Monthly Archives: January 2018

Reclaiming a Long-Lost Possession

A while back The Curmudgeon found himself needing to make one of his infrequent and not-very welcome visits to a synagogue, and as he dressed quickly on a Saturday morning and was about to leave the house he realized he didn’t have a yarmulke – the little skullcap (okay, beanie) that Jews wear when we worship. He knows he has several, but when he looked in every place in his home where he thought they might be he came up empty. All he found was one of those cheap black yarmulkes that synagogues supply to those who come without their own, and if you go into a synagogue already in possession of one of these you might as well write on it, in bold letters, “I stole this yarmulke.”

Three generations of family tallis bags. The Curmudgeon’s is the blue one in the middle.

So where oh where could his yarmulke be?

First he checked his tallis bag. A tallis is the prayer shawl Jews wear when we worship and the tallis bag is where many of us also store our yarmulkes. No luck: all he found were his tallis and the special yarmulke he wore on his bar mitzvah – a bigger model that’s sort of like a stunted chef’s hat. If you go into a synagogue wearing one of those and you’re not 13 years old you might as well write on it, in bold letters, “I’m an idiot.”

Hurrying now, he decided to look in his grandfather’s tallis bag, which he inherited 30 years ago. (Well, he didn’t actually inherit it: when his grandfather passed way the assignment to clean out his apartment fell to The Curmudgeon and this was the only item he took for himself.) No luck: another tallis but no yarmulke.

Then it dawned on him: he now had his father’s tallis bag – claimed, like his grandfather’s, upon its owner’s death, just a few years ago. Surely dad would have had a yarmulke. The Curmudgeon hesitated for a moment: he had never opened that bag before.

Hello, old friend

But when he did, what he found surprised him: his own yarmulke, from his youth. It was the burgundy velvet yarmulke with decorative white stitching he had worn to Hebrew school and services from the time he got it, at around the age of 10, until sometime a few years later when he could no longer find it.

And then he realized why it was there: when The Curmudgeon celebrated his bar mitzvah he wore the oversized yarmulke and must have given his own to his father. After the service dad no doubt simply stowed it in his tallis bag, where it sat, untouched and unused, for the rest of his life.

The Curmudgeon smiled, happily reunited with a long-lost friend: lost to him, to be precise, since November 21, 1970, the date of his bar mitzvah.

So the boy was reunited with his yarmulke after a separation of more than 45 years, and if he was still faced with the undesirable chore of attending synagogue and sitting through a service, he was going to be just a little happier about it than he had been only a few minutes earlier.

 

 

The Founder of IKEA Passed Away Last Week at the Age of 91

No one has yet been able to confirm whether his family will be required to assemble his casket using nothing more than an Allen wrench.

The Trump Watch (late January 2018)

Wrong Time, Wrong Place

Okay, The Curmudgeon gets it: Agent Orange wants to replay the 2016 campaign on an endless loop and continue to criticize Hillary Clinton, for four reasons: he doesn’t respect Hillary, he doesn’t respect women, he hates that the press respects her, and doing so easily distracts that same press from whatever nonsense he’s most recently spouted.

But there’s a time and a place, and an unscheduled visit to a White House event for women that included more than a dozen female officials in the administration and 200 prominent female guests was neither.

But he showed up and couldn’t resist scratching that itch, as CNN reported:

“Arkansas, great state,” Trump said, after noting a woman attending from the state. “How did I win Arkansas by so much when she came from Arkansas?”

Let it go, dude.

A Strongman’s Tactic

Naturally, Trump wasn’t happy about Michael Wolff’s kiss and tell book about him and his administration, and in the tradition of political strongmen, he lashed out: by repeating a campaign promise and threatening to make it hard for anyone to write anything bad about him:

We are going to take a strong look at our country’s libel laws, so that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone, that person will have meaningful recourse in our courts.

And this:

Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values or American fairness.

The reality, though, is that no libel law will protect him from the truth – and despite all of the bloviating about the book, no one has refuted what it says.

Besides, we already have one really great libel law: we call it the first amendment.

Now THAT’S an American value.

Strongman, Part 2

In the past Trump demanded personal loyalty from the FBI director and fired him when he didn’t get it.

He’s threatened to fire his attorney general for showing insufficient loyalty by recusing himself from an investigation in which he is himself a subject.

He’s criticized the FBI, his deputy attorney general, and the special counsel and had his attempt to order the Justice Department to fire special counsel Robert Mueller thwarted by his own White House counsel. Just last week he forced a reorganization of the FBI director’s top staff and asked a deputy FBI director whom he voted for in the 2016 presidential election.

So where does he believe he gets the authority to do all these things?

I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department.

Somewhere in hell, the devil and Richard Nixon are smiling.

“Am I Great or What?”

As you are undoubtedly aware, Kim Jong-Trump held a televised bipartisan “negotiating session” about DACA with congressional leaders a few weeks ago. During that meeting he changed his position on the issue and then said he’d sign whatever bipartisan agreement the participants brought to him. Well, they called his bluff: they brought him a bipartisan agreement to solve the DACA problem.

He rejected it, of course.

But all Trump really wanted to talk about after the meeting was his own performance. He treated it, in fact, like an episode of The Apprentice.

It was a tremendous meeting. Actually, it was reported as incredibly good…It got great reviews by everybody other than two networks, who were phenomenal for about two hours.

Actually, no one reported it as “incredibly good.” Most reported it to be just awful.

But Trump wasn’t done, as the Washington Post reported:

Trump went on to say he had received letters from news anchors calling it “one of the greatest meetings they’ve ever witnessed.”

Just one problem: when asked about those letters, no one in the Trump administration could produce one.

In other words, he just made it up.

“Reinventing” or “Destroying”?

Earlier this month the New York Times published an article titled “For Trump, a Year of Reinventing the Presidency.”

“Reinventing” is not the word The Curmudgeon would use.

As the Times explained,

He has kept a business on the side; attacked the F.B.I., C.I.A. and other institutions he oversees; threatened to use his power against rivals; and waged war against members of his own  party  and even his own cabinet. He fired the man investigating his campaign and has not ruled out firing the one who took over. He has appealed to base instincts on race, religion and gender as no president has in generations. And he has rattled the nuclear saber more bombastically than it has been since the days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

There’s more.

The presidency has served as a vehicle for Mr. Trump to construct and promote his own narrative, one with crackling verve but riddled with inaccuracies, distortions and outright lies, according to fact checkers. Rather than a force for unity or a calming voice in turbulent times, the presidency now is another weapon in a permanent campaign of divisiveness.

Also,

…he has bristled at the restraints imposed on the presidency as few have, lashing out at judges, lawmakers, investigators and journalists who anger him and expressing frustration that he is not supposed to use the F.B.I. as he sees fit. His sense of government is not based on coalition building or a balancing act between equal branches. It is one where he deems what is necessary and the system should fall in line.

And 

He distorted a comment by the Muslim mayor of London to paint him as soft on terrorism. He accused Mr. Obama of tapping Trump Tower, calling him a “Bad (or sick) guy!” — a claim Mr. Trump’s own Justice Department rejected. He said there were “very fine people on both sides” of a white supremacist rally and counterprotest in Charlottesville, Va. He endorsed an accused child molester for Senate.

Finally:

On three successive days last summer, Mr. Trump made threats to use the power of the government to punish perceived adversaries. He warned that he would eliminate the N.F.L.’s tax break, revoke NBC’s broadcast license and pull recovery workers out of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico after criticism of his efforts.

Well, look at the bright side: only a little more than a thousand days left in this term. What else could possibly go wrong?

Bankers’ Hours

Agent Orange is not exactly a hard worker, we’ve learned lately. As reported by the online publication The Hill,

Trump’s day now starts around 11 a.m., and he is holding far fewer meetings during his workday, Axios reported after viewing copies of Trump’s private schedule.

The first part of Trump’s day is known as “Executive Time.” According to the schedule, it takes place in the Oval Office, but officials told Axios it actually takes place in Trump’s White House residence and consists of Trump watching TV and tweeting.

Trump reportedly arrives in the Oval Office for his intelligence briefing at 11 a.m., his first meeting of the day. He returns to his residence by 6 p.m.

Also,

The New York Times reported that Trump spends up to 8 hours a day watching television, which Trump has disputed.

Not True

Kim Jong-Trump recently boasted that the first of 52 “F-52 and F-35” fighter jets has been delivered to Norway.

Just one problem: there’s no such thing as an F-52 fighter jet.

Unless you’re talking about “Call of Duty” video games, which feature F-52 fighter jets.

So maybe Trump is telling the truth when he says he doesn’t watch nearly as much television as his critics maintain. Maybe he’s actually playing video games.

