McMaster Dances Mango Tango

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Perhaps the most frequently asked question by rational viewers of Trumpland, the sleaziest Reality TV show in the genre’s sordid history, is why do they do it.

Why do seemingly normal people demean themselves in defense of an ignorant, bullying braggart? Why do they put their reputations on the line for a shallow conman who has spent his life enriching himself at others’ expense?

Take H.R. McMaster, the latest casualty in a long list of Trump supporters and sycophants who have stepped in front of the camera to take one for the Mango Megalomaniac. A hero of the Gulf War, McMaster, then a captain, lead a tank attack on a numerically superior Republican Guard force destroying the enemy without losing a single tank. He was awarded a Silver Star and rose rapidly through American military ranks, writing a book, Dereliction of Duty, criticizing American military leadership for its role in the Viet Nam War and earning a PhD in American history along the way. In 2014, Time Magazine listed the now Brigadier General as one of the most 100 influential people in the world.

Fast forward to his press appearance in front of the White House after his new boss, while bragging to the Russians in the Oval Office the day after he fired the FBI director investigating him, revealed highly classified information that put the lives of a U.S. ally’s intelligence operatives in jeopardy. Standing before the cameras in a tightly tailored suit unbecoming a man in charge of the nation’s national security, McMaster called the Washington Post story outlining Trump’s gaff categorically false before turning on his heel and marching back into the White House without answering questions.

The next day, no longer able to dispute the veracity of the report, McMaster was back before the cameras ‘walking back’ his previous assertion by saying the story’s intent was wrong.  Using weasel words better suited to a political hack than a respected general, McMaster maintained everything Trump said was “wholly appropriate” to the conversation at hand.

Wholly appropriate?

We later learned, thanks to a patriotic leaker in the intelligence community, that in addition to giving sensitive intelligence to the Russians, Trump told the enemy his real reason for firing the FBI director. He called James Comey, a respected public servant who eschewed a lucrative private law career to faithfully serve his country for more than three decades, a “nut job” and said his firing would take pressure off the investigation into Russian interference, an investigation in which his Oval Office guests were front and center.

This went down as Trump lapdog Mike Pence and other minions were scurrying about making fools of themselves lying to the American people, insisting Comey was fired on the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General. Unless Pence was lying, the Russians knew the real reason for the firing before the Vice President of the United States.

Most recently, McMaster was back on television reacting to the Washington Post story that Jared Kushner and McMaster’s disgraced predecessor Michael Flynn had met with Trump’s Oval Office guest, Russian Ambassador and spymaster Sergey Kyslyak, to discuss opening a back channel to the Kremlin that could circumvent American intelligence.

Nothing unusual about this, said McMaster with a straight face, adding that governments routinely try to establish back channels to foreign governments. Trouble is, the secret meeting took place in Trump Tower during the transition, when neither Flynn nor Kushner were part of the American government.

It doesn’t take a PhD to understand that it isn’t business as usual when two subjects of an FBI investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election are meeting with Russia’s top spy to arrange communications that will be known only to them. Think about it: Flynn, who Trump fired but continues to promote as a good guy, lost his job for lying to the Vice President about his communications with the Russians. Kushner only admitted to the meeting after being outed by the press. McMaster would have us believe we’re supposed to trust these guys.

Learned war hero General McMaster, you are sinking into the orange goop dripping from Trump’s sweating face, joining good Catholic Sean Spicer, gurgling in the muck of Trump’s toxic swamp.

But perhaps more troubling for America’s future than power hungry bootlickers doing a morally bankrupt narcissist’s dirty work to the detriment of their country, is the inescapable fact that 37 per cent of Americans still believe Trump is doing a good job.

How can this be, sensible people the world over ask themselves as they watch the hypocrite who famously evaded the draft during the Viet Nam war, not out of concience but to pursue money, lay wreaths and spout clichés during Memorial Day ceremonies? The answer is as uncomplicated as the head space of the hundreds of people who willingly went to their deaths in the service of another megalomaniac in Jonestown. Tens of millions of Trump supporters are drinking the Kool-Aid in great suicidal gulps, which doesn’t auger well for the world’s oldest democracy.

 

All The President’s Mess

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I lost interest in commenting on American politics about midway through the Mango Megalomaniac’s chaotic first hundred days in office.

Keeping up with the daily deluge of inanities, obfuscations and shameless lies spewing like poisonous gas from the capital of the world’s oldest democracy did not seem a good use of time that could otherwise be devoted to gardening, golf and observing the birds at my backyard feeder.

Who needs the elevated blood pressure and headaches that go with an evening of couch fuming while Trump’s sycophants publicly demean themselves in the service of a self-absorbed, pathological liar, a shallow, philandering, ignoramus who brags about grabbing pussy.

It is blatantly obvious that the man they  laud for valuing loyalty would throw any and all of them under the bus and then hunch over the steering wheel and happily drive back and forth over their bloodied corpses if their opinions should ever conflict with his own.

For a former altar boy, watching the good Catholic Paul Ryan grovel at the feet of someone who is anathema to everything his faith professes is to relive the disillusionment of watching Sunday morning hypocrites take the sacred sacrament in known states of mortal sin.

Paul, your sins aren’t forgiven in the confessional if you have no intention of correcting the behaviour when you leave that small, dark, solemn box. Say 10 Hail Marys, button up your big boy cassock and start living the tenets of your faith.

With more than 1,000 days yet to unfold in an administration that tops itself daily with displays of incompetence that have turned the U.S. into the butt of the world’s most dangerous joke, I suffered from a case of early onset Trump Fatigue.

Having repeatedly chastised Trump voters for putting the world in jeopardy by electing a bloviating orange blowhard to the country’s highest office, I watched from the safety of psychological distance as the old, white, Washington swamp creatures slithered in celebration after taking away health coverage from the country’s most vulnerable citizens so the moneyed class can pay less tax.

