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The Trump Files

Gene L. Ford By

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The news wasn't all bad for president Tulsa-bound. In spite of polls that show his approval rating somewhere south of the Galapagos Islands and him losing in November by anywhere from seven to fourteen points to Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Trump's true-blue (make that red) vassals from coast to coast are supremely confident that the polls are wrong (well, they were in 2016) and that his highness will accept a second coronation in January 2021. According to their logic, the coronavirus is all but gone, the economy is "roaring back" (well, at least "transitioning"), the polls are unreliable, Biden is too weak and befuddled to last, and the media will unwittingly help the cause by dutifully reporting every belch and sneeze that comes out of president fibber mcgee's mouth. "Look, if we stick to our game plan and do everything we can to help the president's cause in every state," one official said, "we should have no problem, especially since only one or two Democrats will be able to vote—well, maybe five at most." Philip Stephens, the GOP chairman in North Carolina, went so far as to say, "We're thinking landslide." Which may be the only point on which we agree, as I too am "thinking landslide" (more like praying) on November 3.

June 22, 2020

On Saturday, president damn the torpedoes brought the COVID-19 Express to Tulsa, Oklahoma, which hadn't seen such excitement since the Wells Fargo wagon rolled into town. Trump boasted that there were more than a million requests for tickets to his rally there, about 993,000 of whom must have been stuck in traffic, as roughly 7,000 (head counts vary) showed up at a 19,000-seat arena to applaud his usual litany of falsehoods, distortions and excuses. Gazing at row upon row of empty seats, president not-my-fault was quick to blame the media, the Black Lives Matter protesters and gale-force winds in Mississippi for the far-lower-than-expected turnout, adding that "I can deal with the trouble, friends, with a wave of my hand, this very hand," showing them the very hand with which he had banished the dreaded coronavirus pandemic, enabling them to sit and stand side by side and roar their misguided approval without wearing face masks or washing their hands. What's that you say? 136 new cases were reported in Tulsa on Saturday, a new one-day record? "Have no fear," Trump assured them. "As I said at a Task Force briefing on February 26, within a couple of days they'll be down to close to zero— especially," he gloated, "after we stop testing for them." And if that doesn't work, he counseled, "remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock and the Golden Rule!"

It is testing, the doctor-in-chief explained to the empty seats, not the virus itself, that is the real problem. "When you do testing," he confided, "you're going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please! They test and they test." Once testing ends, he said, the problem goes away. Easy as that. It's sort of like Juneteenth, president know-it-all bragged. "A big deal, but before I scheduled a rally on that day no one had ever heard of it. I made it famous; really famous. So you see, if we keep our mouths shut and don't ever mention COVID-19 it will soon disappear, just like Juneteenth faded away before I let everyone know about it. Mark my words." Of course, "marking his words" is the last thing president quick-change really wants, as those who did mark his words would have recalled his saying on April 20 that the U.S. coronavirus death toll could possibly reach "50 or 60 thousand," well below an estimated 100,000, or on April 29 that it could reach 70,000 as "the final level," or at a Fox News town hall that we "could lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people," before conceding that Dr Deborah Birx's model predicting a death toll of 100,000 to 240,000 could be accurate. "And hopefully," he surmised, more recently, "it's still going to be at the very lower level of the plane" (for the record, the U.S. death toll now stands above 120,000 and counting).

In other news...

President Trump, VSG (Very Stable Genius) slammed former national security adviser John Bolton's book, In the Room Where It Happened, saying it is "full of lies" and "classified information" that could harm his re-election bid—I mean, harm the country. "Every conversation with me is classified," president mud-slinger said. "More than that, it is highly classified. And as you know, the higher the classification, the worse I look. This book should be rated quadruple-X." Among other things (besides calling the stable genius unfit to be president), Bolton says Trump pleaded with Chinese president Xi Jinping to enter into trade deals that would make Trump look good and help him win farmers' votes in November. Ukraine? According to Bolton, only the tip of the iceberg. Nothing president one-term-too-many did, Bolton writes, was done without first considering its effect on his chances for re-election.

