Friday, July 7, 2017

Carl Sagan Predicted Us

Here’s quote from Carl Sagan’s book The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Not bad for 1995:
I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Who’s Afraid of North Korea?

Who’s afraid of North Korea? Not me, at least not in the way we’re supposed to be. So Kim Jong-Un fired a single ICBM that might be able to hit Alaska. Are we supposed to believe that he’s just going wake up one morning and decide to bomb Anchorage, knowing that if he did so his country would be radioactive ash within minutes?

Then I remember yellow cake and aluminum tubes, the Axis of Evil, Saddam, cross-dressing Panamanian dictators, Gadaffi in his tent, ayatollahs, Russian commies, Chinese commies, mullahs, Cubans, Sandinistas, Somali pirates, bird flu and ecoli and anthrax, and lions and tigers and bears, oh my! And then I realize that, well, yes, we are indeed supposed to think exactly that.

This map is only a slight exaggeration of how lots of Americans actually view the world (click to enlarge):
They’re encouraged in their ignorance by leaders who are equally dumb. Ronald Reagan once returned from a trip to Latin America and said with genuine astonishment: “You’d be surprised. They’re all individual countries down there.” Not to be outdone, George Dubya once informed the world that Nigeria was an important continent and that border relations between Canada and Mexico were excellent. He once asked the Brazilian president: “Do you have blacks, too?”

And Trump, well, every day of the week Trump says something skull-smashingly stupid for the delectation of his moron base, and his most jarringly ignorant statements are usually sincere (i.e., nobody knew how complicated health care was. I get great intelligence, I have a great relationship with the blacks, etc. etc.)

It’s possible to meet successful, even college-educated, Americans, solid members of the middle class, who routinely confuse Sweden with Switzerland, still refer to Czechoslovakia, and can only vaguely distinguish between China and Japan. Sure, they’re different countries and all. Japan is kind of a good guy and China is kind of a bad guy, or at least that’s the impression they get from the trickle of images that come through their TV screens for a few minutes each week between commercials for Budweiser and Viagra. But at the end of the day they’re still, you know, Asians, who are all basically the same, right?

One must never forget, and perhaps never forgive, the fact that grown-ups in this country dress up like their favorite Star Wars characters and camp outside of movie theaters for days. They flock to see Wonder Woman. They wear neon spandex tights to go for bike rides. They trample each other to death on Black Friday. They fret over imaginary disorders that have no firm basis in medical science and will drop out of consciousness in a few months or years. They don’t read. Less than fifteen percent of them have passports. Seventy-seven percent of them believe in angels. One in four thinks the sun revolves around the earth. They plagiarize their words from television commercials and think they sound clever doing it: “You got this!” “Can you hear me now?”

We are the end result of a seventy year long laboratory experiment called “consumerism,” in which American culture has been almost totally drained of substance, intellect and value, and the resulting void was filled with wall-to-wall entertainment and cheap consumer goods. It has created a society of fearful, anxious children who demand instant gratification and lust after shiny objects. There is no past, there is no future, and there is no world outside of the plastic cornucopia of American commercialism worth seeing or knowing about. It is an airtight, hermetically sealed, self-enclosed system that exercises nearly totalitarian control over the minds of the American people.

We’re easy sport for the corporations, banks, Pentagon bureaucrats, CIA spooks, political hacks and demagogues who want to rob and deceive us. All they have to do is scream “Orange Alert” and all the bold flag wavers who sang so proudly last night will go scurrying to Walmart in order to buy duct tape and bottled water. If they told us that wearing underwear on our heads warded off brain eating rays from Pyongyang, people in this country would do it (and we would be told, no doubt, that buying Fruit-of-the-Loom was patriotic).

So, yeah, we are supposed to believe Kim Jong Un will risk his power and his life for the sheer stupid pleasure of flinging a missile at the US, because he’s a crazy and evil super villain who hates us for our freedom, and because we’re so effin’ good. Booyah.

Then Donald Trump will get his excuse for a war, and with war will come all those juicy war powers we allow presidents to have. Then we’ll realize, too late, that the freakish little dictator of a starving medieval country was the least of our problems.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Looking Backward

The people crowded over the old man to hear his dying words. He was on his back, shriveled and bony and gray, like a dried-out lizard lying belly-up in the sun, gasping for breath and struggling to speak. Everyone quietly leaned forward to hear what he had to say.

