E Pluribus Fatuus

Just a couple of observations and witticisms from the desk of Mick Zano. I look at today’s politics through a decidedly different lense, one of bemused detachment. It amazes me how I live in a country where nearly 60% of the population believes a Trump presidential run is a nonstarter, yet, despite this fact, we’re still barreling toward a Grover Cleveland scenario. That’s quite the fuxtaposition. Watching Donald Trump’s political career over the years, I can’t help but think he somehow poses a threat to actress Jamie Lee Curtis each Halloween. On the flipside, this same country can’t actually circle back and share the key takeaways of COVID, after 3 plus years. What’s the latest supplement studies saying? What stats are important? What worked and what didn’t? How did we fare as compared to other countries? What’s the prevalence of vaccination side effects? Why are stats shifting sharply to more COVID deaths for those vaccinated? What is the actual fucking plan for the next pandemic? Has anyone in authority discussed this in some highlight-reel fashion? I for one, no longer give a rat’s ass about my local hospital staffing issues or overflow. Most of us here in ‘Murica can’t afford to get fifty feet from such facilities in the first place, so that should keep admissions down, eh Nurse Ratched? Oh, I forgot these are our ‘Heroes.’ Yeah, I finally got COVID last week, tested quickly, and I called my provider to see if I was a candidate for the oral supplement. He said, in not so many words, sure, make an appointment and come in, so: A. we’re beyond the date of relevance for supplemental medication, but B. I can still bill shit. Nice. Ask your doctor if cramming as many billing codes into a seven-minute checkup is right for you.

With Democracy On The Ballot, It’s Still Too Close To Call

Phoenix, AZ—Residing in a predominately republican community amidst one of the most populous red cities in the US reminds me of the book Lord of the Flies, but in the larval stage. [Preying DeSantis joke swatted with a newspaper by the editor]. When I lived in Pennsylvania, the Keystone State always sat in the political thick of things, but these days the southwest is making its own mark, well, at least in a mildly amusing way. Yes. I now describe the loss of our democracy as ‘mildly amusing.’  But, as an AZ resident, I almost feel like Governor-wannabe Kari Lake has a point. How is Arizona on the verge of pulling off this midterm upset? It’s shocking. My community only allows HOA-endorsed Blake Masters and Kari Lake signs to adorn our terminally beige subdivisions. Since relocating here, I decided to mark the calendar the day I overheard an intelligent conversation somewhere. Sadly, I overhear my share of chit chat while out in the local cafes, coffeeshops, and bars, but two plus years finds this calendar woefully empty. So, where are all these secretly liberal folks hiding? Now in Tucson or Flagstaff you have your typical conversational mixed bag: some good, some bad, and some ugly, but Phoenix (located in the most populated county, Maricopa) is a very different beast. I’ve described the libraries here thusly: it’s like if Gordon Ramsey threw up on Tucker Carlson at catechism. Yep, that pretty much captures the literary schiessgeist here in the Valley of the Sun. Two recent conversations were so disturbing I nearly intervened, but then I stopped to consider two things: rightwingers are allergic to any and all facts, and I have yet to meet my health insurance deductible this year. I find it stunning my state may yet help fend off disaster, or at least it seems so in this too close to call moment. The loss of democracy is still too close to call. Either way, don’t pop those champagne corks, kids. There will be a next red president, which means there may never be another blue one again.

Oh, wait, the republicans are gaining with in-person voting. Nice.

DNC Offering Free ‘Voting Day Disguise Kits’ For Liberal Arizona Voters

Phoenix, AZ—At this hour, armed vigilantes are stationing themselves near voting ballot boxes in the great state of Arizona and there is concern that as election day grows closer such intimidation tactics will only increase. These self-designated Election Integrity Officers are referring to themselves as …well, probably something with a lot less syllables. The Democratic National Committee is acting fast to counter this deplorable situation by ordering thousands of Voter Safety Kits. These are being rushed, right now, to every registered democrat in the state. Along with the above costume, this kit comes with a non-toxic Sharpie for blackening out your teeth. Studies suggest the less teeth the better. Also included is a pamphlet with common safe phrases that can be used when facing an armed person with the IQ of a turnip.

