August 11, 2020

THE STUPID AWARD

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

THE STUPID AWARD

Haven’t we been missing something with our coverage of the political news? Shouldn’t we recognize the tweet or sound bite that is so absurd that it makes the rest of us say, “Did he really say that?” Isn’t it long overdue that we honor the most Senseless Tweet, Utterance, Pronouncement or Idiotic Declaration, and hand out a weekly STUPID award?
Granted, it’s often a difficult choice. The STUPID competitors are tough and have a lot of experience. Not only President Donald Trump, who is in a class by himself, or really no class, but also Joe Biden. With Biden’s long career in public life repeatedly saying something really boneheaded, he has no peer in the gaffe category. Actually, he’s a natural; he doesn’t even have to try. The dunderheaded comments just roll from his mouth.
But Trump is the true champion, not only due to his being a pathological liar, but because when he gets revved up he makes the most nasty statements. He does it over Twitter, during speeches or when he encounters reporters ... aka “enemies of the people,” which was one of his previous STUPID award winners.
But let’s not waste any more time. Let’s choose this week’s winner. Actually, it’s last week, because this week hasn’t happened yet, now has it? It was really no contest. Once again the STUPID winner is Donald Trump.
It was Thursday in Ohio, when the president targeted Joe Biden, who he claimed would “take away your guns, destroy your second amendment. No religion, no anything, hurt the Bible, hurt God. He’s against God, he’s against guns, he’s against energy, our kind of energy.”
He really said that. The fact that Biden is a man of strong Catholic faith adds to the tarnish of this STUPID award.

© 2020 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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August 8, 2020

”IT IS WHAT IT IS”

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

‘IT IS WHAT IT IS”

This will be another essay about President Trump’s dismissive “It is what it is” when he was talking about the COVID deaths in this country. I can’t always be profound with my commentary, but hey, it is what it is.
First of all, let’s credit Jonathan Swan of Axios for honoring our craft with a really persistent interview and rattling Donald Trump in the process. Besides exposing the president’s insensitivity (as if that needed exposure), we should dwell on the “ism’s” that are a reality in Donald Trump’s America.
The pandemic is raging unabated in the Divided States of America. When it waged all out war on the world, it detected a soft spot in this country. States are going every which way following nonstop blunders by the blusterer at the top of the administration heap. We are losing the war. But it is what it is.
Instead we have economic collapse as the chief executive and his subordinates have made every wrong move. They delayed any action at all, which resulted in draconian measures that forced the wheels of commerce to basically grind to a halt. Oh, and he jettisoned to the governors all off the hard decisions, creating a hodgepodge of policies. Then, before the painfully strenuous measures could affect the heath of everyone, Trump got impatient and started agitating for a “reopening,” a return to “normalcy” that public health experts insisted was wildly premature. But he got his way, and the experts showed why they are experts. The coronavirus flared up again, leaving the D.S.A. even worse off than it was before. Once again, it is what it is.
At the same time he is trying to tamp down civil rights unrest after police brutality against minorities exploded in demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter. To deal with the racial unrest requires a compassionate, steady hand. Donald Trump? You gotta be kidding!
He is out there fanning every demagogic flame he could, proving once again that POTUS is really BOTUS (Bigot of the United States). He and his henchmen outdo themselves to show that they are “law and order” people, pretending to be tough but really betraying their weakness. Still they go about appealing to the prejudices and hatreds of angry white people. All together now: It is what it is.

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August 4, 2020

THE DISMAL FUTURE

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

THE DISMAL FUTURE

“‘Cheer up,’” they said, ‘things could be worse.’ So I did, and sure enough they were.” That’s supposed to be a joke, but when it comes to this country’s governing chaos, it is sadly not funny.
First, you had a president who dismissed the seriousness of the invisible invader. Then, only when it became obvious that the lethal coronavirus could not be ignored, or wished away, the people in his administration made a half-hearted response to the deadly organism, even though it was killing Americans at an alarming rate. They left it to state governors to come up with policies to protect the population against the virus, while failing to provide the tools to do it. This meant a lack of personal protective gear for the medical heroes, who stepped up through the toxic atmosphere to bravely try to save lives even though they were often pathetically under-equipped thanks to a supply line that ground to a halt.
Finally, because they had no choice, some of the governors made the agonizing decision to shut down commerce. Millions of people were thrown out of work. They were helped somewhat by trillions of dollars in federal relief funds and eviction moratoriums that provided relief, though the funds were delayed by bureaucratic incompetence and corruption. Still, it was the lifeline between starving and survival.
Even so, the economic plunge had an effect. COVID spikes where thousands died were slowly flattened out. But an impatient president along with his cadre of right wing extremists started pressuring for a return to economic normalcy even though public health experts warned that it was dangerously premature. Given the slightest chance, too many Americans lapsed into irresponsibility, gathering in crowds, not even bothering with masks. The dire predictions were tragically borne out, and now many areas of the country are consumed by the deadly virus waiting to strike.

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August 1, 2020

FAUCI’S PITCH vs. TRUMP’S PITCH

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

FAUCI’S PITCH VS. TRUMP’S PITCH

President Donald Trump was in one of his whiny moods on Tuesday. He was talking about Dr. Anthony Fauci, who’s been the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for 36 years. “He’s got this high approval rating,” grumbled the president. After all, he’s followed some of Fauci’s recommendations. “So why don’t I have a high approval rating?”
Indeed. Tony Fauci threw out the first pitch at Washington Nationals’ opening day and it was wild, to put it mildly. Nevertheless, Topps, the guys that make baseball cards, made one of Fauci in action. They sold out in 24 hours — all 51,512 of them. Trump, on the other hand, gets a big inflated “Baby Donald” balloon.

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