“But some of my best friends are…”

Not True, Part Two

Trump recently tweeted that

Trump approval ratings with Black Americans has doubled.

One small problem: it’s not true.

Shortly after his inauguration, 15 percent of African American voters approved of Trump’s performance in a Gallup poll.

Now? Six percent.

The Curmudgeon didn’t major in math but he’s pretty sure that six isn’t twice as much as 15.

Ignorance

Earlier this month the White House urged Congress to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, a law that permits U.S. law enforcement agencies to conduct foreign surveillance on American soil. When a House member proposed an amendment that would have weakened the law, the White House released a statement expressing the president’s opposition to the amendment.

The president’s closest advisors

But then Trump’s favorite television show, Full House – er, Fox & Friends – called the program “controversial” and linked it to the dossier that suggested that Trump, a lover of gold, enjoyed golden showers, among other things. Trump immediately tweeted his opposition to FISA, noting that it had been used “to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign.”

The bill’s supporters – the congressional Republicans he asked to renew the law – were surprised and appalled.

No matter: just two hours later Agent Orange tweeted “We need it! Get smart!”

Lovely and shapely, yes, but $130,000 worth of lovely and shapely?

Is The Curmudgeon mistaken in finding something wrong with this picture?

The President and the Porn Star

It’s obvious that he did it: just one year into his marriage to Melania and while she was pregnant he had an affair with a porn actress and then paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about it.

A guy who’s so smart about money surely should know that no one needs to spend that much for sex.

Oh Say Can You Sing?

Apparently not.

Agent Orange, who has railed against professional football players who choose not to stand during the national anthem, apparently doesn’t know the words to that very song. That’s right: Mr. Patriotism appears to have no idea what’s happening by the dawn’s early light. See for yourself here.

The Stable Genius

That’s what Agent Orange declared himself to be after observers questioned whether the man in the White House had all of marbles.

He started off gently, in a manner of speaking, tweeting that

Now that Russian collusion, after one year of intense study, has proven to be a total hoax on the American public, the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence.

Let us put aside for now that the people expressing concern about Ronald Reagan’t mental health have been proven 100 percent correct and that Reagan was experiencing dementia at a time when he was responsible for the nuclear launch codes.

And then, another tweet:

Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.

LIKE really smart, man.

He also tweeted, according to the New York Times, that he was a

VERY successful businessman” and television star who won the presidency on his first try. “I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!

Is there something special about winning the presidency on the first try that has eluded The Curmudgeon for lo these 60 years? Well, Trump is the 45th president and as far as The Curmudgeon can tell, 39 of his 44 predecessors won it on their first try. The exceptions: Jefferson, Jackson, Nixon, Reagan, and George H. W. Bush.

About That Genius

Trump sought to disabuse reporters of the notion that he didn’t even understand the tax bill he signed.

I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest CPA.

Such modesty.

They Like Him, They Really Like Him

Trump on China:

I like very much President Xi. He treated me better than anybody’s ever been treated in the history of China.

In the HISTORY of China!

So Much for Vote Fraud

Remember the vote fraud commission Trump created with so much fanfare because he was sure he had actually won the popular vote and only lost because millions – millions! – of fraudulent votes had been cast?

Well, he abolished the commission.

Why?

Because it couldn’t find any proof of his allegations.

Say What?

Speaking of the Mueller investigation, Trump recently said that

It makes the country look very bad.

You didn’t need an investigation to do that, Donnie; you’re taking care of that all by yourself.

Well, Maybe Not

Remember during the campaign when Trump declared that

Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.

He certainly displayed those fixing skills during the recent budget and DACA negotiations, didn’t he?

Grab Them by the P—-

Remember when Agent Orange apologized for that nonsense?

Now he’s suggesting that the voice we heard on the Access Hollywood tape isn’t his.

Which of course is ludicrous, yet you know – you absolutely KNOW – that some of his supporters are going to believe that nonsense.

More proof that you really can fool some of the people at least some of the time.

The Good News and the Bad News

The good news: Trump announced that “I think I know the answer” to America’s opioid crisis.

The bad news: he won’t tell us that answer.

Seriously: he says we’re not ready for it yet.

Trumpian Logic

From the New York Times.

Mr. Trump said he believes members of the news media will eventually cover him more favorably because they are profiting from the interest in his presidency and thus will want him re-elected.

“Another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes,” Mr. Trump said, then invoked one of his preferred insults. “Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times.”

