President Obama & his Tepid Shrug of an Endorsement (posted 4/20/20)

Samuel Johnson was an English genius and a great writer in the 18th century.  Among other things, he wrote the first dictionary of the English language, which – as you might imagine – was a pretty daunting feat.  He said two things that I’ve always loved, both associated with the dictionary.

First, when he initially set out to write it, by himself, in three years, an old Oxford friend was skeptical, pointing out that the recently published dictionary of the French language had taken 40 French academics 40 years to complete.  Johnson said, “ Sir, thus it is. This is the proportion. Let me see; forty times forty is sixteen hundred. As three to sixteen hundred, so is the proportion of an Englishman to a Frenchman.”

I like that kind of patriotic confidence!  And I feel about America the way Johnson felt about England, and so appreciate a cocky, light-hearted slap at a rival nation.

But his second statement is my favorite, because it might be the most erudite literary napalming of a smarmy bigshot in history.  So it naturally reminds me of how Joe Biden – if he were conscious, and alert, and 158 times smarter than he is – should have responded to Obama’s endorsement of his candidacy last week.

When Johnson’s dictionary came out – it took him 7 years, instead of 3 — and quickly appeared to be a triumph, he got an endorsement from the Earl of Chesterfield, an entitled blueblood who was born on third base and thought he’d hit a triple.  Think of an 18th century Ted Kennedy, or Chris Cuomo.

But it turned out that when Johnson had been just beginning his dictionary, he had unsuccessfully tried to get Chesterfield’s patronage, because that’s how writers did it back in old timey days: you found a rich guy to financially support your writing projects.  (Nowadays, a struggling writer with a need for purely medicinal Scotch and a Wonder Dog to feed puts a Tip Jar on his website.)

Anyway, Johnson composed a famous letter to Chesterfield, which perfectly combines a superficial fawning with repeated rhetorical kicks to the groin.  He wrote, “When, upon some slight encouragement, I first visited your lordship, I was overpowered, like the rest of mankind, by the enchantment of your address, and could not forbear to wish that I might … obtain that regard for which I saw the world contending; but I found my attendance so little encouraged, that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to continue it. When I had once addressed your Lordship in public, I had exhausted all the art of pleasing which a retired and uncourtly scholar can possess. I had done all that I could; and no man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.”

Yes.  Smart guys wrote like that in the 18th century, God bless them.

Johnson continued, “Seven years, my lord, have now passed, since I waited in your outward rooms, or was repulsed from your door; during which time I have been pushing on my work through difficulties, of which it is useless to complain, and have brought it, at last, to the verge of publication, without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile of favour. Such treatment I did not expect, for I never had a patron before.”

You can see where this is going.  Johnson has set up his foppish opponent with repeated verbal jabs to the body, and now the guy’s hands are down, leaving his chin vulnerable.  And Johnson heaves a roundhouse haymaker that starts on the far bank of the Thames and gains momentum as it nears the target:

“Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it: till I am solitary, and cannot impart it;  till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received, or to be unwilling that the public should consider me as owing that to a patron, which providence has enabled me to do for myself.”

Down goes Chesterfield!  Down goes Chesterfield!

When I heard Obama’s endorsement of Biden last week, I thought of Chesterfield’s self-serving attempt to jump onto a bandwagon had already left town without him, and to take credit for launching it.

For the better part of a year, Biden hoped for Obama’s support.  He was in a field of a dirty dozen demagogues (alliteration for the win!), and his best talking point was that he had been Obama’s hand-picked right-hand man in the White House for eight years.  Given that, Obama’s inaction felt not just like the lack of an endorsement, but a pointed refusal to endorse.

And Plugs really needed that endorsement!  He was flailing and stumbling from one mistake to another, and as soon as the primaries started, he slid disastrously from undisputed front-runner to guy who didn’t know where he was, or who he was, or why that fat guy in Iowa was challenging his degenerate son’s getting in bed with Ukranian kleptocrats.  (Not to mention his dead brother’s widow!)  As he got trounced in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden was plainly “a man struggling for life in the water,” and the water was filled with sharks, in the form of preachy tween gay guys, and old Cherokee white ladies (#wecanstillmockherforawhilelonger), and centenarian socialist loons, and midget billionaires.

And all the while, Obama stood on the shoreline, as a drowning Joe pounded the water into a froth around him, sputtering about lying dog-faced pony soldiers and trying to remember what you’re supposed to say on your deathbed, except that it came out, “Forgive me, father, for I… have spinned… or spun… or… you know the thing!  The thing I’m supposed to say now!”

Then, when it looked like Bernie might actually win, the lefty establishment finally roused itself, and knifed him in the back, and oh-so-reluctantly got behind Biden.  After he’d won in South Carolina and swept on Super Tuesday, it was clear to everyone that he would be the nominee.  After more weeks went by, even Bernie finally accepted the inevitable, and endorsed Sleepy Joe.

So there’s ol’ Joe.  He’s managed to climb onto a raft made of equal parts economic ignorance, hatred of Trump, and the resignation of millions of uneasy Democrats.  He’s gasping for breath, his false teeth have come out, he’s bleeding from both eyes, and he thinks he’s on a raft floating down the mighty Mississippi with his ethnic sidekick Corn Pop back in 18-clickety-clack.

