Home » 'Impossible things' » The Pumpkin – Issue 5

The Pumpkin – Issue 5

Senator Jeff Sessions: nominated is as Attorney General

Senator Jeff Sessions: confirmed he is as US Attorney General. Fear the Dark Side, warning I am you.

Funny Side of the Tweet

“How can (Trump) expect to escape ridicule? Being on reality TV is the closest he ever got to reality. His children look like a teen movie about Wall Street vampires directed by Uday Hussein. He has cultivated a square face that’s the shade of a banned food colouring and the muscle tone of a coma patient. He looks like aliens came to Earth and made a human costume after seeing one commercial for a car dealership.” – Comedian Frankie Boyle, writing in The Guardian, 09/02/17.

Brilliant observational comedy, with acutely perceptive bits thrown in. So unfair. Catch the rest at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/08/donald-trump-obnoxious-karma-reincarnated-as-himself-frankie-boyle?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=212406&subid=19570602&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

(Isn’t there some thing you can buy, an app or whatever, that shortens your URLs to a few simple numbers and stuff? Haven’t I seen one of those?  ‘Cos you might have to key all this in one day and then you’d miss the treat.)

The problem being, the global shitstorm of derisive humour that has greeted the election of a man of whom it can best be charitably said, he gets away with it, to the highest position on the planet is just a waste of good jokes.

If he actually saw or read any of it, you might as well understand, he’s not going to change because of it.

He doesn’t know how.


DeVostating news

Trump-nominee Betsy DeVos has also been confirmed as US Education Secretary, apparently to get her case out of the way before the supine and terrified Republican party in Congress has to consider the case of ‘Yoda’, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions 111’s nomination for Attorney General*, at which point all obstructions to Trump’s insane policy tweets and the US Constitution will cease to have legal force.

Mrs DeVos’ principal qualification for the job seems to be that she and her billionaire husband donated $22 million to the Republican campaign.

Betsy DeVos’ husband, Richard Marvin “Dick” DeVos Jr., is a multi-billionaire heir to the Amway fortune who ran Amway’s parent company, Alticor, from 1993 to 2002. Dick DeVos is a major donor to conservative political campaigns and social causes, and was the 2006 Republican nominee for Governor of Michigan.” (Wikipedia)

I wish people gave me  the nickname “Dick”, sadly my bank balance is too small.

Far-right website Heavy.com describes the inexperienced and demonstrably inadequate DeVos thus: “Betsy is an education activist and philanthropist, and she comes from the wealthy and politically active DeVos family”.

Note that “and”. Twice blessed. By ‘Education activist’ they presumably mean support for private schools for the wealthy and education vouchers for the blacks.

USA Today presented a somewhat different picture in October 2011:

“Amway agreed to pay $55 million to former distributors, closely oversee high-level distributors who run training businesses, strengthen refund policies and make other changes estimated to cost an additional $100 million. The lawsuit alleged Amway is a “pyramid scheme” — which was changed to “illegal scheme” in an amended version — in which distributors rarely sell products to outside customers, only to other new distributors they bring in, who must bring more recruits in to make money. New entrants, the lawsuit says, were “effectively required” to purchase products and event tickets from the high-level distributors.”

Now, my ad agency unfortunately attracted a client similarly in the multi-level marketing business, for which read ‘pyramid scam’, so I have some knowledge to share. Cabouchon sold costume jewellery through ‘downlines’ – the suckers who actually did the selling, who were beholden to other sellers back up the chain, and were unreliably  supplied and seldom paid. The company was owned by a stunning young German woman, six feet tall, raven haired Petra D., who claimed to have an MBA, although we found out she hadn’t finished the course. She had a lethal way of doing business, not unlike D. Trump’s: screw ’em, and if they try to screw you back, annihilate ’em.

When Cabouchon came to owe us a large sum of money, they threatened to countersue for loss of reputation. We hit them back with an ‘Anton Pillar’  winding-up order. When they issued a cheque drawn on a bank branch that had closed two years earlier, we had them. Actually, now I think about it, we should have gone to the police.

Anyway, that was twenty-two years ago, but it explains why I checked up on Amway, because they were notorious even then.

It’s said that Yoda’s nomination hearing was deliberately delayed so that, if needed, he would still qualify as a Senator to vote for DeVos, who was embarrassed in the preliminary hearing as she evidently knew not a lot about education policy, hedging her answers. American politics seems to be all about how you can manipulate procedure to deny the enemy. Except that one of her major qualifications to run the education system of the USA may be that she and her husband – they sound like the sort of couple you would develop cancer to avoid – own a business buying up and clawing back student loan debts.

As it happens, despite looking like he has an assfull of suppositories, the ever-faithful Vice President, Mike Pence, is said to have sprinted doggedly up Pennsylvania Avenue to throw his casting vote for DeVos.

yodaAnd today we hear that Democrat Senator, Elizabeth Warren has been BANNED FROM SPEAKING at the Sessions hearing by Trump congressional bumsucker, Sen. Mitch McConnell, after trying to present evidence showing the Alabama Senator incurred the displeasure of no less a personage than Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther, over his attempts to have black voters removed from electoral rolls and to prosecute civil rights campaigners who tried to get more blacks registered; not a racist, just a Republican.

Ms Warren was silenced on grounds that Senators should not ‘impugn’ one anothers’ reputations, even in suitability hearings where it might be that evidence of past conduct would show a Senator from the Deep South, whose appointment has been enthusiastically welcomed by Mr David Duke, late of the KKK, was completely unsuitable for elevation to high office. (Only that’s not what Rule 19 says.)

King’s eloquent 10-page deposition was not even entered into the record at the hearing 30 years ago when Yoda, a pixie-eared midget, failed to get appointed a Federal judge, so respectful is the Republican party toward Civil Rights. In fact, Sessions’ only redeeming feature apart from the practised avuncular twinkle in his dimwitted old mint-julep eyes is that he is worth a mere $7.5 million, compared with the rest of the billionaire kleptos in the Oval Office.

Is anyone still trying to argue that this Trump administration is perfectly normal and not a bunch of lying, evil fascists?

Hell yes.

*Broken news: Yoda got in. Interviewed on TV, he said he was ‘interested in the rule of law’. Just as well.


 Lock Him Up!

“The controversial law allows for a minimum fine of about $1,300 (£1,000) and a minimum jail term of three months for publishing false, deceptive or misleading information on a computer system.”

The above line from a BBC story about a Tanzanian safari park guide who has been suspended for pretending on social media that a tourist made slighting remarks about the local people when she had in fact praised them to the skies just leaped off the screen at me.

Could the USA not pass a similar law regarding Twitter? It’ll be brilliant, honest.


Time flies when you’re having fun

“It’s really incredible to me that we have a court case that’s going on so long,” Trump told a conference of law enforcement officials in Washington on Wednesday. (Guardian)

What’s that now, five days? Let’s see how long Melania suing the Daily Mail for $120 million damages to her earnings potential as First Lady (NYT report) for stupidly covering the repeat of a retweet of a B-tweet from some teenage blogger in the USA as if it were a real news story, who may have falsely misremembered a rumour she might have had a mildly insalubrious past we daren’t even ask about, goes on….

Anyway, we hope she wins large. Fucking Daily Mail. Good riddance.


A Good Malloching

May I recommend a new word for Collins’ dictionary, you know, the one that races to be first every year to accreditate neologisms that ninety-nine per cent of the English-speaking world has yet to hear of until they appear in reports on a slow news day about, like, hey, here are some great new words everyone is saying, that’ve gone in the dictionary courtesy of Collins’ PR baboons?

“To Malloch” would be a verb meaning to embellish one’s CV to a point beyond completely outrageous absurdity; beyond Swift or Baron Munchausen, beyond even Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams,  before landing a plum diplomatic posting to a multinational organisation both you and your political masters and their pals in the Kremlin  are pledged to destroy.

According to a fascinating fact-check in the Financial Times, Trump’s expected nominee for ambassador to the European Union, academic Dr Theodore Roosevelt  ‘Ted’ Malloch, claims to have been knighted by the Queen into the ‘Order of St John’. ‘My family call me Sir Ted’, he quips, merrily ignoring the fact that this minor honorific places him in a category especially created for foreign persons, slightly lower in rank than my Aunt Jeannine’s MBE for services to charity. A knighthood (KCB) it was not.

Video of a conference he attended at which Mrs Thatcher was the star speaker does not, the FT finds, confirm her referring at any point to Dr Malloch as ‘a genius’. Nor was he even entered for the Emmy award he won for a TV documentary he made.

Dr Malloch claims to have gained his PhD in ‘under three years’ when it appears from University records it may have been more like five (‘My thesis took a little longer’). He also claims to have ‘helped bring down the Soviet Union’ while in an ‘ambassador-level role’. According to the FT, his diplomatic role at the time the wall came down was as deputy to an executive secretary in the UN Economic Commission for Europe, a position from which he could only have driven to Berlin with a megaphone and shouted at Mr Gorbachev across No Man’s Land.

The Alice in Wonderland world of alternative facts could possibly find fewer richer sources than the colourful life of Dr Ted, vividly recounted in an autobiography, Davos, Aspen and Yale: a humorous and witty take on his life experiences in this unique and riotous account‘. (Amazon blurb).

WND Books appears to be what is known as a ‘vanity publisher’, in other words you pay to have your electronic submission printed with minimal editorial oversight, as the reviews on their website might suggest. ‘F. Skip Weitzen’, author of Hypergrowth, calls Malloch ‘the world’s best spreader of bull. Read it and laugh out loud!’. ‘Robert W. Patterson, columnist’, The Philadelphia Inquirer, regards his friend Malloch as a ‘Renaissance man’. ‘Prabhu Gupatra, Editor, The Global Indian’, writes, without irony: ‘Sir Ted is too young to be writing his memoirs . . . prepare to be astonished, educated and amused.’

In other words, the guy is a comedian!

For a good Malloching, I earnestly recommend you visit:



Easy Rider

Now to the latest Trumpery…

This is America’s leading businessman and Great Deal Maker, right? Yet the evidence is growing that he knows very little about business, especially the complex international webs of component manufacture and ‘just-in-time’ supply that make up the global car industry.

Otherwise he wouldn’t imagine that the simplest solution to fixing unemployment in the rust-belt of the USA is to put up trade barriers and tweetbully Ford into pulling out of a Mexico factory project. Running a global car business is a little more complicated than golf courses and vanity brand-licensing deals,  and does not include damaging your company’s profitability for ideological reasons, to fulfil one senescent self-proclaimed billionaire’s impromptu election pledges.

The President reminded executives of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company at a meeting at the White House last week that President Reagan had saved their business by raising tariffs to protect it from ‘dumping’ by Japanese manufacturers in the mid-80s. It was an alt-fact (they might have realised!) supporting his thesis that the world is taking unfair advantage of the USA and he has to stand up against free trade and cheap Chinese imports (such as the steel he is said to use in his construction projects?).

The truth is that in the 1970s Harley-Davidson got complacent and was making crap products that wouldn’t go uphill, if they started at all, and leaked oil everywhere, and German and Japanese competitors had modernised and were walking all over them, and the probably equally unreliable British Norton and Triumph bikes had cornered the all-leather, middle-aged, 50s-retro-racer market. There was no dumping at artificially low prices, that’s a Trump fantasy: they just couldn’t compete.

Eventually, Harley started making better-engineered products and, with the help of some exciting drug-fuelled rock’n’road movies and broadening their product appeal with monkey-bars and psychedelic teardrop tanks,  regained market share. And that’s how it went with the US car industry too. For years, they confined their production to the US market and sneered at safety campaigners like Ralph Nader but eventually had to fit seatbelts and redesign dogs like the exploding Ford Pinto after hundreds of people died.

Then they had to persuade their cars to run on unleaded fuel because children were getting even dumber, and get rid of the enormous 8 mpg gas-guzzlers with 9-liter engines, huge silly fins and unsafe front bench seats (for easy dating) and soggy suspension ride, and start making compact cars and SUVs and hybrids, like the Japanese were; making them to last, not to rust.

Dumb old GM and Chrysler nearly went bust, but were turned around in the nick of time by responding to foreign competition and, like Ford, saved themselves by moving design and production abroad, buying out Mazda and Vauxhall – but the Wit and Wisdom of Donald J World’s Greatest Businessman would have us believe that raising tariffs on foreign cars alone would have saved the US car industry – for what? To go on making Havana taxis uncompetitively forever and the US people would just have to suck it up, breathe it in, and that would be great?

We’re facing a similar problem here in the UK. A so-called ‘hard’ Brexit, complete walkaway severance from European institutions, markets, standards, rules and business connections might sound like a great idea if you’re a Dumbfuck British Empire isolationist from Spalding, fed up with watching Romanian sprout-pickers working for fuck-all wages in a large field; or a Tory MP sneering at the metropolitan liberal elite from your country estate, running scared from the Daily Mail, but it shows you know nothing about manufacturing and marketing in the 21st century.

The truth is, Trump is a business dinosaur.

And Trump is also trying to take credit for a 227,000 increase in employment during January, his first part-month in the White House. Only, the figures take some time to compile, the date on which the count was taken was in December, eleven days before Trump swung the Electoral College vote and swore on two Bibles in front of an enormous unseen throng of angels that he was the best President, probably ever in the history of Presidents. Believe me.

Those were Obama jobs.

Doesn’t stop PR flak Skelly-tanned Conway from alt-truthin’ about that on CNN as well. Just doin’ her job.


The last word


“I was a good student, I understand things, I comprehend very well, OK? Better than, I think, almost anybody. And I want to tell you that I listened to a bunch of stuff last night on television that was disgraceful, it was disgraceful, because what I just read to you is what we have and it just can’t be written any plainer or better.”  – quoted in Guardian Today report.

And neither can this, muh li’l bogl – five years old this month!

Goodnight, God bless, and kiss the kids goodbye.

Photos: Google images/Lucasfilm. ABC NEWS.

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