Brittany Greeson(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog’s Favourite Living Canadian)
Tout les Toobz were abuzz all day Friday over the Wall Street Journal report about the effect of the president*’s upcoming impeachment trial on his decision to ice Qasem Soleimani. From MSNBC:
It’s against this backdrop that the Wall Street Journal had this tidbit in its report on the White House national security team and its response to the Iranian threat: Mr. Trump, after the strike, told associates he was under pressure to deal with Gen. Soleimani from GOP senators he views as important supporters in his coming impeachment trial in the Senate, associates said.
This morsel was buried by the Journal, which indicates that the paper either didn’t think it important, or wasn’t sure of its sourcing. As for me, I feel a little bit of both. I don’t think there is any Republican in the Senate who would have voted to remove the president* from office just because he didn’t kill a guy halfway around the world. Certainly the likes of Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham wouldn’t have done it. On the other hand, telling people that this was the case definitely would be on-brand for this president*, who loves to hand off responsibility for his own actions to anybody who’s handy.
So I don’t think there’s much credibility in the actual assertion, but I have no doubt that the president* believes it and is inclined to blab about it. Neither of these points gives me much comfort.
Over the next two years, the Republic of Ireland will commemorate the War of Independence and the subsequent Irish Civil War that broke out after the passage of the Anglo-Irish treaty through Dail Eireann and by referendum. Tensions continue to run fairly high. At issue at the moment is a proposed commemoration of the members of the Royal Irish Constabulary who were killed during the War of Independence.
The folks proposing the commemoration argued that honoring the members of the RIC, who were Irishmen themselves, would go a long way towards the island’s continuing attempts at reconciliation. (Also, memories were invoked of those RIC members who had mutinied against British authority—like Jeremiah Mee, the RIC constable in Listowel, who stood up to the Black and Tans and refused to adopt a shoot-on-sight policy.) The event eventually was cancelled after other Irish politicians raised hell about memorializing what was described as “the strong arm of British policy” in Ireland.
Sir Hamar Greenwood of the Royal Irish Constabulary inspects a group of Black and Tans in 1921.
Topical Press AgencyGetty Images
Almost immediately, a version of the old rebel song, “Come Out Ye Black And Tans” by the Wolfe Tones shot to the top of the charts on the back of the controversy. This also has roiled up the politics of the moment. Fintan O’Toole—whose Joe Biden profile in The New York Review of Books you should all read—absolutely scalded the Wolfe Tones in his newspaper column. And the brawl has reached to the top of the government. From The Independent:
Leo Varadkar was reluctant to comment further on the furore surrounding the now-postponed plans for a State commemoration for the RIC and the Dublin Metropolitan Police, and news that The Wolfe Tones classic ‘Come Out Ye Black And Tans’ has risen to number-one in the music charts off the back of the controversy.
Earlier this week, the Government deferred the event, due to take place next Friday, after a fierce backlash over plans to remember police forces that were reinforced by the notorious Black and Tans during the War of Independence.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said earlier this week that he still wants to hold the event this year. But asked if he wanted it to happen before the Dáil election which will take place before the summer, Mr Varadkar said: “No, look it, I’ve no more to say on that than I’ve already said.” He said he had “no further comment to make on commemorations” when asked about The Wolfe Tones’ plans to donate the proceeds from their number-one song to charity the Peter McVerry Trust, who work for the homeless.
I don’t even want to think about the hooleys that are going to break out in a couple of years on the centenary of the Irish Civil War. Fraught isn’t the word for this.
Hey, remember a couple of days ago when Senator Mike Lee, the konztitooshunal skolar from Utah, went righteously apeshit over the briefing he’d received from the administration* regarding the Soleimani business? That was cool, right? Lee said it was the “worst briefing I’ve had.” Well, it took a day, but Mike Lee went into the tank, as any thinking person knew he would. From Talking Points Memo:
“I mentioned yesterday that it was probably the worst briefing I have ever seen on a military issue,” Lee said. “The reason I qualify it that way is that the worst briefing I ever got in that room was on a slightly different issue back in 2012 right after the Benghazi attack, where we were told repeatedly by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was based on a reaction to a video, so, fortunately, this was not that.”
See what he did there? He split hairs on “a military issue” and then he said “Benghazi” and “Hillary Clinton,” the high conjuring words. There is no reporting on whether he turned around three times and spit, or cursed, but Mike Lee certainly made his conscience disappear.
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: “Big Chief Got A Golden Crown” (The Wild Tchoupitoulas): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans.
Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Here is the village of Ballbriggan after the Black and Tans came out. “Sacked” in quotes on the title cards is nice. Not mentioned in the film is the fact that the “sacking” was so odious that it even became an issue in the British parliament. The Tans even beat the village barber to death. History is so cool, and it’s no wonder the songs still echo.
As for the Big Unpaid Labor Bowl on Monday next, I am all in on LSU because a) I like the way they play, and b) if I have to pick between Southern college football coaches, cher, I’ll take the unreconstructed Cajun, Ed Orgeron, over the insufferable god-botherer Dabo Swinney of Clemson. Plus, all that speed on LSU, and the fact that the grandson of Darryl Stingley, the Patriots wide receiver who was paralyzed by a hit from Oakland’s Jack Tatum, plays for those Tigers. Anyway, I’m going to need to find some étouffée come Monday night.
Is it a good day for dinosaur news, Scientific American? It’s always a good day for dinosaur news!
Here’s where we get into the distinction between what we’d be able to smell and how dinosaurs would perceive each other. In terms of modern reptiles, species kept as pets are often said to have no smell – unless you forget to clean their cage properly or frequently enough. Their scaly skins seem relatively stink free compared to the fur of a companionable canid. And yet we know that smell is important for reptiles. Alligators and crocodiles, for example, have glands along their jaws that sometimes secrete an oily substance thought to be important in some form of communication. Garter snakes, too, can actually spray a compound into the air and tell competing mates to back off. And contrary to a long-held belief about birds, scent is important to communication among living dinosaurs, too.
We don’t know if any non-avian dinosaur advertised with scent in the same way. Our image of dinosaurs and their lives is principally molded by what they left behind, with our expectations of what can be found guiding what we look for. Personally, I think there’s an entire world of dinosaurian fragrances that we have yet to even catch the barest sniff of.
I look forward to hearing more from Riley Black and his quest for what dinosaurs smelled like. I hope he enjoys himself, because they lived then to make us happy now.
Top Commenter Kent Anderson blew away the competition by knowing the way to the committee’s dilithium-chambered heart. Of the president*’s rough neighborhood in the sky, Nelson replied:
More proof that Edith Keeler lived.
Luckily, during my recent hospitalization, they laid off the cordrazine. Anyway, take your 91.11 Beckhams, sir, and live long and prosper.
I’ll be back on Monday with whatever happens over the weekend to stir me out of convalescence. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake-line, and remember, if something smells bad in the yard, it might be a dinosaur.
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Charles P. Pierce
Charles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976.