Living Large In Carson City: It’s An Unusual World We Live In Edition

Free Clip Art Picture of a Cross Hair

“He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time.” Hunter S. Thompson

HST understood politicians like few others, especially Richard Nixon to whom this quote targeted. It could just as easily have been directed at Donald Trump, but given Thompson’s colorful grasp of the English language, I suspect his comments would be much more pointed and caustic. On a daily basis, Americans are witnessing the systematic dismantling of democracy like few times in our nation’s history, and yes, Trump is the architect of the dismantling. The past two weeks he has stooped far below the conventions of decency and normalcy. His latest foray into the bizarre is rooted in classical hatred and racism as he paints his political adversaries of color enemies of the state. 

All Americans know the depths of depravity that Trump is more than willing to plumb depending on what his latest bitch du jour is on any given day. It’s currently racism. In the past it’s been immigrants and immigration laws, birtherism, kowtowing to political hardliners like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jon Un, Mohammad bin Salman, and Bebe Netanyahu to name a few, siding with and encouraging white nationalism, his denial of his colorful history of sexual misconduct while trafficking with accused sexual predators like Jeffrey Epstein and Alan Dershowitz, and the list goes on. Trump has done the seemingly impossible since taking office in 2017: He has nimbly browbeat the Republican Party into his bitch, subverted the rule of law, lied incessantly, and done more to destroy the foundation of our democracy than anyone in the history of the nation. And he’s not done.

As in the case with the Republican Party, he has had plenty of help to accomplish his goals. Most notably, his core constituency, the Hillary dubbed basket of deplorables, who are really the biggest mystery to come out of Trump’s presidency. It may be counter intuitive, even naive, not to acknowledge that 32 to 38 percent of Americans, depending on the poll numbers on any given day, harbor fear to the degree that they are willing to allow a con artist of Trump’s caliber to hijack our duly elected representative government and destroy America’s international goodwill. And for what purpose? To  simply stroke his outsized ego for his own benefit however nefarious that might be.

Yesterday, Trump signed the extension of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. During the ceremony, he made several claims that many who know him find outright dubious. 

Trump told the crowd of 9/11 first responders and their families that he was also at Ground Zero in the wake of the terror attacks, though he said he doesn’t consider himself a first responder.

“I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder,” Trump said. “But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.” CNN

He has also stated other similar claims that either put him on the scene in a heroic setting or skewing his statements in his favor like falsely claiming after the Towers fell he would have the tallest building in Manhattan or that he predicted 911 or that he personally saw Arabs dancing in the streets in New Jersey celebrating the event. And nobody in his administration, party, or base calls him out for being a bald faced liar. I thought his base would take umbrage with statements like these, but not. These are supposedly iron clad Americans of the first degree who “love it or leave it” is a mantra that they are quick to chant on any given night at a Trump rally. The fact they would embrace such easily debunked lies is problematic and truly frightening. It smacks of willful stupidity, and a “us versus them” mentality that is willing to ignore facts and truth simply to hold on the little political power they have left.

Also, Dan Coats the highly respected Director of National Intelligence who’s job is to oversee the 17 departments and organizations that make up the American intelligence community finally decided he had had enough of the Trump circus. Trump announced his leaving via, how else, on Twitter. Coats, a longtime Indiana senator, ambassador to Germany, and one of the longest serving members of the Trump cabinet, was known for stating truth to power, often angered the president by not toeing the Trump party line. His departure effectively creates a vacuum within the administration which has a majority of Trump yes men in important positions of power without anyone with the cajones to stand up to him.

His replacement, Rep. John Ratcliffe, was elected to Congress in 2014 and was a former U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Texas. Before that, he held four terms as mayor of Heath, Texas population 7,000. Often proclaimed as the most conservative member of Congress, he came to power with the aid of the Tea Party and has become one of Trump’s most vocal lackeys.

When Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary Committee last week, his grilling of Mueller drew immediate attention simply for the partisan nature of his rant which was obviously meant to suck up to Trump who named him Coat’s replacement three days later. Storm clouds already hang over the Congressman’s confirmation hearings for misrepresenting his bona fides over his claims to have convicted several terrorists while on the job in East Texas. Court records show otherwise. Woefully unqualified, it will be interesting to see if the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will vote to put his confirmation before the Senate in coming weeks. More troublesome than his resume is the question on everyone’s mind will he simply be yet another parrot of Trump’s psychotic foreign policy or will he stand up to the man who nominated him. Time will tell.

Congress is set to go on summer vacation for the month of August offering a small respite from the shenanigans that have become part and parcel of life as America knows it in Washington. It’s a heavy load for Trump to bear, but he will surely not disappoint. Things to watch for might be an attack on Iran. Last Friday, the House passed an amendment that Trump cannot attack Iran without the House signing off on the act. Without the Congress in session, August would be a perfect time for an end around run by the president. Or maybe Trump will take the time off to visit one of his golf courses. Regardless, expect September to be filled with fireworks from impeachment inquiries to revelations about just who is in the Jeffrey Epstein sex tapes to god only knows what.

Tonight is the beginning of the second round of the Democratic debates. Thursday, Trump has a rally planned in Cincinnati where he will assuredly have plenty to say. Will racist chants headline the rally? Will he continue his attacks on Elijah Cummings? Stay tuned.

Living Large In Carson City: Destroying Democracy Edition


“All I know is what I read in the papers.”
Will Rogers

All of America knows at this point that fake news has a twofold message to deliver to readers. First, of course, is the fake news itself. By definition fake news is usually meant to deliver a blow to one’s opponents. The message comes in the form of an outright lie or one more nuanced so it actually looks and sounds like it is real. The other function is to obfuscate and muddy the minds of readers to ensure they don’t have the time or brain functions to digest real news as it occurs. After nearly three years of Trump’s lies, no one paying attention is immune to the brain fog that fake news can create in a person.  As all America knows, Trump and his minions are classic masters of the con game and have no shame in employing its techniques whenever they feel the public waking up to the fact they are being scammed.

Nothing, however, prepared Americans for the shit storm of fake news surrounding Trump’s attacks on the now famous four members of Congress known as the Squad. The four women, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayana Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan were all targeted by Trump over last week, and all hell broke loose as Trump continued to revile and slander them into the current one. Yet, the Orange One is, if nothing else, persistent in his onslaught of negative and false statements. This one has me face planting into my computer’s keyboard,

Donald J. Trump


The “Squad” is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border…And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!

Trump is not only suffering from a debilitating case of megamania and rottenness to his core, but also, thinks he has some hyper sense of clairvoyance that allows him to look into the soul and lives of those who oppose him and redefine them to fit his world view. Reality check: Trump is simply a corrupt liar, thief, and someone who disregards the value of others to support his insecurities.

This point is sometimes lost in the trenches when he says something so outlandish or offensive that Americans are hard pressed not to take exception to his vile, slanderous comments about anyone, foe or supporter. And, of course, this is his basic modus operandi. Keep the liberals and progressives so off balance with his surreal comments that it obscures his real agenda which is to give his base the red meat they want and allow his minions the opportunity to solidify his position behind the scenes. All this bluster and braying is little more than a smoke screen that he and the GOP are complicit in by negating the power of his opponents simply by driving them bonkers.

This simple ploy is how he drives public opinion and controls the narrative on any given day. The above Tweet is a case in point. First of all, the Squad is not made up of young, inexperienced racists. They are grown women with a purpose. They are no less inexperienced than Trump was when he ran for president. And by definition, they are not racists in the way he means the slur. They are proactive women who see the lie, the big lie, that Trump is selling. Trump history of racism and underhanded dealings with people has been documented throughout his life and doesn’t need to be rehashed here. This is a variation of the old elementary schoolyard slam of “Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you”. It worked then, and surprisingly, seems to be working today in the grownup world of hardball politics.

Most of all, and this is what is most galling, he has the temerity to comment on the workings of the Democratic Party. The Party is still mostly moderate, and these women are only a fraction of the whole. To borrow a term from the GOP, the Party is a big tent where all voices are able to be heard, rejected or accepted, on the merit of their claims. They did not oppose, nor are they against, humanitarian aid at the Border, as he claims. This is a red herring since Trump created the crisis in the first place, and it is only morally and ethically appropriate for all Americans to protest and oppose the Draconian measures of Stephen Miller and his boss.

He is right about one thing though. They oppose the power of the Office of Homeland Security and ICE as should all thinking, humane, democracy loving Americans. Homeland Security was an overreach from the beginning supported by Dick Cheney and George W. Bush as a power grab for the presidency. It should be abolished or severely restructured to keep it from being abused. ICE is literally America’s version of WWII Germany’s Gestapo. Whoever came up with the idea of creating a secret police able to roam the countryside unimpeded and harassing people must have been channeling Trump’s most enticing wet dream. As Trump ramps up his rhetoric of massive ICE raids to deport illegal aliens, ICE will trample human rights and place everyone, aliens and citizens, at risk. It should be shut down and investigated.

Part of the problem is how the news media portrays the crisis that has been brewing since Trump came down the elevator and announced his plan to run for president. Corporate media in the form of CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and others have one goal in everything they do: Ratings. Fox News is a little different in that they are controlled by right wing nutjobs who not only care about ratings but push the president’s agenda at the cost of truth and honesty. CNN and the other “liberal” news outlets (which is oxymoronic in the first place) take a different path.

Their “fair and balanced” approach works to give a passing nod to both sides. A typical “panel” discussion will usually have one or two “liberal” guests with the obligatory Trump supporter as the foil. A good example of this is Stephen Moore, Trump’s nominee for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. A woman hater, elitist, and uber patriarch, Moore was never a good choice for the position evidenced by his past comments. Yet, before his nomination, he was a regular contributor on cable news shows. The effect of choosing the most rabid (Rick Santorum is another example), mind numbing shills goes a long way in negating anything liberal guests have to say. It makes for great theater, but honestly, in the end no real truths of consequence come from these verbal fisticuffs. Well, there was one. After the Fed debacle, Moore hasn’t shown up on any cable        panels . . . yet.

Trump continues beating up the Squad with lies and skewed half truths as Americans look on and either accept his point of view or ignore him completely. Since Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the worst White House Press Secretary ever, stopped having daily press briefings, Trump now holds his own ad hoc pressers where he gets a bigger bang for his buck since they are mostly one-sided declarations of whatever is on the front burner of his truly twisted mind. But one thing is clear from all of this. Trump is going to make race front and center of his 2020 presidential run. It is hard to believe that a president would choose to play the race card for all of America to witness. Will it work?

Ask me again on Wednesday, November 4. 2020.

Living Large In Carson City: America Is A Shining City Upon A Hill – Not Edition


“It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization conducted immense amounts of research, and came to the understanding that all human beings belong to the same species, and “race” is nothing but a myth. In the research that they have gathered, they found that biological “races” do not exist among our species.” Jaclyne Zetter 

It would completely lame and dishonest of me to not mention the story of the weekend which has both sides of the American political spectrum buzzing into the beginning of a new week. Yes, Trump’s unbelievable attack on four sitting first-term congresswomen, and his belief that they should shut up and go back to the countries where they came from is the talk of the nation. His disgusting and abusive Tweeter rant is the epitome of rampant racism that this administration seems dedicated to injecting into the nation’s conversation.

The “four” congresswomen, affectionately named “the Squad, are Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashia Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). Of course, as all of America knows at this point, only Omar is not a native born American. She became a naturalized citizen after she and her father fled war-torn Somalia. Ocasio Cortez was born in the New York City’s the Bronx, Tlaib, a native from Detroit, and Pressley was born in Cincinnati. So of the four, three are red-blooded Americans and the fourth an achiever of the American Dream. Yet, dopey Donald chose to overlook the facts and spread, once again, fake news that suits his skewed legislative agenda of stroking his base and not letting facts get in the way of his goals.

There is little upside in rehashing Trump’s flirting with the white supremacists of his base. Ample footage and Tweets can be pulled up to support the accusation that our president is a racist fool as are the majority of his followers. As Nancy Pelosi said in her reaction to Trump’s attack on the Squad this weekend, Trump’s goal is not to make America Great Again but to make America White Again. A statement that the president responded was a racist statement itself although as The Hill pointed out,

It was unclear if Trump, currently taking criticism for telling multiple congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they came from, understood the context in which Pelosi had made the comment.

Trump’s goal is obviously two-fold. Americans have seen time and again when circumstances go wrong for the president his modus operandi is to create controversy to draw attention away from his failed endeavors. At the end of last week, Trump suffered two major setbacks which he certainly wasn’t happy about. His failure to get the citizenship question added to the 2020 census and the god awful optics of Mike Pence and Lindsey Graham touring stinking, over-crowded immigrant holding facilities at the Texas border had to be a ego slap down that even his most rabid supporters couldn’t ignore. One has to wonder who sets up these preordained “fails” on the part of the Republicans. It defies logic and common sense.

So, Trump Tweets some nasty remarks about four congresswomen to help convince the base that the Orange One is still in their corner taking the fight to the enemy, even though they are all American citizens who are well respected by their constituents. For Trump though, this line of attack has become part and parcel of how he deals with both his base and the opposition. The bad news is that it worked in the past and will more than likely work in the future. Frightened people have to be fed frightening scenarios by their manipulative leaders, and conversely, those leaders have to supply an “out” that mollifies the sensibilities of their followers.  

Oddly enough, Trump’s original slurs have morphed into something more than just falsely slamming four congresswomen. Lindsey Graham, one time patriot and friend of John McCain, who has turned into Trump’s little bitch of late, advanced the narrative to another level,

“We all know that [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and this crowd are a bunch of communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own country, they’re calling the guards along our border—the Border Patrol agents—concentration camp guards,” Graham exclaimed. “They accuse people who support Israel as doing it for the benjamins, they are anti-Semitic, they are anti-America. Don’t get them—aim higher.” The Daily Beast

Graham in one statement elevated the Squad from progressive Social Democrats status to outright communist sympathizers. The Israel hatred possibly refers to Congresswoman Tlaib’s heritage. She is the daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents who left Palestine to settle in America to offer their children their version of the American Dream. “For the Benjamins” obviously refers to Congresswoman Omar’s Tweet earlier this year that called out the corrupt organization, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), for the thuggish behavior they display year around, but especially during their annual convention which is little more than a fleecing of attendees to donate to AIPAC coffers. See The Nation article for more on AIPAC and the way they operate. As far as calling border guards – concentration camp guards –  the facts speak for themselves. Graham should watch the video of himself, Pence, and others as they squeamishly tour the above mentioned immigrant camp.

Today is Tuesday and the vitriol oozing from the White House has not abated. He has singled out Congresswoman Ilhan Omar claiming without evidence that she and her Squad members hate America, and she in particular, according to a Vox article (see below), claimed “how wonderful al-Qaeda is” Vox.  Yesterday, Trump set the tenor of the debate while answering questions from the reporter pool after giving a speech on the White Grounds.

While Trump was taking questions from reporters during an event that was ostensibly supposed to be a “Made in America Product Showcase,” Fox News reporter John Roberts asked him if it concerns him that “many people saw that tweet as racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point?”

Trump said that he is not, in fact, worried about it.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” he said. “And all I’m saying — they want to leave, they can leave. Now, it doesn’t say, ‘Leave forever.’ It says, ‘Leave if you want.’” Vox

One has to wonder who exactly are the “many people” who agree with him? Are they the supporters of the racist demonstrations that permeated the Charlottesville, Virginia’s “Unite the Right” debacle that occurred in 2017? Is it the GOP’s congressmen and women who refuse to take a stand against his racist comments and by their silence condone his beliefs?  Or is it simply his base of deplorables who want Trump to make America white again? Sadly, it is a combination of them all.

Even more disturbing to contemplate is the theory put forth by many Washington insiders that this is Trump rolling out his 2020 campaign strategy. His divide and frighten approach worked all too well in 2016, so why wouldn’t he want to go for an encore in 2020? One thing is for certain; Democrats need to heal their divisions and present a united front against Trump, or America will face another four years of debacle after debacle played out on the world stage.

This isn’t to say the Squad need buckle under to Nancy Pelosi. No, Pelosi needs to step up her game as well and listen to what progressives are saying to her and the party. This is the time the Democrats have the opportunity to stand up and wade out of the swamp to create a new political dynamic that is more inclusive and understanding of the ills that face the country. If they don’t, even if Joe Biden is nominated and wins, a Biden presidency will be more of the same dog and pony show. Not as bad as Trump, mind you, but still a government split by factions that want only what they can grab for their side; the average American be damned.







Living Large In Carson City: The Mad King Edition


“Mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun” Noël Coward

Trump’s Fourth of July parade has come and gone with more of a whimper than a hurrah as the ceremony suffered from intermittent rain showers that put a damper on the hoped for militaristic hoopla that never really materialized. Still, Trump made the ceremonies, such as the were, about – who else? – himself. In fact the real curiosity about the ceremonies is just how universally panned they were across the board.

Yet, Trump managed to set off warning bells with his ceremonial speech that had revolutionaries soldiers securing the airports, while in reality, air flight, especially commercial air flight, wouldn’t come to being until over a century later. His outlandish statement plus several other faux pas’ like attributing battles of the War of 1812 to the revolutionary uprising drew unwanted parallels to Mad King George III and the Orange One whether appropriate or not. Trump stated,

In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces encamped around Boston and New York, and named after the great George Washington, Commander-in-Chief. The Continental Army suffered the bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware, and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown. Our Army manned the air [Inaudible] — it rammed the ramparts. It took over the airports. It did everything it had to do. And at Fort McHenry, under the rockets’ red glare, it had nothing but victory. Fourth of July Speech 7/4/19

The president’s penchant for spouting unintelligible or outlandish statements is not unprecedented. Three days before the snafu on the Lincoln Memorial site, Trump stated this pearl of wisdom about homelessness in America in an interview with Fox News,

 “It’s a phenomenon that started two years ago,” Trump told Carlson. “It’s disgraceful. I’m going to maybe—I am looking at it very seriously, we’re doing some other things as you probably notice like some of the very important things that we’re doing now, but we’re looking at it very seriously because you can’t do that.” Fox News interview with Tucker Carlson 7/1/2019

The initial announcement that Trump was hijacking the traditional Fourth of July celebration in Washington, DC to replace it with a crotch-grabbing, day-long celebration of the president and his minions angered many progressives and liberals across the country, and rightfully so. Historically, the Fourth of July celebration has always been about the nation, it’s history, and a day of honor for those who came before to create a great and powerful country despite our political differences. The nation has eschewed military displays in favor of what unites us, not the lethal prowess of our armed forces. The build up and blow back was fearsome with detractors from both sides of the aisle. In the end the pathetic sterile presentation was more pitiable than awe inspiring and not just a little sad to behold.

Trump’s ability to separate and divide Americans on a plethora of topics is impressive if it were not so dire and threatening to American Democracy. Yesterday, while contemplating what to write for this blog, I thought back to the 2004 speech by Barack Obama delivered at the Democratic National Convention to nominate John Kerry for president (watching is better). His keynote speech that evening was nothing less than electrifying. He was a younger version of the Obama America knows today; one with fresh ideas, an articulate delivery, and something Trump can’t comprehend – the ability to inspire hope in his audience.

When the former president stated in his speech,

“I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible.” 2004 speech

all Americans, except the most deplorable, know in their hearts that Trump can never understand the American experience viewed through his privileged upbringing. His actions speak for themselves. The ability to connect to all of America is not based on money, pretty women, ego driven elitism, or the desire to tear down the pillars of American Democracy. It is about who America has been for 243 years; something he knows little about or wants to know.

Obama’s speech was not an “us or them” scenario in the sense that he sought to bring down the opposing side at all costs. It was a call for unity, not disharmony. Recognizing the fact that the opposition wanted to defeat Kerry was not evil or threatening. It was support for the system, the continuity of a belief, to allow the rules of democracy to find the equilibrium it has always done in the past to achieve greatness. Compared to Trump’s calls of “fake news”, the Press is the enemy of the people, and his own self-aggrandizement, Obama seemed like a voice in the wilderness crying out with longing for the process to work through mutual respect and involvement in the democratic system.

It is hard to believe that things have disintegrated in just 15 years from that night in 2004 to the hard scrabble, bare-knuckled brawl that has become politics as usual. One has to wonder has America lost its way in the 21st century? Given the state of the world since Trump took office, the answer is muddled at best and a resounding yes at the worst. Who would believe normally sane lifetime politicians like Lindsay Graham would grovel before this supercilious president without a fight or explanation. It’s weird. Who would believe that the headlines of today, which swirl around child sexual predator, Jefferey Epstein, would threaten to draw in some of the most wealthy and elite movers and shakers of government and business including Trump. Stranger Things is not just the title of a popular television series.

What is so utterly fascinating is Obama’s view of America as it contrasts with the president’s view. When Trump is about to go to bed or when he wakes up, his first inclination is to Tweet ideas and beliefs that separate and divide us. His political enemies, heads of state, old friends, current governmental officials and just about anyone who he feels doesn’t pay proper supplication to his whims and fancy are targets. All of America knows this, but it is evident that of those who are not in Trump’s deplorable camp time and association with the president are wearing Americans down. His countless lies, corrupt and egotistical acts are evidence of his lack of faith or love of the nation.

Obama’s speech has proven a prescient warning of what has transpired and what is to come. When Obama said this,

That is the true genius of America – a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted at least, most of the time. 2004 speech 

he said it from the heart in an effort to unite his party to further the American Dream, not to denigrate or tear down those who disagreed with him on politics or the color of his skin.

Another president, although a fictional one, Andrew Shepard, played by Michael Douglas in The American President, unloads on Bob Rumson, a Trump wanna’ be if there ever was one. Shepard makes the distinction between people like himself and Rumson in a pitch perfect take down that would be worthy of a Trump smack in the face. Shepard said,

We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things, and two things only: making you afraid of it, and telling you who’s to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. TAP

Serious problem solvers for serious problems, what a concept. With all that is going on right now with the Trump administration, who knows the path forward he will stumble onto. One thing for certain, however, America cannot stand another four years of “whack a mole” diplomacy and governance. It’s crunch time.


Living Large In Carson City: A Scoundrel, A Crook And A Ninny Edition


“Patriotism is a virtue of the vicious” Oscar Wilde

The Donald Trump’s UnMagical Mysterious Tour in an ongoing spectacle of bad taste and effrontery traveled to Japan this past week to the G20 meeting of world leaders. The results were predicable and not unexpected. The tour became more of a chance for Trump to hobnob with the world’s strongmen autocrats  (a group he desperately wants to be included in on the world stage) including his pal Vladmir Putin, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salam, and a wild card visit to Eddie Munster grown up look alike, Kim Jong Un. Trump hit a trifecta of sorts by embarrassing himself and/or America in every meeting. With Putin, it was a mocking comment about not meddling in the 2020 election. With MBS, he rudely talked to the Saudi murdering prince while standing on bleachers at the group photo shoot. The biggest surprise came at the end of his trip when  he decided to go to North Korea to further his bromance with the despot Kim Jong Un and the chance to be the first American president to ever visit the North Korea pariah state. It is fair to ask the question does Trump understand why no American president ever visited the rogue empire before?

The prospect of writing a blog post about the G20 meeting is both excruciating and useless because nothing happened at the conference except for Trump’s grandstanding; an all too common act of idiocy this president is wont to engage in wherever he goes. This lull in actual illegal acts committed by Trump allows the nation to stop, contemplate, and reflect on the other members of his party, and their outrageous shenanigans. This week provided more than enough ammunition to highlight the growing band of America’s scoundrels, crooks, and ninnies. Following are some of the more egregious and baffling accounts of how these people see American democracy.

First up, under the crooks category, is Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) from one of Southern California’s reddest districts. Hunter and his wife, Margaret, were indicted for misuse of campaign finances for personal gain. In a recent development of the bizarre case, Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty for conspiring to misuse campaign finance money. She is expected to cooperate with the prosecution in her husband’s oncoming trial. Records show the couple used the ill-begotten money for travel, fine dining, gifts, and generally as a “secret” checking account that they dipped into whenever they liked. They then falsely reported the “expenditures” to the Federal Election Commission as legitimate campaign expenses.

Duncan is embroiled in his own trial at the moment and has taken an unusual defense surrounding his actions. While accusing his wife of creating the entire fiasco in the first place, Hunter also used the funds to engage in five affairs over the course of the election campaign. Among the women Hunter had affairs with, three were industry lobbyist, one of his own campaign staffers, and an official of Republican National Committee. This is where it gets weird.

In a new move this week, Hunter’s lawyers have come up with a unique defense for his actions. Laura Clawson, staff writer for the Daily Kos, writes his lawyers are claiming his extra-marital affairs were . . . campaign expenditures. Clawson wrote,

These women were, after all, professional contacts for Hunter. The relationships, the lawyers argue, “often served an overtly political purpose,” so “Unlike intimacy, the fact that an individual’s relationship with Mr. Hunter includes a professional aspect that directly, or indirectly, relates to his campaign or duties as a holder of Federal office, is directly relevant to whether Mr. Hunter could properly use campaign funds for an expense in connection with that individual.” Daily Kos

Certainly, the devoutly Christian Republican Party will no doubt call foul mentioning among other things infidelity, theft, conspiracy, lying to federal officials, and other mundane crimes that Hunter seems to think are inconsequential. In normal times such claims would be laughable, yet, this is Trump’s world now. Anything goes.

The Ninny award this week goes to who else but Ivanka Trump. Trump is fond of taking his daughter with him to various functions like the G20 around the world. Part eye candy, part presidential adviser (?), and part emotional support to the president, what exactly Ivanka’s diplomatic talents are are still up for debate. From fashion maven to international expert adviser is a pretty big leap for anyone, but for Ivanka, surely so.

In Japan this week and in North Korea, the blonde headed stick figure and her equally bland and monochromatic husband, Jared, were seen everywhere. This isn’t a good thing. It seemed as if Ivanka showed up everywhere except the places where she was wanted. In a reception line, she and Jared took center stage effectively blocking out Mike Pomepeo from a place of importance. It wasn’t until he called this to Ivanka’s attention did she and Jared begrudgingly make room for him but not without obvious reluctance. Many experts question her qualifications and why in the world she has become a familiar Trump doppelganger that acts as if she has something of substance to offer. Kaitlan Collins of CNN Tweeted it this way,

CNN Newsroom


Ivanka Trump’s role at the G20 summit is under scrutiny.

CNN’s @kaitlancollins reports: “There are questions about the role she played with these other world leaders. … and whether or not she is qualified to be in those meetings.” 

One particular incident stood out and became the focus of a much ballyhooed speculation on why Ivanka was even there. The incident involved a group of high level European diplomats engaged in an intense conversation including French president Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and International Monetary Fund head, Christine Lagarde. As May makes a point, the hapless Ivanka can be seen trying to wheedle her way into the conversation. Babbling inane bullshit obviously, the leaders, and especially Legarde, cast jaundiced eyes toward the president’s daughter as if wondering, “Where did this ninny come from?” For her part, Ivanka, like her father, seemed unruffled or aware that she was being shunned by her betters.

Finally, the scoundrel award is shared by two equally despicable lawmakers, Mitch McConnell (R Ken) and loopy Louie Gohmert (R Tex). The sins of McConnell are widely known ranging back to Barack Obama’s first administration. There are literally too many incidents to chronicle here. This week, however, he played his role as partisan suck up to the president when he used an underhanded dirty trick to block the Senate from reeling in the president’s ability to go to war with Iran. Not only was his act a selfish partisan hack job, but it surely gives Trump the green light to attack Iran before the 2020 election where upon Trump would do god knows what.  Declare martial law? Suspend the election? 

Leave it to loopy Louie, however, to inject a bit of “country humor” into the national political debate. In an attack on Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Gohmert reacted to Mueller’s subpoena by Democrats in the House of Representatives by attacking his integrity and referring to Mueller with an odd pejorative. Kate Riga of Talking Points Memo put it this way,

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s impending congressional testimony has some House Republicans speaking their mind about the square-jawed lawyer.

“He’s done some irreparable damage to some things and he’s got to answer for them,” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Politico. “It reinforced the anal opening that I believe Mueller to be.” .

“Anal opening”? Leave it to loopy Louie to obfuscate when a simple “asshole” would have worked better and been more clear. Maybe it’s his skewed religious fervor that makes him believe anal opening is less disgusting than asshole. Maybe a lesser sin? Who can say?

Next week will surely be taken up by the obscene Fourth of July “celebration” planned by Trump and his merry band of “anal openings”. The event is shaping up to be a doozy. Tanks, jets, armed personnel carriers, VIP sections, friends, family, and the partisan riff raff that seems to be Trump’s stock and trade. Hold on to your seats. At least we haven’t bombed Iran . . . yet.