His Last HaHa

By PatD, a Trail Mix Contributor

Thank you, PBS Newshour, for your segment last night on one of the Trail’s favorite people.

Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain: "Cats"
Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain: “Cats” “Congress” “Lawyers” “Exercise” “Old Age”
PBS: Mark Twain once said that “hunger is the handmaid of genius,” and he was speaking from personal experience. By 1894, Twain was an esteemed writer, an international celebrity — and dead broke thanks to a few bad investments. To stave off debt, he embarked on the world’s first stand-up comedy tour, chronicled in Richard Zacks’ new book, “Chasing the Last Laugh.” Zacks joins Jeffrey Brown for more.

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50 thoughts on “His Last HaHa”

  1. Yep, I saw that report; it looks like a good read.  I really need to read Joan of Arc since Twain thought that was his best work…some day.

  2. from pbs transcript:

    JEFFREY BROWN: You had to spend several years with him. What came out about his personality or his life? What did you come to like most?

    RICHARD ZACKS: What I came to like most was the unbelievable humor, the ability to rephrase things. “Few of us can stand prosperity, another man’s, I mean.”

    I mean, Twain lived at those fringes. And he had like an inner battle between his inner riverboat gambler and his inner Joan of Arc. And it was like — it was fascinating.

  3. Patd,

    Great Post. One of my favorite Twain quotes. Probably because it is mostly true.

    In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards.”

  4. Jamie, the chart you posted on the last thread is interesting.  If I read it correctly, under no scenario does Bernie do better than the gap he currently has in pledged delegates, best case being 298 delegates behind.  And that makes sense – Hillary has over 3 million more votes than he has.  I am perplexed that he and his campaign don’t get that in a two candidate race, under any scheme they might think is fair, the only fair outcome is that the person getting the most votes becomes the nominee.  I do understand that under the current rules Hillary is doing much better than under any of the other scenarios because of the super delegate commitments to her. Of course what I believe Bernie is seeking is to have the DNC adopt his view of what is fair (no super delegates I suspect) and imposing that and whatever other restrictions, such as open primaries, on the state organizations.  Maybe the DNC sees his leverage as being enough to get that through the Rules Committee or whatever committee would deal with those changes, but I doubt that very much.

  5. So I can’t wait for bernie to start crowing about the Fox and Rasmussen polls that came out today showing trump with a lead in the general election hypo match up over Hillary, but he leads over Trump in the Fox poll. Well, in 2016, the only pres polls that have shown a lead for trump over Hillary are Fox and Rasmussen – that’s 5 total polls of the 33 reported by RCP. And I will note that the last two polls follow trump becoming unopposed, which Hillary does not have the benefit of.  And her average in the last 5 polls is 3.3 over trump. And in the last month Sanders’  Fox poll advantage over trump has dropped from 14 to 4, following trump becoming unopposed.

  6. Pogo, this probably explains everything, “…act like an adult.  (A lot to ask of a septuagenarian.)”

    We’ll have to ask the newest member of our septecial cohort, Jamie, what she thinks.

    Flatus, who has passed the 3/4 of a century mark

  7. They get it Pogo but so long as the money comes in they’ll keep going. Candidates generally don’t quit until the funding stops.

  8. Pogo,

    So Sanders is going to go out and say he can get more votes than Trump but he can’t get more votes than Clinton. Pretty flimsy argument in my opinion.

  9. I was totally in the “let him finish” column.  Every candidate deserves to hang in there for as long as they like.  Then Bernie started the rabble rousing of his cult of epithet screaming followers and making demands on a Party who had nicely allowed him to run in the first place even though he wasn’t a member.

    He has now reached the stage of incitement to violence and that is totally unacceptable.  If there were any way to prevent his nomination at the Convention I would be in favor of it.  Let people committed to voting for him from the floor do so, but he has ceased to be entitled to a laudatory introduction.

    Put the cranky old man in a permanent time out.  I hope when he returns to the Senate, none of his Democratic cohorts speak to him and work for a primary candidate to replace ASAP

    And yes, I am unreasonably pissed off.


  10. Oh and for age, I follow the inside/outside rule.  Can’t do a thing about the outside.  It is currently 72.  The inside varies on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis.  Today I’m somewhere in my 40s.