The oldest man in the world, the only surviving link to the twentieth century, was about to speak his last, and the ragged people of 2110 were eager to hear his words. What wisdom did this fading relic of America’s final decades have to give? Surely this man who’d lived in better times had some something helpful to tell them?

Shivering and dirty, they huddled ever closer, afraid to touch him lest he dissolve like ancient parchment in their hands. He coughed, they jumped; he gurgled, they gasped; he moaned, they sighed. They feared it was too late.

Then, suddenly, the old man shot up and spoke. His ghostly voice broke out in song, and the people heard the glorious souls of their ancestors come to life:
Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!

The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup!

Nationwide is on your side!

The effects of Botox may spread hours and weeks after injection causing serious symptoms. Alert your doctor right away as difficulty swallowing, speaking, eye problems or muscle weakness can be signs of a life-threatening condition. Side effects may include allergic reactions, neck and injection site pains, fatigue and headache. Don’t take Botox if there’s a skin infection. Tell your doctor your medical history, muscle or nerve conditions and medications, including botulinum toxin, as these may increase the sign of serious side effects.

Don’t take your chronic migraine laying down. Stand up!

A Message From Ivanka

And now, a message from Ivanka Trump:
 In business, as in life, nothing is ever handed to you.
Now why don’t you all go and enjoy some champagne popsicles this Fourth of July?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

What’s Really Important To Us

We have well over a hundred synonyms for fraud, cheat and steal. American English captures every subtle nuance to every single form of theft ever devised. You’d almost think we worshiped it or something. Here are just a few examples, in alphabetical order:
Bait, bamboozle, bilk, betray, blackmail, bleed, bluff, buffalo, bullshit, burgle, burn, cheat. chicane, chisel, clip, con, cozen, credit default swap, deceit, deceive, defalcate, defraud, delude, diddle, dodge, double-cross, double-deal, dupe, embezzle, extort, fake, fast one, filch, finagle, fleece, flimflam, fool, fox, fractional reserve banking, free-market, fraud, gouge, grift, grifter, gull, gyp, heist, hoax, hold-up, hose, hoodwink, hornswoggle, hustle, imposture, inveigle, jerk- around, jimmy, jive, juke, lead-on, lie, long con, manipulate, milk, mislead, mulct, peculate, pilfer, pinch, play, play for a sucker, plot, ploy, Ponzi scheme, pull a fast one, purloin, put on, racket, racketeering, rifle, rip-off, rob, roll, rook, rope-in, run a game on, ruse, sandbag, scam, scheme, screw, sell a bill of goods, shaft, sham, shave, smoke, snare, snow, speculate, steal, subterfuge, sub-prime mortgage, swindle, swipe, take in, take to the cleaners, take for a ride, trick, wheedle, wheel and deal . . .
What do you think is really on our minds? Is it any wonder why you-know-who and his crooked offspring now rule over us? It’s a natural evolutionary development, something baked in our national DNA that was destined to emerge at some fateful point, like cystic fibrosis or hemophilia. After he’s gone there will just be another, then another, then another, on and on and on, year in, year out, until the Capitol Building lies in ruins and lichens grow in the Oval Office.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Our Destructive Lack Of Leadership

The Republican party is gleefully destroying health care in this country, climate change will soon spiral out of control, and we’re sleepwalking into a major catastrophe in Syria, but don’t tell the President: He’s busy tweeting insulting comments about Mika Brzezinski’s appearance. His petulance and immaturity is staggering. He has the mentality of an eighth grade mean girl with unlimited text messaging, and yet he dominates the political discourse. Every one of his puerile brain farts becomes topic A of the news cycle and shoves everything else into the background (exactly where Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan want it). I’m not being hyperbolic when I say this poses a serious existential threat to our country. We simply don’t have time for this childish nonsense. We simply don’t have time for fun and games. There are grave problems facing us that need to be addressed immediately by serious adults, but serious adults are nowhere to be found in American politics.

