Faux News: We Did It!

Note to readers: if you are reading this, this means you probably got a notification. Several people have asked why no more blogs. For some reason the notification seems not have not been working lately. There have been several blogs, however—mainly Faux News so take a look if you have missed them.


Yes it was Faux News  that leaked the story to the press about Trump’s call to Putin on March 20. In the most explosive and revelatory reporting of our entire history as a fake news organization, we made history by eavesdropping during the Trump call yesterday with Vladimir Putin and recording it all with a concealed cell phone. We were only able to record one half of the conversation, the part from the President. The reporter who scooped the story must remain anonymous. He was able to accomplish his mission when disguised as a McDonald’s employee, he delivered Trump’s usual lunch order of two Big Macs, double order of fries with extra ketchup and two milk shakes. By dropping the delivery box and spilling the contents on the floor, he was able to delay just long enough to record almost all of the secure phone call. Here is the transcript (all comments by President Trump):

Knock on door.

OK come in. Bout time you showed up with lunch. I’m starving! Just put it on the table.

You , boy, I am on the line, so keep quiet. I said you can just put the food on the table. Now quiet.

Oh, Vladdy, hi, this is Donald.

Don’t worry, Vlad, I am on a totally secure line, and I don’t have a single adviser in the room to leak our conversation.


What the hell are you doing, you idiot? No, Vladdy, not you, this dumb ass delivery boy. He just dropped my Big Macs on the floor. Now clean up the mess and get the hell out of here, you moron! No, Vlad, I am not talking to you. That was intended for the delivery boy. My lunch is all over the floor, and do you have any idea what I paid for the rug? Actually I didn’t pay it. The taxpayers did, but I will guarantee it is the most expensive rug any President ever had. More than was paid by the taxpayers for Ben Carson or Scott Pruitt’s stuff.

Yes, good to talk to you, too, Vlad.

And, yes, the reason that I am calling is to congratulate you on a terrific win. Over 70%. That is fabulous! I probably could do that myself if the election were today, but no one thinks so because they believe the fake polls. These are dreamed up by the Fake Press just to make me look bad. Actually I am very popular, especially among my base and the Evangelicals. But I think you are even more popular. So, hey, hey, maybe you could say I am a little envious.

So, Vlad, since I have you on a secure line and no advisers are in the room, I am wondering if we might talk about a couple of sensitive items.

Yes, Vlad, I am sure it is safe. Delivery boy, what the hell are you doing? Shit, you spilled the chocolate shake all over the coffee table. For god’s sake, you imbecile, now clean that up too! No Vlad, not you, the delivery boy. He just spilled one of the shakes on my comic books. I mean for crissakes, where do they find these nincompoops? And people complain about the minimum wage being too low…

Yes, Vlad, it is a totally secure line. No need to worry.

Yes, the family is fine. Thanks for asking.

Now the first matter has to do with the hotels. How are they coming along?

That is great to hear, Vladdy. You know they must be registered in another name so I have set up a fake LLC, but Donny Junior heads that up and will be your main contact.

Yes, Vladdy, he thinks a lot of you, too.

And the second item is this, well, sensitive item regarding a certain video tape with the girls at the beauty pageant.

Oh, you have taken care of it?

The tape burned and the filmmakers were accidently poisoned by eating bad fish?

Vlad, how can I ever repay you?

Oh yes, I am working on that and can assure you the fake inquiry will be terminated. Next time we talk it will all be over.

Yes, I promise. That was the deal we had, didn’t we?

Oh, my God, you incompetent idiot! No, not you, Vladdy. It is the delivery boy again! He just spilled the strawberry shake all over the velvet couch. I am going to call security!

You are right, Vladdy, I can’t afford to do that. Got to keep this secure. Anyway he is trying to clean up the mess and will be out of here in a sec.

Yes, Vlad, I did have one other sensitive item. You know the last election and the fake inquiry and all that. Well, you and I know that I won by my own account and that Russia had nothing to do with it, but I am a tad worried right now about the mid terms and 2020. Do you think? I mean, do you believe…?

Well, yes, Vlad, while I know that you are clean, I am also very grateful for what, you know, happened and am, er, wondering if maybe you know if something like that might happen again.

Really? You are already working on it?

No kidding, Vladdy, this is fabulous to hear!

Ahead of where you were this time before the 2016 election?

Fabulous news, Vaddy! This will pay off for you big time.

Yes, there is a deal to be made, now get the hell out of here you dumb ass idiot. No, no, Vladdy, I am not talking to you but to the delivery boy. My office is a mess and he is finally leaving. No tip for him. Now let’s talk about what I can do for you in return…

Door slams

End of recording


Faux News: War!

Transcript: Emergency Cabinet Meeting, The White House, Sunday, March 18, 2018, 7:30 A.M.


Trump: Ok, thanks to all you Cabinet members and advisers for coming over this Sunday morning. You should all probably be in church—except for you, Mnuchin–but this is a national crisis.

Pence: Thank you for inviting us, Your Excellency. Your call is our command. And what would that crisis be?

Trump: You idiot, don’t you read the papers or watch Fox News? There is a “March for so called Our Lives” on Saturday and then 60 Minutes with Stormy on Sunday. These two bomb shells could ruin us. We need a plan.

