The Trump Files

Gene L. Ford By

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You may have heard by now that president GOAT has been making inquiries about adding his orange-hued visage to those of the actual presidents whose likenesses are enshrined on Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. He has mentioned it more than once to gov. Kristi Noem (who thought he was joking before looking more closely at his unsmiling face), and presidential aides have asked about "the process" of making room for Trump's face on the mountainside (not realizing that it's a federal, not a state, monument). Those who are thinking "that could never happen" are the same people who have underestimated president self-absorbed before. He will literally stop at nothing to stroke his massive ego. If his face were to be added to Mt Rushmore (lower on the promontory, of course, so he'd be looking up at Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and TR) I was trying to envision what that might look like, and I pictured a plane passing over South Dakota at night:

"Mommy," a little girl asks, "What's that orange glow in the sky?"

"Oh, that's nothing to be concerned about, dear. It's only the moon reflecting its light off Donald Trump Mountain, Resort and Golf Club. It used to be called Mt Rushmore before Mr Trump was elected president-for-life after he repealed something we used to call the Constitution."

"Mommy, is Mr Trump really the greatest president we've ever had?"

"Of course he is, dear. In fact, I'd like to hear you say it too. And when you do, pretend that bag of peanuts the flight attendant was kind enough to bring us is the president and speak directly into it. I'm sure president Trump will be pleased when he hears that."

"Do you think the president will really hear it when I say he's the greatest, mommy?"

"Oh, I'm sure he will, sweetheart. And be careful!—don't eat that last peanut, the special shiny one with a slight hum. Remember what you were taught in school: always save that last peanut for the president to show your love for him."

August 19, 2020

I'd like to begin today's installment of The Files with an editorial comment. (So what else is new? you may ask).

Wait—hear me out! This has nothing to do with president orange-you-glad-I'm-here. (Oh, then please continue... ).

PBS recently telecast a riveting two-part series on the decades-long battle (more like a war) waged by a small but tenacious army of remarkably courageous women to secure a legacy that in hindsight seems fundamental but was vehemently opposed by many of their male (and even some female) fellow citizens; namely, the right to vote. A convention demanding that women be granted the franchise was held in Seneca Falls, NY, in July 1848. Women in the US earned (and "earned" is the proper word) the right to vote seventy-two years later, in 1920, after waging pitched battles in every state, enduring insults, slander, physical attacks and imprisonment but refusing to yield to their tormentors until the prize was won and the 19th Amendment was enshrined in the Constitution. Yesterday marked the one-hundredth anniversary of that historic occasion.

Three years later, two of those lionhearted women, Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman, co-authored another proposed amendment, which reads as follows: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

If ever there were a no-brainer, that statement seems to fit like a glove. And yet today, ninety-seven years later, and in the twentieth year of the more "enlightened " twenty-first century, the Equal Rights Amendment has yet to be ratified. Yes, women today are far more "equal" in most respects than they were in 1923, but that equivalence has not been written into the Constitution as the explicit law of the land. In mathematical terms, thirty-eight states had to ratify the Amendment to translate it into law. That number never rose above thirty-six, and four of those states later rescinded their affirmative votes. How could that be? Much of the blame, if we may call it that (and we will), for sidetracking the ERA rests with one Phyllis Schlafly who mobilized "suburban housewives" (yes, we still had them back then) and convinced them that supporting the Amendment would not be in their best interest for a number of reasons, many of which no longer apply.

So isn't it time we gave the ERA another shot? Surely the same arguments that derailed it in the '70s-'80s can't be used against it today. And in the Age of Trump, anything that isn't carved in stone may be taken away under cover of darkness and for no reason at all. And we already know how the misogynist-in-chief dislikes "nasty" women. It might be a good idea to certify their equality simply as a safeguard in the unlikely event he should be re-elected; in other words, grab the bull by the horns before he can grab 'em by the pussy...

That ends today's sermon. We now rejoin our regularly scheduled sitcom already in progress...

