As we’ve been noting for 18 months, EVERY TIME Trump goes on what he thinks is brilliant offense over anything, it always is a false attack on something HE has been guilty of. Always. The rubber-glue/I know you are but what am I? technique. Here, in extending his singular fake outrage (vp-elect Mike Pence says he was not offended in the least), he turns his classic deficits away from himself onto others. And we won’t allege much of this is deflective drivel designed to get everyone to move on immediately from Mr. Never Settle settling in the Trump “University” scam case. We wouldn’t do that, so we didn’t.
These great stars of Broadway who perform intricate dialogue from memory, according to Trump…. are idiots. In fact, the president-elect says the current star of Hamilton, Brandon Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, is so pathetic, that Trump thought he’d score by saying Dixon “couldn’t even memorize lines,” when he read the very respectful statement to Pence. This, from the guy who was saved from HIMSELF by finally agreeing to be his version of being “presidential” and “on message” the past few weeks of his campaign by being force-fed words on a teleprompter. The guy, who even earlier in the campaign, several times whipped out a script and read precise words about not admitting Muslims. From December, when he apparently even needed to read his own name: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on…” Earlier, his original 3rd grade outburst was, “The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior.”
What kind of sick human being in his position would think it elevates him in the eyes of anyone by throwing in the pointless aside “which I hear is highly overrated?” Is it even necessary to refute that well-reasoned, well-sourced, scholarly theater review by using Trump’s own measuring techniques for success in anything: winning (11 Tony Awards), tv ratings (highest tv ratings for Tony Awards show in 15 years) and money (most expensive Broadway ticket ever… over $1,000 and sold out for years. Trump has been in the process of practicing his “bully pulpit” technique for 70 years. Up until now, I can’t recall a president ever not being, at least somewhat aware of the power of his words to crash markets, start wars, destroy reputations, or shred the dignity and credibility of the presidency itself. But then, we’ve never had a true bully at the presidential pulpit. Until now.
The headline above is the Daily Kos version of a widely reported story late in the week.
When Republicans don’t win, they change the rules of the game to suit their needs. It’s become the GOP way nationwide, and that could play out in North Carolina. One of the bright spots that emerged for Tar Heel Democrats on Tuesday was the election of a progressive judge over a conservative one, giving the court a 4-3 Democratic majority as of next year. Unless GOP lawmakers find a way to add seats to the court, reports Mitch Kokai.
“State lawmakers could vote to expand North Carolina’s Supreme Court by up to two additional members, according to the N.C. Constitution. There’s been speculation about such a move in the wake of challenger Mike Morgan’s victory over incumbent Bob Edmunds in this week’s state Supreme Court election. […]
Observers have asked whether the N.C. General Assembly could expand the number of justices to blunt the election’s impact. The answer is yes.”
The court currently has one chief justice and six associate justices, but the state constitution says, “the General Assembly may increase the number of Associate Justices to not more than eight.” Adding more than two associate judges would require a constitutional amendment.
But time is of the essence there if Democrat Roy Cooper ultimately succeeds in defeating Gov. Pat McCrory. Governors are responsible for appointing new justices. If Cooper prevails, he’ll take office on Jan. 11, 2017.
The newspaper dropped on my driveway each day is the News and Record. Its version is this:
Within that article are comments from Bob Hall, executive director of some commie outfit known as Democracy NC (we know when they call it “Democracy NC” what THAT means!). Bob says “he has not heard specifically of a legislative effort to add justices to the Supreme Court.
If it is true, Hall said, then
“it’s completely hypocritical and astonishing that a group of elected leaders who say that the will of the people matters would try to circumvent the will of the people in this Supreme Court race.”
Hall said the same voters chose to elect Republican Donald Trump as president, re-elect Republicans U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and N.C. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and, apparently, deny McCrory a second term.
“That shows a will of the people to have both parties with a role in control of the political process in North Carolina,” Hall said.
“Therefore, it would be expressively outrageous and an abuse of power to permit the additions to the Supreme Court because it would allow the legislature to conduct an outright takeover of another branch of government.
Bob is being kind and charitable and diplomatic in his language, as strong and unmistakably true as it is. When you lose, you lose. You don’t work the refs, you don’t get to change the rules, you don’t get to put extra time on the clock. Cleveland Indians Lost The World Series, But Are They Plotting To Steal It By Adding 2 More Games?
