a deep and visceral hatred

A couple of days ago I wrote about the Inspector General’s report on how the FBI handled the Clinton email investigation — the report that Republicans are claiming ‘prove’ the FBI was complicit in a conspiracy to prevent Comrade Trump’s election. I pointed out there were contemporaneous new reports demonstrating the exact opposite — that senior FBI agents were suspected of deliberately leaking anti-Clinton material to Trump supporters (and specifically to Rudy Giuliani). I also confessed that after reading a couple hundred pages of the 500+ page report, I started skimming.

It’s too bad I started skimming. Because it turns out on page 387 there’s a long section of verbatim testimony from Loretta Lynch, who was the Attorney General of the United States during the FBI investigation. And among the things she said was that the New York office of the FBI was a roiling cauldron anti-Clinton fury. Not in those exact words, of course, but…well, let’s just cut and paste what she said.

I knew that the laptop had been handled in a case out of New York. And so I said, you know, we have to talk about the New York office…and the concern that both you [McCabe] and I have expressed about leaks in the past. And I said, do you think that this was the right way to deal with the issue, the concern about leaks?… He didn’t have much of a response. But we were having a conversation…. And I said, you know, I’ve talked, you and I have talked about that before….

And then I said, now, we’ve got to talk about the New York office in general. And he said yes. And I said we both work with them. We both know them. We both, you know, think highly of them. I said, but this has become a problem. And he said, and he said to me that it had become clear to him, he didn’t say over the course of what investigation or whatever, he said it’s clear to me that there is a cadre of senior people in New York who have a deep and visceral hatred of Secretary Clinton. And he said it is, it is deep. It’s, and he said, he said it was surprising to him or stunning to him.

You know, I didn’t get the impression he was agreeing with it at all, by the way. But he was saying it did exist, and it was hard to manage because these were agents that were very, very senior, or had even had timed out and were staying on, and therefore did not really feel under pressure from headquarters or anything to that effect. And I said, you know, I’m aware of that…. I said, I wasn’t aware it was to this level and this depth that you’re talking about, but I said I’m sad to say that that does not surprise me.

And he made a comment about, you know, you understand that. A lot of people don’t understand that. You, you get that issue. I said, I get that issue. I said I’m, I’m just troubled that this issue, meaning the, the New York agent issue and leaks, I am just troubled that this issue has put us where we are today with respect to this laptop.

What she’s basically saying is this: 1) the senior staff of the FBI’s NY field office hated Hillary and supported Trump, and 2) it was the NY field office that investigated Anthony Weiner’s laptop on a matter unrelated to the Clinton email investigation, 3) but when they discovered that Weiner’s former wife, Huma Abedin, Clinton’s close aide, had backed up some work emails, they 4) notified the agents who investigated the emails, AND 5) leaked the information to Republican members of Congress who were Trump supporters, which 6) led Comey to re-open the investigation a few days before the election, which (according to Nate Silver) probably cost Clinton the election.

Comrade Trump’s claim that the FBI favored one candidate over another is accurate. But, as usual, he’s also lying about it. They were actively sabotaging the Clinton campaign. Trump is almost certainly POTUS today because of political interference by the FBI.

Heads should roll — but sadly, the wrong heads are on the chopping block.

Advertisements

one strzok and you’re out

Odds are you won’t read the 500+ page report by the DOJ’s Inspector General (and nobody would blame you, because mostly it’s pretty dull and repetitive), but here it is if you want to. I intended to read it, but I couldn’t take it. After the first couple hundred pages, I started skimming.

Seriously, it’s a job of work. The name of the department that published the report is a job of work in itself: the Department of Justice Inspector General Oversight and Review Division. And the title of the report? Prepare yourself:

A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election

There are a lot of interesting little details in the report, but almost all the attention will get focused on two points. Point One: Comey gets spanked. Point Two: Peter Strzok gets spanked. Comey, though I think he’s an honest guy, deserves the spanking because he acted like a sanctimonious prig (well, okay, he wasn’t acting; he IS a sanctimonious prig). Here’s what the report says about Comey:

Comey’s unilateral announcement was inconsistent with Department policy and violated long-standing Department practice and protocol by, among other things, criticizing Clinton’s uncharged conduct.

