The Trump Files

Gene L. Ford By

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Oh, and did we mention the 21 million who could lose their health insurance altogether if Obamacare is struck down? Or the estimated 12 million adults who could lose their Medicaid coverage? Or the 800,000 who are being treated for opioid addiction through Medicaid? Or the 165 million who are protected from caps that insurers and employers once used to limit how much they were required to pay in coverage each year or over a lifetime? Or the 60 million people covered by Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people age sixty-five and older and those of all ages with disabilities? And we mustn't forget the two million young adults now covered through their parents' insurance plans.

But, as Trump would no doubt say, these are nobodies, "disgusting people" and hardly worth the effort to shake hands with let alone insure. Besides, they'll be more than adequately covered under the miracle-working administration's "tremendous" new low-cost, high-benefit health insurance plan, which should be unveiled any time nowprobably in two weeks or so.

And finally...

I seldom agreed with senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) during his more than four decades in congress (okay, I never agreed) but I must confess that the retired legislator has at long last proposed an idea with which I can not only agree but champion: the belief that the federal government should make daylight saving time (DST) a permanent year-round reality. Hatch has set forth a number of reasons for the change, all of which I will overrule with one reason of my own: I like it better that way! I don't take pleasure in venturing out in darkness at 5 p.m. It seems unnatural. Always has, always will. Give me more lasting sunshine any day. Why on earth should we deprive ourselves of that late-afternoon-early-evening sunlight for four months every year when there is no logical reason for it. C'mon, congress, surely that is something on which you can agree. Standard time begone; I say DST forever!

September 27, 2020

After searching high and low (well, at least low) for a strategy that would guarantee a landslide victory in the November election, president mendacious has at last found one that has "can't lose" blazoned across its visage in bold-face type. "We could win easily," the dissembler-in-chief advised dumfounded reporters at a press conference last week, "if we could get rid of the ballots!" Of course! The ballots! We should have known they were the only obstacle standing between president felonious and a triumph of historic size in November. "The ballots are a disaster," he fumed, producing the usual proof.

After zeroing in on the problem, president capone instructed his foot soldiers to do everything in their power to make those nasty ballots disappear, and they have responded enthusiastically, purging thousands upon thousands of likely Democratic voters from the rolls in states from coast to coast, eliminating polling places in primarily "blue" neighborhoods, restricting the number of days in which mail-in ballots may be received or returned, making sure the postal service has been castrated, removing convenient drop boxes that make voting easier, and doing whatever else they can to "get rid of the ballots." A brilliant plan, it must be conceded, but in case it doesn't work, president far-sighted is already hard at work on Plan B: declaring the election "rigged," filing the requisite lawsuits and leaving the decision in the impartial hands of the US Supreme Court (or, as president knavery calls it, "my security blanket"). To make double-sure the decision goes his way, president straight-shooter is rushing to nominate and confirm a replacement for the late justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election. "Having a 4-4 situation [on the Court] is not a good situation," president upright told the press, adding under his breath, "for me."

In other news...

Even though he can clearly win re-election in November without the support of senior citizens (as senator Beauregard Claghorn used to say on the Fred Allen radio show, "That's a joke, son!"), president open-hearted has announced that he will send $200 drug-discount cards to thirty-three million of those voters (pardon, seniors). "This is a one-time-only offer!" the huckster-in-chief proclaimed, "Valid only until November 3, 2020! And keep in mind," he fibbed, fingers crossed behind his back, "there are NO strings attached! (Of course, if you should choose to cast a vote for your unselfish benefactor, that would be greatly appreciated)." And "be sure to watch for my amazing low-cost, high-benefit health insurance plan, coming your way in about two weeks or so!"

President foul play's presumption that mail-in ballots are illegitimate was given weight last week when it was confirmed that nine—count 'em, NINE—such ballots had been unlawfully discarded during the 2016 presidential election in Pennsylvania. To magnify the offense, SEVEN of those ballots had been cast for Donald Trump, clear evidence that Democrats were "trying to steal the election," as Trump spokesman Matt Wolking hyperbolized. The misdeed was so egregious that it prompted investigations by the Luzerne County district attorney's office, the Pennsylvania State Police, the US Attorney's office for the state's middle district, and even the FBI. What they found was that a temporary worker had "incorrectly" thrown out a small number of military and overseas ballots—nine, to be exact—after confusing the envelopes with absentee ballot applications. "Why didn't they call in the KGB?" president to-Russia-with-love asked. "They'd have gotten to the bottom of it." To which Vladimir Putin replied, "In Russia, heads would roll—seriously; no joke—heads would roll."

