Nick Cage Stars in Political Remake of ’97 Thriller About Trump: Con Hair

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The guy who never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity delivered (in his name) a deliberately less than completely inflammatory reaction (for him) to the police shootings in Dallas.  But it was bad enough.

Sorry, Trump does not merit even the tiniest benefit of the doubt with his pathetic, boilerplate “statement” Friday morning. Read it closely:

“It is a coordinated, premeditated assault on the men and women who keep us safe. We must restore law and order. We must restore the confidence of our people to be safe and secure in their homes and on the street. The senseless, tragic deaths of two motorists in Louisiana and Minnesota reminds us how much more needs to be done.”

The first word that had no place in there was, “coordinated.”  That would indicate more than one person was involved.  Trump didn’t know whether that was true when the statement was issued.  It is a textbook example of rushing to judgement with no facts, just misinformed speculation.  He may turn out to be right…. then will brag he “knew” it first and predicted it. It makes sense, however, when you remember he’s America’s Conspiracy Theory Champion… conspiracies by definition involve more than one person.  Like the one where all the people helped fake Obama’s birth, citizenship, and education.  Or new FOD (Friend of Donald) Ted Cruz, now speaking at the convention, whose father was involved in the conspiracy to kill JFK.  Remember, Trump learned that courtesy of the National Enquirer…. which provides the all time greatest campaign scoop headline: “JOHN F. KENNEDY’S SECRET SON ENDORSES DONALD TRUMP!”

Nice dog whistle code putting Nixon’s “law and order” in there, too. Does a generalized call for law and order have anything to do with Philando Castile of Minnesota, the motorist (actually a passenger) who you (conveniently) forgot to mention was black, who got shot obeying a policeman’s order? The sloppiness of calling them “two motorists” when Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge was not in a car is pathetic. That it was semi-corrected later means nothing.  It shows a total lack of attention to facts and detail.  Amazingly, he’d have been better off just calling them “two black guys.”

“Our nation has become too divided. Too many Americans feel like they’ve lost hope. Crime is harming too many citizens. Racial tensions have gotten worse, not better. This isn’t the American Dream we all want for our children,” Trump said. “This is a time, perhaps more than ever, for strong leadership, love and compassion. We will pull through these tragedies.”

But most importantly of all, I have this question: did the campaign tie up Trump in a rubber room, not permitting him to call “the shows,” forcing out this type of mealy mouthed politician statement? Aside from the NYC Police Commissioner telling Trump to f— off when he wanted to visit a local precinct to pose for a photo op with NYC cops, they must have put him in a straight jacket most of the day. The statement was so obviously written by someone else… not Trump… that it is, in the end, worthless. That’s not his voice. He doesn’t talk like that, he doesn’t write like that…. it’s not his language. Spit at the tv if you hear Trump given some kind of “credit” for this “presidential”-type statement in these circumstances.

Later, he put out another non-Trump-type statement on Facebook.  I have to tell the truth…. it’s both amusing and sad, very sad, believe me.… to see the guy who trashes Hillary for using a teleprompter  brag about his lack of need for one using a teleprompter under duress.

Bored with the minutia and work involved in going all-in attacking Hillary for the credibility issues she faces because James Comey followed the law, he’d rather defend his retweeting anti-Semitic appeals to the white supremacist crowd, the Unappreciated Greatness of Saddam Hussein, and the sleeping habits of Chuck Todd of NBC.  That was his week of rallies until Dallas.

Trump used to flippantly say that every disaster was helpful to him… the poll numbers seemed to bear that out after Paris and San Bernadino.  But that was long ago in political time.  We’ll find out soon enough if the country is not any kind of expanded version of the Republican primary electorate.  It doesn’t feel like it.  Josh Marshall brilliantly chips away at the Infallibility of He Who Will Make Us Sick of Winning…. Trump, Dominance Politics and the Limits of the Bullshit Production Model

So much of Trump’s whole way of approaching, or rather attacking life is, as I’ve said, sensing the crowd, sensing the audience and either telling them what they want to hear or knocking them off their stride with unpredictable, aggressive tactics. You can do that in a sit-down with a fellow mogul over lunch where you go from 0 to 60 with over the top tactics they’re not expecting or used to. But that’s an immediate, almost intimate encounter; you can likely only pull it on the same person a limited number of times. (Remember, only one major bank, DeutscheBank, will do business with Trump. He’s shut out at all the rest.) But the stage Trump is now is quite a different one. There are a lot of people out there and people have a lot of time to watch. Trump has passed himself off for decades as a great philanthropist. Only under the hot glare of presidential election scrutiny has that claim been revealed to be more or less baseless.

