Category: Slack Chats

Slack Chat: The Return of the Son of Leavenworth Revisited

or

“Hey Rocky, watch me pull a subpoena out of my hat!”

 

T: Hey J, is Barbara Bush going to make this year’s dirt naps of the rich and famous article? It’s a pretty exclusive list, and people are dyin’ to get on it.

J: Oh, boo hiss.

T: Sorry, I had a weak moment.

J: You are a weak moment.

T: I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the sound of your pot farm combine.

J: Never mind.

T: So. Bush. Is she nappable?

J: I’m sure that she is, being a former First Lady. That’s certainly worthy of a year-end mention.

T: I suppose so; I’m sure we would have done Linda McCartney. Covered her escape from the mortal coil, I mean. Don’t send letters.

J: If there had been a Facebook, or blogs, or social media back then, yes.

T: I think the Internet and windows existed; I’m guessing Linda died in 1998.

Bush wasn’t just married to fame, though; she gave birth to a president, too. It would have helped if one of Linda’s kids had written “Uptown Funk,” or something, maybe. But I think she’d qualify without it. She played a mean tamborine.

J: *investigoogle* Yeah, it was 1998. Lucky guess.

T: I am a GOD.

J: You transposed a couple of letters there. Carry the two, and you are actually a dog.

T: Close enough.

J:  Well, Babs is certainly worthy of a spot in the year-end tribute, anyway. What other year-end pontificating are we going to do? Maybe “The Year in Criminal Justice”?

T: It’s April.

J: No time like the future.

T: For what?

J: For an awkward segue, of course.

T: I’m game. Spit it out.

J: Will we be checking to see who’s cashed a ticket in the Leavenworth Derby?

Slack Chat: Handicapping the Race to Leavenworth (Nov 2, 2017)

T: What a tremendous, spontaneous idea.

J: You are a dog.

T: Well, I –

J: Never mind. Let’s do LD III.

T: Is this a sequel to Leavenworth Revisited?  We should just call it the Dirty (Six) Dozen, ‘Cause there’s a lot of ’em, and I’m pretty sure that whole 72 vesseled virgins thing is a prison metaphor.

J: What?

T: What the hell is a vesseled virgin, anyway?

————

*****JUMP*****

————-

J: Vestal virgin, you moron.

T: Like I know what that is.

J: I weep for our country.

T: Make America virginal again!

J: One Trekkie at a time.

T: What we were doing?

J: Leavenworth.

T: No virgins in that place.

J: No, I’m g –  never mind.

T: So, Leavenworth. Are you talking about our Leavenworth Handicap?

J: Um hm. We probably need to revisit that, since a lot of water has gone under the bridge since our last snarkfest.

T: OK, lets do it. I’ll pitch, you catch.

J: Got it.

T: First up is Mike Pence. I had him at 5/1; you had him at 7/2. Buy, sell, hold or flush? I added flush for the late scratches. You know, the horses nobody wants to bet on..

J: I’d hold that; he’s still at risk because of the Flynn thing, even though Flynn himself has kind of receded into the background. And I like the terminology here. “Flush” is an inherently funny word, like “weasel”. You instantly make your line 50 percent funnier by adding a “flush”. Or a weasel.

T: Knock knock.

J: Who’s there?

T: Flushweasel.

J: See?

T: I had Pence at 7/2, with all of that action based on what Flynn says. At this point I think I’m going to lower him a bit, to somewhere between 8 billion gazillion/1 and infinity. I’d be shocked if they indicted Pence, even if he had guilty knowledge. The criminal bar has been raised so high at this point that only a full-scale sweep will catch Pence, and even then he might be fine.

J: I wasn’t sure a VP COULD be indicted, but then I thought about it and remembered that they got Agnew for bribery, so yeah, they can be.

T: I’ll skip all the indicted guys for now – Manafort, Flynn, Gates, etc. – since we pretty much cashed those tickets already. The next name on the list is Carter Page. You bought last time at 10/1. Still in a buying mood?

J: Actually, I would probably even lower his odds a little. I’d put him at about 8/1. Even though he’s cooperated, he’ll probably end up getting a wrist-slap.

T: So you’ve cooled a bit, then? Last time out you said his odds were about 5/1. For me, Page is either 1/100 or a flush, and I’m leaning toward 1/100. He was the first name out, and he acts guilty. These guys aren’t necessarily conducting a witch hunt, but they are digging into finances of guys who (1) have tons of money (2) but NOT tons of financial scruples. If these guys have dirty money, the Feds will find it. The way Page prostitutes himself around, he has to have some dirty money somewhere.

