Tag Archives: donald trump

Donald Trump’s Inner Child Smashes the Fourth of July

“I know you are, but what am I?”

Donald Trump’s Mount Rushmore manifesto was the ultimate display of his greatest hits. He called out “far-left fascists,” projecting on this oxymoronic invention all the traits of his own mean-spirited attempts at despotism.

“In our schools, newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language performed rituals recite its mantras and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished.”

Who is it that demands “absolute allegiance,” and “banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished” every single person he can reach who has contradicted him? Who is it who wishes out loud that he could jail journalists? And who has attempted to quash transparency and access to the media throughout his administration? That’s right: it’s Donald J. Trump, himself.

With a record number of new Covid-10 cases concentrated mainly in the neighborhoods of his own political base, he could only manage a whine in sympathy with his own imaginary victimization. Arrogant and self-important, he couldn’t leave aside his own selfish vanity or simple childish perversity to model for the thousands seated, cheek-to-jowel, at his feet, the simple mask-wearing behavior that could save tens of thousands of lives.

Having essentially removed himself from the field of combat against the virus, he seeks to do battle, instead, in defense of statues. Nevermind that the only statues that are currently under threat of removal are those of Civil War traitors, he has chosen to defend a bunch of lifeless junk over the lives of his fellow countrymen.

If he imagines this to be the saving message of his feckless reelection campaign, he must be beyond delusional. As the whole Republican party will learn to late to save it, white grievance is a platform of diminishing returns. They have apparently forgotten their own come-to-Jesus moment following the Obama win in 2016, when they pragmatically vowed to shape a more inclusive Republican party.

A majority of Americans recognize the legitimacy of the Black Lives Matter movement, yet he stands in front of that monument to white imperialism, in defiance of treaty-bound Sioux rights and has the nerve to blame Democrats, journalists and unpersuadable independents for disloyalty to HIS warped version of our shared American heritage.

And continuing his patten of appropriating the music of the accursed left, he has the nerve to blast Neil Young from the loud speakers: Neil Young, for godssake!

If there is a devil, Donald Trump must be his right-hand man.

What have you got to lose?

When Donald Trump was just an unlikely twinkle in the eye of voters unhappy with the first non-white president, he premiered the “What have you got to lose?” argument.  In the midst of the most conspicuously xenophobic election campaign in living history, he posed the rhetorical question to black voters, for whom he could offer no other reason for voting for him: “What have you got to lose.”

Without belaboring the disrespectful nonsense of the argument, suffice it to say that it was unsuccessful with the targeted audience even before we’d had a bellyful of his lies; but Donald Trump is not one to part with a losing strategy before beating it to death.? So it was unsurprising that in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, with Americans dying all across the country, he trotted it out one more time to promote a very sketchy treatment, chloroquine, that had struck his fancy after being pitched by some of his equally sketchy “friends.”

“What have you got to lose?” by trying chloroquine, he urged repeatedly, sounding more like a medicine show huckster than the president of the United States.  

In this case, the answer to his question turns out to be, “Your life.”

Approved for the prevention and treatment of Malaria, and in use since the 1930’s chloroquine is not without serious potential, side-effects.  Cardiac issues are the ones that have been getting the most attention in the COVID-19 pandemic, but I have personal experience with one of the less familiar side-effects of the drug.

Thirty-seven years ago, my husband and I travelled to India for an East-West artist’s symposium.  It was an extraordinary experience for which we prepared with all the necessary shots and a prophylactic dosing of chloroquine that began a week or more before we flew to Mumbai (then Bombay) and continued briefly after our return.  I’m sure we received literature from the doctor describing possible side-effects, but we both felt fine and never gave the chloroquine a second thought.  

Luckily, I kept a journal during our travels because somewhere in the midst of the trip, I began to have terrible nightmares and a growing sense of foreboding.  India was full of sights and sounds that could easily account for some of this mental distress; but, by the time we returned home, it had grown into such a wave of paranoia that I had the notion we might die forgotten in the streets there if we didn’t leave at once.

That was, of course, crazy thinking.  After we returned home, the fantasmagoric nightmares continued for a brief time, then slowly receded.  I can still vividly recollect one of the last, in which I saw a figure huddled in dirty rags at the back of a cave.  When I approached it, the creature looked up at me and screamed horribly.  It had the face of one of my closest friends.

