Friday, October 11, 2019

More raving, howling nightmares for the age of Trump

This photograph has nothing to do with anything. I just
put it here for the hell of it. Got a problem with that?
It’s getting to me. I can tell from the quality of the surreal disturbances that are waking me up at night. Like these:

Trump at the swimming pool

I am all alone in a swimming pool at somebody’s house in fashionable  Bridgehampton, Long Island. Everyone else in the house has gone off to watch the Hampton Classic, a horse show, but I have decided to go swimming instead. However, for some reason I have forgotten how to swim. 

I’m in water over my head, desperately splashing around, when suddenly Donald Trump shows up, wearing a long wool overcoat even though it’s July and 92 degrees in the shade. His overcoat is open, and I notice that he is wearing a red necktie that comes down to his knees.

“Help, help!” I yell.

“I’d love to help,” says Trump. “I’m the greatest help in the history of the world.”

I think he is going to get down on his knees and bend over the pool so that I can grab on to his necktie, but instead he asks, “But first, I have to ask a favor. Have you got any dirt on Joe Biden and his son? The one in the Ukraine? Whatzisname? Hunter?”

Of course I don’t have any informatiion. How can I? I’m just a drowning guy in a swimming pool.

“No, please help me!” I gasp.

“The hell I will!” says Trump. “I’m not giving you any quid pro quo for free.”

Just then a grammarian and a Latin scholar jump out of the bushes and begin explaining to Trump  in elaborate detail why quid quo pro can never be free, but it’s too late. I drown.

The middle of Fifth Avenue 
shooting fantasy comes true

I am strolling along Fifth Avenue in New York City when suddenly a crazed Donald Trump charges out of the lobby door of the Trump Tower, an AK-47 blazing. To the left and right of me, people are falling down, bleeding, broken and dead. I run up to a policeman.

“Donald Trump is on a wild shooting spree! You’ve got to stop him!” I tell the cop.

“Sorry,” the cops says, “I can’t help. According to the Justice Department’s latest interpretation of the Constitution, the President of the United States cannot be charged with a crime. If I try to stop him, I’ll be charged with illegal interference with a government official.”

I start to scream in frustration when suddenly I wake up in front of my TV set. On the screen, Donald Trump is walking down Fifth Avenue, his AK-47 blazing. I scream again and wake up again. This time I’m sitting in front of my television set and on the screen, Donald Trump is walking down Fifth Avenue, his AK-47 blazing. 

Finally I pinch myself and wake up. I’m sitting in front my my television set and on the screen, Donald Trump is walking down FifthAvenue, his AK-47 blazing.

Stop it, Melania! Just stop it!

I’m home watching Donald Trump shoot people on Fifth Avenue during the evening news, when suddenly the doorbell rings. I get up from the couch and open the door. Melania Trump is standing there in a double breasted trench coat.

I ask her what she wants.

“I vant you to be best,” she says.”

“Be best at what?” I ask her.

“Here, let them explain,” she tells me. She reaches into her right trench coat pocket and pulls out a Donald Trump sock puppet. Then she reaches into her left trench coat pocket and pulls out a Rudy Giuliani sock puppet.

The two puppets begin a brisk argument in Slovenian that seems to be growing angrier and angrier. However, I cannot understand a word of it.

I am growing increasingly frustrated trying to figure out what’s going on when suddenly a Stephen Miller sock puppet jumps out from under Melania’s dress and bites me in the leg.

Next thing I know, I end up in a hospital emergency room where they are giving me a rabies shot.

 Say it ain’t so Joe!

It is the night of the first real Presidential debate. Donald Trump is of course the Republican nominee. The Democratic nominee is Joe Biden. 

