that had nothing to do with Korea. He was going to do that anyway.

Chuck Schumer, a bit of a kitten himself, tweeted, “Are we executing Putin’s diplomatic and national security strategy or AMERICA’s diplomatic and national security strategy? After the last few days, it’s hard to tell.” No, actually, it’s all too easy to tell. Trump is a fool, a crook, and a traitor.

Now, Kim might greet Trump by telling him “I like Trudeau because he makes you look weak and stupid.” And during negotiations, speak to his aides (well, his sister) in Korea, with the only English word in clear being “Mueller” interspersed with giggles.

At which point, Trump will declare war on Canada, and then attack Mexico because someone handed him the map upside down.

Barring Roseanne — Even Deplorables Should Have Rights

Barring Roseanne

Even Deplorables Should Have Rights

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

May 31st 2018

It’s really hard to scrape up a lot of sympathy for Roseann Barr. She has a long history of saying despicable things, and embraces conspiracy theories that seem geared toward hurting innocent people. She really is a swine.

And I’ll be the first to admit I felt a certain amount of schadenfreude when I watched the deplorables of the far right, from the President on up, who had been cheering with glee at the NFL’s decision to fine players for silent and respectful protest who now were consumed in fury at ABC’s trampling of Roseanne’s first amendment rights. Most of them didn’t even notice any inconsistency there.

In fairness, there were plenty on the left who were equally inconsistent, only in the opposite direction. A lot of people have a territorial approach to civil rights, one of the reasons those rights have been degrading in recent decades.

Back in my Usenet days, we had this one troll who used to brag that he owned a factory, and that he would, from time to time, stroll through the employee parking lot, and any vehicle displaying a bumper sticker for any candidate or cause he didn’t support would result in that employee being fired.

Now this guy was just a troll, a nobody who just liked to annoy folks, but the fact is in many parts of the country, an employer can do exactly that. Most states have “at will” employment laws, which allow a employer to dismiss an employee for no stated reason. This allows employers to fire someone for having a Bernie sticker on their car, or for being black, or gay, or speaking Spanish in the break room. It makes all those feel-good fair employment practices laws utterly useless, and leaves employers free to punish any viewpoint they don’t like.

There are a lot of jobs where someone being racist should be fired, because they are in positions where their racism can hurt people, even kill them. Teachers. Police. Firemen. Medical personnel. Politicians. That list doesn’t include entertainers such as football players or TV actors. It doesn’t include line workers with Bernie (or Trump) decals on their cars.

The dividing line should be: can this person’s assholery cause them to infringe on the right of others as part of their jobs? If it can, the employer is justified in firing them. If it doesn’t, but they are trying to involve the employer in their deplorability (“I work for Greasy Spoon restaurants and I think all gays should be castrated” on Facebook) that would be reasonable cause for termination).

Outfits that try to deny others their rights should be subject to civil suits. Nobody needs to care if the owner of Greasy Spoon Restaurants is a nasty little bigot, as long as that doesn’t translate to discrimination in the restaurants. If it does, Greasy Spoon needs to suffer grievously in court.

Roseanne Barr is just a television entertainer. Her opinions might disgust people, but they don’t deprive them of their rights. She’s just another asshole on Twitter. Her employer should not have the power to destroy her career just because she’s a jackass on her own time. Just as football players should not be fined by their employers for quietly protesting injustice. You can’t support one and not the other.

But employers should, by law, have to account for terminations. There’s a lot they need to account for that they don’t, and as a result, while Americans still have a vestige of civil rights, American workers have less rights than the lowest beggar in Calcutta, often only fractionally above that of American slaves.

Liberals love to push for legislation that protects people from discrimination but turn a blind eye to the ability of employers to discriminate pretty much at will, making the rights they fight for meaningless.

American fascists love to pretend that liberalism is leftist (at least when it suits their purposes, as in smearing a liberal though red-baiting) but the fact is they are usually two different things.

It’s in the interest of liberals to fight vociferously for worker’s rights, consumer rights, and curbs on banks, churches, corporations and the government. People’s rights are much easier to defend when the people involved have some actual economic clout. A person without income security has no rights.

