How to Be Your Own Crazy Uncle at Thanksgiving

From Politico written by Matt Lattimer:

Target: Your brother-in-law, the loyal Jeb! donor

Arrival: Emerge from a black stretch limousine with gold trim, undercarriage lights, license plate reading: NUMBER 1.

Cocktail hour: Bring your own wine, from your private vineyard—the greatest vineyard in the world. It puts Napa to shame, OK? Offer some to your Bush-loving brother-in-law, who is a teetotaler, and also the host. When he says no, pour the wine into his glass anyway. Say: “Maybe this’ll give you some energy.” Refer to him constantly by an emasculating nickname (Mr. Snooze, Four Percent, Hot Pants). Get the kids onboard with this early.

Dinner: Your over-the-top opinion is required on everything. The cranberry sauce is not good; it’s “fantastic.” The stuffing isn’t just bad; it’s “a total disaster.” Spice up your anecdotes with absurd claims. The White House was named after Betty White. You were the inspiration for the Terminator. If nobody takes the bait, quickly ratchet them up: Many leading rabbis have privately told you that Moses was a “really big Christian.” When anyone objects, deny you just said that, then repeat it as fact as soon as your brother-in-law tries to speak again.

After dinner: Turn the largest available TV to the football game and spend all your time alternately praising Tom Brady (who is not playing) and blasting every other player as a “no-talent loser.” Elbow the kids away from the Monopoly table to show them “how the game is really played.” Start with the Teamsters (you) skimming 10 percent of all rent on the hotels or else “there’s going to be some really ugly accidents.” Hand the 13-year-old banker a $50 under the table. When he notices it’s real, tell him, “There’s more where that came from, OK?” Regardless of actual results, declare victory.



The Land of the Freaked Out and the Home of the Buffoon

From the Richmond Times Dispatch: 

Americans like to think of themselves as brave and strong. But a good portion of them are acting very weak and frightened. […]  Never to be outdone in the lunacy Olympics, Donald Trump is leaving open the possibility of forcing Muslims — including not just refugees but U.S. citizens — to register with the government as such, and perhaps even carry special ID. (No word on whether that might be a yellow star or crescent.) Instead of taking those suggestions, perhaps America should — oh, maybe stop the bed-wetting, for example. Then pull up its big-boy pants — and get a grip.

This is Ebola all over again, y’all.



It’s a Van Gogh! (Sam Van Gogh)

My daughter really loves Vincent Van Gogh’s art, as do I. Recently she asked me if I would paint three acrylic copies of his work for her birthday. She gave me a book of some of his paintings and marked the pages of the ones she particularly liked. This is one of them. Only two more to go. Oy.

I’m reminded of the episode of “The Addams Family” where they think Morticia is getting art lessons from Picasso.

Turns out it was Sam Picasso.

That’s me, Sam Van Gogh.

van gogh2


Well Said.

From the Baltimore Sun:

If the people of this nation learned anything from 9/11, surely it’s the danger posed by an unthinking, emotional response to acts of terror. That’s what can cause a nation to nearly scrap its constitution, ignore due process and lose its very identity; to invade countries on trumped up evidence of a threat; to torture suspects; and run off-shore prisons that would make a dictator proud and serve mostly to help terrorists recruit new members. That’s what terrorists want — chest-thumping, outsized reactions to the danger they pose. They want democracies to act undemocratic, they want people to cower in fear, they want to draw others into their fight and unwittingly help destabilize the political structures they seek to topple. […]

The 2016 presidential race is in full swing so we can expect candidates to spout some pretty foolish things in the days ahead. The hawks will have their say and so will the anti-immigrant crowd as well as those who wish to draw us into a religious war. But let us not forget that at its heart, what happened in Paris was a crime that needs to be investigated. Its perpetrators need to be caught and given a fair trial. That will take time, as will determining the proper response to an evolving ISIS and a changing political landscape. The only thing that’s certain beyond the horror of what happened on Nov. 13 is the importance of not succumbing to our worst instincts, to not give in to the terrorists, to not simply lash out blindly and to take actions that will only make matters worse.​