Enter Scaramuccia

The master mobster communicator Trump’s commedia d’el arte has needed all along. With more than a hint of Joe Pesci. Finally, a bumbling but well-dressed motherfucker so crass and stupid and unlearned that he might occasionally make Trump look good.

This nasty yippy-yappy shithead – aka the Little Skirmisher – speaks to The Donald’s soul.

Think about that. And what Machiavelli would have to say. Although Machiavelli should probably say it soon, since I suspect this Scaramucia will exeunt by the second act.

From Wikipedia:
Scaramuccia (literally “little skirmisher”), also known as Scaramouche or Scaramouch, is a stock clown character of the Italian commedia dell’arte (comic theatrical arts). The role combined characteristics of the zanni (servant) and the Capitano (masked henchman). Usually attired in black Spanish dress and burlesquing a don, he was often beaten by Harlequin for his boasting and cowardice.

Unfit to Serve

trump with hostage cabinet

Personally, I wouldn’t want Donald Trump serving me at a Waffle House, but the White House is definitely a bridge too far.

The smiley picture accompanying these thoughts is from June 12, 2017, when he invited/coerced his shabby corrupt Cabinet into praising him and thanking him for the opportunity to serve Donald Trump. That was the day I put aside any doubts that Trump is mentally ill.

I assume Donald was frowney when he sent his latest, tasteless tweet-by of a talk show host. The reason that he was smiley one day and frowney the next is that Donald Trump doesn’t know who he is. He has no sense of self. And he looks to the world to give him an identity and let him know how he should feel about it.

When he receives praise (even phony ginned-up praise) he feels good. When he is trashed, he feels bad, has a tantrum, lashes out. He also has no “public face.” With Angela Merkel (yet another woman smarter and more capable than Donald), he couldn’t hide the hurt from her criticism. Pouted in public with her. Kicked rocks.

And then there’s the fact that Donald suspects … he can’t let himself admit it … that he is and always has been a fraud. That there is no one behind the curtain except a bunch of Russian gangster bankers. And tic tacs.

Pence might be worse – meaning more competent at doing horrible shit to the country – but we can’t let Donald Trump continue as President. He is a danger to himself and others.

Measures must be taken to remove him. Impeachment, the 25th Amendment, even a standard 5150 might do.

O, America

mitch bitch

After all these years, we can’t manage to provide basic health care for all?

Why?

So we can keep pretending the market will find a solution to problems it hasn’t found yet. And never will. The “market” – at least the way Americans play it – isn’t about problem solving or anything else save making already rich people and corporations even richer, usually at a cost to the poor. We Americans don’t have the character to find private solutions to public problems. We’re missing some essential part.

I know the practical reasons we’ve made a hash of this issue for decades. The political reasons. All the Dark Money reasons from the Dark Money players. But I don’t give a shit about those things anymore. And I can’t keep blaming them.

The problem is us. Some hole in our hearts and souls that no amount of increased poverty and suffering can heal. An utter inability to think and act in concord for the good of all.

I’m going to skip Fourth of July this year. I’m just not in the mood for fireworks and flag waving. I’m too ashamed. And I’m starting to realize… as I look back on our history and on a personal history which now exceeds 60 years … that America was ever thus. We were always this mean.

Is there a bigger dunce in this Confederacy of Dunces than Devin Nunes?

devin runs

I don’t know why I hate him so much, just the sight of him boils my blood. He’s a sniveling little weasel doing what he’s ordered to do by the Trumpets … apparently because he, too, has received Russian money for one of his paltry investments … but he’s so BAD at it. All of it. The lying. The jack stories he concocts to cover his tracks, which are always uncovered. His inability to stand still without cringing or flinching.

Devin Nunes … I keep wanting to call him Nevin Dunes and give him a pencil mustache … looks guilty when he first wakes up in the morning. He’s done something bad in the night. Peeked through a hole into the adjoining bathroom. Thought wrong thoughts. Wrong! And then it escalates from there …. Devin walking, Devin avoiding, Devin fleeing, Devin trapped and forced to approach a microphone.

