Category Archives: Random Commentary

An Exclusive Interview with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller III.

As President Trump pumps out Tweet after shameless, petty Tweet and his TV lawyer Ruby Giuliani lies outrageously on any show that will give him a microphone – the American body politic is left to wonder, “What would Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller say?”

In recent weeks, Trump and his mob have launched a campaign to discredit Mueller and his investigation – but standing placidly amid the faux outrage and bombast, the man fixed in the dead center of Trump’s target has remained silent. Owing to his sense of duty, propriety and professionalism – the veteran U.S. Marine officer and former FBI Director Robert Mueller III has kept quiet.

Until now.

Unknown-6I was stunned when my iPhone buzzed this morning at 7:00 AM ET. I was expecting a call from my pool maintenance guy to say what time he was coming over to fix the light bulb in my hot tub – so imagine my surprise when it was the Special Prosecutor himself!

Mr. Mueller explained that he enjoyed my recent blog post on a hike my wife and I made in Yellowstone National Park  – and that he needed to let off some steam without winding up on the front page of The New York Times. I wasn’t entirely sure it was a compliment when he told me that he was certain nothing I wrote on my blog was going to make headlines anywhere.

Unknown-3Mueller didn’t have much time to chat. He, Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wray had to leave shortly for a breakfast meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Of course, Mueller told me, they can’t really talk about anything with Sessions because (A) he’s recused himself from the Trump investigation, (B) he’s likely to leak info to Trump and (C) they suspect he’s angry because he’s lost his magic powers and can’t remember where he buried his pot of gold. You can’t trust a bitter ex-leprechaun.

Unknown-4In the short time we talked, Mueller got a number of things off his chest.

He said I could ask him anything I wanted.

What follows is a transcript of our phone call.

ME: You’re getting a lot of pressure to wrap up your investigation…

MUELLER: Hold on, what do you mean by pressure?

ME: You know. Giuliani and the President are waging a campaign to discredit you…

MUELLER: (Laughs) Oh, that? You call that pressure? I’ll tell you what pressure is – and Donny Bone Spurs has no clue – but pressure is trying to keep a squad of young soldiers alive when you’re waist deep in a muddy rice paddy taking incoming fire from an enemy you can’t see. That’s pressure. This is no deadly jungle firefight. I can see Trump and his impotent bullies coming a mile away. Nothing they say affects me.

ME: But it does seem to affect public opinion.

MUELLER: That’s not my concern. I’m not hosting a popularity contest – I’m running a criminal investigation. Facts matter to me. I don’t give a rat’s ass for anyone’s opinion. And certainly not a flack like Sean Hannity or a soulless, Mephistophelean mouthpiece like Kellyanne Conway. Funny. Her husband actually sounds like an intelligent guy. That’s a real odd couple there.

ME: But what do you say to those who complain that your investigation has gone on too long and has spent too many taxpayer dollars?

MUELLER: You mean what do I say to my fellow Republicans who say that?

ME: Oh, that’s right, you are a Republican.

MUELLER: Have been all my life. So are Rod Rosenstein and Chris Wray. We’re rock-ribbed members of the Grand Old Party. Accent on “Old”.

ME: So, are your fellow Republicans correct? Is it time to wrap this thing up?

MUELLER: First of all, not every Republican wants to end this investigation. There are still quite a few in Congress who want to see it play out and justice be done.

And between you and me — many of my fellow Republicans won’t say it publically, but they’d love to have me indict Trump and his whole White House mafia so I’ll rid them of the disaster they helped to create.

Secondly, let’s dispense with this bullshit about how long my investigation is taking. Does anyone remember Whitewater? That took more than 5 years. Never heard any GOP flacks complain about that. Benghazi? Please. That shit show ran longer than the Watergate probe. And those idiots in the House Freedom Caucus still want to investigate Benghazi some more! And how about “Uranium One?” It’s madness! Those ginned-up, penny-ante cases are nothing compared to my investigation. We’re trying to get to the bottom of how a hostile foreign power managed to meddle in an American Presidential election.

ME: I see, but…

MUELLER: I mean, Putin and agents of the Russian government fucked with our most scared democratic process! They even tried to hack into our voting systems. That should set my fellow Republicans’ hair on fire. And when I get done, they’ll want to set Trump’s hair on fire, too. What a blaze that’ll be! Not since I saw napalm in Vietnam…

ME: But Trump and Giuliani are certain you haven’t found any evidence of collusion.

MUELLER: Collusion? I don’t give a fig about collusion. I’m running down a conspiracy: a criminal conspiracy. And it’s a big case.

