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Sometimes you just have to rant

When the essay in progress threatens to degenerate into a veritable tome of gibberish, maybe it is best to step away for a bit and give vent to a rant about the absurdities that assail us by way of the day's news, which is, alas, not fake.

What the heck is up with Beto O'Rourke? Did somebody spike his IPA? The first F-bomb he dropped after the mass shooting in El Paso was an effective expression of the outrage and frustration felt by anyone with an iota of conscience and compassion. That effectiveness was diluted with each repetition. It does not take long for this sort of thing to sound gratuitous and grow tedious. I will defend his right to use whatever language he chooses. I question the wisdom of the choice.

Meantime, across the big water, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel "Boris" Johnson, former mayor of London, author of the novel Seventy-two Virgins, and putative prime minister of Great Britain, would rather be "dead in the ditch" than ask Europe to delay Brexit. What kind of clown is this guy? I don't know. How many kinds are there? For a hair-raising account of his appearance at a Yorkshire police academy, check out Marina Hyde column Dazed and confused, Johnson stumbles into the twilight zone with a police escort (The Guardian, September 6, 2019).

Speaking of clowns, Trump, Sharpie... I am not a fan of Bill Kristol but give credit where credit is due. He nailed it with this tweet: "Who among us hasn’t altered a National Hurricane Center forecast with a sharpie?"

The ugly American returned to Ireland in the form of Vice President Mike Pence, who in the words of assorted Irish and British journalists betrayed and humiliated his hosts and shat on the carpet, the latter figuratively, one presumes (Edward Helmore, Mike Pence accused of humiliating hosts in Ireland, The Guardian, September 5, 2019). While there Pence did not pass up an opportunity to contribute to the Trump coffers on the taxpayer's dime with a stay at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg at the suggestion of the president. This comes on the heels of Trump's proposal to hold the next G7 conference at the Trump National Doral near Miami.

Yet again I am reduced to spluttering incoherently. You might think that by now I would be used to this stuff, calloused anyway. It matters little whether this is technically illegal or corrupt. It is something any person with an iota, a smidgen, a scintilla of decency, integrity, sense of right and wrong, the basic stuff of ethical conduct, would know just should not be done. None of that is in evidence in this ethically bankrupt White House. They don't have a inkling, not a clue.

Back in the US, the PBS NewsHour reported that "the Trump administration opened a legal assault today on California and four automakers over emissions standards. The U.S. Justice Department notified Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW that they are being investigated for possible antitrust violations.

"In July, the companies adopted California's emissions standards, which are tougher than those the administration favors."

Heaven forfend that automakers should act responsibly. Perish the very thought.

Keep the faith anyway.

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