Russia Owns Trump

Michelle Goldberg wrote an opinion for the New York Times and now it’s trending on Twitter: RUSSIA OWNS TRUMP. The headline includes the phrase, “Odds Are,” but that’s only because we live in a litigious society and everything we know can’t be classified as fact until Mueller unpacks his case in court.

But you know: “Russia Owns Trump.” You know.

Side note, I like Michelle’s original [rejected] headline better, too: “Occam’s Razor, Trump’s a Traitor.” I liked it so much, I meme’d it. Here’s the essay:

“Three months ago, The Washington Post reported that even as Donald Trump ran for president, he pursued plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. The next day, The New York Times published excerpts from emails between Felix Sater, a felon with ties to Russian organized crime, and Michael Cohen, one of Donald Trump’s lawyers and Sater’s childhood friend, about the project. Sater was apparently an intermediary between Trump and Russia, and in a Nov. 3, 2015, email to Cohen, he made the strange argument that a successful deal would lead to Trump’s becoming president. Boasting that he was close enough to Vladimir Putin to let Ivanka Trump sit in the Russian president’s desk chair, Sater wrote, “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected.” Continue reading “Russia Owns Trump”

Swiftboating the Fourth Estate

You know the truth: James O’Keefe is a slime ball “journalist” who selectively doctors ambush videos to lie about … well, everything.

He’s a conservative.

The truth is, his “Project Veritas” stunt fell flat on its face before it could stumble out of the gate; the Washington Post caught O’Keefe’s stooge in a web of lies. What did she choose to lie about? Surviving teenaged sexual assault (allegedly by Roy Moore).

You can’t shock these people; you can’t shame these people: they will say anything, or condone any behavior, as long as they think they’re going to get  a piece of the pie. They want Trump’s table scraps. These are cartoon villains from a “Bargain Bin” paperback, plotting to  steal from the ‘Widows and Orphans Fund’ right before Christmas Eve … #KillTheBill #ThePresidentIsAnAsshole Continue reading “Swiftboating the Fourth Estate”

Da’alzhin.

If the Internet is correct, that’s Navajo for “asshole.” Beyond that — I can’t even. Referring to Senator Warren as “Pocahontas” is passé  for POTUS — it’s really one of the milder racial slurs we’ve come to expect from him.

What’s always striking to me is the genuineness of these awkward asides … for me, that’s the only time you see the real Trump. Stupid to the bone. Convinced he’s brilliant. Surrounded by sycophants and tyrants. These really are dark days for the republic.

Logic is Overrated

“It’s just, well as long as I’m an outlaw anyways… maybe I can do somethin’… maybe I can just find out somethin’, just scrounge around and maybe find out what it is that’s wrong and see if they ain’t somethin’ that can be done about it. I ain’t thought it out all clear, Ma.”

Words matter. Someone gave the president a masterfully intricate, hand-crafted collection of the best words available, all intended to promote a fallacy of relevance: argumentum ad baculum, or the “might makes right” fallacy. And just like that, Donald’s words shouldn’t matter — but they still do, because he’s POTUS.

Yes, it’s ironic that Donald Trump chose a “fallacy of relevance” to defend his failing presidency, but the consequences could be catastrophic. If you go look, you’ll see that pretty much every knife in Donald’s drawer is a fallacy of relevance, including the genetic fallacy, ad hominem, ad populum, or ad misericordiam (literally an “argument from pity”). Poor Donald. This job is HARD.

There is nothing new or particularly surprising here — conservatives have always responded to the “strict father” (do as I say) model of governance. ‘I don’t care if you love me or not, there are rules in my house. I’m sorry your brothers just opened up a six inch laceration across your scalp — it was an accident — now say you love them. We’re a family. Say it.’

Wait, what? You didn’t hear that? Well, the transcript is available for the media, pundits and others to discuss ad nauseum; I’ve done many a deep-dive into the language deployed to destabilize our democracy. But yeah — this speech was designed to put Charlottesville in the rear view mirror. ‘Families squabble. Get over it and get past it, because the men and women sitting in front of me might just lose a limb or their lives if you don’t.’ Seriously — it’s all there if you just look. Continue reading “Logic is Overrated”

Is This It?

Is this it? Because it feels like this is it. Here’s why I say “words matter”: you either read “it” as “holy crap, there’s a madman in the White House and we’re all gonna diiiiiiiie” or “Americans did build a wall — 20,000 souls strong — to keep hate out of Boston.” #BostonStrong

 We ARE stronger together and yes, we can build a future to believe in. But first we have to stop fighting with each other or looking at past decisions with regret. I’m looking at you, Trump voters. Put on some Bill Clinton rally songs if it’ll help lift the darkness which has been clouding rational thought lately. Don’t stop believing in tomorrow — yesterday’s gone — the only question is what will you do with today?

