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Well, 2022 is winding down.  It could have been better and it could have been a lot worse.  Ukraine stands.  So does the US Senate.  Dark Brandon is still busy fixing things the former guy screwed up.  President Biden can’t make it all better without our help.  We still have a duty to stand up to the abhorrent behavior of the republican party.  There is something seriously wrong with those people.

Generally speaking, the bad that happened can be traced to either autocratic despots or wrong wing nutjobs.  In this country, our republican party is a nutjob paradise and the primary reason things don’t get better for everyone.  Under their influence the rich got richer and the rest of us got screwed.  It’s hard to understand how anyone not in danger of being indicted can continue to support them.

I waffle between thinking of republicans as a quasi-religious cult attempting to impose a tyranny of the incompetent or thinking of them as a cluster of tedious asshats pushing to install a mediocrity of fear and stupidity.  In either case their grasping, rapacious greed and overwhelming self-centeredness put the lie to whatever insipid pablum they are promoting as overly vague policy positions.

Today’s republicanism is an empty philosophy, concocted by gluing together extremist and criminal agendas into a fragile and flimsy construct.  There’s no discernable substance beyond the hate, fear and greed that has become deeply etched into the face of the party.

The leadership of the party are, quite simply, a conspiracy of unsavory personalities, antithetical to their party’s roots; devoid of moral fiber, common decency and ethical restraint; chock full of incoherent and contradictory proposals; featuring open advocates of hatred, discrimination, and division; and lacking any kind of tangible commitment to our democracy and our Constitution.

Recently, we’ve seen some of them defending their use of the Confederate flag as a symbol of their noble heritage.  Just to be clear, there is nothing noble about deifying a revolt in support of slavery.  Treason does not improve with age.  Nor does racism and white privilege.  Going by measurable performance (economic, educational, crime, and healthcare) the South is sinking, not rising again.  Bigotry, hatred, racism, unfettered greed, and unearned privilege are not building blocks for a vibrant and healthy society.  Far too many people are stuck in a fantasy about a past that never existed, preventing them from moving forward toward a better future.

Another recent focus has been support for Vladimir Putin.  To be pro-Putin is to be pro-genocide, pro-war-crime and pro-totalitarian-kleptocracy.  Poster Putinists like Greene, Gaetz, and Carlson diminish themselves every time they open their mouths.  While freedom of speech guarantees their right to distort and defame, basic human decency insists that they should STFU.  They have turned themselves into walking obscenities, in that they serve no useful societal purpose.  We will be much better off once they no longer have microphones.

And then there are the pseudo Xtian republicans.  Their religion has embraced all of the damnation and none of the love.  It is a hollow faith.  Some of them are actively campaigning to bring on the End Times.  Others are, very clearly, just in it for the money.  I don’t see any of them actually talking about the principal teachings of Jesus — mercy, forgiveness, respect, tolerance, charity, love, and kindness.

We are watching people who are comfortable selling their crap ideas just like they were members of the American Bund in the run up to World War II.  They are reusing slogans and rhetoric lifted directly from Nazi propaganda.

Those of us who call ourselves Democrats, progressives, liberals and old lefties have a different message.  We don’t make noise about transparency while hiding our donors from public scrutiny.  We don’t have a tentative relationship with reality (cf tfg or Santos).  We don’t threaten to burn the whole thing down when we get spanked at the ballot box (cf tfg or Lake).  We don’t give in to hooligans in our caucus in a desperate bid for the Speakership (McCarthy). [Also, we don’t allow hooligans in our caucus].  We don’t try to claim credit for the benefits of bills we voted against.  We haven’t spent the last 40 odd years blowing smoke up the country’s ass about trickle-down malarky.  We want to have a part in making the world a better place.  Period.

The differences are stark.  Our motivations are clear.  We have a task and we shall not fail.

We have the power.  We have the ability.  We can and we will do this.

Slava Ukraini!

Remember the Children

Screw you, Samuel Alito

Today’s title is derived from a quote by John Philpot Curran (1750-1817) — Evil prospers when good men do nothing.