And finally...

Not content to designate senior citizens as the sole beneficiaries of the oldest established permanent floating con game from New York, president boss-man has unveiled a new "Platinum Plan" designed to lift black Americans from the depths of poverty and despair into the rarefied air of second-class citizenship. The plan includes prosecuting the Ku Klux Klan (even though Trump says he has "never heard of them") and Antifa as terrorist groups, making Juneteenth a federal holiday, and bolstering black economic prosperity (the details of which will be disclosed at the same time as his awesome new health care plan, probably in about two weeks). He already got a head start on the hustle, president clueless asserted, by scheduling a campaign rally in Tulsa on that very Juneteenth day last year, thus "making Juneteenth very famous," as almost no one (especially not him) had ever heard of it before. If pressed to the limit, president trust-me conceded, he might even remember Breonna Taylor's name (but not George Floyd's), learn the definition of "white supremacy," and invite Frederick Douglass to lunch at the White House ("I've heard he's done a lot of good things lately"). It's not that the birther-in-chief thinks he can bamboozle ALL black citizens into voting for him; as things stand, he'd be thankful to reach double digits.

October 2, 2020

I had planned to open today's discourse by examining the percentage of his annual income that president Scrooge McDuck pays in federal taxes but my calculator can't accommodate that many point-zero-zero-zeros. So let's wade right through the b.s. that McDuck Jr has been spreading on Fox News about how his father has contributed billions to the US economy while Joe Biden has spent his life feeding from the federal trough—in other words, devoting his miserable career to serving his country as a US senator and vice-president—and cut to the chase.

In 2016 and 2017, president "I'm really rich" paid a total of $1,500 (no, that's not a misprint) in federal income taxes. In ten of the fifteen years before that, he paid a total of ZERO. What's that you say? You paid a bit more than that? Gee, what a surprise!

Meanwhile, according to tax returns made public this week, former vice-president Biden and his wife, Jill, paid $299,346 in federal taxes in 2019, an effective rate of 31 percent, while his running mate, senator Kamala Harris, and her husband paid taxes of $1,185,628, a rate of 39 percent, on income of roughly $3 million, much of that his. President scam-the-system's knee-jerk reaction was, "I think they need much better accountants and lawyers." And he needs to grow a conscience. Highly unlikely, but according to president pious I, miracles can happen...

As it turns out, president artful dodger has used every legal trick in the book (and perhaps a handful that aren't so legit) to stiff his country while helping to "make it great again" including some dating to the presidency of his arch-enemy, president "skin's-too-dark" Obama, as well as laws enacted while George W Bush was in the White House. So far the scam has worked to near-perfection, although there is a little matter of a $72,900,000 refund the IRS would like to discuss further with him. Also, it's said he owes more than $300 million in outstanding debts, although no one seems to know to whom the money is owed. But if Vladimir Putin is among the clientele, and Trump can't repay that loan on time, we'll know soon enough, as he'll be walking with brand new knee replacements and having someone else taste his food and drink.

Mitchell Zachary, an accountant who is said to have worked on president shifty's taxes for more than ten years, looked closely at the emperor's clothes and neatly summed up what he saw, telling TV's Chris Cuomo that Trump has fought so tenaciously to keep his tax returns hidden from the public because they show he is "not who he pretends to be and never was." What he is pretending to be at the moment is president of the United States, a ruse that American voters have a chance to bring to an end in November. Let us hope they can summon enough brain-power to carry out that simple but important task.

In other news...