In other words, he fucked up by issuing the statement that said Clinton hadn’t done anything that merited prosecution, but she was still negligent in the way she handled her email. The report also stated that:

…in making this decision (to notify leak-prone Republicans that a search warrant had been issued for a computer indirectly related to Clinton a few days before the election), Comey engaged in ad hoc decision making based on his personal views even if it meant rejecting longstanding Department policy or practice.

In other words, he fucked up again by being a sanctimonious prig. However, the IG also found that neither of Comey’s fucked up decisions were “influenced by political preferences” for or against either candidate.

Not that it matters to Comrade Trump or Republicans in general. They’re still claiming the report showed Trump was right to fire Comey (despite Trump having admitted on national television that he fired him because of “this Russia thing, with Trump and Russia”).

Here’s the thing: just about everything you’ll probably see in the news media for the next couple of weeks will be Republicans claiming the IG’s report proves Comrade Trump’s claims of a FBI ‘witch hunt’ are legit (HINT: they’re not). They’ll base those claims on two pieces of contradictory information.

First, the report spanks James Comey for his statement about the Clinton email investigation (that while there was nothing criminal about the way she handled her email, he was of the opinion that it was negligent). Trumpettes will argue this validates his decision to fire Comey. (HINT: it’s a bullshit argument since Trump admitted on camera that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.)

So yeah, Comey deserves his spanking. FBI agent Peter Strzok, maybe not so much (in my opinion, of course). Comrade Trump and other Republicans have been claiming Strzok was part of some shadowy Deep State FBI cabal determined to sabotage the Trump campaign. Why? Because of text messages he shared with Lisa Page, who was 1) his lover and 2) Special Counsel to the Deputy FBI Director. Strzok and Page weren’t pleased with the idea that Donald J. Trump might become POTUS, and weren’t shy about saying that in their private text exchanges. Here’s what Trump and the Complicit Republicans consider to be the money shot:

Page: He’s not ever going to become president, right? Right?!

Strzok: No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.

The IG report states this exchange “implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.” I suppose it could imply that. IF Strzok and Page were the leaders of a desperate but plucky band of anti-Trump commandos operating deep within the halls of the FBI. But I’m inclined to think it’s more likely he was simply saying ‘We the voters of the U.S. will stop it.”

One of these guys has spent his life serving his nation in the military and in the FBI as a counterespionage agent. The other is a malicious twit.

And, in fact, the IG report also says this:

“[W]e did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed.”

Trump and the Complicit Republicans aren’t mentioning any of that, are they. They’re too deeply committed to the notion of politically motivated sleeper cells lurking in FBI offices all across the nation.

And hey, guess what. There IS evidence of politically motivated FBI agents trying to influence the election at that point in time. The Strzok-Page text was dated August 8, 2016. If we look at actual headlines from actual newspapers and actual news sites around that time (November, 2016), this is what we see:

The anti-Clinton insurgency at the FBI, explained.

The FBI is Trumpland: anti-Clinton atmosphere spurred leaking, sources say.

Has the FBI Gone Full Breitbart?

Rudy Giuliani Confirms FBI Insiders Leaked Information to the Trump Campaign.

FBI is ‘Trumpland’ and agents are leaking to harm Clinton.

All of these contemporaneous articles, without exception, are about how much the FBI distrusted Hillary Clinton and were actively trying to help the Trump campaign. There’s your Deep State FBI conspiracy, right there. And note that in at least one of those articles we have Rudy Giuliani bragging about how FBI agents had leaked privileged information directly to him and to the Trump campaign.

What is Rudy Nine-Eleven saying now? This:

“Mueller should be suspended and honest people should be brought in, impartial people to investigate these people like Peter Strzok. Strzok should be in jail by the end of next week.”

Is anybody in the news media suggesting Rudy should be investigated about FBI leaks? Is anybody saying Rudy should be in jail? Sadly, no.

What it comes down to is this: the Inspector General is doing exactly the same thing it spanked Comey for. It’s being a sanctimonious prig. The IG report essentially says ‘There’s nothing actually wrong here, but we can see how it might appear that way, so we have to do better.’ And, just like they did with the Comey announcements, Comrade Trump and his Complicit Republicans will twist that into an admission by the FBI that they were guilty.

What gets lost in all this, of course, is the fact that one candidate was actively colluding with a hostile nation to sway a presidential election. We’re so busy making a fuss about not coming to a complete halt at a Stop sign that we don’t see the bank robbers in the getaway car.