Move over, Clorox. Step aside, UV rays. There's a new "miracle cure" kid on the block: oleandrin. Yes, we know you've heard that song before, but this one is in a slightly different key, as Oleandrin has the endorsement of none other than Mike Lindell! Yes, THAT Mike Lindell—the CEO and chief spokesperson for My Pillow, apparently a closet epidemiologist and a slavish Trumpie. No, Oleandrin hasn't been tested as a possible treatment for Covid-19, but when has that ever posed a problem for the conjurer-in-chief? "We'll look at it, we'll look at it," he told reporters. "We're looking at a lot of different things." The rumors that those things may include fairy dust and gamma rays are untrue, he said. Meanwhile, Dr William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, had this to say about oleandrin: "Don't take it. Stay away. This is quackery." Well said, doctor—but are you really any match for Mike Lindell when it comes to evaluating plant-based cures? Only time can tell...

As the Democratic National Convention was getting under way Monday, president herdsman was in Oshkosh, b'gosh, speaking to a group of complaisant sheep (pardon; ardent supporters) about the November election. As is his custom, he left them with these ennobling words: ." . . the only way we are going to lose this election is if the election is rigged." And to back up that premise, he is doing everything he can to ensure that it is, ordering his hand-picked postmaster-general to "rig" the postal service and make sure those nasty and "fraudulent" mail-in ballots are scattered to the four winds so as not to impede his decisive march to victory. The "general" has since backed off owing to pressure not only from Democrats but from members of Trump's own party, but not before considerable (if not irreparable) damage had been done. While the full extent of that damage is not yet known, eBay has seen an unprecedented spike in the sale of used mail boxes.

After uplifting Wisconsin, the dissembler-in-chief was off to Arizona to let them know that his opponent, former vice-president Joe Biden, has proposed "the most radical, extreme, reckless, dangerous and deadly" immigration plan "ever put forward by a major party candidate." Always the master of subtle understatement, president bluster added that Biden's plan would "unleash a flood of illegal immigration like the world has never seen. You see those raggedy Mexican kids?" he said, pointing at a nearby detention center. "Imagine them unchained, well-fed and running loose in our beautiful American cities! Well, ya got trouble, my friends..."

And speaking of trouble...

Never one to be outshone by the likes of Michelle Obama, who gave a rousing address at the Democratic National Convention, president catbird seat recruited First Alien Melania to do the same at next week's Republican Convention. While it is not known exactly what she plans to say, we were fortunate enough to acquire a brief excerpt, as follows:

"Donald... eez not... zee man... vee need... as president.... But eet eez. . . vhat eet eez... Oops, I must have 'borrowed' zee wrong page of Michelle's speech..."

August 21, 2020

After all the lying, cheating, thievery, obfuscation, nepotism, chicanery and wholesale ineptitude that have served as hallmarks of the woeful Trump administration, it is almost beyond ironic that five simple one-syllable words could bring down the most corrupt and incompetent president in our nation's history, but...

"It is what it is."

In November, when the results are in and president it-must-have-been-rigged realizes he has suffered a cataclysmic and humiliating defeat, he will put on his bravest face, deny that it happened, and vow to prove that the outcome was fraudulent and that he was the rightful winner, but...

"It is what it is."

And if, God forbid, we should be proven wrong, as we were four years ago, and the American people are deaf, dumb and blind enough to re-elect that popsicle-hued charlatan, well...

"It is what it is."

As to democracy and the American way of life, however, the phrase would have to be slightly amended to read...

"It was what it was."

In other news...

When asked for a response to the Democrats' repeated use of Trump's dictum, "It is what it is," president compassionate's spokesman, Tim Murtaugh, had the perfect answer: "If elected, Joe Biden would raise taxes by $4 trillion," he declared, then breathed a huge sigh of relief when no one asked how he had come up with that figure. "Damn!" he was overheard later saying to companions, "I could've said $8 trillion!" Murtaugh also missed an opening by failing to claim that the bulk of any contrived Biden tax increase would be shouldered by the nation's wealthiest 1 percent. That would have opened the campaign's recently-clogged donations spigot and started the money flowing again.

In "voter fraud" news, officials reported that the 900 mail-in ballots from "dead people" cited by first-son-in-law Jared Kushner and others as evidence of "voter fraud" were actually from voters who had died after submitting their ballots, and all of them were flagged and discarded by a vigilant and sophisticated system that may not be perfect but is far more well-oiled and precise than president fraud-is-my-copilot would care to admit.

Donald J Trump, the man with the iron-clad memory, able to leap over cognitive tests in a single bound, says he barely remembers Steve Bannon, "someone who used to work here [in the White House] for a short period of time years ago." Bannon, for those who hadn't heard, was arrested this week—by the US Postal Service, ironically enough—and charged with pocketing millions of dollars in a fraudulent "build the wall" fund-raising scam from a group of investors known collectively as "Trump's chumps." The former confidant and close adviser to the president joins a growing roster of other former employees and associates "barely known" by president mind-like-a-steel-trap including Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, George Papadopoulus, Rick Gates and the Michaels, Flynn and Cohen, who have somehow wound up on the wrong side of the law. And the most remarkable coincidence is, Trump hardly knew any of them.

Well, even though president total recall may not be a stable genius when it comes to remembering names and faces, he is a certified whiz when it comes to math, as he made clear when trashing former first lady Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention. Not only was she "in over her head," he observed, but "she had the wrong [number of] deaths [from the coronavirus pandemic]." Michelle said that "150,000 Americans" had died from COVID-19, whereas the true number, Trump was quick to remind everyone, is actually nearing 175,000. "Those 175,000 deaths are MINE!" president sandbox exclaimed. "How dare she try to take almost 25,000 of them away! I want them back! And if she won't give 'em back I'm gonna go tell the teacher!"

And finally...

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has responded to reports of large parties being held at a home in the Hollywood hills by turning off the gas, electricity, water and air conditioning. That should cut down on the break-dancing and sword-throwing and lead to long lines at the port-a-potties.

August 24, 2020

It's Monday, August 24—Welcome to the Republican National Convention, Confidence Game and Traveling Medicine Show! subtitled "Pandemic?—What Pandemic?"

Noting how well the Democrats had fared last week with their "virtual" convention, Republicans realized they would have to stage a spectacular counter-attack to assure the base they weren't ceding any ground. Like any well-scripted "reality show," they knew they had to have a convention theme that would grab viewers' attention and secure those enormous ratings president bigger-than-ever can't live without. Governing was of course a non-starter—they've been in office for almost four years and no one expects that. No, it had to be something noble and grand, and also something president sub-par could endorse without actually having to DO anything that would interfere with his weekly golf outings. "I've got it!" Jared (or someone like him) shouted: "How about 'Honoring the Great American Story'? That's magisterial-sounding yet blurry enough to sort of represent a message—what message isn't really important— and the best thing is, we won't have to mention coronavirus, the economy, Black Lives Matter protests or any of the other things that have snowed us under and left us befuddled and pleading for mercy."

In the end, it was decided to divide the over-all theme into four sections, one for each night of the convention, as follows: "Land of Promise," "Land of Opportunity," "Land of Heroes" and "Land of Greatness." (They also considered "Land of Hope and Glory" but the Brits beat them to it.) There will be four main speakers, three of whom share the same surname. You may have three guesses as to what that name is, and the first two don't count. Hint: aside from "Honoring the Great American Story," another theme that was seriously considered was "All in the Family."

Donald Trump Jr will salute the "Land of Promise" this evening, Melania Trump the "Land of Opportunity" (especially relevant for one who foresaw and avoided Trump's draconian immigration laws by marrying their author, then slipped her parents in through the back door). The Brady Bunch (pardon, Trump Family) pauses for a breather on Wednesday to allow vice-president Mike (I'll Never Smile Again) Pence and his wife, Karen, to misspeak. (That's at Virginia's Fort McHenry, where there'll most likely be fireworks—"the rockets' red glare," get it?— including, we'll bet, a huge orange burst in the guise of—and to honor—the despoiler-in-chief.)

Then it's back to business as usual, with president the-spotlight's-finally-on-me and first daughter Ivanka extolling the virtues of our once-proud "Land of Greatness" (or in the vernacular, "Make America Greatness Again"). Hardly seems like four years since the last vestiges of that greatness began to vanish, does it? While Don Jr, Melania and Ivanka have been handed starring roles, president daddy-dearest hasn't neglected his other offspring; Eric and What's-Her-Name will also address the convention, which leaves only Barron Trump. He was scheduled to speak too but that idea was scrapped when it was learned that he doesn't stutter.

