From the fine folks at The Dodo, this is a montage video that they call, “Animals make the world magic.” It's done in a style that comes off a bit like a fantasy movie trailer for Disney, and dances a fine line between being saccharine hokey and spectacular. But because there are too many spectacular moments in it, for my taste in lands on the side of spectacular.
I wish I knew better who made this video. The best I can do is that the fellow goes by the user name of "DrivenProgressive" on TikTok. But whatever his full name, this is a brilliant, damning, infuriating takedown of how Vivek Ramaswamy made his fortune as a "bio-tech entrepreneur." And he brings the receipts with screen shots of news stories and stock market graphics.
The short version is that it's a repugnant "pump and dump" medical scam. To which it must be added -- this is not a shock to learn.
It's only 3-1/2 minutes and well-worth it.
Not long ago, I posted a video here of actress Gillian Jacobs fan-girling out as panelist on To Tell the Truth over contestant Will Shorz, the New York Times crossword puzzling editor, in one of the most utterly adorable things (for my taste) I’ve posted on this site.
When one watches a YouTube video, there are a bunch of other generally-somewhat related videos, and so I came across Gillian Jacobs on Stephen Colbert’s show talking about a will she wrote when was eight years old. Her “performance” reading what her eight-year-old self said is award-worthy.
Fun, too, is keeping an eye on Colbert who can see some of the terms of the “will” before she reads them. And notable is what he says at the end in admiration of eight-year-old Gillian Jacobs.
Honestly, I'm getting to the point what it's okay to have admiration for ANY-year-old Gillian Jacobs.
There are two things at the heart of the Republican mass delusion about supposed election fraud in the presidential election which have totally bewildered me since I first heard them, and I can’t figure either out. Nor, do I believe, could any Republican if asked.
To be clear, an answer to them isn’t necessary. That’s why they’re imponderables. Further, it’s because they’re imponderables that makes them meaningful.
And to be clear, as well, I know there are “answers” to both of the imponderables. There just aren’t good answers that explain the issues rationally.
The first is Trump’s request on the call Georgia’s Secretary of State. Raffensperger asking him to find 11,780 votes, just “one more” than Trump needs to win the state. A call that ultimately helped get him and 18 others indicted. What is inexplicable is what on God’s earth did Trump actually think would happen if Raffensperger did what he asked??? What did he think would happen if Raffensperger found those 11,780 votes, and Trump won Georgia by ONE vote??? Did Trump think that Democrats would say, “Whelp, there you go. We lost. We came sooo close. Just one more vote, and it would have been be a tie. Man, what a bummer. Well…so be it, congrats. That’s the way it goes”??? Because…well, y’know, that wasn’t going to happen. Or – did Trump not actually know that Georgia has a law that say a candidate can request a recount if the margin is less than or equal to 0.5%?? Because…well, y’know, that was going to happen.
Yes, yes, I know all or most or some of the possibilities of what Trump was thinking. Though, being Trump, trying to divine what’s in his mind is an exercise in futility. But what’s imponderable is why whatever he was thinking make even the slightest sense to him?? And why didn’t anyone on his staff point out that, “Sir” (Trump loves thinking that people call him “Sir,” so we’ll go with it), “winning by just one vote won’t help”?? I mean…consider: Trump lost by 11,780 votes – and he wouldn’t accept it. And wouldn’t accept it to the degree that he was just indicted for a felony. So, couldn’t he imagine what would happen if he committed election fraud (whether he wrongly thought he was justified to do so or not) and created a situation where Democrats lost by just ONE vote???
It’s an imponderable.
And the second one is a question of the election supposedly being stolen itself. And it’s a very basic question. If Democrats were able to rig the ballots and steal the election from Trump in six Swing States – why wouldn’t that invalidate the entire ballot??? If a ballot was illegally manipulated, shouldn’t the whole ballot be thrown out? Shouldn’t every race on that ballot be voided? Shouldn’t every Democrat who won their race on that falsified ballot and took a seat in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House and in every state and local race be nullified? Oh, and for that matter, every Republican who won, too.