I'm told there was a presidential debate this week. I can't comment on that, as I stopped watching those farcical, fact-free foxtrots years ago. To me, it is absurd to dignify those ego-fests with the label "debate." In a true debate, one side adopts a proposition, the other side an opposing view, and the outcome is presumably decided based on which side presents the more cogent and persuasive argument. Does that depict even remotely what one hears in a typical presidential "debate"? Not as long as Donald Trump draws breath it doesn't. That was true in 2016 and, from the post-debate reports I've read, it was equally true this week. No matter how vapid, incoherent and spurious his performance, Trump will not entertain even the slightest doubt that he "won," and will tune in immediately to Fox News to verify the "fact." I don't know if any adults were pleased by president vanilla white's debate performance, but I've heard it was received quite enthusiastically by some "proud boys" who were understandably "proud" of the message he conveyed.

For those masochists who can't seem to get enough of that nonsense, two more presidential "debates" are scheduled, all but guaranteed to exceed the first in paucity of fact and abundance of personal insults and assaults. The moment that president self-love was sworn in almost four years ago, the American republic became a real-time facsimile of a TV soap opera / "reality" show in which president prima donna is the sole and undisputed star. What is most baffling to those of us who actually think is that a large number of Americans love that melodrama and want more of the same, even as president underhanded goes about his work of destroying every sensible and worthwhile law that has ever been passed while directing his stooges to dismantle every government agency that has even the slightest chance of improving our way of life or protecting us from adversity in whatever form it may take. Another four years of that? I don't think the system, no matter how well-designed by our Founding Fathers, could handle it.

With roughly a month to go before the election, president super-schemer continues to insist it will be "rigged" and that the result (unless he should win) will be fraudulent, an embarrassment, the worst election ever held in this country. Why, some may wonder, does he paint the election as fraudulent before a vote has been cast and the outcome decided? That brings us to today's football analogy: Imagine you're a quarterback. Fourth quarter, three seconds to play, your team trails by five points, you have the ball but it's fourth down and ten at your own 45-yard line. The situation looks hopeless. Would you throw a Hail Mary pass? Of course you would! The worst thing that could happen is the pass falls incomplete. Game over. But suppose a miracle were to happen and your star receiver (for the sake of argument, let's call him Amy Coney Barrett) should break free in the end zone, make a one-sided decision (I mean a one-handed catch), yank victory from the jaws of defeat and save the day. She'd be a hero, and so would you! Much like winning the Super Bowl, but in this case winning another four-year span in which to pillage, plunder, ignore a deadly pandemic, screw up every other task and wreak widespread havoc. In other words, business as usual. To set up the play, simply substitute "rigged" for "Hail Mary." Yes, it's a long-shot, one that seldom pays off, but it certainly merits a try. And the rewards would be more than worth the effort.

And finally...

A salute to the week's most perceptive reporting:

"The deeply conservative [Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney] Barrett has so far not been explicit about her views on reproductive rights, but is likely to face questions about this topic during her upcoming confirmation hearings."

Y'think so? Really? Can't imagine why anyone would want to question her about that. It's not like the Supreme Court would be considering any important cases in that area. Nah...let it slide. So she may have a few trivial biases. She's quite photogenic and well-spoken; that should be more than enough to assure her confirmation. We can deal with her peccadillos later. But first—not that it matters —"she's likely to face questions." I'm feeling better already.

October 7, 2020

President self-absorbed's impromptu motorcade Sunday evening outside the Walter Reed Medical Center, where he was being treated for Covid-19 (formerly mislabeled a serious illness), and his subsequent return to the White House the following day has brought to light a new disorder that caught his doctors by surprise: acute pathological narcissistic megalomania. As it turns out, the doctors had been laser-focused on his physical condition, whereas it was the screwball-in-chief's mental impotence that had caused the problem in the first place and threatened to undo even their best efforts as he aimed to bolster his "tough guy" reality-show image by waving to supporters from a hermetically sealed car before taking a helicopter ride to the White House and entering with a face mask in his coat pocket instead of on his face, where it might have done some good.

As one TV pundit said, "If any other Covid patient in the country tried that, he or she would be wrestled to the ground and held for psychiatric evaluation." Don't be afraid of Covid, president fit-as-a-fiddle counseled his wide-eyed (and lame-brained) pawns. "Look at me. I'm a seventy-four-year-old lard-ass whose only exercise is golf and who subsists for the most part on KFC, fries and diet sodas, and it couldn't take me down. Believe me, you should have nothing to worry about. Remember, we have the greatest health-care system in the world! (well, at least I do)."

