Nightmare in Washington. Firing from the grave. A chicken in every pot.
I. Nightmare in Washington - The Movie
7am, Wednesday 4 November, White House. Master Bedroom.
Trump: Not only did I win 383 Electoral College votes, I won the popular vote 53% to 40%. Four more years of golf!
Melania: Wake up, Darlink. Vake up! You're haffing a nightmare. You actually lost.
Trump: I was amazing. Made the pollsters look like idiots. Four more years of golf! And all those charges can't stick 'cos I'm immune.
Melania: Darlink, vake up! Darlink! It's a bad dream. You lost.
Trump: I sure showed those postal voting commies who's boss. Four more years of golf! And I'll get Vlad to get one of his mates to pay my debts.
Melania: Darlink, do vake up, please, shooga. You lost.
Trump: Those lefty journalists can eat soap. Four more years. And this time I can nuke that fat pubescent five foot two leader of North Korea in the flared pants.
Melania: Darlink! Darlink! Vake up, sveethart.
Trump: You eastern European cyborg. I am awake. Fully awake. I really did win. I won four more years. I drained the Democrat swamp. [Knock on bedroom door]. [Yelling] Go away!
Melania: Darlink, it's okay, it vill be breakfast. Come in!
[Four large men in white coats enter and approach the bed]
Trump: Holy Trump Tower, what sort of breakfast is this.
Man #1: Excuse me Mr President, how are ve this morning? Vell. Goot. Now, we haff a new invention, breakfast in an injection. Mostly vitamins.
[He reaches over and injects a startled Trump, who slides to the floor. The four men lift Trump and take him away]
Melania [yelling after the men]: Thank you, Ivan. [To herself] By the time he wakes up the divorce papers will be ready. [Picks up phone] Hello, svitchboard, vill you send up a bottle of 2007 Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque.
II. Firing from the grave
Since the US Department of Defense was created in 1947, which President has fired five Secretaries of Defense:
c. Nixon; or
Close. But no cigar. The correct answer is d.
I-Won-I-Really-Won-Trump has now hit the quintet, in a single term, now firing Mark Esper on Tuesday, a week after the election and three days after Sleepy Joe Biden was declared election winner. The summary dismissal was in a presidential tweet.
The tweet said that “Mark Esper has been terminated”. There were no reports of funeral arrangements.
III. A chicken in every pot
Readers will be disappointed to be reminded that the Yoo-Ess-Ay election thing is not yet over.
Yes, yes, Sleepy Joe has the big gig. But control of the all important Senate remains in balance. Both Senate seats in Georgia (a state Biden appeared to 'flip to blue') are headed to a runoff election on 5 January.
If they end up in Democratic hands (with Kamala Harris as Vice President), then Democrats would gain a majority since the Vice-President provides tie-breaking votes. This would give the Democrats control of the White House, the Senate and the House.
Which would mean: free money for everybody, a chicken in every pot solar panel on every roof and the voting age lowered to 12.
IV. The boot on Hong Kong's throat presses harder
Readers would have seen that Beijing implemented new rules this week that allow it to remove any politician from Hong Kong's parliament who are critical of Beijing, China, the Communist Party, etc. Four 'moderate' politicians were summarily given the DCM. The one nation - two systems autonomy to which China agreed in 1984 is now dead. Any pretence of democracy in Hong Kong is dead.
Our cartoonist, Patrick Cook, summed it up:
V. Turkey shoot
It's been a tough few years for the Sultan of Turkey: collapsing currency, inflation of over 12%, fleeing foreign investors, etc. But Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems happy to ignore all of this, and to adopt the Mussolini Method: if it gets too hot in your own kitchen, set fire to someone else's.
Hence his adventures into Azerbaijan, Libya and Cyprus. As well as unsubtly supporting Islamist causes.
But economic events in his own kitchen have gone from worse to DEFCON 1 , Turkey-style. And so last Saturday he gave his central bank governor the DCM. On Sunday, Turkey's Finance Minister saw the writing on the wall and gave himself the DCM. There is more to this than meets the eye: he is married to the Sultan's daughter. Perhaps he will be a victim of the Sultan of Swing. Groan.
These moves were initially supported by the markets - the Turkish lira strengthened as did the stock market.
But it's too early to open the apple juice. The Sultan is taking a leaf out of Emperor Xi's Free Speech handbook. That is, there is no free speech. Sooner or later the average Turk is going to get grumpy. Really grumpy.
 The DEFCON system was developed by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and unified and specified combatant commands. It prescribes five graduated levels of readiness for the U.S. military. It increases in severity from DEFCON 5 (least severe) to DEFCON 1 (most severe) to match varying military situations.
