The Ineptitude of No Deal

Donald Trump does not deserve any praise from walking away from a bad deal and leaving Hanoi. He deserves scorn and ridicule for showing up to Hanoi in the first place.

Let’s be clear: Donald Trump has achieved nothing of importance with Kim Un. In fact North Korea’s nuclear activities have only been allowed to further advance and grow without objection by the US for the past two years.

There was no indication North Korea was ever serious about denuclearization. Had The Dotard considered the consensus assessment of our intelligence agencies he would have known this to be the case long before his arrival at the summit. At a minimum he would have had American diplomats learn of North Korea’s position prior to boarding Air Force One. Seems like a basic due diligence would at least require the parties to at least agree to a definition of what “denuclearization” means, prior to putting on an international spectacle.

Instead much like he did with birthers and white nationalists, all Trump has done is legitimize another member who sits on the fringe of civilized society. In this case Kim Un, an unapologetic autocrat who starves his own people, orders the murder of his own family members and opposition members and who routinely threatens America and her Pacific allies.

In actions and words the leader of the free world has condoned all of this. Made clear that the freedom and inalienable rights of all humanity takes a back seat to the potential personal economic and political gains Trump may reap in a deal with “his friend” Kim. Once again we learn that there are good people on both sides.

More so in absolving Kim of any responsibility in the death of Otto Warmbier, an American citizen killed in North Korea custody, our so called President made clear where his loyalties lay. Putin, Crown Prince MBS, Erdogan, and now Kim Un; it seems our Dear Leader has more confidence in the words of notorious dictators and liars, known adversaries of America, than he does over America’s own leaders and intelligence officials.

This is a man who refused to believe the words of President Obama in regards to his own birthplace, but somehow believes we should now trust the word of Kim Un. Keep in mind the former Rocket Man once publicly referred to Trump himself as “mentally deranged” and a man “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.”

On second thought, maybe Kim is trustworthy. Those words seems eerily prescient and a credible way to describe our current American President

The Gaslighting of America

The gaslighting of America continues. Peer past the latest tweetstorms and staged drama orchestrated to distract you from reality. At heart Donald Trump is a reality show star. It’s the only thing he’s ever been really good at. Scripting fake storylines and passing it off as reality. 

Manufacturing drama and faux conflict by introducing alternative facts and other stressors designed to produce outlandish sound bites and bombastic over exaggerated reactions to everyday situations. 

Carefully editing select moments of a person’s most vulnerable moments to create archetypical characters. Misrepresenting them in order to make a show entertaining to the masses. Keep them coming back for more. There’s no denying he knows how to spin a good yarn, keep people talking.

Not only that he has the perfect temperament for it. He holds no real convictions or loyalties and is convincingly able to take any position necessary to advance a storyline. Cross whatever line so long as it furthers his own agenda. 

A literal caricature of every villain of every film ever made. A billionaire product of affluent affirmative action who sells himself as a man of the people. A self proclaimed tycoon who was placed directly at the top of the business pyramid; never understanding what it means to actually lead. Unable to grasp what it takes to advance on merit, not name. Able to skip the lessons of middle management the man has no appreciation for the virtues of empathy, humility, accountability and communication.

My fellow Americans, we need to wake up and stop reacting to the newest scandal being scripted by this White House. Tune out the latest episode and ignore the narratives being pushed by this corrupt caravan of criminals and enablers. 

Change the channel and end this shit show. Tune back into the American story instead. The one piloted by our founding fathers nearly 250 years ago. Pitched on hope, equality, opportunity, freedom and in building a better tomorrow. Rooted in resistance to intolerance and hate. Understand that story is now in danger of cancellation. Only a coordinated campaign by “we, the people” will guarantee its renewal

The Pathway to Perdition

The pathway to perdition is paved in ignorance. They say there are only seven original stories in the world. If you read enough, and pay attention to life, you can actually begin to see them unfold in realtime. You grow able to predict what the author of that real life story is going to do next. Which story they seek to recreate in their own life.

Donald Trump is far from an original. In fact we’re all familiar with this story he’s writing. For many of us it’s our favorite movie, book or television show. We’ve seen it unfold countless times, albeit in differing variations.

