Elliot: Flies and golf: It’s a wonderful world

With pesky insects, even peskier golfers, and the occasional bigot, who could not love this life.


Cliff Owen/Star Tribune/TNS

Special counsel Robert Mueller walked past the White House on Sunday after attending St. John’s Episcopal Church for morning services. Mueller closed his long and contentious Russia investigation last week, delivering a report to Attorney General William Barr. On Sunday, Barr sent Congress a four-page summary of principal findings.

Beau Elliot, Columnist

Dear Doc Grammar:

Where you been? I didn’t miss you but couldn’t help but notice you weren’t around. What’s up? Visiting your old Grammer?

Dear Missing:

Ha-ha. We’ve been around, because the alternative seems to be being a square. Or a rhombus. The problem with a rhombus is that it’s always late.

We’ve spent a bit of time looking into a BBC Radio report that there’s a species of fly in Scotland that is in danger of going extinct because of the development of a golf course/resort. We’re not necessarily against golf courses, though at first glance, it hardly seems that building yet another golf course in Scotland (birthplace of golf) hardly seems worth the trouble of exterminating a species. Flies or not. Yes, flies are pesky, but not nearly so much as older white males knocking golf balls around everywhere in the visible landscape except in the holes.

What’s up, Doc:

So what do you liberals think about the Mueller Report now? Exoneration. Ha-ha-ha-ha all the way to the bank.

Dear Banker:

Well, we see that you’ve got the geographic location right. It’s hard to run into geographic knowledge with Americans these days. Especially because Americans tend to run headlong into geography and canyon-out in some place such as Delaware. Which is curious, because Delaware doen’t have canyons. It does have Joe Biden as some sort of recompense.

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What we think about the Mueller Report: It seems as though AG William Barr clearly carried water for the president instead of acting as an attorney general. Thus Mueller’s letter to Barr complaining that the latter had confused the matter for the public by ignoring the context and allegations. There are at least 10 instances in which Trump clearly attempted to obstruct justice, though none came to fruition, reportedly. But as a former U.S. DA for the Southern District of New York pointed out, even if the attempt to obstruct justice didn’t pan out, he would still prosecute because the attempt is illegal.

What we wonder about is this: If nothing was going on, why are so many  former  Trump aides guilty and facing (or serving) time, in part because they lied to the FBI about what was going on?

One of the lessons of Watergate was it was not so much the crime as it was the cover-up.

Just by the way. On Dec. 24, 1992, President George H.W. Bush pardoned (with then-AG William Barr’s reported support) six people facing prosecution in the Iran-Contra affair. One was Elliott Abrams, now the U.S. point man in whatever the U.S. policy is vis-à-vis whatever is going on in Venezuela. Gives a whole new meaning to what goes around comes around.

Dear Doc:

Don’t you have anything nice to say about President Trump? I mean, any little thing?

Dear Any Little Thing:

Of course we have something nice to say.


Well, he seems to be a cheerful enough bigot. Comfortable, you know?

In his defense, it seems he grew up in a bigoted household. His father, Fred C. Trump, reportedly was arrested in the 1920s at a KKK rally in Brooklyn, and in the late-1940s, Fred C. was notorious for not renting to blacks in a P3 housing project the elder Trump had built in Brooklyn. So much so that Woody Gutherie wrote a song about him and his bigotry. (Gutherie was a tenant in the project. The lesson might be, beware of renting to famous songwriters. If your inclination is to engage in rental practices that you might not want pubic.)

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And Donald himself was part of the Trump Empire when it agreed in the 1970s to pay a fine to the Justice Department and cease illegal discriminatory rental practices against blacks. Without admitting any guilt, mind you.

And he always seemed angry that a brown-skin man could win the presidency and live in the White House. You’ll note that he led the so-called birther movement against President Obama for some time.

But he seems quite OK with all that. Y’all get to judge in 2020.