For several days, I’ve been bombarded with bellyaching from frantic Republicans, chastising me for not blaming liberals for the downfall of Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security advisor, who recently stepped down after all of 24 days in office.
Got to credit Republicans for this–they’re devious little fuckers. They’re trying to devise a way to blame the people least responsible for the cluster fuck of the president they just elected.
Hey, man, don’t blame me for Trump’s fuck ups. I told you not to vote for him.
In particular, they’re crying like babies cause liberals aren’t upset that the FBI was spying on Flynn.
It’s like the Republicans woke up to learn that the feds spy on Americans!
This falls into the category of what goes around comes around. Where was this Republican outrage when J. Edgar Hoover was bugging Martin Luther King’s bedrooms?
Technically, I’m not sure the FBI was even spying on Flynn so much as they were spying on the Russian ambassador with whom Flynn was conversing.
I hope Republicans aren’t really surprised to discover that spies spy on spies. Fellas–that’s why they call `em spies.
By chance, I just read A Spy Among Friends, Ben Macintyre’s fascinating book about Kim Philby. In that case, the inimitable Mr. Philby was spying on the CIA and M5 for the KGB while pretending to spy on the KGB for the CIA and M5.
Even now there’re Russian spooks who suspect Philby was actually a double agent, feeding them false information on behalf of the Brits.
So it’s not like this spying thing started with Obama.
While spying on the Russians, the FBI discovered Flynn was telling the Russian Ambassador that Trump probably wasn’t going to continue Obama’s sanctions. So don’t sweat them.
The feds then told Trump that Flynn was sharing info with the Russians. And what did Trump do? Nothing. He brought Flynn into the White House anyway.
Don’t blame me for these two…
So the FBI did what they generally do when they can’t get the president to do what they want. They leaked to the press. Now the Republicans are acting shocked to have discovered–Oh, my God, spies leak to reporters?
Guess they weren’t paying attention when President Bush’s spies were feeding bullshit to the New York Times to gin up support for the invasion of Iraq?
Actually, the feds did Trump a favor by giving him an excuse to fire a security advisor dumb enough to think he could talk to the Russian ambassador without the FBI eavesdropping.
Remember, all of this started when Putin’s hackers hacked into Hillary’s computers. In fact, many of the same outraged Republicans were the ones gleefully posting these illegally filched Democratic emails on their Facebook pages. As Trump called on Putin to hack some more: “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
Remember that quote from candidate Trump?
So, this is how Republicans view the world. It’s bad for Americans to eavesdrop on Russians, but it’s good for Russians to spy on Americans. Up is down with these dudes.
Hey, Republicans, if you don’t like it here, go to Russia.
Or how did you put it in the `60s? Oh, yeah–America, love it or leave it!
Oh, sweet payback. I’ve waited my whole life to use that line on Republicans.
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In honor of it being Wednesday, enjoy this embarrassing blast from the past…
Day two of the flu….
Dragging through the house wheezing. Feel like Martin Sheen in Saigon at the start of Apocalypse Now.
Wife and daughter crouch round the computer watching a tape of President Obama’s state of the union speech that he’d delivered a few hours ago.
I start up the stairs. Shouldn’t watch. Need sleep. But…
“He’s doing a good job,” says my wife.
“Really good job,” says my daughter.
I stand at the foot of the stairs and watch over their shoulders.
The president says it’s year 2010.
“Wow,” I say. “He got the year wrong…”
“Yeah,” says my wife.
“The Republicans are gonna be all over him for that,” says my daughter.
The TV flashes a title across the screen: State of the Union 2010.
“Wow,” I say. “Even the TV made a mistake…”
“Yeah,” says my wife.
“Weird,” says my daughter.
They show shots of the crowd. I see Rahm Emanuel, who’s supposed to be in Chicago running for mayor. “That guy’s everywhere,” I say.
Then I see Roland Burris. “What’s he doing there? He hasn’t been senator since last year….”
Then I notice that it’s Nancy Pelosi sitting next to Vice President Biden behind President Obama: “Why’s she on the podium – she’s not speaker anymore.”
“Weird,” says my daughter.
“Yeah,” says my wife.
The speech ends.
“Great speech,” says my daughter.
“Really great speech,” says my wife.
“Gotta give Rahm Emanuel credit,” I say. “Judge knocks him off the ballot one day, and he’s off to Washington the next. That boy’s got some serious hookup.”
I go to bed. Get the cold sweats. Wake in the morning with a phone call from my daughter, who’s at work.
“Are you ready for this?” she says.
“We watched the wrong speech…”
“We watched last year’s speech…”
“That’s what happens when I put you guys in charge of the computer,” I say.
“Oh, like you didn’t think it was this year’s speech either,” she says.
I hear her friend in the background howling with laughter. Hey, at least we’re entertaining.
I click off the phone as my wife walks into the bedroom.
“You know that speech we saw last night?” I ask.
“Yeah – great speech.”
“It was last year’s speech…”
“Oh,” she says.
“Yeah,” I say.
“I guess that explains why he said 2010…”
“And Rahm and Roland and Nancy Pelosi.”
“And why they had 2010 written across the screen…”
“Wow, this is really embarrassing,” says my wife.
“Let’s not tell anybody about it…”
“Of course,” I say. “It will be our little secret.”
Good thing I can blame it on the flu.
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Years ago, I wandered into the office of a publicist named Eric, looking for info about property taxes.
At the time, Eric labored for the Cook County Assessor. So reporters turned to him when they had questions about property taxes. Which was pretty funny since Eric cared as much about property taxes as I cared about, oh, microbiology.
Hey, man, a gig’s a gig.
Anyway, I was going on and on–as I’m apt to do–about the connections between TIFs and the Homeowners Exemption, when Eric changed the subject. No doubt to keep from dozing off.
“Do you like Joe Strummer?” he asked.
“No, Strummer–from The Clash.”
“Never heard of him.”
“You never heard of Joe Strummer? He’s a fuckin’ genius!”
There and then Eric started quoting iconic lines by Joe Strummer, including this one…
“He who fucks nuns will later join the church.”
Now, that grabbed my attention. You don’t generally get the words “fuck” and “nuns” in the same lyric.
Soon Eric was singing the full verse.
‘N’ every gimmick hungry yob digging gold from rock ‘n’ roll
Grabs the mike to tell us he’ll die before he’s sold
But I believe in this and it’s been tested by research
He who fucks nuns will later join the church…
We’ve come a long way from Joe Strummer…
I’m not sure what impressed me the most: the lyric or Eric’s ability to quote it by heart.
“It’s from Death or Glory,” he said.
“From London Calling…”
“You’ve heard of London Calling–right?”
“Dude, you gotta be kidding me–you never heard of London Calling?”
“I kinda spent the `70s listening to pop music on a transistor radio I kept by my bed,” I confessed.
“What kind of `70s music do you like?” he asked.
“Any list must include the Bee Gees,” I said.
“You’re kidding, right?” he said.
“Saturday Night Fever is one of the greatest pop records–ever!”
“Oh, shit, next you’ll be telling me you like the Carpenters.”
“How did you know?”
“I was making a joke.”
“No list of `70s songs is complete without Superstar.”
“Dude, you can’t admit this shit–it’s embarrassing.”
“Why? Karen Carpenter is a great singer.”
“Don’t tell me you like Barry Manilow.”
“Of course. `She sits there so refined, and drinks her self half-blind’. Great lyric!”
And so on…
We’ve been having one variation or another of that debate ever since. Probably be having it in our dotage at the Happy Trails Nursing Home. It sure beats talking about property taxes.
Anyway, imagine my surprise when I recently saw Eric making a Facebook “playlist of seventies songs I’m embarrassed to say I like.”
Before it was over, Eric had confessed to liking Baby Come Back, Do Ya Think I’m Sexy and Fly, Robin, Fly.
And he’s bitching about Barry Manilow?
Welcome to the church, Eric. I had a feeling you were a closet member all along.
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For a time in the `90s, I “hated” the Knicks.
Not real hate. But sports hate. A way of declaring my fierce loyalty to the Bulls.
Nothing personal. In fact, as the years pass and I see retired players from teams I’ve hated I want to extend my hand. In a perverse way, I want to thank them for the ferocity with which they played the game that made them eminently worth “hating”.
I can think of several such teams and players. The Bucks and Lakers of the `70s. The Bad Boy Pistons. Kobe Bryant. The Heat of LeBron/Bosh/Wade. Last year’s Warriors (for breaking the Bulls record). Any team coached or managed by Pat Riley.
