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Comic Strip of the Day: One may smile, and smile

Kevin Siers comes up with a terrific commentary on both Trump’s latest bizarre statement and his overall attitude, and it’s also one of the best Alice allusions I’ve seen.

The Cheshire Cat, for all his friendliness, didn’t offer Alice a whole lot of actual help, and, when their conversations were over, she was left with nothing but that smile.

There seems to be a lot of that going around, as Jeff Danziger suggests in this cartoon, which departs from all the cornfield panels to point out where (else) the hammer drops in this trade war.

It’s interesting, in a detached, academic sort of way, that Trump offers a bailout to the farmers, who are the most visible segment of the victims of his economically illiterate adventurism, while ignoring those in the manufacturing industries that are also being damaged.

One would think he’d be more willing to let Kansas and Nebraska twist in the wind a bit, given that they were firmly in his camp in 2016 and only offer a combined 11 electoral votes anyway, and that he would be more concerned about his thin margins in places like Michigan and Pennsylvania, which provided 36 total votes.

But then again, one would also assume that Marcia Clark could convince a jury that mishandling of a blood sample does not cause the DNA to change from that of one person into that of someone else who just happens to be sitting in front of them, and that testing leather gloves for evidence is apt to make them shrink a bit, or at least stiffen up.

But whether the jury was incredibly stupid or simply pissed off doesn’t change their verdict, nor does Donald Trump need to do more than keep on smiling and pretending to help in order to maintain his grip on the Deplorables.

 

It takes a measure of nerve to, as Nate Beeler does, draw a cartoon promoting Jim Jordan’s run for Speaker of the House by focusing on his wrestling background, but if the singlet fits, wear it.

Yes, nearly a dozen of his former wrestlers say they told him about sexual assaults by his team doctor, but they’re kids and, more important, they’re nobodies. Sean Hannity has said it isn’t true, and he’s very famous and is on the television every night.

Someone resurrected a poll from several years ago showing Fox News viewers to be woefully uninformed, but, as this analysis suggests, it’s probably less a cause/effect issue than one of uninformed people making the choice of Fox News.

Fox trades in stories about the venality of big government, liberal overreach and little-guy heroes of the heartland. … This format has been successful, but it has drawbacks. There’s a lot that goes on in the world that doesn’t easily fit the Fox template. There are important stories that don’t make anyone angry, prove liberals are evil or otherwise carry an emotional punch. Fox viewers get less of them.

Does Fox News lie to its viewers? Yes.

Does Donald Trump lie to his followers? Yes.

So what?

OJ was acquitted and Trump was elected and, as Lenny Bruce said, there is no “ought to be.” There is only what is. Everything else is a damn lie.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Matt Wuerker)

(Clay Jones)

Meanwhile, the loyal opposition is doing what?

I’m not sure, though I’m not hearing the vibe Wuerker and Jones are picking up on, or, at least, not from sources I trust a whole lot.

I’ve heard Republicans suggest that Clinton will make another run in 2020, but I haven’t heard it from her or from Democratic HQ.

And I’ve seen a flurry of posts on Facebook replaying the 2016 election and a whole lot of woulda-coulda-shoulda.

I don’t necessarily believe it’s all coming from troll factories in Petrograd, but, ‘den again, I don’t disbelieves it, neither, and I’m quite certain it doesn’t take a lot of effort to stir up those old bad feelings among the True Believers who are no more politically sophisticated than the Deplorables and are just as disproportionately vocal on social media.

None of which means it’s not out there. It just means it’s not in my face, which is fine with me.

Whatever people are saying at the moment, I truly hope the Democratic Party will get its organizational shit together next time, and, while I like Bernie and I think Ocasio-Cortez is a potential rising star, they aren’t the only, and are probably not the best, people to look towards in 2020.

Adam Schiff and Kamala Harris and Tammy Duckworth would likely poll better among independent voters, for instance.

But it won’t much matter if we don’t put presidential politics aside long enough to concentrate on the midterms, because Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a wonderful lady but she’s not immortal, and Breyer is 79 which is as old as Scalia ever got to be.

Focus, people. Focus.

 

Meanwhile, Drew Sheneman gets a laugh by providing the obvious answer to Trump’s question.

It’s legal in New York State to record your own phone calls without the other party’s consent, by the way.

This is the sort of thing newspaper reporters need to know, and, in my years of reporting, I didn’t often bother to tell sources I was running tape.

They knew they were talking to a reporter and they could guess that I was taking notes, and I never understood why anyone would object to a device that made sure I got it right.

I did once put my tape recorder on the desk at the start of an interview and had the source put his tape recorder next to it, and it felt like a gunslinger move, but it was fine with me.

Besides, I still held the advantage: It was his desk, and I can read upside down.

 

But, come on: As Brewster Rockit suggests, there’s no reason we can’t be civil about all this.

Well, no reason beyond our innate instincts and personalities, anyway.

 

Now here’s your moment of well-advised zen:

Community Comments

#1 Kathleen Elizabeth Donnelly
July/28/2018
@ 11:21 am

Re: OJ’s gloves.
Lawyer’s Rule No. One: Never ask a question whose answer you don’t already know.

#2 Ed Rush
July/28/2018
@ 2:22 pm

When I was a reporter, I always used a tape recorder for school boards, mayors, etc. One councilman in particular objected to this (to no avail) and, given his history, I always suspected it was because it would thwart his claiming to be misquoted. (tRump, on the other hand, happily denies saying what he had said in front of the cameras.)

#3 Mike Peterson
July/28/2018
@ 2:26 pm

Clark didn’t ask him to try them on. His own people did.

What she didn’t do was to introduce evidence suggesting that, due to processing, they might not be expected to fit, nor did she ask him to relax his hand and make a more honest effort to put the glove on.

However, she sure allowed his team to ask a lot of questions she should have known the answers to.

Another parallel, in the sense of assuming you have victory in the bag win and don’t have to make a true effort. No names, please.

Oh well. On to the midterms. Perhaps with a less overconfident attitude.

#4 Mike Peterson
July/28/2018
@ 2:33 pm

I never had anyone question the accuracy of my reporting and, in fact, later found that I had a reputation for getting it right and for nailing anyone who I caught lying to me. Not a bad rep, but, meanwhile, I made plenty of enemies who expected me to play nicey-nice and not report on the funny business.

Of course, everyone played the game, but there was one fellow whose wife spun on her heels and wheeled her basket the other direction rather than pass me in the aisle of the grocery store. Oh well. Can’t please’em all.

I never believed in purposely antagonizing anyone — that’s childish — but, then again, I never believed in trimming my sails to the prevailing winds.

I’d consider it a badge of honor to be thrown out of this particular White House and suspect that Kaitlin Collins wants to be able to do her job but still somehow takes more than a little pride in being on Dear Leader’s shitlist.

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