political convention

political convention

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Finally, Some 
Non-Fake News

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders surprised  reporters at at the start of today's press briefing by reading a nine-year-old boy's adoring letter to the president.  The letter writer's identity was not revealed and Sanders didn't disclose what steps had been taken to verify the document's authenticity. The briefing was the first where cameras were allowed since Sanders took over from Sean Spicer. Reporters were expected to ask about Republican moves in the Senate to abolish Obamacare and the president's attacks on Attorney General Sessions, among other hot topics. Sanders read the nine-year-old's letter before taking questions.

But was the letter really from a 9-year-old? 

Monday, July 17, 2017

“I think we are pretty close 
to a laughingstock at this point" 

Walter M. Shaub, outgoing director of the Office of Government Ethics, speaking to the New York Times about the Trump administration's commitment to ethical and anti-corruption standards.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

In Case You Forgot, 
He’s President

“The fake news media tried to stop us from going to the White House. But I’m president and they’re not.” —President Trump at a political rally July 2

Other presidential Independence Day declarations:

"Twitter thought they could stop me with their 140-character limit.  But I’m president and they’re not."

"They said I could only have one scoop of ice cream? But I’m president and they’re not."

"Emoluments Clause, what Emoluments Clause? The simpletons known as Democrats say I shouldn’t skim money from the Saudis and other foreign poohbahs who stay in my hotels or pretend to play golf at my resorts.  But I’m president and they’re not."

"Millions of ordinary people will be screwed out of health insurance if Trumpcare becomes law. These losers think I should care.  But I’m president and they’re not."

"Mueller and his gang think members of my campaign colluded with the Russians and fixed the election.  But I’m president and they’re not."

"Mika and Megyn, Rosie and Hillary and all those other horrible women say I’m a sexist pig. But I’m president and they’re not."

"Where are Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer, Jared Kushner and Kellyanne Conway and all the other hangers-on who still linger in the White House corridors?  It may soon be sayonara for them.  But I’m president and they’re not."

"So the fake media and the limp-doily Democrats are embarrassed because I misremembered Frederick Douglass, thought Israel wasn’t in the Middle East and shoved aside the prime minister of Montenegro during a diplomatic photo op. But I'm president and they're not."

"Fake historians claimed I was wrong when I told the true story of Civil War hero Andrew Jackson.  But I'm president and they're not." 

"The fake news media said I shouldn’t have talked about the Syrian missile strike while having dinner with President Xi Jinping of China. Or were they upset about us digging into a big beautiful chocolate cake? But I’m president and they’re not.  

"The intelligence spooks said security was breached when I talked with Prime Minister Abe of Japan about secret intelligence on North Korea while having dinner at Mar-A-Lago.  Okay, the waiters were hovering and the ears of other guests perked up. But I'm president and they're not."

Monday, May 29, 2017

Papal Exorcism Fails; 

Victim Seeks Help from Genie

Genie enters brain of man with presidential delusions 

From our religion correspondent

The Vatican:  The attempt by Pope Francis to exorcise a demon from the body of an American man has failed, according to a church spokesperson. The subject of the exorcism was identified only as a wealthy American with possible business ties to the Vatican. The procedure targeted a demon that inhabited the man’s body and led him to believe he was president of the United States.  The Vatican gave no explanation for why the Pope’s efforts failed.The American man was last seen stumbling across St. Peter’s Square and boarding a large limousine with tiny American flags on the front fenders. Later, the man’s wife and daughter told reporters he was taken to a villa on the outskirts of Rome where he was seeking help from a Middle Eastern genie. The genie is known to use a crystal ball to enter a client's brain to examine the contents. No findings have been reported so far. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pope Exorcises American Billionaire

From our religion correspondent

The Vatican: Church officials have disclosed that Pope Francis has taken the extraordinary step of performing an exorcism on a wealthy American. The man, who has not been publicly identified, was brought to Rome by his wife and daughter. They told Vatican investigators he was delusional and believed members of his family were devil worshipers. He also spoke an unintelligible language and turned bright red during lengthy rants.       

Pope Francis with exorcism subject and family 

It is not clear why the Vatican agreed to the extremely rare papal exorcism. The last one is believed to have been carried out by Pope Innocent VI in 1359.  Speculation is that the American is a billionaire who has secretly worked with Vatican representatives in the United States to transform abandoned churches into hotel-casinos and defunct Catholic cemeteries into golf courses. 