The United States has been at war in Afghanistan for sixteen years at a cost of over a trillion dollars. Why are we still there? What are we trying to achieve? What is the goal of this endless and expensive war? Nobody knows and nobody seems to care. It’s not debated at all.  In fact, Trump wants to send four thousand more troops there. Isn’t it the job of our representatives in Congress to debate these kinds of issues? Isn’t that what democratic governments are supposed to do? Where are the serious adults who are willing to introduce this discussion?

Fun fact: Over the last decade, the Pentagon has wasted $28 million dollars buying the wrong kinds of uniforms for the Afghan army.  Bring that up the next time Republicans preach the need for spending cuts and austerity.

Man-made climate change is a fact. It is not a “theory” or a hoax cooked up by the Chinese or Al Gore. Exxon Mobile’s own scientists knew that putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere was heating the planet back in the seventies. The US military knows it as well. So does Miami Beach. If we stopped using fossil fuels today, the effects of climate change would still continue to intensify well into this century. This is a guaranteed crisis barreling right at us. Where are the leaders who will state this elementary scientific fact with force, confidence and conviction to the American people? They are absent. The Democrats issue feeble whimpers about how we should maybe, kinda, sorta do something about global warming while scientific illiterates dictate energy policy and stifle the debate.

We get Rick Perry as energy secretary, who doesn’t “believe” in the findings of climate science, which is tantamount to saying you don’t “believe” two plus two equals four. This is like putting a one-eyed drunken sixteen year old behind the wheel and telling him to get you home safely.

Eight men have more wealth than half of the entire population of the world. Regardless of your political affiliation, one has to acknowledge that this kind of wealth inequality is damaging and unsustainable. It simply cannot continue without producing serious social upheaval. Even free market fundamentalists must concede that this kind of monopolistic wealth concentration is unhealthy. It distorts markets, snuffs out competition and ultimately kills innovation. It prevents the beautiful equilibrium that exists in the daydreams of laissez-faire economists of the Milton Friedman/Austrian school. It’s corrupting influence over democratic government is, I trust, self-evident at this point.

I hear Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren mention this. I’ve even heard Barack Obama talk about it, but the issue isn’t really debated as the pressing matter that it is. The Republicans, of course, don’t care about it at all. In fact, they think it’s just dandy, but the Democrats aren’t much better. Nancy Pelosi is one of the richest people in Congress. Do you really think she lies in bed at night fretting over inequality in America? Even if she does care about it, it is a second tier issue, a distant problem that can be shoved under the floorboards and, if need be, patched over later.

Again, a serious issue with predictably negative results is flashing its high beams right in our windshield and we’re just looking the other way. There is no serious, rational discussion about the causes and consequences of inequality at all.

And then there’s Syria. I don’t profess to know about what’s happening there. Frankly, I don’t care. There is no real US interest at stake, and getting mired in that nightmare can have no positive outcome for this country.  Nevertheless, the foreign policy establishment, as well as the six-figure punditry, take it as axiomatic that the United States just has get involved, as if we have some divine, unquestionable imperative to insert ourselves in every conflict around the globe.

Liberalish  types justify it on vague and misty humanitarian grounds (i.e., spreading democracy or fighting terrorism); the more conservative, Kissingerian realpolitickers, I suspect, just want to beat back Russian influence: The U.S can’t let Russia be top dog in the region, period. All are transfixed by some nebulous concept called  “credibility,” which apparently can only be maintained by constantly involving ourselves in ruinous wars that achieve no tangible objective. One would think that continually losing wars — and bankrupting ourselves in the process — would be the greatest blow imaginable to our national credibility,  but lots and lots of Ph.Ds think otherwise, and given the sterling record of U.S. interventions over the past forty years, who can doubt them?

Democrat types want to spread democracy, right wingers want to flex our muscles. Either way, we’re bumbling towards war with Russia for no good reason at all. Both ends of our political spectrum more or less support some kind of intervention. No mainstream voices oppose it. Just the opposite, the pundit class is positively orgasmic over the prospect of war in Syria: Fareed Zakaria gushed that “Trump became president’ when he launched missiles into Syria, and six-figure hairdo Brian Williams wet himself about those “beautiful bombs”.  This is precisely the kind of arrogant folly that produced the First World War.

Why not just step back and allow Russia to drain its blood and treasure in the Syrian quagmire? Let Putin waste his seed in Damascus. The United States has more important to things to do.    