Some years later, my sister happened to mention the psychotropic effects of cholorquine and the penny finally dropped for me: the acute paranoia I had experienced in India and afterward was a known side-effect of my anti-malarial drug!

When Donald Trump began his “what have you got to lose” promotion of chloroquine  for COVID-19, I immediately recalled my own paranoid trip.  I was a completely sane and stable young woman on holiday.  

Nevermind the risk of heart attack, imagine what indiscriminate use of chloroquine among a population already in the grips of of the worst pandemic in modern history might produce in the way of psychotic complications!  

“What have you got to lose?”  How about your mind?

Coronavirus in America: Another Healthcare Failure

In typical fashion, Donald Trump is ignoring the experts and offering his own opinion that he has done a fantastic job of meeting the Coronavirus challenge. In fact, he insists that he’s just about got it licked.

At this point, it is wholly unnecessary to tell anyone outside the Fox & Friends universe that this is utter bullshit because he completely lost his credibility somewhere south of his first thousand lies in office.

What we cannot assess, thanks to the “Fog of Failure,” is what exactly the dimensions of that failure are; but we are on notice that the identified cases in the United? States are likely just the tippity-tip of the iceberg, since the Trump administration, either through gross incompetence? or plain malfeasance, seems to have gone out of its way to keep us from discovering the truth.

Of the nine countries tracked on worldodometers.info, the U.S. has administered the fewest tests per capita…by a magnitude.  The only figures available are from March 1 because that tracking information was removed from the CDC’s website on March 2.  

With a population of 331-million, as of March 2, the U.S. had only administered 472 tests; whereas the U.K., with a population of just 13-million, had already administered 13,525 tests…roughly two-hundred times the penetration of U.S. testing.  The number of positives in the U.S. was 14 and the number of positive in the UK was 13.  Even Turkey has better numbers than we do.

Now why might that be?

Apart from deliberate opacity and gross incompetence by the Trump administration, it could have something to do with the fact that Great Britain has a National Health Service and the U.S. still maintains a private, for-profit model.

The Coronavirus provides a rather timely demonstration of one of the benefits of universal healthcare administered under a unified, not-for-profit system.  I’m afraid that nothing in the for-profit model we cling to, not even an expanded Obamacare, fits the bill here.

Quite apart from obvious cost-efficiencies, a universal system is likely to be far more nimble and prepared in the event of a pandemic or, God forbid, mass attack. 

Standardized testing and treatment; streamlined record sharing  and protocols, combined with non-profit testing, lab analysis, vaccines and/or remedies, would result not just in lives saved, but also in productivity preserved.  That’s dollars and cents, my friends; something even Donald Trump might understand, if explained in single syllable words.

The U.S.’s anemic Coronavirus response is just another example of how our president’s daily brain-farts threaten not just our health and safety, but our national security as well.

Dershowitz to the Defense

Ever since Mitch McConnell signaled his intention to herd the Republican caucus right over the cliff in supporting Donald Trump’s “perfect call” argument, the burning question has been what sort of defense was possible on the facts. This weekend offered a glimpse of where this might be going. ?

(Appreciation to “The New Yorker for the accompanying illustration!)

Newly announced as a member of DT’s defense team, perennial camera moth, Alan Dershowitz  has been making the rounds of talk shows, insisting that he is representing the Constitution rather than the president.  His former student, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin did perhaps the best job of ripping away that particular fig leaf, returning repeatedly to challenge this bashful conceit in their lengthy exchange last evening.  It was pretty obvious that Dershowitz already recognizes the stigma that will be forever associated with being another one of Trump’s stooges, so he is doing what he can to distance himself while still serving as the president’s defense attorney.  An impossible conflict?

He was at great pains to repeatedly insist that he is a “liberal” and voted for Hillary Clinton, and, of course, that he would be appearing on behalf of the Constitution, not Donald Trump. Toobin wryly asked if the Constitution had hired him and if he would be paid; a question he rather side-stepped.

Mr. Dershowitz’s argument is that the two Articles of Impeachment against Trump are not technically “high crimes and misdemeanors,” as specified in the Constitution.  This was a difficult argument for him to make, as Toobin reminded him that there was no criminal code for the U.S at the time the Constitution was drafted; so what precisely constituted “high crimes and misdemeanors” in the Framers’ minds remains a matter for interpretation.  Dershowitz kept saying that “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” were “things like bribery and treason.”  That suggests that even he acknowledges that chargeable offenses are not limited to bribery and treason.

