Presty the DJ for April 21

The number one British single today in 1958:

The number one single today in 1962:

The number one album today in 1973 was Alice Cooper’s “Billion Dollar Babies”:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for April 21”

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Sailor Art, Da Crusher and the Giant

In the seven-year history of this blog (and three years of its predecessor blog) one of the subjects I believe I’ve never written about was professional wrestling.

To get one thing clear first: No, pro wrestling is not a sport. The fact that Sports Illustrated covers pro wrestling, at least online, demonstrates the downhill spiral of SI. As Steve Allen, whose early career included pro wrestling announcing, said in an A&E special on pro wrestling, yes, pro wrestling is fake. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8GcFLyUzFI

Facebook’s If You Grew Up in Madison, Wisconsin, You Remember page mentions live pro wrestling at Breese Stevens Field, presented by promoter Jimmy Demetral and apparently hosted by John Schermerhorn, who both covered sports and hosted the “Dairyland Jubilee” show on WKOW-TV in Madison.

It turns out my hometown was also the hometown of one of the noted wrestiers of the 1960s, Sailor (or Seaman) Art Thomas:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-1VgzVpC7A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iJXD-MPWiM

(Those from the ’80s might remember Lou Albano in the first Cyndi Lauper video, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ccdF7VrLKU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ6xcKWsqbg

I’m told WKOW carried pro wrestling, but I don’t remember watching it. The first pro wrestling I remember watching was on an Iowa TV station my grandparents got in Southwest Wisconsin. Whoever lost this particular match bled enough “blood” that it looked as though a case of ketchup had exploded. (Imagine cleaning that afterward.)

Once we got cable TV, we were able to watch, first, “All Star Wrestling” on WVTV-TV (channel 18) in Milwaukee. And our favorite wrestler was South Milwaukee’s own The Crusher:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VN02ZwqiPU

The Crusher started as a heel …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evuiz7TH7Yg

… before he became a hero:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYaxc_Y2S2w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQGKmNtjbUc

The Crusher and his tag team partner, The Bruiser (former Green Bay Packer William Afflis), were even in a movie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypwTUW9sY7k

It turns out some of The (Da?) Crusher’s contemporaries are still on the scene, though Reggie Lisowski died in 2005:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTlYJUSMEM8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX6BU8OGY50

WVTV was then taken off the cable system, replaced by WTCG-TV in Atlanta, which became WTBS, which became TBS. That replaced one hour of All Star Wrestling with two hours of Georgia/World Championship Wrestling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVXLe1jatU4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xKT3V2K0Pc

You wonder why pro wrestling has been popular for decades? Check out this from around 1980 (and remember where the U.S. was vs. the Soviet Union in those days):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u42tFhDXYYQ

Meanwhile, MSG, which carried New York Rangers hockey games, also carried the World Wrestling Federation.

And that brings up what Kyle Smith writes about:

When he first started wrestling in America, the French combatant who had been calling himself “le Géant Ferré” in Montreal needed a new handle. A midwestern promoter explained that running ads for the Giant Fairy wouldn’t fly. Why not, he asked, wrestle under your own name instead?

So was born the legend of André the Giant.

Growing up in a small town in France, the young André Roussimoff told family members, “I don’t want to live on a farm my whole life. I want to do something different.” His life turned out to be as unusual as his body, which, due to an unchecked hormonal surge (his parents and siblings were of normal size), grew up past seven feet and out to nearly 500 pounds. Not an actor, not quite an athlete, he was what the wrestling entrepreneur Vince McMahon calls him in the new HBO documentary André the Giant: “an attraction.”

Roussimoff became the cynosure of McMahon’s pro-wrestling circuit in the 1970s and early 1980s. Other wrestlers on the payroll created their characters with masks or robes or trash talk or eccentric behavior. (George “the Animal” Steele, for instance, made a habit of dining on the padding in the corners of the wrestling ring.) But André’s character was his body. All he had to do was show up. Even routine interactions became strange in his presence. One dining companion interviewed in the documentary recalls that once when he tried to pick up the check at dinner, the Giant, not having it, instead picked him up like a doll and set him on top of an armoire. The speaker relating this anecdote is Arnold Schwarzenegger.

More than any movie star, André couldn’t escape the world’s eyes, couldn’t hide under sunglasses and a hat. He was an oddity too big to ignore, and even people who didn’t know about his career play-acting violence inside the wrestling ring approached him as you would a fantastic creature. Friends, too, dehumanized him. One writer in the documentary compares his hands to a lowland gorilla’s. Fellow wrestler Terry Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, said he moved like a Clydesdale horse. He once played Bigfoot on a 1976 episode of The Six Million Dollar Man.