 

a much different president

Okay, let me get this straight. Comrade Trump (noted author of How to inherit Millions from Your Daddy and Still Go Bankrupt Like Half a Dozen Times and POTUS) met with Kim Jong Un (noted evil dictator, fratricidal rocket fetishist, and open friend of Dennis Rodman) in what journalists called a ‘summit’ and Trump called ‘another great historic deal which many people say is what I do better than anybody else ever, I can tell you that, believe me.’

Here’s what Kim got by meeting with the former leader of the free world:

  • Legitimacy as a world leader.
  • A weaker relationship between the U.S. and South Korea and Japan .
  • A cessation of U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
  • A rift between the U.S. and NATO.
  • A free ride on human rights violations.

Here’s what Trump got by meeting with a brutal dictator who has starved his people in order to afford more rockets:

  • A one page document re-affirming the same vague commitment to denuclearization that DPRK has made seventeen times since 1985.
  • A promise to return military remains from the Korean War.

It’s not exactly bupkis. Let’s call it it bupkis-lite. I mean, it’s nice that DPRK has agreed in principle to return the dead bodies of U.S. troops killed half a century ago. But we probably could have got them to agree to that in exchange for, say, letting them buy a bit more grain to feed their people (which would also allow U.S. farmers to earn a little extra coin).

Tweedle Dum and Tweedle I Don’t Know What the Fuck.

Still, we’ve got that one page document. Does it include, say, a timetable for denuclearization? Nope, nothing like that. What about a system of verification? Nope, not even hinted at. Maybe a shared definition of what  denuclearization is? No fucking way. But Trump apparently thinks if we show KJU and DPRK a little trust, it’ll all work out.

Here’s a telling example from the post-summit news conference:

Q: Mr. President, the joint statement does not talk about verifiable or irreversible denuclearization. Is that a concession on the part of the United States?

A: No, not at all. If you look at it, it said we are — let’s see here. It will be gone. I don’t think you can be any more plain.

I don’t think you can be any more fucking stupid. It will be gone. A few months ago Comrade told his supporters that ‘Little Rocket Man’ was unstable, a madman who murdered his own people and a serial liar who couldn’t be trusted, so there wasn’t any point in even talking with him. And they agreed. Now, after a couple of hours of photo ops, Trumps says he totally trusts KJU to keep his vague promises. And they agree.

Comrade Trump engaging in the Pull-My-Finger mode of international diplomacy.

If Trump says it, it must be true. Which leads me to another exchange in the news conference:

Q: What do you, President Trump, expect Kim Jong Un to do about the human rights record regarding the North Korean people?

A: They will be doing things. I think he wants to do things. You would be surprised. Very smart. Very good negotiator. Wants to do the right thing. He brought up the fact that in the past they took dialogue or never were like we are which has never been like what has taken place now. They went down the line. Billions of dollars were given and the following day the nuclear program continued. This is a much different time. This is a much different president in all fairness. This is very important to me. This is one of the, perhaps one of the reasons I won.

There you have it. DPRK will be doing things. And let me repeat Trump’s most salient argument. In the past they took dialogue or never were like we are which has never been like what has taken place now.

Nobody could be any more clear than that. Only Comrade Donald J. Trump could have negotiated this deal. This is a much different time, and in all fairness, he’s a much different president.

 

punch bowl

Okay, let’s just acknowledge this right up front: Canada is nice. If Earth handed out a Miss Congeniality prize, Canada would win. Canada is the neighbor everybody wants. Canada wouldn’t just lend you their shovel if you asked to borrow it, they’d offer to help you use it — then, when you failed to return the shovel, they’d wait for a few months then ask to borrow their own shovel back so they could help a Nigerian orphan hold a funeral for a beloved stuffed Koala bear named Tulip. Canada is the type of nation that comes to a complete halt at stop signs, even when there’s no traffic. If you ask Canada how it’s doing, it’ll say “Just fine, thanks” and mean it. And then Canada will ask how YOU are…and it’ll mean that too.

You have to be a total jackass to piss off Canada. It’s pretty easy to piss off France and Italy, and it’s really not hard to get Germany to make a face at you. The U.K. is fairly piss-offable, but that’s partly because they really enjoy making harumphing noises. It’s hard to tell if Japan is pissed off or not; Japan can play poker. But Canada? You have to be a total jackass and work hard to piss off Canada.

Comrade Trump, unfairly forced to listen to somebody talk about something other than him.

