Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Friday, July 10, 2020

TWGB: What a Day Trump is Having

Because Trump speaks in superlatives without any view as to how they might resonate, I just want to ponder for a minute over someone "acing" a cognitive test. He performed baseline mental activities well enough to be considered not impaired (it isn't an IQ test, or the SAT's). And the doctors (plural) were very surprised!

Doctor 1: Say, would you get a load of that: Trump is not actually mentally deficient.

Doctor 2: Well slap my ass and call me a timpani drum.

Doctor 3: I shouldn't have bet the under. Fuck.

Doctor 2: So we're....gonna let him still have the nuclear codes and just scoot on out of here?

Doctor 1: Sadly, yes. It isn't....(puts on sunglasses) brain surgery.

Forgive me, it's been a long day, but maybe not so long for me as for the president, who got a little bit of awkward news in that he doesn't have, contrary to his previous and probably current opinion, absolute immunity regarding subpoenas, in this case for his tax returns, as requested by NY DA Vance. (As for US Congress, they need to clean up their act and figure out why they really want it, but you know. They could probably get them.) Trump took this with his usual grace and equanimity, which is to say: no, he didn't have those things. But Kayleigh McEnany says he actually got a win today. And like, why not? She could have just done a five minute drum solo with a couple of pens and walked away doing finger guns. No one cares.

So, what else happened today--Esper kind of admitted he never got told about "bounties" but like, Russian payments to the Taliban? Yeah, he probably knew about those. (He's pretty concerned this got leaked though, although if it's as much as that it happened, I am super unsure. I know what I'd rather he be concerned about.) Also, he doesn't seem to have protected Lt. Col. Vindman from retaliatory treatment regarding his impeachment testimony at all. (He also says he doesn't know who gave the order to clear Lafayette Park, and you know what? Whatever. Esper knows just about what he should know and makes a job of not knowing what he shouldn't.) Lou Dobbs called Esper "incompetent" today over something quite else, so who knows where Trump will stand regarding that guy's future.

Judge Emmet Sullivan isn't done with Gen Flynn, last seen this holiday weekend pledging to Q, whatever that means. Somehow, the DOJ's determination to not, like, make a federal case out of the actual federal case that Flynn plead guilty to just seems kind of suspect, you know? As if the person running the DOJ was trying to make things comfortable for Trump's associates. So weird!

And while we're so obviously on the topic of Bill Barr (who should be impeached) we also got treated to former US Attorney Geoffrey Berman's take on Barr's really way-out approach to getting his ass fired. It really feels like Barr was using the bait of other job offers as a bribe to get Berman to step down because of possibly some investigation he was involved in (and as I've said, those investigations were considerable and revolved around TrumpWorld).

It's really like Trump doesn't have the best people, but the ones that are around him are covering him like a badly-fitting suit. It's a little like some threads are unraveling. It's a lot like he should be regularly getting a check-up from the neck up if he thinks people don't understand that his White House is corrupted by grift, incompetence and deception. Many of us certainly do.

The revolution against Trump might not be televised on Fox News as being from anyone but "The Left" (and it isn't only us lefties, not anymore), but it will be televised.

TrumpWorld must fall. Orbis Trumpi delenda est.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Super-spreader, qu'est-ce que c'est?

Run, run, run,, fuggedabout it. Look, it just seems like, instead of really doing more than the minimum to stop the spread of COVID-19, we've actually got Donny Crappleseed for a president, who just spreads contagion wherever he goes. His lack of concern is more than a little disturbing, and more than a little self-interested. And oddly, his campaign staff are every bit as bad, because woof! The highest praise for the worst results. It's, in a word, psycho.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Never Gonna Be President

Even though one of the recurring themes of my blog is the widening gulf between the right and the left in this country, it came as a bit of a surprise to me to see a recent story that suggested that Fox News white supremacist and trust fund douche nozzle Tucker Carlson was under serious consideration for a 2024 GOP presidential run.

I mean really, sure, Donald Trump has a lot of BIG White Supremacist and Trust Fund Douche Nozzle energy, but is that the direction they think is....good actually? Because it really sounds like it is. The blather about "blah, blah party bankrupt and blah, blah swamp" really sounds to me like someone uncomfortably assembling a fig-leaf jock strap expecting to get hit in the jollies with the sad truth: The GOP has been selling tax cuts and bigotry for so long it forgot there ever was anything else. And no one stands up for free trade, or talks about the debt, or worries about Russia or national security, or basic fucking competence in the face of a pandemic, because they are all little people milling around Trump, who is an idiot. And they will do the same for Tucker Carlson, who is a younger, better-looking idiot?