And then, at long last, a life preserver thrown by Obama whistles across the water and catches Biden right in his fragile, plug-riddled head, and knocks him out cold.


If you haven’t seen Obama’s endorsement, good on you.  You’ve got a life to lead, and that life is too short to spend it listening to the smug musings of a mediocre ex-president with less self-awareness than Alyssa Milano in an Angry Strawberry Shortcake outfit yowling outside of the Supreme Court building.

Luckily for you, you’ve got me.  And I took one for the team, and watched Mr. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” give his endorsement.   But before I watched it, I put on my patented Martacus Wizard Hat, which – among its many powers, allows me to read people’s thoughts.

(By the way, I wore that hat when I read the comments from my last column, and I have a message for the female readers in CO nation: My eyes are up here, ladies.  Also, I’m a happily married man, and you should be ashamed of yourselves.)

Where was I?  Oh yeah.  Here are some excerpts from Obama’s endorsement – which I swear I am not making up – with his unspoken thoughts in brackets:

“That’s why I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for President.”  [Because there is literally no one left.  How did this happen?]

“Choosing Joe Biden to be my vice president was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.” [Hey, wait a minute.  What does that say about the quality of my other decisions?  Good lord!]

“He’s someone whose own life has taught him…how to bounce back when you’ve been knocked down.” [Or when you’ve stepped on the same rake three times in a row.  Or when you walk into a corner and just bump back and forth, unable to get out.]

“I know he’ll surround himself with good people.”  [I promise: he won’t trust his own addled instincts.  He’ll listen to other people.] “Experts, scientists, military officials…”  [All of whom will overcome his crippling mental deficits.]

“…who actually know how to run the government.” [Oops!  Did I say that out loud?  That these others would be people who actually know something? Unlike Joe, who mixes up his wife and his sister, and who thinks half of the country is dead from AR-14 wounds?]

“… and care about doing a good job running the government.” [Yikes! Somebody stop me! I’m literally saying that Joe doesn’t know anything, or care about governing well!]

“Joe will be a better candidate for having run the gauntlet [I mean “stumbled” the gauntlet] of primaries and caucuses alongside one of the most impressive Democrat fields ever.”  [HA! Did I say that with a straight face?  What have I become?]

“Each of our candidates were talented and decent, with a track record of accomplishment, smart ideas, and serious visions for the future.”  [Ugh!  Come on, man!  I’m going to hell just for saying this crap.  Who loaded this teleprompter?]


Okay, at this point I have to stop, just to protect my blood pressure.  But here’s the big picture: the endorsement was 12 minutes that I’ll never get back.

Of those 12 minutes, he talked about Biden for about 2 minutes tops, with equal time given to stroking Bernie, so that his voters will consider holding their noses and voting for Joe.  He spent about 6 minutes demonizing conservatives – they want to destroy the environment, rob the poor, reward the rich, kill sick people and then pee on their graves.  Amidst the litany of all of the horrible things that “the other side” wants to do, he gave the usual hypocritical call for us to resist partisanship and come together for the common good.

And he couldn’t bring himself to give even this dog’s breakfast of a speech — made up of partisan bile, insincere praise, and empty boilerplate – until after the race was long over, and Biden’s nomination a fait accompli.

What a small man he is, and what a blessing that he’s no longer president!

Trump’s flaws are manifest, and he receives a torrent of criticism for them, while Obama has an undeserved reputation for being classy and above the fray.  But I defy anyone to watch minutes 6-12 of his endorsement video, and not recognize the vicious, bitter partisan beneath that glib delivery.

If Biden was a smarter man, with self-respect and in possession of his wits, he would say, “Now that I’ve reached ground, you’ve encumbered me with help.  Your endorsement, had it been early, had been kind.  But now that providence (and Jim Clyburn) has allowed me the nomination… stick it, Barry!”

Avenatti/ Lord Chesterfield 2020!


Mourning one specific Coronavirus Victim (posted 4/11/20)

So John Prine is dead.

Is it too sour of me, or too much of a damning statement to make, the day before Easter, if I note the following:

Bernie Sanders is older than John Prine, and he’s still alive.

Joe Biden and Harry Reid are both older than John Prine, and they’re still alive.   (By the time he was 24, John Prine had written his first album, which includes the songs, “Spanish Pipedream,” “Hello in There,” “Sam Stone,” “Paradise,” and “Angel from Montgomery,” among others.  By the time they were in their 70s, Reid and Biden had written many, many bills and regulations that made the world a worse place.)

Nancy Pelosi is 23 centuries and several Ptolemaic dynasties older than John Prine, and she is still, sort of, “alive.”

That’s the kind of world we live in.  Nancy Pelosi survives locusts and frogs and the Angel of Death taking out first-born sons and the other Biblical plagues, and then she lives through the Black Plague in the Middle Ages, and 800 years later she walks through the Spanish flu of 1918 like it was nothing.    Polio, TB, whooping cough, German measles, the vapors, ebola, housemaid’s knee, tennis elbow, affluenza, carpal tunnel syndrome, the heartbreak of psoriasis – none of these have any effect on her.

