Archive for President

Down the Trump Funnel

Of course, I’ve avoided commenting on Russia scandals and twitches. Blowhards as well as sages have analyzed and discussed these beyond death.

However, I note that the indictment of three of his minions today was a welcome movement (a political laxative as it is). Moreover, his and his spox’ claims of no-collusion and nothing-to-do-with-the-orange-guy are remarkable.

That remark is that Trump has been reduced to the defensive at best. From I’m innocent and look at Hillary, he now squeezes into the chute of really-I-don’t-know-these-guys and whatever-they-did-has-nothing-to-do-with-me.

This is beyond risible. l

He now claims innocence by distance of time and reporting order. These are not legal nor moral defenses.

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Trump’s Cleverness Ruse

Pro Tip: If you are about to say or write something oh so clever, don’t. Delete or erase or forget it. Everyone else will see through it and no one will think you are at all clever.

Alas, POTUS Donald Trump seems too dull-witted to understand his limits. We saw that from the moment he began campaigning. It plunged to a new nadir in the past several days after the Charlottesville white-supremacy riot and murder.

For three days, he alternately whined and brayed. What he did not say until forced to today was what even the bigots in white hoods or red caps spoke freely about to all who’d listen — those dressed up to role play neo-Nazi or camo-soldier were there to insult and physically assault blacks, Jews, Muslims and others.

Instead, he fell back on his weasel words, saying “all sides: and from “many sides” were to blame. How the white-supremacy rioters had any equivalence in the counter protester group befuddled all except for Donny-jo. The bigots with brass knuckles, helmets, cudgels and pepper spray were not the same as protesters chanting for them to stop the hate.

Americans as well as the whole world was watching. What they saw was an indisputable riot by hatemongers, hatemongers who had come padded and armed for violence.

Let us note that miraculously none of those wearing side arms or long guns in this open-carry state murdered anyone by bullet. The irony here is that many protesters would have had clear self-defense arguments had they been armed and protected themselves. Small favors here.

So the candidate who boasted repeatedly that he had “the best words” again does not. He thought his false equivalence of blaming the victims as well as the attackers would fly. He’d say he condemned violence…while continuing to pander to his far-right supporters.

That was not lost on racist supporters like David Duke and the neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer. Several expressed delight that he did not call them out.

So this President believes he is just so clever that he can pull out a word trick here and there, and all will be overwhelmed by his cleverness. The public and press are overwhelmed, but by his cowardice and amorality.

Again, if you think you’re being clever, you almost certainly are not. That goes all the way to the Oval Office.

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Trump’s Artless Deals

When the puerile have power, they make others suffer, even die. We see two man-child heads of state — Donald Trump here and Kim Jong-un in the DPRK — playing brat with taunts and nuclear weapons.

Donny-jo always needs and demands attention. His totally unnecessary brinkmanship gets him that this time. We could spend a day viewing and listening to the many demanding he let real deal makers negotiate this, like here.

At this crux, let us state plainly that Trump is an absolutely terrible negotiator. His résumé fantasy from the ghosted The Art of the Deal entry is his biggest lie. His almost countless failures (personal as well as business life, bankruptcies, divorces and breach-of-contract suits against him and his entities) show him to be untrustworthy as well as a terrible deal maker.

Looking at his negotiation history, I see his real talent is in using dishonorable and vicious attorneys. Time and again when a deal sours, when a company flatlines, his side of the c0ntract pays him first and often only. Generally his business partners get stuck with losses and debt while the Trump side skates.

That speaks to his lawyers’ cleverness and his investors’ naivete. You trusted Trump? You believed him when he said, “Believe me!”? Ha!

Since he became POTUS, he has had to deal in public. It isn’t pretty or reassuring. He cannot get deals done at all, not even with his own Republican Congress. His bluster has not produced legislation or policy implementation. He fires officials and appointees rather than being able to cut a deal.

The only remaining hope for North Korea is that smarter people, better negotiators will force their way in and cut real deals. Lord knows Trump cannot and will not.

