Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Taxing Solution

It looks like the Canada Revenue Agency’s plan to tax employee discounts is dead in the water after the federal revenue minister, Diane Lebouthillier, ordered it canceled. But that doesn’t mean that the CRA is not considering other novel ways to raise tax revenue if the following leaked memo is to be believed (which, by the way, it isn’t):
TO:          The Big Cheese
FROM:    A Smaller Cheese
     In anticipation of the success which will surely accrue to our new plan to tax employee discounts, our team has come up with even more great ideas to add to the national income:
1.  It’s time to tax those unfair senior’s discounts typically offered by drugstore chains. Why should those 65 and over get 20% off one day a week? Let’s make them claim that discount as taxable income and take our cut. Seniors will be obliged to keep track of their accumulated discounts and report them on their annual income tax return. To show we’re not unreasonable, perhaps we could let them pay using their Optimum points.
2.  Let’s consider the implementation of a spare change surtax. Not on the homeless, of course. That would be cruel and arguably contrary to the general rule that a gift is not taxable. Rather, if you find some cash lying on the street, that should be taxable income. The underlying theory is that you did some work to earn it – i.e. – you spotted the money and you actually bent down to pick it up thereby expending energy and risking yet another injury to your back.
3.  You’ve likely heard of the retail benefit called BOGO or “buy one, get one” free. It’s time to plug the hole in this giant revenue-sucking retail scam. From now on, you have to declare the value of that second hat, purse or running shoe as taxable income and pay your fair share. At least retailers will have the option of softening the tax blow by instead using the “buy one, get the second at half price” option. (Note to self: consider how to deal with the “buy three tires, get the fourth free” offer.)
4.  Fast food restaurants present another great opportunity to fill the Treasury coffers. Should free refills on soft drinks really be free? We think not. Why not a little asterisk after that menu promise indicating a 25-cent tax payable to the government for every extra glass of pop? The same goes for the so-called endless cup of coffee: 25 cents for a refill and ten cents for a top up.
5.  Speaking of restaurants, for some time now, we’ve been monitoring the marketing habits of so-called family restaurants and their all-too-common practice of offering free bread sticks. As we often say at CRA, there is no free lunch. There’s also no free dinner either and that’s why we’re proposing a one-dollar levy on any table receiving free bread sticks, rolls and/or melba toast.
6.  Gas stations are another overlooked source of potential tax revenue. Although most stations now charge a dollar or so to use their air pumps, some unscrupulous gasoline retailers are still providing free air. That’s a one-dollar benefit to the customer and should be taxed. However, given the administrative difficulties inherent in such a proposal, some in our department are looking into a standard annual per capita air tax of five to ten dollars for every breathing citizen. Those wishing to opt out can simply hold their breath or start buying canisters of oxygen.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Tell America It's OK

[“Tell America It’s Great”]….was the brainchild of the Garden Collective, a creative agency based in Toronto, and in the videos, a diverse and polite group of Canadians earnestly recite all the things they like about the United States.
-        The New York Times - October 17, 2016
     “Tell America It’s Great” is a social media campaign designed by Canadians looking to cheer up Americans in these days of division and political turmoil. It features Tweets and YouTube videos from ordinary Canadians praising everything from NASA to Tupac Shakur.
     Such a project, of course, has to be subject to some editing and not all of the Canadian encomiums could be included. Here are just a few of the Tweets and video messages that ended up on the cutting room floor:
     “You’re great America, especially for keeping all that crap south of our border. Thanks for helping us keep out the right-wing crazy.”
     “Thanks for bringing us the most entertaining presidential election in living memory. That Donald Trump is outright hilarious. Even if it encourages some Canadian nut job to run for office that’s a small price to pay for the months of entertainment your guy has provided.”
     “America, you’re a fantastic neighbor. Except for that invasion of Quebec in 1775, the War of 1812 when you burned York to the ground and those crazy Fenian raids just after the Civil War. But, hey, even good neighbors occasionally have the odd border dispute, right?”
     “U-S-A! U-S-A! Just a quick cheer to say you’re the greatest for showing us how things should be done, especially when it comes to healthcare. So long as you’ve got the money, you can get great medical care without waiting. I’m sure the other 90% of you will eventually have that option as well.”
     “You’re the best for sharing Donald Trump with us. Thanks to him, we Canadians now show more interest in your elections than our own. Hopefully we’ll learn to take more care with ours in the future.”
     “When it comes to guns, missiles and nukes, you’re the best. Thanks for not using them on us.”
     “It’s always nice to have a neighbor who takes an interest in our new prime minister, Justin Trudeau. The fact that you really like him makes us stop and reexamine his tenure in case we’re missing something.”