Leaving aside for the moment the fact that Trump’s actions with regard to Zelensky seem for fall well within the parameters of bribery, not to mention it’s fraternal twin, extortion; and his overall behavior has at least flirted with treason on numerous occasions over the past three years; I would have liked for someone to ask Dershowitz  A) whether he thought the president’s phonemail with Zelensky was “perfect”, which apparently is the official position of Trump’s Republican defendersd; and B) What exactly should be the remedy for Trump’s bad behavior if not impeachment?

Undoubtedly, he would have countered that removal of the president should be left to the voters in the next election, but when the “crime” involved was an ongoing attempt to corrupt an election, surely such a toothless consequence as “leave it to the voters” is itself a danger to the Constitution.

I would have liked to see the mental gymnastics he would have to perform in order to defend his position on that one!

Dershowitz, who himself has an accumulation of dirty dark clouds over his head ought to eschew demonstrations of high-minded outrage at those like Toobin who dare question his motives.  The problem with “originalists” whether they be constitutional or biblical, is that they will deny the sky is blue if it isn’t so stated somewhere in the original document.

I wonder if Mr. Dershowitz, once again basking in the glow of klieg lights, is aware that, should he survive impeachment, Donald Trump is already planning on decriminalizing bribery, which he claims unfairly handicaps American businesses in the global marketplace.  

You can take the slumlord away from his gangster environment, but you can’t take the gangster out of the slumlord.

Go Home, Hillary.

Correction: A couple of days after the New York Times quoted Hillary as saying Gabbard was “being groomed by theRussians”, they were forced to issue a correction. What she had, in fact, said was that Gabbard was being groomed by the “Republicans” to run as a third party candidate. A “horse of a different color”, I would say, if red wasn’t favored both by Republicans and Russians.

…and take Bill with you.

Hillary Clinton has succeeded in distracting everyone from Donald Trump’s very, VERY bad week; so much so, that one could as legitimately ask if she is a Russian asset, as she suggested someone in the 2020 Democratic lineup might be.

What a waste of time.

Tulsi Gabbard assumes that she was talking about her, and perhaps she was.  Nevertheless, Hillary has only succeeded in breathing new life into Gabbard’s feeble campaign, so that she might rise from 1% to a higher single digit.

I actually heard voices on the Saturday morning talk shows opining that Hillary “must know” what she’s talking about since she’s had do much personal experience with Russian interference!  Pu-lease!

This is the kind of conspiracy theory rumor mill that wound-up Crazy Donald and the Donaldettes in the first place.  She of all people should know better!

What possible value did Hillary imagine her little sideshow would bring to the already fraught but critical process of selecting a viable general election candidate?

She’s slipping into her Bill’s habit of wrong-footing it into the limelight just in time to provide new talking points for her opposition.

With “friends” like these, who needs enemies.

By the way, who’s to say she WAS referring to Tulsi Gabbard?  Knowing Hillary’s center-right hawkish leanings, she could have just as well been referring to the current second lead, after her fav Joe Biden. ‘Talk about wrong-footed!  Joe’s been hemorrhaging money and credibility, and just can’t seem to make it right.

Enter: Hillary, being “helpful.”

If she has any sense remaining after the Republicans have bounced her around like a football for the past two decades, she should apologize for musing out loud, blame cold-meds or some other reality-altering substance; then return to her novel for the duration. She has well and truly worn-out her welcome.

Welcome to the Impeachment

Well, we’re in it now.

There was a certain inevitability to Donald Trump’s investigation for impeachment.  It’s as if he’s been trying to bring it on ever since he found himself, to everyone’s surprise including his own, the duly elected president of the United States.  In the early days, Republicans kept insisting that he would become more “presidential” the longer he served in office. 

Instead, with every outrageous tweet or insult, he steadily grew less presidential.  It was the Republican party itself that grew more and more Trumpian as the horrifying months careened by.

Yesterday, I went out and bought myself knitting needles and wool, resigned as I was to the lengthy spectacle of can’t-miss testimony and “ah-HA” moments that is about to unfold before us.? Americans from my generation are old enough to have been here before.

We’re a different nation now than we were back in 1972 when the Watergate investigation began to unfold.  After a brief moment of unity in 2001 following 9-11, the country began a slow motion decline into dissolution.  How many times was it repeated that the expressed purpose of Al-Qaeda in attacking the capitol of American capital was to “destroy the American way of life?”

