Dr. Strange Test: Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV
Playboy Africa|March 2021
Or: How our White House correspondent realized he would never learn to stop worrying and love Trump

There’s something new at the White House.

At least the president and some in the press say there’s a new “tone” at the White House, where things are, as usual, in a constant state of flux.

Don’t be fooled.

Once the center of the civilized world and a symbol of democracy, the White House now resembles a basement flood of fetid sewage where the brave, the foolish and the incompetent go to slowly drown.

The members of the White House press pool enjoy the perceived privilege of witnessing this crap on a daily basis, but it’s like watching Slim Pickens ride a nuclear bomb to its detonation in Dr. Strangelove. Most of the reporters who didn’t get to ask Trump questions before the pandemic put them center stage certainly seem as enthusiastic as Major T.J. Kong, Pickens’s character—although many of their questions are tepid. But the results for the Republic could be just as dire as Kong’s finish.

In this time of supposedly changing tone, the shock troops sent by Trump to defend federal property have been recorded shooting rubber bullets at protesting mothers, pushing people to the ground and tear-gassing protesters for no discernible reason. The videos and images have been widely shared. As several congressmen said Tuesday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr, it is apparent the federal government is putting property ahead of people.

Thus, the violence increases. Trump seems to enjoy the talking points about defending buildings while beating the populace into submission.

The thought is sickening. It shows the president’s tone hasn’t changed; now he’s trying to change the tone of the nation to one of submissive fealty.

This Tuesday, after the White House press staff called a lunch “lid” (a break during which they would announce no news), I took the opportunity to walk up the street to a sub shop that had recently reopened its doors. Still unable to eat inside the restaurant—and not actually pining to do so—I walked to a stone bench outside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to enjoy my iced tea and half sandwich.

Luckily the bench was shaded from the sun. The D.C. summers are the stuff of legend. Rumor has it hell sends its hardest cases to suffer through the city’s dog days of August—thus explaining congressmen, senators and every lobbyist in the area.

As soon as I sat down a sparrow landed nearby, strolled leisurely to within a foot of me and cocked its head as if to say, “Where’s my cut?”

This is D.C. after all.

So I tossed the sparrow a few bread crumbs. Seconds later three more

landed, and soon I looked like the old lady in Disney’s 1964 Mary Poppins, feeding scores of birds by ridding myself of most of the bread from my sandwich. A couple of needy squirrels tried to hustle me too, but I managed to extricate myself from the situation without being robbed. I can’t always say the same when I deal with the White House or Congress.

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