Age, Schmage

Wow, is Nikki Haley a ghoul.

I mean, it’s par for the course since she’s a Republican running for Preznit. But she’s basically like, so Biden has announced he’s running. Dude’s gonna die anyway. Seriously.

“He announced that he’s running again in 2024, and I think that we can all be very clear and say with a matter of fact that if you vote for Joe Biden you really are counting on a President Harris, because the idea that he would make it until 86 years old is not something that I think is likely,” is something she felt quite comfortable telling Fox “News.”

What a ghoulish, awful thing to say about our nation’s chief executive. Sadly, while Haley said it in the worst way possible, it is not an uncommon sentiment.  

President Joe Biden has barely thrown his hat into the ring, and the clamoring over his age has already begun. Biden is 80 now, would be 82 when he’s sworn in, and would be 86 at the end of his term. Polls are showing that even Democrats are feeling lackluster for Biden’s run for a second term, many citing his age as a reason.

If only there was some sort of public report people could read offered by the President’s physician that summarized the current state of his health.

Oh wait. There is.

Kevin C. O’Connor, D.O., FAAFP, and no, I do not know what all of those letters mean, released in February 2023 a document detailing Biden’s health to the American public. Previously, O’Connor had released this report in 2021.

The report first discusses Biden’s bout of COVID, noting that he was fully vaccinated and experienced mild symptoms with no signs of long COVID. Biden is up-to-date on his boosters.

The report discusses Biden’s heart health, cholesterol, a condition called gastroeesophageal reflux, which is why Biden often needs to clear his throat, seasonal allergies, conditions that contribute to Biden’s more labored gait, mild peripheral neuropathy in his feet, dermatology evaluation, eye health, dental health, medications, no tobacco, no booze, and he continues to work out five days a week.

Here’s the link, you can go read the thing yourself.

My point in going over all of this is: Where is Trump’s?

There isn’t one. Because twice-impeached once-indicted disgraced former President Carnage has never produced a serious health disclosure.

Let’s remember the now-late Dr. Harold Bornstein, a gastroenterologist, who later admitted that Preznit Carnage himself had dictated the 2015 absurd statement, “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” Really?

Let’s remember Carnage-man’s subsequent appearance on Dr. Oz on television, which Vox described as “surreal” and “disturbing.”

Let’s remember in 2020, when Dr. Sean Conley did somersaults to avoid discussing former Preznit Carnage’s health. This followed TFG’s helicopter voyage to Walter Reed and his bizarre return to the White House where he defiantly removed his mask for the cameras and went inside, presumably to recklessly infect more of his staff and loved ones.

Conley would not even confirm for the press when former Preznit Carnage’s last negative COVID test was.

As previously noted, President Biden’s disclosure thoroughly discusses Biden’s bout with COVID and reassures that he is not suffering from residual effects. Is TFG suffering from brain fog? Respiratory problems? Depression or anxiety? Fatigue? We, the voters, don’t know, and it is not likely that any serious attempt will be made to brief the public.

Don’t assess Biden based on the image he projects when he appears on television. Assess him on his record. Under his leadership, this full-stopped country got moving again. People got vaccinated. They got help. The economy got help. Jobs numbers improved dramatically. We ended a decades-long war. Actual infrastructure investment. The first black female Justice of the United States. Support for a besieged sovereign nation overseas. Investment for the climate. And, I would be remiss if I did not mention, first woman Vice President, first Vice President of color.

Regarding his fitness for the office, there’s facts. You can look them up.

Writer’s Block

Let’s see if I can get into writer mode tonight. Let’s see if I can. I find it increasingly difficult these days. I find it difficult because I’ve been blogging about the politics since the early 2000s and have had a mind full of it since I was a toddler and the United States of America was threatening to send my 20-something year old father off to Viet Nam to fight, and he and my 20-something mom would watch David Brinkley every night like it was life and death to them because it was. And as I’ve been blogging about this for so many years, one would think pointing out this stuff to people online for so many years would have had some sort of effect. But no, it hasn’t. The poop has just continued to run downhill, worse, smellier, and in bigger and bigger piles ever since. Holy moly, it’s as if nobody has been listening to a thing I’ve written ever in my life. And it makes me frustrated.

