President Trump in a late-night tweet threatened to unleash the full might of his words and sentences against Iran after that country’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said that the United States was playing with “the lion’s tail” in its handling of relations between the two countries.
“NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES,” Trump tweeted late Sunday night, “OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”
Trump went on to say he hasn’t even begun to tap into the words he has at his disposal to use against hostile foreign countries. Nor has he exhausted his many sentences and clauses, including indirect clauses, which he can draw on. “BE CAUTIOUS,” he told Rouhani. “I HAVE WORDS ON WHICH YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE ON THE RECEIVING END and MY SENTENCES CAN HURT TOO.”
Trump didn’t say what the words were and sentences would be, but he indicated he could deliver them in the same all-caps style he used Sunday night and could even break them up into more than one tweet, especially if he uses multiple subordinate clauses. “There are NO LIMITS to the words and sentences I could use AND HOW I RELEASE THEM,” he said.
Analysts say Trump is using his escalating twitter feud with Rouhani to distract from the continuing fallout from his summit in Helsinki, Finland, when he appeared to side with Russian President Vladimir Putin over U.S. intelligence on Russian election meddling, but the damage nevertheless would be very real if he continued to threaten Iran.
“Is his real target Republic voters in the heartland? Maybe,” says former George W. Bush official Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC. “But that doesn’t change the fact that words have consequences, and the consequences of threatening Iran can be severe.”
Wallace said Rouhani is more than capable of unleashing blistering words of his own in response to Trump’s bellicose tweets. “Are his words as powerful as the words of the president of the United States? Probably not,” Wallace said, “although he has access to words in Farsi, which the president doesn’t. The bottom line is, Rouhani can do a lot of damage, especially given the tinderbox that is the Middle East.”
White House sources say they don’t know what words Trump might use or which clauses or sentences he might put them in should the conflict escalate, but in the run-up to Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, he used the words “fire” and “fury,” which analysts said were scary at the time. The phrase “Little Rocket Man” was also considered pretty brutal, although Kim responded by calling Trump a “dotard,” which analysts said was more damaging than anything Trump said.
“And that’s the lesson here,” said Joe Scarborough on his MSNBC Morning Joe show. “President Trump isn’t the only world leader with very, very tough words. As Kim showed, other leaders can respond with words that can really make headlines, especially if they’re in short sentences, and that gets at the heart of Trump’s power. If Trump can’t command the headlines, he loses, and therefore the United States loses. That could be a death sentence for us, or maybe some really bad marks, especially if people start looking at the grammar. We just need to do our homework.”
This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: pd and cc. Creative Commons and public domain. Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
Three years after Donald Trump burst onto the political scene with his ride down the gilded escalator at Trump Tower, the well of ideas for stories about him is running dry, fake-news writers complain. “I’ve made up stories about affairs he’s had with porn stars and Playboy models, following beauty contest contestants into their dressing rooms, and grabbing women without their consent, and now I’m just depleted,” says Tucker Gretz, senior fake-news writer for The New York Times. Terry Carter, a fake-news writer for The Washington Post, says she thought she had the ultimate fake-news story with Trump . . . . More.
The bible of the journalism profession, the AP Stylebook, is no longer referring to the 45th president of the United States as Donald Trump or Donald J. Trump but as the criminal enterprise that’s taken over the White House. The change is significant because the Stylebook is the authoritative source on usage for newspaper reporters and editors as well as writers in broadcast, magazine publishing, marketing, and public relations. Charles Danbury, the style guide’s executive editor, says the change was necessary because of the importance of accurately reporting on the federal government. “As the resource that’s looked to by journalists throughout the United States, we take our responsibilities with the utmost seriousness,” Danbury said in a statement released today. “What we have in the White House is a criminal enterprise, funded by Russian oligarchs using money laundered through New York real estate, that is systematically assaulting the institutions that have made the United States a beacon for people around the world. Accuracy demands that we call the criminal operation what it is.” More.
GREENVILLE, S.C.—Deja Vu was bustling on Monday night but many of the men at the strip club weren’t enjoying the star attraction’s dance routine. The club was featuring Stormy Daniels, the newly famous stripper who allegedly was paid $130,000 before the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about an affair she had with Donald Trump after his youngest son was born. But instead of being treated to a dance routine involving booty shakes, the men got what looked like a complex interpretive dance routine. “I’m not sure, but I think she was trying to tell a story or something,” said Jake Snyder, a regular at the club. More.
