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CSotD: The caller is inside the house!

Start with this rueful chuckle from Clay Bennett, which is as close to a laugh as you’ll get these days, even if you have an appetite for gallows humor.

Policy proposals and political leanings aside, if you watched any part of the two townhalls this past week, you saw one candidate handle himself smoothly and the other bumble through, haltingly, not addressing questions and barely getting his words out.

The joke being that the one who is supposed to be senile was adroit and the one who is supposed to be a stable genius was inarticulate and seemingly, well, a bit distant from the moment.

The punchline coming when Dear Leader explains that Biden has probably been given performance-enhancing drugs, to which the response is that maybe those are the drugs we need to develop on warp speed and get distributed before the election.

But, sure, Biden is senile, Al Gore said he invented the Internet, Kerry didn’t earn his medals, Bob Dole is too old and Dan Quayle can’t spell “potato.”

Though fair is fair: Trump wasn’t holding that Bible upside down. Those were ribbons, not bookmarks. Anyone who’s ever been to church should recognize them.

Campaigning by cheap shots quickly morphs into government by reality TV stars, and it’s our own damn fault.

As noted before, truth is what people want to believe, and you don’t have to be on the White House staff to believe in alternative facts.

We each have our own collection.

 

Granted, it’s hard not to fall into despairing cynicism when corruption and double-dealing seem part of the system. Ann Telnaes notes that most of $1 billion budgeted for Covid prevention was, instead, diverted to pay for military equipment.

Having previously seen Dear Leader re-direct $3.6 billion in otherly-budgeted funds to his wall, perhaps it’s yet another case of something that sparks outrage the first time gradually becoming normal through repetition.

Though it would be nice if Ronald Reagan’s “There you go again” still served as an attack instead of a cue to shrug and accept more lies, more empty promises, more abusive policies from the man who was going to be too busy to play golf.

That cynicism comes into play when the House finally passes a short-term budget bill to keep the government funded and you start to wonder what the money will really be spent on.

Knowing that, if you give your broker $30,000 to invest in stock and he decides to buy a car instead, he goes to jail.

 

It doesn’t help to have Dear Leader threatening, as Monte Wolverton depicts it, to cut off budgeted federal funds to states that don’t toe the line and click their heels when he barks.

Though I sometimes wonder what would happen if we simply cut off all funding to states and, instead, let them stop sending tax money to the central government and spend it on themselves, internally.

Y’know: “States’ rights” like they’re always calling for.

“They” being, for the most part, people in states that receive more from Washington than they send in. I think they’d quickly find they were “Red States” in terms of ink as well as voting patterns.

However, that won’t happen and, at the moment, there is something far more toxic inspiring our cynicism, hence this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(John Branch)

 

(Marc Murphy)

The fact that various state and city governments deployed police and Guardsmen in anticipation of the Breonna Taylor decision could simply mean that they were preparing for the worst.

Or it could be that they knew the case against the officers was flimsy, and that the results would touch off fury because there was no way it would involve serious indictments.

Here’s the central issue: The death of George Floyd happened in the street, done by the arresting officers in a cruel, rogue manner, a case of bad cops doing a bad thing on their own authority.

Breonna Taylor’s death was more complex, involving a bad warrant drawn up on the wrong property.

Granted, there is the issue of whether the police identified themselves before pounding down the door, but higher-ups could have mandated body cameras which would have answered that question.

And there’s a reasonable question of whether someone asleep has time to process “Police!” before their door is bashed in. And is that shout-and-smash entry official policy?

However, while the chaos and death that followed seems to have stemmed from police actions, it seems to be an issue of screaming at the waiter because of something the cook did.

Would rolling those three heads have kept it from happening again?

Marc Murphy is not only a cartoonist but an attorney and one who has served in the prosecutor’s office at Louisville, though he specializes in defense today.

He links to local coverage in which he is quoted and which explains why the decision came down as it did, in a well-written article that doesn’t exonerate anyone. It simply explains the law.

This was not a George Floyd murder, nor was it a Fred Hampton-style assassination. It was a series of catastrophic blunders that, tragically, cost an innocent woman her life.

I wish I thought the $12 million settlement between the city and the Taylor family would wake up the Powers That Be, but it likely came out of an insurance policy, not city coffers.

What would make a difference, though, would not be firing the waiters but cleaning out that filthy kitchen.

However, last night has already proven that this logic has no foothold in the streets.

 

Not in any streets, for that matter. Bob Gorrell cites the “Thin Blue Line” as the only thing saving America from chaos and disorder.

Let us be charitable and assume he does not realize that “the thin blue line” refers to the Mafia-like code of silence and intimidation by which dirty cops protect each other from those who believe in honest law enforcement.

But, again, people believe what they need to believe.

I believe I’ll stream this film again, and wish it had had as much impact as Dirty Harry.

 

Community Comments

#1 Craig Dickson
September/24/2020
@ 8:14 pm

If your doctor was that sloppy and killed someone, they’d never practice medicine again even if the original mistake was someone else’s.
If a lawyer was that sloppy they’d be disbarred.
If an engineer was sloppy and caused a skywalk to collapse killing 112 people, they’d never engineer again. (Google Hyatt Kansas City collapse.)
The Breonna Taylor case is every bit as bad as the George Floyd one because the issue is not about intent. It is about the lack of accountability for police that virtually every other profession — including the military — has. Not one person involved has lost their job.
I understand that 5 of the officers had been part of a prior bitched raid, where luckily noone died. Maybe if they had been fired (or something) like any other professional would have been, then Ms Taylor would still be alive.

#2 Jana Stacy
September/24/2020
@ 11:24 pm

The sad fact is they are like a 4th world country, 48th in education, the roads and infrastructure is horrible and they are so racist and ate up with it that they don’t even fire the cops that just cost taxpayers 12 million dollars.
How pathetic is that!

#3 Nancy Sorrels
September/26/2020
@ 12:11 am

First let me say how much I enjoy your column. I found you on my Google news and you have been brightening my day ever since. My 25 year old grandson has wanted to be a police officer since he was a small boy but has recently begun to have doubts. He works retail and goes to school part-time with plans to apply at the academy after getting his ba. He now says he could not and would not look the other way if another officer did something wrong. He is smart enough to realize this would make him a pariah, possibly putting his life in danger. He is truly sad at the lose of his dream and floundering on what to do now. As his nana I can only listen and give him a hug. I have no elderly wisdom for this situation. Thanks to anyone who “listens” to my ramblings.

#4 Kristen Nieto
September/26/2020
@ 4:51 am

The restaurant metaphor is too simplistic for my taste. Sure, it’s not the waiter’s fault that the food is cooked poorly. But he did bring us another table’s order. After we had been waiting an hour, with no refills. When we told him, he blew us off and left, without taking the food back. We ask for refills, for the fifth time. He brings us the wrong drinks, with obvious loogies floating on the top.

We complain to the manager/owner. He says too bad so sad, and if we don’t pay up, he’ll call the police. Then, when he goes back to the kitchen, we hear him say to the cook, “Can you believe those a$$holes?” Everybody laughs.

Two of our party get food poisoning so badly, one dies. Retribution? The restaurant is given a B inspection score and a bad review on Yelp that later gets deleted.

No accountability, and Louisville authority obviously doesn’t give a flying eff. They’ll let the city burn with grief, thinking it’s a community cleansing.

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