Those chances, according to a new Ipsos / Reuters poll, are fast sinking into the swamp president roomba promised to clean, with former vice-president Joe Biden holding a 48-35 percent lead, double what it was a month ago, in non-live interview polling. In rebuttal, the president said that if he loses in November "the whole country will be Minneapolis." And if he wins, the whole country will be Moscow. "I feel that if the Democrats get in," the great seer predicted, "we are literally going to end up in a recession-slash-depression the likes of which you've never seen." Breaking news, Mr. president: we're already there.

And as to those remarks about COVID-19 testing, president prankster says: "I was only kidding."

June 24, 2020

Having crunched the numbers and decided that his sparsely attended rally last week in Tulsa hadn't infected nearly enough of his dull-witted partisans with coronavirus, president barnum decided to give it another try, moving his traveling circus to another of the country's COVID-19 hot spots, Phoenix, AZ, for a second indoor event, this one at a church. What could possibly go wrong? First, however, the blusterer-in-chief consulted with several of his closest dullards to try and figure out what went wrong in Tulsa. Frankly, he was told, your shtick is getting a bit stale; people no longer respond to arrogance, lies and half-truths as dutifully they once did. To put it bluntly, most of them come to be entertained, and you'll have to change your act if you want to win them over.

For once, president blowhard listened closely and took their advice to heart. Tuesday evening, he bounded onto the stage in Phoenix, nervously tugging at his long red tie. "What a crowd. What a crowd!" he bellowed, waiting for the applause that followed. "l'll tell ya, I'm all right now but last week I was in bad shape. Did you see that so-called rally in Tulsa? There were more empty seats in that arena than you'd see at a Spanish flu reunion! And on top of that, they were BLUE seats! All BLUE! I tell you, I don't get no respect. That's the story of my life; no respect. Even Stormy Daniels said I was fair with a slight chance of scoring! But speaking of flu—and I mean the kung-flu, of course—there's absolutely nothing to worry about. I opened my window this morning and the coronavirus 'flu' right out! So there's no longer any need for those 'lone ranger' masks, not even when we're packed in here like sardines. Like I said to the fake news when they asked why I won't release my tax returns, there's nothing fishy there! The AG—my personal 'barr'-tender—got a kick out of that one! Great sense of humor, that Barr, especially when he's dismantling the legal system. The man loves his work! Oh, I should mention that I arrived here about an hour before the show, walked onstage and said, 'Testing... testing... 1, 2, 3...' The sound engineer said, 'Are you checking the mic, sir?' And I said, 'No, that's how many people we're testing now that I've slowed things down!'" That line earned the longest and loudest applause of the evening. "I saw my doctor last week," president dangerfield, now on a roll, continued. "You know my doctor—Dr Vinnie Boom-Bah? He says if I keep eatin' that KFC and drinkin' those Diet Cokes I should live to be a thousand. Fittest president he's seen since William Howard Taffy—I mean, Taft! Those other doctors—Fauci and Birx— sounds like a fly-by-night law firm, doesn't it?—they keep yakking about 'spikes.' I say we need more of those 'spikes,' not less, to help anchor my beautiful wall right here in this state! (more raucous applause).—Well, I could go on all night but I've gotta get to Wisconsin before the cheese goes rancid. So I'll say goodnight for now—but remember, if anyone says to you 'wear a mask,' you tell 'em president braveheart says masks are for pussies— oops! I probably shouldn't have used that word, even if it did help me get elected! Well, you've been a really great audience. Be sure and check out TV Guide for my upcoming special on the Fox Comedy Channel (you may know it better as Fox News). And please remember to vote in October!"

And with that, president stand-up waved his way to the edge of the stage, only to realize that Johnny Carson was no longer there to shake his hand.

June 29, 2020

In spite of dire warnings from president glinda goodwitch and his magic wand about his unquenchable thirst for revenge, the coronavirus pandemic served notice this week that it isn't going anywhere, at least for now. With the rate of infections spiking in more than half of the 50 states, more than 2.4 million cases logged, more than 125,000 Americans deceased and a warning from the CDC that the rate of infection could actually be as much as "10 times higher than reported," president on-the-case was quick to respond, tweeting to his millions of followers:

"LET MY STATUES GO!"