So let’s see if I get this correct, as I get ready to flip over to side two of Thomas Dolby’s The Flat Earth, which I particularly recommend listening to on vinyl, and hoping that those reading this remember Highlights magazine: Goofus steals a thousand pounds of classified, top-secret documents and takes them to Florida with him, and when they are requested to be returned to the American people, he lies about their existence at his place, then he acknowledges they are there but insinuates they were planted, then he flouts subpoenas, then returns some but not all of the documents, then he gets his place searched with a legal search warrant after like two years of this stupid tug of war, then he announces this search to the world when those who searched him would have been content to have done it quietly, then wonders why the world falls down on him regarding this.

Gallant discovers a dozen classified documents and calls the Department of Justice and reports it.

One of these things is not like the other. And yet, so much of it is being reported as a BUT-WHAT-ABOUT insanity. Holy Starbucks, can we stop pretending that both sides should be treated equally when it’s so clear that once side is throwing shit on the wall while the other side is desperately trying to fold a fitted sheet?

Hey. I think I just got into writer mode. Need to go put on side two and see what else we can dredge up. BRB.

So, how about this George Santos character, huh?

If only I had in my professional life puffed up my CV to a fifth of how this asshole inflated his, I would have been Bill Gates by now. Hi, I’m George Santos. I went to big fancy schools, blah blah blah. My auntie died in the Holocaust and my mommy died on 9/11, and by the way, I had a brain tumor and I’m Jewish and I’m a financial genius and I can shoot lasers out of my eyes and I used to be Menachem Mendel Schneerson and here’s maybe a white power hand signal on the floor of the Congress.

What the f87k?

And the new Sporker of the Haus is okay with this? The guy who only got his position after an internecine conflict that only happened previously the same year Ted Knight was born? Yeah. He thinks that’s dandy. Because “Santos’” (and I think anything to do with him from now on should be treated with scare quotes, let’s make that AP Style) provides him with a vote. McCarthy isn’t going to do jack-fart about Santos’ fraud. Because power.

Meanwhile, there’s the bill that acts like Kermit Gosnell is an everyday occurrence like the throw on your sofa. They call it the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.” And now for a change I put on that Apollonia 6 album I’ve been thinking about lately. Do you know why there are three chicks in the band but it’s called Apollonia 6? Because of they have six tits between them. That Prince was a genius.

There is audio somewhere I heard today, sorry, I am getting sloppy with my attribution but it is almost 2 a.m., of Rep. Steve Scalise, who was once shot in the ass at a basketball game, claiming with all his heart and soul that babies are routinely being born in this country and then, I dunno, what, the doctors then bash their little heads against the wall? That’s basically what he said. This is the narrative being expressed by one half of the mainstream political infrastructure of this country, that doctors are routinely killing babies just for shits and giggles.

Let me counter. This country is more women than men, more potentially pregnant people than there are sperm donors. Those of them who take on the physical burden of pregnancy should be respected and honored. They should enjoy our trust and our support, unconditionally. We should not assume the worst from more than half of us, that any of them would carry a fetus to term and then would just willy-nilly change their minds. This is purely mysogynistic drivel and should be pooped out and flushed.

I want a country that trusts women, unconditionally. I want a country that does not assume the worst of our women, our potentially pregnant people, our people. I want a country that stops assigning a particular agenda to the label “pro-life” because this halts legitimate conversation about anything completely (which it is meant to do, by the way). I want sanity in my little neck of the woods.

But I doubt that’s ever gonna happen.


It should not come as a surprise that the first piece of legislation passed by the Republican House is based on a lie, is constructed to solve a problem that doesn’t exist and, in fact, sabotages an already-cast solution to an actual problem, and that some of the more visible people in that august body are taking to social media to shout from the rooftops as if they have performed some sort of miracle.

As such, via Twitter: “Nixing the 87,000 IRS agents tonight and conservatives are just getting started!” (Rep. Lauren Boebert)

“I was proud to help pass legislation to defund Joe Biden’s army of 87,000 new IRS agents. America needs to support border agents, police officers, and servicemembers NOT more IRS agents targeting small businesses and families.” (Rep. Elise Stefanik)

“BREAKING → The House just voted to repeal funding for Biden’s 87,000 new IRS agents. Every Democrat voted no. Tells you all you need to know.” (Rep. Steve Scalise)

Indeed it does. It tells you that Democrats are not interested in voting for nonsense.

