Obama calls Trump’s Response to the coronavirus “an absolute, chaotic disaster.”

I could not have described it any better Mr. President.   Glad you’re getting warmed up for the big fight to dethrone the boy who would be king.  We need a lot of you now as your buddy Joe is sort of trapped in his basement at the moment, a bad look but he’s in a tough spot.  He’s just not in the center of the action right now.

As always, Trump is in the center of the news because his main goal is to be there.  He’s great at doing or saying something controversial which gets top news billing because he is the president.  In contrast to him is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who has basically been the banner carrier of the Democratic party of late as he has shown the nation in his daily press conferences what a real leader looks like as opposed to president putz.

Cuomo has been the text book leader in turning the virus around in New York city and state.  A real leader takes charge, tells the truth (sure often with some positive spin) and takes responsibility for his actions, as President Harry Truman summed up with a sign he kept on his desk:  “The buck stops here.”   With Trump the buck never stops with him.  If it’s a problem it’s someone else’s fault.

Trump’s response to Obama’s criticism is predictable: he trashes him.  Deflecting from his own incompetence, Trump hangs that label on Obama.  And he ups the ante by asserting some crime Obama committed, while refusing to state what it is.  “You know, ” he tells reporters.  “You know.”

I’d love to see a chorus from reporters ring out:  “No, we don’t.” (and we suspect neither do you.)

Trump’s phony act is so obvious, but he keeps the press at bay with his ability to churn up enough outrageous news bits as to keep reporters buzzing about and failing to land on something, some one thing to demand an explanation of.

How about this topic?  Trump continually brags about what a great job he’s done vs. the virus.   But, according to the News Tribune:  “The United States and South Korea each reported their first confirmed case of the coronavirus to the World Health Organization on Jan. 20.”

Since then around 300 South Korean’s have died of the virus, compared to around 90,000 Americans.  We have about eight times their population, so to make the comparison fair and square, let’s make the situation per capita and say if South Korea had our population, they would have lost about 2,400 people.

90,000 to 2,400………………..  Still, a huge disparity.  REALLY HUGE!  Please, reporters unite.  Demand Trump explain that statistic in the face of his bragging about what a great job he’s done.  Bring this up over and over a gain, like a dog with a bone.  Keep biting and don’t let him deflect the questioning elsewhere.

Trump deflects by blaming Obama for leaving him “a bare cupboard” of pandemic supplies” and nothing else.  At least the Obama team left him with a basic primer of suggestions of what needed to be attended to and an office within the National Security Council whose job was to track potential pandemics world wide.

Trump ignored the suggestions and closed the office.   Also, he has had over three years to develop his own plan to battle pandemics.  What’s Trump’s plan?  Open up the economy willy nilly and see what happens while gambling on a vaccine developed soon enough to save us?

Again I would like reporters to demand an explanation for why 90,000 carona deaths here, while South Korea has had about 300 (or an adjusted 2400 if we add the population differential).

Please reporters, bring this up the next time Trump claims he has done a great job battling the virus.


P. S. – My link above to the News Tribune is worth following as that news source gives a brief description of what South Korea did and we did not.

“Fox Isn’t Working for Us Anymore.” Tweets Trump.

Liberals have been calling Fox News Trump TV for months now.   What is surprising is to see Trump agree.  By complaining that Fox is no longer working for him, he is implying they once did.  A curious admission, but it fits the Trump world view that everyone should be working for him and the envy he often shows of those strong men in other countries who can more easily get things done.  Autocracy is so much more simple than democracy.

And Trump, despite his unpredictability, is a simple man.

What spawned that Trump tweeted complaint was a number of comments by Fox News hosts that Trump did not like, including Shepard Smith’s stating categorically that Trump is not telling the truth about new wall going up rapidly on the southern border.  In fact, there has been no new wall, only the replacement of about sixty miles of old wall.  Period.

Smith has also pointed out that Trump is not telling the truth about some 90 billion that supposedly went to Puerto Rico for disaster relief, of which they have actually received about 14 billion.

And Smith has called false Tucker Carlson’s claim that white supremacy is a hoax.  Tucker is one of what I’d call the Fox Views side of the network.  He, along with Hannity and Laura Ingraham, form the evening lineup that really goes to bat for Trump and vice versa.

Of course, liberal media have made the same points as Smith, but we expect that.  The more Fox News concurs with the other two major cable networks, the more possible is conversation based upon commonly recognized facts, without which there can be little conversation.

Here is my main point,  Trump TV is not Fox News, but those who constitute Fox Views, the big three mentioned above along with others who primarily state opinions, while usually critical of liberals and uncritical of Trump’s world of alternative facts.

As Trump continues to repeat and expand his fantasy land, my hope is that the Fox News side of the network will feel compelled to point out the lies as they have done for some time but not as frequently as recently.   The more lies, the more coverage of the worst of them?

Here is a link to Smith’s dismissing Trump’s wall claims among other things.  Scroll down to find the short video of Smith’s dismantling Trump’s lie.

Finally, I suggest you check out Smith’s one hour news program Mon-Friday, noon Pacific Time on Fox.

 

 

 

Donald Trump, the Chosen One?

I have written and rewritten and trashed several posts over the past two weeks, because things kept changing so fast in Trumptopia I couldn’t figure out where to land.  He has produced a record amount of gibberish, especially over these last two days, so I’ve given up writing about it and sought help.

I’ve looked around for something that gives an overall gist of Trump’s ever wackier state of mind.  I think this article in the Guardian, a liberal English news source, captures Trump’s general state of incoherence quite well for those who want a momentary big picture of our little president.

Thanks Guardian.

July 4th, Trump on Parade

The big news on the 4th of July was Trump acting like a fairly normal president, except for the fact no other president has made the 4th essentially about him.  At least Trump sounded somewhat presidential but that’s because he stuck to a speech on a teleprompter.  News of a sort I suppose, because he usually goes off on more tangents than a fireworks display.

Trump was apparently so stuck to the teleprompter that he wound up saying something nonsensical, a claim that revolutionary troops took over airports.  The next morning he blamed that statement on a broken prompter.  The oddity was that while giving the speech he didn’t seem to notice the irregularity and just powered on as if no one would notice.

It makes me wonder if you put a recipe for lasagna on the prompter would he just read through that, too?

When I write about Trump as I just did I feel kind of sick as none of it is really worth telling.  But that’s what I’ll remember about the Donald’s 4th.   And, like with air pollution, it does seem useful to point out when it continues to strangle us.

More noteworthy was Trump’s amble to the helicopter the next morning headed for his New Jersey resort.  With the rotating blades of the copter making everything hard to hear Trump easily fended off a gaggle of reporters who tossed questions at him.

Here he returned to his real self, the usual complement of distractions, misrepresentations, fabrications, and just plain lies in what I think of as a drive by press briefing.  Which is basically the only kind of press interaction we get these days.

A reporter yells out a question.  Trump lies.  Or just ignores it.  Another reporter screams out another and Trump says something that has been proven untrue over and over.  And then on to the next question.  Or Trump will go on some kind of tangent, often unrelated.  Something that either promotes his genius or defames someone else.

If a reporter tries to present a follow up question he or she is either ignored or Trump repeats his falsehood often saying “you all know that.”  Which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The last question Trump fielded is a good example.  The reporter asked about his assertion that President Obama had virtually begged Kim Jong Un to meet,  but Kim refused.  When asked for a source on that, Trump just repeated the claim.  It is untrue just as is previous statements that all those other fairly recent presidents wanted to meet with Kim or his dad or granddad but couldn’t pull it off.

No, no, no.  None of these presidents wanted to give Kim (or his father or grandfather)  the prestige of being treated like an equal in such a meeting.  The tin pot dictators wanted the meeting, not our presidents, formerly the leaders of the western world.  It makes me sick that Trump can continue to get away with this charade.

Trump’s whole portrayal of  what he has accomplished with Kim is, to use the technical term, BULLSHIT……  A huge metaphorical mound of it that he succeeds in adding to.

All his government has done is to quietly accept the idea that NOKO is going to have nukes while acting as if the reality was otherwise.  There is little we can do about it short of war, despite Trump’s fantasied account.   If we had a close relationship with China there would be a chance that things would be different, but we don’t.

If you were a murderous dictator like Kim would you give up the one thing that keeps you in power?  And trust the proudly unpredictable Trump to safeguard you?

Leaving the feckless questioners in the dust, Trump twirled out of town while the reporters and their anchors back at the stations pretended to make sense out of the senseless.

Sick and Tired of Trump, Trump, Trump

You may have noticed I don’t post often these days.  It’s been over six weeks since the last one.  However, I still pay attention to the loonyness spawned by Trump’s fabrications, that world he has created of “alternative facts”,  as accidentally coined by Kellyanne Conway, his number one whirling dervish of spin.

Despite still paying attention, I’m trying to lessen my addiction because so much of it is a waste of time.  They keep flashing “breaking news” and it is seldom real news.   It usually has already been broken earlier, or wasn’t of much value anyway.