"I knew there was danger," president Indiana Jones boasted. "But I had to do it. I stood out front. Nobody who's a leader would not do what I did." (In other words, you got infected on purpose so the world could see how tough you are? Actually, that makes as much or even more sense than most of your other day-to-day decisions.)

When listening to president machismo's remarks (some of which have been paraphrased here to preserve the English language), one word springs to mind: premature. As one of his starry-eyed doctors was forced to admit, Trump "isn't out of the woods" yet. Covid works in mysterious ways, and even those who believe it has done its worst often learn they have underestimated its sinister purpose, sometimes with deadly consequences. With that in mind, I recalled the great John Wayne's appearance some years ago at the annual Academy Awards ceremony. The indomitable Duke, the quintessence of toughness and grit, stood before an adoring audience, his once-rugged voice reduced to a whisper and his body wracked with cancer, and said, "We're going to beat this, and we'll see you next year." Of course that never happened. Cancer neither knows nor cares who you are, nor does Covid-19.

As for president Marcus Welby's sage advice to his fellow citizens, it was not greeted enthusiastically by those who actually know what they are talking about. "I'm struggling for words—this is crazy," said Harald Schmidt, professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. "It is just utterly irresponsible." Or as Trump calls it, Monday. In other news...

Here we go again. President auto-immune is once again comparing the coronavirus to the flu. "Flu season is coming up!" he tweeted on Tuesday, fresh from his three-day (taxpayer-paid) vacation at the Walter Reed Motor Inn and Spa. "Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu!" The fact is, president hyperbolizer, that far more people (211,000 and counting) have died from Covid-19 in only eight months than have died from the flu in the last five years combined!! (exclamation points added to offset the president's bombast). All told, the coronavirus has killed an average of 867 people a day since the first known death on February 6. Deadly as it can be, the flu killed an estimated 24,000 to 62,000 people during the most recent flu season. Using the top figure, that's an average of about 331 people a day, well under half of the daily count for Covid-19. As for president dissimulator's claim that the flu kills "sometimes over 100,000 people" a year, that's not even in the ballpark. He may have no reason to be "afraid" of the coronavirus but the rest of us do: it is far more contagious than the flu; it can be spread for many days by those who are asymptomatic; and, most important, there is a vaccine for the flu but none for the coronavirus.

Republicans know they have nowhere near enough votes to re-elect president dunderhead in November, unless... If you completed that sentence by saying to yourself, "unless enough Democrats are somehow unable to vote," give yourself three gold stars and a hearty pat on the back. And so the GOP is doing everything it can to disenfranchise likely Democratic voters in states from coast to coast, using every artifice in their seemingly bottomless bag of dirty tricks to try and give their fondling, Donald Trump, the advantage he'll need to overcome Joe Biden's enormous popularity and almost insurmountable lead in every national poll. In Texas, the governor has decreed that there will be no more than one voting drop-box in every county, a move to hinder if not stop Democrats from voting in the state's most populous (and pro-Democratic) areas. GOP legislatures are doing their part too, proposing and enacting laws to limit the terms and duration of voting whenever and wherever they can. Meanwhile, the president has continued his relentless assault on mail-in ballots, warning of "MAYHEM!" in November unless voters are willing to risk their lives to go to the polls and vote in person. Election results, he froths, "may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED!" owing to the flood of mail-in votes that he claims will overwhelm the system (a system he and the postmaster-general have worked day and night to undermine). Confusion and chaos are what the president wants too; his fondest wish would be to have a contested election decided by the US Supreme Court, three of whose members he hopes to have hand-picked by then. Gee, I wonder how Kavanaugh, Gorsuch and Barrett would vote in a contest between Joe Biden and the president who nominated them for seats on the high court? No, I don't, really. Let us hope that such an imbroglio, should it happen, never makes it that far up the judicial ladder.

And finally...

