So many things happening in the news, it’s hard to fit it all in:
• On National Public Radio last week, there was a warning to listeners at the start of a story about a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. Reporter David Welna said — and I wouldn’t make this up — “a warning, you’ll hear the sound of gunfire” in the story.
So, the delicate, hot house flowers among us had the option of turning off their radios and running for the hills, to keep from hearing shocking or icky stuff. Thanks, NPR.
Imagine the damage oldsters like us sustained watching Saturday morning TV, with The Lone Ranger, Sky King, and Hopalong Cassidy shooting it out with assorted bad guys every week. A warning at the start of those shows would have made us roll on the floor, laughing. But, that was back when we weren’t such delicate creatures, cowering in fear of the next micro aggression.
A couple days later, NPR’s David Brancaccio warned us that, in his piece on truffle hunting dogs, “harm that comes to dogs” would be mentioned.
Hot House Flower Alert, dearies! Turn the radio off so you don’t get the vapors!
• I’m a little hazy on the concept. (The Wife says I can be slow on the uptake.) Could the 25 Democrats running for president please explain to us again why the roaring economy is a bad thing, and why we need to get rid of Donald Trump this very instant?
And don’t give us that jive about Obama getting credit for the economy. That dog won’t hunt.
• The pointy-headed intellectuals on TV may have a new favorite term: “Writ large.” Several times now, I’ve heard the term used to describe things that are obvious. If you want to sound like you have “gravitas” (remember that old chestnut?) you may want to work “writ large” into your conversations.
(George Wallace — a pretty bad guy who was nonetheless clever with words, once called campus intellectuals “short-pants communists who can’t park their bicycles straight.”)
• Looks like this is the new terminology for politics:
TRILLIONS are what Democrats want to spend on darned near everything. Trump also wants to spend trillions on infrastructure. The way these people talk, you’d think we had money to throw around, instead of being $22 trillion in debt.
BILLIONS are what the suddenly penny-pinching Democrats refuse to spend on Trump’s border wall. When it comes to anything Trump wants, Nancy and Chuck go all Jack Benny on us.
MILLIONS are what a disturbing percentage of “public servants” in Congress walk away with when they retire, from a job that pays $174,000 a year. How does that keep happening?
• Where I live — Cheyenne, Wyo. — the prime places for panhandlers to stand, with their cardboard signs asking for money — are at the roads into and out of our two Walmarts.
A couple years ago, one of these guys was arrested for something, and he had hundreds of dollars in his possession. And this is the guy who needs a couple of bucks from you?
I noticed the other day that on one of the corners where panhandlers stand, there were three “help wanted” signs posted. Think about that. Isn’t that a mixed message?
Wouldn’t that be bad for the panhandling business?
• Remember Garrison Keillor? For years I recorded “Prairie Home Companion,” and I get my tapes out on slow evenings and listen to them.
Nobody could tell a story like Keillor. But then he retired, and then he got caught up in the “MeToo” net for something that was never made clear, so NPR banned all his reruns, like the Soviets airbrushing people they didn’t like anymore out of pictures.
Keillor was a devout liberal, but I overlooked that because he was a fantastic story teller.
One time, he defended Bill Clinton, saying his critics couldn’t wait to accuse him of making the toast too light or too dark before he could even get the bread in the toaster.
Liberal Keillor would never say it, but the same goes for Donald Trump, only about ten times worse.
Trump gets criticism “writ large.”
Dave Simpson has been a newsman for four decades, working as a reporter, editor, publisher and columnist. He lives in Cheyenne. He can be reached at email@example.com.