the bluto party

You know what? It’s time we (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘anybody who is paying attention to what’s happening right now in the United States’) stopped thinking of the Republican Party as a legitimate political party — because they’ve stopped acting like one. A political party is just a collection of people who share the same general ideology and hold the same general political positions in regard to governance. The operative term there is ‘governance’. Based on their behavior, Republicans no longer believe in governance; they only believe in ruling.

Seriously. The folks who represent Republicans now have abandoned the notion that every political party should be subject to the same rules and laws. Since Trump took office, Republicans have gutted congressional oversight, they’ve perverted the advice and consent process, they’ve twisted the concept of judicial review. Worst of all, they’ve changed the executive branch from being just one of three co-equal branches of government into…well, Bluto. What Bluto wants, Republicans deliver.

In fact, Republicans have become the Bluto Party.

Bluto, if you’re not familiar with him, was Popeye’s nemesis. A loudmouthed, blustering, bully who tries to get what he wants through brute force and/or trickery. In the Popeye cartoons Bluto takes on a variety of guises — sometimes he’s a fellow sailor, but he’s also shown up as an evil professor, a wicked hypnotist, a lecherous lifeguard, a devious sheik, a generic thug.

It’s the same with modern Republicans. They take on various guises, but they all behave like Bluto. You can put Bluto in a suit and a tie, but he’s still Bluto. You can put him in a drawing room or an orchestra pit, but he’s still Bluto. You can spray him with a gentleman’s cologne, he’s still Bluto. You can dress him in judicial robes, still Bluto. There is absolutely nothing you can do to unBluto him. He’s Bluto to the bone.

“You’d better lock up your doors today.
‘Cause Abu Hassan is on his way.
Go in hiding when I come riding
from me and my forty thieves.

Your wife and children, your money too,
I’ll steal them from you before I’m through.
I’m out gunning, so start in running
from me and my forty thieves.

My gang’s the roughest,
But I’m the toughest,
and that’s no lie.
You’ve got to hand it
to this bad bandit,
because I’m a terrible guy.

Comrade Trump, of course, is the bull goose Bluto. All lesser Blutos must bow to him. He’s released the inner Bluto in every Republican in government. For example, Bluto says it’s perfectly okay to ignore subpoena if it’s issued by congressional Democrats. Bluto argues (in front of Bluto-dominated courts) that a congressional subpoena MUST have a legislative purpose. But Bluto Republicans in congress have a long (long, long, long) history of issuing subpoenas for purely investigative purposes — even when those investigations have repeatedly turned up nothing.

I’m basically saying ALL Republicans in government now are Bluto. Republicans in Congress — Bluto. Republicans in the Justice Department — mad Bluto. Republicans who’ve been place in federal courts even when rated unqualified — totally Bluto. You may say that it’s not fair to paint all Republicans with the same brush, and I suppose you’d be right. But I’m of the opinion that if they’re benefiting from Bluto Republican behavior and not calling it out, then they’re Bluto too, and just as guilty as every other Bluto.

The only comfort to be found in this is that Bluto always gets his ass kicked in the end. I mean, it works that way in the cartoons. So I’m sending spinach to Joe Biden and every other Popeye motherfucker running a campaign against Bluto.

it stinks

I’m trying to remember when I hit that point where I stopped trying to keep track of each and every awful thing that happened that day.

I mean, there was actually a time when I could read two or three news sources and feel like I had a solid grasp of all the awful things that happened on any given day. Later I found myself focusing on the primary awful things that happened, because it would take a spreadsheet to keep track of the picayune awful things. But over time, every day became a muddle of major corruption, lying, gross incompetence, vindictiveness, and venality, all of which existed in a melange of Trumpian hate-rage. And it was impossible to keep track even of all the massively awful things that happened in a given day.

This guy is awful in so many ways you need a quantum computer to keep track.

