All Blown Up

Philabuster

As the smoke clears on week 12 in the Reign of Error, we survey the damage from bunker busters in Afghanistan to the filibuster in the Senate. Clearly the most explosive week yet.

Employing his “Bomb-the-shit-out-of-them” strategy for defeating ISIS, Trump ordered the use of the GBU-43/B MOAB, which stands for Massive Ordinance Air Blast, or more popularly as Mother Of All Bombs. It is the most powerful non-nuclear bomb ever used by the U.S. in combat, and was dropped on Islamic State tunnels in Nangarhar province. The $314 million weapon reportedly killed 36 militants.

Shortly after dropping the MOAB, Trump scurried off to Mar-a-Lago for yet another round of golf, and perhaps to contemplate nuking North Korea over chocolate cake. He also faces the tightening noose after the bombshell report about campaign aid Carter Page.

The Washington Post reported that the FBI got a FISA warrant to monitor Page last summer as part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign.

The Page news had come quickly on the heels of the Sean Spicer implosion while attempting to use a Hitler analogy to defend the ineffective airstrikes in Syria.

On Monday, Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice to complete the GOP theft of this seat. The heist began about a year ago when Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the Republicans refused to even meet with President Obama’s nominee. Before they could get to Monday’s ceremony, however, McConnell had to use the “Nuclear Option” to get Gorsuch approved. Last Friday, McConnell dropped the Mother of All Bombs in the Senate and killed the filibuster so Gorsuch could be confirmed by a simple majority.

Of all the explosions over the past week, killing the filibuster and confirming Gorsuch is likely to have the greatest impact. This is true both for the way the Senate has historically  operated (though the filibuster had been abused for some time), and for the country at large as a relatively very young right-wing ideologue now has a lifetime appointment to the highest court.

To wash away that Nuclear Senate residue and try to forget that the patriotic Republicans have just handed a stolen Supreme Court seat to a corporation-favoring tool, chosen by a puppet of the Russian government, I suggest a Philabuster cocktail via Kindred Cocktails.

1.5 oz rye, Rittenhouse 100

.5 oz Aperol

.5 oz Cocchi Americano

.25 oz Cynar

.12 oz Fernet Branca

1 dash grapefruit bitters

1 twist grapefruit peel as garnish

Stir, strain over rock, highball, garnish

Happy Friday!

Cheers!

Demonize and Distract

Satan

Quite a day for Trump spokesman Sean Spicer yesterday. While attempting to defend Trump’s ill-conceived and ineffective airstrikes in Syria, Spicer (in the way only NPR could describe it) “overlooked the Holocaust.”

Saying that Hitler didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons in World War II as proof of the need to bomb Syria drew a response from the White House briefing room. As the New York Times reported:

Asked to clarify his remarks, Mr. Spicer then acknowledged that Hitler had used      chemical agents, but maintained that there was a difference.

“I think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing,” Mr. Spicer said, incorrectly, before mentioning “Holocaust centers,” an apparent reference to Nazi death camps.

This brought about a clamor on social media that threatened to drown out the United Airlines re-accommodated passenger story, and brought calls for Spicer to be fired. Spicey, though, wasn’t finished. He went on CNN to apologize for the remarks, but he said he did not want his comments on Hitler to distract from Trump’s attempts “to destabilize the region.”

It just feels like there’s a Freudian slip in here. It is hard to believe the level of stupidity and incompetence we have seen from the Administration, so it is only natural to believe this is part of some master plan of deception and distraction.

The Washington Post story that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump adviser Carter Page only fed the idea that Trump needs to distract us from what is seeping out about his campaign’s collusion with Russia during the election.

Applying Occam’s Razor, however, the more likely explanation is that Spicer simply bungled his Hitler reference (owing to an already apparent tentative grasp on history), which was made in service of justifying a bungled response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons by using the well-worn playbook of demonizing your enemy.

The author of that playbook, Lucifer, just kicked back, twirled his mustache, and awaited some new arrivals. As the demonizations continue, the rest of us can kick back with a Satan’s Whiskers cocktail to see whether Spicer gets fired, or was just following orders. The recipe via Brad Thomas Parson’s Bitters is:

.5 oz gin

.5 oz sweet vermouth

.5 oz dry vermouth

.5 oz orange juice

.25 oz orange curaçao

3 dashes orange bitters

Shake over ice, strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass, garnish with an orange twist

Cheers!