Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Why Donald Trump is a Sociopath

I believe Donald Trump is a sociopath. I have no professional credentials to make that diagnosis, but I know what I see and hear, and I can intelligibly grasp what the experts say. 

Among the characteristics of a sociopath cited by Natural News is that they “invent outrageous lies about their experiences.” They also seek to “dominate others and win at all costs.” And they “never apologize.” Still not convinced? They’re also “incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse. And, they’re “delusional and literally believe that what they say becomes truth.” There’s more, but if by now you don’t see a giant image of Trump in front of your brain then you’re likely wearing a red MAGA hat. 

For the first time in American history we have a president who is more mentally unstable, unpredictable and dangerous than the heads of enemy states. And he has his tiny fingers within short reach of the nuclear codes. It’s a terribly frightening reality to accept, but it’s our reality nonetheless. 

As if Trump’s erratic, unprecedented behavior of the past three months isn’t enough to convince you, just take a look at paragraph two of his termination letter to FBI Director James Comey, who the coward-in-chief fired late Tuesday: 

“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau.”

So either these Comey ‘assurances’ never occurred and Trump is lying through his teeth, or, we’re expected to believe that on multiple occasions the FBI director divulged highly confidential information about an ongoing investigation to the individual being investigated....all the while bizarrely assuring him he wasn’t in fact under investigation in the investigation that he’s previously publicly announced. I’ll give you a minute to stop your head from spinning. 

The termination letter is tantamount to a confession by Trump that he interfered in an ongoing FBI investigation of Russian hacking of the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Russians, Trump himself and members of his transition team (and administration). His firing of Comey comes at a critical time when the investigation is intensifying and subpoenas are being issued. The optics are horrible.

Trump’s action constitutes a clear abuse of power. It’s a brazen act by an unhinged president. A stunning firing of the investigator by the investigated. It follows the firing months earlier of Attorney General Sally Yates and New York federal prosecutor Preet Bharara. This level of craven, audacious defiance and elimination of perceived opponents threatens the very fabric of our democracy and is a chilling display of autocratic lust. The kind we’d expect in a Third World country. So it’s not surprising that ‘many people are saying’ it’s beginning to feel like we’re experiencing an American version of a coup. We’re talking about a president who wanted tanks at his inaugural, for fuck’s sake!

As part of a frenzied Wednesday morning tweet-storm, Trump made the following self-aggrandizing prediction:

“Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!”

That Trump believes everyone will be “thanking” him further illustrates the severity of his pathology. He’s tone-deaf, with an insatiable hunger for praise, credit and attention. His words and actions are those of someone without a heart and soul. If a space alien inhabited a human life form, it would sound like Trump: devoid of emotion, compassion, humility and empathy. 

So what happens now at the FBI and to the status of the RussiaGate investigation? It’s now an ethical clusterfuck. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, himself recused from the investigation, yet who recommended Comey’s firing, will be involved in choosing his replacement...the same individual who will take over the investigation. If this whole saga smells like shit it’s because it is a heaping, stinking pile. Welcome to Trump’s “great America.” 

Comey’s firing, its execution and highly suspicious timing just may be the house of cards that ultimately brings down the most corrupt, dangerous administration in American history. As CNBC reported Wednesday, Trump’s firing of Comey “endangers his entire presidency.” To be sure, his raging Id has taken him to the edge of the cliff many times before, but this time there’s good reason to believe it just may have driven off at full speed...

Monday, May 08, 2017

Did Melania Trump Really 'Like' My Tweet About Her Marriage?




Last week, my 93-character tweet about Melania Trump and her marriage to President Trump “blew up the internet,” as they say. At 9:15 p.m. on May 2, I re-posted a GIF of that infamous Melania smile-turned-scowl from the inauguration with the comment: “Seems the only wall Donald Trump’s built is the one between him and Melania.”

Shortly thereafter it was “liked” by someone using the handle @MELANIATRUMP. It was the verified personal account belonging to the first lady. And it was only the second time she’s ever “liked” a tweet, the first being her own when she opened her account May 23, 2012 with, “Hello Twitter!”

Was I shocked? Yes. Flattered? Of course. But was it really Melania Trump who liked my tweet?
I’m convinced it was, despite a denial by Melania’s spokesperson Stephanie Grisham, who told PEOPLE Magazine, “The first lady wasn’t aware of this until I brought it to her attention.” When asked who did do it if not Melania herself, she nonchalantly replied, “Who knows … it isn’t her primary account these days,” adding that the password to the account had been changed.