Late night hosts are off for the holidays.  The rest of the roundup is heavy on republican acts of evil.  So, instead of one of the slightly stale Christmas themed political parodies available at the moment, how about we take a different directions today?  If you aren’t a fan of singing cats, just move along.

The News is upon us

Nuggets from the Report and Transcripts

We’ve got a mountain of information, released by the J6 Committee, to wade through during the holiday season.

Huffington Post:  Sebastian Murdock:  GOP Sen. Mike Lee Called Rudy Giuliani A ‘Walking Malpractice’ In A Text: Jan. 6 Report

Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R) texted an aide to former President Donald Trump the evening of the 2021 Capitol attack to disparage Rudy Giuliani after the former New York City mayor sent Lee a voicemail message by mistake.

“You’ve got to listen to that message. Rudy is walking malpractice,” Lee texted national security adviser Robert O’Brien on the evening of Jan. 6, according to an 845-page final report from the House Jan. 6 committee on Thursday. The report details the many ways Trump and his associates planned to disrupt the electoral process.

Lee, who helped Trump push schemes to overturn the election, received a voicemail from Giuliani just before 11 p.m. on the day that left several people dead and 140 law enforcement officers injured. The voicemail was apparently meant for GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville as part of Giuliani’s attempt to sway Republican Senators into blocking the Electoral College votes.

“You can’t make this up,” Lee texted O’Brien. “I just got this voice message [from] Rudy Giuliani, who apparently thought he was calling Senator Tuberville.”

Lee then texted that Giuliani was “walking malpractice.”

Just one example from a list of seven at Axios.

Axios:  Andrew Solender:  New revelations from the Jan. 6 report

1) Stepien office incident: Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien testified that he took an intentional, informal “self-demotion” after Trump brought on lawyer Rudy Giuliani to help spread baseless election fraud claims. He told the committee about an episode in which he locked Giuliani out of his office:

  • “It was a big glass … office in our headquarters, and I had my assistant lock my door,” he told the committee, “I told her, don’t let anyone in … Tell me what’s going on here, but, you know, you’re going to see less of me.”
  • “Sure enough,” he continued, “Mayor Giuliani tried to… get in my office and ordered her to unlock the door, and she didn’t do that, you know.”
  • Axios’ Jonathan Swan and Zach Basu reported that Trump campaign aides would often take refuge from Giuliani’s meetings in Stepien’s office, with Giuliani coming to knock on the door and ask, “You guys, where did you go?”

Witness tampering?  Did I hear someone mention witness tampering?

Just Security:  Ryan Goodman:  How Jan. 6th Committee’s Revelations of Interference in Their Investigation Can Enable the Special Counsel

✂️ Among the most significant new revelations is the statement in the summary:

“The Committee has substantial concerns regarding potential efforts to obstruct its investigation, including by certain counsel (some paid by groups connected to the former President) who may have advised clients to provide false or misleading testimony to the Committee” (emphasis added).

A recent Washington Post report revealed how similar ties have existed in the Mar-a-Lago investigation. That includes Trump’s Save America PAC paying for the lawyers for key witnesses including Walt Nauta who apparently initially lied to the FBI before confessing knowledge of Trump’s concealing classified materials. (The committee explicitly notes this connection to the Post’s reporting.)

The committee’s revelations accordingly sweep in a set of lawyers who have exposed themselves to criminal liability. The committee also identified some witnesses who appear to have followed through by lying to the committee.

One of seven takeaways at Newsweek

Newsweek:  Darragh Roche:  Jan. 6 Committee Report—Seven Biggest Revelations About Donald Trump

2. Trump Team Committed 200 Acts in Effort to Overturn Election

The report alleges that former President Trump and those close to him engaged in efforts to undermine the 2020 election and carried out at least 200 acts in furtherance of that goal.

“The Select Committee estimates that in the two months between the November election and the January 6th insurrection, President Trump or his inner circle engaged in at least 200 apparent acts of public or private outreach, pressure, or condemnation, targeting either State legislators or State or local election administrators, to overturn State election results,” the report says.