And then in late 2019 – when Nancy is in her early 2400s – which you would think would put her in a vulnerable age group – and when she keeps all of her internal organs in canopic jars beneath the haunted pyramid she lives in – which (I’m not a doctor) should probably compromise her immune system, shouldn’t it?! – a bunch of Chinese knuckleheads over-do it on the bat buffet. And then a bunch of murderous slave-state Chicom socialists cover up the resulting disease outbreak, so that it can spread all over the world and kill a lot of people, and then some empty-headed mouth-breathers like Jim Acosta can blame Donald Trump for it.

And it kills John Prine.

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi doesn’t miss a day of work.  A private nurse stops by to check on her, and Nancy tries to shoo her away with a wave of her hideously desiccated mummy hands.  But the nurse is dedicated, and she rolls up the burial wrappings from Nancy’s bony arm and finds that her pulse hasn’t changed from its usual zero beats per minute, and then takes her temperature and finds that it hasn’t changed from its normal: “room.”  She tries to listen to Nancy’s heart, but is then reminded that it is in the smallest of the canopic jars beside the stone slab that she sleeps on each night, and so she gives up.

And Nancy gets right back to her important work, making sure that not a single baby goes tragically un-aborted during this world-wide pandemic.


Ugh.  I know that tomorrow is Easter, so I can’t post something this completely negative.

Instead, let me put aside the pols and the pundits who are testing our patience, and meditate for just a moment on the value of language and music in the hands of a talented artist.

I envy people like CO, who have musical talent.  Though I haven’t played an instrument since the saxophone in high school, I’ve always enjoyed many different types of music.  I especially love lyrics that capture a perfect, telling detail, or suggest an entire story in just a few words.

I remember the first time I heard Johnny Cash sing, “We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout/We’ve been talkin’ bout Jackson, ever since the fire went out.”  Many angsty novels go on for hundreds of pages, and many people spend months talking to therapists, without sketching out the story of a relationship any more clearly than that!  Listen to the rest of that song – it’s not more than a couple of hundred words – and you’ll learn more about male and female psychology than you can get in four years and $150k worth of debt from any gender studies program in the country.

My favorite songwriters are an eclectic bunch – Tom Petty, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Dylan, Springsteen – but they all have a gift for language and the mot juste.  (And yes, I realize how weird it sounds to try to describe the language skills of such quintessential American or Brit songwriters working in English with a snooty-sounding French term.)

John Prine, at his best, was as good as it gets.  He could be goofy (“Daddy’s Little Pumpkin,” “Let’s Talk Dirty in Hawaiian”), and he could make you laugh (“I knew that topless lady had something up her sleeve”) and he could inhabit wildly different characters from himself in the way that  Shakespeare could write everyone from women to workers to nobles to social outcasts like Africans or Jews.

Prine was around 22 years old when he wrote “Hello in There,” a pitch perfect song about old people which seems more and more true the older I get.

The song “Sam Stone” is a jewel, as tragic as Macbeth and as concise as a Hemingway paragraph.  The story has been pared away to sinew and bone, and if there’s a better description of the pain experienced by children of an addicted parent than, “there’s a hole in daddy’s arm, where all the money goes,” I haven’t heard it.

If you don’t know Prine’s music, take advantage of the downtime from this quarantine and check out his songs on Youtube.

As I was writing this, I remembered a short story I wrote around 25 years ago, in another life.  An editor had asked if I had written any stories about music for a theme-centered issue he was going to be publishing later that year.  I said, “Absolutely I do.  Let me polish it, and I’ll send it to you.”

I had no such story, of course.  But I loved music, and I loved writing, and I had an editor actually asking ME for a story.  So started sketching out a few ideas, and ending up writing a story called “Dancing About Architecture.” In the story, I had the protagonist recite some of his/my favorite musicians, and of course I included a little shout-out to John Prine, a quarter century before I sit here tonight, writing about how much I’m going to miss him.

If any of you are John Prine fans – or if my recommendation causes you to check out his music for the first time – I’d be honored if you’d check out that story of mine.   You can find it on this website; it’s one of two short stories, the only non-politics-mocking pieces there.   If you like it, let me know.

If you don’t, keep it to yourself: I’m mourning a great musical hero over here, and there’s a pandemic going on too, you heartless critic!

One final and very different note, on the day before Easter.  A couple of years ago, I came across a Youtube video of what looks like a Russian orthodox priest and a young girl singing a chant of the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, and it is absolutely incredible.  I don’t understand a word of it, of course, and it comes from a culture very different from mine.   It’s sung in front of the pope (I’m not Catholic), and the lead male singer looks like the terrorist villain from a Michael Bay film.  But if Christ had an amazing singing voice (and looked like a villain from a Michael Bay film), this is how I picture Him pouring out His heart in the Garden of Gethsemane.

But whether you’re an atheist, agnostic, Buddhist or Zoroastrian, or festivus-celebrating philatelist, if this music doesn’t give you chills, there’s something wrong with you.  Go to Youtube and search “Aramaic lord’s prayer chant,” and you’ll find it.