Pence: Forgive me, Your Highest Honor. I wasn’t thinking.

Trump: Well, we need a plan, and we need one now.

Huckebee Sanders: You need to out press-coverage them, Your Highness. We have to come up with something that will put The March for Our Lives on the back pages. Ditto for Stormy.

Trump: So who’s got ideas?

Awkward period of silence

Perry: How about starting a war?

Gasp from several cabinet members followed by another awkward period of silence

Trump: You aren’t the dumb shit I thought you were, Rick. In fact you may be on to something. So who the hell do we want to bomb to hell and back before the weekend?

Voice from the side: Russia?

Trump: Who the hell said that? Who said Russia?

Carson: It was me, sir, Ben Carson.

Trump: You are fired right now. Get out of here. Police, escort this man out! The nerve to think that I would consider a war with Russia. Actually I have been thinking about firing you for a couple of weeks. I don’t mind anyone spending $50,000 of tax payers’ money on a conference table and chairs, but getting caught is another thing. You should have run the purchase through an LLC. Anyway this is the last straw. You probably believe the lies and fake news that Russia interfered with our election and helped elect me.

Carson is escorted from the room.

DeVos: What about North Korea!

Trump: Nice suggestion, Betsy, but I’m meeting with Kim in May, and we have to start a war this weekend to take the focus off the Communist-inspired march and the 60 Minutes interview with Lying Stormy. We need to act right now!

Shulkin: China?

Trump: Too big and they’ve got nukes. We might lose. Furthermore, you are fired. You haven’t done didley-squat for the VA, and you spend more tax payers’money on yourself than Carson does. Police!

Shulkin is escorted from the room.

Zinke: Mexico?

Trump: No way, and if we win, we get all these Latinos coming here. We would have to wipe them off the face of the Earth. Besides I want the Wall.

Another period of awkward silence

Sessions: Hey, what about Canada?

Pence: You can’t be serious. Canada is our friend.

Trump: Quiet, Pence. I believe this might be the only decent idea this imbecile has had since he has been AG. Canada? Canada?

Sessions: Thank you, Your Reverence. It is just a thought.

Trump: Yes, Canada! Of course. Why didn’t I think of Canada? The idea is brilliant even if it comes from a dumb mind. Since they think they are our friends, they will suspect nothing. They have no nukes, and a bunch of red-coated guys with big hats riding around on horses would be toast for the full might of our military. Plus this Trudeau guy has got to go. Everyone knows they are cheating us on trading. It would serve him right.

Sessions: I am so honored.

Trump: Well, you better be because if Mueller is still around next Sunday, you are fired.

Trump: So this is my order–Mattis and McMaster, pay attention: I am officially authorizing a take-over of Canada with the goal being annexation of this country and expanding the land area of the United States to include all of North America except for the pitiful country of Mexico, which no one wants anyway. What you should do, Mattis, is storm Montreal and take over the Parliament buildings and kidnap that two-bit, lying Trudeau and get him to surrender or else.

Ross: Sir, I believe the capital of Canada is Ottawa.

Trump: Whatever. Now if Trudeau does not surrender, then you tell him we will use our nukes and settle things once and for all. This needs to happen on Thursday, so it will be headlines on Friday and through the weekend.

Mattis: Sir, I believe that Canada is a member of NATO. That could cause some push back.

Trump: NATO, SCHMATO—a worthless organization. I will take care of them. Now, does anyone in this room see any problem with attacking, conquering and annexing Canada?

Pense: Bravo, Your Most Exalted One! Your base will love you for this. Republicans will stand behind you 100%, and Ryan and McConnell will be at your side supporting you in this time of national crisis. Our security as a nation is at stake. And you bet that this will dominate the airwaves!

Trump: Thank you, Pense. You are absolutely right. I am glad I thought of this, and it will go down in the history books as one of the greatest decisions of all time, and I will be the greatest President of all time. How about it, Mattis? Can you get this done? And McMaster, what do you think?

Mattis and McMaster: Sir, we believe you are a fucking moron.

Trump: Then you can join the idiot Tillerson. You both are fired, and I am replacing you with two Fox News anchors. Now get the hell out, and this Cabinet meeting is adjourned.









Faux News Exclusive: Preview of the 60 Minutes Interview with Stormy Daniels

While it is not certain that the Stormy Daniels interview will appear on 60 Minutes this Sunday due to the Trump Administration’s effort to curb “treasonous speech” and jail Ms. Daniels, Faux News has obtained surreptitiously a tape of the interview. Due to its explosive contents 60 Minutes has devoted the entire program to the interview and extended the time to two hours. It has also alerted parents that no person under the age of 21 should be allowed to view the program. CBS believes that it will be the most watched television program of all time. It will be broadcast around the world using satellites and is expected to be viewed in every nation including North Korea, reaching an audience of 5.2 billion people. CBS has already sold enough ads to meet its  budget for the entire year.

