Short Takes

Ad Astra…

In August, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts announced a new award for achievement in popular film, in other words: an Oscar for the best $100-million blockbuster made for tweens and teenagers.

Our first thought: They must’ve noticed that most of their awards go to unpopular movies. Apparently, that’s troubling to some.

Our second thought: They need new categories for fans over the age of 18. Our faves: Best Sequel and Best Remake. That should set the stage (pun intended) for future categories such as Funniest Horror Movie (have you seen Sharknado?) and Best Holiday Film Featuring a Dysfunctional Family.


Media Relations 101

This afternoon, the Democrats celebrated taking over the House of Representatives. Kudos. Nancy Pelosi’s speech was eloquent and dripping with irony. More kudos.

Memo to the DNC: Hire a Media Relations firm tomorrow.

On Saturday, begin running clips of Donald Trump accepting responsibility for the government shutdown on every major TV network and youtube. End the ad with an announcement in white letters on a black background that reads: “This reminder brought to you by the Democratic Party, who will continue to defend the rule of law, the First Amendment, and your right to vote.”

Disproportionate Response

A few days ago, the Russian government charged a retired US Marine named Paul Whelan of espionage and threw him in jail, ostensibly because Russian spy Maria Butina’s agreed to turn state’s evidence in the Mueller investigation.

The US Department of State is protesting Whelan’s incarceration, which is fine; everyone knows that Vladimir Putin is swayed by protests. We’d skip the protest and publish a bulletin advising Americans without diplomatic visas to cancel their plans to visit Russia––because they too could be accused of espionage and thrown in jail. Then we’d tell our buddy Vladimir that we’ll cancel the advisory 90 days after Whelan’s release.

POTUS Nickname

According to an anonymous leak from the CIA, Vladimir Putin’s nickname for Donald Trump is “Agent Orange.” To date, our on-the-ground informants in Moscow have been unable to corroborate the claim.

Small Potatoes

It seems that a lot of left-of-center TV pundits are shocked, shocked that the Republican establishment and their devotees from the Very Religious Right continue to support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Puppet (formerly Supreme) Court––despite the detailed accusation of attempted rape by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. (She also volunteered to take a lie detector test, which as of this writing Kavanaugh has refused to take.)

Before we fall into the same trap, let’s remember where the bar has been set. Nineteen women have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct, which has been no problem for the Republicans and the Very Religious Right. Judge Roy Moore was accused by nine women, many of whom were under age at the time, and that was hunky-dory, too.

In comparison, Kavanaugh is an amateur. He’s small potatoes.

There’s a more telling question here: How many credible sexual-misconduct charges will it take before the Republicans and the Very Religious Right abandon a candidate? Two dozen? More? Is any number too high?

You be the judge (pun intended).


The Score

We’ve observed that many Republican pols (including El Presidente) found solace in the fact that the jury was unable to convict Paul Manafort on 10 of 18 counts. Our score card: 0 wins, 10 no decisions, 8 losses. Good thing he’s not a boxer.


Whose Icy Current and Compulsive Course* 

We were surfing the Net last night and came across an intriguing ad. It read: “Children of all ages available for immediate adoption. Imported, cage free. Bilingual parents preferred. To apply, call 802-872-6199.”

We called the number. It’s the Immigration and Customs Enforcement  (ICE) switchboard, which has caused us to wonder: a) Does the ad conform to FTC “Truth in Advertising” guidelines; and b) Are the words “adoption” and “reunification” synonyms under the law?

We’re not judging. We’re just asking…

* From Othello, by William Shakespeare


Mixed Results

Since 1619, when the first slaves arrived in Virginia, we of Anglo-Saxon (white) descent have discriminated against our neighbors because of the color of their skin, including but not limited to Native Americans (red), African Americans (black), Hispanics (brown), Asians (yellow), Jews (tanned), and Muslims (olive).

We’re one year away from the 400th anniversary of American racism. A solution is long overdue, and we on The Other Side happen to have one at hand: mandatory mixed-race sex, meaning every woman of childbearing age should be required by law to couple with males of different hues. Then, after a century or so, every US citizen would be a generic shade of brown. Race-based bigotry would be consigned to the landfill of human ignorance, and we could move on to prejudice against others because of age, gender, and fashion sense.

