J: Follow the money:
Special prosecutor Robert Mueller zeroed in on President Donald Trump’s business dealings with Deutsche Bank AG as his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in U.S. elections widens.
T: What do you think it means?
J: I think Mueller either knows or suspects that there was Russian money flowing to Trump during the campaign… not that that’s necessarily illegal, but it sure doesn’t look good for a presidential candidate to be taking money from a foreign power.
T: What if the money is flowing the other way?
J: Trump is a real-estate developer, and I seem to remember that he was making noise about doing a development in Moscow, so that wouldn’t be as surprising.
T: We have a guy – Manafort – whose ass is in a sling for money laundering. What are the chances all that laundering crossed from one automat to another, 100 percent? Or only 99 percent?
J: I might not go as far as 100 percent but it’s entirely possible. That could be what Mueller is looking for. Deutsche Bank is about the only major non-Russian bank that will deal with Trump after all the bankruptcies, so there’s that.
T: It has to be a popular staging area for these guys. If I was on Trump’s team and I had to find a way to channel money to the Russians for propaganda, that’s probably the bank I’d want to use.
J: Probably. I don’t know if Manafort had a relationship with them already, but I wouldn’t be surprised. The $64 million question… does this give Mueller a wedge to subpoena Trump’s tax returns?
T: Does he need one?
J: Well, yeah. He’d have a hard time justifying just out of the blue asking for the tax returns, that would smack of a witch hunt – but if he’s looking into Trump’s financial dealings anyway, he might decide he needs to see the returns.
T: Al Capone went to prison for tax evasion, and he had a team of accountants and – well, let’s face it. Capone might not have been a rocket scientist, but compared to Trump he was doing wheelies in a wheelchair and listening to old Thomas Dolby songs.
J: There’s more than one Thomas Dolby song?
T: I don’t know, the first one blinded me.
J: Boom. Chuck. No Psst.
T: I still have fevered Kelly LeBrock dreams, and she looks like Phyllis Diller now.
J: Phyllis Diller was hot.
J: Hey, I’ve done worse.
T: On purpose?
J: Well, let’s not talk about my Jersey days. So does Mueller go after Trump Capone-style?
T: Yaknow, this investigation might be running fast by investigation standards, but it’s slower than drying paint by news cycle standards. I don’t really want to follow Mueller’s mercurially glacial movements all that closely, to be honest. I figure, let the guy work, and stop watching the pot so it can get to boiling.
But Trump, man, every time I start to soften on him – figure he’s not actually going to kill America – he does something that makes me want to draw straws to see which one of us has to go drag him out of the White House and into therapy.
I’ve always likened him to Captain Queeg in the Caine Mutiny, and the comparison just gets better and better. He’s literally raving like a loony sea captain.
J: Did Queeg get a promotion?
T: Sorry. Commander Queeg. Yeesh.
J: Tiny distinctions matter. It wasn’t the Commander and Tennille.
T: Commander Morgan sounds ok.
J: Maybe, but Commander Kangaroo doesn’t have the same panache.
T: You can trust the country to a Captain in Chief, can’t you?
J: Maybe, but would you trust your whale with Commander Ahab?
T: Yeah, I guess you are right. “Take me to the Commander” doesn’t have the same ring.
J: I’m not playing “Ship, Commander, Crew,” either.
T: Ok, point made.
J: Does it matter that Trump is acting like Commander Queeg? I mean, it’s not a new look on him.
T: Yeah, but he’s got half the country believing they stole his strawberries. Or something, I never watched that movie.
J: I wonder what he’d do if someone stole his strawberries.
J: No, the Archbishop of Hudafukyathink.
J: So Trump’s the deflection king? We knew that.
T: Don’t you think it’s dangerous?
J: His deflection has gotten so obvious now that it’s just white noise… most people don’t even pay it any attention any more.
T: Oh, but they do!
J: The same 30 percent that blindly eat up anything he says, yes.
T: Did you see what ABC did? They took one of their reporters off the Trump beat and called him everything short of a lying bitch, just because his timeline was a couple of days off.
Suspended ABC News reporter Brian Ross will no longer cover stories involving President Donald Trump following his erroneous report last Friday on former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
J: I saw that… you did call it, it was overreaching.
T: The public’s perception of Trump is directly affected by his gaslighting, and Trump ain’t going to get LESS gaslighty, is he?
