Do you know what I discovered this week? When the area of the country you live in has a heat index of 126 degrees Fahrenheit for several days running, and the air conditioning gives out in your house and you feel like a piece of barbecued meat—when you call your heating and air company and they say “take a number”—all you can do is lay down on the floor in front of a mediocre fan praying that you haven’t been condemned to Hell without your knowledge.
Used by permission: Luojie, China Daily China/Cagle Cartoons
There is very little that you can do in those circumstances except lie on the floor butt naked in front of a fan that your husband suddenly discovers in the basement (which makes you realize once again why you love this man so much!) and watch the Democratic Convention while sipping on ice-packed gin and tonics also provided by WW (White and Wonderful).
Call me crazy, or maybe it was the heat, the alcohol, or the slightly feverish delirium I experienced from it all, but I got up off the floor at the end of the DNC week totally in the tank for Hillary. (Of course, my shouts of “I’M WITH HER!” I’M WITH HER!” were mingled with happy tears and kisses for the rather rotund air conditioning man who finally fixed my HVAC unit at 10:00 p.m. that night. P.S. Clothes were donned before answering the door, in case your little nasty minds “went there.”)
But before my AC angel showed up, I preened with pride over Michelle Obama’s speech—the best convention speech EVER (try and steal that one Melania). When President Obama spoke, I choked up with gratitude (and pride!) at the honor of having had such a fabulously intelligent, gracious, dignified, and unifying leader as President Obama when he said: “. . . I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together – black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young and old; gay, straight, men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love.” I “went to church” with the Rev. William Barber as he preached his fiery sermon to America that we become the “moral defibrillators” of our time (did y’all see people gettin’ “the Holy Ghost” in that convention hall?). But most of all, I sobbed uncontrollably at the speech and humility of Ghazala and Khizr Khan whose Muslim son—Humayun Khan, a 27-year-old Army captain—sacrificed his life for his troops and for my ability to go about my life in peace, safety, and air conditioning. When Mr. Khan looked straight into the camera and said to the Muslim-hating, Muslim-banning, S.O.B Donald Trump, “You have sacrificed nothing; you have sacrificed no one,” and The Donald’s immediate reaction was to trash Mr. Kahn’s heartfelt speech and mock his wife’s painful silence—a mother so overcome with grief she could hardly stand—I knew that it was time to make a choice and take a stand against the primal, heartless, disgusting evil in our midst that was trying to become our next President.
Used by permission: Dario Castillejos, Diario La Crisis/Cagle Cartoons
As cold air wafted around my body and brought down my fever (I’m not shittin’ you—I actually caught a nasty cold from my journey into no-air-con purgatory), I discovered I had missed a couple dozen stories about Trump’s angry response to the constant thrashing he got by the DNC. He invited Russia to commit espionage by hacking into the emails of his opponent (“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said on one occasion and then shortly after he said, “They [the Russians] probably have them. I’d like to have them released.”) At the same time I was catching up on all this treasonous news, I realized, along with Harry Reid and a few others, that both the candidates would receive their first top secret briefings at some point in the near future. I was horrified at the thought of The Donald getting anywhere near our national secrets given his alleged connections with the Russians, until Harry Reid suggested The Donald be given a “fake security briefing,” until we got to the bottom of Trump’s Russian money connection (RELEASE YOUR GOD-DAMN TAX RETURNS, DONALD!). I thought that was a fabulous idea. Others thought so too, and the hashtag “FAKE TRUMP INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING” started trending on Twitter in the midst of The Donald’s protests that he was “just kidding guys”—“just being sarcastic.” I don’t know about you, but Trump’s excuse of sarcasm made what he did—inviting a foreign government to commit espionage against us—even more appalling. If he should become the President, what happens if China pisses him off and he pushes “The Button?” When China is obliterated off the face of the Earth because of The Donald’s narcissistic petulance, I don’t think the world will accept an “Oops, I was just kidding, guys!”—least of all 1.357 billion dead Chinese people.
Used by permission: RJ Matson, CagleCartoons.com
So I joined in the Twitter chorus of #FAKE TRUMP INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING, because this maniac cannot—must not—know our national secrets. To do so would be at our peril. I don’t have a Twitter account because I can’t be trusted not to turn into a Donald Trump (I need space in between my anger and communication access to the world), but I thought I’d list some of the fake things the CIA security briefer could tell The Donald and still keep our nation safe. Hope you’re listening CIA.
#FAKE TRUMP INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING
By fake CIA Intelligence Agent
“Good morning, Sir. I’ve been assigned to be your intelligence briefing agent. I’ve gathered together all of the latest U.S. intelligence of the highest form to make sure you are fully prepared for the days ahead. First and foremost: Your code name is ‘Orangutan’ and your wife’s code name is ‘Fembot.’ When you hear your secret service say something like, ‘Orangutan’ and ‘Fembot’ are in the house or ‘Orangutan’ and ‘Fembot’ just left the building, you’ll know that we are referencing you and Mrs. Trump.
“Now our first order of business is to confirm that the Russians did indeed hack the DNC email server. In fact, they sent two of their top agents to do so: Boris Badenov (pronounced ‘bad enough’) and Natasha Fatale. Everyone thought that Boris and Natasha went underground and had died at the end of the Cold War, but Mr. Putin resurrected them to do his dastardly deeds against America. We’ve been on their trail for over a year now and thanks to Wikipedia have acquired quite a bit of intel on them. Part of our first briefing to you is to let you know that you cannot trust Vladimir Putin no matter what your previous association with him has been because he is actively running (spy word for utilizing) Boris and Natasha.