“Who knows?” That’s it!? That’s the official answer over how the personal Twitter account of the first lady of the United States of America basically reinforced the popular belief that she hates her husband!?

Let’s assume for a second that Grisham’s correct, and that it wasn’t Melania. So then it was either a hack, a really pissed off staffer or 11-year-old Barron. Call me crazy, but any one of the alternatives is incredibly newsworthy, and the public is owed the truth.

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If Melania was hacked, who’s responsible? Was it one of President Trump’s dictator pals Putin, Erdogan, Duterte, el-Sisi or Kim Jong Un trying to stir up some serious marital shit between the Trumps? Was it stepdaughter Ivanka, thus fueling another popular belief that the two women hate each other? Was it someone in the “fake” liberal media? If so, shouldn’t there be confirmation that it was in fact a hack, which would constitute a major national security concern, and that the administration is using the full power and resources of the U.S. government to find out who it was?

Or what if it was a disgruntled staffer? Someone would have to be pretty damn angry with Melania or the president to “like” a tweet suggesting their marriage was about as much a failure as Trump’s Mexican wall and Muslim ban. Shouldn’t we know who that hater is and his current status? Is this person still roaming the White House and/or Trump Tower, able to cause even more harm or danger to the Trumps and perhaps the nation, or has she been fired?

And what if it was actually little Barron who, on his way into the kitchen for a late-night string cheese and juice box snack, noticed mom’s laptop open, saw the tweet and decided it was time for a little mischief? If so, the kid just blasted right to the top of my list of favorite Trumps.

But let’s be real: none of these possibilities seem as plausible as Melania liking the tweet herself. 

We’re supposed to accept that someone with incredibly nefarious motivations accessed the First lady’s Twitter account and made a mockery of her marriage, yet we’ve been provided no credible information to support that desperate assertion (remember Anthony Weiner’s “hack?”). Sorry, Ms. Grisham, but “who knows” is not an acceptable answer.

So back to Melania. Did she and The Donald have a fight that night and in a fit of rage she thought, “You want a wall... I’ll give you a fucking wall!” Or does the normally tight-lipped, composed first lady actually have an awesome sense of humor and thought, “Why not? Wink, wink!” Or, was it a really unfortunate slip of the finger that she was unaware of until Grisham shrieked, “OMG, Melania, what the hell did you do!?”

Until we get a more logical, detailed explanation from the Trump team, my money’s on Melania sending her absentee husband, and us, a message...

Sunday, May 07, 2017

An Open Letter to Trump Voters About Trumpcare

Dear Trumpsters,

It was a very big day for you yesterday, what with the House’s passage of the American Health Care Act ― commonly known as Trumpcare ― formerly known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare. A smug President Trump, at his post-vote Rose Garden masturbatory gloat-fest, bragged, “Make no mistake about it...this is a repeal and replace of Obamacare.” Yippee! Um...er...right?

I’m not sure you’re doing much celebrating today. Yeah, I know, it was so much fun during the campaign to revel with Trump over a future repeal of the “super-awful” health care program with the black guy’s name on it. In fact, I suspect the black guy’s name had much to do with how much you hated it, which explains why so many of you ― as this video astoundingly illustrates ― thought the ACA was great and Obamacare sucked, not even realizing they were the same program.

But despite that you get most ― if not all ― of your biased, fake news from Trump’s PR firm, Fox News, I suspect you woke up this morning feeling the same sort of shame after a really bad one-night stand. That sickening feeling of looking over at the horribly unattractive person lying next to you, who somehow was so appealing the night before, and thinking, “Jeez, what the hell did I do... and can I undo it?”

Yeah, I suspect today might really be a day of mourning for you. A day filled with fear, actually, as you are starting to realize that you just got fucked way worse than in that awful one-night stand ― that Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan, and House Republicans just royally screwed you out of that super-groovy health care coverage the black dude gave you.

Did you know that the states with the highest percentages of people benefiting from Obamacare are your states? Do you know that the people who benefit most from Obamacare are you Trump voters? Do you know that roughly 50 percent of all Americans suffer from preexisting conditions? Do you realize that under Obamacare you were guaranteed cost-effective coverage if you had such a condition, but that under Trumpcare it’ll be up to the states to decide what to cover or not... and for how much?

