33

The Trump Files

Gene L. Ford By

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Yes, there is often a price to pay when one pledges his allegiance to a cause whose end-game—the subversion of a legally elected government and its replacement with a clownish narcissist whose basis for insurrection is that the process was "rigged" to ensure his loss—is surely doomed to fail. Republican firebrand Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) is beginning to realize that fist-pumping an enraged mob of would-be seditionists has its downside. For starters, David Humphreys, a wealthy businessman who donated millions of dollars to the senator's campaign, now says Hawley is "a political opportunist" who would be wasting his time asking Humphreys for one more dime. Meanwhile, Hawley's mentor, former senator Jack Danforth of Missouri, said that "supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life." Even though remarks like that must sting, they aren't nearly as hard to bear as the announcement from Simon & Schuster that the esteemed publisher has decided to turn thumbs down on Hawley's forthcoming book (is there any politician or journalist in DC who doesn't have a forthcoming book?). So far, Hawley is not a man without a country—or a friend—but he is trying his best make that happen.

And finally...

To the surprise of almost no one, president peevish has announced that he won't be attending the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden on January 20, citing a previously arranged golf date for the snafu in scheduling. In doing so, the outgoing toddler-in-chief joins an exclusive club, one of four presidents who have refused to attend the inauguration of their successors. The others are John Adams (1801), John Quincy Adams (1829) and Andrew Johnson (1869). Richard Nixon did not attend the inauguration of his successor, Gerald Ford, but he was "vacationing" in California after resigning from office in circumstances that remain unclear. Something to do with a DC hotel, I've heard...

And... an American hero died Thursday, one day after the assault on the Capitol. Neil Sheehan, 84, was a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter for The New York Times whose clandestine collaboration with Daniel Ellsberg led to the publication in 1971 of the Pentagon Papers, a 7,000-page blockbuster that revealed the lies and deceptions that America's leaders had endorsed and championed to prevent the people they governed from learning that the war in Vietnam was a lost cause, fueled in large part by their egos and the fear of losing popularity at home. RIP, Neil; the world could use a few more patriots like you...

January 21, 2021

In western films of a bygone era, there was usually a scene in which the sheriff warned miscreants to "get out of town by noon" or face the consequences. Disgraced former president Donald Trump (it feels so good to write that!), showing the incomparable class that has always been his hallmark, didn't wait until noon; he was aboard Air Force One and en route to Florida yesterday well before Joseph R Biden was sworn in as our nation's 46th president, taking with him the copious legacy of lies, corruption and incompetence that defined his four years as our nation's "leader."

Those who said Trump wouldn't leave office quietly were right. Wednesday morning, before deplaning for Florida, he and Melania paused for one last self-congratulatory pat on the back at Andrews Air Force Base, delivering brief remarks to a small (I mean, really small) crowd of 200 or so following a 21-gun salute and other amenities. It's not that Trump didn't do his best to draw a larger audience; his aides sent invitations to almost everyone in the known world, inviting them not only to attend but to bring as many as five more hostages. Invitations were even sent to allies-turned-enemies John Bolton and Anthony Scaramucci, each of whom declined on the grounds that he was unable to locate five friends.

At the end of a 20-minute speech, in which he lauded his administration's many "amazing accomplishments" (which somehow didn't include inciting an invasion of the US Capitol in a last-gasp attempt to overturn a legitimate presidential election or the unprecedented execution of a dozen prisoners—including one woman—on federal death row), president barnum told his supporters, "We will be back in some form," pointing as he said so to a small lizard that had made its way onto the red carpet.

In deference to the incoming administration, president quid pro quo ordered the removal of one last sign from the White House lawn: "PARDONS FOR SALE. INQUIRE WITHIN."

As for Trump's irate and bloodthirsty supporters, thousands of whom actually thought they could overrun the Capitol and overthrow the government...

All was quiet on the western front (and on the eastern, northern and southern fronts as well)...

