A Very Trump Impeachmas

Austin Dispatches No. 222 Dec. 27, 2019

The climate's been unseasonably hot.1 In what typically's a bleak time of year, I've interviewed for several contracts and applied or been submitted for many more. Not that any of the other parties have yet achieved their chief raison d'être, of making my bank accounts great again, plus silencing the folks' unsolicited career advice, but the trend encourages me.

Simultaneously, I negotiated my medical insurance premium lower for the second year in a row, by about $2,000, to where it's merely quadruple what I paid in 2013, before ObamaCare took effect. Same as last year, I argued on the phone with East Coast types: "Are you delusional? No legitimate insurance company'll sell you a policy at the figure you just quoted." Etc. Too bad the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals didn't rule against ObamaCare earlier, to give me more negotiating leverage.2 Meanwhile, the man responsible for my penury and his wife just paid eight figures for a very white seaside estate -- they didn't build that -- on Martha's Vineyard, apparently oblivious to the talk of rising ocean levels from global warming.3

Because my 50th birthday coincided with Thanksgiving, accompanied by inclement weather, I was unable to do anything extraordinary. I had to content myself with going to the neighborhood Whole Foods at 11 a.m. to get holiday fare from the hot food islands. Back at the apartment, I mixed the stuffing with White Castle cheeseburgers and augmented the Thanksgiving meal with smoked oysters and champagne, while listening to some CD box sets the family bought me.4

I know I should've felt more thankful on these major holidays for what I have, but it isn't enough. "Enough" would be about $2 million to buy permanent tangible things, another $1 million for food, beverage, and travel, and another $5 million for liquid assets.5 As for the rest -- that's probably best left unsaid.

I've done what I can to acquire enough, but results require the cooperation of others, either to get out of my way or to get off their asses. Instead, they offer as many excuses as there are poseurs in L.A. For example, protesters blustered outside a factory President Trump visited Nov. 20, amid brisk winds, which also blustered.6 Instead, they should've protested the factory owner for not hiring the umpteen times I've sought positions there. Those people could make my bank accounts great again, with only a fraction of their effort fulminating against Trump.

Speaking of which, in the U.S. House impeachment proceedings, the participants combined the spirit of Festivus with repeated strained attempts at cheesy, dramatic dialogue, to generate yuge Yuletide yuks.7 Although this could be the debacle-triggering event to wipe the smirk off my face.8 As of this issue, that situation is so fluid and murky that I can only effectively address a few facets.

By some accounts, Trump is highly susceptible to flattery.9 If so, the Democrats could've cajoled Trump, either directly or through his daughter and son-in-law ("Javanka"), into supporting their agenda.10 That wouldn't be the first time a Republican president betrayed his electoral supporters.11

Instead, the persistent anti-Trump attacks seem to have goaded him into doing -- or at least saying -- the opposite of what they want. In turn, Trump's remarks seem to have goaded the Democrats into a hot snit, who finally passed impeachment articles after three previous attempts, according to Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.12 The first article of impeachment, abuse of office, rightfully could've convicted every consecutive president since Herbert Hoover.13 And just when the administration had repealed the de facto ban on incandescent light bulbs.14

Speculations abound on the Internet as to the impeachment players' real motives, but anybody who actually knows has dummied up like Robert De Niro at a media junket to promote "The Irishman."15

Then Congress left Washington, D.C., on vacation until Jan. 7.16 Presumably, the corrupt, tyrannical Orange Man will behave himself and not threaten the republic until they return. Meanwhile, Trump is raising millions for his re-election campaign.17 While he's in a jam, this might be a good opportunity for his supporters to squeeze him to ensure he follows through on his 2016 promises.

On the Town

Nov. 13: Filling the tank raised my current car's total expenses above $50,000. That's everything, including air fresheners, self-service car washes, and adhesive to reattach the emblem on the back.