Comrade Trump did it. Did it easily. Trump’s super power is the ability to drop a turd in the punch bowl. And let you know he did it. And that he did it just because he knows it pisses you off, and because he’s sure he can get away with it. In other words, Trump is a total jackass.

At the end of every G7 summit for the last 40 years, they’ve issue a statement “guided by our shared values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and our commitment to promote a rules-based international order.” It’s a general affirmation of their common principles and economic aspirations. The language of the statement is nitpicked by policy experts from all seven nations, making sure there’s nothing in it that will offend anybody while still being hopeful. All seven nations agree on the statement and sign it. You can read the 2018 joint statement here.

After arriving late for the G7 breakfast, Trump arrives late for a Gender Equality meeting.

Comrade Trump signed it. Well, wait…I don’t think Trump actually signed it himself, because he left early. He came late to meetings, told the G7 leaders they ought to allow Russia back into the group (they’d kicked Russia out after it invaded and seized Crimea along with a big chunk of Ukraine), imposed tariffs on their goods, got pissy when they said they’d impose tariffs right back, refused to wear headphones for translation when other G7 leaders spoke, then left the summit early. And Canada was fairly polite through all that. At the news conference at end of the summit, Prime Minister Trudeau answered a question from the press about imposing counter-tariffs against the U.S. He said:

“I have made it very clear to the president that it is not something we relish doing. But it is something that we absolutely will do. Because Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.”

Comrade Trump believes he has the right — even the obligation — to push people around. He…get this: he ordered his people still on the ground in Canada to officially rescind the U.S. signature on the joint statement. Seriously, after hearing Trudeau say Canada won’t be pushed around, Trump (who’d been complaining that the U.S. was tired of being pushed around) had a tantrum and said he’d unsign the joint statement. Not only that, he had his cadre of spokespersons accuse Trudeau of ‘back-stabbing’ and ‘betrayal’.

Total jackass. Trump went to a summit with an incredibly receptive and friendly group of nations who’ve been allied with the U.S. for decades, and managed to alienate them. After which he insulted them. He essentially dropped a turd in the G7 punch bowl then got pissed off because they didn’t like it.

And now Trump is about to hold another summit with the Aggressively Reckless and Paranoid Boy King of North Korea (a nation which, let’s face it, unlike the members of the G7, isn’t disposed to be friendly to the U.S. to begin with). A summit for which Trump said he didn’t really need to prepare. A summit with a hostile nuclear state that’s threatened “unimaginable” destruction of the U.S.

I don’t know. Maybe it’ll turn out okay. But I’m not confident. It’s one thing to drop a turd in the punch bowl when you’re among friends. It’s another thing altogether to drop a turd in the atomic stew when you’re meeting with an unstable dictator you called Little Rocket Man. I figure the best case scenario will be that Trump agrees to give Kim Jong Un a nuclear submarine in exchange for a chance to run a beauty contest for the ‘Army of Beauties’ that cheered on North Korean athletes in the Winter Olympic.

I don’t even want to think about the worst case scenario.

 

suicide

Kate Spade a few days ago. Anthony Bourdain today. I’m rarely surprised when I hear somebody has committed suicide. Saddened, yes, to be sure, but hardly ever shocked or surprised. Why? Partly because there are so many reasons for folks to want to kill themselves, and partly because thoughts of suicide are universal, and partly because the thought of nonexistence can be so strangely attractive.

I doubt I know anybody who hasn’t, at one point or another, thought about how nice it would be if you could just remove yourself from existence. All your problems, all those life complications, all that stress and anxiety and pressure — all of it, just gone.

For some folks there might be some measure of vindictiveness in the thought; that whole ‘They’ll miss me when I’m gone‘ thing. But I suspect most folks who indulge in the thought of suicide are more likely to be thinking something like ‘I wish I’d never been born.’ It’s not death itself that’s attractive, it’s deletion. It’s not being whited out or erased from the page so much as having never been written onto the page in the first place. That way nobody misses you when you’re gone, nobody suffers.

Kate Spade

Most of us never act on those thoughts, of course. Some do. Some succeed. But here’s the thing: everybody has a reason to commit suicide. Everybody. Most of us also have reasons not to do it.

