Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Trump Faults Pilgrims for not Thanking Him

USA [SIC] -- President Donald Trump today criticized the Pilgrims for not giving him thanks for their bounty on Thanksgiving Day.

"Thanksgiving," he wrote in a Twitter post, "is a holiday when we should give thanks for the good things we have in life, like my many billions of dollars and my golf courses and my huge intellect. And the Russians. I have the best things to be thankful for.

"But the underrated Pilgrims," he continued, "thank God and the Indians for their harvest and good health and blah, blah, blah, but it's me they should be thanking. Ungrateful! #MAGA"

When reminded by a follower that the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving more than 400 years ago and weren't, technically, Americans, Trump responded, "So, they're Democrats, then. I knew it."

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

White House Claims Former Presidents' Comments were not Directed at Trump

USA [SIC] -- White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders today claimed that comments recently made by former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were not directed toward President Trump, but at "other people."

In comments this week, Bush offered a stark assessment of the current state of political discourse, denouncing its "casual cruelty" and the bullying and prejudice in public life that "provides permission for cruelty and bigotry."

"That must be referring to other people," Sanders said. "President Trump's cruelty is anything but casual. He works hard at it. We have at least three more years to go, I expect he'll get much better. And the bigotry, too. He's good, but just getting started."

In separate comments, Obama addressed a political rally in Virginia, asking, "Why are we deliberately trying to misunderstand each other, and be cruel to each other and put each other down?"

"Again, he must be referring to someone else," Sanders said. "President Trump rarely puts people down, unless they deserve it. Or he feels like it. Or he's bored."

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

President Nominates Harvey Weinstein as Secretary of State

USA [SIC] -- Today President Donald Trump announced that he has nominated embattled studio head Harvey Weinstein to fill the secretary of state cabinet position held by Rex Tillerson.

"Harvey's a good man, a good man," Trump said. "We're going to take care off him, I'm telling you. I have the best solutions."

When reminded that Tillerson was still, in fact, the secretary of state, Trump seemed surprised, remarking, "More Fake News, but we'll see, we'll see."

When further reminded that Weinstein had left his film production company due to allegations of serial sexual harassment from dozens of women over some 30 years, Trump replied, "I know, right? Harvey has great numbers, believe me, the best numbers."

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Nation's Morons Distraught by Comparison to President Trump

USA [SIC] -- In response to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's reported harangue against President Trump in which he's alleged to have called the President a "moron," America's morons have suggested they deserve better.

"It's not that we think Trump is all bad," said Martin Flatterat, the spokesman for a loose gathering of morons who meet every Thursday for lunch at Aunt Bea's Diner over on Milford and Main. "It's just that, if Mr. Tillerson is going to use the word, we'd rather be in better company."

Tillerson was reportedly upset that Trump recently suggested in a Tweet that the secretary of state was "wasting his time" negotiating with North Korea, effectively undercutting U.S. diplomatic efforts.

"I'm sure Mr. Tillerson was just having a bad moment," said Flatterat. "His temper got the best of him. Whatever the case, we may be morons, but we're not Trump-level morons. Mr. Tillerson could have been a little more selective in his choice of words. Idiot, for instance. We'd be okay with that."

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Trump Demands NFL Replace All Players with North Koreans

USA [SIC] - President Donald Trump today demanded that the National Football League replace all players with North Koreans.

"Now there's some people who know how to respect the flag," Trump said in a statement. "You tell them not to kneel, I bet they'd stand up faster than you can say 'mentally deranged U.S. dotard.'"

Asked how North Koreans would benefit the all-American sport, the President said, "Well, they'd have to learn the game, but I hear they have rocket arms, the best rocket arms. And they wouldn't be challenging everything someone in authority says something, which is me."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, when asked how the NFL would react to such a request from the president, said, "I have no words."

In response, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un said through state-controlled media, "I literally have no words."

Tweeting after the initial shock of his suggestion had abated, Trump continued, "And the NBA, too."