J: I don’t think so… he’s been a little more restrained tweet-wise the last few days, after someone pointed out to him that tweeting about an ongoing criminal investigation which you may be a target of is probably not a good idea. But yes, he’s still going to make the same kind of up-is-down, black-is-white, reality-denying statements that he’s always made
T: The article reports that 31 percent of the public thinks the media is the enemy. That’s beyond the stupid Trumpians; that’s a chilling statistic. The poll also reported that 63 percent of Republicans think the media lies on a regular basis. How many of them think Trump lies?
Trump’s incessant, self-serving bullshit is dangerous, but it’s not all that lying that’s dangerous. It’s all that believing.
J: I don’t know, I haven’t seen any numbers on that… but the media DOES, if not lie, distort and exaggerate and clickbait in search of the almighty dollar (or click).
And yes, the lies by themselves aren’t the problem; the problem is the people who BELIEVE them, even if you fucking SHOW them documentary proof. And the Trumpians can seize on the distortions and exaggerations to say “See, he’s really NOT lying!”
T: There’s an underlying question not being asked. What part of the media is the actual media, and what part is just a bunch of fake news, click-bait watch salesmen? We used to see Walter Cronkite and just believe what he said. We don’t have that anymore, so we have to find the happy medium between trusting everyone and constantly looking for the conspiracy.
Which part of the media is actually media?
J: I think the “actual media” is the same group of sources it’s always been… yes, some are slanted more than others, but most of the major news sites are at least reasonably factual.
T: The watch salesmen – the click baiters – are distorting the perception of the actual news organizations that dedicate themselves to the truth. We can’t tell a journalist from a watch salesman, and far too many of us have just rolled over and given up on the truth altogether.
J: It’s true… even the most reputable sources are slipping gradually into clickbait territory… it’s sad, but it’s a product of the social-media revolution. Clicks drive ad dollars, and ad dollars are the lifeblood of the media.
T: Why did Billy Bush have to say the tape was real? What treasonous reporter decided that this was a question that needed to be asked, and a story that needed to be published, so the conspiracy dipshits could have an excuse to claim the tape was fake?
J: Trump was claiming it was fake, or “sources close to Trump” were claiming that Trump was saying it was fake.
T: Well, I call bullshit with extreme prejudice. Of course the tape was real. If Trump wanted to deny that it was real, he should have done it a year ago. To bring it up now is just stupid and obvious – and so blatantly self-serving that it should have been laughed at. Or yelled at.
In Trump’s world, it is literally impossible to establish any fact he doesn’t want to establish. He’s replaced truth with confirmation bias. The Trumpians are so hypnotized, now, that he could turn into a holocaust denier and we’d have to deal with that, too.
J: Trump just handwaves away anything he doesn’t want to accept. And his base accepts it; he’s their Dear Leader, and he’s infallible.
T: Wanna get rid of all the Jesus rose-from-the-dead theories? Have Trump call Jesus fake news. Are stars, constellations and outer space real? Of course not. Fake news. Want to deny that the sun came up today? Easy peasy. “It’s totally fake. Sad!”
The only reason Trump isn’t crediting God for everything is that he hates to share credit.
“Jesus was a great, great friend of mine; I gave him the cross. I had it specially made, out of such good wood that it was just the sickest wood ever. He was so happy with it, I mean it was ridiculous how happy he was with that cross I gave him.”
J: “I totally told Noah to part the Red Sea.”
T: You know that game, never-have-I-ever? You are supposed to drink whenever someone calls out a thing you’ve done. But Trump? He is like Pavlov’s dog: he hears something he did, instead of taking a drink he starts yelling denials and calling everybody names.
J: He should be drunk off his ass, but he’s sober all through the game. Just deny, deny, deny. That’s his whole schtick.
T: What if everybody did that? What if other people had resorted to Trump’s blanket denials? Never-have-I-ever …
Shoeless Joe Jackson, when the kid at the courthouse said, “Say it isn’t so, Joe.”
Joe: “Of course not, kid. All I did was take $5,000 that was just laying around, and it would have gone to help the Germans win the War. I hated to do it. I begged the guys not to do it, but I had to, kid.”
Oh wait, that’s what he actually did, plus he played left field like Lupus from the Bad News Bears. Three triples were hit to left field in that series. There shouldn’t be three of those in a full season, unless the left fielder is tanking it.
