July 20, 2019

THE TRUMP DUMP

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, JULY 19, 2019

THE TRUMP DUMP
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What a sad debate between those who contend that Donald Trump fires off his increasingly hateful comments because he’s cleverly trying to distract and those who insist it’s because he simply has no impulse control. Is his racism uncontrolled or is it calculated, the worst form of demagoguery?
In spite of his halfhearted claim -- “I don’t have a racist bone in my body” -- he really makes no bones about the fact that he’s an out-and-out bigot. And here’s the scary part: It works. Look no further than his massive rallies, where thousands of his fans rattle the rooftops with rabid hatred. There he was the other night in Greenville, North Carolina, in what was supposed to be a show of strength after Bob Mueller publicly testified before Congress.
Call it counterprogramming for The Mueller Show, except that his hearings were put off a week at the last minute. Whatever damning testimony from the special counsel, whatever fuel he might have added to the Democrats’ impeachment fires, it’ll have to wait. Donald Trump will have to contrive some other storm next week to steal Mueller’s thunder.
Right now he has thrilled his hordes by wrapping himself in jingoism and prejudice once again, this time by attacking “The Squad.” That’s the group of four hard-left congresswomen who are inexperienced but loud enough to have become cable news and social media (same thing) supercelebrities. President Trump, who never misses an opportunity to cause his rabid base to collectively foam at the mouth, stooped to new lows with his ugly dog whistles. But this time he did not even bother to waste time with subtlety. He started off by tweeting an old slur that critics of the U.S. face, particularly those of color: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came?”

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July 16, 2019

PRESIDENT BUNKER

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, JULY 16, 2019

PRESIDENT BUNKER

It’s obvious to many people that our president, Donald Trump, is really Archie Bunker in the age of social media. Actually, in President Bunker’s small hands, it’s antisocial media, as his small mind cranks out old-fashioned racism.
The problem is, for a country that claims to be a democracy, we have to deal with Archie. He is our duly elected chief executive, after all. So it’s essential that Congress reach an occasional accommodation with him, otherwise do-or-die measures like raising the debt ceiling will be left undone, and the country will continue to wither.
Amping up the limit is crucial, otherwise the “full faith and credit” of the United States will become meaningless. Our government won’t be able to borrow or finance basic services because, for the first time in history, we will have welched on our obligations. While that might have been a normal way of operating when Donald Trump was in the private sector, even he seems to comprehend that it would ruin the U.S.
Many congressional Democrats are well aware that they have no choice but to hold their noses and reach an agreement with this blatant bigot. Even with his frequent eruptions of his deep-seated prejudice that spew to the surface, usually flooding his Twitter sewer.
It has happened again. Referring to the four newbie Democratic members of the House -- all women of color, all aggressively anti-establishment -- he managed to unite their party behind them, even as their know-it-all attitudes had been causing hard feelings with the more realistic members.
But all party squabbling was set aside after President Bunker tweeted the following from his White House bunker:

“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” he tweeted.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.”
He added: “These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

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July 13, 2019

IN DEFENSE OF BACK STABBING

FROM NORTH AMERICAN SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st floor, NEW YORK, NY 10019
CUSTOMER SERVICE (800) 708-7311 EXT 236
BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY JULY 12, 2019

IN DEFENSE OF BACK STABBING
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I don't remember the first time I heard this, but it's been a while: "Things are so bad in Washington that they're stabbing each other in the front!" Backstabbing is a way of life, not just in world capitols, but across the planet, in government and certainly in politics. And for good reason. It works. Where is that truer than diplomacy? Just ask Sir Kim Darroch.
Darroch is now a household name as the former British ambassador to the United States. He's "former" because he got caught being candid and had to resign because of it. He had made his mark in Washington as a social butterfly, ingratiating himself with the powerful, particularly the Trumpsters. That included a swirl of parties at the British Embassy, where various highly placed government figures were constantly seen.
It's a platitude that the U.S. and the U.K. publicly enjoy a "special relationship" and even though that nation and this administration have had some prickly moments, when President Donald Trump decided to do London recently, he was greeted by all the pageantry the Brits could muster - and they do great pageantry. There was even time with the queen and tea with other royals. They spread it on thick.
At the same time, Darroch was sending cables to the home office describing Trump as "clumsy and inept," "radiating insecurity," and his administration as "Dysfunctional and "unpredictable."
All well and good, as long as his cables were super-secret, like they were supposed to be. But alas, the tabloid Daily Mail got hold of them. In this age of hacking, nothing is secret anymore. Certainly not old-timey diplomatic cables. And Donald Trump let loose with some vicious front-stabbing, using his favorite butcher block: Twitter.
He described Daarroch as "the wacky ambassador" and "a very stupid guy." Not "well liked," Trump ranted. Most damningly, he continued, "we will no longer deal with him." Well, that one was the killer. It is the ambassador's principal job to "deal" with the home government. So he had no choice but to write a take-this-job-and-shove-it letter. He had broken the first rule of backstabbing: "Don't get caught."

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July 9, 2019

THE FUTURE PAST TENSE

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, JULY 9, 2019

THE FUTURE PAST TENSE
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Let’s give the highest praise possible to President Donald Trump: He didn’t mortify his country on Independence Day.
Other than his Revolutionary War airport thingy, he stuck to the script and gave a vanilla salute to the nation, which tries to overlook that most of its founders were slaveholders. He also choreographed a display of military might, a few flyovers and some tanks scattered around for good measure. Thanks to his staff’s frantic efforts, he even drew a good crowd.
But it’s time to engage in any pundit’s favorite pastime, which is forgetting the past and gazing at the future. As I’ve pointed out before, we enjoy it so much for two reasons: We pretend we have special insights, which, if true, would make our commentary worthwhile. Also, no one remembers our predictions, so there’s no harm in our being dead wrong. Consider us the prophets without particular knowledge. So onward and downward I go with my soothsaying act.
July 4, 2020: Put your money on the president doing another spectacle, a more spectacular spectacle next year. (Update: Since this was filed, he has said so, which just shows you which just goes to show you what an easy things this is) There will certainly be more tanks, more flyovers, more him. While this one ended up being relatively noncontroversial in that it did not embarrass him, the commander in chief got to show off his playthings, his toys of war, just like his autocratic friends do. Before you reproach me to say that he was really inspired by France’s Bastille Day festivities, it is true that the French leaders aren’t autocrats. Just a tad arrogant. But they do make great cheese. We just do cheesy. Anyway, save the date for the repeat next year, prominently featuring POTUS. Did I mention that he’ll be deep in the throes of running for re-election?

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