Donald J. Trump, The First Snapchat President, Playing Russian Roulette With America And The World

 

 

The temptation to compare what we’re seeing these first few weeks of Trump’s presidency to Nixon and Watergate is irresistible. Via the UK Independent: 

Carl Bernstein, whose reporting with Bob Woodward and Ben Bradlee helped expose the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, has told his 26,000 Twitter followers: “The most dangerous ‘enemy of the people’ is presidential lying – always.  Attacks on the press by Donald Trump [are] more treacherous than Nixon’s.”

Apparently questioning Trump’s mental stability, Bernstein added: “Real news (not fake) is that Donald Trump is trying to make conduct of the press the issue instead of egregious (and unhinged) conduct of POTUS [President of the United States].”

Donald Trump’s brain and his way of doing business have been the human forerunner of Snapchat for his entire 40 years in public life.  We just didn’t know to call it that. Thoughtlessness and statements and insults spill out of him, have their desired effect, then disappear from his head within seconds, replaced by the next round.  They may linger and do damage like unexploded land mines for everyone else, but for him they’re just stepping stones to the next snap.  In coincidentally perfect Art of the Deal symmetry, SNAP is now available for public investment as a stock the same week that the minute-to-minute transactional simplicity of Donald Trump is collapsing all around him.

I’ve been waiting, as have many, for the collective weight of all the lying to be like that unavoidable bullet pass to the face that implants “Spalding” on your cheek.  The reality, the pain, it hurts… but you dare not cry. It feels a bit different this time. However, there have been dozens of moments of “this is it… this is a line he crossed that he’ll finally never recover from” the past two years, so nothing is certain. Will the gutless, spineless propaganda machine on behalf of Trump at Fox that generates these kinds of fake fair and balanced headlines fend off the dogs, as in the past:

Mistake or Misunderstanding? Jeff Sessions defuses media uproar, recuses himself from probe

I doubt it this time. Misunderstanding?  Sure….

I believe this is how the Greatest Con Ever Sold spun out of Trump’s control:

Always remembering that he hides his tax returns because they surely show business and financial relationships with Russia that truly would have killed his candidacy and possibly those deals and future deals themselves, Trump went down a dangerous road where he thought he couldn’t lose.  As initial feelers of support came from Putin and Co, he allowed and encouraged that support via the nonstop Wikileaks Democratic email reveals, looked the other way while associates and subordinates like Paul Manafort, Jeff Sessions, and Michael Flynn kept the highway clear with meetings… and in the end, the winkidink on sanctions.  No problem, Trump must have thought, since there was no way he’d win the general election anyway and no one investigates a loser’s tactics. But why worry since his business/financial relations with the Russian regime would be hugely strengthened by the comraderie fortified during the losing-but-noble campaign.  In other words, I’ll either be president, or I’ll be even richer than I am. A Donald win-win…. for Campaign Trump or the Trump Organization.  Of course we now can see that the either/or analysis turns out to be a false choice, since Trump is shamelessly using the office of the presidency to not only be president, but to get rich.   That easily explains his admiration for and his reluctance to criticize Putin and Mother Russia.

Josh Marshall puts out an important piece on Michael Cohen, Trump’s secretive lawyer, consigliere and his real conduit to Russia and Ukraine.

Trump has repeatedly insisted he has no loans from the Russia and no ‘deals’ in Russia. There is no specific evidence to refute his claims. But Trump’s real need has been for investment capital and wealthy people to purchase units in his luxury projects or those to which he licenses his name. And there is voluminous evidence for both.

Press attention has tended to focus on people like Carter Page and Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn. But Cohen plays a far more central role in this era of Trump’s business history than these others. He is also the only one who shows up clearly acting as a go-between to the President for someone trying to shift administration policy to reduce or eliminate sanctions on Russia.

Like Watergate, it will get down to Howard Baker’s famous question, “What did the president know, and when did he know it?” Except this time, it will not take several years to get the answer.

 

 

The story may not be “Fake News.” But it’s just as lame…

Arlington (Texas) preschool teacher fired over ‘Kill some Jews’ tweet, other anti-Semitic posts

BK-I’m very suspicious of the timing of this story, from the Dallas Morning News 2/22/17… about a Muslim woman who tweeted out some anti-Semitic garbage three years ago. This story now appears ….right in the middle of Trump’s inability to forcefully declare his outrage over Anti-semitism. I’ll say why I’m calling BS in a moment.

