Pete, the Slippery Bamboozler

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Pete has a secret power. Remember Donald stalking Hillary on the debate stage? She could smell his breath, and she chose to ignore him. Solid choice. I love to picture Debate Pete in that position – I don’t know the details, but he wouldn’t take any shit, and in such an unassailable way there would be nothing for Donald to grab. His unflappability would both enrage and bamboozle Donald.

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Pete’s like my feral cat, Dr. Norris, sleek and adorable. Last winter I had to pick Dr. Norris up to save their* life. (I’m not even kidding, they would have died.) They initially allowed the contact, but soon tried to slither loose. Because I was wearing thick gloves and an impenetrable Carhartt barn jacket I decided to hang on for their own good. In a flash Dr. Norris began biting my arm and hand over and over until one of those needle-like fangs pierced a vulnerable seam in my glove and into my hand. Dr. Norris disappeared into the woods but my hand blew up like the infected flesh balloon it was. Dr. Norris was correct in their actions (you don’t try to pick up feral cats), efficient, and remarkably calm. I had no recourse. I did set a live trap and took them in to be neutered, but that’s not exactly recourse. That was me, serving them, with a humble acknowledgement of the superiority of their teeth over my hubristic attempt to catch them with my hands.

How are you grateful to Donald? Let us count the ways. What are you looking forward to as the campaign progresses?

*Dr. Norris uses they/them pronouns. Dogs and cats do not possess our human construct of gender. They are not sexless, but they are genderless. Stop apologizing to each other for misgendering each other’s dogs at the dog park. It’s really okay.

photo credits: voanews.com, walmart.com

Outlaws

Tom Robbins taught me to love outlaws. If you haven’t read Still Life With Woodpecker you should now. It might be painfully dated, since I last read it in the 80’s, but there’s only one way to find out. Outlaws are very American.

A year or two ago while I was hopped up on post-surgical pain killers I read American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin, “The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst.” I remember seeing the grainy, iconic bank security-footage photo of her with the giant gun that shocked everybody, including my mother, on tv. Patty’s kidnappers were outlaws and temporarily turned her into one too. The early 1970’s were nuts! Counterculture outlaws were routinely making bombs in their bathrooms and detonating them in places that would either disable or at least disturb The Man. Even though Patty’s experience with the Symbionese Liberation Army was a lot darker than a Tom Robbins novel, some of the 70’s-ish motives were the same.

This morning I figured out Donald’s appeal and the reason for our confusion. He’s just another outlaw! He’s all about sticking it to The Man, no matter who the man is. (That’s where his amorality comes in handy.) Some of his supporters are like Patty joining the Symbionese Liberation Army. She wasn’t exactly happy before they kidnapped her, and definitely not in control of her own life. She didn’t know exactly what the problem was but they told her. They told her over and over and over what reality was (well, with some rape and starvation and LSD) until she was convinced it was in her best interest to be a soldier for their cause.

So we’ve got an outlaw (Donald, in case you aren’t paying attention), who by definition does not operate within normal boundaries, and he’s hell-bent on destroying the way things normally work around here. The confusing thing is that we, the lefties who used to be the counterculture, are now The Man, deserving of all the homemade bombs (ummm, NRA, guns and more guns, domestic terrorism etc.) he can get his soldiers to stockpile and detonate.

I’m at a loss for advice on this so you’ll have to just digest the insight raw.

OH DONALD.

My dear dog Lupine was perfect. He was a perfect dog in every way. He could kill any raccoon no matter how big or how much it tore him up, but he was docile with us and eager to please. He followed me from room to room all day, my silent adoring shadow. We had an old wing back chair bought for 5 dollars at a yard sale thirty years ago. The worn arms were already patched with purple corduroy when we got it. My oldest daughter asked if she could take it with her to her new place because it is so homey – the perfect definition of a perfect family heirloom.

Lupine was not allowed on the furniture but he understood that rule only applied when we we could see him and the seat of that chair was the perfect size for him to curl up in. When he got old and deaf he would think we were all gone when we weren’t, or not hear us when we got back and I we’d find him sound asleep in his chair. I’m telling you this because Lupine was perfect, like Donald’s phone call with Volodymyr. And because Donald’s understanding of the law is as simple minded as Lupine’s. But not perfect. Lupine was entirely pure of heart.

Donald eagerly released the transcript of that phone call with the comedian president of Ukraine that his people had striven to hide away for eternity. Donald said that once we the American People read it we would recognize, “that phone call was perfect.” He kept calling it a perfect phone call.

What is astonishing is that I think he really is so fundamentally amoral that he honestly doesn’t understand. The phone call was perfect in that he accomplished what he wanted without saying any of the words he was not supposed to say. He understands that the law prohibits him from saying certain things, and he didn’t, therefore the transaction was legal and perfect. If he can get what he wants done by circumlocution is all good.

 

Jay Inslee – Ellis Park, Cedar Rapids June 8

Mother Mosque in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
the oldest existing mosque in the United States

A solid 150 folk clumped up at the picnic tables in a park pavilion overlooking the Cedar River. The route there is through the Northwest and Time Check neighborhood – visually dominated by acres of flat, mowed green space populated by a few flocks of Canada geese. Here and there are a small house, and the small white Mother Mosque of America. It was a human neighborhood until the big ole flood of 2008 covered ten square miles of the city. The air was soft and warm with just enough breeze to blow the gnats off.