And so on…
On that list is the great Charles Oakley of the Knicks. I love Charles Oakley–even when I hated him.
He started with the Bulls–broke my heart when they traded him to the Knicks.
No one worked harder than Oakley. He was Joe Frazier on the basketball court.
This is all my way of getting around to saying this…
The way the Knicks treated Oakley last night at Madison Square Garden was nauseating. Everyone in that organization should be ashamed of themselves.
Team owner James Dolan’s got some kind of grudge against Oakley. Not sure why. Probably cause Oakley doesn’t kiss his ass. But that’s one thing I love about Charles Oakley. He treats everyone with respect. But he’s not kissing anyone’s ass.
Charles Oakley–in his Bulls days…
Anyway, Oakley showed up for last night’s game against the Clippers and sat several rows behind Dolan.
In the second quarter, a bunch of security guards descended on Oakley and told him he had to leave.
The Knicks say Oakley had been taunting Dolan. Oakley says he wasn’t. Several fans back Oakley’s account. I wasn’t there. But the Knick’s version sounds like a bunch of bullshit they made up to justify trying to oust Oakley for showing up in the first place.
One of the security guards got right into Oakley’s face. Next thing you know Oakley popped him upside his head.
Okay, I can’t condone it. But it wasn’t a hard punch. He didn’t hurt the dude. Just wanted him to back off. And what did they expect? That’s Charles Oakley, man. He’s not backing down from anyone. Especially when you get right in his face.
Anyway, one thing led to another and the cops got Oakley on the ground, handcuffing him and taking him to jail.
That’s bullshit, man. Unnecessary and over the top. Didn’t anyone in New York learn anything from “I can’t breathe” and Eric Garner?
I know I speak for dozens of Bulls fans when I say–we’re with Charles Oakley 100 percent!
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As Tom Brady prepared to lead the Patriots in the opening drive of the Super Bowl overtime, I knew he’d win.
The Bradys of the world always win. And the Falcons of the world always lose.
I can almost deal with such injustices, so long as they’re relegated to sports.
But in this case there’s also the matter of Comrade Trump.
He’s pals with Brady. The QB once judged one of Trump’s beauty pageants.
Trump’s also pals with Robert Kraft, who owns the Patriots. And Bill Belichick, who coaches them.
So in the convoluted way, a Patriots win is a win for Trump. Just as a Falcons win represents resistance.
Alas, when Brady’s final drive ended in triumph, I bolted from my friend’s house.
“Aren’t you gonna watch the post game celebration?” asked my friend.
“Hell, no. I can’t take this Trump shit.”
My friend knew just what I was talking about.
I continued my boycott in the car ride home. Instead of listening to postgame interviews on the sports radio, I turned to the oldies station, where I heard Neil Sedaka’s, Laughter in the Rain.
A song I can’t believed I ever liked.
By the time I got home, Trump was already issued a gloating tweet about the game.
That night I tossed and turned–the Super Bowl almost demoralizing me as much as the election. (I said, almost.)
Glenn Thrush co-wrote the story…
But, then, I woke to discover that Trump had stopped tweeting about the game.
Instead, he was bitching about a New York Times article that depicted him as a horses ass.
I’ll just share a few sentences from the Times article.
“Aides confer in the White House dark because they cannot figure out how to operate the light switches in the cabinet room.”
“Visitors conclude their meetings and then wander around, testing doorknobs until finding one that leads to an exit.”
“In a darkened, mostly empty West Wing, Mr. Trump’s provocative chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, finishes another 16-hour day planning new lines of attack.”
Oh, hell, while we’re at it…
“Usually around 6:30 p.m., or sometimes later, Mr. Trump retires upstairs to the residence to recharge, vent and intermittently use Twitter.”
Like I said, a horse’s ass. In this case, controlled by a lunatic.
The thing is–just as I had tossed and turned, seething over the Brady/Trump Super Bowl win, Trump had tossed and turned, seething over that story in the Times.
In other words, his pleasure over the Super Bowl couldn’t eradicate his torment over the disdain with which most of the world views him.
Just thinking about that makes me feel a little bit better as I sink in for the long fight.
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Standing in the check out line at Trader Joes, waiting for the guy in front of me to settle his bill.
