Monday, February 29, 2016

Spy exclusive: The truth about the Donald's taxes

[Editors' Note: Many have speculated about what's in Donald Trump's tax returns.  Only the Spy went right to the source – Trump's own tax accountant, Vinnie Boom Batz.  Mr. Boom Batz provided the following letter which he said should resolve any and all concerns about Trump's tax returns.]  

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Shill Shamelessly sez: Sox a lock for Series

[Editors' Note: One of the Spy's best-tolerated [Surely, best-loved? – Ed.] features over the years has been the candid reports of its veteran sports columnist, Shill Shamelessly, the Owner's Friend.  Since the days of Mike Higgins, ol' Shill has given Spy readers his unvarnished version of whatever the owner of the team has wanted him to say.  This year, it's no different.]

By Shill Shamelessly
Legendary Sports Columnist

FT. MYERS, Fla. – Greetings, Red Sox Nation!  Again this year, ol' Shill has made the trek to beautiful Southwest Florida to give you the low-down on the Olde Towne Team and for the 63rd consecutive year, the Shillster can confidently report: this is the year!

Before I give you my expert analysis on why the Red Sox are sure to sweep the Series in 2016, let me thank Mr. John Henry and the wonderful Red Sox organization for continuing to take such good care of the hard-working (and thirsty!) baseball press corps.  That all-day buffet of corned-beef sandwiches and frosty-cold But Lights sure makes life easier for yours truly, especially because certain organizations which shall not be named have cut ol' Shill's meal money down to $3.99 a day, or just enough for the all-you-can-stand buffet at the Golden Palmetto Bug Diner, out on Route 43 just past Pellagra Junction.

Yep, I owe a lot to Mr. Henry, despite the unaccountable decision of certain members of his training staff to not let ol' Shill “hitch a ride” in the equipment truck.  Hey, who knew those edamame nuts were reserved for Koji Uehara?  It's not like they had his name on it, or if they did who could read those hen scratches anyway?

Fortunately, I didn't get to be the dean of Boston baseball writers [He is? – Sports Ed.] by lacking resourcefulness.  So here's a tip of the ol' Sox baseball cap to Lucky Accident Bus Lines of Pawtucket for providing yours truly with a ride to Spring Training on six of their luxurious coaches in exchange for a modest “promotional consideration.”  Offering convenient connections via Bridgeport, Conn., Camden, N.J., Aberdeen, Md., Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Palatka, Florida, it's the only way to travel to Florida, at least for $24.99.

Now that I'm ensconced at the Crouching Python Trailer Park a mere 32 miles from Pail o' Muck Park in Ft. Meyers, let's play ball!  First, here's a shout-out to Mr. Henry and the entire Red Sox Organization for digging deep and acquiring David Price as No. 1 starter and Craig Kimbrel as closer.  It's like I always say: it takes money to make money!  [How come he said last year that Henry was smart not to pay up for washed-up pitchers like Jon Lester? – Sports Ed.]

Pablo Sandoval has never looked fitter
With these wise decisions, the Red Sox pitching staff looks to be set, even if certain whiny washed-up relievers still complain incomprehensibly about some snack foods that they never got.  Cowboy up, Koji!  Do you think your fellow countrymen on Iwo Jima bitched about their edamame?

Of course, the other big issue, and I do mean big, is the controversy about Pablo Sandoval reporting for Spring Training with a slight paunch.  Take it from one of the shrewdest baseball men who ever picked up a phone: Sox executive Dave Dombrowski.  According to Dave, the Panda never looked better.  Sure, he may be 17% body fat but it's in all the right places!

With Ortiz, Ramirez, and Castillo joining Sandoval in the lineup, you'll need to bring your own fat fryer to Fenway this summer because there will be taters for everyone!

And speaking of exclusives, who should ol' Shill run into at the Winnebago dealer next to the Crouching Python Trailer Park, but Sox skipper John Farrell?  Farrell told the Shillmeister exclusively that he wasn't worried about keeping his job and that the RV he was buying was for a friend.  There you have it!

In conclusion, the 2016 Red Sox, rebuilt by Messrs. Henry and Dombrowski, look to be an unstoppable juggernaut sure to bring joy to Fenway and misery to the South Bronx.  And stay away from the edamame nuts – they give you the wind something awful.  Have I ever steered you wrong?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Jeb Bush, happy at last

By Magnolia Tangere
Senior Rich and Famous Correspondent

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Looking out over his staff of ill-paid undocumented aliens clipping his hedges in the Florida sun, former Presidential candidate Jeb “Jeb” Bush sips his Tropicana 50 and exclaims, “It's really just as good as regular orange juice and only half the calories.”

Bush's life, once an endless sprint through greasy New Hampshire diners and forlorn Iowa grange halls, has resumed its leisurely stroll amidst the gardens of pelf that are the Bush birthright.

“I've never seen Jeb seem so content.  He really wasn't at home glad-handing on the campaign trail,” said one close friend who has known the stoop-shouldered aristocrat since their days at Andover, the exclusive Massachusetts prep school.

“Now he can resume the life he always wanted: trading on his family name and connections to earn easy money,” his friend said.

Jeb Bush, happy at home
Indeed, Bush's new life seems to suit him.  He calls out gaily to one of his gardeners, “Hey, Manuel, I don't call that raking up the clippings, do you?”  After receiving a response in Spanish, which Bush is fluent in, the ex-candidate responds, “Oh, sorry, Juan!”

As Bush once noted after one particularly grisly campaign debacle, there are plenty of things he could be doing other than lowering himself by asking unwashed Republicans for the votes he rightly deserved.  Each day, Bush receives a string of hedge fund finaglers, real estate developers, third-rate investment bankers, and busto energy speculators, all hoping to trade on the Bush name to add respectability to their tottering enterprises.

He has already accepted a lucrative managing directorship in Pave the Everglades, a project, co-sponsored by the Koch Brothers and Shelton Adelson, to turn thousands of acres of useless unspoiled swamp into a combination natural gas field and gambling complex.  The only thing standing in the away of this project, according to Jeb, is the current usurper in the White House.

“We have to get over this ridiculous fixation with Washington overregulation that is strangling our economic growth,” Bush said, noting that the project would provide thousands with minimum-wage jobs as blackjack dealers and well drillers.  He said he would be off to Washington the following week to put together what he called a “bipartisan legislative solution” to the roadblock posed by the National Park Act.

As the sprinklers click on, Bush checks his watch and says with a twinkle, “Well, your 15 minutes are up.”

Just then, Jeb's lovely wife Columba strolls out into the garden.  Asked what her reaction was to her husband's new life, she replies charmingly, “I don't have to talk to you people no more.”

Thursday, February 18, 2016

GOP reassures black voters on blocking Scalia replacement

By Albert Fall
Spy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Republicans are today reacting with fury and outrage to charges by black Americans that their stated intention to block any Supreme Court nominee put forward by President Barack Obama is based on racism.

“There is absolutely no reason for anyone to believe that we would block Obama's nominees as a sign of our disrespect for a black President,” huffed an obviously outraged Senate Majority Leader Yertle D. Turtle [Surely, Mitch McConnell? – Ed.]

“I want to reassure all Americans that we would block the nominee of any Democratic President in his or her last year in office, whether or not that President was a Kenyan-born Muslim,” he said.

Taking time away from an energetic morning of scaring babies on the campaign trail in South Carolina, Sen. Ted Cruz (R – Oily) agreed with the Senate Majority Leader. “The important thing is to make sure that the Supreme Court serves as a rubber stamp for the Republican agenda of empowering the rich and powerful.  That President Obama is an illegitimate usurper is besides the point.”

The television arm of the Republican Party, Schlox News, worked themselves up to a Force 8 gale of faux outrage over the allegations.  “How dare these people attack patriotic Americans with racist charges,” thundered second-string ex-bombshell Laura Ingraham, whose not-at-all racist book on the Obamas portrayed Michele Obama as a barbecue-eating slob.

Ingraham maintained that the GOP demand that Obama leave the Supreme Court seat open for the next white President to fill was simply an instance of the well-known “Thurmond Rule,” which holds that any white Southern Senator can impregnate a black teen-aged maid of his choosing.  [Surely, that the Senate need not confirm judges in the eighth year of a Presidential term? – Ed.]

“The next thing you know, these racial agitators will be claiming that the lead poisoning of the children of Flint was somehow a racist plot, rather than simply Republican contempt for and indifference to the plight of the poor,” she said.

She said it was time for “those people” to stop whining: “I mean, it's not like we're going to send the Cleveland Police out to shoot whomever Obama nominates.”

