Living Large In Carson City: The Long Play Edition

“We will bury you!”

Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev 1956

For the past two weeks, I have experienced writer’s block like no other time in my writing career. My first attempt was about Trump’s abysmal response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and his increasingly bizarre reaction (or non-reaction) to the disease that has  killed 170,000 plus American citizens. After that, I tried to write about his, again, abysmal reaction (or non-reaction) to the controversy over protests across the nation calling for deep changes in the way America views race, hate, and politics. He has dropped all pretense that he is not a racist son of a bitch and is not worthy to comment on a movement that he is ill equipped to handle or understand.

Next, up popped his dunderhead denials of the New York Times revelations of Russia paying bounties for Afghan fighters to kill American soldiers. Now, if today’s headlines are true, so has Iran.  Always angry, always mean spirited, always divisive, the man is literally a walking advertisement for everything that is not America. Now, it’s an all out assault on the Post Office. Sadly, he can’t even lie that he is actually doing something to help America. No, he openly admits his actions are meant to help sway the election in November in his favor by crippling mail in voting by states.

When Trump first came up with the slogan, Make America Great Again, many Americans scoffed thinking America was great already. No need to make it great – again. Three and a half years later how things have changed. Under Mad King Donnie the once greatness of the nation has slipped and spun into near oblivion. Who knew he was speaking prophetically? He fans the flames of racial prejudice, ignorance, white power, hatred, and more. Trump has done only one thing perfectly. He expanded, nurtured, and embraced the swamp he promised to drain.

But back to Americans. When in our history have we ever been more divided. The Civil War, maybe, but has all that much changed. White Americans seem not to know the meaning of irony. Everyday a new revelation of white people acting badly spouting racial slurs, committing acts of white privilege, and holding ideas that make normal white people wish they had been born anywhere but here. Maybe in this age of über news coverage,  both real and fake, white people haven’t caught on to the fact when they say something ill advised chances are someone has a phone pointed at them and is recording their indelicate moment for all the world to see.

There is a lot of speculation out there about just what is Trump trying to do in his insane rants, bizarre stances, and unorthodox approach to the campaign, especially with his own base. One theory is he is trying to sabotage his own election chances.  The less than reliable Tucker Carlson said as much on the air recently. His theory, and that of others, states that Trump can see the writing on the wall, and rather than come up a loser, he can make things look so bad for himself, he will throw up his hands and call the election twisted and corrupt and walk away a “winner” (or whiner). Longtime New Yorker, Donnie Deutsch, has known Trump for decades. He agrees with Carlson that as schizoid as it sounds that Trump will walk away to keep from being seen as a loser. Or he continues to alienate voters from both parties while hanging onto his basket of deplorables, some of whom, are violent, white nationalist and racist who will rise up and declare Trump the true authoritarian he aspires to be.

Then there are the scary neo-Nazi anarchists who actively seek the destruction of our democratic society. Groups like  the Base and Atomwaffen Division are not simply wanna’ be bad boys, but active groups that are recruiting mostly young white men to prepare for a race war they wholeheartedly embrace. There is no evidence these ultra whack jobs support Trump, but it is not beyond believable that they would welcome a break down in societal rules to step into the breach and exacerbate any conflict Trump’s whack jobs might promulgate at the behest of the Mad King Donald. Regardless, as Black Lives Matter demonstrators continue to show up at white supremacists rallies where the supremacists are armed to the teeth, one has to wonder when the day will come when some hot headed knuckle dragger simply draws down and starts blasting away at the other side. And, sorrowfully, it will happen.

Now, Joe Biden has made his choice for vice president, Kamala Harris, and the world is in a tizzy. Democrats are ecstatic, gushing with pride and an excessive abundance of hope and expectations of great things to come. For all of his craziness and vile personality traits, either Trump has some very smart people in his campaign headquarters or is, himself, a master politician. Overnight, he came up with plans to counter the online Democratic convention with barnstorming tours  across the nation to coincide with the Democrats and their machinations of the nominating process. Those tour stops have done little to stymie the Democrats to date, but you have to give him credit for making the effort.