The agents of fear and oppression rise up, usually in the form of a privileged older male pseudo populist whose good fortune depends on preserving the status quo. He uses fear and oppression as his primary tools. His speech comprised of thinly veiled dog whistles that call upon the deplorables of society to rise up. His policies implicitly condone the dirty work and agenda of those who once sat on the fringe of society.

His nationalistic rhetoric encourages them to sow discord; to intimidate others to get on board. to bully, peer pressure, threaten and blackmail similar patriots and relatives who may agree with the message but be resistant to the harsh methods. Over time they too will join the cause or face excommunication from the party. Those branded race or party traitors to be forever blacklisted and cast out.

As he consolidates power the narcissist grows. He begins to divide traditional alliances through rumor, false promises and chaos. He discredits opponents with lies, misinformation and alternative facts.

As the story progresses the emerging authoritarian begins to act more erratic. The threat of a “deep state”, and traditional checks and balances begin to weigh heavy on he who chases the crown.

As the opposition grows and coalesces, the motive of the dictatorial villain grows more transparent. The desire for ultimate power drive increasingly brutal and more brazen tactics. Dissent must be suppressed! Foreign enemies abound! A caravan of rapists and criminals approach unchecked! Now is not the time for #resistance!

Midway through the story a cataclysmic event occurs. The stuff of nightmares. A society’s worst fears realized. Freedoms must be restrained as a new threat rises. At this point resistance is futile. The takeover complete.

That’s the story Trump and his caravan of the corrupt are trying to write. The appointment of Whitaker. The war on the press and needless taunts of our closest allies. It’s clear that we’re already very close to that midway point.

There’s another version of this story though. The one written about the protagonist. A story of hope, freedom and perseverance. How love saves the day. A last minute miracle. A heroic act that thwarts catastrophy and exposes the naked emperor, unmasks the fraud.

In that story truth, justice and the “American” way win out. “We, the people,” can still write that story. Look around, look around. The resistance is real. We are the majority. We simply need that hero to step forward to lead us

Either way; the good news is the story always ends the same way. Love, empathy, sacrifice and acceptance win the day. A new hope emerges in the blooms of renewed unity and tolerance. The villain is denounced and rejected. Grows to be nothing more than a cautionary tale in history’s annals.

I’ve read this book a thousand times. Societies advance, grow more civil and tolerant.

The question is not if freedom wins. It’s how long and at what cost it will take for her to do so. Progress knows but one direction #Forward

Iceberg Ahead!

As a nation we stand on the decks of the Titanic. Aware the ship has hit a giant iceberg. That it is taking in water at a pace that will lead to inevitable disaster. That time is not on our side and survival will require immediate action. Yet as I scan the throngs of people who share in my circumstance, in search of direction, a voice of hope, a leader. To my surprise I find none.

Instead our so called leaders, the very crew who steered us into this mess, reassure the masses that this is all a part of the normal growing pains you may expect with any maiden voyage. That the Titanic is not your typical ship so the lessons of the past do not apply to the present. It was designed by the brightest minds to be indestructible. There is nothing to see here. Look at the economy! It’s a standing room only crowd and the decor is to die for. Drown out the doomsayers and enjoy the band they instruct unironically. The cognitive dissonance is strong.

Our leaders need to learn from the lessons of America’s past. Need to understand the importance of taking proactive action. That this nation was founded and preserved due to the proactive nature of the American spirit. So many of our heroes, Washington, Hamilton, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, and Truman all grew to be revered for their foresight and courage. Heck even our Comrade in Chief’s hero, Andrew Jackson, understood how essential it is to take steps to mitigate an impending catastrophe, rather than wait to respond until it came to you.

Whether paralyzed by fear or blissfully ignorant of the danger I know not. What I know is that it’s not enough to sit silently as the smoke thickens and billows overhead. To keep dancing obliviously as new flames seemingly erupt in every direction. To simply stare in disbelief as the deck chairs begin to sway, confident that help will arrive shortly.

Until we confirm that the so called President of the United States and leader of the free world, was hired by and is working for the American people we cannot continue to advance his agenda. We cannot give deference to his nominees or judicial appointees. We cannot allow every Executive Order and unilateral decision to withdraw from international treaties to go unchallenged. Each baiting tweet to be left uncensured and as if official position of the United States citizenry.