Until last weekend, Julie Davis was a beloved third-grade teacher at Norwood Elementary School in Stanly County, North Carolina. The past tense is necessary because Davis has died from Covid-19, roughly two months after the school district resumed in-person classes. "Students absolutely loved being taught by Mrs Davis," interim school superintendent Vicki Calvert wrote. "Her personality was infectious (no pun intended) and she brought joy into the lives of students, staff and community." "She loved everybody," her daughter added. "She didn't know a stranger. ...You couldn't be in a room with my mom and not laugh." No one is laughing now aside from those dimwits who believe president fibber mcgee when he says we shouldn't be afraid of the coronavirus. The truth is, we should.

October 12, 2020

The scene: An undisclosed location somewhere in a large white house at 1600 Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C. A rotund orange-colored patient is consulting with his doctor.

"So what was the test result, doc?"
"Negative, Mr president."
"Are you positive?"
"No, sir, I'm negative."
"So I'm positive?"
"No, sir, I'm positive you're negative."
"You're positive?"
"Yes, sir, I'm positive."
"So you're positive, I'm negative?"
"Yes, sir, I'm positive."
"Were you positive last week?"
"Negative, sir."
"How about the week before?"
"Negative, sir."
"Was I positive?"
"Again, negative, sir."
"Well, are you positive now?"
"I'm positive you're negative, Mr president."
"You're positive?"
"Yes, sir, I am positive."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm positive."
"Then why aren't you wearing a mask? You could infect me!"
"Only if I were positive, sir."
"But you just said you were positive!"
"Yes, sir, I'm positive you're negative."
"That's what I said! You're positive, I'm negative!"
"That's correct, sir."
"Well, if you're positive, you should be wearing a mask!"
"I would if I were positive, sir."
"You just said you were positive!"
"Sir, I said I'm positive you're negative."
"If you're positive and I'm negative, that's all we need to know! Put on the mask!"
"But I'm not positive, sir."
"Well, how positive would you have to be?"
"I'd have to be fully positive, sir, but I'm negative."
"You're negative? And I'm negative?"
"I'm positive, Mr president."
"Let me get this straight: you're saying I'm negative and you're positive..."
"That would be negative, Mr president."
"If I'm negative and you're negative, then who's positive?"
"No, sir, who's on first."
"Here we go again! I have only one more question: when you write a check to cover your operating expenses, who gets the money?"
"Every penny of it, sir."
"I'm asking you one more time—who gets the money for expenses?"
"That's right, Mr president. After all, the man works hard; he deserves it."
"Look, all I want to know is, what's the name of the guy who gets the money?"
"No, sir, who gets the money; what's on second..."
"I have a strange feeling we've drifted into another sketch..."
"I'm positive, Mr president."
In other news...

On Saturday, president hale 'n hearty (who as far as anyone knows remains infected with Covid-19) held a campaign rally on the south lawn of the White House for several hundred of his close and unmasked friends. The event was billed as a "peaceful protest for law and order," which in the president's capable hands could be more accurately called "lyin' order." "I don't know about you," Trump brayed to the assembled sheep from his safe haven on a balcony, "but I feel great. I know there are more than 214,000 of our friends who may not feel so great today; too bad they didn't know about Regeneron. It sure pulled me through, and it can do the same for you. Be sure to take advantage of our half-price sale, which starts right after the rally."

President dick tracy then showed his law and order creds by vigorously denouncing the thirteen far-right anti-government vigilantes who were apprehended before they could carry out a plan to kidnap, "try" and perhaps assassinate Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, calling them "dirty scum who should be prosecuted as quickly and harshly as possible and rot in jail." I'm kidding, of course. The lawgiver-in-chief did interrupt his stream of falsehoods long enough to say that Whitmer had it coming, as she "has done a terrible job as governor," shutting down the state illegally owing to a raging pandemic, failing to "LIBERATE MICHIGAN," as he had demanded, and refusing to meet with those "nice people" when they stormed the state capital in April, heavily armed with high-powered rifles. Worst of all, he said, she's a Democrat, so "she's a communist, no doubt about it," which makes kidnapping and murdering her well within the law as he sees it. At this point Trump's lap dog, attorney general William Barr, bounded onto the balcony, gently nuzzled his master's ass, and bounded back inside the kennel.

