The Campaign Trail

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Chris Britt)

In other news, the J.C. Penney department store chain is expected to become the second major retailer (following J. Crew) to file for bankruptcy because of the coronavirus.

I remember shopping for clothes there with my mother when I was a kid in the early 1990s. I remember looking at the toys in their holiday shopping magazine which was as thick as the phone book. I guess I'm surprised they survived this long.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has tossed out the convictions of Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni, two members of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration who helped the governor orchestrate the "Bridgegate" scandal. Christie intentionally caused a traffic jam to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for refusing to endorse him.

Finally, Trump reportedly told aides he won't wear a mask because it would send the wrong political message.

Trump has told advisers that he believes wearing one would “send the wrong message,” according to one administration and two campaign officials not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations.

The president said doing so would make it seem like he is preoccupied with health instead of focused on reopening the nation’s economy — which his aides believe is the key to his reelection chances in November.

Moreover, Trump, who is known to be especially cognizant of his appearance on television, has also told confidants that he fears he would look ridiculous in a mask and the image would appear in negative ads, according to one of the officials.

Yes, we wouldn't want to be preoccupied with health during a pandemic.

If wearing a mask sends the "wrong message," what is the right message? In Trump's mind, the right message appears to be magical thinking and machismo. Real Men don't wear masks, right? Real Men focus on the economy! Even though there is no economy without health. Is it gay to wear a mask?

On a personal note... I am tentatively, baring any unforeseen circumstances, starting hormone replacement therapy (HRT) this weekend. I know what kind of physical changes I can expect and I am looking forward to all of them, but what I can't say is how it will effect my moods and emotions. There could be days ahead when I will struggle to write or possibly not even be able to. I honestly don't know, but I wanted to inform all of you that while I'm going to do my best, I might miss more days in the future. My emotions run very high sometimes even before taking things that can heighten them. I wanted to start HRT before my next birthday and thankfully I can do that. I first discovered who I really am nearly a year ago so it's been a long time coming. It's always been a game of waiting for my body to catch up to where my brain was.

Happy Mother's Day to any mothers reading this.

I still can't believe they named that kid "X Æ A-12." That's apparently pronounced as "Exash A-12," which doesn't make it any better.

  • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

    Post what you can when you can Ashby.
    Everyone here is wishing you well!

  • Qapla!

  • Draxiar

    Nothing quite so liberating as when you’re free to be who you are!

  • MadJuana

    As always, us munchkins wish you all the best. Take good care JM. I’m with muselet — post what you can, when you can.

  • kingfrazer

    Glad you’re finally able to be who you are. Your readers have your back. Thank you for everything.

  • KanaW

    Best wishes on the HRT, Ashby. We’ll be here cheering you on all the way through.

  • Aynwrong

    Good luck Ashby.

    This country desperately needs to move past the idea that we are ever going to be successfully led by or in need of the wisdom of exceptionally wealthy weirdos.

  • b2blog

    A lot of us are not feeling connected to our brains right now, you might be doing better than us. Shalom.

  • Kevin Krasnansky

    Good luck with HRT! It’s always good to know someone has found themself and is able to take the steps they need to.

  • gescove

    Best wishes and godspeed, Ashby.

  • muselet

    • JC Penney has been struggling for years, being seen as too upmarket to compete with the likes of Target (it’s not, really), but too downmarket to compete with the likes of Nordstrom (it is). Being seen as falling between two stools is the kiss of death in retail.

    • The rationale for the Bridgegate decision was … novel. Basically, the Supremes decided that unless government officials get money in exchange for corrupt actions, it isn’t fraud. The mind, he boggles.

    • Donald Trump is concerned a mask would smear his bronzer, full stop.

    • Post what you can, when you can. Your health and happiness are more important than keeping us muppets amused.

    • Elon Musk is stark staring bonkers. Truly, galactically bizarre.

    • Cats is weird. They’re also a hoot to watch.

    Have a good weekend, all.


    • gescove

      JC Penney’s was killed by CEO Ron Johnson. His vision was to go upscale and compete with the likes of Nordstrom. You can imagine how that played in my little rural downtown with a rickety JCP storefront that opened in 1914. The upmarket push alienated core customers, demoted their flagship house brands (which were serviceable and affordable), and led to a $1.42 billion operating loss in 2013 and nearly $5 billion of debt. You know, the kind of business savvy the MAGA hats longed to see in the White House. They never recovered from that folly… our JCP closed in 2017.

    • Aynwrong

      Their definition of corruption reminds me of the definition conservatives have of racism. Something can’t be racist unless someone is screaming racist epithets at the top of their lungs.

      • muselet

        And even then, Samuel Alito would insist the real racism is calling attention to the racial epithets.


    • Nefercat

      • Post what you can, when you can. Your health and happiness are more important than keeping us muppets amused.

      Seconded. Take care of yourself first.

    • MadJuana

      kittehs is space aliens and we is here to do their biddin’!