WHAT ABOUT THE ELECTION? – Marilyn Armstrong

Georgia’s primary the other night was a warning to all of us of what may be coming. In the course of writing this blog, I’ve had direct communications with several real-life historians and all of them have said exactly the same thing:


DONALD TRUMP WILL NEVER VOLUNTARILY LEAVE THE WHITE HOUSE.


When I first heard this, I pooh-poohed it. That can’t happen. It can’t. But since then, I’ve realized that many things that can’t happen have happened, are happening, will happen. Why do we think Trump wants to ditch the post office? You think it might have something to do with preventing people from mailing in votes?

Gerrymandering as been around for a long time. More than a hundred years and for all I know, longer than that. The Democrats have done it too … but they haven’t turned it into the science as has the GOP.

Why not?

I don’t think it’s out of a higher form of political beliefs. More like if everyone voted, there wouldn’t be a Republican party, or at least not the current one. Most Americans are in favor of universal health care, a more controlled police force, fewer guns on the streets, a greater degree of honesty and transparency in government,  good education for everyone based on truth, facts, and science and not being gouged by pharmaceutical companies.

These past three and a half years have been a nightmare. Aside from Trump, who is a nightmare all by himself, there has been a plague and now, finally, one murder over the line, a broader recognition that killing dark-skinned people for being different than you is not okay. Nor is giving these same people substantially harder sentences for relatively minor crimes or making sure they have the worst paying, most insecure jobs in our so-to-speak economy. It’s NOT right. It was never right.

Dr. Seuss Cartoon from 1941 on antisemitism. The old story, just updated with a red hat.

The way we underpay women is wrong. They fact that we have allowed women to be brutalized in and out of the workplace is not even remotely acceptable.

We can disagree about how our national taxes should be spent but on principle, we all believe in honor and justice for everyone. Yes, there are bigots too, but I think they are a small minority. If they didn’t have access to powerful military guns, they would also be mostly harmless.

The press may not always be correct, but the fourth estate is the only thing that stands between us and a Stalinesque dictatorship. In all the years that Garry worked as a reporter — and all the people with whom he worked — never did any of them drag themselves out of bed so they could lie to you.

Errors are made by everyone, but the only news outlet that makes lying a fundamental premise of their news production is Fox News. If they aren’t ashamed, they should be. And maybe, one of these days, they will be. I would not like to tell my grandchildren that my career was  a series of well-produced lies. Would you?

Things are beginning to turn around. But what about the election? Will we be in the middle of a massive resurgence of COVID-19 as November rolls around? If the election is not held on time, will it be held at all? Ever? It’s a lot easier to keep a democracy than rebuild one.

We are standing on treacherous ground. We should be grateful for the changes and potential changes we see, but until we get this worst of all presidents out of the White House, we aren’t safe.  Rebuilding America isn’t going to happen overnight, either. There’s a LOT of work to be done and we will all have to do some of it.

THE BATHING OF BONNIE AS THE APOCALYPSE RIDES BY – Marilyn Armstrong

There comes a moment in time when your beloved dog smells like a pile of indescribable offal. Bonnie had reached an intolerable stage and finally, all the stuff I ordered — shampoo, detangler, steel combs, brushes arrived. I told Garry last night we were going to bathe her today. He agreed, but I don’t think he was actually listening.

Clean!

So when I paused the morning coffee and said “We are going to bathe Bonnie,” he looked like I’d struck him with lightning. You can’t pause the coffee. It’s just not done. But it was today. It was already two in the afternoon. We’d slept through most of the rainy day. It was cold and wet and miserable. I didn’t see any point in getting up anyway. Yesterday, Garry got his first best home haircut.

Today, Bonnie got her very unprofessional kitchen grooming. She doesn’t look groomed. Mostly, she looks cleaner and smells better. I know she smells better because Duke gets very excited by floral scents and the moment we had her out of the bath, he was hot and horny.

At 13, nothing makes Bonnie hot and horny except food.

That was our day, more or less. Our money finally showed up, so I spent a lot of it paying down credit cards, buying grow lights for the plants, and calling doctors for prescription refills. I ordered masks because you can’t go into town without them, though who knows when they will get here.

By the time I was done, there was surprisingly little money remaining.

On another topic, four figures in the Book of Revelation symbolize the evils to come at the end of the world. The figure representing conquest rides a white horse. War sits on a red mount. Famine rides a black horse. Plague sits on a pale horse. They are often called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

We are always at war and conquest never seems to come out of it. We are living through Plague and it seems that Famine is just around the bend. Death has been having a high old time for the past three months.