     “We think you’re awesome. We just don’t want you pouring over the border now that Donald Trump won because then I’m afraid we’d have to build a wall and make you pay for it. No offense, eh?”

Monday, October 09, 2017

The National Association For The Advancement Of Rich People

     I’m J. Rutherford Moneybags, a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Rich People, and I want to take this opportunity to dispel the myths and quash the rumors surrounding the release of the so-called Panama Papers back in 2015.
     It is insulting to the NAARP and me personally that the media immediately jumped to the conclusion that the various rich people listed in those documents had somehow broken the law. This naming and shaming is unfair to the wealthy among us.
     Why would you automatically assume that setting up a company in Panama means that we are seeking to circumvent tax laws in our home jurisdictions? Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence and the right to be heard?
     Believe it or not, there are a multitude of non-tax-related reasons why someone might want to incorporate in Panama. Yet I didn’t hear any media outlets doing the right thing and detailing even one of those legitimate justifications.
      Personally, I find it offensive to be called a tax evader and a criminal when my decision to incorporate in Panama was motivated by the best of intentions. Sure, I could incorporate in the United States or any western country for that matter but who does that help? By choosing a developing nation like Panama, the legal expenses and incorporation fees are spent in a country that sorely needs the economic boost that comes from foreign investment.
     Without naming names, I would like to detail just a few of the many other legitimate reasons some of my colleagues have had for setting up companies in Panama. For example, those engaged in international trade who deal both in the Atlantic and Pacific regions find that Panama’s proximity to both oceans is a distinct advantage.
     Some, on the other hand, have familial ties to this Central American nation. One wealthy friend of mine has two great-grandparents who once lived in the Panama Canal Zone back in the early part of the 20th century while they were engaged in the construction of the Panama Canal. His Panamanian corporations are, in part, a way for him to honor his ancestors.
     One dear friend recently explained why he had to set up a Panamanian corporation. “It’s not like I wanted to do it,” he confided. “But I needed a secret place to park some money so that I could surprise my wife with an expensive Christmas gift. If I did it here, it would be a matter of public record and she could have easily discovered what I was up to.”
     Another friend said he set up several corporations in Panama simply to avoid giving offense. “Look,” he said. “If I incorporate in the U. S. then I offend all those South American countries but if I choose Brazil or Argentina, say, then the North American countries are annoyed. By choosing a jurisdiction straddling both continents, no one’s fiscal nose is out of joint.”

     Then there are those who are lovers of palindromes especially the famous saying “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!” What better way to celebrate one’s hobby than to set up a company in the land of the palindrome? “A man, a plan, a canard, Panama!” OK, it’s technically not a palindrome but it’s close enough for me and hopefully for the IRS.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Rex The Wonder Dog

    Donald Trump’s White House seems to be in disarray. Instead of hiring cabinet members like former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, maybe Mr. Trump should be listening to Rex the Wonder Dog if the following translated memo posted on Facebook is any indication:
TO:        All humans
FROM:  Rex the Wonder Dog
     Up until now, I’ve pretty much kept my mouth shut except maybe when that annoying cat from across the street walks past when I’m outside in my owner’s backyard. If I ever figure out how to work the gate latch, that cat is gone, I tell you, G-O-N-E.
     But never mind about the cat. There are bigger problems in the world right now and chief among them are Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.
     For the most part, I figured you humans could be trusted with the welfare of the planet. After all, you’re supposedly the smartest species on Earth and generally tend to lean towards self-preservation.
     Lately, however, I’m having serious doubts about your capabilities when it comes to running things. What with climate change, overpopulation and resource depletion, things are looking a bit grim.
     And now with Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un squaring off in a schoolyard bully name-calling contest, I’m getting really worried. It wouldn’t be so bad if these two were like Spike and Fido down the street who go after one another every other day at the local dog park. But unlike Spike and Fido, Trump and Kim are armed with nuclear weapons.
     The problem, as I see it, is that neither of these guys has a dog for a pet. Donald Trump is the first U. S. president in well over a century not to have a dog in the White House. The fact that you haven’t had a nuclear war in all that time is no accident.
     I’m not on a first sniff basis with any of the previous canine residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue but I have it on good authority via the doggie kibble line that many of them were instrumental in keeping their master’s finger away from the nuclear trigger. Both Bo and Barney have reportedly claimed credit for calming down Presidents Obama and Bush in several crucial situations.
     And I believe it because that’s what we dogs do. If there’s increasing tension in a house, we’re there to distract the residents and to provide a helping paw when necessary. Admit it; there’s nothing more relaxing than petting the family dog when you’re at your wit’s end.
     So for the sake of humanity, please get Donald Trump a dog. I guarantee you that he’ll become a whole different person, maybe even presidential although I’m not promising any miracles.
     Ideally, you should try to arrange a dog for Kim Jong-un as well. I don’t know about the history of pet ownership by North Korea’s leaders but I’m pretty sure that Kim doesn’t currently own a dog and that’s a shame. What a friendly mutt could do for Trump could likewise work wonders for Kim as well.
     My main concern, however, is that even if someone gave Kim a dog, he might end up as the evening meal before he even got a chance to mollify the Supreme Leader. But, hey, nobody said this would be easy.
     Once this latest political crisis is solved, we dogs are not looking for any compensation or special treatment. As usual, a couple of scratches behind the ear and a “Who’s a good boy?” is reward enough. Oh, yeah, and maybe a free shot at the neighbor’s cat.         

