Living Large In Carson City: The Truth Is Out There But Not From Trump Edition

liar's pants don't actually catch on fire quote

 “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” Mark Twain Quoting Benjamin Disraeli

The fiasco that was the G7 meeting in France this past weekend just keeps on giving. Quoting that paragon of wisdom duo, Brewer and Shipley, Trump might be said to be “One toke over the line”. How else can Americans square the outlandish behavior of Donald Trump anytime he comes into the proximity of world leaders. Leaders that are actually leaders and not political hacks of Trump’s ilk. Actually, Americans can only hope that Trump is sucking on the pipe behind closed doors, but judging by his Twitter behavior, it must be meth, not pot, that he his is imbing in on a regular basis.

There was one shining moment in the wrap up press conference that the president gave at the end of the summit among a flurry of lies, innuendos, and outright incomprehensible moments. Trump in his batshit crazy modus operandi continually called for the members of the G7 to allow Russia back into the fold. You will remember Russia was kicked out for attacking and annexing part of the Crimea, and you know, shooting down a civilian airliner.  Trump, however, fueled by what god awful substance he puts into his system claimed that Obama was somehow responsible for the Russian expulsion and that Putin had embarrassed the former president. In Trump’s third grade mental construct, this prompted Obama to call for his and Russia’s ousting from the G8.  This is a claim he repeated over and over.

At the height of the press conference, Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, stepped up to the mike and said this,

“Why do you [keep repeating] the misleading statement that Russia outsmarted President Obama when other countries have said that the reason why Russia was kicked out was very clearly because they annexed Crimea. Why keep repeating what some people would see as a clear lie?” Source

Ouch! What makes Alcindor’s question so relevant and poignant is a trend in broadcasting that has some, not a lot, but some, journalists no longer willing to allow Trump to simply say shit without being called the liar that he is on a daily basis. According to the Washington Post, as of June 2019, Trump told 10,796 lies to everyone from farmers, coal miners, businesses, everyday Americans, world leaders, and on and on. Think about that number: 10,796 lies told by an American president. It even defies Trump supporters’ credulity.

Yet, when journalist like Alcindor call Trump out his go to action is to, well, lie some more. His entire trip was one false statement after the other. We now know that his push for Russia’s acceptance back into the G7 was a bone that he could not stop gnawing on to the chagrin of other G7 members except for Italy who sided with the president’s demand for Russia’s readmittance. Still, Trump in his egomaniacal way would not let go of support for his old friend, even at the risk of alienating the G7, Americans, and even members of his own party. Sometime in the near future America will learn what is the impetus behind his selling out his own country and cozying up to one of the most brutal dictators in modern history. That time cannot come soon enough which brings up another new topic.

Deutsche Bank hints that it has copies of Trump’s tax returns raising the question if they might be available through the subpoena process for the House Judiciary Committee to get their hands on them. A minor kerfuffle came Tuesday night when Lawrence O’Donnell on his MSNBC talk show claimed that Russian oligarchs had co-signed bank loans that Trump took out several years ago which would have given plausible impetus to begin impeachment proceedings. On Wednesday, O’Donnell capitulated saying he should not have aired the oligarch angle when only one source actually claimed the statement was true. Regardless, the Deutsche Bank factor will surely play an ever increasing role in the Trump investigation as more information comes clear and open to public scrutiny.

Back to the lies. In an article by Calvin Woodward for the Associated Press titled “In 7 days of tweets, Trump lets the bedbugs bite” chronicles the seven days the president spent in France at the G7 and afterwards amid lies, Tweets, and countering claims that his Doral Golf Course did not, repeat, did not have bed bugs. Here is a sample of just one day, 


On the sidelines of the G-7 summit of world leaders, French diplomacy produces an unexpected meeting with Iran’s foreign minister, a potentially groundbreaking development with an adversary of the West.

As this unfolds in the halls, Trump tweets in honor of talk-show veteran Regis Philbin: “Happy Birthday Regis, a truly special man!” Trump plays up an opinion poll he likes and makes the improbable claim that the other world leaders mainly want to know from him “why does the American media hate your Country so much?” AP

No matter what one’s political leanings might be, it is obvious that Trump is slipping further into the dark depths of conspiracy theorists and the land of boogeymen. He really believes there are dark forces that want only to spread lies and falsehoods about his “legacy”.