The disgusting chutzpah, the towering arrogance, the unmitigated, transparent attempt by North Carolina Republicans to control each and every aspect of state government in ways like adding more justices is no different than a military coup, just without the guns. But it fits perfectly with what we saw last week in the presidential election. A guy who nakedly ran on all kinds of caudillo, strongman, dictator precepts… the wall, the ethnic slurring and scapegoating for all problems, America First, the threats to jail the opponent, militarism, drain the swamp (but scrape bottom of swamp and dredge up Gingrich and Giuliani)… who could be surprised that the Triple-A teams at the state level wouldn’t be inspired to justify their anti-democratic means to their one-party, autocratic ends, even more boldly and brazenly than ever?
By 1937, Franklin Roosevelt was having many of his New Deal initiatives struck down by a conservative-leaning Supreme Court. So he came up with the BS idea that the court should add one extra justice for every one that was over 70. This was under the guise of charity to the elderly, since those old judges obviously couldn’t keep up with the workload. Known now as “court packing,” FDR was blasted by nearly everyone for his transparent plan to add more justices friendlier to him. He lost a lot of credibility for that scheme, paid the price and New Deal legislation was finished as the idea went away. More here. By a different name, North Carolina Republicans may try the same thing. This really needs attention to be paid and stopped. But the track record for checking the national and state Republican power grab recently is dismal. Ironically, it is often the courts that have been a last backstop, on voting rights, minority rights, abortion rights… the whole menu. Changing the refs ends all hope. Sadly, it must be said, that if even a small percentage of those who are pissed off enough at Trump being elected who are marching nightly had expressed that anger by voting, we’d be in quite a different place today.
It’s bad enough, if you’re Donald J. Trump, that you may be headed to a devastating loss. The intoxication of the crowds and the applause and the rote chanting–“lock her up,”“Mexico,” and the one he thinks was written just for him, “USA, USA, USA,” will suddenly end, as it would for any presidential loser. People who actually bought into his impossible nightmare will go back to their lives, and Trump will spend the rest of his days blaming and justifying and spinning and trying to reclaim the life he had before becoming a candidate. Most of us would be happy if that’s all he did, conceding gracelessly but leaving the United States relatively intact, having bloodied a major political party, media, basic human decency, and causing a split in the country as wide as Vietnam. No, Donald, Hillary’s email thing wasn’t “worse than Watergate.” You, Donald Trump, singularly may turn out to have been worse than Watergate.
Trump is the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famousguy lyingly claiming he was running as a sacrifice for his country, which he lyingly claimed needed him as the “only I can fix it” guy. One of his most famous lies is the one about wanting to release his taxes but he just can’t because they’re under audit. That’s a classic Trump whopper because it does what he does best: pile misdirection and disinformation on top of a hidden agenda, reaching a conclusion that is then defended by his Excuse Squad, then burying the subject at the back of the line when other outrages displace it. It’s always been about protecting whatever phony image he has projected all these years, now horrendously backfiring. Keeping his taxes under wraps has always been about making sure the world doesn’t know down to the penny what a tax-evading, stingy with charity, not as rich a guy as he’s portrayed himself, preserving that image for after the election. But a presidential campaign really does strip the bark off you, paraphrasing the late Lee Atwater referring to his destruction of Michael Dukakis in service to George HW Bush in 1988. The exposure of the fraud that is Donald Trump has forever tarnished his sacred brand, to the point where new hotels won’t even have his name on them anymore. Any previous perception of high-quality, best-in-breed Trump-anything has been down-scaled by the chattering class’s disgust with Trump and his classless, third-rate, hateful persona overtaking the false image.
Were there ever emptier words from a candidate than the ones that made it clear that his candidacy was never about him, but about “you,” or some variation thereof? Yea, right. From the Dean of the Trump University School of Narcissism….
When the FBI called off the dogs 10 days after releasing the Hounding of Hillary, the entire world breathed a sigh of relief. Financial markets roared their approval that the Greatest Businessman Ever wasn’t going to repeal and replace with nothing, build a wall, End the Fed, and charge everyone 35% more for a Ford subcompact or an air conditioner built in Mexico.
As much as the conventional wisdom leaned on the cliche that Americans, in general, say we’re going in the wrong direction, it’s just a lazy explanation for hate, racism, and (what used to be) conservative complaining that no one takes personal responsibility for anything and it’s The Others’ Fault. Clue…. we ALWAYS think we’re going in the wrong direction…. more on that from Leonard Pitts here: A black man was elected president and white people lost their minds. Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” stolen from Reagan, was always about simply turning back the clock to a mythical thrilling yesteryear that never really was that can never be replicated. Low-skill factory jobs are never coming back, no matter how many promises demagogues like Trump roll out. The steel mills aren’t reopening in Pittsburgh, cheap textiles will never come from South Carolina like they did 50 years ago, and Apple is not about to build iPhones here. The calculations have been made. If you’re too lazy to click…. the answer is $2,000.
Finally, my back of the envelope calculation says this: that things just aren’t really quite bad enough economically for most Americans that they want to take the ultimate chance by rolling the dice with the Unstable One. Gas is really, really cheap these days. It’s amazing how that’s such a big issue around an election when it’s high… and how it disappears when it’s so low on a historical basis like it is now. And the old misery index: Unemployment plus inflation… fuggetabout it.
For way too long, as we now realize, many of us thought that this was really just one big dare, one big joke that got out of hand and took on a life of its own, and that Trump never really wanted to be president as much as he just didn’t want to lose trying to be president. Donald J. Trump always declares himself to be the winner and even if he’s not, he just lies and says he won. Not this time. The national exhaustion at the year-and-a-half of this man’s brain chemistry experiment gone bad is about to end. While we know this isn’t the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning of some legitimate issues Trump clumsily raised, maybe we can start with something small… like adding a ninth justice to the Supreme Court. That would be special.
Those of us who have a growing sense of relief that this edition of Our Long National Nightmare Is Over is about to go to press…. that Donald J. Trump is not only about to lose, but possibly lose bigly…. still have another two weeks or so of wishing the World Series would be a best of 15 that would continue right through November 8th. But at least for now we have future Emmy winner Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live, who was lurking bigly in Donald Trump’s great brain as he seemed to be imitating Baldwin imitating him at the third debate. That’s the debate where Trump was determined to get himself onto the alltime presidential debate highlight reel with “there you go again” and “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine…” by playing a card not even in the deck and pre-announcing his non-acceptance of the result of the election because it has been so clearly “rigged.” The next afternoon, Trump tried sarcasm:
“Ladies and gentleman I want to make a major announcement today,” Trump said, continuing, “I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters, and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election …”
But there was more. Trump then finished that sentence with, “if I win,” seemingly admitting a strange logic: that a system rigged against him would be totally acceptable if that rigging ultimately worked out in his favor.
He smiled right after “if I win,” but it’s too late for that kind of subtlety and nuance from the guy who has millions and millions of people believing that he, alone, “can fix it.”
I can’t remember at what point I lost my sense of humor about all this. It wasn’t on the granular, day to day basis of analyzing each successive dose of calculated insanity that drove each previous outrage to the back of the (Access Hollywood) bus. Easily disproven lies that pushed calls for violence at rallies pushed out attacks on Megyn Kelly’s humanity and Carly Fiorina’s face, which displaced the attack on the disabled reporter, John McCain’s military service and the non-existent Muslim celebrators of 9/11 he said he saw… the businesses that cut ties to him early on as he attacked Mexicans and promised to force them to build a wall, which was complimented by his call to shut down all Mosques (all of those things from a full year ago)…. this list could go on seemingly forever, right up to today…. it never really was funny. A Gordian Knot of Knuttiness….
Maybe the urgency of the situational, national cancer that Trump has metastasized into was being signaled to us when he first leaned on the oldest, lamest excuse to try and wiggle out of whatever his latest limits-testing absurdity was at the time: it was a joke, I was being sarcastic, and you have no sense of humor for taking me seriously like all of the Angry, White Male Einsteins at my rallies who I love because they take me seriously.
When he slammed John McCain in July of 2015 because he said he likes “people who weren’t captured,” Trump then tweeted, “Captured or not, all of our soldiers are heroes.” He thought that might be the end of it. Do you recall saying to yourself that just the piece of video (here) of him saying that about McCain was way more sickening than lesser things that have sunk other candidates of the past? The next day, his response to the universal condemnation reigning down on him set the pattern which we have seen literally hundreds of times since then. Here was the double down on the outrage, never apologize template being tested, early on. Via CNN:
Asked by ABC News whether he owes McCain an apology, Trump said: “No, not at all.”
“People that fought hard and weren’t captured and went through a lot, they get no credit. Nobody even talks about them. They’re like forgotten. And I think that’s a shame, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said Sunday.
“People that were not captured that went in and fought, nobody talks about them. Those are heroes also,” he said.
