An Incredibly Terrific Plan for More Bigness


The President of the United States called in to Fox and Friends this morning to announce that he is planning a “really big, really terrific” lunar AND solar event to demonstrate America’s “power and bigness” to the world.  “I usually use Twitter to communicate important stuff, but what I have to tell you today is even bigger than a tweet, believe me . . .”,  POTUS tweeted at 3:28 AM,  “. . . and Fox & Friends is the only real news program, frankly, with the credibility and audience to deserve airing this announcement.”

A few hours later, “F & F” personalities Steve, Ainsley and Brian smiled very bigly, as the interim POTUS rolled out his “frankly, quite massive and very, very large plan — the biggest plan in history, unless you count sending men to the moon, which probably never really happened anyway — a lot of people are saying that.”

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This photo illustration will be on the cover of the upcoming TIME Magazine “Strongest President of All TIME” issue.

Here’s a transcript of the President’s announcement:

“I’ve instructed the amazing people at NASA to do whatever they need to do to move the moon to a position in front of the sun for a few hours on August 21st, 2017. The moon will block the sun’s rays and cast a shadow that moves across our entire country, all the way from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic — from the mountains, to the prairie, to the ocean, white with foam. (My words — poetic)  Never in the history of the world has the moon been moved in front of the sun and cast a shadow on the earth before. When I found out from my Junior/Senior Advisor Jared Kushner recently that it might be possible — and no other President ever knew this, not Abe Lincoln, not Frank Underwood, not even Benjamin Franklin, and he flew a kite up into space in a blizzard once.  I asked my Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to find out how long it would take to arrange such an event.  He checked around and told me that August 21 was the earliest they could get it done, so that’s the date we’re going with.

It’s going to be an all-American celebration like no other.  I originally wanted it to be a red-state-only thing, but my Chief Strategist Steve Bannon — he’s a great guy — suggested that we could play up a “Sea to Shining Sea” (trademark – I made that up, too) theme if we planned the route of darkness carefully and bit the bullet by including one blue state (Oregon) and the southern tip of Illinois — which votes red anyway. 

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97% of the districts under the shadow of the planned Trumpclipse2017 voted for Trump in 2016.  Trump calls the carefully chosen path of darkness an “amazing feat of lunar orbit engineering that could only be accomplished by me.”

Trumpclipse2017: Path of Darkness is going to be wonderful— a long overdue celebration of darkness in a world of too much light — I’ll bet you didn’t know that half the earth is always light — I’m going to change that. It will also show the so-called scientists that America and its rightness is bigger and better than the wrongness of their [airquotes] “theories” based on “evidence”.  If it were up to these “scientists”, they’d be sitting around stuffing pens in their pocket protectors, putting more masking tape on their glasses, just waiting for this kind of big sky show to happen on its own. Good luck with that, Science!  #idiotgeeks, #unamericanatheists, #stupidlosers, #weakmorons, #dangerous, #bad, #sick, #outofcontrolhillarylovers, #supernerds

So I’m asking that billions and billions of patriotic Americans from all of our 50 (or so) states to flock to places along the Path of Darkness route on August 21 and spend a lot of money on things like these special AmericaFirstGogs darkness-viewing safety glasses that my very sexy and talented daughter Ivanka designed and has available on QVC.

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Ivanka’s AmericaFirstGogs will block all light, allowing you to only see the darkness — and they’ll keep you safe from scary things, people, and ideas.

This event will be yet another win for America under my administration (as if Bill Cosby’s mistrial and the Golden State Warriors’ NBA Championship weren’t enough!). America wasn’t winning anything any more until I took office after my landslide electoral college win.  Other countries were laughing at us, but now they’re taking note of my accomplishments, and come August, they’ll be cowering in fear, imagining what we could do to them if we have the kind of power it takes to move the moon around in the sky and take the sunshine away. A lot of countries are afraid of the darkness, but not us. True Americans, true patriots, embrace the idea of being in the dark. In fact, many, many of us go through life with our eyes closed.

