Monthly Archives: August 2017

Sheriff Joe and Trump’s End Game

I did it, I stand by it, and I’m not going to change.
                  —  Joe Arpaio

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 was like any other Wednesday in the computer building, a nerve center for a large governmental organization.  The work was routine and unspectacular, but the data maintained by the center was important and, in some cases, confidential.  Without warning, the raid started.  Uniformed individuals stormed the building and seized control.  Employees were ordered to leave their work stations while uniformed men and women confiscated their computers.  The raiders compelled computer operators to give up their passwords before they escorted staff from the premises.  Then they locked up the computer rooms, completing their militaristic take-over.

The armed raid was not in Venezuela, Cuba, or an Asian dictatorship.  The location was Maricopa County’s Computer Center and the raiders were uniformed personnel from the Sheriff’s Department, led by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. 

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Boffo Numbers, Baby!

This column begins with a quiz.  See if you can correctly answer the following multiple-choice question.

Q:  If you have a group photograph of Mike Flynn, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Anthony Scaramucci and Steve Bannon, you have a picture of:

  1. A basketball team that consistently loses to the Washington Generals.
  2. The cast of the upcoming television reality series, “Big Brother: The Clown Car.”
  3. Five classified ads rejected by “Grindr.”
  4. Five examples of Donald Trump man-crushes that ended badly.
  5. All of the above.

If you answered “E, all of the above,” you are, of course, correct. 

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Abby Normal

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Ah! Very good. Would you mind telling me whose brain I DID put in?
Igor: Then you won’t be angry?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: I will NOT be angry.
Igor: Abby someone.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [pause, then] Abby someone. Abby who?
Igor: Abby… Normal.
                     –  “Young Frankenstein,” (1974)

On August 30, 2016, the day after Gene Wilder died, the Washington Post published a tribute by cartoonist Tom Toles that shows Wilder, suitcase in hand, running up to St. Peter at Heaven’s Gate and exclaiming, “Tell him somebody put an abby normal brain into a presidential candidate!”  It was a heartful tribute to Wilder, as well as cunning political satire.  It was funny and easy to laugh at, since Hillary Clinton took a commanding lead in the polls just a week earlier and it seemed obvious she would trounce Trump in November and send him back to “The Apprentice.”  Then, lightning struck and the monster with the “abby normal” brain came to life and took up residence in the White House.

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Welcome to the Pence Presidency

 The pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon; the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.
                     – Danny Kaye, “The Court Jester,” 1955

“Laughable and absurd.”  That’s how Vice-President Mike Pence described a report in the New York Times that he was conducting a shadow presidential campaign focused on the 2020 election.  He denounced the Times article as “disgraceful and offensive to me, my family and our entire team.”  “The allegations in this article are categorically false,” he protested, “and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration.”  Suggesting the Times information was – you guessed it – “fake news,” he tweeted, “my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the president’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020.”  He wrapped up with what passes as a rhetorical flourish on Planet Pence: “Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd.”

He is, of course, lying.

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