Trump Times Entry 168 –

Over the Line

April 25, 2017

There is no line.

Perhaps there never was, but once we believed there was and acted accordingly. Mores, folk-ways, customs, whatever seemed compelling enough. If it was customary for national candidates to release their tax information, they just did it. Even indirect nepotism was bad form and an embarrassment, as well as illegal. (Yeah, right, Robert Kennedy was appointed by brother John. And that’s why the was law changed – Johnson, who hated Bobby, made damn sure presidential nepotism wouldn’t happen again.)

Ha!

The thing about the law is: to be effective, it must be enforced. An unenforced law is just a lame custom – out of style. And, rest assured, the Trump spring fashion collection features only the latest in styles. Outdated looks like transparency, ethics and embarrassability have been dropped from the product line.

And, so far, the adults designated to check presidential balance, in congress, are too busy trying to kill popular programs, redrawing district maps to fulfill anti-gerrymandering court orders and being yelled at town hall meetings. Rumor has it some Republican congressmen have gone into hiding and don’t plan on coming out until “this whole thing blows over”. Sure wish the rest of us could do that.

So, it’s not just Trump; congress is helping out bigly with erasing that imaginary line no one should ever cross, except for the entitled of course. In doing so they politicize law enforcement, but what could go wrong? I’m sure they’re doing it for our-own (or someone’s) good.

After watching the paradox , that it the Donald, for one-hundred-sixty-eight post-election days, the republic no longer sees the lines Trumps keeps crossing. It’s like the Republicans gerrymandered decency out of country to make room for Trump.

And here we thought they weren’t doing anything.

In Peace and Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 167 – The Jackass Mystique

The Jackass Mystique

April 24, 2017

Bill O’Reilly is already back – well sort of. A new episode of his podcast, No Spin News, will be available today on his website – to premium paid subscribers. Nice… Bill’s first post-Fox gig will be preaching to the choir, comforting the people who couldn’t get enough O’Reilly on Fox, delivering to the true believers who paid good money to hear more. I expect he’ll be well received – cult members must be starving after a dozen O’Reilly free days.

I briefly considered taking in the show myself – until I discovered it was payed content. Thought it might interesting to hear what new BS O’Reilly’s slinging, could be amusing. But, pay for it? Naa, chances are I’d only last a couple minutes, until my gag reflex forced me to look away. Listening to Bill does that to me and, typically, I must watch hours of puppy videos to recover from, even brief, O’Reilly exposure.

The thing is, even knowing the side effects, I still considered watching Bill. And actually went that direction until I encountered a pay-wall. Sad.

For reasons known only to shrinks and marketing professionals, we seem attracted to jackasses. We know they’re gonna offend us, piss us off, but we pay attention to them anyway. Some even revere the jackass just for being a jackass. Witness all the people who like the Donald because he speaks his mind – regardless of what he says. His willingness to say shit is what’s admired. Racist, misogynistic provocative words aren’t important, the Donald’s willingness to say them is. Odd.

Lucky for us, while the O’Reilly show may be out of reach, there are plenty of other jackasses available for free. Sean Spicer holds daily press conferences and while he’s not in the O’Reilly tough-guy mold, he does provide a kind of Steven King character persona. Every time I watch him standing at that lectern, I expect someone, suspended from the ceiling, to dump blood on him. Or maybe he’ll explode from all the self-contained anger building up inside. I expect Sean to, one day, treat us to something special – can’t wait.

There are, of course, many choices available even to the casual internet user; the search term “right wing goofballs” yields over thirteen-thousand results, just on YouTube. You got your Ann Coulter, if you prefer a Wicked Witch of the West thing – got your Alex Jones, for those who prefer the classic bug-eyed conspiracy look. There are even jackasses who look normal, though their names escape me at the moment. (Glenn Beck? No! Rush Limbaugh? Oh, please! Seems mostly overweight white guys – and Ann.)

