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Wow and Holy Cow

A Week of Wows

In recent years, during the terrible time of Gen. Bone Spurs, wow is a word that I have learned to cherish and to use very, very sparingly lest it become just an overused, meaningless cliche.

But I will use it now not once, not twice, but three times: Wow, Wow, Wow and a few Holy Cows, a Mama Mia, Yikes, Holy Moley, Holy Crap, Oh My God and a Blimey to boot. Here it is:

Mike Pence, the former vice president and man with plastered down hair with a fly on his head, was in a real pickle on Jan. 6. While rioters gathered to descend on the Capitol, Pence didn’t know whether to uphold the constitution of the United States, and every code of ethics and honesty and validate the election of Joe Biden or to violate said constitution and ignore every code of ethics and honesty and declare the election was racked by voter fraud and that bone spurs was actually re-elected. So Pence acted heroically and despite the intense pressure from the man with orange hair, Pence said he had no authority to reject Biden’s victory and every code of ethics and honesty or maybe not.

“Peril,” a new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, says not so fast in giving Pence the National Medal of Honor. Actually, Pence just couldn’t decide so he went for guidance to his friend, confidant and great wizard, former Vice President Dan “Tomato-Potato, You Are No John Kennedy” Quayle who always looks like he has just been blinded by the headlights.

“Over and over, Pence asked if there was anything he could do.

“Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,” Quayle told him,” according to an excerpt from the book.

So much for Pence saving the Republic, the real hero may be Quayle, who was celebrated as vice president for his razor sharp intellect as when he uttered such gems as:

* “Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.”

* “I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican.”

* “One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is ‘to be prepared.’”

* “When I have been asked during these last weeks who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame.”

* In a speech to American Samoans, he said, “You all look like happy campers to me. Happy campers you are, happy campers you have been, and, as far as I am concerned, happy campers you will always be.”

* “What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.”

* “Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teaches our children.”

* “Mars is essentially in the same orbit…Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.”

* “For NASA, space is still a high priority.”

* “The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation’s history. I mean in this century’s history. But we all lived in this century. I didn’t live in this century.”

* “People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.”

* “I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.”

* “I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix.”

* “It’s wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago.”

  • “The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Dan Quayle may or may not make. I stand by all my misstatements.”

But enough on Quayle.

The second wow of the week was actually a bifurcated wow as Woodward and Robert Costa reported that Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was really, really worried and maybe even losing sleep over trump’s odd behavior before and after he lost the election. The book says that after the Capitol attack, that Milley believed that Trump had gone into “serious mental decline.” (No wow, here, as that was the belief of zillions of people around the world). Woodward and Costa claim that Milley was so flummoxed that he convened top Pentagon officials to try to avert the possibility of Trump launching a nuclear strike.

Just before the November election, Milley called Gen. Li Zuocheng, to assure him that the U.S. was stable (even if the president was not) and not planning any attacks, as China apparently suspected. And after trump’s clear defeat, Milley again secretly contacted a top Chinese general to quell concerns of a U.S. attack.

That merits a big wow all by itself but then came the response of a very angry Gen. Bone Spurs who said that Milley may be guilty of treason for having secretly contacted China. Take note, this was the same Bone Spurs who egged on a huge crowd of supporters and other Cretans to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6 and to overturn the phony election of Biden, which was not phony at all but was completely on the up and up. Hypocrisy, charlatan, thine name is bone spurs.

“If it is actually true, which is hard to believe that he would have called China and done these things and was willing to advise them of an attack or in advance of an attack, that’s treason,” Trump said on the utterly objective and non-partisan Newsmax network. And surprise, Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a trumpian bootlicker from way back, made the accusation on TV and social media.

And in another no surprise move, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., cited his “grave concerns” and demanded that Biden fire Milley over what Rubio said was Milley’s “contemplation” of a leak of classified information to China. Biden responded through an aide that Milley wasn’t going anywhere. For my money, Milley was kind of a hero from maybe stopping the destruction of the world, at least more of a hero than Pence.

“I write with grave concern regarding recent reporting that General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, worked to actively undermine the sitting Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces and contemplated a treasonous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party in advance of a potential armed conflict with the People’s Republic of China (PRC),” Rubio’s wrote. “These actions by General Milley demonstrate a clear lack of sound judgement, and I urge you to dismiss him immediately.”

Rubio apparently had no such “grave concerns” that the president of the United States was going bonkers.

Evidently, Rubio had no such sound judgment when he voted against convicting trump at a second impeachment trial on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection in which five people died.

“I think the trial is stupid,” Rubio said at the time.

And for a final wowie zowie, we give you Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, a 78-year-old first term senator who claimed that Biden, a 78-year-old president, is a puppet of someone. At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting last week Risch said that someone in the White House hit a “button” to stop Biden from speaking at a Monday event on the threat of wildfires in Idaho.

“Somebody in the White House has the authority has to press the button and cut off the president’s speaking ability. Who is that person?” Risch asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the oversight hearing on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Reality check anyone. Biden wasn’t prevented from speaking at the Idaho event where, as is customary, reporters were allowed in the room to listen to his remarks at a meeting with local officials. The public portion of the meeting ended as Biden began questioning officials and so did the televised gathering.

Risch made up the whole thing as part of a bizarre GOP campaign to show that Biden is going soft and doesn’t have the wherewithal to be president. Biden’s spokesperson said that Biden has all of his marbles and I do believe that same kind of allegation was made against trump who really did not have all of his marbles.

By the way, in January 2019, Risch said in an interview that he found trump to be a “pretty charming man, a nice guy.”

Wow, Wow and Wow.



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Phil Garber

Phil Garber


Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer