Living Large In Carson City:

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” 
― Aldous Huxley

Greetings from the West, Carson City and beyond. Last week was a whirlwind of air flight, subway mayhem, hordes of people, and the screaming yodel of cop cars, the beep, beep, beep of construction equipment backing up, and the general low hubbub of the City That Never Sleeps. Yes, New York, or more specifically the neighborhood of Bushwich in central Brooklyn. I would never call going to NYC a vacation. No, more like an invasion both on the city and on one’s person. Let’s just say, it’s so good to be back home in the Sierras away from miles and miles of Brownstones that block out any hope of seeing the horizon much less the grandeur of Mother Nature. 

Of course, Bob Mueller’s report came out while I was gone, and Bob Barr’s hopelessly ineffectual spin on its contents left much to be desired. Last Thursday, Congress got its chance to see the “redacted” version that sanitized the worse parts of the report but still left Mueller’s intent fairly clear. The mother-fucker, disdainfully called our president, is a low- down shady character who is unfit to serve the nation or the people who live here. We all knew this on some level, but to see Mueller list 10 times when Trump tried to obstruct justice was sobering as it was audacious. 

Over the past two weeks Trump and his minions have engaged in the age old Washington Two Step in an attempt to spin the report in the administration’s favor. Trump has alternately praised the report as an exoneration and proof of no collusion or obstruction when the report first came out then flip-flopping to denial and abusive language over the report when Congress finally got the chance to read and react to the parts that were left basically intact. This morning Trump’s approval rating dropped six points to 37 %. As we have seen time and again, the Republican spin machine, the White House, and his loyal staff are working overtime to put a bit of lipstick on the pig to make things seem rosier than they actually are today. Yet one has to wonder, What next? Tom Toles the insightful Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post editorial cartoonist wrote an opinion piece for the paper and put it this way,

Who knows where we go after the Trump era ends? Maybe the damage will be fixable, and maybe it won’t. What we need to know now is that the Trump era is still waxing, and we are letting it happen. We are dancing the Trump Two-step with him. Do we enjoy his arms encircling us? His moist little hands sliding about our waist? His warm breath and nuzzle on our neck? The lacerations on our forehead from the leading edge of his hair-sprayed chisel wedge of golden hair filaments? Apparently we do. Tom Toles

“Apparently we do . . . ” The old adage “You can’t shit a bullshitter” seems oddly appropriate here. Just when you think Trump is on the ropes, he comes back with a barrage of nonsensical clap trap that twists reality and puts a spin so devastating on the issue at hand that most Americans finds themselves in journalistic punch drunk state of mind that is hard to get past. It incapacitates us for days until the next oh-my-god-did-he-just-do, say, act or assert what I think he did moment when the scenario begins again. 

Honestly, I thought I had heard every outlandish excuse for Trump’s actions from every source that he employs. Then Rudy Giuliani took to the Sunday talk shows and came up with this dunder-headed defense of the man he worships. On Jake Tappers’ State of the Union, Rudy said this,

Giuliani defended the Trump campaign accepting help from Russians by stating, “Any candidate in the whole world in America would take information,” causing Tapper to ask, “From a foreign source? From a hostile foreign source?” Giuliani shot back, “Who said it’s even illegal?”

A few moments later when pressed again by Tapper on a presidential candidate getting help from Russians in the 2016 campaign, Giuliani responded adamantly, “No, no, there’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians! It depends on where it came from.” CNN

Uh, Rudy, it came from Russia. Our sworn enemy. The one that swore to bury us under Nikita Khrushchev. The nation that the United States was embroiled in a Cold War with most of my life. You know Rudy, the country where Vladimir Putin is president. The nation that meddled in our 2016 election and quite possibly helped elect your ass clown friend who is now hell bent on destroying our democracy. The gall of this little gangster is breath-taking. This from a man who was the face of Ground Zero in the days after the 911 attack. Rudy, Rudy, Rudy . . . we hardly knew you. Now, I wish we didn’t.

Inexplicably, when pressed by Tapper, Rudy revealed a bit of the twisted logic he was using to justify his statements. It all goes back to campaign contributions. From the article cited above, Rudy had this to say,

Giuliani then suggested the “dirt” the Russians offered to the Trump campaign would not be considered a “campaign contribution” as defined by federal law. In support, he argued that the Mueller report “says we can’t conclude that [it’s a contribution] because the law is pretty much against that.”

