A Debate, & a Face-Off with Corn Pop (posted 9/18/19)

So I watched some excerpts from the Dems’ debate last week, which is all I could take.

Once again the top of the bill was frontrunner Joe Biden.  (And boy, does that description tell you a lot about the strength of this field!)

His debate performance was uneven.  To his credit, he looked less crazy than most of the people surrounding him on stage.   (But then again, Marianne Williamson has managed that, too, so I’m not sure that that’s such a high bar to get over.)  On the other hand, he came dangerously close to having his dentures come out on stage.  Considering that in the last debate his eye filled up with blood, I’m almost afraid to watch his next debate.

Best-case scenario: he pulls out a 19th century ear trumpet to try to catch what one of those whippersnappers are saying next to him.

Medium-case scenario: He tumbles sideways from behind his podium, then lies on the stage smacking at his medic alert bracelet and muttering, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

Worst-case:  the ear trumpet, the fall, and then incontinence.

Anyway, when I saw that, I started to feel sorry for the old guy.

Until I remembered that just a few years ago, he told a black audience that Milquetoast Mitt Romney and the moderate GOP — the team so spineless that they can’t even take their own side in a fight – were “gonna put y’all back in chains!”   And I didn’t feel sorry for him anymore.

Especially when he came up with his best line.  When someone asked him about how to deal with the achievement gap between black and white children, he jumped in with advice that only a young hipster like himself could dish out: “Play the radio… make sure the television” (here he closed his eyes, trying to correct himself and struggling for the right words), “excuse me… make sure you have the record player on at night… the, the… phone…”

That last collection of words – you grammarians out there may have noticed that it’s not a sentence – is not my hilarious send-up of the former Vice President’s speech.  It is a verbatim transcript of one of his answers.

Let’s do a close reading of it.  First he says to play the radio – the way, for example, my dad used to tell me that his dad and some of his friends used to sit in a semi-circle around a radio, listening to Jack Dempsey lose a heavyweight fight to Luis Firpo.

In 1923.

Then he says, “Make sure the television…” before catching himself, and realizing that maybe the best advice for children who aren’t doing well in school is NOT to watch more tv.

But no problem.  He’s got another cutting-edge example chambered and ready: “…make sure you have the record player on at night.”  Because kids these days love nothing more than spinning the hot new Benny Goodman platter, and doing the Charleston with their best girl all night long.

I probably shouldn’t disclose this.  But I’ve got a super-secret contact in the Biden campaign, and he told me that during Biden’s rehearsals for the debate, his original answer to this question was even worse, and it took his campaign brain trust several hours to talk him into going with the radio and record player answer.

His first pass at that question:  “Kids need to blow off steam, and take a break from the pressure.  Maybe they’ll want to take a metal hoop out into the street, and roll it up and down the block with a stick that they use to steer it.  Or they could climb onto one of those new-fangled bicycles with the giant wheel in front and the tiny wheel in back, and ride it down to the general store and get some penny candy.  If they’re older, they might want to take the horseless carriage downtown to catch a vaudeville act.  And don’t forget your friends who are stuck in an iron lung because of their polio; stop by the sanitarium on your way to catch a Negro League baseball game, and crank up the Victrola and leave it playing right by their head, so that they’ll have some entertainment, too!”

With all of that top-shelf Biden to choose from, live socialist Julian Castro managed to look more hapless than dead socialist Fidel Castro, when he waded in on Biden with an attack about his slipping mental state.  Incredibly, he chose the only time all night when Biden was correctly stating his position.  The other Dems onstage turned on Castro for his classless attack… until their anonymous spokes-weasels reinforced the message after the debate about how Joe really seems to be slipping lately.

Amy “Hillary 2” Klobuchar’s high point was when she correctly pointed out that page 8 of Bernie Sander’s health care bill calls for ending private health insurance as we know it.  Earlier, Bernie had proudly claimed, “I wrote the damn bill,” and Klobuchar responded that, “I read the damn bill.”  In a rare fit of lucidity, Pope Pete then said, “The problem with that damn bill you wrote… is that it doesn’t trust the American people.”

Then he launched into a fiery sermon entitled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Gaia,” with its warnings about how anyone who disagrees on environmental or tax policy, or for what occasions one should be forced to bake cakes shall surely be cast into a lake of unquenchable fire.  And also have OHSA and the ACLU descend upon them with fuuuuurriious anger.

Kamala Harris managed to remind voters of one of Hillary Clinton’s most disturbing personality quirks: laughing maniacally in a manner psychotically disconnected from anything even remotely humorous being said.   Harris’ perplexing moment came when Biden pointed out that it would be unconstitutional for a president to unilaterally declare that the 2nd amendment is null and void, and forcibly take away Americans’ guns.

Harris’ response?  “Instead of saying ‘no we can’t,’ let’s say, ‘yes we can!’   AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!”   The only thing missing was “CAW CAW CAW!” at the end.