Yet director Jason Hehir finds the humanity in this superficially bestial figure. It’s pleasing to think of such a powerful man as being a gallant one, and his admirers say he was. Within the fake brutality of pro wrestling, says Hogan, André maintained civility by using real brutality. “This is not a business of tough guys,” says Hogan. “If you’re in this business, it’s to entertain. For those guys who thought they were tough guys in this business, André would straighten ’em out real quick.” Example: André despised the wrestler known as “Macho Man” Randy Savage. A clip from the documentary shows a match in which the Macho Man found his face absorbing abuse from the Giant’s gargantuan bottom. “He’s sitting right on his head!” cries an announcer. Buttocks, face, buttocks, face. That’s showbiz, kids! Maybe the true fantasy element André stirred in us was not our wish that a man-Alp could be as tender as the one he portrayed in The Princess Bride, but the longing to humiliate our annoying coworkers as proficiently as he did. Cook fish in the office microwave and an André-style response seems condign.

André had his faults, of course. His drinking was as renowned as his performing: A writer who profiled him said that on any given night, he would put away several mixed drinks, four bottles of wine, and 20 to 25 beers. That’s nothing, says another intimate, who claims he once saw André consume 106 beers. Of equal note is the Roussimoffian flatulence, which is likened sonically to incoming bad weather and would carry on for 30 seconds at a go. Once it nearly crashed a plane, or so legend has it, the aircraft’s pilots being temporarily stunned by the chemical-weapons-grade emission. Flying was excruciating for the wrestler as well: He couldn’t fit into any plane’s bathroom. Someone would have to curtain him off and bring him a bucket in which to relieve himself.

The drinking looked different to a co-star of The Princess Bride, on the set of which an ailing André needed help to catch Robin Wright’s sylphlike Buttercup. Co-star Cary Elwes tells us André drank to relieve the pain. Pro wrestling takes a serious toll on the human body, especially for someone André’s size. He suffered severe back and joint distress linked to his disorder, called acromegaly, and by the time of his valedictory bout with Hogan in 1987, his chief wrestling move was the “standing perfectly still” gambit. Hogan had to come up and allow himself to be bear-hugged for a prolonged period to provide the thrills. Roussimoff was then 40, and had been warned he wouldn’t survive into a fifth decade. The prophecy was off, but only by six years.

HBO’s documentary is riddled with gaps — the portrait of McMahon’s wrestling circus, in particular, seems unduly forgiving — because it is determined to frame André’s life as a piece of entertainment. We learn, for instance, that André left behind a daughter, but nothing about her mother or any other woman with whom he had relationships. Instead, it’s the fellas who tell us what a hit he was with the ladies. “He wore a size 24 ring, what else can I tell you?” says one of the guys. The movie is much more interested in this sort of japery than it is in showing who André really was, but then again, he was a difficult person to know. “He was not the most articulate man in the world,” observes an announcer who knew him. His ballads were in his body slams.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_jTeuajas0

Andre’s acting career included Bigfoot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVYGHHc0Es4&t=14s

Just in case, don’t go to work Monday

London’s Express reports, if that’s what you want to call it:

Scores of conspiracists led by self-titled Christian numerologist David Meade are certain the world will end as we know it on April 23.

The Nibiru theory, also known as the Planet X or Wormwood conspiracy, is a hoax doomsday claim which flares up online every few months.

Purveyors of the theory believe a rogue planetary system from beyond the fringes of our solar system is barrelling towards Earth.

The supposed arrival of Nibiru is meant to herald the imminent apocalypse and seal humanity’s doomed fate.

But the  has been circulated online hundreds of times before, and so far none of the predicted end of the world dates have come true. So why is April 23 a definite date?According to Mr Meade the apocalypse was meant to begin on October 15 last year, marking the start of a series of cataclysmic events.

Fast forward several months and a planetary alignment on the night of April 23 will allegedly fulfil a prophecy from the Biblical book of Revelation 12:1-2.

The Bible passage in question reads: “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.

Presty the DJ for April 20

The number one single today in 1957:

Today in 1959, Goldband Records released a single that had been recorded two years earlier by an 11-year-old girl named Dolly Parton.

“Puppy Love” didn’t chart for Parton, but it did for other acts, including Paul Anka and Donny Osmond. And Parton had a pretty good career anyway.