This morning, The Washington Post’s fact checker Glenn Kessler once again took on the task of debunking this hideous, disingenuous ghoul of a bill (link below). Spoiler: The Post upgraded this idiocy from three Pinocchios to four and characterizes it as a “zombie claim,” “…because they keep rising from the dead no matter how often they have been fact-checked.”

Link: ‘87,000 IRS agents’ is the zombie falsehood setting the House agenda

The debunking is thorough. Kessler first discusses the origin of the Republican’s dubious number they keep slinging around like a rotting fish and explains the rationale behind the policy, which is to improve tax receipts via enforcement and better auditing for complex returns. It notes that the Republicans’ effort “…would raise the budget deficit by almost $115 billion over 10 years because anticipated tax revenue would not materialize.”

Fortunately, this measure gutting the recent investments in the IRS will likely go nowhere in the Senate and would certainly face a veto by President Biden. But Republicans will continue their obfuscation offensive. They could not possible abide by attempts to make tax cheaters accountable, to fairly render treasury funds, to address deficit concerns from the funding side rather than looming with burglar’s masks on over Social Security and Medicare.

It’s almost as if Republicans don’t care about facts or good public policy. Huh.

A New Path for Pence

I am not often in the business of advising Republican politicians. However, I really hate to see Columbus North High School’s most prestigious fella pass up such a smart opportunity.

Former Vice-President Mike Pence has let a few impressions leak that seem to me to be trial balloons regarding his recent invitation to testify before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Via the New York Times:

In recent weeks, Mr. Pence is said by people familiar with his thinking to have grown increasingly disillusioned with the idea of voluntary cooperation. He has told aides that the committee has taken a sharp partisan turn by openly considering the potential for criminal referrals to the Justice Department about Mr. Trump and others. Such referrals, in Mr. Pence’s view, appear designed to hurt Republican chances of winning control of Congress in November.

The problem is that Pence, who presumably has designs on the presidency himself, is in a rather difficult spot. He seems concerned that capitulation to the Select Committee would lose him sway among the mighty Trump base. But didn’t he already lose that precious anointing when he refused to throw out the generally accepted election result on 1/6/2021? Or when he’s seen on video being quickly evacuated from the legislative floor?

This why I suspect we are reading such speculation in the great NYT. He needs to test his standing with the MAGATs. With the Qanons. With the true believers. With those who await the necromancing of JFK Jr., the ones who think Wayfair furniture is built out of human remains. Pence is sticking a wet phalange into the wind. And I don’t think the results are gonna be all that great for him.

That’s got to be quite a kick in the gut for a guy who spent four years staring into the back of Preznit Carnage’s head with a look on his face like when Itchy the Wookie is watching Diahann Carroll sing “This Minute Now” in the Star Wars Holiday Special. This is Mr. “I Am Deeply Humbled to Be Your Vice President,” after all. His repayment? HANG MIKE PENCE. HANG MIKE PENCE HANG MIKE PENCE.

So why is he even pondering this when there’s a much better, albeit more risky, way forward?

Hey. Mike. Get to marching in Liz Cheney’s parade.

Do I think Liz Cheney is doing what she’s doing because she wants what’s best for the country and she believes the Big Lie is a Big Lie and that the Insurrection of January 6 was ungood? I guess. But on the other hand, I think Liz Cheney sees a BIG FAT LONGSHOT PATH TO BECOME LA PREZNIT OF DEEZ UNTIED STATES OF AMERICA.

After all, what happens when or if the unexplainable shine wears off of der cheeterhosen? Criminal charges. Lawsuits. Sexual assault charges. Civil suits leaving him hemorrhaging money. His recent vaccine endorsements are already throwing off his most loyal unwashed. Who’s going to be there if and when the Republican Party tosses Former Preznit Disgraceful Carnage out on his ass in his fat golf khakis? Liz Cheney is so far the only one betting the long game that it’s going to be she. (Okay, yes, Adam Kinzinger, blah blah blah. Dude is really kind of an afterthought on all this, methinks.)

