The Gettysburg Address–Trump Style

BY STEVE BATES

President Trump has his own take on history. Recently, he asked rhetorically why there was a Civil War and why President Andrew Jackson could not prevent it from happening. All of which makes me wonder what the Gettysburg Address might have sounded like had Trump been president in 1863. Here is the most likely version, Twitter-compatible:

lincoln

Eighty-seven years ago we completed a leveraged buyout of America from Britain. It wasn’t the best deal. We should have demanded Bermuda, and the Falkland Islands. But the important thing is that we won. Bigly.

I inherited this Civil War. It’s a mess. Look at this battlefield. Look at all these graves. Sad. Very sad. So many people lost, people who worked jobs and voted. A very important state. You love me here.

The world will little note, nor long remember, what I say here. Wait. Who wrote that? You there with the handlebar moustache? You’re fired!

The world will remember forever what I say here. And what I say is: It is for the living to make sure that these brave soldiers did not die in vain. We must win the war. We will win the war. We will crush the enemy. Wipe them out. Totally. The mother of all victories.

We will make America great again. So that the government of Trump, by Trump and for Trump shall not perish from the earth.

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Want Health Care? Get in Line, Soldier

BY STEVE BATES

President Trump and leading congressional Republicans have settled on health care legislation that would provide low-cost coverage in exchange for intensive public service, the In Sight blog has learned.

gop health

That public service will require extreme manual labor, which contributes to good health. The alternatives for this public service were still in the “conceptual stage” when this Fake News blog was being written, but an unidentified source with little or no knowledge of the actual GOP discussions said that these are among the options that Americans will be able to choose from:

SERVANTS: Citizens will be able to sign a contract of indentured servitude, requiring that they become servants for rich people. Serving drinks, rubbing sore feet, stoking fires, refilling sherry decanters, cleaning bathrooms and serving more drinks will be among the tasks. Servants with high IQs will help their masters cheat on their taxes.

SOLDIERS: Those with good eyesight and questionable morals will be sent to the front lines in the wars in Syria and North Korea. Freeze-dried daily food rations will be supplied at a reduced cost to these brave public servants. Those who survive will be given the same quality of veterans benefits that today’s veterans enjoy.

CLEAN ENERGY: Americans will be detailed to walk in circles pushing turbines to generate electricity for energy-intensive wide-screen televisions and other devices for the affluent. Even senior citizens with walkers will be able to contribute in this manner.

TRANSPORTATION: Want a sea voyage in exchange for cheap health coverage? Sign up for the galley option and get strapped in with the rest of the rowing crews as they propel military vessels across the seven seas. Watch out for that whip.

CONSTRUCTION: A large number of Americans will be needed to build the wall separating Mexico and the U.S. At first, volunteers will threaten private landowners who refuse to donate their property. Next they will battle coyotes and cougars and fell massive trees as they clear the land. Finally they will carry construction materials on their backs to get that wall done.

SECURITY: Here’s where children and small adults will get their chance to contribute. They will crawl through hollow walls and other confined spaces in the Trump Tower, the White House and other federal buildings to systematically remove all the wiretaps planted by the shameless Obama Administration in its final, bitter days.

The Genius of Donald Trump

BY STEVE BATES

This is very hard for me to say, so I’ll come right out with it: Donald Trump is the smartest president I have seen in my lifetime. Considering that I am a hard-core liberal and voted against Trump, this constitutes a major turnaround for me–and one that is very hard to admit.

donald

My epiphany is based solidly on the evidence. Consider these policies and actions of the 45th president:

THE WALL: Not only does Trump plan to build a border wall that could cost upward of $20 billion, he plans to pay for in part by weakening other parts of our national security, such as the TSA and Coast Guard. What this means is that instead of relatively poor Mexicans trying to cross the border into our country to make a better life for their children, the people coming into the U.S. illegally will be arriving by planes and ships. That will bring a richer, higher-class brand of terrorists who will contribute to the national economy before committing their heinous crimes.

