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: 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: There Is No Honor Among Thieves Edition


“You put the small thief in prison, but the big thief lives in a palace.” 
― Graham Greene, Orient Express

In early May Jerry Falwell. Jr., son of the legendary televangelist Jerry Falwell, Sr., president of Liberty University, and over-the-top evangelical Trump supporter, tweeted the cockamamie idea that Trump should get a two year “do over”. This would be as payback for the time lost in his first term due to the “failed corrupt coup” of Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into wrong doings of the Trump election committee in the 2016 presidential race. Plagued by his own shady past due to the revelation by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, of the existence (possibly destroyed) of incriminating sex photos, Falwell’s credibility is somewhat sketchy at best these days. Of course, Trump loved the idea.

This was not the first time Trump pined for special treatment in his presidency. All of America remembers his off the cuff,  pseudo-joking remark about China’s leader,  Xi Jinping, when he heard the China strongman had been designated”president for life”,

 President Trump told donors on Saturday that China’s president, Xi Jinping, was now “president for life,” and added: “I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll want to give that a shot someday.” NYTimes

Trump’s reckless penchant to grab as much power for himself as possible can be seen  played out on a number of fronts as the 2020 campaign begins in earnest. His administration, under his guidance, has consistently tried to weaken Congress’s power for oversight over the past several months. By telling present and former employees that they shouldn’t appear and/or testify before Congressional committees, some in the face of federal subpoenas, he has set himself above an important branch of the government. The fight will resume in the third branch , the Judiciary, for the remainder of his last two years in office.

Americans, most notably Trump supporters, have to face the facts and come to grips with Trump’s current stumble toward dictatorship. The country has never seen a president with such a corrupt nature who gleefully thumbs his nose at the conventions of American Democracy and places all of the world in serious danger. His shameless performance this past weekend in Japan is a case in point. In remarks to reporters, he sided with the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, who bashed Trump’s presidential rival candidate, Joe Biden. These are only symptoms of a much larger and darker threat to the American way of life. Here is a sample,

“Kim Jong-Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low IQ individual. He probably is based on his record. I think I agree with him on that,” Trump said. ABC News

Regardless of the veracity of the statement, true or not, cheap shots are beneath the office of the presidency as Biden made clear in his response to the attack. Yet, Trump acts as if there are no rules that apply to him in the way he conducts his presidency. When called out on audacious comments or actions, he simply lies and moves on to the next embarrassing blunder de jour.

So, America has to ask is Trump sliding toward dictatorship in slow motion, rather than through a violent coup. Some officials in government and in the news media believe the worst is inevitable if 2020 does not turn out to his liking and his supporters rise up to keep him in power. Americans have seen Trump’s idea of an ideal administration played out through the excesses of his dismal choices for important offices in government. How many partisan hacks have left under dubious circumstances over the past two years or have been indicted and convicted and are serving sentences in prison. Regardless, Trump seems to be operating as if he and his minions are above the law. In an article in The Atlantic, David Frum summed up Trump’s action with a quote from a colleague when he wrote,

As one shrewd observer told me on a recent visit, “The benefit of controlling a modern state is less the power to persecute the innocent, more the power to protect the guilty.” The Atlantic

Or as Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un’s father, said to justify the scathing remarks of leaders worldwide who took exception to his erratic behavior,

I’m the object of criticism around the world, but I think that since I am being discussed, I am on the right track.

Turing again to the Japan fiasco, this headline came across the wire this morning, White House Wanted USS John McCain ‘Out of Sight’ During Trump Japan Visit: U.S. military officials worked to ensure President Trump wouldn’t see the warship that bears the name of the late senator, a frequent target of the president’s ire from the less than liberal Wall Street Journal. Trump denied any involvement in the story, but the WSJ points to copies of emails sent to Naval commanders before Trump’s inspection of the fleet moored at a port outside Tokyo. Even if Trump was completely out of the loop, the incident raises serious questions about the fragility of Trump’s ego if his administration took preemptive steps,

“. . . to avoid offending an unpredictable president known for holding a grudge, including a particularly bitter one against McCain.”  Wall Street Journal

Such drastic measures should only be used to placate a madman, or more appropriately, a dictator who cannot face criticism or any act that undermines their projected abject authority over their fiefdom. It is becoming increasingly apparent that Trump sees himself and his presidency as above the law and not subject to restraints that other presidents who came before him endured.

The thing that is truly incomprehensible to me is the Republican enablers that are willing to turn a blind eye to Trump’s disregard for the Constitution, rule of law, the sanctity of the office of the presidency, and a whole raft of other transgressions he commits on a daily basis. Is the hunger for power and the need to keep American white men in control so alluring that they are willing to dismantle the government and cede American exceptionalism on the world stage and American’s freedoms at home? To anyone paying attention, Trump’s administration is little more than a sham. One that exploits, not the Democrats, but the clueless followers that represent his basket of deplorables.

In WWII the Germans favored a military strategy called blitzkrieg. The term means a quick and surprising attack meant to gain immediate success. Americans have seen the political equivalent of this tactic throughout Trump’s presidency since day one. It began with the election outcome when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a margin of 300,000 votes and Trump’s claim it was it was due to voter fraud. Or who can forget Sean Spicer’s dubious parroting of his bosses assertion of the inauguration crowd size as,

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” Spicer said.

Since those early heady days of this administration, it has been one thing after another. Remember Trump and his dark prince, Stephen Miller’s, first travel ban? Or his accusation that the press is the enemy of the people? Or Trump’s incessant campaign rallies which have become little more than blazing conflagrations that he gleefully pours gasoline on to gin up his followers ire? All of his attacks, both political and personal, are meant to keep his opponents’ attention scattered and unfocused, while behind the scenes, he has methodically dismantled our Constitution and historical way of life.

