Jan. 6 Rioters Peeling Away from Trump

June 4, 2021

By Karen

But first, a trailer for the Anthony Bourdain HBO documentary, Roadrunner, debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival June 11, in theaters July 16…

At 1:59, see a nanosecond of Tony in a red sports car with a brunette whose identity I can only suspect. The more her existence gets erased, the more heinously criminal I believe her involvement in his final days. Call me the suspicious type.

Now, to the present…

The FBI has rounded up roughly 500 Capitol rioters. Those with clean records are getting slapped wrists. But the violent ones caught on camera face felonies and promise to be great entertainment at their trials.

FYI, here’s a Justice Department list of everyone arrested and charged. Another list at Insider.com includes personal details on the perps.

The minute TV cameras stopped rolling, Trump forgot these people exist. Without presidential pardons, desperate defense lawyers are floating, “My client is too stupid to live.”

If we didn’t have such a woke culture, they’d be calling their clients the “R” word.

Defense places all blame on Trump, his enablers and Fox “News” for dishing out a diet of lies to ignorant dupes, and claims they bear as much responsibility as the rioters.

Essentially, defense hopes to thread a needle with an elephant. They can’t go all-out and declare their clients mentally incompetent, because that lets Trump and Fox slither off the hook. Instead, the rioters were relentlessly attacked by incendiary rhetoric and finally succumbed on January 6.

Prosecutors are going to love destroying this argument.

As convicted rioters begin marching off to prison, MAGA cultists who stayed home 1/6 but still believe the Big Lie are left no choice but to wonder where their own willingness to continue eating Trump-Fox garbage may lead.

Rioter Anthony Antonio (the guy who screamed nonsensically about it being 1776), has said: “I kind of sound like an idiot now saying it, but my faith was in him [Trump].”

Antonio’s lawyer Joseph Hurley explained, “You can catch this disease.” Misinformation “is not a defense. It’s not. But it will be brought up to say: This is why he was there. Because he was a dumbass and believed what he heard on Fox News.”

I would add, and because he probably flunked history.

Footnote: Antonio has never voted in a presidential election, so he had no skin in the game.

With a pandemic fresh in their minds, MAGA cultists who hear these dipshits called, by their own lawyers, dumbasses who caught “Big Lie Disease” may realize they’re also infected.

Who needs COVID or masks when you can ingest toxic lies from your TV until your brain mush no longer comprehends that a guy who gets the fewest votes is the LOSER?

The lawyer for “QAnon shaman” Jacob Chansley claims repeated exposure to lies overwhelmed Chansley’s ability to discern reality (and fashion, obviously)…

Photo: Saul Loeb - AFP - GettyImages

Although I despise them, I don’t think all cultists are 100% evil — they’re ignorant. They’ll get the shock of their lives when the trials reveal exactly how Trump and Fox have twisted their sad little minds.

Defections are happening already. On Memorial Day in Florida, Trump falsely claimed “thousands” of boaters waved Trump flags on parade. WTSP in Tampa Bay reported

Just north of the former president’s residence at Mar-a-Lago, “Trump 2024” flags waved in the wind as dozens of boats took to the water.

Two days later, Trump pulled the plug on his 29-day-old From the Desk of blog to “put it out of its misery” (his words) because few were reading.

Trump’s ability to spread poison is waning. His mental faculties are more often discussed than his positions on anything, especially since his delusion that he’ll regain power in August. He’s making no major personal appearances with press allowed. The great showman who lives to feed off crowds like an energy vampire will be babbling remotely via Jumbotron at a Wisconsin rally on June 12.

Rioters’ trials condemning the “Foxitis” contagion and Trump’s growing inability to hide his dementia should thin the cult. Treasonous Republicans still courting Trump’s dwindling base may find themselves like Wile E. Coyote come reelection…

BONUS: Searching YouTube, I came upon this golden oldie cat video that still makes me laugh. In the original version, these cats were meowing at each other. Then someone gave them dialogue…


The Cats Check In & New Bourdain Book

May 21, 2021

By Karen

It’s TGIF here today. I snapped pics of the crew this morning so you can see how they’re doing. After finally shoveling a mammoth editing project out of here, this week I was finally able start reading World Travel: An Irreverent Guide by Laurie Woolever, channeling Anthony Bourdain. I’m enjoying it and awed by the research. But the dips into each country are so brief, I want to rewatch the shows she sourced to see the meals and restaurants again.

AND this week I happened upon a second worthwhile Bourdain book coming out on October 12, same day as Woolever’s Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography, which now has a cover…

Tom Vitale, Tony’s longtime director and producer, has written In the Weeds: Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain. It’s being published by Hachette in hardcover (not Bourdain’s Ecco imprint). At only 6” x 9”, I assume it’s more narrative than the oversized photo books previously published about the shows, which is great. I hope Hachette does better with the cover art and this is just their Amazon placeholder…

Amazon’s also peddling at least three unauthorized Bourdain “biographies.” One is 53 pages, has no named author, and you can get it free with Kindle Unlimited. Another is only 17 pages by a writer — probably fittingly — named Dumm. And the third bio is supposedly 30 pages of “interesting facts.”

A fourth 152-page book is an English translation of “Reflections” on his death “by Suicide????” (question marks are in the actual title, so, believable????). The original is in Spanish and seems to be a dredging of the conspiracy delusions we were fed by certain parties in Italy, if you get my drift.

I’ve decided not to read these because it means buying them, and I don’t want to support them. Also, it wouldn’t surprise me — but would totally piss me off — if I found material lifted from Cats Working. Better for them that I never know.

But back to the cats…

Tony says, “Party this weekend like it’s 2019!” He’s got a birthday coming up. Does he look more grown up these days?
Roc says, “Take it easy by curling up in your favorite perch by a window and soak in some rays on your tush.”
Max says, “Relax in your Man Cave or anywhere else you can get away from the crazy frat boys.”

Bourdain News Updates

April 29, 2021

By Karen

Dates for the CNN/HBO Documentary…

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain will be shown June 11 at the Tribeca Film Festival (which runs June 9–20 in New York City), then July 16 it will open in theaters. After its theatrical run peters out, it will be available on HBO Max and eventually shown on CNN. As of today, the trailer isn’t available yet. Hypebeast.com reports that the film will include unaired footage from Parts Unknown.

I wonder it that could be bits of the never-finished Florence episode Tony made with his soon-to-be-cheating girlfriend the week before he took his final, fatal trip to France with Eric Ripert.

World Travel: An Irreverant Guide Hits Bestseller Lists…

Work has kept me from diving into this book, but it came out of the gate strong.

Its first week, it was No. 1 on the Washington Post Nonfiction Hardcover Bestsellers list.

Surprisingly, it did not make The New York Times’ corresponding list that week at all.

It’s No. 1 on the Los Angeles Times Nonfiction Hardcover Bestsellers list this week.

At Amazon, it ranked No. 3 for all nonfiction its first week and seems to be holding steady.

And in Canada it debuted at No. 1 in International Bestsellers among Canadian independent booksellers, according to the Vancouver Sun.

Author Laurie Woolever continues her media blitz with a dedication that would make Tony proud. She did a Texas Public Radio podcast that went online April 23.

On April 26 she talked to Anthony Mason on CBS This Morning. Chef Daniel Boulud also appears in the interview and remembers his jitters filming Parts Unknown in his French hometown with Tony.

Finally, My Post-Mortem on the Reelz Autopsy Episode…

I’ll just hit what got my attention. If you’re unfamiliar with the details of Tony’s passing, dip into the Cats Working archives for June 2018 and find my series of posts as the story unfolded.