By now the United States has withdrawn from all trade and defense treaties, including NATO. Russia has invaded Germany and France. Trump has sent the 82nd Airborne Division in to assist Russia. A panhandler on the street has just asked me for eighteen dollars and sixty-seven cents so he can buy a cup of coffee. American school kids are getting rounded up every day and put in cages, to replace the foreign kids, all of whom have been executed. There have been torchlight parades in the streets, with bands of neo-Nazis breaking the store windows of Jewish merchants. Lynching of Afro-Americans are rampant. Congress has been suspended by Presidential fiat. An unsmiling Attorney General Barr has been seen riding around various cities, standing in a tank, wearing a helmet and a flak jacket, chewing a cigar.

The debate moderator, a well-known news broadcaster who looks very familiar to me but whose name I cannot remember, even in the nightmare, poses the first question to Joe Biden.

“Mr. Biden,” he asks, “where do you stand on Hillary Clinton’s e-mails?”

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Crocodile Don and his Fleurs du Mal

One of Donald Trump's genius ideas
Excerpted from a recent article in The New York Times:
Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down.
I’m not sure whether this will surprise you, or not surprise you in the least — but Trump has denied all of this. Of course, he denies things all the time, even if we’ve seen and heard him say them on national TV. The man is a virtual gold mine of outrage. Locking little children up in cages, separating them from their families, telling people off-camera to “knock the crap” out of protestors, and threatening whistle blowers and Congressmen with death are a few of the other horrors that come to mind.

Nevertheless, walling off the entire southern border with a moat filled with lethal reptiles marks a new something-or-other in the bizarre behavior of the Trump Administration.  And according to Rolling Stone and sundry publications, aides took the, umm, suggestion seriously enough to begin seeking cost estimates for such a moat. 

Not reported was whether the estimate that the White House folks sought included the annual cost of feeding the snakes and alligators. Or perhaps they figured there would be no feeding costs if we just keep pitching enough hapless immigrants into the moat as reptile fodder.

The Ventriloquist. Oddly back in the 1940s
he said almost exactlywhat we've heard
The Trumpster say.
Now I know why, for a quite some time, I’ve been referring to our President as “The Trumpster.” He resembles, to a curiously strong degree, one of the supervillians out of the early Batman comic strips and movies, along with The Joker, The Penguin, The Scarecrow, and The Ventriloquist.

Like all the comic book villains, The Trumpster, who now, thanks to the Reptile Moat, we can also call Crocodile Don, is surrounded by a group of equally evil henchmen. I offer you, as exhibits A, B, and C, his prized fleurs du mal, Stephen Miller, Rudy Giuliani, and Mike Pompeo. All three of them look more like cartoons of themselves than they do like real people. And they look even more like comic book cartoons of evil geniuses.

Stephen Miller. I shudder to guess what
his spare time hobbies might be.
Perhaps that’s why, every time I watch Stephen Miller on television, I imagine that his hobby must be pulling the wings off live flies. And perhaps eating them afterward.
Is this Dr. Sivana, or is this Rudy?

Giuliani, on the other hand, brings to mind Dr. Sivana, the evil genius who populated Captain Marvel Comics back in the day. Shazam!

The Penguin. Or perhaps
Pompeo in mufti.
And Pompeo? If you look at him from just the right angle, he does indeed bear a resemblance to The Penguin.

It seems to me that some enterprising college or university — it could even be one of those artsy-leftsy liberal arts outfits like Antioch or Oberlin or Bard — might forever solve its financial problems and score a handsome federal endowment — if only one of them would confer an honorary degree on Crocodile Don. Nothing inappropriate, mind you. It could be an honorary Ph.D in Malevolence Studies. 

Do you think for a millisecond that The Trumpster wouldn’t show up to wear an academic robe and scarf, accept his degree, and make a commencement speech about himself? 

Forever after, he could point to his doctorate as clear evidence of his own brilliance. “Not only am I a very stable genius, I have a Ph.D to prove it.” And furthermore, “The audience at the graduation ceremony where I was honored for my intelligence was the largest commencement audience in history.”