These are the acts of a madman or dictator, or both. One leader, a metaphorical political fellow traveler of Trump’s, Saddam Hussein, put it this way,

“Politics is when you say you are going to do one thing while intending to do another. Then you do neither what you said nor what you intended.”

Let freedom ring.

Living Large In Carson City: A Republican With Convictions Edition

Fearful guy.png

In a democracy, you believe it or not.

In a dictatorship, you believe it or else. Evan Esar

This weekend saw something occur that for the past two years has been out of this nation’s reality. No, women did not gain control over the right to choose. The nation’s farmers did not gain a voice in the tariff wars. Steve Mnuchin didn’t have a change of heart and released the president’s tax returns for the past six years. And no, Mitch McConnell didn’t resign his position as leader of the Senate in shame and ignominy. Besides being liberals fondest wet dream, none of those happened.

What did happen was Republican Representative Justin Amash, (R, MI 3rd district) dragged himself out of the swamp that Trump built and defied the Holy Orange One by stating unceremoniously that Trump lied, Attorney General Barr misrepresented the facts of the Mueller investigation, and that the president is guilty of obstruction of justice as laid out in the Mueller investigation. Amash pointedly states few Republicans bothered to read Mueller’s findings. First elected to Congress in 2011, up until this weekend, this darling of the Tea Party has more or less toed the party line voting 62% of the time with Trump supported issues. Yet, through his careful reading and interpretation of the redacted Mueller report, he came to this conclusion,

People who say there were no underlying crimes and therefore the president could not have intended to illegally obstruct the investigation—and therefore cannot be impeached—are resting their argument on several falsehoods: — Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 20, 2019

That is a pretty way of saying Barr, Trump, and the feckless GOP are lying or are just too lazy to read the full report, think for themselves, and come up with the obvious conclusion Amash came to almost immediately. Let that sink in. A staunch conservative read the Mueller report and came to the same conclusion as the Democratic Party regarding Mueller’s findings. There was no exoneration. There was no witch hunt. There were only facts and the condemning assumptions that came along with the report.

As America has come to expect, the unholy backlash against Amash has been overwhelming, constant, and not just a little crazy inspiring in the president. Of course, Trump’s reaction was expected. His response has been brutal, cowardly, and without merit. Americans have come to expect bellicosity and outrage as the go-to emotional Trump response. Amash stood up to the leader of his party and seriously put in question his own reelection in the 2013 primary. Indeed, a primary challenger stepped up immediately after Amash’s Tweet and has been given the thumbs up Trump and his minions.

No, Trump’s response has been nothing out of the ordinary. His modus operandi in any situation where someone stands up to his bullying has been to hit back . . . hard and to continue with a kamikaze like attack strategy not unlike America saw against Stormy Daniels, James Comey, Mueller, Michael Kohn, and a laundry list of cabinet members who had the temerity to speak truth to Trump’s false power. Amash obviously expected the president’s reaction and has doubled down in a series of Tweets clarifying his assertions made a few days ago.  From The Hill,

Amash argued it would be inaccurate to say “there were no underlying crimes” revealed by Mueller’s investigation, that obstruction of justice requires an underlying crime, that the president should be allowed to use any means to end a so-called frivolous investigation, and that the threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors” requires actual criminal charges.

While the unlikely hero of the day, Amash, and Trump participate in the hissy fit du jour, the Republican Party has sat back and thoughtfully contemplated the situation, weighing the veracity of both sides of the argument . . . not! In what has become an incomprehensible pattern, Republican Senators and Representatives alike have turned over on their backs, kicking their heels in the air and crying crocodile tears while they loudly call foul. These are supposedly intelligent, educated men and women, many of whom are lawyers themselves, but choose to turn their back on the rule of law and continue to support a man who has essentially tossed the Constitution out the window to suit his whims and fancies.

Here is just a sample,

In the 48 hours that followed Amash’s intervention, the five-term libertarian was rebuked by the president, dismissed by Republican colleagues and challenged from the right in his district.

Trump said he was “never a fan” of the congressman he called “a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy”.

Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, accused him of “parroting the Democrats’ talking points on Russia”. Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, questioned if he was truly a Republican. The Guardian

Quick to circle the wagons and condemn anyone who criticizes the president, Republicans have effectively abrogated their power and sullied their oath of office to placate a man who’s questionable morality and grasp on reality is questioned by  many Americans. A majority of Americans do not approve of the president’s tenure in office, yet this fact seems to escape the vast majority of Republicans. One former Republican and Trump critic, Jennifer Rubin, has harsh words for her former party and its members. She wrote shortly after the avalanche of criticism of Amash began. She wrote in a column for The Washington Post,

So we return to the question that vexes NeverTrumpers and Democrats: Why are Republicans such quivering sycophants, willing to lie and debase themselves in support of an unpopular president who is repudiating many of the principles they have spent their lives advancing? The Washington Post

In answer to her question, she comes up with three distinct “categories” of Republicans and for the reasons they justify their support for Trump. Rubin calls the first group the “cynics”. These are Republicans who know Trump is not up to the job but see an opportunity to get as many Republican “wins” as possible as in federal judgeships, lower taxes, and the opportunity to “bolster their resumes” by having been a part of the Trump presidency.

