The Trump Files

Gene L. Ford By

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Joe Citizen, driving his car at night on the shoulder of a highway, strikes and kills a pedestrian who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The force of the impact is so great that the pedestrian crashes through the driver's windshield, leaving his broken glasses inside the car. After police arrive on the scene, Joe Citizen is arrested, booked and quickly placed behind bars. Bail is set, as is a timeline for his trial, more than likely on a charge of vehicular homicide or, at the very least, manslaughter. In either case, he more than likely faces a long stretch in prison.

In an incident in no way similar to that one, South Dakota attorney general Jason Ravnsborg, driving his Ford Taurus on the shoulder of a highway after dark last September, strikes and kills a 55-year-old pedestrian, Joe Boever, who is thrown through Ravnsborg's windshield with such force that his glasses are deposited inside the car. Driving on, Ravnsborg calls 911 the following day to say his car had struck something on the highway that night, and "it could have been a deer" (presumably, a near-sighted deer). After conducting a thorough investigation, in which it is found that the windshield had been shattered, Boever's glasses were indeed in Ravnsborg's car, and that a flashlight Boever was carrying remained on, "shining like a beacon," prosecutors threw the book at Ravnsborg, charging him with not ONE but THREE MISDEMEANORS—careless driving, failure to remain in his lane, and talking on a cell phone while driving. What about Joe Boever, you ask? Oh, you mean that Joe Boever, the man who was an unfortunate victim of Ravnsborg's "careless driving"? In the rush to give Ravnsborg the stiffest possible penalty, Boever's name somehow never came up. Collateral damage, it seems. As for Ravnsborg, who has brushed aside calls for his resignation, he says, "I don't believe I did anything wrong. I did not see him or anything (it's not hard to overlook a small matter like that when you're talking on a phone). I didn't know it was a man until the next day." An explanation that should be incontestable in any court of law—should be, that is, if it is offered by the state's attorney general. "Ouch!" Ravnsborg cried after being slapped on the wrist. "That hurt!"

South Dakota: come for the justice, stay for the logic...

GOP senator John Thune of South Dakota—a Republican, of course—stepped boldly forward last week to state his position on the proposed $15 hourly minimum wage, advancing an argument that he no doubt thought would be irrefutable. It seems that when Thune was a young man working at a restaurant in Murdo, SD, he was "earning $6 an hour"—and he was riding high, awash in greenbacks. So who needs $15 an hour to survive? Mandating a $15 hourly wage, Thune reasoned, would put many of those small business out of business. Problem is, that $6 an hour he was earning as a teen-ager, adjusted for inflation (he was a teen in the late '70s) would total more than $24 an hour in today's coin, far more than the $15-an-hour business-busting minimum wage proposed by Democrats. One thing candidates for office in the US don't have to do is take is an IQ test; perhaps that is a concept that deserves further consideration.

Not that Republicans are completely without a heart. GOP senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Mitt Romney of Utah have introduced the outlandishly labeled Higher Wages for American Workers Act, which would gradually raise the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour (where it has been stuck for a dozen years) to the princely sum of $10 an hour by 2025. Apparently, Cotton is unaware that the hourly minimum in his own state is already $11 an hour. So under his and Romney's proposal, would that be lowered to $10 an hour? Just kidding, guys; we know you have the best interests of American workers at heart (it's called sarcasm)...Oh, one more quick question before we go: do either of you gentlemen earn more than $15 an hour? Just thought I'd ask...

In the nation's heartland...

Republicans in Cass County, Michigan, have voted to censure US Rep Fred Upton for his vote to remove nut-case Marjorie Taylor Greene of GA from her committee assignments. "We believe," they chorused, striking their best Foghorn Leghorn pose, "that congressman Upton's vote is a betrayal of his oath of office and the core values of the Cass County Republican party." In other words, we could use even more bat-shit crazy conspiracy theorists like Greene in congress.

To which Rep Upton replied: "Really? She taunted a Parkland school shooting survivor, argued that California wildfires were started by a Jewish space laser, accused Democratic politicians of running a pedophile ring out of a pizza parlor, and questioned whether 9/11 really happened...Does the Cass GOP really think someone like that represents Republican values and should be serving on the education committee?"

