Cats.

I see you guys have hashed out the Bernie Question in the previous post comments. I have little to add, since no one listens to me and I can’t change history. It’s looking better than ever that he’ll be the nominee, and as I am on record as saying I’ll vote for whoever opposes Trump, up to and including the Exhumed Corpse of Charles Manson (campaign slogan: Not me. Us. Plus whoever wants to hang at the ranch.)

But I am a worrier, and I expect I’ll be worrying up to and through Nov. 3. I have allowed a small crack of optimism to push through, thinking that with the right running mate and messaging, it might be possible to pull off a miracle. If Trump pardons Roger Stone, that won’t help. If there’s an undecided voter left in this stupid country, there’s no way he or she will be swayed by the idea of mercy for that smirking douchebag in his very elegant homburg, or whatever he was wearing over his hair plugs the last time he had his picture taken.

Speaking of which, Mitch Albom phoned in another one this weekend, about pardons. Like his Kobe Bryant tribute, it smelled of a quick Wikipedia scan. And like most of his non-sports columns, it was crafted to not exactly say anything that might actually be an opinion. After noting that “perhaps” it’s time to “rethink” the whole idea of the presidential pardon, he goes way out on that limb and says:

Now, before you scatter to your political corners, know that I say this not because President Donald Trump has used his pardon power largely as a means of rewarding supporters or getting back at enemies, but because other presidents have as well, and more are likely to do so in the future.

No, it’s not because a president is obviously abusing the power of the pardon, it’s because Marc Rich and Barack Obama, who “used his pardon power nearly 2,000 times, more than the previous five presidents combined.” Too bad he didn’t read deeper into that Wikipedia entry, where he might have learned that Obama’s pardons were overwhelmingly weighted to help people who had been convicted of non-violent drug offenses, most of them people of color. Marc Rich I won’t defend, but who’s still upset about that one?

That guy. I can’t waste another minute with him.

Anyway, a very nice weekend here. The sun came out and stayed out, and at the moment it’s quite warm. I’m considering a bike ride. Last night I took myself out on a me-date to the Cat Video Fest 2020. It was a me-date because I couldn’t find anyone else to go with me. Not sure why I wanted to see it; I don’t have a cat, have never had a cat, but cats are cool. My favorite cat videos of all time are the ones collected by a Tumblr blog called Indifferent Cats in Amateur Porn, but I haven’t been able to look at that since Tumblr required an account to look at anything on that platform. Needless to say, none were in the Cat Video Fest. Although Henri was!

Then it was home early, and what the hell, a rewatch of “Up in the Air,” a fine movie that shows off George Clooney’s laugh lines but brought me abruptly back to 2009-ish, when the film subsidies had lots of crews here — no duplicating that flat overcast winter sky. Also, where better to shoot a film about the collapse of the economy than here, where a film crew can get an entire abandoned skyscraper to shoot in? God, what a terrible time that was, and yet. I remember reading about credit swap defaults, then looking out the window to wonder why people weren’t rioting in the street. Then I’d make dinner. I ran across a line in a book review recently, about how we live in multiple timelines simultaneously, with history happening on one level, and what-to-have-for-dinner happening on another. That’s exactly right, and captures the strangeness of living through an era like that. Or like the one we’re in now, for that matter.

What else happened this weekend?

An important lesson was taught: If anyone offers you a ride in their homemade rocket, suddenly remember an urgent appointment.

I think that’s all. Good week ahead to the lot o’ youse.

Posted at 4:52 pm in Current events | 23 Comments
 

They’re coming.

OK, well, I guess we’re done now:

Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected, five people familiar with the matter said, a disclosure to Congress that angered Mr. Trump, who complained that Democrats would use it against him.

The day after the Feb. 13 briefing to lawmakers, the president berated Joseph Maguire, the outgoing acting director of national intelligence, for allowing it to take place, people familiar with the exchange said. Mr. Trump cited the presence in the briefing of Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who led the impeachment proceedings against him, as a particular irritant.

During the briefing to the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Trump’s allies challenged the conclusions, arguing that he had been tough on Russia and strengthened European security. Some intelligence officials viewed the briefing as a tactical error, saying that had the official who delivered the conclusion spoken less pointedly or left it out, they would have avoided angering the Republicans.

This is just the fucking cherry on the sundae, isn’t it? What a way to start the weekend. Have a good one, all.

Posted at 9:12 pm in Current events | 84 Comments
 

Fameballs, rolling.

