Friday, August 26, 2016

1686 The Clinton Speeches

Note: This space has thumped Trump. Now it’s time to pillory Hillary.  This is parody.  And fiction.


Another triumph for Wessayleaks℠.  We have unearthed the top secret recording of one of Hillary Clinton’s speeches to a well known Wall Street investment bank:
1686 The Clinton Speeches
Image result for hillary clinton

“Boys, we have a good deal going and I’m happy to be here today to urge (stops, coughs) you to allow me to continue and expand what (stops, coughs) we have built together all these years.

(Stops, coughs, burly aide brings her a bottle of a clear liquid said to be water.  Another burly aide pushes a chair next to the podium and adjusts the microphone so she can continue speaking seated.) The speech continues:

“In fact, I a few months ago I received a letter from your chairman which I (stops, coughs) which I would like to read part of to you now.  Oh. I left it on the podium…

(Both burly aides reappear on stage, lift Mrs. Clinton up and help her to the podium. She retrieves a piece of paper and then the burly aides help her return to the chair.)

“Thank you, gentlemen. One of you bring me my box of Halls cough drops, please.  Now, to the letter:  Dear Madam Secretary just a note to tell you how much we enjoyed the brief talk last month and hope to see you again soon. In the meantime I also hope that little cough has cleared up.  Sincerely, Roger Rhodium.”

(Burly aide reappears with cough drops one of which she unwraps and puts in her mouth.)

“These are Halls Mentho (stops, coughs) Mentholyptus sugar- free cough drops.  They really do the trick.  Have for me for months now. (Stops, sips from bottle of clear liquid, said to be water.)

“Now to the topic at hand, regulation.  As you know if you’ve been following my numerous press conferences I have been telling the media that I plan to propose a series of regulations to make the disclosure of the fees you charge your clients lower and more transparent.  

“In fact, I wrote such legislation while I was the US Senator from New York. Unfortunately, the basic legislation was housed on my home email server and I ...um… inadvertently erased it while I was pouring over many thousands of pages and mistakenly deleted some.

“But no matter.  Just between us boys, that legislation was lost forever.  I will not publicly disclose that fact even though I’ve said I plan to have the bill reintroduced.  So, breathe easy.  Your fees are safe. And secret.

(Burly aide reappears on stage.)

“Get back where you belong George.  I don’t need you now.  That’ll be all.

“Since this information and similar occurrences are private communications between all of you and myself, I know I can trust you to keep what I just told you confidential.

“I want to thank you for your attention this afternoon and wish you all the best for a profitable coming four years.

“Meantime, if any of you wish time with me for a private meeting or phone call, please see one of my assistants during the Oneg Shabbat that follows this little talk. They’ll be happy to provide you with a fee schedule. Otherwise, please enjoy the pastries from the Sherry B dessert Studio of Chappaqua and the coffee harvested in Haiti and packaged by the Clinton Foundation’s roaster in Port Au Prince.”

(Burly aides appear on stage to help the speaker off the platform.)

This story is fiction, a product of the author’s imagination.  Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely occidental.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

1685 Falling Starr

1685 Falling Starr

It’s unsportsmanlike to kick a man when he’s down. But there are exceptions, and former “independent” counsel Kenneth Starr is among those who need it most.

Starr, the hit man who missed when he aimed at Bill Clinton, has “resigned” from his professorship at Baylor University in Texas.  Law professor was the ledge the school set him upon after first firing him as chancellor.

Starr, the holier than thou appeals court judge and groomer of current Chief Justice Roberts, had trouble finding work when his nasty and contrived effort to force Clinton out of office fell flat. This despite the untiring efforts of child molesting congressional leader Denny Hastert and the entire neocon march on Washington.

Fortunately, there was money changer Richard Mellon Scaife who rewarded Starr for his failings by getting him appointed to a deanship at Pepperdine University. There he was a “life regent” which in edu-speak means a big name with no meaningful function.

Soon after, Starr hit the big time.  He was named chancellor at Baylor. And he shook up the staid old church in college clothing.

Brought in a new football coach, a new multimillion dollar stadium and a cheerleader mentality.  Only there was a problem with the football team.

Some members liked to force women to have sex against their will. Rape, in common parlance.

And some athletic department investigators were about as independent as was Starr during the Clinton years.  They swept it all under the Matrix Turf (similar to Astroturf.)

Someone came along and peeled up some of the fake grass, under which the scandal lived in much the same way as asbestos does in old walls. Starr didn’t have much to say about all this.  A sweeping condemnation would have been right.

Baylor, whose motto is “For Church, For Texas,” quickly demoted the once- vocal Starr to professor of law.  It took awhile, but now they’ve fully burned his breeches.

Baylor has resigned Starr from all remaining connections.

