May 21, 2019

TOO LATE FOR CENSORSHIP

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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2019

TOO LATE FOR CENSORSHIP
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They say that even a broken clock is right twice a day. I never quite figured out who “they” are, but they say it. Like that broken clock, when President Donald Trump complained recently about social media censorship, he was onto something. We should be very concerned when Facebook executives decide to kick somebody off their social media site just because the offender is anti-social.
Actually, the term they use is “dangerous individuals.” and arguably what these expelled guys regularly spew out is dangerously crazy. Alex Jones was given the boot, along with removal of links to his Infowars site, which constantly puts out extremist conspiracy theories. So was Louis Farrakhan, but most of those on the do-not-vie list were either on the far right, or even further right, out there in Goofyland.
The problem with censorship is in who decides who’s dangerous. One guy’s “dangerous” is another one’s provocative or perhaps someone who is just a worthwhile but annoying dissenter. Do you want Mark Zuckerberg, some other techie or businessman or, most ominously, a government official deciding who’s “dangerous”? Obviously, the bozos who were kicked off Facebook (and Instagram, too) have a screw loose. Society would be a better place if their fantasies were not shared with anyone, much less everyone on the planet, but who draws the line?
But like the broken clock, whenever Trump happens onto a correct point of view, it’s a momentary stop before he ticks toward another con. So it is with his take on social media censorship.

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May 18, 2019

THE DEM FLOCK

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2019

THE DEM FLOCK
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Quick -- name all the Democratic candidates for president. There are only 23 of them, now that Gotham Mayor Bill de Blasio has joined the hunt. It's not enough that so many New Yorkers hate him; he wants to go nationwide. Of course, most New Yorkers hate everyone. Just look at Donald Trump.
But of the Democrats, how many can you recall? Maybe it would help to have some clues. Who is the old white guy running far to the left? Bernie Sanders, of course. Not to be confused with the old white guy who wants to be all things to all people. That's Joe Biden. The best way to keep them apart in your mind is their personalities: Biden is Mr. Congeniality; Sanders definitely is not.
Nor is Elizabeth Warren, who resembles Bernie in ideas and disposition; of course there's the gender thing too. Sen. Warren is not an old white guy. She is 69 years old. You can decide whether that makes her an old white woman, particularly since she's younger than both Sanders (77) and Biden (76). You also can decide whether you give a hoot about age, since she's younger than Trump, who is nearly 73. Chances are, you've heard of him.
If you are into that generational thing, perhaps your taste runs to the youngsters. There's that guy with the last name no one can pronounce, Pete Buttigieg. He's just 37, a mere two years above the constitutional minimum. He'll turn 39 on Jan. 19, 2121, which is just a day before Inauguration Day. What a celebration that would be. Might be.
Also in the March of the Millennials is Beto O'Rourke. Do you remember him? For a while he was leading the parade -- he even had the Vanity Fair cover imprimatur. But he's faded and now promises a redo, telling Rachel Maddow, "I recognize that I can do a better job."

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May 14, 2019

TRUMP DEPENDENCE DAY

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
CUSTOMER SERVICE: (800) 708-7311 EXT. 236
BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2019

TRUMP DEPENDENCE DAY
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Ever since he made that trip to Paris in July 2017, President Trump has tried to steal Bastille Day. Trump watched all the grandeur of the French national day -- accumulated over 230 years since the storming of the Bastille -- and saw it, as he always does, as a personal branding opportunity.
First, he promoted the idea of a massive parade, perhaps on Veterans Day, in the fall, featuring the U.S. armed forces and most of all featuring him. He’d review the troops from a special platform, just like the French president does. That plan never got off the drawing board for logistical and expense reasons, and because it was laughed out of the room. Plus, let’s face it: France has better cheese than we do. That was merely a challenge to Donald Trump’s “America First” cheesiness. One might have thought that his attempted display of ostentatious narcissism would be a lesson learned. One definitely would be wrong.

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May 11, 2019

TWO WORDS

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
CUSTOMER SERVICE: (800) 708-7311 EXT. 236
BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2019

TWO WORDS
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May 1, 2003: Then-President George W. Bush landed in a jet on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to announce that just a few weeks after his Iraq invasion, all major battlefield operations would end. It was a made-for-television event. Dominating the picture was a huge sign declaring "Mission Accomplished." Thousands of combat deaths later, the banner has been so scornfully ridiculed that even Bush admitted he wished it hadn't been used.
May 7, 2019: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell takes to the Senate floor. He derided Democrats' insistence on pushing for congressional investigations of President Donald Trump, even though special counsel Robert Mueller's probe had landed with such an inconclusive thud. "Case closed," said the Republican leader in his most memorable two-word sound snippet.
Then and now, the best retort might also be summed up in two words: "wishful thinking." (You were expecting two different words?) Minority Leader Charles Schumer, who has never in his life uttered just two words, summed things up with this: "Our leader saying 'let's move on' is sort of like Richard Nixon saying 'let's move on' at the height of the investigation into his wrongdoing."
His fellow Democrats over on the House side, where they now hold a majority, are bellowing a three-word response every chance they get: "Contempt of Congress." That's because the administration has decided to refuse every attempt to coerce its figures to appear in person before House committees or to produce any of the tons of documents the House has identified as necessary to pursue all manner of wrongdoing by Donald Trump. Attorney General William Barr, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and anybody in the White House or ever remotely connected to The Donald are being instructed to give their own two-word response.

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THE TOADY SHOW

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FIRING LINES

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