Saturday, November 26, 2016

No Christmas from Trump

     If America checks her Christmas stocking early this year, she'll discover that Donald Trump has stuck her with nothing but coal.  No chance at achieving greatness again (not that America was ever anything less than great), no shining city on a hill, nothing huge, tremendous, incredible, or fantastic... just lumps of coal.  A quick review of some of Trump's selections for key government positions are enough to conjure a deep winter chill.
     Jeff Sessions as Attorney General... probably the biggest lump of all.  Throughout his distinguished career he's labeled the NAACP as an un-American, communist-inspired organization that forced civil rights down our throats.  Meanwhile, he saw fit to refer to a black Assistant U.S. Attorney as "boy", and a white civil rights lawyer as a "disgrace to his race".  He's fought against immigration reform and favors mass deportation--maintaining that immigrants "create culture problems".  He's opposed marriage equality (and would like to see it rolled back), he'd like to gut federal funding for food stamps, repeal Obamacare, and essentially eliminate the safety net.  He'd certainly give the Grinch a run for his money when it comes to tiny hearts.
     Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.  Who'd bring a fresher perspective to the table than another privileged white billionaire?  DeVos has no government experience and her sole focus has been on promoting school voucher programs (at taxpayers' expense) and charter schools.  Expect her to broaden the right-wing extremist war on public education.
     Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development?  Wow... a week before the appointment an aide quoted Carson himself as saying he wasn't qualified for such a position.  Clearly, actual qualifications mean nothing.  Given Carson's propensity for off-the-wall comments and space-shot behavior during the primary campaign, it's safe to assume we're in for an interesting ride.  I wonder if Michele Bachmann was otherwise engaged?
     Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations.  Again, why would you need qualifications (such as foreign policy experience)?  Haley will also have the opportunity to undermine environmental progress; and one look at her record would lead one to believe that's precisely what she'll do.  In 2013 she buried a report from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources on the challenges climate change would bring to the state.  In 2015 during devastating rains and floods, Haley refused to make a connection between an increase in the number of extreme weather events and climate change.
     America should have realized right off the bat that there would be no genuine Christmas gifts from Trump when he named Steve Bannon his chief strategist.  A racist is about as far removed from Jesus Christ as war is from peace.
     Hunker down, America, and settle in for the long haul.  You'll get no merry Christmas from Trump!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Donald Trump: The Tears of a Clown

     It’s a relief to know that when he’s not preoccupied with cabinet picks guaranteed to scare the crap out of any rational/sane person, Mr. Trump is now demonstrating a new found restraint and maturity.  The facts speak for themselves, don’t they?
     Our first example of this new-and-more-mature Donald came in his response to Hillary Clinton’s ever-increasing margin of victory in the popular vote count.  The most recent tally had her up by over 1.5 million votes, and climbing.  There is obviously no Trump “mandate”; in fact, he will serve as a minority president (based on the sort of campaign he ran, I doubt that’s a word he wants applied to him in any way!).  So, how did Trump respond?  He took time out from the trivial matters of assembling a government to whine that he could have easily come away with a “huge” popular vote victory if he’d decided to campaign more often in states like California or New York.  Notice the new maturity?  The man can’t stand to lose, by any standard.  He needs to understand that Clinton will likely win the popular vote by a significant number (most estimates are 2-3 million votes) and that he’ll govern courtesy of the Electoral College.  Incidentally, when President Obama was re-elected in 2012, Trump mistakenly thought Romney had carried the popular vote, and he denounced the Electoral College--deeming it a “disaster for democracy”.  He claimed the election was a total sham & travesty, and suggested “revolution” was necessary.  Hmmmm.
     This past Friday we were treated to another glimpse of the new Trump “restraint” when he settled three lawsuits (one brought by the New York Attorney General, and two class action suits filed in California) alleging Trump had defrauded hundreds of individuals who had enrolled in real estate seminars he had launched in 2005.  The Donald has always maintained he never settles lawsuits, and he proclaimed Trump University was fantastic, hugely successful, etc.  After quickly coughing up $25 million to settle these three suits, Trump took to Twitter to denounce the plaintiffs, to proclaim he’d actually “won” by settling for so little, and making it clear that--under other circumstances--he would have never folded like a newspaper.
     Finally, the two most recent examples of Trump’s “new” temperament--revealing the thick skin required of a commander-in-chief--came to light this past weekend.  First, after Vice President-elect Pence ventured to Broadway and chose to attend a performance of “Hamilton” where he was roundly booed once he was recognized, Trump was livid.  He was apparently further incensed by the eloquent words directed at Pence by a cast member at the end of the show--as Pence was making a hasty exit.  After conducting one of the nastiest campaigns in the history of our country, and refusing to ever apologize for the countless individuals and groups he deliberately chose to persecute and insult, Trump actually demanded that the cast of “Hamilton” apologize!
     Then, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, the President-elect felt obliged to take to Twitter in order to attack “Saturday Night Live” for Alec Baldwin’s hilarious portrayal of Trump in Wonderland.  If we’re constantly subjected to his whining over inconsequential matters such as these, what’s he going to do in the rough-and-tumble world of international politics?  The tears of this clown won’t cut it at that point.  Kellyanne Conway, Trump's own campaign manager, admitted he's a ridiculous man-baby... it's going to be an awfully long four years.  God save us all.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

