Who Is Chuck “Couldn’t Lead A Whore Into Bed” Schumer and Why?

In the storied tradition of Lyndon Johnson, Mike Mansfield, and George Mitchell, we now are presented with something called a Charles Ellis Schumer.

As Minority Leader he was hapless in mounting any kind of opposition. As Majority Leader he has not accomplished much. Except, of course, his self-touted “most votes ever in a failed impeachment attempt.” Wow. Way to come in second, Chuck, in a two-horse race at that!

If Mitch McConnell had the same numbers that exist for Democrats today, with two senators behaving as badly as Sinema and Manchin have, he’d string them up by the balls to make them fall in line. (Well, Sinema anyway. I don’t think Manchin has anything to latch on to.)

Schumer seems lost. He has no tools, or inclination, to impose the advantage of the majority. And he’s quite comfortable with the aura of defeatism that envelopes him.

As a senator from New York, his main constituency is Wall Street. Their agenda is the Republican agenda. When it’s time for a show of bipartisanship, however, and Democrats gain control of a branch of government, they need someone in charge who is ineffective and doesn’t get in their way. They’ve found Chuck to maintain the status quo.

The great mystery remains the workings of the United States Senate itself. How can a drooling, jello mold loving 90-year-old have the mental capacity to fashion complex legislation? One guess is they can’t. They are mere cardboard cutouts propped up every six years for reelection. The real work is done by the Senator’s senior staff whose personnel are constantly shifting between the private and public sectors. Get the law written the way your industry wants to claim your reward in corporate America.

Then there’s the questions of why it’s so hard to unseat an incumbent or how an individual can become so wealthy pursuing a career of public service. Although it’s always fun to speculate how many millions Dick Blumenthal has made this month in spite of Senator Feinstein’s “Blind” Trust, there’s a real Dylan’s Mr. Jones quality to all of this. We just don’t know what it is.

Finally, when a member of Congress gets in financial disclosure trouble why is it always for such a paltry amount? Like $25,000. Seriously? That will barely cover the cost of Senator Manchin’s penile implant surgery. There’s got to be a lot more money than that changing hands.

What’s missing in the equation is the muckraking and investigative journalism of the past. An expose of of the upper chamber is long overdue. But those who know these things prefer to play the Washington insider game: leverage any damaging information on a politician by not publishing it to gain access to other information they may have.

The deal is to delay the eventual release of the embarrassing details until well after the news cycle has run on the story. The way Bob Woodward did not release anything on the craziness of the President at the height of the of the Trump Virus calamity when it could have informed the public on what was happening. Instead he held on to it for several months to publicize his latest “tell-all” with “explosive, never heard before” revelations.

With the demise of printed news and the Kardashianization of network news, the future of the fourth estate as a check on public officials looks bleak. And with Chuck Schumer’s Wall Street benefactors controlling the news feed, the voice of the people will be further diminished and the playing field even more unequal.

But, I may be wrong. Maybe in a couple of years you’ll walk into their Cupertino headquarters and see the shelves lined with Pulitzers and Peabody’s for Apple News’ investigative reporting on the predatory and monopolistic practices of big tech companies.

Barbara Walters Asks: Are You TWIP-ing?

When I mentioned in a previous post that I hoped to have enough podcasts available to listen to on the drive to Grandma’s house, I assumed she lived in the same subdivision and one six minute post ought to cover it. My apologies to those who had a longer journey.

We are working diligently to get the best (a term the Legal Team has advised us to use with caution) posts converted to podcasts. Technicians are working 24/7 to accomplish this. Okay, more like 3/4 but we are plugging away.

I toyed with the idea of doing a This Week In Podcasting email but do you really need more of my junk in your face? Rather than spam you, just click the Podcast Emblem at the top of the home page for a current index of them all.

Likewise, any individual post that has been converted will display the emblem linking to its recording under its title.

As the struggle to bring the mountain to Mohammed continues, here is what is posted so far.

Turn on. Tune in. Drop out.

Keeping Up With the Kushners

Jaredina Kush-Tush

We don’t know what Tundra Trump-Kushner has been up to this year but there is news on husband Jared.

Jared, who now goes by the name Jaredina Kush-Tush and prefers the pronoun “whom-ev-aah”, has just returned from Van Nuys where whom-ev-aah guest lectured at the Caitlyn Jenner Institute for Hormone Studies and Canine Obedience. Whom-ev-aah’s topic was “Melania, Guuurrrl!! You’re Killin’ Me with that Tomahawk Chop!”

