So yesterday's debacle included a crash that lost two hours of work and then, when I started up again, some second wave of technical gremlins that brought things to a quick exit because I had a meeting to get to.
I've been so tied up with work for the last few days that I can't comment on this latest thing, except that if the tapes don't show that he actually shot someone on Fifth Avenue, I can't imagine how they'll derail Trump at this stage, since -- as far as I know -- he's never denied the payments under oath, so there's no perjury, and revealing that Donald Trump is a liar is, well, not much of a revelation.
Nor is revealing that he's an adulterer or a tomcat or whatever. Keep it straight, folks: The Nixon tapes tied him to a criminal conspiracy. Clinton was not impeached for adultery but for lying about it under oath. Neither of these apply here.
Marlette has it right: It's an embarrassment.
But even that has to be understood in light of the President's inability to be embarrassed.
We've got a lot of questions yet to be answered, but I think we all know the answer to "At long last, have you no sense of shame?"
What I had realized before I hit the road and got busy was that Trump was becoming hard to satirize because not only is he shameless, but he has been operating at a level of erratic, inexplicable malfunction that you can't really exaggerate for comic effect.
Dan Perkin's remark (worth reading again) that, rather than a source of constant inspiration, Trump is like asking for a glass of water and getting hit in the face with a fire hose is often quoted, but I think Mike Luckovich's current lineup of cartoons he didn't bother drawing illustrates the actual difficulty.
First of all, how do you exaggerate it? And, second, how do you find new ways to attack the same, repeated lies, distortions, cruel attacks, nonsensical declarations and relentless flow of folly?
As Gary Varvel suggests, there is a ridiculous element to the carny-barker cries of "Breaking News!" with which Wolf Blitzer lures viewers into his tent, and, when everything is an emergency, people eventually decide nothing is, and they tune out.
And yet you can't simply go silent or declare that this is "the new normal" or go back and site other low moments to justify what is happening.
To put that fire hose metaphor into a more specific usage, the fact that we've seen buildings burn in the past is no reason not to fight the fire in front of us.
The challenge for editorial cartoonists is to continue to keep the public informed without either losing credibility with unwarranted panic or lose their attention with a relentless drumbeat that fades into the ambient noise of our lives.
However, it's not impossible to make sharp points, and Matt Davies offers a view of that private conversation. I think the Congressional effort to subpoena the interpreters is folly, though I'd love to know what they discussed. On the other hand, I think that, if he doesn't have the specific transcript, Davies has captured the process.
And Luckovich, in turn, points to the reason Trump is able to get away with being a Russian stooge. As inconceivable as it is for Trump to buddy up to Putin, it's even moreso for the Republicans, supposedly the voice for American conservatives, to not simply ignore his antics but to justify and enable them.
Trump at least has the double excuse that he's an amateur and so can be flummoxed by Putin's attention, as well as the darker excuse of possible financial tangles or even that semi-mythical pee tape, to explain why he is so loyal to the Russians.
But you have to wonder if he somehow found a tape of the entire Republican party cavorting with hookers in a Moscow hotel?
What explains the fact that they continue to actively support this incompetent, disloyal nitwit?
Well, Nate Beeler is no bleeding liberal, and he seems to be willing to break ranks with those who pretend to believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Nor is Scott Stantis a leftist by any definition, and he's willing to confront the evidence that seems to add credence, if not specifically confirm, long-bubbling rumors of Russians channeling money to Republicans through the NRA.
As said before, November is going to tell us a lot. The Republican leadership can count on the unswerving loyalty of the Deplorables, but it's a very open and interesting question as to how big a portion of the electorate those people actually represent, and you won't get an answer by only meeting the public at Deplorable rallies.
People get the government they deserve, and we're in "Fool me once" territory.
Meanwhile, in less fraught matters: And on a slightly related topic, Jimmy Margulies offers this take on his former governor, Chris Christie's, forthcoming book.
Not that we expect politicians' memoirs to be anything other than self-serving, of course, and, whether or not Christie has a sense of shame, I'm not sure many people outside the NYC/NJ Metro area give a damn about him, or -- except during his brief flail at the presidency -- ever did except as a source of amusement.
And it's fitting that, whatever the merits of his autobiography, the man has decided upon an irresistible straightline for a title.
My response being, "We thought you had."
Much of my mentoring is in getting them to write for themselves and their young readers, after years of being taught to write for the teacher.
Teachers want you to find messages. Other kids want to know if the book or movie was any good.
We once had an issue in which we reviewed an ice show and a movie both of which were called "Dream Big."
I'm trying to teach them to wake up.
Here's all the message you need: