On the night of August 6, 1930, Judge Joseph Force Crater left a Manhattan restaurant where he had been dining with one of his mistresses. Crater either got in a cab or began walking down 45th Street. He was never seen or heard from again.
Crater was a Justice of the New York Supreme Court and, besides the multiple mistresses that colleagues claimed he had, he was also involved in some shady side dealings tied to the notorious Tammany Hall political machine that had ruled New York City politics from 1821-1872 and then again from 1905 until the mid-1930s.
His case dominated the headlines for weeks and huge rewards were offered for any information as to his whereabouts and/or fate. But he was never found and a couple months shy of 10 years after he disappeared, he was declared officially dead in absentia. He became a staple of popular culture as a famous missing person. There was a really creepy episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery (the screw-you anthology series that Serling created when CBS went cheap on him over The Twilight Zone). A mysterious mega-rich guy was revealed to have a human zoo, with Judge Crater locked up along with Amelia Earhart and Roald Amundsen (the first guy to reach the North Pole who later went missing on a rescue mission).
Mrs. Crater was also a piece of work. She met not-yet-Judge Crater when he was her divorce lawyer. They married a week after her divorce became final. Then, when Crater was still missing but not officially dead yet, she married another guy, Carl Kunz, who had gotten a quickie divorce. Kunz's first wife then hanged herself a week before the Kunz-Crater nuptials. You can't make this stuff up.
With all due respect to Jimmy Hoffa (of which there should be none), Judge Crater's was the most famous missing-person case of the 20th century. But now, I'm happy to report that after nearly a century, Judge Crater is going to be found. And he's going to be found by people "working" at the Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, along with the 200,000 votes that were stolen from Donald Trump in last year's Presidential election. Heck, they might even find D.B. Cooper.
The thing is, you just know that they're going to HAVE to claim to have found something. They've painted themselves into a corner through legislative chicanery, time- and money-wasting lawsuits, and an endless series of lesser lies, all designed to prop up the Big Lie. Does anybody really expect Arizona Senate President Karen Fann to get up and say, "Okay, our crooked cronies who stupidly call themselves Cyber Ninjas have completed their work and they agree with all of the other audits, recounts and court rulings that showed that the election was free and fair and Joe Biden won Arizona?"
There's no way. They've gone so far down Liars' Highway, there aren't any offramps left from which they can exit and maybe turn around and head back to Maturity, Fairness and Decency. They've got no choice but to plow ahead in "search" of their pre-ordained and completely fabricated conclusions.
I'm not sure what they are going to "find." But, whatever it is, the only people who are going to believe it are those who believed in the Big Lie to begin with. Most likely, it will be the 11,000 votes that Trump wanted found in Georgia, enough to show that he "won" Arizona. I doubt that they'll claim to have found the 200,000 votes that some idiots have claimed are out there. Maybe they'll open up one of the voting machines and find, written in Sharpie, "Hugo Chavez was here!"
(I'm betting that the clowns at Cyber Ninjas—who petitioned the court to keep their "vote-counting" procedures kept secret—will tread lightly with the voting machines for fear of massive lawsuits.)
This is a dark time for democracy in Arizona. Not SB 1070 dark, but embarrassing and vile and un-American. Let's get it over with and move on.
• On another note, my worst wishes go out to Ted Nugent, whom I had the great misfortune to meet at an NRA convention in Phoenix back in the 1990s. He was a blithering, racist jackass back then and has become exponentially more distasteful in the past quarter-century.
After claiming for months that the pandemic was a hoax and then railing against the vaccine (which he swore he would never get), he came down with a severe case of COVID-19. Apparently, it wasn't severe enough, because he's still talking and tweeting. In one of his latest tweets, he said, "I'm addicted to truth, logic and common sense." He then demanded to know "Why weren't we shut down for COVID 1 through 18?"
As just about everybody who was paying attention in the past year knows, the 19 in COVID-19 refers to the year in which the virus was identified. It's not the 19th iteration of the bug. If Nugent had been paying attention, he would have known that Trump sycophants Kellyanne Conway and Rush Limbaugh both made the same dumbass mistake in public. (I wonder if they'll have Limbaugh repeat the mistake on his From The Grave Tour.)
It looks like, in a fever, the cat done scratched away Nugent's last few remaining functioning brain cells.