The best Middle East Envoy the U.S. has ever had and recipient of the Trump International Golden Globes Peace Prize, Jaredina is off to The Villages in Florida next weekend where whom-ev-aah will lead a round table on How to Muzzle the Academic Community in Pursuit of Free Speech.

You Want Aural? I’ll Give You Aural

25 years ago when I was in charge of the law firm’s website I was sent several audio files of attorneys speaking at our seminars. I was told to post them in this new format called “podcast.”

Each file was at least an hour long and I was tasked with listening to them in their entirety. This was to ensure there were no technical issues. And to provide fodder for writing a short summary of each one.

The process was like watching Warhol’s Sleep or Empire. You sat for hours waiting for something to happen and it never did. It was unbelievable anyone would subject themselves to such boredom. My opinion of the format was set then and there.

Fast forward to the pandemic (really, really fast). I was shocked to learn that podcasts are no longer just the purview of high-yield REITS and leveraged buyouts. They could actually be entertaining. So I’ve decided to record a selection from my 350 posts. Who says an old bitch can’t turn new tricks?

It is my fervent wish to have enough podcasts posted by Thanksgiving so you’ll have something to play on the drive to Grandma’s house. Then, after a hearty home cooked meal when all the strait-laced relatives are sufficiently liquored up, play them again. For everyone.

In some small way I hope it will contribute to your holiday memories. Even if it’s only a familial fist fight on the front lawn.

With that I give you my first podcast, Jesus and the Postman


Grow A Set

Taking a few minutes off from a laborious weekend to write this love note to Democrats. In times of crisis they always fall back on their “love of democracy” and “respect for the institution” as excuses for inaction. But if they could just tick one or two things off this short To Do List it might prove they mean business.

  • The three Supreme Court justices remaining who are not Pro-Death should resign en masse to prove they are not kangaroos too.
  • Dianne Feinstein should be forced to resign immediately so they can retain control of the Senate if the recall election is successful. She’s 88 going on cadaver. There’s a video of her speaking at a memorial this summer where she calls Pelosi “The Leader of the Senate.” And, rather than memorialize the person they’re there to remember, she waxes on about how she was the first woman mayor of SF and London Breed, who was in attendance, is now the second. She should be allowed to keep her DC home, however, so she’s available to bear hug her little buddy, Lindsay Faye Graham, whenever he needs a boost.
  • If Newsom is recalled, day one of the new governor’s administration should mark the beginning of the petition drive to recall his successor. Let’s see how some extremist Pro-Death Radio Shock Jock who gains office with 9% of the vote does when he’s required to come up with 50%. Plurality should not rule.

Sex Workers of the world unite! Tonight at my place!!

Clapton Drops Second New Single In As Many Weeks

Given the newfound audience he’s acquired with his surprise anti-vaccine hit, Gotta Stop, Eric Clapton wasted no time heading back to the studio. The follow-up’s urgency came from his desire to have it released before he embarks on his US tour with its one venue. (Jagger’s ex, Jerry Hall, helped him book a Desantis ’24 fundraiser to be held at The Villages.) This recording gives new life to an obscure Ike and Tina song from 1974, Sexy Ida.

It’s hard to get funkier than Ike Turner, but with some of his raunchiest guitar licks ever Clapton’s cover does just that. He’s also taken some liberties with Ike’s original wording. For example the line “Don’t give your love to Sexy Ida, Cause she’s the sister of a black widow spider” is now “of a CIA insider.”

In addition to doctoring the lyrics, there are brand new verses that address the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida. Clapton sings “Evacuation’s just speculation, Big brother can’t tell you what do” making it clear there’s no role for governments in peoples’ daily lives.

There’s also a not so veiled threat to charities like the Red Cross and Unicef to stay away. He poignantly laments: “How can they learn the lessons of life, If they’re not allowed to fend off strife.”

Clapton has served as something of a moral compass to a generation of baby boomers that began in the late 60’s. That’s when he started an affair with George Harrison’s wife, Patty Boyd. Breaking up his best friend’s marriage did not stop him, in fact it inspired him, in writing the rock classic Layla.

Clapton has become a master at capitalizing on current events. He hopes “Ida” will equal the success of his biggest hit, Tears in Heaven. That song memorializes the death of his four-year-old son in March 1991. It was released in January 1992.

The Sine Qua Non


In July 1972, Gary and I were in New York for opening night of the final dates on the Rollng Stones’ tour. We’d seen them seven times in five different cities. We knew the exact moment in Stevie Wonder’s opening set to break for the stage before the guards were positioned.