The only really serious issue being discussed is the health care bill, which will have an immediate impact on people’s lives. The fact that the Republican plan is so maliciously awful, so ostentatiously cruel and dishonest, also inspires people to perk up and take notice. The vote in the Senate has been postponed, but some slightly less atrocious form of the bill will eventually pass, like a tapeworm grinding itself through a dog’s intestines, and land on Trump’s desk, at which point he’ll sign it beneath the prurient grins of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and other assorted ghouls.

None of the things I mentioned would be happening if we had a principled, vocal opposition, but we don’t. As the Republicans drag us into a plutocratic dystopia, the Democrats will offer nothing in response but stale platitudes and watered down neoliberalism.  Republicans will attack with knives and bicycle chains, and Democrats will cower in the corner and bleat about bipartisan consensus, hoping, like a shy, lovesick adolescent, that maybe, just maybe, a few hunky moderate Republicans will pass by and happen to notice their attractive high-mindedness, fall in love and vote for them. Pathetic doesn’t even begin to describe ithis

Trump and the Republicans win because the Democrats have no conviction, period. Until they figure this out, the same dismal state of affairs we find ourselves in will continue. Every single day these Republican bastards show the world what greedy and incompetent scoundrels they are, and the Democrats fail to capitalize. They’'ll sit on their thumbs, listening to millionaire consultants tell them that “We’re nicer than evil ogre Trump, so vote for us,” is a winning platform. They’'ll continue to lose and so will we.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The ‘Art’ Of Trump

Prepare to be shocked. It turns out that Trump’s great big tremendous Carrier deal that was going to ring in a new era of American greatness, um, hasn’t:
More than 600 employees at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis are bracing for layoffs beginning next month, despite being told by President Trump that nearly all the jobs at the plant had been saved. The deal, announced with great fanfare before Trump took office, was billed not only as a heroic move to keep jobs from going to Mexico but also as a seismic shift in the economic development landscape.

Nearly seven months later the deal has not worked out quite as originally advertised, and the landscape has barely budged.
Like everything else about Trump, it was all bullshit. In exchange for $7 million in ”incentives,” Carrier would agree to keep at least 1,069 people employed at its Indianapolis plant, It turns out that only 730 of the positions Trump ‘saved’ were the kind of manufacturing jobs that are going to make America great again. The rest were engineering and technical positions that weren’t going to be outsourced in the first place. Anyway, six hundred people are getting the ax in spite of Trump’s awesome deal-making skills. Go figure.     

Not to be outdone, Carrier spun some silky corporate bullshit of its own. They claim to have offered the workers other jobs in the company, the only trouble is that they forgot to tell the workers: 
… union officials say they have heard nothing from the company about any job offers elsewhere within the company. All they have received is the official notice, as required by federal law, that the first round of cuts — 338 jobs — will take place on July 20, with an additional 290 employees terminated on Dec. 22, three days before Christmas.
That last bit about 290 employees being canned on December 22nd is particularly charming in light of Trump’s boast about the workers that “They’re going to have a great Christmas!”

Pure Trumpian bullshit, like the mother of all bombs (MOAB) that he dropped in an empty patch of scrub in Afghanistan. It’s all theater designed to dupe his base and keep the punditry tweeting while he, Ivanka and Jared loot the country blind, our very own homegrown, all-American Duvalier family.

Charles Pierce uses this incident as an opportunity to make an observation about Trump’s cynical but shrewd modus operandi:
This, apparently, is the way things are going to go. He's going to lurch from photo op to rally to photo op, proclaim victory over something, celebrate his own greatness, and then move on to whatever the next thing is. It's the George Aiken Victory In Vietnam strategy toward governing the entire country: Declare victory and then get out. Nothing is real, except in the immediate moment, when the cameras are hot and the ovations, rapturous. Actual results are irrelevant.
But of course. He’s never been a success at anything other than empty self-promotion and reality TV. It’s what he is and what he does. He’s an ignorant fraud and a con-man taking advantage of the fact that the average American has a third grade knowledge of civics and the attention span of a squirrel monkey.

He knows with the unerring sense of a predator that all he has to do is bluster and howl and tweet about any minor accomplishment and the media and Big Public will be fooled and distracted just long enough for him to make tracks to his next con.

