“Luck always seems like it belongs to someone else” [DOT 16/8/22]

-David Levien, 'City Of The Sun'

Here I am again, covering for RIP while he’s on holiday (I’m going to assume he’s on holiday). So why are we talking about luck? Well, there’s been a lot of it lately, both good and bad. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Serious luck. Democrats couldn’t have planned this if their lives depended on it.

Biden, Democrats suddenly have a lot of good stuff to run on for the midterms, and a plan to use it

I fucking love this guy. If you live in Pennsylvania, you’re lucky.

‘We call that a veggie tray’: Fetterman responds to Mehment Oz’s out of touch ‘crudités’ video

There’s also the absence of luck. Rudy, the judge is pissed off enough at you to make you ride the bus to Georgia. That’s PISSED, my guy.

Giuliani confirmed as target of criminal investigation, will face the music in Georgia this week

There’s luck and then there’s stupidity. Remember, kids, it’s never a good idea to threaten federal agents. Pennsylvania man arrested for threatening to “slaughter” FBI

In climate change news … the damn desert is flooding. Las Vegas is running out of luck.

Videos show Las Vegas casinos flooding for second time in two weeks

The British guy is on holiday, so in his absence I guess I should point out that BoJo screwed the pooch. Dashed unlucky, that.

Brexit is Boris Johnson’s singular achievement. How well is it working?

Lucky bear.

A bear cub got high on hallucinogenic ‘mad honey’ — and there’s video

It’s totally aliens. Lucky Utahns. Utahians. Utes. People that live in Utah — dammit, you know what I’m trying to say.

The source of a resounding boom over Salt Lake City? Probably a meteor.

The fuck? You should’ve left the walrus alone. If she killed Norwegians, it would have been their own damn fault. Stupid Norwegians. Freya’s luck ran out.

We Didn’t Deserve Freya the Walrus

Stonks. Unlucky Republicans be like SHIT

China’s surprise rate cut, economic slowdown send oil prices plunging

Umm, sprots? No, this is horrible. We can’t even dignify it with the sprots label. I was going to tie it into luck through the gambling angle, but nah. Fuck these assholes.

Quote: On-track drug injections, shock devices and a dead jockey: A “bush track” in Georgia is one of dozens that profit outside the reach of regulation.

A horse track with no rules

Moving away from that. Save the turtles. They’re lucky the zoo stepped up.

How the Woodland Park Zoo helped bring the western pond turtle back from the brink of extinction in Washington

And we’re off on another Tuesday, my friends. Best of luck to you all. See you on the other side.



  1. I’m glad the turtles are thriving! I wouldn’t have thought they were endangered by the number and different sizes of the ones we see in a man-made pond and the lake nearby.

    • It depends on the species, but a lot are endangered:

      Quote: The United States is home to more species of tortoises and freshwater turtles than any other country in the world – 57 of the world’s 320 currently recognized species.

      Unfortunately, 58% of all freshwater turtle and tortoise species – including at least 40% of the U.S. species – are threatened with extinction.1 Collection for the pet trade is a major threat to tortoises and freshwater turtles worldwide.

      Me: “Collection for the pet trade” seems to be a euphemism for “selling overseas to people who want to eat them.” While you may get the impression from me that everybody has a turtle, I don’t know of any other person with a pet turtle.

      • A lot of species get settled into an isolated ecological niche and when people tear it up, that’s it. Many also didn’t face many predators and never evolved high fertility rates, so if big clutch laying invasive turtles move in, they get squeezed out.

  2. Fetterman was always going to be a good candidate, but Oz is such a fucking layup to run against. Forget that he’s out-of-touch, doesn’t live in PA, is a Turkish national, and is only a mildly successful grifter and scam artist (as opposed to the Mango Unchained ideal) … how can someone who’s had a career on TV be that bloody awful in front of a camera?!

    Oz will pull 45% of the vote because he has an “R” next to his name, but holy shit is he a disaster. (And not for nothing, so are the GA and AZ goopers, too, but that’s worth a separate comment later.)

      • He spent the entire primary season tip-toeing around it, but it seems like he had dual citizenship up until recently. Personally I don’t really care, but there have been questions raised about his legal clearance to hear classified briefings because of it. It’s just … very weird.

        And to glom on the comment below: Huckerism has always been an important part of right-wing politics. Oz is a grifter.

        • Huey “The Kingfish” Long was a Democrat. So was Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., who sired multiple generations of grifters and hucksters. Just ask Robert F. “vaccines cause autism and 100 other mental disorders” Kennedy, Jr. Marianne “Woo” Williamson, she of the indeterminate Anglo-American accent, briefly ran for President in 2020 as a Democrat. Grifting and hucksterism knows no political or ideological boundaries. And I say this as a NYC Democrat, suffering under a Democratic Mayor (former Republican) even more inept and infinitely more corrupt than our previous Mayor, Warren Wilhelm Jr., whose stage name is “Bill de Blasio.”