But yet again, Rudy is flying under the reality radar. The article continues

Giuliani is incredibly wrong. First, it’s election law 101 that a federal campaign cannot accept “a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value” from a foreign national.

In fact, the Mueller report explains the rationale for this law, noting that “the United States has a compelling interest in limiting the participation of foreign citizens in activities of democratic self-government, and in thereby preventing foreign influence over the U.S. political process.” CNN

This reminds me of a quote by Neil Gaiman from his book American Gods, (I paraphrase), “The morning came on like a migraine after a three day drunk”. Trump and his crew of merry sociopaths have the country by the balls and are squeezing like the little bitches they are. There really is a syndrome in this country called Trump Fatigue. How much does one have to hear, see, or experience of this administration before people begin to throw their hands up and say “Enough!” And not in a good way. When people get so disgusted they stop paying attention and resisting from the sheer overload of lies, deceit, and Tomfoolery afoot in the country, that is when America is truly fucked. Not just the garden variety of fucked, but serious democracy destroying, life-altering fuckdom of the worst kind. 

Or as Kynna Claire once said, “You can’t keep dancing with the devil and ask why you’re still in hell.”





Living Large In Carson City: The Truth Is What I Say It Is Edition.


Was it last week when Rudy Giuliani  in one of his blabbering, vomit- inducing public statements in support of Trump said, “Truth isn’t the truth”? The sheer enormity of that statement speaks volumes about where America is today and the crisis we face as Americans when it comes to the veracity of  Trump and his merry band of trolls who believe everything he says. I know Giuliani later walked back his statement in an attempt to clarify what he meant to say was more of a he said/she said scenario where truth is relative to the eye of the beholder. This might have been credible if the culture of lies that Trump has promulgated wasn’t all encompassing to the point where nothing is clear that makes the American public believe anything these people say has anything to do with actual truth.

Actually, that isn’t completely true. Up until a couple of months ago, I had no idea the depth of denial and self-delusion the Trumpers have fallen into. Certainly, they were predisposed to embrace someone like Trump. Someone that assuaged their fear of the rising dark masses in the country who threaten to upend the social fabric of the United States where they, the white, older and sometimes racists Trump fans, would be placed behind brown or black people as the new minority. Granted, normal people who embrace the concept of inclusion will find this hard to believe that beyond legitimate hate groups like the alt-right types and your garden variety of racists, haters, and white privileged morons that most Americans embrace the concept of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness as everyone’s right.

Think again. Certainly, all of us know the odd nut job who spouts conspiracy theories, uses derogatory language about non-whites or others who are simply different from them as a matter of everyday conversation. Maybe it is because I was raised in the South or my naivety, but I was more than willing to write those people off as disgruntled and possibly a little “off” if you get my drift. I wrote about this topic recently, but since then, I have been enlightened through my perusal of hard- core conservative websites that, no, the problem is not confined to the odd wack job who comes into my life through family ties or normal social interaction.

Somehow, back in the early summer, I wound up on a conservative website’s email blast. The site, American Update, is no different than any other conservative rumor mill, except that these people are not unguided jerks, but hardcore, dedicated conservatives who will scare the bejesus out of rational thinking people. Actually, the content of their articles are fairly predictable. Right is right and left is bad, bad, bad. Trump is God’s salvation to a white nation that has turned away from the true path, and he will somehow save the nation from eternal damnation by their less than enlightened God.

One caveat: If you happen to find yourself on one of these sites or join a mailing list, they actually breed like fleas. With a week of finding myself on American Update mailing list, several other sites linked to my email address as well. My two favorites of the new editions is the Unfiltered Patriot and the Total Conservative. I say “favorite” on in the sense they are the ones I’ve paid the most attention to lately. The Unfiltered Patriot is an especially rowdy group because it seems in this milieu veterans are especially active and caustic in their comments.

And the comments are really where the real action takes place, not necessarily in the content of the articles that spurs the inevitable debates on the issues. Generally, all of the sites have their go to topics that come up in some form every issue. Hillary should be arrested. Comey should be arrested. Mueller is a spawn of the demon seed. Obama is the worst president to ever hold the office. He’s a Muslim, socialist, soft on crime, and is plotting to take over the world. And so it goes.

