U.S. Vice-President Biden smiles as he speaks with Croatian PM Milanovic in Zagreb

So far, we’ve cast the Trumps — father, sons, daughter/sex partner & wife/handler. They’re all below today’s casting thoughts — THE INSURRECTION CAUCUS!

I have a feeling we’re going to end up expanding this part of the story exponentially. What we saw, live on TV, was the tip of the iceberg that was planned; most of it failed to happen the way it was drawn up in the days preceding the insurrection. That’s the brick wall the Republican Party and Trump are rushing headlong into: the insurrection didn’t occur spontaneously (the way they all hoped it would seem). The insurrection was planned, paid for, coordinated and carried out as a joint effort whose participants included everyone from useful idiot MAGA foot soldiers swept up in the moment to Right Wing money donors to Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani to a slew of Republican members of Congress to Donald Trump himself.

Hell, the January 6 Insurrection might just warrant an entire season unto itself. But, let’s start with our principals, shall we? The casting office is right over here…



Always happy to demonstrate that she is, in fact, dumber than any box of rocks – even if that box is empty – Marjorie Taylor Greene called the historic, bi-partisan, infrastructure bill the House just passed “communism”. She called the NBA “fascist” for refusing to let unvaccinated Kyrie Irving play in a basketball game and for letting Magic Johnson play when he had HIV. She insisted people being forced to inoculate themselves against a deadly virus were “just like the Nazis force[ing] Jewish people to wear a gold star.” This woman is wrong about literally everything. I bet when she says “hello” — that’s wrong, too. Or a lie.

Here’s MJT –

And, to play this larger-than-life lump of certifiable loser? I suggest the mega-talented SARAH SNOOK (most recently Shiv Roy on HBO’s excellent “Succession”.) Sarah understands how to play a duplicitous, intelligent women who aspires to get a piece of her soul back one day. I bet she’ll figure out how to play this trailer trash Lady MacBeth.

Sarah Snook to play trailer trash Lady MacBeth Marjorie Taylor Greene?


Matt takes being “smarmy” to places smarmy never thought it could reach. He’s white, frat boy privilege on steroids. He’s a drunk and a skunk with a taste for underage girls. Under different circumstances, Matt would be seen as nothing more than a clown. Insurrection can turn even clowns deadly.

To play Matt? I’m thinking of The Big Bang Theory’s JIM PARSONS… Jim has a bunch of things going for him here. He can play Matt’s clownishness & the pathos of his humanity (even Matt has humanity — it’s what will make his bitter tears so bitter (and so enjoyable because they’re bitter). Jim Parsons also has the requisite amount of forehead.

Can Jim Parsons fill Matt Gaetz’s forehead? I say “yes!”


Jordan and Gaetz always feel like they can’t decide who’s the wing man and who’s the wing man’s wing man. Gymbo looks like he couldn’t get comfortable inside his own skin if his life depended on it. How ironic then that just hearing Jim’s voice makes everyone else’s skin crawl. Imagine you’re the Fly-By-Night Diploma Mill that gave Jim Jordan a JD. How proud they must be of having trained a legal mind as fine as Jim’s.

To play Gymbo, I like former Doctor Who/Duke of Edinburgh MATT SMITH. Like most British actors, Matt can slip into an accent like Jim’s as easily as slipping into Jim’s awful wardrobe. It takes a bright actor to play a stupid person and it will take every ounce of Matt’s considerable talent to plumb the depths of Jim Jordan’s considerable stupidity.

Matt Smith could definitely pin a characterization of Jim Jordan to the mat.


Kevin is like the greyest of grey men. Aside from being able to march in lock step with other Republicans, Kevin McCarthy has zero useful skill sets. Kevin still needs to answer for “There are two people I think Putin pays — Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!” which he said out loud (it was recorded) as he entered a roomful of GOP leaders on June 25, 2016, a month before the GOP nominated Trump to be POTUS. If Kevin even suspected that Trump was compromised by a hostile foreign power engaged in active cyber war against us, he had a responsibility to say something. Not only didn’t Kevin say anything about this secret, he agreed with then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to keep that secret a secret. “That’s how we know we’re family,” is how Ryan put it, feeling every bit the cosa nostra gangster he was alluding to.