The number one single today in 1974:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for April 20”

Scott Walker and the (insert current number here) Dwarfs

As of this moment, the list from the state Elections Commission of Democrats running for their party’s nomination for governor:

  • Michelle Doolan of Cross Plains. (She reportedly dropped out, though she’s still officially listed as a candidate.)
  • Andrew Lust of Madison. (Don’t know who he is, but maybe he could use Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” as his theme song.)
  • Andy Gronik of Fox Point. (Who, despite running for office for the first time, has mastered the art of answering the question he wants to question instead of the question he’s been asked.)
  • Jefferson Carpenter of Madison.
  • State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D–Alma).
  • Dave Heasler of Fort Atkinson.
  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers.
  • Former state Rep. Brett Hulsey of Middleton.
  • State Rep. Dana Wachs (D–Eau Claire).
  • Jared William Landry of La Farge.
  • Robert Harlow of Madison.
  • Ramona Rose Whiteaker of Stoughton.
  • Jeffrey Rumbaugh of Madison.
  • Mike “Blue Jean Nation” McCabe of Madison.
  • Former state Democratic Party chairman Matt Flynn of Milwaukee.
  • Milwaukee firefighters’ union head Mahlon Mitchell, who lives in Fitchburg.
  • State Rep. Kelda Helen Roys (D–Madison).
  • Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.

One would think 17 candidates for one party’s nomination for governor would be enough. But you’d be wrong.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

He has more than $600,000 in his campaign account. The competition is weak and frayed. And the job is one he has long coveted.

Yep, Mayor Tom Barrett is thinking about running for governor.

For a fourth time.

Sources confirmed this week that the fourth-term mayor has been sounding out his team of advisers about entering the Democratic primary for governor later this year. If he runs, he would need to submit his nomination papers by June 1.

“It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Tom’s thinking about it,” said one longtime Barrett confidant. “And people are talking to Tom.”

But not everyone on the left is thrilled with the possibility of another matchup between Barrett and Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Walker beat the Milwaukee Democrat in 2010 and 2012. Barrett also lost in the Democratic primary in 2002 to then-Attorney General Jim Doyle.

I’m not surprised “not everyone on the left is thrilled” with Barrett’s running. The Harold Stassen of Wisconsin gubernatorial politics is not only 0 for 3 running for governor, his biggest accomplishment as mayor (beyond getting reelected) is …

… his walking-speed downtown trolley, which has sucked up millions of dollars that could have been used instead to, say, fix lead pipes, or hire more police to deal with Milwaukee’s worst-in-the-state crime, violent crime and homicide rates.

Barrett is also the mayor of the city with one of the worst school systems in the nation. Mayors in Wisconsin don’t control schools, but Barrett could have sought mayoral control of Milwaukee Public Schools, and the Legislature would have given him that authority yesterday.

If he runs, Barrett will not be candidate number 18. That honor, if that’s what you want to call it, belongs to …

Dem Gubernatorial candidate Mike Crute, Crute for Wisconsin, has released his campaign launch video today, “We’re All Badgers”.  Crute describes his Wisconsin story, and explains why politics has become so personal for him.  Crute offers a bold new choice for Wisconsinites – good governance.  

Crute is a successful entrepreneur, voted Shepard Express-Milwaukee’s Best Local Entrepreneur 2017 for his launch of Resistance Radio, WRRD 1510 AM Waukesha/Milwaukee.  

Crute has also successfully owned/operated CCL Management in Middleton for a decade. 

Crute has personally invested and collateralized $1,000,000, inclusive of SBA financing, in providing a platform for independent political talk radio.

Crute also contracts the right to simulcast all programming on WTTN 1580 AM Columbus/Madison, with combined signals covering 2/3 of the Democratic voters in Wisconsin.

Crute is an honorably discharged veteran of the Army National Guard, having joined the military eight days after Iraq invaded Kuwait.  Crute served as a Medical Specialist/91 – a “combat medic”, earning his civilian EMT certification.  No overseas tours.

Crute has been co-host of The Devil’s Advocates, a Wisconsin-centric, dynamic political talk show known for its humor and bi-partisan guest list.  Friends of the show span the political spectrum from Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin to Republican Senator Ron Johnson. …

“As a businessman on Main Street, we don’t ask if our customers and clients are Democratic or Republican, we do business as neighbors.  It is time to end the dividing and conquering of Wisconsin. 

We’re All Badgers, let’s start acting like it,” Crute says.