It’s hard to imagine a president who in the course of a single day would 1) shirk his duty during a pandemic that has cost more than 65,000 American lives, 2) lie about the availability of testing necessary to know the extent of that pandemic, 3) encourage states to re-open their economies even though NONE of those states have met the guidelines issued by the president’s own task force, 4) try to extort political favors from states in desperate need of federal financial aid as a result of that pandemic, 4) try to undermine the 2020 presidential election by claiming vote-by-mail is risky, 5) find ways to threaten the unemployment benefits of the nearly 20% of the US workforce that’s unemployed because of the pandemic, 6) use his presidential emergency powers to force workers in the meat industry to continue to work despite the alarming number of Covid-19 cases appearing in meat-packing plants, 7) block the nation’s most trusted information source from testifying in front of the Democratic-led House while allowing his testimony in the Republican-led Senate, 8) encourage armed insurrection against the legitimately elected Democratic governors of states he doesn’t like, 9) float the idea of pardoning his former National Security Advisor whom he’d fired because the man had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI (and the Vice President) about his dealings with Russian intelligence (not to mention his failure to register as a foreign agent of Turkey OR his involvement in a plot to kidnap a Turkish dissident cleric), 10) denigrated and undermined the leadership and line staff of the nation’s primary national law enforcement agency, 11) promoted a number of conspiracy theories, including one about the origins of the pandemic, and 12) tried to pressure US intelligence agencies to substantiate that conspiracy theory.

That’s just what I can recall of the major awful stuff Comrade Trump engaged in one a single day. There’s bound to be awful stuff I’ve missed.

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Comrade Trump ohmyfuckinggod I can’t even look killmenow.

All of this horror is compounded by state governors who are willing (or actually eager) to curry favor with Trump for their own political reasons. Like so many other Republican governors, the governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, refused to issue a state-wide shelter-in-place order. She’s not only supporting Trump’s executive order to require workers at meat-packing plants (a large proportion of whom are immigrants) to report for work regardless of Covid-19 outbreaks, she’s also informed low wage workers who are reluctant to return to work because of pandemic fears that if they refuse to return to work, they will be denied unemployment benefits.

The result of this monstrous cascade of really, truly, awful stuff from Trump and his supporters is a sort of numbness. It’s like living downwind from a paper mill or a hog containment farm — you sort of get inured to the stink. Some days stink more than others, but every day stinks horribly.

And it will continue to stink horribly until we get rid of the hog farm.

whistle and go fishing

My heart’s in the ice house. John Prine is dead, the world is locked down, and Bernie Sanders has suspended his presidential campaign.

I have mixed feelings about that last thing. Last July I said “I just wish he hadn’t decided to run for POTUS again” so you’d think I’d be glad that Bernie suspended his campaign. And I sorta kinda am. But I’m also sorta kinda not. I’m sorta kinda glad on account of Bernie has some followers who flat out piss me off and (in my opinion) taint his campaign. But I’m sorta kinda not glad because Bernie has almost single-handedly shifted the Democratic Party to the left.

He did that partly by being a Democrat of Convenience. He runs as a Democrat without actually being a Democrat, but his positions are so popular he yanked the Democratic Party leftward. There are folks in the Democratic National Committee who aren’t happy about that, of course. And that brings me back to being sorta kinda glad Bernie is suspending his campaign now, at this point in time, rather than later. Because some of his supporters are DNC conspiracy theorists. They believe the DNC ‘rigged’ the primaries to defeat Bernie (and, in some cases, to re-elect Comrade Trump).

Here are some actual, not-made-up, real comments taken from a couple of Facebook groups that support Bernie:

— [T]he DNC plots against Bernie, violate the constitution by stealing the election/votes, asks us to vote for an absolutely terrible choice instead and then whines to us about how they won’t beat trump because of US!?
— The Democrat Party could have changed their voting date if they wanted, but they rigged their election again to boot Bernie out
— The DNC knows the numbers, and either believe they don’t need Sanders voters for them to win, or else they actively want Trump to win. Either way, my one vote isn’t going to change the election. I bear zero responsibility for their loser plans.
— I want to be counted as one of the growing number of people rejecting the DNC
— If you’re voting for Biden you’re giving the DNC consent to rigging elections.
— I’m willing to lose this election to trump if it teaches the DNC the lesson that they Will Never win another election ever again until they listen to us and run a progressive candidate.

There are Sanders supporters who apparently actually believe the DNC is somehow violating the US Constitution by setting rules for the Democratic Party primaries. Who apparently actually believe the DNC is secretly working to elect Trump. Who apparently actually believe NOT voting for Biden will somehow teach the DNC a lesson.

