Living Large In Carson City: Down, Down, Down We Go Edition


Life during the Trump regime is like a roller coaster that threatens to derail on every turn. The passengers’ squeals of alarm and fear are ignored by the coaster operators as more and more of the customers slip the caution bar and fall inevitably to their death on the rails below. Yet, the ride continues. This is what America has become in two short years of Trump rule.

As I write, George Herbert Walker Bush lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda. North Carolina remains embroiled in an election fraud fracas that may end up with a call for a new election in the near future. Michael Flynn stands ready at the docket to be sentenced for lying to the FBI about his dealings with the Russian ambassador. An emerging scandal involving Trump’s Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta, and his role as Miami’s former top federal prosecutor in the shady sentencing deal of Jeremy Epstein, a Miami millionaire, who ran a child molestation ring that ensnared at least 36 young girls is just coming to light. And so it goes.

Most importantly, the Dow just closed nearly 800 points down wiping out 2018 gains by the final bell. Fear of Trump and his lack of understanding of tariffs is partially to blame. It didn’t help matters that Trump falsely proclaimed a new “deal” he struck with China’s President Xi Jinping over dinner at the G-20 talks,

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “The negotiations with China have already started. Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina.”

However, no joint statement from the U.S. and Chinese trade teams was issued after the leaders of the world’s two largest economies met on the sidelines of the G-20. While the Chinese Foreign Ministry acknowledged that further talks on tariffs would proceed, Beijing has yet to corroborate details on any major parts of the trade agreement, with Chinese state media avoiding any reference to a 90-day condition, nor did it mention an agreement to unilaterally reduce car tariffs. NBCnews

Trump continues unabated in his litany of faux pas’ and outright lies that are nothing less than body blows to the American economy and foreign policy to say nothing of our national integrity on the world stage. The man is on a deranged and dangerous slide into chaos and is taking the rest of America with him. However, as any self-respecting bully knows, the fight is not about any one incident. It is about creating a narrative, right or wrong, that his power is greater than the puny masses he deems necessary to demean or destroy. And despite the fact that only a third of the population represent his base, the rest of America sits by and allows the spectacle of gross negligence to continue.

In one of my forays into trying to understand the conservative mind of Trump’s deplorabes, I stumbled across a short article on the Conservative Free Press website titled Trump on Democrat Investigations: “I Will Hit Them So Hard…”  The gist of the article is that if the Democrats continue on the course they laid out after the midterms where they promise to delve deeper into Trump’s financial ties, including his tax returns, he will take the bullying part of his personality to a new level.

Remember back when “spygate” was all the rage from the White House and Representative Devin Nunes? A crude conspiracy theory that had no legs to stand on, it was basically a ploy to take some of the heat off of the administration posed by the FBI investigation of Russia collusion and the heat produced by Robert Mueller’s inquiry. There is no need to hash out the entirety of the brouhaha but here are the basic claims as presented by Philip Bump of the Washington Post,

As it stands, the evidence that there was a “spy” — or multiple “spies” — within his campaign is as follows:

  1. A professor based in Britain reached out to Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page before the election, apparently to evaluate any connections they might have had to Russian actors. The professor also had coffee once with senior adviser Sam Clovis, during which they discussed China.

  2. A former adviser, fired in the middle of the campaign, is telling people that he knows of another spy, but hasn’t offered any evidence to that effect.

  3. A “lot of people” are saying there were spies in the campaign, per Trump.

As Bump points out in his article, numbers two and three are based on unreliable sources. Number two being allegations of wrong doing without evidence to support the claims. Number three, well, it’s Donald Trump’s assertion. At this point in the scheme of things, Trump’s assertions and four bucks will get you a decent pint at a local pub, nothing more.

The remaining “evidence” lies on the back of number one. Again, as Bump points out, the allegations against professor, Stefan Halper, are a bit suspect. Bump writes,

The argument that Halper was a spy planted in Trump’s campaign, though, early on suffers from two significant flaws.

The first, as we noted on Tuesday, is that Halper contacted Papadopoulos and Page only after they were already on the FBI’s radar. . .

The second, of course, is that Halper was never embedded in the campaign. Nor is there any evidence he was ever spying on the campaign.

This was another case of Trump and his minions throwing shit against the wall to see what will stick. The real problem was the veracity of the “spygate” accusations, and that Trump through Nunes threatened to declassify the information in question thus exposing field operators and the work they do gathering information to be used to secure America and its interests across the globe.

The Conservative Free Press website reanimated Trump’s threats to declassify the documents if Democrats start poking around in his private financial interests. In reality, this is the threat of a small man with his back on the ropes. A fact that doesn’t seem to squash the Conservative Free Press’ enthusiasm for the threat,

Wow. Just when we thought this guy couldn’t get any more brilliant, he reveals that he’s been playing these chumps all along. Schiff and the rest have just been caught in a trap of their own design. Move forward with these investigations, and Trump exposes ALL OF IT. CFP

And so we return to the truth of the issue: Trump is a bully who would expose countless numbers of field agents and their patriotic work to cover his ass and place Democrats in what he thinks is a tough bind. Something tells me Representative Adam Schiff and his congressional committee could care less about Trump’s empty threats. They will go right along with the agenda they have prepared to further hold Trump accountable for his dark past and smoldering present..

But really, does anyone believe if the Orange One had anything of value that he would have the will to keep it under wraps? That’s like asking the fox to wait until tomorrow to invade the chicken coup. Were Trump to go ahead with his threats, he would become an even greater pariah to his party and the American intelligence community. As much as that is tantalizing, Trump must be stopped acting like a bully and be held responsible for his actions. Something, I think, will happen much sooner than later.