The super-patriots, as it turns out, are carbon copies of their fearless leader, president bone spurs: large bark, small bite. Like any bully who comes face-to-face with someone who can actually fight back (read: National Guard), they decided that withdrawal was the better part of valor and snarled at the Biden inauguration from a safe distance; in other words, from their homes.

That's not to say the mutineers were entirely quiet and had no fight left in them. In Spokane, Washington, a pro-Trump anti-masker threw a bottle at an employee who insisted masks were mandatory in the Grocery Outlet. Authorities were looking for the man who faces assault charges "for his poor decision to escalate the situation and become violent." Okay, it's not the US Capitol, but it's a decent start...

In other news worth applauding...

Last week, former press secretary and fibber-in-chief Kayleigh McEnany packed her bulging suitcase full of equivocations and falsehoods and fled south for some Florida sunshine. Asked if she had any immediate plans, McEnany replied, "Not really; I think I'll just lie low for a while...."

Also, House speaker Nancy Pelosi says president "I'll be with you!" could be an accessory to murder owing to his role in inciting the mob that attacked the US Capitol on January 6, a violent and illegal invasion that left five people dead including a member of the US Capitol police. "Presidents' words are important," Pelosi said. "They weigh a ton. And [the insurrectionists] used Trump's words to come here [to the Capitol]." Pelosi added that some members of congress could also pay a price for collaborating with those who stormed the Capitol. Of course, we know that neither Trump nor any members of congress will ever be held accountable for those crimes, but it's good to know that someone has at least noted their complicity.

Also, the New York-based National Rifle Association has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Hold the applause: it's merely a technical maneuver to help the NRA escape a lawsuit by New York state's attorney general seeking its dissolution. The NRA plans to set up shop again in the more gun-friendly state of Texas, where the Second Amendment right to blow people to bits with heavy weapons remains sacrosanct. Sleep well...

Meanwhile...

Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, fresh from an aborted overseas trip in which he was snubbed by officials in LUXEMBOURG, of all places, paused long enough from voicing his loud support for ex-president Trump's bogus claims of a "stolen" election to have a spokesperson lecture the people of Uganda about their behavior during that country's recent presidential election. "We urge all parties to reject violence," the spokesperson said with a straight face, "and to use constitutional and legal means to address complaints." Ugandans were quick to respond, asking, "Does this mean we should scrap our plans to storm the capital?" The State Department hasn't yet responded to that inquiry.

Taking no chances, Uganda's incumbent tyrant, Yoweri Museveni, shut down the country's Internet service for five days prior to the election and placed his closest competitor, the former singer Bobi Wine, under house arrest. Museveni then sent a triumphal message to Donald Trump: "Now that's the right way to steal an election, you smatchet!"

About that last word, "smatchet," a word of explanation: A friend told me about a web site, "Wordsmith," which offers readers a "word of the day." On my first visit, the word was "smatchet." Little did I know I'd have a chance to use it in the very next edition of The Trump Files. According to Wordsmith, smatchet is defined as "an insignificant contemptible person," hence Ugandan president Museveni's reference to Donald Trump as a "smatchet." Couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks, Wordsmith! Next time I use that word I'll definitely have Ted Cruz in mind...

Rumor has it...

That Trump plans to do what any thoroughly disreputable and ineffectual ex-president would do under the circumstances: start his own political party. That's right (as in far-right). President delusive has reportedly been talking to aides about the possibility of forming a new party, the Patriot Party. According to the Wall Street Journal, "it's unclear how serious Mr Trump is about starting a new party, which would require a significant amount of time and resources." Trump now has the time; as for the resources..."Hello, online pawns and patriots! This is Donald J Trump. Still your glorious leader. As you may know, I've been a bit down on my luck since moving back to Florida from DC. But...once I bought a White House, made it mine—like a private gold mine. Once I owned a White House, made it mine—brother, can you spare a dime?" (A hundred bucks or so would be even better. Oh hell, just empty your pockets...)

On a happier note...

