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 …

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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

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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.

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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

Don’t Blame Trump for Scott Pruitt

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An EPA enemy to head up EPA is right out of the GOP playbook, which has been in place (to varying degrees) since Ronald Reagan’s first term. In 1980, Reagan appointed James Watt as his Secretary of the Interior, and Watt proceeded to eliminate dozens of environmental regulations and open up the offshore continental shelf to oil drilling. He was combative and insensitive with a sense of humor that Donald Trump might enjoy. One joke that landed Watt in hot water featured “a black, a woman, two Jews, and a cripple.” I can’t remember whether or not they were entering a bar.

The GOP doesn’t want you to look to the government for anything good. Not your health, your security in old age, public schools, affordable housing, safety in the workplace, a decent wage, parks and lakes and oceans that are clean and beautiful or at least not so poisoned that you are afraid to dip a toe in.

Increasingly, if the GOP sees a chance to make a buck by privatizing (even in areas where they had been loathe in past to tread, such as prisons and war), they have gone for it in a big way. The private prison thing paid off tremendously. Not only has it made a handful of prison privateers incredibly wealthy, it has also helped keep the streets clear of black people, brown people, and unruly youth. The War on Drugs isn’t the only reason that the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population. The other other reason is prisons for profit, which provide an incentive (as opposed to the disincentive of public financing by taxes) to put people away instead of search for alternatives that serve society better. The reason why so many of the prisoners in those places are black or brown is racism.

You can blame Donald Trump for Rex Tillerson at State, Wilbur Clark at Commerce, and Michael Flynn at NSA, who were all appointed for their Russian connections. Jeff Sessions at AG is a campaign reward for Good Ole Jeff bein’ the first Senator to get behind Trump. Mitch McConnell’s wife Elaine Chao at Transportation is a political (and financial move) by Trump. Mitch’s wife will be in a perfect position to effect policy and facilitate bribes that both men hope will flow with any infrastructure or other large public works projects. And flow both ways. Ching ching!

The rest of Trump’s appointments (including probably Betsy Devos) were likely suggested by Pence or the GOP leadership as their usual business as usual: Appoint someone who is actively opposed to the department’s agenda or who will destroy it by neglect. Someone like DeVos kills two birds with one stone (she is a GOP megadonor and has spent her life trying to replace public education with private relgious schools supported by tax dollars). Her brother is Eric Prince, disgraced founder of Blackwater, so maybe she kills three stones. Just in case a private army would come in handy to Trump’s little coterie of fascist dreamers.

Read the book I always recommend on this subject – The Wrecking Crew by Thomas Frank (2008) – to learn more about the GOP’s destroy-government agenda, which is now entering its 36th illustrious year.

Blame Donald Trump for being an ignorant, incompetent, treasonous. raccoon-handed assclown with his head up Putin’s butt. Blame him for cronies like Flynn and Tillerson and Sessions and anything that comes from Bannon or the other sad Steve.

For the rest of it, blame the GOP. They’re doing the same stuff they’ve done since that day in 1980 when affable Ronnie Reagan appointed obnoxious James G. Watt to piss on Interior. That day when Presidents stopped trying to pick capable people to head up departments with altruistic and socially-agreed-upon agendas and replaced them with The Wrecking Crew.

So that our governments would fail. And their rich corporate friends make a few more bucks.

I Count the DeVos Fight as a Win …

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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.

How Stupid Do You Have to Be to Believe Donald Trump is a Christian?

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Thanks for Your Votes, Now Give Me Your Money

That’s a serious question. If you’ve ever been inside a church, you know The Donald hasn’t. Except maybe for a relative’s funeral. The occasional wedding. Trump needs a Prayer Coach to teach him how to bow and hold his hands, a Worship Coach to show him where to look, a Pretend Coach to teach him how to act engaged in praising Jesus when he’s actually bored shitless and wondering how long until he’s in his limo and can start surfing porn. Can’t Ivanka or somebody show him tape of Pence and his Beard (sorry, Wife) at worship next to Poor Donald. See how devout they look?

Until 2016, Donald Pussy Grabber Trump never gave a single thought to God and he harbors not a single ounce of Faith. Before 2016, if he’d ever accidentally walked into a church – and realized people had to be quiet and that the women’s dresses mostly fell below the knee – he would have turned and run for the exit.