Further, if Democrats could manipulate the ballot to make Joe Biden the winner in those six Swing States – why wouldn’t they keep going, and make Democrats the winners in all the races on each cheated ballot?! Make it a landslide.
Yes, yes, I know – “Well, if they did that, everyone would see that there was a steal going on, and so they had to hide it.” Except, they didn’t steal anything, and Republicans are saying that anyway, so why not at least reap the benefits?
But put that aside, let’s say that, sure, that’s the reason. However, Democrats wouldn’t have to steal every election. Just hide a few here and there, to give themselves some breathing room in Congress. After all, the Senate ended up 50-50! Surely, since Republicans insist Democrats figured out how to steal Trump’s election, why wouldn’t they have stolen just 10 more to give them a filibuster-proof 60 votes? Or even easier, why not just “steal” another two seats only to end up with 52 and not need to rely on Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema for every single frigging vote??? Wouldn’t that have made their life oh-so much easier?
And in the House, Democrats actually lost 14 seats!! Why on earth would they do that?? Their majority was a paltry nine votes. Nine! The House breakdown was 222-213. Every single bill that came up for a vote had to be fought for, to ensure Democrats didn’t lose any member, all the while making the liberal, moderate and conservative wings happy. That was incredibly difficult and must have been tense and wearying. As long as you have the capability to supposed steal presidential races in six states, why not go ahead and just bury a few “stolen” races in the general election and make sure you didn’t at least lose any seats???! If Democrats had saved those 14 lost seats, it would have made the House results 236-199 and give the party a really comfortable 37 votes margin.
But they didn’t do that!
And…they didn’t do that in the Senate! And didn’t do that for any governor race in any states! And didn’t do that in any state legislatures! And didn’t do it in any local races! And didn’t do it for any school boards! Not even just a few races here and there. None of them.
If Democrats had the ability to go to the trouble to steal the presidency – and did so – and got away with it…why didn’t Democrats make their lives easier and sneak a few other races into the victory column?
And again, why aren’t all the races on the manipulated ballots invalid?
It’s an imponderable.
I’ve never heard an answer that comes even close to making sense. Worse, I’ve almost never heard these questions asked to any Republican in Congress who won his or her race on the very same ballot that Trump lost. Or asked to any Republican in Congress, period. Or asked to any Republican anywhere. (And when I say “almost never,” that’s the polite way of saying that maybe, possibly – among all the cries and moans and rioting and fury about a supposed “stolen election” for the past three years -- I’ve possibly heard it asked three times. Maybe.)
Neither of these two imponderables make the slightest sense to me. And they both lay at the heart of Republican self-inflicted mania at convincing themselves that the election was stolen. And without an answer to them – and there is no real answer to them, which is why they’re imponderables – the “Stop the Steal” delusion has absolutely no foundation.
Though, in fairness, it has no foundation even without imponderables.
Recently, I’ve posted a couple of remarkable songs that Elton John improvised on the spot – the first one written to dialogue handed him from the Ibsen play Peer Gynt, and the other to the text for an oven manual.
I’ve come across a couple more of his improvs. Here’s the first of them. It comes from when he was a guest on Michael Parkinson show, one of the longest-running chat shows in England. Parkinson hands him a “lyric” of sorts put together by his show’s writer. It’s basically about mothers and clogged drains. And the resulting song is wonderful. And what’s fun, too, is to notice veteran Parkinson’s look of admiration after only the first couple of lines when he realizes that Elton John is not only pulling it off, but actually writing a really good “song.” (Along with his great pleasure as it continues.)
On one hand, it’s not as impressive as the other two, since – being based on an actual “lyric” (no matter how odd the lyric) – it has an actual, song structure built in. On the other hand, having an actual, song structure means the music he comes up with has more of a structure to it, and further – being more like a real song – his vocal performance is great.
And to add a wonderful P.S. -- I've found another of his improv videos, from long ago, about 45 years ago, and it's a hoot, so we'll get to that soon.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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