And as icing on this already rancid cake, president humbler-than-thou says he'll address the nation and his adoring fans EVERY NIGHT during the convention—using every last noun, verb and adjective in his seventy-five word vocabulary if he has to. No president has ever had the gall—I mean, the stature—to do THAT before! It is beyond regal, beyond sublime—or, as former Trump press secretary Anthony Scaramucci described it, "beyond ridiculous." But in the words of another oft-quoted statesman, "It is what it is."

Do you see a pattern here? It is not without clear rationale that a Mafia dynasty is called a "family." Everyone in the "family"— in this case the entire Republican party and those wretched sycophants who still cling to the idea that president hocus-pocus is "Making America Great Again"—must swear their undying allegiance to the "family" as represented by president "call me Don" corleone. And the "family" can do as it pleases, even staging (and there's no better descriptive word than that) parts of its convention (it's not really the "Republican" convention) on the White House lawn and at Mellon Hall in DC (around the corner from the Trump Hotel; excellent rooms still available), both of which are unethical and more than likely illegal, but who's gonna take on the Don?

We'll have more to say about this farce once the curtain has mercifully fallen.

In other news...

President shaman didn't wait until the convention opened to announce the coronavirus pandemic's "miracle cure of the week," revealing at a Sunday press conference that the latest candidate—"and trust me, this one's gonna work"—is convalescent plasma, a "major therapeutic breakthrough" that many scientists and physicians even say "could provide some benefit." In other words, hey, it's better than Clorox, hydroxychloroquine or UV rays. The treatment has already been given to more than 70,000 Covid-19 patients and they seem none the worse for wear. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb went so far as to say the treatment is "probably beneficial" in some cases. Hallelujah! That pesky coronavirus is gonna disappear after all! Hopefully, before November 3. After accusing the FDA and other federal agencies of dragging their feet to torpedo his otherwise certain re-election, president laser-beam tweeted, "Must focus on speed, and saving lives!" As Russian-born comedian Yakov Smirnov used to say, "What a concept!"

Speaking of saving lives, the Russian doctor who found "no poison" in the body of Vladimir Putin's arch-enemy Alexei Navalny has been credited with saving at least one life—his own.

Returning to president Trump, when told of a recording in which his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, says among other things that her brother has "no principles" and "you can't trust him," said he hardly knows who she is. "I remember she was sometimes at the breakfast table when I was a kid," he said, "but other than that, no, I can't say much about her at all. I think she went into law or something like that, but I'm not really sure." Told that Mary Trump called him a "brat," and said she'd done his homework for him and driven him around New York "to try to get him into college," president trust-me said, "No, she must have been talking about my brother Robert, but you'd have to ask him—oh, that's right; he's dead. So I guess you can't ask him."

There is one thing, however, of which president clairvoyant is certain: voting by mail would lead to widespread fraud. To that end, his administration has filed lawsuits in various states seeking to curtail if not eliminate widespread mail-in voting. That initiative hit a snag in Pennsylvania last week when district judge Nicholas Ranjan, a Trump appointee, asked for the one thing the Trump lawyers were unable to deliver: proof. The lawyers offered in evidence half a dozen outdated newspaper articles, none of which was linked specifically to dropboxes or mail-in ballots, and a Fox News report on a spurious lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch alleging that as many as 800,000 ineligible voters could be on the state's voting rolls. Judge Ranjan is expected to issue a ruling as soon as he stops laughing.

Meanwhile, in sunny Arizona, Republican senator Martha McSally, who is about to be ground into chili pepper by her Democratic opponent, Mark Kelly, has come up with an absolutely brilliant idea to help turn the tide, asking her supporters to simply skip a meal and send the price of that meal to her campaign. To which many of her constituents replied: "Thanks to you and the other GOP senators in DC, we've been skipping a lot more than one meal! We're talkin' to you, Mitch!" McSally campaign spokeswoman Caroline Anderegg said said the senator meant the suggestion as "a joke." In Pennsylvania, Judge Ranjan is still laughing.