Cheney has begun to forge a path that might could behoove the former Vice-Preznit to embark upon. It could start with his straightforward, unredacted public testimony to the Select Committee, followed by public calls to his own party to purge itself of this enormous, treacherous lie, to respect the fair and correct result of the 2020 election, and to get back to the business of working for true conservative values.

Mr. Former Vice President, heed my call: You sir, are in need of a reinvention. And I would argue that the Congresswoman from Wyoming is showing you the way. Show up. Testify. Cooperate. Throw your former boss, who I remind you tried to have you assassinated, way deep and far under the bus. It will be good for the country. It will make you seem to be presidential.

Heck. It might even make you presidential.

Orangey, You Did A Heck of a Job

One can hope that the previous resident of the Oval Office would just limp off to Florida, play some golf, take up some unexpected hobby, wait for the onerous legal problems that will plague him the rest of his life, and shut up.

Sadly, even without his social media megaphone, Preznit Carnage One-Term Loser Insurrectionist finds a way to make a statement. I won’t quote it here because I don’t want to amplify anything he says, but suffice it to say that he thinks you ought to be thanking him for that shot in your arm that now 20 percent of all Americans have received. In fact, both the Washington Post and New York Times have pushed this story as well.

Great. I’ve asked you to paint a room in my house. I return to find that you have smeared shit on one of the walls. And you expect me to thank you for a job well done.

I mean, the conversation ongoing regarding this doesn’t even address a larger issue: We are attempting to vaccinate our way out of a pandemic. And that’s stupid. Because a vaccine is not the most effective tool in the box.

Let’s say I test positive for Covid. I tell the people all the people I’ve had contact with in the last two weeks. The people go and they find those people and test all of them, and the ones who test positive, they get info on all of the people they’ve had contact with in the last two weeks. And so on. And so on. And scooby dooby dooby. This is testing and contact tracing, and, if you commence with it soon enough in a pandemic, it is the most effective way to stop the microscopic monster in its vapor. And not only did Preznit Carnage not do this. He fought it.

He didn’t do testing and tracing. He didn’t lead by example—in fact, he seemed determined to model the exact wrong behavior. He told countless lies about the pandemic, and we know he knew he was lying. He himself sponsored countless super-spreader events, including his own party’s convention. He couldn’t even keep himself and his family from getting sick.

Yes. But do you like the paint job?

So Many Stupid Things Today

The confirmation process has made ever clearer to me one of the fundamental differences between the federal judiciary and the United States Senate. And perhaps the most acute is the role of policy preferences. It is the job of a Senator to pursue her policy preferences. In fact, it would be a dereliction of duty for her to put policy goals aside. By contrast, it is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give into them. Federal judges don’t stand for election, thus they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people.

This separation of duty from political preference is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government. A judge declares independence, not only from Congress and the President, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her. The Judicial Oath captures the essence of the judicial duty. The rule of law must always control.

This is from the speech given today by Amy Coney Barrett from the White House after being fake sworn-in by Justice Clarence Thomas as Impeached Preznit Carnage Pornstarfucker looked on.

Read that again. The new United States justice. Declared her independence as a justice from Congress, her own biases, and THE PRESIDENT. FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.


Impeached Preznit’s Chief of Staff Mark “We Are Not Going To Control The Pandemic” Meadows and CNN’s Jake Tapper chat about masks:

JT: So the American people should abide by CDC guidelines, but you are not even asking your supporters to wear masks, even though–

MM: We have. We pass them out Jake. I mean, have you been to a… have you… have have… have…

JT: Do you know how many people in Minnesota have gotten the virus because of Trump rallies?

MM: Have you been to a rally? You come on with us to a rally, and we’ll show you, we give out masks. We have a number of people–

JT: They don’t wear them.

MM: Well, it’s a free society. You’re not wearing one right now, Jake.

JT: There is literally nobody in this room. There is literally not one person in this studio.

MM: So you’re saying that you always wear a mask wherever you go. Come on, Jake. The American people know that’s not true. I know it’s not true.

JT: I wear a mask except when I am here, in my office, and home. That is true. 100 percent. I wear a mask when I walk in the hallway at CNN.

Note to preznits: Please don’t stick yer chiefs-of-staff in front of a camera. They don’t belong there.


