The Only Way to Win Is Cheat*

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I was going to say, “For the benefit of my Republican friends,” but then I realized that I have had fewer and fewer Republican friends over the past four years. I’m not sure I have any right now.

Most political parties and candidates base their campaigns on some variant of “Vote for ME! Have your friends vote for me! Everybody should vote for me!” It’s a reasonable approach and often sometimes successful. However, based on recent legislation in several states, it is not effective for Republicans.

The Republicans are taking more measures to make voting difficult. They are restricting mail-in-ballots (which have demonstrated very little voter fraud), early voting (which have demonstrated very little voter fraud), limiting voting locations and shortening hours for voting. Why? Because if an informed populace votes, the Republicans fear that they will lose.

They’re probably right.

*Painless’ Suicide, the theme song for M*A*S*H.

The Devil You Know

One of the curious sayings that you have is “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” As I recall, in your culture, the devil is the personification of evil, so why would you choose ANY devil?

Over the millennia, I’ve seen the devil at work. He looks nothing like your artistic representations since he’s actually quite attractive–his name Lucifer means “light bearer,” you know. He’s also intelligent, charming, and very, very sly. That’s how he manages to suck so many people into doing his bidding without even realizing they are. Don’t believe me? Look at the Germans during World War II that turned a blind eye toward the Holocaust. Look at the people today who deny that the Holocaust ever existed.

The devil has many tools–money, flattery, and empathy. The last is particularly effective–“You’re a good person. This thing you want to do isn’t really bad because you’re doing it for a good reason. Go ahead.” You probably saw how effective these were in convincing thousands to attack the US Capitol on January 6th.

If you want to see more of the devil in action, just check out the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend. He’s in fine form.

RIP GOP

This past weekend, the Republican Party slipped the surly bonds of Earth. The passing went unnoticed by many Americans, since the party has made little to no significant difference to anyone for at least the last decade.

For much of the twentieth century, the Republicans suffered from scandals and missteps, starting with the Teapot Dome Scandal during the Warren G. Harding Administration, followed by the collapse of the U.S. Economy under Herbert Hoover. Perhaps the most difficult period was 1969-1974, when Richard Nixon was elected and re-elected, before resigning to avoid impeachment.

The Republican Party has suffered from several ailments in recent years. Although not diagnosed as dementia or Alzheimer’s, it has had a difficult time separating truth from fiction. This has resulted in violent reactions to normal activities, such as elections. It was confirmed on Saturday that a major contributing factor to the demise was due to lack of a spine.

There will be no memorial or graveside service since most members are in deep denial and those not affiliated are glad to see the party go. The estate is expected to be left to Donald Trump and family.

The Boss Visits

The mob boss walked in, surrounded by his goons. His overcoat was around his shoulders without his arms being in the sleeves. He shrugged, and one of the goons removed the overcoat, draped it over his arm, and stepped back from the boss.

He was clearly not the stereotypical Sicilian. His perfectly coiffed hair was fading from blonde to grey, even though in his younger days, his hair had been brown. His white shirt was accented by a bright red tie, which extended several inches below his belt buckle. He leaned slightly forward as if in anticipation, although rumor had it that it was due to lifts in his shoes.

He looked around, and spoke about how proud they should be that he was making a visit. As he spoke, his tiny hands moved closer and farther apart, as though he were playing an invisible accordion. When he was finished speaking, several people came up to kiss his high-school ring.

Mitch “No-Chin” had once been extremely powerful, and might be again; in either case, he was prone to kissing whichever part of the Boss he believed would help him hang onto power. Another, a female who was new to the syndicate, knelt before him, losing her aluminum foil hat in the process.

“Are you Q?” she asked. The boss looked down his nose and snorted.

Others followed, all paying homage and pledging their loyalty to the boss.

After a bit, the boss shrugged, a signal for his underling, who spread the boss’s overcoat over his shoulders,leaving a number of others waiting in line. The boss started to turn, stopped, and turned back.

“Ya got a real nice Senate here. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it.”

