CSotD: Last Minute Gifts

(Clay Bennett — CTFP)


(Pickles — AMS)

The problem with last-minute gifts is that, no matter how practical they are, there’s just a sense of so-what to them, more of obligation than of inspiration, and, as Earl’s daughter has realized, they often just get tossed in a drawer, unopened, unused, unwanted.

Bennett is quite right: The Jan 6 Committee delivered a gift-wrapped package, albeit at the last minute, but, like Earl’s shirts, the right size, the right color and ready to slip right on and enjoy.

Or ready to be stuck in a drawer, unopened and forgotten. We shall see.


Bill Bramhall also sees the Committee’s referrals as a gift to the nation, and I strongly suspect that the Justice Department will, indeed, pick up the task and move forward. The Committee’s recommendations, while unprecedented in nature, were modest in scope and came with substantial evidence, to which DOJ can add the fruits of their own investigations.

It seems as if it wouldn’t be hard to obtain convictions, given that the evidence is clear and the charges well within logical reach.


At which point a jail sentence or two or three are not out of the question, though I think Matt Golding is overreaching a bit by suggesting that Trump’s fall would be on a scale with the reverence accorded those other presidents.

Here’s my prediction: The people who will accept his guilt are already convinced of his guilt, while those who deny his guilt will not be convinced by any amount of evidence, however rock-solid. Trump has been wrong about mountains of things, but he’s right about being able to shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose a single vote.

We’re talking about people who believe a dead Venezuelan dictator fixed an American election by remote control, from the grave. We’re talking about people who believe pederasts gather in the basement of a pizzeria that has no basement. We’re talking about people who can see classrooms of children slaughtered without questioning the sanity of keeping guns easy to obtain.

We’re talking about people who believe that God chose a thrice-divorced, pussy-grabbing man who can’t quote a single verse of the Bible to lead the nation against a conspiracy of evil conspirators. (Update: Thrice-married, only twice-divorced. More Melania’s error than mine.)

A conviction will not change their opinions, but will, rather, reinforce their belief that it’s all a conspiracy.


There have been, predictably, a flood of satirical Trump Trading Cards coming from cartoonists to the left of center and absolute silence on the topic from the right, but Matt Davies nailed it with this simple, depressing vision of what trading cards would be like in a world in which facts had a foothold.

The joke being that, of course, they don’t.


Kirk Anderson joked about George W Bush’s administration nearly 20 years ago, comparing their arrogance to Soviet era propaganda posters, and the exaggerations were funny at the time, but who’s laughing now?


Clay Jones also exaggerates, but in a different direction, imagining that the GOP is genuinely searching for incriminating evidence on Hunter Biden’s laptop. He’s right that there’s nothing there beyond embarrassment and indiscretion. Nothing incriminating.

But he’s wrong that it matters any more than the absence of a basement at the pizzeria. Once you’ve established a belief, facts are, at best, a distraction and, at worst, further evidence of the conspiracy to hide the truth.

Elvis can’t be dead. Therefore, he isn’t. And Trump cannot be guilty.

And if you think I’m joking, you aren’t ever gonna get it. The people in Jonestown knew they were drinking poison. They did it because Jim Jones told them to.


Nor is this bizarre cult-like behavior confined to Donald Trump: Bart van Leeuwen (Cartoon Movement) jokes about Elon Musk’s farcical poll backfiring on him, with results showing most Twitter users want him to resign.

But the feedback in comments praises Musk, and the real laugh is that his supporters claim the “resign” votes were bots when it’s at least equally likely that the supportive votes and comments are no more authentic and perhaps less so.

It doesn’t matter.

Herschel Walker came within a whisker of winning a Senate seat despite a campaign of lies and idiocy, while, in New York, voters elected a candidate to the House whose entire biography appears to have been completely fictional.

In that latter case, the blame is centering not on the Repubicans for nominated a fraud nor on the fraud himself, but on the Democratic party for not having sniffed him out.