What’s a better example?
J: “Never-have-I-ever had sex with that woman.” – Bill Clinton
T: Clinton was a classic denier, and the single largest reason Trump gets away with so much, I think.
J: If he had just admitted he got the blowjob, do we get stuck with Trump? Maybe not.
T: “Never-have-I-ever told a lie” – George Washington
J: “Never-have-I-ever bugged the Democrats.” – Richard Nixon
T: “Never-have-I-ever seen nobody like you” – Webb Pierce
J: “Never-have-I-ever seen a whole play.” – Abraham Lincoln
T: “Never-have-I-ever been a crook” – Richard Nixon
We could probably build a Nixon wing.
J: Probably… his name should be on the award.
T: Never-have-I-ever had the never-have-I-ever award named for me” – Richard Nixon
J: “Never-have-I-ever named a cabinet member that I later remembered who he was” – Ronald Reagan
T: “Never-have-I-ever conducted foreign policy based on tarot cards” – Ronald Reagan
J: You know, Nancy was probably running the country for about the last two years of Ronnie’s presidency.
T: That explains all the pleated pants on TV.
J: And the bulimia.
T:”Never-have-I-ever called my shot in the World Series” – a winking Babe Ruth
J: “Never-have-I-ever started a land war in East Asia.” – Hitler
T: “Never-have-I-ever been to Philadelphia. But I hear it’s nice” – W.C. Fields
J: “Never-have-I-ever been to Spain, but I kinda like the music.” – Three Dog Night
T: The NFL record of 40 points in a game is held by Ernie Never-have-I-Evers
J: “Never-have-I-ever more” – The Raven
T: “Never-have-I-ever meant to hurt nobody” – O.J. Simpson
J: “Until the twelfth of never-have-I-ever” – Someone’s fair lady
T: Or Donny Osmond.
J: “Never-have-I-ever quoted musical theater. – Me
T: “Never-have-I-ever never been mellow” – Olivia Newton-John
J: She used to call her kid Fig. Did you know that?
T: For the purposes of this bit, no. I did not.
J: What bit?
T: I’m empty; can you top Fig’s Newton-mom?
J: I knew you’d have something. I hoped it would be something good, but wish in one hand …
T: Still your turn.
J: Oh wait … school’s out. I got one. This might be the one.
T: Um, ok. What is it?
J: You are going to hate me.
T: Uh oh.
J: Can you see it coming now?
T: Uh oh.
J: Are you ready?
T: I’m scared.
J: You should be.
“Never-have-I-ever given you up, let you down, run around, or deserted you” – Rick Astley
T: Oh gawd.
J: I believe that may be the first Rickroll of a slack chat.
T: I feel violated.
J: The dreaded slack-chat Rickroll
T: “Never-have-I-ever felt so Rickrolled” – everyone who never-have-I-ever reads this
J: Well, if it wasn’t dreaded, it should be.
T: The Foo Fighters got him up in a concert and Rickrolled their own audience. Never-have-I-ever thought that would happen.
J: I believe he once Rickrolled the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
T: Never-have-they-ever felt so deflated.
J: He probably makes more money now from Rickroll-related stuff than he does from music.
T: Well, it’s hard to get a lot of airplay when playing your song is known as “Rickrolling.”
J: He did have a couple of other songs, so he does get some airplay.
T: What’s the Mt. Rushmore of unplayable classic songs?
Rickroll, it never-have-I-ever needs to be said, gets the first spot.
J: Unplayable as in musically, or unplayable as in people throw shit at you if you put it on Youtube?
T: The throw shit at you thing. And I’m making a command decision to add “Achy Breaky Heart,” so we have room for two.
J: “MacArthur Park” has to be there.
T: That’s a good one. The only problem is, I actually like that one myself. We’ll give it a conditional yes.
J: “Seasons In The Sun”?
T: I know lots of people who love that song. I used to know more, but a few of them committed suicide.
J: “Midnight At The Oasis”
T: Too obscure … if you are going to get me on a 1970s song, it’s going to have to really suck.
J: “You Light Up My Life”
T: Ooh, he shoots. He SCORES!
J: Game over, man. Game over.
T: I bet Debbie Boone is still doable, though.
J: That’s sexual harassment. You’re fired.
T: Fired from what?
Are we getting PAID? Nobody told me we were getting paid.