That news release strikes one as more an advertisement for his radio station than for actually standing for something. I would be interested in knowing what his definition is of “good governance”  is (let’s see — sharply increasing taxes and regulation, collective bargaining and strike rights for government employees, and imprisonment of all conservatives — that sounds about right for him), but the question is whether or not he will get more votes than his radio station’s frequency number. (1510.)

Maybe Crute deserves 1 percent more respect than the 17 other candidates since he’s in business. On the other hand, he’s in the liberal media business (as someone on Facebook put it, because he must have enough money to waste it), so never mind that. That would also assume that Mary Burke should have gotten more respect four years ago. She got the respect she deserved — none.

 

Happy (?) Tax Freedom Day

The Tax Foundation bullet-points:

  • This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 19, 109 days into 2018.
  • Tax Freedom Day will be three days earlier than it was in 2017, in large part due to the recent federal tax law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which significantly lowered federal individual and corporate income taxes.
  • In 2018, Americans will pay $3.4 trillion in federal taxes and $1.8 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of $5.2 trillion, or 30 percent of the nation’s income.
  • Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2018 than they will on food, clothing, and housing combined.
  • If you include annual federal borrowing, which represents future taxes owed, Tax Freedom Day would occur 17 days later, on May 6th.

Tax Freedom Day is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for the year. Tax Freedom Day takes all federal, state, and local taxes and divides them by the nation’s income. In 2018, Americans will pay $3.39 trillion in federal taxes and $1.80 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total tax bill of $5.19 trillion, or 30 percent of national income. This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 19th, 109 days into 2018.

What Taxes Do We Pay?

This year, Americans again will work the longest to pay federal, state, and local individual income taxes (44 days). Payroll taxes will take 26 days to pay, followed by sales and excise taxes (15 days), corporate income taxes (seven days), and property taxes (11 days). The remaining six days are spent paying estate and inheritance taxes, customs duties, and other taxes.

Speaking of state taxes, here is a remarkable statistic:

Wisconsin’s Tax Freedom Day and the nation’s are both today. That means that, wonder of wonders, Wisconsin’s tax burden, which is 34th lowest (or, more pertinently, 17th highest) in the U.S., is average compared with other states. I’m not sure that has ever been the case before now.

This blog follows Tax Freedom Day every year — April 12, 2010, April 16, 2011, April 21, 2012, April 20, 2013, April 22, 2014, April 25, 2015, April 27, 2016, and April 27, 2017. The first seven years were under Democratic presidents, and Democrats raise taxes as often as the sun rises in the east.

The Tax Foundation adds:

In the denominator, we count every dollar that is officially part of net national income according to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the numerator, we count every payment to the government that is officially considered a tax. Taxes at all levels of government – federal, state, and local – are included in the calculation. In calculating Tax Freedom Day for each state, we look at taxes borne by residents of that state, whether paid to the federal government, their own state or local governments, or governments of other states. Where possible, we allocate tax burdens to each taxpayer’s state of residence. Leap days are excluded, to allow comparison across years, and any fraction of a day is rounded up to the next calendar day.

For 2018, the methodology for calculating each state’s Tax Freedom Day has been updated significantly. As a result, the date of Tax Freedom Day for each state in 2018 is not strictly comparable to the date of Tax Freedom Day for states in previous years. In addition, calculations of the date of Tax Freedom Day for states in 2018 may not take full account of the secondary effects of the recently passed federal tax bill on state and local tax collections.

It would be nice if the Tax Foundation would go back and compute past Tax Freedom Days under this new formula so we could in fact compare. However measured, this is too late, of course. It would be nice if Tax Freedom Day was Jan. 1, because government at every level either wastes or abuses your tax dollars 100 percent of the time. (And sometimes both.) I have lived in several different places in this state, with Democratic and Republican governors and legislatures, and I have never once felt as though my tax dollars are being spent wisely. (Paying high taxes so that people paid by my salary get better benefits than I do for less than I pay is both a waste and abuse of my tax money.)

A reasonable goal for Tax Freedom Day, however, in these flawed times would be March 31. (Not because of the anniversary of this blog.) There have been polls for decades that have asked people how much of their income they should pay in taxes. The consistent answer has been 25 percent. Notice that we haven’t been at 25 percent — a Tax Freedom Day of March 31 — since the mid-1950s.

Stay classy, Democrats

Christian Schneider:

In May of 2010, long-standing Wisconsin Congressman David Obey announced his retirement from the House of Representatives. Obey had first been elected in 1969, nearly a year before then up-and-coming Republican Congressman Paul Ryan was born. And even though Obey frequently criticized Ryan’s policies, Ryan issued a statement praising the stalwart Democrat for his service.