President Biden has introduced sweeping immigration reforms that would provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated eleven million undocumented US residents. All that stands in their way is an implacable GOP legislature, but the election in Georgia of two Democrats to a now equally divided senate should afford Biden's proposed legislation an easier path to his desk.

And finally...

This well could be—and in fact, should be—(crossed fingers) the last edition of The Trump Files...but as long as Trump remains upright and able to pursue his long-running confidence game, don't count on it...

January 31, 2021

You didn't think I would leave without saying goodbye, did you?

Even with president never-say-die tucked safely away in Florida (just how safely remains to be seen), he continues making news—none of it good, of course. We shall assess that in due time, but first a personal note:

I have never been a member of a political party, nor do I ever intend to be. That is not a matter of belief or bias, simply common sense. We have in this country a two-party system, and once one becomes affiliated with one or the other, his or her autonomy (free will) is essentially erased. No matter how clueless or unskilled a candidate for office (read: Trump), or how astute or skillful the opponent, one's party affiliation commands an affirmative vote for the one who represents the faction to which he or she has sworn allegiance. In such an environment, principle becomes meaningless, policy irrelevant; the only rule of thumb is power and self-preservation. Once elected, a politician's all-consuming goal is to be re-elected. That is true of both parties, or, in legislative parlance, on both sides of the aisle. The concept of "governing" has been supplanted by the more self-serving ideas of "winning" and "losing." Even though I may agree in principle with much of what a given candidate espouses, I won't be coerced into voting for him—or her—simply because there is an "R" or a "D" on my registration card. My vote is ruled by conscience, not party ties. I'm sure there are many others who feel the same. The overwhelming majority of voters, however, are tethered by blind loyalty to one party or the other. How else could a bumbling cretin like Trump convince more than seventy-four million presumably otherwise intelligent citizens to vote for his re-election? Granted, he is a consummate liar/confidence man, which undoubtedly worked in his favor. Even so, that's pulling the wool over the eyes of a humongous herd of sheep, many of whom I suspect were led to vote for Trump not because he is competent but because he is Republican, and thus "one of them." Prescient as they were, I don't believe the Founding Fathers envisioned the sort of two-party system that threatens to paralyze and even overturn the democratic republic they created. Take that stew, add some greed (case in point: Citizens United) and you're staring down the barrel of a catastrophe.

And now, as promised, the news...

Former Trump press secretary and Barbie doll clone Kayleigh McEnany, whose opening statement to reporters, "I will never lie to you," was the first in a non-stop torrent of lies interrupted only by her resignation in January, is poised to land yet another dream job, at—wait for it—Fox News! Yes, Fox News, where McEnany can lie as shamelessly and as often as she wishes without fear of contradiction or consequence. Truly a match made in—well, on second thought, made somewhere a touch deeper and far warmer than that.

Meanwhile, president provocateur, now resting comfortably at his palace in Florida (temporarily, if his neighbors have their way), has made sure his tentacles remain firmly wound around the GOP cult he spawned by threatening to create a new political party and take his base with him. "We'll call it the Patriot Party," he mused. "No, the MAGA Party. Or maybe..." Well, to paraphrase the Bard, a Trump party by any name would smell the same... The problem with starting a new party, however, is the same one that has haunted Trump throughout his career: it requires actual work. As it is far easier to have someone write and send endless pleas for money on your behalf, the surmise here is that Trump will choose that path. It has, after all, proved to be a gold mine so far, and there is no reason to believe his deluded partisans have emptied their pockets yet. When they have, he will sense it like a lion senses its prey and move on to other scams.

And speaking of moving on... that's what the people who actually call Palm Beach home would like Trump to do, sooner rather than later. After his inglorious exit from DC on January 20, airplanes could be seen circling Mar-a-Lago trailing banners that read "Trump Worst President Ever" and "Trump You Pathetic Loser Go Back to Moscow." Even before the move, residents issued a letter to the town, saying Trump can't use the estate as his residence "because of an agreement he signed in the early 1990s when he converted [Mar-a-Lago] from his private residence to a private club." The agreement changed Mar-a-Lago from a single-family home to a private club and is taxed as such. To which Trump narrowed his eyes, thrust out his chin, steeled his orange-colored face and repeated his trusty go-to phrase—see you in court!

