July 14, 2018

THE LAWBIZ COUNTRY CLUB

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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018

THE LAWBIZ COUNTRY CLUB
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Is it possible that only Ivy League law schools produce attorneys who have what it takes to climb to the top of this country’s jurisprudence heap? This heap’s pinnacle, of course, is the U.S. Supreme Court. Apparently, we have evolved into a nation where the SCOTUS ivory tower is exclusively the Ivy tower. Even President Donald Trump. the rabble rouser in chief, is said to have factored in Brett Kavanaugh’s Yale pedigree when he chose him for another new haven. Assuming the Senate complies, he will cluster with the Supremes: five Harvard, three other Yalies and one (Ginsburg) who attended Harvard Law before switching to Columbia. Kavanaugh would replace Anthony Kennedy, who is a Harvard alum, so Yale would pick up an elite seat. Isn’t diversity great?
But are those universities so inherently superior, particularly when you consider the fact that Trump graduated from one (Penn), and George W. Bush got his degree from Yale? Maybe sometimes it just doesn’t take. But is it that or is it that that some of the others are underrated or that the Ivies are overrated,
Even if you set aside Stanford, which many describe as just a West Coast Ivy, with Sandra Day O’Connor and William Rehnquist as alums, what about the University of Michigan or Virginia, not to mention Georgetown? They are among many with sterling programs. And let’s not overlook Ohio State, Arizona State and Deep State (I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention). Those programs graduate scads of brilliant lawyers. But they’re still not regarded as the super-elites. Maybe that’s Ivy League self-serving PR. Maybe the critics are correct when they charge that the most important courses at any of them include Hubris, Entitlement and, most important of all, Networking. Look no further than the Supremes.

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July 10, 2018

ACRONYM CREATION TACTICS (ACT)

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2018

ACRONYM CREATION TACTICS (ACT)

For those who thought “acronym” was a city in Ohio, it is not. According to my handy dandy online dictionary, an acronym is “a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words and pronounced as a separate word, as Wac from Women’s Army Corps, OPEC from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or loran from long-range navigation.”
Or MAGA, as in Make America Great Again, the Donald Trump campaign slogan splattered across red baseball hats worn by millions of Americans, mostly white, mostly intolerant, who have bought into the Trumpster’s garbage that America should return to the glory days where their rigid biases oppressed everyone else. Actually, the Trump cabal is already hard at work on his re-election effort, and that means a new slogan for 2020, something that captures the regressive spirit of his first term and, more importantly, fits on a red baseball hat.
In case you were wondering, the caps are red because that’s what Vladimir Putin’s wants. That’s totally false, of course, entirely made-up, fake news. Putin couldn’t care less about such paraphernalia or such minute details. He’s more of a big-picture guy when it comes to controlling the 2020 election, just like he was in 2016. But Vlad will have an opportunity to get a full report from Donald. The two of them are on a collusion course to hold their summit next week in Helsinki.

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July 7, 2018

THE SUPREME WORD MASQUERADES

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, JULY 6, 2018

THE SUPREME WORD MASQUERADES

It’s a common experience. Our minds get stuck on something or other. But this one is kind of weird: I’ve been bugged of late by all our language lies, concerned by all those common expressions that come up in conversations everywhere and are either pointless fillers or really reflect an opposite meaning. This is what happens to me when there’s little else to discuss. And we are in a relative lull right now. President Donald Trump is between obscene outrages. Or is it that his tweet storms have lost their facility to disgust us? Even his destruction of world trade fails to cause the widespread panic it should.

Has it happened? Have we finally turned numb to the hateful crass acts of Trump and his barbarians? Has their boorishness left us bored? I mean, what’s been in the news of late? The hot dog eating contests, that’s what. One could argue that our political developments these days are normally as gross as hot dog eating contests, but usually they, uh, have more meat on them. But let’s face it, people: We’ve been in a summer hiatus — post-child snatching, pre-Supreme Court nominee.

As the Trumpster announces his choice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, we will once again hear and read the kind of vacuous rhetoric — no, let’s call it what it is, dishonesty — that we haven’t witnessed since, well, the last Supreme Court battle in the United States Senate. We can start with POTUS, who promises, “I think you’ll be very impressed.” What? He’s going to select someone he doesn’t think will be impressive?

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July 3, 2018

FREEDOM'S DOWNWARD SLIDE

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
CUSTOMER SERVICE: (800) 708-7311 EXT. 236
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2018
BY BOB FRANKEN

FREEDOM'S DOWNWARD SLIDE

Well, here we are again. It’s been 242 years since our founders took a huge personal chance and signed the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the purfuit of Happiness ...” Yada, yada, yada ...
Yes, I am being flip about a document that was flawed from the git-go. In our root-for-the-home-team jingoism, we tend to gloss over the fact that the signers were slaveholders and that it was only white men and not women who had all the “unalienable rights.” In modern times, that would be described as “Make America Great Again.”
Even so, a few years later some pretty smart guys put together an operating manual that described the rights and restraints of a democracy that looked pretty good on paper. However, their careful balance between government power and limitation is inherently fragile, always vulnerable to the abuse of demagogues and other opportunists.

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