He added: “So they basically have to let me win. And eventually, probably six months before the election, they’ll be loving me because they’re saying, ‘Please, please, don’t lose Donald Trump.’ O.K.”

 The self-love is an endless love.

 Just a Thought

Is it possible that Trump is the way he is because he learned everything he thinks he knows about being president from House of Cards?

A Little Perspective

Let us give the final word in this installment to Sean Wilentz, a Princeton history professor who recently compared Trump to five men – Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, Warren Harding, and George W. Bush – widely considered to be the worst of this country’s forty-five presidents.

…he is the first president to fail to defend the nation from an attack on our democracy by a hostile foreign power — and to resist the investigation of that attack. He is the first to enrich his private interests, and those of his family, directly and openly.

He is the first president to denounce the press not simply as unfair but as “the enemy of the American people.” He is the first to threaten his defeated political opponent with imprisonment. He is the first to have denigrated friendly countries and allies as well as a whole continent with racist vulgarities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Can Lead a Kid to High School…

…but you cannot make him think.

Or her.

But probably mostly hims.

What else to think about the latest fad among the young and the brainless: biting into a Tide detergent pods.

Seriously.

They call it the Tide pod challenge, and as the Washington Post explains,

Now videos circulating on social media are showing kids biting into brightly colored liquid laundry detergent packets. Or cooking them in frying pans, then chewing them up before spewing the soap from their mouths.

For generations kids have worked hard to avoid having their mouths washed out with soap, but some in this generation are actually seeking to do it.

And not with any ordinary soap, either: with concentrated laundry detergent.

Needless to say, ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, and polymers aren’t very good for the human body and some young people are learning that the hard way, as they travel to hospital emergency rooms for repairs.

For a while videos of people biting into Tide pods were showing up on YouTube but the folks there are now taking them down as soon as they can find them.

There’s one school of thought that suggests that The Curmudgeon shouldn’t even be writing about this because he could be putting ideas into his readers’ heads.

But he knows that’s not a problem because his readers, unlike the kids snacking on laundry detergent, actually do have minds.

A Pretty Obnoxious Name for a Store

Maybe the most obnoxious The Curmudgeon has ever seen.  At least “Knobs & Knockers” is witty, in its own way.

Exhibit A: Why Liberals Lose So Much

Last weekend, women marked the one-year anniversary of their large, successful march in Washington with smaller marches around the country. The timing was especially good, since we appear to be at the start of a new national dialogue seeking to address the appalling ways men have treated women for far too long.

But not all women were happy with last weekend’s events and the Philadelphia Inquirer gave one of them an op-ed column to explain her dissatisfaction.

Essentially, her argument is that…well, no, let’s use some of her own words. (You can find the entire column here.)

First there’s the title of her column:

I’m a queer Latinx woman. Philly’s Women’s March didn’t represent me this year

Not a great start from The Curmudgeon’s perspective: he thought “Latinx” might be a typo.

She explained the heart of her problem:

I didn’t march on Saturday because, as a queer Latinx person, I’m exhausted in my relationships with white women and allies.

Exhausted, she is.

And then this mind-boggling, conversation-stopping, willingness-to-engage-destroying elaboration:

I identify as Latinx, which is the gender-neutral alternative to Latino, Latina and even Latin@. It’s part of a “linguistic revolution” that aims to move beyond gender binaries and is inclusive of the intersecting identities of Latin American descendants. In addition to men and women from all racial backgrounds, Latinx also makes room for people who are trans, queer, agender, non-binary, gender non-conforming or gender fluid.

Watch out, folks, for the traffic at that identities intersection, whatever the hell that means, and The Curmudgeon leaves it to you to figure out gender fluidity. As he read the column, this was the point at which his head started to hurt.

And next, on to one of the really important issues: protest fashions.

In the days leading up to the march, conversations erupted in Philadelphia about the organizing committee’s official stance on whether pink pussyhats were truly inclusive, since not all women identify with them. One of the organizers reacted by saying she did not want to get “caught up in these little conversations about a damn hat.” This response felt apathetic and dismissive of these very real concerns.

Putting aside for a moment The Curmudgeon’s skepticism about erupting conversations, let him offer this observation: way to focus on what really matters, Latinx. After all, not ALL women identify with the hats and it’s certainly not possible to proceed absent unanimity, is it?

Which leads to an obvious question: do ALL women identify with ANYTHING?