Also, I think our really bad government deserves a place on the team. Total incompetence should ride in a big black Humvee, don’t you think?

A BIZARRO REBLOG – CLEVER CARTOONS FOR THE CRAZY DAYS OF NOW – DIEGO PIRARO FINE ART

Bizarro Blog

EMBEDDED

Bizarro 04-26-20 hdrWB.jpg
Bizarro 04-26-20 WEB.jpg

It’s been a sci-fi-strange week in a sci-fi-strange time. We’ve actually seen a president of the United States muse during a televised press conference about the effectiveness of using disinfectants internally to kill the COVID 19 virus, and many thousands of grown-ups rushing to dissuade his more intellectually-challenged followers from trying it. Who would have guessed even ten years ago that the world would be living out a Simpson’s episode in real-time? But this one has had all the jokes removed.

If you’re not familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect, look it up. In short, it is a reasonably rare, extreme cognitive bias in which a person of very low ability thinks they are an expert at everything. The “very low ability” part is of paramount importance here because a normal person of almost any ability will quickly realize how much they have yet to learn. A true genius at anything will almost always report that the more they learn, the more they realize they don’t know. Only a fool thinks they know everything.

Enter Donald J. Trump, who has for his entire not-very-successful life thought he was an expert at everything. And it’s not just a political ploy because he knows there are plenty of rubes who will believe him—he actually believes it. This is why he eschews the company of experts; they only serve to remind him of how inept he actually is. This is why he muses aloud about various magical cures for the current pandemic; he actually thinks he’s so special he can accidentally come up with a cure for a complex epidemiological conundrum without passing a single class in biology. “I have a knack for science,” he has said, as though that makes him an equal colleague to people who’ve actually read and studied things.

Imagine a person with “a knack for music” being handed a violin for the first time. Would they be ready to play alongside Yo-Yo Ma? Now imagine this person has been handed a baton and placed in front of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He waves his hands around like a maniac (but his hair doesn’t move!) and thinks he is conducting highly-trained professionals to play beautiful music.

In fact, he’s making a fool of himself and the musicians are confused and scrambling, using every ounce of their skill and talent to not make a mess of the symphony they thought they were supposed to be playing. In an attempt to save face and their job, they cover for the delusional conductor. To the sort of person who would drink bleach if the president said to, the orchestra sounds pretty good. But to anyone who knows anything about music or the dangers of ingesting household cleaners, it’s a cacophony.

This is our Dunning-Kruger presidency.

Read the original post and see more great cartoons by clicking this LINK.

OUR MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE – BIZARRO REBLOG – Marilyn Armstrong

I don’t suppose anyone is surprised anymore by the behavior of the GOP under their Manchurian candidate. But just a few years ago it was unthinkable that a politician, particularly one representing the Republican party and who skipped out of serving by having a rich dad, could get away with trashing war heroes, pardoning convicted war criminals, ridiculing our intelligence services and our allies, and sucking up to our most long-standing and authoritarian enemies, but here we are. Thanks, Facebook. (And Fox News Propaganda Channel.)

Without the Electoral College, these cowards and their Führer would be out on their asses in the next election but since Zuckerberg doesn’t mind politicians openly lying on Facebook and using FB’s sophisticated algorithms to know exactly which “patriots” are most like to fall for their predictable, transparent lies, they have an excellent chance of sneaking into the back door again.

Oh well. Human history has always been a cycle of dumpster fires and accidental peace. It’s long been a planet dominated by mutant apes, it’s just that sometimes we manage to hide it a little bit better than we are now. Like a bad head cold, we humans will be on our way soon enough and the earth can relax again.


If you are not already a Bizarro fan, you’re missing one of the best cartoonists of our generation. I have loved his stuff since we lived in Boston, back in the 1980s. This post is located at:

https://www.bizarro.com/blog/2020/1/5/ai-and-ai/

The main site is:

https://www.bizarro.com/blog

He has a shop full of cool t-shirts and other stuff as well as his own paintings. And, he takes donations because, as he so well put it, there aren’t enough newspapers anymore to support a cartoonist.

ALL WRAPPED UP IN IMPEACHMENT — Marilyn Armstrong

I have to admit that we are hooked. We are both news junkies and though Garry tried denying it, one day he just broke down and it’s been news ever since. He is particularly incensed at the way the press is getting beat up.