 I’ve used the parable of the blind men many times — to remind myself how many different perspectives of the same reality are not only possible, but to be expected. This is large and flat and must be a fan. No, it’s round and long and must be a rope. Well this is it — we’ve been rocked backwards and our eyes are finally open. The real problem is there’s an elephant in the House — and the Senate. We need to get it out before we can deal with the mess.

Demanding Republicans denounce Trump with the same fervor they will white supremacy, however, is a fool’s errand. They want their tax cuts — and we need Donald’s signature on a bipartisan infrastructure bill that my pal Al, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, helped craft.

Donald took a step back and saw “both sides,” which he and a disturbingly large number of your fellow citizens believe is rational. False equivalence is nothing new with these people; “… more people get killed by cars than guns, so … um … geez, I should probably stop talking now, huh?” Nobody wants to find a cure for Donald’s Twitter Tourette’s more than the GOP leadership — but I think “it” is good for America at the moment.

It probably took someone as vile as Donald Trump pretending to represent American values, to finally remind us all what they really are.

 You’re welcome.

All The President’s Men

… are jumping off a sinking ship of state. Now it’s time for the title match — Pence v. Trump: Christianity or Chaos? Which will rule America?

Imagine for a moment — the showdown coming up at Camp David. Trump’s convinced Pence is working behind the scenes, consolidating support on the Hill for a Pence presidency. Pence’s convinced Trump is a temperamental jackass of a boss who also might be mentally deranged.

TRUMP: You’re fired.

PENCE: Says who? I serve at the pleasure of the president, Donald, but I don’t believe you’re the president anymore — I am.

TRUMP: You can’t do that, I fired you first.

PENCE: Ha! You “fired” your White House business council after all the CEOs walked, you giant hypocrite.

TRUMP: They weren’t loyal. They were weak, they were all very weak business people. No wonder America is a disaster!

PENCE: … YOU were the one who brought them to the White House you raging imbecile … they are all strong, capable business leaders with vibrant dynamic corporations who believe that supporting Nazis is …

TRUMP: NO — they didn’t agree with me, so that just means they were wrong. So sad. I feel bad for anyone with stock in those companies, believe me — it would be a shame if anything were to happen to their portfolios.

PENCE: Like the way you tanked Amazon stock when The Washington Post wrote an unflattering editorial?

TRUMP: It’s all about reforming the tax code. Pathetic Mitch and pretty boy Ryan know I’ll sign anything they send me. It’s time to get us some!

PENCE: I own a pen, too, Donald.

TRUMP: Damn.

 

Whistle Blower

On Twitter I said, “Waiting to learn which dogwhistle #PresidentBannon will have @POTUS blow next is killing me. C’mon, @realDonaldTrump, fail #ResignInDisgrace

While it’s amusing to needle the president and your conservative pals about the bloated, sick white nationalist scumbag behind Trump’s throne — what’s happening to families and neighbors as a result is tragic. We’ve always known the “R” in Republican stands for regressive — and President Bannon has dragged us all the way back to the Civil War … and it’s tearing families apart, again.

What follows is a public letter written by the father of one of those alt right, neo-nazi terrorists who invaded Charlottesville.

“My name is Pearce Tefft, and I am writing to all, with regards to my youngest son, Peter Tefft, an avowed white nationalist who has been featured in a number of local news stories over the last several months.

“On Friday night, my son traveled to Charlottesville, Va., and was interviewed by a national news outlet while marching with reported white nationalists, who allegedly went on to kill a person.

“I, along with all of his siblings and his entire family, wish to loudly repudiate my son’s vile, hateful and racist rhetoric and actions. We do not know specifically where he learned these beliefs. He did not learn them at home.

“I have shared my home and hearth with friends and acquaintances of every race, gender and creed. I have taught all of my children that all men and women are created equal. That we must love each other all the same.

“Evidently Peter has chosen to unlearn these lessons, much to my and his family’s heartbreak and distress. We have been silent up until now, but now we see that this was a mistake. It was the silence of good people that allowed the Nazis to flourish the first time around, and it is the silence of good people that is allowing them to flourish now.

“Peter Tefft, my son, is not welcome at our family gatherings any longer. I pray my prodigal son will renounce his hateful beliefs and return home. Then and only then will I lay out the feast.

“His hateful opinions are bringing hateful rhetoric to his siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews as well as his parents. Why must we be guilty by association? Again, none of his beliefs were learned at home. We do not, never have, and never will, accept his twisted worldview.

“He once joked, “The thing about us fascists is, it’s not that we don’t believe in freedom of speech. You can say whatever you want. We’ll just throw you in an oven.”

“Peter, you will have to shovel our bodies into the oven, too. Please son, renounce the hate, accept and love all.”

Remember, “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts w/o wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.” — Dr. Martin Luther King

The father’s original letter posted here.