This included “attempted or connected phone calls, or text messages, each aimed at one or more State or local officials” as well as public statements, social media posts and other efforts.

If you want to read a more acerbic take on just how badly the republicans have screwed themselves, Liz Dye took a stab at it.

Wonkette:  Liz Dye:  January 6 Report Is Real, And It’s Spectacular

✂️ Our story picks up on on election night at the White House when a drunk Giuliani told Trump to go out and declare victory, even after Fox News called Arizona for Joe Biden. Everyone else urged caution, but Trump waddled out before the cameras and started yelling about fraud — even before his team had decided exactly which Black civil servants to pin a target on.

“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country,” Trump brayed to the assembled cameras. “We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election. We did win this election.”

He then demanded that voting must stop, by which he meant no more votes should be counted.

“Right out of the box on election night, the President claimed that there was major fraud underway,” former attorney general Bill Barr testified to the committee. “I mean, this happened, as far as I could tell, before there was actually any potential of looking at evidence.”

We’ll finish off this section with the most comprehensive analysis of the report I’ve found so far.  The authors split the report (all 845 pages) up into parts and then each read and digested one section.  If you want to take a deep dive into the report without reading it cover to cover, this is the place to start.  I can’t do it justice without grossly violating the fair use doctrine.  You’ll have to follow the link if you want to partake of the red meat contained within.

Lawfare:  Scott R. Anderson, Hadley Baker, Saraphin Dhanani, Quinta Jurecic, Tyler McBrien, Natalie K. Orpett, Roger Parloff, Stephanie Pell, Katherine Pompilio, Molly E. Reynolds, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Benjamin Wittes:  The Jan. 6 Report: A Summary with Some Analysis

✂️ As with the 9/11 Commission report two decades ago, people will argue about the committee’s recommendations. Reasonable minds will disagree about its criminal referrals. But as with the 9/11 Commission report, this document’s impact lies in the story it tells. For it is a story no other entity could have told. It required the power of government, the ability to compel testimony and force the production of documents. Yet it also required the ability to tell a story, an ability generally off limits to prosecutors outside of the context of indictment Ent.

It is, typos and flaws and errors and inadequacies and all, an essential document for accountability in the post-Trump era.

No individual has yet read, much less digested, all 845 pages of it yet. But we collectively divided it up and formulated some initial thoughts on it. What follows is a high-altitude, chapter-by-chapter overview. It excludes the executive summary, which we discussed in several pieces this week.

I Can’t Believe We Need a Scorecard for This

What can you say about George Santos that he hasn’t already lied about himself?  Do you think he bought so far into all the teachings of tfg, to the point he’s competing for the title of most dishonest?  Santos is another person who, based on his qualifications for office, shouldn’t even have voted for himself.  

Slate:  Shirin Ali:  A List of All the Things George Santos Has Lied About

By now the name George Santos should ring a bell: A bombshell investigation by the New York Times revealed almost all of his claims about his personal and professional life made while campaigning (successfully!) for a House seat in New York turned out to be flat out false or seriously shady. These revelations didn’t come out until after Santos won his Long Island district with a pretty decisive eight-point victory that helped Republicans clinch a narrow majority in the House.

The breadth of 34-year-old Santos’ lies are pretty impressive, from claiming he worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to having Jewish grandparents that fled Europe during World War II. The entire scandal has rocked members of the  media, who have been left scratching their heads on how these pretty significant lies went unearthed throughout Santos’ campaign. But just as importantly are the consequences of the  lies themselves—as an incoming Congressman, they could create ethics violations and even legal challenges once he takes office in January.

The biography in question is still up on Santos’ website and the incoming Congressmen appeared to have responded to the Times story via his lawyer with a statement posted to his Twitter account that essentially blamed “the Left ” and a quote from Winston Churchill (“you have enemies? Good. it means that you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”) We have a strong suspicion that standing up for a fraudulent college degree and Wall Street pedigree wasn’t what Churchill meant, but anyway—it gets better: On Thursday Santos announced he would be addressing questions and telling his side of the story, but voters would have to wait until next week. Sometimes a man needs time to put together a strategically positioned response to the question ‘where did you go to college,’ OK?