Her second category is really a pitiable group who fear that if they cross Trump they will lose their jobs either in government or in the public sphere in terms of “think tanks, right-wing media, donors, . . . No plum lobbying gigs, Fox contributorships for them” Rubin writes. They fear “ostracism would ruin them financially and personally”, so they swallow what little pride they have and make a deal with the devil to ensure on some level they retain their tarnished bona fides.

Finally, Rubin points to the a vast category that may be the worst of the lot, “cranks and haters”. This group includes the deplorables, white nationalists, the ultra conservatives and a vast majority of white people willing to push the limits of the Constitution to ensure they retain a rapidly shrinking place in an ever-increasingly diverse America. An America they believe seems to be leaving them behind in favor of brown and black people, non-Christians, people of different sexual orientations, and others who aren’t like them. You have to admire Rubin’s prescient insight into the party she supported for years, but in the end, had to admit little resembles the one she knew in the past. Her assessment of Amash is both admirable and spot on.

Beyond the optics and delight liberals take in seeing the president brought down a notch by one of his own, Amash as done something that Republicans and not a few Democrats are wont to do: Stand on principle and defend the Constitution which is under attack by this administration. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Shumer have “rational” arguments against impeaching the president, arguing without Republican support impeachment would be dead in the water in the Senate.

This is hard to argue against, but when coupled with the all assault on Congress’s lawful task of oversight, that argument will eventually have to be overcome and impeachment follow unless things change. No American wants to see the country go through the impeachment process; it’s a nasty, soul-killing event that does the country no good. However, sometimes, bad apples have to be culled, or chance losing the entire crop. Amash’s stance, as brave and laudatory that it is, probably will not start a movement in the Republican Party to stand up to Trump. Yet, it is a chink in what was once a formidable cloak Trump surrounded himself in for the last two years. One has to wonder how far down the rabbit hole America slides before men and women of conscience say no more.

Living Large In Carson City: Padraig Deignan: Democracy is the counting of heads, not what’s in them! Edition


Bread and circuses” (or bread and games; from Latinpanem et circenses) is a figure of speech, specifically referring to a superficial means of appeasement. As a metonymic, the phrase is attributed to Juvenal, a Roman poet active in the late first and early second century AD — and is used commonly in cultural, particularly political, contexts.

In a political context, the phrase means to generate public approval, not by excellence in public service or public policy, but by diversion, distraction or by satisfying the most immediate or base requirements of a populace[1] — by offering a palliative: for example food (bread) or entertainment (circuses).

Juvenal, who originated the phrase, used it to decry the selfishness of common people and their neglect of wider concerns.[2][3][4] The phrase implies a population’s erosion or ignorance of civic duty as a priority. Source

Here we are at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. It’s been a whirlwind ride with few highs and ever increasing lows. This is the year that future generations will mark as the beginning of the cracking of our democracy by the Donald Trump and his merry, but rabid, ban of deplorabbles. When Hillary first made the “basket of deplorables” comment, I literally and figuratively cringed. I feared she was exacerbating an already undeniable truth – people just didn’t like her and alienating Trump’s base was not the wisest political path she could have chosen.

I was wrong. Trump’s base has proven themselves time after time to be a pack of scoundrels, misfits, and emotionally and intellectually dead individuals, and it is only getting worse. The quote about bread and circuses above has come to fit this administration’s modus operandi to a tee. Today, however, our bread and circus are the world wide web coupled with Twittter as the arena and sensationalism and dishonesty  (fake news) the bread that people feed on daily.  In these opening days of the new year, America needs to come to grips with the reality that our democracy is broken and fixing it is going to take a lot of harsh decisions and more than a little gumption to get us through to the other side.

On the bright side, the Democrats take control of the House on January 3 bringing with them a ray of hope that the Orange One will finally find a modicum of supervision, but with Trump in the mix, who knows how that will work out. Frankly, I have serious doubts about both major political parties doing anything but line the pockets of their donors and the large corporations that control our political system. Still, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to take an optimistic view in these blogs, rather than the doomsday approach I’ve taken often in the past. In my defense . . . they made me do it.

Having said that, as bad as the Democrats have the potential of being, they are far more positive and rational than what is now the Republican Party, which has for all practical purposes, abdicated control of the party to the House Freedom Caucus led by former Tea Party members and ultra conservative House newcomers. While few in number, some estimates list its membership in the mid-thirties, as a block, they have tremendous sway on the outcome of legislation and the actions of the president. It was the Freedom Caucus along with Anne Couture and Rush Limbaugh who put the screws to Trump when he capitulated to the Democrats and a portion of his own party in December that passed a bill to avoid the current government shutdown. Trump’s reversal of course was meant to appease his base, of which, the Freedom Caucus can be counted.

American linguist, philosopher, historian, political activist, and social critic, Noam Chomsky (Video Transcript), makes an even bolder claim about the current condition of the political system and those who are involved in determining the life of Americans when he stated,

I’ve said sometimes, what’s considered an utterly outrageous comment, that today’s Republican Party is the most dangerous organization in human history. Sounds outrageous, but think about it for a moment. I mean, Hitler didn’t intend to destroy the prospects for human existence; Attila the Hun didn’t intend that – nobody has. But that’s what these guys intend, and it’s not ignorant, uneducated you know, religious fundamentalists [or] whatever you want to blame people. These are the most educated, sort of best supported people in the world, and they’re doing this eyes opened because you make more profit tomorrow. It’s hard to imagine anything like it. Source

In the fog of our current cultural war, I think it is easy to single out Trump and place the majority of blame for the current democratic crisis we find ourselves in today. Yet, reread the “bread and circus” quote at the top of the page. Then consider this from Chomsky’s video above,

Trump’s role is to ensure that the media and the public attention are always concentrated on him. So every time you turn on a television set: Trump; open the front page of the newspaper: Trump. And in order to maintain, he’s a conman, basically a showman, and in order to maintain public attention, you have to do something crazy, otherwise nobody’s gonna pay attention to you. . .  In the background, the wrecking crew is working Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, [and] the guys in the Cabinet who write his executive orders.