That is to say they allowed him the grace he never afforded a sitting president by pretending to not fire him.

And so ends the career of a smart but nasty, petty, smug man, a head shorter and smaller of mind than Clinton, brought down by what always brings them down, the taste of their own venom, time and karma.

Today’s Quote: “...   …” -- Kenneth Starr’s comment on his “resignation from the esteemed and glorious faculty of the university he once ran.

And now… a
Wessays™ Special Report:

Words and phrases that scare the h*ll out of us:
In no particular order:

--Some assembly required.
--Cashier in training.
--Falling rock zone.
--Watch for low flying planes.
--Left turn on red after full stop.
--President Donald Trump.
--President Hillary Clinton.
--Your call is very important to us.
--Clearance 6’4”
--Construction vehicle. Watch for sudden stops and turns.
--Wide load.
--Bridge ices before road.
--As seen on TV.

Please feel free to contact me with your own list for inclusion next time. Choose whether you want your name used or anonymity.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

1684 Presidential Economics

How the presidential candidates would solve the deficit and other problems.
I. Trump

He has an amazing way to solve this yooj problem.
-a. Don’t pay back money we borrow.  The lenders should be happy with the good publicity, the patriotism and the bragging rights.  “America Turns on My Dime!”

-b. Reduce wages for federal workers.  They’re a bunch of lazy no goodniks to begin with. They don’t deserve the pay they get.  And yet they’re always there with their hands out.

-c. Abolish Obamacare, upgrade the Medicare eligibility age to 92 and tighten up all those frivolous things that are now covered and shouldn’t be because you’re going to die soon anyway.

-d. States should bear the cost of law enforcement and homeland security.  Abolish the federal departments involved.

-e. Cut taxes for job creators even if they create no jobs.

-f.  Cut taxes slightly for the middle class and they’ll vote for us regardless of all the other givebacks.


II. Clinton
She has sensible solutions for the same problems:
-a. Raise taxes on the rich and corporations to 90%.

-b. Spend the money on makework jobs fixing bridges and roads no one uses. Hire more people than needed. Do not provide machinery or tools.

-c. Make only minimum monthly payments on the Federal American Express Card.

-d. Raise the minimum wage to $29.50 per hour.

-e. Nationalize Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Raytheon, United Tech, and General Dynamics but not Goldman Sachs.

-f. Nationalize Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Humana, Cigna, Wellpoint, Aetna and Progressive Insurance. (Note: Progressive doesn’t sell health insurance. But this way we can be rid of Flo.)

-g. Nationalize Colt, Smith & Wesson, Remington and Heritage and close them down.  

-h. Print more money.  And get more women on the bills.

III. Johnson

Johnson’s plan is the simplest of all.
-a. Freeze borrowing.

-b. Eliminate the federal government.

IV. Stein

-a. Do everything that Hillary would do.

-b. Nationalize Big Oil.

-c. Ban fossil fuel powered cars.

-d. Ban outdoor fires.

-e. Use eminent domain to erect wind turbines on all golf courses and football fields.

Shrapnel:
--Trump says the Republicans should do more to attract African Americans “...back into the party of Lincoln.” Back into? And what would Lincoln say about the 21st century version of “his” party?

Grapeshot:
-How does Sprint stay in business?

-Anyone want to start a pool on how long Trump can maintain his present presidential persona… if so, put me in for four days, which would be a record.

-Anyone believe the present presidential persona?

-Nothing gladdens the heart of bored viewers more than the closing ceremony at the Olympics.

-Mediocre ratings notwithstanding, it also probably gladdens the hearts of NBC’s accounting office.

Today’s Quote: “Your honor, I’m not a bad person, I just fell in with a bad crowd.” -- Draft of Phoenix- area sheriff Joe Arpiao’s testimony at his expected eventual sentencing hearing.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

1683 Too Fat for TV

News Item: Al Ahram, Egypt’s government-run news agency has suspended eight women TV anchors and demanded they diet.

While Egypt rots, authorities are focused on double chins?  Sure.  It’s as good a diversion as any.  Offensive, they say.  People won’t watch overweight women, they say.

Here’s an example:  

Photo: Telegraph, UK
She’s Khadijua Khatab and while her bosses think people don’t watch her because she’s on the pleasantly plump side, they’re wrong.  People don’t watch her or anyone else on their channel because Al Ahram is incompetent, unreliable and an unabashed propaganda outlet for the government of the moment.

So the women have been given about a month to drop some pounds.  And this has already spawned some cottage industries.

In the open air markets around Cairo, you’ll find a whole crop of new green tea vendors.  Others are selling gauze bandages of the kind formerly used to bind mummies.  And outdoor gyms and fitness centers flourish.