The List (so far as of the 22nd):

  • Graduating from Baruch College
  • Having Jewish grandparents
  • Losing employees in the Pulse Nightclub shooting
  • Running an animal charity
  • Working at Citigroup
  • Owning rental property
  • The Devolder Organization
  • His marriage
  • His other marriage (the one with a divorce record)
  • Not knowing about the Ponzi scheme at Harby City Capital, where he actually worked

Calling Out Evil

Republican of the Texas and Florida persuasions are working on a new tactic — performance cruelty.  In the latest installment the Abbott of Assholes, dumped immigrants into freezing temperature outside the Vice President’s residence.  The White House responded and so should the rest of us.  How sick does a person have to be to do something like this?  

Vanity Fair:  Charlotte Klein:  White House Condemns Greg Abbott Over Yet Another Migrant Stunt

The White House on Sunday blamed Texas Governor Greg Abbott for sending more than 100 migrants to Vice President Kamala Harris’ home on Christmas Eve—the coldest that Washington DC has experienced in decades. “Governor Abbott abandoned children on the side of the road in below freezing temperatures on Christmas Eve without coordinating with any Federal or local authorities,” White House spokesperson Abdullah Hasan said in a statement, per CNN, calling it “a cruel, dangerous, and shameful stunt.” Hasan reiterated the administration’s willingness to work with both parties on issues such as immigration reform and border security, adding that Abbott’s “political games accomplish nothing and only put lives in danger.”

Late Saturday night, buses full of migrant families arrived outside the Naval Observatory, where the vice president’s home is located, from Texas. “Volunteers scrambled to meet the asylum seekers after the buses, which were scheduled to arrive in New York on Christmas Day, were rerouted due to the winter weather,” the Washington Post reported. Relief agencies SAMU First Response and the Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network were on the ground Saturday evening to help with the arrivals, providing blankets to the migrants—some of whom were “wearing only T-shirts in the freezing weather,” according to CNN—and transporting them to a local church where they were given food and other resources.

Texas authorities haven’t confirmed Abbott’s involvement in the bus drop-offs, and multiple outlets reported Sunday morning that the governor’s office did not respond to requests for comment. The Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network “said the buses were sent by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, which follows the directive of Gov. Greg Abbott’s office,” according to the New York Times. It wouldn’t be the first time that Abbott has sent migrants to Harris’ backyard: In September, he transported 50 migrants to DC, calling on the Biden administration to “do its job & secure the border.” Other Republican leaders have also embraced such tactics, including Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who earlier this year sent two planes of migrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard—a stunt which reportedly costed more than $600,000.

Take that, You Long Dead Traitors

All I can say is it’s about damn time.

CNN:  Sarah Fortinsky:  West Point kicks off process to remove Confederate monuments on campus

The US Military Academy will begin removing Confederate monuments from its campus, including a portrait of Robert E. Lee that shows him wearing a Confederate uniform.

The academy will undergo a “multi-phased process” during the holiday break to remove all 13 identified references and installations honoring the Confederacy, the academy’s superintendent, Lt. Gen. Steve Gilland, wrote in a letter to the West Point community last week.

That includes the portrait of Lee from the library, a stone bust of Lee from the campus’ Reconciliation Plaza and a “bronze triptych” at the entrance to Bartlett Hall.

Shining a Light Under a Particularly Slimy Rock

We cannot let the transgressions of the magaots fade.  Every time we shine a light on the sleaze and the hate, we peel away another vote or two.  And that’s a good thing.