Yes, you heard right. President beauregard's latest crusade has nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic and everything to do with "saving our precious heritage," or in other words, saving the statues commemorating the heroic deeds of politicians, soldiers and slave-owners who helped "make America great" in the good old days before racial equality and civil rights raised their ugly heads. Bringing down statues of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee was bad enough, president stars and bars tweeted, but when they came for Albert Pike, "they went too far." Pike, for the benefit of those who are not historians or trivia buffs, was a Confederate general whose statue was erected by the Masons (of which he was a member) in 1901 in DC's Judiciary Square neighborhood. Pike' statue, like so many others, has been toppled; president ancestry.com has ordered it re-erected.

Having long ago abandoned the fight against America's "invisible enemy," as he has labeled COVID-19, our wartime president has turned his attention to more conspicuous targets. He plans, he said this week, to issue an executive order strengthening laws to protect "our" precious statues from the "vandals" and "terrorists" who would deface and / or topple them, adding that those who do should face up to ten years in prison. Seditionist and slave-owners may come and go, he declared, "but a statue is forever!"

Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic marches on, unimpeded by the president's "miracle cures" or his declarations that it will soon "fade away." At a time when the country desperately needs a president walter reed, it is stuck with president jubilation t. cornpone.

In other news...

As millions of Americans, frightened that they would be without adequate health care in the face of a pandemic, hurried to sign up for the Affordable Care Act (or, as the GOP derisively calls it, Obamacare), the Trump administration through its Department of Injustice filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn that act, a repeal that president tenderhearted has sought since he was sworn into office. The lawsuit puts at risk health insurance for more than 20 million Americans covered by Obamacare, as well as insurance protections for those with pre-existing conditions. When pressed to explain the reasons behind the lawsuit, president beneficent replied that the timing was right: "Americans have been on the dole long enough," he said. "It's not like we're having a health crisis or anything like that." As to replacing the largely popular health-care plan, president sleight of hand said, "Of course we can do that! And we'll create the greatest health-care program in history: complete coverage for everyone, with lower fees, shorter waiting times, access to any doctor you choose, drugs at the ready . . . what's that? You say I'm describing the same health-care plans offered in almost every other civilized country? No, I'm not! Their health plans are SOCIALIST! Americans would NEVER stand for that!"

He's right, of course; Americans are horrified at the thought of "socialized medicine," as they were horrified by the Affordable Care Act until they looked more closely and learned what was in it. Now that they want and need Obamacare, president masochist says it's time to pull that rug from under their feet. Asked if he was concerned about a backlash, president cocksure simply shrugged. "Nah," he said, "It doesn't matter what I do. Those gullible half-wits will vote for me anyway. As the song goes, 't'ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it...'"

In more heartening news, two professional fast-pitch softball teams squared off this week for a seven-game series in Melbourne, FL. The series ended after only one game was played, however, when the eighteen-member Scrap Yard Fast Pitch team— sixteen white players, two black—learned after the contest that general manager Connie May had sent a tweet to @realDonaldTrump saying "Pro Fast pitch being played live... Everyone standing for the FLAG!" After seeing that, every member of the team cleaned out their lockers and said bye-bye to the GM. "We were used as political pawns," pitcher Cat Osterman said, "and that's not okay." The players were supported in their decision by the coaching staff. "We're simply not going to tolerate [racism] in our sport," Osterman said. Let's hope she speaks for other sports as well.

July 5, 2020

First, try to erase from memory, if you can, the sight of president tweety-bird standing in front of Mount Rushmore, exhorting his all-white band of brothers— and sisters—to stamp out the rising tide of those who would have them cease pretending that justice and equality for everyone was always woven into the tapestry of American life. Second, take comfort in the fact that it's the closest president underhanded will ever come to that massive and more recently litigious monument to four of our country's revered patriarchs.

That's not to say he doesn't have a more intimate and imperishable liaison in mind. Even before president "what virus?" left for his Fourth (actually, Third) of July campaign stop— pardon, presidential address—in South Dakota, his close aides were circulating on social media a doctored image of Mount Rushmore with president bush-league's face carved next to those of actual leaders Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. "Mount Rushmore, improved," one aide wrote. "Mount Rushmore, defaced," would be a far more accurate and suitable description.