After Trump

     The unimaginable has happened.  Donald Trump, who ran a campaign based on bullying, bigotry, misogyny, half-truths and outright lies, will be making himself at home in our White House... the People's House.  The "basket" of deplorables that Hillary Clinton made reference to morphed into an eighteen wheeler truck.  Much was made of that label, "deplorable"... I don't doubt that many of Trump's  supporters are indeed white supremacists who are panicked at their diminished influence/control.  Many others are alt-right types willing to do whatever it takes to further a dangerous agenda.  "Some, I assume (yes, I'm quoting Trump), are good people..." likely motivated by genuine economic frustration and fear.  They're wondering what happened to their seat at the table.  What happened to their American Dream?
     It's hard to be sure what Trump's economic policies might entail, since he seemed to go to great lengths not to engage in a detailed discussion of the issues during the campaign.  If it wasn't "great", "huge", "tremendous" and didn't involve a wall, it was unlikely to be mentioned.  In any case, Trump has given no indication that he either understands or cares about income inequality.  Furthermore, he'd never do anything that wasn't in the best interest of his fellow one-percenters. 
     For Trump supporters then, this lack of any economic agenda only seems to leave racial and cultural resentments as their unifying doctrine.  Not much in the way of building a better America...
     One would have thought that given the slow-but-steady forward march of history we wouldn't be confronted by hatred, fear, and paranoia on this scale again... yet here we are.  We'll need to raise our voices to defend immigrants, Muslims, the millions of our fellow citizens who'll have their health insurance stripped away, the environment, Mitch McConnell's plan to turn the Supreme Court into a cluster of ultra-conservative tools... you name it.  We have our work cut out for us.  As much as it may be tempting to look toward a more progressive society (Canada), this is our country.
     We can take comfort in the realization that we're not alone.  In fact, we are the majority.  53% of us voted for someone other than Donald J. Trump. Even setting aside the votes cast for Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote (by a margin of at least1-2 million, depending on the estimates).  So, although Trump and his supporters would be appalled at having this word attached to them, they're a minority.
     Leading up to the election, Trump and his supporters whined for months about how unfair "the system" was.  They assured us the election was rigged.  Funny how all that talk vanished in the blink of an eye! 
     In the next few weeks the President-elect is scheduled to appear in court to face allegations of massive fraud (Trump "University") brought in a lawsuit.  Perhaps he won't even make it to the White House... Even if he does, we'll use the same system he derided and demeaned to take our country back.  God knows, we all deserve better... even James Comey. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Massacre in Orlando; Trump's Disgrace

