When I first saw Liz Truss speaking on TV, I had a sinking feeling. Of course I thought her politics were all wrong, but I also had the feeling the UK would chew her up and spit her out. She has achieved peak political mastication. It’s great to find that I haven’t lost my knack for spotting disasters in progress after all these years.
I think I’ve mentioned here before, that in five years during the 1980s, I successfully crashed six cabs in my professional capacity as a lease cab driver. Each crash vindicated my thought, “Oh no, not again.” After the car finally came to a stop up against whatever was in the way, I could think, “Yes, again.” It felt good to know I was right.
When conservatives toyed with backing Boris Johnson to be prime minister again, I got that same old feeling, only this time the thought was, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
One thing I’ve taken away from what’s happened to Liz Truss is it seems to have something to do with high interest rates around the world. Evidently, you can get away with big tax cuts provided you can borrow your way out of the ditch you end up in as a result of not having funding. I hear economies work if you give them a chance. You just have to tax them here and there to keep them out of trouble.
It’s Friday where I am, so Steve Bannon should be sentenced today for contempt of Congress. I can’t remember if anyone has ever been convicted and sentenced for contempt of Congress. Oh, it must have happened in the 1960s, back when I cared more about watching “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” than the nightly news. Someone was probably convicted for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee while I was running carefree around Beacon Avenue because I was 14 and I didn’t have to carry ID or pay rent or electric bills.
OK, update: The latest news is he’s sentenced to four months in jail and has to pay a $6,500 fine. And the judge says he can stay out of jail while he appeals. There’s been noise to the effect that it wouldn’t be fair for him to go to jail because his lawyers told him he wouldn’t be convicted. What a fantastic defense: “I shouldn’t have to go to jail ... because I hired bad lawyers.”
That’s what I should have said after one of those cab crashes.
“I shouldn’t get a ticket ... because I listened to my passengers when they said there’s nothing in the dark driveway I could hit.”
I shouldn’t get a ticket ... because I listened to people when they advised me I should learn to drive. That’s where I went wrong: It was the bad advice.
Meanwhile, like I said, it’s Friday, and weather forecasters are predicting a lot of the smoke that we’ve been dealing with will be gone by the end of the day, thanks to cleansing rain. Yesterday, Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, BC, had the worst air quality in the world. Seattle had an air quality index (AQI) that topped 256 in some places. I stayed home the whole day. It’s only 8 a.m. now, and the AQI has already dropped to a mere 158, so I guess the weather experts were right… this time.
In other news, a three-year study found that mosquitos preferred to bite one woman — subject Number 33 — four times more than their next favorite subject and 100 times more than their least favorite subject. They say it’s something to do with the way Number 33’s skin smells, and it seems to be permanent. They are referring to her as a “mosquito magnet.”
I’m at the “least favorite” end of the spectrum. I’m a natural mosquito repellent. Mosquitos shun me. I’ve come to think it’s because I quit eating sweets more than 45 years ago. My theory is mosquitos like sweet people. I remember times when I was younger — before I swore off ice cream, cake, fudge, candy, bananas and raisins — that mosquitos wouldn’t leave me alone. I was bit so many times in one afternoon, when I was eight years old, I looked as though I had the measles.
Number 33 should take my advice and quit sweets. Trust me: I’m right more often than Bannon’s lawyers.
Read more of the Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2022 issue.