How Did I Miss That? Sanctions Smack Miley; Cajun Duck Sauciness

The Times Picayune reported that “family values” congressman Vance McAllister was caught on video kissing a married staffer. I didn’t think that was a big deal until the video showed a “get a room!” kind of kiss. 

McAllister said “there’s no doubt I’ve fallen short…” confirming that he has joined Louisiana Sen. David Vitter in advocating family values only for other people. “Look at the bright side for his supporters,” my Cousin Ray Sixkiller reminded me, “the other party was female.” She’s also out of a job, having “resigned,” and McAllister has called for an FBI investigation into who leaked the video.

Rep. McAllister’s first major accomplishment in office was to invite Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson to the State of the Union Address. His second was on April 9, when he saved the taxpayers money by withdrawing his demand for an FBI investigation.

Speaking of Congressional backbenchers, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) responded to a suggestion he did not know what he was talking about In accusing the Justice Department of failing to prevent the Boston Marathon bombing: “The attorney general will not cast aspersions on my asparagus!” The Washington Post reported that Attorney General Eric Holder “kept his cool” generally but indulged a parting shot: “Good luck with your asparagus!”

Charles Koch uncloaked in the Wall Street Journal to accuse Democrats of “character assassination” for attacking the Koch Brothers over the billions in dark money they have devoted to taking over the US government. “Now, those boys have some genuine family values,” Cousin Ray said. “They’re valued at $40 billion each.”

Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) hit the news April 3 when he entered the wrong hearing room and asked David Cohen (a Treasury official) questions prepared for Mike McCord (a Defense official). After learning that, Cohen said he felt better about not knowing the answers. Cousin Ray refused to say anything beyond “I’m opposed to shooting fish in a barrel.”

National Geographic reported on a paper submitted for peer review by a graduate student who studied the relative pain of bee stings to various parts of the human body. He finessed the Cornell University human subjects committee by conducting the experiment on himself. The worst places to be stung are nostril, lip, and penis. One place was skipped because, researcher Michael Smith said, “I wanted to keep my eyes.” Cousin Ray said that he was willing to sacrifice for science, “but I want to keep my penis.”

Time reported that Miley Cyrus “could be silenced” because of sanctions against Russia. Digging past the headline, it appears that she and Justin Timberlake have concerts scheduled in a Finland venue owned by Russians on the sanctions list. Digging down past the whine from the son of one of those sanctioned, “Why should the Finnish people suffer? The shows are sold out,” it appears that it’s legal to go forward if the entertainers are already paid. If they are not, they can perform, but they can’t get paid.

An 8-year-old Japanese girl has taken up metal guitar, leading Cousin Ray to suggest there might be a gig for her in Finland.

Maureen O’Connor alleged in New York magazine that the latest style among the swell folks is the “full-bush Brazilian,” which she described as “hippie in the front, porn star in the back.” If it’s an odd subject for pubic, er, public conversation, remember the Delaware Senate race where Christine “I Am Not A Witch” O’Donnell was attacked over her pubic hair. Cousin Ray and I did some skinny-dipping with girls in our time, but it was considered rude to take notes.

New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy was roasted by sports media for missing two games on the occasion of his wife giving birth. “If his wife couldn’t count on him at a time like that,” Cousin Ray suggested, “she shouldn’t have let him get to second base.”

Hobby Lobby has gone to the Supreme Court to complain that its corporate religious freedom is violated because the minimum medical coverage under Obamacare includes the Plan B pill and IUDs, which the corporate religion teaches is abortion and is immoral. Mother Jones reported that three fourths of the total investments in Hobby Lobby’s 401K plan are in mutual funds holding companies that conflict with the corporate religion. “That’s enough hypocrisy,” Cousin Ray suggested, “to qualify Hobby Lobby to be the first corporation directly elected to Congress—I suggest Louisiana.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that Matt Bevin, the Tea Party candidate running to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, campaigned at a cockfighting rally last week. Bevin claimed that he thought it was a states’ rights rally and his only position on cockfighting is that it should be left up to the states. Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states and a felony in 41, but it just became a federal crime in the last farm bill, which Bevin has attacked McConnell for supporting.