He walked out the door.

Book Review: Thumbs Down

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By virtue of being dead, yet sentient, for over 2,000 years, I have plenty of time to read. At first, I read every factual tome I could find. Of course, as time went on, many of those facts proved to be less than accurate.

You know how it is–it was believed that the Earth is the center of the universe. No, wait, the Sun is the center of the universe. Actually, neither is the center of the universe.

I would like to say it was time wasted, but in my case, that would not be true. There was no other activity vying for my time.

Later, I focused on literature. As the founder of cynicism, I couldn’t be caught dead (literally) reading poetry. In any case, I read Shakespeare. I read Tolstoy and Tolkien. I even read Dashiell Hammitt and Robert A. Heinlein. I enjoyed some more than others, of course, but it gave me a good foundation.

I recently tried to read the defense legal team’s response to the impeachment charges, “Trial Memorandum of Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America.” The title is B-O-R-I-N-G, which is a warning that the rest of the document is a real snoozer. I mean, it is a more effective sleep-aid than 2 Ambien chased by 3 fingers of scotch.

It’s only available in paperback and shoddily bound at that. The plot is implausible. The characters are not only unbelievable but also unlikable. And the writing? Truman Capote would say, “That’s not writing, it’s only typing.”

My recommendation–don’t buy it! As a matter of fact, if somebody tries to give you a copy, give it back.

You’ll do better to check online for e-books available from your local public library.

Entertain Me!

When you’ve lived as long as I have . . . .

Okay, I’m not really living. I actually died over 2,000 years ago, nevertheless, I remain sentient.

If you’ve watched the world as long as I have, you see all kinds of things: The good; The bad; and the “You’ve gotta be fuckin’ kidding me!?!”

'Trumponomics' Tries To Praise Trump, Instead Exposes Him

By this point I’m jaded, but your immediate past president was a hoot to watch. On rare occasions, he slipped up and told the truth (How embarrassing). He proudly and publicly issued pardons or commutations for many of his cronies. He encouraged an attack on his own Capitol. When he left office, he still had the ability to piss people off by moving into Mar a Lago when he promised he wouldn’t.

There goes the neighborhood!

However, my all time favorite was his choice of advisors. I’m not talking about his daughter and son-in-law, the Botox kids. I’m not talking about Rudy (“I’m not senile–what was I saying?”) Giuliani. I’m talking about the pillow guy. He listens to a pillow salesman. In the annals of national leaders, that’s one-of-a-kind, especially since he claims he doesn’t really sleep at night. Classic!

On the other hand, your new president–B-O-R-I-N-G!!!

Goes to church. Tries to stick to the facts. Loves his wife. Would rather grab a rosary than some random female’s genitals. Reads his daily briefing. B-O-R-I-N-G!!!

Give me a break! I’m not asking for the world, just a little understanding. When you have no body, you can’t scratch or let out a decent belch. I haven’t had a drink in over two millennia. The only thing I’ve got to pass the time is watching you people. Please, Make America Crazy Again!

Bring Back the Whigs!!

Thomas Jefferson founded the Democratic-Republican Party, which opposed the views of the Federalist Party (John Adams party.) The Federalist party only lasted until after the election of 1800. Formal party names did not yet exist, but those who supported the Democratic-Republican Party often referred to themselves as “republicans.”

Naturally, there was infighting in the Democratic-Republican Party, which eventually split into the Democratic and National Republican parties. The proponents of the National Republican party eventually became the Whig* party, one of the two predominant parties from 1830 – 1850. The Whigs attracted entrepreneurs, professionals, planters, social reformers, devout Protestants, and the emerging urban middle class.

William Henry Harrison, a Whig, was elected president, but died one month after the inauguration and was succeeded by John Tyler (who was later kicked out of the Whig Party). Zachary Taylor was another successful Whig. He died two years after becoming president, ushering Millard Fillmore into the presidency. Therefore, the Whigs won two elections, but due to the death of the victors, they can claim four presidents. This, it can be argued, was very efficient.

