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As our nation, and the world around it, weathers the COVID19 epidemic, there is something important that we all need to keep in mind. This is, of course, in addition to the necessity of doing our parts to limit the spread of the virus and to support one another.  Those go without saying.

We need to take a good, hard look at what our government is doing to help in this fight.  Notice that I didn’t say “what the government is doing in this fight”?  Anyway, a thought occurred to me as I was relistening to “The Last Centurion” by John Ringo and “Death Throes of the Republic” by Dan Carlin.

In The Last Centurion, the main character narrates how he and the rest of the world get through a worldwide flu pandemic that kills more than half of those infected.  It’s fiction, of course, and Ringo is definitely playing to one side of the political aisle, but throughout the narrative, he brings up excellent points about society and personal freedoms.

Death Throes of the Republic chronicles the hundred years or so between the end of the Punic Wars to the assassination of Julius Caesar.  Carlin does a great job showing how each crisis leads to just one more little exception to the rules, and each exception becomes a precedent for the next time someone makes a claim to more power or another exception.

If you haven’t read read or listened to them, you’re missing out.  If you have, you might want to give them a quick do-over.

Anyway, in Centurion, Congress passes an emergency powers act that gives the president almost dictatorial powers “for the duration”.  The chief executive goes on to rapidly increase the aspects of society that she controls, and of course she goes off the deep end on a lot of it.

In Death Throes, the subject of precedent comes up again and again.  “We let Joeblonus do it a generation ago, and this is just more of the same, but I need just a little more.”

Our government is also big on precedent.  Stare decesis rules in the courts.  Legislation written in a way that echoes the great laws of the past almost always gets through Congress.  Presidents point to their predecessors and their actions to justify their own.

I bring this up because Congress has passed several relief bills and is likely to add to them in the coming weeks.  President Trump and the legislative branch are, for once, working together on something.

Now, I’m not against providing some relief for people and industries that have been hurt by all this.  You can make the argument that the reaction to the pandemic have added to the economic problems, and that the emergency powers Congress is giving to the President aren’t all that necessary.  You can also argue that we haven’t done enough and that the worst is yet to come.

Either way, the money’s going to get spent and the government is going to flex muscles it didn’t even know it had before this is all over.  Hopefully it does some good.  Maybe it’ll also do some ill.

My concern about sweeping changes to government, made in haste, is the same as it has been since the passage of the Patriot Act.  No power granted to government goes without being abused, no matter how pure the intentions were when it was granted.

When people are scared, they want someone to make it all better.  Emergency legislation can easily become an enabling act.  Presidents, no matter how noble, can be tempted to push things just a little further or to use a power in a way it wasn’t designed.

And, of course, we have to remind ourselves that even if President Trump is an honorable man who would never stoop to abusing his office, can we guarantee that the next president, or the president in eight years, won’t?

This is the same question I asked President Obama’s supporters during his tenure.  No matter how pure one executive is, the next one might be his or her polar opposite.  Giving too much power to people we trust gives that power to folks we wouldn’t trust as far as we can throw them.

So, if we’re going to use the power of the federal government to combat this pandemic, we need to make damn sure that our Senators and Representatives are putting limits and sunsets on that power.

The Roman Republic died from a hundred crises and a thousand self-inflicted cuts.  I only hope that we can avoid the same fate.


Political Rumblings

I’ve been mulling a few things over and it’s time to get them so they’ll stop ricocheting around inside my skull.