Speaking of overweight white guys, there’s always the Donald. If you’re looking for jackass content, why not go with the biggest? Though, once again, small dosage is advised. One day, I expect Trump exposure to be regulated by the FDA. (Once we reestablish the FDA, that is.)

But when we get right down to it, there’s no substitute for the real Bill O’Reilly. And once his new gig becomes free on YouTube, I’ll watch as much as I can tolerate. Bill’s like cheap tequila: tasteless, colorless, numbing – consumption always makes you feel bad. But, every so often, it’s important to do shot or two – just to feel the pain and make sure I’m still alive.

Now that we’re one-hundred-sixty-seven days away from the election, could someone please arrest Trump and his crime family? As long as the republic’s replacing O’Reilly, let’s do Trump too.

In Peace and Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 166 – Best Care Plan Ever: Get a Better Job with a Cheaper Phone

Best Care Plan Ever: Get a Better Job with a Cheaper Phone

April 23, 2017

Had we known it was this simple, we would never have caused so much fuss. Thanks, again, to Representative Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) for highlighting the Republican vision of really excellent healthcare. Looking back, Davidson’s first directive: don’t buy iPhones instead of healthcare, was helpful, but incomplete. A tease, as it were. But yesterday, Representative Davidson revealed a second, precision interlocked, tactic in his war on healthcare. And, now, we’re beginning to see how it all hangs together.

So, you got your cheap phone, but what’s next? Well according to Warren, if your current job doesn’t provide the insurance you need, find another job.

It’s true, the most elegant solutions are typically the simplest and what Warren lacks in elegance he more than makes up for with simplicity. But, let not get carried away insulting Warren’s intelligence. He may well understand how cruel that offered “solution” was. He likely understood that his suggestion was like showing a man, dying of thirst, a bottle of water; telling him, “You should drink this”, then walking away with the bottle. (He can get his own fucking water – what am I, the Water Company?)

That would make him an asshat, but an out of the closet asshat. When these whack-a-doddles spew disgusting shit, I think we’re too quick to credit them with stupidity. No one’s that stupid; it’s cruelty. I wonder about those he represents – are they cruel too or just Republicans?

Yeah, I know Warren is a youngish guy and may have been trying to be snarky. Which is a perfectly acceptable way to express privilege, hell the Nazi’s use it all the time. And that’s fine; if Warren wants to tack Nazi snarky, great. We look forward to further public rants and maybe a primary challenge – who knows?

Warren, of course, is of no significant political value, he’s just another cookie-cutter Republican from the solid Ohio 8th district, but with a particularly big mouth. Thanks to that big mouth we have been a given a glimpse into the mind of the cookie-cutter Republican. And that’s Signiant.

There’s a word for the cruel, and it’s not “Republican”, but perhaps should be.

It’s been one-hundred-sixty-six days since America elected snarky. We shouldn’t be surprised hear needlessly cruel talk from the minions, lacking something fundamental, they just repeat what they see. Let them speak, the republic sees value in identification.

In Peace with Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 165 – So Damned Angry

So Damned Angry

April 22, 2017

I am angry, have been for the last one-hundred-sixty-five days – since the fake election. Angry that the Donald has been forcibly injected into my life by a coalition of American and Russian idiot tribes. Before the 2016 campaign, I conducted a Trump-free life – didn’t read about him, didn’t watch his crappy TV show, didn’t stay in his tacky hotels; it’s was a better time. And it’s gone now, because of a bunch of dumb-asses.

Dumb-asses who couldn’t see enough difference between Clinton and Trump to make it worth voting. If you didn’t vote, please stop reading this and go to your holy man, shrink or whomever you go to for soul maintenance and ask for help. Perhaps, you thought Trump wouldn’t affect you? Well, you’ll think again when he starts charging you to pay his companies to build a huge beautiful wall.

And when he does build his wall, how long until he privatizes it?   A good con: first, trick the mark into paying for something they don’t need. Then, complete the con by shifting ownership to owners you own. Watch for it.

