Monday, August 28, 2017

Scandal ! Naming Names.

August traditionally was referred to in the newspaper business as "The Silly Season". It was a time when people were assumed to have more important things to do with their life than to think deep thoughts.  Soak up some rays.  Enjoy a cold beer.  

In our new and enlightened era of course we have 24 hour news seemingly consumed by people who live in basements and thrive on conspiracy nonsense.  The New Silly Season is year round.

I certainly don't claim to know everything that is afoot in the august halls of power. Some bits of sinister truth may well be mixed into the big stew pot of implausible fiction.

And speaking of implausible fiction, several of the names involved are so appropriate that if you made them up in a bit of straight writing they would be dismissed as utter nonsense.  Consider:

1.  Donald Trump.

I have it on the good authority of my UK pals that "Trump" is a euphemism for flatulence.  It is a logical bit of onomatopoeia - a word deriving from its actual sound.

And in a crowded room The Donald would probably not be the kind of guy who would deny it. Instead of blaming a hapless aide he would likely pronounce the results to be "Huge! Best Ever!"

2. John Podesta

For those who have lost track of how this all started, it was when Mr. Podesta, former Obama Chief of Staff, then Hillary Clinton Campaign Chair, embarrassingly had his emails published.  Who did this, how, and why remains unclear.  But you would think a Podesta would be more careful.

The term Podesta goes back to the Italian Middle Ages.  It indicated a high official..sometimes an administrator or a magistrate. The term comes from the Latin potestas meaning "power".  The term was revived in more recent and troubling times. In fascist Italy civic government bodies were eliminated and both executive and legislative power was put in the hands of a Podesta'.  Maybe its just me but the notion of a guy who should have been more or less Don Corleone handing over his email password to what looks like a blatant scam strikes me as highly implausible.  And therefore likely true.

3. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

One casualty of the Podesta email revelations was Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, then Democratic Party Chair.  It sure looked as if she had both thumbs on the scale in favor of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.  Since then she has been embroiled in a new controversy, one that gets little attention.  It involves a shady bunch of IT staffers from Pakistan who appear to have had access to not only her computers but those of numerous other Congressional leaders.  Its unclear if they are opportunistic grifters, actual agents of a foreign power and/or are blackmailing DWS and others.  And Congresswoman W-Schultz "..Knows nussinsg...NUSSING!"

Oh, you can play this game all day, and with equal attention to either political party. I mean, who would have ever imagined a White House communications director named Scaramouch....a name  so very close to Scarmucci, a boastful comic figure from Italian opera!

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