Tuesday, September 19, 2017

No, Trumpsters, Donnie Has Not Been "Vindicated"

The Breitbart News headline Tuesday screams “Trump Vindicated!” It follows the news this week that the president’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was wiretapped by the U.S. government before and after the campaign. Investigators on special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s in July raided Manafort’s home and he was subsequently told to expect an indictment. 

The wiretap came under secret order of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court after the FBI began investigating Manafort in 2014 over consulting work done for Ukraine's former Party of Regions and it’s leader Viktor Yanukovych. 

In an effort to distract attention away from the mounting RussiaGate scandal and its impact on his administration, the Liar-in-Chief, in a March 4th tweet, accused former President Obama of spying on him during the campaign:

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

Trump refused to produce even a shred of evidence of such surveillance.

And now the Trumpsters are claiming he’s been “vindicated.” 

No, he hasn’t. Actually, it’s the good guys, the U.S. government, who’ve been vindicated.
FISA doesn’t just throw around search and surveillance authorizations just for the fuck of it. It doesn’t engage in partisan witch hunts. The government must demonstrate probable cause. The targets must likely be guilty. Which is why Manafort (and perhaps others) may soon be indicted.

So let’s dissect the “vindication” logic in plain English: Trump and his cronies did some really bad shit. They know they’re guilty. They know the Feds are on their trail. They consistently do everything they can to discredit and distract from the investigation. Trump throws a hail Mary and claims he’s been “tapped.” Now we learn the government tapped Manafort. Because he and Trump are likely guilty as sin. Which is why FISA issued the order in the first place. And the Trumpsters claim ‘AHA! Trump was right!’ Nope. It’s the investigators who are right. Trump’s just a desperate, terrified, guilty manbaby.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Is This Donald Trump's Re-Election Master Plan

The conventional wisdom in presidential campaigns is that you play to the base to win the nomination and pivot to the center in the general election. With Donald Trump, the pivot never came. He kept playing to his rabid base and has consistently done so throughout the eight months of his presidency. But has his pivot finally arrived?

Cue The Chuck & Nancy Show. Fed up with Republican leadership, Trump’s cozied up to Democrats in an effort to make deals with the goal of ‘winning’ and reversing his abysmal approval ratings. Rather than work with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, he’s marginalized them over DACA, border security, the debt ceiling and Hurricane Harvey aid. And in the same week he’s also backpeddled on his border wall and the Iran nuclear deal.
Predictably, Republicans are livid with Trump over his newfound “bipartisan” romance with Democrats. 

Amnesty Don,” screamed a a headline on former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon’s alt-right website Breitbart News. 

"At this point, who DOESN'T want Trump impeached?" tweeted Ann Coulter. She added, “If we’re not getting a wall, I’d prefer President Pence.” 

“Exactly what @realDonaldTrump campaigned on. Not,” tweeted Andrea Ingraham. She later added, “BUILD THE WALL! BUILD THE WALL! … or … maybe … not really.”

And Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) warned that Trump’s base is “blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair.” He called the purported Donnie/Chuck/Nancy DACA deal “Republican suicide.”

So is Trump’s sucking up to Chuck and Nancy part of a much bigger political calculation? Has he realized that the re-election math makes way more sense if he pivots from his 30% base and starts providing policy goodies to the other 70% instead? 

I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters,” Trump once infamously crowed. 

So far the MAGA crowd’s proven Trump dead right. No matter how much he lies to them or reneges on campaign promises, the base stays loyal and committed. As such, perhaps Trump knows he has nothing to lose and everything to gain by shifting his focus to moderate Republicans, independents and, yes, even Democrats. Maybe he knows that an electorate so exhausted and frustrated with crazy Trump may be ready to embrace mainstream Trump. And that the base will manage to find a way to justify it all and stick with him. 

One thing we’ve learned time and again with Trump is never to under-estimate his instincts and political barometer. So here’s my perfect storm: his bi-partisan shift is real and sustained over time; he weens himself off Twitter and the persistent trouble it causes him (i.e this weekend when he retweeted a fake video inciting violence against Hillary Clinton, while also referring to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man”); and he somehow manages to survive the Russia investigations. If he succeeds, we just might be looking at another four years of this roller-coaster presidency...