In Tennessee, Gov Bill Lee isn't joking. He signed into law last week legislation aimed at civil rights activists that could send them to jail and cost them their voting rights. The law says that protesters who camp out on state property could face felony charges punishable by a prison term of up to six years; convicted felons in Tennessee automatically lose their right to vote. And in Tennessee, they aren't the only voters at risk. Not only is Tennessee among the states that don't allow fear of the coronavirus as a reason to vote by mail, it is actually a crime in that state to distribute mail-in ballot applications, and a federal judge last year blocked a proposed state law that would have restricted voter registration drives. When it comes to voter suppression, some states simply play games. In Tennessee, it's serious business. Red is the color of its true love's hair, and red it shall stay.

And finally...

First a pandemic, and now—on the eve of the Republican National Convention—wildfires ravaging California and not one but two hurricanes bearing down on the gulf coast. As if that weren't enough, a truck-sized asteroid is heading toward earth and due to arrive on November 2, one day before the presidential election. Hey, evangelicals and other Bible-lovers—can't you see this is God's way of telling us it's time for Trump to leave?

August 29, 2020

Earlier this week I promised to say more about the TNC (Trump National Convention) after the final curtain had been drawn and the dystopian freak show brought to its merciful end. Well, there's really not much to say, as I must confess that I watched precious little of president p.t. barnum's "Greatest Snow on Earth" (no, that's not a misprint). Oh, there was the occasional sneak peek to see how low the GOP had sunk in service to his highness but I soon had to cover my eyes and ears in horror (had the convention been in-person instead of televised I'd have had to cover my nose as well). After four evenings of monitoring that fiction-fest, the fact-checkers must have been suffering from severe cases of writer's cramp. As for me, if I want to watch well-scripted fantasy series there are plenty of "reality TV" shows to choose from (including the one president make-believe used to preside over before he found a four-year gig he liked even better). For catharsis, I sat each evening at the dinner table cutting through the lies and hypocrisy with a knife.

Knowing they couldn't persuade voters with rational arguments about programs or policies (because, let's face it, they don't have any), the Trump strategists went immediately to Plan B: "LIE LIKE HELL AND SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF THEM." And, as Shakespeare wrote that "all the world's a stage," that must, they reasoned, surely include the White House, the most impressive "stage" of them all. Trump used that stage to his advantage all week, turning it into a virtual game show platform in which the "prizes" included a presidential pardon and investment as newly minted American citizens. Watching a sitting president use the White House as a stage prop, I was reminded of the admonition directed by legal counsel Joseph Nye Welch to senator Joseph McCarthy during the infamous Army-McCarthy hearings: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" And that was BEFORE I saw the fireworks display spelling out "Trump 2020"!

Rather than confine his appearance to the last night of the convention, as every other president in our nation's history has, president self-absorbed was on-camera every evening, doing his best to steal the show while trying to look as "presidential" as a former TV huckster and real estate hustler who has run the country into the ground can, and basking in the praise and adulation of those whose herculean task is to make him look warm and human. Now that the travesty has ended, it won't be long before the trumpeter-in-chief is bragging about "the highest TV ratings in the history of national conventions."

President perverse's acceptance speech, teleprompted on the White House south lawn to an audience of 1,500 mostly non-masked and un-socially distanced groupies, was basically a seventy-one-minute litany of his many "accomplishments" (one or two of which even skirted the far edges of truth) coupled with a vision of the horrors ahead if he should fall victim to a "rigged" election. Judging from the backdrop, the White House must be the world's largest importer of American flags. Not included in his speech was the president's bombshell announcement of a plan to release his "tremendous" one-size-fits-all suck-on-that-Obama health care plan, "one that will cover everyone for everything, pre-existing conditions and all, at a cost so low it's almost like giving health care away." Asked when the plan would be made public, president shifty replied, "Soon... probably in about two weeks..."

And so ends another heartwarming tale of truth, virtue and the American way from Trump Television Theatre. Be sure to tune in for next week's episode, "Pandemic on the Run," in which president trust-me unveils his ninety-seventh "miracle cure" and the coronavirus disappears like magic.

We'll return to planet earth after the following commercials, but first...

In an April column, I summarized Webster's definition of the word "trumpery." For those who may have missed that, I repeat it here as a timely reminder: "rubbish, trash, junk, nonsense, gibberish, babbling, blather, drivel, gobbledegook, humbug, balderdash, hogwash, swill, horsefeathers." And with that I rest my case.

