Power Behind the Throne

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Closing on the 3 week mark for the trainwreck of a government shutdown.  And here is were we’re starting to see the seams come undone. A payperiod has passed by, and government workers are feeling the heat.  I have trouble believing that ALL of these people are prepared to make the necessary adjustments and have Trump’s back on this.  But the thing is, Trump isn’t on the path to some big victory here.  Quit the opposite.  Republican leaders are calling on Trump to let this go.  So who is this for anymore?  I’ll tell you!  Fox News!  The unofficial echo chamber of the White House!  They’re the only ones still egging Trump on with this border wall.  They’re the ones that keep goading him to stick to his guns.  Between Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs, the Fox wall of propaganda is keeping the pressure alive, and I get the feeling that he’ll keep fighting as long as they keep pushing.  So get ready for a the long haul folks, because I don’t know that Sean Hannity even knows how to chill the hell out.

Adjustments

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As the partial government shut down barrels into it’s third week, Trump continues to try and convince people that it’s a) not his fault and b) totally fine because if anyone can handle life without a paycheck, it’s those government employees.  They’re all swimming in dough! On Sunday, when asked if was able to relate to people who can’t pay their bills.  To which Trump, of course, said that he could.  Of course he could!  Of course Trump can relate to the common man and their money problems.  I mean, Trump himself is no stranger to money problems.  Remember that time in the early 1990’s when he was a missed payment away from losing his businesses?  I mean, he still got to live in his penthouse in New York, and had all the comforts of wealth, but goodness, the banks had to put him on a spending allowance!  I mean, that’s basically the same as not getting a paycheck, right?  He can totally relate to the people he’s selfishly screwing over in the name of a bad campaign promise!  And it’s okay, because everyone who is being screwed is totally fine with it because they all care more about a wall that will do little to stem illegal immigration than being able to pay rent and for utilities!

Pants on Fire

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019 was an interesting night in the history of the United States.  Donald Trump went on live television to declare that there was a humanitarian crisis at the southern border, even though there wasn’t/isn’t.  He distorted facts and lied for about 10 minutes, and then, like the most informal debate ever recorded, the Democratic leaders of congress went on TV to rebut Trump’s speech.  Just so we’re clear, the President of the United States went on TV for the express purpose of lying to the people, and Congressional leaders followed up immediately by going on TV to call him on it.  It was crazy enough that I can’t even think of a fitting metaphor to compare it to.  It feels kind of unprecedented and it really encapsulates what political discourse has turned into over the last couple of years.  Even if Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi didn’t rebut Trump’s speech, most major news organizations were running fact checks as he was speaking, and news sites put up annotated transcripts of exactly what was said and what was wrong.  That’s just what politics is in 2019.  And I don’t know that it’s ever going back to what it was.

Relatable

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As the partial government shut down barrels into it’s third week, Trump continues to try and convince people that it’s a) not his fault and b) totally fine because if anyone can handle life without a paycheck, it’s those government employees.  They’re all swimming in dough! On Sunday, when asked if was able to relate to people who can’t pay their bills.  To which Trump, of course, said that he could.  Of course he could!  Of course Trump can relate to the common man and their money problems.  I mean, Trump himself is no stranger to money problems.  Remember that time in the early 1990’s when he was a missed payment away from losing his businesses?  I mean, he still got to live in his penthouse in New York, and had all the comforts of wealth, but goodness, the banks had to put him on a spending allowance!  I mean, that’s basically the same as not getting a paycheck, right?  He can totally relate to the people he’s selfishly screwing over in the name of a bad campaign promise!  And it’s okay, because everyone who is being screwed is totally fine with it because they all care more about a wall that will do little to stem illegal immigration than being able to pay rent and for utilities!

New Year, New Wins

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For Donald Trump, it’s clear that victory is not what’s important.  You don’t need to win as long as you can create the appearance of winning.  Failing that, just declaring victory to a big enough crowd will do in a pinch.  It helps when the things you are “winning” are nebulous and ill defined.  Trump won by making America great again?  Well sure! I mean, he’s not getting his wall funding from either Mexico or Congress, the country is more divided than ever, the rest of the world thinks we’re a joke and/or cowards and our economy is in a nosedive, but I mean, there was a Tax bill.  That’s pretty great right?  The same goes for the “War on Christmas.”   I mean, it’s easy to win a war that isn’t actually happening.  Leave it to Trump to declare victory for a Holiday that 90% of the country celebrates in one form or another.  But I guess that’s what you have to do when you promised in your campaign that you’d keep stacking wins, only to have practically none when it came time to put rubber to the road.

