January 15, 2019

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S SAD SONG

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, JAN. 15, 2019

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S SAD SONG
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In 1932, as the Great Depression took hold and once-proud Americans were reduced to begging, Bing Crosby recorded a song called "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" It became a hit, even though Republicans tried to force radio stations not to play it because it was "anti-capitalist." And indeed it was.
"They used to tell me I was building a dream
With peace and glory ahead
Why should I be standing in line
Just waiting for bread?
... Buddy, can you spare a dime?"
Today, the Republicans are at it again, or at least one Republican is. As the country goes through a different kind of depression over the presidency of Donald Trump, 800,000 federal government workers are being told that they have little choice but to revert to modern-day panhandling, perhaps relying on modern social media to keep them and their families from economic collapse. Trump has dug in his heels over his perverted fantasy of a border wall. It's a "crisis" at the southern border he insists, with disingenuous support coming from his sycophants, who are so desperate to stay in his good graces that they're willing to sell their souls to keep their positions, assuming they even have souls.
Those federal employees whose jobs right now are worthless because they're unfortunate enough to work in agencies that didn't have funding appropriated are either being forced to stay at home or, in the case of those who have the bad luck of being designated "essential," to work without pay. There are a few lawsuits rattling around; there always are. In essence, they claim that such work without pay is mandated slavery.
President Trump has insisted that he can "relate" to their plight, even though he owns a private jet and claims to be a billionaire. Even so, some of the staff members who were designated "essential" tried to curry his favor by emailing memos to all hands containing strategies to survive. The Office of Personnel Management even offered sample letters that their unfortunates can send to those they owe -- landlords, for instance -- offering "to perform maintenance (e.g. painting, carpentry work) in exchange for partial rent payments."

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January 12, 2019

BLUNDERBUSS PULPIT

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, JAN. 11, 2019

BLUNDERBUSS PULPIT

OK, America, here is the word of the month: "blunderbuss." No, it is not a mass-transit vehicle whose driver has taken the wrong route. You'd think most everyone in this Second Amendment-obsessed nation would know that a blunderbuss is a gun, an old-timey one.
It long preceded the automatic weapons that wreak the kind of mindless mass destruction that has become part of our national routine. It had a flared barrel. Think of it as a mini bell-bottomed single-round shotgun. It was very inaccurate, but in its day, it caused a lot of damage. Could that describe a certain blundering and blustery chief executive?
Actually, that's not the only word of the month. For President Blunderbluster and his obsequious gang that couldn't shoot straight, their word is "crisis," as in "national security crisis" or "humanitarian crisis" or even "crisis of the soul," for crisis' sake. Oh, and let's not forget the phony crisis ... make that "fake crisis," as Donald Blunderbluster tries to weasel out of the fine mess he's created.
All his ready-aim-fire approach has accomplished is a partial government shutdown over his insistence that the Democrats agree to spend $5.7 billion for a border wall. He needs to keep the blood boiling in his xenophobic base, but his scattershot attempts at intimidation certainly have not strong-armed the Democrats one bit. In fact, he's weak-armed them, and they remain united and adamant that they will not fold this time. When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told him again that there would be no wall money, he flounced out of the room, saying "bye-bye."

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January 8, 2019

WE NEED "JOHNNY DANGEROUSLY"

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, JAN. 8, 2019

WE NEED "JOHNNY DANGEROUSLY"
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Do you remember the movie "Johnny Dangerously"? It stars Michael Keaton in the title role. It was released in 1984, but it's still rattling around for streaming. For that matter, everything is available for streaming, even Stormy Daniels' epics. If that's your thing, enjoy -- no judging here. But "Johnny Dangerously," which is certainly in a different category, is a favorite of mine. A really juvenile comedy, which is far and away my preferred genre.
One running joke in this spoof is the use of profanity by a particular character, Roman Moroni. Actually, what really makes people yuck it up is Moroni's ALMOST profanity -- the Italian gangster's dialogue is riddled with terms like "cork soakers" and "fargin' iceholes." Trust me, it's funny if you see the movie.
I'm not in the habit of doing film reviews; instead, I deal with the stranger-than-fiction world of politics. The latest preview of coming attractions involves congressional beginner Rashida Tlaib, Democrat from the Detroit area, who got caught up in all the enthusiasm of her new House of Representatives gig by telling a crowd that was definitely anti-Trump: "We're going to impeach the motherf*****."

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January 5, 2019

NON-TRUCE-NON TRUTH

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, JAN. 4, 2019

NON TRUCE-NON TRUTH
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Wouldn't it be astounding if we read the morning news one day and the headline was "Everything President Trump Said Yesterday Was Entirely True"? Put that one in the "not likely" category.
Donald Trump has made lying an art form (a crude art form, certainly), to the point where we can't be sure that his name actually is Donald Trump. He's that untrustworthy. According to The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" Glenn Kessler, Trump (or whoever he is) averaged 15 falsehoods a DAY in 2018!
There should be a competition among politicians, obviously sponsored by Burger King, for the single biggest whopper of the year. Or perhaps the sheer volume would dictate a monthly, weekly, daily or even hourly contest. It doesn't matter, because the winner would be the Trumpster. The prize would fit right into his diet: all the Whoppers he could eat.
In this era, where everything is true because social media says it is, and everything on mainstream media is "fake news," we should recognize this national champion. Let us not forget that he'd be competing with other lying politicians (pardon the redundancy), so he'd be running on a fast track. Even though it was slippery, he'd race far ahead of the "alternative fact" pack.

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TRUMP BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE

AND THE WINNER IS...

THE EXCHANGE RATE

SEASONS HALLUCINATIONS

LAME DUCK MUCKING

THE SLAM SHAM

THE CARLSON-CRONKITE DISS-CONNECTION

SWAMP LAWS

THE FAKE POTPOURRI

THE CLICHE TABLE

DISCRIMINATION FOR THE AGES

THE TRUMP PARADOX

THANKSGIVING ALTERNATIVE FACTS

THE DOG EAT DOG WORLD

TO KNOW HIM IS NOT TO KNOW HIM

DITCH THE HARD PASSES

MOVE BACKWARD-FALL FLAT

NOVEMBER SURPRISE

THE VIOLENT PRESIDENCY

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