Right about now, you may be thinking... “So what, I don’t have a preexisting condition. No cancer, diabetes or arthritis. I’m good, right?” Not so fast. Money Magazine cites as many as 50 examples of everyday maladies, including acne, heartburn, and high cholesterol ― not to mention C-sections and Lyme Disease ― that under Trumpcare could result in denied coverage or coverage with premium increases as much as 500 percent. Do I have your attention yet?

Trump promised “insurance for everybody.” He promised better coverage, lower premiums, lower deductibles. He promised that the poor and middle class would benefit most. He claimed, as he still does, that Obamacare is a “disaster” that’s on a “death spiral.” All lies.

But it’s actually Trumpcare which doctors, hospitals, and insurers (in a rare instance of unity, as the New York Times reports) think is a disaster. Also, as the Times reports, it’s the wealthy who’ll benefit most, and the poor, middle class, and elderly who’ll suffer most.

All you MAGAnificents... be very, very careful what you wish for. That Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride you’ve been on is enriching his ginormous ego and his wallet at the expense of your health care. And perhaps, your life. Remember Sarah Palin’s “death panels?” Well, they’re back, and this time they’re real. The lives of the poor, the elderly, and the sick are now in the grubby little kleptocrat hands of Trump and his Republican band of thieves. And you voted for them all! Time to get angry, people.

There’s still time to protect yourself and save your insurance. The impulsive, petulant, selfish children in the House may have rushed through Trumpcare without hearings, the critical bipartisan CBO score, or any expense estimates (astounding since healthcare comprises 1/7th of the total U.S. GDP), but the adults in the Senate, where the math and the consequences are way different, will likely kill Trumpcare on its arrival and write their own bill which looks vastly different while preserving much of the ‘good stuff’ from Obamacare.

So what do you do now? Call your Senator. Especially the Republicans. And demand they undo that horrible one-night stand...ya know, the one where ya woke up next to Donald Trumpcare.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Can the Media Please Do Its F**king Job!


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We just passed the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. Ya know, that milestone that Trump either believes is the most “phony,” meaningless marker (as he’s been saying for weeks now), or, an incredibly important measure of his accomplishments (as he’s been saying for weeks now). But the more important report card belongs to the media, which so far deserves a big fat “F”...as in failure to hold Trump accountable for his lack of accomplishments, offensive behavior, bizarre comments, incessant flip-flops and pathological lying. 

The media has normalized Trump and conveniently turned him into something “different.” It dances around the obvious. The thing we know they’re all thinking but are too afraid to say publicly: that Trump is out of his fucking mind. Instead, they tell us ‘he’s a new kind of president.’ That he ‘marches to the beat of his own drummer.’ That ‘he’s unpredictable.’ No...the NY Rangers are unpredictable. Trump is fucking insane. 

By all standard measurements, it’s pretty accurate to question the president’s sanity. He’s erratic, insecure, delusional, paranoid, a narcissist, lacks empathy, is tone-deaf, is unable to distinguish right from wrong or fact from fiction. Sorry, but that makes him pretty crazy. Maybe some psychiatrists would argue that these qualities don’t necessary make him insane, but there’s no argument these are some pretty dangerous and scary traits for someone in the Oval Office with his fingers near the nuclear codes.

Please. Let’s stop this bullshit for a second and accept the fact that the 45th president of the United States of America is a madman. There’s no ‘method to his madness,’ as the media often suggests when analyzing his intellectually-bankrupt statements and outrageous behavior. He’s simply mad. And his madness has the terrifying capability to destroy world order as we know it. And maybe even kill us in a nuclear war started because the thin-skinned manbaby’s ego was bruised. 

It’s time for the media to step up and stop being terrified of this dictator-wannabe who lies so much he’d make Pinocchio’s head spin. No more free passes. No more sitting like tamed sheep when Trump says something so twisted and evidence-free that we all shudder in absolute bewilderment and/or horror. 

For example, take Trump’s stunning comments this week about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War:

“I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said, “There’s no reason for this.” 

But wait...there’s more!

“People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?’

And then he doubled-down in a Tweet early Tuesday morning:

“President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War started, saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!” 

Clearly, the Tweet was a lame attempt to fix the gaffe over the fact that Jackson died 16 years before the civil war. Nice try, Donnie. And, I’m sure for a slave owner Jackson had a “really big heart.” Seriously...the sheer stupidity of that comment is obviously lost on Trump.