The one thing Americans can be certain about is the president has no clue about how irony works. In a Tweet earlier this week, he attacked all things Puerto Rican in this Tweet,

Donald J. Trump


Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth. Their political system is
broken and their politicians are either Incompetent or Corrupt. Congress approved
Billions of Dollars last time, more than anyplace else has ever gotten, and it is sent to
Crooked Pols.
No good!….      Aug 28, 2019  CNN
His statement “Their political system is broken  and their politicians are either
Incompetent or Corrupt. . . . Crooked Pols” is beyond self delusional. The fact is
America’s political system under Trump could easily be described in the same words. 
As CNN noted in the same article, he followed the above Tweet with this little nugget of
“And by the way,” he added, “I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to Puerto Rico!”
It defies logic that this man is allowed to walk around in public much less be allowed to
comment on anything of substance and be heard. When I think of Trump and Puerto
Rico, I will always go back to the image of  Melanie and Trump standing behind a table
stacked with rolls of paper towels surrounded by a room full of desperate Puerto Ricans.
His idea of help at that meeting was to mimic shooting free throws into the crowd using
the paper towels as balls. Some legacy . . .
The week ended on a bright note, however, when Trump turned on his favorite fake
news outlet, the disreputable Fox News Network. In a statement aimed at his shrinking
basket of deplorables, the president lashed out at the network stating, “Fox isn’t working
for us anymore” in reaction to a discussion about recent polls showing all of the current
Democratic presidential front runners handily beating him in the race if the vote were
taken that day. Fox commentators like Shepard Smith, Bret Hume and Neil Cavuto took
umbrage with Trump’s implication that the network owed allegiance to the president
and said so in blunt, no nonsense terms.

No one knows what will become of this latest brouhaha, but it’s a safe guess that Trump will find a way to lie about the dust up regardless of what happens going forward. If things go as they have over the past week, the president is already teeing up his next Tweet denying he ever said anything about Fox News or that the fake media cooked up the lie to make him look bad. Regardless, the crazy house remains open for business with the head clown running around with his head stuck up his behind with no attachment to reality. Happy September, winter is coming.


Living Large In Carson City: Life In The Muddled Lane Edition

Angry politician

“Every newspaper on earth has called me a liar.” John McAfee

Remember back pre-2016 when the world was a happier place. There were no international faux pas’ wedged in our collective memories. Twitter was still a place to actually communicate with one another rather than a place of idiocy and shared shame and that the man sitting in the president’s chair wasn’t seen as a fucking nut job by people around the world? Those were heady days unlike today when the current administration has sullied America’s good name and place of respect in the international community. And it is getting worse, much worse.

Remember when we all laughed about the assumption that Trump’s current view on any topic was the one expressed by the last person he talked to? Laugh we did, but the reality is that on most topics of importance that is exactly how he presents himself and his stance on any topic. Now, with the White House gone dark where little or no information on policy or current topics of national and international interest can escape the black hole of Trump’s West Wing lair, he continues to act like all things are normal.

But things are not normal. Press conferences have given way to impromptu pre or post flight “chats” with journalists on the grounds of the White House or some tarmack across the globe. This agenda is good and bad for many reasons. Good because it allows Americans a peek into the mind of a very disturbed individual who just so happens to be the most powerful man in the world. It’s scary but necessary if the electorate will rise up and kick his ass out of the office in the coming election. Bad because it allows Americans a peek into the mind of a very disturbed individual who long ago lost any sane or definable guardrails between sanity and insanity of the most powerful man in the world.

Eric Boehlert’s article in the Daily Kos titled, D.C. media’s dirty little secret: It has no idea what’s happening inside Trump’s White House, lays out just how bad it is for journalists covering the president and the White House,

“Reminder: There is no White House, not in the sense journalists have always used the term,” New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen recently tweeted, hitting on a media critique he has amplified for more than a year. “It’s just Trump—and people who work in the building. The term is still in use because what else are ‘White House’ reporters going to do? But there’s no referent for it. The metonymy broke.”

Rosen’s accurate appraisal pulls back the curtain and reveals that the “White House” that reporters are so busy reporting on and referring to is, at this point, basically a media concoction. It’s a prop that’s being held up because “the White House” is how journalists have always referred to the sprawling West Wing enterprise that powers and supports each American president. Source

This past week has been a particularly bad week for team Trump. As the country weathers his tariff war with China and an ungodly fractured economy that is showing signs of slipping into a possible recession, Trump continues rearranging the Titanic deck chairs and refusing to see that good times are not guaranteed. He knows that the economy is his Achilles heel, yet refuses to take measures to curb the slide. This past week anyone who was ambulatory and able to string three sentences together coherently was out parroting the Republican talking points that the economy was strong, and there is nothing to worry about.