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Trump Airlines

     Welcome aboard Trump Airlines. We’re pleased to provide you with the finest in no-cost, direct flight travel.
     We are the newest full-service airline in the country having recently launched our business on January 20th of this year. But unlike other airlines, we cater to a very exclusive clientele: Cabinet secretaries and other Cabinet-level appointees.
     You are part of a very important group of federal public servants. That’s why we tailor our services to meet your special needs.
     Trump Airlines recognizes that you have important work to do and can’t afford to be inconvenienced by regular commercial flights, passenger trains or even inter-city car services. When you have an important meeting coming up, you need to know that you’ll arrive there refreshed, on time and undisturbed by the ordinary traveling public.
     At Trump Airlines, we know what it’s like to give up a huge payday for a middling six-figure salary just to serve in a Cabinet position. We figure the least we can do is provide you with the best in transportation just like you had in your private sector life.
     Our CEO knows your situation well and appreciates the sacrifices you are making to help serve the nation and drain the swamp. After all, he’s working for the nominal sum of one dollar a year. That’s why he feels completely justified in using the queen of our fleet, nicknamed Air Force One, to frequently travel to his various resorts and golf clubs.
     And that’s why we’re providing you with top-of-the-line domestic and international travel on any one of our select military jets or private chartered aircraft. You are a very important person clearly deserving of our trademarked VIP® service and our privileged FOD® (“Friend of Donald”) status.
     Need to get from Washington to Nashville for an afternoon speech and lunch with your son but don’t have time for a two-hour commercial flight? Then book one of our private jets and cut your travel time by as much as fifteen minutes. And don’t worry about the $17,760 price tag; we’ve got you covered.
     There’s no reason you should have to travel ordinary business class, especially when many of your destinations are not available via a direct commercial flight or the flights are at awkward or inconvenient times. For example, it’s not easy to get to Georgia’s St. Simons Island Resort.
     That’s where we come in. Just give us a call and we’ll book you a Lear jet that will get you there in no time even on a Friday if your event happens to be on Sunday. And forget about your credit card; for you, the flight is free.
     As a responsible government agency, Trump Airlines will endeavor to meet any reasonable travel request although there are limits. We probably won’t be able to provide a $25,000-an-hour military plane for your European honeymoon but we’re more than happy to accommodate a solar-eclipse-watching trip to Fort Knox. Just ensure that you don’t exceed our annual limits of 25 flights or $400,000 or we might have to take disciplinary action.
     As the airline of the rich and privileged, we’ll get you where you want to go in luxury and style. Not only do we feature the best in drinks and haute cuisine, you’ll also earn valuable Trump Points that you can cash in for fantastic extras like Champagne, foie gras or a foot massage.

     So forget about all those incomprehensible commercial airline timetables and complicated booking procedures. Send us an e-mail with your travel request and we’ll have you on a private jet faster than you can say “I’m entitled.” Just make sure you don’t use your personal server.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Respect Our Dear Leader

 “Since he first came to power in January 2000, Mr. Putin and his allies have gone to great lengths to silence or undermine all critical voices in Russia.”
                                                     -        The New York Times – February 8, 2017

“North Korea has forbidden people from making sarcastic comments about Kim Jong-un or his totalitarian regime in their everyday conversations.”
                                                     -        The Independent – September 28, 2016