So Kaitlin Bennett, aka Kent State Gun Girl, went to my alma mater Monday. It was Presidents Day, so she came to campus with her crew from …:::checking:::… “Liberty Hangout,” a subsection of …:::checking:::… ah yes, InfoWars, to do one of her fun videos. You know, just fun stuff! Presidential trivia! Fun!

Soon she was surrounded by a hostile mob and driven off campus, along with her security, rolling away in a big pickup truck with a TRUMKIN license plate.

Reading the WashPost rewrite of the student-newspaper story rather steamed me. It referred to Bennett, a young woman so nakedly ambitious that she launched her “career” by posing with an assault rifle in her cap and gown, as a “conservative gun rights activist.” She is in fact what the kids would call a fameball, a rolling thirst-trap train wreck trying so hard to get a gig in some Fox-type carnival that the dollar signs actually show in her eyes. She begs on her videos for Patreon supporters while she tries to push people into video confrontations that will get the wraparound-sunglasses crowd to throw her a few bucks.

She’s working the grift hard, that she’s just another humble merchant in the Marketplace of Ideas and not a third-rate provocateur on the order of Milo’s second assistant or maybe Ann Coulter’s luggage-carrier. But this stunt got a fair amount of publicity, and yet again, the fake-news MSM has treated a terrible person with more respect than they deserve.

Go, Bobcats. We know bullshit when we see it.

Speaking of people undeserving of respect, I see we’re upending the rule of law yet again. Besides the news about Blago and Milken, et al, there was also this woman, Judith Negron of Hialeah, Fla.:

Negron, now 48 years old, was sent to prison for aiding in a $200 million fraud case in what was then the country’s biggest mental health billing racket.

Negron was the only defendant in the case to refuse a plea deal and go to trial. She was convicted by a jury in August 2011 on 24 counts of conspiracy, fraud, paying kickbacks and money laundering in collaboration with the owners of a Miami-based company.

The scheme centered around American Therapeutic Corp., a seven-clinic chain that billed Medicare for group mental-health sessions that were either unnecessary or not provided to patients. The group’s patients, meanwhile, could not feed themselves or control their own bodily waste, according to prosecutors’ filings. Many lacked the mental capacity to respond to counseling and simply stared at walls or watched TV instead, raising questions about whether they were eligible for treatment.

Such a good woman shouldn’t be behind bars, don’t you think? She should have been on a chain gang.

The week feels 10 days long and it’s still only Tuesday. Grr. And so our republic continues to delaminate.

N.

Posted at 9:39 pm in Current events | 47 Comments
 

Big night.

Big weekend here. Kate’s band’s record release party was Friday night. The event was held in a bar with two other bands, and it’s safe to say the place was packed. Because it was. You could hardly move, what with their fans and those of two other bands all smashed into a not-very-big room.

And so eventful! The opening act had barely started its set when the lights went on and the music stopped. Apparently some guy, an older one, went down. I couldn’t see anything (crowded), but fortunately there was a registered nurse in the audience. He – the nurse – plays in his own band, Caveman and Bam Bam. The nurse is the caveman, and performs in an Alley Oop getup, and Bam Bam is the drummer. Anyway, Caveman is a pretty big guy, definitely the sort of nurse you want around when a patient of some size needs to be moved, or if someone collapses at a rock ‘n’ roll-type of event. I couldn’t see over the crowd, but his voice came through loud and clear: PETER CAN YOU TELL ME WHO’S THE PRESIDENT. PETER. MOVE YOUR RIGHT LEG FOR ME. And so on.

Here’s Caveman. He’s the one with the guitar:

So the paramedics were called, and they took the guy out, and I’m not sure what the outcome was, but the ambulance stayed at the curb for a while after the show started back up, so I have to assume he wasn’t in grave danger, or they’d have rushed him to the hospital.

Very exciting start to the show. The girls went on last, of course, it being their party, and they did well. They finally made a bit of money, too — a nice take at the door (did I mention how crowded it was) and about $800 worth of merch. A good night. They leave on tour in a couple weeks, and will stop at SXSW, if anyone is in the neighborhood. They’ll be at the Burger Records showcase; Shadow Show’s the name.

Oh, and the album is now streaming on all platforms. Call your local radio station and condemn it as injurious to today’s youth.

I drank two beers that night, and felt icky half of Saturday. On Saturday, however, I had an Aperol spritz, a nice glass of pinot noir and a manhattan to finish the night and feel capital today. So maybe it’s not all over between me and alcohol, it’s me and beer. Or just terrible beer.