The news was his life. This isn’t casual chatter to him. He has three Emmy’s and dozens of other awards for his work in the business. To Garry, this is personal. Very. Personal.


So, that’s what we are doing. We are watching. The last time I was this enthralled politically was Watergate. I was working as a writer and editor at Doubleday Publishing in New York. I carried a little radio and earplug with me so I wouldn’t miss a moment of testimony. Then, when I got home, on went the television.

I was thrilled when Nixon resigned, but I missed the hearings. It was as if they had canceled a favorite drama.


I think this is probably what I’m going to be doing as long as these hearings last. I thought we were the rare Americans watching this, but these hearings are getting huge ratings. Apparently, everyone is glued to their televisions.

Things that have gotten to me: McCaine’s daughter saying how deeply shocked and horrified she is by the spineless Republican party and how ashamed she is of people she believed were family friends … interviews on the street and on the late-night comedy shows of people who were Republicans and now say they don’t even understand what has happened to their party and how humiliating it is.

I’ve never been a Republican, but I never thought that being a Republican meant being a traitor. We disagreed, sometimes angrily, sometimes with humor, but they were Americans. They believed in this country as I did, but their ideas of how to manage this country were different.

Now, they don’t even act like Americans. They don’t care about the  American people. They have lost touch with what has made this country great. Now it’s entirely about money and greed.

Shame on them, and shame on anyone who voted for them. They are everything we have deplored through our years on this earth.

Aside from having a bloated moron as our president, this is the most shocking part of this entire process. That all these supposed honorable men have become spineless jellyfish, unwilling to stand up to this idiot president or their own beliefs, is nauseating.

AMERICA FIRST IS RACISM FROM OUR PAST – Marilyn Armstrong

This post is primarily composed of quotes from HuffPost and other sources. “America First” has a rather long and ugly history … and it started long before Donald Trump.

If anyone thinks what Trump is doing is new, it isn’t. This is Fascism on the rise. It’s easy to suddenly discover that “free” now means “people who agree with The Leader.” We are far too close to that now. I’d hate to see what a second term would accomplish.

Democracy is a slippery slope. Ours is covered in ice.

Dr. Seuss Cartoon from 1941 on antisemitism. The old story, just updated with a red hat.


Trump Was Not First To Use The “America First” Slogan. It has a long history.

In his Inaugural Address, President Donald Trump repeated a theme from his Presidential Campaign, telling the world: “From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.” Many Trump critics point to the fact that this was a watchword for those who opposed U.S. intervention in WWll before the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor. Actually, the phrase has a longer history.

President Woodrow Wilson, a hardened internationalist, ironically coined the term today associated with Nationalism. In 1916, Wilson was running for re-election by promising to remain neutral in WWl. His campaign slogan was: “He kept us out of War,  America First.” Once Wilson was safely re-elected, he ordered troops into what was, at the time, called “The Great War.” My mother who had the “luck” to live through both world wars always called it “The Great War.”

Once the U.S. was enveloped in the war, newspaper Publisher William Randolph Hearst, a vociferous critic of Wilson, used the slogan against the President.

Hearst was sympathetic to Germany and warned the U.S. not to aid the allies in the fight against Germany. Hearst exclaimed: “Keep every dollar and every man and every weapon and all our supplies and stores at home, for the defense of our own land, our own people, our own freedom, until that defense has been made absolutely secure. After that, we can think of other nations’ troubles. But until then, America first!”

This slogan soon became an imprimatur for non-interventionists in both major political parties. Once WWl ended, the Americans became wary of foreign intervention. Wilson failed in his efforts to garner the requisite two-thirds majority needed in the U.S. Senator to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, which included allowing the U.S. to join a collective security alliance called “The League of Nations.”

Some Senators would have supported the agreement if the President agreed to certain reservations. However, the bi-partisan group that steadfastly opposed the treaty came to be known as “the irreconcilables.”

Complete post: TRUMP WAS NOT THE FIRST TO USE AMERICA FIRST” – Huffpost 

THE UNIMPEACHMENT NON-EVENT – Marilyn Armstrong

I keep reading about how Trump is going to be impeached. Or at least, SHOULD be impeached. Needs to be impeached. On this, I tend to side with Nancy Pelosi: I don’t want to see him impeached. I want to see him in prison. For life.

