The blackly comic timing of President Obama continues to impress. In November, hours after he claimed ISIS were "contained", they killed 130 people in Paris. Today, hours after his gun-control Town Hall, a Philadelphia police officer was shot with a stolen police gun.
The perp is another adherent of the spectacularly "contained" ISIS - a revert (presumably) called Edward Archer, who says he did it "in the name of Islam". But don't worry, Philly Mayor Jim Kenney knows better:
"In no way shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you've seen on the screen," said Mayor Kenney.
Mayor Kenney is a renowned Koranic scholar and part-time visiting ayatollah who studied at the finest madrassah in Yemen.
~I wrote a few months ago that "neither Jeb nor his bazillions of staffers have any improvisational wit". But they do have donor-funded consultant-approved money-no-object ad-buy wit. Which is why the real frontrunner (as Mike Murphy insists he is) has now snapped up 900 million billboards in Iowa to unleash his latest devastating zinger:
Tweeter John Ekdahl immediately decoded the subtext:
I don't think Jeb's adjective for Trump - "unhinged" - will prove as effective as Trump's adjective for Jeb - "low-energy" - which turned the 100 million-dollar man into the world's most expensive asterisk. But it is another classic epic beta-male moment from Bush III.
Last night, by the way, I attended the Trump rally in Bernie Sanders' fiefdom of Burlington, Vermont. I'll have more to say on that later.
~Meanwhile, since Trump decided to "go there", both Clintons are now getting asked on the campaign trail about Bill's record as a serial abuser. After all the confident swagger that Trump was the candidate she wanted to run against, the Clinton campaign has now decided that Hillary has made a "New Year resolution" not to talk about him unless and until he gets the nomination. Via CNN, Slick Willie on the stump:
Asked about Trump's attacks on Thursday, the 42nd president passed up an opportunity to hit back.
"I have no interest in getting involved in (Republican Party) politics or doing anything except working to help Hillary," Clinton told reporters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
"Donald Trump says a lot of things," he added.
Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who has accused Clinton of raping her decades ago while he was the attorney general of Arkansas, tweeted Wednesday: "I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73....it never goes away."
I think that right there is more coverage than CNN gave Juanita Broaddrick back in the Nineties. If this keeps up, look for Bill to be quietly retired from the campaign trail. As to the Cosby/Clinton comparison, Democrat (and 2008 Hillary supporter) Kirsten Powers has, like me and Trump, gone there:
Much has changed since Bill and Hillary Clinton were swept into the White House amidst sordid tales about the Arkansas governor's extra-marital sex life.
Back then, a senior campaign aide (Betsey Wright) on a Democratic campaign could utter the phrase "bimbo eruptions" to demean women claiming to have had an affair with Bill Clinton. Today, such utterances would be rightly deemed unequivocally sexist.
It was a time when a top Democratic loyalist (James Carville) unabashedly sneered at Paula Jones' allegations of unwanted sexual advances by then-Gov. Clinton with the infamous quip, "If you drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find." Most famously, there was a young intern named Monica Lewinsky smeared by a senior White House aide (Sidney Blumenthal) as a "stalker." Blumenthal reportedly also told journalists that the 49-year-old president of the United States had been "the victim of a predatory and unstable sexually demanding young woman," age 22. The president went on to become one of the most respected men in the world. Lewinsky's life was destroyed.
That's true. It was. But nothing personal, that's just the way it is when you get in the way of the Clintons. Hillary is betting that the Nineties rules still apply - that the media will cover for her, and the surrogates will trash any "predatory and unstable sexually demanding" "trailer-park" "bimbo" foolish enough to stick her head above the parapet, and that barked questions captured on cellphone video at ever more heavily screened events won't break through to the general public. Kirsten Powers isn't so sure:
Whatever Trump's failings, he understands cultural shifts. We are a society that has a blessedly lower tolerance for sexual assault and harassment than in prior years. This is good news for America, but bad news for the Clintons. History has caught up with them at the worst possible moment.
~Aussie reader Aaron Layt writes:
I've been reading your books and articles for a decade; mainly for your musings on politics and culture, but you've also expanded my knowledge of the music industry beyond my staple 90s rock. For instance, who knew that Homer Simpson's When I Was 17/It Was a Very Good Year had previously been done by this Sinatra character you keep banging on about (Sinatra Song of the Century #1)?
Regarding your upcoming Australian tour, I assume you're having a laugh by including Cloncurry on the list of venues, but since it's just down the road from me in the bustling metropolis (relative to Cloncurry) of Mount Isa, I've booked my spot and will be keenly waiting to see if you show up.
Mount Isa, Queensland
Actually, I've been appearing every other Tuesday at open-mic night in a bar in Cloncurry just off McIlwraith Street since 2009, but this is the first time we've attempted to sell tickets, so I hope it goes well.
~How's that cat album of mine and Marvin's doing? Pretty good. I like this review from David Boucher:
I was pleasantly surprised at how good it really is. Musically excellent, funny, and sometimes quite moving. I've been listening to it on the drive home every day since I bought it. I will be back for more.
Thank you for that. Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats CDs is available on CD, but if you crave instant gratification and want it for this afternoon's commute it can be yours in seconds via digital download from Amazon or iTunes.