Looks like it’s gonna take a while. He’s forcing the checkout clerk to squeeze about two bags worth of groceries into one bag.
And, it is a squeeze. The paper bag’s bursting at the seams.
While the clerk rearranges the bananas, the dude gives me this knowing look.
“The bag tax,” he says.
Oh, yes, it’s day one of the city’s new tax on paper bags.
“How much is the tax?” I ask the clerk.
“Seven cents a bag,” he says.
“So if I have to use a bag, you charge me seven cents?”
“Yes. Five cents to the city and two cents to us–for the bag.”
“Seven cents,” I repeat.
“Seven cents,” says the clerk.
I look at the guy in line. “And you don’t want to pay seven cents?”
“It’s not the money,” he says. “It’s the principle. I don’t like taxes.”
Some people are misers…
I’m tempted to call him cheap, but I hold my tongue. Dude may be packing–you never know.
But–between you and me. I don’t think principle has anything to do with it. The dude’s just cheap.
It’s always something with these tightwads. I remember people telling me the reason they don’t subscribe to a newspaper is they’re pro-environment.
They don’t want to fill the landfills with paper.
So they read the news on their little I-phones.
It’s only a coincidence they don’t have to pay for the news when they read it on their phones. As opposed to paying a buck or whatever for a newspaper. So, you know, the fucking reporters can get paid!
No, money has nothing to do with it. It’s all about saving the environment.
But now when it comes to paying a seven cents tax to actually help save the environment by deterring us from using paper bags, oh, the injustice of it all. Suddenly, they’re like tax-revolting colonists at the Boston Harbor.
I watch the store clerk try to wedge the bananas between two loaves of bread. And I can take it no more.
I pluck a nickel and two pennies on the counter.
“Here you go, man,” I say. “Knock yourself out–bag’s on me.”
If you I thought he’d be embarrassed, you’re wrong. The dude let the clerk rearrange the groceries into a second bag and walked out, having saved himself seven cents.
Man, cheap is cheap.
Up late at night, I lay on the couch, reading an entertaining article in Sports Illustrated about a golfer named Pat Perez.
He’s a colorful character who sprinkles his conversation with obscenities, which SI quotes to show how colorful character he is. Like…
“I had to show people that I wasn’t this fucking hot head, even though I am.”
Only SI doesn’t write fucking. They write f——. In order to protect us from a word most of us use every fucking day.
Well, when I think about the daily atrocities in our universe, mindless acts of censorship don’t make the top 10,000.
Anyway, on I read, til I reach the part where Perez talks about meeting Ashley, the woman he eventually married.
They’re at a restaurant in Vegas. He orders a skirt steak that’s so delicious, he tells the chef: “This steak is so good I want to give you a hand job right here. I mean it. Drop your pants.”
Ashley can’t resist such wit. “At their wedding one year later,” SI writes, “they served the entrée that brought them together, and it was given its proper name on the printed menus: HAND JOB SKIRT STEAK.”
Only instead of writing hand job. SI wrote h— j—.
Holy shit. Are you fucking kidding me! It’s like a parody of Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.
But George Carlin wrote that bit in the early `70s, a much more censorious time. In fact, he got arrested in Milwaukee for saying those seven words: Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.
Pat Perez is a really funny fucker…
This is 2016. Who the fuck are you protecting, Sports Illustrated? We live in a country that just elected as president a man caught on tape bragging about grabing women by their pussies.
And Comrade Trump didn’t say p—-.
Many of the people who voted for Trump are presumably the same holy rollers who’d be offended by seeing hand in front of job. Obviously, they’re not as sensitive as you think, SI.
Anyway, on I plunge. The story’s ends with the following quote: “Love me or hate me, I’m back. Deal with it, mother—–.”
Okay, let’s break it down. You can put mother in front of f—–. But you can’t put hand in front of j–. It’s like SI is more concerned about protecting hands from jobs than mothers from fuckers.
The funny thing is that in a couple of weeks SI will mail out its swim suit issue–a big, fat, perfume-scented volume filled with women in bikinis that barely conceal their t— and a—-.
For years these glossy pictures of scantily clad women in provocative come-fuck-me poses has inspired thousands of boys to give themselves h— j—.
Like Carlin said: You can prick your finger, but you can’t finger your prick.
Grow the f— up, Sports Illustrated.
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