VI. Fine print
Readers just have to read the fine print. On Monday, I-Won-Trump sent an email appeal to supporters to raise at least $60m to fund legal challenges against the election result.
Astute readers noticed the fine print, which said only half of donations would be used on legal fees, with the balance being used to pay down campaign debt.
VII. The final election word
Readers have every right to feel they have been spun around a Yoo-Ess-election revolving door. Allow Wry & Dry to stop the door and to summarise:
1. Sleepy Joe Biden won
2. But for COVID-19, Trump would have won
3. The Democrats lost between net seven and 11 House seats
4. The Democrats may win the Senate, but, maybe not
This in the face of an awful, awful President. All of which, as well as some deep reading, tells Wry & Dry that the average Joe and Jane on Mainstreet Yoo-Ess-Ay, who pays his/her taxes, loves his family and his country, won't have a bar of the leftward drift of the Democrats. It's not the economic or even the climate-change leftward drift. It's the social policy drift and the tolerance of intolerance.
Yes, yes, there are nutters on the right of the soup spoon. Some of whom, like extreme Islamists, invoke the cause of God to justify their position, and who may never be brought into the evolving world. But unless the immovable and failing Democrat leadership (e.g. Nancy Pelosi) grasp the simple fact that middle Americans doesn't like being told what to think, then the Yoo-Ess-Ay will be locked into a divisive spiral that will cause glee in Beijing.
VIII. Bank error in your favour
Eastman Kodak, the old school photography company (cameras and film), handed five former executives shares worth millions of dollars in exchange for share options they did not own. Kodak has told the executives it wants the money back. This being the Yoo-Ess-Ay, the executives have lawyered up.
This error should come as no surprise to Readers. Kodak invented digital photography in 1975, but abandoned the project as:
"...They were convinced that no one would ever want to look at their pictures on a television set. Print had been with us for over 100 years, no one was complaining about prints, they were very inexpensive, and so why would anyone want to look at their picture on a television set?"
It seems that Kodak is still not good at, well, anything. It filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012. It emerged as a pharmaceutical company a few years later.
IX. "You tested me for what?"
A Connecticut (USA) doctor charged a woman's health fund $1,944 for a COVID-19 test. And $480 for the 30 second phone call to relay her test results. Nice money, if you can get it.
A Dr Steven Murphy ran a whole host of other tests for at least 20 respiratory pathogens, just to see that the woman was not suffering from any other problems. She wasn't. Which was not surprising as she was young and in perfect health, just being cautious about coronavirus.
Wry & Dry dips his lid to Dr Murphy. He's so considerate, so professional; worrying only about the health of his drive-through-testing patients, ensuring that they have no other problems.
Snippets from all over
1. Australia's confidence zooms to seven-year high
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute index of consumer sentiment climbed for the third straight month in November to a seven-year high.
Wry & Dry comments: The index is now 11% above its level a year ago and at 107.7 implies optimists outnumbered pessimists.
2. UK grows, but not enough
UK GDP fell a little short of expectations this morning, rebounding 15.5% following the 19.8% contraction in the June quarter.
Wry & Dry comments: The UK economy is 8.6% smaller than in January.
3. Throw away the Gillette
UPS (the parcel courier company) is lifting a longstanding ban on facial hair, as well as Afros and braids, as part of an effort to "celebrate diversity rather than corporate restrictions," according to an announcement on an internal website.
Wry & Dry comments: Collapse of stout party.
4. And the boys light up
Cannabis stocks are enjoying a second consecutive week of big gains amid expectations that Joe Biden will lead a reform effort that will spark investment in the sector.
Wry & Dry comments: Marijuana would be decriminalized at a federal level in the United States under a Biden administration.
5. Buffett buys back
Warren Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway, splurged another $9 billion on repurchasing its own stock in the third quarter, bringing its nine-month total to around $16 billion.
Wry & Dry comments: About 70% of Berkshire's investment in equities at September 30 was concentrated in four companies - Apple, Bank of America, Coca-Cola and American Express.
And, to soothe your troubled mind ...
Last words ...
“I have supported you, Mr. President . . . But that time is now over. Tip your hat, bite your lip, and congratulate @JoeBiden.”
- Corey Stapleton, Secretary of State for Montana (a Republican state).
"And now, the end is near. And so I face the final curtain..."
A lightly salted absurdity ...
How many Japanese cops does it take to arrest a man for stealing about 6 dollars from a collection box in a shrine: Click Here.
- Sora news
There's more Keystone cops than CSI.