With the Whitmer issue laid to rest, president straight shooter showed he was just getting warmed up, zeroing in on the country's truly lawless element: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and anyone else who had disagreed with him on any topic during the last, say, four years. If the Democrats gain power, he said, not only will they launch a crusade against law enforcement but they will arbitrarily arrest and imprison everyone in the country whose last name begins with the letters T, R, U, M or P. As for Clinton, she should be "locked up" for using e-mails instead of Tweets, while Obama, Biden and others in his administration should be indicted for "committing the worst crime in the history of American politics," details of which he said he'll soon be releasing along with his tax returns and "tremendous" new all-purpose health care plan—probably in about two weeks.

As for the coronavirus, president mandrake said it is "disappearing," even as half of US states reported an increase in new cases and countries around the world made plans to resume lockdowns. It's true that his own illness may have "disappeared" along with any record of how sick he really was, when he last tested negative, and whether he has been tested since leaving the hospital last week—which is interesting, as he used to brag on an almost daily basis that he had tested negative. The important thing is, he feels great—and best of all, he still has a limited supply of Regeneron in the White House infirmary. And if you call within the next ten minutes...

As for those whose lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic, including millions who are unemployed, president bountiful says he is willing to lend them a helping hand with a "tremendous" new Stimulus Bill, one that is "guaranteed" to jump-start the economy and have it roaring back—but not until he is re-elected in November. I believe the technical term for that is "extortion"—but why let a few trivial niceties stand in the way of the "greatest Stimulus Package in the history of mankind"? As of now, president art-of-the-deal can't even persuade some senators in his own party to sign off on his latest offer, which House speaker Nancy Pelosi has pronounced dead in the water. To underline the differences between the parties and their concern for the American people, Pelosi says Trump's offer is far below what is needed to rescue those who are desperate for help, whereas Republicans say president scrooge is offering them TOO MUCH money. Not only would his plan enable the (non)-working poor to live lives of luxury on that extra $400 or so each week, they contend, but some of the provisions would weaken the GOP's plan to remove their health care as well. Clearly, that is out of the question.

In spite of his sagging poll numbers and the chance that he may be facing a record-breaking loss in November, one demographic that president wile e. conman has always been sure he has in his hip pocket is senior citizens. Their votes helped elect him four years ago (he won the senior vote by nine points), and he's certain he can pull the wool over their collective eyes one more time. Or maybe not. He certainly couldn't have been pleased by the recent news of out Florida, where residents in The Villages, perhaps the country's largest enclave of seniors, hopped into more than four hundred golf carts and caravanned to the Sumter County elections office to deposit their ballots for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. What has made the difference? According to residents in The Villages (average age sixty-six), it's Covid-19 and Trump's failure to combat the pandemic, which disproportionately affects seniors. About 93% of Florida's 15,100 victims of the virus have been people ages fifty-five and older. "There is no plan," one resident said, referring to Trump. "Biden has a plan. And he wears a mask." As it turns out, Trump's failure to wear a mask and his refusal to encourage others to do so could lead to a rather unpleasant "senior moment" in November.

And finally...

Even as his problems keep mounting, president stem the tide has earned one key endorsement: a spokesman for the Taliban says the terrorist group wants to see him re-elected. The Taliban want US troops out of Afghanistan, and believe that Trump is their best bet to fulfill that wish. It's rumored that president flimflam is looking for ways to mail them absentee ballots.

October 20, 2020

"Good evening and welcome to the second and final presidential debate before the 2020 election on November 3. Onstage with us are the candidates, president Donald J Trump and former vice-president Joseph R Biden. Welcome to you both, gentlemen. As you know, tonight's debate is centered on six topics, the first of which is fighting COVID-19..."

"Excuse me...excuse me...?"

"It's not yet time for your opening remarks, Mr president..."

"Point of order, madam moderator. It's the China virus...the CHINA virus...!"

"As you wish, Mr president. For our purposes we'll call it COVID-19. The topic is...and we'll hear from you first, Mr president...fighting the coronavirus. With more than 223,000 Americans now dead from COVID and more than eight million infected, what steps are your administration taking to deal with the pandemic?"

"We're rounding the corner. We have the China virus on the run. It will soon disappear, as I said it would back in February and March. New treatments are being developed...I've had some of them myself, and I feel at least twenty years younger...and we'll have a vaccine ready to go within the next forty-eight hours..."