If Trumpclipse2017: Path of Darkness is as successful as I know it will be, I’ve got another idea up my sleeve. I can’t tell you much about it yet, but let’s just say that Jared’s been telling me that the Earth’s sea level doesn’t necessarily have to always stay where it is right now. Nobody knew that  — Jared’s brilliant and very smart — but all I can say is, let’s not miss out on the next opportunity to make America a leader again. Hey, I won the election — that was amazing, right? It doesn’t get any better than this, folks!

I hope to see all you incredible patriots on the side of a highway somewhere in the middle of Nebraska or Wyoming or South Carolina, or one of the other God-and-America-loving states that I’ve carefully chosen for the Path of Darkness on August 21st! (BTW – the eastern part of Oregon is OK, too!)”

Is Topsy-Turvy Town the New Normal?

I’ve had an annoying little song playing over and over in my head for a few days. When I was a little kid back in the ’50s, we had a 45rpm record called “Topsy-Turvy Town”. It was one of those silly kids’ songs about a place where everything was the opposite of the way things really are.  Of course the reason it’s popped back into my consciousness is because it feels like Topsy-Turvy America right now. The new administration wants us to believe them when they tell us that “When you look to the front, you see to the rear”, or “When you open your eyes, that’s when you can hear”.  Have a listen to to “Topsy-Turvy Town by clicking here.  (Warning: Don’t listen to it more than once or you’ll still have it in your head 60 years from now, like I do.)screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-1-29-04-pm

Little kids laugh at the ridiculous. They find a backwards, upside down, world funny, precisely because they know what the truth is. Even a 4-year old understands this kind of humor. Of course the trees are not blue and the river brown, as the song tells us. Now as adults, we laugh at the Donald, KellyAnne and Sean characters on Saturday Night Live. But then frustration, even anger, take over, because the SNL version of Topsy-Turvy Town is not fictional — it’s really happening. So after a good laugh, we get serious and try to figure out what we can do about the mess we’re in.

TrumpTweets are now part of each days news.  Because his opinions are not often based on facts, the tweets range from laughable, to self-aggrandizing, to mean-spirited, to jingoistic, to offensive, all the way to downright dangerous.  This President’s use of Twitter is perhaps the most noticeable way the he is different than his predecessors, because he’s the first POTUS to expose his impetuous and narcissistic nature so immediately, publicly, and vociferously. He has no filters and he sees no value in getting any.

His other forms of communication are no less troubling, however.  We’ve all seen plenty of wince-worthy (if not scream at the TV-worthy) moments already.  Even many of his supporters hoped that President Trump would act a little more “normal” or “presidential” after he was elected.  It hasn’t happened.  His staunch supporters say that an unpredictable rogue is what they wanted, his lukewarm, but-he’s-better-than-Hillary voters are getting increasingly uncomfortable, and the rest of us are horrified.

Because he (and his hench-people) are SO outrageous, and so consistent in their level of outlandishness, I’m worried that there’s a danger that some of us will become accustomed to this noise, this distractive clutter, this barrage of blunders, and the lack of connection to facts.  I fear that some in the Republican Party have already adjusted their level of acceptable lies and pernicious attacks from their President.  Too many seem to have found a place in their minds where this President’s tenuous relationship with the truth is somehow manageable to them.  David Brooks wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times last week calling out the “Republican Fausts” who have made a deal with him to get what they want.  To quote Mr. Brooks,  “The Republican Fausts are in an untenable position. The deal they’ve struck with the devil comes at too high a price. It really will cost them their soul.”

I hope we don’t lose our soul as a nation.  I hope we don’t adjust our standards of decency, fairness, human dignity, and pursuit of the truth. I hope we don’t get warn down — not the slightest bit — by the daily bucket of bullshit being dumped on us by this administration and change out standards for how big of a bucket is acceptable.