Salon:  Kelly McClure:  Marjorie Taylor Greene, supreme hobgoblin of 2022: Her year of culture-war lowlights

Donald Trump loves Greene and has often referred to her as his “warrior.” That may be how she sees herself, but true  warriors aren’t as needy as Greene seems to be and don’t need as much as Greene does. Judging by her appearances over the past year, it’s clear that saying whatever bonkers thing comes to mind, with the goal of ensuring that she’ll land at the top of news coverage the following morning, takes precedence over any legitimate action plan. Growing up, I was taught not to talk about doing things but just to do them. That’s how a strong woman should be, and how a warrior should act. I’m not a warrior by any means — but neither is she.

[Note:  The rest of the article is a list of Greene at her worst.  A couple of examples]

Nothing provides proof that an adult does not, in fact, have their s**t together than resorting to physical violence. In September, when asked by a group of young activists to explain how the Second Amendment can prevent gun violence, Greene chose to kick one of them in the back of the leg rather than offer a rational response. To make matters worse, the person she kicked was 18-year-old Marianna Pecora, deputy communications director for Voters of Tomorrow, who was in D.C. at the time to lobby for youth rights. When Pecora and her colleague Santiago Mayer, the group’s executive director, shared video of the exchange on Twitter, clearly showing the kick, Greene actually retweeted it, calling the young activists “foolish cowards.”

Like other Republicans who use religion as a blunt instrument, Greene bends her definition of what real religion is to suit her current talking points. In April, she gave an interview to the far-right Catholic news organization Church Militant in which she suggested that Satan was controlling the Catholic Church. After Catholic League president Bill Donohue took issue with her comments, Greene released a 700-word statement clapping back at some length. Donohue had accused her of “slandering Catholics and Catholicism in an interview I gave to Michael Voris at Church Militant,” Greene wrote. “Nothing could be further from the truth, and he must apologize promptly and publicly for these words… It’s the church leadership I was referring to when I invoked the Devil. The bishops know that, but had their loyal lapdog pretend I was being disrespectful about the faith.” A bit further on, Greene does a bit more revising, saying, “Just so we’re clear, bishops, when I said ‘controlled by Satan,’ I wasn’t talking about the Catholic Church. I was talking about you.”

Stray thought:  Does Greene’s invocation of the Gazpacho Police make her a soup Nazi?

Speaking of Slimy Piles of Excrement

Thinks are not going well for everybody’s least favorite conspiracy theorist.

Wonkette:  Liz Dye:  Alex Jones Bankruptcy Continues To Be Sh*tshow Dumpster Fire

Approximately ten minutes after Connecticut Judge Barbara Bellis tacked another $473 million in punitive damages on top of the $965 million compensatory jury award in the second Sandy Hook defamation lawsuit, Alex Jones launched himself at the bankruptcy court, where he continues to flop around like a goldfish on shag carpet.

A normal person who spent all of 2022 trying and failing to get the bankruptcy court to rescue him from the consequences of defaming the parents of murdered children and calling them “crisis actors” might have handled this differently. But Alex Jones is not normal. So …

After trying and failing to delay the trials by putting three worthless LLCs in bankruptcy, Jones declared Infowars’s parent company Free Speech Systems (FSS) bankrupt, forcing him to open his books up to the scrutiny of both the US Bankruptcy Trustee and the Sandy Hook plaintiffs. Thanks in part to his insistence that FSS owes all its money to a Nevada LLC owned by Jones and his parents, Jones’s preferred restructuring team got booted from the case, something US Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez said he’d never done before and hoped never to do again. The gambit did succeed in getting the US Trustee all the way up his company’s ass, though, so, well played, sir!

With FSS’s assets tied up in bankruptcy, Jones found himself on the hook for the entire jury award in both Texas and Connecticut — a cool $1.5 billion — hence the personal bankruptcy filing earlier this month, since the only thing worse than letting the Sandy Hook plaintiffs paw through his assets is being forced to cut them a check. But being Alex Jones, he immediately set out to make himself as obnoxious as possible to both the US Trustee and the court itself.