Happy Easter, and RIP, John Prine.

Cavalcade of Hypocrites (posted 4/10/20)

There are some hopeful signs that we may be reaching the peak of the virus, and I’m confident that you all are doing your best to ride this thing out with your heads held high.  Because if there’s one thing I know about CO nation, it’s that we’re a bunch of Ameri-CANs, not a mopey crowd of Ameri-CAN’Ts.

As this quarantine has dragged on, and I’ve tried to minimize my exposure to rage-inducing boneheads in the news, I began to question whether it’s appropriate to keep writing jokey columns and continue mocking people in such a sober, disquieting time.

But then I got my back up.  Because no, I’m not desperate enough to buy the last scraps of vegan monstrosities in our supermarket.  And no, I’m not beaten-down enough to follow the demands of power-hungry DeBlasio types to stay in my house clutching my knees to my chest and hoping that the feds will save me.  And no, I’m not cowed enough to forgo using my God-given gift of sarcasm to lambaste those in our culture who need a good, old-fashioned lambasting.

So I give you three nominees for “Hypocrite of the Week:”

  1. Start with an easy, collective one: every leftist reporter in every Trump press briefer.

They called him xenophobic for cutting off travel from China while they were still downplaying the virus, and they also say that he acted way too slowly to cut off travel from China.  They politicize every virus-related development, and then accuse him of politicizing the virus.

They used doomsday predictions that 2.5 million Americans might die from the virus to create panic that would hurt Trump, and when Trump cites that number to tout how much lower the current death predictions are, they accuse him of using that unrealistically high fake number to make himself look good.

They employ Clinton sock-puppet Maggie Haberman, and petrified block of wood Fredo Cuomo, and Brian “giant dishonest human thumb without glasses” Stelter and Jessie Smollett’s slower-witted cousin Don Lemon.


  1. Little-known hate-filled anti-Semite Omar Barghouti. This Palestinian activist founded the BDS (boycott, divest and sanction) movement that advocates economic warfare against the Jewish state, with the goal of preventing anyone from doing business with the evil Joooos. But when news recently surfaced that Israeli scientists are researching and starting to test potential vaccines against the flu Manchu, old Omar changed his tune.  He said that his hateful followers will be “permitted” to take a vaccine developed by the Jews if they need to do so to fight the virus.

Which gave me two thoughts:  First, why don’t a few of his rabid followers give him a traditional ROP (religion of peace) beat-down for suggesting that they accept help from the worst of the infidels?  And second, won’t he feel foolish if a vaccine is developed by Palestinian researchers, who are famously productive scientists, with Nobel prizes in many non-Jew-slaughtering fields, such as bio-chemistry, and—

Ah!  It’s no longer April Fool’s Day, so I am incapable of continuing with my lighthearted counter-factual mirth-making.

But Omar, I hope that one of your corona-riddled goats coughs on you the week before the Jews come up with a vaccine, so that you can die with a clean conscience, knowing that you didn’t pollute yourself with any of that haram Hasidic healing.  (Extra points to me for the triple alliteration, and demonstration that I know at least one Islamic word.  Next, I’ll take “Potent Potables” for $1000, Alex.  And before you can say anything else, the answer is, “Scotch.”)


  1. Formerly attractive actress – and current cautionary tale — Alyssa Milano is a Joe Biden supporter. So, not a big brain. But she can serve a useful purpose in society… as a source of entertaining hypocrisy.

You may remember Milano from such programs as “Who’s the Boss.” But probably not, because that show was a long time ago, and pretty forgettable.   Also, as an actress… Tony Danza acted circles around her.

Tony.  Danza.

Or you may remember her from, “Who’s That?”  Which is not a tv show, but the question most frequently asked when she pops up on tv – or in a supermarket, or a mall, or on the sidewalk —  sounding all ragey.

Or you may remember her from the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, when she paraded around in an Angry Strawberry Shortcake costume, and advanced the novel legal theory that whenever a gyno-American says something, you must believe that thing, no matter how bizarre or malicious or disconnected from reality that thing is.

I’m sorry.  My crack staff informs me that that was not a Strawberry Shortcake costume that Milano was wearing, but a Handmaid’s Tale costume.  (If you have not read the novel or seen the television version of Handmaid’s Tale, I can save you the trouble by giving you a synopsis: This story is a leftist bigot’s fever-dream conception of how conservatives would treat women if they had the chance, and it is as about as realistic as the Green New Deal.)  In my defense, google her picture and tell me who she looks more like.  Also, an angry Strawberry Shortcake costume would make at least as much sense as a Handmaid’s Tale costume.

Where was I?  formerly attractive … tiny brain… out-acted by Tony Danza… strawberry shortcake…

Oh yeah: her legal acumen!  So Milano argued that women are incapable of lying.  In Kavanaugh’s case, the charges came from a partisan hack who couldn’t remember where the alleged incident happened, or in what year, or who was there.  Also, she was caught in other demonstrable lies, and she provided no proof whatsoever.  But Alyssa “Clarence Darrow” Milano proclaimed that we must believe that woman, because we must believe all women who accuse men of sexual misbehavior.

