Union Victories

Union

Everything Trump touches dies. During a global pandemic, that has mostly not been good. However, because Trump chose to be the second President of the Confederacy, and applied the Trump touch (the same one that bankrupted casinos) we may now – 155 years after Lee surrendered to Grant – finally be done with the “heritage” of  traitorous racist scum.

Trump and Moscow Mitch McConnell – a long-time operative in the Confederate underground insurgency – have been working hard follow their Russian overseer’s orders “divide so we can conquer,” but they overstepped during protests against systemically racist policing.

With many thousands of Americans in the streets of cities and small towns alike, mostly peacefully protesting the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police, Trump and the Republicans pulled out the tried and true appeals to “law and order,” and the thinly veiled white supremacist dog whistle of Confederate “heritage.” In typical Trump incompetence he took the GOP playbook too far and displayed his total ignorance of, and disdain for, the Constitution and norms of American governance.

By attempting to “dominate the streets, and use the U.S. military against protesting Americans, Trump has sparked a backlash that may continue for a while. His use of the National Guard to clear Lafayette Park for his photo op with a bible showed him to be very much the fascist dictator wannabe his critics claim. You just know he wanted to put on a uniform with full Mussolini-fascist regalia for his walk to the church.

Since then, Confederate monuments have been toppled at an increased rate, NASCAR – NASCAR!!!! – has banned the Confederate battle flag from its events, and a serious discussion has begun about renaming U.S. military bases for people other than Confederate generals.

In the midst of all of this there is still a pandemic going on, with more than 100,000 Americans dead and 2 million infected. The second wave has begun with cases spiking in states that prematurely opened, largely around the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend.

With that second wave of virus on the way, it may be time to put aside another historical flag, the Gadsen flag – the Don’t Tread on Me snake popularized recently by the Tea Party Republicans. But now is not the time for thinking of oneself, but uniting to defeat the virus, wearing masks, washing your hands and keeping safe social distance. If we must have a historic snake flag flying, make it Ben Franklin’s Join or Die flag with the sliced  snake to unite the colonies.

At this moment, with the Confederacy fading, and fascists in the White House, Americans need to be united about what this country is supposed to stand for. So pull out your copy of the Constitution and have A More Perfect Union cocktail. Via KindredCocktails from Imbibe magazine the drink is:

1.25 oz Lillet Blanc

.75 oz vodka

.75 oz Apricot liqueur

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe, garnish with a grapefruit twist

Cheers!

By Any Means Necessary

Preservation

The 2020 Presidential election is a little more than 23 weeks away, and the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic is approaching 100,000 Americans. Preservation is the watchword of the day. This is not only true with regard to preserving health against the virus, which is only made harder by the President* leading his cultto ignore the masks and social distancing that could help preserve health. As always preservation is a guiding principle for Trump, but self-preservation, not the fight against the virus.

As the number of Coronavirus cases and deaths mounted over the past couple of weeks, Trump has been focused on keeping his finances and activities with the Russians hidden from the public now that the cratering economy has forced a change in his re-election strategy. Trump’s focus on preserving his hopes for re-election are at the heart of the impeachment case against him, and now his minions in the Senate will continue that cause for him.

For the rest of us, this points to how the American system and institutions are in need of preservation, if it’s not too late already. The Lincoln Project ad that has really gotten under Trump’s skin, Mourning in America, asks the right question at the end regarding preservation. On this Memorial day weekend, a time originally set aside to remember the Union soldiers who died to preserve the United States during the Civil War, have a Means of Preservation cocktail and make your plans for Nov. 3. From the Boston bar Drink, via Frederic Yarm at cocktailvirgin the Means of Preservation is:

2 oz Beefeater Gin
1/2 oz St. Germain Liqueur
1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
2 dash Celery Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Cheers!

Dust, Wind, Dude

Arbitrary

Whether your Governor has issued a Stay at Home order or not, many Americans are staying at home to socially distance themselves during the pandemic. Some are “fortunate” enough to work from home, or as one twitter wag put it: stuck at home during a crisis trying to work. Others are trying to use this time to learn a language or learn how to bake bread. To these folks, I would remind them of Bill’s immortal words, “Dust, wind, dude.”

In Washington, we’d all be better off if they were spending their time learning to bake bread. Instead they are spending it thinking up unconstitutional ways to endanger people or enrich themselves and their friends with tax law changes.

The President* is wasting the time he should be leading the country through the crisis with by inappropriately using press briefings as re-election campaign rallies. We are also finding out more everyday about the administration’s ineffective use of time early on in the crisis, and the cost we will pay for that.

Our collective sense of time has gotten weird. But these strange days didn’t have to be this way. A properly functioning democratic government (like we used to have) works to prepare for a crisis. Even the George W. Bush Administration had preparations for a pandemic, but for King Donald I, who believes he alone can fix things, and dismantled those preparations that were in place, the cost of incompetence must be paid by the entire GOP.