But the biggest question is, will the media give him yet another free pass or will it start challenging him like never before...demanding, for example, that he explain exactly how Jackson would “never have let it (the Civil War) happen?” Remember Katie Couric’s famous “what newspapers and magazines do you read?” take-down of Sarah Palin? 

Or, how about forcing him on the spot when he lies about his/the GOP’s healthcare plan “getting better and better?” Press him to explain exactly how

Or when he touts the jobs numbers as “amazing” after saying for years the same #’s are fake. Press him to explain why they’re different now. 

Or when he says his first 100 days was ripe with more accomplishments than any other president in history. Explain to him the accomplishments of FDR, Reagan, Clinton, Bush and Obama, for example, and then force him to list his against that historical context.

Or when he says he’d be “honored” to meet North Korea’s brutal, murderous dictator Kim Jong Un, make him defend the absurdity of that “honor.” Make him explain how, regardless of the “right circumstances,” it’s not an utterly foolish, misguided comment to make. 

It’s time to stop the madness. It’s time for those of you in the mainstream media to do your job and aggressively and relentlessly call this president out for his endless misrepresentations and lies. Jeez, he calls you “disgusting,” “fake” and “failing” non-stop. Said you were “the enemy of the people.” Threatens to neuter you even further by changing the libel laws. What the fuck are you waiting for!? Take the damn gloves off and fight back! 

I’m not saying there are no ballsy reporters who aren’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with Trump. CNN’s Jake Tapper and Jim Acosta are two solid examples. Tapper challenges Trump’s lies daily on his show “The Lead.” Acosta valiantly stood up to Trump in early January over claims that CNN was “fake news.” Another brawler is MSNBC’s Peter Alexander. Watch what happens here when he challenged Trump in February over his bogus claim that his was the “biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.” He reduces Trump to a pile of stammering rubble. 

And there is an even bigger glimmer of hope if the Trump interview last weekend by CBS’s John Dickerson is a barometer of more aggressive encounters to come. Dickerson’s dogged pursuit of answers over Trump’s false wiretap claims about Barack Obama, which clearly pissed off Trump to the point that he abruptly and rudely ended the session, is exactly the sort of merciless grilling the liar-in-chief deserves. But will other journalists follow suit?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Making the Case for 2020 Hillary Clinton


Ok, before I go any further, let me state unequivocally for the record that I believe Hillary Clinton ran one of the worst campaigns in modern political history. Her management was inept; her messaging misguided; and her character terribly flawed. Let’s put this into proper perspective: she lost to Donald Trump, for fuck’s sake! A colossal joke of a candidate who by all accounts should’ve lost to a chair. As the saying goes, the election was Clinton’s to lose...and she lost it. So why on Earth would I want her to run again in 2020? 

The answer is rather simple: I remain committed to the belief that Clinton would be an incredible president. And I believe she not only will run again, as her recent and outspoken re-launch onto the public stage indicates, but that she will also win. No, I’m not crazy. I just believe that history repeats itself. And for that we simply need to look to Richard Nixon.

It was 1960. The first televised presidential debate. Nixon refused make-up. John F. Kennedy, well, he was JFK. The battle pitted the young, charismatic Democratic upstart with the movie-star looks against the nervous, sweaty, 5 o’clock-shadowed, beady-eyed, prematurely-aged Republican. The rest is history. As is Nixon’s startling comeback eight years later to win not one but two presidential elections. Times change. Situations change. People change. Can Hillary? My money’s on yes.

Clinton is perhaps the most qualified candidate in history. A prestigious legal career, eight years as First Lady, another eight as U.S. Senator from New York and four years as Secretary of State. A die-hard progressive who voted 93% of the time with Sen. Bernie Sanders when both served together. And, she’s a woman...and it’s fucking time America is led by a woman. 

The key to the 2020 election is that Trump will no longer be a political outsider who can lie through his teeth 24/7. No more outlandish positions and pie-in-the-sky promises. That con-game can only work once. Next time he’ll be running on his record, not Clinton’s or Barack Obama’s, or his own bloviating, self-aggrandizing uber-hype. 