The idea should be appalling. But this was seriously put forth, so, let's really look at Tucker Carlson, right the fuck now. Because he's shitting on a Somali-born Muslima congresswoman who is speaking up for ending oppression within various necessary systems (she is not, however, calling for the end of the entire US way of life, but thanks to multiple conservative media outlets and several high-profile elected figures like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for letting us know that they consider oppression and the American way of life are so neatly intertwined--I, like Rep. Omar, want to believe we can very well do the American Way without oppression--thanks!) and calling a decorated Thai-American US Senator and veteran Tammy Duckworth every damn nasty thing he can think of.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Into What, Though?

"Stepping forward", I guess, is the nicest way to say "he's not doing nothing", but the journey he's supposed to be stepping forward on should have started months ago, and it really does feel like Trump is being praised like a baby for taking any steps at all. This kind of cowardice could be chalked up to an election year, but it's really how Republicans have been regarding Trump all the time, since he started. And yet, Trump wants to stop supporting testing (which he still blames for the high case numbers, instead of, well, there being an awful lot of cases) and to end the ACA.

It's shabby and a lack of leadership--from Trump and Ernst. And more, besides. Like Mark Meadows:

Tell that to the 41-year old healthy Broadway actor who just died after months struggling with this disease. Tell that to his family.


UPDATE: WOW. The White House message, tho'.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Rushmore, Talk Less?

Because Trump is not actually the president of the entirety of America, having abdicated on several fronts (such as national security against Russia and coronavirus, from the looks of things) and not actually caring about more than the interests of himself at most with some overlapping with a <50% quantity of other Americans at best, I find it useful to look at Trump's remarks Friday night regarding "Americans" versus "them":

"Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Many of these people have no idea why they are doing this, but some know exactly what they are doing."

"They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive. But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country, and all of its values, history, and culture, to be taken from them."

Does he not know that the people taking up space to correct the public record are mostly American citizens? Does he not understand they are confronting a whitewashed history with a history truer in color to the original cut? They aren't wiping out history; they are gifting us with a perspective that was under-recognized. They aren't defaming heroes; they are demanding we see historical figures, not on pedestals, but in the full context of their actions. They ask that we as a society live up to the values we mean to enshrine. They want our children and their own to know that history is multi-faceted.

"The American people" in his construction are "weak and soft and submissive" if they don't resist what he frames in counter-revolutionary terms--as an undoing of what the founders fought for. But the founders did not fight for this nation to be a graveyard of national monuments to be dusted and cared for anymore than they were themselves made of marble, plaster, or bronze, instead of flesh and blood; they fought for a living Constitution and a vibrant and growing creedal nation. I see the protesting Americans as deposing the idea of the monumental person in the way the founders rejected the right of kings; they come not to destroy the revolution, but to fulfil it, and I'm in favor of it. We can do better, and should, and need to, and the future deserves it.

This was, for Trump, a campaign speech, against a magnificent backdrop that afforded him the opportunity to speak of the shared heritage of a diverse nation in the tones of a uniter--to speak, in other words, as a president, and a person who recognized the legacy he inherited by the grace of the electoral college and the responsibility he held having taken its solemn oath of office. In the grand space of the Lakota lands where the rightful people under treaty were repelled from their protest just hours before, his people bound folding chairs together to create a tight crowd of 3700 close enough to smell each others breath in the midst of a goddamn pandemic.

He is a man both too small and with an ego too large for the place he holds. In turning an Independence Day themed event into a culture-war themed event, he gave away a lot of what occupies his mind. It too, has a monument that needs overturning. Because someone with such a limited worldview can even live in the White House, but isn't ever gonna really be president of all of this.

(Blog title courtesy of having just watched Hamilton, which was awesome.)

Thursday, July 2, 2020

We've Seen This Before

You know, I really have to hand it to the Trump folks--they genuinely have given up on subtlety, but even as "wow, WTF" as this is, I have definitely seen the same general design before, quite recently, with a different Republican:

So, that was a thing that definitely happened, and we all had to get quietly studied about it. Sure, Trump's eagle is facing right not left. But, look, deep into my baby-blues here: no, Trump and them are playing a game with you all, and in his case, it is what you think it is. The point of the game is baiting us into calling him on it. Because, take this:

Like, why $88, exactly, and not a nice, round figure like $90? We all know that 88 means "heil Hitler" in certain circles, but surely that, like a statement with 14 words exactly, is just a coincidence, right? We're not like those QAnon dopes out here, just practicing numerology and conspiracy theories, yes? The Trump Administration and/or campaign wouldn't just be dropping 1488 references to fuck with us, like, I dunno in documents released by agencies regarding immigration? The campaign wouldn't quite accidentally use a Nazi concentration camp symbol for political prisoners to identify Antifa?