Nov. 16: On my way to the free French festival at St. Edward's University,18 I witnessed a near-collision on MoPac Expressway near the Steck Avenue exit ramp.

Nov. 24: The peppermint bark-and-caramel-coated popcorn, newly sold at Sprouts, was popular at the Austin Cuban Society party in Round Rock.

Dec. 3: A pleasantly unseasonable job prospect resulted in my first visit to the Frost Bank Tower. I just hope applicants have an easier time getting a loan than I did navigating my way from the inside parking garage to the executive suite and back again. On the return drive, I witnessed a near-collision involving a CapMetro bus near West Sixth and Blanco streets.

Dec. 5: Walking about North University and Hyde Park to see the neighborhood Christmas displays after many years, I discovered by chance Alamo Drafthouse holding an extravagant staff party at the former schoolhouse off Avenue B. At least, that's what the people milling outside taking selfies told me.19

Dec. 19: Once again, life thwarted me. I was willing to buy a special entree for the main Christmas meal, but the employees at Central Market off Lamar Boulevard helpfully pointed out that my choices would spoil prior. So I battled the throngs of other shoppers with the same intention for nothing. It wasn't even 11 a.m. Why weren't those people working, or at home binge-watching TV shows and overdosing on opioids?20

Austin Death Watch

Nov. 14, the City Council voted to require diaper-changing stations in new commercial buildings.21 Normally, I'd denounce this as governmental interference with private property and the market, but given the sheer number of tantrums in Austin the past few years, the denizens need a change of diapers. Probably mandatory nap time, too.

A state appeals court upheld property rights against the City's filching by declaring a ban on short-term rentals unconstitutional.22 If Austin's power elite respected your property rights, it wouldn't've spent your tax money defending its policy in court. The country-fried morons who run Austin will never turn it into a world-class city with such a mentality.

Even Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority board members had reservations about increasing toll road tolls next year, though they did it anyway.23

Police charged a South Austin Taco Bell employee with swinging a machete at a drive-through customer, according to the Dec. 10 Statesman.24 I know foodies prefer a more authentic dining experience, but I don't think that's what they have in mind.25 Also, what restaurant employee hasn't wanted to kill the customers?

Police busted the chairman of the Texas House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee at the Austin airport for cocaine possession.26

Neighborhood News

An attempted break-in at the car wash at Metric Boulevard and Running Bird Lane resulted in an armed stand-off with Austin police in the early morning hours of Dec. 17.27

On Nov. 23, I witnessed the aftermath of a collision at Braker and Kramer lanes. Soon after, I witnessed a shit-headed, shit-skinned street shitter, otherwise known as a subcontinental Indian, jeopardize other drivers westbound on Braker by attempting a multilane turn into traffic from the Exxon gas station egress, followed by shifting gears and reversing, before settling on what I guess was his intended lane. He performed this with the aplomb of his countrymen in attempting to code software or solve a problem more complicated than squatting in the streets, trousers 'round their ankles. They have to go back.28

On Nov. 30, I witnessed the aftermath of a collision at Braker and Burnet Road. KXAN-TV’s traffic Web page recorded collisions at Metric Boulevard and Cedar Bend Drive on Nov. 11; at the MoPac Expressway northbound frontage road and Cedar Bend and at Metric and Gracy Farms Lane on Nov. 12; at Braker and MoPac on Nov. 14; at Parmer Lane and Scofield Farms Drive, at Parmer between Metric and Scofield Farms, at Duval Road and MoPac, and at Gracy Farms and Meadowfire Drive on Nov. 19; at Burnet and Esperanza Crossing and twice at Metric and Bittern Hollow on Nov. 20; at Kramer and Esperanza, at Burnet and McNeil Road, and at Burnet and Research Boulevard on Nov. 21; at Burnet and Kramer, and at Research and Burnet on Nov. 27; at Parmer and Metric on Dec. 5, at Lamplight Village Avenue and Pipers Field Drive on Dec. 6, at Parmer and Tomanet Trail on Dec. 9, at Gracy Farms and MoPac on Dec. 10, at Highway 183 at MoPac on Dec. 11, and at Braker and Burnet on Dec. 13.