Voters will judge him on whether he delivered or not. Did they get their wall, and did Mexico pay for it? Did he fix immigration and “extreme vetting?” Did he “rid the world of Isis” as he’s already declared he’s doing? Did he prevent terror attacks on U.S. soil? Did he keep China, North Korea, Russia and Syria in check? Did he and Boy Wonder Jared Kushner achieve Israeli/Arab peace? Did he favorably renegotiate, or terminate, NAFTA? Did he get our NATO allies to “pay their fair share?” Did he bring back the factory and coal jobs? Did he give the poor and middle class their big tax cuts? Did he give them better and cheaper healthcare? Did the economy grow 3%+ annually? Did he reduce the debt and deficit? Did he create as many if not more jobs as Obama? Did he ‘drain the swamp’ or fill his cabinet with it? Did all the tough talk and bluster translate to action and results? In short, did he make their America ‘great again?’ 

To be sure, Trump’s biggest asset during the campaign was his masterful manipulation of his base through an endless barrage of big promises, lies and political rope-a-dope. But now these same qualities are his biggest liability. As Aaron Burr reminds Hamilton in the Broadway musical, “Winning was easy, governing’s harder.” It’s a lot more fun to promise the world as a candidate than to defend against having accomplished nothing after four years as president. 

Plus, a weakened Trump will more than likely be primaried by a slew of retreads like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and John Kasich, as well as new challengers such as Nikki Haley, Paul Ryan, Sen. Ben Sasse (NE) or even another outsider billionaire like Marc Cuban. All of whom would do much of Clinton’s bidding for her. 

But if Trump succeeds in fulfilling his campaign promises and, more so, improves the lives of his voters, then he would likely win again. But his MAGA crowd—the sleeping beast who he roused off the couch and motivated, often with sexist, racist rhetoric, to vote for him—won’t have the same drive, passion and commitment for him if they end up disappointed and feeling conned. Some of them, like Kraig Moss, who I wrote about earlier in the week, have already jumped ship. Many millions more could follow. It could get very, very ugly for the man who, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll, already has the lowest approval rating (44%) in modern presidential history. 

Let’s keep in mind that Clinton won the popular vote by 3-million. Nothing to sneeze at, and certainly a strong foundation from which to build even further support these next three years, especially if Trump continues to struggle. And it’s not like Trump gave her a Reagan-like trouncing with his electoral college total either. While he loves to brag at how “massive” his win was, he snagged the presidency with just 306 electoral votes, among the lowest in modern history. Factor in FBI Director James Comey’s unprecedented last-minute politically-based clusterfuck, and Russia’s hack and overall influence in the election, and it’s not hard to understand how the Democrats’ heretofore rock-solid “blue wall” (Pa, MI, Wi, Mn) was lost by the thinnest of margins, giving Trump a squeaker of a victory.

If Clinton runs the first thing she’ll need to do is assemble a kick-ass team. No more Robby Mook, with his millennial naivete and obsession with useless data, or Huma Abedin, who’s saddled with Anthony Weiner’s humiliating legacy. 

Clinton needs to do whatever’s humanly possible, including begging, to get Bill’s old band back together: Paul Begala, James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. And throw in Obama’s brain, David Axelrod, for good measure. She also needs a few truly sharp, aggressive young strategic soldiers, such as Bakari Sellers for example, to assist with media and messaging. She also needs a War Room, like the one Bill had, to deftly and swiftly address each attack...and there’ll be plenty of them again. 

The next thing Clinton will need to do is study Trump like she’s never done before. Every tick. Every tell. Every position. His speeches, his rhythms, his overall appeal. She must painstakingly study what he did to connect so powerfully with the “Trump Democrats,” a constituency that should rightfully be hers. 

Lastly, she must look within. She must do an honest and forensic review of her many gaffes and flaws. She needs to successfully address the perceptions and criticisms that she’s entitled, disconnected, unlikable and shrill. She needs to relate. Needs to win over more women. And, for God’s sake, more men. And Southerners. And those in the Heartland. They all used to vote Democrat, and they can do so again. Like the man said...it’s the economy, stupid. Still is.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This Trump Voter Lost His Son To Drugs. Now, Trump's Lost Kraig Moss To Lies.


Kraig Moss is not your typical Donald Trump supporter. The grieving father of a 24-year-old son, Rob, who died of a heroin overdose in 2014, Moss became known last year as “The Trump Troubadour,” traveling to 45 campaign rallies where he played guitar, sang songs and held out hope that the Republican nominee would win the election and fulfill his promise to create programs to combat the nation’s drug epidemic and help the young people whose lives it’s been swallowing up in record numbers.