  1. President Trump is almost certain to be impeached, but will almost certainly be acquitted in the Senate.
    • President Johnson (Andy, not Lindy) freely admitted that he did what he was accused of, but even a Senate dominated by the Radical Republicans didn’t convict him.  Seriously, they hated his southern butt and still decided that the case was too chickenshit to convict.
    • Nixon was going to be impeached and probably was going to be convicted.  There was bi-partisan agreement that he had poked the pooch and needed to be ejected from the Oval Office at high velocity.  Only the judicious use of a deal with Gerry Ford involving the 25th Amendment and the power of the pardon saved him from that shame.
    • In Clinton’s case, he probably did what he was accused of, but there wasn’t a senatorial consensus that he deserved to be removed.  I’d insert a tasteless joke about bribes consisting of boxes of Cuban cigars here, but… ew.
    • In Trump’s case, the certainty that what he is accused of is a crime or not is pretty muddy, much less whether he did it or not.  Even if it is, it’s a pretty weak high crime or misdemeanor.  Trust me, if the Democrats could hang something easier to understand on him, they would.  I don’t see any way for enough Republicans to peel off in order to convict.
  2. The fact that Trump’s approval ratings have gone up while he is being impeached do not surprise me in the least.
    • We have been bombarded by almost weekly new “This time for sure!  Presto!” accusations of treason, discrimination, bigotry, and worse for over three years.  We’re numb to it unless presented with video evidence of President Trump admitting to doing something heinous.  Even then, I’d want forensic evidence and witnesses, because I’ve been in technology long enough to not trust video completely.
    • The Democrats are going to have to come up with something a lot more concrete, and to be honest, sensational, than “He may or may not have demanded an investigation that may or may not have been justified during a phone call and may or may not have threatened to withhold aid if he didn’t get it.” to get the American populace off the couch and into the streets.
    • At the same time, the economy is doing pretty well, and people worry more about their savings account than Congress settling accounts.
  3. This is all going to come back to bite us in the ass.
    • If the Trump presidency has taught the Republicans anything, it’s that being a gentleman statesman in a political knife fight means you’re the only one bleeding.
    • Someday, there will be another Democrat in the White House. Maybe it’ll be next year, maybe in four years, but it will happen.  It’s likely that they will have a Congress that’s run, at least 50% of it, by Republicans.  May God have mercy on that President’s soul if they open their eggs on the wrong end.
    •   The junior Republican Senators and Congressmen are watching what’s going on in the halls of Congress and learning the new rules.  You can bet the farm that they will keep playing by them when there’s a D in the Oval Office.
    • The big loser there will be the rest of us.  Political stability, even one as vicious as ours can get, is a bedrock of our success.  People invest in the United States because we don’t throw our leaders out on a whim and we don’t throw our former leaders off the Tarpeian Rock.  We can concentrate on innovating and making money because we don’t concentrate on political vengeance at the highest level and grudge killings at the street level.
  4. The Democrat field for 2020 creeps on at its petty pace
    • The current frontrunner is a guy who lost to Michael Dukakis in 1988, Barack Obama in 2008, and forfeited to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
    • Kamala Harris has dropped out because Democrat donors and primary voters are too bigoted to support a black woman, or something.
    • I’m not paying much attention to the free stuff and Orange-man-bad rhetoric these rejects from a Teletubbies reunion tour are currently spouting.  This is just an extreme example of how Democrat primaries have gone since at least 1932.
    • I will say that if the D’s want to have any chance at victory, they need to have a clear winner before their primary season is half over.  Sanders and Clinton stretched things out way too long for Her Imperial Majesty, Hillary the -1st, to tack back to the center in time for most of the electorate to forget all of the nasty things she’d said about them in the primary.
  5. Finally, it’s time for all of us to start getting interested.
    • If you’re a Democrat, you need to start figuring out who you’re going to vote for. There’s no shame in it. Just wash your hands afterward.  On second thought, you’re going to need a Karen Silkwood level shower to get that icky feeling off.
    • If you’re a Republican, it’s time to decide whether you are ready to stand with President Trump or not. If not, it’s time to start looking for someone to vote for next fall.
    • If you’re a Libertarian, it’s time to finally decide whether or not the United States was justified in invading Canada during the War of 1812.  You’ve debated long enough.
    • If you’re an independent like me, it’s time to invest in twelve-month popcorn futures.