J: They’re certainly following the money. We’ll get more into that further up the list, I’m sure.

T: For sure. At this point I’m not sure where the dead-in-a-dumpster derby stands. It’s comforting to know that cooler heads can prevail – witness North Korea at the moment – but there are billions of dollars flying around here, and lots of old white peckers waving at each other. If Page has dirt, he’s still in danger – but every day he breathes makes his imminent death less likely.

I always tie Page and Stone together, but I suppose I should stop doing that. You had Stone at even odds originally, then dropped him to 3/2 last time out. Where is the dirty trickster now?

J: I’d keep him around 3/2… he’s just too dirty to slide. He’s going to be one of Trump’s fall guys. You know the pattern; someone’s great until he gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar, then Trump pretends to barely know the poor bastard. That’s what in store for Stone; he’ll be looking up at the bus’s suspension in the near future, I’m sure.

T: I had Stone at around 7/2 last time. I had a lot of the guys around 7/2 last time. We haven’t heard Stone’s name much lately, but he was there from the beginning. I suspect his name will be back soon, and that he’ll be one of the primary targets. I’d buy heavily, except Stone isn’t all redneck dumbass. He’s actually fairly cagey for such a damaged human being. I’ll hold at 7/2, with continuing interest but increased trepidation.

Next on the list is everybody’s favorite Beltway meth-head hooker lookalike who’s actually a rich socialite: KellyAnne Conway. You originally had her at 20/1, but last time you dropped her below 100/1.

J: I haven’t seen anything to change my opinion. 100/1 is probably generous. She doesn’t know anything that Mueller can’t find out from other, less skanky people.

T: Her husband is getting nervous. What do you make of that?

J: I don’t know if he’s nervous or just doesn’t give a damn anymore. He’s coming out as a never-Trumper; I don’t know how that affects his wife, but in that world you can never be sure about anything. McCabe first ran afoul of Trump when his wife ran for Congress.

T: Didn’t he take down the negative tweets? There is some sort of undertow going on there, but I don’t know if it’s sinister or just more My Name is Earl nonsense. I will buy anyone in the Oval Office this side of Melania at 50/1, and that includes couch texters who are limber enough to be daytime hookers.

Lord, I apologize for my constant misogynistic jokes toward KellyAnne Conway. I’ll stop when she stops lying to our faces.

J: I hadn’t heard that he took them down, but once he hit “send” the damage was done from his perspective. The Internet never forgets. Everything is still out there. Even that unfortunate incident with you and the sheep.

T: I didn’t think it was unfortunate. We parted friends, and nobody got hurt.

J: Well, I guess that’s all that matters.

T: If KelleyAnne gets indicted, you owe me a fish. Don’t forget.

J: I’ve got one on ice just in case.

T: It might be a long process. You got a smoker?

J: Are you thinking about making lutefisk? You know my porch still smells after the last time I tried that, and it’s been months.

T: That’s not a fish. Is it?

J: Lutefisk is fish baked in lye; it’s a Scandinavian thing and it’s just as appetizing as it sounds.

T: Why in the hell would you voluntarily cook it, then? Ida is Hungarian, and you’re a Klingon.

J: I’m Italian, you anti-Trekite.

T: Sorry. Give my love to Dr. Crusher.

J: I will. I mean, I’ll – No. I’ve already said too much.

T: So why would you cook a dead fish in soap scum?

J: It was a moment of temporary insanity.

T: You should make Lutesagna.

J: And have TWO ethnic groups wanting to kill me? No, thanks.

T: Hungarian Goulash is just creole with a German accent.

J: I won’t show that to Ida; she’d put out a hit on you. You’d be found with a Hungarian sausage shoved down your throat.

T: I thought Hungarian Goulash was some made-up American thing. It’s real?

J: Yes, it’s a made-up thing. Ida is big on the purity of Hungarian “cuisine”. Notice the scare quotes.

T: Well, I don’t care if you cook your cousins, as long as you don’t turn creole into a religious ceremony. I don’t like Garlic Messiah toast, either.

I’m pretty sure I just insulted about 12 ethnic groups, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to sort them out.

J: The Catholic Church would do better if they introduced flavored hosts. “I’ll have the Cool Ranch one…”

T: Plus dip. Especially for those who prefer their savior’s blood in a non-alcoholic form.