Right on cue, Brian Jack, the former White House political director, spent the weekend of January 23-24 quietly reassuring GOP senators that Trump was only kidding about creating a third party. "The president is a Republican," senator Kevin Kramer of North Dakota parroted. "He is not starting a third party. Anything he does politically in the future will be as a Republican," adding, with lips planted firmly on his master's butt, "The Republican Party is still overwhelmingly supportive of this president." Luckily for him, no one asked why.

Perhaps it's because of his relentless determination to sell the Big Lie that he won the 2020 presidential election—by a landslide—only to have it "stolen" from him by Joe Biden and those devious Democrats. In a democracy, we certainly can't let that happen again. And to help ensure that it doesn't, at least in Arizona, a Republican member of that state's legislature has introduced a bill that would allow legislators to decide the winner of a presidential election. You heard right. To hell with the voters; if the legislature didn't like the result, it could simply overturn the secretary of state's certification and hand the victory to its favorite candidate. HB2720, promoted by Republican Shawnna Bolick, says the legislature may "ignore the state's presidential election results" and choose its own "winner." Notably, it would not grant lawmakers the power to overturn election results for the legislature itself. Hmmm... a GOP legislature... I wonder who its preferred candidate might be?

On a brighter note...

A California congressman, Rep. Jimmy Gomez, has called for the expulsion from congress of arguably the looniest member ever elected, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. Okay, it's not gonna happen, but at least someone has said aloud what many others (including members of her own party) must be thinking. Greene has become something of a celebrity for her, shall we say, unorthodox views including one that supports the theory (well, theory may be too strong a word) that a Jewish-controlled high-powered laser beam shot from space caused a deadly wildfire (or two) in California. Strange as it may seem, that's among the most "rational" opinions she holds. (For example: the deadly shootings at the Sandy Hook and Parkland schools were "staged" by anti-gun radicals, and Democrats are cannibalistic pedophiles.) Sure, Greene may be a bit eccentric (as Jeffrey Dahmer was a bit hungry), but she clearly poses no threat to others, even though she has advocated for the execution of Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats and loudly defends her "right" to carry a handgun into the halls of congress, a privilege denied to every other member. As someone on TV (can't recall who) said of Greene, "She never met a conspiracy theory she didn't love." And as the voters in her Georgia district would no doubt say, "That's our kind of congresswoman!" And if things keep moving in the direction they have, she may soon be in the majority...

February 3, 2021

Live from Washington, it's the Marjorie Taylor Greene Show!

Theme music:

"Who can hide the what, why, when and where

Who can tweak a brazen lie
And make it seem something truthful's there

Well it's you girl, and you should know it
With every itchy trigger finger you show it

Hate is all around, so you must wake it
A QAnon cabal is where you make it

You're gonna fake it after all..."

As we join MTG in the US Capitol rotunda, she can scarcely believe her good fortune. A demure southern belle with no prior political experience, she has been elected on her first run for office by voters in north Georgia to serve a two-year term in the US senate! Happy to start a busy day sharing deranged conspiracy theories with her GOP colleagues, she is seen expressing her gratitude and thanks to members of the Capitol police force for their service:

"I don't care what the 'rules' say, motherfuckers, I ain't walkin' through no metal detector! Oh, yeah? Well, how'd you like this shiny .45 caliber revolver shoved right up your bureaucratic ass? Oh, you want to take that too? Just remove your socialist-loving hands from it, right now! You say no one else can carry a handgun onto the House floor? How do I know that? I've seen some of them Dems giving me awful creepy looks. I'd say they was packin' heat like real legislators do in Georgia. 'Course down there they's mostly Republicans who know how to take care of themselves. As for this gun, it goes where I go; never can tell when there might be a perfectly peaceful insurrection that gets out of hand thanks to those Democrat truth-deniers. Now, which way's the lunchroom? I got legislatin' to do!..."