  • I’m not sure what’s wrong with America’s youth.
    • I left a bowl containing five pounds of assorted chocolate bars on a stool at the end of my drive for trick or treaters when I left this evening.
    • Maybe five pieces were gone when we got home.
    • In my day, not only would all of the chocolate have been gone, but the mixing bowl and stool would also vanish for a few days.
  • Speaking of young people, apparently adolescent humans are using the hashtag #OKBoomer to dismiss someone older who disagrees with them on social media.
    • The explanation I’ve been given is that it’s a shorthand way to express how  motivated the writer is to deal with the mess left over from the Baby Boomers and Generation X.
    • I suggest that when some little pissant who still has egg yolk behind one ear uses that hashtag, it should be answered with #PissOffInfant.
    • We can use that to express our disdain for folks of any age who believe that their limited life skills and experiences qualify them to hold an informed opinion on anything more advanced than whether Huggies or Pampers are more comfortable after nap time.
  • So, the House of Representatives held a vote today to authorize the already-begun impeachment investigation of President Trump. Surprise, surprise, it was almost a party-line vote.
    • I won’t comment on what got this all started or the motives of either side in what little debate is happening.  A pox upon both their houses.
    • What I will say is that the time for closed-door hearings is officially over.  When Watergate was going on, Sesame Street and my mother’s soap operas were preempted to show testimony live for months.  I want that again.  I want it on C-SPAN, YouTube, BET, ABC/CBS/NBC/FOX, PBS, and Nickelodean.  I want the public to watch, in real time, what’s said and who says it.
    • Yes, sunshine is the best disinfectant.  If the President is dirty and deserves this, show me the facts.  If he’s clean, show that to me unfiltered.
    • Either way, it’s time for us to see how the sausage gets made.

A Modest Proposal

Recently, it came to light that about half of the Agriculture Department employees who have been tapped to relocate from the Washington, DC, area to Kansas City have either refused to move or have not even given us, their employer, the dignity of a reply.

In this age of instant telecommunications and data sharing, it is wasteful to concentrate so many talented and dedicated people in the federal capital. Put them in places where their salaries will go further, as will the budgets for their departments. Put them closer to the universities, businesses, and other institutions that connect with their areas of expertise, so that we can finally see a renaissance of public-private-academic synergy that typifies American ingenuity.

However, it seems that the effort to move personnel out of the extremely expensive real estate that is DC is ruffling some feathers. I mean, what kind of folks wouldn’t want to move out of the effluvial swamp that is our nation’s capital to the relatively inexpensive and clean Midwest?

Ungrateful bastards, that’s who.

So, taking a cue from the “You don’t want to do it my way? Really? Then we can get crazy!” school of leadership, here are my proposals for where to put several federal agencies that makes more sense than Gehenna on the Potomac.

  1. Army Corps of Engineers – 9th Ward, New Orleans. Maybe we’ll finally have to stop worrying about those damned flood walls failing every time it sprinkles.
  2. Department of the Air Force – Minot, North Dakota, because only the best go north.
  3. Department of the Navy – 29 Palms, California. Heck, they could just convert the MOUT site over to office buildings.
  4. Department of the Army – Fayetteville, North Carolina. Let the civilians go to Fayettenam for a change.
  5. Department of the Treasury – Radcliff, Kentucky. Put the accountants right next to the gold vault and the trailer park.
  6. Department of the Interior – Denali or Death Valley. Their choice.
  7. EPA – Bakersfield, California – The most polluted city in the country. Clean up your own back yard for a change.
  8. Social Security Administation – Phoenix or Boca Raton. Put them with their customers in heaven’s waiting room.

Maybe once they’ve had a taste of a few of the places I mention, these long-serving, whining, over-paid deserters from a traveling porcine bordello will smarten up, shut up, and just do their job where they’re told to do it and be grateful that we still cut them a check.

Or, they can quit and get a job commensurate with their skills and work ethic. I hear that there’s good money in being a human guinea pig for chemical castration experiments.