When I restarted this blog on the first day of this year, I hadn’t intended it to be a political diatribe. But, since January 20, we’ve begun to see how serious our situation is. If I really am committed to “pay attention”, then that YUGE elephant in every room in America has to be paid attention to. He really is as bad as we thought he’d be. “Give him a chance” is not an option now, if it every was. Every day’s news makes it more difficult to see our way out of this. But we can’t stop looking for a way forward, can’t stop speaking up, can’t stop calling nonsense by its true name.

Oh, and one more line from the song:

“They call it a crowd when there’s no one at all, in Topsy-Turvy Town.”

How did they know about that 64 years ago?


With today’s confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, it won’t be long until your kids will travel to school in style in a cool new Topsy-Turvy bus!



We hold these truths to be alternative

The Emperor undressed, and the swindlers pretended to put his new clothes on him, one garment after another.  The Emperor turned round and round before the looking glass.

“How well Your Majesty’s new clothes look. Aren’t they becoming!” He heard on all sides, “That pattern, so perfect! Those colors, so suitable! It is a magnificent outfit.

It’s been only 9 days since his coronation.  We’ve all been watching him perform self-proclaimed amazing and alarming feats of strength each day.  His opponents have been vocal, and his supporters have been oddly quiet (at least my Facebook friends who supported him, anyway).  In a way, I get it — there’s no need to stick your neck out right now in support of his impetuous actions and crazy words, because he doesn’t need you anymore. He is now the king, and he will rule. He’s going to do what he said he was going to do for as long as he can do it, and none of us can feign surprise. He’s what we thought he would be.

Many voted for him because they wanted a “strongman” — someone who would put a stop to all this compassion, fairness, and unalienable rights nonsense.  Most wanted him in power because he said he would shake up the status quo and “drain the swamp”.  But many Americans didn’t bother to vote at all.  Others chose a third candidate who had no chance of winning. Did they do that because they didn’t mind the idea of being ruled by a narcissistic bully?  Because  now we have one. We have a president that fancies himself as an emperor. To those of you who didn’t try to prevent this, aren’t his new clothes magnificent?  To those of us who see him for what he is, and find nothing but the world’s yugest ego, we need to keep calling out what we see, as loudly as we can, for as long as it takes.

And in alternative news  . . . . it’s been a quiet week here in Lake Wobegon.

Continuing my photo-a-day project, here’s week #4 . . . . . of 1984!


(1/22/17) This is what some people on Lake Harriet in Minneapolis are doing to avoid hearing about what’s been going on in Washington this week.  But if you ask them, they claim to be trying to catch fish.

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(1/23/17) The Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul is home to one of 4 great old water towers in the Twin Cities.  Shown here is the top section of Architect Clarence “Cap” Wigington’s design, constructed in 1928. Wigington, an African American, was a renowned midwestern architect at time when there were few black architects anywhere. His tower, covered in Kasota and Bedford stone, rises 127 feet from its hilltop location. The 151-stair climb to the observation deck is only open to the public a couple of days each year.


(1/24/17) Any day I get to spend time with these two knuckleheads, it’s going to be hard for me to think a photo of anything or anybody else could be more noteworthy. Today, Dr. Svea said, “This is a special stethoscope.  I can hear your heart AND look at it at the same time.” Meanwhile, Nurse Otto took great pleasure in giving me several injections of an unnamed substance.

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(1/25/17)  We were driving down West River Road, it was starting to get dark, and I didn’t have a photo yet.  Karen said, “look at that orange kayak”.  I whipped into the parking lot and met a young man named Cassidy who had just been out kayaking in the frigid Mississippi River.  “It’s still fun when it’s this cold”, he said, “but you have to be really careful, and let somebody know what you’re going to be doing”.  Thanks, Cassidy, I’ll try to remember to do that the next time I go kayaking in January.


(1/26/17) One of the things I’m very grateful for in the the neighborhood where I live, is that I can walk a few minutes in one direction and go to coffee shop or restaurant, or walk a couple of blocks in another direction and be in a place as quiet and natural as this.


