November 13, 2018

TO KNOW HIM IS NOT TO KNOW HIM

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
CUSTOMER SERVICE: (800) 708-7311 EXT. 236
BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, NOV. 13, 2018

TO KNOW HIM IS NOT TO KNOW HIM
---
"I don't know Matt Whitaker." That was President Donald Trump, unmistakably signaling that Matthew Whitaker won't be acting attorney general much longer.
Never mind that just about a month ago, during one of his regular love fests on "Fox and Friends," Trump was singing a different tune: "I can tell you Matt Whitaker's a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker." Now, all you haters out there might think that POTUS was just once again being a lying sack of spit. But those of us in the know understand that it was simply a mistake; he was talking about two different Matt Whitakers. That still begs the question: Why would he appoint someone he says he doesn't know to be acting attorney general, the chief law enforcement official in the U. S. of A., with thousands upon thousands of attorneys and federal agents under his command?
And why didn't his vetters pick up on Whitaker's long record of comments about the American legal system that make one wonder how he ever passed the bar, or even high-school civics? His public statements about jurisprudence range from ignorant to Neanderthal. Why didn't his constant derogatory comments about the Robert Mueller investigation -- questioning whether it should even exist -- raise a red flag with someone in the administration?

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November 10, 2018

DITCH THE HARD PASSES

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
CUSTOMER SERVICE: (800) 708-7311 EXT. 236
BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, NOV. 9, 2018

DITCH THE HARD PASSES
---
I've said this before, but my colleagues in media have either disagreed or simply ignored me. After Jim Acosta's confrontation with the president at a White House press conference and the subsequent retaliation, it's time for me to renew my call for all reporters who hold so-called hard passes to turn them in and abandon their post at the White House en masse.
Yes, it would be a gesture of defiance (guess which gesture) raised to a president and administration that uses reporters as props. There is nothing in the First Amendment that guarantees freedom of the props. Besides, the nation's current chief executive demonstrates time and again his utter disregard for the entire Constitution.
Consider the tone of his post election news conference, after the frayed Democrats were able to weave a takeover of the House of Representatives. That's a big deal. If there was a group in Washington called "The Spinners," Donald Trump would be the lead singer. (Yes, I know there's a Motown ensemble with the same name. Among their hits was "The Rubber Band Man." Trump's would have recorded "Robber Baron Man.") He has somehow managed to twist the midterm results around into a "tremendous success," because Republicans had expanded control of the Senate. The Senate wasn't really in play, but whatever.

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November 6, 2018

MOVE BACKWARD-FALL FLAT

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
CUSTOMER SERVICE: (800) 708-7311 EXT. 236
BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, NOV. 6, 2018

MOVE BACKWARD-FALL FLAT
---
Mornings are somewhat brighter, but it's still the days of mourning. The switch from daylight saving to standard time is an admission that we can't escape the predictable gloom of winter, with its icy weather. It might become less predictable once global warming fully wreaks its destruction -- you know, the disaster that President Donald Trump and the corporate energy interests expediently choose to deny.
On the other hand, the political season is nonstop, and the climate in that world inexorably deteriorates too. While we've wrapped up the midterms and the creators of those incessant TV ads and robo calls, along with the social media trolls, all will go into hibernation, do not think for a moment that the campaign is behind us. On Nov. 7, we seamlessly move from the midterms to the presidential race. Actually, there's nothing seamless about the unseemly Donald Trump, who presumably will be up for a second four years. That "presumably" is based on the hypothesis that Trump will be around for seconds, that the Robert Mueller probe or any of the other investigations and lawsuits that swirl around him will not have revealed something so egregious that even he can't survive in office. Or that he will not issue an executive fiat doing away with the elections.

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November 3, 2018

NOVEMBER SURPRISE

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
CUSTOMER SERVICE: (800) 708-7311 EXT. 236
BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, NOV. 2, 2018

NOVEMBER SURPRISE
---
In the final moments before the midterm elections (thank heaven), even though he's not officially on any ballots, President Donald Trump is right where he constantly wants to be, which is to say hogging the center of attention.
Say whatever you want about the economy, pre-existing conditions, all that substantive folderol -- it's Trump, Trump, Trump, just like it always is. He's even more out there than usual, spreading his poison at wall-to-wall rallies. They are announced as campaign events in support of various Republican candidates, but that's a ruse. In fact, to use a redundancy for emphasis, it's a fake ruse.
It's obviously all about him and what he's contriving as he uses the powers he holds as campaign playthings. He's been hosting a nonstop October surprise party.
But there's still time for some November surprises, perhaps ways that he can expand on his efforts to incite his passionate base to turn out on Election Day.

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