Either way, they’ll be out of DC.


  • In these times of strife and ugliness, remember, folks:  The guy in your group who wants you to blow up a building or steal weapons is probably a fed.
  • With the rush to destroy any public commemoration of the Confederacy, I wonder how many statues, buildings, and institutions dedicated to Woodrow Wilson will be torn down.
    • He was a racist bastard who segregated everything within his power, and oh, yeah, was quite OK with a movie about the KKK being shown in the White House.
    • He was instrumental in pushing through legislation that penalized Americans for expressing their opinion of World War I, the government in general, and him in particular.  And by penalized, we’re talking hard prison time, not community service hugging kittens down at the no-kill shelter.
    • Of course, he was a son of slave-owners, having been born and raised in the midst of some of the most famous battlefields of Northern Virginia.  And I don’t mean “His family went to visit them for picnics”.  I mean he was born in the Shenandoah Valley, was eight years old when the Civil War ended, and he actually met Robert E. Lee during the war.
    • Then again, a lot can be forgiven for the man who ushered in the first failed attempt to control what substances grown adults could imbibe, and was instrumental in drafting the Treaty of Versailles, setting up the rise of Adolf Hitler and the murder of 12,000,000 people during the Holocaust.
      • Just to summarize that, let’s just call him a proto-fascist, pre-Nazi sympathizer.
    • But I guess when you’re an OP (Original Progressive) who mouthed the right words, you can pretty much get away with anything, can’t you?
  • Now, don’t get me wrong.  I believe with all my heart that there is enough stupidity and douchebaggery to go around on all sides of the current kerfuffle.  A pox upon both their houses, as I’ve become wont to say lately.
  • Irish Woman and I were discussing the possibility that our property might be purchased for road improvements.  She’s quite worried about it, but I’m not.  As far as I can tell, not enough bribes have been paid to the right people environmental and hydrographic studies, as well as considerations of traffic flow and control, to get something like that to happen anytime soon.
  • Just when I start to believe that humanity might have a chance, folks start needing warnings to not stare at the sun and to not point their binoculars and telescopes at it during tomorrow’s eclipse.
    • I’ll feel bad for kids under, say, 12 who don’t have decent eyewear and don’t know how to poke a hole in a shoebox.
    • But if you’re older than that and don’t know to not concentrate direct sunlight on your retinas, I’ve got nothing for you.
    • I look forward to puff pieces on the news about this over the next year or so.  Heck, we might even get some feel good legislation passed just in time for the 2018 elections.
  • Now, if you all will excuse me, I gotta get up to work tomorrow.  Or, as my daughter’s professors would put it, I have to get up early so that I can have a full day of despoiling the earth and oppressing my fellow man in order to earn more than my fair share.

Couldn’t have said it better myself

Over at The Antisoma, Heroditus Huxley explains her view of compassion, and who deserves it.

Like the title says, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Look, I’m a pretty soft touch, all things considered.  It doesn’t take much more than someone, who truly needs assistance, asking politely for my help for me to give it.  A lot of times, you don’t even have to ask before a meal comes to your doorstep or an extra few dollars are in your hand.

But there are folks for whom that doesn’t apply.  I call them the “willfully poor,” and I know of which I speak.

You see, when my folks split up, my mother took us headlong into the welfare system.  Food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance, energy assistance, free school lunches, and everything else she could get her hands on flowed through our home.  Us kids ate what food stamps and free lunches would provide and we wore what government checks would buy at the Salvation Army.

I met some very hardworking folks during those years.  Problem was, the vast majority of them were working hard toward the wrong goals.  These people made welfare a 9 to 5 job, and they burned the midnight oil trying to find some way to squeeze just a few more dollars out of the system.