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The Letter Obama Wished He Could've Given Trump

Last week we learned the content of the letter Barack Obama left in the Oval Office for incoming president Donald Trump. It was anything but the traditional “Hey bud, it’s an awesome job, good luck!” It’s a carefully worded cautionary missive which clearly indicated Obama’s concern for America’s future. Below is the letter we all now he wanted to give Trump: 

Dear Mr. President:

You did it. You won. I never thought you would pull it off. Honestly? I thought you were a goner the minute you started. “Mexican rapists” isn’t a great way to launch a successful presidential campaign. But then you went on to insult women, immigrants, blacks, Jews, war heroes, John McCain, Gold Star families, disabled people, judges, the intelligence community, the media, Democrats, fellow Republicans, the Pope and just about everyone else who got in your way and yet you still won. You were right: you probably could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and your base would still support you. 

But now here you are. President of the United States of America. Commander-in-Chief. Leader of the Free World. This isn’t a fucking game. It’s the hardest job on the planet. It’s not sitting around Trump Tower deciding which shitty towels to slap your name on. You are now responsible for the safety and security of 325-million Americans and people all over the world. Are you up to the task? 

You’re like a million guys I’ve seen in my life: huge ego and a microdick. So you’re constantly trying to compensate with bombast, braggadocio and bullying. By having an insatiable hunger to ‘win’ no matter what the financial, political or human cost. You seem devoid of compassion and empathy. Some even claim you’re a sociopath, but I’m not ready to go there...yet. But I am scared. You scare me Trump, and I don’t scare easy. I still can’t believe I have to hand the baton to you. You make 43 look like a statesman.

So what are you going to do? Are you going to lead by example? Will you unite Americans in these highly toxic, polarized times or will you further divide us? Will you take the highroad and uplift the nation and be a beacon of light or will you slink further into your dystopian darkness? Will you be the president of everyone or just your 35% base? Will you uphold the rule of law? Will you honor and respect the Constitution? Will you inspire our children? Will you truly make America greater, or will you spiral it into a terrifying vortex of ignorance, intolerance and hate? 

You cannot let your ego and emotion direct your words and actions. You must grow some balls and thicker skin. You have to act like a smart, mature, curious, disciplined president with impulse-control, not a petulant manbaby. 

Make no mistake: I am rooting for you, Trump. Not because I like, admire or respect you, which I don’t (and it’s not because you spent seven years trying to delegitimize me and my presidency). I am rooting for you because I love my country. Because I want America to succeed. Because we are the greatest nation in the world and I want it to remain that way. 

So, man to man, get the fuck off Twitter and stop acting like an asshole and be the man your wife and kids keep telling us you are. Because so far we haven’t seen that dude. 

Call me if you need anything. 


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Is DonaldTrump Planning a Civil War?

It’s not a stretch to say it appears Donald Trump remains enamored by the Confederacy and the racist imagery and passion it arouses. Further, he’s continued to rile his angry white base with racially-tinged rhetoric and dog whistles. So is this behavior merely incoherent, random emotional rantings or part of some master plan to provoke a civil war in the event he’s indicted, impeached and/or removed from office through invocation of the 25th Amendment? It sure as hell seems like the latter.

I can hear him now:

“They’re taking away your president! Who YOU voted for! Who promised to give you back the America you love and which has forgotten you! The fake news media has created all these fake scandals about me and Russia. And special investigator Robert Mueller’s witch hunt is all too happy to drum up fake charges over them. And those losers in Congress, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, are playing along with the failing Democrats to protect their own interests and grab even more power. And it’s YOU who loses! I told you the deck was stacked against you. I told you you’re getting screwed. And I promised to make your lives great again. But they’re stopping me. They’re trying to throw me out of office! It’s shocking and un-American! Are YOU gonna let them do that!? Are YOU gonna let them steal your vote?! WHO’S YOUR PRESIDENT!!?? (crowd chants “TRUMP!”). WHO’S YOUR PRESIDENT!? (”TRUMP!!”) AND WHO’S GONNA STAY PRESIDENT!? (”TRUMP!!”). So are you ANGRY!? (”YEAH!!”) And whattya gonna do about it?! You gonna FIGHT for your vote? You gonna FIGHT to keep what’s yours?! You gonna FIGHT for your president?!! Defend yourselves! Protect your rights! Do you hear me? Do you know what I mean??” USA! USA! USA! 