J: Jeez and Crackers – the breakfast of redneck champions.

T: Can rednecks eat crackers, or is that some sort of cannibalism?

J: That thought would blow minds in Georgia. “Dammit, Earlene, throw them things out!”

T: “But that’s my SISTER, you heartless clod!”

J: “I resent that. I am NOT heartless, dammit!”

T: Any sign of rails around here?

J: Nope. We’re probably not in the same time zone as the plot here.

T: So, we aren’t in Kansas anymore?

J: ?

T: Isn’t Leavenworth in Ka – never mind.

J: Oh, thump. Tick.

T: And I caught that I’m not heartless thing.

J: It was subtle, surprisingly so for me.

T: Lessee …. Speaking of heartless clods who dip their savior in blood, who is next on the list?

Oh, hello, Steve Bannon. You had “the whitest man in America” at about 10/1, while I was mortgaging my house and selling my spare set of teeth to sell, sell, sell at 12/1.

J: You mean the most liver-spotted man in America. He’s slipped some, I’d put him around 20/1 now. He seems not to have been as plugged in as he wanted people to believe. Of course, that’s true for most people around Trump.

T: I am still selling Bannon as fast as I can mortgage my house, my blood, my car, my lint collection … I’d trade all my Bannon stock for KellyAnne stock and give you 2/1 in the bargain. Bannon has all the charm and human warmth of a Methadone clinic pimp, but I’ve seen no evidence that he’s crooked.

He’s not a roach under the fridge; he’s a frothing, rabid dog trying to beat down your front door so he can eat your vacuum cleaner. There’s honesty in that – no deception. There ain’t no human regard, either, and he’s batshit crazy, but he’s not a crook.

J: That’s a pretty fair assessment. He’s a blowhard, a boor and a sociopath. But not a crook.

T: You brought up a good point in the last Leavenworth slack; Bannon was there when they pushed Comey out. If Bannon was part of that, he has some risk. So I’ll amend my odds to about the same as KelleyAnne – about 50/1.

Next up are the GOP guys. I’ll separate them, since their cases are so different. First, the recently retired, 48-year-old Paul Ryan. You had him at 20/1.

J: I don’t see any reason to change that. He’s at most a peripheral figure. Sitting on your hands and doing nothing while Trump tries to burn down the country makes you an asshole, yes, but it isn’t a crime. What do you think of Ryan? Does he have criminal exposure or just asshole exposure? That’s an unfortunate choice of words. Sorry.

T: I know he looks like a Kennedy, but you are a married man. Show some dignity, will ya?

J: You’ve known me for 40 years. You should know better than to expect dignity.

T: Dignity – is that your sheep’s name?

J: You knew about that? Dammit.

T: He said sheepishly.

J: As the rails recede slowly into the distance…

T: Sorry. What were we talking about?

J: Ryan. Do you think he has criminal exposure in this case?

T: Oh, right. Ryan … Fa-LUSH. He’s out, and I think he’s honest. He never bought into Trump like some others, and he didn’t try to take advantage of Trumpism. See you in 2024, Mister not-too-smart-but-probably-trustable Ryan.

Mitch-the-rhymes-with-itch McConnell, on the other hand … you also had him at 20/1. I had him at middle finger / put his head on a spike. I don’t know the odds, but in my dreams he’s always on the spike.

J: Not that I would grieve for too long at the head-on-a-spike thing, but I’d flush him. He’s a master of using the Senate’s rules to advance or block an agenda, but that’s not a crime.

T: I ain’t tossing him yet. Not anywhere safe and painless, anyway. He’s as obviously crooked as anyone in this mess, and Mueller has to know it. He might be outside the purview, but he ain’t outside the law. I’ll give him 20/1, a solid puncher’s chance to be the first guy who might be too ugly to get raped in prison.

J: In the dark, all cats are gray, as Ben Franklin used to say. In prison… well, we won’t go there.

T: I’m going to make a command decision to flush Chaffetz, but Nunes is still in play. What say you? You had both at 20/1.

J: I’d flush Nunes too. I don’t think Nunes is a criminal; he’s a toady for Trump but that doesn’t in and of itself make him a criminal. You think he’s got some criminal liability?

T: Toadies go to jail sometimes. Watergate, anyone? Nunes might be more at risk of political shame than actual prison time, but he’s a mess. He’s the political version of those poor bastards who can’t feel pain, so they stick their hands in boiling water and wipe their butt with a curling iron. They don’t realize how damaging their actions are.