Dr. Michael Hunter didn’t seem to have any more information than we all had. The show did include one lovely photo of Nancy as a teenager I’d never seen. (I didn’t capture it because I’m respecting Nancy’s privacy as atonement for outing her identity on A Cook’s Tour years ago.)

However, the show failed to mention Tony’s 20-year marriage to Nancy and gave the impression he was single until Ottavia. It also implied that Parts Unknown was his only TV show.

The biggest “get” was Tony’s friend Michael Ruhlman on camera, but he didn’t say anything remotely revealing. He did confirm that Tony seemed tired and unhappy his last few years (i.e., girlfriend years), and seemed to become more insecure as his fame grew.

Dr. Hunter called this “Imposter Syndrome.”

Hunter discussed and dismissed Bourdain’s well-known habits as suspects, drugs and drinking, except as substances that would make someone more prone to depression.

He homed in on jet lag, and speculated that Tony was using Ambien, another depression trigger, but also discounted that as a contributor. (An appropriate dose of prescription medication was found in Tony’s bloodwork, but never named.)

Where Hunter really screwed up was saying several times that autopsy results were “never revealed.” No autopsy was ever done.

The show skirted right up to “rumors of an affair” involving the girlfriend days before Tony’s death, but only as another reason he’d be depressed, not a contributing factor.

The one bit of homework that impressed me was that Hunter claimed to find 19 instances between 2005-2017 where Tony had joked about hanging generally, or hanging himself in the shower.

I suspect the recreation of Eric Ripert charging into Tony’s room to find him in the bathroom was inaccurate. I believe a hotel worker entered first, and I’ve never seen any mention of exactly where Tony did it.

Hunter finally attributed Tony’s death to emotional pressure from the girlfriend situation, traveling and being away from his family, and long-standing suicidal ideation linked to depression. Hunter concluded that Tony “thought his depression was unworthy of treatment or insurmountable.”

Bottom line: Autopsy, The Last Hours of… filled in no blanks for me.

BONUS: I just came across this good article at Mashed about Bourdain that’s a pretty accurate, comprehensive glimpse of him.


Special Report: Bourdain News

April 22, 2021

By Karen

I’ve got four new items if you’re a Cats Working reader who’s still interested in Anthony Bourdain’s evolving legacy.

Autopsy Episode on Reelz…

The episode of Autopsy: The Last Hours of… filmed in November 2020 premiers Sunday, April 25, at 8 p.m. ET on the Reelz channel. Here’s their blurb (redacted for length because CW readers know the backstory)…

On June 8th 2018, the world was stunned by the news that award-winning writer and TV presenter, Anthony Bourdain had taken his own life. He was the punk rock chef who found fame as the hip new face of food and travel television… But suddenly, at the age of 61, he hung himself in his hotel room, while filming in France. So what happened? World renowned forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Hunter needs to analyse every detail in the limited available information to piece together what exactly caused the well-loved TV host to take his own life. 

I’ve been watching some of Autopsy for months, waiting for this one to emerge, so I’ll dare to make a few predictions based on what I’ve learned about this show.

Dr. Michael Hunter is going to delve into Bourdain’s drug use, smoking, drinking, diet, and possibly chronic jet lag/sleep deprivation as potentially the REAL reasons behind the suicide, but in the end he’ll go along with what the French coroner concluded on the death certificate without performing an autopsy.

Hunter will never come close to citing the most likely actual cause.

The mention of “limited available information” indicates that neither Tony’s family nor friends cooperated. They know what went down, and they’re not saying. To this day, we don’t even know the final resting place of his ashes.

The show cast an actress to play Bourdain’s last girlfriend, but I would be surprised if they reveal anything we don’t already know about “the last hours of” that situation.

I’ll be watching just to see what they do with what little they have to go on, with fingers crossed that it’s not anything upsetting to Tony’s daughter.

World Travel: In Irreverent Guide

On Tuesday, April 20, World Travel: An Irreverent Guide by Anthony Bourdain was published by his imprint, Ecco, but his longtime co-author, Laurie Woolever, really made it happen.

