May 23, 2020

TAKING HIS OWN SNAKE OIL?

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

TAKING HIS OWN SNAKE OIL?

Admit it: You don’t know whether to believe him or not. Is President Donald Trump lying about taking hydroxychloroquine? He usually does make things up, but one thing is absolutely true about the Trumpster: He always manages somehow to focus all of the attention on himself.
And we in newsbiz fall for it every single time. The moment he slipped into a news briefing that he was popping “hydroxy” pills, reporters went scurrying to find the first commenters they could, particularly those who would be so shocked that they could barely contain their outrage/fright/
distress. It didn’t matter whether it was a medical expert or opposition politician, as long as the reactor went nuclear. Trump was once again controlling the agenda. Nevermind that, if true — a big “if” — it was a crackpot idea to take this anti-malaria-lupus-rheumatoid arthritis drug, but not, as several studies have demonstrated, anti-coronavirus.
For starters, notwithstanding the president’s endorsement early on, its off-label misuse is dangerous. Side effects can include a disruption of heart activity, leading to death. And another one: It can make you bonkers. That may not be an issue with this POTUS, but quoting the Mayo Clinic description listing possible side effects, it can cause:
— Feeling that others are watching you or controlling your behavior.
— Feeling that others can hear your thoughts.
— Feeling, seeing or hearing things that are not there.
That would explain Trump and all his conspiracy theories, except that he was spouting off those long before he started his hydroxychloroquine and zinc regimen. Why zinc? It bolsters your immune system.
Forgetting whether the president of the United States should be taking such a dangerous drug, his doing so and publicly announcing it creates an instant shortage. Those who have a medical need are out of luck, as the gullible Trump followers ... uh ... follow his example and start demanding prescriptions themselves.
They should know that their guy has decided to end his journey into the pharmacological unknown, but he’s certainly not finished risking the lives of millions of Americans. His self-serving support for the premature reopening of the country contradicts the advice of most medical experts who say it’s too soon and that thousands will die as a result.
I’’ve seen reports that his campaign consultants are trying to recruit doctor supporters to go on television and endorse the lowering of restrictions. It reminds me of the MDs who were paid by a tobacco company to do commercials for one brand of cigarettes or another.

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May 19, 2020

THE SURRENDER

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

THE SURRENDER

A month or so from now, it will be interesting to see how many of the customers who crowded into Wisconsin bars without masks the moment their local government leaders lifted the taverns’ restrictions have caught the coronavirus ... and how many have died. It’s morbid, but so is the trade-off that comes courtesy of the highly political conservative State Supreme Court, which ruled that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers did not have the right to extend the restrictions that have locked down the state without permission from the Republican majority state legislature.
Horrified mayors and county officials in many urban areas immediately clamped down and extended their own strict security measures. It created a statewide hodgepodge. Gov. Evers went on MSNBC and complained, “We’re the Wild West!” If residents really had to race to their favorite saloons to have their shots and beers but were not allowed to do so where they lived, they could simply drive a few miles and get hammered nearby. One wonders if they drove themselves home, and how many got pulled over for DUI, but that’s another issue.
Let’s concentrate on those who absolutely needed alcohol and had to demonstrate their “liberation” spirit by not wearing a mask. Then let’s survey those whose hangovers included COVID-19. It would not be surprising to discover the patrons of Cheers — or whatever their favorite watering hole is called — ended up cheerless.
It was the worst of politics. President Donald Trump and all of his accomplices are single-mindedly focused on getting reelected, particularly getting him reelected. So, they used the “reopen” gambit to deflect attention from the administration’s disastrous public health campaign that allowed the coronavirus to unnecessarily run roughshod over the United States. Now he is willing to risk thousands of lives with careless winding down of sensible restrictions in the face of evidence that the organism is nowhere near ready to go away.
While we’re at it, let’s keep track of a beauty salon and the customers who rushed to make an appointment to get styled (by now, shouldn’t we have embraced “shaggy chic”?) or get their hair dyed. Let’s find out how many died in the quest to cover the telltale gray. We’ve already heard stories about defiant barbers who trimmed customers’ hair and defied shutdown orders and who subsequently tested positive for COVID — and at least one case where the barber lost his life to the coronavirus.