All’s Fair…

The Democrats continue to fulminate about the Trump campaign’s collusion with known associates of Vladimir Putin, military-grade Russian hackers, and Wikileaks. That’s Marquess of Queensbury stuff; it doesn’t work anymore. It’s time for the Democratic National Committee to take the gloves off and collude with the Chinese, including known associates of Xi Jinping and PLA Unit 61398, a cyber-warfare brigade in the People’s Liberation Army.

As of the end of last month, the Chinese owned $1.18 trillion (that’s trillions, with a “t”) of US debt, which means we’re paying them circa $2.5 to $3 billion per month in interest. They’re motivated to Keep America Solvent, and they’re more trustworthy than the Russians—like every other sovereign nation on the planet.

Reminder: We on The Other Side have been middle-of-the-roadish Independents for 40 years. (See About.) We believe that every fight should be fought fairly or that both parties should be allowed to cheat equally.


Big Applecart Upset

We saw last night (June 26, 2018) that a 28-yar-old upstart named Alexandria Cortez-Ocascio had defeated 10-term House Representative Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary in New York City.  If her interview on national television was indicative, Ms. Cortez-Ocasio is intelligent and articulate, she cares about her constituents, and she’s read a history book. Maybe she can win in November anyway.


The Autocracy Fan Club

Yesterday, we received a snail-mail solicitation from a Washington-based organization called “The Autocracy Fan Club.” The president of the club is Senator Mitch McConnell, the communications director is Congressman Devin Nunez, and the membership includes a veritable “Who’s Who” of politicians, talkshow hosts, reality TV stars, spiritual leaders, and conspiracy theorists.

Because it’s not-for-profit, the Autocracy Fan Club (AFC) depends on donations to fund its mission to make the world safe from democracy, but they’re not asking for handouts. Instead, first-time AFC contributors can select from an array of carefully curated keepsakes. For a $100 donation, for instance, you can choose a Kim Jong Un snow globe, a Vladimir Putin bobblehead, or a Shawn Hannity doormat.

Our favorite: a handcrafted set of nineteen matryoshka dolls featuring lifelike caricatures of every known employee of the Trump campaign or transition team who met with Russian representatives prior to The Donald’s inauguration.

For details, go to the RNC website. But hurry; supplies are limited. (Delivery charges not included.)


Cause and Effect

According to a report released today by the Associated Press and Bloomberg News, the Medicare trust fund is now expected to be exhausted in 2026, three years earlier than last year’s forecast. The cause: the recent tax cut that passed both Republican-controlled houses and was signed into law by the president.

Fortunately, the Trump administration is required by law to submit a plan to Congress in 2019 that will address the projected shortfall––so the program’s safe, right?


Holy Moses!

There’s a rumor floating around the web that religious leaders from twelve southern and midwestern states have agreed to suspend the following commandments for as long as Donald Trump remains in office:

7) Thous shalt not commit adultery;

8) Thou shalt not steal; and

9) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

The commandments will be reinstated when a Democrat is elected president.


A Deep Topic

There’s been a lot of hubbub in the right-wing media about something called the “Deep State.” Apparently it’s a dreadful thing, like affordable healthcare, free trade, or respect for the rule of law. We have three questions: what’s a “Shallow State,” who has one, and how’s it working out so far?

An Extinction of Biblical Proportion

After months of careful study, we happy few on The Other Side have come to the conclusion that dinosaurs didn’t become extinct because they missed the Ark. The kangaroos made it, and they had at least as far to swim. In our opinion, it’s more likely that Noah refused to let the Tyrannosaurs board, and the other dinosaurs walked off in protest.


Employment Advice

If your goal is to drain the swamp, don’t hire an alligator. (According to MSNBC, more than 180 of President’s Trump’s appointees are former lobbyists.)

A Shift in NRA Strategy

We noticed that the Remington Firearms Company filed for bankruptcy a while back because revenue from firearm sales had dropped 27% since the last election. The reason, postulated by the usual pundits, was that sales had tanked because Donald Trump was elected, which meant that “Crooked Hillary” and the elites wouldn’t be coming after the guns of Second Amendment loving Americans.

If we follow that train of thought to The Other Side: wouldn’t it be better for the gun business if the NRA supported Democrats?


Brain Enhancement

We saw an advertisement on television for a brain supplement that features an ingredient originally found in jellyfish. Our question: what’s the average IQ of a jellyfish?

Fear of Immigrants

We understand that some Americans are worried that immigrants from “sh*thole” countries will take their jobs. Don’t take this the wrong way, but if you’re worried that a nineteen-year-old immigrant with a third-grade education who knows 100 words of English is going to take your job, then the problem isn’t the immigrant.