It wasn’t really funny then, but we were six months ahead of the first primary vote, and Trump was still an attention-grabbing novelty act that surely would close before it ever got out of Altoona. Wrong.
For awhile, Trump was going hot and heavy on saying things he knew he shouldn’t say by saying them and then telling you he wasn’t going to say them. Ha. Ha. Here’s ABC’s version of the earliest use of a word that would come back to grab and haunt Trump really, really bigly as an October surprise via Billy Bushgate.
“You heard the other night at the debate, they asked Ted Cruz a serious question: “Well what do you think of waterboarding?” Is it okay? And honestly I thought he’d say absolutely and he didn’t,” Trump told the audience.
After that, a woman shouted a crude word.
“Okay you’re not allowed to say and I never expect to hear that again,” Trump said in response. “I never expect to hear that from you again.”
But then Trump repeated the woman’s remarks.
“She said he’s a PUSSY…that’s terrible,” he said, before throwing his hands up.
Trump pointed to the fact that he was repeating the words of a supporter — rather than initially saying them himself –- as the reason why he said the word, nonetheless.
By this past week’s debate, Trump’s bizarre defensiveness surrounding all things Russian and all things Putin is another of those would disqualify anyone else things that’s been pushed to the background by other bundles of crazy. But Trump, the man who would be way more likely to read Putin his Miranda rights than Hillary hers upon their respective arrests,held a news conference at the Democratic Convention where he called (“sarcastically,” he said later) for Russian hackers to find the tens of thousands of deleted emails from Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, ABC reported.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you would probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” he said at the news conference.
One of the main planks of all Voter ID Suppression Laws is to shrink the number of days or completely eliminate early voting, especially on Sundays when “souls to the polls” efforts at black churches became famous and successful. That’s one of the many ways these laws are specifically designed to shave, on the margins, traditionally black voters. Donald Trump, ironically, has made the best argument of all against early voting: that you really, really, just might want to change your vote the final few weeks or days after you’ve early voted. Sometimes history grabs you by the crotch and everything is upside down. It actually seems possible that on November 4th Donald Trump might shoot someone on Fifth Avenue thinking it’s his last chance to demonstrate his manhood and he shouldn’t be denied those already locked-in early Hillary votes that would swing over to him in such a case. We need to be fair. Early voting is not fair. Right.
A month to go. The Obama Weather Machine unsuccessfully tried to divert attention by creating an east coast hurricane. Epic fail. Most of the country still focused on new news about the election. “The people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry,” Hillary says in leaked documents (thanks, Vlad) referring to Wall Street bigshots. Not a great moment for her, but hardly worse than Trump bragging that he knows the rigged, corrupt system better than anyone and only he, the Messiah, can fix it. Neither is her comment, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.” Don’t weaken because of one line, Bernie Brothers. The American people will have to decide whether that was private suck-up talk or whether Hillary would push not only for not a wall with Mexico, but Welcome Centers every 3 miles along the border…. like you see when you cross into a new state on an interstate highway.
The Trump Access Hollywood tape of his admission that he is an out of control, star/rich guy privileged, Tic Tac-swallowing, unsolicited crotch-grabbing sexual predator has such high shock value not only because of the timing, but because we only believe stuff these days if it’s on tape. After all the bad publicity surrounding domestic violence situations in the NFL, only one player lost his career: Ray Rice, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens. That’s because there was actual video of him dragging his wife out of the elevator. Other domestic abuse cases against women and children just can’t be so bad, apparently… because there’s no visual evidence. Resume play, please.
Those of us on the complete other side of Trump Train Tracks start the process of beginning to breathe out. Not completely yet, but beginning to see what we’ve hoped for with the guy from day one: that eventually the total weight of all of the insanity, the hate, the racism, the fraud of the con man, the unconstitutional ignorance of his very being and knowing nothing about anything plus the entire sordid 40-year public history of Donald Trump would finally collapse on him. The Russian Winter is approaching and is upon this Hitlerian figure of American History. One Con Too Many.
