CSotD: To Brazzaville and Beyond

This Jason Chatfield piece could be a gag or a political cartoon, but, either way, it’s an exaggerated look at how I shop these days.

I recognize that my refusal to buy Arizona Iced Tea is a personal crotchet: They’ve changed hands several times since trying to use Crazy Horse’s name on a malt liquor and the defamation lawsuit has been settled, but it was such an obscenity that I’m not letting it go.

And I realize that the folks at Goya are as embarrassed by their owner’s rightwing politics as they should be, but I still don’t buy their beans, and the guy who owns Nathans makes good hot dogs but shovels the money to Trump, so those are off the list and the head of Five Guys burgers actively opposed health benefits for their workers … well, the list goes on.

And screw Walgreen’s, too.

I recognize that my spending habits are not likely to come up in any of their board meetings, but, first of all, that’s how boycotts work: not by individual decisions but by aggregate numbers.

And, second, while they can live without me, I have to live with me.

We’ll get back to that.


As Mike Luckovich suggests, the walls seem to be closing in at Mar A Lago, and it’s going to be interesting to see how many of Trump’s defenders stick around to see where the line is drawn between innocent dupes and indicted co-conspirators.

It’s been pointed out that Reality Winner got sent to jail for swiping just one classified document.

But money talks and we’ll see if Trump walks.

Juxtaposition of the Day

 (Steve Brodner)


(Pat Bagley)

Money talks indeed. However little my personal disdain for Goya beans matters, Barre Seid’s silent gift matters a great deal, as Brodner outlines, while Bagley focuses on the broader issue of dark money’s impact on democracy.

Barre Seid, of course, has the right to donate to causes he believes in, just as George Soros does, and you’d have to be a flaming hypocrite to criticize one donor without criticizing them both.

That’s a joke, son.

Though the real joke, as Brodner suggests, is thinking we can overturn Citizens United when plutocrats are handing that kind of boodle to the head of the Federalist Society.


Rob Rogers (Counterpoint) points out that Liz Cheney’s unsurprising defeat in Wyoming’s primaries may provide a rallying point for traditional conservatives.

She made it clear in her concession speech that this isn’t the end, and that she’s planning to resist Trump and Trumpism with a new PAC.

There’s speculation that she might run for president, but, if so, it would almost certainly be as a Republican in order to debate Trump in public. But given how the GOP looks on her, the idea that they’d ever let her on the stage at a debate — assuming they have any debates at all — is absurd.

And she’s too smart to run a third-party candidacy.

The most likely scenario is that she will assist candidates of either party who oppose autocrats and election deniers and other enemies of the nation, and that ought to be more frightening than the prospect of a head-to-head confrontation.


In the meantime, the bookburners and witch-hunters are moving faster than cartoonists can keep up.

John Deering (Creators) posted this general accusation just as, next door in Oklahoma, there was a stunning example of the real thing.

As noted yesterday, not every case of a book being moved from open shelves to behind the desk is a “ban,” and we shouldn’t encourage people to cry “Wolf!” when there isn’t a wolf.

Because sometimes there is.

Wendy Soares, evening anchor at KOKH, the Fox affiliate in Oklahoma City, broke the story of a teacher disciplined for giving her students the QR code for the Brooklyn Public Library, where students are encouraged to download whatever banned books they’d like to read.

The story has been picked up, confirmed and expanded upon, and another teacher told the Daily Beast that the teacher, who had been suspended and then basically forced to resign, is hardly alone.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Joe Heller)

(Mike Smith — KFS)

And then there’s this triumph of ignorance: Anthony Fauci’s decision to step down from his official positions — He insists it’s not an actual retirement — is being hailed by the Know-Nothing crowd as the victorious climax of their harassment.

Heller notes how Fauci has attracted abuse from the gathering forces of the coming civil war, but Smith makes a more telling point, which is that, abusive screwballs aside, Fauci has become a symbol for average conservatives of those who nag about healthy behavior.