What they are doing is systematically dismantling every aspect of government that works for the benefit of the population. . . I mean, anything you can think of
is being dismantled and all efforts are being devoted, kind of almost with fanaticism
to enrich and empower their actual constituency which is super wealth, and corporate power; who are delighted. Source

A simple Google search will turn up a litany of real accomplishments the Republicans have achieved while the rest of us have been watching Trump scream “Squirrel” including both his base and those who oppose his actions. Read any number of outlets that have tracked Trump’s nefarious behind-the-scenes machinations. Anthony Zurcher’s, Ten Ways Trump Has Changed America, he wrote for BBC News is a typical compilation. While most of America has been sitting quietly around the nation, either wallowing in Trump’s craziness or grumbling about his ineptitude, the bread and circus continues.

Complicating the situation even more are the misconceptions that all American have about what it is to live, work, and die in America.  Basically, America is run on myths. Myths about our freedom, our rights, our national consciousness. Keeping us believing these myths is the job of the elites, social media, and the corporate ruling structure. Read American Society Would Collapse If It Weren’t for These 8 MythsThe author, Lee Camp, systematically dismantles our foolish beliefs that all Americans hold dear including our democracy, voting/electoral system, consumerism, truth about the media, and on an on. It isn’t pretty how we have been led to this point in our nation’s history. This has been an ongoing train wreck that survives only because it is so much better here in the United States than in other less fortunate parts of the world. But every train wreck has its end, and America is perilously close to that point.

Chomsky uses the Doomsday Clock put out by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to measure just how badly America has slumped though the ages up until December 2017. He wrote,

They (scientists) just moved it to 2 minutes to midnight. That’s where it was in 1953 when the U.S., and later the USSR, exploded thermonuclear weapons which were, could totally destroy the world. It went to 2 minutes, now it’s back to 2 minutes, and that’s the Republican Party. [They’re] the ones who are running the country and dominating the world. There’s never been a situation like this. Bulletin

So much for my morphing into an optimistic man full of joy and wonder. As long as Trump is in the White House and long after he is gone, we will face this existential crisis until Americans wake up and take their destinies seriously in light of rising greed, lack of empathy, and give up on political correctness to reshape America into something different. A nation of laws and governance that takes both the environment and individual liberties into consideration would be a far cry from our situation in the opening days of 2019. Happy fucking New Year.

Living Large In Carson City: Every American’s Vote Counts . . . Hopefully Edition


Over the past three days, I received probably 40 or 50 emails urging me not to forget to vote. Others, like the Sierra Club and the odd statewide political organizations, go so far as to “text” me their exhortations of not to forget to visit my polling place. When I reply that I voted two weeks ago, they text back and ask me to contact all my friends and urge them not to forget to vote. As if . . .

It is probably not an understatement to say this is one of the most important elections of most of our lifetimes. This doesn’t mean that people will not stop posting in “hair on fire/the sky is falling” texts and posts that the End Times looms large come Wednesday if the vote doesn’t go our way. Of course, “our way” depends on what part of the political arena you find yourself in these dark days of Trump’s presidency. Leo Dicaprio and Brad Pitt made this video to express their concern, which are basically that of the Democratic Party. There thoughts and expression of concern are welcome and should give everyone something to think about as Tuesday looms large in all of our lives.

The Evangelicals view the midterm elections as damn near the approach of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse if you listen to their over-the-top assessments of what will happen if the vote goes south leaving them knee deep in liberal bullshit. Matt Shea, an über conservative Washington state legislator,  has been caught floating the idea of a biblical war if opponents win the day and snatch control out of Trump’s tiny hands. His thoughts verge on the bizarre,

” . . . Shea has gone on the offensive, posting a video last week in which he charged that his critics are using a “Maoist insurgency model” and “political warfare” to discredit him and others like him “that love the Constitution, that love America, that love God and Jesus Christ, as somehow being racist hatemongers.” He said he expected “more of these attacks to ramp up as the counter-state realizes it’s beginning to lose this upcoming election.” Right Wing Watch

Calls for a biblical war are not uncommon in these times of barking dogs and faux wanna’ be Christian politicians cloaked in the word of God. Take Dutch Sheets, a self-proclaimed prophet of God who holds “pray ins” to help bolster the nefarious goals and proclamations of the Orange One. Sheets has a proclivity of outlandish statements about the church and the people who make up its followers. Here is a summation of his egotistical view of just who Christians are in America today,

Sheets is a dominionist who has long taught that the church—the ekklesia—is meant to be a governing body legislating God’s will on earth. He teaches that God doesn’t need “namby-pamby” Christians but warriors who are willing to seize the country for God. A major theme of this week’s prayer session was that America has a national destiny to promote Christianity—and that Christians need to wage spiritual and political war against the forces of darkness that have corrupted the nation’s soul:

“It requires the heart of a warrior. It requires an understanding of ekklesia—that we are more than the body of Christ. We’re more than the family. We’re more than the bride. We’re His government. We’re His army. We’re His soldiers. We’re His ambassadors.”   Right Wing Watch

Separation of Church and State aside, these wackos have the ear of the president of the United States whose amoral lifestyle begs the question how can “men of God” stand by and support such a clear example of a tainted reprobate.