Pisses me off.

Frankly, it’s way too early to embrace the notion that we need to embrace Trump supporters because they have real problems and felt ignored. Really? Everyone has real problems and feels ignored – except for the Donald, who has imaginary problems, but does feels ignored.

Once again dumb-asses; if people think Trump can roll back the clock and bring back all those great manufacturing jobs they be dumb-asses. China has cheap property, cheaper labor and, fucking factories that manufacture factories. They learned capitalism from us; those jobs are staying there for a long time.

If you worship capitalism, don’t be surprised when your consumption becomes a sacrament. It’s just the way it works, dumb-ass. (Not you, gentle reader; was ranting at dumb-ass Trump loyalist. This seems to be getting away from me – like a Navy carrier strike group, if you know what I mean.)

And that’s where the anger stops… and something new begins. Strike groups, missiles, a raving lunatic in charge – no, not new.  This feels old, familiar. Something from back during the cold-war, resigned fear. Yeah, hello darkness my old friend.

The republic apologies for dragging you down an angry path only to plagiarize the conclusion from Paul Simon. I suspect I need more music and less Donald in my diet. How about you?

In Peace and Justice
osv

Trump Times Entry 164 – Keeping Free Speech Unaffordable

Keeping Free Speech Unaffordable

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Trump’s lawyers argued that protesters “have no right” to “express dissenting views” at his campaign rallies because protests infringed on Trump’s First Amendment rights. And when the Donald yelled, “get ’em out of here!” at that rally, he was just a citizen exercising free speech. It was irrelevant that the Trump crowd reacted to his call to action violently. It didn’t matter that the protesters were vastly outnumbered and had no chance to prevent the Donald, or anyone else, from speaking. Donald’s rights were being abridged by three bullies intimidating a crowd of thousands, with signs.

Someone had to step in.

So, the Donald used his free speech to attack those who he claimed were preventing his free speech.

Wow.

A new variation on the “Your rights are interfering with my rights to be a dick” principle. And for some reason the right to be a dick always trumps – perhaps, it’s by definition. This political ploy is frequently used by “religious” groups to claim treating LGBTQ people like people would violate their religious freedom. Their freedom to discriminate.

Yeah, same old shit.

Except, for this one Trump supporter who’s suing the Donald for compelling him to act like a tough guy and rough-up some libtards at another rally. The gentleman feels Trump should be responsible for whatever he did “pursuant to the directives and requests of Donald J. Trump”. Just to add a little color to this story, it should be mentioned that this guy is a leader of the white supremacist Traditionalist Youth Network. Indeed, Trump always attracts the most interesting people.

The ever popular Trump clip where he tells one of his crowds he would a pay for expenses if they ran into trouble while kicking protester out may not be very helpful to Trump’s defense. So, Trump’s free speech might cost him a few bucks – sad.

In the one-hundred-sixty-four days since elected the Donald hasn’t even come close to telling as many people to shut up as Bill O’Reilly. But, the republic suspects the Donald’s willing to silence us all to protect free speech – his free speech.

In Peace and Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 163 – Oh, Really O’Reilly’s Gone

Oh, Really O’Reilly’s Gone

April 20, 2017

Ah, before we take a victory lap, before we add one to the win column, before we start Photoshopping Bill O’Reilly applying for Obamacare mimes lets reflect on the O’Reilly exploit. It won’t take long; it’s not that complicated.

So, O’Reilly was fired from Fox yesterday. Well, not exactly fired. Fox’s people and Bill’s people are working something out – an agreement where Bill stops appearing on Fox, Fox gives Bill a bunch of money and, most importantly, Bill promises to shut up about anything Fox related. The bunch of money will be in the tens of millions, which seems a reasonable expense just to shut him up.

Bill and Fox are entering into this agreement because Bill’s public persona has become unpopular with advertisers. Oh, and he keeps getting sued for sexual harassment – which is why he’s out of favor with sponsors. It’s a vicious cycle – a befittingly vicious cycle.