To portray this soulless waste of carbon? I’d go for Mad Men’s JOHN SLATTERY. Slattery’s great at playing grey men who are hollow at their centers.

John Slattery would knock Jim Jordan out of the park — and doesn’t that sound well-deserved?


For a guy who supposedly doesn’t drink, Steve Bannon always looks like the world’s sloppiest drunk who just went on the bender to end all benders. The Department of Justice needs to get off its ass and stand by the January 6 Commission’s subpoenas. Bannon honestly thinks he and his democracy-hating religious zealots will get away with betraying America. We The People look forward to disabusing Steve of this mistaken idea. The more Steve cries about it, the more we’ll like it!

Bannon’s an interesting character. We could go John Goodman here, but I’d cheat the age a little and cast someone who’s always seem to capture a certain “living rough” dynamic. I’m all for NICK NOLTE. Nick’s a good actor but I ain’t buying him as a Wall Street type. Nick’s better at squirrely, old bastards who either had too much to drink or they’re off their meds and need to go back on them. Bannon’s a squirrely old traitor drunk on authoritarian Kool-Aid.



How do you play the most notoriously corrupt, bloated orange scumbag to ever befoul the planet? How do we even cast it? Carefully, of course… Some thoughts: BRENDAN GLEASON as Trump…

NOTES: Gleeson played Trump in “The Comey Rule” on Showtime.


NOTES: I’ve always liked Woody Harrelson’s “interior” range. It’s amazing and we’re going to need an actor with incredible emotional range to play a character with VIRTUALLY NONE.  It’s like getting an actor to sing off key.  The ones who can actually sing will automatically do it better.  They even know where off-key is.

NOTE ON ALEC BALDWIN: Alec Baldwin is a talented actor who is caught in a terrible circumstance . It breaks my heart (personally and as someone who’s produced movies and TV shows), what happened because it shouldn’t have. Baldwin’s Trump was always caricature over character (by design). That’s not to put him out of the running just… not now.



NOTES: There’s a kind of irony in an actress great at playing Black Widow to play the part of a woman who acts like an actual black widow spider.


NOTES: Some things just seem so natural…


MIKEY DAY as Donald Trump, Jr

NOTES: Presently, the actor who’s gotten closest to nailing Don Jr’s unctuousness is an actor satirizing him. That’s probably not a coincidence. Still — we need some competition here. I’ll put my mind to it if you will…


Alex Moffat as Eric Trump

NOTES: As with Mikey Day’s Junior, SNL’s version of Eric — and I love Alex Moffat’s Eric — stands for the moment as “the” Eric. Competition’s good for everyone — Trump’s included.



Awaiting Picture, so here’s the real Melania — in the one photo I can find of her smiling like she means it. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Melania’s smiling this way at Putin. Not cos Melania respects international relationships but because she worked the whole damned time as Donald’s handler on Vlad’s behalf. Hey, how do you say “I don’t care, do you?” in Russian?


MADS MIKKELSON as Vladimir Putin

NOTES: Mads played the Bond Villain Le Chiffre in Casino Royale. By all accounts, Vlad Putin is the Bond Villain America fully deserves.


KATE McKINNON as Rudy Giuliani

NOTES: Personally, I’m not sure a human can play the entirely humanoid Rudy but my mind’s open. Kate McKinnon can do anything. I bet she could do a fully deep dive into Rudy and actually pull off an amazing, lifelike (without being cartoonish) characterization. But still — for the moment, the part’s wide open.