Apparently, the answer to Upton's question is "yes."

And finally...

As of tomorrow, the country will have three Covid-19 vaccines available, each of which has been proven in trials to be fairly effective in mitigating the virus' often deadly effects. Still, there are a number of otherwise sane Americans who say they won't take a vaccine, no matter how safe and useful the medical establishment claims it is. As for me, if someone should tell me there's a vaccine that may not be perfect but would more than likely keep me from becoming quite ill or even dying, my first question would be: "Which arm?"

March 5, 2021

Well, March 5 has arrived, and Joe Biden is still president of the United States.

It wasn't supposed to be that way—at least not according to the QAnon playbook.

Yesterday, March 4, was to be the day when QAnon's savior, Svengooli (a.k.a. Donald Trump) descended from the clouds on a snow-white charger, sword in one hand, bible in the other, charged past the barricades and up the steps to the US Capitol and proclaimed himself undisputed Emperor for Life.

What went wrong? Well, for one thing, the savior had a more pressing engagement involving a round of golf at his well-guarded hideaway in Mar-a-Lago, FL. For another, his heavily-armed and fanatical legions of "super patriots" texted among themselves and decided it would be best not to go to war quite yet with anyone who could actually fight back, such as the National Guard or US military.

Why March 4? According to QAnon gospel, that is America's "proper" inauguration day, as it was until the early 1930s when it was moved to January. Every president since No. 18, Ulysses S Grant, so the fantasy goes, has been illegally elected, as America was somehow converted from a republic to a corporation in 1871 (and, presumably, should be led by a CEO, not a president). In the world as QAnon sees it, Donald Trump would be the 45th and 19th president, once he were rightfully reinstalled in office. Are you following this? There may be a pop quiz later.

Also from QAnon's annals of fractured folklore, much has been made of the number 17. According to conventional wisdom, the number has gained prominence because Q is the 17th letter of the alphabet, thus carrying more weight than other less important numerals. Although there is something to be said for that, it is not strictly accurate, even though Q and 17 are intertwined. In delving further into the arcane genesis of the doctrine, we have found that 17 actually coincides with the average IQ score of QAnon followers. If that seems low, please keep in mind that it represents an increase of roughly five percentage points since the last battery of tests, administered in 2016 shortly before Trump was elected president. So there is hope...

In other news...

Senate debate has started on president Biden's $1.9 billion Covid relief package, labeled the American Rescue Plan. The debate got under way with Senate clerks reading aloud every word of the 628-page bill, a delaying tactic ordered by senator Ron Johnson (R-WI). Johnson also demanded that witnesses be summoned to discuss the bill's merits, and suggested that Dr Seuss and Mr Potato Head be sworn in. When told that neither was available, he asked for a recount of polls showing that 76 percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, favor passing the bill, which is no more than an expanded version of similar legislation that was passed while president "give me a break! I only need 11,780 votes!" was in office. It's not that Republicans don't recognize or understand the benefits of the ARP; they simply can't stand the thought of Democrats receiving credit for doing anything worthwhile. Bipartisanship? A figment of the imagination. Democrats couldn't persuade ten Republicans to agree the earth is round, let alone pass constructive legislation.

And finally, a thought for the day...

"Americans no longer wish to be governed; they wish only to be entertained."—No, I'm not quoting some venerated sage or philosopher; I came up with that concept myself.

