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Burt Prelutsky / Oct. 14, 2019

Donald Trump as Br'er Rabbit

For those of you old enough to remember the homespun tales of Uncle Remus, you might recall the mischievous rabbit who was always begging his captors to do anything but throw him in the briar patch.

For those of you old enough to remember the homespun tales of Uncle Remus, you might recall the mischievous rabbit who was always begging his captors to do anything but throw him in the briar patch. What they never realized is that Br'er Rabbit (southern dialect in Joel Chandler Harris’s stories for Brother Rabbit), made his home in that scary-looking briar patch.

That’s the feeling I get whenever I hear Trump fending off calls for his impeachment. As with the Russian collusion charges, he knows there was nothing illegal or even unseemly about his conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky, but he’s dying to have the House Democrats vote to impeach him. A trial in the Senate would enable Mitch McConnell to subpoena and question everyone from James Comey to John Brennan under oath. Not only would the trial exonerate Trump and lead to his certain re-election in 2020, but it would leave the Deep State in rubble and leave House members Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff, Omar, A O-C and Tlaib, with a ton of egg on their faces.

I can’t wait for the Democrats to take that fatal first lemming-like step off the cliff. So I trust you’ll understand if I join Maxine Waters in chanting “Impeach 45!”

So far as I’m concerned, Trump’s impeachment would not only guarantee his re-election, but ensure that the Republicans would win back the House. In other words, it would make for one very peachy impeachment.

On the other hand, when I heard that 19 Republican congressmen, half a dozen of them from Texas, announced they weren’t running for re-election in 2020, I asked my Texas chum Dick Barry to explain their desertion.

He let me know that they believed in term limits. I, in turn, let him know I was outraged and considered it a betrayal. For one thing, I don’t believe in arbitrary term limits. If people want to keep voting for the same liberal bozos, you might as well let them because those who regularly vote for the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Eric Swalwell, Al Green, Xavier Becerra, Jerry Nadler, Luis Gutiérrez and Sheila Jackson Lee, will simply elect equally obnoxious replacements.

Besides, it’s only Republicans who seem to believe in self-imposed term limits, so the GOP is always at a disadvantage when incumbents decide to take their pensions and then ride off into the sunset to become Washington lobbyists.

Although it’s only been in recent years with the election of Donald Trump that most people have come to realize how corrupt a “news” organization CNN is, that’s only because they’ve forgotten that for decades, for the questionable privilege of being allowed to maintain a bureau in Baghdad, they served as the propaganda arm of Saddam Hussein’s regime, never reporting about his reign of terror, torture and murder.

I suppose in an belated attempt to make up for it, they are now accusing Donald Trump of those crimes.

Why is it that I hear about jet sales to Saudi Arabia, but foreign aid consisting of guns and defense systems to Ukraine? Does Ukraine not pay for the weapons we send them? And if not, why not? Both nations are notoriously corrupt, but while Ukraine is concerned with Russia, which doesn’t seem to pose much of a danger to us, Saudi Arabia is having to deal with Iran, which keeps insisting it’s out to destroy both us and Israel.

I am not a stranger to wealthy people calling themselves Communists and siding with the Soviet Union against the United States. All four of my mother’s brothers, Al, Jack, Sam and Lou answered to that description.

But inasmuch as they had made their money in the black market that flourished in Chicago during World War II, and that they then took their ill-gotten loot and became absentee landlords in post-war Los Angeles, I felt entitled to point out to them that if the revolution they longed for ever took place in America, the Bolsheviks would line them up in front of the firing squad before they even got around to dealing with the Rockefellers.

These days, we have actual billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, not only sounding like my late, unlamented uncles, but playing footsies with China.

Speaking of China, did Trump actually have to tweet “Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!”?

I’m willing to cut him some slack when he says something nice (but obviously insincere) about guys like Xi, Putin and Kim Jong-un. I figure that comes out of “The Art of the Deal,” where I suspect he mentions that a little sugar can often sweeten negotiations.

But that’s a far cry from celebrating a bloody takeover of a country by the Communists and the enslavement of a billion people. It didn’t help that at the same time that Trump was sending a love note to that loathsome regime, in Hong Kong the Chinese were shooting freedom lovers waving American flags.

Just a word of advice to my favorite President: Don’t send a congratulatory tweet to Japan’s President Shinzō Abe next December 7th.

You never know how or where a liberal is going to ruin your day, but you should never be too shocked when it happens.

For years, I have enjoyed the mysteries of Donna Leon, which center on the crime-solving efforts of Italian police Commissario Guido Brunetti who lives and works in Venice with his wife and two children.

Ms. Leon, an ex-pat from New Jersey, made her home in Venice for over 30 years before moving a few years ago to Switzerland.

So you can imagine my surprise when I opened “Earthly Remains” and discovered that this woman who has lived outside the United States for nearly 40 years, dedicated the book to none other than Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

I will never again be able to look at Signore Brunetti with the same degree of respect.

I recently read Neil Abramson’s novel, “Unsaid,” which deals with animal rights and the death of a loved one. If I were still writing scripts, I would have wanted to adapt this one to the screen, but only if I could correct what I regard as a major flaw in the plot. I won’t reveal it because some of you might wish to read the otherwise very worthwhile book.

But it did remind me of other times that people made what I regarded as obvious mistakes. Sometimes, even the creators became aware of these flaws, but only after it was too late to do something about it.

I recall that screenwriter William Goldman, a two-time Oscar winner for “All the President’s Men” and “Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid,” said that he knew after watching “The Great Waldo Pepper” with an audience that the movie would be a flop because early on, Robert Redford, a barnstorming pilot in the 1920s, fails to save a wing walker from falling to her death.

Goldman sensed correctly that if a movie hero can’t prevent such a tragedy from occurring, he’s no longer a hero with whom the audience cares to identify. In spite of having the same star, the same screenwriter and the same director as “Butch Cassidy,” the movie died at the box office.

Other movies have been spoiled for me because what I regarded as the inevitable ending never happened. For instance, in 1983, “Educating Rita” was an English romantic comedy in which Michael Caine plays a college professor who takes up with a beautician (think Henry Higgins and Eliza Dolittle). He changes her for the better, she changes him for the better. But in the end, he goes off on a sabbatical to Australia and she’s thinking about joining a bunch of hippies and bumming around Europe.

Does anyone really think “Cinderella” or “My Fair Lady” would work if a mistreated step-sister doesn’t end up with her Prince Charming or a grumpy Linguist doesn’t wind up with the woman to whose face he’s become accustomed?

But there have been a great many movies that took one bad turn and ruined themselves for me, including “Dances with Wolves,” “Mask,” “Elephant Man” and “Scent of a Woman.”

There are those who insist that happy endings are corny and unrealistic. They happen to be wrong. We’re talking about movies and novels. You want reality? Step outside and you can have as much of it as you’d like or can stand.

Occasionally, a miracle does takes place, as it did with “Election” (Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon) and “The African Queen” (Humphrey Bogart, Katherine Hepburn), when the movies came up with far more emotionally-satisfying endings than the novelists had. But, unfortunately, those are few and very far between.

I was recently thinking about the different ways we treat or even think about different species. For instance, even though they both spend their entire lives splashing around in the ocean, because dolphins are mammals and tunas are fish, we eat the one and spare the other.

It made me wonder if tunas ever wonder if dolphins are paying protection to fishermen the way that the owners of speakeasies avoided having their places blown up or raided by bribing mobsters and the cops.

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