Unfortunately, Moss gave Trump his heart, and the 45th president of the United States broke it.
The love affair began at a Jan. 15, 2016 rally in Urbandale, Iowa. Trump, directing his comments at Moss, said:

The biggest thing we can do in honor of your son ... we have to be able to stop it. I know what you went through.” He told his supporters, And he’s a great father. I can see it. And your son is proud of you.” 

But what ultimately changed for Moss was his disappointment with Trump’s American Health Care Act, the GOP’s replacement for the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, which was presented to the public last month but failed to win support as part of Trump’s repeal and replace effort. What Moss and others like him were expecting failed to materialize. Of most concern was the GOP’s plan to drop the mandate that Medicaid cover basic mental health and addiction services for an estimated 1.3 million people in states where Medicaid was expanded under Obamacare.

It was a devastating broken promise that struck way too close to home for the construction business owner who had sold his equipment and stopped his mortgage payments to fund his Trump travels.

“From the rally in Urbandale when he spoke to me directly I was convinced Mr. Trump was the candidate for me,” said Moss. “I believed every word Trump said during his campaign, same as millions of other supporters, when he said he’d ‘make America great again.’ It wasn’t until I saw his proposed health care bill and read reports on it’s inclusions that I realized it was nothing like the bill he promised, including lower deductibles, less overall cost and better coverage. And, provisions for substance-abuse and treatment. This was the first indication he had lied.”

The genius of Trump is that he succeeding in pulling folks like Moss into his political orbit, many to the point of brainwashing. People who, prior to 2016, were not just apolitical but apathetic, disenfranchised and feeling helpless. They held the general belief that all politicians are the same (i.e. self-serving liars) and that their vote doesn’t matter. Trump masterfully exploited and manipulated this indifference and anger through inflammatory, often racially-charged rhetoric and convinced them their vote does matter. His victory proved it.

“I’ve never voted before,” said Moss. “Never registered and never voted. Since my son died I had done nothing. Only worked enough to get by. Stayed at home and did not socialize, only to play a concert for the Rob Moss Heroin Awareness Tour. When I heard of Trump’s desire to stop or slow down the flow of drugs into this country I started listening more to what he had to say.”

Trump’s supporters are typically drawn to his charm, celebrity and outsider bluster, but for Moss his interest in the campaign was singular.

“In my mind, Mr. Trump was the answer to help the heroin epidemic in this country.” 

And like many Trump supporters, Moss held his nose and overlooked much of what the candidate stood for that he did not agree with, including his attacks on the media; his mocking of a disabled reporter; that women should be “punished” for abortions; his proposed Muslim ban; and his plan to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.

“I absolutely wished Mr. Trump would revisit his deportation plan and provide amnesty to those immigrants who are in this country for a long time and have not committed a crime, and say “Welcome To Our Country.” 

But despite his being lied to over an incredibly personal issue, Moss is not yet ready to claim buyer’s remorse.

“If you ask me am I disappointed I voted for President Trump I say ‘no.’ I didn’t care for Hillary’s platform. There are however, 100’s of thousands of supporters who feel as I do...not happy with his actions so far but not wishing we voted for Hillary.”

But Moss says he would not vote for Trump again.

“The more I think about what Trump tried to do I drift further away. The more he changes his position on China, Mexico and who’s paying for the wall...changing statements and game plans overnight...he’s just a politician con that is commander-in-chief.”

And give Trump time with the rest of his MAGA crowd. It’s not quite 100 days into his nascent presidency and he’s already turning off formerly loyal supporters like Moss. So it’s not hard to fathom that a year, two or four from now millions like him could fully jump off the Trump train.

A fascinating aspect of this abandonment, and it’s potential impact on a Trump 2020 re-election campaign, is that many former diehard Trump supporters like Moss share a passion for progressives Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), a strange phenomenon because these politicians couldn’t be further in their ideology and positions from Trump.

“I have tried to have people take a good listen to Elizabeth Warren because she gets it (health care),” Moss explained. “I was also attracted to Bernie’s health care ideas but with the “socialism” label everyone gave him I didn’t give him thought. But I think he got a raw deal from the Democratic Party. He didn’t have a chance.” 

