Queen Elizabeth Plans for Trump Visit

donald-trump-queen-elizabeth-ii-funny

Queen Elizabeth II: Must I luncheon with that horrible man Donald Trump?

Private Secretary: I’m afraid, Your Majesty, that the worst has happened. He has arrived in Windsor and expects to be in your company this very day.

Queen Elizabeth II: Humph!!! Well, I may luncheon with him, but I shan’t serve him tea.

Private Secretary: But Your Majesty, without the ‘T’ you would only be luncheoning with a Rump!

Queen Elizabeth II: Could I use my body double? The one made out of Eton collars and fermented dishrags?

Private Secretary: He might catch on — but then again he might not…

Queen Elizabeth II: So be it! And don’t forget to switch on the antiquated Google voice, the one that sounds like Wilfrid Hyde-White.

Private Secretary: I always thought it sounded like Piglet getting a tonsillectomy.

Queen Elizabeth II: Make him a quick in-and-out job, and remember to count the spoons afterward.

Private Secretary: Yes, Your Majesty.

Queen Elizabeth II: And don’t let him lean on the furniture, or shed any of that awful hair.

Private Secretary: No, Your Majesty.

Queen Elizabeth II: Do you suppose he’ll want to use the — er, facilities?

Private Secretary: I imagine that’s always a possibility.

Queen Elizabeth II: Well if he does use the facilities, I want everything scrubbed clean.

Private Secretary: Yes, Your Majesty.

Queen Elizabeth II: Just can’t bear the thought of a man like that using the facilities.

Private Secretary: No, Your Majesty.

Queen Elizabeth II: Do you suppose we could put an out-of-order sign on the facilities?

Private Secretary: I’m afraid, Your Majesty, that it would not be seemly.

Queen Elizabeth II: What about putting fly paper on the urinals? Would that be seemly?

Private Secretary: Definitely not, Your Majesty!

Queen Elizabeth II: Pity. Just checking.

Michael Howard

The views expressed are my own, and do not represent any other person or organization.

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Scott Pruitt Epitaph

Like bad meat, the freshness date on Scott Pruitt’s tenure as EPA chief has finally expired. This epitaph rings true in more ways than one:

Though Pruitt had something of a reputation as a chicken-plucker, ironically it’s Rudy Giuliani who’s now running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Apparently, Mueller has to prove he’s not a Blue Fairy from Fairyland before Trump will deign to sit down with him for an interview. Would love to see Mueller let fly with a subpoena!

Michael Howard

The views expressed are my own, and do not represent any other person or organization.

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More Kim Jong Un Funnies – Three for the Price of Un!

1. Traveling to Singapore by boat

2. Arriving at the Rube Goldberg Motel

3. Love at first sight

Bonus Joke

When is the Chairman not the Chairman?
Answer: When he’s abed.

The Kim Jong-un Funnies – Collect them all!

* * *

Scott Pruitt: Of Mattresses and Moisturizer

Could Pruitt’s strange purchases be a tell regarding the administration’s contingency plans? An imagined presser with Sarah Huckabee Sanders illuminates the matter…

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of mattresses and moisturizer,
Cabbages and kings–
And why the Mueller probe is hot–
And whether Cohen sings.”

Is Donald Trump a cabbage or a king? How will he react when Mueller tries to boil him in a pot? (A pot of Trump’s own making, I might add.)

At this stage in the Mueller investigation, any unusual mattress purchases by administration officials should be looked on with alarm. For, the conventional wisdom is emerging that this is not a president who’ll meekly resign in the face of even the most all-encompassing scandal. Rather, it’s easy to picture a physical standoff in which Sarah Huckabee Sanders pulls a Baghdad Bob: Milk Duds firmly planted in her jaw, she might go out to face reporters and opine: “This is not a war. I know a number of individuals in the organized crime community, and none of them believe this is a war.”

“But what about all the mattresses piled up in the Oval Office,” CNN’s Jim Acosta might ask accusingly. “What about the unusual number of packages delivered to the White House from Wayne LaPierre?”