As we enter the final month of Donald Trump’s Journey of Self-Discovery… as he discovers the traits that made him Fake Business Genius Bully Trump are not acceptably transferrable to become President Trump… it’s important to recognize the horrible legacy he’s leaving behind. The King of Reality TV Stars thought he could cross over to the White House as easily as Hootie went country. Not gonna happen. But like the cartoon Tasmanian Devil, Trump is leaving behind a damaged, divided citizenry. I knew I recognized Trump from pop culture from somewhere other than Celebrity Apprentice:
Taz is generally portrayed as a ferocious, albeit dim-witted, omnivore with a notoriously short temper and little patience. His enormous appetite seems to know no bounds, as he will eat anything in his path. He is best known for his speech consisting mostly of grunts, growls, and rasps (in his earlier appearances, he does speak English with primitive grammar) as well as his ability to spin like a vortex and bite through nearly anything
You surely remember the depiction of the Civil War that could literally tear a family apart, pitting brother against brother or father against son as each rallied to the flag of the cause that captured his heart. Not since the height of the Vietnam War has the country been so divided. But Vietnam was over something that truly was a life and death situation. This is about Donald Trump, who has emerged as the black hole of all of the worst aspects of America. Some of those characteristics are noted here, in The Atlantic’s first endorsement of a presidential candidate since 1964, when they warned of the danger of Barry Goldwater and backed LBJ. That followed a 104 year-record of non-endorsement, when they’d backed the saving of the Union by getting behind Abe Lincoln in 1860. The magazine was founded in 1857. Imagine all those angry subscription cancellations! Hardly head over heels for Hillary, a flawed candidate for sure, the Atlantic makes the choice and comes to the conclusion that:
Donald Trump….has no record of public service and no qualifications for public office. His affect is that of an infomercial huckster; he traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective; he is appallingly sexist; he is erratic, secretive, and xenophobic; he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself. He is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America’s nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.
“Appears not to read,” is a good dividing line. You either believe that education and study and scholarship and learning about stuff outside your main area of interest is important…. or you think a narrow, self-interested, unprepared, simple closed mind that is 100% convinced of its own invincibility is just great. Trump needs to be asked the “what newspapers or magazines do you read?” question.
Much has been written about people at the office not talking to each other about the election. Bumper stickers and yard signs seem scarcer than ever out of fear of your car getting bashed, someone flipping you off, or your house burned down. It’s even infected Fox News Channel, where adherence to the code has made them number one for 20 years. Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly went at each other this past week, then pretended to make up, sending out a picture of the two of them faking togetherness as they realized the checks still don’t bounce from Rupert Murdoch every 2 weeks. Mommy and Daddy were fighting but they love each other now!
Finally, my favorite Division of America. Inside medicine, you can almost predict your doctor’s likely political leanings based on their specialty. The most Top Gun-like specialties of them all, surgery, and their necessary sidekicks in anesthesiology, are easily the most Republican-leaning. Pediatrics, psychiatry, and infectious disease docs, who spend more time than others face to face with people they have to talk to, lean most heavily Democratic.
The fields with higher average salaries tended to contain more doctors who were Republican, while the comparatively lower-paying fields were more popular among Democrats. That matches with national data, which show that, for people with a given level of education, richer ones are more likely to lean Republican (possibly because of a concern over the liberal policy goal of taxing the wealthiest at a higher rate).
156 years after The Atlantic endorsed the house divided against itself cannot stand guy, we’re a month away from the possible Trumpocalypse. Hang on.
That’s saying something, isn’t it? You underperformed Sarah Palin in her debate with Joe Biden. When John McCain’s chief campaign strategist Steve Schmidt said, “she knows nothing,” it made McCain’s bid for the Oval Office an impossibility. But the key was “performed,” and for a few short weeks Palin had some defenders, most male, most who wanted to have sex with her, and all whom were willing to overlook her intellectual deficits. After the VP debate, AlterNet summed it up this way:
This debate wasn’t lost or won based on anything verbal. It was won on nonverbal communication. And the winner was Sarah Palin.
The first thing Palin did upon entering the stage was blow a kiss to the audience, then greet Biden, saying, “Nice to meetcha. Hey, can I call ya Joe?” She was colloquial. She was charming. She took control, and except for a brief moment when a teary-eyed Biden recalled his wife’s death and the experience of being a single parent, she never lost it. When Biden sighed, Palin smiled. He jutted his jaw forward in frustration; she smirked. He furrowed his brow; she winked.
One thing is inarguable: Sarah Palin did her homework, was prepared as best she could be, and either intuitively or through well-managed stagecraft did enough to fake a credible performance under pressure. It didn’t change the trajectory of the election, but it was actually enough to propel Palin to several years of post-2008 cashing in on her fame… as a performer. Come to think of it, it was infinitely more logical for her to become a tv personality after her political career than what we’re locked into right now: a tv personality using the marginal intellectual skills of reality television and little else to become the president of the United States.