I wanted to Tweet in all caps so Trump voters would understand: BOTTOM LINE BILLIONAIRES DO NOT HAVE YOUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART. THESE ARE BAD (SICK) PEOPLE.

I refrained from commenting when Trump experienced an epiphany of biblical political proportions, supposedly after seeing televised images of Syrian kids suffering in the aftermath of a gas attack.

I resisted an urge to state the obvious: Trump, who is self-evidently a world class narcissist and incapable of feeling empathy, used dead children to justify a missile attack that would momentarily deflect attention from the debacle that his presidency has become.

Where was his empathy when rescuers were pulling the bodies of kids from the rubble that remained of Aleppo after his buddy Vladimir Putin sent the Russian bombers to do their murderous work?

He needed a win, and in his demented world of alternative facts, firing missiles at a country that had no missiles to fire back would energize his heavily armed mouth-breathing base. I wanted to put the question to those gun-toting Americans who pride themselves as defenders of freedom: Why is it that the U.S. only utilizes its vaunted military and technological superiority against countries that can’t fight back in kind—Viet Nam, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya?

North Korea, which fought the U.S. to a standstill more than six decades ago, has been starving its own people for years; Pakistan harbored Osama Bin Laden and provides sanctuary for terrorists; China could gas everyone in Tibet and not a single U.S. missile would fly.

Message to Trump: A kid is just as dead if his head is crushed by a chunk of concrete.

Oh yeah, the Russians (who were warned to get out of the way of the Syrian missile strike) can shoot back. Not to mention the golden shower video and reams of documentation Putin is holding onto for just the right moment. Pakistan has nukes.

Let’s face it Trump voters, the U.S. is the equivalent of the classic school yard bully, a country that picked its spots during two world wars and continues to beat up on military weaklings while avoiding the real tough guys.

You have put your country in the hands of an ignorant bully, an authoritarian con man who will do anything to avoid accountability, including firing the director of the FBI while that agency is ramping up an investigation into malfeasance which strikes at the core of your democracy.

The word unprecedented has become a cliché since the Mango Megalomaniac took control.

The list of firsts includes dropping the largest bomb ever to be exploded on the planet. It is the only time in your history that a president has fired an FBI director who is investigating people close to the Presidency.

Can the world’s first strategic nuclear strike be far behind?

The list grows longer and the world more dangerous as you sit back smugly on your oversized arses watching sports and reality TV as the systems and institutions you so revere are being dismantled, never missing an opportunity to tell the rest of us that you are the greatest country in the world and that God is on your side.

You listen with docility as your President bullies and denigrates longtime allies under the guise of putting American interests first. News flash: Anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of history knows Americans have always put their own interests first.

You allow your elected representatives to roll out flimsy excuses for inexcusable behaviour as they pay homage to a sick leader while stripping your family of health care. Your hallowed democracy teeters on the brink, while partisan politicians put party loyalty ahead of country.

You have been duped and like most victims of a con are too embarrassed to admit the truth. The only question that remains is how many of your precious freedoms are you willing to give up before you stand up for yourselves and  start chanting in one powerful voice–Lock him up.

It’s time to make America great (again?).

 

All hail the Cheeto King

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I’ve been writing for a while that Donald Trump suffers from the mental disorder of acute narcissism as defined by the Merriam Webster medical dictionary. Last week the eminent psychiatrist who literally wrote the manual on diagnosing narcissistic personality disorder, a professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Duke University Medical College, Dr. Allen Frances, sent a letter to the New York Times rebuking a group of renowned American mental health professionals who think Trump’s mental condition makes him unfit to serve as president.

Thirty-five psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers, while acknowledging they were in breach of professional rules against evaluating public figures, deemed Trump’s unstable mental condition too threatening too ignore.

Their letter to the NYT asserted:

“Mr. Trump’s speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behaviour suggest a profound inability to empathise. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them (journalists, scientists).

“In a powerful leader, these attacks are likely to increase, as his personal myth of greatness appears to be confirmed. We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.”

In a subsequent letter, Dr. Frances told his colleagues that saying Trump is mentally ill is unfair to those who truly are.

His words are also worth repeating:

“Most amateur diagnosticians have mislabelled President Trump with the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. I wrote the criteria that define this disorder, and Mr. Trump doesn’t meet them. He may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill, because he does not suffer from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder.

“Mr. Trump causes severe distress rather than experiencing it and has been richly rewarded, rather than punished, for his grandiosity, self-absorption and lack of empathy. It is a stigmatizing insult to the mentally ill (who are mostly well behaved and well meaning) to be lumped with Mr. Trump (who is neither).

“Bad behavior is rarely a sign of mental illness, and the mentally ill behave badly only rarely. Psychiatric name-calling is a misguided way of countering Mr. Trump’s attack on democracy. He can, and should, be appropriately denounced for his ignorance, incompetence, impulsivity and pursuit of dictatorial powers.

“His psychological motivations are too obvious to be interesting, and analyzing them will not halt his headlong power grab. The antidote to a dystopic Trumpean dark age is political, not psychological.”

I stand corrected by Dr. Frances, which allows me to go back to calling Trump a Mango Megalomaniac and an Evil Orange Clown without fear of disrespecting the mentally ill.

But what does it say when calling the U.S. President mentally ill is deemed an insult to those who suffer from mental disorders.

It says there are a hell of a lot of dangerous fruit cakes in the Divided States of America.

Watching interviews with Trump supporters, some of whom look normal on the outside, is to see mass delusion. These people still believe their Mango messiah is the best thing since chicken-flavoured Cheetos.

