It's a Mose Allison day again. Cool and rainy and grey. With most of the trees without their leaves, it gives the world a stark and weary look. Tired and blue. Like I said, perfect Mose Allison weather.
It seems like all over the world, the feeling's mutual, as the day's been mostly tying up loose ends from earlier in the year. Impeachment still rolls along, as the Trump World deals with the ramifications of yesterday's announcement by Nancy Pelosi to file the necessary papers to impeach Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America. As usual, the White House continues to stonewall and refuse to participate all the while bellyaching about "fairness" when the can and outright lying when they can't.
A couple of House Democrats in heavily Trump districts have said they'll vote against articles of impeachment. All is needed is a simple majority where the split is 233-197, and from what we're hearing Pelosi believes she has the votes despite those two holdouts. One wonders if it'll do any good, and the Trump faithful will want them burned along with the rest of us if their Emperor God is disrespected. The two quislings include Minnesota Rep. Colin Peterson and Jersey Jeff Van Drew, say their decision could change with new info, but the vote against the articles has "nothing to do with politics," which is of course bullshit of the highest order. Only a liar or a damn fool would say otherwise.
Much-beleaguered Republican representative Duncan Hunter of California, recently found guilty as hell of using campaign funds for personal business has announced he'll throw in the towel after the holidays and step down. In a sterling example of party grovelling, former Rep. Daryll Issa. who had his own financial issues in 2011, suggested Hunter be pardoned to "save government money" and would "bring the country together," because, sure. It should be noted Issa's been sniffing around Hunter's seat since this summer, so it might just be he smells blood in the water.
Anyway, the heat must be hotter than Issa figures or Hunter wouldn't be splitting. He already tried to hang this on his wife and today we found out that he's trying to throw his son under the same bus, blaming the lad for a $1,302 bill from Steam. Might've been his kid - fruit don't fall from the tree, they say - but it's a helluva thing for his own dad to finger him.
Wrapping up today's spell in the FunHouse, we've got another Republican rodent fleeing what looks increasingly like a boat taking on serious water. This time from North Carolina, where George Holder is calling it a day after six years in the House. His reasoning - and I will commend him on his honesty - is that the state's recently redrawn voting districts have made it so he wouldn't have a chance in hell winning in the non-gerrymandered district. I mean, that is cutting the bullshit indeed. Points for being a sincere swamp monster, I suppose.
Speaking of vile things from foul, lugubrious locations, for whatever reason, Nikki Haley's ran her cakehole in an interview with slimey hairball Glenn Beck, touching on the whole Confederate Flag issue, as it was then-flying at the State House Square. The former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the UN is the current wingnut wet dream to replace Mike Pence in the 2020 race, like he's the problem or the Family will let that happen. When she was first elected in 2011, she'd campaigned on... well, hedging on the flag issue that was fairly contentious in the Deep South. His wishy-washy take on removing it from the flag probably got Roy Barnes booted out of Atlanta in 2002, giving the Republicans the spot for the first time since Reconstruction with Sonny Perdue, who basically punted on the issue.
For her part, Haley squared her shoulders, set her jaws and did absolutely jack shit in spite of out-of-state money boycotting South Carolina. As a matter of fact, the flag flew until Bree Newsom climbed up the pole - with a helmet and climbing gear and everything - and yanked it down in 2015, by which time Holey was pretty much a lame duck. Even then, it took a month for South Carolina to get it's thumb out of its ass and take a stand, saying they'd just not bother.
Now take it from an old Southern Boy who knows what he is talking about here, okay? The familiar Stars & Bars we all know was never the official flag of the Confederate States of America nor was it seen all that often apart from football games in Oxford and soldiers' reunions. It only became a symbol of the (white) South in 1948 when Southern Democrats, outraged by Harry Truman integrating the armed forces, formed the "Dixiecrats" rebelled (heh) against their northern brethren and the African Americans, which had been slowly drifting to the Democrats after 80 years as solid Republicans. It became more popular in the darkest days of Jim Crowe and the Civil Rights struggle as an explicit - explicit - racist symbol to show White animosity towards any concept of Black rule in the South.
The flag in South Carolina, for example, wasn't flown at the State House until 1962. Indeed, the South succeeded from the Union and we know the main reason was slavery because they wrote it into their new country's constitution. Anyone who tells you in this, near the end of the 2019th foul year of Our Lord, tells you differently is either lying or stupid. Nikki Haley's a sharp one, so she's definitely lying.