This includes not making people’s first amendment rights subject to caprice on the part of employers. You have a right to make an obnoxious fool of yourself—or make a principled stand, demonstrating dignity and courage. Both are usually in the eye of the beholder, and that beholder shouldn’t be able to make or break you for being a human. Either way, your employer should not have any say in the matter, so long as you aren’t involving them directly.

People gain by defending the rights of everyone, and remembering that having rights doesn’t include stripping others of their rights. It doesn’t matter if you think Roseanne Barr is full of it, or Colin Kaepernick; either way, they shouldn’t be subject to penalization in their work by employers. What ABC and the NFL did was the equivalent of that Usenet troll, strolling through the parking lot of his imaginary factory and capriciously firing people for the crime of having opinions. Only these are real people, losing real jobs, for bullshit reasons.

Until you have power in the workplace, you don’t have rights; you barely have a life.

Comics and Commies — When the jokes are serious and the serious are jokes

April 29th, 2014

First off, I watched Michelle Wolf’s performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and I wasn’t impressed. She shouted her lines, had no sense of timing, and in general reminded me of a nervous eighth grader giving a speech for the first time. As a result, a lot of lines that could have been funny fell flat. Not all of them, of course; and some hit home to judge from the howls from the far right and their lunatic leader.

Anyone who didn’t see it is going to be surprised to learn that she never did criticize Sarah Huckabee Sanders for her personal appearance. That’s a media meme started by Maggie Haberman, and Haberman is full of shit. Wolf compared Sanders to a character from “Handmaid’s Tale” but it had more to do with the dishonest and fascistic deportment of the character than how the character looked.

Wolf called Sanders a liar three times in a minute half, which neatly matches the number of lies per minute that Sanders often utters during her ‘press briefings’. It’s impossible to watch her and not think of Baghdad Bob, or Tokyo Rose, or Lord Haw Haw. She is a propagandist, a paid liar for a demented president, and that’s all she is. Indeed, some of the reporters on the cable stations who are flapping and twittering over how a comedian could be so mean have called Trump and Sanders liars on their own shows.

So why the faux outrage? Consider this quote from Wolf from the routine at the dinner:

“I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you,” she added. “He couldn’t sell steaks or vodka or water or college or ties or Eric. But he has helped you. He’s helped you sell your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster and now you’re profiting off of him. And if you’re going to profit off of Trump, you should at least give him some money because he doesn’t have any.”

She pointed out the incestuous relationship between Trump and the commercial media. He may be destroying the country, and may kill us all, but gawd, he is just so fucking PROFITABLE! For corporate stooges posing as reporters, he’s just too good to pass up. He’s their meal ticket, and all Wolf did was point that out.

So where was the Coward-in-chief during all this? Out in the boonies, whipping a pack of MAGAts into an anti-media frenzy, of course. One Gary Busey wannabee was screaming at reporters, calling them filthy degenerates after the rally. In the name of America, of course. Because screaming epithets at the free press is so all-American.

By the way, the latest ratings of countries by freedom of the press just came out. America was 45th. They were ahead of Russia and China (both south of 175) and North Korea.

Forty fifth. Land of the free, folks. Land of the free. Have you noticed you never hear patriots yelling about how great America is because it has freedom any more? Now it’s because America fights the most wars, or has the most billionaires, or has rock and roll. The explanations for what makes America great are getting increasingly idiotic as the people who actually made America great have died off and been replaced by Trumpkins.

Meanwhile, Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian ‘lawyer’ who met with Donald Trump Junior to discuss adopting orphans (an important source of protein for Trumps, one assumes) came out and said she was actually a government operative, which basically means she is a Russian spy. It was out of the blue. Trump’s lawyers (and the word ‘lawyer’ should be in quotes when discussing either Trump or Putin, since so many seem to be incompetent, spies, mob torpedoes, or all of the above) promptly told Mueller’s people they were blocking information about a mysterious call Don Junior got before that meeting. Mueller, no doubt, was wearing an expression identical to that of a child regarding the particular shape of the largest present under the Christmas tree. I’m guessing that between the self-immolation Trump performed during that lunatic call to Fox and Friends and that little tidbit of information, Mueller’s office is going to be even busier this week. I’m sure Mueller will make those poor orphans his top priority.

