Friday, December 23, 2016

Give Trump A Chance? You Don’t Need A Crystal Ball To See The Problem With That.

Someone on my Facebook page responded to a derogatory post about Trump by writing, “This is the most ridiculous thing ever. Give the man a chance. He hasn’t even been inaugurated.”

I generally refrain from responding to comments like this on FB, because it is an exercise in futility. Trumpites live in an alternate reality where logic and reason as we know it do not exist. Since this is my blog, however, I can write what I damn well please, so there.

Under many circumstances, I might agree with the commenter, but we’re talking about Donald Trump here, and that’s a whole different ballgame. It’s different because we already know Trump all too well after months and months of campaigning and debates. We know for certain he is a habitual liar, and seems a true believer in Hitler’s observation that, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

We know Trump has no interest in facts, science or the constitution. He has demonstrated this on numerous occasions by skipping important intelligence briefings, condemning the well-established fact of climate change as a hoax, and by harassing and, in some cases assaulting, people who openly disagree with him.

Based on recent comments and tweets, we know that Trump has no problem with starting a new arms race with Russia and trade war with China. What kind of a fool thinks those are good things to do or will help our country in any way?

With state electors abrogating their duty to be the last line of defense against a tyrannical leader in America, we have no choice but to give Donald a chance, so the FB commenter will get his wish, to everyone else’s detriment.

Bill Maher made the observation that watching Trump in action is like watching a three-year old play with a loaded gun. You already know things are not going to turn out well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

“Destroying America Is Hard Work,” Claims Trump

WASHINGTON, DC — President-elect Trump fired back at critics today who claim he is spending too much time Tweeting and meeting with rappers and too little time on his transition to the duties of the President.

“It’s just another mainstream press attack on me. They hate me. Listen, I am busting my butt here yelling at people, firing people and making very, very tough decisions,” said Trump, who seemed to be suffering from a cold as he was constantly rubbing his nose. “Do you think it’s easy to find the worst possible candidates to be a part of my administration? It is hard work, let me tell you.”

Trump pointed to an easel behind him with a lengthy appointee checklist. Categories included “unhinged,” “easy scapegoat,” “sycophant,” “poorly educated,” and “stinking rich.”

“You see that?” asked Trump. “Every candidate must meet all these criteria to serve in my administration. Obviously, there are only an elite few who can cut the mustard. It took like, three hundred years or something for this government to get where it is today, and it’s going to take some time to tear it all down.”

When asked why Trump wanted to tear down the very system that allowed he and his father to become wealthy, the President-elect laughed.

“You’re looking at it. Giving every redneck, low IQ individual the right to decide who will lead them simply because they’re of a certain age is a recipe for disaster. The morons made me President of the United States. Me! What more proof do you want that the system is broken beyond repair? I’m just going to speed things up a little bit.”

Before asking another question, Trump’s phone rang and he answered it.

“Vlad, good to hear from…. You’re angry? Why? No, that isn’t exactly true. I did precisely what you said, down to the letter. The transfer will be made today. Please, calm down. Listen, come to Washington after the inauguration and I’ll show you the time of your life. Don’t you want to see Romney squeal like a pig? I thought so. Da, da. So long.”

Trump smiled and put away his phone. “See? I’m working my ass off here."

Monday, December 12, 2016

America’s Conundrum: Trump Is Horrible And Should Go, But Does Anyone Want A President Pence?

Today’s Boston Globe includes an article titled, “Who will stand up to Donald Trump?” The author of the piece chronicles the many times Trump has bullied his critics on Twitter and in speeches in recent weeks, and notes the lack of backbone shown by the mainstream press, congressional Republicans and, of course, his inner circle of sycophants. Will anyone stand up to Trump, wonders the author?

This is actually a complex and subversive question. It chills me to the bone to read an article in one of America’s premier mainstream newspapers calling for someone, anyone, to give our bully President-elect a beat down. And yet here we are as a country, seemingly helpless against the dangerous loud-mouthed fraud who scammed the system to become President.

The question of who will stand up to Trump becomes subversive when you consider its scope. If all legal means of keeping Trump out of the White House are exhausted, who can stand up to Trump? Even if a large number of American people rise up en masse against his administration, Trump will always claim he was legitimately elected President, which is technically true (at this point), and he will never voluntarily step down.

The only scenarios I see for rescuing America from President Trump are that he’s convicted of a federal crime or impeached with the help of the less crazy Republicans in Congress. But neither of these storylines has a happy ending, because getting rid of Trump means helping religious lunatic Mike Pence become our Commander in Chief. So we’d be trading a narcissistic bully for a fanatical Christian. It’s a lose/lose situation.