And so begins another day in the life of Marjorie Taylor Greene, fearless defender of (white) women's privilege, always on guard against Jewish plots to torch our forests and Democratic schemes to kidnap and eat our precious babies. Today, she has learned she'll be assigned to the House Education Committee, something of a surprise coming as it does on the heels of her having labeled the fatal school shootings at Sandy Hook in Connecticut and Parkland in Florida "staged, false flag" events in which no actors or actresses were actually hurt in spite of the carefully rehearsed blood-letting performances (with actual police in cameo roles) and elaborate "funerals" that followed.

But as Marjorie heads from the lunchroom to her office for a well-earned snooze, she is confronted by Kevin McCarthy, the House's ranking Republican, who is the bearer of sad tidings: "Look, MTG, you know how much we love you here, and how we think your ideas are even-handed and reasonable—even that space-laser thing—but we've been under a lot of pressure from those who are making impossible demands, like asking for proof, and so it looks like we may have to withdraw those committee assignments, like education and the budget..."

"You can't do that!" MTG screams. "You promised!"

"Yes, we did, but it seems we have no choice..."

"If you break your promise and take my committees away, I'll tell my BFF Donald you were mean to me!"

"No, no... please! Don't tell Donald! I just spent a whole weekend kissing his ass!... First impeachment, and now this... he'll never forgive me!"

"Well, see that you don't take away my committees..."

"Okay, okay, we'll try to work something out with the Dems. I think they still owe us one... We supported a bill they wanted to pass, about... I want to say... eight years ago. It may have been twelve...Anyway, I'll reason with them. Just don't mention this to Donald! You know how he is about always keeping promises. So don't mention the wall either...!"

Will MTG keep her committee assignments? Will Donald defend himself against impeachment and leave his party yearning for someone as clever and competent as Rudy? Be sure to tune in next week, when Jews and Democrats unite to form a new party, The Hebracrats, whose goal is world domination, with no one but MTG and QAnon harboring enough lunacy and deception to stop them...

Speaking of Trump...

President "I make the rules here!" lost his entire five-member legal team little more than a week before his impeachment trial was to begin. As luck would have it, he spotted two more lawyers chasing ambulances in DC and quickly hired them as replacements. The con man-in-chief may continue to insist, as he has from day one, that his defense should be that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from the actual winner—in other words, from him. Trump's evidence? None. But he reasons that his words should be good enough for his fellow Republicans, who've had no trouble swallowing them so far. If, however, senate Republicans vote to acquit Trump, they are in effect saying the election was stolen and that he is still president—rather an awkward situation for the Biden administration, which will have been in office for more than a month by then.

What to do? As all eyes turned to him, Mitch McConnell, the senate's resident soothsayer, solemnly intoned: "Flip a coin."

February 10, 2021

The impeachment trial of former president Donald J Trump for inciting an insurrectionist attack on the US Capitol on January 6 got under way yesterday in the US senate chambers. The question on everyone's mind, of course, is, what are the chances of his being convicted?

Having given the matter much thought and consulted our infallible crystal ball, we have divined an answer, namely that a SNOWBALL has a better chance in HELL. When faced with the irrefutable fact that the senate trial is indeed constitutional, forty-four Republicans in that chamber agreed that it is not (one member of the party, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, changed his vote from nay to aye, thus proving that justice in the senate is only ninety-nine percent blind). That leaves a scant six Republicans on the side of constitutional law, and it takes seventeen votes to convict. Does anyone really believe that many GOP minds could be changed, no matter how damning the evidence against Trump or how sound the constitutional language and precedent on which the trial rests? Hell, no! And I know a certain snowball that agrees...