March 10, 2021

Even from faraway Mar-a-Lago, the scam continues. Donald Trump, who you may dimly recall was once president of the United States, is busy making sure any money flowing into Republican coffers these days makes a sharp detour into his personal piggy bank, the Save America PAC (known more commonly in Trump land as the Save My Ass from High-Priced Lawsuits PAC). "No more money for RINOs!" president barnum announced this week, referring to Republicans in Name Only. "They do nothing but hurt the Republican party and our great voting base (the same great voting base that cost the GOP the White House and senate in 2020)—not to mention my bottom line." There is a far better way, he fibbed, to help Make America Great Again: send the money directly to him! "Send your donation to *********** at DonaldJTrump.com," the con mander-in-chief declared. "We will bring it all back stronger than ever! And if you TRULY believe, we will absolve you of your sins and restore your natural health and vitality." To put some teeth into his directive, Trump had his lawyers send cease-and-desist orders to the party's three largest fund-raising entities—including the Republican National Committee—for using his name and likeness on e-mails and merchandise designed to raise funds for HIS party. "Not right!" the harvester-in-chief bellowed. "That money belongs to ME!" And, he added, "if you donate more than $1,000.00 to Save America PAC within the next ten minutes, we'll send you a barely used MAGA hat, absolutely FREE!" [Offer implies no promise of a presidential run in 2024. Void wherever lying is prohibited. Expires November 2024. Side effects may include unforeseen poverty and extreme depression. If symptoms persist, please have your head examined by a licensed phrenologist and change your party affiliation immediately.]

In polling news, the results are in...!

In what is widely considered to be a mild upset, senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) edged perennial winner Ted Cruz (R-TX) this week in the annual straw poll among registered voters asking the question, "Who is the biggest asshole in the US senate?" The consensus is that Johnson was recognized for his almost superhuman attempts to delay passage of president Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan, whereas Cruz did little to further his already well-earned reputation as the senate's most annoying asshole on a daily basis. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who was able to place no better than third in spite of his best efforts, did take home first-place honors in a related category, "Who is the senate's most craven and obsequious boot-licker?" Mitch McConnell (R-NC), the defending champion and pre-vote favorite, saw his bid for another title undone by a brief speech on the senate floor in which he actually held former president Donald Trump accountable for something before slinking back into his customarily submissive cave.

In the house of representatives, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) defended his crown, fending off last-minute surges by Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) who scored points for his fist-pump encouraging pro-Trump insurgents in their bid to overrun the US Capitol and end democracy in America. Voters singled that out as one of the year's more impressive asshole gestures. Taylor Greene, who has been on a roll recently, expressed her disappointment, saying she thought her manifesto proclaiming the reality of only two genders, male and female, that she posted on a wall next to the office of Marie Newman (D-IL) who has a transgender daughter, would surely be enough to unseat McCarthy and earn the victory. While voters said they were impressed by her efforts, and those of Hawley, in the end (pardon the pun) they decided that McCarthy is simply a bigger asshole.

Rep Paul Gosar (R-AZ) earned the chamber's coveted "who is the most shameless hypocrite" vote for denouncing white supremacists after delivering a speech at the annual convention of the America First Political Action Committee, a group that is hardly known for its compassion toward blacks and other minority groups. Gosar, beaming, said being voted biggest hypocrite meant even more to him than winning the prize as biggest asshole. "I really had to work for that one," he said. "Being an asshole is just second nature to those other guys. They don't even work up a sweat."

And finally...

From our "what planet are you living on" department: president Biden, bless his heart, is trying to do what is best for the people, tackling the Covid-19 pandemic head-on with a wide-ranging and unprecedented relief package but bowing to senate rules and postponing plans for an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.50 to $15 an hour. That leaves him with a huge amount of meat, potatoes, vegetables and dessert on his plate, from infrastructure to immigration to environmental rescue and beyond. These broad and essential changes, he says, call for "collaboration" and "bipartisanship." And speaking of ships, that's one ship that has already sailed. Biden says he's fine with the filibuster as is and wouldn't change a thing. In which case, none—as in zero—of his lofty plans for America will ever pass muster in the senate, where he can count on no more than fifty votes no matter how practical and popular the legislation. Okay, reconciliation can be used in one or two cases, resulting in a probable vote of 51-50 in his favor with the vice-president breaking the inevitable deadlock. But unless the filibuster rules are changed, and senators have to defend their position by actually speaking—for as long as it takes—to defeat a particular bill (remember James Stewart in "Mr Smith Goes to Washington"?), president Biden, despite his undying faith in bipartisanship, has NO chance whatsoever to convince even ONE Republican to cross the aisle and vote his conscience. Why? The simple answer lies far to the south, in Mar-a-Lago, where Prince Machievelli still pulls the strings, making them dance to his tune. Until that chain is broken, GOP senators, much like Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol, will carry it around their necks for eternity—or until their retirement, whichever comes first. Yes, Biden has a stubborn streak, and yes, he believes in the senate as it was when he served there, but someone has to bend his ear and let him know that bipartisanship no longer exists except in his rose-colored memories of a congress that works as a team to serve the people. If Biden heeds the voice of reason, we may still hope for the approval and passage of his massive agenda. If not—and by that I mean, if he chooses the path of bipartisanship—his chances are about as auspicious as my becoming an astronaut and landing on the moon. And aside from numerous other disqualifying traits, I suffer from acrophobia.