Fast-forward about 20 minutes, and of course Milano is now behind Joe Biden. (Which is a nice change of pace for him.) Because who else would she naturally support, but the guy known informally in the halls of DC as “Sniffy Stroke-y Grope-Grope?”  (Worst children’s book sequel to “Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang” ever, by the way.) (Although both titles seem tailor-made for a porn parody video double-feature.)

And now comes before us a human named Tara Reade, who accuses that same Joe Biden of having sexually molested her in 1993.  Important details about Tara Reade: she could also out-act Alyssa Milano, even though Reade is a non-actress, and not the Tara Reid who was an actress.  (And who still could out-act Milano, even though Reid is not exactly Dame Judy Dench, or Meryl Streep.  Or even Judy Landers.) (Yes, that’s a deep pull for those of you who appreciate fine acting, and went through puberty in the 1970s.  You’re welcome.) Tara Reade is also a woman.  Which according to Alyssa “Atticus Finch” Milano, means that we MUST believe her.

And that is why today, Alyssa “Learned Hand” Milano renounced Joe Biden’s candidacy, and replaced her Strawberry Shortcake bonnet with a MAGA hat, announcing that she will be voting for Donald Trump in November.

HA!  I kid.

Because in the several months since the Kavanaugh hearings, Alyssa “Solomon” Milano has discovered an obscure little footnote in constitutional law called “due process.”  In an interview with a sycophantic non-entity, she shared her new discovery, in this quote which I am not making up:  “…I believe that even though we should believe women, and that is an important thing…  What that statement [“believe all women”] really means is like, you know, for so long, the go-to has been not to believe them.  So really, we have to sort of societally change that mindset to believing women.”

Okay, got it.  We’ve got to sort of societally change our mindset.  Right.  So you believe Tara Reade, then?

Not so fast!  Because Alyssa “Judge Judy” Milano (yes, I’ve run out of famous judge references) continues thusly:

“But that does not mean at the expense of not, you know, giving men their due process and investigating situations and giving, you know, it’s gotta be fair and in both directions.”  (Now I believe that Milano actually IS a Joe Biden supporter, because she can torture the grammar out of a non-sentence just like Joey Gaffes!)

I don’t know anything about Tara Read other than what I’ve read in the last day, and if Biden did what she accuses him of, he’s the worst.  But I hate the idea of people coming forward decades later with accusations that can’t possibly be investigated, and I don’t know how we can ever fairly treat both parties in that case.  But I wouldn’t not vote for Biden because of that – especially when there are so many other fantastic reasons to vote against him: he accused the GOP of wanting to enslave black people (historically, the Dems have the trademark on that move, so he might just be protecting their intellectual property); he doesn’t know where or who he is; his lefty ideas are older and more discredited than he is, which hardly seems possible;  he might well be technically “dead,” etc.

But Milano is right about due process.  (Hence the old saying, “even a bad-acting broken clock in a Strawberry Shortcake bonnet is right twice a day.”) (It’s a cliché because it’s true.)  But she’s too much of a hypocrite to apply that same standard, the next time the accuser is a lefty and the accused a non-lefty.


So there are your nominees, folks. Vote early, and vote often.


Avenatti/Strawberry Shortcake 2020!

Pandemic Diary, Week 3 (posted 4/1/20)


I never thought I’d write this, but I’m thinking it might be time to abandon Trump.  He’s governed more conservatively than I’d feared he would, and he’s definitely been a better president than a certain Clydesdale-Ankled harridan would have.  But his interminable press conferences are driving me crazy, to the point that I think Nancy Pelosi has been offering some reasonable criticisms of him.  I’m not thrilled with Biden, but it may be that if he can spend this quarantine time to rest up and prepare himself, he might turn out to be—

Ugh! I was going to try to write a longer April Fool’s opening to this column, but I couldn’t force my recalcitrant fingers to type one more sentence of tongue-in-cheek tripe, just to spring the hoary old “April Fools” jibe.   In fact, I’ve got such a bad taste in my mouth from even typing that first paragraph that I need to pause and gargle with some purely medicinal Scotch.

(By the way, while others are doing valiant work on testing treatments such as chloroquine and z-packs, I am conducting my own rigorous research trials into the virus-suppressing qualities of Scotch.  I’m not ready to publish yet, but preliminary results are encouraging, even though more testing is needed.  I’m going to soldier on with this, because as most of you know, I am all about the empirical method.)

Moving on, I’ll just mention a few of the good, bad and the ugly parts of my experience so far during this quarantine.

THE GOOD:  1. I’ve always enjoyed the chance to write for CO’s site, but it’s been especially gratifying over this past month, because this social isolation has started to make me cranky.  And the best cure for crankiness is the opportunity to vent.  Last Friday I posted a column that was pure catharsis for me, and while I haven’t had the chance to respond to your funny and gratifying comments, it really warms my heart to know that so many of my fellow citizens share my total disdain for the self-satisfied, virtue-signaling celebrities who tortured us all with their smarmy rendition of the terrible lyrics to “Imagine.”  You’ve all restored my faith in humanity!