To sum up the obvious.   Over the last two years of Trump’s mucking things up and muddling our once generally shared sense of reality with his fabrications and lies, while showing few signs of basic human decency, he has produced a favorable rating on his presidency from 46% of us, according to a recent poll.  An even more recent poll shows 50% of the country believe Trump’s mantra of “witch hunt.”

His propaganda campaign has worked.   If you keep saying “no collusion” and “witch hunt” and “fake news” incessantly it can sink in, especially when you stress that the press is the “enemy of the people”.   At one point, he told one of his throngs of the mesmerized:   “Believe me, not what you read or see.”  The approach of a budding dictator.

It was estimated the other day that the next election will come down to some six per cent of those who will tip the scale.   That seems a decent guess.  I just don’t know who those six percent are and what will actually tip the scales for them, and neither does anyone else.  So what’s all the chatter about, other than to give news pundits well paying jobs.

This morning I watched a group of MSNBC usuals actually spending time dissecting Trump’s twitter rant this weekend, as if it meant anything other that he is losing it more and more each day.

Sooooooo………  I’m not going to say much more until I start seeing things substantial materialize as opposed to the glut of speculation mostly based on unnamed sources.  I want to see results from the Mueller probe, and the Southern District of New York, and that state’s attorney general, and the multiple House committees who are trying to make up for the lack of oversight of the president and his administration by the previously Republican controlled House.

Sounds like a witch hunt, doesn’t it.   But I’m guessing that these many investigations will eventually reveal Trump for what he is and always has been, a con artist, a snake oil salesman, a bully who has always been only concerned about what’s good for him and his family and not what is good for anyone else.  Certainly not about our country as a whole.

A witch hunt isn’t always a bad thing.   Sometimes it actually causes the demise of a real witch, like in the Wizzard of Oz.


P. S. – One Trump related thing I do want to write about is the strange situation known as Kellyanne Conway’s marriage to George Conway, who has become one of Trump’s most scathing critics.   If you are not aware of this curious situation, no worries, I will illuminate it for you over the next week.

 

 

Trump World: On the Way from the Surreal to the Absurd

Donald Trump’s tweet that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower is looking more and more like a case of the boy who cried wolf.  In other words, his credibility is looking shakier than an alcoholic in detox.

Perhaps he said it to distract attention from FBI probes about Russian involvement in the election.  Or maybe he was angry with Obama for one reason or another.   Who knows with him.  In any case the issue isn’t being left behind like so many of his other outrageous statements that helped propel him to – egads – the presidency.   The story has legs and he and his team would like to undercut them.

However, while his spin-miesters, like spokesman Sean (Bagdad Bob) Spicer and Kellyanne (disinfomainiac) Conway, author of the “alternative facts” line of argument, have continually tried to make the twaddle their master  wrote sound sensible, most observers who aren’t married to conspiracy theories laugh at these evasions.

In short, this fabrication may and hopefully will prove to be a “bridge too far”   for Trump.  That it will produce a “credibility gap” to a degree not quite seen since  President Johnson’s actions fathered the notion during the Vietnam War.

As is usually part of their evasive tactics, Trump and his Trumpeters deny the literal meaning of his own blather, acting as if the president is an inscrutable poet.  They all emphasize that Trump put “wiretapping” in quotes, meaning as everyone should know, not necessarily literal wire tapping but a broad term indicating any kind of surveillance, direct or indirect.  He was speaking figuratively as you many English majors out there should grasp.  Or for you Buddhists, think of Trump as a master of the Zen koen.  Think about it.

And when it comes to surveillance, well that can amount to anything, even a microwave capable of taking your picture, as  Kellyanne suggested in one interview.  These days there are all sorts of instruments that can help surveil, she more or less said.

Her source?  “I read it somewhere.”  Working in the White House, couldn’t she find a better source than “somewhere”?   Say, the huge intelligence agencies we have?

“I read it somewhere” is the standard of proof for any White House inquiry these days, which is why I feel we have moved from the surreal to the absurd.   Trump often backs his wild charges by saying he read or saw something, as if anything out there that can be read or seen can be viewed as a reliable source.

How about something written in a public bathroom stall?   Does that count?   Yes, I would say as long as it supports something our president either already believes or wants us to believe or both.  I feel weak kneed imagining  we elected  a virtual 5th grader on speed to be president, who has brought along a team of playmates to continue the party.

What may be most disturbing is I believe when President Johnson lied, he knew he was not telling the truth.  I’m not sure that this president is always aware of the difference.