Tattoos were uncommon then, but booze and cigarettes were an everyday experience. My mother’s friends on welfare always had name-brand soda and candy at a time when most folks in my town had store-brands as a very occasional treat.  The number of kids who found themselves labeled as having learning disabilities or other medical issues skyrocketed amongst my mother’s circle, with each case bringing in a little more cash or another excuse to not find work.

At the beginning of the month, it was pizza and beer and new clothes.  At the end of the month, it was rice and canned tuna and government cheese.  But somehow, there was always money for the adults to go out to eat or to go to the local bar on Friday and Saturday.

But there is a silver lining to this:  I will sell organs before I take a dime of government assistance.  Too many memories of my mother buying a 25 cent pack of gum with a $10 food stamp so she’d have the change to spend on whatever struck her fancy, along with the looks the lunch ladies gave me when they stamped my free-lunch card, have driven me deep into the “I’d rather be hungry, thanks” crowd.

There are those who have hit a rough patch, with some needing assistance for a long while, but want desperately to stand on their own two feet.  Then there are those who not only can’t fathom what not having someone bring them their checks and EBT cards, but also violently and vociferously object when you suggest that there is a better way to live.

For the former, I have compassion and sympathy, and I am willing to give until it hurts.  For the latter, well, not as such.  If that makes me too hard, then I’ll wear that badge proudly.

Legislation Suggestions

Since the political time of crazy doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, I thought I’d take a few minutes to suggest some things that might not stop the madness, but will at least move it in a direction that would make me happier.

The “Get Off Your Ass” Welfare Reform Bill

This bill would set a 24 month limit on use of social welfare programs per person in a 60 month period, require 20 hours a week of vocational training or volunteer time for adult recipients, and set a 60 month lifetime limit on receiving government welfare.  Waiver of these requirements and restrictions would be possible only upon a simple majority non-voice vote by both houses of Congress, and would need to be renewed every 180 days by the same process.

The “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” Charitable Giving Reform Bill

Would amend the tax code to remove the cap on writing off charitable giving on personal and corporate income taxes.  Private charity is usually a more efficient alternative to government welfare, and this way the American taxpayer could decide which causes they want to support.

The “Why Does the Education Department Need Shotguns?” Federal Law Enforcement Reform Bill

This bill would restrict the ability of federal employees to arrest people and be issued a firearm to uniformed ICE officers, agents of the FBI and the Secret Service, and U.S. Marshals.  Let the ATF go to the Marshals or the FBI, or better yet, local law enforcement, if they need somebody arrested or somewhere raided.

The “Why Does the Marine Corps Need a Stealth Fighter?” Defense Acquisitions Reform Bill

An act that would require the military services to re-justify all programs that have been in development longer than five years and/or have cost more than 20% more than their original cost estimates.  I’ve always found it amazing how requirements get pared down when you make somebody re-justify something that isn’t working or has expanded like a tick on a hog’s rump.

So, do y’all have anything you’d like to suggest?  You get bonus points if you come up with a clever title to your bill.


You Say You Want A Revolution


Since about this time last year, the vitriol and bile in American politics has gone from a low simmer to just short of a boil.  On one side, we have celebrities on social media and crowds in the street calling for violent action.  On the other, we’ve got folks believing that one gentleman can take ten rascals, so let the bastards come.

The left seems to think that we will see a glorious revolution of the human spirit brought about by denying a stage to folks who profit by being shouted down, massive demonstrations with no cogent point, and maybe a little violence around the edges, just to show the other side they mean business.

The right, on the other hand, well, I’m not sure what the right believes on this one.  At the moment, the people I listen to are pointing and laughing at the left.  I am finding it difficult to find anything more than an attitude that they’d rather not have a civil war, but they’ll have one if the other side insists.    Not saying there aren’t whackjobs calling for the use of CAS to clear out the quad at Berkeley, but they’re not part of my personal political echo chamber.  The things I’m reading and hearing do tend to lean toward the “It’ll be easy, because we’ve got the guns” side of the counter-argument, and more than a few seem to be poking the left just to see them twitch.

