Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Trying to kick the impeachment football

While many Democrats celebrate the jaw-droppingly damaging revelations spewing from Rudy Giuliani’s associate, Lev Parnas, detailing what Trump knew, and when he knew it, I’m unimpressed.

Ditto the excitement about hearing from conservative curmudgeon and one-time Trump foot soldier John Bolton who is apparently just itchin’ to testify at the president’s impeachment trial.

Let’s put that champagne back on ice, shall we? First of all, Lev Parnas? If ever there was a sleazeball, it’s this guy. I’m just sayin’ if he was a character in “The Sopranos,” he’d be no stranger to the Pine Barrens.

Watching Parnas’s soft-spoken and world-weary performance with interviewer Rachel Maddow was fascinating. He came across as almost wry, at peace and eager to finally do the right thing.

And as delightful as it was to hear so much tea spilled against the likes of the repugnant Devin Nunes (Liar-California), I recall every Southern granny’s advice in matters of gossip: “Consider the source.”

When you pin your hopes on a louse like Lev, you’re fixin’ to get your heart broken.

Lev Parnas has all the authenticity of the odious Michael Avenatti, (former lawyer of Stormy Daniels) who has been charged with a bevy of crimes ranging from embezzling to domestic violence. These charges led this walking sack of ego to decide not to seek the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination. Thanks be to God.

And what of all this unbridled glee among my people when it comes to hearing from Bolton?

While my liberal heart stirs at the fantasy of Bolton’s boots kicking open the double doors to testify against Trump, I dunno. This is very much Lucy and the football stuff.

Bolton has spent his whole career carrying water for the far right wingnuts of his party. Do we honestly think he’s going to dump on Trump now?

But perhaps the most naïve thing I’ve heard yet is the notion that it’s possible a few Republican senators will join Democrats and vote to allow witnesses to be called at the impeachment trial.

Are all y’all high?

It’s a lovely fantasy, I’ll admit, but that’s a relic from bygone days when politicians occasionally put their own futures at risk by voting for something just because it was the right thing to do. No more. Mitch McConnell says witnesses aren’t needed at a trial. It’s like how brakes aren’t needed on a car, duh.

In particular, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska –both representing fringy, snowy, states that don’t get that much attention, routinely do coy little dances with the press intimating they might just vote with the Dems… Perhaps you remember the less than dynamic duo from the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.

These women only surface when they see a chance to dominate the news cycle by pretending to upset the apple cart. They are hick-teasers, obsessed with kickstarting their increasingly anemic candidacies.

Don’t fall for any of this. Let’s just win at the ballot box–if the Russians let us.

Celia Rivenbark of Wilmington, N.C., is a New York Times-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Yes, the Hollywood elite are crazy, but they’re also…well…right

Am I the only one who thinks it would’ve been hilarious if someone at the recent Golden Globes had frowned in disgust and hissed at the waiter: “I had the STEAK!” when the vegan meal was presented with a flourish? Turnabout’s fair play and all that.

I always feel a little guilty when seated beside the woke banquet guest with a little “V” card at her plate to signal the wait staff she has the non-meat entrée. Sometimes, as an icebreaker, I’ll ask if she’s Vulcan.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of my best friends are vegan. OK, no they’re not. But they could be because it’s a noble concept which I hope to embrace someday. No, I don’t. Let’s face it: I’m just not that nice. Vegetarianism? Maybe. Vegan? I’d rather be forced to watch “Cats” on auto repeat with my eyes propped open with wires like that poor bastard in “A Clockwork Orange.”

The vegan meal was the talk of the night. Well, that and Jennifer Lopez’s freakishly oversized gold bow-enhanced gown—“Who’s it by? Thank you for asking, Ryan. It’s a new designer. She’s called Errybody’s nutty ol’ great aunt on Christmas morning…”

Much has been said about the hypocrisy of all the Hollywood elite chowing down on those vegan scallops (really mushrooms) just moments after arriving at the venue via enormous ozone killing limos.

To which I say: Oh, just shut up. It’s a big night. Did you really want Gwyneth Paltrow to explain to her Uber driver she wasn’t technically nude? I thought not.

Still, the Hollywood Foreign Press’s ham-handed (ha!) attempt at demonstrating concern for the planet by serving a meal in which no animals were harmed had the opposite result. That’s what happens these days. If you try to do the right thing, no matter how minor, you get lampooned and worse. In the South, this is known as “licking the red off someone’s candy.”