2. I’m also glad to see how much of our nation can pull together in a crisis. Despite being the boogeymen (“boogey-persons”?) of Bernie’s fevered socialist imagination, some private sector businesses have turned to making masks and ventilators, and others are using ingenuity and hard work to explore experimental treatments and crank up the search for a vaccine and other treatments that will eventually allow us to triumph over this threat. Many truck drivers and delivery people and employees of various businesses are keeping things moving, and health care workers of all stripes are going above and beyond the call of duty.

Closer to home, my wife’s work group virus-tested over 2200 seniors last week, and she’s back at it this week.  (Only a small number of them had the virus, which is encouraging.)  We had our 31st anniversary about 10 days ago, and the fact that it involved social isolation, carry-out and Netflix did nothing to dim my appreciation for how far up I married.  I met her when I was a young man, which meant that I could not see much beyond the fact that she was a total smoke show.  Imagine the pleasant surprise when I find out that she’s got character, and intelligence, and a work ethic, and trivial stuff like that!

3. Some enforced down time has given me the chance to do some more reading, and some home improvement projects, along with listening to some music on the computer. When I heard that John Prine has the virus, I went on a Prine music bender, and can’t recommend him highly enough. Also, the Bare Naked Ladies have written some fine pop songs, and a young woman named Kina Grannis can carry a tune, and Youtube has a bunch of Tom Petty live performances, all of which make me miss him even more.

4. I was amused by a story in the Miami Herald that had a picture of totally empty store shelves, except for one section that was still fully stocked. The catch: it was stocked with various vegan choices. There were several heartening details in the story, including one guy’s quote that, “The people have spoken and it is a resounding “Hell No!” We would rather starve in a pandemic before eating plant-based meat!”   The writer also observed that, “despite living in desperate times, we’re still not desperate enough to eat a tofu hot dog.”

Amen!  While Venezuelans are eating housecats and shoe leather (“Thanks, socialism!”), and some Chinese are chowing down on civets and bats, Americans are still a proud people.  It’s going to take a little more than a worldwide pandemic to drive us to eating Satan’s turducken, i.e. a tofu hotdog stuffed into a Wuhan bat crammed into a Caracas calico.

And yes, I did get to see Satan’s Turducken open for Spinal Tap at Alpine Valley in 1991.  Changed my life!

THE BAD: 1. Even I am tired of hearing me say it, but our mainstream media are absolutely horrible.   One whingey little pajama person after another, pestering Trump with dishonest smear after tendentious question after rhetorical gut punch.  As annoying as I often find Trump’s boorishness, as long as he continues to routinely Hillary-slap various leftist hacks posing as journalists, he’ll have my enthusiastic vote.

A particular recent low point was the way the MSM played the story of the old couple who took Trump’s medical advice and drank some chloroquine, and the husband died, and the wife nearly did.  She was quoted warning everyone that nobody should believe a word the president says.  The “journalists” hammered that story for an entire news cycle, lambasting Trump’s dangerous lunacy and the threat it poses to all of us.

Then the real story came out.  The old couple didn’t have any symptoms, but after (presumably) listening to MSM coverage for a week, they were scared out of their wits, so they heard Trump mention chloroquine, and they rummaged through their pantry until they came across some aquarium cleaner called “chloroquine phosphate.”   So they drank the aquarium cleaner – I’m sure we’ve all done that — with terrible results.  Bottom line: Trump mentions a possible virus treatment, couple sees aquarium cleaner with a similar name and drinks it, and the MSM blames Trump.

Similarly unbiased brilliance has also been on display in the way the MSM has reported every Trump word about the virus: no matter what he says, it is wrong and dangerous.  My favorite examples are the way they covered Cuomo and Trump saying the exact same thing:

Trump: We’re hoping to get 20,000 ventilators to NY ASAP.

MSM: Why aren’t they already there?  Will that be enough?  Isn’t this a governmental failure that will kill many Americans?!

Cuomo: We’re looking forward to getting 20,000 ventilators ASAP.

MSM:  Brilliant leadership!  Look how calm and focused and in control he is.

Trump: We’re going to defeat this virus.

MSM: Aren’t you spreading false hope?  The American people deserve to be told the truth.  Stop lying to them!  You’re killing them!!

Cuomo: We’re going to defeat this virus.

MSM: (swoon) That’s the kind of can-do New York spirit that we need!  Inspiring!  When Joe Biden turns out to have died in his sleep in February of 2019, you must become the Democrat nominee!



Dem pols in several states have been letting all kinds of criminals – including those accused or convicted of violent crimes — out of jail, claiming that the jails can’t handle thugs who might catch the virus in the joint.  But those same pols have also been threatening any law-abiding citizens who resist their orders to stay inside their houses 23/7.   Violators are subject to hefty fines and… wait for it… jail time!

My advice: if the beleaguered police force of some petty leftist bureaucrat catches you out mowing your lawn or jogging, run to the closest neighbor or stranger and immediately assault him or her.   Boom: get out of jail free card!