I was always taught that nobody likes a bully, but that was obviously a fairy tale because a whole lot of Americans just voted for one. Thanks to our poorly educated, racist, reactionary friends and neighbors, we have boxed ourselves into a corner that will be almost impossible to get out of. Hard as it is to believe, standing up to Trump and forcing him from office might be worse than keeping him in.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

I Can’t Wake Up From This Trumpian Nightmare

I’ve been slapping myself in the face for the past 5 minutes desperately trying to wake up from my Trumpian nightmare. It’s not working and I need an ice pack.

So today’s episode of The Twilight Zone has the CIA releasing the results of an investigation that says Russia was definitely involved in hacking our election to help Donald Trump win. Trump has, of course, dismissed the allegation, as have some GOP members of Congress. Think about it. Reagan called the Soviet Union the “Evil Empire,” and who hated the Commies more than the GOP during the past sixty years? Now, Russia has meddled in our election and Republicans are rolling their eyes. “What’s the big deal?”

Jesus H. Christmas. There is no end to the epic hypocrisy and lies of Trump and his supporters. And what’s even worse is that they believe each other’s lies. For some masochistic reason I went to the comment section of an article on Trump, and a person wrote, “Donald Trump has done more in eight weeks than Obama has done in eight years.” That may be true on some other plane of existence, but on this one that is a laughable assertion. All Trump has done is lie his ass off and nominate a horde of ideological reactionaries with fascist leanings to sensitive government posts.

And that’s not all, folks. A report released yesterday by Public Policy Polling finds that Trump supporters have a voracious appetite for fake news, with 14 percent of them believing Hillary Clinton is part of a child sex ring run out of pizza parlors, and 73 percent believing that billionaire George Soros paid anti-Trump protesters. Neither story is even remotely true, but we live in a post-truth world now.

Filmmaker Michael Moore doesn’t think Trump will even make it to his inauguration before he’s arrested or forced to resign, and as bold an assertion as that is, he was right about Trump winning the election. We can hope. In the meantime, the nightmare continues.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

A Modest Proposal: Pay Trump To Go Away

Why don’t we just pay Donald Trump and his minions to go away and let the adults take control? We all know that Trump and his family are only in the President business to line their own pockets, so I think Obama should make an offer: Donald, here is umpteen billion dollars. All you have to do is walk away from Washington and take your pack of racist Christian radicals with you. Deal?

It’s not like America can’t afford it. In 2015, the Department of Defense budget was nearly $600 billion. I’m sure we could find some billions somewhere for the immediate defense of this country from a President Trump. If we can pay $600 for a toilet seat or $900 for a hammer, there has to be some wiggle room for a substantial bribe.

Yes, it would be our tax money, but god knows it couldn’t go to a better cause. I don’t know how many of you remember this, but on September 10, 2001, the day before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld held a press conference and announced that the Pentagon could not account for $2.3 trillion. $2.3 trillion! That’s taxpayer money, too. However, the Pentagon didn’t have to hold a bake sale to make up for the discrepancy and the entire military/industrial complex kept humming right along.

My point is, the U.S. government could pony up a ridiculous amount of cashola to get rid of Trump without causing institutions to crumble or Americans to go hungry. And I really don’t think the majority of citizens who voted for Clinton would mind.

Please President Obama. Get out your checkbook and save America.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Voter Regret Among Trump Supporters Is Wishful Thinking

Articles are popping up here and there about Trump supporters who now regret their vote. I’m skeptical that this is really a “thing” and believe that there’s more wishful thinking here than anything else. The majority of Trump voters are not introspective and, like Trump himself, view self doubt or second guessing as a sign of weakness.

No one who voted for Trump could seriously argue he or she was fooled by the man. The narcissism, bullying, lying and racism were all on full display during the campaign and were actually considered attributes by his loyal fans. The one thing you can say about Donald is that he didn’t try and “pretty up” his image as a presidential candidate. You got what you voted for.

The only group that might have any legitimate claim to feeling bamboozled are those people who voted for Trump as a joke, thinking he was playing a candidate (like comedian Pat Paulson in the 1970s) and that he had no chance to actually win. Their stupidity, however, should outweigh any sympathy.

This isn’t to say there won’t be regrets in the future. When Redneck Randall loses his healthcare or his food stamps or his job, it might finally occur to him that he pulled the wrong lever back in November. Yet the majority of The Donald’s supporters will find someone or something else to blame for their predicament, like immigrants or the Chinese, depending on who Trump is attacking on Twitter that particular day.