The most potentially damaging aspect of the program is that Ms. Daniels showed up with a host of friends all of whom reported current, ongoing affairs with the President. These included Hurricane Hannah, Cyclone Sally, Lightening Lilly, and Tsunami Sue. Last names of the four women were not available. All four women have recently joined the #MeToo Movement and are appearing to set the record straight and, they said, to get their lives back in order. The four friends of Ms. Daniels all live in the Mar-a-Lago Resort and “see” the President on a regular basis. When asked what they found attractive in the President, all four women and Ms. Daniels immediately stated his hair. Apparently there is something very attractive about a 70-year-old man with a huge clump of thinning, watered down, slicked back, yellow/orange hair. Other than that all five women reported that actually there was nothing attractive about the President at all. Their relationships, they said, were all based on money and were transactional—free room and board at Mar-a-Lago and a small stipend to cover clothes and jewelry.

The Trump Administration, having learned of the appearance of what is now being billed by CBS as “Stormy and the Fab Four,” countered with the assertion that the Fab Four and Ms. Daniels were actually advisers to the President and that the entire interview was nothing more than a dirty tricks stunt by the Democrats to embarrass him. They pointed out that the women were all authorities on climate change as noted by their names—Stormy, Hurricane, Cyclone, Lightening and Tsunami—and have been given high level positions at the Environmental Protection Agency in its climate change division. When pressed to explain what the climate change division was, the Trump spokesman replied that the Fab Four plus the recent addition of Ms. Daniels constituted the entire division and were defacto proof that climate change was a hoax.

It is not clear what political impact the program will have if it is allowed to be aired. The U.S. Supreme Court will determine if efforts by the White House to block the show represents a violation of free speech. The program includes several interviews of Trump supporters, who say they stand behind the President regardless what is said about him by anyone or whether he shot someone on Fifth Avenue. Several pointed out that he is shaking up Washington and that is exactly what he was elected to do.

Viewer discretion is advised.


Faux News: NRA in Panic Mode, Plans To Take Over the U.S. Government

Following the Florida legislation this week, modestly tightening gun laws, a secret meeting of the NRA leadership and its major donors took place early today in the nation’s capital. Posing as a waiter, serving coffee and doughnuts, our reporter was there, and here is her story:

In a small, dark room situated in a bunker below the Washington Monument and rarely used except in nuclear attacks, a worried Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, opened the meeting by lamenting the new law passed by the Florida legislature this week. “We are in deep trouble,” he told the group of 25 distressed men, “This is the first incursion on our basic liberties since the communist-inspired ban on assault weapons in 1993. It is an act of war. If other states start to pass this kind of hideous, unconstitutional infringement on our most sacred right of owning and shooting any kind of weapon we want, anytime we want, and anywhere we want, we are toast. We have to fight it with all that we have.”

When asked what the options were, Mr. LaPierre listed the usual actions starting with tripling the support for pro gun candidates at all levels of government and describing a detailed, hate-and-dirty-tricks campaign against any candidate supporting stronger gun laws. The goal, he said, was not just to stop the “No Guns Movement” but to obliterate those he called “traitors and child killers” and to obliterate them “once and for all.”

After some discussion six of the major donors including the Koch Brothers and several of the gun manufacturers pledged an additional one billion dollars each in contributions in 2018. Instead of expressing gratitude Mr. LaPierre grimly faced his benefactors and stated, “Gentlemen, that is not enough.”

“We are now at war. If we give one inch, we will lose that war, and our basic human rights and dignity will be destroyed. Forever.”

He paused for the a moment for drama, then with a slight smirk continued, “But fear not. I have a solution. We are going to take over the government.”

A collective gasp came from all corners of the room.

Mr. LaPierre then went on to outline his plan. “Look,” he exclaimed, “there are only about 1.3 million people currently serving in the military, and many of those are overseas. There are over five million of us. I know that not every one of our members will take up arms in what I am calling the Second Great American Civil War, but surely a majority will. Our research shows that the average NRA member owns 45 guns and over one thousand rounds of ammunition, so we will overpower the military. Just think of it. Over 200 million weapons and five billion bullets! We will tromp them. But we must act quickly and with stealth. It must be a surprise.”

Following a moment of stunned silence, the room erupted again, this time in applause.

“But the weapons we have are not enough to get the job done since we do not have nuclear weapons or other items like tanks, jets, and heavy artillery. That is why, anticipating something like the Florida fiasco, I have entered into a secret contract with Kim Jong Un to purchase a portion of his nuclear arsenal. Do you think that the announcement yesterday about talks with Trump  was a coincidence? The deal has already been cut. Thanks to a special donor, who must remain anonymous, Kim is now richer by over five billion dollars. Not a trivial down payment. He knows where his bread is buttered. And there is more where that came from. The challenge is getting these weapons into the country, and I am working on that. Similar arrangements will be made with other rogue countries for tanks and jets. We have constructed a huge bunker in a rural Alabama, and that is where they will be stored until needed. The Governor of Alabama has already approved it.”

The NRA leader then outlined a plan which would start in the Southern states and when the various Southern governors capitulate without a shot being fired, sweep northward toward Washington. With threats of nuclear annihilation, the U.S. government would have no choice but to surrender. “The idiots,” he said, “assumed that the nuclear threat would come from abroad, not from within. They are totally unprepared and helpless. They can’t nuke themselves. Our victory could happen within a matter of days.”

“But what about Trump?” one of the members asked.

The leader smiled again. “No problem. That has all been taken care of. He is one of us, and his new title when we take over? President-For-Life.”

The meeting ended with assignments given out to various members to contact rogue states for tanks, jets and conventional bombs. As they exited the secret bunker, they were giving each other high-fives and embracing.





Faux News: Sanders Clarifies Trump’s Position on Key Issues

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took on the press today at a news conference limited to reporters from news outlets the Trump Administration is calling the “True Press.” Attendees included Fox News, the Liberty University Free Press, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Examiner, Russia Today, and, of course, our own reporter from Faux News (incognito). Fake news outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post are now barred from all press conferences as are reporters from CNN and MSNBC. (Joe Scarborough was arrested earlier today and charged with treason.) It is not clear if the White House will expand the number of attendees in future press conferences beyond those present today. Recorded by our reporter disguised in a trench coat and wearing sun glasses, the press conference proceeded as follows:

Sanders: Thank you all for coming. Finally we have a White House press corps that Americans can trust and believe in. I am pleased to report that the President will be making an announcement later today that he will eliminate by executive order the two-term limit on being president. It is just not fair that great countries like Russia and China can have leaders-for-life; yet when we have a great leader like our President, he can only serve two terms. This is outrageous and will be changed. Questions?

WSJ: But how can he change the term limit when it is in the Twenty-Second Amendment that you can’t serve more than two terms?

Sanders: The President is not aware of any amendments that would preclude this executive order.

WSJ: Thank you for clarifying that. One more question. Is Trump For or Against Gun Control? He seems to be wavering.

Sanders: He is definitely for it.

WSJ: But he also said that he sides with the NRA on all matters.

Sanders: He does. The NRA is a great organization and a leader in the gun control effort. Were it not for them, there is no telling how many school killings we would have. Probably one a day.

WSJ: But what about the students and what they want—raising the minimum age for buying guns, more background checks and banning assault weapons?

Sanders: The President has been perfectly clear on that. He supports the students and is against school killings and fully supports the NRA. Next question.

Liberty Free Press: Is the President for or against allowing the Dreamers to stay?

Sanders: The answer is yes. How many times do I have to answer this question?

Liberty Free Press: Thanks for clarifying that.

Washington Examiner: Do you think that the new tariff policies Trump just announced will grow or will shrink the economy?

Sanders: Of course they will. That is what all the economists are telling us.

Washington Examiner: Thank you.

Fox News: What about North Korea? Reports are that the President is considering a preemptive nuclear strike that would take out the whole country. Are these reports accurate?

Sanders: The President acts when he acts. Look what he just did on tariffs. He made that decision without consulting a soul. The President will do what he will do, and don’t expect him to ask for your opinion or anyone else’s. Just keep reading the tweets. The world will be a lot better off without that country.

Liberty Free Press: Would you agree that the President is the incarnation of Jesus Christ himself and that we are witnessing the Second Coming?

Sanders: Thank you for that question. The President is very modest, and I would refer you to Franklin Graham or for that matter any of the professors at Liberty University or really almost any Evangelical Leader. They will tell you. Also ask the Vice President.

Russia Today: How are the relations with Russia going? Are they getting better or worse?

Sanders: Of course they are.

Russia Today. That is what I thought. Thank you.

Sanders: Next?

Examiner: Is it true that the President is going to replace Defense Secretary Jim Mattis with Stormy Daniels as Defense Secretary?

Sanders: I will not comment as long at the law suit is going on?

Examiner: What law suit?

Sanders: Next question.

WSJ: It has been reported that the President is considering clarifying by executive order the First Amendment to disallow any speech by fake news outlets or fake news reporters. Can he do that?

Sanders: Well, the Constitution was written when there was no such thing as fake news, so he can do whatever he wants to in that regard. Next Question. You in the back with the overcoat and dark glasses.

Faux News: What about the turnover at the White House? It seems there is chaos and free-fall. Why have so many people left?

Sanders: We are not aware of any unusual turnover of staff at the White House. Trump is probably the most popular president of all time and his staff love him. No one of importance has left.

Faux News: What about Reince Priebus, Chief of Staff; Katie Walsh, Deputy Chief of Staff; Sean Spicer, Press Secretary; George Sifakis, Director of Public Liaison; Michel Flynn, National Security Advisor; KT McFarland, Deputy National Security Advisor? What about Hope Hicks and Rob Porter? Look, I have a list of 24 high level staff who have left, and I am not sure if it is even complete.

Sanders: Who is this guy?

Several reporters: Faux News!

Sanders: We already have one Fox News reporter in the room and only one per news media is allowed. Police! Police! Get him out of here! Arrest him!


Press Conference continues but without our reporter, who is forcefully removed from the room and is now under police custody.






Faux News Editorial: Why Trump and The Republicans Will Not Take Action to Oppose Russian Meddling In Our 2018 Elections

Much has been made of the Mueller investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether eventually Trump and/or his lieutenants will be charged with collusion or obstruction of justice. However, that is not the most important thing. The most important thing is that we now know that the Russians were heavily involved in the 2016 election and most likely influenced the outcome. We also know that are already working on the 2018 elections.