The July 3 carnival, bedecked with gauche hyperbole and crude symbolism, is the sort of arena in which president hocus-pocus thrives—no talk of coronavirus, Russian bounties or a tanking economy, only the chance to feign an aura of fortitude while bashing his enemies, real or imagined, denouncing those who would "wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children." Or, translated into plain English, "Re-elect me in November and the South shall rise again!"

What president myopic doesn't seem to realize is that by holding large rallies in which face masks are optional (and worn by few) and social distancing an afterthought, he may unwittingly disable—if not kill—many of his most ardent supporters. And if the polls are correct, come November he'll need all the help he can muster. Of course, it could be argued that even if the president's lackeys were unable to vote in person, there's always the mail-in ballot—but president subterfuge is trying his best to curb that option, as it could end in a "rigged" election (which, as we know by definition, is any election Trump loses).

As if to prove that enough damage hadn't already been done, president flag waver and first prop—um, first lady—Melania hosted a Fourth of July party on the south lawn of the White House. Among the hundreds of invitees were doctors, nurses and other front-line workers in the ongoing battle against the coronavirus pandemic, because what could be a better way to salute the number of sharply rising cases of COVID-19 across the country than throwing a party. It's not like people were dying or anything. The invitations, of course, said BYOMS (Bring Your Own Masks and Sanitizers), emphasizing that they were optional, as was social distancing. The holiday, it must be emphasized, celebrates freedom, and what could be more commendable than the freedom to kill oneself for as noble a cause than president bible scholar's second term.

In other news...

Speaking of bounties...

You have to hand it to president honor our troops: faced with mounting evidence that he knew—or should have known— many months ago about a Russian scheme to offer bounties of up to $100,000 on the heads of American soldiers in Afghanistan and did nothing about it, he has crafted one of the most clever and plausible defenses one could imagine: president stable genius has pleaded ignorance. If ever there were a defense that more suited a suspect, we have yet to hear it. Ignorance! Of course! The same argument he has used in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic— though to be fair, in that case it has been ignorance coupled with indifference and denial. But the wall of truth is closing in, and it should soon become apparent to all but the most implacable of the president's bootlickers that he has dishonored American servicemen and women—at which point they will have a choice to make. Their country—or Trump? It should be interesting to see which way they turn.

July 9, 2020

Not entirely convinced that his base understood how serious he was about preserving their precious monuments to slavery and racism, president bombast used the Fourth of July weekend to share with them his Utopian plan for "a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live." Of course the devil, as always, lurks in the details. As it turns out, our president, like the Lord High Executioner in Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Mikado," has a little list—that is to say, a list of those "greatest Americans" whose statues he would like to see erected in his "vast outdoor park." And to prove he hadn't slept through all those American history classes for nothing, he has chosen to share it with his fellow historians.

As is true of any list, this one could be scrutinized and argued about endlessly without reaching a consensus. What is most thought-provoking about this particular registry, however, is not so much who is ON it but who is NOT. Starting at the top: five presidents are represented including three of the four enshrined on Mt Rushmore (Teddy Roosevelt, for all his Rough Riding, didn't make the cut). Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln are there, of course, along with dark-horse John Adams, but there are NO Democratic presidents on the list—not even Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was so universally admired that, were he alive today, he would probably still be president. FDR survived polio but not Trump's red pen. Neither did Woodrow Wilson, JFK, LBJ or even Andrew Jackson whose statue stands a stone's throw or two from the White House. The fifth president chosen: Ronald Reagan, Republican from California.

Some of president ancestry.com's choices are debatable, while others are simply mind-boggling. Take, for example, one of president barrister's favorite wet dreams, the US Supreme Court. In Trump's estimation, the only Justice worthy of enshrinement in his "pantheon of great Americans" is—wait for it—Antonin Scalia? Everyone, of course, is entitled to his opinion, no matter how misguided, but president alt.right seems to have overlooked a few other worthy candidates including Chief Justices Earl Warren, John Marshall and Warren Burger, and Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes, Thurgood Marshall, William O. Douglas, Sandra Day O'Connor (the first woman appointed to the High Court) and Sonia Sotomayor (the first Latina), to name several. But nothing says "playing to the base" more clearly than Justice Scalia.