A big week ahead, that I hope won’t be too ridiculous. I want to keep my weekends free of work, which means finishing it by 5 p.m. Friday and pushing back on any efforts to encroach on Saturday and Sunday. I have a hard enough time fitting my personal life and chores into the weekend; shouldn’t there be at least 15 minutes for recreation?

In the meantime, I leave you with two stories from our deteriorating republic.

This one is a lovely rumination on the fading star of Elizabeth Warren, by Monica Hesse, who usually has something interesting to say about gender in the early 21st century:

Loving Elizabeth Warren means planning for America to break your heart.

It means watching her tweet out an optimistic message after Iowa, and then watching how all of the early replies instruct her to defer to Sanders and drop out.

It means making sure to preface your pro-Warren statements with “I don’t have anything against the male candidates,” as if the act of supporting a female one was somehow misandrist in itself.

It means listening to people complain about her schoolmarmishness and quietly wondering what was so wrong, exactly, with sounding like a schoolmarm. What’s so wrong with sounding like a grandmother? What’s so wrong with her animated hand gestures, her cardigans, her preparedness, her laugh, her husband, her brain, her work, her femaleness, her voice?

It means hoping things will break your way but accepting that they probably wouldn’t, because America never quite seems to work that way, does it?

We’re gonna nominate Bernie and we’re gonna lose. I see it plainer every day.

Remember when Russia was our enemy, and we worried about propaganda slipping in under the door? The genius of Vladimir Putin may be that he figured it out. All you have to do to get Russian propaganda into this country’s bloodstream is write a big check:

In January, Radio Sputnik, a propaganda arm of the Russian government, started broadcasting on three Kansas City-area radio stations during prime drive times, even sharing one frequency with a station rooted in the city’s historic jazz district.

Sputnik’s American hosts follow a standard talk radio format, riffing on the day’s headlines and bantering with guests and callers. They find much to dislike in America, from the reporting on the coronavirus epidemic to the impeachment of President Trump, and they play on internal divisions as well.

On a recent show, one host started by saying he was broadcasting “live from Washington, D.C., capital of the divided states of America.”

Critics in Kansas City called Radio Sputnik’s arrival an unabashed exploitation of American values and openness. Those behind the deal defended it as a matter of free speech, as well as a simple business transaction.

Amazing.

OK, then. Off to enjoy an afternoon of soft sunshine and what’s left of my weekend.

Posted at 2:16 pm in Current events, Detroit life | 81 Comments
 

Lions on benzos.

We appear to have turned yet another corner, or descended another step, into the hellscape of 2020 – the Justice Department is now fully operating as a wing of the Trump organization. At least the prosecutors in the Roger Stone case have resigned.

I have a friend who periodically remarks how much 2020 is going to suck, in the runup to, and perhaps entirely beyond, the election. All I can think in reply is, as of 11:59 p.m., we’re one day closer and hence, one less day of suckage.

So, the other day I found this story in the National Post, a Canadian newspaper, on Jordan Peterson, a Canadian…something-or-other. College professor, philosopher, “polarizing Internet celebrity” who rose from obscurity a couple years ago. Honestly, I’ve avoided learning any more than I had to about him. I know he’s popular with conservatives. He tells young men to clean their rooms, advice I 100 percent endorse. He has problems with feminism, probably because, well, I don’t know why, but here’s my guess: His clean-your-room advice is also accompanied by an exhortation for men to take their rightful place at the head of the table? Seriously, I don’t know. Tried to watch a YouTube and found his Canadian accent distracting, and the fact he’s beloved by people I mostly can’t take seriously sort of sunk him in my book.

But anyway, he’s been feeling poorly. After a run of personal tragedy (wife, cancer), he became addicted to benzos, and now he’s gone to Russia. Why Russia? Because apparently his daughter is nuts and by nuts I mean nuh-tzz. She lives on a diet of beef, just beef, calls it the “lion diet” and advocates others do the same. This includes her father, I remember reading. In fact, the daughter says, he was first prescribed benzos after suffering “an autoimmune reaction to food.” This may be the reaction where he ate something like a cookie and claims he didn’t sleep for 25 days. Not “slept badly,” but “did not close his eyes and slip into the unconscious state the rest of us know as sleep.” For nearly a month. Yes.

Maybe you’re thinking, this family sounds nuts. I absolutely agree. But it gets nuttier.

She said the family sought alternative treatment in Russia because they found North American hospitals had misdiagnosed him, and were prescribing “more medications to cover the response he was experiencing from the benzodiazepines,” Mikhaila said. “He nearly died several times.”