Which brings us to the sycophantic compulsion that has become the Republican’s modus operandi as it continues to support Trump and his administration’s whacked out policies. Trump’s base and the Republican Party are all he has left to fall back on when circumstances head south leaving him exposed to ridicule and derision. One has to wonder about the Republican’s skewed devotion to a man who is literally running the country into the ground. Consider this from a 2017 poll,

A poll found that 52% of people who identify as or lean Republican said they would support postponing the 2020 election to ensure that only eligible citizens could vote if it was proposed by President Trump.

The poll also found that 56% said they would support such action — which would be taken to stop alleged voter fraud — if it was supported by both Trump and Republican members of Congress. USAToday

No one should be surprised by the fact that Trump has turned his attention back onto election fraud (which doesn’t exist to a great degree) as he continues to harp on the fact that he “won” the popular vote in 2016 regardless that statistics show otherwise. This is a sly little trick that he has hit upon, basically laying the groundwork for an election challenge if he loses both the popular vote and the electoral college in the upcoming election. As his numbers continue to tank and his support dwindles, a challenge may be the only way he sees as a means of holding onto the presidency. Seems far fetched with a normal president in the office, but if the past three years have taught us anything, expect the unexpected with Trump and his followers. He and his basket of deplorables are seriously misguided in their belief that they know what is best for this country.

Salon’s Bob Cesca put it this way,

So once again, Trump’s paranoia turns out to be gobbledygook. Yet it doesn’t have to be on-the-level. As long as it feels to his followers like it could be true, and as long as he continuously screams it at his throngs of brainwashed disciples during his rallies, that will be enough to convince millions of voters and more than a few Republican members of Congress to question the results of the 2020 election if Trump loses. Trump is absolutely capable of pulling a stunt like this. In fact, we should prepare ourselves for the very real possibility that he’ll do it.

Don’t forget: If Trump loses, he could face multiple indictments as soon as the new president is inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2021. No one is more aware of that possibility than Trump himself. Salon

Cesca goes on to point out that voter fraud in all of its shapes and form from Voter Id, Gerrymandering, and denial of voting rights to minorities has long been the bailiwick of the Republicans, not the Democrats. Trump is vulnerable and his flank is exposed with the continuous screw ups he and his minions commit almost on a daily basis. He is literally like a wounded animal looking for any out that will save his hide. Expect him to continue down the path of an authoritarian dictator hell bent on keeping power at all costs.

Then, the smoke screen of the week popped out of the Golden One’s mouth. He wants to buy Greenland. Despite Denmark’s vehement and resounding negative reaction that Greenland was not for sale, Trump continued to parlay the scenario that it would be simply another large retail buy, something that he assured his base he was well versed in accomplishing. In reality, Trump is as good a salesman and manipulator of real estate as someone wanting to sell ocean front property in Arizona. It just can’t happen, but the ploy takes heat off of his problems, delights his base who would believe anything he says, and distracts from the real issues at hand.

Oh the places we’ll go.

Living Large In Carson City: The Bitch Edition

Soft skills in the crisis management environment | Steelhenge

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” George Carlin

Last week, I inadvertently missed posting due to a sudden illness. While certainly not life threatening, pneumonia is a bitch of an illness that pretty much takes over one’s personal reality. Consequently, I missed, or rather, ignored from my hospital bed much of what was going on around me in the world of politics and the national government . Things impacted while I was gone. There were three mass shootings, memorials, and Trump grandstanding on an epic scale as he and the First Lady insinuated themselves on Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas in what has come to be seen as one extended trumped up photo op. The optics say it all, as does, the reluctance of victims to be seen associating with the president and the First Lady.  

Rather than try to bridge the chasm of a week’s worth of rehashed Trump fuck ups, I want to address one of my pet peeves as it applies to the American psyche and its effect on life as we know it.