Remember: you heard it here first.

March 18, 2021

We can't make these things up, folks...

In Alabama, land of the free and home of the Klan, the state Republican Party has unanimously approved a resolution lauding former president pinhead as "one of the greatest presidents" in our nation's history. Not satisfied with merely approving the bizarre and farcical decree, the 'Bama flag wavers, whose television sets apparently were tuned to Fox News on January 6, transported a framed copy to the ex-president's current hideaway in Mar-a-Lago, FL, in a golden chariot led by a dozen snow-white horses (as a member of the delegation confided, "the whiter the better"), where they knelt in obeisance and kissed their savior's anointed ass. They showed their familiarity with president Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which seeks to undue at least some of the damage done by president blunderbuss during the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, by declaring that the former charlatan-in-chief "accomplished more in 48 months than Joe Biden did in 48 years as a senator and vice-president." If they are referring to Trump's uncanny ability to defy the law, hoodwink the masses and enrich his family, there's no arguing that logic.

Meanwhile, in Ohio, Republican state lawmakers want to rename Mosquito Lake State Park the Donald J Trump State Park—this after a bill was introduced seeking to mark June 14 (Trump's birthday) as "President Donald J Trump Day" in that state. In either case, no real harm done, and perhaps some good, as it probably wouldn't be hard to persuade the former president to consecrate a park named for him by jumping in the lake.

In other news...

It is no secret that the GOP would like to lead us back to a time when everything was all white (I mean, all right) in America—an America in which seldom was heard a discouraging word, and the skies were not cloudy all day. There were only two sexes then—none of that homo or trans crap—one of whom earned the family's daily bread while the other kept house and made sure his supper was ready when he returned from a long day at the office to greet his happy children (as many as they could manage, what with contraception frowned upon and abortion a no-no). As Archie and Edith Bunker sang, "Those were the days..."

In its latest effort to turn back the clock, the Republican Party has zeroed in on the voting rights "issue"—an issue because too many Americans have seen fit to exercise that right, largely to the detriment of Republicans running for office. In short, the GOP has been KO'ed at the polls, and something must be done about that before the leftist/socialist/commies take complete control of our once pure and white-leaning (sorry, right-leaning) government. In Arizona, a Republican state legislator, Rep John Kavanagh, summed up his party's position clearly and concisely, telling CNN that "everybody shouldn't be voting."

The quantity of votes is not without merit, he said, "but we have to look at the QUALITY of votes as well." After all, we can't have every Tom, Dick, Harry and Gretchen off the streets casting votes; people might get the idea that we live in a democracy! And that is certainly NOT what the Founding Fathers had in mind, as voting was limited in their day, as well it should be, to wealthy (white) land-owners, and African-Americans, if they'd even been allowed the privilege (it was called a "privilege" then, not a "right"), would have been able to cast only three-fifths of a vote. It shouldn't be long before Republicans start petitioning for the repeal of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution—you know, the one that granted women the right to vote and has caused nothing but trouble ever since its ratification more than a hundred years ago.

Kavanagh has introduced a bill that has passed the Arizona senate, one that would require that permanent registered voters in the state who have not taken part in the last four elections submit an official notice expressing their desire to receive mail-in ballots during future contests. All voters who pass muster would receive letters from the state to gauge their interest in voting absentee; those who failed to respond would not receive ballots. The bill, Kavanagh asserted, would serve as a safeguard against "voter fraud," although he was unable to say exactly how that might work.