FOREIGN POLICY: North Korea is just itching for a fight, firing missiles in the general direction of Japan and promising to destroy American military bases in that country. It has even claimed that, eventually, it will start blowing up our West Coast. What has the president done in response? He kept eating his overcooked steak at his country club in Florida, and he has said nothing publicly. The man tweets about everything he sees on Fox News, but direct military threats from a dangerous country merit no comment? Clearly, he is being sly. One morning soon an unsuspecting North Korea will be reduced to radioactive slag.

GUNS: A recent presidential order ensures that mentally ill Americans can get guns. And Trump has failed to take any action that would limit access to firearms by people on the terror watch list. Clearly, the president is setting them up. He wants these folks to show their hands—and weapons—so that he can round them up and start the waterboarding.

HEALTH CARE: Trump and his fellow Republicans in the House and Senate have crafted legislation that is quite amazing. It manages to help the rich at the expense of the poor while angering conservatives who feel that it gives the poor too much. At the same time, it removes what few incentives remained for major private insurance companies to participate. Only the smartest minds in government could have devised such a brain-dead proposal.

RUSSIA: Some very suspicious people have suggested that Trump has a man-crush on Putin and hesitates to criticize Russia. They have it wrong. Trump doesn’t love Russia; he loves the old Soviet Union. After he conquers Canada, Mexico and a few Central American countries whose names he can’t even pronounce, he’ll have an empire that will outshine the best that the Soviets ever managed.

WIRETAPPING: Claiming that Barack Obama ordered secret and illegal surveillance of Trump in his modest New York City home was the most brilliant move of all by the new president. Clearly, Trump wants everyone to think that he is mentally unsound. So, when the IRS finds that he cheated on his taxes, or when Wikileaks proves that he is cheated on his taxes or is indebted to Russia, he can cop an insanity plea and get out of any legal trouble he might encounter.

The Bald Truth About Executive Orders

Much attention has been paid to the most controversial orders of the young Trump Administration, such as the one limiting travel to the U.S. from several countries that the president and his national security advisors have labeled “very naughty.” However, President Trump signed other important executive orders during his first two weeks in office. Most of them received little or no publicity.

As a public service, the In Sight blog provides the complete text of these executive orders:

bald

HAIR LOSS

The $1 billion that was designated for the worthless Joe Biden cancer moon shot will be transferred instead to a new effort to find cures for hair loss and techniques for hair regrowth in aging white men. It’s going to be huge.

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

Moving clocks ahead one hour and back one hour is tedious and, frankly, useless. Instead, effective immediately, the sun is ordered to shine one hour more every day.

ALTERNATIVE FACTS

A Bureau of Alternative Facts is hereby created within the Department of Redundancy Department. It will provide the press and the public with better ways to measure things. For example, monthly economic reports will always be positive. Do I make myself clear?

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE

Arnold, you tried, but beneath that tough surface, you’re a wimp. You’re fired. Clint Eastwood has the job now. Make my day.

FREDERICK DOUGLASS

In commemoration of Black History Month—and it’s a really great month, by the way, really great—I am inviting Frederick Douglass to the White House to watch the Super Bowl and talk about The Blacks. The Blacks really love me, by the way.

MEXICO WALL

Large, New York-based construction empires are invited to bid on construction of the border wall. Project plans with casinos and hotels built into the wall will be given very, very high priority, if you catch my drift.

BEYONCE

Beyonce’s baby will be named MAGA, for Make America Great Again. Enough said.

CLIMATE CHANGE

There has been too much talk about this mythical phenomenon, which all the scientists tell me is a Chinese hoax. Probably it’s a phrase someone found in one of those fortune cookies they give out at the Peking Tom down on 44th Street, which has really good General Tso’s Chicken, by the way. Who is this General Tso, anyway? Is he sort of like the Chinese Colonel Sanders? Somebody look that up.

TIGER WOODS

Tiger, you were the best. But you’ve lost it, my friend. Bad back? Hah. We know it’s too many late nights with too many white women. Time to give up tournament play, my friend. You can make a living teaching golf to rich widows in Florida. They’ll take care of you in their wills, too. By the way, seen the kids lately?

