You Know Something, Darling? You Don't Look Marvelous.

For some reason, I've been watching Billy Crystal-heavy episodes of Saturday Night Live on Peacock; today's headline "inspired" by a combination of (a) his (overused, one-joke) character, Fernando, and (b) Mr. Ramirez's latest cartoon:

[Man in the Mirror]

And, yes, that's inspired by the latest evidence that Trump should have been dumped by the GOP years ago, as captured in this tweet from Michael Shermer:

Power Line's John Hinderaker seems to have had more than enough; he says it's over: Trump Is Finished.

Trump is now operating at a Kanye West level of insanity. “Terminate” the Constitution’s rules and retrospectively declare him the winner of the 2020 presidential contest? Who, exactly, would do that? This is completely nuts. I am seriously beginning to wonder whether Trump is a paid operative of the Democratic Party. I don’t know how else to explain the profound damage he is inflicting on the conservative cause and the GOP.

Like Kanye West, Donald Trump needs psychological help. I hope he gets it. But in the meantime, he must have nothing further to do with the Republican Party.

Over the years, Hinderaker has bent over backward to be fair to Trump, eager to call out the excesses and untruths of his detractors. But he's had enough, noting that he's felt for years that Trump is "an anvil around the neck of the Republican Party."

National Review's editor-in-chief Rich Lowry has been a never-Trump guy for years, and today he wonders if Republicans (who haven't followed his advice so far) are Ready for Two to Six Years More of This.

Donald Trump’s suspend-the-Constitution post, which has to rank among the most lunatic and unworthy things he’s ever said, had Republicans squirming on Sunday shows. There’s a better way wide open to the party. All it has to do is have the basic instinct for self-preservation, and the requisite fortitude and self-respect, to say “No, thanks” to keeping itself in this abysmal position for the duration.

There are way too many folks on "my side" who see the single test of true Republicans is blind loyalty to this deranged reality-denying narcissist. Will this be the latest kick in the head they need to untie the Trump anvil from their necks?


Last Modified 2022-12-05 12:37 PM EST

Moonraker

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Number three in Ian Fleming's James Bond series, published in 1955. For its day, it was prescient: development of a rocket weapon meant to rain death upon one's enemies. OK, so perhaps not that prescient, given the history of the V-2 during World War II. But still…

As the book opens, Bond is between official missions, mostly reading boring reports. His boss, M, calls him in with an unusual request: a member of M's club, Sir Hugo Drax, is suspected of cheating at cards. But how he's doing that is a mystery. Given Bond's history of gambling, could he show up one night and figure out what's going on?

Sure he could, and sure he does, relieving Drax of a small fortune in the process. (Specifically, £15,000; this is ten times Bond's annual salary of £1,500. Given Bond's dangerous job, that doesn't seem like a lot, but whatever.) A defeated and disgraced Drax says, "I should spend the money quickly, Commander Bond." Oh oh.

And that takes us up to page 70 in my 245-page copy. If it seems to you that's a long way to go without that much sex or violence, you're right.

But it so happens that Drax is famous as the leader of England's effort to build "the Moonraker", that missile mentioned above. And, reminiscent of Operation Paperclip, a whole bunch of Germans have been recruited to assist. When a suspicious murder/suicide occurs, M sends Bond to see if there's any funny business happening in Drax's project. And, guess what, there is.

It takes a real long time for Bond to figure out even partially what's going on. Page 185: "Each dark conjecture came and for a moment settled like a vulture on Bond's shoulder and croaked into his ear that he had been a blind fool. Blind, blind, blind." Yup. Readers will note that's about 75% of the novel, long after they've worked that out and wondered when Bond was going to catch up to the obvious.

And at one point, Bond determines to sacrifice himself in an effort to save millions of lives. But—slight spoiler—instead settles on a different scheme: he lives, while only hundreds of people are killed as a result. Some villains, sure, but mostly innocents.