Living Large in Carson City:

Note: This was an unfinished blog post that was trite and out of date before I finished it.

“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan

One has to wonder just what Trump hopes to achieve with his comical assault on the American judicial system, and his onslaught of court filings to invalidate the 2020 presidential electoral process. At this point in early December with a 1 and 39 record of wins to losses, not even he can hold out hope for a turnaround. Yet, his clown posse of lawyers led by Rudy Giuliani continue to file away hoping against hope that something sticks, and the golden path to the Supreme Court suddenly appears as a shining yellow brick road to a successful appeal, any appeal, that will change the outcome.   

It won’t. He knows it. America knows it. We should never forget that Trump is the Energizer Bunny of the  Grift, and nothing is at it seems. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the bogus court cases brought by the hyper rabid lawyers like Giuliani and Sidney “Release the Kraken” Powell are little more than smoke screen builders in a much larger game plan. They have been entrusted with whipping the masses into the proverbial frenzy to keep alive the malignant virus of Trumpism as the president and his minions layout an even more devious plot behind the scenes. 

When the final disputed state election was certified this week, giving Biden and insurmountable win, common sense would dictate even the most fervent forever Trump Republican would stand down and accept the inevitable. Yet, the opposite appears more likely than the one based on common sense. Republicans are reluctant to stand up and openly condemn the president’s actions, possibly fearing some twist of fate that might actually allow him to stay in office. The party leadership shows no signs of changing course as evidenced by their will to keep the status quo. It seems obvious that Phase I of Trump’s plan to subvert democracy is quickly coming to an end with an even darker game plan about to be put into effect. 

Let’s play the Pardon Game. This past week Trump did what many thought was inevitable when he pardoned serial liar Michael Flynn. Flynn not only lied, but admitted he lied before taking back his confession, and Attorney General William Barr withdrew charges against him. Flynn not only lied but worked with Russian operatives to subvert the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. It is obvious at this point that Flynn was taking the rap for Trump and his administration to keep the president’s name and character out of the headlines. Last week’s pardon was simply payback on the president’s part to a loyal foot soldier who did his job and now wants to come in from the cold. 

Yet, as many things in the Universe of Trump, normal rules don’t apply. Most people staring into years of incarceration in Leavenworth, but who had dodged the bullet of lying to the FBI and playing footsies with the Russians, would fold their tents and scuttle off into the darkness never to be heard of again. However, these are not “normal” times, and these are not patriots of the Republic. Today, Flynn tweeted a press release that became a full page advertisement in the Washington Times from the  Ohio-based “We The People Convention” calling for Trump to declare limited martial law and hold a new election under the scrutiny of the U.S. military. He joins other military personnel like retired Air Force three-star general Thomas McInerney who  also recently called for martial law. Troubling, no?

Additionally, like any good Greek tragedy chorus, there are the voices that linger beyond the din and supply their own measure of heinous opportunism.

Living Large In Carson City:

Note: This was an unfinished blog post that was trite and out of date before I finished it.

Democracy is four wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Ambrose Bierce

I am returning after a brief hiatus and recovery from the 2020 fall semester which, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, turned what was a normal semester into a genuine nightmare of epic proportions. Suffice it to say, it was not a pretty time for anybody – students or professors. 

Today is Tuesday, January 5, 2021 – election day in the Georgia runoff that will decide the fate of our democracy for at least the next two years if not for decades to come. Tomorrow, at least 11 Senators and 100 to 140 Representatives (the numbers keep changing) will vote not to approve Joe Biden’s certification as president elect in an election that by any measure (other than Trump and his basket of deplorables) is seen as a landslide by rational observers. Biden won the Electoral College by 306-232, and his certification should be a pro forma event under normal circumstances. “Normal circumstances” refers to all the years before 2016 before Trump took possession of the presidency and systematically began dismantling democracy as we know it. 

I won’t attempt to write anything about the circumstances we face over the next two days. If you are alive and breathing, intubated or not, and are of moderate intelligence and awareness, all you have heard over ever facet of the media since November 3 deals with this problem ad nauseum. Trump is flopping around in his own little world of denial while his supporters in Congress are like moneys trying to climb a flag pole. The higher they get; the more of their asses they show to the nation. Is this really what Trump meant when he coined the phrase “Make America Great Again?”