Today, The Atlantic Finally Caught Up To Me! Kidding

It’s exciting to write article after article, pay a subscription to several prominent political publications, and then wait patiently for months, years, or even decades to finally see your own original ancient cognitions in actual print! What great fun! All hail our intelligentsia! I kid the smart people. In an Atlantic article this week, republican commentator Peter Wehner reminded us how he nailed the Trump personality disorder diagnoses back in 2016, yet he’s still botching the bigger picture. He said, “Trump never found a way to escape the antisocial demons that haunt him. But here’s what turned a personal tragedy into a national calamity: He imprinted his moral pathologies, his will-to-power ethic, on the Republican Party.” Wow. This is like pondering that chicken or the egg question and then ordering the waffles. Imprinting? Really? That chapter usually ends for humans around age two, so how about dimprinting? Wait, I guess that does make sense for the GOP. And don’t bring Nietzsche into this; were he alive today he’d thrash you with his giant mustache. First off, I diagnosed the republican party with a personality disorder as a collective, ages ago. Second, I predicted a sociopathic choice would emerge on the republican ticket, because circe 2016 only braindead Gordon-Gekko types need apply. For the last time, Trump did not fall out of right field. This was a steady downward trend, like The Discord site stats. Also, from a psych perspective, one does not easily overcome one’s ‘antisocial demons’. Some can charm their way through any role, which is usually more dangerous, but personality disorders are the hardest fix over in the psych department. A President Desantis may introduce us all to a more effective Axis-II package. Can’t wait. The republican party is like a psych class I never wanted to take. Is it too late to major in full-contact anthropology? 

In Defense Of William Barr …Kidding

For those who missed it, this week confirmed what most of us already knew: former AG William Barr covered for Trump’s obstruction of justice during the Mueller investigation. I would add another sarcastic surprise-emoji face, but Winslow needs to order more. Here’s the highlight reel of the memo between Mueller and Barr (paraphrased):

DOJ: There was no collusion, no underlying crime.

Team Mueller: That’s not what our report said. It said that there’s evidence. It’s just that we didn’t think there was evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to prove conspiracy, because it’s a high bar, Barr.

DOJ: Well, you can’t hit someone with obstruction, if you can’t prove a crime.

Team Mueller: Not true, which is why we added all the precedencies right in the friggin’ report. Trump obstructed our investigation, plain and simple. Interesting interpretation there, Sparky.

DOJ: Well, we’re not going to make this memo public, because it will make us look like dicks.

Release The Flying Monkeys, Smithers

Mary Trump tossed her uncle into a Wizard of Oz analogy this week. She said something like, “Remember how aggressively the flying monkeys defended the witch? But after she melted, the fever just broke? It’s going to be like that.” I have never been as concerned with the shelf-life of this particular warlock, so much as the fact we’re creating an army of flying monkeys in the first place. And this bunch isn’t going to join forces with Glenda the Good Witch or move into the Shire with the rest of Munchkins down in Munchville. Post Trump, they’re going to occupy that angry orchard and amass apples.

70% Of The Republican Party Is Now Right Of Alex Jones

Sure, that headline is a bold statement, but I am basing my hypothesis on both my blogvesary’s latest Stop the Steal article, as well as the deeply disturbing fact that roughly 70% of R-Anywhere still agree with the stolen election premise. Yes. Here we are. It begs the question: are average republicans shifting right of even Alex Jones’s typical schitznik? Think about that, and then check your dual citizenship status. This should further discourage our Flat Earther friends, because anyone right of that guy should plunge off the map. Hey, we could market it as the rapture. But I find it fascinating that, regardless of how many details unravel, the main premise of any given false narrative holds. The wrong remains the same. Rightwingers can hang onto any factoid, in any situation, regardless of how many pieces of their overall puzzle fall off the table and roll behind the couch. It’s a like my grandmother back in the day; she could make a delicious and hardy soup out of a potato and half a stick of celery. But, in this case, the soup isn’t so much delicious as seditious.

