The Secret For Comedy Is….

…wait for it…

…wait for it…

…wait for it…

…wait for it…


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has decided to postpone its session on nuclear attack preparedness next week. Much attention had been drawn to the timing of the agency’s session, which was publicized just days after President Trump touted the size of his nuclear button compared with North Korea’s.

That’s via Sheila Kaplan in yesterday’s New York Times.

Scheduled for January 16, the session was to be on “Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation”

It was intended, as the Times reported the week before:

for doctors, government officials, emergency responders and others whom, if they survived, would be responsible for overseeing the emergency response to a nuclear attack.

And, certainly, such a meeting was well within the CDC’s purview:

“While a nuclear detonation is unlikely,” the C.D.C. wrote on its website,which included a picture of a mushroom cloud, “it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps. Despite the fear surrounding such an event, planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness.”

The agenda for the disaster session included “Preparing for the Unthinkable,” “Road Map to Radiation Preparedness” and “Using Data and Decision Aids to Drive Response Efforts.”

In the event, the agency swapped out this session for one on the flu.  CDC staffers made a decent argument for the swap:

“To date, this influenza season is notable for the sheer volume of flu that most of the United States is seeing at the same time, which can stress health systems,” the agency said. “The vast majority of this activity has been caused by influenza A H3N2, associated with severe illness in young children and people 65 years and older.”

But it’s hard to shake the sense, as Kaplan hints in her story on the switch, that der Hair Führer’s fee-fees may have been involved:

The C.D.C.’s announcement that it was holding a nuclear preparation workshop drew widespread media coverage and embarrassed the public health agency. It also gave ammunition to administration critics who believe that the president is bringing the country closer to a nuclear Armageddon.

And now, Hawaii!


And with, over to y’all. Open thread, I guess, though here’s a question to get things going:  How’s it all going to end. Fire? Or ice? (Preferably w. several fingers of good bourbon poured over it.)

Image: Jan Fyt, Mushroomsbefore 1650.

….Aaaaaannnnnnnnd, Scene!


There is nothing to add; perfection needs no sauce.

Open thread, y’all.

The Imagineers hate Trump’s guts too…

That’s really the only possible explanation for this

Note: Original photo edited to add internal dialogue from other robot-presidents.

Trump is hideous in the flesh, of course, so a handsome robot would be a lie. And the robot versions of President Obama and the other presidents are pretty fake and tacky looking, IMO — and since Trump is fake and tacky looking in person, you’d think it would make it easier to capture his essence animatronically.

But it’s like the Disney folks went out of their way to showcase Trump’s personal and sartorial defects, including the jowls and wattles, cotton-candy shelf of hair, poorly fitting suit, too-long tie, etc. Even though his big gut doesn’t appear to have been represented by the padding it deserves, I count the brave, patriotic Imagineers among the Resistance!

Open thread.

Convert that Gravy Boat into a Battleship!

As is its wont, Fox News is ginning up outrage among the duct-taped naugahyde recliner set by highlighting godless liberals’ plans to persecute Trump supporters over turkey this year:

The suggestions for how to ruin Trump-supporting relatives’ holiday dinner in the linked GQ article are clearly tongue-in-cheek and purposely silly. But this part is kinda true, IMO:

This year, if you’re headed home to a household that still thinks a sex-offending game show host in rapid cognitive decline was the best choice for a president, it is your civic duty to filibuster Thanksgiving.

Trump has spent the entire year performing one long, clumsy touchdown dance atop the wreckage of America’s former norms and values… Any parents still riding the Trump Train at this point have thereby signaled that nothing is sacred. It is time to follow their example. They can’t stand idly by while President Deals tramples every other American tradition and yet somehow expect that Thanksgiving will be normal too. If every other moment of this year is going to be drastically out of whack, nobody should get to pretend that everything is normal for one meal just because that’s what the pilgrims would have done.

It’s not so much that Trump supporters don’t deserve a normal Thanksgiving (although they don’t); it’s that we who are related to or otherwise entangled with these assholes have a duty to try burst their bubble of complacency.

As it should be, this obligation is borne almost exclusively by my fellow white people — it was our demographic cohort that foisted this treasonous buffoon on the world, and it’s on us Saltine-Americans to try to fix it.

Trump voters should know we feel demeaned every goddamned day that dawns with a self-described sexual predator (and child molester apologist!) representing our country. We should make them aware that we’re appalled that literal Nazis and white nationalist trash are elevated and empowered by this administration.

Trump supporters should understand that we’re repulsed by the Bible-humping hypocrites who flock to support their degenerate president, and that we’re revolted by the arrogant, preening, phony morality of anti-gay creeps like Mike Pence.

We should point out that the huckster-in-chief invited a gaggle of plutocrats to loot the U.S. Treasury while he and his pack of grifting-hyena relatives convert the presidency into a personal branding engine and profit center. That “drain the swamp” thing was 100% bullshit, and if they’re still lapping it up, Trump supporters are a con man’s willing dupes.

And Trump supporters should know we’re repelled by people who wrap themselves in the flag and invoke “the troops” as an excuse to cram their jingoism down our throats while at the same time expressing enthusiasm about a foreign autocrat undermining our democracy or turning a blind eye to it.

I could go on, but the point is, this shit is not normal, and if we’re ever going to get within hailing distance of normal again, we must not only call out Trump and his official minions, we must confront the people who put him where he is. Even if they are our dads, aunties, cousins, etc.

The techniques to confront MAGAts vary. I favor sarcasm. Valued commenter Mnemosyne has described a gambit that I’ve found particularly effective in exposing the stupidity at the core of Trumpian conspiracy theories: Feign ignorance when wingnuts repeat some chain-email lie, politely ask them to elaborate and ask pointed questions until the full lunacy of the premise is exposed, sometimes even to the speaker, who eventually trails off in embarrassment or changes the subject.

