Living Large In Carson City: When America Faces The Present Edition

“Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools,

and those who dare not, are slaves.” Lord Byron

Well, it’s finally happened. America has gone to hell in a handbasket. Seriously, Trump has had to briefly retreat behind the wall he finally built – but around the White House. He continually skulks about like a demented little dwarf king whose most important task is to stamp his tiny feet and wail at his underlings and perceived enemies. The military is denouncing the president as unhinged and incapable of ruling America. He falters down a ramp and needs to hold a glass with two hands to drink water. Americans have taken to the streets to protest the murder of a black man whose most salient crime was being black in America. Even staunch Republicans are beginning to see that their support of Mad King Donald is about to bite them in the ass come November. Some are desperately looking for any way out of the web they spun and now find themselves mired in up to their eyeballs. And, of course, the Pandemic moves on behind the scenes at open beaches, restaurants. protest marches, and thurches across the nation.

One could argue that those mentioned above would inevitably turn on Trump simply out of self preservation. The military brass know that to follow illegal orders from the president would still be following illegal orders, making them complicit in any aftermath that would arise. Treason is not out of the realm of possibility if Trump demands something outside Constitutional parameters like using the military against American protestors. Republicans have to see that their chance of governing on any meaningful level is slowly being eroded as Trump’s poll numbers sink, and their reputations, suchs as they are, along with sagging numbers are at risk. These people exist on a plateau that the common American have no understanding of other than the fact we live in a double-standard universe where power is everything and not having it makes one irrelevant.

The crazy times we live in cannot be totally laid at the foot of the fence surrounding 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Average Americans are turning up in droves spouting racial epithets, supporting well-known racist dog whistles, and the police have gone bat shit crazy as they try to control peaceful protests with tactics that are anything but peaceful. Old white women seem to have a special propensity toward outright outlandish behavior. It is as if a Trump rally has metastasized and spilled out thousands of rabid, froth spewing demonoids onto the public landscape with marching order to make complete fools of themselves. I am not naive. I’ve lived in the deep south and East Texas. But really, where are these people coming from, and what reason do they have to live?

The thing that really startles me is the audacity that people exhibit when they make rude racists statements to people who are actually filming them. They know they are being filmed. They must know on some level that their faces and actions will soon be burning up the internet as their bigotry goes viral. Yet, not a day goes by that a legion of offenses are pasted across the news cycle of dumb-ass crackers acting, well, like dumb-ass crackers. It is more than a little disgusting and somewhat frightening to see these incidents play out in real time. What are they thinking?

But, therein lies the rub, they aren’t thinking. They simply feel emboldened to be who they always were under the cover of their white neighborhoods, churches, and fraternal police organizations. Of course, much of their new found freedom to proudly fly their freak flags can be traced back to Trump and his own racism, hatred, and white privilege. America can no longer laugh at Trump’s narcissistic acts of exclusion. Sure, we have all had a fine old time pointing out Mad King Donald’s lack of filters when it comes to dealing with issues of importance. It was funny for a couple of weeks, but here’s the thing. Three and a half years in, Trump is pushing his agenda of divisive hatred and racism more and more each day he sits in the chair of the presidency. He’s only getting started.

Okay, people can be obtuse and do ignorant things without thinking. Your average non-thinking American, especially white Americans with a sense of privilege, simply believe it is their right to lord their “specialness” over people of color or those less fortunate. But it is not just non-thinking Americans, more and more we see police officers doing much the same thing with the added threat that they are armed and prone to violence. Seeing the protestors subjected to mindless vicious attacks by the people who are supposed to be protecting them is simply unconscionable. Yet, America sees it over and over again on cable television as if this is a new normal we all have to accept or be drawn in to the violence and are condemned for standing up for what is right.

Does anyone really care what Meghan McCain says on The Voice? Does it matter that Tucker Carlson, a known provocateur, spouts idiocy and lies nightly on Fox News? Who wants to watch another second of Kellyanne Conway sniping away at Chris Cuomo on CNN? Or god forbid, anyone having to sit through another dreadful press conference by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. The worst case scenario is seeing Trump seated at a long conference table with Mike Pence peeing his pants as he fawns over the supreme leader telling him what a great job he is doing for Christian values and white bigoted racists from bumfuck middle America and beyond.