Small and struggling colleges, get cracking on this! Donald Trump isn’t going to be president forever.

I hope.

P.S. And now this: I've just come across a New York Magazine report that The Trumpster once wanted to build a castle-like building with an alligator-filled moat in Manhattan. No explanation of how the cold-blooded alligators would survive the first New York blizzard, although the the author floats a theory. My own theory has to do with packaged frozen alligator meat.

P.P.S. And long as we're talking about menacing lizards and villainous cartoon characters, you might as well see this to help you have a happy weekend: 

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Donald Trump not only flunks civics and ethics, he also flunks Economics 101

“Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” — Donald Trump, on March 2, 2018
New York, Oct. 2, 2019 (Reuters): Wall Street's main indexes hit fresh one-month lows at the open on Wednesday, extending losses from the previous session, as a contraction in domestic factory activity pointed to impact from a prolonged U.S.-China trade war.
Of course, as J.P. Morgan once solemnly declared when asked by reporters what the stock market will do, "The market will fluctuate."

All the same, despite ridiculously low interest rates that Desperate Donald wants to see lowered to nil, if not negative, in the vain hope that will turn things around, the market is fluctuating more or less in a downward direction. The people on Wall Street, who know what's what, say it's his tariff war that's making it happen. And remember, these are Wall Streeters,  not lefty ideologues.

I make mention of this just as a reminder to my Republican friends, that in addition to Donald Trumps' total disregard for law, rules, and ethics, which has prompted the current impeachment investigation, Americans have more than one reason why we'd all be better off if he were out of the White House.

Monday, September 30, 2019

The rich aroma of flop sweat is reeking its way out of the White House. Is this finally, actually, really-and-truly the beginning of The Trumpster’s end?

It's possible that he's not just running scared, he's running terrified
I live in the middle of Manhattan and don’t open my windows much. Just lift them a crack and in comes a cacophony of blaring horns, wailing sirens, clanking garbage trucks, plus dust, carbon monoxide, and disagreeable weather that’s usually too hot, too cold, too damp, or too damn something.

But this evening is different. Google is telling me the temperature as I write this is 66 degrees — Goldilocks weather. And so, late this evening when the streets had quieted down a tad, I hefted open the window a couple of inches. 

And whammo!

The stink from 
Pennsylvania Avenue

Into my cramped living quarters, ten stories above ground, drifted the unmistakeable aroma of flop sweat. And I know where it’s coming from.

It has wafted its way here all the way from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. You don’t have to see the stuff dripping down the President’s face and streaking his orange makeup to know this this time, at last, he really is in desperately deep doo-doo. Or at least probably.

I’m talking, of course, about the whole Ukraine thing. You know how badly Trump thinks he’s been hooked, harpooned, and netted by the frantically hysterical quality of his responses.

• He has accused Representative Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, of treason, for the treasonous crime of going about his Congressional duties.

• He has accused the New York Times of treason for reporting the news.

• He has demanded, in contravention of the law, to know the identity of the whistleblower who had the temerity — the treasonous temerity! — to blow the whistle from a place of safety, just as the law says whistleblowers should. (Well, Trump didn’t use the actual word “temerity,” probably because it’s not part of his limited vocabulary, but that’s the drift  of his furor.)

• Of course, Trump has also accused an FBI operative of treason, too, because of that agent’s involvement in the Russia probe. But that’s old-ish news.

Treason, treason, treason—
what does it all mean?

Notice that those accusations of treason are popping up quite a bit?

Inevitably, whenever Donald Trump accuses someone of a crime, you can scratch around a little and detect the distinct aroma of Trump’s own criminality. Evidently, he never outgrew the game that my generation and his played as six-year-olds. If somebody called you a name, or accused you of something naughty, you’d recite in a sing-song voice,

“I’m rubber, 
you’re glue, 
whatever you say bounces off me
and sticks on you.”

This, we all thought, would magically transfer our own guilt to the body of the accuser.

The thing is, the rest of us outgrew that kiddy stuff. Trump still uses it as a magic talisman. Whatever he thinks he’s in trouble for, he accuses somebody else of having done that exact thing. That, he appears to think, wards off the evil eye of justice. As a matter of fact, so far it has worked. 

But “so far” may finally be used up. Nevertheless, the word “treason” now hovers above the mess Trump created. And if he’s playing the rubber-and-glue game with it, it deserves some investigation.

Will the buzzing gnats
drop a dime on Trump?

It also turns out that Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s civilian lawyer, and William Barr, domestic Attorney General, have been buzzing around like gnats on secret and likely improper or illegal “diplomatic” missions to futz with evidence.

Those are some mighty big names, with some powerful reservoirs of knowledge, who could turn on Donald Trump if it’s a matter of their hide in the hoosegow or Trump’s, a few cobblestones down the road.

Plus there’s the little matter of that Super-Duper-Extra-Double-Secret server in the White House, on which the Trumpster’s sycophantic minions have stored conversations with Vladimir Putin and others. Who knows what an airing of those conversations might reveal? Might it be the treason of which Trump has accused others? Just asking.

Of course, The Trumpster to date has led a charmed life. The spirit of Roy Cohn hovers over him, a malevolent guardian angel protecting Trump from truth, justice, and overdue bills from small and badly stiffed building contractors. He could, once again, get away with everything.

But this time, also maybe not.

Okay, time to shut the window.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Past impeachment, what should be done about Donald Trump and his band of contemptuous stonewallers?

The late Helen Gahagan Douglas. Who was she 
and what does she have to do with all of this? 
Keep reading.
I promise, I’ll offer my answer to the question of what to do about Trump and his bunch in time. But first, let’s step back into history. 

Here are two quotes:

“Our people would again be polarized in their opinion.” And furthermore “Richard Nixon and his loved ones have suffered enough.”

Those seem to be the two best excuses that President Gerald Ford could come up with when he pardoned Tricky Dick Nixon, on September 8, 1974, for the various crimes known as Watergate.

Never mind that from the very beginning of his career, long before Watergate, Nixon was a merciless bully who, for example, thuggishly maligned the woman he ran against for the Senate, Helen Gahagan Douglas, an actress turned politician. 

The big smear

Nixon attempted to smear her, all but called her a subversive traitor “pink down to her underwear,” and had others launch anti-Semitic memes against her because her husband, the actor Melvyn Douglas, was Jewish. In fact, she was nothing more nor less than a New Deal Democrat. But the lies and innuendos worked. He beat her.

Never mind that during Watergate he tried to cover up a patently illegal burglary aimed at seeing what he could get against the Democratic party.

The poor baby "had suffered enough." And besides, prosecuting him for his criminal activity might polarize the nation all over again.

And so, Nixon retired in shame, but very comfortably, to his estates in San Clemente, California, and Saddle River, New Jersey until he died, meanwhile making a handsome living writing books. Like many depots and would-be despots, he never saw the inside of a prison, although he most assuredly belonged in one.

Have we learned our lesson yet? 

Except in times of World War, this nation is always polarized to a greater or lesser extent. And the cure for it is not to pretend it doesn’t exist, or that it will go away if only we don’t lock up the bad guys. The cure is to prosecute the people whose crimes caused the polarization, so that others will be less tempted to follow their example in the future.

It’s now looking increasingly as if the House will impeach Donald Trump, even if it knows the Senate is not at all likely to convict him.

What will happen
when the pendulum swings?

In time, the political makeup of the United States will change, as it always does. Whether it’s next year, or half a decade down the road, the pendulum will swing again. And when it does, the best inoculation against more of what we have today is to set an example by making sure that the petty thugs and bullies around Donald Trump, and Trump himself, do some serious prison time for the damage they’ve done to the United States of America and to the body politic.