          • There’s a principle in internal audit called the 10-80-10 rule. Ten percent of people will never commit fraud under any circumstances, eighty percent will commit fraud if the conditions are right, and ten percent are always actively looking for opportunities to commit fraud. The rule says “commit fraud” but generally it refers to stealing. And you’re right, it acknowledges no ideological boundaries.

            HOWEVER, Republicans are demonstrably more gullible than Democrats, for several reasons:

            1. Less education. More college means fewer Republicans.

            2. Less cognitive ability.

            3. Old people are more gullible. Republicans skew older.

            So if you’re actively trying to find people to defraud, what group do you go to? You want the ones that have demonstrated less intelligence and critical thinking skills. So in a sense, Republican grifting is self-selecting. It’s the same principle that evangelicals have perfected over decades. You don’t launch a Baptist church in New York City. You go to Alabama. And to take this a step further, if you’re a huckster, you brand your “business” endeavor with Jesus and crosses, because the people who seek you out because you’re “godly” are more easily conned.

            There are more high-profile Republican grifters now because they are more successful, since their target audience is predisposed to believe their bullshit.

            • Tell that to the “faith leaders” who have set up storefront, unaffiliated but vaguely AME, churches on every block of my Manhattan neighborhood. The only thing that stops them from voting Republican is the brand identity. Otherwise, they seem to be very anti-abortion (every child born to an unwed 16-year-old is God’s gift) and don’t seem too concerned that their children are packing illegal firearms. Jesus forgives, and His love is infinite and everlasting. So much so that in my neighborhood it’s easier to score heroin and fentanyl than it is to buy a six-pack of beer.

              But I love it here just the same, we’ve been up here now for 14 years and now I’m this decrepit eccentric old cracker occasionally cane-walking his dog so they give me a wide berth. Plus Better Half is Black and game knows game and he’s quite formidable looking, so it’s like traveling with the Secret Service.

              When I was in college my biggest dream was to join the Foreign Service and I never did, formally, but as one of those dreaded gentrifiers I seem to have done the equivalent in Manhattan. George Orwell was a petty police officer in colonial Burma between the wars (WW1 and WW2) and to me his most moving and enduring work is Homage to Catalonia, and I too feel the same way, in my neighborhood but not of it, with a deep and abiding love of Catalonia/Catalunya. If I believed in reincarnation and someone asked me who I was in a previous life I wouldn’t say Cleopatra, that’s what female celebs say, that’s what Shirley MacLaine believes, I would say George Orwell. I can almost see the road to Wigan pier, and I’ve never been to Lancashire.

          • Yeah, except Democrats laughed Woo Williamson off the stage clutching her crystals. They didn’t make her president or VP or Senator, or Congresswoman, so on and so on, like Trump, or MTG, or Palin, or Quayle, or Spiro freakin’ Agnew, ad infinitum.

            The Dems aren’t immune — you can argue Obama speechified his way to the White House and your mileage may vary at how annoying you find that argument  — but nominating grifters or nuts is generally not their style. Nominating bland moderates who are Republicans in every way but having an “R” next to their name? NOW WE’RE TALKING.

            • Spiro Agnew! You mean the sewer rat Spiro Agnew who crawled out of the same Baltimore drainpipe as Thomas Alessandro, Jr, Nancy Pelosi’s Dad and the mob boss/Mayor of Baltimore in the postwar era? And whose brother (Nan’s, I mean) was subsequently elected Mayor of Baltimore, despite Baltimore then not being particularly white, let alone Italian? I think that’s the Spiro Agnew you mean.

    • I haven’t bothered to look it up because the guy gives me the creeps, but I’m puzzled why he won the primary in the first place. Or I guess more specifically, why Trump backed him.

      Dr. Phil has been plugged into the right wing brain for years, so if ran somewhere I’d get it — has Oz been a right wing networker for years too?

      • It’s more Republican cultism. The mouth-breathers somehow value “celebrity” over experience (Herschel Walker, JD Vance), except when the celebrity is a liberal, and then the celebrity is “out of touch with the real world.” I defy you to find a better example of “out of touch with reality” than Herschel Walker.

        As long as Oz has any “star power” to use to “own the libs,” MAGAs will ignore the fact that he’s a “furriner.” I mean, so was Melania, right? And they worship her.

        Another example of the cognitive dissonance that’s the defining characteristic of the Republican party.

