ELDER MUSIC: Christmas 2016
Some New-ish Quotations About Growing Old

Some Good News About His Excellency

When the Republican candidate won the U.S. November election for president, I vowed to never utter his name in these pages again (aside from quotations) and to reference him as just an asterisk: *.

I have changed my mind.

There is a remarkable letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin that formally addresses our president-elect as "Your Excellency." (Can you hear me laughing again even though I've read it a dozen times by now???)

When he released the letter to the media, his excellency described it as "A very nice letter from Vladimir Putin; his thoughts are so correct." (You can read the entire letter here - scroll down.)

Of course such a man would crave such an exalted title. So until something better comes along, in this space * will become "his excellency." In a post-ironic world such as ours, how could I resist.

Here is what Russia expert Nina Khrushcheva, who is professor of international affairs at New York University, had to say about the letter and the response to his excellency in Russia on an MSNBC News panel a couple of days ago:

On Christmas Day, The New York Times published a big story telling us that although his excellency still insists there are no legal conflicts of interest between his businesses and his new position, he and his family have announced the will close foundations and end some development deals.

In the past few days, he has also ended a long-running labor dispute in a Trump hotel in Las Vegasv ending his demand for a 15-foot fence at an ocean-front golf course in Ireland. Ivanka is said to be "looking at" donating proceeds from an upcoming book to charity and Eric Trump announced he will no longer attend administration meetings. These are among a fairly lengthy list of divestitures. However,

"While the family may be removing some of the most obvious problems," reports The Times, "critics say Mr. Trump will still know what properties his family owns and which policy decisions will benefit them, no matter how careful he is.

"The portfolio of assets might influence his interactions with leaders in nations such as Turkey and the Philippines, where Mr. Trump has prominent marketing deals.

"In places where he has allowed the use of his family name and even his image, Mr. Trump will soon be confronting foreign policy decisions, such as how to confront human rights violations or fight terrorism.

"The family, at least so far, has not announced how it will resolve other issues, such as the lease at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which was issued by the federal government’s General Services Administration, an agency Mr. Trump will soon oversee."

This is good news but perhaps not for the reason you may think. As The Times makes clear, this is a start but the changes get nowhere near clearing the table of his excellency's conflicts. But here is what this news otherwise tells us:

His excellency (or his lawyers, I suppose) responds to public pressure that, in this the case of conflicts, has been non-stop since he was elected.

Keep that in mind: he responds to public pressure if it is loud and unrelenting. That means that on any upcoming issue, enough noise, enough media attention, enough commotion, uproar and outcry can make a difference.

It's not just Congress we will need to repeatedly and resolutely lobby in the coming year(s). Add the White House to our list of Congressional representatives because on so many issues, nothing can become law without the signature of the president.

That is what makes even this puny divestiture good news - news we can use in our fight against the coming Republican onslaught against the virtues and values of our country.


Way back when the Constitution first went into effect our founding legislators had a debate on what to call the Chief Executive of the new Republic. Old titles, like Your Excellency, just didn't seem to fit considering the person who would occupy the office of President was simply a citizen like anyone else. John Adams argued for using "Your Excellency" as the proper form of address and promptly got laughed down. His fellow legislators took to calling him "Your Rotundity" since he was rather portly as well as a bit pompous. The idea quickly died until Putin resurrected it.


I used to know that and had forgotten. Thanks so much for reminding me - and anyone else who had forgotten.

Personally, I would have gone with "Your Great Khan", but excellency works for me.
I think Mr. Putin's addressing Mr. * in that manner was just his ignorance as to how to address a person who is not yet president but acts as if he were.

This year's RNC Christmas message : '...Merry Christmas to all! Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King. ..."

Comparing the president-elect to Jesus?? Referring to him as a "new King"? Causing a kerfuffle!

By any other name, just dreaming of his Ex-Presidency.

I had not seen that RNC Christmas message until just now in SusanG's comment. At first, I was doubtful that this could be authentic, though I should certainly know better than that by now.

After a brief search, I see that not only is it real, but that it has received plenty of comment in various social media, and is now being "explained" as not being any reference to Trump as a king or as Jesus. I think the RNC needs a new publicist or several; it's going to be a long four years of explanations and walking things back.

Keep yelling all!

I think even an * is too good for him. Since he had the audacity to call a beauty queen Miss Piggy, I can't seem to get pig president out of my mind. It's accurate, to say the least

Please do not change your reference to him as •. Giving him any kind of 'power over' term begins to strengthen his image as someone we need to cower under. Putin's reference is frightening as it acknowledges • as someone who can make independent decisions for us all.

