A sundry assortment of cloudy mournings: RIP GOP

In looking into the continuing miasma of malaise filled with complete disillusionment that the GOP party has a patriotic bone left somewhere, anywhere, I’m diving in. Yes, that last sentence is a piece of work, but we’re in mourning for the dad gone all opioid addict punch drunk on money and power in our two-party system struggle towards a more perfect union.


How exciting that low friends in high places have been charged with high crimes! Money laundering, conspiracy against the United States. I’m talking Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos here.

Manafort was not so much of a surprise. And I did not know much about Gates or Papadopoulos until today when it was reported that Papa D rolled three weeks ago. Whoa! I can feel the intrigue and suspense building already.

I have a hard time keeping all the players, timelines, and plot points straight so I cross my fingers that John Grisham, Scott Turow, or Lisa Scottoline write a novel(s) that makes all these connections clear to me.  (Note to novelists: Throw in some Russian mob, some religious fanatics and white supremacists for entertainment on the side and I’ll curl up with that page turner and hot tea on a rainy day. Yes, I am shamelessly pandering for a political thriller. Even Cliff Notes on this whole shit storm would be appreciated.)

But first, back to mourning.

The reaction of Precsedense aka POTUS Trump to the news that people he barely knew were indicted in the Mueller investigation was to Tweet: ‘But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus??’

Well, I’ll take a crack at an answer. Because Crooked Hillary isn’t POTUS. Because Crooked Hillary and the Dems are not in the majority across three branches of government. And well, because there is some evidence that a foreign government messed with the election which gave you Prescedense, you continue conducting your business as if you were not head of state, and you have not released your income taxes.

Releasing your income taxes even to a select committee would go a long way toward reassuring those of us who didn’t vote for you regarding Russian interference in the election, influence in the White House.

Or impeachment.

I mourn that when I type Prescedense, dense really stands out today.


I mourn that the GOP, the party that is concerned with voter fraud is not outraged at the very real, substantive possibility that a foreign country interfered in the 2016 election.¹

As I get older, forgetfulness waxes. Remind me where I voted. Remind me who I voted for. It seems I pose a bigger threat to the GOP than meddlesome dictators abroad.


In continuing this theme of wallowing in a political morass of sadness,² I mourn that the person sitting President of the US has no self-constraint, that in his attention deficient disordered addle he dumps a can of gas, tweets to light a fire and thinks we can’t see what he’s doing.

We’re getting better at managing all the distractions and we see what you did there. We can see your lips moving, we can see the string on the dummy.

I mourn that I am in full agreement with Rex Tillerson.³


I mourn that the official portrait of the Prescedense could be used for the definition of ‘drama queen’ in the dictionary and I would not be outraged or surprised.


I mourn the cognitive disconnect of a Prescedense who can slash the advertising budget for health care insurance while offering advertising as an appropriate solution to the opioid epidemic. While this may be the sincerest form of flattery for Nancy “just say no” Reagan by ripping a page from her playbook, this problem needs a bigger stick.

And here I am again agreeing with the Tillerson moron observation.³ Egad.


I mourn that the GOP promotes life starting at conception but withholds support throughout life until death at which point they pick up again by lowering estate taxes.

And I smile that I worked the two certainties — death and taxes — into a last mournful sentence.

RIP GOP.


I stop now.

Send Kleenex.


¹ Russia. All the way up to Vlad. Vladimir Putin maybe. Prescedense has as much as admitted a bromance with the man. And his horse.

² Overwrought sentence. Oh for crying out loud. Which I guess we are. So there’s that.

³ ICYMI, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a moron.

A shift from ‘campaign’ to ‘administration’?

Whilst reading the news this morning, I noticed that the appointment of Robert Mueller was reported on Ozy as “to investigate Russian election meddling and possible collusion with President Donald Trump’s administration.”  (Viva’s bold of administration.)

And so maybe there IS progress.  I’ll say it again, the campaign is over, the election is history, there is a president resident in the White House.  And it is unlikely there would be any repercussions from proven campaign connivery#.

But the administration.  Yes!  I believe we should demand transparency from President Trump* — that he release his income tax returns, divest or operate a blind trust.  Prove that the Presidency is not just an acquisition of the Trump Organization because it’s not operating like any Presidency I’ve seen in my lifetime.  Good grief!  Jimmy Carter sold the peanut farm …

So finally, stop looking at the campaign! It’s over and done.  Investigate the repercussions, i.e. the administration we’re living with.  Demand disclosure or fully investigate this administration’s ties to, well, Russia’s a good start …


# Conniver:  verb, to operate secretly; conspire.

Connivery: noun, the completed action of operating secretly; conspiring.  Viva suggests connivery be added to the English lexicon as she is a supporter of making nouns verbs and verbs nouns.

* Yes, Ann.  I die a little every time I type these words.

I fling poo!

Hmm.  Yesterday the Justice Department appointed special counsel, Robert Mueller, to investigate the ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.   And the (initial) response of President Trump was to point at the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton’s campaign, witch hunts

 

On a business trip in Denver, CO several years ago,  a t-shirt in a window just cracked me up — a brown t-shirt with a smiling monkey and the words ‘I fling poo!’ next to it and today I am reminded of that goofy, simple t-shirt.