Kathy Griffin did her part to smear the president, when she went to the hospital and then tweeted that the hospital “couldn’t test me… because of CDC (Pence task force) restrictions.”  The fright-wigged (some might say “fright-faced”) alleged comedian had already damaged her “career” by posing with a simulated severed Trump head in 2017, but she has apparently not learned her lesson.

It turned out that Griffin was lying – shocker – and that she wasn’t tested because she didn’t have corona-like symptoms.   Instead she was experiencing “intense abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea” – eerily enough, these are the exact same symptoms reported by people who have been unlucky enough to catch Griffin’s “act.”   She did manage to get released from the hospital before she drank any aquarium cleaner, so I’m sure we’ll be hearing from her again in the future.


But for sheer recent ugliness, no one can top the Wicked Witch of the West Coast, Nancy Pelosi.  She flew into DC (insert your own “Surrender Dorothy!” joke here) in time to try to stuff the $2.2 trillion relief bill with money for every leftist cause under the sun: taxpayer-funded abortions for all, unemployment pay for life, strong-arm take-overs of any desperate business who takes government bail-out money, etc.   When that proved to be too much even for the MSM to cover for, she pivoted from attempted “Grand Theft: Cheops” (for my money, the finest ancient-Egyptian-themed video game on the market today) and started blaming Trump for “fiddling” while the virus struck.

Never mind that she had lambasted Trump’s January travel restrictions on the Chinese as “xenophobia!” while also going to Chinatown on February 24th and begging people to “please come and visit and enjoy Chinatown.”  The nearly lifelike hypocrite waved her burial-wrapped arms and said, “We know that there is concern surrounding tourism, traveling all throughout the world, but we think it’s very safe to be in Chinatown and hope that others will come,” she said. “It’s lovely here.  Try the bat foo yung.”

The only part of that quote that I made up is the last sentence.

So as April begins, and the fools in the MSM persist, I hope that this month will be the turning point in this crisis.  Stay safe, CO nation! Spend time with the family, listen to some good music and read some good books, and be ready to hit the ground running when this current unpleasantness is over.

Avenatti/Satan’s Turducken 2020!

Biden and the would-be Beatles (posted 3/27/20)

I’ve got two things on my mind today – one that makes me sad, and one that makes me furious.

The sad one involves – as you may have guessed – the continuing mental deterioration of Joe Biden.

The latest sigh-inducing incident came when he was giving another recorded address, and the teleprompter went out.  He hemmed, then he hawed, and faint wisps of smoke began to rise from around his plugs. He stumbled through until the prompter came back, but even then, he managed to mangle some names in his loveable Biden-y way, calling MA governor Charlie Baker “Charlie Parker.”

To be fair to Biden, he could have called him “Ginger Baker,” which would have been another mistaken, yet fine musician reference.

But he picked Charlie Parker, one of my favorite jazz musicians, so that was a good pull from the part of Joe’s brain where some lonely synapses are still feebly firing.

Charlie Parker’s music has been in heavy rotation with me over the years.  I usually put music on when I’m writing, and I Iearned a long time ago to choose music without lyrics, because lyrics tended to seep into my writing.  (As you may recall from such columns of mine as “Elizabeth Warren is getting under my skin… and… under my thumb, that squirming dog who just had her day!” and “Biden is leading us down the wrong road, a long and winding road, that leads to my door, for some reason.”)

I don’t blame Biden for the teleprompter failing, nor for his fumbling when that happened.   Did you ever see Obama when he was off prompter?  He was a bumbling, stumbling oaf just like Biden.

But again, do you want this guy in the White House?  Do you look forward to him drifting in and out during cabinet meetings, asking if Secretary of the Treasury Thelonius Monk has a report on the bond market?  Or in a session with the joint chiefs, when he calls on General John Coltrane for an update on the threat posed by the Quds force?

You do not.


From sad, I moved on to furious.  And nothing makes me furious more quickly than a bunch of self-important, virtue-signaling famous people when they deign to condescend to us lowly deplorables.

You may have heard that last week, a bunch of celebrities – inconvenienced by the third consecutive day stuck in their mansions, with the incessant noise from their gardeners’ leaf blowers and hedge trimmers driving them to distraction – decided to bless us all with a song.   A beautiful song.  Written by a Beatle.

Unfortunately, it was the dumbest of all songs ever written by a Beatle.  “Band on the Run” was the 95 Theses compared to the lyrics of this song.  “We all live in a yellow submarine,” was Magna Carta-esque by comparison.  “I am the walrus, goo goo ga joob,” had the clarity of “cogito ergo sum” next to this song.

I’m speaking, of course, of that hallmark of smarmy leftist naivete, “Imagine.”

I’ve always loved the tune, and hated the message.  But now that I’ve heard clueless celebrities singing it in the most self-satisfied way possible, I may just have to start hating everything about it, full stop.

The lyrics are unbearably smug just on their own, but when you put them in the mouths of pampered Hollywood pharisees, the breathtaking hypocrisy and stupidity of some of the lines beggar description:

“Imagine there’s no countries”?

Great.  Perfect.  That’s what the no-borders crowd has been pining for.  Now that we’re getting a little taste of that, how do you like it?  Because if there were no countries, we’d all be living a lot more like the immiserated third world than the first world oases, with their individual freedoms and wealth and generally much better conditions for all.