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Good and Dead: reactionary hatchet man in a black robe

The obituary page of The Massachusetts Spy

By Scott V. Sandiford
Legal Correspondent

According to that noted jurisprude Donald Trump, Justice Antonin Scalia was a judge to be held in the highest regard.  It's not hard to see why Trumpo thought so well of Nino: they were both rude, unprincipled, and out of control.

Scalia, who died yesterday at 79, was likewise lionized by the other five remaining passengers in the Republican clown car.  No one deserved it more, for no one did more to bring about the GOP's current stranglehold on the American political process.

Some have claimed that an ideologue cannot be
a good and honest judge. They are correct.

It was Scalia who pressed for years to equate spending money to buy politicians and elections with speech, as if the effort to keep the Koches and other plutocrats from doling out hundreds of millions in support of Republicans willing to do their bidding was no different from tying a gag around their throats.  After all, in Scalia's America, the rich and poor had an equal opportunity to spend millions to influence elections.  This is known in Republican legal theology as the “marketplace of ideas.”

What should earn Scalia his place next to Roger Taney on the Supreme Court of Hell though is not just that Scalia did the bidding of the reactionary right his whole life.  It was that he did so under the cover of “principle,” although the principles he stated were nowhere near the votes he cast.

Supposedly an ardent defender of “originalism” and a strict reading of binding text, he cobbled together a rationalization of overturning decades of precedent to reach the conclusion that private use and possession of guns was protected by the Second Amendment, the only provision of the Constitution that in fact includes an express statement of the intent of its Framers (that “militia” thing).

He simply read that clause out of the provision.  However, doing so under his supposed principles of Constitutional construction would leave the Court with no ability to limit the rights of yahoos and sociopaths to bear any kind of “arms,” which then as now is defined as all sorts of weapons used by a military force.  The prospect of equipping the Republican faithful with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, tanks, and nuclear artillery was sufficiently daunting to Scalia and his majority so that they crafted a vague ad hoc right of government to regulate arms, presumably to the satisfaction of the National Rife Association.  The principle behind this was nowhere evident.

Nor was Heller an isolated stepchild on the waters of his jurisprudence.  Years earlier he concocted out of whole cloth a supposed immunity of states from liability for violating statutory rights of their citizens, notwithstanding the apparent decision by the Framers, who knew full well what sovereign immunity was, to leave such a clause out of the document to which Scalia professed such fealty.

He always sulked when called on Bush v. Gore, perhaps because it remains the cuckoo that comes out of the clock, giving the lie to any effort to regard Scalia as a principled jurist.  The decision was nothing more than a naked two-step effort to undo an election and install a fellow Republican as President.  First, Scalia and four other Republicans invented a new equal protection right (to the detriment of the sovereign state of Florida) good for that election only.  Second, they implemented it so as to make it impossible for a fair recount to take place.

Scalia told critics of that decision to “get over it.”  As soon as the thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died in the absurd war instigated by petitioner in the above-captioned cause rise from their graves for a weekend of duck hunting and a night at the opera, we sure will.

We'll leave Scalia's contempt for gay rights and the U.S. and international prohibition on torture to others.  You catch the drift.

In private life Scalia was supposedly an agreeable fellow.  The same is said of Donald Trump.  Who are we to suggest otherwise?  The only point to note is that neither were or are fit to hold a position of power in the Government of these United States.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Checking in with the Dershowitz Center for the Overexposed

[The Spy has no more loyal sponsor than the world-renowned Alan Dershowitz Center for the Overexposed, located in lovely and obscure Fargo, North Dakota.  For decades, the Dershowitz Center has helped thousands, including its eponymous founder, to recover from the ravages of overexposure.  Its graduates proudly occupy positions of obscurity in all career fields, and with your help, its great work will go on.  Every so often, in exchange for plugs like this, the Dershowitz Center provides an update on those it helps, and others who need its help really bad.]

Checking in:

Ben Carson
Mike Huckabee
Sarah Palin and Her Aristocrats
Julian Fellowes
Ryan Secrest
Kobe Bryant

Checking out:

Juan Pablo the Bachelor
Derek Jeter
David Letterman
Katie Couric
Simpson & Bowles

Rooms reserved:

Megyn Kelly
Rahm Emanuel
Kanye West's cloaca