After Monday’s first presidential debate, I hereby conclude that Donald Trump outsmarted himself. In college, you always had to decide whether to cram and maybe pull an all-nighter before a big exam, or get extra sleep. Extra sleep seldom worked, and no one ever walked out of the class after the test and said, “damn, I studied too much and should have slept more.” Trump must have been one hell of a crappy student at Penn if the way he didn’t prepare for the debate was the way he didn’t study at college, thinking his native brilliance and Second City Improv skills would carry the day.
Here’s the irrefutable evidence that Hillary wiped the floor with Trump as he blew his chance to show those outside of his cult that he has the temperament to be president: The Clinton-hating Drudge Report links to an article that has NOTHING remotely to do with the 100% distortive, upside-down, crazy-ass headline.
Trump tired halfway through, floundered, needed water, faded and lost his composure as an interrupting jerk. She was strong, looked great, never lost her original energy… so, just like Trump himself, the official mouthpiece, Drudge, lies to project his deficit onto her. Nice try. If you didn’t really know, which of the two would you guess was dealing with pneumonia recently, based on the strength and stamina shown on that debate stage? I’m sure if Drudge took a poll, 93% would say Hillary! Then Fox News would spread the “result,” and another of Jon Stewart’s trips up Bullshit Mountain is complete.
To complete the Trumpinization of this story… he adds the next layer of lying by denying he has a cold or the sniffles we all saw and heard. Insanely, Trump blames it on a “bad microphone,” which makes zero sense. But, you have to remember the megalomaniacal mind of an authoritarian like Trump, who models himself after Putin and Middle East dictators who dye their hair into their 80’s, always trying to project health and virility (thus the younger wife still having kids). To get a cold (publicly) undercuts his air of strength and invincibility.
So, class, what have we learned? That Evil Genius/Ex-Fox News Creep/Svengali/Republican/Serial Sexual Harasser/Trainer of Nixon, Reagan, GHW Bush Roger Ailes finally met his Match of Incompetence: Donald Trump. That was the worst showing by an Ailes-coached politician in a debate ever. No study, no practice, know nothing. Sarah Palin has been a big Donald Trump supporter, but he’s kept her at a distance for many months. Never an in-person appearance with her. Ironically, if Trump had gotten debate prep advice from her and heeded it, Monday’s Hoedown Throwdown at Hofstra might have looked a lot different.
I always enjoy batting around the estate tax…. relabeled decades ago the “death tax” by that sleaze Frank Luntz. It’s the tax you’re most definitely not likely to have to pay, and if you do, you’re currently very rich and will be dead when the 40% federal tax is paid on your estate, which must be over $5.45 million for a single person and double that if you’re married. Anything under that is exempt and you can give it tax free to your little Don Jr, Eric, or Ivanka. I became aware of this story Thursday when stopping by the Fox “Business” Channel, which is 92.5 % identical to its big brother, Fox “News,” peddling non-stop skewed right-wing drivel all day long. Of course, bemoaning the End Of The World and Who Would Ever Want To Be Rich and Successful If Death Taxes Went That High, the anchors pandered to their core audience, most of whom are actually near death but not likely to owe any estate taxes. Once again proving my irrefutable theory that all tv news is produced by 22-year-olds, this wonderful screwup on screen that says “Clinton Real Estate Tax Plan” bespeaks of the complete, utter ignorance of these people, not knowing the difference between estate taxes and real estate taxes. I’m lovin it!
Wall St. Journal:“The Clinton campaign is now changing its previous plan—which called for a 45% top rate—by adding three new tax brackets: a 50% rate that would apply to estates over $10 million per person, a 55% rate that starts at $50 million per person and that top rate, which would affect only those with assets exceeding $500 million for a single person and $1 billion for married couples. The 65% estate-tax rate would be the highest since 1981 and marks one of the most enormous tax-policy gulfs between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump, who would repeal the tax. Neither of their proposals stands much chance of succeeding in a divided Congress where Republicans control the House and Democrats can block action in the Senate.”
Can’t wait for Donald “The people that like me best are poor people and middle-income people” Trump to defend his contention that all estate taxes need to be eliminated. Another reason to see his taxes: so we can see how he’s monkeyed around with whatever assets he really has so if he croaks his heirs pay little or no estate tax. Can’t wait to hear him tell the rest of us how we’ll all lose our incentive to build businesses and chase the American Dream if Uncle Sam will take so much of it when we die. Hey Donald, you know the best way to legally avoid estate taxes? Give tons and tons of money to charity. Oh, I forgot, you don’t do that. Not your game. My apologies.