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Crisis Declared as White House Runs Out of Nicknames

USA [SIC] -- The White House today declared an emergency over the dearth of available pejorative nicknames the President uses to demean political rivals, members of the media, and "people he just doesn't like."

"We're at a crisis point," said White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders. "We've gone full circle and are repeating ourselves with names like 'Little' Marco Rubio and 'Little' George Stephanopoulos, or 'Crooked' Hillary and the 'Crooked' Media."

In the past, Trump has riveted his followers by creatively insulting rivals with such colorful nicknames as "Lyin'" Ted Cruz, "Crazy" Bernie Sanders, and "Low Energy" Jeb Bush.

"The days of 'Goofy' Elizabeth Warren are over," said spokeswoman Sanders. "The President's base responds to middle school name-calling like nobody's business, and we've got to give the people what they want. We'd like to expand our repertoire to include less repetitive, hard-hitting nicknames. Like 'Booger Face' or 'Dork Breath.'"

Sanders conceded that the White House has assembled a team to produce creative nicknames but they aren't making much progress, having come up with names such as "Really Tall" James Comey and "German Lady" Angela Merkel.

"Their hearts aren't in it," Sanders said. "That's why we're appealing to the base to send us creative, offensive nicknames the President can use to detract people from what he's really saying."

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Pronouns Are Us

At the outset, I'd like to say that I'm a big fan of pronouns. Without them, journalists throughout the English-speaking world would have been forced to write ledes like this: "President Donald Trump, in an act that has Donald Trump's supporters baffled, fired chief strategist Steve Bannon today despite Donald Trump's prior statements that Steve Bannon was a 'good man.'"

The point is, we have a precedent for the proper use of pronouns, and for proper grammar in general. Which brings us once again to the ongoing and slightly priggish debate regarding the appalling condition of our nation's language. Some among us feel that others among us, particularly the Instagram-engaged youth of the country, are linguistically challenged to the point of being incomprehensible.

Yes, that does like a "Leave it to Beaver" episode I saw, what, about 50 years ago, where Ward's carotid artery almost popped because Wally and his friends were using words like "daddy-o" and the always deplorable "cool." Of course June, who was infinitely wise as well as infinitely well-groomed, calmed him down by mentioning, in her casual but persuasive Saturday Evening Post way, that Wally and his friends were just being youthful, and that he ought to lighten up a bit because his pipe had just set his tie on fire.

Nevertheless, it occurs to me that if we do have a cavalier attitude toward language, there might be some who are unclear about what constitutes proper grammar. So, since "Public Service Before Happy Hour" is our motto, I'd like to offer my first, and only, Pronoun Primer:

What, precisely, is a pronoun?
Pronouns are really, really small words like "I," "you," "she," and "it." They're easy to spell and can be great income generators. For instance, suppose I get paid by the word for writing an article like this, yet I'm paid the same for big words like "prolegomenon" as for tiny words like "he." Think about it. That's why I'm a big fan of pronouns.

Please give us an example of the proper use of pronouns.
Glad to. Suppose you are part of a team of police officers about to kick in the door of a suspected drug dealer. First you knock politely, then announce yourselves:

"Yes, it is we."

But that sounds….
Pretentious and dorky? Well, no one ever said proper grammar was pretty. In the sentence "Yes, it is we," the word "we" is a predicate pronoun, meaning ... well, it's a predicate pronoun. In this case the suspected drug dealer would have dissolved into fits of laughter, thereby making him easier to apprehend. So you see, proper grammar can also be a useful crime fighting tool.

Okay, let's say my name is Joe Toastabagel, and the phone rings and the guy on the other end asks for Joe Toastabagel. Would the proper response be, "It is I"?
No, the proper response would be, "I am quite happy with my current internet service provider, thank you." But regarding grammar, yes, the response should be, "It is I." If you want to sound pretentious and dorky.

So, you're saying that language is not and never has been static, and that its conventions come and go because it is the nature of the universe to constantly, inexorably, and blissfully evolve?
You'd have to ask June Cleaver about that.