Wait, you say, no one can say for sure that they actually determined the outcome. I would argue that common sense suggests otherwise. The election was very close. Hillary actually won the popular vote and in the key electoral districts in the Midwest that pushed Trump over the top, the results were extemely close. A few votes the other way could have made all the difference. We also know that the Russians were behind a massive social media campaign posting fake news to curtail turnout from minority groups, who typically vote Democratic, and to anger the white working class, who this time around voted heavily Republican. We know that turnout was below expectations in the former group and higher than expectations in the latter.

Bottom line: In my book, the election was rigged. It was stolen. Without the Russian involvement Trump would not have won. Yes, there were a number of other factors. Hillary was not a very effective candidate, and the whole Comey email controversy contributed, along with the protest vote (largely from the white working class) for a change from the status quo. You could say that this was a perfect storm. But it turns out from what we know from Mueller’s Russian indictments, the Russians were a major factor, without whom in my view Hillary would now be President. Their involvement was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

That an adversarial foreign power could have this kind of influence on perhaps our most sacred Democratic tradition is more than alarming. Some would say that it is an act of war. So you would think that keeping anything like this from happening again would be the number one item on our national agenda.

Not exactly.

Trump still has not conceded that Russia had any influence on the election results and has not said one bad word about Putin or about the threat Russia poses in the 2018 mid term elections where it is already clear that they are using the same tactics. There is the even more alarming threat that they will be able to hack into election results and alter the outcomes. While Democrats have protested vehemently, Republicans have taken a ho-hum attitude. No legislation or national initiatives have been taken to try to keep this from happening again. There probably will be none.

How could this be? How could we as a nation sit back and watch the same thing happen again?

The answer is quite simple. Trump and the Republicans need the Russian meddling. Trump knows what went on in 2016 (and I think will eventually be nailed by Mueller), and many Republicans know what went on. Without the Russian meddling they would be toast. Their only hope in avoiding disaster in 2018 is a little more help from their Russian friends. They would be fools to turn this down.

Think about where the country is now and where the Republicans stand on the major issues. Trump’s popularity is at its lowest point (35%) and his disapproval at its highest (60%). On almost all the major issues—the Dreamers, the #Me too Movement, curtailing gun violence, immigration, preserving the social safety net, leveling the economic playing field—Trump and the Republicans are on one side of the issue, and the majority of the American population is on the other. They are out of step with the American people and with American values. All the energy favors the Democrats. In an open and fair election the Republicans would not keep control of the House or the Senate. But our elections are anything but. Big money plays too powerful a role as do the gerrymandered electoral districts, which create safe seats for extremists. And now we have the Russians. Of course, Trump and most of the Republican elected officials are going to sit quietly by and let them do the dirty work. This is the only chance they really have.



Uncle George

The following is a eulogy which I wrote for my uncle’s memorial service.

George Cole died earlier this month in Nashville, his hometown. He was 89 and lived a rich, full life. He was an avid sports fan all his life, a ferocious competitor in handball and racquetball, huge supporter of Vanderbilt and Montgomery Bell Academy, the high school where he was a football standout, a devoted golfer, and an entrepreneur in the car business following in the footsteps of his own father, who in his heyday owned two of the largest Ford dealerships in America. He was a husband, father, stepfather, grandfather, and friend to many. But for me he was just my Uncle George.

My relationship with my uncle was special. I knew from a very early age that my mother loved her “little brother” very much. They had gone through hard times together when their father’s car dealerships failed during the Great Depression and when their parents’ marriage broke up. Because they were almost ten years apart in age, she was part older sister and, I think, part surrogate mother. They had to stick together to survive, and that bond stayed with them until my mother died in 1997.

Because my mother’s brother was only 14 when I was born, the age difference between Uncle George and me was not that different from the age difference between George and my mother. Whatever the reason I knew that there was something precious about Uncle George and something precious about our relationship.

Before I reached my mid teens, Uncle George had taken me–and whatever friends happened to come along–to dozens of Nashville Vols baseball games, to MBA football games, and to basketball games at Tennessee State where we were the only white faces in the arena. He had taken us cruising on the Cumberland River in front of the foul-smelling, meat packing plants in a speed boat that he acquired in one of his car deals. When I was older, George and my Aunt Sis took my best friend, Dick Barry, and me to Louisville in 1957 and 1958 where we saw Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Oscar Robinson compete for the NCAA Basketball Championship. He took me and another best friend, Allen Wallace, to Birmingham to watch Alabama trounce Vanderbilt in football. It seemed like he was always showing up at our house and asking if I would like to come along on some excursion and always would ask if I would like to bring along a friend. All my friends thought of him as part of my immediate family and called him Uncle George. I remember asking myself on more than one occasion how many kids have an uncle like that.

By the time I was in high school, George had married Aunt Sis, and they had started their own family with three sons, who have always been more like brothers to me than first cousins. I admit that I was a bit jealous when I learned that Uncle George and Aunt Sis were going to have a child. What would happen to me? So when my first cousins got older, Uncle George and I did not do things together as we used to, but he routinely attended MBA football practices where I was the student trainer, and I felt he was cheering for me at MBA football games when I brought water out to the players during a timeout or taped a halfback’s ankle.