Two presidents have been impeached: Andrew Johnson and William J. Clinton. Neither was removed from office. It was more like a bad mark on their permanent record than getting expelled. They were harder on Harry Potter than either impeached President.

This doesn’t mean I had or have anything against Bill Clinton. I liked him a lot except the thing about men and their zippers and how come they can’t keep them zipped. He could at least have kept it zipped until he left office. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Would it really kill men to not screw someone inappropriate for a few years? Men can be such pigs.

I do not think Trump will be impeached. “Why not?” you ask.

The Senate doesn’t want to do it and even the House isn’t sure about it. Also, why does everyone assume impeachment would unseat Trump? It didn’t unseat the two presidents who were impeached.

The only things that can unseat a president are high crimes and misdemeanors for which there exists no clear, modern definition. Although if any president has committed them, I’m sure Trump is The Man.

Moreover, a GOP-dominated — or even a Senate with a substantial percentage of them — does not have to act on impeachment. Regardless of the outcome of any investigation, now or in the future, there is no mandate to do anything about it. Yet, despite the ineffectiveness of previous impeachment procedures, everyone is convinced that this time, it will be different.

It won’t be different. It will be exactly the same.

What would make this time different than before? What new law is on the books? What new interpretation of “crimes the president can/can’t commit” exists? As far as I know, we have made zero legislative progress in Congress and we seem unlikely to see any before 2020.

And also, please note that no matter WHAT the House of Representatives does or tries to do if the Senate (McConnell) refuses to bring the issue to the floor, it’s not even a slap on the wrist. All it will do is raise the ratings on late-night television and miscellaneous news outlets.

BUT NOT REALLY FUNNY – Marilyn Armstrong

The last couple of years have been hilarious if you prefer very dark humor. It was a big year for late-night comics but it was depressing for regular people. Like us.

We laughed because comics are funny and it was easier emotionally to get our news from comic writers on late-night TV, but we weren’t really laughing.

Wrapped around the humor was the realization we weren’t going to get out of this mess for years to come. Two years if we do it right. Much more if we get it wrong.Remember way back in 2016 when Clinton said, “Look, I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald.” She was lying. I knew it. You knew it. I suppose it was the best she could do. She still thought she had to be polite.

We have learned otherwise in the years since. His children are as awful as he is, though they have a better education and at least seem able to read and probably aren’t demented.

Yet somehow, they are still stupid. I didn’t know you could get that much education and remain stupid. Perhaps it’s closer to ignorance — and unwillingness to learn.

In 2016, I could still remember the high points of the previous year. I don’t believe there were any high points in 2017 or 2018, except that Roy Moore wasn’t elected to the Senate and Democrats took over the House of Representatives. Otherwise, it’s been a down and dirty year with more on the way. I’m trying to feel better about it but the disorganization and confusion of the Democrats are not buoying my spirits.

This year may turn out to be hilarious at some point in the future when the world has gone around the sun a few more times, maybe it will be very funny. If I live long enough, it might be ROTFL for me and mine.

But not yet. I think my sense of humor needs an attitude adjustment.

This is my current theme song. I’m counting on something more upbeat for the future.


Lyrics: WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE


Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, “The King and I” and “The Catcher in the Rye”

Eisenhower, vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu falls, “Rock Around the Clock”

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Krushchev
Princess Grace, “Peyton Place”, trouble in the Suez

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, “Bridge on the River Kwai”

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather, homicide, children of thalidomide

Buddy Holly, “Ben Hur”, space monkey, Mafia
Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola, and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, “Psycho”, Belgians in the Congo

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Hemingway, Eichmann, “Stranger in a Strange Land”
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

“Lawrence of Arabia”, British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex
JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

“Wheel of Fortune”, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law
Rock and roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
But when we are gone
Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it.

Songwriter: Billy Joel
We Didn’t Start the Fire lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

BOLD, NEW OPTIONS TO PREVENT MASS SHOOTINGS – Garry Armstrong

School shootings with multiple victims have become an everyday news story in the United States. It’s a boiler-plate political issue with second amendment activists led by the NRA holding fast to their rights — that is, the right to make a lot of money selling guns to everyone and anyone, anywhere. Fighting passionately to keep the right to own guns, even as bullets from assault weapons are killing kids.

Gun activists are seemingly oblivious to the availability of assault weapons through illegal purchases.