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May 16, 2020

TRUMP OFFENSIVE

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

TRUMP OFFENSIVE

I Ican never remember: Is it “The best offense is a good defense,” or “The best defense is a good offense”? Let’s choose offense as defense, because the president, Donald Trump, wants to get re-elected. He constantly uses his offensiveness to shield him from accountability for various obnoxious acts. And it usually works. At least so far. Note that I didn’t say “criminal acts,” because he’s taken the position in court that he can’t be investigated. So we don’t know what evil lurks beneath that legal facade. Yet.
But Trump has made an art form of bombarding adversaries with charges of wrongdoing as a way to fend off answering for his shady past — or, for that matter, shady present. Remember how he turned on Hillary Clinton and accused her of so much corruption and even encouraged his rabid followers to chant “Lock her up”?
Four years later, he is in rare form. On May 10, after tweeting “HAPPY MOTHERS DAY,” he proceeded to flood the cyber world with accusations, leading to the third highest total tweets in a day of his presidency — 126 in all. During Trump’s rampage he accused his predecessor of criminal acts — excuse me, “Obamagate” — charging Barack Obama with illegally trying to use his presidential powers while in office to sabotage Trump’s campaign. That was apparently a retaliation for a conference call Obama had with former staffers where he referred to the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus invasion as a “chaotic disaster.”
Trump was not done that day of making outlandish criminal charges of those he perceives as enemies. This was his attack on Joe Scarborough:
“When will they open a Cold Case on the Psycho Joe Scarborough matter in Florida. Did he get away with murder? Some people think so. Why did he leave Congress so quietly and quickly? Isn’t it obvious? What’s happening now? A total nut job!”
That has to do with the 2001 death of a young female aide, two months AFTER Scarborough had announced he’d be leaving Congress. He wasn’t even in the same town as the aide, who died, investigators determined, due to natural causes. But that didn’t stop Donald Trump from making innuendoes against Scarborough, who regularly roasts him on his MSNBC show.

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May 12, 2020

WISHFUL THINKING

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

WISHFUL THINKING

Let’s take one of those magical trips down memory lane, way back to 1939. One of the popular tunes back then was “Wishing (Will Make It So).”

“Wishing will make it so, Just keep on wishing and care will go.”

It was sung by Vera Lynn, among others, and covered by the likes of Glenn Miller, Bing Crosby and now, 80 years later, by Donald Trump and his Bootlicker Chorus. In his version, the lyrics have been revised to reflect the coronavirus era:

“This is going to go away without a vaccine, It’s going to go away, and we’re not going to see it again, hopefully, after a period of time.”

He’d better hope so. The coronavirus has already breached the White House complex, infecting Secret Service agents and a few key people thus far who have been in close proximity to not only the president, but to his obsequious vice president, Mike Pence.
If both got ill it’s feasible that the duties of the chief executive would pass down to the third in the order of succession. Who would that be? None other than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. If that ever happened, there would be chaos as the lawyers would come out of the woodwork. Of course, there is already chaos in Washington these days.
To the Trump faithful, Pelosi for even a short time as acting president would be a bigger disaster than the devastation of COVID. Donald Trump is advocating a “reopening” of America in spite of the fact that the danger is increasing, not decreasing. Most of the governors are wilting under the political pressure, even though public health officials predict almost unanimously that they are courting a national disaster.
Meanwhile at the White House, Trump is being a role model. A role model for bad behavior. Normally when someone is exposed to the coronavirus in the way President Trump has been, he would self-quarantine, isolate himself so he wouldn’t be contagious. Even the today Mike Pence decided to stay away from the White House a couple of days, but an aide insists he “is not in quarantine.” Tony Fauci has imposed a modified form of quarantine on himself, so have other of Trump’s top health officials. But not POTUS, who has also been exposed. He continues to refuse to wear a mask.

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BELIEVE NO ONE

BUSH NOSTALGIA

THE QUITTERS

INJECTING EMBARRASSMENT

TRUMP'S BASE INSTINCTS

DANGEROUS REVERSALS

TOTAL AUTHORITY BUNKO

AMERICA'S CRUMBLED INFRASTRUCTURES

AMERICAN DISASTER

THREATENING TONY

THE ROGUE POGUE

HIPPOCRATIC OATH APPRECIATION

THE NONESSENTIALS

COMMANDER COVID

THE BS TEST

TESTING OUR SOCIETY

NON STOP SURPRISES

THE KNIFE CONTAGION

WHITHER MICHAEL BLOOMBERG

CORONAVIRUS AND OPENING DAY

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