Skateboarding Doofus gesticulated his way into another cringe-worthy admission, as he responded to a gun-control question with a shouted, “Hell yes, we’re going to take away your AR15!“   The trained seals in the audience cheered, and some of the dopes on stage supported his claim.   But all across America, professional Democrat pollsters and reasonable Democrat voters vigorously face-palmed themselves into unconsciousness, their last thought being, “For 25 years we’ve mocked all GOP claims that we want to come and take Americans’ guns away….”

Grandma Squanto played it safe, staying away from saying anything that she was really thinking.  The closest she came to danger was when a moderator peppered her with questions about whether her Medicare for All socialized healthcare plan would necessarily result in a huge middle-class tax increase.  (Everyone from Inuit children in igloos with no tv reception, to coma patients kept alive only by machines, to single-celled organisms in the depths of the Marianas Trench shouted, “Of course it would!”)

But Big Chief Purses Her Lips in Disapproval (#wemustneverstopmockingher) ducked and dodged and refused to give a straight (no offense) answer, insisting only that middle-class people need not be concerned with taxes, but only with “total cost.”

Which, every sentient being in our solar system knows, will skyrocket if we put geniuses like Sanders and Warren in charge.


But enough about yet another cavalcade of Dem hopefuls beclowning themselves on a debate stage.  I want to end by talking about the most fantastic story of 2019, and maybe of this century so far.

I’m referring, of course to the epic tale of “Big Joe Biden vs. the Dread Gang Leader Corn Pop.”

If you’ve not heard this story, you must drop everything and Google it right now.  It’s a story that Biden included in an autobiography over 10 years ago, and that he’s been retelling over the years.  The video version I saw was from some kind of speech that Joey Gaffes was giving to an audience of mostly young black people around a pool where he had apparently worked as a lifeguard, shortly after the earth cooled.

Anyway, Joe is a lifeguard in a pool on the edge of the ghetto, a job he took so that he could get a better understanding of black folks.  (I’m not kidding.)  And gang leader Corn Pop makes the mistake of getting up on the diving board on Big Joe’s watch.  Joe lets us know who he was dealing with:  “Corn Pop was a bad dude.  And he ran a bunch of bad boys.”  (Um, Joe, old white guys aren’t supposed to call adult black males “boy.”)  Joe points dramatically at Corn Pop and says, “Hey, Esther.  Off the board, or I’ll come up and drag you off.”

Because that’s straight out of “Dealing with Gang Bangers 101:  Open with an Insult, preferably by calling him by a Woman’s Name.”  Oddly, Corn Pop did not like that, and said that he’d be waiting for Joe with some of his homies (not a word that Joe chose, but I so wish it was!) with straight razors.  Joe takes a little rhetorical detour to explain the straight razor to his audience of extremely bored black teenagers who are showing zero interest in this old blowhard white guy telling self-aggrandizing fairy tales in their midst.  Quoth Joe, “In those days, remember the straight razors, you’d bang them on the curb, get ‘em rusty, bang ’em on a rain barrel, get ’em rusty.”

Now I’ve seen straight razors in old movies, but no, I don’t “remember” them.  And I can’t understand why banging them on a curb, or on a “rain barrel” – by the way, did you say this story took place in the 1960s or the 1860s? – would make them rusty.  Or why you’d want a rusty blade in the first place, if you intended to use that blade as a weapon.

But never mind.  Joe takes a six foot length of chain to meet Corn Pop, but first he apologizes for calling the guy “Esther,” explaining that he was referring to Esther Williams.

Who was a lady swimmer in a bunch of old movie musicals from the 40s, and therefore super-relevant to young black gang bangers.  Hence such famous rap songs as “I’ve got 99 problems but Esther Williams Ain’t One.”

Luckily for Corn Pop, the hardened, streetwise thug was so touched by Joe’s apology that he closed his straight razor, and he and Joe called a truce, and Joe lived to become an ancient old windbag who wants to be president.
My favorite part of the story is the gangster’s name.  “Corn Pop” is a perfect, right-out-of-central-casting name for a minority gang member… if you’re an old white guy who watched a lot of late 60s and early 70s cop shows, like Mannix and Banacek and Hawaii 5-0.

You just know that if any of his listeners had trolled him by asking, “What were some of the other bad dudes in his gang called, Grandpa Joe?” Biden would have said, “Well, there was his crazy sidekick Frosted Flake.  And his enforcer, Captain Crunch.  His right-hand man was Raisin Bran, and his best girl was Sugar Smacks.”

Ugh.  Trump has given his critics plenty of ammunition by his often juvenile braggadocio – his crowds are tremendous, his wall is going to be the biggest, most beautiful wall ever – but he’s got nothing on Joe Biden.

And it seems like the Democrats are absolutely determined to choose a candidate – either the old white lady in Redface, or Joe the Fantasizing Plagiarist – who makes Trump’s tall tales look like stoic self-effacement by comparison.

Avenatti/Corn Pop 2020!

Trials, Tribulations, & Town Halls (posted 9/13/19)

As I write this, the Democratic debate is going on.  I’ve not watched any of it yet, because life is short, and I value my stable blood pressure and my sunny outlook on life.

But I will watch the “highlights” (and yes, you may take those quotation marks as ironic) later, because I love my country, and one of these knuckleheads may be elected to lead it, and I probably should find out what they said.  But not until after I’ve had some scotch, and some smart people I trust have had a chance to dig through that small mountain or manure to find the closest thing to a pony in there.  I’m looking at you, CO, and other prominent COers, and also Ben Shapiro and Andrew Klavan and Steven Crowder, and anyone else who is willing to take one for the team, and watch the interminable yammerings of the dementia of Democrats who are vying for leadership of the free world.

In the meantime, I am going to share with you what I’ve learned in the last week.

First, I learned about the meniscus.  Which, contrary to what I believed a week ago, is neither an ancient Greek philosopher and satirist (that was Menippus), or the comically elongated snout of some ridiculous-looking vertebrates (that’s the probiscus).

It is, in fact, a small bit of cartilage in the human knee, and its main function is apparently to turn an athletic, deceptively youthful-looking middle-aged man with catlike grace and agility into a pathetic, Bernie Sanders figure, hobbling around as if he is in his late 100s.

I partially tore the meniscus in my right knee, is what I’m saying.

The origin of the problem was likely over a month ago, when I spent my first day in London walking around 17 miles, after which my knee was strangely sore, and stayed that way for the last 6 weeks.  I would have brought it up during that European trip, but I spent part of that time hearing one of my traveling companions, a 93 year-old Kiwi whom I may have mentioned earlier, tell how he landed in Sicily, fought his way up through Italy, eventually climbing a Bavarian alp so that he could drink Hitler’s wine and pee in his bathtub.

After hearing that, I somehow didn’t want to say, “I walked up a flight of stairs in the Tower of London, and now my knee hurts.”

So, I did as my father before me — and his father before him – did.  I sucked it up, and did not complain or cry to my godfather that Mr. Woltz is never going to give me that part, and I don’t know what to do.  Nope.

I acted like a man, and did not seek treatment until a minor problem became much worse.

Then, after I spent a month transforming from an Olympic athlete into Abe Vigoda, my loving wife lovingly slapped me on the back of the head, and lovingly said, “You’re walking like Bernie Sanders, you moron.  Go see a doctor.”

So this week I did.  And now I’m scheduled for some PT, and a steroid injection into my knee, and some time in a rakishly fashionable knee brace that drives the ladies crazy, no matter how much I insist that I’m happily married, and keep your hands to yourselves, and my eyes are up here!

The moral of the story is that I’ve always known that we take some of the best things in life for granted.  The love of a good woman.  The forgiveness of a benevolent God.  The second amendment, which gives me the sacred right to shoot Beta O’Rourke in the face if he ever bursts through my door, his gangly arms flailing, hollering about taking my guns away.

To that list, I am now adding a pair of painlessly functioning knees.

Also, the blissful ignorance I lived in until last week, when I thought that Meniscus was an ancient Greek philosopher with a comically elongated nose.   Good times, gone too soon.


Speaking of excruciatingly painful things that degrade one’s quality of life, how about that Democrat town hall on climate change last week?  Which, if I’m not mistaken, ended only this afternoon, just in time for the Dems to get together and torture us with another debate.

Actually, the town hall was 7 hours long, yet somehow managed to feel longer than the war in Afghanistan.

I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t watch that whole thing, either.  On account of my above-mentioned appreciation for the shortness of life, and the value of healthy blood pressure.

But I did watch some excerpts, and yikes!

First of all: 7 hours.  Of politicians talking!  About climate change?!  Which average voters rank near the bottom of urgent issues.

Second, their proposals sound like something that a team of political consultants would work around the clock to come up with as part of a list of positions NOT likely to win anyone any votes.

We can’t eat cheeseburgers, or fly in planes, or use straws that don’t turn into a cardboard-paste choking hazard after three sips.  Our utility bills need to be at least $1000 a month.  And if we drive a car, it must be an electric-powered Smart Car.  (Which made me think: if I had the choice of hobbling to work on one crutch with a shredded meniscus, or have two healthy knees but be forced to drive there in a Smart Car, which would I choose?)

(I’m thinking!)

Consider some of the damage the Dem candidates did to themselves:

Klobuchar (the only Hillary left in the race, now that Gillibrand is gone) said that she’d get rid of all coal plants.

Grandma Squanto (#wemustneverstopmockingher) saw heap big trouble with nuclear plants, which she would ban.

Spartacus said that he’d ban offshore drilling, and fossil fuels generally.

Which, taken together means that we better get used to running our power grid on good intentions, wishful thinking and narcissism.  Plus solar for a few hours on sunny days, and windmills when it’s breezy.  Great.

Joey Gaffes said that the Green New Deal is just peachy, and “deserves a lot of credit.”  Forty-eight seconds later he noted that 85% of the problem is caused by other countries, which (he did not say, but which is obvious) the Green New Deal would not affect at all.   Hearing that, God reached His invisible hand down and touched Joey’s plug-ridden, liver-spotted head.  And his left eye filled up with blood, and he said, “Goodnight, Tokyo!” then waved and walked off stage, and over to a young camerawoman, and put his hands on her shoulders, and softly kissed her neck until she ran screaming from the hall.

Which, spoiler alert, was nowhere near Tokyo.

Not to be outdone, Kamala “bury her in a Y-shaped coffin” Harris promised that one of her first acts as president would be to abolish the filibuster and ram through the Green New Deal.    Also, Trump is a fascist dictator because he likes to act unilaterally.

Bernie Sanders reached the intellectual high point of his 14 decades in public life, when he answered a question from Anderson Cooper about whether he’d reverse Trump’s decision to let people decide what kinds of lightbulbs they want to buy.

Bernie said, and I am not making this up – Google it if you don’t believe me – and I quote, “Duh!”

Pastor Pete covered himself in glory, too.  He said, “This [fighting climate change] is the hardest thing we will have done — certainly in my lifetime. This is on par with winning World War II. Perhaps, even more challenging than that.”

And he knows what he’s talking about, because he’s guided South Bend through 3 heavy snow storms, and the Great Garbage Strike of ’17!  Move over, Eisenhower, Pistol Pete is in town to save the day!

The only thing he’s right about is that the GND will outstrip WWII in at least one way: it’s going to be a hell of a lot more expensive!

Ugh.  The big Democrat winner of the night was Eric Swalwell, who was spared the indignity of embarrassing himself by his wise choice to drop out of the race in total humiliation a month earlier.

Avenatti/Swallwell 2020!

Mascot Mania! (posted 9/6/19)

My thesis today is that we have lost our freaking minds.

Not every single one of us, obviously.  I mean, I’m writing this masterpiece, and you are reading it and nodding your head in agreement, so the two of us are good.

But everybody else?  They have either lost it, or are in the advanced stages of losing it.

And I don’t just mean the obvious crazies, like Joe Biden.  Right this minute he’s in the District of Columbia in 2019 having some vegetable soup that an aide prepared for him, and spilling most of it on a bib which that same aide put on him.  But he thinks he’s in Vermont, and that he’s still vice president, and that he marched with Martin Luther King in 1987, and this lobster bisque doesn’t taste quite right.

Or Don Lemon, who thinks he’s a journalist.

Or Chris Cuomo, who thinks he’s Michael Corleone, and why does everyone keep calling him “Fredo”?

Or our president, who could earn a black belt in judiciously targeted trollery, but instead thinks it’s a great idea to fire off an entire full-auto clip of free-associated tweets in all directions, because suburban soccer moms love that stuff!

Or Robert DeNiro.  (Enough said.)

No, I’m talking about nearly everyone else in our society.

“Do you have any evidence for such a wild claim, Martacus?” you are probably asking yourself.  Or, I guess, you are asking me.

Unless your name is “Martacus.”  Which would be weird.

Well thanks for asking, faithful reader, because I have only one bit of evidence, but I think it will be more than enough to prove my point.

It is this story from Campus Reform —  https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13661  — about how all across our great nation, colleges are scrambling to get rid of their horribly offensive mascot names.  At first I wanted to give the colleges the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe there are still some left-over offensive mascots, from back in the bad old days.

I mean, if U Mass still has “The Virulent Anti-Semites” mascot, I am against that.  I am also unhappy with The Portland Pedophiles and the Washington State Ted Bundys.  Not to mention the Boise Bidens.

But no.  Here is the list of “controversial” mascots listed in the story, none of which I am making up:

The GW “Colonials.”  Because how terrible were those colonials, pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor just because they didn’t want to continue bending the knee to their English overlords?  Ugh!

By the way, this university is called “George WASHINGTON University”!   And it’s located in WASHINGTON, D.C.!!  But we cannot have it associated with any colonials!

Next up: the University of Denver “Pioneers.”  Because, I guess, most pioneers were red-state workaholics who clung to their god and their guns, and shockingly few of them were gender-fluid disabled people of color.  So begone!

Cal State Long Beach “Prospector Pete the 49er.”  The sin here is that those old miners were greedy for gold.  And greed is terrible!  At least according to the Cal State Board of Regents — who took a break from holding taxpayers upside down by their ankles and vigorously shaking them until enough cash fell out of their pockets to provide a raise for anti-American profs who have been enduring brutal 7-hour work weeks for a salary barely into the six figures — long enough to vote to condemn the greed of long-dead prospectors.