The average temperature in Cairo at this time of year is in the low 80s. A recent random check showed a reading of 90. So sunscreen sellers have joined the outdoor gyms and tea merchants because to lose weight in Cairo all you have to do is walk around in that heat for awhile.

For her part, Khatab says those pictures of her are “old” and that she has already lost weight. No worries. If she really has and continues to, the next thing her bosses will focus on are those reading glasses.  Or they’ll say she wears too much makeup.  Or too little.

And the woman who runs Al Ahram TV, Safaa Hegazy isn’t morbidly anorexic either.

There’s no doubt women have trouble keeping their TV jobs everywhere and appearance often is the reason. In this country, for example, handlers don’t trust anyone over 25 and they’d better have good legs and a come- hither look.

Fat men here don’t have that problem.  Think of the late Charles Kuralt.  Or Al Roker before the stomach surgery or MacNeil and Lehrer who long ago were advised never to take the same elevator at the same time.

No one ever told Brokaw to call Jenny-Twenty.

And no one at Al Ahram has suspended men because they’re overweight.

Today’s Quote: For the first time ever, overweight people outnumber average people in America. Doesn’t that make overweight the average then? Hey, let’s get a pizza.” --Jay Leno

Shrapnel:
--Nice to see our Olympic athletes training for the pros.  The American swimmers who partied all night then smashed up parts of a gas station and then lied about being robbed were only doing what seems to come naturally these days. Back home now, they can continue honing their skills in after hours clubs and dorm rooms.

--Trumps non- apology to people he “may have hurt” insults the intelligence of the American voter -- which is not easy to do.  A Wessays™ quick-count survey shows it’s not going over all that well among Mexicans, Muslims, African Americans, Gold Star families, ex prisoners of war, low energy candidates, little candidates, guest workers, subcontractors and  Heidi Cruz to name a few.  Putin and Billybob at the Main Street Bar are said to be happy with it.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

1682 Mauling the Mall

Macy’s has dropped the other shoe.  First they announced they were about to close 100 of their underperforming stores.  A day later, they released the list.

Thousands of jobs will be lost. Acres retail space will be lost, mostly in shopping malls which are in sharp decline nationwide.

Macy’s is one of those here-forever brands whose base shoppers are clearly divided into three camps:

  1. “It’s where I go for everything.”
  2. “I shop there occasionally but how do they stay in business?”
  3. “I’m from Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin and I always stop at the main store in Manhattan when I visit New York but I haven’t bought anything there since 1974.”

Let’s get #3 out of the way first. The “main” or “flagship” store on 34th Street is a glorious museum from its ultramodern cosmetic cluster to its rickety ancient wooden riser escalators to its ornate gold leaf and marble doodads here, there and everywhere.

But it’s a mess. It’s understaffed and crowded with lookers from open to close.  And it has the whiff of struggle, and defensive glare about it.  It looks sweaty and unattended.  This is not a way to produce high volume even for the tourist from Fond Du Lac.

The problem they’re facing is internet competition combined with overreaching. Mostly it’s shooting themselves in the feet.

The current Macy’s, Inc. has almost nothing with the original.  It’s built on the bones of what used to be Federated Department Stores.  Federated is an old line company too.  It owned many brands.  

Then it went on a buying spree. It acquired its main competitor, Allied Stores in a hostile takeover.  That brought brands like Marshall Field, Lord & Taylor, and other big names into its fold.

When it bought Macy’s -- then emerging from bankruptcy -- someone at headquarters in Cincinnati had an “ahah!” moment.  (There’s something creepy about Macy’s headquarters in Cincinnati.”) Here’s the Ahah idea: “Macy’s is the most famous of our brands.  Let’s call ALL our stores Macy’s.”

Ask anyone in Chicago about replacing the Marshall Field sign on that store in the loop.  That was years ago, but a quiet boycott continues.

Ask anyone in Pittsburgh what they think about taking down the signs at Kaufmann’s.  Ask any Brooklynite about the shutdown of Abraham and Straus.

Overexpansion doesn’t work.  Staying in an office building on Ohio’s border with Kentucky doesn’t work. Big shots have to get out more.  Forcing legacy stores into a dress size too big doesn’t work.  They look frumpy.

So now comes the contraction.  And with it, the unemployment claims.

To borrow a concept from Yogi: No one goes to Macy’s anymore except to bowl in the empty aisles.

Shrapnel:
--Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been found guilty of perjury and obstruction.  Everyone seemed to think she was Wonder Woman. But she turned out to be just another prosecutor who thought herself above the law.

Today’s Quote: “...before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic attack in the United States.” -- Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani whom no one would now remember were it not for a certain radical Islamic attack on America before Obama came along.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com

© WJR 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

1681 Fox After Ailes

With Fox News’ co-founder Roger Ailes disgraced out of office, the new guard has taken the reigns. And guess what? The new guard... same as the old.