I’ll just hold Nunes and Chaffetz, without further comment going forward. They are what they are – either so guilty they are already dead, or safely out of the flow – and I have no earthly idea which is which. I’ll pipe up if something changes.

J: Who’s next on our hit parade?

T: Next up is Jeff Sessions, with hugs to Linda in Cincinnati from Tom in Duluth. Sessions threatened to quit if Trump took steps to end the investigation. You had him at about 15/1 in the last Leavenslack, based on his Russian testimony. What say you today?

J:  I think it’s probably about the same, if anything maybe a little higher. There doesn’t seem to be too much appetite to go after the big fish, at least right now. Sessions probably technically broke the law, but it’s pretty chippy – and you don’t go after a sitting AG with a chippy case. So maybe 20/1. What’s your take?

T: I had him about 20/1, but I am inclined to flush him. It’s not just that he’s separating himself from Trump; I sense he’s more likely to join the Trump resistance at this point than to go down with him. I don’t like him, but unlike his buddy Mitch the Rhyming perjorative, he has some integrity.

Next up: nascent novelist and former FBI director James Comey. You had him at 20/1 and holding.

J: In spite of the sound and fury emanating from the Trump camp, I don’t think Comey will end up getting charged with anything. The most serious allegations against him are that he mishandled classified information, and those are pretty weak sauce. You have to remember that he was one of the few officials actually authorized to make disclosures at his own discretion. So he by definition can’t “leak”.

The problem with releasing the memos was that they did contain classified information, which he manually redacted. Again, in the end, it’s sound and fury signifying nothing. Trump has a vendetta against him, which is why I’m not flushing him, but I would put him at about 50/1 to actually be charged. Your move.

T: I think there is some risk with Comey, but not any time soon. Trump probably demanded an arrest, but – as he has been on pretty much every other insane, paranoid, strawberries-screaming action he’s made lately – he was rebuffed by cooler heads.

If there is a Hillary investigation, which could happen, given the latest machinations, Comey should be no more than about 5/1. I’ll put him at 10/1, adding in about a 2/1 “wind adjustment” for the likelihood of a serious Hill-stigation. Scan?

J: That’s a fair assessment.

T: I got one more before we get to the family, the new face: Michael Cohen. What are the odds he gets indicted, and what are the odds he turns on Trump like a Hannukkah dreidel?

J: I think his odds of indictment are very good, probably better than even. I’ll say 3/5. His odds of flipping are also very good, in my opinion; he has a wife and school-age children and doesn’t want to put them through that. So, if the indictment comes down, I’d place Cohen’s odds of flipping at 3/5, possibly lower.

T: I would take any odds you want to offer that he’s getting charged. I’d also take low odds that there are several associates around this investigation – the nervous nellies on the periphery of the Trump “mob” – who like to sit around playing cards, tossing ideas back and forth about how Cohen could have “an accident” without Trump being implicated. He’s at the top of the dead-in-a-dumpster board right now.

J: There are certainly things in his files that Trump (and some of his associates) never want to see the light of day. I’m sure that he’s hired security, though; I would have as the first order of business once the FBI raid went down. He had to know that once that happened, everything in there was eventually going to come out.

T: I suspect a large part of the reasoning behind the raid was to make sure there was no reason, hence no temptation, to whack Cohen. They could silence him, but it’s too late to silence his connection to Trump.

J: Indeed. They took the powder out of the Cohen bullet.

T: Not the first time someone has taken a powder in this case.

J: And probably not the last.

T: It’s time for the family: Neither one of us mentioned Ivanka or Eric (or the other kids) last time, and I see no reason to list them now. But there are three Trump family members to parse: We’ll start with Sol (for son in law) Kushner. We both went 7/2 last time. Is Sol actually short for son in law?

J: Maybe, or Shit Out of Luck; either one applies. He’s definitely going to be indicted for conspiracy at some point. I give 2/5.

T: Does he turn?

J: Probably. He doesn’t strike me as the fall-on-the-sword type. He’ll flip and give Mueller everything he has.

T: There are so many avenues we could probe from there; who does he turn to? Who does he turn on? Is Ivanka going to be the first presidential daughter in the witness protection program? But let’s limit to these: 1) does Jared have enough to get Jr. indicted? And 2) does he have enough to get Sr. indicted?

J: Junior? Probably. He was in that infamous June meeting. He’ll tell the truth about what was actually discussed and whether Trump took the Russians upstairs to meet Daddy-in-law.