When I was a kid there was a deodorant brand called Secret. Their commercials were always tagged with “Secret Super Spray… Helps You Feel Cool, Calm, Collected,” or its variation that ended with “Protected.” In an election where I daily feel the need for a shower after the latest barrage of filth from Donald Trump, he may as well put out Trump Deodorant, “Helps You Feel Hot, Bothered, Dissembled.”
This is a famous quote from Chicago Mayor and Obama confidant Rahm Emanuel:
You never let a serious crisis go to waste.
Conservatives have criticized it as a super-cynical Machiavellian use of others’ misfortune for your gain. And that’s a nice way of characterizing the misuse of the that quote, because the full phrase is this:
You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.
Politicians are expected to and have always weighed in on ongoing calamities. But as with everything else in 2016, we’re in a whole new Zone of Inappropriate Political Expediency. Am I paranoid? Why is it that I think a President Donald J Trump would attempt to commandeer the entire cellphone alert system?… not just of the NY metro area…. but everywhere… on a whim… to attack and insult anyone who did not salute and agree with him? Why would I think that? Is it possibly because of his real behavior forever…. and his Twitter behavior going back to 2009 all the way to today, where he puts out dissembled, contradictory messages, injecting himself into the NY area bombing story.
1: “We might see more terror strikes around the country; our leaders are “stupid“………. why the word “stupid” in quotes? Does that mean you DON’T think they’re stupid, or do you not know what putting a word in quotes does to its meaning?
2. That remarkable prediction came more than a day after he’d initially said this Saturday evening as the story was breaking and no one knew any real details: “Just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what’s going on,” Trump said that at a campaign rally in Colorado Springs. Two hours after he spoke, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the explosion “was an intentional act.” That, of course, doesn’t meet Trump’s immediate standard of shooting his mouth off first on a high probability event, where responsible people in this country have learned over the years to wait for law enforcement to gather enough real information to speak and react. No loss in screaming he “knew” it was a bomb when others investigate and analyze, because if he’s right he declares himself a genius who’s been deprived of the credit due; if he’s wrong, he’ll just deny and lie about what he said.
3. Then comes this tweet Monday morning: “Great job once again by law enforcement! We are proud of them and should embrace them – without them, we don’t have a country!” Hey, Trump, do you realize (or care) that you were, in effect, attacking the NYPD for not being as brilliant and quick to use the “bomb” or “terrorism” label as quickly as you did?
4. He then follows immediately with another tweet: “Once again someone we were told is ok turns out to be a terrorist who wants to destroy our country & its people- how did he get thru system?” That’s another attack on law enforcement… right at the NYPD & FBI for not preventing an apparent lone wolf terrorist who was an American Citizen from going off the rails. It is reasonable to ask the question. But not with the implications Trump carries to the discussion.
5. Monday afternoon he posts this on FB: “Hillary Clinton’s weakness while she was Secretary of State, has emboldened terrorists all over the world to attack the U.S., even on our own soil. They are hoping and praying that Hillary Clinton becomes President – so that they can continue their savagery and murder” As always, everything he says is a lie and is a 100% turnaround from the truth. It is the Trump War on American Muslims and the religion, in general, that is being used in ISIS recruiting propaganda, not Hillary Clinton. Anybody think terrorists of any stripe will be intimidated…. or emboldened to poke the beast… by a President Trump and his bragging to “bomb the shit out of them?” I didn’t think so.
Nixon and JFK, moderated by Howard K. Smith, then of CBS, in 1960…
Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow) played by Fleetwood Mac at the 1993 inauguration celebration of Bill Clinton can be seen here:
No wonder 68-year-old Hillary Clinton… unfairly, in my opinion, is not connecting with younger voters the way her husband did (he was 46 at the time), let alone Barack Obama (47 at his inauguration). Putting aside the obvious sexist overtones that under-thirty favorite Bernie Sanders just turned 75, Bill and Hillary’s move into the White House in ’93 may as well have been 1893 for anyone under 40. It’s as far back for them as Eisenhower was for me. I was five when he left office so I have no direct memory of him as president…. he was only this old, white-haired guy from the moment I was aware of him. Just like Bill is for younger voters now.