“We don’t comment on security matters,” Sanders might reply. “And anyway, all the experts from Rudy Giuliani to Jeanine Pirro agree that the President has an absolute right to pardon himself. Granting pardons is not unusual for this President. His recent pardons of Muhammad Ali, Edith Piaf, Daffy Duck, and Gorilla Monsoon show that he’s a conscientious and compassionate individual. He’s presently holed up in the Oval Office discussing other potential pardons with his new Chief of Staff, Sheriff Sean Hannity, and his new Homeland Security Director, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”

“When did Hannity become a sheriff?” an unnamed reporter calls from the gallery. “According to Executive Order number 14722,” Sanders replies (reading from her notes), “all members of the President’s cabinet and senior staff shall henceforth have the title of Sheriff honorarily bestowed upon them, and shall be addressed as such in official communications, and by the White House press secretary.”

“What happened to Kirstjen Nielson?” Andrea Mitchell blurts out, barging her way to the front of the queue. “Why hasn’t she been seen in 29 days?”

“The President respects Ms. Nielsen and appreciates the huge contribution she made to the security of all Americans during her tenure at the White House,” Sanders drawls. “Unfortunately, she became a BAD Homeland Security Director, and the President was obliged to eat her.”

April Ryan of National Urban Radio pointedly remarks: “House Speaker Paul Ryan is on record saying he’s not quite sure the President’s powers extend to cannibalism, but at any rate, eating other people sends the wrong signal for the midterms.”

“The President has been in close consultation with Speaker Ryan,” Sanders replies, “and both of them agree that the sa-fe-ty of the public is always the uppermost thing in their mind.”

“But don’t you think there’s some danger to our republic in normalizing practices like cannibalism?” Kasie Hunt of Kasie DC (cue music) asks. “Ritual cannibalism is a time-honored tradition in many cultures,” Sanders replies. “It’s Fake News when biased reporters claim that the President is normalizing something which is already normal.”

“Sarah, is there any history of insanity in the President’s family?” fires Jim Acosta, getting himself back in the game. “Dammit Jim, I’m a press secretary not a geneticist!” Sanders fires back. “But as far as I know, there’s not an above-average amount of insanity in the Trump clan, which can trace its illustrious history back to…” (checking notes) “Sawney Bean in East Lothian, Scotland, back in the 1500s.”

“But wasn’t Sawney Bean a cannibal?” pipes Kelly O’Donnell. “That hasn’t been proven,” says Sanders. “The matter is still under investigation, so I would simply refer you to outside counsel. And the fact that human bones were found on Mr. Bean’s property could have some totally innocent explanation. They might have fallen from a meteor. You guys in the liberal press always jump to the wrong conclusions!”

“Sarah, I want to pursue this mattress question,” Andrea Mitchell chimes in. “It’s not just the mattresses. Why is there now a contingent of a hundred armed Secret Service agents deployed in a ring around the Oval Office 24 hours a day? Who ordered that and why?

“Again, we don’t comment on security matters” answers Sanders. “I can only say that for reasons of national security, we’re rounding up a number of individuals who currently pose a threat to peace and freedom. We want them to be as comfortable as possible during their detention, which is only temporary. In order to insure their comfort, the President and his staff are testing out mattresses from different U.S. manufacturers, with the goal of finding out which is the most comfortable, which is the most durable, and which represents the best value for the American people. And though tests are ongoing, I can say with confidence that tomorrow’s gonna be a great day.” (Grins toothily from ear to ear.)

“But following up, why the ring of Secret Service agents?” Mitchell persists. “I haven’t talked specifically with the President on that subject,” says Sanders, “but in terms of the question you’re asking regarding that matter, I would refer you to the Secret Service, which is very loyal to the President, and whose duty it is to protect the President under any and all circumstances.”

“But Sarah, you know the Secret Service won’t comment on protection procedures,” says Mitchell. “I’m sorry Andrea, I’ve already given you plenty of time. I’m moving on. Jonathan?”

Jonathan Swan of Axios: “Sarah, I want to turn to the subject of Scott Pruitt. There’s a rumor going around that he’s been sent by the President on a kind of scavenger hunt, to track down all the supplies that the White House would need to function more or less autonomously for an indefinite period of time.”

“Sheriff Pruitt is doing a great job at the EPA,” Sanders pivots, “and the President is very pleased with his efforts to drain the the swamp and rescind the tangle of Obama-era regulations foisted on the American people, causing the economy to tank, and threatening to shift our currency from the greenback to the Mexican jumping bean. These jumping beans have now been rounded up and quarantined, and are receiving humane treatment at ICE facilities in high school gymnasiums across America.”

Swan replies (politely but icily): “In case my question wasn’t clear, I’m referring to leaked security footage of Pruitt’s personal bodyguard showing up at a Chick-fil-A and trying to order 3,000 chicken sandwiches to go.”

“I believe Sheriff Pruitt has already stated his love for Chick-fil-A as a company and as a way of life. It’s not just a Godly sandwich, but also a middle of the day pick-me-up, as well as a marital aid. A large take-out order, if it actually occurred, would not be unusual given that the President currently has to spend so much time locked up with his aides, strategizing on how to make America great for the American people, who overwhelmingly support his efforts.”

Shannon Pettypiece takes up the theme: “I think what we’re getting at is that when you look at the mattresses, the armaments, the large take-out order (and we haven’t even gotten to the moisturizer), it certainly looks as though the President and his close allies are turning the White House into a kind of Fort Apache.”

Sanders: “Well Shannon, I think you might have us confused with the other party, the one that has Pocahontas for a spokesman. As for moisturizer: An army travels on its stomach, but an administration needs to save face. And what does a face run on? Moisturizer! According to OMB figures, large purchases of moisturizer have been made by every administration since McKinley. There’s really nothing remarkable about Sheriff Pruitt scouting out the different brands, seeing what’s on sale. Peter?”

Peter Baker: “Then the moisturizer isn’t for Pruitt’s personal use?” “None of the items Sheriff Pruitt has recently procured — the Bozo The Clown imitation throw rug, the 8mm projector, the two tons of Silly Putty, and the autographed picture of Charo — are for his personal use,” replies Sanders. “These are all items which any President would use in the natural course of fulfilling his duties as leader of the free world.”

And so it might go, with the Huckabee droning on until all brain cells in a 300-foot radius spontaneously die, or run away with their tails between their legs. (I realize brain cells don’t have legs. Relax, it’s only a metaphor.)

“Reporters,” said the Huckabee,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
She’d stonewalled every one.

Michael Howard

The views expressed are my own, and do not represent any other person or organization.

* * *

Only the King of Fools can pardon himself…

…for being a buffoon!

Michael Howard

The views expressed are my own, and do not represent any other person or organization. No cathedrals were harmed during the making of this post. No soup of any kind was thrown at any person.

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Manchester: Hive of Industry

The Internet is all abuzz with this lighthearted tribute to Manchester, Mancunians, science fiction, and bees. But is the author simply winging it?

Last Tuesday was the one year anniversary of the tragic terrorist attack at a Manchester concert venue which killed twenty-two people and injured hundreds more. The day was marked by prayers, speeches, tears, floral tributes, and capped by a mass sing-along in Albert Square estimated at over ten thousand people:

I always think singing says more than sermons, but I did watch part of the services at Manchester Cathedral live via YouTube.

I had written something serious at the time of the event last year. But as laughter is also good medicine, I thought I’d post something funny about Manchester’s renewed identification with the bee as a symbol of– what, exactly?

An article in The Guardian suggests: ‘Peaceful but not to be messed with’ – how the bee came to symbolise Manchester. Apparently, Manchester’s cotton mills were once colloquially known as beehives.

The beehive in pop culture: a hairdo.

But neither industriousness nor spikiness seem the qualities which formed the iconography of bees after the 2017 terrorist attack. Rather, it’s as if the Mancunian hive mind suddenly hit on cheerfulness as a quality of bees. They don’t give in to despair or melancholia, don’t isolate themselves and pine. They stay together, fly right, and keep to their schedules. They carry on producing sweet honey.

A cute, cheerful bee courtesy the People’s History Museum in Manchester

Like Mancunians post May 2017, bees are also an endangered species:

And in a diverse city which can’t always agree on words, the bee may be a shared icon which transcends language, a visual code signifying oneness and positivity. In a city where people practice many religions (or none at all), the bee may have become a universal symbol for feelings that would otherwise get lost in translation.

But how does science fiction treat the bee, particularly bad or camp sci-fi? This pressing question, pondered by sages, is precisely what we’ll tackle in the clips below:

Before viewing our next sci-fi clip, let’s take a short musical break. After all, the lilting melodies of Rimsky-Korsakov might have a soothing effect on bees:

Bees! Are you soothed and sleepy yet? If not, perhaps the style was too vigorous. What we need is a more innocent, childlike approach:

Still not sleepy? Well, tonight’s Late Late Late Show happens to feature:

In response to such an eccentric artefact from the 70s, one can only wax philosophical and say: It be what it be…

Conclusion

Clearly, cheerfulness and industry are not the only qualities we can ascribe to bees. Their hive minds may strike some as a threat to human individuality, and their female superior culture can easily be twisted into a femme fatale meme.

Their industriousness might be given a murderous bent by the perennial mad beekeeper. And even the casual stray bee has proven a nuisance to Wimbledon competitors. But I think Mancunians have the right idea in staying busy and cheerful.

The Manchester Evening News reports that the Tree of Hope established after the Manchester bombing is now home to a colony of bees.

Bonus Clip
Potent Quote

“But I still don’t understand what motivated them.” –Captain Peters (Cliff Osmond) at the end of Invasion of the Bee Girls

MSTie Trivia

When riffing on The Deadly Bees, Crow T. Robot suggests these book titles:

  • How To Raise Bees To Kill People
  • Beekeeping for Lunatics
  • Apiaries for the Criminally Insane

Mike Nelson: Just for today I thought I’d communicate as the bees do.
Tom Servo: Bees communicate through movement and odour.
Mike Nelson: I’ll just be using movement.

MST3K’s Michael J. Nelson dressed as a bee, flanked by robots Crow and Tom Servo.

Souvenir Shop

This lovely bee girl ring as worn by Anitra Ford is available from manchestersouvenirs.co.uk. JK

Barnburner Encore
Riddle

What does this post have in common with the New Testament?
Answer: They’re both concerned with bee attitudes!

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Top 10 Ways to Avoid Watching the Royal Wedding

Warning: Contains herring

I know you don’t want to watch the Royal Wedding. But you might be tempted, cajoled or bullied into it. You need excuses. I be providing…

1. Spend the day in quiet contemplation of your navel (unless your navel comes equipped with a 24-hour news channel).

2. Move to Windsor, and hope that (as with other sporting events) the Royal Wedding is subject to local blackout.

3. Arrange a different type of blackout by hanging out with your local wino, making a detailed examination of his Thunderbird collection.

4. Hijack a plane to Lithuania, and spend the day touring local facilities:

(Lithuania! White, smiling, and composed in 7/4 time. No speed limits on bicycles, and 25 litas buys you a loft the size of Pittsburgh. Pizza with assorted prewar car parts is the local delicacy.)

5. Smother yourself in cream sauce and pretend to be a herring!

(Hiding in the jar ensures that no one can find you and spritz you with Royal Wedding pics.)

Ways 5 to 10

To be filled in by reader. Be creative, but non-violent! Anything excessively kinky will be forwarded to the proper authorities.

This post brought to you by Invest Lithuania, coming soon to a pup tent near you. Mr. Hiatus Lemon-Elderflower, fund advisor.

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Kim Jong-un Funny #1

Prepping hard for summit

According to reports emerging from the hermit kingdom, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is hard at work preparing for his June summit with President Trump. Just as we in the West find it difficult to comprehend the politics and culture of a land so foreign, our Eastern counterparts evidently have a reciprocal problem. It’s hard for even Americans to make sense of our present government; but with the aid of a jerry-built gizmo, the North Korean leader hopes to become inured to its subtleties.

The Kim Jong-un Funnies – Collect them all!

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Will The Real Mr. Magoo Please Stand Up?

Mr. Magoo, the animation world’s tribute to blind capitalism

The president’s spinners are (metaphorically) exercising their diaphragms. As a counterpoint, let’s take a mystery tour through film, TV and literature, sampling everything from Rocky and Bullwinkle to “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”

According to Washington scuttlebutt, Donald Trump has a pet name for Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Mr. Magoo. But implicit in Rudy Giuliani’s recent statements to the press is the claim that Trump paid attorney Michael D. Cohen approximately $460,000 blindly, without knowing the reason. This rather absurd claim is being made by Trump loyalists in an effort to thread the needle. Trump supposedly knew enough about the things Cohen was “fixing” to pay him $460,000, yet had no specific knowledge of the Stormy Daniels payment.