A great salesperson can say something so magnificently and convincingly that you believe because you want to believe even if it makes no sense at all. Salespeople tell stories, beautiful or horrifying ones. Trump can say Hispanics actually love him. But in his meeting this morning with House Republicans he was talking to people who have been inundated by evidence and have an existential need to know the truth. The standard issue bullshit is just no easy match for that audience under those circumstances.

Ask Not What Your TSA Can Do For You, Ask What You Can Do For Your TSA. $25, Please.

A few weeks ago I checked a bag for the first time in many years while flying.  It was a five day trip.  Both my wife and were traveling, so it seemed worth the $50.  Finally, I could take my beloved Swiss Army Knife with me in the checked suitcase.  On the return home, I mistakenly forgot about the knife, using it early in the trip and placing it a carry-on we had.  Sure enough, at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, I immediately knew what was triggering the TSA agents to open the bag.  I even helped them, saying, “I’m sure it’s a Swiss Army Knife.”  They grabbed it.  Screen shot 2016-01-24 at 3.34.53 PMA woman who was every by-the-book fourth grade schoolmarm, in a TSA uniform, waited 6.3 seconds to tersely announce my choices. I could give up the knife forever to the ever-growing collection of stuff they confiscate to keep us all safe and secure. Or, I could go back out to the terminal to check that carry-on with the knife in it, costing me $25.  The reason that knife has my name on it is that it was a gift from my late father-in-law more than 25 years ago.  There was no doubt I’d pay the penalty and keep it.  But the arrogant, near-triumphant attitude this agent had as she frog-marched me Screen shot 2016-01-24 at 4.31.20 PMback around to the terminal/check-in area was a bit annoying.  I kept my cool, however, and pretended to be mentally reassured that they finally caught someone with a real (potential) weapon, even though I was no real threat.  But there’s no instant appeal… Don’t you know I’m no terrorist? I checked the carry-on and paid the $25.  I’d remembered the story from a few months ago that the TSA had a 95% failure rate against tests by the Department of Homeland Security sneaking bombs and guns through….. great to know I was part of the special 5%.  The LA Times’ David Horsey summed it up nicely: TSA’s 95% Failure Rate Shows Airport Security is a CharadeMillions of American citizens have been unwittingly turned into non-speaking extras in an epic theater production staged by our government in airports across the country. The goal has been to trick a few would-be airplane bombers into thinking they will get caught and to create an illusion of safety for innocent air travelers. That charade has been exposed.

The 2015 numbers are in for US Airports. Of the 2,653 firearms discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, 2,198 (82.8 percent) were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at 236 airports; 12 more airports than last year.The airports with the most firearm discoveries in 2015 were: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport: 153, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: 144, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport: 100  You wonder if that’s only 5% of what they should have discovered, which would mean over 50,000 guns got through.

I decided to share this small moment only because we learned over the weekend that…

JFK allowed passengers arriving on international flight to exit without going through CustomsScreen shot 2016-01-24 at 4.59.42 PM

The New York Daily News reported: Bumbling airline and security officials let travelers on American Airlines Flight 1223 from Cancun, Mexico, out of the airport on Monday morning without having their passports or bags checked, sources told The News. The security lapse mirrored a similar incident involving another American Airlines flight in November…. A 34-year-old man who had been in Cancun to attend three Phish concerts told The News he was able to glide from the plane to the baggage claim area without having to endure the usual maze of Customs and Border Protection security checks.

Three, three Phish concerts? Hope they were great.  I was glad to just have small, supporting role in Transportation Security Theater, where the acting is stoic but the writing is first-rate…  just like this classic Dragnet verbal beatdown by Jack Webb and Harry Morgan of a couple of worthless sixties hippies!

The Next Year in the life of Johnny Manziel

January 18, 2016–To the surprise of no one and after weeks of non-speculation, the Cleveland Browns announce they are releasing Johnny Manziel. Manziel responds by becoming the 80,681,522,712th person to rip the city of Cleveland. His Instagram video contains the requisite “rust belt” insults, but he crosses a line when he insults the pierogies, leading to an angry mob of pasty, hairy gentleman chasing him all the way to Sandusky

February 8, 2016–After a weekend in Toronto to be courted by the CFL’s Argonauts, Manziel is banned from Canada. The final straw appears to be a complex defiling of a jersey Gretzky wore in juniors. Quebec even takes the unusual step of showing unity with Ottawa’s proclamation and says that if Manziel so much as shoves an ounce of poutine in his face, he will be strung from the highest maple. The Northern Territories announce they’ll be happy to have him

March 1, 2016–After holding front office executives at bay via gunpoint, Jerry Jones signs Manziel to a 3-year contract. Manziel passes out before completing his signature, but legal experts insists his bile on the paper forms a binding contract with the organization

