March 16, 2019

THE REAL AMERIICAN ECONOMIC LESSSON

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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2019

THE REAL AMERICAN ECONOMIC LESSON
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Actually, the college admission bribery case, where rich, doting parents bribed their underachieving offspring into elite universities, is a possible scandal within a scandal. It is true that the U.S. Department of Justice indicted several wealthy individuals, including movie stars, for allegedly paying a fixer and athletic coaches, among others, to help their kiddies cheat their way into various prestige schools. But go back and reread the list of affected institutions at the highest levels of higher education. Notice which one is not mentioned. That’s right, Trump University is nowhere to be found.
How could that be? Is there some hidden chicanery involved? Did the Trump administration’s Justice Department just turn a blind eye to please the boss? An inquiring mind wants to know. Oh wait, isn’t that similar to “An Enquiring Mind Wants to Know,” which was the slogan for the National Enquirer back in the days when it was “catching and killing” stories about Donald Trump fooling around? That’s still reverberating today, still being probed. Should Bob Mueller sic his investigators to determine if there was any collusion involved in the exclusion of Trump U?
Or is there an innocent explanation, like the fact that T.U. is now defunct (D.T.U.?) Or that it wasn’t ilisted in the U.S. News and World Report’s catalog of colleges even when it was still funct, unless U.S News had a scam category. Then again, the magazine also didn’t include Deep State University.

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March 12, 2019

FIRING LINES

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, MARCH 12, 2019

FIRING LINES
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I’ve always wanted host a telecast and start it off with, “A hearty welcome to our dozens of viewers around the world.” Alas, there would always be some humorless executives (I know, a redundancy) who would refuse to allow it. Perhaps they wouldn’t want to call attention to the fact that many of my programs could, in fact, count the audience in the dozens.
In those cases, it wouldn’t be long before they either replaced me on the show or just canceled it. They wouldn’t announce that I had been a total loser. No, they’d mercifully cushion the truth, stating that I had been “reassigned.” Never mind that I would work out my contract on the overnight shift, reporting on sports, with an emphasis on curling. My main competition on the other channels would be infomercials. Those details wouldn’t be spelled out.
My dozens of readers might remember how I’m fascinated by the way we go to such lengths to camouflage failure. The memo declaring that someone has been fired never say it that way. Usually that terminated someone “resigned,” and the suddenly former employer always, always will “wish him well,” which really means “may the scumbag burn in hell.”

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March 9, 2019

THE POLITICAL KENNEL

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, MARCH 8, 2019

THE POLITICAL KENNEL
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Donald Trump definitely is not introspective. If he thought about it, he’d probably decide that such self-reflection is navel-gazing and a total waste of time. But, of course, since he’s not introspective, he’s never thought about it. Whatever bubbles up from the Trump sump of his mind dumps out of his mouth, with no regard for what it fouls in the process. His millions of minions love it. They roared last weekend in gusty approval at the Conservative Political Action Conference as the Trumpster let fly with a two-hour toxic stream of consciousness. Never mind that it was riddled with inaccuracies (a polite way of saying “distortions,” which is a polite way of saying “lies”) -- it didn’t matter to the rabid crowd, and it certainly didn’t matter to their president. It seems that no matter how many times his bigotry or ignorance is identified, he doesn’t ever deflate. In fact, his gas only inflates him. To his base, his ugliness is beautiful.

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March 5, 2019

REFORM SCHOOL

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, MARCH 5, 2019

REFORM SCHOOL
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Reform is inevitably a difficult process, and not just for the reformees. It’s particularly painful for the reformers, no matter how meritorious their cause. Who would admit opposing fundamental changes to a health care system in this country that is glaringly overpriced and significantly underperforms? Who would resist efforts to rescue the planet from boiling away? As the reformers are learning, once they stop preaching to their own choirs and face off against those who benefit and prosper from the current setups -- like the insurance companies or the energy corporations -- their entrenched adversaries will do anything in their power to maintain things just the way they are.
The latest batch of reformers who have thundered into Washington armed with what they believe to be these obvious needs for change are facing a harsh reality. They are learning that our political system is sullied by foul play that protects the interests of those who pay for things. The real “deep state” in this country is the deep status quo protectors and their bought-and-paid-for officeholders. Their propagandists churn out a steady diatribe of accusations that those seeking change are “radicals,” or even worse, “socialists” who would destroy the American way. Seriously.

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