I saw some dotty old Aunt Bee types on CNN or somewhere (in an assisted living in Kansas or wherever) saying they could tell that Donald was reformed, now touched by the Lord. Well, somebody’s “touched” – or “tetched” as we use to say in Indiana – but it ain’t The Donald and it ain’t by the Lord.

How ironic then that Donald Trump is one of the only GOP Presidents to actually deliver on some of the promises he made to curdled rightwing alleged believers in order to get elected. Including declaring war on Muslims. Including yesterday, when he promised to “completely destroy” the limits on church spending and advocacy in regard to political campaigns. Which will turn some of the nation’s megachurches into Super PACs overnight.

Donald got your votes, Aunt Bees. Now he wants your pennies. The Christian Kissing Up Act might be part of the Bannon neofascist worldview somehow … I’m still reading up on that asshole … but it’s probably (or mostly) just a naked money grab.

Think of it as a tithe, good folks, to make sure the planet burns up sooner and that science never finds  a cure for your granddaughter’s paralysis.  Think of it as a tax on stupidity.

How dumb do you have to be to believe Donald Trump is a Christian? Dumb enough to think FOX is fair and balanced. Or that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-vows-to-totally-destroy-restrictions-on-churches-support-of-candidates/2017/02/02/fed9bad2-e981-11e6-bf6f-301b6b443624_story.html?utm_term=.119b1a5b62ce&wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1

“I will study this dumb President!”

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That is my vow. It’s a paraphrase of a tweet made by our dumb President, who was vowing to study a “dumb” deal the much smarter last American President made with the smarter and more effective PM of Australia.

You know, the Turnbull guy that President Clueless hung up on yesterday after bragging about his electoral college margin of victory and complaining about the U.S.-Aussie agreement to relocate a thousand plus Syrian refugees from the Land Down Under to the new United States Uber Alles. You know, the kind of deal that trusted allies make. The kind of deal signators to the Geneva Convention make.

It was The Donald’s staff’s fault for scheduling an hour with Australia. Trump can’t talk to anyone for an hour. He couldn’t fill an hour on the campaign trail without hecklers and someone to toss out. There is no topic (except himself) that he can talk about for an hour and, even when talking about Trump, he repeats himself endlessly. And these pesky leaders of other countries are constantly bringing up stuff he knows nothing about. No wonder he got mad and hung up.

(The staff should keep calls to foreign leaders brief, like the one today from Putin. Vladimir asked if Donald had gotten the check and Donald said yes. They traded diet pill stories and both agreed they liked adderall better. Vlad asked Don if “golden showers” were a “thing” in America and Donnie laughed. He said they were “very very” a thing. They wrapped up the convo in under five!)

The people of Australia are very very concerned about what’s happening in the U.S. On the night of Trump’s elevation (I can’t call it an election, because it was fixed six different ways), Prime Minister Turnbull addressed the nation on television, saying that the historic relationship between Australia and America might have to change. One thing he was thinking of, I’m sure, was that Australia (given the seedy, oil-greased, financial relationship with Putin) might no longer feel comfortable sharing military intelligence with an addled, Russo-compromised U.S. Commander in Chief. And that speech was given months ago, before Steve Bannon was promoted to the NSA and the Joint Chief of Staffs demoted. Can you blame Turnbull for being wary?

Can you blame any country (historical ally or not) for wondering WTF? On a daily basis, WTF? Moment to moment, WTF? The world in the last two weeks has become more dangerous than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis early in JFK’s Presidency.

Duck and cover, World. Here comes The Donald!

Can We Get to the Last Act Already?

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The last act where the brain-addled (adderalled?) King Donald finally turns on Bannon and hangs his sorry ass for treason and general irritation? Hey, I’m not the one asking for Steve Bannon to hang. Bannon is. By comparing himself, grandiosely and pathetically, to the arch Tudor schemer Thomas Cromwell, who pulled the strings on an unwitting Henry the VIII until Hank summoned his last particle of brain matter and executed him.
“I am Thomas Cromwell,” Steve Bannon said in a recent New York Magazine article where he also compared himself happily to Darth Vader. I haven’t seen Star Wars in a long time, so I just remember a guy who talked low and breathed heavily as if he drank a little. So far so good. I can’t tell if Vader has trouble remembering to shave – like Bannon – because he’s always wearing that space mask thing. And I stopped watching those movies after somebody got his arm torn off. Was that Vader or the blonde good guy star?
Either way, the Cromell comparison seems to work better. And I know more about Cromwell than Vader, so let’s stick with historical Tom. Cromwell manipulates Henry into doing what he wants – for years – until Henry gets wise (or runs out of other people to hang) and offs Cromwell. Happy ending, right? Please understand, I’m 100% against capital punishment … even for treasonous lieges … so I’m only wishing and hoping here for the symbolic execution of “You’re fired.”

King Donald Trump is a licentious greedhead, a reality TV buffoon, who hates one at a time (when someone punctures the gas-filled balloon of his narcissism) not in groups. King Donald doesn’t really hate Mexicans. He hates the Mexican-American judge who ruled against him on the Trump School Fraud. King Donald doesn’t hate Muslims.He hates this Muslim or that Muslim who refused to offer him a building permit or complained about the service in one of his hotels.  Crown Prince Donald talked hate and scapegoated to get elected. And he does those things now to stay elected, while he loots the government coffers and cuts deals in foreign states.  He’s a crook, first, an idealogue barely at all.

But his Cromwell, Steve Bannon? Steve’s a hater. He hates Jews, Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants of all kinds.  He wants ALL immigrants banned … the green card thing wasn’t a “mistake,” it’s something Bannon insisted on.  As you will read in the linked article, he has advocated a hiatus on all immigration (including legal immigration) from all countries and a cessation of multi-nation treaties.  He thinks – and here is where a purportedly bright man shows himself woefully stupid – that the U.s. can cut deals one nation to another nation one deal at a time. And that we will have the upper hand, always, in negotiations, ’cause, you know, we’re Amurica.

Bannon seeks to ally the United State under King Donald with other haters around the world, most of whom are also fascist. Nigel Farage in the UK (a Bannon friend) and the Brexit crowd, fascist shithead Marine Le Pen in France, Putin and Putin and Putin until the last syllable of democratic time. Bannon is a big Putin fan and a disciple of Alexandr Dugin, who is Putin’s fascist ideological inspiration. The Breitbart crowd are also Putin fans, the self-proclaimed neoNazis, all the “National Front” parties in Europe and Latin America. Steve Bannon hates just about everyone, except fellow haters (as long as they’re white and not Jewish) and alt-right. sycophants. He probably even hates Trump.

“Cromwell” Bannon is a disaster in his current job. He is genuinely dangerous. And he owns the ear of an impulsive, deeply incompetent man, who hopefully will have a late Henry the VIIth moment and dump him. Hopefully sooner the later. It will happen because Trump’s ratings will continue to fall, his audience to shrink, the applause to fade.

After money – and sex, which might prove tricky in the White House, especially at 70 and in the days of cell phones and cameras – King Donald craves attention. And all-purpose hate – in the Bannon style – isn’t playing as well in office as it did on the campaign trail.

The early Trump ratings are poor and will continue to drop, I predict. When they fall too far, so will his Cromwell. Here’s hoping his fall is painful and spectacular. I can hate, too.

Koch Not Down for the Koup?

The Dark Money May Not Be On Trump

Between kicking a friend off his golf course and showing his authoritarian hand too soon, purported president Donald Trump may have made himself and his policies a powerful opponent. NOTE: Please forgive the alliteration in the previous sentence, it was unintentional (except for the purported president part) but I’m writing too fast to go back.

Some background. The Koch brothers and the Indian Wells summit (of Richie Riches) they sponsor every year mentioned in the linked article are a main subject of Jane Mayer’s recent book, Dark Money (2015), which starts with the donor summit right after Obama’s election. At that time, the participants – and the hundreds of millions in anonymous political money they spend every year – decided on the obstructionist policy that destroyed any chance for Obama’s Presidency to be more than it was.

Dark Money has run the GOP for decades now. Some say it has run it into the ground. Among other outrages, the Kochs and Friends financed the Tea Party movement and sustain conservative so-called “think tanks” such as the American Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society. The Kochs grew up with a Nazi nanny, their Dad assisted both Hitler and Stalin in developing their nation’s oil and other industries, so the whole Putin-Trump alliance for oil billions shouldn’t be foreign to them. It’s exactly the sort of arrangement with countries opposed to U.S. interests that made them rich.

