The president is away this week on his first international trip, and with just the normal cacophony in the District, it seems oddly quiet here.
The president made headlines in the Middle East with a billion dollar weapons deal with the Saudis and by saying things like, “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes man,” to Saudi-Arabian leaders. (You can’t make this stuff up.)
The travel pool is with the president in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome before visiting the home of the International Beer Festival - Okay, Brussels to everyone else - for the G-7 conference at the end of the week.
Meanwhile, the events of the last two weeks since the president unceremoniously sacked FBI Director James Comey seem a year in the past.
Mind you, the Senate, House and the FBI all have ongoing investigations and new allegations arise at the rate of the heartbeat of a crack addict, but it seems restful now by comparison.
The question of the day remains – “What did the president know and when did he tweet it?” But with him on foreign soil and less likely to tweet about the Russian investigation, it gives us time to catch up on some of the things we may have otherwise missed or in some cases forgotten since the Russian invasion.
Let’s start with a shout out to our favorite Attorney General, Jeffery Beauregard Sessions. I confess I love that middle name for it reminds me of one of my favorite cartoons as a child watching Bugs Bunny. . . and I’ll stop right there.
But my dear AG Sessions, smoking weed doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a more relaxed person. And more than anything else, today we need to relax.
Do not expect the electorate; the doctors, the lawyers, the dentists, laborers, professionals, wives, husbands, women, men, black, white, brown or plaid to put up with the shenanigans of any White House, let alone this one, without the comforting distraction of a one-hitter loaded with the best Kentucky herb – remember support our American farmers!
To Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: I have enjoyed your briefings, particularly when you suggested a therapist for a member of the press the first time I saw you. However, I’m not sure if the beef deal you signed with China is Grade A Prime. It’s the Chinese banks which will be setting up in the U.S. on the flip side of this deal that is cause for concern. Some people already believe the Chinese own too much in this country. But I do like your sense of humor.
“We have an America First Budget”
To OMB Director Mick Mulvaney: Okay big guy, I enjoy your show too. You can definitely sell anything – or at least try to with so much energy that I like the show, though I don’t like what you’re selling. When you say you’re not going to ask the single mother of two in Detroit or the coal miner or the steel worker for any more tax money for social services – that many of them use – but instead you are going to take that same money and build more weapons they can’t use to feed, clothe or shelter their children – I am impressed. That kind of salesmanship takes talent.
Telling us the after-school meals program for poor children may end soon took even more talent, and Mick, you were up for the task. Channeling your inner “Soup Nazi,” you told us we only approved the after-school lunch program because we were told the kids would do better in school if we did. Statistics didn’t support the supposition – so “No Soup For You!”
And I really applaud the reduction in our country’s U.N. contribution. At a time when 20 million people from four countries are facing the worst famine and starvation threats since the end of World War II, I love how you told the Al Jazeera reporter, “We have an America First Budget,” so too bad. A thrusting upward of a certain middle finger was only implied, but everyone understood.
Of course famine and pestilence only serve as a breeding ground for the terrorists we claim we want to eliminate, so I’m a little sketchy on your details.
Never mind. We have General McMaster to help us out there. After he explains how the boys got their rocks off dropping the “Mother Of All Bombs,” killing a few dozen cave dwellers in Afghanistan, I want him to explain his hair.
Gee General, I think we both had more hair when I first saw you in the Gulf War. Never mind. To you, I only ask one thing – want me to pick up the Alka-Seltzer or are you mainlining Maalox yet?
For Kellyanne Conway, when we first saw each other in the White House, I reminded her we had debated on Philadelphia television three times some 15 years ago. She took a breath and her eyes got big. “We dated?” she asked me. “No. Debated. If we dated, you’d remember,” I said.
Kellyanne has surprised all of us with her many accomplishments over the years.
While the Balalaikas are ringing out and keeping our comrades warm, the whirling dervish aspect of this administration has kept us from talking about healthcare, tax-cuts and that big privacy fence - I mean security wall - on the border for at least the last week and a half.
I thought it was odd the GOP taking a victory lap in the Rose Garden with the president after the replacement healthcare plan passed the House - and I thought it was humorous watching President Trump congratulate himself for mastering politics so well that he won the presidency the first time he ever ran for any office – but I don’t find much humor about healthcare prospects when neither party wants to attack the underlying cause of the pain - greedy insurance company executives who are pulling out of the affordable healthcare act because they sense they can make more money with President Trump’s plan.
Meanwhile, those poor billionaires will finally get some tax relief soon while those bad hombres south of the border will meet our impenetrable privacy wall. (Okay, don’t tell anyone but between Del Rio and El Paso, Texas, there is really no way to build a wall. Look up “Big Bend” and you’ll understand why the 1,900 mile wall will NEVER be built.)
"Mr. Gorbachev tear down that wall!"
When President Trump said in his joint news conference that “Walls Work – Ask Israel,” only by the slimmest of margins did I keep from shouting – “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that Wall!”
Finally to President Trump upon your return: If you believe your surrogates are not accurately relaying your message, I would encourage you to step right up. Don’t be shy. Handle the daily briefing yourself.
You and I and many of the reporters covering your administration have never had a proper question and answer exchange, and I believe it is the one thing lacking in our relationship. Sure, I’ve shouted questions at you outside the West Wing, on the Rose Garden and walking on the South Lawn to Marine One, and I even shouted questions in two languages to you and the President of Columbia – which you both ignored. But, with your limited public appearances many of the reporters who are covering you haven’t had the pleasure of your company and are desirous of a chance to palaver a bit more.
We all know that’s not your best environment as you like to control the message and the medium - and that’s not wrong and not immoral. As Larry Speakes said, “Don’t tell us how to stage the news and we won’t tell you how to report it.”
But come on. Be a guy.
To use your words, “You can believe me,” it’ll be great
When you come back from Europe, bring the two sides together. We can all sing “Getting to know you.” Okay, that was just a bad joke.
Still that won’t be as bad as the joke we’ll all have to endure if we don’t learn to communicate better. It’s your move Mr. President. The coffee’s on me and yes we can talk about your second bananas and their amusing appearances in the press room too.
I’ve got a couple of really funny stories I can’t share in public – yet.