If these omissions seem strange, we've only just begun. Under "astronauts," one name appears, that of Christa McAuliffe. Worthy enough, but there's no John Glenn (first man to fly in orbit) or Neil Armstrong (who walked on the moon), no Alan Shepard or even Buzz Aldrin. And under First Ladies, Dolly Madison is there but not Eleanor Roosevelt, perhaps the most influential First Lady who ever lived. Speaking of the fairer sex, Susan B Anthony and Clara Barton are included but not Anthony's strong right arm, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, or Helen Keller who overcame a few obstacles (she could neither see nor hear) but, alas, founded the American Civil Liberties Union, which naturally disqualifies her from president open-handed's consideration. Yes, he does salute Betsy Ross, who it's said sewed the first American flag, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote the novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin." But speaking of writers, there is no one else on the list who was known primarily for that, not even Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway or (heaven forbid!) W.E.B. DuBois.

Orville and Wilbur Wright earn a statue for navigating the first successful airplane flight but other innovators including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla and Samuel B. Morse are on the outside looking in, as are such titans of industry as Andrew Carnegie and John D Rockefeller. There are five African-Americans on president tolerant's list including one athlete— Jackie Robinson—who broke baseball's color line in 1947. There is no doubt that Robinson deserves a statue, but so, arguably, does track star Jesse Owens whose three gold medals in the 1936 Olympic Games helped shatter Adolph Hitler's dream of a Master Race. And surely there must be room enough in that "memorial park" to accommodate Jack Johnson, boxing's first black heavyweight champion; Joe Louis, perhaps the greatest black champion of them all; Muhammad Ali, who could also lay claim to that title; and Sugar Ray Robinson, widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the sport's history. Perhaps there should also be statues of Hank Aaron, who needed no "enhanced substances" to break the immortal Babe Ruth's home run record (Ruth is another hero not on the list); tennis pathfinders Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe; golfer Eldrick "Tiger" Woods, and, last but not least, Jim Thorpe, perhaps the greatest Native American athlete who ever lived.

Before straying from that thought, frontiersmen Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett are in line for statues but there'll be none for Native American heroes including Tecumseh, Geronimo, Crazy Horse, Cochise or Sitting Bull. Among statesmen, the list includes Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and Henry Clay but omits Thomas Paine and Ralph Bunche, the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize. Yes, Frederick Douglass was nominated (after someone reminded president history buff that he had passed away) but there's no mention of activist Marcus Garvey, Ida B Wells (a founder of the NAACP) or Alaine Locke, the first African-American Rhodes scholar. As for Cesar Chavez, founder of the American Farm Workers Union? Not a chance! Clergymen on the list are Billy Graham and the peerless Martin Luther King Jr. On the sideline is the great orator Henry Ward Beecher, father of the aforementioned Harriet Beecher Stowe.

President bone spurs' catalog of war heroes includes Douglas MacArthur (who was fired by President Harry Truman for insubordination), Gen George S Patton and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (yes, we had to look him up too; perhaps one of Trump's distant relatives?). Conspicuously absent is Gen Dwight Eisenhower who not only commanded US forces on D-Day but was later elected president and while in office inaugurated the Interstate Highway system. There's no room, either, for Audie Murphy, the most decorated US soldier in World War II, or Crispus Attucks, an African-American who was the first US combatant killed in the Revolutionary War. Harriet Tubman, who didn't quite have whatever it takes to land on the twenty-dollar bill, earns her own statue; Sojourner Truth and Rosa Parks will have to wait for theirs. The last black honoree is Booker T Washington (George Washington Carver was apparently one too many).