In a move to further push right-wing ideas into mainstream culture, a company is using funds from the conservative billionaire Koch brothers to buy a portfolio of storied magazines that no one under 50 reads! The magazines, Time and Sports Illustrated, among others, have played pivotal roles in the evolution of American journalism, but will now be used to inject a radical right-wing ideology directly into the blood stream of two million Americans who don’t realize they still receive the magazines in their mailbox each month except for when the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue comes out. “I am disgusted and concerned that magazines I didn’t know I still get will become nothing more than delivery vehicles for the detested ideology of the Koch brothers,” says Tom Blantner, 72, a long-time subscriber of the magazines who thought he discontinued them 10 years ago. More.
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders says he enderstands Hillary Clinton, doesn’t think she should be endicted for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, and confesses that Clinton has endeared herself to him. He also says its endeniable that Clinton is qualified to be president, accuses Republicans of trying to endermind the democratic process through voter registration laws, and says the United States will endure despite concerns over gun violence. On global affairs, he thinks the United Kingdom should endo its vote to leave the European Union, human rights violations are endemic in North Korea, and he calls on Israel to endertake the hard work needed to achieve peace with the Palestinians. More.
The bible of the journalism profession, The Associated Press Stylebook, has downgraded Donald Trump to a “millionaire” because his “billionaire” claims cannot be verified. “We take our responsibilities as the official guide to journalists in the United States seriously, and we feel the only responsible course of action is to downgrade the status of Donald Trump from billionaire to millionaire until further notice,” says Alfred Whitehurst, editor-in-chief of the Stylebook. Under the reference to Trump in the latest edition, Trump is identified as, “Trump, Donald J., millionaire* real estate developer and 2016 presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States.” More.
The New York Times sent teachers of English into a tizzy when it split an infinitive on its front page this morning. “Clinton Team Starts to Cautiously Look at Running Mates,” blares the headline in the April 24, 2016, morning edition of the Times, widely considered the newspaper of record of the United States. Reaction from teachers of English was swift—and harsh. “We spend hours each quarter teaching students not to split their infinitives,and what does The New York Times do? It splits an infinitive!” says Mabel Goldsmith, an English teacher in Public School 371 in the Bronx and chair of the school’s English Department. “We expect better from The New York Times.” More.
The English Language Institute removed “utilize” and “cleanse” from the English language today as part of the organization’s long-term plan to trim the language of unnecessary words. The words were recommended for removal by the organization’s Word Removal Committee last month and approved for elimination by the board of directors today. “We grow attached to words, so it’s never easy to say goodbye to them, even when they’re unnecessary,” says Nigel Porter, president of the English Language Institute. “But for the long-term good of our language, today’s actions were necessary and long-overdue.” According to the Institute, “utilize” has long been used as a complex variant of “use,” but it was found to have no meaning beyond “use.” More.
Saying it’s tired of sitting on the sidelines for the majority of compositions in the English language, the letter Q announced today its secession from the English alphabet and a ban on all uses of the letter Q in subsequent English compositions. The letter Q also says it’s reviewing its ties with French, German, Spanish, and other Indo-European languages, but for now, it’s willing to stay in those Latin-based languages until further notice. “For thousands of years the joke has been on the letter Q,” says the letter Q in its Declaration of Secession, delivered simultaneously to the American Library Association, the British Library, the National Library of Canada, the Oxford English Dictionary, the Webster English Dictionary, the Associated Press, and the Chicago Manual of Style. “But no more. As of today, the letter Q is not available for your use.” More.
Special to The Guardian. In a find that stunned the world of religion, archaeologists digging in a remote region of the Sinai desert discovered what is believed to be the original Holy Bible from more than 2,000 years ago with its International Standard Book Publishing (ISBN) code still intact. “This is an almost unbelievable discovery,” says Alfred Pottersmith, lead curator of Middle East artifacts at the British Museum in London. “To think we could be holding in our hands the original bible from God’s disciples is humbling beyond words.” What gives archaeologists confidence the bible is the original Word of God, first edition, is the presence of the internationally recognized 9-digit numeric commercial book identifier code known as the ISBN code. More.