Nevertheless, the charade will continue, a verdict will be reached, and citizen Trump, safely ensconced in his new digs at Mar-a-Lago, will once again proclaim, "I told you so! I'm innocent! The mob that breached and pillaged the US Capitol wasn't acting on my orders. In fact, I condemned the violence! Yes, that was five hours later, but I misplaced my cell phone—and besides, I was busy that afternoon watching a great new cop show on TV. The police were trying to protect a building from an unruly mob but they were badly outnumbered. It looked like it could go either way until reinforcements arrived and the cops were able to calm things down and clear the building. Talk about excitement! Even better than Game of Thrones! I tell you, I was absolutely glued to the TV! So it's no wonder news of the Capitol riot didn't reach me until later.

"But as soon as I heard about it that evening, I ordered the National Guard and the military to intervene (but cautioned them to go easy and not hurt anybody, as the rioters were almost all white). It was sorta like the show I was watching on TV. Riveting! Don't know who the stars were, but I thought I caught a glimpse of Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson wearing some kind of Viking outfit...I couldn't stay for the closing credits, as I was told I had president-like stuff to do, and my KFC and fries were getting cold... but if you can find that show on TV, I highly recommend it. I wouldn't be surprised if someone decided to replay it, maybe even in prime time... I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing it again..."

As for the trial itself, it must have been rather disheartening for House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin, as he was presenting his opening argument, to hear Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Mitch McConnell calling for a fourth player to help get their bridge game started. ("No, Mitt, not you.") Nevertheless, Raskin plowed forward, showing graphic footage of the Capitol rioters shouting "Trump! Trump! Trump!," then listening as Cruz opened by bidding "No Trump!"

As in every impeachment trial, there will be drama, suspense and surprises, followed by a perfunctory and predictable acquittal along party lines. There, I've just saved you about two weeks and many hours of TV watching while you hoped in vain that this time things may have changed...

February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day!

The second impeachment trial of former president Donald J Trump ended in the US senate yesterday, and once again lawmakers thumbed their collective noses at our Founding Fathers and told them to go take a flying leap.

In their infinite wisdom, the valiant patriots who overthrew British rule to "form a more perfect union" drafted a Constitution in which "the President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States" could be held accountable for misconduct under Article II, Section 4, and "removed from office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

And we in our infinite wisdom then created a two-party system to make sure that would never happen to a president, no matter how debased or grievous the offense.

Yesterday's vote for acquittal, largely along party lines, was entirely predictable, almost to the number of votes cast for or against convicting the former con man-in-chief, even though every member of that chamber must have known he was guilty as hell. No, Trump didn't shoot anyone in Times Square at high noon, but his incitement of an insurrectionist mob that stormed the US Capitol on January 6 came uncomfortably close. After House managers used two days to lay bare in meticulous detail Trump's history of promoting and applauding violence, and his directive to riot on the day in question, his defense lawyers presented their case in less than three hours, the crux of their argument being, "What's the point? Everyone knows how this is going to end."

While that is one of the few times Trump's stooges got anything right, it was the only time that mattered. As it turns out, their confidence wasn't based merely on cockeyed optimism. When three members of the "jury"—Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee—choose to meet with defense lawyers the evening before their arguments to help plan defense strategy and even duck out during the hearings to offer more advice, it's a pretty sure sign that the scales of justice are badly in need of repair. Trump, of course, trumpeted his "vindication" by a system in which the cards not only were stacked in his favor but dealt in such a way that his royal flush was as unsurprising as it was preordained.

In his response, the former fomenter-in-chief, after praising the "cherished Constitutional Republic" that he fought tooth and nail to overthrow, added this rather puzzling postscript: "It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree."

The question is, which political party would that be? And the answer is, it depends on whom you ask. What is clear is that Trump issued his prepared statement (there were no spelling or grammatical errors, so he couldn't have written it himself) moments after he had been "given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs and excuse rioters" by his lackeys in the senate who still believe that seeing his shadow will lead to countless years of bad luck and could even (gasp!) cost them their jobs.

To be fair, seven GOP senators overcame those fears and voted to convict, making the final vote 57-43 for conviction, ten votes short of the requisite number. For the record, and for any applause that may be warranted, the seven senators with consciences that aren't on life support are Susan Collins of Maine, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Mitt Romney of Utah. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who talked tough prior to the trial, dislocated his spine and voted for acquittal.