     Like millions of Americans, I awakened this morning to news reports about the horrific slaughter in Orlando's "The Pulse" night club.  The headlines state that this is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, with 50 dead and another 53 wounded--many critically.  My heart goes out to the victims, their families and friends, and to the entire LGBT community.
     One might have hoped that politicians would refrain from pronouncing judgment on this tragedy--at the very least until all the facts are known.  Donald Trump, however, felt compelled to weigh in (to no one's surprise) by informing the waiting world that these events prove he was "right" about terrorism... whatever that means.  He reiterated his call for a "ban" on Muslims entering the U.S. (of course, the suspect is an American citizen--born and bred here--and appears to have acted alone), he denounced our "weak leadership" --demanding that President Obama resign (!), and he attacked Hillary Clinton for not speaking the words "radical Islamic terrorist".  Of course, not once in his statements did he express his support for the LGBT community. Given his recent run of bad press, significant Republican buyers remorse, and dropping poll numbers it's no wonder he'd want to point fingers elsewhere--but, no one needs to hear more of his bigotry and intolerance--least of all the Orlando community.  He's only making a horrendous situation even worse.
     Since he decided to politicize this tragedy, instead of showing restraint and decency, I only hope Trump's actions serve as a wake-up call for those who might actually contemplate voting for him.  He is a demagogue, and an arrogant bully.  His hate speech accomplishes nothing but serving as a recruiting tool for ISIS.   I have to believe that the inherent goodness and decency of the American people will ultimately prevent Mr. Trump from getting anywhere near the Oval Office.  It's obvious that this great country deserves far better.

     After posting the above, I read that Trump has achieved a new low--even for him.  He said that the President "either doesn't get it, or... he gets it better than we understand".  The implication is obvious, and disgusting.  This man has no shame whatsoever.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Despicable Donald, Part One

     Donald Trump's blatant hypocrisy is downright fascinating... and perversely entertaining. Take notice of how Herr Trump repeatedly whines whenever a news outlet raises the specter of past failures or questionable antics. For example, he goes a little bonkers when he's reminded that he posed as his own publicist in 1991, but his orange hues turn bright red when mention is made of Trump business bankruptcies in 1991, 1992, 2004, and 2009. Duplicitous Donald strenuously objects to any journey through HIS past. And yet, he's decided that Hillary Clinton's past is fair game. Duplicitous Donald has determined that Whitewater is a relevant issue here in 2016! Not that anyone likely remembers--or cares--but there where allegations that President Bill Clinton (while serving as Governor of Arkansas in the mid 1980s) used his influence to arrange a $300,000 loan to the Clintons' partner in a real estate deal.  The Clintons actually lost tens of thousands of dollars in the deal; it was thoroughly investigated, and they were never indicted for anything.  Duplicitous Donald knows there's nothing to this, but he believes in repeating lies enough so that his supporters will believe him.
     Even more disturbing is Herr Trump's ill-advised decision to raise questions that have already been answered about the suicide of a Deputy White House Counsel, Vince Foster, in 1993 (during the first year of the Clinton presidency).  Multiple investigations concluded that Mr. Foster did indeed commit suicide:  the U.S. Park Police (with F.B.I. assistance) in 1993, independent Counsel Robert Fisk in 1994, and even Whitewater independent Counsel Ken Starr (who certainly disliked the Clintons) reached the same conclusion in 1997--after a three-year investigation.  Despicable Donald, however, has no decency or regard for the Foster family--instead, he and assorted talk radio conspiracy lunatics say or do anything to assault the Clintons.  Just a reminder:  this is the same Despicable Donald who touted a bogus National Enquirer photo to smear Ted Cruz; claiming that the photo showed Raul Cruz (Ted's father) with Lee Harvey Oswald.  Of course, we all know what Despicable Donald wanted everyone to think.
     As Herr Trump's campaign melts down into an orgy of bigotry, sexism, and hatred, be prepared for Desperate Donald.  He'll reveal that, among many other things, Hillary broke up the Beatles and staged the moon landing. 
     In the end, Despicable Donald has nothing.  He's a hot air balloon incapable of rational discussion of issues he's unable to understand... and the air is beginning to escape, but like a cornered cobra he'll strike out randomly and repeatedly.  He's dangerous, he's despicable... let's hope he's done.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Trump-George Zimmerman 2016