Surely those around him can find a way to to let him pretend he “won” and he “made a great deal.” After all isn’t that level of fantasy all he needs to muddle along happily in his elevated playground?

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Elephants Across the Chasm

Like so many instant, distant blatherers, I have had little to add to the discourse lately. Now I note that this morning’s defeat of the most recent Affordable Care Act repeal was a parting cloud that shines a sliver of light.

The cruel and crazy GOP efforts since January had an underlying theme. Both houses of Congress joined with POTUS Trump in spitting screams. “We can do this ourselves. We don’t need any Democrats. We won’t even talk to Democrats. FU!”

Sadly enough, that was almost true. It was also even more toxic sputum. Amusingly enough, Congressional Democrats remain as they have been willing to work with their vile GOP counterparts. There is still one party that cares about little d democracy, process, civility, as well as the commonweal.

There were a few Republican mumbles about maybe doing something with Democrats if all came to naught. This morning some more of them have sighed and admitted it may be time to recognize the existence (and by implication the power) of Dems.

Truth be told

Most Dems were not and are not happy with the A.C.A. and consider it only a solid first step down the path. Quite a few lefties, including this one, want single-payer, the universal health care that works so well in the rest of the industrialized world. We have to live with inefficient, overpriced health policies that keep our levels of health low and our life expectancy under that of the rest of the gang.

Even as GOP types in President Obama’s second term swore they would never let Dems improve the A.C.A. or pass anything meaningful at all, Democrats continued to plead with them to work toward finishing the health legislation.

Since Truman days, the Dems’ best gambit with Republicans has been to let the latter take partial or even full credit. That’s not the way GOP legislators have acted for decades.

Yet in this moment, I suspect this will lubricate the process again. The GOP can save a bit of face by crafting A.C.A. improvements, then proclaiming nothing would have happened without them. Forget that mirror is equally true; just give the little guys their out.

I still want to see a single-payer system, a real overhaul of our bloated and parasitic health care system. The A.C.A. was a start, but only that.

The shift will be from arrogant and obnoxious to merely condescending. That can work. The Dems never slammed and bolted the door.

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Inevitable GOP Grudge

About that cliché of elephants never forgetting, U.S. Republicans truly do not, ever. It happened with Nixon and we are still bearing the aftereffects. It’s about to happen again with Trump.

When Pres. Richard Nixon slithered out of the White House in disgrace, that was a not-to-be-forgotten humiliation, for the party more than for Tricky Dick.  That POTUS hopped about between amoral, immoral and criminal. He snuck away before the Senate could impeach him, and then his VP-becoming-President Gerald Ford pardoned him, so he never faced criminal trials and certainty of prison.

Years later, Nixon was re-imaged as a statesman. In fairness, as terrible as he was domestically and as much as he disdained democracy, our laws and the Constitution, he had foreign-policy credentials — much stronger than any Democratic President since FDR.

In those ways of escaping impeachment, get-out-of-jail-free cards, and rehabilitation, he fared much better than he deserved. Nonetheless, the GOP has never forgotten his disgraced exit.

I have no doubt that is why they so eagerly pursued Bill Clinton’s impeachment, constantly threatened Barack Obama with various legal actions, and did beyond their best to smear and bring bogus charges against Hillary Clinton. They don’t, can’t, won’t forget.

So here we are coming around the flee or take-it bend with Donald Trump. As has been the norm with post-WWII GOP Presidents, his appointees and staff are resigning or facing various charges. That won’t stop.

As it all closes in on this young presidency for an old man/boy, at some point he is likely to realize he’s cooked and facing either absconding or impeachment. I have predicted here that he is most likely to play his usual drama queen, quitting while saying the mean old media and Congress won’t let him do wonderful things and save the nation.

While it is possible he might stick it out and take impeachment, I don’t think that would give him the deniability he so often uses.

When he is forced from office one way or another, the GOP also will not forget. Already, they bait-and-switch with Dem miscreants. Of course Bill Clinton accepted fellatio in the White House, former Rep. Anthony Weiner is a pathetic sexter, and a handful of other Dems have run afoul of laws or social norms. They can’t or won’t consider the huge number of their party who are proven crooks, adulterers and worse. It’s key to pretend here.