McConnell did have one good idea. Speaking at the end of the trial, after the verdict had been announced, he suggested that law enforcement should consider whether crimes had been committed, by Trump or on his behalf, and act accordingly. To which Trump responded, "If you're going to take me to court you'll have to get in line."

Before we go...

There was one bright spot amid an otherwise grotesque carnival: senators voted unanimously to present the congressional gold medal to Eugene Goodman, the US Capitol policeman who literally saved many of their cowardly asses from Trump's bloodthirsty mob on January 6.

March 1, 2021

He's b-a-a-a-ck!

After more than a month spent in hiding at his gold-plated Mar-a-Lago nesting place in south Florida, the elusive orange-crested bloviator was spotted Sunday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando. As is his custom, the bloviator started squawking immediately, claiming (but offering no proof) that millions of packets of his prized birdseed had been "stolen" by Democrats last November in a vast conspiracy to keep him from returning to his former perch in Washington, DC. In Georgia alone, he screeched, the Dems had stolen at least 11,780 packets of seed, which he was unsuccessful in retrieving in spite of a direct appeal to the state's packer-in-chief who insisted the bloviator must have miscounted.

Later, the GOP's favored warbler assured the pigeons who had assembled to sing his praises that he would never fly away and land on someone else's park bench. "We have the Republican party," he crowed. "It's going to be strong and united like never before—once we've gotten rid of every traitor who ever crossed me or even looked askance." He then turned briefly away from the teleprompter to ask what "askance" means. President Biden, said the man who spent his first month in office signing executive orders and watching Fox News, "has had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history," barely dodging the lightning strike that followed that whopper. Yes, all Biden has done is put the brakes on a runaway pandemic that has taken the lives of more than half a million Americans while ushering a $1.9 trillion Covid relief package through the House and, hopefully, the Senate, if that "united" Republican party can't contrive to block it.

As for running again, the bloviator milked the Apprentice playbook for all it was worth, predicting only that a Republican would reclaim the White House in 2024. "And I wonder who that will be," he teased, an impish grin creasing his orange-coated visage. "Who, who, who will that be? I wonder." The thousand or so sitting ducks in the audience must be wondering too, as a poll of them found that only 55 percent said they would vote for the peacock-in-chief if he should choose to make another run. Democrats? The least of his problems. "Maybe we'll have to beat them a third time," he hallucinated. And maybe win the popular vote for the first time if GOP-led state governments manage to purge enough likely Democratic voters from the rolls, a task they have undertaken with boundless enthusiasm.

But first, Big Bird snookered, "We have to establish a new Super PAC, one that can raise unlimited sums of money," every penny of which would be used to underwrite the bloviator's next campaign—if there were indeed a next campaign. "And that's where you come in," he sweet-talked the patsies. "We're not saying we won't be running; on the other hand, we're not saying we will. It depends on a lot of things—mainly, if I decided to run, could you guarantee enough revenue to cover campaign expenses and—in a purely hypothetical situation, one that would never ever happen—legal and court costs for an ex-president—the greatest since Lincoln, mind you—who could fall victim again to 'The Greatest Witch Hunt in American history' and be hauled into court on any number a trumped-up charges (pardon the pun) from election fraud to tax evasion. My legal team would handle them, of course, with the same sound arguments and legal expertise that served us so well in our wildly successful effort to overturn the November election, as would be expected from any alumni of Trump University."

The bloviator paused for a moment to don his (ex-)presidential guise. "I stand before you today," he misinformed, "to declare that the incredible journey we began together...is far from being over. Whether in Washington or here in Florida, we plan to work tirelessly on your behalf 24/7, seldom relaxing or brushing aside the many problems that we know are on your minds, problems that I alone can solve..."

Backstage:

"Okay, how was that? I think we'll have no problem getting them to buy into the latest scam. I could see some of them reaching for their wallets before I left the podium....Now who brought the golf bag and clubs? I hear they have a pretty decent 18-hole course here in Orlando..."

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All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

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