He also sold me used cars. The first car was actually a loaner. When one day he heard that I had a special date, he showed up unannounced at our house with a Mercedes Benz “Gull Wing” 300. This was the hottest sports car of its day and was called a “Gull Wing” because when the doors opened up instead of out, the car resembled a bird. He casually tossed me the keys, saying “have a nice date, nephew.” I do not remember the special date, but I surely remember the car.

Not long after that he arrived in the driveway around my sixteenth birthday with a sky blue, 1952 Chevrolet, with spinner hubcaps, whitewall tires, and a lowered rear axel, which made it look like a NASCAR racing machine. The motor apparently had been tinkered with and spiked up. He said he had tested it himself and believed it to be the fastest drag racer he had ever driven. I immediately fell in love with the car and purchased a special tag, which read “Dragons,” to go below the rear license plate. My friends were so envious! Why didn’t they have an uncle like Uncle George?

Their enthusiasm waned a bit when a week later the car came to an abrupt halt in the middle of one of Nashville’s busiest intersections when the universal joint (whatever that is) broke. Police arrived on the scene, and one of them remarked, “The Dragons. He’s a Dragon. I know that gang. They are dangerous.” The two friends who were with me stood on the corner laughing and pointing at me pretending they had no connection with me as the tow truck pulled the sky blue Chevy away. I remember thinking it was a miracle the cops did not lock me up; and a few days later when the car was repaired, I immediately removed the Dragons plate and tossed it in the trash.

The next car was a black Volvo, the kind with the classic design with a sloping roof that made it look like a gangster car. I bought this car from Uncle George my sophomore year in college in 1962 when my Davidson roommate, Sam Glasgow, and I drove across the U.S. to Seattle where we boarded a plane to Japan to spend a summer working on an experimental dairy farm. Volvos may be great cars, but this one needed two cans of oil every time we filled up with gas and had seven breakdowns or near-breakdowns along the way. The day we returned I sold it back to Uncle George for what I paid for it.

George also introduced me to sailing. In the late 60’s he invited me out to Percy Priest Lake where at a friend’s house he kept a tiny Sunfish sailboat that he had just taken as a down payment on a car and directed me to take the boat out for a sail on my own. I had never been on a sailboat before. I jumped on the boat and two hours later returned, smiling and drenched, the boat having capsized at least a half dozen times. I have been an avid sailor ever since.

So I owe a lot to my Uncle George. His family is part of the Howell extended family, and we are part of the Cole extended family.

I remember one of my friends, Walter Wilson, winsomely commenting that he wished he had an uncle like Uncle George, “He has got to be the greatest uncle in the world.”

And he was right. For me he was.

But uncles are people. And we humans are complex.

When Embry and I got married in 1965, I remember looking around for the Cole family and asking my mother where they were. She looked embarrassed and said that George had purchased tickets for his family to go to the Rose Bowl, and that is why they weren’t at the wedding. I did not think a whole lot about it then, but it was the beginning of a pattern of Uncle George’s occasionally missing important family events–not always but enough to get your attention–like children’s and grandchildren’s birthdays, school plays, and graduations. You were just not sure if he would show up.

And then there were the ups and downs of his various used car dealerships and other business ventures. One year George Cole Motors would be flourishing and making money big time. The next year the company would have been sold or folded, and George would be on to something else. He was the first person to open Datsun (Nissan) and Volvo dealerships in Nashville. Along the way there were pizza parlors, a car wash, a liquor store, and some real estate. Then there would be another used car venture, and that looked good–at least for a while–until another disaster hit. You could not keep this guy down. He would give almost anything a try, stick with it while it was good, make his money, take his lumps, lick his wounds, and move on. All this he did without a whine, complaint or whimper, and more often than not, with a twinkle in his eye and a good story to tell.

The George Cole business cycle seemed to repeat itself until in middle age George ended up working for other people—probably the first time in his life that he had had to report to anyone besides himself. He worked for several dealerships mainly selling new cars, and ended up working for a Lexus dealer. I recall feeling very sad when I heard that he no longer had his own business.

The Lexus job did not last long, however, because the pressure got to him, and he suffered several strokes, which along with some other health issues, eventually caused him to get out of the car business altogether. Long before that his first marriage to Aunt Sis had failed, and he had married Bookie, who brought along three children with her from a previous marriage and an aging mother, “Grammie,” whose father had actually served as a Confederate officer in the Civil War. They soon moved from Nashville to the far suburbs where they lived on a lake and then to Columbia, about an hour from Nashville, which accounts in part for the emotional distance some of George’s first family felt from him from time to time.

Uncle George recovered from the strokes and rebounded but did not return to the cutthroat car world. He decided to do something much more challenging. He became a substitute teacher in the public school system, working with kids of all ages and backgrounds in public schools spread out all over the Nashville and Columbia, including some troubled public schools. Some of the students he worked with were poor, and some were African American. Uncle George had always been a maverick and outspoken, occasionally using politically incorrect language. He was not what you would call a bleeding heart liberal. I could not help wondering how this experience would work out.