State Senator Rob Hogg introduced the other dignitaries in the crowd; other state senators, climate action group leaders etc, and Jay, long-serving Governor of Washington state. Jay says the only thing any of us should be discussing right now is climate change. It’s now or never, there’s no time left. We have the technology and ready workforce to make the necessary infrastructure changes in the next several years, the sticking point is political will. If we can’t get over ourselves it’s gonna get hot in here.

Putting folks to work on those changes will restructure the economy, add 47 bajillion jobs and in the wake provide the opportunity to fix everything else meaning immigration, education, justice, health care and gender pay equity. Jay says Donald “can’t run a two car funeral,” so there is no hope of leadership in the right direction with him around.

Jay thinks we are nearing a tipping point where the urgency wave will intersect with the promise-of-jobs-wave. Already the green jobs sector (solar installation, EVs, wind turbines etc) is growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy.

Donald bloviates about tariffs and coal mines and tries to scare the bejeezus out of you while the world and human consciousness grow and evolve all around us.

NEXT! Cory in Iowa City the very same night, and a server tells yrmama it’s time to stop drinking.

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1) Look. Listen. Listen! After the recent dearth of attention paid to yrmama by the candidates, things are picking up! It may be just a blip, but if not, buckle up.

Tonight Political Party Live is taping an interview with Bernie in Cedar Rapids. Tomorrow the podcast is interviewing Cory in Iowa City. Sunday 19 candidates will be speaking at the Democratic Party Hall of Fame event at the Hilton in Cedar Rapids. A bunch of them will be roaming around doing smaller appearances too, so yrmama intends to roam as well and make it like Pokemon Go. Options include morning Crossfit with Kirsten, marching around and yelling with Bernie and a group of McDonald’s workers who would like to be paid fairly, trailing Kirsten on downtown sidewalks while her schedule lists ‘visibility,’ letting John Delaney buy you lunch, meeting up with Marianne at a yoga studio, and playing cornhole with Pete at a picnic/party in Greene Square.

2) Donald. Why do you say he’s a ‘straight shooter’ who ‘tells it like it is’? Why do you ever believe him? Why on god’s green earth do you like him? Sit up and listen:

My new best friends, Karen and Georgia’s joint memoir Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered The Definitive How-To Guide is #1 on the NYT bestsellers list and that didn’t happen by accident. Their podcast listeners are the sexiest un-murdered folks around and we each have bought a few copies. Their book is organized around key principles, like Stay Out of the Woods, and Buy Your Own Shit. Much of their popularity is attributable to all the swearing – we Murderinos find it very empowering.

In the first chapter Georgia asks Karen why she thinks the primary principle, Fuck Politeness speaks so strongly to their followers. Karen says, (book 1, verse 3) “it’s what everyone wants to do but has been led to believe they’re not allowed to do. We’re giving you the permission to act in your own best interests before considering anyone else’s.”

So. Is that what you believe Donald is doing? Fucking politeness? He certainly doesn’t consider anyone’s interests above his own. He’s sticking up for you by sticking up for himself? Maybe.

Howsomever, in book 1, verse 74, Karen says, “The idea of fucking politeness isn’t about standing on a street corner shouting “Fuck You!” to anyone passing by. It’s a strategy for when someone tries to invade your space somehow. They started it. They’re the dick here.” Donald errs a bit towards yelling at everyone on the street corner, at everything he sees actually. He’s like an anxious dog barking into the dark woods, “I’m a dog! Don’t you dare! Fuck you! I’m a dog!”

The thing is, fucking politeness does not remove your moral obligation to be kind. You can absolutely consider your own best interest and use bad words and still be kind. yrmama knows for certain that if you are truly kind your manners matter in the long run. That’s where Donald falls the shortest. He lies (which is in itself unkind) and he’s a mean old man. Steer clear. Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered.

Eric Swalwell – April 28, 2019

thegazette.com
Go Big. Be Bold. Do Good.

Eric looks a bit like Matt Damon and has very good eyesight. He is solid, calm and soft-spoken and he assured us that Donald will NOT be the president in 2020. He is a hardworking and effective Congressperson from California.

This event was a “house party” up the road from here, hosted by a group of local Democrats that calls itself the Potluck Insurgency. They seem quite organized and focussed. Maybe 60 folks milled about eating cookies and watching Eric talk to people as he gradually made his way to the dining room.

I chatted with the nice lady next to me about all the good Donald has done for our country. He has inspired a whole lot of people to pay more attention and get more involved in the democratic process. Huge swaths of American humanity are learning about the Constitution and the laws our government runs on. (I know, there was a class in high school, but I really didn’t care.) The most recent midterm elections had as many voters participating as usually do for a presidential race. Lots of people now are genuinely concerned about The Issues and sense the precariousness of our current political situation. Thanks, Donald.

Speaking of The Issues, the nice lady and I decided that is the real value of candidates like Eric. I wager he’s not going to be president, but the discussions we had with him in the dining room about gun control, climate change, the Middle East and health care as a human right were clarifying all our ideas about what exactly we should be looking for in a candidate’s policy platform. I should say, I think Elizabeth probably stands out as the one who has the most comprehensive proposals complete with arithmetic and to-do lists so far.

Go see Joe Biden tomorrow, May 1, at Big Grove in Iowa City! I saw him as a teeny tiny speck in the distance when we went to the Women’s World Cup final in Vancouver so I know first hand that he’s worth seeing.

Two podcast suggestions for you in your ongoing quest to get smarter and learn stuff: “What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law,” and one I just started, “Constitutional” from the Washington Post.