The one thing that stands out is the hypocrisy of the posters when a hapless liberal  jumps in and joins the conversation. Many posts begin with rhetorical questions like “Why are liberals always so negative and offensive”, regardless of how logical and reserved they may be (granted some aren’t). The conservatives then begin a tirade that will inevitably devolve into name calling or calling into question the liberal’s morality, ethics, sanity . . . all of which are laced with derogatory comments often vulgar and certainly offensive.

One particular article recently that I was involved in was about Tiger Woods answering the question about how did it feel for Tiger to play golf with Trump. Tiger was non-committal about his feelings politically but said Trump was the president, which to him meant he needed to respect the office, not necessarily the man. Predictably, the comments went off in a different direction. I answered one woman’s comment that Trump was making America great again, a typical go to stance on all of the comment pages. I wrote,

News flash, America is and has always been great. We don’t need Agent Orange to make it great again. The only thing that as made America a shameful memory of what it was before Trump took office is his basket of deplorables who rather sell the country down the drain to hold on to their special white privilege status which they see slowly slipping away into a more diverse and stronger America.

This prompted one gentleman to attack Obama saying he was a Muslim, a whining apologist for his many transgressions, a blamer, a kowtowing radical to terrorist like Iran, critical of American police forces, allusions to the old standby favorite the Fast and Furious debacle, and someone who “wipes” his feet on the Constitution. Trump, of course,  was spending most of his time cleaning up the mess Obama left him. Ending with, of course, Trump is making America great again. Irony seems to be a concept conservatives don’t really understand. The America Obama left Trump to deal with was far better than say the America Bush left Obama when he departed Washington.

So, truth isn’t truth is not so outlandish of a comment after all. The conservatives I read and comment on are average people who obviously care about this country and where it is headed. The only problem is they are also racists, bigots and prone to believe conspiracy theories that most normal people can see through with little or no effort. It’s easy to make fun of them; however, I think progressives who sell these people short are making a serious mistake. Sure, they may be full of shit, but they are if nothing else, dedicated to their beliefs no matter how off the wall or dangerous. These are people who have no compunction about saying they hope a sniper shows up at the next rally and takes care of business. They are dangerous in their ignorance and penchant for violence, even if only in their minds.




Living Large In Carson City: America Ain’t Got Time For That Edition

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This week has been a little frustrating, but fulfilling, as the week unfolded. We had guests who took up most of my waking hours. Consequently, I had to stand back and watch all manner of events, scandals, faux pas’, and the general chaos that our federal government has become under Donald Trump swagger by without comment. Still, I wanted to get something down on record, so I’ve selected several over the top stories that I just cannot let go of in light of their absurdity and poignancy they hold for the American people.

The first story was a Trump Tweet about the Santa Fe High School shooting on Friday. Just north of Galveston, Santa Fe could not be more in Trump’s radar if it was an entrant in the misogynistic Miss America contest. This is after all Trump country. The orange one Tweeted:

“My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools and do everything we can to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others,” Trump said during an event at the White House. “Everyone must work together at every level of government to keep our children safe.”

Yeah? How is that working out for you Donald? After the Parkland, Florida massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, you first seemed to stand up against the National Rifle Association while it was politically correct to do so. It didn’t take long for the NRA powers to yank your chain, and you flipflopped. The most you could come up with was to back the idiotic idea of training and arming school teachers as if they would be able to stop a crazed gunman when trained law enforcement officers could not.

He ends with this placid non-statement:

“We grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack,” he said. “To the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High, we are with you at this tragic hour and we will be with you forever.”

The most redeeming element of this statement is that he didn’t send prayers for their pain and suffering. This man is the king of the sterilized comments which do little if anything to comfort or promote healing during these radically charged emotional times.

Red more here

Then there was that crazy guy white guy Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Alabama). Okay, no one ever accused Brooks of being the brightest bulb in the basket when it comes to climate change, but the shining light of Alabama’s 5th Congressional district truly out did himself this week. If Bill Nye is the Science Guy, Brooks is the Stone Age Guy.