If Sarah Sanders has lost all credibility as press secretary, perhaps she could be retrained to function as a seeing eye dog — that is, if Trump is really blind and not just faking. No slush fund would be needed to meet with her expenses. An occasional crumb of truth should square things with The Sarah, if not too much of a shock to her system.

On the other hand, when it comes to spinning tales about Trump’s dalliances, Kellyanne Conway may deserve the nod as top service dog. Capping a week of not-to-be-believed moments, Conway appeared on State of the Union last Sunday, claiming that when Trump stated point blank aboard Air Force One on April 5 that he had no knowledge of the payment to Stormy Daniels, he was referring to his knowledge back in 2016, not his present day knowledge. Jake Tapper soldiered on with grim determination:

Conway’s phrase “democratization of information” (referring specifically to the president’s tweets) is a novel way of saying “oppression of the masses through short, targeted nuggets of propaganda aimed at a fifth grade reading level.”

Her implication that the end justifies the means, and that a 3.9% unemployment rate excuses Trump for being a walking embarrassment in most respects, is infuriating to people who know that the present downward trend in unemployment began during the Obama era, and that in addition to (ideally) forming sound policies, a president must also be truthful and well-spoken.

It pains me to think that if you manage to (temporarily) stuff an extra $10 a week in the pocket of the average worker, he or she might not care about the stench of corruption wafting from this White House. Is that what America has come to? Maybe it’s time sell off the Statue of Liberty, or turn it into a Trump-style combination casino and knocking shop.

At one point in the interview, Conway mistakenly cites T. S. Eliot, giving me an excuse to chime in:

As we measure out our lives with coffee spoons,
Do we dare to say impeach?

She also references “the sheer volume and velocity” of what Trump puts out in “just one breakneck week.” I shudder to think, volume and velocity of what? I’ll wager he ensures full employment for that little mustachioed man who cleans up after the parade:

Yes friends, a parade of corruption the volume and velocity of Trump’s will require a huge (or bigly) cleanup effort — and not everything left sitting in piles on the street will be rose petals.

I’ve remarked in the past that this administration has bad energy and attracts sharklike folk who lie shamefacedly. What more can one say? I’m reminded of an offhand comment by Chris Matthews that Nixon had a sense of shame which Trump lacks. While Nixon agreed to resign in the end, Trump may have to be dragged kicking and screaming from the White House, surrounded by flunkies claiming that he hasn’t really been indicted or impeached. It’s all Fake News. “Ride a painted pony, let the spinning wheel spin!”

Our march of memes to describe a clumsily corrupt administration rolls on. We know things will end badly, but how many light bulbs will get broken at the end of the day? In this regard, it’s well to remember that in the annals of the unsighted, before Mr. Magoo there was Mr. Muckle:

And lesser-known than either is the “help me” guy from Rocket Attack U.S.A.:

Now if that isn’t an apt meme for the Trump administration, I don’t know what is! Except possibly “Hodge Podge Lodge,” a locale found in the original Mr. Magoo cartoon from 1949:

One imagines the main dish served at Hodge Podge Lodge is word salad — a concoction Trump’s PR flacks routinely fling chimplike at reporters, as does Trump himself. In “100 Days of Gibberish,” Guardian contributor Lindy West quotes this passage from an April 2017 AP interview with The Donald:

Well he said, you’ll be the greatest president in the history of, but you know what, I’ll take that also, but that you could be. But he said, will be the greatest president but I would also accept the other. In other words, if you do your job, but I accept that. Then I watched him interviewed and it was like he never even was here. It’s incredible. I watched him interviewed a week later and it’s like he was never in my office. And you can even say that.

— Donald Trump (full transcript here)

West describes Trump’s rhetorical style as “untethered from both meaning and reality.” Imagine trying to translate him into French or Japanese! Quoted in the Japan Times, Chikako Tsuruta says: “He is so overconfident and yet so logically unconvincing that my interpreter friends and I often joke that if we translated his words as they are, we would end up making ourselves sound stupid.”