The question on many people’s minds is will Trump and the wayward Congress women and men and his rabid following be held responsible for their actions against the government and America in general. Sedition and insurrection can be looked at as synonymous in this case. A free legal dictionary on online defines sedition as “sedition is the crime of revolting or inciting revolt against government. However, because of the broad protection of free speech under the First Amendment, prosecutions for sedition are rare.” The same website defines insurrection as “insurrection (as) a rising or rebellion of citizens against their government, usually manifested by acts of violence. Under federal law, it is a crime to incite, assist, or engage in such conduct against the United States. West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2.” One has to wonder if any of Trump’s followers or supporters understand the fine line they are walking with lengthy jail sentences lapping at their backsides. 

———-  Thursday January7

Living Large In Carson City:

Note: This was an unfinished blog post that was trite and out of date before I finished it.

“Every time a stupid politician says something stupid, you don’t have to reply to him, because it is nonsense to shoo every barking dog away!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

The Free Dictionary defines “dog and pony show” as a display, demonstration, or exhibition of something one is selling. (As a circus act where trained dogs leap onto and off trained ponies.)” America was offered up one of the most egregious displays of this idiom when the Republicans held their convention to nominate Donald Trump for a second term for the presidency. Breathtaking in its skew of reality, presentation of endless lies, totally devoid of understanding irony (Ivanka Trump: “I recognize that my father’s communication style is not to everyone’s taste, but the results speak for themselves) and so much more there isn’t space to catalog it all.

I’ve been doing some serious thinking about what all this means to America. The one question I keep asking myself is “How did America sink so low to support a grifter and con man for president of the United States?” Regardless of the answer, I would bet there are a lot of lifelong Republicans who voted the party line in 2016 who are having second thoughts today. With America recording its six millionth case of Covid-19, and many, many deaths to come, how can anyone still support Trump. It boggles the mind. CNN broadcast this little piece of wisdom about Trump’s acceptance speech in the White House Rose Garden as reported by Crooks and Liars:

WOLF BLITZER: Jim Acosta, first to you. What do you hear about the lack of social distancing. 2,000 people sitting very close and most of them were not wearing masks.

JIM ACOSTA: That’s right, wolf. We heard a lot of gaslighting and we experienced maybe some super-spreading. I talked about all these people, hundreds of people sitting side by side in the audience, not wearing masks and a Senior White House official brushed off concerns about lack of social distancing.

This quote might blow you away. “Everybody is going to catch this thing eventually.” C&L (my emphasis)

Well, yeah, but do we have to? If this quote is the official White House stance one the pandemic, a lot of things are understandable, not sane, but understandable. It makes sense really. Trump’s lack of initiative on getting out ahead of the pandemic, his refusal to advocate and take personal measures to protect himself and others can be explained away through the quote above. Again, the only word I can come up with to explain it is mind boggling.

The only comic relief in all of this is how Trump seems to sliding off the deep end and the results would be hilarious if the stakes weren’t so high. Recently, he opined how a plane headed for Washington was populated with men in black headed to the nation’s capital to do nefarious deeds. He later changed his story saying the men were leaving Washington headed to parts unknown. It’s hard to say if these shadowy thugs completed their mission in D.C. before they left or not.

Honestly, I can’t figure Trump out. He continues to do the thing that is least likely to give him even a chance to win reelection. In the last few days, actually since the thugs on a plane conspiracy, he has racked up some real doozies. His disdain and lack of support for our men and women in the armed services has gone viral. He continues to push for the opening of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling companies. His campaign has unleashed an attack on Joe Biden for going to church and visiting the gravesite of his son. Hilariously, he said he never attacked John McCain and called him a loser for being captured in Vietnam despite video tapes showing him doing so. His administration is pushing for an untested vaccine for the Covid virus despite warning from the professionals who should know better. He . . . oh why bother. The man is a walking contradiction without a rudder or a cognitive scintilla of brainpower to make right decisions.

Yet, he continues to shaft the country by raking in untold amounts of cash to his Trump properties at the expense of the American public. His golf trips alone could keep a small third world dictator in power for years. This Forbes article spells out just how much Trump’s golfing cost us as of 2019, and the projected cost of four more years if he is reelected.