Another thought:

To play crazy…

…HIRE crazy…


Republicans And Treason Kabuki

Sometimes, you just have to give Republicans their due props: when it comes to getting away with literal murder (I’m thinking of our democracy here), they are stone cold geniuses at getting We The People to see them as they want us to and not at all as they are. Actors do that because it’s their job. They pretend they’re someone else. They look like em, sound like em… I’d always heard that Robert De Niro thought “holitically” about acting — that he believed he had a character nailed down when he knew what the guy had in his right front pocket… But, of course, actors like De Niro aren’t really their characters. Unless they’re Daniel Day Lewis getting into and (insisting on) staying in character for the duration of the shoot

— or Dustin Hoffman on the set of “Marathon Man” where Laurence Olivier helpfully suggested that instead of staying up for three days to “look” exhausted, Dustin “try acting” it instead, when quittin’ time comes, the actor slips out of their character as they slip out of that character’s wardrobe.

Acting is acting is acting. And — though I’ve hired thousands of actors in my career and I really do love them — we’re hiring them to bullshit us. And the better they bullshit us, the better we like it and like them!

Republicans have taken this core tenet of acting — making believe on purpose that you’re something you’re not — to an obscene, okay, “CRIMINAL” extreme.

Like I said — I’ve hired thousands of actors. I even studied acting in College (I went to ONE audition after graduating and realized that wasn’t me). I studied all the different kinds of acting there have been throughout history. Hell, I even wrote a paper while at Vassar wherein I tried to pinpoint the very first time in Europe where an actor got paid to act (I suggested it could have been for a performance of the 15th century morality play “The Castle Of Perseverance”). As I look at Republicans performing in public, I see Kabuki. From Wikipedia (because I really couldn’t put it any better): “Kabuki theatre is known for its heavily-stylised performances, the often-glamorous costumes worn by performers, and for the elaborate kumadori make-up worn by some of its performers.” Hey, does that not sound like Republicans?

When Matt Gaetz or Jim Jones or Kevin McCarthy get up on their hind legs and bray at the press (or even at their own supporters), we are watching the picture definition of “stylized performances”. They absolutely dress for the part and what would Donald Trump be without being orange? Matt Gaetz walks in the door a convicted drunk driver and a man inches away from being indicted for statutory rape among other nastiness. Jim Jordan, while a wrestling coach at Ohio State University, looked the other way while a pal sexually molested the wrestlers under their care. Kevin McCarthy knew Donald Trump was compromised by Russia well before the Republican Party nominated Trump to be their standard-bearer n 2016 (“There’s two people I think Putin pays — Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!” is how he put it). There’s no way to be delicate (not that I’d try): these three men are all scumbags. But they pretend to be something OTHER than scumbags. That requires an awful lot of acting. Subtlety will not help much. They need to 1) put the idea that they’re honest into our heads however they can and 2) distract us from the truth when their guilty behavior convinces us it’s there.

And the truth? In this story? C’mon now, everyone, we know what this story’s about. Treason.

Voila the Republican Party’s reliance at all times upon “Treason Kabuki” to keep from getting held to account for their remarkable run of criminality.

Also worth noting — our news media ADORES Treason Kabuki so much that they’ve normalized it. What should be seen as, well, theater, our news media sees as genuine. Hmmmmmmmm… that can’t turn out well. Our truth-tellers (the media) don’t understand that regardless of whichever actor is now playing Batman, Spiderman or Superman, none of those actors actually is any of those super heroes. The capes and the costumes should give it away, no?

Of course, the one, true master of Treason Kabuki is Donald J. Trump.

I say let’s give the man his acting award and then stick him in the “acting venue” he most deserves to play in for the rest of his stinking life: the federal penal system.

For our next course on Republican acting styles, let’s visit “Republican Kabuki’s” evil twin: “Bullshit Kabuki”.

Can America Ever Forgive The Republican Party For What It’s Done?