Was Scallopgate a bit overwrought and on the nose? Sure. It’s easy to skewer Hollywood hypocrisy on the reg but, if we’re being serious for a moment (which, y’all know I just hate), was it really such an awful idea to call attention to considering switching to a less meat-centric diet because it’s better for our dying planet? Nah. Nah, it wasn’t.

It’s the same way it’s fun for some to pounce on 16-year-old Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg, making fun of how she won’t fly and instead crosses the ocean in an emission-free racing yacht. Yes, isn’t integrity HILARIOUS?! Isn’t she just the weirdest little thing with all that earnestness and caring? What a loser.

The new decade is a nice time to stop persecuting teenagers for giving a damn about the stuff (climate, gun control) that we “grownups” have avoided like a vending machine burrito up to now.

That said, I do hope we can do this with at least a little humor because, well, we need it. The Vulcans told me so.

Celia Rivenbark of Wilmington, N.C., is a New York Times-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: How we wish the impeachment trial would work

THE JURY POOL, COUNTY COURTHOUSE, USA—

Bailiff: Mr. McConnell, you and Mr. Graham are up next. Please just step through the doors to the courtroom and prepare for your voir dire.

Mr. Graham: Voir who? What kinda commie talk is that? Look, I was raised an American in South by God Carolina. I’m not speaking French or whatever devil language you just said.

Mr. McConnell: Ha! The lil feller is just kidding. He’s an attorney by trade. We are prepared to answer the judge’s questions as to our impartiality.

Bailiff (not amused): Take your seats. The judge will begin with you, Mr. McConnell.

Judge: We’re here to uncover any biases, conflicts or other reasons to dismiss any potential jurors. Does anyone have any questions before I begin?

Mitch McConnell: Just one, your Honor. I believe I read somewhere that I can be excused from jury duty because it would pose financial hardship…

Judge: That is true. But, in your case, because you have a verifiable net worth of $17 million, I believe the financial hardship excuse would not apply.

McConnell: Hmmm. I see. Well, what about age? I’m too old. Or mental and emotional instability? I read somewhere that’s a sure-fire way to avoid serving on a jury. Anyone who has paid close attention can see that I’m plainly schizophrenic. Like how when Bill Clinton was impeached, I was all “hey, let’s call as many witnesses as it takes” and now, with President Trump being impeached, I’m all “We’re not letting any witnesses testify because that could go really bad for us.” See? I mean that’s crazy, right?

Judge: Yes, your record of hypocrisy is unsurpassed but we are hoping when you swear an oath to be impartial, you will tell the truth.

Graham (snickering): Good one, your Honor!

McConnell: Look, I just don’t have any respect for the notion of being impartial. Is that the defendant over there? He looks guilty to me. He’s got the cold, dead eyes of a serial killer, pallid skin, weak chin….

Judge: Let the record show, Mr. McConnell is pointing at his own reflection in the courthouse mirror.

McConnell: I can’t serve. I’m a full-time student.

Judge: No, you aren’t.

McConnell: Sole caretaker for my aging parents?

Judge: Please stop embarrassing yourself and making a mockery of the judicial system!

McConnell: But, your Honor, it’s what I do best! I subvert the Democratic process at every turn. (preening) Surely, you’ve seen my body of work?

Judge: Bailiff, please dispatch Mr. McConnell to jail to rethink his answers.

McConnell: Don’t make me laugh. Maybe you missed the part where I’m a rich white man? Wait! What are you doing? Are those shackles?! (DISTANT CRYING…)

Judge: What about you, Mr. Graham? Can you promise to be an impartial juror?

Graham: Not a chance in H-E- double toothpicks, your Honor. I have formed my opinion ahead of any evidence. We good?

Judge: No, we are not good. Bailiff!

Graham: Wait! I’m a nursing mother?

Judge: Pathetic.

Celia Rivenbark is a New York Times-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: LGBT equality and the Hallmark Channel

This week on The Hallmark Channel…A lesbian couple’s wedding enrages backward town folk who find their audacious display of affection threatening in a flat-earth kinda way. Meanwhile, as snow falls gently upon the happily ignorant hamlet of Bigotsville, USA, a multinational corporation beloved for churning out an astonishing number of middlin’ TV movies celebrating love must ask itself: Is love really love, like Dolly Parton always says?

