Great googly moogly, what a week. Illness, lots of work and here, at week’s end, my lovely daughter in the house, for band practice. She’s just staying the night, leaving in the a.m., but it’s nice to see her. We’re going to Ann Arbor this weekend to hear a brief bit of her original composition, which is on my calendar as “frog music.” Formal name: “The River in Our City, the River in Our Veins,” which the Facebook event page informs me is “processional puppetry.” Kate wrote 10 minutes of electronic music for the frog portion, which was supposed to play behind puppets depicting the lifespan of a frog, but not all the phases got made, so the piece got trimmed. I hope I get to see a tadpole puppet at the very least.
I’m looking forward to this.
The weather is supposed to cooperate, and IT FUCKING BETTER. We’re currently dodging a major snowstorm in northern Michigan, but enduring chill sideways rain that really sucks ass and I for one am so done with winter. The Tigers opening day is Friday, so all the happy baseball drunks will likely be enduring what’s known around here as “wintry mix.”
Fortunately, if you choose to stay in, there’s plenty to read. Shall we begin?
Mike Pence, gutted and filleted:
He began as a talk show host in 1994 in small-town Indiana, fulminating about the global warming “myth,” the perfidy of Washington, and the verities of an evangelical Christianity menaced by cosmopolites. Piety swiftly merged with pragmatism: ambitious for office, Pence learned what worked — an antichoice, antigay agenda served up with reckless rhetoric couched in a pose of rectitude. He informed his audience that Clarence Thomas was being “lynched,” and that “despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.” A quarter-century later, Pence remains as small as his beginnings.
The flexibility of his conscience surfaced in his first race for Congress. He used campaign funds to pay for his mortgage, car, credit card, golf, and groceries. To smear his opponent, he sent a mailer depicting lines of cocaine; ran an ad portraying an Arab sheik; and spread a story that the Democrat was selling his farm to a nuclear waste facility. Only after losing, did Pence deploy an ostentatious show of guilt.
Only Richard North Patterson, who divides his time between Martha’s Vineyard and California (according to his Twitter bio) could call Indianapolis a small town, but we’ll give him that. Because otherwise, he’s dead-on.
A truly weird and dispiriting Columbia Journalism Review piece about a recent panel on “the new White House correspondents,” i.e., the alt-whatever freak show that Sean Spicer is making room for in the briefings:
(Gateway Pundit’s Lucian) Wintrich played the ringleader of his own one-man circus. He boasted of his big recent scoop, a supposed run-in with Malia Obama at a Manhattan club, where the underage former first daughter allegedly accosted him. “As a black belt, according to the American Taekwondo Association, I will never refuse a fight,” Wintrich said. The event moderator, Columbia Journalism School Professor Ari Goldman, pushed back that Wintrich’s culminating report, which included a picture of a woman’s shoulder, wasn’t matched by other news organizations.
“It was picked up by every major gossip site, thank you very much,” Wintrich said. “That picture of Malia Obama’s shoulder was shared over 100,000 times. That’s why I’m a good reporter. I will publish those Malia Obama shoulder pics. Whatever pics sort of enter into my peripheral, I will publish.”
Are you nauseous yet? No. This audio clip will take two minutes of your time — or you can read the transcript — and should do the trick: A couple of companies eager for that border-wall contract pitch what makes their wall plan great enough to be part of great-again America. I don’t want to spoil the punchline but what the hell, here you go:
Then there’s a Pennsylvania company which proposes a nuclear waste wall. Wall jumpers would encounter a 100-foot deep trench with the waste at the bottom.
I was screaming by that point. I need me this weekend, and I need it bad. I hope yours is lovely.