But first, via Slate, a reminder:
The White House’s statement on the JCC threats read in full:
“Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom. The President has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable.”
Dahlia Lithwick, SlateIt’s worth noting that terrorism and vandalism have absolutely nothing to do with “individual freedom” and that threatening to kill small babies and elderly people is an affront to human safety and dignity, not just “freedom.” The White House statement, you also might have noticed, did not contain the words Jewish, Jewish Community Center, or terrorism or anti-Semitism. This has become something of a tradition for the Trump administration, which failed to mention the existence of Jewish victims in a message issued on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Last week, Trump fielded a question about the rise in anti-Semitic incidents during a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by making another rambling reference to his Electoral College victory and his Jewish daughter and by dismissing the question as unfair. And on Thursday, in the strangest performance to date, Trump told a Jewish reporter to sit down and accused him of lying when he was asked a softball question about the rise of anti-Jewish hate.

BK: The total lack of information on when this woman was fired renders the story lame, at best.

“Spokeswoman Lydia Cisaruk told the New York Daily News that Salem was no longer employed there, but would not detail when the school found out about the tweets and when the activist left.”

This would indicate the events are far in the past, and have no relationship to Trump’s apparent Jewish Problem. You know, the one where he claims he’s the most NON-anti-Semitic human ever (easily verifiable), loves himself the most Israel ever, but courted and encouraged and never really denounced the entire spectrum of Jew-haters of all stripes during his campaign. The guy who loves his Jewish daughter and grandchildren but hires Steve Bannon of Breitbart fame, home of the put-upon White Christian victims of Obamamulticulturalism. Just for fun, add the irony that Bannon made and apparently still makes a fortune off of the most Jewish show ever on network tv, Seinfeld. The bottom line is that this is excatly the kind of anti-Semitism story Trump Suckups, fans, and excusers can embrace: a Muslim spewing the hate. As if the vast, vast majority of anti-Jewish sentiment and activity isn’t by those very deplorable white supremacist Christian Identity neo-Nazi types. The story of the teacher is…. dreck.

WHAT DID THE PRESIDENT NOT KNOW AND WHEN DID HE NOT KNOW IT? IN LIKE FLYNN PRESS CONFERENCE EDITION

 

It’s pretty bad when you get called out by your biggest media cheerleader, Fox News, over complete evasion of the story of the day, fully set up by the White House. This really IS Nazi Germany (oops, sorry for breaking Godwin’s Law there… how about “Soviet-Pravda Era,” or old reliable “George Orwellian”… ok?) kind of stuff. On purpose, questions are taken from two guaranteed in-the-tank “reporters.” As a result, of course, President Ignoramus is not put on the spot and made to feel “uncomfortable” and can simply lapse into repeating campaign boasts “my huge electoral college win” in the midst of generic pablum. One American press question from the Daily Caller, and the other from Sinclair Broadcasting. The Daily Caller is Tucker Carlson’s little right wing tattler sheet.  Promise not to say anything about Mikey Flynn, The Russian Whisperer?  You got it, big guy! 

Sinclair Broadcasting is TRULY the definition of FAKE NEWS. (They own ABC 45 in the Triad) Sinclair is the second largest owner of local tv stations in the country… 154 on their way to 165 outlets.

Via Wikipedia: “On December 16, 2016, Jared Kushner, son-in-law of then-President-elect Donald Trump, stated that it had reached deals with Sinclair to give the company extended access to the Trump campaign, in exchange for airing, without further commentary, interviews with the Republican Party candidate on its stations, which Kushner said had a better reach than cable networks such as CNN.”

Trump was, as he always is at these kind of events, bored out of his mind. Read the statement like it was the first time he’d ever seen it. Low Energy Donald. But the stage-managed questions were beyond anything I’ve ever seen. Mr. Trump…. you’re losing FOX NEWS, although your butt boy Hannity is probably preparing a “very special” Hannity Excuse Squad Special: “Why Trump NEVER Needs To Take a Question From Anyone He Don’t Want To.” Oh, Canada.

Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion; Everyone’s entitled to Alternative Facts. Cool.

