Memorial Day Weekend in Quarantine Will Be Weird

TIMOTHY A. CLARYGetty Images

(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog’s Favourite Living Canadian)

I am trying to figure out how to create a beach in my living room. Where will I put the hot-dog stand and the fried-clams joint? I think I can fit the seaside bar with the weekend happy hour in the fireplace, but bringing the ocean to my block likely will upset the neighbors.

There never has been a holiday weekend quite like this one, at least not within anyone’s collective memory. Masked people around the grill, trying to figure out how to guzzle that Coors Light with the corners of their mouths. People breaking out the tape measures to make sure they are six feet apart while re-litigating the Mookie Betts trade. (No, I’m not over it. Why do you ask?) And, somewhere between the Italian sausages and the peach cobbler, the death toll in this country from the pandemic may clear 100,000. We are all living memorials for Memorial Day.


washington, dc   may 22  us president donald trump speaks from the truman balcony during a rolling to remember ceremony honoring our nation’s veterans and powmia at the white house may 22, 2020 in washington, dc president trump hosted the event to honor america’s veterans and fallen heroes  photo by alex wonggetty images

It’s time for some presidential weird.

Alex WongGetty Images

The president* held a surprise press conference on Friday afternoon at which he announced that church services now will be considered essential services and, therefore, he wants them opened, despite what the governors of the several states believe is best for their constituents.

Today, I am identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogues, and mosques, as essential places that provide essential services. Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics is essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship, it’s not right. So I am correcting this injustice am calling houses of worship essential. I call upon governors to allow churches and places of worship to open right now. If there is any question, they will have to call me, but they are not going to be successful in that call…The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important, essential places of faith to open right now. For this weekend. If they do not do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less.

(In truth, things are getting a little nutty out in the boonies regarding churches as vectors for contagion.)

Of course, there is no indication that the president* ever could find his way from the vestibule to the altar of any house of worship that does not also contain slot machines. And exactly what his power to “override” governors in this area could be is probably best left to the originalist savants at the Federalist Society. But this was some first class election-year pandering for sure. He beat feet without answering questions, which figures.


Fortheluvvagod, Joe. Just stay out of the way between now and November. You have one job, dude. From The Hill:

“Listen, you’ve got to come see us when you come to New York, V.P. Biden,” Charlamagne said. “It’s a long way until November. We’ve got more questions.” “You’ve got more questions?” Biden replied. “Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” Charlamagne responded by saying “it has nothing to do with Trump,” but that rather “I want something for my community.”

It should not be necessary to point this out in the year 2020 but white people dont get to say who is black and who isnt. This isn’t a gaffe. This is a spectacular example of being hopelessly oblivious. As should be obvious by now, Joe Biden’s primary weakness as a candidate is Joe Biden, especially when he’s being Regular Joe. Those are the moments in which he most often says stuff like this. And I will grant you that this president* says 18 dumber and more incoherent things before he’s eaten his first bucket of KFC in the morning, but that’s the whole point.

Hell, on Thursday, El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago went to Michigan and started to babble about Henry Ford and good bloodlines, which Ford certainly would have appreciated, were he not dead since 1947. You can count on at least two of these a week between now and the election. All Biden has to do is stay out of his own way. Let the president* remind people why they don’t like him. Don’t remind the base of your support what they’re being asked to ignore about you. C’mon, man.

los angeles   april 21 james chats with joe biden melanie c from his garage on the late late show with james corden, scheduled to air tuesday, april 21, 2020 1237 137 am, etpt on the cbs television network photo is a screen grab photo by cbs via getty images

C’mon, Joe.

