Monday, July 24, 2017

New Press Secretary Questionnaire

     Well, it’s finally official. Sean Spicer is out and Sarah Huckabee Sanders is in. Rumors had abounded for weeks that President Trump had lost confidence in his press secretary and was looking to replace him. So it was not surprising to see the recent chain of events leading to the appointment of Sanders as press secretary and Antony Scaramucci as White House communications director, particularly given that anonymous sources within the administration had already earlier leaked the following job questionnaire:
THE WHITE HOUSE
NEW PRESS SECRETARY QUESTIONNAIRE

NAME:   ___________________
AGE:  ____
SEX:  Male ___   Female  ____
PARTY AFFILIATION:  Republican  _____  Other  _____ (if “Other”, dispose of questionnaire in nearest wastebasket)
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH TWITTER?  Yes  ___  No  ___  (if “No”, this is not the job for you)
DO YOU BELIEVE PRESIDENT TRUMP REGARDLESS OF WHAT HE SAYS?  Yes  ___  No  ___  Maybe  ___  (only “Yes” respondents need continue; “Maybe” just doesn’t cut it even if the President issues contradictory statements or tweets)
CAN YOU BE LOYAL TO PRESIDENT TRUMP?  Absolutely  ___  You betcha  ____  So long as he is honest and loyal to me  ____  (We want to see both the first and second entries checked off; if the third one is chosen, you’re clearly not a  Trump team player)
DO YOU LIKE THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA?  Yes, so long as they’re fair to the President  ____  Yes, if it’s FOX News  ____  No, I hate the fake news including the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN  ____  (any response is acceptable; extra marks for choosing all three)
DO YOU BEAR ANY RESEMBLANCE TO MELISSA MCCARTHY?  Yes  ____  No  ____
(a “Yes” answer is disqualifying unless maybe you’re Sarah Huckabee Sanders or Melissa McCarthy herself)
DO YOU MIND WORKING IN THE DARK BOTH LITERALLY AND METAPHORICALLY?  Yes  ____  No  ____  (if “Yes”, best to look elsewhere)
IF A REPORTER RAISES THE ISSUE OF POSSIBLE COLLUSION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN TEAM AND RUSSIA, WHAT IS THE PROPER RESPONSE?
____  Scream at the reporter and threaten to take away his or her White House privileges
____  Repeatedly cry “fake news” and/or “lamestream media”
____  Why aren’t you investigating Hillary Clinton’s ties to (a) Russia, (b) e-mail leaks and (c) child pornography?
____  Put your hands over your ears and repeatedly say “I can’t hear you”, “I can’t hear you.”
____  Simply inform the reporter that the President is cooperating with any and all investigations and looks forward to the results
(any answer except the last one is acceptable; those choosing the last option have obviously been raised in the Washington swamp)
IF ASKED ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S RELIANCE ON HIS FAMILY MEMBERS FOR POLITICAL ADVICE, WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER?
____  It is very common in world politics for a leader to rely on his family members
____  The President greatly values the insights of his family members except maybe for Tiffany
____  Any organization would be lucky to have Ivanka and Jared working for them
____  Donald, Jr. does not work for The White House
(full marks for answers 1-3 and partial marks for answer 4 depending on whether or not the President feels anyone needs to be thrown under the bus that particular day)

HAVE YOU EVER STUDIED UNDER KELLYANNE CONWAY?  Yes  ____  No  ____  (if “No”, consider enrolling in her next course; if “Yes”, welcome aboard)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Spicey's New Briefings

     In the ongoing war between President Donald Trump’s press secretary and the media, Sean Spicer has gone on the offensive by prohibiting cameras from daily press briefings. This is just the latest salvo in the increasingly testy relationship between him and the White House press corps.
     Spicer has since escalated the war by refusing to release the recordings of audio-only briefings until after they have concluded. But it appears that this is just the latest step in a confrontation that threatens to escalate further.
     Seldom reliable sources have revealed the White House’s latest plans regarding upcoming briefings:
Brief briefings
     Sean Spicer will reportedly shut down press briefings earlier and earlier until there are no questions at all. Spicer blames the “fake news” for abusing the process and extending the gatherings to interminable and outrageous lengths. “It’s right in the name,” claims Spicer. “They’re press briefings not press lengthenings and some reporters are making a mockery of the whole process by asking more than one question.”
“I can’t hear you!” briefings
     Plans are in the works to simply ignore reporters in the Briefing Room. “Since they’re not interested in the truth and only want to spread lies,” says Spicer. “There’s no reason I should pay any attention to them at all.” Spicer reportedly plans to use the old time-tested schoolyard tactic of placing his hands over his ears and repeatedly yelling “I can’t hear you!” “I can’t hear you!”
Smoke signals briefings
     White House staffers claim that the rapid give and take of questioning during press briefings tends to confuse people, particularly Sean Spicer. To slow down the communication process and to clarify the President’s messages, press briefings will soon be conducted by means of smoke signals only.
Shark cage briefings
     White House maintenance workers are hard at work building a cage to enclose Mr. Spicer during his press briefings. The cage will prevent reporters from throwing items at Spicer or from physically assaulting him. “It hasn’t happened yet,” the Press Secretary said. “But the level of animosity of these left-leaning liars is off the charts and we just want to let the American people see what we’re up against here.” Presumably cameras will be allowed for these sessions.
The nuclear option

