Living Large In Carson City: The Temperature is Rising But Not From Climate Change Edition

Fear: The Commodity of Authoritarianism

“And I’ve been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn’t get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t get it. Bob’s problem is that he can’t sell it! . . .  He is interested in two things, and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it. ”                                                                                           Andrew Shepherd addressing his opponent Bob Rumson in the closing speech of American President.

Donald J. Trump’s off-the-chart wacko letter to Nancy Pelosi the night before his impeachment vote is a thing of sheer lunacy.  Trump is the typical bully standing on the playground shouting at anyone who will listen “Am not! Am not! Everything that you say bounces off me and sticks on you!” That kind of lunacy. His screed to Pelosi (partially authored by Stephen Miller of “lock the kids in cages” fame) is shredded with lies, innuendos, third grade taunts, and an obvious ignorance of the world that is spinning out of control around him. He is in a word – unhinged.

The above quote by frictional president Andrew Shepherd eerily mirrors the president and his mindset. He seems to lean toward the school of thought that (as many have said) accuses everyone else of the exact things that he is doing in real time. Of course, daily, he hits all the oldies but goodies bashing in no particular order Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, James Comey, Hillary Clinton,  impeachment, liberal Democrats (in his mind the only kind there is in this world), the DNC, and as in the Pelosi letter, ends up with an outlandish reference to the Salem Witch Trials and a “oh poor me” whine that the witches had more due process than he has gotten from the Democrats in the House of Representatives. The fact, notwithstanding,  that the witches were falsely accused, tried, and murdered seems to escape his tunnel  vision thinking.

Trump does exhibit Bob Munson’s predilection for making people afraid of issues and coming up with whom to blame. The Democrats get most of the homeland blame, but the president is known to be the Blamer in Chief on the world stage as well. Most Americans understand the blame game and have become inured to the onslaught of lies and half truths and totally fictional statements that are Trump’s stock and trade. What many Americans do not understand is his mastery of fear and how to use it to get just about anything he wants from the Republican Party, world leaders, and his all important base is the real threat to our democracy. And this is undoubtedly his most dangerous trait.

Of course, the Republicans in Congress aren’t exempt from Trump’s fear tactics. The main tool the president uses against his party is the threat of running a Trump anointed candidate against a Republican up for reelection although he has many other avenues including Tweets, a shoutout/shoutdowns in rallies, and even face to face encounters. With a base as rabid as an amoral pit bull on meth, Republicans who find the courage to face up to their bully in chief will undoubtedly find themselves in trouble at home in their districts and on Capitol Hill. In an article written by Tom Boggioni for Raw Story, he comments on an interview that appeared in the New York Times writing about one congressman who made the ultimate mistake of crossing the Orange One. He wrote,

By the summer of 2017, Dave Trott, a two-term Republican congressman, was worried enough about President Trump’s erratic behavior and his flailing attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act that he criticized the president in a closed-door meeting with fellow G.O.P. lawmakers,” the Times reports.” The response was instantaneous — but had nothing to do with the substance of Mr. Trott’s concerns. ‘Dave, you need to know somebody has already told the White House what you said,’ he recalled a colleague telling him. ‘Be ready for a barrage of tweets. Raw Story

While Republican congressmen/women fear the president himself, his base fears what Trump tells them in real time. Fake news, hopped up marauding immigrants, loss of social status within the population for themselves are just click bait for Trump to use to put the fear of god into his followers. Democrats become scum, socialists, haters of democracy, crazy lunatics hellbent on destroying the government and turning the country into a cesspool of  ideas that mean only harm to his adoring base. His rallies are little more than one long dog whistle to build his stature up while eroding the fundamentals of our Constitution and the ideals on which it was built and depends.

Trump has in three short years sketched out the foundation of an authoritarian government with him at its head, and conceivably,  his children to take over after he leaves the stage. By attacking the media, he turns truth into propaganda that his base feeds upon daily. Set aside the tweets, scandals, the Russia probe, and a countless other number of diversions and behind the scenes end around actions, he is reshaping the government by destroying the infrastructure on which it runs. Policies on energy, trade, judicial appointments, the Clean Water Act, and on and on are an integral part of Trump’s play book. He has gutted departments and policies that were meant to enhance the quality of life for all Americans by turning over the reins of governments to lobbyists, shills like Rick Perry and Rudy Giuliani, white supremacists like Stephen Miller, and other billionaires like the Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland. They have one primary goal: to enrich themselves and others within the authoritarian hierarchy. For Trump, this is the ultimate meaning of the “fix is in”. 

One of the most remarkable strokes of political shrewdness, however, has thrown a monkey wrench into the rigged Senate impeachment trial. While Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham have publicly claimed that they will follow the direction of the president and his lawyers during the trail, Trump’s dream of an acquittal and exoneration from wrongdoing has stalled.  Pelosi, again, has stood up to the president and his minions and has thus far refused to send over the articles of impeachment to the Senate until she gets assurances from Republicans that a fair and unbiased trail will be held.

Predictably, and understandably considering his toxic ego, Trump has gone ballistic. After leaving Washington for his vulture’s nest in Mar a Lago, he has bombarded the tweet waves with countless tweets attacking “Crazy Nancy”, the Do Nothing Dems and all of the other usual suspects. He seems to think by the sheer volume of outlandish catcalls he can some how change the conversation and swing the tide of public opinion in his favor. Preliminary results seem to tell a different story.

Paulo Coelho in his book The Winner Stands Alone makes a particularly insightful statement when he writes, “. . .  but despair can deceive the desperate”.  Every day Trump remains in Florida tweeting, Coelho’s words seem to apply more and more to the president. Let’s face it; the man is up to his eyebrows in deep shit. The slam to his ego and shame that now embraces his presidency through the impeachment process is taking a great toll on the Orange One’s thin skin. As he reels further and further into self pity and rage, something has to give. With the crack in the Evangelical base demonstrated by the editorial penned by the editor of “Christianity Today” to the memories of being laughed off the world stage at the Nato summit in early December to Pelosi’s bitch slap of withholding articles of impeachment, all hang like a stagnant fog over Trump’s tiny universe. No one deserves it more.

Living Large In Carson City: Obfuscation Du Jour Edition

Move Along Folks: Nothing to see here

Image result for evil genius images

More and more, it seems that anti-Trump forces are underestimating the evil genius of Donald Trump. For day one of his administration, he and his sock puppet advisers have been embroiled in scandal after scandal. Each one has its own individual flavor and particulars. Michael Flynn and the Russian’s tampering with the 2016 election was only the appetizer on a smorgasbord of vile lies, deceit and fleecing of the American public. Every day average Americans wake up and think how could it get any worse than the last news cycle? Yet, somehow, it does.

The latest brouhaha to plague the Orange One is the inhumane turmoil unfolding on the Texas border where parents, many of whom are coming to the United States legally to seek political asylum from violence they face in their homelands, are being forcefully separated from their children. Held in makeshift “prisons” (let’s call them what they are) hundreds, if not thousands of migrant children, teens and adults are shuttled into the holding center and separated indefinitely from their families.

The lies and excuses of Trump and his supporters are like a flash flood in a steep Sierra canyon. Nothing seems to be able hold back the tide of misinformation. One of the all-time best wacko justifications for the Trump policy of warehousing migrant children in holding cells on the Texas border came from Fox News host, the irredeemable Steve Dofus.

“You do see that they have those thermal blankets, you do see some fencing, but keep in mind — some have referred to them as ‘cages,’ but, keep in mind, this is a great, big warehouse facility where they built walls out of chain link fences,” Doocy said.

Walls in the real world are impenetrable structures that are made of wood and plaster, sometimes brick and mortar, sometimes glass, but all of them have one major component to them that the “cages” on the Texas border do not have – they are not made out of chain link fencing. Cages are made out of chain link fencing, not walls. Why is this so hard for Dofus to understand?