While all of Trump’s properties have benefitted from his presidency, no place has benefitted more than Trump’s International Hotel in Washington, DC . In an exhaustive article on the swill and the swine that belly up to the hotel’s many bars, Mother Jones revealed that for someone who claims to be a financial genius his common sense and business acumen were certainly lacking considering the deal he signed onto with the General Services Administration (GSA).

When the GSA solicited bids for the property in 2011, Trump offered the agency a higher rent payment than any of his rivals, according to one of those competitors. And his company pledged $200 million to renovate the Old Post Office, $170 million of which was lent by the good folks at Deutsche Bank. . .

Trump committed to pay the GSA $250,000 a month over a 60-year lease, with possible rent increases pegged to the Consumer Price Index. And if undisclosed revenue thresholds were met, the GSA would receive additional payments from Trump, starting at 3 percent of the profits for the first 10 years of the lease and increasing by 0.5 percentage points for five decades thereafter.

The GSA has said the projected room rate for all bidders on the project averaged $626 a night. But to recoup its massive investment, the Trump Organization needed to charge at least $750 a night on average, industry experts calculated, according to the Washington Post.

Mother Jones

After signing the deal, industry consensus was that the hotel could not turn a profit because of the high rental price of the rooms.

The problem Trump faced in October of 2016 (a month before the election) was that he had six loans totalling $479 million coming due over the next four years.

Living Large In Carson City: It’s A New Day Edition

“You cannot change what you are, only what you do.”― Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

As most of you who read my blog know, I’ve been absent from the blogshere for sometime now. My last post was Nov. 2 just before the election. Over the past year, I had an increasingly hard time keeping up with events that seemed to flood the air waves as Donald Trump and his minions continuously changed the public narrative daily. At the time I would start writing a submission which would normally take two to three days to complete given my teaching schedule. Time after time, I would begin a blog only to find it irrelevant or outdated by the time I finished. During those last days of the Trump debacle, every day would bring a new revelation or a more scandalous event that trumped what I began to write only a few days before. I was deleting more posts to the trash can than I was posting.

While current events have slowed marginally, but with nut jobs like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kevin McCarthy, and yes, even Trump, not by much. My older posts ran between 1100 and 1300 words, really not that much, but to try to identify a theme and write about it was nigh unto impossible with the rapidly changing narratives that was part and parcel of Trump’s insanity. It seems futile at best and downright presumptuous of me to think I was in any way relevant. Consider what happened after Nov. 2. Trump lost the election, but refused to concede and flew into a idiotic fit of bile and rage as he and his faithful followers filed law suits, cited the Kraken, pushed Georgia election officials to the brink of distraction, and generally spread mayhem and discord among his followers. This all came to a head with the Jan. 6 insurrection when his followers goaded on by Rudy, Trump, Jr., Michael Flynn, and the great Orange One himself rallied hundreds of supporters to storm the U. S. Capitol as a certification vote was being cast for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ election as president and vice president of the nation.

Now, we have the spectacle of the Republicans eating their own as they have attempted to oust Liz Cheney from her role as the third highest ranking member of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives. As the days unfolded, half of the Republican representatives gave Marjorie Taylor Green a standing ovation for acts like denying school shootings, calling for the assassination leading Democrats in Congress, and your general nut job beliefs about 911, Jews with lasers, and so much more. I refuse to chronicle Ron Johnson (R Wis) and his off the wall made up lies and falsehoods. There are simply too many, and honestly, I don’t think he is worth the time or effort.

So, I’ve decided to change the way present my blog in light of the ever-changing news landscape. Rather than try to cover everything under the face of the sun, I am thinking of coming up with three or four categories that will repeat. I always liked the Wackodoodle of the Week category. Let’s face it; if I can make it lighter, we will all feel better. I suppose Scandal of the Week would be a good category. I would like to avoid using the word Trump ever again, but it appears he will be around for a while until he is convicted and sentenced to a long prison term. Of course, Don, Jr., Eric, Ivanka and Jared will either fall under the Wackodoodle or Scandal categories. I don’t know why I revel in the German custom of schadenfreude, but with the above mentioned yokels, how can I help myself. I will be working on coming up with a couple of more. Suggestions are welcomed.

I really want to thank everyone that has read my posts in the past. We have to stick together in this shit storm that Donald made along with the Covid disaster. More coming soon . . .