Saturday, August 18, 2018

The military parade cancelled and a dog writes a letter to Trump

The New York Times reported that Trump Cancels Military Parade, Blaming Washington Officials for Inflating Costs. Once again, the loud sounds emanating from the Scriber household, like combinations of hysterical laughter and gagging, were triggered by the last part of that headline.

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday canceled plans for a military parade this fall in Washington, blaming local officials for inflating the costs and saying they “know a windfall when they see it.”

Washington’s mayor, Muriel E. Bowser, pushed back on Twitter, saying that she had “finally got thru” to the president to convey the “realities” of what it costs to stage events like military parades in the city.

Ms. Bowser put the number at $21.6 million, though the city’s costs are just a fraction of the total, with federal agencies also kicking in millions of dollars. A day earlier, the Pentagon said Mr. Trump’s parade to celebrate the military could be postponed to 2019, as officials acknowledged that the event could cost more than $90 million.

The Huffington Post reports that “The Pentagon said Thursday that it would postpone Trump’s parade indefinitely because of ballooning costs. The Defense Department estimated the cost at $92 million, including $50 million for the Pentagon and $42 million for other government agencies, a Pentagon official told CNBC.”

And what do vets think about this? The parade, originally planned for Veterans Day weekend (Nov. 10), never got a lot of support. From a email (h/t Mrs. Scriber):

Moments ago we got the news: Donald Trump’s military parade has been canceled.

We’ll learn more in the coming days about what the final straw was, but we know this: our pressure worked. We pushed tens of thousands of petitions, calls and letters to Congress from veterans and military families urging them to stop this international embarrassment.

And they felt your pressure. We stopped it! We did it! What a collective effort!

But here is the catch: the Pentagon is saying that this parade is only “postponed,” and our pledge to you is that we will not let up. We will only amp up the pressure. Because they felt it. We will continue to oppose this parade if and when it arises again. …

So will your Scriber (a Vietnam era vet, 3 1/2 years Army Security Agency - bone-spur free).

The Times winds up: “Mr. Trump’s dream of a military parade with tanks barreling down the streets and fighter jets flying above him has faced resistance. Critics have said these parades typically mark a victory in a war. Others have said it may not be the best use of the Defense Department’s money.”

But perhaps there is another way to sate Trump’s appetite for self aggrandizement.

Andy Borowitz, New Yorker satirist, reports that Military Refuses to Participate in Trump’s Parade, Citing Bone Spurs

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The Pentagon has turned down Donald J. Trump’s request for a grand military parade in Washington, D.C., citing a sudden outbreak of bone spurs that would prevent men and women in uniform from participating.

Harland Dorrinson, a Pentagon spokesman, said that, within an hour of Trump’s request, more than a hundred thousand military personnel complained that they were suffering from acute cases of bone spurs that would make marching in such a parade a painful ordeal.

“In the history of the U.S. military, we have never experienced a bone-spur epidemic of this magnitude,” the spokesman said. “Regrettably, however, we have no choice but to issue thousands of deferments.”

A statement from the bone-spur sufferers said that they would continue to valiantly serve their country around the world in a non-marching capacity, and offered an alternative to their participation in Trump’s proposed pageant.

“President Trump is welcome to march in the parade all by himself if he would finally like to enlist,” the statement read.

Oops. I guess the military will not rescue Trump’s big, beautiful parade. But that last quote does suggest an alternative: a one-man parade dedicated to the proposition that Trump is the smartest and most lovable president ever. (More on that after this next report from Borowitz.)

Pence Stages One-Man Parade in Honor of Trump.

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Hours after the Pentagon announced that it would postpone a military parade that Donald J. Trump had requested, Vice-President Mike Pence staged a one-man parade in Trump’s honor.

Explaining his decision to mount the solitary parade, Pence told reporters, “It is the least I can do to pay tribute to the greatness and majesty of Donald Trump, a true American hero.”