  • They listen to his compulsive boasting and hear a plain-talking man of the people who will help them become the winners they have never been.
  • They see chaos in the White House and dismiss it as a vast media conspiracy.
  • They watch as their leader praises America’s arch enemy Russia and see a friend in dictator Vladimir Putin, in direct opposition to what most of them have believed since their childhoods in the nation’s hollows, swamps and trailer parks.
  • They listen as Donald Trump tells them the election he won was rigged and see millions of brown illegal voters streaming to the polls.
  • They hear about the Bowling Green massacre and insurrection in Sweden and reach for their guns.

The greatest threat to America is not immigrants, refugees, ISIS, Korea or even Russia. Instead it exists within its own borders in the heads of tens of millions of American citizens, heavily armed delusional fanatics who view an ignorant, incompetent, paranoid Reality TV star and pathological liar as the saviour who can transport them back to a time that never was, except in their distorted imaginations.

I ask again: Sane Americans, what have you allowed to happen on your watch? And more importantly: What are you going to do about it?

 

 

In and Out Like Flynn

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You have to give Donald Trump his due. He makes great alternative reality TV.

A new storyline every day.

The latest episode involves the man he hand-picked to be his National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign after denying he contacted the Russian Embassy to talk about the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration before assuming office. He held the post for 24 days, the shortest such tenure in American history.

Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Deplorables: Forget about the travel ban and insist on extreme vetting at the White House.

Trump knew about the lie on Jan. 26 after officials in the intelligence community informed the White House that intercepted transcripts of the conversation indicated sanctions had been discussed and expressed concern that Flynn might be blackmailed to keep that information quiet.

Trump sat on the information for 18 days as Flynn continued to take part in sensitive security briefings. He refused to comment after a Washington Post story came out confirming Flynn’s lie, saying he hadn’t heard anything about the reports.  As late as Feb. 13 his Propaganda Minister Kellyanne Conway went on television to say Trump had full confidence in Flynn. An hour later, after news surfaced that Trump had long been aware of the lie, his Press Secretary contradicted Conway by saying that Flynn’s status was under evaluation.

A few hours later Flynn submitted his letter of resignation using suspiciously Trump-like hyperbole by predicting that despite his unprecedented departure Trump’s presidency would go down as one of the greatest in U.S. history. The letter acknowledged that he ‘inadvertently misled’ Vice President Mike Pence.

Talk about an alternative fact. Let’s call it a lie.

Wow. Are we still in the first month of the Trump administration?

The Narcissist-in-Chief reacted to the scandal by Tweeting that the real story should be the illegal leaks coming out of government agencies.

Donald Trump prides himself on being a straight shooter who talks to his followers in language they understand, which sometimes means speaking at grade school level.

Let’s lay out what happened in plain language even a ‘bad high school student’ can understand.

Trump chose Flynn despite the misgivings of many people about his temperament and management abilities. He was rewarded for supporting Donald Trump when it looked like he couldn’t win and was on the front lines at Trump rallies shouting “Lock her up.” He was fired from a high-ranking intelligence job in the Obama administration.

He has been at Trump’s side throughout the campaign and during the transition and first 24 days of the Presidency as a trusted advisor. Flynn contacted the Russians and told them not to sweat the sanctions imposed by President Obama for helping Trump win the election. He told the Russians it wouldn’t be long until Trump relaxed the latest sanctions and Vladmir Putin knew he could look good by not retaliating with his own sanctions as every Russian administration had done in past similar circumstances. The next day Trump praised Putin, Tweeting that he was very smart.

When Trump found out Flynn’s calls had been recorded he did nothing, hoping that the embarrassing information could be contained. Flynn accompanied him to Florida for weekend meetings with the Prime Minister of Japan and continued acting as his National Security Adviser right up until the evening of his resignation.

When the story broke, Trump focused on the leaks instead of the lie, ignoring the inescapable real fact that if the Washington Post hadn’t published the information Michael Flynn would still be the National Security Advisor, lies be damned.

This should be shocking stuff for all Americans. How many lines have to point from the White House to the Kremlin before Congress and the Senate put partisan politics aside and stand up for the country by launching an independent investigation.

Let’s put things in point form for those who don’t comprehend things as well as Donald Trump, who told an audience last week that nobody comprehends things better than him. Another whopper that in his alternative world make him the smartest person on the planet.

  • Russia wanted Donald Trump to be President and they interfered in the U.S. election to get him to the White House. Think about that, bad student. Why would Russia want Trump?
  • Trump publicly encouraged the Kremlin to hack the Democrats during his campaign.
  • His campaign chair Paul Manafort was fired when his ties to Russia came into question.
  • The FBI has corroborated certain details from a dossier compiled by a highly credible former British intelligence agent suggesting the Russians may have compromising information on Trump. They are looking deeper.
  • Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, arguably the most important post in the cabinet, was awarded the Medal of Friendship from Russia for oil deals he made while head of Exon Mobile.
  • Trump’s now disgraced pick for the highly sensitive position of National Security Advisor appeared at Putin’s elbow at a dinner celebrating the state controlled television network for which Flynn provided paid commentary.
  • Before assuming the National Security Advisor job, Flynn contacted the Russians to give them the heads up on what to do about Obama’s sanctions for interfering in the election, violating a longstanding U.S. tradition of ‘one President at a time’ and possibly contravening the Logan Act.
  • Trump then praised Putin for not reacting to the sanctions calling him smart.
  • Flynn lied about the call to the Russians the American people, saying sanctions were never mentioned.
  • When given the opportunity to call Putin out for being the murdering, thieving, thug the world knows him to be, Trump told a huge pre-Super Bowl audience that Putin’s tactics were no worse than things the U.S. had done, flabbergasting even Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and outraging hawkish Republicans.
  • Flynn came clean only when he realized the FBI had transcripts of the call, saying he couldn’t remember if sanctions came up.
  • Trump kept Flynn at his side, and sent his top aide Kellyanne Conway to express his full confidence in Flynn 17 days after he was informed of the lie.
  • Flynn resigned hours after the second Washington Post story broke about the Department of Justice informing Trump that Flynn lied.
  • The next day Press Secretary Sean Spicer, doled out a serving of alternative facts, telling assembled media that Trump acted decisively and has been very tough on Russia.