Kavanagh's sentiments were echoed, however, by one of Mississippi's legendary lawmakers, former Rep Jim Crow (semi-retired but ready for action). "We cain't jus' let ever'body vote," he crowed. "They has t' be some stan'rds. Say! maybe we cu'd make up some kin'a test to see who's really qualified. Sorta like, if you c'n name all the signers of the Declaration of Independence—in alphabetical order, of course—then give that test to people who want to vote, based on somethin' that's outright fair and don't mean a whole lot, like maybe the color of their skin...that should he'p weed out the undesirables and leave the votin' to them that really means business...And even though that's not the point, it may even he'p our Grand Old Party cross th' finish line ahead of them (expletive)-lovin' Dems," he chuckled. "And best of all," he added, "there'll be no mo' 'lection fraud—we'll have pretty much cornered the market on that!"

And finally...

After vilifying the various coronavirus vaccines for the past week or more, Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson may have to execute one of the fastest and most humbling U-turns in television history after his "boss" (no, not Rupert Murdoch; Donald Trump) went on Fox's Maria Bartiromo show Tuesday night and said the vaccine he and Melania secretly received in January is "great," "safe" and "something that works." He then recommended it, especially to "a lot of people who don't want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly." We'll meet you under the bus, Tucker.

April 1, 2021

In a blockbuster land deal that sent stock markets spiraling out of control and caused shock waves around the world, former president Donald Trump today traded his Mar-a-Lago resort, his DC Trump Hotel, his golf courses in Scotland, Florida and New Jersey, and other unspecified assets to Denmark in exchange for the world's largest island, Greenland, where Trump said he and his family plan to relocate "as quickly as possible." The extradition treaty between Denmark and the US "no longer applies" to Greenland, he said, "because now we own the place—which, by the way, I learned only today isn't really green."

The former con man-in-chief said that owning Greenland had been a long-held dream—"I tried to buy it when I was president but the deal never went through"—as the very thought of its vast expanses of green and verdant land created in his mind's eye pictures of Trump-branded golf courses, casinos and hotels that would draw pigeons from all over the world to his tacky and overpriced lodgings and erase the mountains of debt and myriad lawsuits that threatened his solvency and freedom in the States.

"And then today, after the papers had been signed," Trump groused during an impromptu press conference, "somebody—it could have been Rudy or Don Jr or Erik the Red—I can't recall—anyway, somebody told me Greenland's not really green, it's actually covered in snow!" The thought alone sent shivers up his spine. "Yes, the snow could be bad for business," he admitted, "but I can handle that. I've been engineering snow jobs for years. My question is, what's it gonna do to my tan?"

Pressed about the financial aspects of the trade, the former fraudster-in-chief said, "Well, those Denmarkers, or whatever they're called—they thought they had put one over on the most tremendous deal-maker who ever lived. But as the great George W Bush once said, 'Fool me once, shame on me—fool me twice...well, you can't fool me twice...' The point is, the Denmarkers thought they'd fooled me once, but wait till they get a load of the brand new Donald Trump Ski Resort, Hotel, Casino, Automated Car Wash and Wind Farm, smack dab in the middle of Greenland! Who'll be laughing then? Well, not me... I haven't laughed in years... but neither will they.

"Yes, I'm gonna build a fantastic ski resort and a great new casino. Oh, I know what you're thinking—not another casino?—but I figure that the seventh one has to be a charm. We may even open a branch of Trump University, since the first one was so successful. Don Jr and Eric are graduates, and we have Barron almost ready to leave high school. So it makes a lotta sense.

"And I'm just moving, not giving up my citizenship, so I can still run for president in '24. I already have Greenland's electoral votes locked up! And Sidney Powell says she's working on the lower 50 (she may have said 'loan her 50'), so I have nothing to worry about there either.

"Right now, snow or no snow, I'm just going to enjoy hanging loose on my island, deepening the tan and looking for ways to crush my enemies. That, and working on a new super-secret reprogramming course for supposedly incurable quacks like Rudy, Sidney, Ron Johnson, Kevin McCarthy, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, MTG, Mike Rounds, Lauren Boebert—I'm calling it Quacks Anonymous, or QAnon for short..."

