On a Super Bowl Sunday in which Kansas City is partying like it’s 1969, I’d like to give a special thanks to Fredo and Johnny Ola for arranging the halftime show.
But on to weightier subjects.
1. There is a dead guy visible from a major street in New Orleans.
Well, that’s not quite true — at least not at this very moment. But less than two weeks ago it was, and nothing has really changed, and what’s worse the mayor of New Orleans is doing nothing substantial about it.
Back in October, a building which was to be the Hard Rock Hotel on Canal Street in the Central Business District collapsed while under construction, largely because the corrupt developer and the entirely irresponsible construction company, who were racing to get the building completed before Mardi Gras on the last Tuesday of this month, didn’t bother letting concrete bases cure on the upper floors before building on top of them. When the hotel collapsed, it took with it a pair of construction workers, one of whose legs are visible hanging over the side between two sandwiched floors of the building.
When it happened, the response was to stretch a tarp over the scene before the public knew what it was covering, despite the fact the construction worker’s family has been begging for him to be removed. But during a windy day in January, the tarp blew down and the body became visible. Photos of the dead man’s moldering legs made it onto social media, which made the city’s mayor LaToya Cantrell go ballistic — calling the sharing of the gruesome images “reprehensible.” After a couple of days of excuse-making, the city covered the remains with another tarp. Now that everyone knows what it’s covering, it’s even more conspicuous than before.
Cantrell has since come under more than a little bit of scrutiny, as the picture isn’t yet clear what role the city and its inspectors might have played in allowing the appallingly Third World construction practices creating the Hard Rock disaster — but New Orleanians disgusted by the incident have seen their outrage meters spiking amid several items since. Cantrell rebuked an attempted City Council investigation into the disaster and confirmed she’d hired a former U.S. attorney in New Orleans to look into the city’s permit department, which she says means there’s no reason for anybody else to investigate.
That, as you imagine, hasn’t gone over well. Not in a city where car break-ins are at an epidemic level and where the mayor just returned from a jaunt to Ghana over the holidays, only to jet to Washington for D.C. Mardi Gras last week in the middle of the corpse crisis.
Since then Cantrell has been touting the efficacy of hybrid vehicles after switching six city trucks out of 100 and pushing solar energy while getting herself busted by the local media for owing some $95,000 in unpaid taxes.
It’s beginning to look like Cantrell is the biggest disaster of America’s mayors. And that’s saying something.
2. Brexit happening on Friday gives Trump a great opportunity.
Amid the furor of Brexit, the highlight of which was Nigel Farage’s farewell speech at the European Union, it’s time for a rekindling of the “special relationship.” Even after what Meghan Markle did to Prince Harry.
President Trump needs to do a no-barriers free trade deal with the Brits. As soon as possible.
He does that and the political ramifications of it will do so much damage to the Democrats it might kill them in state legislatures and even mayoral elections. Considering the shape that party is in right now, it won’t take a lot.
3. Impeachment is a joke, and the joke is on the Democrats.
Wednesday it’s going to be all over, and — shockingly — Trump is going to be acquitted at his impeachment trial in the Senate.
He might even be acquitted in a bipartisan vote. Doug Jones of Alabama is up for reelection this fall, and Jones probably gets slaughtered if he votes to convict. He’s talking about an acquittal vote.
Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham is now talking about investigating all the people Trump and the Republicans were talking about calling in the impeachment trial. Specifically, the Bidens and Eric Ciaramella, whose name is somehow verboten in Washington.
Tuesday, Trump will give a State of the Union speech which could well be the most triumphant any American president has ever given. What wouldn’t be a surprise would be to see, Kavanaugh-style, a last-minute accusation made about Trump that gives the Democrats a pretext to act like absolute asses on Tuesday and pretend that whatever fresh outrage they’ve concocted justifies it.
Without a desperate gambit like that, Trump might be out of reach and the Iowa caucuses could be a waste of time. With a desperate gambit like that, the whole country will only hate the Democrats just a little bit more.
4. Speaking of Iowa …
A small group of Democratic National Committee members has privately begun gauging support for a plan to potentially weaken Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and head off a brokered convention.
In conversations on the sidelines of a DNC executive committee meeting and in telephone calls and texts in recent days, about a half-dozen members have discussed the possibility of a policy reversal to ensure that so-called superdelegates can vote on the first ballot at the party’s national convention. Such a move would increase the influence of DNC members, members of Congress and other top party officials, who now must wait until the second ballot to have their say if the convention is contested.
“I do believe we should re-open the rules. I hear it from others as well,” one DNC member said in a text message last week to William Owen, a DNC member from Tennessee who does not support re-opening the rules.
Why would they do it? Because it’s a pretty good bet that Sanders is going to win Iowa. And if and when he wins, and Joe Biden does not, there will be a panic in that party. And rightly so.
If and when Biden collapses, it’s going to come down to Mike Bloomberg as their only hope to stop Sanders. Which is not a good thing. Running a guy whose opponent won’t stop calling him a communist and who spews propaganda calling America’s Vietnam soldiers Hitler to ninth graders is going to make for rough waters ahead.
5. Finally, back to the Super Bowl
Did anybody else notice the ads Madison Avenue inflicted on the viewing public during that game?
We don’t have to go through the procession of drag queens, cop-hating, “organic beer,” girl power galore, electric cars, and lesbianism that made up the Super Bowl ads. All we really need to do is cite the no-question-about-it champion ad, which was a Jeep spot starring Bill Murray in a reprise of Groundhog Day, which this time is a never-ending procession of fun thanks to a Jeep Gladiator the comedian and his friendly quadruped pal have the use of for eternity.
Thank God for that ad. It stood out in a vast wasteland. Madison Avenue appears to be as much a cultural sewer as Hollywood and academia.