“We, the people,” cannot sit back and watch as the 1% are ushered into the life boats right under our noses. We must demand action. To put our faith in the belief that the crew in charge won’t really allow the ship to sink ignores recent history. We must insist they act today to protect us all. Regardless of party, race, class or creed we are all passengers on this ship. At this point to do nothing is beyond appeasement; it’s assisted suicide. #Resist

The birth of the Birther

The pathway to perdition is paved by those with their head in the sand. Those experts in cognitive dissonance unable or unwilling to hear the surrounding sounds of distress over the distracting cacophony of the cement mixer.

There is no two ways around this. The stench of caviar and vodka emanating from the halls of the White House should be the only story that matters to every single patriotic American.

Our so called President has had a noose around his neck from the moment he rode down that escalator. The problem is there’s never been a hangman strong enough to pull the rope. Trump knows what Mueller May find on him. There are no secrets to him concerning his past behavior. He is not “legally insane,” he understands his past behaviors and whether they were right or wrong.

The only question Trump has is “what do they know?” Who did Mueller speak to? What items were seized? What evidence may they have found as result that can be linked back to me?

When framed in this construct Trump’s behavior is perfectly logical and consistent with a person trying to protect their own reputation. Maintain their innocence in the face of what may seem like contradictory evidence.

Each shifting story, volatile tweetstorm, deep state conspiracy theory and evolving explanation put forth by this den of corruption is actually a carefully orchestrated introduction of alternative facts and narratives. Each new admission and claim of conspiracy timed to coincide and discredit the latest piece of evidence or cooperating witness Mueller obtains. Every red herring, disingenuous call for DOJ investigation, and smear campaign designed to ultimately legally protect and defend the reputation and legacy of one man, Donald J Trump.

Make no mistake. Trump is well aware of what is at stake. The Trump family name. The Trump fortune. The Trump legacy. The very things he promised his daddy he’d never let be taken away. That he’d do anything to protect.

You need look no further than his past to understand the depths Deranged Donald would sink to remain relevant. You know the stories of the flamboyant alter egos who served as his own PR men. The nonstop Page Six antics and over the top personality. The willingness to pay millions to accountants simply to avoid paying even one penny more in taxes than legally required. The lack of philanthropy. The refusal to pay contractors. The slum lording. That was “The Donald” in the good times. Even then he refused to go away or act in the public’s interest.

Now consider his past behavior when he actually feared he may lose everything. When after filing a 6th bankruptcy the self proclaimed tycoon found himself broke, over leveraged and with nowhere to turn. A desperate loser who learned the hard way that the house doesn’t always win. At least not the one’s with the word “Trump” in their title.

Welcome to the birth of the Birther. A majority of voters had just elected President Barack Hussein Obama to serve as leader of the free world. America was in a spiraling depression. The real estate bubble was bursting. Investment portfolios plummeting in value. Banks and lenders were going belly up.

As luck would have it in efforts to save and stabilize our economy, and with the hopes that one day Donald Trump would be elected President and he would be able to lead the world’s greatest witch hunt against him, President Obama brought along with him a host of fresh financial regulations. In what must of felt like a groin kick to any dreams Dear Donald had of making a comeback the ensuing passage of Dodd Frank and other regulations would have made it impossible for the Donald to take a loan from any domestic financial institutions. The over leveraged real estate speculator directly in the crosshairs of the legislation.

So with nowhere else to turn what was Donald to do? We know the rest. It’s where Mueller’s story will begin. The direct link to the Russian oligarchs who would go on to direct the ascendancy of Trump’s political career.

Since the start of the Mueller investigation our Comrade in Chief has been planning for this day. Scripting his storylines and rallying his deplorable base in the event Mueller came to close. Surrounding himself with generals and pandering to the police for support. Building his walls for crowd control. Denouncing the independent media while standing up his very own Ministry of Propaganda. Playing on the ignorance and base instincts of the masses. All the while growing more dangerous, less predictable. Preacher Pence and the pious nodding along in compliant agreement hopeful the chaos to come a precursor of the End Times. Waiting for the other show to drop. The Friday night massacre of the Mueller investigation. Perhaps a larger wag the dog distraction to justify its dismissal.

