Former Ohio State wrestling coach James "Jimmy the Chimp" Jordan demonstrates the scrotum-grabbing technique he never saw his lockermate and team doctor use on his wrestlers.   No, really.  Never.  Not once!

Former Ohio State wrestling coach James "Jimmy the Chimp" Jordan demonstrates the scrotum-grabbing technique he never saw his lockermate and team doctor use on his wrestlers.   No, really.  Never.  Not once!

Taking a break from his defense of what Congressional staffers decorously call his "Sandusky Problem," coatless Ohio Republican James "Jimmy the Chimp" Jordan sparkplugged a move by the Freedom Caucus to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.  Citing unspecified high crimes and misdemeanors, his colleagues in the Caucus--who jokingly refer to themselves as "Caucasians"--seek the removal of a federal official who, coincidentally, is in charge of the investigation of President Trump.

Before he shaved off his pelt and learned to stand more or less upright, Jordan served as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University.  Also on the staff at the grappling powerhouse was  Dr.Richard Strauss, whom matmen alumni recall as having used "examinations" as an opportunity to fondle their genitals, sometimes to the point of orgasm.  Strauss had a locker next to Coach Jordan, and the developing evidence suggests that Strauss' proclivities were widely known on the team.

Jordan, on the other hand, claims to have been completely blindsided by the Strauss story.  The image above is taken from a press conference in which he emphatically says, "If I saw Strauss with his hand around a wrestler's balls, like this, squeezing and jiggling, you can be damn sure I would have said something."  Jordan paused for emphasis before adding, "Damn sure."






One of the few things likely to deter a blue-wave Democratic House from impeaching Donald Trump is the prospect of a Pence Presidency.  The Hoosier Ayatollah is, after all, a would-be trailer-park theocrat intent on imposing what amounts to Christian Shari'a law on the United States.  

These anxieties, however well-founded. ignore an entirely constitutional mechanism that would enable Congress to implement the popular vote results of the 2016 election.  Despite the fat man's delusional babbling, abetted by his GOP coconspirators, about millions of fraudulent votes,  all evidence shows that he lost nationwide by a substantial margin and only won in the Electoral College through seventy thousand pivotal votes cast in key Wisconsin and Michigan districts targeted by the GRU with the help of Bannon-controlled Cambridge Analytica.  Sound like conspiracy theory?  Already confirmed fact.  But wait for Mueller, chum.

Over the past days and weeks, even some GOP moderates are getting a little queasy about the fat man's performance.  Openly weeping with fear at Helsinki, for example.  Gibbering word salad in an attempt to explain it.  Pulling the security clearances of four-star generals who criticize him.  And given that between them Michael Cohen and Robert Mueller have some really, really bad shit in the files it's extremely unlikely that purple-state GOP senators are going to go down with the ship when the Articles of Impeachment come up to them for trial.

But wait--that makes Pence President!  Same-sex couples headed to the crematoria the very next day!

Not so.  First, there's a body of evidence that Pence, who's thus far sidestepped public scrutiny by pretending to be an early-model Westworld host, was involved in the Flynn fiasco and Comey firing.  Enough in themselves to get him out of the way with the rest of Putin's White House apparatchiks.  And even if that weren't enough, there's an argument that Pence aided and abetted treason by failing to exercise his authority under the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.  Granted, he'd need a majority of the Cabinet too, but not even trying is grounds when faced with the imminent threat to national security that is Trump.

Right then.  That's Trump and Pence sorted.  So who's President?

Why, the Speaker of the House.  Which if the present Democratic leadership takes power in the Blue Wave will be Civil War veteran Nancy Pelosi.

But let's just play this out.  Let's say that a Democratic Congressman from any New York district that Hillary Clinton can claim as a residence  can be induced to resign.  (To be Secretary of Whatever the Hell He Wants, but leave that aside.)  The Governor then appoints as his interim replacement Hillary Clinton.  Who is then elected Speaker by acclamation.

Timing might be tricky--Democratic senators from Hillary-hating red states might have a hard time voting for impeachment if it meant a Clinton presidency.  Yet it would give the Senate an opportunity to right an historic wrong.

And wherever he is, making Frank Underwood smile and nod at the camera.  


















Now that Trump has proven his worth as a statesman by taking a load of Putin's semen in the face, it has become clear that an adequate response to Russian aggression must rest with Congress.  Luckily, its path is clear.

Previous sanctions against the shambling medieval holdover have failed in part because they are aimed against the Russian people and what passes as its economic system.  Thus, they have had a disproportionate impact on ordinary people while having no effect whatsoever on the sleazy-glitzy--sound familiar?--oligarchs who actually call the shots.

So how can you really hit the Russian ruling class where it hurts?

Easy--make them stay in Russia.

Russia--if he were talking about a country full of brown people---is what Trump would call a shithole.  Its economy, despite its enormous geographical size, is smaller than Italy's. And that economy is based exclusively on extraction--oil, gas, minerals--so when those are gone, the kulaks will be down to selling their kidneys on the dark web.  Its life expectancy is declining, in part because among the commonest cause of death in adult males is drowning while drunk. Really.  And while their military does include a formidable nuclear capacity, it is sadly underfunded and undermaintained.  Remember the Kursk?  It was once the pride of the Soviet navy, a cruise-missile-capable nuclear sub.  In 2000,  during maneuvers, two badly manufactured torpedoes blew up onboard, and it sank in shallow water.   Russia, suspicious as always of outsiders, refused offers of British and Norwegian help.  Thus the twenty-three crewmen who survived the initial explosion suffocated in the dark.  

This explains why so many oligarchs spend as much time as possible outside their country.  They like good food, sunshine, and strippers who don't wipe their asses with their fingers.  This, coupled with a desire to hide as much money as possible from the boss, has led them to buy as much luxury real estate in America as they could grab, money being no object.  (And of course one of their preferred sellers was Donald J. Trump, but that's a subject for another day.)  The result of Russian real estate investment here has been to drive up the cost of high-end properties in major US and European cities--and when the high end goes up, so does everything else.  So Russian real estate investment has hurt middle-class American homebuyers.  Thus, keeping Russians out of the US not only hurts them, but helps us.

But wait--what if the Russians retaliate?  What if the Russians won't let us visit Russia?

Uh--so what?  Who cares?

So I call on the Republicans in both houses of Congress to take a page from their fearless leader's playbook: a total Russian travel ban!





So I'm in the  Walmart in Monroe, New York--don't ask--listening to my favorite podcast, Stuff to Blow Your Mind.  For those still suffering in darkness, STBYM is the jewel in the crown of the How Stuff Works network.  Helmed by polymaths Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick, it delivers at least weekly an incisive, exhaustively researched hourlong discussion of topics on the frontiers of science or at the intersection of science and philosophy.  Recent offerings have included three separate episodes on the physics of black holes and a fascinating colloquium on quantum immortality.  

That day I'd already had time to listen to pieces about sexbots--just what you think, and apparently due to arrive about the same time as the driverless car, which should work out pretty well for all concerned--and the dangers lurking in artificial neuroplasticity, which it seems isn't going to be all effortlessly acquired languages and abandoned bad habits.  

The third show I heard that day was Listener Mail.  About halfway through was an email from an egyptologist discussing a 1200 BCE letter from father to son that seemed to undercut Julian Jaynes theory of the bicameral mind and the sudden emergence of consciousness in Homeric times.  When the hosts brought up my name and The Rage of Achilles I dropped my Subway coffee--Walmart has everything--and said "son of a bitch!" loudly enough to make nearby babies cry.

I was escorted out by security, but it was worth it.

Okay, so Achilles didn't actually meet the sexbots.  But I got to use this cool picture.  And you really owe it to yourself to subscribe to Stuff to Blow Your Mind.  




A shoutout is due friend and colleague Shawn Crawford for the recent publication of "Righteous Wheels" in Blue Mountain Review.  It's an excerpt from a memoir in progress concerning--in part--growing up very Baptist indeed.  But judging from the image above--it illustrates Shawn's blog at Calliope Crashes--there have been a few bumps in the road to salvation.  Yes, quite a few.  

Read it.  Right now.


Cover--Open by Scott E. Jones.jpg

I'm pleased to let the world know that my friend, colleague, and onetime student Scott Jones' memoir, Open, will be released by Literati Press in September.  Scott movingly and eloquently describes his struggle to reconcile his sexuality with his deep Christian spirtuality in a milieu that is, shall we say, less than embracing of the former, and in some ways, not really of the latter, either.  I'm proud to say Scott workshopped the book at the Yale Writers' Conference back in the day.

To get a sense of what the book is like, read an excerpt here.



The Republican-controlled House of Representatives stunned the world today by revealing a major advance in genetic engineering--a humanzee.

A humanzee, as recently explained in the "Stuff to Blow Your Mind" podcast, is a hybrid of a human and a chimpanzee.  However appalling the idea, there is no doubt that it was attempted by a Russian veterinarian in Stalin's early years.  Shockingly, the so-called Red Frankenstein not only inseminated female chimps with human sperm, but in at least one instance, a human female with chimp sperm.  All without viable outcome.

Yet Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan proves that freedom succeeds where socialism fails.  Though unable to wear many forms of human clothing, including a jacket, he nevertheless sports opposable thumbs and is capable of many simple, guttural sentences. 

Sadly, in hearings today with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray, Jordan's simian intolerance for frustration quickly evidenced itself in incoherent howls of rage that culminated in his hurling his own stool around the room.  

He is now in the custody of the DC Humane Society.  




Sitting right there on the desktop is a draft titled "RED HEN LEADS THE WAY!"

I'm not posting it.  

However emotionally gratifying it may be to think of Sarah Sanders getting the heave-ho from a restaurant for simple karmic repugnance, it's not a good thing.  For reasons cultural and political, we shouldn't shame Trumpers. 

First the cultural.  Trump, as candidate and president, has coarsened and cheapened our political discourse to a level not seen since Preston Brooks caned Charles Sumner in the Senate.  His crudity is evident on the most granular level--imagine Ronald Reagan calling a football player a son of a bitch?  Or saying "hell" in public?  Perhaps the daily drip-drip-drip of quotidian sleaze is more dangerous than his open incitement of mob violence at his now-weekly rallies.

But that just amounts to saying "they started it."  Responding in kind, no matter how justified,  contributes to a downward spiral that will next feature mud wrestling as party primaries.

Even more important is the political peril.  The Trump base is all about victimization.  And while it's certainly not without basis--white working people have not done well in the twenty-first century, and have the declining life expectancy to prove it--it's focused its rage not on the Wall Street oligopoly responsible, but on more visible targets.  As I've written earlier, the alt.right feels excluded and belittled by "the Culture"--media, Hollywood, and the cool kids in the cafeteria.  Not letting their spokespeople eat with us is the most inflammatory kind of confirmation possible.  And that most likely to get them out to the polls in November.

Sure, it would be fun to pelt Scott Pruitt with stool.  But it will only make things worse.  And they're plenty bad enough as it is.






On the left is a can of millennial pilsner.  On the right is a real can of beer.  Need anything more be said?  I thought not.

Next up: Artisanal pickle brine is pure estrogen! 





Sylvia Madrigal, as I've said earlier, is an alum of the College Formerly Known as Calhoun at Yale as well as the Yale Writers' Conference.  She's now an MFA candidate at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.  Listen here for her moving and very funny account of opening doors slammed in her face for having been Mexican, female, poor, and gay.  Oh, at Yale.  Oh, yeah--in the seventies.  

And I thought I had it tough.