“Boris refers to himself as the ‘world’s greatest no-goodnik.’ He and Natasha are still stationed in Pottslyvania—what was once thought of as a fake east-European country—but it has come to our attention that Pottslyvania is actually the code name for Moscow. Boris and Natasha report directly to ‘Fearless Leader’ and ‘Mr. Big’ who is none other than your pal—you guessed it—Vladimir Putin.
“Unlike yourself, Sir, Boris is a vain man and his greatest claim to fame is an autographed picture from his Fearless Leader which says: ‘Drop Dead — Signed: Fearless Leader!’ I’ve got to tell you, Sir—this sounds just like the Vlady the CIA has come to know and loathe.
“According to Wikipedia, Boris was educated in U.S.C. (the University of Safecracking)—what we spies like to call the precursor to your Trump University. Boris graduated ‘magna cum louse’ which means we’re dealing with no dummy here. The CIA has ascertained that the best weapon we can bring against Boris and Natasha are our best and brightest agents: Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Bullwinkle the Moose. Both Squirrel and Moose (as Boris likes to refer to them) have been in seclusion since the end of the Cold War, and they are itching to get back to work again. If I must say so myself, Sir: desperate times call for desperate means. The CIA feels that we should summon them ASAP to deal with this notorious spy and to free you from the libelous claims that you flirted with treason when you invited the Russians to hack and find emails that would destroy your opponent. We know you were just kidding, Sir, but we also suspect that Boris Badenov was behind the original hacking of the DNC email server and we need to prove it ASAP.
Used by permission: RJ Matson Roll Call/Cagle Cartoons
“In conclusion, you will need to know how to recognize Boris if he should slip into one of your campaign rallies. He is a short tubby guy who always wears the classic spy outfit (black fedora and trench coat) and never leaves Natasha Fatale’s side (she looks like Mrs. Trump (a.k.a. ‘Fembot’) with black hair). Boris has never given up his membership in the Local 12 of the Villains, Thieves, and Scoundrels Union, and one of his tell-tale words is ‘Raskolnikov’ which references the novel Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. By the way, Sir, we know you don’t read books, so don’t panic; we will read it so you don’t have to in order to further understand the master spy mind of Boris. And to show you the level of depravity we’re dealing with here, the spy, Boris Badenov is still a member of the Van Gogh Society, which is a Pottsylvanian club whose members collect human ears. This little dude is no joke, Sir!
“One final note, if during your travels you hear a little short guy who looks like Danny Devito with a mustache and a Russian accent utter the words, ‘Natasha, next time I get fiendish plan, do me big favor?’ or his most definitive phrase, ‘Sharrup my mouth,” you must contact the CIA immediately because you will be in imminent danger.
“Thank you, Sir, for your time. Next week you will be briefed on the fact that there was never a moon landing—in fact, there is really no moon. It is a Hollywood prop.”
Fake CIA briefing used in accordance with Creative Commons licensing http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
The 1959-1964 animated cartoons Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show collectively refer to as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Use of this material does not indicate endorsement of the author’s views by the licensor.
Used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune/Cagle Cartoons
ELEANOR’S “SELAH” (AHA MOMENT) ABOUT #I’M WITHHER
I am discovering that most definitely “#I’MWITHHER!” No matter what her flaws (I’m beginning to think that most of her perceived failures are 30-years of ginned-up hatred by the right-wing conservative party), she is a gazillion times more qualified, smarter, better educated, and more humane than her opponent. I also think she loves America very much. Plus, I ain’t gonna lie—I love the fact that a qualified woman has finally broken the glass ceiling to the Oval Office. It gave me chills when Hillary won the Democratic nomination (now it may have been the air conditioning returning, but I still got chills).
In an ideal world, we’d have a plethora of candidates to choose from, no obscene Citizens United funds PAC funding polical campaigns, no billionaires fronting candidates, and no lobbyists—period. But we are living in the real world, and some of our fellow citizens (especially right-wing Evangelicals who seemed to have traded their trust in God for power, influence, and fame) are positioning themselves to elect an unfeeling, unthinking, narcissistic, lying, clueless maniac to lead our coutry and influence the rest of the world. Can you say WWIII? In the meantime, I would like to think that Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King, Jr. did a fist bump in Heaven when President Obama and Hillary hugged each other on stage at the convention the other night after he so eloquently said: “ . . . if you’re serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You’ve got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn’t a spectator sport. America isn’t about ‘yes he will.’ It’s about ‘yes we can.’ And we’re going to carry Hillary to victory this fall, because that’s what the moment demands.”
I’d like to add that democracy is not a reality show.
Used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“I learned that leadership is about falling in love with the people and the people falling in love with you. It is about serving the people with selflessness, with sacrifice, and with the need to put the common good ahead of personal interests.”—Joyce Banda
“No decisions should ever be made without asking the question, is this for the common good?”—Michael Moore
“Too many politicians are shifting the critical themes of our national conversations from a ‘big ideas’ American Brand Platform to narrowly focused, polarizing sound bites that put party philosophy before what used to be heralded as the common good. These ideas, more often than not, divide us rather than serve to bind us.”—Alan Siegel
ALL QUOTES FROM www.brainyquotes.com
Used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star/Cagle Cartoons
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