February 20, 2019

PRESIDENTS' DAY HUSTLE

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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, FEB. 19, 2019

PRESIDENTS' DAY HUSTLE
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One can only assume that you used the annual Presidents Day to reflect on the current one, Number 45. No? How about if I say that like so many patriotic holidays, it has devolved into a mere commercial enterprise of contrived sales events or promotions. In that realm, President Donald Trump is No. 1, the huckster-in-chief.
Before he went off to recharge his batteries at Mar-a-Lago, aka Botoxlandia, he left behind a message for all in Washington, those whose job it is to try to figure out his latest incoherent comments. The rants in question came at another of his bizarre news conferences (a gross redundancy). These are always opportunities for him to drop his verbal nuggets of fool's gold, allowing him to stir the pot and leave everybody who hears his free association to question his sanity, honesty or at least his impulse control.

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February 16, 2019

BS WORDS

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2019

BS WORDS

It's already begun. With the first serious discussion of "Medicare-for-all," meaning government-financed health care, and with the introduction of the so-called Green New Deal, those on the right, and even those who get away with describing themselves as "moderates" (as opposed, I suppose, to "IMmoderates"), are flinging around the S-word like it's the ultimate pejorative.
Oh F-word it, let's be clear: They're braying about -- gasp -- "SOCIALISM." To borrow from the "The Music Man," it starts with an "S" and that rhymes with "mess." So, what is this scourge? (That also starts with an "S." See how it all falls together?) My online dictionary defines "socialism" as, "A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole."
In the U.S. of A., socialism is routinely conflated by demagogues with the C-word, "communism," or the M-word, "Marxism." They are used as nouns or turned into adjectives like "commie plot" or "commie perverts" (sometimes pronounced "preverts"). So a departure from economic Darwinism is tarred as the road to ruin. Less government, in this rendering, is always better. It's the American way.

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February 12, 2019

SMARMY VS. SMART


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, FEB. 12, 2019

SMARMY VS. SMART
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When it comes to stories, most of us prefer trashy over technical. Tacky trumps substance. Or these days, attack-y Trump deflects substance. That certainly could explain the decidedly non-substantive high interest in Jeff Bezos, one of President Tweet's favorite targets.
True, there are thousands of favorite targets on Trump's list, which seems to grow every time he sits on the edge of his bed with his smartphone, during the idle hours his jesters call "executive time." Someone leaked his internal schedule, which shows President Donald Trump has a ton of "executive time," but for once, the story about his intellectual rigor mortis has been shoved aside by our Jeff Bezos titillation.
Normally, Bezos does not generate sordid fascination. The founder of Amazon, he is the richest man in the world, and he does own The Washington Post, as any reader can tell you after being treated to that disclaimer in parentheses every time the Post does a story about him or his various diverse business interests. He's also famously publicity-shy. These days, though, Washpo has been riddled with parentheses as the paper joins media everywhere in chronicling the Bezos Scandal Chronicles.
They contain some typical elements of moral turpitude in the cyber age: sex, divorce and explicit text messages that somehow got into the hands of a sleazy tabloid that has adapted to modern times by frequently obtaining what was supposed to be intimate communications. Those transmissions between Jeff Bezos and his paramour included very private pictures, including private-part selfies. Secretly fooling around has been with us since the beginning of time. That is, until technology made secrecy obsolete. Of all people, Jeff Bezos, who is one of the inventors of online everything, has decided to fight back. He hired a famous security guy to investigate how the National Enquirer got hold of his lurid stuff, and who peddled it.
Then, and this gets really wild, the normally reclusive Bezos wrote a blog where he intimated that the scandal might have some political motivations and that furthermore, the Enquirer was trying to blackmail him into not pursuing that angle. "I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out," wrote Bezos.

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February 9, 2019

THE HYPOCRATS

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, FEB. 8, 2019

THE HYPOCRATS

Today, let’s consider the Hypocrats. Those are the Democrats who sanctimoniously declare, every chance they get, that they stand for racial justice and women’s rights — in fact, they are the champions of all the oppressed. Obviously that’s not always the case. It would be comforting to know that they are a new party, but, of course, they are not. In recent memory, they are the ones who opportunistically rallied around President Bill Clinton, and viciously ripped into intern Monica Lewinsky and the others who dared to accuse their guy of being a dangerous perv.
They are more than matched by the GOP, which, of course, means “Grand Old Phonies” when it comes to piety of convenience. Their embrace of Donald Trump’s transparently fraudulent cultural conservatism is Exhibit A, but another is the Republican Majority Leader in the Virginia Senate, Thomas Norment, who now acknowledges that he was an editor of a 1968 college yearbook tht was riddled with racist slurs.
Still, let’s focus on the Hypocrats. Actually, we’re being forced to by so many of their goings-on in Virginia, which fancies itself the “birthplace of America” In fact, the commonwealth (it is called a “commonwealth,” as opposed to just a humdrum “state”) is marking its 400th anniversary, including of the arrival of the first slaves. The remnants of that evil period in the nation’s history still afflict us today. Look no further than the leaders of the commonwealth of Virginia Hypocratic Party, those preachers of progressive policies forced, because they had no choice, to admit their ugly pasts.
Thanks to Ralph Northam, we’ve had the opportunity to learn that when you apply shoe polish to your face to appear in blackface, it is really, really hard to remove. As we all know, Virginia Gov. Northam is in a heap of trouble after right-wing oppo research people discovered a picture on his 1984 medical school yearbook page showing a guy in blackface, standing next to a man covered in KKK robe and hood.
As we all know, Northam has not handled this at all well. When the picture was first revealed, he apologized profusely, then the next day denied it was him while admitting that he had put on blackface for a Michael Jackson moonwalking contest. That attempt at damage control inflicted even more harm, with friends and foes alike demanding that he resign.
Among them was Mark Herring, the Democratic attorney general of the state — oh, excuse me, commonwealth. Herring is another darling of the left, except that he’s a red-faced Herring at the moment, embarrassed to confess that he too had his blackface moment to appear at a costume party to play the part of a rap performer. He claims to have used makeup. Was he being mindful of Northam’s warning that “You cannot get shoe polish off”? It is obvious that they can’t get their two faces off, that these self-declared progressives have ventured into deeply insensitive racism and have threatened their careers decades later.

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