A Brief Observation Regarding ‘Trumpcare’

This has been buzzing around in my head all day long, like the time my brain made a mashup of “Where Did You Go?” by Mighty Mighty Bosstones and “Lay Lady Lay” by Bob Dylan and kept playing it in a constant loop, or when it did the same thing with “All About that Bass” by Meghan Trainor and Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy, except this is an observation about Impeached Preznit Carnage Superspreader Not Really A Billionaire’s weird pronouncements that he’s going to announce a new healthcare plan someday, and why, in fact, Republicans generally have been all about the repeal but have not actually been able to do much replacing. It is simply because the Affordable Care Act did everything that can possibly be done to reform healthcare just short of an actual government takeover.

Think about it. What else are you going to do beyond Obamacare unless it’s just back to the draconian old days or moving forward with Medicare For All (which this particular amateur wonk doesn’t think is plausible). Look at everything Obamacare does, which I don’t think our Impeached Dear Leader could explain.

So each state creates an exchange. This creates a reasonable marketplace and a larger participants’ pool. The law mandates health care coverage, which will drive younger, healthier customers into the pool. In return, the law prohibits the exclusion of care based on pre-existing conditions, and there are funds available, called high-risk corridor payments, to keep insurance companies from going under while they have to cover more older sicker people while the younger healthier people are bulldozed into the pool.

Insurance plans were improved as well. This led to an unfortunate oversight by Preznit “Si Se Puede” Barack Obama, who mistakenly shouted to reporters once that everyone would get to keep their current doctors. I think he iterated this without factoring in that Obamacare threw shit insurance plans out of the airlock. Under Obamacare, coverage would mean coverage, not holy shit I’ve been paying into this for years and now it won’t cover X? Also, let’s let parents keep the kids on their policy until they’re oh, what, 26?

And it provided help to pay into the pool, in the form of expanded Medicare and subsidies for those who qualified. And it worked. It still works. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that ACA/Obamacare was responsible for 22 million persons covered via exchanges and Medicaid expansion in 2019.

The reason the Republicans can’t provide an alternative to Obamacare is that there is no alternative. Their dire looking choices are to beg the Supremes to do what Congress failed to do 70 times with no alternative available; to allow the ACA to stand and to thrive; or to jump to the end of all of this and do Medicare For All. If you are a Republican and you hate the Affordable Care Act just because of the fella whose signature is on it (which, let’s face it, is what this is really all about), you’re fucked.

The Affordable Care Act is irreplaceable. The reason the Republicans can’t present an alternative is that there are no alternatives. I think that, like so many other fiascos Trump gets his party into, the Supreme Court effort is going to backfire. It’s gonna be splendid. Difficult, but splendid.

Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi

It is vital, I think, when trying to decant whether or not the “Benghazi scandal” is a political witch hunt or not (it is), to remember a little history, to remember exactly how and when the tragic turn of events regarding the attack on a diplomatic outpost (note: NOT THE EMBASSY, WHICH IS IN TRIPOLI, AND YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE THAT DISTINCTION IS IMPORTANT) became such an issue of public concern in the first place.

Remember, when this happened, there was a preznintial campaign going on. And both campaigns had at least implicitly agreed to remain in their respective corners out of respect for the September Eleventh remembrance. But when word spread of these attacks and these horrible deaths?

The Romney camp was like a 13-year-old boy called to write on the chalkboard, awkwardly clutching its Trapper Keeper to its lap. It released a statement by 10 p.m., initially embargoed until midnight, “…but then, 15 minutes later, the campaign appeared to change its mind, and Saul told reporters the embargo was lifted and the statement could be published immediately.”

The Romney campaign was so convinced they had a winning issue here and so eager to unbox it for all of America to see that they couldn’t wait. They just threw that Trapper Keeper to the floor, unzipped, and wagged it around for the whole class to see. Romney even doubled down the following day, following derision and ridicule by is own party for the ham-handedness of the move (even his running mate Paul Ryan was trying to pour cold water on the thing), so convinced was he that the Benghazi attacks was a powerful political issue, and not only that, they flouted the whole “at the water’s edge” thing they used so freely a few years before to drum the Dixie Chicks out of their industry.

Benghzi was born as a political cudgel, and it will so forever be, thanks to Mittens Willard Romney III.

Good thing, too! In case you hadn’t noticed, this thing is a political loser! Keep it up! Benghazi!