    Bernie Sanders is a two year old having a fist pounding, foot kicking meltdown in the sugared cereal aisle of the supermarket.

  11. “Candidates generally don’t quit until the funding stops.”

    Gives a new meaning to the Energizer Bunny. Beating his drum, spinning in circles …. not going anywhere. Just keepin’ on keepin’ on.


  12. Jace, yep, that’s about it.  I’ve said from about March that he can’t (a) skip the step where he has to get more delegates than Clinton, (b) expect to be chosen as nominee if he hasn’t gotten more voters to vote for him than Clinton or (c) change the rules so that he gets to avoid (a) and (b).

  13. Depending on what BS would have named his party/movement had DW-S declined allowing him to run as a Dem, he could have imploded or…

  14. And of course the money is not stopping because Robots never stop donating. And they all donate just under the reportable limit.

    3/4 of Bernies donations were under the reportable limit.


    When it is to good to be true it usually is.



  15. A nice rainy day here. We’ve passed an inch for the morning which takes us up to 3.8-in for the month. Just right. The horrendous weather of the south/mid-west has bypassed us so far but mirrors what we had last October. Pls, you folks over there, be safe.

  16. Not sure where I saw it in passing, but it noted that the FEC had questioned one of the reports that showed the same person donating about 30 times on the same day.  Not exactly Kosher.

  17. patd…  I saw Hal Holbrook perform as Mark Twain live on stage here in NH about 15 yrs ago.  He was fantastic…  you’d swear he was really Twain.

    What??!!….  you mean Bernie is really just another politician that loves money??!!….   ~~~~I’m shocked~~~~

  18. Yesterday afternoon I readied for service a new standby generator for our house. It’s larger than our old one and, most significantly, is multi-fuel meaning that it will run on gasoline, propane, or natural gas. I configured it to run on LP gas using the same tanks that the grill uses.

    It was a complicated set-up. Lots of levers and knobs and switches on the control panel. The 50-page instruction manual was printed on excellent paper in a reasonably sized font. Unfortunately, it was in beginner’s Chinglish.

    The generator is all hooked-up according to code, tested, runs as it should, and produces copious amounts of electricity. The old generator has been passed on to grandson Jasper to handle high amperage welding needs in his vehicle workshop.

  19. Morley Safer on Viet Nam.  Among the last of the great newsmen.  No vocal theatrics & hysterics a la CNN & MSNBC, jut tell the story.

  20. craig, did you catch seth meyers’  trump response to hillary’s ad you posted last thread?



    Hillary Clinton’s Super Pac attack ad against Donald Trump is titled “Does Donald Trump Really Speak for You?” and features female Clinton supporters mouthing along to actual statements the GOP candidate has made. Seth Meyers envisioned what Trump’s response would be.

    In a phony anti-Clinton commercial, male “Trump supporters” mouth along to a couple of real Clinton quotes that quickly become obvious voice overs from characters like the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, Cookie Lyon from Empire and the Somali pirate from Captain Phillips. 



  21. Pogo…   ya…  hfataghfta…   googablataky…   ith my tong bleedin’…..

    It looks like the mount you and I wanted for the Preakness, Gunrunner, isn’t running guns or the race.  I guess Nyguist has chased many away…

  22. jamie,  thanks for that link.  this quote  from it makes me think sanders hasn’t been told the whole story yet or seen all the vids and clips uncut:

    “I’m perplexed because the Bernie that I know always has stood for the highest principles of nonviolent behavior, advocacy of Gandhi and Dr. King,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). “I would like for him to live up to his own principles and standards. What happened in Nevada was beyond disturbing.”

    unless, of course, the holy roller of revolution knows what happened, cares more for his cash cow collection plate than for country,  and has morphed from mikulski’s man of assisi to saint bern of assholes

  23. jace, looks like the wiley mr twain made good use of that saying fitted to his audience.  check out the hal holbrook vid that craig graciously found and posted for us.  it’s at 2:22 min in during the segment on congress (which begins at 1:35 min)

  24. crooksandliars:

    Boxer said, “He did phone me back last night and he was very distressed about it. It was a very warm conversation, and I told him, he expressed shock that his people would do it. I did tell him the vast majority of those Bernie supporters were sitting in their chairs, they were fine, But there was this group of 50-100 people, they were not young people, they were older people and he ought to check out and see, who these people are, and he said he would.”

