SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Monday March 12, 2018 - 09:11:00 PM

Trump's Off-the-Cuff Remarks

Remember when reporters caught Donald Trump using a "cheat sheet" complete with five talking points during a meeting with survivors of the Florida shoot shooting?

I managed to grab a screen shot with a close-up of the memo clenched in Trump's hands and, sure enough, number five reads: "I hear you."

But here's the surprise. Look at Trump's left cuff. The number 45 appears on it.

Do all president's have their shirts monogrammed thusly or is it just Trump?

And, if so, why?

Is this to remind him he's the 45th POTUS?

Or is it the caliber of the concealed handgun he carries?

Or does he have a thing for old 45-rpm vinyl records?

I'm wondering if the right sleeve is similarly marked.

And what about his socks and undies? 

While a number of news outlets also spotted this, no one had any good explanations. However, a Google search turned up one interesting suggestion. It came in a Tweet sent to "Australia’s number one news site," It read: 

Iain McNally @McNastyPrime 

It’s actually “Step 45” in Trump’s 102-step instructions on how to dress himself: 

“45: insert arm in shirt (not jacket) sleeve, labeled ‘45’”  

iBumpers for Bump Stocks? 

Re Wayne LaPierre's argument that the cure for gun violence is more guns: 

I can only assume the NRA's solution to auto collisions would be to put more cars on the road. 


With a renewed campaign from Trump's sex-abuse accusers coming to a boil, I believe it's finally time to draw attention to a serial sexual miscreant whose work appears daily in the Chronicle

The offender of whom I speak is Al Fusco. 

Among the two leading tropes in The Fusco Brothers strip are: "There's a fly in my soup" and Al's "Your lips say 'No' but your eyes say . . . ." 

Al Fusco's frequent sexual innuendoes and repeated attempts to woo women to his apartment can no longer go unchallenged. 

This kind of "joke" is a hold-over from the Era of Male Entitlement that we are now struggling to out-grow. 

Al was recently rebuffed by his girlfriend Gloria who chided: "You make my skin crawl." 

Al's creepy response: "Your skin has to learn to crawl before it can learn to walk." 

And recently, Al admitted to using a sexist acronym when he sent a woman a text reading: "So Long Until Tuesday." (Yep. "SLUT.") 

If Al Franken has to loose his job, Al Fusco also must be held accountable. 

Washington Berates Schaaf: California F-rates DC 

Recently lawn-gnome-turned-Attorney-General Jeff Sessions flew to Sacramento to condemn Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for sharing word of an impending ICE raid—aimed largely at rounding up law-abiding immigrants. Session claimed Schaaf's alert put the lives of ICE's enforcers at risk. 

How so? Does Sessions believe that, instead of fleeing or hiding out, immigrants would arm themselves, barricade their homes, and plot ambushes? 

Let's restructure the situation. Imagine a warlord who orders his minions to attack a nunnery and rape the residents. A local shepherd gets word of the plans and alerts the sisters, who flee their retreat. The thwarted warlord then gives a speech condemning the shepherd for endangering the lives of his troops. 

Honestly, sir, how dare you? 

Renaming a National Parks Highway after Trump? 

Last year, Donald Trump became the first US president to desecrate an officially declared national wilderness monument. Two, in fact: Both the Bears Ears and the Grand-Staircase-Escalante preserves were chopped up so land could be handed over to oil drilling and mining interests. 

With this record, the recent proposal to rename Utah's National Parks Highway after Mr. Trump would be like naming a Native American reservation after Gen. Andrew Jackson. 

A more suitable highway tribute to Trump's reign would be: 

A multi-lane expressway (with all lanes headed in the same direction). 

It would be a toll-road (no fee for commercial oil-tankers, however). 

Trump's turnpike would be distinguished by crumbling overpasses and potholes. 

It would feature hundreds of off-ramps for drivers eager to leave. 

The few on-ramps would be guarded by border agents demanding proof of citizenship before allowing anyone to enter. 

Finally, it would turn out to be a dead end. 

A fitting name for this commemorative road to nowhere? 

My suggestion would be: "It's All Trump's Big-Asphalt." 

WarSpeak Is Everywhere 

We shoot-down falsehoods, we go to bars to get loaded and blitzed, we stamp tickets, we punch cards and stand-up comics sometimes bomb. When we come under fire, we're encouraged to stand our ground and take a stab at finding a sure-fire solution that's right on target and not just a blunderbuss approach

The English language is a minefield of Improvised Expletive Devices. Not even Nobel Peace Prize winners are immune from uttering up-armored proclamations. 

Nelson Mandela once declared: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." He could have said: "tool." 

Grid your Teeth 

PG&E's on-going campaign for what we might call "rehabilitation through feel-good advertising" recently took on a greenish hue. In a full-page advert in the March 8 Chronicle, PG&E headlined that "There is no GREEN ENERGY without a GREEN GRID." The ad proceeded to note that the utility had invested $15 billion to "enhance and strengthen the grid." 

What looked like an eco-friendly public service ad was actually an eco-deadly private service ad. Why? Because the grid is a big part of the problem—a sprawling, costly, hard-to-maintain piece of archaic infrastructure (much of it held-aloft by chopped-down pine trees—a 19th century technology). 

The Green solution is not monopolized commercial electricity corporations but decentralized energy systems. If everyone had solar panels on their roofs, there would be no need for The Grid. 

And there would be no need for PG&E. 

The Urban Warfare Olympics 

In his defense of the controversial Urban Shield military exercises, Alameda Country Sheriff's spokesperson Sgt. Ray Kelly told the East Bay Express: "It's basically the Super Bowl of [law enforcement] training. You want to come because you want to train and compete against the best teams in the world." 

I wasn't aware that Urban Shield was a competitive sporting event. 

My Question for Sgt. Kelly: "Who claimed the gold medal and who went home with the silver and bronze?" 

Does Turmp Know the Words? 

I just rewatched a video of President Trump's appearance at the National Championship Game in Atlanta. Have you noticed how his hand-on-chest salute is weird. His thumb sticks out and up -- like he's secretly trying to hitch a ride (or grope something). And he repeatedly pats his chest -- like he really loves himself or is suffering from acid reflux and his trying to dislodge a burp. And when the audience cheers, Trump breaks into a big grin, like they are all cheering him

Also, as others have observed, it looks like our "very stable genius" may not know all the words to the Star Spangled Banner. He does start singing when he gets to the part about "the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air." 


Maybe it would help if someone updated the National Anthem to fit the Age of Trump. Here's one attempt: 

The National Anathema 

O say, can you breathe 

through The Don's oily blight? 

"Help!" so loudly we wailed 

At the Red Light's last blinking. 

Whose bored tropes and bride's stares [i.e., Melania] 

Threw the perils a-flight. 

O're the rumpots we retched, 

War's expansions unending. 

And the rackets' Red Scare, 

Bimbos' G-strings ensnared, 

Grave proof through denial 

That our flag needs repair. 

Oy vey, does that tar-mangled bum our Green laws waive 

With a tweet of cruel decrees and our planet a-blaze.