Talking Points Memo reported that Mississippi State Sen., Chris McDaniel, the Tea Party candidate against US Sen. Thad Cochran, backed out of a booking to keynote a gun rights rally with segregationist Brian Pace, founder of the Council of White Patriot Voters. Cousin Ray shrugged, “White supremacy will hurt a candidate in Mississippi about as much as cockfighting will hurt a candidate in Kentucky.”

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has voted not to recommend a posthumous pardon for Cameron Todd Willingham, executed 10 years ago for setting a fire in which his three children died. The scientific evidence has since been found to point toward an accidental fire rather than a set fire and a note in the prosecutor’s file appears to show that Willingham’s cellmate, who testified to a “jailhouse confession,” was given sentencing consideration that he had denied in front of the jury. Cousin Ray observed, “death penalty fans don’t admit ‘Oops.’”

Speaking of “Oops,” the New York Post reported an alcoholic court reporter Stenographed “I hate my job!” when he was supposed to be taking testimony. “He solved that problem,” said Cousin Ray, pointing out that Daniel Kochanksi, 43, has been fired.

Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden charged on Fox News Sunday that Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was motivated by “deep, emotional feeling” in denouncing torture. Cousin Ray wanted to know if Hayden ever heard Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) denounce torture? “McCain knows emotional.”

Army Lt. Scott Ginther blogs the following in reply to people not impressed with the current crop of soldiers: “I have the following soldiers in my platoon: a former blacksmith and rodeo clown, a NASCAR pit crewman, two carpenters, a private who is a multi-millionaire and drives an Audi R8, a Sugar Bowl-winning, University of West Virginia offensive lineman and a [staff sergeant] who graduated college at 17 years old and taught physics at Tulane before the age of 26.”

Congress apparently disagrees with Lt. Ginther, since less than three percent of Congressional staffers are veterans. Cousin Ray expected the staffers the family values caucus keeps for more personal services are unlikely to be veterans and so skew the numbers. “If you hit on a Marine,” he remarked, “she might hit you back.”

In other news on relations with the one percent who serve in the military, The Washington Post reports that only one in six Americans can find Ukraine on a map and those who don’t know where Ukraine is are more likely to support sending troops there. “They don’t need to know where it is,” snarked Cousin Ray, “they’re not going.”

Bloomberg.com reported that Seal Team Six has requested $11.1 million in the 2015 budget for a “Human Performance Center” to be built in Dam Neck, Virginia. Nothing in the request indicated why their current conditioning facility is no longer adequate and Cousin Ray observed “they should have grabbed bin Laden’s ATM card when they had the chance.”

What stands in the way of a Clinton-Bush race in 2016 is that Clinton’s base is to the left of her and Bush’s base is to the right of him. Of the two, Jeb Bush is more likely to be eviscerated in a primary than Hillary Clinton. Cousin Ray is astounded that the bench is so thin. “Looks more like a tribal election every day.”

The science page of The New York Times carried a speculation on the cause of death of William Henry Harrison, who comes down in history as the shortest serving US President (about a month) who gave the longest inaugural address (8,445 words read in freezing weather without a coat). The diagnosis at the time was pneumonia. The Times pointed out that the White House water supply was seven blocks downstream from a stagnate marsh were Washington deposited “night soil,” there being no sewage treatment. Harrison’s campaign song was, “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.” Having prevailed at Tippecanoe, Harrison claimed “credit” for the demise of Tecumseh’s attempt to rally all tribes to oppose the colonists. “Drinking sewage will do it,” said Cousin Ray, “but I expect the Shawnees have a different opinion about what killed Harrison.”