Friday Reads: The United States of AbnormalcyPosted: May 10, 2019
Good Morning Sky Dancers!
It’s a rainy Friday here in New Orleans. I’m actually happy for the break from the sun since my eyes are still not completely normal and I’m like one of those gremlins shouting “Bright light!” when I go outside my darkened room. Never the less,I persist and we persist here.
Today’s illustrations are from Aubrey Beardsley who is undoubtedly one of Britain’s greatest artists of the previous turn of the century. He’s known for “Erections, buttocks and beheadings” which is going to be the name of a show in his honor in 2020 at the Tate Gallery.
… it is delicious news that his perverse and often obscene art is to get the Tate Britain blockbuster treatment next year.
The fact that Beardsley worked in ink on paper, rather than paint on canvas, means his pictures are easy to hide in study rooms. Even in Queer British Art, the 2017 show at Tate Britain, Beardsley’s presence was surprisingly subdued. But the announcement that Tate will put 200 of his naughty little masterpieces on display next March, in a show that will tour to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, suggests we may finally be ready for one of the classiest purveyors of filth.
Beardsley produced a startling quantity of sensational art in a brief life. Born in Brighton in 1872, he died of tuberculosis in 1898, aged 25. Four years before his death, he already looked like a moribund figure to his fellow artistic radical Walter Sickert, who portrayed him walking weakly with a stick. Yet Beardsley presented himself the same year as a sensualist beast, nestled in a capacious bed whose covers swallow up his tiny figure. He’s lost in dirty reveries. “By the twin gods, not all the monsters are in Africa,” is inscribed in French in a corner.
No, Mr. Beardsley, not all the monsters are in Africa. Many of them appear to be in the White House, Senate, and the tainted Judiciary. We’re about to find out exactly how monstrous they really are even though we’ve had a taste of it the last few horrid years.
Republicans are so used to being stupid and to lying and getting away with it that this should hardly be news. However, it’s about Steve Sleaze that represents the white flight shithole next to New Orleans so I’m interested. He’s also the second most powerful Republican in the House. They’re always wrong but, hey it matters not as long as you’re willing to jail brown children and let women die while pregnant. Here he is defending Dumbo Jr and not recognizing one of his own.
Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), the second-most powerful Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, is lying about a subpoena issued to Donald Trump Jr. by the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“You can’t make this stuff up,” Scalise ironically says about the subpoena, issued by Chairman Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, to the President’s eldest son.
“Democrats are subpoenaing @DonaldJTrumpJr based on the testimony of Michael Cohen—a man who lied to Congress multiple times. This is how low they are willing to sink to harass @realDonaldTrump & his entire family. The #MuellerReport is done. Move on!” Scalise tweeted.
Actually, Sleazoid, you just said Democrats did something a Republican did so I guess you can either make things up or you’re so stupid that you don’t know WTF you’re talking about.
In one of the typical Biden Gaffeathons, Joe Boy looks for “‘middle ground’ climate policy”. Exactly how do you find middle ground in a situation where we are looking at the end of life on earth as we know it now? Joe and Sleaze can both go stand in some corner in hell and wear the Dunce caps as far as I’m concerned. My state is sinking into the Gulf. There’s going to be no ground here or in the all important electoral state of Florida either. Maybe he can wax poetic about increased trade routes with Secretary of State Pompeo the voice of radical xtianists.
Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden is crafting a climate change policy he hopes will appeal to both environmentalists and the blue-collar voters that elected Donald Trump, according to two sources, carving out a middle ground approach that will likely face heavy resistance from green activists.
The backbone of the policy will likely include re-joining the United States with the Paris Climate Agreement and preserving U.S. regulations on emissions and vehicle fuel efficiency that Trump has sought to undo, according to one of the sources, Heather Zichal, who has become Biden’s informal advisor on climate change policy. She previously advised President Barack Obama.
The second source, a former energy department official also advising Biden’s campaign who asked not to be named, said the policy will likely also be supportive of nuclear energy and fossil fuel options like natural gas and carbon capture technology, which limit emissions from coal plants and other industrial facilities.