Gun rights trump young lives in harm’s way. It’s a deadly serious issue but the solutions offered by some of our elected officials are anything but serious. Do you think Jimmy Stewart’s Senator Jefferson Smith would be okay with arming teachers to shoot it out with offenders in crowded classrooms?

Can you imagine the late Speaker of the House, “Tip” O’Neill,  the consummate politician, agreeing to arm the real-life “Mr. Peepers” with magnum 44s to blast invaders as students scatter to avoid gunfire?  O’Neil’s reply would minimally question the sanity of his colleagues in the House and Senate. Sadly, we have no Tip O’Neill to step up with rational solutions to our national nightmare.

Pilgrims, it’s time to deal with the miscreants who surely don’t value human life.  Time to appeal to their inner demons and enable them to spray bullets with deadly intent into classrooms to assuage their problems.

But, I have a few minor modifications I’d like to add because it is time to lock ‘n load — with some creative thinking.

SUGGESTION #1 EXPLODING LONG GUNS:  Picture the iconic Red Ryder rifles of our youthful dreams. Long, gleaming barrels with the burnished red stocks, topped by an autographed picture of our 45th President. The sentiment would be clear: “Bad hombres die hard!” If the school shootist fires this weapon,  it’ll blow up in his face.  Crisis averted.

If a teacher or defending student fires the weapon,  it’s a senseless tragedy — but we need to look at the bigger picture. A Presidential eulogy will ease the pain of more innocent lives lost.

The exploding long guns should be massively advertised to draw the attention of would-be assassins. Just the rifle’s Presidential sentiment should entice those who are on the edge of committing bloody massacres.

They will be nudged into action by the Commander-In-Chief’s passion for thoughtless, narcissistic behavior.  The shooter is sure to take selfies with his presidential embossed rifle and post it on Twitter and Facebook, with pride gleaming in his orange eyeballs.

Gary Busey could do television ads for the imploding long guns. Busey’s colorful style would make the guns an easy sell, especially for those who really want to make their mark in the world.

SUGGESTION #2 – EXPLOSIVE TRUMP BOBBLE-HEADS.  These terrific replicas of our President will have all the verve and sexually traumatic attraction of DJT.  They’ll be personally autographed in that familiar, illegible scrawl used to sign faux bills.

The bobbleheads have a floating toupee that easily separates from the rest of the bobblehead on impact. School security could locate the bobbleheads at strategic positions likely to be invaded by would-be shooters.

Psychologists believe the invaders will be disoriented by the bobbleheads. They would automatically pick up the miniature DJTs and blow themselves into a parallel universe occupied by orange-haired robot women, all named “Stormy.”

Roseanne Barr will do all the advertising for the Bobbleheads, emphasizing her belief in MacCheesehead’s legacy as emperor of the world.

These are just the top of our R&D campaign for alternatives to avert School Shootings. We’re working on DJT dart boards that will explode when a dart hits the spot. THE spot.

Let’s stand strong against idiotic suggestions to avert school shootings. You can voice your opinion in the next elections that, hopefully, will sweep out more of the remaining corrupt and mentally- challenged officials pigging out at the public trough.

CLOWNS ARE RUNNING THE WORLD – Garry Armstrong

“Send In The Clowns”, on its own merit, is a beautiful song from the show, “A Little Night Music.” Judy Collins’ cover has made it a popular favorite for decades. A Frank Sinatra version is especially poignant.

Jimmy Stewart (clown) and Charlton Heston in “The Greatest Show On Earth”

In the early 70’s, a seemingly more innocent period, I used “Send In The Clowns” as a musical wrap around a political TV piece. I was covering local Boston politics. A primary campaign. Those were the days of political and community icons like “Dapper,” “Fast Freddie,” Trixie, “Kevin From Heaven,” “Wacko,” and “Raybo.”

Those were influential folks, beloved by their constituents and bearers of much political clout. I was on “friendly” terms with most of these folks. There was less Sturm und Drang between the media and politicians in those days.

There was respect.

My piece was shot with silent black and white film.  We were still in the pre-videotape and digital days. I chose silent film over sound because I wanted the music to have more presence, less competition from people talking.

We used a montage of candidates faces, posters and campaign slogans. The lyrics of “Send In The Clowns” soared as the video zoomed in on campaign slogans and candidates kissing babies and pressing the flesh.

I anticipated a flurry of angry calls from campaign directors.  Nothing. Nada. One candidate, over happy hour drinks, praised the cleverness of my piece but said he would’ve preferred the Sinatra version of “Clowns”.