My fellow North Americans, good students and bad, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… well… Adults living outside the U.S. are seeing the bigger picture here. Your President is mentally ill. At the very least he may have real business or personal reasons for being soft on Russia. As it was so vociferously communicated at a Town Hall meeting in Utah, make your representatives in Congress and the Senate “Do their jobs.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Liars Club

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Not a month in and it’s crystal clear to all but Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters that the man Americans entrusted with the most powerful job on the planet is delusional.

Trump lives in a world of alternative facts. He sees multitudes of illegal voters that nobody else sees. He lies so much his surrogates have taken to referring to the utterances of the 70-year-old billionaire business tycoon as if he’s a misunderstood teenager. They berate the press for misinterpreting tweets and justify his daily gaffs with circuitous deflections and pivots that leave listeners wondering if they have stepped through the looking glass.

Here’s a sampling of first month falsehoods that can be proved wrong by a simple Google search..

  • His inaugural crowd was the biggest ever. Period. False
  • Three to five million people voted for Hillary Clinton illegally depriving him of the popular vote. False
  • The bizarre claim that he’s been on the cover of Time more than anyone. False.
  • The media is involved in a conspiracy not to cover terrorism. False.
  • The media created a feud between Trump and the U.S. intelligence community. False.
  • The murder rate in the U.S. is the highest in 45 years. False.
  • His travel ban went smoothly, inconveniencing only 109 people. False.
  • The raid in Yemen, which resulted in the deaths of civilians, including women and children, and an American soldier, and the loss of a $70 million airplane, a mission which failed to capture its principle target, was a success. False.
  • All polls that are unfavorable to the Trump administration are Fake News. False.
  • Americans don’t ‘care at all’ about his tax returns. False.
  • Mexico will pay for the wall. False.

What’s most troubling about this small sampling is Trump’s preoccupation with and willingness to lie about petty things like the inauguration and the number of appearances on the cover of Time. Classic symptoms of his mental disorder. Acute narcissism.

As I said in a previous blog, I am no longer making fun of Donald Trump’s swooping comb-over, mango-tinted face and gilt-edged taste in furniture in deference to his mental disorder.

That said, his precarious grasp on reality puts not only America but the entire world in jeopardy and he must be held to account.

Listening to Trump sycophants on CNN deflect, pivot, spin, whirl and disassemble in rambling off-topic answers to specific questions is infuriating to viewers with an interest in facts. Here’s a suggestion for Jake Tapper’s next interview with Propaganda Minister Kellyanne Conway. Conduct the interview as if you were performing a lie detector test, in which the examiner pointedly does not allow the subject to ramble on. Pose the above list and insist on a simple yes or no answer to the truthfulness of Trump’s statements, with the provision Conway can only prevaricate when the test is complete. If she refuses to be interviewed under this stipulation take away her platform.

Watching Donald Trump parade his ignorance and incompetence with complete disregard for how his behaviour is perceived by sane people should elicit sympathy for a sick mind. His first month in office would be a sad joke if the consequences weren’t so deadly serious.

Take his latest assertion that Americans don’t understand the ‘tremendous threat’ posed by terrorism, in part because the media has an agenda to keep the populace uninformed. ‘You know why,’ he told his bewildered audience mysteriously. He alludes to the grave danger he recently learned about from the same intelligence community he likened to the Nazi regime when it came to investigations into his campaign’s links to Russia.

Trump might as well be the propaganda minister for ISIS in that he is helping them accomplish their main goal, which is to create undue fear in their enemies.

Think about it. In Trump’s alternative world Americans are living in great peril of imminent death at the hands of bad dudes and hombres who travel to the States with evil intent. The reversal of his travel ban by a ‘so-called judge’ leaves the country vulnerable to murder and mayhem and if anything happens it will be the fault of the judiciary.

The facts say otherwise. Refugees and immigrants already go through extreme vetting and Americans are more likely to be struck by lightening than to die at the hands of a foreign-born terrorist.

The strategy behind terrorism is to instill fear and demoralize an enemy you can’t defeat militarily by hitting soft targets. The terrorist, by definition, seeks to magnify the risk by the prominence and randomness of the attacks. Trump is doing everything he can to further that purpose by ratcheting up the threat factor. ISIS leaders must be peppering the sky with bullets in celebration of their new-found propagandist.

Yesterday, in a showy meeting with law enforcement officers at the White House, Trump went back to a familiar refrain. He cited a spike in the murder rate in a few American cities and then falsely inflated it to the worst killing spree in 45 years. He insinuated that it’s unsafe to walk American streets. I recently spent five months driving throughout the U.S., traveling to major cities like Washington, New Orleans, Memphis and Phoenix and not once sensed danger.

Donald Trump’s malignant mind operates in a maelstrom of fear. Lurking in every corner of his alternative world are nefarious  people out to get him or to put one over on him. The list is varied and growing longer by the day. It includes the media, the intelligence community, the fired acting U.S. attorney general, ‘weak’ Republican senators and congressmen, all Democrats, the Chancellor of Germany, the Chinese, the Mexicans, the Muslims, the Prime Minster of Australia, federal judges, Hollywood  liberals, the National Parks Service, Saturday Night Live, Nordstrom’s.

The one notable not on the list is Vladimir Putin, the dictator who murders dissenters and muzzles the press while robbing his country blind. He shrugs off Putin’s transgressions as if they were misdemeanour parking violations, oblivious to the optics of comparing U.S. wrongdoings to the thug’s foul deeds, even as an investigation is underway to determine if Putin is blackmailing him.