Do people of ANY group ever ALL identify with anything?

And then, a broader statement:

A march for women should center on and uplift all women, including trans women of color. Organizers should ensure that there is equitable representation, beyond visibility onstage, with the intention to represent even the most marginalized communities. Queer and trans women of color must be part of the vision, strategy and decision making. A march for women should actively question the levels of privilege and power that exist in our society and strive to overcome those issues.

Of course, she’s decided that SHE gets to decide what the march should center on – and she demands that it uplift ALL women.

Her concerns probably have some degree of legitimacy but she’s failing to see the bigger picture: the value of the attention a major event like the march brings to women’s issues. If nothing else, it earned her sour grapes commentary’s way into one of the highest-circulation newspapers in the country.

But no, she’d rather complain that a single event fails – in her opinion, of course – to encompass the needs of every single sub-group within the sub-group instead of looking for separate opportunities to pursue the interests of those with whom she identifies.

Including those gender fluids.

And that, friends, is why liberals lose so damn much: because their selfish, foolish demand for ideological purity destroys practically everything they touch.

In contrast, look at how the religious right has given Trump a pass on having an affair with a porn actress while his wife was pregnant and then paying her to be quiet about it. They get it: as long as he’s doing their bidding in the religious and culture wars they don’t care about this porn star nonsense. They have goals, and if he’s still helping them achieve those goals without breaking the law then they’re perfectly willing to look the other way.

 

 

 

 

Just Like Mom Made

The title of the New York Times article said “A Comfort Food Dish Rich in Friendship” but here’s how the article begins:

At least once a week, I arrive home from the office I share with a dozen other writers and, overwhelmed with hunger, immediately begin to cook. I pull out my scratched enamelware pot. I measure in rice, quinoa and water with a generous pinch of salt and set it on the stove to cook. I take a block of medium-firm tofu from its package, pat it dry, slice it into pieces and drizzle it with Bragg’s liquid aminos, soy sauce’s unfermented hippie cousin. Then I rummage through the crisper for leafy greens or broccoli — whatever I can find — and trim away the woody bits. I fry the tofu in coconut oil, boil the vegetables, cut some herbs from the garden box and serve myself dinner in my favorite shallow bowl with a healthy smear of chile paste.

Who can possibly resist quinoa, tofu, liquid aminos, boiled vegetables, and chile paste?

 

 

A Great and Touching Song

Recently The Curmudgeon scrolled down his iPod and selected the Emmylou Harris album “Evangeline” to accompany him while he baked chocolate raspberry bars for the high school marching band’s end-of-the-season dessert party; yes, marriage has made him a band parent. “Evangeline” is good old friend: old enough that The Curmudgeon originally bought it on vinyl and good enough that he bought it again on mp3 for his iPod.

Humming and occasionally even singing along while measuring and stirring – a sure sign that he was alone in the house – he came to a stop, of both measuring and stirring, humming and singing – as he does more often than not when Emmylou sang…

Now my grandfather was a sailor, he blew in off the water.

My father was a farmer and I, his only daughter.

…the opening line of the song “Millworker,” which time will mark as James Taylor’s greatest contribution to western culture. It’s a beautiful, poignant song with a lovely melody about a woman with an unsatisfying job and an unsatisfying life that she knows she’ll never escape, because, among other things, she

Took up with a no good millworking man from Massachusetts

who dies from too much whiskey and leaves me these three faces to feed.

And because of the turns in her life she is resigned to understanding that

…it’s me and my machine for the rest of the morning,

for the rest of the afternoon and the rest of my life.

James Taylor’s rendition of his song is outstanding. Much to The Curmudgeon’s surprise, Bette Midler, who’s never met a song or a scene she couldn’t chew into oblivion, also does a wonderful version (but you need to scroll past the first 22 seconds, which are filled with pointless crap because Bette ultimately is a sucker for crap of all kinds). Bruce Springsteen even tries, for reasons you’ll understand when you hear the lyrics if you’re unfamiliar with the song, but as is often the case when he covers the work of others and tries to make it his own, he swings and misses. The definitive version, at least for The Curmudgeon’s money – The Curmudgeon’s money twice, actually – is Emmylou Harris’s because the soft, plaintive quality of her voice brings out the heart-rending lyrics.

And if you listen closely enough to those lyrics, especially when Emmylou is singing them, they may just bring a tear to your eye.

Give it a listen.