STEVE BANNON

In recognition of the significant contributions of my trusted advisor on national security matters, I hereby direct him never to smile. I don’t think he has smiled before in his life. I just want to make it official.

SUPREME COURT

The U.S. government, within 90 days, will purchase a private island in the Caribbean where designated liberal justices of the U.S. Supreme Court can retire in total bliss. No income taxes; all expenses paid; private yachts; free cable if it’s available, as long as it gets the New York stations. Wait, not Fox. And not CNN. Scrap that cable thing. Make it free pay-per-view movies. And did I mention free one-way air fare out of the U.S.? It’s a deal they can’t refuse.

Government by Tweet

BY STEVE BATES

We have entered the age of government by tweet. President-Elect Donald Trump has already perfected the strategy of cranking out a 140-character message at any hour to change the way that the wheels of power spin.

What if great leaders of the past had been forced to communicate in this manner? Would they have found Twitter too restrictive? Or could they have adapted to the format?

As it turns out, a few great men and women were ahead of their time in this regard. Consider the short message that Julius Caesar dashed off to the Roman Senate after he had achieved a quick victory in the Battle of Zela.

 

JCaesar                                             47 BC

I came. I saw. I conquered.

 

What could be more concise? By the way, historians still debate whether Battle of Zela was an actual military conflict or a prototype video game.

Nearly two millennia later, a bunch of rebels hunched over a wooden desk in sunny Philadelphia crafted the following missive.

 

JAdams                                             4 July 1776

When in the course of human events…. Hmm. On second thought, let’s get right to it. We’re mad as hell, Great Britain, and we’re not going to take it anymore.

 

Soon thereafter came the task of writing the U.S. Constitution. This effort required great thought to preserve important rights and establish effective governance. However, our Founding Parents were able to compress the document quite skillfully.

 

TJefferson                                                  13 Sept 1787

Free speech and religion. Lots of guns. No self-incrimination. President, Congress and Courts (please try to get along). We’ll figure out that slavery thing later.

 

Alas, that last part turned out to be a mistake. In the midst of the Civil War, one of our greatest presidents journeyed to Gettysburg, Pa., to lament the loss of life and to give this inspiring speech.

 

ALincoln                                           19 Nov 1863

87 years ago we became a country. The men buried here died so we could keep it one. Let’s stick together, people.

 

Of course, we continued to fight war after war. Yet one of the biggest threats to our existence came not in a declared war but in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Who could forget President Kennedy’s stirring message to Nikita Khrushchev.

 

JFK                                                     20 Oct 1962

Get those missiles out now, Niki, or Fidel’s little island will glow in the dark for the next 10,000 years.

 

Life in the U.S. was pretty sweet after that until some folks tried to change health care and enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Here’s how they put it into effect:

 

DCDems                                            21 Mar 2010

Health insurance for everybody, or pay a fine. Pre-existing conditions covered. Get financial aid for premiums–well, some of you. Have lots of choices for plans and doctors–except in most states. But it’s really good, trust us.

 

What can we expect in the future? Maybe something like this:

DTrump                                             1 Feb 2017

My laptop won’t boot. I’m getting Mister Rogers reruns instead of CNN. Everything’s been hacked. Get Vlad on the hotline!

 

Fake News Lesson One: Facts

BY STEVE BATES

Welcome to the first lesson in my course on mastering fake news. Today we examine four prominent fake news stories and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. In all four cases, the merits of the fake story centered on the use of facts.

Let’s start with the most famous fake news story of 2016, the “Pizzagate” conspiracy:

Hillary, Top Democrats Linked to Child Sex Organization
(Washington; Oct. 30, 2016)–Internal Democratic Party emails released today by WikiLeaks demonstrate that top party figures knew of—and might have participated in—child trafficking and prostitution.
The emails allegedly authored by party official John Podesta identify several pizza restaurants in Washington where children were kept and abused. The emails hint at secret tunnels connecting some of the locations, apparently allowing the Democrats the move between them with impunity.
One source said that presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is among….