She and her husband took him to Moscow last month, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia and put into an induced coma for eight days. She said his withdrawal was “horrific,” worse than anything she had ever heard about. She said Russian doctors are not influenced by pharmaceutical companies to treat the side-effects of one drug with more drugs, and that they “have the guts to medically detox someone from benzodiazepines.”

Jordan Peterson has only just come out of an intensive care unit, Mikhaila said. He has neurological damage, and a long way to go to full recovery. He is taking anti-seizure medication and cannot type or walk unaided, but is “on the mend” and his sense of humour has returned.

This man is truly a philosopher for the Trump era. Maybe he’ll stay in Moscow.

What else is happening tonight, besides the New Hampshire primary? The Westminster dog show! Which I cannot watch because no cable, but I’m pulling for all the dogs. May the best one win. Apparently the golden retriever pulled off an upset in the sporting group, so who knows.

As for me, I slept terribly last night and am headed for an early bed.

Posted at 9:02 pm in Uncategorized | 79 Comments
 

Dirty.

The snow is falling at the end of another weekend as I sit here, staring gloomily out the window. It’s not the pretty kind, so far, but there’s always overnight. It’s the time of winter when I notice the days getting longer, the air just a touch softer, the slant of the light just a little less severe. And a little snow wouldn’t be terrible, as long as it’s cleared by the time I have to … aaaand here comes a spell of scintillating scotoma. See you in 20 minutes.

:::20 minutes later:::

I try to thank the nonspecific spirits guiding the universe, the genetic lottery, whatever, for my health. Really I do. I’ve been lucky to stay healthy as long as I have, and I work at it, although most of it is just plain luck or blessings or whatever. But scintillating scotoma — occasional spells where my vision stars behaving like I recently dropped a hit of acid, lasting about 20 minutes — is a pain in the ass. It first showed up about five years ago. I saw a doctor and was advised to keep a diary of the circumstances around each onset, in hopes of finding triggers. I did so for months, and found no pattern whatsoever. Then they just stopped happening, and I thought I was past the whole business. In the last six weeks or so, they’re back. I’m fortunate in that they’re not harbingers of a migraine headache, which s.s. sometimes is. It just comes, messes up my vision for 20-30 minutes, then stops. As crosses to bear go, it’s made of balsa wood. Still.

The snow is coming down harder, and it’s a much prettier kind. Balance.

This was the first weekend of the Dirty Show here in Detroit, and even though we don’t swing or do any of that stuff, we went. It’s pretty much the same every year: 90 percent of the art is bad or at best forgettable, the burlesque is pretty great and the people-watching, without peer. A friend tells a story of seeing…I think it was a city councilman, maybe, at some earlier show, wearing a diaper and being led around on a leash. Nothing so wild Saturday night, alas. One dancer, a man, did a strip where he came out in a Gumby suit and finished in a G-string with Pokey on it. Pokey, get it? (You must be this old to get that cultural reference.) As for the art on the walls? There are only so many photographs of a woman’s abdomen imagined as a rolling landscape, or extreme close-ups of testicle-located hair follicles that I can see before the ol’ eyes glaze over. On the other hand, this was not forgettable:

We were home before midnight. But only by a couple of minutes.

Now I’m watching the Oscars, and trying not to think of who the president of the United States is.

Happy week ahead. Imagine what fresh hell might await.

Posted at 8:10 pm in Detroit life | 42 Comments
 

No maps here.

What a terrible day. I could have won a $100 million lottery purse today, and on the way to cash in the ticket I would have flipped on the radio and heard even part of the president’s “celebration” of his impeachment acquittal and it still would have ruined the day. It was so crazy, it was chilling. And maybe there’s something about hearing this stuff alone in the car, in winter when most people are not on the street, in the middle of the day when lots of people can’t hear it in the first place, all of this — that makes you feel incredibly alone. You think: This is it. This is the way our country ends. This and all the terrible shit, opening up national monuments to mining and sending Ivanka around the world so she can pose with pens and pretend to be important, and Don Jr. calling Mitt Romney a pussy and all the rest of it. This is it. This is the end.

I try not to get too discouraged, but what a terrible day. It’s hard not to despair.

Despair, my childhood religion tells me, is a sin. On the other hand, God must really be pissed at us. Who wouldn’t despair?

After I turned off the radio, I experimented with different animal voices for the coyote and the badger in this video. It was a way to take the pressure off.