Don’t Let Pro-Genocide Putin Puppets Get Away with Their Lies and Advocacy of Evil

Deceased members of the American Bund are cheering on their spiritual descendants from their not so cozy seats in hell.  Let’s shout this iteration of treasonous lying scumsuckers down.  Tuckems, Boebert, Gaetz and the rest of them deserve all the scorn we can heap upon them.  Standing up for Putin and his war is war crime adjacent.  Shame on all of them.

The Bulwark:  Cathy Young:  Putin’s Useful Idiots: Right Wingers Lose It Over Zelensky Visit

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s surprise arrival in Washington on Wednesday for a meeting with President Joe Biden and a speech before Congress has unhinged the always-seething anti-Ukraine Trumpian right, triggering a deluge of snark and grievance.✂️ 

That’s more than can be said for the vast majority of the “no money for Ukraine” crowd, from the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh (“Get this grifting leech out of our country please”) to Tucker Carlson, who referred to Zelensky as a “Ukrainian strip club manager”—apparently because he was dressed in a olive-drab sweatshirt—and asserted that “it may be impossible to imagine a more humiliating scenario for the greatest country on Earth.” He also insisted that Zelensky is seeking not just to “push the Russian army back to pre-invasion borders,” which even Carlson conceded “sounds reasonable,” but to topple Vladimir Putin and bring about “regime change” in Russia. After Zelensky’s speech to Congress, Carlson brought on former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the “maverick” Democrat from Hawaii, to sing along with his assertions that Zelensky was actually an autocrat muzzling critical media outlets, jailing opposition politicians, and now trying to shut down an entire church because he finds it insufficiently loyal.

(In reality, the situation involving the Moscow-affiliated branch of the Orthodox Church—one of the two Orthodox denominations in Ukraine—is massively complicated; in wartime, there are legitimate security concerns about its clergy’s reported activities in support of the invaders. However, a quote Carlson attributes to Zelensky, threatening “economic and restrictive sanctions [on] any Christian caught worshiping in unapproved ways,” does not seem to have any source other than Carlson himself.)

Poor, Poor, Pitiful She

Comeuppance cometh.  Come, let us celebrate.

Raw Story:  David Edwards:  ‘Enough really is enough’: Kari Lake’s attorneys hit with sanctions filing day after Christmas

✂️”There is no question that Plaintiff’s claims here were both ‘groundless’ and ‘not made in good faith,’” the motion said. “As noted above. Plaintiff had decided well before the election that if the results did not favor her, she would deny that they were legitimate.”

“Enough really is enough,” the document concluded. “It is past time to end unfounded attacks on elections and unwarranted accusations against elections officials. This matter was brought without any legitimate justification, let alone a substantial one. The Maricopa County Defendants therefore ask this Court to impose sanctions against Plaintiff Kari Lake and her attorneys, Brian Blehm and Kurt Olsen.”

Attorneys for Lake have until 5 p.m. on Monday to respond to the request for sanctions. The defendants have also asked Lake to pay attorney fees.

Today’s Andification

A day without Andy is like a day without Andy.  Let’s not go there.

The New Yorker:  Satire from the Borowitz Report:  Kari Lake Flips Out at 7-Eleven After Buying Losing Lottery Ticket

PHOENIX (The Borowitz Report)—Kari Lake reportedly “flipped out” at a suburban 7-Eleven after buying a losing lottery ticket there on Christmas morning, multiple witnesses report.

According to those witnesses, Lake’s failure to produce a winning result in a lottery scratcher game called Cash Craze led her to accuse the ticket machine of being rigged against her and “riddled with fraud.”

While other customers averted their eyes, the former anchorwoman launched into a tirade on a wide range of targets, including the “pathetic” quality of Christmas presents she had just received.

The Required Palate Cleanser After Calling Out All That Republican Sleaze

The experiment included giving away cupcakes to strangers.  Now that’s what I call a tasty palate cleanser.

Scientific American:  Amit Kumar:  Kindness Can Have Unexpectedly Positive Consequences

Scientists who study happiness know that being kind to others can improve well-being. Acts as simple as buying a cup of coffee for someone can boost a person’s mood, for example. Everyday life affords many opportunities for such actions, yet people do not always take advantage of them.