The world must really wonder what the hell is going on in the United States of America. In the past few years we've embarrassed ourselves in multiple ways, and God knows we're continuing to do so on a daily basis. I'm reading headlines about Sheldon Adelson vowing to spend $100 million dollars to fund the "self-funding" Donald Trump's presidential campaign. It's billionaire to billionaire and racist to racist (check out Adelson's comments about Palestinians). This news accompanies a New York Times report on Donald Trump's decades-long history of inappropriate behavior toward women. A "rich" history of lewd and unwelcome advances... And yet, as a result of the hijacking and disemboweling of the old Republican party, this lunatic will be nominated for president.
Given the general insanity, I suppose it's entirely appropriate to see George Zimmerman back in the news. This thug who shot Trayvon Martin on 2/26/2012, and escaped justice on 7/13/2013 (when he was somehow acquitted of second degree murder)actually has the cojones to try and auction off the gun he used to commit the killing. Get this: he pledged that a portion of the sale (initial bid was $5,000)would be used to fight Black Lives Matter "violence" directed against law enforcement officers and to counter "Hillary Clinton's anti-firearms rhetoric". Disgusting... on so many levels. Trayvon Martin's family must feel as though this cretin is dancing on their son's grave. For George Zimmerman to have the audacity to talk about violence is astounding. One look at his lengthy arrest record--dating back to 2005--and it's obvious that this man should never have been allowed to own a weapon. A domestic violence arrest in 2005, plus another arrest that year for shoving and threatening an undercover alcohol control agent. After shooting Trayvon in 2013, he lied about his assets during bail hearings, but that was just the beginning. 9/9/2013 he threatened his estranged wife and her father with a gun (and punched the father in the face). 11/18/2013 he pointed a shotgun at a girlfriend and began destroying her possessions. 1/9/2015 he proved he didn't need a gun when he was arrested for aggravated assault for throwing a wine bottle at another girlfriend.
It makes perfect sense, in a perverse way, that George Zimmerman would crawl out from under his rock in the era of Donald Trump. I'd be willing to bet there are more than a few in that crowd who view him as some sort of persecuted hero, On the plus side, his "auction" has been subverted by numerous internet Gods and Goddesses who've pushed the winning bid up to $65 million last I checked. (Thank you "Racist McShootface" and others).
Don't give up on us yet... maybe Trump can be stopped and we can live up to our ideals and be our better selves. In the meantime, it would seem fitting that Trump capture this unique and deeply disturbing moment in our history by choosing George Zimmerman--the poster boy for Trumpism--as his running mate.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Name the Donald

Donald Trump is notorious for many things. Among them is his childish and annoying need to try and assign a nickname to his many political opponents. We're all familiar with (and sick to death of hearing) "Lyin' Ted". Before that, when Trump was engaged in a size-of-penis war with Marco Rubio (a new low in American politics, I might add), we heard "Little Marco". Most of his Republican opponents escaped an actual nickname, but suffered a barrage of personal insults instead. Jasmine C. Lee and Kevin Quealy have compiled an interesting list (210) of the people, places, and things Trump has insulted on Twitter. If you're ever feeling insecure about your writing skills, or command of the English language, you might want to check it out--you'll walk away feeling so much better about yourself.
Lately, of course, Donnie is trying to develop a nickname for Hillary Clinton. He started out with "Crooked Hillary", but seems to have had second thoughts since he began trying out "Corrupt Hillary" instead.
I'd like to suggest that while he works overtime on solving that dilemma (as opposed to taking the time to learn about foreign or domestic policy), we ought to return the favor. Donald shouldn't be left out in the cold without a nickname of his own. Elizabeth Warren recently summed him up on Twitter ("weak"), but we need to give him something that reflects his persona: big, boorish, stupid.
I'm hoping people will help me out with this... let's have some fun!
"Trumpus Rumpus" seems a little silly...
"Deplorable Donald" has promise...
"vulgar" is too soft, "sleazy" is on the money, but it needs to be a catch phrase.
Come on people, he's given us so much to work with. Let's hear those names!