Your narcissist President is fear-mongering to promote himself as the only person who can save the country. The truth is that the biggest danger facing America is the rot from within that propelled a madman into its highest office. Americans have long been self-delusional when it comes to their place in the world as evidenced by the millions who worship a man who tells them he will put America First.

Americans yearn for recognition of their rightful place at the top of the world hierarchy, a spot they feel entitled to by no less than the blessing of God. In their collective myopia, they fail to see what the rest of the world has always known. Throughout a sullied 240-year history during which the country sat out the first years of two World Wars while its allies took the beatings, a history that encapsulates slavery, genocide, civil war, exploitation of impoverished nations, plundering of world resources, assassinations, military adventures that have left millions homeless or dead, America has always put itself first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Naked Trump

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Watching Donald Trump’s assorted sycophants and enablers rationalize his bizarre behaviour brings to mind the children’s fable about the Emperor with no clothes.

One wonders how long these men and women of power and privilege,  accomplished in their various fields, will debase themselves in front of the world to satisfy the demands of a mentally unstable President. At what point do sane Republicans and Trump supporters step up and confirm what rational people around the world are seeing—Donald Trump is mentally ill.

Tom Barrack Jr., Trump’s longtime friend, advisor and the organizer of his inaugural, insisted on CNN that Trump should be treated differently from past Presidents because he is not a politician. Speaking as if the 70-year-old billionaire is a child, Barrack entreated Americans to cut Trump slack because he’s new in the Oval Office and has a lot on his plate. His incessant lies are just Trump being Trump, he seemed to intimate, and we should accept him for the liar he is and give him a chance to govern.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer humiliated himself in his first press briefing by repeating Trump’s altered view of reality about the inaugural crowds, reading out a list of falsehoods before walking out without taking questions. He tried to rehabilitate his image Monday by saying he lied because the Trump administration is disheartened by the bad press. Sounding like a beaten down lackey, he told the assembled reporters that their reporting of the facts is discouraging.

Spicer was back at it Tuesday trying to justify Trump’s bizarre claim that the election he won was rigged. When asked if he believed this incredible assertion, Spicer could only reply that Trump believes it, inferring that he is entitled to his opinion in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

CNN’s Erin Burnett came closest to the essence of Donald Trump when she mused that Trump’s inexplicable lies–the size of the inaugural crowd, having the most Time covers, the media is conspiring to instigate a feud between Trump and the intelligence community, he won the popular vote if you discount the 3-5 million people who voted illegally—are either part of a larger Machiavellian plan which involves undermining his own Presidency to distract attention from his political agenda or that Trump is lying or delusional.

There is no plan, people. He doesn’t even know he’s lying. The man is a wingnut. A certifiable narcissist suffering from all the delusions the disorder engenders. It is worth repeating here the Merriam Webster Medical Definition of Narcissism as noted in a previous blog: “a personality disorder characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, persistent need for admiration, lack of empathy for others, excessive pride in achievements and snobbish, disdainful or patronizing attitudes.

It doesn’t take a degree in psychiatry to connect the dots. Donald Trump is questioning the legitimacy of his own election win by initiating an investigation into voter fraud simply because he can’t stand the reality that more people voted for Hillary Clinton. Just as he can’t stand that a bigger crowd turned out to see Barack Obama taking the Oath of Office in 2009, or that more people marched to protest his Presidency than turned out for his swearing in.

Elected officials on both sides of the aisle have discredited his contention of massive voter fraud, which would have involved the largest conspiracy in the history of democracy and been perpetrated under the scrutiny of Republican election watchers. He has graduated from the degrading but otherwise harmless conspiracy to undermine the nation’s first black President to a dark intrigue that questions the foundation of democracy.

His delusions are dangerous for your country, and for the world.

Americans, Donald Trump is standing before you naked and sick. Stop enabling and get him some help.

 

AMERICA THE BLESSED, REDEEM THYSELF

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Ladies and gentleman of the U.S. you have put a mentally ill man into a position of power over the world’s most lethal military. You have placed the rest of us in grave danger.

The man you chose out of a population of 300-odd million to lead you through these most dangerous of times is exhibiting classic signs of mental breakdown, perhaps being brought on by the reality of the Presidency that cannot be so easily molded by denials, obfuscations and outright lies.

That said, I can no longer make fun of Donald Trump in print by calling him a Mango Megalomaniac, as that would be making fun of the mentally challenged. I will now refer to him by name, but not title, and officially join the conspiracy to delegitimatize his Presidency.

Donald Trump is a narcissist by the classic definition of the illness. Google the Merriam Webster Medical Definition of Narcissism: a personality disorder characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, persistent need for attention, lack of empathy for others. Excessive pride in achievements, and snobbish, disdainful or patronizing attitudes.

Never mind taking Donald Trump’s picture and pasting it beside this definition, these words are his political eulogy. And that is not good for any of us.

During his bizarre stop at CIA headquarters on the day of the record protests, his first official day in office, he appeared a mentally ill man under tremendous stress.

Think about it. There are at least three ongoing investigations with Russian connections. Some ‘400-pound’ computer genius sitting on a bed in a basement somewhere in the vast cyber world is trying to hack into his tax returns or his text messages or post a salacious video that could go viral.

A lot of smart people, motivated by professionalism, patriotism, party politics or revenge, are digging deep into the dirt of his life, including all his ‘alternative’ versions of it.

They are looking for factual facts.

Before taking office he began a public feud with the American intelligence community, going on international television and likening intelligence officials to Nazis in an attempt to delegitimatize future findings and the intelligence community’s credibility going forward.