You heard about Trump being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, of course. Granted, anyone can be nominated, and past nominees include Rush Limbaugh and George W. Bush, which shows the bar can be set very low.

Trump is trying to take credit for the talks between the two Koreas, which mostly occurred despite him, rather than because of any diplomatic brilliance his people in Korea, which he doesn’t have, might have shown. Unless you count Mike Pompeo, who traveled as a private citizen and quite illegally to suggest to the two sides that they do what they were planning to do anyway.

Trump, of course, took credit for it, and his mindless followers adulated that this truly was a worshipful event, and Trump must be given the Nobel Peace Prize, the Steinbeck Award, a place on Mount Rushmore, and a baby’s arm, holding an apple. Republicans love that kind of shit; they’re a lot like the Communists during the Stalin era that way.

But then John Bolton lifted his porn ‘stache and said that the US was considering the “Libya option” with North Korea. That was a US incursion that overthrew the Ghaddafi regime (which was already toppling) and resulted in the lynching of Ghaddafi. It was quite nasty, as most lynchings are.

I don’t imagine Kim Jong Un was too amused to hear this, and he would be well within his rights if he made having Bolton hanged by his mustache a provision for the disarmament talks going forward. Of course, since he accidentally destroyed his nuclear testing facility, causing it to cave in, maybe he’ll just ignore John. It’s something the rest of us try to do, so he needn’t feel so alone.

Maybe Trump will send him some orphans and Michelle Wolf as sex slaves to make up for John’s little gaffe. Oh, and Rachel Maddow, because fake media.

It’s the all-American way, you know.

Stormy Weather — Trumping the Elements

April 16th 2018

We got through a weekend that I had been awaiting with a fair old bit of dread. Yes, we attacked Syria, but apparently managed to do so in a way that didn’t spark a general regional war, let alone a thermonuclear war with Russia. Tactically, at least, the missile strikes apparently hit the intended targets, resulted in no casualties, and of America propaganda is to be believed, set the Syrian chemical production of such weapons back by months.

That the US exercised such restraint is down to a fellow named Mad Dog Mattis. If that alone doesn’t illuminate what lunatic times we live in, I don’t know what would. The Hunter S. Thompson Memorial Temperance Society, perhaps?

Trump, like far too many Americans, believes the way to earn respect and cooperation from people is by bombing the shit out of them. History has endless examples of how well this worked: Britain’s surrender to Germany in 1941, North Vietnam’s surrender to the US in 1967, and Iraq’s decision to abhor and abjure any fanatical Islamic groups in 2005.

We managed to get through the week without the world’s two main nuclear powers deciding to show us their love and concern by incinerating us. We aren’t out of the woods, of course, but we managed to step past a land mine in an awfully big mine field.

But as Kathleen Parker over at the Washington Post noted, “The Dogs of War are Howling.” Trump is still frantically searching for a way out of his scandals and know Americans go all glassy-eyed and subservient if there is a good-sized war to distract them. Israel and Saudi Arabia still want the US to come in and destroy countries they don’t like so they don’t look like the bad guys. And Putin is still playing his long game, backing Assad and Iran and very much aware that his puppet president in Washington is imploding.

There’s a lot of people who are skeptical that Assad conducted the gas attacks earlier this month, and they make a good case. Assad simply has nothing to gain from such attacks, and a fair bit to lose. There’s no sensible set of events that could result in a positive outcome for him.

Nonetheless, we know the attacks did occur. The most obvious evidence is the victims themselves; 43 dead and several hundred hospitalized. Because it is easy to detect and can be done so with ammonia, we know for sure that chlorine gas was used. We suspect Sarin as well, but UN and other western agencies have been blocked from testing by Assad and the Russians.