Seriously, is there anyone who doesn’t see this as an entirely plausible scenario? That a thin-skinned, self-consumed, unhinged megalomaniac dictator-wannabe like Trump would not go to this extreme, especially if his ginormous ego is bruised and he feels threatened, trapped and cheated? That the great “counter-puncher” would not come roaring back with the most outlandish punch of all? That he wouldn’t selfishly rather see the country spiral into chaos and violence than be a ‘loser?’ 

The case is already being made by Trump surrogates who warn of violent outbreaks if his presidency is threatened.

"Try to impeach him. Just try it," Trump crony Roger Stone said in an interview with TMZ. "You will have a spasm of violence in this country, an insurrection like you’ve never seen.”

Televangelist Jim Bakker predicted an historic revolt by Christians if there are attempts to remove Trump from office. 

"If it happens, there will be a civil war in the United States of America,” Bakker told his TV audience. “The Christians will finally come out of the shadows, because we are going to be shut up permanently if we're not careful."

And Trump believes this is all true, which is why he continues to stoke the flames of rage and racism. Make no mistake: he’s doing so with precision and calculation. This is not a coincidence. He knows Congress, Mueller and the Feds are closing in. He knows the end is near, which is why he’s desperately and relentlessly trying to distract, deny and discredit Mueller, the intelligence community, the media and even his Congressional Republican leadership. He’s panicked. And when Trump panics, nothing else matters. Certainly not the safety and security of America. 

So he continues to lie to his base. To scapegoat his opponents. To make himself the victim, and by extension, make them the victims too. To hammer home his “us vs them” Helter Skelter narrative. It’s his Hail Mary when all else fails and the game’s about to end. ‘If I can’t have you no one else will...’

I think we already know that Trump’s rabid base would indeed still support him even if he starts shooting people in the street. The bigger question is, would they take to the streets for him?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Message to Trump Supporters

Donald Trump once infamously said "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters." Well, after standing by him during his controversial eighteen month campaign and his chaotic seven-month presidency, you’ve proven him right. 

I’m beginning to believe that there’s nothing Trump could do or say, not a damned thing, to lose you. That your anger, resentment and, yes, racism, is so overpowering that you’d somehow find a way to defend anything he says or does. Anything.  Even if he shot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue. 

“That nun deserved it!” we’d hear you say.

“Did you see how that baby threw his pacifier at Trump!? It was self-defense!” you’d shout. 

During the campaign we witnessed Trump’s inner demons in full view. He began with a vile racist attack on Mexicans. What followed were merciless attacks on anyone he viewed as opposition or a threat, including the disabled, war heroes, Gold Star families, beauty pageant winners, judges, our allies and even the Pope. 

Then the infamous pussy-grabbing tape emerged, in which Trump admitted to sexually abusing women. Your response? You went to his rallies wearing “He can grab my pussy anytime!” t-shirts, with an arrow pointing towards your cooches. You agreed with him that it was just “locker room talk.” You rationalized that he just talked about assaulting women, but he never actually did it.’

And despite all this you elected him president. 

You then watched as he disparaged the intelligence community. 

You watched as he attacked the independent judiciary.

You watched as he said our free and open press is “the enemy of the people.”

After decades of being staunchly anti-Russia and perceiving them as an existential threat to America, you’ve condoned the U.S. president colluding with them to steal an election; undermine our democracy; and obstruct justice to cover it up. 

You have no issue with Trump firing FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Sally Yates, and publicly denigrating special prosecutor Robert Mueller, over investigations into his possible treasonous behavior.

You voted for him because he was supposed to be such a great businessman—a super dealmaker— who’ll run the country like his company and attract the best people. Who’ll give you ‘so much winning your head will spin.’ 

And then you watched all the resignations and firings, including Comey, Yates, Preet Bharara, Michael Flynn, K.T. McFarland, Katie Walsh, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Anthony Scaramucci, Steve Bannon. Never before in presidential history have we had this level of departures in such a short amount of time. Yet you still think he’s a great businessman who picks great people despite the increasing chaos in the White House. 

