July 11, 2020

TRUMP AND THE OTHER TODDLERS

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

TRUMP AND THE OTHER TODDLERS

The problem is that young people are love-starved, or whatever term you would like to substitute. As soon as the bars, beaches and swimming pools were allowed to reopen, they swooped in — 20-somethings, 30-somethings, 40- and 50-somethings, even the teeny-boppers with phony IDs — hitting on everybody in sight. Tossing caution to the wind, along with their face masks, they crammed together in tight spaces, way less than 6 feet from each other. In effect, COVID became an STD, a socially transmitted disease.
And that’s why we’re seeing so many positive results, when these party animals even bother being tested. After they leave their hot spots and return to their families and friends, they create new hot spots in their communities. Each has the potential to become a one-person pestilence.
Deborah Birx, the White House overseer of all thing coronavirus — almost as famous as Tony Fauci — said the kiddies and kiddie wannabes had been docilely complying with the stay at home orders, except for the militia groups. But when first word came of a relaxing of restrictions, some of them went berserk. Or as Birx more elegantly put it, “When they saw people out and about on social media, they all went out and about.”
To fracture George Bernard Shaw’s saying, isn’t it a shame when youth get wasted? It’s difficult to get Americans of all ages to act responsibly when they have all this pent-up energy after being isolated at home. Many of them seem to consider caution to be a waste of time — particularly the president, who is downplaying the danger and outright lying about it.
Trump’s lackeys in the Republican party and red state governors have gone along with aggressive efforts to reopen and restart the economy. Now they need to scale back and reverse their reopening, because COVID has erupted like wildfire. Suddenly some cities are once again having to deal with shortages of ICU beds, supplies like protective equipment or even enough hours in the day to fight COVID without dropping from exhaustion. It’s a lethal mess, and so many of the public health experts are having a hard time not saying “I told you so.”

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July 7, 2020

SPORTS AND REAL LIFE

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

SPORTS AND REAL LIFE

This Independence Day weekend, two professional sports teams were finally forced to deal with names that offend people who were here way before them. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump stayed mute on the sidelines.
Yes, even Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington NFL team whose racist name he said he’d “NEVER” change, is now being forced to ponder a CHANGE. Why? It’s certainly not out of principle; Snyder has no principles, nor much ability to field a winning team. But he’s being coerced to conduct a “thorough review” of the name — a review that was forced on him by targeting the only thing he cares about ... his wallet. It seems that his corporate sponsors, who are themselves only now discovering that there is racism in the United States of America, have threatened to withhold the millions of dollars that have sustained these leagues all along.
It’s not just a football team that has suddenly developed a conscience, but a baseball franchise too. The Cleveland Indians, in this new era of examining all things bigoted, can no longer ignore the complaints of Native Americans and has decided to “determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.” In other words, we can chalk up another win to the almighty dollar.
What will they call themselves if they actually change their brand name? Already there are ideas flitting about. I personally prefer the Cleveland Fire, a tribute to the flames that suddenly erupted on the Cuyahoga River back in 1969. As for the Washington R-words, there are so many possibilities. How about the Sleazebags, a tribute to the special interest lobbyists who are the only ones who can afford tickets to a football game?

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July 4, 2020

AMERICA IN DENIAL

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

AMERICA IN DENIAL

As the country pauses for the Independence Day break, perhaps it’s time not for celebration but for introspection. Specifically, we can ponder the question of where we went wrong and how. Perhaps it really started on that first July 4 in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence — with its inspiring words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal ...” — was signed by blatant hypocrites, many of them slave owners.
In the 244 years since then, we have made some progress, certainly. We’ve moved from slavery, which took a devastating civil war to undo, through Jim Crow, which took dangerous protests in the South, to “I can’t breathe” today. Once again, it took a mass turnout of demonstrators and sometimes violent actions to make a statement against police state brutality that disproportionally targets minorities.
The lingering toxic racial prejudice contributed to Donald Trump’s election as president, and it gives him a fighting chance to win re-election to a second term. But Donald Trump is a symptom of our national illness, not the disease itself. In addition to the racism that saturates our society, our history has bred a suspicion of institutions that have been built over centuries of political leadership, where the rich seemed to benefit at the expense of everyone else. It’s to the point that expertise is turned away and worthy endeavors are met with justified skepticism. It so often turns out to be self-enriching.
Donald Trump has taken full advantage of that national suspicion. Every failure his administration makes, he peddles as a victory. His and their handling of the deadly pandemic is only the latest example. From the get-go his people screwed up the national response to the coronavirus. The result? The United States is now the world leader in COVID cases and deaths. The scourge shows no sign of abating, due in large part to a financial reopening championed by Trump that is still killing our citizens at a dizzying rate. Even governors of states that heeded Trump’s siren song have had to back off and restart a shutdown of the economy.

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June 30, 2020

PREMATURE POLL POSITION

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

PREMATURE POLL POSITION

Breaking news! In the polls, Trump is trailing Biden by a ton. In other words, Donald Trump has Joe Biden exactly where he wants him.
While citizens of all hues are engaged in national introspection over the racism that permeates our society and ongoing deadly police violence, Trump has been pandering to bigots. Plus, given Trump’s dismal leadership during the COVID pandemic, the Trumpster has been plummeting in just about every credible survey when matched up with Joe Biden. His disapproval ratings are so low that he’d lose in a landslide if the election were held today.
But it isn’t being held today. It’s more than four months away, and Trump is planning a strategy that is most reliant on Biden doing something so ridiculous that Trump will look good by comparison. Biden’s history has shown that it’s not an altogether bad game plan. Time and again, Biden has pulled defeat from the jaws of victory.
The Democrats have the same habit. At this time in 2016, Hillary Clinton was measuring the White House drapes, and we all know how that turned out. Still, even Donny — whose approach to the coronavirus was wishing it would go away, and when it didn’t, ignoring it — has acknowledged that he could be in trouble this time around. Replying to a puffball question from Sean Hannity about his next term, Trump gave a meandering response, including the dejected tone of his answer that perhaps Biden is “gonna be your president because some people don’t love me, maybe.”
Ya think? Since his inauguration Donald Trump has managed to make himself a national embarrassment with his toxic mix of ignorance, racism and outright lies. Then the country faced two overlapping crises. First it was the coronavirus. His administration’s incompetence managed to turn the pandemic into a debacle. Americans are dying at a startling rate. The spreading tragedy is partially blamed on the president’s all out campaign to prematurely reopen the country. People, particularly young people, flocked to bars to socialize over alcohol while casting aside any semblance of social distancing. You’re now seeing that in an explosion of new COVID cases.
And when these millennials staggered out of the bars and resumed their normal lives, they became carriers, particularly those who, with the president as a role model, refused to wear a face mask.
A great example of his downfall was the puny turnout at his first rally since the lockdown, held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you looked around at the screaming crowd, there weren’t a lot of face masks.

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DEFUND FUN

CAMOUFLAGING OUTRAGE

RACIST BRANDING

TRICKY DON

DONALD TRUMP: AMERICAN SYMBOL

THE STAGES OF BIGOTRY

TRUMP TATTERS

THE CASE AGAINST VIOLENCE

FACE MASK FACE OFF

U.S. CRAPSHOOT

TAKING HIS OWN SNAKE OIL?

THE SURRENDER

TRUMP OFFENSIVE

WISHFUL THINKING

BELIEVE NO ONE

BUSH NOSTALGIA

THE QUITTERS

INJECTING EMBARRASSMENT

TRUMP'S BASE INSTINCTS

DANGEROUS REVERSALS

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