A more honest, yet unlikely, proponent of the classic dog whistle – Democrats Bad-Trump Good = Democrats Evil God-Haters is that classic example of modern day folk wisdom Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame (yeah, I know. Try not to laugh). Why anyone  would give this guy a second thought as to his insight on anything is beyond me, but that does not stop him. Here is his view on the election and those awful Democrats,

“This particular election, this cycle, this is the most important one I’ve seen since I’ve been on the earth,” Robertson said. “Say what you will about Mr. Donald J. Trump, but I have no argument or no negative things to say about his policies. I think he’s been a wonderful president, so far.”

“I just think we ought to look at both groups,” Robertson recommended, citing a passage from the book of Romans. “Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gives them over to a reprobate mind. They’re full of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They’re God-haters, slanders, gossips. They’re insolent, arrogant, boastful, senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.” Right Wing Watch

It is worth the time to listen to the entire short video to see Robertson in is prophet of God imitation, long beard and self-righteous demeanor to see just how morally bankrupt he comes across attacking the opposition. Suffice it to say, Evangelicals have an ulterior motive beyond winning the House and Senate this time around.

Of course, what the rest of America thinks about the election tomorrow pales in comparison when put up against the president’s view of the results to come. Trump seems to have lost his mind over the immigration issue, or at least what few political skills he may have. His lunatic ravings about the invasion of the caravan people, threats to illegally send up to 15,000 troops to the border to shoot at will if rocks are thrown, the idiotic threat to end birthright citizenship, and the release of a Willie Horton style campaign ad suggesting immigrants are cop killers are nightmarish obstacles of moderate Republicans seeking reelection in tight Congressional races.

Yet, he can not shut up. As in all things Trump, the election in his mind is about . . . wait for it . . . him. It is not about holding on to the House, or possibly losing the Senate, but about his stature and accomplishments. This is a funny thing. He could tout as Paul Ryan begged him to do of a pretty good job report recently, low unemployment, his  tax cut for the rich, two Supreme Court appointments,  or any number of things that would not cause problems for the Party, and those actually running for office in very tight races. It is about denying responsibility for his actions, lies, and malfeasance since he has been in office.

I for one will be glad when Tuesday has come and gone. Mueller waits in the wings, and possibly, a new Democratic majority in the House and even in the Senate if the Gods don’t listen to the Evangelicals. Regardless, Trump will stop the god awful endless rallies (hopefully) and get back to simply lying about everything that crosses his mind. The big “hope” is if the Democrats can take back at least the House, they will get serious about looking into Trump’s financial ties, the Russian probe, and the stunning lack of transparency that permeates the White House, and all who reside therein. But then again, I thought Hillary had it in the bag two years ago.




Living Large In Carson City: Delbert “Standing On Shaky Ground” McClinton Was Right Edition


Fascist Symbol

I learned a long time ago that reality was much weirder than anyone’s imagination. Hunter S. Thompson

What are we to do as Americans when we see everything this great country stands for being upended and torn asunder by a madman whose sole goal is to stroke his out sized ego, enrich himself and his family to the detriment of the rest of us, and generally breakdown the foundations of what makes America great? As pretentious as that sounds, it has become the reality for more than half of the population of this country. As bad as our fears might have been after the 2016 election, I honestly do not think any of us could have envisioned the level of tumult and dissension that is running through the very fabric of this great nation today.

Remember back in those early days of 2016 when we were all appalled by Donald Trump’s loose and easy association with the truth? He lied at times when lying did him no good. He lied because it is his nature to lie. Truth to Trump we learned was whatever Trump said it was. Do you remember being appalled when a cottage industry emerged whose sole purpose was to track the number of lies the president told. Were you concerned when his total lies topped a thousand? Two thousand? Three thousand? It is a frightening prospect, but I suspect the nation has become so punch drunk from the onslaught of falsehoods and misdirection that comes from the White House on a daily basis we simply look the other way and go about our business.

What is particularly disturbing is once his lies find the light of day his minions have no qualms about parroting the same lies as the party line and shouldn’t be questioned. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a prime example of just how far of plumb the Republican Party has drifted. Sanders has taken Trump’s lying to heart and has started her own litany of untruths to support her boss. Across the board from the Senate, the House, his cabinet, and a bevy of political operatives, all have cashed in their moral integrity to worship at the throne of the Orange One with the hope of remaking America in their image.

It has become so problematic and relentless that Maggie Haberman of the New York Times told “CNN that that staffers are so ‘numb’ to Trump’s lies they don’t even bother correcting him”. This begs the question, “Why?” Haberman thinks it more practical than insidious although it is that as well. Haberman said,

. . . President Donald Trump is relentlessly lying ahead of the 2018 midterm elections because he’s found that it works for him. CNN

It works for him? Think about that a minute. The most powerful man in the world with the ability to change the course of history at his fingertips lies incessantly because it works for him. Considering the state of bankruptcy of the Republican Party when it comes to veracity, empathy, and dedication to a fair and free democracy, Haberman makes a good point. What Trump has been doing all of his adult life is trying to create an reality of America that embraces white males like himself who really believe they are masters of the universe and everything in it.