The University of Wyoming Cowboys might be the most offensive, because they launched a successful campaign touting their mascot last year, with the motto, “The World Needs More Cowboys.”  Which it manifestly does, judging from the reaction of at least one mewling professor, whose complaint I swear to you I am not making up:  “the word ‘cowboy’ invokes a white, macho, male, able-bodied, heterosexual, U.S.-born person.”  (And if you conclude that this professor necessarily wants more non-white, effeminate, non-male, handicapped, homosexual foreign nationals in our country, you would not be wrong.) (Also, good luck, future Army Ranger and Seal Team Six recruiters!)

Finally, with too many universities to mention, comes the most offensive of all: Native American team mascots of all shapes and sizes.  No more Indians, or Warriors, or Chiefs. Or Braves.  Or Seminoles or Sioux or Mohawks.

Or Fightin’ Warrens.  (#wemustneverstopmockingher)

The only two examples I’m almost willing to concede to these goofballs are the Washington Redskins and the U of Illinois mascot Chief Illiniwek.

“Redskins” is rough, I’ll grant you.  But now that these hysterics have made such an issue of it, we have to hold onto it doubly hard, just to avoid appeasing these loons.  Plus, “Washington” doesn’t seem so bad now – when compared to “redskins” – does it, you whiny oppression-studies professors?!

And the Illini Indians have the most unfortunately unimpressive tribe name ever.  And then they steered into the skid by naming their chief “Illiniwek,” which is the sound made by a TB patient with hay fever when he simultaneously coughs and sneezes.

But come on, Illinoisans.  Don’t throw the Blackhawk out with the Illiniwek!  (It’s a cliché for a reason.)

Speaking of Blackhawks, would any goalie ever feel the same fear up his spine if Stan Mikita was skating full speed toward him, with a “Chicago Pacifists” jersey on?  Okay, maybe he would.  But that cool Blackhawk image was still the icing (HA!) on the cake.

Fun fact: Stan Makita was from Slovakia, and he was deaf.  And yes, the Deaf Slovakians would make a great punk band name, and an even better team name.  Naming your team The Deaf Slovakians would be an offend-your-administrators two-fer, and they would immediately convene a meeting to try to push through “The Hearing-Impaired Peoples of Eastern European Origin” counter-proposal.  (And just try working THAT into a fight song.) (I mean, if fight songs hadn’t already been banned on grounds of toxic masculinity.)

In fact, “Deaf Slovakians” would also make an amazing army name.  Because when the Deaf Slovakians are marching on your border, you know that they will not listen to your cries for mercy. (HA!) And do some Biblical scholars believe that when the Deaf Slovakians meet the Color-Blind Slovenians on the field of battle, we will know that Armageddon is upon us?

Well, no they don’t, actually.  Did that idea come to me because I sometimes daydream of Melania Trump – in thigh-high black leather boots and a shining gold breastplate, naturally — leading a Slovenian army into battle?  Um, yes.  Yes it did.

Wow, I just went down a rabbit hole, didn’t I?  So where was I?

Oh yeah. Indian team mascots.

Lighten up, you perpetually offended jerks!  How can you not see that it is a compliment to have a mascot named after you?  We choose mascots because they embody admirable qualities.  We pick animal mascots that suggest strength – lions and tigers and bears – not ones that we look down on.  (That’s why there are no Washington Weasels – except in congress. Boom! – or St. Louis Skinks, or Rapid City Remoras.)  We choose occupations that we at least used to be proud of – there were Houston’s Oilers and Pittsburgh’s Steelers, not Houston’s Oligarchs and Pittsburgh’s Pimps.

And we chose Indian mascots because we admire warriors, and respect chiefs, and would like our children to be brave.


Finally, if you fancy yourself a compassionate leftist who sympathizes with the downtrodden and wants to solve our society’s problems, God bless you.  But do you really think that changing team mascot names should be your top priority? Have you not noticed that you’ve been running a lot of cities for decades, and they are not doing super-duper well lately?

Have you heard that San Franciscans are paying $2.3 million for a two-bedroom with no parking on a street down which they have to wade through an ankle-deep soup of human waste and dirty syringes?

Are you aware that Detroiters have to run serpentine from one burned out building to another to get to work, like it’s Beirut in the late 70s?

Do you realize that when mothers in Baltimore hear “back to school sale” they think about shopping for child-sized Kevlar vests in a variety of gang-graffiti-tagging-resistant colors?

Wake up, wokies!   If you win the next election and then tank the economy, finish off the last vestiges of quality public education, drive out anyone who pays taxes or wants to start a business, and then start a race war by imposing reparations and discriminating against some people because of their skin color, the voters are not going to be assuaged because you’ve passed House Bill 328 to change the name of the 49ers!

Can you PLEASE try putting out all of the raging social fires that you’ve started, before voting on the motion to change “firemen” to “firepersons”?!

Avenatti/Social Justice Warriors 2020!

