Monday, April 23, 2018

Ruth: The Cabinet agrees that Trump is the greatest

'If everyone will stand at attention when the Wizard of the West Wing arrives we will begin this first full Cabinet meeting on time. As you know, you've all been given your talking points expressing deep, unfettered adoration of the 45th president of the United States. And just to up the ante, the best groveler will receive a coveted door prize of a case of aged Trump steaks. Hark! The Dear Leader approaches."

"Okay, I'm here. The country is in fantastic shape. I'm incredible, even though my administration is mired in scandal. The dastardly Democrats are to blame for everything, even blocking appointments I haven't made and a budget I haven't submitted. Did I mention I won the election by 47 trillion votes? In short I am the greatest American president since Harrison Ford in Air Force One only handsomer. Who wants to start the fawning? How about you, Whitey?"

"It's Mike Pence, Mr. President. Let me say it is the greatest blessing of my life to serve as your vice president since it bailed out my political career. I haven't been this jazzed about public service since I signed Indiana's Religious Freedom Bill that would have made it easier to discriminate against gays and lesbians until I was forced to backtrack. Good times. Thank you, Mr. President for your omniscience and the cute little way you smile."

"All right. Who's next?"

"Choose me, Mr. President!"

"Sure. Who are you again?"

"It's Reince Priebus sir, your chief of staff."

"Are you the same loser I see cowering behind the grandfather clock in the Oval Office?"

"That's me Your Worshipness. On behalf of the entire staff and the rest of world we want to thank you for the blessing you've given of yourself. I get a tingle down my leg every morning just knowing I will spend the day gazing upon your reflected glory."

"I appreciate that, Mice."

"It's Reince, Mr. President."

"It's whatever I want, Splice. And besides you probably won't be around here too much longer for me to remember your name. Next! Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price."

"Your Eminence, I want to thank you for your bold, visionary leadership. It is my highest honor to be able to serve you, while we work hand-in-hand to deny health coverage to some 24 million Americans. This is the high point of my career and I just want to sit in your lap and hug you all day long."

"You're too kind. Here, have a Snausage. Who's that making swooning goo-goo eyes toward me? Oh, it's Rick Perry. Whattya got?"

"Mr. President, I cannot begin to tell you what a crowning glory it is to be the secretary of … of … whatever it is I'm secretary of. All I know is I'm surrounded every day by geeky-looking people with pocket protectors. So they must be really smart, just like me because I wear glasses."

"It's the Department of Energy, Rick."

"Oh so we regulate Gatorade? I love that stuff."

"Let's move on. Dr. Ben Carson, how are things going over at the Housing and Urban Development Department?"

"Simply fabulous, Mr. President. Following your brilliant lead, we've accomplished absolutely nothing, although I'm working on a plan to build giant grain storage pyramids in Detroit."

"And what's the point of that?"

"I have no idea sir, but they'll look terrific. And they'll be huuuuuge."

"That's great, good job. Let's hear from Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke."

"Mr. President, even though I'm a former Navy SEAL who could kill you with my left eyelid if I wanted to, I just want to say I get weak in the knees simply being in the same room with you. I am so looking forward to advancing your agenda to turn Yosemite National Park into a coal mine when at last we can get rid of all those bears and deer and eagles who only annoy people."

"Hey, Education Secretary Besty DeVos! Say, I'm a bit thirsty. Honey, would you get me a Diet Coke?"

"But I'm Elaine Chao, your transportation secretary, sir. And I love you more than life itself."

"How did you get the job, sweetie?"

"I'm Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's wife."

"Works for me. By the way I've signed an executive order replacing Hail to the Chief with For He's a Jolly Good Fellow.

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Not too many people took then-candidate Donald Trump seriously when he famously campaigned to "drain the swamp" as president. But that shouldn’t give this administration a free pass to excuse the behavior of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Env...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Allegiant Air’s safety record remains troubling, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s reluctance to talk about it is no more encouraging. Those are the key takeaways from a 60 Minutes report on the low-cost carrier’s high rate of mid-flight brea...
Published: 04/21/18

Editorial: Women’s work undervalued in bay area

Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18
Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

For all the symbolism, Raul Castro’s handoff of the Cuban presidency this week amounts to less than meets the eye even if his handpicked successor, the Communist Party functionary Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, is the first person not named Castro to le...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Published: 04/20/18
Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

The Hillsborough school district planted a fruitful seed with the opening of Nature’s Classroom five decades ago on the cypress-lined banks of the Hillsborough River northeast of Tampa. • The lessons taught there to some 17,000 sixth graders each yea...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: Equality pays off on Southwest Flight 1380

The passengers of Southwest Flight 1380 can be thankful that, 33 years ago, the U.S. Navy took the lead on equal opportunity.Capt. Tammie Jo Shults was piloting the flight from New York to Dallas on Tuesday when an engine exploded, blowing out a wind...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Anyone looking to make Hillsborough County government bigger, costlier, more dysfunctional and less of a regional force should love the idea that Commissioner Sandy Murman rolled out this week. She proposes enlarging the seven-member board to nine, e...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

A new foster care provider in Hillsborough County is poised to take over operations in May, only months after its predecessor was fired for what was alleged to be a pattern of failing to supervise at-risk children in its care. Many of the case manage...
Published: 04/18/18

Another voice: Back to postal reform

President Donald Trump is angry at Amazon for, in his tweeted words, "costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy." Yet in more recent days, Trump has at least channeled his feelings in what could prove...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18