But at what cost? A New York Times video aired on details the research by Yale philosopher, Jason Stanley, which takes a long, hard look at fascism and how it develops, grows, and ultimately, takes control. In a short five minute video titled, ‘If You’re Not Scared About Fascism in the U.S., You Should Be’, should be required viewing by all Americans who already think America is great and fear the direction the country is taking today. His formula for how fascism takes root is fairly simple:

  •  The creation of a mythical “racially pure” and patriarchal past to instill feelings of nostalgia in the masses; the assertion that as long as “he,” the “strongman” remains in power, all will be well, and that without “him” the whole system will collapse;

Watch any Trump rally for five minutes and you will find this is a recurring theme that runs throughout his basic message. Make America Great Again was not chosen because it has a jaunty ring to it. The slogan hits home to older white Americans, alt right groups, and the working class who have suffered at the hand of what they see as the evil Democrats who want to give the country away to immigrants, sexual deviants, and a host of other people who are not like them. In my October 16, 2018 post, I explored what kind of people fall into lockstep with Trump and his vision for America. The point above dovetails a little too nicely into the mindset of the typical Trump supporter and reinforces Stanley’s argument.

  • Turning groups against each other: Germans and Jews, Hindus and Muslims; citizens and foreigners;  whites and blacks, etc.: “when you divide, it’s easier to control.”

In Trump’s world, there is no end to the possibilities that accompany this point. The group du jour to vilify in recent days are transgender folk who find themselves living in a body that does not fit into their sexual orientation. Republicans and the “transgender bathroom” debacle made  transgender Americans an anathema to all right thinking, sexually “normal” people (Trump’s base) who fear people who view their sexual orientation differently for their own.

A healthy nod needs to be given to right-wing, evangelical wackos who in the name of their god fomented the groundless charge that giving transgender people the right to use the bathroom of their sexual preference was merely a ruse for guys to dress up like girls to gain access to the women’s bathroom to do god only knows what to the poor unsuspecting young ladies. As a reality check, do a google search titled “sexual assault on campuses in bathrooms.” The result reveals transgender people aren’t the ones going into bathrooms and sexually assaulting females.

The list, however, has grown over the past two years of Trump’s presidency. Democrats are getting the brunt of his vilification currently. Canadians, Mexicans, NATO, reporters, and on and on have all been targets of Trump’s separation policy from his faithful base. Regrettably, it works.

  • Anti-intellectualism, and attacking the truth, because truth is essential to a free democracy, and therefore anathema to the fascist. This in turn creates a “petri dish” for conspiracy theories, with the ultimate goal of devaluing the truth altogether.

This point brings us full circle in the charade that is the Trump presidency. Facts to a fascist are the  kryptonite that undermines their message and the ultimate control that they have over their followers. Fake news is the perfect mantra for Trump and his followers whether they are Fox News watchers, alt right hoodlums, or even the run of the mill seniors, both male and female. These people want to believe everything Trump has promised them, so his word has become sacrosanct. They honestly believe that CNN, MSNBC, and others are literally making up news to tear down their leader, thereby, destroying the promises he made to them from day one.

While the truth suffers, and suffers badly, possibly even more damaging are the conspiracy theories that arise to support the ideas that the only truth is Trump’s truth. MS13 gangs rolling across the southern border of the United States by the thousands, Mexicans are rapists and hell bent on taking our women folk (or guys depending on their sexual orientation), or the lost Hillary emails and on and on.

Right now,  a caravan of immigrants is marching north from Central America approximately 400 miles south of the Texas border. Half of the group are women and children legitimately seeking political asylum due to the violence and mayhem they face in their home countries. In recent days, Trump, in an effort to get his base out to vote in the upcoming election, claimed the caravan includes terrorists and people of middle-eastern descent supposedly hell bent on destroying the American way of life. He offers no proof, but his echo chamber latched on to the idea and the drum beat of caustic rhetoric has grown to a fevered pitch. The thing about conspiracy theories is they do not feed off of the truth, but fear; something Trump uses as a cudgel to beat his base into a lather to do his bidding.

This morning Americans awoke to the news that bombs were mailed to George Soros, the Clintons, the Obamas, and the CNN headquarters in Manhattan. This afternoon, a total of eight bombs have been discovered mailed to prominent Democrats. However, Trump and his minions are never too ashamed to kick in the conspiracy theory to turn the table and the nation’s collective esprit de corps into something usable for the party.

Many in the right-wing media, including prominent voices like Rush Limbaugh, the popular talk-radio host, and Candace Owens, a frequent Fox News guest, have begun to promote a conspiracy theory that Democrats were behind several packages containing explosive devices sent by mail to top Democrats this week. Business Insider

If I am not mistaken, this quote hits all three points that make up a fascist agenda – a trifecta of sorts. Welcome to the brave new world of Trumpism.

Living Large In Carson City: Stupid Is as Stupid Does Edition


The one lesson the Trump administration has taught America is don’t get too comfortable with the status quo. To Donald Trump, it means nothing. Whether it was the size of his popular vote win to the crowd numbers at his swearing in to just about everything that has transpired over the last year and a half, Trump’s version of the event is going to be diametrically opposed to the reality of the situation. Honestly, it’s exhausting.

This week ushered in a respite of sorts, albeit, a devastating one. Hurricane Florence began her journey to the America’s eastern shore a little over a week ago and has been steadily plodding her way across the Atlantic for the inevitable land fall last Friday. Coverage and preparation for the disaster in making has been round the clock and seems to be more than adequate so far. Florence is expected to hang out on the central Eastern seaboard well into next week with flooding of low lying areas of particular concern.

