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Friday, Sep 30th

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Editorial

Home of the Knave, Brand of the Tweet

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It's taken us all longer that it should have to arrive at the obvious:  Trump was never running, Trump never wanted the job, and we've all been conned in a fashion no one ever thought possible.

It would be like learning the whole point of NASA's moon missions was to test out if the place really was made of cheese, and, if so, to keep it from the Russians, at least until we had global dairy prices locked down.

Only a green-cheese maniac would think of using the American presidential race as a con game and a self-promotion tour -- and so, a maniac did.  And has.  We've all been had.

Look at the wreckage, all the carnage, the shredded landscape -- and that's just around each of the new, daily-dozen of the dim-witted, ham-handed, face-palmed Trumping pronouncements.  Smoldering craters, everywhere.

Back at the beginning, what did we know, we electoral chumps?  We rode the primary Tilt-o-Whirl, like good little citizens, playing the Important Adult Business game, not realizing we were being played at the deepest possible levels.  We were playing Crazy Eights -- or Tipsy Twenty-Twos, whatever, based on your candidate count -- with the Berserk Chimp Gang, just as they wanted, sure.

Only thing was, the rest of the Chimp Gang was rifling through our cars in the parking lots, and our homes, and our bank accounts, while we were wondering why The Big Player was stalling.  (After all, even for Trump, how tough is it to answer the question, "Got any fours?")

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Scratching While Shooting the Magic 8-Ball

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In pool, having the cue ball leave the table -- jumping a bumper or plunging down a pocket-hole -- is a scratch.  Most people play as if it's not a big deal, that it's just the end of your turn.  You don't get to keep shooting.

However, in most forms of a game of 8-ball, if you scratch while shooting the 8, and pocket that 8-ball -- well, that's an instant loss.  Game over.

And that thought gives me no rest.  White American votes (for the most part) are the cue ball on this green-felt-topped, slate table-top game of politics, and The Trumpster is the 8-ball if ever there was one.

Come Voting Day:  Dump enough votes in the side slot while getting Trump in the Oval Pocket, and it's Game Over.

Easy as Trump playing pocket pool with the populace.

Yet, so simple, a child could figure it out:  Don't scratch while shooting the 8.

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No Prisoners, No Apologies, No Rules

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No matter how many toys, gadgets, and gizmos we create, we're still batting zero in social evolution.  Mostly.  (We can talk about one exception, later on.)

Considering the number of apologies we've received from the banksters who nearly collapsed the world economy with their charlatan scams and bottomless greed.  My count still stands at Precisely None, in both the Forced and Unforced categories.

Same can be said for quickie payday loan companies and self-financed car lots who routinely gouge customers at 30% interest rates, or more.  Same can be said for the Martin Shreklis of the world, who believe a 4,000% or 5,000% price hike on a drug is good for everyone, including consumers.

Same goes for the then-new, Neo-Con con-artists who decided on decimating a cradle of civilization in search of nonexistent WMDs.  A million dead, more injured, a few trillion dollars more in debt to no good purpose -- I'm still naive enough to want some sort of basic apology for this, as a start, as a prelude to real change.

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Working to Live It Up (and Down)

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There are still some things in life worse than working for a living.  That's not immediately clear, when the alarm clock has triggered its doomsday, crash-dive klaxon, just when, in your dream, you were headed toward a bulkhead in your pina-colada-submarine... while doing underwater calisthenics with bulked-up dolphins in swim caps.

Another of the things worse than working?  Staying up too late, watching Olympic athletes, and getting too little sleep, finding in the morning that someone has swapped out your brain with moldy linguini and damp sawdust.  This was probably when you dreamed about synchronized snowball fights, and got up in the night, groggy, and turned the A/C blizzard down from arctic eternity to moderately crunchy eyebrows.

Another worse thing?  Being a pre-percolated, overly-perky morning person -- way, way before the coffee starts -- and having to remember to tamp down all that natural energy.  (Or, remembering to try not to swat the other person, if you are the bleary-eyed sleepyhead in the house.  Then, there's the remembering-to-do-it-later part, after you're fully awake, when your reflexes are sharper, and your odds of making contact really go up.