The Japanese prefer polite speech, so translating Trump’s off-color remarks laced with epithets attacking his enemies points to “a long-standing dilemma dogging the profession — whether to sanitize the words of a controversial speaker.” Still, if you eliminated everything that’s crude, illogical, or untethered from reality, you’d be left performing John Cage’s famous 4’33” of silence:

Between Trump and the chattering class responding to him, silence is needed now more than ever — that and peaceful morning meditation music.

Other than flinging word salad, distracting attention is another technique favoured by Trump flacks: Don’t look at Russian collusion, look over here at this banjo-playing bear!

Getting the public gradually accustomed to shocking news also seems to be a thing. It’s no secret that the endless scandals plaguing this administration can lead to outrage fatigue. Some suggest that this is being cynically milked. Take Rudy Giuliani’s series of inane TV appearances, such as his recent interview with George Stephanopoulos:

Like Conway, little by little Giuliani is trying to normalize the phenomenon of Trump having a slush fund to pay off porn stars. Of course that’s what all celebrities and “people of worth” do. And taking the Fifth? Well natch the president wouldn’t want to answer questions from a special counsel engaged in a WITCH HUNT!!! Trump taking the Fifth is as American as motherhood and apple pie.

Watching the interview and harkening back to the Japanese issue of genteel speech, I wonder: At what point does “the president’s top attorney” become “a slippery bastard who can’t be nailed down on even the simplest of facts”? (Gomenasai.)

As Stephen Colbert points out, a recent Trump tweet included the phrase “There is no O…”

For those familiar with James Thurber’s brilliant book The Wonderful O, this sounds an ominous gong of totalitarianism. For as Thurber noted, if the letter “O” were outlawed, we should have to throw out everything from cellos and mandolins to calico and clocks — even the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act so prized by pork-lovers in Congress — which itself would have to be outlawed, except that we should need a different word, since even the word “outlawed” would be outlawed, along with Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump.

Come to think of it, I could probably give up calico and clocks in exchange for losing Stormy and Donald. But playing the mandolin… Ah, now that would be a true sacrifice.

The Sleeping Gypsy, by Henri Rousseau (1897)

Sidebar: Break it to me gently

The 90s TV show Northern Exposure was a treasure trove of practical philosophical wisdom, including tips on breaking bad news gently. It was set in the mythical town of Cicely, Alaska, where events took on an air of magical realism, such as a man fusing with a satellite which re-enters earth’s atmosphere piping hot.

The unfortunate victim is Rick (Maggie O’Connell’s boyfiend), and it falls to Dr. Joel Fleischman to break the news. Feeling awkward and tongue-tied, he resorts to telling a joke:

Joel (uncomfortable): Hi Maggie, how are things?

Maggie: Rick didn’t come home last night, okay? If he wants to behave like a child, then let him! I mean, if I have to be the bad guy, okay! But I am not going to have another death on my hands! I mean, alright, I admit it, I do — I’m sensitive. I’ve lost four boyfriends. Four! Do you know how that feels? And of course I ask myself, is that me? Is it something I do? What is it, Fleischman? You want to tell me something, I can tell by your face.

Joel (uneasy): Yes. Yes… I do. I want to tell you something. A joke!

Maggie: A joke?

Joel: Yeah! You see, this guy goes on a trip and he leaves his cat with his friend. Well, he calls his friend and asks how the cat is. His friend says, “The cat is dead.” The guy says, “Geez! God! Couldn’t you break the news to me a little more gently? You know, lead into it: Your cat crawled up on the roof, there was a loose tile and it took a little fall… like that?” Next month, the guy goes on another trip, calls his friend, and asks how his mom is. The guy says, “Well, she crawled up on the roof and there was a loose tile…”

Maggie (laughs): Not bad!

Joel (leans forward earnestly): Rick crawled up on the roof…

Taking their cue from this vignette, spinners for the president shouldn’t immediately let fly the news that Trump and Cohen conspired to establish a secret slush fund for paying off porn stars. Let them begin with a more genteel admission. Not “The cat crawled up on the roof,” but rather “Stormy Daniels went down on…” Oh, never mind!

(You see, you made it to the end, and there really was a Stormy Daniels joke.)

Michael Howard

The views expressed are my own, and do not represent any other person or organization.

* * *

Scott Pruitt Jokes

View Scott Pruitt’s day planner and explore euphemisms used to describe his performance.