Why the Russians? They have nothing to gain other than weakening an ally who was already a political liability (Assad) and strengthening the hand of their other ally in the area, Iran. And we know Putin doesn’t hesitate to use chemical weapons to further his aims. While making pro forma denials, Putin is usually pretty cavalier about such use, because while he doesn’t want to take responsibility for such ploys, he doesn’t mind reminding Putin’s enemies that Russia will be coming for them one day. Wipe your door knob before turning, beware people in London with umbrellas, and don’t drink the tea.

I think Putin was behind the attacks. He stands to gain, and it matches his MO. He needs to be careful, though: despite what American and Israeli propaganda claim, Iran is steadfastly opposed to the use of such weapons and he needs Iran.

On the home front, things were equally chaotic, although with the redeeming feature of being a whole lot loonier.

It’s a helluva note when you have one scandal in which a presidential candidate’s fixer paid off a porn star to keep her mouth shut and that’s just kind of a sideshow. Another scandal has the president in a public pissing match with the FBI director that he fired for refusing to obstruct justice on his behalf, and each are calling the other morally unfit and stopping just short of calling one another traitors to their country. In today’s America, that’s a side show, too. The two, combined, sound like a bad 1950s torch song by some night club knock-off: “Stormy Daniels” by James Comey. Thank you, folks, I’ll be here all week.

In the background, the Mueller investigation is ticking away quietly. Think of the scene in “A Quiet Place” where the egg timer begins ticking. That’s what it feels like, and you just know something interesting is going to happen when the ticking stops.

The main event this week is the Michael Cohen saga. Cohen is described as Trump’s ‘personal lawyer’ although he matches the description in much the same way as Godzilla is a Formula One racer. He’s often described as Trump’s ‘fixer’, and he fixes things in much the same way that the Vet fixed your cat.

Trump’s other lawyers, many of whom are actual lawyers, are fighting like hell to keep Cohen’s records (including, supposedly, tape recordings) out of the hands of investigators.

The court overseeing this had some reservations about whether Cohen was acting in the capacity of a real, actual lawyer, or that of a Mafia torpedo, so they asked him if, since he was a lawyer and presumably had a client list, he might produce it.

Consternation ensued.

Cohen’s lawyers admitted he had three clients. Three. Just three. One was Donald Trump, a client he shelled out $130,000 for, mortgaging his house in the process, in order to shut Stormy Daniels up. I don’t think they taught that in law school. They sure don’t teach it in business school. Mike, the client is supposed to give you the money for your services, and not the other way around.

Another client was Elliott Broidy, a real jewel who had an affair with a Playboy Bunny, knocked her up, and gave her $1.6 million to take care of the matter as she saw fit. Oh, and to shut her up. Guess who the money funneled through.

The third client didn’t want to be identified, but the Judge in the case promised Cohen a lollipop if he showed the District Attorney where the third client touched him, and he fessed up. It was Sean Hannity, Moral Oligarch of Faux News.

If they ever make a movie about Cohen’s life (with an abridged, “R” rated version for commercial sales) they are going to have to call it “Dances with Douchebags”.

In the meantime, it’s believed that the State of NY, as a result of the Cohen raid, now has, among other things, Trump’s tax returns. And his nuts, assuming he has any.

Yes, we survived this week. But swirling chaos continues.

Paulie Five Fingers As President — Holy Crap

April 12th 2018

Back around the turn of the century, I did a series of humor essays revolving around a character named “Paulie Five Fingers.” Paulie, not to put it too indirectly, was a mob boss, a Tony Soprano. He was sleek, vicious, and engaging.

I actually did know someone who referred to himself as “Paulie Five Fingers”, but the reality is a bit disappointing; the real-life Paulie is a model of probity, a paragon of virtue. I wrote the pieces in the first person, and I was a lot more noble and courageous than I am in real life: the real Zepp would be whimpering and wetting his pants wondering why Tony Soprano had decided, not only to befriend him, but to bestow lavish gifts upon him.

I hit on the notion of Paulie suborning the legal system by becoming a part of it. In “Paulie, DA” I had the following occur:

Paulie: “There is business requiring my attention here. I am about to become the new DA of your illustrious county.”

Me: “DA? District Attorney? You’re about to become the District Attorney?”