I know this is going to sound callous, but it is refreshing in a morbid way not to have to listen to the criminal antics of Giuliani, Cohen, Manafort, Don, Jr., and the whole cast of unseemly characters that Trump has anointed with his on special brand of brotherhood. Yet, Trump insanely got into a pissing war with the media over the number of deaths that resulted from last year’s Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico. Here was one of his opening salvos,

Trump has consistently denied any fault for his administration in the aftermath of the storm. In fact, the President has instead sought praise for his handling of Hurricane Maria, saying earlier this week that it was “an incredible, unsung success.” CNN

Later, he came up with this statement without providing documentation or facts beyond those he pulled from his “superior intellect”,

Donald J. Trump


3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…

His rationale centered mainly around blaming the Democrats for trying to make him look as bad as possible. Trump is, as we all know, a “blamer” and uses blame as his go to default defense when challenged on just about any issue. Giving him the benefit of the doubt is never a good course of action, especially not in this case.

The death toll study was commissioned by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, a member of Puerto Rico’s “New Progressive Party.” It was conducted by the nonpartisan George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.
There has been no evidence to indicate that partisan politics has played a role in the calculation of the death tally, and George Washington University released a statement Thursday that said it stands by its work. CNN

What baffles me is how can he look directly into a camera and state lies as if he believes them with every ounce of his being? He does it time and time again without the least bit of embarrassment or fear that he will be found out. Then a couple of weeks ago, I ran across an old installment of The David Pakman Show where Pakman interviewed David Dunning formerly of Cornell University’s Institute of Social Sciences. He along with his fellow social psychologist, Justin Kruger, developed the Dunning-Kruger Effect back in the late 1990s, and all things Trump became clearer.

In an article for Forbes Magazine titled The Dunning-Kruger Effect Shows Why Some People Think They’re Great Even When Their Work Is Terrible, Mark Murphy goes into detail of what the Effect is in real life, and for me, explains Trump’s less than strict adherence to the truth. Murphy wrote,

If you’ve ever dealt with someone whose performance stinks, and they’re not only clueless that their performance stinks but they’re confident that their performance is good, you likely saw the Dunning-Kruger Effect in action.

Coined in 1999 by then-Cornell psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the eponymous Dunning-Kruger Effect is a cognitive bias whereby people who are incompetent at something are unable to recognize their own incompetence. And not only do they fail to recognize their incompetence, they’re also likely to feel confident that they actually are competent. Forbes

Sound familiar? It’s actually much worse than what Murphy describes above. He continued,

The irony of the Dunning-Kruger Effect is that, Professor Dunning notes, “the knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task—and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at that task.”


To be fair, everyone at some time in their life is subject to the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It links to how I understand ignorance and stupidity. Not knowing how something works or not understanding the bigger picture of how things interact in the real world, we operate on the information we have on hand. Often this incomplete knowledge comes from our parents or people we trust or want to emulate. While they may be dealing with a bigger set of parameters, in our ignorance, we use the knowledge we have available.

For most of us, as we age and gain more information, we alter our beliefs and ultimately our actions to expand our knowledge base, so our lives and understanding transform as we grow intellectually and emotionally. This is why I think that in ignorance there is power. Power to change. Power to expand into a greater world of understanding. Stupidity is never making the leap from our incomplete knowledge base and remaining mired in that less than perfect understanding of the world and calling it good.

Factor in Trump’s narcissistic personality, and you have the perfect storm of a person caught between reality and their own fictional world that supports their every claim, regardless of the veracity of their beliefs. When a narcissistic person is challenged on an obvious untruth or misconception, regardless of the facts, they lie or invent a bogey man to blame for the discrepancy.

For Trump, this isn’t even a choice but a knee jerk reaction to being questioned about his internal story line. Part pride, part self-delusion, Trump’s lies are the act of a pathetic, small-minded person who is so caught up in his fantasy of himself and his self worth that, in his mind, he is the sole arbitrator of truth, regardless of the facts. It’s the rest of us that have to deal with the reality of those fantasies.





Living Large In Carson City: On Soul, Rancid Tweets, Irony And “My Wonderful Son, Donald” Edition.

“Has there ever been anything as simultaneously dangerous and yet pathetic as the Trump-led Republican Party?”  from the Daily Kos’ Swamps and perjury traps and Trumps, oh my! by Ian Reifowitz

Reifowitz states the obvious, but as so many things these days in the world that Trump made, this past week represents a watershed of problematic claims that will surely follow the Trump White House for weeks to come. Honestly, however, to be fair, I thought the “pussy grabber” tape, or when he said, “I Could Stand In the Middle Of Fifth Avenue And Shoot Somebody And I Wouldn’t Lose Any Voters”, would be enough to sink the Trump Titanic, but no; his base ate it up.

The base is one of the main problems that plagues America today, and they are getting weirder.  News of the QAnon conspiracy captivated Americans last week once some of his supporters started showing up at his rallies sporting signs and casual wear (think a Sharpie and a t shirt) attributing them to an  online mystery man/woman who supposedly works undercover in the Trump White House. Q posts enigmatic messages the base interprets pretty much any way they damn well please. The whole phenomenon is a batshit crazy, patchwork quilt of innuendos, lies and half truths. Is it any wonder Trumpites fell so hard for this one? To me, it appears that the base is becoming just as disenchanted with the Orange One as the rest of us. By grabbing at straws represented by an invisible savior, they indicate that all is not well in the House of Trump. Far from it.