So much for being glib in those days.

Imagine using “Send In The Clowns” today.  For the coming mid-terms.  The  ’20 Presidential race. How would the “Clowns” lyrics fare over the screaming POTUS?  The ranting Rudy? The shouting Sean Hannity?

Should we intercut snippets of circus clowns with “breaking news” video and clips of all the President’s minions?  Don’t forget those shots of the President’s supporters, the “People,” with their “Jail Her” signs and the racist banners flying over political bonfires.

Send in the clowns?  Don’t bother.
They’re already here. 

REDACTED READING – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Hoopla

I did a preliminary read on most of the Mueller Report last night. Not every word, but I did a speed read of most of it. I will have to revisit parts of it and read those sections more thoroughly. But it’s easy enough to get the drift.

After yesterday’s hoopla about redactions, most news organization have calmed down and realized that the majority of the report is not redacted. Most of the significant parts of the report remain intact.

Donald Trump and William Barr
(Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

Despite Barr and Trump’s victory dance and braying about how there’s “NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION,” there was a lot of attempted collusion and obstruction. That almost everyone in the White House isn’t in jail is that Trump’s illegal orders weren’t carried out.

They come, they go … The temporary cabinet of Trumpinski

Trump’s gang didn’t follow his orders. He ordered them to do something illegal, after which they outright refused, passed it along to a subordinate who dragged his or her feet and it never got done … or said “Sure, Boss,” but never got around to it.

What you get out of the report is:


A) Trump is a terrible president and everyone knows it
B) The people who work with him don’t respect him
C) The White House is a chaotic mess
D) Everyone knows they are working for a man who is clueless and quite likely stupid.

It’s not a flattering portrait of our orange president. That none of the Republican senators and other bigwigs are standing up to him will sooner rather than later make the Republican Party a non-Party. The shameless spinelessness of high-ranking Republicans is more shocking than the asshole president.

One asshole? We can deal with ONE asshole, even if he is supposedly the president. But a whole SENATE full of assholes? That is way over the line.

Ironically — and this may go beyond irony into hilarity in a dark way — Putin and the Russian Gang are disappointed in Trump. They wanted chaos, but they never imagined a presidency so awful they can’t even get in touch with anyone. They won’t talk to Pompeo. They want people who know what they are doing.

Hah!

They can’t make deals, they aren’t getting a “better relationship” with the U.S. If anything, it’s worse. The sanctions are worse, we are sending tanks into the Crimea (which Obama refused to do) — and you can’t trust anything Trump says.

What an embarrassment! You corrupt a country and instead of getting advantages, you are humiliated and wind up getting less than before. In fact, everyone gets less than before.

I guess they picked the wrong president to corrupt. They should have chosen to corrupt someone with a sense of honor. Corrupting someone who can’t be trusted to keep your secrets? Oops.

I thought the MOST fascinating part of the document was the appendices where there were virtually no redactions. You get to see all the questions Mueller asked and you can read for yourself that he felt the prez had either “forgotten,” “failed to have a clear recollection,” and “had only a vague memory because’ so much was happening.'”

Mueller felt he’d gotten as much information as he could from others who work with Trump. Since the prez “couldn’t remember anything,” there was little to be gained from having a major constitutional battle to get his testimony when (1) he couldn’t be prosecuted anyway (under the current “unofficial” rules), and (2) Trump lies all the time.

The ultimate question is a big one: where are all the honorable Republicans standing up to say that this man is unfit for public office, much less President. Where are “the good guys” in the party? Where are those people who care about the nation more than their party leader?

And as for the Democrats, get your act together. Figure out where you stand. If you really don’t know what you are doing — and a number of supposed people running for office obviously don’t know nothin’ bout’ nothin’ — we already have a moron in office. Don’t try to give us another one. Been there, done that.

I strongly doubt this country could stand another round of presidential idiocy, regardless of party.

The guy on Colbert last night (sorry, forgot his name) commented that being too incompetent to be properly corrupted or successfully collude has historically never (previously) been used by a president before.

We are so special!

POSTS AND OTHER KINDS OF POSTS – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Post

This post is about a post, or to put it another way, I’m writing a post about a post.

Right now, we new a new post for a new mailbox in front of this house. And this post is about that. Actually, the post for the mailbox will enable the Postal person to put packages sent by the Post Office into the box, so there’s a lot of posting going on.

