Sent to me by my friend, Mary L., from an unknown author:
- I’ve been wondering why this entire country seems to be under a cloud of constant misery. Why we all seem to be Russians waiting in line for toilet paper, meat, Lysol. Hoarding yeast and sourdough starter “in case we can’t get bread”.
- Buying stamps so that one of our most beloved institutions might survive. Why we all look like we are in bad need of a haircut, or a facial or a reason to dress up again and go somewhere. Anywhere.
- There is no art in this White House. There is no literature or poetry in this White House. No music. No Kennedy Center award celebrations.
- There are no pets in this White House. No loyal man’s best friend. No Socks the family cat. No kids’ science fairs.
- No times when this president takes off his blue suit red tie uniform and becomes human, except when he puts on his white shirt khaki pants uniform and hides from Americans to play golf.
- There are no images of the first family enjoying themselves together in a moment of relaxation. No Obamas on the beach in Hawaii moments, or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport, no Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape. I was thinking the other day of the summer when George H couldn’t catch a fish and all the grand-kids made signs and counted the fish-less days. And somehow, even if you didn’t even like GHB, you got caught up in the joy of a family that loved each other and had fun.
- Where did that country go? Where did all of the fun and joy and expressions of love and happiness go? We used to be a country that did the ice bucket challenge and raised millions for charity.
- We used to have a president that calmed and soothed the nation instead dividing it. And a First Lady that planted a garden instead of ripping one out. We are rudderless and joyless. We have lost the cultural aspects of society that make America great.
- We have lost our mojo. Our fun, our happiness. The cheering on of others. The shared experiences of humanity that makes it all worth it. The challenges AND the triumphs that we shared and celebrated. The unique can-do spirit Americans have always been known for.
- We are lost. We have lost so much in so short a time.
“Does @TuckerCarlson want to walk a mile in my legs and then tell me whether or not I love America?” Duckworth wrote on Twitter.
Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a US Army veteran who lost both of her legs while serving in Iraq, rebuked Tucker Carlson after the conservative Fox News host attacked her on Monday night and suggested that she hates America.
Duckworth was awarded the Purple Heart after she lost her legs in 2004 when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the helicopter she was co-piloting during the Iraq War.
Tucker Carlson, Super Patriot
Does this woman not have a grandmother who could die if infected? And good luck to your daughter in fighting off polio, measles, tetanus, diphtheria…..
This is a first.
Came across this when I was walking my little dog at the park here in town. They finally got people to pick up after their dogs by installing a dispenser of free pet waste bags.
Now if they would just dispose of their used medical face masks. Sheesh.
From The New York Times, by Roger Cohen:
PARIS — How small he is! Small in spirit, in valor, in dignity, in statecraft, this American president who knows nothing of history and cares still less and now bestrides Europe with his family in tow like some tin-pot dictator with a terrified entourage.
To have Donald Trump — the bone-spur evader of the Vietnam draft, the coddler of autocrats, the would-be destroyer of the European Union, the pay-up-now denigrator of NATO, the apologist for the white supremacists of Charlottesville — commemorate the boys from Kansas City and St. Paul who gave their lives for freedom is to understand the word impostor. You can’t make a sculpture from rotten wood.
It’s worth saying again. If Europe is whole and free and at peace, it’s because of NATO and the European Union; it’s because the United States became a European power after World War II; it’s because America’s word was a solemn pledge; it’s because that word cemented alliances that were not zero-sum games but the foundation for stability and prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic.
Of this, Trump understands nothing. Therefore he cannot comprehend the sacrifice at Omaha Beach 75 years ago. He cannot see that the postwar trans-Atlantic achievement — undergirded by the institutions and alliances he tramples upon with such crass truculence — was in fact the vindication of those young men who gave everything.
As Eisenhower, speaking at the Normandy American Cemetery, last resting place of 9,387 Americans, told Walter Cronkite for the 20th anniversary of the D-Day landings: “These people gave us a chance, and they bought time for us, so that we can do better than we have before.”
That was a solemn responsibility. For decades it was met, culminating with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Doing better, however, is not rising nativism, xenophobia, nationalism and authoritarianism given a nod and a wink by the president of the United States. It’s not Brexit, Britain turning its back on the Europe it helped free.
The American moral collapse personified by Trump is not “beautiful” or “phenomenal” or “incredible” or any of the president’s other clunky two-a-penny superlatives. It’s sickening and dangerous.
My impression here is that Europe has gotten used to Trump to the point that it is no longer strange that the American president is a stranger. In less than two and a half years Trump has stripped his office of dignity, authority and values.