Look, the DNC sets the rules for the Democratic Party primaries because they’re the Democratic Party’s National Committee. Who else is going to set those rules? The Green Party? The Republican Party? This is how things work everywhere. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees are chosen by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nomination Board, not by the Country Music Assocation’s Nomination Board. Michelin stars are awarded to restaurants by Michelin’s full-time staff of anonymous restaurant reviewers, not by Yelp feedback.

Bernie didn’t lose the nomination because the DNC conspired against him; he lost because more people showed up and voted for Biden. Warren didn’t lose because the DNC conspired against her; she lost because people didn’t vote for her. Booker lost because people didn’t vote for him. Harris lost because people didn’t vote for her.

Joe Biden, go figure.

Joe Biden won because people voted for him. Why did they vote for him? Damned if I know. I don’t think he was anywhere near the best candidate (SPOILER: the best candidate was Warren). But Biden got the votes. You don’t have to like it to accept the reality of it. You don’t have to LIKE gravity to accept that if you drop a rock, it’ll fall on the grass (if you’re outside and standing on grass — let’s not get too fussy about this).

The other reason I’m sorta kinda glad Bernie has suspended his campaign now is so we can get the following completely predictable bullshit conversation out of the way. You know the conversation I’m talking about, but here are a few actual, not-made-up, real examples of it (again, straight from Facebook pro-Bernie groups):

— A choice between two rapists is no choice at all. Joe Biden is Trump with fewer obnoxious tweets and even more dementia.
— I’m not voting for another monster just to stop a monster.
— Voting in the moderate choice is just as bad as trump.
— what is the real difference between Biden and trump
— There is no really big difference between Biden and trump…they are both representing the neoliberal agenda
— I can’t vote for either with a clear conscience. Trump and Biden are sexual predators. I can’t vote for them and feel good about it.
— BIDEN IS JUST LIKE VOTING REPUBLICAN. I’M NOT VOTING FOR BIDEN OR TRUMP. I’M OUT.

Okay, Biden wasn’t my first choice. Hell, he wasn’t even in my top five. He might have been in my top ten, but near the bottom. But Jesus suffering fuck, people, he’s in a totally different political galaxy than Comrade Trump and is infinitely preferable.

If you think there’s no difference between Joe Biden and this fuckwit, then you’re an idjit.

Biden says he’ll increase taxes on the wealthy. The Tax Policy Center calculated that Biden’s plan would raise $4 trillion over a decade—one of the largest wealth transfers in American history. He supports subsidies and Medicaid funding, along with a public option, in order to achieve universal health care. It’s not Medicare for All, but it’s an improvement over the current feral insurance system. He’s advocating a US$17 trillion clean energy investment, and tighter regulations to bring emissions to zero. He’s supporting $2 trillion in new spending on early education, post-secondary education, and housing. He’s talking about a $1.3 trillion infrastructure plan. He’s in favor of a $15 minimum wage. He wants to close the gun show loophole and ban the sale of assault-style weapons. He’s in favor of immigration reform and wants to provide undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. He’s just come out in support of Warren’s bankruptcy plan.

Comrade Trump is opposed to all of those things. If you say there’s no difference between Biden and Trump, you’re completely fucking delusional. Or stupid. Or a Russian troll. Or so goddamned well established in your privilege that Trump’s policy depredations won’t have much effect on your life. Also? Fuck you in the neck, just on general principles.

I’ll vote for Joe Biden. Hell, I’ll hold my nose and even campaign for him. I’ll probably give him some money. Not because he’s the best candidate, but because I can forgive myself for voting for him. I couldn’t forgive myself for voting for anybody else.

As the poet Prine said:

Father forgive us for what we must do
You forgive us we’ll forgive you
We’ll forgive each other till we both turn blue
Then we’ll whistle and go fishing in heaven.

trump, burr, and the missing worldwide threat assessment

Here’s a curious thing. Last month Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) spoke at a luncheon sponsored by the Tar Heel Circle (which is more formally known as The North Carolina State Society of Washington DC). That’s not the curious thing; members of Congress routinely meet with ‘important’ people from their home state — business owners, social leaders, local politicians.

This smarmy fucker knew.