     It’s no secret that the notoriously thin-skinned Donald Trump is a big fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He may even be a secret admirer of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. All of which may explain the following rumored upcoming presidential executive orders:
Executive Order 13801
     Presidential press conferences will be open to all media outlets except those designated “fake news” by the President. There will be a public list of banned media which will be updated weekly by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. For starters, it will include CNN, the Washington Post and the failing New York Times.
Executive Order 13807
     Media outlets banned under Executive Order 13801 which persist in reporting on the President or his administration will be punished according to the type of outlet. For example, newspapers will be subject to daily fines of up to $10,000 and television networks may have their broadcast license cancelled by the Federal Communications Commission. Websites whose names rhyme with the words “right heart” or “box screws” are exempted from this order.
Executive Order 13819
     In furtherance of maintaining respect for the high office of the President of these United States, it is hereby directed that our Dear Leader may not be referred to directly, indirectly or sarcastically with any phrase comprising the word “orange” including but not restricted to “Agent Orange” and “Orange Hitler.” Violation of this order will result in a fine of up to $500 and a requirement to provide a personal apology to President Trump.
Executive Order 13825
     It view of the various attempts to avoid Executive Order 13819, it is hereby decreed that no citizen may refer to the President by any phrase suggesting the color orange such as “Racist Clementine”, “Angry Creamsicle”, “Cheeto Jesus”, “Tangerine Mussolini” and “Prevaricating Pumpkin.” An offense under this directive will incur a penalty of no less than $1,000 and mandatory attendance at a one-week re-indoctrination camp conducted by Steve Bannon.
Executive Order 13829
     In view of the ongoing attempts to malign and impugn the President’s masculinity, it is henceforth forbidden for any citizen to mock, ridicule or otherwise make fun of the size of the President’s hands. As examples only, no one may use the phrases “Tiny Hands Trump”, “Baby Fingers Trump” and “Pixie Fingers Trump.” This order will also have retrospective effect regarding past uses of the expression “Short-fingered Vulgarian” particularly by one Graydon Carter. Punishment will involve the loss of one or more digits, hands and/or limbs. 
Executive Order 13833
     Given the repeated attempts to circumvent previous orders, it is hereby proclaimed that there will be a Presidential Nickname Commission whose function will be to review and either approve or disapprove proposed nicknames for the President. Examples of acceptable names are “The Donald”, “Supreme Leader” and “America’s Savior.” No examples of unacceptable names will be provided except to say that those submitting such names face a possible indeterminate stay in our nation’s premier reeducation facility in Guantanamo Bay.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dear Computer Guy

An occasional consumer advice column for those in need of computer assistance:
Dear Computer Guy:
     I live in Washington, D. C. and for the last eight months I’ve been using Trump I as my operating system. Despite experiencing a number of problems, I’ve still been pleased with this OS due primarily to the various rebates and tax refunds promised. Should I stick with Trump I for the next few years?
                                                                                                              Wondering in Washington
Dear Wondering:
     Consider yourself lucky; you’re one of the few Trump I users who hasn’t been burned. What started out as a promising new OS earlier this year has turned into a bug-infested, error-prone system. The rollout of the heavily-promoted Repeal and Replace patch never occurred and the oft-touted Mexican Wall subroutine appears now to be a non-starter.   
     Recent defections from the company that makes this product suggest that it is definitely in decline. Among others, they’ve lost their National Security Advisor, Chief of Staff, Communications Director and Chief Strategist and rumor has it that more bodies are looking to jump ship.
     If you can squeeze a few more months of useful life out of Trump I, hang on for now. But if the company goes out of business, you may want to take a look at the Pence operating system as a potential temporary fix. In the meantime, I strongly recommend that you uninstall Twitter from any of your devices.
The Computer Guy

Dear Computer Guy:
     Many years ago, I purchased the Clinton word processing software package. It gave me reliable service for most of the nineties but I haven’t used it now for over fifteen years. I hear some folks talking about a new Clinton 2.0 version. Is it as good as the original?
Wordless in Seattle
Dear Wordless:
     That’s a tough question. First of all, let’s be clear. Clinton 2.0 is a completely different product from version 1.0. Basically, only the name is the same. Whereas, for its time, Clinton 1.0 had all the bells and whistles and lots of marketing pizazz, version 2.0 is definitely not as flashy although undoubtedly more stable.
     Some beta testers in New York said they liked the trial version of Clinton 2.0 that was offered in their state during the previous decade although they were apparently less impressed with the recent upgrade called Secretary of State. Still others have questioned the reliability of the software package’s technical support. Some users have reported a repeated failure by the company to admit past programming and e-mail errors and to rectify clearly faulty positions.
     On the other hand, it appears that purchasers of Clinton 2.0 will still have access to version 1.0 as well. However, since it’s still not clear whether the two versions are even compatible, it may be wise to hold off and check for the availability of the new Sanders software package or any one of a number of other younger progressive options currently in development.
The Computer Guy

Dear Computer Guy:
     I’ve been having trouble with viruses, spam and pop-ups in my e-mail. No matter how many anti-virus packages I employ, I still get hit with a full in-box and some nasty, nasty bugs like trumpjr17, jkushner101 and russiagate99. What steps can I take to protect myself?
Vulnerable in Virginia
Dear Vulnerable:
     I sympathize with your situation. It seems that ever since 2015, there has been a rapid increase in these types of computer bugs. At present, dozens of varieties have been identified with more reported to be on the way including the very powerful putinspy01 virus. The good news is that all of these bugs work only on computers using the Trump I operating system and, once it is taken off the market, the virus problem should quickly disappear.
     If you can’t wait that long, there are certain measures you can take to immediately secure your PC or laptop including two off-the-shelf fixes called Impeachment and Amendment25. Unfortunately, neither item is currently available in stores.
The Computer Guy

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ted's Excellent Porn Adventure

"Cruz has watched porn on the Internet at least once, regardless of what happened on his Twitter account Monday night. He said so in his book “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America.”

-        The Washington Post – September 13, 2017

     Recently, Ted Cruz’s Twitter account featured a link to a two-minute clip from a porn video. Senator Cruz explained that it was all due to a staffing issue but apparently he had drafted the following detailed explanation which was never released:
     First of all, I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not watch pornography on-line. I am an intelligent man and, if I was to engage in this seamy type of activity, I would have enough sense to restrict my porn viewing to off-line sources such as racy silent films and naughty French postcards.
     Yet even if I had that option, I would not intentionally view pornography in any form or medium. There is, of course, the possibility that I might accidentally watch such material if, for example, someone gave me a video entitled “Behind The White House Door”, “Deep Throat’s Favorite Parking Space” or “SCOTUS v. SCROTUM: The Supreme Court Bangs Out Another Decision.” It’s only natural that I would assume such a video was an educational political documentary requiring careful viewing right to the end or at least to the climax.
     As I have previously noted, I did watch pornography as a 26-year-old Supreme Court law clerk doing research for some of the justices. I guarantee you that I did not enjoy it; it was simply part of my job and nothing more. The fact that I may have taken some videotapes home for viewing is evidence only of the long hours a law clerk must put in and not my personal preference.
     As for the two-minute lewd video clip linked to my Twitter account, I have not repeatedly viewed it and, for the most part, I condemn it. Its only redeeming feature is that it involves a stepmother, her stepdaughter and the stepdaughter’s young male friend and thus could arguably qualify as being “family friendly.”
     Needless to say, I am enraged, if not engorged, by the subsequent misuse of my name in recent pornographic offerings. It’s one thing to be featured in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Sex Adventures”; it’s quite another to be associated with “Forest Hump: Ted’s Cruising Days.”
     Perhaps the most egregious example of the sexual exploitation of my good name is the recent release “Corporal Ted of the Royal Canadian Mounting Police.” This licentious film apparently features a Ted Cruz-like character and several horses engaged in what can only be described as unnatural acts, even for me.
     All of this has stiffened my resolve to fight this wave of libelous smut. It should come as no surprise that I intend to thrust myself into the public arena and erect whatever barriers I can to protect my until now unblemished sexual reputation.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pardon Me

