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It isn't a case of 'All hat and no cattle'!

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Updated 3/27

So, what comes next in healthcare?
After Friday’s flame out in Congress of an attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Healthcare Act, even the staunchest defenders of the current system admit it needs to be repaired.
Paul Ryan, meanwhile, proved his ability to coordinate his caucus resembled a wrangler trying to herd spastic cats and the president proved while he has a bully pulpit Steve Bannon is no bully from the pulpit.
For many, the bombast before the healthcare vote was simply a matter of the president being all hat and no cattle.

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The politics of a local tragedy

Sanchez mug shot

Somewhere in this county right now a 14-year-old girl is confused, angry and hurting. Dragged into a bathroom at her high school and repeatedly raped, she has been violated and her humanity torn from her in a way no child should ever face.
An 18-year-old illegal immigrant stands accused of the crime along with a 17-year-old juvenile illegal immigrant – one of whom was facing deportation hearings - and because of who they are the story has taken on national significance.

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Don't do that in my ear and tell me it's raining!

maxresdefaultWhen I was just a little boy – standing to my daddy’s knee - I learned the gentle art of appreciating artful dodging from my mother who was a successful local actress, my father who was a very successful car salesman, uncles who were attorneys and politicians, and grandparents who were lawyers and judges.
My grandmother once told me my dad was so good at spinning the truth she would know he was lying to her and she’d still believe him. Perhaps that is why I enjoy standup comedy and politics so much – both offer great yarns.
Imagine my hope when I first saw President Donald Trump arrive on the scene. He brought with him Steve Bannon, a man who is a legend in his own mind. He brought us Kellyanne Conway, a woman I debated a few times in Philadelphia some 15 years ago.
She was defending Dan Quayle and I was promoting a book called “Spin Control.” It was a debate made in heaven. We had fun.

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A colonoscopy and "compassionate" budget

 

 

654170338-office-of-management-and-budget-director-mick-mulvaney.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2First, let’s interrupt today’s compassionate offering on the proposed budget from President Trump via his puppet Mick Mulvaney (who apparently likes to stuff his suits with grass) for this important healthcare message.
While we argue and bicker about healthcare in this country, let me be the first to endorse a 30 minute invasive procedure to save you – it is called a colonoscopy and everyone over 50 should have one.

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Puppies, rainbows and wet sponges

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If you thought the blue lines in hockey were confusing (apologies to MAD Magazine), try spending time in the White House briefing room.
While most of the nation wants a health care plan much like the plan congressmen can enjoy, and while hate crimes and anti-Semitism are on the rise, reporters in the White House press briefing room are enduring a never ending epidemic of language H.L. Mencken would describe as “wet sponges,” though earlier this week we heard it in the guise of “rainbows and puppies.”
What was said? Well it turns out it wasn’t said. Maybe we didn’t understand and it doesn’t matter because there’s something new to say to us any way. Bad hombres are all about.

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The 50th Day of the Trump Administration

Sean Spicer with upside down flag  pinUPDATED 3/11/17

Friday I walked up to the White House and saw a couple of hundred pipeline protesters singing outside the West Wing. Meanwhile, as I got closer to the entrance, I saw a homeless man on the ground. Not sure why. The police were cuffing him, but it didn’t look like either side was struggling or too committed to the process. The takedown appeared to be in slow motion and I could’ve sworn I heard the guy on the ground saying “I’m not weird.”

Weird.

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I have a great idea for a Tweet

 

 

White House Front Twilight

Brevity can be the soul of wit. However, brevity often proves to be witless and soulless. Hence I’ve never been a fan of Twitter.
Last weekend President Donald Trump, riding high after a speech before a joint session of Congress –a speech when at times he waxed philosophical by implying it isn’t too much to dream of our footsteps on alien worlds – shot himself in his foot with a tweet.

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Not with a bang but with a whimper

 

president sealThe single most impressive moment in President Trump’s first speech before a joint session of Congress came nowhere during the speech.
A half-hour before he took the stage the president could be seen sitting in the limousine with his wife practicing his speech. It was a humanizing moment and brilliant in its subtlety. Whoever planned it pulled the curtain back to show a man many believe to be an autocratic demagogue in a very vulnerable and human position – practicing for his coming presentation – and anyone who’s ever had to practice a speech for a high school class could easily identify with that moment.
The speech itself was typical of a presidential speech before Congress and as the bar was very low, and since the president didn’t go off on a tirade against domestic enemies real and imagined – well save for apparently trying to convince us every immigrant to the country is guilty of a violent crime – he got a positive public relations bounce.
The far right cheered, the far left jeered and some of us were left wondering if Congress and the president understand that between the idea and the reality falls the shadow – at least according to T.S. Eliot in “The Hollow Men.”
So, here we go around the prickly pear.

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The White House incident - again

 

White House Front TwilightI left for one hour.
The early Friday morning White House show had been inconsequential and uncharacteristically dull. The highlights? Kellyanne walked by outside after giving a speech at CPAC. President Trump flew back from his visit to CPAC on Marine One. A television technician yelled “Get to the chopper” in his best Arnold impersonation.

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The case of the growling dog

Sean SpicerWhen approaching a growling dog wagging its tail, which end do you believe?
That’s the conundrum facing reporters in the White House press corps as the new administration works its way into a second month in office.
On the one hand we have a president calling the media the enemy while Tuesday press secretary Sean Spicer told assembled reporters the president has a “Deep respect for the First Amendment and the press.”

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