With that in mind, in addition to impeaching Donald Trump, Congress ought to hold in contempt all the stone-wallers who contemptuously defied Congressional committes, starting with Corey Lewandowski. Maybe Attorney General Will Barr will refuse to enforce the contempt citation — grounds for Barr himself to be cited. But when the tables turn, perhaps the first step a Democratic attorney general might take would be to enforce the citation. Let that hang over their heads for a few years.

And when, whether by election, term limits, or a surprise removal after impeachment, Donald Trump is no longer President, let us not hear a word about how the poor baby has suffered enough. Instead, I hope, law enforcement should instead find a way to insure that he dies of old age in the slammer, along with the sycophants who enabled him and blocked for him.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Well okay, time for a little entertainment

From You may need to sit through a TV commercial first. Worth it for what follows:

And while we're at it, there's also this:

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

No, Mr. Trump, you can’t just revoke an act of Congress without Congressional approval. That’s a coup d’├ętat.

Donald Trump treats the United States Constitution as if it's a piece of this.
(Photo: Wikimedia commons)
Just when you think he can’t get any worse, Donald Trump proves that after worse, there's more worse. And after that there's even worser. Ad infinitum.

The New York Times reports that Trump plans to roll  back California’s authority to set stricter auto emissions rules.
That draft Trump rule also included a plan to revoke a legal waiver, granted to the state of California under the 1970 Clean Air Act, allowing it to set tougher state-level standards than those put forth by the federal government.
Uh, small problem. If the president can revoke acts of Congress, then law, and Congress, and democracy have no meaning any more. We have been plunged into an absolute dictatorship, or perhaps an absolute monarchy, where the president makes and revokes laws according to his own whims.

Never mind that so much as even suggesting California’s pollution rules should be rolled back could be headlined around the world with something like: Trump To Planet Earth: F.U!

Never mind that there’s no sane reason to move in the direction of more pollution and more CO2 omission and more fossil fuel consumption when the very existence of life on earth is at stake.

But at least pay attention to this:

Donald J. Trump has just wiped his bottom with the Constitution of the United States and is now attempting to flush it down the toilet.

And the question is, will the obsequious lickspittles whom Trump and other Republicans have appointed to the court go along with this abomination? Or will they somehow assemble enough collective spine to put a stop to it, and smack down this flagrant abuse of the Constitution pronto?

Monday, September 09, 2019

I can’t stand it any more. I just can’t. I can’t. Get Trump out of my damn newspaper! Get him off my TV! Get him out of my computer!

In 15th Century Prague they got rid of disagreeable government officials the
old fashioned way — they threw them out of windows. These days you'd better vote.

I know I’m old. I know I’m cranky. I know, I know. But enough is enough already, Donald. Stop it! Just stop it!

I looked at the York Times today and what did I see?

The Auto Rule Rollback That Nobody Wants, Except Trump,” which has to do with Trump's insistence that we emit more CO2 and other nasty stuff from our cars, even though even the car makers don’t want to do this.

Commerce Chief Threatened Firings at NOAA After Trump’s Dorian Tweets, Sources Say, which is of course about how no weather forecaster who works for the government is permitted to contradict the nonsense vomiting out of the presidential mouth. If he says the hurricane’s gonna hit Alabama, it’s gonna hit Alabama and don’t you dare say otherwise. If he says it’s snowing in Atlanta in July, be a dutiful little weather forecaster and come out with your snow shovel to shovel the imaginary snow.

Trump Declares Afghan Peace Talk With Taliban ‘Dead.’ This would be about those peace talks that Trump was holding without bothering, until the last minute, to mention them to the President of Afghanistan. Then he called them off after some Taliban thugs did what Taliban thugs always  do and killed 12 people, one of whom was American. Trump’s little speech on that matter could be turned into the lyrics for a Broadway musical. Here are his words:

They are dead
They are dead
As far as I’m concerned
They are dead
You can’t do that.
You can’t do that with me.
So they are dead 
As far as I’m concerned.