     Donald Trump’s recent pardon of Sherriff Joe Arpaio has generated a lot of criticism, many commentators saying that the President has abused his pardon power. Others have noted that the ad hoc nature of that pardon underscores the organizational chaos in the current White House’s decision-making process.
     As for that latter point, Americans should rest easy; inside sources have indicated that President Trump’s pardon-granting procedure is anything but disorganized and, in fact, is governed by a sophisticated application process. The following leaked pardon application form seems to confirm that observation:
(Please note that the White House is an equal opportunity pardoner and will consider applications from many sides. However, transgender individuals and DACA enrollees need not apply.)
Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability:
1.     Are you an FOD or friend of Donald? As an FOD, can you convincingly disavow any such friendship if necessary?
2.    How much did you contribute to the Trump presidential campaign? If less than six figures, you may be required to provide written evidence of your claimed FOD status.
3.     If you are a Trump family member, you will automatically qualify for a pardon unless your given name is Tiffany or Ivana. If your given name is Donald or Donald, Jr. you can receive unlimited pardons as required.
4.     Any application in the name of Hillary Clinton is null and void.
5.     Please describe the nature of your crime, possible crime or intended crime. Preference will be given to those committing, having committed or intending to commit fraud, tax evasion or treason or those engaging in so-called conflicts of interest.
6.    Are you Russian or do you know any Russians? Have you ever been to Russia? Can you make a Black Russian?
7.     Do you know how to “Take the Fifth”?
8.    How many times have you stayed at a Trump hotel or played on a Trump golf course? Please attach copies of eligible invoices.
9.     Would you like to make a contribution to the President’s 2020 reelection campaign? How much? We accept cash, checks, major credit cards and PayPal although, as the President often says, “cash is king.”
10.    Any applicant having the surname Icahn, Koch or Murdoch will be granted an automatic blanket pardon so long as his application is accompanied by a statement acknowledging Donald Trump’s superior business acumen.

(N.B. - If you are a White House turkey and it is Thanksgiving, you will automatically be pardoned. Please note that, despite all contrary indications, Steve Bannon does not qualify.)     

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The New Trump Supporters

   The New York Times recently initiated a search to find Trump voters who no longer support the President. They’re asking such folks to self-identify and give their reasons for doing a one-eighty on The Donald.
     Well isn’t that just typical of the fake news? All The Times cares to do is identify Trump traitors; they don’t care to look for those voters who didn’t vote for Trump but now support him. Voters like:
David Butler of Skokie, Illinois
     “Honestly, I wasn’t that crazy about Donald Trump in the beginning. Although I liked his idea of the Mexican border wall, for the most part I didn’t see his views really jiving with mine. That is, until last month when he came out with some tacit support for us white supremacists. He could have taken the easy road and condemned us and the neo-Nazis outright but he didn’t. As I see it, he sent a subtle message to me and my friends to hang in there and fight the good fight. Heck, I’m not asking him to secretly send us all a free white sheet but I do appreciate his efforts and you can now count me as a big Donald Trump fan.”
Arthur J. Harris III of New York City
     “I’ve been an investment banker almost my entire adult life so I was somewhat familiar with Donald Trump as a kind of clown-like figure on the New York City real estate development scene. He wasn’t the best of the lot but he probably wasn’t the worst either. Last year, I actually voted for Hillary Clinton because of all her Wall Street ties. But, honestly, I have to say that I’ve changed my mind completely. That Trump fellow has really impressed me with all his talk of repealing Obamacare and cutting taxes for folks like me. Some say his proposed measures are shortsighted and will only hurt the economy but all I know is that they’re sure as hell going to help my bottom line. MAGA is now my personal motto.”
Rick Fenster of Alexandria, Virginia
     “As a career member of the Secret Service, I generally try to remain politically neutral. After all, my job is to protect the President whoever he may be. But I have to say I’ve recently found a bit of motivation to throw my support behind Mr. Trump. Given all the trips he and his family make to Mar-a-Lago and other Trump properties, I’m earning overtime pay like crazy. I don’t know if Trump can make America great again but I know he’s sure going to make our backyard great again since I can now finally afford to put in that new deck and in-ground pool.”
Tex Lister of Nogales, Arizona
     “I’ve never been much of a political guy, at least until now. As for the last presidential election, I didn’t even vote. It just seemed like so much noise that I never got interested and, heck, I didn’t even register. But after the election, I had what my wife called an epiphany. I thought maybe that was a cancerous growth on my neck but it turns out it means I kind of saw the light for the first time. And that light is that my business in southern Arizona dealing in concrete, stones and wall-mounted solar panels is about to take off big time thanks to President Trump. If he proceeds with his plan for a Mexican border wall, I’m in line to get a whole lot of contracts. Trump supporter? You betcha!”
Kellyanne Conway of Washington, D. C.
     “I guess I don’t really count as someone who voted for Donald Trump and then changed her mind. After all, I’ve done quite well by the fellow if I do say so myself. On the other hand, if I’m being honest (and, heaven knows, I always try to be honest), I didn’t always care for the fellow. In fact, prior to him getting the Republican nomination, I actually worked for Ted Cruz and spent a lot of my time coming up with nasty insults to throw at Mr. Trump. But, hey, that’s all water under or over the bridge as they like to say in Houston and, at least for now, count me as one big enthusiastic Trump supporter unless, of course, somebody pulls a “Bannon” on me.”