“David and I have had our policy disagreements over the years,” said Ryan, “but he has always had my respect.” Ryan noted that Obey had “served Wisconsin and served this country honorably,” and wished him the best.

It was not a courtesy always extended to Ryan when the now-Speaker of the House announced on Wednesday that he would not be seeking re-election. Shortly after the announcement, Democratic Madison-area Congressman Mark Pocan took to Twitter to post a single enthusiastic smiley face emoji, before posting an op-ed that accused Ryan of overseeing the Republican Party’s “moral demise.”

On Instagram, Democratic State Rep. Chris Taylor of Madison posted a snarky video of herself gleefully waving goodbye to a cardboard cutout of Ryan. On Twitter, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett — a former congressman himself — used Ryan’s retirement to take a swipe at  Republican Gov. Scott Walker. “If Paul Ryan is stepping down because he can’t defend his policy decisions to voters,” Barrett said, “perhaps Scott Walker should consider that too.” (Of course, Barrett tried to keep Walker from the governor’s office twice, and lost both times.)

And these were just the responsible people. In The New York Times, a Paul Krugman column accused Ryan of being complicit in supporting “fascism” by working with President Donald Trump. The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin offered “Three ways that Paul Ryan could recover his soul.” Randy Bryce, a Democratic candidate for Ryan’s former seat who goes by the moniker “Iron Stache,” ludicrously suggested it was the robustness of his facial hair that drove Ryan from the race.

This is a surprising level of grave-dancing from a party that just a year ago lost a presidential race to one of the most absurd candidates to ever run for the nation’s highest office. (And yes, the same could be said of the GOP, but they are not setting off fireworks over Ryan’s retirement.)

What is clearly evident is that even the basic mores of political decency are melting away, leaving us engaged in ideological war all the time. There’s no doubt that Donald Trump has a great deal to do with this change: “Magnanimity” is not a word synonymous with a man who took to Twitter just this Friday to once again label the woman he beat 16 months ago “Crooked Hillary.”

And it is Trump who has tarnished Ryan’s legacy as a man of dignity and principle, who suffered unspeakable abuse while never responding in kind.

Yet people forget that Trump happened in spite of Ryan, not because of him. And yes, while many conservatives took issue with Ryan’s eventual endorsement of Trump during the campaign, what exactly was Ryan supposed to do once Trump assumed office? Refuse to work with the president in passing legislation because of whatever fleeting offense Trump may have given that week? Should Ryan just have shut Congress down until the president decided to behave, or should he have continued trying to do the work demanded of him by his constituents and the voters that elected his members to Congress?

If anything, the undignified reaction on the left to Ryan’s retirement should provide a silver lining for Republicans, who look to be in for a difficult slate of November elections. As the union protests of 2011 demonstrated in Wisconsin, there is no anodyne issue to which progressives won’t ludicrously overreact. Just as their overreach seven years ago drove more Republicans into elected office in the state, so too can their histrionics in 2018. “Overplaying your hand” appears to be both the first and last chapter in the Democratic playbook.

Just three weeks ago, Ryan held a ceremony on the House floor to commemorate U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) becoming the longest-serving woman in the history of the House of Representatives. Following his gracious speech, Ryan briefly hugged Kaptur and his long-time nemesis, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. It was a moment of dignity between political rivals that is becoming all too rare.

Evidently, we live in an era where some elected officials can’t be respectful even for a moment. Unless we can all grow up a little, America needs a more representative symbol than the bald eagle. Given the current quality of our members of Congress, perhaps a sad-face emoji will do.

What’s the biggest thing in Republicans’ favor? Democrats.

 

Full of sound and fury signifying little

Michael Graham of CBSNews.com watched ABC-TV so you didn’t have to:

It’s the morning after the “Comey Interview” and, believe it or not, Donald Trump is still president.

If you watched the buildup to the release of the former FBI director’s new book and his prime-time ABC interview, this fact might come as a bit of a shock. Based on the press hype—and partisan hopes—surrounding the publication of James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, you’d expect this insider’s expose of Trump’s shocking scandals to be, if not the end of his presidency, the beginning of the end.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of Trump’s political death continue to be exaggerated.  Comey’s book is unlikely to have any impact on Trump’s presidency—other than perhaps to strengthen Trump’s standing among his supporters.