Well, he loved it. He loved his students, and he loved his work in the classroom. He kept doing this for a number of years even though it was grueling work, and he needed a cane to get around. I once asked George if he had trouble with discipline, to which he responded “rarely.” His son, Buck, later reminded me that his father was known for springing up from his chair and with cane in hand charging an unruly kid acting up in the back of the class. The terrified kid often scampered into the hallway but later returned to apologize to George. Many of his fellow workers applauded; and after one or two incidents like this in a particular school, discipline was never again a problem. When he finally threw in the towel–or perhaps the school administrators threw it in for him– George must have been one of the oldest employees in the school system.

Uncle George’s final years were not easy. As is often the case when people reach their eighties, disabilities begin to set in. George was single again, and the big worry was where was he going to live and who was going to take care of him. The answer came when he moved into a HUD, low income housing development for seniors, sponsored by a retired teachers association. This seemed particularly ironic since Uncle George was not known for his love of the federal government or low income housing. Cousin Hal spent a lot of time with his father helping him get adjusted and providing help when needed. The icing on the cake was that George was then only a short walk or ride on a scooter or wheelchair away from Cousin Curt’s Firefly Restaurant where on many evenings Uncle George could be found at the bar, holding forth, sipping his Jack Daniels, and complaining that his son had put him on a two-drink limit. Curt had even worked out a meal plan where his father would pay a monthly discounted rate for meals at the bar whenever he wanted one. Does it get much better than this?

I was unable to visit George the last two years when he had moved into an assisted living community. There he got frequent visits from his sons and their families, and Cousin Buck assured me his dad was doing fine. “Well,” he said, “he still has an eye for the ladies!”

My father, who was very close to George, but as a proper banker, about as unlike him as you can get, summed up George on one of our fishing trips when I was around ten years old and just learning how to fly fish. Uncle George was with us one lazy, Saturday afternoon in the summer when we were fishing our beloved Harpeth River. George had left us and charged upstream splashing along without a fishing rod.

“You know,” he said, “Your Uncle George is one tough guy. I tried to teach him how to fly fish, but he would have nothing of it. All he wants to do is go after fish hiding under rocks and catch them with his bare hands, ‘grappling’ he calls it. But you know something? He always catches fish.”

Uncle George was a grappler from day one until he died.













Faux News: President Trump Launches Massive Reform Initiative To Address School Killings

President Trump addressed the nation today to mourn the deaths of 17 murdered students and faculty that were shot dead two days ago in a Broward County high school and the others who were wounded. After laying the blame on President Obama for his weak actions on gun control, he stated that there was only one way to deal with the killings and that is to pass legislation that would require every student over the age of 12 to be armed at all times while on school property. “It is very simple,” he stated, “ and, frankly, the fault of the Democrats, Obama, and Crooked Hillary. They are a bunch of namby-pambies who coddle killers, and the un-American and treasonous calls for fewer guns are the main reason we are having these killings. The answer is more guns, not less! And that is why I am introducing legislation that will cure the problem once and for all. I am fully supported by the Republicans in the House and the Senate; and if the weak-kneed Democrats stand in the way of this legislation, blood will be on their hands the next time a sixth-grader is shot dead.”

The President then outlined the way the initiative would work:

  • Federal law will mandate that all public schools require all students over the age of 12 to carry loaded revolvers or rifles at all times when on school property.
  • For children under the age of 12, a fully armed aide will be assigned to them at all times.
  • All faculty and school employees will be required to carry loaded assault weapons at all times when on school property.
  • Metal detectors will be used to detect when someone enters the building without setting off the detector and therefore indicating they are not carrying a weapon. Any individual caught without a weapon will not be permitted to enter the school, and three infractions will result in expulsion.
  • Classes in weapon handling and marksmanship will be required and replace unnecessary subjects like math and science.
  • For families unable to afford the cost of a weapon, federal “gun stamps” will be issued and replace the food stamp program, which is being phased out.

The President then went on to explain that if everyone in the school was armed, no one would dare to shoot anyone in the school because they would know that they would be gunned down immediately by their fellow students or their class teacher. He said that research has shown that in schools where this policy is in place there have been no killings. Furthermore in countries that require all students and school personnel to be armed at all times have a murder rate of zero, not only for schools but for the entire population. He said that once the policy is in place for public high schools and elementary schools, all public colleges and universities will be subject to this mandate and then all churches. If every member of the congregation in Charleston had carried a loaded weapon, the President maintained, the massacre would not have happened. His long term goal, he said, is for everyone in the country to be similarly armed. Domestic abuse, he argued, would not happen if an angry husband knew his wife was packing heat. Nor would other crimes of passion, burglaries, bank robberies and assaults of all kinds. If you know that you are going to get killed if you use your weapon, then why use it? The law would make America the safest country in the world.

He also noted that the number of guns in the U.S. would increase from around 300 million to well over a billion, which he said would “virtually guarantee that the U.S. would be a world leader in controlling gun violence.”

His address was praised by the NRA, which has long maintained, “the only way to deal with a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” Mitch McConnell applauded the initiative, as did Speaker Paul Ryan who said, “It took a Republican President to figure this out, and it just shows how stupid the Democrats are. You fight firearms with firearms.” Other Republicans lined up behind the President pledging their support, and Vice President said that this is proof that President Trump is the greatest man to ever live.

Democrats immediately weighed in in disbelief and accused the President of having lost his mind.