And it will always, always, always work because Trump knows what every successful con man knows. People want to believe in the bullshit they’re selling. All he has to do is set up the scam and his victim’s wishful thinking and self-delusion will do the rest. Even if his swindles are exposed it doesn’t really matter. His cultists will just insist it’s fake news and the whole cycle will begin anew. Of course, the fact that the opposition party is run by inept weaklings who can’t even tie their own goddamned shoes doesn’t hurt either.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Democrats Are Coming To The Rescue

Fear not, brothers and sisters, for in these dark days of Trumpism, of unrestrained corporate power, of environmental ruin and possible nuclear war, there is a ray of hope. The Democratic party, led by Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, is riding to the rescue:
Democrats are beginning to craft an economic message for 2018 that goes beyond the tempting, single-minded strategy of demonizing Donald Trump.

Licking their wounds after an embarrassing showing in November, Democrats vowed to charge into next year’s midterms with a proactive sales pitch to voters. While many, including party leaders, have fallen right back into the same anti-Trump pattern they say cost them 2016 in the first place, top Democrats now say they’re working on “a strong, sharp-edged, bold economic message,” as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer put it Tuesday.
I don’t know about you, but when Chuck Schumer promises a “strong, sharp-edged, bold economic message,” I get a tingle up my leg. It’s almost as inspiring as Nancy Pelosi saying, “We’re all capitalists.”

But let’s be fair: After leading us to a string of humiliating defeats since 2010, culminating in the slaughter of 2016 and the victory of Donald Trump, the Democratic party is acting decisively to craft a broad economic agenda that will “unite both caucuses” of the Party. It’s “expected to emerge by early summer.”

“We’re spending a lot of time on this,” says Chuck Schumer.

Just when you need the cavalry the most: six months after the battle has been lost.

At issue is a deep philosophical divide: One branch of the Democratic party wants to do more of the same plus family leave, while the other branch wants to do absolutely nothing at all. One branch wants to throw some populist window dressing around, kinda, sorta, by the dark of the moon; the other wants to sit on their thumbs and wait for Trump to fail, because that strategy worked so well in 2016.

“We have no message right now,” says one House Democrat, “and we don’t need one.”

The trouble is, the Democrats don’t know how to pack “more of the same plus family leave” and “do absolutely nothing” into inspiring, easily digestible soundbites.  But don’t worry, they will. Chuck Schumer promises that they’re going to “hammer” this agenda leading up to the midterms. I hope they’ve hired John Podesta, Robby Mook and Bob Shrum to help them iron out the details.

Meanwhile, Republican congressmen are being assailed at town hall meetings all over the country by progressives with a very simple message: Single payer now.

How’s that for an easily digestible soundbite that conveys the Democratic way of thinking? Chuck, Nancy, are you listening?

Bernie Sanders is polling as the most popular politician in America, the leader of a populist upsurge that nearly toppled Hillary Clinton in the primaries. What does that tell you? Chuck, Nancy, are you listening?

Many Trump  supporters are souring on his recent conversion to neo-conservatism and war. The little people, even some of Trump’s deplorables, don’t want any more fucking war. Are you listening Chuck, Nancy? Hello?

 This suggests a very simple set of soundbites that the Democrats could use, as they say, going forward: Single payer, raise the minimum wage, end the wars.

Single payer, raise the minimum wage, end the wars. Give the people healthcare, a little more money, and save them from dying in a nuclear war.

I came up with that in two minutes, without the benefit of a consulting firm, a Gallup poll, a Rolodex full of Beltway insiders, or lunch with Robby Mook, Bob Shrum and John Podesta. I didn’t need to phone up Frank Luntz in his cave to come up with a few Orwellian jargon words to makes these ideas palatable to the masses. People need health insurance, they need more money, and nobody, but nobody outside of neocon circles, wants a nuclear war. We want to be healthy, we want to have enough money to pay the bills, and we don’t want to be incinerated. Wow. How revolutionary.

Are these doable? No, not right away, but they are a practical set of aims, easily communicated in a soundbite media culture, that a party can build on. Or substitute the minimum wage for something else. Student loan forgiveness? We bail out banks, why not students? Pick one, Democrats, and mean it. Then hammer the message over and over an over again.