A spokesman for Biden’s campaign, TJ Ducklo, declined to comment on Biden’s emerging climate policy or his advisors, but said Biden takes climate change seriously. “Joe Biden has called climate change an ‘existential threat,’ and as Vice President was instrumental in orchestrating the Paris Climate Accord,” Ducklo said in an emailed statement.
So, I always know there’s something afoot in the Middle East when I spend two days being buzzed by fighter jets from the base over in Pensacola Florida. It’s going on as I type. Yesterday, I thought one was likely to land in the French Quarter it was so damn low and loud. I’m sensing that Bolton and Trump are cooking up something in the MENA region.
A top commander in Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard said Friday that Tehran will not talk with the United States, an Iranian news agency reported — a day after President Donald Trump said he’d like Iranian leaders to “call me.”
The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Gen. Yadollah Javani as saying that “there will be no negotiations with America.”
The Iranian commander also claimed the U.S. would not dare take military action against Iran but did not elaborate.
The verbal exchange comes as tensions escalate between Washington and Tehran. The Trump administration sent the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber squadron to the region in response to unspecified threats by Iran against American interests.And on Wednesday, Iran threatened to renew some nuclear enrichment that had been halted under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers — a year after Trump pulled America from the accord, saying it does nothing to stop Iran from developing missiles or destabilizing the Middle East.But in a softer approach, Trump told reporters on Thursday at the White House: “What I would like to see with Iran, I would like to see them call me.”Shortly after Trump spoke, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a written statement that reinforced Trump’s tone. After repeating the administration’s complaints about Iran, including what he called “40 years of killing American soldiers, attacking American facilities and taking American hostages,” Pompeo appealed to “those in Tehran who see a path to a prosperous future” through modifying their government’s behavior.Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday gave European leaders a 60-day deadline to find a way to shield Iran from U.S. sanctions targeting its economy and oil industry. Otherwise, he said Tehran would begin to enrich uranium at levels closer to weapons-grade levels.
From all of my least favorite writers at the NYT (Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt), we get this: “A Strategy Emerges to Counter House Democrats: Dare Them to Impeach.”
Confident that there are not enough votes to remove him from office through an impeachment trial in the Senate, Mr. Trump and his advisers have chosen the path of maximum resistance, calculating that they can put the Democrats on the defensive in a fight that is politically useful for the president.
The decision to assert executive privilege and defy subpoenas across the board suits Mr. Trump’s natural combative instincts and fits the grievance narrative he has adopted by arguing that the establishment is out to get him. The president seems eager to force the hand of Democrats who are investigating him as if they are conducting an impeachment inquiry without actually calling it that and risking any of the political problems that might come with it.
“If it’s an impeachment proceeding, then somebody should call it that,” said Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of the president’s personal lawyers. “If you don’t call their bluff now, they’ll just keep slithering around for four, five, six months.”
Meanwhile, Rudy is trying to get foreign intervention in elections again and it’s not even subtle. I guess they’re going full throttle on the collusion in open bit since they’ve convinced every one it’s not really a crime so what of it.
President Trump’s personal lawyer, is encouraging Ukraine to wade further into sensitive political issues in the United States, seeking to push the incoming government in Kiev to press ahead with investigations that he hopes will benefit Mr. Trump.
Mr. Giuliani said he plans to travel to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, in the coming days and wants to meet with the nation’s president-elect to urge him to pursue inquiries that allies of the White House contend could yield new information about two matters of intense interest to Mr. Trump.
One is the origin of the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The other is the involvement of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son in a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.
Mr. Giuliani’s plans create the remarkable scene of a lawyer for the president of the United States pressing a foreign government to pursue investigations that Mr. Trump’s allies hope could help him in his re-election campaign. And it comes after Mr. Trump spent more than half of his term facing questions about whether his 2016 campaign conspired with a foreign power.
“We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do,” Mr. Giuliani said in an interview on Thursday when asked about the parallel to the special counsel’s inquiry.
“There’s nothing illegal about it,” he said. “Somebody could say it’s improper. And this isn’t foreign policy — I’m asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn’t stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”
So, my electricity just went off and I’m tethering my computer to the hotspot on my phone to get this up in its current state. This should give you enough to chomp on. As you can see, we continue forward in a state of total abnormalcy.
What’s on your blogging and reading list today?