Gotcha! April Fools!

April 6, 2021

A lullaby to Allen from Donald (sung to the tune of "Edelweiss," from Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music):

Say that you'll never leave me

Short and white
Not too bright
Sharing our cheat sheets
Would grieve me

My CFO, please don't let them throw
Me in jail forever

Tell those scum you'll flip never

With the number of lawsuits, state and federal, against former president Donald Trump seeming to proliferate by the hour, word has it that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and NY Attorney General Letitia James are zeroing in on Trump's longtime Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg, who knows where the bodies are buried and the tax dodges hidden, bringing pressure to bear in the hope that Weisselberg might incriminate his boss to avoid a possible lengthy prison term. In New York, investigators have finally acquired Trump's elusive tax returns and bolstered their team with a prosecutor who specializes in unraveling complex financial cases, while in Georgia, another prosecutor is planning to request subpoenas from a grand jury.

Investigators from Cy Vance's office have received a trove of records including tax returns, financial statements and communications between the Trump Mafia and Mazars, the Don's longtime accountant, after efforts to shield them were struck down by Trump's hand-picked Supreme Court. Meanwhile, James's office has begun digging into Trump's business and personal finances, exploring whether assets were improperly inflated or deflated and if banks or tax authorities were defrauded. And as far as Trump's legal problems go, these probes are merely the tip of the iceberg. If New York can't get the job done, Georgia, among others, is waiting in the wings.

If the former scoundrel-in-chief seems relatively unfazed by these looming disasters, that's because he's sure he'll soon be back in office and afforded the umbrella protection he once enjoyed. The Lord himself has decreed it. Well, maybe not the Lord himself, but the next best guarantor—evangelical Christian minister Jeff Jansen who has assured the faithful that the US military is planning a coup that will remove president Joe Biden from office and reinstall the nation's rightful leader, Donald J Trump. "Just because there was a fake inauguration in January... for optics and for posture, let them have their day in the sun," Jansen thundered in a YouTube broadcast..."actually, the military is in control now. They've already made their decision. Now, it's about returning power... to the rightly, duly elected president...and that president will be Donald J Trump." Another pastor, Robin Bullock, who says he has "worked heavily" in the prophetic realm, confirmed recently that the prophets on high would reinstall Trump "for three terms" [constitutional term limits be damned]. To which Trump replied: "Profits? I like the sound of that!"

All believers have to do, said Bullock, is determine whether Trump wants the job, "because God won't make him do anything [he doesn't want to do]." But if Trump nods yes, he can simply walk back into the White House, as "God will supernaturally move things out of the way" (including, we presume, an entire administration and its massive apparatus that has been governing the country quite well since January 20).

And in case that doesn't work...

There is an infallible Plan B to fall back on, one that guarantees Trump a second term by August, no less. And if you're thinking that sounds far-fetched, keep in mind that Plan B has the endorsement of none other than Mike Lindell. Yes, that Mike Lindell, the My Pillow guy, who says there is absolutely no doubt that Trump will be reinstalled as president, "based on all of the evidence" he has, which he will be presenting to the Supreme Court (evidence that somehow escaped public notice before Lindell dug in and dug it up). "The election of 2020 is going bye-bye," Lindell prophesied. "It was an attack by another country—communism coming in. I don't know what they're going to do with it after they pull it down but it's going down." Sensing he was on a roll, Lindell asked one of his associates to hold his tinfoil hat while he hammered home his message: "Donald Trump will be back in office by August!"

Lindell paused, waiting for the inevitable applause—which came from Florida, of all places. Yes, Florida, where at least ten local Republican Party web sites continue to list Donald J Trump as the current president of the United States. Reality? They don't need no stinkin' reality! GOP sites in counties as large as Miami-Dade and Hillsborough maintain that Donald Trump, not Joe Biden, won the November election and still resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in DC, not at the Mar-a-Lago resort in south Florida. Some say it was an administrative oversight; others flat-out fantasize that it's true. "Trump hasn't conceded, and it's our opinion the election was stolen," said Jay Kramer, chair of the Indian River County GOP and former mayor of Vero Beach, when asked about the GOP's web site. Other sites that apparently echo the sentiment include those in Flagler, Okaloosa, Walton and Osceola counties. Picking up on the "Edelweiss" theme, they have composed their own loving refrain:

Donald Trump,
Donald Trump,
Trash our homeland forever...