Or, the corporation wonders, is love something we can monetize (especially in December!) and pretend is limited to heterosexual couples?  And, more specifically, couples who fall in love with monarchs from obscure countries while nannying? Or, better still, couples who fall in love after SHE returns to her small hometown as a big shot only to discover she no longer loves the hedge fund hottie back in the big city. No, no. Now she loves HIM, the sexy, moody guy from high school who never left their hometown and makes furniture in a small, sustainable, vaguely hipster way.

The Hallmark Channel, as most of y’all know, had a “come to Jesus” moment last week in front of the whole world.

And not just a little one, more of an oversized card requiring extra postage, dammit, kind of CTJ moment.

To catch you up, Hallmark ran an ad for a wedding planning site, Zola, that depicted a lesbian couple joyfully celebrating their vows.

Cue misplaced outrage from something called One Million Moms, which only proves somebody’s prolly really bad at math. OMM went out of its tiny little mind seeing a lesbian wedding that looked, well, like any other wedding. I mean, gowns and flowers? You kidding me? What’s this? Satan didn’t perform the wedding at the gates of hell with only a few gargoyles and hissing asps as witnesses?

When OMM whined to Hallmark, the company caved quickly and pulled the ad, muttering something about not wanting to “generate controversy.”

But, like a plot twist in a Hallmark Christmas movie you could see coming from a wholesome country mile away, the decision to kill the ad didn’t go over well with anyone whose frontal lobe has fully developed. Hallmark reversed its decision and restored the lesbian couple commercial. Or tried to. Zola says it doesn’t want to buy ads on the channel now at all. I hope Zola doesn’t pout about this. I’m telling ya why. Because we’re not going to make progress if errybody just packs up their lesbian TV commercials and goes home. Be the grownup in the room, Zola.

I haven’t seen this kind of moral dilemma since watching The Hallmark Channel’s “Northpole: Open for Christmas,” in which an ambitious businesswoman (insert hissing asps) who lacks holiday spirit inherits her dotty old aunt’s cherished country inn and has to decide whether to sell it or trust the handsome local handyman that the inn will help her discover the magic of Christmas.

Sillier than any Hallmark movie is the realization we’re still  talking about this as we welcome a new decade, right?

Celia Rivenbark is a New York Times-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Trump’s tortured toilet talk

To those of you who wonder (often using your outdoor voice, by the way) why I write so often about President Trump, let me give you a hint: He recently said Americans have to flush the toilet “10 to 15 times” because modern, low-flush toilets don’t work. This problem, which exists only inside Trump’s tortured noggin is what keeps the leader of the free world up at night. Toilets. That don’t work. Except they do. Really well.

For those of you who missed it, let me explain. Trump went on one of his patented weird out-of-body ramblings the other day in which he said, “We’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers…people are flushing toilets 10, 15 times, as opposed to once…you can’t wash your hands so little water comes out…you have many states where they have so much water, it comes down—it’s called rain.”

Yes, friends, that’s the President of the United States on water, rain and how dirty his hands are. But let’s not talk about Ukraine right now. Those of us who pay close attention to Trump’s tirades are used to his proclamations of something being “very strongly” looked into and usually we just snicker and move on but this? This created not a snicker but a full-on face-plant into some pretty decent penne with vodka sauce. Which is to say, do not listen to Trump while eating because it’s a choking hazard.

I feel that very strongly.

Trump, in remarks to a Small Business Roundtable at the White House last week added this gem regarding showers: “You turn the faucet on…and you don’t get any water…water comes dripping out, very quietly, dripping out.”

Do what?

Sorry. What I meant to say was DO WHAAAAAT?????

Look, I get it. Water pressure is awesome. I stayed at an Air BnB recently where the shower pressure could best be described as “old man spitting onto sidewalk every 30 seconds.” But generally, this is pretty rare.

What on earth is he trying to flush because please understand: If Trump gets all emo about a bigly problem, it’s something that personally affects him on the daily. Only things that cause Trump even a hint of personal woe are all that matter to him.

If it causes you pain in your daily life, well, that’s not going to make the cut in Trumpland. Say you have your food stamps slashed to the point you have to feed the kids mustard sandwiches for dinner, well, that’s a “you” problem. Which means it doesn’t really matter to him. Besides, he needs that money to pay for his dumb wall that doesn’t work.

One wag suggested Trump is probably upset at how many flushes it takes to get the entire Constitution down the drain. Indeed.

In light of his weird water theories, how can I NOT write about this president? In the immortal words of that great mafia kingpin, Michael Corleone, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

Celia Rivenbark is a New York Times-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.