LIES- The Knickerbockers

You think that you’re such a smart girl
And I’ll believe what you say
But who do you think you are, girl
To lead me on this way hey
Lies, lies
I can’t believe a word you say
Lies, lies
Are gonna make you sad someday
Some day you’re gonna be lonely
But you won’t find me around
Lies, lies
A-breakin’ my heart…

Washington Post:

“Why put him (press secretary Sean Spicer) out there for the very first time, in front of that podium, to utter a provable falsehood?” Chuck Todd of NBC asked Kellyanne Conway …. referring to the dustup over the crowd count at the inauguration… “It’s a small thing, but the first time he confronts the public, it’s a falsehood?”

After some tense back and forth, Conway offered this:

Don’t be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving — our press secretary, Sean Spicer, gave alternative facts to that. But the point really is —

At this point, a visibly exasperated Todd cut in. “Wait a minute. Alternative facts? Alternative facts? Four of the five facts he uttered . . . were just not true. Alternative facts are not facts; they’re falsehoods.”

bk: ALTERNATIVE FACTS…..Game, Set, Match. Bring out the trophy. The contest is over. The United States of Insanity has its queen, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the President of the United States… Donald J. Trump, the anti-George Washington. “I cannot tell the truth,” is his credo, and he has his Pussy Posse of Prevaricators, led by Kellyanne, the Majorette leading this Baton Brigade of Bullshit. ALTERNATIVE FACTS…. Dick Nixon spun around in his grave to send a tweet of congratulations to Trump. “It took me years to accomplish what you have in just a few days being president… lying with world-class arrogant impunity and compiling an enviable enemies list . Well done, Donald! signed, Dick” ALTERNATIVE FACTS…. George Orwell just checked in with Kudos For Kellyanne! “When I came up with the idea of Doublespeak, I never dreamed one as lovely as you could take it to a new level of deception… War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Trump Won In A Landslide. You go, girl..” ALTERNATIVE FACTS…. Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness,” a quality characterizing a “truth” that a person making an argument or assertion claims to know intuitively “from the gut” or because it “feels right” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts… was named Word of the Year for 2005 by the American Dialect Society and for 2006 by Merriam-Webster. The world progresses (regresses?) and ALTERNATIVE FACTS, which of course by definition are lies, supplants truthiness forever!

Even Paul Anka, F.O.D, HAS NOW COME UP WITH AN EXCUSE TO PULL OUT OF SINGING FOR TRUMP’S INAUGURATION

 

FOD (friend of Donald), 75-year old Paul Anka, is not too old or too dumb to keep having children in his Social Security years.  So, at an age when a normal person is trying to decide which blood-thinning miracle drug they should be on, Anka’s still playing Kramer vs. Kramer. This, of course, makes my hard work on new song lyrics for him pointless, irrelevant, and not nearly as funny.  It’s all about me, of course. Thanks, Paul. Via The Wrap:

Anka says that Trump is a long-time friend of his and personally invited him to perform at the inauguration gala ball at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where he would have perform “My Way” as Trump danced with his wife, Melania.  Instead, Anka had to cancel due to a scheduling change in an ongoing custody case for his son. Anka said that he had always been planning to perform on Jan. 20 “for the office and for our country.”  More here

He never backed out on Lisa Simpson….

Depending on your purient interest level, here’s Paul talking about life at home with the National Enquirer in 2009:

On Dec. 3, Anna Aberg, a sexy blonde fitness author who has been wed to Anka for only a year, called 911 from the couple’s Thousand Oaks, Calif., mansion during a domestic dispute.

Anna – author of The 30-Minute Pregnancy Workout Book – claimed Paul had pulled a gun on her during a heated argument about a member of their household staff.

Paul says he explained to police that he had moved out of the house and was living in a nearby hotel. But that on the day of the incident, he had gone to the home to take their young children to school. Paul and Anna began to argue about an employee she had fired, he says he explained to officers.

Paul told The ENQUIRER that he also placed a call to cops.

“Anna locked herself and the nanny in the laundry room and started screaming at the top of her lungs,” Paul revealed.

“Our kids were in the kitchen, hearing Anna scream, so they started freaking out crying. Anna went ballistic, she finally comes out and shoves me and then calls 911.”

When the cops arrived to the Anka home, they reported no visible injuries and no arrests were made.

This isn’t the first time the couple has had a run-in with the law. Last year, Anna, 38, was arrested for felony domestic battery after she threw a piece of ice at Paul, splitting his head open.