This needs to be set to music. Leonard Bernstein, where are you when we need you?

And meanwhile, in other news…
“Dozens of Bahamas residents hoping to seek refuge were kicked off a ferry headed for Florida because they had no visas.  About which I need say no more concerning Trump’s Department of Homeland Security.

How do we get rid of this guy? If the voters can’t vote him out because…Electoral College.

If the Senate won’t convict even if the House impeaches because…Moscow Mitch.

If the U.S. Attorney General won’t enforce Congressional subpoenas because…How do you think he got his job and keeps it?

So we may be stuck with another four years of this guy. But I think you'd better make damn sure that on the morning of election day, everybody gets out and votes. 

Monday, September 02, 2019

Memo to Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams: You both may be too insane to be President of the United States

A likely presidential candidate from either party
You have to be crazy to run for President of the United States. 

To do the job effectively, you have to be willing to be the constant target of accusations and insults. You have to have your own life, past and present, under constant scrutiny by the press and opposition researchers. You have to be charming to people you loathe. You have to work a long, stressful day. You have to be willing to accept responsibility for the lives — or the snuffing out of the lives — of millions of people. If you suffer so much as a bout of constipation it’ll probably make the newspapers. 

You want that job? 

Then you’re nuts.

The least crazy presidents in this nation’s history were generally those who never intended to be president. They were crazy enough to be politicians, but not crazy enough to run day and night for a bed in the White House. Instead, they got sucked into office by a vacuum left when a president died.

There were three of those in my lifetime. Lyndon Johnson was the exception to the Rule of Crazy, a raging bundle of frustration who kept us in Viet Nam and escalated the damn thing, when he should have pulled us out and instead paid more attention to his one good idea, The Great Society.

But Harry S.Truman and Gerald Ford were both quite sane by presidential standards. Both were relatively ordinary people with an interest in politics but no great desire to be the top guy. Both weren’t bad presidents.

Is it bad to have a crazy President? Well, given that we almost never have a choice, I’d say it's simply a fact of life, and also that it depends on what kind of crazy you’re talking about. 

Nixon was crazy bad, covering up for Watergate by day, walking around the White House and talking to presidential paintings on the wall by night. Trump — you know, “the very stable genius” “the king of the Jews” and on and on —  is so insane, the imagination boggles. But other Presidents, from Lincoln, to Roosevelt, to Jack Kennedy and Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama were crazy for running for the job, but still not bad, or pretty good, or in at least one case possibly great presidents.

Which brings me finally to you guys, Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams. 

Both of you know you’ll never make it, at least this time around, as winning candidates for president. Both of you live in states where Republican Senate seats are up for grabs and there has been a perceptible shift in sentiment from red to blue. You both stand a good chance of succeeding in a Senate race. 

Without a Senate majority, a Democratic President of the United States will be hamstrung. Your Senate wins could get the Democratic presidency into a position where progressive forces could really get something done in this country. Yet both of you, although you’ll never win the presidential nomination for 2020, have refused to run for the Senate.

Abrams has at least declared her interest in the vice-presidency. Perhaps she’s banking on some elderly Democratic president, like Joe Biden, dying in office, leaving the presidency to her by default.   O’Rourke has essentially said he’ll take the presidency or nothing.

Both have thus proved not only that they are crazy, but that they are too crazy, too willful, too disinterested in any thing save their own careers to run for the Senate.

Yeah, you gotta be nuts to be president. But you gotta be beyond insane to refuse to support the person who will be if he or she is a Democrat, or to rein in the current nut in the White House if the Democrats don’t make it.

If you two plan to continue flying off into a personal, careerist snit, you’re each, in your way, as egotistically nuts as Trump. And the diminishes the possibility that many Democrats will ever again vote for you for anything.