Anyhoo, arm yourselves with the rhetorical weapons that suit you best, including sweet reason and loving kindness, if that’s your thing. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m off the hook on Thanksgiving Day since no Trump-supporting relatives will be in attendance. But I will be seeing them over the coming weeks, and I will give no quarter. They don’t deserve it, and these days, silence equals complicity with a white supremacy agenda. Fuck that!

More On Trump-Tillerson Kerfluffle

We discussed this a bit in the morning thread, but it warrants further examination and derision. Via NBC News:

Tillerson’s Fury at Trump Required an Intervention From Pence

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on the verge of resigning this past summer amid mounting policy disputes and clashes with the White House, according to multiple senior administration officials who were aware of the situation at the time.

The tensions came to a head around the time President Donald Trump delivered a politicized speech in late July to the Boy Scouts of America, an organization Tillerson once led, the officials said.

Just days earlier, Tillerson had openly disparaged the president, referring to him as a “moron,” after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon with members of Trump’s national security team and Cabinet officials, according to three officials familiar with the incident.

I don’t know about y’all, but for me, “was on the verge of resigning” is right up there with “Ivanka privately opposed” and “John Kelly was displeased” as useless-ass information that fails spectacularly in reassuring me about the character of the people surrounding Trump. To paraphrase Yoda, “Resign, or resign not. There is no verge.” More on MoronGate:

While it’s unclear if he was aware of the incident, Vice President Mike Pence counseled Tillerson, who is fourth in line to the presidency, on ways to ease tensions with Trump, and other top administration officials urged him to remain in the job at least until the end of the year, officials said.

Officials said that the administration, beset then by a series of high-level firings and resignations, would have struggled to manage the fallout from a Cabinet secretary of his stature departing within the first year of Trump’s presidency.

Pence has since spoken to Tillerson about being respectful of the president in meetings and in public, urging that any disagreements be sorted out privately, a White House official said. The official said progress has since been made.

St. Paul in a Speedo, has there ever been a more servile toady than Mike Fucking Pence? His fawning devotion is all the more nauseating since it’s a moral certainty that Pence would shiv Trump and use the bloated carcass as the Oval Office welcome mat if he thought he could get away with it. It may well come to that, and Mother would make a splendid homespun Lady Macbeth if it does.

I’m also glad the NBC report mentions that the administration was “beset by a series of high-level firings and resignations.” My feeling is that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. It’s kind of unprecedented, isn’t it — the revolving door in this White House? I mean, it’s not unexpected; organizations that are headed up by a walking collection of untreated personality disorders often experience high turnover. But for the historical record, let’s not let that go by the boards unremarked.

Anyhoo, just as I was typing this out, I got a CNN alert on my phone saying Tillerson denies he contemplated an exit and claims the report that he called Trump a moron is “petty nonsense.” Uh huh. I bet Trump knows better, and he will hound Tillerson out of there by Valentine’s Day, if not sooner. And Rexxon will heave a sigh of relief as big as Exxon.

Open thread!

ETA: Employees of moron boss deny calling boss a moron — take that to the bank, America!

(Some Of) The Kids Are All Right

Via my 17 y.o., who is my last link to what Da Utes T’ink, I present the winner of a Reddit photoshop competition:


‘Bout right, I’d say.

A little more goodness.  Here’s a true, heartwarming story of a boy raised right in the Levenson household.  I’m walking one day in the neighborhood with my spouse, and as we get to the local library I see an abomination parked in the lot across the street.  My gob is so smacked I have to take a picture.

Flash forward a couple of hours.  My son has just come home from a ramble round the ‘hood.  I asked him if he happened to see this amazingly awful automobile.

“The one parked by the library?” he asked.

“Yeah — I took a picture” say I.

“Me too!”

Good boy — I think.  De gustibus and all that…

…but no.  Some things are simply abominations.  Like this:

For those of us who aren’t car buffs, that’s a Porsche Cayenne.  It starts at around $60,000, and shoots up fast from there.  Which means someone out there woke up one day and thought that his or her life wouldn’t be complete without a more-than-the-US-median-family-income’s worth of pink Porsche truck.

There is a saying in the car business:  “There’s an ass for every seat.”  I rate that statement True.

(I’ll admit that this isn’t the most offensive car I’ve ever seen.  Hell, I rented a Pontiac Aztek once, and last year in LA I saw someone driving around in a fully chromed Mercedes E-class sedan, which went beyond ugly into a rolling public hazard.  But as the son of a mother who once drove twenty miles to the nearest Costco to return a case of dishwashing liquid bought in ignorance of its pink-titude, I reserve the right to loathe the above without any qualification.  I miss you, mom.)

Finally, by popular request (by at least one person here), and so as not to make this a whole post of horrors, here’s Tikka in one of his most echt poses:

And what the heck, one more, just for catness.



Y’all get the message. It’s Sunday.  The weather’s great here in the Athens of America, and low tide hits at around 6 — perfect for an evening at the beach.  For a few hours at least, the pleasures we each enjoy are ours.  The folly and worse will still be here tomorrow; sufficient unto the day and all that.

IOW:  Open thread.

Resistance, Kalamazoo Style

Flushed with triumphalism, and following in the footsteps of minions throughout history, last week the Kalamazoo GOP put up a billboard just down the street from me celebrating the person of their Dear Leader and promoting his slogan.

It lasted less than a week before some good person made the necessary adjustments.

FYI Kalamazoo’s GOP party has also brought us Rep. Fred Upton, slimy heir to the Whirlpool appliance / outsourcing fortune, and one of the worst of the worst.

Lots of weekend news to keep discussing, so let’s open a thread.