An honest observer from the future would have to agree that they have succeeded; but it wasn’t the direct actions of the terrorists that did it.? We did it to ourselves, descending into twenty years of continuous war, tribalism and self-harm, claiming to do so in the name of the very values and institutions the hijackers had despised.?

In the good ol’ days of Watergate, Republicans hadn’t yet sold-out completely to Wall Street, the NRA, Big Oil, Big Pharma and Fox News.? We were still singing from more-or-less the same songbook, and both parties were still courting the so-called center.?

Republicans were all about small government, capitalism and minding everyone else’s business globally.? Democrats were about the social safety net, equal rights and avoiding international conflict.? Both sides liked Social Security, Public Education, infrastructure investments, farm subsidies and cheap oil. Neither side fully appreciated the urgency of environmental issues.

Religious differences were to be carefully avoided in conversation and it was mutually agreed that racism was a bad thing.

I remember how tired we all became with the endless Watergate hearings, but they provided a real service to the country in bringing the public along gradually to majority agreement on at least one thing:? Dick Nixon had to? go. And go, he did; voluntarily, and one might even say presidentially.? He knew when the jig was up and preserved enough of his shredded dignity to say a tearful “goodbye” from the steps of Airforce One.

After that, we never saw our government through quite the same eyes. Nevertheless, the presidency? survived, separation of powers survived, and the hero of the ordeal was a young Republican in the Nixon administration who gave evidence against him.? John Dean went to jail for his role in enabling Nixon’s crime, but emerged older, wiser and equipped to provide valuable perspective on the corrupt reign of Donald J. Trump.

As much as Michael Cohen apparently fancies himself to be the John Dean of this story; so far, no one has come near to earning that distinction.

Donald Trump proclaimed that his administration would appoint the “best people” to run things.  After roughly 75% of his appointees have been replaced, sometimes with multiple changes in rapid succession, we have yet to see any of the “best people” that he promised. Character is in remarkably short supply.

Although quite a few of the folks who exited through the rapidly swinging doors readily dished on the president and first family, most were too thoroughly intimidated by the Oval Office Godfather to delve very deeply into his corruption.

The people who really know where all the bodies are buried are all immediately related to Donald Trump.  Chances are they’re just as guilty as he is.

With no John Dean in the wings and a soul-less vampire clinging to the ledge of the Oval Office, our poor battered constitutional democracy might not survive to 2024.

Ballad of Bernie and Elizabeth

It’s happening again.? Media presumptions and lazy polling are hurrying Democrats to put all of? their eggs in one basket,? Last time it was the Hillary basket.? Hillary Clinton was the easily-recognized middle-of-the- road candidate; a sure-fire fund-raiser, linked to a popular past administration.

The same can all be said of Joe Biden.

With the ugly evidence tweeting daily right before our noses, that taking a chance on a charismatic candidate with a transformative message can blow convention right out of the water, the pundits still insist that Biden is our safest bet for 2020.

Nobody seems to believe he is our “best” bet, just the “safest;” and in that i think they are dead wrong.

Authenticity is what the majority of American voters respond to.  With the entire Republican Party hog-tied and submissive to an outrageous lout, that lout remains the only authentic Republican on the national stage.  That he is authentically ignorant uncurious, apparently incapable of telling the truth and incredibly offensive to three-fourths of the population doesn’t matter, he tells his lies with an angry conviction that the Rabid Right continue to confuse with authenticity.

Democrats have many fine and qualified candidates to choose from, but only two have a history of fierce authenticity that represents a true polar opposite to Trump’s populist appeal.

Those candidates are Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who have both demonstrated consistency and a career- long commitment to the ideas they are championing in this election.

As they must repeatedly remind us, the argument that Medicare-for-all is economically unfeasible is belied by the fact that in every other advanced nation, healthcare is a human right; costs are magnitudes lower than our own; and outcomes are better. ?

Those who oppose universal healthcare suggest it would mean “throwing (however many tens of thousands) people off of their plans” without a safety net; but that is a complete mischaracterization.  

The template is here already.? Medicare, as a program, already exists.? There is no question but that it should be improved; but so should the Affordable Care Act, were we to continue with that template.? The only way to take control of healthcare costs is to TAKE CONTROL OF THEM.? That means negotiating costs for the entire country as a buying bloc; and ultimately eliminating the parasitic sick-care “ insurance” and hospital billing industries. ?

