One From Column A, One From Column B

This week’s midterm elections remind me of a story about Ernest Hemingway. A fellow approached him as Hem sucked up a margarita at La Floridita bar in Key West, and said, “Mr. Hemingway, I like your books, but I have a few criticisms. Would you like to hear them?” And Hemingway said: “No. If you criticize me it’ll make me feel bad, and if you praise me it won’t make me feel any better.”

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Mr. Trump the Democrat

Dear Mr. Editor:
Me and the Cowboy Caucus has been reading in the newspapers a lot of nonsense about our president, Mr. Don john Trump, about how he done this and that, and with who, a lot of these whos being of the female persuasion, and how he dodged his taxes and stiffed poor honest working men and women for their wages and so on. These things being so horrible as they is, if even half of them be true, me and the Cowboy Caucus has decided they is only one conclusion to be drew from it: Mr. Trump must be a Democrat.

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Family Values

During the furor over Brett Kavanaugh’s spritely march — or was it a dance? — to the U.S. Supreme Court, I was reading Leslie A. Marchand’s biography of Lord Byron, notorious in his day for his bawdy lifestyle, including incest with his half-sister. Yet Byron’s response to his critics was so much cleaner and refreshing than the nauseating shit-show staged for us by Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Potato Chips and Prejudice

One of my few sins is that once in a great while I munch potato chips as I write. Chipless this week, facing a deadline, I cruised to the 7/11 for succor. There behind the counter was a beautiful black man, darker than night, 6 foot 5, maybe 220 pounds. “Where you from in Africa?” I asked, plunking my money down. “Where are you from in Europe?” he asked.

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The Pneumonia Diet

On the night before he was murdered, a dinner guest asked Julius Caesar what was the best death. “Sudden and unexpected,” Caesar said. That lets out pneumonia. Doctors call pneumonia “the old man’s friend,” because it spares us from worse things, by killing us. But what if I want to live?

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Who’s Failing Now?

I emailed the White House a question this week: “Could you please clarify for me what President Trump means when he says ‘the failing New York Times’? Does he mean that the Times is failing financially? That it is failing its readers? That it is failing in some other way(s)? Thank you for helping me clear this up.”

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Carnivorous Sheep

So this guy who spent $280,000 to get laid a couple of times touts himself as an ace dealmaker. Then he slams The New York Times and Washington Post as “fake news,” though he was propelled to office by the National Enquirer — Jesus’ Face on Mars! JFK and Marilyn Alive in Cuba! — which covered up his $280,000 “dates.”

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Trade Wars Are Easy to Blow

Throughout history trade goods have flowed to the country with the highest standard of living, for the simple reason that they can pay more for it — whatever it is. So the rich country, in this way, has a “trade deficit” with poorer countries. Is that bad for the rich country, and a reason to punish the poor countries? No, it is not.

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