Feb 28, 2018: A Particularly Bizarre Day in Trumptopia

I was not going to post for a few days to let a number of issues develop, but there were so many odd political occurrences yesterday I wanted to give it a little attention, so I’m sharing a tweet from Sam Stein, politics editor for the Daily Beast, just to give you a taste of the day (I added a few words in blue for clarity).

Stein captured Trump’s day thus:   Between calling his AG Jeff Sessions “DISGRACEFUL;”  Agreeing to a liberal fantasy of gun reform in a televised bi-partisan meeting in the White House; losing his comms director Hope Hicks; watching his son-in-law Jared Kushner chewed up by devastating news reports; and seeing Special Counsel Mueller hone in on his attempts to fire Sessions;  it’s just your average day in Trumpland.”

I’d say Stein is employing understatement. Even for Trump this was a bit much.  All of these occurrences will give rise to more and more stories which  undoubtedly will compete for attention with new or renewed “breaking news” to the point of our bewilderment and/or just tuning out altogether with our excuse being you can’t believe anybody.  For me the worst thing Trump has done is to turn the already murky world of political reality into a blinding sleet storm.

Amidst the mental muck I will try to focus on what happens with the gun reform issue.  Most likely not much.  Recall how Trump had a similar meeting about DACA on a Tuesday in January wherein he appeared open and even eager to make a deal, but by Thursday he reversed his position, obviously influenced by his base and advisers.  The “Tuesday Trump” or the “Thursday Trump”  has become a byword for a Trump-about-face, I think coined by Republican Senator Lindsay Graham.

So we’ve seen the “Tuesday Trump” on gun reform and now we have to wait and see what the “Thursday Trump” has to say.  Most likely he will pull back from every positive thing he said about gun reform that the NRA doesn’t like.  It might boil down to bump  stocks being passed, as the NRA doesn’t seem to mind that.

I’ll get back to you.

P. S. – Trump says or does so many odd things that we tire of pointing them out, but that only makes his craziness our reality.  Trump must fundamentally be a coward, as he is always indicating how brave he is, like the other day when he asserted that unlike that “cowardly” security guard he would have run into that school even if he didn’t have a gun.  Who else would pat himself on the back for something he has only fantasized?

That is the sort of thing that truly the brave, like a Medal of Honor recipient, would never, ever say about himself, the kind of thing only someone with a lot of self-doubt would say.  And then what does he do?   Yesterday he puffs himself up more by teasing some of the Congress people about being afraid of the NRA, when he has been completely cowed by them until his “brave” words yesterday which he has plenty of time to take back.

One might say he lacks the courage of his convictions, but then he has no convictions, only a fantasy of himself.


Kaleidoscopic Topsy Turvy: Trying to Make Sense of Trumptopia

A series of changing phases or events viewed upside down creating a state of utter confusion.  That’s what a cobbled together kaleidoscopic-topsy-turvy means.  How’s that for grasping the surreal everyday “reality” of life in Trumptopia?   Let’s try some recent news events on for size, so to speak.

For starters could you find anything more topsy turvy than watching Amarosa, a longtime Trump stalwart, who is now on Celebrity Big Brother, a few nights ago tearfully confess to a housemate that she would never ever vote for Trump again, her supposed super hero for months….before she got booted out of the White House, a “bad place.”

Speaking of what Trump used to call his WH well oiled machine,  there have been about 40 administration officials who have either been fired or resigned  (details here),  It can’t be too well oiled, especially when it comes to the vetting process.

A speech writer accused of sexual abuse just resigned and shortly before that it was Rob Porter, WH staff secretary, also for sexual abuse.  Of course, in the latter case at least, Trump emphasized how Porter “says he’s innocent.”  Hey, two accusations to his one defense, maybe he is – but not likely given that one photo.  The point is Trump always emphasizes claims of innocence by abusers….


How topsy turvy is that?   With powerful sexual abusers falling down like cheap shacks as the “me, too” movement has developed into a kind of social hurricane, somehow the charges by all those women against Trump, which of course he denies, just seem to hang there like a fart no one will cop to.  I guess Trump gets away with it because he churns out so many distractions per day that his own abusing nature is taken for granted, becomes normalized like so many other things upside down.