Jews, Muslims, and peoples of other faiths in the United States will have to scramble to find ways to talk about the omnipotent, omnipresent deity referred to as God®, because American Christians have successfully trademarked the term “God®” along with “Savior®” and “Holy Father®.” “It’s a great day for American Christians of all types,” says Edward Reynolds, head pastor of the Ecumenical Christian Church, U.S.A., based in Foxborough, Mass. “For more than 200 years, peoples of Abrahamic faiths in the United States have peacefully shared among themselves the use of the term “God®” and other important religious words, but today the terms have been provided a permanent home with American Christians, which, as we’ve been arguing for years, is the rightful place for them.” More.
OTTOWA—Tired of living in the shadow of its much larger southern neighbor, Canada yesterday officially changed its name to Not USA and unveiled a new flag that government officials say is designed to tell the world that Canada is its own country and not simply a northern outpost of the United States. “Not USA has a long and proud history,” says Stephen Harper, prime minister of Not USA, formerly known as Canada. “With our new name and flag, we’re celebrating our unique place in the community of nations. People forget that Not USA defeated the United States in several key battles in the War of 1812 and beat the U.S. in the 2010 winter olympics hockey championship. What’s more, Not USA is the largest country on earth by land mass, has more ice than any other country, and is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup and moose souvenirs.” More.
Senior White House advisors say the media is missing the big picture of what President Trump is trying to do with regard to his foreign policy, because it’s not the haphazard approach it appears to be. Instead, everything is tied to the idea that the United States leads best when it leads from Putin’s behind. “If you want to give it a name, you can call it ‘Leading from Putin’s Behind,” says National Security Advisor John Bolton. “Are we leading? Absolutely. We’re leading in Europe. We’re leading in the Middle East. But we want to be subtle about it. We don’t want to be perceived as throwing our weight around. Thus, we’re leading from behind. It’s not a new concept. But we’re not just leading from behind. It’s more strategic than that. We’re leading from Putin’s behind.” More.
President Donald Trump defended his call to Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his reelection to the Russian presidency earlier this week by saying he’s no different than any other leader who picks the candidates he runs against, controls the voting system in his country, and dictates any policy he wants as long as he doesn’t trigger opposition from his opponents who are lying in wait to depose him. “Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau—are they all so much different than President Putin?” Trump said in remarks to reporters this morning. Trump said that Theresa May, who is prime minister of Great Britain, wouldn’t be much different than Vladimir Putin if she had her political enemies assassinated and knew Parliament would rubber stamp any policy she handed it. More.
Russian president Vladimir Putin says he’s enjoying the positive coverage he’s getting from the endorsement of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump but he doesn’t want to give the impression his success is all about his leadership skills; it helps to be an authoritarian, he says. Putin says he could never work his will if he couldn’t jail critics or have them killed, which takes care of a lot of opposition. He also takes advantage of a rubber-stamp legislative body and gets to set the terms of his election, which is better than running campaign ads, even if they’re good ones. “Truth be told, it helps to do what you want without checks and balances,” he says. “Sure, I’m a good leader. I’m strong. But at the end of the day, I never lose sight of the real source of my strength: my authoritarianism.” More
President Donald Trump has charged the Democratic party with already having rigged the 2020 presidential election and he says his Democratic opponent has already cheated. “Loser Dems haven’t even waited until my first year as president is over before rigging the 2020 elections because they can’t win on their own,” Trump said today. He also accused his Democratic opponent of cheating. “My Democratic opponent, who had the help of the crooked and corrupt DNC, is already getting dead people, immigrants, criminals to vote in New Jersey and other unAmerican, socialist states.” Trump vowed to “lock up” his Democratic opponent “who is totally corrupt, by the way” after the election. “We must SAVE USA the beautiful from liberal elite who will EXPAND the deficit and cut the Regs for liberal Wall Street and sexual harassers in Hollywood who don’t represent America.” More.
A handful of Americans, allegedly operating out of the nation’s highest office, tried to influence the presidential election in Russia this week in favor of keeping President Vladimir Putin in office, a secret U.S. intelligence report says. “We have reason to believe officials used public statements, policy actions, and other overt and covert tools to keep Russian President Vladimir Putin in office,” said the report, issued today jointly by all of the national security agencies of the United States. Although the report didn’t directly accuse any specific federal officials of intervening in the Russian election, it said the nation’s “top officials . . . More.
HAMBURG, Germany. President Donald Trump, fresh from his two-hour meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin, was in good spirits as he headed for a dinner at the G-20 meeting here Friday night. “I had a terrific meeting with President Putin, a really terrific meeting that will mean great things for America,” Trump said. “I’ve said all along America would be better off if we got along with Russia, and our meeting today was a fresh start, a really good start after the disastrous years we’ve had for so long.” Trump said he and Putin talked about cyber security and bringing peace to Syria—“a really important topic, by the way, really serious stuff”—and about forging closer ties between their two countries in the coming years. “I said I wanted to put the past behind us,” Trump said. “President Putin is a strong leader who I think we can do a lot with. And he certainly respects our strength, our military, our control over the cyber. We’re a really big country and I think he knows that.” More.
As he vowed to do, President Barack Obama retaliated against Russian hacking of the U.S. election by releasing photos that Russian President Vladimir Putin is embarrassed to see on the Internet. “We were clear to President Putin that he would regret meddling in the election, which is so fundamental to our Democracy,” said White House spokesperson Josh Earnest this morning. “President Obama was very clear that the United States would retaliate in a manner and at a time of its choosing, and today we have made good on that threat with the release of these embarrassing photos of Vladimir Putin.” The photos are devastating indictments of Putin, say security experts and intelligence analysts. In one photo, Putin is wearing an anti-Putin t-shirt. In another, he has a propeller hat on his head. In a third, he has a message taped to his back that says “Kick me!” More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the trial balloons he’s been floating about retiring after tax reform passes have nothing to do with his plans to run against Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. “I am not planning and will not plan to offer Republican voters an alternative to the crazy man in the White House today,” Ryan said. Ryan said there’s no truth to the rumor that he would seek to give an alternative to Republican voters who don’t want to see Trump reelected but also don’t want to see a Democrat take the White House. “I know there’s speculation that I would put myself out there as a safe vote for Republicans who don’t want another Roy Moore-type debacle in 2020, but that is not the case,” he said. More.
Besieged former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says he should get the soundproof phone booth in the EPA director’s office now that Scott Pruitt has resigned from that position because no one on earth needs a secure place to make phone calls more than he does. “I’ve got a dozen prosecutors poring through every computer, laptop, tablet, and phone I own,” Cohen complained to reporters this morning. “If I had a carrier pigeon they’d be searching its legs for private messages. I need that friggin’ phone booth.” Cohen, who worked as Trump’s fixer for more than a dozen years and is at the center of an investigation into payments he made to women to keep them quiet about alleged sexual encounters they had with the president before he took office, says he’s owed at least the phone booth since he basically got nothing out of Trump’s 2016 election victory. More.
A confidential memo prepared by White House lawyers has found that the president of the United States is in fact above the law and that the American people are in fact out of luck. “After exhaustive research into the Constitution of the United States and applicable legal precedents,” the memo says, “we have concluded that the president of the United States is actually above the law notwithstanding the idea that no one is above the law.” The memo goes on to explain that the president can shoot people, including former heads of the FBI, and fabricate reasons for meeting with enemies of the state while a candidate for president without consequences. More.
President Trump touted his victory over the American people today after it was reported that most people in the United States have given up trying to hold him to account for his lies, insults, bad staffing and policy choices, possible collusion with the Russians, and past financial scandals. “We’ve made the large, beautiful American presidency great again,” Trump said in a rally-like address in West Virginia carried live by the broadcast networks and major cable providers. “When I started this, people were saying the presidency isn’t great anymore. Well, they’re not saying that now, are they?” Trump credited his stamina for carrying him over the finish line while Americans by and large have run out of steam. “I have the best stamina, the strongest stamina, and I’ve been told that by many people, many doctors,” he said. “They’re surprised when they see how big my stamina is. They say they’ve never seen such stamina—how did it get so big? I can tell you, Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be sitting behind this desk today declaring her victory over the American people, I can tell you that.” More.