Chestnuts Roasting While The World's On Fire

Let's talk about the American chestnut. If you're like most Americans, there's a lot of chestnut in your cultural milieu: We have songs about chestnuts roasting on open fires, a Chestnut Street in every town, and stale jokes are called chestnuts. But like most Americans, you've probably also never seen or eaten one. That's not on you. Thanks to a catastrophic disease, they effectively went extinct in the 1940s.

This was a big deal. A single large tree made enough starchy nuts to feed a family of four for several months: about 10 bushels, or 570 pounds. Their timber was abundant, straight-grained, rot-resistant, and soft enough to work with hand tools: the ideal material for DIY shelter and furniture. In 1900, right before the blight hit, there were about four billion trees in their native range from southern New England to Mississippi.

Assuming an average of 3 bushels/tree, that's over 1,000 pounds of carbs each year for every American today. For context, our average annual intake of carbs via wheat, corn, potatoes, sugar, and other sweeteners is only 350 pounds per person. This helps explain why chestnuts are so prominent in our culture, even nearly a century after they disappeared. They were a staple.

Chestnuts' demise was felt across the eastern US, but nowhere more than Appalachia. Its impact there was apocalyptic. With the region's main source of DIY food and shelter, forage for free-range hogs, and a cash export gone (nuts were gathered and exported to cities as food; bark and leaves were sold to tanneries), Appalachia turned to desperation labor. It's hard to imagine coal mining becoming as prominent as it did, had chestnuts remained.The wildest thing about chestnuts, though, is how most of us have already forgotten them. In a way, this is understandable. A lot of apocalyptic things went down in the early 20th century. The blight arrived around 1906, and finished off the last of America's trees by 1940. In that same timespan we were busy having a pandemic, a Great Depression, and two world wars.
Keep reading... Show less

Katie Porter Reminds Steven Mnuchin He's Not A Lawyer, He's An A**hole

In a congressional hearing yesterday, Rep. Katie Porter (D-California) gave Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about seven kinds of hell for his recent attempt to block Joe Biden's incoming administration from one way it might be able to stimulate the economy once Biden takes office in January. We'll get to the beautiful video in a moment, but first a quick 'splainer on what Porter was giving Mnuchin hell about.

You see, a couple weeks back, just before Thanksgiving, Mnuchin announced he would end a program set up under the CARES Act that authorized the Federal Reserve to lend money that would help small businesses and bond markets. Mnuchin claimed the law required the Fed to return any unused portions of the authorized $454 billion to the Treasury's General Fund instead of continuing to make loans after the end of the year. Sending the money back to the general fund would mean Biden's Treasury secretary nominee, Janet Yellen, wouldn't be able to quickly ramp up the stimmy again in 2021. (There's a lot more on all that at the New York Times and the AP.)

Porter pointed out to Mnuchin that the CARES Act specifies the clawback date for unused funds isn't the end of this year, but January 1, 2026, and then he got all pissy (his default state).

The Hill's video titles ANNOY me

Keep reading... Show less

Found The Voter Fraud! It Was Some GOP Florida F*cker Named Bill The Whole Time!

If Republicans are whining about something, it is only and always projection, because they are doing the thing they are whining about The Libs doing. For example, if Donald Trump accuses somebody else of committing a crime, folks should investigate Trump for doing that specific crime, because he's extremely definitely doing it. The words of Republicans, and of Trump, are confessions. You just have to translate them correctly.

We have another particularly egregious example of such projection on the subject of voter fraud. As we endure the longest temper tantrum in world history, with Trump whining about imaginary frauders stealing the election from him and giving it to Joe Biden, a pretty serious case of voter fraud has been revealed, and SURPRISE! it's a Republican trying to help steal the Georgia Senate runoffs, for Republicans.

Nicole Carr, a reporter for WSB-TV 2 in Atlanta, reports that a Florida Man named Bill Price was caught on tape explaining to Republicans in Bay County (that gross Fl-eorgia county where Panama City is) exactly how to pretend to move to Georgia so they could vote for Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. No, he is not leading a campaign to help Floridians escape that hellmouth and move to Georgia legitimately. He wants them, again, to pretend.

The video was streamed on Facebook Live, and it has now been deleted, but Carr still got it:

He's doin' it! He's movin' to Georgia! And now he is under investigation.

Keep reading... Show less

We Found The Kraken, This Entire Blog Post Is The Kraken

Gather 'round, class, for it is time to talk about martial law, the people who want Donald Trump to declare it, and the Kraken, which is a real thing, because it is this blog post, this blog post is the Kraken.