Here are my reasons for suicide: 1) I’ve witnessed/done way too many ugly things in my life; I have way too many ugly images in my head, and not a day goes by without at least one of them popping up, 2) I’m getting old and my body is beginning to fail; I hurt a lot; my knees are crap; I can no longer do things I used to do easily, which is sometimes comical and sometimes terribly frustrating, 3) I’m moderately poor; I never expected to live this long, so I took no steps to insure I’d have enough money to live comfortably as I aged (in the same way I took no steps to insure I’d be healthy). I’m not so poor I’ll ever miss a meal, but more poor than I ever expected to be.

I don’t regret any of that. I may not like the images in my head, but I’m glad I’ve lived the sort of life where I experienced stuff most folks haven’t. I may be beat-up physically, but I’m glad I’ve lived the sort of life where fear of pain or suffering never stopped me from doing something. And I may be poor, but I’m glad I’ve never felt the need for financial security and I’m glad I’ve never made a safe career choice or taken a career path for a steady paycheck.

Anthony Bourdain

Here are my primary reasons for NOT committing suicide: joy and curiosity. Every single day — hell, several times each and every day — I find something fascinating to see, think about, watch, study, enjoy. Every day — several times a day — something happens that makes me laugh, that delights me, that makes me stupidly happy. Every day, several times a day, I’m glad I’m alive. All that far outweighs any passing desire to delete myself from existence.

Besides, the convenient thing about suicide is that you can always do it tomorrow. It’s almost always an option. There’s some weird comfort in that.

I need to acknowledge, though, that I’ve never experienced actual depression. I’ve been deeply sad, I’ve been desperate, I’ve been terrified, but I’ve never felt any sort of sustained depression. That’s a closed box for me; I can understand it intellectually, but I’ve no idea what it’s like to live with any more than I know what it’s like to be blind. But if it makes a person blind to beauty and joy and curiosity, I understand why it would seem to close any option for living.

So I’m sad about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. I’m sad for their friends and family. I’m sad they felt they’d run out of options. I wish they’d been able to find a reason to delay the decision to kill themselves. I wish they’d continued to find reasons to delay that decision. I’m not surprised by what they did, and I think the world is a slightly lesser place without them in it — not just because they were celebrities or accomplished in their chosen fields, but because their continued existence was part of what made being alive worthwhile for others.

I think that’s probably true for almost everybody who considers suicide.

bughouse

As the kids say (or used to say) I haz been bizzy. Not too busy to follow the news, but too busy to write anything thoughtful (or snarky, or thoughtful-snarky) about it. And you guys, there’s been a LOT to write about.

I mean a LOT. For example, many people are saying the President of These United States appears to be bughouse nuts (SPOILER: he pretty much really is bughouse nuts). Yesterday Comrade Trump decided to promote himself to Czar Trump, declaring he has the absolute power to pardon himself for crimes. I can’t recall if that was before or after he declared that appointing a special counsel to investigate Russian ratfucking of the 2016 election was unconstitutional, based on something he might have heard somebody on FOXNews say before cutting to commercial.

“I’m not bughouse, I’m not bughouse, you’re bughouse!”

Is that bughouse nuts or what? (HINT: it’s totally bughouse nuts.) And this afternoon Trump was planning to hold the Traditional President Meets the Super Bowl Champions Event, but then sort of semi-half-canceled it. It was going to be a party. The Philadelphia Eagles would show up, Trump would get to be photographed shaking hands with manly men (some of whom aren’t white, which makes for a better photo-op), there’d be music, good food, a lot of happy Eagles fans milling about, it would be fun.

The guys in suits who run the Philadelphia Eagles had told Comrade Trump’s people that probably like seventy or eighty of their folks would be there — players, coaches, guys in suits, maybe some cheerleaders. But apparently nobody bothered to ask the players, who mostly said “What? I ain’t going. The president’s a racist. Also? I hear he’s bughouse nuts. You wanna get together after, text me and I’ll meet you someplace.”

So the guys in suits told the president’s people, “Uh, look like it’s just us. Maybe ten, twelve folks. Sorry. Hope you didn’t spend too much on the appetizers.”

Trump’s people told Trump, and Trump went bughouse nuts. He decided to cancel the party, which made his people sputter (allegedly). They told him “But Czar Trump, we’ve already decorated the Rose Garden, and we’ve booked the United States Marine Band AND the Army Chorus — we’ll never get our deposit back. Also too, what about the team’s fans who are planning to attend? Did we mention that Kellyanne Conway is a super Eagles fan? Do you want to disappoint Kellyanne? You know how she gets.”