The one thing I think both sides are saying is that violent revolution, no matter who starts it, will be quick, clean, and productive.

They’re both wrong.  If we continue down this road, both rhetorically and politically, what we will create will make the Civil War of the 1860’s look like a rather unpleasant dust-up.

There is no “North/South” or “Free/Slave” geographic dichotomy.  Densely populated liberal counties are sprinkled across the continent.  Granted, they are more prevalent along the periphery of the country, but they aren’t remotely as contiguous as the Confederacy ever was.

In other words, enemy territory just might be a couple of blocks over for much of the country.  There will likely be no true safe areas, no matter how red or blue they are.

The second Civil War will probably start when heated words turn to violence that is reciprocated.  What will happen when a store owner shoots the guy in a black mask who’s smashing his windows?  What happens when the fires from a protest consume a middle-class neighborhood?  What happens when all of this is broadcast over every cable network and the Internet, inflaming everyone on both sides who has had quite enough and just wants it to be over? What happens when some demagogue harnesses that anger and calls for a crusade?

I doubt that we will get many Gettysburgs, but I guarantee that we will get a bushel full of Srebrenica’s and Beslans.  Our war against each other will more closely resemble The Troubles than The Wilderness.  If you think abuse of civil rights is bad now, just wait until middle America is worried that some jerk is going to throw a molotov cocktail in the foyer of their kids’ school. In the end, it will rend our nation apart.

After a time, the sides may coalesce into geographically contiguous entities as areas are cleansed of the unbeliever, but in the beginning, it will be as easy to find someone from the other side as it is to go to Kroger for milk and eggs.   This will be a war of gangs and squads and flash mobs.  It will be a war of bombings, assassinations, and massacres. It will be a tit-for-tat, score-settling family fight where the memory of a political sign on somebody’s lawn gets their house burned to the ground.

The war will gain steam as folks who would normally turn away from the violence are struck with it.  It’s hard to convince someone whose children have been harmed that they can’t blame an entire block of other people for the crime.  It’s even harder to do when atrocities become commonplace.  Folks who normally wouldn’t harm a fly will revert to savagery against their neighbor when they’re scared or angry, and they won’t much care if that neighbor is actually their enemy.

In the end, we will all lose.  The slave/no slave, federal power/states’ rights argument of 1860 was simple compared to the gobblety-gook we have now.  We aren’t arguing about what the other side is doing, we are attacking the other side for who they are.  We have all gone a long way toward dehumanizing the other side already, and when you do that, it’s not a long walk to where our cities are burning and we’re filling in pits with bodies at the bottom.

So, to wind this up, I’m begging all of you – slow down.  I’ve seen the innocents hurt by civil war, and I know what the aftermath looks like.  It’s not where anyone wants our people to go.  If we do not turn from our current path, we will soon come to the place where folks will want the killing to start just to get it over with, and few of us will come way from that unscathed.

For the sake of our nation and our children, please don’t run toward our destruction.

Things That Work Versus Things That Don’t

In the last year or so, we’ve seen a lot of political posturing, blustering, and, let’s be honest, whining from both sides.   Personally, I’m sick of all of it, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to subside any time soon.

In order to try and help my fellow citizens understand what they can do to help the situation, and what they can do that will, at best, have no effect on the situation, I’ll contrast things that work with things that don’t work:

Peaceful, respectful protest versus violent rioting and vandalism

Want me to listen to what you have to say?  Try having a clear, articulate, and sane message that I can understand, either from the sound of your voice or the sign in your hand.  If you’d rather that I turn my back on you, all you have to do is assault those who disagree with you, destroy property, or put up with those who do in your ranks.

Getting off your high horse versus whining about voter ID and how elections are run

It’s 2017.  If you have the ability to read this post, you have the ability to get an ID before the next election.  I will have no sympathy for anyone who complains that they have trouble voting.  Girlie Bear was able to get an absentee ballot and vote on her first try, so there’s no excuse for you not figuring it out before 2018. Get your birth certificate, get your ID, and get your butt to the polls.  If you don’t like the electoral college or how primaries happen in your state, now is the time to get them changed.