Oh, sayeth the wise Democratic centrists, those positions ignore the hard political realities. Well, at one time, cutting Social Security went against the hard political realities. It was the “third rail” of politics. Now, after decades of Republican hammering, it’s right there on the chopping block, a hard new political reality that ice cream cone Democrats, in their weak-kneed zeal for divine bipartisanship, offer up in their ‘grand bargains’ with Republican butchers.

Hard political realities can, and must, be changed. The American Revolution went against the hard political realities of the day. So did abolishing slavery, the forty-hour work week, the New Deal, civil rights. They all went against the hard political realities and, wait for it, changed them.

Now it’s the Republican party who changes the hard political realities, and then imposes them on us with blood and iron. Meanwhile, the Democrats cluck around the barnyard like gutless chickens, praying the ax will slip out of Trump’s hand before he cuts their necks.

There is a ready-made populist constituency just waiting to be led. They are thirsting for leadership, for someone to articulate these basic positions. But the Democrats, in their centrist wisdom, have decided to wait and see.

They will consult their donors and all the Important People in order to manufacture some bland, safe, poll-tested, focus-grouped agenda. It ill be carefully designed to appeal to the fiscally conservative yet socially liberal attitudes of Silicon Valley and Wall Street. They will offer it up like it’s the most super fantastic thing since the New Deal even though everyone will know it’s a sham, and it’s most progressive aspects will be immediately jettisoned at the first sign of opposition. Then they’ll be trampled to death in another Republican rout, which they’ll blame on Russia, a third party candidate, or some other external factor. That way they never have to trouble their beautiful little minds with such hard things as reflection, self-criticism or change.

There is a luscious women waiting with her legs spread, beckoning, and Chuck Schumer is standing there with his pants around his ankles, his spectacles perched on the end of his nose, calling over his shoulder to Nancy Pelosi about what to do with the cocoa butter.

“Hey Nancy, what are you suppoesed to do with this stuff? ”

“Hold on, Chuck, my pearls are slipping.”

Nancy Pelosi recently said to a gathering that single payer was a really swell idea. The right idea, the popular one, and everyone supported it. If we were starting from scratch, she said, a “tabula rasa,” we would put it in place immediately, but it’s just too late: We already have a system in place and we have to work within it.

That sums up the Democratic approach perfectly. Politics consists of extracting piecemeal reforms within the established order, as defined by corporate, banking and military interests (and enforced by Republican bullying). You can’t implement any policy, no matter how popular, if the donor class doesn’t want it. They set the agenda and you must be happy for any crumbs they choose to give you. You must not fight. You must not shout. Shut up and be happy at the back of the bus. We’ll let you know when we decide to do something for you. It’s timid and conformist. It’s passive and obedient, and it always leads to defeat, as the recent history of the Democratic party amply demonstrates.

Martin Luther King they ain’t.

The piece concludes:
The task ahead for Democrats, then, may be to bait Trump into swinging and missing on bread-and-butter economic issues just as he did on health care, while simultaneously plugging their own plan.

“On every issue the president talked about — on the wall, on tearing up the Iran deal, on immediate health care repeal — [Republicans] are coming face-to-face with reality in a very painful way,” Himes said. “And we don’t want to slow down that learning process.”
In other words, let the Republicans set the agenda. Do nothing. Hope Trump “swings and misses,” and occasionally, you know, mention some possible alternatives.

Why not? It’s worked wonders since 2010.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Trouble In Trump Land?

No sooner than I blog about Trump’s die-hard supporters never leaving him than they … up and leave him! Way to go, me!

It turns out Trump’s latest reality TV show missile strike on Syria has deeply alienated his Cro-Magnon base. I thought these people — or am I being too generous? — would drag their ass through broken glass and hot coals for him. It turns out not so much. Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and various other bacilli have sharply criticized it. They’re stamping their little feetsies and threatening to take their marbles home. It’s beautiful. What happened to my president, they’re saying, which is exactly what naive Obama voters (like me) said for eight years.