I opened up the computer this afternoon in hopes of seeing more information posted about the Mueller report, only to find more agitation about what we don’t know. As a long time viewer of courtroom and cop dramas, I “get” the whole difference between knowing a guy is guilty and having the cold, hard evidence on which to convict him. We have never convicted a sitting president and current bylaws for our Attorney General decline to so do — even if we actually HAD the evidence, which apparently we don’t.

It’s doesn’t mean Trump is exonerated (the report clearly points out that this is not the case), nor does the evidence indicate that this is an innocent guy. What it does indicate is even if there were evidence that might convict him, given his status and power in our government, it would probably not be enough to “get the job done.”

We got off “cheap” because Nixon resigned rather than embarrass his party.

Trump doesn’t give a rat’s ass about his party or for that matter, his country or how we stand in the world.

I have to say I never expected a different result from this. I hoped it would be a stronger evidentiary case, but I was pretty sure that given one thing and another, it wouldn’t be enough to see the Bad Guys led away in cuffs. That was never going to happen, no matter how much we wished it would.

So it’s back to the election in 2020. It was always about the election in 2020. Anyone who knows anything about our history — American history — knew we were going to have to vote our way out of this disaster. We are going to have to strap on a national pair of brass ones, get down to business, stay on track, and put a better president in the White House. Otherwise, we will live another four years with this nightmare.

It is up to us and it was always up to us. As a nation, we got ourselves into this soup and we are going to have to get ourselves out of it, too. If we succeed in doing that, we will be a much stronger country. If we don’t, we’ll be a blip in the history books.

Do we have the National Balls to fight this battle or are we going to wimp out, whine, and complain to each other about how we got tricked?  Garry still thinks it’s going to go the way of Al Capone; that in the end, we’ll get him (post-presidency) on money-laundering or tax evasion or something like that. You can’t always prove The Big Charge … but you can usually nail them on “smaller” ones. There are a lot of cases still pending and the New York FBI is a powerful organization … and so are the courts.

Meanwhile, it will cost about $20 to buy a new post for the post box so we can get our post from the post office. And this post is free of charge.

MY FAVORITES CARTOONS OF 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

I love to laugh. I love wit. I adore cleverness and am particularly enamored of very smart people, which is probably one of the many, many reasons I am so deeply disappointed by our government. Not only are they completely wrong about pretty much everything, but they are also utterly lacking in humor. If they are going to be this awful, can’t they even be funny? Each of them has undergone a humorectomy or maybe they were born that way.

Is not having a sense of humor a genetic abnormality?

I love cartoons. Political, literary, or just goofy. Love them all. Love the artwork, love the little jokes within the jokes. Of course, some of these were originally published years ago, but this is the year I discovered them.

This has been a year of political cartoons. Not surprising being as this country has become a political cartoon.

Alternate science is when you ignore the news warnings about the fire and wait until your house is on fire — or YOU are!

Dave Granlund / politicalcartoons.com

Bannon may be gone, but he left his hatred behind.

Nicer Trump cartoons, please!

Definitely NOT a witch hunt!

Chris Britt / Illinois Times

A very important cartoon!

We used to worry about drunk drivers. Now we worry about texting, watching movies and once, we saw a guy driving by reading a huge BOOK. While driving. And they put movies in cars. What could go wrong with that?

Yes, offending people might make other people feel uncomfortable … or does it?

Speaking of time …

Dr. Seuss Cartoon from 1941 on antisemitism. The old story, just updated with a brand new red hat. And this was written years before we started locking up children in baby jails. What do you think Dr. Seuss would say about that!

Torture? No problem!

Didn’t you hear? The NRA is also taking Russian money.

This year has given America a migraine. Probably so will next year.

A personal favorite. I got contact lenses — and no one noticed any difference in my appearance. Not even my brother.

You need at least ONE literary comic, right? People still read, don’t they?

Back when we used to get newspapers, Bizarro and Doonesbury were the two comics I followed. Both are still around, by the way. They did an interview with Gary Trudeau — who is married to Jane Pauley, so she interviewed him herself. I never knew he was married to a news anchor.

Didn’t we fight this battle before?

And now the dope is mostly legal most of the time …

Trump-A-Dog

And finally, a happy New Year from Gary Trudeau and all the great cartoonists in what is still a sort of free-ish country!

Happy New Year and let’s hear it for more of the same!

Here’s to a better year. To quote Jim Jefferies, “We can all do better!”