Criticizing a politician’s policies and actions versus attacking his family

OK, I get it.  Folks made snide and outrageous remarks about your guy’s kids when he was in office.  It was heinous then, and it’s heinous now.  Decent folks, you know, the ones with jobs and a voter registration card, get turned off by crap like that.  Leave the families alone.

Reasonable discussion versus personal insults

I’ll admit it.  I’m a middle-aged white guy, the great oppressor.  The green-eyed devil.  But guess what?  You need my vote and my support, or at least you need me to not oppose you, if you’re going to get anything done.  If you keep accusing me of racism, misogyny, and all of the other bugaboos of the political insult machine, eventually I’m going to believe you.  If you want me to look at things from your perspective, tone it down and look at things from mine.

Being politically engaged versus being ‘woke’

OK, I’m proud that a lot of you have looked around and realized that the country isn’t exactly paradise.  Congratulations.  Now, do something about it.  Telling everyone on Facebook about what you’ve figured out is useless.  Taking polls and signing on-line petitions is useless.  Know what’s not useless?  Signing actual ballot petitions, sending letters and making phone calls to elected officials, showing up to town council meetings, and actually schlepping to the polls every year or so.  Jawing about how bad things are changes nothing.  Flooding the streets with women wearing oddly shaped hats does next to nothing. If everyone who ‘liked’ Sanders had gone to the polls, he would have gotten the nomination.  If everyone who screamed “I’m With Her” on Twitter had voted, you’d all still be drunk from celebrating her inaugural.

Perhaps if those who don’t care for President Trump start on these kinds of things now, 2018 won’t be an absolute blood bath for the Democrats, and in 2020, you’ll have a shot.  If not, well, it’s going to be a long few years, now isn’t it?


Live Blogging the Inauguration

10:06 – The President and Vice-President Elect have arrived at the White House.  Mrs. Trump brought Mrs. Obama a small gift, which Mrs. Obama looked at is if it were covered in dog slime.

10:11 – Is it just me, or do all of the Secret Service guys shave their heads?  Seriously, it’s like they all want to look like Mister Clean?

10:13 – NBC shows a shot of Marine, Army, and Navy flag officers walking out to the stands, all in their dress uniforms.  They were followed by some guy in a faux hawk.  Yeah.

10:18 – Wow, LucasFilm let them use Maz Kanata for the color commentary.  Oh, never mind, that’s Tom Brokaw.  My bad.

10:21 – Lester Holt just asked if Donald Trump was going to have a honeymoon as president.  Apparently, Mr. Holt needs his dosage upped a tad.

10:24 – If you’re old enough to reminisce about how cold the 1985 inauguration was, maybe you’ve been doing this too long.

10:32 – What a difference two decades make.  I remember when NBC reported on Bob Dole’s alleged involvement in an underground, Satanic, chocolate adulteration ring in 1996.

10:36 – Just saw John McCain.  For those of you who said in 2008 that he was too old and wouldn’t survive a term as President, there you go.

10:48 – Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Trump have come out to get in the limos.  Neither of them look happy to be there.

10:50 – President Clinton and his wife have arrived at the Capitol.  I’ve seen people walking to prison sentences with more mirth in their faces.

10:53 – Mr. Trump and Mrs. Obama are driving to the Capitol.  You all have no idea how much I would give to be a fly on that particular wall.

10:57 – Tom Brokaw just reminisced about the Jackson inaugural party/brawl.  It’s good that even at such an advanced age, he can still recall events from his youth.

10:59 – The last time I heard commentators throw this much shade on someone, it was in Pompey’s Theater on a beautiful March morning.

11:01 – Mr. Trump and President Obama have arrived at the Capitol.  I heard this from the back of some lady’s head.