Here is his contribution to solving the climate change crisis and rising sea levels that the world faces:

‘“Brooks then said that erosion plays a significant role in sea-level rise, which is not an idea embraced by mainstream climate researchers. He said the California coastline and the White Cliffs of Dover tumble into the sea every year, and that contributes to sea-level rise. He also said that silt washing into the ocean from the world’s major rivers, including the Mississippi, the Amazon and the Nile, is contributing to sea-level rise.

“Every time you have that soil or rock or whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise, because now you have less space in those oceans, because the bottom is moving up,” Brooks said.

(Moderator) Duffy responded: “I’m pretty sure that on human time scales, those are minuscule effects.”’

The Daily Kos’ blog writer, Hunter, posited that Brooks should also look into boats and whales and how they also displace water, so they too could be a factor. Or most controversial, the Earth is shrinking and is to blame for the sea’s rise around the world. I am fairly certain Hunter was being rhetorical or maybe tongue in cheek. No one, after all, would belittle the august Congressman with trifle comments when his “rock theory” is so well constructed.

Read more here

The question I have on this next story and one all of America is asking: Is Rudy Giualiani high? It would be cruel and unwarranted to simply call Rudy an idiot. Yet, some of the things that comes out of his mouth are truly suspect. Pundits believe that Rudy was a great mayor and possibly a brilliant lawyer at one time, but one has to question why he seems to not understand the underlying issues that are swirling around Donald Trump’s White House these days. The foundation of the United States Constitution places everyone, lying, unscrupulous politicians as well, on an equal footing. Just because someone becomes president does not lift them above the masses and the rule of law. Here Rudy banters with Chris Cuomo on the elite nature of the American presidency, or at least in his mind.

GIULIANI: The president has complete discretion to fire anybody he wants.

CUOMO: What about corrupt intent?

GIULIANI: Doesn’t apply.

CUOMO: Why not?

GIULIANI: There’s no evidence of that.

CUOMO: You don’t think a president can obstruct justice?

GIULIANI: He can. But I think in the case of firing a subordinate who’s going to be replaced by somebody else on an acting basis immediately —

CUOMO: But it’s why you fired them. Corrupt intent. It’s part of the legal analysis.

GIULIANI: It doesn’t matter if in fact it can’t result in anything. The investigation continued. The investigation expanded.

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And just for the fun of it, get a heaping helping of Giuliani metaphorically stomping his foot like a three-year-old child with their feelings hurt.

As Cuomo played the clip, an angered Giuliani screamed, “That’s really unfair. What you’re doing right now is extremely unfair. It’s the reason people don’t come on this show.

Uh, Rudy, you are on the show. See the earlier question about the possibility of his being high.

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Then there is this from the bigoted Hobby Lobby saga that simply won’t go away. Enter Brian Spurlock who returned a circuit cutter to Hobby Lobby for his girlfriend. Armed with the cutter, sales slip and original packaging, Spurlock set about his errand with little more to worry about other than having to deal with the often tediousness task of returning merchandise to a chain store. The first clerk he encountered asked him to step out of line while the clerk went to clear the transaction with his manager.  Here is what happened next:

The cashier returned to Spurlock and told him the manager was calling the store’s corporate office, as if Hobby Lobby has a staff of operators on standby waiting to approve trinket returns. The manager asked Spurlock to step aside and wait while she called Hobby Lobby’s Cricut Emergency Return Squad.

The manager called the police instead. According to the police, the manager thought Spurlock looked like someone who had been returning stolen items to their store.

The police arrived and asked Spurlock for his identification papers. Spurlock was still in the dark thinking checking ID was normal procedure. The cop ran his ID and found nothing. He returned and told Spurlock when he got his refund to immediately leave the store, or he would be charged with trespassing. Huh? Another article stated that Hobby Lobby also accused Spurlock of talking to loudly outside the store.

So, in the course of a few minutes, a seemingly upstanding customer was accused of being “someone” who looked like a mysterious person who returned stolen goods for money, trespassing and finally talking too loud in the parking lot.

The one offense left out of the equation was “returning merchandise while black”. This is one of the most disturbing trends in America today; white people so afraid of anyone that isn’t like them calling the police for no reason but to intimidate and harass people only for the color of their skin.

The Hobby Lobby manager’s response to Spurlock query on why the police were called?

 “We were only following orders from our upper management.”


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