And then Nevin Dunes opens his mouth to speak!!! His vocal quality is somewhere between a robocaller and cats fucking. I can’t listen for more than a minute or two.

Nevin … sorry, Devin … won’t be able to keep this up for much longer. He’s bound to crack. Prediction: on the witness stand when it comes to that, he’ll cry and cry and cry. Blame everyone from Trump to his mother. Wipe his eyes with his dunce cap.

The rest of the world should declare war on us …

global warming

and take out our current Commander in Chief. Or least take away his cell phone. I certainly wouldn’t blame the world’s other countries for lining up against us if the global disaster called Trump (as rumored) pulls the United States out of the Paris Agreement today. This will put our nation in rarefied company … with only Syria and Nicaragua as fellow non-signators … among the world’s almost 200 countries.

Syria has been busy the last six years, so it is understandable that it hasn’t gotten around to signing. Nicaragua refused to sign because it felt that the Agreement’s regulations were not STRONG enough.

There is also the small independent state of Ijadaiatdgmm near Burptown in Kentucky, which is composed primarily of retired coal miners and Southern Baptists over the age of 50 and which is seeking independence from the rest of America, Ijadaimites believe climate change is a hoax and worry that a reduction in carbon emissions may delay the Rapture. NOTE: Their proposed nation name is an acronym for I’m Just as Dumb and Ignorant as the Day God Made Me. Also not signing are Randy Quaid and his wife, who believe that the Paris Agreement is a veiled attempt to get them to pay back taxes.

Rex Tillerson urged Trump to keep us in the Agreement. So did the current heads of Exxon Mobil and all other oil and gas companies, car companies, etc. (Although that may have been smoke and mirrors to disguise their own guilt in creating global catastrophe.) So did North Fucking Korea for Christ’s sake. But we have a President who emulates Slim Pickens and wants to ride Destruction all the way down while yahooing and waving his combover.

Twice this week I dreamed that Trump’s election had been “fake news” and we had a real President again. Then I woke up.

Just a pic of our Prez and his best buds

trump with best buds

Talking to Russian officials in December when they’ve been accused of interfering in the election on your behalf (possibly an act of war, certainly cybercrime) is a problem. Bad. Just talking to them. Unless it’s to give them shit for their behavior in the last election.

Talking to them in secret. Worse. Somebody might think you had colluded with Russia to sway the last election. And this was partial payment.

Talking to them in secret about creating a secret communications channel so that you can hide the shit you talk about from your own government and intel services. So bad the only thing you can do … if you’re caught … is lie.

Doing all this shit and pretending to forget … no one believes any of the Trump administration folk who omitted Russian contacts … means it’s time to say goodbye to government service. And hello to the possibility of prison.

You can’t explain this shit away … FOX employees who get paid to explain it away are running up huge tabs at the local bars and having trouble sleeping at night. Their little scam (FOX liar for a living) may crumble soon and they might have to become newsmen and newswomen again. Although corporate flackery seems the easier route and the one they are best suited for.

There is a very simple explanation for all of the above behavior. From Jared. From Kelly, Sessions, Manafort et al. Trump and his gang are in bed with the Russians. Politically, financially, legally … i.e., illegally. They have been since well before the 2016 election and Trump, in essence, is now in a copresidency with Putin as regards foreign policy.

A lot of this stuff is criminal. Some of it is treason. But, you know, Obama, her emails. Benghazi, ACORN, 76 trombones and 110 cornets. America, O America.

“I told you, Kellyanne! They all know each other.”

over-office-receptionThis is an amazing photograph, an immediate candidate for the Hall of Fame of “What’s wrong with this picture?”.

Setting aside the happy child’s body language, the delusional Donald probably imagines he is Atticus Finch, who has just finished defending poor one-armed Tom and is receiving a standing ovation from the segregated balcony. Which, unfortunately, makes Kellyanne an aging Scout with miniskirt and cell phone. Oh, well, I guess that’s what passes for grrl power these days among GOPers.