Meanwhile, establishment media hacks like Fareed Zakaria and Brian Williams are falling all over themselves praising Trump’s leadership. It’s truly nauseating. ’Trump became president today,’ gushes Fareed Zakaria, who should seriously consider buying a good pair of knee pads. One recalls the Emperor Tiberius’ acid disdain for the the weak and cowardly Roman Senate: “How eager they are to be slaves,” he reportedly always said.

Last week Trump was an incompetent boob and a Russian stooge; he launches a few missiles at Syria and suddenly he’s Winston Churchill. Glenn Greenwald has the whole pathetic story. The same insidious group think that go us into Iraq is in full swing, and the ludicrous, over-the-top praise will go to Trump’s head, guaranteeing that he’ll launch more strikes. Look at me, daddy, I’m a war president, and the Kewl Kids like me now. Oh boy oh boy! This feckless idiot child is going to get us into a war with Russia.

One marvels at the sheer reckless arrogance of our political class. They are so removed from reality that they represent a threat to humanity. For weeks they’ve been rabidly demonizing Putin and Russia, now we’re bombing one of their allies and pointlessly, needlessly, stupidly provoking them. Do these people not think at all? This is exactly how nations blunder into catastrophe.

I’m sick and tired of these mineral water drinking, Caesar salad eating, cholesterol watching yuppy pansy war lovers, these pudgy-souled text messengers and gym-goers who bray like donkeys for war and missile strikes because they have no skin in they game. After all, missiles never hit Georgetown or Manhattan. They’re all in for ‘humanitarian’ war as long as other humans are doing the fighting.

And while I’m at it, would people please stop deferring to John McCain as if he’s some kind of foreign policy whiz? His first, middle and last idea on foreign policy is war and bombing. This is not smart. This is not sophisticated. It is the dense and unimaginative thinking of a bully and a clod. At this stage in history, with a string of military failures to our credit, it is inexcusable. Somebody get that crusty old dick blowhard a cup of warm milk and put him to bed. Oh yeah, never forget that he’ responsible for inflicting Sarah Palin on us.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Inside The Trump White House

Trump is in the Oval Office talking to Bill O’Reilly on speakerphone. Ivanka is seated in front of his desk, totally engrossed in texting and not paying a bit of attention to their conversation. Bill is facing multiple sexual harassment suits and advertisers are leaving his show in droves. He sounds tipsy. Trump has just ordered airstrikes on Syria, but Bill’s problems are more interesting. 

Trump: I gotta be honest with you, Bill. I would have moved in on her like a bitch too. I gotta be honest. We’re grown men here, amirite? You didn’t do anything wrong, Bill. It’s political correctness. It’s nothing but political correctness run amok. It’s fake news.

O’Reilly: It’s like I always say, Donny, if you don’t like where you work, get another job. It ain’t rocket surgery. Go to human resources. Go to a different department. Get another job.

Trump: It’s outrageous, Bill, it really is.

O’Reilly: I got no problem with women in the work place. I’m an equal rights kinda guy. It’s just that this affirmative action has them all believing they’re entitled to any job they want, even if they can’t hack it.

Trump: I agree with you a hundred percent, Bill, a hundred percent. It’s political correctness run amok. It’s ruining our country, it really is. I mean that, Bill, I really do. It’s absolutely ruining our country.

O’Reilly is starting to slur his words. As his drunkenness increases, he affects an exaggerated working-class New York accent, as he often does when browbeating elitist liberals on his show. You’d almost think he was a longshoreman from Brooklyn and not what he actually is, a guy from a comfortable, lily-white suburb on Long Island who attended private school.

O’Reilly: All guys, awwwl guys get a little ribbing in their rookie year, am I right, Donny? That’s all it was. Just a little harmless ribbing. What’s a little slap and tickle among friends? It’s no different than guys snappin’ towels at each other in the locker room. It’s like a, uh, whaddya call it … a rite of passage. If women can’t handle that, maybe they don’t belong in the work place.

Trump: I know exactly what you’re saying, Bill, why do you think I keep Melania in New York?

O’Reilly, now thoroughly inebriated: And now you got the politically correct crowd scaring my advertisers away, effecting my ability to make a living. You don’t mess with a man’s livelihood. It ain’t right! [Yells] It ain’t right!