Fox has already paid out thirteen million and change to settle harassment claims against Bill and requests for money keep coming in. But, perhaps, the most brutal blow occurred when a couple of the women Bill harassed indicated they didn’t want money – no, they wanted the story told.

Fox, who’s committed to the “pay them to shut up” justice system, was understandably confused at first. They had the money, but the “alleged” victims weren’t cooperating. That kind of story telling would be bad for business. But, eventually, Fox realized their mistake: they had offered the money to the wrong party. So now, they’re giving the bucks to Bill; Bill’s going away; problem solved.

Well, for Fox the problem’s solved. For the rest of us, we get a sexual predator running around who was rewarded for his behavior. Perhaps not the best social engineering choice. Plus, isn’t sexual harassment like a crime – you know, covered in criminal code? Shouldn’t Bill be facing arrest and a trial rather than a multimillion dollar early retirement?

I think it’s fair to assume that if you, gentle reader, or I were accused of similar crimes, we would be defending ourselves in court – not vacationing on our mountain of windfall cash. It’s almost like we have a two-tiered justice system with one set of rules for the very rich and another for the rest of us. And it sucks to be us.

See, not that complicated.

The republic recognizes the similarity between the O’Reilly behavior and the Donald’s, but is encouraged by Trump’s lack of any new sexual harassment suits over the last one-hundred-sixty-three days since the election. While, there is concern about the fifty to sixty other law suits filed against Trump since take over, mostly, we’re pleased that Trump seems to have outgrown his old predatory ways.

We remain concerned with the new predatory ways he’s grown into.

In Peace and justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 162 – Didn’t lose is not a win

Didn’t Lose Is Not a Win

April 19, 2017

Politics is not grade school sports – they don’t hand out participation awards. There’s always a clear, remorseless, winner; everyone else is a looser. Yet, Democrats insist on basking in the glow of not winning, bless their hearts.

About a week back, back when we were getting along with Russia, the Dems lost a congressional special election in Kansas, by seven points. They interpreted the (kinda big) loss as a moral victory in that they didn’t lose by over twenty points. As a matter of fact, they even suggested the smaller than expected loss was evidence of an anti-Trump trend – truly, the kind speculation Sean Spicer would be most comfortable with.

No, they didn’t win – morally or otherwise. They lost. Don’t care about the red demographics, media budgets or potential trends – the other guy won. Facing that may be more helpful than competing with Republicans in a game of alternate-reality. Just sayin’.

So, yesterday, in the great state of Georgia, another Democrat didn’t win. Jon Ossoff finished with about forty-eight percent of the vote – so, no win. But he didn’t lose either. Instead he gets to run off against Republican Karen Handel in June. Whether this is just another opportunity to come in second or a real challenge to Republican dominance remains to be seen. I predict some kind of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory outcome, probably involving national party failure.

So far, the national party’s support for local candidates has been tepid at best. Some theorize establishment Dems won’t support Sander’s camp candidates, and that may be true. But Ossoff is too new to be in either camp and was largely ignored by national, just like everyone else.

Perhaps, when the national Democratic party claims they don’t want to nationalize the local races they really mean it. So, it’s not a Sanders – Establishment thing. No, it’s much worse.

If the national party thinks they will hurt candidates if they associate themselves with those candidates then the solution is not: don’t associate. Local candidates need help to win; the Republicans know this and will spend, spend, spend. The Dem have little choice, but to respond in kind.

If the nation Democrats are so hated that they can’t endorse (and fund) people without hurting them then we need different national Dems. That’s all. It’s time for the Clinton/Establishment camp to step aside. It may not be fair – tough shit. Politics is not grade school sports and they’re hurting the team.

Been one-hundred-sixty-two days since the Clinton camp lost the election to a huckster. The republic needs to see some fresh talent. We’re bored and disappointed with old team – nothing personal.

In Peace and Justice,
osv