It’s like a vast all-you-can-eat buffet. There’s so much perjury, malfeasance, chicanery, money laundering, petty grifting, influence peddling, and conspiracy to defraud the American electorate that you simply can’t pile it all on your plate. You can’t digest it all in one meal. If I tried to ingest this immense, illegal feast all at once – I’d explode like Mr. Creosote in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.

ME: What about Trump and his allies calling for an investigation of the origin of your investigation?

MUELLER: I could care less. This probe started long before I took charge of it. It began because our brilliant and patriotic intelligence community learned that folks working on the Trump campaign had all sorts of sordid contacts with Russian oligarchs, the Russian government, Wikileaks and, possibly, Putin himself.

ME: Putin?

MUELLER: Trump’s mysterious man crush.

ME: Okay. Trump’s relationship to Putin is notably homoerotic – but let’s stay on point…

MUELLER: And your point is…?

ME: Are you going to indict President Trump for conspiracy with the Russians to manipulate the vote in the 2016 elections?

MUELLER: Certainly. Eventually. And a whole lot of other things, including that crazy sale of his Florida mansion to some Russian for a half-million more than it was worth.

ME: Well, when?

MUELLER: Look. Here’s the thing. Because of what Comey did during the last Presidential election, I have to be careful. I can’t make any kind of public statement that might affect the mid-term elections.

ME: You can’t?

MUELLER: No. Think about it. If before this year’s critical midterms, I laid out the litany of crimes that I intended to charge Trump and his mendacious mob with — there wouldn’t be a Republican elected dogcatcher outside of Wyoming and the Dakotas.

ME: Would that be so bad?

MUELLER: That’s not my call. I’m not about politics. I’m not about public opinion. I’m all about the law.

ME: Is there any way you can tell us more about what you already know? Must we rely on Michael Avenatti to keep us informed?

MUELLER: I love Avenatti! I wish I could be like Mike!

ME: Really?

MUELLER: Of course! Mike’s a bull in the china shop. I can’t behave that way. But without giving away the whole game, I’m sure he and I will end up in the same place.

ME: Are you saying that President Trump and his minions are guilty?

MUELLER: Guilty of what?

ME: Of criminal conspiracy and everything else!

imagesMUELLER: I can’t reveal that information. It’s classified. Let’s just say that Trump and his lying legions will ultimately be connected to a Russian conspiracy to screw with the 2016 Presidential election.

ME: Wow!

MUELLER: And to make money and effect policy during – and after — the campaign.

ME: That should be revolutionary!

MUELLER: It should be. But it may not be.

ME: Why not?

images-2MUELLER: Because the end of this legal drama is up to the American people. I may or may not be able to indict Trump (there’s this whole Presidential thing) – but even if the Supreme Court says I can’t indict Trump – the Congress can impeach him. This government is yours. You can let your representative know that Trump should be impeached,

Donald Trump is a cheap criminal. And I’ve got the goods on him — in spades. I can’t wait to bring the hammer down on this un-Presidential prick.

ME: You don’t sound very objective…

MUELLER: I’m completely objective.

ME: So, do we American lovers of democracy have anything to fear in the near future?

MUELLER: A low turnout in the midterms.

ME: Why so?

MUELLER: Because, you liberal morons, if you don’t elect a Democratic majority in the House, they’ll never impeach Trump — let alone convict him in the Senate.

ME: Oh….

MUELLER: Sorry, I’ve gotta go. Jeff wants to push our breakfast meeting by a half hour (he’s texting Trump) – and move it from Denny’s Diner to the nearest Waffle House.

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The Times They Are A Changin’…

Scenes from the March For Our Lives in Los Angeles, to the tune of Bob Dylan’s classic protest song: as relevant today as it was when it was released on January 13, 1964.

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown…IMG_6418And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone…IMG_6419
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.IMG_6423Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again…IMG_6425
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin…IMG_6428
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.IMG_6429Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall…IMG_6430
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
For the battle outside ragin’…IMG_6434
Will soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.IMG_6438Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand…IMG_6439
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command….

Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.IMG_6443The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slowest one now
Will later be fast…IMG_6446
As the present now
Will later be past…IMG_6447
The order is
Rapidly fadin’…IMG_6451
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.IMG_6453

 

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The Donald Jumps The Shark…

As of today, March 22, 2018, Donald Trump has jumped the shark.

I know that seems impossible.

220px-Fonzie_jumps_the_sharkEver since Fonzie took to water skis and jumped over a shark on a fifth-season episode of “Happy Days” in the fall of 1977 – “jumping the shark” has come to mean that moment when an enterprise has gone beyond belief, sanity or relevancy and soared into absurdity and inconsequence.

Then again, on second thought, I only wish today’s events had rendered Trump inconsequential.

Still, I can’t escape the feeling that The Donald has – given today’s events – jumped the genus selachimorpha.

Think about what we learned today. Just today. Just on this one, singular day.