Trump haters counting on the former head of the FBI to have career-ending dirt on Donald Trump will be gravely disappointed by Comey’s book.  The only “big reveal” in A Higher Loyalty is how loyal Jim Comey is to … Jim Comey.  For Washington insiders who’ve been dealing with him since the George W. Bush administration, this isn’t breaking news.

Lacking evidence of actual wrongdoing—in last night’s interview, Comey yet again refused to accuse President Trump of obstruction—Comey turned instead to the petty and political.  He talked about Mr. Trump’s appearance (“His face appeared slightly orange with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles”), the size of his hands (“As he extended his hand, I made a mental note to check its size. It was smaller than mine, but did not seem unusually so.”) and he called the president “morally unfit.”  It was the sort of snarky partisan punditry found on cable news 24/7.

Then again, should we be surprised? if Comey ever did see actual wrongdoing by Mr. Trump, do we really believe we’d just be hearing about it from a notoriously leak-friendly fellow like Comey?

As Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com tweeted, it’s “not particularly honorable, if you have information you believe is of immediate and vital national importance, to wait 11 months to release it until you can have a giant book launch and publicity tour.” Silver—no Trump fan– calls the book “A Higher Royalty.”

Trump supporters were dismissing the fired FBI director and his message before the book even hit, putting Comey’s story in the broader context of what they believe was a partisan, pro-Clinton FBI.  Comey confirmed their view when he acknowledged that his decision to speak publicly in the last days of the campaign about Clinton’s email investigation was influenced by his assumption that Hillary was going to be his new boss.

“I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was gonna beat Donald Trump,” he told George Stephanopolous.  “And so I’m sure that it was a factor [in my decision to announce the Clinton email case was being re-opened].”  He also revealed that his wife and kids wanted Clinton to win, too, though Comey said that he didn’t vote in 2016.

To many on the Right, the ABC interview sounded an awful lot like a former Clinton staffer talking to a partisan Trump hater. And for obvious reasons.

One GOP campaign operative told me Comey’s book “is a home run for us.  This guy hates Trump, and he ran the FBI. If they had anything on Trump, he’d know it, and he’d tell it.”

It’s hard to call a book that talks about allegations of Moscow prostitutes and bodily functions a “home run,” but the point is that this is yet another bullet that zipped by President Trump.  The Left keeps  announcing Donald Trump’s doom, and yet, he keeps showing up for work.

This weekend, for example, the New Yorker ran a piece entitled “Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency,” arguing that the recent raid on the law offices of the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen mark the final phase of his time in office. This is the week we know, with increasing certainty, that we are entering the last phase of the Trump presidency, Adam Davidson wrote.

Another anti-Trump website, LawAndCrime.com, made the case that the recent attack on Syria over its use of chemical weapons could result in the impeachment of both Trump and members of his cabinet.

Impeachment would be a worthy course corrective and is entirely proper under the circumstances,” wrote Colin Kalmbacher.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that a Congress controlled by Republicans is not going to impeach a Republican president over bombing a dictator who used sarin gas on children. But for Trump opponents who still cannot accept that he won the election, every prediction of his imminent demise is seized upon and believed.

These are the people liberal activist Tom Steyer was targeting last night when he ran a NeedToImpeach.com ad during the Stephanopolous interview. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who want Congress to start impeachment proceedings is declining while Trump’s approve rating is rising (slightly).

Consider this: In the month or so between the Stormy Daniels interview on “60 Minutes” and the Comey interview last night, President Trump has been hit with a nonstop stream of negative press. And yet according to the latest Washington Post/ABC poll, Trump’s approval is at 44 percent among registered voters.

Donald Trump is not going to be shamed out of office by Jim Comey, or pushed out by an angry press corps, or laughed out by late-night comics.  Yes, it’s still possible he might be led out of the Oval Office in handcuffs by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but at this point that looks like a long shot.

Which means Democrats will be forced to drive Donald Trump out of the White House the old-fashioned way: The ballot box.

What’s worse, from the perspective of Trump-hating Democrats (pardon the redundancy) is that not only is Trump polling better, but according to the Washington Post the generic-Democrat advantage in Congressional races has dropped from 12 points to four points. It is ridiculous to predict the results of elections nearly seven months in advance (seven hours might be more accurate in our turbulent times), but predictions of that blue wave might be exaggerated too.

The Nov. 6 elections might be a test of the claim of the good-government types that partisan gerrymandering (more correctly termed “incumbent gerrymandering”) guarantees that certain parties win certain seats. Given the large number of Republicans not running in November, including U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R–Janesville), if most of them are replaced with Democrats the gerrymandering arguments will lose considerable weight.