His foreign policy increasingly consists of a single word, “tariffs.” His contempt for allies undermines American diplomacy, or whatever is left of it, from Iran to North Korea, from Venezuela to China. His trampling of truth is so consistent that when he says in London that Britain is the largest trading partner of the United States — it’s nowhere near that — the impulse is to shrug.
Before arriving in London, Trump set the tone. He mocked the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, as short. It was a tweet in keeping with the president’s signature stunt as schoolyard bully. Khan, who had criticized “rolling out the red carpet” for Trump, responded by comparing the president to an 11-year-old.
This was generous. Most 8-year-olds know better.
Of course Khan — the brown Muslim son of a bus driver, self-made guy — would get under the skin of a man like Trump, who was born on third base and imbibed his reflexive racism in the family real estate business.
Khan called Trump’s policies — on the reproductive rights of women, on immigrant children at the Mexican border, on “amplifying messages from racists” — the antithesis of Londoners’ values and “abhorrent.” In response, Trump tweeted that Khan was as bad as the “very dumb” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, “only half his height.”
There is something so disturbing about a very small man like Trump impugning the height of the mayor of the great international city he is visiting that even 28 months of progressive inurement to his outrages feels inadequate.
America is much better than this, much better than an American president who, as the cartoonist Dave Granlund suggested, probably thinks the D in D-Day stands for Donald and spends the night of the commemoration trashing Bette Midler on Twitter.
As for the Republican Party, don’t get me started. To recover its bearings the G.O.P. would do well to recall one of its own, Eisenhower, who in that same 20th-anniversary interview said that America and its allies stormed the Normandy beaches “for one purpose only.”
It was not to “fulfill any ambitions that America had for conquest.” No, it was “just to preserve freedom, systems of self-government in the world.” It was an act, in other words, consistent with the highest ideals of the American idea that Trump and his Republican enablers seem so intent on eviscerating.
From the Washington Post, by Monica Hesse:
“Throughout the 448-page Mueller report, the president is very emotional. He is forever “becoming angry” or “expressing anger” or “expressing frustration.” He “was furious” at Jeff Sessions for not protecting him. He “screamed” at and “lambasted” his attorney general, demanding, “How could you let this happen?” Regarding perceived “horrible treatment” of an adviser, the president was “upset for weeks.”
At one point, the president became so “unhappy” and “upset” with then-national security adviser Michael Flynn that “he would not look at him during intelligence briefings.”
I see almost no benefit in imagining parallel universes. Hypotheticals are difficult and not always comparable. But, my God: Can you imagine if a female president became so paralyzed by her emotions that she was notably upset for weeks? Can you imagine if a female politician’s strategy for dealing with her staff involved screaming at them, then lambasting them in public, and then not looking at them?
Can you imagine how hard she would have tried not to put herself in that situation, knowing how eager people have been throughout our political history to hold women’s emotions against them? Anti-suffragists claimed women’s rash temperament should exclude them from voting. Stubborn voters claimed women’s rash temperament should exclude them from running for office (Hillary Clinton spoke of learning to “control her emotions” as far back as college). In a Georgetown University study released just this week, 13 percent of Americans still believed that women were less emotionally suited to political office than men.
Can you imagine if the president was a person of color? If an attorney general waved away a black man’s bombastic behavior in the Oval Office by explaining he was often just really angry?
Here is why it matters now, though. The attorney general of the United States of America has stated that the president’s emotions are relevant to the legal analysis of the obstruction case. And there’s a way we tend to talk about the emotional displays of men in power: as if they’re extremely relevant. Righteous, even. Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s outraged, tearful outbursts during his confirmation hearings last summer could have been taken as a sign that he lacked the dispassionate mien one would hope for in a Supreme Court nominee. But instead of putting a damper on the judge’s outraged approach, committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) mirrored it, shouting and literally shaking a finger at his Democratic colleagues. His anger was rewarded. “Lindsey Graham may have single-handedly saved Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation,” read a CNN headline.
As much as Barr’s statements about President Trump are about the specifics of the Russia investigation, they also reflect broader questions: Whose emotions are valid? Whose anger is righteous, and whose anger is hysterical? Whose frustration is “sincere,” and whose is a sign that they are unfit to serve?
The answer isn’t for female politicians to start screaming, or male politicians to become robots. It’s to recognize that we can’t dignify emotion in one sex and dismiss it in another. It can’t be righteous indignation for some people, and hysterics for others. The president is an emotional man. What a luxury. So many of the rest of us are forced to just be crazy women.
President Donald Trump, dismissing the potential hypocrisy, said Friday he thinks he “is a very good messenger” when asked whether he is the right person to be criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden amid recent allegations from several women that he made them uncomfortable.