Large arena tours were still a new concept and crowd control techniques had yet to be perfected. The only method promoters employed in those days was to have faith people would stay in their assigned seats. They miscalculated.

(It should be noted after this Monday night performance, Tuesday’s concerts featured much heavier security with huge sheets of plywood blocking both ends of the aisles on the main floor. As well as all the entrances onto the floor.)

Crowds in the other cities had been a little unruly, a lot of jostling for position but nothing we couldn’t handle. We always made it to the lip of the stage. In Madison Square Garden, however, it was pure anarchy. We were surrounded by throngs of New Yorkers doing what they do best: push, push, push.

As the intermission was coming to an end Gary and I were five rows back. We realized this was the best we could do. Then the house lights dimmed and over the speakers came the dramatic, low-key announcer’s voice, “Ladies and Gentlemen….The Rolling Stones.”

With the opening strains of Brown Sugar I instantly found myself in an ever-tightening vise: surging hordes behind me, an immoveable stage to the front. I lost Gary in the mayhem and was pinned in by all of the humanity. My back was to the band though concert music was not foremost on my mind at the moment. I searched for an exit route but couldn’t move. There was no way out.

Suddenly I felt an arm around my waist and in one fell swoop, someone pulled me backwards on to their chair. Everyone in the first rows was standing on their seats and the floor space where their feet once rested was now occupied by the influx of fans. We were packed so tightly I couldn’t turn to see who my captor was. But for the next hour a strangers arm around my bare midriff and a three inch sliver of a folding chair were my only security.

When the concert ended and the crowd began to thin I jumped from the chair and turned to meet the person who rescued me. He was a very cute high school senior on a date with his girlfriend. Although I gave him a perfunctory thank you over my shoulder when he pulled me from the scramble, I doubt if he heard me. Now I was effusive. I thought he’d spared me great harm and I was very grateful.

In a very sexy moment he gave me a sheepish smile. As if he’d enjoyed touching the forbidden flesh as we listened to the devil’s music. Sensing trouble his girlfriend quickly sprayed her territory, threw her arm around his shoulder and said, “come on honey, let’s go.”

In the midst of the chaos when I first landed on my perch they were still playing Brown Sugar. I was 10 feet away so I could finally see them clearly. When I looked at Charlie he seemed to be staring back at me. I thought I was imagining it because I didn’t think he could see through the lights. Real or not, we were locked in a stare down for quite some time.

Maybe he’d seen me being trampled and was worried about what was happening on the floor. Whatever the reason, I finally had the attention of one of The Rolling Stones and I wasn’t going to blow it. I continued to act as if things were perilous.

Then I thought better of it. If he was genuinely concerned I should at least let him know I was okay. So I dropped the act and flashed a big smile.

His reaction was immediate. With the coolest indifference he slowly turned his head to the side and stared off into the distance, never to look my way again.

In a very polite way Charlie Watts was telling me not to waste his time with my bullshit.

Better Living Through Gelatin

The aspic from Dinner at 8, George Cukor’s 1933 film. It was Pre-Code
Hollywood. Any suggestive associations are those of the beholder alone.
We’re running a clean website here, one worthy of Will Hays.

Silicone has become such a part of our lives. It’s in our kitchen utensils, in our breasts, and in our personal lubricants. So much so that this year the First Annual (and many are hoping, last annual) Summer of Silicone Fun was held at Chez 55 Laguna.

Pandemic Netflix binging led me down several strange paths including the 11th season of the Great British Bake Off. I was awestruck by the episode called Desserts whose showstopper segment was a jelly art design cake.

Many of the gelatin domes were so crystal clear and contained such intricate designs they were reminiscent of Venetian millefiori paperweights. Being the impressionable bloke that I am, I was personally challenged to master this newly discovered technique.

I temporarily halted my bible study reading of Ezekiel to scour the internet for information on molding gelatin. I bought a few silicone bowls and rounds. Then I did a prototype with my favorite summer pudding to see if I could unmold it. It was kind of okay. The prelims out of the way, sights were set on a true jelly dome with fruit.

My first attempt at silicone molding was a strawberry-rhubarb mousse.
The result was amorphous, mushy and semi-firm.
I get enough of that in the bedroom, I don’t need it in the kitchen too.

With my friend Eric’s help, methods and ingredients were tested. The first lesson learned was forget Knox gelatin, it’s crap. Gelatin is rated by its bloom (basically, strength) that can be as high as 325. The better grades hover around 300 and the American standard is 250. Knox is 225.