I’ve already ribbed the EPA chief in “Scott Pruitt Fires His Food-Taster” (part of Political Potpourri here). But the target is just too rich…

Amidst scandals like approving a pesticide that causes brain damage and taking perks from lobbyists, Pruitt is defended by the Dept. of Euphemism Dept. (an EPA sub-agency). According to them, one of Pruitt’s achievements has been “regulatory certainty.” Yes friends, if you’re an industrial polluter you can rest easy knowing for certain that Scott Pruitt doesn’t give two sh-ts.

Under Trump, our government works in euphemism as a potter works in clay. What other gems might they come up with? Well, “proactive” is a good word. “Scott Pruitt has been proactive in doing sod all to help the environment.”

“High standards” is also a winner. “During his tenure, Pruitt has meticulously maintained high standards when it comes to rolling back Obama-era regulations designed to curb pollution.”

Why does Pruitt need a 20-man security detail? Is he starting a men’s glee club? Actually, it’s because among environmentalists it’s commonly known that Pruitt doesn’t give a flying fig about the environment. He’d stick pins in it if he could. There shouldn’t be an environment. Bah! Humbug!

Recently there was an incident where his security detail couldn’t rouse him, so fearing the worst (that he’d disappeared up his own backside), they broke down the door to his lobbyist-supplied-at-a-discount condo. No such luck!

Let me clue you in, guys. Sitting there doing nothing, being totally unresponsive, is Scott Pruitt’s default position as EPA head. No need to trouble him during one of his long snoozes. He’s doing exactly what Donald Trump appointed him to do.

Scott Pruitt’s Day Planner

scott-pruitt-day-planner-EPA

A tribute in song to the Trump-Pruitt relationship:

Scott Pruitt’s Day Planner (text version)

MY MOTIVATION THIS WEEK:
Keep the Trumpster happy. Bring at least 10 lbs. strawberry Starbursts in tribute. No stripper this time. Melania watching.

MUST DO TODAY:
Monday: DO NOTHING
Tuesday: DO NOTHING
Wednesday: DO NOTHING
Thursday: DO NOTHING  MEET WITH LOBBYISTS
Friday: Organize baseball game with security detail. N.B.: Choose only BEST 18 men. Others may be dispatched to fetch my lunch, shine my shoes, or repair the Cone of Silence.

HOPING TO ACCOMPLISH:
As discussed in meeting of Mar 06, do nothing about environmental issues. Roll back wherever possible. Deny climate change. Lower emissions standards.

SOMETIME THIS WEEK:
– Attend Easter Egg roll. Explain to kiddies that industrial pollutants are our friends.
– Get Sarah H. to clean my condo. Tell her not to spit Milk Duds on carpet this time.

NOTE TO SELF:
Hire another chef. List as food-taster on expense report. Louie almost worked out, but used too little cream in my Quenelles de Brochet. SAD!

Michael Howard

The views expressed are my own, and do not represent any other person or organization.

* * *

Easter Laugh

A clip from the Vicar of Dibley Easter Bunny episode to make you smile

I hope everyone’s having a wonderful Easter. I wanted to post something more profound for Easter, but am feeling a bit run down. Too much posting about politics, I expect. 😉

Anyway, here’s a fun clip from the Vicar of Dibley Easter special made in 1996:

It was the last episode with Letitia Cropley, played by a wonderful old British character actress named Liz Smith, who I also noticed in Britannia Hospital (alongside Leonard Rossiter a.k.a. Reggie Perrin). Both alas gone now. Liz Smith passed away on Christmas Eve of 2016 at the age of 95.

Still, the sight of Dawn French in a bunny costume has got to be worth a laugh. Happy Easter!

Michael

Past Easter Posts

Easter Thoughts on Mercy
Bach’s St. John Passion: Crucifixion

* * *

Forbes magazine unveils Stock Talk with Stormy Daniels

Stock Talk for March 27, 2018

After flaccid performance in the fourth quarter, Canadian Codpiece spanked investors with yet more losses this week, but promised textbook generic earnings next quarter after taking write-offs related to their discontinued line of orange skin bronzer.

In other news, just did my first interview with high-yield bond manager Jeffrey Kociniwicz and can describe his junk perfectly.

