A “Catch All” Column, Volume 2

I haven’t written a “Catch All” piece since September of 2017. So just as a reminder, this type of piece results when I don’t think I have enough to go with on one topic, so I share a paragraph or two on topics across the spectrum – politics, sports, pop culture, and anything else that strikes me. Ok, let’s start with:

DON’T COUNT ON TRUMP LEAVING SOON

Think Trump will be driven out of office soon?  Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it. Here are the two main differences between the end of the line for Richard Nixon and what many are seeing for Donald Trump:

  • Nixon didn’t have Fox News – Even Nixon’s former White House Counsel John Dean (still a fixture on news programs) thinks that if Fox News were at full steam in the 1970s, Nixon may have survived. Trump has 42% approval in polls WHILE ALL OF THIS IS GOING ON, AND despite his disaster of a presidency. Do you think that’s because of his charm?  No. It’s because 40% of Americans believe ANYTHING the hate mongering, conspiracy theorizing, arch conservative Fox News tells them. Blindly. These people LOOK FOR REASONS to believe the shit they believe. And you know what? They will encourage 20,000 NRA members, all with 2-3 AR-15s apiece, to surround the White House and keep Trump from every being taken. In fact, those people probably won’t need an invitation. They will just show up and – ta-daa! – Constitutional Crisis!
  • Things are FAR MORE PARTISAN today than the early 1970s – Congressional Districts today are so gerrymandered to favor one party over another, that most sitting members of the House fear a primary challenge from someone who doesn’t think they are liberal or conservative enough in their own party than they do their General Election opponent. Back then, many Republicans reluctantly, but willingly, finally came around when the evidence was clear. They put country over party. Evidence was evidence. That won’t happen today. Need proof?  Why was James Comey twice invited to testify on Capitol Hill before a lame-duck, Republican controlled House, since the Mid-term elections? Was it to ask him what he had on Trump at the time he was fired?  NO. It was of course to ask him why he didn’t go tougher on Hillary Clinton, and why there is supposedly “liberal bias” at the FBI. Liberal Bias?  Have you MET the FBI?! 

The fact is, dear readers, we are going to have to mobilize as well or even better in 2020 than we did in 2018 and VOTE him out. I pray I’m wrong, but he’s not going anywhere.

THIS CLIPPERS TEAM

Nobody expected this new-look Clippers team – a team without ANY household names – to be 21-15 in its first 36 games. They have largely avoided their penchant for constant injuries. They have a mix of sizes and depth, and Doc Rivers is staggering the minutes of his starters and subs far better than he did in the “Lob City” era. In Danilo Gallinari (a.k.a. “Gallo,”) they have a big man who can shoot threes. In Patrick Beverly and Avery Bradley, they have a back court that can play defense. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is playing solid ball as a rookie point guard. Tobias Harris is breaking out as a potential All-Star, and Lou Williams is a 6th-man scoring assassin. Finally, Montrezl Harrell is a force inside and puts it all out there with fury. I get nightmares… and he’s on MY team. I really hope this group stays healthy and continues to build a solid chemistry of playing together. They do need to step up in terms of team defense, but I’m confident this team can go places. In fact, I would LOVE to see the “no name” Clippers go even further than the Lob City Clippers famously did not.

THE FAVOURITE

Saucy Ladies!

Driven by masterpiece performances from all its leading ladies, The Favourite is both a comic look at a window of time in the reign of Queen Anne, and a spicy and sexy drama full of palace intrigue, Parliamentary maneuvering, and games-womanship. Olivia Coleman, soon to step in as Elizabeth II on Netflix’s “The Crown,” is Oscar-worthy as Queen Anne, who without heir was the last sovereign of the House of Stuart (which started with King James I after Elizabeth I famously left no heir). She only ruled for 12 years, but in this film, she seems solidly established as queen. Playing her dearest friend/lover and shrewd political advisor, Lady Sarah, is the always fabulous Rachel Weisz, who I would watch, uh… watching paint dry. And Emma Stone continues to build up her bonafides as a serious dramatic actress as the sneaky and ambitious ingenue Abigail. The film is shot at times with a fishbowl effect of a camera, emphasizing focus on the immediate subject of a scene and relegating the rest of the background to smaller view. It’s a quirky film, which one should expect from Director Yorgos Lanthimos, who gave us The Lobster. Come for the performances, stay for the humorous satire of 18th century dance. 

THE TRUMP FUNERAL

None of them will be there for you!

Ok, back to Trump for a second. 2018 gave us emotional and widely covered sendoffs for John McCain and George H.W. Bush. You know what I can’t wait for?  The “no one shows up” non-event of the Donald J. Trump funeral. If he’s ever found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, will he even be allowed the National Cathedral?!  Or be allowed to lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda? How much do you bet the CNN and MSNBC coverage is more focused on the deplorables, mobbed-up “CEOs” and also-ran types that serve as the “prominent speakers” and how undistinguished and classless an event it becomes? The only world leaders to attend will be a host of dictators and Bibi Netanyahu if they themselves haven’t been overthrown and jailed by that time…or are even allowed in the U.S. It will be just a pathetic display. I’m sorry that I’m not sorry that I have this negative fantasy … so there it is.

2 Comments

  1. I would disagree slightly that gerrymandering is one of the institutional differences that will protect Trump in a way it did not for Nixon. Gerrymandering only impacts the House and Democrats, with their solid majority, can most likely, post Mueller report, impeach Trump. The real question is the Senate. States don’t gerrymander and, assuming you get all 47 Democrats and Independents to vote to convict, can you get an additional 20 Republicans to get you to 67? This will be hard, maybe impossible, so you may be right.

    What I would enjoy seeing is an analysis of all 53 Republicans and whether there is a plausible path to 20? The only obvious candidates I can think of off the top of my head are Mitt Romney from Utah, Susan Collins Maine, and Corey Gardner from Colorado are the only I can think of off the top of my head. Next I’d look at what other Republicans are up in 2020 and how red their state is. The other X factor is the economy. If we head in to recession and Trump’s favorability drops in to the mid to low 30s the calculus might change.

    • See? You even caught yourself wondering about whether you could put together 20 Republican Senators. Whole states may not be gerrymandered, but the Republicans IN those states don’t want to be “primaried.” You have a nation of Republican electeds who are either proudly with Trump, or have to pretend to be.

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