You’re oblivious to the nuclear war that could result from Trump’s juvenile bickering with that other petulant manbaby, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. 

You watched as Trump lied to you and broke campaign promise after campaign promise. No wall. No Muslim ban. No Obamacare repeal. No “ripping up” the Iran deal. No pulling out of NAFTA. No releasing of his tax returns. No divesting of his business. 

You love that he “drained the swamp,” but have allowed him to fill the White House with it.

You cheered like sheep as Trump relentlessly criticized Barack Obama for his frequent vacations, yet have no issue with him spending more than a third of his time vacationing. 

You manically chanted “lock her up!” as Trump viciously attacked Hillary Clinton, yet continue to enable his blatant corruption. 

You stood silent as Trump defended white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK. You seem totally fine with him equating genocidal maniacs with those who protest against them. You and your sons and daughters are the people who patriotically serve our military and fight our wars, yet you’ve allowed Trump to convince you that ‘violence against Nazis’ is unjust. That there’s some “very fine people” in those fiery torch-bearing gangs of thugs who chant “Jews will not replace us.” 

And now you’re watching the real, long-overdue beginning of Trump’s end, as anyone with a brain is either abandoning him or about to soon. This includes key Republicans such as Sen. Bob Corker, Sen Tim Scott and Sen. Lindsay Graham; the business community; evangelicals; the arts community; and charitable organizations who are cancelling events at his Mar-a-Lago resort. 

You’re witnessing Congress oppose him, the military disobey him and rebuke his racist rhetoric, and 67% of the country reject him. 

Despite all this you are still supporting a man who is woefully unfit for the job. Who in the past seven months has become completely unhinged. Who has no discipline or impulse control. Who has the patience, attention span and maturity of a 5-year-old. Who grabs vaginas, is in bed with Putin and kisses Nazi ass. Who lacks a moral compass and is therefore utterly lost as he navigates his way through humanity and the toughest job on the planet. 

So then, what would it take for you to bail? Can he actually shoot someone? Would that do it? Would that be your moral line in the sand? That we even have to ask at this point is astonishing.

Friday, August 18, 2017

WTF is Wrong with You, Trump?

Seriously...what the fuck is wrong with you? Nazis? Really? Nazis? This was supposed to be a textbook slam dunk. A no-brainer. A political gift. Repeat after me: “Nazis are genocidal maniacs, I unequivocally condemn their actions, and I do not want their support or votes.” See how easy that was? But instead you gave us: ‘Nazis and those who fight them are the same’ and ‘There’s some very fine Nazis out there!’ I would say you’re tone-deaf but that would be a grammatical miscarriage.

Your psychological pathos runs much deeper though. You are incapable of distinguishing right from wrong. Of intuitively knowing what not to say, and when not to say it. Of feeling empathy. Of thinking or caring about anyone but yourself. Not your family, your fellow Americans or citizens of the world. You’re an immature, self-consumed megalomaniac lacking discipline and impulse-control. You’re monumentally insecure, self-loathing and capable of feeling good only by hurting others. You’re self-destructive and you pose a grave existential threat to the rest of us. You are a menace to society. A disgrace to America. A stain on the office.

We watched as you promised to ‘make America great again’ but then proceeded to piss all over it. We watched as you filled the White House with alt-right white nationalists like Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka. We watched as you attacked President Obama’s citizenship and legitimacy. We watched as you attacked Mexicans. We watched as you tried to ban Muslims. We watched as you mocked and disparaged war heroes, Gold Star families, the disabled, judges, our allies and even the Pope. We watched as you bragged of grabbing pussies and of sexually abusing women. We watched as you colluded with Russia and quite likely stole the election. And now we’re watching you embrace white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK. But the tide is turning. There’s a palpable shift in the air.

We saw the Defense Department reject your unconscionable transgender policy. We saw Congress reject your Obamacare repeal. We saw all four Joint Chiefs this week reject the racism you so comfortably embrace. We’re seeing key Republicans including Sens. Bob Corker, Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham condemn you. We’re seeing corporate CEO’s abandon you. We’re seeing major organizations including the American Cancer Society and the Cleveland Clinic cancel planned events at your Mar-a-Lago resort. We’re seeing the public reject you. Your approval rating is the worst in history. Get used to it. This is just the beginning. You’re the “I alone” president who’s being soundly rejected by everyone except your misguided, hate-filled “I can shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue” crazies. 