And imagine if the President involved was not named Trump. (If his name was, perhaps Obama?) And yet, even though his name is Trump — it’s still incredible. (Though, perversely, all-too-credible — given that Trump is the guy involved.)

MI-BJ392_GALLEO_G_20110502182208Today we learned that…

The President’s lead attorney, John Dowd, has quit the legal team that’s defending Trump against Special Counselor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. It seems Dowd might have gotten upset that Trump just hired a new lawyer — a FOX News conspiracy hack named Joe Digenova. Or it could be because Trump just won’t listen to sound legal advice. Who knows? Chaos reigns.

636544528223527311-AP-GERMANY-SECURITY-CONFERENCE-97604626On this same day we learn that Trump’s National Security Advisor, General H.R. McMaster is out – and right wing, war hawk, bull-goose-loony John Bolton is taking his place.

Are you psyched for war in North Korea and Iran? Did you love the Iraq War? If so, John Bolton is your man.

481314159.jpg.0So, how does Trump – who ran on his blistering critique of the war in Iraq as a huge mistake, now embrace one of the primary advocates of that mistaken war? Who knows? Chaos reigns.

And then there’s Trump’s opening salvo in a new trade war with China. Today, The Donald announced tariffs directed at China that prompted the Dow-Jones Index to plummet 724 points.

Trump’s tariff announcement and subsequent Dow plunge would normally be the big news of the day. In fact, any of these stories would’ve been the major headline of the month in any other presidential administration.

But not in Donnie’s dystopian dynasty…

Somehow — perhaps through his mad, calculating, perverse subgenius — Trump managed to bury what would surely have been the biggest scandal of any prior Presidency.

nn_kwe_trump_stormy_daniels_180320_1920x1080.nbcnews-ux-1080-600Playboy centerfold Karen MacDougal appeared on CNN today.

She spoke to Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview and detailed a year-long sexual affair she had with Trump in the very same year that Donnie’s wife Melania gave birth to their son – and the same year he was also carrying on with Stormy Daniels.

All this madness in just one day.

Our national head is spinning.

And it isn’t event Stormy Sunday yet.49F3553000000578-5482961-Donald_Trump_and_porn_Stormy_Daniels_aka_Stephanie_Clifford_pose-a-102_1520614068866

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My PyeongChang Diary (Part 7)

Those who know me know that I like meat. I’m an unrepentant carnivore.

26So, naturally, I have spent much of the scant recreational time I have during the Olympic Games in search of the best Korean barbeque available in the PyeongChang area.

Living in Los Angeles, I’m acquainted with the tradition of Korean barbeque – but I figured that, being in the motherland, I could treat myself to the very best. My first two attempts at local Korean BBQ dining were good – but neither was a meat-eater’s home run.

1aAnd then, last night, I found — and enjoyed — Korean BBQ heaven.

Our cameraman Corey found the place. It was a 20-minute cab ride from our Phoenix Park hotel – but we were hungry for adventure (and barbequed beef) so we were down for the excursion.

What follows is a pictorial progression through a beef lover’s Korean BBQ pilgrimage. Vegan’s need not apply…

2a

This is the downstairs dining area. You’ll note that there are only Koreans here at this point in the evening. That is absolutely a good sign. We’ve come to the right place.

5This night was Korean Lunar New Year. And the South Koreans were enjoying one of their biggest annual holidays. (See Vietnam’s Tet.) Does the Tet Offensive ring a bell?

We didn’t realize it when we set out, but the restaurant would get very, very busy — and we would have to wait a while to be seated, unlike these folks who shared a special Asian room, with no chairs.

(No shoes, please.)

After dinner, we’d be unable to get a cab ride home because of the busy holiday, but that’s another matter.

The whole evening took 5 hours. But, all in all, it was well worth it!

2

The first step in traditional Korean Barbecue is to visit the butcher and buy your cuts of meat.

8

This woman knows her meat. She explained that the steer we’d be eating was raised organically, with no hormones, grass fed — and A #1. She was not bullshitting.

We bought our beef BEFORE we cooked it. That’s the way it goes. You buy your meat first, then you get seated — and your drinks and everything else are billed later. Meat is Job #1.

With cameraman Corey in the lead, we hauled out cuts of beef to the upstairs dining room after a 20-minute wait. We were famished — but we anticipated beefy, tasty, spicy joy in our near future.

11

The upstairs dining room. It’s getting busy. The meat is about to get cooking…

12

Unlike our cold, steel and glass hotel in Phoenix Park, this Korean BBQ place features warm wood and delightful crystal chandeliers — which we would later learn are from the United States!

13

Seated across the table from me are my AP, Agatha, and my EP, David. We’re all hungry.

15

First come the condiments: onions, garlic, chili paste, peppers, sea salt & other culinary joys.