11:07 – Whatever else happens today, this has been good PR for Apple and Cadillac.

11:18 – Is there a special school for political wives that teaches how to smile when you want to curse at the top of your lungs?

11:23 – Stay classy, Nancy Pelosi.  Nothing like making a political statement during a time that’s supposed to bring our country together.

11:25 – Obama descends the stairs with Biden.  After a little crowd work, he finds his way to his place.

11:27 – NBC reporters are doing political kabbalah based on everyone’s tie color.  Is this what we’ve come to?

11:31 – President Elect Trump comes down the stairs.  I’ve never seen anyone make sure they don’t fall down a flight of stairs so much in my life.

11:33 – And here we go.

11:35 – “Willing, but not enthusiastically” – An excellent description of the mood today.

11:36 – They’re invoking Lincoln.  Nobody ever got us into trouble without invoking Lincoln.

11:39 – Never heard that version of the Beatitudes before.  Interesting selection.

11:47 – Chuck Schumer takes the mic. I wonder if he’s going to reach across the aisle.

11:49 – Huh, Schumer didn’t mention the freedom to bear arms in that little list.  Strange.

11:51 – Interesting.  Schumer celebrates the words of someone fighting an army of Democrats in the Civil War.

11:52 – Clarence Thomas will now give the oath of office to Vice President Pence.  Perhaps this will be the thing that gets him into the African American history museum.

11:57 – It’s OK, Mr. Trump.  Not a lot of people know more than the first chorus to “America the Beautiful.”

11:59 – Chief Justice Roberts will now administer the oath of office to Mr. Trump.  I wonder if he will get it right this time.

12:00 – President Donald J. Trump.  Say it with me.

12:01 – Is anyone watching the skies over North Korea to see if they’ve launched their ICBM yet?

12:02 – President Trump takes the stand to make his speech.  Starts off by thanking everyone.

12:03 – Trump acknowledges and thanks President Obama.  Nice

12:04 – Then he starts tearing down the Washington power structure.

12:05 – “This moment is your moment.  It belongs to you’

12:06 – “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer”

12:09 – “We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own”

12:10 – “From this day forward, it’s only going to be ‘America First'”

12:11 – “We will get our people off of welfare and back to work”

12:19 – And the reporters remark about how insulting the President’s speech was.

12:21 – “If I forget thee, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.”  Now, that’s an interesting choice of words.

12:26 – Oh, good.  They found someone who could hit the note at the end of the Star Spangled Banner.

12:28 – And with that, the inauguration is over.  Godspeed to President Obama, and good luck to President Trump.

12:32 – Just when I thought I was done, NBC News Godwins the inauguration.  Apparently, saying “America First” is anti-semitic.  So, there’s that.

12:35 – President Trump is walking with President Obama.  I wonder how much Obama wants to punch Trump over that speech.

12:36 – President Obama is about to leave.  I hope that Trump supporters have more class as he goes than Obama supporters had watching President Bush leave in 2009.

12:37 – How interesting.  Before the ceremony, the reporters were remarking about how the crowd was graciously clapping and cheering for Mrs. Clinton when she came down the stairs and took her seat.  Now, they’re talking about how they boo’ed and jeered her.

12:38 – “Hyperbolic” “Dystopian” – Words a historian is using to describe President Trump’s speech.  Was Nick Cole his speech writer?

12:40 – Did Mr. Obama look back as he got on the helicopter?  I don’t think he did. (EDITED:  He did.  I just missed it.)

12:45 – Mr. and Mrs. Obama have flown away from the Capitol.  Of course, they’re only going to live a few miles away, so perhaps they’ll take this as an opportunity to figure out how they’re going to deal with Washington traffic.

12:47 – Now, NBC is comparing Trump to Huey Long.  Anyone got any idea until he’s compared to Pinochet?

12:50 – And I’m done.  It’s all done except the jawing, so I’m going to go and do something constructive.

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