I’m all for kissing and making up. But, kissing and making up for the sake of kissing and making up usually ends badly. The compromises made just to get along aren’t genuine or satisfying. They were entirely situation and now that the situation’s changed? Up until now, America — well, the Democrats — have been relentlessly pressured to forgive the Republicans their trespasses. That’s pressured by the news media — who, the “both sides do it” kool-aid pumping through them, only ever want progressives to kowtow before conservatives and never the other way around. Even now — with Republicans revealing themselves as outright SEDITIONISTS, no reporter has (to my knowledge) stuck a mic in a Republican’s face and demanded “But aren’t you afraid of what Democrats will think of you?”

For some reason, what Republicans think matters more than what anyone else thinks — even though what Republicans “think” is authoritarian, anti-Democratic and corrupt.

As usual, the news media is miles behind the story curve. Hell, most of our news media hasn’t figured out how to aggregate a story so that the story they’re reporting reflects the most up-to-date understanding of what WE KNOW NOW instead of what little THEY knew when they started reporting the story. Too much of our news media (looking at YOU, MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle!) asks “Yeah, but what if…?” questions (“Yeah, but what if there’s nothing wrong with authoritarianism?”) that give credence to bullshit. “Yeah, but what if…?” is the modern version of “When did you stop beating your wife?” The only way to answer is to ask the questioner what’s in THEIR head. Why are THEY so determined to run down a rabbit hole?

If our news media could just connect a few of the visible dots — impeached POTUS with a strange connection to Russia and myriad instances of secretive behavior with Vladimir Putin and Russia launching a massive cyber attack against us as Trump’s presidency draws to a close while Trump and the Republicans REFUSE to acknowledge that Trump lost in a landslide — maybe, just maybe, they’d stop asking themselves WHY the Republicans STILL refuse to abandon Trump and Trumpism. What, they wonder, is Trump’s Svengali-like hold on these people?

It ain’t cowardice. It’s kind of the opposite — a boldness. These people are behaving TREASONOUSLY. They’re behaving like criminals and co-conspirators determined to stop any and all investigations into what happened to get us here. What they’re doing — trying to deny We The People our voice and choice — is sedition. It’s a deliberate attempt to destroy not only the greatest experiment ever in human self-government but those of us who want to continue that experiment and improve upon it.

We stand at a literal crossroads. We will go one way or the other. There can be no compromise between democracy and authoritarianism. We chose democracy. So, the question is: what do we do about the authoritarians in our midst? Do we kiss and make up with them?

Ask a hard question. That one’s easy: NO! No, no, no, no, N O ! It simply is not possible. You can compromise with evil all you like. Evil will never compromise with YOU. Likewise, you cannot “forgive” evil. Evil never thinks it’s done anything that needs forgiveness. It thinks you’re an idiot for thinking that way. Having no integrity, evil will happily tell you whatever you want to hear — just so you’ll compromise with it. How “Mitch McConnell” does THAT sound?

Which of these corrupt, treasonous faces, I wonder, does our news media want Democrats to look into and say “I forgive you!”


Bill Barr’s?

Mike Pence’s?

Matt Gaetz’s?

Jim Jordan’s?

Devin Nunes’?

Ron Johnson’s?

Stephen Miller’s?

Donald Trump’s?

Okay — I’ll keep an open mind for two seconds. Is there ANY way I’d forgive ANY of these corrupt, racist, treasonous rat bastards? Maybe. But, first, they’d have to show significant contrition.

Not “kiss and make up” contrition, REAL contrition; real “come-to-Jesus”, “Do unto others” brand, mea culpa contrition where the “contritionist” literally throws themselves at our feet, begging for the mercy they KNOW they do not deserve. They have to be THINKING the song “Amazing Grace” because they ARE the “wretch” once lost, now found, once blind, now able to see.

But, alas, they won’t. That’s one of the most prominent features of these criminals: THEY’RE CRIMINALS. By choice. And, if you don’t know what happens when you give criminals a “pass” — because you’ve forgotten or forgiven what they’ve done — allow me to welcome you into the ranks of America’s journalists.

You’re now ready for your close up.

Are Republicans Hard Wired To Be Mediocre?

