January 20, 2018

UNHAPPY ANNIVERSARY

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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, JAN. 19, 2018

UNHAPPY ANNIVERSARY
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As we arrive at the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency, we cannot really say that it has been a manic-depressive year. That would suggest that there had been some highs to accompany the low points. Maybe depressive-depressive is more like it.
Whatever you call it, the United States of America is now occupied by an administration led by a man with severe emotional problems. A cognitive test that he took the other day, amid concerns that POTUS’s mind is deteriorating, was focusing on the wrong concern: It’s not dementia that’s worrisome, particularly given his erratic behavior. It’s not that his brain is rotting; it’s more like it’s been rotten the entire time. We are being led by a crazy man -- if not mentally impaired, then objectionable to the core.
Our chief executive is a stupid bigot. Are there any smart bigots? We didn’t need his “sh*thole” outburst -- or, if you prefer, “sh*thouse” -- to demonstrate his severe prejudice; he’s blatant about it. He has a history of it that he’s carried into his campaign and now into the White House. His declarations that he’s “the least racist” human we’ll ever encounter, or words to that effect, are contradicted by his actions, opinions and policies that would restore the Jim Crow era. That’s what he means when he bellows, “Make America great again!” His supporters, the millions of people in his precious “base,” are divided between the outspoken white supremacists and those more polite ones who are willing to accept Trump’s hate-filled policies. By implication, they, indeed, are “deplorable.”
On the other side, you have gradients of a “resistance” that has lost steam since it manifested itself on Day One of the Trump rule, promising to challenge his every toxic move and work toward driving him out of office.


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January 17, 2018

OBSCENE DISTORTIONS

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
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BY BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, JAN. 16, 2018

OBSCENE DISTORTIONS
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Is it me, or has anyone else noticed that when someone is exposed for wrongdoing, the responses all seem similar? No matter whether someone is overheard saying something racist, credibly accused of sexual harassment or caught in some incredibly egregious act, if the person decides that it’s futile to dispute the charge, his (or her) apology looks like it came from the same mea culpa template.
Somewhere in each one, there will be words to the effect that he or she has had a lapse in judgement, is sorry that he or she caused harm or distress and, this is my favorite of all, “This is not the person I am.” It’s not just individuals who eat the very same humble pie, but corporations, too, when they’re caught in some awful act.
Let’s take a certain hospital in Baltimore, the University of Maryland Medical Center, which on a very cold night was taped “patient dumping.” A passer-by shot video of an incoherent woman being taken out by security guards, wearing only a flimsy convalescent gown, and abandoned at a bus stop. Had the guy not interceded, there’s every reason to believe that she would have frozen to death. Sure enough, when the facilities administrator realized that the inhumane treatment had been inescapably proven, he had no choice but to face a news conference. And what did he say? You guessed it: “We firmly believe what occurred Tuesday night does not reflect who we are.”
I’m left with the impression that when someone uses the “not who I am” phrase, that’s exactly who he or she is. All the person is trying to do is wriggle out of the mess. And that explains why everyone’s grovels all resemble each other. Many, if they can afford it, quickly go out and hire a crisis manager. That’s a glorified PR person who has contrived a specialty in Crisis Response Altering Perceptions. (I’ll let you figure out what the acronym is.) Their loads of Crisis Response Altering Perceptions all sound the same. For that they get big bucks.

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January 13, 2018

POTUS (PROFANITY OF THE UNITED STATES)

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. 12, 2018

POTUS (PROFANITY OF THE UNITED STATES)
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Warning to parents: You might consider this column unsuitable for your children. It is riddled with asterisks that provide flimsy cover for obscenities. We pretend that we are family friendly by using these asterisks. Never mind that our little darlings use the foulest language the moment they're out of your earshot -- and so do you the moment you're out of their earshot -- because we're hypocrites, this here will be shot full of the hated asterisks.
For this, you can thank our current president, Donald Trump. Once again, he has demonstrated that he's a crass racist by referring to El Salvador,Haiti and African nations as "s***hole countries." Let's not get distracted by any sanctimony about profanity and instead stick to what this illustrates about our fearless leader: The guy is a bigoted ***hole, who is such a dumbs**t that he doesn't realize he can't insult developing countries in public.
He made the "s***hole" comment during a meeting in the Oval Office with a group of senators who were there to discuss immigration. Why, he asked, couldn't more of those seeking a life in America come from nations like Norway--translate "white"-- instead of places that aren't so white and are therefore "s***holes"?
Once again, he was reinforcing the argument that he is a crazy bas***d whose ability to restrain himself is in the cra**er. The charge that he's mentally defective has gotten new energy, particularly after the publication of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" bestseller in which various high-level associates have questioned whether the bowels of Trump's brain are plugged up, at least the part that controls inhibitions.
El Trumpo denied saying what witnesses reported. He went on Twitter, as usual: "The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used ..." meaning "sh**hole." Yeah, right. Remember that he's a da**ed liar, a pathological one.

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January 9, 2018

"FIRE AND FURY" FIRE AND FURY

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
CUSTOMER SERVICE: (800) 708-7311 EXT. 236
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, JAN. 9, 2018
BY BOB FRANKEN

"FIRE AND FURY" FIRE AND FURY

Any producer will tell you that one key to a successful story — whether it’s in a book, on stage, in the movies or on TV — is having at least one sympathetic character. The “Fire and Fury” saga proves that rules are meant to be broken. The new release from Michael Wolff is a highly entertaining account of the Trump administration that is already a best-seller, even though all the leading characters are decidedly unsympathetic.
There’s Steve Bannon, the slovenly right-wing extremist who was Donald Trump’s brain for a while, but is now on his snit list. Trump has even slimed him with a nickname: “Sloppy Steve.” Of course there’s Trump himself, who was portrayed as being, in the words of one Cabinet-level member of his administration, “dumber than s--t.” Other top staff people used words like “dope,” “idiot,” “moron,” “a child” and all sorts of other colorful descriptions that came down to his being mentally defective.
While we’re at it, let’s not forget the author, Wolff, who personifies to many the stereotypical smarmy journalist who gets people to confide in him, but then breaks their trust by going public with their off-the-record comments. He’s also been long accused of making things up when necessary. Apparently, he didn’t make up all the comments from Steve Bannon, who was fired a few months back from the Trump White House and now is definitely in the Trump doghouse. In fact, the initial reaction to his quotes in the book brought a typically subtle reaction from the president: “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.” As I said, subtle as usual.

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