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: America Is A Shining City Upon A Hill – Not Edition


“It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization conducted immense amounts of research, and came to the understanding that all human beings belong to the same species, and “race” is nothing but a myth. In the research that they have gathered, they found that biological “races” do not exist among our species.” Jaclyne Zetter 

It would completely lame and dishonest of me to not mention the story of the weekend which has both sides of the American political spectrum buzzing into the beginning of a new week. Yes, Trump’s unbelievable attack on four sitting first-term congresswomen, and his belief that they should shut up and go back to the countries where they came from is the talk of the nation. His disgusting and abusive Tweeter rant is the epitome of rampant racism that this administration seems dedicated to injecting into the nation’s conversation.

The “four” congresswomen, affectionately named “the Squad, are Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashia Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). Of course, as all of America knows at this point, only Omar is not a native born American. She became a naturalized citizen after she and her father fled war-torn Somalia. Ocasio Cortez was born in the New York City’s the Bronx, Tlaib, a native from Detroit, and Pressley was born in Cincinnati. So of the four, three are red-blooded Americans and the fourth an achiever of the American Dream. Yet, dopey Donald chose to overlook the facts and spread, once again, fake news that suits his skewed legislative agenda of stroking his base and not letting facts get in the way of his goals.

There is little upside in rehashing Trump’s flirting with the white supremacists of his base. Ample footage and Tweets can be pulled up to support the accusation that our president is a racist fool as are the majority of his followers. As Nancy Pelosi said in her reaction to Trump’s attack on the Squad this weekend, Trump’s goal is not to make America Great Again but to make America White Again. A statement that the president responded was a racist statement itself although as The Hill pointed out,

It was unclear if Trump, currently taking criticism for telling multiple congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they came from, understood the context in which Pelosi had made the comment.

Trump’s goal is obviously two-fold. Americans have seen time and again when circumstances go wrong for the president his modus operandi is to create controversy to draw attention away from his failed endeavors. At the end of last week, Trump suffered two major setbacks which he certainly wasn’t happy about. His failure to get the citizenship question added to the 2020 census and the god awful optics of Mike Pence and Lindsey Graham touring stinking, over-crowded immigrant holding facilities at the Texas border had to be a ego slap down that even his most rabid supporters couldn’t ignore. One has to wonder who sets up these preordained “fails” on the part of the Republicans. It defies logic and common sense.

So, Trump Tweets some nasty remarks about four congresswomen to help convince the base that the Orange One is still in their corner taking the fight to the enemy, even though they are all American citizens who are well respected by their constituents. For Trump though, this line of attack has become part and parcel of how he deals with both his base and the opposition. The bad news is that it worked in the past and will more than likely work in the future. Frightened people have to be fed frightening scenarios by their manipulative leaders, and conversely, those leaders have to supply an “out” that mollifies the sensibilities of their followers.  

Oddly enough, Trump’s original slurs have morphed into something more than just falsely slamming four congresswomen. Lindsey Graham, one time patriot and friend of John McCain, who has turned into Trump’s little bitch of late, advanced the narrative to another level,

“We all know that [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and this crowd are a bunch of communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own country, they’re calling the guards along our border—the Border Patrol agents—concentration camp guards,” Graham exclaimed. “They accuse people who support Israel as doing it for the benjamins, they are anti-Semitic, they are anti-America. Don’t get them—aim higher.” The Daily Beast

Graham in one statement elevated the Squad from progressive Social Democrats status to outright communist sympathizers. The Israel hatred possibly refers to Congresswoman Tlaib’s heritage. She is the daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents who left Palestine to settle in America to offer their children their version of the American Dream. “For the Benjamins” obviously refers to Congresswoman Omar’s Tweet earlier this year that called out the corrupt organization, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), for the thuggish behavior they display year around, but especially during their annual convention which is little more than a fleecing of attendees to donate to AIPAC coffers. See The Nation article for more on AIPAC and the way they operate. As far as calling border guards – concentration camp guards –  the facts speak for themselves. Graham should watch the video of himself, Pence, and others as they squeamishly tour the above mentioned immigrant camp.

Today is Tuesday and the vitriol oozing from the White House has not abated. He has singled out Congresswoman Ilhan Omar claiming without evidence that she and her Squad members hate America, and she in particular, according to a Vox article (see below), claimed “how wonderful al-Qaeda is” Vox.  Yesterday, Trump set the tenor of the debate while answering questions from the reporter pool after giving a speech on the White Grounds.

While Trump was taking questions from reporters during an event that was ostensibly supposed to be a “Made in America Product Showcase,” Fox News reporter John Roberts asked him if it concerns him that “many people saw that tweet as racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point?”

Trump said that he is not, in fact, worried about it.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” he said. “And all I’m saying — they want to leave, they can leave. Now, it doesn’t say, ‘Leave forever.’ It says, ‘Leave if you want.’” Vox

One has to wonder who exactly are the “many people” who agree with him? Are they the supporters of the racist demonstrations that permeated the Charlottesville, Virginia’s “Unite the Right” debacle that occurred in 2017? Is it the GOP’s congressmen and women who refuse to take a stand against his racist comments and by their silence condone his beliefs?  Or is it simply his base of deplorables who want Trump to make America white again? Sadly, it is a combination of them all.

Even more disturbing to contemplate is the theory put forth by many Washington insiders that this is Trump rolling out his 2020 campaign strategy. His divide and frighten approach worked all too well in 2016, so why wouldn’t he want to go for an encore in 2020? One thing is for certain; Democrats need to heal their divisions and present a united front against Trump, or America will face another four years of debacle after debacle played out on the world stage.

This isn’t to say the Squad need buckle under to Nancy Pelosi. No, Pelosi needs to step up her game as well and listen to what progressives are saying to her and the party. This is the time the Democrats have the opportunity to stand up and wade out of the swamp to create a new political dynamic that is more inclusive and understanding of the ills that face the country. If they don’t, even if Joe Biden is nominated and wins, a Biden presidency will be more of the same dog and pony show. Not as bad as Trump, mind you, but still a government split by factions that want only what they can grab for their side; the average American be damned.