His various truth twisters keep to talking points that make it all seem normal despite it being just the opposite.  WH Spokesman Sara Sanders is Exhibit A.  When asked months ago how the president could demand Democratic Senator Al Franken resign over alleged harassment charges by several women while Trump supported that awful Alabama judge for a vacated Senate seat, Sanders pointed out that the judge denied the charges while Franken admitted guilt (at least in one case).

So, boys and girls, whatever your parents said about the importance of fessing up, no, not in Trumptopia.  Deny, deny, deny…..and eventually they’ll get tired of asking.

According to Sara, if you never admit guilt you get the presumption of innocence despite all evidence to the contrary a la el presidente.  The accusations of several women against the judge and even more against Trump the president lose their impact when Sanders’s twisted thinking is allowed to reign.  More upside down.

My jumping about on this theme reflects the kaleidoscopic aspect of my point of view, but as for the topsy turvy angle, what about this recent budget deal?   Hey, I have such low expectations of Congress that I’m basically in favor of it.  But my topsy turvy point is the agreement shows, in case there was still any doubt, that Republican fiscal conservatism and the hopes of the tea party have been turned on their heads.

Senator Rand Paul reminded me of Custer at the Little Big Horn, keeping Congress up all night by his refusal to shut up until, like Martin Luther at the church door, he hammered this point home.   How could the Republicans who skewered Obama about anything that would add to the deficit just add another 300 or 400 billion or so over the next two years? 

At least the tax cut plan could be defended with the rationale that the trillion plus to be lost in taxes over the next 10 years would be made up for by the revenue’s from a finally unfettered booming economy.   Seems mostly based on a hope and a prayer, but at least they pretend the added deficit will be paid for through an economy that gets huger and huger….

Of course, this club still called Republicans has really become the party of Trump which can no longer complain about tax and spend liberals when their answer to our financial issues is to not tax but still spend and, like a Hollywood movie, there will be a happy ending.  Funny that the Dems are now the one’s talking about overspending, or at least were before they got a huge junk of change in this budget for domestic programs they want, essentially in exchange for giving the hawks billions of dollars the military insist we need.

And, of course, Trump’s tweets imply it was he who got Congress to give the military what it says it needs, which when translated topsy turvy means he mostly got in the way with statements like the government should be shut down if an immigration deal wasn’t included.  An impossibility in right side up reality.  Unfortunately, as time goes by Trump’s propaganda machine will make it seem Trump made this deal happen.  Some will even want to throw him a parade.

Upsidedownism prevails and it keeps changing kaleidoscopically .

Epilogue to Last Week’s “Holes” Post

In my previous post I tried to etch a rough line between the Trump TV show and the Trump presidency, while trying to make the point that the show has gotten most of the attention while Republican congressional actions have often been sidetracked or delayed by Trump speaking his mindless.

On the other hand, Trump’s outrageous speech and actions have drawn attention away from the right’s steady actions to dismantle the administrative state allowing them to progress steadily unnoticed like termites in your attic.  In short, it’s a twisted relationship.


What matters most is not achieving anything in particular but to hold our constant attention while appearing to win often while blaming anyone he can think of when he doesn’t.  This is most clear in situations like the attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, where he was obviously ready to sign anything and call it a great victory for the people with no clue of what impact any of it would have.

That Trump sees this all as a show was supported in a tweet by conservative talk show host Erick Erickson Saturday.  Referring to the now infamous “hole” comment, Erickson wrote:

“It’s weird that people in the room don’t remember Trump using that word when Trump himself was calling friends to brag about it afterwards.  I spoke to one of those friends.  The president thought it would play well to his base.”

Trump bragging about using the word.  (get that Paul Ryan? who called the comment “unfortunate and unhelpful” as if Trump had just misspoken with his 4th grade vocabulary.   No, he meant to say that.  He was proud of saying that.).  To be fair Erickson, formerly the editor of the conservative blog Red State has been a strong critic of Trump since the vulgarian described Megan Kelly’s bleeding from somewhere in that debate.  Because of that Erikson disinvited Trump from a Red State event.