An Apology, Another Dem Candidate Bites the Dust, & a few Musical Recommendations (posted 9/3/19)

First off, I have to apologize for a mistake in my last column.  After I’d made a joke involving Ben & Jerry’s re-named Neapolitan ice cream and three Democrat presidential contenders – I know, that old cliché – I returned to explain it afterwards.  Mostly I did that to get in my obligatory #wemustneverstopmockingher reference, but I made the mistake of saying that I didn’t want any CO readers to miss the joke.

And many members of the CO nation objected, saying that of course they didn’t need the explanation to get the joke.   Don Douds may have put it best, asking if I thought the CO audience was the Huff Po audience, or something?

Ouch!  That one stings.  But he’s right.  I should never have doubted this audience.  So mea culpa, and I resolve never to condescend to you folks again.


Which reminds me of a joke I heard years ago.  The speaker says, “People say that I’m condescending.” (pause)  “That means…”

I tried to tell that joke to my youngest daughter, when she was around 9 years old, and she unintentionally made it funnier.  She’s a very smart kid, if a little too sarcastic for my taste.  (I know – where could she have gotten that quality from?  I blame my otherwise flawless wife.)

So I told her the joke without telling her that it was the setup for a joke, and before even a beat passed at the end, when she would have figured it out, she jumped in immediately, “I know what that means!”   Perfect!


It’s time for another political obituary for another Dem who has dropped out of the presidential race.  This time, it’s Kirsten Gillibrand whom we won’t have to kick around anymore.

The character-less NY Senator has always stood for nothing beyond her own personal ambition.  She started her political career as a faux moderate who got an A- rating from the NRA, and she sucked up to the Clintons, back when they actually had power, getting herself appointed to Hillary’s senate seat when ol’ Equine Ankles left to run for president.  (Man, is that fun to recall!  Remember when Hillary was going to canter into the White House, before the Multiracial Messiah jostled her out in the backstretch in ’08, and then Orange Crush poleaxed her at the finish line in ’16?  Good times.)

Then, when the Clintons no longer had power, and the MeToo furies were tearing Slick Willie’s dessicated carcass to pieces in 2017, Gillibrand bravely came out and declared that he should have resigned over the Lewinsky scandal. Even though she’d taken some warm-focus pictures with Bill when she was running for Senate.  Which happened many years after everyone knew that Bill had groped his way into and through the highest office in the land, not to mention that time when he definitely raped Juanita Broaddrick.

Also, if you google those pictures, you’ll see that Bill is hugging Gillibrand, and usually has his hand around her shoulder.  But if you try to tell me that at no time during that photo op did he drop that hand down and squeeze her butt, I will call you a liar, sir!

And now — because when I’m not busy being a world-class husband and father, owner of the finest exemplar of canine virtue (Cassie the Wonder Dog, for new readers of the CO site), and friend to those who have pissed in Hitler’s bathtub, I like to fancy myself a Man of Letters – I’ve composed a final farewell to Gillibrand in the form of a haiku:

Kirsten, flip flopper,

Hillary 2, much too bland.

You let down!  Be gone!

Have I also written an anticipatory haiku for Grandma Squanto, you ask?  I have, even though right now it looks like she might be the last squaw standing from this motley crew of leftists.  Still, here it is:

There in the distance,

Rides a mean old white lady.

Indian? What?!  HA!


What’s that, you say?  Encore?

Okay, here’s another one for her:


We must never stop

Mocking her, the phony old

Translucent paleface.


Man, that’s fun!  I’d encourage all of you to write and submit your own haiku to the CO site.  Remember: 3 lines, with 5 syllables in the first and last, and 7 syllables in the middle.  Go to it!

Finally, I thought I’d share a couple of musical recommendations to brighten your day as you head into another work week after a long holiday weekend.  One of them is light-hearted, the other darker.

The first one is a video of James Taylor and Carly Simon singing a duet of “You Can Close Your Eyes” in their house in Martha’s Vineyard in 1977.  Looking back now, we know that their marriage was doomed, and that they had their own problems as all of us do, and maybe them more than most.

But on that day in 1977, they were at the height of their powers.  They were both tanned and young.  Taylor was good-looking enough that he could pull off that 70s porn mustache, and Carly was radiant, with that over-sized mouth of hers that shouldn’t work, but boy did it!  (A teenaged me was quite enthralled, since I hadn’t yet met my wife, and thus other women were not yet invisible to me.)

And of course their voices are beautiful, separately and together.  Watching that video, I can’t help but appreciate the fact that music is one of the best consolations of life.

Because I’m a Christian, I tend to see such things as occasions for gratitude to a Creator. God created cheetahs to run, and watching them in slow motion makes me grateful to Him for that.  Also, He made Mozart to compose music, and Frank Lloyd Wright to build houses, and Walter Payton to run with a football.

And He made James Taylor and Carly Simon to sing duets.


On a related but distinct topic, when it comes to the question of whether He made Bob Dylan to sing, I think the jury is still out!