I’ve got my hefty copy. As an owner of every book Bourdain wrote, I can say with “no reservations” that World Travel is — even with line drawings, not the full-page, full-color photos of previous books — THE MOST sumptuous, elegantly produced volume ever to bear his name.

Woolever, after just one hour-long brainstorming session with Tony in March 2017 on what places and points he wanted to include, worked from those notes to craft chapters from literally hundreds of hours of episode transcripts from No Reservations, The Layover, and Parts Unknown, his interviews, articles, notes, blog posts and books. The sheer breadth of her research makes my head explode.

It’s organized alphabetically by country (43 of them), and the quoted Bourdain sprinkled liberally throughout is in bold blue, which makes his voice literally jump off the page.

I’ve just begun it, but I already feel that it’s going to be like having Tony back for a while.

To promote the book, Woolever has done phone interviews with everybody. I’ll share some links, but warn you that they’re similar. She probably knows how Bourdain felt when he got asked for the 100th time how he liked eating a cobra’s heart.

Eater.com

WashingtonPost.com

Fodors.com

Esquire.com

TravelAndLeisure.com

CNN/HBO Documentary Finished at Last…

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain will debut at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City from June 9–20. It was directed by Morgan Neville, who did that Mr. Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, and produced also by Focus Features. At some point it will be available on HBO Max and shown on CNN, I presume. Here’s the blurb…

The nonfiction chronicle of Bourdain’s life will brim “with the same energy, curiosity, and deep humanity that made Anthony Bourdain the superstar whose life touched so many” in the years leading up to his 2018 death.

This film DID have the cooperation of Bourdain’s family and friends, but I expect the focus will be on his amazing life and leave the many still-lingering questions about his end unanswered.

I found this video interview with Morgan Neville from May 27, 2020, episode #35. He must have been working on Roadrunner then, but they don’t discuss it until 29:30. Neville says basically nothing, and the interviewer does no follow-up, but you’re welcome to check it out.

Last, But Most Exciting, One More Woolever Book…

Laurie Woolever is also compiling a Bourdain biography from interviews called Bourdain: The Oral Biography to be published on October 12, 2021, by Ecco. She mentioned it during her current media blitz, but provided the most detail to Barron’s

I did about 100 interviews with people from all different aspects of his life, from family members to colleagues back in the old kitchen days of the ’80s and ’90s, high school friends, his first wife, plenty of television colleagues, publishing colleagues, friends he made along the way, just a real array of people who knew him really from birth until the end of his life. He was someone who shared a lot about himself, and his whole story is out there of course in Kitchen Confidential, but what I found in working on the book is that there was a lot that I didn’t know. Every single person I spoke with I learned something surprising. And I was pretty steeped in all things Tony for a long time, so my hope with that one is that people will learn more about what motivated him.

PS: In researching this post, I came across other Bourdain “biographies” on Amazon that I wasn’t aware of by people I’ve never heard of. I’ll do some digging on those and report back.

BONUS: Bourdain has this new tribute mural at The Grub Shop on Long Island.

Photo: Yelp/AndaluzTheArtist

Cats at Ease

March 4, 2021

By Karen

My previous installment, which I was rather pleased with, turned out to be one of those, “If a tree falls in the woods” endeavors, in that:

If you post a blog entry and no one likes or comments on it, was it really worth your time to write it?

So I’ll keep it brief today. (I’m also slammed with paying work and just taking a quick break to maintain my blogging schedule.)

Last night, in an unexpected display of camaraderie, Roc snuggled down beside Max on the couch, and Max let him…

Max was only there because Tony was hogging Max’s usual bed. But with Roc at his back, Max couldn’t let himself snooze with both eyes closed and dashed back up to the Man Cave shortly after I snapped the photo.

And Tony always manages to pose in totally disproportionate ways, like here…

His tail and leg look far longer than his head size would dictate, not to mention those “Obama ears,” wouldn’t you agree?