There's no good place to dive into this pool of molten brain smegma and treason, so ... here goes!

There is this stupid shitbag idiot named Thomas McInerney. He's a retired three-star Air Force lieutenant general, one of those types like Michael Flynn who we guess had an honorable career at some point, but then turned into a shitbag idiot sometime thereafter. So obviously McInerney was a longtime Fox News contributor, for 16 years.

Back in 2018, McInerney told the Fox Business network that torture is awesome, because it "worked" on John McCain, whom he called "Songbird John." That's what got him finally fired from Fox. He once said war with North Korea would be fine, because most of the people who died would be North Korean. He really really really really really hates Muslims. As recently as 2013, he still, like a dumb shitbag, was going on Fox saying that Iraq DID TOO have WMDs.

He is maaaaaaaaybe literally senile? We are not sure.

Are you ready for the conspiracy theory he appears to have made up about the 2020 election, which is now spreading like unchecked coronavirus among the chickenfuckers who make up the MAGA QAnon internet?

Strap in, kids, because FROM HENCE KRAKEN COMETH.

Keep reading... Show less
Nice Time

Welcome To The Monkey House, Mark Kelly!

No fact-finding missions to the Moon, OK?

After winning the special election to serve the remaining two years of John McCain's term, Mark Kelly was sworn in as a US senator yesterday, making this the first time since 1953 that Arizona has been represented by two Democratic senators. The state's senior senator, Kyrsten Sinema, who was elected in 2018, held the Bible while Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office. We aren't always the biggest fans of Sinema's centrist politics, but there was something very beautiful about the ceremony:

Because Kelly was elected in a special election, he was sworn in as soon as Arizona certified its vote, and won't have to wait to be sworn in with other new members of the Senate in January. In one more indignity for Martha McSally, who was appointed to fill McCain's seat by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, we're pretty sure this is the first time both senators from any state defeated the same opponent in consecutive elections. If you know otherwise, let us know before we make fools of ourselves at bar trivia. (Haha like it's safe to go to bars!)

Keep reading... Show less

EAT THE KRAKEN! Trump Idiots Turning On Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, Declaring Them Hot Garbage


This morning we talked about how the wingers are starting to eat Bill Barr for lunch with extra mayonnaise, and Donald Trump might even FIRE him, because Barr very Deep Statedly stated that the election was fine and he certainly hadn't seen any fraud that would change the election results, which are that Joe Biden beat the motherfucking shit out of Trump and will be inaugurated the 46th president on Jan. 20. Yes, the same Bill Barr you are thinking of. Deep State.

In short, we've reached the "let's just watch them eat each other" phase of this.

This afternoon, we shall talk about how some Republicans have decided to EAT THE KRAKEN, because, well, nutbag country lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood RELEASED THE KRAKEN but unfortunately it turned out the Kraken was a few hundred tentacles shy of a full squid. Hell, Powell tries to use imaginary things that happened in Michigan as evidence for Wisconsin lawsuits and probably couldn't even be trusted spell her own name right on a legal filing. (Read up on her latest legal fiLOLing here!) The Trump campaign theoretically defenestrated Powell from its team of lawyers last week, but Trump is still clearly listening to that idiot, so ...

Oh yes, and then there is Lin Wood, who may literally be bonkershits, who with Powell behind him amused Georgia idiots yesterday by leading them in chants to lock up GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, and by telling them not to vote for GOP Senate candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, and just not to vote in general. "Why would you go back and vote in another rigged election, for God's sake? Fix it!" he said, "You gotta fix it!"

Well, enough of that! This KRAKEN is obviously going rotten, so time to EAT THE KRAKEN before it spoils any further.

Newt Gingrich served Sidney Powell and Lin Wood divorce papers in the hospital with this tweet:

Keep reading... Show less

Mitch McConnell Says No To Mitch McConnell's Stimulus Plan Because Dems Agreed To Mitch McConnell's...

Stimmy's fallen down the well! Get help!

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to set horrifying new records — Wednesday saw 2,777 deaths, 205,000 new cases of COVID-19, and more than 100,000 people hospitalized, new highs in all three categories — and the worsening conditions result in new shutdowns to control the virus, Republicans have mostly continued to shrug at the human and economic devastation and plan indoor holiday parties so more people can become infected. This week, however, moderate members of both parties put forward a proposal for a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus plan that might stand a better chance of passing than previous bills, because for once, there's at least limited Republican participation.

Unfortunately, it's likely to be extremely limited Republican participation, since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected it Tuesday. Even so, there may be enough bipartisan support to pass it as a stopgap, if enough Republicans can be brought on board.

Keep reading... Show less

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)