Sources report that the exorcism was conducted in a hidden chamber used for treating wayward priests. The specific rituals employed by the Pope have not been disclosed. A church historian said that it could well involve the administration of strong emetics, the use of hypnosis, or even flagellation.

A witness to the procedure, who wished to remain anonymous, said the main target of the exorcism was a demon that controlled the man by deluding him into thinking he was president of the United States. Whether the exorcism was successful has not been revealed.  


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Holy Crap!

From our religion correspondent.

Fatima, Portugal: Perhaps like me you followed with interest the Pope's visit to Portugal where he conferred sainthood on shepherd children who saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary on six occasions in 1917. Three kids witnessed the miracle and the Virgin revealed three secrets that foretold the horrors of the Twentieth Century. However, when it came time for the Pope to name the saints only siblings Francisco, 9, and Jacinta, 8, won the prize. Their cousin Lucia, 10, was left out.  What the hell? I felt bad for poor little Lucia and searched the web for an explanation.Then, like a vision, it struck me that Lucia, as the oldest child, was the one who made the whole story up, the little brat. I now know that Lucia died in 2005 at the age of 98, and hasn't been dead long enough to become a saint. The two sainted ones, on the other hand, died in 1919 during the flu pandemic in that year.  It seems to me that either Our Lady of Fatima has a diabolical sense of humor or a clever little girl went on to show that sainthood isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Lorne Michaels
30 Rockefeller Plaza,
New York, NY

Dear Lorne:

Here’s a treatment of the new sitcom we discussed.  We know this kind of production isn’t your thing, but we thought you might pass it on to the right person in the biz.


The Donald Dumpling Show

Donald Dumpling, President of the United States.  Egomaniacal billionaire and host of a network quiz program where he verbally abuses losing players then kicks them off the show. Donald’s boorish behavior attracts the interest of presidential candidate Fred Frisk,a stone-like Midwest Republican. He thinks Donald would be a great running mate with his name recognition and appeal to low-brow voters who like seeing other people humiliated on television. The ticket’s a winner. But unfortunately, soon after the inauguration President Frisk drowns in the White House pool. Donald takes over and fires the cabinet and staff and hires a group of cronies, failed politicos and fringe media personalities. None of these people has experience governing, let alone knowledge of foreign affairs or the workings of the legislative and judicial branches.  But to Donald that’s just fine. Naturally, infighting and chaos ensue followed by one domestic or international crisis after another. 

Other major characters:

Doneta Dumpling, First Lady and third wife.  A former fashion model, she's tall and graceful and always dresses in the latest style. She has no particular role at the White House and rarely speaks. She simply passes slowly through the rooms with the practiced step of a supermodel showing clothes to exclusive clients. This can be disconcerting when she glides by during cabinet meetings or when foreign leaders are visiting. 

Della Dumpling and Rheinholdt Putzler.  Della and her husband own a marginally profitable chain of shoe stores. They believe this empowers them to meddle in economic policy. And with a name like Rheinholdt, who could know more about foreign affairs? The two frequently slip into the Oval Office to give advice to the president, which he invariably accepts. Della is the daughter of Donald’s first wife, who Donald dumped when she suggested he might consider going on a diet.

Tanya Dumpling, The daughter of Donald’s second wife, she is the most sane person in the White House. A junior at Stanford majoring in Political Science, Tanya regularly eludes her Secret Service guards to pal around with her liberal friends and has joined political demonstrations against her father. Tanya frequently has political conversations with dad in which he comes across as his usual ignorant and blustery self. She also connives to bedevil members of the White House staff, especially Billiebetty Candle, Dez Unger and Lonnie Peeper (see below). Her aim is to save her father from himself, which, never works as planned. Tanya is the time bomb lurking in the White House basement. 

Billiebetty Candle, Presidential special adviser and spokesperson. Her main function is to appear on television to creatively interpret the meaning of the president’s public statements. Her forte is countering criticism of the president by unleashing a welter of hysterical verbiage that vaguely resembles factual truth. Her stringy blond hair and pancake makeup give her a shopworn appearance irresistible to presidential adviser Dez Unger. 