I won’t ascribe thoughts or feelings to the other folks in the picture, but I sure would like to hear them. Not just the angry ones but the derisive ones, too, hear the laughs over drinks. Oh, to be a fly on the wall, later!

This photographic record is yet more evidence why  “surreal” is the OED Word of the Year.

A Look Back at the First Week

 

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Trump’s Emotional Tailspin

During the first week of Donald Trump’s presidency, his psychopathology was already obvious and being remarked upon both behind the closed doors of Congress and openly in the media. This scathing piece was written by a conservative columnist, Jennifer Rubin.

In the early 1970s, I remember speculation that Nixon might crack under the pressure of Watergate or that he was exhibiting paranoid tendencies. But I don’t ever remember an assessment of a sitting President’s mental health that was this stark, this declarative of mental illness. Virtually everyone agrees that Number 45 is nuts. And not in a fun, shake-things-up gonzo way. Trump is a very sick man. He should trade in the Armani suit for a think blue robe that ties in back. Or a jacket with the arms tied in front. 

The GOP will keep a sick man in office for as long as they can keep passing their rob-the-people, feed-the-rich agenda through him and around him. Look at Paul Ryan in the clip of the first meeting of 45 with Congressional leaders. He looks like a hungry wolf circling prey. Although I like wolves, so let’s make him a coyote instead. A nipper of carrion. Or, in this case, walking carrion.

Our country and the world is in serious danger every day that a compulsively lying rageaholic madman occupies the White House. We have to resist every day. In every way imaginable short of violence … if things turn violent, we will have a fascist state.

And be prepared for far worse than what we’ve seen. Trump is not capable of controlling himself, behaving differently. He’s too far gone. And his impotent rage at the truth (which continually fails to conform to his fantasy) can only escalate.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/01/24/trumps-emotional-tailspin-was-predictable/?utm_term=.4cfd7011ce6b

One month of Trumpf …

trump-election-protest-los-angeles

I ended the first month of Trump the way I started it: by rallying downtown with a group of like-minded Los Angelenos who don’t believe Trump has any business in the office he occupies and needs to vacate it as soon as possible. There were lots of chants and signs, both witty and moving. My favorite of the funny signs was “IKEA makes better Fake Cabinets,” and the runner-up “Build a wall around Donald Trump and I’ll pay for it. ”

The occasion for today’s rally – there’s an anti-Trump rally every day somewhere, sometimes lots of somewheres – was President’s Day and the theme was “Not My President.” He’s sure not mine. Trump isn’t even a President, really. When he’s asked questions about national policy, he answers with stories about himself. He signs things without reading them.  He pretty much goes where he wants to …. New York, Melbourne, Florida, Mar-a-Lago … which isn’t usually the White House. Although Trump does enjoy spending time in the Oval Office. He likes looking at the pictures.

On the way into the rally, I met a man named Mike. He is a Latino American, a Los Angeles native, and a self-proclaimed “Mexican for Trump.” He was at the southwest corner of City Hall, brandishing a sign announcing his support of Trump and yelling stuff, although Mike has a light voice and no one behind him or in the passing cars could clearly hear what he said. They could read the sign, though, and see his red Make American Great Again cap, and people were pissed. As I was passing Mike, a short Latina in her forties was yelling at him – red-faced – cursing Mike in Spanish. At least I think she was cursing him. I’m pretty sure “Chinga tu Madre” is not a compliment.

I felt like cursing Mike, too, and almost did. But he has a mild manner and I didn’t feel angry (or betrayed as I suspect the Latina felt betrayed). I just felt confused. What happened to Mike? What the hell happens to all Trump supporters, who are voting against their own interests? Who are getting conned?

