CSotD: Rolling My Trouser Legs

Sousa and Machado‘s commentary on the Barr Report of the Mueller Report is a bit light on metaphor, but, first of all, sometimes being direct is the right choice. Too much subtlety can obscure the point.

Second is that they understood that point, and I’m gobsmacked by the number of political cartoonists on both sides who don’t seem to have any idea of what just happened.

I’m seeing triumphant announcements that there is nothing damning in the report despite the clear, plain, well-discussed fact that nobody but William Barr has actually seen a copy of the report.

So I expect the conservatives to embrace his word on what’s in it and to crow over it, but I’m disappointed in the gullibility of centrists and liberals who also trust his explanation and are drawing woebegone donkeys.

Particularly since the reaction from Democrats has not been acceptance of Barr’s boiled-down analysis but a demand to see the actual report.

It’s a disappointment to liberals that no additional indictments came out at the last minute, but they got several along the way, and it’s highly likely that the report contains enough evidence that Congress and the SDNY will have plenty to work with.

If Barr lets anyone see it, that is, and you don’t have to be a sophisticated political analyst to realize that William Barr represents the President, not the Justice Department.

You only have to have read the memo that sparked his appointment.

This is not unprecedented: John Mitchell represented Richard Nixon, and nobody except a few fringe-dwellers thought otherwise.

But Mitchell’s explanations of Watergate were discounted, if not met with derision, by the bulk of commentators.

Oh well. As Bill Bramhall notes, the President is ready to move on.

He’s working now to get rid of health care for many millions of people, and Betsy DeVos has cut funding for the Special Olympics, and the Pentagon has taken a billion dollars from military families in order to add other bricks to the wall.

Even cartoonists who can’t grasp the status and significance of the Mueller Report and who think it’s about sad donkeys should be able to find other material to work with.


Meanwhile, out here at the Old Folks Home

Edison Lee happens to coincide with a conversation I had with a granddaughter the other day, not about toys but close enough.

I was noting that it used to be fun to go to an antique car show and say, “I remember those fins from when I was a little kid!” but it started to sting when I began saying, “Yeah, I went to prom in one of those,” and now I see cars I owned and drove, in what seem like recent years.

The conversation involved a question about the difference between “classic” and “antique.”

Well, I am no longer a classic.


Which means that, yes, if the little penguins in Arctic Circle would like to ask me, I could tell them all about a world of paper bags, glass returnable bottles and waxed-paper straws.

The flaw in waxed-paper straws was that, if you accidentally bent them, they’d break along the twisted seam and you’d end up getting as much air as beverage. But someone discovered a way to make a bendy part about two inches from the top, which pretty much solved the problem without killing any sea life.

The good part was that the wrappers were loose and so you could blow them off the straw at each other, or dip the closed end in butter and blow it up to stick on the cafeteria ceiling.

The even better part was that, in those days, you just got yelled at for pranks like that and maybe put on detention.

Today, they call the cops and you end up with a criminal record, even if you don’t get handcuffed and tased.

(They’ve already got your fingerprints because your parents fell for all that Abducted Child paranoid bullshit.)

As for glass bottles, yes, O Best Beloved, I remember seeing the first plastic milk jugs in the early 70s and insisting, instead, on returnable glass bottles until the stores stopped carrying them.

Ditto with grocery sacks, which started out with baggers asking if you wanted paper or plastic. Today, they only ask at the co-op, where, if you just have a few things, they’re also apt to ask if you want a bag at all.

Stores are beginning to press for people to use returnable canvas bags, which are (1) better for the environment, (2) save them having to pay for bags at all and (3) $4.95.



On a semi-related note, I’m also old enough to remember when young progressives were pro-worker/pro-union, and now the hipsters ride around with scabdrivers instead of hailing a real taxi.

The pushback against Air B&B, noted here by Joy of Tech, is a little different in that it impacts full-time neighbors of those freelance entrepreneurs.

NPR had an interesting, touching story about how Air B&B’s are ruining old historic neighborhoods in New Orleans, and it’s very much worth a read because the woman they hold up as being in the spirit of the real movement did a fine job of keeping things chill, until outsiders ruined it.

I’ve been a homeowner and I’ve been a tenant and I took a brief turn of trying to be a landlord and thank god for zoning boards because people are like pigs and if you don’t keep the pen clean, they’ll happily turn it into a stinking wallow.


Finally, Arlo & Janis accidentally summons up an old phrase that fits today’s mood: “Teaching your grandmother to suck eggs,” which refers to young people youthsplaining things their elders have long known perfectly well.

That’s not Janis’s context, and I got that laff, too, because part of maturity is evaluating your past and the people in it with some objectivity.

However, given the putative age of Janis’s grandmothers, I’d be surprised if they didn’t both know the answer to the question.