“I think I’m a very good messenger, and people got a kick out of it,” Trump told reporters before leaving the White House for a trip to the US-Mexican border. “He’s going through a situation, let’s see what happens. But people got a kick … we gotta sort of smile a little bit, right?”
From McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, by Sarah Hutto:
A Father of Daughters,
Which is Actually Just a Jockstrap
Wrapped Around an AR-15, With Cinnamon
- Step 1: Tie an AR-15 into a knot, rendering it unusable, which is fine because no one actually needs an AR-15.
- Step 2: Tie a jockstrap into knots, which is fine, because, be honest, you don’t need one of those either.
- Step 3: Sprinkle cinnamon everywhere.
- Step 4: Light the whole thing on fire, along with the Patriarchy, because it’s bad and we need to start over.
- Step 5: Stand back and enjoy the glow of smoldering outdated gender roles and toasted cinnamon.
Ruth Bader Gourdsburg
- Step 1: Download a jack-o’-lantern stencil of a respected judge who was voted onto the Supreme Court by the Senate, 96-3, with no controversy or temper tantrums.
- Step 2: Trace the image onto a midsize, hollowed out pumpkin. Then carve with your sharpest knife.
- Step 3: Appreciate your festive justice gourd for another twenty years at least, as it will remain vital and sassy out of sheer spite.
The Birds From The Birds, and They’re Ovulating
- Step 1: Get a bunch of murderous birds to sit in the middle of your table.
- Step 2: Tell them they are laying eggs for the patriarchy.
- Step 3: Watch them peck away at their oppressors, a gathering of local craft cider brewers who thought they were coming over for a potluck.
- Step 4: As the cider bros get pecked to death, strum a lute while sing-yelling, “Caw, caw! The birds will decide when and how they’ll lay their own eggs from now on!”
The Statue of Liberty Spending $300 On a Self-Defense Class
- Step 1: Convince France that you are worthy of a giant copper statue.
- Step 2: Erect said statue in your dining room, being sure to illuminate her permanent resting bitch face from enduring over a century of being hissed at, demeaned, poked, prodded, and defiled by strange men confused by their attraction to her.
- Step 3: Use her torch to burn it all down and start over, starting with the highly flammable seasonal foliage, and ending with stubborn misogyny, which blooms year-round.
The Iceberg That Sunk the Titanic,
Melted Into the Shape of a Middle Finger
- Step 1: Find a massive frozen hunk of water from the ocean that destroyed an ocean liner in olden times. Stick it on the table.
- Step 2: As sea levels begin to rise due to fumes created by fueling the patriarchy, sculpt the giant floe into the shape of the last message left to Earth’s remaining inhabitants, who now have less than a decade to salvage what remains of the only known habitable planet. (This is a great conversation-starter.)
- Step 3: Make sure there are enough fucking lifeboats this time.
- Step 4: More cinnamon.
The Elevator Full of Blood From The Shining
- Step 1: Get out your favorite rustic wine crate.
- Step 2: For the blood part of this centerpiece, you can use your own. (You will only be able to do this once). Observe a news item depicting two judges reputed for sexual assault laughing and enjoying each other’s company at a swearing-in party thrown by the president. Spontaneously hemorrhage from every orifice of your body.
- Step 3: Fill the decorative crate with your outrage-blood, allowing it to spill all over the table in dramatic autumnal fashion.
- Step 4: Leave it there until Valentine’s Day, or whenever you throw out your Christmas tree, whichever comes first.
Some Antlers From an Endangered Animal
Shot By a Politician On a Continent Full of People
He Refuses to Help
- Step 1: Find the absolute worst people imaginable online.
- Step 2: Contact them and ask them to smuggle animal parts into the country for you on the way back from their next murder safari.
- Step 3: Alert customs to their imminent arrival.
- Step 4: While they are interrogated, pick up some fake antlers and a pumpkin spice candle at Target.
- Step 5: Everything is broken.
A Lady Scarecrow Who Lives In Ohio and Votes
- Step 1: Find some maternity clothes left over from your high-risk pregnancy and stuff them with hay. Feel free to give the scarecrow an extra flourish, like some dehydrated corn or body autonomy.
- Step 2: Make affordable health care almost unobtainable for her, but tell her that she must finish incubating her hay baby, subject to punishment by law.
- Step 3: After she’s billed $3k for pushing out a pile of hay in the hospital, wheelbarrow her over to the closest voting booth and offer to hold her hay pile while she votes.
- Step 4: Watch the election returns together while bonding over a case of cinnamon schnapps.