16

Next, they fire up the tabletop grill. The main meat-lovers event is about to go down…

24a

As the meat grills, you combine ingredients into your bowl — in my case, chili paste, peppers, onions and garlic — so you can plunge your beef bits deep into this spicy heaven.

Next, Corey pulls down the exhaust fan. Otherwise, we’ll all be asphyxiated….

17

Our waiter provides some assistance. Everyone is helpful. They all want us to have a great time.

20

As our first beef course sears on the grill, our crew poses for a pre-meal photo. We’ve all been working hard — and we’re eager for a great meal. Luckily, David & Corey are Korean BBQ experts.

Corey took over as grillmaster. For those of you who know me from Greek Easter — you can appreciate how much I respect Corey’s Korean BBQ chops!

23

Each cut of beef was better than the next — and the last course was the best of all…

Corey was far too modest. His grilling of that last fabulous cut of beef was superb. But our meal was not yet complete. Corey had another great idea…

28

At Corey’s suggestion we ordered this. Somehow, all of this tasty goodness boiled down into an incredible, sweet beef and veggie soup.

27

And finally, here’s our host. Jean went to college and spent a lot of time in Los Angeles (as have a lot of educated South Koreans we’re met). She returned to South Korea a year ago  and started running this restaurant — recognized on Trip Advisor as the best in PyeongChang.

I’m awarding her an Winter Olympic Gold Medal for the Best Korean BBQ.

All hail, Jean!

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Too Little Too Late, Mr. Birther!

48093056-cachedtrump_tweet_birther_080612So now, just hours after Donald Trump couldn’t bring himself to admit to The Washington Post that President Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A. — some campaign flunky puts out a statement saying that Herr Trump actually believes that Obama is, in fact, born in America.

trump-fnc-birtherWell, let’s hear that from Donald J. Trump himself.

And then let’s hear him tell us what the hell this nonsense (or pack of shameless lies) was all about 5 years ago:


(CNN)
Possibly-serious Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is giving few details about the investigation he claims to have launched in Hawaii to get to the bottom of where President Obama was born, but the business mogul told CNN Thursday Americans will be “very surprised” by what he has found.

donald-trump-i-really-dont-know-if-obama-was-born-in-the-us“We’re looking into it very, very strongly. At a certain point in time I’ll be revealing some interesting things,” Trump said on CNN’s American Morning.Trump first claimed earlier this month he had sent investigators to Obama’s home state in an effort to find out if the president was indeed born there, as he says he was and several media organization’s independent investigations have confirmed.

trump-birther-tweet“I have people that have been studying it and they cannot believe what they’re finding,” Trump told NBC then.

******

C’mon mass media! Don’t let Trump skate on this one. What specific “interesting things” did he find out about Obama’s citizenship five years ago?

trumpbirtherWhat did his “people that have been studying it” really find? And why could they not “believe what they’re finding.”

Trump said all this crap.

The media must get Trump to say that Obama is a citizen with his own lips – and then ask the follow-up questions.

Make Trump back all his old statements up.

Or admit it was all a lie.

r-donald-trump-obam-birth-certificate-large570The Presidency of the United States is at stake.

I’m talking to you, Wolf Blitzer, Brian Williams, Lester Holt, Anderson Cooper, Andrea Mitchell – and maybe, just maybe, the last honest journalists on FOX News.

Hoist the Great Orange Demagogue by his own petard.

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If The Basket Fits…

deplorables

Starring (top row, left to right) Roger Ailes, Rudy Giuliani, Trump, Christie & Coulter — and (bottom row, left to right) Sen. Jeff Sessions, Steve Bannon, Tony Perkins, Roger Stone and David Duke.

Can’t wait for this awful movie to end.

 

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Emilia’s First Comedy Special…

Readers of this blog are doubtless aware that one of my three daughters is a standup comic – and that she appeared this summer in her first comedy special, filmed at iO West in Hollywood. (What? You somehow managed to miss all those promotional posts?)

1226306Emilia drew three wonderful, receptive houses that weekend, July 8-10 — but for those who didn’t get a chance to see the show (and for those who’d like to re-live it) – this video captures all the fun.

Emilia’s been performing her unique brand of comedy in clubs from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York City – and San Francisco, too. The material she wrote and knit together for “Headlong Into The Apocalypse” is the very funny fruit of her first couple of years working in the comedy vineyards.

e-cropSo, if you’ve got a little less than 45 minutes of free time on your hands – and you could some laughs focused refreshingly above the waist – check out “Emilia Barrosse: Headlong Into The Apocalypse.”

And if any of you know Donald Trump, please forward him a link to this video. He’ll hear his name a couple of times.

We know how much he enjoys that.

Headshots

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