With seventy odds days to the election, Trump has pulled out all of the stops. His latest ploy is, as mentioned above, is attempting to dismantle the United States Postal Service in the name of cuts to neuter one of the most important tools of our democracy. The Trump administration knows if mail-in ballots were to be cast and counted on time that his days of wrecking our democracy are over. The acting Postmaster General just yesterday claimed that no cuts to the agency will be put into effect until January next year after the election is over and counted. Yet, in reality, no one believes that Republicans will sit still and let the post office do its job. There is too much at stake like the death of the administration, and hopefully, a slew of Trump supporting Republicans losing their jobs.

The 500 pound gorilla in the closet is Russia. This week the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee released its findings on the depth of Russia interference and collusion of the Trump administration then campaign 2016. Their damning conclusions were that, yes, Russia and members of Trump’s team routinely shared information with Russian contacts (and vice versa) to help Trump win the 2016 election. And it hasn’t stopped. New information indicates that Russia is doing all they can to ensure Biden is defeated and Trump remains in office.

I vividly remember back in 1956 watching the evening news and seeing Nikita Khrushchev bellowing from a podium in Moscow as he addressed Western diplomats saying “We will bury you.” Actually, his quote was much more telling. What he said was, “whether you like it or not, history is on our side, we dig you in.” With Trump in office acting like the quintessential Manchurian Candidate, who knows, maybe Old Nikita’s words were not just a bombastic threat, but a long term play that is now coming to fruition.

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: I Spy Something Large And Orange Edition

Image result for images

Urban Dictionary: Bromance describes the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males.

Be honest. If someone had suggested two years ago that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump were embroiled in a nefarious handler/operative relationship, the appropriate response would have been to laugh out loud and call the person a paranoid conspiracy nut job. Certainly, there were rumors of Russian tampering with the election results that resulted in a Trump surprise victory, but at that time, even that accusation would have been a serious leap of the imagination. What a difference two years makes.

Since Trump took office in January 2017, his relationship with Putin has been both problematic and unsettling for the majority of Americans except for Trump’s base of supporters who are presumably blinded by their need to promote “white supremacy” and unbridled nationalism. Of course, since Inauguration Day, Trump has assumed a friendly default position toward Russian and Putin; one that denies Russian meddling in the 2016 election and a pro-Putin stance regardless of what the former KGB officer does or says.

Despite what the Putin/Trump relationship is in reality, there has been growing concern and mounting trepidation of allies who seem as baffled by Trump’s foreign policy shenanigans as are most Americans. In recent days the Trump administration revealed that a meeting between Trump and Putin in Helsinki will be held after the NATO summit and after Trump visits England late this week. After what can only be expected to be high drama and farce, Trump heads to Scotland for a couple of days of golfing at one of his properties before meeting with one of the world’s most vicious dictators. What could go wrong?

This morning America awoke to Trump’s first interaction with our North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies. The event was a good-will breakfast photo op that was meant to be an ice breaking ceremony before the actual business of defense comes before the body. By all accounts and this video, Trump was in all-out attack mode as he castigated NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. It was also a bone-headed tirade that did nothing to uplift America’s interests in Europe or allay the concern of NATO members in light of Trump’s upcoming meeting with Putin.

Seriously, all one has to do to see the effect of Trump’s words on those present are to look at Mike Pompeo and John Kelly’s reactions. Pompeo looks like a elementary school student sitting in the principal’s office after being caught backing up a bully on the school’s playground. He all but squirms in his chair as Trump unleashes and unhinged harangue that eventually focuses on Germany and a deal with Russia for construction of a pipeline. Kelly repeatedly looks down or away as his boss mouths idiotic concerns over Germany and Russia. This from the man who claims to be a skilled negotiator?

The one funny relief factor is Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s reaction to Trump’s words. Throughout the exchange, she has what can only be deemed a world-weary, cautious smile that remains etched on her face. There are times when her eyes grow large in imitation of a deer-in-the-headlights when Trump makes a particularly off the wall remark. You can almost see her mind asking, “Did he say what I think he said?” It is obvious that she is way in over her head when it comes to the Orange One’s crazy claims or how to counter them.