Safeguarding Against Idiocy

Not, not an anti-Trump rant.

 

Not even close.

 

Even hard-core Philadelphia sports fans have to acknowledge that many among them are, how shall we say this, fifteen or twenty cents short of a quarter. Often, their enthusiasm and exhilaration and joy crosses over into sheer lunacy and violence.

And the Philadelphia police department understands this – and prepared for it.

For reasons no one really understands and that make no sense whatsoever, many of these fans, when they hit the streets to celebrate with their fellow fans, climb light and sign poles to get a better view of the mayhem all around them. In so doing they jeopardize both their own health and that of the people below them – the ones they fall on because invariably, the same diminished state that induces one to climb a poll eventually leads one to fall off it as well.

So what did the cops do when they realized that a victory by the Philadelphia Eagles football team last Sunday might spark such irrational exuberance?

This stop sign has a certain Wesson-ality

They identified specific neighborhoods and even intersections within neighborhoods where the celebrating most often gets out of hand and they slathered some of the street light and sign poles with Crisco.

Seriously.

So did it work?

It’s hard to say. Reporting on the outcome of this effort isn’t really anyone’s priority.

But in light of this new use for Crisco it’ll be hard, at least for The Curmudgeon, ever to look at cookies and pastry the same way again.

Meet the New Guy

The new guy, in this case, is Taylor Weyeneth, who was recently appointed deputy chief of staff of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. That office coordinates the federal government’s anti-drug initiatives, including the recently launched campaign to address the opioid crisis.

Deputy chief of staff sounds like a pretty important job, so Taylor presumably brings pretty impressive credentials to his work.

If he did, do you think The Curmudgeon would be writing about him?

Actually, Taylor is 24 years old, a 2016 graduate of St. John’s University. This is his first professional job; the only thing he did between finishing college and starting in the Office of National Drug Control Policy is…

…you know it’s coming…

…serve as a volunteer in the Trump campaign.

Young Taylor, with the boss

Taylor’s ascent reflects two things: first, that being part of the campaign is considered a qualification for high office by the Trump administration, which clearly values loyalty over ability; and second, that the Trump administration isn’t terribly interested in the opioid problem.

The Curmudgeon, on the other hand, is very interested in Taylor Weyeneth (henceforth “Young Taylor”), whose background is as fascinating as his ascent.

Young Taylor has two résumés on file with the federal government and a third that the federal government released to the Washington Post.

And of course they all tell slightly different stories.

All three résumés boast of a master’s degree from Fordham University. Just one minor problem there: Fordham hasn’t awarded Young Taylor a master’s degree. The Post knows: it asked the folks at Fordham.

One of the résumés says Young Taylor volunteered for 275 hours at the Passionist Monastery in Queens. Another says he volunteered for more than 150 hours. The résumé the White House gave the Post doesn’t mention the monastery at all.

Well, at least we know he volunteered at a monastery, right? Well, no, not right: the folks at the monastery say they’ve never heard of Young Taylor.

Young Taylor’s résumé also notes that when he was in high school he was director of production for a company called Nature’s Chemistry, a family-run business that the Post describes as “…specializing in processing chia seeds and other health products.” Two of Young Taylor’s résumés say he worked there from 2008 to 2011 but the third says he worked there from 2008-2016.

Does this degree of unabashed self-promotion, the truth be damned, remind you of anyone?

And while Young Taylor was there, the Post reports,

…the firm was secretly processing illegal steroids from China as part of a conspiracy involving people from Virginia, California and elsewhere in the United States and one person in China, federal court records show. Weyeneth’s stepfather, Matthew Graecen, pleaded guilty to a felony conspiracy charge last year and received two years probation and a fine.

Leaving one to wonder: how can a company’s director of production, even if he’s a teenager, not know what his company is producing?

My father in-law would NEVER hire someone who’s unqualified and whose father is a crook. Oh, wait a second…

So what do we have here? A high-ranking member of the administration who has risen to a position for which he has no qualifications and who also has a father who’s a crook. Does that remind you of anyone?

Maybe The Curmudgeon is just being naïve in finding Young Taylor’s ascent surprising even according to the exceedingly low standards set by the Trump administration. We know loyalty counts more than ability in those circles, but the other thing this tell us is that these folks really, really don’t care about the opioid crisis. After all, if they did care, would they have a 24-year-old deputy chief of staff and would they have proposed just last week a 95 percent cut – 95 percent! – in the office’s budget?