Donald Trump is actually older than Hillary by almost two years, and would be older than Reagan taking the oath. But as of this writing, he has successfully cornered her on the strength, stamina, and healthy enough to do the job lie. She’s an old lady who got pneumonia recently; he told Dr. Oz he never gets sick and hasn’t been in the hospital since he was 11. American voters are no more questioning than that stupid, simplistic evaluation of the presidential medical scene. He has a much younger wife and a young boy at home; she’s married to Dwight Eisenhower (at least visually for younger voters).
The polls have recently moved in Donald Trump’s direction the past few weeks. It seems impossible to believe that it is just the “deplorables” comment that offended undecideds and a few Hillary voters to swing his way. It can’t be those widely not-paid-attention-to teleprompter speeches on his phony economic and child-care ideas. Credit seems to have been going to slightly fewer completely off-the-rails insults, gaffes, blooper, bleepers, fights, and foulups… a grading on the curve display of presidential discipline shown. 24 hours without drooling on himself is a march to victory, so it seems. The stakes for the first debate could not be higher. Hillary has all the experience and knowledge going in; Trump is being coached by the Angelo Dundee of debate preppers, Roger Ailes, disgraced, ousted head of Fox News, serial sexual harasser, and spiritual advisor to Trump, and who knows…. Bill Cosby? That’s just idle speculation, and I no longer believe Ailes and Cosby to be buddies. Now, can we get on to the real issue in front of us?
As horrible a human being as Donald Trump is… as unqualified as he is… as ignorant as he is on any public policy… as uncouth, ostentatious and bullying as he is….as dishonest as he is in every facet of life on display… the hiding of his tax returns…. the fake charity scandals… the fleecing of Trump “University” victims and the unpaid bills….the bribing of public officials such as the Florida AG… the fudging of his medical records, his draft-dodging (I know, that description only applies to lefties, right?)… his direct appeal to violence against Hillary and support from white supremacists, Nazis and the rest of the rightwing fringe…. free association riffs about using nuclear weapons…as bad as that all those things are…. ***read the entire Keith Olbermann list of 176 reasons…(needs updating already) HERE*** would his election mean all those predictions about The End Times for us be much closer than we skeptics thought? Keeping in mind the election and reelection of Barack Obama was framed in similar apocalyptic terms also before the ’08 and ’12 elections. Is it different this time? Will those of us who see Trump in Hitlerian terms have to simply depend on his being such a phony candidate that we can only hope he morphs into a normal person as president and that he really never meant ANY of his thin, detail-less claims and boasts and promises to dissemble the entire United States in his own image?
NBC: “Trump has changed his position on a lot of things over the years. But if there’s one consistent thread, it has been his seeming obsession with conspiracy theories that touch on race, religion, or ethnicity.In the case of Obama, Trump spent years spreading separate rumors about not only the first black president’s nationality, but also his religion, and whether his accomplishments were the result of affirmative action.
On the narrow issue of Obama’s birthplace, Trump’s theories were so elaborate that limiting it to the narrow question of whether the president was born in America barely scratches the surface.” Need more? Check it out below:
As the week ended, Trump went off ‘prompter again, both threatening Hillary with assassination while advising her to ditch her Secret Service detail, which he also has, of course. He never uses that term… they’re always “bodyguards,” which sounds like she’s got Suge Knight’s protection detail… AND… revealing his inner con man persona by lying to the media over a press conference he never intended to have as he hyped his new Trump-branded hotel, got a bunch of military hero guys to extol his virtues, then, like a good husband knows CAN’T be done, he spent 7 seconds fake retracting his birther crusade against the president, then walked out the door. No apology, no why-I-did-it in the first place, no excuses, and two new lies in less than 25 seconds: that Hillary “started birtherism” and he, Trump, “ended it.” Yea, just like the Warren Report ended and solved any questions about who killed Kennedy.
BONG…. this is a Fox News ALERT!
BARACK OBAMA DECLARED THE DUMBEST (not white) MAN EVER ELECTED PRESIDENT. I know this because he was dumb enough to appoint as his first Secretary of State the person who absolutely, positively, deliberately demanded Obama show his papers, questioning his citizenship and his eligibility for the nation’s highest office, Hillary Hussein Clinton (all Trump surrogates and spokespeople have thankfully informed me of this fact). What a fool! Did he not know? Did he not realize what was going on? He unfairly has been attacking Donald Trump, who heroically picked up this important story and demanded Obama prove himself a natural-born American. I suggest he withdraw his support for Hillary Clinton and get behind Mr. Trump, whose only laudable purpose was to affirmatively legitimize Barack Obama’s presidency, securing his place in (the back of) the Hall of Presidents at Disney World. This has been a Fox News ALERT!