But somehow they emerged in adulthood as extreme libertarians and Trump proposals such as  tariffs and selective immigration bans aren’t their cup of pseudo-patriotic tea. . The Kochs recognize and Iron Heel when they see one … they grew up around talk of business buddies Hitler and Stalin, who were both like Trump once Time’s Man of the Year … so they decide that no one with close Trump ties was invited to Indian Hills this year.

We’re not talking about Koch & Friends on the side of Right. At best, they just want Trump out and Pence in. But it is, in fact, helpful for the Dark Money to be unhappy with Trump and distrustful of his actions.  The opposite would be the largest amount of political money on the American scene by far in the service of what is starting to look like an attempted coup. An Iron Heel is scary enough. A well-heeled Iron Heel? Shod by Koch money? To me, at least, a whole lot scarier.

This is mostly business with David Koch and the rest. They have reached a consensus that Trump will be bad for business. That he will cost them money. And that he is too erratic and ignorant to pave a path to smooth and reliable profits in their industries. If they make more money under Trump, it will be an accident. And the Kochs of the world like sure things. Bribes to bribetakers who can counted on to deliver and not stop to tweet or get distracted.

But there is a recent personal encounter between Trump and Koch that I believe factors in. right after the election, David Koch was playing a Trump course in West Palm Beach in a foursome that included Harry Hurt, who wrote a critical biography of Trump years ago. Hurt went to congratulate Trump – hoping bygones were bygones – but a Narcissist never forgets and Trump refused to accept his congratulations and had Hurt tossed off the course. Not word if he also refunded his green fees!

Upon further reflection, I don’t think David Koch took the incident personally, although he certainly didn’t appreciate the attendant publicity. He doesn’t like any publicity that he doesn’t personally control. But he had to have lost respect for Trump, who couldn’t let an ancient insult pass even at the risk of alienating a rich and powerful ally. And Koch cannot have thought the behavior augured well for a stable and well-led Presidency.

Guys who have tantrums and toss people off golf courses … or have them drawn and quartered … tend to be autocratic.  Napoleon, say, or Mussolini. Both of whom gave their nations’ businessmen a good run, but eventually came acropper.

Better, if possible, to send an Orange Emperor packing. And bet the Dark Money on Pence.

“Don, it’s Angela again …

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Merkel-‘splaining

Oh, dear, the terms of the Geneva Conventions (of which the U.S. is a signator) had to be explained to him by a foreign leader who assumed her own office prepared.  The current inhabitant of the White House has heard of Geneva – he looked into opening a hotel there once or his people did anyway – but he thought “conventions” were for salespeople and  were usually held in Vegas or some other place with tons of sun and lots of golf courses. Not Switzerland.

Come to think of it, sheltering freedom-loving people from war-torn areas like Syria, saving their lives, seems like such a Red-Blooded American thing to do, you’d think he (or his people) would have heard of it. And how it is sort of required of the world’s Good Guys.

Is this the kind of thing folks meant when they said they wanted a President who would “shake things up”? Someone who would defy the U.S. Constitution, ignore the Bill of Rights, and break International Law on a daily basis? Not because they have a “plan.” Or because they are trying to accomplish something postive. But just because they aren’t possessed of even the average high-school senior’s knowledge of U.S. government.

That level of ignorance in the Highest Office in the Land does shake things up. And not only domestically. When the ignoramus in the Highest Office in the Land is also the Most Powerful Person in the World, it shakes up foreign leaders, too. Gets them concerned.

The irony of the democratically elected, female leader of the reunited formerly Nazi Germany having to SCHOOL the alt-right assclown misogynistic pal of Putin is almost too rich to absorb.

Funny times we live in. Are we having fun yet?

I Hope This Happens …

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Science March on Washington

And I hope that prominent scientists from around the world join U.S. scientists in a march on Washington. It’s important to make the point that America’s greedy, bone-headed, baseless anti-science bias is not only destroying our own country but everyone else’s.

Never ratifying the Paris Agreement, putting a ban on outgoing communications by EPA and other science departments, and nominating an oil robber baron (Rex Tillerman of Exxon/Mobil) as Secretary of State are the kinds of things that make so many other countries hate and fear the U. S.

Their hatred and fear comes from dreading what fresh dangerous, destructive, shit move we’ll pull next … not because we’re “free.”

Besides, I’m not convinced we are free anymore. This is not the nation I was born to.