Wait, never mind. Silly me, asking questions.

BONUS: The rights to Anthony Bourdain’s second novel, Gone Bamboo, have been sold to be developed into a scripted TV series set in the Caribbean (St. Martin, if they keep it accurate). The pilot has not yet been written and no network has offered to buy it, but fingers crossed the deal goes through. I loved Bourdain’s fiction.

In this paragraph from page one describing the protagonist, “Henry,” are you getting any familiar vibes? (Shit, there I go again. Forget I asked.)…

The other man at the table was tall, around six foot four, thin, and deeply tanned. He looked in his mid- to late forties, with long, dark brown hair, sun-bleached in spots and going to gray, tied back in a ponytail. He was dressed in faded blue jeans with holes in the knees and a loose-fitting long-sleeve T-shirt. He was wearing no socks or shoes, and even his feet were tan. In the dimly lit motel room, the darkness of his skin made his eyes and teeth and the gold hoop earring in his left ear flash unnaturally bright.


John Lurie Remembers Bourdain

January 28, 2021

By Karen

About a week before he died in 2018, Anthony Bourdain met artist John Lurie and bought his painting titled, “The sky is falling, I am learning to live with it,” for a reported $19,000…

The painting was auctioned with many other of Bourdain’s belongings in 2019 by Lark Mason Associates to launch a scholarship fund in Tony’s memory at his alma mater, the Culinary Institute of America. I lost track of what happened to the painting there. But that’s not the point.

John Lurie currently has a six-part series on HBO (Fridays, 11 p.m. ET) called Painting with John. Only one episode has aired so far, and it hooked me.

Bourdain and Lurie met in Lurie’s New York apartment while Tony was filming in the Lower East Side for what became the final episode of Parts Unknown. Lurie boiled eggs for Tony. This clip is a mashup of the episode (and may be indicative in hindsight of his state of mind), but you can catch Tony’s daughter Ariane singing at the end…

Today, John Lurie is living on an undisclosed island somewhere in the Caribbean. His series consists of watching him paint close up (which is rather relaxing, believe it or not) and deliver a stream-of-consciousness monologue to the camera about whatever pops into his head, like an artistic spinoff of Bourdain’s PBS series, Mind of a Chef.

If my calculations are correct, the fourth episode airs on February 12, and that’s the one where Lurie talks about his brief — and he believed blooming — relationship with Anthony Bourdain. So, if you can catch it, it’s probably worth watching.

If you can’t get to HBO’s content, I think Lurie told basically the same story during an interview, so you can read his thoughts in Rolling Stone.

SIDE NOTE: On January 26, Asia Argento’s “autobiography,” Anatomy of a Wild Heart, was published in Italy. With any luck, it will stay there.

Undoubtedly to drum up sales, she now claims that back in 2002 when she was filming the movie xXx, director Rob Cohen forced her to drink a date rape drug and raped her.

Twice. She also speaks a bit about Bourdain in this link to a poorly translated interview, where she’s quoted as saying, “He entered my life on tiptoe.” Quite a comical image for a man who was 6’4”.

Cohen says he and Argento were friends who had an excellent working relationship, and he finds her accusation “bewildering.”

My cynical translation of this is that he thought they were enjoying the film shoot with mutual benefits.

But if we learned anything about our Tony’s final fling from her claims against Harvey Weinstein, she never stops after one alleged “rape.” She’s always available for more.

I’m wondering why she didn’t shoot higher and go after her co-star, Vin Diesel…

What I see is a pattern. Any man who ever hopped between the sheets with her shouldn’t be surprised when she calls him a rapist, just for the attention. It’s pathetic.


Chapter 132: COVID Chronicles

October 29, 2020

By Karen

Day 229

Tony Celebrates a Milestone & Some Bourdain News

Fittingly, on National Cat Day, it was one year ago that I brought home “the new kid,” Tony Bourdain. He was only five months old, unsure if this was just another temporary foster stop. In the year he’s grown up, he’s grown comfortable in his forever home and come a long way…

In the process, he makes me laugh every day and is Roc’s always-ready, feisty little grappling partner.

