BELIEVE IT, BELOVED

If you’ve ever experienced watching something happen that you found hard to believe was happening — like the shock of seeing the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers burn and collapse as one plane, then another, exploded into them on 9/11 — you get the idea of what many felt watching voting results unfold on election night into the wee hours of 11/9.

True — heavily-favored Hillary was a flawed candidate whose baggage was picked apart and mega-magnified by Trumped-up claims….and we who aren’t blind Clinton partisans realized that (for all her political experience) she was not a ‘natural’ as a campaigner, nor was she judicious enough to avoid making “deplorable” mistakes that left us wondering how someone so seasoned could make them. But we thought those shortcomings and errors paled in comparison to the narcissistic, knowledge-challenged, scorched-earth shamelessness of P.T. Barnum the Second, aka Donald Trump. Wrong. Disaffected voters sought a savior, and voted their anger, emotions and perceptions…. and now we face four years of BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, beginning January 20, Inauguration Day. It should be interesting.

Meanwhile, back at the rant, I remember Republicans after the 2008 election vowing to do everything they could to make Obama a failed President. Contrast that with Obama at the White House yesterday saying he hopes Trump (who until recently claimed Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. & shouldn’t even be President) will be a success because “we’re Americans first,” not Republicans or Democrats. But enough about the election and wishful thinking. It’s over, and I’m looking at the bright side:
No more political robocalls ad infinitum.
No more political commercials on TV ad absurdum.
No more mailbox stuffed with political spin ad nauseam.
No more political campaign speeches which seem to go on ad vitam.
Need I ad etcetera?

BOOS IN THE NIGHT

To protect ourselves from hordes of trick-threatening little monsters demanding treats at mister & missus muse’s doorway tomorrow night, I’m considering leaving the lights off as darkness descends on our humble abode….sort of the ‘discretion-is-the-better-part-of-valor’ equivalent of playing dead if real life (threatening) monsters were to besiege us.

But I fear that the more worldly-wise of those juvenile mendicants will see through my hoary Halloween subterfuge — especially if they shine a flashlight through our garage window, see cobwebs stretching from my wife’s 1929 Duesenberg Model J Sports Sedan to my 1919 Locomobile Model 48 Town Car, and (putting two and to together) realize we senior citizens haven’t gone out in ages. We are home.

So I put my thinking cap-tion on to come up with the title of this post and a plan that, while it may not fool the little devils into passing us by, should absolutely scare the bejesus out of them when they approach: a bigger than life-size cutout (revealed by motion-activated overhead light) of — who else — DONALD TRUMP on the stump and rigged with appropriate sound effects (such as “Get ’em outta here!“). If that doesn’t do the trick, I don’t know what wood. Here’s a sneak preview — BOO!

waynes-pic

Now, you might think: Surely some of those pre-pubescent scavengers are little Republicans who adore The Donald and will think his visage is such a treat that they will knock on my door just to thank me, and not even ask for goodies. To you I say airily:

As for those Donald-adorers and their thanks, I will say: You’re NOT welcome. Next Halloween, the specter of that mean-spirited blowhard will be replaced by a cutout of President (if she doesn’t blow it) Hillary warning you bad little beggars to get the GOP-hell outta here and never darken my door again. But as long as you’re here now, you might as well leave a donation to The Clinton Foundation — if you know what’s good for you.

WIT HUNT

Eight years ago, I said it was time to change the tone of politics; in hindsight, I should have been more specific. — Barack Obama (2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner)

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I am going to miss President Obama when he’s ‘gone’….if for no other virtue than his laid-back wit — a quality sadly lacking in the two major candidates to succeed him, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump  (not to mention his wit-less former GOP rivals):

One View: 2016 candidates lack wit of predecessors

At least Hillary managed a treasonable (to Trump apologists) facsimile of wit in a June 21 speech: “Trump has written a lot of books about business – they all seem to end at chapter 11” (a reference to his four corporate bankruptcies). Granted, that line was probably conceived by a speech writer, but she delivered it as if it were her baby, and to hold it against her is extraneous to witticisms delivered by past actual or would-be Presidents. Wit the help of assiduous research, here are a dozen of yore favorites (and I quote):

I do declare, if this be true, General Pinckney has kept them all for himself and cheated me out of my two. –John Adams (in response to rumors that he had dispatched the General to England to bring back four mistresses: two for Pinckney and two for Adams)

If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one? –Abraham Lincoln (when accused by Stephen Douglas of being two-faced)

Accuracy to a newspaper is what virtue is to a lady; but a newspaper can always print a retraction. –Adlai Stevenson

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. –Ronald Reagan

Being President is like running a cemetery: you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening. –Bill Clinton

If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. –Adlai Stevenson

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. –Abraham Lincoln (Are you listening, Donald Trump?)

