Apologies for my absence and things going to hell for a couple of days. SP was studying for her Iowa tests (they tell us that she is eligible for her school’s GATE program because she’s a bright child) and I’ve been occupied with a visitor from Europe, who has been alternately fascinated and appalled by our attitudes about government and politics. This isn’t an excuse, just an explanation. NO MORE THIRD RATE LINKS. Mine are second rate, thank you very much. SP set far too high of a standard for formatting, and I won’t pretend otherwise, but at least I’m not fobbing off links that are late or “hey, one link is enough for those people.”

Today is one of those days where there are too many amazing birthdays to list. But let me hit my favorites: the brilliant-but-personally-flawed libertarian philosopher Albert Jay Nock; Ray Brown, the greatest musician to ever play in the lower register; Margaret Thatcher, whose work in monolayer films lives on (I think she might have done one or two other things, but the Langmuir-Blodgett stuff was superb); Marie Osmond, whom my father directed me to teach oral sex; Jerry Rice, without question the greatest wide receiver in the history of football; and one more person to be discussed at the end.

The spirit of Preston Brooks lives on.

“Governor Wolf, let me tell you what, between now and Nov. 6, you’d better put a catcher’s mask on your face because I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes,” Wolf said in the video.

As American politics descends into complete chaos and has turned into professional wrestling, I am smiling and making the popcorn. Maybe one day, if we’re lucky, more people will get the attitude that these aren’t leaders, they’re the hired help.

And speaking of chaos, the gentleman’s agreement known as “blue slips” is also coming apart.

“I repeatedly told the White House I wanted to reach an agreement on a package of 9th Circuit nominees, but last night the White House moved forward without consulting me, picking controversial candidates from its initial list and another individual with no judicial experience who had not previously been suggested,” [Dianne Feinstein, D-Leisure Village] said in a statement.

Similar outrage from California’s other senator:

“Instead of working with our office to identify consensus nominees for the 9th Circuit, the White House continues to try to pack the courts with partisan judges who will blindly support the president’s agenda, instead of acting as an independent check on this administration,” [Kamala Harris, D-Under Willie Brown] spokeswoman Lily Adams told The Sacramento Bee.

I like my popcorn with a spray of olive oil and some sea salt.

I hope you’re sitting down. This is going to be shocking. Are you ready? ….. Hillary Clinton has given up her security clearance.

According to the letter released by [Chuck Grassley, R- Ethanol Pork], the State Department said that Clinton’s clearance was revoked on Aug. 30. Five of Clinton’s aides, who she had asked be designated as researchers, had their security clearances revoked on Sept. 20.

During Clinton’s run for president, lawmakers and investigators looked into her and her staff’s security clearance as part of the investigation into her use of a private email server.

I’m still astonished that she’s not in jail. I would have been if I did shit like that back in the days when I had a clearance. More astonishing, though, is that it took this long for such a de minimus action. It almost makes you think that government is really Team Red and Team Blue play-acting while they laugh their asses off at the dumb tax cattle citizens.

Department of It’s About Fucking Time:

“Hey, guess what?” [Bill Cassidy, R-Corrupt Swampland] immediately replied after removing his earphones and turning to two young children sitting in a hallway inside the Hart Senate Office Building, near the Capitol. “I know your parents are using you as tools. In the future, if somebody makes an allegation against you, and there’s no proof for it, you’ll be OK.”

Delightful statement, but of course untrue as long as we have our current carceral state.

Did I mention Hillary Clinton? I did? Oh, that must mean I’m not a Team Blue candidate.

With under four weeks until Election Day, Hillary Clinton’s footprint on the 2018 scene has been remarkably light, with her involvement focused on fundraising behind closed doors rather than being seen by voters. She is slated to headline a pair of fundraisers in New York for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday, alongside House Minority Leader [Nancy Pelosi, D-Alcoholics Anonymous]. Additionally, Hillary Clinton is set to headline a fundraiser for [Bob Menendez, D-Dominican Fuck Farms], Monday evening.

Who has the over/under of February for the Death Pool?

OK, I need to have at least one non-political story.

Cops charge that Callijas-Gasperin battered his 41-year-old mother after asking her to make him some food around 8 PM Monday. The victim agreed to prepare a meal, but asked her son “to give her a few minutes due to being busy.”

“The defendant stated that he got mad, so he threw the remaining sausages at her.” Callijas-Gasperin contended that he had done nothing wrong, adding that he would not have tossed the sausages if his mother would have “said sorry.”

If you need an excuse for Florida Man AND Winston jokes, here it is.

And for the last birthday, it’s Old Guy Music Time, featuring the pianist who truly created modern jazz piano. Without Art Tatum, there would have been no Oscar Peterson or Horace Silver or McCoy Tyner or Chick Corea or… well, you get the idea.