Want to know why the clown with the funny hair is attacking Europe, while cozying up to Russia and Saudi Arabia? Money. Europe, and German in particular, posses a threat to industry and wealth. But, this thinking is a result of not understanding the numbers. German cars are popular, but many are produced in the United States. German car manufacturers have created about 700,000 jobs. There is a trade imbalance, but that is because Germany produces good products. And, this trade imbalance is a bigger problem for Germany’s neighbors than it is for the United States, but that is too difficult for the genius in the White House to understand and difficult to formula on Twitter.
TRUMP SAYS HE DOES NOT KNOW JARED KUSHNER VERY WELL
By Andy Borowitz
TAORMINA, Italy (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump on Saturday accused the media of exaggerating his relationship with Jared Kushner, asserting that “I don’t know him very well.”
“He’s someone I would see around the office and who, I guess, was working for me,” Trump told reporters on the last leg of his foreign trip. “Beyond that, I couldn’t tell you much about him.”
Trump acknowledged that he had spoken to Kushner at times during the 2016 campaign. “I’d pass him in the hall and say hello,” he said. “He seemed like an O.K. person. I never got much of a sense of the guy.”
When asked whether Kushner might have had improper contact with Russian spies during the transition, Trump said, “I couldn’t tell you if that’s the kind of thing he’d do. You really should ask someone who knows him.”
Trump refused to answer further questions about Kushner’s possible legal difficulties, saying only, “I wish Garrett well.”
Observations at a London airport:
Noticed a book on display at a bookshop: Ted Talks. Makes no sense to read a talk.
The shop had automated check-out; no cashier. It takes longer with a machine than with a person. The objective is—obviously—to save money on staff, not to improve service for customers.
Security checks are much calmer than in the United States. First of all, there is no yelling of instructions. Secondly, people seem to know what they are doing, so things move fluidly.
Airports are shopping malls where you can—hopefully—catch a flight to the next shopping opportunity.
REPUBLICAN HEALTH-CARE PLAN LACKS COVERAGE FOR INJURIES RESULTING FROM BODY SLAMMING
By Andy Borowitz
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The health-care bill passed by House Republicans earlier this month offers no coverage for injuries suffered as a result of body slamming, according to a report issued on Thursday.
The report, released by the nonpartisan Center for Comprehensive Health Coverage, warns of sharp increases in health-care costs for the nation’s body-slamming sufferers.
Costs associated with body slamming, such as X-rays to the elbow and other injured body parts, would have to be paid for out of pocket under the G.O.P. plan, the report says.
In a separate finding, the report indicates that the Republican health-care bill’s vision-care option does not offer replacement eyewear in the case of glasses being smashed or otherwise demolished in an unprovoked body-slamming incident.
Finally, the report finds, the G.O.P. plan offers no preventive treatment for the severely disturbed people who are the root causes of most body-slamming incidents.
“Medical studies have shown that the costs associated with body-slamming injuries could be greatly reduced by putting the people who cause them in a place where they can do no harm to others,” the report says.
REMAINING COUNTRIES ON TRUMP’S ITINERARY SAY THEY’D RATHER WAIT A MONTH
AND MEET WITH NEXT PRESIDENT
By Andy Borowitz
BRUSSELS (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump’s foreign trip hit a snag on Tuesday, when the remaining countries on his itinerary announced that they would rather “wait a month” and meet with the next President instead.
“It makes no sense for us to roll out the red carpet for Trump when there is going to be a completely different guy in the White House in a month,” Hendrik van der Valde, a travel minister for the Belgian government, said. “We very much look forward to hosting the next U.S. President, be it Mike Pence or Paul Ryan or whoever.”
Citing the exorbitant costs of hosting a President, the Belgian said it “would be insane” to spend such sums on someone who “only has a few weeks left” in office.
“When a President comes to your country, you have to feed not only him but a whole plane full of people that he brings,” the minister added. “Jared Kushner, for example, eats a ton, and no one even knows what he does.”
nato ministers, who had been slated to meet with Trump in Brussels on Thursday, voted unanimously last night to reschedule the meeting for June to accommodate his replacement.
According to one nato minister, “We don’t see why we should be speaking to Donald Trump when even Melania isn’t doing that.”
Sharp observers—or nitpickers—will have noticed that I missed posting wise words yesterday. I was on the move in London.
Some observations: the weather was perfect for being a tourist; despite reports of increased police and military presence on the streets, the only ones I saw were in front of Downing Street (politicians needed increased protection/sense of well-being, not average citizens); hotels and restaurants will go out of business once the government fulfill its promise to expel all foreign workers; England will continue to live on the “glory” of its past, while the present decays from lack of maintenance; life’s pace is just as hectic on the streets, but people are far politer than in New York; coffee shops are more frequent than any other city; fascination with “royalty” continues to baffle me; public transportation is better than anywhere else I have visited; Chinatown has food as good as anywhere in China/Hong Kong, if you pick the right place; there is a chain called Burger & Lobster, that serves one of the best hamburgers anywhere in the world and also has good lobster; excellent art museums are mostly free; and rain fell for only one hour in five days.
And, finally, if you want to see a great musical show, don’t miss Motown.
Young men (and, occasionally, women) of Muslim faith have been known to blow up themselves and innocent bystanders. Reactions infrequently blame religion and radicalization, but few—if any—ask about the motivation of these suicide bombers or shooters.
Does anyone think that they might act in revenge for all the bombs that have been dropped on innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and other countries of Muslim majority? No one questions the impact of the bombs dropped from thousands of feet from unseen aircraft or missiles fired from distant ships.
Or could these young men see no hope for their future as those in power continue to let increasing wealth accrue to the few while those without slip lower and lower.
I have noticed many headlines about Twin Peaks debut, after seeing many headlines about Twin Peaks imminent revival. I have never seen the original Twin Peaks, although I have heard and read a lot about it. That does not mean that I know what it’s about, other than intrigue in a small town.
I have, however, worked with David Lynch. He is an interesting man. Many years ago, my advertising agency recommended making a commercial with him at a cost of $1 million. This was an astronomical amount at the time for my company (or any company). The thinking was that the publicity from working with Lynch would be worth more with our target consumers than the actual commercial.
I recall sitting in meetings and wondering how the man’s brain worked. This was based on what I had heard and read about Twin Peaks. I did buy the video cassette, but never took the time to watch it. Don't know if I ever will....
Everyone—or, at least, most people—have heard of the mythological figure supposedly having lived in the woods known as Sherwood Forest in England. Allegedly, this guy was an economist or social worker or philanthropist who re-distributed wealth by taking from the rich and giving to the poor. His success was minimal, because the rich continue to flourish in England and the poor are just as poor, even if they have television and the lottery.
In modern times in the United States, this myth has been turned on its head. At least this is the conclusion I have reached after reading a headline that the Republican government plans to reduce medical benefits by $900 billion. Obviously, the money has to go somewhere: tax reductions for people with so much money they don’t need it. Then again, enough is never enough.
There is an old saying about the rich getting richer and the poor getting babies. Feel sorry for the babies, who might become a statistic, because infant mortality rates are rising…
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.