A world with no countries would soon become one gigantic Chinese wet market, with a bunch of knuckleheads washing down a bat salad with a bat shake and then coughing in our faces, before our oppressive government full of Chi Com “dreamers” threw us in jail for pointing out that the winner of the batdog eating contest seems to have keeled over dead, a few feet away.

“Imagine no possessions”?

Recorded from inside a bunch of palatial estates, and sung by a gaggle of ignorant, preening hacks with an average net worth in the 8-figure range.  Put your money where your mouth is, you hypocrites!  Put down your cell phones, turn off your alarm systems, and invite the hordes of homeless people from right outside of your gated walls to come on in and make themselves at home.   Invite them to inject heroin in your walk-in closet, and urinate in your salt-water infinity pool.   Throw open your Sub-zero fridge and invite them to clean it out, and then to drop a deuce in the vegetable crisper when they’re done.   Hypocrites!!


“Imagine no religion”?  That depends on the religion, doesn’t it?  Jihadi Islam?  I’m with you.  Christianity the way Jesus taught it?  That’s the only thing keeping many of us from punching you in the face if we ever see you in person, you obnoxious jerks… so you should appreciate that.

Also, for most committed, hard-core leftist/socialists, their political ideology IS their religion.  Bernie might be technically Jewish, but does anyone believe that he’s spent more time reading the Torah than Das Kapital?  Lots of Dems are nominal Catholics, but does anyone believe that when push comes to shove, “suffer the children to come unto Me” trumps “I pledge allegiance to Planned Parenthood, and to the abortions for which it stands,” for them?

Also, since atheism is an essential tenet of the religion of socialism – and is at the heart of why Lenin et al could so cavalierly sacrifice tens of millions of human lives to achieve their “heaven on earth” — isn’t it accurate to say that religious atheism caused more death in one century (from 1917-2017) than did almost all other religions in history, combined?

Sure, if you’re a socialist, I’ll grant you that those tens of millions of murders might not be fairly laid at the feet of YOUR interpretation of your politico-religion… if you’ll grant me that the many crimes committed in the name of (but in all other ways totally opposed to the teachings of) Christ have nothing to do with my religion.

What’s that?  You’d never grant that in a million years?

Okay, fine.  Then own the gulags and the Sean Penns and the famines and the world wars and Bernie Sanders and Alyssa Milano and the 100 million dead in one century, buddy, and I’ll learn to live with the Knight Templars and the Irish troubles!


“Imagine all the people, living for today”?

You know who lives for today, you preachy jackasses?

Infants.  Junkies.  Degenerate gamblers.  Serial killers.  People who don’t understand cause and effect. Rapists.  People with poor impulse control.

Sleazy car dealers.  (Not honest ones.)  Sleazy lawyers. (Not either of the honest ones.)  Sleazy salesmen.   College kids who went on spring break last week and gave each other corona virus and chlamydia.   Charlie Sheen.

I’m not finished.

High-self-esteem-having career criminals.  Broke people.  Alcoholics.  Grifters.  Young people with no life experience.  Old people with no life experience.  Rich people who got their money from mommy and daddy.  Poor people who want to get their money from the evil 1%.

Still not finished.

Desperate and greedy people who fall for get-rich-quick schemes.  Bernie Madoff.  People who get married 8 times, because each spouse gets boring, or old.  People who spend every penny they earn, and count on their fellow citizens or socialist politicians to bail them out.

Harvey Weinstein.  Con artists.  Jeffrey Epstein.  People who say, “YOLO, dude,” unironically.  Woody Allen.  Sociopaths.  Narcissists.  Narcissistic sociopaths.

YOU, in other words!

And we don’t like you.  We REALLY don’t like you.  We don’t want to live like you, and we don’t want to live near you.  We don’t want to hear your sophomoric philosophy that the slowest amongst us outgrew by our senior year, if not before.

If you can sing, sing.  If you can act, act.  If you are funny, tell some jokes.  If you are smoking hot, stand there with your yap closed, and look hot.  (Mark Ruffalo, I don’t know what it is that you’re supposed to do.  But whatever it is, you’re terrible at it – so you should just go away now. Right now.  Go!)

But you don’t know how the world works, and you couldn’t identify a logical fallacy or a category error if your life depended on it.  You don’t know where money comes from, or what a successful society depends on, or where the sun goes at night!

You couldn’t start a business, or make a payroll, or keep a vow.

If you all moved from America to Venezuela, as you keep promising to do – but never do (see the “can’t keep a vow” above) – you’d improve the collective IQ of the former, and starve to death in two weeks.

And the world would be a better place for it.  In fact, that would be my version of Imagine:

Imagine there’s no celebrities,

It’s easy if you try,

No one to insult and lecture us,

And metaphorically poke us in the eye.


Imagine all the people,

Ignoring Mark Ruffalo

Oh – oh – no Ruff-a-lo!


You may say that I’m a hilarious genius,

And you’re not the only one. (HA!)

At no time can you join us,

Or we’ll beat your arse for fun!


Avenatti/ Narcissistic Sociopath 2020!