In other news...

Kellyanne "Alternative Facts" Conway announced this week that she is leaving her post as senior White House adviser. We will miss her ever-smiling face (was that grin natural or glued on every morning?) and her uncanny ability to turn any argument on its ear to make it seem that her boss, Donald Trump, was right and Barack Obama (or whoever) was wrong. She sometimes did this by citing "alternative facts," as she did when arguing that president bigger-than-thou's inauguration day audience was larger than Obama's, as press secretary Sean Spicer said it was. Farewell, Kellyanne; we hardly knew ye.

Still basking in faint praise and scattered applause for his presidential pardons of women's suffrage pioneer Susan B Anthony and reformed bank robber Jon Ponder (the last performed in Ponder's presence at the White House during the TNC), president beneficence 1st has announced that he'll be expanding the pardons list in September to emancipate some others among the ill-treated who were born in that month (and one who wasn't). Here's a partial list with the presidential reasons for the pardons: mob hit man Whitey Bulger ("There's a special place in my heart for anyone named Whitey"). Sid Caesar ("One of the greatest Roman emperors— really got a raw deal"). Jesse James ("The man was shot in the back!... sad. Didn't deserve that!"). Typhoid Mary ("Blamed for starting an epidemic... I know how she must have felt"). Anthony Weiner ("Busted for what? Flashing his wiener? C'mon!..."). Aldo Ray ("They never proved he shot MLK Jr."). Ben Carson ("I know, he hasn't been charged with anything... yet. But we'd best board that train before it leaves the station"). And last but not least, Al Capone, who was actually born in January ("Because no one should ever go to jail for tax evasion!"). The president promised to overturn even more wrongful penalties before he leaves office in January.

September 3, 2020

In February 1933, four weeks after Adolph Hitler was sworn in as German chancellor, the Reichstad, home of that country's parliament, was burned to the ground. Feigning outrage, Hitler blamed the Communist party and persuaded the government to issue the Reichstad Fire Decree, which suspended many civil liberties and greatly expanded Hitler's powers, enabling him to purge the Communists from parliament and give his National Socialist (Nazi) party the majority it needed to consolidate the Fuhrer's grip on government. The rest, as we say, is history. And if nothing is learned from history, it can and will repeat itself.

Unlike Adolph Hitler, Donald Trump has no Reichstad to burn—but he does have his Kenosha, he does have his Portland, he does have his shadowy and malevolent "Antifa" to blame. And he does have his enduring dream of becoming America's Fuhrer, even if that means burning our Constitution to the ground. Also unlike Hitler, Trump can still be voted out of office in November—but he's doing his damnedest to make sure that doesn't happen. And if it does, he will certainly claim that the election was "rigged." As for what comes afterward, who knows? Rest assured president devious is doing the math, calculating how many of those he has duped would have his back should he become the first vanquished president who refused to leave office.

President red-white-and-blue has learned his German lessons well: wrap yourself in the flag and blame your enemies, real or imagined, for being what you truly are: "anarchists, thugs, radicals, agitators." Those rag-tag armed (and illegal) militia members who support you? "SUPER PATRIOTS!" Those who oppose you? See above. And by all means latch onto every conspiracy theory that surfaces, no matter how bat-shit crazy it is, and hang on for dear life. Oh, and make sure everyone knows that whatever is wrong in this country— viral pandemic, massive unemployment, miserable economy, civil unrest—is "their" fault, not yours, even though you are in charge of preventing or at least moderating such crises. When asked (and even when not asked), paint a rosy picture of America on your watch: say something like you are "proud of the extraordinary progress" we have made, and add that you are "brimming with confidence in [our] bright future" and buoyed by how "this towering American spirit" has "lifted us to the summit of human endeavor." Oh, that's right —you did say that, during your acceptance speech at the Trump National Convention. In fact, you mentioned almost everything aside from the planned invasions of Poland, France and Czechoslovakia—probably because Czechoslovakia no longer exists.

Oh, and don't forget to point out what a mess the country would be in if "that other guy" got elected. More on that in a moment. For now, be content that your torrent of lies, misstatements, distortions and innuendos will have their desired effect and that you may soon be the Fuhrer you've always wanted to be.