This story has been largely debunked. While it might be true that “pizza” is code for “child sex” in some circles, operating a massive child sex ring in secret right under the noses of a million Washington area residents would be difficult. Particularly for Democrats, who are historically inept at keeping secrets or managing large projects of any kind.

While it’s true that the Democratic Party supervised the construction of secret tunnels connecting its offices with several popular pizzerias in the city, this was done to prevent embarrassment at the pizza addiction afflicting many left-leaning politicians in town.

What went wrong here? By identifying the pizza parlors by name, the conspiracy theorists allowed local police to search the facilities and rule out the kind of sex trafficking that was alleged. Using fake names for the restaurants—or not identifying them—might have given this bogus story a longer life.

Let’s turn to a trickier fake news piece:

5-Year-Old Boy Gets Last Wish; Dies in Arms of Santa Claus
(Knoxville, Tenn.; Nov. 20, 2016)–A 5-year-old Tennessee boy with a terminal illness had just one last wish: He wanted to meet Santa Claus. Not long ago, he got that wish.
But the story has a bittersweet ending. The boy, whose name is being withheld at the request of his family, died in the arms of Santa.
The encounter began when a nurse at a local hospital called a professional Santa, Eric Schmitt-Matzen, who rushed to the hospital to be at the boy’s bedside in time to grant his wish.
Schmitt-Matzen said this week that although he could not locate the Hatchable toy that the boy requested, seeing the young man smile at him as the disease claimed his life was….

This one fooled a lot of us. Maybe we just wanted to believe it. Or we couldn’t accept the possibility that anyone would invent such a tale. Apparently, there was no such dying boy, according to local hospital officials.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported the story, and then retracted it. Schmitt-Matzen stuck to his account. However, the Santa reportedly declined to identify the family or even the hospital where the encounter purportedly happened, stating the he wanted to protect the family.

This fake news item could have been salvaged if the author had simply refused to identify the fake Santa or the town where this occurred. Or if he or she had written that the real Santa Claus had visited the dying boy. Try to disprove that one!

Now, a fascinating fake news item from a couple of years ago:

Texas, 3 Other States to Permit Executions by Lightsaber
(Austin, Tex.; June 17, 2014)–Texas has joined three other states that will execute convicts using lightsabers instead of a cocktail of drugs. The Legislature voted 898 to 2 today to approve the new execution method. The two dissenting legislators wanted more information about the cost of the lightsabers.
In recent years, attempted executions in Texas, Louisiana, Indiana and Nevada have been delayed by a shortage of the drugs typically used to kill those sentenced to death. Some states tried home remedies, often to no avail.
Gov. Rick Perry hailed the shift to lightsabers, terming them “an elegant weapon”….

This one was relatively easy to debunk. The crystals that power real lightsabers can be found only on one distant planet. And not every local corrections officer can operate a lightsaber properly. It takes training under a Jedi Master.

Finally, this classic fake news article:

Man Walks on the Moon
(Houston, Tex.; July 21, 1969)–Two men from Earth set foot on the Moon for the first time last night.
As he exited the Apollo spacecraft and stepped into the gray lunar dust, astronaut Neil Armstrong declared: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He was soon joined by fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
The moon landing was hailed as an historic event….

People who claimed at the time that the moon landing was staged in Hollywood were laughed down. But we now know that they were right. Sending a spaceship to the Moon? If it were possible, Elon Musk would have done it.

The Fake News Quiz

BY STEVE BATES

There’s so much fake news out there, it’s getting more difficult every day to determine what is true and what is manufactured out of thin air. Some fake news is designed to influence elections. Other fake news is created to market products or simply draw attention to its egotistical authors. But whatever the reason, it’s bothersome. At times, it’s embarrassing to get fooled by it.

So, the In Sight blog is providing this quiz to help you separate fake news from the real thing.

Here are several recent news stories. See if you can determine which one of these is fake. Answer at the end. Good luck.

fake

SCIENTISTS BELIEVE THEY HAVE
FOUND MISSING ‘DARK MATTER’

“Dark matter,” the mysterious stuff that makes up a majority of the matter in the known universe, has eluded scientists for decades. But, thanks to a sensitive new instrument, they might have located a significant portion of it. And in our own back yard, cosmically speaking.