The City Council has directed Austin bureaucrats to figure how to pay for Capital MetroRail stations at the IBM campus and at the soccer stadium.29 A New York judge halted foreclosure proceedings on the Offices at Braker, currently owned by a street shitter's company raided by federal investigators.30

Ten businesses have opened.31 The owners of Dos Salsas, at Burnet and Palm Way, put more thought into the interior decor than the food, and they built a wall along Burnet where direct entrance to the parking lot makes more sense. If you read about it closing soon, you'll know why.

A specialty market has relocated to the strip mall at Parmer and Lamplight Village Avenue.32 The Dec. 19 Statesman carried an article on a robot submarine manufacturer off Industrial Terrace.33 Dell held a big technology conference at two hotels at The Domain in mid-November.34

On Dec. 4, I found two pennies at the 7-Eleven/Exxon convenience store at Metric and Gracy Farms.

Media Indigest

The current owner of the Austin American-Statesman merged with Gannett. Readers can look forward to the paper becoming even more insubstantial.35

Bevo and Butt-Heads

The University of Texas system is hiking tuition come fall 2020.36 The Austin Independent School District's equity officer denounced the district's school-closing plan as "21st century racism."37

Cultural Canapés

Major League Baseball announced it'll stop testing players for marijuana use.38 This'll contribute to baseball's reputation as a slow-moving game.

Tatamount to a Christmas miracle, I largely agree with the Chronicle for once, on its Dec. 20 picks for the best lunch buffets in town.39


Home Archives


1 Idso, Craig D., Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer. Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming: The NIPCC Report on Scientific Consensus, rev. ed. Arlington Heights, Ill.: The Heartland Institute, 2016.

2 Chang, Julie. "Key Affordable Care Act Provision Voided." AAS 19 Dec. 2019: A1+; Trump, Donald J., and Tony Schwartz. Trump: The Art of the Deal. New York City: Random House, 1987: 53.

3 Charter, David. "Obamas Find Their $15M Retreat on Martha's Vineyard." The Times 24 Aug. 2019: 39; Klosko, George. The Transformation of American Liberalism. New York City: Oxford UP, 2017: 144.

4 Eisler, Dan. Letter to David Morris and Debbie Morris, 29 Nov. 2019.

5 McBreen, Catherine S., and George H. Walper. Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families. New York City: Portfolio, 2007: 2.

6 Lindell, Chuck et al. "Trump Tours Apple Plant in Austin." AAS 21 Nov. 2019: A1+.

7 Beavers, Olivia, and Mike Lillis. "In Party-Line Vote, President Trump Is Impeached on Two Counts." The Hill 19 Dec. 2019: 1+; Salkin, Allen. Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us, rev. ed. New York City: Grand Central Publishing, 2008.

8 "Investor Roundtable: The Smart Money Gets Choosey." Fortune Dec. 2019: 152.

9 Wolff, Michael. Siege: Trump Under Fire. New York City: Henry Holt and Co., 2019: 148, 262; Woodward, Bob. Fear: Trump in the White House. New York City: Simon & Schuster, 2018: 364.

10 Ward, Vicky. Kushner, Inc.: Greed, Ambition, Corruption: The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. New York City: St. Martin's Press, 2019.

11 Manly, Chesly. The Twenty-Year Revolution: From Roosevelt to Eisenhower. Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1954: 5-23.

12 AD No. 219n27 (Aug. 19, 2019).

13 Reassessing the Presidency: The Rise of the Executive State and the Decline of Freedom. Ed. John V. Denson. Auburn, Ala.: Mises Institute, 2001; Rothbard, Murray N. America’s Great Depression, 2nd rev. ed. Rpt. Auburn, Ala.: Mises Institute, 2000: Ch. 7-12.