The more desperate Donald is, the more dangerous he grows. A cartoonish super villain in the vein of Jason, Voldemort, or Ghostface it’s not enough to simply think you contained the threat. They always have a way of popping back up. A fail safe to continue their vengeful ways. In the case of our so called President, his may just be the knowledge that he always has the support of Puppetmaster Putin and the might of Mother Russia to save him.

Either way the time to act is now. We must demand our leaders take action to protect the Mueller investigation at all costs. To do otherwise is beyond playing Russian roulette with our democracy, it is assisted suicide.

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Sadness or Euphoria

Donald Trump makes no secret of his intent to oversee the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” He operates and functions in full visibility for the world to see. He flaunts his belief that he is above the law and beyond accountability. That he alone is judge, jury and executioner. He boasts of his efforts to run various federal agencies into extinction. Appoints unqualified sycophants to lead them and boasts of the economic gains that trickle down from the removal of necessary corporate oversight and safety regulations. He takes glee in offending traditional allies who have done us no wrong or grievance. He warmly embraces and honors those leaders who have never once acted in the interests of freedom. Lifts sanctions and prepares to enter new agreements with men of ill intent who rule with iron fists and stifle individual choice.

All of this is done in furtherance of his central agenda to destroy and redefine our Democratic Republic. His insistence that the very Constitution he is sworn to uphold and defend no longer applies to the modern American political system or experience. Each Executive Order and the few pieces of legislation signed into law by Deranged Donald is meant to undermine the very values espoused by our founding fathers. To declare the land of hopes and dreams and liberty for all, the beacon of freedom throughout the world, a failed experiment that requires replacement.

We as a nation need to wake up. This cannot be a left verse right narrative. This involves us all. Every American needs to make a choice. Billy Joel once wrote, “For we are are always what our situations hand us. It’s either sadness or euphoria.” Well we know the situation life has handed us. We’ve seen all we need to see from this oligarchy. Heard all we need to hear. I’d like to think the choice today is as equally obvious as the one Billy Joel offers. This time, it’s either appeasement or resistance.

We must cast aside politics and unite to protest an administration that openly brags about being unconventional. That flaunts how they don’t abide by tradition and protocol. We need to stop relying on conventional means and rubber stamped checks and balances to hold them to account. We need to be proactive in defense of this country we love; the values that have defined us for generations. We must join together as the majority and insist on extreme vetting for those who pose the most immediate threat to our freedoms this nation has ever seen. We cannot afford to take “no” for an answer from those whose sole desire is to maintain the status quo. Who fight the inevitable.

America is an ideal, a dream. A continual quest for the more perfect union. We are not a country that moves backwards. That clings to a past of ignorance and artificial divisions. We have never been naive enough to think divisions among us do not exist and probably always will. Our founders understood people were fallible and ignorant. Took for granted that all men, themselves included, were capable of horrible things. They also understood that we as a nation would be stronger when we overcame ignorance and joined together. They imagined a time where race, religion and creed would not inhibit opportunity. A day when all Americans would be free to enjoy their inalienable rights; the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They challenged future generations to work towards the fulfillment of that dream.

We know the history. There’s been good times and bad but there’s no doubting we’ve continually progressed. We’re still living the dream. Reflecting on our past there is also no doubt that when we put aside those differences, focus on our similarities and work towards a common goal, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. No evil too great. Tragedy too heavy. Heck we’ve been able to move mountains, free the enslaved, save an entire continent from a fascist madman, land on the mother effin moon and beyond. There’s a reason people want to come here.

Think about this. People considered Bernie unelectable because he was a Democratic Socialist. We elected a team that openly advocates and acts to burn the whole system down. Committed “Democratic Arsonists.”

So, riddle me this. Do you really want to give that up? Set it on fire? Wouldn’t you prefer to remain the country that foreigners dare venture into then the one they risk everything to leave? I know I would.

The Many Faces of Donald Trump

Trump knows his audience. He always has. It’s the secret of his success. He understands what motivates his constituents so well that he is able to craft a message that speaks direct to whatever audience is in front of him in that moment. Offer up the deal of your dreams, designed to reward you with whatever it is you most desire, regardless of precedence or existing restraints. Quid pro quos with so many competing factions it takes a full time Consigliere to keep track of it all.

It is important to understand that at heart Trump is a casino man. He preys on the desperate. He knows that for the right price anything is negotiable and for the man who holds no core beliefs or morals there’s never been a price he isn’t willing to pay if it will advance his own self interests.

