TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — The Tweet Sound Of Diplomacy

I keep thinking that if Rip Van Winkle woke up this week, he’d crush up a bottle of Ambien and snort it all. It’s getting weird out there, and we’re only in the third week of America being great again.

We’ve banned, unbanned and then banned Muslims again, according to tweets from the White House. The president and his press secretary seem to have trouble sorting out exactly what it is they did. Is it a ban or is it not? Who knows? And me with a closet full of burkas. Complicating matters was an Oregon judge who suspended the “whatever it is” on constitutional grounds.

This came as quite surprise to many of us who had no idea the Constitution was still a thing. Conservatives have been insisting for years that Obama had destroyed the Constitution with his executive orders.

But with the Constitution restored, albeit streamlined, President Trump signed more executive orders last week. He’s up to 17, putting him on a pace for 565 in his first year unless impeachment or carpel tunnel sets in first. Obama managed just 276 in eight years. Underachiever. Conservatives called Obama’s executive actions tyranny. All I know is that if it was, at least we have the right kind of tyranny, now.

One executive order put Iran on Top Secret Double Probation that eventually turned into sanctions. They are largely symbolic — like they were when Dick Cheney and Halliburton continued to do business with Iran under previous sanctions. But there’s something to be said for tradition.

One of the great exchanges from the movie, “Charlie Wilson’s War”, comes from Julia Roberts, who plays a do-gooder anti-Communist, and Tom Hanks, who has the lead role.

Joanne Herring (Roberts): “Why is Congress saying one thing and doing nothing?”

Charlie Wilson (Hanks): “Tradition, mostly.”

The president trotted out in reality TV fashion, Neil Gorsuch, as a Supreme Court nominee. The Denver-based federal judge wore a T-shirt that read, “Happiness is a Warm Gun,” thereby enhancing his standing with aging rockers and Second Amendment fans.

This is far from a done deal. There’s the upcoming swimsuit competition and the “new rules” to consider. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that no president should choose a Supreme Court justice in his last year in office. With Trump’s impeachment loosely scheduled for August, we need to put this on hold.

Another nominee in jeopardy is that of education secretary pick Betsy DeVos, who testified in favor of guns in public schools to protect students from grizzly bears. Proving how weird a week it was, North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp had a relapse and became a Democrat again long enough to come out against DeVos.

It might be part of the liberal “Save The Bears” agenda. Heitkamp has taken no public position on kangaroos, however, which is important since we are teetering on the brink of war with the Aussies, a longtime member of the Axis of Evil.

So far, America’s new Middle Finger Foreign Policy has addressed Iran, Australia, Russia (love them to pieces) all of Asia and Mexico. It turns out we’re actually going to pay for the wall through higher prices on food and goods coming in through Mexico. However, in return, we’ll all have jobs picking vegetables in California.

This wall — unless they decide to tunnel under it (wink, wink) — may also create a drug shortage. Again, higher prices for America’s most vulnerable — those of us who watch the nightly news.

Even if you have a prescription, in North Dakota, the Legislature — between shots of Jägermeister in the cloakroom — is busy retooling the medical marijuana bill to save the 64 percent of voters who supported it from Reefer Madness. Those in need can easily solve this by moving to Minnesota. Get a lake cabin next to your Fargo legislators.

It appears there won’t be a 5 percent tax on North Dakota nursing home residents. Budget shortfalls will be solved by furtively pushing a few wheelchairs down the stairs. Look for more of these accidents around the end of each fiscal quarter. Just heavily insure Grandma and everybody wins. Or you could just park her in the street with a NO DAPL sign as soon as they dispense with that pesky vehicular homicide overregulation.

As I approach my conclusion here, I realized I almost made it through this column without taking a shot at North Dakota House Majority Leader Al Carlson. Hey Al, Yo Mama!

Why do I do I feel the compulsion to do that, you wonder?

Tradition, mostly.

© Tony Bender, 2017

One thought on “TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — The Tweet Sound Of Diplomacy”

  • Francine Podenski February 10, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Love reading your pieces. Makes me chuckle in the midst of our challenging times and reminds me that there’s still intelligent witty people living & working in the state I grew up in. Thank you!


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