The point is when Trump stomps away, that will be the real beginning of the newest GOP feud and grudge fest. They will live and act primarily to pay back Dems for anything that happened with their guys, regardless of how many Republicans joined in calling out and punishing Trump and his minions.

Personal responsibility is not a Republican hallmark.

Of course, for the nation, the big pity is that we have much to accomplish to fix problems and to advance us economically, socially and politically. When Republican office holders are as stupid, malicious and counterproductive as they were with Obama, much less gets done.

Still, let’s get on with it. Dump Trump, and accept that the GOP will play at revenge instead of cleaning their own house. As a group, they just don’t have a culture of advancing the nation.

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Minor Trump Cautionary Tale

What is it about bad guys that makes them think they are so clever? Whether’s a courtroom or police procedural drama, the murderers, thieves, spies and such get their smugness botoxed from their faces when they are undone.

A certain current POTUS has clearly spent too much of his life feeling clever. Perhaps underlings do not unmask him because of his inherited wealth or because of their jobs or deals depend on him is moot. He blusters, lies and deludes himself nonstop.

Those of us who came of age with Perry Mason or Columbo or Watergate hearings know how that invariably ends. The clever are the fools in waiting. Cleverness inevitably falls to real smarts.

Just following Jim Comey’s written and oral testimony in the past few days, we saw taunting, delusional tweeting by Trump and even a cleverness blowup by his private attorney.

#45 asserted that he was completely vindicated. The opposite was true, not even counting what we did not get to hear in closed session. Then bumbling lawyer  Marc Kasowitz turned up the cleverness dial by pretending that Comey had leaked classified and privileged documents and so screwed up the timeline and cause-and-effect that even his leak lie had no punch.

There’s the big lesson we should all learn by observing criminals and politicians. If you think you are being clever, you are not.

Retrace, rethink, and forget that. If you are invested in how an idea and stance fool everyone else, you are the fool.

We saw that in Richard Nixon’s I-am-not-a-crook ploy. At hand, Trump moderately successfully smeared his primary and general election opponents with flaky, dishonest and dishonorable derision. Perhaps worst was corrupt Hillary, while he and his nepotistic administration are proving his lifelong pattern of corruption. The stains he rubs on others end up on his hands.

Numerous good writers have supported the same cliché — if you love a phrase in your work, delete it. That’s the cleverness parallel.

Poor, dumb Donny Jo is not likely to get it. He remains the smart aleck blurting out his embarrassing joke again and again. He awaits the praise of the teacher and students…praise unlikely to come. And the ensuing laughs are not in appreciation.

 

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Hate Can’t Keep You Safe

The two most recent and most horrific London terror attacks put spotlights on NYC and LA and Seattle and Boston and like that. What does a Muslim ban have to do with safety and prevention? What will the dummies do when U.S. cities are the locales?

That ignorant, stupid POTUS alternately tweets and brays that if only we keep this or that group from visiting the U.S. of A. all will be well. Turtle feathers, says I!

We know that he and real Republicans don’t understand American principles and laws. We know they hate the liberties that our democracy exercises that differentiate us from the rest of the world. In fact, they make it plain they hate freedom and want oppressive government.

Yet, what #45 has been calling for has two huge flaws. First, and affirmed by courts from one coast to another, his proposals are patent violations of our First Amendment’s religion clause. They target exclusive brown-skinned folk who are not avowed Christians.

Second, with the extreme and notable exception of the 9/11 attacks, the thousands of Americans murdered on our soil are the opposite of #45’s bugbears. Our terrorists have been native born, white Americans, nearly all of whom identify as Christian.

Of course, we know these people as our basest criminals. The white, American self-identified Christians are invariably the rapists, adulterers, child abusers and murders, only more recently becoming domestic terrorists. There was a history in that latter category too, think the K.K.K.

So if #45 and his minions want to further limit our liberties in the guise of security, keeping out Muslims from six countries won’t do it…at all…particularly when the 9/11 crew was almost entirely from Saudi Arabia. They are investors whom #45 loves and gives a free pass to for travel.