2020 Vision: Election Truth

The lead up to the 2020 election was highlighted by the politicization of Covid. Several states used the Covid crisis to change the way ballots were obtained and submitted. There was rampant misinformation regarding COVID’s origins, the effectiveness of lockdowns, mask mandates, and the use of hydroxychloroquine, etc; and there was online censorship of fact-checked “false” reports. It was in this political climate that rumors regarding Hunter Biden’s now infamous laptop surfaced to be fact-checked as “false” and censored online by citing a letter signed by 50 former intelligence employees, suggesting that the laptop story was “Russian Disinformation.” This allowed so many to cast their votes ignorant to the likelihood that the Biden family had been corrupted and compromised by foreign powers.

Political Outrage: You’re Doing It Wrong

The Hill tried to tackle the subject of political outrage this week, with mixed results. I don’t disagree with the entire article’s premise, and yet it fails to capture the scheissgiestic struggles of the Zano Nation (both of us). But sit back and relax, kids, because I’m going to dissect this one like a frog in a 7th grade science lab. This Hill article does eventually get to the heart of the matteror maybe it’s the liver; I failed biology—but a University of Nevada piece starts off this Saga.

[80s music video “On the Loose” joke returned to MTV, postage due.]

Two Key Trump Enemies Audited By The IRS? This Sounds Familiar

Looks like I owe you an apology, Pokey. You were right about the existence of an IRS scandal. You just got the wrong president, is all. America runs on Dunkin? Sure, but The GOP runs on projection. Former Spooks Andrew McCabe and James Comey were both audited by the IRS under Trumpsylvania. What are the chances? We’ll get to that, but first: the NYTs claims these special and specific audits originated from the same tiny division of the IRS:

“According to the I.R.S., there were about 5,000 such audits in 2017, 4,000 in 2018, and 8,000 in 2019 — chosen from about 154 million individual tax returns each year. Mr. Comey’s audit was for his 2017 tax return; Mr. McCabe’s was for his 2019 return.”

Never during the darkest hours of the invented Obama-IRS scandal did we have such a clear picture of auditular wrongdoing (yes, that’s a word). Still, it could be just a coincidence, right? Stranger Things have happened …in Hawkinsville.

WildernessPunk: Invironment

No, it isn’t a typo. Invironment is a new term to encapsulate a few different ideas you’ve
probably heard before and perhaps a few you haven’t. The concept goes something like this,
“Nature and culture have grown less distinct and are now part of the same whole. Our species
has arrived at a point in human evolution we are close to only letting nature exist where we
allow it to do so.”

Dimsurrection 1O1 v A Night At The Improv

For those who missed it, 7 of Stephen Colbert’s employees were arrested at the Capitol this week for trespassing, so our rightwing false-equivalency-maestros wasted no time claiming this comedy troupe’s shenanigans were akin to an all-out insurrection. Kidding, wasting time is all they do. This was an authorized shoot but, apparently, this band of jokesters wandered off a bit—a situation that totally parallels the events of January 6th, 2021 …well, unless you are familiar with the concept of sketch comedy, or mob violence, or the term ‘parallel’ itself. But, you know when these comedians receive the equivalent of a slapstick on the wrist, Fox & Friends are going to lose their minds. Kidding, having one of those is a prerequisite for that activity.

Free Range And Grass Fed Pokey V Zano Discussion

Zano: Hey Poke, so last week a court of law found the procedure of unmasking Michael Flynn appropriate, legal, and warranted? Remember that whole Rice and Obama should go to jail stuff from Fox & Friends?

Pokey: Ok, so they didn’t improperly unmask Flynn, but did they improperly unvaccinate the guy?

Zano: I see what you did there. Cheap shot [badum bump]. My old predictions on unmasking at the end of this article. I bring these up for pattern purposes, before banging my head against a wall. Oh, let’s not forget the Durham setback this week. Thus far, no one has been indicted in your endless Spygate ruminations. So over the last two decades, we still have …hmm, carry the one [eraser sounds]. Uh, zero indictments. Wait, let’s have a recount. Yep. Zip.

Pokey: Hold on. So why have all those Clinton Foundation “charity projects” withered since Bill and Hillary vacated politics? Answer: The Clinton Foundation only flourished because of politics. To suggest otherwise is as ridiculous as respecting Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings as “legitimate.” They have proven themselves to be crime families. I’ve never supported the Republican’s foreign business dealings, including Trump’s, but to lend legitimacy to the Clintons and the Bidens—what you tend to do—is the problem.

I’ve Got Your Political Tinfoil Hat Decoder Ring, Right Here!

I’ve always had a certain level of suspicion, after all, I spent the better part of my college career hanging out with a dude in a fedora and a ‘Question Authority’ t-shirt. My instincts, thereby, are to follow folks down these rabbit holes, depending on the fairy tale, of course. But rarely have I found these deep dives into the right-wing conspiracy trenches worthwhile, as they typically list toward the Jay Ward ‘fractured’ variety. Twenty years of this endeavor can be captured best by YouTubing QAnon predictions to the Depp-Heard trial transcript, while being waterboarded. Some disturbing details are typically uncovered regarding “how the sausage is made,” and then interest wanes when the indictment fervor fades. Simple reform isn’t among the rightwinger’s hobby interests. The punch line comes from the deeper dive, when you uncover who made such actions legal in the first place. More of these roads lead to Lord Reagan than I ever imagined. The DNC’s treatment of Bernie Sanders in 2016—particularly Hillary’s role—is probably the most tangible wrongdoing on the left, but on some level republicans appreciate such tactics and probably took notes. Despite this, staying vigilant in the Age of Misinformation is important because this mountain-sized pile of Foxal matter represents the perfect place to hide a real scandal. It’s the virtual haystack in which to drop any size needle. If Hillary does murder someone, she has but to drop a breadcrumb over at Infowars, and she’s golden. On other side, Donald Trump just shot someone in the face on 5th Avenue and said, “See?”

Donald Trump Accused Of Smuggling Big Macs To The Kremlin

Donald Trump’s legal peril continues to mount today as the former president stands accused of aiding and BigMac’ing the enemy, as well as other violations of the McHatch Act. A truck containing 400 Happy Meals was intercepted 3-miles from the Russian border in Kazakhstan and, according to officials, Donald Trump’s fingerprints are “literally everywhere.” After the closing of all 850 of their restaurants in Russia, the McDonald’s franchise told the press today, “We refuse to comment on any fast-food clown other than our own mascot.” Kazakhstani despot, Admiral General Aladeen, said, “We suspected The Donald for three reasons: one, someone poached all the Happy Meal toys. Who else would do that? Two, half of the French fries were eaten, beyond what any Grubhub driver would do here in beautiful Kazakhstan. And three, each bag contained a note saying, ‘I Iove you, Vlad. Don’t release the pee pee tape, buddy. P.S. We still have Helsinki!'”

Fox Analyst Joins Fight For Russia

New York, NY—After news broke of an MSNBC employee’s decision to join Ukrainian forces to fight Russian aggression, Fox News went into scramble mode. The minutes of yesterday’s executive meeting revealed a series of initiatives the Fox network floated to discredit, Malcolm Nance, the heroic foreign affairs analyst turned Ukraine freedom fighter. The Discord has procured a copy of these minutes, and the document reveals a frantic 24-hour period wherein Fox & Friends pursued several tactics to counter the news piece of a gutsy black liberal doing manly things. At first efforts were directed at inventing some trans-related gender scandal, after all, his name is Nance. They then explored Nance’s connection to an overdue library book in 1992, but it was decided that the majority of Fox News viewers would not find the story of a literate black person credible. To Fox’s credit, they dismissed the notion Nance was a type of cyborg transformer who actually doubled as Hunter Biden’s laptop. There are limits. Near the end of the meeting two primary strategies surfaced, either label the entire affair black-on-Black Russian violence, or somehow link Nance to the death of four Americans during the Benghazi embassy attacks. When all leads seemed a bit of a stretch, even by Fox News standards, an analyst from their Audience Engagement Department suddenly “volunteered” to fight for the Kremlin. The Fox employee is being deployed along with a Russian BGT battalion to the Donbas region of Ukraine sometime Thursday. The as yet unnamed rightwing counterpart released a statement that he does identify as a man and is in no way connected to the horrible atrocities that occurred in Benghazi under Hillay Clinton’s watch in 2012.