Then there were the tweets. For all of is claims like “I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius … and a very stable genius at that!”, Trump’s statements belie his grip on reality. One of his more controversial missives came last week when he posted:


Much was made of this tweet by the media and pundits. Some called it the smoking gun of tweets. Others simply fixated on the “wonderful son, Donald” statement which begs the question is Trump finally comprehending his actions and those close to him might be illegal and that there will be hell to pay? His halfhearted explanation, “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics” simply does not wash. Reifowitz explains the import of this issue by quoting Vice-President Al Gore in his article,

In 2000, Al Gore’s campaign was sent George W. Bush’s debate prep materials—stolen materials. Gore didn’t seek them out, and he didn’t take a meeting or send his top guys to a meeting in order to receive it. What did he do? I’ll let Al tell you: “We immediately turned it over to the FBI.” And no, he doesn’t deserve special credit for following the law: that’s what anyone seeking the highest office in our democracy must do. It is, however, the opposite of what the corrupt Donalds did. Kos

When teaching irony in college English classes, we deal with three types of irony. Verbal irony is your garden variety of irony where words mean  or appear to say something different than what they say on paper. Situational irony is the difference between what is expected to happen and what actually happens. Finally, Dramatic Irony rears its ugly head when the audience is more aware of what is happening than a character or characters do. Othello is a great example of this. Played like a fiddle by Iago, Othello is wooed into destruction by the lies and hatred of his one-time foot soldier and comrade. He never sees the end coming until it is too late.

Trump’s tweet has them all. What is really interesting as pointed out by several authorities and legal minds, Trump’s tweet accomplishes nothing but muddy the waters and further implicate Trump, not as colluding, but rather, involved in a full-blown conspiracy that taints everyone involved with a veneer of dirt by plotting with a foreign enemy to subjugate American democracy.

His final line, “I did not know about it!”, would be laughable if it was not so pathetic. The entire tweet is an attempt to contort the facts to fit a narrative that is part schlock, part deception and part fairy tale. These are the ravings of a man on the brink of losing everything he worked for no matter how nefarious and over the top his goals might have been.

Never has there been a president that has been more obtuse and corrupt as the man who now occupies the White House. His lies are not even that interesting or effective anymore. Fake News has become little more than whatever comes out of Trump’s mouth at any given moment during any given day. He is unable to discern between truth and madness. This is why he and his ineffective advocate, Rudy Guiliani, are so afraid of allowing Trump to sit down and talk candidly with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. Mueller’s bullshit barometer would take Trump down in an afternoon of open questioning. This truth is shared by just about everyone in any position of power within the administration.

Whether or not anything comes of Trump’s revealing tweet is still up for grabs. Already he has ginned up the obfuscation engine that blows smoke across the nation. Possibly, that won’t be such a bad ending to this episode. The damage, however, has been done. Trump is grasping at straws and is getting sloppy as the content of this messages show. The pressure is mounting and the end seems near, or at least, nearer than it was last week.

Living Large In Carson City: The Art of Bullying Trump Style Edition

Can Trump top last week’s families in crises at the border debacle?

Image result for free images victims and bully

First, the answer to the question at the top of the page; “Can Trump top last week’s families in crises at the border debacle?” Of course he can. It’s Donald Trump. Trump is a man who lives on controversy, lies and disruption. His actions and words are those of a man with serious ego problems. Most sane Americans have a hard time watching, but still do, because it creates such a visceral reaction in our inner most psyches. Most of my closest friends feel this way. To me, it is nearly impossible to sit back and acknowledge what is going on in our country without reacting. Some of Trump’s shenanigans evoke reactions from mildly irritated to screaming monkey tantrums.

In an article published by PolitiZoom titled Trump Makes Veiled Threat to Protesters/Opponents, Hypocrisy Never Stronger, Jason Miciak discusses a sit down interview by Fox News’ reporter, Maria Bartiromo, and Trump while the ghouls that are tumbling around in Trump’s head prepare to start the week. Bartiromo is no investigative reporter with her sights on uncovering injustices or even standing up for the common American. She can be likened a lazy tennis player who would rather lob her return back to  a better player across the net. And lob she did.

When she wasn’t all but groveling at the Orange One’s feet, she made an attempt to delve into real life events that were all the rage last week. Of course, discussing the public shaming of some of his key administration officials, primarily Miller (the architect), Nielsen (the implementer), and  Sanders (the enabler), was high up on her list. Never mind the uproar at the inhumanity going on at the Texas border.  The above trio was responsible for Jefferey Beauregard Sessions’ “zero tolerance” fubar that didn’t work out as planned. Once Trump fielded that question, things kind of went south on him.

Trump’s answer was both laughable in its hypocrisy, and eerie in its slyly sinister-nature:

“I hope the other side realizes that they better just take it easy. They better just take it easy because some of the language used, some of the words used, even some of the radical ideas I really think they are very bad for the country,” PolitiZoom

I share Miciak’s surprise that Trump would threaten any American’s First Amendment Rights. True, some people found the protesters’ actions one step over the line of civility, but really? Miciak goes on to point out that “shaming, vilifying and harassing” the opposition is right out of Trump’s organizational playbook. And it is the act and words of a bully. He has said things in his “campaign rallies” that are both hurtful and dangerous in their intent. Crooked Hillary, evil Mexicans hell bent on “infesting” the United States, mocking a handicapped reporter, the list goes on and on.

One thing is certain, Trump is helping energize the rest of the country to fight back and not allow him to run rough shod over the Constitution and the rights we all share in common as Americans. Yet, the fact that he is emboldened enough to issue veiled threats on national television should give everyone pause. The only way to combat a dictator wanna’ be (bully) is to stand up to them and voice our objections. This is the critical issue facing America today. Not North Korea. Not trade tariffs. Not “zero tolerance” immigration. Not hurting people’s feelings who are trying to tear down this great country from the inside out. It is taking a stand and being willing to fight for what is right and just.