This is a vision, not for January 2021, but for the very near future.? It will require careful planning and incremental adoption.? Democrats should start singing from the same songbook now, because they are the only party national that has any real commitment to public healthcare.? If they don’t think and articulate boldly, we are doomed to an ever less-inclusive healthcare system.? And that means we are doomed to become a poorer nation.

If Americans truly want to believe themselves better than everyone else, why do they accept a healthcare system that leaves us with cadillac costs and outcomes little better than those of a banana republic? 

We have to replace not just Mad King Donald, but the Senate Republican majority, who will surely be at their most vulnerable by November 2020, since it looks like we’re going to get that recession that’s been threatening.?

I’ll support whomever the Democrats nominate, but I have a very bad feeling about the race to anoint the least objectionable candidate.

An Intervention

Scan 3Custodial Care interview #3: Eric Trump

Interviewer:? So, Mr. Trump you believe your father could benefit from placement in our facility?

ET:? Yes, I do; he’s lost it. Totally.

Interviewer: I see.? Could you elaborate for me?

ET:? Well, he’s always been a little long on fantasy and short on the truth…like when me and Donnie and Vannie were little and he promised us a dog.? I mean he PROMISED us!? Still waiting for that dog, man.

Interviewer:? I’m sorry to hear that; but what has he done recently to raise your concerns?

ET:? What hasn’t he done?? He’s got that damn iPhone, you know; and we can’t peel him away from it.? Last weekend he locked himself in the bathroom for three hours and just let fly.? Not a word of truth…just the biggest whoppers you ever heard!? He lies like a million times a day!

Interviewer:? What about your siblings? Can’t they do anything to make him stop?? I hear that sister of yours can really get around him.? And Don Jr.;? what about him?

ET:? Junior?? Don’t make me laugh.? His voice gets higher every time he talks to Dad.? He wants so bad to be a chip off the ol’ block that we call him “Mini Me.”? But Dad is one of a kind: a gold-plated swaggering sonofabitch who believes his own bullshit.? That’s a hard act to follow. Donnie’s brand of bullshit just makes him stink, and he knows it.? Smells like desperation.? No wonder his wife showed him the door.? I hear she’d had enough even before he started fooling? around with Little Miss Paparazzi Bait.

Interviewer:? Your sister then; surely, she has some influence…

ET:? Pu-leaase!!? All she can manage is to get more for her.? Of course it works both ways. Vanny’s got more plastic on her than a Barbie doll. She was always his favorite, but she knew she better be picture perfect or he might drop her like he did our Ma…and Tiff’s Ma…and those three Ukranian house maids we had over at the Tower. ?

She’s Daddy’s little girl, alright, but even she can’t make him behave.? And that goonie husband of hers…

Interviewer: Jared?

ET:? Yeah, Jared…Mr. Know-it-all Asshole.? “Why can’t you be like Jared??”? “Jared is smart.” “Jared’s going to make my Saudi hotel finally happen.”? “Jared’s got the Sheik’s ear.”? I am so sick of him!? I really hoped he’d end up in jail like his dear ol’ dad… ?

Interviewer: Yes, I see you have issues with a lot of family members,? but we’re really here to discuss your father.? What makes you think he needs custodial care?

ET: Well, I downloaded the dementia checklist and he’s got all that, plus a few extra kinks.? He’s selfish and childish. He imagines stuff.? He’s paranoid.? He repeats himself endlessly.? He’s forgotten all but about 250 actual words, which he just repeats louder and louder; and he doesn’t always manage to get even those out in the right order.? He keeps making racist, insulting and just plain crazy remarks, right out loud. I tell you, it’s embarrassing to be out in public with the guy!

Interviewer:? Yes, I see…

ET: You tell him the simplest fact and he says or does just the opposite, as many times as he can.? Like that time he watched the eclipse on the White House lawn.? Everyone told him to wear those special shades, but no, he had to be the big tough guy and stare straight into the sun. He complained for a week about the “sand” in his eyes!

… And they say I’m the dumb one.? What a moron!

Interviewer:? Yes, yes, many people wonder…

ET:? He’s destroying the family businesses…again!! He shouldn’t be allowed near an iPhone.

Interviewer:? …And think of what he’s doing to the nation….

ET:? Screw the nation!? He’s tanking our inheritance.? We’ll all end up working at Walmart.

Interviewer (aside):? Your lips to God’s ear.