I hope you’re all Republicans. —Ronald Reagan (to surgeons upon entering the operating room following 1981 assassination attempt)

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. –John F. Kennedy (at a White House dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners)

I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency — even if I’m in a cabinet meeting. –Ronald Reagan

A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation. –Adlai Stevenson

When they call the role in the Senate, the Senators don’t know whether to answer “present” or “not guilty.” –Teddy Roosevelt

And with that exhaustive compendium, I’m at wit’s end.

 

HOLD THAT NOSE!

When I remarked, in a comment to my last post, that some mugwump Republicans would “hold their noses” while voting for you-know-who, it brought to mind (who nose why?) the old college football exhortation, HOLD THAT LINE!….which, in turn, suggests a catchy campaign slogan for the GOP’s Offensive Lines Man: HOLD THAT NOSE! VOTE FOR TRUMP!

The nose, it seems, has long been a useful appendage when it comes to exhortations:

KEEP YOUR NOSE OUT OF MY BUSINESS
DON’T BE A HARD NOSE
KEEP YOUR NOSE CLEAN
DON’T CUT OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE
KEEP YOUR NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE
DON’T GET YOUR NOSE OUT OF JOINT
Etc.

I don’t nose about you, but I find people with noses fascinating — especially thoses with long noses….especially thoses whose noses made them famous.

On the other hand, I don’t think it’s fair that animals with big noses are often seen as having faces only a mother could love:

Animals with Big Noses

Did you notice that several humans managed to horn their way into that mix of pix, one of whom seems bent on cutting off his nose to spite his face?As Jimmy “Schnozzola” Durante used to say, “Everybody wants to get into the act,” but that guy is apparently trying to take a short cut. Oh, well, it’s no skin off of my nose.

Of course, not everyone is blessed with a big nose, otherwise mistermuse might be known as misternose. HAHAHA!  The point is that you don’t have to have a natural big nose to clown around and be a big hit with the young at heart:

WHAT WOULD GEORGE SAY?

Well, we know what they [politicians] want. I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests.
They want obedient workers, people just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. They want your fuckin’ retirement money, and you know something? They’ll get it from you sooner or later cause they own this fuckin’ place. It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.
–George Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008)

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Remember George (“THE SEVEN WORDS YOU CAN’T SAY ON TELEVISION”) Carlin? I was reminded of him by this May 11 comic strip in the local paper:

http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2016/05/11

….while on the very next day (Carlin’s birthday), my erstwhile friend Richard “Ricardo” Cahill posted this piece on his blog:

http://www.richardcahill.net/home/donald-trump-appreciation-day

Those two items combined to make me wonder what Carlin, who died before Barack Obama was elected President, would say about today’s politics in general/Donald Trump in particular. Judging by the opening quote, I don’t think we have to wonder long.

So, using the comb I no longer need to part the hair which parted ways with my skull years ago, I combed through the Carlin legacy to come up with these ever-apt ‘by George’ quotes:

When you’re born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat (from which I gather that a Trump by any other name would spiel as P. T. Barnum).

In America, anyone can become President. That’s the problem. (George, I doubt that even you appreciated how true that may prove to be.)

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth. [I talk, therefore I lie.]

Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay [yes, but it’s for a great cause]. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time.

Now, there’s one thing you might have noticed I don’t complain about: politicians. [Really?] Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They come from American parents and American families, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders.

Good honest hard-working people continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about you. [Lucky for George, this isn’t TV.]  They don’t care about you at all. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. It’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.

So, it seems the title question has been answered. George would say today what he said then –  he’d just have even more clowns to laugh at. The Donald alone is an absurdist’s dream, not to mention such other relative newcomers to the national stage (aka The Theater of the Absurd) as Sarah Palin. But that’s show business….and, in the immortal words of P. T. Barnum, it’s still THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.

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P.S. Memo to Hillary: This post contains classified information. Please handle appropriately.

 

 

 

 

 

ALAS, SHRUGGED

Political elections are a good deal like marriages–there’s no accounting for anyone’s taste. –Will Rogers

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In a March 2 Cincinnati newspaper article (titled ROAD TRIPPIN’ TO COLUMBUS FOR TRUMP), a reporter writes of accompanying four Trump backers on a drive to Columbus (Ohio) for a DONALD TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT rally: “They’re serious about their support for Trump. They shrug off his bombastic speech.”