As you go through another Blursday, make your plans to vote the Orange Disaster out of office in November, by mail if we can, or start sourcing your hazmat suit to go in person if necessary. Your cocktail tonight is The Arbitrary Nature of Time via Frederic Yarm at Cocktail Virgin, it is:

1.25 oz Wild Turkey 101 Rye (Rittenhouse 100)
1 oz Campari
.75 oz Cherry Heering
1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing a large ice cube. Garnish with an orange twist.

Cheers!

Remember

Until Donald Trump, George W. Bush was slated to go down in history as the worst President ever. Now, Trump is making Bush look good by comparison. Trump isn’t even as good as Bush at the bad things about the Bush presidency.

Most recently we have sen this with ineffective attempts to use the Memory Hole. The Bush Administration was much more accomplished at making inconvenient facts disappear. To be fair – though –  because of the Bush Administration, people are on much higher alert for this type of activity. So when Jared Kushner took over a recent Virus press briefing and made ridiculous statements about the Strategic National Stockpile, and then went to the website to make changes aligned to Kushner’s comments, people caught that right away.

Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy

Forget MAGA, we need MANA, Make America Normal Again. That desire likely accounts for a lot of the support that has gone to Joe Biden. That desire for normalcy was already strong before the Corona Virus, but now with so much of the country shut down to flatten the curve of new cases, such as New jersey’s Go the Fuck Home and Stay There Order from the Governor, the strains of social distancing are really starting to show as people look for an escape.

The biggest strain is coming from Trump’s desire to go golfing. Since the shutdowns and social distancing is interfering with that, he now wants everything to open up again by Easter. The medical community advises that would be disastrous, but the Trump Cult (one-time “pro-life” Republicans) says the deaths of older people is a sacrifice worth an improving stock market as we head toward the election. Trump has the wrong exit strategy. Instead, make an Exit Strategy cocktail, and dream of sitting in the ballpark with an Old Style beer in your hand, the warmth of the sun on your face as you hear the crowd roar as Kris Bryant sends another ball into the Wrigley Field bleachers.

The Exit Strategy comes via Kara Newman’s great book Nightcap, a cocktail from Natasha David at Nitecap in New York. It is:

1.5 oz Amaro Nonino

.75 oz brandy

.25 oz Meletti Amaro

pinch of kosher salt

orange peel for garnish

stir, strain onto a large cube in an Old Fashioned glass

Cheers!

Endeavor to Persevere

Perseverance

Local and state governments are putting large parts of the country on lockdown. Who knew that being stuck in the house could be so tiring. With no end in sight, it is getting hard to look on the bright side of life. But my inner Terry Jones reminds me I have a fully stocked bar and lots of movie channels, so I shall endeavor to persevere. I have not reached the point where I miss the NJ Transit commute yet, but I can see that day coming. At least Gov. Murphy has allowed us to go out and take walks while practicing appropriate social distancing. That should help keep a level of sanity.

While our “leaders” in Washington look for ways to prop up stock prices, make yourself a Perseverance cocktail, because we may be here a while. Via Kindred Cocktail, the Perseverance is:

2 oz rye

.5 oz Ramazzotti

.5 oz Dubonnet Rouge

.5 oz sweet vermouth

2 dashes orange bitters

Stir over ice, strain over a large cube in a rocks glass, garnish with an orange twist.

Cheers! Stay safe!

Stupid and Contagious

Home range

I am by nature rebellious and insubordinate (my Army personnel file would confirm that), and it is not simply because I’m Gen X. But Gen X is also nothing if not pragmatic, with a “whatever it takes” attitude, (it’s time to do what they tell ya!) so the images from Florida of Spring Breakers gathering in large numbers in a state full of old people, or hitting the bars in NYC (endangering some of my favorite bartenders), got me a bit pissed off. There are some older and immuno-compromised folks I’d like to keep around a while longer.

Even Moronavirus Patient Zero in the White House may be starting to grasp how serious this is (but probably not) and the need for social distancing. Now that state and local governments are closing bars and restaurants, and setting curfews, you’ll need to do your drinking at home. Hopefully, while you were stocking up on toilet paper and canned goods, you made a stop by your liquor store. Gen X did, because we drink and we know things. While you’re doing your drinking from home, don’t forget to pay attention to what Cheeto Mussolini is trying to slip through while we’re distracted, like helping Putin and abandoning prosecution of the Russians Mueller found to have interfered in the 2016 election.

As you stay home to work on your home bartending skills, try the Home on the Range cocktail. Via Kindred Cocktails, The Home on the Range comes from the 1945 Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide. And it’s worth keeping in mind how sacrificing for the good of the country in 1945 meant a lot more than staying home on the couch and watching NetFlix.

See you at the bar in a couple months when we get through this.

The Home on the Range is:

2 oz rye

.5 oz Cointreau

.5 oz sweet vermouth

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir and strain into an Old Fashioned glass over a larger cube, garnish with an orange twist. (If you don’t have these ingredients but do have more than three rolls of toilet paper per person in the house, you need to rethink your priorities.)