Pence acknowledged, however, that marching alone “was a neat way to keep the budget down.”

“Obviously, if money were no object, I would have gone for a little more spectacle,” he said. “Maybe a flyover by Space Force.”

Marching proudly with his chest thrust forward and breaking out into a near-strut, Pence’s parade route took him down Pennsylvania Avenue, where he waved occasionally to confused-looking passersby.

“It was weird seeing him walking all by himself,” Carol Foyler, a tourist who witnessed the Pence parade, said. “I waved back because it was just so sad.”

Pence’s one-man march drew high praise from Trump, who took to Twitter to declare it the largest parade in history.

Now about Trump being the smartest and most lovable president in history. Gail Collins, columnist for the NY Times, considers Trump and the Politics of Arf. The president: still neurotically insecure after all these years … (h/t Sherry Moreau)

One thing that’s for sure is that the tweets tell us a lot about the president’s own miserable insecurities. He’s been shooting off insults about people’s intellect for years, from Robert De Niro to Arianna Huffington to Lindsey Graham, who not only got called “a total lightweight” and an “idiot” but also, in the cruelest cut of all “not as bright as Rick Perry.” We could go on and on. It’s pretty clearly all coming from a deep, deep fear that everybody else has a better mind than he does. “Trust me, I’m like a smart person,” he pathetically told the country shortly after his inauguration, when the country was already getting a pretty good idea that this wasn’t the case.

During the campaign Trump continually pointed out that he went to the Wharton School of Business. (“It’s like super genius stuff.”) That gave many people the impression he’d gotten the high-prestige Wharton M.B.A., but he was really just a transfer student into the undergraduate program. Skeptics suggested he only edged his way in because of family connections. He graduated without any honors or distinction, and went on to publish a best-selling memoir that was written by somebody else.

No reason to say he’s stupid. Maybe just a little dim by presidential standards.

And about him calling people a “dog.” This all goes back to the fact that Trump hates animals. Particularly friendly animals. (You don’t see him constantly saying an enemy is a “coyote” or “hyena” or “python.”) Trump has never even owned a goldfish, as far as anybody knows. No pets at all, except a poodle named Chappy that belonged to his first wife, and which he tried to evict. (Ivana Trump said in her recent autobiography that Chappy “had an equal dislike of Donald.”)

When he calls someone a “dog,” he’s just reacting to a pathological fear that he’s unlovable. Just as when he calls someone “dumb,” he’s trying to get past the fact that he’s not all that bright.

So, you see, Trump needs that parade even if it is only Mike Pence groveling his way down Pennsylvania Avenue.

And about that dog business? I commend to you this essay on dogs by Chicago Tribune columnist Rex Huppke (reprinted this morning, 8/17, in the Daily Star: A dog’s letter to President Trump: Stop calling humans ‘dogs’. Here is a little bit of it from Zoe, smart and full of love, to a president who is neither.

A quick note of protest to President Donald Trump, from my large and very good dog. (She dictated, I typed, as the size of keyboard keys are discriminatory against large-pawed animals. More on that issue in another column.)

Dear Large Human President:

I do not usually pay attention to human politics. I prefer more pleasant things like sniffing my friends’ butts or rolling on a dead bird in the backyard or eating things that will make me throw up.

Anyway, I am writing because I have noticed that you keep comparing human beings to dogs.

… dogs are wonderful and intelligent and filled with love, and I do not think you were trying to call Omarosa or Mitt Romney or Ted Cruz or any of those other humans wonderful or intelligent or loving.

I think you were trying to be mean and insulting to them. And that makes me want to growl at you.

Bad large human president! Bad!

I understand you are the first president since William McKinley to not have a dog. That’s weird. You don’t have any animal friends, and that makes me suspicious.

In conclusion, and on behalf of all good dogs out there, I request that you stop referring to humans as dogs and start realizing that humans and dogs are both great and deserve respect …

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