In a set of studies published online in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Nick Epley, a behavioral scientist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and I examined a possible explanation. We found that people who perform random acts of kindness do not always realize how much of an impact they are having on another individual. People consistently and systematically underestimate how others value these acts.

Across multiple experiments involving approximately 1,000 participants, people performed a random act of kindness—that is, an action done with the primary intention of making someone else (who isn’t expecting the gesture) feel good. Those who perform such actions expect nothing in return.

✂️ Our work suggests that simply being part of a positive, prosocial interaction is meaningful beyond whatever it is a person receives. People understand that cupcakes can make folks feel good, to be sure, but it turns out that cupcakes given in kindness can make them feel surprisingly good. When someone is thinking primarily about the tasty treat they are giving away, they may not realize that the warmth of that gesture is an extra ingredient that can make the cupcake even sweeter.

Musical Interlude

Another Playing for Change, Song Around the World — Seeds of Freedom, a Manu Chao original composition from 2019.

Music from Ukraine

Ukrainian Andriy Khlyvnyuk’s famous a cappella rendition of The Red Viburnum in the Meadow, is backed by Pink Floyd (David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Guy Pratt, Nitin Sawhney) in their first new composition since 1994.  Recorded at the end of March, 2022, this performance has raised more than half a million dollars for Ukrainian charities.  The Red Viburnum in the Meadow is a patriotic Ukrainian song, written in 1875 and banned from 1919 through 1991 (while Ukraine was a Soviet Socialist Republic).  Its singing has also been outlawed in Crimea since 2014.

On the Lighter Side (with an Edge)

A WOMAN was flying from Melbourne to Brisbane …  Unexpectedly, the plane was diverted to Sydney.  

The flight attendant explained that there would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted to get off the aircraft the plane would re-board in 50 minutes.  Everybody got off the plane except one lady who was blind.  

A man had noticed her as he walked by and could tell the lady was blind because her Seeing Eye Dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her throughout the entire flight.  He could also tell she had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached her, and calling her by name, said, ‘Kathy, we are in Sydney for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?’  

The blind lady replied, ‘No thanks, but maybe Max would Like to stretch his legs.’  

Picture this:  All the people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a Seeing Eye dog!  

The pilot was even wearing sunglasses.  

People scattered.  They not only tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines!  

True story…  

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A Dog’s Eye View — Picks from Pressley

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Sometimes people tell me I’m all wet.  I don’t see the point — I already know that.

Hi folks, I’ve been on sabbatical while NNNE works on improving my keyboard access.  It takes me too long to type out stories using just my claws.  But, the Bark to English voice recognition and translation app sucks badly enough to be unusable.  The limits of current technology means I tend to go through keyboards like a hot knife through butter.  That quickly gets expensive, and NNNE isn’t made of money.  Plus, I voted for treats instead of keyboards as a more proper budgetary preference.

However, I do miss interactions with my audience.  So, I made an effort to soldier through the obstacles and put together a Pressley’s Picks offering during the Holiday season.

Deforestation doesn’t just harm the climate or make the world uglier, it also affects us dogs — have a heart and take us into account when you are contemplating another assault on the planet.

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It would be nice if you’d take the time out to thank us for all the times we’ve saved you from the dangers of the modern world.  Just sayin’.

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Ok folks, the other stuff is just padding and window dressing for me to share this short film released in 2018 [4:03] Contrary to the video’s header, this did not win an Oscar.

Closing Notes

From July, 1990, this version of Jack Straw features a guest appearance by Bruce Hornsby on Accordion.

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I am contractually obligated to ask if you are planning any New Year’s resolutions this year?



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I am contractually obligated to ask if you are planning any New Year’s resolutions this year?

Piss off. I don’t buy into the whole new year propaganda machine.

I don’t need to make any resolutions. I’m already perfect.

Can I have some pie please. I miss booze pie.

I have a much better response to your simple yes-no question, which I will inflict upon all of your readers somewhere in the comment section.



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