Calm and Calculated

Did you see this pair of Tweets this morning? It’s like he sent them off while his nurse was pounding on his door, telling him it was time for his daily injection:

So much Fake News about what is going on in the White House. Very calm and calculated with a big focus on open and fair trade with China, the coming North Korea meeting and, of course, the vicious gas attack in Syria. Feels great to have Bolton & Larry K on board. I (we) are………..doing things that nobody thought possible, despite the never ending and corrupt Russia Investigation, which takes tremendous time and focus. No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back), so now they do the Unthinkable, and RAID a lawyers office for information! BAD!

They were immediately followed by

Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

and then, as the meds kicked in,

Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?

Some social scientist somewhere probably dreamed of running an experiment in which he put an anti-social 3-year-old in charge of the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal and then subjected him to various stimuli to see how he would respond. We are about to find out.

An even more interesting experiment would be to tell a large sample of people (say the population of the world’s richest and most powerful nation) that an anti-social 3-year-old is running things, and then study their reactions to his various provocations. Would there be epidemics of people dancing themselves to death, like there were in the Middle Ages? Would Gnostic doom cults arise, as they did in the latter days of the Roman Empire? Or would life go on as usual? It will be interesting to read the history books, if there are any.

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Back on the blog

I moved most of my commenting to Facebook a couple of years ago because that seemed to be where the action was. Last week, partly impelled by the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, partly out of frustration with the social media bubble, I cancelled my personal Facebook account. Yesterday I cut my cord, trading in my expensive Direct TV account for a cheaper streaming alternative. What’s next, trading in my iPhone for something cheaper? Maybe. Probably, I’m just trying to escape from Trump.

I’ll post my blog comments on my Author’s page now, but it’s mostly unread because I don’t pay Facebook ad money. It’s going to be a little lonely now, living without Likes and Comments from the Internet, but I suspect it’s healthier to not have the illusion of being an influencer. I’m just a guy who wrote a handful of books now, who occasionally screams that the sky is falling.

It is, it is.

So we cut to the chase

Yeah, I know, I’ve been AWOL. But it’s not like anything has happened in the news in the meantime. Just kidding.

So where were we? Oh, that’s right. Hope Hicks, who’s been passed around like a tray of canapes at a smoke-filled gentlemen’s club. Hers is a story of sublimated incest and un-sublimated abuse. It makes me wonder what kind of home she came from, and I worry that she might slash her wrists.

I am just SO fascinated by her—she might have stepped out of one of those dark, Freud-soaked ‘50s movies that were made by ex-Communists. The most ruthless and ambitious of the underlings in the West Wing sleep with her because she’s the boss’s office daughter, pretending not to notice that the boss pats her butt and ogles her, just as he does his biological daughter, and fondly tells her what a sweet piece of ass she is. All of them, not excluding the boss, slap her around.

We need to study THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS if we want to understand these people. Burt Lancaster in his prime would have done a better Trump than Alec Baldwin.

I read on the CNN site this morning that Trump screamed at Hicks after her testimony—“how can you be so stupid as to say that you lie for me?”—and that she went home in tears. Axios says that she and Rob Porter are splitsville. This is Sidney to JJ’s sister in SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, but it could just as easily be Hope Hicks’s next boyfriend, courting her over a midnight Martini at the Stork Club: “Look at yourself. You’re 19 years old. Just a kid, and you’re falling apart at the seams. You tiptoe around on those bird legs of yours, nervous and incompetent with a fatality for doing wrong, picking wrong… and giving up even before you start a fight! Wait a minute. It’s the truth, and the truth hurts.” Slap!

I assume Kelly had a hand in all this. I wonder if he isn’t the source for those devastating Jared stories too, which would have been enough to bring down any other administration. Kelly is going to napalm the village to save it.

Over on Facebook, I keep posting about how it’s going to become increasingly obvious that Trump is non compos mentis. Judging from last weekend’s Tweets and yesterday’s gun control remarks, I think that day has come. And now Sessions is pushing back hard enough that I wonder if he isn’t helping Mueller. It’s all just too much—it beggars the minds of conspiracists, who prefer simpler stories that make sense.

Trump is Bipartisan Now

“President Trump,” The New York Times reports, “struck a deal with Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday to increase the debt limit and finance the government until mid-December, blindsiding his own Republican allies as he reached across the aisle to resolve a major dispute for the first time since taking office.” Republicans are stunned; pundits are struggling to discern his overarching strategy. Why did he cut a deal with “Chuck and Nancy?”

I think the answer is simple: He is, as Jeb! Bush predicted he would be a long time ago, a chaos president. He is sheer id, will to power, and destruction. He has no principles, so he has no core beyond the desire to win, which for him is domination.

Obama was Vishnu, the preserver. Trump is Shiva, the destroyer of the world.

Trump and the White Nationalists

So I tuned into Fox News last night to see how they were framing things. I assumed it would be much as Trump was–about extremism on “many” sides, and how Obama started this by refusing to condemn the Black Panthers and so on. The show I tuned into was Steve Hilton’s, the English populist’s, and his message was pretty much that Trump was ruining populism by refusing to condemn White Nationalism. Populism is a response to economic inequality, he said, and black people are the biggest victims of that. What we need is economic nationalism, not white nationalism. Populism must be multi-cultural. Etc. It made me wonder: will this be the face of Fox after Murdoch Sr. and Trump are out of the picture? It also made me realize how much Trump has squandered.

Had he done what he said he would–hit the ground running with a trillion dollar infrastructure program, shored up Social Security and Medicare, made health care cheaper and better, and started a trade war instead of outsourcing everything to Goldman Sachs and the Koch brothers, he would have redoubled his support among Democrats and Independents. As it stands now, the only policies that are uniquely his are the Wall and the Muslim ban–the rest is right wing Republican boilerplate. Islamophobes, racists, and anti-Semites who like David Duke may also like Trump more than they would someone like Pence, but it’s not like they would ever vote for a Democrat. Politically speaking, they don’t really bring him anything except the kind of tsuris that he opened himself up to this weekend.

I think the electoral map is so tough and the Democrats so divided that Trump will retain the Senate in 2018. If he doesn’t finish his term (and I don’t think he will), it’ll be because the Goldman Sachs wing of his own party decides that he is a liability. Had he built on the populism that he ran on, he might have become president-for-life.

After Trump

The question is not what Trump can get away with, but how much degradation the American system can withstand. I suspect it passed its limit, long before last November 8.

Looking ahead, there isn’t going to be any kind of restoration–just reinvention, for better or for worse.