After a huge stock market run-up, some investors may find their portfolios are top-heavy, with too many high beta tech stocks and not enough good little earners. Diversifying into high-yield bonds may be just the shot of Viagra you need to firm up your portfolio and keep your masthead erect while sailing into uncharted waters, with inflation visible on the horizon. Remember, Mr. Fed Chair, we need a slow hand!

I’ll be in Parsippany, New jersey this weekend, continuing my series of seminars on women and investing. The theme of this week’s presentation will be “My cup runneth over…”

Till then, for Steve Forbes and the whole Forbes family, this is Stormy Daniels reminding you to shake that money maker!

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Stormy Daniels Warm-Up Party

UPDATED! Listen to “Stormy” and “Daniel” songs while waiting for the CBS 60 Minutes interview to air (or after). Might be some Devo, Nancy Sinatra, and Threepenny Opera worked in just for laughs. I freely admit “Danny Boy” is a stretch, but I couldn’t resist. All real music (no stupid parodies.) Sunday will never be the same!

I started this YouTube playlist as a lark, but later got seriously into it. So aside from the obligatory nods to pop music you’ll also find some rare blues and folk gems. Includes both Joni Mitchell and Tom Rush versions of “Urge For Going” (heh-heh, Donald Trump joke), as well as Muddy Waters, the Greenbriar Boys, Joan Baez, Big Bill Broonzy, Bessie Smith, Doc Watson, Julie Andrews, John Coltrane, and lots of other great artists.

In short, the music stands on its own, so even after all the Stormy Daniels jokes have died down, and Donald Trump is just another ex-pol wearing an orange jump suit, you can still enjoy this deep dive into the flood waters of music history. A great way to spend a rainy night or ride out the storm!

Just press the play button on the embedded YouTube and all songs should play in sequence. If you prefer to look before you leap, here’s the playlist:

1 Billie Holiday – Stormy Weather (1952)
2 Stormy Monday – B.B. King
3 Stormy Love (Laura Nyro)
4 The Band – Daniel And The Sacred Harp
5 Elton John – Daniel
6 (A capella) John McDermott – Danny Boy (rare)
7 Danny Boy – Sinéad O’Connor
8 Whip it – Devo
9 Nancy Sinatra – These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ – 1966
10 Spanky & Our Gang – Sunday Will Never Be The Same
11 Peter Gabriel – Shock The Monkey
12 (1979) The Flying Lizards – Money (That’s What I Want)
13 Mack the Knife by Louis Armstrong
14 Jaws – Theme song
15 What Game Shall We Play Today (Chick Corea/Return to Forever)
16 Enya – Storms in Africa HD
17 Toto – Africa (Video)
18 Storm Clouds Rising – Florida Mass Choir
19 Muddy Waters – Flood
20 Greenbriar Boys – Up To My Neck In High Muddy Water
21 Joan Baez – Before the Deluge
22 Tom Rush – Rainy Day Man ’70
23 Urge For Going (1966) – Joni Mitchell
24 Big Bill Broonzy – Southern Flood Blues
25 Bessie Smith – Back Water Blues COLUMBIA 14195 D
26 Doc Watson – Deep River Blues
27 Brook Benton – Rainy Night in Georgia
28 It’s Raining Men (Weather Girls)
29 Richard Harris – MacArthur Park Original 1968
30 Tom Rush – Urge For Going
31 Ode to the Yellow River by Xian Xinghai
32 The Beatles – Rain
33 My Favorite Things – Julie Andrews
34 John Coltrane – My Favorite Things – Live At Newport
35 Rainy Night House – Joni Mitchell
36 Etta James – Stormy Monday (live)

If you’ve read my post “The Gospel Truth About Congress,” you know that I love the way different media hit off each other. So not all the songs are necessarily great music, but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Sometimes I go for similarities, sometimes for extreme contrasts.

As for Stormy Daniels jokes, turns out I’m the biggest one of all. For years I’ve been pouring my heart out on all sorts of profound topics. Then I make one lousy Stormy Daniels joke, and suddenly the Googlebot thinks that’s what I’m famous for. It is to weep. 😉 (Should I don a putty nose to please my new readers?)

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Disclaimer: This is all music I found on YouTube. None of it was uploaded by me, and I don’t claim any copyright.