And I am saddened it is the presidency that sparked that memory.

Sports, politics, and analogies.

I love a good analogy.  But how do we determine if an analogy is “good”?  For me an analogy is good if I’m able to draw a clear picture connecting something I know nothing about to something I know something about.  Fair enough. But analogies fall apart and the connection of politics and elections to merely winning or losing a sporting event is a simple line drawing that needs to die.

In politics sports, the losers will get on their bus and drive back to where they came from until the next election game. The winners will obviously be, well, winners and do what winners do, right?  Take the ball and go home.

But hold on.   If we turn the analogy around and politics are sports, the losing team doesn’t get on a bus.  The losing team remains in the dugout, or on the bench. Stadium center might be configured as a tennis court, a baseball diamond, a rugby pitch, a hockey rink.  Fans remain in the stands.  The stadium continues to operate, concessions are sold and whether we’re interested or not, we all live together through all the games.  No one takes the ball and goes home.

And I hope the current cage-match the POTUS is waging against the office of President ends soon even as I recognize there are fans in the stand who came to see exactly that.  A cage-match.   And that’s hard to take, knowing that there are others who long for this kind of sport.

With Trump’s disclosure of classified information to Russian officials in the Oval Office, I’ve reached the conclusion that the primary havoc and damage he has done and continues to do is to the sureness, the authority, the dignity expected of someone sworn in to playing the position of President of the United States.

And if you happen to live in the red, white, and blue section of the stadium, whether you like the cage matches or not, he’s damaged us all.

Because after all, planet earth, this United States this stadium is home.

 

 

 

 

Some Vox Validation, (2017.04.05).

The investigation of the Trump campaign ties to Russia is distracting. I’ll say it again, it takes away from the now. We are sitting at the circus but are looking at the popcorn vendor three sections over. We are missing out on the action right in front of us.  Pick a ring, any ring, and there are more than three to choose from — Supreme Court nominee, healthcare, budget, immigration, and on and on.  And just in, perched on the high-wire, that swinging international bomb, Syria.  Focus.  We need focus.

I’ve been wondering how the investigation into links between the Trump campaign and the Russian hack of the DNC would conclude. The investigations don’t seem to be going anywhere what with all the other distractions.  Although there are millionaires, billionaires, career military and career politicians involved, I cannot think of a punishment or consequence that would result in justice.  These people operate in the shadows.   My curiosity was piqued when I read about Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s erstwhile campaign manager.  His name won’t appear on a ballot, and although the Wiki states he is a lobbyist and political consultant, I would add a shady operative.  Low friends in high places.

But the election was last year.  The campaign was last year.  A businessman is visiting the White House and calls himself President.  Or is a President living in the White House and visiting his businesses?

Trump won the electoral college, he was inaugurated.  He needs to prove he belongs there because he sure doesn’t act like it. And we need to move on.

So I felt a bit of validation Wednesday when Vox summarized the case against the Trump campaign and administration.

tl;dr?  The biggest issue would be political fallout, and it’s entirely possible that “neither Trump nor anybody in his White House will end up facing any charges at all.”

So I ask, what are we looking for?  How much of our energy, time, money, distraction do we want to spend pursuing a shard of justice?

And I will cop to being incredibly naive, but if Trump releases his income tax statements, even if it is only reviewed by a select bi-partisan group of Senators who can summarize their findings, we might get a hint of the extent of The Donald’s indebtedness not just to Russia, but to other foreign interests.  How much is it costing the U.S. to have a President with business ties all over the world?  How much of the budget is profit to the Trump empire?

WE SHOULD INSIST:

  • Trump release his income tax statements; or resign.
  • Trump divest of his businesses while in office; or resign.

The current relationship between the President, his family, and his businesses is only ethical if “ethical” means “we’re above, below, and outside the law and we play by our own rules“.

Let’s move along NOW!

So the web of contacts between Russia and members of the Trump administration is pretty thick. (See Chicago Trib – 2017.03.03, New York Times – 2017.03.03 )

And the focus seems to be communications between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Can we move along please?  Campaigns are so last year.  The election is over. The inauguration?  Over.  Depending on who you ask, and be careful who you ask, the US has either installed a terrific guy or an unhinged narcissist in the White House.  Opinions of President Trump run the gamut.  But they are opinions.

So let’s get to the facts.  How much is #45, Donald Trump – US President, owned by foreign interests?  And specifically, how much is Donald Trump owned by the Russians?  The campaign staff, the members of the administration might just be providing cover.  The Secret Service might just be providing an extra layer of security.

How much is THE PRESIDENT indebted to foreign interests?  We should:

  • Insist that he release his income taxes.  Or resign.
  • Insist that he divest himself of any business interests while President.  Or resign.
  • Insist that he disclose information consistent with his 44 predecessors.  Or resign.

Continuing to focus on past digressions distracts from the now.  And now Trump is doing so much to distract us from what is really important in the now.  (See also gaslighting –  Lauren Duca – Donald Trump is Gaslighting America)

We, the American people, regardless of political affiliation, deserve a President who is not driven by, or beholden to, any foreign interests or business associates.  If he wants to remain POTUS, prove it.  NOW.