"Forty-eight hours? Do you think that's realistic, Mr president?"

"Well, that's what I heard. Or maybe I read it somewhere. Anyway, soon there'll be no more need for masks or social distancing, and the economy will come roaring back...in fact, it already has..."

"But Mr president, millions of Americans remain unemployed, and congress can't agree on a stimulus package to help them with basic needs like buying groceries or paying the rent..."

"Fake news. The failing New York Times and Washington Post make those numbers up to scare people so they'll vote for Sleepy Joe and his monster running mate. Have you looked at the stock market? Everything's fine. Have you seen the huge crowds at my rallies? So much bigger than anyone else's, ever. Does that look to you like people are hurting? I hate to say it, but hey love me! That's because I've done more for working people in this country than any president in history..."

"What specifically have you done for them, Mr President?"

"At my last rally I handed out face masks (we'd run short of paper towels). Even though my expert on viruses, Dr Atlas—who knows a lot more about it than that ignorant fraud, Dr Fauci—and he's much taller too—says masks actually cause COVID instead of protecting you from it, I wanted our supporters to have herd mentality, which is why we limit attendance at our rallies to no more than you can squeeze into the Astrodome and make sure there's no hugging, kissing or fooling around under those MAGA hats. If there is, we'll lock 'em all up..."

"The question, sir, was about your policies..."

"Oh, those. Trust me, we have lots of policies. They're tremendous policies too. Believe me, I only have the best policies read to me. Would I lie to you?...Don't bother to answer. That's like one of those questions where you don't have to answer..."

"You mean rhetorical?"

"It was on the tip of my tongue. Anyway, if you want to know more about our tremendous policies, just look at the party platform."

"But Mr president, the party platform has been reduced to three words: 'whatever he wants.'"

"See what I mean? You couldn't have a better policy than that! The party loves what I've done so far—more than any president since that other guy who gave Americans a deal—and so they've given me a free hand...Trust me, we're gonna make this country great again—again—and Mexico's gonna pay for it...!"

"Which brings us back to the question, Mr president: what HAVE you done during your first term to make the American people and your party so happy?"

"Shouldn't it be Sleepy Joe's turn now?"

"All right, Mr president. We'll ask Sleepy...I mean, Mr Biden the same question. Sir, what would a Biden administration do to the slow or even erase the pandemic?"

"Well, we would start by..."

"Did you know he wants to quadruple your taxes?"

"Please, Mr President. You've had your turn... Please continue, Mr. Biden."

"Well, as I was about to say, on Day One we'd..."

"He'll take away your Medicare and Social Security, along with health care for pre-existing conditions. We'd never do that..."

"Mr president, please, let him continue. Mr Biden..."

"As far as coronavirus is concerned, our plan is perfectly clear..."

"And his running mate's a Commie."

"Please, Mr president..."

"Well, people should know that before they vote! And have you noticed she's also a woman, and a black one at that?"

"Yes, we had noticed that, Mr president. Now, Mr Biden, if you'll let us know your plan..."

"As I've said, our goal has always been to..."

"And who names his kid Hunter? A hunter is a person who stalks animals or even other humans. Most people don't know that..."

"Well, they do now, Mr President..."

"Trust me, he's up to something, I can tell you that. He's a 'deep state' operative, or maybe a pedophile. I'm gonna have QAnon check him out. I know nothing about them except they're very nice people and I've heard they're really against pedophilia..."

"Mr Biden?"

"Thank you, Kristen. As many Americans would agree, COVID is the most pressing national security and public-health threat this country has faced in..."

"Did you know I'm immune from COVID? That's what I told my doctors...I mean, that's what my doctors told me. Did I mention that I feel better than I have in thirty years?"

"Yes, you did, Mr President. But is that really on topic?"

"Well, I thought you'd like to hear some good news after all the talk about how this deadly virus is hurting the country. It's a real downer. But there are some success stories..."

"Yes, Mr president, you were fortunate to receive state-of-the-art treatment not widely available to most Americans..."

"But that's going to change. When I'm re-elected every American will have access to that very same health care! And Mexico's gonna pay for it..."

"How would you manage that, Mr president?"

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