Say Thank You

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So Donald Trump’s first big campaign push for 2020 is a phone line that you can leave him little thank you messages on.  And I’m going to give you the number.  It’s 1-800-684-3043.  You’ll have to get through the solicitation portion, but once there, you can leave the President a message.  Any message.  You can tell the man exactly what you think about him and his presidency.  The expectation, according to the remarkably self serving campaign ad that aired on CNN, is that you’ll thank him for doing all the things he’s doing to our country.  I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t feeling particularly thankful when I called the number, and I may have used a few more expletives than is dignified, but I have to tell you, it was a wonderfully cathartic experience.  I don’t know that Trump himself will ever actually hear my message, but I have to say, even the thought of it gives me some glimmer of satisfaction.  So call the number, let the man know what you’re thinking.

Hindsight

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You ever wonder if Trump could go back in time and change his approach to running for President, he would?  Like, would he go out of his way to avoid attempting making business transactions with Russia?  Avoid paying off women for his affairs?  Would he avoid the headache of the Presidency altogether?  Despite his virtual inability to public admit it, he has to have some semblance of an understanding that history is not going to look back favorably at his time as the head of state.  I think at this point, we already realize that he’s going to be that darker chapter in our history that sits alongside the massacre of Native Americans and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War 2.  It will be that one time when America flirted with the idea of fascism.  Trump may have an insane ego, and he may honestly believe he has some kind of unparalleled genius, but I have to think, even if he’d only admit it to himself in his most private of moments, that his hindsight on his missteps haunts him.

Great Legal Mind

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I know I’ve said it before, but Rudy Giuliani should probably retire.  I know that He had a fairly prodigious legal career leading up to his time as Mayor of New York, but good gracious, whatever legal acumen he once possessed has clearly long since departed.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no legal scholar, but Rudy doesn’t seem to understand what laws are anymore.  Like, he keeps suggesting that Trump’s collusion with Russia isn’t against the law, and while he might technically be right, insofar as there is no law of collusion, all the things that go into creating collusion are crimes, not limited but including conspiring to influence the result of the election.  The problem is that instead of calling his client innocent, Rudy has a bad habit of saying that criminal acts aren’t crimes, then trying to shimmy around some contextual argument where that may or may not be true.  And what’s worse for Trump, is that Trump keeps parroting the legal claims that Giuliani uses on TV, which often leads to him seemingly further implicating himself.  I dunno. Maybe their legal maneuvering is just too many steps beyond my feeble brain, but I’d wager money that it’s going to just turn out that they were playing legal checkers with the wrong crowd.

Be Good For Goodness Sake

CHRISTMAS1\Merry Christmas, Everyone, and thank you for reading work!  Have a wonderful holiday season, whatever you celebrate.

Perception vs. Reality

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Listen, I love Saturday Night Live.  I might be in the minority who even loves the current cast, and direction of the show, but I do.  I think it’s still, for the most part, a strong show.  But they’ve really gotta give politics a rest for a little bit in their cold opens.  Now I get it, this might seem like the pot calling the kettle black, seeing as I’m primarily a political cartoonist, but the difference of course is that people don’t watch SNL with the expectation of a political bent.  Or at least, they didn’t.  SNL was supposed to be a break from the mundane and frustrating.  SNL was never the voice anger for the people.  In fact, they used to make fun of the people that were, and they poked fun at everyone.  They weren’t solely a liberal bullhorn aiming at the lowest hanging fruit (well Weekend Update is kind of that, but that’s the forum for that kind of thing on the show, and they do it better).  As it stands, I could care less if I ever see Alec Baldwin pop on that wig ever again. I mean, I’ll give him props, his impression is largely spot on, but the bits haven’t had anything new or interesting to say since the start of the Russia Investigation.  What’s worse is that Donald Trump is taking to Twitter to call your bit unfunny, and it’s a jarring day when I don’t think he’s wrong.  And if people agree with him that your cold opening that makes fun of him isn’t funny, there is a remote chance that they might decide he’s also right about taking it to the courts.  Listen, I don’t expect anyone from SNL to listen to some unknown cartoonist from the boonies, but if on the off chance an SNL writer happens to look upon this, let me just implore you, please, even if just for one week….give it a rest.