April 14, 2021

If I were Donald Trump (a thought that in itself sends shivers up my spine) and was speaking to a large audience—toadies or not—I'd think twice before asking them, "Have you ever seen anybody that is so full of crap?" It could give them food for thought. The former bamboozler-in-chief was referring in that instance to Dr Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious disease expert, a man who actually knows what he is talking about. The event was the Republican National Committee's annual spring retreat, the last few hours of which were spent last weekend at Trump's Mar-a-Lago rest home in Palm Beach, FL. The lemmings had made the short pilgrimage from the nearby Four Seasons Resort in Boca Raton to Mar-a-Lago to pay homage to a man whose depth of ignorance and unequaled capacity for flinging warmed-over bullshit they embrace as no less than orgasmic.

For the privilege of hearing their master's voice, the GOP faithful, through the RNC, paid the resident con man's club more than $100,000, which they no doubt thought was a steal. Trump, as it turns out, had the same idea—stealing, that is.

Captivated by the orange-hued half-wit's unrivaled oratory, the roughly 300 pigeons who nested at Mar-a-Lago were unaware that the chairs on which they were seated had built-in buzzers under the cushions that automatically added another $10,000 to their dinner tab the moment they sat down. When they rose later to share a toast to the humbug-in-chief and took their seats again, another $10,000 was added to the "money bomb."

The menus themselves offered a choice of lobster or filet mignon. Each entree came with a box that had to be checked, indicating the diner's choice. Much lower on the menu, in fine print, were the words: "Checking this box expresses your wish that this should be a RECURRING entree, the cost of which will be deducted automatically each week from your bank account. Failure to check either box is tantamount to TREASON and will be reported immediately to the swindler-in-chief. Conviction for TREASON may carry a penalty of life in prison or summary execution. This statement is in no way meant to coerce you into checking either box. Please be advised, however, that our waiters have been trained to notice anyone who is dining on bread sticks and water, and to act accordingly. Owing to recent breaks in the supply chain, the cost of lobster or filet mignon is now $1,000 each, which can be doubled without prior notice. Local, state and federal taxes apply, as do costs for shipping and handling. Offer void where prohibited (Laos, Ivory Coast and Turkmenistan). ENJOY YOUR MEAL!"

Part of that, of course, is pure fiction. Trump is by no means an "unrivaled orator." Unless, that is, you believe that calling senate minority leader Mitch McConnell a "dumb son of a bitch" is the pinnacle of declamatory sophistication. And if you do, you'll no doubt have to look up the meaning of "declamatory sophistication." Also "pinnacle."

Those who couldn't afford to be at Mar-a-Lago to hear the dissembler-in-chief declare for the umpteenth time that he "won" the 2020 election could take solace in his web site, 45Office.com, which delineates Trump's "greatest hits" and describes how he "launched the most extraordinary political movement in history," a movement that, alas, lasted only four years before voters realized it was more like a bowel movement and flushed Trump and his horse shit down the toilet. Among his many other accomplishments, according to 45Office, Trump "achieved the most secure border in United States history"—and Mexico paid for it! (Okay, we made that last part up—but Trump swears it is true.)

The former glad-hander-in-chief and former first trophy Melania encourage their supporters to keep in touch by writing, telling them to rest assured their cards and letters are being read [to them, at bedtime]. The even better news is that writers may receive a reply! (for a small fee, of course), on actual 45Office stationery with facsimiles of Donald and Melania's signatures. But hurry! This is a limited time offer and may be withdrawn as soon as Trump has as much money as Jeff Bezos. And if you write within the next ten minutes, you'll also receive a notarized photo of a MAGA hat worn by a Proud Boy inside the Capitol rotunda. Supplies are limited, so act now!

Illustration courtesy of Keith Henry Brown and Michael Ricci.

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All About Jazz needs your support

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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