        • Herschel Walker obviously has C. T. E., lots of NFLers do, it’s why Tom Brady still speaks like the 11-year-old California tween that he once was. My opinion only, I’m not a doctor and I don’t know much about concussions and head trauma. You know who is even more completely untethered from reality and is probably considering a run for public office as a Democrat is Montecito Palace-dwelling, private jet aficionado, and former “Deal Or No Deal” briefcase revealer Meghan Markle.

          • Oh, yeah, Herschel definitely has CTE. I can’t speak to Brady — his demeanor may simply be a function of the fact that he hasn’t had to use his brain for anything but football since he was 11. So he never learned “adult.” Or he may have CTE.

            But Herschel is simply bad product. The actual problem is people who will embrace that product. I went into detail on that upthread. Meghan is equally bad product. The question is, will anyone embrace Meghan?

      • Celebrity grifter, so of course Mango was gonna back him, and the party mostly fell in line. Even grading on a GOP curve, Oz was an extremely weak candidate to begin with, but his opponents were no more interesting or “better” candidates so why not take a shot at celebrity?

        Walker in GA is also a mild celebrity but more “Well they have a Black candidate so we need one too because they’ll just vote for the Black guy” (racism: always producing dumb results!)

        Vance is also a celebrity grifter, so that goes without saying. He also was able to grift plenty of liberals with his schtick before he went full chud; that makes him about as good a candidate as the GOP can produce.

        Masters in AZ is the funniest of the bunch, he’s precisely what the MAGA base wants but he’s so repellent that nobody else is interested in buying what he’s selling.

        Vance is going to win — Ohio is not a battleground state — but it’s not hard to see the GOP getting beat pretty badly on the other 3, and that would at least hold the Senate.

        • Did you know that Chuck Schumer, Harvard ’68, Harvard Law ’74, and Amy Schumer’s distant cousin, is up for re-election? I didn’t, because he’s running unopposed so there was or will be no Democratic primary. He’s running against some Republican nut named Joe Pinon, who is Black, and was a football employee/”scholar” at Colgate. See my comment about C. T. E. above. I would imagine that when all the votes are counted it will go pretty favorably for Chuck Schumer, in numbers that would have made Joe Stalin blush with embarrassment when he nominally ran in Soviet elections.

      • I have such little faith in places like Texas, but the one thing that will get voters who aren’t usually voters to the polls is shit like “Not having enough electricity to go around.”

        I’d still bet Abbott to win, but … it might be interesting down the stretch.

        • I’d bet on Abbott, too, but O’Rourke is only trailing by like six points in the polls. And polls have not proven to be particularly representative of late, despite the fact that all the polling companies desperately defend their accuracy (wonder why that is?).

          This article points out that Newsom won by almost double the polled margin in California, and suggests that political polling is structurally inaccurate. Mostly because they skew to people that are still willing to answer their phones. And that’s not the group Democrats are counting on. So it’s not exactly a sure thing by any means.

    • Mel definitely is a foreign asset. She was probably the one who packed the nuclear secrets boxes herself and shipped them down to Mar-a-Lago and had 60s-era microfiche copies couriered to Moscow under diplomatic cover.

      They’re a very canny and enterprising people, the Slavs. They’d be the first ones to tell you that themselves. I almost slept with one, a Bulgar whom I met in Vienna, that’s its own story and I think I’ve told that before, but I didn’t because I lived in Germany, West Germany, at the time, and didn’t want to be “compromised” and kicked out of the country and then shipped back to Reagan’s America, where I’d face God knows what consequences.

      My poor mother, RIP. If only she knew half of what I’ve gotten up to and into in my life. Even my living siblings (my oldest brother recently died) have only skimmed the surface of my life during my lost 18 months in corrupted and corrupting Europe. I will say, though, “Non, je ne regrette rien,” it was an awful lot of fun.

      • Absolutely Mel is a foreign asset. She’s been playing that orange clown and his whole family of buffoons for suckers. We are headed for a twist ending where she will disappear abruptly from a changing room at Olive & Bette’s in Manhattan only to reappear in Moscow accompanied by a tall dark Russian man with a scar on his left cheek.

        • One of my friends refers (or referred, I guess) to Mel as “Ernesta Blofeld.” I used to tell her that that moniker wasn’t really apt, Blofeld was a man and he liked cats, but she stuck to her guns and couldn’t be dissuaded.

    • Have you ever been to Alpine, NJ? That’s where Dr. (“Dr.”) Oz lives. It’s a beautiful setting right across the Hudson from New York, but unfortunately it is now chock-a-block with vulgar McMansions and I’m sure Mehmet’s was one of the worst.

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