I stopped and asked Mike why he liked Trump. He said it wasn’t about Trump personally, he liked his policies. He said Trump would create jobs. I told him he wouldn’t create jobs and told him why I thought that was true. I asked MIke if he was a Christian and if his religion was a factor in his support. MIke said he was a Christian but not much of one and I said, good, Trump isn’t either. Mike laughed. Then went on to say that Islam was a dangerous religion and killed people and that was the thing that most concerned him, why we had to keep them all out. Even the ones who helped us fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who will die if they can’t leave? I asked Mike. He said no, we should let them in. On a case by case basis. I asked him about Putin. Mike said he hated him. And the connection with Trump bothered him, but you can’t believe everything you read. I asked Mike what his number one reason for supporting Trump was and he said borders. He wants a wall between himself and the country from whence his parents immigrated, illegally, years ago. And he seemed to think all the homeless people downtown were somehow the result of lax immigration. I told Mike that more than 70% of L.A.’s homeless were black or white and that the percentage of Latinos was small and far less than their percentage in the general population. Mike hadn’t known that.

I asked him his name, told him mine, shook hands, and turned to leave. Mike thanked me for talking to him and said he respected me and my views. I said okay, man, have a good one. I didn’t respect his views, so I couldn’t say that, but I should have told Mike I respected him. It was small of me not to give him that. He’s a nice man – polite in the face of outrage – and it takes cohones to stand alone on that corner with his sign.

Trump Survival Rule #4 – Be Outraged

usa-election-protests

First, they attack and discredit the Media

Massa Gessen has written six rules for survival in an autocracy, which I have reprinted below. Gessen lived in Russia when Putin took control and she has written one of the better books about him: The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin (2012). Her other book, Words Break Cement, chronicles the lives and imprisonments of Pussy Riot, Russia’s all-female punk rock protest band that Putin put behind bars.

pussy-riot-arrest

Speaking of which, where are our punk rock protest bands? Where’s the new Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane and Country Joe & The Fish or (for the older set) the new Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, Dylan before he went electric? If nothing else good comes from the Trump years, can this – please, finally – put an end to alt and indie and any group consisting of a guy and a girl in everyday clothes with wispy voices accompanied by shit they loaded on their computer and press buttons to play?

Can we please have music with a little viscera behind it. Some unfiltered emotion. Some outrage. Everyone in the culture – and every part of the culture – needs to revolt against what’s happening. In my generation, musicians led the way.

jimi-woodstock-03Trump used his first solo press conference to attack the news. He and his Brietbart boys go after the press every day, which shores up their base (those who watch and only watch Fox) and feeds the resentment we all feel at times when the press covers the wrong things, covers the right things poorly, misses the Big Story.

The Big Story is that Trump’s people are attempting an autocratic takeover of the United States of America. Not only do they want to rule domestically with an Iron Heel, but they also seek to dissolve our traditional foreign alliances such as NATO in favor of an informal collection of fascist or proto-fascist states in Russia, Turkey, hopefully France under Marine Le Pen, Italy, the UK of Brexit, and several South American states. The GOP is letting it happen, picking up loose change along the way and hoping to install Pence if business experiences a turndown and the Market gets shaky.

Putting your head in the sand will not prevent any of this from happening. Or just wanting “to go back to your normal lives.” You don’t have a normal life anymore, sorry, an Assclown got into the White House with foreign assistance and nothing and no one is safe. There is no normal until he’s gone. So stay outraged.

And here – according to Masha Gessen – are a few other things you need to do in order to survive:

Masha Gessen, Autocracy: Rules for Survival

I Count the DeVos Fight as a Win …

donald-trump-betsy-devos-mike-pence

What could have been a routine appointment became anything but routine. We turned a vote or two (lots of votes if you count Democratic votes that became noes instead of go along to get alongs).

We put the entire Democratic Party on notice that their job is to RESIST the Assclown in Chief and everything he does if they want our support in two years. They will be primaried if they cut deals or try to straddle the fence, just as moderate Republicans were primaried by the Tea Party. We need Leaders not ass-coverers.

Mike Pence had to leave his Presidential duties (which he shares with Bannon and a couple of others while the Orange Queen signs shit and poses for photos) to cast the deciding vote. Any minute or portion of a minute of these guys’ days that we can tie up with resistance are minutes or portions of minutes they can’t devote to fucking America.

Sean Spicer had to use the word “unprecedented” to describe Democratic behavior that was de rigeur Republican behavior for nearly the last eight years. Even FOX viewers (who know what unprecedented means) knows that one is bullshit.