Friday, August 23, 2019

A personal apology from The New York Crank to Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark

Maybe his diaper was wet
Dear Prime Minister Frederiksen,

Back in 1959, as a still-adolescent college student, I spent some time in Europe. The student bible for European travel in those days was called “Europe on $5 a Day,” and believe it or not, two students splitting hotel rooms really could travel around the Continent for five bucks a day — $35 a week — back then.

On the recommendation of the same guidebook, I signed up for a program called “Meet the Danes” when I got to Copenhagen. Just for showing up, a Danish family would invite you into their home for coffee, cake, and conversation. Free!

My traveling buddy and I ended up in a nice house on the outskirts of Copenhagen where what seemed like a terribly old couple (they must have been in their mid-thirties) sat us down at their dining table. I can still see them. She was wearing a Channel suit. He was wearing a double-breasted blue blazer and a striped rep tie and looked a bit like Prince Philip of England. 

The cake was delicious. Their home was inviting and of course furnished in Danish Modern. The conversation? Well, let’s just say the age gap between two dazed nineteen-year-olds and two fully adult 30-somethings was a bit too wide. I think they were relieved when we were finally gone, so that they didn’t have to keep trying to think of something to say that would get us talking.

All the same, I was, and to this day still am, impressed by the kindliness, hospitality, and warmth of the people I met in Denmark, exemplified by that lovely couple who invited a couple of bratty American kids into their home for some coffee and cake just to be nice.

Which brings me to Donald Trump.

One morning this week, Trump woke up and decided to buy Greenland. Never mind that it wasn’t on the market. Honestly, I checked the real estate ads. Couldn’t find Greenland anywhere.

Never mind that he forgot to ask the citizens of Greenland if they were up to getting sold like a blighted corner lot or a bankrupt Trump casino in Atlantic City. Or even whether Denmark has the authority to sell it, much less the interest. 

Never mind that if Denmark had come to Trump and asked to buy New York City, where I live (Oh, how I wish! I could have Danish medical care, retirement benefits, and terrific pastries....) Trump would have laughed them off his Twitter feed.

You, Madame Prime Minister the good sense to call an absurdity an absurdity. As Trump's followers would say, you told it like it is. Whereupon Trump had one of his infantile hissy fits, cancelled the visit to Denmark that he had invited himself to take, and called you “nasty.”

However, don’t regard his name calling too seriously. He called you nasty because he only knows two adjectives, okay maybe three, and none of the others was adequate to reflect his disappointment that you wouldn’t indulge his whim du jour. 

Not to worry. By today he was off Denmark and back onto crashing the American  stock market yet another time. Unlike purchasing Greenland, he actually was able to crash the market by tweeting a bunch of orders that he has no power to singlehandedly impose  under law — such as ordering U.S. manufacturers out of China, telling the Federal reserve again to cut the discount rate, and generally putting on his best impression ever of a six year old having a foaming-at-the-mouth temper tantrum. 

This means, Mme. Prime Minister, that you’re off the hook today. And tomorrow, too, since he’s undoubtedly going to spend tomorrow, and of course tonight, finding other people to blame for the stock market’s 623 point avalanche of losses.

He’ll no doubt blame Chairman Powell of the Fed. Maybe he’ll throw a rock at Apple Computer for making its IPhones in China. Maybe he’ll demand that Congress eliminate all taxes so that the economy can be more overstimulated and drive the market back up again  Maybe he’ll decide that somehow it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault, or Obama’s. I’m not sure how, but Donald is a very imaginative child — in fact, a "genius" according to him — so don’t put it past him.

With so many people he can target, it’s highly doubtful that he’ll blame you for the crash, although actually, with Trump you never know.

Anyway, as somebody who has experienced, just a tiny bit, the charm and goodwill of the Danes, I did want to apologize to you for our very, very, very badly behaved enfant terrible.

Oh, and at long last, thank you Denmark for the coffee and cake.