If ultimate blame is to be assessed on Trump’s family separation policy, the infamous credit falls to Jeff Session’s former communication director and current senior adviser for policy for Trump, Stephen Miller. Miller can be described as hard core, right wing conservative that never met a liberal who he didn’t want to smash like a bug under his shoe. In an article by Jane Coaston for Vox titled, Stephen Miller believes in controversy as political strategy, even if it means jailing children, she wrote,

To understand what the Trump administration is thinking about separating families and locking kids up at the border, you have to understand Stephen Miller’s foundational political belief: It’s better to stir controversy, at any price, than it is to engage constructively.

The architect of Donald Trump’s immigration policy and the White House’s resident troll, the 32-year-old White House senior policy adviser believes it’s good to “trigger the libs,” so to speak, with “the purpose of enlightenment.” To Miller, working constructively across the aisle isn’t as useful as “melting snowflakes.”

Trump is quick to shift the blame like any self-respecting bully, and this time is no different. His target? The democrats in Congress who he falsely accused of being able to fix the situation if they wanted to. Insanely, he continues to say publicly that the law that calls for the separation of children from their parents is a “Democrat law” passed in some deep dark past that has been around for years festering. He would have Americans believe he has no choice due to this evil law that the Democrats refuse to “fix”.

The problem is there is no law requiring separation of families at the border. In the first place, the Republicans hold both houses and the presidency. They could “fix” any issue that they see fit to fix. The separation issue is Trump’s policy cooked up by Miller, Trump and Sessions. It is meant as a means of holding the children hostage until the Democrats come around and sign on to a bill to fund the actual border fence/wall.

Trump faces opposition from his own party and the world to stop separating families who come to the United States seeking asylum or merely a chance at a better life. Trump’s go to position is to double down and vilify the Democrats who hands are tied by his shenanigans. His comments today are particularly unhinged. On Democrats he stated,

President Donald Trump charged Democrats with wanting illegal immigrants to “infest” the U.S., as he defended his administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the border and spoke to a business group.



Trump has called on Democrats to work with Republicans to pass immigration legislation, and said on Twitter, “They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13.”  Marketwatch

When he tired of flogging his Democrats, he turned to his ire towards, the press, who else?

Donald Trump spoke on Tuesday morning to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. In the speech, which received a frighteningly level of cheers, Trump declared those who oppose him are criminals, declaimed that he wants “security, not judges” and repeatedly insisted that his political opponents should simply shut up. In a stunning, angry tirade, Trump talked about Canadians smuggling shoes, repeated his lies about crime rates in Germany, and make a shocking claim that in reporting about families being separated by his immigration policies the news media was supporting criminals and child smugglers.

Trump: They are helping these smugglers and these traffickers.  They know exactly that they’re doing. They know it. They know exactly what they’re doing. And it should be stopped.   Daily Kos

In the speech Trump goes on to accuse countries of sending the United States the worst possible candidates for asylum, or those who simply want a better life. The Daily Kos article characterizes Trump’s speech as “unhinged and unbound”, making the accusation that there is a concerted effort on the part of countries to dump “undesirables” into the United States simply to . . . do what? Undermine our democracy? Take over the power of government? It is hard to know what goes on in Trump’s brain, but as the Daily Kos points out he didn’t stop there,

Trump: These countries that we give tremendous foreign aid to in many cases, they send these people up & they’re not sending their finest. Does that sound familiar? Remember I made that speech and I was badly criticized? Turns out I was 100% right and that’s why I got elected.”

All of this being said, what is to be taken away from the border crisis? Frankly, it is just smoke and mirrors. Everything Trump does has to be seen through the Russia investigation. Last week it was thumbing his nose at our oldest trade partners. Later in the week, it was the Kim Jong Un summit which produced little of substance and a great deal of positive press for North Korea. It was a huge nothing burger that is as susceptible to failure as his border and trade policies.

Concerning Trump, everything going forward should be seen through the filter of Robert Mueller and his inexorable march to a final verdict on whether or not Trump and his minions colluded with Russia, obstructed justice or any of a laundry list of other grievances current under investigation concerning his administration. What is particularly concerning, however, is Trump, Sessions and Miller seem to have no compunction involving innocent children and their parents as a political football that is only meant to cover his lame ass.

Bullies will bully.