Good Timing Award
I got a major Update message the other day from Lenovo, so I don’t know if it was their upgrade or Microsoft’s, but after it was installed, my laptop began freezing up.
The next day, I saw an “Update and Shut Down” prompt as I logged off, which made me think they’d found and fixed the bug. No such luck: My machine still gets upset when I have what it thinks are too many windows open.
And then today I saw this Edison Lee and it gave me a laff. Timing is everything.
Poor bear. And poor timing. Just as this young fellow in today’s Rubes hits the big city, his old hometown of Yellowstone gets slammed with a government shutdown and fills up with delicious garbage.
Reminds me of a German kid I met in 1990 who was spending a year in the US as an au pair and missed the teardown of the Berlin Wall back in his hometown.
Though in that latter case, we may be offering a remake.
While multiple cartoonists draw panels showing Trump as the emergency, Bill Bramhall sidesteps a lot of duplication and goes right to the point of the other night’s broadcast.
I never know what everyone is seeing versus what I’m seeing because my feeds are full of cartoonists, but this article from the Christian Science Monitor about the challenge Trump brings to cartoonists has been all over my pages.
It’s a good piece, kicked off by this Nate Beeler quote:
How do you caricature something that’s a caricature of itself? … The stuff that he does, a lot of it … is even more hyperbolic than I would draw.
True, though hyperbole appears to be giving way to pure unhinged nonsense, as in Dear Leader’s remarks the other day about those who smuggle people across the border:
They have unbelievable vehicles. They make a lot of money. They have the best vehicles you can buy. They have stronger, bigger and faster vehicles than our police have and that ICE have and that Border Patrol have.
Charlie Pierce isn’t the only commentator who wonders if Dear Leader is confusing reality with a Mad Max movie.
Still, Bramhall’s cartoon stands out, because most cartoonists echo the delicate reluctance in newsrooms to simply call bullshit bullshit.
Clay Bennett did raise a question of mental acuity the other day …
… but I think his next cartoon is more to the point.
We don’t know how much of the utter nonsense that spills from Dear Leader’s lips is calculated lies, how much is delusional thinking and how much may simply be the result of the Happy News his staff needs to feed him in order to keep peace within the White House, where never is heard a discouraging word.
Which brings us to Ann Telnaes’ contention that, while Trump may be sustaining his tantrum and hiding away in his own paranoid world, it is Mitch McConnell who is keeping that door secured.
And we know that McConnell is not crazy. What he does is planned, deliberate, intentional.
So as every cartoonist in America takes a turn drawing a wall around Trump, it seems like a bit of misdirection: If you really want a solution, wall off the turtle and his cronies.
Granted, by the by, that it’s not illegal for the President to collude with the Senate.
But Jeff Stahler indirectly makes a potentially connected point, which is that, however the GOP honestly feels about the Wall, it is in their interest to keep the dream alive, both as a distraction and as a rallying point.
What specifically struck me about this is that I spent a little time selling the Kirby Classic, which was a terrible job but a wonderful education.
One of the primary techniques in closing a sale was getting the mark (sorry, “prospect”) to take “mental possession”of the vacuum cleaner. Once they had begun to picture the thing as already theirs, working out the payment schedule was a mere detail.
Trump has, indeed, taken mental possession of the Wall. In his mind, it’s a done deal, with the only barrier at this point being the opposition of the Democrats, a mere detail.
Which reminds me that, the morning after I closed my first sale, I phoned the finance company to get the customer set up, and as soon as I said her name, with no other information, the guy on the other end of the phone started laughing.
This wasn’t in some small town where everybody knew everybody: This was in Denver. You’ve got to be one helluva deadbeat to be that familiar to the lenders in a major metro.
I do not believe that this anecdote is entirely irrelevant.
Meanwhile, back at the Special Counsel’s office
Steve Sack does a nice job of summarizing the latest development in the case against Paul Manafort and all his works and all his pomps.
For those who missed it, Manafort’s attorneys released a copy of a court document, with the supersecret bits covered in black to prevent them being read.
Except that you could move them out of the way.
As in that linked report, and this even more wet-blankety analysis, it’s not quite a smoking gun linking Putin to the White House.
But it’s sure interesting and it is, as Sack’s cartoon suggests, a nice piece of the puzzle.
We already knew Manafort brought a significant slime factor into things, even if Trump’s experience as a casino builder in New Jersey had somehow never put him in touch with mobsters.
But I had to laugh at the ineptitude of this technical blunder, because the last time it came up, I was reading the amused, horrified responses of computer security people in a listserv.
Yes, a pre-Windows listserv, at which rubbing-two-sticks-together early stage, people already knew that, if you don’t flatten the file, those black bars lift right off.
In the words of Rick Blaine, “I don’t mind a parasite. I object to a cut-rate one.”