And so it goes. Where it will stop, literally, no one knows. While Trump’s poll numbers are in the tank, there is no guarantee that he will not pull some crazy shit like, oh I don’t know, allowing Russia to steal the election for him. He’s done it before. Why stop now? This is the state of America as it stands today. Come November, there is no guarantee he will willing vacate the White House if he loses without calling on his goon squads, white supremacists, crazy old white women, and let’s not forget, the indubitably  rancorous basket of deplorables to take up arms and secure the government for him. He is that batshit crazy.

No place is immune in the country from the lunacy spreading across the nation. I live in a relatively small city in Nevada. Normally, Carson City is a happy, energetic place where the dregs of the old west makes reality a little bit bigger than life. There is an online chat group called something like Neighbors where people can post notes like Stray Dog Seen Running Free on Sierra Drive!!!. Or Firewood Available contact Earl. For the most part, it is a Mayberryesque existence were the only real excitement is when a herd of female deer and fawns happen to run into a band of young bucks on the backstreets of the neighborhoods. The excitement is breath-taking, but no real controversy.

Earlier this week, someone posted something to the effect of why is the only thing covered on the news shows about racism? The poster was tired of having to watch protestors making a commotion about racism. Of course, it devolved into a two-sided argument. On one side, there are the “neighbors” who have lived here all their lives and never saw a racist act. One person even said, I swear, that (and I paraphrase) there were 20 black families according to county records in Carson and they live, worship and gamble in our midst and never cause a problem. What scares me is in their postulating on racism, they are tone deaf to the fact that their comments are – racist. The rest of us who have lived elsewhere and have different life experiences can only shake our heads and wonder when will it ever stop.

Wackadoodle of the Week


Megachurch pastor tries to rebrand ‘white privilege’ as ‘white blessing’ gifted from slavery


Living Large In Carson City: Yeats: Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world Edition


Fear is what kills us (Anonymous)

This presidency is going to be the death of me. It has me goggle eyed and brain dead seven days out of the week. With the release of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s findings last Friday, Trump’s life and political future just got a lot more complicated. Mueller’s release exposes former Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s role in paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Cohen’s confession implicates the president in his role in two plausible cases of campaign finance violations.  Cohen also admitted to lying to Congress about his contacts with Russian operatives in the now infamous Moscow Project well into the 2016 campaign season (with Trump’s knowledge). If Trump is not afraid, he should be.

Add to that, the fact that Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, lied to Mueller on several occasions. Primarily, Manfort said he was not in contact with the Trump administration in 2018 when he actually was.  He also lied about his connections with Russian friend and longtime business associate, Konstantin Kimlimnik, who supposedly has ties to Russian intelligence. Kimlimnik is also a part of the Moscow Project and Cohen’s involvement with negotiations on Trump’s proposed building.

With these latest revelations, Trump and his minions have the stench of fear all around them. With Chief of Staff John Kelly’s imminent departure and Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff, Nick Ayers, the supposed heir apparent to Kelly turning down Trump at the last moment, an image of rats abandoning a sinking ship seems appropriate. Further complicating Trump’s situation, like Ayers, their doesn’t seem to be a lot of qualified people who want the job. Who in their right mind would accept the position as Trump’s hand maiden when it is obvious he doesn’t want to be handled, and as the New Year dawns, Mueller will certainly ramp up his filings causing the White House’s new Chief of Staff even more headaches.

Add to that, the Democrats takeover of the House and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff’s, promise to use the committee’s subpoena powers to delve further into the Russian investigation and Trump’s own checkered past. Trump has to be feeling the heat and not a little fear of what is to come. The possibilities have to frightening in light of Cohen’s confession of guilt, especially in terms of Project Moscow which could very well lay subpoena’s at the doorsteps of John, Jr and Ivanka. Ivanka’s husband, Jared, has problems of his own concerning his pre-inauguration cloak and daggers machinations trying to set up secret back channel communications with Russia. The entire scenario unfolding is reminiscent of the early 70s satirical comedy The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight, except the movie is more believable.