Cheers!

The Great Divide

7th Planet

We hear all the time these days about how polarized America has become. One aspect of that polarization was on display when Trump’s lawyers began their defense in the Senate Impeachment trial. They simply denied the existence of the testimony and video evidence the House Impeachment Managers had presented over the previous few days, including provable lies about House depositions and the inclusion of Republicans.

The divide between facts and alternative facts did not start with Trump, though, it goes back roughly 16 years to when George W. Bush declared Republicans would no longer be a part of the “reality-based community.”

The polarization is not simply between Republicans and Democrats, however, and a piece in The New Republic by Tom Geoghagen called “Educated Fools: Why Democratic Leaders Still Misunderstand the Politics of Social Class,” looks at the polarization within the Democratic Party. Geoghagen does offer a potential direction for finding a pass across this great divide that is worth considering.

Still, the reality-free stream of nonsense spewed by elected Republicans and their Fox News propaganda apparatus has earned the label “Earth 2.” While I agree with the sentiment that those making or believing such BS must be on another planet, I think the idea of Earth 2 suggests a much closer association with this world than can usually be found in statements from Trump or Fox News. It would be more appropriate to put a couple billions miles distance between reality and Republicans. That distance puts the GOP on Uranus. Yes, I hear you doing the Beavis and Butthead laugh. I do believe we will have to find the common ground that unites us and at least all get back on the same planet before we can get back together as part of the same country.

To help think about the distance we need to overcome, have The Seventh Planet cocktail (Yes, that is Uranus). Via Sother Teague in his book I’m Just Here for the Drinks. The Seventh Planet is:

1 oz lime juice

.5 oz Blue Curaςao

2 oz Reposado tequila

Prosecco

Combine all ingredients except the Proseccco in a shaker with ice, shake well and strain into a highball glass with ice. Top with Prosecco. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Cheers

Hide & Seek!

Evidence

The Articles of Impeachment against President* Trump are due to be sent to the Senate so the trial may begin. Since the Articles passed the House, more evidence has come to light of Trumps direct involvement in holding up aid to Ukraine and former national Security Adviser Bolton has agreed to testify. Whether either of those things appear in the senate trial has yet to be determined, but it seems unlikely.

In a separate, but not unrelated development, the Administration is being to provide the evidence (and therefore a legal justification) in the killing of Iranian General Qasem Suleimani. Trump’s aversion to transparency is on full display in the shifting reasoning that is filled with hedging weasel words. “We believe he could have perhaps maybe been imminently targeting four of our embassies, but we don’t know where or when.”

Whether Iran or Ukraine, Trump says he has the evidence and we should trust him. Nevermind that no American politician in history has lied as much as Trump. To fill the gap of the information he is not providing, may I suggest an Evidence cocktail. Via Kindred Cocktail, the Evidence is:

1.5 oz gin (earl grey infused) – or you can take the shortcut like I did and use the Earl Grey Gin from Jersey City distillery Corgi Spirits

1 oz Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano)

.5 oz lemon juice

1 oz ginger ale

Combine ingredients other than ginger ale in a shaker and shake over ice, then add some of the ginger al and stir, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add the rest of the ginger ale to top it up. Lemon garnish

Cheers!

Corrections

Prohibition

This past week was a historic one. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the move to expeditiously draft Articles of Impeachment against President* Trump, she chose a historically appropriate day to do so. Thursday Dec 5, was the 86th anniversary of the end of Prohibition, and proof that America can correct its mistakes.

As Pelosi noted, Trump has forced this course of action through his abuse of power. The fact that there were some (Democrats) in Congress who spoke about impeachment almost from the day Trump was sworn in is neither surprising nor disqualifying since Trump campaigned as a wannabe king/dictator.

The Intelligence Committee hearings have only added factual proof of abuse of power. Meanwhile this week also saw Trump‘s insane ramblings about toilet flushing, as he and his GOP enablers continued to spout Kremlin propaganda. Trump also took to doing PR for the Saudi royal family this week when a Saudi “trainee” gunned down several Americans at Pensacola Naval Air Station, including a young recent Annapolis graduate just learning to become a Naval Aviator. But Trump says it’s all OK because the Saudi King will send money.

This came on the heels of Trump being laughed out of Europe at the NATO summit. This is a mistake America really needs to correct, though it will likely take all of us to help Republican Senators find their spine so that the articles of impeachment set in motion on Repeal Day might bring about Trump’s prohibition.

While we watch the Judicial Committee hearings on the articles of impeachment, have a Prohibition Cocktail. From the Prohibition-era Savoy Cocktail Book of 1930, The Prohibition Cocktail is:

1.5 oz Plymouth Gin

1.5 oz Kina Lillet (Cocchi Americano)

2 dashes orange juice

1 dash apricot brandy

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a lemon twist

Cheers!