By the close of the President’s address, the stock prices of gun manufacturers Remington, Smith and Weston, Colt and Winchester had risen 20%.

Knee Report

Thanks to those of you who have wished me well and offered me moral support for my new knee. Here is a brief summary and advice from a knee replacement patient two days away from the one-month mark. Advice from a chronological perspective:

  • Week One. If you are thinking about elective, full knee replacement surgery, do not do it. I don’t care how bad your knee hurts, it is not worth it. The opioids I take probably help and I do not know how bad I would feel without them. But still, we are talking real pain here. You do not even get an opium high and having any alcohol is forbidden. Is this torture or what? Plus forget about going to the bathroom. Who talked me into doing this? On the plus side I am getting visitors for tea and cookies in the afternoon, which Embry set up, daily events with friends which I attribute to my avoidance of a deliberate opioid overdose.
  • Week Two. Fearful of opioid addiction and a subsequent unintended overdose, I trash the pill bottle, having consumed only about 20 of the 65 pills. Then I realize that I could have made a small fortune selling them on the internet or on the street. Pain has retreated a bit in week two, and I am getting physical therapy from a bearded Egyptian wearing a suit, who comes three times a week, has a PhD in PT, and is from an upper class family, who still lives in Cairo. He is terrific, and I feel I am starting to make small progress. I am still using a walker, and getting the stiffness out of the left quads is the big challenge. I am still wondering, however, what I must have been thinking when I elected to get a new knee. Afternoon tea and cookie visits with friends continue and keep me going.
  • Week Three. First time out of the apartment. Visits to the doctor and downtown to the Kaiser office for PT. To my surprise, both doctor and physical therapists think I am making great progress. Lord have mercy, I think, how bad off must these other people be? The PT guy tells me to ditch the walker, which I do with some trepidation, only to discover that I can do fine with a cane. I am becoming ambivalent about whether or not the surgery was worth it.
  • Week Four. Exercises are getting easier and strength is building up faster. I venture down to the fitness center in the basement of the K-W and am able to do the bicycle and a couple of leg machines. To my astonishment I find that I am now able to walk fairly easily without a cane. Hey, who said this was such a bad idea? Knee replacement? Everyone should get one!

More to follow…

Faux News: Treason Accusations Move to Serious Stage

It has been only a week since the President called the elected Democrats who failed to stand or applaud his State of the Union address “un-American” and “treasonous,” a charge that, if upheld, carries with it the death penalty. While the national reaction seems to have subsided, in the White House feverish steps are being taken to bring the accusation to the next level. Faux News has learned that a secret committee has been formed to arrest the guilty parties, try them for high treason and then execute them in a formal ceremony, which would be at the conclusion of what Trump is now touting as the largest military parade in the history of the world. Many in the White House, including the President, are euphoric. Trump is reported as exclaiming, “the treason bit was a slip of the tongue, but, wow, what an impact! My base loves me for it. The Evangelicals love me for it. The country loves me for it. Let’s do it and do it quickly. With almost all the Democrats out of the picture, it will free me up. I can kill the Russian investigation, jail the Dreamers, kill Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, and cut back social security. Plus any pro football player who kneels instead of stands with his hand over his heart during the National Anthem will be jailed for treason and end up with the Democrats!”

From the back of the room a soft voice said, “We have time, Mister President, football season is over until next September.”

The excitement in the White House was not universal. Some argued that the Constitution protects free speech and that the Supreme Court would never allow the treason charge to stand. When this comment was offered by a young lawyer and new member of the team, the President’s face turned red, and he shouted, “How many times do I have to tell you people that all the Constitution protects is speech. The assholes who failed to clap did not say a word. When they failed to stand, they did not say a word. This is not speech, it is silence, and the Constitution does not say a word about protecting silence. They are all guilty, guilty as hell, and they will pay for this! Besides I know I have five votes on the Court that will support this. I have already checked.”

Vice President Pence applauded and stood up.

A second discussion followed regarding how the executions would actually happen and if anyone knew of American companies that specialized in making a gallows or a guillotine. A young aid volunteered to do research on American execution companies. There was also considerable discussion regarding the pros and cons of each execution device versus the electric chair or a very large firing squad. Since several hundred Congressmen and Senators would need to be executed in a short period of time, that would require many devices. After further discussion the group decided to go with the guillotine for its historic significance and its shock value. Trump directed Junior to form a new company, “Trump Execution Inc.” and get to work building these devices immediately. The final plan would call for them to be placed around the Capitol in a very large circle; and when the Greatest-Military Parade-in-The-History-of-the-World reached the Capitol, the executions would begin. Jet planes from the military would fly overhead and fireworks would be set off everywhere. Thousands of temporary stadium stands would be erected around the Capitol allowing hundreds of thousands of paying customers to watch this historic event. One of Trump’s aids reported that it will actually make money. The Koch Brothers had already reserved over 1,000 seats at an average cost of $500 a ticket.

Trump concluded the meeting by smiling and expounding, “This is one thing that history will remember me for. Standing up for what is right. Standing up for the Constitution of the United States. Standing up for respect. Standing up for patriotism and love of America. Standing up for the American people. At last the country and the world will respect me.”

Vice President Pence stood up again and applauded.