He then chose to make the CIA his first stop as President. He stood before the cameras, enveloped in the narcissist’s world of ‘alternative facts’, in front of the hallowed wall of fallen American heroes and the people he has so recently denigrated, and claimed there is no better friend of the intelligence community than himself, before launching into a bizarre and disjointed ramble against the media, spouting conspiracy theories about the size of his inauguration crowd.

Are you worried yet people?

A man whose organization and associates are under investigation, not to mention the run of the mill national and world problems that a new President must deal with, is focused on the pettiest of issues, one that equates in the mind of a short-fingered narcissist to saying the first black President is better endowed.

Unable to let the crowd size issue go, he stewed and obsessed, finally sacrificing the credibility of his press secretary by sending him out for his first briefing to read a written list of ‘alternative facts’ that made him appear not only a narcissist’s lackey but a laughing stock.

Unprecedented has become a media cliché. If Donald Trump can unravel over an issue that basically boils down to ‘mine is bigger than yours,’ what unprecedented international actions will he take with Putin pulling his strings and pushing his buttons.

The lack of awareness in a man who made his political bones questioning the legitimacy of Barrack Obama, and is now whingeing and whining about a conspiracy to undermine his own Presidency, shows how far into the world of narcissism he has gone.

Fake intelligence. Fake news. Fake sexual assault claims.

The narcissistic mind whirls within a windstorm of ‘alternative facts’.

Americans? Do you understand what you have done? You ignored all the symptoms and put the planet in jeopardy and now it is up to you to get it undone.

Fortunately, you get a do-over.

As powerful as the office is, there are safeguards through which a mentally ill President can be thwarted. A narcissist cannot operate without the cooperation of Capital Hill. You must put enormous pressure on both parties to put patriotism ahead of politics. You must demand that your representatives in the Senate and House of Congress recognize the dangers associated with this disorder. You must ensure the investigations move forward without interference. Make him release his taxes. Refute his propaganda minister’s ‘alternative facts.’ Make your President live in the real world.

You must be vigilant for your democracy before Donald Trump starts dressing up in a gold-braided hat and military suits with flashy gold epilates and a chest full of medals.

 

 

 

 

From Russia with love

This whole Russian thing is starting to get creepy and the Mango Megalomaniac isn’t even in office yet. The transition of power has turned into a way over the top B-movie plot.

Here are the facts.

  • U.S. intelligence has confirmed the Russians preferred the Evil Orange Clown over Hillary Clinton for U.S. President and actively worked to discredit Clinton, thereby helping Trump get elected.
  • The Trump campaign team is under investigation by the FBI for possible contact with the Russians during the election campaign.
  • The FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies are looking into a report compiled by a highly respected former British intelligence agent that the Russians have compromising information on Trump’s personal life and finances.
  • Trump claims to have no financial interests in Russia but refuses to release the tax returns which would clarify his Russian dealings, or lack thereof. He says he has nothing to hide but defies presidential tradition and hides them anyway. Hmm.
  • Trump’s choice for National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, a man who has dined with Vladimir Putin and worked for the state-owned Russian television network, was in contact with senior Russians the day President Obama gave 35 Russian diplomatic officials 72 hours to get out of the country, a possible contravention of the Logan Act.
  • Trump’s pick for Secretary of Defense is a recipient of Russia’s Order of Friendship Medal.
  • The outgoing director of the CIA has gone on record to say Trump’s denigration of U.S. intelligence is irresponsible and dangerous.
  • For the first time in history a Russian leader has issued a statement defending a U.S. politician.

With all this going on a reasonable person might think the incoming President would want to distance himself from Russia and its murderous dictator. Not so much.

Trump continues to question U.S. intelligence, preferring the word of Putin over his own operatives. Even with Russian interference in the election confirmed, an action which members of both parties are calling ‘an act of war’, he is floating the possibility of lifting sanctions against Russia even as members of his own party advocate for more severe measures.

Are you detecting a fishy smell, yet? Maybe a discolored blow fish rotting on the beach.

Trump and his team appear to be aligning themselves with the enemy while reverting to the age-old tactics of cheaters the world over—shoot the messengers and deny, deny, deny.

Here’s a sampling of the Trump team’s rebuttal over the preceding months, which is in keeping with the grade school style of their leader.

  • The DNC hacker might have been a 400-pound man living in his parents’ basement. Or maybe it was the Chinese or North Korea. It could have been a Nigerian scammer with a grudge against the Clinton Foundation or a computer genius in a yurt in far-off Mongolia. Fact: the Russians did it.
  • The report on Russia having compromising information is the work of Trump’s enemies and has been proven false. Fact: While it’s true the report was commissioned by Trump’s Republican adversaries during the primaries before the file was taken over by Democrats, the allegations are under investigation and none of the findings have been verified or proven false. The operative who compiled the dossier is in hiding in fear of his life.
  • Trump’s team denied that National Security Advisor Flynn was in contact with the Russians until they realized U.S. intelligence had irrefutable evidence to the contrary, including text messages. Fact: Back pedaling furiously, the Trump team admitted Flynn talked to the Russians by phone on the day Obama announced the diplomats’ ousting but, beggaring credibility, insisted they did not discuss the biggest news story of the day. They probably have a bridge to sell you.

Trump acolytes, headed by propaganda minister Kellyanne Conway, maintain there is a widespread campaign orchestrated by sore losers to delegitimatize his presidency. The conspiracy includes an unlikely alliance comprising the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, Hollywood movie people, the media, writers, musicians and all Democrats, especially civil rights icon John Lewis.

The Trumpeting Tower-bound Tweeter jump-started his political career by orchestrating a long campaign to delegitimatize Barrack Obama’s presidency by claiming for years, without proof, that the President wasn’t born in the U.S. Trump doggedly held onto this absurdity until he begrudgingly admitted Obama’s right to the Oval Office late in the election campaign.