So. It’s been a long week. Lots of work, still another day to do it. Let’s go to the bloggage, shall we?

After reading as much as I could handle about the Iowa fiasco, I think this piece sums it up best: Welcome to the bullshit economy. And how:

But the spectacle has highlighted a much more consequential problem in America, something I have coined the bullshit economy. We’ve seen elements of it all over the place. When MoviePass offered unlimited screenings for ten bucks a month, when Uber gets an $82 billion valuation for a low-margin taxi business it has never made a dime on, when WeWork implodes after the slightest scrutiny into its numbers, that’s the bullshit economy at work. We have seen the farcical bullshit of Juicero and the consequential bullshit of Theranos.

Even at the highest levels, bullshit pervades, in fraudulent advertising metrics and fake numbers peddled to convince the world to siphon cash through Facebook and Google’s dominant platforms. So many counterfeit goods pass through Amazon that the site might get listed on the U.S. Trade Representative Office’s “Notorious Markets” list.

And:

The story of Shadow, makers of the app that utterly failed to deliver in Iowa, is a perfect example of the bullshit economy. It starts by being a tech solution to a non-existent problem. Iowa counties are compact; the largest one has a landmass of 973 square miles, and it’s close to twice the size of the average county in the state. Even there, no major city is more than a 30-minute drive from the county seat, Algona. Even with that ancient technology of the car, you could have each of the 99 counties report final results within a couple hours of the end of the caucuses.

Somehow, the Iowa Democratic Party got sold that they needed to improve upon this, to “disrupt” the caucus reporting. Already, the party had to increase what they would keep track of and tabulate, reporting the first set of results before the 15 percent viability threshold, the second set afterwards, and how that translated into delegate counts. It wasn’t clear why anyone needed to adding another layer of complexity into this with the app. But the app’s backers must have been persistent, getting $60,000—really nothing for the purposes of app development—to design a tool to forward the results to a central repository.

Yep yep yep. You know what this reminds me of? A story I read in “Imperial Life in the Emerald City,” the account of how the Bush administration totally screwed post-invasion Iraq. It was about the Iraqi stock market, which ran on a paper-and-pencil system until a bunch of ambitious young Republicans swept in after the war to inflict computers on the place. Computers, in a place that had electricity only a few hours a day. Great idea.

OK, I gotta go. Big day tomorrow, with a chance of 30 percent less despair. See you on the other side.

Posted at 9:19 pm in Current events | 39 Comments
 

Get naked.

I spent the day trying not to think about the Iowa caucuses, other than what you guys were saying in the comments. Honestly, what would the point be. And now the results are in and I’m not sure what to think, other than WHOA MAYOR PETE. On the other hand, my current-events alternative is the State of the Union, and I tried, I really did. Lasted 45 seconds.

The 45 seconds I caught featured the line, “The years of economic decay are over.” It imperils the health of my TV, so I’m out.

A better alternative: The joy of cooking naked, a real story in the New York Times:

It’s one of those jokes people can’t help but make about nudists, and to Ms. McMullen, who has been cooking naked for more than two decades, it shows how misunderstood nudism is. Many people think only about the pitfalls — spattering fat, minor burns — and not the benefits.

“Embracing the nudist lifestyle has given me permission to feel my feelings,” she said one morning as she sautéed bell peppers while wearing nothing but a glittery manicure in her home kitchen at the Lake Como Family Nudist Resort in Lutz, about 20 miles north of Tampa. She lives here with her husband, Jayson McMullen.

“But if you want to know the truth,” she added with a resigned sigh, “I buy precooked bacon, and I microwave it on a paper towel.”

The pictures alone are worth one of your clicks.

Nudists v. SOTU? No contest.

Posted at 9:34 pm in Current events | 51 Comments
 

It’s Super.

Lovely Sunday. The actual sun came out for a while, the temperature topped 50 degrees, I got work done and a workout, and now I’m watching Alan tie flies and listen to KCRW as I wait for the Super Bowl to start. There’s a meat loaf in the oven, because MEAT. There are chips in the pantry, a ripe avocado in the fruit bowl. Low-rent guacamole may be on tap. And the groundhog didn’t see his shadow. I ask you, does life get better?

Well, of course it does. But this’ll do for today.

Listening to KCRW. That is, of course, the public station in Santa Monica, which means we could hardly be more bougie at the moment. But just being able to listen to it in Detroit is one of those sentences I never would have understood just a few years ago. Here’s another, which I heard just the other day: “Buster” — the speaker’s parents’ dog — “is an influencer now. He has more than 3,000 followers on Instagram, and now people send him free stuff. Like his new collar.”