Betsy Devos (SCAmway heiress and bigtime Dark Money donor) was exposed as an ignorant dunderhead with an anti-public school zeal that is the opposite of her department’s mission. This is what the GOP does … puts people in charge to wreck the Department with nonsense and neglect … unless that Cabinet job is needed to pay back Putin for favors or to keep Mitch McConnell happily greasing the wheels.

Fuck you, Trump! Fuck you, Pence! And fuck you, Betsy DeVos! We’ll be in your faces until you’re gone. Letting you know you’re being watched. Obstructing your actions when possible. Reviling them when not.

Enjoy this moment, GOP Custers. This is your last stand.

Wall St. Layoffs, Put On Your Hard Hats

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Trump putting first things first on Jobs

Clean out your lunch pails. Fill up those coffee thermoses. Just like The Donald promised, he’s putting you back to work. He signed an executive order yesterday that does away with a lot of the regulations that Dodd-Frank put in place to try to prevent a repeat of 2008.

Can you say “Job Creator”? Can you say, thank you, Donald? Wall Street can.

No more onerous restrictions on bonuses. No more Uncle Sam looking over your shoulder when you want to unload shit on a client and tell him it’s shinola. Lying is an essential American business practice! And no one knows that better than Donald Trump.

Tell your out-of-work relatives in the Main Streets of the Midwest and South to start bundling up those mortgages again. although they shouldn’t call them collateralized debt obligations CDOs … because, you know, The Big Short. And everyone should feel free to invent your own scam derivatives, call them whatever you want … maybe caramelized bond indentures … that you can pawn off on your neighbors and watch them go broke.

If anyone questions you, worries we’ve been down this path before and it created a worldwide financial meltdown that we still haven’t come close to recovering from, just say “Obama” or “her emails.” Things will be different now. That should shut them up. And, if it doesn’t, Steve Bannon or Sean Spicer will school them.

And, hey, if any of you poor folks in the Midwest and South were hoping Trump would “create jobs” directly in your parts of the country and that they would be jobs you could go work, chillax. Okay? After Trump takes care of Wall Street and his fellow Richie Riches, their wealth will “trickle down” to you.

Better than a “trickle.” actually. We’re talking Golden Shower!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/donald-trump-a-populist-…/…

You know the recent Putin-Trump call wasn’t recorded, right?

Unlike for all the other official calls – the ones on Trump’s public schedule that might have to be accounted for with the media – Trump turned the recording machine off. This was no “accidental” 18-minute gap ala Watergate. Trump or his people turned the fucking thing off for the duration of the phone call between the Head of State of Russia and the Top Businessperson currently holed up in the White House.

I’m sure you’ve also heard that Trump-in-Law Jared Kushner has a business arrangement with a top Putin lieutenant, Rotem Rosen, who if he lived in New Jersey instead of Moscow might be recruited by the Sopranos. I believe it involves a $295 million investment in Trump Soho.

Everyone knows by now that Trump has not divested any of his business interests and still controls them on paper and through family members. He receives regular “business” reports that, I’ll wager, he spends more time reading than he did the intelligence reports for the tragic raid in Yemen that cost a Navy Seal his life.

You’ve heard about all of these things – and at top volume – because your Democratic Senators and Congresspeople and their aides won’t shut up about them. Right? Are calling for investigations. Right? Are looking into impeachment?

No? Well, that’s what would happen if the tables were turned. Which is probably a PRIMARY reason why the tables have turned so radically in the last election and why Republicans control the Senate, the House, the White House, and the Supreme Court now just to name a few. Meanwhile, some of the Democrats I know are busy tone-shaming each other on social media and arguing about what color to wear to the planned Science March on Washington.

We’re in a War, folks. For the future of America. Which won’t resemble anything in the past of America if we don’t get off our asses and scream bloody murder. And force every elected Democrat to do the same thing. Every waking second. Of every day.

For myself, I prefer “civil” disobedience. Organized through regular political channels. But if establishment Democrats blow it again, if they don’t RESIST, then resistance will occur but in very different ways. And it will be even harder to recognize that America.