There’s a moment at the end of the movie “Amadeus” where the character Salieri — the court composer to the Hapsburg Empire — looks to the priest weeping in front of him. The priest had come to hear Salieri’s confession but got way more than that.

Salieri has just confessed to, more or less, murdering Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — a thing Salieri claims he did because God had implanted such incredible talent inside Mozart instead of him. Mozart’s remarkable abilities have made it clear to Salieri just how mediocre he is.

Salieri looks to the speechless priest, tears running down his cheeks. “I will speak for you, Father,” says Salieri, “I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint.”

Salieri is the institutionalist. The inside-the-box guy whose imagination ends where the box does. Mozart, on the other hand, lives outside the box — where genius can take flight and flourish.

Republicans are a lot like Salieri. They’re rich and privileged. They’re connected to power. They haven’t an original idea in their heads — because original ideas, they know, are dangerous. To them.

Look at the lineup of Congresspeople working either to investigate or defend Trump. On the Democratic side you have Adam Schiff and Kamala Harris and Katie Porter and Val Demmings and Stacy Abrams — outside-the-box problem solvers and thinkers.

On the Republican side? Matt Gaetz… Jim Jordan… Devin Nunes…

Is there a more mediocre person on the planet than sexual-assault enabler Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan? Piss ants laugh at Jim for being so useless.

It shouldn’t be a mystery why Republican excel at not excelling. At being mediocre. It’s a function of being conservative. Conservatives — as their name implies — want to conserve. Since you can’t conserve the future (it doesn’t exist), you focus on conserving the present because it contains the past — and the past, really, is every conservative’s goal: conservatives want to conserve the past. They want to regress the country back to how it was when everyone understood that white, male Christians were the alpha dogs of American politics.

Those mediocrities will tell you that those alpha dogs made America. Hog wash. Manifest Destiny was thievery. Slavery should have been criminalized, not institutionalized. America has been way better at preaching democracy than practicing it. How mediocre of us.

The one thing we can definitely say about Donald Trump is that, for everything he is, he ain’t mediocre. When it comes to being corrupt or treasonous or racist or misogynist or bigoted or greedy or ignorant or just plain awful, Donald Trump is exceptional.

When it comes to being a human being?

He ain’t even mediocre.

Why Did OUR Bond Villain Have To Be Such An IDIOT?

You would think that a Great Nation deserves a great villain. Or villains even. America has villains by the bucket. It’s the word “great” that I’m bumping on…

Donald Trump is a villain. Even most of supporters think of him as a villain who’s THEIR hero. I bet most of Trump’s kids — if you read their therapist’s notes — also think daddy’s the cause of everything wrong with their lives. But for all his absolute, top-to-bottom, pound-for-pound, America-destroying villainy, you can’t look at Trump’s work product and say — honestly — “Great stuff, Donald — you’re not just a good villain, you’re a great one!”

Donald Trump is a booby prize villain. He ain’t Ernst Stavro Blofeld (James Bond’s most reliably persistent antagonist), he’s Ernst Schmo-feld. He’s the real villain’s idiot cousin.

This week alone has been a highlight reel of stupid SO stupid it needs its own zip code. Greenland FFS?

Perhaps the reason we got the Worst Of All Possible Bond Villains is because he stands at the head of the boardroom table of the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight If Their Lives Depended On It — the Republican Party. It’s kinda transcendent when Republicans turn out to be the very women-hating, racist greedheads we always joked they were.

I don’t even have to quote certain Republican clowns. Their faces alone shout how flat out stupid they are…

Louie Gohmert – The Stupidest Carbon-Based Life Form In Congress
Republican Congressman – and sexual assault enabler – Jim Jordan
Republican Congressman – and drunk-driving expert – Matt Gaetz

I”m not making this up, am I? As Bond villains go, this crowd’s pathetic. Worse. But they’re all pikers compared to the man who leads them — the “man” who has a whole wing to himself at the Pantheon Of Bond Villain Mediocrity — Moscow Mitch McConnell.

Mitch is a burglar who steps in shit outside the house, tracks it all the way through — then all the way back home where you can find him — sitting in shit, counting the loot he stole. That’s how that Russian aluminum factory will play the more we understand what Mitch did and has done.

Mitch had to lift sanctions against Oleg Deripaska to get the $200 million to build the factory. Oleg Deripaska was sactioned because of the role HE played in STEALING ELECTION 2016 on Donald Trump’s behalf. Deripaska, remember, is an oligarch who’s very tight with Putin, has deep ties to Russian Military Intelligence, received proprietary polling data re PA/MI/WI from Paul Manafort and turned that data into weaponized Facebook ads that played on the computers of Democratic voters in — what a coincidence — PA/MI/WI. Oleg Deripaska is our enemy in every way, shape and form.

The impact on US though goes far, far beyond Mitch getting a factory that will employ 600 hard-to-employ Kentuckians. Russia now has a voice in Kentucky’s politics. They’ll EMPLOY people. They’ll pay their benefits including their health insurance. To hurt that factory in any way will be to hurt those Kentuckians. And Russia.

Another “not a” coincidence? Russia has already approached 8 other states with similar offers of similar factories. Mitch McConnell opened the door to even more Russian control of American LOCAL politics. To call Mitch McConnell a traitor would be an understatement.

But, again — this isn’t buried deep. It’s a cat turd in a sand box.

Mitch McConnell’s treachery is so out in the open the glare physically hurts. It’s that overtly stupid.

Ya know… now that I think of it — the fact that WE put up with clown car stupidity this screamingly over-the-top? Maybe we shouldn’t be laughing quite so hard…

How Must Robert Mueller Feel About Being A “R”epublican Today? “R”otten, I bet…

I’m old enough to remember when the Republican Party wasn’t a racist, homophobic, misogynistic cess pit of White Nationalist tribalism and Trumpian treason.

I can remember when that “R” GOP-ers stick next to their names used to stand for “Republican”. Now it could just as easily stand for “Russia”. Or “Rape” or “Racist”.

I can remember when Republicans brought receipts (“receipts” being an “R” Republicans no longer have a relationship with). Now they bring lies and bullshit by the bucket.

And they bring treason. How must lifelong Republican Robert Mueller felt today, staring across the table at the Republican faces staring back — while they (totally without credibility) tried to undermine his. On paper it’s obscene. In reality it was even worse. Imagine how it must have felt to Mueller to be attacked by the likes of Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida (he of a dozen or so DUI’s) or Ohio’s Representative Jim Jordan (he who enabled all that sexual assault to go on on the Ohio State University wrestling team). Imagine, if you will, having to take shit from Louie Gohmert — easily the stupidest man in all of Texas.

Imagine arriving at what you know is a pivotal moment in American history and YOUR party-members are clearly doing everything in their power to obstruct justice while aiding & abetting the hostile foreign power that is attacking us as we speak. Just so we’re clear — America IS absolutely under attack. We are deep into a cyber war — and getting our asses kicked in large part because we refuse to acknowledge that this is what’s happening.

The citizens of Pearl Harbor had no idea that war had been declared on them. They did, of course, when the Japanese arrived and began bombing, but just because the bombs hadn’t started dropping doesn’t mean they weren’t coming. It doesn’t mean a state of war didn’t exist — that only one side knew was on.

That’s a lot like our situation. We’ve been slow to wake up to the fact that we’ve been cyber attacked. Are still BEING cyber attacked. That cyber attack includes disinformation warfare. As we know from experience — it’s incredibly effective.

Robert Mueller sounded the alarm bells. It was one of the few times he stepped outside the framework of his report. But he was emphatic. Russia is attacking us right this very second.

As he stared across the table at his fellow Republicans, Robert Mueller knew damned well — he was staring at people who were betraying not just his party and its supposed ideals but the country. Robert Mueller had to know today that his Republican Party doesn’t exist anymore.