Stolen History: A Return To The More Classical QAnon

Stolen History is a 3-part series available on Youtube for no cover charge. This compelling documentary initially focuses on a hodgepodge of conspiracy theories: missing history, the existence of giants, the Akashic record, and morphic resonance, just to name a few. The series then shifts to western civilization’s impetus and determination to trample our myths, traditions, and spiritual heritage. These are all fascinating subjects, but the overarching premise here is how recent history was mysteriously and systematically obliterated. This isn’t a new theme, how moguls conspired to pull spirituality and history up by its roots in an effort to shift the world’s attention to technological advancements in the hopes of creating a more consumer-driven society. Ironically, this movement kicked into gear when they first started making gears, at the onset of the industrial revolution. Yes, this marks the triumphant return of the Hapsburgs, the Fed, the Free Masons, the robber barons, and everything else on the Illuminati buffet. Still, this is the best series of its kind. It does paint a dismal view of recent human activity and the collective brainfart called modernity. Another piece of the puzzle is how ancient buildings were systematically demolished to make way for the series of World Fairs that started in the early 1800s. In preparation for these events, designed to introduce the globe to our gadget-filled future, each city leveled key historic structures, often accruing huge monetary loses for their efforts. They go country by country, building by building, covering this odd behavior that does paint a baffling picture. I was also taken aback by how much the British colonization acted to crystalize the caste system in India. I always wondered how people with such a rich spiritual history got so caught up in this caste business. How do you go from the Upanishads to the untouchables? From unity consciousness to Ukraine unconsciousness, from Mahatma Gandhi to Narendra Modi, from Maharishi to Mumbai-queasy, from Vedic to pathetic, from Brahman to …I’m being told to stop.

Three White Dudes Locked In Egoville Equals WWIII

WWIII is shaping up nicely. First, we have the crazy uncle who watches Tucker Carlson, aka our resident sociopathic Russian, who just wants a little bit more room between himself and anything that smells remotely like NATO. He is an ego-driven, soulless type so, depending on how things go down, we can expect big things from him on the war escalation front. Then we have our own president, quick on the supersanctions, but really cast in the role of FDR for this round. He is happy to remain calm and keep up the pressure on Russia, at least financially, but he doesn’t really have the appetite for mutually assured destruction. Finally, we have Zelensky (the key player of key players), who started off strong but is now in a rather tough spot. The right decision to avoid catastrophe on a species-level is to call uncle, or at least uncle neutral. This is a bitter pill for Zelensky to swallow when your friends and family are being bombed back to the stone age by the person you need schmooze. Nevertheless, Operation Tepid Borscht is the only scenario that will halt Putin and it might just be the only thing that can save us. I realize gazpacho is more typically served hot or cold on this side of the pond, but borscht roles that way too. So let’s do this! If I were the US president—and both of my readers realize I should be—I would be brokering that neutral suppe-dealio, right now. And if you elect me, I will stop making borscht jokes from day one! 

Trump Said Putin Is Showing A ‘Lot Of Love’ For Making ‘His Country Larger’

I just wanted to chime in on this comment, one that our former president had the temerity to utter outload yesterday, presumably on purpose. Putin has a ‘lot of love’ for making ‘his country larger.’ Hmmm. Trump is the grift that keeps on grifting, isn’t he? Germany called this need for some national space, lebensraum, and the notion factored into their involvement in both world wars. Nice segue to WWIII, don’t ya think? Germans today, and probably most of the rest of the free world outside of Fox News, would call Trump another German word for uttering that statement; sheisskopf comes to mind. And I, too, say that with a lot of love.