Senior? Possibly … not necessarily from that meeting, but from other financial dealings with Russia. And remember, a sitting president probably can’t be indicted; he can be impeached, and prosecuted once he’s been removed, but he can’t be indicted while in office. My “possibly” refers to the time after Trump’s presidency.

T:  Speaking of soft, pudgy things that would turn on their own grandmother, what odds are you giving Jr. now?

J: If Kushner is 2/5, Junior has to be at least that and possibly 1/5. He set up that meeting; he’s up to his eyeballs in whatever conspiracy the team cooked up. Where do you think Junior’s odds come in? Is he a horse I would bet, knowing my tendency to bet chalk to the bitter end?

T: I think 2/5 is about where Kushner and Jr. should be, and I would sell my own bone marrow to buy. I might have Junior up there with Cohen on the dead-in-a-dumpster list, too.

J: Nah, he’s got Secret Service. He won’t end up in a dumpster.

T: Do you think one of those Secret Service guys might want to shove a Glock up his ass and keep pulling the trigger until it’s empty, then just keep ramming and jamming through all the blood and the ooze until somebody drags  him off the festering corpse, or him away?

Jr. is a weasel who thinks he’s a lion. He makes Charlie Sheen look like an effective sequel.

J: I’m sure there are Secret Service guys who would love to do that to all of the Trumps, but they don’t because they know they’d immediately be shot by the rest of them.

Junior is, though, definitely the poorest excuse for a human being among a whole slew of poor excuses. He’s still under protection though.

Get it?

T: We’ve never had the “shot by his own troops,” thing, have we?

J: No, not recently. Stonewall Jackson was killed by friendly fire, but he was a traitor anyway so no great loss. That’s a slack for another day, ripping down Civil War monuments.

T: I won’t go along with you; I say let the dead rest. Unless it’s funny. Then dig ’em up and go to town.

J: You are a horrible person.

T: At least I’m not vesseled.

J: Wha – never mind. So… the big cheese! El Grande enchilada! Le Grand Orange! With apologies to Rusty Staub.

T: I’ll go dig him up and you can apologize in person.

J: He’s probably still pretty fresh.

T: See? SEE?

J: Ka-BOOM. Ok, you’re vesseled.

T: I got nothin’. So what about Trump? What’s the odds now, that he gets hauled out of the White House in cuffs?

J: Zero, as I said before. What are the odds that he sees the inside of Club Fed before he dies? Probably pretty low, but not zero. I’d say 10/1, but trending lower. What do you think?

T: I don’t think he sees prison, any more than Nixon did. It’s not a good look for America, and no future leader is going to be petty enough to let it happen. Even if he’s indicted – and he might be – he will be pardoned and left to fade away in shame, like Nixon. And ultimately forgiven, to some extent. Like Nixon.

Odds of Mueller finding collusion, with Trump implicated? I’d say they are fairly high now, maybe 2/1 or better. Will he find a smoking gun? I don’t think so, because I don’t think Trump conspired at a level that would produce a smoking gun.

As I’ve said repeatedly, I don’t think he’s Lex Luthor. He really isn’t even Hedley Lamarr. He’s Archie Bunker. Archie can get fired, and even censured. But he’s basically honest, in an “I won’t knowingly commit a crime” way. He still commits crimes, of course, mostly because he denies every fact that doesn’t back up his romantic self-image. But we don’t prosecute presidents for lying. Apparently.

J: If we did, Trump would already be in prison. We don’t prosecute presidents at all; we impeach them. I agree that it’s not a good look on the world stage, but I think it would be important to show that our institutions are stronger than any would-be autocrat. If there are grounds for impeachment, by all means Trump should be impeached. But if there aren’t, if Mueller finds that it was all smoke and no fire, let Trump finish his term. He’s already crippled by his own tendency to shoot off his mouth. Let him limp into 2020 to get finished off by Harris or Booker.

T: If Trump tries to Hitler us, I would hope somebody would stop him. Maybe Mel Brooks, now that Gene Wilder is safely in the ground.

J: Until we need him.

T: Well, yeah.

J: And we will.

T: Of course.

J: So what if Trump just keeps being Trump?

T: I would prefer he finish his term, especially now that I’m less inclined to be terrified about him holding the launch codes. I do want the Senate to turn over, or at least go to 50-50, so any GOP member can stop a bill.

J: If the Dems only get one house of Congress, I’d prefer it be the Senate so they can stop Trump’s stuffing the judiciary with conservative hacks. It’s important to stop Trump’s garbage agenda, but it’s MORE important to keep him from reshaping the federal judiciary the way Fox News would have it.