Although they revealed Walker’s lies and nonsense and damn near lost anyway.


Pat Bagley takes notice of Sen Mike Lee (R-Ut)’s bill that would block internet pornography.

My immediate reaction is to remember that there was a time when James Joyce’s Ulysses could not be legally sold in the United States, while, in a sort of quid-pro-quo, Irish customs officers made sure we weren’t bringing in copies of Playboy or the “Kimmelsley” Report.

But my deeper response is to note that Utah is the leading state in internet porn subscriptions, which I guess gives Smith reason to be upset, but, then again, reinforces the stereotype of the outspoken prude who turns out to have a closet chock full of yuck.

Turns out there is apparently a pretty strong correspondence between declarations of strong, strict religious belief and indulgence in internet porn.

Surprise, surprise, surprise!


Well, we’ve all got strange little inconsistencies in our values, as Lee Judge (KFS) points out, and there’s a strong element of “Do as I say, not as I do” running through all sorts of governments. You don’t have to look to one side of the aisle or the other in order to uncover the places we fall short of the ideals we claim.


Barney & Clyde (WPWG) boils it all down to a simple ethical point: It’s all about timing.

It’s funny in the comic strip, but it’s humor based on truth, and in this case, the strip was written well before Donald Trump answered the Jan 6 Committee’s referral:

“…But Liz Chaney lost by a record 40 points!”

Indeed. She was voted out for having opposed Dear Leader.

We’ll see what happens with that gift-wrapped box of evidence, I guess.


7 thoughts on “CSotD: Last Minute Gifts

  1. I just finished the book, Profiles in ignorance : how America’s politicians got dumb and dumber, by Andy Borowitz. It’s interesting to me how many names pop up from way back then . . . Roger Stone being the most frequent, thru the Reagan and the two Bush campaigns. I highly recommend this book, depressing as it is; he writes what I’ve been saying for years . . . Sarah Palin opened the door/prepared the ground for drumpf. But all the way back to Eisenhower, dumb is better than smart, at least for the rethuglicans. And there ain’t no one dumber than one o’ those.

  2. Back around 1980 there was some minor media story about a poll to determine the dumbest member of the Senate. It wasn’t, if I recall, much publicized, until the “winner” was dumb enough to actually call a press conference specifically to try to rebut his “victory,” at which point of course a lot of newsfeeds picked the story up. (Can’t recall the name of Senator Dumbo, except that he was a Republican from I think Virginia or environs.) Anyway, these preceded Palin by a number of years, although of course Senator Dumbo didn’t make it onto a national ticket.

  3. According to this link:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2001/10/03/stand-by-your-man-sort-of/03339cf5-c7a2-4747-bcae-b475c9921d93/ (probably behind a firewall)

    it was William L Scott, Senator from Virginia, who was called the dumbest member of the Senate by New Times Magazine. Scott held a press conference to deny it.

    The Farmville Herald mentions the accolade in a 1975 story, saying it happened the previous year. (Google: william scott “dumbest member of the Senate” “farmville herald”)

    Yes, I’m a librarian.

  4. Minor nit to pick: DJT is thrice married but only twice divorced (as of today, at least).

    Remember all the internal GOP hand wringing as to how a divorced Ronald Reagan might not appeal to the Evangelical voters?Those were much simpler times.

  5. Right you are, Blinky — thx.

    And I’m older — I remember when Nelson Rockefeller’s divorce was supposed to end his political career and didn’t.

  6. Thanks to Fred King for the research. Actually, I’m a librarian also, but as a retired one, I allowed myself to be lazy this morning.

  7. Senator Joseph Montoya’s performance during the Watergate hearings would have put him in contention for dumbest member, at least in the minds of some viewers. As the /NYT/ observed at the time: “He enters the hearing room each day with a prepared set of questions and appears to ask each one of them, regardless of whether they have been asked by another senator and regardless of the witness’s answer. Montoya has told associates that much of his problem has been caused by his lack of staff assistance.”

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