We all work to live, of course, instead of living to work.

... except for the driven people on salaries, say, who are working 80-hour weeks hoping to help their companies turn tight financial corners, so that they might yet keep their jobs, and not be left unemployed, after they die, so as to still be able to still afford medical insurance and the outlandish medical bills, owing to a host of treatments and therapies triggered by the 80-hour weeks themselves.

(These may be the only people who, on their deathbeds, might actually have regrets about not putting in more hours at the office.  These may be the same people who buy Cosmic Jolt-Blast cola by the pallet, and have t-shirts which read, "I'll sleep when I'm dead.")

The work-to-live rule also does not apply to artists of any stripe, and to people who are in mad, desperate love with their jobs.  For you whackos, realize that you are not well-liked -- but, you should also know that you are sorely envied, almost as much as are lottery winners -- by the rest of us suckers and shlumps on the hamster wheel of life.

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Life After Trump, Before the Next Terrible Thing

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It's starting to look as if we may all squeak by and survive Orange Guy's Level One Coronation by the GOP, in spite of the early numbers, in spite of ongoing verbal revelations from Crazy Core Central, in spite of the hypnotic pinwheel glare in an alarming number of matching glares and unblinking stares.

We'll see if we also manage to dodge the candidate's bullet when it comes to assassination innuendos to supporters.  We'll see if we can duck the traitorous recoil of cheerleading Russians to hack his competition.  We'll see if we can manage to remain in favor with the gods after favoring the exclusion of certain worshippers, races, genders...

Time for more visual aids here -- my hands.  On the one hand, I am thrilled that a disturbed, reckless buffoon for the ages appears to have been stopped by his own foolhardiness, by his his own firestorm of outlandishness, and extinguished by his own blowhard-iness, too.

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The Tricky Bits in the Triaging

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Welcome to the weekend, fellow shell-shock victims:

Thank you for choosing Doctor Dogooder's Philanthropic Trauma Hospital and No-Host, Hospitality Fern Bar.

We'll be triaging everyone according to depth of political dismay and by visible, physical symptoms -- such as foaming at the mouth, inability to control reflexes, sudden bursts of cursing, throbbing temple veins, fur-coated tongue, repeated yelling-while-pointing, and so on.

If anyone is having trouble breathing, please take a seat and wait your turn, as we are ALL having trouble breathing this political season.

Anyone suspecting psychic bleeding or other related injury should please report to the duty clinician in the Purple Wing -- just follow the purple arrows and pale green vapors, to the inpatient receiving area.

If you are not sure about the nature of your state of things, please also go to the Purple Wing -- it is huge, and can accommodate almost everyone in the entire country.

However, if you feel yourself overheating, or otherwise experiencing a meltdown of some sort, related to anyone with orange hair, with a last name starting with the letter "T," as in "toodle-oo," please report to the Bright Red Wing, where our crack staff of delusional counter-programmers and certified therapists can help in your transition back to reality.

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Top Ten Things to Believe (or Not)

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Each new day starts off with me being wrong.  It's been this way for months and months -- every single day.  It's morning again, and I couldn't have been more wrong. Again.

A new day has arrived, and BAM!  Donald proves me wrong, once more, that he CAN, in fact, top what he said in all those OTHER previous days I had, way back when, of daily disbelief... days in which, every day, I somehow thought it impossible for him to top himself, and keep topping himself.  But he did, every day, just as he does now -- just as he's been doing for almost a year.

The off-the-wall comments began in relatively small and unimportant ways -- strange, but not too strange.  Still-connected-to-the-planet strange.

Canny move:  Saying something outrageous, and being outrageous, and doing so outrageously, providing himself a free media pipeline for his every sideshow and apparent misstep.  After all, people rubberneck at accidents.  People are busy, but everyone has time for a Fool.

Besides:  There is no more shame, after all -- and any rage has long ago been redirected at false targets.  Offering a free bullhorn to an egomaniac or sociopath or narcissist -- take your pick -- is like having everything you love, all at once, on steroids, while on hallucinogens and mood boosters.

[Starry Night, you say?  Just a half-forgotten wisp of a lesser dream, that old thing...]

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