Meanwhile on the election front, after putting my mail-in ballot in an official box on October 20, my hair’s been smoldering as I’ve tracked it every day to make sure it was counted. FINALLY, when I checked yesterday afternoon, SUCCESS…

The only other time I voted absentee was when I’d be in mid-ocean on a transatlantic crossing from Barcelona. The good old days!

I think Obama nailed it when he said the only reason Trump’s kvetching about all the media coverage COVID gets is because he’s jealous. Absolutely. When the reporting is “COVID, COVID, COVID,” they’re not saying “Trump, Trump, Trump.”

Trump had better get used to it. This groundswell of early voting, particularly by first-time voters, doesn’t feel like it’s mobs clamoring for four more years of corruption, chaos and lies.

Now, Bourdain news. An Australian musician named Simon Robert Gibson composed a tribute called “Bourdain”…

It’s a sad and touching, even if the style of music isn’t my thing.

Much more disturbing to me was a casting call for a docudrama series called Autopsy: The Last Hours Of…, which airs in the States on Reelz. It describes itself as:

…an investigative medical documentary series that looks at the lives and deaths of the biggest names in entertainment history. Through a combination of interviews with family and friends, archive footage and dramatic reconstructions, we tell these stories and unpick the — sometimes mysterious — circumstances around their deaths.

I get Reelz, so I just watched episodes on Marlon Brando and Carrie Fisher (neither of whom had full autopsies, like Bourdain), just to get a feel for the show’s approach.

Yikes.

They’re shooting the Bourdain episode November 2-6 in the U.K., and they were looking for two actors to play Bourdain at ages 18-30 and 50-60. They also needed an Asia age 38-49 (which should annoy her, since she’s only 45 and also apparently an actress out of work). And an Eric Ripert.

The show provides biographical context for things that might have contributed to the death, so “Bourdain” has to simulate smoking and drug use. All roles are “nonspeaking,” so the actors will be recreating mostly in pantomime what the producers think happened.

Since the show’s focus is “final hours,” we’re talking about Bourdain’s last days in France with Eric when the photos were published of Asia cavorting around Rome with another man and Bourdain’s relationship with her blew up in his face.

Since what we know about Bourdain’s passing came mainly from the French coroner, I’m dreading what else they may have dug up to have enough material for a program. Each episode features this doctor/actor(?) who reviews the person’s medical records and tries to poke holes in them to reach more definitive conclusions.

There’s no air date yet announced.


Chapter 122: COVID Chronicles

August 31, 2020

By Karen

Day 173

Roc’s New Thing for Dryer Balls & Lisbeth Salander is REAL

After I finished laundry Saturday, Roc suddenly fell in love with my Woolite® dryer balls. Maybe they smell like lamb? He played with them most of the morning and refused to share them with Tony…

KITCHEN NEWS: My built-in Kenmore electric range is 37 years old, but I love that its knobs are on the front so I don’t have to reach across hot pans. I once looked into replacing it, but stoves so designed were insanely expensive, and pulling this one out would surely lead to a new counter, sink, cabinets, floor… You know, the domino effect of updating anything in a kitchen.

But sadly, one of the burner coils died. I sweated finding a replacement on such an old stove, and a defunct-Sears Kenmore at that, but RepairClinic.com had OEM parts (actually made by Electrolux), and they fit like a charm. I replaced all four while I could, and so the three old grungy ones wouldn’t be body-shamed by the shiny new guy. Now it feels like a new stove…

I probably could have gotten generic coils on Amazon for less, but when it comes to electrical things that could burn down the house, I don’t cut corners.