This is a man who, when behind in the polls, personified a sore loser by questioning the legitimacy of the voting procedures and then told tens of millions of Americans during a televised debate that he didn’t know if he would accept the election results. He later told a campaign rally that he would accept the voters’ verdict, but only if he won.

Do you believe in karma?

America, you’ve got yourself into a real pickle this time.

The bottom line is if it walks and talks like a pussy grabbing, Russian collaborating, mentally ill, morally bankrupt, double-dealing, financial huckster and conspiracy theorist, well… enough said.

On the bright side, Reality TV fans are in store for great television when their favorite bad actor stars in his impeachment hearing. Bookmakers are putting the odds at 4-1 that Trump will hear the words ‘You’re fired.’ within six months.

 

 

 

The Days of Swine and Orangeness

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We’re not in Kansas anymore folks. We are down the Wizard of Orange’s rabbit hole in an uncharted land where the Wizard spews venom into cyberspace from a gilt-edged glass tower as his subjects squabble over the veracity and implications of his petulant inanities.

America, are you feeling great again?

The days of swine and orangeness leading up to the Mango Megalomaniac’s inauguration seem even more surreal when contrasted with the decency and grace of the outgoing Obama administration as witnessed in his thoughtful and heartfelt farewell speech.

American people, you are about to receive what you so richly deserve; unfortunately you may well take the rest of us down with you.

Let’s look at where things stand in the days and hours before the transition. We now know the Evil Orange Clown was elected with the help of America’s sworn enemy, a thieving, murderous, communist dictator on a mission to destabilize your democracy and change the world order to one with a somewhat lesser emphasis on freedom.

The man you’ve given the nuclear codes to continues to support the thug he has called a better leader than your outgoing President and instead questions the abilities and motives of the men and women in your intelligence agencies who risk their lives for your liberty, likening these patriotic sons and daughters of America to Nazis.Your Commander-in Chief has myriad worldwide financial holdings, with possible unknown interests in Russia, but still refuses to release his tax returns while bragging that he is not bound by conflict of interest guidelines. Can you say treason?

Trump’s campaign promise to Drain the Swamp in Washington notwithstanding, he has assembled a cabinet of old rich white guys of dubious provenance.

His choice for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, in 1986 was only the second nominee in 50 years to be denied a federal judgeship by the Senate because of his questionable record on race. When asked in this week’s confirmation hearing whether a secular person could understand the truth as well as a religious person Sessions silenced the room with his ignorance, “Well, I’m not sure,” he said. He is also known for saying, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” No judgement on his country’s booze swillers. A snarly swamp dog born and inbred on the bayou.

The man Trump put forward as the next Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, former head of Exxon Mobile, received a 180-million-dollar payout from the oil giant for his service, which included billion dollar oil deals with the Russians for which he was awarded that country’s Order of Friendship from the dictator/thug Vladimir Putin. An American crocodile, smooth and shiny, with sharp teeth and periscope eyes that scope out weakness.

Trump’s selection for Secretary of Defense, retired Major General James Mattis, nicknamed “Mad Dog” by the marines who served under him, earned the moniker with quotes like the one in which he outlined a rule for his troops to live by while on duty in Iraq: “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” In keeping with the national gun obsession he has also noted, “It’s fun to shoot some people.” A heavily armed bull frog sitting on his fortified lily pad.

Showing the breadth of his questionable judgement, Trump put forward climate change denier Scott Pruitt, a highly-paid shill for the fossil fuel industry, as his man to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Despite conclusions drawn by 97 per cent of the world’s top scientists that climate change is real, Pruitt claims the issue is “far from settled.” A opportunistic snake slithering along a Cypress branch a few feet above the water, its forked tongue darting..

The Evil Orange Clown has chosen Michael Flynn as his National Security Advisor. Flynn, who led chants of “Lock her up” during the presidential campaign was fired as head of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014. A new world order fantasist, he was a semi-regular paid commentator on Russia’s state-owned propaganda Network RT and has dined with the dictator Putin. He has called the Muslim religion a “vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people that needs to be excised.” An alligator sunning on a log, ready to clamp its jaws around any unsuspecting prey and drown it in the murky water.

The swamp isn’t being drained, folks, it’s being repopulated. Are you feeling great yet, America?

Let’s exit the rabbit hole and get real for a minute. The country you never tire of telling the rest of us is ‘the greatest country in the world’ was founded on slavery and genocide. Your revered first president George Washington prospered on the backs of his slaves before, having no further use for their sweat and blood in the afterlife, released them upon his death. You bought and sold black people for a hundred years, then lynched them and denied them the right to participate in the American dream long after emancipation and continue to kill, imprison and marginalize your own citizens in the new Millennium.

You grabbed the entire land mass from sea to shining sea under a doctrine called Manifest Destiny, which essentially stated that inevitability and rule of might entitled the government to move the indigenous people who had lived on the land for thousands of years onto unsuitable reservations where they withered and died from disease and starvation. Your government broke treaty after treaty while your armies waged war against bedraggled ‘hostiles’ whose only crime was they wanted to live peacefully in their homeland. It took a maverick judge in the late 1800s to rule that Indians were people, and as such had the same rights as other Americans to live where they wanted, a ruling that your government constantly subverted to satisfy your greed for their land. George Custer and the Seventh Calvary were not massacred by the Sioux but instead were routed and killed in a battle against a superior force after Custer launched an unprovoked attack against a peaceful Indian encampment. Your troops murdered then dismembered and mutilated women and children at Sand Creek, proudly wearing female genitalia as hat bands. You paid bounties for Indian scalps.

These are facts Americans prefer to sweep under the historical carpet when they tout freedom and liberty for all.