Which centered on their unwillingness to wear masks at the height of the pandemic, and their eagerness to embrace crackpot conspiracy theories and moronic snake oil remedies, but is now morphing into an overall refusal to have their children vaccinated.

Fauci is 81, which is certainly old enough to retire, but it’s also old enough to remember the world before Jonas Salk came up with a polio vaccine. I’m a decade younger than he is, but I remember Candy, the little girl in my first grade class who clambered around in leg braces.

Now polio is apparently back, and, if it does spread beyond a few cases here and there, the Know-Nothings who reject science can thank themselves.

Want to try for smallpox?


And then there’s this head-scratcher from Chip Bok (Creators), who is either a much bigger fan of experts, bureaucrats and Anthony Fauci than I had previously thought, or has never watched Casablanca.

If you’ve never seen it, here come the spoilers:

In the film, Rick Blaine is an American ex-pat who refuses to get involved in WWII politics — “I stick my neck out for nobody” — and Louis Renault is head of the police, using his office to prey upon attractive, desperate refugees while declining to stand up to Nazi officials.

At the end, however, they both stand up to the Nazis and must leave Casablanca for safe harbor with a Free French garrison in Brazzaville.

Our individual actions may not amount to a can of Goya beans in this crazy world, but we ought to at least sing along.


14 thoughts on “CSotD: To Brazzaville and Beyond

  1. Not where I was expecting to learn… well, anything, really about my old boss.

  2. Crap! That’s really awful about Walgreens. I’m willing to join the boycott, but what about their competitors? Do any of their competitors have the “conscience clause”? Might be a good idea to ask before transferring your prescriptions.

  3. Fans of JRR Tolkien’s work might be excited to hear that the first two episodes of The Rings of Power will be shown in next week on the big screen… unfortunately, they will only be shown in Cinemark Theaters, whose CEO is a huge Trump fan, and donated bigly to right-wing wackos like Roy Moore.

    Worse yet, he actively supports election deniers like ex-felon dinesh d’souza, as Cinemark became the sole national distributor of the discredited “documentary” 2000 Mules after no one else would touch the obvious agitprop.

    Oh well — so long Cinemark!

  4. Christine, a few years ago my insurance company introduced a “mandatory benefit” restricting prescriptions to either CVS or Target. Fortunately, I don’t think any CVS pharmacists around here are exercising that right. Interestingly enough, the line to the pharmacy pickup counter extends to an aisle with condoms, plan B, and sex toys.

    And now I want to read all those banned/restricted books available at the BPL. Unfortunately, you have to be an actual teenager to sign up. Think they’d let a very old teenager in? One who hasn’t been a teenager since Jimmy Carter was president? Probably not.

  5. Fred, our health insurance did the same thing. We used to go to Rite Aid near our house, then HAD to switch to CVS further away (still not far, but a pain nonetheless.) Such restrictions seem to have killed “our” Rite Aid. Their pharmacy business dropped to nothing and that reduced their overall business to a fraction of what it had been,

    In the meantime at the now-overwhelmed CVS we started going to I heard a pharmacist complain to her boss that she had to work a 12-hour shift without a break.

    But hey, single-payer health care apparently leads to Stalinism or some such.

  6. I get my prescriptions at the grocery store. I don’t know what their policy is for their pharmacists, but, so far, I’ve been able to buy bacon and ham without objections from any of the checkers.

  7. I hate how morality went from “not my cup of tea” to “I don’t like this thing, there for no one should have it”. If your morality prevents you from doing your job, than don’t have said job.

  8. Casablanca! Timely in so many ways. Locally here in Hillsborough we’ll have a showing at the end of September. It just never ever gets old. Thanks.

  9. “Sam, if it’s December 1941 in Casablanca, what time is it in New York?”

    “Uh, my watch stopped.”

    “I bet they’re asleep in New York. I’ll bet they’re asleep all over America.”

  10. Papa John and Chik-Fil-A can be added to your list. (And Hobby Lobby, but they don’t serve food.)

    Jockstrap Gym Jordan, Ohio’s loudmouth congressperson, has said there should be NO vaccine requirements. We are hoping he is the first smallpox case.

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