As I’ve said in numerous posts, Trump voters live in an alt-reality where facts are made up and the truth is what Trump says it is. They don’t have the intellectual capacity or critical thinking skills needed to comprehend their mistake.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Donald Trump: Insane or Possessed?

A madman will soon be sitting in the Oval Office, a man who I am seriously beginning to think could be actively trying to destroy America. There are only two very unpleasant realities: One, Donald Trump is perhaps the most ignorant, clueless, self-absorbed individual to ever inhale oxygen, or two, he is evil and is intentionally dragging America to the bathtub to drown it.

Yesterday Trump announced his choice of former neurosurgeon Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. As Robert Reich points out in a post today, Ben Carson:

- Has no experience in government whatsoever;
- Has no experience outside of government with housing or urban development;
- Does not believe in Fair Housing Laws;
- Disagrees with the Supreme Court decision banning housing discrimination;
- Was called a child molester with a pathological temperament by Donald Trump.

The choice of Carson for this position is clear evidence that Trump is suffering from either the onset of dementia or demonic possession. I mean, I could throw a water balloon into a crowd at a Nickelback concert and hit someone who would be a better candidate for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development than Ben Carson.

Why does a man who lived the American Dream want to destroy the very country that helped make him and his father filthy rich? Does that make sense to you? How can anyone in America who is super wealthy criticize the very system that made them successful?

Every pick Donald makes for his administration is another nail in the coffin of democracy. Whether he is merely stupid or under the thumb of Satan may not even matter if the results are the same and we all go down in flames.

Friday, December 02, 2016

The Modern Conservative Movement’s Battle With Reality

The following quote is from one of Trump’s minions on an NPR show a few days ago. It is, of course, a classic example of alt-reality, the belief that reality is actually in the eye of the beholder.

“One thing that’s been interesting this entire campaign season to watch is that people that say facts are facts. They’re not really facts,” Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes said on “The Diane Rehm Show” on NPR. “It’s kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass half-full of water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true. There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.”

The other guests on the NPR show were understandably shocked by the assertion that facts don’t exist anymore, but it is coming from the Trump camp after all. When I first read it I thought something about the quote was familiar. Then I remembered what Karl Rove said shortly after George Bush stole the White House in 2001.

“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

The modern conservative movement does not accept the concept of a shared reality. For people like Rove and Trump, and religious zealots and fascists around the globe, reality is what you say it is. The only facts that count are those that support your views. Hitler created his own reality and convinced a whole lot of people to join him. It only ended after horrific worldwide destruction and bloodshed.

Trump’s alt-reality and that of his supporters will end as well, the only question is how big a price will we all have to pay?

Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Dangerous Consequences of Designer News

For all of the amazing, wonderful things the Internet brings us and allows us to accomplish, the election of Donald Trump lays bare a darker side of the digital world. I’m not talking about the Deep Web (although that is pretty dark), but the proliferation of what I call “designer news” outlets and the influential role they play in today’s political arena.

In the wake of Trump’s election victory, you can find numerous interviews with his supporters on Facebook and other sources. To no one’s surprise, they are cringe worthy revelations of just how poorly informed Trump voters are, but further, how lost they are in a parallel universe of false facts. How did they get so bamboozled and befuddled? Designer news.

As the Internet has grown, so has the number of so-called news outlets. You would think that having more news sources would be a good thing, but that really isn’t the case because I’m not talking about “objective” news programs, but designer news tailored to a viewers preconceived ideas of reality. To be fair, the “news” on the Internet runs the ideological gamut from socialism to fascism and every “ism” in between. However, one group has had a particularly powerful influence on the political landscape in American — the far right.

Trump’s surprise triumph in November brought to light just how pernicious and persuasive the conservative megaphone has become over the years. From Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze” to Breitbart to the Drudge Report to FOX News, conservative voters have myriad sources for their daily news intake beyond the corporate media, and myriad opportunities to have their bigotry normalized and their worst fears justified.

Fake news is a hot topic right now, but for millions of Internet news consumers, there is no agreement on what is fake and what is actual news. Again, watch interviews with Trump supporters and you’ll discover that real news for them is whatever they read on a conservative site. Hillary Clinton is a cold-blooded murderer. Millions of illegal immigrants voted in the last election. Obama is a secret Muslim. This is the kind of “news” conservative sites offer, and loyal viewers accept as true, and that helped convince angry hordes of white voters to believe Donald Trump was their savior.

There is no easy answer to this problem. The Internet should remain a free and open source of opinions of all kinds, and I’m certainly not in favor of censorship, but when you have a sizable population under the thrall of liars and misinformers, the problem needs to be addressed. Yet it all comes back to one’s perception of reality. What will it take to change a person’s concept of reality when objective facts aren’t enough?