I think Wendy could be an influencer, but I don’t have time to “curate” her “brand.” As it is, just typing the usual blizzard of hashtags these things require to become influential would probably give me writers cramp.

Back to KCRW: We just heard a sponsored-by tag for a “medical intuitive.” Which made Alan, the former health writer, ask what that might be. A quick Wiki, and we have our answer:

A medical intuitive is an alternative medicine practitioner who claims to use their self-described intuitive abilities to find the cause of a physical or emotional condition through the use of insight rather than modern medicine. Other terms for such a person include medical clairvoyant, medical psychic or intuitive counselor.

Oh, wonderful. I see some of them work by phone. I wonder if he could tell when I’m constipated, over the phone from Hawaii.

I understand why so many people hate doctors; our medical system almost requires that they be jerks. FWIW, the closer a doc gets to primary care, the more I like mine. My family-practice guy and gyno are great, and I was relieved that the orthopedist the first guy referred me to is also great. But I kissed two ortho-frogs before I found him, and there have been some real schmucks along the way. That said, I don’t think my arthritis can be cured through essential oils. but a massage would be nice.

However, paying someone to intuit what’s wrong with you is pure Goop-shit.

A little bloggage? Sure.

Bad news, Columbus: Leslie Wexner is about as bad as you’d feared he was:

Victoria’s Secret defined femininity for millions of women. Its catalog and fashion shows were popular touchstones. For models, landing a spot as an “Angel” all but guaranteed international stardom.

But inside the company, two powerful men presided over an entrenched culture of misogyny, bullying and harassment, according to interviews with more than 30 current and former executives, employees, contractors and models, as well as court filings and other documents.

Ed Razek, for decades one of the top executives at L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, was the subject of repeated complaints about inappropriate conduct. He tried to kiss models. He asked them to sit on his lap. He touched one’s crotch ahead of the 2018 Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

Executives said they had alerted Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder and chief executive of L Brands, about his deputy’s pattern of behavior. Some women who complained faced retaliation. One model, Andi Muise, said Victoria’s Secret had stopped hiring her for its fashion shows after she rebuffed Mr. Razek’s advances.

The atmosphere was set at the top. Mr. Razek, the chief marketing officer, was perceived as Mr. Wexner’s proxy, leaving many employees with the impression he was invincible, according to current and former employees. On multiple occasions, Mr. Wexner himself was heard demeaning women.

I know, I know: Abuse at a cheap lingerie company? You don’t say! Still. Look at a picture of those two grizzled geezers standing next to each other and struggle to keep yourself from barfing. Time’s up, indeed.

The other big thing happening this week is, of course, the ultimate debasement of the party that once called itself grand and old, but I have a feeling we haven’t seen the bottom yet.

Don’t have the gorge to talk much about that now. I’ll just leave you with…this. And see you later in the week:

Posted at 6:29 pm in Uncategorized | 70 Comments
 

Mixed and grilled.

Boy, this really says it all about the miraculous Middle East peace plan, doesn’t it?

“My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security,” the president said at a White House ceremony that demonstrated the one-sided state of affairs as he was flanked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel but no counterpart from the Palestinian leadership, which is not on speaking terms with the Trump administration.

We are truly living in the stupidest of all possible worlds, with the exception of the one that will arrive tomorrow.

So let’s get stupider, then, shall we? Mixed grill!

If you have boobs like this, you shouldn’t wear a neckline like this. Actually, no woman should wear this neckline, ever, unless you have something underneath it. Cleavage is one thing, but these are mashed pancakes. Shudder.

I will never, ever, ever understand Sandy Hook truthers. Every last one belongs behind bars. This one should be there for life:

There’s been a lot of smart stuff written about Kobe Bryant in recent days, but this is the best I’ve seen to address That Incident:

Why would we find the need to ignore a piece of Bryant’s biography that reflected and shaped our entire culture? If the argument is that we’re not ignoring it, we’re just postponing it out of respect — what are we doing to make sure the postponed discussions actually happen, and happen in a way that’s respectful not only to those who were inspired but also anyone who was harmed? How can we become more empathetic if we insist that only evil men do bad things, and thus our heroes must be perfect, and thus we must punish people who want to talk about the ways in which they were not?

Can you find Ukraine on a map? I could, but only on the second try, because I accidentally clicked the map in trying to expand it.

And now, for a second crossword of the day, followed by bed.

Posted at 9:17 pm in Current events | 84 Comments