I infer he disinvited Trump because of a sense of common decency which mattered more than whatever political overlap there was.  This is just a theory, but I think where there is decency, you’ll also find more honesty.

So, Erikson can’t stand the guy either, but he sure has a lot of conservative friends who would have connection to Trump and I believe his comments because he has shown decency and honesty in the past, qualities harder to detect in Trump than finding oxygen on the moon.

Today is Martin Luther King day, so many Republican politicians must feel those comments by Trump were particularly unfortunate and unhelpful, especially to their own political careers.  Trump doesn’t care.  MLK day only amplifies his “unfortunate” comments from last week assuring him the spotlight, which to him is fortunate.

Well, boys and girls that’s what comes of making a pact with the devil’s showman.

P. S. – There is a piece on Red State that discusses two problems of Trump’s “holes” comments in a thoughtful way.  I suggest you look at it as it seems the kind of piece that many could read and actually discuss without yelling at each other, such a novelty these days.

The Trumped Up Presidency

I was going to write a post on the impact of the Trumped up presidency, but got side tracked thinking about the word, name, itself, so that other post will have to wait for a day or two or three.  I am struck by the definition of trump up: “to concoct especially with intent to deceive : fabricate, invent.”


What a perfect description of the empty essence of the current president.  I have thought so for some time, but can’t recall anyone zeroing in on the perfect fit as I am about to do.  Hillary Clinton did make a tangential remark at a debate referring to his “Trumped up trickle down theory of economics,” but that was a misguided attempt to be clever with little impact.


That aside, let’s look at another version of the word: trumpery. While today it refers to material objects of little or no value, back in the mid-15th century it meant deceit or fraud or worthless nonsense.  That sense is now obsolete, but the Trump phenomenon may wind up prompting its rejuvenation.


We might also add:  to trump:  as in bridge where one suit is all powerful over the other three, which certainly suits Trumped-Up’s vision of presidential powers in relationship to congress, the judiciary and the press.


For the Donald to have such a suitable name reminds me of what Carl Jung, Freud’s most well known “student”, called “synchronicity”, which means coincidental acts that seem too coincidental to be mere coincidence, eerily so.  We are being led by the shallowest of fabricating fools as if the”the force” has declared we deserve to be , and provided that name as our clue.


So, when in the future I refer to President Trumped-Up or the Trumped-Up presidency, know that I’m not trying to be cute or clever.  Simply concise.

Donald Trump: The Grinch that is Stealing Reality

Watching Donald Trump at a cabinet “show” this morning patting himself on the back for many so-called successes in his first year as president, I felt sick, like I had been transported to the dystopia of the book 1984 .  He churns out so much B. S. so fast I really can’t handle it anymore.  Fact checkers figure to tear this little talk apart, but so what?

His B. S. machine will go into overdrive on something else tomorrow or soon after.  It feels futile to say anything.  As I’ve said before, it is so easy for him to make things up, and just keep repeating the lies, while it is much work to disprove them.  And the falsehoods keep coming at you like bullets from a machine gun.  And about one-third of our population believes Trump no matter what.

Trump can go on and on acting as if his Trumped up world is real and because he is president no one is in the position to yell:  “Shut the “F” up you lying piece of Sh_t!   Without that bit of corrective action, Trump gets to create his own reality and those in attendance, both in the room and at home, have to just listen, as if we actually believe him.

Watching VP Mike Pence putting his imprimatur on this perverted picture made me even sicker.   He chimed in on how honored he was to serve the great man, how grateful to be in that position and what wonders his boss has created so far.

If Trump is impeached, the fond hope of many of us, the pandering Pence will become president, who is as big of a phony as Trump but in a different way.   He has turned false sincerity into an art form, so I’m hoping he’s impeached, too, and Ryan gets the job.   No matter what you think of him, Ryan  has to be better than the other two.