In the interview with Beck, she said - apparently with little prompting - that the flag issue weighed on her mind. The problem was - and I quote - as a symbol of "service, sacrifice and heritage," claiming all that was ruined when Dylan Roof "hijacked" as a reason to shoot up a church full of black people at a church that'd been significant in the Civil Rights movement, killing nine people just trying to be with their Lord. Furthermore, she said "we don't have hateful people in South Carolina. It's a small minority; it's always going to be there."
A double dose of bullshit because, yes, a lot of South Carolina, actually, is full of racist white people who really, really don't like black people except on the football field. Indeed, I remember playing in clubs that were "member's only" where we'd be given "one-night memberships", all to keep out the "bad element". This still didn't prompt any action from her on the issue, and it took a young woman from Virginia to kick ass, take names and pull the damn flag down.
I'm going to say it again - and you're talking to someone who's a Hank Williams Jr. and Lynyrd Skynyrd fan, someone who was raised on Dukes Of Hazzard, and to my shame, someone who had a Rebel flag hanging on his wall as a youth - it is a racist symbol. It's always been a racist symbol. Racists have been using it as a racist symbol and if the racists see it that way, you can bet it's a racist symbol. Maybe instead of claims of "heritage", folks should be asking why they're fighting so hard for a racist symbol that was never meant to be anything but a racist symbol.
Are we all clear on this? No more ambiguity, I hope, we got this settled. Remember, as well, anyone who argues otherwise - that it wasn't a racist symbol - you can ignore them just as well as you'd ignore, say, someone who claimed the Civil War wasn't about slavery. They are not serious or sincere, and you have better things to do with your time.
Moving on, a police shooting in South Florida yesterday would, in a sane universe, put the lid on the coffin that, at the very least, police in America need to be reigned in some. Acting on a robbery at a jewelry store, 19 cops from five different stations unloaded into a jam up of civilian cars to kill not only the two accused thieves - a pair of brothers, a shock to their surviving family - but also the driver of a UPS truck on his first day and a 70-year old man who just happened to be there.
Apparently, the two brothers - a pair of cousins, turns out - hijacked the truck driven by Frank Ordonez, a 27-year-old father of two little girls, after tripping the silent alarm at a jewlery store in Coral Gables. After a car chase and on-going shootout - 20 miles worth - that made for exciting TV, watched by his brother Luis, no less, the truck got snarled up in traffic and the po-po unloaded hell fire, killing the thieves, the driver and Richard Crapshaw, who worked for the Government Supervisors Association of Florida union, and was just trying to get home.
Best I can tell nothing was actually stolen but the police representatives said they really had no choice but to start firing into a crowd of poor bastards already dealing with afternoon traffic. Negotiation, said Thor Eells, the improbably named executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association, was impossible, and the cops hands were tied. Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak added, "This is what dangerous people do to get away and this is what people will do to avoid capture." There was no other option open to the police but to start shooting in amongst dozens of people at a traffic stop.
This sort of thing just makes me tired, mainly because this country's full of enough craven bootlickers more than willing sacrifice people's lives - especially other people - so the cops' collective penises feel large and manly. Indeed, All of us, Ordonez's family and especially his two daughters, ought to get down on our stinking, purulent knees to thank the cops for having the courage to and endanger lives in a 20-mile high-speed chase and shoot into civilians to protect jewels that weren't stolen. God bless America and God bless the Gun.
I had some more stuff, including stuff on Megyn Kelly reminding people how awful she is to promote the upcoming movie concerning her getting bounced from Fox thanks to Rupert Murdoch's busy hands, but she's really not worth the effort. In any event, I try to ignore pundits and their drama, because apart from video game critics and sports analysts, political pundits are the most worthless lumps of flesh in the journalism business.
There's also this story about a photograph of 30 employees of the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation throwing the Nazi salute "as a joke", but anyone who think prison screws don't attract the bottom feeders of the law enforcement school is fooling themselves.
So, I'll leave you with this. First of November, Trump came to Tupelo to stump for then-Republican nominee for governor Tate Reeves. The rally for Trump's 2020 re-election - which the Tupelo visit turned into because that's what all his rallies turn into - cost the city around $7,775 in law enforcement and whatnot. Mayor Jason Shelton said they wouldn't ask the administration for reimbursement. Instead, they'd absorb the costs and if they have to cut into the budget, in the most Tupelo thing ever, they will.
Have a nice weekend.