A new machine that scans the universe for fluctuations in the space-time continuum found a large distortion of gravity centered about five miles west of Provo, Utah. After consulting Google Maps, a team of scientists in moon suits traveled to the source of the phenomenon, a sprawling ranch home in which the Peavy family lives.

“We’re not hoarders,” Mrs. Peavy reportedly told the scientists when they knocked on her door. “We just don’t like to throw away things. You know how one thing leads to another.”

Scientists say the family has added on to the house repeatedly over the past 34 years; it now covers more than 120 acres, every room stuffed to the rafters with junk. “There’s an original Guttenberg Bible in here somewhere. And the first Superman comic. Now if you just bear with me, we can go look….”

TRUMP UNVEILS DEATH STAR
TO REPLACE BORDER WALL

President-Elect Donald Trump said he will enhance his Mexican border wall plan by adding cutting-edge technology. Instead of building a physical wall across the border of U.S. and Mexico, Trump said, he will create a “Death Star” that will enforce security from orbit.

Trump would not provide a cost estimate for the project, stating only that it will be “huge.”

The president-elect said that the revised project will create jobs in all red states, whereas focusing on border states would have provided employment to many residents of notoriously Democratic California. “We will draw on the technological expertise of Americans from around our country to build and launch this new enforcement mechanism.”

Trump aides said that the orbiting station will have high-powered cameras and lasers to zap people attempting to cross the border illegally….

POLAR BEARS TERRORIZE
RESIDENTS OF MIAMI, FLORIDA

Police in Miami and surrounding counties say they are baffled by the recent onslaught of marauding polar bears. Authorities say that as many as 100 of the bears have been spotted on city streets and in suburban neighborhoods, traveling in packs or wandering individually.

Traffic has been disrupted in the central business district; trash cans have been overturned in several communities; and public swimming pools have been inundated with the polar bears, which normally limit their activities to colder regions. The average daily high temperature this week in Miami was 87 degrees.

While some children have been delighted to see the snow-white creatures, several parents have reported maulings. The Coca-Cola Co. said that none of the polar bears they use in holiday commercials is missing.

Government scientists said they see no possible connection between the polar bear invasion and the much-debated theory of climate change….

HACKERS MIGHT HAVE RIGGED
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee came under heavy criticism today after its IT director said that the results of the panel’s voting might have been influenced by computer hackers.

There were some raised eyebrows in the sports world when the much-anticipated playoff results were revealed at a morning news conference. While undefeated Western Michigan secured the first of four playoff spots, the number two selection was Moscow State University, the number three choice was Russian State University for the Humanities, and the final playoff spot went to Trump University.

The Selection Committee chairman said he was confident that the results will withstand any audit. “While three of the chosen teams do not have players, equipment or a fan base, we feel that the choices will add a new element of excitement to the playoffs,” he stated.

The football team from the KFC commercial finished fifth, just out of the playoffs. A KFC spokesman threatened to….

ELVIS, JACKIE FOUND ALIVE;
COUPLE FAKED THEIR DEATHS

Elvis Presley and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis have been found alive and living in a remote village in Ecuador.

The celebrities, long believed to be dead, were discovered accidentally by a Girl Scout troop that became lost in a jungle while playing Pokemon Go, according to the U.S. State Department. While no DNA tests have been conducted to verify the identity of the famous pair, and officials in Ecuador would not comment, the Girl Scout leader said she had no doubt about the finding.

“They have aged well,” said the scout leader. “They asked us not to disclose their exact location, for the sake of their seven children, and we will of course comply.”

The scout leader said that Jackie refused to talk to her but Elvis seemed relieved to have his secret relationship with the former first lady revealed at last. “I’m in love,” Elvis reportedly commented, adding: “I’m all shook up.” …

ANSWER: It turns out that all of these news stories are true. Keep reading the In Sight blog to make sure that you get the news you need from the source you trust.