We can be sure the emboldened ISIL and other terrorists won’t obey the borders and visa regulations, halting on the East side of the Atlantic. When they come to a city new you, you can be positive #45’s policies did absolutely nothing to prevent the deaths and maiming and, well, terror.

 

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Trump Kicks Against Goads

Lackaday, Donny Jo. The huge lesson before you will not disappear by neglect or denial. Our incidental POTUS has again chosen to teeter on the most dangerous path — feigning innocence while humming, “Catch me if you can.”

He returned from a disastrous foreign trip, replete with numerous Administration scandals, to assert all are fake news. We can easily understand why someone so dull-witted would rely on the artifice that has worked for him several times. Unfortunately for him (think Dunning-Kruger effect) as so many other dummies and mommy’s boys, he is not aware of the limits of such bluster.

I believe the current set of problems is beyond even his B.S. powers. He is no Mandrake the Magician or Obi-Wan Kenobi. He cannot misdirect the world’s attention from these entanglements.

Take his central premise — detailed, multi-sourced reporting by the likes of the WaPo and NYT are made up because the first wave of articles does not list every source. Each of us uses the internet and knows the stupidity and duplicity of trolls who demand details and links to all sources so that can find nits to pick and then claim everything is a fake, fake news in this case.

His double dog dare to reputable media can only backfire repeatedly and continuously. Only one actor here is a serial, pathological liar. As the evidence mounts and more witnesses are emboldened, his bluster will sound fainter and fainter. As his minions, including his son-in-law, face accusations to charges to trials or pleas, his imagined control will vanish.

Until recently, I bought into the concept that a GOP-dominated Senate would never impeach Trump. Yet, he has overplayed his had so far and given leeway to way too many corrupt buddies, I do not see any clean way out for him.

Were he more noble or driven by grand aims, he might be seen as a tragic figure. This is simply low comedy. The man is too dumb to know how to pick a fight he has a shot at winning.

 

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Lessons Unlearned, POTUS Version

A certain Donny Jo Trump, the incidental POTUS learns not. He returns to the dry well, ever expecting water.

Most recently, as one example, the federal appeals court in Richmond told him to take a hike. His clearly religion-based proposed travel ban has lost throughout the country, as unconstitutional, a clear violation of our First Amendment. Yet, Donny goes back again and again, pausing only to decry the unfairness (to him personally) of this or that court.

Alas. our titular President proves repeatedly that is both grossly ignorant and stupid. How embarrassing for us as a nation… He neither understands how our government or laws work nor human obligations to others.

We can only conclude:

  • He never took nor got civics as taught to the Boomers
  • He does not understand such basic concepts as separation of powers among governmental branches
  • He’s an inherited-wealth mama’s boy, who whines when he doesn’t get his way all the time

I have both patriotism, again as taught to Boomers, and ego in play here. I want my POTUS to be bright, compassionate, and, well American. He is none of those.

The old lad has survived to 70 without the basics of Americanism. Worst of all, he stupidly runs into the same walls. No, you don’t get your way because you inherited wealth. No, you don’t get a pass on the Constitution because your mother loved you. No, trying the same inane executive order does not suddenly make it legal when one court after another slaps you down.

Just too dumb.

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Non-Comical Comey

The WaPo The Fix column implying that unemployed guy James Comey wants to take down Donald Trump (a.k.a. the incidental POTUS) intrigues. One can suppose he’d have delusions of grandeur. But…delusions?

While the rest of Congress and all D.C. squealed and scrambled like Greek wannabes during pledge week, Comey took down the Dem Prez nominee Hillary Clinton (a.k.a. the coulda, shoulda been). Now he could easily do the same with 45.

My soft-sciences profs (anthropology, psychology, sociology) all said ascribing motives was the toughest and least exact part of the biz. We can be left wondering whether Comey wields his bolts from a platform of ego or self-righteousness or his Boy-Scout persona.

It makes no difference. If he can — and it sure looks likely —he shall dump Trump. Here’s a mid-level functionary who has already inscribed his own monument in history. He’s not through.

 

 

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