They’ve shuffled around a few people, promoted others and have agreed to continue the investigation into who did what under Ailes. Um… who did what in the Ailes era.


But one change is more significant than the others.  Rupert Murdoch now works in Ailes’ old office.  In one respect the significance is in the insignificance:  A crusty oldster occupied the room for 20 years.  Now a crustier older oldster sits there.


Interchangeable crusty oldsters?  Maybe on the surface. But not beneath it.  Realistically, Ailes was a hired hand. Murdoch is the company. Oh, yeah, his middle aged sons have titles.  They have their own plans and ideas for the future.  But for now, Fox still is a one man show.
Let’s here digress about rich guys -- or formerly rich guys.
Steve Forbes, the head of the Forbes magazine empire-turned- atoll once opined that by the time a third generation gets to run a family business, it’s… it’s... an atoll.  Steve is of the third generation to run B.C. Forbes’ magazines and they have shrunk to near nothing. The irony may have been lost on him, though that’s hard to imagine.


Back to the Murdochs.  Rupert has been around so long and so prominently that people may think he founded NewsCorp.  But he is second generation. And that makes “the boys” the third.  So if you think Fox is a pox, be patient.  


Gen-3.0 is readying to carry on the Great March. But as long as The Man is alive, nothing is going to change.  The minute he dies, the boys will start the downhill ride.


Shrapnel:
--Rest in peace Glenn Yarbrough, lead singer with the 1960s folk music trio the Limelighters.  A troubled life after the folk bubble deflated, Yarbrough kept performing until recently.  A friend of recent vintage, he was 86 and died of complications from dementia which didn’t show in our correspondence.


--We welcome aboard New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd who has at last realized that Bill and Hillary are Republicans.  That’s a point we’ve been making both here and on the air since 1992.  Also, we welcome the Daily Beast’s expose as phony of Breitbart’s viral claim that Hillary is in bad health.


--Here’s proof you’re old: Over the weekend the Retro Game Expo on Long Island drew 15-hundred visitors. All of the “retros” were computer or video games. To some of us, a real retro game is stickball or potsy or Clue.


Grapeshot:
-The endless Olympics will soon be over and we can report happily that no one is known to have been sickened by whatever is in the sewer that passes for a river in Rio.


-We’d be grateful for the end of the endless Olympics’ even if the water were pure as a Colorado mountaintop snowfall.


I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com

© WJR 2016

Friday, August 12, 2016

1681 Air Biles

This corner of the room isn’t big on sports.  We’ve railed against football, been put to sleep by baseball and refuse to watch any but the last five minutes of the last quarter in basketball. Even bikini volleyball doesn’t excite, though that may be a function of advanced age.

But every once in awhile, someone comes along who is so good he or she elevates a sport to art, to dance and in so doing rises above the game and pulls it higher, too.

Babe Ruth.  Fat, cigar smoking Babe Ruth.  Even though his home run record fell decades ago, he’s still king.  He’s who you think of when you think of home runs.

Michael Jordan.  Who can name a basketball player who even comes close?

Muhammad Ali.  A glorious beautiful man who made a brutal sport elegant.

Wayne Gretzky. It was like he teleported the puck into the net.

Now there’s Simone Biles.
Go on, admit it. Until the Rio Olympics you never heard of her.  

And what’s her sport? Gymnastics.  Gymnastics… who cares?  Watch her -- all four foot-nine of her and you will because you’ve never seen anyone else like her.

She stands on the edge of the mat like all gymnasts do, then seems to levitate on the spot while others need a running start.  But that’s the easy part.  She’s as fast as a pre-catalytic Corvette. So she spends more time in the air doing… doing…  Well, there are names for all of the mid air turns and flips and other moves she makes but only the pinwheel experts know what they are called.  Anyway, before landing she does more of them than anyone else has.  And better.

Half a day ago, Air Biles won the Olympic Gold for all around performance. And by a relatively and uncommonly large margin.

Nineteen years old. Raised by grandparents who later adopted her because daddy vanished early on and mommy was spending all her time with coke or meth or maybe both.

The grandparents got her into tumbling school early on, but she’d been jumping on and off furniture, fences and staircases long before that and with no training.

You look at this little mini woman and all you can say is “Wow! Did I just see what I thought I saw?”
Yeah, you did.

Today’s Quote: “...at times she is a very stubborn teenager.” -- Nellie Biles drawing laughs from herself and her daughter nee granddaughter Simone saying the second most important thing you can say about her:  she’s a regular, normal teen.

Grapeshot:
-Does the president have an actual key to the White House and if so, what happens if it gets lost?

-A weak Tornado touched down near Mattituck on New York’s Long Island the other day, but it found no trailer parks and fled quickly out to sea in search of aluminum boats.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com

© WJR 2016