Lunch Shaming Kids

This is a topic that most empathic, sane people would realize has a zero sum gain in the world American education or politics as a whole. In an article by the online newspaper Civil Eats, which explores the American food system on a daily basis, author Nadra Nittle begins her text with this statement,

 Alabama elementary school stamps a child’s arm with the message: “I need lunch money.” A Minnesota school district warns graduating seniors that they will not receive caps and gowns unless their meal debt is paid. A New Hampshire cafeteria worker is fired for serving students with outstanding lunch bills.

Assuming for the moment that these students are not gaming the system, but genuinely do not have the wherewithal to pay for their meals, what profit is gained by shaming the children for their parents inability to pay the nominal charge for a school breakfast or lunch. As Nittle points out, school meals are often the only nourishment many of the children receive during the day. These are not hardened welfare individuals who have lived their entire lives on the public dole, but evolving young beings whose self worth and vision of themselves is fragile at best and exacerbated by a flood of peer pressure and fear of looking dumb or stupid. Who are these people who believe food shaming children is the most positive course of action?

Those of us who live in America away from major urban developments, especially in the eastern United States, have little idea of the circumstances that surround the thorny issue of eating, especially if you are a child. New York City’s Brooklyn/Bed-Stuy neighborhood is a case in point. Most Americans have a passing understanding of the concept of an inner city food desert which succinctly describes the area. Bed-Stuy is neither unique or unprecedented in the way food is presented to the masses. If you are a child, especially a latchkey child, who leaves school and returns home to an unsupervised environment, you have few options for a healthy meal if left to your own devices and the money to afford a purchase.

Fulton Street is the main street that runs east and west through Bed-Stuy. Along a six block section of the street, there are two chicken franchises, two McDonalds, a couple of pizza joints (or more), various Asian themed restaurants, a Burger King, an Applebee’s, and a large grown up food mart that serves the majority of households throughout the area. For most children, fast food is the most logical choice. There are no “7-11s” per se, only bodegas which are the ethnically oriented mom and pop stores that can be found on nearly every corner of the neighborhood. These establishments offer a variety of food options but tend to rotate around cold sandwiches and chips with the occasional hot soup offering in some places.

These circumstances are moot if mom and/or dad (mostly mom) don’t remember or don’t have the money to supply their children extra cash for dinner while they are still away at work. The lucky ones with a few pennies to spend, as they are wont to do, often do not make the wise choices when it comes to food and will spend their money on often less than nourishing options. The most popular hookup sites on Fulton Street anytime after 3pm are the fast food franchises’ parking lots. Fast food chains in inner city environments should be seen as predators who feed on these young people who are victims of their environment and little else.

Consequently, if you are a child lucky enough to receive a school meal, whether you can pay for it or not, the day just got a lot better. The idea that adults would want to shame anyone for eating a meal is simply unacceptable.  As Nittle’s article reveals, many of the free or reduced priced lunch plans are federally subsidized and bypass state funding woes by supplying federal dollars. Still, the system is only as good as those who use it. Parents often don’t get involved in the programs or forget to reauthorize their children’s participation from one semester to the next. Illegal immigrants are often reluctant to fill out forms for programs like the free food initiative due to fear of being exposed, arrested, and deported.

But to shame the children for being hungry is unconscionable.

The acts of shaming that accompany lunch debt may be hard for children to shake, according to Bettina Elias Siegel, a Civil Eats contributor and author of the forthcoming book, “Kid Food: The Challenge of Feeding Children in a Highly Processed World.”

“Children are so aware of differences between kids — whether it’s socioeconomic, popularity, or whatever — that when you engage in any practice expressly meant to set them apart, kids feel that keenly,” Siegel said. “The stigma is real; it’s a really unfortunate tactic.”

She added that lunch shaming also exacerbates existing socioeconomic differences in school cafeterias in which more privileged students can buy a la carte items while their less privileged peers eat standard lunches. Civil Eats

Were it not for a small but concerned subset of the population, lunch shaming would be an epidemic right now. There is something fundamentally wrong with a society that cannot, or refuses to see, the problem here. The physic scars that shaming of any kind produce are indelible and debilitating. Demanding that school lunch programs act as stand alone business entities with no regard for the clientele (children) and their emotional and physical well-being reflects the worst that America has to offer the world. Under the age of Trump, this phenomenon can be understood all to well. Considering the cost of a single trip to Mar-a-Lago runs into the millions of dollars, that money might be better spent in shoring up a child’s daily nourishment, not spent on golf, glitz, and unholy glamour.