Category Archives: Et Cetera

Two Weekend Bulletins: Cases and ‘Canes?

Okay, enough with all the bad news about the leaky Supreme Court, ThrillBilly elegies in Ohio, World War 2.5 in Europe, and a stock market sinking like a Russian flagship. Time for some upbeat happy news!

Um, sorry, I don’t have any.

But will you settle for some different stuff to worry about?

Like that pesky pandemic, and maybe — a possible “subtropical event”?

Well, I’ll mention them anyway.

Can we remember those giddy Good Old Days when the daily total of new Covid cases got as low as 27000? (It had been at 500,000 daily at Christmastim

Me neither, but it did, and here’s a hint: it wasn’t even six weeks ago. Yep, March 30. Take a look: Continue reading Two Weekend Bulletins: Cases and ‘Canes?

Roy Cooper for President?

I’m not in the habit of taking political advice from rightwing websites.  Never mind a site started by Tucker Carlson; or from anything else associated with the top Fox News motormouth.

But the headline below, I admit, gave me pause today. So here it is, with some comments in bold dark red.

The Daily Caller: The Democrats Only Have One Hope For 2024, And He’s Already Beaten Trump Twice
Hayden Daniel — May 3, 2022

Though it’s still over two years away, Democrats are beginning to panic over the 2024 presidential election.

Can’t argue with that.

A humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan,

— “humiliating” is YOUR word, Dude. I still give Biden points for biting that awful bullet.  Yeah, the execution sucked, and there’s other fair criticisms to be made, but Biden had the stones to do  what should have been done years ago– Continue reading Roy Cooper for President?

A Statement on Musk & Twitter

After extensive research and deliberation, this blogger has reached a definite conclusion about the purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk, to wit:

Furthermore:

So now Elon Musk has bought Twitter.
Let some scream & howl, I’m not bitter;
He’ll tweet in his cars,
Then fly them to Mars;
I’ll stay right at home & just titter.

 

 

 

 

Friday Follies: the Culture War & The Tostitos Hint of Lime Chip Conflict

Jamelle Bouie, one of the best new columnists for the New York Times, today highlights a recent book, The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left.

Jamelle Bouie

[In it, he writes], “the historian Landon R.Y. Storrs shows how conservatives used loyalty pledges to purge the federal bureaucracy of government officials ‘who hoped to advance economic and political democracy by empowering subordinated groups and setting limits on the pursuit of private profit.’

Left-leaning New Dealers in the federal government, she explains, ‘believed that race and gender inequality served employers by creating lower-status groups of workers who supposedly needed or deserved less, thereby applying downward pressure on all labor standards, including those of white men. They saw their mission as sweeping away beliefs and practices that were based on obsolete conditions but defended by those whose interests they continued to serve.’

The Red Scare is, in this view, less a sudden outburst of reactionary hysteria than a political project aimed directly at dismantling the New Deal order and ousting those who helped bring it into being, both inside and outside the federal government.

Without making a direct analogy between then and now, [NOTE: But the parallels are pretty darn close!] I think that this perspective is a useful one to have in mind as conservatives pursue yet another witch hunt against those they perceive as enemies of American society, using whatever state power they happen to have at their disposal. Continue reading Friday Follies: the Culture War & The Tostitos Hint of Lime Chip Conflict

Twofer Thursday: Garrison Keillor at (almost) 80; and the Decline of Religion in the U.S.

There’s not a direct connection between the two items excerpted here. Garrison Keillor is definitely religious, in his low-key, often self-mocking way.
But like others of his (& my) generation, he’s watched in bemusement as the generations behind him have been mostly quietly, but steadily dumping religion.  Following Keillor, pastor-researcher Ryan Burge takes a look at this undeniable, but still puzzling slide: contributing factors are easy to name; but clarity and implications are elusive.

#1 – Excerpted from The Saturday Evening Post:

[Garrison Keillor’s new book] Serenity at 70, Gaiety at 80, is a playful yet deeply felt meditation that ought to be a standard in the literature of human aging. I asked Kate Gustafson, president of

Keillor’s production company, how she’d characterize the work. “It’s a novelty book, a gift book,” she ventured after a long pause. Keillor chortled when I told him that. No, no, he corrected, it’s actually “a memoir with an essay wrapped around it.” . . .

About his “canceling/MeToo” ordeal, Keillor himself was plenty angry. He has written that he was unable to defuse what boiled within him until one day, in New York City, a priest prayed into his ear that the “injustice done to me” could be put aside. And that was it, Keillor wrote in his memoir. He was suddenly unburdened, and could return to the “quiet domestic life with the woman I love,” his third and current wife. But as the Washington Post reported in a lengthy piece last year, the scandal represented a “downfall” from which Keillor never fully recovered. Continue reading Twofer Thursday: Garrison Keillor at (almost) 80; and the Decline of Religion in the U.S.

Garrison Keillor: In the Doubter’s Section

Garrison Keillor:

There was a small epiphany in church last week when we sang the recessional “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded,” a German chorale in which we basses must jump around more limberly than we may be used to.

A tough part compared to “When the Roll Is Called up Yonder” and I stood in the rear and struggled with it and then as the choir recessed down the main aisle and came up and stood in the side aisles, three basses wound up standing near me, like border collies alongside the lost sheep, and I got myself in their draft and we sang our way to the barn. (Moral: Get with the group — just make sure it’s the right one.) Continue reading Garrison Keillor: In the Doubter’s Section

Ferlinghetti: A Birthday & A Favorite Beatnik Poem

According to Garrison Keillor, March 24  was “the birthday of the poet, publisher, and bookstore owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti, born in Yonkers, New York (1919). . . .
He went to college at the University of North Carolina and then joined the Navy during World War II, where he was the commander of a 110-foot ship. . . . Continue reading Ferlinghetti: A Birthday & A Favorite Beatnik Poem

My Opening Day Confession

It’s Opening Day, and I have a confession to make.

Where has it gone? Will it ever come back?

It’s not an April Fool.

Here it is:

it’s Opening Day, and I don’t care.

And I’m not sure why.

Is it part of the pandemic hangover, part of the “Old Normal” that was ripped away from us a year ago, now lost somewhere amid the endless charts and graphs of debility and deaths? The exhaustion of these masked months continues, and has left me no spare “disk space” for wondering about trades and predictions and highlight reels.

Or is it another side effect of surviving the long brutal years of 45? That could be a big part of it. As the renegade Republican sage Rick Wilson put it in his first best-seller, Everything T—— Touches Dies. His reign certainly sucked the pleasure out of so many other things.  The toxicity of this anti-Midas touch was clearly in evidence by October 2019. That’s when the White House Occupant paid his sole visit to a game. Sports Illustrated told it plainly:

President Donald T—— was greeted with loud boos from the crowd at Game 5 of the World Series between the Nationals and Astros on Sunday.

T——was shown on the big screen at Nationals Park during the team’s salute to veterans after the third inning. Fans in attendance loudly yelled “lock him up,” a chant T—— supporters began in 2016 directed at his opponent and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. . . .

T——  did not sit with the Lerner family, the principal owners of the Nationals. According to WUSA, a representative for the Lerner family requested that MLB not put the family in a position to turn down a request from the White House to sit with Trump.

Except T——, every president since William Taft in 1910 has thrown out a ceremonial first pitch, either for Opening Day, the All-Star Game or the World Series. In 2010, President Obama threw out the first pitch on Opening Day at Nationals Park to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Presidential Opening Day first pitches.
According to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, T——  decided not to throw out the ceremonial first pitch “in order to make the fan experience as positive as possible.”

Sunday marked T——‘s first [and last] major league game since he took office in 2017. [Note: Trigger word emended as a public health measure.]

Continue reading My Opening Day Confession

The Election Is over For Biden; the Pandemic is not

Eric Trump was one who sneered at the pandemic in late Spring, and said media attention to it was no more than a Democratic Party campaign ploy.  As reported in Forbes (a respected, business-oriented journal):

During an interview with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro on “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” Eric Trump, the son of President Donald Trump said, “And guess what, after November 3 coronavirus will magically all of a sudden go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen.”

The following tweet includes a video of this segment: [ text: “Biden loves this,” @EricTrump says, talking about agonizing shutdowns during the pandemic… “They’ll milk it every single day between now and Nov. 3, and guess what. . .”

He repeated the talking point in a TIME report: “They think they’re taking away Donald Trump’s greatest tool, which is being able to go into an arena and fill it with 50,000 people every single time…,” Trump said. “And you watch, they’ll milk it every single day between now and Nov. 3. And guess what, after Nov. 3 coronavirus will magically, all of a sudden, go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen.”

Trump added in the TIME report that that Vice President Biden “loves this” because [Biden] is not able to draw comparable crowds to his campaign events. He said that Democrats are trying to take away the President’s “greatest asset”— his ability to connect with the American people, and appear at campaign rallies.

Continue reading The Election Is over For Biden; the Pandemic is not

Job-Hunting Leads for Departing White House Staffers

News reports since Election Tuesday indicate that a growing number of White House staffers are reviewing their resumes, riffling through address/networking lists and beginning to think about a post-West Wing job search.

This possibility was evidently not on their radar when they were watching the Boss’s rallies last week, hearing the crowds roar their belief in an impending red wave  and screaming for four more years (at least).

But it seems that Fate, or the Deep State, had other ideas.

The post-election  reports also whisper that for some, maybe many who have labored inside the fence around Lafayette Park since January 2017, employment prospects might not be as plentiful as they would have expected. After all, there’s been a pandemic-driven crash. Plus something about 20,000-plus lies, threats of violence, and 500-plus families broken up at the border, the technical term for which is, stinking up the place. Continue reading Job-Hunting Leads for Departing White House Staffers