Dez Unger, Chief presidential adviser. He previously ran an extreme right wing website where all news was made up by college students whose greatest ambition was to murder their liberal professors. Most of these kids were abandoned at birth by rich parents who were too busy at the club to notice them. Dez is known for his tacky wardrobe and icky personal habits. Some people claim they can smell his body odor through their television screens. Because he is smarter and has only one guiding idea—kill anyone who opposes you—he is able to hold Donald in thrall. Donald rarely says or does anything without Dez’s approval. That suits Dez just fine. He’s always wanted to be president.

Lonnie Peeper, Chief of staff. He’s a busy little man who resembles Peewee Herman. Lonnie tries desperately to compete with Dez for the president’s ear. But he usually ends up with tasks like supervising the White House domestic staff as they prep for state dinners or making sure Marine 1 pilots get their favorite sandwiches and white wine before flying the president to Andrews.

Bart Splint, Former army general and now the President’s national security adviser. Donald and Bart get along well because they both are deeply insecure.  Gen. Splint sees almost every country in the world as a potential threat and therefore is always on the alert for warning signs of danger. The fact that 45-year-old Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, is smart, good looking and has a legitimate political pedigree scares the shit out of him. Gen. Splint was quietly retired by the army after his superiors in the Pentagon noticed he spent more time with fashion consultants designing  personal uniforms than doing work as a strategic analyst. In his White House job Splint can’t wear his uniform, but every morning before he goes to work he pulls it out of the closet to admire the medals arranged down the front of the jacket.

Les Keen. White House press secretary. A bumbling nitwit, who creates confusion with every pronouncement. But that often works out well because it keeps the White House press corps occupied so the president can focus on important matters like practicing how to use the nuclear button. 

Ronny and Donny Dumpling, Donald’s sons from his first marriage. Both are in their thirties but most often behave like teenagers. The pair love their annual safaris to Africa where they shoot big game animals released 10 yards from their protective bunker. Donny and Ronny visit dad daily to report on the family businesses. Ronny is CEO and Donny is CFO.They know nothing about management but the titles give the president cover from unpaid contractors.

Two old Senators, aka the cowardly lions of the Senate.  As blueblood Republicans, they hope the president will succeed but know he’s completely nuts.  Their role is to serve as the chorus, commenting on Donald’s actions and behavior by putting the best face on it even though that requires excruciating mental gymnastics. They are never invited to the White House and are only seen standing forlornly at the rear of the Senate chambers sharing their shaky thoughts about politics and the news. Almost no one pays attention to them, least of all President Donald Dumpling.

Tweak Jones, the president’s personal IT technician, works late at night in the White House family quarters where he looks after the president’s personal computer and helps with difficult tweets. The president usually tops out at about two-thousand characters.  Without Tweak’s tweaks, nobody in the country would know what the president is really thinking. Tweak also knows about other goings-on late at night in the White House.

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Miserable Life of Trump's Chump

Sean Spicer, Trump press secretary, has been accused of lying to the media by repeating false claims by his boss about the size of the crowd at the presidential inauguration.  When reporters nailed him with the facts, he accused them of being dishonest. A few days later Spicer repeated an unsubstantiated claim that “studies” had confirmed rampant voter fraud in the recent election.  No such studies were found and several members of Congress raised questions about the moral standards in the White House.

It was then that the press secretary began showing signs of self-pity.  The New York Times reported in its media section (1/30/17) that Spicer insisted that the White House be given the same leeway afforded news organizations when they make editorial or reporting errors. “I don’t know how many corrections are in the New York Times any given day.  But I don’t wake up every day and go, ‘OK, you’re all liars.’” 

A glance at the corrections published in the January 28th edition of the Times is instructive:

In the obituary of television star Mary Tyler Moore, the last name of actor Gavin MacLeod was incorrectly spelled McLeod.  Ms. Moore’s 1980 Tony Award was a special commendation and was not given in a competitive acting category.  The writer used an outdated reference to the location of Ms. Moore’s home.

The name of a prominent Korean businessman was misspelled in early editions in a story about government corruption in that country.

An article on Academy Award nominees misreported the production budget of one of the films.  It should have been $1.5 million instead of $5 million

The name of a pop music organization mentioned in weekend entertainment listings was given as the Country Music Awards when it should have been the Country Music Association Awards.

Who would have thought that the New York Times was awash in such dishonesty?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Steve Bannon with Kellyanne Conway

"The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut....."

Steve Bannon, Top Trump Adviser and 
Notorious Fake News Trafficker, 
Interprets the First Amendment