No, not accidentally. I don't think these things happen accidentally, at all.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Trump Has Been Briefed, Now, And Can *So* Read

By now, Trump has certainly been sat down and caught up with the intel that more than one source has corroborated was in a PDB earlier this year, even though White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany assures us that Trump "does read" and is "the most informed person on planet earth" regarding the threats this nation faces.

(How then, did he screw up COVID-19 so bad? Was that not a threat? Ah, but he also called that threat a "hoax". And here we are.)

Well, he certainly could be the most informed person, if he wanted to be. But he doesn't want to be. He is the proverbial horse that can be lead to water, but not made to drink. He can be made to read, but he can not be made to understand what he has read if he simply refuses. When Friday's story hit, if it had at all blindsided him and made him aware of something he needed to know but was not properly informed of, he would not have spent the next couple of days golfing, but getting to the bottom of it. Now that he is, per the White House, informed, why would he be calling it a "hoax"? The story exists!

His White House handlers need to understand his ass can not be cleaned up. He will never be accountable, and thinks all he needs to do is tweet the word "hoax" to make a problem go away. It looks bad because it is bad.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Always-Denial Denial

Trump doesn't take responsibility. He does things, all right, but he lives in a universe of diminished consequences. People settle out of court, exhausted by him. He goes bankrupt (through his own incompetence and more than once), but still lives like some demi-royalty (whilst hard-working people can easily struggle through no fault of their own, but the machinations of folks just like Trump). He gets people to sign NDAs so they don't rat him out--even his own family. He creates a kind of squid ink of lies around himself so that there's a cushion of implausible deniability--sure, sure, he's clearly a racist, a con-artist, a half literate and a creep according to the fake news media--but what if he wasn't? 

Of course, he is those things. From his own mouth, he's a whore monger and a pussy-grabber; from his own mouth, he tells on himself about his racism and so much more. 

So, did he know about the bounties Russia had on US troops and UK troops in Afghanistan payable to the Taliban? Trump and already-proven liar WH spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany say of course he didn't. News reports are starting to really corroborate that of course he was told.  But what does it mean that Trump was told? Was he given something to read? Was he verbally told? Did he grasp the whole deal?

Who can say? We are presented with the appalling spectacle of a person who might not take in information whether read out or spoken, who is bellicose to allies and fawning before dictators, who has a probable vault of "perfect calls" that are by no means perfect, or are, in fact, "abominations":

The White House did not respond to a request for comment before this story published. After publication, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews said, "President Trump is a world class negotiator who has consistently furthered America's interests on the world stage. From negotiating the phase one China deal and the USMCA to NATO allies contributing more and defeating ISIS, President Trump has shown his ability to advance America's strategic interests."

One person familiar with almost all the conversations with the leaders of Russia, Turkey, Canada, Australia and western Europe described the calls cumulatively as 'abominations' so grievous to US national security interests that if members of Congress heard from witnesses to the actual conversations or read the texts and contemporaneous notes, even many senior Republican members would no longer be able to retain confidence in the President.

These two paragraphs of this CNN piece from Carl Bernstein (!?*) are from different universes; one, the spin universe of those who still think you can polish a wet one, and the reality of those who ruefully admit the solidity of the excreta is beyond burnishing. If the Speaker of the House had the will and the time, we'd be totally up for more impeachment trials, and I entirely wish it could be so. But it would take years to unscrew all of Trump's impeachable offenses (although please! they could try for some of AG Barr's!)

But here's something to ponder: just today, Iran submitted a warrant to Interpol for the arrest of President Trump and 30-0dd other folks for the hit on General Qassem Suliemani. Ok, it isn't gonna go anywhere, and nice, troll, Iran. But recall that this assassination occurred right in the midst of the impeachment, and Trump tried to minimize the resulting casualties from the subsequent attack on our bases in Iraq. He doesn't like to admit things (like, say, our current Covid-19 crisis) are as bad as they really are, because it reflects on him. He also doesn't know what to do about anything, so everything gets worse.

He's a bully, and ignoramus and a head case. Many Republicans are covering up for him. I guess they are also in extraordinary and even delusional denial.

UPDATE: * Because how many journalists have the presence to be about to bring down two presidents during their careers, right? And this glimpse into Trump's modus operandi should be fatal.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Trump's Campaign Has Found Its Mascot

It's an old guy in a golf cart yelling "White power!" (Clearly, he's not going for subtlety, here.)

It says an awful lot about Trump, I think, that the image of retirees at each others' throats is a heart-warming sign to him: division is the name of his game. People screaming at one another is his happy place because it means they are not thinking.

UPDATE: Ah. He was told to take it down. He can pretend he didn't have the sound on, but just between you, me, and the internet, he knows perfectly well what he retweeted.

UPDATE 2: All right you libtards, listen up, it was teh sarcasm and you have no sense of humor!