Living Large in Carson City: The Little Prince Plays Politician

Honestly, I feel as if I’ve awakened from a dream and have been transported back in time to the Middle Ages in a European country that just lost their fabled and beloved king. Standing in the wings is the semi-illiterate, detested only son who is set to assume the throne despite his obvious lack of ability or inclination to rule. The son’s thin skinned, hostile and cruel nature is legend and bodes badly for much of the kingdom’s inhabitants, especially those who disagree with his faults and beliefs. The nation despairs as the subjects prepare for the worst.

Like a presumptive king to be, The Donald is poised to take over the reins of power in a matter of weeks at this point. He continues his erratic behavior of tweeting, attacking both imagined and real opponents, making outlandish statements, and generally, acting anything but presidential. One of his latest and most disturbing acts of idiocy is his refusal to engage in daily intelligence briefings. Wisecracks aside, this is truly disturbing and begs the question why? This is the man who will have access to nuclear launch codes in late January, and he can’t be bothered to educate himself on the state of the very dangerous world in which we live. Yet, the man finds time to tweet lies and false accusations in the wee hours of the morning as if anything he has to say would be found enlightening or interesting to the average American voter.

Of course, his appointments to his White House staff are also quite concerning. Bannon, Sessions, Flynn, and now, Tom Price, avowed enemy of Obama Care and free market privatization advocate, all fall in the worst case scenario docket for American progressives, the middle and lower classes and just about anyone hoping to live in a free and democratic society. Really though, what did we expect? Trump rode into the White House with the support of right wing wackos, fundamentalist Christians, the Alt-Right (or is it White Supremacists now?), and although it sounds harsh, an unexpected host of old white people who it turns out are actually racists, misogynistic, and self-serving entitled bigots who lack the empathy to understand that it’s not just about them.

What concerns me even more are often lesser appointments that are either motivated by party loyalty and payback to long time Republican hacks. Rachel Maddow on Monday night demonstrated just how deep and insidious the sleaze factor is when The Donald picks and chooses. In  her opening segment, Maddow highlighted K. T. McFarland’s appointment as  Deputy National Security Adviser. While I urge you to watch the video, this little nugget of wisdom should scare the hell out of you.

But in Trump’s America, experience or actual bona fides don’t really matter.

Said Maddow,

Now, the “upper east side society matron” who was registered to vote at two addresses, who illegally charged her Rudy Giuliani golf games to her donors, who said she was the highest ranking woman in the Pentagon when she was not, who said she was the first female staffer on the Senate armed services committee which she was not, who said she wrote [Ronald Reagan’s] Star Wars speech when she did not, turns out what she did do after that hilariously inauspicious obscure debut in electoral politics, what she did do is she got a contributor gig at Fox News after all of that. And that is apparently enough because now she is about to become the deputy national security adviser to the President of the United States.

As Maddow notes in the clip, McFarland not only registered to vote at two addresses, she actually voted twice. More troubling as the clip reveals is the fact that the Deputy Security Adviser is not some lame, feel good position. It is, in fact, the position that does the leg work on a day to day  basis that accumulates security data and briefs the actual Security Adviser (Flynn in this case) on threats to America’s safety and security. Here is the YouTube video of Maddow’s segment.

Then there is his pick for Education Secretary:

President-elect Donald Trump’s recent appointment of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary again provides more evidence that this administration aims not only to undermine public education and the public sector at large, constituting a direct assault on democracy, but also to further a two-tiered society of haves and have-nots by making access to quality education increasingly inaccessible to the children of working-class and middle-class families.

Of course, to understand these consequences of a DeVos appointment, we have to look behind the rosy rhetoric of “school choice” to understand that “school choice” actually means diverting money from the public education system to private schools and allowing a good number of public, particularly public neighborhood, schools to deteriorate by under funding them.

As it has been widely reported in the press,

Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, billionaire Betsy DeVos, has no education degree or teaching experience, has never attended a public school or sent her children to one, and supports the funding of for-profit Christian schools over public ones; she got the job because she donated $9.5 million to Trump’s campaign.

This seemed preposterous on the face of it. I went to to verify this statement and found it to be more true than false: Snopes

Finally, in the spirit of political incestuousness, we have Elizabeth Chao as Transportation Secretary. Chao has been around for a while on the national scene. She was Secretary of Labor under George W.’s reign of terror and a scourge to unions, but more problematic is who she sleeps with at night. Her husband, the man turtle Jon Stewart often mimicked on the Daily Show, and Senate Majority leader is delighted with his wife’s appointment.  How that will unfold is a question yet to be answered.

Living Large in Carson City: The Fear and Loathing Proceeding Donald Trump’s Reign of Terror Diary

I remember sometime in October 2016 voting early and thinking, “This is a shoo in”. Over the previous year, Trump had made unbelievable gaffes, acted the ass in the debates, suffered through shit storm after shit storm involving women, pussy grabbing and claims so egregious no one in their right minds would conceive that such a person could actually win the presidency in the enlightened America I thought we lived in until recently.

How stupid of me. I also remember just days prior to the 2000 election thinking there is no way George W. Bush could be elected in America. He was, well, just too hackish, or at least, so he seemed. Still, America surprised me. The next eight years I spent in anticipation of when “W” would be out of our lives and “normalcy” would return to the land of the free.

Usher in the Obama years. I will be the first to admit that I was a supporter from day one. I also became a detractor in year two as he repeatedly took the side of Wall Street, anti-immigrant groups and other pressures, some of his own making with others thrust upon him by a recalcitrant do nothing Congress spearheaded by some of the meanest son of a bitches from the Republican swamp ever to walk upright on two legs. I still revere the public Obama and his ability to move people with his sincerity and love of this country and the American people. The politician, not so much.

Of course, I was a Bernie supporter. His innovative ideas and willingness to confront the one percent was a breath of fresh air after years of failed dreams and bullying by the reigning Republican majority in Congress. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) shot Bernie down after an incredible run. If he had been allowed to compete on a level playing field, he might have changed politics as we know them today. He’s not through yet.

I will admit I was never, and am not, a Hillary fan. Like so many of us, I held my nose and voted for her simply to keep Trump out of the White House. A lot of good that did. Now, I have to live with the tainted knowledge I voted for her, but to his credit, Trump took her to the woodshed for a very public whipping the likes of which may never be seen again in my lifetime. It was a Democratic wake up call long overdue. I can’t feel sorry for Hillary. She ran a stupid, egoistical campaign that relied on polls that turned out to be, not just wrong, but monumentally so. The one good take away from this debacle is that her time in the political limelight has dimmed and may never spark again. Let’s hope not.

So, where to from here? Who the hell knows? Even if by some miracle, Trump was given the boot before or soon after the Inauguration, we would still have to contend with Mike Pence. An avowed wacko fundamentalist Christian, Trump enabler (read: quasi supportive of Trumps racist, misogynistic beliefs and alt right rhetoric) and despicable purveyor of right wing vile ideas. Pence is a better option than Trump but only marginally. Given Trump’s seemingly inept political chops, Pence might even be more dangerous. Add Jeff Sessions, Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon and a host of other racists and neo-Nazi types to the pot, and it’s easy to ascertain we are in for one hell of a ride over the next four years.

My plan is to chronicle this unfolding fiasco from the relatively safe environs of sedate Carson City. Really though, we have to ask ourselves are any of us or is any place not called Trump Tower safe?