The curious thing is what Burr told those ‘important’ people. He warned them about a virus coming to the U.S. He told them it was “much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history. It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.” You know, the pandemic that killed millions of people worldwide. He talked about travel restrictions and schools closing. He talked about how the military might need to be mobilized.

Here’s another curious thing. At the same time Burr was giving his speech, Comrade Trump was assuring the public that “the coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.” He acknowledged a small number of US citizens had become ill, but “they’ve gotten very much better. Many of them are fully recovered.” We know, of course, that wasn’t true.

Had we been told the truth, the butcher’s bill wouldn’t be so high.

Here’s yet another curious thing. Every year in January or February, the US intelligence community provides the House and Senate intelligence committees with a briefing on global threats. That briefing is usually accompanied by a public hearing and the publication of an unclassified report called the Worldwide Threat Assessment. This year, the public hearing for the 2020 Worldwide Threat Assessment was canceled. It hasn’t been rescheduled. The report, which is usually unclassified, was suddenly classified.

One more curious thing: Senator Richard Burr, who issued that dire warning to the ‘important’ people of the Tar Heel Circle, is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The committee that first learns the details of the Worldwide Threat Assessment.

More curious things. In 2017, the Worldwide Threat Assessment said this about the threat to public health:

“A novel or reemerging microbe that is easily transmissible between humans and is highly pathogenic remains a major threat because such an organism has the potential to spread rapidly and kill millions.”

The 2018 WTA:

“A novel strain of a virulent microbe that is easily transmissible between humans continues to be a major threat, with pathogens such as H5N1 and H7N9 influenza and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus having pandemic potential if they were to acquire efficient human-to-human transmissibility… a severe global influenza pandemic could cost the equivalent of 4.8 percent of global GDP—more than $3 trillion—and cause more than 100 million deaths.”

The 2019 WTA:

“We assess that the United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or largescale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support.”

We can, I think, safely assume the now-classified 2020 Worldwide Threat Assessment repeated what the last three WTAs said. We can, I think, assume that what Senator Burr reported to the ‘important’ people of North Carolina came directly from the 2020 WTA. We don’t have to assume that information was kept from the general public for at least six weeks; we know that’s true. Six weeks during which the US government failed to respond to a health threat they knew was coming. Six weeks in which the Trump administration could have prevented needless sickness and death.

We can’t blame every Covid-19 death on folks like Trump and Burr. But we can hold them responsible for a lot of them.

They knew. They knew it was coming. These fuckers deliberately downplayed the threat to the public while warning the ‘important’ people.

We need to see the 2020 Worldwide Threat Assessment report. We need to know what they knew. We need to hold all of these fuckers accountable. We need to toss them out of office. We need to publicly name them and shame them. We need to hang the scope of this pandemic around their necks and make them wear their shame every day for the rest of their miserable lives.

joe biden = comfort food

Like a lot of folks, I went to bed last night (and woke up this morning) thinking this: Joe Biden? How did we end up with Joe Biden? I mean, almost every Democrat over the age of thirty was running for POTUS, and several of them were really good candidates. And here we are with Joe Biden? Joe Biden?

But I think I understand it now. Joe Biden is comfort food. You know — a dish that holds some nostalgic and maybe cultural significance for you. We’ve all got at least one comfort food. It’s not necessarily good food, not necessarily food that’s good for you, not something you’d likely order at a decent restaurant, and certainly not anything that’s complex. It’s what you want to eat when you’re feeling down, or anxious, or needy, or sentimental.

Joe Biden

My comfort foods are mostly what some folks would call ‘Southern white trash’ food. I love a simple perlow, or something from a box with a Little Debbie label, or a peanut butter and mayo sandwich on white bread. If the weather is chilly, I’ll go with grilled cheese and a bowl of tomato basil soup. Comfort food.

For you maybe it’s poutine, or mashed potatoes and gravy, or chocolate mint ice cream, or pierogi, or a green bean casserole with those french-fried onion things on top, or udon, or chicken and waffles. It doesn’t matter what your comfort foods are; what matter is that they’re safe and put you at ease and don’t require a lot of thought.

Joe Biden

That’s Joe Biden. He’s safe, he can put you at ease, and he doesn’t require much thought. Biden is pretty predictable; we know who is and what he is. Yeah, we’re all a wee bit creeped out by his weird habit of touching folks, but nobody suspects him of paying off hookers and porn stars. He doesn’t require us to think a lot, because we’ve already dealt with him for eight years.

Joe Biden

He’s not somebody you’d order off the menu of a good restaurant. But after three years of eating rancid garbage and flaming hate, it seems a LOT of people just want some mashed potatoes with butter. Or a Hostess Twinkie.

Anyway, that’s my current thinking on the unexpected success of Joe Mac and Cheese Biden.

commonish sense suggestions

I don’t pretend to have an abundance of common sense, but even I can come up with a few common sense suggestions for individual state Democratic Party committees to consider before the 2024 presidential primary seasons. We’re NOT obligated to keep fucking things up in the same way year after year.

First, put an end to caucuses. Yeah, they’re quaint and curious and make for amusing pre-caucus television segments. But they’re awkward and confusing and undemocratic down at the bone. Seriously, just let folks cast their votes, tally up the totals, and be done with it.

Second, put an end to open primaries. The concept of an open primary, in which anybody of any party can vote for the Democratic candidate of their choice sounds like a really cool thing. But it’s not. It’s an open invitation to ratfucking — which, by the way, is exactly what Comrade Trump was blatantly doing last night in South Carolina. He was suggesting/encouraging his supporters to vote in the Democratic primary for the candidate they thought would be easiest to defeat. That corrupts the entire process (which, for Trump and Putin, is the point). Even the suggestion that the results are tainted casts doubt on the process.

What about registered Independents? Let them form a state Independent party, let them vote in an Independent primary, let them vote for anybody of any party — I don’t care. But we should let registered Democrats decide who the Democratic nominee should be.

Actual photograph of the Iowa Caucus in action!

Third, put an end to ‘day of’ re-registration. Again, the concept sounds great; allow non-Democrats to join the Democratic Party on the day of the primary. In theory, it would encourage folks to become spur-of-the-moment Democrats. In practice, it has the same problems as the open primary — the potential for last minute impulsive ratfucking. Only folks who’ve been registered as Democrats for a period of time — say at least two weeks, though preferably at least a month — should be eligible to vote in Democratic primaries. This would only apply to re-registration — switching parties. First time Democratic registrations should still be allowed on the day of the primary.

Fourth, allow ranked choice voting. First choice, second choice, third choice, fourth choice. Give points for each rank. Total up the points, apportion delegates by point total. It’s fair, it’s easy to understand, and it provides evidence of overall popularity.

Finally, put an end to Iowa and NH primacy. I really think there’s value to having a smaller, lower-population state as a testing ground for the nomination. There’s value to having candidates spending a chunk of time traveling around, meeting ordinary folks in small groups, being challenged by average citizens. Small states make that sort of politicking more affordable. Let the first couple of states to hold a primary be chosen on a rotating basis, or draw a name out of a hat, I don’t care how it’s chosen. But keep it a small state, one with a total population of — I don’t know, let’s say between two and five million. A state with some racial diversity would be nice.

There. Five common sense suggestions to take some of the batshit craziness out of the nomination process. Is that too much to ask?

a bold but stupid prediction

So far, only about 4% of the delegates that will eventually determine the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of These United States have been decided. It’s not nothing, but it’s not much more than nothing. If there was a pie and somebody gave you 4% of that pie, you’d be saying, “Dude, look at all that pie that you left in the pie tin, what the fuck, dude?”

Most of the Democratic candidates didn’t even get a sliver of that 4%. The original cast of thousands has basically been reduced to three viable candidates. That’s it…just three. Or five. Maybe seven. Eight viable candidates on the outside. But on the basis of that 4% the political punditry, who have earned a reputation of being wildly wrong on a broad range of topics, have made a bold but stupid prediction: Bernie Sanders will be the nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2020 election.

I’m inclined to think their bold but stupid prediction is…well, not that bold, but also not that stupid. They may even be right. But I don’t think so. Not entirely right. Sorta kinda right. I DO think that Bernie will probably arrive at the convention with the most pledged delegates, because there’s a certain tidal momentum that comes with the ‘frontrunner’ title.

Does not have a dog. These things have to be considered.