I really like Dylan, and often find his nasally raspiness endearing, even though I wouldn’t call it technically beautiful.  But he’s obviously written some amazing songs, and lately I’ve been watching a video of one of his songs being performed by two young guys I’d never heard of before.  The song is called, “Not Dark Yet,” and the two guitar-playing singers are Bobby Long and John Fullbright.  It looks like it was recorded in somebody’s house, but they do a great job with that song: strong acoustic guitar playing, and a nice blend of voices that alternate on the verses and sing harmony on the refrain.  One of them wears a cool hat and plays a solid harmonica, and the other guy makes a hilarious Popeye expression when he sings, and I could listen to them all day.

This song has been stuck in my mind lately, mostly because the refrain — “It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there” — syncs up with a recurring mood I’ve gotten into when I watch too much of the news.

So many trends in our society seem to be worsening.  Most young people are badly educated about American history, and depressingly few of them can name any of the bill of rights, or locate the Revolutionary War, the Civil War or World War II in the right century.   Throughout the West, no countries have replacement-level birth rates, which seems like a fundamental indicator of a lack of civilizational confidence, and of faith in the future.

It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.

More and more American children are born into fatherless households, which may be the most significant single predictor of future poverty and criminality.  Almost half of US adults pay no federal income tax at all, and when a larger majority of the population become consumers of taxes rather than payers of them, how can that not accelerate a slide into social division and dysfunction?  More and more people don’t feel patriotic about our country, and they don’t value even bedrock ideals such as free speech or free markets.

Respect for the rule of law – even considering the necessary caveats about needing to hold the cops accountable when they break the laws they are supposed to enforce – is decaying before our eyes.  Antifa thugs rampage and assault people, and go almost completely unpunished.  The most depressing videos I’ve seen lately are the scumbags in New York dousing cops with water and chasing them from the streets, while the cops cower and retreat.

It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.

Thus, the video of those young guys knocking that Dylan song out of the park speaks to me.


But then I catch myself.  Since the beginning of time, old guys like me have been bemoaning the way the youngsters are going to hell in a handbasket.  And even given the depressing facts listed above, we still live in a great nation, in a time of great successes.  Dickens was right: it is always the best of times, and the worst of times.

Sure, terrible leftist candidates have a real chance to win in 2020, and Fredo Cuomo and AOC still have jobs, and there are websites like Huff Po, populated by mopey leftists who aren’t having kids because global warming or white nationalist boogey men will just kill them all before you know it.

But there are also podcasts from Dennis Miller and Ben Shapiro and Andrew Klavan and Steven Crowder, and there is the Cautious Optimism site, filled with smart and charming people who are way too sophisticated to need a hilarious joke about the new Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor explained to them.  The public might not love Trump (and not without reason), but they hold the Dems in contempt, which is right and just.  My daughters are gorgeous and brilliant, my wife has easily advanced to the World Series of Wives competition, and my dog is as loyal as the Royal Lancers.

Also, a new football season has started, and Christmas is coming.

So watch those two videos, and a nature documentary about cheetahs, and get pregnant if you’re able, and write some snarky haiku about the next Democrat candidates to leave the race.  And maybe watch an old classic I’ve mentioned before: Ray Charles and the Jubilation Singers doing “Oh Happy Day.”

Because, as I think about it, it’s not dark yet.


Avenatti/Gillibrand 2020!

Gillette Cuts its Own Throat, & Biden Doesn’t Know Where or Who He Is (posted 8/30/19)

I’ll begin today with a basic political truth: one fundamental difference between conservatives and leftists is that the former tend to want smaller and less intrusive government, while the latter is more totalitarian in their desire for government.  I don’t mean “totalitarian” in the Stalin/Mao sense of slaughtering tens of millions of people in order to achieve the goals of the new Five-Year Plan.  (Although for at least a slice of the radical left, if that hobnailed boot fits, wear it!)

I mean “totalitarian” in the sense of its etymological core: government’s involvement in the totality of a citizen’s life.  Including things like under what conditions we’ll allow you to start a business, and what we think is fair for you to pay your employees or get paid by your employer, and what kind of a lightbulb or toilet or soft drink that we think is good for you.  Also, we’re going to make you subsidize the kind of tv we think you should watch, and the kind of radio we think you should listen to, and the kind of bathrooms that you and your children should be able to use.

That stuff.

Now on the one hand, I can understand why leftists bureaucrats would want that kind of power.  If I were an ineffectual know-it-all who can’t get people to live like I want them to live, I might welcome the chance to bend them to my will through my exercise of governmental coercion.

What I can’t understand is why so many businesses seem to wade into political issues in ways that can’t possibly help them.

I’m not talking about companies whose identities are tied up with their politics.  I understand, for example, why the moonbats at Ben and Jerry’s continually turn out goofy ice cream flavors like “Rocky Road to Socialized Health Care” or  “Booker, Warren and Straw-beto” (formerly known as “Neapolitan”) or “Abort-your-Children Pistachio.”  (Though I didn’t need to put on my wizard hat to predict how bad the sales would be for that last one.)