It’s actually fairly easy for a talented conman to rise to power. The difficult part is remaining there. To do that you need to make those various factions that promised support in exchange for influence that you will deliver. That they can trust you to continue to deliver on their behalf. So long as you do that, serve your purpose and advance all agendas, you can murder a man on Fifth Avenue in plain daylight and your so called base will continue to turn a blind eye. Once the naked emperor slips up though and loses the trust of any one bloc the entire pyramid quickly begins to crumble. Et tu Brute?

As a reality television star Trump is well aware of this. He knows the key to retain that trust is to continue to talk to every faction as individuals. Make them know he still cares about them. Is there to advance “their” agenda.

Pay attention. Each time he appears before the camera he plays a different character, a different instance of a GOP President. Each tweet or speech written by a schizophrenic clone of the same id. Let’s go through but a few of them.

There’s Evangelical Trump ready to shepherd the righteous to the Rapture they foolishly seek. He’s the anti-Muslim best friend of Netanyahu who fights for family values, Jerusalem and God in absolute ways. You’ll often find Preacher Pence staring doe eyed at this Trump.

There’s Military Hawk Trump who is interested to see what will happen with Rocket Man, stands for the National Anthem, and has a keen understanding that Cold Wars and calls for faux patriotism are great for recruitment and military budgets.

There’s Establishment Trump who awkwardly poses alongside McConnell and Ryan and promises to advance whatever legislation will secure the status quo of white Christian male dominance far beyond demographics would otherwise allow. Abolish regulations with the stroke of a pen as Executive Order after Executive Order is placed in front of him to be signed unread. Ambassadorships and plush Cabinet posts are often reserved for these folk.

There’s Comrade Trump who is more of a mute unless it concerns impending military operations. Unable to say anything negative about his PuppetMaster Putin. Alienating traditional allies at every turn and advancing Putin’s agenda in the Ukraine and throughout the European arena. A frequent tweeter, he screams WITCH HUNT and no collusion. He also places known foreign agents in charge of our national security.

There’s Tea Party Trump who you’ll frequently see at rallies. It seems to me like this character is often on coke as he sniffles a lot and tends to go off script more than the other characters. He’s Mr Anti-Establishment, but only to a degree. He often talks tough but backs down if a deal can be made – the no DACA, no treaties, no trade deals initial stance that he secretly negotiates against.

Finally there’s Deplorable Trump. The most dangerous and controversial of all the characters he plays a critical role. Though not as large as some of the other blocs they are disproportionately influential and necessary to hold the other groups together. A twisted mutation of Tea Party Trump, Deplorable Trump is the one who delivers the dog whistles and codes to what heretofore was an unrepresented fringe group. This is the Trump that promotes deep state conspiracy theory and casually dehumanizes entire minorities, religions, and countries. He builds walls not to stem illegal immigration but to protect us from Mexican rapists and drug dealers. He disparages shit hole countries and falsely equates klansmen, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists to protestors who seek peace and justice for all people. He wages war on a free and independent press, judiciary, or any attempt at checks and balances. He blatantly rewards loyalty and encourages corruption. God bless the Kakistocracy.

Whenever the noose tightens around Trump’s neck this is the character we see respond. It’s no coincidence Trump’s Charlottesville remarks happened days after the Manafort raid. This is the very constituency he counts on to keep him in office. The ones who troll our posts and claim to “own” us. Who challenge the liberal elites to just try to impeach their leader, silence their voice. They carry the tiki torches, display their Confederate flags, and no longer even try to cloak their appearance behind the white hoods of their ancestors. They threaten to “crush” anyone who disrespects THEIR President and are armed with military grade artillery.

Deplorable Trump knows this. He depends on them keeping their word. Relies on them to keep the other Republican blocs in line through threats and intimidation. He uses them to dig up compromising information on friends and foe alike to use to his advantage. He invites and encourages them by referring to his opposition as “animals,” “enemy of the people,” and “unAmerican.” Terms meant to dehumanize and promote the cognitive dissonance that will allow a fanatical following to justify future acts of horrific violence.

Even the most domesticated of animals grow dangerously unpredictable when they sense the end is near. Desperate Donald is one character we should all fear. Let’s not sit back and wait for his appearance