But I’m not here to snark on the bold but stupid predictions of political pundits. I’m here to make a bold but stupid prediction of my own. Here it is:

Bernie Sanders will have the most pledged delegates, but he won’t have a majority; he won’t have enough to win on the first ballot. That will lead to a brokered convention, which will result in Elizabeth Warren getting the nomination.

I suppose that’s really three bold but stupid predictions. Prediction One: Bernie will have the most pledged delegates. I’m basing that on the same thing everybody else is basing it on — his early lead combined with the devotion of his followers.

Prediction Two: It won’t be enough for Bernie to win on the first ballot. I say that because there are other candidates who will NOT drop out and who WILL continue to rack up pledged delegates. Not enough to win, but enough to prevent anybody from earning a majority. I’m not saying they’re staying in the race to deny Bernie the nomination; I suspect they sincerely believe they’re a better choice. Not that it matters; the result is the same.

Prediction Three: In a brokered convention, Elizabeth Warren will get the nomination. I don’t say that because I support Warren (SPOILER: I do support her). I say it because it seems a probably outcome. Why Warren rather than another candidate? Three reasons.

First Reason: I believe the Democratic Party can finally see that a progressive agenda is popular with voters. The differences between Warren’s policy positions and Bernie’s are relatively small. They’re both progressives, but with different ideas and plans on how to get their policies enacted. Warren’s plans are detailed and comprehensive.

Second Reason: Warren has more allies in the Democratic Party than Bernie does. Bernie is a Democrat of Convenience. That’s not an insult. He acknowledges that he needs the framework of the Democratic Party in order to be a viable candidate. But he’s spent most of his political career in open conflict with the party and the Democratic National Committee. That’s a good thing in terms of moving the Democratic toward a more progressive position, but it’s a bad thing for Bernie as a candidate.

Third Reason: If there’s no first ballot winner, we have a brokered convention. That means the dreaded superdelegates would be able to vote on the second ballot. And let’s face it, the superdelegates…wait. It occurs to me that some folks may not know what supeerdelegats are or how they work. So, a quick and dirty tangent.

Superdelegate is the ridiculous name for folks who have a vested interest in the Democratic party. We’re talking about four groups of folks: 1) elected officials of the Democratic National Committee, 2) Democratic governors, 3) Democratic members of Congress, and 4) “distinguished party leaders” like former presidents or former speakers of the House. They make up just under 15% of the delegates. They’re unpledged delegates, which means they’re free to vote for whoever the fuck they want to. As the rules stand now (and those rules, by the way, were written in large part by Bernie and his people), they’re NOT allowed to vote in the first ballot. In other words, they have to sit on their thumbs unless there’s a brokered convention. They’re basically the brokers in the title.

So, back to the third reason. Why would the superdelegates NOT support Bernie? See Reason Two. Bernie just ain’t popular with the Democratic establishment.

Totally has a dog. This cannot be discounted.

Fourth Reason: I know I said ‘three reasons’ but I changed my mind. The fourth reason Elizabeth Warren would probably be the nominee in a brokered convention is that she’s a woman. That’s not, in itself, a reason to support her. But for fuck’s sake, it’s way past time for a woman to get elected. And I think, in a brokered convention, if the nomination went to a white male moderate after being denied to Bernie, a LOT of people would be disappointed and pissed off. If it went to a progressive woman — and this isn’t fair and I hate saying it — there would be fewer complaints. Because NOBODY would want to say out loud that a woman shouldn’t be the nominee. People might THINK that (okay, some men would absolutely think that), but I can’t imagine anybody (aside from a few crazed Berniecrats) who’d make that argument.

So IF there’s a brokered convention, I predict the nomination will got to Elizabeth Warren. And I think she’d win the presidency.

That said, I hope we DON’T have a brokered convention. I hope, if Bernie Sanders continues to do well, that he does well enough to have a majority of pledged delegates and win on the first ballot. A brokered convention might put my preferred candidate at the head of the ticket, but it’s more important that we have a unified Democratic Party.

Okay, there it is. My bold but stupid prediction. You’ve probably got one of your own. Maybe more than one. Bold but stupid predictions usually come wrapped in packages of three or more.

EDITORIAL NOTE: You cannot discount the critical importance of a dog.