T: I don’t think Trump could get a true hawk onto the Supreme Court with 50/50, or even 51/49. He’d have to have a hefty majority to protect the GOP senators from backlash if they elect a right wing nut. There would be too much pressure on them.

J: He certainly couldn’t with 49/51. And if he had the majority, Schumer would cheerfully block every Supreme Court nominee Trump sent over. And each time he’d say “How do you like me now, Mitch?”

T: I don’t think that’s true, honestly. I think Schumer would prefer to be magnanimous about it, and allow a centrist. If not, the Dems are no better than the GOP; they obstructed in 2006, so they can call it even and move on. That would be the best result, in my opinion. The nation doesn’t need the Supreme Court to be a political football. Which is why I so despise Mitch McConnell. He did that. Roast in hell for it, you overstuffed bullfrog. Mitch the Rhyming Perjorative. Gets the fiery switch.

J: Tell us how you really feel.

T: Too subtle?J: I think Schumer absolutely would do it, in a heartbeat, especially if the seat that was up was Ginsburg’s. The biggest mistake McConnell made was blowing up the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. I think it was McCain who said “This is all well and good when we are the majority, but the day will come when we are not the majority.”

T: If the Dems win the senate, how many seats could be up for grabs in 2021?

J: Schumer will put justices on the court who make Ginsburg look like Scalia. He’ll empty out the Ninth Circuit.

T: I would HATE an unbalanced liberal bench, to be clear, as much as an unbalanced conservative bench. It would be a disaster for the nation, and potentially lead to some sort of civil disturbance, if not a civil war. Too much of the country is sick of all the PC Nazi stuff.  And they have a right to be sick of it. We don’t need all this anti-environmentalism, but we need to stop short of allowing all those left wing PC tyrants to take over.

J: Republicans will be defending 20 seats in 2020, Dems 11, two not yet determined.

T: By 2020, how many parties will there be? Will either major party be united?

J: Unfortunately, it’s another symptom of the extreme polarization in politics today. A lot of people are sick of it; eventually they might just say, “screw it,” and stop voting. That cynicism would be even worse than polarization.

T: The obvious next pendulum swing will be to the center. While the polar ice caps fume, immovable in their boring, trite, stubbornness, a centrist would be able to motivate those disaffected voters, and bring on a change.

J: The Dems probably will have an easier time pulling it together than the GOP will. Their differences aren’t nearly as stark as the Tea Party/moderate Republican divide. A centrist Democrat would win in a walk in 2020. The Republican brand is too Trump-tainted for 2020; maybe by 2024 people will be willing to forget Trump and give the Republican Party another look.

T: I have a feeling that 2020 will be the extreme outside swing, a Bernie push against a Freedom Caucus push. That election will generate your disaffection, and my eventual pendulum swing to reason. And balance.

J: It could be. Presidential elections bring out the people that don’t vote any other time; if there is widespread cynicism and disaffection, that’s probably when we’d see it. The pendulum swing has already started, I think, but it will accelerate after 2020.

T: For all our Leavenworth talk, I doubt either one of us wants to see a wholescale scandal like Watergate. I despise Mitch McConnell with every fiber of my America-loving, selfishness-hating being; I would love to see that overgrown toad get hauled off in cuffs. But I know the best thing for America is to get both sides to say “sorry” and shake hands. And hug. And maybe fondle a little.

J: Just what we need – another baby boom.

T: Did they outlaw condoms?

J: I agree, though. I don’t want to burn it all down. Change needs to come, yes, but compromise and unification needs to come too. People need to stop seeing politics as a zero-sum game. It’s not about winning and losing, it’s about what’s best for the greatest number of people. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, to quote Star Trek.

T: Or the guy Roddenberry stole that from.

J: Well, it’s true, whoever originally thought it up.

T: Yeah, those truisms kind of come from the ether.

J: “He’s dead, Jim” was probably Abraham Lincoln’s doctor.

T: “We need more power” was probably the last donkey on the Donner wagon.

J: “To boldly go where no man has gone before” was Antony, right before he had sex with Cleopatra.

T: I’m pretty sure “live long and prosper” was Horace Greeley.

J: No, that was “go west, young man.”

T: I thought that was Mae West.

J: No, that was “hey, big boy, why dontcha come up and see me sometime?”

T: Well, I know that wasn’t Horace Greeley.