Your so-called democracy is structured in such a way the majority does not rule, as evidenced by the election that gave you Donald Trump. The system has been perverted and corrupted by money and greed, which allows the one per cent to rule the rest through a financial coup. You profited on the First World War for years before entering the fray near its end then took credit for the victory. You got involved in the ‘last just war’ only after being attacked two years after its start, watching from the safety of your isolation while your allies took the beating. Your government and corporations have exploited and plundered the world, propping up tyrants and befriending mass murderers when it was deemed to be in your national interests, never putting a dollar in without the expectation of getting two dollars out.

You are the greatest country in the world only in the sense that you have the most powerful military and are prepared to use it. You are a divided nation rife with hypocrisy ignorance and religious extremism, a country whose citizens feel justified in murdering and meddling anywhere on the planet if it suits their end goal of materialism over all else, never giving a thought to the depredations wrought on innocents so you can have cheap gas, two cars and a big screen TV. You now practice Manifest Destiny on a global scale with a sense of entitlement that is breathtaking.

The rise of Donald Trump has been centuries in the making and he is truly a made-in-America president. While other citizens of the world can claim their subjugation to despots and dictators not of their making, Americans can offer no such defense. With all the evidence before them its citizens chose as their leader a misogynist philanderer accused of multiple sexual predations who has dedicated his life to exploiting others for material gain, an ignorant crude bully who takes pride in gaming the system, a prolific liar who intimidates and denigrates his victims, a narcissistic, megalomaniac whose position of power puts the entire planet at risk.

Do you feel great again, America?

 

 

Trudeau’s Castro problem

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In this the era of populist demagogues like Donald Trump, with far right politicians crawling out from under their rocks in Europe and around the world with divisive messages of hate, Canadians can only hope Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision not to attend the funeral of Fidel Castro isn’t an omen of things to come for Canada’s foreign relations.

Trudeau’s bland praise of the Cuban dictator upon his death was met with a firestorm of criticism from the right. He called the iconic world figure a remarkable leader, which he was, and correctly said he made significant improvements to education and health care after ousting corrupt U.S.-backed strong man Fulgencio Battista. He also noted that Castro had garnered the deep and lasting affection of the Cuban people, which he most certainly has.

He was excoriated for this?

Republican Senator Marco Rubio questioned whether Trudeau’s comments were a parody, calling them shameful and embarrassing. Another failed Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, said Trudeau’s remarks were disgraceful.

Really guys?

This from a couple of spineless, self-serving, power-at-any-cost, double-speaking sleaze bags who supported Donald Trump after he said Russia’s murderous, thieving dictator was a better leader than their own president.

Shameful, embarrassing, disgraceful? Their pictures should be inserted into dictionaries beside these adjectives, which so perfectly describe their own boot-licking behaviour in the wake of Trump’s win.

The hypocrisy of these guys is stunning. Breathtaking. Nauseating.

The U.S. has a long and sordid history of supporting tyrants whose track records made Castro look like Mother Theresa, from the hated Shah of Iran, who received American sanctuary when the Iranian people finally kicked him out, to Augusto Pinochet in Chile, Manuel Noriega in Panama, Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

When it comes to supporting tyrants, the U.S. government has been on the wrong side of history so often it’s too space consuming to provide a full list. If Castro had been open to corrupting American influence you can bet your last dollar U.S. politicians would have been singing his praises no matter how many people he killed.

The fact of the matter is that Castro and a small band of rebels overthrew the tyrant America backed, a man who ruthlessly exploited the Cuban people in partnership with the mafia. A lawyer who could have lived well outside of Cuba, Castro risked his life to take the country back, not for money but instead for love of the island nation.

Castro was no saint. He did whatever was necessary to wrest control away from the profiteers who privatized all the choice waterfront properties, keeping Cubans away from their own beaches. Battista’s supporters were not the sort to give up their privileged positions without a fight. People were killed and imprisoned during his 60-year reign, some of them no doubt unjustly. But the outpouring of affection from Cubans of all stripes upon his death is testimony that he was a respected and well-loved leader.

He brought in free medical care and access to education unheard of in third world countries, and he did so despite the punitive U.S. embargo meant to cripple the economy and cause unrest and regime change. He was left with no choice but to turn towards Russia for support in the early days of the revolution.

The irony is, the Cuban people are more suited, by inclination and temperament, to the American way of life than they ever were to the austere Soviet view of the world. They love rock and roll, baseball and blue jeans and could have been an ally instead of a hated enemy of the United States for all these years. It was U.S. paranoia and fear of communism that forced them into the other camp.

During a month-long visit to Cuba many years back I found it to be a safe country with no restrictions on travel, a nation that championed racial harmony among its mixed race population, a place where blacks, whites and all the colours in between got along despite the crushing poverty caused by the U.S. sanctions. In Castro’s Cuba black men weren’t afraid of being shot on sight by the police.

Unlike Donald Trump’s best bro Vladimir Putin, who lives like a king on his ill-gotten gains protected by his posse of thugs while Russian families of six huddle in one-room apartments sharing bathrooms down the hall, Castro was never accused of ruling for personal gain.

The disturbing thing about the Trudeau—Castro contretemps is not that he spoke well of the dictator but instead that he backed down from going to the funeral of the man who was an honorary pallbearer at his own father’s funeral because of criticism from the right. How will he stand up in negotiations with Trump’s ideological zealots?

One thing is sure, in this instance he did not demonstrate the fortitude his father showed when taking controversial positions. Under the elder Trudeau, Canada became a haven for American draft dodgers during the Vietnam war over the vehement protests of the American political establishment and he maintained normal relations with Cuba throughout the American embargo, even visiting the country and having pictures taken with the dictator cradling his children.

While Pierre Trudeau had his share of critics, Canadians liked the stands he took in opposition to our powerful and aggressive neighbour. He was nobody’s lap dog and by association neither were Canadians. If there is an afterlife, the elder Trudeau’s spirit is extending a famous middle finger to the right wing critics while his earthly remains pirouette rather than spin in his grave at the thought of his son caving on the funeral.