Your days are numbered. It’s quite possible that your Nazi blunder alone will do you in. It may take time, but it’s hard to fathom you being able to govern after that. But then there’s RussiaGate, and the likely fact that you’re guilty of collusion, obstruction of justice and maybe even treason. I sleep soundly every night knowing that you’re losing sleep over Robert Mueller’s investigation. He’s your boogeyman, and he’s comin’ to get ya. 

RussiaGate. And Nazis. Can’t forget those ‘very fine’ Nazis. Face it, it’s not pretty, Donnie. The Feds are closing in, and that terrifies you. And now you smell a rat in Congress. You know damn well that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (ya know, the guy you mercilessly bashed recently on Twitter) and House Speaker Paul Ryan are huddled behind closed doors white-boarding the options to kick your unfit, racist ass to the curb. I’d also keep my eye on Brutus Pence. With an insatiable hunger for the throne himself, he’ll be stabbing you in the back in due time. 

Whether it’s the 25th Amendment, impeachment or indictment, I think you know the end is near. Best to make like Richard Nixon and resign. New York awaits you with hermetically-sealed arms...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Have We Finally Reached the Trump Tipping Point?

So now we have Donald Trump equating Nazis with those who fight against them. Apparently Trump never got the memo that it’s never, ever ok to defend Nazis. Never. Ever. Under no circumstances. There’s simply no justification. Ever. Period. It’s political suicide. But will it be with Trump? Can the teflon president, who’s so far survived just about every political sin imaginable, overcome what will surely go down as the most bizarre, erratic, outlandish, un-American press conference in history?

Just days following the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Trump took to a podium at Trump Tower to discuss infrastructure. But when he took reporters’ questions, they pounced, asking why it took two days for him single out neo-Nazis, the KKK and white supremacists while pressing him to explain his seeming defense of these hate groups and the moral equivalency he’s created between them and the anti-fascists protesting them. 

For about the next 15 minutes Trump went off the rails. We got to see the real Trump, not the duplicitous, tone-deaf, empathy-bankrupt huckster who on Monday, without any emotion or sincerity whatsoever, read a revised version of his controversial anti-racism statement. The Racist-in-Chief, who failed to specifically mention white supremacists in his comments Saturday, did so under massive pressure two days later, only to dial it all back Tuesday, blatantly doubling-down on his “many sides” equivocation. 

“I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump reasserted in a heated exchange with reporters. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.” 

Perhaps “nobody wants to say that” because it’s an incomprehensibly ignorant, unconscionable comparison. Yes, there was violence on both sides. But Trump apparently has forgotten that America violently fought the Nazis during WWII. That American soldiers took up arms and bravely defended Democracy and freedom against these genocidal maniacs who posed a grave threat to world order. Did they die in vain? Did they give their lives only to have a U.S. president 70 years later turn the White House into the Reich House? 

Let’s be clear: this was a rally organized by white supremacists who came draped in shields, helmets and brandishing weapons. Only one “side” marched in the streets carrying lit torches while angrily chanting racist, anti-Semitic Nazi slogans (i.e. ”blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us”). Only one “side” of cowardly mobs were beating black men. And only one “side” heaped praise on Trump following his Nazi-enabling comments.

“Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville,” former KKK Imperial Wizard David Duke tweeted. 

And in an unprecedented display of either denial, duplicity and/or political expediency, Trump added “You also had some very fine people on both sides.”

Sorry. There are no “very fine” Nazis. No “very fine” white supremacists. No “very fine” KKK members. They belong to hate groups who who seek to annihilate Jews, gays and people of color. There’s no ambiguity. No equivocating. No moral equivalencies. That the United States president believes there is proves yet again that he is unfit for the job. 

Key questions loom larger than ever: Will House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ever act to remove Trump from office? Will vice president Mike Pence and Trump’s cabinet ever agree to invoke the 25th Amendment? Are they all hoping special prosecutor Robert Mueller ends up doing their dirty work for them? Will the public finally turn against him? Has Trump finally crossed an uncrossable line?

It’s the Nazis, stupid...