TV NEWS: We have our very own Lisbeth Salander in Kansas! She’s the real-life bounty hunter in Love Fraud, which started airing on Showtime last night…

“This four-part docu-series follows the search for one man, Richard Scott Smith, who over the past 20 years used the internet and his dubious charms to prey upon unsuspecting women looking for love — conning them out of their money and dignity. The story unravels in real time as Smith’s victims band together to seek sweet revenge by turning to a bounty hunter when they feel the justice system has failed them.”

Carla Campbell the real-life bounty hunter is a wizened, gray-haired smoker whose backstory is that after her first boyfriend beat her constantly, when she finally broke free, she vowed no man would ever touch her like that again. About Smith, she says…

“If he ever came in and robbed me like these other women, I’d be in prison. I’d have slit his throat and watched him bleed to death and then admitted to doing it because I’m not going to let him do that to somebody else.”

Some of the women he’s destroyed find each other on a blog one of them started to warn others. They coalesce into a posse after the legal system gives Smith a slap on the wrist. Part of Smith’s con is that he married many of the women and became legally entitled to their assets because they didn’t realize the marriages were bigamous.

I’ll confess I’ve gotten mixed up with at least two men whom I know did illegal things to women (because it was reported in the newspaper), including the man I briefly married. But they never got any money from me and I managed to escape in one piece. Watching these woman strike a blow for all of us trusting schmucks is highly satisfying.

The first episode is available free on Showtime’s site. I hope it ends with a scene where Scott gets locked in a room alone with Carla.

BONUS: Anthony Bourdain’s co-author, Laurie Woolever, recently tweeted the cover of their last book together, World Travel: An Irreverent Guide

Laurie tweeted she’s sneakily drawn in the background. I think she’s the one on the left.

It’s being released April 20, 2021. In a happily-ever-after world, Tony and Ottavia would have celebrated their anniversary on that date.

BONUS: The day after Trump’s nomination, where he mumbled his acceptance like a reanimated zombie reciting recycled clichés sprinkled with WTF bits of historical gibberish, Trump had a rally in Londonderry, New Hampshire, which attracted only about 500 people. Going to the podium, when he reached the top of three steps and had no railing, he almost fell off the platform…

Watching Trump deteriorate is like seeing a plane crash in slow-mo. But if you tally all the shuffles, stumbles, jerks, twitches, garbled statements, nonsensical tweets and mangled words he does in public in a mere fraction of his day, his doctors will have a LOT of ‘splainin’ to do when Trump and the ground finally meet and a camera catches it.


Chapter 120: COVID Chronicles

August 20, 2020

By Karen

Day 162

Tony’s Final Fundraiser Update & Karma FINALLY Makes an Appearance

Thanks to an astounding donation that arrived out of the blue — and received a match — Tony was propelled into 9th place in the 2021 RAL Calendar Contest. He needs to remain in the top 12 to appear on the calendar, and he’s got at least three furry competitors nipping at his heels who could pull ahead in the final hours. If you can help keep Tony a winner, your donation must be received BEFORE 8:00 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, August 22, which is when they announce the results. Tony says “Thank you!” to everyone who has donated so generously already…

IN POLITICAL NEWS: I’ve been watching more of the Democratic Convention than I thought I would and feel heartened by everyone’s determination to crush Trump. Yesterday I said in comments that Obama was expected to pull Trump’s guts out through his nose, and Obama didn’t disappoint.

Naturally, Trump was watching and went berserk on Twitter, screaming various ALL CAPS bat-shit denials. In case you missed it, here are some of Obama’s blood-drawing zingers…

We’ve NEVER had a well-respected past president openly tell the world that the sitting president can’t do the job and doesn’t even want to. But Obama didn’t say anything that Trump’s own behavior hasn’t proven true in spades.

Gratifying payback seems to be picking up steam. Steve Bannon was arrested today for bilking $25 million out of Trump’s MAGA suckers, promising that every penny they donated would fund Trump’s stupid wall. Instead, Bannon funneled it to himself and three cronies, who were also arrested.