“You should not take such a tone of voice. If you were not my friend, I would think that perhaps you were questioning my qualifications for the position.”

“Well, I know you know court procedure like a Dershowitz. But aren’t you usually, um, facing the district attorney in those cases?”

“That is often the case. But it came to pass that I observed trials of several petty larcenists and other minor players in the world of crime lately, and I observed a most interesting thing.

“In this low-level courtroom in New Jersey, I noticed that the state-appointed defense attorney was a drab, a pitiful, cringing little guy who clearly was some hippy liberal type who just barely beat the bar exam and clings to existence in a low-paying, dead-end job. Scuttling and brow-beaten, he all but apologized to the court for wasting their time on defending clients such as his.

“The Assistant District Attorney was sleek and well-fed, serene, confident, exchanging understanding amused glances with the judge as the defense attorney went about his menial tasks, barely bothering to learn the name of the accused, but merely reciting the crimes, secure in the knowledge that little of his time would have to be devoted to presenting actual evidence. It was like watching a polling station where a ten-term incumbent congressman is facing a challenge from some unknown third party weirdo.”

OK, the story was funny, and it was a lot of fun to write.

But for fuck’s sake. I was joking! It was meant to be satire! I didn’t mean for it to become a guide for Donald Trump!

James Comey’s book, “A Higher Loyalty,” leaked today, and amongst all the stunning claims in the book according to the Guardian, “The former FBI director James Comey denounces Donald Trump as ‘untethered to truth’ and likens the president to a mafia boss.”

“Holy crap,” Comey writes, “they are trying to make each of us an ‘amica nostra’ – a friend of ours. To draw us in. As crazy as it sounds, I suddenly had the feeling that, in the blink of an eye, the president-elect was trying to make us all part of the same family.”

The White House as “Our Thing”. The mind reels.

Or at least, it would, if we already hadn’t been exposed to 16 months of criminal bullshit and a mafia mentality from this White House.

I can only hope, in the cold light of reality, that this son-of-a-bitch of a president ends up rotting in prison, and soon.

Comey writes, “I once again was having flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob. The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and the truth.”

Of Trump’s now famous demand over dinner at the White House in January 2017, “I need loyalty”, Comey writes: “To my mind, the demand was like Sammy the Bull’s Cosa Nostra induction ceremony – with Trump in the role of the family boss, asking me if I have what it takes to be a ‘made man’.”

Yeah. “Holy Crap.” That about covers it.

I concluded “Paulie DA” like this:

“Paulie, given your career…”

“Please do not be vocally explicit.”

“Given your career, don’t you see this as a travesty?”

“Travesty? Zepp, you treat me so poorly sometimes, what am I going to do with you? You heard my description of the present dynamics of our judicial system. It is what the people want. It is what the people need. It is, one way or another, what the people will get.

“Believe me, my friend, given the present state of American justice, there is nobody in the country better qualified to administer it than me.

“I’ll be the best district attorney you ever saw, and exactly what the people deserve.”

Fucking Hell. I was being a sarcastic asshole. I didn’t mean it!


It’s the end of the world as we know it…

February 8th 2012


It’s chaos out there.

First, there was the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the Walker ruling that found Prop 8 was unconstitutional. The populace of California, many of whom graduated from the eighth grade, did not have the right to deny legal rights to select parts of the Constitution.

I immediately ran over the the County Courthouse, and found thousands of married couples lining up to file for divorce. No surprise there, of course. This is, after all, California. But the crowd seemed more agitated than usual.

I spoke to one beefy looking lumberjack sort who was towing a sweet little eighteen year old thing while crying convulsively and wiping snot off on his flannel sleeve.

“Wrong team won the Superbowl?” I asked, cautiously.

“N-n-no! I won $50 bucks on that. It’s this faggot marriage thing!”

“Um, the Prop 8 ruling.”

“Whatever number it was. It’s wrong, just wrong. The bible sez so!”

“So why are you here?”

“Giting a dee-vorce!” I looked at his wife, who shrugged and gave me a fuzzy smile. Oxycontin is still popular in these parts.

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