In other news...

"You will not be safe in Joe Biden's Barcelona."

In its continuing effort to portray pictorially the hell-hole America would become under a Biden presidency, the Republican National Committee showed footage of streets burning while rioters and looters ran wild, a preview of what would happen if radical Democrats were running the country. Trouble is, the country shown in the video wasn't America. It was Spain. The video is stock footage from the image service Shutterstock depicting scenes from a riot in Barcelona in 2019. "This is a taste of Biden's America," a narrator intones, using his most earnest voice of outrage and indignation. "And if you think that's bad, wait till you see what he'll do to Barcelona...." Four years ago, candidate Trump promised that if he were elected, "The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20, 2017, safety will be restored." So how has that been going, prez?

Not content to rest on those Spanish laurels, House minority whip Steve Scalise (rhymes with "sleazy") doctored a video by Biden supporter Ady Barkan to include the words "for police" where no such words were spoken. Barkan, who uses a computerized artificial voice due to ALS, asked Biden "if we can agree that we can redirect some of the funding" for police departments toward public safety and other services, to which Biden replies, "Yes." But in Scalise's altered version of the video, Barkan says "some of the funding FOR POLICE," using the same computer-generated voice. When shown the video, Barkan said, "I have lost my ability to speak but not my agency or my thoughts. You [Scalise] and your team have doctored my words for your own political gain. Please remove this video immediately." To which Scalise replied, "All's fair in love, war and computer-generated dirty tricks! If you don't believe me, ask the president."

In spite of social distancing, have you been feeling a bit hemmed in lately? Relax. You're not alone. And there's a simple reason for your angst. President pill peddler is now taking his medical advice from another "expert" in the field, Dr Scott Atlas—recruited straight from Fox News, so you know he can be trusted. And what Dr Atlas is saying is we don't need any "miracle cure," any convalescent plasma, even any vaccine—what we need is "herd immunity." And congratulations are in order, as you are now a (willing or unwilling) member of the herd, entitled to all its benefits and privileges—one of which is the chance to be one of the estimated twenty to thirty million people who would die before "herd immunity" kicked in. Hey, it's better than taking a Clorox enema and thinking you've been "cured." Well, actually it's not that much better, and in fact is probably even worse. But look at the bright side: it could help president cure-all get re-elected. And wouldn't that be a small price to pay?

I received a brochure in today's mail from "Team Trump" listing a number of reasons I shouldn't vote for Joe Biden in November. Among them: higher taxes, amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, and the dreaded "Green New Deal" that would—gasp!——-destroy millions of jobs and threaten our way of life in exchange for the mere recompense of saving the human race and the planet. Not a deal I'd want to make, would you? As the Democrats chose not to name Bernie Sanders their candidate, the Republicans have to pretend they did, and so the brochure warns that the "Bernie-Biden Agenda" is "Radical. Reckless. Wrong." And to make double sure we can't compare it to their agenda, they don't have one, unless it is "Whatever. Trump. Wants." Needless to say, I have not been persuaded to change my vote. What concerns me is this:

When the Democrats named Joe Biden their nominee, my thought was that his election in November would change the political landscape in DC from "flat-out lunacy and unchecked greed" to "business as usual." Biden represented the "safe" choice, someone who could restore sanity and balance to our once-proud system of checks and balances. To that end, Biden and his running-mate, Kamala Harris, have chosen to act as the "voices of reason," seeking to influence voters with the weight of logic and common sense. After all, that sort of level-headed approach has always worked for Trump.

NO IT HASN'T! There's no way on earth to "reason" with those who have chosen to follow president humbug's star. No one knows that better than Trump, who doesn't even try. Pandemic worrying you? "We're doing such a great job we're the envy of every country in the world." Economy tanking? "We're coming back stronger and better than ever!" Protests in the streets? "The radical left is responsible, but don't worry, we have everything under control." Concerned about losing your job and your health care? "The Democrats are trying to stop us from helping, but—trust me—we're on your side. And we'll replace that wretched Obamacare plan with one so glorious you'll be singing hallelujah." In other words, why reason when flat-out lying has worked so well.

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