The RNC Christmas message was very upsetting to me. I haven't been online or watched news much. Has the * or his puppets said anything about it?

I vote for Bruce's suggestion ... though I'd change it to His Great Khan ... pun intended.
Thank you for your work, Ronni, and the glimmer of a glimmer of what we CAN do and for keeping on keeping on!

Holy c#*%! I hadn't seen this either until now, and kerfuffle doesn't begin to describe what I think it deserves. So the RNC says we have a "new (Savior)/King"? And I wonder who the current 3 "wise men" are--the guys who have been appointed to lead the agencies they've vowed to destroy? Obviously, whoever wrote the RNC Christmas message isn't one of them.

This is all SO disgusting and depressing. I think Michelle Obama was spot-on when she said something along the lines of now we know the feeling of having no hope--at least for the next 4 years. I will do what I can to add to the opposition noise. I hope Drumpf & Co. are kept so busy explaining themselves and walking things back that they won't do as much damage as I fear they will. Honest and fearless investigative reporting is absolutely essential.

I call him Tweety Bird.

Love the comments. I agree that we're in a situation now where sarcasm may be too confusing for a lot of folks. I like the "Khan" pun, and I *love* "Your Rotundity, and I do think that humor is a powerful weapon. I have a friend who refers to him as "Hair Fuhrer." On balance, though, I'm still thinking my own preference is Drumpf, as Elizabeth mentioned. It has the added advantage of being historically accurate.

After the election I was referring to the PE as "he who must not be named," which for me represented the level of evil. (from Harry Potter) I'm grateful for the various alternatives listed and will use them from time to time. Also agree it is good news about public pressure, I'm putting the numbers into my cell phone directory so I can call when ever needed.

I've been thinking of him as LC for Loose Cannon

Per Associated Press article, written by Vivian Salama, and published on Sunday, 12-25-16, Eric Schneiderman, New York's Att'y Gen'l, has been investigating the Donald J. Trump Foundation since last June. The foundation's 2015 tax return, (no, not Donald's personal return), showed illegal uses of the foundation's money in 2015 and in prior years. When former students at Trump University complained to Pam Bondi, the F. lorida A.G., about getting scammed, she called the Trump group, asking for money. Which she received, almost immediately. Then Bondi chose not to involve Florida in the multi-state lawsuit against Trump U. (Strangest thing, huh?). Trump has paid a $2,500 fine, by check, - - a presumption of guilt. The N.Y. Att'y Gen'l says that the Foundation "cannot legally dissolve" until the N.Y. investigation is complete. / / / /This'll be fun

What comes to my mind is Al Capp's J. Roaringham Fatback from Little Abner. He was often drawn wearing a "golf" cap as well.

So much fun reading the comments today. I may have to change the title I gave *___some of these suggestions are great.. I have been calling him The Tiny-fingered Orange Vulgarian, but may give it up in favor of The Great Khan.
Thanks, Ronni, for keeping us informed.

Just can't call him His Excellency... how about His Ignorance??

Great comments today. Though I love irony, when it comes to * I doubt that he has a clue. I'm coming to continue writing about him as *. And if I HAVE to utter his name I'll stay with "The Big Pumpkin". It just seems to fit so nicely

SusanG, I think that was a Freudian slip, myself. It was layered over a stock image of three camel riders in silhouette before a starry sky. Consciously, they probably meant to say newborn King, which would have been seasonally appropriate, if a little stiff and awkward.

But of course, their thoughts were running on autocracy, and "We rule now!"

So... All hail to His Excellency... that shalt be King hereafter!

It gets 'curiouser' and 'curiouser'...Alice had it right!

Love Anna's suggestion of "Tweety Bird." I think I will call him the Orange Tweety Bird from now on. At least, that's when I am not calling him and his group of deranged destroyers things that would cause one to be censored.

But the whole group of suggestions is utterly fabulous!

Today I ran across another nickname that may please some of you... the Twitler.

Also, a good summation of what the Republicans are going to try to do -- hang this label around their necks at every opportunity:

Starve and Steal

"Foghorn Dudhorn"

A late comment -- to SusanG and others: I just read an email from the People for the American Way -- and came across this quote:

"Televangelist Jim Bakker hosted several fellow End Times preachers on his television program to discuss the prophetic implications of the presidential election.

"One of Bakker’s guests, Tom Horn, a prolific author of Last Days-themed books, spent an entire segment of the program explaining that “rabbis” have revealed that Trump may be the messiah, or a harbinger to the arrival of the messiah akin to John the Baptist."

So. Sylvia, I don't think it is a Freudian slip!

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