Well, that about covers everything... No, wait! There IS one more small matter to discuss. I hope I'm not the only one who noticed. There will be NO JEWS in herr trump's gated compound. Not one. No, not even Dr Jonas Salk who developed the polio vaccine. There'll be no Albert Einstein, to whom president very stable genius has compared himself. No Louis Brandeis, the first Jew named to the US Supreme Court. No Emma Lazarus, words from whose poetry adorn the base of the Statue of Liberty. No Uriah P. Levy, first Jewish commodore of the US Navy. No Harry Houdini, whose magic must have escaped president eagle-eye's gaze. No Gloria Steinem, no Bob Dylan. And last but by no means least, no Irving Berlin who wrote a handful of more or less popular songs including "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Easter Parade," "White Christmas" and an unassuming, almost-forgotten tune he called "God Bless America." He wrote that last one before Donald J Trump held up a bible to show Berlin what devotion to one's country really looks like.

So there you have it: the president's all-Gentile, mostly white list of greatest American heroes (and some who weren't quite "heroic" enough to make it). In the end, all of these points are moot, as president pie-in-the-sky's "garden of heroes" is simply another half-baked idea thrown to his base that he has no intention of following through on. But even if it should somehow come to pass, experience and common sense tell us that any "vast outdoor park" in which the president has a hand would be no more than "half-vast."

In other news...

Among the many nonsensical signs flaunted at president blowhard's self-serving rallies is one that reads "PROMISES MADE PROMISES KEPT." Among those promises, if memory serves, was one to eliminate the random violence and shootings in large cities such as Chicago and New York. So how is that going? Over the Fourth of July weekend, there were sixty-seven shootings in Chicago that left thirteen people dead including a seven-year-old girl and a fourteen-year-old boy, and nearly as many in New York City. As always, president law-and-order was on top of it, tweeting about NASCAR, Sleepy Joe Biden and school re-openings in the fall. Chicago and New York? Not a peep. So much for "promises kept..."

July 15, 2020

Donald Trump, GSE (Gun Slinger Extraordinaire) once bragged that he could shoot someone dead in Times Square in broad daylight and his loyal base wouldn't bat an eye. With the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. now north of 3.4 million and new cases going through the roof in at least 38 states, Sheriff Trump decided the time had come to renew that base-tested strategy and clean up Dodge City. No, not by going toe-to-toe with a deadly virus that has taken more than 137,000 American lives—that would be far too risky—but by doing the next best thing: shooting the messenger.

That messenger is Dr Anthony Fauci, otherwise known as the pandemic's Voice of Reason. Never mind that 67% of Americans believe what Dr Fauci says about COVID-19 compared with the 26% who believe president trust me. The Dr had to go. But how? Technically, president crowned head could fire him, but Fauci could sue, and the litigator-in-chief is far more comfortable on the firing range of lawsuits than on the receiving end. No, shooting the good doctor full of half-truths and innuendo would be much easier and more effective.

Loading his trusty .45-caliber deluder, president quick draw opened target practice on Fox News, in an interview with his favorite sidekick, Gabby Hannity. Nothing against Dr Fauci, he said; "he's a really nice person" and "we have a great relationship." But "to be honest" (crank up the fact-checking machine whenever Trump the Impaler says that), "he has made a lot of mistakes." Never one to cast aspersions, president good-hearted declined to go into specifics except to say that Dr Fauci had been wrong on almost every point from Day 1. Pressed by the press to impress at a press briefing, president see-no-evil was forced to elaborate, saying Dr Fauci had been wrong about masks, wrong about gloves, wrong about banning travelers from China, wrong about how the coronavirus was spread, wrong about social distancing, wrong about reopening, wrong about who framed Roger Rabbit—well, you get the idea. To show that his mood was benign and not malignant, president miracle cure invited the members of the press to hang around for a cup or two of Clorox and some "light" (ultraviolet, that is) refreshment.

And to show how seriously he takes the pandemic, president no-nonsense wore a face mask in public during a visit to the Walter Reed Medical Center. "I've never been against masks," he said, as his nose grew a few inches longer. Asked why he had finally donned a mask some five months into the pandemic, president all-heart explained that there were sick people there, and he didn't want to worsen their condition. "And by wearing that mask," he said, "I saved hundreds of thousands of lives." He doesn't need to wear a mask at the White House, president safety first added, as everyone there is expendable. To prove the point, he randomly fired three of his aides before ending the meeting.

