Melissa Sue GerritsGetty Images
(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog’s Favourite Living Canadian)
It was a foregone conclusion that John Bolton’s book was going to infuriate everyone. It was going to infuriate the folks at Camp Runamuck because the president* is a boob and a crook and the people at Camp Runamuck hate anyone who points that out. And Democrats were going to be infuriated because they were trying to relieve the Republic of this walking catastrophe and Bolton clearly saved the really good stuff for his book. In their own ways, it appears, both sides were entirely justified in their pre-emptive fury, because, well, wow. From Politico:
Bolton writes that the House should have broadened its impeachment inquiry to other areas of his foreign policy, contending that he can document — and identify witnesses to — “Ukraine-like transgressions … across the full range of his foreign policy,” according to a description by Simon & Schuster released Friday. The revelations are likely to reverberate on Capitol Hill, where Democrats have warned that Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine was far from isolated and that he presents an existential threat to the country if allowed to remain in office. House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff declined to comment, but others involved in the impeachment inquiry were livid that Bolton delayed revealing potentially pertinent evidence until months after it would have bolstered their case. “At the time the country needed him most, and history will reflect, he chose to sell books,” said Rep. Mike Quigley, a member of the House Intelligence Committee. “It wasn’t a question in his mind of whether or not he should talk about it. It’s whether or not he should profit from talking about it. Not exactly ‘Profiles in Courage.’”
No question, Bolton is a greedy poltroon, but he is a greedy poltroon who owes the president* and the administration* absolutely nothing, and to whom they cannot exact revenge commensurate with the damage he can do. I have no intention of buying this book, but rumor has it that it runs almost 600 pages, so when I go browse it in whatever is left of bookstores after the pandemic, I’m packing a healthy lunch.
This week’s political poor soul is Denver Riggleman, a first-term Republican congresscritter from Virginia, and his plight is a good window into how much work the GOP has to do on itself in areas that have nothing to do with the incumbent president*. Riggleman is in danger of losing his party’s nomination because he officiated at a same-sex wedding, an activity that is, of course, completely legal in the United States. (The principals were two men who’d worked for Riggleman’s campaign, so good for him.) From Politico:
“The Republican Party, when you look at the creed to protect civil liberties and religious liberties, could be the most inclusive party in the country,” Riggleman said in an interview. “And you know, why aren’t we a big-tent party? Why aren’t we looking at liberties first? Why aren’t we allowing people to live the way they want to live and stopping the government from reaching into every aspect of our lives?”
Because your party has made an insane asylum out of itself over the past four decades? Just spitballing here.
The vote will be a signal about whether socially conservative positions out of step with the majority of Americans are still considered wedge issues for GOP voters. But Good, who stepped down from the Liberty University athletic department to run, has said his opposition to Riggleman extends beyond his willingness to officiate a gay marriage. “What does Denver stand for?” Good said in a radio debate between the two candidates last month. “What conservative Republican issue is he strong on? What can you point to? He’s out of step with the base of the party on life. He’s out of step on marriage. He’s out of step on immigration. He’s out of step on health care, on climate, on drug legalization.”
Res ipse loquitur, Denver. Sorry, man. Chickens, roosts, and all that.
A still crazier story unfolded this week when the president* tweeted out his gratitude for an unsolicited mash note from a retrograde Catholic archbishop, who seems to be conducting services at the Basilica Of St. Bannon. From the Washington Post:
“On the one hand there are those who, although they have a thousand defects and weaknesses, are motivated by the desire to do good, to be honest, to raise a family, to engage in work, to give prosperity to their homeland, to help the needy, and, in obedience to the Law of God, to merit the Kingdom of Heaven,” read the June 7 letter to Trump from Archbishop Carlo Vigano, a former Vatican diplomat to Washington. “On the other hand, there are those who serve themselves, who do not hold any moral principles, who want to demolish the family…In society, Mr. President, these two opposing realities co-exist as eternal enemies, just as God and Satan are eternal enemies…it is quite clear that the use of street protests is instrumental to the purposes of those who would like to see someone elected in the upcoming presidential elections who embodies the goals of the deep state.”
Vigano is a notorious crackpot, but I didn’t know he was quite as much of an Essene in his theology as he apparently is. The famous War Scroll discovered at Qumran near the Dead Sea goes on and on about the war between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness. I guess the ancient scribes didn’t have the imagination of the folks at OAN because they didn’t come up with The Deep State. Nonetheless, it’s unnerving to hear an archbishop shouting out wingnut talking points at a president* of the United States. Steve Bannon has been playing footsie with fringe conservative Catholics for a while now. I sense his presence in every line of this letter.
Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Here is General Edwin Walker, arriving back in Dallas in 1962 after helping to incite violent insurrection at the University of Mississippi in opposition to the enrollment of James Meredith. Nice flag-waving, no? Depending on where you come down on the guilt of Lee Harvey Oswald in the events of a year later, Walker was the first guy he supposedly took a shot at. History is so cool.
Historian Douglas Brinkley got a sitdown with The Master for The New York Times, and the results are yet another stroll through a very interesting—and quintessentially American—mind. For example, check out what Dylan says about bluegrass music.
Bluegrass music is mysterious and deep rooted and you almost have to be born playing it. Just because you are a great singer, or a great this or that doesn’t mean you can be in a bluegrass band. It’s almost like classical music. It’s harmonic and meditative, but it’s out for blood. If you ever heard the Osborne Brothers, then you know what I mean. It’s an unforgiving music and you can only it stretch so far. Beatles songs played in a bluegrass style don’t make any sense. It’s the wrong repertoire, and that’s been done. There are elements of bluegrass music for sure in what I play, especially the intensity and similar themes. But I don’t have the high tenor voice and we don’t have three-part harmony or consistent banjo. I listen to Bill Monroe a lot, but I more or less stick to what I can do best.
He always has been the best musicologist ever among his peers. If the previously released tracks are any indication, the upcoming album should be a monster. He never will stop surprising us, and now, as the Old Man Of The Mountains, he’s more of a trickster than he’s ever been before, a mystery even unto himself.
“I Contain Multitudes” is more like trance writing. Well, it’s not more like trance writing, it is trance writing. It’s the way I actually feel about things. It is my identity and I’m not going to question it, I am in no position to. Every line has a particular purpose. Somewhere in the universe those three names must have paid a price for what they represent and they’re locked together. And I can hardly explain that.
Is it a good day for dinosaur news, Nature.com? It’s always a good day for dinosaur news!
These tracks are more than twice as large as any previously reported batrachopodid tracks and closely resemble Batrachopus with well-preserved pes footprints with clear digital pad impressions and localized skin traces. Surprisingly the trackways never include manus imprints and therefore appear to indicate exclusively bipedal progression, a gait not known or previously inferred from fossil crocodylomorph trackways, or argued convincingly from the functional morphology of potential trackmakers.
In other words, the ancient crocodiles used to walk on two legs and chase their prey. I’m glad evolution took the course it did or else we’d be down quite a few golfers by now and, in that, some way, it can be argued still that they lived then to make us happy now.
I’ll be back on Monday and I’m sure the speech at West Point will be a large burrito full of half-mad bullroar. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake-line and, remember, play “Down In The Boondocks” for Terry Malloy.
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