Monday, June 5, 2023

Debt Ceiling, Coffee Wars, and Goodbye to a Queen

I had mixed feelings about the Debt Ceiling agreement that passed last week. I mean, there was a big part of me that wanted President Biden to keep giving the Republicans the finger and refusing to negotiate. Every time they’ve tried to hold the economy hostage over the debt ceiling, they ended up caving because they were unable to convincingly lay off the blame on the Democrats. So I wanted to see them get humbled, I really did.

But then, it’s easy for me to say because I’m not reliant on the major government services that were at risk of being shut down. I don’t take Social Security, nor do I have Medicare/Medicaid. I don’t get SNAP or Welfare. I haven’t been to a National Park in ages. (And I know there’s other stuff as well.) So I could just keep my head down and do my work-from-home job and wait for it to resolve without taking any hits to my comfort. But a lot of other people would get screwed, wouldn’t they? A lot of people would be SOL.

That’s why I’m glad we had the steady hand of Grandpa Joe at the wheel, who acted like the adult in the room and walked away with a deal that Democrats can live with. In fact, I don’t think he gave up much at all, considering Republicans came in wanting to (among other things) shit-can the infrastructure bill on which he’s staking his Presidency. As if that was ever going to happen. (It’s just like when Republicans wanted to hold the ACA hostage during the Obama years. Like he was EVER going to sign on to having that repealed.) The Republicans just needed enough movement that they could distort into an alternate reality where they fleeced a senile Commander in Chief.

I also agree with my friend the Green Eagle when he notes that the wealthy Donors That Be probably put a bug in the Speaker’s ear telling him to can all this nonsense so they don’t derail their gravy train. They no doubt notified the ignorant rabble-rousers in the House as well, to try to maintain the status quo. I mean, what’s the use in buying a Speaker of the House if he gets replaced within the year? They can’t have the inmates running the asylum, who think that printing more money is the solution to economic woes. Someone must ensure the money trough is still filling so it can be siphoned upward.

So, like always, the can was kicked down the road so it can blow up on another cast of characters and the charade can continue. If there’s a Republican in charge, they’ll raise the debt ceiling like it was a Congressional pay raise package. If it’s still the Democrats, be prepared for the next hostage drama.

This Is Not Your Father’s Folgers

I was in the grocery store over the weekend and came upon this rather disturbing display of a coffee brand I’d never seen before. Take a look at this stuff:

It looks to me like this “Black Rifle Coffee Company” is marketing directly to MAGAs and military wannabees, who are so insecure about their manhood that they need morning psych-ops with their cuppa Joe.

How do you even know what this shit tastes like? There’s nothing showing that tells you how one flavor compares to another. Or maybe it’s all the same shit only with different collectible bags, like Wheaties.

I have some theories about who these various versions are trying to reach:

Five Alarm: Fireman wannabees.

Freedom Fuel: Oil workers, drillers, and fossil fuel/monster truck fans. Those who fear E-cars and sustainable fuel production.

Just Black: All Lives Matters people. Slogan: “Black coffee matters!”

Gunship: Small dick fear.

Spirit of ’76: This should actually be tea.

Loyalty Roast: Trump fanatics. Probably shouldn’t picture a dog though. Just put the famously petless former guy’s picture on the box.

Tactisquatch: I don’t know… yetis?

I can see their new tagline now… “The Jews will not percolate us.”

Are You Ready for Tina?

It was with great sadness I heard the news of the passing of the great Tina Turner. That Friday, Sweetpea came home and asked me to put on some music before dinner. I said I had just the thing:

We had our weekly slow dance to “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”

My first memory of her was from when I was a little boy and Ike and Tina Turner were performing on some variety show. Tina was wearing one of those diamond-shaped dresses that was cut up to her hip bones, with the bottom point of the dress down between her knees, making it look like her legs were 8 feet long. I recall my Dad commenting, “Now THAT’s a woman.”

Like anyone with a soul, I became a huge fan and had mad respect for her after seeing her life-story movie where she was played by Angela Bassett. (I later read her book that it was based on, “I Tina.”) I cheered out loud when she finally left her bastard of a husband.

I ended up seeing Tina perform solo on four occasions. The first was in August of 1985, in Toledo, with Glenn Frey opening. I got a pair of tickets and took my mom. We were having a very nice pre-show dinner, because we had all the time in the world to get to the show… right up until I realized I left the tickets back at my apartment. But after some Fast and Furious driving maneuvers, we managed to get to the show on time. As always, it opened with a dark stage, with Tina’s sultry voice asking us, “Are you ready for Tina?

I saw her twice within a month, in the summer of 1987, once in Baltimore with my parents and sister, and again two weeks later in Cleveland, both at outdoor pavilions with Wang Chung opening. The last time was at another outdoor pavilion in Saratoga Springs NY, in 1993 with my then-wife. Chris Isaac opened

Every time, she put on an unreal show, with her powerful singing and dancing her ass off with her backup dancers. In later years, I saw recorded concerts where she was still putting on the show well into the 2000s. The last one I saw, she was in her 70s. I was thinking, “Man, she’s really slowing down,” because, for about half the show, she sang from a stool. But I immediately had to qualify my thinking… “Yeah, slowing down for Tina Turner.” For any other 70+-year-old woman, she was a freak of nature, an Energizer Bunny with “legs long enough to wrap around the world.” *

*Quote from Bluz Mother.

I’m happy that she lived long enough to reap the world’s love and respect and retire in comfort. One of her songs from Private Dancer was called, “I Might Have Been Queen…”

As far as I’m concerned, there was no doubt about it. She was definitely queen.

1 comment:

Bohemian said...

I'm envious you got to see the Iconic Ms. Turner in Concert so many times. That Coffee, well, I bought some at Bass Pro Shop just out of curiosity, it was not that good, but I agree, who are these people and how did they 'buy' so much choice Shelf Space? As for the Debt Ceiling, I felt the same as you, even tho' for us it would have been catastrophic since all our Earned Pensions are Govt. Pensions and we're both on Social Security and Medicare too... so... we'd of been among the screwed royally. And, the shit the Repugs did tack on for the folks who qualify for Affordable Care, well, they immediately got their letters, I wrote a Post on it since it does affect The Son and The Daughter for their Health and Mental Health Services for those with Lifetime Disabilities. It will screw over a lot of marginalized people with incurable illness and who can't Qualify for regular Insurances anywhere else thru the Private Sector nor afford options.