At the time, Paul refused to press charges and the matter was dropped.

Trump: The Bully In The China Shop

Every time we get a new president, somebody puts up a billboard with the previous president’s picture with the words, “miss me yet?” W when Obama took office…. Bill Clinton when W took office, etc.  We may be seeing these even before Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president.

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-1-05-02-pm

Good news. Still more than 40 days before taking office, Donald Trump has reassured a world that is worried he’ll send out an errant, thoughtless, provocative tweet…. that he’s more than capable of creating an international incident the old-fashioned way…. with an old-style, 20th century phone call!

China Warns Trump After His Controversial Call With Taiwan

I look forward to Kellyanne and Kaleigh and Jeffrey and Sean and Reince and Pence and the rest of the Excuse Squad trying to tell us this was not Trump thoughtlessly and ignorantly thrilled to get an attentive, ego-boosting phone call that had nothing to do with any commercial conflicts of interest he has in Taiwan. To those of you too young to have lived through the Cold War and the Sixties and hiding under your desk to protect yourself from nuclear fallout (yea that was gonna help!)….screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-1-57-51-pm

I think those days will be back, in a sense. Trump is so impulsive, so thoughtless, and so ignorant of the world that we may be finding ourselves continuously on the brink of disaster. Are you not tired of this guy ALREADY, and he’s more than 45 days from taking office?

His “victory tour” (really an “FU If You Didn’t Vote For Me” tour) which features continued attacks on a free press, much to the delight of the followers, is reminiscent of authoritarian dictator rallies that none of us thought we’d ever see or live through in our own country.  screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-2-03-35-pm

No, everything Trump does that is unprecedented and flagrarantly obnoxious, ethically/legally indefensible and self-serving, will not succeed because Trump is some kind of magical, transformative figure sent by God to Drain the Swamp (possibly the most tedious call and response chant, right after “lock her up.”)

With one major takeaway from the 2016 election being demagoguery works, one has to write this stuff with a foreboding sense of humility that any facts may be deflected like bullets off of Superman.  Facts did not matter in the campaign, and Trump’s full embrace of George Orwell “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it” and Machiavelli “One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived” sets us up for a future that we thought just couldn’t happen here.  Vigilance and a Never Again resolve move to the forefront in a way that we haven’t seen in the United States for generations.

I believe that Donald Trump is such a shallow, ignorant, transactional, whatever-it-takes to grab the world’s consciousness 24-7, regardless of the consequences, that we’re entering a time of dangerous unpredictability analogous to the obvious pivot points of the past: the Cuban Missile Crisis, World War II, the Great Depression.  And we voted for it.  With a little help from our friends, the Russians.

Bullies Over Broadway, As Trump Trashes Tony-Taking Titan Hamilton!

 

 

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-4-18-28-pmAs 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.”

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-5-07-22-pm

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.

Trump Forfeited His Constitutional Right To Sarcasm The Minute He Announced

 

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-12-40-17-pm

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 screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-10-20-10-amlurking 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.”

Thursday, October 20th, would be the same day that would end with his dropping trou at the Al Smith Dinner in New York in a bombing string of not-funny insults that made one wish for a Gong Show intervention..

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.

Ahead of the New Hampshire primary in February, Trump had been discussing Cruz’s remarks about waterboarding during the ABC News debate days earlier. 

“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 PUSSYthat’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.

When pressed about it later in the same news conference, he said “I hope they do” find the emails.

He later said it was a joke.

“Obviously I was being sarcastic and a lot of people really smiled and laughed. It was said in a sarcastic manner, obviously,” he told Fox News.

At a later event in Iowa, Trump was asked how voters are supposed to know when he is and isn’t being sarcastic.

“I think people understand that very… I think it’s very understandable,” he said.

No, it’s not understandable.  It’s not funny, and the game is almost over.

 

Donald Trump Inadvertently Makes The Best Case Ever Against Early Voting

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.screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-1-11-51-pm  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.screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-12-35-41-pm

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.

 

There’s Only You and Me and We Just Disagree as America’s Togetherness Myth Melts Away. Thanks, Trump.

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 screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-2-09-38-pmWhite 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!

Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity bury the hatchet, much to media’s chagrin

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-1-40-35-pmFinally, 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 screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-1-46-39-pmsidekicks 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.  

More here from the New York Times:

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.