“Today I’ll be honoring the Super Bowl Champion Marine Corps Band with songs by the Army Chorus. Winning!”

So Comrade Trump decided to only semi-half-cancel the party. He just uninvited the guests of honor. And, of course, he took to Twitter:

Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!

Did any Eagles players stay in the locker room during the anthem last season? Well, no. That rule wasn’t even a rule until last week. Did any Eagles players take a knee during the anthem last season? Well, no. Not one. But some of them supported the protest. And to a person who’s bughouse nuts, some players who support a protest is exactly the same as Treason with a capital T and is also a direct insult to the President, which is also Treason.

So this afternoon, Comrade Trump will be hosting the United States Marine Band AND the Army Chorus AND some fans of the Philadelphia Eagles (including Kellyanne) in the Rose Garden to celebrate the Philadelphia Eagles unexpected victory over the dog-ass New England Patriots in the Super Bowl…but without the actual Philadelphia Eagles.

Is that bughouse nuts? (HINT: yes, it totally is.)

happy meal memorial day

You guys! Tomorrow is…wait, are you ready for this? Sit down. Just sit your ass down and get ready for some news! You guys, tomorrow…and I’m not making this up…is Memorial Day AND the unofficial first day of summer AND Burger Day! How cool is that? Totally cool, is how cool.

I know this is true on account of this is the actual headline and lede from USA Today:

National Burger Day: Juicy burger deals Monday collide with Memorial Day

Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start of summer and a popular day to grab a burger. This year, there’s an additional reason to enjoy a beef patty whether you attend a holiday weekend barbecue or go to your favorite restaurant. Monday is National Burger Day and several restaurants are celebrating with deals.

Sweet Jeebus of the Pickle, aren’t we lucky? Honor dead soldiers AND get a good deal on a bacon cheeseburger, all on the unofficial start of summer! You guys, is this a great country or what? I declare, this calls for…you know what this calls for? I’ll tell you. It calls for poetry!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is about as American as a poet can be. His son got all shot up during some battle in the Civil War, so our boy Henry put out a chunk of poetry about war and all. Take it away, Henry!

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.
Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.

Rest and sleep, comrades…after you’ve had your burger! For a limited time, you can get the Carhop Classic at Sonic for US$2.99! You guys, we’re talking about a quarter pound double cheeseburger and medium tots! OR you can get yourself a classic signature slinger and medium tots, also for just under THREE BUCKS! Holy crap, is that a real deal? (Hint: yes, it’s a real deal.)

You know who else is the real deal? Joyce Kilmer, that’s who. Yeah, I know, he’s got a girl’s name and he wrote that poem about trees that every kid in America learns at some point, but there’s more to him than that. He was a soldier, you guys. In the War to End Wars. And he churned out some poetry before he got himself shot in the head and killed by a sniper before the Second Battle of the Marne. Okay, Joyce, you’re up!

The roses blossom white and red
On tombs where weary soldiers lie;
Flags wave above the honored dead
And martial music cleaves the sky.

You know what else cleaves the sky? The new Chili’s Chili Burger, that’s what! You can cleave the sky with one for only US$6.99 Monday–BUT you have to mention National Burger Day. You can also get the Classic Bacon Burger or an Oldtimer with Cheese for the same price, but you still have to mention National Burger Day. You fail to say National Burger Day, you’ll have to pay full price. Life is full of risks like that, you guys.

Paul Fussell, there’s a guy who understood risk. He wasn’t really a poet, though, but I’m going to include him on account of his precise explanation of the progress of fatalism among combat troops is basically poetry. During World War II, in some battle in Alsace, our boy Paul spent a morning sucking dirt in a hole while most of his unit was wiped out by machine gun fire. But even though he escaped the direct fire in the morning, that afternoon what was left of his troops came under artillery fire and poor Paul took a nasty bunch of shrapnel in the leg.

So, what have you got to say, Paul?!

It can’t happen to me.
It can happen to me.
It is going to happen to me.
Nothing is going to prevent it.

And nothing will prevent you from getting half off a Wendy’s Baconater (the offer is good one-time per customer). That’s two (2!) quarter pound beef patties with six (ohmygod 6!) strips of bacon. There’s not a single veggie to duck! PLUS you can ger yourself a Frosty for only fifty cents! You guys, that’s a meal that won’t wound your wallet!

The unofficial beginning of summer, National Burger Day, AND Memorial Day. A great deal! A great burger! A great holiday! You guys, a great country!