     The Trump team has made it clear that they have not ruled out the nuclear option. If necessary, that means handing over the press room podium to whoever can best baffle the assembled media representatives, whether it be Energy Secretary Rick Perry, HUD Secretary Ben Carson or Attorney General Jeff Sessions. If all else fails, rumor has it that the Administration will not hesitate to give over the briefings to its Queen of the Pivot: Kellyanne Conway.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Rotten Tomatoes: "The Trump Presidency"

It’s summertime and that can mean only one thing: big blockbuster movies in theaters across the land. Here’s the Rotten Tomatoes entry for the most unanticipated movie of the summer currently playing in a constituency near you:

THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY
Tomatometer     16%          Audience Score     35%

Critic Consensus: The Trump Presidency abandons the predictable narrative usually found in historical dramas and opts instead for a presidential term performed as farce. Promising to “Make America Great Again”, President Donald J. Trump and his Keystone Kops Kabinet break every promise, ignore every rule and threaten to destroy the country. Sadly, it’s unclear from the outset whether the directors wanted to stage this vehicle as drama or comedy.

Movie Info: Donald Trump (TV’s Apprentice), Melania Trump (various modeling runways) and a large supporting cast of enablers and hangers-on star in this political drama that follows the unlikely rise of a small-time real estate huckster to the most prestigious address in the country: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Violating every rule in the political playbook, Trump enlists the aid of dozens of foreign and domestic operatives to defeat his Republican rivals and then trounce Democrat Crooked Hillary to win the presidency in perhaps the biggest political upset of all time.

Rating: R (for crude sexual content, offensive language, some violence and repeated contraventions of societal norms)

Genre: Political Drama, Alt-Right Adventure

Directed By: Roger Stone, Corey Lewandowski and Steve Bannon

Written By: Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and forty years of rightwing Republican rule

Released: January 20, 2017

Box Office: $600 billion to date for the top one percent

Gross: Yes

Cast: Donald Trump as The President, Melania Trump as The First Lady, Kellyanne Conway as The Spinmistress, Sean Spicer as The Mouthpiece, Steve Bannon as The Devil, Michael Flynn as The General, Jeb Bush as Low-energy Jeb, Marco Rubio as Little Marco, Ted Cruz as Lyin’ Ted, Hillary Clinton as Crooked Hillary, Bernie Sanders as Crazy Bernie and the Koch Brothers as themselves

Critic Reviews
@ “The plot is so outrageous that I can’t believe any moviegoer would buy it. Plus, the movie can’t decide who the leading lady is: Melania, Ivanka or Kellyanne?”  -  Leonard Maltin
@ “Donald Trump is a phony and a fraud although I might have reconsidered my opinion if he had chosen me as Secretary of State.”  -  Mitt Romney
@ “Lordy, I hope there are tapes!”  -  James Comey
♥ “I like very much movie and not just because I was part of production staff.”  -  Vladimir Putin
@ “No comment” -  Melania Trump
♥ “I love this movie, especially the main character Donald J. Trump. I never called him a twelve-year-old, a thirteen-year-old maybe but never a twelve-year-old.”  -  Chris Christie
@ “I can’t believe this guy gets a free pass and I make one tiny little mistake and get impeached.”  -  Bill Clinton 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Gee!20!: Ivanka's Diary