(1/27/17) Joel Beck is an old friend and a great carpenter.  He built a beautiful deck for us last year.  Today he stopped over to talk with me about possibly remodeling this old side entry porch into the world smallest bathroom. It would be a dream come true to be able to take a leak without going upstairs.

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(1/28/17) We went to the Minnesota Opera’s production of “Diana’s Garden”, an almost unknown (but delightful) work by Vicente Martin y Soler. Soler was a contemporary of Mozart, and his musical style is similar to Wolfie’s.  Lorenzo da Ponte, Mozart’s favorite collaborator, wrote the libretto.  This photo is at the preview session in the lobby an hour before the show.  I love these pre-show shows — some history, some background, some musical theme stuff, and a couple of up-close arias from the show. Out the window is Rice Park, with its trees all lit up for the St. Paul Winter Carnival’s ice sculpture competition.  What a great night in downtown St. Paul.








What the hell just happened?

So . . . . President Trump.

How does that sound to you . . . . ?


This did not really happen.  Right?

No, I can’t do it. I can’t talk about it right now.  Everybody’s yakking about it, and for one of the few times in my adult life, I want out of the conversation instead of in. We all know where we stand, and we now pretty much know where everybody else stands.  I will say that the enormous crowds at all the marches and rallies yesterday made me feel better.  The videos and photos of all the people were truly inspirational and uplifting. I regret not going to the state capitol and being part of it all. But I’m really proud of all my friends who did.

Even with yesterday’s boost, I’ve not emerged yet out of the damp, dark, gray week we just finished. It’s going to take more than a few million people marching together and vowing to fight the good fight to shake me out of what I was hoping was just the fog of a dream. But with each day, each action, each utterance from the new guy or from the people who got him to the White House, I am going to build my strength and resolve to do my part in fighting back.  It’s time to wake up and get busy.

In the mean time, here is a photo from each day last week — week #3 of 2017.  Did I mention we had a damp, dark, gray, foggy week?


(1/15/17)  The week started out great, thanks to Mary Livingston agreeing to stop over and belatedly celebrate her birthday with us.  Later in the week, she took off for a warm beach and left those of us back here in the US of A to sit and stare at our TVs in disbelief.

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(1/16/17)  This guy stopped over, lookin’ all handsome and healthy and happy.

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(1/17/17) You either have to be tough or dumb  — or maybe unable to fly(?) to be a Minnesota duck. A big  group of Mallards is hanging out in the stream that flows from Lake Harriet to Minnehaha Creek. Wikipedia tells me that a group of ducks on the water can be called a “flock”, a “brace”, a “raft” or a “paddling”.  When they take to the air en masse, they are a “skein”, a “string”, or a “team”. (Note: This will be the most educational picture this week.)


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(1/18/18) What a great surprise.  Old friend (and now neighbor) Bob Jansen asked me out on a date. Lots of laughs, a little wisdom, tons of bullshit.


(1/19/17) Tis not the season any more, but I’ll take some bright colors (and maybe a little bit of peace on Earth) wherever I can find them.


(1/20/17) I shot this just at the moment in the speech when I realized that our new POTUS was ripping the crap out of President Obama, everything he did as President, and everything he stands for. I love the way Mr. Obama looks like he has just shed a YUGE weight and is in a happier place somewhere far away .


(1/21/17) As millions of people around the globe were marching in support of women, this guy was attempting to win our local Stupidest Male competition. A week or so ago, Minnehaha Falls was all over the local TV news when a DIFFERENT idiot was very seriously injured by a gigantic chunk of falling ice (see the big hole on the upper left?) Everyone was strongly warned to stay away from and off the falls. So after a few days of thawing temperatures and weakening ice, this new genius decides to climb about halfway up the 53-foot waterfall, right next to the cascading water, so that his very proud girlfriend can take his picture.  I didn’t stay around long enough to see if he survived, but he didn’t deserve to.