CBS Photo ArchiveGetty Images


This is an interesting development. It seems that, if you withdraw from your alliances to go it alone, and then choose to demonize regimes for rube-baiting purposes back home, the demonized countries will find each other and work in concert in ways that make you look foolish. Who knew? From the Washington Post:

The most public display of the deepening relationship: five oil tankers now steaming across the Atlantic Ocean, carrying what analysts estimate to be 60 million gallons of Iranian gasoline, which they say was bought with Venezuelan gold, an allegation Iran denies. The first of the ships is set to arrive in Venezuelan waters as soon as this weekend, to relieve fuel shortages so dire that the sick can’t get to hospitals and produce is rotting on farms. “You have two pariah states finding that they are able to exchange things they need for things they have,” said Elliott Abrams, U.S. special representative to Venezuela.

Now there’s a voice I gladly could go through the rest of my life never hearing again, especially as regards anything in Central or South America. And this sounds promising.

The nearest of the tankers, the Fortune, was some 1,300 miles from the Venezuelan refinery complex at El Palito on Thursday afternoon. The convoy was heading toward the largest U.S. military presence in the Caribbean in at least a decade. The Pentagon has dispatched destroyers, littoral combat ships, Poseidon maritime planes and Air Force surveillance aircraft to the region as part of an operation to shut down drug trafficking routes off the Venezuelan coast.


I largely stayed away from the Tara Reade story because there was too much vapor in it from the start. I admit, however, I didn’t anticipate that it would collapse in such a wide-ranging and spectacular way. From The New York Times:

Then known as Alexandra McCabe, Ms. Reade testified as a government witness in Monterey County courts for nearly a decade, describing herself as an expert in the dynamics of domestic violence who had counseled hundreds of victims. The public defender’s office in Monterey County has begun scrutinizing cases involving Ms. Reade and compiling a list of clients who may have been affected by her testimony, according to Jeremy Dzubay, an assistant public defender in the office.

Roland Soltesz, a criminal defense lawyer, says he believes Ms. Reade’s testimony made a significant difference in the outcome of the 2018 trial of his client Victoria Ramirez. Both Ms. Ramirez and her co-defendant, Jennifer Vasquez, received life sentences for attempted murder, arson and armed robbery. “People have been convicted based upon this, and that’s wrong,” said Mr. Soltesz, adding that he “could care less about the politics of this whole thing.”


Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: “Trombone Joe” (Herlin Riley): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans.

Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Here is the funeral train that brought the body of Medgar Evers from Mississippi to Arlington National Cemetery. Evers was an Army veteran of World War II who fought, among other places, at Normandy. So was Byron De La Beckwith, the man who murdered Evers in front of his wife and children. He was a Marine who fought at Guadalcanal and on Tarawa, where he was wounded. Greatest Generation? Both of them? History is so cool—and not conducive to easy categories.

Is it a good day for dinosaur news, BBC? Its always a good day for dinosaur news?

The most unusual ones were the remains of a large carnivorous dinosaur belonging to the Megaraptoridae family. The scientists uncovered vertebrae, ribs and part of what would have been the dinosaur’s chest and shoulder girdle.The fossils they found belonged to a specimen measuring approximately 10m (33ft) in length, one of the largest of the Megaraptoridae found so far. In a statement [in Spanish], the team said that the remains date back 70 million years – towards the end of “the age of the dinosaurs”…

The megaraptor had long, muscular arms with sickle-like claws and a long tail which provided it with balance. Slimmer and more agile than the T. rex it is thought to have used its arms and claws rather than its jaw as its main weapon when hunting its prey. “It had powerful and elongated legs which allowed it to take big steps,” palaeontologist Aranciaga Rolando said. The scientists from the Natural Sciences Museum believe it would have used its speed to hunt ornithopods, plant-eating dinosaurs which walked on two legs.

There are dinos and then there are dinos, and this is one serious motherfcker of a dino. A T-Rex with functioning arms and great lateral quickness. This is a first-round dino draftee. It lived then to make us happy now, but it also lived then to eat other dinos.

Have a great holiday weekend. Get out (safely) in the sun where possible. Enjoy each other, be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake-line and, remember, they didn’t risk their lives, and lose them, for the mess we have now.

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