I was going to say a few things about the tax plan, but since it is hard to write anything today and I feel like an ant looking up at an elephant, I’ll let it slide.  Other than to say the obvious that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is not a great gift to the middle class, no matter how often Trump and his minions say it is, and he and his fellow billionaires make out way better than the rest of us, no matter how often he says they’ll actually lose money.  These are two major points that are preposterous falsehoods, reason enough not believe anything Trump says about the bill.  Or for that matter, anything else.

P. S. –  Just to give you a taste of reality in contrast to what Trump is dishing out, check out this interview of Paul Ryan by Savannah Guthrie.   Supported by a statement by Mike Bloomberg, former mayor of New York and ongoing billionaire, Guthrie asks Ryan if he “is living in a fantasy world” to say that the tax bill will help workers.

That was the Week that Was

The administration of Donald Trump has been unusual from the beginning, but it has morphed into something surreal.   No, more than that.  What word means more surreal than surreal?   Let me see, how about “nuts”?

I have been working on a post that tries to capture what this past week has been like and what it says about this dysfunctional, loony tunes administration, but it has been more than I can handle.  Like trying to get back into the pants I wore in high school.  Not to mention that the words I’ve tried convey a sense of “the sky is falling the sky is falling”.  Well, maybe it is.   But running around screaming doesn’t help, other than my own need to vent.

Fortunately,  Ruth Marcus outlines the White House chaos in calm, relatively short fashion in a Washington Post column titled “The White House is Imploding.”   It doesn’t include everything weird that has happened recently, most notably the sudden priority our Twit-in-Chief has placed on cleaning out our military of those fussy transgender types,  as if North Korea’s nuclear rattling, Middle East chaos and Putin’s nefarious ways belong on back burners.

But, Marcus gives the gist of the incompetency of Donald Trump when it comes to playing president.   Once again reminding us that we have elected a child president whom we must all work around to get anything done.

Here is the column.

P. S. – The title of the post is stolen from a popular British TV show back in 1963 credited with being the first to satirize the British government.   The people loved it; not surprisingly the government did not.  I imagine our Saturday Night Live owes a debt of gratitude to that show.

Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, Healthcare Bills and that other thing….North Korea

I usually watch Morning Joe on MSNBC, but I watch less of it all the time.  Thank God for recording devices with fast forward.  Today a half hour was more than enough. Turns out Jared Kushner appeared helpful at the Senate hearing and the latest steps on repeal/replace of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) are keeping the possibility of change afloat, but leaky.   In short, not much news.

Republicans are so divided it is possible that they will have to swallow their insistence on repeal and work with Democrats to improve healthcare in ways that garners votes from both sides of the aisle.  What a novel approach.

Oh, and Jeff Sessions remains Donnie Trump’s piñata, as our boy who would be king is obsessed in his resentment that Sessions failed to quash this irksome Russia/Trump investigation.   His sin was recusing himself thus opening the door to Trump’s (I surmise) haunted house.  Sessions committed the crime of being more loyal to the constitution than to his sire, something a number of conservatives have noted as a good thing despite their general backing for the Donald.

The strength of Sessions’ support among conservatives is reflected by Russ Limbaugh calling Trump’s treatment of Sessions “unseemly”.   That’s like the pope accusing one of his parishioners of being uncatholic, reason enough for Trump to stop verbally battering the AG, if he can be that reasonable.

So, Donnie is in a bit of a pickle here.  Maybe that’s why he has come out with a new item to be aghast about, the banishing of “transgender” people in the military.  Now that is a big bright object to distract the media from weightier things………….

Such as North Korea.   At the end of the program co-host Mika Brzezinski brought up the issue of that rogue nation apparently about to test another intercontinental missile and a recent report that they might have one capable of hitting our mainland in a year or so, sooner than had been expected.

Then she mused that perhaps they should have spent more time on that and less on  the Trump soap opera on display in Washington.

Good idea Mika.  How about expanding upon that in your next show.

Oh, I still haven’t found a current article on General Mattis.  I assume that is because the Secretary of Defense is working his tail off figuring out what the hell we should do about North Korea and has no time for interviews.