Trump: I gotta say it again, Bill, I agree a hundred percent. This is amazing, because I normally don’t agree a hundred percent with people because I think it’s good to disagree. I mean, you gotta disagree sometime because nobody’s right one hundred percent of the time, not even me. Well, almost me, but not always, but I gotta be honest, I agree with you a hundred percent.

O’Reilly [sobbing]: I never should have left Inside Edition. Not even Access Hollywood will return my calls now. Where’s my …  falafel thing. I need my … loofah thing…

Trump: Bill, I gotta run. I got this general on the line. You wouldn’t believe all the generals who call me these days, and not just any generals, not just average generals but the big guys, the biggest guys, best in the profession, tons of medals all over. Did you all know all those colored things they wear on their chest stand for different stuff they’ve done? And here I thought they just bought them all in big pieces and just slapped ‘em on their uniforms, you know, to look good. It’s unbelievable what you learn on this job.

O’Reilly: This used to be a man’s world, Donny.

Trump: Why don’t you come down to Mar-a-Lago next week? Roger Stone can ship us up some virgins from the Dominican Republican. You’re gonna love these girls, Bill, believe me, they’ll do anything, anything. And since you’re a celebrity you can get away with it. Believe me, you’ll be like the biggest things since they discovered bananas down there, Bill.

Ivanka, jumping up excitedly, holding up here iPhone: Look, Daddy, there’s a liposuction clinic in China named after me! And Chinese girls are getting plastic surgery to look just like me!

Trump: Of course they are, sweetheart, you’re beautiful. If you weren’t my daughter I’d have moved in on you by the time you were thirteen.

Ivanka: That’s so sweet, Daddy.

Trump, back on the phone: Yeah, general, talk to me. How big? I told you I wanted big explosions, really big, bigger than any Obama ever made. The biggest explosions ever. Keep doin’ it and get back to me.

Suddenly, Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon come barging into the Oval Office, jabbing their fingers and screaming at each other.

Kushner: Big Daddy, he called me a cuck!

Bannon: Did not. I called you a globalist.

Kushner: Joe Scarborough said cuck. I should know, We text each other every day.

Ivanka: What’s a “cuck”?

Kushner: I don’t know, but it’s something bad. I think they called my other daddy that when he was in jail.

Trump: Steve, can you step away from the TV? It’s gonna be on in a minute. I ordered the military to bomb whatchamacallit.

Bannon: Iran?

Trump: Nah, nah, other one. [Snaps his fingers] Other one, other one, bad people, really bad people, killing babies. Awful.  .

Bannon: Yemen? Somalia?

Trump: No, no, the other place. The place where Jesus wrote the Bible. Sand. Lotsa sand there. Anyway, we’re sending big beautiful missiles there. It’s gonna be tremendous. You’ve never seen explosions like this before, believe me. They were using weapons with poison in them, did you know that? What do you call those again?

Kushner: Chemical weapons.

Trump: Yeah, chemical weapons. Awful stuff. Where did these things come from? I never heard of them before. It’s amazing what you learn on this job.

Ivanka: I think the Germans invented them in, like, World War II or something.

Bannon: That’s a lie!

Ivanka: Jared, honey, you look pale.

Kushner: I’m sorry, Luv Muffin. It’s all this fighting. It makes me all nervous and fatiguey. I prefer to screw people over in the dark behind their back and not, like, argue to their face and stuff.

Ivanka: Why don’t you evict some of your poor tenants in Manhattan? That always cheers you up.  

Bannon: Mr. President, you can’t be serious. Bombing Syria will jeopardize relations with Russia. It will weaken Assad. It will strengthen ISIS. Sir, this will ruin our whole agenda.

Trump: There’s a new agenda now, Steve. Saturday Night Live kept calling me your puppet, I can’t have that. It made me look weak. Jared’s in charge now. Did you see that? That explosion wasn’t big enough. Those are pussy explosions!

A secret service agent enters the Oval Office carrying a box. Trump is delighted.

Trump: Lookit lookit! [He pulls out a little picture in a frame] It’s me with Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson at a fund raiser back in the eighties. Isn’t that nice? They even signed it. Well, it’s six thirty. Time for Tweeting and bed. Jared, call the Pentagon and tell them bigger explosions. Goodnight.

Ivanka and Kushner: Goodnight, Big Daddy!