The second thing I learned was watch the sugar. Although it helps to strengthen gelatin, using my higher grade stash I made a test batch with no sugar at all and it turned out fine. But one cup to four cups of water? Pancreatic cancer anyone? Please! 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup is more than sufficient. Especially if coupled with delicious seasonal fruits. Give those berries a fighting chance and don’t anesthetize the taste buds with glucose.

As for the citric acid, order it from Amazon. And go light on it. It’s foul tasting but seems to be a necessary component in the equation. Three days were spent being the urban warrior hunting and gathering locally for the precious powder. All for naught. It can’t be avoided any longer: just render unto Bezos what is Bezos’.

Is there any more satisfying summer trip than the one from the
garden to the silicone kitchen molds? Probably not.

My first jelly design was a carrot cake with nectarines, raspberries, and blueberries. In my zeal to make it sparkle I coated the blueberries with a glittery food coloring. The coating immediately melted when the berries touched the gelatin and bleed throughout the crystalline dome.

The biggest hurdle was dealing with the huge expanse of nothingness that tasted like nothing. Sure you’d eventually get to the good stuff, the fruit, but there was all that blank space in between to chow on. I tried to make it appealing with the clear flavorings of ginger extract and anise. (I was living dangerously because ginger along with kiwi and pineapple have elements that can destroy gelatin’s protein. My novenas were answered, however, I achieved a perfect gel.)

Here’s to the ladies who lunch.

My next jelly was more of a traditional aspic, a tomato base with a crabmeat dome. The red bottom needed no adjustment but for the clear crabmeat capitol I added cucumber and onion as the flavors. I spent a half hour squeezing those two vegetables through cheese cloth to extract as much juice as possible. It clouded the aspic so badly you couldn’t see anything.

Highlighting the stunning detail for my guests.

As I worked with the clear gelatin I sampled it. It tasted like dishwater. But when I served my guests they raved about the vegetable flavors that came shining through. Who knew? One man’s Dawn is another’s Lafitte-Rothschild.

Molding gelatin/molding genital. What’s in a mold.
Bloody Mary penises (made from yellow heirlooms)
that were suspended in the cloudy aspic. Don’t be afraid to
mix a healthy diet with your favorite adult themes.

My final foray of the summer jelly season was another cake with fruit. Eric advised me to use a pyrex bowl instead of silicone to get the glassy surface. But the kids on Bake Off used silicone so I had to try it one time. It turned out pock marked. Eric was right.

I’m starting to get the hang of it. Which should serve as fair warning to those who invite me to their next pot luck dinner.

Three Mile Island revisited: a cherry-berry-jelly sponge that
put the kum back in the quat.

Forgive Me If I Deride Love But Darling I’ve Tried Love

Giving hospice care to anachronisms as they fade has always been a hobby. One example would be the Photo Booth technology that barely lived to see the 1980’s.

These machines were found mostly in amusement parks or dime stores. $1 would buy four photos taken in rapid succession. Jim and I frequented the one at G.C. Murphy’s on the corner of Wayne and Calhoun in Fort Wayne. But the booth that got the heaviest traffic from my friends and I was the one at Woolworths by the cable car turntable on Powell Street.

There were one or two seconds between flashes so the model(s) had to act quickly. The secret to a successful session was to assume a fresh pose for each frame. And not to be caught off-guard by the strobe in between. Coordinating a group shot might be done with preplanning, but spontaneity usually reigned once the coin was tendered.

By carbon dating the hair styles in these photos it looks like my last session was around 1981..

What was not completely extinguished from the experience, however, was the desire to photograph one’s self. These feelings laid dormant for a couple of decades. Thankfully, selfie sticks and cellphone camera timers came along to satisfy mans’ craving.

Once on a trip to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk we found another technological deathbed patient that had far outlived its life span: a do it yourself recording booth. It’s the only time I ever saw one. For the outrageous sum of $5 (in coin only, no bills or credit cards) you were given about a minute to lay down a vocal track. Then it took twenty minutes of wondering if you’d been ripped off as you waited for your vinyl to drop.

Following an afternoon of sun, drink and panhandling our friends, Wena and I scrounged up enough coin to head to the studio. We recorded our version of the stirring ballad Come Live With Me from Valley of the Dolls (not to be confused with the Stones more rolicing Live with Me). I took the part of the dude in the wheel chair.

Sadly that pressing has been lost. It may be in the hands of some lucky private collector. Nevertheless, it will live on in the collective memories of our cultural heritage.



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