July 5
     Daddy says he needs me to go with him to Hamburg for something called the Gee!20! but next week is fashion week in New York and I have a new line of Ivanka Trump eyelashes coming out. We’re calling them the Fake News eyelashes which Daddy thinks is very funny.
     Anyway, I asked why Jared couldn’t go to Hamburg but Daddy said Jared is very busy working on peace in the Middle East, reforming the criminal justice system and overhauling the entire government. I don’t see why Donald, Jr. can’t go instead but he says he has a very important interview coming up with the New York Times.
     So it looks like I’m stuck with Hamburg which at least is tastier than Frankfurt. See? Not only am I a strong feminist, I am funny and can make a joke.
July 6
     I’m so sick of family drama. Melania found out I’ll be traveling with Daddy and she went ballistic. She was so mad she was yelling in Slovenian but I think I know what she was saying.
     Ever since I turned twenty-one, Melania has been very, very jealous of me and with good reason. I’m smarter, prettier and younger than her and everyone knows that Daddy likes me better.  
     Imagine Melania sitting with the other nineteen leaders. How embarrassing. Thank God I’m here to save the day.
July 7
     It looks like I will get to do something important on this trip. Apparently Daddy’s not feeling well so I’m going to babysit Rex Tillerson at one of the Gee!20! meetings. I think it’s about Africa or something but Rex can fill me in.
     I think Daddy’s actually feeling fine. It’s just that he wants to get together with his good pal Vlad and doesn’t want anyone to know.
     Anyway, I’m more than happy to sit in for Daddy. I wasn’t that keen at first until I heard that that dreamy Justin Trudeau might be there. I think I’ll just play a little dumb and let Justin help me with the heavy lifting (wink wink nudge nudge). Maybe he knows something about Africa.
July 8
     Well I did it. I sat in on the Africa migration and health meeting and I nailed it. I didn’t even need Rex’s help since Africa hardly came up. Because Theresa May and Angela Merkel were there, I thought it appropriate to talk about fashion since Daddy says they’re both maybe a “three” at best and could really use some help in the style department. As for Xi Jinping, Recep Erdogan and Uncle Vlad, they’re all good pals with Daddy and did whatever they could to make me feel at home.
July 9
     We’re on our way home and everyone’s saying we were a big hit, especially me. Well everyone on FOX News, at least. Some members of the fake news were making snide comments about my brothers, calling them Uday and Qusay and saying that I was a lovely addition to the dictator’s ruling family. They’re all such mean losers.
July 10
     Because of all the great media coverage, I’ve decided to form an exploratory committee to consider my chances for running for President in 2020 in case Daddy decides to step down or something unexpected happens. After all, I am a strong, independent woman who has clearly made it on her own. However, it looks like that weenie Mike Pence is doing the same thing although once I tell Daddy, I’m pretty sure I’ll have the entire field to myself.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Trumpcare Is Fabulous

   

"I am going to take care of everybody…Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.” 


 - Donald Trump – “60 Minutes” – March 7, 2017

     It looks like neither the House bill nor the Senate bill will meet that standard or even come close. But fear not; the President has apparently been hard at work coming up with his own version of healthcare called Trumpcare. Look for these exciting new levels of coverage as described by Trump himself:
Bronze level
     This is the very basic level but it is still truly fantastic, much better than anything available from that disaster called Obamacare. Get this: $0 premium per month, $0 deductible and you can file as many claims as you want. The one small glitch is that there’s no reimbursement for any drug, medical procedure, doctor visit or hospital stay.
Silver level
     In the great American tradition of self-reliance, the silver level coverage let’s you take charge of your own healthcare. For only $5 a month, you get unrestricted access to such medical self-diagnosing web sites as WebMD and MayoClinic.org plus bonus pharmaceutical sites like Drugs.com. You don’t need those overpaid, loser doctors. If you’ve got a computer and a mouse, you’re half way to a healthier you.
Gold level
     For only $10 a month, we provide you with the phone numbers of billionaires like Robert Mercer and the Koch brothers and you can call them up and hope that they’ll help you out with your medical expenses. Given the new tax breaks they’ll get from the proposed cuts to Medicaid, maybe they’ll kick in a few hundred dollars for your next surgery but don’t count on it. They didn’t get to be billionaires by giving money to losers like you.
Platinum level
     This plan costs you $2,000 but it’s a one-time charge for lifetime coverage. What you get is an extensive home medical care package including a blood pressure monitor, a wall-mounted defibrillator, a wide variety of bandages, a beautiful Trump-branded first aid kit and a phone auto-dialer set to 911. You’ve got everything you need to keep you or your loved one alive until the EMTs arrive plus you can even pick up a few bucks on the side by ministering to your sick neighbors. (N. B. – no ambulance or hospital admission fee included.)
Diamond level
     A single, inflation-protected fee of $299 gets you our highest level of coverage. That amount guarantees you a one-way bus fare from your home anywhere in the continental United States to the closest Canadian border crossing. Declare refugee status and say hello to all-inclusive, no-cost, single-payer medical coverage. Just say Donnie sent you. (Residents of Hawaii can pay $799 for similar service by air.)