Why should we bring the Whigs back?

The Whig priorities were primarily to oppose the ideas of Andrew Jackson, who, today, is no longer active in politics. Their other policies and beliefs stopped being relevant nearly two centuries ago. Besides, few politician keep their promises or support their party platform once elected.

We don’t want add the Whigs as an additional party. Ross Perot taught us that third parties don’t work. However, since the current Republican Party is in such disarray, perhaps it might help if they reverted to being Whigs.

Stranger things have happened.

* I was curious as to what the word “Whig” means. I found three explanations. Two are verbs, and since Whig is a noun (or an adjective modifying a noun), here is the definition of Whig as a noun: Acidulated whey, sometimes mixed with buttermilk and sweet herbs, used as a cooling beverage.

Don’t confuse this with a Rock and Roll band from Athens, GA, also known as the Whigs.

Donny’s Farewell

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“Okay, everybody, listen up. We’ve got a lot to do and it all has to be done before noon on January 20th, so pay attention. First things first. Everybody needs to pick up a trump election recount pledge card and fill in the amount you will be donating. You can make the actual donation anytime before the 20th since it needs to be in cash, non-sequential bills, in a plain brown wrapper.”

“Excuse me,” one of the participants interjected, “All of the counts are done, certified, and accepted, so why a recount fund?”

“Mitch, you of all people should know that it was never going to be used for a recount. This is for future operations.”

“But what about the Republican Party?”

“Mitch, if you want to have a party, have at it. Just make sure that you donate until it hurts.

“Now, without further distractions, let’s continue. There will be four lines. The first, to my left and to your right is for pardons. Each requested pardon needs to be accompanied by a separate pledge card. Pardons can be extended for actual crimes in which a person has been adjudged guilty, for actions that may or may not be a crime, and for general “Get out of Jail Free” pardons.

“The next line is for commutations. If a criminal act is pardoned, you will no be longer protected by the Fifth Amendment against self incrimination and the individual is viewed as actually being a criminal–a pardoned criminal, but a criminal nevertheless. On the other hand, a commutation retains your fifth amendment rights, although you won’t be able to vote or own a firearm. Choose wisely.

“The third line is for last minute federal appointments. If you’re appointed an ambassador for 15 minutes, you’re still a bonafide ambassador. Want to be a lobbyist for the communications industry? Get appointed to the Federal Communications Commission for the remainder of the President’s term. Same goes for environmental protection, justice department, Food and Drug administration–you name it.

“The last line is for those of you seeking a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yes, that’s right, you too can be honored by this prestigious medal and join such notable winners as Rush Limbaugh, Andy Griffith, Arnold Palmer, and, of course, Bill Cosby.

“There are Concierge desks set up in each of the corners of the hall. Ivanka is manning one, Jared Kirchner, another, as well as Don, Jr. and Eric. If you have a special request, please complete your pledge card first, then meet with one of the concierges. If you are seeking more than one consideration, merely have a separate pledge card for each request. According to the president’s accountants, all these contributions are tax deductible!

“You’ll never have an opportunity quite like this, so act now.”

Presidential Hi-Jinx

In 1960, after John F. Kennedy won the presidential election, his opponent said, “Well, you don’t have Dick Nixon to kick around any more!” Today, we’re running out of time with another GOP candidate, and I thought it was only appropriate to explore a few last minute ideas.

I think it would be unwise to test donald trump’s belief that if he shot someone in public in New York, there would be no repercussions. However, we can philosophize about his desire to walk up to a woman and grab her by the genitals. What really would happen?

Would the Secret Service agents stand there, watching, and tell him, “Please, sir, don’t mind me. Go right ahead.”

What if the female was someone on the same political level? Perhaps someone like Dr. Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor? That would be interesting to say the least. I suspect her security detail would step in and lay hands on trump in order to remove him from the area.

And what would trump’s Secret Service agents do in response. I suspect that the lead agent would smile at his German counterpart and say, “Please, sir, don’t mind me. Go right ahead.”