Alas, what they also “shrug off” is any suggestion that Trump is a big-talking combination of P.T. Barnum, bully, and simplistic-solutions artist who can order away the causes of Americans’ discontent as easily as he fires ‘losers’. Shrug–the perfect word to describe the casualness with which Trump supporters dismiss his “bombastic speech.” Bombastic? More like conveniently ignorant (Trump: “I don’t know anything about [white supremacist] David Duke”), or demeaning (“Would anyone vote for that [Carly Fiorina’s] face?”), or pathetic (“He [John McCain] is not a war hero”), or despicable (mocking a reporter, named Serge Kovaleski, who has a disability). Etc. Etc. Etc. But what do his followers care, because they think he “tells it like it is.”

Here’s how columnist Kathleen Parker saw it in a recent piece titled “The GOP may get what it deserves”: “The challenge for those of us in the observation business [lest you forget, this blog is called THE OBSERVATION POST] is to illuminate what’s plainly obvious without offending those who prefer not to see. But there’s no winning once passions are engaged, and hating the messenger [aka blaming the media] is a time-honored tradition.” Such a business.

One would expect sensible people to realize that Trump is no cure for the uncompromising dogmatism that plagues our politics. So, how to account for the gullibility (or “taste,” as Will Rogers put it) of those who’ve been seduced by their beloved’s dubious charms. Perhaps some see that rivals like Ted Cruz would only deepen the dogmatic ditch that divides us. But that gives them credit for more sophistication than is their due, in my estimation. Most of them simply don’t see Trump for the humbug he is, and dogmatism is a fancy word that doesn’t pay their bills or kick butt.

But Mitt Romney knows better:

Just between us, I find myself hoping that Trump wins the GOP nomination, in the belief (promulgated by Romney and other Republican leaders) that he would lose big to Hillary….and take down with him enough right wing candidates to lose control of the Senate (and hopefully loosen political and tribalistic gridlock in the process). Not that I’m a huge fan of Hillary, but at worst, she is the lesser of two evils, and in any case, more mature, warts and all. Or I may vote for Rabbit Hash Mayor/Presidential candidate Lucy Lou, who may be a dog, but not a dog who tears people apart. Nor, oddly enough, is she the least bit(e) dogmatic.

What is so hard about understanding that working together is the most reasonable and timely way to get things done in a democracy? Hillary’s jingoistic rejoinder to Trump’s jingoistic ‘Make America great again’ campaign slogan is, at least, a starting point: “America never stopped being great. We have to make America whole.” Or at least as whole as is relatively possible in a country divided against itself.

 

GOP AIN’T GOT NO USE FOR PROPER GRAMMAR NOHOW

In a recent study by those grammar-checking nerds at http://www.grammarly.com/ (which is literally the literacy liturgist of all things literate and literary), it was found that supporters of current Republican candidates are more than twice as grammatically challenged as their Democratic counterparts.

Yes, friends, that which I have long suspected….has now been proven true: many right-wing Republicans don’t know their asterisks from a hole in the ground. According to the study, ass-kissers of GOP candidates on Facebook made an average of 8.7 grammatical mistakes (misspellings, punctuation, etc.) per 100 words, compared to 4.2 mistakes for supporters of Dems. Furthermore, Dem ass-kissers demonstrated a larger vocabulary, using on average 300 unique words per 1,000 words, while Repubs used butt 245.

But I’m almost at a loss for words at the news that the biggest loser was DONALD TRUMP, whose partisans made an average of 12.6 mistakes per 100 words. In fact, not a single GOP candidate’s backers scored better than the backers of any of the five Democratic candidates, whose scores ranged from 3.1 mistakes (Lincoln Chafee) to 3.7 (Bernie Sanders) to 6.3 (Hillary Clinton).

I hate to say it, but let us face facts. As much as we may revel in the boastful bloviating of The Donald, not to mention Rick Sanitarium (11.5  supporter mistakes per 100) and the rest of the GOP Presidential-wannabes, their constituents are a bunch of semi-literate, half-witted cretins (not to put too fine a point on it). And, sad to say, because of their limited vocabulary, these language-challenged dunces often resort to mean-spirited name calling as their only means of expressing their idiotic opinions — something which this writer, of course, would never stoop to.

This is indeed a sorry state of affairs. America can ill afford to have elections decided by those who don’t know the difference between a diphthong and a dipstick (not to mention elections decided by those whose opinions differ from mine). Perhaps it’s time to bring back the old voter literacy tests — but instead of tests meant to keep Southern State blacks from voting, we need tests designed to keep ignorant right-wing Republicans from voting.

This need not be complicated. Disqualification could be as expedient as this:

If you plan to vote for a candidate whose first name is Donald, Rick, TedBenBobby, Carly, or Mike, sign on this line with an “X” ______.  God bless you for exorcising your right to vote.

P.S. As my faithful readers know, I posted my choice a month ago. I’m voting for Lucy Lou.