In other news...

What if they held a convention and nobody came? President that's mine!, infuriated because North Carolina wouldn't give him all the sand in the box, stopped whining and stomping his feet long enough to wave bye-bye, moving the Republican National Convention at the end of August from Charlotte to the far more accommodating—and much safer—city of Jacksonville, FL. Trouble is, even some of his GOP buddies say they won't be going. It's not that Florida recorded its highest daily total of new COVID-19 cases this week, and its highest daily number of deaths—okay, it actually IS that. Wait, we'll hold it outdoors! said president anything-it-takes. No thanks, replied legislators Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Roy Blunt, Lamar Alexander, Pat Roberts and Francis Rooney, with several others saying they are on the fence and leaning toward Sarasota. Even Mitch (how high should I jump?) McConnell says he's uncomfortable about the Jacksonville plan. Illinois Rep Darin LaHood, an honorary state co-chair of the Trump campaign, went even further, saying, "Everybody just assumes no one is going." He, for one, definitely isn't. As of now it's looking like Jacksonville could be Tulsa revisited but with maybe 6,000 or so fewer puppets.

And finally...

Asked by a reporter what he would say to the family of a teacher who contracted coronavirus while holding summer school classes recently and later died from the illness, president simpatico assumed his most thoughtful demeanor, paused for effect, looked the reporter straight in the eye and said: "We have to reopen the schools." Words to live by. And with respect to president a-hole, that about says it all...

July 18, 2020: The Emperor's real clothier

Tony Schwartz, the man who actually wrote Donald Trump's self-serving homage to duplicity, The Art of the Deal, was a guest speaker at Oxford University in the fall of 2016, several weeks before the presidential election. Here's what he had to say about the orange-hued con artist who always claimed he had written it: "Lying is so second-nature to Donald Trump that he really believes everything he says either IS true, MAY be true or SHOULD be true." As any credible couch doctor would affirm, that explains a lot.

Take, for example, president cerebral's assertion that "99% of coronavirus cases" are harmless. Anyone who knows anything about the virus will confirm that ISN'T true, and there's no evidence that it MAY be true. But if what Tony Schwartz says is accurate— and there's no reason to believe it isn't—in president infallible's twisted mind it certainly SHOULD be true, as that is what he chooses to believe, and what he wants everyone else within shouting distance to believe. So he simply pulls a random number from his ample posterior and presents it as a fact.

He surely knows that ISN'T true, and has no way of knowing if it MAY be true, but he truly believes it SHOULD be true. Which is why he presents any falsehood with such an air of composure and assurance; he actually BELIEVES, not that whatever he asserts IS or MAY be true, but that it SHOULD be true, as that is the way he WANTS it to be. He wants COVID-19 to be harmless, therefore it SHOULD be harmless, no matter how overwhelming the evidence to the contrary, as that represents his only path to re-election in November, a contest he repeatedly claims he can't lose, especially to Sleepy Joe Biden. While that may NOT be true, in president doublespeak's mind it SHOULD be true, and that's all the proof he needs.

And now the news...

It's not every day that a president's press secretary makes news. But Kayleigh McEnany, who looks like a Barbie doll might if it had lost its moral compass, isn't your garden-variety press secretary. Answering a reporter's question this week about president pedagogue's master plan to reopen schools in the fall, McEnany said he wants them "fully open." And then she said this: "The science should not stand in the way of this..." In other words, "Yes, more than 3.6 million Americans have tested positive for coronavirus, and more than 140,000 have died, but that's irrelevant. What is most important is assuring my boss's re-election in November, and if that means opening schools and exposing teachers, staff, children and their families to this highly transmissible and virulent disease, so be it; we have to keep our eye on what really matters." On her first day on the job, McEnany affirmed her rapport with Trump, saying to the press, "I won't lie to you." She hadn't uttered a word of truth since—that is, until she let this magnum opus slip: "The science should not stand in the way of this..." That, in the perverse world that she and the president inhabit, is no less than the honest truth...

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The Trump Files
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Interview with Blue Note's 80th Anniversary Vinyl Initiative
Interview with Good Vibes, Bad Vibes: Jazz in Film
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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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