    She continued, “In my mind when he says he does not support any type of violence, I believe him. And he’s got to make sure it doesn’t happen. People will follow his lead.”


    so maybe “ this group of 50-100 people, they were not young people, they were older people” Barbara told Bernie about are not his, but dirty tricksters.  I hope he reports back to her.

  25. Renee, LOL!  I misread that “never retire” message from blue.  Blue, bite your tongue.  Of course now I have to look at the horses running and choose one I guess. I think I’ll go with Abiding Star – sounds real nice (although at 30-1 I’m not going to plan to retire on my winnings.)

  26. That sounds about right.  The only way we’ll know for sure is if they get arrested and we find out who is backing them.

    Who would benefit?  Trump doesn’t want to see unity in the Dem party (which there isn’t anyway). HRC hasn’t been able to put away the old man yet, and, Bill has been banging the “Bernie Bros” drumb for a few months now.

    More than likely, it’s nobody directly affiliated with any candidate, but someone with money who wants to play chess using real people.

    That’s not to say there couldn’t be some hotheads in camp Bernie, but some of this seems orchestrated rather than organic.

    pogo – I’ve been working since I was 13, so I have no idea what retirement would look like.


  27. alexandra petri:
    If Sanders supporters complained about other things the way they complain about election results
    This game is rigged. The pawns get to move almost NOWHERE, whereas the QUEEN (DETECT ANY RESEMBLANCE HERE???) can just move wherever she likes with no apparent rhyme or reason. She’s not a bishop or a rook. Why does she move like one? Also, the black pieces have to move second, which is TOTALLY unfair and needs to be looked into, unless I am playing with the white pieces today.


    This game is just nonsense and it upset me a lot. Sometimes my opponent would get three points for getting the ball into the basket, and sometimes she would get two points. And sometimes they gave her “free throws” — give me a break. The only things that should be free are college and health care, in a future that is becoming increasingly remote thanks to RIGGED GAMES like this. I am not a sore loser. It’s just that the system is against me.

  28. OKaaaa…   all the right wing propaganda stuff written about Hillary is absolutely true.  But anything that paints Bernie in a not so flattering light is kinda sorta made up….    okee, dokee….   gotcha.

  29. Pogo, “Hillary has over 3 million more votes than he has.  I am perplexed that he and his campaign don’t get that in a two candidate race, under any scheme they might think is fair, the only fair outcome is that the person getting the most votes becomes the nominee.”


    As Hillary mentioned today during the CNN interview, she actually had more total votes than Obama at the time she conceded.  What she didn’t have were the delegates and had no way of earning enough to defeat him.  She still resigned gracefully and supported him as the winner.

  30. Jamie,  true enough.   Bernie has neither.   Hillary was a victim of the rigged system Bernie whines about. Bernie isn’t. And if Hillary wins NJ & CA by any substantial margin  his supporters will be pissed and his leverage with the DNC will be eroded.

  31. Sanders is yesterdays news, liner for the bird cage.

    Now he will be lucky to have a time slot before midnight on the second day.

    Sanders totally screwed up yesterday

    And if I was one of the Bernie superdelegates and I dreamed of a political future, Ya know it is time to move to the edge of the stage for a quiet diappearing act.

    Cause one thing about the Clintons is they never f**king forget


    Makes one wonder if Pogo doesn’t have something with the age issue




  32. Last year we were  supporting a neighborhood leader for her run for the city council. Then she cussed out the mayor on a televised public hearing.


    People were wondering why we had a 4 by 6 ft banner  supporting  supporting her opponent and obvious winner.

    I suspect you all understand.

    What she didn’t understand with politics ya gotta be careful and not burn any bridges



  33. Watched Weaver on Chris hays tonight. Can somebody please share with me some of whatever it is he is smoking?

  34. glad hillary put 2008 and this primary in perspective- that she had the popular vote yet not the delegates- then went on and worked hard to elect obama. bernie needed to be reminded and the bernie bros needed a history lesson.

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