(Also, Booker, Warren and Straw-beto.  Get it?   Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.)  (I don’t usually like to return to a joke or explain it, but this may have been my most oblique Grandma Squanto reference yet, and I don’t want it to slip by, unnoticed.)  (#wemustneverstopmockingher)

I even understand Nike, embracing semi-talented America-hating has-been QB Kapernick, since much of Nike’s target audience is a younger and fairly ethnically diverse demographic who don’t yet know what disastrous results leftist government inevitably creates.

That being said, the country is now pretty evenly divided politically, and as our politics become ever more heated, why would any company who wants a broad market for its products choose to wade into politics when it doesn’t need to?

Exhibit A is Gillette, which you may remember from their fall ad campaign arguing that men – i.e. the people who buy the vast majority of the razors in this country — suck.  Their tagline – which I may be paraphrasing, but I am not making up – was “Everything masculine is toxic and terrible and you should be utterly ashamed of yourself if you have a Y chromosome. Now buy our razors you filthy, disgusting animal!”  They also ran an ad featuring a dad showing his “transitioning female-to-male child” (you may know such a person by the archaic term “daughter”) how to shave!

When asked whether such an approach might not be as crazy as outhouse rodentia, CEO Gary Coombe blithely acknowledged that Gillette might lose a few of those male customers.  (“But what about all of the biological females with heavy beards that we’ll gain as customers for life!” this idiot must have thought).  But he was confident: the loss was “a price worth paying,” and he didn’t mind alienating some customers.

Make that “almost all” customers.  Because oddly enough, this appeal doesn’t seem to have been super effective with the razor-buying demographic.  To the tune of a loss of 5.24 billion (with a “B”) in the fourth quarter.  When you compare that to their previous fourth quarter profit of almost 2 billion, their gender-bigoted leftist posturing has cost them over $7 billion.

To give you an idea of how much that is, it’s more than BOTH the mysterious CO and I earn – TOGETHER – over an entire year!  I know – it boggles the mind.

How are we to respond to this news?

You know how.  Say it with me:  BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!  Add dozens of more “HA”s and exclamation points, until lack of oxygen causes your vision to begin to gray out.  Then recover, and repeat.

My favorite part of this story is watching Gillette trying to spin this gigantic loss.  For example, the company has announced that they will be “shifting the spotlight from social issues to local heroes.”

Yes.  The way the Nazis shifted focus in 1943 from getting massacred in the snow in Russia to running back toward Germany as fast as their frozen feet could carry them.


Okay, no column would be complete without a few more gems from the Biden camp over the last 10 days or so.

Gem A came from Joey Gaffes himself (hat tip to Nick DiPaolo), and is actually a two-fer.  When he was in Keene New Hampshire, he talked about what a great state Vermont is.  Not because he’s trying to start an inter-state rivalry between NH and VT.

Because he didn’t know where he was.  He even mentioned what a great town Keene is.  Which means that he knew what town he was in, but didn’t know what state that town was in.

His second beauty was when he couldn’t remember where he’d given an earlier talk.  Here are his actual words, which I am not making up:  “I just spoke at Dartmouth on health care, at the medical school — or not — I guess it wasn’t actually on the campus because people from the medical school were at the….”  Then he paused, and said, “I want to be clear, I’m not going nuts. I’m not sure whether it was the medical school or where the hell I spoke. But it was on the campus.”

Yikes.  “I’m not sure where the hell I was, or who I was talking to, or what day it was, or what state I was in.  Also, on a totally unrelated note, I am not going nuts.”

As I may have mentioned before, I am not a professional, highly paid political expert.  But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you ever find yourself insisting, “I am not going nuts!” you are not winning.

My other favorite Biden-related groaner came from his wife, Jill.  When she was pitching her addle-minded mate to some lefties who are unhappy that he is not left enough, she admitted that they might not be satisfied with every one of his positions.  But, she said, “You might just have to swallow and vote for Joe.”

Now regular readers know that I am nothing if not a high-class gentleman.  I never wear white after Labor Day, I know which fork which goes with which course, and which wine goes with which entre.   I’m wearing a full tux and tails as I write this in Stately Simpson Manor right now, and yes, I am also wearing spats.  Thanks for asking.

Where was I?  Oh yeah: my classiness is beyond question.  Also beyond reproach.

That is why I’m not going to follow a quote about swallowing and voting for someone with an obvious Bill Clinton joke.  Because I am far too dignified for that.

And also because I know that as soon as you read that quote, you already thought up a hilarious Clinton joke of your own.

But if you think about it, by reminding you of that quote, I inspired you to make that joke.  So while I’ve kept my (white-gloved) hands clean, I would also like to take credit for that joke.

In other words, let’s agree that it’s a testimony to me, that I inspired you to make a hilarious joke, without actually having to come up with that joke myself.

This is as close to a no-show government job as I ever aspire to get!

Avenatti/Biden 2020!