Even more concerning is the fact that Trump’s base and some of his go-to supporters at Fox News are waffling in their support of his less than stellar track record. In an article for Raw Story, Tana Ganeva quotes opinion writer Paul Waldman of the Washington Post when he wrote about the Chief of Staff debacle and why so few people are queuing up for the post,

“Why is that? It isn’t only that anyone tasked with running this White House and managing this president is destined to fail,” he notes.

“It’s also that if you care about your future in politics, it’s never too early to start distancing yourself from Trump. Because once he’s no longer president — perhaps in 2021, or perhaps even sooner — everyone who worked for him, supported him, or stood by him is going to be in an extremely uncomfortable position.”

“In Washington, where “former administration official” can be a ticket to lifelong employment and status, “former Trump administration official” or even “former Trump supporter” could well wind up being a scarlet letter,” Waldman says. “It might not ruin your career, but it could come to be seen as an indicator of poor judgment and questionable integrity.”

Claiming to be one of Trump’s deplorables always seemed shortsighted to me. Now, we see the chickens coming home to roost. To be a deplorable, one has to disavow allegiance to the  foundation of our democracy, common sense, and personal self worth. Seeing people chant “lock her up” and “CNN sucks” was probably thrilling in the heat of some Podunk meeting hall with the Orange One lifted high above the rabble. Yet, having done so, millions of Americans marked themselves as intolerant, gullible, base, and unemphatic. With the knowledge of what is coming, I wonder if they have regrets or at least an understanding of the harm they were doing to their public personae.

Recent polls show Mueller is having and effect on Trump’s popularity. The most recent polls place his disapproval rating at somewhere around 52%. Even more worrisome than the number of supporters abandoning him as his legal problems mount, Trump now has to worry about his bulwark of support from Fox News. Tucker Carlson is the cherub- faced darling of the red meat crowd that watch his show on Fox News. Over the years he became renown in hard-right-wing conservative circles as a staunch supporter of the president. Carlson, however, in recent days has changed his tune dramatically. The Conservative Free Press quotes Urs Gehriger of the German-language opinion magazine Die Welwoche and his recent interview with Carlson. Gehriger quoted Carlson saying,

“His chief promises were that he would build the wall, defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn’t done any of those things,” Carlson said.

He went on to note that he didn’t have much hope in those promises coming to fruition over the next two years.

“He knows very little about the legislative process, hasn’t learned anything, hasn’t surrounded himself with people that can get it done, hasn’t done all the things you need to do, so it’s mostly his fault that he hasn’t achieved those things,” Carlson said. . . .

“I don’t think he’s capable,” he said. “I don’t think he’s capable of sustained focus. I don’t think he understands the system. I don’t think the Congress is on his side. I don’t think his own agencies support him. He’s not going to do that.” CFP

On their face, Carlson’s comments should scare the hell out of Trump. When the die-hard support from one of the most conservative outlets in the country becomes suspect, most politicians pay attention. Will Trump? Probably not. He has shown a disdain for any counsel other than his own and has used Fox News as his own personal sounding board and propaganda machine. He may very well not be capable of hearing derogatory comments about his perceived greatness.  Time will tell.

Conventional wisdom would point to serious problems for any politician when conservatives begin eating their own and start turning their backs on someone they idolized until only recently. For Trump, who has run primarily on his own egotistical belief in himself, it should provoke tremors of fear and point to even more troubles looming in the near future. Yet, this isn’t the Trump we know. I am reminded of a quote from Hell’s Angels by Hunter S. Thompson. He wrote,

A man who has blown all his options can’t afford the luxury of changing his ways. He has to capitalize on whatever he has left, and he can’t afford to admit — no matter how often he’s reminded of it — that every day of his life takes him farther and farther down a blind alley. HST

Trump appears to be three-quarters of the way along on his journey.