It’s understandable how politicians like Sanders and Warren could, on the surface, appeal to Trump voters. All three are unconventional outspoken firebrands who aren’t afraid to attack the mainstream. Their populist messaging is similar and resonates with working-class Americans; the ‘forgotten middle-class.’ But the rich vs. poor theme is where the similarities end. What Trump and the Republican Party stand for goes against every core belief of progressives and democrats on critical subjects including women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, civil/human rights, health care, education, the environment, immigration, taxes and foreign policy. Which is why it’s puzzling to hear anyone who voted for Trump claim, as many did after the election, that ‘I would’ve voted for Bernie had he been the Democratic nominee.’ 

Whether or not these folks would actually pull the lever for a progressive or a ‘democratic socialist’ in 2020 remains to be seen.

And what about Moss? Does he have any idea who, if anyone, he might vote for in 2020?

“Whoever I support I will do so as passionately as I did for Trump... with my son Rob riding by my side every step of the way.

And, he reminds us, “I like Bernie Sanders and I love Elizabeth Warren.”

Those are powerful words that could spell disaster for Trump.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Is Donald Trump Losing His Mind?

Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, appears to have achieved an impressive new level of madness. You would think that being Commander-in-Chief and Leader of the Free World is an all-consuming job, starting in the early morning hours and stretching well into the night. Between myriad pressing domestic and global issues such as the economy and fighting terrorism there should be little else that successfully competes for Trump’s attention, right? Guess again. These days, rather than doing his job and promoting the interests of America, he seems more preoccupied with promoting Fox’s television shows and Tweet-shaming everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger and the New York Times to the GOP’s Freedom Caucus.

When he’s not heading off Friday nights to one of his many non-DC “White Houses” like Mar-a-Lago for a weekend of strenuous “work golf,” Trump spends an inordinately large percentage of his time soothing his bruised, fragile ego. This bizarre activity includes tweeting like a high school mean-girl; holding campaign-style rallies in a pathetic quest for love; obsessing over his ‘poor treatment’ on CNN; or watching the Trump & Co. publicity agency known as Fox (where he apparently gets much of his national security intelligence).

We’re seeing a heightened state of megalomania. Among his many self-aggrandized accomplishments, Trump’s already turned around the economy (didn’t realize it needed turning around); created “thousands and thousands” of jobs (or more commonly known as Operation Take-Credit-For-What-Companies-Have-Been-Planning-for-Years); stopped the flow of illegal immigration across the Mexican border (something that’s been in steady decline for years); and has continued to deny Russia’s meddling in last Fall’s election... which Dick Cheney likened to “an act of war” and which has been confirmed by 17 national security agencies... and is now the subject of two (albeit one very circus-like) Congressional investigations.

Forget that Trump’s so far suffered humiliating defeats over Obamacare’s repeal/replace and his loathsome Muslim Ban, both of which were a wake-up call for him on how our system of checks and balances works. And then there’s the apparent failure of his border wall (ya know, the one Mexico’s paying for), which served as an effective xenophobic campaign prop but is likely not his only erection problem.

We have a president who is obsessively consumed with his own image and is paralyzed by a desperate, pathological need for attention and adulation. Nothing else matters. Not the best interests of America, his marriage, his family or his business. To paraphrase Sting, every move Trump makes, every step he takes, every claim he stakes first flows through this dysfunctional filter. The self-styled “counter-puncher” who surrounds himself with generals in an attempt to mask the shame of draft-dodging cowardice is, deep down, a scared, insecure, affection-starved, emotionally-bankrupt little man. And now he seems just plain crazy.

I imagine Trump wandering the White House alone at night. He’s clad in a Power Rangers onesie. He roams aimlessly... a bored, sad, angry-than-ever lonely old unsatisfied man battling his raging demons. There are televisions on in every room, blaring cable news. The shrill rantings of Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow are made tolerable only by the soothing sweet nothings of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. He’s instinctively drawn to Fox of course, but he can’t help turning his attention and ire to the critiques and endless negative stories on those shameless bastions of fake news, CNN and MSNBC. He screams at the TVs. He throws a $2500 Ferragamo loafer at Maddow’s oversized head on his yuge 110-inch screen. He grunts and groans. Yells out to no one, “Why doesn’t everyone see how amazing I am?!” The man who claims not to drink is utterly shitfaced on a $1-million bottle of Russo-Baltique, a gift from Vladimir Putin. He reaches for his iPhone and taps the Twitter icon and, well, you know what happens next.