14 "White House to Roll Back Light Bulb Rule." The (Toledo, Ohio) Blade 21 Dec. 2019: 3.

15 The Irishman. Tribeca Productions/Sikelia Productions/Winkler Films, 2019.

16 Jalonick, Mary Clare, Laurie Kellman, and Zeke Miller. AP. "Impeachment Trial Plans in Disarray." Cape Cod (Mass.) Times 20 Dec. 2019: A1+.

17 Sabur, Rozina. "Trump: Democrats Are Un-American." The Daily Telegraph 20 Dec. 2019: 1+.

18 "Austin Angers French Market Day." AC 15 Nov. 2019: 35.

19  Sitton, Sarah, and Thad Sitton. Austin's Hyde Park ... The First Fifty Years, 1891-1941. Austin, Texas: Pecan Press Publications, 1991.

20 McLean, Bethany. "Bitter Pill." VF Aug. 2019: 74-96; Roberts, Chris. The Ultimate Binge-Watching Guide. London: Carlton Books, 2014.

21 "Diaper-Changing Stations Required in More Buildings." ABJ 22 Nov. 2019: 13.

22 Salazar, Daniel. "Short-Term Rental Laws Upended by Courts." ABJ 6 Dec. 2019: 8; Wilson, Mark D. "Short-Term Rental Rules Rejected." AAS 28 Nov. 2019: A1+.

23 "Toll Rate Increases in Austin Metro Coming Jan. 1; Stirs Up Debate at Central Texas Mobility Agency." CIN Nov. 2019, Northwest Austin ed.: 18.

24 Villalpando, Roberto. "Taco Bell Worker Swung Machete at Customer." AAS 10 Dec. 2019: B4.

25 Arellano, Gustavo. Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, rev. ed. New York City: Scribner, 2013.

26 Cobler, Nicole, and Kelsey Bradshaw. "Nevárez Sought on Cocaine Charges." AAS 15 Nov. 2019: A1+.

27 Bradshaw, Kelsey. "Police: Man in SWAT Standoff Taken Into Custody." AAS 18 Dec. 2019: B5.

28 AD No. 208n3 (Aug. 18, 2019).

29 "City to Work With Capital Metro on Financialing New MetroRail Stations at Broadmoor, McKalla Place." CIN Nov. 2019, Northwest Austin ed.: 21; Sanders, Austin. "Build 1, Get 2 Free?" AC 22 Nov. 2019: 13; "2 New Train Stations?" ABJ 22 Nov. 2019: 13.

30 Edgemon, Erin, and Paul Thompson. "World Class Faces More Pressure From Lenders." ABJ 13 Dec. 2019: A13.

31 "Now Open." CIN Nov. 2019, Northwest Austin ed.: 6; "Now Open." CIN Dec. 2019, Northwest Austin ed.: 6.

32 " Relocations." CIN Nov. 2019, Northwest Austin ed.: 7.

33 Carlson, Kara. "Austin Startup's Plan: Use Robots to Explore and Map the Oceans." AAS 19 Dec. 2019: B5+.

34 Cronin, Mike. "Dell Wants More Diversity, Sustainability, Data Protection." ABJ 15 Nov. 2019: A6.

35 Sechler, Bob. "New Media, Gannett Shareholders OK Merger." AAS 15 Nov. 2019: B6-7.

36 Korte, Lara. "Tuition to Rise Across UT System." AAS 15 Nov. 2019: B1+.

37 Barbaro, Nick. "A Map of 21st Century Racism." AC 22 Nov. 2019: 10; Sanders, Austin. "AISD Bites the Bullet." AC 22 Nov. 2019: 14-15.

38 Stone, Larry. "Time for NFL to Allow Its Players to Use Marijuana." Seattle Times 18 Dec. 2019: B1+.

39 Beyda, Emily. "Top 10 Lunch Buffets." AC 20 Dec. 2019: 40.