Trump’s main concern is that our allies are not paying their full share of the NATO budget. Stoltenberg acknowledges that in the past there have been issues of underpayment, but tries (in vain) to tell Trump that the problem is being addressed and positive changes have or are taking place. Trump, of course, is having none of it, and he launches into the Germany/Russia deal, a deal, that he has no right to criticize. It is simply none of his business. He speculates that Germany is controlled by Russia because of the money involved in the transaction.

A more positive track would have been for  Trump to reassure our NATO allies that he is not in bed with the Russians, and they have no reason to be concerned with his upcoming meeting with the former KGB spy. Trump, however, is in full blown clown mode and unable to see the hypocrisy that his words create. Remember, this encounter occurred at the summit’s opening breakfast photo op.

The question has to be asked, “What is it with Trump, Russia, and Putin by association?” NATO delegates’ concern over what Trump might discuss or concede to the Russians are legitimate. His short time as president has provided both our allies and Americans with several incidents that make the meeting suspect. For example, shortly after firing then Director of the FBI, James Comey, Trump invited two of Russia’s top diplomats, Foreign Minister Sergei Labrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, into the Oval Office for a chat and pleasantries.

Trump, unable to contain himself, proceeds to reveal classified information gleaned from an American ally about the Islamic Terrorist State. The information was from an ongoing investigation and had the potential of doing serious harm to players involved and causing long term damage to the continued trust of the ally who shared the information. For Trump, it was just another in a long series of faux pas’ that most normally intelligent people working in government would understand was a forbidden topic, especially with two Russian operatives in the Oval Office no less.

So, we can expect a week long circus of Trump acting the stooge while real life diplomats from the NATO countries worry about both his erratic behavior, and his mean spirited spiels of lies and contempt directed towards our allies that only Trump  will fully understand.

The real issue simmering below the surface is what is Trump’s connection to Putin. Is it just a harmless bromance? Or is it a deeper connection that bodes badly for both NATO and our own democracy? Jonathan Chait published an article earlier this week in New York Magazine titled, Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart – Or His Handler? A plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion. Chait’s thoughts are both provocative and believable. While the article covers a lot of ground concerning this topic (and well worth an entire read), these two paragraphs sum up the salient details,

The first intimations that Trump might harbor a dark secret originated among America’s European allies, which, being situated closer to Russia, have had more experience fending off its nefarious encroachments. In 2015, Western European intelligence agencies began picking up evidence of communications between the Russian government and people in Donald Trump’s orbit. In April 2016, one of the Baltic states shared with then–CIA director John Brennan an audio recording of Russians discussing funneling money to the Trump campaign. In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, head of the U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ, flew to Washington to brief Brennan on intercepted communications between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The contents of these communications have not been disclosed, but what Brennan learned obviously unsettled him profoundly. In congressional testimony on Russian election interference last year, Brennan hinted that some Americans might have betrayed their country. “Individuals who go along a treasonous path,” he warned, “do not even realize they’re along that path until it gets to be a bit too late.” In an interview this year, he put it more bluntly: “I think [Trump] is afraid of the president of Russia. The Russians may have something on him personally that they could always roll out and make his life more difficult.”

The Putin/Trump meeting is scheduled for July 16 in Helsinki. Several things might be on the agenda. One thing that surely will be parroted by Trump is that Putin and Russia did not collude with the Trump campaign nor did they interfere in the 2016 election. This has been repeated by Trump so often and loudly his protestations sound like the drum beat of a Tiki lounge overture. What is more likely is Trump will unilaterally recognize Russia’s annexation of the Crimeria over the objections of Congress who continue to push for more sanctions on Russia. If not that, it is anyone’s guess what the Orange One will come up with to further piss off our allies and the American public.

One thing is certain; For Trump, a meeting of this importance and stature will not be a missed opportunity. Something will come out of it that might give a clue to just how far Trump has sunken into the web of the Russians and their influence. Expect stormy weather and widespread angst.