U.S. Postal Service agents nabbed Bannon in Connecticut just as he was boarding a rich Chinese buddy’s yacht. Trump may be able to screw up our mail delivery, but he can’t stop the PO from nailing his goons on wire fraud.

Also, another judge rejected Trump’s latest attempt to hide his tax records from the Manhattan district attorney. The Supreme Court has already heard this case and ruled that Trump’s argument (that’s he’s king and untouchable) is absurd, so now Donny’s scurrying around the lower courts like a trapped rat, trying to delay his inevitable extermination.

Trump must feel the walls closing in, and I hope they feel like the cold cinder blocks of his future prison cell.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN TIDBITS: In honor of Bourdain’s memory, actor Russell Crowe recently made a large donation to a GoFundMe account established for a restaurant in Beirut called Le Chef that was destroyed in the recent explosion at the port. Bourdain ate there when he visited Beirut, and Crowe said he knows Tony would have supported its rebuilding if he were here today.

And this isn’t a new article on RadicalReads.com, but it’s interesting to scan the list of 39 books Bourdain loved and see how many you’ve read. I’ve only read a few.

BONUS: This Randy Rainbow flashback from Damn Yankees reminds me that the Trump administration’s daily commission of multiple felonies and crimes against humanity make what we used to consider scandals seem quaint…


Chapter 118: COVID Chronicles

August 13, 2020

By Karen

Day 155

Tony’s Fundraising Update & Biden Picks a Mate

As of this minute, Tony is ON the 2021 RAL Calendar but in 12th place, and $20 short of 11th place. This contest has become as nerve-wracking as the Kentucky Derby in the stretch. A lot can happen in the final nine days.

Yesterday, one Cats Working reader’s donation qualified for the match, and that helped loads, so THANK YOU to her and everyone who has supported our Tony. Donations are accepted until August 22.

I hate to be a noodge, but Tony’s got a real shot at this. I know I’m biased, but of the top 12, I think Tony’s a standout in name and looks, and his calendar page (should he get one) will be stunning…

I tried to get a nice headshot of Roc this morning, and this is how he cooperated…

Now, on to politics. I hope every treacherous fat cat who got a job from Trump enjoys his last five months at the taxpayers’ trough, because once Biden and Harris take over in January, the heads start rolling in Washington.

I initially wanted Kamala Harris for attorney general so she’d have the satisfaction of prosecuting the entire Trump administration. But then Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin reminded me of Sally Yates, and she’d be just as ruthless as AG because of all the shit Trump and his GOP clown squad in Congress have put her through, so there’s that.

Now I’m thrilled Kamala has the opportunity to redirect her aggression toward Biden’s foes as viciously as she attacked Biden himself in the primary debates.

Comedian Lauren Mayer’s singing may not be Broadway (or even off-off-Broadway) caliber, but you’ve got to give her credit for lightning speed in composing lyrics to extol our future vice president…

Trump did himself no favors yesterday by holding a press conference where he delivered the same litany of lies and boasts and called COVID deaths “fatilities” — TWICE. Someone has figured out that his team isn’t even bothering to write him new material every day, because he always reads it as if he’s never seen it before…

I wonder if Kamala will goad Trump into dumping Pence for former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. There’s nothing Tump would like better than to watch two women mud-wrestle over him in the VP debate on October 7.

If Trump does shed Pence, I hope he saves the news as his nomination acceptance speech’s big reveal on August 27 so cameras can catch Pence’s adoring gaze melt into excruciating pain as Nikki Haley plants a stiletto on his instep clamoring for Pence’s place beside Trump.

It’s a relief to know who our weapons are, so now Democrats across the country can fully focus on crushing what’s left of Trump.

BONUS: Since Trump is toying with delivering his acceptance speech at Gettysburg because he’s developed this delusion of being greater than Abraham Lincoln, comedian JL Cauvin delivers the Gettysburg Address, Trump-style…


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