March 21, 2016–After partying with Jones during “March Madness” in Las vegas, reports surface of Manziel vomiting on 6 different people. He is promptly banned from Vegas. Steve Wynne is quoted as saying, “Look, Bill Cosby can come stay at my HOUSE when he gets everything cleared up. I’m letting Chris Brown sleep on my couch next week. This guy is just too much of an asshole for THIS town”. The staff at the RIO describe the fluids left behind in Manziel’s suite as “intergalactic”

March 23, 2016–Shops on the strip begin selling “Johnny Manziel Puked on Me” t-shirts. Manziel threatens to sue, even as he is seen autographing the shirts outside of Harrah’s

March 25, 2016–Jones and Manziel are seen at a brothel in Nevada asking for the “Lamar Odom Special”

April 8, 2016–Jones’ doctor insists he stops partying with Manziel. Jones tells the doctor to “Shut up and give me the portable defibrillator, Scott!”

April 18, 2016–Jones is dropped off at an emergency room in Fort Worth. His lips are blue and he’s muttering something about “unicorns” and “curling irons”. Doctors find every drug imaginable in his system and a some substances that only exist in the fields of Tanzania

April 19, 2016–Jones holds a press conference and promises not to party with Manziel anymore. Menawhile, TMZ publishes a video with shows the quarterback apparently doing whippets in a 7-11 parking lot in Grapevine

June 5, 2016–Manziel is named starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys before training camp even begins. When head coach Jason Garrett asks if he is pressured by Jones to make Manziel his starter, Garrett abruptly ends the press conference, goes to a couch in his office and cries for 20 minutes

June 9, 2016–Former Cowboys starting QB Tony Romo makes his first comments on being benched in favor of Manziel. Romo attempts to make an attempt to answer a reporter’s question for 12 seconds before Jones pulls a fire alarm at the practice facility. Everyone clears out and Romo is escorted from the facility in an Escalade

July 1, 2016–TMZ publishes a video of Manziel and Justin Bieber urinating from the top of a skyscraper in Tokyo. Manziel is excused from practice

August 5, 2016–Manziel throws 3 interceptions in the Cowboys exhibition opener against Jacksonville. Jones says his form is spectacular and he can’t wait for the regular season. Romo throws for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions in the 2nd half

August 12, 2016–In an unprecedented move, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces that Manziel will be exempt from marijuana tests for the upcoming season. Goodell explains that this is to entice Manziel ONLY to smoke pot. Manziel releases a video on Instagram saying he’ll consider the offer

September 11, 2016–In the season opener against the Bills, Manziel throws 3 interceptions in the first half. Garrett attempts to put Romo in during the 3rd quarter, leading to a fistfight on the sidelines between Jerry Jones and Garrett. Manziel completes the game and throws 2 more picks, one of them a pick six

September 25, 2016–During the Cowboys game against the Seattle Seahawks, Manziel suffers a concussion. Doctors deviate from the concussion protocol and ask Manziel how to spell Adderall. When he is unable to spell it correctly, they know he is injured

October 15, 2016–TMZ publishes a video of Manziel, naked, doing whippets at a sorority house in Austin. He is supposed to be in the league’s protocol. Jones comments that Manziel probably needed a break from “being awesome”

November 6, 2016–Manziel is pronounced “ready to go” by the Cowboys medical staff. Despite Romo guiding the team to 6 straight wins, Manziel is named starter once again. Garrtett ducks questions from reporters and is seen sipping a Modelo in his truck in the parking lot outside the Cowboys training facility

November 24, 2016–Following the Cowboys 30-10 loss to the Rams on Thanksgiving Day, Manziel drives his car into a drug store in Highland Village. Cops nab him 3/10th of a mile from the drug store. He has two boxes of Xanax and a six-pack of Natural Light in his possession. Jones insists the cops set him up, saying “Hasn’t anybody here seen ‘Making a Murderer?'”

December 1, 2016–Charges against Manziel are dismissed when evidence goes missing. As the judge frees Manziel, he yells in the courtroom “How ’bout them Cowboys!”

December 18, 2016–Manziel separates his shoulder during pre-game warmups. Jones is seen weeping openly in the owner’s suite. Romo leads the Cowboys to a 21-20 win over Philadelphia

December 25, 2016–Fox cameras catch Manziel vomiting on Jones in the owner’s suite. The owner says blames it on a “stomach flu”. Romo is unable to rally the Cowboys, as they lose to Washington 30-28

January 5, 2017–After not making the playoffs, Jones fires Garrett and names Manziel player-coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Manziel passes out on the lectern at the press conference. Jones blames Manziel’s behavior on exhaustion and pays for a trip to Costa Rica for Manziel, so he can “recharge his batteries”