#NoTrumpFriday November 9, 2018 Edition
November 9, 2018

The Tuesday midterms were, at best, interesting, and sure to be the face that launches a thousand battleships. Between now and then, with a split Senate and House, there will be a lot of in-fighting, "Impeach" will only be talked about in the subjunctive, and a lot of mall shoppers will be shot right when the retail stores need their dollars the most. What we really need right now is a level-headed Supreme Court in the wings to mop this up.

But, on Wednesday, RGB took a fall, broke three ribs and remains in the hospital. Like the rest of us, she likely fell after a drinking binge brought on by the elections, followed by the dismissal of Jesus' favorite Elf, Jeff Sessions. We relate, Ruth. But please, get back to work. This is not a good time for the only functioning brain cell on the Supreme Court to lay down. Lester has pledged to donate some ribs if you need them -- just ask Joe Biden for our phone number.

After two tumultuous days filled with bewildered pundits too confused to admit they were confused, things were getting back to normal: 12 dead in a shooting in Thousand Oaks, and one man killed in Brooklyn's Target. By Target, we mean the department store. Details on the Brooklyn slaying are simply too complex to think about after a week like this, though.

"Too complex to think about" is, to some extent, America's dilemma. Public executions of and by private citizens no longer have shock value. The complexity of the surrounding issues is too exhausting. At this point, mass shootings just mark time. Thirteen shot today, you say? Then it must be Thursday.

It's akin to J. Alfred Prufrock's coffee spoons: Just a way to count the days.

Arguably, as the rate of shootings accelerates the emotional numbness and misplaced anger that plagues the country grows. The phenomenon might even be stripping us of our ability to value life.

Speaking of the value of life, where is that confounded caravan of smallpox and STD carriers that are supposed to be racing to the border to kill us!? (Oh, wait. The caravan was already here. Back in the 1500s. And wait, they weren't from Central America. They were from Europe. Nevermind.)

It's going to be pretty hard for kids to clean up, or even navigate, the turds we're dumping into the American litter box.

Yet we can do something about it! We can purchase the right children's books and raise the next generation right!

So, here's a collection of mind-expanding, emotion-building titles from Bob Staake. Soon as they're available on an iPad app, the kids will be able to read them!

And, since we touched lightly on immigration in this essay, it's a good excuse to have a bonus track - from Willie Nelson.

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•••The artist who created the children's book covers is a brilliant illustrator who gave us permission several years ago, through a mutual friend, to present some of his work on the Internet. They are conceptual covers, not full books available for sale. 

•••#NoTrumpFriday is Lester & Charlie's attempt to make sense of every week without mentioning our Fearless Leader -- and to pretend that it will someday catch on and annoy the crap out of him.

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